EDITOR’S DESK: Does ‘best practice’ make perfect?
As we neared publication for the Pioneer's May-June edition, it became evident that two of our main stories in March-April were becoming inaccurate.
Based on Colorado Springs Parks information available in late February, we had reported that Bancroft Park would have to endure construction work during event season again this year. And, in covering the project planned for 21st Street between Highway 24 and Colorado Avenue (again based on then-current city information), we had written that it included no help for chronically backed-up motorized traffic.
But look what happened in the weeks that followed. Rethinking its plans, Parks officials decided to delay the Bancroft restroom job - so OCC
wouldn't have to endure construction work during event season again this year.
For 21st Street, City Transportation got with the Colorado Department of Transportation to come in soon afterward to increase the length of its southbound right-turn lane at the highway... which will help the chronically backed-up motorized traffic.
Obviously, we're just not doing a good enough job at the Pioneer predicting how city officials might respond to the articles we write. We'll have to work on that...
Let's shift gears. Do you like the term, “political correctness”? Neither do I. At its heart, it seems to be well-intentioned people seeking equal goodness for all. That being unobtainable, I think it can devolve into the pursuit of whatever seems trendy in that direction. “Sacred cows” are what we used to call the things that people dared not criticize. Believe it or not, Christianity and patriotism were once among them. Clearly, trends can change. In our own School District 11, open classrooms were the rage in the 1960s. Later, D-11 had to spend gobs of money undoing the schools they built that way (including the Westside's Bristol and Jackson).
Now here we have the city seeking out “best practices” for ending homelessness (see article on “Homelessness Brief,” Page 1). Practices, mind you, that haven't ended it anywhere (and aren't cheap). What were best practices 100 years ago in Colorado Springs? Why, to arrest the “hobos” and give them the choice of working or leaving town. Currently it's just the opposite: Protected by modern interpretations of the Bill of Rights, as well as federal policies defining homelessness as a “status” (not a behavior), the worst of the lot are lumped in with families and hard-luck cases struggling to get back on their feet. So those who defy camping laws, abuse drugs, intimidate citizens, desecrate public places and leave toxic messes behind get to decide their fate, not us.
To top it off, based on cost assessments in the Brief, we can likely expect our leaders to ask for a new tax or fee to pay for it all. And what if the “practices” don't work? That's OK. At least they can say they were politically correct about it...
But I hate to end on a sour note. Did you check the Pioneer's list of Westside events for May and June? Plenty of fun there to be had. What do they say sometimes? Happiness is the best revenge?