Will miss St. Patrick’s Parade
       When I heard that the St. Patrick's Day Parade will no longer be in Old Colorado City I felt sad. I looked forward to another year of walking to the parade, an event I've attended since I moved here in 1993.
       I discovered the parade first as a single professional, having just bought my house here because it reminded me of my grandfather's small town where he could walk downtown and chat with neighbors. Then later, as a mother, my husband carried our bundled newborn in a front pouch, family members venturing out with us in the snowy day. These last years we've pulled our son in his red wagon so he could enjoy all the fun - the clowns, the old cars, the candy, the loud crack of the musket ringing out… His smiles were priceless and I loved to watch the parade through his eyes.
       I reveled in the Irish day, proudly wearing my clan's tartan! It was a great day to be green! I was glad that so many people came to see what I loved about Old Colorado City and that they could share in the rich history that makes this town special! And I knew that in many ways, if not readily measurable, the local businesses benefited from the 20,000 visitors!
       I'm not sure that we'll make the trek downtown this year. It just would not be the same. The hassle of driving the car, parking, and being jostled by the crowd does not sound as fun.
       I hope that other events that make this town special, such as Territory Days, do not go by the wayside, too! Let's keep what's special about Old Colorado City - a small-town feel within an ever-growing city, with wonderful opportunities to be with our neighbors and to share it with our friends!

Dana Susan Beasley

Coronado also offers college
       An article in the Westside Pioneer (“Free college in high school,” Jan. 18) highlighted Colorado Springs Early College Charter School, opening next fall on the Colorado Technical University campus.
       We are pleased that students and parents have educational choices. We would like to point out that the most challenging and comprehensive program in the state of Colorado is located right here on the Westside at Coronado High School. We offer nearly 80 semester hours of University of Colorado course work on our campus. Courses are offered in five academic departments: English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and Foreign Language. Many of our students graduate with a year or more of college completed.
       In addition to our early college credit program, we also offer strong programs, including ProStart for culinary arts, Auto for the mechanically inclined student, Teacher Cadet for aspiring teachers and Project Lead the Way for engineering students. We have outstanding instrumental and vocal programs and a full range of athletic opportunities. In the last three years two students have been selected for the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship, and a former graduate was named a Rhodes scholar. We have a high level of parent involvement in our school, and a 35 year tradition of excellence serving the Westside of Colorado Springs. I invite you to visit Coronado and see all we have to offer.

Susan Humphrey
Principal, Coronado High