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Colorado Springs Independent

Colorado Springs Independent newspaper is the local authority for news, politics, marijuana news, food and drink, arts and entertainment, events, music, film, and sustainability in Colorado Springs.

Published: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:01 -0700

Last Build Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:00:00 -0700

Copyright: Copyright 2017 Colorado Springs Independent. All rights reserved. This RSS file is offered to individuals, Colorado Springs Independent readers, and non-commercial organizations only. Any commercial websites wishing to use this RSS file, please contact Colorado Springs Independent.

Colorado Springs news: County pension checks a go; PERA head passes away; PPACG names leader; Memorial Hospital adds board members

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:31:00 -0700

(image) County pension checks a go

Beneficiaries of the El Paso County Retirement Plan can look forward to an extra check for 2017 following a vote by the board of directors on Dec. 11.

"The board approved the additional check unanimously," reports Board Chair and County Treasurer Mark Lowderman. "It will be a full check, paid in January 2018 to all retirees, including those that have retired through December 1, 2017."

We reported on the request from several retirees earlier this month.…

Sheriff's Office blocks reporter, Indy responds via attorney

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:55:00 -0700

(image) After El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder conducted a bizarre news conference on Nov. 8 to hammer the Independent and its senior reporter, yours truly, his office cut off communications with me. Any requests I made, including for open public records made according to law, have since been answered to the Indy's editor, Matthew Schniper.

What triggered Elder's ire was this story.

But First Amendment attorney Steve Zansberg of Denver says the Sheriff's Office's response doesn't square with the law. Zansberg, on the Indy's behalf, wrote a letter delivered today, Dec. 13, to Elder saying his office "has denied Ms. Zubeck's rights, available to any other member of the public, in retaliation for her exercising her rights as a journalist."

Zansberg cites various authorities in making his point, and closes with:

Springs' Artspace project speeds up with Downtown Development Authority funding

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:56:00 -0700

(image) For the last two years, the Colorado Springs Creative Collective, a group of local artists and community stakeholders led by Bob Wolfson, has been working to establish an Artspace development in Colorado Springs. Artspace, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, creates affordable live/work space for artists across the country, with developments in Loveland and Trinidad in Colorado, plus cities in 17 other states.…

Strawberry Fields appraisal needs fresh look, citizens say

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:41:00 -0700

So many questions pervade the appraisal of Strawberry Fields open space, also called Strawberry Hill, that Colorado Springs City Council should revisit the land exchange that ceded the city's 186 acres to The Broadmoor, about a dozen people told Council at its meeting today, Dec. 12.

The exchange, approved by Council on a 6-3 vote on May 24, 2016, has come into question due to the Colorado Board of Real Estate Appraisers' action against the Strawberry Fields appraiser, Kyle Wigington, who was hired by the city.

The Independent reported the BOREA action in a story that also reported The Broadmoor's attorneys prepared amicus briefs for a Colorado Court of Appeals action involving the land and asked two nonprofits to submit them to the court. Neither agency — the Trails and Open Space Coalition, which backed the exchange, and the Palmer Land Trust, which holds the conservation easement on most of the property — agreed to do so.…

Wobbly Olive releases new menu from executive chef Supansa Banker

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:38:00 -0700

(image) We're a few months out from Wobbly Olive West still — co-owner Sean Fitzgerald estimates mid-February at this point — but corporate executive chef Supansa Banker has released her first menu at the 4.5-year-old original Wobbly Olive. Indy editor Matt Schniper and I were invited to join other local media heads for a preview of some of the menu's standout items December 11.…

Switchbacks FC up for USL goal of the year

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:07:00 -0700

(image) We recently noted how the Switchbacks FC gained a TV deal with Fox 21 for its 2018 home soccer matches.

Now, the club's made it to the final round of voting for the USL's goal of the year.…

Colorado Springs settles lawsuit with CSPD recruits

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:50:14 -0700

(image) A group of Colorado Springs Police Department recruits who were bounced for failing the driver's test have settled for $1,000 each from the city in exchange for dropping their lawsuit.

Sadatur Khan, Kelly Robinson, Tyler Kelley, Jason Harsha and Bailey Carpenter were among eight canned in February 2017 for failing the driver test during recruit training.

From that story:

Wasteland Express Delivery Service: Trucking for loot on the post-apocalyptic highway

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:36:00 -0700

(image) Wanna die historic on the Fury Road?

How about making some scratch (or $crap, as the currency of this world is called) as a nervy driver for the world’s last over-the-road trucking company? That’s the proposition of Wasteland Express Delivery Service (WEDS).

In terms of marrying mechanics to theme, I’ve always found that semi-open-ended game worlds with “pick up and deliver” schemes are incredibly effective.…

Local magician Cosmo Solano opens Cosmo's Magic Theater

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:21:00 -0700

(image) Not everyone would be willing to store 100 theater seats in their garage like local magician Cosmo Solano — or has a spouse who would let them.

"[She] thought I was out of my mind," Solano says of his wife.

But the seats proved to come in handy, and now have a new place in the Pueblo native's Cosmo’s Magic Theater, where Solano performs his world class sleight of hand, mentalism, and classic magic tricks.

Solano fell in love with magic at an early age.…

UPDATE: Venetucci farmers laid off as contaminated water spoils finances

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:51:00 -0700


UPDATE: We received official statements from both the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and the Gordon/Hamilton family regarding the latter's termination as managers of Venetucci Farm. Since they're written as public letters, we'll post them in their entirety below.…

UPDATE: Ex-officer says he witnessed order to notarize deputy oaths

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:19:00 -0700

(image) UPDATE:
CBI spokeswoman Susan Medina tells the Independent via email, After discussing your request with my team, it would not be appropriate for the CBI to make any comment at this time

—ORIGINAL POST 4:19 P.M. FRIDAY, DEC. 7, 2017—

A retired sheriff's officer says he witnessed El Paso County Sheriff's Administrator Larry Borland order two employees to notarize deputy oaths in violation of the state's notary laws.

The officer didn't want to be named for fear of retaliation against his friends still working for the department. For the purposes of this article, we'll refer to him as "Lt. Doe."…

Brother Luck competes in Top Chef season 15, premiering tonight

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:16:00 -0700

(image) Brother Luck is back on TV. Earlier this year, Chef Luck competed in the 15th season of Bravo's cooking competition show Top Chef, set in Colorado. At this point, we're starting to lose count of his television appearances.…

Bryan Adams, Ella Vos, and Front 242 top new show announcements

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:43:00 -0700

Despite those images of shoulder pads and synthesizers that resurface every time we think of the ‘80s, many of the top acts who came to prominence during that decade didn’t look or sound anything like that. Take for instance, Canadian pop-rock hitmaker Bryan Adams, Deep Purple survivor David Coverdale’s hair-band Whitesnake, and Belgian industrial noise pioneers Front 242.…

Banning Lewis Ranch approvals in eight steps

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 10:52:00 -0700

(image) Today, we reported on the time schedule for approvals necessary to unlock development of the 18,500-acre Banning Lewis Ranch.

That meeting schedule looks like this:

Jack White’s We’re Going to be Friends and other books about music

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:13:00 -0700


Music about books is not always such a great idea. For every Kate Bush ode to Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights — or Sufjan Stevens homage to Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find — we get an Axl Rose crooning, “Oooh, the Catcher in the Rye again / Won’t let ya get away from him.”

Open mics, opening receptions and more events to keep you busy this week

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:00:00 -0700


7 Thursday

Winner of seven Tony Awards, Annie stands as one of the most iconic musicals of all time,
suitable and generally enjoyable for all ages. The musical was originally based on the daily comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray, which ran (with varying levels of success) between 1924 and 2010.…

Needle exchange debate by El Paso County Board of Health ends with "no" vote

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:28:00 -0700

(image) Not only will there not be a needle exchange program in El Paso County soon, there probably won't be one for many years to come.

Today, Dec. 4, the El Paso County Board of Health decided not to schedule a vote on the program or hear further presentations. That means it's relegated to the trash can.

Although it was informal, the board took a straw vote in order to advise staff how to proceed.

Those expressing a desire to kill the needle exchange idea at the Dec. 4 meeting were County Commissioners Peggy Littleton and Longinos Gonzalez; retired U.S. Navy surgeon James Terbush; nurse Vicki Broerman and Doris Ralston, CEO of the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation.

Voting to keep consideration alive: Manitou Springs Mayor Pro Tem Coreen Toll; Colorado Springs City Council President Richard Skorman; Kari Kilroy, executive assistant to Memorial Hospital’s CEO, and County Coroner Robert Bux.

Toll's term ends this year, and given her support of the program, it's unlikely she'll be given another term by county commissioners, who appoint the board.


UPDATE: Old School Bakery at Ivywild ceasing baking operations

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 17:58:21 -0700

(image) Blue Star Group owner Joseph Coleman reached out to provide additional information. Old School Bakery will cease baking operations at the Ivywild School, but as a business and brand, it will not be closing.…

PPACG names finalists for executive director

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:04:00 -0700

(image) Four finalists have been named for the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments top slot, according to a news release from the organization.  Only one of the candidates currently lives in Colorado.

The PPACG board is seeking a successor to Rob MacDonald, whose contract wasn't renewed last January. Go here for the latest on the search prior to naming four finalists.

The four finalists:

• Denise Balkas, owner of Independent City Planning and Development Consulting, Denver.
• David Fraser, recent city manager for Boulder City, Nev.
• Andy Gunning, acting director of Planning and Development Services for City of Rockville, Md.
• Gena McCullough, planning director for Bi-State Regional Commission, Rock Island, Ill.

The PPACG board will meet Dec. 13 to interview the finalists and will settle on a its top pick at that time.…

Mark Waller tagged for statewide honor

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:01:00 -0700

(image) This blog has been updated to show the correct date Amy Lathen left office.


Mark Waller, in his first elected term on the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, has been named the Freshman Commissioner of the Year by Colorado Counties, Inc.

Waller, a former state representative who replaced Amy Lathen on the commission when she resigned in mid-2015 2016, was elected to a four-term term in November 2016.

In a release, Waller said his work on obtaining funding to expand Interstate 25 where it narrows between Monument and Castle Rock was one reason he was honored. Voters passed two questions in the Nov. 7 election that will provide a local match for the state project.

He shares the award with Byron Pelton of Logan County and is the second El Paso County commissioner to win the award.…

Incline Friends releases fundraising calendar showcasing region's favorite hike

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:59:00 -0700

(image) The Manitou Incline is undoubtedly one of the region’s most popular hikes. Known for its difficulty, the famous stairs gains almost 2,000 feet of elevation over less than a mile, with 2,744 steps, making it one heck of a workout.…

UPDATE: Dobson endorses Roy Moore for Senate

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:36:00 -0700

(image) UPDATE: This blog has been updated to reflect a correction about the timing of Dobson's endorsement ad. It was, in fact, released prior to the allegations of sexual misconduct against the Senate candidate.…

In-N-Out Burger announces Colorado Springs location; people freak out

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:18:00 -0700

(image) In-N-Out Burger is one of those burger chains that people flock to when they're in California (or Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Texas or Utah) and freak out about.
We don't tend to cover much corporate food news here, but we're well aware of the brand's popularity, and media statewide has jumped on the news of an In-N-Out location set for the Victory Ridge development in Colorado Springs, on the north side.

Holy Animal Sauce! declares Westword.…

Miguel, Khalid, and Liza Anne top new show announcements

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 13:13:00 -0700

Concert season is finally starting to pick up again: Dashboard Confessional and Cradle of Filth tickets go on sale Friday, Khalid on Saturday, Miguel and Matt Kearney on Monday. Granted, nearly all of the aforementioned shows are more than four months away, but at least it’s something to look forward to as the onset of winter approaches.

Here's a full list of newly announced show and on sale dates.

On sale Friday, Dec. 1
• Of Mice And Men, Summit Music Hall, Denver, Feb. 6
• 10 Years, Black Sheep, Feb. 8
• Russ Liquid Test, Black Sheep, Feb. 17
• Iced Earth, Summit Music Hall, Denver, Feb. 28
• Tiny Moving Parts, Marquis Theatre, Denver, March 3
• Dashboard Confessional, Summit Music Hall, Denver, Apr. 9
• Cradle Of Filth, Summit Music Hall, Denver, Apr. 16
• Fortunate Youth, Black Sheep, Apr. 26

On sale Saturday, Dec. 2
• Khalid,
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, May 14

On sale Monday, Dec. 4
• Miguel,
Ogden Theater, Denver, Feb. 28
• Mat Kearny, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, March 3

On sale now
• Justin Moore,
1STBANK Center, Denver, March 8
• Jesus Piece with Vein, Marquis Theatre, Denver, March 10
• Liza Anne, Globe Hall, Denver, Apr. 5
• 3LAU, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, Apr. 6

Planned Parenthood offers free testing for World AIDS Day

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:02:00 -0700

According to the Center for Disease Control, about 36.7 million people worldwide were living with HIV in 2016. Moreover, between the start of the pandemic and the end of 2016, AIDS-related illnesses reportedly took the lives of 35 million people worldwide, according to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.…