EDITORíS DESK: Fire reveals Westside compassion

       All over Colorado Springs, it seems, people are looking for ways to help the Mountain Shadows folks who lost their homes in the Waldo Canyon Fire. The Westside is hardly an exception, as can be seen in the articles on Page 6 of this issue. All of those events/fundraisers/donations are worthy and great to see, but perhaps the most impressive is the pig roast being coordinated by former Old Colorado City shopkeeper Ginny Wesley (the founder of Mountain Moppets) in Bancroft Park July 22. The reason I say this is that she herself has suffered at the hands of fate, at one time being diagnosed with both multiple sclerosis and Stage 4 cancer. Yet here she is, still going strong and - on pretty short notice - putting together an event that honors those who fought the fire and helps those who suffered from it. So yay for her and save me a lean chunk of meat...
       I know the city means well with its BAM (Be Active Movement) promotion to put the spotlight on its admirable park system (see the brief on Page 12.) But do our city fathers really want photos of any activity that goes on in our parks? A classic example was Bancroft Park the evening of July 7. That would have been an ideal time to have it looking spiffy because Old Colorado City was being treated to a performance by a touring, 55-piece Air National Guard concert band. Unfortunately, when rain started falling at the outset of the performance, those in attendance found themselves sharing space under the pavilion with a varied lot of transients with backpacks and blankets spread out. They almost looked indignant at having their "bedroom" violated. I don't know how the proposed no-panhandling ordinance might affect this crowd and I realize the Westside has always had a "live and let live" philosophy, but we can't ignore the fact that many of these guys are druggies, drunks and/or mentally unstable, and there are children in the neighborhood...
       One more event worth mentioning: the annual Westside Neighbors Picnic July 21. It's a great way to catch up with old friends and even make new ones. Maybe we'll see you there.

- K.J.