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Ode to My Composter*

Black, black, black.
A shining dome of blackness in the back
yard. I draw near you -- carefully --
holding yogurt containers heavy
with squeezed grapefruit halves,
soggy grounds of Black Forest blend,
egg shells, potato peels, the heels
of the whole wheat bread
that no one eats.

Oh, composter. When I twist your top
I fear meeting the beady eyes
of some furry rodent, happy in the rich
treasure of your belly. But, no.
It's just me -- and you --
and the organic debris of my life.

*purchased at last year's sale

Buy your own composter of love at the annual Backyard Composter Sale hosted by El Paso County Solid Waste Management. Get them at two places: in the El Paso County Health Dept. parking lot, 305 S. Union Blvd. and the Chapel Hills Mall north parking lot, next Saturday (May 18th) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each composter costs $37.25. Call 575-8450.

Area Events

Monument Valley Park Lilac Planting, to restore the lilacs that filled the park in the 1900s. To volunteer, call 385-5947. Sat., May 11, 8-11:30 a.m.

Uncle Wilber Fountain Opening Splash, featuring free ice cream and popsicles in Acacia Park, Bijou and Tejon. Sat., May 25, 11 a.m. Rain date: Sun., May 26, 11 a.m.

Bulletin Board

Pet Saver Internet Directory, offering pet owners the chance to list their lost and found pets immediately on the Colorado Springs Dash Directory. Visit

www.colorado-springs-directory.com

Colorado Renewable Energy Society seeking information about exemplary buildings for its annual awards program. Buildings must be in Colorado and be no more than three years old. The required info is: location, use, size, owner, architect or designer, construction cost, predicted energy use or savings, distinguishing features and other relevant information. Send info to Walt Kaesler, 24050 Genesse Village Road, Golden, CO, 80401. Call 303/526-0924 for details. Deadline: May 15.

Greenway and Nature Center's Raptor Center is in need of donations of food items for its resident and convalescing birds of prey. Especially needed are game meats such as deer, elk and rabbit. Beef, pork, lamb and other processed meat cannot be used. Also accepting rats, mice and similar rodents. Call 719/549-2327.

Civic Opportunities

El Paso County Park Advisory Board invites the public to attend their regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at the Board of County Commissioners Hear Room, 27 E. Vermijo, 3rd floor. The Board discusses matters pertaining to the policy, planning, development, improvement and beautification of public parks, trails and open space. For details, call Cindy Olson at 520-6999. Next meeting: May 9.

Colorado Springs City Council seeking citizen volunteers to serve on several City Boards and Commissions. Vacancies for citizens-at-large include: Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax Advisory Committee, Liquor and Beer Licensing Board, Citizens Advisory Committee on Competitiveness in City Government, Planning Commission, Commission on Children and Families, Civil Service Commission, Pioneers Museum Advisory Board. Vacancies for individuals with specific qualifications include: School/Park Fee Advisory Committee, seeking representatives of school board/administrations, construction, housing sales and land developers. The Youth Traffic Safety Committee, seeking representatives from School Districts No. 20, No. 12, No. 11, No. 2 and No. 49, plus two citizens at large. Briargate Special Improvement Maintenance District, seeking someone who owns property within the district. The Fire Board of Appeals, seeking a representative of large business. The Regional Building Department Committees seeking a citizen at large and a building contractor A, B, or C and an architect. Individuals should send letters of interest along with a resume to City Council, P.O. Box. 1575, Colorado Springs, CO 80901. Call Nancy Bramwell at 385-5453 for details. Deadline: May 20.

El Paso County Commissioners seeking citizen volunteers to fill vacancies on various boards and committees, including the Highway Advisory Commission, Park Advisory Board (District 2), Colorado State University Extension Advisory Committee, the School Fee Advisory Committee, and the Placement Alternatives Commission. Interested individuals should send a letter of interest and a brief resume to: Board of County Commissioners, Attn: Nancy Talent, Office Manager, 27 E. Vermijo Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80903-2208.

Clubs & Organizations

Adoption Alliance holding information meetings about traditional infant, special needs and international adoptions at 30 E. Rio Grande St. on the first Wednesday of the month at 9 a.m. and the third Wednesday at 7 p.m. RSVP to 636-9140 or torypearl@aol.com. Next meeting: May 15.

American Businesswomen's Association meeting at Nemeth's El Tejon, 1005 S. Tejon St. Featuring networking and speaker Claudia Busch Lee, Ph.D. Registration required, 591-2404. Tues., May 21, 6 p.m.

Central Colorado Wilderness Network, sponsored by the Pikes Peak Group of the Sierra Club, meeting at Beidleman Environmental Center, 740 W. Caramillo St. Free, 3030/660-5849. Thurs., May 9, 7-9 p.m.

Colorado Business Leads of Northern Colorado Springs meeting at the Village Inn, 8050 N. Academy Blvd., every Tuesday, 7-8:30 a.m. Of Downtown Colorado Springs meeting at the Olive Branch, 23 S. Tejon St., every Wednesday, 7-8:30 a.m. Call Mark Hiatt, 303/791-3237.

Downtown Toastmasters meets at the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada. Call 634-1408 for information. Meeting every Friday, noon to 1 p.m.

The Network Exchange for Women (NEW) meets the third Tuesday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Antonio's on Garden of the Gods Road. $12, 265-1969. Next meeting: May 21.

Pikes Peak Area 39+ Catholic Singles looking for new faces to join divorced, widowed, separated and never married persons between the ages of 39 and 65 years old. Call Nancy for more information at 393-0561.

Rocky Mountain Inventors & Entrepreneurs Congress hosting a round-table meeting at Pikes Peak Community College on S. Academy, Room 211. $5-$10, call Dale Boody at 269-3273. Thurs., May 16, 6:30 p.m.

Singles Connection V, a social club for men and women age 50 to 79, meeting weekly for a variety of activities. Call Pauline at 475-0376 for information and a monthly newsletter.

Sunrise Sertoma, meeting on the first and third Thursdays at 7 p.m. of the month at the Valley Hi golf course restaurant. Call Bob Hauptman at 596-8728 or Terry Shattuck at 632-6806.

Vegetarians of Colorado Springs gathering for a potluck on the second Sunday of each month at 5:30 p.m., at varying members' homes and city parks. For details or club information, visit www.vsc.org or call Nancy at 330-2165.

Volunteer Opportunities

American Cancer Society seeking volunteer cosmetologists to consult with female cancer patients 1 to 2 hours per month in its Look Good ... Feel Better program. Training provided. Call 636-5101 for more.

Beidleman Environmental Center, 740 W. Caramillo, seeking volunteers to help with Wildlife Neighbors, Survivors and Keepers of the Water, environmental education school programs in May. For a schedule of training times, call 578-7008.

The Bijou House, a hospitality house providing transitional housing and support for homeless adults, is in need of regular volunteers in a variety of capacities. For more information, call 635-5078.

Care and Share Food Bank seeking volunteers for its information and referral helpline telephone service. Must have good customer service skills and be able to commit to one 4-hour shift per week for at least 6 months. Call Jordan at 528-1247 or visit

www.careandshare.org for details.

Children's Literacy Center seeking volunteers to tutor beginning readers two hours per week for six weeks. Call 471-8672 for details. Orientation at Barnes & Noble at the Citadel: Tues., May 28 or Thurs., May 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Colorado Division of Wildlife seeking volunteers for a wildlife transport team, to help injured wildlife. Volunteers must be able to be on call after training. Call Jean Sanchez at 227-5204 for details.

El Paso County Sheriff's Office seeking volunteers in a variety of positions including; Posse Deputies, Volunteer/Events Assistant, Range Assistant, Clerical/Office Assistants, Wildland Fire Crew Members, Cadets (young people 14-21) and more. Contact Jaimie Hutchison, Volunteer Coordinator, at 520-7216 or e-mail JaimieHutchison@elpasoco.com to find out more. You can also visit the EPSO Web page: www.elpasoco.com/sheriff.

Meals-on-Wheels seeking volunteers to help deliver hot meals to lonely, isolated area seniors for two hours each week. Call Diane or Mikki at Silver Key Senior Services, 632-1521.

Memorial Hospital seeking volunteers interested in learning more about health care and making a difference in the community to help in the business office, and interact with patients via reading out loud, visiting, and writing letters. Volunteers should commit for at least 6 months. Hours are very flexible. Call 365-5298.

PILLAR, the Peak Institute of Living, Learning and Rejuvenation, has volunteer opportunities for retirees including proof reading, marketing and advertising, data entry and reception. Call 633-4991 for more information.

The Probation Victim Assistance Program seeks caring volunteers to assist in victim notifications, victims' rights education and the victim/offender mediation process. Call Stephanie, 329-7006.

Silver Key Senior Services seeking people to help drive local elderly persons to the grocery store, bank, doctor, etc. Invest just four hours a week or month and don't pay a penny for your gas! Call Diane, 632-1521.

Workout Ltd., a restorative justice program, seeks volunteers to facilitate conferences between victims and offenders. Training provided. Call Denise Mantano, 471-4200, or visit

www.workoutltd.org.

Walking Shield American Indian Society seeking volunteers to help in warehouse with packing and loading boxes, and picking up donations. Hours: Tues. Fri., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call Elaine Glynn at 329-0251.

The Community Chest is a resource for speaking your mind, pulling your weight, casting your vote or joining the club. See page 40 for information on submitting notices to the Chest.

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