News

The El Paso County Clerk's office is urging voters to contact them if they have yet to receive a ballot.  KRCC's Tucker Hampson reports.
 

About 340,000 ballots went out in El Paso County last week. Election officials expect about 40-50% to be returned before Election Day.

"Every election is important, regardless of what jurisdiction you live in," says Ryan Parsell with the El Paso County Clerk and Recorders Office. 

PPLD Digital Photo Archive, image 001-5305

When you hear the name Ivywild these days, you likely think of the old school turned brewery and market just south of I-25 in Colorado Springs. But Ivywild, a whole neighborhood at the foot of the Broadmoor, was once a small suburb of Colorado Springs with a history as rich and colorful as any city in Colorado. Authors Molly Merry and Linda Johnson recently revived some of that history in a small book titled "Ivywild: A Treasure Filled Neighborhood History".

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

Work is set to begin this week on rail lines in western Kansas that carry Amtrak's Southwest Chief.  Portions of that track, plus segments in southeastern Colorado, were the target of a federal transportation grant awarded last year to help repair and upgrade freight lines to passenger rail speeds.  And, Colorado's Steel City is getting a boost from the work.
 

Mass Backwards

Oct 19, 2015
Ross Toro Space.com

  This is “Looking UP! in southern Colorado,” from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. I’m Hal Bidlack, and there are lots of reasons to look up!

The planet Uranus, and that’s how we’re going to pronounce it because most of us aren’t 12, was the first planet discovered by astronomers. It’s too dim to be visible to the naked eye and William Herschel discovered it in 1781 through a telescope. Herschel had hoped to name his new discovery “Georgian Sidus” in honor King George the third, but happily was overruled. 

Colorado Springs Public Market

Local rancher and owner of Ranch Foods Direct, Mike Callicrate, describes the role of a public market in a city as that of the kitchen in a home. It's a place where people congregate and create community around food. For Callicrate and other board members of the Colorado Springs Public Market project, Colorado Springs is a city sorely in need of such a place.

On this episode of The Big Something: filmmaker Nathan Ward discusses The Rider and the Wolf, his new documentary about the disappearance of Colorado Mountain Bike pioneer, Mike Rust; Representatives of the Colorado Springs Public Market talk about the past, present, and future of the Public Market project; Local author Molly Merry recounts colorful stories from Colorado Springs’ Ivywild Neighborhood; and we revisit an interview with Senga Nengudi in advance of her upcoming appearance at the Gallery of Contemporary Art.
 

In 2009, Hall-of-Fame mountain biker Mike Rust disappeared from his land in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado . Aside from some motorcycle tracks, his vest and the broken handle of one of his guns, there were no clues. And six years later, Rust’s body still hasn’t been found. In the new documentary The Rider and the Wolf, filmmaker Nathan Ward tells Rust’s story, which isn’t just a murder mystery, but also a neglected chapter in the history of mountain biking.

You're So Vain.. er Navi

Oct 12, 2015
Wikipedia

  This is “Looking UP! in southern Colorado,” from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. I’m Hal Bidlack, and there are lots of reasons to look up!

Agencies are planning a number of prescribed burns throughout the area, focusing on reducing fuel load and promoting forest health:
 

Winter Water for Migrating Ducks

Oct 8, 2015
Shelley Schlender / RMCR

Colorado's South Platte River basin is a powerhouse for crops and cattle.  Massive reservoirs quench the region's thirst, with farm fields generally first in line.  Wildlife?  It's often last. But a small win-win is giving waterfowl a little more room at the watering hole.  It's a program that creates warm winter ponds for migrating ducks — then gives the water back, in time for summer crops. 

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado is well known for its outdoor recreation offerings, but Governor John Hickenlooper wants to take it to the next level by making it even easier for people to access open space and parks. Over the summer he unveiled the Colorado the Beautiful Initiative and more recently a $100 million pledge to create and connect bike trails. 

Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments

Friday is the last day to submit comments on a proposed transportation plan for the Pikes Peak area.

Moving Forward 2040 looks at existing and future needs for improvements to multi-modal transportation, and identifies $6 billion worth of need.  The plan has allocated $3 billion toward projects based on projected federal, state, and local funding.

El Paso County Commissioners have approved $120,000 to settle claims against former Sheriff Terry Maketa and other department employees.

The county approved $85,000 in a case alleging unfair retaliation after claims of sexual harassment. The other settlement pays $35,000 for allegations of civil rights abuses and a hostile work environment. A portion of the funds will come from the Sheriff's Office while attorney fees will be paid by the county's risk management fund.

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, we bring you three stories from three current or former Colorado springs residents, completely unknown to one another. All three of these stories are  tied together by one man: Lorne Greene.

Three AM...igos

Oct 5, 2015
Niko Powe courtesy of earthsky.org

  This is “Looking UP! in southern Colorado,” from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. I’m Hal Bidlack, and there are lots of reasons to look up!

Since we started this radio segment back in February, we talked about 35 different things you can see in the southern Colorado night sky. But today, let’s offer up something for the early risers – and talk about a remarkable grouping of planets visible in the Eastern predawn southern Colorado skies, say around 5 AM.

Whole Foods says it will stop selling products made by a Colorado prison labor program after a protest against the practice at one of its stores in Texas.  The company says the products should be out of its stores by April 2016, if not sooner. Whole Foods says it has sold tilapia and goat cheese produced through the Colorado Correctional Industries program in Canon City since at least 2011.

Prison reform advocates have likened the program to indentured servitude, citing low wages. 

There's a point to the math

Sep 28, 2015
NASA

  This is “Looking UP! in southern Colorado,” from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. I’m Jim West, and there are lots of reasons to look up!

When looking through a telescope, there are two kinds of objects that make people say “wow.” There are objects that are intrinsically gorgeous on their own, like the Orion nebula or the planet Saturn, and there are objects that make you say wow, not because of their beauty, but because of the awe-inspiring realization of what you are seeing. The planet Neptune, one of my favorite telescope objects, is in the latter group.

The Colorado Springs Police Department has received a grant of $600,000 to purchase 500 body cameras. The department plans to assign the cameras to about 470 police officers who work closely with citizens.

Policies will come after public input, says CSPD Commander Pat Rigdon, adding that they'll also be informed by the department's pilot program and by what other police departments have done. 

Tom Koerner/USFWS / Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Interior decided on Tuesday that the greater sage grouse does not need protection under the Endangered Species Act. The bird spans eleven western states including Colorado, where it lives in pockets along the western slope.  The population is mostly concentrated in the northwest part of the state. Governor John Hickenlooper was one of the many people working to avoid a federal listing for the bird.  He sat down with statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland to talk about the decision and other initiatives.

Interview Highlights

Tom Ross

Colorado Springs musician Tom Ross has dedicated much of his life to studying the music of different cultures around the globe and integrating those global influences into his own work as a composer. Ross was raised in Colorado Springs, where he trained with the legendary jazz guitarist Johnny Smith as a young man. He eventually made his way to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he earned a PhD in Ethnomusicology.

Woodland Park Looks at Traffic Circulation

Sep 22, 2015

The city of Woodland Park is taking the next step in planning for traffic issues in and around the city.

A traffic circulation study team will present more refined options that look at ways to alleviate congested traffic conditions in Woodland Park at a public meeting Tuesday night. 

The city's Planning Director Sally Riley says even though it usually comes down to funding, the city is trying to get citizen input to determine which issues are the most pressing.

A group opposing a proposed sales tax measure for road repairs in Colorado Springs has launched its campaign.

The ballot initiative, if passed, would institute a sales tax increase of approximately $50 million a year for five years to help pay for road repairs.

Laura Carno is spearheading the opposition, and says the city could be more efficient and find alternative ways to pay for the repairs.

Local reporter and restaurant critic Bryce Crawford has a new gig.

Fall Equinox eclipsed by the Eclipse

Sep 21, 2015
earthspacecircle.blogspot.com

  This is “Looking UP! in southern Colorado,” from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. I’m Hal Bidlack, and there are lots of reasons to look up!

Two days from now, Wednesday, September 23rd, at 2:22am, southern Colorado listeners will experience the Autumnal Equinox. 

I don’t recommend setting an alarm, as there really isn’t too much to see, but equinox is important to astronomers and to farmers, at least farmers before the industrial age.

 

On this episode of The Big Something Radio Programme, sociologist and author Kathy Giuffre discusses her first novel, The Drunken Spelunker’s Guide to Plato; food writer and reporter Bryce Crawford talks dining in the Pikes Peak region; and local musician Tom Ross takes us on a tour of his global musical influences. 

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Sit-Lie Ordinance Gets its Second Public Hearing

Sep 18, 2015
Matt Richmond / KRCC

Colorado Springs City Council is making changes to its controversial sit-lie proposal. The measure would restrict where people can sit and lie down in two of the city's commercial districts.

Officials are now lowering the penalties from possible jail time and a twenty-five hundred dollar fine to just a five hundred dollar fine.

The city hosted the second of two scheduled public meetings on the proposal on Thursday night in Old Colorado City.
 

Inquiries into last month's spill of toxic wastewater into the Animas River in Southwestern Colorado continue on Capitol Hill.
 

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing Wednesday into the spill at the request of lawmakers from Colorado and New Mexico. 

KRCC has hired Tammy Terwelp as the station’s new general manager. Terwelp, most recently director of content and programming at 90.5 WESA, the NPR-member station in Pittsburgh, is scheduled to start Oct. 12.

Terwelp has more than 20 years of public media experience with systems and operations; a strong knowledge of FCC rules, structure, and significant issues of public broadcasting; strong collaboration and leadership skills; and is dedicated to the public broadcasting mission.

Feature of the Black Lagoon

Sep 14, 2015
Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, NASA, ESA - Processing & Licence: Judy Schmidt

This is “Looking UP! in southern Colorado,” from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. I’m Hal Bidlack, and there are lots of reasons to look up!

Ever want to take a tropical vacation? Well there is one waiting for you in the night sky right now – the Lagoon nebula. 

This vast glowing cloud of gas might be just visible with the naked eye if you are away from city lights. It covers an area of the sky equivalent to three full moons across, and it is beautiful to see through a telescope.

Results of bloodwork and soil testing done in the area of the former Colorado Smelter Superfund site in Pueblo were released this week. KRCC's Shanna Lewis reports that evidence of toxins was found.
 

135 people considered most at risk for exposure to lead had their blood drawn two years ago. Seven children were found to have elevated levels.  The report notes that even low levels of lead could cause serious health problems in children.

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