In an effort to effectively rebrand the state, Making Colorado isn't playing around. The initiative, launched just last month, wants to incorporate as much public input as possible. And in order to cast a wide net, it's enlisting the help of one high school junior from each of Colorado's 64 counties.
Each teen would be an ambassador of the program and keep their hometowns and county residents apprised of progress in the branding process. They'll publish information on MC on social media and also supply MC with a "multi-media story that showcases what makes their community special, which will be highlighted on the Making Colorado blog."
These go-betweens will not only learn some valuable ombudsman-esque experience, but interact with the MC branding team through webinars happening this summer "to learn about marketing and social media strategy from some of Colorado’s top professionals in the industry." And a lucky few will be selected to serve on MC's Making Colorado Brand Council, where they'll learn from the pros firsthand.
Being a junior and a Colorado resident are the only stipulations, and you can nominate teens (or yourself, oh precocious one) easily through the MC website. Applications will be accepted through June 6.
Point being they can always say what they will, but we'll also be who we are — which is a lot of different things. So, here's just one more outside look at our diversity, from the military and outdoors to arts and culinary scene, via the Travel Channel:
Whatcha say? Not altogether unflattering, huh?
Last week, we attended the Governor's Arts Award Luncheon at the Colorado Creative Industries Summit in Pueblo.
As you may already know, Pueblo, along with Aspen, each won the Governor's Art Award, a new and distinctive honor bestowed upon towns that have truly made a concerted effort toward funding and fostering creative development.
But more on that later. For now, the big announcement out of the luncheon is the search for graphic designers, copy writers and other creative types to help build a new, lasting Colorado brand. As it is, Colorado doesn't really have one — or maybe it does, but since no one knows what it is, it doesn't count — and, in order to become more competitive on the global market, attracting businesses, tourists and talent, we need it.
It's one of the five core goals outlined in the Colorado Blueprint, a state-wide economic development plan.
As Kennedy explained, the state had two options in building a new brand.
"We can do it the easy way, which is, hire the New York place branding agency," he said, adding he used to work for one. "The hard way to do it is, 'Made by Colorado for Colorado.' So we do it ourselves, and that’s the way we’re going to do it.”
That's where a creative team comes in. You can apply yourself, or nominate someone else for the job. Those who are chosen will work with Alex Bogusky and Dave Schiff, big names in the industry (Bogusky is the man behind Coca-Cola's polar bears and the anti-tobacco Truth campaign. Schiff launched Coke Zero in 2004. Both now work in Boulder for MadeMovement), who will oversee the project.
As the brand develops, Kennedy says that it will be vetted through the website, makingcolorado.gov, through surveys of citizens throughout the state, and other quantitative analyses both in and outside the Centennial State. Plus, an internal crew consisting of a brand advisory council and review board will review things. After all that, Kennedy will sit down with Hickenlooper and "fight it out."
They hope to launch the brand by the end of August.
“We want an engaging process that’s entertaining because we’d like to get a million people involved in this," Kennedy said, "from inside and outside Colorado.
"We want it to endure the test of time. We’re developing a brand that will hopefully not be replaced in three or four or five years. This is just really capturing the heart and soul of this place, and hopefully that won’t change much in the next 20 years.
"And we want to showcase the depth and strength of our creative community here, that’s a big part of why we’re doing it [this way.] And this concept of homegrown: Made by Colorado, for Colorado.”
Know someone? Know yourself? Sign up here.
The petroleum that sits underneath El Paso County does not appear to present commercial possibilities. That's what Ultra Petroleum, which holds the majority of the approved permits for oil and gas drilling in El Paso County, had to say when it announced its results for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Michael D. Watford, chairman, CEO and president, stated in an earnings call (registration required):
In Colorado's DJ Basin, our results in the Niobrara have been disappointing. Although our core and log data indicate the presence of oil in the rocks, the petroleum system is immature, under-pressured and not commercial. This has been verified by completion of test results from both a vertical and a horizontal well. Ultra assembled 139,000 low-cost acres and deployed it over the past 2 years and has no significant lease expirations until 2014. We'll continue to monitor industry activity in the region but have no immediate plans for additional exploration in the area.
In Ultra's annual report for 2012 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company stated:
In eastern Colorado, at December 31, 2012, the Company owned interests in approximately 154,000 gross (139,000 net) acres. The Company has no immediate plans for further exploration in this area.
In Colorado, our oil and gas leases are from private individuals and companies, as well as from the State of Colorado, and typically have primary lease terms of five years. All of our acreage in Colorado is undeveloped at this time, and the Company has no immediate plans for further exploration in this area.
The Company does not believe the remaining terms of its leases is material. At December 31, 2012, the Company had 12,245 net acres of leases in Pennsylvania, 2,000 net acres of leases in Colorado and no leases in Wyoming that expire in 2013 and it expects to maintain over 20% of those leases by production, operations, extensions or renewals. The Company does not expect to lose material lease acreage because of failure to drill due to inadequate capital, equipment or personnel. The Company has, based on its evaluation of prospective economics, allowed acreage to expire and it may allow additional acreage to expire in the future.
Hilcorp Energy Company also has active permits in the county.
Consider this somewhat of an update to my November cover story on local crowdfunding efforts.
In that feature, I'd taken a look at a handful of area film projects that were using online crowdfunding platforms to raise money — Kickstarter chief among them.
Today, I received this creative overview of 2012 fundraising efforts on Kickstarter from one of its representatives, Justin Kazmark.
2012 was incredible year for Kickstarter and for the creators and backers who came together to bring so many creative projects to life. To celebrate, we just published a retrospective exploring some of the most imaginative projects and best moments from the last 12 months.
Just the second page of the slideshow, on overall revenues, is impressive, with more than $300 million pledged by more than two million people.
More relative to my story, it was interesting to learn that 10 percent of films at Sundance are Kickstarter-funded; one called Incident in New Baghdad was nominated for an Oscar; and apparently 63 Kickstarter-funded films opened in theaters.
I highly recommend flipping through to find an abundance of other cool stats. Even in a crap economy, it seems donors worldwide aren't too stingy with their money at all.
P.S. Kickstarter is hiring.
Today, the Colorado Springs Business Journal released an article outlining the relationship between the town of Green Mountain Falls and Christian Keesee, chairman of Kirkpatrick Bank and Kirkpatrick Oil Co.
The last several years, we've covered one of Keesee's donations to the town, the Green Box Arts Festival, in which artists, performers, musicians and the like gather to install artwork, perform and give classes. Sadly, this year's fest was canceled due to the Waldo Canyon Fire.
In happier news, Keesee is planning to bring a piece from his personal art collection to GMF next summer. The installation, called "Cloud City" by Tomás Saraceno, is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Visitors walk through a series of geometric modules outfitted with mirrors, glass and other reflective materials to showcase the city skyline (watch a slideshow of its installation here). One can imagine it's something akin to Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate," Chicago's "silver bean" sculpture in Millenium Park that lovingly reflects the skyscrapers.
Thus, "Cloud City" could mean a lot of attention for GMF. As the CSBJ piece goes, "Cloud City could bring thousands of visitors to Green Mountain Falls, [Chris Frandina, town clerk and treasurer] said. No one, she added, is nervous about the quiet town being discovered."
Keesee has invested even more in the town through his foundation, converting dilapidated parts into functioning ventures, including hotels, artist studios and even purchasing open space to preserve the trail system there. Read more about it, and Keesee, here.
McGrath says the briefing will now be held Tues., July 17 from 8-10 a.m., with the presentation starting at 8:30 a.m.
——- UPDATED POST, MONDAY, 9:42 A.M. ——-
COPPeR's briefing has been postponed due to the Waldo Canyon Fire, says executive director Christina McGrath. It will be rescheduled for sometime in July.
——- ORIGINAL POST, FRIDAY, 2:45 P.M. ——-
Arts endeavors in the Pikes Peak region generate more than 2,000 jobs for the local economy and $72 million in direct economic activity, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity IV.
The study is a detailed, national analysis of how the arts impact the financial health of 182 communities across the U.S., the Pikes Peak region being one (thanks to the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region). A project of Americans for the Arts, AEP IV calculates attendance, dollars spent, jobs supported and tax revenues produced by arts organizations and uses those to estimate the nation overall. A nifty AEP IV Calculator online allows interested parties to estimate their own arts economic impact.
Happily, the arts are "resilient" in an otherwise down economy, writes Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts on the Huffington Post.
Of the $135.2 billion of economic activity generated by America's arts industry, $61.1 billion comes from the nation's nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $74.1 billion from event-related expenditures by their audiences. This economic activity supports 4.1 million full-time jobs and produces $22.3 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments every year — a yield well beyond their collective $4 billion in arts allocations.
These numbers are remarkable, especially considering the economic climate in 2010, when the study was conducted. Unemployment was at 9.7 percent in 2010 — more than double the rate from when "Arts & Economic Prosperity III" was conducted in 2005.
You can see summary data specific to our region here. However, to get a more contextualized reading, attend COPPeR's briefing of the report from 8 to 10 a.m., next Tuesday, June 26, at the Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 634-2204.
American teens will face challenges in finding jobs this summer, an analysis of the May 2012 Census Bureau data shows.
The study conducted by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) finds that teen unemployment has been steady above 20 percent for more than three years, yet above 25 percent for as many as 18 states, including Colorado, and the District of Columbia. The national average is currently 24.6 percent.
May 2012 data show Colorado ranking 11th in the list of states with high unemployment rates, at 28.6 percent. DC and California top the list with, respectively, 52.1 and 35.6 percent.
Researchers at EPI say the burden has pushed minimum-wage increase proposals in Rhode Island, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. On the federal level, two proposals have been introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., aimed at raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to approximately $10 an hour.
“Policymakers should be cautious of passing new legislation, such as misguided minimum wage hikes, that makes it even more difficult for vulnerable teens to find a job,” says Michael Saltsman, research fellow at EPI. “The first day of summer is almost here, but there’s still no guarantee of a summer job for the nation’s teens.”
A summer job for teens doesn’t just mean money. It's an opportunity for young people to get trained for the skills they need to be successful in their lives.
“Missing out on job experience now can have a lasting effect on earnings and employability. As we head in to the summer of 2012, states should avoid building more barriers between young adults and this invaluable experience,” Saltsman concluded.
According to economists at Miami and Trinity Universities, 114,000 fewer teens had jobs following the last federal minimum wage increase between 2007 and 2009.
When we wrote about the revival of downtown Providence, R.I. — a feat helped largely by arts organization AS220 — one of the successes we documented was the establishment of video game company 38 Studios.
38 Studios, founded by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, had set up shop right across the street from one of AS220's three buildings and symbolized Providence's success in attracting multimillion-dollar businesses to its formerly troubled downtown. The state had offered the company a $75 million loan guarantee to move there in 2010, which "officials said would bring jobs and tax revenue," the New York Times reported last week.
The reason why it's in the news now? 38 Studios was late on last month's payment of $1.1 million to the state economic development agency. Worse, it's laid off its entire 400-person staff.
Perhaps worse still is that the state of Rhode Island is now responsible for part of 38's debt, according to an article posted today by CNNMoney. The cash-strapped state now owes $112 million in loan principal, interest and fees, and taxpayers have little chance of making up even a quarter of their potential losses.
The article points to evidence that the entire enterprise was flawed from the beginning. Despite good intentions of attracting jobs and setting up a skilled technology business with the hopes of attracting others, 38 struggled both internally and externally. Those outside the company feel the state didn't do its due diligence in the deal, either. The article says that nearly all the members of board of directors for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation have resigned or asked to not be reinstated when their terms end.
"I think Rhode Island was star-struck by Curt Schilling," says Alexander Sliwinski, news editor for the video game site Joystiq. "You didn't see Rhode Island give Harmonix, Irrational, Turbine — all companies with established track records — $75 million to move."
Though analysts estimate 38 Studios is worth about $20 million, its staff (cut with no pay) is where the value of the company lies, intellectual property and half-finished products aside. It's expected that the state will sell all the assets to Electronic Arts.
Forbes, however, sees a silver lining in the fallout. Per an article published Saturday, often the death of a large video game company can prove to be fertile ground for other smaller companies to grow.
The message for state governments looking to boost their economies is to make themselves attractive as a place for games companies to set up. The trick is to achieve a critical mass of developers under your roof, so even if games companies go under, new ones will arise and take root in your soil.
If you're a typical utility user, your monthly bill will go down by $2.10 a month — almost enough for a foo foo coffee drink — starting in June due to rate changes approved today by the Colorado Springs City Council.
The dip is largely due to the continuing low cost of natural gas, as shown in this graphic from ycharts.com showing a history of natural gas prices since 2007.
The Colorado Springs Utilities press release talking about the decrease is below, along with mention of what lies ahead for water rates, which for the typical residential user would go up by $11.03 by January 2014 — not as bad as it could have been — under a proposal unveiled today. Utilities officials have said that future rate increases beyond that date, at one time envisioned to be 12 percent annually through 2016, will be small or non-existent.
Higher water rates are necessary to fund the $1.6 billion (including borrowing costs) Southern Delivery System, a pipeline that will increase the city's water supply by a third by bringing water from Pueblo Reservoir by 2016.
The typical residential energy bill will be reduced by $2.10 a month based on 600 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electric use and 60 CCF (hundred cubic feet) of natural gas use. This is the second gas cost adjustment decrease this year.
Also at today's City Council meeting, Colorado Springs Utilities formally proposed changes to water rates for 2013 and 2014 and requested a public hearing June 26 at City Hall. Additional funding is needed to continue construction of the Southern Delivery water project and to pay for critical maintenance and repairs of the existing water system.
Due to low interest rates, favorable construction market conditions and efficient project management, the proposed rate increases are lower than the 12 percent annual changes expected when the project was approved in 2009. If the new rates are approved by City Council, the typical residential water bill would rise by $5.04 (10.9 percent) in January 2013 and by $5.99 (11.7 percent) in January 2014. Tap water currently costs about six-tenths of a cent per gallon, increasing to about three-quarters of a cent per gallon if the rates are approved. The typical customer uses 8,228 gallons per month. See rate case details at csu.org.
The lower SDS project costs should result in smaller water bill increases in the future as well. Planned rate changes for 2015 and 2016 are likely to be much lower than the projected 12 percent and may be eliminated altogether.
City Council today also approved a measure to lower the cost for non-profit groups to obtain water service for the purpose of community gardening. The number of formally established community gardens has grown from three in 2007 to more than 20 today.
Text from a press release going out momentarily:
The owners of the Colorado Springs Independent, the Pikes Peak region’s largest locally owned media company, will acquire the Colorado Springs Business Journal on June 1, 2012 from the Dolan Company, a national media conglomerate that owns more than 50 publications across the U.S.
The new owners also will apply to service Dolan’s contract publishing of three local military newspapers: the Fort Carson Mountaineer, Peterson (Air Force Base) Space Observer and Schriever (AFB) Sentinel. More than 68,000 local adults read these publications in print, and thousands more via their popular web portals. (see below)
“Local decision-makers with long-term commitments to — and understanding of — our vibrant community are the key to success,” says John Weiss, publisher of the Independent and majority owner of the purchasing group.
“During the next three to six months, to ensure a smooth transition from national to local control, the Independent’s Executive Editor Ralph Routon and CEO Fran Zankowski will divide their time between both organizations. For the time being, former City Councilor John Hazlehurst will also report and opine for both the CSBJ and the Indy."
“We’re looking forward to making the Business Journal a stronger, more essential presence,” says Routon, whose local newspaper roots date to 1977. “Business is the most powerful force shaping the Pikes Peak region.
My mission is to ensure the Business Journal continues to provide timely, accurate and insightful reporting of critical interest to local decision-makers.”
“The current staff at CSBJ and the military papers is rock-solid,” said Zankowski, a longtime newspaper executive who has been at the Independent since 2005. “In the coming months and years we anticipate growing the current 20-person staff to publish even stronger print and online offerings.”
“We are psyched,” added Weiss, who co-founded the Independent 19 years ago. The 1978 Colorado College graduate continued, “Six months from now the CSBJ will be even more of a must-read for everyone interested in understanding the entrepreneurial, civic and demographic forces impacting local business decisions.”
Find out more about the change in Wednesday's Indy.
Today, Bert Crenca of AS220 and Lynne McCormack of the city of Providence, R.I., spoke at the Artists & Entrepreneurs: Creating Community and Jobs luncheon hosted by the Independent and the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and EDC. Crenca and McCormack, both heavy hitters in Providence's arts scene, are visiting the Springs to offer support and advice on fostering culture as an economic driver here (read more about that in our recent cover story, "The Rhode to renaissance.")
Around 200 people attended, filling the room. Christina McGrath of COPPeR, Susan Edmondson of the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, Steve Wood of Concrete Couch (who hosted Crenca last year), Mike Bristol of Bristol Brewing Co. and the Ivywild Project, Brett Andrus of the Modbo and S.P.Q.R. and Don Goede of Marmalade at Smokebrush attended, as well as local artists including Charles Rockey and Sean O'Meallie. (As far as we could tell, no one from City Council or the mayor's office attended.)
Crenca and McCormack spoke quickly about the history of revitalization in Providence before moving on to the story of AS220 itself. Amazingly, Providence rerouted its railroad, a highway and a river before Crenca started gathering artists and friends downtown.
"You guys haven't made the same mistakes," Crenca said. "Your streets are too wide, but whatever."
Later, the pair spoke on their relationships with Providence mayors and how they accomplished milestones such as appointing a task force to implement such items as the city's cultural plan and before that, passing tax breaks for artists and galleries in a specified downtown arts district.
The latter didn't work out perfectly at first, says Crenca, but it did draw national attention and galvanize the confidence of the city itself, something just as important, he said. "Don't underestimate the power of that."
Overall, both speakers were impressed with the state of the arts in Colorado Springs (a "roll-up-your-sleeves-kind-of-town" said Crenca). At the beginning of their presentation, Crenca jokingly asked what he was actually doing here.
"Our work here is done today, because you all have the right people in the room. You just need to talk to each other."
But he also added some advice, speaking on his experiences in Providence. For one, build up a brand. Say it enough and "act as if," he advised. Even if an organization is still getting its sea legs or a city is still building its arts scene, "act as if" it were fully fledged and use that posture to attract others.
Crenca also said that we as people aren't great at recognizing "the next great thing" that will save the city or spark the cultural fire. Even so, it's a risky tactic. Instead, he and the folks at AS220 focus on "creating a compost" to nurture an artistic environment.
That approach was illustrated at the end of their presentation, when Crenca showed a video of AS220's youth programs, in which teens talked about how they came to the organization and what it meant to them. In the final moment, one young man said, "AS220 is a home." The crowd stood in applause.
Afterward, Crenca and McCormack visited the Ivywild Project and Tuesday morning they'll talk with a group include City Chief of Economic Vitality & Innovation Steve Cox at Marmalade.
There's always so much more to a story than there's space to print. It's the writer's eternal dilemma.
That's why there are blogs, and this one, to share more on what couldn't fit into this week's cover story on Providence, R.I.'s downtown rebirth with the help of arts organization AS220 in what is commonly referred to as "creative placemaking."
One of the interesting aspects of my interview with Bert Crenca, co-founder and artistic director of AS220, was his devotion to the institution today. Crenca travels extensively, sharing his experiences and the AS220 story. Since we spoke last month he's gone to New Zealand, and after he visits Colorado at the end of the month, he'll hit the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and then move on to South Dakota. But he always heads home and back to work.
“I think what gives me credibility is that I have to come back and face the music," he says, "that I’m involved in the minutiae on a the daily basis with this work, as opposed to me having started this organization and worked here for a period of time and then writing a big book and go on a book tour but sort of begin to distance myself from the minutiae. That’s not my story. I come back and live and die sitting in the administrative office as we speak with four, five people working diligently around me as I speak."
Crenca, in a friendly, self-deprecating manner, goes on to outline what's next for AS220. Growth brings new challenges, and now the nonprofit is focusing on shoring up operational services like branding, communication, practices and policies, and backup systems.
“And also preparing ourselves for things like this," he adds, "the conversation that we’re having. To make ourself more transparent and more serviceable to the field, nationally and internationally."
The role of the city of Providence's art and culture department was similarly compelling, as I learned speaking to Lynne McCormack, its director. Instead of simply fundraising or promoting the arts, McCormack (who will also visit the Springs with Crenca) likens her office to an ombudsman for the arts.
“The arts organizations really look to us to help them solve their problems and get things done," she says. "So we do all kinds of things, we go from large scale policy projects, like economic impact studies and arts indexes and sustainability studies with national organizations down to the major theater company in town having a problem a couple months ago getting their certificate of occupancy for a theater."
McCormack works with three other staff members and an operating budget of less than $500,000, which includes grant money. Their overall budget fluctuates from $700,000 to $1 million, depending on the project and what leveraging they can garner from the community. By comparison, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR, which is our version of McCormack's office) operates on three staff members and a 2012 operating budget of $220,000, which doesn't count in-kind donations and components such as COPPeR's rent, which is donated by Norwood Development Corp. for a $24,000 value.
For further reading, here's the National Endowment for the Arts' report on creative placemaking:
And COPPeR's Cultural Plan.
The 28th National Space Symposium opened last night to a full house as the Colorado Springs Philharmonic played, what else?, music from Apollo 13 and selections from Horst's The Planets, ending with "Mars, the Bringer of War.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, science superstar, and currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, was on hand, along with the Space Foundation's CEO Elliot Pulham, to hand out four awards to people who are advancing humankind's reach into the universe. More on those folks is below.
I sat next to Bill Scott, former Air Force flight test engineer and Aviation Week writer, who will sign his books, Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III and Counterspace, from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday in the exhibition center pavilion.
After the opening ceremonies, Bill and I took a stroll through the exhibition areas, much expanded from past years, and were greeted by this little fella, Sprockit the Robot.
We also ran into a few local dignitaries who were taking in the exhibits, including Councilman Tim Leigh and El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton.
And then we got really lucky. We stumbled onto DeGrasse Tyson. I had been instructed by my sister to do everything humanly possible to get his autograph. My nephew's girlfriend, Natalie Gosnell, is a PhD candidate in astrophysics at the University of Wisconsin and a DeGrasse Tyson admirer.
The author and host of TV show Cosmos graciously whipped out his fountain pen from its leather sheath, and penned, "To Natalie, the universe beckons." DeGrasse signs his book, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday in the pavilion.
But geez, there sure were a lot of people. Pulham tells us more than 9,000 people will attend the symposium through the week. The first symposium drew only 247 attendees. This year, there are more volunteers than that, 340, helping the foundation with the symposium.
The symposium also drew the old standby protesters, who show up outside the International Center every year to remind people of how some of the marvels of space are deployed.
The foundation honored the following contributors to the advancement in space. Descriptions of the winners are provided by the foundation:
Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award: Dr. Cynthia D. Waters is director of aviation for The Aviation Academy at T.W. Andrews High School in High Point, N.C. She is an educator, FAA commercial pilot, flight instructor and member of the North Carolina Airport Economic Development Alliance. Waters uses her experience and contacts to provide the Academy's 140 students with career development opportunities in aviation, engineering and aerospace.
John L. "Jack" Swigert Jr. Award for Space Exploration: The NASA Kepler Mission is being recognized for the discovery of 61 confirmed extrasolar planets and over 2,300 planet candidates in the first 16 months of observations from May 2009 to September 2010. The Kepler Mission findings contain well over 200 Earth-size planet candidates and more than 900 that are smaller than twice Earth-size. Of the 46 planet candidates found in the habitable zone, the region in the planetary system where liquid water could exist, ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size. The cumulative catalog includes: 246 Earth-size, 676 super Earth-size, 1,118 Neptune-size, 210 Jupiter-size and 71 candidates that are larger than twice the size of Jupiter.
Space Achievement Award: Junichiro Kawaguchi, Ph.D., Senior Fellow at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), who was program director, Lunar & Planetary Exploration Program Group for JAXA, is being lauded for his engagement in planetary robotic exploration, science and technology since the late 1970s, including development and advancement of a series of orbital maneuvering technologies applied to planetary missions.
Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award: The NASA Social Media Team has been selected as the winner of the Space Foundation's Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award, which is presented annually to an individual, team or organization that has made significant contributions to public awareness of, and support for, space programs. "The NASA Social Media Team has been selected for this distinctive honor for creative and pioneering use of social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter, actively engaging millions of people around the world, and even in orbit, in the exciting missions of discovery that continue to be pioneered by America's space agency," Pulham says in a news release.
Between Gift Guides and deep in the season of shopping, we decided to consult Carrie Isaac of SpringsBargains.com for shopping tips. Isaac was voted Best Local Blogger by Indy readers in both 2010 and 2011.
Her best advice:
Have multiple gift ideas for your recipients. If you're stuck on one item for each person on your list, it's harder to find a great deal as the clock is ticking. Keep several gift ideas in mind so that you'll have more options to choose from if you're looking for a deal.
Always, always search for a coupon code if shopping online. I don't have any favorite sites for coupon codes (other than SpringsBargains.com!); I typically just google the website name and use Google's search tools to find items that have been posted in the past 1-7 days to see if there's a valid coupon code available.
Shop locally instead of paying rush shipping. If you're shopping so close to Christmas that you have to pay for rush shipping, consider seeing if a local store has it — you'll often end up spending less by buying it locally than paying for rush shipping. And, don't be afraid to call a local store to see if they have it in stock!
Remember that everybody loves a gift card! A lot of people think that buying gift cards is a cop-out, but has anyone really ever received a gift card they didn't like? Gift cards are a great last-minute gift, and you can make it more personal by wrapping it in a more personalized way. Also, consider adding a little bonus gift: For instance, if you purchased someone a gift card to a local boutique, buy an inexpensive accessory to give along with the gift card.