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Capitol Coverage
7:25 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Energy Industry Works to Shift Public Opinion

Colorado’s Energy industry is continuing to make the case that hydraulic fracturing is safe and a critical part of the state’s economy. They’re stepping up efforts following the recent passage of fracking bans and moratoriums in three Front Range communities. The outcome of a ban in Broomfield has yet to be determined.

“Merely the fact that they qualified shows that there’s not enough education out there on these issues,” said Jon Haubert, spokesman for Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development – or CRED.

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RMCR News
8:01 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Measuring Climate Change in Aspen-area Open Space

Scientists hike snowy trails to reach one of two soil moisture towers located on Pitkin County Open Space properties.
Marci Krivonen Aspen Public Radio

In the future, forests near Aspen and across the state will likely look a bit different.  Already, mountain shrubs are replacing some Aspen stands and changing the complexion of the region.  Pitkin County is now tracking these shifts on open space properties.  Two Aspen-area non-profit organizations are helping. The new data is thanks to a pair of towers that’s tracking things like soil moisture and temperature. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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The Middle Distance
10:04 am
Wed November 27, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.29.13: Season of Contradictions

"Tejon Street at Night" by James and Helen McCaffery, ca. 1950s. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 266-10084.

(This column originally ran on December 3, 2010. Kathryn Eastburn will return next week.)

‘Tis the season of contradiction. Bare black tree limbs, frozen earth, and neighborhood houses lighted up like Vegas. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a constant string of economic forecasts based on how much we might or might not spend on stuff we don’t need in this holiday season.

Meanwhile, 28 million jobless Americans lose their federally funded unemployment benefits, barely raising a peep.

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Capitol Coverage
7:32 am
Wed November 27, 2013

As Hollywood Goes Digital, CO Works To Save Rural Theaters

The Sands Theater in Brush got a $20,000 grant from the state, and will need to come up with an additional $30,000 to convert digitally.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Theater projectors are going where most of the dazzling special effects in summer blockbusters have gone: All digital. In 2014, Hollywood will no longer release movies on traditional film stock. Theaters must convert or be forced to close – including those in rural Colorado.
 

That’s easier said than done in smaller towns versus a big city cineplex. Colorado is putting up $200,000 to try and save 13 rural movie theaters.

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Local News
7:28 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Impacts of Winter Weather on I-25 Construction

Credit clipart

CDOT’s I-25 expansion project is working to add a 3rd lane in each direction between Colorado Springs and Monument by the end of the year.  As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, the recent winter weather is slowing progress.

The department planned to complete construction on the section between Woodmen Road and Interquest Parkway by Thanksgiving. CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson says much of the necessary work to do so is not possible during wet and cold conditions.

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Healthy Conversation
8:36 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Healthy Conversation: Alzheimer’s Disease

The Centers for Disease Control says Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin is joined this month by Major Douglas Langford, a neurologist at Fort Carson.  They start by defining what Alzheimer’s is and how it’s different from other forms of dementia, or even just getting older.
 

For more information:

Centers for Disease Control: Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's Association
 

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RMCR News
7:05 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Details Emerge in Ouray Mining Accident

Sunday’s mining accident near Ouray was one of the worst in recent Colorado history. Two miners died and nearly two dozen were injured.  More details about what happened are starting to come out. Reporter Samantha Wright with the Telluride Watch newspapers has been covering the accident. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher spoke with her about the emerging details.  Listen here:
 

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The Middle Distance
5:24 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.22.13: Switching It Up

This year, for the second time in my life I won’t be having Thanksgiving dinner at home. Many years I considered going out and letting some wonderful chef at a restaurant feed my crew, but that just never seemed right. What if they served oyster stuffing? What if there were no mashed potatoes? What if there was no pecan pie? Thanksgiving, after all, might be about the Pilgrims and a bountiful harvest and giving thanks for being alive and all that good stuff, but isn’t it really about doing it the way you’ve always done it? About being a kitchen Nazi?

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Local News
7:32 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Sheriff Disputes Claims Black Forest Fire was Intentionally Set

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa is disputing statements made by Black Forest Fire Chief Bob Harvey that this summer’s wildfire that destroyed more than 500 homes and killed two people was caused by humans and "likely intentional."  

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The Big Something
4:56 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

The International Experimental Cinema Exposition Returns to Colorado Springs

The 13th International Experimental Cinema Exposition comes to the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center beginning tonight and running through the weekend. I spoke spoke with Festival Director and Colorado Springs native Chris May about the history of this prestigious event.

Click HERE for complete details.

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Capitol Coverage
8:24 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Mixed Results for Governor in New Poll

Less than a year away from the 2014 election, a new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Governor John Hickenlooper edging out his Republican challengers, but as Bente Birkeland reports, reaction is also mixed to some of his policies.

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Transportation
7:34 am
Wed November 20, 2013

High Speed Rail Meetings in Pueblo, Colorado Springs

Credit clipart

Residents of Pueblo and Colorado Springs get to weigh in on a high speed rail study that looks at transportation from Pueblo to Fort Collins via the Denver International Airport.  KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz has more.

The study looked at existing high speed rail technologies and various impacts and feasibility issues. It comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Transit and Rail.

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Local News
5:25 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Parks & Wildlife Commissioners Talk Drones

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission talked drones at their meeting last week in Lamar. As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, any potential vote won’t happen until next year.
 

The Commission is looking ahead with regards to the use of drones in hunting. Spokesman Randy Hampton says they’ve not seen it in the field yet, but the commission is looking to implement proactive regulation.

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Local News
10:53 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Colorado Springs' SD11 Approves Sale of Building

Credit clipart

Colorado Springs’ District-11 School Board approved the sale of Abraham Lincoln Elementary to a local developer in a unanimous vote Wednesday.  KRCC’s Kate Dunn has more.
 

Lincoln Elementary shut its doors in May after the district decided to consolidate several underused schools.           

School Board Director Al Loma says local developer Bob Elliott’s proposal would re-purpose the school building and turn it into a mixed-use space for businesses, senior living, and eateries.

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Capitol Coverage
9:42 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Colorado GOP Seeks National Convention

Colorado Republicans say they’re putting in a bid for the state to host the next Republican National Convention in 2016. As Bente Birkeland reports, planning is still in the early stages and already several western cities are also competing for the chance to host.

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7:35 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Take Peek Behind the Curtain

Lead in text: 
Ever wonder how local news and information blends into national programming like Morning Edition and All Things Considered? Take a peek behind the public radio curtain...
The latest 99% Invisible is a public radio geek's dream -- a behind-the-scenes look at the 'broadcast clocks' of public radio shows. Reporter Julia Barton goes behind a live broadcast of All Things Considered , and gives you a feeling for the roiling anxiety and fear that goes into the production process behind getting public radio, the gentlest sounding of media, out on time.
The Big Something
5:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.15.13: In The Bedroom

The earliest bedroom is corner-mounted in a brand new post-World War II house built of native Kentucky limestone. Your mother has arranged a maze of chests of drawers and beds for her three little girls — so close in age they seem part of one big whole — to offer them equal amounts of relative privacy. The effect is of a nest, a tiny space barely big enough to turn around in, where you hide the things you don’t want to share. In winter, it is cozy and dark. In summer, a large and very loud electric fan fills the window frame, blowing hot air out by day and sucking cooler air in by night.

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Capitol Coverage
8:52 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Lawmakers Consider Bill Proposals

State lawmakers will review proposed bills to deal with water issues, wildfires and poverty today. The measures are the product of months of hearings at the state capitol. Bente Birkeland has more.

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Local News
8:09 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Parks & Wildlife to Consider Banning Drones for Hunting

The use of drones to help hunt wildlife may soon be illegal.  KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
 

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles to help locate and kill game is not regulated, but the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is expected to take up the issue before the practice becomes popular.

Director of the Colorado Outfitters Association Dick Ray says he sees the possible move as proactive and that drones take away from the true purpose of hunting.

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The Big Something
12:00 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Sweetgrass Productions on Naked Skiing, the Cool Bus, and Valhalla

(from left) Nick Waggoner, Zac Ramras and Ben Sturgulewski
Credit Leeds Mallinckrodt-Reese

  Making their way through the Southwest in the reconstituted yellow “cool bus", the guys behind Sweetgrass Productions are premiering their newest ski movie and narrative hybrid film "Valhalla" 

Ski movies are developing in to a more refined genre, and Sweetgrass is on the edge of that new movement, guiding the world of ski movies towards unprecedented aesthetic attention. 

With an impressive range of sponsors and audiences all over the world, Valhalla premiered at CC in September, marking the beginning of ski season excitement while conjuring images of 70's free love. 

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Local News
2:53 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

New Trail Maps Available from Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has released 60 new trail maps that now highlight new trail uses and features. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more.

The new trail maps integrate more information than the earlier versions and are now online.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton says the maps’ compatibility to GPS make them more helpful to trail users.

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Local News
2:47 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Public Lands Open for Holiday Tree Permits

Permits to cut down a holiday tree on public land are up for sale again.  As KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports, some are available now.

The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service are selling $10 permits with a limit of two per household. Tree-cutting isn’t allowed in wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, or at developed campgrounds, but US Forest Service spokeswoman Barb Timock says the annual practice is aldo beneficial the environment.

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Local News
6:27 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Pueblo County Maps Flood Damages

Pueblo County has released a new interactive map showing flood damage for the past year. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports. 

The main purpose of the map is to share information with state agencies and FEMA.  

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The Middle Distance
5:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.8.13: Among the Ghouls and Goblins

Last week, amidst the long parade of trick-or-treaters and Halloween festivities, I consciously tried to invoke my beloved departed. Some friends and I even staged a Dumb Feast, the Celtic ritual of Samhain in which guests partake of a silent meal with an empty place set at the head of the table for the spirits of the dead. That night I was able for the first time to close my eyes and summon a vision of those I love who have died — my son, my nephew, my sister, my former spouse — and picture them well beyond suffering, released.

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Culture
4:52 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Talking Quality and Community with Pikes Peak United Way

Pikes Peak United Way recently released its 2013 Quality of Life Indicators Report.  At more than 140 pages in length, it offers a thorough and statistically rich analysis of the quality of life in Greater Colorado Springs community. KRCC's Jake Brownell spoke with Carrie Cramm, vice president of Community Impact at Pikes Peak United Way, to discuss some of the findings of this report. 

You can find the report in it's entirety HERE

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Capitol Conversation
4:50 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Capitol Conversation: Election Results and Impacts on Education

Colorado voters support taxing recreational marijuana, but gave a crushing defeat to a proposed billion-dollar tax increase for public schools. In this special election edition of Capitol Conversation, Bente Birkeland analyzes the long- term impacts of the election results with political reporters.

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Capitol Coverage
9:26 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Voters Mixed on State Issues

Colorado voters gave a mixed reaction at the ballot box on a pair of statewide tax increases during yesterday’s election. As Bente Birkeland reports, voters didn’t want to tax themselves to pay for education, but were overwhelmingly willing to tax recreational marijuana to help rebuild schools.

Supporters of Amendment 66 waged a vigorous get out the vote campaign flush with outside money from the likes of Bill Gates and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

It wasn’t enough to convince voters to say “yes.”

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Local News
4:14 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Clerks in El Paso, Pueblo Counties Say Voter Turnout Appears Up

Colorado voters have until 7 tonight to turn in their ballots in today’s election. For nearly a month, El Paso and Pueblo County Clerks have been collecting mail-in ballots.

Despite a slow start, Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz is optimistic about the turnout.

"I was really nervous going into today," said Ortiz, "because the voter turnout really wasn’t doing very well and it was pretty slow here in Pueblo County. We’re really excited, the last two days have been very heavy, and the voter turn out has gotten up above average."

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Local News
10:10 am
Tue November 5, 2013

USA Pro Challenge Returns to Colorado Springs; 2014 Route Hits Monarch Mountain and Woodland Park

The USA Pro Challenge cycling race will return to Colorado Springs next year after the city was left out of this year’s race. As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, that’s not the only regional location hosting a stage next year.

Cyclists will face a circuit race in Colorado Springs in the 4th stage of the event after ending the previous day’s ride atop Monarch Mountain.

After a one-year hiatus, Amy Long with the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitor’s Bureau says they’re expecting even more excitement around next year’s event.

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10:36 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Photos of Rebuilding in Mountain Shadows at The Atlantic

Lead in text: 
We missed these photos of the rebuilding process in Mountain Shadows that appeared in The Atlantic Monthly this past August, but found the link while dredging through old emails. Thanks to Di for the tip!
A little more than a year ago, one of the most destructive wildfires in Colorado history claimed 346 homes and two lives (covered by In Focus here and here). The Waldo Canyon Fire swept through neighborhoods of Colorado Springs, taking out entire streets and leaving the landscape blackened.

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