Thursday, October 27, 2011

State unveils first MMJ licenses, new workgroup

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 3:35 PM

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A news release from the Medical Marijuana Industry Group says the state of Colorado has begun issuing licenses to medical marijuana centers. The first in Colorado Springs has gone to the Briargate Wellness Center (reports the Gazette), while the first in Denver to be licensed is Dr. J's Hash Infusion. (The Denver Post reports that, overall, 11 licenses have been issued thus far.)

Accompanying the release is news of the newly formed Denver Medical Marijuana Workgroup, chaired by none other than Matt Cook. He's the former director of enforcement for the Colorado Department of Revenue and was the first person charged with regulating our burgeoning MMJ industry before he retired in June.

Similar to our own Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council, the group will serve as a liaison between the city's medical marijuana businesses, the Department of Excise and Licenses and the Denver City Council.

“The Workgroup will provide a constructive forum for Denver business owners to gain more information about local licensing, and a means for the community to provide useful feedback to the Denver City Council and the Local Licensing Authority," says Cook in the release. "These meetings are open to the public — and we invite you to come participate.”

Workgroup vice-chair Norton Arbelaez chimes in with: "The Medical Marijuana Industry Group is proud to have created this Workgroup with the help of Denver’s major industry stakeholders," he says. "Our goal is to be the bridge between the medical marijuana business community and the City of Denver. Our mission is to help implement Colorado’s regulatory model in Denver, thereby ensuring that patients have continued safe, legal access.”

Asked how long the group will exist, MMIG executive director Michael Elliott writes in an e-mail that "it is likely permanent."

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UPDATE: It's official: No red-light cameras next year

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM

The red light cameras are still on the way out — apparently even sooner than originally reported.

Now they're out on October 31.

Red light cameras will be discontinued — CORRECTED END DATE
Program will end October 31

Earlier this month, Mayor Steve Bach and Interim Chief Peter Carey proposed ending the photo red light enforcement program that was piloted at four intersections. Today, the decision was made official that the contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of this month (October 2011). The pilot program did not meet safety expectations. Ending the program will free up 2.5 full-time Police Department employees for reassignment. The photo speed enforcement program, which features a mobile speed van, will continue.

“We had hoped the program would make a significant difference in motorist safety,” explained Interim Police Chief Pete Carey. “A review of the data up to this point does not clearly show if there is an impact on dangerous front-to-side collisions or rear-end collisions at those intersections. We believe citizens will be better served if we reassign personnel to other priority functions.”
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——- ORIGINAL POST, THURSDAY, 3:10 P.M. ——-
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  • lorentey

Remember that the city was proposing doing away with red-light cameras, pending further discussion?

Well, apparently, the discussion is over, and those red-light cameras are going the way of the dinosaur in Colorado Springs.

Red light cameras will be discontinued

Earlier this month, Mayor Steve Bach and Interim Chief Peter Carey proposed ending the photo red light enforcement program that was piloted at four intersections. Today, the decision was made official that the contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of 2011. The pilot program did not meet safety expectations. Ending the program will free up 2.5 full-time Police Department employees for reassignment. The photo speed enforcement program, which features a mobile speed van, will continue.

“We had hoped the program would make a significant difference in motorist safety,” explained Interim Police Chief Pete Carey. “A review of the data up to this point does not clearly show if there is an impact on dangerous front-to-side collisions or rear-end collisions at those intersections. We believe citizens will be better served if we reassign personnel to other priority functions.”

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Should the RIAA send Justin Bieber to prison?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 1:04 PM

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Back in July we wrote about YouTube shutting down Lady Gaga's official channel due to "multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s Copyright Policy." At the time, the artist had merely posted video of herself performing her own material. The problem was that the broadcast rights were own by the television network that aired it.

Flash forward to this week, as we find Justin Bieber in the media spotlight, thanks to concerned fans' worry that recently proposed legislation would put the Canadian superstar at risk of a five-year prison sentence for uploading videos of himself performing other artists' R&B songs.

While some of you may now be thinking about the possible upside of five years without new Justin Bieber recordings, may I remind you that posting your own drunken karaoke versions of songs "Pour a Little Sugar on Me" or "I Will Survive" could result in you sharing a cell with the little guy?

Or not. At the moment, lawyers and pundits are still trying to figure out exactly who would be prohibited from doing exactly what, should some version of Senate Bill 978 pass. But with both the RIAA and the motion-picture industry behind it, you know it can't be good.

Here's a link to the bill itself.

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Memorial: How to vote?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 12:42 PM

It appears there are no campaign committees formed surrounding the city's ballot measure on the Nov. 1 ballot, but there is a nonprofit that has formed to support the city-owned Memorial Health System.

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The website linked above explains the goal of the group like this:

We are a group of concerned Colorado Springs residents committed to Memorial Health System remaining a vital part of our community. For this to happen, Memorial Health System must become a nonprofit entity where all the control and all the money remains local.

The website also contains various reports about the process the city is going through to remove city liability and, hopefully, give Memorial the freedom it needs to be successful in the changing world of health care.

Here's the ballot measure: "Shall Ordinance No. 1854 (1949) that requires City Council to levy a tax to pay for any operating deficit of Memorial Health System be repealed?"

You can also find information about the City Council task force on Memorial here.

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New burger spot wants to party with you

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 11:12 AM

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I've meant to try Castle Rock's Crave Real Burgers whenever I drive through. And since I treat that like everything else I always mean to do — you're next, laundry — I never have.

So it's a pretty good thing the restaurant recently doubled in size by opening a second location in the old Fatburger location in the Shops at Falcon Landing.

“Opening a restaurant in the Springs is a huge step for us and we couldn’t be more excited,” says co-owner and chef Jeff Richard in a statement. “We want to host a grand opening that really welcomes the entire community and makes everyone feel like a VIP.”

So, to that end, here's a schedule for all that feeling-like-a-VIP-ness:

• Nov. 1: a ribbon cutting ceremony where all diners get 25 percent off

• Nov. 2: sample-size milkshakes, free all day

• Nov. 3: free soda for all students and teachers

• Nov. 4: double punches on customers' Crave burger cards

• Nov. 5: 50 percent off for all Army and Air Force customers (with military ID), and 25 percent for all customers wearing related apparel

• Nov. 6: a game offered to all families dining in, offering a variety of discounts

And if you're wondering just what you're getting in to, here's a little backstory, according to the press release:

The owners and creators of Crave — a husband and wife foodie duo — opened the first Crave in Castle Rock in 2010. Since then, the restaurant has earned a reputation for eclectic, decadent, and irresistible burgers. Menu items include the Luther — a bacon cheddar burger and fried egg between glazed donuts for a bun; the award-winning Dim Sum Daffy — a burger with roasted duck, ginger garlic cream cheese, crispy wontons and hoisin sauce; and the Fatty Melt — a bacon cheeseburger with tomato and pickles between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Touring county government

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 10:05 AM

The most obvious thing you can say about the county's new Citizens Service Center is: It's big.

On Tuesday afternoon, several commissioners and others toured the facility at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road, which the county bought from Intel last year for about $22 million. There's lots of space, lots of rooms that were empty when the tour took place and lots of hallways that leave a visitor with the feeling of being in a maze.

First, we were excited to finally get to see County Treasurer Bob Balink's new furniture, for which he paid roughly $10,000 from the clerk and recorder's budget. He transferred the money from there before he left the clerk's office near the end of 2010.

Here's a few shots of what he got for our money. Notice the enlarged photos on the walls, all of which were taken by Balink, which demonstrates his obvious talent behind a camera.

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Then there's the exercise room for employees, which features locker rooms and showers. Darryl Glenn, who serves as a personal trainer as well as an attorney and a county commissioner, gave his approval.

County official Monnie Gore whos overseeing the remodel project, left, with Glenn on the right.
  • County official Monnie Gore who's overseeing the remodel project, left, with Glenn on the right.

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At the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, there was lots of space, but not much action. Officials there said they needed the extra space.

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Employees don't have to jump in their cars and drive somewhere for lunch. The new building has a cafeteria run by Aspen Pointe. Pretty snazzy.

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The Clerk and Recorder's Office uses ballot on demand machines like the one below to print ballots when needed. The machines save the county money, because now they don't have to guess how many ballots to print for certain jurisdictions but rather if they run short, they can ask this machine to fill the gap.

Election Manager Liz Olson says as of Tuesday 50,000 ballots had been received. She's predicting a turnout of 120,000, so voters will have to pick up the pace to hit that number by Tuesday.

Olson with the ballot on demand machine.
  • Olson with the ballot on demand machine.

Public Health has what seems to be a lot of space but deputy director Dan Martindale says it's not all that much more than in the old place on South Union Boulevard.

County spokesman Dave Rose in the state of the art Public Health lab.
  • County spokesman Dave Rose in the state of the art Public Health lab.

It's easy to feel lost in the building when every turn leads you to long corridors like this one.

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Finally, if there's any doubt as to the maze-like feeling one gets from this building, here's a map of one section.

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Challenger emerges in the county commission

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Auddie Cox
  • Auddie Cox

Auddie Cox ran for the El Paso County Commission in the 4th District back in 2004. The retired officer who served in both the Air Force and the Army lost in that bid to the current commissioner, Dennis Hisey.

Cox wants a rematch.

Today, he announced that he will be challenging Hisey next year as Hisey seeks his third term.

No question, that Hisey even has a shot at a third term — he being one of the commissioners who approved a trickily worded term-limit-extension question last year, then declined a 2011 re-vote — is sure to play in this race.

According to Cox's announcement:

For many years we have witnessed the steady decline in respect by some of our elected officials for the will of the American People on both a local and national level. This lack of ethical behavior on the part of some of our elected officials should never be tolerated. All of us have said, at one time or another, “This has to stop”; and those whom we have hired by election for a temporary job must be held accountable for their actions. To continue to allow this type of political leadership by any of our elected officials would only embolden them further and permit the continuance of personal ambition and a self serving attitude to become the standard that we some how accept. In my opinion elected office is not a career choice.

Although Cox has yet to file with the Secretary of State, he has already assembled his campaign team, which includes David Kelly, local organizer of Liberty on the Rocks.

Read Cox's full statement:

For many years we have witnessed the steady decline in respect by some of our elected officials for the will of the American People on both a local and national level. This lack of ethical behavior on the part of some of our elected officials should never be tolerated. All of us have said, at one time or another, “This has to stop”; and those whom we have hired by election for a temporary job must be held accountable for their actions. To continue to allow this type of political leadership by any of our elected officials would only embolden them further and permit the continuance of personal ambition and a self serving attitude to become the standard that we some how accept. In my opinion elected office is not a career choice.

Not only do we need to address the term limits issue, we also need to realistically address issues in our region which include fiscal responsibility, transparency in government, job creation, growth, natural resource development — water, gas, and oil.

After contemplation and consultation with many people on this situation I am placing my name into consideration for the elected position of El Paso County Commissioner District 4. If you, the people of District 4, choose to place me in this position I ask two things of you. First, pray for wisdom for your elected officials, and second, hold all of them accountable for the decisions they make.

My life has been one of service, including 25 years of service to the Nation as a soldier in leadership roles for both the Air Force and the Army and countless hours of volunteer service to the communities in which I have lived. I am a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award; this is for over 5000 hours of volunteer work. These efforts have included service to the Red Cross, Lion Clubs International, Pearl S. Buck Foundation, and locally with the Fountain Valley Senior Center. I consider it a privilege to be involved in these activities. If you place your trust in me to serve as your commissioner I promise to serve in a manner that is ethical, accountable, fiscally responsible and leading with conservative principles; returning trust, integrity, and honor to the office of El Paso County Commissioner for District 4. Directed passion can be one of the most powerful forces we have to effect these changes. Please join me in this effort. Respectfully Yours;

Auddie L. Cox

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Dog retires after outstanding K-9 career

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Bodi will take a break after nearly nine years chasing villians.
  • Bodi will relax after nearly nine years of chasing (potential) villains.

One of the Springs Police dogs, an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois named Bodi, will retire after being on the job since February 2003. The dog's partner was Officer Troy Rosenoff.

Here's some information about the dog, according to a release from the department:

509 deployments
81 tactical deployments
Located 49 suspects as a direct result of a K-9 search.
Assisted on 119 Robbery/Burglary arrests.

Located evidence on numerous crime scenes such as clothing, firearms and knives.
In 2010 K-9 Bodi was responsible for the arrests of eight dangerous armed robbery suspects who, while committing these robberies had fired their weapons at the victims. These suspects were responsible for several robberies which had been committed throughout both the city and county. Two of the suspects, who had been armed with a shotgun were involved in a short pursuit with officers and bailed from their vehicle. A high risk search was conducted using Bodi. A short time later both suspects were located by Bodi and were arrested without incident or injury to officers. All the evidence from the robberies was recovered from the vehicle.

In 2009 K-9 Bodi was deployed for a search of a building with the SWAT team to search for an armed barricaded felony suspect who had refused to surrender. Negotiations with the suspect were unsuccessful and several canisters of gas had been deployed into the building with no results. Finally, the SWAT team had to enter the building to search for this suspect. K-9 Bodi was used during this high risk search to locate the suspect. Bodi located the suspect who was 6’ 1 and weighed 240 pounds hiding in a bathroom. Bodi pulled the suspect out of the bathroom and into a hallway where he was taken into custody by SWAT officers, ending an extremely dangerous situation.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stormwater bills headed to the tax collector

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Rushing stormwaters undermine the supports of a bridge across Platte Avenue in 2008 requiring major repairs.
  • Mary Scott
  • Rushing stormwaters undermine the supports of a bridge across Platte Avenue in 2008 requiring major repairs.

Deadbeats who didn't pay their stormwater fees soon will see those charges pop up on their property tax bills under a decision made by City Council in what might be ruled an illegal meeting.

The Council is expected to certify a list of stormwater bills to El Paso County Treasurer Bob Balink before the Nov. 17 deadline to get them on next year's property tax bills. Balink hasn't said whether he'll oblige, however.

But not everyone who owes will be dunned in this way. Anyone who bought their property later than Jan. 1, 2010, for which a stormwater bill is owed won't have the stormwater bill attached to property taxes. Rather, the prior owner will still be considered the one who owes. This results from the failure of some title companies to note the outstanding stormwater bill due on properties that have closed since the stormwater fees were discontinued effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Also, those who owe less than $20 won't see those bills go onto property taxes. But the city will continue trying to collect, although the method of collection hasn't been explained.

Here's the city's release:

Update on stormwater accounts going to
El Paso County Treasurer

City Council met in closed legal session on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, and made two decisions related to past due stormwater accounts to be certified to the El Paso County Treasurer for collection on the 2012 property tax bills.

1) Properties with unpaid stormwater fees that had an ownership change on or after January 1, 2010, will not be sent to the Treasurer. Instead, those amounts will remain the responsibility of the property owner who owned the property at the time the fees were due and staff will be investigating how to bill them. City staff will also determine a process to issue refunds for those citizens who purchased a property on or after January 1, 2010, and paid stormwater fees the previous owner neglected to pay.

“Having receiving several calls from citizens who purchased property in good faith and were not told at the time of closing that past due stormwater amounts were tied to the property, we believe this is the right decision,” said Council President Scott Hente.

2) Accounts owing less than $20 will not be sent to the Treasurer this year. The amounts are still owed under City ordinance and staff will investigate other collection options for those accounts.

Councilmembers were concerned that since accounts under $20 had not been sent to A-1 Collections, many of those citizens did not know they had an outstanding balance until the City mailed letters last month.

“These accounts don’t belong to people who never paid any stormwater fees over the three years of the enterprise, but rather are more likely people who didn’t pay that last quarter of 2009,” said Hente. “At that time, there was confusion among some about the effective end date. We believe we need to give these people additional opportunities to pay before resorting to using the property tax bills, which would incur additional administrative fees.”

City Council set the stormwater fee to zero effective January 1, 2010. All amounts due from 2006-2009 are still owed by City ordinance.

As of October 20, 2011, there were 10,800 unpaid accounts totaling $1.26M. Of those, 4,165 accounts totaling $50,106 were under $20.

Regarding the release's first paragraph, we question whether the Council can legally make decisions in closed session under the Colorado Open Meetings Act. The law states that meetings are to be open where public business is to be discussed or formal action might be taken.

Zansberg: Decisions must be made in public session.
  • Zansberg: Decisions must be made in public session.

Specifically, it says:

COML. prohibits "local public bodies," in the course of a properly authorized and convened executive session, from adopting “any proposed . . . position . . . or [take] formal action,” other than the approval of minutes of a prior closed meeting. See § 24-6-402(4), C.R.S. The Colorado Supreme Court has held that the prohibition against the closed-door adoption of a proposed position includes a ban on informal decision-making, even when the informal closed-door decision is subsequently approved in a public vote. See Hanover Sch. Dist. No. 28 v. Barbour, 171 P.3d 223, 228 (Colo. 2007) (noting prior holding that “important policy decisions cannot be made informally”) (citation omitted); see also WorldWest LLC v. Steamboat Springs Sch. Dist. RE-2 Bd. of Educ., Case No. 07-CA-1104, 37 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 1663, 1671 (Colo. App. 2009) (Carparelli, J, concurring) (concluding that the school board violated the COML when it decided in an executive session that all discussions concerning an employee survey would be confidential, and directed the Superintendent to provide the Board with the survey; the board thereby “adopted a position in a closed session”) (courtesy copy attached); Walsenburg Sand & Gravel v. City Council, 160 P.3d 297, 299-300 (Colo. 2007) (holding that an allegation that the mayor and the city council accepted a bid for purchase of real estate during an executive session adequately stated a violation of the Open Meetings Law).

First Amendment and open-meetings expert Steve Zansberg, of Denver, says in an e-mail responding to our question:

The COML (Colorado Open Meetings Law) prohibits City Council (or any "local public body") not only from taking formal "votes" ("formal action"), but also from making any decision ("adopting . . . any proposed . . . position") on a matter while they are in an executive session. [The only exception, other than approval of prior exec. session minutes, is for "adopting positions" relative to ongoing negotiations, and instructing the negotiators accordingly]. Cases from other jurisdictions find that a public body's instructing an attorney to file a lawsuit, for example, is a decision that must be made in an open meeting.


Council President Scott Hente, though, says decisions, but not votes, can be made in closed session and the Council has done so frequently.

Hente: Made a secret decision.
  • Hente: Made a secret decision.

"We can make decisions in closed session," Hente says. "If there's a legal item, we can direct the city to do certain things. Say a cop was being sued by somebody he arrested, and the cop wants to be defended by the city. We can make a decision to do that (in closed session). We can authorize settlements in closed sessions. But we can't take votes."

OK. So what's next? How many other decisions were made illegally behind closed doors, and how does the public find out or prevent this from happening again?

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Chief Myers lives on ... on the city website

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Remember Richard Myers?

He was the police chief until Mayor Steve Bach asked him to retire at the beginning of the month. The story was spread far and wide by the media, who were obviously curious as to why a celebrated law enforcement leader would be asked to leave.

When the rumors died down a little, the city named Deputy Chief Pete Carey to serve as an interim until a permanent replacement could be found.

The city, it would seem, had put the matter behind it. Or had it? Today, I pulled up the city website at springs.gov and clicked over to the police department homepage. I was surprised to see old Chief Myers smiling at me, and his words greeting me further down the page.

Can anyone say "massive oversight"?


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Government-killer coming to town

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Grover Norquist after speaking at the 2008 Ron Paul convention.
  • Chet Hardin
  • Grover Norquist after speaking at the 2008 Ron Paul convention.

Grover Norquist, the noted "armed nerd" of the anti-tax, pro-gun, libertarian crusade, is scheduled to make an appearance next month at a El Paso County Republican dinner.

Norquist has long been an influence at the very top of the Republican Party, and one of its most ardent small-government activists. From a 2004 Mother Jones profile of Norquist, which focused on his famous D.C.-based Wednesday evening meetings:

Once a consigliere to Newt Gingrich, Norquist now has the ear of Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, who has been known to stop in at the Wednesday meetings. In turn, Norquist plays the role of national ward boss, delivering the coalition that has rallied around the president's policy agenda.

Norquist calls it the "Leave-Us-Alone Coalition," a grouping of gun owners, the Christian right, homeschoolers, libertarians, and business leaders that he has almost single-handedly managed to unite. The common vision: an America in which the rich will be taxed at the same rates as the poor, where capital is freed from government constraints, where government services are turned over to the free market, where the minimum wage is repealed, unions are made irrelevant, and law-abiding citizens can pack handguns in every state and town. "My ideal citizen is the self-employed, homeschooling, IRA-owning guy with a concealed-carry permit," says Norquist. "Because that person doesn't need the goddamn government for anything."

So, while Norquist seems to be the perfect speaker for a number of county Republicans, he does come with controversy.

Some on the right see him as being a bit too chummy with Muslims, perhaps because he co-founded the Islamic Free Market Institute, which his wife, who was born into a Muslim family, oversaw as director for a time.

David Horowitz took the pedestal at the most-recent CPAC event to "out" Norquist's alleged connections with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Others criticize Norquist's association with the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud, which "represents gay conservatives and their allies [and] is committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy." His relatively lax stance when it comes to sexual orientation has drawn the attacks of the Family Research Council and Republican blogger Erick Erickson.

There's much more at Right Wing Watch.

On Nov. 12, Norquist is set to be the keynote speaker at the county GOP's Reagan Gala at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on South Circle Drive. Wonder who, if anyone, will be protesting outside this Republican event.

Here, watch Stephen Colbert interview Norquist.

Reagan Gala. Saturday, November 12th, 2011. Because It Matters.

The Reagan Renaissance: Let's join together for a gala celebrating the life, leadership, and legacy of President Ronald Reagan.

WHO: Any red-blooded American who reveres "Ronnie" and who respects Reagan conservatism.

WHAT: A classy - and festive - gathering of enthusiastic Reaganites to capture a moment of the Reagan Years, kickoff the one-year countdown to a new Republican era, and unite for the launch of the Great Push to election day, 2012.

WHEN: Cocktails and then dinner starting at 6:00 pm, Saturday, November 12th.

WHERE: The Crowne Plaza Hotel ballroom, 2886 South Circle Drive, Colorado Springs, 80906. Where the action is.

WHY: Because It Matters. It matters that conservatives clutch together to clap and cheer, stand and salute, and sing the praises of a legendary leader. It matters that we shore up for the showdown and toughen up for the takedown-we will pull together and stand apart. Because. It. Matters.

Won't you join us for a Grand Old Party? Please be a part of a memorable evening that will feature Reagan crony GROVER NORQUIST, glimpses of The Gipper and his contemporaries, and dozens of reminders that the Elephant herd is on the move.

Please register at our website: www.gopelpaso.com.

Ticket prices are $50 per person. Premium tables are available.

In honor of our proud Precinct Committee People, I'm reducing the Precinct Leader cost by 20 percent - just $40 per person (current Precinct Leaders only, please).

You won't want to miss this event. You know what President Reagan might have said: "Mr.
Gorbachev, ATTEND THIS GALA!"

REGISTER AT WWW.GOPELPASO.COM.

This is an open event. Please feel free to invite your friends to join us for this very important celebration and fundraiser. All proceeds benefit your local El Paso County Republicans.

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Haunted Windchimes to perform on Prairie Home Companion

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 3:23 PM

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While Snoop Dogg and Garrison Keillor rarely appear together in the same sentence, both now deserve credit for giving big assists to our local music scene.

Last month, it was the rap godfather featuring a photo of himself with opening act the ReMINDers on his home page and then tweeting it to his more than 4 million fans.

This month, it’s the Prairie Home Companion host introducing the Haunted Windchimes to his 4 million listeners via his wildly popular radio show.

Manager Scott O’Malley got word yesterday that the Windchimes (Indy cover story here) have been chosen to perform as guests on the show during its live taping Saturday at the World Arena.

If you don’t have tickets, you can still hear it during KRCC's airings this Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.), or you can stream it on the Prairie Home Companion website thereafter.

Look for interviews with the Haunted Windchimes' Mike Clark and folks of Prairie Home Companion in this coming Thursday's Indy.

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Faces behind the Voices

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Coming Thursday, Oct. 27: Cate Terwilliger's interviews with Sue Scott, Tim Russell and sound-effects man Fred Newman.

"A Prairie Home Companion" comes to the World Arena Saturday, 4 p.m.

Click to start slide show below.

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Colorado: Hardest state to vote in?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 12:27 PM

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  • Theresa Thompson

We in Colorado do love being exceptional.

However, being singled out for our restrictions on people's right to vote may seem less than complimentary. If you've been reading the Indy over the last year, than you know we've been critical of state and local laws and policies that prevent mail ballots from being sent to voters who are considered "inactive." That would be anyone who did not participate in the November 2010 election and hasn't voted since.

Being inactive isn't the same as being unregistered. In fact, across Colorado registered voters are failing to receive ballots in their mail, sometimes in mail-ballot-only elections. If they want to vote, they have to go through a process to become "active" again.

This isn't just absurd. It's exceptional. The Huffington Post has begun researching "inactive" voter laws. So far, it looks like Colorado is one of the most restrictive states, if not the most restrictive. Read more here.

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The hardest City Council meeting to get to. Like ever.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 10:31 AM

I make it through the gates.
  • I make it through the gates.

Yesterday, I navigated a Pac-Man maze to get to a City Council/Colorado Springs Utilities meeting. And I wasn't destroyed by Blinky, Pinky, Inky or Clyde.

OK, perhaps I'm exaggerating a little. But not really. The meeting was held at 855 E. Las Vegas St., which I soon found out was a waste treatment plant with restricted entry. After trying to reach the building through the most direct route, I was faced with a closed gate. Helpful employees guided me to a different gate, where I had to show my driver's license, and explain why I was there. I was then given a badge.

From there, I followed blue signs and drove through a strange and winding series of parking lots, around pools filled with equipment and some content-looking ducks. Finally, when I was sure I was lost, a man in a golf cart appeared and guided me to a back parking lot. I parked, and climbed metal stairs that looked like they were designed as a fire escape.

Inside was the Council meeting. Apparently, it was being recorded via iPhone.

If they were trying to keep citizens away, all I can say is "bravo." Even the Council members got lost.

Over the river and through the woods ... so to speak.
  • Over the river and through the woods ... so to speak.

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