Wednesday, July 20, 2016

6 bonus quotes from Mormon punk band Tartar Control

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 1:20 PM


The two human members of hardcore Mormon band Tartar Control have a lot to say.

So much so, in fact, that there wasn’t room for all of our favorite quotes in this week’s Tartar Control interview.

You can go there to find the group's lead singer Robert Selander and guitarist-vocalist Sean Hart holding forth on everything from the missionary potential of Pokemon: Go to the construction of their own robotic bandmate.

Meanwhile, as a bonus for hardcore music fans and Mormon iconoclasts, here are six additional quotes that didn’t quite make the cut:

Sean on Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s 2012 defeat: “We were devastated. I thought for sure that he was a shoe-in. And honestly, this election season, I will be writing him in for president. And Robert will be doing the same.”

Robert on his and Sean’s high school band The Smiths: “We didn’t know that was already taken.”

Robert on Sean’s description of Tartar Control's debut CD cover: “What Sean said about Robot coming with us to Heaven, that’s not true. He can’t come.”

Robert on Leftover Crack: “For the first two years of listening to Leftover Crack, we couldn’t decipher what they said. And that’s really the fun of listening to punk rock, is decoding it.”

Sean on the vulgar elements in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s The Book of Mormon: “They’ve done so much to bring popular attention to the church, but it’s a double-edged sword, I know. And we hope to be on the other edge of that sword, and hope to be equally as sharp.”

Robert on the importance of skepticism: “You can’t take everything we do literally. That’s silly. Who would do that?”

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Commentary: CSPD operates under a veil of mystery

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 11:33 AM

Mayor John Suthers vows to get rid of police officers with a propensity for excessive use of force. But Tyler Walker wasn't fired or charged. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Mayor John Suthers vows to get rid of police officers with a propensity for excessive use of force. But Tyler Walker wasn't fired or charged.
Many have said that sunshine is the best disinfectant.

If that's true, then the Colorado Springs Police Department must be debilitated with pathogens due to a consistent practice of hiding in the shadows.

Let's recap.

On July 8, local lawmen and others called a news conference to make remarks about the gunning down of five Dallas police officers on the previous day.

Each official marched to the podium to comment solemnly on the incident, which came after two people were killed by police in separate incidents in Louisiana and Minnesota just days before. The black shooter in Dallas was quoted as saying he wanted to kill police officers.

All the local lawmen said at the July 8 media event that they and their officers work hard at building relationships with the community.

"What we do in the north part of town should be the same as we do in the south part of town," Springs Police Chief Pete Carey said, referring to the high-income north area compared to the poverty-stricken and crime-ridden south and southeast sections.

"I'm proud of our relationship with the community," Carey said.

Others talked of the need to build trust with citizens so that what happened in Dallas doesn't happen here, so that there is no reason for someone to even dream of doing that here.

But let's look at one way the CSPD fails the community and shows no signs of wanting to change. Namely, transparency.

Today in the Independent, we report that the CSPD once again told the public "none of your beeswax" when asked for the third time for the internal affairs file of Tyler Walker, the officer who threw down a teenager, Alexis Acker, who was cuffed behind her back. He planted her face in the floor in an incident captured on video in November 2013. Yet, the department failed to even open an investigation until July 2014 — after the woman threatened a lawsuit — and then didn't come to a conclusion until the following July, shortly before the lawsuit was filed. Walker left on his own in October 2015, so we know he wasn't fired, though some type of discipline was imposed, CSPD has said.

The department has consistently maintained it's not in the public interest to release the IA report. Even though the city ponied up $100,000 in May to settle the lawsuit.

Did we mention that Walker is the son of a former CSPD commander? Maybe that played no role. But the public will never know, because the file is off-limits to the public, according to the police. It's not in our interest to know anything about that investigation, they say. Some citizens suggest Walker should have been charged with a crime. But again, we'll never know why the cops, who investigate themselves in cases like this, decided to give him a pass.

Alexis Acker is human evidence of CSPD tactics when dealing with the public. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Alexis Acker is human evidence of CSPD tactics when dealing with the public.
Mayor John Suthers said at the July 8 news conference the city and police want to create a good environment with the community. That includes setting high standards for officers whose demographic reflects that of the community, he said, and providing "cutting edge training" on the use of force and then holding officers accountable.

But he means by that — accountability — remains off-limits to the public, because the CSPD says it's not in our best interest to be informed.

The purpose of open-meetings and open-records laws is to allow citizens the opportunity to monitor their government. This they cannot do when an agency remains cloaked in secrecy with the full backing of the chief executive officer that oversees that agency — the mayor.

The take-away, sadly, seems to be that the CSPD wants to have a good relationship with the community, and that its formula for that is for the community to respect the police, obey the police, never question the police and just take their word that everything is fine.

One might wonder if Alexis Acker thinks everything is fine.  

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Noam Chomsky endorses ColoradoCare

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:44 PM

  • Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky, famous political activist, author, and linguistics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has endorsed ColoradoCare.

Voters will decide this November whether to approve ColoradoCare, which would act like near-universal Medicaid in Colorado. The proposal hasn't received a lot of support from business organizations, but many activists for health care support it. To learn more, check out our list of answers to common questions about ColoradoCare  or read my cover story to learn more about why Colorado has become the test market for universal health care this November

Here is the ColoradoCare press release on Chomsky's endorsement:

World Renowned Noam Chomsky Gives Enthusiastic Endorsement of ColoradoCare
Influential Author, Speaker, Political and Social Activist Joins Supporters of Amendment 69

DENVER — Noam Chomsky, widely considered one of the great minds of our time and a man the New York Times called "the most important intellectual alive today," came out as a strong supporter of ColoradoCare Monday, calling Colorado's "Medicare-for-All" type health care plan "a great idea, which should be extended to the whole country."

Chomsky is one of the most influential figures of the past half century, inspiring generations of people around the world to emulate his political and social activism. He has a long record of standing up for universal health care, and the need for a solution to America's health care crisis is familiar territory for Chomsky.

"The US health care system has about twice the per capita spending of other developed societies and relatively poor outcomes," Chomsky said in endorsing Amendment 69 Monday. "There is ample evidence that this unfortunate state of affairs is related to the fact that the US is alone among these societies in lacking some form of universal health care."

Citing years of national polling that have shown Americans "favor a universal health care system of the kind found elsewhere," Chomsky gave a hearty endorsement of Colorado's trailblazing efforts to establish universal health care.

"Quite often, significant progress has been initiated at the state level, then extending beyond," Chomsky noted. "For such reasons the ColoradoCare initiative is very much to be welcomed. It will not only be of great benefit to the people of Colorado, but may also be an opening wedge to substantial progress for the country as a whole."

Chomsky joins an impressive roster of thousands of endorsers of ColoradoCare, including small business owners, the self-employed, physicians, nurses, and organizations ranging from The League of Women Voters of Colorado to Together Colorado, from the Public Health Nurse Association of Colorado to being supported by name in the party platform of the Colorado Democratic Party.

"We couldn't be prouder to have Noam Chomsky's ringing endorsement of ColoradoCare," said Owen Perkins, Director of Communications for the ColoradoCareYES campaign. "If anyone can recognize a good idea, it is Professor Chomsky, and we couldn't ask for a more meaningful stamp of approval than his."

Chomsky has been on the faculty at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, and is now Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT. He distinguished himself as a game-changer in the field of linguistics and cognitive science early in his career, and he rose to widespread prominence through his opposition to the Vietnam War. He is the author of over 100 books, reflecting his groundbreaking work in linguistics, politics, media, analytic philosophy, and cognitive science. His most recent work includes the 2016 book Who Rules the World? and the 2015 documentary Requiem for the American Dream. He continues to actively publish articles on politics, the 2016 presidential campaigns, nuclear weapons, climate change, class warfare, the refugee crisis, and much more.

ColoradoCare, Amendment 69 on the November ballot, covers every Colorado resident — picking up hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who are not covered under the current corporate insurance system — with enhanced benefits and reduced costs, saving Colorado families and firms over $4.5 billion a year. There are no insurance premiums, no deductibles, and no co-pays on primary and preventive care. The system is primarily paid for through a 3.33% payroll deduction for employees and 6.67% of payroll for employers, representing savings of thousands of dollars annually for over 80% of Colorado residents.

For more information on Amendment 69, please visit

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Waller is new District 2 county commissioner

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Mark Waller was sworn in this morning. - EL PASO COUNTY
  • El Paso County
  • Mark Waller was sworn in this morning.

The fight is over for Mark Waller.

The District 2 El Paso County Commissioner candidate won the primary for his seat in June, and didn't face an opponent in the November election. Then, this morning, he was sworn into the position early after being selected by a Republican vacancy committee to fill the seat that Amy Lathen exited early. Lathen is now leading Colorado Springs Forward. 

Waller, an attorney, previously served as a state representative in House District 15 from 2009-2014. He served as both Assistant House Majority Leader and House Minority Leader during his tenure. 
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Sallie Clark to address national groups in Cleveland

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 2:19 PM

Clark will speak on streets and storm drains. - EL PASO COUNTY
  • Clark will speak on streets and storm drains.
Darryl Glenn isn't the only local making an appearance at a national event this week. He is speaking Monday night at the Republican National Convention.

El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark, outgoing president of the National Association of Counties, is speaking Tuesday at a briefing and luncheon in Cleveland, sponsored by the association and the National League of Cities. She's served as president for the past year.

Other speakers include former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. The luncheon focuses on infrastructure needs across the country.

Clark finishes her third and final term on the county commission next January.

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Glenn to address RNC, and more on that criminal charge

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 2:18 PM

As Darryl Glenn prepares to speak at the Republican National Convention at 7:30 p.m. Mountain Time Monday, here are a few things to ponder, including a recent boost of confidence from the daily newspaper and more info on that criminal charge that dates to his teen years.

Glenn: Will speak this evening at the RNC. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Glenn: Will speak this evening at the RNC.
On Sunday, the Gazette once again sang his praises (although the newspaper didn't endorse him in the Republican primary election), saying:
Glenn's credentials are impeccable and Coloradocentric. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, a lawyer and a public servant who has won landslide elections to the Colorado Springs City Council and El Paso County Board of County Commissioners.... Among staunch conservatives, Glenn has the rare quality of relating well with people up and down the political and socioeconomic spectrum. People like and respect him, whether they share his views.
It was signed the "Gazette editorial board," which includes editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen, who happens to be married to Dede Laugesen, who happened to have collected more than $3,000 for campaign consulting and expenses from Glenn early in his campaign.

There was no disclosure of this fact, just as the Gazette failed to disclose a couple of times in its editorials favoring The Broadmoor land swap that it's owned by the same guy who owns The Broadmoor, Philip Anschutz.

The payments were made to Windhover Media for campaign consulting, $2,500; reimbursement for event supplies, $588, and reimbursement for domain names, $59, according to Federal Election Commission reports. All payments were made in January 2015.

Here's a description of Windhover from its website:
Laugesen, CoSGW’s [Colorado Government Watch] executive director, is a communications consultant, digital media designer, writer and video producer. She is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and producer of popular children’s prayer-based videos. A Colorado native and longtime El Paso County resident, she has been owner of Windhover Media since 2003 and has developed a broad base of clients in politics and industry.
We've asked Mr. Laugesen for a comment and will circle back if and when we hear something.

Other members of the editorial board include Ryan McKibben, Chairman; Christian Anschutz, Vice Chairman and son of billionaire Philip Anschutz; Dan Steever, Publisher, and Pula Davis, Newsroom Operations Director.

Now, about that third-degree assault charge, which remains on his record as of this morning, from when he was 18.

The court and police records are pretty thin because the charge arose so long ago, but we've been digging around and found a few things to share since we first reported about it in our cover story about Glenn, "Shooting star," July 13, 2016.
Glenn as a senior at Doherty High. - COLORADO SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT 11 YEARBOOK
  • Colorado Springs School District 11 yearbook
  • Glenn as a senior at Doherty High.
It was filed in late November 1983 during Glenn's senior year at Doherty High School. He turned 18 the month before. The police officer was S. Thomas. A victim isn't named in the court record, and the case appears to have been dismissed Feb. 2, 1984.

Below is a partial transcript from an interview the Independent conducted with Glenn. J. Adrian Stanley posed questions on the Indy's behalf:

Indy: There is one thing on your criminal record from when you were 18.
Glenn: I don’t have a criminal record.

Indy: It’s there, though. It’s got your birthdate on it. It’s got everything.
Glenn: Yeah.

Indy: It’s a third-degree assault charge from 1983?
Glenn: Yeah, we’re still trying to figure that out. We’re still trying to figure out what that was because when we did a CBI background, there’s nothing there. And I’ve never even been interviewed about it.

Indy. Well yeah, I wouldn’t generally. But you're a Senate candidate now, so I do have to look it up. And I was like, what did you get in a fight, what happened?
Glenn: We’re trying to figure that out, because at the same point in time, my brother was still around at that time, and we don’t know if something happened with him. 

Indy: Wait, so you do have a brother?
Glenn: He committed suicide.

Indy: Oh! I thought you were an only child.
Glenn: Well, I’m the only child with my parents.

Indy: Oh?
Glenn: But my dad had a ... yeah.

Indy: Your dad had a son. Was he younger or older?
Glenn: Older, older. But we’re trying to figure out, we’re going to do what we can to get rid of that. We don’t know if something happened with him or what. But the thing is, I was never even interviewed or anything. I’ve never even had a conversation with a police officer in that light. So we’re trying to figure out if that some kind of identity thing or what, because we’re trying...”

Indy: What was your brother’s name?
Glenn: Cedric.

Indy: Cedric?
Glenn: So we’re trying to figure out what went on with that. Because we tell people, use a little common sense. Here you are right the summer before going to the Air Force Academy, do you think the Air Force Academy would have let me go in there if there was even a question?

Indy: Well, I was curious about that. How did you do that if you, because I know that they’re pretty strict about that, right?
Glenn: Ya think? That’s what I’m saying. Obviously it doesn’t make any sense, we’re trying to figure that out, but yeah that was when he was being integrated into our lives. He had a criminal past, things like that. We’re not sure if something happened with regards to that.

Indy: How much older was he than you?
Glenn: Uh, I’d actually need to go back and look.

Indy: Was it a lot?
Glenn: Yeah, at least five or six years.

Indy: Oh, OK.
Glenn: I literally would have to look that up. But the main thing is, we're so happy to be able to put out the CBI that shows nothing there. Never been interviewed, nothing like that. So we’re trying to see if that’s what it was because it needs to come off.
It's unclear what Glenn means when he says the Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows nothing. We just ran a check on court records and found the case.

While we're on the subject, Glenn drew $50,300 in donations in the days leading up to the June 28 primary election. Money came from Texas, Washington, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Ohio, Washington, D.C. (Black America's PAC and Sarah PAC), Wyoming, Tennessee, Florida and Colorado.

He added that to the roughly $111,000 he'd raised by June 8.

Glenn faces Democrat incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet, who had raised about $11.1 million as of June 8.

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Photo tour: Hike Cheesman Canyon

Posted By on Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 9:44 AM

  • Bob Falcone
Winding its way on along the Jefferson County side of the South Platte River, the Gill Trail through Cheesman Canyon is a pleasant hike with great views, good fishing and plenty of solitude.

To get there from Colorado Springs: Take US 24 to Hwy 67 in Woodland Park, Turn right (north) and take Hwy 67 for 23 miles to Deckers. At Deckers, keep left onto County Road 126 and take it approximately 4 miles to the Cheesman Canyon Trailhead, on the left side of the road. The trail starts at the east end of the parking lot, near the bathroom.

This hike can also be done as a two car shuttle. Turn left off of County Road 126 onto Forest Service Road 211 (it will be the road just prior to the trailhead on 126) and take it to the Upper Canyon parking lot at the reservoir. Return to County Road 126, and turn left a short distance to the Lower Canyon lot.

Hike Cheesman Canyon
Hike Cheesman Canyon Hike Cheesman Canyon Hike Cheesman Canyon Hike Cheesman Canyon Hike Cheesman Canyon Hike Cheesman Canyon Hike Cheesman Canyon Hike Cheesman Canyon

Hike Cheesman Canyon

By Bob Falcone

Click to View 16 slides

Happy Trails!

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for over 24 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website ( E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob:

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Friday, July 15, 2016

UPDATE: Colorado Native gets corny

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Good label, good beer. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Good label, good beer.

We got another surprise from AC Golden today — a bottle of Colorado Native Plum, the first sour beer under the brand. It’s made with Palisade Duarte plums and aged in Colorado whiskey barrels, with 14 months between brew and bottle. It’s a moderate 6.5 percent ABV.
The foggy brown ale pours with a fine tan head. Its nose blends acid with notes of plum and tamarind over no small amount of malt. It sips tart and dry, the product of the brettanomyces added in the bottle. There’s not a lot of body, and it reminds us of cranberry juice flavor-wise. We get little to none of the promised oak notes, and no whiskey whatsoever. For what it is, though, it’s good.

—— ORIGINAL POST 2:30 P.M. FRI., JULY 15, 2016——
Colorado Native's Olathe Lager has more going on than its yellow color might suggest. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Colorado Native's Olathe Lager has more going on than its yellow color might suggest.
MillerCoors' locavorous experimental arm, AC Golden, sent us a sixer of their new summer beer, Colorado Native Olathe Lager. It's brewed with ingredients that the included press release says were grown within a mile of each other in Olathe, Colorado. The malts are pale and Munich, with "Olathe Sweet" corn added as an adjunct. It's hopped to a mild 25 IBUs with Nugget and Crystal hops, winding up at 5.6 percent ABV.

All told, this is a pretty neat lager. The clear, golden brew belies nothing of the light toasty notes from the Munich malt. While I don't get much sweetness from the corn, it does add a certain depth of flavor to the beer. Unfortunately, there's no hop bitterness to speak of, and there's nothing interesting happening on the finish. It's just kinda there, mild and inoffensive.

That said, using local ingredients makes this beer just a skosh more awesome than it might otherwise be. And while it's not the sexiest thing on the market, it's pretty darn good nonetheless.

The press release assures us that Colorado Native's Winterfest beer will hit the market in a few months.
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pending CC/FAC alliance already adjusting plans

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 4:57 PM

As updated here just one week ago, from an earlier teaser of plans to "forge a future together" back in January, Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center remain in the final phases of a negotiating a new alliance. 

The FAC's financial situation at present has meant understaffing woes on the curatorial side. A hook-up with CC should shore up funding for significant growth. - COURTESY COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER
  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • The FAC's financial situation at present has meant understaffing woes on the curatorial side. A hook-up with CC should shore up funding for significant growth.
FAC President and CEO David Dahlin has said to expect a decision before summer's end, but one bit of personnel-related news has already become public ahead of the seemingly imminent merger. And unfortunately, it undoes something the arts community, including Dahlin, has been looking forward to since last November. 

Contrary to the prior plan for her ascension, Joy Armstrong will not become the FAC's new executive director and chief curator for the long term.

That's the case even though the FAC still has asked Armstrong to step in as an interim ED and chief curator once Blake Milteer departs, soon. At that point, she will be the sole curator for an undetermined amount of time.

Bear in mind Dahlin thinks of Armstrong, who began volunteering with Milteer in fall 2009, as a "rockstar among us" and "an exceptional talent." She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Denver, studying Studio Art and Mass Communications, and earned a master’s degree in Art History from Kent State University.

But apparently — and we don't have all the details yet due to tight lips surrounding the final negotiations — Colorado College as the new boss has a desire for a Ph.D.-credentialed curator in that position at the FAC. 

Leslie Weddell, CC's director of news and media relations, offers this much of an explanation: 
If an alliance between Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is finalized, we expect we will be adding new resources to the museum. We would go through a strategic planning process that involves the FAC, CC and the community that would help to guide those allocations.

We will need a director with the background and credentials to integrate the academic mission and programs while continuing the community mission. Most likely this person would be experienced in working with an academic program in a museum.
"We’re looking at a different structure than what we were considering when we initially asked Joy to take on that position," says Dahlin. "The future position will be significantly different. Not to minimize Joy at all, because she's very well educated at a master's level, but in the academic world, they value terminal degrees." 

We could digress here in an old debate about the necessity of Ph.D.'s and contemporary calls to reinvent our college models, and there may be such factors at hand as the potential to win more and larger sums of grant money via the power of those three letters at the end of one's title. 

CC's Cornerstone Arts Center sits just across the street from the FAC. Students and staff won't have to go far for expanded academic programming the merger will usher in. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • CC's Cornerstone Arts Center sits just across the street from the FAC. Students and staff won't have to go far for expanded academic programming the merger will usher in.
But as some see it, in order not to look a bit like the big bad wolf or calloused new overlord, CC will owe the arts community and early supporters of Armstrong more explanation of their decision-making process. With her strong curatorial background, why not train her into the academic side, or hire other curators to meet that role? 

"We're on hold with what the organizational structure will look like," says Weddell. "I know Jill [Tiefenthaler, CC's president] is planning for a year of a strategic planning, and listening to community input."

But to the making of lemonade with lemons, Dahlin quickly points to positives that the CC acquisition might offer Armstrong: "This will allow Joy to focus on modern and contemporary art, and maximize her role in that regard. We’ve been understaffed for many years. Our curators have had to be jacks of all trade. She and Blake haven’t gotten to do all they could have because they’ve had to wear so many hats. The future state of the FAC will allow Joy to focus on her expertise. This can be long-term good thing for Joy. It can suit her strengths and she can totally thrive in that role." 

Zooming out to the bigger picture of impact on a legacy institution and our high-rated liberal arts school, Dahlin reiterates the "win-win" result for broader Colorado Springs. 

"We’re hoping and expecting to add additional curators, gain depth, attract research and research grants in our future state," Dahlin says, adding that "more robust programming" will ultimately be "a treat to the community."

Still, it's a bummer all that excitement looks to be built upon a first move that equates to a rug-pull for our "homegrown talent" who'd already been selected to lead the museum side of the FAC into the new era. It feels a bit like opening a blockbuster exhibit but hanging the fan-favorite piece in the stairwell. Nobody will find Joy in that. 

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Willamette Market lures investors successfully

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 3:00 PM

I reported in this week's Side Dish on the tentative mid-August opening of the Willamette Market & Deli, which reopens the historic Little Market & Deli after a few years closure. 

As part of that opening, co-owners Natalie Peck and Amy Emerson were calling for 18 investors to buy in at the $4,000 level, with a planned 10 percent return, 20 percent discount for life, and modest profit share until payoff.

At Wednesday night's community meeting at the shop, Peck says around 75 folks attended, many from the neighborhood but some from blocks or a car-drive away. She described the atmosphere as "super supportive" and didn't hear any grievances against the opening, as other proposals in the past had faced. 

But more encouragingly, Peck says that 16 of those 18 investor commitments came in yesterday, and by day's end today they may be fully booked up. Five folks had signed up pre-meeting, and 11 during, she says, while another 35 or so had signed a page expressing interest and requesting the business plan via email.

"It's awesome," she says. "It's the whole reason we went with this model, because we wanted the community to be involved.  

She says more investor opportunities may arise soon via the bakery component of the business, but her current business plan is written with the 18 in mind, so she's not likely to open up more shares for the market at this time. 
The former Little Market & Deli will soon reopen as the Willamette Market & Deli.
  • The former Little Market & Deli will soon reopen as the Willamette Market & Deli.

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Stop the damage, and free ride, from grazing of public lands

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 1:38 PM

Land can naturally recover from grazing. - COURTESY WESTERN WATERSHEDS PROJECT INC.
  • Courtesy Western Watersheds Project Inc.
  • Land can naturally recover from grazing.
Unauthorized grazing is widespread and should be penalized more aggressively, the Government Accountability Office reports in a new report issued last week.

Already a bargain — can we say subsidy? — for ranchers, federal lands leased for grazing bring in a fraction of the cost charged by private land owners for grazing, the report said.

The report comes after several high profile cases of what could be described as squatters using public lands for their herds, including Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy.

Here's a release from the Western Watersheds Project, Inc., which says it's time to curtail the "willful ignorance" by federal agencies who fear enforcement will bring a backlash from people like Bundy.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report last week detailing the extent to which the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have failed to follow agency regulations in documenting and penalizing unauthorized or trespass livestock grazing on federal public lands. The report, entitled Unauthorized Grazing: Actions Needed to Improve Tracking and Deterrence Efforts, was requested by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee. The request came in response to several high profile cases of trespass grazing and a recognition of the devastating ecological impacts it can have on wildlife habitat.

The report came to several important conclusions. Trespass grazing is pervasive and causes widespread degradation of public lands, agencies do not document it adequately, and the Forest Service trespass fees are too low to be a deterrent.

The report also highlights the extent to which public lands livestock grazing is heavily subsidized by American taxpayers. In 2016, BLM and the Forest Service charged ranchers $2.11 per animal unit month for horses and cattle, and $0.42 for sheep and goats. But, average private grazing land lease rates in western states ranged from $9 to $39.

In a separate press release, Grijalva stated, “We know we’re leasing public land at well below market value. What we don’t know nearly enough about is the extent or impact of unauthorized grazing on public lands. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management need to bring grazing fees in line with the modern economy and take illegal use of public lands more seriously going forward.”

In addition to the agencies' failure to document or penalize trespass grazing, the report states that according to agency personnel, “high-profile cases of intentional unauthorized grazing and related antigovernment protests can affect agency decision making regarding enforcement … (and) that not taking enforcement action on violators is likely to encourage more unauthorized grazing.” The report also states that “lack of support from higher-level managers for strong enforcement action does not incentivize field staff to act on unauthorized grazing and, in some cases, lowers staff morale.”

The report also acknowledges the significant ecological damage that trespass grazing can cause. The report states, “(U)nauthorized grazing may create various effects, such as severely degrading rangelands under certain conditions.” This damage was witnessed firsthand by the GAO investigators. “During our field visits, we observed locations where unauthorized grazing had resulted in severely damaged natural springs, overgrazed meadows, and trampled streambeds.”

“Western Watershed Project (WWP) has been documenting these types of abuse for years. Our reports often fall on deaf ears or are purposefully ignored by agency land managers who refuse to follow the law and punish or even document illegal grazing on public lands,” said Jonathan Ratner, the group's Wyoming Director.

Because the agencies rarely track and report on unauthorized grazing, the GAO concluded that the frequency and extent of unauthorized grazing on agency lands are largely unknown. The report found that rather than report and penalize unauthorized grazing as required by agency regulation, agency personnel are far more likely to handle incidents informally with no subsequent documentation. This leads to both a lack of institutional knowledge and makes identifying and prosecuting serial violators much more difficult.

“Trespass grazing occurs far more often than the agencies are willing to admit. We often find cows grazing inside exclosures, in the wrong pastures, or long after the permitted season of use. In fact, this is more the norm than the exception,” said Josh Osher, WWP's Montana Director.

Even when trespass grazing is reported and the agencies take action, the GAO found that the penalties assessed are often too low to act as a deterrent. This is especially true for the Forest Service where the penalty for trespass grazing may be even less the cost of permitted grazing elsewhere. The report points out that agency field staff stated, “that penalties for unauthorized grazing are rarely or never an effective deterrent ... some told us that there are permittees who view the penalties for unauthorized grazing as a cost of doing business because paying the penalties is cheaper than seeking forage elsewhere.”

A previous GAO report on trespass grazing in 1990 reached similar conclusions, including “when offenders were detected, BLM frequently exacted no penalties and, for the more serious violations, seldom assessed the minimum penalties its own regulations required. As a result, unauthorized grazing was not adequately deterred, which could lead to degradation of public rangelands, among other things.” At that time, GAO made recommendations to the BLM including that all incidents of unauthorized grazing be documented and that compliance inspections be expanded to “provide systematic compliance coverage.” Unfortunately, these recommendations were largely ignored by the agency.

“A culture of willful ignorance is pervasive within the BLM and Forest Service. The agencies rarely inspect grazing allotments and even when violations are found, corrective actions are rarely taken and violators are rarely punished,” said WWP's Idaho Director Ken Cole.

In this latest report, the GAO makes similar recommendations to the agencies about identification, documentation, and deterrence of trespass grazing. While the BLM and Forest Service generally agree with the conclusions of the report and claim they will make changes to agency policy, based on past experience, WWP is not confident that changes will occur or that local field managers will change current practices.

Western Watersheds Project is a nonprofit environmental conservation group with 1,500 members founded in 1993 and has field offices in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, California, and Oregon. WWP works to influence and improve public lands management throughout the West with a primary focus on the negative impacts of livestock grazing on 250 million acres of western public lands, including harm to ecological, biological, cultural, historic, archeological, scenic resources, wilderness values, roadless areas, Wilderness Study Areas and designated Wilderness.

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5 things you might not know about Darryl Glenn

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 11:36 AM

Glenn was well liked in high school where he served on the student council. - PHOTOS FROM DOHERTY HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOKS
  • Photos from Doherty High School yearbooks
  • Glenn was well liked in high school where he served on the student council.
This week, we feature Darryl Glenn, the whiz-bang candidate for U.S. Senate who seemingly came out of nowhere to win the Republican nomination on June 28.

Soon, he'll find himself speaking to the Republican National Convention. More about that later.

Here are some things about the El Paso County commissioner you might not know:

• He was active in student council in high school, serving as junior president and senior president and laying the groundwork for a political career following his service in the military.

• He was a running back his sophomore and junior year, helping the Doherty Spartans junior varsity team have a "stunning" year as a sophomore.

Glenn wore No. 33 on the gridiron at Doherty.
  • Glenn wore No. 33 on the gridiron at Doherty.
• He lost his first election, in 2003, when he ran for an at-large seat on the Colorado Springs City Council. He ran fifth. But he was later appointed to replace Charles Wingate, who resigned amid allegations of misusing city funds and equipment.

• He has a rap sheet that contains an assault charge filed when he was 18, but denies he was ever charged with anything and doesn't know why court and police records show him being charged.

• He touts that he graduated from the Air Force Academy (in a class that saw nearly a third wash out before graduation), but he doesn't belong to the Air Force Academy Association of Graduates.

Glenn's viewpoints over the years can be found at this link.

Glenn faces Democrat incumbent Michael Bennet in the November election.

And as for his appearance at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, this just in from the Glenn campaign:
Today, the Republican National Convention announced that U.S. Senate Candidate Darryl Glenn (R-CO) will address the delegates and attendees.

“During my campaign, I’ve focused on the need for decisive leadership and unifying as a country, and now I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take my message to Cleveland and address the Republican National Convention.”

“For the past year, I’ve been traveling the State of Colorado, hearing firsthand from Coloradans about the issues they face. These issues: national security, jobs, economy will be on the table at the RNC, and I look forward to meeting with other Republican leaders in Cleveland to discuss how Colorado can lead in so many of these critical areas.”
Glenn knocked delegates' socks off at the state convention in April with a raucous rant that sounded like it came straight out of a revival meeting. We assume he'll be delivering a similarly animated pep talk in Cleveland.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Public Market dangles 'exciting developments'

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 10:21 AM

In today's Indy we hear from newly appointed Colorado Springs Public Market board chair, also executive director of Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Jon Khoury

He says the group is now aiming for a Labor Day opening of the market, finally, after many years in the planning.

CSPM representatives were planning an informational session for tomorrow night at Cottonwood, but that has been postponed, according to a note on CSPM's Facebook page. 

It reads:
Due to exciting developments we are postponing this event. We will let you know our rescheduled date as soon as we can.
We'll update this posting as soon as we hear word from Khoury on exactly what these developments are. 

  • Courtesy Cottonwood

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

CSPD familiar with robots carrying explosives

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 11:52 AM

Brown: Still in court with the city. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Brown: Still in court with the city.
As I was driving home from work Monday evening, I heard a report on the Dallas police shootings on NPR. The report zeroed in on the Dallas PD's strategy to use a robot loaded with explosives to kill the cop killer, Micah Johnson.

As the NPR report noted:
This, in fact, wasn't the first time a police robot was rigged to do something it wasn't originally designed to do — say, instead of defusing a bomb, to deliver a flash or smoke grenade to incapacitate a suspect, experts say. But it was apparently the first purposeful killing of a suspect using such a rig.
It might be worth a mention at this juncture that a robot was used in such a way right here in river city in May 2012, when police tried to flush out Ronald Dwayne Brown from his condo in southeast Colorado Springs.

Police used a robot loaded with explosives to breach his home in an attempt to force Brown out. It was the first time the bomb unit had performed such an operation and had to guess at how much explosive to use, according to police reports.
The gash Brown suffered from the bomb robot CSPD sent into his home. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The gash Brown suffered from the bomb robot CSPD sent into his home.
We covered the incident in detail in our "Full Force" stories of 2015. (July 15, 2015)

Although the goal of the CSPD wasn't to kill Brown, the use of the explosive could have had that effect. As it was, Brown was found under a mattress in the basement, where the floor fell on him because of the explosion, in a flak jacket and helmet. He was not armed, and suffered some pretty gruesome-looking injuries, including a deep gash to his leg..

So the CSPD has been known to use robots with explosives against citizens.

For their trouble, the city is being sued in federal court by Brown, an Army veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

As we also reported on our blog in April, despite efforts of the city to get the case thrown out, it's ongoing. The latest is the city has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals' 10th Circuit the federal judge's refusal to grant dismissal of the case. The plaintiff's attorney, Shimon Kohn, has also appealed the judge's refusal to grant Brown's motion for summary judgment.
So the matter is in the appeals court's hands at the moment.

Another use of force case, Officer Tyler Walker throwing 18-year-old Alexis Acker onto the floor and breaking her tooth, (captured on video), was recently settled with the city handing over $100,000 in taxpayer money to Acker. Walker, who was subject of a disciplinary action that wasn't disclosed to the public, left the department nearly a year ago.

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171 firefighters, 11 engines assigned to Hayden Pass Fire

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 10:52 AM

It's unclear if this high-tech firefighting aircraft has played a role in the Hayden Pass fire.
  • It's unclear if this high-tech firefighting aircraft has played a role in the Hayden Pass fire.
The Hayden Pass Fire has grown to more than 12,000 acres and a Type 2 firefighting team was assigned to take over management of the fire this morning at 6 a.m. Type 2 is the next step down from Type 1, which is the label for the nation's most elite and well-equipped firefighting groups.

The fire has fewer than 200 firefighters assigned as of Tuesday morning.

The national incident management website gives this description of the fire, which is believed to have started last Friday from a lightning strike about 20 miles southeast of Salida.

The Hayden Pass Fire continues to grow as the fire was active throughout the night. New estimates put the fire at 7,500 acres.
The Hayden Pass Fire, located 3 miles southwest of Coaldale, Colorado; started as a lightning strike on July 8th. Fire crews searched for smoke over the weekend but were unable to pin point its location in the rugged terrain of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. Smoke from this fire reappeared on Sunday, July 10th, just after 2:00 p.m.; by 10:00 p.m. the fire had grown to over 5,000 acres. Strong winds, dry conditions and the large volume of dead woody debris in the area contributed to this rapid growth.
A Type 2 incident management team, Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team, will assume command of this fire at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 12th. The incident commander for this team is Jay Esperance.
Esperance is fresh off the Beaver Creek fire of last month, as reported by the U.S. Forest Service.

If you want to see how this fire compares to others currently burning in the west, check out this chart.

In this report, you'll find the resources assigned to the fire, which hasn't been reported in detail so far. This report shows 171 firefighters are battling the Hayden Pass Fire, with 11 engines and three helicopters assigned.

Officials describe the fire this way: "Extreme fire behavior with crowning, running and spotting. Structures threatened. Evacuations, road, area and trail closures in effect."

The Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center — which covers five states — has the most firefighters assigned of any area in the country at the moment, according to this report. It also has the most engines, as you can see from this chart.


As a footnote, there's been no mention so far about what, if any, role is being played by the state's new firefighting aircraft in the Hayden Pass Fire. ("A lofty proposal," Jan. 28, 2015) Colorado Springs vied as the base for the firefighting aircraft but lost out to Rifle

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