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Vol. 14 No. 10 - October 4, 2014


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Contents

This page contains only the text of the articles and columns in this issue. To see the photos and captions including the Snapshots of Our Community section, view the on-line version above or download the PDFs whose links follow this table of contents.

the PDF file. This is a 21.3 Mbyte high-resolution file with color photos.

individual pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

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Nine named to D-38 Hall of Fame

By Harriet Halbig

Many community members came to Lewis-Palmer High School on Sept. 20 to recognize nine individuals who have contributed to the excellence of Lewis-Palmer School District 38. This was the second year of the Lewis-Palmer Hall of Fame.

Inez Johnson Lewis

A special Legacy Award was presented to Inez Johnson Lewis, whose name is on the building now known as Big Red. Lewis served during a time when the county began with 58 separate school districts, a number reduced to 18 by the time she went on to serve as the state’s superintendent of public instruction. She was the superintendent for El Paso County schools from 1908 until 1928.

By consolidating many rural districts with single schoolhouses, Lewis made it possible for more students to achieve the goal of a high school diploma. Among the innovations under her tenure were the guarantee of safe drinking water for each school, introduction of preschools, adult education and vocational school, and the development of school lunch and transportation programs.

Dwight "Ted" Bauman

Dwight "Ted" Bauman was recognized for his service as principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent of schools three times, first in 1998-2003, then again as interim superintendent in 2010-11 and 2014. Bauman came to the district from Canon City and was hired as the first principal of Ray E. Kilmer Elementary School in 1988. He was known for his ability to foster teamwork among all members of the staff.

Bauman worked with district leaders, parents, and teachers to develop the district’s performance standards and the guiding principles. He fostered good relationships between the community and schools and frequently visited schools and attended sports and arts events.

Avis Barbour Cook

Avis Barbour Cook was an elementary teacher in the years 1975-2002. She taught many enrichment classes, Great Books, art, and science. She pioneered gifted and talented education, sponsored family geography nights, and was recognized by the National Geographic Society. Cook was instrumental in bringing the Imagination Celebration to District 38 and sponsored theatrical and musical performances for elementary school children.

Teachers with whom she worked found her to be supportive, inspiring, and fun. One of her third-graders once said, "Being in Mrs. Cook’s class is just like going to Mr. Wizard!"

Dr. Jeffery Ferguson

Dr. Jeffery Ferguson served on the Board of Education from 1987 to 2003 and from 2009 to 2013. He served as board president for 10 years during that time. His focus was always on the students and what was best for them. He was twice awarded the McGuffey Award by the Colorado Association of School Boards for committed and passionate service.

Ferguson’s time on the school board included periods of rapid growth when three new elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school were built. During this time the district adopted guidelines to work with a charter academy, and four ballot issues were passed for funds to build Prairie Winds Elementary and Creekside Middle School.

During his tenure from 2009 to 2013, the district faced severe funding shortages. Ferguson fought to keep the cuts from directly impacting the students and teachers whenever possible.

Ferguson stresses that it’s imperative not to lose touch with the heritage of the district, because the tradition of excellence "didn’t just happen. It’s the result of a lot of people in the trenches that worked to make it exceptional".

Dr. Genevieve Garcia

Dr. Genevieve Garcia came to the district as a kindergarten teacher in 1972. At that time there was no established curriculum for kindergarten, and she developed a curriculum including writing and math. She also organized testing and screening for kindergarten students. She created a monthly story hour for preschool children so that they would be more comfortable entering school.

She taught for 13 years and then became principal at Palmer Lake Elementary. She was the first female principal in the district and oversaw the reconstruction and reopening of the school. In 1995 she oversaw the conversion of Lewis-Palmer Middle School to Grace Best Elementary.

Victor Garcia

Victor Garcia has always viewed teaching as a calling. He began teaching at Lewis-Palmer High School in 1968. During his time there he developed and taught a number of history classes, including Advanced Placement American History, sponsoring many field trips around the state. He also started Spanish classes and took classes to Mexico during the summer to apply what they had learned.

In addition to traditional classes, Garcia built a dark room so that he could offer photography classes, which led to the creation of the school TV station, and took students to visit TV stations and video companies. He also developed a web writing and design class.

Garcia coached a variety of sports and brought boys soccer to Lewis-Palmer in 1983 and girls soccer in 1984. He received several Coach of the Year awards during his career, including National Coach of the Year in 2001.

He served on the North Central Accreditation Committee, curriculum development, and principal selection committees. He mentored 20 student teachers.

Amy J. O’Dair

Amy J. O’Dair served the district as a volunteer at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels for 25 years. She began in 1979 at Lewis-Palmer Elementary where she was active in the PTO and accountability programs. She became a longtime member and chairperson of the Lewis-Palmer District Accountability Committee, which worked to improve education and the well-being of students.

O’Dair organized many programs funded by grants that she wrote. She spearheaded the At-Risk Transition Committee, which eased the transition between middle and high school. She wrote guidelines for volunteers throughout the district and served as the coordinator for the Tri-Lakes Health Advisory Committee and the Tri-Lakes Center for D-38 Students. She initiated Drug-Free Youth, a program that involved peer counseling about substance abuse prevention.

O’Dair also collaborated with the Air Force Academy, resulting in cadets providing weekly tutoring sessions for secondary students. Equine Assisted Therapy was introduced to the district through her efforts and grant funds were used to partner with law enforcement and firefighters.

Dr. Dallas Strawn

Dr. Dallas Strawn came to the district as the assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Staff Development in 1984. Using his classroom experience, he was instrumental in teaching training classes and development of curriculum guides for all content areas at all levels. He created a five-year curriculum review guide to ensure that the district remained comprehensive, and a teacher evaluation process that encouraged professional growth. This process became the prototype for many districts throughout the state.

Strawn became superintendent in 1990. The student population of the district doubled between his arrival in 1984 and his departure in 1998. This growth presented challenges in providing sufficient facilities and staff to ensure that the Lewis-Palmer culture could be consistently maintained through all the changes involved.

Strawn presided as Palmer Lake Elementary was renovated and reopened, as Lewis-Palmer Middle School became Grace Best Elementary, and as Kilmer Elementary was opened. The new middle school was built and Lewis-Palmer High School received two new additions.

Strawn contributed to the creation of the district’s core values and oversaw the development of special education programs, making it possible for students to receive services in their neighborhood schools.

Dolores "Dodi" Whitelaw

Dolores "Dodi" Whitelaw served on the Board of Education between 1981 and 1990. With a background in public relations, her philosophy was that frequent communication was the key to solutions of many problems. As president of the Board of Education during six of her years in office, this communication served to help the board arrive at decisions more effectively.

The Colorado Department of Education inspected district schools in 1988 and commended Whitelaw and the board for great vision in dealing with "a community, an economy, and a school district that is changing in many ways" and for "giving administrators freedom to grow and reach out for excellence."

Whitelaw sought to bring technology to the district, telling her colleagues that "computers are here, they’re going to be everywhere, we just don’t know it yet." The first computer purchased by the district was used for maintaining student records with networking capability for six work stations.

The gifted and talented education program was initiated during Whitelaw’s tenure.

The ceremony was moderated by former Lewis-Palmer High School Principal and former Superintendent John Borman and former teacher and Principal Caryn Collette. Borman’s interest in the history of the district and preservation of artifacts and records contributed to the founding of the Hall of Fame.

Harriet Halbig may be reached at harriethalbig@ocn.me.

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El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, Sept. 2: Stormwater drainage fee set for ballot

By Allison Colburn

On Sept. 2, the El Paso Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) as well as ballot language regarding possible funding for the proposed Pikes Peak Regional Drainage Authority (PPRDA). If the ballot measure passes in November, the PPRDA, governed by a board of elected officials representing El Paso County, Colorado Springs, Fountain, and Green Mountain Falls, would serve to plan and coordinate regional stormwater management over the course of the next 20 years.

Neither Monument nor Palmer Lake is part of this IGA. Residents of El Paso County will vote in November whether or not to approve the ballot measure funding the PPRDA. (See Woodmoor article.)

Commissioner Amy Lathen said, "This recognizes our obligation to our downstream neighbors, and it recognizes that we simply can’t afford to spend money over and over again fixing roads, bridges, trails, and utility lines damaged by uncontrolled stormwater."

The board presented a list of over 100 projects and improvements to be completed in the next several years. While the majority of proposed improvements are concentrated in Colorado Springs, a few involve the Tri-Lakes area. The board suggested stormwater management improvements in Gleneagle/Northgate and Woodmoor, as well as a channel stabilization project for Kettle Creek, which was deemed necessary after the Black Forest Fire.

The priority of these projects may shift as storms and flood events dictate over the course of the agreement. Areas in need of improvement were identified and prioritized by a citizen-led task force that was formed two years ago.

The task force held public outreach meetings and met with residents, business groups, and nonprofits to develop a plan to finance the stormwater management projects, which would be funded by a fee, if approved by county residents this November. The fee per property will be determined based upon a property’s total impervious surface (a surface that is resistant to water infiltration, such as concrete), impervious surface density (the ratio of impervious surface to total surface area), land use, and ownership.

For the average homeowner, this results in a fee of $7.70 per month, $92.40 annually. No more than 1 percent of gross revenue would be used for administrative expenses, while 55 percent would be used for capital improvements, 35 percent for operation and maintenance, and 10 percent for emergency and planning needs. http://www.ocn.me/v14n7.htm#mbot0616.

The ballot question will include specific provisions to ensure that the 55 percent of the PPRDA revenue that is designated for building new infrastructure cannot extend beyond 20 years without reauthorization through a public vote. As well, Commissioner Chair Dennis Hisey stated that the rate paid for impervious surface will not increase. Collection of the fees would not begin until 2016 and total revenue would not exceed $39.27 million for 2016.

The PPRDA would consist of 11 directors elected from the jurisdictions in the IGA. Two directors would be appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, five by the Colorado Springs Mayor and City Council, one by Fountain, one by Manitou, one by Green Mountain Falls, and the other director will be the mayor of Colorado Springs. The majority of the projects would take place in Colorado Springs, which is why Springs officials will make up the majority representation. All major decisions by the PPRDA will require approval by a super majority.

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For more information on Tri-Lakes-area entities and the proposed PPRDA, see www.ocn.me/v14n6.htm#MBoT0505,www.ocn.me/v14n7.htm#mbot0616, and www.ocn.me/v14n8.htm#dwsd0717.

Allison Colburn can be reached at allisoncolburn@ocn.me.

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Lewis-Palmer District 38 Board of Education, Sept. 17: Board updates drug and alcohol policy, discusses changes in assessments

By Harriet Halbig

The Board of Education of Lewis-Palmer District 38 announced revisions to the drug and alcohol policy and discussed the ongoing review of its policies and methods of governance during its Sept. 17 meeting.

Superintendent Karen Brofft explained the ongoing review of policies that encompass the board’s operating procedures, the manner of election and organization, and the district’s communications policy. The policies were distributed to the board and comments solicited.

Secretary Robb Pike recommended that, in reviewing the policies, the board should keep in mind the values of the district and suggested that the policy document be preceded by a preamble stating those values.

Drug and alcohol use policy revised

Director of Personnel and Student Services Bob Foster reported on minor revisions to the policy on drug and alcohol use by students to bring it into compliance with state law.

Foster said that the revisions would include possession or procurement of substances on school property. He stressed that district officials must be aware of developments in manufacture of drugs and said that possession of paraphernalia with or without drugs is forbidden.

Foster also said that the policy is in effect during school sponsored outings such as field trips or away games.

Assessment report

Director of Assessment and Gifted Education Lori Benton and Director of Curriculum Sheila Beving reviewed the development of Colorado standards and the assessments used to measure achievement. They enumerated the various tests in use to measure achievement and indicated that, although specific assessments are required by the state, each district develops its own curriculum.

Benton reviewed such recent changes as the introduction of post-secondary and workforce readiness, vertical and horizontal connections to ensure complete coverage of subject matter without duplication, and the intention for students to be able to speak about and understand subject matter and original sources.

Benton also said that the school and district performance frameworks are being reviewed and may be altered to include gifted populations as a separate group.

Brofft said that the results of last spring’s assessments in social studies and science will be released in October.

Brofft also expressed concern at the level of disinformation about the use of Common Core standards in the curriculum and said that the district should communicate with the community about the value of assessments in general and de-emphasize Common Core in the discussion.

Student count and budget report

Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman reported that on opening day the district had 112 students fewer than projected. Neighboring districts reported a similar decline in student population.

Wangeman said that one strong point in the district is the growth of the Home School Academy, which now serves grades K through 8 and has grown by the equivalent of 13 students over last year.

Wangeman said the budget is being reviewed to determine what adjustments can be made to compensate for the lack of revenue due to the lower student count. She said that some capital improvements may be delayed and reminded the board that the district must wait to see how much revenue will come from the specific ownership tax.

Change in board governance

The board voted to rescind the use of a policy governance model and to adopt a school board governance system.

After action report on crisis response

Brofft reported on the district’s response to the recent deaths of two Palmer Ridge High School students in a traffic accident. She said that she was pleased with the process of notification and said that there was a great team effort on the part of both high school principals and other staff and counselors from this and neighboring districts to allow students to get the help they needed and time for reflection.

She said that Foster was able to identify those closest to the victims and that Community Relations Manager Robin Adair connected with the community and media.

Many members of the board also commented that the atmosphere at the Lewis-Palmer versus Palmer Ridge football game was one of solidarity and respect.

Staff update

Foster distributed a list of terminated staff from the 2013-14 school year and new hires. He said that the district’s teachers are often a little older than those of other districts because Lewis-Palmer prefers to hire teachers with experience and advanced degrees.

He assured the board that there is always a core group of senior teachers to acquaint new hires with the guiding principles of the district. He expressed some concern that fewer people seek a career in education than previously.

Foster said that the district is working to actively recruit teachers from the STEM (science technology engineering and math) program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and other sources.

Foster also said that, beginning in the 2015-16 school year, teachers hired from another district will retain their non-probationary status.

Adopt 38 update

Wangeman introduced Georgina Gittins, a parent from Bear Creek Elementary who facilitated the creation of the Adopt D-38 program allowing individuals or businesses to adopt a classroom or school to support its activities. Since the founding of the program, over $100,000 has been donated throughout the district.

Mann to be recognized by state group

Treasurer John Magerko reported that Vice President John Mann has been selected to receive the McGuffey award from the Colorado Association of School Boards in recognition of his committed and passionate service through work on the school board. Mann was recognized for his efforts to prevent budget cuts from reaching the classroom during the recession.

**********

The Board of Education of Lewis-Palmer District 38 meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in the district’s Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. The next meeting will be on Oct.16.

Harriet Halbig may be reached at harriethalbig@ocn.me.

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Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Accountability Advisory Committee, Sept. 9: Vision statement in the works; new staff evaluations described

By Harriet Halbig

The District Accountability Advisory Committee (DAAC) of Lewis-Palmer School District 38 discussed its goals for the year and developments in the new staff evaluation process during its Sept. 9 meeting.

The committee is now under the leadership of Beckie Worthington, chair, and Margie Frostman, vice chair. Worthington has been a resident of the district for four years and chose to live here on the basis of the district’s reputation. Frostman is an employee of the district.

Superintendent Karen Brofft spoke of work sessions with the Board of Education and staff to set goals and priorities for the district. She showed a video of Simon Sinek, author and motivational speaker, talking about why actions are taken in addition to what actions are taken and how they are taken. He used the example of Apple Computers, whose philosophy challenges the status quo and creates exceptionally innovative and exciting products. Although other companies manufacture telephones and computers and MP3 players, Apple’s sales are superior due to its philosophy and the excitement it creates, Sinek said.

By the same token, Brofft said she and the board were working to create a vision statement for the district that includes a belief in local, national, and global stewardship to create strong citizens who will secure a better world. This is why the district educates its students, Brofft said.

Combined with the traditional emphasis on student achievement, community engagement, and development of the whole child, the vision statement will be used as a basis for an overall approach to education. In addition to speaking with the board and staff, Brofft said that the community will also be asked to support the vision.

With this vision in mind, Brofft and others will examine various data and revise board policies to contribute to achieving the goal set forth in the vision. Meetings will be ongoing throughout the year.

Staff evaluation procedure update

Director of Personnel and Student Services Bob Foster gave an evaluation update, saying there had been little change since his last report in May. State Senate Bill 191 requires that half of a teacher’s evaluation be tied to student performance. The other half must be based on professional practices. Performance data are based on individual test scores and school and district performance frameworks, including such other factors as postsecondary and workforce readiness and graduation and dropout rates.

Foster stressed that 70 percent of the staff cannot be evaluated on the basis of test scores. These individuals include teachers in grades K-3, PE and music, and physical and occupational therapists, among others.

Art, music, and physical education teachers worked together in each category to create their own evaluation framework. Each such framework must then be approved by state officials.

Each teacher is subject to a number of evaluations each year, beginning with an annual orientation, self-assessment, review of goals by way of a 27-element rubric, observation by supervisors, and mid-year and final reviews. Foster stressed that feedback between staff and principals is ongoing. Two years of ineffective performance by a teacher results in loss of nonprobationary status.

Teachers who are rated accomplished and exemplary are identified through outstanding student achievement.

Foster said that the goal is to do what the district feels is right while remaining compliant with state and federal standards.

Foster and Director of Assessment and Gifted Education Lori Benton also explained a way in which teachers who serve underperforming populations such as English language learners, disabled individuals, and those qualifying for free/reduced-price lunch can receive credit for growing these individuals at an accelerated rate per year despite the fact that their scores may not reach grade level. Benton said that the district wishes to honor these individuals for their efforts to teach these populations.

The 2014-15 school year is the first in which the entire state will use this system. District 38 utilized the system last year in order to become familiar with it.

Board liaison John Magerko reported that the board is striving to forge connections with local businesses and set short-term goals such as a review of the district’s communication procedures and a review of district policies by the Colorado Association of School Boards.

Magerko said that the board is concerned with rates of absence among students, saying that even two or three days a month could set some students back an entire year in achievement.

Benton spoke briefly about DAAC’s charge, including advising the board on evaluation practices and budgetary policies. She stressed that the committee may provide input but may not impede the workings of the district.

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The District Accountability Advisory Committee meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. The next meeting will be on Oct. 14 in the district’s Learning enter, 146 Jefferson St. in Monument

Harriet Halbig can be reached at harriethalbig@ocn.me.

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El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, Sept. 23: BOCC regains Office of Emergency Management from Sheriff’s Office

By Lisa Hatfield

After a discussing a proposed campground land use variance for over three hours on Sept. 23, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), county staff members, and Sheriff’s Office and community representatives spent two hours discussing a resolution to move supervision of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) away from the umbrella of the Sheriff’s Office, where is has been since 1998, and re-establish it under the direction of the BOCC as of Dec. 1.

Contingent upon the development and adoption of a transition plan by that date, the BOCC will be the agency responsible for the daily supervisory, administrative, and budgetary authority for the director of the OEM, to include hazardous materials response.

The BOCC’s rationale for the transition was that since the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire, 2013 Black Forest Fire, and "subsequent injuries to life and property as a result of devastating flooding from the burn scars and failing infrastructure," the BOCC was "compelled to reaffirm its commitment to providing a local disaster emergency organization which by Board direction embodies comprehensive pre-and post-disaster emergency preparedness and response directed by the Board, supervised through County Administration, and appointed County Emergency Services Director independent of the Sheriff’s Office."

County Administrator Jeff Greene said that over 95 percent of OEM center support is derived from county administration. Commissioner Amy Lathen said that this discussion has been on going "for years." Commissioner Dennis Hisey said a recent survey by the state office of emergency showed that of 38 Colorado counties it contacted, only eight had the OEM within the sheriff’s department.

Eight citizens with many decades of professional and volunteer emergency response experience among them spoke at the meeting. All asked that the resolution be either tabled or killed. Their comments included:

• This seems to be more of a no-confidence vote of where the program is today.

• I think this resolution was not well thought out, and if approved today would not improve our current emergency management program.

• This is premature. The new sheriff is coming in soon and he should be given a chance.

• The Sheriff’s Office was not solicited for any input into this decision and was not informed of this resolution until Sept. 18.

• HAZMAT volunteers can’t be decommissioned to work for the Public Works director. They must work for the sheriff.

• Where are the transition plans? What equipment and personnel will be moved?

• Why has a dedicated group of experts not been appointed to study the feasibility of this move and provide a detailed report?

• Why decide this so quickly? You need to give ample advanced warning to all El Paso County residents and allow for a robust discussion.

• Why are all the budget figures in the proposed resolution labeled as "not applicable"?

• If the Emergency Services Division is not getting the job done, let me know how to correct it.

• I could give 30 days of testimony, but I am only allowed three minutes.

Public Services Director Jim Reid explained that the OEM is a support function to dispatch resources for the first responders so they can do their jobs in an emergency. "Nothing is really going to change," he said. The BOCC sets policy and funding, he said.

"We are not first responders. We are here with purse strings and resources and making sure things happen," Lathen said. The OEM director puts all these systems in place and will now be in the organizational chart under county administration instead of under the Sheriff’s Office, she said.

County Attorney Amy Folsom said there is no prohibition on allowing El Paso Public Safety Tax 1A funds intended for the OEM to follow the OEM program from the Sheriff’s Office to county oversight. County Budget Officer Nicola Sapp said these are restricted funds and are subject to multiple layers of scrutiny through the annual budget and audit process.

Commissioner Peggy Littleton made a motion to table the resolution to make more time for public discussion and find out what the transition plan is, but the motion died for lack of a second.

The resolution to transfer the OEM back to the BOCC was then approved 4-1. Littleton’s dissenting comments included:

• Many leaders and professionals did not have the opportunity to give timely input on the resolution or how the transition might happen.

• Why was the resolution originally written to take effect immediately upon adjournment of the meeting Sept. 23, but the BOCC would not have had direct control of personnel or facilities until Oct. 17?

• The Sheriff’s Office recently spent $900,000 in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) funds to install fiber-optic cable from the office to the new OEM facilities, and ICE would need to be reimbursed somehow.

• We have not discussed fully what 1A funds can be utilized based on the tax measure ballot wording approved by voters in 2012.

Commissioner Darryl Glenn proposed a separate motion requiring that the formal transfer of the OEM should not occur until the BOCC approved a transition plan that addressed organizational structure, duties, and responsibilities of the OEM director, including a summary of the operational responsibilities of the OEM director and other supporting agencies during pre-, declared, and post-disaster incidents. "The sheriff and incoming sheriff and/or their representatives, and the county administration and/or his representatives shall be responsible for developing a transition plan. The BOCC liaison shall work with the transition committee on the development of this plan, and formal adoption of the transition plan shall occur no later than Dec. 1," the motion said.

Glenn commented after the motion that the new transition committee needed to develop contingency plans for funding and come up with a transition plan that is in the best interests of the committee. The commissioners unanimously approved the transition plan requirement motion.

Lisa Hatfield can be reached at lisahatfield@ocn.me.

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El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn’s Town Hall Meeting, Sept. 27: Talking about traffic and weeds with County Commissioner Glenn

By Michael Justice

During a Town Hall meeting hosted by County Commissioner Darryl Glenn on Sept. 27 at Lewis-Palmer High School, county representatives presented information concerning traffic improvements, weed ordinances, and upcoming regional water issues.

Roundabouts planned

County Engineer André Brackin explained some of the benefits of roundabouts compared with signalized intersections. He pointed to the success of the roundabouts on Northgate Road and shared plans for future roundabouts around El Paso County.

Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Thompson was featured in a short video explaining the driving procedures and safety of roundabout intersections. He emphasized how they prevent run-throughs and "T-bone" collisions.

Brackin said some of the benefits include a 78 percent reduction in fatal or severe crashes and a 48 percent lower instance of overall vehicle crashes, reducing head-on collisions and rear-end collisions. Roundabouts boast an increased opportunity for pedestrian crossings, foot traffic at each entrance, increased economic efficiency, are less expensive to maintain because there are no signal parts to continually replace, and all vehicle types are allowed. Brackin reported the planned roundabout intersections included:

• Old Denver Road, Baptist Road, and Woodcarver Road, which has funding available already

• Gleneagle Drive and Struthers Road

• Baptist Road, Hodgen Road, and Roller Coaster Road.

He said the roundabouts would save the county $4,000 to $6,000 a year for each roundabout, compared to an intersection with a traffic signal.

Brackin said that the water control problem at the intersection of Northgate Road and Struthers Road is scheduled to be improved within six months.

Brackin discussed several other traffic safety concerns, including Monument Hill Road, Lake Woodmoor Drive by the Brookmoor subdivision, and Beacon Light Road from Highway 105 to County Line Road. The county is gathering community input concerning planning and design, including suggestions from Lewis-Palmer School District 38 regarding frontage road safety, since Monument Hill Road is now maintained by the county instead of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Weed control

At the meeting, the weed issue—not noxious weeds and not marijuana—was a lengthy concern. Residents were disappointed that the county could not contact the current owner of a property; others were concerned by the snakes and overgrown tall grass. Max Rothschild, director of the Development Services Department, said proper channels are being used to bring about ordinance change that would be a solution to the weed problem on the old Gleneagle Golf Course. He assured residents that he understood their complaints and was making every effort to find a tangible solution. The current county ordinance is only able to enforce weed control on 2½-acre lots, while the area in question is zoned for five-acre lots (RR-5). He asked local residents for their feedback and suggestions on solutions.

Glenn said once the Board of County Commissioners has approved a new weed ordinance addressing larger lots, then it could mow overgrown properties and put a lien on them to cover the cost of the work.

Private citizens present
two more ballot issues

Susan Davies enlightened the audience on issue 1A, saying voting "yes" on 1A in the November election would appropriate a community tax refund from the 2013 TABOR surplus for park improvements around El Paso County. The refund of about $8 per household would instead go to Black Forest Regional Park improvement, including trails, tree, and weed maintenance. The tax refund would also be used to improve The Pineries and to create a trail around Monument Lake to Elephant Rock.

Voting "no" on 1A would put $8.41 back in citizens’ pockets, minus the administration costs and mailing fees.

Kevin Walker introduced ballot issue 1B concerning potential stormwater fees based on a $7.70 monthly fee for an average household. This fee would remain consistent for 20 years and improve the safety of future drinking water supply sources for El Paso County by funding stormwater infrastructure improvement projects to protect downstream watersheds from erosion and sedimentation. Monument and Palmer Lake have already decided against participating in the stormwater issue, but residents of northern El Paso County will vote on this issue in November. For more information, go to www.pikespeakstormwater.org.

Commissioner Glenn’s Town Hall on animal protection is tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, October 11, at the Kit Carson Riding Club in Black Forest.

He also discussed his creation of a new task force in the county voicing El Paso County’s appreciation for its military members. In a future visit to Washington, D.C., Glenn plans to promote El Paso County’s valuable role in supporting our nation’s defense, expressing our interest in a continued role in advocating for our nation’s defense.

Glenn encouraged citizens to be active participants in local legislation concerning future investments in the community, future companies seeking location opportunities, and future effects of current legislation.

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Commissioner Darryl Glenn can be reached at darrylglenn@elpasoco.com. The El Paso County Public Services Department can be reached at (719) 520-6420 The Development Services Department can at (719) 520-6300.

Michael Justice can be reached at MichaelJustice@ocn.me.

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Donald Wescott Fire Protection District, Sept. 16: Community invited to open house Oct. 4

By Nancy Wilkins

At the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Sept. 16 Board of Directors meeting, Fire Chief Vinny Burns announced the community is invited to attend an open house, firefighters collected thousands of dollars for Muscular Dystrophy Association, the board reviewed the draft budget for 2015, and Dino Ross was hired as legal counsel.

Open house at 2 stations

In connection with Fire Prevention Week, Burns invited the community to attend Wescott’s open house Oct. 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at fire Stations 1 and 2. Firefighters will be there to answer questions and encourage everyone to tour the facilities, examine equipment, and inspect fire engines. The address for Station 1 is 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Station 2 is located at 15505 Highway 83.

District raises nearly $5,000 for MDA

Over Labor Day weekend, firefighters participated in "Fill the Boot" for Muscular Dystrophy Association. Burns reported the community raised about $5,000 to help find a cure.

August run report

Assistant Fire Chief Scott Ridings reported 173 calls for August 2014 compared to 183 calls in August 2013. A small grass fire was extinguished without major property damage. The majority of calls were for rescue and emergency medical services.

First glance at 2015 budget

Board members Greg Gent, Joyce Hartung, Bo McAllister, and John Fredell made a "first pass" at next year’s budget. The board, Burns, and Ridings looked at major expense items, expected revenue, and discussed ways to save the district money as it plans for next year. Because the 2015 budget is still under review, no votes or motions were made at this time.

Switching healthcare plans
could save thousands

According to Burns and Ridings, staying with the district’s existing healthcare plan under the Affordable Health Care Act will increase costs by about 30 percent. Choosing a "silver plan" instead of a "gold plan" for health insurance could save the district about $20,000. Although moving to the silver plan would increase the expected out-of-pocket costs, based on healthcare needs of the majority of the firefighters, Ridings and Burns recommended the district choose the silver plan.

New radios sought

Burns and Ridings are requesting the district purchase 15 radios in 2015 to ensure firefighters are equipped with sufficient radio communication. The department’s existing Motorola radios from 2001 are obsolete. Because replacement parts are no longer being manufactured, the district tries to refurbish equipment by reusing old parts until used parts become unavailable. The radios purchased would be equipped with an emergency button that will help locate firefighters based on the location of fire trucks. The department expects a seven-year shelf life of radios before they become obsolete.

Mortgage payment increase for Station 2

As the Build America bond pays less each year, according to Burns, the costs for paying the mortgage for Station 2 is increasing each year by $3,000 to $4,000. Ridings reported that the district looked at refinancing the remaining balance for Station 2, but after considering closing costs and other contract terms, it was decided that switching to a new mortgage would not provide significant savings. The proposed budget expense for the Station 2 mortgage in 2015 is $150,000.

Where the money goes

In addition to the mortgage payment and radios, the district is also looking to replace or upgrade its network software, server, and tablets. Additional money is also requested for vehicle maintenance expenses, salaries, overtime pay, and vehicle fuel costs. According to the draft budget, electricity costs are projected to decrease in 2015, offset by an increase in the cost for natural gas.

But looking to reduce expenses, the district switched to Wells Fargo as its payroll provider, saving the district a few thousand dollars. The district is also looking to reduce the administrative expense budget by over $10,000.

Board expected to keep
taxes at current rate

The board expects an increase of revenue in 2015 from the general property tax and the special ownership tax. Without raising taxes, the district is expected to receive about $50,000 more than this year from these two sources. The board currently is not looking to increase taxes.

Financial report

Administrative Assistant Stacey Popovich presented the bank balances as of Aug. 31: Peoples National Bank $43,059, PNP Colorado Peak Fund $180,062, Colorado Trust $439,396 and Wells Fargo Public Trust $937,184, for a total of $1.4 million.

McAllister lamented at the low interest rate of only $2.09 being received from the Colorado Trust Fund. Fredell asked for additional clarification on the August bank balance report and vehicle maintenance expenses.

Ross hired as legal counsel

By unanimous vote, the board hired attorney Dino Ross, who has experience representing many fire districts including Adams County Fire Protection District, Chafee County Fire Protection District, and Arvada Fire Protection District. Director Hartung asked Ross if there was a conflict of interest with state issues or representing other districts, and Ross replied "Not in this area." Ross also expressed that the legislative work he does, including writing legislation for the state, is not expected to be conflict of interest, and is usually thought of as beneficial to districts.

The meeting adjourned at 8:56 p.m. The board is expected to continue reviewing the 2015 budget at subsequent meetings.

**********

The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District board schedules its meetings for 7 p.m. the third Tuesday each month at 15415 Gleneagle Dr. The meetings are open to the public. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Oct. 21. Call 488-8680 a non-emergency number for more information, or visit www.wescottfire.org.

Nancy Wilkins can be reached at nancywilkins@ocn.me.

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Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, Sept. 24: Draft budget presented; fee to be assessed on Palmer Lake

By Lisa Hatfield

On Sept. 24, the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) board saw Chief Chris Truty’s draft of the 2015 budget, voted to levy a $75,000 annual EMS assessment fee on Palmer Lake to continue providing ambulance service to the town, and agreed it was time to look for new space to lease for a district administration building.

Treasurer John Hildebrandt was absent.

Draft 2015 budget presented

Truty presented the specifics of the proposed budget for 2015. It will be discussed again at the October meeting, at a public hearing Nov. 12, and approved at the Dec. 10 meeting. The overall problem is that, "Property taxes do not increase at the same rate as expenses for the district," he said.

At the August TLMFPD meeting, Truty outlined various possible five-year strategic plans for the district that could include mill levy increase requests to voters in November 2015 (from 0.6 to 1.5 mills or more if the board chose) depending on what vision the board decided to pursue. He also explained how the mill levy increase that voters already approved in 2012 was insufficient and calculated incorrectly.

At that meeting, he described possible consolidations with other districts and needs for expanded staffing, personnel development, wildland firefighting capability, the support structure for the district, increased safety for firefighters, better long-term financial planning, and setting money aside for capital improvement projects. See www.ocn.me/v14n9.htm#tlmfpd0827 for more information about his August presentation.

Overall, the proposed 2015 budget projects a revenue decrease of 3 percent for a total of $5.2 million due to the conclusion of two-year SAFER grant temporary payroll support, and a 3.3 percent drop in total expenses that would total $5.1 million.

Some of Truty’s comments about the 2015 draft budget included:

• The operating fund goal of 90 days of reserves could not be funded.

• The capital improvement fund goal of 5 percent of the operating budget could not be funded.

• The emergency fund statutory goal of 3 percent of operating budget could be funded, and the surplus would be moved into the operating fund.

• The district will pay almost $400,000 overall in interest payments on leasing three vehicles. He recommended proactive funding for capital improvement so the district could pay cash for engines, ambulances, and trucks next time.

• The loss of the SAFER grant revenue will be reflected in a 3.3 percent decrease in overall revenue, but he intends not to lay off any firefighters.

• Staffing levels on some equipment is dropping below the regional standard and well below the national standard. "We will have two engines that have three people and one engine that has two. Regional non-city standards are three and national standards say we should have four."

Truty said that retention and recruiting of personnel has been adversely affected by the relatively low wages paid by TLMFPD compared to "non-metro-Denver districts with budgets between $5 million and $10 million." He said wages are 13 percent below previous year averages for districts of comparable size. His goal is to raise wages step by step each year to catch up, with a 1.25 percent raise in 2015, and to work on developing the promotions system so the difference between lieutenants and captains is more clear.

Significant increases in expenses projected for 2015 include these line items:

• Workers compensation

• Overtime specially designated for training, meetings, and promotions.

• The district’s new deputy chief, Randy Trost, who will start Oct. 15, will earn $89,100 in 2015.

• Capital expenses and impact fee dollars set aside for new vehicles and for building a new facility in the future.

Director Larry Smith, Secretary Mike Smaldino, and other board members asked if there were some way to shorten the proposed five-year time frame for station maintenance so that firefighters would not have "deplorable" living conditions. Truty said it depended on what the board wanted to approve for capital improvements and how they prioritized what needed to be done. They agreed that engines need new motors, wells need to be drilled, vehicles need to be purchased, and the leaking roof keeps getting "kicked down the road."

Financial report

Accountant Frances Esty presented the financial report as of Aug. 31, saying the district is 0.31 percent under budget. Ambulance revenues were down slightly compared to this time last year, which Truty noted may be due to reduced construction and related accidents on I-25 near Monument.

Total district cash assets as of Aug. 31 were $3.1 million.

Palmer Lake EMS assessment fee approved

Earlier this year, Truty requested that the town of Palmer Lake either begin a process of moving toward inclusion into TLMFPD or begin contributing to the expenses associated with providing ambulance service to them via an Emergency Medical Service assessment fee. See related article at www.ocn.me/v14n9.htm#tlmfpd0827.

In August, the TLMFPD board decided that as long as the town of Palmer Lake was making progress toward inclusion, the EMS assessment fee would be waived. In September the town of Palmer Lake did not get an advisory ballot question on this topic onto the November ballot. The town sent out a survey to its residents instead, but Truty recommended on Sept. 24 that the board vote about levying the assessment.

He estimated that the EMS assessment fee could be anywhere from $75,000 to $350,000 a year, depending on what formula is used.

Palmer Lake Fire Trustee Rich Kuehster and Mayor Nikki McDonald spoke to the TLMFPD board asking for some way to reduce the EMS assessment fee to Palmer Lake.

Kuehster said the current 2015 total budget is $100,000 for the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department, $47,000 of which is restricted funds (from a half-cent sales tax in Palmer Lake) to pay for staffing the station on weekdays when the volunteers cannot be there. He said that Palmer Lake’s volunteer firefighters also come to Monument as part of an automatic mutual aid agreement.

Kuehster expressed concern about how to "sell inclusion to voters" if the TLMFPD levies the EMS assessment fee, because there might be "backlash."

McDonald said, "For us it would be better if you billed the town (only) when you didn’t get reimbursed, and we’ll pay as we go."

Current residents of TLMFPD pay taxes to help maintain availability of ambulance service in their own district whether they use this service or not. If a TLMFPD resident actually has to call an ambulance for help, the resident or his insurance company must pay additional fees for the actual service. Secretary Smaldino said, "If I cut a deal with (Palmer Lake), then how do I have that same conversation with people in our district who pay tax whether or not they use it? It’s a global tax."

The board voted unanimously to begin collecting an annual EMS assessment fee of $75,000 from Palmer Lake beginning in January. Truty and McDonald will decide on the details about whether the fee will be paid in monthly installments, quarterly, or annually. It is up to Palmer Lake to find the money within its own limited budget or collect it as an additional fee or tax. The TLMFPD board could vote at any time to reduce, increase, or stop the EMS fee depending on what happens with inclusion into TLMFPD.

Search begins for administrative space to lease

Truty said the district has received three bids between $25,000 and $100,000 to complete a detailed space needs analysis for future possible building needs based on potential growth and projected needs for fire stations and administration space.

Vice President Roger Lance and Secretary Smaldino asked if the expense for the space needs analysis could be avoided by just asking for input from within the district. Truty said the district needs "a detailed study far beyond what any of us can do on our own," and that the study could be delayed until results of possible merger discussions with Wescott or Larkspur are known.

The current Fire Administration Center at 166 Second St. is owned by the town of Monument, which will begin charging $10,800 per year to TLMFPD in 2015 and has asked TLMFPD to move out within three years and sooner if possible. Truty asked the board for direction on whether they wanted to lease, buy, or build a new administration home in the next four to six years, since this decision affected how long TLMFPD administration would remain in its current location. The consensus of the board was that the long-term plan should be to buy or build an administration building.

The board consensus was that the district administration should move as soon as possible into a different leased space, since most require a three-year minimum lease. By "starting the three-year clock" now, it would allow the district to move out as soon as the new permanent building would be available.

Chief’s report

Truty’s comments included:

• Merger steps still going forward with the Larkspur and Donald Wescott fire districts.

• Station 2 septic project was completed at $10,000 over budget.

• The well at Station 1 well needs to be drilled deeper for a cost of at least $53,000.

• All three engines have had motor work done recently. The fleet is aging, especially the ambulances.

• The district will hire a new auditor for 2015 to reduce costs.

• New Deputy Chief Randy Trost will join the district Oct. 15.

• Station 2 will be dropping down by one person on an engine starting in late September.

• All personnel who were off on duty injuries have returned to duty.

• Firefighters will begin a "Read with a Firefighter" community relations program in October at the Monument Branch Library.

• In July, the state approved funding to provide insurance for firefighters who suffer a cardiac event on or soon after duty. This is not covered by workers comp.

• Truty will speak on a panel about mutual aid plans at the state fire chief’s conference in October.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

**********

The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, in the Administration Center at 166 Second St. in Monument. For additional information, contact the district Fire Administration Office at 719-484-0911.

Lisa Hatfield can be reached at lisahatfield@ocn.me.

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Monument Board of Trustees, Sept. 2: 20-year water master plan approved

By Lisa Hatfield

On Sept. 2, the Monument Board of Trustees approved the new 20-year water master plan it will use as a blueprint for capital improvements on a project-by-project basis in historic Monument, heard a presentation from county officials about their recommendations on noxious weeds, and approved two new liquor licenses.

Town Manager Pamela Smith was excused.

Moment of silence

Mayor Rafael Dominguez asked all present to observe a moment of silence to honor the two Palmer Ridge High School students killed in a single-car accident on Roller Coaster Road on Sept. 1.

Water master plan approved

Public Works Director Tom Tharnish explained that the new water master plan prepared by Forsgren Associates is a plan, not a contract, and would be used as a blueprint for capital improvement projects for the next 20 years in the town’s water service area. The town provides water service on the west side of I-25, about 40 percent of the town. Triview Metropolitan District and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation serve the customers within the town limits on the east side of I-25. Forest Lakes Metropolitan District will provide water service south of the town on the west side of I-25 when homes are built at the west end of Baptist Road.

The plan suggests $12.8 million in improvements projects to the town’s wells, water treatment plants, storage, and distribution system. The board will consider one project and associated funding at a time. See www.ocn.me/v14n9.htm#mbot-0804 for more information.

Trustee Stan Gingrich expressed concern about the projected costs presented in the plan, but agreed with the plan overall. He said, "If it’s our intent to implement as much of this as possible within budget restrictions, then I can go forward with that."

A total of 300,000 people from Greeley to Colorado Springs depend on groundwater from the Denver Basin’s four aquifers for their water supply. The long-term production of water from the Denver Basin aquifers is not sustainable; it is a non-renewable supply of water and is being used up at a faster rate than the aquifers can be replenished, said Will Koger of Forsgren Associates. Monument produces its water primarily from groundwater wells, and 75 percent of the water used goes to west side residential customers.

Trustee Becki Tooley asked if the town was going to act on any of these projects yet, or if they were still just plans. Tharnish said several small portions are already being implemented such as the looping project along South Mitchell Avenue to provide Synthes, the town’s largest commercial water user, with redundant capacity in the event of a water main break. To read the 75-page Water Master Plan Final Report including list of suggested projects, see the Aug. 18, 2014 board packet at http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com/.

Gingrich and Tooley emphasized the need to also include renewable water in the town’s future plans. The new master plan did not discuss renewable water in any detail, although the suggested upgrades to Well 4/5 Water Treatment Plant would help facilitate the indirect potable reuse project if and when it occurs. See www.ocn.me/v14n2.htm#bot0106 for more information on the reuse project.

Koger’s report also recommended that the town consider participation in a regional project that provides renewable water from the Arkansas River system. Procurement of renewable surface water rights in Colorado is usually expensive and will take years due to challenges in water court by other renewable water rights owners who have to file challenges under Colorado water law to ensure that their separate water rights will not be harmed by the town’s planned use.

Tharnish said Koger is working on a separate regional water infrastructure study addressing water storage and transmission issues will be done in another year and a half and will be compatible with the new Monument water master plan.

The trustees unanimously approved the 20-year water master plan.

Noxious weeds update

On Aug. 18, residents spoke at the Board of Trustees meeting to complain about knapweed in the vacant land next to Monument Villas. See www.ocn.me/v14n9.htm#mbot-0818.

Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman said that since then, she took Town Manager Pamela Smith and Tharnish on a noxious weed tour through the town. Laura Hogan, code enforcement officer, will continue to monitor the area where the complaint was made and remove tumbleweeds as they appear, Sirochman said. Smith’s report noted that any seniors in that neighborhood in need of help clearing tumbleweeds from their doors could call 481-2954 to ask the Monument public works office for help.

Environmental Division Manager Kathy Andrew and Environmental Technician Tina Travis from the El Paso County Forestry and Noxious Weeds office presented information about county policies and control of noxious weeds—non-native "super species" with no biological controls. Travis said northern El Paso County is the "state hotspot" for knapweed, but controlling it "is not a lost cause. It’s actually a fairly easy plant to control."

Since knapweed spreads only by seeds, it can be eradicated if landowners spray it with herbicide or mow it before it blooms, she said. However, if it is not contained, it will take over an area and destroy native forage for wildlife.

The Colorado Noxious Weed Act requires every jurisdiction to have a weed management plan, and El Paso County does its own surveys to identify areas with noxious weeds, Travis said. Residents in county neighborhoods infested with noxious weeds would receive certified letters from the county identifying the problem and including fact sheets from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Monument has ordinances regarding weed control that can be read at https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=16718. It lists leafy spurge, spotted knapweed, diffuse knapweed, Russian knapweed, and Canada thistle as "undesirable plants" that need to be be contained and suppressed.

Two liquor licenses approved

The trustees unanimously approved a beer and wine license for Cruisers Haircuts for Men, 481 Highway 105 Unit A, owned by Dee Tendell.

David Locke, owner of Loop Liquors at 1430 Cipriani Loop, gave a detailed presentation and answered numerous questions from the trustees in his application for a retail liquor license. The trustees approved his application 6-1. Trustee Jeff Bornstein voted no, with no comment given.

Financial reports
and updates

Treasurer Monica Harder presented two disbursements over $5,000, which the trustees approved unanimously:

• Forsgren Associates, for water line looping project, $8,202.

• West Water Research LLC, for water resource strategy plan, $10,181, which is over budget.

Town manager’s report

Sirochman presented Smith’s town manager’s report:

• Madeline VanDenHoek, town community relations specialist, has been selected as one of three finalists in the Business Leader in the Arts Award category on behalf of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region and the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.

• Tri-Lakes Cares sent a thank you letter to the Town Hall for its support of the school supplies Program.

• Three quotes between $11,000 and $20,000 have been received for the audio/visual screens for the board room, and the board will decide soon if this fits in the 2015 capital improvement plan budget. Budget meetings will begin in October and will be posted on the town website.

Sidewalks project to begin Sept. 15

Planning Director Mike Pesicka, representing the Development Services department, said that the residents who attended the downtown sidewalk projects meeting on Aug. 27 asked good questions. He anticipated actual construction of sidewalks to begin Sept. 15.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

**********

The Sept. 15 BOT meeting was canceled. The next BOT meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6 at Town Hall, 845 Beacon Lite Road. Meetings are usually held the first and third Mondays of each month. Check http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com/ to see future meeting agendas and packets. Information: 884-8017.

Lisa Hatfield can be reached at lisahatfield@ocn.me.

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Palmer Lake Town Council, Sept. 11: Audit gives town highest rating

By James Howald

The financial health of Palmer Lake was the principal topic at the Palmer Lake Town Council meeting on Sept. 11. The trustees heard the results of the audit for 2013, performed by RubinBrown Certified Public Accountants & Business Consultants. White Mountain Accounting Services also made a presentation on the town’s accounting practices.

Town receives clean audit

Russell White, assurance partner at RubinBrown, presented the audit report. Palmer Lake’s total net position for 2013, which White compared to a business’s equity or worth, is $4.19 million. He summarized this as a "good position." The town’s change in net position from the previous year, or net income, was $401,289, an increase due mostly to increased revenues. White also pointed out the town’s total net position in its water fund was $3.45 million, and that the audit found the town’s core operating expenses were covered. He said the audit gave the town a clean "unmodified opinion," which was the highest possible rating.

White added the town has "sufficient resources and funds to pay back debt and pay your bills" and that it is not on the verge of bankruptcy. Proponents of the upcoming vote to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in Palmer Lake have made the town’s solvency an issue by arguing that the town needs the tax revenue those sales would generate to remain out of receivership.

Trustee John Russell asked White to elaborate on the $87,907 unfunded amount listed for the Volunteer Firefighters Pension Fund. White said this represented an unfunded liability for the town that should be a matter of concern. He added this liability would be affected by upcoming changes to the Public Employees’ Retirement Association, but that those changes were not yet clear.

An unidentified attendee at the meeting asked White how much the audit had cost the town. White replied the cost was $35,000, and that the cost resulted from extra work required by the town’s use of two different accounting packages over the last three years.

The council voted unanimously to accept the audit report as delivered.

Town simplifies bookkeeping

Two representatives from White Mountain Accounting Services spoke to the trustees about recent changes to Palmer Lake’s bookkeeping practices. 2013 was the last year during which the town used both QuickBooks and White Mountain’s accounting software. In the current year, only the White Mountain software has been used, simplifying bookkeeping efforts.

Business license approved

The council voted unanimously to approve a new business license for Purple Mountain Pilates, doing business at 860 Highway 105.

The meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.

**********

The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 9 in Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. Meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of the month. Information: 481-2953.

James Howald can be reached at jameshowald@ocn.me.

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Tri-Lakes Facility Joint Use Committee, Sept. 9: New discharge permit delayed again

By Jim Kendrick

On Sept. 9, Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Bill Burks reported to the Joint Use Committee (JUC) that he had paid $11,504 for the annual fee for the facility’s current five-year discharge permit that runs through 2016. He also noted that the Colorado Water Quality Control Division had not issued the new discharge permit for 2014 to 2018 that the division had asked the facility to apply for early.

At the five-year Arkansas River basin hearing held by the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission in Alamosa in 2013, the division had asked all the Arkansas basin wastewater treatment facilities to apply early for new permits starting in 2014 to realign all of their periods with the five-year Regulation 32 basin hearing cycle. It is still unknown when the division will issue the new Tri-Lakes discharge permit for the 30-day public notice review cycle and how the new discharge permit limits will affect the 2015 budget.

See http://www.ocn.me/v13n7.htm#juc and http://www.ocn.me/v14n9.htm#tljuc-0812 for more details regarding Tri-Lakes’ nutrient and copper discharge permit issues.

The Tri-Lakes facility operates as a separate public utility and is jointly owned, in equal one-third shares, by Monument Sanitation District (MSD), Palmer Lake Sanitation District (PLSD), and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD). The three-member JUC acts as the board of the facility and consists of one director from each of the three owner districts’ boards. Several other members of the three district boards, as well as district managers and district staff also attended the meeting.

Draft 2015 budget reviewed

Burks presented the first draft of the facility’s 2015 budget, noting that several parts may change based on what new and possibly tighter discharge permit limits are issued by the state. He estimated that total expenditures for 2014 would be $3.96 million, up from the originally budgeted $2.86 million, and $3.57 million in 2015. Revenues come from the three owner districts, and the total of their monthly invoices will equal these costs. There was a lengthy question-and-answer discussion about options available for various line items, but no decisions were made.

The current exceptions to this "pay as you go" process are the 2014 reimbursement from the $80,000 state nutrient planning grant and the three-year $1 million state nutrient design and construction grant. The state has indicated that it will reimburse all design and construction payments made by the facility at the start of the project as soon as possible to ensure the grant funds are disbursed before they expire in May 2016. Bids will be requested in February, so there are no firm numbers for this major temporary exception to normal operating costs.

The current "opinion of probable cost" from the facility’s engineering firm, Tetra Tech, is $2.87 million. Tetra Tech has stated that actual bid prices could be significantly higher than this estimate due to the expected volatility in interest rates after the November election.

Burks requested a new pickup truck as part of the policy to replace each facility truck after 10 years. These trucks are purchased through the state truck contract bidding process. He said the current types of half-ton trucks available are 2014 Ford F-150 or Ram 1500 and prices for 2015, which have not been finalized yet, are expected to increase by 5 percent. The larger 2014 pickup trucks available are from General Motors.

However, Burks noted that he planned to keep the 10-year-old truck in the facility fleet to be used by a new plant operator that will be added to the facility payroll in April. The new employee will be required to help the rest of the staff handle all the additional nutrient sampling that will be conducted in-house rather than being outsourced, as well as operation and maintenance of new equipment that will constructed in 2015 to meet the new tighter discharge permit limits required by state Control Regulation 85. Having a fourth employee will make it easier to comply with the state’s requirement to have an employee present at the facility every day with lower overtime costs than are currently incurred.

Monument Sanitation District Manager Mike Wicklund reminded Burks that total phosphorus sampling of each district’s influent wastewater needs to begin immediately to be able to more closely estimate the operation and chemical costs for removing phosphates in the new tertiary phosphate removal clarifier. Allocation of the new phosphate removal capacity percentages among the three owner districts may have to be different than the long-standing current ownership percentages for influent hydraulic flow capacity and influent biosolids organic capacity.

See http://www.ocn.me/v14n9.htm#tljuc-0812 for more technical information on this nutrient treatment construction issue and http://www.ocn.me/v13n11.htm#juc for copper permit limit issues.

Burks also noted that new computer hardware and software will be needed to handle the automated control systems for the tertiary phosphate clarifier, and similar new computer and control system hardware and software will be required to coordinate the automated control of the existing aeration basins and secondary biosolids removal clarifiers with the new nutrient equipment to optimize plant performance.

The meeting adjourned at noon.

**********

The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Oct. 14 at the at the Tri-Lakes facility’s conference room, 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month. Information for these meetings is available at 481-4053.

Jim Kendrick can be reached at jimkendrick@ocn.me.

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Donala Water and Sanitation District, Sept. 18 Record renewable water year reported

By Jim Kendrick

On Sept. 18, Donala Water and Sanitation District General Manager Kip Petersen reported that Donala had stored 345 acre-feet of fully consumable renewable water for 2014 from the district’s Willow Creek Ranch near Leadville in the Pueblo Reservoir. Donala also has another 128 acre-feet of water stored in the reservoir that can be used for augmentation thanks to a wet year and ample snowfall in Colorado. This is up from 180 acre-feet in 2012 and 280 acre-feet in 2013. Donala’s average withdrawal from the Arkansas River over a 38-year period is limited to an annual average of 280 acre-feet.

Petersen also reported that Donala water production dropped 10.2 million gallons from July to August. He estimated that total water revenue would be 20 percent less than the amount budgeted.

Two public hearings scheduled

Petersen gave a lengthy presentation on various options for his proposed rate structure resolution and draft 2015 budget. The directors asked numerous questions in a wide-ranging discussion about the tradeoffs for:

• Increases in district water development and investment fees.

• Various sizes and types of water rate increases.

• The continuing need for Donala to purchase new renewable water rights.

There was also a discussion of how to plan for providing water and wastewater services to the closed Gleneagle golf course property if it is redeveloped as a residential area.

Office manager Betsy Bray explained to the board how $1.5 million in property tax revenue is allocated to various district funds—25 percent to the unrestricted general fund for cash reserves and 75 percent to the restricted debt reduction fund for payments on the district’s various bond and capital loan payments.

Donala’s goal is to have rates cover costs of service and provide an operating reserve for the first few months of each year before property tax revenues are received from the county. Property tax revenues will have to entirely replace tap fees as Donala’s source of capital reserves as residential construction reaches its space limit.

There was board consensus that the near- and long-term plans to solve all these Donala revenue issues and setting annual budgets should have nothing to do with rate changes or summer water restrictions imposed by Colorado Springs Utilities on CSU customers.

Note: Colorado Springs Utilities provides nearly 100 percent of its drinking water to its customers from renewable surface water, while Donala is providing about 75 percent of its drinking water from groundwater wells, a water resource that is becoming less productive every year.

Petersen asked the directors to review all the documentation presented in depth and provide any remaining questions for him to answer at the next board meeting on Oct. 16. (The public is invited to provide comments and observations at this regularly scheduled meeting regarding the proposed budget for 2015, including 2015 availability of service fees, tap fees, and water and sewer rates.)

The public 2015 rate budget hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 to ratify these items.

Financial reports

Petersen advised the board that Triview Metropolitan District plans to pay off Donala’s management with Triview in October. Donala extended a loan of about $1 million to Triview to help it pay for its share of expansion of the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. Under this reimbursement agreement, Triview has been paying off the loan by transferring $1,500 from each new Triview tap fee to Donala. Triview’s remaining balance was about $636,000.

Petersen explained what AF CURE, the Arkansas and Fountain Coalition for Rural/Urban River Evaluation, does for wastewater treatment facilities in the local watershed to be prepared for negotiations with the state Health Department and EPA in stakeholder meetings and regulatory hearings:

• Baseline data collection for flow, in-stream temperature, and constituents (relevant contents) in Monument and Fountain Creek.

• Upper Monument Creek is narrower, shallower, slower, colder, higher in altitude, and has less silt and sediment than lower Monument Creek and Fountain Creek.

• Upper Monument Creek should be separately and differently for nutrients, metals, and other constituents in discharge permit limits.

• Donala may have to install chillers and heaters to control the effluent temperature for Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility without AF CURE data.

• The Upper Monument Water Quality Management Association purchased the hardware and software needed to continuously monitor in-stream temperatures throughout upper Monument Creek to be able to show that neither local wastewater treatment plant is harming aquatic life in the stream.

The financial reports were approved as presented.

Operations report

Well 2A remained out of service while the district awaits the newly required discharge permit that will allow the district to discharge water used to clean the well. The fee for the special discharge permit from the state health department for this mandatory hyper cleaning is $698. Well 3-A repairs are completed and the well is operational again.

The state Health Department has still not issued the new five-year Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment facility discharge permit that it "asked" the facility to voluntarily request before the current five-year discharge permit expires.

Note: The Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility also has not received its new, similarly state-requested, five-year permit.

Phase 1 of the Doral Way water project is 95 percent complete. The pipelines and hydrants have been installed. Final grading and seeding is underway. The cost for the work by Frazee Construction was $158,000. Phase 2 of the project is in final design.

Petersen stated that there was no development news to report to the board.

Director Dave Powell reported that the Pueblo Reservoir operators had told him during a tour of the Pueblo dam that cooperation was excellent between the operators of Donala, CSU water, and the Pueblo Board of Water Works.

The meeting went into executive session at 3:50 p.m. to discuss water rights negotiations strategy.

**********

The next meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the Donala District Office conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. There will be no regular meeting in November. Information: 488-3603 or http://www.donalawater.org/.

Jim Kendrick can be reached at jimkendrick@ocn.me.

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Monument Sanitation District, Sept. 18: Draft 2015 budget predicts rise in costs

By Jim Kendrick

On Sept. 18, District Manager Mike Wicklund presented the first draft of the 2015 budget to the Monument Sanitation District board. Expenses will rise due to the district’s share of construction costs for a new tertiary clarifier and associated infrastructure for chemical removal of phosphates at the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility that is being required by the state’s new nutrient Control Regulation 85.

Currently there is only a rough estimate of costs from Tetra Tech, the facility’s engineering consultant. Tetra Tech’s original rough estimate of $1 million was increased to $2 million in September 2013 and then to $ 2.87 million in August. Firm bids for the project will not be received until early 2015.

The absence of board President Ed DeLaney was unanimously excused. Director Don Smith chaired the meeting.

Financial reports

District Manager Mike Wicklund noted a payment of $41,340 to Insituform Technologies for cured-in-place relining of the district’s collection line along northern Washington Street. A 5 percent retainage is withheld during the warranty period.

Since the cash summary for the last district board meeting, total disbursements were $86,456 and total deposits were $46,611. Total cash on hand as of Sept. 17 was $820,350, including $244,626 in the First National Bank Capital Preservation Fund account, $403,868 in the ColoTrust Capital Preservation Fund account, and $28,014 in the Integrity Series-2013 Loan account.

The reports were accepted as presented.

JUC update

Wicklund discussed options for how costs for design, construction, operations, and maintenance of the new phosphate removal treatment clarifier may be divided between the three special districts that own the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility—Monument Sanitation District, Palmer Lake Sanitation District, and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District. Some costs are to be divided based on how many pounds of phosphate each district delivers to the plant, and other costs will be divided by thirds. The district managers will meet to draft a plan for how to divide the costs for presentation to the Joint Use Committee and the three district boards for review and approval.

For additional information see http://www.ocn.me/v14n9.htm#tljuc-0812.

Building update

Wicklund discussed some options for renovating the suites that the Willow Tree Café had occupied before going out of business. Options ranged from $40,000 to $100,000. No decisions were made because it was too early in the 2015 budget preparation cycle to know what the expenses for the Tri-Lakes Facility might be until final cost allocations between the three owner districts are finalized as noted above.

**********

The next meeting will be held on Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. in the district conference room at 130 Second St. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Information: 481-4886.

Jim Kendrick can be reached at jimkendrick@ocn.me.

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Forest View Acres Water District, Sept. 25: Board approves new water meters

By Nancy Wilkins

At the Forest View Acres Water District Board of Directors meeting on Sept. 25, the board voted to replace existing water meters, approve the architecture of the booster station, and move forward to protect the Arapahoe well head, and discussed the next phase of replacement water pipes.

Operations report

Gabriella "Gabby" Begeman from Forest View’s consultant district management firm ORC Water Professionals said that in August, about 99.18 percent of district water came from the renewable surface water. Begeman reviewed the prior month’s results showing the surface water intake was clogged and the booster station failed, forcing the district to use more water from the Arapahoe well.

Villas project

Pending additional information, the board voted to replace the meters in the Villas subdivision. After looking at different types of meters, the board approved installing new meters that use cellular information to track water use. The new meters use a "beacon system" with the option to be able to transmit the information to a website having monitoring capabilities.

About 30 homes are in the Villas subdivision. The cellular system may reduce the time and cost it takes for ORC to physically read meters.

More construction

The board plans to approve the installation of thick posts made of iron and concrete to protect the Arapahoe well head. Director Timothy Sobik volunteered to contact the state to verify that the cost could be paid for by the grant the district received earlier this year.

Accepting the recommendation of John McGinn from JDS-Hydro, the board unanimously approved constructing the booster station with stucco siding and dark metal roofing.

Financial report

As of Aug. 31, the financial statement for the Capital Projects Fund showed a fund balance of $1.75 million. The Operations Fund had a balance of $245,209, and the General Fund totaled $25,259.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, board members stated they are not actively looking to sell water, but currently investigating other possible sources of water to purchase.

President Eugene Ash, Treasurer Hans Zimmermann, Director Sobik, and Director Eckehart Zimmermann went into executive secession around 7:45 p.m.

District Manager Joel Meggers from Community Resource Services said at the next several meetings the board may plan for next year’s budget, discuss where the next replacement water pipes will be installed, and make further decisions on improving the district’s existing engineered design.

**********

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Oct 23 at the Monument Sanitation District Boardroom, 130 Second St. Please call 488-2110 for more information, or visit www.fvaws.com.

Nancy Wilkins can be contacted at Nancy Wilkins@ocn.me.

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Woodmoor Improvement Associate Board of Directors, Sept. 24: Board considers impact of proposed stormwater fees

By Jackie Burhans

In the first official meeting of the newly constituted Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board on Sept. 24, President Jim Hale shared information presented by the Pikes Peak Stormwater Task Force on the upcoming ballot issue to impose fees to create and fund the proposed Pikes Peak Regional Drainage Authority. The authority would implement a county-wide comprehensive management plan for stormwater and flood control systems. The board discussed the impact these fees, if passed, would have on the WIA and Woodmoor residents.

Stormwater drainage fee set for November ballot

President Hale attended the Northern El Paso County Coalition of Community Organizations (NEPCO) meeting on Sept. 13. A representative of the Pikes Peak Stormwater Task Force, an advocacy group in favor of the proposed regional drainage authority and new fee, presented information on the ballot issue in the November election. The proposal calls for a regional drainage authority to address a list of projects, funded by a fee on the impervious surface of a property.

Hale noted that the region served includes Green Mountain Falls, Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs, Fountain, and El Paso County proper. It does not include Monument and Palmer Lake, which have opted out. He noted that this issue will eventually be tied to the water that is coming from Pueblo via the Southern Delivery System (SDS). Communities that are not returning properly conditioned stormwater may not be able to receive SDS water. Hale noted that over the long term, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District may want to trade its JV Ranch water and obtain water from the SDS project.

Hale said that the county commissioners, including Darryl Glenn, support this ballot initiative. (See county commissioners article on page 1) He noted that although the communities most affected by floods, such as Manitou Springs, are south of Woodmoor, Woodmoor is 1,500 feet higher, so it is the source of much of the stormwater.

These fees, if passed, will be paid by the WIA and by those residents of Woodmoor in the Arkansas Drainage. A small part of Woodmoor near County Line Road is in the South Platte Drainage and will not see this issue on their ballots. Everyone within the affected areas will get a chance to vote on this issue.

The website www.pikespeakstormwater.org has more information including a calculator to estimate your fee. Rates will differ for commercial, nonprofit and residential properties whose fees are estimated to average $7.70 per month. To calculate the fee, you will enter the footprint of your house (square footage of top floor) along with an estimate of the area of impervious driveways and walkways.

Chief Operating Officer Matt Beseau researched the potential impact on WIA of these fees, which will depend on whether the WIA qualifies as a nonprofit organization or is designated to be commercial. Based on the footprint of the Barn and the square footage of the parking lot, walkways, and garage, he estimates it would cost $1,600 to $2,130 per year, which is not in the current budget.

Other matters

The following are highlights from the reports given by board members.

• Due to limited county resources, Woodmoor homeowners will need to take responsibility for mowing and snow removal in front of their property.

• The roadwork on County Line is expected to continue until spring/summer of 2015.

• The WIA will hold elections in January and is looking for candidates.

• Ten cars were broken into in the Heights and High Pines neighborhoods outside of Woodmoor.

• The last chipping day will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 8 to 4.

• The rules and regulation updates will be done soon, posted on the web and brought to the annual meeting.

• The board approved Beseau’s request to renew WIA’s annual membership in the Mountain States Employers Council, which helps with the handbook, document review, personnel issues, and other issues.

**********

The Board of Directors of the Woodmoor Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Barn at 1691 Woodmoor Drive, Monument. The next meeting will be on Oct. 27. WIA Board meeting minutes can be found at: http://www.woodmoor.org/content/admin-bod-meeting-minutes.html once approved.

Jackie Burhans can be reached at jackieburhans@ocn.me.

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September 2014 Weather Wrap

By Bill Kappel

September was a mild and mainly dry month, very much in contrast to last year when much of the Front Range was devastated by record rainfall and flooding.

September started off mild and mostly sunny. High temperatures reached in the mid- to upper 70s on the 1st and 2nd, then all the way to record high territory on the 3rd, with mid- to upper 80s. The high of 87°F on the 3rd was warmer than the warmest day in the August; certainly a little unusual. Highs "cooled" down to the upper 70s on the 4th, ahead of a significant change in the weather pattern. A cool front moved through during the evening of the 4th. This allowed upslope conditions to take hold, providing a layer of low clouds and fog the next day. High temperatures were held in the 50s that afternoon with around a third of an inch of rain accumulating during the early morning hours.

Sunshine mixed with areas of low clouds and fog affected the region on the 6th, again helping to keep temperatures below normal, as highs reached the mid-60s. Mild air quickly returned on Sunday the 7th, and temperatures warmed accordingly. Scattered showers developed each afternoon on the 6th and 7th as well, dropping a couple hundredths of an inch each day, barely enough to wet the pavement

The second week of September went from summer to winter, skipped fall, and came back to summer—overall not too unusual for us on the Palmer Divide during the transition seasons. The week started off about average, with temperatures ranging from the upper 60s to mid 70s from the 8th through the 11th. Each day also saw areas of low clouds and fog, along with scattered showers. More beneficial moisture accumulated over the period, with around a half-inch total over the four days. Then a strong cold front (for September anyway) moved through just after midnight on the 12th. This brought temperatures a good 30 degrees colder than normal. Low cloud and fog quickly filled in.

Light rain changed to light snow during the early morning hours as temperatures fell into the low 30s Temperatures were in the upper 20s by morning, providing our first freeze of the season, about a week or two earlier than normal. The low clouds and fog also kept temperatures cold during the afternoon, with highs only reaching the low 40s. However, high pressure from the west quickly kicked out the cold air and allowed dry mild air to move in. Highs jumped back to the upper 70s the next day and stayed there through Sunday. So, in a two-day period we went from the mid-60s to the low 40s and back to the upper 70s.

High pressure was in control of the weather pattern for the most of the rest of the month. This meant beautiful fall weather—that is if you like sunshine and mild temperatures. High temperatures reached into the upper 70s and low 80s each afternoon from the 16th through the 20th, an unusually long streak for the middle of September. Temperatures peaked at 84°F on the 19th, near-record high territory for the day.

A quick-moving weather system did move through the evening of the 20th, bringing a shot of rain that evening, but this was our only measureable precipitation from the 13th through the 28th. High temperatures dropped back to slightly below average the next afternoon, reaching the upper 60s. Then temperatures continued a slow climb to back above-normal levels through the remainder of the month, again reaching into the low 80s on the 26th and 27th.

The last couple days of the month saw a change in the pattern, as a slow-moving storm system rolled through out of the west. This storm brought rain and mountain snow to the Four Corners and northern Rocky Mountains. As bands of moisture rotated around the storm and interacted with deeper layers of moisture and instability on the 29th, several rounds of thunderstorms, rain, hail, and severe weather developed. Several areas just to our north received large hail and strong winds. We of course didn’t totally miss out, as some areas of small hail fell during the late afternoon, along with brief heavy rain and lots of lightning. Most areas received about a half inch of rain, which was welcome after an extended dry period. This storm moved out that evening and left behind a cool and quiet day to end the month.

A look ahead

October can be an active weather month for the Tri-Lakes 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 6 to 15 inches of snow that fell during 2004 from Halloween night through Nov. 1. Snow can be heavy at times during any part of October, as when over 20 inches of snow fell October 9-10 in 2005 and 2006 saw over 24 inches of snow fall in less than 24 hours on Oct. 26. Just last year, nearly 10 inches fell on Oct. 8, so get those snow plows ready. Of course, the weather can also be very dry and mild, so enjoy those days when you can.

September 2014 Weather Statistics

Average High 73.5° (+1.5)

100-year return frequency value max 77.5° min 63.5°

Average Low 43.5° (+3.5)

100-year return frequency value max 46.7° min 36.1°

Monthly Precipitation 1.24" (-0.27")

100-year return frequency value max 4.34" min 0.40"

Monthly Snowfall 0.2" (-0.6")

Highest Temperature 84° on the 19th

Lowest Temperature 28° on the 12th

Season to Date Snow 0.2" (-0.6", 75% below normal)

(the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)

Season to Date Precip. 8.13" (+0.34", 5% above normal)

(the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)

Heating Degree Days 201 (-68)

Cooling Degree Days 6 (+4)

Bill Kappel is a meteorologist and Tri-Lakes resident. He can be reached at billkappel@ocn.me.

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Letters to Our Community

Click here for guidelines for letters to the editor.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Letters to Our Community should not be interpreted as the views of OCN even if the letter writer is an OCN volunteer.

Thank you to our community

Thank you to businesses, families, and individuals for supporting the students and teachers of Lewis-Palmer School District. In September, four years after the Adopt D38 program debut, more than 485 adoptions of teachers, grades, teams, departments, and schools have occurred with over $100,000 in donations. Teachers received 100 percent of the donations and purchased educational items for classrooms throughout our school district.

Some of the items purchased with your generous donations are: books, iPads, apps, computers, listening centers, Playaways (audio books), calculators, magazines, smart boards, a motivational speaker, headphones, rocket kits, weather cycle model, ceramic paints, and musical instruments.

We would love to recognize all the supporters of Adopt D38 but will just mention a few: Dr. Angela Delmorme of Delormco Business Development Inc., First Bank, Gleneagle Dental by Dr. Wonnacott, Kimmy’s Therapeutic Massage & Bodyworks, Monument Vision Clinic, U.S. Taekwondo Center, Verizon Matching Incentive Program gifted by the Cade family, the Barber family, the Biggs family, the Bjurstrom family, the Ferguson family, the Fowler family, Tom Gregory, the Hopper family, the Horton family, John and Jane Kerr, the Saffold family, the Schiappi family, and the Simpfendorfer family. Please check each school’s Adopt D38 web page for the complete list of donors and more information on how to support education with your tax-deductible donation. See www.lewispalmer.org.

Volunteers have made Adopt D38 possible, so a special thank you to Jen Mueller and Deb Stumpf. Also, thank you to the Lewis-Palmer Education Foundation for sponsoring Adopt D38, thus allowing 100 percent donation.

Georgina Gittins

Adopt D38 volunteer

adoptd38@lewispalmer.org  

Vote wisely on marijuana petitions

Reasons to vote "no" on Citizen Petition 300:

• Surrounding communities opted not to have retail marijuana stores (Manitou Springs is voting to remove their stores)

• Costs to the community as already experienced on the state level:

o Increased police personnel

o increased drug counseling personnel

o increased drug education in our schools

• Do we want a gigantic retail marijuana store located in the old Pinz bowling alley to be the first image people see visiting our town?

• Potential massive congestion with individuals trying to enter and exit

• Insufficient data available to predict long-range ramifications to a town of our size

• Concerns held by local school personnel

• Owner of the potential retail marijuana store lives in Golden—no vested interest in the repercussions of his store (By the way, Golden voted down a marijuana retail store in the town, citing we want to be known as a "healthy town")

• Perceived revenue is unknown (when lobbying for a medical marijuana facility, large numbers of revenue were cited when in fact we receive only $1,000 a year in sales tax)

• Potential devaluation of housing value based on a reputation of being a "pot town"

• Uphold the constitutional rights of voters who voted "no" to a retail marijuana store in April election

• Very divisive to our town

• We need revenue but prostituting ourselves with something that has so many negatives. True revenues are an unknown factor.

Reasons for "yes" vote on Citizen Petition 301

For three years:

• No ballot issue regarding marijuana

• Allows review of the effects of retail marijuana store on a small community

• Allows accurate revenue figures generated from a store in a small community

• Allows accurate data on the challenges created by having a retail marijuana store located in small towns

• Please note that voting "yes" on this ballot issue is not prohibiting anyone from using marijuana or growing it and does not affect the sales of medical marijuana

Meredith "Kit" Bromfield

Let’s keep Palmer Lake healthy

On Nov. 4 the citizens of Palmer Lake will have the choice to keep the town a healthy, growing, quiet corner of the world, well-known for its hospitality, art, and beautiful scenery. Or it will sell its soul for promised proceeds from retail pot sales.

There are many organizations who, after diligent research, have taken positions against the sales of retail marijuana, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, the American Society of Addictive Medicine, the New England Journal of Medicine, the White House, the Justice Department, the Congress of the United States and many others. Are we somehow smarter than the doctors, psychologists and lawyers who comprise these organizations? Do we think they "just don’t get it"? They’re not hip or behind the times?

Many who are residents in our community have already voted "No, not in our town" in April of this year but this issue once again is coming up. We have put forth Citizen Petition 301 which calls for a three-year ban on the sale of retail marijuana, and then legalization only by a vote of the population. We don’t want the citizens of our town to have to continue to face this issue, and we want the people to continue to decide for ourselves, not have this right taken by the Town Council or the mayor.

We respect the rights of those who think the money from sales of retail marijuana will help the town, but we think there are more social costs than financial benefit. Our town has ample revenue and is solvent. So please, consider our kids, our property values, the health of our town and your own long-term interests and vote "no" on 300 and "yes" on 301. Visit www.calmpalmerlake.org for more information.

Chris Amenson

How much tax revenue could come from retail marijuana?

Our Palmer Lake community has been misled by the pro-marijuana lobby that simply wants to get the law passed for their own personal gain. The real truth is that marijuana sales provide very little income for towns and have many negative impacts on our communities.

Even though there are taxes of 27.9 percent on it, almost all of it goes to the state or school construction. The Colorado Department of Revenue explains that each local government only receives 15 percent of the 10 percent retail marijuana state sales tax. This 15 percent is divided among each local government based on percentage of retail marijuana sales tax revenue collected in their boundaries. So, Palmer Lake would receive a total of 1.5 percent of reported sales.

There are approximately 200 retail marijuana stores in Colorado. The $150,000 average monthly revenue per store would likely give Palmer Lake approximately $2,250 of tax revenue per month from retail marijuana. The black market, medical marijuana, and loopholes in the law are stealing away portions of this money from the towns as well. In Colorado, 40 percent of marijuana is sold through the black market, and that is increasing due to the high taxes on retail marijuana. Medical marijuana has a much lower tax, thus providing incentive for people to find a way to buy it through this source to avoid the high taxes. The amount of proposed income certainly does not justify the negative impact it could have on our town. The unintended consequences from allowing retail marijuana is a risk we just can’t afford to take.

Send a strong message again by voting "no" on retail marijuana. Also, vote "yes" on the three-year moratorium. Let’s intensify our focus on the things that will truly build up our town!

Name withheld by request

Politics as usual?

The El Paso County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held a regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 23, which I attended. One proposed resolution was to move county emergency services functions from the Sheriff’s Office to the Public Services Department. I have been a volunteer for the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Division for the past 10 years as an instructor for disaster preparedness, a member of the Emergency Operations Center staff and a member of the Fire Rehab service, all of which fall under this division.

During open discussions on the proposal it became apparent that the three board members promoting the resolution have no plan in place to facilitate the move. They were unsure of how funding would be accomplished and they were unsure of where the experienced personnel would come from to populate the newly formed organization. But, they were adamant that it had to happen right away. Why? Reasons given were thin at best. It also became sadly apparent that the decision to approve the resolution had been reached before the meeting ever started, regardless of any public input. Limited to three minutes, seven spoke against and no speakers supported the move.

The BOCC conceded one point, and instead of tabling the motion until further information could be provided to the public, passed the resolution on a 4 to 1 vote on the condition that a transition plan be in place and implemented on Dec. 1 of this year. Commissioner Peggy Littleton voted against the measure. Hopefully this plan will be coordinated with the Sheriff’s Office and detail which functions will transfer and which ones will stay.

No further public input was allowed nor will be sought. Is this how our county government works?

Scott Rand

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Between the Covers at Covered Treasures Bookstore A variety of new fall books

By the staff at Covered Treasures

Covering many topics from a Christmas quilt and a French house to a blueberry bakery and Colorado bears, the following is a look at some of the new fiction and nonfiction books on our shelves.

A Quilt for Christmas

By Sandra Dallas (St. Martin’s Press) $17.99

It is 1864, and Eliza Spooner’s husband, Will, has joined the Kansas Volunteers to fight the Confederates, leaving her in charge of their two children, their home, and land. Eliza is confident that he will return home, and she passes the months making a special quilt to keep Will warm during his winter in the army. When the unthinkable happens, she takes in a woman and a child left alone by the war, and she finds solace and camaraderie among the women of her quilting group. When she is asked to hide an escaped slave, she must decide what is right and who she can count on to help her.

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café

By Mary Simses (Little, Brown & Co.) $15

Ellen Branford leaves Manhattan and her fiancé to fulfill her grandmother’s dying wish—delivering her last letter to the hometown boy she once loved. The short trip she anticipated to Beacon, Maine, quickly becomes complicated when she almost drowns in the ocean and is saved by a carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. This is a warm and delicious novel about the power of a simpler life.

Lucky Us

By Amy Bloom (Random House) $26

Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star, and Eva, the sidekick, journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. From small-town Ohio to Hollywood and the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island, the pair encounters big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and the war. Deeply moving and fantastically funny, Lucky Us is a novel about success and failure, good luck and bad, the creation of a family, and the pleasures and inevitable perils of family life.

Great Colorado Bear Stories

By Laura Pritchett (Riverbend Publishing) $14.95

Carefully researched and skillfully written, this is an incredible look at Colorado’s bears, including the grizzlies that once roamed the state and the black bears that still do. These stories describe the natural history of bears along with near-death encounters of people ranging from Roosevelt’s hunting and Pike’s exploring to contemporary backyard bruins in the suburbs. These stories involve hikers, ranchers, hunters, historians, Native Americans, and regular folks—at the moments their lives have intersected with the great bears of Colorado.

The French House

By Don Wallace (sourcebooks) $14.99

Shortly after Don and Mindy Wallace move to Manhattan to jump-start their writing careers, they learn of a house for sale in a village they once visited on a tiny French island off the Brittany coast. Desperate for a life change, the Wallaces bravely (and impulsively) buy it almost sight unseen. What they find when they arrive is a ruin, and before long, their lives begin to resemble it—with hilarious and heartwarming results. Filled with the beauty and flavors of French country life, this is a lively, inspiring, and irresistibly charming memoir of a family that rises from the rubble, wins the hearts of a historic village, and finally finds the home they’ve been seeking off the wild coast of France.

No Man’s War

By Angela Ricketts (Counterpoint) $25

Raised as an Army brat, Ricketts eloped with Jack, an infantry lieutenant, now a colonel, who has been deployed eight times—to Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. With humor, candor, and a brazen attitude, Rickets pulls back the curtain on the part of the war machine that stays behind: the subculture of military families who support the troops going off to war. This is a story of sisterhood and survival that illuminates a too-often unacknowledged group devoted to military service.

If you’re looking for a new book for yourself, or to give as a special gift, there are a variety of new fall titles to choose from. Until next month, happy reading.

The staff at Covered Treasures Bookstore can be contacted at books@ocn.me.

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HANG - High Altitude Natural Gardens: Local fall and winter gardening

By Janet Sellers

Most garden crops are in by now, and the long warm season surely helped extend harvesting for our area. I am thrilled to see that, even in early October, most of my plants still have something on them to harvest, and with any luck our nice warm fall weather can continue to support plants with the help of covers, even makeshift cloth, sheets, or hooped contraptions covered with those materials.

Since the end of the garden season is a sad one for me (I just love to see my garden as it grows) I have secretly been planning a way to somehow string twinkle lights out on my "hugelkultur" bed under the hoops to keep its nights a tad warmer for a bit longer.

Fall is time to take in the sunny days and protect plants at night from frost, and survey the garden in preparation for winter. Many gardeners cover plants in straw (or even layers of newspaper) and tie or weigh that down; plants that would otherwise die off in our area seem to need that bit of help, and come back in the spring.

Many perennials die down to the roots each year and come back full of life when the weather warms up again, but all of our plants and trees will need a keen eye for watering to keep them strong in our weather patterns. We are lucky to live in one of the sunniest areas of the nation, but the actual temperatures vary widely from fall to spring with anyone’s guess for sunny warmer days and cold nights, cold days and nights, and deep cold periods of snow and ice. One thing is sure, and that is that the weather can and will change at the drop of a hat.

In fall and winter, local gardeners plan their garden plant companions, change up placement, and begin seedlings as well. Container gardening is still possible indoors in a sunny window, but it’s anybody’s guess what will do well indoors.

With our sunny days and indoor warmth, indoors in winter I know I can have abundant geraniums, petunias, and flowers near the windows all season. My trick for a bug-free indoors is to spray as well as water the plants with soapy water and if any gnats are hiding in the soil or leaves they disappear soon enough.

Next month, I will find out the local tips and tricks to keep the fall mums and holiday plants vibrant and pretty, how to extend their blooms, and some fun holiday ideas with plants and flowers. And, as usual, keep up on local garden info and events with Tri- Lakes Garden Community at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tri-Lakes-Garden-Community/ and Monument Community Garden at https://www.facebook.com/MonumentCommunityGarden.

Janet Sellers is an avid novice HANG gardener in the Tri-Lakes area. Contact her with your tips and questions for the TLGC at janetsellers@OCN.me.

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Art Matters: To your health: Fine art is good medicine

By Janet Sellers

Imagine visiting a friend in the hospital or in recovery at a nursing facility and actually enjoying the art on the walls, not as mere decoration filling up the walls but as respite in an enriching moment during a stressful time. Wouldn’t that brighten your day and put a smile on your face? Imagine, too, the healthy effect on patients as they go through the hallways in recovery mode in a wheelchair or how uplifting that short rehab walk could be with refreshing art on the walls or as sculptural way-finding elements.

Healthcare art programs are growing. Hospitals are using fine art to help patients heal faster. Yes, you read that right: Patients that have pleasant art to view benefit from lowered stress, reduced anxiety and pain. The fine art appears in traditional and video formats where they are even adding audio guides. Research has shown the hospitals that the fine art is a big plus, and they are putting big money into the effort.

"We firmly believe that fine art is good medicine," explained Jennifer Finkel, curator for the Cleveland Clinic Art Program, Arts & Medicine Institute. The healing power of art has been well documented. According to the 2009 State of the Field Report: Arts in Healthcare, "Studies have proven integrating the arts into healthcare settings helps to cultivate a healing environment, support the physical, mental, and emotional recovery of patients, communicate health and recovery information, and foster a positive environment for caregivers that reduces stress and improves workplace satisfaction."

Finkel said in an interview for Currents magazine that the clinic’s 91 years of art collection contains 5,000 works spread throughout its main campus, hospitals, family health centers, and inter-continental Cleveland hotels. "Many main campus visitors have been entranced by Jenmfer Steinkamp’s Mike Kelley 1, a video installation of a tree that transforms through the seasons," and Finkel added that the clinic has collected art in part because "The founders realized the benefits of arts in the healing process." Richard Mayer, MetroHealth’s director of construction management, added, "Over 175 years, you [MetroHealth] start to collect some incredible pieces."

The Wall Street Journal reported in August this year that, "researchers are learning more about the precise ways paintings and other works of art help patients and families in the healing process. With studies showing a direct link between the content of images and the brain’s reaction to pain, stress, and anxiety, hospitals are considering and choosing artworks based on the evidence and giving it a higher priority than merely decoration for sterile rooms and corridors."

More and more care centers are investing in or at least investigating in the arts for healing, both on the walls and as restorative activities for patients and families. Hospital art curators usually look for works that provide levity and at least a positive distraction. This is important news for artists, and our state has multi-million-dollar investments in art for its hospitals statewide, on a hospital-by-hospital basis, including state mental hospitals and others.

At Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver Medical Center in Aurora, the Fulginiti Pavilion first floor houses a 1,000-square-foot art gallery that will be open to the public during regular business hours, and the gallery offers changing exhibits meant to inspire rich thought. The campus has policies and art locations to "ensure that the arts are incorporated into student education, clinical practice, and the daily life of our community, the gallery provides a secure venue for curated exhibitions of painting and photography and multimedia installations."

For years now, we artists and our venues have touted the benefits of pleasant fine art as restorative creative aspects for work, school and home, and I have always suspected art in hospitals would be great to have as well. I guess seeing the research makes that idea seem more concrete. Anyhow, it’s great to know that hospitals are acting on what we believe: that fine art is good for us in body and soul!

Our local art scene has year-round fine art to enjoy, and each month most locations have special offerings and changed exhibits for your pleasure and for purchase. Please visit them or take a class or give a class as a gift. Keep the arts strong in your heart and your health!

Local art events in October

Oct. 8 Empty Bowls dinner—Lewis-Palmer High School; $20 ticket includes dinner, a handmade bowl, and more. One child 12 or under admitted free with purchased ticket. Tickets available at the door, local merchants, or online at www.MonumentHillKiwanis.org.

Bella Art and Frame Gallery—Over a dozen fine artists exhibit their work in wall niches throughout the gallery. Realism and abstract works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, and a gift shop with fine art gifts and greeting cards. 183 Washington St., Monument.

Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts—Through Nov. 1, Wendy Francisco art exhibit, Twice Upon a Time by debi Story Maddox, jewelry making classes by Elaine Teevens. 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake.

Janet Sellers is a noted local artist and art teacher. Her paintings and sculptures are exhibited at local businesses, the Monument Sculpture Park, and various museums and cities, and her large-scale murals are in Los Angeles and Colorado. She can be reached via OCN at JanetSellers@OCN.me.

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Snapshots of Our Community

Patriot Golf Tournament

Caption: The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Patriot Team members are, from left, firefighter Brian Crawford, engineer Mauricio Ayala, Lt. Shannon Balvanz, and Capt. Sean Pearson. Photo courtesy of Dean Jones.

The 13th annual Patriot Golf Tournament on Sept. 8, sponsored by Gleneagle Sertoma Club, attracted 126 golfers who played 18 holes at the Air Force Academy’s Eisenhower Golf Course. Honored guests comprised patriot teams from Peterson Air Force Base, Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado Springs Fire Department, and Donald Wescott Fire Protection District. Their green fees were paid by friends of Sertoma and local businesses.

This tournament is held each year near Sept. 11 to memorialize those who served and lost their lives in the disasters inflicted by terrorists in 2001. The Patriot Annual Golf Tournament has become a tradition honoring those in our community who would make the same heroic efforts anytime and anywhere.

Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Home Front Cares and other local charities supported by Gleneagle Sertoma.

American Legion Flag Ceremony, Sept. 11

Caption: On Sept. 11, members of American Legion Post 9-11 and Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District firefighters commemorated the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, and the moment when the first jet plane hit the World Trade Center tower in 2001, by lowering the flag to half-staff. The ceremony is an annual event for the American Legion Post. See www.americanlegiontrilakespost911.com to find out about dozens of other post activities supporting veterans and the community. Photo by post Historian Ray Kinder.

Frog Festival benefits Healing Warriors

Caption: Bob Gould won Best in Show with his painstakingly-restored 1949 Oldsmobile. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.

On Sept. 14, the Whimsy County Frog Festival and Show of Classic Conveyances raised money to benefit the Healing Warriors Program, which provides pain management for post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury symptoms not paid for by traditional medical coverage for veterans and their families. Frog on a Limb Primitives and Pikes Peak Brewing Co. organized the event. For more information or to donate to Healing Warriors, visit http://healingwarriorsprogram.org.

Black Forest Park

Caption: As described in the caption on page 1, volunteers install log erosion barriers (LEBs) in Black Forest Regional Park. Photos by Lisa Hatfield.

Final 2014 Art Hop

Caption: Mary Lou Pape, left, with Ethan Ahlstrom and Maggi Williamson at Bella Art and Frame Gallery celebrate the last Art Hop of the 2014 season and the beginning of the fall and holiday season for local art.

Caption: Bonnie Anthony exhibited her wide range of talent in her meticulous botanicals as well as her abstract paintings at Bella Casa for the September Art Hop.

Caption: Award-winning local artist John deFrancisco unveiled his painting of the Catriona Cellars building as he made it a gift to Catriona Cellars.

Caption: Carol Ross Assistant Store Manager of Hangers Thrift Shop, where residents can donate and/or buy gently used men’s, women’s, children’s clothing and household goods and decor. All proceeds go to support the programs of Tri-Lakes Cares. Photos by Janet Sellers.

Discovery Canyon presents Bye Bye Birdie

Caption: Mark Vedra, playing Conrad Birdie in the namesake play Bye Bye Birdie, fights off girls playing infatuated women in the ‘50s. Birdie, rockstar and teen heartthrob, has been drafted into the Army. Albert Peterson, his "handler" and head of Almaelou Music Corp., plans for him to have one last show and give a lucky girl, Kim, one last kiss before he leaves. So Conrad, Albert, and Albert’s girlfriend/secretary Rosie go to Sweet Apple, Ohio, where a series of complicated events involving Albert’s mother, Kim’s boyfriend Hugo, and Kim’s family throw the small town into chaos. This was a Discovery Canyon Campus Theatre production in September. Photo by Arjun Gheewala.

Pikes Peak Brewery wins trophy at Hopfest

Caption: Pikes Peak Brewery won the People’s Choice trophy at the first annual Hopfest in Monument at Limbach Park. The event included beers from 10 Front Range Breweries using fresh "wet" hops in seasonal beers, live music onstage, food booths and lots of convivial tastings of over 30 locally created beers. From Pikes Peak Brewery, from left are Simon Walker, Lari Collins, Rick Squires (the hops farmer), Meghan Flynn, and David Moum. Photo by Janet Sellers

YMCA holds Amazing Race

Caption: The teams tossed water-soaked sponges to each other to get water to the fill-line at the first challenge. Photo courtesy of Aaron Nielsen.

Caption: The Pink Pigs Team of Aaron, Kristen, Jesse, Luke, Heidi, and Zac Nielsen was ready to hit the road in search of adventure. Photo courtesy of Aaron Nielsen.

About 15 teams of kids and adults tackled the challenges in the Y’s Tri-Lakes Amazing Race on Sept. 19. Families from our community chose team colors and team names and then searched for clues and challenges all over the Tri-Lakes region. At each passport stop, they competed in events such as tossing ping-pong balls, finding words in library books, tossing toilet paper rolls, shaving a balloon, sorting and delivering letters to the correct bins, or knocking over cups with air from a balloon. For more information about family and community events at the Y, see www.ppymca.org/locations/tri-lakes.

Haunted Mines comes to WMMI

Caption: Volunteer actors and actresses for the Haunted Mines pose at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. The Haunted Mines, open from late September through October, has been an annual, nonprofit haunted house in Colorado Springs since 2006, and has become the mining museum’s single largest donor. The Haunted Mines also raises money for various local charities including animal rescue groups, fire departments, and food banks. The attraction offers many opportunities for volunteers, mostly high school or college students, to learn life skills, including theatrical, business, basic medical, and fire safety skills. For more information on the Haunted Mines, visit http://hauntedmines.org. Photo by Emma Gaydos.

Zombie Run teaches preparedness

Above: A young "zombie" pulls a runner’s flag in the second annual Zombie Run at Fox Run Regional Park on Sept. 27. The run officially began at 10 that morning, attracting about 400 runners. The brain behind the Zombie Run, Peggy Littleton, describes it as "a fantastic way to get people out and engaged and interested in emergency preparedness." The run involves "zombies" who try to pull the runners’ red "life flags" as they pass by. However, participants can earn a life flag back if they can correctly answer a question about disaster preparedness. At the finish line (and the start), there are many booths set up to teach emergency preparedness and personal preparedness. The motto of the event is, "Be Prepared, Don’t be a Zombie." Photo by Emma Gaydos.

Monument celebrated at Sundance

Caption: Dozens of Tri-Lakes-based business celebrated with the renamed Sundance Monument Lodge at its ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 30. Joining in the festivities are, from left, Cara Vanderkolk, Hangers store manager, and Carol Ross, assistant store manager for Hangers Thrift Shop.

Caption: Janet Sellers, a steadfast volunteer reporter for OCN, brought her service dog Atticus with her at her booth representing the Monument School of Fine Art and talked with Deb Dalton, certified neuromuscular therapist. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.

Caption: On Sept. 29, the Tri-Lakes Lions Club presented funds to the Town of Monument be used toward a pavilion in Lavelett Park. From left are Monument Public Works Director Tom Tharnish, Jim Naylor from the Tri-Lakes Lions Club, Tri-Lakes Lions Club President Dave Prejean, and Monument Mayor Rafael Dominguez. Photo courtesy of Madeline VanDenHoek, Town of Monument community relations specialist.

Lions donate $5,000 for pavilion

Caption: On Sept. 29, the Tri-Lakes Lions Club presented funds to the Town of Monument be used toward a pavilion in Lavelett Park. From left are Monument Public Works Director Tom Tharnish, Jim Naylor from the Tri-Lakes Lions Club, Tri-Lakes Lions Club President Dave Prejean, and Monument Mayor Rafael Dominguez. Photo courtesy of Madeline VanDenHoek, Town of Monument community relations specialist.

October library events: Books, pumpkins, and Halloween

By Harriet Halbig

The All Pikes Peak Reads program, Engage the Extraordinary, continues through October with programs throughout the area. This year’s selections include The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, Who Owns the Ice House? by Clifton Taulbert, The Waltons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis, and Matched by Allie Condie. The children’s selection is Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine.

Author Condie will visit the area in mid-November and Kidd will be in the area in early 2015. Pick up a list of events at the library!

Children’s programs

October’s Family Fun event is Kathy’s Critters, introducing hedgehogs and tenrecs. Make a hedgehog craft to take home. The program begins at 1:30. At 3, local firefighters will come to explain what they do. They will bring equipment and a truck.

The Legos Club will meet on Oct. 18 from 10 to 11:30. Bring your imagination and we will provide the Legos.

Pumpkin Day will be on Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 10:30 to 11:30. Each child will receive a pumpkin to decorate with stick-on features.

Children ages 6 through 12 are invited to make a mask at the library at 4 on Friday, Oct. 24. Feathery, sparkly, scary or funny, make a mask that suits your style. Registration is required.

Teen programs

There will be an after-hours Zombie party for 12- to 18-year-olds on Oct. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. There will be a showing of the movie Warm Bodies and zombie makeup application.

Adult programs

The Monumental Readers will meet from 10 to noon on Friday, Oct. 17 to discuss Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book club.

On the walls of the library will be photographs by Mayme Shroyer. In the display case will be handmade bowls from Empty Bowl Dinners in previous years. This year’s dinner will be on Oct. 8 at Lewis-Palmer High School. Proceeds benefit Tri-Lakes Cares. Tickets are available at many locations and at the door from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Palmer Lake Library events

Palmer Lake’s October Family Fun is Howling with Wolves. Castlewood Canyon State Park employees will talk about gray wolves and provide you with a wolf mask and a chance to vocalize with recordings. Learn about wolf family and pack behaviors and hear about close encounters with wolves in Yellowstone. The program is on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 10:30.

For younger children, celebrate Halloween with not so scary stories on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 4:30.

The Palmer Lake Book Group meets at 9 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. Please call 481-2587 for the latest selection.

Caption: Firefighters from Station 2 of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District read at a special story time on Sept. 30 at the Monument Library. They demonstrated what a child should do in the event that a smoke alarm sounded in their home and showed what gear a firefighter responding to a fire would be wearing. They will return to the library on Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. to give a tour of their ladder truck and ambulance.

Caption: Firefighter EMT Engineer Mike Rauenzahn introduces pupper.

Caption: Firefighter EMT William Vogl demonstrates his gear.

Caption: Firefighter Medic Jon Bodinsky reads to the children. Photos by Harriet Halbig.

Harriet Halbig may be reached at harriethalbig@ocn.me.

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Palmer Lake Historical Society, Sep. 18: Sleuth tells history of maligned local businessman

By Tom VanWormer

At the September meeting of the Palmer Lake Historical Society, attendees learned the accurate history of the museum director’s great-grandfather. Harry McIntire was, at a very young age, not only the manager of the Colorado Springs Hotel but was a very key officer of the First National Bank of Colorado Springs. As a 20-year-old he was a master of both the hospitality and banking worlds.

This was the lead-in given by Dwight Haverkorn, one of Tri-Lakes’ favorite storytellers and the Colorado Springs Police Department’s historian, about H.A. McIntire, who was villainized in one of the early books about the key people in the development of Colorado Springs in the late 1860s.

Haverkorn accessed records of the early courts of El Paso and Hinsdale Counties along with federal records in both Colorado and Nebraska to determine the alleged crimes committed by McIntire regarding charges dealing with banking activities in both counties. Haverkorn found that a charge of failure to pay a $3000-plus loan was the only "crime" committed, although the early book claimed McIntire was found guilty of embezzling over a quarter of a million dollars.

After McIntire’s conviction in the 1860s, the governors of Colorado and Nebraska led a drive for petitions to President Hayes to pardon him, which the president did. McIntire then moved his family to Denver, where he changed his name to Henry McIntyre, successfully engaged in the real estate business, and was considered a model businessman. He eventually built a summer home in Palmer Lake, which is the current home of our museum director. Finally, the public has access to the actual story about the McIntyre family history because one of our favorite historians was able to gather the facts.

**********

Keeping in the vein of crime and punishment, former El Paso Sheriff John Wesley Anderson will present the story of El Paso County’s first sheriff, John Rankin, at the Palmer Lake Historical Society meeting on 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Palmer Lake Town Hall. This will be an opportunity to take a look at the early days of El Paso County and the challenges faced by the sheriff. Refreshments will be served.

Caption: Left: Harry. McIntire (AKA Henry McIntyre). Right: Dwight Haverkorn. Photos provided by Tom VanWormer.

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Our Community Notices

By Judy Barnes, Events Editor

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 information number for that event.

Wednesday Senior Lunch at Big Red

Oct 8: Ham, scalloped potatoes, salad.

Oct 15: Chicken Marsala on fettuccine, Caesar salad.

Oct 22: Brats, sauerkraut, coleslaw, chips.

Oct 29: Pasta w/meat sauce, Caesar salad.

Rolls and butter are served with each meal except sandwiches. Dessert is also provided.

Lunch is at 11:30 a.m. at 146 Jefferson St., Monument (the School District 38 Administration Building, "Big Red"). $3 voluntary donation. Entertainment follows lunch. For more information, call Judy, 487-9067. An activity of Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership. Meals are provided by Pinecrest Catering, Palmer Lake; Nikki McDonald, executive chef, 481-3307.

Seeking veterans for school history project

The Veteran’s History Project is a national effort to preserve the oral history of local veterans. Lewis-Palmer Middle School is proud to contribute to this effort every year and is currently seeking volunteers to participate. The project begins Veterans Day, Nov. 11. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Mary Diane Deysher at mdeysher@lewispalmer.org or call 488-4776.

Meals on Wheels comes to Palmer Lake; volunteers needed

Mountain Community Senior Services and Silver Key of Colorado Springs are starting a Meals on Wheels program in Palmer Lake. Meals will be delivered to Tri-Lakes Cares on Tuesdays and Fridays, then picked up by drivers and taken to clients. For more information or to volunteer, contact Sue Cliatt, 481-3175, es1070@aol.com.

Handbell ringer opportunity

The Tri-Lakes Community Handbell Choir needs some new ringers, adults and senior high school students, to share in this great music opportunity. For more information, please contact Betty Jenik, 488-3853 or ljenik@comcast.net.

Free transportation and
safety services for seniors

Mountain Community Senior Services offers free transportation and safety services to Tri-Lakes seniors. If you need a ride to a medical appointment, grocery shopping, or the local senior lunches, a volunteer driver will be happy to help you. The number to call is 488-0076 to leave a message for the dispatcher. If you are in need of grab bars in the bathroom, a ramp to your door, or repair of stairs or railings, please call Cindy Rush, 488-0076, and leave a message.

Free Thanksgiving dinner

Rosie’s Diner is again teaming with Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) to offer a free Thanksgiving Dinner to those in the community who may not have family to share this special day with, or who may not be able to prepare their own meal. Last year’s event was a great success thanks to the generosity of many local businesses.

Plans and preparations for the 2014 event have started. Financial contributions are sought to offset the cost of publicity, materials, and food. Those donating $100 or more by Oct. 15 will be recognized in publicity, by display of their name or logo. Donations should be made to Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership, a 501(C)(3) non-profit; receipts for the donation will be provided.

Please help make this year’s Community Coming Together Thanksgiving Dinner another big success. If your business or group would like to contribute to this year’s event, please contact Madeline VanDenHoek, Town of Monument Community Liaison, at 884-8013.

Monument Hill Foundation
announces annual grants

The Monument Hill Foundation, funding arm of Monument Hill Kiwanis, has just approved $40,000 in grants to area charitable and youth programs for 2014 and 2015. Among the grant recipients are Lewis-Palmer School District 38 and Pikes Peak Community College, each of which received a substantial gift to support career starter scholarships.

More than $11,000 goes to assist youth programs including leadership development. Grants to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Children’s Advocacy, CASA, the Griffith Center, and the Equestrian Program aim to help young people get on track toward a secure and productive life. The foundation also provides $40,000 for Salvation Army through the annual bell ringing effort. Another $20,000 goes to Tri-Lakes Cares from the Empty Bowls Supper, and $5,000 funds a special dictionary project that provides each 3rd grader in the Tri-Lakes area with a new dictionary. Grants totaling more than $100,000 are awarded annually.

The foundation and the Kiwanis Club are grateful for the support from the Tri-Lakes family. Such support enables the foundation and the club to help community charitable programs and to help area youth become productive citizens. The granting program annually solicits funding requests in May. Information is available at www.monumenthillfoundation.org.

MVEA Essay Contest, due Nov. 18

High school juniors can win a trip in June 2015 to Washington, D.C., or a week in July at Leadership Camp in the mountains. Requirements and entry form are available at an MVEA office in Limon or Falcon, or online at www.mvea.coop/community/essay-contest/. For more information, call 719-494-2670.

CASA volunteers needed

Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). CASA offers a volunteer opportunity like no other. As appointed representatives of the court, CASA volunteers are empowered to make a lifelong difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. Learn more at http://www.casappr.org/volunteer-colorado-springs/ or contact Kelly at 447-9898, ext. 1033 or kellyp@casappr.org.

IRS phone scam

The Monument Police Department received numerous reports from citizens in the area who received telephone calls from people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The callers may even identify themselves by name and IRS employee ID number. The callers state that the citizens owe the IRS money, ask for personal information (to include Social Security number), and claim that unless payment is made immediately the Monument Police Department will arrive in 30 minutes to arrest them.

This is a scam that is being committed across the country. The callers do not work for the IRS and the Monument Police Department will not arrive to arrest anyone as the caller states. The IRS does not contact people via telephone to discuss back taxes, etc., without first notifying them by mail and will not ask for payment over the phone via wire transfer or credit card. For more information regarding this scam, go to www.irs.gov and type in "scam" or go to www.treasury.gov/tigta/press/press_tigta-2014-03.htm.

If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from any organization, do not provide your personal information. If they persist in requesting your information, they probably do not work for the organization they claim to represent.

Grant writers needed for Palmer Lake

The Awake Palmer Lake Committee is looking for grant writers to help with the next Great Outdoor Colorado (GOCO) grant application to improve the park at Palmer Lake. The grant could be worth $300,000. See http://awakepalmerlake.org for more information or contact the Park and Recreation trustee at parks@palmer-lake.org.

Monument Marketplace Facebook page

Tri-Lakes residents can sell their used items, trade items, and chat about anything local goings-on at https://www.facebook.com/groups/monumentmarketplace/.

Help chart Colorado’s transportation future

The Colorado Department of Transportation invites citizens to get involved in planning the future of the state’s transportation system by visiting the website, www.coloradotransportationmatters.com.

Free Senior Safety Handyman Services

Senior Safety Handyman Services is a unique program funded by the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging. It is designed to help seniors (age 60 and over) in northwest El Paso County with safety-related handyman projects. Dedicated, paid contractors and volunteers install grab bars, wheelchair ramps, railings, steps, etc., to help seniors to continue to live independently in their own homes. For service, call 488-0076 and leave a message for Cindy Rush. For more information, visit www.TriLakes-mcts-sshs.org.

Get volunteer help for your nonprofit

Due to popular demand, the Lewis-Palmer School District is adding a list of volunteer opportunities to its Youth Activities Directory online. If your nonprofit has a need for volunteers for a one-time project or an ongoing effort and can use volunteers under age 18, obtain a directory listing form on the district website www.lewispalmer.org under the community tab. Nonprofits may list their volunteer needs in the directory free of charge. For information, contact Robin Adair, P.O. Box 40, Monument, CO 80132; call 785-4223 or email radair@lewispalmer.org.

Donala’s Customer Assistance Program

The Donala Water and 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. Applications can be picked up at the Donala office at 15850 Holbein Dr. in Gleneagle or at Tri-Lakes Cares in Monument. For information call 488-3603.

Volunteer drivers needed for seniors’ transportation service

Mountain Community Transportation for Seniors is a nonprofit, grant-funded organization that provides free transportation to Tri-Lakes seniors 60 years old and over. It is the only transportation service in the Tri-Lakes area to take seniors to medical appointments, the grocery store or pharmacy, the bank, legal appointments, senior lunches, shopping, and to the many activities offered through the senior center and our community. The program needs additional volunteer drivers. For information, email browneyesmlk@hotmail.com or call Mary Ketels, 481-2470, or Faye Brenneman, 481-2527, or leave a message with the dispatcher, 488-0076.

Attention Tri-Lakes residents
with medical conditions

If you have a medical condition or a physical disability, please contact Jennifer at Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, 484-0911, to register for emergency assistance if evacuation is required.

Tri-Lakes HAP Senior Center programs

The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership Senior Citizens Center is next to the Lewis-Palmer High School Stadium (across from the YMCA) and is open 1-4 p.m., Tue.-Fri., and earlier for scheduled activities. The facility has a lounge, craft room, game room, and multipurpose room. Programs include pinochle, National Mah-jongg, line dancing, tea time, bingo, and more. Ping-pong, Wii video games, puzzles and board games, refreshments, a lending library, computers with Internet connections, and an information table are also available. For information about programs for seniors, visit www.TriLakesSeniors.org.

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. To subscribe, send an email with your name and mailing address to SeniorBeat@TriLakesSeniors.org. Senior Beat can also be viewed online at www.TriLakesHAP.org.

Senior Safety Program

Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District offers a free senior safety program to all Tri-Lakes seniors. The program includes smoke detector evaluations, home safety assessments, vial of life, and fire prevention. For information call 484-0911 or visit www.tri-lakesfire.com.

County prescription discount program could save you money

El Paso County’s prescription discount program saved 10,000 residents $250,000 in discounted medicines over 18 months at no additional taxpayer cost. People using the card saved an average of 23 percent. There are no eligibility requirements and no strings attached to receive the discounts. You can pick up a free Prescription Discount Card at most county government locations or you can download your own personalized prescription discount card on the county website (bottom of the front page) at www.elpasoco.com/. Any county resident without prescription coverage can use this program. Even if you have insurance for prescription medications, the discount card might save you money on prescription medications your existing plan does not cover. For information, visit www.elpasoco.com/ or call 520-6337 (MEDS).

Free gun-lock kit

The Monument Police Department is offering free firearm safety kits to local residents through a partnership with Project ChildSafe, the nationwide firearms safety education program. Each kit contains gun safety information and a cable-style gunlock that fits most types of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. The Police Department administrative offices at 645 Beacon Lite Rd. are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drop by during those times to pick up a free gun-lock kit. For information, phone 481-3253.

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Our Community Calendar

By Judy Barnes, Community Calendar Editor

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.

GOVERNMENTAL BODIES

Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Mon., Oct. 6, Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Normally meets 1st and 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.

El Paso County Planning Commission Meeting, Tue., Oct. 7, 9 a.m., 2880 International Circle (off Union Blvd & Printers Pkwy). Meets 1st & 3rd Tue. (if required) each month. Info: 520-6300, http://adm2.elpasoco.com/planning/agendas/pc/pc-agn.asp.

Palmer Lake Sanitation District Board Meeting, Wed., Oct. 8, 10 a.m., 120 Middle Glenway. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2732.

D-38 Special Education Advisory Council, Wed., Oct. 8, 6:30 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 488-4700, www.lewispalmer.org.

Monument Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Oct. 8, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 884-8017.

Woodmoor Water & Sanitation District Meeting, Thu., Oct. 9, 1 p.m., 1845 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 488-2525.

Palmer Lake Liquor Licensing Authority & Medical Marijuana Authority and Town Council Combined Workshop and Regular Meeting, Thu., Oct. 9, 6 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.ci.palmer-lake.co.us.

Tri-Lakes Wastewater Facility Joint Use Committee Meeting, Tue., Oct. 14, 10 a.m., 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: Bill Burks, 481-4053.

Triview Metropolitan District Board Meeting, Tue., Oct. 14, 5 p.m., 16055 Old Forest Point, Suite 300, Monument. Meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: 488-6868.

D-38 Accountability Advisory Committee (DAAC) Meeting, Tue., Oct. 14, 7 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 2nd Tue. each month, location varies. Info: 488-4700, www.lewispalmer.org.

Academy Water and Sanitation District Board Meeting, Wed., Oct. 15, 6 p.m., Wescott Fire Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: 481-0711.

Palmer Lake Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Oct. 15, 6 p.m., at Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.ci.palmer-lake.co.us.

Monument Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Oct. 16, 10 a.m., 130 2nd St. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 481-4886.

Donala Water & Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Oct. 16, 1:30 p.m., 15850 Holbein Dr., Colorado Springs. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 488-3603.

Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Board Meeting, Thu., Oct. 16, 6 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 488-4700.

Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Mon., Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets 1st and 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.

El Paso County Planning Commission Meeting, Tue., Oct. 21, 9 a.m., 2880 International Circle (off Union Blvd & Printers Pkwy). Meets 1st & 3rd Tue. (if required) each month. Info: 520-6300, http://adm2.elpasoco.com/planning/agendas/pc/pc-agn.asp.

Wescott Fire Protection District Board Meeting, Tue., Oct. 21, 7 p.m., Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Tue. each month, Info: 488-8680.

Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Board Meeting, Wed., Oct. 22, 6:30 p.m., 166 Second St., Monument. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: Jennifer Martin, 484-0911, www.tri-lakesfire.com.

Woodmoor Improvement Association Board Meeting, Wed., Oct. 22, 7 p.m., Woodmoor Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Dr. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: 488-2693, www.woodmoor.org.

Forest View Acres Water District Board Meeting, Thu., Oct. 23, 6 p.m. Monument Sanitation District boardroom, 130 Second St. Meets 4th Thu. each month. Info: 488-2110, www.fvawd.com.

LOCAL LIBRARY EVENTS

The Palmer Lake Library hours are Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.

The Monument Branch Library hours are Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun., 1-5 p.m. 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Paws to Read, every Mon., 3:30-4:30 p.m. Let your child practice reading to a Paws to Read dog. No registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Aftermath, every Mon.,
3:30-7 p.m. Free drop-in math assistance for students of all ages. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Storytime, every Tue., 10:30-11 & 11:15-11:45 a.m. (no 11:15 Storytime Oct. 21, Pumpkin Day). For ages 3 and up. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Toddler Time, every Thu., 9:30 a.m. & 10:15 a.m. Rhymes & rhythms for one- and two-year-olds. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Family Fun – Hedgehogs and Tenrecs, Sat., Oct. 11, 1:30-3 p.m. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Learn about hedgehogs and tenrecs from Kathy of Kathy’s Kritters. Make a hedgie craft. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Firefighters, Fire Truck, Fun, Sat., Oct. 11, 3-4 p.m. Meet the firefighters from Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, tour their truck, meet their mascot, and learn all about fire safety. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Storytime en Español, Wed., Oct. 15, 5:15-5:45 p.m. For children of all ages. Meets 1st & 3rd Wed. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Family Program–LEGO Club, Sat., Oct. 18, 10-11:30 a.m. Duplos for the littles ones, Legos for the rest. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Palmer Lake Library: Family Fun - Howling with Wolves, Sat., Oct. 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Castlewood Canyon State Park staff will give a talk on gray wolves and provide you with a wolf mask and a chance to vocalize with recordings. Palmer Lake Branch Library, 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Pumpkin Day, Tue., Oct. 21, 10:30-11 a.m. For ages 3 and up. Every child receives a free pumpkin to decorate with stick-on foam faces. There will be no 11:15 Storytime today only. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: American Girl Book Club, Wed., Oct. 22, 4:15-5:30 p.m. Read books, do activities and crafts, have a snack, and socialize. Please read Rebecca and Ana by Oct. 22. Registration is required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Let’s Make Masks, Fri., Oct. 24, 4-5:30 p.m. For ages 6-12 years old. Make a mask to fit your style. Registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library Teen Program: Zombie Movie Night, Sat., Oct. 25, 6-9 p.m. Zombie movies with food and zombie make-up booth. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Pikes Peak Library District’s Kids Web: Kids Web at www.ppld.org features resources for school reports and homework, Tumblebooks––free online read-along books, and a Fun & Games link. A "grown-ups" link has information about local school districts, home-schooling, and more.

Adult Programs

Monument Library Socrates Café, every Tue., 1-3 p.m. This group focuses on a deeper look into philosophy, religions, spirituality, and the common threads among humanity. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library Senior Chats, every Wed., 10 a.m.-noon. All seniors are welcome to share conversation and a cup of coffee in this casual discussion group. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Beginning Computer Classes. Check at the desk for the schedule of free classes Wed. mornings for beginner computer users. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Palmer Lake Library: Palmer Lake Knitting Group, every Thu., 10 a.m.-noon. Knit with other knitters. Palmer Lake Branch Library, 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Yoga Class, every Thu., 11:45-1 p.m. (except Oct. 23, 11:15-12:45 p.m.) Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Monument Library’s Monumental Readers Book Club, Fri., Oct. 17, 10-11:30 a.m. All are welcome to this spirited group. Meets 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Life Circles, Mon., Oct. 6, 9:30-11 a.m. Get inspiration and structure for writing your memories or history. Meets 1st & 3rd Mon. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Tri-Lakes Knitters & Crafters, Fri., Oct. 17, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Drop in to share ideas, get help. Meets 1st and 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: Clare Wissinger, 481-8442, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: AARP Smart Driver Course, Sat., Oct. 18, 1-5 p.m. Sign in 15 minutes prior to class. Any aged person may attend, but the insurance discount only applies to those age 55 and older. Court-directed persons are welcomed; instructors are authorized to sign off related court documents. Cost: $15 AARP members, $20 for non-members. Pre-class reservations are requested but walk-ins might be accepted. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Life Circles, Mon., Oct. 20, 9:30-11 a.m. Get inspiration and structure for writing your memories or history. Meets 1st & 3rd Mon. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: History Buffs Book Discussion Group, Wed., Oct. 22, 1-3 p.m. Enjoy a trip through history with other history lovers. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library Homeschool Program: Moving Day–Colorado’s Migration Story, Mon., Oct. 27, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Designed for 4th graders, this program is a fun, collaborative effort for all ages working together. Email Sandy at syates@ppld.org with names and ages of your children if you plan to attend. Meets last Mon. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Tri-Lakes Knitters & Crafters, Fri., Nov. 7, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Drop in to share ideas, get help. Meets 1st and 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: Clare Wissinger, 481-8442, www.ppld.org.

The Library Channel (Comcast 17) broadcasts 24/7. See live simulcasts of programs, recorded presentations, a schedule of Library events, children’s story times, an adult literacy program, El Paso County Commissioners meetings, and much more. Find the schedule online at www.ppld.org, then click on the link "Happenings @ Your Library," then click on the "Comcast 17" link to search the schedule.


WEEKLY AND MONTHLY EVENTS

Monument Hill Farmer’s Market, every Sat., 8 a.m.-2 p.m., behind the D-38 Administration building at Second and Jefferson St. in Downtown Monument. Park in the Administration Building parking lot. Playground for the kids, many new vendors plus all your old favorites. Info: 592-9420.

Monument Hill Kiwanis Club Breakfast Meeting, every Sat., 8 a.m., Mozaic at the Inn at Palmer Divide, 443 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Guests are welcome to the weekly meetings that feature speakers on a variety of topics. Info: Bill Healy, 278-8393.

Free Tai Chi in the Park, every Sat., 9-10 a.m., weather permitting, Fox Run Park, Stella Drive entrance. Minimal instruction. Look for instructors wearing baseball hats, and grass signs posted, "Get your Qi On." Info: 232-1618 or 232-1619.

Bingo by the American Legion, every Sat., game sales start at 6 p.m., games start at 7 p.m., the Depot Restaurant, in Palmer Lake. Proceeds go to scholarships and other community support activities. Info: 481-8668, www.americanlegiontrilakespost911.com/bingo.htm.

Calvary Fellowship Monument: Saturday Evening Service, every Sat., 6 p.m., 238 Third. St., Monument. Info: Pastor Tony Magar, 290-1748.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church Sunday Worship, 8:30 a.m.; teaching & community time (preschool-adult), 10 a.m.; family service with children’s church, 10:45 a.m. 13990 Gleneagle Dr. Info: 505-8021, www.HolyTrinityAnglicanChurch.org.

Tri-Lakes Reformed Church Sunday Worship, 9:45 a.m., Woodmoor Community Center, 1691 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Info: www.trilakesreformed.org.

Fuel Church Sunday Service at Lewis-Palmer Middle School, Donuts and coffee, 10 a.m.; Main Service, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Non-denominational. Info: info@fuel.org, www.fuelchurch.org.

Women’s A.A. Step Study, every Mon., 6 p.m. Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 W. Baptist Rd. Info: 481-0431.

Monument Hill Kiwanis Bingo, every Mon., 7:30 pm, Carefree Bingo, 3440 N. Carefree Circle, Colo. Springs. All proceeds benefit those in need in the Tri-Lakes Community. Info: mark.zeiger@gmail.com.

Senior Lunches, every Mon. & Thu., except the 1st Thu. each month and holidays, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Administration Complex, 166 Second St., Monument. Arrive 11:30 a.m., dine at noon. Stay for free bingo the 2nd Thu. each month. Cost: $2. Info: Dorothy Myers, 481-4189; Maggie Nealon, 488-3037.

Transmission Meditation: Group Meditations every Mon. & Thu., 7 p.m., in Palmer Lake. The simplest, most potent way to serve humanity and help transform our world. Dynamic aid to personal growth. Info: 303-494-4462, www.TransmissionMeditation.org.

Tri-Lakes YMCA Senior Coffee, every Tue., 9:30-11:30 a.m., 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy, Monument. Members and non-members are welcome. Seniors, come socialize and have coffee and snacks in the front lobby. Sign up to bring snacks. Free. Info: 630-2604, hbrandon@ppymca.org, www.ppymca.org.

Yarny Birds Stitch Group, every Tue., 10 a.m. & 6 p.m., 790 Hwy 105, #C, Palmer Lake. An open group for knitters, crocheters, and fiber arts of any type. Classes starting soon. Info: 377-0403, yarnbirdfibers@gmail.com.

Al-anon Meeting: Monument Serenity, every Tue., 7:30-8:30 p.m., Ascent Church, (formerly the Tri-Lakes Chapel) 1750 Deer Creek Rd., Monument. Info: Kay, 481-9258.

Gleneagle Sertoma, every Wed., luncheon meeting at Liberty Heights, 12105 Ambassador Dr., (off Voyager Blvd in Colorado Springs). Interesting speakers and programs; all are welcome. Info: Call Garrett Barton, 433-5396, Bill Bristol, 481-3366, www.gleneaglesertoma.org.

Senior Citizen Luncheons, every Wed., noon-1 p.m., D-38 Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) invites area seniors for lunch & activities. Free blood pressure screening 1st & 3rd Wed. $3 donation requested. Info: 484-0517.

Tri-Lakes Church of Christ Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal (Free) & Classes, every Wed., 6-7:30 p.m., 20450 Beacon Lite Road, Monument (Corner of Beacon Lite & County Line Roads). Info: 488-9613, gregsmith@trilakeschurch.org, www.trilakeschurch.org.

Oakley’s Cafe & Bistro: Live music Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. See the ad on the back page of this issue for a BOGO coupon. Info: 481-0808.

Al-anon Meeting: Letting Go, every Thu., 9-10:10 a.m., Tri-Lakes Chapel, room 209, 1750 Deer Creek Rd., Monument. Info: Kay, 481-9258.

Highway 83 Farmers Market, every Thu., 4-8 p.m., 15570 Hwy 83. Colorado local natural and organic produce. Crafters welcome; no participation fee, by donation. Info: 719-217-6452 or 719-302-3938.

Villa: Martinis & Music every Thu., 5-8 p.m., (weather permitting). 75 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Happy Hour Tue.-Sun., 5-6 p.m. New small plates menu. RSVP & Info: 481-2222, www.TheVillaPalmerLake.com.

Mozaic Restaurant, The Inn at Palmer Divide: Family Night, every Thu., 5:30-8:30 p.m., 443 S. Highway 105, Palmer Lake. Kids eat free with purchase of an adult entree. See ad for coupon. Info: 481-1800, www.innatpalmerdivide.com.

A.A. Big Book Study, every Thu., 7 p.m., Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 W. Baptist Rd. Info: 481-0431.

Peak Ranch Alpacas Knitting Classes, Sat., Oct. 4 & 11, 12:30 – 2:30, 19850 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Learn to knit in these 2-part classes. Cost: $52, includes instruction for two classes and yarn and knitting needles. Meets 1st & 2nd Sat. each month. Register online at www.peakranchalpacas.com.

Lifting Spirits Adult Day Center Open House, Mon., Oct. 6, 1-4 p.m., 755 Hwy 105, Unit C, Palmer Lake. Caregivers, find out how to make your lives easier. Refreshments served. Meets 1st Mon. each month. Info: Sonja Search, 488-1415, liftingspirits@qwestoffice.net.

American Legion Tri-Lakes Post 9-11, Tue., Oct. 7, 6:30 p.m., Depot Restaurant, Hwy 105 & Primrose St., Palmer Lake. New members welcome. Meets 1st Tue. each month. Info: 481-8668, www.americanlegiontrilakespost911.com.

Black Forest AARP Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Wed., Oct. 8, noon, Black Forest Lutheran Church, 12455 Black Forest Rd. All ages welcome. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: Chuck, 749-9227, or www.aarpchapter1100blackforest.weebly.com.

HAP-py Feet Foot Care Clinic, Wed., Oct. 8, Senior Center located across the street from the Tri-Lakes YMCA, on the Lewis-Palmer High School campus. A registered nurse examines your feet and provides proper toenail trimming. Cost: $30 for a 30-min. visit; limited financial assistance is available for qualifying applicants. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info & appointments: call the Visiting Nurse Association, (303) 698-6496.

Candlelight Yoga at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, Wed., Oct. 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m., 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Pause, meditate, and medicate with wine and chocolate truffles after yoga. Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 481-0475, info@TriLakesArts.org, www.trilakesarts.org.

Civil War Roundtable, Wed., Oct. 8, 7 p.m., Monument Sanitation District Conference Room, 130 2nd St., Monument. Open to all, no prior knowledge needed. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: Leon Tenney, lwt1862@comcast.net.

Senior Bingo at Old Monument Town Hall, Thu., Oct. 9, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Administration Complex, 166 Second St., Monument, after the noontime senior lunch. Come for lunch at 11:30 a.m., then stay and play. Free! Prizes! Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: Maggie Nealon, 488-3037.

Legacy Sertoma Dinner Meeting, Thu., Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m., Monument Hill Country Club, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. New members and visitors welcome. Meets 2nd & 4th Thu. each month. Info: Ed Kinney, 481-2750.

Ben Lomond Gun Club, Tri-Lakes Chapter, Thu., Oct. 9, 7 p.m., Tri-Lakes Fire Station 1, 18650 Hwy 105 west of Monument near the bowling alley. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 481-3364.

Tri-Lakes MOMS Club, Fri., Oct. 10, 10 a.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meet other stay-at-home moms and kids in our area for weekly activities such as play dates, lunch out, park days, Mom’s night out. Normally meets 1st Fri. each month. Info: monumentmomsinfo@gmail.com.

Palmer Lake Art Group, Sat., Oct. 11, 9 a.m., Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. A variety of art programs are offered after the social gathering and business meeting. Guests welcome. Meets 2nd Sat. each month. Info: 487-1329, www.palmerlakeartgroup.com.

El Paso County Hazardous Materials & Recycling Collection Facility, Sat., Oct. 11, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 3255 Akers Dr., Colorado Springs. Open the 2nd Sat. each month as well as Mon.-Thu., 7 a.m.-5 p.m., accepts porcelain fixtures, common recyclable items, household hazardous waste, various electronics, and TVs up to 19-inch diagonal. Now accepting documents for shredding, up to two legal paper-sized boxes, from private households. Bring a nonperishable food item for Care and Share. Info: 520-7878, http://adm.elpasoco.com/Environmental_Services/Solid_Waste_Management.

Alzheimer’s Support Group, Sat., Oct. 11, 10-11:30 a.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 2nd Sat. each month. Info: LaVonne Putman, 488-2557.

Ladies Auxiliary to V.F.W. Post 7829, Wed., Oct. 15, 6:45 p.m., Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. New members welcome. If you are a female relative of a veteran who served on foreign soil during war or other military action, you may be eligible. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: Kathy Carlson, 719-488-1902, carlsonmkc@aol.com.

Palmer Lake Historical Society: Sheriff Rankin Scott Kelly, First Sheriff of El Paso County, Thu., Oct. 16, 7 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. John Wesley Anderson, himself a former El Paso County sheriff, will tell of this 19th century lawman who caught up with the infamous "Big Tooth Jim." Free and open to the public; refreshments served after the program. Meets 3rd Thu. Info: Pat McCarthy, 659-1363; www.palmerdividehistory.org.

Tri-Lakes Lions Club, Thu., Oct. 16, 6:30 p.m. social, 7-8 p.m. meeting, Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: David Prejean, 434-7031.

Little Log Kitchen Free Meal, Sat., Oct. 18, noon, 133 High St., Palmer Lake. Sponsored by Little Log Church every 3rd Sat. Info: 481-2409.

Senior Social, Wed., Oct. 22, 1-4 p.m., Fellowship Hall of the Black Forest Lutheran Church, 12455 Black Forest Rd. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: www.aarpchapter1100blackforest.weebly.com.

Amateur Radio W0TLM (Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Radio Association), Mon., Oct. 20, 7 p.m., Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Station 1, 18650 Hwy 105. All amateur radio operators or those interested in becoming amateur radio operators are welcome. Meets 3rd Mon. Info: Joyce Witte, 488-0859, Joycewitte@gmail.com.

Drummers! Mon., Oct. 20, 6:30-8 p.m., Yoga Pathways, Suite A, West End Center, 755 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Free and open to the public. Bring any kind of drum or other hand percussion instrument. Beginners welcome! Usually meets 3rd Mon. each month. Verify date & time: Char, 488-3138.

Tri-Lakes Home Educators’ Support Group, Mon., Oct. 20. Meets 3rd Mon. each month for support, information, field trips, and special events. Info: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TLHESGmembers or tlhesgmembers-owner@yahoogroups.com.

Senior Tea, Tue., Oct. 21, 1-3 p.m., Senior Center at Lewis-Palmer High School (across from the YMCA). Come early to socialize, bring a salad or dessert to share. Meat dishes and tea provided. Voluntary donations welcome. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Irene C., 484-0517.

Fibromyalgia Support Group, Tue., Oct. 21, 5 p.m., Police Station, 7850 Goddard (1 block off Academy on Kelly Johnson near Chapel Hills Mall), Community Room just inside main entrance. A DVD will play 5-6 p.m.; meeting starts at 6 p.m. Share concerns and success stories and talk to a D.O. Learn how you can become pain-free. No charge, no products sold. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: 481-2230.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7829, Tue., Oct. 21, 7 p.m., Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. New members welcome. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Joe Carlson, 488-1902.

Legacy Sertoma Dinner Meeting, Thu., Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m., Monument Hill Country Club, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. New members and visitors welcome. Meets 2nd & 4th Thu. each month. Info: Ed Kinney, 481-2750.

Craft Club, Sat., Nov. 1, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Fairfield Inn & Suites, Mt. Herman Room, 15275 Struthers Rd. Ages 15 and up; each month features a fun, easy to follow paper craft. All supplies provided. Fee varies by project. Info: Linda, 375-8991, Lindacarpy@gmail.com.

Monument Homemakers Club Monthly Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Thu., Nov. 6, 11:30 a.m., Tri-Lakes Fire Department Administrative Building, 166 Second St., Monument. Meets 1st Thu. each month except Jan. and unless D-38 is delayed or closed due to bad weather. Newcomers welcome. For a ride to the meeting, call Faye Brenneman, 488-0076. RSVP & info: Irene Walters, 481-1188, or Bev Wells, 488-3327.

Palmer Divide Quilt Guild, Thu., Nov. 6, 7 p.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 1st Thu. each month. Info: Teresa Kovacic, 559-0083, teresa.kovacic@biofunctionusa.com.

MOMS Club of Monument/Palmer Lake Monthly Meeting, Fri., Nov. 7, 10 a.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 1st Fri. each month. Info: monumentmomsinfo@gmail.com.

Lupus Support Group. If you suffer with an auto-immune disease and want to connect with others, you are welcome to join this group. Info: dmbandle@hotmail.com.

Myasthenia Gravis Association of Colorado Support Group. Location varies. For information, call Carolyn, 488-3620, www.4-mga.org, 303-360-7080, 4mga@4-mga.org.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Otis Taylor Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Fri., Oct. 3, 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m., 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. Tickets: $25 members/$30 non-members. Info: 481-0475, www.trilakesarts.org.

Palmer Lake Art Group’s 41st Annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair, Fri.-Sun., Oct. 3-5; Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Palmer Lake Town Hall, 66 Lower Glenway. Free juried show and sale of all kinds of hand-crafted arts and fine crafts. Proceeds fund art scholarships for District 38 high school students. Info: www.palmerlakeartgroup.com, Margarete Seagraves, 487-1329.

Monument Fall Fest, Sat., Oct. 4, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Limbach Park, Second and Front streets. Monument. Free. Live music, bounce house, kids games. www.townofmonument.org.

Haunted Mines at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI), Thu.-Sat., runs through Nov. 1, opens at dusk, 225 North Gate Blvd. (I-25 exit 156A). Sun. and Wed. added Oct. 19. Don’t miss this terrifying adventure. All proceeds go to WMMI and local charities. Volunteers needed. Visit www.hauntedmines.org for details and calendar. WMMI info: 488-0880, or visit www.wmmi.org.

Tri-Lakes Y Fall Basketball, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy, Monument. Three-year-olds to 8th grade. Season runs Oct. 20-Dec. 13. Register now at www.ppymca.org or at the Y. Financial assistance available to those who qualify. Info: 481-8728, www.ppymca.org.

Empty Bowls Dinner & Silent Auction, Wed., Oct. 8, Lewis-Palmer High School, 5-7:30 p.m. Monument Hill Kiwanis presents a fun-filled evening that features a home-cooked dinner in a handmade bowl, silent auction items provided by area businesses, and a drawing for a 7 inch HD Kindle Fire. Cost: $20, one child under 12 admitted free with each paid adult. Proceeds benefit Tri-Lakes cares. Tickets at the door, online at www.monumenthillkiwanis.org, or see the ad for other locations. Info: R.F. Smith, 210-4987 or rff106k@gmail.com.

Reynolds Ranch Harvest Festival, Fri.-Sat., Oct. 10-11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Western Museum of Mining & Industry, 225 Northgate Blvd. (I-25 Exit 156 A). Pumpkin patch, hayrides, entertainment, children’s games, animals, "Spooky Histories," and more. Info: 488-0880, info@wmmi.org, www.wmmi.org.

Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by Hard Road, Fri., Oct. 10, opening act at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:15. Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Rd. at Shoup Road. Cost: $10 general, $5 BRAS members, $5 nonmember students with ID. Info: Joe Maio, 528-6119, jrmtn@comcast.net, www.blackroseacoustic.org.

Ice Cave Creek Trail Building, Sat., Oct. 11, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., meet at Palmer Reservoir Trailhead, Old Carriage Road, Palmer Lake. Work with trained crew leaders to build a new sustainable hiking and biking trail along scenic Ice Cave Creek above Palmer Lake. Wear work clothes and boots; prepare for a full day working outdoors. Ages 16 and up. Pre-register online for this or other trail work dates: www.cmc.org/rrwp. Info: Tom Mowle, 719-216-3932, tommowle@yahoo.com.

Slash Disposal Drop-off Day, Sat. Oct. 11, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Anderson Slash Disposal Site, Washington Street north of Hwy 105, Monument; follow the signs. Self-service quick drop-off site for slash. No lines! $7 a load. Large diameter logs, MPB wood, and pine needles are all accepted. (No metal, nails, concrete, lumber, firewood, stumps, or trash, please.) Run by Woodmoor Improvement Association and Anderson Tree Service. Info: WIA, 488-2693.

Pumpkin Patch at Peak Ranch’s Alpaca Boutique, Sat., Oct. 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 19850 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. While quantities last, pick your pumpkin (only $4, and they’re big!) from the alpaca pastures. Food donations accepted for Tri-Lakes Cares. See ad for 15 % off coupon. Info: 232-8509, www.peakranchalpacas.com.

Danny Byram Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Sat., Oct. 11, 7 p.m., 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. Tickets at www.eventbrite.com, search Danny Byram. $15 members/$20 non-members. Info: 481-0475, www.trilakesarts.org.

Miguel Dakota Welcome Home Concert with Spiral Lions, Sun., Oct. 12, 3 p.m., Limbach Park, Second and Front Streets. Monument. Proceeds to benefit the Make a Wish Foundation and Tri-Lakes Cares. Info: 881-8013, www.townofmonument.org.

Covered Treasures presents Lunch with Sandra Dallas, Wed., Oct. 15, noon, Catriona Cellars, 243 Washington St, Monument. Sandra Dallas will introduce her new book, A Quilt for Christmas. Cost: $35, includes a signed copy with your luncheon ticket. RSVP & Info: Covered Treasures Bookstore, 105 Second St., Monument; 481-2665.

Buffalo Grass Acoustic Society Open Stage featuring Jim Young, cowboy singer/songwriter, Fri., Oct. 17, Show starts at 7 p.m., free jam session starts at 5:30 p.m., Cowboy Church of Peyton, 15504 Bradshaw Rd., Peyton. Cost: Adults, $5; Members, $3; Kids under 16 free. Info: (719) 660 8037, www.buffalograssacoustic.org.

Rocky Mountain Music Alliance Concert: The Beethoven Project I, Sun., Oct. 19, 3 p.m., Sunrise Church, 2655 Briargate Blvd., Colo. Springs. Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano. Cost: $10. Info: www.rmmaonline.org.

Free Travel Presentation, Tue., Oct. 21, 6 p.m., TravelMore, LLC; 481 W. Hwy 105, Suite J, Monument. A representative from Collette Vacations will help you find the right tour or cruise. Refreshments and drawing for gift. Info: 204-1840, Travelmorellc@yahoo.com, www.Travelmorellc.net.

Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by Jim Hurst, Fri., Oct. 24, opening act at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:15. Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Rd. at Shoup Road. Cost: $10 general, $5 BRAS members, $5 nonmember students with ID. Info: Joe Maio, 528-6119, jrmtn@comcast.net, www.blackroseacoustic.org.

Creepy Crawl 5K and 1-mile Kids Run, Sat., Oct. 25, 9:30 a.m. (5K), 10:30 a.m. (Kids Run), Palmer Lake Trailhead. Put on your costumes and join the community for this Halloween tradition. All funds raised stay in our community and will help the Tri-Lakes YMCA provide a hand up to families in need. Cost: $25 for 5K, Kids Run is free. Info & Registration: www.pymca.org/raceseries or write to lleiker@ppymca.org.

Black Forest Community Club: Annual Oktoberfest Party, Sat., Oct. 25, 6 p.m., 12530 Black Forest Rd. (just N. of Shoup). Brats, potato salad and all the fixings, and an apple and pumpkin dessert competition. Music by the Shriners Oompah Band. Cost: $5 per family. Info: 495-3217, www.bfcommunityclub.org.

Wine and Roses 2014, Sat., Oct. 25, 6-9 p.m., ProRodeo Hall of Fame, 101 Pro Rodeo Dr, I-25 & Exit 148. The Tri-Lakes Women’s Club presents their 12th annual wine tasting event with gourmet food, silent & live auctions, and entertainment. Museum is open to attendees. Dressy western attire optional. Tickets: $50 per guest until Oct. 16, then $55 online and at the door, and may be purchased at www.tlwc.net. Proceeds from this event benefit local non-profits, first responders, and educational and service organizations in the Tri-Lakes area. Info: www.tlwc.net.

Caravan of Thieves Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Sat., Oct. 25, 7 p.m., 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. Advance Tickets: TLCA Members $17; Non-Members $22. Door Tickets: TLCA Members $22; Non-Members $27. Info: 481-0475, www.trilakesarts.org.

Learn to Skate Holiday Special, session starts Mon., Oct. 27, 4:30 & 5 p.m., 16240 Old Denver Hwy, Monument. Ages 3-Adult. $80 for 8 classes, plus skate rental. Info: www.RockyMountainSkatingAcademy.com; or contact Deb, Sk8CoachDeb@gmail.com.

Safe Trick-or-Treat sponsored by the Historic Monument Merchants Association, Fri., Oct. 31, 4-6 p.m. Bring the kids downtown for safe trick-or-treating as Monument merchants provide treats and activities. The Monument Police Department patrols the streets for the children’s safety. Info: www.monumentmerchants.com.

Tri-Lakes Church of Christ Trunk or Treat, Fri., Oct. 31, 5:30-7:30 p.m., 20450 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument (corner of Beacon Lite & County Line Road). Safe, free fun for the family includes treats, balloon artist, chili, fall desserts, and devo around the bonfire. Bring lawn chairs. No scary costumes or masks, please. Info: 488-9613, gregsmith@trilakeschurch.org, www.trilakeschurch.org.

How and Why To Do Fire Fuel Mitigation? Sat., Nov. 1, 9 a.m., Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. Free and open to all. Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Marshall John Vincent will explain how to make your home and property more defensible and prepare for the wildfire season. Info: epg@tlumc.org.

Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild 50th Anniversary Fall Show & Sale, Thu.-Sun., Nov. 6-9, Thu.-Sat., 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Rd. (just N. of Shoup). The free show offers crafts, baked goods, and more from more than 90 artisans and culinary guild members. A portion of all sale proceeds will benefit the guild’s scholarship fund and the Black Forest community. Wheelchair accessible, but no strollers please due to fire regulations. Info: 495-3035 or www.BFACG.org. Info: 495-3035, www.http://bfacg.org.

Monument Academy Veterans’ Day Assembly: "Honoring the Honorable," Tue., Nov. 11, 10 a.m., 1500 Village Ridge Point, Monument. Veterans of all service branches are invited to share a special assembly in their honor. Lunch provided for veterans following the assembly. RSVP to Mrs. Amy Madruga, 481-1950 ext. 1240.

Free Rape Prevention & Self Defense Seminar, three Wednesdays, Nov. 12, 19, & 26, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Bluewave Taekwondo Academy, 630 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Empower yourself; for women only. RSVP & Info: 776-9169.

St. Peter Catholic School’s Annual Holiday Boutique, Sat., Nov. 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., school gymnasium at 124 First St., Monument. Shop a great selection of jewelry, home, and gift items. Breakfast, lunch, and bake sale items will be available. Info: Michelle Wagner, 303-681-2619.

Sixth Annual Breakaway Hockey Event Fundraiser, Silent and Live Auction, and Dessert Auction, Fri., Nov. 21, 6-11 p.m., Historic Pinecrest Event Center, 106 Pinecrest Way, Palmer Lake. A fundraiser for Lewis-Palmer D-38 High School Varsity Ice Hockey Team, which is not fully funded by the school district. Cost: $25 per person. Tickets & Info: Susan Fraser, 310-5416.

Our community calendar carries listings on a space-available basis for Tri-Lakes events that are sponsored by local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations. We include events that are open to the general public and are not religious or self-promotional in nature. If space is available, complimentary calendar listings are included, when requested, for events advertised in the current issue. To have your event listed at no charge in Our Community Calendar, please call (719) 339-7831 or send the information to calendar@ocn.me or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132.

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