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Local News
8:09 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Colorado Springs Mayor Delivers "State of the City"

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach gave his yearly “state of the city” address at a luncheon yesterday. He outlined a number of goals and accomplishments, and as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, he also used the occasion to press his plan to build four major tourism projects, including a downtown stadium and a U.S. Olympics museum.

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Capitol Coverage
7:59 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Education Tax Ballot Initiative

A roughly billion-dollar education tax increase is likely to go before voters this fall. It’s part of a larger package of education reforms state lawmakers passed last session. Bente Birkeland talks to supporters about the challenges ahead, and how they hope the initiative won’t meet the same fate as a similar proposal.

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The Big Something
4:43 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

The Middle Distance 8.2.13: The Serendipity of Yes

Boudhanath Stupa

Out here in the middle distance, the light is sometimes so harsh and bright that we want to draw the shades and just rest in cool darkness. The impulse to retreat has never been stronger than in these years approaching old age.

At home I am safe, is my mantra. At home I know who I am.

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The Big Something
3:37 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Locally Produced Web Series Seeks Your Help - An Interview With Zach Wolfson

Springs resident Zach Wolfson just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $28,000 for the second season of his web series Beyond the Gallery. I spoke to Wolfson about the first season and his vision for the project:

You can watch the entire first season of Beyond the Gallery HERE. And here's an episode from the first season that feature's Colorado Springs enamel artist Pat Musick:

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RMCR News
4:49 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

The 'Fort Knox' of Seeds: How Safe is It?

Wheat/Clipart.

When genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn’t take long for accusations to start flying. No one knew how the unapproved wheat ended up in the ground. A flurry of finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Colorado, which housed the same strain of wheat. The facility's been cleared of wrongdoing since then, but the investigation brings up questions of how secure these seed vaults actually are. KUNC and Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon took a tour of the Colorado vault, and has this report.

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The Big Something
4:15 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

PPAC Announces Nominees for the 2013 Awards for Excellence in the Arts

In case you missed the announcement (we did, sorry): The Pikes Peak Arts Council just announced its nominees for the 2013 Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

If you'd like to get your tickets for the September 20, 2013 event, you'll find all the info HERE

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The Big Something
3:46 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

The Brilliant Sean O'Meallie: How Does He Do It?

Lucky for those of you who plan to attend the Gallery of Contemporary Art's Brilliant Benefit on Saturday, August 10, local artist Sean O'Meallie has "Got A Handle On It: Circus", one of his deceptively whimsical sculptures, available for auction. You know how these things go: A piece worth $3-$4K could be yours for as little as... well, who knows? But it'll likely be quite a deal, particularly when you watch this slide show that shows that the art of making things look easy is indeed still difficult.

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Capitol Coverage
5:44 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Recall Elections Take Shape

It’s a low time of year in Colorado politics. No general election, no Governor’s race. The state capitol is quiet, and the hustle and bustle of the legislative session is long gone. But for senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs, this off election year is shaping up to be the busiest of his life. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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The Big Something
4:45 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

An Interview With the Cast of The Sound of Music

This weekend, Opera Theatre of the Rockies will present an operatic version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music at Colorado College’s Armstrong Hall. I sat down and spoke with performers Jennifer DeDominici, Peter Tuff, Mallory Hybl and Jack English.

Complete event information including ticket info can be found HERE.

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Local News
3:10 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Mayor Bach Selects Pueblo Fire Chief as New CSFD Head

Pueblo Fire Chief Christopher P. Riley

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has selected Pueblo Fire Chief Christopher Riley to be the new head of the city’s fire department. Riley has served as Pueblo’s Chief since 2006. According to a release from the city, Riley will earn $145,000 per year.  He’s expected to start September 9th, pending approval from City Council mid-August.  Former Fire Chief Rich Brown retired in the spring. The city says 40 people applied for the position, with no applications coming from internal candidates. Interim Chief Tommy Smith will return to his post as Deputy Chief of Support Services.

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Connecting the Drops
7:33 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Shrinking Aquifers in the San Luis Valley

A conveyor belt transports potatoes from Shriver's storage shed to a bagging operation. This load of potatoes is headed for North Carolina.
Maeve Conran

In early July, Colorado designated 14 counties "primary natural disaster areas" due to agricultural losses caused by the recent and ongoing drought.  Several of those counties are in the San Luis Valley in south central Colorado.  Farmers there are now eligible for low interest emergency loans, but as KGNU’s Maeve Conran reports, that may not be enough for this agricultural hub, which is facing a long term water crisis that could permanently affect the entire valley. 

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Local News
5:01 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Disaster Declarations for Royal Gorge, Black Forest Fires

The federal government has approved a major disaster declaration for the Royal Gorge Fire in Fremont County.  The declaration means federal aid is available to deal with the effects, including unemployment benefits for Royal Gorge Bridge & Park employees and others who are out of work after this summer’s wildfire, who aren’t otherwise eligible for state jobless benefits.  Aid is also available for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. Governor John Hickenlooper’s office says a similar request for the Black Forest Fire is pending.

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The Big Something
4:26 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

The Middle Distance 7.26.13: A Few Old Memories

The older I get, the smaller my memories. I don’t mean that I remember less, necessarily, but that I remember differently. Instead of entire seasons or full days or complete events, I remember specific sensory experiences tied to concrete objects — the smell of fresh, unused construction paper on the first day of school; the hard waxed surface of a black speckled linoleum floor; the weight of the hard plastic telephone receiver in my six-year-old hand.

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The Big Something
12:32 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Photos from Blues Under the Bridge 2013 by Rock Photographer Larry Hulst

Blues Under the Bridge 2013

If you missed this past weekend's Blues Under the Bridge, we take you back there in this internet time machine right now with the photographs of renowned local rock photographer Larry Hulst and "No Cheap Seats in Heaven" by The Slide Brothers.

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RMCR News
7:33 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Dust on the Rise in Colorado and the West

Living near the mountains, it’s easy to see changes in nature, especially in the snow. In recent years, dust from desert areas like Utah has coated some of the area’s snowpack. Scientists in Boulder say the amount of dust being blown into Colorado and throughout the West has increased over the last two decades. They measured calcium in rainfall to come up with their findings. Jason Neff is associate professor of geology at CU-Boulder and coauthor of a recent dust study. He told Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen the escalation of dust emissions is due to several factors.

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The Big Something
7:00 am
Fri July 26, 2013

The Middle Distance 7.26.13: A Few Old Memories

The older I get, the smaller my memories. I don’t mean that I remember less, necessarily, but that I remember differently. Instead of entire seasons or full days or complete events, I remember specific sensory experiences tied to concrete objects — the smell of fresh, unused construction paper on the first day of school; the hard waxed surface of a black speckled linoleum floor; the weight of the hard plastic telephone receiver in my six-year-old hand.

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The Big Something
3:30 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Indy on Upcoming Roy Linton Show at ModBo

We're thrilled that the Modbo will present the graphic work of long-lost native Colorado Springs artists Roy Linton Jr. and Sr., and Roy Funnell ("The Three Roys") who formed Hobbit Hole posters in 1969.

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The Big Something
2:55 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Calligraphiliac Alert

Today is the last day to catch a public lecture at the The Summit at Colorado Springs: The 32nd Annual International Calligraphy Conference, being held at Colorado College. Randall Hasson will lecture on “The Personality of the Letterform – How Alphabet Changes Culture” at Armstrong Hall on the NE corner of Cache la Poudre and Cascade Avenue at 7:30 p.m. 

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Local News
5:03 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Colorado Springs, El Paso County Release Final Flash Flood Risk Analysis Maps

Overview of Fountain and Camp Creek Final Flash Flood Risk Analysis Map (July 24, 2013)

Colorado Springs and El Paso County officials have released updated flood maps for areas in and near the Waldo Canyon burn scar.  The maps detail expected flood effects after one-hour rainfall amounts of a half-inch up to two inches of rain.  The assessments assumed debris in floodwaters would cause blockages at street crossings.  Maps include Ute Pass, Manitou Springs, and Fountain Creek.  Douglas Creek maps have not yet been updated.  There’s a preparedness meeting tonight at six for residents and businesses along Fountain Creek at Al Kaly Shrine.

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The Big Something
4:44 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Voices and Faces of Pride, Part 1

Raina and Amanda by Sean Cayton

This past weekend, photographer Sean Cayton and I talked to couples and friends at PrideFest 2013 about how the event felt different after civil unions were legalized in Colorado and the Defense of Marriage act was struck down by the Supreme Court. Here are photos and voices of some of the people we spoke with. Stay tuned for more!

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The Big Something
3:39 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 Palmer Land Trust Conservation Award Winners!

This just in:

Palmer Land Trust Announces 2013 Award Winners

Colorado faces some of the greatest conservation challenges in the nation.  And it responds with some of the greatest conservation successes—championed by people for whom protecting important places, leading by example, teaching our children about the natural world, and setting new benchmarks for a sustainable future are a part of their daily lives.  Each year Palmer Land Trust honors four of these champions at the Southern Colorado Conservation Awards:

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Colorado Public News
3:01 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Raising Longterm Health Concerns over 'Fracking'

As gas and oil drilling are reaching all-time highs in Colorado, drilling is occurring closer to schools and residential neighborhoods, like this one in Fort Collins. Credit: David O. Williams/Colorado Public News

A former president of the Colorado Medical Society calls the current hydraulic fracturing boom in the state’s oil and gas industry an “experiment in motion” for the public at large – one that could lead to higher rates of cancer and other illnesses over the next 10 to 15 years.

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Local News
7:06 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Colorado Springs Opts Out of Recreational Marijuana Sales

Tally shows which council members voted for the ban on recreational marijuana sales, and who didn't.

Colorado Springs City Council voted yesterday to opt-out of recreational marijuana sales after listening to public comments and a plea from Mayor Steve Bach to opt-out. Bach called it a jobs killer, and cited concerns from the military.  Bach also said it’s important to take a regional approach, mentioning other communities who have opted out of recreational marijuana sales like El Paso County, Monument, and Green Mountain Falls.  If council decided not to opt-out, they would have voted on a moratorium.  But Bach pressed for the ban.

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Off Topic #11
3:41 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Off Topic #11: Apocalypse Now! The End of Hollywood?

Credit The Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection

Of all the industries imperiled by the new economics of the Internet age, Hollywood has seemed among the most resilient. While newspapers crumble and musicians resort to dubious gimmicks to make money off of their music, movie studios have continued to break box office records in much the same way they always did.

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Local News
2:36 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Trinidad, Raton Papers Cease Production

The publisher of the Raton Range and Trinidad Times-Independent is putting both papers under temporary closures.  With nearly identical messages on the papers’ sites, publisher Paula Murphy apologized to readers and cited the high cost of printing and declining population in the region as reasons for the closures.

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Harvest Public Media
7:35 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Young Farmers and the Obstacles They Face

Eva Teague, 31, is trying to start her own pig farm but is having trouble breaking in to the business. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

 

The American farmer is getting older. Most recent census data shows the average age is 57. And while that tells us who is farming now, it also shows who’s not. While the farming community continues to age, fewer young people are filling the ranks. Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon asks the question: Do young people even want to farm anymore?

The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. And surveys indicate many of them don’t want to farm in conventional ways.

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-Off Topic #10
1:01 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Off Topic #10: Discovery!

Progress--whether cultural, scientific, political or personal--is propelled by discovery. Or so we're told. History sometimes seems like little more than a string of paradigm-shattering revelations, one leading to the next, each bringing us a bit closer to The Truth. It's no surprise then that we mythologize groundbreaking discoveries (and discoverers) to the extent that we do. Archimedes in the bathtub, Isaac Newton and the apple, Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment: all of these stories are dubious in origin, apocryphal at best.

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Local News
5:07 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Sets Process for Recall Election

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder will begin mailing ballots in mid-August to registered voters in Senate District 11 for the upcoming recall election. A petition requesting the recall of Democratic State Senator John Morse was approved by a judge earlier this week. The ballot will pose two issues; one asking if Morse should be recalled. The second allows the voter to choose a successor candidate.  In order for that vote to count, the first issue must not be skipped.  Nearly 69,000 people are registered to vote in this election.  Ballots are due by 7 PM, Sept. 10.

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RMCR News
5:02 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Partnership Seeks to Protect Watersheds from Fire Risks

The Obama administration launched an initiative Friday aimed at reducing the risk of wildfire to water supplies in the West. As KUNC's Grace Hood reports, Colorado will be one of six states to see pilot projects.

Flows of ash and debris into streams after a wildfire can be damaging to the local water supply. Aiming to mitigate this problem, the US Departments of Agriculture and Interior signed a memorandum of understanding Friday. USDA Chief Tom Vilsack:

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The Big Something
5:06 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

The Middle Distance, 7.19.13: Porches

This was a great week for porch sitting. In the afternoon, massive moisture-laden clouds billowed above the 14-thousand foot tall mountain and churned into dark thunderheads. The sky began to vibrate and rattle and belch and finally, fat raindrops pounded the street and sidewalk and filled the gutters and poured from the downspouts.

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