Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UPDATE: My Strange Addiction comes to Colorado Springs

Posted By on Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Had enough of watching everyone else's addictions? Have your own bizarre-fluid-consuming, odd-object-hoarding vice you're willing to share? My Strange Addiction is casting, and here's what you need to know:

Are you currently struggling to overcome a strange obsession, addiction or compulsive behavior that is taking over your life?

Do you spend countless hours obsessing about something or engaging in behavior that others would say is strange?

Have you drained all of your finances into this obsession?

Are your friends and family members concerned about your wellbeing?

Would you like to regain control of your life and your health?

If you found yourself answering yes to any of these questions, you may qualify to be a participant in a major documentary series that offers professional assistance for those struggling with a strange obsession, compulsion, or addiction.

For consideration, please reply to this ad with your name, age, contact information,
and brief explanation of how a strange addiction is taking over your life. You can also contact us directly at 312/467-8145 or 20westcastingteam@gmail.com.

All submissions will remain confidential. Thank you for sharing your story.

Editor's note: Please don't call the Indy, OK?

——- ORIGINAL POST, 7:54 P.M., FRIDAY ——-

At the risk of joining this circus, I post this:

TLC is known widely as the dumping ground for all things weird and exploited, thanks to the likes of Jon and Kate and other parenting disasters framed into TV shows. Now it will come closer to home with My Strange Addiction, which chronicles people with strange and specific addictions.

Sunday's season finale will feature a woman from Colorado Springs named Carrie, whose addiction is drinking her own urine. She ingests just about everything she passes, she says. Carrie will drink it by glass, drink it via her nose with a neti pot, drink it through her eyes with an eye cup and rub her week-old urine on her skin.

For once, Colorado Springs wasn't a sticking point on Gawker's post about the show, probably because the story is weird enough in itself.

Regardless, hopefully Carrie can get the help she needs.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Know your history: Roots of the ReMINDers and Haunted Windchimes

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 5:19 PM

accumen.jpeg

As the national profile of the ReMINDers and the Haunted Windchimes continues to rise, it's interesting to note that both local acts have antecedents that predate their current incarnations.

As proof, here's a pair of videos that may surprise you.

The first is a performance by A Poor Substitute, which features the Windchimes' Inaiah Lujuan in a punk-rock mode that's more Minutemen than Leadbelly.

Scroll down further to watch Accumen, which features Samir Zamundu from the ReMINDers with his brother-in-law Ahmad Hassan Mitchell (who performs these days as Fidel RedStar) in a bilingual state of mind.

And as long as we're on the subject, you can also catch all three artists in upcoming shows:

• Fidel RedStar will be opening for JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound at the Black Sheep April 5,

• The Haunted Windchimes will be doing a CD release show at the Fine Arts Center on April 6, and

• The ReMINDers are sharing a bill with BlackStar (featuring Mos Def and Talib Kweli) at Cervante's up in Denver on April 14.

Right then, on with the history lesson ...

A Poor Substitute

Accumen

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Kurosawa's tribute to Van Gogh

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Vincent van Gogh was born today in 1853. As an icon and artist, he needs no introduction, though his tragic life — the archetype of the tortured artist — often overshadows his unique vision and talent. One hopes this isn't what forms public opinion, yet it's hard to deny the emotional intensity that oozes from his works.

I spoke to a woman once who didn't like Van Gogh's work, finding them too bright and the movement within, unnerving. These are precisely the qualities I enjoy, and when I was young, I covered my room with van Gogh prints from a calendar and painted my walls the cornflower blue he favored.

A painting by and photo of the artist.
  • Wikipedia
  • A painting by and photo of the artist.

Lately, I've been absorbed in films by Akira Kurosawa. Though I've now just gotten around to seeing the classics: Rashomon, The Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, I've always loved his later film Dreams, a series of eight shorts based on Kurosawa's own dreams. The clip below is why. It's a beautiful and unnerving tribute to van Gogh (played by Martin Scorsese) in which Kurosawa (played by Akira Terao) runs through a series of van Gogh paintings, searching for the agitated artist.

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Two for the girls ...

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 2:23 PM

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  • Women's Resource Agency

"Empowerment" is the 10-dollar word associated with women today. And especially in light of the recent controversies over women's health, there are two events happening that the women and girls of Colorado Springs should be aware of.

The first is called the Listening Tour, which is being put on by the Women's Foundation of Colorado. This provides opportunities for women and girls in Colorado Springs to respond to the question, "What is the full potential of women and girls in the state of Colorado?"

According to the press release, the regional meetings will include local organizations as well as their clients, volunteers and staff, activists, elected officials, WFCO supporters and trustees. Information gathered here will aid in research.

The Listening Tour will make a local stop at Imagination Celebration from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, March 31. RSVP here.

The second event is a leadership workshop for girls, part of "REAL (Resilient Empowered Assertive Leaders) Girls," a program organized by the Women's Resource Agency. This program is designed to build self-esteem and a healthy body image; to teach girls how to goal-set; and what to view as components of healthy relationships.

This is the first program WRA is offering that is open to all girls in the Pikes Peak region. Their other two programs, InterCept and InterCept Too, are for girls in Harrison School District 2 and the juvenile justice system, respectively.

The workshop will be at Citadel Mall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 14. This is the second of a successful workshop held in December.

For more information about REAL Girls, contact Marli Fitzgerald: marli@wrainc.org or 471-3170 ext. 1003.

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You know it's warm when ...

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Ideally, the city wants to avoid more of this.
  • The city wants to avoid more of this.

Ski slopes are closing down, and here in hot, dry Colorado Springs, the parks are already being watered.

Just a reminder, in case anyone has forgotten: It's March.

Anyway, the parks are being watered partially due to the crazy weather we've been having, and partially because they were reseeded last year and need some extra TLC.

In the long run, the parks department is expecting that the parks will actually use less water. The city has been partnering with Colorado Springs Utilities for a while now on a water conservation program that's installing new, more efficient sprinkler systems in rundown parks. The hope is that once the grass recovers from underwatering for the past few years, it will take less water to maintain the sod. I wrote about the problem last year; you can link to that story here.

Read on to learn more about the recent effort:

Colorado Springs continuing effort to upgrade irrigation systems in City parks

The City of Colorado Springs Parks Maintenance Division, with funding from Colorado Springs Utilities, is continuing an on-going project to upgrade irrigation systems throughout all City parks. Since 2010, Colorado Springs Utilities has put $750,000 into upgrading the irrigation systems in 55 parks with plans to upgrade another 20 parks in 2012. These upgrades include park retrofits, rain sensors, the installation of ‘smart’ irrigation controllers, and new system installations. New sprinkler heads and controllers have shown a 20% increase in efficiency.

Every park with an irrigation system (156) now has a rain sensor. Six parks have entirely brand new, efficient systems. Over 60 water conservation audits have already been completed, and audits on all parks will be finished by the end of 2013.

“More efficient water usage leads to healthier grass that stands up better to weeds and everyday park use,” says Kurt Schroeder, Manager of Parks Operations and Development. “It creates a more beautiful park system and saves the City money on maintenance such as re-seeding costs.”

The improvements will help the City park system for years into the future and currently as the warm, dry weather has prompted Parks staff to turn on the irrigation systems approximately one month earlier than usual. Early watering is an important step to help protect the 300 acres of over-seeding done last year with one-time funding promised at Mayor Bach’s inauguration.

“The additional over-seeding that was done in 2011 was a success and the grass took well in many of our parks that needed it,” says Schroeder. “By turning our water on now, we are working to ensure that all of our parks are green and healthy this summer. Hopefully we’ll get some help from Mother Nature as well.”

The Mayor’s Parks Solutions Team has placed a high priority on water management and it is expected that recommendations regarding such will play a major part in the final report. The Solutions Team is scheduled to give a report to City Council on April 23.


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Indy Minute, featuring The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Sansara Modern Dance, and Bill Nye, "The Science Guy"

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 11:41 AM

IndyMinute-BlogLogo.jpg
The Indy Minute is back. New and improved!

Featured this week:
• the dancers of Sansara and their new show Sessions, which premieres this weekend;
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, for one night only; and
Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," coming to UCCS.

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California looking to create MMJ registration

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM

In light of an Associated Press report that California has many times the population of states like Colorado, and many times less the number of registered medical marijuana patients, it seems the state is looking to start getting people down on paper. This potential model would be similar to Colorado's, though more casual in execution.

The AP again:

Now, with California's medical-marijuana industry laboring under a renewed federal crackdown that has forced many storefront dispensaries to close, a Democratic state lawmaker has introduced legislation that, if passed, would give authorities a much clearer count of the drug's bona fide consumer base.

The bill would require anyone who wants to claim a legal right to use marijuana for health reasons to apply for a county-issued identification card. Marijuana patients also would have to say whether they plan to grow their own pot or to purchase it from a patient collective, and name the collective.

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Perlman and Philharmonic deliver historic performance

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Perlman.jpeg
If there's one foolproof way to measure an orchestra's quality and potential, it's to put the musicians onstage with Itzhak Perlman and watch how they rise to the occasion. And in the case of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic under the direction of Josep Caballé-Domenech, there was no question during last night's performance of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto that the orchestra was well-suited to the task of accompanying a legend.

Not surprisingly, the celebrated violinist delivered a profoundly expressive performance of this technically rigorous concerto, making it sound as fresh as it is familiar. But Caballé-Domenech and the orchestra were right there with him, bringing out the work's sublime textures and tonalities in a way that made the master's soloing that much more awe-inspiring. At evening's end, Perlman — whose childhood polio has long required him to use crutches and leg braces — returned to the stage twice in response to the sold-out Pikes Peak Center audience's continuing applause.

Back in March of last year, when Philharmonic President Nathan Newbrough announced that Perlman would be the 2011-12 season's special guest, the orchestra had presented the violinist with a short list of suggested repertoire, including concerti by Bruch, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

"For an artist of that caliber, we count on him to make the final determination," Newbrough told the Indy at the time. "Personally I'd love to hear him do the Tchaikovsky violin concerto."

Newbrough saw one of his wishes come true last night, as did an arts community that continues to achieve more than most cities this size could hope for.

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UPDATE: The Poet Spiel returning to the BAC

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 5:34 AM

It's now been confirmed by the BAC that Spiel's one-man performance, "The Poet Spiel also known as..." will be Fri., May 18 at 8 p.m. Seating is limited and for adults only.

——-ORIGINAL POST, 5:34 P.M., MONDAY ——-

The Poet Spiel (or Spiel, for short) the Pueblo artist and poet we profiled back in January 2011, will return to Manitou's Business of Art Center in May for a new solo show, for dying out loud. Dying will include a rare performance art piece by Spiel, the date of which will soon be announced.

The exhibit itself will include a modified version of the beautiful white bread sculpture Spiel created for a 38 Degrees Latitude group show at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center back in 2010 (38 Degrees is a Pueblo artist collective). The work "can we talk about sex," which was pulled from last year's State Fair art show amid a cloud of controversy, will also be revamped and shown at the BAC.

Spiel will also unveil two new pieces, paper quilts called "this means nothing" and "for dying out loud," like the show. The former is covered in football terminology, scripture and sex talk, the latter in nursery rhymes, speeches, song lyrics and famous documents. The pieces were inspired by a series of drug-induced trips Spiel experienced while convalescing from a serious health issue this past winter, having gone into the hospital last August.

Here are some images of the quilts, dying and means nothing, respectively. Dying are is made from a delicate parchment-like paper and sewn together with yarn. Coffee and bleach stains roughen the layers of text, which often drift into incoherence, lorem ipsum style.



A detail, non-color corrected.

Read more about Spiel, and the show, here.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

For one day only ... find your new pet

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Are you searching for a loyal, loving, furry friend? We're talkin' the feline, canine kind. Well, for one day only, the Southern Colorado Animal Coalition is hosting the ASPCA Mega Match-a-Thon pet adoption expo on Saturday. Participating members of the SCAC include the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, All Breed Rescue and Training, Pueblo Animal Services and many more.

This is an opportunity to adopt a dog or cat, learn training tips, have fun with the kiddos, and participate in all sorts of fun for animal lovers.

match2.jpg
  • Southern Colorado Animal Coalition

The expo will take place at the Colorado Springs Events Center (3960 Palmer Park Blvd.) on Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a family-friendly event, with the exception of your current pets, who should be left at home.

For more information go to: socoanimalcoalition.org or call 719-302-8788.

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Show alerts: Gram Parsons' influence lives on

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 2:15 PM

The J. Miller Band

Local Gram Parsons devotees are in luck this week — at least to the degree that people obsessed with a country-rock legend who died at the age of 26 nearly four decades ago are likely to be.

Over the next couple nights, you can go catch two great box-state troubadours who are carrying on in the tradition of the late musician whose Grevious Angel ushered in an era of what he liked to call "cosmic American music".

First, there's Casey James Prestwood & the Burning Angels, who are coming to SouthSide Johnnys tonight (tonight being Thursday). I caught the group opening for Slim Cessna at the Bluebird Theater this past New Year's Eve, and can vouch for the veracity of the claim that Prestwood's croon is "drenched in the honest twang that made Gram Parsons and Hank Williams household names."

And then there's the J. Miller Band's CD release show this Friday at the Lon Chaney Theatre. You can read an interview with Jason Miller in this week's Indy (or online here), where he talks about Parsons' influence and Miller's own pilgrimage to the mystical Joshua Tree National Park in his honor.

In the meantime, here are a few videos to bring you up to speed:

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Douglas Bruce will probably get away with this one ...

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Doug Bruce
  • Doug Bruce
A long, long time ago, I wrote a story about anti-tax crusader Douglas Bruce's attempts to duck campaign finance rules.

At the time, Bruce was running with his slate, the Reform Team, for a seat on Colorado Springs City Council. Bruce managed to wiggle out of reporting the contributions and expenditures to his and his cohorts campaigns by creating a political committee to funnel all the money through.

Sound sort of familiar? (Hint: Bruce is sitting in jail right now for funneling his personal money through a nonprofit he created in order to avoid paying taxes.)

Anyway, it gets more interesting. When I brought this all to light, Ethics Watch, an elections watchdog group, filed a complaint with the city. The city said the state should deal with the complaint — essentially asking the state government to enforce the city campaign rules.

The whole thing drug out endlessly, as the city sought repeatedly to get the courts to order the state to handle the issue. But recently, the case appeared to finally reach its end.

Surprise: The Colorado Court of Appeals says the city has to enforce its own laws.

Of course, it's probably a little late to slap Bruce's hand. Since he's already in jail.

Here's the report from Ethics Watch:

Good morning! I thought you’d like to know that, today, the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed an administrative law judge’s ruling that the City of Colorado Springs must enforce its own campaign finance ordinances. The case arose from a request for investigation filed by Ethics Watch in 2011 against Douglas Bruce and the Reform Team PAC. Instead of investigating the allegations itself, as contemplated by the Colorado Springs City Charter, the City attempted to transfer the investigation by filing its own complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, which in turn referred the matter to the Office of Administrative Courts. Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer dismissed the City’s complaint, ruling that the City must investigate and enforce its own campaign finance laws.

“It is no secret that Colorado Springs’ system for regulating money in its municipal elections is badly in need of reform,” said Luis Toro, Director of Colorado Ethics Watch. “We hope that today’s ruling will make City leaders realize that they need to modernize their system and not just hope the Secretary of State will take care of their problems for them.”

The Secretary of State’s office filed an amicus brief in support of Ethics Watch’s position in the case.

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How's this strong-mayor thing workin' for ya?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:34 PM

One guess at which analysis Mayor Steve Bach prefers.
  • One guess at which analysis Mayor Steve Bach prefers.
Former City Councilor and local attorney Randy Purvis and retired Colorado College political science professor Bob Loevy can both claim a deep understanding of our city government.

However, their views on how well the new form of government is working, vary widely.

Yesterday, the city communications office released a paper Loevy wrote, critiquing the new form of government. His conclusion: Council needs to be restructured, and the mayor given more powers.

Purvis released a response critique — though I wouldn't expect the mayor-controlled city Communications Office to be releasing it any time soon. A City Councilor passed along Purvis' analysis, which states that the mayor already has a great deal of power and really doesn't need any more.

If you're a local political junkie, these are both must reads. I've listed the summaries from both essays and PDF links to the full versions below.

Loevy's take:

Screen_shot_2012-03-28_at_5.21.39_PM.png

Evaluation_of_the_Strong_Mayor_form_of_government_in_Colorado_Springs.pdf

Purvis' take:

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Review_of_Loevy_Analysis_-_final.pdf

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Presley appointed undersheriff

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 11:27 AM

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El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa has appointed Paula Presley, long-time sheriff's officer and chief of the law enforcement bureau, as undersheriff. She'll assume the position when Undersheriff Larry Kastner retires next month.

Presley: Moving up.
  • Presley: Moving up.

Presley was recently rotated to the law enforcement bureau after spending many years as chief of detentions overseeing the Criminal Justice Center. Presley's tenure there saw numerous advances in security and inmate assistance.

Among those:
— Changes in inmate use of telephones to record conversations and require identification before placing calls, which led to better monitoring and prosecution of inmates who intimidate witnesses.
— Running programs designed to reduce recidivism in which inmates learn life skills and sign contracts to not re-offend.
— Establishing visitation by phone and video screen outside the jail to save jailer time shuttling prisoners to and from visitation rooms.
— Building a detox facility, and then building another one, using the first one as an adjunct to the Criminal Justice Center. Detox serves 475 to 525 people per month.
— Gaining licensure of detox as a transitional residential detox facility, meaning more money for the jail; the jail got licensed for substance-abuse treatment in the jail, the only county jail in the state with such licensure.
— Installing a SecurPASS machine to electronically frisk people booked into jail, preventing contraband from being hidden in body orifices.

Of course, the jail has been in hot water a few times in the last few years over inmate deaths and injuries, incidents that have spawned lawsuits.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Michael Schaller says Presley will be paid $114,756 as undersheriff, a bump from her bureau chief salary of $108,252. During the recent shuffle, Joe Breister, the former law enforcement bureau chief, took over as detentions bureau chief.

"Interviews will be conducted per our policy for any other promotions," Schaller writes in an e-mail.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Want to volunteer in the schools? Now's your chance.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 5:16 PM

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  • Tulane Public Relations

Fort Carson has long had a program that provided soldiers to act as helpers in local schools.

It's gone pretty well overall. But there has been a major snag: Soliders get deployed. And that's meant that schools can't count on their military volunteers to be with them all year.

Thus, the mayor's office has come up with a solution: Get retired military and other locals to volunteer as well, providing some stability.

In case you're wondering if this is another potential setup for a Josh Carrier situation, rest assured that it shouldn't be. I recently spoke with City Economic Vitality Specialist Donna Nelson, who is heading the effort, on the issue. Nelson says all volunteers must go through a screening process. Perhaps more importantly, volunteers work only in classrooms alongside teachers, essentially acting as student aides. Nelson says a volunteer would likely work with kids who are already excelling or up-to-grade-level on course work, while the teacher concentrates his or her efforts on children struggling with a lesson.

Those who want to sign up for the program will soon have their chance. Read on:

Mayor hosts Adopt-A-School Call to Action

Mayor Steve Bach and his wife Suzi will host a “Call to Action” for the Adopt-A-School program on Thursday, March 29, at 2pm. This informational/recruitment meeting will be held at Fire Station 8 at 3737 Airport Road.

The Adopt-A-School program partners Fort Carson units and local schools, on and off post, to provide mentoring and tutoring to students. The program is made up of 37 units which connect with 35 schools. Partnerships include all schools in the Pikes Peak region. Volunteers are needed to tutor and mentor as well as offer stability and consistency in students’ lives.

In addition to Mayor and Mrs. Bach, speakers will include Colonel Jimmie O. Kennan and Command Sgt. Major Borelli, both from Ft. Carson.


###

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