Friday, July 27, 2007

Unlike California, leashed dogs are allowed at most local farmers markets

I’ve wondered why dogs are allowed at the farmers markets? There is all the fresh fruit, vegetables, breads, etc., in the open (much more exposed than most grocery stores) and dogs are not allowed in grocery stores or restaurants, but at the farmers markets? It seems like a big health issue to me. In California it is against the law ... but not here?
— Linda Percy

ANSWER: “We have no problem with dogs if they’re on a leash. There’s no law prohibiting them,” said Yolanda Simpson, manager of Colorado Farm & Art Market. “In Colorado today, I think dogs are part of the family.”

Simpson noted that California’s laws are different from Colorado’s. California law says: “No live animals, birds, or fowl shall be kept or allowed within 6 meters (20 feet) of any area where food is stored or held for sale.” Under this blanket restriction, this would cover not only pets but live ducks and chickens sometimes sold at markets elsewhere for food.

El Paso County Department of Health and Environment does not regulate farmers markets, except for food vendors.The department doesn’t regulate the presence of dogs accompanying their people to the outdoor markets and a department employee said dogs are not carriers of food-borne illnesses. City ordinances require that dogs be leashed, vaccinated and licensed.

J. Wood e-mailed that the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment does regulate farmers' markets. "In years past it wasn't true, but sadly, this year they are really after all of us that are vendors at the farmers markets. Most of us sell items to take home and consume there, so there is really no danger, but, if anyone prepares the food at the market or gives samples, it is almost unbelievable their rules and regulations. We had to pay $75 for a consultation and inspection of our equipment with them, and then purchase a license for another $55. We are not a sit-down vendor. We understand that some get leniency and others(like us) are clamped down on. Not sure it’s fair, but life is not always fair!"

The mid-week farmers market, held on Wednesday nights in Manitou Springs’ Soda Springs, has set up its own rules. It does not allow dogs. And, as a recent visitor to the market discovered, they also do not allow ferrets.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Controversy has dogged sculpture since 1973

There is a white marble phallic-looking piece of artwork in a small grassy area at the corner of Monument and Cascade streets. It’s actually rather hidden behind a huge pine tree. I was curious how it came to be at this location, when it was crafted, and any other information someone may have about it, i.e. artist, what it actually is supposed to be. It’s near another bronze statue of 2-3 cranes or large birds.
- Kathi Clark>

ANSWER: Back in 2004 a reader thought it looked like a thumb, and here is our answer from that column: “Moment in Time” (1973) was one of the first pieces of public art purchased by the city. It’s an abstract by Richard Jagoda, whose large bison and grizzly bear can be spotted downtown. The artist quarried the Colorado Yule marble himself for “Moment in Time,” according to his partner, Betty Griffin. She said it is neither a finger nor a thumb; he just started working and it “came out of the stone.” The work was not without controversy. It was in a place of prominence until “little old ladies wrote that they didn’t want a sex object in a city park” and it was moved, according to Griffin. She said the sculpture is "what you want to see."

"Now it’s hidden behind a steel sculpture and not visible from Cascade Avenue. Griffin says the artist has always hoped that people will appreciate the beauty of the marble and ask why it’s hidden from view. " Jagoda, a Colorado Springs native, has enjoyed the public’s interaction with his work, says Griffin, even when Colorado College students attempted to create their own erotica by adding two giant snowballs to the base. On another occasion the sculpture sported a serape and a sombrero."

Merry Lane goes green when there's no traffic

Why does the traffic light at Merry Lane and Circle change when there are no people and no cars? This is a small, two-lane side street feeding into a busy four-lane street during morning rush hour.
- Tim and Jeannie O’Donnell

Several other readers e-mailed about this traffic light. City traffic engineer Rob Helt said they checked the video detection for this intersection and downloaded the logs. “We’re not seeing the problem people are describing,” Helt said. If readers continue to see that the light on Merry Lane is changing to green when no vehicles are present, call Helt with the specifics, 385-5908.

Jim Gafney, who's "just passing through Ft. Carson," e-mailed from his BlackBerry: "I bet what people see happens after someone makes a right on red. I am not from here and don't know the intersection, but if someone pulls up and activates the magnetic field under the pavement, then they turn right, that would leave the next driver to see the light change with no one there."

Friday, July 13, 2007

Changes coming for Rock Island Trail

At the point where the Rock Island Trail approaches Powers Boulevard from the west, the trail and the old railroad bed part company around a triangular piece of ground north of Timberline Landscaping.There are mature pine trees and raised areas of vegetation suggestive of a park.What is the status of this area? Also, where can one rejoin the Rock Island Trail on the east side of Powers?
- Jenni

ANSWER: The landscaped area is private property and part of Timberline Landscaping.

There are exciting things on the drawing board for the Rock Island corridor. The long-term plan — think future — includes a proposed Powers Boulevard pedestrian overpass. Chris Lieber, in charge of trails and open space for the parks department, said the overpass is part of the Powers Environmental Assessment, being prepared by Colorado Department of Transportation.

Short-term plans, said Lieber, include the possibility of a pedestrian underpass at Sand Creek and extending Sand Creek Trail north to intersect with Rock Island Trail east. This is part of the 2008 capital improvement budget. To see a map of Rock Island Trail and its route, go to: www.springsgov .com/Page.asp?NavID =3898 and click on the newsletter link.

Contact Utilities about the Rustic Hills sewer odor

I live in the Rustic Hills neighborhood and we have had a horrible sewer smell drifting through the area for two months now. It happens at least twice a day every day. The smell is overwhelming and I can’t enjoy the aroma of the flowers in my garden.
- Carolyn Kreider

ANSWER: Call Colorado Springs Utilities, which will investigate the problem, said Steve Berry, CSU spokesman.He said it could be a service line issue or some other problem, but CSU will need to get some specifics from you. Call: 448-4848.

No north/south left-turn arrows planned at Palmer Park and Union Boulevard intersection

The new traffic signals are in place at the intersection of Palmer Park and Union boulevards, and there are still turn arrows only for east/west traffic on Palmer Park.With the high volume of traffic on Union, why are there no turn arrows for the north/south traffic? It appears that the addition of north/south turn arrows would ease congestion at this intersection
- Ron Bauer

ANSWER: There are east-west left-turn arrows on Palmer Park Boulevard “because of sight distance problems for drivers because the road is skewed,” said city traffic engineer Rob Helt. Palmer Park comes into that intersection at an angle. Helt said left-turn arrows are put in “where they’re warranted,” but traffic volume north/south has not shown they are needed. The number of cars turning would have to be sufficient to warrant stopping the higher-volume straight-through traffic.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Trail uphill between Bijou and Woodmen

I am a cyclist and ride our bike trails frequently. It is well-known among cyclists that riding north between Bijou and Woodmen is much more difficult than the reverse. What is the difference in elevation between these two points that makes a northbound ride so strenuous? There are many ups and downs but there is a definite uphill overall.
- Marji

ANSWER: We enlisted the help of The Gazette’s Out There writer Dave Philipps, who used Google Earth to trace your ride up Pikes Peak Greenway from Bijou Street downtown, up Mark Dabling Boulevard and following the greenway trail to West Woodmen Road. It was a 7 1/2-mile ride.The elevation at Bijou was 5990, climbing to 6264 at Woodmen (a difference of 274 feet). The elevation difference could have been even higher, had you biked another route.

Bikers are invited to let us know what other things make this such a difficult ride.

Code enforcement can deal with parked-RV issue

I have looked high and low for this and can’t find the answer. On my street in unincorporated El Paso County, there are several RVs parked all the time. They are on the street and not on the owners’ private property. One of them hasn’t been moved in years. The other one will disappear for a day or two and then reappear and sit parked for months. My neighbors and I have confronted this gentleman and he pretty much told us what we could do. Both of these vehicles are eyesores and traffic safety hazards. Any idea on who I need to contact?
- Steven

ANSWER: Contact code enforcement for El Paso County, 520-6300, with complete information including specific addresses and descriptions. They should be able to help.