Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thou shalt not drop off thy neighbor's ballot

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Lois Beardsly was clearly upset when she walked through our doors Thursday morning.

"This is utterly and completely ridiculous!" she told me. "The city seems to have done everything they could possibly do to make it nearly impossible for people to perform their civic duty."

Here's what Lois was getting at: There's a city code that states that you can only drop off up to five ballots at a drop-off location.

City Clerk Kathryn Young says the law was modeled after a state law that had the same limit (though the state has since changed the law to allow up to 10). Young says the law exists to prevent campaigns from collecting ballots from whole neighborhoods, and possibly improperly influencing an election.

The policy, however, really ruined Lois' morning. She had driven across town to drop off her and her neighbors' ballots. Lois lives around a lot of senior citizens, and many of them have lately fallen sick with the flu. Lois wanted to be a good neighbor, so she offered to drop off their sealed, signed ballots for them.

"I'm saving postage, I'm saving gasoline, and I'm saving wear and tear for a bunch of women who have been under the weather," Lois told me.

Well, you know what they say, no good deed goes unpunished. Lois, however, was eventually allowed to drop off the ballots, and her name was written down. (Young says that's standard policy to keep someone from returning with even more ballots.)

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Sen. Udall: We need to investigate gas prices

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 5:40 PM


The price of gasoline in Colorado has risen 45 cents a gallon in two months, says Sen. Mark Udall. "I think that we are all alarmed by the recent rise of gas prices."

The senator, speaking in a conference call with media, says that is why he is calling on the Obama administration to investigate the possible market manipulations that cause the spikes in oil prices.

"Our economy is starting to show increased signs of like. And with the economy recovering, this increase in gas prices has me worried," he says. "Not only does it hurt our families, it hurts our still-fragile economy."

While he says he agrees with Obama — and W, and Clinton, and Senior, and Reagan, and Carter, and Ford, and Nixon — that the U.S. ought to ween itself off foreign oil, he says that we have to address the foreign oil prices immediately.

(And by foreign oil, he means oil coming from Middle Eastern countries, as well as Venezuela, and not our allies directly to our north and south.)

"It would not only mean that we move to natural gas and electric cars, which would mean that we would spend less at the pump, but it would decrease our trade imbalance by a billion dollars and reduce the flow of American dollars to countries that don't like us very much," he says, adding that he wants to create a national renewable electricity standard similar to Colorado's. "And that helps drive the move from oil to renewables. "But I am also a realist. And the truth is that foreign oil will be a critical part of our energy mix for a long time, and for that reason I am calling on the Obama administration to take tangible steps today to investigate market manipulation and other trade issues that might be contributing to spikes in oil prices like we are seeing right now."

He is calling on the Obama administration to investigate what could be driving up oil prices. "It is no secret that OPEC nations collude on production . . . the Government Accountability Office recently reported unreliable information about oil reserves and production contributes to energy market uncertainties."


OPEC often doesn't accurately report production levels, the report found.

"We can take a hard look at any actions that oil exporters are taking to restrict production and manipulate international markets," he says.

He says that we need to improve international mechanisms, such as within the World Trade Organization or other similar organizations.

He will be sending a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk detailing his concerns and calling for their investigation into any means to restrict oil market manipulations.

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UPDATE: Bruce alleges, sans proof, that Hente broke law

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 5:01 PM

If any doubts remained about whether Scott Hente is telling the truth about his email, the city appears to have dispelled them.

The city has compiled all emails received at official city email addresses from Hente's personal email address on March 16, the day he sent the email in question.

None of them appears to be election-related. Here's the list:

From To Subject Received Status Status Changed Re: CSU April agenda 3/31/2011 9:07:27 AM Delivered on Thursday, 31 March 2011, 09:07:27 3/31/2011 9:07:27 AM Re: CSU April agenda 3/31/2011 9:07:27 AM Delivered on Thursday, 31 March 2011, 09:07:27 3/31/2011 9:07:27 AM Re: City Planning Commission 3/29/2011 5:00:35 PM Delivered on Tuesday, 29 March 2011, 17:00:35 3/29/2011 5:00:35 PM Re: cancel 3:00 meeting today 3/28/2011 11:19:54 AM Delivered on Monday, 28 March 2011, 11:19:54 3/28/2011 11:19:55 AM Accepted: Meeting with Pat Kelly re campaign finance disclosures 3/25/2011 8:38:19 AM Delivered on Friday, 25 March 2011, 08:38:19 3/25/2011 8:38:19 AM Re: Meeting with Pat Kelly re campaign finance disclosures 3/25/2011 8:38:04 AM Delivered on Friday, 25 March 2011, 08:38:04 3/25/2011 8:38:04 AM Accepted: Meeting with Pat Kelly re campaign finance disclosures 3/23/2011 3:42:19 PM Delivered on Wednesday, 23 March 2011, 15:42:19 3/23/2011 3:42:19 PM Read: Breakfast notes 3/10/2011 4:12:57 AM Delivered on Thursday, 10 March 2011, 04:12:57 3/10/2011 4:12:57 AM Re: Chief Myers' mother 3/2/2011 5:52:44 PM Delivered on Wednesday, 02 March 2011, 17:52:44 3/2/2011 5:52:44 PM Fire Awards Banquet 2/15/2011 7:46:24 AM Delivered on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, 07:46:24 2/15/2011 7:46:24 AM

——- POST,3:37, WEDNESDAY ——-
Scott Hente is back from Denver, but has decided not to release his e-mail list, saying that Douglas Bruce has requested the list as well, and he does not wish to share his friends' information with Bruce.

"If I'm not going to give them to him — and by the way, I'd never give them to him — then I can't be inconsistent and give them to a reporter," Hente said. "... It's e-mails of my friends, and I'm not going to subject them to e-mail and harassment from people that they may not want to get e-mails from."

Hente added, however, that he has gone back through the list and confirmed that he did not send the message to any city e-mail addresses, though he did send it to some city employees at their personal e-mail addresses. He added that he had "help" in deciding how to send out the e-mail without violating the law, though he declined to say who helped him.

If Bruce files an ethics complaint with the city, Hente has said he would be happy to share the list with the committee members. He said Bruce's complaint shows "how weak and desperate the man is" and adds, ""I know he's got no proof, because there is no proof."


Douglas Bruce
  • Douglas Bruce

City Council candidate Douglas Bruce staged a press conference today to call out a mass e-mail sent from City Councilman Scott Hente. Perhaps Bruce should have done some homework first.

The e-mail, which Bruce obtained from fellow Council candidate and Reform Team member Ed Bircham (Bircham got it from his son, who in turn got it from an accountant), is critical of Bruce and the Reform Team. In the message, Hente states, "I feel I must reach out to as many of our City's employees and residents as possible." He also urges voters not to vote for members of the Reform Team.

Standing outside the City Administration Building, Bruce stated that the e-mail may be a violation of state law. He said it was possible that Hente was using city resources for electioneering. Hente, he said, may have used a city terminal to send the e-mail. Or sent the e-mail to city employee's official addresses. Or obtained the personal e-mail addresses of city employees through the power of his office.

What's more, Bruce said, Hente was clearly abusing the power of his office.

"For him to tell them how the boss — or one of the nine bosses — wants them to vote is reprehensible," Bruce said.

But Bruce hadn't actually called Hente to see if any of his allegations were true. A quick phone call to Hente, who is in meetings in Denver for the day, answered all of Bruce's questions.

Hente said he had used his home computer to send the e-mail, had been careful only to send it to people's personal e-mail addresses, and had never used his office to obtain the personal e-mails of city employees. What's more, Hente says he is within his First Amendment rights to encourage people to vote for whomever he wishes, so long as he's acting as a private citizen.

As for Bruce, Hente said, "He's making an assumption based on not knowing the facts."

Hente agreed to forward his e-mail list to the Indy when he returns from Denver, so reporters can ensure no official city emails were included.

Bruce says he's not sure if he plans to file a complaint with the city's Independent Ethics Commission.

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Angry Birds: The movie trailer

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Let's face it: Most April Fool's Day jokes aren't really all that funny. But this trailer for the forthcoming live-action Angry Bird movie is pretty hilarious.

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KRCC unveils new website and change for The Big Something

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 3:52 PM


Some 5,000 e-mail subscribers receive KRCC's The Big Something every day in their inbox, which features the reporting of producers Noel Black and Craig Richardson. Starting April 4, those folks will need to head for the website if interested in catching the duo's work.

But not to worry, says Black in an e-mail.

"Now that our content is integrated on the front page, it makes accessing it via e-mail less of a priority for us," he writes, referencing the nonprofit radio station's recent site redesign, adding it's "a much simpler, more elegant format that isn't as cluttered and doesn't require as much digging."

TBS began in March '09 and has enjoyed a fairly successful run, but eventually ran into a problem inherent in the delivery system.

"From a logistical standpoint, sending out a daily e-mail through a commercial e-mail delivery service can cause e-mail providers like MSN or AOL to see your e-mails as spam whether they are or not, simply because of the volume," Black writes. "For example, at one point MSN and Comcast blocked all emails coming from our e-mail delivery service's server, including those from other clients. The only way to get around that would have been to have our own dedicated server, and even that doesn't guarantee that your e-mails will get through."

Subscribers will continue to receive the Friday digest, and can access the daily updates through the website, in addition to TBS enjoying a larger on-air presence. In the end, however, Black says the aim is higher than just airwaves.

"Because anyone can access everything we air and produce through our website, we increasingly see ourselves as more than simply a public radio station; we're becoming a public media station," he writes. "And that means presenting and creating content in the medium that will best convey the information. Ultimately, though, the goal is the same: to help connect our community through first-rate news, information and music, no matter how it's delivered."

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NorthCom chief speaks

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Adm. James "Sandy" Winnefeld, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee this week, called for more disaster planning in light of the tsunami that hit Japan, and for more cooperation between countries in nailing drug lords.

Winnefield in his Peterson office.

Winnefield is the commander of Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base.

Here is the American Forces Press Service's account of his testimony:

The magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of northern Japan caused a tsunami that inundated many areas of the country. The quake also triggered failures in the Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.

“The tragic events in Japan over the last several weeks highlight the importance of being prepared to respond to disasters, including those providing little or no notice, such as earthquakes, and those involving accidental or intentional release of harmful substances, as in Japan's case, the release of radionuclides,” Winnefeld said.

Northcom, which has responsibility for the United States, Canada and Mexico, is a key player in America’s response to natural or manmade disasters. Generally, the command works in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and stands ready to provide capabilities needed in the event of an emergency.

“Time is our enemy in these disasters and we search every day for ways to become more agile to meet the needs of our partners,” the admiral said.

The command, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., works with interagency partners to ensure all have the same playbook, Winnefeld said. In the last year, he added, he has been working to achieve unity of command and control over state and federal military forces that might respond together in the wake of a disaster.

“I can also report that [Northern Command’s] relationship with the National Guard, who is such a capable partner and on whom I rely so much for my mission accomplishment in several key areas, is superb,” he said.

The command is responsible for defending the United States against terrorism and transnational criminal organizations. Winnefeld also serves as the commander of the joint U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Northcom works closely with U.S. Southern Command to counter groups that deal in drugs, people, weapons and money, the admiral said. In Mexico alone, he told the House panel, these criminal groups have killed more than 35,000 people since December 2006.

“We work with law enforcement agencies within the United States and in conjunction with U.S. Southern Command in support of the efforts of our partner nations in the hemisphere,” he said.

President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon have called the relationship a true partnership. The United States has a responsibility to reduce drug consumption and the illicit flow of arms and money to Mexico, and Mexican authorities have the responsibility to interdict drugs going north and to strengthen the rule of law so that criminals are put and kept in jail, Winnefeld said.

“The Mexican government has displayed exemplary moral, physical and political courage in undertaking this important struggle, … because they know this is about the future of Mexico, and I take my hat off to them for this,” the admiral said. “The Mexican military has been asked by its civilian leadership to join with Mexican law enforcement agencies to support this struggle in the right way, respectful of Mexico’s democratic ideals and the nation’s commitment to the rule of law.”

The Mexican military is working to counter a sophisticated, unconventional threat by integrating intelligence and operations, Winnefeld said. The Mexican army and navy are working together and with interagency partners.

“We know this is hard, because we’ve been down the same road, and in some ways, we’re still on the same road,” he said. “So I tell my capable Mexican partners that we don’t know it all, we’ve made our own mistakes along the way, and we seek the kind of engagement that helps them benefit from our experience.”

Regardless of the desire to help, the admiral stressed, any aid the U.S. military may offer is only provided at the request of Mexican officials.

“We have much to offer, but Mexico is always, always in the lead in Mexico,” he said. “The Mexican government has a strategy. They’ve defined with us a substantive framework to guide our cooperation and they’ve invited us to work with them to support their efforts. But again, they’re always in the lead in their country.”

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Term-limits angst lives on

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Although the issue of term limits for county elected officials has quieted down, one group is still pounding the pavement to get petition signatures.

Not that the petitions will mean anything. There's no provision in the law for citizens to formally petition county government for anything, much less to place a measure on the ballot.

The issue here is a measure on last November's ballot that gave elected officials, such as commissioners, the district attorney, treasurer, assessor and clerk and recorder, a third term beyond the statewide restriction for elected officials to serve only two terms. Voters had previously voted to give the sheriff a third term.

Glenn: Supports another ballot question.
  • Glenn: Supports another ballot question.

As the Indy reported last fall, commissioners had the measure written to give it the best chance of being "successful," and voters fell into the trap, approving all the term limits measures.

After the election, many voters were upset and felt they'd been tricked. A movement was hatched to undo the measure, and newly elected Commissioner Darryl Glenn, for one, said he would gladly vote to put a term limits measure, with straightforward wording, on the November 2011 ballot. Since then, things have cooled off.

But some voters aren't forgetting. This e-mail recently circulated:

Fellow Voters,

We have heard nothing conclusive, and nothing in concert from the members of the El Paso Board of County Commissioners as to their intent to place the matter of extending term limits for commissioners on the Nov 2011 ballot — a matter which seemed to be of great concern to so many of us in the past election.

In order that we be prepared for some oversight by the commissioners, we are again preparing a signature petition requesting this matter be placed before the voters, with very clear and precise language. In addition, we plan on assembling two-person teams of volunteers to gather petition signatures over the summer.

We would like to have more than 3,000 signatures to present, in person, to the Board by mid-August. I certainly hope that your feelings on this matter will allow you so sign the new petition and forward to those you know with an interest in this matter. For more information, if you have suggestions, please feel free to call Rick Wehner in Colorado Springs at 719-217-2924.

Thank you for taking the time to help and forwarding this to others !


Donna Knight

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New executive director leaving Sangre

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 2:32 PM

  • Mercer

As of today, executive director Bill Mercer will no longer work at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center. Mercer, who was appointed late last year and started Jan. 1, had his "contract canceled" by the Sangre's board of trustees.

When Mercer's hire was announced in October, the Sangre stood behind its decision despite Mercer having been fired from the Portland Art Museum in 2007 for violating a no-tolerance agreement he had signed.

Sangre will not comment on the situation, per the institution's lawyer. (From the press release, "all personnel matters are confidential.")

Sangre controller Rochelle Spoone will serve as an interim ED.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jumping ship

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 4:41 PM


The Colorado Independent has a good article up about the troubles facing former Colorado Springs' Sen. Dave Schultheis's Republican Study Committee of Colorado, a conservative "non-lobbying," uh, support group.

This week, a third of the RSCC flock quit the committee, rejecting the would-be radical-right revival.

The RSCC claimed 34 Republican members in the state Legislature — 11 in the Senate and 23 in the House — prior to Tuesday. At least 10 legislators quit in the wake of allegations that it was crossing ethics boundaries in influencing lawmaker votes, directing legislative aides and meddling in the race for state GOP chairman.

The committee drew media attention this year for pushing Arizona-style anti-illegal immigration legislation. It held informational hearings that were stacked with anti-immigration witnesses, some with clear ties to white [supremacist] organizations.

This last paragraph seems wholly unfair. How else could one be expected to raise enough supporters for Arizona-style immigration legislation without tapping into a few white supremacist organizations?

The piece goes on to detail a number of setbacks, including the possible violations of lobbying laws. But despite RSCC's troubles, Colorado Springs' freshman Rep. Janak Joshi, and Sens. Kent Lambert and Bill Cadman appear to be hanging tight.

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Indy Minute

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Lewis Black will have you in stitches, and so will Project Runway alum Mondo Guerra. But if that's not enough, the Paul Taylor Dance Company will lift your spirits — they're all in this week's Indy Minute with Jack Ward.

Tune into the Indy Minute — as seen on ABC affiliate KRDO News Channel 13 — each week for details on all the events that entertain and bring our community together. It's simulcast on KRDO News Radio 105.5 FM and 1240 AM.

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Over the River still up in the air

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 2:00 PM

The fate of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Over the River installation will hang in limbo a bit longer.

The Bureau of Land Management's Royal Gorge field office estimated that it would issue a record of decision as to whether OTR can happen — based on public comment and the final draft of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) — in April.

However, its website now says that the final EIS is anticipated for release in middle to late April, and a record of decision will follow in early summer 2011.

The OTR team remains fairly optimistic, posting this just last week on the release of the final EIS:

As you may recall, the BLM is considering various alternatives for Over The River. In the Final EIS, the BLM will recommend a “Preferred Alternative” for the project (the alternative that the BLM recommends for realization). The artists have proposed 5.9 miles of fabric panels located in 8 different locations along a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River. The BLM’s different alternatives could call for changing a variety of factors, such as the length of the project, the timing and length of the exhibition period and the duration of construction. These alternatives are all compared against a “No Action” alternative — the baseline alternative that describes what would happen if the project is not completed. We will not know which alternative has been selected until the public release of the Final EIS.

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Making concrete float

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 1:38 PM

We all knew Air Force Academy cadets were the sharpest knives in the drawer, but who knew they could make concrete float?

But that's exactly what they'll do when the academy hosts the 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers Rocky Mountain Student Conference tomorrow through Saturday.

Cadets take their concrete canoe from the mold.
  • Cadets take their concrete canoe from the mold.

This year’s ASCE regional conference places almost 400 students, cadets, and faculty members from 16 different schools from the United States and Mexico in fun yet challenging events designed to broaden their perspective of civil engineering, and to allow students and cadets the opportunity to participate in “real life” projects and professional presentations, the academy said in a release.

This year’s conference will be filled with events and competitions including the concrete canoe design and racing, the concrete canoe swamp test, steel bridge construction in 90 minutes, can-structure design, technical and non-technical paper presentations, a pre-design competition, and a mystery design activity.

To catch the concrete canoe competition, be at Prospect Lake in Memorial Park at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

I was finding it hard to believe, so I asked AFA spokesman John Van Winkle. He says:

As for why it works, it's really a matter of displacement and buoyancy.

Any object placed into a liquid displaces a certain amount of the
liquid, and that displacement is countered by the density of the fluid
that it's placed in — in this case, water.

It's all a matter of what liquid you've got, specifically the density
and mass of the fluid — and design certainly plays a factor in this —
which is why we can float a steel battleship or aluminum fishing boat
just fine, but a solid brick placed in the water is bound for Davy
Jone's locker.

"The public is invited to watch the concrete canoe competitions, which coincidentally are scheduled for April Fool’s Day," the news release said.

All other events will take place on the Air Force Academy. The Air Force Academy hosts this regional engineering competition once every 10 years.

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UPDATE: Fountain youth baseball coach fired over MMJ use

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM

SECOND UPDATE: We've obtained copies of the board's minutes, as well as version of the letter Carl Benda was supposed to have sent to Sanner on official letterhead.

Neither has been provided to Sanner, though he has requested it. In an e-mail to fellow members of the board, Benda writes [sic], "I did draft a response to his request and after talking to my attorney, he advised me not to respond to Jay Sanners request. But rather give him the meeting minutes and to direct him to the website which has the policy manual there, and to only give him information that any other member of the league would have access to. His suggestion was not to put anything writing to Jay Sanner, in regards to this specific issue."

Meeting minutesf

Policy clarification

UPDATE: We've included a copy of a justification letter Sanner requested from Baseball Association president Carl Benda, who drafted it but never sent it to Sanner, per his lawyer's advice. Benda maintains that most of the contents of the letter were discussed at the board's meeting, while Sanner says the entirety of the meeting was focused on his MMJ use. Click below for the full text.


Jay Sanner: 'I treat my players like I treat my own kids.'
  • Jay Sanner: 'I treat my players like I treat my own kids.'

Jay Sanner knows what all baseball fans know: The only thing worse than the season ending is waiting for it to begin again. And the pull is even greater for Sanner, who coaches youth baseball in Fountain Valley.

Or he used to coach, anyway.

"Baseball season starts the same time every year, and it’s registration time, so I registered my boys, believing that I was going to coach just like I coach every single year," says the 42-year-old Fountain resident in a phone conversation with the Indy.

Unfortunately, this year played out a little different for Sanner, when the league board fired the seven-year coach after learning he was an MMJ patient, a drug he started taking in 2002 in the hopes of replacing the legion of painkillers he was taking after breaking his back in the Army in the mid '90s.

"I started taking the medical marijuana because my liver enzymes where getting so high because the Army was just mailing me painkillers — answer to everything is just more painkillers," he says. "They couldn’t figure out why my liver enzymes where getting so high, and when I stopped taking a lot of the pain medication, my liver enzymes started going down. So I actually quit taking pain medication all together, and that’s when I got my medical marijuana license."

He continued to use MMJ after being diagnosed with colon cancer last year. As well as undergoing chemotherapy treatments — one Facebook update reads, "Home and done with infusions till 3 weeks from now. Now it is just oral chemo for 2 weeks ... I can not complain much because I am still here to write these messages!" — Sanner recently had an eight-hour surgery to remove 11 centimeters from his colon.

While a call to Fountain Valley board member Carl Benda was not returned, KKTV reported the board said "some parents had expressed concern about Jay's condition and the medication he was taking and they thought it would be best if he took a year off."

"I never saw the concerns and I don’t know who those parents are," Sanner says, adding that the board itself was divided on any action to take: "I got to this board meeting and pretty much the entire meeting is on the medical marijuana. Now one of the board members is crying because she knows it’s wrong, and she’s my friend, and she doesn’t want to see me get hamstrung like I was. But the board member knew it was wrong; the president of the league and the head umpire both said there shouldn’t be anything done at all.

"But they didn’t vote, because they knew what they were doing was wrong. So the two 'Captain Americas' — one of them in the military, one of them in the fire department — one nominated the motion and one seconded the motion and nobody else voted and that’s how I was voted out to not be able to coach anymore.”

Asked if he had ever previously clashed with the board over intoxication issues, Sanner is adamant.

"I’ve never been down there intoxicated; I don’t get high before I go down there. Have I taken a Percocet or something so I can make it through a practice, because I’m the one throwing batting practice or hitting all the pop flies? Of course!" he says. "I never showed up to the park inebriated or anything, and there’s a lot of guys down there who can’t say that."

In the meantime, Sanner, who is currently unemployed and receiving disability, is left to wait out the requested year, while the board likely institutes rules around MMJ.

"To say they have problems, worried about me and my attitude, I mean, come on," he says in disbelief. "Seven years of coaching there, no problems: You know my attitude already, and they know my heart."

Continue reading »

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FAC's Lobato exhibition is 'stunning'

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Lugar (Place). 2007, oil and collage on panel.
  • Emilio Lobato/William Havu Gallery
  • "Lugar" (Place). 2007, oil and collage on panel.

When asked what she thinks of the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center's exhibition Mi Linda Soledad (My Beautiful Solitude) — a display of the sometimes-cryptic works of ex-Colorado Springs resident Emilio LobatoIndy arts editor Edie Adelstein knows she loves it, if not exactly why.

"It's really good," she says. "It's, like, beautiful uses of color, shapes and composition — just the very basics. And yet they're imbued with so much emotion. It's kind of like a resurrected study on abstract expressionism and materialism, yet it's still fresh and different — it still has a new feeling to it."

And it seems our compatriots in Denver are in agreement about the show, which is up through May 15.

From Westword:

Now there's a worthy heir to the mantle of greatness seen at the Chisman show: Mi Linda Soledad, which means "My Beautiful Solitude," the Emilio Lobato retrospective at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. ...

Take my advice: Do not miss this stunning double dose of significant works by a living master of Colorado abstraction.

From the Denver Post:

From any point of view, it is a major milestone for Lobato, one only enhanced by the accompanying 88-page catalog and the show's subsequent tour to museums and art centers in Sedona, Ariz.; Ashland, Ore.; and Missoula, Mont.

While it is possible to question the emotional impact of his abstractions, which date in this show from 1993 to the present, it is impossible to deny his uncompromising technical virtuosity.

This prolific Latino artist's work has the sweep and evolutionary narrative to sustain an exhibition of this scale, with identifiable periods that curator Tariana Navas-Nieves carefully denotes.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Laotian official visits court system

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 5:41 PM

It's not every day you have a justice of the Supreme Court of the Lao Democratic People’s Republic come to town, so everyone lined up to have their photo taken.


From left: Commissioners Amy Lathen, Sallie Clark, Dennis Hisey and Darryl Glenn with Laotion Supreme Court Justice Phomsouvanh Philachanh and Paul Ronka of Resource Exchange International.

As a fellow of Resource Exchange International, Mr. Phomsouvanh Philachanh got a firsthand view of U.S. Constitutional law by observing cases in local courts, visiting with local elected officials and attending public meetings, the county said in a release.

Vice Chair Sallie Clark introduced Phomsouvanh (in Laos it is customary to use first names only) at the meeting noting that the Laotian Justice was studying for a month in the United States and had observed trials in El Paso County and met with Chief District Court Judge Kirk Samelson as well as 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May. Clark commented, “We know that your government system is very different from ours and we are honored to have the opportunity to let you see our judicial system in action and to get a better understanding of how things are done in your country.”

Justice Phomsouvanh told the Commissioners, “I have learned a lot about your country and your courts and I will tell you that the fundamentals are very different.”

Laos does have a presumption of innocence but there are no jury trials. He also pointed out that his country does not separate powers among three branches of government as required by the U.S. Constitution; accused parties in Laos do not have the “Miranda” rights to an attorney and to remain silent when questioned by police.

Resource Exchange International (not to be confused with the well known non-profit known as The Resource Exchange) was founded in 1990 to share training and resources from the U.S.A. with professionals in emerging countries. The organization says it now has a staff of sixty plus scores of volunteers working in 10 countries worldwide.

While in our area Justice Phomsouvanh also sat in on classes and toured facilities at the United States Air Force Academy and received a personal tour of Colorado Springs Pioneers’ Museum which is housed in the historic 1903 El Paso County Courthouse.

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    • on November 20, 2017
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