Thursday, January 28, 2010

Toothsome tellings from King's Chef, La'au's

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 2:56 PM

A couple food notes:

• The purple castle rolls ever onward and open-ward. Starting next week — on the heels of bringing its green chili into several local Walmarts — King's Chef Diner's Bijou Street location will expand its nighttime binge-eating hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. until 4:30 a.m.-ish.

La'au's Taco Shop is making some changes of its own, adding a burrito to its smorgasbord of tacos, salads and plates. Additionally, in a laudably candid release, Lau'au's says that its steamed, cafeteria-style service has made for too many soggy tacos; now, all items are being grilled fresh-to-order. Though the menu lists them with recommended fillings, customizations remain possible.

Click the image for delicious honesty.
  • Click the image for delicious honesty.

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Staying in the hot seat

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 2:24 PM

The U.S. Senate has voted to overcome the threat of a filibuster that might have prevented the confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for his second term in office.

While he clearly hasn't lost all his friends in Washington, Bernanke has earned scorn from many Americans for his advocacy of corporate bailouts.

Critics also say Bernanke failed to deflect the housing crisis, better regulate banks, and control the use of money the government handed out during the bailout of the financial sector. Supporters say Bernanke made the best of a disastrous economic situation.

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Good news for Hick

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Coloradopols.com, a Web site devoted to covering the state political scene, has anointed Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper as the favorite now in the 2010 gubernatorial race to defeat Republican Scott McInnis and keep the Democrats in control of the governor's office.

The site, which devotes a portion of its homepage to an ongoing handicapping of state political races, lists Hickenlooper as a 3-1 favorite to become the next governor, with this comment: "Great name ID & approval ratings + great fundraiser = not good news for McInnis."

The odds for McInnis are 8-1, saying, "So much for anti-incumbent strategy; back to drawing board." McInnis, by the way, is scheduled to be in Colorado Springs later Thursday, speaking to the El Paso County Young Republicans.

Dan Maes, the other Republican candidate who at last report had little campaign money and couldn't find his treasurer, is a distant 25-1.

For more, go to http://www.coloradopols.com.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blender demo wins local woman $5,000

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 5:44 PM

When's the last time an appliance in your house netted you a cool five Gs?

Colorado Springs resident Brooke McLay was recently awarded $5,000 for her winning entry into Vita-Mix's "Pitch Me!" video contest.

Never mind that these machines are louder than bulldozer.
  • Never mind that these machines are louder than a bulldozer.

Out of nearly 150 entries, McLay's how-to on making a gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner in her blender earned her the title of Best Gourmet. You can watch her three-minute video here.

A little backstory on this Hercules of blenders: Vita-Mixes cost upward of $500, but they do amazing stuff, like crush full blenders of ice in seconds.

About four years ago, my girlfriend and I put up for one because I'd annually burned out cheap-o blenders while making my morning green drink, a sludgy concoction of berries, coconut milk and superfood algae powder. So I can attest: It's truly an awesome machine. My pets tend to scamper from the room when I turn it on because it's so loud. While most people will eventually end up hard of hearing from concerts, I'm that guy who's going to blame my blender.

Anyway, since I'll never earn awards or money for my green drink recipe, congrats to McLay for her winning trio.

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2008: A crummy year for the arts

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Want to know how the arts have fared, nationally?

According to the National Arts Index, not all that well. The study recently released its rating for 2008, and although parts of the sector are expanding, many others are declining.

The index — which rates the "health and vitality" of the arts, using 76 equally weighted categories of measure — accounts for money raised by arts nonprofits, jobs in the sector, consumer money spent on the arts (which includes the sale of music), demand for arts education and other factors.

So, 2008's score: 98.4. Sounds OK, right? Not really. This is a decrease of 4.2 from 2007 and far below the lowest benchmark year, which came in at 100 even.

The index began in 1998.
  • National Arts Index
  • The index began in 1998.

Two negative points:

• Although the number of art institutions has grown, overall attendance and charitable donations has declined.

• Overall, the arts sector is losing "audience time, donor and funder commitment, or spending" compared to non-arts businesses.

Two positives:

• Demand for arts-based education at the post-secondary level rose.

• The study also projects that the arts will start to rebound in 2011, following the national business cycle forecast.

You can read the full report here.

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Liston fights for lobbyists

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Yes, many people have problems and need help, but leave it to Rep. Larry Liston of Colorado Springs to take a stand for a group that too often gets ignored: those poor lobbyists in Denver who must stand in security lines with the riff-raff before trying to pull the strings of power at the state Capitol.

Liston (left), now taking aim at metal detectors, on behalf of lobbyists.

Denver's 7 News reports on a chilly response on Tuesday to a bill from Liston that would have let lobbyists pay a fee and get a background check in order to waltz past security while doing their daily business.

"I did not realize there were going to be this many people wanting to testify, obviously I’ve ripped open a scab," Liston said.
One person who testified against the legislation referred to hearing the bill called the "Lexus lane for the lobbyists."

The bill apparently died in committee. Incidentally the story was reported by 7 News' Marshall Zelinger, who recently departed KRDO Newschannel 13 in Colorado Springs.

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Lilith returneth

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 1:28 PM

blogBADU.jpg
Lilith Fair, Sarah McLachlan’s female-centric traveling tour that raised $10 million for women’s charities before taking a decade-long break, returns in a big way this year, and will include a stop in Denver.

While additional headliners are slated to be announced in the coming weeks, the lineup so far is already hugely impressive.

Last Thursday, promoters revealed the latest additions. They include:

• Loretta Lynn (pictured with Jack White)
• Norah Jones
• Cat Power
Gossip
• La Roux
• Heart

lorettalynn.jpg
• Beth Orton (pictured on stairwell)
• and Kate Nash.

Among the acts previously announced are:

Brandi Carlile
• Chantal Kreviazuk
• Corinne Bailey Rae
• Emmylou Harris
• Erykah Badu (pictured)
Metric
• Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
Indigo Girls
• Ke$ha
Sheryl Crow
• Mary J. Blige

bethstairs.jpg
Serena Ryder
• Sugarland
• Tegan and Sara
• and, of course, Sarah McLachlan herself.

No confirmation yet on when the tour actually takes place, and it’s a safe bet that not all performers will be playing every stop.

In the meantime, you can click on artist links above to ready recent Indy interviews with participating artists. You'll also find ongoing updates at lilithfair.com.

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AFA gets a Buzz

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 9:36 AM

The newest member of the Air Force Academy weighs in at only four ounces.

Buzz, an American kestrel falcon, joins the 12 other falcons already housed in the falcon mews located just north of Arnold Hall on the academy grounds.

The small falcon had a rough start in life, the academy said in a press release. He was housed in a small birdcage until he was rescued and rehabilitated at the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center. The one-year-old is still recuperating from some damaged feathers but is expected to fully recuperate.

When Buzz's feathers heal, he may eventually be able to fly in an enclosed area. Buzz is hand-fed quail. In the wild, American kestrels feed on insects, mice, lizards and snakes.

Buzz was named after one of the main characters in the Disney animated film "Toy Story," as was the Academy's previous kestrel, Woody.

The cadet falconers spent about two hours daily checking each bird's health and condition, feeding, training, cleaning the mews and conducting routine maintenance of equipment. About once a month, they also participate in demonstrations and educational programs.

falcon.jpg

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Watch party set

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 10:12 PM

It might not have the fervor of similar groups gathering to enjoy election returns together in November 2008, but state Rep. Dennis Apuan and others will convene a State of the Union watch party Wednesday night to see President Barack Obama's speech from the Capitol, and then talk about it.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union #58, 2870 Janitell Road. with food and wine available for those in attendance and a suggested donation of $20.

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CC alum storms big, small screens

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Avatar's James Cameron aside, there may be no one in Hollywood enjoying a hotter hot streak than Marc Webb, Colorado College class of 1996. A week ago, Webb was tapped to breathe some new life into the Spider-Man movie franchise. But well before his Spider-Man 4 hits screens (estimated to be Summer 2012 at this point), he'll produce a pilot running on the FOX network.

Marc Webb: Living the dream. In a hoodie.
  • Marc Webb: Living the dream. In a hoodie.

From the brief Hollywood Reporter story:

Written by "The Beaver" scribe Kyle Killen, the 20th TV-produced "Midland" is a soap set against the backdrop of an oil business that centers on a polygamist living a double life.

Also, the feature-film debut that started all this Webb buzz — 2009's (500) Days of Summer — was recently nominated for a Best Picture Golden Globe.

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County commissioners call for national change

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Most of the time, El Paso County commissioners get to deal with pretty hands-on issues: What roads should get paved? What developments built? nd how should you penalize a bar in the county that served liquor to an underage patron?

That does not, however, stop the five-member board from going big at times. Check out this resolution, which was proposed by Commissioner Amy Lathen and passed unanimously at today's meeting. Among other things, it calls on federal policymakers to support U.S. interests by requiring good trade requirements, and for them to support actions to combat "prolonged currency misalignment."

The last part calls for research, development and production of domestic fuel sources to reduce reliance on imported energy, which sounds pretty good, assuming renewables like wind and solar are included in that mix.

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Hickentime for Hitler

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Bill Ritter's decision not to seek re-election as governor was disheartening to many, but one of the hardest hit, apparently, was a former dictator not thought to be overly concerned about Colorado politics.

In a new viral video making the Internet rounds, Adolf Hitler can be seen plotting the Rocky Mountain portion of his plan for world domination when an underling breaks the news that Ritter is, in fact, out of the race and Hickenlooper is in. "We think calling him 'Hickenritter' will work," suggests one of the the Third Reich strategists, mirroring an actual GOP strategy.

Hitler naturally goes ballistic: "Everybody in the state knows Hick," he roars. "He's the one guy with a haircut worse than mine and still the people all love him."

The video's profile was substantially raised yesterday after it was posted on the Huffington Post, which picked up the story from Eli Stokols, the political reporter for Denver's KDVR.

Stokols contacted Dick Wadhams for comment, but the GOP chair had yet to see the video. Still Dick was quick with the talking points: "We're excited to take Hickenlooper on," he said. "We don't think the race has changed at all."

Hard to say how others may respond to the potentially controversial video, or whether we'll be hearing anything further from its anonymous creator, who made the piece by adding his or her own subtitles to the Hitler biopic Downfall. One viewer has already posted a response saying that he's contacting the GOP and urging Scott McInnis to condemn the clip, but of course that would only increase its popularity.


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Chasing predators

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Sex offenders beware. The Colorado Springs Police Department has $400,000 more to spend tracking you down, thanks to a federal grant program.

Here's more:

NEWS RELEASE

COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 12:30 PM [RELEASE AT WILL]:

The Colorado Springs Police Department applied to the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) for federal funding under the Child Sexual Predator grant.

The Colorado Springs Police Department and Kidpower of Colorado Springs have joined forces to help keep our community's children safe from sexual predators thanks to funding from the COPS grant. They were awarded $436,119 to enhance the sexual offender registration program, enhance efforts to locate, investigate, arrest, and prosecute known sex offenders, and to create community partnerships to reduce child endangerment by sexual predators.

Our community has clearly indicated that keeping our children safe is one of its highest priorities. This project provides a nonthreatening, effective educational tool for children and parents to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse.

With a portion of this funding, the Colorado Springs Police Department will create an exciting new partnership with Kidpower of Colorado Springs. The mission of Kidpower is to "reduce the risk of childhood abuse, assault, and abduction by teaching children and teens personal safety skills to be safe."

A portion of the grant will provide 96 Kidpower classes over a two-year period, serving approximately 2,000 young people from Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas, at no cost to the families, schools or agencies.

Kidpower is working with several school districts, TESSA, Partners in Housing, Colorado Families for Hands and Voices (supporting families raising deaf and hard of hearing children), Child Nursery Centers, Peak Education, Chaffee Foster Care to Independence, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Urban League of the Pikes Peak Region, and more.

Jan Isaacs Henry, Kidpower executive director, says “The Colorado Springs Police Department's commitment to a collaborative partnership will make a huge difference in reducing child endangerment. Every child deserves a safe, secure childhood. This grant enables Kidpower to reach many more of our community's children and families with simple and practical personal safety education skills.”

Kidpower of Colorado Springs is a nonprofit organization, established in 1994. Kidpower is part of an international organization providing safety and confidence-building workshops to people around the world. To date, more than 27,000 individuals have received Kidpower training in the Pikes Peak Region, in schools, agencies, organizations and in the community. For more information on Kidpower of Colorado Springs please visit the website at www.kidpowercs.org.

At any given time there are approximately 1,000 to 1,100 registered sex offenders in the city limits of Colorado Springs. This number changes on a daily basis as sex offenders are moving in and out of the city limits. In 2009, the Colorado Springs Police Department completed 3311 Home visits/compliance checks/address verifications. Currently, there are 88 sex offenders that are wanted for Failure to Register. It is our goal to reduce the number of sex offenders who are out of compliance by utilizing the additional detective now assigned to the Registered Sex Offender Unit as well as the School Resource Officers (when not in the schools) and Homeless Outreach Team (to help search for registered and unregistered sex offenders that are transients).

For additional information, please contact Lt. Jane Anderson at 719-444-7522.

Note to Media: There are two Kidpower classes offered tomorrow 01/27/10 from 12:30pm to 1:30 pm at Monterey Elementary School and from 6pm to 8 pm at Oak Creek Elementary School. If you plan to cover any of these classes, please contact Jan Isaacs Henry at 719-963-7376 so that she can notify the schools/district and they can notify their PIO.


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Bee School Rules!

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 3:44 PM

If you're intent on becoming a beekeeper or just want to learn about bees for fun for a couple of days, you'll want to attend the Pikes Peak Beekeepers 2010 Bee School, running March 13-14 at the Bear Creek Nature Center.

Do as the bee sheriff says and gather round the hive box.
  • Do as the bee sheriff says and gather round the hive box.

I went last year, already intent on starting a hive in my backyard. Over the two-day tutorial, we learned about bee history and biology, hive management through the four seasons, pest and disease concerns, honey extraction and more.

Speaking as a PPB member (I pay $15 annual dues), I can say the $40 cost of Bee School is quite fair considering the amount of information covered and the time volunteered by many veteran club members.

Sure — it's geeky as all hell and the bee puns and jokes get old quick — but as a beginner beekeeper, I'd be lost without club guidance. Call 632-0075 to register before seats fill up.

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Photos of the FAC's totem pole

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 1:58 PM

We reported earlier this month that the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center had closed a deal to return the totem pole that once stood in the FAC's courtyard to it's original home with the Haida people in Alaska. Read the full blog here.

The FAC recently sent some old photos of the pole (note how it has weathered over time):

The pole was carved in 1870 from yellow cedar.
  • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • The pole as it originally stood in front of a Haida longhouse.

Continue reading »

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