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Vol. 14 No. 9 - September 6, 2014


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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 21.2 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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Caption: Miguel Dakota performs Aug. 2 at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA). Dakota, from Monument, steadily rose through the America’s Got Talent (AGT) competition to semi-finalist by the time of his TLCA concert. Opening the sold-out concert with a solo performance, Dakota performed a mix of his songs along with a few covers. One of his songs included the lyrics, "It’s a new day, It’s a new life for me," perhaps indicative of his rise to fame through the AGT show. He also covered the Beatles’ With a Little Help From My Friends, acknowledging not only those in the concert audience but perhaps recognizing those who have helped him along his journey. Besides his sultry voice, accomplished guitar playing, and lyrics that seem mature beyond his youthful 21 years, his genuineness and appreciation of where he came from and now finds himself came through with each song. Upcoming events at the TLCA are listed at www.trilakesarts.org. Photo by David Futey.

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Tri-Lakes Facility Joint Use Committee, August 12: Phosphate removal cost increases to $2.87 million

By Jim Kendrick

On Aug. 12, Tetra Tech engineer Steve Tamburini presented the final draft of his 20-year nutrient expansion plan to the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Joint Use Committee (JUC). Phase 1 would add total phosphorus treatment equipment to comply with new nutrient limits imposed by state Control Regulation 85 at a cost of $2.87 million. This was a substantial additional increase from Tetra Tech’s initial estimate of $1 million that was increased to $2.007 million in September 2013. No money will have to be spent at this time to meet Reg. 85 limits for total inorganic nitrogen (TIN).

The proposed Phase 2 cost for upgrading the existing Tri-Lakes biosolids and headworks facilities was $12.64 million. The proposed Phase 3 cost for further treatment equipment expansion to meet even tighter Regulation 31.17 total phosphorus (TP) and total nitrogen (TN) discharge restrictions that take effect in 2022 was $7.58 million. The total proposed nutrient expansion cost was $23.09 million.

Monument Sanitation District Manager Mike Wicklund noted that his district had closed on a $400,000 loan in December to pay its share of the phosphate design and construction cost based on Tetra Tech’s previous $2.007 million estimate and would have to borrow more money now. Palmer Lake District Manager Becky Orcutt said she would also have to arrange a loan to pay her district’s share of the additional $863,000 Phase 1 increase.

After Tamburini’s presentation, the JUC unanimously approved a Phase 1 design contract with Tetra Tech for $252,000.

The Tri-Lakes facility operates as a separate public utility and is jointly owned, in equal one-third shares, by Monument Sanitation District, Palmer Lake Sanitation District, and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District. The three-member JUC acts as the board of the facility and consists of one director from each of the three owner districts’ boards. Woodmoor’s alternate JUC member, Director Jim Taylor, filled in for Director Rich Strom, who was excused from this JUC meeting.

Plans for phosphorus removal will cost much more than expected

Background: RTW Engineering, a Denver company, was Tri-Lakes’ original engineering firm. RTW designed and supervised construction of the existing EPA-award winning Tri-Lakes activated sludge facility in 1998. RTW merged with Tetra Tech in 2008. Tetra Tech is the engineering consultant of the EPA. The owners of RTW—Mike Rothberg, Joe Tamburini Sr., Joe Tamburini Jr., and Steve Tamburini—now work for Tetra Tech in the same RTW building and continue to be the engineering consultants for the Tri-Lakes facility.

In June 2012, the state Water Quality Control Commission approved nutrient Control Regulation 85, which set TP and TIN permit limits for all large state wastewater treatment facilities. In early 2013, the JUC approved the development of a 20-year capital investment master plan by Tetra Tech for new required nutrient removal equipment as well as other near- and long-term capital replacements and upgrades. However, the JUC put that study on hold and redirected Tetra Tech to determine if the facility would qualify for funding from a new state nutrient grant program if the Colorado Legislature and Gov. John Hickenlooper approved House Bill 13-1191.

Hickenlooper signed this bill on May 10, 2013. It appropriated $15 million over the next three years for state grants to help fund planning, design, and construction of capital improvements by state wastewater treatment plants with a rated capacity of more than 2 million gallons per day (MGD) to meet Reg. 85 treatment requirements for TP (phosphates) and TIN (the sum of nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia.) The Tri-Lakes facility is rated at 4.2 MGD.

There are 391 wastewater treatment facilities in Colorado. However, the restrictions in Reg. 85 only apply to the 45 largest publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities in Colorado, those rated at over 2 million MGD of flow capacity. The new nutrient restrictions of Reg. 85 do not apply to the other 346 state wastewater treatment facilities, including the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility and Academy Water and Sanitation District here in the OCN coverage area.

Hickenlooper provided these grants as a result of three years of lobbying the state Legislature by the Colorado Nutrient Coalition that was led by Wicklund, Fountain Sanitation District Manager Jim Heckman, Pueblo Compliance Director Nancy Keller, and the coalition’s environmental attorney, Tad Foster.

Hickenlooper awarded a three-year $80,000 planning grant to the Tri-Lakes facility on July 19, 2013 (http://www.ocn.me/v13n8.htm#grant). The state then authorized Tetra Tech to combine the facility’s previously postponed 20-year capital investment master plan study with the facility’s nutrient engineering planning study because both met state planning grant criteria.

This three-year state planning grant requires Tri-Lakes to provide an additional $16,000 as a 20 percent facility match, which has been divided into separate contributing payments of $5,333 each from the Monument, Palmer Lake, and Woodmoor special districts. To date the Tri-Lakes facility has received a total of $66,006 in reimbursements from this state planning grant and Tetra Tech invoices totaling $80,000 for Tamburini’s 178-page draft nutrient engineering report.

Hickenlooper also awarded a separate three-year $1 million design and construction grant to the Tri-Lakes facility on July 19, 2013, to help pay for installation of new phosphate removal equipment (http://www.ocn.me/v13n8.htm#grant). The $1 million design and construction grant does not require any matching funds from the owners of the Tri-Lakes facility.

Monument and Palmer Lake both held district TABOR waiver elections to become eligible to legally accept their shares of this $1 million state grant. Both elections were successful. Both districts will lose their annual enterprise fund status while accepting state grant payments. Woodmoor’s operating budget is much larger than Monument’s and Palmer Lake’s, which enables Woodmoor to accept its share of the grant while staying within its TABOR grant limits.

The Tri-Lakes facility’s current five-year discharge permit runs from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2016. The facility’s current daily maximum discharge limits for TIN and nitrate in this discharge permit are both 23 milligrams per liter (mg/l)–or parts per million. The current Reg. 85 TIN discharge permit limit, 15 mg/l, and TP permit limit, 1.0 mg/l, became effective July 1, 2013. However, these Reg. 85 limits will not apply to Tri-Lakes until the next Tri-Lakes five-year discharge permit is issued. Tamburini stated that TIN levels in Tri-Lakes’ treated effluent are between 3 and 7 mg/l so there are no Reg. 85 TIN concerns.

There is no permit limit for ammonia in the current Tri-Lakes discharge permit. Tri-Lakes has already conclusively demonstrated, by continuous reporting of very low treated effluent ammonia concentrations to the state for several years, that there is no reasonable potential for Tri-Lakes to have a permit violation for ammonia. The average ammonia level in Tri-Lakes’ treated effluent is normally less than 1 mg/l.

In contrast, the ammonia levels in the lagoon-treated effluent of Academy WSD are so high that the state is forcing Academy to eliminate its lagoon treatment system. See the Academy article on Page 19 for more information.

The Tri-Lakes facility was never designed to remove phosphorus because there was no such requirement in place or forecast when the activated sludge plant was built. There is no phosphate discharge limit or reporting requirement in the facility’s new discharge permit or monitoring report. However, facility Manager Bill Burks now must report monthly total phosphate concentrations in the facility’s treated effluent as well as in Monument Creek upstream and downstream of the facility’s effluent discharge pipe to meet Reg. 85 reporting requirements. TP effluent concentrations have been between 3 and 7 mg/l. The Tri-Lakes facility will have to comply with the new Reg. 85 annual median treated effluent limit of 1 mg/l for total phosphorus when the facility’ current five-year discharge permit is renewed.

There are no total phosphorus or phosphate limits in the current Tri-Lakes discharge permit. However, monthly total phosphorus monitoring is now required by Reg. 85 to protect the downstream Monument Creek water treatment plants of Colorado Springs Utilities. Tamburini said Tri-Lakes’ TP effluent sampling results are between 3 and 7 mg/l. In-stream TP concentrations in Monument Creek have been significantly lower at Baptist Road, demonstrating that Tri-Lakes is not causing a phosphate problem for Colorado Springs Utilities.

Most of the discharged Tri-Lakes nutrients are being absorbed in the numerous beaver ponds that dominate Monument Creek between the Tri-Lakes discharge pipe and Baptist Road. Monument Creek in-stream TP levels upstream of the Tri-Lakes discharge pipe at Arnold Avenue are negligibly small compared to the 1.0 mg/l Reg. 85 TP treated effluent limit, or undetectable.

For example, the latest sample concentration figures for June that were briefed by Burks at this meeting from his August Reg. 85 nutrient sampling report were:

Influent TP – 7.7 mg/l

Discharged effluent TP – 5.3 mg/l

Arnold Ave. in-stream TP – 0.04 mg/l

Baptist Road downstream TP – 0.87 mg/l

The June TIN sample concentrations briefed at this meeting by Burks in his August Reg. 85 report to the state confirm Tamburini’s statement that TIN is not a problem for Tri-Lakes:

Influent ammonia (NH3) – 29 mg/l

Discharged effluent NH3 – 0.3 mg/l

Arnold Ave. in-stream NH3 – 0.02 mg/l

Baptist Road down-stream NH3 – 0.11 mg/l

Influent nitrite (NH2-N) – 0.00 mg/l

Discharged NH2-N – 0.10 mg/l

Arnold Ave. in-stream NH2-N – 0.00 mg/l

Baptist Road down-stream NH2-N – 0.00 mg/l

Influent nitrate (NO3-N) – 0.00 mg/l

Discharged effluent NO3-N – 8.50 mg/l

Arnold Ave. in-stream NO3-N – 0.00 mg/l

Baptist Road down-stream NO3-N – 0.90 mg/l

The Tri-Lakes facility’s treated effluent that is discharged to upper Monument Creek already complies with the state’s annual Reg. 85 rolling 12-month median limit for TIN of 15 mg/l. However, the daily maximum limit in the current Tri-Lakes five-year state discharge permit for TIN will drop from 23 mg/l to 14 mg/l in July 2016, despite the higher Reg. 85 rolling annual median limit of 15 mg/l that became effective on July 1, 2013.

This 14 mg/l daily maximum limit is far more difficult to comply with using a biological nutrient reduction (BNR) treatment train, which is preferred by both the state and the EPA over an older conventional chemical treatment train, even though BNR is much harder to control and more vulnerable to major bacteriological upsets where all the bacteria that digest the wastes can be catastrophically killed by a variety of potential disruptions.

Tamburini stated that the new tighter daily maximum limit from the EPA for ammonia as well as the tighter daily maximum state permit limit of 14 mg/l for TIN to be imposed in 2016 will require continuous aeration capability at Tri-Lakes. A new emergency plant backup electrical generator will be required to sustain continuous aeration during Mountain View Electric Association utility outages in order to avoid a TIN daily maximum permit violation. The annual median discharge limit in Reg. 85 for TIN that was negotiated at great expense over several years by the local wastewater districts that formed the Colorado Nutrient Coalition and Colorado Rural Communities Coalition to control nutrient construction and operating costs has now been rendered useless by this new EPA ammonia rule.

Tamburini said " The Tri-Lakes staff can no longer afford to have even a single bad day" in controlling its biologic nutrient reduction treatment process because bacteria upsets can take weeks or months to fix. A daily maximum permit limit can create weeks or months of daily permit violations and huge daily EPA fines. The already negotiated state rolling TIN 12-month median limit existing in Reg. 85 would account for the large bacterial treatment upsets that are likely to occur.

Every wastewater treatment facility in the state will have to comply with the far more restrictive Reg. 31.17 nutrient requirements that will be imposed on May 31, 2022.

The current annual in-stream median interim values listed in Regulation 31.17 for warm plains streams like Monument Creek are 0.17 mg/l for total phosphorus and 2.01 mg/l for total nitrogen TN. TIN is a component of TN. These interim values will become effective in the first Tri-Lakes facility discharge permit issued after May 31, 2022.

There is no existing or currently forecast technology that can meet this 2.01 mg/l limit for TN.

Burks’ TN concentrations (the sum of TIN and total Kjeldahl nitrogen) in his August Reg. 85 report were:

Influent TN – 39 mg/l

Discharged effluent TN – 9.9 mg/l

Arnold Ave. in-stream TN – 0.74 mg/l

Baptist Road downstream TN – 0.11 mg/l

The EPA has still not approved language in either state Reg. 85 or Reg. 31.17. The agency has stated that it would prefer that the state immediately approve EPA’s warm water nutrient criteria—0.067 mg/l for total phosphorus and 0.88 mg/l for total nitrogen—but has not yet made these criteria a federal requirement or a mandate on the state.

There is no existing or forecast technology that can meet either of these EPA warm water limits.

Tamburini previously recommended that the Tri-Lakes facility push hard to have its next two scheduled permit renewals take effect on time––Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 1, 2022––to minimize the near-term effect of rules imposed on those dates by Reg. 85 and state water quality regulation 31.17 respectively to minimize the costs that will become mandatory on May 31, 2022.

In recent years, the state’s Water Quality Control Division permit section has fallen well behind schedule, only renewing five-year permits every seven or eight years. The current Tri-Lakes permit was issued " early" in 2012 after only a two-year extension of the previous permit due to the urgent repeated personal requests of Monument District Manager Wicklund directly to the Water Quality Control Division executive director at numerous stakeholder meetings. The resulting renewal of the facility’s permit in 2012 has prevented any further difficulties in meeting previously issued new copper limits that were impossible for the plant to meet. For further information, see the 38 citations that are available by searching the exact words "copper limit" at the top of the www.ocn.me home page.

The current Tri-Lakes discharge permit requires Burks’ staff to test for and report 30-day average readings each month for sulfate and chloride concentrations. Those readings are being reported to the state Water Quality Control Division and EPA in the facility’s monthly discharge monitoring report to establish a baseline for the current concentrations before the planned chemical treatment of total phosphorus begins, which will likely increase sulfate and chloride concentrations in Tri-Lakes’ treated effluent.

However, these proposed phosphorus treatment chemicals may negatively affect the chemical composition of the biosolid sludge that is currently being treated at very low cost for 27 months in the existing facility sludge lagoon. This treated sludge can now be directly applied to agricultural fields as fertilizer. The new chemical phosphate treatment will cause changes in metals concentrations and the bio-availability of phosphorus in the treated sludge that will prevent its use as agricultural fertilizer. Treated biosolids will have to be disposed of on a continuous basis at a landfill at much greater expense when chemical removal of phosphate begins. The proposed Phase 2 expansion would provide for this continuous biosolid waste disposal equipment expansion.

New phosphate treatment costs rise another $863,000

Tamburini announced two new requirements that further increased the original proposed cost of $1 million for phosphate treatment from $2.007 million to $2.87 million. To meet future nutrient restrictions, continuous aeration will now be required instead of the alternating aerobic/anaerobic cycles currently used to create nitrification and denitrification in the two operating aeration basins.

This new restriction will require two new unforeseen expensive capital costs in the first phase of facility expansion. A backup generator system will have to be installed at an additional cost of about $600,000 to ensure constant aeration during a power failure.

The facility’s third aeration basin and secondary clarifier have never been used or needed. The south aeration basin will now have to be activated to meet the planned higher continuous aeration demand. A new blower with advanced frictionless magnetic bearing technology will be needed to provide more airflow as well as a new, more precise automated airflow control system. New ammonia and nitrate analyzers that will operate continuously will also be required to more tightly control biological waste digestion in all three aeration basins. These new components will cost an additional $263,000.

Some of the other planning items briefed to the JUC on Aug. 12 were:

• The Tri-Lakes current monthly permit limits for copper negotiated in 2013 with the Water Quality Control Commission at the Arkansas River basin hearing, 16 micrograms per liter (µg/l) on average and 25 µg/l maximum, will still be cut to 9.8 µg/l average and 15 µg/l daily maximum by the current discharge permit in 2015.

• Tri-Lakes applied for a new permit at the direction of Foster to protect the higher permits that cost $500,000 in research and legal fees to gain EPA approval.

• The existing plant can already meet all the permit limits for metals that are expected to be imposed by the EPA through 2034.

• Average annual flow will grow to 1.81 MGD in 2034, with a maximum month of 3.23 MGD.

• Average annual organic biosolids loading will grow to 3,602 pounds per day, with a maximum month of 5,013 pounds/day.

• Nitrogen treatment capacity will become more important in the future than organic biosolids treatment capacity, with the EPA requiring installation of " limits of technology" treatment equipment regardless of cost.

• The EPA has passed new national ammonia discharge limits—varying month to month between 10 mg/l and 16 mg/l—that become effective in the current facility discharge permit in July 2016.

• These variable EPA ammonia discharge limits will be cut in half in 2024 and may become an issue for Tri-Lakes.

• Denver marijuana grow facilities have already been shown to discharge a substantial amount of ammonia.

• Average annual ammonia loading will grow to 459 pounds per day with a maximum month of 544 pounds/day in 2034.

• The state lowered the in-stream limit for the organic compound called 1,4 dioxane—a stabilizer for industrial solvents that is also an impurity in anti-freeze deodorants, shampoos, and cosmetics—from 3.2 µg/l to 0.35 µg/l last year.

• A 1,4 dioxane discharge limit will likely appear in the next Tri-Lakes discharge permit.

• There will also be new discharge limits for nonylphenols, trihalomethanes, and haloacetic acids, even though they are currently being effectively removed by the Tri-Lakes activated sludge system as already shown by monthly " nondetect" reports in discharge monitoring reports.

• The new Phase 1 phosphate clarifier, flocculation basin, chemical storage building, and new driveway will be installed on vacant facility land south of the south aeration basin.

• The final planning document is scheduled to be completed in September.

• The final design will be completed for bidding in December.

• Construction bid opening will occur in February.

Burks stated that adding the proposed new blower would increase the plant’s rated capacity for treating organic biosolids from 5,600 pounds to 9,000 pounds per day.

Wicklund asked Tamburini to actively reject the division’s reversal in proposing copper limits of 9.8 µg/l on average and 15 µg/l maximum and demand the EPA-approved limits of 16 µg/l on average and 25 µg/l maximum. He told Tamburini that the Tri-Lakes facility was not designed to remove copper in 1998 because no such copper limits were in place nor expected to be imposed at that time. The facility cannot meet the copper limits that Tamburini stated would be imposed by the current facility discharge permit.

On Oct. 8, 2013, Foster recommended that the JUC seek an immediate renewal of its facility discharge permit to lock in the 16 µg/l on average and 25 µg/l maximum that the EPA had approved in June 2013. The JUC directed Burks to apply for a permit renewal by the end of 2013 with this condition. Burks did, and those permit negotiations are still underway.

See http://www.ocn.me/v13n11.htm#juc for more details on these copper permit limits.

Wicklund and Palmer Lake District Manager Orcutt stated that their districts would have to borrow the money to pay their share of the unanticipated $863,000 Phase 1 cost increase.

There was no discussion about how their unequal amounts of phosphate loading of the Tri-Lakes plant would be measured or how their unequal chemical costs for phosphate removal would be divided on monthly invoices. The unequal monthly flow and organic biosolids loadings for the three districts are measured and billed separately by Burks each month. Burks uses complicated court-ordered procedures contained in the facilities joint use agreement. For example, the current division of operational sludge removal costs is 57 percent for Woodmoor, 25 percent for Monument, and 17 percent for Palmer Lake.

While phosphate loading may be roughly similar in proportion, measurements for each district will have to be taken to establish phosphate baselines before chemical phosphate removal begins to develop a separate phosphate treatment cost-sharing formula, if it turns out to be a requirement.

Foster retiring

Environmental attorney Paul Anderson said that he would be taking over the clients from the long-standing individual private legal practice of the facility’s long-standing environmental attorney Tad Foster, who is retiring in 2015, in his own separate individual legal practice. Anderson has practiced environmental and water rights law in the Pikes Peak area for 25 years. Anderson also noted that he does not know anyone with Foster’s depth of water quality experience, adding that Foster will remain available to him for future consultations on water quality representation.

Anderson briefed the board on his representation of Lower Fountain Sanitation District in extended lawsuit negotiations with Colorado Springs Utilities regarding CSU’s Clear Springs Ranch wastewater treatment facility. Monument Sanitation District Manager Wicklund explained the role he played as president of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Government Water Quality Management Committee in Anderson’s legally complex negotiations for the Lower Fountain Metropolitan Sewage Disposal District with CSU.

Anderson also explained EPA’s proposal to call all water bodies in the country " waters of the U.S." and thus be subject to EPA regulation including individual home ponds with no inlet or outlet for flows to other water bodies. He noted that " seasonal mud holes" are not navigable waters—the long-standing requirement to be called a " water of the U.S." to date. However, the EPA has published a draft " connectivity report" that asserts all water bodies are connected to navigable waters, if not continuously, at least due to flooding. To date, the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board has not approved this concept, a requirement for the EPA to publish the rule that would declare all water bodies " waters of the U.S."

Wicklund noted the state of Colorado has taken the position that these " seasonal mud holes" are now " waters of the state" that the Water Quality Control Commission can regulate.

Financial reports

During the financial report, Burks noted two checks to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for $1,935 for a site location application invoice and $2,100 for a design review invoice. He noted that Integrity Bank will no longer monitor large facility checks for two signatures. The facility policy of requiring two signatures for checks larger than $2,000 will remain in place and continue to be controlled internally and verified by the facility’s CPA and auditor as recommended by Integrity Bank. Burks also distributed final copies of the 2013 facility audit to each of the three owner districts.

The JUC unanimously accepted the financial reports as presented.

The meeting adjourned at 12:32 p.m.

****************

The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Sept. 9 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.

Caption: Monument Sanitation District Manager Mike Wicklund surveyed Monument Creek from Arnold Road to Baptist Road on July 13 to document the amount of algae, periphyton, and beaver dams. He reported the results of his survey to Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Joint Use Committee on Aug. 12. Photo by Jim Kendrick.

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Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, Aug. 27: Chief presents mill levy increase option to balance budget

By Lisa Hatfield

On Aug. 27, The Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protect District board postponed its vote on charging increased fees for emergency services provided within the town of Palmer Lake as long as the town is making progress toward being included into the district. Chief Chris Truty presented the directors with several five-year plan budget options, including potential mill levy increases that would be necessary to sustain the current and future desired expanded staffing as well as staff pay increases and additional capital improvements. He recommended restructuring the district budget to separate operating and capital costs and emergency reserves and increasing the goals for those reserves.

Palmer Lake assessment fee decision postponed

Over the past several months, the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department (PLVFD) has been holding committee meetings about its future. It needs to evaluate its options to deal with the strained budget and the bad condition of its building. See related articles at www.ocn.me/v14n7.htm#plvfd0607 and www.ocn.me/v14n8.htm#plvfd0719.

Meanwhile, Truty has been discussing various options with Palmer Lake Fire Trustee Rich Kuehster so that TLMFPD could continue to provide ambulance service to Palmer Lake citizens. Currently, this is done at no charge, as first outlined in a contract between the two entities in early 2009. However, Truty says this is not sustainable, and in order to contribute to TLMFPD’s "ambulance readiness" costs for wages, maintaining stations and vehicles, and insurance, Palmer Lake citizens could either hold an election for inclusion into TLMFPD, or if that process fails, TLMFPD could assess a yearly assessment fee to the Town of Palmer Lake for providing emergency medical service (EMS).

The Palmer Lake Town Council was scheduled to hold a special meeting Sept. 4, after OCN went to press, to discuss possible wording of an "advisory ballot" in November about the future of PLVFD. Truty recommended that if Palmer Lake is "short of any significant formal steps toward inclusion within TLMFPD," the district would proceed to collect an EMS assessment fee from the Town of Palmer Lake of $75,000 a year for 2015 and 2016, and $100,000 for 2017. These fees would be re-evaluated for the 2018 budget.

Truty said if Palmer Lake were included into TLMFPD, the district would earn about $320,000 a year in extra revenue, ambulance service would

(Tri-Lakes Monument Fire from page 1)

be provided to the town, and no separate EMS assessment fee would be charged to Palmer Lake.

"Pending approval of the ballot language," the board agreed to wait until its September meeting to vote on the EMS assessment fee. President Jake Shirk said, "We would hold off on charging [the town] an EMS assessment fee as long as they are moving forward toward inclusion [into TLMFPD], but if that is not successful by a vote of the people, or if it fails at any point of their process, then we would charge them the money."

Chief’s annual performance review approved

The board unanimously approved Chief Truty’s pay raise "as already outlined in the budget," retroactive to May 13, 2014, his one-year anniversary with the district.

The board has been discussing Truty’s annual review for several months and wanted to vote on it earlier, but the union requested time for its own input. See www.ocn.me/v14n8.htm#tlmfpd0723 for more details.

Firefighter Mike Keough, vice president of Local 4319 of the International Association of Firefighters union, said that labor management meets with Truty every other month. Shirk and Director Bruce Fritzsche said the board needs to receive information on critical union concerns throughout the year, not just at the end of the year.

Five-year budget information workshop

In preparation for September’s 2015 budget presentation, Truty presented a five-year budget outline explaining his strategic vision and his reorganization of district finances into more specific categories to follow state statutes and do purposeful financial planning instead of just using "one big pot of money." Truty then explained why the district may need to consider asking for another mill levy increase soon.

On Nov. 6, 2012, district voters overwhelmingly approved a mill levy increase from 8.5 to 11.5 mills. Campaign materials as well as spokespeople from the district noted that a "yes" vote would keep fire Station 3 open, allow the district to accept a federal Staffing for the Adequate Firefighting Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to help pay for hiring additional firefighters and paramedics, maintain current staffing to retain the district’s Insurance Services Office (ISO - www.iso.com) rating for district property owners, and restore both operational reserves and vehicle and fire station maintenance funding.

Truty said the district was at least "$225,000 in the red by 2012 and needed the mill levy increase, which was the right thing to do at the time."

However, Truty said that he and accountant Frances Esty researched past TLMFPD financial records this month. Their research indicated that the 2012 mill levy budget decisions were made without complete information and anticipated more mill levy revenues than they should have. He said the district appears to have not accounted in its budget for its existing debt in 2012 and also overestimated its ability to continue to pay $400,000 for six SAFER employees after the initial two-year federal grant ended; in 2014, three of those six positions are being kept open. See www.ocn.me/v12n12.htm#tlmfpd. Truty told the board it appeared that in 2012 there was $800,000 in escalating operations costs that were not addressed, overall.

Truty said the district needs to come up with about $150,000 in new dollars each year just to maintain operating expenses, which increase at about 3 percent a year. The majority of expenses are personnel-related, and since TLMFPD wages are "some of the lowest in the state for a district our size, long-term solutions for a fiscally sound district lie mainly in revenue enhancements, not expense reductions," Truty said.

In a budget scenario where no extra money is designated toward the operating fund balance, capital improvements, or emergency reserves, the district could run a $66,000 deficit by 2019.

"We have decisions to make," he said. For the district to plan for the future, the four broad fund categories would be:

• Operating fund, which in January was $727,000 or 15 percent of the total budget. Goal should be $1.2 million or 20-25 percent to allow the district to operate for the first three months of the year despite annual delays in receiving property tax revenue from the county.

• Capital improvement, which is at $379,000 now. Goal should be 5 percent of annual operating budget or $271,000, so the extra money will be reallocated.

• Impact fees, which are $345,000 now. These are designated to meet growth of the district such as for a new station or administration building, not for general capital improvement.

• Emergency reserves, which are $317,000 now. Goal should be 3 percent or $210,000, so the district will move $107,000 to the operating fund at the end of this year.

• Vehicle replacement fund is a possible fifth category in the future.

Truty discussed various new expenditures he anticipates in the next five years. For the operating budget, he projected one-time expenses of $500,000 and ongoing expenses of $500,000 a year, including increases in staffing and training. He outlined $2 million in projected capital improvements including six vehicles, assorted specialized equipment, and building repairs.

Truty stated that if the district meets these planning goals, but does not increase revenue, the deficit could be $431,000 by 2019.

He doesn’t expect any future possible consolidations with other fire districts to have a direct cost-saving effect on expenses for any of the districts but instead create new "operational efficiencies" allowing each district to do more with the funds available.

He explained many options for the board to consider to generate more revenue for the operating fund. Starting in 2016 when any changes would take effect, the projected budget is short $500,000 each year through 2019 if the goal is "not just to pay the current bills but to sustain the level of service with a solid financial plan," Truty said.

Financial report

Treasurer John Hildebrandt said that as of July 31, the district was 0.61 percent over budget, with expenses all in alignment and revenues from property taxes, specific ownership taxes, and ambulance revenue all on track. Overtime was at 162 percent of the amount budgeted due to three empty staff positions, one injury, and out-of-state deployments—and this was part of the 2014 budget amendment.

2014 budget amended

At the open public hearing, no member of the public spoke either in favor of or in opposition to the amendments to the 2014 budget.

The board unanimously approved the 2014 amended budget to reallocate funds from capital improvements to several line items, including overtime wages and costs associated with the mill levy increase election. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) required a public hearing on the budget amendment, as required by state statutes, before the board could formally vote on it. See www.ocn.me/v14n8.htm#tlmfpd0723.

CORA and EAP approved

The Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requires local governments to be as transparent as possible and says that the district must make all existing records available to anyone who asks. The board voted unanimously to accept the district CORA policy, and in September members will review the associated fees the district will charge for requests.

The board voted unanimously to approve the Public Safety Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through 2015, which will cover employees and their families who need counseling about debt, legal, and financial matters and access to information on other personal and wellness topics. This will cost $2,500 for the district for one year.

Chief’s report

Truty’s comments included:

• Merger talks continue with Donald Wescott FPD and Larkspur FPD.

• The Sept. 24 and Oct. 22 board meeting agendas will include 2015 budget presentations and discussion.

• The public hearing for the 2015 budget will be held on Nov. 12 rather than Nov. 26.

• ISO is re-evaluating TLMFPD’s rating for the first time since 2006.

• Three TLMFD staff members will return soon from deployment to Oregon.

• ADT awarded the district $5,000 in recognition of a family saved by a carbon monoxide alarm.

• Bids are coming in for the district space-needs analysis.

• An increase of 5 percent in benefits is in the works for 2015.

The meeting adjourned at 8:26 p.m.

**********

The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 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, Aug. 18: Residents speak up about bulk water station and noxious weeds

By Lisa Hatfield

The board room was packed again for the Aug. 18 Monument Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting. During public comments, residents asked questions about the bulk water station adjacent to Trails End subdivision and about diffuse knapweed and tumbleweeds proliferating in the fields near Monument Villas.

Discussion and voting on historic Monument’s proposed 20-year water plan was tabled to allow trustees more time to evaluate the report. The trustees approved three special event licenses for September. Development Services Director Tom Kassawara explained that in order to agree with the rest of El Paso County, Old Denver Highway should be referred to as Old Denver Road.

Trustees Stan Gingrich and Jeff Bornstein were absent.

Public comments on bulk fill water station

Numerous Trails End residents attended this meeting to ask the trustees for an update on the status of the bulk fill water station adjacent to Trails End subdivision off Old Denver Road (see www.ocn.me/v14n8.htm#mbot0721 for background). Their stated primary issue, as it was at the July 21 board meeting, was that there never should have been industrial zoning, much less a planned bulk fill station, immediately adjacent to a residential neighborhood. They contend it harms home values and endangers children, and the town never consulted or notified individual homeowners or the Trails End homeowners association board before the bulk fill station construction had already begun, a situation that no trustee would like or accept next to their home.

Town Manager Pamela Smith read a letter she had prepared and planned to mail to Trails End residents, their homeowners association, and the Board of Trustees that outlined the steps that the town has taken to alleviate some of the issues raised this summer:

• Restricting the size of commercial and town trucks that may access the water station––"No more 18-wheelers," Mayor Rafael Dominguez said.

• Restricting the hours of operation from 9 a.m. ­to 7 p.m. to ensure that town residents can obtain water in the evening after work.

• Encouraging commercial traffic to wait until school starts in the morning to access the station.

• Installing "Caution, Children at Play" and "No Parking" signs in the driveway.

• Landscaping around the station; the planned 12-foot trees can’t be installed until October to remain viable.

• Gating of the driveway can be installed if after-hours use continues to be a problem.

Smith said that the site had been designated as a bulk fill water station site since before the Trails End houses were constructed and apologized for not looking at the site herself. Smith said the town does not currently own any other parcels of land large enough to contain the station. She said the town’s first choice for the bulk fill water station was between the Conoco station and Arby’s on Highway 105. However the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) would not agree to these locations. The town will continue to pursue CDOT to open up a more commercial location for the bulk water station, she said.

Smith, Public Works Director Tom Tharnish, and Mayor Dominguez said they cannot guarantee that the town will move the station or find a new space, but they will keep trying to find an alternate location. Smith encouraged residents with questions to email her at psmith@townofmonument.net.

Tharnish said a resident’s comment at the July 21 meeting was not accurate. The resident said "Kiewit used 1 million dollars in water … and that would have paid the town for moving the site," but Tharnish said she should have said Kiewit used 1 million gallons of water. 

According to the bulk water revenue generation history included by Smith in the board packet, selling 1 million gallons of water using the current rate structure would generate about $7,890 in gross revenue.

.Tharnish also noted that Kiewit, the contractor building the new lane for I-25, was now temporarily using a town fire hydrant on the east side of Old Denver Road south of Wagon Gap Trail instead of the Trails End automated bulk fill station to partially minimize homeowner concerns. However, there is not enough land available between the Santa Fe Trail and the road right-of-way around this particular hydrant to build a permanent bulk fill station in this location, Tharnish said.

Smith said because the town drinking water system is an enterprise fund, the town has an obligation to its bondholders to maintain a certain level of reserves. After the redrilling of Well 7, the reserves are down and need to be built back up, she said.

All customers, whether industrial, commercial, or residential, pay the residential rate to buy water, using a tiered rate structure that charges higher rates as volume use increases, Tharnish said. The consensus among the Trails End residents at the meeting was that commercial customers should pay commercial rates for water, not residential rates.

"They should pay ‘tooth and nail’ to get into our neighborhood," one resident said. Tharnish said in the future the Public Works Department might ask to compartmentalize the rate structures to commercial, residential, and industrial rates, but he is "not ready to do that now."

In the board packet, Smith included a bulk water revenue generation history for 2003-14. It indicated that:

• The rate charged per 1,000 gallons of bulk water has ranged from $2.02 in 2006 to $7.89 in 2014.

• The number of bulk customers from 2003 to July 2014 has ranged from seven in 2012 to 71 in 2006, with 24 customers in 2014 to date.

• The number of bulk gallons used has ranged from 627,000 in 2009 to 2.1 million in 2006.

• However, through July 2014, 1.77 million gallons have been used.

• Bulk annual gross revenue has ranged from $3,300 in 2009 to $14,000 in 2014 through July.

In response to questions about the budget process for 2015, Dominguez told resident Cheri Hysell that even if a new location is not identified by then, the town could allocate some funding as a line item to pay for moving the bulk water station if a new location is found. Tharnish had estimated it would cost $45,000 to $55,000 to move the water station. Resident Bobby Padilla and several other residents volunteered to be part of a working group to help the town staff look for a new location, with hopes for a donation.

Trustee Jeff Kaiser said that the upcoming budget meetings and workshops would be open forums and that citizens are welcome to participate. Smith noted that these meetings will begin in October and will be posted on the town website.

Tumbleweeds plague Monument Villas

Monument Villas residents George Hamburg, Red Stephens, and Marilyn Falk complained that the noxious weeds in the Pine Tree Properties field between Knollwood Boulevard and Jackson Creek Parkway are inundating their neighborhood with tumbleweeds. Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman said noxious weeds such as diffuse knapweed, which turns into tumbleweeds when dry, are a statewide issue.

Sirochman said the town code enforcement officer has inspected the location, and since the 12-foot right of way has been mowed, the property owner has met the requirements of the current town ordinance for big properties. "We would like to see something done about this," Stephens said. "I don’t care what the town ordinance is." Sirochman said the problem has been reported to El Paso County and that she would give Stevens contact information for the county representative to discuss the matter further.

Dominguez said town staff will review the current town ordinance.

Water plan tabled

The trustees voted unanimously to table the discussion on adopting the new 20-year water master plan that was presented by Forsgren Associates at the Aug. 4 BOT meeting and the final report included in the Aug. 18 board packet. The trustees agreed they needed more time to review the report (see related article on page 12).

To read the 75-page Water Master Plan Final Report, see the Aug. 18 board packet at http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com/.

Special events coming to Monument

The trustees unanimously approved three special event permits for two upcoming events announced by Terri Hayes, executive director of the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce:

• A special event liquor permit for a beer garden for the Sept. 1 Kinetic Festival in Limbach Park.

• A special event road closure permit for the Sept. 1 Kinetic Festival.

• A special event liquor permit for the Sept. 20 Bines and Brews Hopfest at Limbach Park.

October will be Arts Month

Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR) representative Andy Vick told the trustees that COPPeR is orchestrating an initiative designed to raise awareness for the area’s creative community and showcase the arts and cultural events taking place across the Pikes Peak region in October.

See the official website for Arts Month, www.peakradar.com/artsmonth, for a comprehensive list of cultural activities and events taking place throughout the region. This resource can help residents plan outings, volunteer their time, and get engaged in the local creative community. The free website is open to organizations and individuals with any type of arts events to post notices to share with the public. Vick can be reached at andy@coppercolo.org.

The trustees unanimously approved a proclamation naming October Arts Month in the Pikes Peak Region.

Tri-Lakes Views distributed information about its art activities at the meeting. It has been bringing art to the Tri-Lakes community since 2003. See www.trilakesviews.org for information about ARTSites 2014-15 and a map of currently displayed public art in the Tri-Lakes region.

It’s Old Denver Road, for the record

Kassawara said Old Denver Highway should now be referred to as Old Denver Road to align with the nomenclature "used by everyone else in the county," including e911 and Google maps. Five street signs will be replaced along Old Denver Road at the subdivision entrances to reflect this, he said.

Development services actions

The trustees unanimously approved the following items presented by Kassawara:

• An ordinance correcting codification errors in a section about tree landscaping, including a new section for emergency fire mitigation.

• A resolution awarding a contract to Noraa Concrete Construction Corp. for the Monument Downtown Sidewalks—Phase 1A Project.

• A resolution vacating a portion of a utilities and drainage easement at Valley Vista Estates in the Town of Monument, which was necessary after the Sundance Studios recently completed an expansion to its facilities.

Financial reports

Treasurer Monica Harder presented disbursements over $5,000, which were approved unanimously by the board:

• Triview Metro District, $149,838 for tax revenue

• Wells Fargo Securities LLC, $365,598 for annual town hall construction loan payment

• Krassa & Miller LLC, $10,075 for water engineering services

• Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority, $5,000 contribution as a participant in a regional infrastructure feasibility study

Harder said the town was still not breaking even with budgeted tax revenue collections. Annual net collections received from the state through June were $20,000 or 1.4 percent less than budgeted. Net sales tax for June 2014 was 4.3 percent or $14,000 less than budgeted. This sales tax revenue issue will be addressed with a budget and/or appropriation amendment in September, Harder said.

Public works report

Tharnish said a new telescoping flag pole has been installed at the cemetery, the Dirty Woman parking lot is approximately 90 percent complete, and work continues on the water line projects near Mitchell Avenue and the Village Inn. New fences have been installed at both approaches to the dam to prevent people from accessing the top of the dam. Negotiations continue with Union Pacific Railroad to work in its right of way to fix a water main that was uncovered by erosion and crosses under the tracks.

Police report

Police Chief Jake Shirk said lots of additional training is required by the state, including Taser instructor training, standardized field sobriety testing training, and school resource officer training. He said a vicious dog had to be put down in August. The Fountain Monument SWAT team responded to a barricaded gunman; the incident was resolved with no injuries and the suspect was taken into custody.

One registered sex offender in town was arrested for failing to register within the required time frames. Shirk said residents can check the county Sheriff’s Office website at
www.epcsheriff.com/services/sex-offenders-search for a list of registered sexual offenders, where they live in El Paso County, and a photo of each.

Town manager’s report

Smith read two letters full of kudos from the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club to Police Lt. Steve Burk and Madeline VanDenHoek, town community relations specialist, for their service to the community in helping organize the publicity, events, and logistics for the Monument July 4 events.

Kendrick recognized for journalism

contribution

Dominguez presented Our Community News volunteer reporter Jim Kendrick with a plaque thanking him for his valuable contribution of his time and journalistic expertise in his reporting on the Monument Board of Trustees for OCN for the last 11 years. Kendrick has contributed 35 years to government work, most of which was as a pilot, instructor, and coach in the Air Force. He told the audience he tried to be as invisible as he could at board of trustee meetings and just wrote down what happened. He will now focus on water quality treatment issues affecting the Tri-Lakes area and continue to report on them for OCN.

The meeting adjourned 8:31 p.m.

**********

The next BOT meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 15 at Town Hall, 845 Beacon Lite Road. Meetings are usually held the first and third Mondays of each month. Check www.townofmonument.org/meetings/board-of-trustees/ to see future meeting agendas.

Information: 884-8017.

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

Caption: Our Community News volunteer Jim Kendrick has reported on the Monument Board of Trustees for OCN for the last 11 years. On Aug. 18, Mayor Rafael Dominguez presented him with a plaque appreciating his journalistic contributions to the town. Kendrick thanked past and current town trustees and staff for being so helpful to him through the years. He will now focus on water quality treatment issues and regulations affecting the Tri-Lakes area and continue to report on them for OCN. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.

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Monument Board of Trustees, Aug. 4: Vistas at Jackson Creek Filing 2 re-approved

By Lisa Hatfield

On Aug. 4, the Monument Board of Trustees re-approved the Vistas Filing 2 plat and planned development (PD) site plan. Forsgren Associates explained about the updated town’s water master plan, including recommendations for the future of the town’s water production, and what this might cost. Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) representatives spoke about their plans for providing water to Colorado Springs customers and mentioned their hopes for long-term regional cooperation in water production.

The trustees also approved the appointment of Missy Wood to the Planning Commission and recognized all the volunteer work that went into this year’s many July 4 events.

Mayor Pro-tem Jeff Kaiser ran the meeting in the absence of Mayor Rafael Dominguez. Trustees Becki Tooley and Kelly Elliot and Town Manager Pamela Smith were also excused.

The Vistas Filing 2 plat and PD site

plan re-approved

The Vistas at Jackson Creek Filing 2 is a 3.7-acre property north of the apartment development Vistas at Jackson Creek Phase 1, between Jackson Creek Parkway and Leather Chaps Drive. The plat and site plan for Filings 1 and 2 were originally approved by the Board of Trustees on Sept. 7, 2010 (see www.ocn.me/v10n10.htm#bot for more information), but the applicant, Rick Blevins of Vision Development, did not record the plat with the county within the time frame allotted by the town code. He also did not make an application to the town for an extension of the already approved Filing 2 plat and site plan, so Blevins was reapplying for approval of both at this public hearing.

Development Services Director Tom Kassawara said the plat and site plan both meet town code review and approval criteria. The plat is identical to the one originally approved except for the dedication of water rights. Previously, water rights were to be dedicated by a special warranty deed to the Triview Metropolitan District (TMD); however, earlier this year the developer, TMD, and the town entered into an agreement for the dedication of water for a large undeveloped portion of Jackson Creek that includes this property, and therefore water rights are no longer an issue for this project, Kassawara said.

The Monument Planning Commission unanimously recommended re-approval of the both the preliminary/final plat and preliminary/final PD site plan to the board on July 9. Since that meeting, Vision Development has provided the required utility and private access easements to Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) as well as official copies of these easements to Development Services. Vision Development is also being required by the town to construct a portion of the El Paso County Parks Regional Trail extension south of the MVEA substation, if the county has not already constructed this trail connection.

The trustees unanimously approved an ordinance for approving the preliminary/final plat for the Vistas at Jackson Filing 2.

Kassawara said the only material changes to the PD site plan from the plan presented in 2010 were an updated traffic analysis, a revised storm drain system alignment at north property line, and a revised water demand calculation consistent with current water agreements.

Kassawara’s comments about the site plan included:

• The property is zoned planned multi-use development (PMD).

• Filing 2 will have total of 90 apartment units in four buildings, for a total of 267 total units in the development.

• Filing 2 will share the park, clubhouse, pool, parking garages, community garden, and mail collection point with Filing 1, which is complete.

• The overall density will be 18.9 units per acre––the maximum allowable density is 20 units per acre.

• Buildings will be 42 feet 6 inches high––the maximum permitted height is 45 feet.

• Main access is on Broken Timber Drive, off the Old Forest Point private drive, between Jackson Creek Parkway and Leather Chaps Drive.

• Private internal streets will be maintained by the property owners.

The trustees unanimously approved an ordinance approving a preliminary/final PD site plan for the Vistas at Jackson Creek Filing 2 Development.

Monument’s water master plan updated

In a new water master plan, Will Koger and Jason Broome of Forsgren Associates Inc. presented their recommendations on how the Town of Monument can continue to provide water to residents of the "historical" area through 2035. The last time the water master plan was updated was in 2003, Koger said.

Issues covered in the new Monument water plan included an explanation of the Denver Basin water supply, water quality and treatment, storage and distribution, upgrade and expansion plans, population projections and demands, supply capacity, distribution system for current and future conditions, upgrade alternatives for the town to consider, and suggestions for a capital improvements schedule through 2035, for a total 20-year cost of $12.8 million.

Triview was not included in this town water master plan since it is a separate entity, providing its own water to residents within its district service area. If it were ever to merge with Monument’s water system, Koger said, the master plan would have to be updated to include them. No plan currently is being discussed to connect the two entities, however.

Koger explained that water demand units are put in terms of single-family equivalents (SFEs), which is the water used in one year by a typical single-family home with a three-fourths-inch tap. An acre-foot of water is roughly equivalent to one football field covered in water one foot deep (325,851 gallons). Based on five years of demand data on Monument homes, this water master plan defined one SFE as one-third acre-foot per year. Annual water demands for commercial and industrial sites in Monument were converted into SFEs for the purpose of the projections.

In 2012, the town served 1,300 SFEs, with an average water demand of 0.4 million gallons per day (MGD). By 2035, projecting 3 percent growth per year, the plan reported that the town would have an estimated water demand of 2,560 SFEs. However, Monument’s total build-out potential is 2,533 SFEs, so the water master plan used that number for its 20-year projections of water demand, which is about double the current demand, estimated at 0.78 MGD, or 874 acre-feet per year.

Background: Water law is very complicated in Colorado, so any short summary will be oversimplified and not include a complete list of exceptions and restrictions. Monument produces its water mainly from groundwater wells, described below, and also from some renewable surface water, both of which are strictly monitored by water court.

Renewable surface water used in the Tri-Lakes region generally comes from rain or snow and is typically drawn directly from local creeks or transported by water supply pipelines from surface water rights that are stored in regional reservoirs and/or lakes fed by the Arkansas River. Procurement of renewable surface water rights in Colorado is usually expensive and made more difficult by years of challenges in water court by renewable water rights owners who file challenges to ensure that their separate water rights will not be harmed by the planned use by other entities, such as the Tri-Lakes region.

For example, the Town of Palmer Lake, Town of Monument, and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District have challenged each other’s renewable surface water rights in Monument Lake and/or Monument Creek while working together on a study of how to jointly transport and/or treat renewable water for reuse. 

Groundwater in the OCN coverage area typically comes from water rights for alluvial wells or separate water rights for each of the four aquifers in the Denver Basin: Denver, Dawson, Arapahoe, and Laramie-Foxhills. A town, special water district, or homeowners association may own groundwater rights in more than one aquifer and have wells of different depths for different aquifers. Generally groundwater can only be used once and must then drain to the state river basin it came from, such as the Arkansas Basin or the South Platte Basin. Augmentation water is usually required to replace any of the Denver or Dawson aquifer groundwater that is lost during use and not returned to the water basin. 

 A total of 300,000 people from Greeley to Colorado Springs depend on the Denver Basin’s four aquifers for their water supply. It is not sustainable to rely on this one source. The basin is a non-renewable supply of water because it is being used up at a faster rate than the aquifers can be replenished, Koger said.

Monument heavily depends on this Denver Basin groundwater, with a total of nine wells currently producing 580 acre-feet per year. However, Koger said the town has 1,300 acre-feet available in water rights that it could use for production. Broome explained that Monument’s current well production would suffice for meeting demand until about 2020, but then more water would need to be produced, either by using more of the water rights the town owns, by other means, or by a combination of both.

The rule of diminishing returns and cascading reduction in well yields applies as more wells are drilled. Over time, the production of any single well diminishes, and as more wells are drilled in an area to try to maintain production of a given level of water, the total possible yield per new well decreases, making it uneconomical to produce more Denver Basin water. Koger said renewable water from reuse and from regional water supplies is needed to supplement the Denver Basin Water the town currently relies on. He recommended diversification of the town’s water portfolio.

Broome’s suggestions for water supply improvements in the new water master plan included:

1. Upgrade Well 4 and 5 water treatment plant (WTP). This plant is older and needs upgrades so that it can treat alluvial well water for iron and manganese and help with the proposed water reuse project (below). It has not been used for two or three years due to operations issues. Cost $2.25 million.

2. Construct a new Arapahoe well to allow town to utilize more water available according to the water decree. Creating Well 10 would cost about $1.3 million.

3. Increase Wells 1 and 3 production up to the level the water decree allows. Cost $1 million for Well 3.

4. Develop and implement the water reuse project. This would recycle treated effluent from the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility. This water would be treated again, pumped upstream to incorporate it with the groundwater and the surface water, and pumped out through the Wells 4/5 treatment plant. (See www.ocn.me/v14n2.htm#bot0106 for more information on the reuse project.)

5. Develop Beaver Creek Ranch Water, also known as the Forest Lakes Metro District area, where the town also has some water rights.

6. Add more renewable sources to supplement into Monument’s system. No costs were estimated for this option since no plans have been started.

Suggested water quality and treatment improvements in the new water master plan:

1. Replace Well 4/5 treatment plant as mentioned above to deal with iron and manganese and be able to accomplish water reuse. The timeline provided in the water master plan calls for this to be done by 2016.

2. Plan for Well 7 and 8 replacement by 2035. Cost $2.4 million.

3. Well 6, which is offline right now, has fluoride and radium present. It will not be used until those issues can be resolved. Cost $30,000.

Suggested storage and distribution improvements in the new water master plan included:

1. Add one more 1.2 MGAL tank storage to provide redundancy for the town zone, and keep first tank on high zone, helping with water pressure. Cost $1.8 million.

2. Four major pipe projects, plus scheduled maintenance and replacement of pipes. Cost $2.5 million.

The total cost of the recommended capital projects would be $12.8 million spread from 2014 to 2035, including $8.5 million in expenditures through 2017. Trustee Stan Gingrich said the town doesn’t have the money in the water fund to cover the suggested costs for the first three years of the water plan. Bonds might need to be issued to cover costs.

Public Works Director Tom Tharnish said the town is not spending nearly the recommended $174,000 per year on routine maintenance now. The town is fixing breaks as they happen and replacing old sections of leaky pipes, but upgrades are "random at best, right now," Tharnish said. However, it is recommended that all pipes be replaced every 50 years.

Koger said that in 20 years, Monument would economically produce only about one-third of the Denver Basin water that it can today. "It would be better to use Denver Basin just as a drought supply, and do some things to expand the life of the aquifers" by treating and replenishing surface water and returning it to aquifers in wet years.

The trustees thanked Forsgren Associates for the presentation but did not take any action on the suggested water master plan. For more information, Koger can be reached at wkoger@Forsgren.com, and Broome can be reached at jbroome@Forsgren.com, or call Forsgren Associates at 720-232-6644.


Springs Utilities seeks regional collaboration

CSU representatives Brett Gracely, water supply and resource manager, and Gwen Happ, issues manager, talked about a variety of long-term CSU and statewide water supply issues.

Gracely said that CSU is a mostly surface water-based system, unlike Monument, which is a groundwater-based system. CSU currently has three pipeline systems bringing water to Colorado Springs from west of the Continental Divide, and in 2016, Phase 1 of the Southern Delivery System (SDS) will begin to bring water uphill from the Pueblo Reservoir to CSU.

Future phases of the SDS are just in the planning stages and are still flexible in terms of planned horsepower, pumping capacity, capacity of treatment plants, and when one or two of planned reservoirs will be built, Gracely said.

"We are looking for opportunities for regional collaboration," Gracely said. In addition to Monument, CSU has explained how their system interacts with others to entities in Buena Vista, Leadville, Las Animas, Monument, Donala Water and Sanitation District, and different stakeholder subgroups within the Colorado Springs community (for information about the presentation at Donala in July, see http://www.ocn.me/v14n8.htm#dwsd0717).

The trustees asked if other local entities such as Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District and Triview have heard this presentation from CSU, and Gracely said they were not yet scheduled, although their representatives would also hear about these options at Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority (PPRWA) meetings.

Gwen Happ can be reached at ghapp@csu.org for more information about CSU.

Financial report

Town Treasurer Monica Harder presented the June financial report, which was approved unanimously by the trustees.

She said that as of June 30, the general fund net revenue was over budget by 9 percent or $200,000. General fund expenditures were under budget by 14 percent or $337,000.

Water fund net revenue was under budget by 29 percent or $210,000. Water fund expenses were under budget by 25 percent or $172,000, Harder said. The water fund revenue has been consistently lower than budgeted, Gingrich said. The trustees discussed the fact that water revenues go down when residents conserve water as they have been asked to, or when there is more rainfall. This revenue issue will be addressed with a 2014 budget and/or appropriation amendment in September, Harder said.

New Planning Commission member approved

Missy Wood, who has been volunteering as an alternate planning commissioner for two years, will replace Commissioner Brad Hogan, who has moved out of the town limits and must resign. Wood said she wants to make an impact to make Monument a great place to live, and that it has been "an awesome learning experience" the last two years. Her term will run through Dec. 31, when Hogan’s term would have ended. The trustees approved her appointment 4-0.

July 4 appreciation

Madeline VanDenHoek, community relations specialist for the town, recognized businesses and organizations for their support during the July 4 activities, including: R.F. Smith with the Monument Hill Kiwanis for organization of the parade and other logistics, Terri Hayes with the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce for organization of the parade, street fair, and beer garden, Wayne Hammerstadt and the Inman Brothers for their coordination and technical support for the bands who performed during the day, Herb Wetzel with Wirewood Station Band, Maggie Williamson with Bella Art and Frame, 1st National Bank, 1492 Chocolates, Historic Monument Merchants Association, Frog on a Limb, and Charlie Searle and the Ashtônz band.

Town manager’s report

In the absence of Town Manager Smith, Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman reported that for the second year in a row, the town has won an award from CIRSA for loss prevention.

Public Works Superintendent Ron Rathburn celebrated his 28-year anniversary with the town.

The meeting adjourned at 7:46 p.m.

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

Caption: July 4th appreciation of volunteers from Monument. Madeline VanDenHoek right, community relations specialist for the town recognized businesses and organizations for their support during the July 4 activities including from left: Herb Wetzel, Wayne Hammerstadt, Terri Hayes and R.F. Smith. Photo by Lisa Hatfield

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Palmer Lake Town Council, August 14: Accusations of police harassment made

By Jackie Burhans

The lengthy Palmer Lake Town Council meeting Aug. 14 focused on a range of topics, including allegations of police harassment and the disposition of the Lucretia Vaile home. Trustees Allen and Banta were not present. Trustees Trish Flake and Jen Martin have switched positions on the council. Martin will focus on economic development while Flake will focus on finance.

Police harassment complaints

During the public input period, several complaints of police harassment were raised. Jim Adams raised the issues of civil liberties and ethics, saying that, without a town inspector, anybody on the Town Council can do property inspections at any time. He stated that the mayor and the police drove by his property in response to an email request (source unavailable) and that this could lead to a harassment lawsuit by him. He also claimed that the police were harassing Palmer Lake Wellness, a legal business in town. He pointed out that tax revenue from Palmer Lake Wellness contributed to the funding for the Palmer Lake Police department.

Dino Salvatore, owner of Palmer Lake Wellness, noted that he felt he was being targeted by Officer Jim Dale. He said that Dale comes to the business too often and lingers under a pretense of doing his job. Salvatore feels he isn’t being treated fairly. He has not asked for special treatment and reports that he has lost customers due to police presence. He stated that Officer Dale has parked in the lot below him and has followed customers when they leave his business.

Trustee Flake noted that she had received an anonymous complaint that Officer Dale called a resident about a dog-at-large fine that was due and told her if she didn’t pay quickly, an officer would be at her door to "cuff and stuff" her. Flake noted that she’s had several complaints about policing and feels that the town has moved away from community policing and needs a police chief to help resolve these concerns.

Trustee Martin said, "It sounds like we have people feel threatened and we want them to feel they have public protection. It’s hindering people’s ability to do business; it’s hindering the town economically."

Lucretia Vaile and Cloudcroft Cottage

Jim Sawatzki, a local amateur historian, introduced Miss Lucretia Vaile, a local historical figure portrayed by Cathleen Norman of Palmer Lake. "Miss Vaile" spoke of her family history and her career in library science. After extensive world travels, she retired to Palmer Lake and built a cottage, and founded the historical society and an art group.

When she passed away, she donated her cottage "Cloudcroft" to the Palmer Lakes Art Group (PLAG). The facility on Hillside Road and Thompson had been occupied by PLAG for over 45 years. The group has quit its claim to the property and turned it over to the Town Council to sell, with two-thirds of the proceeds to go to the town for cultural events and one-third to PLAG for scholarships for District 38 high school seniors. Miss Vaile (Norman) asked that the Town Council consider keeping the site as an asset for the town to continue her legacy or set aside the proceeds for education and cultural issues in perpetuity.

Meredith "Kit" Bromfield, PLAG president, explained the history of the cottage, the previous decision to sell, and the divisiveness the decision has caused in the group. Cloudcroft was only used by PLAG about half the year due to its hillside location and parking issues. The group now meets at the Mountain Community Mennonite Church at 643 Highway 105.

The town has considered keeping the property under the Parks and Recreation Department but would still owe one-third of the $150,000 valuation to the group. Trustee Flake asked if the group would be open to installment payments, and Bromfield indicated that the group was open to the idea. Flake said the buildings are important assets and suggested using the facility as a park and community garden, which would make it eligible for conservation trust fund monies with utilities paid for from the general fund.

Flake suggested that a visit be coordinated with council members and that a survey be placed on the website to gather community input.

Business licenses approved

New business licenses were unanimously approved for Pampered Pets & Dog Walking, High Mountain Tattoo, U-Haul/Move with a Purpose, and Beau’s Culinary Express.

Salvatore requested approval for Palmer Lake Wellness to move to the old Pinz Bowling Alley site. Trustee Rich Kuehster asked about licenses, inspections, and costs to the town. Trustee John Russell clarified that Beau’s Culinary Express will be located at the same site, in a food truck, and that there were no zoning problems. Nearby residents who live in unincorporated El Paso County expressed concern that they would not benefit from the tax revenues but might have issues with traffic and noise.

Salvatore indicated that Karen Stuth is heading a communications effort for neighborhood meetings where people can ask questions and get answers. He hopes to have an educational event at the bowling alley and will host a meeting at 9 a.m. Sept. 20 in the Town Hall. The motion to approve the business change of address passed with no dissent.

Chris Bohler, owner of The Villa restaurant, asked permission to hold a disc golf event, The Shawn Dawson Memorial, on Sept. 6 and 7. The restaurant will serve as event headquarters and the event will include multiple courses and live music. There will be an entry fee and sponsored prizes with 50 percent of the profits going to the Shawn Dawson charity and the rest being distributed to the town. Permission was granted by the council.

Committee report highlights

Trustee Martin reported that the Clay Brown, regional manager for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), will meet with the council to talk about the Main Street Program that helps towns revitalize downtown districts. The program provides resources, training, and technical services and can assist with funding for a town administrator position. A Main Street 101 presentation by DOLA will be held on Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Town Hall.

Mayor Nikki McDonald reported on water use and noted that, contrary to a story in a local paper, it would not make sense to join with Forest View water district because it has a lot of debt and Palmer Lake is one of the few areas with a local renewable water source. McDonald asked for a vote on resolution 4 of 2014 to re-apply for the Great Outdoors Colorado (www.goco.org/grants) grant. The resolution passed unanimously.

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The Palmer Lake Town Council meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month in the Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. The next meeting will be on Sept. 11.

Information: 481-2951 and www.townofpalmerlake.com.

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

Caption: Cathleen Norman, portraying Lucretia Vaile, spoke to the Town Council about Vaile’s history and background and asked that it reconsider selling the Cloudcroft cottage she donated to the town. Photo by Jackie Burhans

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Donala Water and Sanitation District, Aug. 21: Proposed regional reclamation facility cost is $44 million

By Jim Kendrick

On Aug. 21, Tetra Tech consultant engineer Steve Tamburini presented his Regional Water Reclamation Facility Conceptual Study to the Donala Water and Sanitation District board, showing how indirect potable reuse of Donala’s reusable wastewater effluent and any other fully consumable renewable water could reduce potable water demands on its groundwater wells.

The conceptual study determined the infrastructure necessary to capture nearly all the reusable wastewater treated effluent that can be reclaimed in a joint venture by Donala, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, and the Town of Monument.

Each of these three water providers has its own plans to construct reclaimed water infrastructure, and they commissioned Tetra Tech to study what common facilities they could share to potentially save overall capital, operations, and maintenance costs.

Director Bob Denny was excused.

Tamburini said that the conceptual reclamation project includes the following components:

• A new Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (UMCRWWTF) effluent pump station and pipeline for Donala, but not Triview Metropolitan District.

• A new Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility (TLWWTF) effluent pump station and pipeline for Woodmoor and Monument.

• An advanced regional water reclamation facility (ARWRF) to receive and treat water from both effluent pump stations and further treat it using micro filtration and nanofiltration.

• A return pipe to TLWWTF for the ARWRF waste filtrate to be treated and disposed of.

• An AWRWF effluent pump station and pipeline will pump the dual-filtered highly treated effluent from all three entities north to be discharged to Monument Creek upstream from Monument Lake.

• Three Monument Creek raw water galleries would be built by these three entities to individually capture and divert their share of the highly treated effluent into their separate surface water supply systems.

• Monument could use its existing alluvial well system water treatment plant for further treatment and distribution.

• Woodmoor could use its existing Monument Creek exchange pump station at Arnold Avenue to capture and transport its water.

• Donala would construct a new capture/diversion structure on Monument Creek upstream of TLWWTF, along with a pump station and pipeline to transport its reclaimed water back to Donala’s water treatment pipe.

• Tetra Tech recommended that each entity construct a dedicated advanced oxidation process in their individual water treatment plants to provide final treatment of the reclaimed water.

Tamburini noted that the wastewater to be reclaimed will have already undergone nutrient removal for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite at the WWTF. The AWRWF’s microfilters would remove particles larger the 0.1 microns (µm) and its nanofilters would remove consumed or flushed pharmaceuticals and other endocrine disrupting compounds like estrogen. The advanced oxidation processes added to each entity’s local water treatment plants would oxidize any residual organic compounds from the effluent and from the blended raw Monument Creek water. Reverse osmosis cannot be used because that type of desalinated RO waste brine is toxic hazardous material that cannot be reused, causing too much water loss for RO to be cost effective.

Tamburini estimated a project cost was $44.12 million with a system capacity of 3 million gallons per day (MGD) for all three entities participating or $50.27 million for a capacity of 4 MGD if Triview were to join the project at a later date. Some of the probable costs Tamburini listed for the 3 MGD option were:

• TLWWTF pump/pipe - $740,000
• UMCRWWTF pump/pipe - $3.641 million
• ARWRF plant (2 MGD) - $22.29 million
• Add 1 MGD of capacity - $4.98 million
• Add 1 MGD more of capacity - $4.42 million
• ARWRF pump/pipe - $6.08 million
• Donala’s pump/pipe to Holbein Drive WTP - $6.39 million

Donala General Manager Kip Petersen reported that Donala’s initial cost for the smaller capacity option would be about $19.1 million, not including the diversion structure in Monument Creek to return Donala’s water to the district. Donala’s cost to move its reclaimed water from Monument Creek to its water treatment plant on Holbein Drive would be less if it could be shared with Triview.

Petersen said the rough annual probable cost for Donala to reuse its eligible water for this system would be about $40,000 per acre-foot per year. The annual Donala operating cost for this system would be about $516,000 per year. He said that return water could be used four or five times, limited by losses such as evaporation and irrigation run-off. An acre-foot of water is 325,851 gallons.

The board thanked Tamburini for his report and presentation. There was board consensus to take no further action on this proposal at this time.

The meeting adjourned at 3:43 p.m.

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The next meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 18 in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Information: 488-3603.

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

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Academy Water and Sanitation District, Aug. 20: Timeline of tasks shows work to be done before 2018 deadline

By Susan Hindman

Dave Frisch of GMS Engineering presented a timeline of tasks and deadlines to the Academy Water and Sanitation District board Aug. 20 as the district prepares to turn over the treatment of its wastewater to Donala Water and Sanitation District in October 2018.

Those tasks include: signing either an intergovernmental agreement or a service agreement with Donala; satisfying the county’s 1041 regulation requirements to give the county a say in improvements to land; submitting a site development plan to the county for approval; engaging an advertising agency to help with the May 2016 election; finalizing the engineering report and submitting it to the state for approval; hopefully securing state funding; hiring the contractors and doing the actual construction work; and, finally, decommissioning the current treatment facility, which could take up to a year to complete.

The construction work will be two projects: building a new lift station and other work at the current treatment plant on Spring Valley Drive; and putting in the pipes that will carry the effluent from the current plant to the connection point with Donala.

Frisch also reported that the state Water Quality Control Division (WQCD) admitted to GMS that it had "lost" a letter that GMS submitted in February addressing the dechlorination facility requirement that is part of the compliance schedule on Academy’s wastewater permit. The WQCD is requiring the district to have the facility in place by October 2014. But the facility, estimated to cost $35,000, would be unnecessary once operations are transferred to Donala.

Previous attempts by GMS to find out the WQCD’s answer had gone unanswered. Frisch said the feeling was that the WQCD would be willing to work with Academy on this issue.

Other news:

• During recent resurfacing work in the Pleasant View neighborhood, county workers covered up 41 manholes and a majority of the district’s water valves. Manager Anthony Pastorello was able to uncover the water valves—which must be accessed in the event of a water leak—but the manholes are more difficult and pose a safety threat because of traffic. The district will pay R&R Ditching to uncover them.

• Terri Rupert of Hanson & Co. presented the audit for 2013. No major issues came up during the audit. "We’re in better shape with monitoring expenditures and budgets," she said, and there was no need to amend the budget. She noted that when comparing the original budget to the actual amounts, Academy took in more revenue than was projected and spent less than was budgeted.

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The Academy Water and Sanitation District board meets at 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month at the fire station on Gleneagle and Jessie Drives. The next meeting is Sept. 17.

Susan Hindman can be reached at susanhindman@ocn.me.

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Donald Wescott Fire Protection District, Aug. 19: Firefighters return from deployment to California

By Nancy Wilkins

At the Aug. 14 Donald Wescott Fire Protection District board meeting, Chief Vinny Burns told Directors Greg Gent, Harland Baker, Joyce Hartung, and John Fredell that all four Wescott firefighters returned safely after 14 days’ deployment to California. Firefighters Shaun Leonhardt, Brenden Hoglund, Eric Bogenrief, and Angela Vesey received training and experience working in a concerted effort to protect national forests and were placed in preemptive, anticipated fire preventive locations.

The district will be reimbursed for expenses through the state of Colorado. Weather conditions in the local area made the decision to deploy easier, said Burns.

Director Bo McAllister and Administrative Assistant Stacey Popovich were excused from the meeting.

Calls down slightly from year ago

Assistant Fire Chief Scott Ridings reported a fewer number of calls in June and July than last year. There were 173 calls in June and 181 calls in July this year compared to 190 calls in June and 186 calls in July 2013. The majority of calls for June and July 2014 were for emergency medical services.

Financial report

Director Joyce Hartung, Burns, Ridings, and the board clarified that the district has two distinct pension funds—one for volunteer firefighters and the other for paid employees. The volunteer firefighter pension board is expected to reconvene when the board is notified it has the requested information concerning comparative contribution amounts. No votes or motions were made concerning either pension fund at this meeting.

Burns said the reimbursement from the self-contained breathing apparatus units Wescott sold to Black Forest Fire Protection District will reduce the total expense for this equipment and should bring the district within this year’s budgeted amount for this line item.

Directors Fredell and Baker asked for clarification on a budgeted line item for miscellaneous income containing a negative amount. The board tabled the question for possible discussion until the next board meeting.

The board is in the process of hiring legal counsel. Gent adjourned the meeting at 7:46 p.m.

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Donald Wescott Fire Protection District board meetings are normally held at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday each month, located at 15415 Gleneagle Dr. and are open to the public. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 16. Please call 488-8680 a non-emergency number for more information, or visit www.wescottfire.org.

Nancy Wilkins can be reached at nancy.wilkins@ocn.me.

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Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education, Aug. 21: Roof, playground projects progress

By Harriet Halbig

The Board of Education of Lewis-Palmer D-38 learned the status of various projects and discussed some new policies during its Aug. 21 meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman reported that the new roof at Lewis-Palmer High School has been completed, and work is underway on a new roof for Grace Best. The parking lot and playground at Lewis-Palmer Elementary School have been resurfaced. Kilmer Elementary has a new playground, funded by a grant. Replacement windows for the library and sun room at Palmer Lake Elementary have been postponed.

Policy discussion regarding marijuana use

Director of Personnel and Student Services Bob Foster reported on an addition to an existing policy regarding working under the influence of illicit substances. The previous policy included alcohol and illegal drugs. Foster said that school employees are working under federal law and therefore may not work under the influence of marijuana.

Any employee suspected of being under the influence of any illegal substance will be tested immediately. The same rule also applies to students.

Board President Mark Pfoff confirmed that there is zero tolerance for any illegal substance.

Superintendent update

Superintendent Karen Brofft reported that the enrollment numbers on the first day of school were the same as last year, but said that some students may still be on vacation and reminded the board that the official count is not taken until Oct. 1.

Brofft said that a few large classes resulted in the hiring of additional teachers.

Brofft also said that the Administrative Council (consisting of all principals, herself, Wangeman, four directors and the Community Relations manager) will meet three times during the year, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., before board meetings. These meetings will ensure that the AdCo and board are in touch on a regular basis.

Brofft reported that the new class of the Lewis-Palmer Hall of Fame has been selected and that the induction will take place on Sept. 20. The public is invited to the ceremony at 1 p.m. at Lewis- Palmer High School.

Colorado Association of

School Boards project

Brofft reported that the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) offers a service to review a district’s policies and align them with state statutes. The policies would be presented to CASB in November and recommendations would be delivered in the spring, divided into subject areas.

Brofft said that she, Wangeman, and Foster will review the recommendations before presenting them to the board.

Pfoff confirmed that the district would be in a position of liability were this review not performed. The district would have continuing access to CASB were further refinements necessary.

The board approved the project.

Monitoring effectiveness of

resource allocations

Brofft proposed a process of evaluations of the effectiveness of any significant resource allocation within the district. The goal of the allocation must be measurable and related to the strategic vision of the district, and results of any allocation in excess of $25,000 would be shared with the board.

Review of contracted services

Wangeman reported on a district procedure involving annual review of contracted services. She proposed that the list of services be reviewed each October. In cases where performance was unacceptable, a request for proposals could be issued for the following year.

Examples of services involved are energy management and insurance—both health and liability.

Certificates of participation paid off

Brofft reported that the certificates of participation used to finance the administration building have been paid off. Vice President John Mann commented that the district is now financed on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Pfoff commented that this action also frees future boards of pre-existing commitments.

Assessment update

Director of Assessment and Gifted Education Lori Benton reported on the status of assessment in the district. She enumerated the tests being administered and the fact that the district scores exceed the state average by 20 percent in most areas. The district retains its accreditation with distinction and exceeds the required participation.

Benton pointed out a few areas of weakness, such as reading at the seventh-grade level and reading and writing at the sixth-grade level.

Success stories included improvement in writing at the seventh-grade level due to emphasis on writing across all subject areas.

The district had its highest ever overall score last year, 87.9 percent, due in part to continued gradual improvement among those who are behind in various areas, notably those with disabilities, English language learners, and those on free/reduced-cost lunch. The district also improved its overall performance in academic achievement, postsecondary and workforce readiness, and academic growth and growth gaps.

Benton said that she hoped to receive the scores from last spring’s science and social studies tests in early September.

Because Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) testing was ended at the end of the last school year, it will be more difficult to measure growth, she said.

During the course of the meeting, the board went into executive session on two occasions, once to consult with an attorney and once to discuss matters of personnel and the superintendent’s evaluation process.

Two members of the public made comments at the meeting. One requested that the district hire additional counselors for gifted students. The other spoke against the use of the Common Core model of teaching.

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The Board of Education of Lewis-Palmer D-38 usually meets on the third Thursday of each month in the district’s Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St. in Monument. Due to a schedule conflict, the September meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

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

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Woodmoor Improvement Association Board of Directors, Aug. 27: Humane Society’s dog complaint process explained

By Harriet Halbig

Sgt. Ken Gingrich of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region addressed the board of the Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) at its Aug. 27 meeting. The association is reviewing its rules and regulations, and barking dogs are a frequent complaint.

Gingrich said Humane Society regulations require that a complainant know the address of the barking dog. When a complaint is filed, a letter is delivered to the address of the dog. The complaint includes the first name of the complainant. The dog owner is then given three days to solve the problem. If the dog continues to behave for 60 days, the complaint is removed from the owner’s record. If there is a recurrence, the owner may be ticketed and fined.

Gingrich also stressed that a complainant should notice whether something is provoking the dog to bark, such a passing deer or another dog. While Humane Society personnel would not normally come to Woodmoor for minor infractions, they would come in the case of a dog bite that breaks the skin, because that may require quarantine of the animal.

After a brief discussion, the board concluded that WIA rules were probably sufficient. Homeowners are encouraged to speak to the owner of a dog that barks or trespasses.

Gingrich and Woodmoor Public Safety (WPS) Chief Kevin Nielsen said that Woodmoor abides by the state leash law, requiring dogs to be leashed on public property.

In a related matter, Nielsen said that dogs found roaming within Woodmoor are taken to the Woodmoor Veterinary Clinic, because the WPS has no facilities for housing animals.

Fire mitigation efforts continue

Forestry Director Eric Gross reported that homeowners are continuing to aggressively cut back scrub oaks and other flammable materials on their properties and that the slash day in mid-August was a great success.

Gross said that, despite this year’s rains, homeowners should know that trees will not recover quickly from several years of drought. He said that several trees on common property have died and been removed, primarily along the median of Fairplay.

He also reported that applications for fuel mitigation grants are no longer being accepted.

Gross requested that the board approve the use of $1,000 to cut back new growth of scrub oak on the uphill portion of Toboggan Hill. This growth was due to the rains. The board approved the expenditure.

Walter property update

President Jim Hale reported that he and homeowners association Manager Matt Beseau had met with members of the Walters family to discuss the future of the family’s 133-acre conservation easement property in south Woodmoor.

Hale said that the property is administered by several trusts and is owned in common by eight family members. At this time, there are no plans to sell or develop the land. Hale said that WPS will monitor activity on the land to avoid illegal dumping.

Hale said he was pleased that communication had been reopened after many years.

91 accounts overdue

Beseau reported that the budget reserve study has been received and will be sent to the board in the next few weeks.

He said that there are 91 past due accounts among the homeowners, and these individuals have been sent letters stating that, if not paid within 30 days, the bills will be sent to collections.

Beseau said that he has been talking with county officials about overgrown trees and shrubs along county easements, obstructing the view of signs at intersections. He is making a list of problem areas and will prioritize them.

Hale commented that there are fewer county funds than usual for removing problem vegetation, because the county invested heavily in equipment to remove large amounts of tumbleweed from other areas early in the summer.

Beseau also said that his office is working on a better way to provide information about the association to homeowners. Instead of a large packet of materials, all information is now available on a CD. Nielsen said that he is provided with a list of new homeowners and personally delivers the information to them. He said that reactions have been positive.

In the absence of Treasurer Tom Schoemaker, Beseau reported that expenditures are well below budget, with most summer expenses already paid.

Common Areas Director Mark Ponti reported that the initial mowing was completed by Aug. 1 but said that a second mowing may be necessary in some areas. He said that his committee is considering the purchase of a riding mower and some weed whackers so that the association may do the second mowing rather that contracting the work.

Nielsen reported that one of his officers is retiring and that interviews for his replacement will take place on Sept. 3.

He said the first bear sighting of the month occurred the previous Sunday evening where a bear was going through trash near Doewood and County Line Road.

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The board of the Woodmoor Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month in the association’s Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Drive, Monument. The next meeting will be on Sept. 24.

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

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Palmer Lake Historical Society, Aug. 21: Computer programs enhance ancestry search

By Tom Van Wormer

On Aug. 21, Chuck Loeffler, Palmer Lake Historical Society member and head of the Chautauqua Organizing Committee, gave a presentation on the use of computers in enhancing genealogical research to trace family ancestors. Loeffler has traced over 14,000 relatives in his and his wife Cathy’s families using the free and for-pay programs that are online.

He demonstrated his family data base to show how to collect basic information from census reports, local historical groups, newspapers, county, state, federal, and foreign records, and much more. This session was very well received by many who are attempting to trace their roots and determine if great granddad was really connected to that famous figure, as your grandaunt claimed.

The September presentation will feature Dwight Haverkorn, who has used county and state records to clear up the tangled stories about the museum director’s great grandfather Rogers McDonough, who was involved in the early development of Colorado. This is a very complicated tale that has been covered only by a few newspaper articles, which caused more questions than answers. Haverkorn is the official historian of the Colorado Springs Police Department and has access to many more sources than the average genealogist.

For more information about the Palmer Lake Historical Society, see www.palmerdividehistory.org. Come join your fellow friends for a great presentation and refreshments 7 p.m. at the Palmer Lake Town Hall on Sept. 18.

Tom Van Wormer can be contacted at robsmom@pcisys.net

Caption: At the Aug. 21 Palmer Lake Historical Society meeting, Chuck and Cathy Loeffler demonstrated how to use an online family database to collect basic genealogy information from census reports, local historical groups, newspapers, and county, state, federal, and foreign records. Photo by Tom Van Wormer.

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HANG: Harvest time and the importance of fall for soil life

By Janet Sellers

Summer is pretty much over, cool nights are here again, and most gardeners are harvesting their last food crops. We gardeners can still try to prolong the harvest and cover any small beds from frost with the protection of garden fabric, plastic sheeting, or just a bed sheet if needed for maybe a few extra weeks of crops.

In this part of the season, it’s time to be preparing the soil. And whether one has an established garden or is just contemplating one for next year, we all can jump-start the next season by tilling in fall leaves, grasses, veggie kitchen scraps, manures, etc. into the garden bed.

Some gardens will need these materials tilled into the soil, while the no-till Hugelkulturs and " lazagne" layered materials beds will just be harvested and then rest on their own, since the wood organic layers and nutrients beneath those mounds will supply most of the moisture and soil nutrients to the top next spring.

Many home gardeners reported good yields all season, and this year, the rain surely helped. For the brave ones that planted and protected their gardens in May, there is plenty to harvest even now. Most reports I got were that the cool weather crops thrived in our cool summer weather, and the plants really grew by July from small to large and fruitful in August.

In my case, I had put in started plants and seeds in most of my new Hugelkultur bed by mid-July, and while all the plants are now blooming and thriving, I’ll need our season to last much longer to get any harvest from it this year. My other raised bed project at the Monument Community Garden, was planted in June, and now has enough to harvest for greens, herbs, and beany things that will go to Tri-Lakes Cares.

This year we tried the row garden style, and while every bit of the ground and raised beds is full of plants, the actual food harvest is only a fraction of what last year’s " square foot companion plant gardening" style provided, inch for inch. A good lesson for small spaces!

Many High Altitude Natural Garden (HANG) gardeners said that their (Hugelkultur, raised and in-ground row garden) heat-loving crops like tomato plants still have just blossoms and green fruit, but I’m told that, if needed, we can easily ripen those green ones in a paper bag on the countertop. Either that, or I’ll have to look for green tomato recipes!

Speaking of HANG style harvesting, our local organic hops farm, The Twisted Bine, Rick and Leah Squires’ farm, harvested hops by cutting down the aerial hops bine ropes at the end of August to provide Front Range breweries with fresh hops for the Sept. 20 beer festival at Limbach Park in Monument. Each portion of the harvest had to go to the brewers on a tight schedule for fresh delivery, but the fact that each brewery took care of the picking and immediate use of the crop was a distinct help for the farm’s harvest season.

Squires’ entire 2014 crop was sold to 10 Front Range breweries for a fresh hop beer competition. The Bines and Brews Hopsfest will have food, fun and beverages. Tickets are limited to 350 people (this ensures patrons won’t have long lines and short samples), and " designated driver" tickets are available at the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, 300 Highway 105, Monument.

The organic hop field soil is turned and natural compost amended each year, and these perennials are put to rest in place each fall. Many home brewers grow hops as a fun ornamental bine, and established bines can begin their new season even as snow is on the ground to start their upward climb. Some gardeners use the paper rope method; some have them on a veranda or sunny wall.

Summer garden tours with the Tri-Lakes Garden Community (TLGC) were held at least once each month, including a hike through the local woods for edible plants, and there is likely to be a harvest potluck with seed exchange coming up. Check the Facebook page for details and year-round tips: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tri-Lakes-Garden-Community/1386155058330111.

Needless to say, I’ll plant my indoor seedlings in March and put them out with the seeds under covers as early as possible next year, at least by May, and let the seedlings and seeds decide when to get growing. An organic garden has a kind of weather-sense, and it can grow along with the weather. Many lab chemical-based nutrients just signal the plant to " go" regardless of weather, the plants don’t relate to the changes of temperature as well, and may not recognize any upcoming late freeze.

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: Using art pieces for effect where you live and work

By Janet Sellers

It is fun to develop the artful eye by visiting a local gallery, museum, or artist studio, and these places cheerfully greet visitors and welcome questions and art as a budding interest. Some local galleries and artists have brick-and-mortar showrooms, and many have online galleries to view, or both. Your artful eye can be developed with experiences, such as visiting galleries and taking an art class to learn more.

Just about anyone likes to enrich their home or office with objects they like to see, things that bring one pleasure and fun. We can all enjoy art on a daily basis. Investing in some art is a good use of mind and money, since art, overall, tends to be enjoyable and can increase in value with less upkeep than most purchases such as cars, appliances, and even homes.

The recent Parade of Homes in our area, long a benchmark for home style and decor ideas, showcased artwork in every room as a focus to support the sense of home value, with large wall paintings, small desk top sculptures, and wall murals that balanced and brought in an upscale aesthetic throughout. I noticed that in all of the homes, the key features for decorating were large artworks creating a distinguished and personal style; even the showers and bathroom areas were filled with art and sculptures for tables and walls.

The artwork also helped to keep the eye focused on the interiors of the homes and not window views, which of course were filled with the neighboring meadows, rolling hills, and lots and lots of homes—proving the importance art plays in urban and suburban settings for value and effect.

Landscapes prevailed in several styles: the realism of studio and fresh plein air works, as well as whimsical to serious abstractions. Natural and Colorado-ana were the mainstays in the artworks, many with close portraits of local wildlife and farm animals, especially cows.

While the artworks event-wide were vividly colored and upscale, the color schemes of the season for interiors were mostly subdued for an established, worn-in effect. Most places showed using the grayed browns, and textured walls were offset with massive black or white frames with any size photographs within them. The bigger the frame, the greater the stature to the artwork.

Paintings were framed in gilt woods, or rough woods (think: barn or fence woods) antiqued with silver over gold, definitely giving a balance to the current era of rustics in stone, woods, and floors. I jokingly mentioned to someone that the floors and woods seem to come "pre-ruined" and certainly avoiding a "too new" look. The trend is away from slick, shiny, and harsh to a warm stone and wood feel that almost required those landscape paintings, since the warm tones complete the feeling of established gentry.

My favorite part about talking to people—especially artists—about art is that every viewer has his or her own take on what the artwork is, and it can be quite personal to the viewer without even being similar to what the artist was thinking. Therein lies the magic of art, as it develops a life of its own, once made.

So, I encourage our readers to take in the local arts events this month, from galleries, studio visits, Art Hop night, and more. Plan on falling in love with some original art, too. There is something about the real deal, the authentic art piece that mere copies cannot match: textures, colors, effects and for some, even the touch of the original art just begs for close inspection.

September art events

Art Hop—It’s the last one of the year! Thursday, Sept. 18, 5 to 8 p.m. in Historic Monument, between Second and Third Streets and Jefferson and Front Streets. Eighteen local merchants are open and have art and artists for the event at their places, both indoors and outdoors.

Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts—"Fine Art, Children’s Illustration, and Photography" by Wendy Francisco, Sept. 5 to Nov. 1. "Twice Upon a Time" exhibit by debi Story Maddox. Opening reception for both shows, Sept. 5, 5 to 8 p.m., 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake.

Front Range Open Studios—Sept. 13, 14. Now with 16 members, the local art tour is in its fourth year. Participants will be demonstrating their art processes in their studios. For details and maps, visit www.frontrangeopenstudios.com.

Janet Sellers is a local artist and art teacher. Her paintings and sculptures are exhibited at local businesses, the Monument Sculpture Park, and various Colorado museums and cities. She can be reached via OCN at JanetSellers@OCN.me.

Caption: From left, Gina Blickenstaff, Jeff Ward, and Robin Walters are pictured at the August Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts show "Farm Friends," Artists Blickenstaff and Walters visited local farms in Tri-Lakes environs, capturing the colors, textures, and lives of those they met. Ward built the frames for the works. Photo by Janet Sellers.

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Snapshots of Our Community

Pikes Peak Library District Hosts Ice Cream Social at Chautauqua Festival in Palmer Lake

Caption: Local families line up for treats at the Ice Cream Social sponsored by the Palmer Lake Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District on Aug. 2 as part of the Palmer Lake Chautauqua Festival at Palmer Lake Town Hall and the Village Green. Photo by Janet Sellers and Harriet Halbig.

Caption: From left, Gus Freyer, Bob Yates, and Mickey Schmidt were the scoopers Aug. 2 at the Ice Cream Social, sponsored by the Palmer Lake Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District. Photo by Janet Sellers and Harriet Halbig.

Caption: From left, Diane Sawatzki and Sandy Yates presided over the topings for the Social. Photo by Janet Sellers and Harriet Halbig.

Caption: The Colorado Field Army Band plays a selection of favorites Aug. 2 for the crowd at the 2014 Palmer Lake Chautauqua Festival in the gazebo outside the Town Hall. Photo and caption by Jackie Burhans.

Caption: President Teddy Roosevelt discusses politics with a young admirer Aug. 2 at the 2014 Palmer Lake Chautauqua Festival. Photo and caption by Jackie Burhans.

Caption: Historically costumed characters Buffalo Bill Cody and a lady friend pose for pictures and chat with visitors on the Green at Palmer Lake at the Chatauqua gathering. Behind the characters is the historic Palmer Lake jail. Photo and caption by Janet Sellers.

Caption: Tri-Lakes area residents build kinetic floats for the Labor Day Kinetic Sculpture race. All floats required use of bicycle inventions for transport. Several vehicles are pictured preparing to race from Monument to Palmer Lake along the Santa Fe Trail. At the same time, a street fair in Limbach Park included a corn hole contest, kids’ games, kiosks, and a beer garden. Left: Fuel Church and Right: Turbo’s Mobile RV Service floats. Photo and caption by Janet Sellers.

Caption: Superintendent Karen Brofft receives a mug from President Elect Harry Brandon at the Monument Hill Kiwanis Meeting on Saturday, August 31, 2014 after she provides approximately 90 members with information about her leadership philosophy and status of the D-38 School District. She was former Assistant Superintendent in the Englewood School District and holds an Education Specialist degree in Administrative Leadership and in Policy Studies. Karen is the newest member of the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club. Photo by Warren Gerig.

Caption: The Tri-Lakes Lions Club Vice President Ken Borrow presents a $2,000 check to the Tri-Lakes Cares representative Erin Taylor for supporting the purchase of medical test strips to detect and help prevent diabetes related eye disease. The funds were a result of the Tri-Lakes Lions Club Golf Tournament which also included our Military Appreciation fund raiser for Home Front Cares.  Lions Clubs are providing vision support for those in need all over the world by combating eye diseases, creating infrastructure to improve eye care delivery, increasing the number of trained eye care professionals and making vision care more equitable and sustainable. Information provided by Gordon Reichal.

Caption: The Tri-Lakes Women’s Club (TLWC) received recognition at an Award Assembly at Lewis-Palmer High School (LPHS) Aug. 22. Pictured are TLWC Co-Presidents, Susanna Peters and Barb Betzler, Lewis Palmer High School Principal Sandi Brandl and Student Body President Kyle Johnston. The club gave the school a grant supporting additional security cameras at LPHS. Through the proceeds gained from TLWC’s Wine and Roses and Pine Forest Antiques, Home Decor/Garden Show, TLWC was able to give more than $45,000 in grants this year to the Tri-Lakes community, supporting D-38 schools and programs, as well as Tri-Lakes Cares, Tri-Lakes HAP, and other area non-profits. For more information about TLWC, visit the website, www.tlwc.net.

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September library events: Free tutoring programs begin

By Harriet Halbig

As school starts, so do the library’s free tutoring programs. We also offer the opportunity to learn some new skills.

Children’s programs

Toddler Time offers stories and activities for 1- and 2-year-olds on Thursdays at 9:30 and 10:15.

Story time and crafts for children 3 and older are on Tuesdays at 10:30 and 11:15.

Story time in Espanol is on and first and third Wednesday of the month at 5:15. English and Spanish-speaking listeners are welcome.

The Legos Club will meet on Sept. 20 from 10 to 11.30. We provide the Legos and you bring your imagination.

September’s Family Fun program features a ventriloquist. Learn about this fun and interesting skill on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 1:30.

The Children’s Literacy Center will resume its free tutoring program in September. Children must be referred by a teacher. For information, please call site coordinator Sheri McCrimmon at 719-200-4330.

Teen and Tween programs

The AfterMath free math tutoring program resumes on Monday, Sept. 15 from 3:30 to 7 p.m. and will continue each Monday through mid-May, excluding library and school holidays. No appointment is necessary and all ages are encouraged to take advantage of this service.

A list of tutors for other subjects is available at the front desk.

Learn about the ancient art of henna and design your own wearable art on Sept. 27. The teen program, ages 12 and up, will be from 1 to 3 p.m. There will also be an adult session on the same day from 10 a.m. until noon. Teens will need a signed permission slip. Space is limited and registration is required.

Adult programs

The Monumental Readers will meet on Friday, Sept. 19, from 10 to noon, to discuss The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. This is one of the titles for this year’s All Pikes Peak Reads program. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.

On the walls in September will be paintings in watercolor, acrylic, and mixes oils by Cynthia Wood Davies. In the display case will be a DAR display by Penny Fisher.

Palmer Lake Library events

The Fibernistas knitting group meets each Thursday from 10 to noon. Bring your own project and enjoy the company of fellow crafters.

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

Palmer Lake’s Family Fun for September is a visit from some alpacas on Sept. 20 at 10:30. Learn about the habits and history of these animals at the library.

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

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Between the Covers at Covered Treasures Bookstore: Mystery, adventure, and more

By the Staff at Covered Treasures Bookstore

Snow has already appeared on the Peak, so it must be time to get outdoors and enjoy the end of summer. It’s also a good time to stock up on reading for those longer nights and cooler days. Some enticing suggestions are briefly described below.

Wives of Los Alamos

By Tarashea Nesbit (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC) $25

They arrived in New Mexico, ready for adventure, but hope quickly turned to hardship as they tried to adapt to a military town where everything was a secret—including what their husbands were doing at the lab. While the bomb was being invented, babies were born, friendships were formed, children grew up, and Los Alamos gradually became a real community, strained by the freedom the residents didn’t have. The end of the war brought even bigger challenges, as the scientists and their families struggled with the burden of their contribution to the most destructive force in the history of mankind.

Redemption Ridge

By Dorothy Yoder (Tate Publishing) $17.99

Amber Hanson suffers a double whammy when she breaks up with her boyfriend and loses her job as a result of corporate downsizing. For some R&R, she escapes from the hubbub of Denver to the small Colorado town of Westcliffe to live as a recluse for the summer. Contrary to her plan, she becomes entangled in the personal problems of others and by default is caregiver to a huge dog and a neighboring, fragile old man. A dead body surfaces, and betrayal abounds. Amber uncovers many personal truths as she stumbles from one discovery to another, and the unfolding mystery surrounds her.

The Quick

By Lauren Owen (Random House) $27

Set in 1892 Victorian London, this mystery begins when James Norbury, a shy would-be poet, suddenly vanishes without a trace. As his sister, Charlotte, sets out to find him, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural city populated by unforgettable characters. Ultimately, she is led to the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and most bloodthirsty, men in England. This is a novel of epic scope and suspense, magic and menace.

The Emerald Mile

By Kevin Fedarko (Simon & Schuster) $17

In 1983, the Emerald Mile, a hand-built wooden dory, made the fastest ride in history through the heart of the Grand Canyon propelled by torrents of water released into the Colorado River after an unusually massive snowmelt. A river run under such conditions bordered on the suicidal, but the three river guides were determined to propel the fastest boat ever through the heart of the Grand Canyon. The saga is a thrilling adventure, as well as a magisterial portrait of the hidden kingdom of white water at the bottom of the greatest river canyon on earth.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

By Karen Joy Fowler (Penguin Putnam) $16

The Cooke family is an ordinary middle-class American family in every way but one. Coming of age in Middle America, 18-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee that was secretly regarded as a family member and loved as a sister. This is a tale of fallible people whose well-intentioned actions lead to heartbreaking consequences.

A House in the Sky

By Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett (Simon & Schuster) $16

At the age of 19, Amanda Lindhout backpacked through Latin America, Laos, and India in an effort to understand the world. She went on to Sudan, Syria, and war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq, where she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. When she traveled to Somalia, she was abducted and held hostage for 460 days. Amanda survives on memory and strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains in the dark. This vivid, suspenseful true story is the intimate accounting of a brave young woman and her search for compassion in the face unimaginable adversity.

As you admire the turning of the leaves this month, why not enjoy turning the pages of a good book? Until next month, happy reading.

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August 2014 Weather Wrap

By Bill Kappel

August continued the trend we saw in July, with temperatures holding at below normal levels and precipitation at average to a little above average. This was good news for the region, because the cooler temperatures and wet conditions have helped keep plants happy and healthy.

The Southwest monsoon season continued to be active at the beginning of the month. The first couple days of August started quietly, with afternoon clouds building. Thunderstorms brought brief heavy rain during the evening of the 4th and again on the afternoon and early evening of the 5th. Conditions were quiet, with a rare dry day on the 6th. More storms developed on the afternoon of the 7th and early on the 8th, with mainly dry conditions on the 9th. One last round of rain occurred to end the week on the 10th.

With all the moisture and clouds, high temperatures were generally below normal, in the 70s to low 80s. The coolest day was on the 8th, when upslope conditions behind a cold front kept highs in the 60s.

The second week of August started warm and dry. High temperatures reached into the upper 70s to mid-80s from the 11th through the 17th. The first few days of the week were dry, with just a few clouds developing in the afternoon. However, higher levels of moisture began to move back in from the southwest and combined with a little extra lift in the atmosphere to produce several rounds of afternoon and early evening thunderstorms. These produced brief heavy rain at times on the 14th and the 15th, with one final round on the 17th.

An active week of weather around the region started on the 18th. Temperatures were a little warmer than normal to start the week, with low to mid-80s on the 18th and 19th. Brief afternoon and early evening thunderstorms developed each day, but only produced light rainfall. This pattern continued through the 20th while temperatures cooled slightly. The Southwest monsoon then brought higher levels of moisture back into the region over the remainder of the week. This combined with a disturbance moving in from the northwest and a push of cooler air from the north to produce round of strong thunderstorms during the early afternoon of the 22nd. Quiet and dry conditions returned for the weekend, with highs in the mid- to upper 70s and sunny mornings giving way to a few clouds each afternoon.

The last week of the month saw thunderstorms and rain showers develop every afternoon and evening except the last day of the month. Several waves of energy moved through, with the last couple systems more reminiscent of a fall pattern than summer. For the week, most areas accumulated around an inch or so of rain. With all the clouds and active weather, temperatures were also held to below normal levels. Highs reached into the 70s each day, ranging from the low 70s on the 26th and 28th to the upper 70s on the 25th, 27th, and all of Labor Day weekend. The longer nights also allowed overnight lows to become noticeably cooler. Low temperatures fell all the way to the upper 30s on the morning of the 29th. The first time since last spring we’ve been that cool.

A look ahead

September is a transition month for the region, with the last tastes of summer mixed in with our first morning freezes. Leaves begin to change by the end of the month, and it’s not uncommon for some snow to fall. The overall weather pattern is generally one of tranquility, with our chances for thunderstorms dwindling and blizzard conditions not quite ready for prime time. We are often greeted with sunny, pleasant afternoons, with highs from the mid-70s early in the month to the mid-60s later in the month. Our first sub-freezing low temperatures usually occur during the third week of the month, so prepare those tender plants.

August 2014 Weather Statistics

Average High 78.0° (-0.1)

100-year return frequency value max 83.9° min 72.9°

Average Low 48.5 ° (-0.7)

100-year return frequency value max 55.2° min 46.8°

Monthly Precipitation 2.72"

(-0.41", 13% below normal)

100-year return frequency value max 6.07" min 0.94"

Monthly Snowfall 0.0"

Highest Temperature 85° on the 17th

Lowest Temperature 38° on the 29th

Season to Date Snow 0.0"

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

Season to Date Precip. 6.89"

(+0.73", 12% above normal)

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

Heating Degree Days 73 (+5)

Cooling Degree Days 18 (-23)

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

Common Core confusion

There appears to be some confusion about what the Common Core State Standards are and how they will be implemented at the local level.

The state of Colorado has had standards for 15 years. Since 2000, school districts across Colorado were required to adopt standards that were at least as rigorous as the Colorado Model Content Standards. In 2009 the standards were updated. At about the same time, the Common Core State Standards were developed by a state-led bipartisan process informed by research and standards from high performing states and nations.

A comparison study revealed that Colorado’s new standards and the Common Core State Standards were similar, and instead of adopting the Common Core standards outright, Colorado’s standards for math and English/language arts were reissued with the Common Core State Standards embedded. Districts are currently on their own timelines and schedules to train teachers and align instructional materials and units to the new standards.

The Common Core standards are not a curriculum or a teaching method; they are benchmarks for what students should know and be able to do in math and English/Language Arts at each grade level. Local districts have always chosen their own curricula, textbooks, and teaching methods to implement the standards; the Common Core provides clear goals that allow for flexibility in how the goals are achieved.

Standardized Colorado-wide assessments have been in place since 1997. Both standards and assessments for math, reading, English/Language Arts, and science are required by the No Child Left Behind Act. Each state currently creates and maintains its own assessments. The new Common Core-aligned assessments will replace, not add to, tests required by Colorado’s current testing schedule. These computer-based assessments will provide quicker results and are expected to be more engaging for students. Once implemented, Common Core assessments will allow comparisons between Colorado and other states in the nation.

Future predictions of doom and gloom aside, the Common Core State Standards could promote equity by preparing all students, no matter where they live, the knowledge and skills to compete with their peers across the United States.

For more about the Common Core State Standards, I recommend these links to the actual source documents: Common Core State Standards: http://www.corestandards.org
Colorado Standards: http://www.cde.state.co.us/standardsandinstruction/coloradostandards

Marie Revak, Monument

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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

Sept. 10: Raspberry chipotle chicken, roasted potatoes, salad.

Sept. 17: Tuna on a croissant, avocado, chips

Sept. 24: Chicken Dijon over rice, 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.

Slash-Mulch season ends Sept. 27

The El Paso County Black Forest Slash and Mulch program will accept slash (tree and brush debris only) until Sept. 27. Mulch will be available until Sept. 27 or when mulch runs out. Hours of operation are: Saturdays, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays, noon-4 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 5-7:30 p.m. The mulch loader schedule is Saturdays only, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. The loader fee is $5 per bucket, about 2 cubic yards. The slash and mulch site is located at the southeast corner of Shoup and Herring Roads in the Black Forest area. For more information visit www.bfslash.org or phone Carolyn Brown, 495-3127; Chuck Lidderdale, 495-8675; Jeff DeWitt, 495-8024; El Paso County Environmental Division, 520-7878.

Lewis-Palmer High School thanks

Tri-Lakes Women’s Club

Tri-Lakes Women’s Club (TLWC) received recognition at an Award Assembly at Lewis-Palmer High School (LPHS) Aug. 22. The club gave the school a grant supporting additional security cameras at LPHS. Through the proceeds gained from TLWC’s Wine and Roses and Pine Forest Antiques, Home Decor/Garden Show, TLWC was able to give more than $45,000 in grants this year to the Tri-Lakes community, supporting D-38 schools and programs, as well as Tri-Lakes Cares, Tri-Lakes HAP, and other area nonprofits. For more information about TLWC, visit the website, www.tlwc.net.

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.

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.

CSU Extension offers Garden Coaching Program

Colorado State University Extension Master Gardeners will meet with you on at your home to coach you and your family in home food production. These one-hour customizable tutorials will provide you with the information you need to grow the garden you want. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a master gardener, call Julie at 520-7690.

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.

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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

Tri-Lakes Wastewater Facility Joint Use Committee Meeting, Tue., Sep. 9, 10 a.m., 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: Bill Burks, 481-4053.

Triview Metropolitan District Board Meeting, Tue., Sep. 9, 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., Sep. 9, 7 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 2nd Tue. each month, location varies. Info: 488-4700, www.lewispalmer.org.

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

D-38 Special Education Advisory Council, Wed., Sep. 10, 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., Sep. 10, 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., Sep. 11, 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., Sep. 11, 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.

Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Mon., Sep. 15, 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., Sep. 16, 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., Sep. 16, 7 p.m., Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Tue. each month, Info: 488-8680.

Academy Water and Sanitation District Board Meeting, Wed., Sep. 17, 6 p.m., Wescott Fire Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: 481-0711.

Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Board Meeting, Wed., Sep. 17, 6 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Normally meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 488-4700.

Palmer Lake Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Sep. 17, 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., Sep. 18, 10 a.m., 130 2nd St. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 481-4886.

Donala Water & Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Sep. 18, 1:30 p.m., 15850 Holbein Dr., Colorado Springs. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 488-3603.

Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Board Meeting, Wed., Sep. 24, 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., Sep. 24, 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., Sep. 25, 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., beginning Sept. 16, 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. 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 – Meghan Casey, Ventriloquist, Sat., Sep. 13, 1:30-3 p.m. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Storytime en Espańol, Wed., Sep. 17, 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., Sep. 20, 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 – Alpacas!, Sat., Sep. 20, 10:30 a.m., 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: American Girl Book Club, Wed., Sep. 24, 4:15-5:30 p.m. Read books, do activities and crafts, have a snack, and socialize. Please read Meet Rebecca by Sept 24 and 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: Teen Henna Workshop, Sat., Sep. 27, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Teens need to turn in a permission slip signed by a parent. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & 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: Research Your Family History, Sat., Sep. 6, 10 a.m.-noon. Learn how to use the U.S. Federal Population Census records from home or the library. Registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

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, Thu., Sep. 11, 11:30-1:30 p.m. For beginners and intermediate. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Social Media 201: Social Media for Non-profit Organizations, Thu., Sep. 18, 1:30-3 p.m. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Monument Library’s Monumental Readers Book Club, Fri., Sep. 19, 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: Tri-Lakes Knitters & Crafters, Fri., Sep. 19, 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: History Buffs Book Discussion Group, Wed., Sep. 24, 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: Yoga Class, Thu., Sep. 25, 12:45-1:15 p.m. For beginners and intermediate. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Henna Workshop for Adults, Sat., Sep. 27, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library Homeschool Program: Hands-On Science, Mon., Sep. 29, 1-2:30 p.m. Meets last Mon. each month. Registration required to ensure sufficient supplies. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Tri-Lakes Knitters & Crafters, Fri., Oct. 3, 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 New Church Service at Lewis-Palmer Middle School, every Sun., 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. Experience this dynamic aid to personal growth, as well as a simple, potent way to help transform our world. Free. 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.

Oakley’s Cafe & Bistro: Live music Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. See the ad in 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.

Meditations from Around the World with Cindy Bosch, every Fri. in Sep., 6-8 p.m., 251 Front St., Suite 8, Monument. Explore meditations from around the world and from various cultures and religions. Free, but a canned food donation for Tri-Lakes Cares is welcomed. RSVP & Info: 487-9076, theopendoor.monument@gmail.com.

Black Forest AARP Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Wed., Sep. 10, 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., Sep. 10, 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. and last Friday each month. Info & appointments: call the Visiting Nurse Association, (303) 698-6496.

Candlelight Yoga at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, Wed., Sep. 10, 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., Sep. 10, 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., Sep. 11, 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., Sep. 11, 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., Sep. 11, 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.

Palmer Lake Art Group, Sat., Sep. 13, 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., Sep. 13, 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. 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., Sep. 13, 10-11:30 a.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 2nd Sat. each month. Info: LaVonne Putman, 488-2557.

NEPCO Meeting, Sat., Sep. 13, 10 a.m.-noon, New Monument Town Hall & Police Building, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meeting topic is Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments. Info: 481-2723 or visit www.nepco.org.

Amateur Radio W0TLM (Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Radio Association), Mon., Sep. 15, 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., Sep. 15, 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., Sep. 15. 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., Sep. 16, 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., Sep. 16, 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., Sep. 16, 7 p.m., Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. New members welcome. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Joe Carlson, 488-1902.

Ladies Auxiliary to V.F.W. Post 7829, Wed., Sep. 17, 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: A Palmer Lake Living History, Thu., Sep. 18, 7 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Dwight Haverkorn tells of youth, disaster, and overwhelming success – Marian and Rogers McDonough, whose grandson Rogers Davis is Director of the Lucretia Vaile Museum and lives in the same 19th century house once owned by his great-grandfather. Free and open to the public; refreshments served after the program. Meets 3rd Thu. Info: Roger Davis, 559-0837; www.palmerdividehistory.org.

Tri-Lakes Lions Club, Thu., Sep. 18, 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., Sep. 20, noon, 133 High St., Palmer Lake. Sponsored by Little Log Church every 3rd Sat. Info: 481-2409.

Senior Social, Wed., Sep. 24, 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.

Legacy Sertoma Dinner Meeting, Thu., Sep. 25, 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.

MOMS Club of Monument/Palmer Lake Monthly Meeting, Fri., Oct. 3, 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 

Monument Homemakers Club Monthly Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Thu., Oct. 2, 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., Oct. 2, 7 p.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 1st Thu. each month. Info: Teresa Kovacic, 559-0083, teresa.kovacic@biofunctionusa.com.

Craft Club, Sat., Oct. 4, 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.

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.

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

The Flying W Wranglers at The Church at Woodmoor, Sun., Sep. 7, 10 a.m., 18125 Furrow Rd., Monument. BBQ lunch and live music. Info: 488-3200, www.TheChurchAtWoodmoor.com.

Western Museum of Mining & Industry Heritage Lecture: Artistic Reflections of Mining Structures, Thu., Sep. 11, Reception 6 p.m., Lecture 7 p.m., 225 North Gate Blvd. (I-25 Exit 156 A). Robert Phillips, metallurgical engineer, will discuss the Nordberg Steam Stamp. Free. RSVP & Info: 488-0880, rsvp@wmmi.org, www.wmmi.org.

Acoustic Eidolon Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Fri., Sep. 12, 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m. 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: $12 TLCA members, $15 non-members. Tickets at door: $15 TLCA members, $18 non-members. Info: 481-0475, www.trilakesarts.org.

Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by Blake & Groves, Fri., Sep. 12, 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., Sep. 13, 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 (Oct. 11): www.cmc.org/rrwp. Info: Tom Mowle, 719-216-3932, tommowle@yahoo.com.

Slash Disposal Drop-off Day, Sat. Sep. 13, 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. Additional drop-off day scheduled for Oct. 11. Info: WIA, 488-2693.

Front Range Open Studios Tour Weekend, Sat.-Sun., Sep. 13-14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit the actual working studio of 16 of the finest artists and craftsmen in the Tri-Lakes area. Free and for all ages. For a map to all locations go to www.frontrangeopenstudios.com.

Pikes Peak Brewing Company Beer Week, Sat.,-Sat., Sep. 13-20, 1756 Lake Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Special events each day, including games and live music. Info: www.pikespeakbrewing.com, 208-4098.

Black Forest Regional Park Restoration Work, Sun., Sep. 14, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Crews will install log barriers to fight erosion and plant native plants. RSVP & Info: Molly, 471-7736, Ext. 4; molly@rmfi.org. For other volunteer opportunities in local parks, trails, and open spaces go to www.openspacevolunteers.org.

Whimsy County Frog Festival & Show of Classic Conveyances, Sun., Sep. 14, 1-5 p.m., 1756 Lake Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Frog on a Limb Primatives and Pikes Peak Brewing Company present live music, food, crafts, prizes, silent auction, and cool vintage cars and motorcycles. All proceeds benefit the Healing Warriors Program. Info: 481-8888. info@frogonalimb.com, www.frogonalimb.com.

Benet Hill Monastery: Chamber Music in the Pines, Sun., Sep. 14, 2:30 p.m., pre-concert lecture at 1:45 p.m., 3190 Benet Lane, Colo. Springs. Visit the website for spiritual programs offered in Sept. Info: 633-0655, Ext. 132; www.benethillmonastery.org.

Rocky Mountain Music Alliance Concert: Americana, Sun., Sep. 14, 3 p.m., Sunrise Church, 2655 Briargate Blvd., Colo. Springs. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and more. Cost: $10. Info: www.rmmaonline.org.

Tri-Lakes Community Blood Drive, Tue., Sep. 16, 3-7 p.m., Tri-Lakes Cares, 235 Jefferson St., Monument. No appointment needed, just walk in. Please bring driver’s license or ID. Info: 776-5714.

Art Hop (last of the season!), Thu., Sep. 18, 5-8 p.m., historic downtown Monument. The 3rd Thu. each month, May-Sept, the galleries, restaurants, and boutiques of downtown Monument stay open until 8 p.m. for a celebration featuring art openings, book signings, great food, live music, and more. Info: www.monumentarthop.org/news, 481-3282.

Bella Art & Frame Artist Reception: Mary Lou Pape, Best of Show and Grand Prize winner at the 2014 Steamboat Fine Art Competition, Thu., Sep. 18, 5-8 p.m., 183 Washington St., Monument. Refreshments. Info: 487-7691, www.bellaartandframe.com.

Art Hop Book Signing at Covered Treasures Bookstore, Thu., Sep. 18, 5-8 p.m., 105 Second St., Monument. Bestselling author Tarashea Nesbit signs her work of historical fiction, The Wives of Los Alamos. Monument resident Dorothy Yoder launches her debut mystery, Redemption Ridge. Info: 481-2665, www.coveredtreasures.com.

Catriona Cellars Artist Reception: John DeFrancesco, Thu., Sep. 18, 5-8 p.m., 243 Washington St., Monument. Info: 481-3477, www.catrionacellars.com.

Art Hop at Wisdom Tea House: Rosie Eylens, Sheila Campbell, and Sharon Oliver; Thu., Sep. 18, 5-8 p.m., 65 Second St., Monument. Serving dinner & dessert out on the patio under the lights. Info: 481-8822, www.wisdomteahouse.com.

Discovery Canyon High School Theatre Department presents Bye Bye Birdie, Thu.-Sat., Sep. 18-20, 7 p.m., 1810 North Gate Blvd., Colo. Springs. Cost: $10 general admission; $7 students, seniors, and children. Info: 234-1800.

Buffalo Grass Acoustic Society Open Stage featuring Liz Masterson, Songbird of the West, Fri., Sep. 19, 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.

Haunted Mines at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI), Fri.-Sat., Sep. 19-Nov. 1, opens at dusk, 225 North Gate Blvd. (I-25 exit 156A). Additional days added in October and November. 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.

Bines & Brews Hopfest, Sat., Sep. 20, 1-5 p.m., Limbach Park, Front Street & Second Street, Monument. Sample beers and homemade sodas from 10 different breweries. Benefits Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) and Tri-Lakes Chamber. Cost: $30. Tickets available at www.trilakeschamber.com. Info: 481-3282, www.trilakeschamber.com.

Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by Tia McGraff, Fri., Sep. 26, 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.

"Be Prepared—Don’t Be A Zombie," 2014 Zombie Run, a 3K and 5K fun run/walk, Sat., Sep. 27, 10 a.m., multiple heats every 15 min., Fox Run Regional Park, 2110 Stella Dr. Arrive one hour early to allow time to park and register. Parking is limited. El Paso County and partners will host this event designed to create awareness for emergency preparedness. Cost: $25. Registration & Info: www.pikespeakzombierun.com.

Peak Ranch’s Music Festival, Sat., Sep. 27, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., doors open at 10 a.m., 19850 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy live music. Free. No dogs, please. Info: 232-8509, www.peakranchalpacas.com.

The Open Door Books and Gifts presents Sarina Baptista, World Renowned Psychic Medium, Connecting to the Other Side, Sat., Sep. 27, 6-8:30 p.m., Yoga Pathways Studio, 755 Hwy. 105, Suite A, Palmer Lake. Cost: $20. Tickets on sale at The Open Door Books and Gifts, 251 Front St., Suite 8, Monument. Info: 487-9076.

National Alpaca Farm Days at Lone Pine Alpacas, Sat.-Sun., Sep. 27-28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 19605 Oslo Grove, Black Forest. See alpacas, watch weaving and spinning demonstrations, and visit the farm store. Info: 488-8045, www.lonepinealpacas.com.

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. Advance Tickets: $20 members/$25 non-members. Door 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.

Empty Bowls Dinner & Silent Auction, Wed., Oct. 8, Lewis-Palmer High School, 5-7:30 p.m. Cost: $20, includes dinner, handmade bowl, and entry into a drawing for a 7 inch HD Kindle Fire. 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.

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.

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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