Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New GOP chairman in El Paso County has "a vision"

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 1:12 PM

Josh Hosler is the new chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, and issued this statement on Sept. 19 after he was installed on Monday, Sept. 18. Read our story about the selection here.

I’d like to thank our Executive Committee members, elected officials, precinct leaders, and everyone who came out to last night’s meeting and encouraged me to take on the duties of Chairman. I have had the opportunity over the past few years to get to know the Republicans of El Paso County. I know that the passion for freedom and liberty runs deep in this community and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

I am focused and I have a vision that will lead us to victory. As a Marine, you are taught to never ever give up on the mission. I will bring this same commitment to my position as the El Paso County Republican Chair.

I plan to work together with past chairs and volunteers to make this transition as seamless as possible. In advance, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for your patience and support over the next few weeks.

I will be choosing a Vice-Chair in the near future. I will look for a candidate who is willing to help unite the Party and work together as a team to help win the elections in 2018. As we all know, all successful campaigns trails lead through El Paso County. Working together, we can ensure stronger legislative majorities at the State Capitol and return fiscal sanity and common-sense governance to the Governor’s Mansion.

Please join me in thanking our former Chairman Trevor Dierdorff for his service and hard work. I would also like to thank our Secretary Kit Roupe and Treasurer Linda Potter for their tireless work the last few months. Without them, we would not have had such a successful past six months.

Again, thank you to everyone that supported me as Vice-Chairman, I plan to work just as hard for you as your Chairman.

God Bless,

Joshua Hosler

Chairman, El Paso County Republican Party 

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5 terms The Broadmoor agreed to in the city's study of selling Rosemont Reservoir

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 9:14 AM

Rosemont Reservoir is among the assets evaluated in a study of whether the city should sell the system to The Broadmoor. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Rosemont Reservoir is among the assets evaluated in a study of whether the city should sell the system to The Broadmoor.
In the latest issue of the Independent, we explore the status of talks between city-owned Colorado Springs Utilities and The Broadmoor over the resort's possible purchase of the city's Rosemont Reservoir water system.

Besides lots of appraisal information, we report some of the conditions the city imposed on The Broadmoor before undertaking an exhaustive analysis of such a deal.

Among those terms, The Broadmoor agreed to:

• Purchase the system for a "sum mutually agreed upon" that "shall not be less than the fair market value."

• Operate and maintain the system and assume responsibility for obtaining needed approvals, easements, licenses and permits for the system from the city, Colorado Springs Utilities and the U.S. Forest Service.

• Grant Utilities all necessary easements for its water system infrastructure on lands sold to The Broadmoor as part of the deal.

• Acknowledge that some components of the system need "significant infrastructure improvements or replacement" for which The Broadmoor would be responsible.

• Use the water to irrigate its golf courses and deliver any excess to Utilities; the resort would be barred from selling water to a third party, although the entire system could be sold to a buyer taking ownership of the hotel.
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Pikes Peak Environmental Forum to host first luncheon of the season

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 8:38 AM

The Pikes Peak Environmental Forum invites the public to explore environmental issues through the lens of Daphne Greenwood, a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs economics professor.

The luncheon will kick off a series of speakers from various
professional backgrounds. In the first lecture, Greenwood will tackle problems at the vanguard of environmental science, from climate change to water shortages. She will relay how economics can lead to improvements in these areas.

Greenwood, who’s been studying environmental economics over the past ten years, says economics and the environment aren’t opposing forces or even overlapping topics. In fact, she says the two have a strong connection and directly affect one another.

However, there needs to be shift in thinking in the economic realm.

“Some of these environmental services are becoming scarce, but we can’t use regular economic mechanisms to deal with it,” she said. “The traditions we are operating in are changing a lot, so we have to really re-think some of the economics to match with that.”

The PPEF began as a tool for professionals in Colorado Springs to delve into environmental issues that might affect businesses. In the past few years, it has morphed into more of a community discussion. PPEF Coordinator, Michele Mukatis, says all are invited to the event, which will take place Friday, Sept. 22, from 12-2 p.m. at the Margarita at Pine Creek. Bring plenty of questions.

If informative, groundbreaking research isn’t enough of a reason to attend, the event is also a substantial networking opportunity.

To RSVP, send an email to For those who do not have email, call 231-6265. Be sure to call in advance.

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Local churches plan fourth annual all-city volunteer day

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 8:37 AM


With all the political and religious divisiveness currently drawing lines in our country, it's refreshing to see those of different denominations coming together for a single purpose. On SERVE Day, Sept. 30, 25 Colorado Springs churches representing nearly every corner of the city are going to participate in CityServe 2017, "for the sake of mobilizing the faith community toward tangible acts of service to address some of the city's most pressing needs."

These needs could include everything from trail work and outdoor litter patrol to community service projects at community centers and schools. There will be 80 project locations around the city that volunteers can choose from. Those interested in lending their time can view the projects and sign up online.

In addition, multiple events will be held in conjunction with City Serve, including a leadership dinner with Mayor Suthers on the 27th (for local senior pastors and clergy); an ecumenical worship service (Sept. 29, 6:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 219 E. Bijou St.); a SERVE Day celebration at the Switchbacks FC home game (Sept. 30, 6 p.m., Switchbacks Stadium, 6303 Barnes Road); and church commissioning and celebrations at various locations on Oct. 1.

See the highlights from last year's CityServe event in the video below:

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Monday, September 18, 2017

UPDATE: MRFF calls out chaplain who says not all religions need constitutional protection

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 10:01 AM

Weinstein: Still battling Christian control of the military. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Weinstein: Still battling Christian control of the military.

According to Stars and Stripes, the Air Force is standing behind Capt. Sonny Hernandez who says anyone serving in the military who doesn't adhere to Christianity is serving Satan.

—ORIGINAL POST 10:01 a.m. MONDAY, SEPT. 18, 2017—-

Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has complained for years that fundamental Christianity has taken over the military in violation of the Constitution.

Now, Newsweek reports, and other major news cites are following suit, that a chaplain who says Christians "serve Satan" if they support troops' right to practice other faiths.

Here's the first part of the Newsweek story:
A U.S. Air Force chaplain who ministers to thousands of men and women at an Ohio base is asserting that Christians in the U.S. Armed Forces “serve Satan” and are “grossly in error” if they support service members' right to practice other faiths.

In an article posted on three days ago, Captain Sonny Hernandez, an Air Force Reserve chaplain for the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, criticized Christian service members who rely on the Constitution “and not Christ.”

He wrote: “Counterfeit Christians in the Armed forces will appeal to the Constitution, and not Christ, and they have no local church home—which means they have no accountability for their souls (Heb. 13:17). This is why so many professing Christian service members will say: We ‘support everyone’s right’ to practice their faith regardless if they worship a god different from ours because the Constitution protects this right.”

Hernandez continued: “Christian service members who openly profess and support the rights of Muslims, Buddhists, and all other anti-Christian worldviews to practice their religions—because the language in the Constitution permits—are grossly in error, and deceived.”

MRFF, Newsweek reports, has asked the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office to investigate Hernandez, noting "many complaints" about his commentary over the last several years.

In a statement, MRFF said Hernandez "blatantly and indisputably advocates the subordinating of the U.S. Constitution to his personal Christian ideology and violated his Oath of Office as a commissioned officer, as well as Title 18, U.S. Code § 2387’s criminal prohibitions against counseling or urging insubordination, disloyalty, or ‘refusal of duty’ to other military members."

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UCCS to spend $6 million on promotion and branding

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 9:56 AM

Apparently, 50 percent growth over 10 years isn't enough for UCCS. - COURTESY UCCS
  • Courtesy UCCS
  • Apparently, 50 percent growth over 10 years isn't enough for UCCS.

Enrollment has exploded at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs over the last decade, to more than 12,400 students. But that's not enough, apparently.

While some faculty members voiced needs for basic support during that spring's selection process of a new chancellor — Dr. Venkat Reddy was chosen — UCCS will spend $6 million over the next five years on promotion and building its brand.

The UCCS campus has responded to enrollment growth by spreading out and up. - COURTESY UCCS
  • Courtesy UCCS
  • The UCCS campus has responded to enrollment growth by spreading out and up.

Here's the announcement from UCCS via Communique, the official news publication for faculty and staff:
UCCS named Karsh Hagan, Denver, its agency of record to facilitate marketing, media, and advertising services, agency and university officials announced Sept. 14.

UCCS selected Karsh Hagan after a six-month competitive request for proposal process. UCCS is the third University of Colorado campus that has committed to a long-term partnership with Karsh Hagan. The $6 million, five-year contract between UCCS and Karsh Hagan and resulting campaigns will identify, strengthen, and elevate what is possible for the UCCS brand.

Karsh Hagan will provide strategic advertising, marketing, media placement, and design services for campaigns to help increase enrollment, improve visibility and public perception, and attract top-tier students. The brand and resulting campaigns will showcase UCCS’ academic excellence and establish a strong reputation in southern Colorado and beyond.

“Karsh Hagan’s experience with higher education and other University of Colorado campuses was certainly a determining factor in our decision,” Greg Hoye, director, University-Wide Marketing, said. “But, the main differential, is Karsh Hagan fully understands that all of the University of Colorado campuses are different. We are confident they will give us our own identity while creating the synergy that we believe is crucial to our brand and future success.”

A Colorado-based agency and one of the region’s largest, Karsh Hagan’s successful history with higher education spans three decades, including successfully launching a fundraising campaign for Regis University that generated more than $80 million and completing a compelling new brand for the 50th Anniversary of Colorado Mountain College to better identify with its communities and student population. In the last five years, Karsh Hagan has worked with 38 entities in the CU system, spanning across all of the CU campuses. In just two years, Karsh Hagan was able to create a 70 percent increase in awareness of business leaders and influences for CU Denver. CU Boulder media campaigns helped increase undergraduate applications and enrollments.

“Karsh Hagan is proud to add UCCS to our platform of CU campuses,” Kathy Hagan, co-CEO, Karsh Hagan, said. “We have the right team to bring this university to the forefront. UCCS has nationally ranked programs and an innovative campus that we will promote locally as well as nationally. We are ready to help expand their student potential and further establish their great community connections.”

Not everyone is applauding the contract. Professor of geography Tom Huber, who's been with UCCS since 1981 and also served as dean of the Graduate School and associate vice chancellor of research, is incensed.

"I have never before responded like this to a Communique article," he begins in his online post. "But this is the most egregious and obscene waste of money I have ever heard about at UCCS. We have instructors in LAS [College of Letters, Arts & Sciences] who don’t get paid enough to buy groceries, and we are spending over $1 million a year on this? We really need to get the campus priorities focused on our mission — the education of our students!"

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

UPDATE: Springs to make bid for Amazon second headquarters

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 4:29 PM

The mountains form a backdrop for Colorado Springs, which might be an ideal setting for Amazon. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The mountains form a backdrop for Colorado Springs, which might be an ideal setting for Amazon.

UPDATE: The city's economic development officer Bob Cope tells the Indy this via email:

Since the release of the Amazon RFP on September 7th, City Economic Development staff has been in discussions with the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC and other community economic development partners regarding developing an appropriate strategy and response.

Colorado Springs offers an extremely attractive location for businesses, especially those in the tech sector. Our concentration of highly-educated individuals in both the military and professional sectors, combined with our local educational institutions provide excellent resources in terms of staffing. Our continued presence on lists such as U.S. News and World Report’s Best Places to Live lists speak to the quality of life we offer employees. Add to that our identity as Olympic City USA, and you have an extremely attractive option as a headquartering location.

Additional information will be available in the days ahead as the strategy unfolds.
——————-ORIGINAL POST 4:20 P.M. THURSDAY, SEPT. 14, 2017—————-

Several cities are falling all over one another to land Amazon's second headquarters in North America, and Colorado Springs is trying to elbow its way to the table, apparently.

We just received this statement from the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC:
Following Amazon’s recent announcement to develop a second North American headquarters, the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC is in the process of developing Colorado Springs’ response to the project’s request for proposals.

“We are currently exploring site options, incentives and other factors, as well as coordinating with the State of Colorado and the City of Colorado Springs, to create a competitive response to Amazon’s RFP,” said Hannah Parsons, chief economic development officer for the Chamber & EDC.

According to the RFP, Amazon’s decision drivers include the availability of existing buildings or facilities, a greenfield site, utility infrastructure, opportunities for renovation or redevelopment, labor force and incentives, among others. Complete details are available at Amazon’s RFP site. Responses are due Oct. 19, 2017.
Ahem. Let's review the following designations for Colorado Springs that might catch Amazon's eye:
• Number 1 American city for Human Capital and Lifestyle, 2017. fDi Intelligence.
• Top 10 or hottest real estate markets to watch in 2017, 2017. Trulia.
• No. 2 for most desirable places to live, 2017. U.S. News & World Report.
• No. 2 Best City for Veterans, 2016.
• Top 10 Best Big Cities for Active Families, 2016. Outside.

It's also worth noting that the Banning Lewis Ranch on the city's east side has lots of greenfields that could be a future site of the on-line giant.

We also asked the city of Colorado Springs what the city is doing on this front, city spokeswoman Jamie Fabos told us via email, "I know we are in possession of their RFP.
Bob Cope [economic development officer] is handling, and I am happy to ask him for details."

We'll circle back when we hear more.
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Douglas Bruce announces "anti" campaigns on four ballot measures

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 12:46 PM

Media gather to hear Douglas Bruce, right, hammer four revenue measures on the Nov. 7 ballot. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Media gather to hear Douglas Bruce, right, hammer four revenue measures on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Douglas Bruce held court today, Sept. 14, with the media outside Pioneers Museum to announce opposition to four ballot measures proposed by Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado Springs School District 11 and the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.

He also announced that he and former City Councilor Helen Collins have filed a campaign finance violation complaint with the Secretary of State's Office alleging D-11 illegally spent taxpayer money on a promotional card for its $42 million mill levy override question.

D-11 Public Information Officer Devra Ashby tells the Independent the district designed and printed 1,750 copies of the card at a cost of $312.49. "The card was printed before the Board of Education approved the ballot language and set the question," she says.

"We understand that the district is not permitted to spend taxpayer funds on 'promotion' of election questions," Ashby says via email. "However, we believe that the information on this document is factual and is important to the education of the measure as opposed to the 'promotion' of the measure. We continue to believe that voters have a right to be well informed and educated about factual matters."

She also noted the card, which has been distributed at meetings and from a counter at the central office, doesn't say anything about how voters should vote.

"Manipulating elections by misuse of public funds is a serious offense," Bruce and Collins say in their complaint.

At the news conference, Bruce also hammered the city for its stormwater measure, saying, "I have never seen such a dishonest ballot title as this one." He contends the city is playing a bait and switch game on voters by saying the $17 million to be raised through stormwater fees would fund drainage projects while plans call for using the money for police and fire.

Mayor John Suthers has said by funding stormwater through fees, $17 million would be freed up to spend on police and fire and other needs.

Bruce is the author of the statewide and city Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, which limits how much new revenue governments can generate from year to year. He served in the State House and as a county commissioner, but was convicted of tax evasion in 2011 and did prison time following a judge's ruling that he violated probation. He was released several months ago.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Strawberry Fields planning continues, so does lawsuit

Posted By on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 5:03 PM

John Spengler holds a sign saying not to trust the Palmer Land Trust. - PHOTOS BY PAM ZUBECK
  • Photos by Pam Zubeck
  • John Spengler holds a sign saying not to trust the Palmer Land Trust.
The third public meeting, held Sept. 12 at Cheyenne Mountain High School, for how The Broadmoor will develop Strawberry Fields open space drew dozens of people.

During the two-hour meeting, they were told that contractor N.E.S., Inc., is trying to map out where trails will be placed through the 189-acre open space acquired last year from the city, a highly controversial land swap that gave the city nearly 500 acres of trail easements and wilderness property. (Blog, May 24, 2016)

About 40 to 50 people showed up for the third planning session for Strawberry Fields open space.
  • About 40 to 50 people showed up for the third planning session for Strawberry Fields open space.

It wasn't a friendly crowd.

Many questions poured out, most notably from City Council President Richard Skorman. Skorman had served as president of Save Cheyenne, a nonprofit formed amid the land swap debate in 2016, but when he was elected to Council in April, he resigned from the group.

Still, Skorman obviously is passionate about the idea of the property falling into private hands and told N.E.S. personnel "it seems backwards" to determine trail locations before a development plan is unveiled. That development plan would use only about 8.5 acres on the open space's north end for a stable and pavilion for Broadmoor guests.

His comments drew enthusiastic applause from many who attended.

Skorman also has said the North Cheyenne Cañon master plan should include Strawberry Fields and be completed before any development takes place.

When Skorman asked how many would like to see a master plan developed first before talking about trails, more than half of the hands shot up.

Other questions included which trails would be used by Broadmoor horses, how the trails will be maintained whether an archeologist has been consulted and who's responsible for fire mitigation.

In answer to that last question, Tim Siebert, principal of N.E.S., said, "I'm assuming The Broadmoor is responsible."

John Spengler stood off to the side, holding a sign that read, "Don't trust Palmer Land Distrust." The Palmer Land Trust holds a conservation easement on Strawberry Fields. That means except for the 8.5 acres of developed area, the remainder is to be kept open for public use under conditions monitored by the trust.

Asked about the sign, Spengler told the Independent, "In November, the Palmer Land Trust told us they wouldn't proceed with the conservation easement until the litigation was done. One month later, they renegged on that."

Not true, says the trust's director Rebecca Jewett.

"That is a misunderstanding. We never said we would wait till the litigation is over," she says in an interview. "We said from the beginning we needed to go do the due diligence. We're not a party to the litigation, so we've been watching it, and if that goes in the direction that impacts the project, we will do what needs to be done. The easement itself was never contingent on the resolution of the litigation.

"We have always maintained our neutral stance on the exchange itself, and our goal has always been with the easement to assure public access," she adds. "There are so many avenues this could go down, I find it hard to speculate on the easement [if Save Cheyenne prevails]. If something undid the easement legally, I don't know what that would look like. We would work to ensure public access on that property. From our perspective, our goal has always been, regardless of land ownership, we want to assure public access."

Jewett also said the conservation easement requires The Broadmoor to go through a planning process and engage the public in that process, while reporting to the trust as things unfold. There also are timelines stated in the easement "to ensure what the public was told and promised will be delivered within a time frame," she says.

Meantime, the litigation continues.

On July 31, The Broadmoor and city filed a motion asking the Court of Appeals to dismiss the case because it's moot. After the District Court dismissed Save Cheyenne's lawsuit challenging the legality of the land swap, the motion states:

Save Cheyenne did not take an emergency appeal. Nor did it seek a
stay of the impending transaction from the district court or this Court. Instead, Save Cheyenne held off filing its notice of appeal until early January, three weeks after the district court’s ruling.

By then, the land exchange had closed. As part of the closing, and as required by the resolution, the Broadmoor conveyed a conservation easement covering Strawberry Fields to the Palmer Land Trust—an easement that ensures Strawberry Fields will be preserved and enhanced as parkland for the public to freely use and enjoy in perpetuity.

That the land exchange has already closed raises a threshold justiciability question: Is this case now moot? The answer is yes, for two reasons. First, this Court has held that when, as here, a plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent an event that has already occurred, the plaintiff’s case is moot. Second, rescinding the land exchange this late in the day would flunk the Colorado Supreme Court’s three-factor balancing test from DeVilbiss v. Zoning Board of Adjustment....
In response, Save Cheyenne filed a pleading saying the motion was an "end run" on the appellate process:
This closing took place in the face of a recorded lis pendens [pending legal action] filed in the real property records of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder. That lis pendens was noted by the title insurance company that closed the transaction as an exception to its policy of title insurance. Of course, a lis pendens was not even necessary in this case; both the City and the Broadmoor were parties to the litigation; they knew that Save Cheyenne had raised substantial questions about whether Colorado Springs had the authority to convey Strawberry Fields and that the case was within the appeal period. Heedless of the risk, they chose to close anyway. It is true that the Palmer Land Trust took a conservation easement over Strawberry Fields; however, that entity is bound by the lis pendens and only took the easement to protect the public from the consequences of the fact that their public park had been conveyed into private hands.

The Motion to Dismiss is an improper use of motion practice before this Court and a blatant effort to deprive Save Cheyenne of its appeal rights while introducing a litany of “facts” that are not in the appellate record. In the applicable precedent cases, some cited by Defendants and some not, when appellees have moved to dismiss an appeal as “moot,” they have also sought a remand to the trial court so that it may engage in fact-finding regarding matters that arose following the judgment that the appellees contended made the case “moot.” In this case, Appellees would much prefer to try their case before an appellate court through the use of ex parte affidavits, doling out selective “facts” about matters exclusively outside of Save Cheyenne’s knowledge and control and in the absence of discovery, cross-examination, or basic due process at an evidentiary hearing. This effort to end run the appellate process should not be rewarded by the Court and it constitutes grounds to deny the Motion to Dismiss on its own.

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Joanna Bean, former Gazette editor, promoted at UCCS

Posted By on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 3:31 PM

Joanna Bean: In charge of UCCS alumni relations. - COURTESY UCCS
  • Courtesy UCCS
  • Joanna Bean: In charge of UCCS alumni relations.
Joanna Bean has been promoted to director of alumni relations and the Annual Fund at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Bean previously served as assistant director of University Communications and Media Relations, a post she held from Jan. 18, 2016, to Sept. 11, 2017, when she moved to alumni relations.

Bean was a longtime journalist at the Gazette, starting as a reporter in 1990 and rising through the ranks to editor in September 2014.

In her new UCCS role, she'll report to the vice chancellor for University Advancement and serve as a member of that team. She'll manage all aspects of the Alumni and Friends Association and the Annual Fund.

Her annual salary is $77,000.

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Springs Rescue Mission completes resource center, pauses kitchen expansion

Posted By on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 1:43 PM

UPDATE: Here's the video.

09-12-17 Larry Yonker - Springs Rescue Mission - Resource Center Completion from Springs Rescue Mission on Vimeo.

——ORIGINAL POST 1:43 P.M. WED., SEPT. 13, 2017——
On Sept. 12, the Springs Rescue Mission (SRM) announced the completion of its new resource center, which is designed for people experiencing homelessness to access all sorts of human services in one convenient, consolidated location. Now open, the facility features 16 showers, laundry machines, a recreational area and office space for government and non-profit agencies.
  • SRM CEO Larry Yonkers

“Before the opening of this building, someone experiencing homelessness would have to walk about five miles in a single day to get the services they need," said Larry Yonkers, SRM's President and CEO, in a press release. "Now, if they’re staying in our shelter, it’s a 50-foot walk across the courtyard.”

This marks the end of phase one in the Mission's $17-million campus expansion project. SRM had planned to get started with phase two right away, but is instead pressing pause until it can identify an additional $2.5 million in funding.

Phase two entails expanding the kitchen, which, according to Yonkers, is "no larger than a two-car garage" and strained serving over meals to about 350 guests a day. Though the planned 200-seat kitchen is far from completion, Yonkers has said SRM is nonetheless able to accommodate those who hang out across the street at Dorchester Park where the Salvation Army's food truck recently ended service.

  • Thomas Voss
As the Indy has reported, the first phase of phase one was added shelter space before winter kicked in last year, and phase three will be a permanent supportive housing complex. That $14 million project, dubbed Greenway Flats, planned in partnership with Nor'wood Development Group, will house 65 chronically homeless adults, putting the per-person construction cost at over $215,000. According to this year's point-in-time count, widely considered an undercount, the number 
  • Courtesy Nor'wood Development Group
of chronically homeless adults living in Colorado Springs is 374.

Here's a video, courtesy of SRM, that shows Yonkers introducing the new resource center. Right now, we've just got the link, but when the video becomes embeddable, embed it we shall.

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Urban canyons gouge through Colorado Springs

Posted By on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM

City stormwater overseer Rich Mulledy stands at the foot of a 50-foot wall carved by Pine Creek. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • City stormwater overseer Rich Mulledy stands at the foot of a 50-foot wall carved by Pine Creek.

If you've never seen an urban canyon, you probably have lots of company. But there are plenty of opportunities, right here in Mayberry. Just tag along with Colorado Springs' stormwater manager, like we did, and experience the gorges created by rushing stormwater.

In the latest issue of the Independent, we report how the city's stormwater problem comes into full focus when you get down in the weeds, like we did a couple of weeks ago with Water Resources Engineering Division Manager Rich Mulledy. See a slide show of stormwater problems.

To address that problem, the city has proposed a ballot measure that would generate about $17 million a year for 20 years via stormwater fees. You can read more about the measure itself in another story in this week's Indy.

Meantime, anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce is hitting the streets with a "vote no" flier that outlines the "Top Six Reasons To Reject City Issue 2A."

Invest in COS, the "vote yes" effort, has raised $115,000 and spent about $26,800, according to its first campaign finance report. The next report is due Oct. 2.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Creek Week ready to kick off

Posted By on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 1:07 PM

Looking to do your part in a sun-soaked setting? Join the hundreds of volunteers to participate in Creek Week, the biggest cleanup event in the state of Colorado.

Cleanups will occur between Sept. 30 and Oct. 8 throughout the Fountain Creek Watershed, which spans Palmer Lake and Woodland Park to Pueblo.

Go to for details and to register a cleanup crew. Check back later for a complete list of events.

No pre-registration is needed. Just show up.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Strawberry Hill Master Plan among many public meetings ahead

Posted By on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 5:18 PM

Another planning meeting about development of Strawberry Hill open space will be held on Tuesday evening. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Another planning meeting about development of Strawberry Hill open space will be held on Tuesday evening.
If you're looking for something to do in the next couple of days to engage in civic affairs, there are several options.

First, those involved in the construction business might be interested in this inaugural event:
The Water Resources Engineering Division, in partnership with the City’s Operations and Maintenance Division, is introducing a new Construction Best Management Practices (BMPs) Field Training Academy to provide hands-on training for implementing construction BMPs to control erosion and sedimentation at local construction sites. The academy is one of only two in Colorado and the only BMP academy in southern Colorado. This inaugural “trail class” will be attended by staff from the City and local agencies, and will consist of installation and evaluation of BMPs in the field.

WHAT: Construction Best Management Practices Field Training Academy
WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 12; 9-11 a.m. or 1:30-3:30p.m.
9-11 a.m. Participants will install and evaluate BMPs
1:30-3:30 p.m. Participants will apply water to the BMPs to observe
performance under simulated stormwater conditions.

WHERE: Colorado Springs BMP Academy Training Site
1847 Hancock Express, between Hwy 24 and S. Union Blvd.

Attendees will be divided into small groups and rotate through several stations as they install BMPs in accordance with specifications for each station. After installation and student evaluation, water will be applied to the BMPs to observe its actual performance under simulated storm water conditions.
If you're just wanting to hide and watch, here are two meetings that might interest you:

The first is a planning meeting for the 189-acre Strawberry Hill Master Plan on Tuesday evening. This property was obtained by The Broadmoor last year from the city. The Broadmoor plans to build a stable and picnic pavilion on a small chunk of land and open the remainder to the public under a conservation easement.
What: Third in a series of public meetings to gather input for development of the Strawberry Hill Master Plan.

Who: N.E.S., Inc. and its team of specialists on behalf of The Broadmoor

Why: The planning process is intended to fulfill commitments made as part of the land exchange between the City of Colorado Springs and The Broadmoor, meet requirements under the City zoning code for park property, and to comply with legal conditions established within the Conservation Easement administered by Palmer Land Trust that exists on the property.

Attendees: N.E.S Inc. project team, Palmer Land Trust, and citizens interested in the project

When: 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Where: Cheyenne Mountain High School, 1200 Cresta Rd., front entrance Kiva area

Parking: Available at the front entrance

Meeting Format: A review by N.E.S. representatives and its team of specialists about the master plan process, schedule and key aspects involved, small group breakout session discussing social trails and other resources associated with the property and a Q&A session.

Project Information:
Secondly, the city is planning a major overhaul of Pikes Peak Avenue. Learn more about that project at a public meeting Tuesday evening.
A community open house to review the final plans for the Pikes Peak Avenue Reconstruction project has been scheduled for:

Day: Tuesday, September 12
Time: 5:30 – 7p.m.
Location: Immanuel Lutheran Church Gymnasium
828 E. Pikes Peak Avenue
Colorado Springs 80903

Project team members will be available to review reconstruction details and answer questions. There will not be a formal presentation, so the community is invited to stop by any time to view displays and provide feedback. Construction is expected to begin mid-September and conclude the summer of 2019.

The project will reconstruct Pikes Peak Avenue’s deteriorating pavement, concrete curb, pedestrian ramps, and utilities between the Shooks Run Trail and Printers Parkway. Pikes Peak Avenue will remain open with one lane traveling in each direction. Motorists should expect delays. Access to all businesses will be provided.

For more information, contact the project hotline at 719-593-9239 or email at Information and traffic impacts are also available on the project website at

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Catholic Charities to prioritize DACA renewals due by Oct. 5

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 11:11 AM

Local immigration attorney Eric Pavri wants local Dreamers to get information and assistance they need.
  • Nat Stein
Dreamers' immigration status became dire this week when the Trump administration announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) won't accept renewals in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives work/study permits to undocumented youth brought to this country as children in two-year increments. That means this generation of immigrants, most of whom are totally integrated in American society, could become vulnerable to deportation as early as March of next year if Congress doesn't pass the Dream Act or some other kind of immigration reform.

Pavri, who works at the Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, the only non-profit law firm for immigrants in the region, sent around these fliers on Friday, urging that recipients forward, print and post them anywhere they could be of use.

"Time is of the essence, because those youth eligible to renew DACA must mail their applications so that they are RECEIVED by the government by October 5, 2017," he wrote (emphasis his). "We are prioritizing these cases for appointments in our office."

He's also going to be leading "know your rights" trainings that are free, open to the public and will be presented in both English and Spanish. Here's the deets on those:

Friday, September 08, 2017

6:00 PM

Host organization:  Grupo Esperanza

2410 S. Academy Blvd.

Colorado Springs

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

6:00 PM

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church

2715 E Pikes Peak Ave.

Colorado Springs

And here are those fliers, first in Spanish, then in English:

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