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Council campaign donations, Memorial Foundation nominees, panhandling likely dropped 

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Mapping the money

"All politics is local." "Follow the money."

Those clichés in mind, donations to candidates in this April's City Council races are worth close attention. All candidates are required to file campaign contribution and expenditure forms with the city clerk, who in turn posts the forms online. But tracking those isn't the easiest task.

To assist, the Indy is collecting the filings of campaign contributions made by every candidate in the Council race, uploading them to a database of our own, and presenting this information in map form. Visit to see who's received contributions from far-flung locales, and who's receiving the big bucks from business interests and political action committees.

This is raw information, without any editorial input, which we hope will educate and inform our readers' voting decisions. — Chet Hardin

Appointees recommended

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has chosen two businesspeople and a nonprofit official to serve three-year terms on the Memorial Health Care Foundation board, while those with experience in health care would serve shorter terms of one or two years. Bach's choices must be approved by City Council, which was to take up the appointments Tuesday after the Indy's press time.

Bach's picks:

Three-year terms: Kathy Boe, with defense contractor Boecore, Inc.; Jon Medved, Chef's Catalog; and Thayer Tutt, president and chief investment officer of El Pomar Foundation.

Two-year terms: Deborah Chandler, Colorado Springs Health Partners; Lynette Crow-Iverson, Conspire! and HealthQuest Medical Services Inc.; and Philip Lane, Culebra Properties.

One-year terms: David Lord, Innovations in Aging Collaboration; Zachary McComsey, Atlas Preparatory School; and B.J. Scott, Peak Vista Community Health Centers Foundation.

City Attorney Chris Melcher would serve as an ex-officio member. — Pam Zubeck

Kimball's goes digital

Kimball's Peak Three Theater plans to reopen by Thursday (or Friday, should complications arise) after a three-day closure related to its transition from 35mm film to digital projection. As noted in the Indy last fall ("Convert or die," cover story, Nov. 14), smaller theaters nationwide are being forced to convert to the new technology in the face of production companies ceasing distribution of 35mm prints.

In November, theater owner Kimball Bayles estimated the switch would cost around $200,000. But having waited until prices dropped, he now anticipates a $150,000 price tag for three screens, plus a new sound system.

Theater manager Matt Stevens notes some positives attached to the investment, namely better sound and picture quality, plus greater access to more films with fewer delays (e.g., waiting for prints to be handed down out of larger cities). — Matthew Schniper

D-11 recall petitions OK'd

Upset parents will get a chance to recall six members of the Colorado Springs School District 11 Board of Education, the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office announced March 7.

After some initial problems, the clerk approved the petitions to recall all the members of the board except Bob Null.

The three parents leading the effort are upset about recent school closures, including the decision to close Wasson High School, and related issues. Starting March 7, they were given 60 days to collect 15,000 verified signatures per board member in order to force an election. Late summer is likely the earliest the election will be held. — J. Adrian Stanley

'Second opinion' on stormwater

In a press release, the city says Mayor Steve Bach is hiring a consultant to check the research of a regional stormwater task force that tallied the city's unfunded stormwater projects at $687 million. The press release also notes the mayor's continued resistance to looking for a regional funding source.

"The Mayor believes Colorado Springs should control the funding, management and construction of its improvements, given that it owns the lion's share of needs, while coordinating and collaborating with other communities," the release says.

A group formed with the help of El Paso County is nevertheless exploring a regional funding solution. — J. Adrian Stanley

$3.1 billion from nonprofits

They may not seem like money-magnets, but a new study finds that the Pikes Peak region's nonprofit sector is a $3.1 billion industry, comprised of 1,275 organizations employing 17,000 people.

That makes nonprofits the seventh-largest industry in Colorado Springs, according to the soon-to-be-released study from the Center for Nonprofit Excellence (see "Charity Case," News, Oct. 31). The study, which we'll detail at csindy.com when it's released, looks at both the economic impact of nonprofits and the social impact, which is harder to measure.

In an e-mail to the Independent, CNE executive director Dave Somers offers examples of both.

"Organizations like Urban Peak spend approximately $5,000 a year to shelter and assist homeless teens, who otherwise might cost our community more than $50,000 a year if they ended up in corrections or a residential treatment program," he writes. "In 2011 Discover Goodwill helped 4,740 citizens find jobs in our community with projected annual earnings of more than $57 million." — J.Adrian Stanley

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