EDITOR’S DESK: D-11: Who’s looking out for us?

       Disturbing information about the meth houses - that they're out there and, in an unknown number of cases, being rented or sold. It's so easy to assume that our local governments will look out for us unsuspecting citizens on issues like that. And yet if we pay attention to the budgetary cutbacks at the city and county levels, it should be no surprise that we're more and more on our own. So it's at least comforting to see how Metro VNI has been successfully battling the meth labs in recent years. (We're getting something for our tax money!) And thank goodness VNI decided to put up a website that lists the unmitigated meth-lab addresses. Otherwise, how would any of us have a clue what's clean and what's not? Unfortunately, when it comes to less notorious crimes, matters aren't so sanguine. From what we hear, it's take a number and wait. And keep waiting. Fewer cops will do that. Nor is the problem just in law enforcement. At the Bear Creek Nature Center, volunteer docents are having to take on tasks that trained professionals used to do. And in Colorado Springs, the Parks Department lacks the money to repair vandalism, replace lights or repair walkways. Some skeptics say this is all a trick to make us vote in new taxes. I don't know about that; I just hope the criminals aren't paying attention.
       I need to clarify a point from last week's column. Yes, it's true that the oldest structure in the main building complex at Washington Elementary goes back to 1956. But there is also a cottage, which is the sole remnant of the original Washington, built in 1895 (which itself had replaced the previous, less stately Locke School on the same site). That 1895 building, three stories high and made of brick, was torn down in 1972. According to longtime school secretary Karon Burch, a brick from the original Washington is embedded in the current facility.

- K.J.