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When you get up on Saturday morning, May 4, you're going to be giddy with the opportunities the fresh new world has presented for you, particularly dog doo and pot smoke.

The El Paso County Park and Rec people are trying really hard to making cleaning up dog poo fun, mainly by hiding brightly colored plastic turds in with the real deal at the Bear Creek Park Dog Loop. People that frequently use the Loop are asked -- begged, really -- to come on out to the trailhead at 21st Street between 9 a.m. and noon and help clean up the year's accumulation of droppings -- last year volunteers picked up over 600 lbs. According the Park people, the snow is melting, the sun is shining, and the Loop is beginning to smell really bad. As an inducement to get you out there with gloves on, if you find one of the many fabricated poos, you'll win fabulous doggy prizes from Wag 'n' Wash.

Then, shower (for the rest of us) and book it on back to Acacia Park where Dr. Robert Melamede, a Ph. D. in microbiology, will discuss, along with other local doctors, the actual effects of marijuana. Melamede is one of the nation's foremost experts in cannabinoids, and is speaking as part of a rally for the use of medical marijuana (sorry, Chong -- this bud's for your grandma). The rally will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Area Events

Backyard Composter Sale sponsored by El Paso County Solid Waste Management. In the El Paso County Health Dept. Parking Lot, 305 S. Union Blvd., and the Chapel Hills Mall north parking lot. Each composter costs $37.25. Call 575-8450. Sat., May 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bulletin Board

Suicide Prevention Hotline, a home-based telephone service whose goal is to help a person in crisis find a way to live. Call 596-LIFE (5433).

District 11 Five-Year Capital Plan 2002-2007 public information meeting for the purpose of gathering community input, at Doherty High, 4515 Barnes Road, on Tues., April 30, 6-8 p.m. Also at West Middle School, 1920 W. Pikes Peak Ave., Thurs., May 2, 6-8 p.m. Call 477-6085 for details.

World Heritage seeking host families for high-school foreign exchange students. For details, call 888/386-7260.

Alzheimer's Association accepting donations of used cars and recreational vehicles. Donors receive a tax write-off and free removal of the car. Donations help those with Alzheimer's Disease and developmentally disabled citizens. Call 800/864-4404.

Colorado Women's Agenda Statewide Resource Book now available. Features more than 400 programs that serve women and girls in Colorado. $10 plus shipping. Call 303/863-7336.

Krysta Rule, a 15-year-old Manitou Springs resident recently underwent a lung transplant necessitated by Cystic Fibrosis and needs help with her huge medical bills. Contributions may be made to the Krysta Rule Benefit Account at ENT FCU, P.O. Box 15819, Colorado Springs, CO 80935.

Greenway and Nature Center's Raptor Center is in need of donations of food items for its resident and convalescing birds of prey. Especially needed are game meats such as deer, elk and rabbit. Beef, pork, lamb and other processed meat cannot be used. Also accepting rats, mice and similar rodents. Call 719/549-2327..

El Paso County Park Advisory Board invites the public to attend their regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at the Board of County Commissioners Hearing Room, 27 E. Vermijo, 3rd floor. The Board discusses matters pertaining to the policy, planning, development, improvement and beautification of public parks, trails and open space. For details, call Cindy Olson at 520-6999. Next meeting: May 9.

El Paso County Commissioners seeks citizen volunteers to fill vacancies on various boards and committees, including the Highway Advisory Commission, Park Advisory Board (District 2), Colorado State University Extension Advisory Committee. Interested individual should send a letter of interest and a brief resume to: Board of County Commissioners, Attn: Nancy Talent, Office Manager, 27 E. Vermijo Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80903-2208.

Clubs & Organizations

ABATE of Colorado, a nonprofit safety-oriented motorcycle rights organization holding District 2 meetings on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Navajo Hogan, 2817 N. Nevada Ave. For more information call Rick, 684-8386 or visit http://www.abateofcolo.org. Next meeting: May 8.

Central Colorado Wilderness Network, sponsored by the Pikes Peak Group of the Sierra Club, meeting at Beidleman Environmental Center, 740 W. Caramillo St. Free, 3030/660-5849. Thurs., May 9, 7-9 p.m.

Chess Club meeting every Monday from 6:30-8 p.m. at Borders, 1710 Briargate Blvd. Details, 266-1600.

Pikes Peak Camera Club holding a competition meeting at Living Springs Worship Centre, 640 Manitou Blvd. Topic: multiple exposures. Photographers of all levels welcome to join. For details, call 597-6652. Tues., May 7, 7 p.m.

Pikes Peak Neighbors (formerly Welcome Wagon of Colorado Springs) seeking new members interested in book clubs, tours and luncheons, bridge, arts and crafts, ladies' socials and more to greet area newcomers. Luncheon meetings held every second Wednesday of the month September through May. Dorothy Greenway, 630-5047. Next meeting, "Fashion Safari": May 8.

Prism Fellowship Family Support Group meeting at Ascension Lutheran Church, 2505 N. Circle Dr. from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. Call Carolyn Reida, 548-0892, for details. Next meeting: May 16.

Silicon Mountain Macintosh User Group, Inc. (SMMUG) meeting at the Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock. For information, call Lynn Poos, 599-4528, or visit www.smmug.org. Next meeting: May 15, 6 p.m.

Political Programs

El Paso County Democratic Club meeting monthly for formal meetings, breakfasts and informal discussions. For details, call President Mark Entrekin at 548-8798.

Pikes Peak Green Party, espousing ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, respect for diversity and future focus in politics meeting on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Center, 29 S. Institute. Details, 210-5144. Next meeting: May 21.

El Paso County Democratic Party, an affiliate of the national Democratic Party, holding regular meetings as well as endorsing the Democratic Women's Club, Young Dems and many others. Call the party headquarters for more, 473-8713.

Natural Law Party of Colorado, meetings locally during campaigns and in Denver during the rest of the year. For details, call 888/456-1732 or visit http://www.natural-law-colorado.org.

El Paso County Republican Party, an affiliate of the national Republican Party, holding regular meetings as well as endorsing the several clubs and producing events. Call the party headquarters for more details, 578-0022.

Libertarian Party of El Paso County, an affiliate of the national Libertarian Party, meeting on the last Wednesday of each month. Friends of Liberty, an informal discussion group meeting every Tuesday night from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at Wooglin's Deli, southeast corner of Tejon and Cache la Poudre. Details, 596-6799. Next formal meeting: April 28.

Volunteer Opportunities

American Cancer Society seeking volunteers to help with the Road to Recovery program. Volunteers will help drive cancer patients to and from treatment. Training provided. Call 636-5101.

Alzheimer's Association seeking caring, sensitive artists to help patients express thoughts and memories they can no longer speak or write about. The artist's commitment is about two hours per week. Call Marica Hefti at 637-8049.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Pikes Peak seeking volunteers to mentor youth in our community. One to six hours a week. 633-2443.

The Bijou House, a hospitality house providing transitional housing and support for homeless adults, is in need of regular volunteers in a variety of capacities. For more information call 635-5078.

Care and Share Food Bank seeking volunteers for its information and referral helpline telephone service. Must have good customer service skills and be able to commit to one 4-hour shift per week for at least 6 months. Call Jordan at 528-1247 or visit http://www.careandshare.org for details.

The Children's Literacy Center seeks volunteers ages 16 or older (13-15 with special recommendations) to provide one-on-one tutoring in reading to first, second and third graders. Two hours per week for 12 weeks will help a child become a successful reader. 30 sites and a variety of tutoring times available; training provided. For details, call 471-8672.

Colorado Division of Wildlife seeking volunteers for a wildlife transport team, to help injured wildlife. Volunteers must be able to be on-call after training. Call Jean Sanchez at 227-5204 for details.

Community Partnership for Child Development seeking volunteers for its Head Start program. Volunteers spend a few hours per week working one-on-one with children in the classroom or during evening child care. All ages welcome to apply; there is no minimum commitment of hours. Schedules are flexible, training is provided, and there's a variety of locations. Call Susan Fleming at 635-1536 Ext. 233.

El Paso County Parks Department seeking volunteers to help install a playground at Bill Bauers Park in Manitou Springs. Six-hour shifts; tools and lunch provided. Call Aimee Cox at 520-6978. Sat.-Sun., May 4-5, and Sat., May 11.

First Visitor seeking volunteers to visit expectant and new parents; help promote care-giving, good maternal and child health; and to link families with other community resources. Full training and support provided. Call Nancy Barrows, 444-4504.

Foster Grandparent Program presented by Volunteers of America invites low-income seniors in El Paso County to tutor, mentor and care for troubled children at facilities like Children's University and the Community Partnership for Child Development. In return, seniors are provided with a $200 monthly stipend that does not affect Social Security or other programs. To find out more, Call Kathy at 632-1448.

Girl Scouts seeking adult men and women volunteers to be troop leaders and helpers, and organize activities such as camping, mentoring, photography and more. No experience required. Call 597-8603.

Meals-on-Wheels seeking volunteers to help deliver hot meals to lonely, isolated area seniors for two hours each week. Call Diane or Mikki at Silver Key Senior Services, 632-1521.

Memorial Hospital seeking volunteers interested in learning more about health care and making a difference in the community to help in the business office, and interact with patients via reading out loud, visiting, and writing letters. Volunteers should commit for at least 6 months. Hours are very flexible. Call 365-5298.

Out Volunteer (a project of the Pikes Peak Gay and Lesbian Community Center, and the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado) seeking LGBT and Allied people to volunteer for community projects. Must enjoy volunteering for nonprofits and the community-at-large, and creating understanding, awareness, and positive visibility for the LGBT community. Call 471-4429 Ext. 5 for details. (Leave message)

Pikes Peak Family Connections seeking volunteers for the Nurturing Program, a series of parenting classes. A commitment of four hours per week for four months is requested. For more information, call Lindsay Peters, 444-4517.

The Probation Victim Assistance Program seeks caring volunteers to assist in victim notifications, victims' rights education and the victim/offender mediation process. Call Stephanie, 329-7006.

Trails Day at Pueblo Mountain Park seeking volunteers to help with trail maintenance. Kitchen workers also needed. Camping and bunks available. For details and registration call 800/925-2220. Sat.-Sun., May 4-5.

Silver Key Senior Services seeking people to help drive local elderly persons to the grocery store, bank, doctor, etc. Invest just four hours a week or month and don't pay a penny for your gas! Call Diane, 632-1521.

Suicide Prevention Hotline, serving El Paso and Teller counties, seeking volunteers to staff a home-based telephone service whose goal is to help a person in crisis find a way to live. Call Tom at 573-7447.

Workout Ltd., a restorative justice program, seeks volunteers to facilitate conferences between victims and offenders. Training provided. Call Denise Mantano, 471-4200, or visit www.workoutltd.org.

Walking Shield American Indian Society seeking volunteers to help in warehouse with packing and loading boxes, and picking up donations. Hours: Tues. Fri., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call Elaine Glynn at 329-0251.

The Community Chest is a resource for speaking your mind, pulling your weight, casting your vote or joining the club. See page 44 for information on submitting notices to the Chest.

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