EDITOR’S DESK: Gold Hill Mesa earning respect

       When Bob Willard had the bright idea of transforming the Westside's biggest embarrassment - the tailings dump left behind half a century ago by Golden Cycle - into a major residential/commercial development, he might as well have put a "kick me" sign on himself. All too many would-be wise guys, each of them apparently thinking they're telling the joke for the first time, have jabbed repeatedly at the toxic-waste angle in the 10-plus years that Willard and his partners have been trying to make this project happen. It's perfect, really, for people in the media. Even if a writer/broadcaster knows zero, zilch, nada about the project, he/she/it can always fall back on the breathless concern about endangering people's lives with the old tailings.
       Now, I'm no different from a lot of you out there who bristle at the way infill is steadily removing all that “unofficial” open space we used to enjoy on the Westside. For our family, this even used to include sledding down the deep tailings rills at Gold Hill - yes, and now we all glow in the dark, hah hah hah. But in all seriousness and fairness, Willard and company have proven they can do the job right - view the diligence they've put into their facade designs and the extra work in controlling the dust and keeping pollution out of Fountain Creek. Also (perhaps just as important) they've managed to maintain their development despite a massive nationwide real- estate downturn that has bankrupted some other developers and even their initial home builder. All in all, I would say it's high time we showed Gold Hill Mesa a little respect. Rilly, I mean it. No tall tailings.

- K.J.