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Vol. 10 No. 10 - October 2, 2010


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Contents

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Adventure park tabled for now

By Susan Hindman

Taking advice from its staff, the El Paso County Park Advisory Board voted at its Sept. 8 meeting to table further consideration of a proposal to lease around 10 acres of Fox Run Regional Park for an aerial adventure park.

Two businesses interested in building the adventure park decided against submitting proposals for two reasons: concern that the type and size of trees at Fox Run Regional Park may not be compatible and a lack of support from residents living in the area.

Because of this, the staff decided against continuing to research such a proposal or to develop a proposal package for bidding.

In addition, County Commissioner Wayne Williams, whose district includes the park, "expressed concern whether Fox Run Regional Park is an appropriate site" for such a business, according to the press release issued by Tim Wolken, the county Parks and Leisure Services Community Services Department director.

Two public meetings had been held at the park in the summer to introduce the idea and gauge interest. The second meeting, in late August, drew around 200 people and numerous complaints.

The Park Advisory Board requested that the aerial adventure park concept be included in a citizen survey that will be used to update the county park master plan, to determine if citizens would support the development of such a concept in the future. The survey/master plan update will reportedly be completed in 2011-12.

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Donala Water and Sanitation District, Sept. 16: District wrestles with the risk of ballot measures 60, 61, and 101 passing

By John Heiser

At the regular monthly meeting of the Donala Water and Sanitation District Board of Directors Sept. 16, the board unanimously approved a resolution opposing ballot Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101.

The resolution noted that Amendment 60 would require Donala to pay property taxes on district property that is presently tax-exempt; Amendment 61 would decrease Donala’s ability to borrow money; Proposition 101 would eliminate millions of dollars in state and local road and bridge funds, affecting Donala’s cost of installing and maintaining infrastructure. The resolution concluded that these ballot measures should be opposed because they would result in higher water and sewer rates for Donala’s customers.

Later in the meeting, Joe Drew of Drew Financial, who has been the financial advisor to Donala since 1992, told the board that the threat that the ballot measures might pass has led the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority (CWRPDA) to immediately halt approval of bond issue applications pending the outcome of the election. The action stops the processing of Donala’s application to issue about $7 million in bonds through the CWRPDA in order to save about $140,000 on the cost of issuance and to obtain a lower interest rate than would otherwise be available. Donala’s bond issue is part of its effort to gain access to renewable sources of water based on the voters’ authorization in May of up to $20 million in additional debt.

If passed in November, the ballot measures would go into effect Jan. 1 and would diminish Donala’s ability to issue debt. As a result, the district currently plans to issue its bonds by Dec. 31. To be sure that happens, the board unanimously approved work on a parallel effort to issue the bonds directly in the event the ballot measures pass and the CWRPDA can no longer issue bonds. Drew estimated that the additional legal fees to pursue this parallel path would total $25,000 to $30,000. If the ballot measures fail, the district would abandon the parallel path and issue the bonds through the CWRPDA.

Poll results show voters unsure on ballot issues

Donala General Manager Dana Duthie distributed copies of the following results of polling by Ciruli Associates:

Ballot Proposal

In Favor

Opposed

Don't Know

Amendment 60 32% 45% 23%
Amendment 61 36% 34% 29%
Proposition 101 51% 33% 16%

The poll was conducted Aug. 19 to 23 based on responses from 550 likely Colorado voters. According to Ciruli, the range of error is +4.2 percent.

Duthie noted that the poll was conducted prior to the announcement that the Colorado Republican Party has taken a position opposing the three ballot measures.

Rate increases proposed

Duthie proposed the following single-family house water rate increases:

Water Rate per 1,000 gallons/month
Range (gallons) Old rate New rate Increase
0-10,000  $     3.30  $    3.60 9%
10,001-20,000  $     4.30  $    4.70 9%
20,001-30,000  $     4.85  $    5.25 8%
30,001-40,000  $     6.05  $    6.55 8%
40,001-50,000  $     8.50  $    9.60 13%
Above 50,000  $     9.70  $  11.00 13%

The minimum water service fee, which provides no water, would be unchanged at $13, with $3 of that fee designated for water development.

The proposed water rates for townhome complexes match the above residential rates up to 40,000 gallons per month. Over 40,000 gallons, the rate would be $8.50 per 1,000 gallons per month (up from $7.70 per 1,000 gallons in 2010), or $7.50 per 1,000 gallons per month (up from $6.70 per 1,000 gallons in 2010) for those townhome projects that have made significant reductions in their irrigated landscaping.

The rate for reuse water for the golf course is proposed to remain unchanged at $2.60 per 1,000 gallons per month. Untreated water for the golf course from the district’s wells is proposed to remain unchanged at $3.60 per 1,000 gallons per month.

Duthie recommended keeping the sewer fee unchanged at $26 per month, with $2 of that fee designated for sewer development and used to help pay off the debt for the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant.

No changes are proposed to the water and sewer tap fees and water and sewer development fees charged to developers.

Availability of service fees charged to owners of vacant lots would be unchanged at $300 per year.

Based on the board’s favorable comments about the proposed rate increase, Duthie will develop a draft 2011 district budget for discussion at the October board meeting. A final decision on the rate proposal will be made at the November board meeting.

Despite irrigation-rationing program, high water use continues

Duthie noted that Donala’s customers used 24 percent more water from June through August than during the same period in 2009 despite there being 6.54 inches of rain (over 37 days) compared to 5.9 inches of rain (over 48 days) in 2009. He credited the increased use to the lower number of rain days, leading many customers to increase their irrigation.

Duthie noted that even though the irrigation-rationing program has not significantly reduced overall demand, it has reduced the daily peak demand.

He concluded that only higher water bills are likely to lead to increased conservation and said that has been reflected in the proposed water rates described earlier.

Duthie also suggested that if Donala is connected to the Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) system, the district may adopt a voluntary irrigation-rationing system following CSU’s guidelines.

Other matters

  • Operators Terri Ladouceur, Mike Lavin, Troy Vialpando, and Thom Waitewere commended for their outstanding work at the district’s Willow Creek Ranch near Leadville. (see photo on page 4 of the on-line version)
  • During the three months from June 1 through Aug. 31, the district’s $3.76 million in investments managed by Davidson Fixed Income Management showed a yield of 0.40 percent, achieving a goal of beating the Colotrust Plus fund, which yielded 0.11 percent during the same period. The weighted average maturity of the district’s investments is 6.3 months.
  • Duthie reported that negotiations are being conducted with those opposing the district’s Willow Creek Ranch water court case. The engineering reports from the opposition are expected within the next couple months.
  • Duthie reported on the Sept. 15 meeting of the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority. See the PPRWA article.

Following the public meeting, the board went into executive session to discuss personnel and negotiation issues.

**********

The Donala board will hold its next regular meeting on Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the Donala office, 15850 Holbein Drive. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of each month.

The district’s Web site is at www.donalawater.org

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Monument Sanitation District, Sept. 16: Gov. Ritter visits Wakonda Hills project

By Jim Kendrick

On the afternoon of Sept. 16, Gov. Bill Ritter visited the Wakonda Hills Subdivision to see the results of the $2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) forgivable loan to Monument Sanitation District that he had approved on Aug. 25, 2009. This stimulus money was used to help construct five miles of sanitary sewer collection lines to complete the expansion of the district’s system throughout the development. General contractor Brannan Construction Co. broke ground on Sept. 29.

Monument Sanitation District Manager Mike Wicklund hosted a press conference at the home of Dennis and Lois Krohn. Some of the other attendees who participated in project management or supported the grant for the project were:

  • Dave Frisch and Rodney Lang of engineering consultant GMS Inc., who formally managed the engineering, cost accounting, and daily operations on the project.
  • Mike McCarthy of the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment.
  • Mike Beck of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Steve Adams of Brannan Construction, who directed the project.
  • Bill Burks, manager of the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Several happy homeowners attended the ceremony to describe to Gov. Ritter how the project had improved the health and safety of their neighborhood due to failure of their 40-year-old septic systems, as well as enhancing their property values and peace of mind. The homeowners who spoke to the press are Donna Damphousse, Elizabeth Dollarhide, Melinda Dollarhide, Lois Krohn, Louis Green, and Richard Anest.

Some of the items Wicklund briefed to reporters from local TV stations and newspapers were:

  • Wicklund first received complaints about septic system problems, odors, and wastewater on the ground of these one-acre lots in the late 1990s.
  • The raw sewage that was flowing downhill from lot to lot was endangering their Denver-Dawson aquifer wells and the Fountain Creek watershed due to potential contamination from E. coli, fecal coliform, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, and phosphates.
  • Children and pets were seen walking and playing in surface sewage from these failed leach fields.
  • Property values were being negatively affected because of the high individual homeowner expense of repairing and/or installing new engineered septic systems and the lack of real estate to install a new leach field.
  • 1999: Monument Sanitation District met with Wakonda Hills property owners to discuss extending a wastewater collection system into Wakonda Hills.
  • 2000: The district began designing the engineering of an extension of the sanitary sewer collection system into Wakonda Hills.
  • 2002: The district built a 12-inch sanitary sewer collection line in Beacon Lite Road from Highway 105 to the northern boundary of Wakonda Hills using $380,000 from the district’s capital improvement fund.
  • 2006: The district built Phase 1 of the 8-inch sanitary sewer collection system in Wakonda Hills. This expansion services one-third of the development and cost $840,000 from district capital improvement fund.
  • 2007: The district did not have enough funds to complete Phase 2 of the Wakonda Hills sanitary sewer collection system. The estimated cost for completion was $2.8 million. The district planned to extend the Phase 2 sanitary sewer collection system in small segments over the next 10 years.
  • 2009: The district received $2.4 million from ARRA to complete Wakonda Hills Phase 2 of the Wakonda Hills 8-inch collection system.
  • 2009: The district relinquished $400,000 of the ARRA funds because the two lift stations required to finish out the Wakonda Hills sanitary sewer collection system had to go through the state Health Department site approval process and an approved engineering design, which would not be finished in time to qualify for ARRA funding.
  • 2010: The district signed a contract with T. Lowell Construction to build lift stations that will be paid for with $246,000 from the district’s capital improvement fund.
  • All construction should be completed by the end of November.

Some of Gov. Ritter’s remarks were:

  • This project serves as a good example to show the members of the Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability Board how ARRA funds are being spent wisely in Colorado to help end the country’s economic freefall.
  • This project resolves a public health hazard to residential wells when the district could not pay for expansion.
  • The availability of $62 million of ARRA funding prevented further cuts in state support of K-12 education.
  • The state is working on other funding for fixing other aging water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Ritter and his brother started their careers installing pipe for utilities.
  • Ritter is very concerned about the "devastating negative impact" Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 will have on "sustaining effective government services and quality of life for our kids and grandkids."

After the ceremony, Ritter and the Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability Board held a public meeting at the district conference room.

Board meeting

Wicklund and Smith recapped this ceremony at the district board meeting that evening. Wicklund showed the directors pictures of current construction for the two lift stations by T. Lowell Construction.

Wicklund reviewed changes he had made to the draft 2011 district budget based on changes that had been made to the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility draft 2011 budget. This facility is jointly owned in one-third shares by the Monument and Palmer Lake Sanitation Districts and the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District.

The board also unanimously approved a $500 contribution by the Tri-Lakes facility to the Colorado Wastewater Utility Council to help pay for research conducted by environmental consultant Tim Moore to show state staff how to correct what the board considers a lack of scientific validity in the analysis of the state Health Department’s multi-metric index analysis of its water quality database by its Water Quality Control Division. The division regulates state water and wastewater districts.

This disputed database analysis by the division staff is being used to justify much tighter restrictions in future discharge permits issued to state wastewater treatment facilities for total phosphorus and total nitrogen concentrations in treated effluent. The cost of meeting these new limits will bankrupt most small state wastewater districts like the seven districts that serve the Tri-Lakes area. Moore will present his findings at the Oct. 12 Colorado Water Quality Control Commission hearing on the use of multi-metric indexes for analyzing aquatic life in state waters.

The board unanimously approved several new applications for inclusion by Wakonda Hills property owners.

The meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.

**********

The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the district conference room, 130 Second St. Information: 481-4886.

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Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority Forum, Aug. 20, NEPCO, Sept. 11: Water in the Tri-Lakes area: "Now is the time to focus"

By John Heiser

At a special Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority (PPRWA) forum for elected officials and candidates Aug. 20 and again at the Northern El Paso County Coalition of Community Associations (NEPCO) meeting Sept. 11, Gary Barber, manager of the PPRWA, the El Paso County Water Authority, and the Fountain Creek watershed district and chair of the Arkansas River Basin Roundtable, presented information on the local water situation. When asked whether now is a time to panic about the water situation, Barber responded, "Now is the time to focus."

Some highlights from Barber’s presentations:

  • The PPRWA is an organization of local water providers.
  • Local water providers draw heavily on wells tapping into non-renewable Denver Basin groundwater aquifers and are concerned with peak demand and long-term supply.
  • Approximately 500,000 people are currently dependent on Denver Basin groundwater.
  • Depletion of the Denver Basin Aquifers reduces well production and increases pumping costs. The practical life of the aquifers is 30 to 40 years.
  • Water conservation is important in reducing peak demand and stretching local non-renewable groundwater supplies to give districts time to gain access to renewable supplies.
  • On average, 40 percent of residential water use goes to outdoor irrigation. During July and August each year, that rises to over 60 percent.
  • Annual and peak demand reductions of up to 35 percent can be achieved through landscaping design education, irrigation-rationing programs, and tiered water rate systems that greatly increase water bills for high water users.
  • In 2003, the Colorado Water Conservation Board commissioned the Statewide Water Supply Initiative that projected a shortfall along the Front Range by 2030 between water supply and demand of 107,800 acre-feet per year. An acre-foot is 326,851 gallons.
  • Eighty-seven percent of the water available in Colorado is on the Western Slope, while 85 percent of the water demand is on the eastern side of the state. There are currently 24 pipelines moving water from west to east.
  • On the Colorado River, water demand has now exceeded supply.
  • In 2005, the Colorado Legislature created nine river basin roundtables to address water issues. One of the goals of the roundtables is to balance municipal, agricultural, and recreational uses.
  • The work of the separate roundtables is coordinated through the Interbasin Compact Committee.
  • The Arkansas Basin Roundtable projected the shortfall within the basin at about 28,700 acre-feet per year. Most of that shortfall is within unincorporated El Paso County.
  • Along the Front Range, the limits of the existing infrastructure are being reached. Denver has a current supply of about 375,000 acre-feet per year. The demand is projected to exceed that supply by 2016.
  • Colorado Springs is implementing its Southern Delivery System to address rising demand. Policy changes at Colorado Springs Utilities offer the possibility of regional cooperation on water issues.
  • The Super Ditch Company is an association of Arkansas River valley irrigation ditches for valley-wide rotating fallowing of farmland. Rotating fallowing would dry up one-third of participating farms or whole farms one year out of three. For every three farms that participate, permanently taking one farm out of production would be avoided. Despite the desire by some farmers to sell their marginally productive farms, powerful political forces favor this as a way to keep farms in production in the Arkansas Valley.
  • There are reportedly about 140,000 acre-feet available in the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in southwestern Wyoming. A coalition of Colorado water providers is looking into bringing water from the reservoir to the Rueter-Hess Reservoir, a 70,000 acre-foot facility being constructed three miles southwest of downtown Parker. The pipeline project is estimated to cost approximately $3.5 billion. A $240,000 feasibility study is due to be completed in the first half of 2011. The next phase would be a $5 million to $6 million environmental impact study.
  • A Flaming Gorge task force sponsored by the Arkansas River Roundtable is being formed. One goal of the task force is to try to arbitrate the differences between the Colorado water provider group and entrepreneur Aaron Million, who is pursuing a similar project.

**********

The next regular monthly meeting of the PPRWA will be held Oct. 20 at 8:30 a.m. at the Monument Town Hall and Police Building, 645 Beacon Lite Road at Highway 105. The meetings are normally held on the third Wednesday of each month. The location is rotated among the PPRWA members. The PPRWA Web site is www.pprwa.com

The next NEPCO meeting will be held Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. at the Monument Town Hall and Police Building, 645 Beacon Lite Road at Highway 105. Outgoing El Paso County Commissioner Wayne Williams will discuss county issues. The NEPCO Web site is www.nepco.org

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Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority, Sept. 15: PPRWA abandons merger with the county water authority

By John Heiser

At the regular monthly meeting Sept. 15 of the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority (PPRWA), based on the response from El Paso County Water Authority (EPCWA) members to suggestions that the EPCWA and the PPRWA should be merged, the members voted unanimously that the merger effort should be abandoned. Several PPRWA members said they plan to discontinue their membership in the EPCWA. Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District Manager Jesse Shafer and Woodmen Hills Manager Larry Bishop were tasked with relaying the PPRWA’s decision to the EPCWA.

The members of the PPRWA are the Cherokee Metropolitan District, the City of Fountain, the Donala Water and Sanitation District, the Town of Monument, the Town of Palmer Lake, the Triview Metropolitan District, the Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District, and the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District. All of them are also currently members of the EPCWA. Additional members of the EPCWA are El Paso County, the Colorado Centre Metropolitan District, the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District, the Fountain Mutual Irrigation Co., the Security Water and Sanitation District, the Stratmoor Hills Water and Sanitation District, the Sunset Metropolitan District, and the Widefield Water and Sanitation District.

Initial 2011 budget proposed

Donala General Manager Dana Duthie proposed an initial PPRWA budget for 2011 calling for $18,000 for manager Gary Barber, $15,000 for legislative consultant Dick Brown, $10,000 for attorney Rick Fendel, $6,000 for various administrative expenses, and $5,000 for contingencies. Duthie projected total expenses of $54,000. The current budgeted amounts for Barber, Brown, and Fendel are $63,000, $10,000, and $45,000, respectively.

Duthie proposed that districts serving or with the potential to serve 1,200 or more single-family equivalents (SFE) would pay $10,000 per year, and districts with fewer than 1,200 SFE actual or potential customers would pay $5,000 per year. Assuming all the current PPRWA members renew next year, the total revenue would be $70,000. Duthie said that the other EPCWA members will be invited to join the PPRWA and, to the extent that additional districts join, the dues would be reduced accordingly.

Future of the transit loss model discussed

If most or all of the PPRWA members drop out of the EPCWA, the EPCWA may decide to disband. In that case, a new way would be needed to administer the transit loss model (TLM) currently being administered by the EPCWA. The TLM measures and records the amount of non-native Fountain Creek watershed stream flows owned by several municipalities and water districts. The amount of this water added to native stream flows by external sources, such as effluent from wastewater treatment facilities, can be exchanged or reused. The TLM calculates how much of the added water is lost.

Duthie suggested three alternatives:

  • The PPRWA could take over the TLM as a project,
  • A separate governmental organization could be set up to administer the TLM, or
  • The U.S. Geologic Survey could handle administration of the TLM.

Duthie said he preferred the alternative of setting up a separate governmental organization.

Flaming Gorge authority accepts PPRWA participation agreement

At the May PPRWA meeting, representatives of Monument, Triview, and the Woodmoor district formally agreed to participate in the feasibility study phase of the Flaming Gorge project through Donala’s membership in the Colorado Water Authority (CWA). The project’s feasibility phase is expected to be completed by mid-2011.

The CWA is a coalition of Colorado water providers that is looking into bringing water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in northwestern Colorado to the Rueter-Hess Reservoir, a 70,000 acre-foot facility being constructed three miles southwest of downtown Parker.

The current members of the CWA, besides Donala, are the Parker Water and Sanitation District, the South Metro Water Supply Authority, the Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County, and the Town of Castle Rock.

At its June meeting, the PPRWA decided to conduct participation in the CWA as a project. The costs, in this case $20,000, would be split among the participants. Duthie was designated as the PPRWA’s representative with Barber as alternate.

At the July PPRWA meeting, Rick Fendel, attorney for the PPRWA, reported that he had been in contact with the CWA’s attorney and had prepared an intergovernmental agreement and participation agreement to convert Donala’s membership in the authority into a PPRWA project membership. Due to concerns about additional potential legal fees, the matter was tabled.

At the August PPRWA meeting, it was agreed to forward the participation agreement to the CWA.

At the Sept. 15 meeting, Fendel reported that the participation agreement had been approved by the CWA.

Duthie reported that the next CWA meeting is scheduled for Nov. 10.

Rep. Looper seeks PPRWA feedback on potential legislation

Barber reported that state Rep. Marsha Looper, who is recognized as a leader on water issues, is considering introducing legislation that would require septic system inspections prior to property transfers.

He said she is also interested in possible follow-on legislation encouraging rainwater harvesting.

A third area of interest for Looper concerns the ramifications of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling this summer on a suit brought in 2003 by the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Groundwater Management District. The suit concerned water from one part of the Upper Black Squirrel (UBS) basin being used in another part of that basin. The outcome of that ruling could significantly hamper proposed efforts to use the UBS for aquifer recharge as a way to store and recover water.

Barber was tasked with collecting PPRWA members’ comments and relaying them to Looper.

**********

The next regular monthly meeting of the PPRWA will be held Oct. 20 at 8:30 a.m. at the Monument Town Hall and Police Building, 645 Beacon Lite Road at Highway 105. The meetings are normally held on the third Wednesday of each month. The location is rotated among the PPRWA members.

The PPRWA Web site is www.pprwa.com

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Woodmoor Water and Sanitation Board, Sept. 7: Board installs new member, hears about new mapping system

By Harriet Halbig

Jim Taylor was installed as a member of the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation Board on Sept. 7 to complete the term of Elizabeth Hacker, who has left the area. Taylor will serve as secretary.

Zach Collins and Lori Ann O’Donnell reported on the remapping of the district through GIS (geographical information system). Using parcel lines from the county, they mapped the entire district, noting the positions of manholes, hydrants, wells, blow-offs, and booster stations. All were recorded in a GPS system.

Billing information will later be added to the system, allowing district managers to view use patterns based on location.

The mapping system will be accessible on handheld devices, allowing staff to quickly locate problems and maintain facilities.

Golf club water costs criticized

Vic Harshberger of Woodmoor Pines Golf and Country Club addressed the board regarding the club’s water costs.

The club was taken over in April by a four-member group called Tri-Lakes Golf to avoid liquidation of the property. It had gone into receivership last October. The group also owns the Kings Deer golf course and one in Pagosa Springs.

Harshberger said that he appreciated the help of Manager Jessie Shaffer and Assistant Manager Randy Gillette when the golf course suffered a major leak. He said that the club’s memberships for swimming and tennis are recovering but that the cost of water for the golf course is prohibitive. One-third of the cost of operating the golf course is now spent on irrigation.

He said that he compared water costs in Gleneagle and Kings Deer with Woodmoor and found that the costs in Woodmoor is more than twice that in Gleneagle. He said that there are two wells on the Kings Deer golf course and there is enough water there to irrigate Woodmoor Pines as well.

Harshberger asked the board whether water from Kings Deer could somehow be transferred for use in Woodmoor. He said that one of the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation wells is located on the golf course property and wondered if a trade could be arranged.

Board President Barrie Town said that the board wants members of the community to be successful. However, no action was taken on the matter.

The board went into executive session to discuss strategies and negotiations, Well 23 negotiations, and other water rights matters.

**********

The board of the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District meets on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. at the conference room at 1845 Woodmoor Drive, Monument. The October meeting will be held on Oct. 14.

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Donald Wescott Fire Protection District, Sept. 15: Board approves lease-purchase agreement for construction of new Highway 83 station

By Jim Kendrick and Jeanette Rackl

On Sept. 15, the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District board discussed numerous aspects of the first draft of the 2011 budget. Some of the items that drew the most attention were the creation of a new information technology network to address additional needs for the new station to be constructed on Highway 83, annual funding options for the volunteer firefighter pension fund, and a new pay grade structure to provide additional incentives for self-development by individual staff members.

Each of these items was technical in nature, and much of the discussion served as an orientation for newly elected board members Joyce Hartung and Harland Baker.

Fire authority formation talks with Black Forest continue

Board President Scott Campbell and Director Dennis Feltz discussed lessons learned from South Metro Fire Rescue Authority Chief Dan Qualman, who spoke at the latest in a series of Black Forest Consolidation Subcommittee meetings. This authority was recently formed by consolidation of the South Metro Fire Rescue District and Parker Fire Protection District. (www.southmetro.org)

Wescott and Black Forest have been seeking a method to merge the two districts. The option for including one district into another was analyzed in depth and was deemed inappropriate by each board because of the large difference in property tax mill levies. The formation of a fire authority would allow each district to maintain its own board for financial decisions, and each would retain its current mill levy. The fire authority would run daily operations and training and have its own board, formed from members of the two district boards.

New ladder truck induction ceremony to be held at Fire Prevention Week open house on Oct. 9

The district will hold a brief induction ceremony for the new Rosenbauer America ladder truck that was purchased from Max Fire Apparatus of Castle Rock. The induction ceremony will be at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 9 during the Fire Prevention Week open house at Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Drive, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be plenty of activities, as well as hot dogs and sodas for children of all ages.

Ladder 531 has a 75-foot aerial ladder with the capability to pump 1,500 gallons of water per minute and carries 400 gallons of water with a standard complement of firefighting tools and equipment, such as ladders, hooks, and axes. This truck also has a shorter wheelbase than most ladder trucks and will be able to easily reach most areas of the district, even the tight parking lots of some of the district’s tallest buildings.

Another non-standard feature of this ladder truck— Rosenbauer’s new Green Star Idle Reduction Technology System—will reduce its environmental impact on the community. The Green Star system automatically reduces diesel fuel use during idling by managing the diesel engine and auxiliary power unit to provide continuous 12-volt and 120-volt power.

When Ladder 531 arrives at an incident and the parking brake is activated, a timer will start to monitor idling time. When the truck has been idle for approximately 30 seconds, the Green Star system shuts down the large, 400 horsepower engine in order to stop its diesel emissions.

Shortly after the engine shuts down, the Green Star system starts a small diesel power unit to assume the electrical load for the entire apparatus. This power unit’s generator provides up to eight kilowatts of electric power, using only about one quart of diesel fuel per hour. In contrast, the truck’s engine uses one gallon per hour to provide power to lights and other accessories.

The small generator does not need any of the new extensive filtering that is now required by the EPA for controlling 2010 diesel truck engine emissions. Specifically, the small power unit’s exhaust does not have to be run through the main diesel engine’s particulate filter. Because Rosenbauer’s new system reduces the main engine’s idle time, the new particulate filters for the main engine remain cleaner longer, reducing the recurring operational expense of cleaning them.

Fire Chief Jeff Edwards commented that Ladder 531 sets a new precedent for environmental consciousness in the fire service.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

**********

The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Drive. Meetings are normally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Information: 488-8680.

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Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District board, Sept. 22: Decision on sprinkler requirement delayed

By Bernard L. Minetti

The Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District board postponed a decision on implementing a new fire sprinkler requirement at its Sept. 22 meeting. Fire Marshal Curtis Kauffman narrated a PowerPoint presentation on the need for the implementation of the Residential Sprinkler Section of the International Residential Code (IRC).

Kauffman stressed that the issue was the implementation of section 313 of the IRC, which requires fire sprinklers in one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses. This would apply only to new construction started after an implementation date, which was to be set at the September meeting. Representatives from a Colorado Springs developer/builder and a national builders’ organization were present, and they asked that the implementation be deferred.

Fire Chief Robert Denboske advised the board that he had spoken in error at the previous month’s meeting when he stated that Colorado Springs had implemented the residential sprinkler section. It had not.

Kauffman said that residential fire sprinklers were considered to have a life-safety function similar to smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. He also stated that all homes built before the district’s implementation date would not be subject to the sprinkler requirement. The cost of sprinkler systems would vary and would be as much as $12,000 depending on home square footage.

Kauffman stressed the safety aspects of this requirement and said that wherever residential sprinklers were installed in the United States, no fatalities had ever occurred. Greeley has set an implementation date of Jan. 1, 2011. Arapahoe County, Broomfield, Commerce City, Denver, Golden, Longmont, and Parker, had set an implementation date of Jan. 1, 2013, which is the same date that he and Denboske were recommending for local implementation.

Regional Building opposes sprinkler requirement

Kauffman said that the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, based on the recommendation of the Housing and Building Association (HBA) (which is made up of companies that include not only builders, developers, and remodelers, but also trade contractors, materials suppliers, mortgage lenders, realtors, title companies, interior designers, architects, landscapers, and many more) recommended removing the residential fire sprinkler section of the 2009 IRC. He said the department did not contact any fire professionals prior to recommending removal of this section.

Kauffman said that all regional fire professionals, that he was aware of, recommended implementation of the residential sprinkler section as a major safety factor for citizens and firefighters. A representative of a prominent builder/developer who was present also took the position of the HBA and asked the Board to not implement the sprinkler code.

Two firefighters urge implementation

Firefighters Marcus Matthynssens and Mike Rauenzahn asked the board to consider the large increase in survival potential for firefighters and citizens that would occur with the implementation of the residential sprinkler mandate. They said that by the time firefighters reach a fire scene, it can be a seriously dangerous event. Floors and roofs can be weakened to the collapse point by the time firefighters arrive. This, they said, presents serious hazards to the fire professionals who are intent on removal of children and adults from the fire site.

The two local firefighters said they were extremely concerned by what appeared to be the board’s desire to delay implementation of the sprinkler requirement due to the financial concerns of the builder/developers. Board member Roger Lance stated that he was directly supportive of these two firefighters, and he supported their statements. He further advised the board that he, too, was concerned about any delay in setting an implementation date.

Kauffman said supporters of implementation, other than Fire Chief Denboske, included Fire Chief Dave Ury of the Black Forest Fire Department, Fire Chief Jeff Edwards of the Donald Wescott Fire Department, Fire Chief Shana Ball of the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department, and Fire Chief Trent Harwig of the Falcon Fire Department. Many more fire professionals had also recommended implementation, he said.

Board President Charles Pocock appeared to be undecided about taking the vote for implementation. The board deferred a vote on the issue until the Oct. 27 board meeting.

Treasurer’s report

Treasurer John Hildebrandt advised the board that there was nothing significant to report, since the major decisions concerning the 2011 budget would have to wait until the results of Amendment 101 and Propositions 60 and 61 in the November election are known. Hildebrandt did note that the ambulance revenues were 10.96 percent ahead of the annual budgetary timeline. This is significant because in previous years, ambulance revenues have significantly lagged behind budgetary expectations. He also stated that "Obamacare" would greatly impact budgetary considerations by increasing wage costs due to the increases in FICA and Medicare salary deductions.

Fire Chief Denboske announced the recent MDA charitable collections by the Tri-Lakes firefighters had amounted to $12,500.

Training Officer Mike Keough presented the training statistics for the previous month. He stated that district firefighters had accumulated 863.5 total training hours. The fire specific training sessions represented 810.5 hours, and the EMS specific hours were 53 total sessions. Keough said that other fire units are seeking to integrate their training processes with Tri-Lakes due to the excellence and completeness of the Tri-Lakes district presentations.

A firefighter representative of the International Association of Firefighters then announced that there would be a rally to protest the implementation of Amendment 101 and Propositions 60 and 61 at the D-38 administration building on Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.

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The next Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District board meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. at Tri-Lakes Station 1, 18650 Highway 105 west of Monument near the bowling alley. For further information regarding this meeting, contact Fire District Administrative Assistant Jennifer Martin at 719-484-0911.

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Children visit fire stations to thank crews

By Bernard L. Minetti

On Aug. 31, a children’s group from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Monument Ward, visited Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Stations 1 and 3.

They came to thank the fire crews and to show their appreciation for their dedication and professionalism and their service to the local community.

Group leader Holly Taylor said that the youngsters had prepared cookies and cakes on their own as a way of showing their personal thanks.

The crews, represented by Fire Lt. Tracy Stapley at Station 1 and Battalion Chief Mike Dooley at Station 3, extended their sincere thanks for the efforts of the youngsters.

The church is under the leadership of Bishop Mike Bradley and is located on the east side of I-25 on Highway 105.

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Monument Board of Trustees, Sept. 7: New Tri-Lakes Disposal garage and Jackson Creek apartment complex approved

By Jim Kendrick

On Sept. 7, the Monument Board of Trustees unanimously approved planned development (PD) site plans and plats for the new Tri-Lakes Disposal parking garage on the northwest corner of Highway 105 and Washington Street and the new Vistas at Jackson Creek apartment complex on the north end of Leather Chaps Drive.

The board also unanimously approved an ordinance amendment that states that a defendant referred to a driver improvement school by the Monument Municipal Court may be excused from paying a $25 state surcharge.

The board discussed at length whether portable basketball hoops in isolated cul-de-sacs and obstructions of traffic by skate boarders in road rights-of-way should continue to be code violations worthy of receiving citations from the town’s new code enforcement officer.

Trustees Gail Drumm, Tommie Plank, and Rick Squires were absent from the meeting.

Tri-Lakes Disposal plat approved

Tom Kassawara, director of Development Services, said BR Investments LLC had applied for a subdivision of its 4.27-acre BR Business Park property lot, which is zoned Planned Heavy Industrial Development, into two industrial lots. Lot 1 to the north will be about 1.73 acres; Lot 2 will be about 1.92 acres. The remainder of the parcel will be dedicated to the town as an approximately 30-foot-wide frontage strip for right-of-way to widen Washington Street north of the Highway 105 intersection.

Kassawara also explained how the proposed preliminary/final plat conformed to the criteria in the town’s subdivision regulations. Some of the items he noted were:

  • The current steep grade of Washington Street will be substantially reduced by grading equipment.
  • A sidewalk will be added to the west side of Washington Street in the dedicated right-of-way along the business park frontage to the shared entrance of Lot 1 and Lot 2. The sidewalk will be extended to the northeast corner of the business park when construction begins for the planned Rod Smith Business Park across Washington Street, which the Planning Commission approved on May 13, 2009. (See www.ourcommunitynews.org/v9n6.htm#monpc for more information.)
  • When traffic warrants have been met, a traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Washington and Highway 105. The Rod Smith Business Park will share expenses for the signal installation with BR Investments. The Tri-Lakes Disposal vehicle storage area to be built immediately on Lot 1 will not generate enough additional traffic to require the installation of a traffic signal.
  • Off-site easements are in place for extension of Monument Sanitation District sanitary sewer lines to the site. A 30-foot-wide east-west easement has been dedicated to Monument along the northern boundary of the BR property. The Monument collection lines and BR service lines have not been installed. A condition of approval was recommended that these lines be installed prior to issuing a land use permit and building permit for the BR property.
  • A standard intergovernmental agreement between the Monument and Palmer Lake Sanitation Districts has been executed that allows the planned Monument on-site collection line to discharge into a nearby Palmer Lake manhole and collection line on the opposite (west) side of the railroad track. BR Investments will have to bore under the railroad tracks to construct the Monument collection line. This arrangement allows gravity wastewater flow to the Palmer Lake collection line and avoids Monument having to require BR Investments to install a lift station.

There were no significant unresolved key issues or referral comments from other agencies.

The four proposed conditions of approval for the plat were:

  1. No land use or building permit shall be issued until the town receives written assurance from the Monument Sanitation District that sanitary sewer lines have been extended to the site and sanitary sewer service can be provided.
  2. The developer shall convey to the town by special warranty deed all water rights associated with the property and the amount of water [that] is deemed adequate to serve the needs of each plat as determined by the Town Code. The form of the deed shall be approved by the town’s water attorney and the director of Development Services, and shall be executed prior to recordation of the plat and recorded immediately upon filing of the plat.
  3. Any necessary technical corrections shall be made and approved by staff.
  4. All referral agency comments shall be resolved prior to recordation of the plat.

The Tri-Lakes plat and the four conditions were unanimously approved.

Tri-Lakes Disposal site plan approved

Kassawara presented the Tri-Lakes Disposal preliminary/final planned development site plan for Lot 1. The proposed Tri-Lakes building is 25 feet high and 3,636 square feet. There will be a maximum of seven trucks parked at the facility overnight and up to 15 employees on site during business hours. Some empty roll-off storage containers will be stored in the center of the site.

Kassawara explained how the proposed preliminary/final site plan conformed to town site plan and zoning criteria for heavy industrial uses. There were no significant unresolved key issues or referral comments from other agencies.

Owner Brian Beland and architect John Nelson discussed drainage, landscaping, how the building was designed to accommodate the surrounding neighbors and properties, and how the new facility would be operated day-to-day. John Schwab of JPS Engineering also discussed drainage as well as the planned detention pond for the site and historic stormwater flows.

The four proposed conditions of approval for the site plan were:

  1. A site plan improvement agreement shall be executed by the applicants and surety provided for all improvements prior to issuance of any permits. The agreement will include provisions for the applicant’s future contribution of its proportionate share of the traffic signal at Washington Street and Highway 105, the amount of which will be determined when the signal is warranted.
  2. A site development permit cannot be issued until the town is assured in writing by the Monument Sanitation District that sanitary sewer service will be available to the site prior to occupancy of the building.
  3. No refuse shall be stored on site, and trash trucks shall be parked in the bays designated on the site plan.
  4. All referral agency comments shall be resolved prior to recordation of the site plan.

Palmer Lake resident Kurt Erhardt said that he and Monument resident Frank Puckett own the parcel of land on the northwest corner of Highway 105 and Beacon Lite Road. Erhardt stated that he felt it would be in the town’s best interest that Monument Sanitation District install a new lift station and a new collection line under Highway 105 rather than under the railroad track as proposed by Beland and Smith.

Kassawara replied that the town had sent a referral to Monument Sanitation District. He also noted that, for the Beland and Smith properties, the proposed gravity sanitary connection to the Palmer Lake collection line under the railroad tracks makes more sense because it is more economically and physically feasible.

The Tri-Lakes site plan and the four conditions were unanimously approved.

Vistas plat approved

Vision Development and Jackson Creek Land Co. have proposed the development of an apartment complex called The Vistas in north Jackson Creek. Lot 1 for this project is 10.4 acres of vacant land between Broken Timber Drive in the Jackson Creek Commerce Center, on the northeast corner of Jackson Creek Parkway and Leather Chaps Drive, and the electrical substation to the north. The property would be zoned for multifamily residential use.

Kassawara noted two outstanding issues regarding the plat.

Documentation is required ensuring there is adequate groundwater on the property for the proposed 177 residential units and amenities. The applicant must dedicate all water rights for the parcel to Triview Metropolitan District for this purpose.

There is also an existing utility easement through this parcel where a garage building is proposed to be built. This easement must be vacated before construction can begin and removed from the plat prior to recordation.

Kassawara explained how the proposed preliminary/final plat conformed to the criteria in the town’s subdivision regulations. He proposed three conditions of approval:

  1. Any necessary technical corrections shall be made and approved by staff.
  2. All referral agency comments shall be resolved prior to recordation of the plat, including dedication of utility easements for the electric distribution lines to the satisfaction of the town staff and Mountain View Electric Association.
  3. The developer shall convey to the Triview Metropolitan District by special warranty deed all water rights associated with the property and the amount of water [that] is deemed adequate to serve the needs of each plat as determined pursuant to the Town Code as well as the Wet Water Policy of the annexation and development contract between the Town of Monument and Regency Group and its successors. The form of the deed shall be approved by the town’s water attorney and the director of Development Services, and shall be executed prior to recordation of the plat and recorded immediately upon filing of the plat.

There was one referral comment. Mountain View Electric Association’s request for easements for distribution lines has not been fully resolved. Easements necessary for electric service must be dedicated prior to recordation of the plat with the above conditions.

Also, the existing utility easement shown on the proposed plat must be vacated by the Board of Trustees by separate action prior to recordation of the plat.

Rick Blevins of Vision Development explained the details of seeking multifamily zoning in order to have the higher density that must be allowed for lower-cost housing.

Blevins formally objected to condition 3.

Note: There is a long-standing dispute between Jackson Creek Land Co. and Triview Metropolitan District over ownership of water in the district. The town has decided to enforce its own code requiring dedication of water as part of every land use approval process to break this logjam that the Triview board has left unresolved for over 20 years via a de facto town moratorium on new development approvals within Jackson Creek. Triview’s progress in negotiations is not known to the public because all discussions are held in executive session.

The plat was approved unanimously with the three proposed conditions.

Vistas Lot 1 site plan approved

Kassawara described the proposed Vistas Lot 1 site plan. Some of the features he noted were: a community park in the center of the development with playground equipment, open space for a community garden, a pool, a clubhouse with indoor workout rooms, and parking garage buildings. There are access points on Broken Timber and Leather Chaps Drives.

Kassawara explained how the proposed preliminary/final site plan conformed to town site plan and zoning criteria. He noted that he had verified that the site plan accommodates the turning radii of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District’s new ladder truck. He recommended four conditions of approval:

  1. The preliminary/final plat for Vistas at Jackson Creek must be recorded prior to recordation of the preliminary/final PD site plan for Vistas.
  2. Any necessary technical corrections shall be made and approved by staff.
  3. A Site Plan Improvement Agreement shall be executed by the applicants and surety provided for all improvements.
  4. All referral agency comments shall be resolved prior to recordation of the site plan.

Blevins praised the staff for its cooperation with Vision Development in preliminary reviews leading to this hearing.

Architect Paul Campbell, who specializes in apartment buildings, described the design of the various buildings. There are 66 one-bedroom units, 96 two-bedroom units, and 15 three-bedroom units.

Engineering and architectural consultant Chad Kuzbek, owner of Westworks Engineering Inc., gave an overview on layout and amenities, noting that the amount of irrigation water that will be required is only a third of the maximum allowed by Triview.

The site plan was unanimously approved with the four proposed conditions.

Vistas Filing 2 plat approved

The 3.74-acre Vistas Filing 2 is located northeast of Lot 1. Kassawara explained how the proposed preliminary/final site plan conformed to town site plan and zoning criteria. His presentation was very similar to that for Lot 1, including the same referral comment from Mountain View Electric Association that its request for easements for distribution lines has not been fully resolved. Easements necessary for electric service must be dedicated prior to recordation of the plat.

Kassawara proposed four conditions:

  1. The developer shall convey to the Triview Metropolitan District by special warranty deed all water rights associated with the property and the amount of water that is deemed adequate to serve the needs of the platted property as determined by the Town Code and the Wet Water Policy of the annexation and development contract between the Town of Monument and Regency Group and its successors. The form of the deed shall be approved by the town’s water attorney and the director of Development Services, and shall be executed prior to recordation of the plat.
  2. Written permission from Tri-State Transmission must be provided that states the utility and access easement dedication is not in conflict with its existing easement.
  3. Any necessary technical corrections shall be made and approved by staff.
  4. All referral agency comments shall be resolved prior to recordation of the plat, including dedication of utility easements for the electric distribution lines to the satisfaction of town staff and Mountain View Electric Association.

Blevins objected to condition 1 requiring the water dedication to Triview prior to the completion of water purchase negotiations.

The Filing 2 plat was unanimously approved with the four conditions.

Vistas Filing 2 site plan approved

The discussion regarding this application for another 90 apartments in four buildings on 3.74 acres was quite similar to the discussion for Lot 1. El Paso County has asked for an easement for construction of a regional trail that will ultimately connect Fox Run Park to the Santa Fe Trail. The easement will be located next to the existing high power transmission lines owned by Tri-State Transmission.

Kassawara explained how the proposed preliminary/final site plan conformed to town site plan and zoning criteria. He recommended seven conditions of approval:

  1. Reciprocal access easements providing vehicular and pedestrian access to Vistas at Jackson Creek Filing 2, and to the clubhouse, park, community garden, other amenities, sidewalks, and drives located on Vistas (first filing), must be dedicated prior to recordation of the Vistas at Jackson Creek Filing 2 plat and site plan.
  2. An amendment to the Regency Park Fourth Amended Development and Rezoning Plan that designates a trail and open space corridor acceptable to the town and county replacing the trail link south of the substation connecting Homeplace Ranch to the Santa Fe Trail shall be approved prior to recordation of Vistas at Jackson Creek Filing 2 Preliminary/Final PD Site Plan.
  3. A written commitment to provide easements dedicating a suitable trail/open space corridor to replace the link south of the substation, install landscaping, and the trail for any segment that will not be constructed by the county in a timely manner, must be provided by the land owners in the relocated trail/open space corridor prior to recordation of the Vistas at Jackson Creek Filing 2 Preliminary/Final PD Site Plan.
  4. The plat for Vistas at Jackson Creek Filing 2 must be recorded prior to the recordation of the Preliminary/Final PD Site Plan for Vistas at Jackson Creek Filing 2.
  5. A Site Plan Improvement Agreement shall be executed by the applicants and surety provided for all improvements prior to issuance of any permits.
  6. All referral agency comments shall be resolved prior to recordation of the site plan, including verification that the site plan accommodates the turning radii of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District’s new ladder truck.
  7. Any necessary technical corrections shall be made and approved by staff.

The Filing 2 site plan was unanimously approved with the seven conditions.

For more information on Blevins’ previous objections to the town’s requirement that Jackson Creek Land Co. dedicate groundwater for all new Jackson Creek construction to the Triview Metropolitan District, see:

Colorado High Speed Rail Authority membership approved

Bob Briggs, a Westminster City Council member, requested that the Town of Monument join the Colorado High Speed Rail Authority. He explained his previous role as founder and head of the precursor authority—the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority—that completed the feasibility study to justify the creation of the Colorado High Speed Rail Authority. Briggs noted that 80 percent of the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority funding was contributed by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The Town of Monument was a member of the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority.

Briggs is now the vice president of the Colorado High Speed Rail Authority; the president is Robert Tonsing, who has served as board chairman of Denver’s Regional Transportation District and the Denver Regional Council of Governments. Briggs said that the purpose of both of these authorities is to make Colorado the 11th high speed passenger rail corridor in the nation.

Initially, existing freight rails would be converted to 110-mph passenger use, after the freight trains are moved to new north-south tracks between Sterling and Las Animas and east-west tracks between Las Animas and Grand Junction. The freight trains would no longer go through the three existing bottlenecks at Monument Hill, the Denver Rail Yards, and the Moffat Tunnel at the Continental Divide. This rerouting would also allow for construction of 250-mph tracks within Denver’s existing C/E-470 right-of-way. The new tracks would be financed by issuing revenue bonds in the same manner as Denver International Airport and the E-470 toll road system.

The authority’s board of directors will consist of two representatives from each of the state’s seven congressional districts, plus a representative from the RTD (Regional Transportation District). He detailed that the dues will be determined by 50 cents per registered voter ($1,640 for Monument) and explained that such dues would not be payable until a second government entity signs the agreement. Additionally, only half of the Town of Monument dues ($820) would be payable until the Class 1 Railroads have signed the agreement.

A resolution approving Colorado High Speed Rail Authority membership, with a condition that the implementing formal intergovernmental agreement between the new authority and the town would have to be approved by the town attorney, passed unanimously.

Other matters

The board also unanimously approved:

  • A revision to the Department of Development Services fee structure regarding creation of demolition permits ($50), a $250 refundable free-standing sign permit fee, and separation of curb and gutter permit fees from sidewalk permit fees.
  • An annual liquor license renewal for King Soopers, 1070 W. Baptist Rd.
  • An annual liquor license renewal for Texas Roadhouse, 16196 Jackson Creek Parkway.
  • A payment of $128,290 to Triview Metropolitan District for June sales tax ($123,638), July motor vehicle taxes ($4,385), and July Regional Building Department sales taxes ($267).
  • Town Treasurer Pamela Smith’s July financial statement.

Public comments

Mayor Travis Easton presented Jim Taylor and his son, Joey Taylor, with a signed proclamation for Boy Scout Troop 17’s 50th anniversary. He stated that he would be at the pack’s meeting on the following Tuesday to present the proclamation.

Town Manager Catherine Green discussed her findings on the "portable basketball hoops" issue raised at the previous board meeting on Aug. 18. (See www.ourcommunitynews.org/v10n9.htm#bot816 for details.)

Green explained that the town’s code enforcement officer, Cynthia Sirochman, has written 29 citations for portable basketball hoops, and 25 owners have complied in moving them. Three other residents are working with the town. The other owner is Jackson Creek resident Andrew Williamson, who lives on a cul-de-sac at 16099 Bridle Ridge Drive. Williamson raised the issue on Aug. 18 and reiterated his request to the board at this meeting to find a compromise to allow him to leave his portable basketball hoop in the 130-foot cul-de-sac. One of the many points that he restated was that his hoop takes less space than if he parked one of his cars by the curb.

Green stated that she could not find a single ordinance anywhere in the United States that openly allows portable basketball hoops to be in the right-of-way or to block sidewalks. She explained the process of warnings, after which a citation may be written requiring a violator to appear before the town’s Municipal Court.

Town Attorney Gary Shupp commented that a judge has the authority to fine such violations up to $1,000. Williamson came forward and restated his position that he should be allowed to have his portable basketball hoop in the street, because his neighbors support it. Green and Shupp reiterated that amending the ordinance would create a liability issue. Several trustees sympathized but stated their need to protect the town from a liability suit.

Monument residents Grant Ballton and Ben Lobban inquired about written warnings they had received from the Monument Police Department regarding obstructing traffic while skateboarding. Green and Shupp discussed the issue with them.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:22 p.m.

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The Sept. 20 board meeting has been cancelled. The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 at Town Hall, 645 Beacon Lite Rd. Meetings are normally held on the first and third Monday of the month. Information: 884-8017.

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Palmer Lake Town Council, Sept. 9: Chiefs present service awards

By Jim Kendrick

On Sept. 9, the Palmer Lake Town Council met first as the Palmer Lake Liquor-Medical Marijuana Licensing Authority to approve two liquor licenses. Then the council adjourned that meeting and immediately reconvened for its regular September meeting.

The absences of Trustees Bryan Jack, Max Stafford, and Joe Polonsky were excused.

Authority approves two liquor licenses

The board first unanimously approved a request from Fire Department Chief Shana Ball for a special event liquor license for a beer and wine garden event on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, sponsored by the Fire Department. Proceeds from the two-day Palmer Lake Arts and Community Event will go the department’s general fund. Ball drew a huge laugh when she enthusiastically said, "So everybody come and drink lots of beer!"

The board also unanimously approved a request from Sylvia Amos of the Sylswap Corp. for a new retail liquor store license at 56A Highway 105. Amos said this new license would replace her existing 3.2 beer license for her Palmer Lake Country Store.

The authority board adjourned at 7:13 p.m.

Regular meeting

Chief Ball and Police Chief Kieth Moreland presented three Community Service Awards and two Distinguished Service Awards. Community Service Awards recognize those who "give of their time, talents, and from their resources to the benefit of the town of Palmer Lake’s public safety first responders." Distinguished Service Awards recognize members of the Palmer Lake Police Department who have raised the manner in which the department provides service to its community or who have served honorably under adverse conditions.

A Community Service Award was presented to the Monument Police Explorers, represented by Officer Chad Haynes and advisor Jason Summerfield. The Explorers program has provided leadership, firearms, and operational Police Department event support training to teens for eight years. This award also recognized the Explorers’ volunteer service at the annual Palmer Lake fireworks event.

A Community Service Award was presented to the El Paso County Reserve Section, represented by Lt. Scott Pefferton, Sgt. Mike Waters, and Sgt. Don Hoffman. The volunteer reserve section’s officers serve without pay to provide regular patrol duties, conduct traffic enforcement, and provide traffic and crowd control at special events such as the town’s fireworks event.

A Community Service Award was presented to the Colorado Mounted Rangers Troop I, represented by Maj. Rob De Vega, Capt. Erin Malone, and Lt. Doug Shacko. This all-volunteer force assists any local, state, and federal law enforcement agency in Colorado. It has provided traffic and crowd control at the town’s annual fireworks event.

A Distinguished Service Award was presented to Monument Police Chief Jake Shirk and Palmer Lake Sgt. Nikki Tezak for an experience that tested their resolve after the death of Palmer Lake Police Chief Daniel Gilliana in March 2008. Tezak was entrusted with the day-to-day operations of the department, and Shirk volunteered to assist with the higher-level policy and budgetary decisions without compensation for several months. Shirk and Tezak were then called on to fill the void after the December 2008 resignation of Gilliana’s replacement, this time for an entire year. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes their sustained "above and beyond" performance in responding to an internal crisis for the majority of a two-year period.

The council unanimously approved:

  • A new business license to Michael Mastrodonato for Humanitarian International Services, 870 Commercial Lane.
  • A new sign permit to Sylvia Amos for the Palmer Lake Country Store, 56A Highway 105.

The council unanimously approved the appointment of Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Fire Inspector Curtis Kauffman as the town’s consultant fire inspector.

The council unanimously approved a new town ordinance for establishing an application fee and licensing for medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities. The fee for the first facility is $500 and $250 for subsequent facilities.

The council also unanimously approved an amendment to the town sign ordinance transferring sign permit approvals to the Planning Commission. This amendment allows the Planning Commission to refer controversial sign application to the elected officials of the Town Council for final decisions.

After a lengthy discussion of a controversial ordinance that would assign care, maintenance, and snow shoveling responsibilities to the owners of properties in front of which the new Safe Routes to Schools sidewalk has been installed, the council unanimously tabled the ordinance. Numerous residents complained about having purchased their properties with no expectation of being responsible for having to shovel the sections of sidewalk in front of their homes.

Ball offered to have the volunteer staff of the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department remove snow with a town snow thrower. The town staff was hesitant to loan its snow thrower or take on the liability for being responsible for snow removal.

The meeting adjourned at 9:22 p.m.

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The next regular Town Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 at Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Regular meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of the month.

The next Town Council workshop will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 at Town Hall. Town Council workshops are normally held on the first Thursday of the month. The workshop and regular meetings are often combined. Call 481-2953 before 4 p.m. to confirm the actual time and date for these meetings.

The next Planning Commission workshop will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 at Town Hall. Commission workshops are normally held on the second Wednesday of the month.

The next regular Planning Commission meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Town Hall. Regular commission meetings are normally held on the third Wednesday of the month. The commission’s workshop and regular meetings are often combined. Call 481-2953 before 4 p.m. to confirm the actual time and date for these meetings.

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Lewis-Palmer District 38 Board of Education, Sept. 2 and 14: Consultant for superintendent search approved

By Harriet Halbig

At its Sept. 2 work session, the Board of Education discussed the process by which it would seek a new permanent superintendent. The options seemed to include:

  • Hiring an executive search firm.
  • Seeking the new candidate themselves through the use of advertising in professional journals.
  • Using a community committee of volunteers.
  • A combination of these.

Interim Superintendent Ted Bauman reported at the board’s Sept 14 meeting that his research indicated that a search by a professional firm would cost up to 30 percent of the salary of the position being filled.

He said that the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) has a subgroup that specializes in such searches and charges far less for the service. One member of this group, Bob Cito, has worked with this district before. Bauman said that CASB has contacts with similar organizations in other states and may help to seek candidates through those groups.

The board had earlier considered seeking the input of community volunteers to determine the requirements for the position. It was thought that it would be valuable to include opinions of those familiar with the history and priorities of the district, as well as its finances.

After some discussion, the board voted to seek an agreement with CASB to consult with Cito and include local volunteers. The timeline calls for advertising the position in November-December with an application deadline in January. Ideally, a candidate will be chosen and signed by spring break in mid-March.

Board member Jeff Ferguson said that he thinks the board should set the criteria for the search and have Bauman manage the process.

Board member Mark Pfoff stressed that the board should also seek and consider internal candidates for the position. An administrative license is not required for the position.

Curriculum mapping

Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning Shirley Trees gave a presentation on the subject of curriculum mapping. She said that in the past, the development of curriculum was an inflexible process, with new programs and resources considered every five years and little possibility for adjustment in the interim.

Today, the development of curriculum is ongoing, with faculty able to request changes and new materials frequently.

Trees demonstrated the mapping process, based on consideration of the elements of essential questions, content, skills, and resources.

Through the use of mapping, the district ensures that students taking a class will receive the same instruction regardless of location. It specifies the number of days allotted to a subject, ensuring that all material is covered in the time allowed. This is especially critical with two high schools in the district.

All teachers are trained in mapping. Trees said that this process is unique to this district.

Long-range planning

Following a brief discussion of long-range planning at their work session, the board decided to delay the formation of a long-range planning task force until after the November election.

Superintendent Bauman said that the budget for 2010-11 is working well and that it would be wise to postpone future planning until the board has a better idea of the resources they may expect to have available.

Reduction in force policy

Bob Foster, director of Personnel and Student Services for the district, explained the certified employee reduction in force and transfer policy. The board had requested that the policy be updated following the end of the previous school year, when all non-renewed staff members were classified as probationary.

Future cuts would therefore involve certified employees, and the board found it critical to have a current and detailed policy to follow in the event that further cuts become necessary.

Foster said that he had met with the Lewis-Palmer Education Association in May and conducted talks throughout the district, seeking the input of staff at all levels.

He said that the draft document, submitted to the district’s attorneys, includes factors to consider while cutting staff, rating mechanisms, and the availability of hearings and appeals processes.

Foster said the Board of Education determines when there is a fiscal emergency or program change requiring a reduction in force. He said that the district has never had a reduction in force and reminded the board that probationary teachers are not included in the process.

Bauman said that the policy is for the protection of the staff and he hopes not to need it.

Superintendent’s report

Bauman said that, because enrollment is higher than anticipated, the district has hired several individuals in various locations, including a first-grade teacher at Palmer Lake Elementary, a seventh-grade social studies teacher, and a contract administrator at Bear Creek Elementary to assist in teacher evaluations. Also approved for hire were part-time counselors and a part-time teacher. All new positions were filled without the intention of renewal.

The new hires were put in place to relieve excessive class sizes resulting from the additional students. Federal funds to accommodate the students are used in the hirings.

Bauman also reported on the stabbing incident at Palmer Lake Elementary School a few days before the meeting. A middle school student attacked another after getting off a school bus outside the elementary school.

Bauman praised the staff of the elementary school for maintaining order, getting help for the injured student, and getting elementary students on their buses in an effective manner. The injured student was due to be released from the hospital the following day, and the attacker remained incarcerated.

Although students on the bus denied being aware of an argument between the two students involved, Bauman said that someone probably knew of friction between them and he wished to find a way to let all students know that they can report such information anonymously through such programs as Safe2tell. He said that representatives would be explaining the program at all schools in the near future.

Bauman also said that Palmer Lake Police Chief Keith Moreland would visit Palmer Lake Elementary in the near future to talk about the incident.

The board also passed a resolution approving such routine items as minutes of previous meetings, resignations/retirement of licensed staff, requests for leaves of absence, appointment of support staff, a food service agreement with Monument Academy Charter School, and other administrative issues.

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The next meeting of the Board of Education will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the Learning Center of the district’s Administration Building, 146 Jefferson St. in Monument.

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Lewis-Palmer District Accountability Advisory Committee, Sept. 16: Committee considers academic integrity program

By Harriet Halbig

Deb Goth, a parent from Lewis-Palmer High School, reported to the District Accountability Advisory Committee (DAAC) on Sept. 16 about including academic integrity as part of the committee’s charge.

The issue was first addressed by the Lewis-Palmer High School Building Accountability Advisory Committee (BAAC) during the last school year. There was concern about the ease with which students could cheat on research with the availability of information on the Internet and the ability to send test questions and answers via text messaging. Parents felt that it would be useful to address the issue before students entered colleges where strict honor codes were enforced.

The group researched honesty codes from other high schools and colleges and introduced the concept to DAAC last spring, but momentum was lacking. After further thought and discussion, it was decided that academic integrity should be an issue in all grades and addressed in a consistent way throughout the district.

Another consideration was whether students should be required to sign a sort of contract indicating that they understand the issue and are willing to abide by the rules.

Goth volunteered to lead a subcommittee to develop a program. She suggested that class time be specifically set aside to teach a unit on the subject—perhaps one day per semester.

DAAC Co-chair Cori Tanner said that she and Goth would create a statement to discuss with BAAC to recruit volunteers to help develop the program.

School Board liaison Gail Wilson said that the board would probably like to see the materials and suggested discussing it with Superintendent Ted Bauman to determine the scope of the program and a timeline for its implementation.

Before/after school care discussed

Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning Shirley Trees reported on the district’s new My Place program, which provides care for students from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on school property. Students of all ages are eligible.

The local YMCA had previously provided the manpower for the program and had found it increasingly difficult to find good staff. Under the new program, caregivers are school district employees and are therefore more able to integrate their activities with school curriculum. Each site has a director hired by the principal at that site, and this policy results in better oversight on the part of the school, Trees said.

Trees said that care also is provided on non-student contact days, such as conference days, and the days before Thanksgiving and during winter break.

At present there are 120 children from 93 families enrolled in the program. The charge for the program is sufficient to cover its expense and is based on the cost of the previous YMCA program. Feedback from parents has been positive.

When asked about service during two-hour delays and snow closures, Trees said that the program would only be active at Bear Creek Elementary on those days until it was determined whether school would be held. Closures would be announced on the website.

Trees meets with the directors of each program once a month.

Report on selection of new superintendent

Wilson reported that the primary focus of the Board of Education at present is the selection of a new permanent superintendent. For a discussion of this process, please see the article on the Board of Education meeting.

She said that it is likely that the board will ask for assistance from DAAC in this process.

There is no state legislative activity until January.

Committee for Political Achievement update

Tanner reported that the Committee for Political Achievement (CPA) has discussed the procedure for providing parents with information about November ballot initiatives. The committee’s foremost duties are to ensure that parents know the date of election day and encourage them to vote, she said.

Trees said that Bauman confirmed that a table with election information may be available on school property before and after school hours.

During meetings of PTO and BAAC held in the schools, Assistant Superintendent for Operations Cheryl Wangeman will present information on the possible impact of passage of the measures and would be available to answer questions. She will also tell attendees that further information is available and where to get it.

Voting issues may be discussed openly at meetings outside of school hours if the facility is being rented for the meeting.

Tanner said that DAAC will not host a meeting regarding the issues, because the local chamber of commerce, school district, fire district, and library district are co-hosting a community meeting on Oct. 6 at the administration building to discuss the matter.

The CPA will continue to write letters to legislators describing the conditions at the local level and the possible impact of passage of the initiatives. Tanner said that such letters could be sent immediately after the election.

Wilson said that it would be a good idea to talk with candidates before the election and develop a working relationship with them in anticipation of the legislative session.

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The District Accountability Advisory Committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. Locations vary. The October meeting will be held on Oct. 12 at Lewis-Palmer Middle School, 176 Woodmoor Drive, Monument.

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Lewis-Palmer Special Education Advisory Committee, Sept. 8: Committee considers name, goals

By Harriet Halbig

The Lewis-Palmer School District’s Special Education Advisory Committee met on Sept. 8 to recruit new members and consider changing its name to the Exceptional Student Learning Team.

Committee Chairman Chris Amenson introduced staff members in attendance and encouraged those new to the group to tell their friends of its activities and encourage their participation.

Amenson listed several goals for the year:

  • To improve communication with parents and to encourage their support for their children.
  • To broaden parental involvement in meetings.
  • To expand training and orientation for parents.

Meetings during the year will feature programs by those within and outside the district and such subjects as technology in the classroom, improving transitions from one grade level and school to another, the state of the state in special education, literacy, and taking advantage of individual abilities in the classroom. The group plans to hold a resource fair during the year and end the year with a barbecue.

Special Education Director Mary Anne Fleury said that it is her goal to utilize the strengths of all teachers in the district. Her accomplishments during 2009-10 included:

  • Leadership meetings.
  • Newsletters to staff.
  • Barriers broken between special ed and general ed programs.
  • Collaboration between special education and English language learning programs.
  • Adaptive physical education including bowling, horseback riding, swimming.
  • A strengthened extended school year (ESL) program ensuring that students not just maintain their learning, but continue to progress during the summer .

Stimulus funds

Fleury said that funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act must be spent by September 2011 and will be used toward curriculum, technology, multisensory programs and textbooks. A vehicle has been purchased for the transitions program serving those ages 18 to 21.

Committee benefits

Committee member Suzanne Faber gave testimony about her experience with the committee, stating that membership in the group proves that parents can make a difference in their child’s education. She said she has learned a great deal from the experiences of others in the group and asked those in attendance to say what benefits they had experienced. Benefits mentioned included a sense of advocacy, a better understanding of the special education program, interaction with other parents, and networking opportunities. The resource fair offered exposure to a variety of specialized services offered in the area.

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The Special Education Advisory Committee usually meets on the second Wednesday of each month. Due to a scheduling conflict, the October meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Learning Center of the school administration building, 146 Jefferson St. in Monument.

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Woodmoor Improvement Association board, Sept. 22: Board expresses concern about fire danger, car break-ins

By Harriet Halbig

The recent fire in the Fourmile Canyon area near Boulder prompted discussion of fire prevention in the Woodmoor area at the Sept. 22 meeting of the Woodmoor Improvement Association board.

Board President Chuck Maher suggested that the Forestry Committee send a letter to residents to discourage use of fire pits and charcoal grills in the community. Although some fire pits are approved by the association, Maher authorized Woodmoor Safety officers to discourage their use until the county lowers its fire danger level.

Maher stressed that residents be reminded that a catastrophic fire could happen in the community.

Woodmoor Safety Chief Kevin Nielsen reported an increased number of car break-ins in the past month. He reminded residents to lock cars parked outside and to conceal any valuables in the trunk or under the seat.

Nielsen said that school traffic is under control but acknowledged that the school zone speed limit light near Misty Acres is badly positioned.

The board discussed the presence of fallen trees and beetle-infested trees on foreclosed properties. Maher suggested that the association notify the county of such problems, because they may be a code enforcement issue. It is illegal for association representatives to enter these properties.

Board retains money for trees

Architectural Control Chairman Anne Stevens-Gountanis reported that she had recently visited Woodmoor Park to view its condition as Pulte completes its construction. She said that the area is generally attractive but that some of the trees appear to be in weak health.

She recommended that the association pay Pulte $260,818 owed to it as a deposit for landscape compliance but retain $20,000 to cover replacement of any trees that may die over the winter. Any of $20,000 not used to replace trees would be paid to Pulte. The board passed the resolution.

**********

The board of the Woodmoor Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Drive, Monument. For information, go to www.woodmoor.org

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September Weather Wrap

By Bill Kappel

As much as it’s interesting to write about heavy rains and blizzards every month, sometimes the interesting weather is actually considered boring. This September’s warm and dry conditions were just as extreme as any storm that can occur in terms of variations from normal.

Widespread measurable rain fell on only one day during the month, when an area of showers and thunderstorms moved over the region during the afternoon of the 22nd. Most of us also received a trace to a couple hundredths of an inch (just enough to wet the ground) on the 7th and 8th.

Overall, September 2010 will go down as one of the driest and warmest in the last hundred years. In fact, the 0.11 inch of rain recorded for the month and the monthly average high temperature of 77.9° represent frequency values that would be expected less than once in 100 years, or less than a 1 percent chance of that little rain accumulating or average high temperatures at that level in any given September. But remember, normal is the mean of the extreme, so at some point we will be making up for the warmth and dry weather to reach normal.

The first few days of September saw dry and mild weather, with near record highs over Labor Day weekend. The month started off warm, with upper 70s and low 80s under sunny skies. However, a front passed through the region early on the 2nd, and this held highs down in the mid-60s that afternoon. Temperatures were chilly overnight as well, with lows in the mid-30s to low 40s on the mornings of the 2nd and 3rd. Mild air began to build back into the region just in time for Labor Day weekend, with highs pushing through the 70s on the 3rd and into the low to mid-80s on the 4th and 5th.

With the dry air and longer nights, temperature swings were pretty dramatic between the morning lows and afternoon highs, with about a 40° swing each day. No precipitation was recorded for the week, which isn’t too unusual for the first week of September. This time of the year is when we transition from summer’s monsoon moisture/afternoon thunderstorms regimen to a more progressive storm pattern associated with an increasingly strong jet stream bringing storms out of the Pacific Northwest every few days.

Dry and mild weather continued during the week of the 6th. The 7th and 8th did receive some sprinkles and brief showers, but not enough to amount to much more than a hundredth of an inch. The extra clouds on both days kept temperatures slightly below normal, with highs in the upper 60s. Sunshine was the rule for the remainder of the period, with highs in the mid- to upper-70s on most afternoons. Overall, a pretty nice end-of-summer pattern, but don’t get too comfortable because changes will be arriving soon.

The longer nights and dry air did allow overnight lows to fall to seasonal values and slightly below at times. Many mornings started off in the 30s, giving that fall feel to the air. The morning of the 11th was the coldest, with lows stopping just above freezing. This isn’t too unusual, as the average date of our first freeze is around the third week of the month.

Record and near-record warmth quickly returned during the week of the 13th, and the warm air mass continued to dominate our weather off and on through the end of the month. A strong and warm ridge of high pressure built into most of the Southwest, blocking any storms and cold air from affecting Colorado. Further, the Southwest monsoon season was coming to an end, so very little moisture was able to sneak into Colorado underneath the ridge from the south. High temperatures soared well into the 80s each afternoon from the 13th through the 21st, reaching as high at 86°, or about 15 degrees above normal for this time of the year.

This September heat was temporarily interrupted from the 22nd through the 25th, as a brief shot of moisture moved through the region and brought in some cooler air, although only dropping highs back to the low- to mid-70s. Warm and dry air continued to dominate the region through the end of the month, with upper 70s and low 80s common under sunny skies. Several afternoons threatened or set record highs for the date as well.

A look ahead

October can be an active weather month for the region, with winter conditions often experienced. In fact, for three of the last five years, weather around Halloween has been cold and snowy. Remember the 15 to 20 inches of snow that fell last year just before Halloween. Snow can be heavy at times during any part of October, such as when over 20 inches of snow fell on Oct. 9-10th in 2005 and 2006 saw over 24 inches of snow in less than 24 hours on Oct. 26th. Of course, the weather can also be very dry and mild, so enjoy those days when you can.

For a complete look at monthly climate summaries for the Tri-Lakes region, please visit www.thekappels.com/ClimateSummary.htm

September 2010 Weather Statistics

Average High 77.8° (+6.6) 100-year return frequency value max 77.5° min 63.5°
Average Low 41.6° (+2.1) 100-year return frequency value max 46.7° min 36.1°
Monthly Precipitation 0.11" (-1.61") 100-year return frequency value max 4.34" min 0.40"
Monthly Snowfall 0.0" (-0.8") Highest Temperature 86° on the 19th
Lowest Temperature 33° on the 11th
Season to Date Snow 0.0" (-0.8") (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)
Season to Date Precip. 7.80" (+0.72") (the pecip season is from July 1 to June 30)
Heating Degree Days 160 (-123)
Cooling Degree Days 3 (0)

For more detailed weather information and climatology of the Palmer Divide and Tri-Lakes region, please visit Bill Kappel’s Weather Web page at www.thekappels.com/Weather.htm

Remember, weather affects all of us every day and is a very important part of life for us in the Tri-Lakes region, and we want to hear from you. If you see a unique weather event or have a weather question, please contact us at billkappel@ourcommunitynews.org

Bill Kappel is a meteorologist and Tri-Lakes resident.

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Letters to Our Community

Voters should say "No" to the "bad three"

There are three initiatives on the November ballot that, if passed, will devastate our local community and the state of Colorado: Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101.

These "bad three" are anticipated to cost Lewis-Palmer School District nearly $11 million a year, which equates to a loss of 37 percent of our teachers. And that’s not all. Under Proposition 101, the district will lose over $1,700 of per-pupil funding from the state. Imagine class sizes of 35 to 40 in elementary schools. Imagine not having AP programs, sports programs, music programs, or foreign language programs. Imagine living in a community where the next generation isn’t prepared to care for us, our communities, and their children.

Proposition 101 was already defeated once, as Doug Bruce sponsored Amendment 21 in 2000. It wasn’t the right answer then and isn’t the right answer now.

Think about not having the Monument and Palmer Lake library branches. Imagine losing a fire station, not having police cars or fire trucks, not having updated transportation for our students. All these things involve leased equipment or facilities and will not be allowed under Amendment 61.

Imagine a place where your vote doesn’t count. Where the choices a community makes to support their kids can be wiped away, votes cast into the wind with a formula replacing local common sense. Our voter-approved bond measures will be declared void. Welcome to the world of Amendment 60.

These initiatives will end up costing our community in higher fees. They will cost our community as businesses will not be willing to come to Colorado and the Pikes Peak Region. They will cost all of us.

These measures are not a reasonable solution to the financial mess that is 2010. Join me, the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors, the District 38 Board of Education, the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, the Pikes Peak Library District, and nearly every business, nonprofit, and educational entity in the state of Colorado and vote No on 60, 61, and 101.

Cori Tanner
Tri-Lakes parent and volunteer

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Fire district opposes ballot initiatives

The question is often asked: What will passage of the "Terrible Three"—initiatives 60, 61, and 101—mean to the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District? My answer is that the district’s Board of Directors has passed a resolution opposing all three voter initiatives because, in general, we feel that all three are bad for Colorado.

While 60 and 61 will have a minimum immediate impact on the district, 101 will result in the loss of about $85,000 in revenue for the district in each of the next four years. And of the three, 101 is the most likely to pass because it decreases our annual automobile taxes to nearly zero over the next four years, and we all pay those taxes.

Voters need to familiarize themselves with all three issues because their impact on the state, counties, municipalities, schools, and special districts will be profound. It will completely change the way we all do business in providing the services we have all come to expect. Anyone who believes that the state of Colorado will be able to come to the aid of schools is just kidding themselves. A good example is the Homestead Exemption Act, which the Colorado Legislature refused to fund this year because the state is broke.

Our firefighters and paramedics didn’t get a pay raise this year. Next year, their health insurance premiums are expected to increase, due to the passage of Obamacare—and they now have to pay income tax on their health insurance premiums. Even if we give them a small pay raise next year, which is questionable if initiative 101 passes, any raise will be eaten up by increased taxes.

Voters, please review these initiatives carefully and vote with a clear conscience. Think carefully, because Colorado’s future is in your hands.

Charles Pocock
President, Board of Directors
Tri-Lakes Monument FPD

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Ballot issues could be devastating

Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 are potentially devastating to governmental agencies on all levels. Some who believe in smaller government and fewer taxes welcome them with open arms. After all, Amendment 60 and Proposition 101 significantly reduce taxes and funds we pay to the government. Amendment 61 severely limits a government’s ability to borrow money and spend without punitive restrictions. So what happens then?

In order to fund the costs that governments, school districts, water districts, fire districts, and every other affected entity face to simply operate, either user fees will have to go up or the function would simply cease to exist. As an example, per Amendment 60, if a water district working as an enterprise is required to pay property taxes on all of its facilities—water plants, tanks, well property, dams, etc.—that money has to come from somewhere. If the amendment repeals property taxes, the district’s only source of revenue will be water rates.

If water districts are required to do significant road repairs and maintenance, currently done by the state and county Departments of Transportation, the only source of that funding will be rates and surcharges, per Proposition 101.

The most devastating of all for smaller districts is Amendment 61. Already there is a requirement for voter approval before an entity can borrow money; 61 would effectively limit that activity to 10-year funding and all but assure that the only way to pay for the loan is through user rates. Finding 10-year funding will be next to impossible, and if the amount that can be borrowed is limited, as 61 mandates, the infrastructure needed to provide water for the future simply will not be affordable.

I consider myself a conservative—I don’t like big government, and I don’t like taxes much. But I understand the importance of funding what is necessary for the services we want. When I see the disrepair of our transportation system, the poor performance of our schoolchildren, and the huge expenses facing water entities in Colorado trying to cope with the need for renewable water, I can only shudder to think what will happen if these three initiatives pass. We might as well annex Colorado to Wyoming.

Dana Duthie
General manager
Donala Water and Sanitation District

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Between The Covers at the Covered Treasures Bookstore: Now you’re cooking!

By the staff at Covered Treasures

Mornings are a little nippier, nights a little crisper. Fall is here. With these shorter, cooler days, many of us feel the urge to get back into the kitchen and leaf through favorite cookbooks for inspiration. Here are a few for you to consider adding to your collection.

Putting Food By—Fifth Edition, Fully Updated
Edited by Stephen Schmidt (Plume) $17

Whether you’re preserving to save money or to capture the taste of seasonal food from our farmers’ markets (or your own garden), this book shares step-by-step directions to help you do it safely and deliciously. The new edition includes instructions for canning, freezing, salting, smoking, drying, and root cellaring. There are recipes for pickles, relishes, jams, and jellies, information on preserving with less sugar and salt, and tips on equipment, health, and safety issues.

The Healthy Baby Meal Planner
By Annabel Karmel (Simon and Schuster) $17

This is a great book for new moms! Aimed at starting babies on a lifetime of healthy eating, Karmel teaches parents which foods are appropriate for each stage of a child’s development; how and when to introduce fruits, vegetables, and other solids; and how to make appealing meals to tempt the fussiest eater. She also includes information on food allergies and infant nutrition, as well as a comprehensive list of ingredient substitutes.

Mr. Mom’s Favorite Family Meals
By Dave Lilja and Dirk Johnson (DD Holdings) $12.99

Written by two full-time stay-at-home dads, this book addresses the dilemma of putting tasty, healthy food on the table each evening while juggling the busy schedules of today’s young families. The primary goal of each recipe is to use simple ingredients to create great everyday meals. Each recipe has "Chef Tips"—hints to save time, money, or suggest a substitution. "Make It a Meal" recommends a side dish for each recipe, rounding out the meal without much added time or effort. (Chef Dave will be at Covered Treasures on Dec. 4 for Small Town Christmas, presenting his new book of quick and easy appetizer recipes.)

Fresh Mexico
By Marcela Valladolid (Clarkson Potter) $25.99

"Don’t get me wrong­­­­­—I love cheddar cheese and chimichangas…. But if you think that’s all there is to Mexican food, you’re missing out on so much." In a fresh voice, Valladolid aims to invigorate America’s taste for real Mexican food—dishes that can be accomplished on any busy weeknight but still express the authentic flavors of her native cuisine.

Now Eat This!
By Rocco Dispirito (Random House) $26.95

Award-winning chef Dispirito transforms 150 of America’s favorite comfort foods into deliciously healthy dishes, all with zero bad carbs, zero bad fats, zero sugar, and maximum flavor, and every one under 350 calories. How about lean loaded nachos? Guilt-free mac and cheese? Or chicken-fried steak with sausage gravy with less than one-fifth the calories of most? Mmmmmm!

Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips
By Ina Garten (Random House) $35

For all Contessa fans: Her latest cookbook will be released at the end of October! It’s all about saving time and avoiding stress while having fun in the kitchen. You’ll find fabulous recipes that are easy to make but still have all that deep, delicious flavor that Garten is known for. She also includes 100 of her best tips that make cooking and entertaining especially easy.

Light the oven, stir up an apple pie, and prepare to smell the aromas and taste the deliciousness of this time of year! 

Until next month, happy reading.

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High Country Highlights: Fall watering is essential to successful gardening

By Woody Woodworth

We’ve had an exceptionally warm late summer and early fall season and very little moisture in the Tri-Lakes area. Many trees, shrubs and gardens are drooping and showing weakness from the lack of moisture. We can help our plants cope with our high mountain desert conditions by supplement watering in the fall and early winter months ahead.

Typically, we get a freeze in the early part of October, so we turn our watering systems off and start to hole in for the winter ahead. We roll up the hoses and store them, put all the watering nozzles in the shed and wait until the snow has melted in late March or April before we drag it all out and hook the hose up again. That’s over six months! Think about the time your plants will go without water.

Plant roots continue to grow anytime ground temperatures are above 40 degrees. Usually those temperatures continue until mid- to late December. It is essential for high altitude gardeners to water in the months of October, November, and December to help charge the soil with valuable moisture your plants will need to survive our winter conditions.

A good rule of thumb is to wait until we get a nice 50-degree day, wait until late morning, then give your plants a good drink of water. That will allow plenty of time for the water to get absorbed into the plants’ root systems. It’s too cold in January and February to water, and March usually brings us the wet snows we need, but by April you should start to get in watering mode again.

Even the hardiest of roses can meet their doom from our fluctuating temperatures and lack of moisture. When your rose bushes are dormant, the current season’s wood is hardened off and many of the leaves have fallen, be sure to give them a good, deep drink. Prune canes of climbing roses about two feet up, but leave your shrub roses alone until spring. The rule of green thumb is that when roses have seen three consecutive hard freezes in a row, they’re dormant. A hard freeze is defined as at least 28 degrees. Then, it’s time to mulch all your roses.

An easy and inexpensive way to mulch is to throw a couple shovelfulls of Soil Pep forest mulch around the base of the bush. You can pile mulch 10 or 12 inches deep around the crown. Some gardeners use hardware wire to contain leaves and compost around their roses for the winter. The whole idea of mulching is to keep your roses at a more constant temperature so they don’t grow in spurts during a warm spell in the winter.

Feed your lawn now with a granular winterizer formula. Most winterizers contain slow-release nitrogen and nutrients to help build a deep root structure your lawn will benefit from later on in early spring. One organic fertilizer called Pro Rich is formulated from dried poultry waste and offers a more earth-friendly alternative to synthetics.

Another winterizer called Jirdons is considered by many to be a top-performing synthetic fertilizer. Whichever you choose, feed your lawn and water it well now to ensure a healthier lawn in spring.

Winter watering is the essential ingredient for successful gardening in Colorado.

Woody Woodworth is a member of the Garden Centers of Colorado, actively involved in the green industry and operates a garden center in Downtown Monument.

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Bird Watch on the Palmer Divide: Calliope hummingbird

Click here to view a drawing of Calliope Hummingbird

By Elizabeth Hacker

Summer has turned to fall. As the temperatures drop and leaves turn to gold, I’m still savoring that warm summer day when a calliope hummingbird appeared in my flower garden. It was so small that its entire head was buried inside a penstemon floret while its tiny tail was twittering away.

The calliope is a pollinator that draws nectar from a plant while helping the plant to reproduce. It is the smallest breeding bird in North America and the smallest avian migrant in the world. According to most bird books, it is a species common to the Pacific Northwest, and yet it’s not uncommon to see them here. For the past few years, it has also been reported in several Southern states and as far north as upstate New York, which means the calliope’s range is expanding.

It prefers the high mountainous regions of the Rockies. I observed one while hiking Shrine Pass at about 11,000 feet. I have only had fleeting glances of it on a few occasions, but Joyce Hannigan, an avid birder who lives north of the Air Force Academy and west of I-25, has documented and photographed several pair for six years.

She keeps a daily log and has found that the calliope arrives in mid-July with the rufous hummers. This timing indicates that the calliope has already nested and is embarking on its long journey to its winter home in Mexico. It travels solo rather than in flocks and makes many stops to refuel. For fuel, it needs carbohydrates and protein, which are readily available in alpine meadows with an abundance of wildflowers and small insects. It will stay in a location until it feels the need to move on, which could be triggered by changes in the weather.

Many people put out pint-sized feeders to attract hummers, but Joyce is a little different. She starts putting out feeders in April, and by early June she is filling 17 quart-sized feeders and going through 3 gallons of nectar a day. The feeders are all set on one table, and this method works! Truthfully, I’ve never seen anything like it. All sorts of hummers resting and eating at every hole of all 17 feeders. It’s mind-boggling.

Joyce has some compelling stories. My limited experience indicates that the calliope is shy, especially when compared to the feisty rufous hummer. Joyce, on the other hand, doesn’t find them to be shy at all and has seen them stand up to the bully rufous on more that one occasion. But there was one notable exception.

This summer Joyce watched as a female rufous dominated all her feeders and chased off calliopes, rufous, and broadtails. She affectionately referred to her as "The Beast." As tenacious as The Beast was, Joyce figured out how to quell its fury by moving the feeders from the one central location to various areas around her house, thereby allowing the other hummers to return to her feeders.

Similar to all hummingbirds, the male calliope is strikingly beautiful. The feathers on its head and back are a brilliant iridescent green and extend to the edges of its underside. There is white on its throat, chest, at the edges of its black eye, and on the corners of its tail. The male calliope’s gorget (throat feathers) is made up of elongated iridescent wine-colored feathers that appear like streaks on a white background.

Stellula is Latin for "little star," the scientific name given to the calliope because of its streaked gorget. The calliope’s gorget is different from other North American hummingbirds that typically have fan-shaped or rounded gorget feathers that overlap and are of a solid color.

Joyce noted that the calliope sounded like a bumble bee. This buzzing sound is made by the rapid wing beats of male calliope. In addition to its short wings, the calliope has a short, thin beak.

In contrast to the showy male, the female is dull and resembles the female rufous but noticeably smaller. She has a greenish-rufous cast to the feathers on her head, back, and tail. Her chest and belly are tan while her throat is white with minuscule dark spots. Immature birds look like the female.

Because the calliope’s range is expanding, it is likely that they may be nesting in areas of Colorado, although I have not yet observed or heard of them nesting in Tri-lakes. While breeding, the female builds a small cup-shaped nest in the lower branches of a conifer tree or scrub brush. She lays two whitish, jelly bean-sized eggs and incubates them for about 15 days. After they hatch, she is solely responsible for feeding them. Nestlings fledge 18 days after hatching, but they still rely on their mother for supplemental feeding and to teach them foraging skills.

In Greek mythology, the muse Calliope was the protector of art and epic poetry, and she was the inspiration for the name of this cutie. The fact that the calliopes’ range has expanded in recent years may indicate that it is sensitive to habitat modification due to climate change. More research is needed to understand the habitat and life cycle of this diminutive bird. Daily journals like the kind Joyce keeps help researchers to compile the information necessary to determine the effects of climate change on a species like the calliope. Like one piece in a puzzle, eventually it all fits together.

Elizabeth Hacker is a writer and artist. Prints of the birds she writes about are available on her website, with proceeds benefiting habitat preservation. E-mail her at elizabethhacker66@yahoo.com or call her at 719-510-5918 to share your bird stories.

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Art Matters: This art is of the essence

By Janet Sellers

An art form that I get asked about frequently is abstract art. Abstract art these days is a broad field that people seem to love or despise. In the early years, the abstract artists and thereby the collectors felt they were taking the imagination of the viewer to another level, a non-physical realm of thinking and feeling. It was associated with the term "non-representational," but in its deepest sense today, the highly charged, emotional response to it confirms that it represents a lot to the viewers.

The dictionary explains the terms thus: Abstract: n. something that concentrates in itself the essential qualities of anything more extensive or more general, or of several things; essence.

The irony for many people is that they think they do not understand the abstraction, or the essence, of the art, but they have a strong response to a piece. This is actually the deciding factor in its aesthetic value, so at some level, they do understand it. I think this is a triumph for the viewer and the arts, to succeed in relating to creative thinking and be so aware of it as to question and ponder these visual outcomes. We don’t have to like it for it to be good, and thank heavens we don’t have to live with art just because it is "good."

The child in all of us observes our natural world without words, but with great inner response. The shapes of clouds in the sky, for example, make ongoing visual cues to us. A sunset is completely abstract in terms of its composition, light, color, and expanse, yet we feel very connected to it, feel and enjoy its beauty, as well as get a great satisfaction from the visual experience.

When the artwork is in a museum or business or home, long after the artist has moved on to creating other works, the artwork itself continues to offer its message to viewers.

What separates great art from the ordinary is that great art continues to inspire us and ignite our imagination, view after view.

As humans, we have a set pattern of visual experience thanks to our eyes and nervous system working together to report to our minds what they see. It is up to our mind to connect meaning to the experience or dismiss the visual as unimportant for further attention.

Cultural success is not limited to arts venues but includes the underpinnings of the local economic growth in the areas of real estate, banking, retail operations, and just about every part of local economic health. Tourists, guests, and those looking for a place to call home choose to participate in communities with strong art and cultural activity over those with less culture.

We have quite a number of arts venues and countless artists here in our community who strive daily to bring us the best they can offer in arts programming. The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts comes to mind, the Historic Monument Merchants Association’s Summer Art Hop events, our annual October Empty Bowl charity event (buy a handmade artisan bowl to fill up with supper and enjoy), and so on.

Given that every year millions of new dollars circulate in Colorado from arts efforts, I’d like to share some of what the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) group reported: "For 18 years, CBCA has conducted the biennial Economic Activity Study because we know that arts, cultural and scientific nonprofits are significant businesses in the region. Their operations contribute to local economic development every day," said Deborah Jordy, CBCA executive director. She added, "Arts organizations also have a larger impact by the role they play in strengthening cultural tourism. The spending associated with it further stimulates our economy."

The act of visual thinking is innate for each of us, and one that is satisfied mainly by artistic original thinking. Children and adults at schools, senior programs, youth programs and more benefit from consistent arts programming. We all thrive when our arts thrive. Do you know where your personal art thoughts start? Could you try out a visit to an arty place just to see how it goes?

What if you took a friend to a local gallery or art show for a change? There would be a lot of benefit to you, in many ways. Let’s get off the couch and go to see some of the upcoming art shows this month. I guarantee it will be a culturally, if not economically and socially, enriching time.

Janet Lee Sellers is an American painter and sculptor whose work is exhibited in galleries and as public arts projects. She works in paint, metal, and concrete. Her work supports wild (and human) life. Sellers lives in Woodmoor, Colorado.

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Arts and Community Event fills the weekend with activity

By David Futey

On Sept. 25-26, the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA) sponsored the Palmer Lake Arts and Community Event (PLACE).

This fine arts festival included a Battle of the Bands, a Quick Draw for all ages, A Taste of Palmer Lake, Gallery Walk and Talk, Harvest Ball and Jam, bluegrass bands, and barbecue from The Slick Pig.

See the photos on page 28 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Snapshots of Our Community

Grass It Up enlivens Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4

By David Futey

The Colorado Springs-based bluegrass band Grass It Up brought a high-energy performance to the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA) stage on Sept. 4. Originally a trio, the band recently expanded to a quintet that bass player Jon Bross said has "brought in new ideas and arrangements" along with "creating a fuller sound."

Besides Bross, the original members include David Jeffrey, mandolin and guitar, and Shannon Carr, guitar and banjo. The new additions are keyboardist Danny Karpel and fiddle player Ben Lewis. All five members performed on their latest CD, "Day After Yesterday," which was released in August.

The band not only plays at concert venues and bluegrass festivals but also at community events, weddings, and corporate events. Information on upcoming performances by the band is at www.grassitup.com. Information on upcoming events at the TLCA is at www.trilakesarts.org

See the photo on page 29 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Women’s Club holds annual open house, Sept. 9

By Harriet Halbig and Bernard L. Minetti

The Tri-Lakes Women’s Club held its annual recruiting drive at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts on Sept. 9 to introduce the community to its activities and welcome new members.

The club, open to all women living in School District 38, holds monthly luncheon meetings and includes subgroups with such interests as mah jongg, bridge, travel, restaurants, and entertainment.

The club holds two major fund-raising events each year—the Pine Forest Antiques show in the spring and the Wine and Roses wine tasting each fall. Proceeds support local nonprofit entities such as schools and fire districts.

This year’s Wine and Roses will be held Nov. 5 at the U.S. Air Force Academy Blue and Silver Press Box from 6 until 9:30 p.m. The event features on-site chefs, a silent auction, and celebrity wine pourers. This year for the first time, tickets can be purchased online at www.tlwc.net. Tickets purchased before Oct. 15 are $50, and those purchased between Oct. 16 and Nov. 5 will be $55.

For further information, please call 488-5690 or visit www.tlwc.net

See the photos on page 29 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Watercolor Society holds show at TLCA

By David Futey

In September, the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society held its 23rd Annual Member’s Show in the main gallery at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA). It was the fourth year the society has held its show at the TLCA. Chaired by Margaret Pasolli and Karen Standridge, the show contained over 80 works by 38 artists mainly from the Colorado Springs area.

Standridge said this juried show is "the best of the best," because the society is the "premier organization for watercolor in the Pikes Peak region." Information on the society is at www.pikespeakwatercolorsociety.org

Information on upcoming art exhibits at the TLCA is at www.trilakesarts.org.

See the photos on page 29 in the on-line version of this issue.

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EDC Sept. 15: State agency offers assistance

By Bernard L. Minetti

To help to facilitate new opportunities for employment and growth in the Tri-Lakes area, the Tri-Lakes Economic Development Corp. (EDC) convened a networking session of local business and governmental representatives on Sept. 15.

The EDC was formed by Lee Kilbourn, Rick Blevins, Bobby Moore, Corey Koca, and President Doyle Ray Oakey. The group hopes to grow local employment opportunities while maintaining quality of life for Tri-Lakes residents. There were approximately 30 attendees at this event at the Inn at Palmer Divide.

Jeff Holwell, division director of Business Development, a section of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT), said that he was the liaison between local entrepreneurship and the resources of the OEDIT. This agency is responsible for the attraction and retention of businesses to local communities. Part of his responsibility is to assist small business in the export of products. In addition, his division will assist small businesses in developing business plans and in obtaining financing to develop those plans.

Holwell further explained that there were primary targeted industries. These industries include but are not limited to tourism, aerospace, bio-science, creativity, and informational technology and communications. Small businesses in local communities have direct access to assistance and direction from his agency, he said.

Matt Cheroutes, manager of Communications and External Affairs for OEDIT, explained the availability of professional assistance to the local communities and in particular to entrepreneurs. He explained that Colorado was paying a great deal of attention to growing diverse economies, and he emphasized that various tax relief concepts are available to local businesses. He encouraged small businesses, whether in the planning stages or actively conducting business, to contact OEDIT to determine if there were ways to improve their business plans or to screen the business for eligibility for tax relief.

Lack of information cited

Rafael Dominguez, a member of the Monument Board of Trustees and a businessman, said he was concerned that there was little to no direct consistent contact between OEDIT and municipal governments. He explained that in consequence, local cities and towns could not actively join the competition for industries or companies that had expressed an interest in moving to Colorado.

Dominguez recommended that a forum be established to facilitate ongoing knowledge of prospective development projects that OEDIT is aware of. Dominguez was concerned that the Town of Monument was being left out of the loop but could attract industry to bolster local employment opportunities if it were made aware of these ongoing relocation candidates.

See the photo on page 30 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Record crowd enjoys 7th Annual Chili Cook-Off, Sept. 18

By Candice Hitt

About 700 people attended the Monument Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Tasting on Sept. 18 at Limbach Park in historic downtown Monument.

The crowd was "the largest turnout ever" for the event, said coordinator Vicki Mynheir.

The cook-off is a popular event that draws a crowd wanting to taste a wide variety of chilies and salsas. Chili was available in red, green, and white; with or without beans or meat; spicy, mild, sweet, gourmet, traditional, and unique. Some of the more exotic chilies contained elk and antelope meat, and a vegetarian chili was also available. Salsas ranged from traditional garden salsas to one with mangos and crab meat. Another tasty and unusual treat was the white chocolate chili ice cream.

The bands Trademark Infringement and Cari Dell entertained visitors, who enjoyed a beautiful day at the park sampling chili and salsa and washing it all down with cold drinks. Teams competed for awards and prizes. Tasters voted for their favorite chili and salsa to determine the People’s Choice Awards.

The People’s Choice Award for chili went to "Dad & Lad" chili entered by Bob (dad) and Alex (lad/son) Nissen. The name of the salsa award winner was not available.

Funds raised at the annual event go to local charities in the Tri-Lakes and Colorado Springs area. The event is sponsored by Historic Monument Merchants Association.

See the photo on page 30 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Final 2010 Art Hop, Sept. 16

See the photos on page 31 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Senior ladies reminisce about school days, Sept. 21

By Bernard L. Minetti

The theme for the Senior Ladies Tea Social on Sept. 21 was "school days." "Teacher" Irene Walters conducted the school-day session, and many memories were brought to mind. School "back in those days" evoked personal reminiscences among the participants.

Walters announced that Liberty Heights retirement center would now be sponsoring some of the Senior Ladies Teas during the year. She stated that funding was scarce, and it would be very helpful if some commercial establishments, churches, or some of the clubs that perform charitable functions might consider supporting the senior ladies by sponsoring one of the monthly gatherings. If anyone or any group would like to sponsor one of the monthly teas, or if information is needed, you may contact Walters at 719-481-1188 or Mary Quattelbaum at 719-488-2361.

The October Senior Tea is cancelled. Instead, the Mountain Senior Transportation group has volunteered to take the members to Cripple Creek for a day at the casinos. There is no charge.

The next Senior Tea will be held on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. at the senior center at Lewis-Palmer High School. Liberty Heights retirement center will sponsor this event. The December Senior Tea, also sponsored by Liberty Heights, will be held on Dec. 14 at Liberty Heights. Bus transportation will be available at the Lewis-Palmer senior center between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m. All Tri-Lakes senior ladies are invited to all these events, and there is no charge. Food and drink will be available.

See the photos on page 32 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Kiwanis charter ceremony

See the photo on page 32 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Kiwanis presents 1,000 toys

See the photo on page 32 in the on-line version of this issue.

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September and October library events: All Pikes Peak Reads and Scary Stories featured in October

By Harriet Halbig

A new face can now be seen at the Monument Library. Kandiss Horch, our new children’s specialist, started full-time on Sept. 13. She will be our Toddler Time presenter on Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. and will offer stories at Palmer Lake each Wednesday morning. In addition, she will offer Storytime once a month at Monument at 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. on Tuesdays. Please come and introduce yourself to this new member of our library family.

Following the formal kickoff of All Pikes Peak Reads on Sept. 11, there have been a number of programs related to the theme of innovation. An attractive display features the titles in this year’s program and a variety of information, including the Gazette insert listing programs throughout the city related to All Pikes Peak Reads and a coupon for $5 off admission to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Theatreworks’ original play, "I am Nikola Tesla."

"The Devil in the White City," one of the titles featured in this year’s program, features the 1893 fair in Chicago as the setting for its plot. Famous personalities involved in the fair included Buffalo Bill and Harry Houdini. Inventions and innovations introduced at the fair included the Ferris wheel and Cracker Jack, and electric lighting made its large scale debut.

On Sept. 22 there was an adult program featuring the film "Make No Little Plans" and a discussion about Daniel Burnham, chief architect of the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago and designer of the national mall in Washington, D.C., and other prominent city planning projects in this country and abroad.

Children’s programs at Monument in October will feature Snow Bubble with Jim Jackson from the Manitou Art Theater. Drawing upon the Caldecott Medal-winning book "Snowflake Bentley," which reveals the life of Wilson Bentley and his obsession with snowflakes, Snow Bubble imagines a meeting between Wilson and his photographer and the clown Mr. Guffaw as they compare their worlds of snowflakes and soap bubbles. Art, science, and comedy collide in this look at the beauty of two common but special aspects of nature. The program is at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 9.

On Friday, Oct. 22, from 4 to 5 p.m., come to the library for Not So Scary Stories, Halloween tales that won’t keep you up at night. Wear a costume if you dare. There will be treats and crafts following the stories.

Teens and tweens can enjoy a number of programs during October.

Kids ages 9-12 are invited to read the book "Guardians of Ga’Hoole" by Kathryn Lasky and discuss it and its upcoming movie on Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. There will be crafts, snacks, and a chance to win a pass to see the movie. Register online or call 488-2370.

Tweens ages 11-14 are invited to learn acting techniques and skills from the experts of Tin Roof Productions on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 10:30 a.m. to noon or 1:30 to 3 p.m. There are two workshops to choose from, but space is limited, so register online or call 488-2370.

Teens 12-18 can celebrate the All Pikes Peak Reads spirit of innovation by building a machine of their own creation out of interesting and sometimes silly random parts at Build a Better Mousetrap on Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 3:30 until 5:30 p.m. Please register online or call 488-2370.

Adults who feel they have been staring at a blank page for too long might be interested in a writing seminar, Crushing the Writer’s Block. Your excuses will be eliminated and you will be inspired to get organized and write. Geared toward the novice memoir-writer, anyone could use this program to jump-start a personal project. The program will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 2. Register online or call 488-2370.

Also on Oct. 2, join us to hear Richard Marold portray Nikola Tesla and discuss his residence in Colorado Springs and his inventions. He invented, developed, or imagined the technology that brought us electricity, remote control, neon and fluorescent lighting, radio transmission, and much more. Following the discussion, view a PBS documentary about Tesla. The program will be held from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Monumental Readers book group will meet on Friday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. to discuss "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory. New members are welcome and no registration is required.

Tin Roof Productions will bring its production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" to the library on Sunday, Oct. 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. This Victorian-era play by Oscar Wilde is sure to delight the audience.

On the wall during October will be Lifelike Pet Portraits by Colorado Springs artist Simone Farley, who specializes in pastels of dogs, cats, and horses.

In the display case will be Empty Bowls, Full Pantry, a collection of handcrafted pottery bowls from local artists highlighting Monument Hill Kiwanis’ annual community fundraiser benefiting Tri-Lakes Cares. The dinner will be held on Oct. 13.

Palmer Lake events

Palmer Lake’s October Family Fun event features a visit by Marilyn Burlage of MJB Miniature Donkeys. Come to meet these charming animals, learn about their history, and enjoy a story and a craft. The program will be Saturday, Oct. 16, at 10:30 a.m.

The Palmer Lake Knitting Group meets each Thursday from 10 a.m. until noon. Bring your knitting project and enjoy the company of other knitters. Cheri Monsen, expert knitter, will be there to answer questions.

Come to the library to read with our Paws to Read dogs. In October, Jax the Newfoundland will be at the library on Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. until noon. On Thursday, Oct. 21, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., read with Misty, the tiny Sheltie. On Saturday, Oct. 23, from 11 a.m. until noon, read with Kirby, a quiet golden retriever. Read with the dogs and choose a prize.

In a dark, dark room lit only by candles, stories and special effects will send chills and shivers up your spine and tickle your funny bone with tongue-in-cheek tales. Come enjoy Stories in the Dark, only for the brave ages 8 and up. Programs last 45 minutes on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Palmer Lake Town Hall.

The Palmer Lake Book Group will meet on Friday, Nov. 5, to discuss "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" by Dai Sijie. New members are always welcome, and no registration is necessary.

On the walls in Palmer Lake will be Expressions of Beauty-Shared!, a photography exhibit by Laurisa Photography.

We hope to see you at the library!

See the photos on page 33 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Palmer Lake Historical Society, Sept. 16: Author finds history in pioneer cemeteries

By Bernard L. Minetti

The Sept. 16 meeting of the Palmer Lake Historical Society was highlighted by a presentation about Colorado pioneer cemeteries by Laura Moncrief, author, researcher, and lecturer. Moncrief said she became interested in genealogy after retiring to her home in Florissant in 2004. She lived a few miles from the Florissant cemetery, and that became the focus of her initial research.

With her daughters Tosca and Amy Lee, Moncrief began looking into the backgrounds of the pioneers who were interred there. The three spent many hours at libraries, small county courthouses, newspaper archives and other local pioneer cemeteries to discern the histories of those people.

Moncrief said that those buried in the cemeteries included participants in the early California gold rush, those seeking to live in the clean and healthful environment of the Colorado high country, and those who just had the wanderlust to travel westward. Some came to distance themselves from sadness and experiences that best be forgotten.

Many pioneers settled in the area around Florissant, which is about 30 miles west of Colorado Springs on U.S. 24. She surmised that they were "following their dream" by heading westward into the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Many were immigrants from foreign countries, while there were also "immigrants" from other states and territories in the United States.

Moncrief said that after the first gold rush, and the establishment of the Colorado Territory in 1861, the pioneers rushed west to take advantage of the Homestead Act passed by Congress in 1862. During this time, she said, James Castello was the first resident of Florissant. He came from Missouri and named the site Florissant after his hometown in that state.

In 1876, when Colorado became a state, there were approximately 70 residents in this town. The Florissant Cemetery Association was formed in 1886 by Frank Castello, John Wilson, and Valentine Hamman, who were also early residents of Florissant.

Moncrief stated that with all the information that she acquired while researching with Nancy M. Boyd, a close friend, they decided to co-author a book containing the various personal histories of these pioneers. The intent was to provide a one-stop short biographical notation of the many pioneers who were residents at that time and were interred in the area.

Proceeds from book sales, she stated, will provide headstones for unmarked graves in local cemeteries. The book is titled Florissant, Colorado Pioneer Cemetery— The stories behind the tombstones.

**********

On Oct, 21, the Historical Society will present "The Life of Julia Archibald Holmes." Holmes was the first woman to climb Pikes Peak. The presenter will be Kathy Sturdevant. This event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Palmer Lake Town Hall.

See the photo on page 34 in the on-line version of this issue.

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Chamber now coordinates Crawford Memorial project

By Bernard L. Minetti

Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce President Dave Van Ness says that coordination and fiscal responsibility of the Crawford Memorial construction project in Palmer Lake now is a function of a chamber committee. Van Ness stated that the Chamber Foundation is the fiscal agent for the collection, distribution, and accountability of funds that are associated with the memorial.

He said that the foundation offered complete transparency and accountability of funds. He further stated that the chamber is a 501(c)(3) organization and contributions to the memorial effort are eligible for tax deductions.

The memorial idea was initiated by Duane Hanson, a Palmer Lake resident. Hanson knew Master Sgt. William J. Crawford personally and felt that as a Medal of Honor winner, it would be appropriate that he be honored and memorialized by the community he lived in. Hanson approached the Palmer Lake Historical Society for advice and direction. An unofficial committee was then formed external to the Historical Society. Van Ness offered the chamber’s umbrella of fiscal accountability and responsibility to the group to facilitate solicitation of funding.

For further information, contact the chamber at 719-481-3282.

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Monument VFW Post 7829, Sept. 21: Candidates address Tri-Lakes veterans

By Bernard L. Minetti

Monument VFW Post 7829 Commander Tony Wolusky has implemented a policy that extends an open invitation to all candidates who are up for election to speak to the Tri-Lakes veterans. On Sept. 21, Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes and Tom Mowle, Democratic candidate for El Paso County clerk and recorder, accepted the invitation. Representatives from the local American Legion contingent were among about 40 people at the meeting.

Maes addressed the veterans at length, citing three of his primary platform planks. He stated that he wanted to re-energize Colorado’s economy, reduce government spending, and enforce existing immigration laws. He was adamant that he would retain his conservative positions even if they are in conflict with the Republican leadership. He also stated that he was opposed to Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61.

Maes said that restructuring the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission would work toward a more energy-friendly regulatory environment that would help to drive energy tax revenues to the highest in the state’s history while encouraging new energy models.

Under the present administration, Maes said, over 10,000 jobs had been lost in Colorado because of the present state energy policy. Each of these jobs averaged $75,000 to $85,000 in wages. Maes also stated that one of his first priorities, if elected, would be to unfreeze property taxes so that property taxation would be more realistic to present circumstances.

Retired Air Force Maj. Mowle, who is presently an El Paso County public trustee, said it was very important that integrity and accountability be returned to the office of county clerk and recorder. He would seek to contract out work that could be made more cost effective through the free market, and he would improve access to recorded documents utilizing the Internet.

Mowle received applause when he stated that he wanted to seek a way to provide for credit card use without fees to access Internet auto registrations, license renewals, and other situations where credit card use could improve efficiency. He said he was puzzled that the present administration could not understand that credit card use is much cheaper than utilizing employees who have to be paid a lot more than the credit card fees.

Women’s Auxiliary members needed

Wolusky briefly discussed post business. He stated that the recently approved Women’s Auxiliary still needed members to officially qualify for continuation. Interested women should contact Martine Arndt at 719-487-9225.

Wolusky said the last Hungry Heroes action was very successful. In this case, Tri-Lakes VFW veterans were at the Colorado Springs airport to greet returning service personnel with hamburgers and soft drinks. This was initiated because the airlines rarely serve food on their flights.

He also recounted the efforts of the VFW members to assist the veterans in the Pueblo Veterans’ Nursing Home by bringing them ball caps and T-shirts. He stated the veterans were extremely appreciative of the effort by the Monument VFW unit.

Tancredo speaks at special meeting

Wolusky called a special meeting on Friday, Sept. 24, so that members could hear and question American Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo. Tancredo voiced his support for conservative positions on the need to create jobs, lower taxes, ensure fiscal responsibility for the state, and to enforce immigration statutes.

Tancredo said he had held many governmental elected and appointed positions in service to the state of Colorado. He added that he would rescind the executive order issued by Gov. Bill Ritter that unionized state workers and authorized the collection of union dues. He said he would veto any legislation that violated the second amendment of the federal Constitution and any attempts to limit TABOR, which requires a vote of the citizens to raise any taxes.

Upcoming events

On Oct. 14, the post will participate in a Colorado Springs Veterans Stand Down, which is a joint effort with other veterans’ support groups. This effort will seek to provide winter clothing, health checks, meals and showers, etc., for homeless local veterans.

On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, Monument VFW Post members will be selling "Buddy Poppies" at King Soopers and Safeway. The traditional little red poppies are made by hospitalized veterans in an effort to support themselves. The poppy has become a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and is worn to honor the men and women who served and died for their country in all wars.

The next meeting of the Monument VFW Post 7829 will be at the Depot Restaurant in Palmer Lake on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. Invitations are extended to all VFW members and non-member veterans who reside in the Tri-Lakes area.

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Special Events and Notices

By Judy Barnes, Editor Emeritus

Although we strive for accuracy in these listings, dates or times are often changed after publication. Please double-check the time and place of any event you wish to attend by calling the info number for that event.

Tri-Lakes Community Rally, Oct. 6

Learn about ballot initiatives 60, 61, and 101 and their impact on our business community, fire departments, Sheriff’s Office, library district, and our school community. Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a rally Oct. 6, 6-8 p.m., at the District 38 Administration Building, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Speakers from Coloradans for Responsible Reform, Pikes Peak Association of Realtors, Monument Branch–Pikes Peak Library District, Monument Police Department, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire District, School District 38, and Monument Academy will discuss the far-reaching effects of the three initiatives. For more information, call the chamber at 481-3282.

Empty Bowl Dinner and Silent Auction, Oct. 13

Monument Hill Kiwanis, Key Club, and School District 38 present this fundraiser for Tri-Lakes Cares Oct. 13, 5-7:30 p.m., in the Lewis-Palmer High School Commons Area, 1300 Higby Rd., Monument. Home-cooked soup, bread, and dessert are served in bowls handcrafted by local artists, and you get to keep yours! One child under age 12 is free with a purchased ticket. Tickets, $20, may be purchased at the door or in advance in Monument at Covered Treasures Bookstore, Second and Washington Streets; at High Country Home & Garden, 243 Washington St.; at Second Street Art Gallery, 366 Second St.; at Tri-Lakes Printing, Woodmoor Center; at Hangers, 341 Front St.; and in Palmer Lake at Rock House Ice Cream & More, 24 Highway 105; or call Bonnie Biggs at 651-1946.

Tri-Lakes Annual Health Fair, Oct. 23

This year’s 9Health Fair will be held Oct. 23, 7 a.m. to noon at Palmer Ridge High School, 19255 Monument Hill Rd., Monument. The event is presented by Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership, the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, and 9Health Fair.

9Health Fair screenings include a 28 panel blood draw $30 (a $175 value; fast for 12 hours prior to the blood draw), PSA $25, blood count screening $15 and colon cancer screening (take home kit) $20. Flu shots will be available for $25, flu mist $35. Free screenings and exams include body mass index, blood pressure, hearing, oral, skin cancer, bone health, nutrition, lung function, breast exams, child and adult vision screening, and HeartSmartKids heart screening. Also available will be free consultations with a health professional and pharmacist. Health professionals will help each participant decide on the screenings that are most appropriate for them.

Numerous nonprofits will be present to provide information, including AARP, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Family Services, Pikes Peak Al-Anon, Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging, Tobacco Education, Health Advocacy Partnership, Tri-Lakes Cares, Pikes Peak Library District, Child Health Care Network, and CHP+.

To volunteer, participate, or provide financial support, contact the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce at 481-3282 or visit the websites at www.trilakeschamber.org or www.9Healthfair.org. More information about the 2010 Tri-Lakes Annual Health Fair and the services offered is available at the Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership website, www.TriLakesHAP.org

Wine and Roses, Nov. 5

The Tri-Lakes Women’s Club will present Wine and Roses, its annual wine tasting fundraiser, Nov. 5, 6-9:30 p.m., at the Air Force Academy Blue & Silver Press Box. The evening features wines arranged by The Wine Seller, on-site chefs, a silent auction, and celebrity wine pourers. Proceeds benefit the Tri-Lakes community. Tickets are available for the first time this year online. For more information, visit www.tlwc.net

A Patriotic Christmas Marketplace, Nov. 7

Help Tri-Lakes Networking Team stuff boxes filled with cheer and the comforts of home for service-members stationed overseas this Christmas season. Nov. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., bring your donated items to Sundance Mountain Athletic Center, 1808 Woodmoor Dr, Monument to fill more than 40 boxes being delivered through the non-profit Adopt-a-Platoon. Enjoy great holiday shopping with locally-made crafts, foods, jewelry, and more! Hourly door prizes, entertainment, and a children’s zone coloring contest are also part of the fun. Broken Bones BBQ will be on site for a great lunchtime meal! Soldiers’ most wanted items: refill baby wipes, athlete’s foot powder, dark green or black socks, quart-size Ziplocs, and Twizzlers. Visit www.trilakesnetworkingteam.com for a complete list of acceptable items. Info: e-mail trilakesnetworkingteam@gmail.com

Handbell ringers needed for holiday concert

The Tri-Lakes Community Handbell Choir is seeking handbell ringers, especially people with strong arms to help with the larger bells. High school students or adults are encouraged to participate. If you are interested, contact Betty Jenik at 488-3853 or e-mail ljenik@comcast.net

Help on the way for heating bills

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) helps residents struggling to pay their home heating bills. LEAP benefits provide assistance to help families with their heating bills but are not intended to pay the entire bill. Last winter, 15,999 households in El Paso County received help from the LEAP program. The eligibility period for LEAP runs from Nov. 1 through April 30. Applications are accepted each year during the eligibility period. Application packets will automatically be mailed to residents who received LEAP assistance last year at the address where they were living at that time. For more information about LEAP benefits, call 1-866 HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435).

Sheriff’s Office announces YouTube channel

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office now uses its own YouTube channel to share information on recent events and provide information on numerous office resources. The YouTube channel can be accessed from the front page of the Sheriff’s Office website, http://shr.elpasoco.com, or directly at www.youtube.com/EPCSheriff. This YouTube channel will have a variety of informational videos posted. Currently available are the full press briefing conducted July 8 regarding the Monument death investigation, information on the full-scale mass casualty exercise "NOAA’s ARK," and an informational piece on the Sheriff’s Citizen Patrol.

Donala’s Customer Assistance Program

The Donala Water & Sanitation District offers a customer assistance program in conjunction with Tri-Lakes Cares to help Donala customers in financial hardship, unable to pay their water and sewer bills. The Donala Customer Assistance Program (DCAP) will be funded from Donala customers who approve a donation of 50 cents to $1 per month on their monthly water bills. Applications for assistance can be picked up at the Donala office at 15850 Holbein Dr. in Gleneagle or at Tri-Lakes Cares (TLC) in Monument. Donala will provide account history and TLC will determine assistance eligibility. Participation from the donor side is voluntary and can be cancelled by the donor at any time. For more information, call 488-3603.

Farmers markets in our community

The Original Monument Farmers Market is open every Saturday through Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Monument Plaza (481 Highway 105, behind Starbucks). For information, call 213-3323.

Monument Hill Farmers Market is open every Saturday through Oct. 30, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., at Grace Best School and the D-38 Administration Building at Second and Jefferson Streets in downtown Monument. Fifty-plus vendors offer food, produce, home décor items, crafts, honey, jewelry, furniture, pet products, and more. For information, call 592-9420.

Palmer Lake Farmers Market is open every Sunday through Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Highway 105 by the lake, at the Gazebo. For information, call 213-3323.

Another farmers market is at the entrance to the Western Museum of Mining & Industry, in front of the red farmhouse every Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., with fresh vegetables from Pueblo farms, breads, meats, and more. For information, call 488-0880 or visit www.wmmi.org

Bears about; Take precautions to avoid conflicts

Bears will exploit any available food supply, including garbage, pet food, birdseed, and home and restaurant table scraps. When people fail to store garbage, pet food, or bird feeders properly, bears will find those sources and cause conflicts in residential and business areas. Bears that become habituated to human food sources can be dangerous and often must be euthanized. Many communities in bear country have ordinances regarding trash storage that apply to wildlife, so abide by those rules. Detailed precautions you can take can be found at http://wildlife.state.co.us/. To report bear problems, contact your local Colorado Division of Wildlife office, 227-5200, or local law enforcement.

Tri-Lakes HAP Senior Center has fun programs!

The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) Senior Citizens Center is next to the Lewis-Palmer High School Stadium (across from the YMCA) and is open 1-4 p.m., Mon.-Fri. and earlier for scheduled activities. The facility has a lounge, craft room, game room, and multipurpose room. Programs include pinochle, Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon to 4 p.m.; Tai Chi for Health, Fridays, 10:30 a.m.; National Mah-jongg, Fridays, 1-4 p.m.; line dancing, first and second Wednesdays, 1-2 p.m.; bridge, second and fourth Thursdays, 1-4 p.m.; tea time, third Tuesday, 1-3 p.m.; bingo, third Wednesday, 12:30-3 p.m.; crafts, third Thursdays, 1-3 p.m.; no-cash/no host poker, second and fourth Fridays, 1-4 p.m. Also available at the center are ping-pong, Wii video games, various puzzles and board games, refreshments, a lending library, computers with Internet connections, and an information table. For more information about programs for seniors, visit www.TriLakesSeniors.org

Tri-Lakes Cares Thrift Shop in Monument

Hangers—Your Thrift Shop is now open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 341 Front St., Monument. Shop for gently used clothing, books, and household items. Proceeds from Hangers will be used to promote the ongoing mission of Tri-Lakes Cares, a community-based nonprofit. For more information, call 488-2300 or visit the Tri-Lakes Cares Web site, www.trilakescares.org

Tri-Lakes HAP Thrift Store: new location

The new store is located at 790 Highway 105 #D in Palmer Lake. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Weekly specials, books, antiques, clothing, and more! The thrift store is a project of the Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) to raise funds and resources for Tri-Lakes Senior Citizen Program activities, provide volunteer opportunities for Tri-Lakes residents, and offer affordable merchandise to all Tri-Lakes residents. For more information, to donate items, or to volunteer, call 488-3495.

Senior Beat newsletter—subscribe for free!

Each monthly Senior Beat newsletter is full of information for local seniors, including the daily menu of the senior lunches offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in Monument. It also contains the schedule of the classes and events for the month at the Senior Citizens Center. There are also articles and notices of events geared toward senior citizens. To subscribe to the free newsletter, send an e-mail with your name and mailing address to SeniorBeat@TriLakesSeniors.org. Senior Beat can also be viewed online at www.TriLakesHAP.org

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