Thursday, February 25, 2010

With Miles to go, will Romanoff sleep?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 3:00 PM

There are two ways of looking at Mike Miles' recent endorsement of Andrew Romanoff in Colorado's Democratic U.S. Senate primary race.

Give him a Miles, what will he take?
  • Rank-and-file friend, or cautionary candidate?

On the upside, Miles — who is currently superintendent of Harrison School District 2 — rallied the Democratic base in his 2004 Senate bid against fellow Democrat Ken Salazar, even gaining a slight lead in delegates over Salazar at the party's state assembly and convention.

But in the primary election, Salazar crushed Miles, 73-27.

The Web site, which has generally taken a dim view of Romanoff's campaign against Sen. Michael Bennet, sees the fundraising letter from Miles, which is posted below, as evidence that Romanoff has "jumped the shark."

Equating Miles, who has little political experience, with Romanoff, the former speaker of the state House, may be a stretch. But Miles' race against Salazar could illustrate the impact of money in a primary race. Romanoff has said he won't take PAC money, and Bennet is striding away from him in fundraising, most recently having raised close to $700,000 in a single night when President Barack Obama swung through town.

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Rubbish anniversary this weekend

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 2:08 PM


The Springs' well-loved back-door arts haven Rubbish Gallery will celebrate its fourth birthday this Saturday. The gallery will have music starting at 8 and work by artists who participated in Rubbish's first show in February 2006.

The weekend will also include a series of extended hours to honor the opening of Rubbish's first furniture and design show, 200 Years in the Making. Artisans including Gary Weston, Jon Lindstrom (one of Rubbish's three co-owners), Cody Kuretich, The Tao of Metal (a duo known for its metal bonsai trees at Trinity Brewing), and Von Design Inc. will have functional pieces of art on display.

This weekend's extended hours are: Friday, 5:17-10:17 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Rubbish, for those who don't yet know, is located at 17B E. Bijou St., in the alley.

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Frickin' Firkin

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Saturday’s sixth annual Firkin Rendezvous benefited many things — namely the Colorado Brewers Guild, and my love of eating animals and drinking sugar waste products. But some things decidedly left out included personal boundaries, not smelling the person next to you and a general confusion about whether or not waiting in line to get a drink constituted an actual sexual encounter.


These last unfortunates hail from the simple fact that the sixth annual Firkin Rendezvous was packed as firk (ha). With a little under 30 breweries represented — all packing two-plus employees — plus dunkelweizen devotees, last-minute entrants and the occasional local news camera crew, the drinking space at Bristol Brewing Company was a little more intimate than I had emotionally prepared myself for. This eventually thinned out, but whoa-doggy, was it touch-(really)-and-go for a while.

Luckily, the initial body crush proved worth it (especially if you were hoping to pass on a communicable disease). Local outfit Black Fox Brewing Company nearly stole the show with the pre-release of its crisp Don’t Call Me Wit saison, and Trinity Brewing Company set familial relations back decades with its Slap Your Mammy double IPA that had a kick like a mule and a flavorful intensity to match. Also notable was The Thrilla in Vanilla, a delicious, almost sweetly chalky beverage from Durango’s Ska Brewing and a bright and happy IPA from Avery Brewing Company.

One beer I notably enjoyed was Durango Brewing Company's Kama-Sumatra, described as “a dark lager with Fair Trade, organic, Sumatra[n] coffee, hand-roasted at the brewery.” If you closed your eyes and dreamt (or smelled ... whatever) the dark liquid was a dead ringer for a cup of cold Joe, an impressive feat in a world of gross coffee stout attempts.

Unfortunately, mass imbibing can’t be all sunshine and floral noses. Several brews failed to impress, especially a weizenbock from an unnamed restaurant/brewery on Powers Boulevard that hit just the right note of stale, caramelized soy sauce. However, I’m also willing to consider the possibility that drinking 20 beers, eating five different foods and internally debating whether or not the guy next to me should have bought me a drink first, before doing what he just did could have destroyed my palate prior to tasting.

Speaking of foods, the Firkin faithful were generously fed sandwiches from Blue Sage Catering, macaroni and cheese from Trinity, mussel soup from Summit Catering, barbecue brisket from Front Range Barbeque, and a thick lamb stew from McCabe’s Tavern that basically changed my life and introduced me to the concept of having sevenths. Look for it on the menu full-time starting March 1.

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Sting booked for Red Rocks date

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 9:32 AM


Honored at last month's Grammy ceremony as the “Artist Most Likely to Have a Yoga Pose Named After Him," Sting has just been booked to perform with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at Red Rocks on June 9.

Experts note that, even though every breath Sting takes at the venue will contain 17 percent less oxygen, his mastery of Pranayamic breathing techniques will keep him in peak condition as he performs numerous hits from his beloved repertoire.

The former Gordon Sumner first came to prominence with the Police’s 1978 hit “Roxanne,” in which he told the titular character, “You don’t have to turn on the red light.” While this was widely assumed to be a reference to a prostitute in Amsterdam’s famed Red Light District, that’s not actually the case.

In fact, Sting came up with the line while vacationing in Los Angeles. The British rock musician was surprised to find that, in addition to driving on the wrong side of the street, it was also legal for Californians to make right-hand turns at stop lights.

“I remember sitting in the rental car,” Sting recalled in a later interview, “and suddenly realizing, wait a minute, you don’t HAVE to turn on the red light.”

The fact that Sting will be appearing with an orchestra is a source of great excitement for all involved. When initially informed about the tour, Philharmonic Maestro Steven Mercurio was could barely contain his enthusiasm. “What, really?” he said, before quietly going back to trimming his hedges.

"An Evening With Sting" goes on sale March 8. Tickets, which range from $50.50 to $180.50 (plus service charges), are non-refundable.

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The Leaning Tower of Literature

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Newlywed how-to Web site posted a slideshow feature today titled "7 Common Living Room Problems — and Solutions," in which they dis everything from your record cover and framed poster "art" collection to your husband's college TV stand to your "clutter, clutter everywhere."

As a fairly recent college graduate, I refrained from taking offense to the quotation marks they put around "art." (I have several framed Andy Warhol poster prints and a photo of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's leftover from my co-ed days.)

But the suggestion of a contemporary vertical bookshelf as a remedy for your "book explosion" made me feel oddly suspicious in a conspiracy-theory sort of way.

Crate and Barrels Vertical Bookshelf
  • Design Within Reach
  • Crate and Barrel's Vertical Bookshelf
The shelf ("only" $198 at Crate and Barrel) allows you to stack up to 70 books in what looks like a teetering tower of literary destruction. Maybe that's where my discomfort lies: it reminds me of Shel Silverstein's "Pancake Poem."

Who wants a pancake,
Sweet and piping hot?
Good little Grace looks up and says,
"I'll take the one on top."
Who else wants a pancake,
Fresh off the griddle?
Terrible Teresa smiles and says,
"I'll take the one in the middle."

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Nobody's saying it, but U.S. could get 35 medals

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 7:32 AM

As usual, you can't find anyone inside the U.S. Olympic Committee who will talk for the record about how many medals the Americans will win at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

So we will.


With the U.S. total now at 28, it's a growing possibility that the American athletes will surpass the 34 medals they won as the home team at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. In fact, a quick and not-too-optimistic analysis of the remaining four days in Vancouver indicates that the United States very well might finish with 35 medals.

Not only would that mean a U.S. record, but it also would pretty much guarantee that the Americans would win the total medal count for the first time at a Winter Games since ... would you believe, 1932 in Lake Placid, N.Y.? That's when the U.S. won 12 medals in the 14 contested events, with Norway at 10 and Canada at 7. And it's the only time the Americans ever took the most medals at a Winter Olympics.

Seven more medals would take the U.S. to 35 here. The possibilities, and my projections, include:

Thursday (3): Nordic combined individual event (U.S. already has two silvers in the other two Nordic combined events); women's hockey (either gold or silver, depending on the Canada-U.S. outcome in the gold-medal game); men's aerials (Jeret Peterson and Ryan St. Onge are contenders). Ladies figure skating is an outside shot with Rachael Flatt in fifth now.

Friday (2): Short-track speedskating, men's 5,000-meter relay and 500 meters (Apolo Anton Ohno), women's 1,000 meters (Katherine Reutter). It could be three, but we'll say two. Other possibilities include women's slalom.

Saturday (1): Four-man bobsled (driven by Steven Holcomb), and we won't assume anything in men's slalom or parallel giant slalom, either of which could produce a podium finish.

Sunday (1): Men's hockey, which would be guaranteed gold or silver with a semifinal win Friday against Finland. Otherwise the U.S. will play Saturday night for the bronze, probably against Slovakia.

That's the path to 35 medals, with plenty of backup chances in case the obvious candidates come up short.

It'll be fascinating to watch.

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Two bronzes push U.S. total to 28

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 5:25 AM

Their paths couldn't have been more different, but two teams of U.S. women still captured bronze medals Wednesday night at the 2010 Winter Olympics, on a day when Canada had much more to cheer than any other nation.

Erin Pac
  • Erin Pac

For the American women, third place came in the short-track speedskating 3,000-meter relay and in the bobsled. Those medals push the U.S. total to 28, with Germany at 24 and Norway at 18.

Canada took gold-silver in the women's bobsled and four medals overall, meaning that now the host nation is up to seven gold (same as U.S. and Germany) and 15 overall.

In the bobsled, the U.S. team of Erin Pac and Elana Meyers had troubles in their final run, which they began in second place, and they settled for third behind the Canadian teams.

Bree Schaaf and Emily Azevedo of Colorado Springs and the Olympic Training Center moved up to fifth overall, and the other U.S. team was sixth.

In the short-track relay, the U.S. foursome including Katherine Reutter, Allison Baver, Alyson Dudek and Lana Gehring actually couldn't keep up with the world-record pace and finished a distant fourth behind Korea, China and Canada.

But the judges reviewed the race and disqualified Korea, igniting a controversy as China took the gold, Canada the silver and the Americans the bronze.

In other speedskating events, Apolo Anton Ohno and Reutter qualified in the men's 500 and women's 1,000 short-track races. Their finals will come Friday.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our state is growing ... fatter

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 4:40 PM

The state Department of Public Health and Environment announced today that although Colorado ranks as one of the leanest states in the country, people here are getting fatter. Colorado's obesity rate climbed faster than the country's from 1995 through 2008, rising 89 percent while the number of obese adults nationwide rose 67 percent, the report said.

Heres looking at you, Colorado.
  • Here's looking at you, Colorado.

The Health Department said that during that 13-year period, the percentage of Coloradans classified as obese nearly doubled, from 10.1 percent to 19.1 percent, or from one in 10 residents to nearly one in five. That's still lower than the nationwide obesity rate of 26.6 percent, but Colorado's trend is discouraging, the department said. Obesity rates in Colorado children, meanwhile, exceed the rates of several other states.

The health police say obesity is a chief risk factor for chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, and a major driver of health care costs. Nationally, per capita medical spending for obese people in 2006 was 42 percent greater ($1,429 per person) than spending for people of healthy weight, the Health Department said. The latest economic data for Colorado from 2003 estimates the obesity cost to taxpayers at $874 million.

The answer could be as simple as changing policies to create more parks and trails and improve access to community gardens and farmers markets. Employers might offer more fitness opportunities, while schools could boost kids' daily physical activity and serve more fruits and vegetables.

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Peggy Fleming: Flatt still has a chance to medal

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Peggy Fleming might be a 61-year-old grandmother now (though she's the most glamorous 61-year-old grandmother you might ever meet), but the figure skating legend and 1968 Olympic champion still keeps a close eye on her sport.

Peggy Fleming
  • Peggy Fleming

Fleming, who trained in Colorado Springs at the old Broadmoor World Arena, graduated from Cheyenne Mountain High School and attended Colorado College during her skating years, was watching inside Pacific Coliseum on Tuesday night as another Cheyenne Mountain student, Rachael Flatt, placed fifth in the short program to start the ladies event at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Fleming isn't working here, though she has been a network commentator for ABC for more than two decades, but she had plenty of analysis to offer Wednesday morning after signing a special Olympic Hall of Fame mural of American winter-sport athletes at USA House.

And she feels Flatt, as well as fellow American Mirai Nagasu in sixth place, still can have a shot at medals in the long program Thursday night.

"I think we're going to see the same kind of performances from both of them that we saw in the short program," Fleming says. "Rachael is so steady and consistent. She might not have quite the flair of some of the other skaters, but she's so solid. Mirai needs to show a little more confidence out there, but she has a lot of potential."

Fleming says she hopes both Flatt and Nagasu will continue skating through the 2014 Olympics, "because I think it really helps our sport in America when our athletes take us on their journey with them, the way Michelle Kwan did for so many years. They've handled themselves so well here, but these girls are young, just 17 (Flatt) and 16 (Nagasu). They have a lot of good years ahead of them."

Fleming was sixth in the 1964 Olympics before winning in 1968 at Grenoble, France.

Like most observers, Fleming is virtually conceding the gold medal here to South Korea's Kim Yu-Na, who won the short program by a comfortable margin.

"I really like Kim's style, her elegance and her speed on the ice," Fleming says. "She's over and above everyone else right now. It's not just the jumps. She makes it look so easy. I told somebody in the stands who didn't know much about skating, 'When it looks easy, that means they're good.'"

Fleming also says she could barely comprehend how much courage it took for Canadian champion Joannie Rochette to skate well enough for third place in the short program Tuesday night, after her mother Therese had died of a sudden heart attack at 55 just after arriving in Vancouver early Sunday.

"That was amazing," Fleming says. "I don't know how she could deal with that and still skate so well. I lost my dad two weeks after winning my first Worlds, and I was just 17. I'm not sure I could have done what she did. But it had to help that the audience was full of people pulling for her."

Fleming had her own life-threatening moment in 1998, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. But she went through aggressive treatment and says she hasn't had any problems since, "though I don't miss anything on my checklist."

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U.S. survives Swiss with 2-0 victory

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils, but before that the University of North Dakota, scored two goals in the third period, on a power play early and into an empty net late, as the United States survived a scary Olympic men's hockey quarterfinal with a 2-0 victory against Switzerland.

Zach Parise
  • Zach Parise

After the first two periods were scoreless, despite a 32-8 U.S. advantage in shots on goal, Parise struck first at 2:08 into the third period, chipping the puck past Swiss goaltender Jonas Hiller for a 1-0 lead. It could have been 1-1 later, but a Swiss shot past U.S. goalie Ryan Miller bounced off the inside of the right goalpost without crossing the line.

Miller finished with 19 saves, 11 in the third period, but Hiller was even better with 42 saves. He was pulled inside the final two minutes, and Parise's second goal came with 12 seconds remaining.

This puts Team USA into the semifinals Friday against the winner of Finland-Czech Republic, to be played tonight.

Back before the 2010 Winter Olympics began, U.S. hockey people were worried about the men's Team USA having to play its first game against Switzerland, though the Americans set that concern aside with a convincing 3-1 win.

But now it was the Olympic quarterfinals, with Team USA facing, that's right, Switzerland. And after two periods the score was still 0-0, with an apparent goal by Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks disallowed because it crossed the line just a fraction of a second too late at the end of the second.

With a huge crowd of 19,000-plus in Canada Hockey Center screaming for Switzerland, Hiller kept his team in it by stopping 32 shots through 40 minutes of hockey. Also, the Swiss did a great job of killing off three U.S. power plays in the middle period.

Canada faces Russia at 5:30 p.m. Mountain time today in the next quarterfinal.

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Enough insult to go around

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 2:58 PM

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights will not — I repeat, will not — demand a congressional probe over a perceived insult to Christians in the aftermath of a mini-scandal that erupted at the Air Force Academy due to a cross being left at a new outdoor prayer circle.

The cross that offended everybody (oh wait, is it offensive to say that?
  • The cross that offended everybody. (Oh wait, is it offensive to say that?)

The Denver Post reports that the heart of the perceived insult boils down to the characterization by Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michael Gould that the placement of the cross was "destructive behavior."

[League president Bill] Donohue then issued a statement complaining that Gould's comparison of the cross incident to other acts of vandalism was "overkill" and "grossly insulting to Catholics and Protestants."

Apparently a chaplain at the Academy convinced officials with the Catholic League that a probe isn't needed.

Hmm, that sounds surprisingly reasonable.

You can read about the prayer circle and the resulting flap here and here, or check out Rich Tosches' column on it here.

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Lucy the (censored)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Hehe ... you said avenue.
  • Hehe ... you said "avenue".

Oh, Colorado Springs — when wilt thou learn to keep thy unique views on government, taxation, public support and puppet boobs out of the news?

I'm referring, of course, to the news that Lamar Advertising rejected a previously accepted advertisement featuring the endowment of Avenue Q character Lucy the Slut. (Avenue Q will be at the Pikes Peak Center March 16 and 17).

First reported by The Gazette, the story was quickly picked up by The Huffington Post. From there the Los Angeles Times has weighed in, as has The Celebrity Cafe, and the loudest voice of all,, who interviewed the young lady puppet in question.

"When my public relations people told me that my cleavage was banned from the bus shelters of Colorado Springs, my first thought was: 'they could fit my cleavage on a little bus shelter?!' Then I was disappointed—I simply hoped to further beautify the community. However, given my notoriety as a profligate home-wrecker, I suppose all of the men of Colorado Springs might succumb to my generous charms. My bazooms are widely acknowledged as a threat to the traditional family structure."

I know that I never get tired of Colorado Springs being described (as did), "as a conservative town that supports many religious organizations, including several mega-churches ..." so I say to you, sweet C-Town, keep the hits coming and the media shall follow, laughing all the way.

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CityRock set for grand opening

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 11:28 AM


Editor's note: This post has been updated to correct an error. Friday's event is private and by invite only. Please drop by on Saturday or Sunday for free climbing instead.

Following up on Bree Abel's late December article on monster murals inside our newest indoor climbing facility:

I received a postcard today announcing CityRock's grand opening celebration from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, March 12. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., March 13 and 14. Enjoy free climbing all weekend.

It'll take place in conjunction with building co-habitant CrossFitSoCo's opening. CrossFit will offer demonstrations of its training classes while CityRock shows off its 43-foot climbing wall with more than 11,000 square feet of space. Climbing shoes and harnesses will be provided (but wear loose clothing), as will some snacks and drinks.

RSVP requested by March 5 to
Contact or call 634-9099 with questions.

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Art Creates Community contest nominees

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 11:07 AM

On Tuesday, five nominees were announced as candidates for a $10,000 prize awarded by the Bee Vradenburg Foundation and the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado. The Art Creates Community contest will award the prize to the foundation that receives the most community votes.

Colorado Springs may have a new film fest.
  • Colorado Springs may have a new film fest.

Concrete Couch in action.
  • Concrete Couch in action.

The finalists are:

•The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
•Concrete Couch
•Chamber Orchestra of Colorado Springs
•Rocky Mountain Film Festival
•Wendy Mike

Each party pitched a specific project to bring more art into the city. Concrete Couch and the Pioneers Museum have plans for kid and family activities throughout the year. The RMFF, along with the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival, the Lavender Film Festival and the Indie Spirit Film Festival seek to hold a brand new film fest under the theme of community itself, called Zoom In!.

Cast your vote here (the project is co-sponsored by our friends at the Gazette, so try to ignore the teeth whitening and diet ads).

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Flatt skates well, in fifth place after short program

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Rachael Flatt of Colorado Springs had nothing to regret about her Olympic debut Tuesday night in the ladies short program at Pacific Coliseum.

Taking the ice after some stunning performances by the world's top-ranked skaters, including Canadian champion Joannie Rochette setting aside the grief of her mother's death, Flatt still fought through pressure and nerves to place a strong fifth with a clean, energetic performance. That gives her a chance for a medal going into the long program Thursday night.

Rachael Flatt
  • Rachael Flatt

And given how well the other contenders skated, being fifth and less than a point out of fourth was a fitting placement for Flatt.

South Korean world champion Kim Yu-Na, nailing every element and mixing in abundant style along the way, took a sizable lead with 78.50 points. Next was Japan's Mao Asada, who landed the night's only triple axel jump en route to earning second place with 73.78 points.

The pro-Canadian crowd clearly was moved by Rochette, who was able to skate less than 72 hours after her mother died of a massive heart attack soon after arriving in Vancouver to share in her daughter's Olympic experience. Rochette, ranked second in the world, bravely fought through her program and was a solid third with 71.36 points, then she let her emotions flow as soon as the music stopped.

Flatt's turn came just two skaters later, and the 17-year-old from Cheyenne Mountain High School looked expressive and relaxed after landing her opening triple-triple jump combination. The routine was worth 64.64 points, down from the 69.35 she received at the U.S. championships last month, but that difference could be attributed to the tougher international judges.

She was fourth until the final skater, former world champion Miki Ando of Japan, skated a comparable program and finished just ahead of Flatt at 64.76.

The other American, 16-year-old Mirai Nagasu of Arcadia, Calif., was sixth at 63.76 after turning her triple-triple combination into a triple-double.

Afterward, Flatt called her program "better than Nationals, even though my score wasn't as good. It's a new personal best for me internationally. I had the time of my life."

Flatt admitted being less than perfect on landing a triple lutz, her choice for the required separate triple jump.

"It was a little shaky," she said. "I got ahead of myself. I was having a little too much fun and had a little too much energy."

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