Sunday, June 7, 2009

DAY 14

Day 14
Sunday morning... 9 am... not a thing going on. We sit in the newsroom paroozing the web hoping to come up with something that could pass as newsworthy. These are the days when you pray for breaking news (early enough in the day so that you can actually make a good story out of it). The whole city is either sleeping, or at church until at least 10... so we sit and wait. I'm normally one of those people sleeping on a Sunday morning... most of the time I don't work until nightside. But today is different. We are running a rather lengthy investigative story in the 10 pm, so they moved a nightside reporter to dayside. Being the newbie photog- I also got moved.. yay me. As my reporter starts trying to enterprise a story out of any and all of her contacts... I load the car, make a coffee run, and shoot a little prayer up to the big guy in the sky... breaking news, breaking news... It's just me God, wishing for breaking news...

10:30 rolls around and I hear a call come accross the scanner for a possible structure fire in Security. Most of these things are just food on the stove, so I don't get too excited. Sometimes I feel a bit guilty... for wishing for breaking news... afterall, what breaking news is good news? Don't get me wrong, I don't want bad things to happen to good people (or any people for that matter). I don't want someone to get shot, or a house to burn to the ground. I realize that with every fatal motorcycle accident a mother has to lose her child. I don't like death, destruction, or doom and gloom... but I do love a good news story. So if someone has to die, or a house has to burn down, it might as well be while Im at work... if I don't already have another story, that would be an added bonus :-)

Five minutes after the first fire call, we hear "working structure fire", and I've got my cue to leave. Within seconds I'm out the door, speeding down the highway, anxious to see what's really happening. Of course, by the time we get to the house the fire is out, hoses are being drained, and the trucks are being packed up. It was a grease fire that spread... no real damage... no loss of life, limb, or property.... no story for me. A bit dissapointed, I hop back in the Xtera and trek back toward the station.

I don't have much time to wallow... before I can walk in the door my reporter calls with news of a bear in a house on the westside of town. Sweet! She joins me for the ride and we head west toward the Cheyenne Canyon neighborhood.

For someone not from Colorado Springs, or another wildland-urban interface area, a bear in a house might seem like big news. Here, at the foothills of the front range, bear sightings are an everyday occurance. Through spring and summer the bears wake up from hibernation and come down from the mountains searching for food. Lucky homeowners who've accidently left their trash out or a bird feeder accessible will come within feet of these hungry black bears... and have a nice mess to clean up when they are done. What makes this particular story fun and interesting is that today's bear decided the trash wasn't enough, and entered the kitchen of a house through a slightly cracked window to steal a steak marinating on the counter. The furry thief in today's adventure is only a year and a half old, and by the time we arrive on the scene he is sleeping peacefully thanks to a DOW tranqualizer.

I look at the little guy, weighing no more then fifty pounds, and can't help but think how cute he is. His oversized paws are tied with rope, and his ears are tagged with bright yellow cards. If you have to walk in on a bear eating your dinner, it might as well be this little guy. The department of wild life is finishing up some treatment on him when we walk up. After they are done, they will load him into a truck and cart him 100 miles up the mountain... hoping he doesn't find his way back. At 1.5 years of life, this fuzzy animal already has one strike against him. One more, and the DOW will have to euthanize him. In my opinion, his chances aren't so good.

It is a policy that a lot of people don't agree with... myself included. Afterall, the bears were here first. This is their natural habitat, not ours. When we moved in, we did so with the knowledge that we would have to share our surroundings with them. Who are we to decide we no longer want them here? I understand where the government is coming from... we do need to protect people. Bears that get too comfortable with humans can be a problem. Bears are predators, and need to be feared to a certain degree... but in my mind, unless a bear has killed a small child, or brutally torn apart a jogger, they've done nothing wrong. Why kill a bear for eating trash? We don't even kill sex offenders who molest and sexualy assault innocent people. We don't kill murders. Why kill bears?

As the DOW pickup pulls away, the slumbering bear lying in the bed of the truck, I shoot one more prayer up to that big guy in the sky... don't let him find his way back, please.

Here is a link to the story, give me your thoughts...


  1. Your job seems really cool. I'm jealous. How's Colado. In Japan we'd call that area a little inaka (rural). Did that guy really spell his name "Jeromy?..."

  2. Damn it... Colorado. My copyediting skills are horrible. I'm not meant for the newsroom.

  3. Yes, he spelled his name Jeromy :-) I can't spell either, so you're ok! It is a fun job... we get to do a lot of interesting things... the funny thing about the area is that it is only a few miles outside of downtown Colorado Springs. I hope you enjoy the blog and keep reading!