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Vol. 16 No. 9 - September 3, 2016


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Contents

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

the PDF file. This is an 19.3 Mbyte high-resolution file with color photos.

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

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Town bulletin cites radium level in drinking water

By Lisa Hatfield

On Aug. 25, Town of Monument Public Works Director Tom Tharnish published a public notice about a recent violation of a drinking water standard. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) notified the town it had violated the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for radium 226/228, an element that is naturally present in rocks, soil, and groundwater supplies in the Pikes Peak region.

The MCL for radium 226/228 is 5.0 picoCuries (pCi/L). For the four quarters that were sampled, the calculated compliance average at Well 9 was 6.1 pCi/L.

Well 9 was shut down for one month to evaluate possible options, and additional chemical changes have been made since it has been restarted. Also, the town’s engineers are evaluating other possible options such as using the "best available technology" to reduce the amount of radium from water treatment plant discharge. "This is not an emergency…. We anticipate resolving this problem within six to nine months," the press release said.

Monument’s well 6 was shut down by CDPHE for the same reason as reported at the Dec. 3, 2012 Board of Trustees meeting. (http://ocn.me/v13n1.htm#bot1203)

Exposure to radium 226 or 228 in excess of the MCL, over the course of many years, may have an increased risk of getting cancer, according to the town bulletin. Citizens do not need to take any corrective action, Tharnish noted.

The notice concluded with, "For more information, please contact Steve Sheffield at 719-487-9291 or 645 Beacon Lite Road, Monument, CO, 80132. Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses)."

The town, as well as neighboring water and sanitation districts, have dealt with this issue in the past, and depending on the level of contamination, sometimes it has had to shut down other wells for this reason. For eight examples, go to www.ocn.me and search "radium."

See www.townofmonument.org/town-bulletins/ to read the two-page Aug. 25 bulletin in its entirety.

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

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Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education, Aug. 18: Board discusses enrollment, data privacy, medical marijuana policy

By Harriet Halbig

Superintendent Karen Brofft, in her superintendent update and opening of schools update, reported on developments over the summer break.

Brofft said that enrollment on the first day of school exceeded budgeted amounts by 75 students, cautioning that the numbers often fluctuate between the first day and the official annual state count in October.

Brofft reported that the district has been chosen by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to host a fully funded teacher of Chinese. Xingping Gao has arrived and will be living with a local family. She has taught English in China and will teach a class called Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture to ninth to 12th grade students twice each semester during the year. She will also speak to younger students throughout the year.

Brofft thanked Lewis-Palmer High School Principal Sandi Brandl and Director of Curriculum Sheila Beving for their contributions to making this possible.

Brofft also listed a number of capital projects that were completed during the summer, including:

• New siding and clerestory windows at Kilmer Elementary

• Security updates and univents at Lewis-Palmer Elementary

• Completion of the asbestos removal at Palmer Lake Elementary

• Playing field improvements at Bear Creek Elementary

• Parking lot improvements at Lewis-Palmer Middle School

• Balancing of the HVAC system at Palmer Ridge High School

• Security enhancements for the transportation system

An additional purchase of 269 computers, 386 Chromebooks and 26 iPads was also announced, and the Educational Technology Department has developed a draft of teacher technological proficiency requirements and a list of technological skills required for 21st-century learning.

Brofft also reported that the district is working on its communication abilities to include a new internal newsletter for staff and improved access to financial information on the district website.

Also mentioned was a goal to ensure compliance with state law regarding charter school reporting on waivers, property, and funding.

Regarding data privacy, in compliance with a state law in effect since Aug. 10, Brofft said that the district must report on what Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is collected by the district, how it is maintained and used, and how and with whom it is shared. Also required is a method for parents to view PII information for their students and request corrections in case of errors.

By December 2017 the district must develop a policy regarding hearing parent complaints including a path to submit such requests to the board, a mechanism for having a board hearing, and a requirement that the board act on such complaints within 60 days.

Brofft said that state law requires approving the annual report of Monument Academy during August. Academy Executive Director Don Griffin was unable to attend the meeting, and therefore Brofft requested that the board provisionally approve the report although it will be delivered at a future meeting. The board approved the annual report.

Exceptional Student Services update

Director of Exceptional Student Services Rick Frampton gave an update on his department’s activities. He discussed the process of creating Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for students qualifying for services and said that the district’s approach is based on the strengths of the students. About 8.7 percent of district students qualify for various services, both on campus and in the community. He said that the district prides itself in its ability to identify those qualified.

Frampton said that the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) takes seriously a district’s compliance with its requirements and administers spot checks throughout the year.

Among the goals for the department are to anticipate future needs and to mentor new teachers. Because CDE paperwork can be burdensome, another goal is to streamline this process.

Frampton acknowledged that paraprofessionals play a major role in the success of the program, and he wishes to offer professional development for them, especially in the areas of data collection and supporting students in the classroom.

Noting that board Treasurer John Magerko and Director Sarah Sampayo both attend meetings of the Special Education Advisory Council, Frampton thanked them for their support and expressed a goal of making council meetings less formal to encourage greater participation.

The English Language Learners (ELL) program also falls within Exceptional Student Services. The ELL program currently serves 315 students speaking 35 languages. The program has received an Excellence Award as one of the top 10 in the state for growth in English proficiency for two consecutive years.

Policy discussion

Brofft reminded the board that the district had contracted with the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) for a review of pre-existing board policies to ensure that they satisfied state statutes. Policies were submitted a year and a half ago and a group of policies has already been ratified.

Regarding additional policies, CASB recommended that the board approve them with the intention of fine tuning at a later date.

Director of Personnel and Student Services Bob Foster moderated the discussion, saying that few of the changes submitted by CASB were substantive.

Director Sampayo suggested that the district receive a signed note from legal counsel whenever board policies differ from those recommended by CASB.

Brofft commented that law supersedes policy, especially in such areas as drug and alcohol testing.

The board passed a resolution to accept CASB recommendations.

The board passed policies involving student publications and board access to student records.

The board then discussed the matter of administration of medical marijuana to students during the school day. The products must be non-smokable and must be administered off campus in compliance with a new state law. The district’s legal counsel has approved the draft policy.

Among the concerns was that such devices as patches could be shared. Therefore, the materials involved would most likely be oils or tinctures that could be ingested. No products may remain on campus, and district staff may not administer or store the devices.

The individual administering the medical marijuana must be a parent or guardian 21 years of age or older and the student must have valid registration with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on file. The parent or guardian will also have on file a letter accepting responsibility.

Foster said that only District 49 has a policy in place at this time, but suggested passage.

Secretary Matthew Clawson expressed concern that marijuana is still a class 1 substance under federal law. He recommended that the board delay the vote and see what results occur elsewhere.

Foster pointed out that marijuana is in the same category with asthma and anaphylactic shock medications.

Board President Mark Pfoff suggested that the board have a second reading of the policy at the next meeting, asking Foster to develop a risk assessment if the board does not approve it at that time.

The board discussed the use of Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests by individuals and media. Foster said that the number of requests has increased in the past year, pointing out that the first hour spent in fulfilling a request was free of charge to the submitter, with $35 an hour charged thereafter. He said that one individual has submitted a majority of the requests and that there are an increasing number of requests from media as well.

Foster said that on average an hour to an hour and a half of his time are spent in answering each request.

Brofft said that many requests also involve research on Foster’s part, and Foster said that counsel must also be involved in redacting some documents before they are provided.

Sampayo commented that the superintendent’s contract and security seemed to dominate as the topics and felt that increased transparency from the board might result in a reduction of requests.

Pfoff said that he is not concerned about whether people are entitled to information, but whether perhaps they are making several small requests instead of a large one to avoid cost.

Foster also suggested that citizens do not take complete advantage of information available on the district website. He suggested that perhaps the response could be to direct the individual online.

Brofft also pointed out that all information discussed during a meeting is made available immediately after the meeting. Until a subject is discussed during a public meeting, it is not considered a public document. Pfoff agreed with this point.

Clawson offered to contact those who make frequent requests. Magerko offered to help to determine what it is that the individuals are seeking.

Brofft said that she was not convinced that a formal policy was necessary but was concerned that such requests are taking up a lot of Foster’s time.

Long-range planning update

Brofft reported on progress with the development of a 10-year plan for the district. Elements to be considered are:

• Assessment of the condition, utilization, and capacity of buildings

• Analysis of student population

• Review of physical security and energy efficiency

The board budgeted $81,000 for this process at its May meeting. RTA Architects has been provided with floor plans of the buildings and will investigate demographics of the district. It is estimated that the study will take about six months and will involve students, parents, staff, and community. RTA will also talk to local developers to learn of future plans for the area.

Among the goals are to improve communication, explore joint use opportunities, and evaluate future needs regarding security and energy efficiency.

The board approved a motion to proceed.

Citizens’ comments

Jackie Burhans commented that she was pleased the district had consulted an outside firm regarding breaches in the district’s Google app security. She would like to see such a consultant engaged on a regular basis.

James Howald commented that when he saw that the board was reconsidering the use of CORA requests, he had found the district to be responsive and easy to work with, whereas the Monument Academy administration frequently charged him for information or referred him to the district for answers.

Susan Pappas, founder of the Ryan Pappas Memorial Foundation, said that her son was killed in an accident on the way home from a party in 2014 and she and her family had dedicated themselves to finding safe and sober activities for teens so that they did not feel the need to party for entertainment. Seniors Brandon Pappas, Jasmine Sanders, Regan Mukpik, Joel Krause and A J Krause of Palmer Ridge High School spoke of their efforts to provide such activities during 2015 and now.

There had been a pre-existing group at Palmer Ridge High School called KOM (Kids of Monument), and the group worked with the organization to approach the Y in April 2015 to have a Y night. Since then there have been 13 other events. Students were invited to participate and offer ideas.

Joel Krause said that he and his brother are new to the area and that there are a lot of kids committed to the cause of staying safe. A goal will be to offer activities on a regular basis.

The group publicizes its activities via social media, posters and fliers, and on Infinite Campus. The new group is called RAD—Real Alternatives to Drinking and Drugs.

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The Board of Education of Lewis-Palmer D-38 meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the district’s Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. The next meeting will be on Sept. 15.

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

Caption: From left are Monument Academy School Board Executive Director Don Griffin, Principal Liz Richards, and board members Julie Galusky, Sonya Camarco, Andy Gifford, Matt Dunston, Patrick Hall, and Scott Saunders. At the Aug. 11 meeting of the School Board, the board approved the following officers for one-year terms: Camarco, president; Saunders, vice president; Galusky, secretary, and Hall, treasurer. The board also approved committee assignments for Buildings/Facilities, Student Accountability Advisory Committee, Resource Development/Grants, Finance, Curriculum, and Governance. New hire information was posted on the web with all ranges beginning at $30,000. The board unanimously tripled the longevity bonuses noted in board policy 1524 for distribution in October. Principal Liz Richards presented an assessment report that included last year’s results as well as an outline for the coming year. Richards has asked board member Andy Gifford to assist with posting this information as dashboards on the website. The next meeting will be on Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Monument Academy library at 1150 Village Ridge Point. The Monument Academy usually meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. Monument. Information on the MA School Board, including schedule, minutes, committee and finances can be found at www.monumentacademy.net/school-board/board-meeting-minutes/. Photo by Jackie Burhans.

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Palmer Lake Town Council, Aug. 11: Recreational marijuana initiatives head to Palmer Lake voters

By James Howald

In August, the Palmer Lake Town Council met only on Aug. 11; the meeting scheduled for Aug. 25 was cancelled due to lack of agenda items.

The future of marijuana sales in the town dominated the discussions on Aug. 11. The board debated two ballot resolutions, the first proposing the legalization of recreational marijuana sales, and the second proposing a sales tax of 5 percent on recreational marijuana sales, if those sales should become legal. The board also heard a presentation concerning the Monument Creek watershed, and voted on changes to the town’s building code.

Enough signatures collected to put recreational sales on ballot

Mayor John Cressman told the board that proponents of recreational marijuana sales had collected enough valid signatures to put the measure to a vote during the election in November. Cressman asked Town Attorney Maureen Juran to review the history of the issue for the board.

Juran said that in 2014 the town’s voters had passed an initiative that banned recreational marijuana sales in the town until 2017. She went on to say that citizens have a constitutional right to propose laws using the ballot initiative process, and that any law could be overturned by a new ballot initiative.

Juran said the board had only two legal choices: They could vote to approve the sale of recreational marijuana as set forth by the proposed ballot initiatives, or they could send the initiatives to the voters in November. Juran also pointed out that, if approved by voters in November, the law could be changed again by the board or by another ballot initiative.

Juran’s summary provoked questions and comments from the board and from the audience. Asked by a resident if the new initiative should override the will of the voters in 2014, Juran said that the right to use the ballot initiative process is guaranteed by the constitution.

Cressman said he thought it would be "irresponsible" for the board to vote to approve recreational sales, given the outcome of the vote in 2014.

Trustee Rich Kuehster pointed out that the voters might approve the sales of recreational marijuana, but not approve the ballot initiative that would impose a sales tax on those sales.

Several audience members expressed their hope that the voters would not approve the sale of recreational marijuana, arguing that marijuana was dangerous, bad for children, and, in one case, its sale ran counter to biblical precept.

Initiative authors make their case

Responding to criticisms of the initiative from the audience, Melissa Woodward, one of the authors of the initiatives, pointed out that a majority in Palmer Lake had voted in favor of Amendment 64, which legalized the use of marijuana, that the proposed initiative would not make use by minors legal, and that separation of church and state made biblical arguments irrelevant. She went on to cite the experience of Manitou Springs, which has legalized sales of recreational marijuana and has used the taxes generated to fund flood mitigation efforts, has not seen more police calls due to legalization, and has not seen an increase in use by schoolchildren.

Brenda Woodward, the other author of the initiatives, said that the decision to include an initiative to impose a sales tax had doubled their legal fees. Asked by Trustee Glant Havenar if they might consider another ballot initiative should the current one fail, Woodward answered that they might consider doing that.

The Woodwards are owners of Premiere Organics LLC, a marijuana cultivation business in Palmer Lake.

Following the discussion, the board voted to send the initiative to the voters on the November ballot.

Town joins project to manage watershed

Larry Small, executive director of the Fountain Creek Flood Control Project, thanked the board for its past support of the project’s efforts to better manage the Monument Creek watershed. The project was in response to the problems caused by the Waldo Canyon Fire, Small said. Resident Bob Miner has represented the town on the project, according to Small.

Small asked the board to contribute $615 to the effort. The amount was based on the town’s population, Small said, adding that funding from the state for the project was expected to decline.

One of the project’s goals was to help communities retain their flood insurance, Small said.

Cressman said the funding request would be voted on at the next meeting.

Town building codes to be updated

The board voted to update the town’s building code to align it with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Code passed in 2011.

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The two meetings for September will be at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 8 and Sept. 22, at Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. Meetings are normally held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Information: 481-2953.

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

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Academy School District 20, Aug. 18: $230 million bond ballot wording approved; video recordings discussed

By Lisa Hatfield

The Aug. 18 Academy School District (ASD) Board meeting included many topics including approval of three resolutions regarding a $230 million bond levy ballot measure for this November. And a district resident announced he would post his own video recordings of ASD meetings on a new website called ASD20.info so that more people could stay informed about the board’s deliberations.

Resolutions approved regarding 2016 bond question

District 20 is experiencing population growth on the east side of the district, causing school crowding. Assistant Superintendent Tom Gregory presented the Growth and Capital Needs Committee (GCNC) Summary Review and reviewed the rationale for the specific recommendations made by the board using the GCNC report, a separate facilities audit, and board input from workshops over the summer.

Then the directors unanimously approved three resolutions related to the request that will be asked of voters Nov. 8 to approve "creating general obligation indebtedness in the aggregate principal amount of not to exceed $230 million to finance the Project."

"The Project" would include constructing two new elementary schools, one new middle school, and a "center for innovative learning." It would also include adding or removing modular classrooms from Discovery Canyon Campus, Liberty High School, Pine Creek High School, and School in the Woods, remodeling Air Academy High School, Challenger Middle School, and Rampart High School, updating technology infrastructure at all schools, and providing improvements to all existing schools and facilities.

The monies requested do not include $91 million it would take to also build a new high school, even though the district wishes it could. It plans to use other solutions to absorb the population growth in the high schools, Gregory said.

If the bond is approved by voters, the construction and upgrades would be done in a series of capital project "issuances" with a few years in between each batch. The order of those projects will be determined using a "fairness formula" after updated growth numbers are collected in September, Gregory said. See www.asd20.org for many pages of details.

The current district mill levy of 60.216 mills would not change if voters approve the bond. The cost of the election will be about $93,000, and Gregory is the Designated Election Official.

Videotaping school board meetings discussed

During public comments, several constituents requested that, in the interest of transparency, it would help to have videos of the twice-monthly school board meetings made available online in addition to official audio recordings required by state law. They said this would allow people to watch the meetings when and where it is more convenient than attending in person.

In order to listen to an audio recording now, members of the public must submit a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request and pay a small fee, said constituent Melanie Knapp. (However, it is not evident to this reporter, even after searching the ASD20.org website, where that information is shared with constituents. For information, call (719) 234-1200.)

Adding video recordings could cost $3,000 to $25,000, according to a past board meeting referenced by constituent Jackie Bell. During this evening’s board discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of making video recordings available in addition to audio recordings, the directors did not agree on how to proceed. Finally they came to a consensus to have a "Linkage," or a meeting with the public where board members are present, before the Nov. 8 election, to find out if people would use this feature. After the bond measure election, the board could then spend more time on this question.

Constituent Michael Esty said he would make his own videos of the board meetings in the meantime, and he encouraged District 20 residents to view them on a website he created, ASD20.info.

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Academy School District 20 Board of Education meetings are usually held at 6 p.m. the first and third Thursday of each month in the Education and Administration Center, 1110 Chapel Hills Drive, Colorado Springs. See https://asd20.org or call 719-234-1200.

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

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Monument Board of Trustees, Aug. 1: Emergency water connections discussed

By Lisa Hatfield

At the Aug. 1 meeting of the Monument Board of Trustees, the board worked to get more information on the possibility of connecting with other water districts in case of emergencies. Trustees also commended an exemplary police officer and the recent graduates of the groundbreaking "Getting Ahead" program at Tri-Lakes Cares (TLC).

Trustee Kelly Elliott was excused, and Treasurer Pamela Smith filled in for Town Manager Chris Lowe, who was also excused.

Water: a "real stark reality check"

The consensus of the board was that they would like to know more, and in more detail, about the potential for the Town of Monument water district, on the west side of I-25, to establish connections with neighboring water districts for use in times of emergencies.

The concern stemmed, in part, from the water production emergency recently experienced by Triview Metropolitan District, which includes town residents in Jackson Creek and Promontory Pointe east of I-25. Donala Water and Sanitation District provided 112 hours of emergency potable water to Triview after Triview lost millions of gallons of water when an undetected pipe leak caused the water level in its tank to drop precipitously. Trustee Dennis Murphy, who is a Triview resident, said, "When nothing came out when I turned on the faucet, it was a real stark reality check about access to water." See www.ocn.me/v16n8.htm#tvmd0712.

Public Works Director Tom Tharnish said he would arrange for two presentations to the trustees. One will be from a neighboring water district manager explaining about that district’s experience and difficulties with the Southern Delivery System (SDS). To show "the other side," as at least one trustee requested in response to Tharnish’s email to them before the meeting, he will also ask a representative of Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) to address the board about its use of the SDS at an upcoming meeting.

Then Murphy made "a formal motion, so that we can get something done." His motion was to ask staff to update the 20-year Water Master Plan by adding analyses of possible emergency water source connections to include, but not be limited to: CSU, Donala, and SDS. He asked for the specific cost benefits to be analyzed, along with pros and cons, so that the board could vote on the subject in the near term.

Murphy wanted to know that the town would have access to water in an emergency so that the board would have time to "take a deep breath" and study its long-term water plans, "and we can talk intelligently about moving forward incrementally."

Tharnish and Engineer Will Koger of Forsgren Associates said that by the second board meeting in September, they should be able to provide the board with more detailed information. The board approved Murphy’s motion unanimously.

Police officer recognized

Police Commander Steve Burk introduced two members of the Masonic Lodge of Monument who were there to commend the public service of police Sgt. Jonathan Hudson. They praised his work relationships, commitment to training, and also his volunteer time as liaison between the department and an officer who was undergoing medical treatment this year. "He is a credit to the Monument Police Department and the law enforcement profession. Thank you for your service and your compassion," they said.

"Getting Ahead" class praised; poverty simulator coming Sept. 27

TLC Executive Director Haley Chapin told the trustees about TLC’s "Getting Ahead" class series, which is the only program of its kind in the Pikes Peak region. It is designed to help people living in generational or situational poverty to identify needed resources to help them improve their economic class and set goals in order to become self-sufficient or get back to self-sufficiency.

Chapin said that the "bridges out of poverty" concepts teach that moving to a new economic class means learning the hidden rules and identifying and utilizing a list of specific resources that are not obvious to the person in poverty. It costs about $1,000 per person to run the class, but it is an investment in each individual’s future self-sufficiency. The people recommended to attend the class are then paid to attend the 12 class sessions. "We are looking to make a life-long change, not a quick fix," Chapin said.

Chapin invited the public to join in at TLC’s "Poverty Simulator," on Sept. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in Monument. Anyone who would like to sign up should write to RSVP@Tri-LakesCares.org or call 719-481-4864 x109.

The meeting adjourned at 7:51 p.m.

It was followed by a workshop for the trustees and members of the public to put forth suggestions on what specific questions should be asked in a request for proposals and scope of work for a multi-year audit of the town’s water enterprise fund. This was first brought up on July 18. See www.ocn.me/v16n8.htm#mbot0718.

**********

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

Left: Cindi, a recent graduate of Tri-Lakes Cares’ (TLC) "Getting Ahead" class, praised her caseworker at TLC for being "so supportive" and for recommending that she take the class. "I realized I had stumbled across something incredible," she said. "Life had gotten me down, but I certainly did not need to stay there," and this class helped her identify existing resources to help her do just that. Now she will be a co-facilitator of the next "Getting Ahead" class. TLC Executive Director Haley Chapin invited the public to make a donation to sponsor a class participant. She said people are also welcome to join in the TLC "Poverty Simulator" in Monument on Sept. 27 at 4:30 p.m. and should register by writing to RSVP@Tri-LakesCares.org or by calling 719-481-4864 x109. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.

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Monument Planning Commission, Aug. 10: No vote on landscape ordinance changes; trustees to receive mixed opinions

By Kate Pangelinan

As promised, the Aug. 10 Monument Planning Commission meeting primarily saw further discussion of the landscape ordinance changes proposed at the July 13 meeting. If implemented, these changes would decrease the required amount of greenery for Monument’s establishments, as well as redefine other landscaping expectations to hopefully use less water.

Vice Chair Kathy Spence led this meeting, as Chairman Ed Delaney was absent. Alternate Commissioner Daniel Rathke was also absent.

Monument has long had concerns about the amount of available water, and it is thought that the current landscape ordinances are untenable. If things continue as they are, there may not be enough water to sustain current and future Monument residents as the years go by.

Back in July, the Planning Commission requested more time to read through the proposals and consider them before being required to make a solid decision. At the Aug. 10 meeting, conversation was mainly focused on the specific proposal to lower the required number of trees that an institution in Monument would have to plant and maintain.

By the end of the meeting, Commissioners John Dick and Jim Fitzpatrick attempted a vote to accept the proposals as they were, but the motion lost 2-3, with David Gwisdalla, Kathy Spence, and Michelle Glover voting against. It was decided that all the various irreconcilable arguments the Planning Commission expressed for and against the landscape ordinance changes would be delivered to the Board of Trustees for consideration. No official vote was made, so the Planning Commission made no specific adjustments to the proposed landscape ordinance changes.

Concerns raised against this proposition to lower the required number of trees included the possibility that it would decrease water use more to cut other kinds of vegetation instead of trees—given that trees take a lot of water at first, and then not as much as they age—and apprehensions for the aesthetic beauty of Monument. Gwisdalla in particular was concerned about the town losing its unique flavor, stating that the trees are among the first things he notices coming into Monument, and it would be a pity to lose that striking quality.

Also, while Dick expressed the opinion that businesses would want to maintain attractive landscaping in order to attract customers, others in the Planning Commission did not share this belief, and feared that establishments may settle for sloppy/overly minimal landscaping if not forced to do otherwise by the town.

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The next Monument Planning Commission meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 645 Beacon Lite Rd. Meetings are normally held on the second Wednesday of the month. Information: 884-8017 or http://www.townofmonument.org/meetings/

Kate Pangelinan can be reached at katepangelinan@ocn.me.

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Monument Board of Trustees, Aug. 15: Presentation on water fund audit delayed

By Lisa Hatfield

At its Aug. 15 meeting, the Monument Board of Trustees had wanted to work more on specifying the scope of work for the comprehensive audit of the town’s water enterprise fund the trustees have requested, but they delayed the planned presentation on this topic since it had not been included in the board packet or on the town website. They also approved several administrative items.

Trustees Kelly Elliott and Shea Medlicott were excused.

Next steps toward water fund comprehensive audit

After the Aug. 1 meeting, the trustees conducted a public workshop to develop a list of specific questions pertaining to the history of the water enterprise fund so that a request for proposals for a "comprehensive" audit could be sent out to bid.

On Aug. 15, Trustee Greg Coopman’s motion to amend the meeting agenda resulted in a 20-minute discussion. Coopman had two requests. He wanted the agenda to include a board discussion on items specific to the water audit requested on July 18 and discussed at the Aug. 1 workshop. He said it was agreed that they would discuss the questions with the public, but this was left off the agenda for the last two meetings.

And he wanted to delay the item, "Presentation: Water Fund Questions Received by the Board of Trustees," until its contents could be included in the board packet available to the trustees and the public before the meeting.

The consensus was that the presentation, prepared by Town Treasurer Pamela Smith from the list of questions generated at the Aug. 1 workshop, represented a lot of work. They all looked forward to having time to read about it ahead of Smith’s presentation at the Tuesday, Sept. 6 meeting.

The trustees also directed staff to invite auditor Kyle Logan of Logan and Associates to clarify what he did (and did not) recommend concerning the town’s water enterprise fund during his presentation about the 2015 annual audit, since each trustee remembers Logan’s words differently. See www.ocn.me/v16n7.htm#mbot-0627.

The trustees voted unanimously to remove the Water Fund Questions presentation from tonight’s meeting agenda and reschedule it, include a public discussion of the questions, and invite Logan to speak to the board, all on Sept. 6.

Liquor license, land use, construction items

After asking the applicants a long series of questions about employee training, the trustees unanimously approved a new 3.2 percent off-premises liquor license to Saira Inc. for the new 7-Eleven store under construction at 990 W. Baptist Road. The approval is subject to approval by the State Liquor Enforcement Division.

They also unanimously approved an easement vacation to accommodate a new configuration of sanitary and storm sewers for a townhome development north of the 7-Eleven.

And the trustees unanimously approved a resolution awarding a contract to Schmidt Construction Co. for the 2016 Monument Overlay Project in the amount of $97,879.

Checks over $5,000

As part of the consent agenda, the trustees unanimously approved the following:

• Triview Metropolitan District, sales tax June, motor vehicle tax July, regional building use tax July – not to exceed $202,490

• Wells Fargo Securities, final payment on Town Hall/Police lease – $365,598

• Community Matters Inc., work on Comprehensive Plan 2016 – $6,455

• Green Belt Turf Farm, sod for baseball fields – $5,087

• Global Underground Corp., bulk water station relocation – $26,492

• Global Underground Corp., bulk water station relocation – $23,536

• Forsgren Associates, water rate and fee study – $5,705

Trustee comments

In answer to Trustee Dennis Murphy’s question, Forsgren Associates Assistant Division Manager Jonathan Moore confirmed that by the Sept. 19 board meeting he will be putting together the analysis/memo of options for the Town of Monument regarding a possible emergency waterline connection.

Murphy looked forward to Donala General Manager Kip Petersen’s presentation to the trustees about water connections between districts. (Tharnish said he will be scheduling a presentation from a neighboring water district, as well as a presentation by Colorado Springs Utilities, to happen at upcoming Board of Trustees meetings. See related Aug. 1 Monument Board of Trustees article on page 6.)

Mayor Jeff Kaiser, Mayor Pro-Tem Don Wilson, and Town Manager Chris Lowe confirmed that it would be good to have some kind of "rumor control" feature on the town’s new website.

The meeting went into executive session at 7:27 p.m. for the purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer, or sale of any real, personal, or other property interest, specifically dealing with the Water Department. Lowe told OCN that no votes or announcements were made after the executive session. The meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.

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The Monument Board of Trustees usually meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at Monument Town Hall, 645 Beacon Lite Road. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6. Call 884-8014 or see www.townofmonument.org for information. To see upcoming agendas and complete board packets for the Monument Board of Trustees or to download audio recordings of past meetings, see http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com and click on Board of Trustees.

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

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Tri-Lakes Monument Wastewater Treatment Facility Joint Use Committee, Aug. 9: Permitting process in flux

By Lisa Hatfield

At the Aug. 9 meeting of the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility (TLWWTF) Joint Use Committee (JUC), the three members heard about progress on construction. They also heard reports on statewide discharger permitting and decision-making issues that could affect the facility in the future.

TLWWTF operates as a separate joint venture public utility and is owned in equal one-third shares by Monument Sanitation District (MSD), Palmer Lake Sanitation District (PLSD), and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD).

The three-member JUC acts as the board of the facility and consists of one director from each of the three owner districts’ boards: WWSD board Director at Large Rich Strom, president; MSD board Chairman Ed Delaney, vice president; and PLSD board and JUC Secretary/Treasurer Ken Smith. Other board and staff members of the three owner districts also attended, including MSD District Manager Mike Wicklund, PLSD District Manager Becky Orcutt, and WWSD Assistant District Manager Randy Gillette.

Plant manager’s report

Facility Manager Bill Burks reviewed the June discharge monitoring report (DMR). He and the members discussed one spike in dissolved manganese at one Monument Creek testing site, but overall results were well within the required parameters.

Burks said construction of the total phosphorus (TP) chemical removal clarifier expansion is nearing the end. He hoped for final approval from the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District on a few new construction edicts soon. Chemicals for this TP clarifier will cost an estimated $200,000 a year. The compliance testing period in the plant’s discharger permit for optimizing the new TP clarifier process performance will last through Oct. 31, 2019, and then the new TLWWTF discharge permit limit of 1 mg/liter for TP begins on Nov. 1, 2019.

Burks also noted that downstream of the Tri-Lakes plant there is a lot of wildlife, there is no overabundance of algae, and existing ambient phosphorus levels are already so low that he wondered what would happen when the new total phosphorus (TP) chemical removal clarifier actually started treating the influent wastewater for phosphorus.

Wicklund said that the total phosphorus and total nitrogen sampling readings numbers for Monument Creek downstream of the plant are so low, even now, it could be possible that there would be no need to treat nitrogen in the Tri-Lakes plant in the future.

Burks said TLWWTF passed its second-quarter Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) test, but the third-quarter WET test "was not a failure, but it did not pass, either." He will report back to the JUC in September on how the staff will react to this unexpected out-sourced testing result.

Burks has scheduled a follow-on multiple metric index (MMI) aquatic life study to be performed by GEI Consulting in September in Monument Creek. MSD Environmental Compliance Coordinator Jim Kendrick said it is important to have consistency with GEI doing studies for the facility, because GEI is the "gold standard for the state" and is also doing studies for Arkansas River/Fountain Creek Coalition for Urban/Rural River Evaluation (AF CURE), South Platte Coalition for Urban River Evaluation (SP CURE), Colorado Monitoring Framework (CMF), and "everything east of the Front Range."

WWSD maintenance

As part of the district manager reports, Gillette said that WWSD had taken four days to divert Monument Creek flows around its exchange structure near the Arnold Avenue bridge in order to dig out and remove accumulated sediment from the structure. WWSD’s pump house, which pumps WWSD’s surface water up to Lake Woodmoor, is located just south of the west end of the bridge, adjacent to the northwest corner of the Tri-Lakes facility. (The TLWWTF effluent discharge into Monument Creek is located downstream of the WWSD structure at the southwest corner of TLWWTF.)

This project increased WWSD’s ability to draw surface water from the stream to Lake Woodmoor from about 75,000 to 500,000 gallons per day, Gillette said. He said some residents worried about the diversion work causing damage to the beaver dam in the vicinity of where the work was done, but the beavers rebuilt the dam almost immediately after it was impacted by the diversion.

Permitting issues continue to pop up

Kendrick reported on regional and statewide stakeholder meetings and the possible implications for both TLWWTF and the permitting process controlled by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Water Quality Control Division.

Kendrick said that at the August meeting of AF CURE, Coordinator Sarah Reeves, environmental engineer and vice president of Brown & Caldwell, briefed members on the choices they need to make in deciding what computer model to choose for the most cost-efficient proposed river basin nutrient modeling project to generate meaningful results to go along with two years of nutrient data already collected by AF CURE member operators.

Kendrick reported that Tammy Stone of Brown & Caldwell alerted AF CURE members of an issue discussed at the August CMF meeting that raised questions about how permits might be issued in the future for all dischargers. Without scientific justification, the Division has proposed granting 5 million gallons a day of additional rated treatment capacity to the Littleton/Englewood (L/E) wastewater treatment plant although it has no way to treat that additional discharge, since it would be coming from Denver and going directly into the South Platte River downstream from the L/E plant.

After the meeting, Kendrick said that another wastewater treatment entity concern is that since all state discharge permit fees are based on rated flow capacity rather than average existing flows, this unprecedented non-legislatively-enacted action would incur a unilateral fee increase on Littleton-Englewood, and potentially any of the other 390 wastewater treatment plants in Colorado. Historically, any discharge permit fee increase is controlled solely by the elected/recallable members of the state Legislature, and TABOR.

Mary Gardner, the compliance coordinator for L/E, told the CMF that in Denver, the recent and ongoing construction of many three- and four-level deep subterranean garages is displacing a lot of groundwater that must be dewatered from the sites and that the Division wants some way to account for direct deposition of many untreated contaminants into the South Platte River due to this additional growth and development in Denver.

Kendrick said the groundwater being pumped out does not meet state stream standards and is full of metals and is so toxic that it is not disposable in a sustainable way in an urban setting by the owners of these new multi-story buildings. It is not clear what entity, if any, would actually treat the toxic groundwater that could be discharged directly into the South Platte River downstream from L/E or why Denver’s wastewater treatment facilities are not the ones getting the new discharge permit.

Kendrick said many CMF members agreed that this Division proposal to grant an upstream discharger extra capacity in order to force lower discharge permit limits and expensive plant modifications on wastewater treatment plants simply to accommodate commercial growth and development downstream by allowing ever increasing amounts of uncontrolled non-point pollution should not set a precedent for future discharge permit calculations. AF CURE voted unanimously to formally oppose the Division’s proposal and support CMF’s objections, which will be represented to the state by Brown & Caldwell at no additional cost to AF CURE members.

Note: This is the same Division that, as part of CDPHE, grants all permits for point-source dischargers such as wastewater treatment plants. This reporter heard CDPHE representatives tell AF CURE members in May that the state would clamp down harder on point-source dischargers that are already easily meeting E. coli regulations, since it "can" regulate them. However, the Water Quality Control Division cannot regulate non-point sources such as stormwater or agricultural runoff that washes E. coli, pesticides, fertilizers, and other human-caused pollutants into waterways. See www.ocn.me/v16n6.htm#tlfjuc0510.

Kendrick said several notable things happened at the August Colorado Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) meeting. One was that the final draft of the WQCC triennial rulemaking hearing on Regulation 31, Basic Standards and Methodologies for Surface Water, and Regulation 61, Colorado Discharge Permit System Regulations, were approved without changes. See www.ocn.me/v16n8.htm#tlwfjuc0712.

Also, the WQCC unanimously disapproved Cherokee Metropolitan District’s request for a site-specific waiver for a concentration limit of 500 milligrams per liter (mg/l) for Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) for its treated wastewater effluent. Cherokee’s modified application for a 500 mg/l waiver noted that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a national "Secondary Drinking Water Standard" for TDS of 500 mg/L.)

TDS can include potassium, chlorides, sodium, arsenic, chromium, manganese, nitrates and other substances dissolved in the water. A standard definition for "dissolved solids" is that they must be small enough to pass through a 2-micron filter. (Contaminants larger than 2 microns are often referred to as Total Suspended Solids, and these are also monitored closely by dischargers.)

The commission also unanimously rejected a counter proposal to Cherokee’s initial request for a 600 mg/l waiver by the Water Quality Control Division for a site-specific waiver concentration limit of 448 mg/l for TDS, also less than the national EPA TDS standard. (ftp://ft.dphe.state.co.us/wqc/wqcc/2016/41_42RMH/)

Cherokee’s effluent contains an average of roughly 400 mg/l of TDS, so it has not been meeting Cherokee’s existing 300 mg/l state permit limit. Cherokee’s effluent is also more saline than it should be. Currently, it is discharging this treated effluent directly into the ground, outside its own basin and service area, where it is sequentially contaminating downstream irrigation and drinking water wells in the Black Squirrel aquifer farther east of Colorado Springs, Kendrick said.

Cherokee was also petitioning to pump the treated effluent deep into underground wells, but this was also unanimously denied by the WQCC on Aug. 8. At first, the Division tried to work out a compromise by increasing the TDS permit limits to 448 mg/l so Cherokee could meet them, but eventually the Division rejected the proposal and left the TDS limit at 300 mg/l.

Cherokee’s only option now is to build a $30 million reverse osmosis (RO) treatment plant to decontaminate the effluent by extreme filtration, which also creates a very toxic HAZMAT RO brine that is costly to dispose of, as a perpetual added operational cost. It will have to raise its rates substantially very soon to save money to pay for this plant, Kendrick said.

Burks added that TLWWTF risks having higher TDS levels in its effluent when it starts using alum (hydrated potassium aluminum sulfate) to treat for phosphorus. The TLWWTF permit already has a TDS permit limit, so continuing TDS testing during the compliance testing period will provide a clearer picture once he starts operation of the TP clarifier.

Kendrick said the effect of TDS is additive as you go down the stream. Metals do not get consumed by in-stream plants and aquatic life the way they consume nutrients like TP and TN. Kendrick also said he wondered if the Division might decide to require an earlier implementation of the new 1 mg/l TP permit limits that are not officially taking effect until Nov. 1, 2019 if Burks’ compliance testing of the TP clarifier is completed before that implementation date.

Kendrick stated he is seeing a dramatic shift in the composition of the WQCC members and the way they are making decisions. For example, instead of just using in-stream sampling measurements, the commission also accepted satellite photos for the first time in a separate hearing at this August meeting as evidence of erosion and dramatically destructive sedimentation caused by a new motocross course set up by the Department of the Interior contiguous to Sand Creek. The proponent downstream irrigation ditch owners’ photo evidence showed the profound flow-limiting increase in stream sedimentation during a two-week period in the first hearing to take place since commission approval of a new sedimentation regulation. Instead of just focusing on pollutants, for the first time under the new sedimentation regulation, the commission took action on water rights infringement for downstream owners of diversion and irrigation ditches. (ftp://ft.dphe.state.co.us/wqc/wqcc/2016/93RMH_SandCreekSediment/)

The meeting adjourned at 12:01 p.m.

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The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 at the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility, 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meetings throughout 2016 will normally be held on the second Tuesday of the month and are open to the public. For information, call Bill Burks at 719-481-4053.

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

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Triview Metropolitan District, Aug. 9: Looking ahead after 5-foot break repaired

By Lisa Hatfield

The Triview Metropolitan District board discussed many infrastructure repairs in progress, new ways of communicating with residents, and scheduling of future budget topic agenda items at its Aug. 9 meeting.

Director James Barnhardt was excused, and Director James Otis was absent. Secretary/Treasurer Marco Fiorito attended part of the meeting by telephone, and then attended in person.

Triview, on the east side of I-25, includes two-thirds of the population of the town of Monument and is still growing at a rapid rate. Triview was created as one of the first Colorado Title 32 developer special metropolitan districts within the Regency Park development and was annexed into the town in 1987. Triview provides roads, parks, and drainage maintenance, as well as water and sanitation utility services to the residents of Jackson Creek, Promontory Pointe, and Sanctuary Pointe. Triview’s water system is wholly independent of Monument’s Public Works water system located on the west side of I-25. There is no emergency pipe connection between these two water systems. The Town of Monument provides land use planning, police, and general governance for the district.

Various repairs under way

District Manager Valerie Remington and Water Superintendent Josh Cichocki told the board about repairs going on around the district. Of most immediate concern was the water main southwest of Bear Creek Elementary School that leaked 20-30 million gallons of water in June and July and caused a water emergency. See www.ocn.me/v16n8.htm#tvmd0712.

The broken section of main had been blocked off on July 9 when the leak was found, but it could not be repaired until the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Wildlife, and the property owner all granted permission for the district to access the site. President Reid Bolander thanked U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn for his help getting the Army Corps of Engineers to speed up its decision-making.

Remington and Cichocki said that the pipe, which was incorrectly installed in the 1980s and was made of a "hodgepodge of materials," had a 5-foot split along it. Cichocki said when repairing the damaged section, staff only used hand shovels and a pump to minimize disruption of lifestyle for the beavers and protected Preble’s meadow jumping mice in the area.

Cichocki said that Triview is now tracing this water line and having it added to the official as-built drawings maintained by JDS-Hydro Consultants. The only way to inspect the whole line would be to dig it up, so instead of that, staff is exercising one valve at a time as it is documented. Fiorito asked that this information be posted on the district website for better communication with residents.

Other repairs that have been completed recently or are in progress include four water main leaks; erosion damage in drainages, retention ponds, and around pipes and valves that have been exposed; irrigation system valves and sprinkler heads; attempting to revive grasses in parks; and signs and lights.

The board directed Remington to find out if the retention ponds in Phases 2 and 3 of Promontory Pointe are still the responsibility of Classic Homes to repair or not, and she said she would check with Town of Monument Engineering Assistant Tom Martinez.

New ways of communicating with residents planned

President Reid Bolander said that the district is doing a lot to remedy the perception that it is not responsive or communicating openly enough or in a timely manner with residents. He faced the people at the meeting and said, "We are working on a mindset change." Changes include:

• The district website, www.colorado.gov/triviewmetro, now includes more information.

• Facebook page, "Triview Metropolitan District"

• Twitter.com/@TriviewMetro

• A district presence on www.NextDoor.com is in the works.

• The district is collecting residents’ emails for a "push" notification system.

• Directors’ email addresses will be added to the website. They cannot answer technical questions, but they will address procedural questions.

• The front office will let residents know when to expect a response, and procedures for sharing feedback from residents with staff will be determined.

• A survey of residents will be coming soon, after changes have been instituted.

"My apologies for the last couple of months. It’s been a little bit messy, for all of you, and we hope to really make some good inroads here," Bolander said.

Public comments

Five residents attended the August meeting. Their comments included:

• There is no mechanism in the office for what they do when we have an issue.

• Telling us "I don’t know" would be better than, "the problem is in your house."

• The board meeting minutes on the website are out of date and contain no meaningful details or action items.

• What higher authority in Colorado holds individuals within Triview accountable?

• Is there a long-term plan to dissolve Triview and stop duplicating the functions of the Town of Monument? (See www.colorado.gov/pacific/triviewmetro/more-info for general information on mergers).

• Wasn’t Nolte engineering contracted to make a comprehensive district map a few years ago? (See www.ocn.me/v12n1.htm#tmd, and www.ocn.me/v13n1.htm#tmd.)

Checks over $5,000

The directors unanimously approved the following disbursements over $5,000:

• JDS-Hydro Consultants Inc., Sanctuary Pointe pump station − $9,989

• DN Tanks, Sanctuary Pointe 1.1 MG tank, June − $64,337

• DN Tanks, Sanctuary Pointe 1.1 MG tank, July − $95,402

• Monson, Cummins & Shohet LLC, legal counsel − $7,212

• Wildcat Construction Co. Inc. I-25 potable crossing, March 2015 − $47,689

However, they voted to remove the $151,943 payment to Donala Water & Sanitation from this list. This would have paid for the 112 hours of emergency water provided by Donala in July. Remington told the directors that Donala had offered to let Triview spread out the payments over a few years. Water attorney Chris Cummins of Monson, Cummins & Shohet LLC said that Donala offered to help Triview on a good faith basis and that the official intergovernmental agreement between the two districts regarding emergency water was almost complete.

The consensus of the board was to direct Remington to see if Donala would accept a two-year cash payment plan or to pay Donala back in actual water. Bolander said they would have a special meeting to approve whatever cash payment that Donala General Manager Kip Petersen asked of Triview. See Donala article on page 14 to see Petersen’s three-month payment plan counter offer that was accepted by the Donala board of directors on Aug. 18.

Financial reports and TABOR measure

Remington presented the district financial reports as of June 30 (50 percent through year):

• General Fund revenue −70 percent of budget

• General Fund expenditures for Legislative, Administration, and Operations − 44 percent

• General Fund debt service – 33 percent

• Enterprise Fund revenue (Water, Wastewater and Reuse) – 36 percent (short on water revenue)

• Enterprise Fund expenditures for Administration and Operations − 38 percent

• Enterprise Fund debt service – 28 percent

• Capital Projects Fund revenue − 6 percent (short on tap fees)

• Capital Projects Fund expenditures −17 percent (short on park and street projects, and Sanctuary Pointe)

Remington’s comments included:

• Tap fees will come in for Sanctuary Pointe, but not until they start occupying houses next year, so there is a gap there.

• Increasing tap fees ought to occur at the same time you increase water rates, so Jan. 1 is the date to aim for.

• Several big park and streets improvements projects are still planned for this fall.

• The district pays $3.2 million each year in debt, and the money comes from taxes, but taxes are $500,000 short of that each year.

• This is primarily refinanced debt from the 1980s. The first principal payment we made was in 2013. (The loans refinanced in 2009 were negotiated with Wells Fargo Bank by former Triview board treasurer Steve Remington. See www.ocn.me/v9n10.htm#tmd.)

• In development, you have to make the investment up-front before you get the tax revenue, totally opposite of most things.

• If we obtain permission from residents on the TABOR waiver measure in November, that would help greatly.

Remington has explained at past meetings that property tax revenue has increased due to district growth, but TABOR rules would require that any monies over the "revenue cap" would be returned to residents instead of being used by the district, unless district voters vote in favor of a TABOR waiver in November to let the district collect, retain, and spend that revenue.

Vice President Mark Melville said the November TABOR measure would not be a tax increase. The district cannot borrow any more money, nor can it increase its mill levy rate above the current 35 mills. Cummins and District Attorney Gary Shupp both said the district is not allowed to campaign for or against the proposed TABOR ballot measure, but it can present the facts to voters who will decide its fate, and this will be part of a community presentation for district residents coming up this fall.

The directors also voted unanimously to approve an intergovernmental agreement with El Paso County and pay $4,020 for the district’s share to have the district’s TABOR measure included on the November coordinated election. Remington will be the district’s Designated Election Official.

2017 budget, water rates increase, TABOR waiver presentation coming soon

Upcoming topics tentatively scheduled, according to Remington:

• Sept. 13 − update on district roads study (types and locations of maintenance needed)

• Oct. 11− preliminary 2017 budget presented to board

• Nov. 8 − public hearing on 2017 budget

• Nov. 8 − mail-in ballots due by election day to decide TABOR measure

• Dec. 13 − 2017 budget approved; mill levy certified

Topics discussed at Aug. 9 meeting but not yet scheduled for action:

• Extra community meeting to make public presentation about the rationale for the TABOR waiver measure on the November ballot, path for decisions on the 2017 budget (bond payments, capital improvements, etc.), and potential water rates increases

• Water rates and tap fees increase discussions and hearings

• As soon as Jan. 1− target date for potential new water rates and fees to take effect

Monument’s Comprehensive Plan update

Fiorito volunteered to be Triview’s representative on the Advisory Committee guiding the Town of Monument’s Comprehensive Plan update. The current version was adopted around 2003, and it establishes land use guidelines for the Town of Monument, which includes Triview.

It is intended to provide guidance on issues such as zoning, transportation, and infrastructure, but not dictate specific changes. The update will be coordinated by Town Planner Larry Manning and contractor Community Matters Inc.

Manning told OCN that when the long public input process is over—which will use surveys, meetings, and social media to generate consensus—then the Monument Planning Commission will vote on it. See www.ocn.me/v16n7.htm#mbot-0606.

At 9 p.m., the meeting went into executive session to have a conference with the district’s attorney regarding legal advice on specific legal questions. Remington told OCN that no announcements were made after the executive session.

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The next Triview meeting will be held Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. at the Fairfield Inn, Mt. Herman Conference Room, 15275 Struthers Road, Colorado Springs. Meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month. Information: 488-6868 or see www.colorado.gov/triviewmetro, including frequently asked questions on the More Info tab. See also "Triview Metropolitan District" on Facebook, or Twitter.com/@TriviewMetro.

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

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Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, Aug. 11: Board hears costs to serve Ponderosa Camp and Bald Mountain

By James Howald

The Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) board met on Aug. 11 to review mid-year budget changes, to hear feedback from Ponderosa Camp and Bald Mountain in regards to the possibility of extending service to those communities, and to hear operational reports from district staff.

Budget adjusted to reflect growth, weather, infrastructure issues

District Manager Jessie Shaffer detailed for the board a number of changes to the district’s budget brought about by the increase in residential construction in 2016, by the amount of rainfall during the spring and summer months, and by infrastructure projects.

Shaffer’s report indicated that revenues are higher than originally expected. Tap fees are up from 2015, Shaffer said. The district had projected a need for 75 new taps in 2016, but had requests for 85 by August, Shaffer said, increasing the tap fees for the year from $2.4 million to $3.2 million. Water user fees are down 3 percent from the previous year due to the amount of rain, according to Shaffer, reducing them from $2.7 million to $2.6 million. Total revenues rose from a projected $8.9 million to $9.8 million for 2016, Shaffer said.

Total expenditures for 2016 will be close to the projected amount, Shaffer reported. 2016 saw a higher than usual number of well failures, requiring the district to double the spending planned for repairs to wells from $150,000 to $309,000. The aeration system planned to improve the quality of water from Lake Woodmoor needed expansion from its original design, increasing its estimated cost from $44,000 to $66,000. Construction and revegetation costs at the JV Ranch needed to be increased, but these increases were offset by reductions from cancelling some upgrades to the wastewater treatment facilities and reduced personnel costs, Shaffer reported, bringing expenditures close to original projections.

Presentation to Ponderosa Camp and Bald Mountain summarized

Earlier in the year, the board authorized WWSD staff to study the cost of extending water service to Ponderosa Camp and Bald Mountain, two communities in Douglas County just north of the intersection of County Line Road and Furrow Road. At the Aug. 11 meeting, Shaffer filled the board in on his presentation to those communities.

Shaffer said the communities appreciated the work the district had done to define potential costs, but that they had not decided whether or not to pursue inclusion in the district. Shaffer estimated costs between $60,000 and $70,000 per residence to extend water service to the neighborhoods, with the total for the project expected to be near $5 million.

Resident Ken Ford asked the board if they were obligated to provide service, and was told there was no obligation to do so.

Operational reports highlights

Board members and staff made the following points in their reports:

• Construction is going well at the waste treatment plant.

• The study of water re-use strategies is underway, with a draft from FEI Engineering expected mid-August.

• Well 16 is back in production.

• The Monument Creek exchange, the access point from which water is diverted to Lake Woodmoor, was silted in, but that has been addressed.

• The Colorado Department of Wildlife will use Calhan reservoir as a trout fishery.

• Xpress Billpay went on line July 29, with good results, and 74 customers switched to paperless billing in the first 11 days of operation.

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The next meeting was scheduled for Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. Meetings are usually held at the district office at 1845 Woodmoor Drive on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m.; the September meeting was rescheduled to accommodate the schedules of some board members. See www.woodmoorwater.com or call 488-2525 to verify meeting times.

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

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Donala Water and Sanitation District, Aug. 18: No PFCs detected in Donala’s water

By Jim Kendrick

On Aug. 18, Donala Water and Sanitation District General Manager Kip Petersen confirmed the results of his previous good report on the results for Donala’s testing for perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which have been detected in water supplies south of Colorado Springs and Peterson Air Force Base. "These tests examine the samples down to a parts per trillion level, and a non-detect result indicates no contamination from PFC’s in the Donala drinking water." Petersen also said there are no lead or arsenic concerns in Donala drinking water. See the September Donala newsletter at http://donalawater.org/.

For other information see:

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materials/perflourinated_chemicals_508.pdf

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news/EPA-PFC-advisory

Board President Dave Powell swore in newly-appointed Director Dennis Snyder for a 21-month term, through May 2018, to fill the vacant director seat of the late Bill Nance. The board approved an interim governmental agreement (IGA) with Triview Metropolitan District regarding emergency water transfers, like the one Donala provided starting on July 4, and formally ratified the $63,900 contract with Yocam Construction, LLC for repair of the flood-damaged secondary Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (UMCRWWTF) access road under the BNSF railroad trestle.

Financial reports

Petersen noted that district water and wastewater revenues and expenses continue to match 2016 budget targets. He noted that water sales revenues will rise significantly when Triview pays Donala $151,943 (which included $374 in personnel costs) over a period of up to three months, rather than the Triview board’s request to spread repayments over several years, for the emergency water supplied by Donala in July. The Triview board is extremely grateful for Donala’s assistance, Petersen said. Both Donala and Triview will budget for meter and installation costs at the two existing Baptist Road potable distribution system interconnects at Gleneagle Drive and Struthers Road.

The 5-foot split in Triview’s leaking dead-end 6-inch pipe took only 39 minutes to repair once Triview finally was granted permission from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Wildlife, and the property owner for the district to access the leak site, which lies within the surrounding protected Preble’s mouse habitat. For more in-depth information on this Triview repair, see the Triview article on page 12.

Petersen noted he would present the first draft of the 2017 Donala budget to the board in October 2016. The board also approved a new capital-preserving but slightly higher-yielding investment policy to be used by consultant firm Chandler Asset Management.

Emergency IGA unanimously approved

Petersen noted that the Triview board had already approved the final draft of the IGA he presented. After a detailed page-by-page technical review by the Donala board produced a few minor requested changes, the board unanimously approved the IGA as amended.

Note: Petersen stated again that water customers must sign up to be a subscriber to El Paso County’s reverse 911 emergency phone call services in order to receive emergency notices from Donala, too. To sign up your landline or cell phone for a free subscription to the county’s reverse 911 emergency notification system, see www.elpasoteller911.org.

Road construction contract ratified

Petersen noted that three bids opened on Aug. 4 for repairs to the secondary access for UMCRWWTF. To expedite the start of construction as soon as possible, the board had authorized Petersen to award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder at the July 21 board meeting. On Aug. 4 Petersen formally accepted the contract from Yocam Construction LLC at a cost of $63,900. Donala will provide a 25 percent match to the $53,000 75 percent grant the facility received from FEMA for this repair. However, 75 percent of $63,900 is only $47,925. Donala will ask FEMA to reallocate the extra $5,025 to future Donala emergency uses or refund this amount to FEMA if it cannot be reallocated.

Mobilization will begin on Sept. 12. Some aspects of this construction work, streambed stabilization and strengthening, must be completed by Sept. 30 due to Preble’s mouse habitat hibernation period restrictions. The remainder of the construction will be completed by Nov. 30. The board unanimously ratified the Yocam contract at this Aug. 18 board meeting.

Manager’s report

In other matters, Petersen said the Latrobe water line extension project, which includes an extensive amount of deep 22-inch boring (two-thirds) by Global Underground and deep trenching (one-third) by Swerdfeger Construction would begin on Sept. l5 and be completed by mid-October. The board unanimously awarded a $1.38 million construction contract to low bidder K.R. Swerdferger Construction Inc. on July 21 for installing a new water pipeline extension project to connect Donala’s Latrobe Court water tank to Donala’s Holbein Drive water tanks.

There was a discussion of possible topics including long-term renewable water, reuse water, and local area reservoir sites for the board’s annual strategic planning workshop on Nov. 17. The board asked Petersen to update the 2012 Donala extended water supply study and determine if any near-term surface water rights purchases appear to be feasible at this time.

Recent rains have resulted in sustained Willow Creek Ranch flows that will allow Donala to store 280 acre-feet of water for distribution to Donala customers and 90 more acre-feet for providing required return flows to the Arkansas River. The threat of a spill of Donala’s stored water from the Pueblo Reservoir this year has passed without incident. Donala had 311 acre-feet stored in the reservoir as of this meeting. This amount should increase to 350 acre-feet by the end of August, the last day Donala can take/store Willow Creek water in the Arkansas River.

Operations report

Donala’s wells and groundwater treatment plant are in operation as a backup for the summer irrigation peak demand period. A video inspection of well 4A is planned for later this year.

A valve diaphragm was replaced at the Northgate Road interconnect with Colorado Springs Utilities.

A groundwater rule compliance inspection of Donala’s groundwater systems was conducted by Colorado Region 2 Groundwater Commissioner Kaleb Dunn. Petersen said Dunn was quite impressed with Donala’s operations, found no violations or concerns, and no follow-up would be necessary.

Petersen noted that an emerging issue is where is the best place to treat and then dispose of the minuscule amounts of existing naturally occurring arsenic in the raw groundwater used by Triview and Donala for drinking water—at the various groundwater treatment plants or treating the accumulated arsenic in the groundwater filter backwash from all of these plants at a single point, in UMCRWWTF. Since Forest Lakes Metro District will be using mostly Bristlecone reservoir surface water from its surface water treatment plant, this is less of an issue for them. Donala operators are operating the Forest Lakes water and wastewater systems on a contract basis.

Petersen added that he will ask Yocam to provide an estimated cost to expand the UMCRWWTF concrete dump pad, for air drying solid wastes to ease JETVAC truck removal, at the same time they are pouring concrete for the secondary road repair noted above.

The meeting adjourned at 3:22 p.m.

**********

The next board meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Information: 488-3603 or www.donalawater.org. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month.

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

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Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors, Aug. 16: Negotiations with Colorado Springs continue

By Kate Pangelinan

All board members were present at the Aug. 16 Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting, which primarily dealt with budgetary explanations until they came to discuss "new business" and attending district constituents posed questions. These questions prompted Chief Vinny Burns to explain that it is too early to release Wescott’s reaction and plans for funding following more of their territory being annexed by Colorado Springs, given that planning is still underway. There are no solid reactions to release yet, as the situation is still fluid.

New business

Members of the community—Gary Rusnak, Dennis Feltz, and Bill Lowes—asked for more information about the conclusion of Wescott’s executive session at the July 19 meeting, where after the executive session, the board voted unanimously in favor of supporting "these settlement principles.… Based upon the interpretation that Wescott retains 100 percent of the mill levy generated from … the Northgate Exclusion Area in 2017, half of the Northgate Exclusion Area in 2018, and half of the amount of the Northgate Exclusion Area in 2019."

These citizens hoped for clarification, as well as information, about alternative budget scenarios when the district stops receiving the current court-ordered level of tax revenue from the Northgate exclusion area.

Burns answered that while the district’s attorney has met with an attorney from the city attorney’s office to determine the city’s position, there has been no specific progress he can report on regarding Wescott’s "organized withdrawal" from areas annexed by Colorado Springs. Board members were hesitant to speculate about future plans without knowing what settlement might be reached about city tax revenue allocation to Wescott.

Lowes, a former Wescott board president, asked the board to determine if there are any costs that can be avoided through the rest of 2016 and if there are any early payoffs of debt that can occur, in the event that all city exclusionary area tax revenues cease at the end of this year. Lowes also asked the board to publicize these "2016 austerity program decisions" to proactively minimize the impact of this loss of revenue, particularly with pending email replies to all the in-district homeowner associations already asking for this information.

At the June 21 meeting, the consensus of the directors was to wait until summer 2017 to decide whether or not to put a mill levy override (MLO) vote on the ballot.

Administrative

Administrative Assistant Stacey Popovich reported that the fire district’s 2016 overtime expenses are still running over budget, 100 percent already expended through July 31, as turnover has been higher than expected and some employees who left recently have not yet been replaced. As of July 31, 96 percent of property taxes have been received and the reported year-to-date financial totals were:

• People’s National Bank—$11,124

• Peak fund—$593,951

• Wells Fargo public trust fund—$1,044,707

• Net district balance—up $337,314

Chief’s report

Assistant Chief Scott Ridings reported that the fire district responded to 793 calls throughout May-July of 2015, as compared to the 671 calls in 2016, resulting in a 15 percent decrease. Ninety percent of this 122-call reduction is due to fewer Wescott subcontracted AMR ambulance responses to calls in Colorado Springs, all outside of Wescott’s service area and the Northgate exclusion area. Ridings added that when the AMR ambulance is in quarters at the Wescott station when a fire call is received, the Wescott firefighter EMT in the ambulance can "become the third person on the ladder truck." There was a discussion about no longer tracking and publicly reporting AMR ambulance runs in and out of district during board meetings.

There have been three building fires this summer, two within Wescott’s district and one for which they provided mutual aid. Fire loss totaled $60,000.

Also, efforts to "clean up" the fire station continue, now with plans to put in a new carpet.

The meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

**********

The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors’ next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Please call 488-8680, a non-emergency number, for more information, or visit www.wescottfire.org. The district is also on Facebook.

Kate Pangelinan can be reached at katepangelinan@ocn.me.

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Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, Aug. 24: Chief Truty addresses staffing concerns

By Lisa Hatfield

At the Aug. 24 Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) Board meeting, the directors discussed concerns about the hiring process used by the district, which is a bottleneck because of the extended time and money needed to hire and train a new firefighter or paramedic. They also approved a new impact fee schedule and accepted the 2015 audit.

Secretary Mike Smaldino was excused.

Hiring process concerns discussed

President Jake Shirk said that the board was concerned about the difficulty of hiring new qualified employees and maintaining personnel staffing. Because three employees have quit since January, overtime pay is already at 99 percent for the year, although there are still five months left in the budget, he said.

Background: On May 25, the board had voted to approve a paramedic wage schedule that did not exist before so that the district could hire paramedics and then train them to be firefighters by sending them to 16-week training academies, which are only offered intermittently. This was instead of hiring trained firefighters and then getting them trained as paramedics, which had been the past practice.

On Aug. 24, Chief Chris Truty and the directors spent an hour reviewing the situation. Truty said right now there is no excess staffing on any of the three shifts. He said this year, if there was an absence dropping a shift to 13 people, first they would ask for volunteers to fill the position ("hire backs"), but if no one stepped up, one firefighter would be forced to take the overtime for that slot on a rotating basis ("force back"), so that there would still be 13 employees on the shift.

When the strain that was creating became obvious, Truty decided to allow a shift complement to drop to 12 before doing a "force back." He said this would happen for around 60 days until new employees could be hired and trained.

Truty outlined some short-term and long-term ideas that could help the district with staffing, which included:

• Bring back some part-time employees, if they can find people with the right credentials.

• Lateral hires from other organizations, if correct allowances for their experience could be worked into the wage scale.

• Raise our pay. We made a small dent (in August 2015) with the 7.5 percent base pay increase, but need to do more to get them back up to comparable wages in other districts. The November 2017 mill levy increase would be vital. See www.ocn.me/v15n9.htm#tlmfpd0826.

• Make the hiring process perpetual somehow.

• Require a new employee to sign an agreement at hiring that states if the new employee leaves the job before completing a designated time period, the new employee would have to pay back the training expenses incurred by the district.

Shirk asked for those five ideas to be put into writing for the board and assign time frames to them. He had board consensus on this direction to Truty.

Deputy Chief Randy Trost said having two- versus three-man crews boiled down to a service level question for residents. With so many different tasks to do on a call, crews have to prioritize. "If it’s life (in danger), that may be the priority, but then we lose more property."

New impact fee schedule approved

The board had voted in December to stop assessing impact fees until the fate of Colorado House Bill 16-1088, Fire Protection District Impact Fee on New Development, was determined. It was signed into law in May, making it clear that fire districts could charge impact fees on new development as other municipal services do, said Adam Orens of Denver-based BBC Research & Consulting.

TLMFPD encompasses the area roughly outlined by Baptist Road, Black Forest Road, County Line Road, and the Pike National Forest, and it anticipates noticeable growth within that area in the next five years.

The district hired consultant BBC Research to do an analysis of the right impact fees to charge new residential and commercial customers. Orens said the one-time fee is usually collected with the building permit and is intended to recover the costs of expanding the district’s capital portfolio to serve new development that places new demand on a district.

After asking Orens about how to develop a solid rationale for using the money generated by the fees, the directors approved the resolution. The next step is that the district must develop intergovernmental agreements with the Town of Monument and El Paso County.

2015 audit accepted

Hillary Carlson of Osborne, Parson, & Rosacker presented the 2015 auditor’s report and gave the district an "unmodified," or clean, opinion.

However, in 2015, the district paid off two vehicles, financed two new vehicles, refinanced a fire station, tower ladder, and engine, changed how it does calculations for contributions to the Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado (FPPA - www.fppaco.org), dealt with a possible change in healthcare reimbursement because of the Affordable Care Act, and experienced a turnover in accountants that created inconsistencies in recording methods. Carlson said this contributed to a higher number of adjustments than is preferred, and she noted four areas of internal controls that needed improvement.

The directors asked several clarifying questions of Carlson and then unanimously accepted the 2015 audit as presented.

Concerns about addiction center in private residence

Truty said the Red Rock Ranch Homeowners Association has asked the district for specific fire prevention measures for an addiction recovery center located in a single-family home in the neighborhood on Spruce Road. However, since the county has identified this as a residential building, the fire district does not have special access to the site any more than it would to any other residence, and it does not have any authority over how the house is being used. "One of our crews had an adversarial encounter with some of the people up there recently," Truty said. See related Board of County Commissioners article on page 17 for information about a similar issue in a different neighborhood.

Directors’ comments

Treasurer John Hildebrandt said he was appalled at the news this week that the Arlington Fire District in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. had ordered the removal of American flags displayed on three of its fire trucks.

Director Terri Hayes, who is also the president and CEO of the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, asked everyone in the Tri-Lakes area to participate in a community survey sponsored by the Town of Monument. See www.townofmonument.org, and click "Comprehensive Plan Survey."

The meeting adjourned at 9:07 p.m.

**********

Meetings are usually held the fourth Wednesday of each month. The next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in the Monument Town Hall at 645 Beacon Lite Road. For information, contact Jennifer Martin at 719-484-0911. For upcoming agendas, see http://tlmfire.org/board-agendas-minutes.

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

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El Paso Board of County Commissioners, Aug 9, 16, and 23: Jackson Ranch rezone continued; internet ballot question approved

By Lisa Hatfield

The El Paso Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) considered multiple items of interest to residents of the Tri-Lakes area in August, including Sanctuary Pointe, Jackson Ranch, ballot wording regarding the provision of high-speed internet to rural areas, and information on where all El Paso County residents could verify that they will receive a mail-in ballot for the November coordinated election.

Tri-Lakes area now covered by BOCC Districts 1 and 3

The commissioners also voted unanimously on Aug. 9 to modify current appointments for the BOCC. District 3 Commissioner Sallie Clark will be chair, District 1 Commissioner Darryl Glenn will continue as vice chair, and District 5 Commissioner Peggy Littleton will be third commissioner.

Note: Did you miss this? As of 2015, Commissioner District 3 includes the Town of Palmer Lake and unincorporated western areas of the county to the Douglas County line. Those areas used to be in District 1, and the rest of the OCN coverage area is in District 1. To find out if you live in District 1 or District 3, see the map at www.elpasoelections.com/GIS/Commissioner/Comm3.pdf.

Make sure you receive a mail-in ballot

The commissioners encouraged all county residents to be sure they have registered to vote and that the county has their current address so that it can send them a mail-in ballot for the November election.

People can get information at www.GoVoteColorado.com.

Jackson Ranch rezoning application continued to Sept. 27

Jackson Ranch is northeast of the intersection of Higby Road and Rollercoaster Road and west of Shahara Road in Canterbury Estates. At their Aug. 23 meeting, the commissioners listened for over two hours to arguments for and against the proposed rezoning within Jackson Ranch from RR-5 to RR-2.5, which would double the currently zoned built-out density.

The three resolutions presented had been approved by the El Paso County Planning Commission on July 19. See www.ocn.me/v16n8.htm#epcpc.

A key component of the arguments on both sides in this hearing was the 2000 Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan (Tri-Lakes Plan) and whether or not the proposed rezoning and associated changes were in compliance with the intentions of this document. See http://adm.elpasoco.com/Development%20Services/Pages/ComprehensivePlans.aspx and click on Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan (2000).

Dave Jones of Land Resource Associates represented the Brown family and Four Gates Land Development LLC. He spoke in favor of changing the zoning to RR-2.5, or minimum 2.5-acre lots. He said the applicant was still proposing to include a 100-foot setback where only a 25-foot setback would be required, in the lots on the north and east borders of the subdivision.

Six representatives of the neighboring Canterbury Improvement Association argued for keeping the zoning at RR-5, or minimum 5-acres lots. With prior approval from the county, two of them provided testimony via video recording instead of in person.

Resident Beven Page said, "When we bought our property in Canterbury, county officials assured us that the Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan was a key social contract for all Tri-Lakes residents to rely upon for community growth, to be used as guidance for zoning decisions."

He read this aloud from the comprehensive plan: "Development emphasis should be on rural and/or rural residential uses that focus on harmonizing with the natural rolling hills and open character of the area. This sub-area should remain primarily rural and/or rural residential with lot sizes averaging a minimum of five acres."

Other public comments opposing the rezoning included:

• Canterbury Estates is almost the only development in this area that adhered to the Tri-Lakes Plan zoning recommendations. The 2.5-acre lot developments that were brought in around us later should never have been allowed by the county.

• The 125 people who put great effort into the Tri-Lakes Plan should not be ignored.

• This plan is not compatible with adjoining neighborhoods.

• Septic fields located 100 feet from shallow wells drilled in sandy soil could contaminate the wells.

• This (rezoning) has been done in pieces so limited public notice was initially required (Jackson Ranch Phase 1 was rezoned to RR-2.5 in 2014).

Chair Sallie Clark and Commissioner Dennis Hisey both stated that they had unanswered questions. Then, at the request of the applicant, the commissioners voted unanimously that Jackson Ranch Phase 2 Rezone, Jackson Ranch Preliminary Plan Amendment, and Jackson Ranch Filing 2 Final Plat should be continued to the Sept. 27 BOCC meeting.

Ballot question for internet provision approved

On Aug. 23, the commissioners approved a resolution to submit a ballot question to the registered electors of El Paso County in November. This resolution would give the county the authority to partner or coordinate with other service providers for the provision of high-speed internet, cable television, and telecommunication services to residential, commercial, nonprofit, government or other subscribers. Specific wording for the ballot question had not been finalized.

El Paso County IT Executive Director Jeff Eckhart said approval of the measure would restore authority and flexibility that was taken away by state statutes in 2006. It did not mean that the county was getting into the broadband business, however. He said people are having trouble with broadband service, but the county is currently handcuffed by legislation. If voters approve this measure, as they have in a majority of other counties in Colorado, it would create more efficiency.

Public Information Officer Dave Rose said, "Commissioner Darryl Glenn has constituents in his district who live in very nice homes and are employed in high-tech industries, and it’s disappointing for them to come in and say, ‘Yeah, but my kids have to go to Starbucks to be able to do their homework.’" Similar issues exist in more remote areas like Black Forest, Calhan, Monument, and Palmer Lake, Clark said.

Commissioner Peggy Littleton emphasized that while approval of this ballot measure would improve market conditions for private providers to build more connections to residences and businesses, it would not create additional costs to citizens unless they opted individually to sign up for services from providers in the future.

Sanctuary Pointe entrance to Baptist Road

At its Aug. 9 meeting, the BOCC unanimously approved a partial release of a subdivision bond for public improvements related to Sanctuary Pointe.

Elite Properties of America Inc., doing business as Classic Companies, agreed to construct the Baptist Road improvements at the entrance to the new Sanctuary Pointe subdivision. The new road, Sanctuary Rim Drive, will intersect Baptist Road from the north side, between Roller Coaster Road and Red Fox Lane/Longmeadow Lane.

County Engineer Jennifer Irvine’s report said that all the required public and preliminary inspections were complete, and she recommended release of $124,609 subdivision guaranteed funds. The remaining $29,793 will be retained for two years for the defect warranty period.

Drug rehab group home questioned

A Canterbury Estates resident spoke during public comments at the Aug. 23 meeting about BOCC Resolution 14-243. He said it redefined drug and alcohol addiction as disabilities and/or handicaps, and it subsequently extended state law privileges to group homes where drug and alcohol addiction recovery is allowed to operate in single-family residences.

He was concerned about incidents that have happened on a group home property in Canterbury that makes him and his neighbors feel unsafe. He said there is a lack of support or responsible oversight on this facility from the county or any other entities, and the company that owns the residence has retained an attorney to challenge Canterbury Improvement Association’s authority to enforce its own covenants.

Clark said the BOCC would follow up about compliance with state or federal law to see if anything could be done. County Attorney Amy Folsom said that Resolution 14-243 was definitely not the county’s idea but that is was forced upon the county by the Department of Justice and the federal government after the denial of a land use application.

See related topic in Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District article on page 16.

**********

See http://bcc.elpasoco.com/Pages/default.aspx for future BOCC agendas.

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

Caption: Canterbury Improvement Association Chairman Chris Davis was one of six people who spoke at the Aug. 23 Board of County Commissioners meeting against the proposed rezoning of Jackson Ranch from minimum 5-acre lots to 2.5-acre lots. "As Planning Commissioner Allan Creely said July 19, ‘there is no noticeable benefit to this plan," Davis said. After two hours, the commissioners voted to continue the hearing to the Sept. 27 meeting. Photo courtesy of El Paso Board of County Commissioners live stream video, http://bcc.elpasoco.com/Pages/LiveVideo.aspx.

Caption: This is the area discussed in the three land use applications concerning Jackson Ranch to be heard by the Board of County Commissioners on Sept. 27. Map courtesy of El Paso County Development Services.

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Woodmoor Improvement Association Board of Directors, Aug. 24: Residents want action on illegal grow house; water main project averts failure

By Jackie Burhans

The Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board met on Aug. 24 with a larger than usual audience in attendance. The owners wanted to discuss the illegal grow house on Augusta Drive. The board also heard a presentation on the water main relocation project, and other director reports. Secretary and Community Affairs Director Jennifer Cunningham was absent.

Illegal grow house

A number of residents spoke during the owners’ comments portion of the agenda to ask what was happening with the illegal grow house on Augusta Drive in Woodmoor. Owners indicated that they have been dealing with issues for the past eight months, including safety issues and fire hazards. They noticed unidentified trucks, an illegal electrical line running into the house, industrial air conditioning units, and a fence that does not meet WIA’s design standards. Residents wanted to know why it was taking so long to take action on covenant violations, whether the Homeowners Association (HOA) could require a clause in rental agreements about marijuana growing, and whether WIA could change the covenants to address the issue.

President Stensland explained that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had been in touch but hadn’t shared any information besides photos. WIA was briefed by the DEA and asked that no action be taken on covenant violations until the DEA could put together a larger case involving other houses in El Paso County and elsewhere in the state. Now that the situation is out in the open, the WIA will move forward on covenant violations such as weeds, illegal fences, exposed trash, etc. Stensland noted that the HOA attorney has been advised and is working with the board to try to prevent this from happening again. The board is in the process of rewriting its governing documents that haven’t changed since 1998, as they need 66 percent of the owners to vote. Residents asked if WIA has everyone’s email and Stensland noted that WIA has some emails but this will require volunteers to go door to door.

Water main relocation

Architectural Control Committee and Commons Area Administrator Bob Pearsall presented an update on the water main relocation project approved by the board in July. The water main was relocated so that it was completely on WIA property. Due to engineering requirements, the 2-inch tap was replaced with a 1.5-inch tap, which lowered the Renewable Water Investment Fee (RWIF) paid by WIA by $139.40 per month. Service to The Barn was down from Aug. 11 to Aug. 15; the nearby town homes were out for two hours over a four-day period. There was no impact on the middle school.

A two-meter system was installed to separate domestic use from irrigation use, which is expected to save $163 in monthly fees. Upon excavation it was discovered that the existing water main "saddle" was extremely rusted and/or corroded to the point of near failure. To remove the saddle, a section of the water main was replaced with the help of Woodmoor Water and Sanitation, which supplied the materials at cost and donated the labor to remove the section of water main using a hydraulic chainsaw. The total reduction in fees is expected to be around $305 per month or $3,000 per year on average, with the project paying for itself in 6.5 years.

Board report highlights

• The annual Brews and Bines event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Limbach Park, highlighting local breweries and hops.

• Woodmoor Public Safety (WPS) Chief Kevin Nielsen noted that there have been an unprecedented number of bobcat sightings in Woodmoor this year.

• Nielsen noted that WPS has delivered 200 new owner packets since June. Some of the new owner packets date back to last winter due to a backlog, but some are new owners in the same location as last year.

• The final slash day was a success; next year WIA may cut back to just two days given the low attendance in July.

• Lights and electric plugs have been installed in the Pavilion; fire mitigation work in the open spaces is set for September/October.

**********

The WIA Board of Directors usually meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Barn at 1691 Woodmoor Drive, Monument. The next meeting will be on Sept. 28. The WIA calendar can be found at: https://www.woodmoor.org/wia-calendar/. WIA board meeting minutes can be found at: https://www.woodmoor.org/meeting-minutes/ once approved and posted.

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

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August Weather Wrap

By Bill Kappel

After a warm and dry start to August, active weather became more common, resulting in temperatures that were slightly cooler than normal and precipitation that was higher than normal.

The first week of August was an active one around the region, as moisture associated with the North American Monsoon made a strong push into the region. This allowed mostly cloudy to cloudy skies to become a common sight. This is in contrast to the normal morning sunshine giving way to afternoon clouds. The abundant clouds did help to delay the normal heating of the lower portions of the atmosphere and therefore even with all the moisture around, strong storms had a hard time developing. Instead we did see several rounds of weak to moderate storms and rain.

The strongest storms were confined to the regions to our south where more sunshine appeared and allowed the atmosphere to heat up enough to build strong storms. Some of the storms produced heavy rain and hail in portions of southern and western Colorado Springs and points south and east. High temperatures were at average through the first three days of the month, with low 80s, then all the clouds kept temperatures down for the rest of the first week with mid- to upper 60s. Most areas around the Black Forest region accumulated around a half-inch of rain during the period, with much higher totals over other parts of the region.

More active weather occurred around the region during the second week of August, as high levels of monsoonal moisture affected the region along with a few disturbances that helped enhance the thunderstorm activity. High temperatures were at or slightly below average most days, with the warmest temperatures on the 9th and 10th, in the mid- to upper 80s, and the coolest temperatures on the 12th, in the mid-70s. Rainfall was most common on the 9th and 12th, with around an inch accumulating over those two days. Drier air worked back in just in time for the weekend, with mainly partly cloudy skies and seasonal temperatures both Saturday and Sunday.

The week of the 15th saw a couple of active days interspersed with quiet conditions. Highs were generally in the upper 70s to low 80s. The warmest day was the 15th, when we reached 84°F, right about normal for mid-August, and the coolest day was the 20th, when we struggled to reach the low 70s, well below normal for mid-August. Widespread thunderstorms activity affected the region on the 16th and 19th. Both episodes produced areas of heavy rain and hail. These were hit and miss, especially on the 16th, where some areas received nearly 2 inches of rain in an hour, while others received almost nothing.

The rain on the late afternoon of the 19th was associated with a strong cold frontal passage (for August). As the front moved through, an area of strong storms developed. These produced heavy rain and hail in some areas, especially on the south side of Black Forest through northern Colorado Springs, and brought our first taste of fall-like weather to the region.

The third week of the month was an active one around the region. This included several days of below-normal temperatures and areas of heavy rain at times. The warmest days of the week were the 22nd and 23rd, with highs touching the upper 70s to low 80s. They were accompanied by a generally quiet morning, with isolated thunder during the afternoons. Increased monsoonal moisture then began to affect the region along with more lift in the atmosphere. This led to cloudy skies, cooler temperatures, and active weather. This included areas of brief heavy rain during the afternoons of the 24th and 25th. Temperatures were cooler than normal as well, with highs only touching 60°F on the 24th and the low 70s on the 25th.

Quiet and seasonably cool conditions continued on the 26th, with slightly warmer weather on the 27th. Another round of monsoonal moisture and lift moved through the area on the 28th and 29th. This produced strong thunderstorms, heavy rain, flash flooding, and hail in parts of the area. The hardest hit regions were within Colorado Springs city limits and the southwest side of town. During the week, most of us picked up 1-2 inches of rain, but if you were under one of the heavy rain cores, you probably doubled those amounts.

Another sign that summer is coming to an end is the nice covering of snow on Pikes Peak left over after each of these rounds of rainfall. The final few days of the months saw seasonal conditions with quiet mornings giving way to afternoon clouds. A few thunderstorms developed during the afternoon of hte 30th, but we saw just partly cloudy skies on the 31st Temperatures were slightly below average for late August, with highs in the low 70s.

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 as well, 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 2016 Weather Statistics

Average High 78.3° (-1.0)

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

Average Low 48.0 ° (-1.3)

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

Monthly Precipitation 3.34" (+0.44") (13% above normal)

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

Monthly Snowfall 0.0"

Highest Temperature 89° on the 3rd

Lowest Temperature 40° on the 20th

Season to Date Snow 0.0" (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)

Season to Date Precip. 5.34" (-0.93") (15% below normal) (the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)

Heating Degree Days 86 (+24)

Cooling Degree Days 18 (-25)

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

Guidelines for letters to the editor.

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

Protect Palmer Lake water and wildlife

At the Aug. 11 Palmer Lake Town Council meeting, the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department report noted extinguishing a small wildfire resulting from an unattended campfire—the second smoldering fire detected near the town’s upper reservoir in recent days. In response, the Town of Palmer Lake is posting fire ban signs, and police are actively monitoring the trail.

I suggest: 1. hikers be provided a map distinguishing town and private land from U.S. Forest Service land, and 2. non-residents be issued a fee-based, QR Code/ID pass to use town land around the reservoirs and to grant access and egress via Glen Park trail. (Resident passes should be free.)

Rationale: Our drinking water and infrastructure are supported by Palmer Lake residents’ water bills; our police and fire departments, as well as maintenance of town-owned land and parks, are supported by local taxes.

Considering the town’s high hazard red-zone wildfire status here in our Wildland Urban Interface with Pike National Forest, the Town of Palmer Lake can no longer afford to host unlimited reservoir and reservoir trail access. Private property owners who have invested in fire mitigation and created defensible space around their homes, and all hikers wishing to preserve and enjoy the natural beauty of our neighboring forest lands, will surely understand and welcome these proactive safety measures.

Finally, a young owl was rescued last week from tangled fishing line at the reservoir. What more reckless endangerment of our fragile infrastructure and vulnerable wildlife should be allowed?

Judith Harrington

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Between the Covers at Covered Treasures Bookstore: September is National Literacy Month

By the staff at Covered Treasures

September is a month for reading: Most children are back in school, and it is National Literacy Month, with Sept. 8 marking National Literacy Day. Sept. 17 is Curiosity Day, celebrating the 75th birthday of that inquisitive monkey, Curious George. With 133 titles available in 26 languages, and 75 million books currently in print, Curious George has never been out of print, and tales of his mishaps continue to grow in popularity. Here are a few other great books for our younger readers.

Curious Young Minds Series: Why Are Animals Different Colors? What Causes Weather and Seasons?

By Alejandro Algarra/Rocio Bonilla (Barron’s Educational Series Inc.) $7.99

Children are full of questions, and this series addresses many of them. How do animals use color to camouflage themselves? Why do some have such bright colors? Why are there seasons? Kate and her brother Jack are very curious. Join them in their adventures to discover the answers to lots of fascinating questions. Each book comes with a parent guide.

A Peek-Through Story: Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker

By Jessica Ahlberg (Candlewick Press) $15.99

Ages 2-5 will enjoy this interactive "peek-through" story. Lucy tries to tell a story to her dog, but he has other ideas. With each "peek-through" scene, Lucy and Mr. Barker bring along Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs, Jack, and Sleeping Beauty. See what happens on this fairy-tale adventure!

Gorilla Loves Vanilla

By Chae Strathie and Nicola O’Byrne (Barron’s Educational Series Inc.) $11.99

Sam is the best at serving up sundaes to all the animals who come in his shop. He delivers special tasty treats for each animal: blue cheese ice cream for the mouse, fish finger ice cream for the cat, wormy ice cream for the chicken. But everyone changes their minds when Gorilla orders the tastiest treat of all! This silly book will have kids laughing and thinking up their own flavors.

Hoot and Peep

By Lita Judge (Dial Books for Young Readers) $17.99

Hoot the owl is very wise. He’s excited to teach his younger sister, Peep, all of his big brother knowledge. But as whimsical Peep explores the breathtaking Parisian cityscape, she comes up with a song of her own—one that breaks all of her brother’s "owly" rules. Hoot doesn’t understand why Peep won’t follow his advice, until he pauses to listen and realizes that you’re never too old to learn something new. This gorgeous read-aloud celebrates the wonder found in little things—and in the hearts of dreamers, young and old.

Parachute

By Danny Parker and Matt Ottley (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) $16

In this encouraging and heartfelt story about facing your fears, Toby, who is afraid of heights, always has his parachute with him. But one day, his cat Henry gets stuck in a tree. It’s up to Toby to rescue Henry, but that leaves him stuck without his parachute in the treehouse. He must conquer his fears. The illustrations are great at showing height from a child’s perspective. Toby gradually takes more chances and needs his parachute less and less.

My New Friend is So Fun! An Elephant and Piggie Book

By Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children) $9.99

In this story from Willems’ award-winning series, Gerald Elephant and Snake fear that Piggie and Brian Bat will have so much fun together they will no longer need their best friends. This multi-book early reader series addresses many childhood fears and issues with gentle humor.

Giraffes Ruin Everything

By Heidi Schulz and Chris Robertson (Bloomsbury Children’s Books) $16.99

Friends come in all shapes and sizes. In case you were wondering, here’s an incomplete list of things giraffes ruin: birthday parties, going to the movies, playing at the park, hide-and-seek, everything else. Yes, that’s right … giraffes ruin everything. But what happens when our narrator gets into a tricky situation? Perhaps he’ll find giraffes aren’t so bad after all.

The ability to read at grade level by the end of third grade is the most reliable predictor of success in completing high school. Make it a point to sit down and read with a young person. Until next month, happy reading.

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

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September Library Events: Fall begins with new opportunities

By Harriet Halbig

As fall begins, there are many opportunities at the library to try a new skill or improve one you have. Join us for coloring, writing, quilting, and other things.

Children’s and family programs

Peter Davison is an award-winning juggler, dancer, and kinetic comedian. His show includes a 6-foot-tall unicycle and ordinary objects that he brings to life in amazing ways. Join us for Up in the Air on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 2:30 to 3:45.

The Legos Club will meet on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 to 11:30. We supply the Legos and you bring your imagination. All pieces remain the property of the library, so bring a camera to record your achievement.

Meet the original five American Girl dolls: Kirsten, Molly, Samantha, Felicity, and Addy, and see a few of their unique accessories. We’ll also do some crafts associated with these dolls and have snacks. Register online or at 488-2370.

Teen programs

There will be a teen gaming session on Saturday, Sept. 3 from noon to 3. Join us for tabletop games, card games (like Superfight!), and Wii video games. We encourage attendees to bring any kind of game they would like to play. Please keep things age appropriate. For teens ages 12 to 18.

The Monument Teen Creative Writing Group will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 7 from 6 to 7:30. This group is for ages 12 to 18 and no registration is required.

AfterMath free math tutoring will resume on Monday, Sept. 12 from 3:30 to 7. Tutoring by experienced teachers is offered each Monday afternoon. Bring your homework and drop by for help at all levels. No appointment required. Please note that AfterMath is offered according to the D-38 and library schedule. If schools are closed due to weather, AfterMath is also cancelled.

The Teens Arts and Crafts Open Studio will be on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. Come use our Meeting Room as a space in which to create! You can draw, paint, papercraft, write—whatever your heart desires. Extra supplies will be provided as available; however, feel free to bring whatever materials you are currently working with and use the space.

Adult programs

The Second Thursday Craft on Sept. 8 from 2 to 4 is a third installment of English Paper Piecing. This session we will work with half hexagons, a versatile shape for making three dimensional-appearing quilts. Paper piecing is an accurate, portable craft requiring little sewing experience. It’s a good way to use up small scraps of fabric or may be carefully planned for a more formal appearance. All materials will be provided, but bring a small pair of scissors if you have them. Registration is required online or at 488-2370. Attendance at the previous classes is not required.

Have questions on the use of your computer? Come to the Computer Help Lab from 9 to 10 on Friday, Sept. 9. Registration is required and opens one week before the class.

The Monumental Readers will meet from 10 to noon on Friday, Sept. 16 to discuss Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas. This is a title from the 2016 All Pikes Peak Reads program. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.

In the display cabinet during September will be Empty Bowls from the annual Tri-Lakes Cares Empty Bowl Dinner. On the walls will be works in black Sharpie and ink on white by Daniella Tabor.

Palmer Lake Library Events

Palmer Lakes Library’s family program for September is Super Dogs! A Wiley Wolf is after Sienna’s sheep. Will she be able to outsmart the wolf and save her sheep or will they become sheep stew? Learn how to train your dog to be a super dog in this fun interactive program on Saturday, Sept. 17 beginning at 10:30 a.m.

The Palmer Lake Book Group will meet at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group. Please call 481-2587 for the current selection.

Please note that all Pikes Peak Library District facilities will be closed on Monday, Sept. 5 in observance of Labor Day.

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

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Palmer Lake Historical Society, August 6: Chautauqua brings history to life

By Sigi Walker

The Palmer Lake Historical Society held its eighth annual "Return of the Rocky Mountain Chautauqua" on Aug. 6. An adult education movement, Chautauquas began in New York state in 1874 and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. Speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day brought entertainment and culture for the whole community.

Chautauqua attendees enjoyed a full day of demonstrations: tole painting by June Rutherford, quilting by Pam Devereux of the Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild, and spinning by Charlease Elzenga-Bobo. Nineteenth-century durable goods and educational materials were exhibited by Ken Aron, while Cindy Yeoman exhibited animal furs and Colorado Parks & Wildlife program information. Our proficient emcee was Chuck Loeffler.

Talented portrayers of early Colorado historic ladies and gentlemen included Denver’s own Legendary Ladies, who gave us Molly Brown and Augusta Tabor and five other "legendary ladies." There were noted TB treatment pioneer Dr. John Fox Gardiner, portrayed by John Stansfield; buffalo hunter and frontiersman Buffalo Bill Cody, portrayed by Gene Johnson; and millionaire miner and philanthropist James "Jimmy" Burns, portrayed by Ron West.

Teddy Roosevelt, quoted as saying that Chautauqua is "the most American thing in America," opened and closed this year’s Chautauqua, portrayed by Don Moon. A railroad motor car display reminded us that railroads helped build the West. Through much of the day, the Fox Run band played bluegrass and contemporary music. The Friends of the Tri-Lakes Library held their annual ice cream social in the afternoon.

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Mark your calendars for Sept. 15 at 7 p.m., when the Palmer Lake Historical Society presents author historian William (Bill) Reich on Colorado Inventions and Inventors of the 19th century. This fascinating program looks at Coloradoans who invented a variety of devices and processes to help them survive and prosper during the 19th century. The needs of folks immigrating to Colorado during the 19th century brought new ideas and solutions to the many problems they encountered, helping them survive and prosper. There were patents for all kinds of devices: railroad, mining, bicycles, agricultural equipment, inventions by women, medical, and others.

Reich, a Colorado native who grew up in Wheat Ridge, graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Management and Mechanical Engineering. He spent his professional career in management of small, start-up, technically-oriented companies and in engineering product design. His books include Colorado Industries of the Past (2008), Colorado Rail Annual No. 29—Black Smoke & White Iron (2009), Colorado Railroad Icehouses (2010) and Colorado Rail Annual No. 31—Colorado Railroad Water Tanks (2012).

For more information, visit our website at www.palmerdividehistory.org or call 719-559-0837.

Caption: Emcee Chuck Loeffler and 2016 Chautauqua portrayers Don Moon, Ron West, and John Stansfield. Photo by Doris Baker.

Caption: The Legendary Ladies performed at the 2016 Chautauqua. Photo by Mike Walker

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Art Matters: Art: The mystery inside what we see

By Janet Sellers

"It is easy to forget that behind the polished mirror of history is a messy and cumulative reality. There is little difference between the intelligentsia of years past and the friends sitting at your dining room table."—Brainard Carey, The Art World Demystified.

Kids and adults alike make drawings, paintings, and sculptures. We’ve got art everywhere—even birthday cakes are now in the realm of elaborate sculptures. Art just takes giving it a try with simple materials and maybe a friend and a class or two to ignite a lifelong enjoyment and satisfying pursuit. We are surrounded by art and art thinking all over the place. Every school and business and news media presentation is grounded in the skills of art. Art is not actually a mystery, it is our everyday life.

I think one of the most important parts of getting our art made is having a skill comfort zone to express an idea—sometimes we need to express ideas in ways that are not in words. Our vision and mind catch on to a picture much faster than words, and the persuasion industry, aka media marketing, uses visuals to get us to be great consumers. It’s not just for commerce! Making art and craft, taking a class in art to improve skills can offer us a powerful way to put our ideas out into the world, and with any luck we will share them with others and enjoy that together. Art is a specifically personal but also social involvement, and it is everywhere.

Why do humans create? Is a better question, "Why do humans ask questions?" If someone else "gets" our art, we feel an approval of sorts, that they somehow see inside of us and approve, connect, appreciate us. That is a powerfully good feeling.

The need to create comes from ideas about solving problems, an impulse to create a solution. It takes a while and some skill to solve the visual problems, but mostly it takes heart and desire. I teach and make art for a living, and there is a special something in the creative process that is not material, mental, or mechanical. It is a certain special impulse, albeit grounded in skills related strongly to math (via patterns and geometry) and physical perceptions.

At the end of the day, visual art is a trail, a marker made via a creative person, and within the artwork itself is a sensibility that makes it art and not just a functional object. For music, it is the sound that shows the essence of the impulse, and for dance it is movement. The human-ness of the act of imagining and making something of that imagination is truly pleasing, and we can share that with others and they are pleased. How good that feels!

Do get out and enjoy the last of our warm evenings for art! The last Art Hop of the year is Sept. 15, 5-8 p.m. More than 16 venues will have art on view and for sale, along with refreshments and live music all over town in the arts district of Second and Third Streets between Jefferson and Front Streets.

Janet Sellers is an artist, local art teacher and writer. She welcomes your questions and comments:
janetsellers@ocn.me.

Caption: These are two views of a confirmed Ute Indian Prayer Tree, known locally as "Ascension Tree One." It is located above the King’s Deer community. The tree, or trees, curve and undulate above and along the ground in an elaborate creation of human imagination and crowned at the top by Nature. It is likely hundreds of years old. Photos by Janet Sellers.

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Snapshots of Our Community

Caption: On Aug. 7th, the 15th Annual Tri-Lakes Cruisers Benefit Car Show raised several thousand dollars for Tri-Lakes Cares. Visitors got to see dozens of classic cars in historic downtown Monument. The club welcomes new members who own (or are enthusiasts of) foreign or domestic vehicles of all years, restored or custom automobiles, muscle cars, hot rods, street rods, vans, trucks, and daily drivers. For information, visit www.tl-cruisers.weebly.com or write to TL-Cruisers@Mail.com. Photos courtesy of an OCN volunteer.

Sertoma Blood Drive, Aug. 4

The Bill Nance Memorial Blood Drive took place on Aug. 4 at Antelope Trails Elementary School, at which 36 units were collected. Gleneagle Sertoma has been conducting blood drives since 2004, and it has seen 987 donors who donated 848 units. The Penrose-St. Francis mobile blood crew and 38 donors supported this semi-annual community blood drive. These community blood drives occur during spring break and the first week of August. A scheduler will call you if you are on the current donating list. Walk-ins, however, are always welcome. If you care to donate at the hospital’s Blood Bank on Nevada Avenue beforehand, please use Sertoma community group #545 as you register at the front desk.

Caption: Kip Petersen, Frank Bittinger, and Helen Gilster happily give one unit each to the drive. Photo courtesy of Gleneagle Sertoma.

Fire awareness, Aug. 16

Caption: On Aug. 16, Electra Johnson, candidate for county commissioner in District 3, hosted an event about fire awareness and forestry stewardship at Palmer Lake Town Hall. Dave Root, assistant forester, Colorado State Forest Service, spoke on fire mitigation and forest stewardship. He defined stewardship as managing and caring for your forest land like you would for your garden or lawn. He spoke about the history of forest and fire management, including the large fires of recent years in Colorado. The event ended with a showing of the short film Unacceptable Risk: Firefighters on the Front Lines of Climate Change that talked about the transformation of Colorado’s fire environment with higher temperatures, drier fuels, and diseases. These things combine to create a volatile situation for firefighters and communities. More information is available at http://unacceptableriskfilm.org. Attendees shared their experience in the recent Hayman, Waldo Canyon, and Black Forest Fires and how it impacted their approach to fire mitigation and concerns about homeowners’ insurance. For more information on Electra Johnson, see http://www.electelectra.com. Photo by Jackie Burhans.

Bethany and Rufus at TLCA, Aug. 7
By David Futey.

Caption: On Aug. 6, Bethany Yarrow and Rufus Cappadocia performed one of the most unusual musical events ever to grace the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA) stage. The TLCA was filled with musical dynamics and energy through audience engagement and stunning vocals from Yarrow, the daughter of Peter Yarrow, Cappadocia’s world renowned cello playing, and an accompanist on the Oud, a fretless instrument popular in the Middle East and North Africa, and Cajon box drum. From spirituals and civil rights songs as such as Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round and Peter, Paul and Mary’s Well, Well, Well to world songs from the Americas, the trio enriched those in attendance with a musical genre seldom heard nor better performed. Information on Bethany & Rufus is at www.bethanyandrufus.com. Information on upcoming TLCA events, including Judy Collins, is at www.trilakesarts.org. Photo by David Futey.

Palmer Lake planning, Aug. 17

Caption: The Palmer Lake Planning Commission hosted an open house on Aug. 17 for the community to give input into an updated master plan for Palmer Lake Park. Cathy Green-Sinnard acted as master of ceremonies, providing background and directing the conversation. She noted that Palmer Lake Park includes area on both sides of the railroad track and had a previous Master Plan in 2007 that was updated in 2012 for the $350,000 Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant the town received in 2015. She also stated that many people come to the town with ideas for the park such as a gag ball pit, more sports fields, a choo-choo train and scuba diving—none of these are part of the current master plans. Nearly 20 people attended this open house, including members of the Planning Commission, two former Town Council members, and various volunteers and residents. Bill Fisher and Jeff Hulsmann, who have been involved in both the Awake the Lake committee and the GOCO grant, both spoke and residents discussed many ideas from maintenance of existing amenities to new options such as hockey rinks, playgrounds, and picnic areas on the west side of the park and more. Photo by Jackie Burhans.

Eagle Scout project completed

Caption: Kent Griffith completed the work for his Eagle Scout project at the Monument Cemetery with the help of many volunteers on Aug. 27-28. This included current and former members and leaders from Boy Scout Troop 6, students from Lewis-Palmer High School’s civics classes, Venturing Crew 249 members, Monument Police Explorer Post 2010, and many others. Kent’s project was to install new granite grave markers, carved by Merilee Orcutt, for "persons unknown" in the cemetery. The project replaced at least 50 crumbling, misplaced, or missing grave markers. A total of 128 new granite markers were installed. Kent worked closely with former Trustee John Howe, volunteer representative for the Town of Monument and volunteer caretaker of the cemetery. Boy Scout Troop 6 and Venturing Crew 249 are sponsored by the Monument Community Presbyterian Church. Monument businesses, including Serrano’s Coffee, Safeway, Domino’s Pizza, Home Depot, and King Soopers, provided support. Photo courtesy of Karen Griffith.

Monument Academy School Board Meeting, Aug. 11

Caption: From left are Monument Academy School Board Executive Director Don Griffin, Principal Liz Richards, and board members Julie Galusky, Sonya Camarco, Andy Gifford, Matt Dunston, Patrick Hall, and Scott Saunders. At the Aug. 11 meeting of the School Board, the board approved the following officers for one-year terms: Camarco, president; Saunders, vice president; Galusky, secretary, and Hall, treasurer. The board also approved committee assignments for Buildings/Facilities, Student Accountability Advisory Committee, Resource Development/Grants, Finance, Curriculum, and Governance. New hire information was posted on the web with all ranges beginning at $30,000. The board unanimously tripled the longevity bonuses noted in board policy 1524 for distribution in October. Principal Liz Richards presented an assessment report that included last year’s results as well as an outline for the coming year. Richards has asked board member Andy Gifford to assist with posting this information as dashboards on the website. The next meeting will be on Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Monument Academy library at 1150 Village Ridge Point. The Monument Academy usually meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. Monument. Information on the MA School Board, including schedule, minutes, committee and finances can be found at www.monumentacademy.net/school-board/board-meeting-minutes/. Photo by Jackie Burhans.

Music history with Chuck Girard

Caption: On Aug. 26 at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Chuck Girard talked and sang the audience through his musical history, which paralleled the beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll and Christian music. As a teen he heard his first doo-wop records, collected 45s for 10 cents each and meticulously listened to and catalogued each. This musical interest led to the formation of a high school band and subsequent top 20 hits Sacred and So This Is Love. These hits provided the impetus to playing on the same lineup with the likes of Roy Orbison, Brenda Lee, Jackie Wilson, and a memorable experience at the Hollywood Bowl with Jerry Lee Lewis. From there Girard transitioned to a studio musician and singer, which included singing lead on the hit Little Honda and the new genre of "monster" songs like Davy, the Psycho Cyclist. In 1971, the band he co-founded, Love Song, became the very first Christian rock band. They pioneered Christian contemporary music, using music as a vehicle for their message, and set the course for what became known as "The Jesus Movement." Girard said acceptance of "hippies" playing religious-themed music that incorporated drums and non-traditional church instruments was slow but gradual. Some 45 years later and at 73 years old, Girard still plays at churches and small venues, bringing his history and message through his music. Information on upcoming events at the TLCA is at trilakesarts.org. Photo by David Futey.

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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.

Senior lunch now Mon. through Fri., new location

Senior lunches are now served Mondays-Fridays, noon-12:30 p.m., at Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 Highway 105, Palmer Lake. Lunches are now provided by Silver Key Senior Services Golden Circle Nutrition Program. A voluntary donation of $2.25 is requested. Stay for bingo the second Thursday each month. Reservations are requested; call 884-2304.

Black Forest Slash Mulch program ends this month

The Black Forest Slash-Mulch Program is a wildfire mitigation and recycling program. Slash drop-off ends Sept. 11; mulch pickup ends Sept. 24. For the schedule and other details, visit www.bfslash.org or call Carolyn, 495-3127; Chuck, 495-8675; or Jeff, 495-8024.

Plan Monument: community survey now online

The Town of Monument is updating its 2003 Comprehensive Plan and wants to know what really matters to you as a resident or business owner in the community. You can take the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/monumentplanupdate.

Volunteers needed for chipping and mitigation projects

Black Forest Together continues to coordinate service projects to assist homeowners in Black Forest with chipping and forest management projects to reclaim their land from the devastation of the 2013 fire. This is a great community service opportunity for ages 14 and up. For more information about upcoming projects, contact Donna Arkowski at darkkorch@msn.com or call 495-2892.

St. Peter Catholic School now enrolling for the 2016-17 school year

The school offers full and half-day preschool, Core Knowledge Curriculum with small class sizes, Christ-centered education, athletics, and more for preschool-eighth grade. Call or visit: 124 First St., Monument; 481-1855; www.petertherock.org.

YMCA 5K Race Series and Kids Fun Runs set; register early to save

The three-race series includes the Creepy Crawl Oct. 29 on the Santa Fe Trail in Palmer Lake, Turkey Trot Nov. 24 at the Briargate YMCA, and the Jingle Bell Dec. 10 at Fountain Creek Regional Park. Register for the Creepy Crawl now through Oct. 15 for $30, Oct. 16-28 for $35, and Oct. 29 for $40. Sign up online at www.ppymca.org/raceseries.

Hometown heroes

Would you like to honor a member of your family who served honorably in our U.S. military? Join American Legion Post 9-11 in honoring your family hero by having an 18-by-36-inch banner flown in the Tri-Lakes area featuring his/her photo in uniform with area and dates served on active duty. The banner will be attached to town posts by Palmer Lake Legionnaires and flown from Memorial Day through Veterans Day. The cost to each family is $125. To order or for more information, call post headquarters at the Depot Restaurant, 481-8668.

Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) Essay Contest, apply by Nov. 18

High School juniors can win an all-expense-paid trip to either Washington, D.C., or a week at Leadership Camp at Glen Eden Resort. This year’s topic is, "The Power of Membership: In a cooperative you are a member-owner—not just a customer. Explain the difference this relationship makes." For more information, contact Megan Morse, 719-494-2622, or visit www.mvea.coop/community/essay-contest/.

Help the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary (BFAS)

Southern Colorado Animal Rescue needs volunteers and donations to continue its work at the sanctuary in Black Forest. BFAS is an animal rescue and rehab farm that has been helping animals since 1994. The all-volunteer organization has rescued thousands of horses, farm animals, dogs, cats, and various small wild animals and birds. BFAS provides rescue operations, adoption programs, foster and sponsorship programs, a student/horse education program, service dogs to veterans, and local and national rescue efforts. They also work with local schools and scouts. Donations are needed for animal feed and veterinary care, hay, sand for the training arena, a horse stall barn, and office supplies. Volunteers are needed for day-to-day operations. To find out how you can help, call 494-0158, email BFASFarm@gmail.com, or visit www.bfasfarm.org.

Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance (formerly HAP) needs volunteers

The Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that serves and supports seniors in our community. The Alliance currently needs volunteers, three hours a week; and active board members, eight to 10 hours a month. For more information, call Program Coordinator Sue Walker, 719-464-6873. Volunteers are also needed to work a three-hour shift once a week in the thrift store, to move items from storage into the store, or to pick up and transport donated items. To volunteer, call 488-3495.

El Paso County expands services to veterans

Three El Paso County agencies providing services to veterans are making it easier to receive assistance by opening satellite offices at the Mount Carmel Center of Excellence, 530 Communications Circle in Colorado Springs. The Veterans Service office at Mount Carmel is open Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and closes noon-1 p.m. for lunch. Call 667-3816 for an appointment. The Pikes Peak Workforce Center (PPWFC) has also opened an office to serve veterans and transitioning military personnel at the Mount Carmel location. The PPWFC Mount Carmel office is open Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed for lunch noon-1 p.m.), and is staffed with two workforce center employees who specialize in helping veterans with their employment needs. Call 667-3729 for an appointment. The county Department of Human Services also has an office open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Mount Carmel Center of Excellence. For more information, contact Dave Rose, 520-6540, DaveRose@elpasoco.com.

Become a CASA volunteer

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.

Free transportation and safety services for seniors

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

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. The program needs additional volunteer drivers. For information, email MCSS at mcseniorservices@gmail.com or call the MCSS dispatch hotline at 488-0076.

Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance Senior Center programs

The Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance 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 bridge, 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.TriLakesSeniors.org/newletter.php.

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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

  • El Paso County Planning Commission Meeting, Tue., Sep. 6, 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.
  • Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Tue., Sep. 6, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Normally meets 1st and 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.
  • Woodmoor Water & Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Sep. 8, 1 p.m., 1845 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 488-2525.
  • Academy School Board Meeting, Thu., Sep. 8, 6 p.m., school library, 1150 Village Ridge Point, Monument. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 481-1950, www.monumentacademy.net/school-board.
  • Palmer Lake Town Council Meeting, Thu., Sep. 8, 6:30 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 2nd & 4th Thu. each month. Info: 481-2953, www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Triview Metropolitan District Board Meeting, Tue., Sep. 13, 5 p.m., 15275 Struthers Rd. Meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: 488-6868.
  • D-38 Special Education Advisory Council, Wed., Sep. 14, 6 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: Info: 785-4208, cpetersen@lewispalmer.org.
  • Palmer Lake Sanitation District Board Meeting, Wed., Sep. 14, 10 a.m., 120 Middle Glenway. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2732.
  • Palmer Lake Planning Commission Workshop, Wed., Sep. 14, 6 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2953, www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Monument Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Sep. 14, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 884-8017.
  • Monument Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Sep. 15, 10 a.m., 130 2nd St. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 481-4886.
  • Donala Water & Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Sep. 15, 1:30 p.m., 15850 Holbein Dr., Colorado Springs. Meets 3rd Thu. each month except Nov. and Dec. Info: 488-3603.
  • Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Board Meeting, Thu., Sep. 15, 6 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 488-4700
  • Tri-Lakes Wastewater Facility Joint Use Committee Meeting, Fri., Sep. 16, 10 a.m., 16510 Mitchell Ave. Normally meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: Bill Burks, 481-4053.
  • Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Mon., Sep. 19, 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. 20, 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. 20, 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. 21, 6 p.m., Wescott Fire Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: 481-0711.
  • Palmer Lake Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Sep. 21, 6 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2953, www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Forest View Acres Water District Board Meeting, Thu., Sep. 22, 5:30 p.m., Monument Sanitation District boardroom, 130 Second St. Meets 4th Thu. each month, 6 p.m. Info: 488-2110, www.fvawd.com.
  • Palmer Lake Town Council Meeting, Thu., Sep. 22, 6:30 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 2nd & 4th Thu. each month. Info: 481-2953, www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Board Meeting, Wed., Sep. 28, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: Jennifer Martin, 484-0911, www.tlmfire.org.
  • Woodmoor Improvement Association Board Meeting, Wed., Sep. 28, 7 p.m., Woodmoor Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Dr. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: 488-2693, www.woodmoor.org.

LOCAL LIBRARY EVENTS

All branches will be closed for Labor Day, Monday, Sep. 5

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: Aftermath, every Mon., 3:30-7 p.m. Free drop-in math assistance for students of all ages. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Book Break, every Mon., Wed., & Fri., 10:30-10:45 a.m. A short read-aloud session for preschoolers. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Paws to Read, every Mon. & Wed., 4-5 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: 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: Teen Gaming, Sat., Sep. 3, noon-3 p.m. Ages 12-18, play table top games, card games (like Superfight!) and Wii video games. Bring any kind of game you would like to play, but keep things age appropriate, nothing too adult. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Teen Advisory Board, CANCELED, will resume Fri., Oct. 14, 4-5 p.m. Snacks and conversation. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Monument Teen Creative Writing Group, Wed., Sep. 7, 6-7:30 p.m. A writing group for grades 6-12. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library Family Fun: Peter Davison: Up in the Air, Sat., Sep. 10, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Award-winning juggler, dancer and kinetic comedian. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Family Program–LEGO Club, Sat., Sep. 17, 10-11:30 a.m. Duplos for the little ones, Legos for the rest. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: American Girl Book Club: Meet the Original Five, Wed., Sep. 21, 4-5 p.m. Grades 1-6, see the original five American Girl dolls--Kirsten, Molly, Samantha, Felicity, and Addy--and a few of their unique accessories. Do crafts and have snacks. Registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370 or www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library Teen Program: Teen Arts and Crafts Open Studio, Wed., Sep. 28, 4-6 p.m. Meets last Wed. each month. Supplies provided or bring your own. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Teen Gaming, Sat., Oct. 1, noon-3 p.m. Ages 12-18, play table top games, card games (like Superfight!) and Wii video games. Bring any kind of game you would like to play, but keep things age appropriate, nothing too adult. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Pikes Peak Library District’s Kids Web and PPLD Teens: Kids Web at www.ppld.org features resources for school reports and homework, Tumblebooks––free online read-along books, and a Fun & Games link. A "grown-ups" link has information about local school districts, home-schooling, and more.

Adult programs

  • Monument Library: Socrates Café, every Tue., 1-3 p.m. This group focuses on a deeper look into philosophy, religions, spirituality, and the common threads among humanity. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Senior Chats, every Wed., 10 a.m.-noon. All seniors are welcome to share conversation and a cup of coffee in this casual discussion group. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Yoga, every Thu., noon-1 p.m. Classes follow D-38’s calendar. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Misty For Congress, Wed., Sep. 7, 5-8:45 p.m. An open forum Q&A town hall. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library Second Thursday Craft: English Paper Piecing III, Thu., Sep. 8, 2-4 p.m. For ages 16 and up; supplies provided, registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: La Leche League Meeting, Fri., Sep. 9, 10 a.m., Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Mothers, babies, and mothers-to-be are all invited. Meets 2nd Fri. each month. Info: Kelley, 440-2477, kdghorashi@gmail.com.
  • Monument Library: Monumental Readers Book Club, Fri., Sep. 16, 10 a.m.-noon. All are welcome to this spirited group. Meets 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Life Circles, Mon., Sep. 19, 9:30-11 a.m. Get inspiration and structure for writing your memories or history. Meets 1st & 3rd Mon. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Bonfils Blood Center Community Blood Drive, Sat., Sep. 24, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: History Buffs Book Discussion Group, Wed., Sep. 28, 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: Coloring for Everyone, Fri., Oct. 7, 3-5:45 p.m. Drop in once a month for coloring and light conversation. Research shows that coloring is good for your health and a great way for all ages to enjoy time together. Pages and coloring utensils provided. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, 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 Farmers Market, every Sat., 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Grace Best, 66 Jefferson St., Monument. Park in the D-38 administration building parking lot or the Catholic Church 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., new meeting place, D-38 Administration Building, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Guests are welcome to the weekly meetings that feature speakers on a variety of topics and a free hearty buffet breakfast. Join the 140+ men and women of the Tri-Lakes area who work together on a wide variety of projects to support our community. Info: Bob Hayes, 481-9693
  • Free Tai Chi in the Park, every Sat., 9-10 a.m., D-38 park at the administration building. Come relax, follow, and enjoy. Wear loose-fitting clothing and flat shoes, bring water. Info: 232-1618, Siftimo@whitecranetaichi.com, www.whitecranetaichi.net.
  • Monument Community Yoga, every Sat., 9 a.m., Woodmoor Community Center, 1691 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. All levels. Cost: cash donation. Info: BePresentYogaLLC@gmail.com.
  • 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.
  • Watercolor Painting Demo, with art class afterward, every Sat.-Sun., 3-5 p.m. For watercolor art for fun and good health, join Janet Sellers and get free local scene coloring pages while she demos at local cultural, coffee, and food spots. RSVP & Info: janetsellers10@gmail.com, 357-7454.
  • Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church Worship Hours, every Sun., 8 and 10 a.m., 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. Fall hours begin Sep. 11: 8, 9:30, & 11 a.m. Info: 488-1365, www.tlumc.org.
  • Tri-Lakes Reformed Church Sunday Worship, every Sun., 9:45 a.m., Woodmoor Community Center, 1691 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Info: www.trilakesreformed.org.
  • Cathedral Rock Church Sunday Service, every Sun., 10 a.m., Tri-Lakes YMCA, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy, Monument. Info: www.cathedralrockchurch.org.
  • Tai-Chi Class, every Mon., 9-10:30 a.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Cost: $5. Drop-ins welcome. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Vinyasa Yoga Class with Olivia Pennington, every Mon., 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. All levels. Cost: $7. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Tai Chi for Health and Wellness Classes, every Mon., noon-1 p.m., Dance Art Academy, 13866 Gleneagle Dr. Also meets Wed., 6:15-7:15 p.m. Info: 232-1618, sifumo@whitecranetaichi.net.
  • Seniors Monday Movie Matinee, every Mon., 1-4 p.m., Tri-Lakes Senior Center located on Lewis-Palmer High School campus. Free movies and snacks. See the schedule of films in Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance Senior Beat, or at www.TriLakesSeniors.org/newsletter.php (click on Senior Beat Newsletter).
  • Women’s A.A. Step Study, every Mon., 6 p.m. Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 W. Baptist Rd. Info: 481-0431.
  • Yin Yoga Classes, every Mon., 6:30-7:45 p.m., Yoga Pathways Studio, 755 Hwy 105, West End Center, Suite A (3⁄4 mile west of Safeway). A slow yoga practice; all levels welcome. First class always free. Info: Deb Harano, 338-8467; DimensionsYoga@gmail.com.
  • 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.
  • Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI) Farmers Market, every Mon. & Wed. through mid-October, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 225 North Gate Blvd. (I-25 Exit 156 A).
  • Senior Citizen Luncheons, Every Mon.-Fri.,, 12-12:30 p.m., Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. See the menu for the month in the Senior Beat newsletter. A $2.25 donation is requested. Stay for bingo the 2nd Thu. each month. Reservations are requested, phone 884-2304.
  • Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI), open Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-4 p.m., daily guided tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (included in admission). Cost: $8 adults, $7 military/AAA, $6 seniors & students, $4 children 3-12, free to children under 3 & museum members. WMMI is located at 225 North Gate Blvd. (I-25 Exit 156 A). Info: 488-0880, info@wmmi.org, www.wmmi.org.
  • Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance (formerly HAP) Thrift Store, open Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., new location, 755 Hwy 105, Suite N, in the West End Center (next to the Vanity Box). Sept. specials: 5-10% mystery discount. Seniors 62+ get a 20% discount on Wednesdays. All proceeds support Tri-Lakes Senior Programs. If you have furniture to donate, call 488-3495 for a pickup. Info: www.TriLakesSeniors.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.
  • 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.
  • The Villa Palmer Lake, 75 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Happy Hour every evening 5-6 p.m., 1/2 price bottles of wine (select wines, with entrée purchase) every Tue. See the Facebook page for live music listings. RSVP & Info: 481-2222, www.theVillaPalmerLake.com.
  • Gentle Hatha Yoga Class with Olivia Pennington, every Wed., 9:30-11 a.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. All levels. Cost: $7. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Palmer Divide Run Club Social Run, every Wed., 6 p.m., Palmer Divide Run Co., 84-4 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake (next to Speed Trap). All levels are welcome; the routes are usually 3-4 miles which can be run or walked. Stay and enjoy freebies at the Run Store, then head to the Villa for a special Run Club Pasta Buffet. Info: PalmerDivideRunClub@gmail.com, www.facebook.com/PalmerDivideRunClub/.
  • Tri-Lakes Church of Christ Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal (Free) & Classes, every Wed., 6-7:30 p.m., 20450 Beacon Lite Road, Monument (Corner of Beacon Lite & County Line Roads). Info: 488-9613, gregsmith@trilakeschurch.org, www.trilakeschurch.org.
  • Tai Chi for Health and Wellness Classes, every Wed., 6:15-7:15 p.m., Dance Art Academy, 13866 Gleneagle Dr..Info: 232-1618, sifumo@whitecranetaichi.net.
  • 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.
  • A.A. Big Book Study, every Thu., 7 p.m., Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 W. Baptist Rd. Info: 481-0431.
  • The Roost Patio Flea Market, Sat., Sep. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 135 Second St., Monument. Meets 1st Sat. each month, May-Sept. Info: 481-5688.
  • American Legion Tri-Lakes Post 9-11, Tue., Sep. 6, 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.
  • Gleneagle Sertoma Luncheon Meeting, Wed., Sep. 7, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Liberty Heights, 12105 Ambassador Dr., (off Voyager Blvd in Colorado Springs). Interesting speakers and programs; all are welcome. Meets 1st & 3rd Wed. each month. Info: Garrett Barton, 433-5396; Duane Gritzmaker, 481-2424; www.gleneaglesertoma.org.
  • Senior Bingo, New Location, Thu., Sep. 8, Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake, after the senior lunch. Come for lunch at noon, then stay and play. Free! Prizes! Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: Maggie Nealon, 488-3037.
  • Bridge, Thu., Sep. 8, 1-4 p.m., Tri-Lakes Senior Center located on Lewis-Palmer High School campus. Walk-ins are welcome. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Reservation suggested: call Judy, 626-399-2733.
  • Legacy Sertoma Dinner Meeting, Thu., Sep. 8, 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. 8, 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.
  • La Leche League Meeting, Fri., Sep. 9, 10 a.m., Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Mothers, babies, and mothers-to-be are all invited. Meets 2nd Fri. each month. Info: Kelley, 440-2477, kdghorashi@gmail.com.
  • Palmer Lake Art Group, Sat., Sep. 10, 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. 10, 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. Accepts documents from private households for shredding, up to two legal paper-sized boxes. Bring a nonperishable food item for Care and Share. Info: 520-7878, http://adm.elpasoco.com/Environmental_Services/Solid_Waste_Management.
  • Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group, Sat., Sep. 10, 9:45-11:30 a.m., The First National Bank of Monument, 581 Hwy 105. Meets 2nd Sat. each month. Info: Gail, 481-3711.
  • Tri-Lakes Land Use Committee Meeting, Mon., Sep. 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 166 2nd St., Monument. Get involved: give input on proposed developments in the Tri-Lakes area to influence the direction of growth. All are welcome. Info: Jerry Hannigan, Hannigan.and.assoc@gmail.com.
  • Foot Care Clinic, Wed., Sep. 14, 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 foot care advice, toenail trimming. Cost: $30 for a 30-min. visit. Meets 2nd Wed. and last Fri. each month, by appointment only. Info & appointments: call the Visiting Nurse Association, 577-4448.
  • Black Forest AARP Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Wed., Sep. 14, noon, Black Forest Lutheran Church, 12455 Black Forest Rd. All ages welcome. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: Chuck, 749-9227, or aarpchapter1100blackforest.weebly.com.
  • Chess Nuts, Wed., Sep. 14, 5-9 p.m., Tri-Lakes Senior Center. Any age, any skill. Learners welcome. Drop in and leave when you want. Bring your own board and pieces if you have them. Meets 2nd & 4th Wed. each month. Info: www.TriLakesSeniors.org/chess.
  • Art Hop, Thu., Sep. 15, 5-8 p.m., Downtown Monument west of I-25. This is the last Art Hop of the season. The 3rd Thu. each month, May-Sept., the galleries, restaurants, and boutiques of historic downtown Monument stay open until 8 p.m. for a celebration featuring art openings, book signings, great food, live music, and more. Info: 481-3282, www.monumentarthop.org.
  • Art Hop Artist Reception at Bella Art & Frame: Michael Malta, Thu., Sep. 15, 5-8 p.m., 183 Washington St., Historic Downtown Monument. Malta’s art is on display through Sep. 29. Info: 487-7691, www.bellaartandframe.com.
  • Art Hop Book Signings at Covered Treasures Bookstore, Thu., Sep. 15, 5-8 p.m., 105 Second St., Monument. Ed Sealover will sign his book, Colorado Excursions with History, Hikes and Hops. Info: 481-2665, www.coveredtreasures.com.
  • Art Hop at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Thu., Sep. 15, 5-8 p.m., 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Resident artist open studios, Twenty1Five Wine Bar, great food, and live entertainment. Info: 481-0475, www.TriLakesArts.org.
  • Tri-Lakes Lions Club, Thu., Sep. 15, 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.
  • Palmer Lake Historical Society: Colorado Inventions and Inventors of the 19th Century, Thu., Sep. 15, 7 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Bill Reich, presenter. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 559-0837, www.palmerdividehistory.org.
  • Foot Care Clinic, Fri., Sep. 16, 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 foot care advice, toenail trimming. Cost: $35 for a 30-min. visit. Meets 2nd Wed., 3rd and last Fri. each month, by appointment only. Info & appointments: call the Visiting Nurse Association, 577-4448.
  • Little Log Kitchen Free Meal, Sat., Sep. 17, noon, 133 High St., Palmer Lake. Sponsored by Little Log Church every 3rd Sat. Info: 481-2409.
  • Amateur Radio W0TLM (Tri-Lakes Monument Radio Association), Mon., Sep. 19, 7 p.m. All amateur radio operators or those interested in becoming amateur radio operators are welcome. Meets 3rd Mon. For meeting place and info contact Joyce Witte, 488-0859, Joycewitte@gmail.com; or visit www.W0TLM.com.
  • Senior Tea, Tue., Sep. 20, 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. 20, 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. 20, 7 p.m., Monument Hill Country Club 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. New members welcome. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Post Commander Joe Carlson, jcarlson@vfw7829.org, 488-1902, www.vfw7829.org.
  • Gleneagle Sertoma Luncheon Meeting, Wed., Sep. 21, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Liberty Heights, 12105 Ambassador Dr., (off Voyager Blvd in Colorado Springs). Interesting speakers and programs; all are welcome. Meets 1st & 3rd Wed. each month. Info: Garrett Barton, 433-5396; Duane Gritzmaker, 481-2424; www.gleneaglesertoma.org.
  • Senior Bingo, Wed. Sep. 21, 1-2 p.m., Tri-Lakes Senior Center, Lewis-Palmer High School campus. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: Sue Walker, 464-6873.
  • Drummers! Wed., Sep. 21, 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 Wed. each month. Verify date & time: Nan, 481-3256.
  • VFW Auxiliary to Post 7829, Monument, Wed., Sep. 21, 7 p.m., Monument Hill Country Club, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. New members welcome. If you are a male or 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, 488-1902, carlsonmkc@aol.com.
  • Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage: George Kilby & Phil Wiggins, Fri., Sep. 23, 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.
  • NEPCO Meeting, Sat., Sep. 24, 10 a.m.-noon, New Monument Town Hall & Police Building, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Representative Terri Carver will give an update on the transportation corridor. DEA Agent Tim Scott will present on illegal marijuana growing operations in Northern El Paso County. All are welcome to this meeting of local homeowners associations. Info: 481-2723 or visit www.nepco.org.
  • Senior Social, Wed., Sep. 28, 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.
  • Chess Nuts, Wed., Sep. 28, 5-9 p.m., Tri-Lakes Senior Center. Any age, any skill. Learners welcome. Drop in and leave when you want. Bring your own board and pieces if you have them. Meets 2nd & 4th Wed. each month. Info: www.TriLakesSeniors.org/chess.
  • Foot Care Clinic, Fri., Sep. 30, 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 foot care advice, toenail trimming. Cost: $35 for a 30-min. visit. Meets 2nd Wed., 3rd and last Fri. each month, by appointment only. Info & appointments: call the Visiting Nurse Association, 577-4448.
  • Lupus Support Group. If you suffer with an autoimmune disease and want to connect with others, you are welcome to join this group. Info: dmbandle@hotmail.com.
  • Myasthenia Gravis Association of Colorado Support Group. Location varies. For information, call Carolyn, 488-3620, www.4-mga.org, 303-360-7080, 4mga@4-mga.org.

SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Monumental Microderm & Aesthetics Special Event, Thu., Sep. 8, 4-6 p.m., 4 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake (above Bella Panini). See live demonstrations every 30 minutes. Free treatments will be given away. RSVP & Info: 271-0999, www.monumentalmicroderm.com.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Basics (meets weekly), Thu., Sep. 8, 6-8:30 p.m., Colo. Springs location. A free six-week course for parents and other caregivers of school-age children living with mental illness. RSVP & Info: 473-8477, www.namicoloradosprings.org.
  • Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI): Heritage Lecture & Exhibit Opening, Life in an Arizona Mining Company Town, Thu., Sep. 8, reception at 6, lecture at 7 p.m., 225 North Gate Blvd. (I-25 Exit 156 A). University of Arizona intern Donna Kelley will present her research on Arizona’s Morenci Copper Mining District. The exhibition will explore how residents experience living in a company owned town and working for a copper mine. Free. Registration required. RSVP & Info: rsvp@wmmi.org, 488-0880, www.wmmi.org.
  • Acoustic Eidolon Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Fri., Sep. 9, 7 p.m., 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: $12 TLCA members, $15 non-members. Day of show: $15 TLCA members, $18 non-members. Tickets & Info: www.trilakesarts.org, 481-0475.
  • Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage: Gadbaw & Krimmel, Fri., Sep. 9, 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.
  • Palmer Lake Elementary Annual Community Garage Sale, Sat., Sep. 10, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., 115 Upper Glenway. All items are priced to sell! All proceeds go towards the 5th grade Outdoor Education Program. Donations to the sale may be dropped off at Palmer Lake Elementary any weekday before the sale during school hours. Info: lmalone@lewispalmer.org.
  • Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI): Reynolds Ranch Restoration Day, Sat., Sep. 10, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 225 North Gate Blvd. (I-25 Exit 156 A). This all-day event is a unique and educational fundraiser for the Reynolds Ranch House. Go inside the historic 1892 Queen Anne style farm house, watch a parade of antique vehicles, see antique clubs displays, blacksmith shop, a stamp mill, outdoor engines demonstrations, costumed interpreters, food trucks, and more. Cost: $10 adults, $5 ages 3-15. Info: 488-0880, info@wmmi.org, www.wmmi.org.
  • Pikes Peak Brewing Co. Oktoberfest, Sat., Sep. 10, opens 11 a.m., 1756 Lake Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Food, fun, entertainment. Info: www.pikespeakbrewing.com.
  • Front Range Open Studios, Sat.-Sun., Sep. 10-11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. See how art is made in this self-guided tour of the working studios and workshops of 16 full-time professional artists and craftsmen in the Tri-Lakes region. Info & map of participating artists: www.frontrangeopenstudios.com or 488-0629.
  • Tribute Ceremony & Free Concert for Colorado Remembers 9/11 featuring John Fogerty and Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Sun., Sep. 11, 1 p.m., Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave., Denver. The ceremony will include a procession led by the Colorado National Guard and representatives from the Colorado public safety community, remarks by the Governor and Mayor, and the presentation of military honors including a 21-gun salute, flyover, Taps, and bell ceremony. Info: www.COremembers911.org.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Free Provider Education (5-week course, meets weekly), Wed., Sep. 14, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Colo. Springs location. Offered for professionals and para-professionals who work with those with mental illness. RSVP & Info: 473-8477, Namicoloradosprings.org.
  • Judy Collins Live in Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Thu., Sep. 15, 7 p.m., members only entry 6 p.m., general entry 6:15 p.m.; 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: TLCA members $65, non-members $70. Day of show: TLCA members $70, non-members $75. Tickets & Info: www.trilakesarts.org, 481-0475.
  • Gleneagle Sertoma 15th Annual Patriot Golf Tournament, Fri., Sep. 16, 7 a.m. check-in, 8:30 a.m. start, Kissing Camels Golf Course. This 4-person scramble honors local patriots representing the military, police, and firefighters. Cost: $125, $450 for a foursome; includes breakfast and lunch, green and cart fees, range balls, prizes. Proceeds benefit Home Front Cares and other local charities. Register at www.gleneaglepatriotgolf.com. Info: John Coyle, 494-4284; Joe Gray, 599-4265.
  • Benefits Without Boundaries, Fri., Sep. 16, 10:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Tri-Lakes Senior Center, modular building at Lewis-Palmer High School. This free workshop is open to all and includes medicare benefits and programs, Tri-Lakes Cares programs and services, and more. Free box lunch. Register by Sep. 2. RSVP & Info: www.TriLakesSeniors.org/workshop or see the registration form in the ad in this issue.
  • Haunted Mines & Colorado Fear Fest at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI), Fri.-Sat., Sep. 16-30; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 1-31, 7 p.m.; 225 North Gate Blvd., (I-25 Exit 156A). Additional days added in October. Don’t miss this terrifying adventure. All proceeds go to WMMI and local charities. Tickets & Info: 487-1666, info@hauntedmines.org, www.hauntedmines.org.
  • Clean Sweep, a county household hazardous waste disposal event, Sat., Sep. 17, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., in the parking lot behind the El Paso County Citizens Service Center on Garden of the Gods Road. The event is free and open to residents of El Paso and Teller counties, but you must make an appointment. Register at www.fallcleansweep2016.eventbrite.com. Info: 520-7871.
  • Bines & Brews Hopfest, Sat., Sep. 17, 1-5 p.m., Limbach Park, Front and Second Street, Monument. Sample beer from 17 breweries, enjoy food vendors and music in the park. No one under age 21 and no dogs allowed. Cost: $30 regular, or $10 designated driver admission. Info: 481-3282, www.trilakeschamber.com/events-calendar.htm.
  • Lewis-Palmer School District Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Sat., Sep. 17, 2 p.m., 1300 Higby Rd., Monument. A reception with refreshments follows the ceremony. Info: 488-4728.
  • Larkspur Autumn Harvest & Craft Fest, Sat.-Sun., Sep. 17-18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Larkspur Community Park, 8850 Spruce Mountain Rd. More than 70 booths including arts & crafts, food & drinks. Entertainment for kids, live music, hay rides, a firetruck, Air Life helicopter, & more. Info: www.LarkspurAutumnHarvestCraftFest.com, info@LarkspurChamberOfCommerce.com.
  • Tri-Lakes Lions Golf Tournament 4-Player Scramble, Mon. Sep. 19, The Golf Club at Flying Horse, 1880 Weiskopf Pt., Colo. Springs, registration 7:30 a.m., shotgun start 9 a.m. Cost: $150 per player. Proceeds help support Lions Club charities, Tri-Lakes Cares, and The Home Front Cares. Info: Register online at www.golfsquid.com/event.cfm?id=2477 or call Jim Naylor, 303-883-8329; Dave Prejean, 719-434-7031; or Stan Krol, 720-339-3391.
  • Tri-Lakes Community Blood Drive, Tue., Sep. 20, 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.
  • Tri-Lakes Women’s Club presents Harvesting Hope, a Premier Food & Wine Tasting Event, Thu., Sep. 22, 5:30-9 p.m., Spruce Mountain Ranch, 14771 Spruce Mountain Rd., Larkspur. Music & dancing, marketplace vendors, silent auction, celebrity guests, raffle/door prizes, chef competition. Dress: jeans to jewels. Cost: $65, or $60 each with reserved table for 10. All proceeds benefit qualified non-profit service organizations and public schools in the Tri-Lakes area. Info: www.TLWC.net.
  • Tom Paxton Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Fri., Sep. 23, 7 p.m., 6 p.m., members entrance; 6:15, general admission; 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: TLCA members $20, non-members $23. Day of show: TLCA members $22, non-members $25. Tickets & Info: www.trilakesarts.org, 481-0475.
  • Rocky Mountain Storytelling’s 28th Annual Storytelling Festival, Sat., Sep. 24, 9:15 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Philip S. Miller Library, 100 S Wilcox St., Castle Rock. Featured storytellers are Mark Lee Gardner, Priscilla Queen, and Jim Weglarz. RSVP & Info: info@rmstory.org, www.rmstory.org.
  • TLUMC Women’s Fall Program: Potluck Lunch and Guest Speaker, Sat., Sep. 24, 11:30 a.m., Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. Dr. Kristen Kells, highly acclaimed health and wellness expert, will speak on "Healthy Aging," Info: Michelle, women@tlumc.org.
  • Poverty Simulator, Tue., Sep. 27, 4:30-6:30 p.m., D-38 Administration Building, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. The Poverty Simulator is an interactive experience designed to create an understanding of the day-to-day reality of the hardships faced by those living in poverty. Tri-Lakes Cares is partnering with Pikes Peak United Way to bring the Poverty Simulator to Monument. Refreshments will be served and space is limited. To reserve your spot, email RSVP@Tri-LakesCares.org or call 481-4864 x109 by Sep. 23.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Free Mental Health First Aid Training, Fri., Sep. 30, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Citizens Service Center, Third Floor Nautilus Room, 1675 Garden of the Gods Rd., Colo. Springs. This eight-hour course teaches participants to give first aid in a mental health crisis and/or early stages of a mental health problem, identify early stages of mental health problems, observe signs and symptoms of the most common mental health problems, know where and when to get help, and understand what types of help are effective. Registration required. RSVP & Info: 473-8477, www.mhfaco.org/find-a-class.
  • Phil Keaggy Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Fri., Sep. 30, 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m., 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: TLCA members $20, non-members $22. Day of show: TLCA members $22, non-members $24. Tickets & Info: www.trilakesarts.org, 481-0475.
  • Palmer Lake Art Group’s 43rd Annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair, Fri.-Sat., Sep. 30-Oct. 1; 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Free admission. Shop all kinds of hand-crafted arts and fine crafts. Proceeds fund art scholarships for D-38 high school seniors. Info: www.palmerlakeartgroup.com, plaginfo@palmerlakeartgroup.com.
  • Rocky Mountain Music Alliance 10th Anniversary Season Concert, Sat., Oct. 1, 7 p.m., Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. Geoff Herd, violin; Zahari Metchkov, piano. Mozart Violin Sonata; Ravel–Tzigane; Prokofiev Sonata No. 1 in f minor. Cost: $10 online, $12 at the door, students with ID free. Info: Coleen Abeyta, 630-8165, coleen.abeyta@gmail.com, www.rmmaonline.org.
  • Monument Hill Kiwanis Empty Bowls Dinner & Silent Auction, Wed., Oct. 5, 5-7:30 p.m., Lewis-Palmer High School, 1300 Higby Rd., Monument. This popular event is a major fundraiser for Tri-Lakes Cares. Ticket purchase includes dinner of soup, bread, beverage, & dessert; a handmade bowl donated by local artists; entry into drawing for a door prize. Cost: $20, one child under 12 free with each adult ticket purchased. Buy tickets at the door, online, or at participating local businesses. Info: Dave Wittman, 925-683-8291, EmptyBowlsMHK@gmail.com, www.monumenthillkiwanis.org.
  • Conjure One Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Fri., Oct. 7, 8-10 p.m., doors open at 7; 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Electronic ambient trip-hop from Vancouver. Advance tickets: TLCA members $22, non-members $25. Day of show: TLCA members $25, non-members $28. Tickets & Info: www.trilakesarts.org, 481-0475.
  • Black Forest Arts and Craft Guild Fall Show and Sale, Thu.-Sun., Nov. 3-6, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Sun., Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Rd. Shop unique, hand-crafted items. Info: dellaclark.bfacg@gmail.com,

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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