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The Middle Distance
4:24 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Middle Distance 1.3.14: Stories of a Pioneer American Family

Apple Tree and Irises by Myron Wood, May 1980. Copyright PPLD. Image 002-9202.

When I arrive in Galveston on the next-to-last day of 2013, my mother has made a soup from the bones of the Christmas turkey. Just a few rags of meat on the bones, but the broth is rich and brown and fragrant. She has tossed in the last scraps of vegetables from her refrigerator and a handful of wild rice.

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Audio Postcard
8:35 am
Sat December 28, 2013

'Cowboying' at the Chico Basin Ranch: An Audio Postcard

The main grounds of Chico Basin Ranch
Martha Perez-Sanz

Chico Basin Ranch sits on the high prairie just 30 miles southeast of Colorado Springs. The sprawling family-run, working cattle ranch spans 87,000 acres and is home to animals both tame and wild. KRCC's Martha Perez-Sanz wanted to know more about the life of a modern day 'cowboy' and has this audio postcard from a visit to the Ranch.

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Audio Postcard
8:35 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Trail Maintenance in Garden of the Gods: An Audio Postcard

Volunteers gather for trail restoration work
Eliza Densmore

The Rocky Mountain Field Institute held its last trail maintenance event of the year in mid-November at Garden of the Gods.  Around 75 volunteers from all parts of the Colorado Springs community showed up to help.  KRCC’s Eliza Densmore was there and has this audio postcard.

  The Rocky Mountain Field Institute is participating in IndyGive! KRCC is a partner in IndyGive!

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Manitou Incline
8:33 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Hiking the Incline in the Winter: An Audio Postcard

The view from the parking lot
Kate Dunn

People come from far and wide to hike the Manitou Incline, especially now that it’s legal.  Rain, shine, or even snow, everyone who makes the trek has his or her own motivation.  Along with her friend Mariel Dempster, KRCC’s Kate Dunn made the journey during the cold and snowy weather we recently had in the Pikes Peak region, and brought back this audio postcard.
 

The Incline daily record holder, Greg Cummings, was known for making the trek 601 times in a year. 

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Holiday
8:35 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Christmas Tree Hunting in Pike National Forest: An Audio Postcard

Maggie Spencer

It’s an annual tradition in the Rocky Mountain Region for folks to search for holiday trees in the National Forests.  Permitting has largely closed for the season, but KRCC’s Maggie Spencer recently set out into the Pikes Peak Ranger District with fire prevention officer Dawn Sanchez and found the Gurzi’s of Colorado Springs on the hunt for their tree. She brought back this audio postcard.

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Capitol Coverage
7:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Lawmakers Reflect on Gun Laws

Credit clipart

State lawmakers are once again heading into a legislative session following a school shooting. Colorado passed controversial gun laws earlier this year in the wake of the Aurora theatre shooting and the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Bente Birkeland takes a look back at the gun legislation and talks to lawmakers who are taking stock of things.

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Culture
11:17 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

The Middle Distance 12.20.13: Hate Christmas Songs?

Credit Pikes Peak Library District, Digital Photo Archive. Image 004-10649.jpg

 

    

The short order cook and I had been singing for a while before I noticed the grimace on the cashier’s face. We were harmonizing on “Silver Bells,” the classic Bing Crosby version, and cared little how we sounded as I was the only customer in the diner.  

“What’ll we do when it’s not Christmas any more?” the short order cook said as I pulled out my wallet to pay the bill.

“I don’t know,” I said, “but it looks like Mr. Grinch here can’t wait for it to be over.”  

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Local News
10:11 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

El Paso County Commissioners OK Zoning Request for Wind Farm

El Paso County Commissioners have approved a zoning request regarding a proposed wind farm in the eastern part of the county.  Here’s the press release:

Following a day long public hearing, the Board of El Paso County Commissioners this evening gave its approval to a zoning request that will clear the way for the development of a large wind farm in eastern El Paso County.

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Harvest Public Media
12:47 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Developers Look to Farms to Sell Suburban Homes

The Bucking Horse subdivision in Fort Collins, Colo., will include a working CSA farm, complete with historic barn, farm house and chicken coop.
Luke Runyon KUNC and Harvest Public Media

For decades, housing developments in the suburbs have come complete with golf courses, tennis courts, strip malls and swimming pools. But make way for the new subdivision amenity: the specialty farm.

A new model for suburban development is springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement. Farms, complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees, are serving as a way to entice potential buyers to settle in a new subdivision.

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7:36 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Salazar, Bacon Create PAC to Support Conservation-Minded Candidates

Lead in text: 
Ken Salazar, former Democratic Senator from Colorado and U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and billionaire hedge-fund manager Louis Bacon, a GOP backer, are creating a political action committee to support conservation-minded congressional candidates.
Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado and U.S. Interior secretary, and hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon are forming a political action committee to back pro-conservation congressional candidates. America's Conservation PAC is "dedicated to strengthening our nation's long-standing, bipartisan tradition of conserving lands and cultural resources for future generations to enjoy," Thursday's announcement said.
Capitol Coverage
7:09 am
Fri December 13, 2013

New Background Check Law Impacts Gun Sales

Credit clipart

Democratic state lawmakers say a new law requiring universal background checks for gun purchases is working well. Data from the Department of Public Safety shows 2% of private gun sales were blocked because of the law.

Seventy-two sales were stopped because the would-be buyer was convicted or charged with a serious crime; such as murder, sexual assault, possession of dangerous drugs and theft. 

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The Middle Distance
5:43 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

The Middle Distance 12.13.13: Small Talk About Christmas

The snow has finally stopped falling after four days of constant icy drizzle, but sidewalks are still packed with a three-inch sheet of frozen, thawed and refrozen precipitation. Pedestrians tread carefully, especially along sidewalks that have gone un-shoveled or in shady corridors where the sun rarely reaches the ground. It’s Christmas time in the city.

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The Big Something
5:01 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Laugh Lines: An Interview with Poet Tony Hoagland

Poet Tony Hoagland, author of “Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty," will read tonight at 7 p.m. in the Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall on the Colorado College campus as part of the  Visiting Writers Series. The Big Something’s Noel Black sat down with Hoagland to talk about the disconnect between poetry, entertainment and comedy.

Click HERE for complete event information.

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Capitol Coverage
7:56 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Response to Energy Industry Lawsuits

Colorado’s energy industry trade group is now involved on three fronts with lawsuits over voter approved fracking bans or moratoriums. The latest move involved the announcement of suits against Lafayette and Fort Collins. 

A lawsuit is already pending against the city of Longmont for a ban approved in 2012. Some in the state say a lawsuit is the wrong way to go.

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Capitol Coverage
11:18 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Experts Examine Economic Cost of Natural Disasters

A new study from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business shows that it may be difficult to quantify how droughts, fires and floods are impacting the state’s economy over the long term. But it’s safe to say natural disasters are already influencing public policy and are requiring communities to shift their thinking. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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The Big Something
4:05 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Disruptive Media: An Interview with Noel Maxam About the Future of Content

Tonight at 6 p.m. in the Richard F. Celeste Theatre at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center here on the Colorado College campus, former Days of Our Lives executive co-producer and director Noel Maxam will discuss disruptive innovation in media from Network Television to Netflix. The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with Maxam about soap operas ant the future of local media.

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Connecting the Drops
7:11 am
Mon December 9, 2013

The Shoshone Power Plant: "A Big Dog on the River"

The Shoshone hydroelectric powerplant holds the largest historic water right on the Colorado River.
Maeve Conran

A complex series of agreements govern the distribution of water throughout the state.  Along the Colorado River, farms, cities & towns, and the recreation industry are all big players.  But everyone takes a backseat to a tiny hydroelectric plant that’s over one hundred years old.  It’s the Shoshone Generating Station, and it plays a critical role on the Upper Colorado.

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Culture
6:32 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The Middle Distance 12.05.13: The Country Store

Waymires Store Interior by Stewarts Commercial Photographers, October 1947. Copyright PPLD. Image Number: 013-1013.
Credit

There’s a Facebook questionnaire circulating, asking participants to check off how many of 100 chosen worldwide destinations they’ve visited. I haven’t taken the quiz and if I did my score would be modest, even though I’ve visited some pretty exotic locales. But I find the older I get it’s not faraway places I long to see; I’m more drawn to places from the past, even if I have to recreate them strictly from stories passed down by family.

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Local News
7:52 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Warming Shelters in Colorado Springs, Black Forest

Update 12/05/13: The Red Cross Shelter in Black Forest has closed. Only one resident stayed on Dec. 3rd, and no residents on the 4th.
 

Original Post:

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Capitol Coverage
7:33 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Report: State Budget Picture Unbalanced

Colorado’s budget is not structurally sound, according to a new study released yesterday. Economists from Colorado State University say over the long term, the state will spend more money than it receives. As Bente Birkeland reports, the study points to a number of causes.

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Local News
7:38 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Browns Canyon Subject of National Monument, Wilderness Area Proposal

Proposed boundary for the national monument and wilderness area.
Credit Friends of Browns Canyon

Senator Mark Udall is expected in Chaffee County today to unveil new proposed legislation that looks to declare Browns Canyon a national monument and wilderness area. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more.
 

The Arkansas River runs through Browns Canyon, and if passed, the bill would declare 22,000 acres of land from Nathrop to Salida a national monument and an additional 10,500 acres as protected wilderness.

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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

Credit clipart

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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