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Our OWN column:
Seeking feedback on campers’ ‘warming fires’

       By Jim Thompson
President, Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN)

       As Colorado Springs continues to grapple with the ever-growing homeless population, the Westside is seeing an increase in recreational fires, also known as "warming fires."
       These fires are appearing all along Fountain Creek. OWN has received an outpouring of concerns from our residents over the safety to homes and threat to our natural landscape.
       We have posted a poll on our Facebook page (https://goo.gl/KSsL8V) since December that we hope all Westside residents will participate in so we can provide quantifiable information to City Council and Mayor John Suthers in order to express the concerns of the Westside.
       As of early January, the poll numbers showed 88 percent against the fires and 12 percent in favor.
       Please complete your response by Jan. 10.
       What OWN does:
       OWN is your volunteer neighborhood outreach board and exists to assist with:
  • Land-use review.
  • Sponsoring activities on the Westside to reinforce community spirit.
  • Communicating with government officials about concerns on the Westside.
           Contacting OWN:
           Westside residents are welcome to join us at our board meetings at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St. We meet on the second Thursday of every odd month from 6-8 p.m.
           These meetings are a great opportunity for residents to discuss their concerns and lend solutions to moving the Westside in an exciting direction.