EDITORíS DESK: A birdís-eye view
The red-tailed hawk, returning from several weeks of injury recovery in Ellicott, flew hard for the treetops north of Midland Elementary, seeming to remember its former home.
This sight still zings clear in my mind's eye, and I wondered about the chances of that bird reuniting with her mate.
Meanwhile, less romantic stories awaited their moments of attention for this issue. One of these was the Express Inn. I wouldn't be surprised if birds are flying all around that property right now, singing, hunting and having various adventures. It's likely more peaceful than before, what with all the people moved out and nothing happening there since May, when workers erected a chainlink fence all around the place.
For the purposes of news gathering, the big deal is the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) looking to buy the Express Inn's 5 acres as a stockpile for future right of way when Highway 24 gets expanded. From a government standpoint, the purchase plan is definitely a prudent action, and elected officials from the region, presented with the idea at the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) meeting, clearly liked the economical tone: Buy low, sell high. Save the taxpayers money.
If the sale goes through, CDOT plans to tear the old structure down. That means there will be an empty field beside the highway for an unknown number of years. On the other hand, if a surprise bidder shows up (a la W.D. Corley in Mel McFarland's column below), that could change everything. Imagine even some kind of successful business enterprise, hiring people and sending tax revenues to the city - at least until the Eighth Street interchange gets built. Wouldn't that kind of outcome also be prudent, from an economical standpoint? Just another way of looking at things.
But the point of view I keep seeing (silly old mind's eye) is that of the returning hawk. No political balancing, no massive list of unfunded public needs. Just a keen eye for a stand of trees that looks like home. And fly straight for it.