Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wild Fire Tees is back, and here to stay

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM

The Wild Fire Tees team hoped they wouldn't need to reconvene, but given the Black Forest Fire, they found themselves needing to mobilize again.

Formed by a collective of local designers, WFT emerged just days after the Waldo Canyon Fire as a way to show community support and raise money for the victims: 100 percent of all proceeds benefited help organizations like Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. This year the recipient is the Pikes Peak Community Foundation Emergency Relief Fund.

Co-founder Sara DeRose points out that WFT never really went away, it just lived on the back burner during the off-season.

“We kind of just kept things going in the background because we thought we might be needed again," she says. "We hoped we wouldn’t be. But we know that recovering from a fire is kind of a long journey and a lot of times there’s a lot of help right up front and then there’s nothing. There’s a couple months of people really wanting to help and then after that, we kind of all go back to normal.”

Which meant the system was already in place when smoke first emerged from Black Forest. The team had already planned on releasing a one-year-anniversary redux of the C-Fire shirt (pictured), but decided to release it early, tweaked to signal the dark trees of the new disaster.

Wild Fire Tees

In addition, they re-released certain designs from last year, redesigned a few others and are now offering a zip-up hoodie and children's sizes. When containment reaches 100 percent, they'll release another 2012 design, which you can vote for on their Facebook page. The C-Fire shirt continues to be the most popular. DeRose says over half of all the shirts sold are this design.

“The firefighters really responded to it, [and] people really responded to it as this kind of emblem.”

As before, they're also donating shirts to first responders. This time around first two went to Sheriff Terry Maketa and Incident Commander Rich Harvey. Right now, about 215 people have donated shirts (which WFT sets up so the $20 price of the shirt still goes to charity).

Though the numbers are growing every day, DeRose says that between the two fires, WFT has raised about $375,000, and tomorrow at 2 p.m., they'll present the first chunk of funds, $75,000, to the PPCF in a public ceremony.

“We like those big checks, you know?” DeRose laughs, referring to the physical size of the check. WFT will also be present at the Colorado Springs Together anniversary event June 26 in Mountain Shadows Park.

Maketa with WFT co-founder Tucker Wannamaker

WFT was inspired by a similar effort following the Balstrop Fire in central Texas, and has since inspired another movement, Tornado Tees, which raises money for victims of the May 2013 twisters there. After Hurricane Sandy, WFT sent $3,000 to a Red Hook neighborhood initiative when one designer, moved by the devastation of the storm, pitched a shirt.

But WFT has no plans of going big, or moving anywhere. DeRose is happy to let other like-minded groups pick their collective brain, but here is where they're hearts are. That means they'll be standing by in the future too, ready to help if needed.

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Herpin to run against Morse

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Bernie Herpin
One day after it was announced that there are enough signatures to force a recall election of Colorado Senate President John Morse, and that a Morse supporter is suing to stop the election, and that Republican Jaxine Bubis will run against Morse — deep breath — there is yet another horse in the race.

Former City Councilor Bernie Herpin has announced his candidacy. In some ways, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Morse is facing recall due to his support of several gun-control measures, and while Herpin on Council became known as the moderate and thoughtful type, he originally came into office with a reputation as a strong gun supporter (or "gun nut," depending on whose side you're on).

What's more, Herpin was extremely disappointed at losing his bid for reelection, and confessed to this reporter at a recent event that he still felt the hole in his life. (Who wouldn't miss those six-hour meetings?)

Herpin plans a more formal announcement at a later date.

Bernie Herpin Running to Replace Morse in Recall
Retired Navy and Air Force officer says he will "defend our Constitutional Rights"

Colorado Springs, CO - Today, retired Navy and Air Force officer, Bernie Herpin declared that he is running to replace John Morse in the historic State Senate District 11 Recall Election.

“For too long, John Morse has been more interested in doing the bidding of Big Government interests in Denver and Washington and less interested in the economic concerns and well-being of our community,” said Bernie Herpin.

“That’s why I'm running to defend our Constitutional rights and promote an environment where small businesses are free to create jobs and improve our local community.”

Bernie Herpin has served Colorado Springs in many capacities over the years. He has held many leadership positions at his home church, Our Saviors Lutheran Church in the heart of State Senate District 11.

Additionally, Herpin is past president of the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition and has been a longtime volunteer for the Colorado Springs Police Department. He also served on city council in both an appointed and elected capacity.

In the coming days, as the wildfires continue to subside and the process of rebuilding begins, Bernie Herpin will make a formal announcement.

“For now, my wife, Linda, and I would ask that people join us in turning their focus and prayers to the wildfire victims and the first responders fighting to protect our community,” concluded Herpin.

Bernie resides in Colorado Springs with his wife of 48 years, Linda. They have three daughters and six grandchildren.

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UPDATE: Firefighting cost rises to $8.5 million

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM

We just got confirmation from Gov. John Hickenlooper's office that $8 million was originally set aside for the Black Forest Fire in an executive order issued on Wednesday, June 12. Because the Disaster Emergency Fund was short on funds at that time, Hickenlooper ordered that $5.5 million be transferred from the state's general fund.

In addition the governor has requested assistance under the Fire Management Assistance Grant program. That request was submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 5:10 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, and was approved at 8:50 p.m.

Also included in the executive order was allocation of $195,000 for recovery related to the disaster. "These funds may be used to pay for disaster recovery resources as approved by the Director of the Office of Emergency Management to assist with state and local government costs incurred during and as a result of the current disaster emergency, including costs incurred by non-profit organization on behalf of local government entities."

The governor's spokesman, Eric Brown, also tells us via e-mail, "We made verbal authorization yesterday for an additional $2M. A new executive order with the new amount to be signed this week."

————— ORIGINAL POST, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 12:15 P.M. —————

Black Forest Fire
  • Areas of the Black Forest are gradually being cleared for entry by residents.

The Black Forest Fire remained 85 percent contained this morning as the price of fighting it rose to $8.5 million. The fire has destroyed 509 homes, but El Paso County Assessor's Office personnel are still working the burn area, so that number could go up.

Sheriff Terry Maketa is gradually opening up more burned areas to residents. Last night, when Cathedral Pines residents were admitted, firefighters lined up their trucks and turned on the red lights as a welcoming gesture and a way to thank the residents for their appreciation, Incident Commander Rich Harvey said.

For those looking for an opportunity to help, the county issued this release this morning:

El Paso County is partnering with HELPCOLORADONOW.ORG to make it easier for volunteers to register and offer their assistance to the residents impacted by the Black Forest Fire.

“We have received an overwhelming outpouring of support from our community,” said El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, who represents the Black Forest area. “People want to help and we want you to know that this is a long term process of recovery and that your assistance will be needed for a long time.”

El Paso County has received more offers of help from volunteers than it can efficiently use right now, but through the partnership with HELPCOLORADONOW.ORG the who want to help will be registered with important contact information as well as skills and schedule availability.

“Together we can make the most of this tremendous outpouring from our community, added Commissioner Glenn.”

Through HELPCOLORADONOW.ORG volunteers can also register to support the ongoing needs for flash flood risk mitigation efforts in the area of last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire. Volunteers are asked to fill out the comment section noting your skills, your availability for scheduling and your willingness to work on flash flooding mitigation with the Coalition For the Upper South Platte.

For the residents who have already sent an email to the County’s to register as a volunteer, their information will be given to HELPCOLORADONOW.ORG. If your information is incomplete, HELPCOLORADONOW.ORG will be contacting you directly.

For more information on El Paso County’s assistance efforts go to and follow the link to

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Red Cross closes Black Forest shelter

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Red Cross

A week after opening it, the American Red Cross has announced closure of its shelter for Black Forest Fire victims and evacuees. Here's the release, which at the bottom also includes a look at some of what the nonprofit organization has accomplished during the early start to this fire season.

Wildfire Update: Red Cross to Close Black Forest Shelter at Noon; Continues to Serve Residents at 4 Fixed Sites

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO., June 19, 2013, 11:30 a.m. — The American Red Cross will close its shelter at Palmer Ridge High School in Monument at noon today. Red Cross caseworkers, health workers and mental health experts will continue to provide people affected by the Black Forest fire with resources, emotional comfort, health services and recovery assistance at four fixed locations.

Last night, 5 evacuated individuals stayed overnight at the Red Cross shelters. All of those individuals have found other accommodations for tonight or are being assisted with accommodations by the Red Cross.


Red Cross volunteers will distribute cleanup kits, water and snacks and offer informational resources, basic health services and emotional counseling at the following fixed locations:

· School in the Woods, 12002 Vollmer Rd., Colorado Springs, noon-5 p.m.

· Intersection of Black Forest Road and Burgess Road, noon-5 p.m.

· Intersection of Milam Road and Shoup Road, noon-5 p.m.

· Multi-agency Disaster Assistance Center, El Paso County Public Health, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Rd., 8 a.m. — 6 p.m.

Residents will be able to pick up cleanup supplies including items such as sifters, shovels, trash bags, work gloves, rakes, paper towels, and facemasks at all sites except the Disaster Assistance Center.

The Salvation Army will be providing snacks and meals at the School of the Woods and Milam Road locations.

Large portions of Colorado are under red flag warnings for high fire conditions. The Red Cross urges residents to take steps to be prepared; one thing people can do is download the free Red Cross Wildfire App, available in English or Spanish. The app puts help right in people’s hands, such as instant access to steps people should take before, during and after wildfires. Owners of Apple and Android devices can download the free app in the in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

If a fire is threatening your neighborhood, you should listen to local media for updated fire
information and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Other steps include:
• Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
• Confine your pets to one room so you can find them if you need to leave quickly.
• Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors.
• Use the recycle or recirculate mode on your air conditioner in your home or car. If you don’t have air conditioning and it’s too hot to stay inside with closed windows, seek shelter elsewhere.
More information on wildfire safety is available on the preparedness section of

Local Red Cross chapters have activated on-call rapid-response teams throughout the state so that the Red Cross can mobilize quickly to respond to any additional wildfires that may occur this summer.

RED CROSS SERVICES TO DATE: To date, the Red Cross and partner agencies have provided the following services:

· Opened and operated a total of eight separate shelters and evacuation centers in Monument, Colorado Springs, Kiowa, Cañon City, Walsenburg and Rifle, providing a total of 911 overnight stays.

· Distributed 1015 comfort kits containing hygiene items, toothbrushes and other basic essentials

· Registered 431 individuals in Safe and Well

· Served 9,652 meals and snacks (provided primarily by The Salvation Army)

· Made 365 health and mental health contacts with affected residents

· Made 517 health and mental health contacts with affected residents

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Daytrotter debuts Mike Clark session

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Mike Clark, Daytrotter
  • Daytrotter illustration by Johnnie Cluney
Most music fans are familiar with Daytrotter, the site that hosts live-in-studio sessions by a who's who of established and emerging talents.

From its modest beginnings in 2006, Daytrotter has grown into a hyperactive American equivalent to the dearly departed Peel Sessions.

In the last two weeks alone, the site has posted exclusive performances by artists like Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Drivin' 'n' Cryin', Ron Sexsmith, Owen's Mike Kinsella, Suede, the Greyboy All-Stars and, oh yeah, Colorado Springs' own Mike Clark.

Posted earlier today, the session features the Sugar Sounds leader and Haunted Windchimes member accompanied only by his electric guitar.

You can go here to stream or, if you're a Daytrotter member, download all five songs.

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Denver medical-marijuana owners draw 71-count indicment

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM

From left: Conley Hoskins, Audra Wimer, Gerald Searle, Dialyne Parker, Dallan Dirkmaat, Nathan Newman
  • From left: Conley Hoskins, Audra Wimer, Gerald Searle, Dialyne Parker, Dallan Dirkmaat, Nathan Newman.

From left: Ryan Tripp, Yesenia Melendz, Brenden Joyce, David Krause, Kurt Criter, Carlos Meza.
  • From left: Ryan Tripp, Yesenia Melendz, Brenden Joyce, David Krause, Kurt Criter, Carlos Meza.

Today, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers' office announced that a state grand jury indicted Conley Hoskins, Dallan Dirkmaat, Brenden Joyce and nine others "for defrauding investors and running an illegal medical marijuana grow operation," reads the release. "The twelve indicted individuals face 71 criminal counts related to the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) and felony charges for tax evasion, securities fraud and money laundering."

More from the release:

“The first red flag that something was askew came from the careful oversight of Colorado’s Department of Revenue,” said Deputy Attorney General Matthew Durkin. “These individuals stole money from their investors to pay off personal debts and hid their illicit proceeds from law enforcement and taxing authorities and illegally expanded their medical marijuana production capabilities.”

The other nine indicted individuals are David Krause (DOB 03/27/51) Nathan Newman (DOB 09/29/81), Kurt Criter (DOB 03/09/73), Yesenia Melendez (DOB 08/26/90), Carlos Meza (DOB 09/29/89), Ryan Tripp (DOB 10/14/79), Dialyne Parker (DOB 03/09/76), Gerald Searle (DOB 11/06/78) and Audra Wimer (DOB 02/03/87).

The indictment alleges an elaborate pattern of racketeering that began in January 2008. Hoskins, Dirkmaat and Krause are accused of engaging in a scheme to buy, sell, deal, cultivate and/or distribute medical marijuana in Colorado and at least one other state while committing securities fraud, theft, forgery, evading taxes and attempting to influence public servants through deceit. The enterprise evolved into a distribution ring, in part, because many members had longstanding personal and business connections with one another.

Hoskins, and Dirkmaat’s ran business ventures together in construction, car washes and medical marijuana dispensaries. The dispensary that Hoskins owned and managed occasionally used the legal services of Dirkmaat and were co-located in the same building as the People’s Law Firm. The indicted dispensaries are Jane Medicals, LLC, and All Care Wellness Centers, LLC.

Over time, Hoskins’ business interests evolved and he drew on his personal relationships and business experiences to raise capital from investors. He then used those investor funds to run illegal grow operations in Adams, Denver and Larimer Counties.

The filing of criminal charges or an indictment is merely a formal accusation that an individual committed a crime. Each defendant should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. These cases will be prosecuted in Jefferson County by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. The next appearance for most of the indicted individuals is July 9, 2013.

Medical-marijuana indictment of Hoskins, Dirkmaat, Joyce and others.

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Newly opened Ivywild School raises funds for A Joyful Noise Farm

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

A Joyful Noise Farm was one of the many evacuated during the Black Forest Fire last week. But thankfully, their story had a happier ending than many of their friends, such as the Silly Goose Farm, which burned.

And while Joyful Noise is lending a hand in trying to help Silly Goose rebuild, last week, the Ivywild School held a small fundraiser in benefit of Joyful Noise, who lost income while out-of-commission and also lost some livestock.

A note on their Facebook page today reads:

Well we did a head count last night on the laying hens and we are down to 90 birds. Before the fire we had 152 so 62 either flew the coop, were eaten by the foxes and coyotes or were taken by the folks who were trying to rescue them to some undisclosed location. Considering the alternative, I think we came out ahead.

Also today, we heard from Ivywild spokeswoman Christina Brodsly with the totals for what was raised on site last Friday, June 14. Here's the breakdown:

The total raised for A Joyful Noise Farm on behalf of the Ivywild School is $2,161.76.

Meat Locker:
$15.00 for Porchettas
$152.50 from everything else sold throughout the day
$1000 check written by caring guest

Old School Bakery & Ivywild Events:
$146.26 in "tips"

Principal's Office:
$208.00 from Whiskeritas (since Distillery 291 donated the whiskey)
$130 from Patio Pints

Bristol Brewing Company:
$510 from their pint sales.

It's just one more awesome example of our restaurant scene coming together to benefit the wider community this past week.

Mark Henry
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Meat Locker chef Mark Henry not only assisted with food prep on Friday to raise money, but he also personally left the busy launch of his new eatery to help friends and evacuate animals from the Black Forest Fire.

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