EDITORíS DESK: Soliciting a show of hands

       Let's see a show of hands. When City Attorney Chris Melcher kept putting off City Council on the panhandling issue this fall, how many of you thought it was because he just needed a little longer to perform due diligence on such matters as comparing notes with the free-speech-obsessive ACLU about a downtown zone or checking with the feds on which city roads are actually part of the "national highway system"? Right. Neither did I.
       And now here we are with the new downtown no-solicitation zone facing a lawsuit from the ACLU - whose indignant leadership claims it was never contacted by the Attorney's Office - and with the unfortunate news (which the city reportedly just now learned, a week and a half after passing the ordinance) that the feds don't recognize Colorado Avenue's U.S. Business 24 west of 31st Street as part of its official system.
       All I can say is, Mr. City Attorney, you'd better win that lawsuit, or you will be oh for two in this affair, which is, as baseball buffs know, a batting average of .000. Even the Rockies don't keep players that bad. But the situation is heading toward negative numbers. Consider the cost to the city of going to court. Or causing the downtown zone to be delayed beyond Christmas. Even if Melcher wins, it sure seems like he owes us taxpayers, at the very least for the bungled highways law...
       Moving on to effective parts of the city - and they really do exist - I got educated in the past week about steps being taken to mitigate flood damage resulting from the Waldo Canyon Fire. And I can't wait to see those giant debris racks across Queen's Canyon. Part of that education came from the nonprofit Navigators organization, which is working closely with the city on the project. The Navigators probably deserve a special Take One for the Team prize, in that the Queen's Canyon rack(s) will be on their property, and they have to foot $154,000 of the cost. I've got an idea. How about the attorney offers us a refund and we put it toward fire-related flood control? Another show of hands?

- K.J.