Thursday, October 28, 2010

They're baaack ...

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 11:38 AM

The goats, that is.

Perhaps you remember this from the past times the goats paid us a visit, but just in case you've forgotten, there are a few points to keep in mind:

1) Goats love to eat just about anything.
2) Weeds love to grow just about anywhere.
3) If you have goats, you don't need a weedwacker.

Hungry for more information? Here you are:

The Weed-Eating Goats are Returning to Bear Creek Park

The Bear Creek Garden Association announces that Lani Malmberg and her herd of 700-800 weed-eating goats are returning to Bear Creek Park the afternoon of November 2nd for a week or more of grazing in a twenty acre area adjacent to the organic community vegetable garden. The gardeners raise money year round through grants our annual cornstalk sale, sale of our “Sarge” book about Lani’s head weed eating goat and donations from the public and gardeners to fund the grazing. Public donations in response to a recent appeal have made this year’s grazing possible. The public is encouraged to come and see the goats in the park, and donate to the goat fund.

The goat grazing project manages weeds near the garden and protects the garden from chemical sprays used by the county parks department to control the weeds in the rest of Bear Creek Park. The goats are beneficial in other ways as well, working the soil with their hooves to till the land and plant the grass seeds spread by our volunteers and paid for by the garden association. They also fertilize the area with their droppings. If left in an area they eat the brush as well and minimize the fire danger. They are used in California and many dry areas for fire control as well as weed control.

Lani Malmberg has a Masters degree in weed science from Colorado State University. She speaks regularly at conferences throughout the country to alert the public and land managers to the dangers of herbicide and pesticide use and to educate them in alternative methods of weed control. Ms. Malmberg is on the board of “Beyond Pesticides”, Washington D.C. based group. She manages up to 2,500 goats in smaller herds moving them steadily with the help of her son, Donnie, and other herders, year round from site to site in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and California.

Articles in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times show the prominence of goat grazing in the eastern states and Los Angeles, Seattle, and many other western states rely on them to control the weeds and for fire control.

Donations to the Bear Creek Garden Association Goat Fund are tax-deductible and may be sent to P.O. Box 38326, Colorado Springs, CO 80937-8326.

Goats ... and what appears to be a donkey.
  • Goats ... and what appears to be a donkey.

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MMJ ban question to be allowed on ballot

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 9:59 AM

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Yesterday, Judge Timothy Simmons ruled that votes cast regarding a potential ban of medical marijuana would be counted, signifying the end of legal resistance from proponents of medical marijuana on the county question.

The attorneys originally sought to have the question removed from the ballot, but that initiative also failed.

In a news release, County Attorney Bill Louis says, "Our concern first and foremost was to make sure that the voters received a chance to speak on this important issue of public policy, be it for or against the ban. The court’s ruling today preserves that fundamental right.

"We have not begun to litigate on the merits of the many complex issues involving medical marijuana. If the ban passes we may have a lot of litigation ahead of us," Louis says, "and I predict that ultimately the Colorado Supreme Court will have to decide on a matter of such statewide importance.”

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Stop paying for slavery

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 9:39 AM

For those of you wanting to learn more about human trafficking, the national Not for Sale Campaign's Stop Paying for Slavery Tour 2010 will be hitting town Thursday. Here are all the details:

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You can read up on the Not for Sale Campaign at the project's website; and in case you missed it, here's the Indy's coverage on the local impacts of modern-day slavery from last month.

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'Haxis of Evil'

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Sometimes the skinny white boy rap gets it exactly right.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Humane Society extends hours

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 4:42 PM

As a proud parent of four dogs, I am far too familiar with the panicked feeling that comes when my 10-pound dog bolts out a 3-inch opening in the front door, or when I find that the back gate has been left open. Thankfully I usually open my front door to find a sleeping canine on my doorstep, and don't need to track them down back at the shelter where I got them.

Losing your pet is an awful feeling, but the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) is extending its hours in order to maximize the number happy reunions.

Animals are much more likely to become ill or injured in the winter months, so it is more necessary than ever to have a shelter that can get animals the care they need as quickly as possible. The HSPPR is extending drop-off and reclaim hours to allow more time for the public to find their missing friends, as well as to properly drop off animals and submit helpful information such as where a stray was found.

The new hours start Nov. 1. Pick-up and drop-off will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day during the winter months, and until 9 p.m. in the summer months. Meanwhile, the night drop will close in an effort to reduce the overnight suffering of animals in need of veterinary care.

Humane Society officials hope that dealing directly with more owners who are giving up their pets will help them evaluate many animals more quickly for adoption. (Those left overnight without explanation typically endure a five-day holding period before going up for adoption.) Adoption hours will extend to 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day.

The HSPPR is the largest animal shelter in southern Colorado and offers programs including humane education, volunteer opportunities, spay and neuter, and a trap-neuter-return program for feral cats.

For more info, visit HSPPR.org or call 473-1741.

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Indy Minute

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 4:11 PM

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Classic Colorado Springs Halloween traditions take center stage in this week's episode with Boo at the Zoo and the Emma Crawford coffin races, plus the inside scoop on the inaugural Monster Brews Ball.

Tune in to the Indy Minute — as seen on ABC affiliate KRDO NewsChannel 13 — each week for details on all the events that entertain and bring our community together. It's simulcast on KRDO News Radio 105.5 FM and 1240 AM.

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Let the insanity begin

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 3:33 PM

For those who live in the north part of Colorado Springs and use Austin Bluffs Parkway to get anywhere, get your Zanax prescription filled.

The city and the Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority are preparing to unveil its solution to widening Austin Bluffs in three places not long after the overpass project at Union Boulevard snarled traffic for a year.

An open house to present the "preferred alternative" will be held Thursday, Nov. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Calvary United Methodist Church, 4210 Austin Bluffs.

One of the problematic things about this is that adding two lanes to Austin Bluffs east of the Union overpass will necessitate widening the road to the north. That's because the city has said a deed restriction exists on the trails space to the south preventing widening the road in that direction.
The result will be a zigzag nightmare as drivers exit Union heading east, which already isn't safe.

You may wonder from what I speak. I drive this intersection every day, and I'm here to tell you (although some days I wonder how I make it through there) that the merge lanes have blind spots and I'm amazed there aren't more crashes there. If the city sticks to its guns to widen to the north, the road will take an even more dramatic curve.

All this, after screwing up the parkway for the overpass project.


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In any event, the public meeting will allow residents to see how screwed up the road will be in the years to come in three places: from Nevada Avenue to Union, Union to Meadowland Boulevard and Barnes Road to Old Farm Drive. The city says construction of the three segments is anticipated to begin in 2012, pending future funding.

Those interested in further information may also call the project hotline at (719) 302-6782 or send an e-mail to austinbluffs.info@wilsonco.com.

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New soups and charitable pies

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 2:53 PM

For reasons not quantifiable or understood, the universe was kind to us today.

Both Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill and Village Inn dropped food samples off for us.

The first outfit is hoping to get the word out about four new soups it has just added to its menu for fall: a lemon chicken and orzo; spinach and rice; Mediterranean lentil; and roasted eggplant.

Soup season is upon us.

Of the batch, all are dairy-free, two are gluten-free and three are vegan. Cups run $3.59, bowls $4.29, with combo options available.

Village Inn wants folks to help battle breast cancer by purchasing Pink Ribbon French Silk Pies. For each $11.99 pie sold through the end of the month (yup — you've got four more days), $1 will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Pink ribbon sprinkles, not to be mistaken with mini goldfish or Jesus fish symbols.

Result: We've been fed and you've been told.

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Update on the FAC's anniversary

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Next year the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center will celebrate its 75th anniversary, and as part of the year-long schedule of celebrations and events, it will host a performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company in April.

Back when the FAC opened in 1936 — for some background on the city's arts scene then, read here — dance icon Martha Graham herself gave a performance of her classic work Lamentation. Next year, the company plans on performing a variation on that work, as well as Graham's Steps on the Street.

For those of you unaware of who Graham was, or the legacy she created, I give you this one-line encapsulation from PBS' American Masters series:

Martha Graham’s impact on dance was staggering and often compared to that of Picasso’s on painting, Stravinsky’s on music, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s on architecture.

Likewise, the company she founded in 1926 is the oldest institution (and still one of the foremost) of modern and contemporary dance worldwide.

So there. Get your tickets now; contact info is in the press release below.

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MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
Fine Arts Center to kick off 75th Anniversary celebration with dance

COLORADO SPRINGS (Oct. 26, 2010) — As part of its 75th Anniversary celebration, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is pleased to present the Martha Graham Dance Company on April 19, 2011, performing in the SaGaJi Theatre in honor of the historic Martha Graham performance on the very same stage in 1936.

The FAC opened on April 20, 1936, with a week-long series of performances, exhibitions, films, lectures and more. For its 75th Anniversary, the Fine Arts Center will present events throughout 2011, beginning with the 20th Annual Wine Festival of Colorado Springs (March 11-12) and the Martha Graham Dance Company.

“When Martha Graham danced onstage at the Fine Arts Center back in 1936, it was a powerful statement about our position as a forward looking, forward thinking organization,” said Sam Gappmayer, FAC President and CEO. “To have this world-renowned company perform 75 years later with new material as well as updated pieces from the original Fine Arts Center performance is a rare and wonderful opportunity.”

The Dance Company will perform Lamentation Variations, a series of vignettes by contemporary choreographers that interpret the theme of the classic Graham piece, Lamentation, performed at the FAC in 1936, and Steps in the Street, also originally choreographed by Graham in 1936, among other numbers.

“We're planning to open the program at the FAC with a multimedia event, "Dance is a Weapon,” said Janet Eilber, the Dance Company Artistic Director. “This is a montage of six dances connected with projected images and narration that highlight what was happening in America during the early years of the FAC; an era when the nascent art form of American modern dance was fueled by the political and social activism. Dances were created as if "ripped from the headlines" — with themes that aligned modern dance with the complex social concerns, including the financial crisis, civil rights, workers rights and the rise of fascism in Europe. This powerful montage not only presents seminal masterworks of modern dance but will chart to topical issues of the day — that very much relate to your 75th Anniversary — and that also resonate with challenges in this country today."

A special reception will follow the performance for premier ticket holders, who can mingle with the dancers. A Master Class is scheduled for April 18 at Colorado College, conducted by a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company.

The Martha Graham Dance Company performance is sponsored by El Pomar Foundation, the Colorado Springs Independent, KKTV, Bee Vradenburg Foundation, Colorado Springs Dance Theatre, Colorado College and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Martha Graham Dance Company
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Fine Arts Center’s SaGaJi Theatre

· Performance at 7 p.m. | Tickets: $50
· Premier Seating with Special Reception | Tickets: $75 (max. of 120)

Master Class co-presented by Colorado Springs Dance Theatre, Colorado College and the FAC
Monday, April 18, 2011
Colorado College’s Cossitt Hall

· Start time TBA | Tickets: $20 (max. of 50)

Tickets
· Call 719.634.5583
· Visit csfineartscenter.org

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Bird lovers unite

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 1:11 PM

We all know about cat ladies. Well, there's also the little-known category of bird ladies. I'm of the latter stripe, likely to be ensconced in a house full of chirps and shrieks from my well-tended aviary. That's the idea anyway. And the reason why I'm passing on this website, WeLoveBirds.org: an online mecca for all things outdoor bird related.

WeLoveBirds.org was built by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (the preeminent U.S. college of the study of birds) with the goals of promoting birding and conservation.

And how. The site hosts dozens upon dozens of blogs and forum discussions on backyard and professional birding issues, identification questions, news on wildlife concerns (including an ongoing dispatch reporting the aftereffects of the gulf oil spill) and just fun bird pics, like this one:

A sulphur crested cockatoo in a nest hole at the Jakarta Zoo.
  • A sulphur crested cockatoo in a nest hole at the Jakarta Zoo.

A bohemian waxwing

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Fruition earns another top nod

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Zagat released its 2011 America's Top Restaurants Survey this morning. You can find it at bookstores for $15.95 or purchase a smartphone application here.

Denver's Fruition came out on top for Colorado eateries. See more on that plus a list of all 40 Colorado restaurants in this Westword post.

Ladies and gentlemen, the highest rated restaurant in the state according to Zagat.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the highest rated restaurant in the state according to Zagat.

I'm surprised to find that not even The Broadmoor's Penrose Room made the list, which features no Colorado Springs outfits. Especially considering that the Penrose Room is one of only 15 outfits in the country that holds five stars and five diamonds.

Here's some other tidbits from a press release:

Sign of the Times: As expected during these tough economic times, surveyors report eating out less (3.1 times per week down from 3.3 pre-recession), being more attentive to prices (39%), eating in less expensive places (33%) and cutting back on alcohol, appetizers and desserts (17−21%). On a more positive note, 55% of respondents feel they’re getting better deals via prix fixe meals and other discounts, 41% suspect their patronage is more appreciated and 33% say that reservations are easier to come by.

Dollars and Sense: The national average price of a meal rose 2.2% in the past year to $35.37. New Orleans has the lowest average meal cost ($28.36), and the highest average percent tip at 19.7% (vs. the national average of 19.2%). Other high-end tippers include Denver, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Ohio, all at 19.6%. Honolulu is at the low-end (18.4%), followed by such western cities, Sacramento, San Francisco and Seattle, each at 18.6%. When it comes to paying the check, 50% of surveyors either avoid cash-only eateries or spend less when dining there.

Green: When it comes to healthy dining, 68% of surveyors say it is important that the food they eat is locally sourced, organic or sustainably raised, and 60% say they are even willing to pay more for it. Moreover, 31% seek out restaurants specializing in such 'green' cuisine.

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'Green' report card: Local colleges excel

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 5:30 AM

Greenreportcard.org's annual College Sustainability Report Card released this morning. And your eco-mindedMom and Dad are going to be excited with the results.

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In our region, both the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Colorado State University-Pueblo received grades of B+, and Colorado College got an A-. The latter means that CC qualifies as one of just 52 Overall College Sustainability Leaders named by the report.

The document, which is published under the auspices of the Sustainable Endowments Institute of Cambridge, Mass., evaluates the eco-friendliness of 322 campuses across the U.S. and Canada. It looks at both the schools' day-to-day operations and their endowment practices, including indicators such as the existence of a campus farm or garden, the implementation of trayless dining, and green building policies. Overall, the improvement of U.S. and Canadian institutions since 2006 has been dramatic — for instance, 75 percent of the colleges and universities surveyed have a trayless dining program (intended to reduce hot water use), compared with 0 percent four years ago.

By Friday, visitors to greenreportcard.org will find myriad ways to explore the contents of the 2011 report. For instance, they can peruse more than 10,000 pages of material voluntarily released by the schools themselves, or use an interactive map to zero in on the institution of their choice.

Now in its fourth year, the College Sustainability Report Card promotes the cause of ecological well-being in colleges and universities through research and education. Though often used as a PR buzzword, the report defines "sustainability" using nine specific categories and stresses its compatibility with good business practice and frugality. Says Institute executive director Mark Orlowski in a release, "the projected return on investment from improved energy efficiency over the next 10 years is estimated to be 23 percent per year."

In times when eco-hype seems to be skyrocketing faster than the national debt, that's good news indeed.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Somebody say somethin' 'bout a vote?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 5:50 PM

That's right, boys and girls: It's only seven days until you are freed from political-ad hell, and get to voice your opinion on the transfer of licensing of games of chance, whether a biological development is actually a person, and the all-important question: "Shall there be an amendment to Section 3 of Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning a process for temporarily moving the seat of Colorado ..."?

To the last, I say a resounding "No!"

...

Well, no, OK, that one sounds fine. But the transfer of licensure of games of chance from the Department of State to the Department of Revenue? Ha! That thing's got no chance — not in my household, baby! This is 'Merica, and I'm a 'Merican, and I don't want that backwater of heathen-driven hellish delights known as the DOR to be anywhere near my game license!

So, having said that, I should probably mention that there's some lame thing about a United States senator going on, and probably some governors, and I guess you could say that we might be deciding the future of medical marijuana in our locale, but really — who gives a shit?

Ah, right.

No, you're right. There are a few of you out there with some passing interest in ... whatever it was I mentioned in the previous paragraph. So, if you're of an MMJ mind, here's a list of other places with nothing better to do than attempt to limit a sick person's access to the thing that makes them not spasm uncontrollably.

No, you're right — get that out of my community! Didn't you hear I'm a 'Merican?

The paper probably meant Tax issues and not Tax icsues, but hell — I like this better.
  • The Denver Post
  • The paper probably meant "Tax issues" and not "Tax icsues," but hell — I like this better.

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UPDATE: Classy! Rand Paul supporter stomps activist

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 4:00 PM

You know, when I first posted this story about a Rand Paul supporter stomping the head of a Move On activist, part of me wanted to give Paul the benefit of the doubt.

I mean surely he'd apologize for his fan's actions profusely, right?

Ah, no.

In fact, I think we can now safely say that you can judge this particular candidate by his supporters.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Rand Paul said the head-stomping was a result of passionate feelings on both sides and a "crowd control problem."

Ah, no. I'm sorry, Rand Paul. But a head stomping is caused by someone slamming their foot into someone's head, not a failure to form an orderly line, or feelings of "passion."

A lot of things make me feel passionate. And I've been in some pretty nasty crowds before (protests, concerts, WalMart during the Christmas shopping season), yet I've refrained from kicking anyone in the head. A miracle, I know.

But wait, it gets better. It turns out the head stomper is Tim Profitt, a the Rand Paul donor and the recently-fired Bourbon County coordinator of Paul's Kentucky Senate campaign. Profitt donated $1,950 to Paul's campaign, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, however Paul won't be returning the money.

Initially, he said he would return it, but changed his mind. (Can anyone say flip-flopper?)

But wait, it gets even better, Profitt is now saying he thinks the victim of his head stomping should apologize to him!!!

"I don't think it's that big of a deal," Profitt told a TV station. "I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you ... Well, I'll just say it, if the police had done what they were supposed to do, it would have never happened."

You know, I think we can all sympathize with that last line. Where are the police when our explosive rage gets out of control and causes us to inflict serious injuries on strangers? I mean, isn't it their job to predict when we're going to fly off the handle?

OK. Now that I'm done mocking these people, you can take a moment to feel outraged.


——- ORIGINAL POST, 4 p.m., TUESDAY ——-
Look, you can't judge a book by its cover.

And maybe you can't judge a candidate by his supporters. But ... then again ... maybe to a certain extent ... you kind of can. I mean, you can pretty much assume that supporters of Tom Tancredo don't like immigrants, and that Christine O'Donnell supporters definitely aren't witches.

So, while I make no official judgment call on Kentucky senatorial Rand Paul, I do think it's pertinent to note that at least some of his supporters are 100 percent behind the Constitution's First Amendment rights ... you know, unless they're being used by someone they don't like.

And it's with that in mind that I bring you this:


Read the full story here: McClatchy.

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From the bargain-hunter's bag

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 3:32 PM

If you've got anything left in your bank account after visiting the Girls Just Want to Have Fun Sale, you'll want to mark your calendar for two more shopping shindigs this week.

First up, Ellie K, at 230 N. Tejon St., is throwing a Grand Opening Sale, Thursday, Oct. 28 through Saturday, Oct. 30.

Lots of great high-end brands, including jeans, at Ellie K.
  • Lots of great high-end brands, including jeans, at Ellie K.

Deals include:

~ Buy one pair of jeans, get one pair half off;
~ Fifteen percent off all dresses;
~ All Three Dots, C&C California and LA Made tops will be 20 percent off;
~ and all basics (think T-shirts and tank tops) will be 25 percent off.

While you peruse the deals (and a 30-percent-off sale rack), you'll be treated to hot apple cider, gourmet popcorn, and a girl's best shopping companion, chocolate.

Next: Barracuda Bazaar, at 2603 W. Colorado Ave. I can't do this invite justice, so I'll just run the whole thing.

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Happy shopping.

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