Local News

Friday, December 2, 2016

Inmates riot over food

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 3:32 PM

The Criminal justice Center had a riot break out last month due to inmate food, according to authorities. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The Criminal justice Center had a riot break out last month due to inmate food, according to authorities.
Bad food and short rations have inmates in an uproar, literally, with nine men charged on Thursday with crimes in connection with a Nov. 19 riot in the county jail over the food. One charge is riots in detention facilities, a Class 5 felony.

According to the affidavit, at 5:42 p.m., after one ward at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center was served the dinner meal, "Several inmates became upset over the food portions and demanded extra food. Inmates began to yell, became angry, threatened to flood their cells, kicked open the food traps and also kicked their cell doors."

They also covered their cell windows, obstructing the view and threatened to assault staff if they came into the cells to remove the coverings, the affidavit says. The so-called rioting continued until 10:15 p.m. One deputy was struck in the chest but the extent of his injuries isn't known.

Charged were Michael Martinez, 40; Sean Hazlett, 26; Ronnie Faubush, 30; Aucus Bone, 30; Henry Bukowski, 22; Paul Myles, 26; Scott Brushwein, 24; Jonathan Hernandez, 19, and Tero Rhame, 24.

El Paso County changed contractors on Sept. 1 from Aramark Correctional Services, LLC, to Trinity Services Group, Inc. Trinity has contracts with 28 jails in the state of Colorado and untold correctional outfits across the country. The reason for the change, county officials say, is the jail food contract came up for renewal and so it was competitively bid.

In 2015, the county paid $1,890,980 to the food contractor. This year, the cost will total about $1.88 million, and next year, the county expects to pay just under $2 million.

According to a week's worth of menus obtained by the Independent, a typical breakfast consists of one cup of oatmeal, two links or patties of sausage, a biscuit, a tablespoon of jelly, one cup of a beverage and one cup of milk.

A typical lunch is three pieces of turkey salad, whose size is not specified, a hoagie roll, tortilla chips, four carrot sticks, iced cake and two cups of a beverage.

A typical dinner is comprised of one and a quarter cup of stew, a half cup of mixed vegetables, a piece of cornbread, one tablespoon of margarine, a brownie, and two cups of a beverage.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Utilities set to meet new clean-air standards, official says

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 5:12 PM

Drake Power Plant downtown will lose the use of one of its three units by year's end. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Drake Power Plant downtown will lose the use of one of its three units by year's end.
There's been a lot of allegations tossed around regarding Colorado Springs Utilities' coal-fired power plants and whether they meet federal emissions standards. We won't go into all that in detail, but did think it timely to ask whether the Drake and Nixon power plants will meet clean air requirements when new regulations kick in on Jan. 1.

That's been the impetus behind CSU spending roughly $170 million on new technology invented by local physics wizard Dave Neumann via his Neumann Systems Group.

Here's an explanation on the status of that technology applied to Drake downtown, CSU's compliance and its other project involving adding scrubbers through a different company at Nixon, a plant located 10 miles south of the city.

Amy Trinidad from CSU writes:
There are two new sulfur dioxide mandates that impact our power plants in 2017. The first is the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and the second is the Regional Haze Rule.

In accordance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, the state of Colorado must demonstrate that areas around power plants meet sulfur dioxide air quality standards. At each the Drake and Clear Spring Ranch campus (where Nixon Power Plant is located), the state has chosen to demonstrate that air quality standards are met through an emission limit (1,995 tons per year at each site) that becomes effective Jan. 1, 2017.

In order to meet this limit at the Drake Power Plant, we committed to ending operations of Unit 5 by the end of 2016 and partial operation of the scrubbers during 2017. As for Nixon, our projected SO2 emissions at Clear Springs Ranch demonstrate compliance with these new limits. Once scrubbers at Nixon are commissioned in the fall of 2017, projected SO2 emissions will be even further below this limit.

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, the more stringent Regional Haze emissions limits take precedence. One of our responsibilities under the Regional Haze Rule is to meet a sulfur dioxide emission limit (0.13 lb/mmbtu for Drake’s Units 6 and 7 and 0.11 lb/mmbtu on Nixon Unit 1, each on a 30-day rolling average). Scrubbers are required on both of our coal-fired power plants to comply with these mandates.

As of Sept. 26, we took full control of the Neumann scrubbers on Units 6 and 7 at the Drake Power Plant. As you can see from the chart, the scrubbers are successfully demonstrating that we can reduce SO2 emissions to levels that will allow us to comply with new permit limits, including the Regional Haze requirements, in 2017. Our workforce has been trained to provide operational and mechanical support for the scrubbers and will be working over the next year to optimize the system.

As I already mentioned, we are also installing scrubbers at the Nixon Power Plant. Construction will wrap up in the spring and we expect to commence system testing in the fall of 2017 in order to meet the year-end deadline.
She further explains, in response to questions, that Unit 5 at Drake does not have the Neumann technology attached and will be decommissioned at year's end.
Neumann: Invented a new approach to emissions control. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Neumann: Invented a new approach to emissions control.
"By decommissioning Unit 5 and operating the scrubbers, we will be able to meet the new NAAQS yearly limits in addition to the 30-day average Regional Haze mandates," she says.

"As for Nixon, the reason we will meet the new NAAQS yearly limits, which start Jan. 1, is because of the installation of the scrubbers in the spring. Most of the SO2 emissions from this facility will occur January through March," she adds. "Then in March the plant goes into an outage (no emissions being produced) to incorporate the scrubbers. Once that is finished around mid-year, we will be testing and running the scrubbers which will decrease our SO2 emissions to ensure we meet this yearly limit."

In other words, the new limit that takes effect on Jan. 1 is measured on a yearly basis, not daily, so that the addition of scrubbers on Nixon later in the 2017 year will still mean CSU will comply. The Regional Haze limit, however, is a 30-day rolling average limit.

Meantime, Leslie Weise, a Monument resident whose son attends school in the Drake area, continues her battle over her contention that CSU is not meeting clean-air standards. Read more about that here:
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

City releases PSA to help residents cope with tragic anniversaries

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 2:33 PM

For many Colorado Springs residents, this is a hard season to weather. Two major shootings took place in our city last year around this time: Halloween’s shooting on Platte Avenue, and the tragic events at Planned Parenthood on Black Friday.

The City of Colorado Springs has put out a PSA to let residents know that it’s normal to feel sadness or fear, or for memories of these traumatic events to come up, especially if you were directly affected. They also want to spread the word that there are resources out there to help you and loved ones through the trauma.

The PSA (also available in Spanish) mentions the website pikespeakstrong.com, a trauma recovery resource base for people living in the Pikes Peak Region. Whether you need longer-term help such as a recommended therapist, or some techniques to help with intermittent feelings of panic or pain, it’s there to help.

Check out the interview below to hear UCCS Professor Dr. Charles Benight talk about pikespeakstrong.com and how to take care of yourself this season.

WeAreCOS: Shooting Anniversary with Dr. Charles Benight from City of Colorado Springs on Vimeo.


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Monday, November 21, 2016

UPDATE: Trans Day of Remembrance on Sunday

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 1:43 PM

At Sunday's Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil, local law enforcement agencies showed unexpected support, sending a police officer and sheriff’s deputy to address attendees. Event organizer Dana Stevens also read a letter from Mayor John Suthers, who wasn’t there in the flesh, but nonetheless declared that the group’s dedication to raising awareness should be commended. It was the first time a sitting Springs Mayor recognized the day.

——- ORIGINAL POST, THURSDAY, 2:22 P.M. ——-
URBAN REPORTER / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Urban Reporter / Shutterstock
This Sunday is Transgender Day of Remembrance across the nation, a designated time to memorialize lives lost to violence against people targeted for their gender or sexual identity. Here in Colorado Springs, a candlelight vigil will be held at 6pm at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church downtown, sponsored by Peak Area Gender Expressions — a local group that provides resources and support to transgender people, their friends and family in a region once known as a bastion of intolerance.

This annual event is held in November to honor the life of Rita Hester, a black trans woman, who's stabbing murder in 1998 sparked the "Remembering Our Dead" online project and, subsequently, these days of remembrance. They're a time to raise awareness about the disproportionate rates of violence affecting the LGBTQ community and advocate for strengthening human rights for everyone — but especially the most vulnerable.

2016 has been the deadliest year for transgender people on record, according to GLAAD which found 26 (reported) murders in the first 11 months of the year. The majority are trans women of color. The FBI didn't start tracking crimes against gender non-conforming people until 2014, but has since reported that LGBTQ people are the most targeted group in the country.

Fears are high amongst the trans community since the election of Donald Trump and, especially, his running mate Mike Pence, the religious liberty-loving former governor of Indiana who's notorious for his crusades against same-sex marriage and for gay conversion therapy. Instances of hate speech have been reported around the country, including in Denver where a trans woman's car was vandalized with swastikas and tags like "die he she" and "tranny." Vandalism in a similar vein was also reported at Colorado College.

The Trans Day of Remembrance website keeps a list of the names and identities of those who've fallen victim. That can be found here.

Keynote speaker at Sunday's vigil is Dr. Datti Kapella — a trans woman, veteran of the U.S. military and advocate for the LGBTQ community.
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Club Q hosts Thanksgiving day community dinner

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 12:48 PM

LINDSEY APARICIO
  • Lindsey Aparicio
Nobody should have to eat Thanksgiving dinner alone. But that's the reality a lot of LGBTQ people — especially LGBTQ youth — face on Thursday.

Consider the fact that, according to Urban Peak, youth homelessness is far more common among the LGBTQ population. They estimate that between 20 and 40 percent of the Springs' homeless youths 24 or younger are LGBTQ.

Club Q is hosting a Thanksgiving Day community dinner for anyone who doesn't have somewhere warm and safe to eat. Organized with help from Springs Equality, United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire, Colorado Springs PrideFest and the Southern Colorado Aids Project, the dinner will be free and open to all comers. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

Read the full press release below:
Club Q Colorado Springs is proud to announce its 4th annual Thanksgiving day community dinner. This year Club Q has teamed up with local non-profits, Springs Equality, United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire and Colorado Springs PrideFest to provide over 100 dinners. Along with generous donations from Whole Foods and personal donors.

This years dinner will be served from 6-8pm at Club Q 3430 N. Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80917. Dinner will be free of charge and open to the public and all ages.

Nic Grzecka, Co-owner of Club Q, started serving Thanksgiving dinner to the public 4 years ago and has continued to grow the yearly event to serve over 100 people. “I believe everyone should have a safe warm place to enjoy this holiday with” says Grzecka “not everyone is lucky enough to have a family that will accept them into their homes”… “We want to make sure people with no family in town or people who consider us family can enjoy thanksgiving together”

“We are so proud of the individuals and organizations that have stepped to ensure this event can grow to serve many more people.”

“We are also excited to work with SCAP (Southern Colorado Aids Project) as our sponsor for our Christmas Community Dinner as well.”

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Friday, November 18, 2016

The dog days are here — Dogs of Downtown 2017 Calendar

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 4:34 PM

dogs_cover.jpg
The Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership rolled out its 2017 Dogs of Downtown calendar this morning — and it is adorable.

Our own Moses, office mascot extraordinaire owned by editor Matthew Schniper, makes an appearance as Mr. February, but you’ll also find tons of familiar faces from your favorite downtown stores. For instance, Bebu of Everest Nepal Imports makes an adorable Miss March and Lily from Rocky Mountain SOAP Market poses for May with her mom’s bath and body products. The calendar also features plenty of hard-working office dogs like ours who get their own chance to shine.

All twelve of these precious portraits are themed for the pup’s place of business, which is why Moses looks hard at work with a typewriter and some Indy back-issues in his glamour shot. The vision and execution is thanks to Springs Pet Portraits, who had the assumedly maddening job of wrangling the dogs in front of the camera. If you’re interested in watching that process (we sure were), you’re going to want to see the behind-the-scenes video.
Moses holds his own in the cutthroat world of journalism - TARA C. PATTY / SPRINGS PET PORTRAITS
  • Tara C. Patty / Springs Pet Portraits
  • Moses holds his own in the cutthroat world of journalism

The calendar is limited-run, only 250 printed total, so you should get moving to Hooked on Books, CJ Kard or Poor Richard’s to pick up yours. All proceeds benefit Downtown Ventures, Inc., the folks responsible for funding Art on the Streets, Skate in the Park, First Fridays and basically all the public engagement you’ll find downtown, a good cause supported by a whole pack of good dogs.

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Take a virtual tour of new shelter, SRM expansion

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 2:32 PM

The Springs Rescue Mission is just in the nick of time.

Its new, 168-bed, $3.2 million, year-round, low-barrier shelter will open tonight, the second night of wintry weather to hit Colorado Springs this season. The beautiful new structure is the first part of a big expansion that will also include a day/resource center (opening in 2017), a much larger kitchen and dining hall (opening fall of 2018), and a welcome center (opening fall 2018).

The city has helped SRM with the project by directing federal dollars its way, but much of the work is being funded by donations. The expansion meets a critical need for the city, which has few places to temporarily house homeless people — even in the most frigid months. It was hoped the shelter would open earlier in the season, but construction delays prevented that. Thankfully, warm weather meant less dangerous conditions for those forced to sleep outside.

Speaking of which, earlier in the year, a homeless camp on SRM property had been allowed to slowly expand, in recognition of the fact that its residents had nowhere else to go until the new shelter was complete. But it was disbanded in October. The opening of the shelter means many of those who felt safe at the complex at 5 W. Las Vegas Street can now return.

In addition to bunk beds, the new shelter has room for another 32 mats on the floor if the need is great. The space, which was built to be green and uses geothermal power, also features tables, coffee bars, and bathrooms with stalls.

It's likely that the new shelter will house men for now, as an emergency shelter on the campus has room for 57 women.

Want to see what the project will look like when it's finished? Check out SRM's video:



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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Give a turkey to the hungry

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 4:31 PM

click image The bird is the word. - GAVIN ST. OURS
  • Gavin St. Ours
  • The bird is the word.

Unfortunately, giving a turkey to Springs Rescue Mission isn't going to end homelessness or poverty. But it is a sign of love. And on a day that we send out a little gratitude for all the good things in our lives, it seems appropriate to brighten someone else's world.

So, if you feel like donating poultry to someone in need, this is your chance. SRM is collecting turkeys tomorrow. They need more than 800 birds. Let's make it happen.

Springs Rescue Mission Needs Turkeys to Help Feed the Hungry for Thanksgiving

November 10, 2016, Colorado Springs, CO. – Springs Rescue Mission (SRM) is collecting turkeys on Friday, Nov. 11 to distribute and feed to Colorado Springs’ families and neighbors in need.

As part of the Turkey Team, which consists of Care and Share Food Bank and Catholic Charities, SRM’s goal is to collect more than 800 turkeys to help feed the hungry in our community.

SRM is asking the community to make Thanksgiving a reality for those in need by donating turkeys.

Turkeys can be dropped off at Springs Rescue Mission, located at 1 West Las Vegas St., Colorado Springs, CO, 80903. Turkeys will be accepted between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“Our wonderful and caring community consistently shows its generosity and we believe that they will again display their goodwill and enable this partnership to exceed its goal,” said Larry Yonker, Springs Rescue Mission President & CEO.

The turkeys will be used at SRM’s annual Thanksgiving meal that takes place at the City Auditorium on Nov. 23rd. Turkeys will also be provided to families who visit SRM’s family services for food.

Springs Rescue Mission exists to see lives transformed and filled with hope as our community works together to fight homelessness, poverty and addiction.

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Legal weed is here to stay in Pueblo County, museum coming

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 3:15 PM

Pueblo Starbuds manager Peter Mutty shows off some of his star buds. - BROOKE WARREN / HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
  • Brooke Warren / High Country News
  • Pueblo Starbuds manager Peter Mutty shows off some of his star buds.


The marijuana legalization movement forged decisively ahead this election, though under a new shadow of doubt cast by Donald Trump’s victory.

See next week’s CannaBiz for more on what changes at the federal level could mean for the legal cannabis industry. (Spoiler: we really don’t know yet.) Today, however, find solace in the news that our neighbors to the south rejected efforts to roll back retail marijuana sales in both the city and county of Pueblo.


Election Day dragged into the next day, thanks to an overloaded server that caused long lines at polling places and long delays in reporting the results. While the results aren't final, over 70,000 people appear to have cast their votes on Proposition 200 — the Pueblo County measure that would’ve shut down over 160 retail marijuana businesses — according to unofficial results posted on the county clerk’s website. Of those, 57 percent voted "no" — a larger margin than initially passed retail marijuana it four years ago.

Voters also rejected Proposition 300, the city’s equivalent of Prop 200.

The results further validate arguments made by opponents of the measure during campaign season that Pueblo voters have already demonstrated they’re cool with recreational marijuana, despite insistence on the other side that they’re having second thoughts. Spokesman for the pro-pot campaign, Growing Pueblo’s Future, and owner of Mesa Organics, Jim Parco called the vote a clear message.

“[Citizens] have seen the positive impacts that the regulated, retail marijuana industry has had in Pueblo County,” he said of the results. “We were the first [state] to legalize, regulate and tax adult-use retail marijuana, and now, the first [county] to decisively defeat prohibitionists in a do-over vote.”


In celebrating the victory, Parco also announced plans to create the first ever National Marijuana Museum in Pueblo. Owner of Legacy Homes in Pueblo Branson Haney will chair the community-based steering committee.


“With now more than 30 states having legalized marijuana, we have entered a new era where society is finally acknowledging that the benefits of legalized cannabis far outweigh the costs,” he said on election night. “With Pueblo County as the leader in the national legalization effort, it is now time to lead the effort on improving education and knowledge of marijuana’s rich history — scientifically, socially and culturally. And we’re going to do it right here in Pueblo, Colorado.”


To stay up-to-the-minute with the museum’s progress, follow their Facebook page for updates.


And from here on out, Pueblo citizens who prize their freedom to buy legal weed and all the economic benefit it brings can rest easy that it may well be here to stay. Unless, of course, the Department of Justice under the incoming Trump administration decides to bring down the ax…

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Local students protest Trump

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 2:11 PM

NAT STEIN
  • Nat Stein

A large group of protesters marched from Colorado College to Palmer High School to Acacia Park and finally City Hall today.

Reporter Nat Stein was on the scene and says the protest against Donald Trump's election win was planned by a former Bernie Sanders organizer and appeared to be a mix of high school and college students.  The students, many carrying signs, chanted "radical love will rise above," "you are loved," "not my president," and "shut it down."

Hecklers were heard yelling back, "get a job" and "why don't you leave, then?"

NAT STEIN
  • Nat Stein
NAT STEIN
  • Nat Stein

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

GOP surge reflects in local returns

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 7:16 PM

2016electionsbug.jpg
Updated at 8:50 p.m.

The election drama made for a long night in many places around the country, but not so much in Colorado Springs.

As soon as the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office released its first results Tuesday night from ballots returned early, virtually every local and state outcome was clear.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet jumped to a lead over Republican challenger Darryl Glenn at the state leve and eventually secured a second term, despite Glenn easily carrying El Paso County. Meanwhile, Rep. Doug Lamborn instantly wrapped up a sixth term in the U.S. House with a one-sided lead over Democrat Misty Plowright.

Likewise, most contested local races were clearly decided from the first returns, released minutes after the polling places closed at 7 p.m.

State Rep. Pete Lee won a fourth and final term in the Colorado House, while Democrat Tony Exum regained the seat he held from 2012-14 in his race against GOP incumbent Kit Roupe.
At the downtown multi-party celebration at The Antlers hotel, Exum talked about going door to door and being inspired by many he encountered, including a young child who recognized him from a campaign mailer.

Roupe insisted that "I will be back," and jokingly referred to HD 17 being able "to change parties every two years."

Republicans won all other seats in the region, as well as Stan VanderWerf and Longinos Gonzalez in the two contested county commissioner races against Democrats Electra Johnson and Liz Rosenbaum.

"I will work with anybody, seriously anybody, who wants to help solve community problems," VanderWerf said after winning his first attempt at public office. "I will enjoy working with everyone and I hope to make it fun."

Johnson, who hoped to become the first Democratic county commissioner in El Paso County since 1970, was buoyant. "I didn't put any expectations into this," she said. "Could we pull off magic? Who knows? But we made it hurt for the Republicans. I want to make it hurt for every single race from now on. We [Dems] haven't run a campaign in a really long time. ... I'm not done yet."

Gonzalez said, "I did work hard for both the primary and general election," admitted he was exhausted from the campaign and said he didn't want to talk further. Rosenbaum said she was satisfied with her first run for office and promised to try again in the future.

"The only thing I'm really sad about," she said, "is that I'm afraid the water issues will be dropped."

In the presidential race, despite underperforming nationally, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried Colorado, though her total of 33 percent in El Paso County fell short of President Barack Obama's support levels of 39 percent in 2008 and 37 percent in 2012.

As for the statewide ballot measures, the ColoradoCare single-payer health insurance plan (Amendment 69) was headed to an obvious defeat, trailing by 170,000-plus in El Paso County alone and by as much as 80-20 percent statewide.

But Amendment 71 (making it harder to change the Colorado Constitution) was approved and carried El Paso County. Also, Amendment 70 (raising the minimum wage) passed despite losing here. And the three state propositions also passed: 106, allowing assistance in dying for the terminally ill; 107 and 108, open primaries including a presidential primary for Colorado.

J. Adrian Stanley contributed reporting to this story.
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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton making visits to Colorado

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 3:03 PM

click image Bernie Sanders will speak in the Springs on Saturday. - AFGE
  • AFGE
  • Bernie Sanders will speak in the Springs on Saturday.

New polls are showing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied in Colorado
. Which is probably why Bernie Sanders and Bill Clinton will be in the state in the next two days.

If you were hoping to see Sanders or the former president, you will need to plan ahead. The public is encouraged to RSVP for the Bernie event. The Bill Clinton event also requires RSVPs, which are linked to below, by event (since he's appearing in three cities).

Here's the Bernie information:
Bernie Sanders to Campaign for Hillary Clinton in Colorado

On Saturday November 5, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will campaign in Colorado for Hillary Clinton. At an afternoon Get Out the Vote rally in Colorado Springs, he will contrast Clinton's plan to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, with Donald Trump's plans, which would benefit himself and millionaires and billionaires like him.

At the rally, Sanders will also talk about Clinton's plans to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, combat climate change and move to sustainable energy, make public colleges and universities tuition free, and end a broken criminal justice system. Most importantly, he will emphasize the need to defeat Trump and make Clinton our next president.

More voters have voted in Colorado than at this point in 2012, and Senator Sanders will urge Coloradans to continue that trend and return their ballots early. So far in the state, more Democrats have returned their ballots early than Republicans, in contrast to the 2012 election.

More details about this trip will be released soon. Members of the public interested in attending this event can RSVP here.
And here's the Bill Clinton information:
Days Before Election Day, President Bill Clinton to Campaign for Hillary Clinton in Colorado

On Friday, November 4, just days before Election Day, President Bill Clinton will campaign for Hillary Clinton with a morning event in Pueblo and afternoon events in Denver and Fort Collins. While in Colorado, President Clinton will lay out the stakes of November's election and discuss his wife’s vision of an America that is stronger together, with an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.

More voters have voted in Colorado than at this point in 2012, and President Clinton will urge Coloradans to continue that trend and return their ballots early. So far in the state, more Democrats have returned their ballots early than Republicans, in contrast to the 2012 election.

Get Out The Vote With President Clinton in Pueblo
WHEN: Friday, November 4, 2016 at 10:00AM MDT, Doors Open at 8:30AM MDT
WHERE: Pueblo Union Depot, 132 W B St, Pueblo, CO 81003
Public RSVP.

Get Out The Vote With President Clinton in Denver
WHEN: Friday, November 4, 2016 at 1:15PM MDT, Doors Open at 11:30AM MDT
WHERE: Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th St, Denver, CO 80205
Public RSVP.

Get Out The Vote With President Clinton in Fort Collins
WHEN: Friday, November 4, 2016 at 3:45PM MDT, Doors Open at 2:30PM
WHERE: New Belgium Brewery, 500 Linden St, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Public RSVP.


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It's too late to mail your ballot

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 3:02 PM

2016electionsbug_160.jpg
Stop. Don't drop your ballot in the mail.

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office wants voters to know that it is now too late to send your ballot in the mail. In order to ensure your ballot is counted, you need to put it in a drop box. The good news is, there is one located near you.

The Clerk's Office sent this message yesterday:
Clerk Urges Voters Not to Return Ballots by Mail after Today

[Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 2, 2016] With no guarantee a mailed ballot will be received by the deadline for voting, the Clerk and Recorder’s Office urges voters to use ballot drop-off boxes to return their ballot after today.

Voters are reminded that ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 8. Ballots that are postmarked but not received by 7:00 p.m. will not be counted. Mailing a ballot after November 2 may not be adequate time to meet the election deadline.

“Filling out their ballot is just the first step; voters have to be sure their vote counts by getting their ballot back to our office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day,” said Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. “We are committed to ensuring citizens have every opportunity to vote and we have 15 secure, 24/7 ballot drop-off boxes throughout the county. That includes six drive-up boxes for even greater convenience.”

An interactive map with the locations of 24/7 ballot drop-off boxes and the Voter Service and Polling Centers is available at www.EPCVotes.com under the tab Return My Ballot.

Voters also are encouraged not to wait until Election Day to return their ballot. This is a highly anticipated Presidential Election with voter turnout expected to be substantially more than in other elections (upward of 80% compared to an average of 70%). The sooner voters return their ballots, the sooner the Clerk’s Office will be able to release results on Election Night.

For more information or to have questions answered, voters may contact the Elections Department at 575-VOTE (8683) or elections@elpasoco.com.

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Springs Rescue Mission opens temporary beds for homeless

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 8:45 AM

FILE PHOTO
  • FILE PHOTO
Since other nonprofits decided not to open emergency winter shelters for homeless people this year, a lot was riding on the Springs Rescue Mission’s (SRM), which is in the process of expanding its shelter.

However, construction delays have prevented the shelter from opening Nov. 1, as planned. While the weather has been unusually warm, many fear that if temperatures drop, homeless people could be at risk, since many have no choice but to sleep on the streets.

Ecumenical Social Ministries recently announced that it would provide beds for 25 women from Nov. 1-18 to help fill the gap. And while the SRM permanent shelter isn't open yet, as of Nov. 1 men are being housed on an additional 50 beds and mats at the nonprofit. The beds are low barrier, meaning people can "come as they are."

SRM explained the decision to open the beds in a press release that noted, in part:
In past years, Springs Rescue Mission has been able to shelter up to 60 individuals each night. Once the organization’s new year-round shelter opens, this capacity will increase to 232.

While the new, year-round shelter won’t be open until mid-November, Springs Rescue Mission is maintaining their promise by offering low-barrier shelter options for individuals experiencing homelessness by November 1. 

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dear Gazette, I don't think that word means what you think it means

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 12:40 PM

They say those who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones. And hey, we all make mistakes. But the doozy on the front page of the Gazette Tuesday morning is a little too comical not to comment on.

Apparently, neither writer Chhun Sun, nor his editor, knows what the word "unnerved" means. I say this because in the first sentence of the Gazette's top story today, Sun says Mayor John Suthers was "unnerved" by road construction going on near him. (The piece was about the progress made on road projects with funding from voter approved Ballot Issue 2C.) In the very next sentence, Sun says Suthers was wearing "an ear-to-ear grin."

Just a clarification here, readers: Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "unnerve" as:

Full Definition of unnerve
transitive verb
1
: to deprive of courage, strength, or steadiness
2
: to cause to become nervous : upset

So if Suthers was unnerved and also wearing an ear-to-ear grin, then, well, he was being really creepy. It appears, however that the Suthers was actually acting normally, since the Gazette has since updated the story online, replacing the word "unnerved" with "unfazed."

Here is the original:

screen_shot_2016-11-01_at_11.50.18_am.png

And the new version:

screen_shot_2016-11-01_at_11.49.52_am.png
















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