EDITOR’S DESK: The butterflies’ premature flight

       “It's a shame,” said John George, owner of Touch of Class, and I couldn't agree more.
       Despite the area's recent misfortunes - primarily two huge fires in two years and parts of Manitou Springs washing away in flash floods - the arrival of colorful new butterfly sculptures every summer has always been sure to bring a smile.
       But even that small pleasure has been compromised this year, with the theft of one of the metal creations that had been erected in front of George's store. Thanks to that, and the apparent attempted theft of one of the other two butterflies that had been installed in Old Colorado City, members of the event-sponsoring Colorado Springs Rotary decided to take away both those sculptures about a month earlier than planned.
       And who can blame them, really? For us everyday citizens, those objects may be just a pleasant sight, but for the Rotary each piece represents a thousand dollars or more - when auctioned off to compassionate, well-heeled folks - that can be directed at a grassroots level to area social needs.
       Despite considerable publicity, police have so far been unable to find the stolen sculpture nor to make an arrest. I'm only guessing here - but it could at least be called a semi-educated guess after the Westside's recent frustrations with the disappearances of historic plaques and even Gold Hill Mesa's 19th-century jail cell. What do those items have in common with each other as well as the butterfly sculptures? That's right, they're all made of metal! Who but a meth-crazed bum would see one of those butterflies and, instead of saying, "Gee, that's pretty," would think to himself, "I could probably scrap that thing for a hundred bucks"?
       It's my fervent wish that one of these years, after the state's elected officials get done passing laws to please their constituencies, they might actually take a hard look at effective legislation to control this problem. Because in current times, a smile - let alone freely given private funds for social needs - is nothing to take for granted...
       How about positive comments to end this week's screed? Nice job on the Good Times Car Show. Ditto, Red Rock Canyon, Academy ACL and the Midland Trail art bench. And a definite huzzah to the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District, for taking a stand on Kum & Go.

- K.J.