What a bear! Gazette publisher grapples with Colorado Springs homelessness

In Vail, where Colorado Springs Gazette publisher Steve Pope once published the Vail Daily, homelessness merely referred to ski bums evicted for hosting too many keggers and couch surfing until they landed another condo.

Apparently shocked to encounter actual homelessness along the banks of Fountain Creek in the Springs, Pope in a column Saturday referenced one of the most pressing problem from his Vail days: bears plundering trash cans in tony mountain-resort enclaves, occasionally resulting in euthanasia.


“Lack of municipal leadership. Cruel charity. Badly behaving bears. Needless death and destruction,” Pope wrote of homeowners either accidentally or intentionally feeding problem bears and communities failing to pass tough wildlife protection ordinances.

He then made the unfortunate comparison to the homeless human problem in Colorado Springs, blaming city leaders for a lack of intestinal fortitude in failing to crack down on creek-side camping.

“Lack of leadership. Cruel charity. People behaving badly. Needless hurt and destruction. Sound familiar?” Pope wrote of homeless humans in the Springs. “We need to fix this problem quickly for the health of our city, our citizens and the homeless population.” As if those last two things, citizenship and homelessness, are mutually exclusive.

Looks like Pope has settled in nicely in the conservative confines of C. Springs.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

David O. Williams is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy,
environmental and political issues for the Colorado Independent since
2008, delivering impact journalism on a wide range of topics. A former
editor for the Vail Daily and Vail Trail, Williams’ work also has
appeared in numerous publications since 1988, including the New York
Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He appears periodically as a
guest on Rocky Mountain PBS and David Sirota’s show on 760 AM in
Denver. Williams is the founder, part owner and editor of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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