Sunday, October 31, 2010

Give! 2010

Posted By on Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 11:41 AM


The 2010 Indy Give! campaign is underway. Tune in to Comcast Newsmakers at 10 'til the hour on CNN Headline News the month of November to hear the Indy's Associate Publisher Carrie Simison-Bitz talk about what's new in this year's Give! campaign. You can donate to your favorite local nonprofit Nov. 1, 2010 to midnight on Dec. 31, 2010 at The official kickoff will be held at Stargazers this Thursday, Nov. 4.

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Give Ken Buck the boot

Posted By on Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 10:07 AM

As I was kicking up a video on the blog this morning, I ran into an ad I hadn't seen before from the Women's Voices, Women's Vote Action Fund.

Love the animation and the puns. But even so, I know I'm counting the hours that we can all get back to laughing at (or fast-forwarding through) ads for laundry detergent, beer and Betty White:

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Your daily twist of irony

Posted By on Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 8:45 AM

According to a study based in Norway, the women most obsessed with being thin (due to a psychological disorder) are actually way more likely to end up hauling around a baby bump on accident.

The results were really quite shocking according to an article on "50 percent of anorexic women reported having unplanned pregnancies compared with 18.9 percent of those without anorexia. And 24.2 percent of those with anorexia said they had had an abortion compared with 14.6 percent of women who didn't have the disorder."

Scientists suspect that the discrepancy may be the result of anorexic women thinking they are infertile because they are too thin to menstruate.

Not so.

Anyway, pregnancy is beautiful, which is more than I can say for this...
  • Anyway, pregnancy is beautiful, which is more than I can say for this...

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Gotta Love It!

Posted By on Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 8:38 AM

I happened upon a tasting party at the new Gotta' Love It! Kitchen at 2521 W. Colorado Ave. in Old Colorado City yesterday.

  • Geoff Akens

Though Matthew Schniper first reported on the new business here and here, I was just wandering by with some friends after a filling breakfast at Gertrude's on our way to the final farmers market of the season.

Had my stomach not already been stuffed with Greek omelette, banana bread and chai, I would have taste-tested all of the samples — including tamales, salsa, pesto, cookies, wedding cake and cupcakes. In the end though, I couldn't resist giving a mini sweet potato cupcake made by Mya Bella Cupcakes a try. And it was excellent. One of my friends tried the lemon vanilla cupcake and enjoyed it as well. Her main comment though, was a hope that Mya Bella would continue to sell the mini size. It's the perfect afternoon treat.

Here's the complete list of who's who at Gotta' Love It!:

  • Geoff Akens

And while the typos in their signs make me cringe a little (I am a copy editor, after all), it's really about the food, and supporting local business. If you've got some spare time today, the Gotta' Love It! crew is doing it all over again between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Chamber belatedly endorses Buck

Posted By on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Ken Buck gladly accepted the local chambers endorsement Friday

After not committing earlier with its main round of endorsements, the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce announced Friday it is backing Republican Ken Buck for the U.S. Senate over Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

Buck came to the chamber's downtown headquarters for the media event, as chamber president Dave Csintyan made known the endorsement.

Earlier, the chamber endorsed Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat for Governor, but did not host a press conference to announce that endorsement. When asked why the chamber was making its Senate endorsement so late in the game, after more than 90,000 local voters have already cast early ballots, Csintyan said it was “because of scheduling conflicts ... it was difficult for us to schedule time when our PAC and each of the candidates could meet.”

Recent polls have shown Bennet and Buck locked in a tight race, perhaps separated by only 1 percentage point.

Buck said that he was for repealing the health care reform passed by Congress, which he refers to as Obamacare. When asked by a reporter, he said he favored “utilizing market forces” to encourage private insurance companies to offer health care coverage to children and adults with preexisting conditions.

Buck also said he favored faith-based groups having access to more federal funds: “If a Salvation Army soup kitchen and a non-religious soup kitchen are in the same community, the federal government should not discriminate against the Salvation Army just because they are Christian.” When asked if he would favor federal funding for a Muslim-led soup kitchen, Buck responded that “the federal government should treat all religions equally.”

For all El Paso County races, the chamber only endorsed Republican candidates. On the state level, the chamber did choose Democratic incumbent Bernie Buescher for secretary of state over Republican Scott Gessler.

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Early voting closing, but most vote by mail anyway

Posted By on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 3:38 PM


Early voting in the 2010 general election might have been a convenience to about 3 percent of El Paso County's registered voters, but that's all. The rest are either voting by mail ballot, in person on election day ... or not at all.

As of 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, County Elections Manager Liz Olson reports that 10,470 voters have taken advantage of early voting, a tiny fraction of the county's 370,000 registered voters. By comparison, at the same time, Olson says that 82,694 mail ballots had been returned, with thousands arriving every day.

In fact, Olson predicts that only about 50,000 county voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots, compared to 97,000 just four years ago in the last "mid-term" election of 2006 that also included state officials.

Olson hesitates in forecasting the total turnout by Tuesday night, but when assured that nobody will hold her to any guesses, she figures that the total number — now just over 93,000 — could rise to somewhere around 175,000 to 180,000, which would be more than 45 percent.

One concern that Olson and both major parties' officials share is the fact that many polling places have changed for this election, because lots of precincts have been combined. So instead of 187 polling places, there will be only 102.

To avoid confusion in finding your correct voting location Tuesday, go to Or call 575-8683.

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Here comes the sun

Posted By on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Solar panels something like these are coming soon to the Air Force Academy.
  • Solar panels something like these are coming soon to the Air Force Academy.

On Monday, the Air Force Academy hosts a news conference to break ground on the new solar array funded by the federal government that will provide energy at the campus.

Colorado Springs Utilities is participating in the project and decided to hand over the project to SunPower Corp. to build, own and operate the array.

Utilities' spokesman Gabriel Romero explains it in an e-mail to us:

The nature of the funds was such that The Academy was not allowed to directly build the array. In July, we made modifications to the electric tariff to allow for the installation.
The Academy passed the funding to Springs Utilities to decide how to best utilize that money.
In the end it was determined that to maximize the funds we would have a third party build, own and operate to leverage tax credits, grants and accelerated depression to increase the size of the array.
By utilizing the third party ownership, the array went from approximately a 2.5-megawatt installation to a 6.0-megawatt installation.

The academy, though, says in a news release the array will be a 5.2-megawatt system.

The news release says SunPower, headquartered in San Jose, Calif., will sell the power generated by the array to Springs Utilities for delivery to the academy under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

This $18.3 million project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as a result of government mandates for federal facilities to use increasing amounts of renewable energy.

Scheduled speakers for the groundbreaking ceremony include: Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, superintendent of the Air Force Academy; Lionel Rivera, mayor of Colorado Springs; Jerry Forte, CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities; and Jim Pape, president of SunPower Corporation, the news release says.

The solar array is expected to be operational by the summer of 2011.

This solar array is part of the AFA's Net-Zero Initiative, which sets a goal for the academy to generate 100 percent of the electricity it needs via on-base renewable energy sources by the year 2015. The Academy is working toward this goal via a number of means, such as continuing to make Academy buildings more efficient as part of ongoing renovation efforts and even installing solar panels on rooftops as part of these renovations, adding hybrid and E-85 capable vehicles to the Academy’s vehicle fleet, and taking steps to reduce the Academy’s overall electrical energy usage.

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Nuggets of wisdom from the G

Posted By on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 2:40 PM

It's been a week to remember on the Gazette editorial page.

Twice since Tuesday, in a fervor to boost Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck, editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen has reaffirmed his crazy-cred in the Our View section.


Today's column mostly defends Buck's "strong" disagreement with the separation of church and state. But my favorite excerpt has to do with another statement that came out of Buck's "freedom-loving mouth":

Buck used a bad comparison to explain that sexual orientation involves behavior and genetic predisposition, and his idea gave scandal to a media that merely reacts spasmodically with little interest in respectful dialogue. Yet it seems logical that alcoholism and sexual orientation have common traits. Each is likely connected directly to a person’s genetics, and each involves choice. An alcoholic may choose to never consume alcohol. Likewise, a heterosexual may choose to never get intimate with a person of the opposite sex.

That, and they're also both nouns. See? They're totally the same.

Tuesday's editorial, headlined "Ken Buck is Right about Global Warming," contained a few doozies. Laugesen praises Buck for advancing the theory that global warming is a hoax, and condemns Democrat Michael Bennet for questioning Buck's stance.

What threatens the economy and national security is the unscientific crusade to promote a theory that humans are warming the planet and must be stopped. Global warming fear mongers, such as Bennet, would break this country with expensive and futile efforts to control the Mother Nature with massive new carbon taxes that would cripple production and curtail our country’s ability to afford security.

(Yeah, we're all interested in "controlling the Mother Nature," not saving it.)

Laugesen goes on to brandish similar theories from "the great Harold Lewis, emeritus professor of physics at the University of California-Santa Barbara" (I'm sure the G has long admired Lewis' work on "fuzzy control") and Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus (who was misidentified in print as Czechoslovakian president, although Czechoslovakia split into two countries nearly 20 years ago). Well, that ought to refute scientific consensus.

And though the column is about global warming, Laugesen manages to take an unexplained swipe at Bennet as someone who "cares nothing about Colorado Springs." Gee, think getting turned down for that editorial-board endorsement interview stung a little bit?

Oddly enough, in both columns, Laugesen invokes "baseball and apple pie." Must be the season, I guess.

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Sample Colorado products this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 7:49 AM

An update on the Old Colorado City Colorado-made market we first told you about in mid-September: The organizers decided to name the outfit Gotta Love It Kitchen.

This weekend, they'll be offering free tastings at the shop (2521 W. Colorado Ave.) of items like garlic butter, pesto, salsas, baked goods and sausages — all sourced, or at least prepared, locally.

Stop in from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday, and call 314-8714 for more info.

You wont find our states amazing peaches at this time of year, but at Gotta Love It Kitchen, you can find items like jellies and jams that capture the flavor of warmer seasons.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • You won't find our state's amazing peaches at this time of year, but at Gotta Love It Kitchen, you can find items like jellies and jams that capture the flavor of warmer seasons.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

C'mon, tell Council what's wrong

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 4:51 PM


People of Colorado Springs, it's that time again.

The one time of the year that City Council dedicates itself entirely to what you think, no matter how absurd. If you can get your name high enough on the sign-up list, you too can spend three minutes at the podium telling Council precisely how you feel about that cracked sidewalk in front of your house or the inferior service you received from one of those parking garage machines.

Council isn't here to judge you today, just listen.

However, if you want to make this a productive civic dialogue, you may want to comment on how you think city money ought to be spent — like on restoring bus hours that would make a difference to your family, or trimming trees in your local park, or preventing that bridge near your house from collapsing.

It's up to you, citizen.

Here's the info:

Public input invited for 2011 budget at E-Town Hall

The City of Colorado Springs will hold its annual public E-town hall meeting to discuss the 2011 General Fund budget this Thursday, October 28 from 7 — 9 p.m. Citizens are invited to participate any one of the following ways:

* Attend in person at City Council Chambers, City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.
* Watch the meeting live on SpringsTV, cable channel 18 or
* Phone in comments to 385-5961
* Email ideas to

The meeting will begin with a brief introduction of the 2011 Budget. Members of City Council and City staff will then be available to take comments, questions, ideas and other input from citizens. Input submitted electronically will be read aloud as time allows.

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Denver's 'Sanity' rally one of top five in nation

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Denver may be the 24th-most populous city in the U.S., but its “Rally to Restore Sanity” on Saturday is looking to be among the top five largest in the nation, according to a recent press release by rally organizers. As I mentioned in last week’s Noted, this is a satellite of Jon Stewart's rally in Washington D.C.

In case you haven't heard, Stewart and Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central are holding a parody of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally. Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” and Colbert’s satirical “March to Keep Fear Alive” aim to bring reason back into the political process, something that's been notably absent this election season.

The nonpartisan, family-friendly Denver rally will include a Jumbotron live-streaming the D.C. event as well as performances by local musicians, comedy sketches and presentations by community organizations. Guest appearances include keynote speaker Jonny 5, lead singer of the Flobots, and, in the spirit of sanity, candidates from across the political spectrum.

So if you’re tired of all the political attack ads and are interested in reforming the political scene, head to Denver and have a fun day supporting a great idea. The rally is this Saturday at Denver’s Civic Center Park, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with live streaming of the D.C. event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can even test out your Halloween costume.

“Come in costume, and invite the whole family! Bring a sign that demonstrates how sane and reasonable you are. Bring a smile, a lawn chair, some hot cocoa, and Rally for Sanity!”

And if you want to know more, you can check out the Denver event's website or Facebook page. Or just order a T-shirt.

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CNN has Hick up 14 points

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 3:47 PM

The latest news in the world of pollsters is this: Hick's gonna win the governor's race.

Sure, other recent polls have told us it's a close race, or even a "dead heat." But CNN says that's nonsense — John Hickenlooper, the subject of our cover story this week, is up 14 points over Tom Tancredo. (In case you've been living under a rock, Dan Maes is getting the trashing of his life from voters.)

Now, whether or not to believe polls ... or weather men ... or the fashionistas that tell you skinny jeans look "awesome on you"... that's another issue.

In the meantime, the latest on that poll: Denver Post.

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eTune: Hot Rize ends 20-year recording hiatus with free downloads

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Good news for eTown listeners and fans of Hot Rize: The influential bluegrass outfit, which launched the career of host Nick Forster, is risen again.

Two decades after the release of their last album, the quartet went back into the studio last June for a day-long recording session. This week, they've posted two songs from that session, which are both available here as free downloads.

Their spirited version of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman" opens with spry banjo picking and proceeds to get along just fine without all the strings and production filigrees that characterized the Glenn Campbell hit. (Kinda miss the baritone guitar solo, though.)

"Diamond Joe," meanwhile, is a folk-blues song recorded in the late ’30s by Parchman Farm inmate Charlie Butler and more recently resurrected by Bob Dylan.

As you'll hear, they're both pretty special.

Want more? Hot Rize is slated to play the Boulder Theater on Halloween night. Or you could stay here in town and catch Slim Cessna at the Black Sheep. Can't lose either way.

And as long as we're on the subject, here's a seriously phenomenal version of the other "Diamond Joe," the one Woody Guthrie's pal Cisco Houston used to sing, as performed by a 14-year-old Molly Tuttle and her two kid brothers:

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Aliens to visit World Series, ex-NORAD officer says

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 2:15 PM

When ex-NORAD official Stan Fulham's prediction that alien craft would decloak over major cities of the world didn't transpire on the appointed Oct. 13 date, I was disappointed.

Now, I learn from yak on the web that some believe it did happen. Several people reported seeing UFOs over New York City. Fulham says in an interview the aliens backed off the worldwide visitation because they felt their simultaneous appearance all over the place would scare the living daylights out of people.
They chose to go ahead and appear over NYC, he says, because people there are jaded and could take it.

They come in peace, former NORAD officer says.
  • They come in peace, former NORAD officer says.

But let's face it, the presence wasn't overt enough to accomplish what Fulham says their goal is, which is to create such a massive spectacle as to imprint on us Earthlings that we're destroying the planet with carbon emissions. The idea is to save us from ourselves.

So, now the retired author of "Challenges of Change" has issued a new date: Oct. 29. And not just that, but he's saying "transenders" (aliens) have said they'll fly in to the World Series and land to meet the baseball players, according to blogger Dirk Vander Ploeg, who says he's in touch with Fulham. Also, the appearance will be announced by President Obama on television at 5:30 p.m. (we presume he means Eastern time).

That's tomorrow, when the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants will take turns practicing before Game 3 on Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Maybe one of the grays can help Cliff Lee get his groove back, or perhaps they'll capture "W" from the stands if he's there to watch batting practice.

Fulham says in the interview that the visit is being orchestrated by the Alien Council, because of their intense interest in Earth and their witnessing of numerous other plants self-destruct through war or environmental degradation. They like us so much, he says, that they monitor our communications constantly and that 100 billion aliens watched the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Earth to Stan. Earth to Stan. You can't make this stuff up, or at least I can't.

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Because Balloon Boy wasn't enough ...

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

I present to you the Bear Scratch, from Richard Heene.

"If you itch like a 'son of a twitch,' there's just one thing to do the job."

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