Future parks on city’s agenda

Two Grand Junction parks that have long been in need of some direction will get another look today during a 5 p.m. meeting with city councilors.

They will be briefed on a master planning process for Matchett Park and receive information on the updated master plan for Las Colonias Park. Councilors also will be updated on the status of the shuttered Glacier Ice Arena.

Las Colonias, the 100-acre swath of land near the Colorado River in south downtown, has been through two master planning processes, in 1998 and in 2008.

The latest master plan includes concepts of the first plans, including a 12-phase process.

Total completion of the park is expected to cost $13 million. That includes funds for native gardens, a trail head with rest- rooms, shelters, an amphitheater with a stage and festival grounds, a series of lakes and trails, parking areas, an irrigated wetlands area, a grassy parking area, a boat launch and a zip line over the Colorado River. 

Councilors are expected to approve the master plan this month.

A first phase which will incorporate the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens into the master plan will occur this summer or fall.

The city is looking toward a number of grants to help pay for the improvements.

Matchett Park, located at 
28 1/2 Road and Patterson Avenue, is slated to enter its master planning process between October and March 2014.

That plan is expected to be approved by councilors in April of next year.

At a neighborhood meeting earlier this month, one of the major concerns was congestion on busy Patterson Road and a lack of public opinion sought in previous projects.

A planning process for Matchett Park will include the input from a small group of neighbors on a steering committee and an extensive public process.

DENVER — As many as 3,500 prospective jurors will be summoned when Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes goes on trial, another measure of the complexity and sensitivity of the case.

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. included the estimate in a ruling last week. The ruling granted a defense request to have all prospective jurors fill out questionnaires before they are questioned by lawyers.

Holmes is charged with more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder. He is accused of planning and executing an assault on a packed movie theater in a Denver suburb in July, killing 12 people and injuring 70.

Among the dead were a 51-year-old father who had gone to the theater with his two teenage children. They escaped with no physical injuries.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and will undergo a mental evaluation at the state hospital before the trial.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 3, and since jurors will wield life-and-death power over Holmes, jury selection is likely to be slow, painstaking and contentious.

Once they are chosen, the jurors will be asked to weigh a staggering amount of evidence.


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