Saturday, March 27, 2010

'Allow myself to introduce ... myself'

Posted By on Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 7:10 PM


Coming on the heels of our March 25 cover story on the Apple iPad is a new report from the Wall Street Journal detailing how media companies (some of which lack an iPad product) are experimenting with advertising rates.

But the [advertising] business model is unproven, and ad dollars will initially be a fraction of the industry's overall revenue. Hype over the iPad unveiling two months ago focused on selling subscriptions for the device, but no major magazines appear ready to do so yet, according to people familiar with the matter. That leaves titles like Time and People, Men's Health and Hearst Corp.'s Esquire to offer weekly or monthly iPad editions of their magazines, priced at or near the cover price of a print issue ...

By contrast, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are working with test iPads, according to people familiar with the matter. Six advertisers, including Coca-Cola and FedEx, have agreed to advertise with the Journal, and a four-month ad package costs $400,000, according to these people. Coke and FedEx declined to comment on terms. The Journal plans to charge subscribers $17.99 a month for iPad subscriptions, according to a person familiar with the matter.

This is all well and good, and understandable when forecasting an unknown product in an unproven market. One interesting note is the price point the WSJ is forecasting for itself: roughly $4.50 per week. It currently charges $2.29 per week for its print product, and its $1.99 per week for online.

Does anything the iPad offers justify a doubled price? The jury's still out, but one thing is for sure: Anytime you can quote "people familiar with the matter" and those people are you — well, you just gotta.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Could there be a race for AG?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 5:59 PM

With statewide races shaping up for governor, U.S. Senate, treasurer and secretary of state, it was easy to overlook the fact that Attorney General John Suthers appeared poised to waltz back into office unopposed.

  • Garnett for AG?

Democrat Dan Slater had announced plans to challenge the Republican incumbent, but he quickly withdrew, citing a lack of "fire" to mount a statewide campaign.

But now it looks like Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett may have found some fire of his own in the of wake of Suthers' announcement that he is joining a lawsuit arguing that the health care reform bill just signed by President Barack Obama is unconstitutional. blogged on this yesterday, and the Boulder Daily Camera had a story today. From the Camera story:

"I think it's a mistake and a misuse of the office of attorney general," Garnett said. "It appears to me to be a blatantly partisan act and pointless."

Even so, Garnett said at the moment he is "strongly leaning against" launching a statewide campaign because of the work he wants to still accomplish in the 20th Judicial District....

When it comes to making policy statements, it's important that prosecutors speak freely," Garnett said. "But when you go to court, it's also essential that be done for reasons that are not partisan. (Suthers) is the attorney general for Colorado — he's not the attorney general for the Republican Party in Colorado."

Garnett, who has been Boulder County's top prosecutor for a little more than 14 months, said he will speak to party leaders and others over the weekend before making a final decision on whether to run or not.

His short tenure in the 20th Judicial District to date, he said, is a factor in whether he feels he's ready to seek higher office.

"I'm reluctant to walk away from a job that is only partially done," Garnett said.

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Raider to serve as fire chief

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Dan Raider
  • Dan Raider
The city has announced that — as expected — long time employee and Deputy Fire Chief Dan Raider will serve as Fire Chief on an interim basis while Fire Chief Steve Cox takes on the duties of the interim city manager.

Cox agreed to serve as the city's top administrator after City Manager Penny Culbreth-Graft announced her resignation recently.

And now this from the city:

Acting Fire Chief will be Dan Raider

Colorado Springs Fire Chief Steve Cox has named one of his deputies to act as Fire Chief while Cox is serving as Interim City Manager beginning April 16. Dan Raider, who has nearly 40 years of experience in fire service and emergency medicine, will become Acting Fire Chief. He joined the Colorado Springs Fire Department in 1983.

Raider has been a Deputy Chief for more than seven years, at different times overseeing Operations or the Support Services Division. He served previously in positions as Firefighter, Paramedic, Lieutenant, Captain, and Battalion Chief. He has an extensive background in emergency medicine as a Paramedic and Registered Nurse.

Raider holds an Associates Degree in Nursing from Miami Dade Community College, a Bachelors Degree in Health Science from the College of St. Francis, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado.

“I am confident that under Danny’s leadership our Fire Department will continue to deliver the highest levels of emergency response, customer service and problem solving found anywhere in the country,” said Cox.

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OWN supports Woodmen plan

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 4:39 PM

City Councilors Sean Paige and Tom Gallagher took a recent dunk to support the centers.
  • City Councilors Sean Paige and Tom Gallagher took a recent dunk to support the centers.
City Councilors Sean Paige and Tom Gallagher took a recent dunk to support the centers.
While the plans for the Woodmen Valley Chapel-based A.C.T.S. program to take over running the Westside Community Center has its detractors, the plan also has very vocal supporters.

Today, the Organization of Westside Neighbors sent out a press release reiterating its support for the plan — pointing out that the A.C.T.S. plan was thorough and would bring the center long-term stability.

Here's what they had to say:


At the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) February 2010 board meeting, OWN members were briefed on a proposal to keep the Westside Community Center open and maintain the facility as a neighborhood community center. According to the organization, the proposal and evidence presented to the group, was the most viable solution evaluated to date. Many entities have been requesting private donations in addition to making requests to City Council members that they to pull money from city reserves. While these efforts are well intentioned, they do not address the issue of long-range sustainability.

The proposal presented to OWN for review demonstrated sound fiscal management, a long-range strategic plan, past achievements, and an outreach program for the neighborhood to become involved in the future of the center. The briefing lasted approximately an hour with an extensive question and answer period. The financial detail was extensive and options were presented that included how to run the center at costs lower than the financials which were cited in the City RFP. OWN was asked to keep the details in confidence until after the city had made its decision due to the competitive proposal process. The details will be released once the city has reached its final decision.

The heart of the proposal stressed maintaining the current West Center programs with a view toward expanding family and neighborhood-friendly programs in the future. OWN was asked to become involved and to become an active player in this effort (if accepted by the city). Grant writing and a long-term fund generator, will come into play as OWN and potential partners including 501c(3) organizations are involved.

"Because of the professionalism, attention to financial detail, the sound long-range plan, and the desire to reach out to the neighborhood, the OWN Board has submitted a letter to the City of Colorado Springs endorsing this option", said Welling Clark, President of Organization of Westside Neighbors. "It is our hope that this option is approved by the City of Colorado Springs it may offer some relief for other city-owned community centers and will help to guarantee that the Westside Community Center can continue to operate and be independent of the City's finance issues".

Organization of Westside Neighbors
"Representing Westside Neighbors since 1978"
PO Box 6651
Colorado Springs, CO 80934

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Hockey shocker: DU ousted in NCAA opener

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 3:48 PM

So much for the University of Denver's hopes for another NCAA hockey championship. In the national tournament's first game Friday afternoon, Rochester Institute of Technology has stunned DU in a 2-1 upset.


Denver, which finishes 27-10-4, came into the NCAA as the No. 2 overall seed behind only Miami of Ohio. But the Pioneers, on the heels of a disappointing showing last weekend at the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's Final Five tournament in St. Paul, Minn., fell behind to RIT by 1-0 after two periods and never could take command in the first-round game at Albany, N.Y.

It was the second straight year for the Atlantic Hockey Association to open the NCAA tournament with a major upset. Last year, as the AHA champion, Air Force pulled off a similar feat by toppling Michigan.

RIT (27-11-1) advances to the regional final Saturday against the winner of Cornell-New Hampshire later today.

Other first-round games Friday include St. Cloud State vs. Northern Michigan and Wisconsin vs. Vermont.

Saturday's schedule includes the other four first-round games (Miami vs. Alabama-Huntsville, Bemidji State vs. Michigan, North Dakota vs. Yale, Alaska Fairbanks vs. Boston College) and two regional finals. Most of the games this weekend are being televised by ESPNU.

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Get your cheap beer here

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Oh, you wont be finding any of these lovelies in tonights dock sale, they disappear even quicker than $20 cases
  • Oh, you won't be finding any of these lovelies in tonight's dock sale — they disappear even quicker than $20 cases.

If you're a big fan of chaotic shopping clusterfucks the likes of REI's garage sales and Black Friday openings, and you happen to like beer, then, boy, do I have the event for you: tonight's dock sale at Bristol Brewing Company.

It's starts at 5 p.m. and surely won't last long, as cases of an assortment of beers will cost only $20 — cash only.

A little explanation for those who just can't fathom the savings:

We bring back beer from liquor stores when it's beginning to be "close to date," because we want to ensure that the beer cooler closest to you has the freshest possible product on its shelves. This is sad for the beer because it has failed to attain its destiny in providing you a moment of unparalleled barley-and-hops-induced pleasure. We empathize. It's still perfectly drinkable, so we sell it to you at a deep discount with the understanding that you'll go through it relatively quickly. We don't want to hear about you leaving it in the back of your beer fridge for 6 months, m'kay? You're happy, the beer's happy, and we're happy because we got to play matchmaker. ... Be there or spend the rest of your life wondering 'what if'.

I've heard these dock sales are about as hectic as the annual Venetucci Pumpkin Ale release at the brewery, which I've elbowed and clawed my way through (lovingly, of course) a few times. Beer and discounts on it do strange things to people — so watch out.

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2009: Worst year for newspapers ever

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 2:02 PM

A recently released report by the Newspaper Association of America confirms what everybody could see: 2009 was not a great year for daily newspapers. Here's the New York Times:

Advertising revenue fell 27.2 percent, or more than $10 billion, from 2008 — which was, at the time, the industry’s worst year since the Depression. From its peak in 2005, newspaper ad revenue dropped 44.2 percent, from more than $49.4 billion to less than $27.6 billion last year. The last time advertisers spent less on newspapers was in 1986.

Even better news, it appears that robots are coming for us:

Researchers at the Intelligent Systems Informatics Lab (ISI) at Tokyo University have developed a journalist robot that can autonomously explore its environment and report what it finds. The robot detects changes in its surroundings, decides if they are relevant, and then takes pictures with its on board camera. It can query nearby people for information, and it uses internet searches to further round out its understanding. If something appears newsworthy, the robot will even write a short article and publish it to the web.

Great. Can this be far behind?

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Review: Crossing the Lines and other shows at the Sangre

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Although it’s been open for while, we finally made the trip down to the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center to review Now and Then: Cultural History Captured by Artists Past and Present, a group of three large exhibitions and four smaller solo exhibitions. Here are the highlights:

The Poet Spiels American Values
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Poet Spiel's "American Values"

The Pueblo contemporary art collective 38 Degrees Latitude didn’t disappoint with its commentary on American values 38 Degrees Latitude … Crossing the Lines, an exhibit the group pitched to the museum last year. 38 Degrees played the show well by adding a short bio/artist statement with each work, effectively introducing each member into the formal sphere, although they have shown before in other Pueblo venues.

The Poet Spiel’s installation anchors the gallery. This wonderful work “American Values” combines giant slices of white bread rolling through the wall behind it like a huge thundercloud with roiling blankets and plaster-cast hands gripping scrawled notes below. The scene feels like a tornado ripping through a home.

Spiel's arrangement of a rumpled quilt and pillows is spot-on. His placement of fistfuls of dollar bills spewing from the pillows is weirdly believable. This natural disaster grows even more sinister when you notice each bill is stamped with a portrait of Bernard Madoff. Hand mirrors scattered across the quilt — most cracked, some caked with mud and debris — bear words related to virtuous traits: “empathy,” “dignity,” “love.” Mirrors bearing “greed,” “fraud,” and “betrayal” are left unmarred.

Spiel’s work is a monument to embittered disillusionment in the American ideal. In his artist statement he explains how he was brought up with the “American” notion that “everything will be OK,” a statement echoed in paint across the rolling bread slices. Yet he writes how this turned out to be a falsehood in his own life, and that he will never fit in to the paradigm.

Randy Wixs Learning to Fly
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Randy Wix's "Learning to Fly"

Next to Spiel’s piece hangs Randy Wix’s “Learning to Fly,” a gorgeous, inspired piece that truly lifts your spirits. From a dark corner butterflies flit across a dimpled white plain. Each one floats above the piece on a delicate but charmingly conspicuous wire. The insects emerge from a peeled-back portion of the work, a dark underbelly below the chicken wire-plaster surface that oozes sticky black mud. Upon closer inspection, one finds the butterflies crawling out of the mire, coated in the oily stuff. They appear to shake off the coating and join the rest of the flock in the clean air, free from the troubling world behind them. On the far right panel, a larger, purple-toned butterfly punctuates the progression.

Wix’s piece reads like a hero’s journey. I’m unsure about its relation to American values, but I suppose you can apply the pursuit of happiness or personal independence as ingredients. Either way, it works partially due to its simplicity. Any more adornment would have driven the tone into sentimentality.

Detailed view of Learning to Fly
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Detailed view of "Learning to Fly"

The rest of Crossing the Lines is similarly satisfying. Be sure to take a close look at the works by Justin Reddick, Gabriel Wolff (now an assistant curator and collections manager at Sangre) and Riki Takaoka.

By the front desk you’ll find Jeremy Manyick’s self-titled exhibit. Manyick, of Southern Colorado, won this show through the Colorado State Fair, and the honor is well-deserved. Manyick paints with an incredible aptitude; his photorealistic figures and portraits are striking. But more commendable, in my opinion, is his handle on the moods between different genres of art. His series based on a trip to Japan pose these highly realistic figures standing in front of traditional Japanese ink paintings and a woodblock print. His winning work, “Conclusions” features a young girl mugging before a print emblazoned with battling samurai and a burning fortress. The effect of the ultra-flat print against the highly volumized girl is stunning and made all the more impressive seeing that Manyick painted the scene.

Jeremy Manyiks Conclusion
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Jeremy Manyik's "Conclusion"

The rest of the overarching show, however, is a bit disappointing. Pueblo to Plains displays a fine selection of regional Native American art and artifacts (many works belong to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum) but the quality of the exhibit layout is poor and distracting. Exhibits like this are just as much anthropological as they are artistic, and Sangre failed to supply enough information on the various pots, moccasins, cradleboards and blankets. Dates were missing from the display cards (many of which were crooked). My colleague and I pondered over one such cradleboard that seemed far too small for a normal infant. Was it a ceremonial piece? Was a part of it missing? We had no way of knowing.

Worst of all, the museum installed a giant, rainbow-hued teepee in the corner of the gallery, meant for children to explore. This is fine enough, but with the Buell Children’s Museum literally steps away, it was just silly to include it in what was otherwise an attempt at a deep study of the region’s indigenous art. The museum has already thoughtfully supplied the gallery with an “Art Cart,” for children to fill out educational coloring sheets and puzzles related to the objects.

Despite a few professional missteps, I do recommend a daytrip to Pueblo with a short run through the Sangre. In planning your visit, remember that Pueblo has a lot to offer in its downtown area. Round out your afternoon with a drink from Solar Roast Coffee, which has now set up shop in the Buell Children’s Museum (share the Bull Breaker for some fun) or head out to Hopscotch Bakery nearby. There’s still plenty of time to head down, Crossing the Lines is up through April 24 and Jeremy Manyick through May 8.

For more, visit

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Flatt sixth, Nagasu first in Worlds short program

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Rachael Flatt had no deductions but once again, as at the Winter Olympics, didn't wow the judges in the ladies short program at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships in Torino, Italy.

Rachael Flatt
  • Rachael Flatt

The 17-year-old Flatt wound up in sixth place out of a whopping 53 competitors (two others withdrew). But fellow American teenager Mirai Nagasu stunned the skating world by taking first place in the short program, while Olympic champion Kim Yu-Na had her troubles and slid all the way to seventh.

Nagasu has the lead with 70.40 points, while Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada of Japan is second with 68.08 points. Laura Lepisto of Finland holds third at 64.30 points.

Flatt has 60.88 points, well below the 64.64 that the Cheyenne Mountain High School senior earned in the short program at the Olympics, but still within reach of third place in the long program Saturday, when the top 24 from the short program will skate.

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Dialoguing the fail

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Let’s just take a moment to embrace our sad and withered Inner Fourth Grade English Teacher: It’s been just six months since William Safire passed on, and already the English language is going to hell in a hand basket.

Safire’s New York Times columns were a weekly fix for grammar-obsessed trainspotters who cared maybe just a little too much about the nuances of the English language and its recurring perversions. A typical Safire column would begin like this: “At last I am at liberty to vouchsafe to you the dozen rules in reading a political column.”

Safire might have vouchsafed all over himself this morning if he’d been alive in Colorado Springs to hear KRCC promoting a forum in which panelists will “dialogue” with each other.

For the past few centuries, dialogue has been a noun. People engaged in dialogue. But they did not dialogue. They talked.

But in recent years this noun-to-verb shift has found its way into corporate jargon and is now fully embraced by business visionaries as they ramp up productivity while drilling down into core competencies and maximizing deliverables. (Oh, and by the way, you apparently forgot to put one of the new cover sheets on your TPS report.)

Of course, this re-purposing also works in reverse. Today's most prevalent verb-to-noun shift has virtually no historical OR bureaucratic precedent.

“Fail” is a verb. Even when it’s all-caps. Even when it's epic. You may fail, but you cannot BE a fail. What you are is a failure.

One final example: Earlier this month, two of our staffers were calling around to every café in existence, asking the proprietors where they “source” their coffee from.

At first this sounded pretentious and wrong, but it turns out that it’s only pretentious. According to some dictionary we found online, you can safely use "source" as a transitive verb without risking the wrath of Safire’s wraith.

This, of course, is a great relief, and now we're all wondering how we got along without it:

“Nice shoes, Adrian, where’d you source them from?”

“Who do you gotta blow to source some heroin around here?”

That kind of thing.

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Bully Bull Breaker

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 9:56 AM

After Pueblo's Solar Roast Coffee touted their Bull Breaker coffee drink in this year's Drink issue, we felt compelled to sample the goodness.

Described as "a quad shot of espresso with cayenne" by co-owner Mike Hartkop, the drink changed everything we previously knew about espresso drinks. Fiery cayenne burns through immediately, while the four espresso shots finish wrecking your nervous system. It was an unbelievably enjoyable experience that we're fairly sure we wouldn't live through twice, but would be compelled to attempt.

Asked about the popularity of the drink, Hartkop offered this:

It depends on who’s working and how tired people are. We do sell quite a few of them. They’re one of our signature drinks. Some employees really enjoy the Bull Breaker and some are afraid of it.

Spice going in, spice going ... nevermind
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Spice going in, spice going ... nevermind

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Multifunctional art museum

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Today, we visited the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo.

Bryce, excited by the museum's expansive stone stairway (and his Bull Breaker espresso drink from Solar Roast Coffee), indulged in a spontaneous display of parkour.

Who needs a skateboard?
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Who needs a skateboard?

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Chan takes silver medal at skating Worlds

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 4:03 PM


Patrick Chan will be bringing a medal back home from the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships in Torino, Italy. Not the one he really wanted, but silver beats nothing.

Chan, the Canadian men's champion who moved his training base from Florida to Colorado Springs last December, skated a strong free program and came away with the Worlds silver medal for the second straight year, as Japan's Daisuke Takahashi won the men's title Thursday night.

Takahashi finished with 257.70 points to 247.22 for Chan, as both earned their season's best long program marks in international competition. Third place went to Brian Joubert of France with 241.74.

The news was positive on the American front as well. U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott, who trained for years in Colorado Springs before moving last spring to Detroit, bounced back from a disappointing Olympics to finish fifth in Torino. Adam Rippon, a former World Junior champion, wound up sixth.

Those two finishes guarantee the United States three men's berths at the 2011 Worlds.

Ryan Bradley of Colorado Springs, who battled through a broken foot to compete at Torino after Olympic champion Evan Lysacek withdrew, wound up 18th.

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Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 12:26 PM

This week's IndyMinute by Jack Ward airs each Wednesday on KRDO News Channel 13 at 12:40.

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Case and Pornographers coming to Ogden

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Neko Case fans, and they are legion, will be pleased to know she'll be joining the New Pornographers tour that was announced yesterday.

Upon learning that the Canadian group would be playing Denver’s Ogden Theatre on July 28, the Indy’s crack investigative team went into overdrive. Hunted down through the use of long-distance telephone technology, a spokesman for the band’s label, Matador Records, revealed that the alt-chanteuse would in fact be taking part in her alma mater's summer’s tour.

With eight official members and countless collaborators, the great white northern supergroup is responsible for launching the careers of indie darlings like Case, A.C. Newman and Dan Bejar. (My dog was also in the band for a short time but left due to “musical differences.”)

The Dodos and Imaad Wasif are also on the bill, and tickets will go on sale tomorrow (Friday) at 10 a.m.

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