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News briefs from the Front Range

Pion map to be released

Fort Carson officials will release a long-anticipated map Thursday night in Trinidad, detailing areas into which the post may expand Pion Canyon Maneuver Site.

For about a year, intense speculation has surrounded the Army's plan to expand the roughly 235,000-acre training ground in southeast Colorado by more than 418,000 acres. Officials will release the map during the meeting in Trinidad 128 miles south of Colorado Springs. The meeting takes place from 6 to 8 in Aultman Hall, 137 W. Cedar St.

Army representatives will discuss a "revised area of interest" and proposed timeline for environmental studies.

Ranchers have dubbed the plan a land grab. Army officials bristle at that description, yet refuse to rule out eminent domain, a public taking of land. In the 1980s, despite promises to the contrary, the Army resorted to eminent domain during creation of the original site when ranchers refused to sell.

The area is rife with ranches, environmentally sensitive grasslands and history, including a slice of the Santa Fe Trail, dinosaur fossils and American Indian rock art. MdY

Richardson coming to Pueblo

Presidential candidate Bill Richardson, the Democratic governor of New Mexico, will bring his campaign to Pueblo on Friday for two fund-raising events, after a similar agenda Thursday in Denver.

Richardson, a former congressman who was United Nations ambassador in the 1990s, will begin his Pueblo visit Friday with an 11 a.m. reception at Koncilja Law Offices, 125 B St. Area Democratic leaders and top supporters will pay $1,000 to $2,300 each for the chance to meet the candidate personally.

Richardson also will speak at a luncheon, starting at 11:30, at the Olde Carriage House on the Riverwalk. Tickets for the luncheon range from $100 to $250.

To make reservations for either event, contact Katherine Dey at 202/543-3182 or kdey@richardsonforpresident.com. RR

Ritter quashes ID bill

Ever since the Department of Revenue changed regulations last summer, Colorado's ex-convict, homeless and elderly populations have had a hell of a time accessing identification cards. That might not change, after Gov. Bill Ritter vetoed a bill that would have relaxed state rules by adding to the acceptable documents to present for an ID.

Ritter said he's working to address the issue without the legislation, which he said risked security.

"I'm pleased that the governor recognizes that there is a problem," says Rep. Rosemary Marshall, D-Denver, who sponsored the bill. "We want to make sure that citizens who are legal citizens and have the ability to obtain necessary services through the proper sources would have the ability to do so."

The ID dilemma is also the subject of a lawsuit brought forth by Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and several individuals. NZ

UCCS to back science, math, engineering

Defense contractors and economic-development boosters will join to hear University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak's plans for addressing a looming shortage of workers with technological skills.

Representatives from aeronautics, information technology, manufacturing and other industries will attend the June 21 briefing at UCCS. Shockley-Zalabak will give an overview of a K-college program meant to increase student interest in science, technology and math studies.

The Space Foundation, which advocates civil, commercial and national-security space endeavors, is helping develop the program in hopes of filling the anticipated void from aging workers. In the aerospace industry, an estimated 27 percent of workers could retire by 2008, according to a UCCS spokesman.

The briefing, sponsored by the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp., several major defense contractors and Junior Achievement, takes place at 7:30 a.m. in the Lodge on the UCCS campus (1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.). Call 262-3176 to reserve seating. MdY

Rock (show) of ages?

Jermaine Rogers' posters refrain from relying on tired rock clichs. Instead, Rogers, a much-lauded artist who moved to Manitou Springs just a few months ago ("Mr. Rogers' neighborhood," csindy.com/csindy/2007-03-01/cover.html) loads his work with other motives and statements subtly set in the imagery.

The images in his Mars Volta series, for example, are highly reminiscent of those on dollar bills a commentary lost on no one.

When works of Rogers' stature hang on the walls of a gallery, it's the space that houses the art that gets put on the spot. If the space is wrong, the work suffers, no matter how good it is.

How has the Smokebrush Gallery handled The Colorado Springs Independent Presents: Jermaine Rogers? See "Web extra" online now at csindy.com to find out. EA

Compiled by Edie Adelstein, Ralph Routon, Michael de Yoanna and Naomi Zeveloff.

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