Westside Briefs:
Drought, bugs attacked Bristol Park trees

       Six mature blue spruce trees in Bristol Park had to be felled recently because of beetle kill.
       Paul Smith, head of the city's Forestry Division, said the trees were either dead or dying from attacks by the ips beetle, as well as stress from area drought conditions.

Four of the six blue spruce stumps in Bristol Park can be seen this week (with some of the remaining park trees in the background). City Forestry had to cut the six because of disease and drought issues.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Two of the trees were 60 to 70 feet tall, with the oldest probably close to a century in age, he estimated.
       Smith described the ips as a “lesser cousin of the mountain pine beetle,” which has been ravaging trees in Summit and Grand counties.
       The drought has been especially tough on blue spruces, which are “water-loving trees” that typically are found around creeks, Smith said. “We've lost a lot of blue spruce trees in Monument Valley Park and all over the city.”
       Numerous other trees remain in Bristol park. “We didn't clear-cut it, that's for sure,” Smith said.
       Waldo: Still no suspects
       The Waldo Canyon Fire Task Force continues to look for the person or persons who caused the fire last June and July.
       Investigators determined last fall that the blaze was human-caused, but they still do not know if it was set intentionally or accidentally.
       Up to $100,000 in reward money is available, a press release states.
       The fire burned 18,000 acres, destroyed or damaged close to 400 homes and killed two people.
       The phone number to call is at the Colorado Springs Police Department: 385-2222. Callers must leave a name and contact number.
       Other reward money is available for information leading to the identification and arrest of people who burglarized homes and vehicles during the Waldo Canyon Fire evacuations.
       “An investigator will follow-up with each person who leaves a message,” the press release adds.
       Goodwill raises funds
       Raising $10 million in 18 months, Discover Goodwill has completed the “largest and most successful capital campaign in the non-profit's 50-plus-year history,” a press release states.
       Both monetary and in-kind donations were pledged in support of key programs, including the life skills program, Possibilities; the consolidation of staff and programs at Goodwill's new campus at 1460 Garden of the Gods Road (relocated last year from West Colorado Avenue); and a tunnel washer for the organization's Fresh Start Commercial Laundry social enterprise.
       The “Paths to Independence” campaign was led by donations totalling nearly $6.5 million from the El Pomar Foundation and Daniels Fund.
       Fillmore/I-25 update
       Don Garcia of the Colorado Department of Transportation will speak on future plans for the Fillmore/I-25 interchange at a meeting of the Mesa Springs Community Associ-ation Tuesday, Feb. 12.
       The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the Mercy Center, 1440 Cooper St. Although geared for the Mesa Springs neighborhood, the meeting is open to the public.
       Westside not on route
       A June 8-15 bicycle ride will terminate in Colorado Springs, although no part of the course will be on the Westside.
       Unlike the U.S. Pro Challenge - a competitive international event in 2011 and '12 that used the Garden of the Gods and West Colorado Avenue - the Denver Post Ride the Rockies is a non-competitive event open to all cyclists.
       Proceeds will benefit the Denver Post Community Foundation, which disburses the funds to Colorado nonprofits, a press release states.
       The ride will start in Telluride June 8, with the last 46-mile leg from Canon City ending at the Broadmoor area's Country Club of Colorado June 15.
       Cyclists can register for the event online at ridetherockies.com. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 22.

Westside Pioneer/press releases