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Vol. 15 No. 10 - October 3, 2015


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Contents

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

the PDF file. This is a 20.6 Mbyte high-resolution file with color photos.

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

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Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education, Sept. 10: Board passes resolution opposing methadone clinic, approves policies

By Harriet Halbig

The Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education passed a resolution in opposition to opening a methadone clinic in downtown Monument, approved several policies, and recognized members of the staff, a teacher, and a student during its Sept. 10 meeting.

Resolution regarding methadone clinic

Following discussions at past board meetings and acknowledging a number of public rallies and meetings, the board discussed and passed a resolution in opposition to locating a methadone clinic in downtown Monument in the former post office building across the street from Limbach Park.

In discussing the resolution, board Treasurer John Magerko commented that he had researched other clinics opened by the same company and found that they were not located in similar areas.

Board Vice President John Mann said that he initially was reluctant to offer a resolution as it would appear the board was imposing its will on the town government. However, he said that the location of clinic is the primary issue and that other, larger communities may have a greater need of such services. He acknowledges the need for such services, but not the location.

Board President Mark Pfoff said that, since the issue is not yet finalized, he felt it appropriate that the board express an opinion. He supports efforts to keep the community as it is.

The resolution is worded as follows:

Whereas the Lewis-Palmer School District is committed not only to providing a quality education for our students but also to supporting our communities in providing a safe and healthy environment in which our schools are located; and

Whereas the Lewis-Palmer Board of Education supports community members’ efforts to preserve our community values and environment by placing schools and other businesses in locations that are consistent with sound zoning and planning standards and the adopted plan of the community; and

Whereas the Lewis-Palmer Board of Education is supportive of individuals seeking treatment for addictions, it questions the rationale of locating a methadone clinic in a small town, directly across the street from a popular park utilized by young children, and in very close proximity to a building utilized by our students; and

Whereas the Lewis-Palmer Board of Education believes that placing a methadone clinic within the community and particularly in the proposed location will be inconsistent with sound school-community planning standards and have a negative impact on our schools, our students, and our school community,

Now, therefore be it resolved that the Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Board of Education hereby expresses its opposition to the establishment of a methadone clinic in the Town of Monument or within the Tri-Lakes Community.

Adopted this 10th day of September 2015.

Board comments

Mann commented that he has received emails and read letters from candidates for the board enumerating "what I will do if elected." He stressed that the board as a whole is an entity and that an individual member cannot implement change unless the entire body votes to approve the changes.

He said that there are two types of entity in the district, those who guide and those who do. The board is a governing body created by state statute. The board collectively votes on policy in public meetings.

The only "doer" in the system is the superintendent, who implements the policies approved by the board. The superintendent hires, fires, and supervises employees of the district. The superintendent is the only individual directly hired and supervised by the board.

Mann used the example of the district opting out of participation in the state’s Healthy Kids Survey. With knowledge of the board’s concern about data privacy, the superintendent looked at the survey, consulted state Rep. Paul Lundeen regarding the invasive nature of the survey, and decided not to participate.

Magerko, Secretary Sherri Hawkins, and Director Matthew Clawson said they had attended various Back to School Nights and were impressed with the excitement among the teachers and their children.

Clawson also commented that, when he learned of the secure perimeter action at Prairie Winds in August, he refrained from going to the school, knowing how thoroughly staff was trained in dealing with such situations.

Magerko reported that he, Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman, and Superintendent Karen Brofft have begun meetings with Monument Academy regarding renegotiation of their five-year contract with the district.

Superintendent update

Brofft commented that Clawson was wise to trust the staff at Prairie Winds during the incident. The best action parents can take in such a situation is to be supportive. Staff members have specific protocols that they have practiced.

Brofft said that she and several other superintendents will be meeting next week to discuss such common issues as budget and assessments.

Wangeman said that she had met with 13 other chief financial officers in the past week to discuss enrollment and other subjects.

She thanked Monument Police Chief Jake Shirk for his help during the Prairie Winds incident and also thanked the Safety and Security Committee who will review and discuss the response.

Wangeman also reported that such other district properties as the stadium are being reviewed regarding such safety requirements as emergency exits and a gate for ambulance access. She said that a standardized recorded announcement is being developed for use in emergencies.

Wangeman said that it appears that the district enrollment is 64 students more than projected, but stressed that we must await the October count. Statistics for free/reduced lunch students are not yet available. She noted that the increased count also included a number of special needs students, which may require an adjustment in the district budget to provide classroom support.

Policy IKA: grading/assessment systems

Director of Assessment and Gifted Education Lori Benton reported on ongoing revisions in the policy regarding assessments and grading.

In clarification of last month’s article on the subject, the decision whether to administer a test with paper/pencil or on computers is made by the school board and based on a number of factors. Districts may test at any time during a Colorado Department of Education determined window, the dates of which will be provided in mid-November. College and career readiness testing will take place for sophomores and juniors in the spring.

To read the entire policy, please see www.lewispalmer.org, go to the Board of Education tab and click on policies.

DAAC charge

Benton also introduced the charge for the District Accountability Advisory Committee. Some of the duties include review of district and school Unified Improvement Plans and sponsorship of forums for candidates for the board. The Committee for Public Engagement also monitors legislative developments on the state and local levels. DAAC consults with the board regarding the fairness, effectiveness, and professional quality of the licensed personnel performance evaluation system and advises the board regarding budget priorities.

Approval of policy on staff conduct and responsibilities

Following discussion in past meetings, the board approved the final wording of Policy GBEB, Staff Conduct and Responsibilities.

This policy stresses the concept that the district stands for character and integrity and that staff should exemplify "appropriate adult behaviors. At no time shall any staff engage in behavior that may be deemed otherwise (including but not limited to profanity, inappropriate jokes or gestures, sexist or racist comments, and electronic harassment or cyber bullying.)" Inappropriate behavior "may result in discipline up to and including termination."

The policy also covers disclosure of confidential information, accepting gifts, and various other aspects.

This policy is also available on the website.

Other information items

Director of Instruction and Information Technology Liz Walhof reported on new resources in the district, using examples of students using Google products to work together on projects and presentations.

Public Information Officer Julie Stephen reported on ongoing projects such as the development of a new district website, development of a new district calendar that encompasses all grade levels, and contacts with various media outlets, both print and electronic.

Special recognitions

Lewis-Palmer Middle School Principal Seann O’Connor introduced Emma Tillotson, who read her essay on the subject of why we appreciate American veterans. This essay, entered in a Veterans of Foreign Wars contest last year, won first place in the Patriots Pen annual contest and was the Monument VFW Post overall post winner.

Palmer Lake Elementary School Principal Peggy Griebenow introduced Tamiya Stone, who was selected as the 2016 Colorado Music Educators Association Outstanding Young Music Educator. This award is presented to educators in their first five years of teaching.

Citizens’ comments

Tammy John expressed her concerns about the use of the TS Gold readiness assessment, and especially her concern about data privacy and parents’ rights.

Sarah Sampayo, a candidate for a school board seat, shared information about a recent teleconference regarding Common Core. She encouraged the board to use local control to opt out of its use.

At the August board meeting, Sampayo spoke about the new social studies text book. John spoke about notifying parents about new curriculum.

**********

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

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

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Monument Board of Trustees, Sept. 21: Citizens’ tips lead to multiple arrests in Monument drug operation

By Lisa Hatfield

The Sept. 21 Monument Board of Trustees meeting was preceded by a two-hour workshop on water rates and fees with Will Koger of Forsgren Associates. The official meeting then convened and immediately went into a two-hour executive session.

When the public session resumed, Police Chief Jake Shirk explained about a series of arrests in Monument in September, and he emphasized how important it was that witnesses call police with information about what and whom they saw, even if police have already arrived on the scene, because citizens can add vital new data to investigations potentially leading to arrests. The trustees also approved a resolution to hire land use attorney Carolynne White to assist the town with zoning ordinances.

Trustees consult with attorneys

As soon as the meeting convened at 6:32 p.m., the board went into executive session to consult with Town Attorney Gary Shupp and Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA) Attorney Steven Dawes regarding the lawsuit filed against the town and all the members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Adjustment both as officials and as individuals. See related Sept. 8 Board of Trustees article on page 11. When the public meeting resumed at 8:42 p.m., the trustees did not make any announcements about their discussion.

Trustees Kelly Elliott and Jeff Smith left the meeting after the executive session.

Illegal drug operation: five arrests made, four stolen autos recovered

Shirk reported on multiple incidents involving the Monument Police Department recently and commented that over the last few months, Monument has seen a significant increase in crime that is more violent and involves armed drug dealers.

He thanked citizens for reporting several incidents of suspicious behavior about a home on Fourth Street. He said because of investigations into those citizen reports between Aug. 31 and Sept. 12, five people were arrested for violations related to the possession and distribution of narcotics, weapons violations, and possession of stolen property, including four stolen vehicles. A search warrant of the property revealed a large quantity of methamphetamine, multiple types of other illegal drugs including marijuana, heroin, mushrooms, cocaine, various prescription drugs packed for illegal distribution, stolen license plates, and various firearms.

In a separate incident on Sept. 3, Shirk said that multiple .40-caliber shots were fired at Limbach Park around midnight and police investigated thoroughly. Shirk expressed regret that one potential witness who saw the shooting and people in the area that night did not contact police with information that might have made the difference in the outcome of that case. "If you see something, call us!" Shirk said.

Other recent incidents included:

    • Aug. 26: Felony menacing at Monument Lake. Two adults and one juvenile were arrested.

    • Aug. 30: Traffic stop for a broken taillight resulted in the arrest of a man for outstanding warrants and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.

    • Sept. 5: An unconscious female in the bathroom of King Soopers was determined to have overdosed on narcotics and had a felony warrant out for her arrest.

    • Sept. 12: Officers arrested one male for felony menacing with a handgun at the skate park on Beacon Lite Road.

    • Sept. 11: A passenger on a Greyhound bus traveling south on I-25 called authorities threatening to kill himself and any cops who showed up. Forty-one police units from various agencies responded, and Monument police provided shields to officers from other agencies and made a tactical entry into the bus near West Baptist Road. The suspect was taken into custody without incident.

    • Four sexual assault cases were reported in the last 30 days.

Shirk described the various types of specialized training that department members completed in September. In addition, he said that in August, the Support Services Department averaged 75 citizen contacts a day, including phone calls, fingerprints, case report requests, registering sex offenders, and court payments.

Shirk told the board, "We need help out there," and he hoped more officers could be hired in the near future for the continued safety of both citizens and officers.

Bulk fill water station relocation progress

Town Manager Pamela Smith said that Forsgren and Associates was working on engineering drawings for moving the bulk fill water station from its current location on Wagon Gap Trail to the new location between Conoco and the Safeway shopping center. Public Works Director Tom Tharnish added that survey work has been completed at the site and the town will be consulting with Mountain View Electric Association on power supply availability to the new location.

Resolutions approved

The trustees unanimously approved these items:

    • A resolution approving Land Use Attorney Carolynne White of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Schreck to advise Monument on its zoning ordinances.

    • An intergovernmental agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for Phase 1B of the downtown sidewalks project so that funding for 80 percent of the project can come from CDOT.

    The trustees also approved the consent agenda, including the following disbursements over $5,000:

    • Triview Metro District, sales tax, motor vehicle tax, regional building sales tax − $163,494

    • Nolte Associates, professional services on planning projects − $7,062.

Shupp informed the board that contrary to rumors circulating in town, he is not retiring or resigning at the end of September.

The meeting adjourned at 9:26 p.m.

**********

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 Oct. 5. Call 884-8017 or see www.townofmonument.org for more information.

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

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LPEA District 38 Board of Education Candidate Forum, Sept. 9: Candidates for School Board speak to the community

By James Howald

On Sept. 9, the Lewis-Palmer Education Association sponsored a forum for candidates running for seats on the District 38 Board of Education in the district’s administration building at 192 Front St.

All candidates invited; three do not attend

Eight candidates are seeking a seat on the District 38 School Board in the election to be held on Nov. 3: Dale Bastin, Kris Beasley, Matt Clawson, Sherri Hawkins, Lani Moore, Mark Pfoff, Gordon Reichal, and Sarah Sampayo. All eight were invited to attend the forum and were sent a questionnaire. Bastin, Beasley, Clawson, Hawkins and Pfoff attended the form; Moore, Reichal and Sampayo did not attend. Beasley, who was out of town on business, attended by phone bridge.

Moderator establishes rules

Tom Chapman, an instrumental music teacher in D-38 for six years, moderated the forum.

Each candidate was given two minutes for an opening statement. Chapman then asked the candidates 11 questions. Each question was initially assigned to specific candidates, who were given two minutes to answer. After the first answers, the other candidates were given one minute to answer the same question if they elected to do so. Finally, all candidates were given two minutes for a closing statement. There were no questions from members of the audience.

The forum was streamed on the internet live. It can be seen online through USTREAM (http://ustre.am/1r4Vy).

Note: This article, for reasons of space, summarizes the candidate’s remarks. The complete event can be seen online at the URL given above.

Hawkins’s opening statement

In her opening statement, Hawkins said she had been appointed to the board in 2013 and was running to validate her appointment with the voters. She has two children at Palmer Lake Elementary School. Active in the Parent Teacher Organization and a classroom volunteer, she worked as a teacher and a coach after graduating from Ohio State. Her family chose to live in D-38 because they valued the high quality of the education the district offered, Hawkins said.

Beasley’s opening statement

A desire to pay something back to the community motivated Beasley to run for a seat on the board, he said in his opening statement. His goal is to ensure that the district continues to develop "well-rounded, academically ready, creative, and globally aware citizens," he said, adding that he wants to see the district’s history of excellence continued.

After 28 years in the Air Force, Beasley and his wife chose to live in D-38 because he wanted to give his children the best education in the state, he said.

Beasley has served on the District Accountability Advisory Committee for a year and a half, and wants to maintain the district’s excellent results and fiscal responsibility, he said.

Pfoff’s opening statement

Pfoff and his wife have lived in the district for 18 years, have two children in district schools, and he has served on the board for seven years, he said.

He has been endorsed by retired D38 Superintendent Ted Bauman and by retired D-38 Principal Judy Jadomski.

Pfoff views teachers as a key contributors to students’ education, he said, adding that during his time on the board he has never declined an invitation to meet with any of the district’s employees.

Pfoff pointed out that he does not agree with those who say incumbency is always an advantage. In the election held eight years ago, all the incumbents lost their seats, he said, while four years ago three incumbents were re-elected. What matters most is what a board member does in office, he said.

Pfoff concluded by listing some of the district’s achievements during the time he has served on the board:

    • The district has had a balanced budget for the last six years, and all operational debt is paid off.

    • Property taxes have been lowered because the district has refinanced bonds.

    • All financial audits have been clean.

    • The district’s Advanced Placement program has achieved honor roll status for four years, and is one of only 17 districts in the country to rate that highly.

    • The district has been Accredited with Distinction by the state of Colorado every year the state has provided that assessment.

    • The district has the highest on-time graduation rate in the state

Clawson’s opening statement

He is a Colorado Springs native with five children and his family has lived in the district for five years, Clawson said in his opening statement. His children have had a "phenomenal experience" in the district’s schools, he said.

Clawson has been an executive vice president and president of the Boy Scouts, stewarding 10,000 children and 4,000 adult volunteers. He has also served with United Way and with the Boys & Girls Club, he said, and, as a lawyer, has been active in the effort to implement restorative justice principles in the legal system.

He has no political ambitions, Clawson said, adding that "kids are the focus" of his campaign, and that he views teachers as key to education. He wants to attract and retain the best teachers in D-38, he said

Bastin’s opening statement

Dale Bastin has served in the armed services for 25 years, 16 of them overseas, he said in his opening remarks. His two children have attended D-38 schools for five years, he said.

During much of his military career his children attended Department of Defense-run schools in Germany, Belgium, Canada, and several states in the U.S., giving him experience with many different educational systems, he said.

He is currently an entrepreneur, along with his wife, he said, and his degrees are in natural resource management and economics. He does not have a strong background in education, he said.

Bastin’s approach will be to listen to voters, educators, students and other stakeholders, he said. He is not running for a seat on the board because he feels he has all the answers, he pointed out, and his goal will be to continue the excellent education the district offers.

The questions and where to find the candidate’s answers

For reasons of space, OCN can’t print the complete responses from the candidates. Rather than summarize responses, we provide the questions below, list the candidates who answered them, and give the time in the online video where you can hear the answer to that question. The online video is at: http://ustre.am/1r4Vy.

"Share some of the ways in which you do or would work with all education stakeholders to provide the best education for every student." Answered by Bastin and Clawson at 18:20.

"Share with us your ideas on how Lewis-Palmer school district can maintain our accomplished academic status and yet continue to grow in student achievement for the future." Answered by Hawkins at 25:20.

"Common Core has been a hot topic in the nation and with some of our candidates; how will you ensure that educators get training in implementing academic and postsecondary workforce readiness standards and state assessments to ensure success in our schools?" Answered by Bastin at 31:24.

"Do you believe in parents opting out their children from statewide assessments? Share with us your ideas about eliminating the negative consequences associated with student results of statewide and district assessments tied to teacher evaluations." Answered by Beasley at 37:50.

"Share with us your ideas to recruit and retain the highest quality teachers." Answered by Bastin, Clawson and Hawkins at 43:45.

"Share with us your ideas on teacher evaluations as they pertain to Lewis-Palmer school educators." Answered by Beasley at 50:50.

"Share the ways in which you have advocated for sustainable education funding and forging community partnerships to attain sustainable funding." Answered by Pfoff at 56:28.

"Financial Transparency continues to be another "hot" topic in our community, share your ideas for requiring public school to comply with this; please include your ideas for charter schools, online schools, etc." Answered by Clawson and Pfoff at 1:03:07.

"Our district has invested time, money, and training in strengthening programs and policies that support and promote student and school safety; what are further steps you envision for our district?" Answered by Pfoff at 1:11:25.

"Share with us the ways for maintaining and improving teacher and staff voice within our district." Answered by Hawkins at 1:19:50.

"What is your vision of providing students and school employees access to technology resources to deliver skills to the 21st century learner to be successful in competing in the global economy?" Answered by Beasley at 1:25:40.

**********

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

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Lewis-Palmer District 38 Board of Education Candidate Statements

Our Community News will not be covering any of the candidate forums that will occur in October, since the Nov. 7 issue of OCN will post-date the mail-in election that includes the school board election.

Registered voters can vote for candidates in all the districts, not just their own district.

Candidates were allowed 150-word limit for their answers to two questions:

    • What in your background will be helpful in this position?

    • What are the top two/three issues facing the district?

Director District 1

    This is for a two-year term to complete the remainder of a partial term due to an appointment:

    Sherri Hawkins

    • I have been on the board since December 2013 and currently serve as board secretary. I have been a public school teacher and have coached in the area since 2000. I believe in continuing our fiscal responsibility, preparing for any potential financial crisis, and advocating funds to the fullest amount from the state. We live in and send our children to the best school district in the state. With high classroom achievement, competitive athletic teams, and phenomenal arts programs, our district is tremendous.

    • I commend the wonderful collaboration among all of our stakeholders – the board, administration, teachers, support staff, parents, and community. This work pays off with positive effects for our students. As a candidate, this is my passion – continuing the great work of our district, fighting for local control, and empowering people on the board without any personal agenda. Doing what is best for kids is my constant commitment.

    Lani Moore

    • Lani Moore has one child attending school in D-38. Her background includes: 20-plus years in customer service, 13-plus years in the real estate industry, and most recently she developed and implemented a statewide adult education training program.

    • Her goals are to champion family rights, protect property taxes, and to work to halt the nickel and diming. Parents need to be aware that they have the right to avoid intrusive testing and surveys. As a community, we need to assert our constitutional right of local control and stop common core. Before another ballot measure is proposed we must cut non-essential spending, evaluate existing space, and have an open budgeting process. She also advocates for inviting the community to participate along with the board and school faculty to resolve complex issues. This is the best way to have trust re-established between the school board and the community that it serves.

Director District 2

    This is for a four-year term.

    Kris Beasley

    • About me: Parent of an LPHS student; two-year volunteer on school and D-38 accountability committees and D-38’s Safety and Security committee. Retired Air Force colonel; proudly served 28 years. 30-plus years’ experience leading large technology and education organizations. Colorado pioneer family. Master’s degree in Education; teach cybersecurity Masters classes. Raised $100,000 for STEM scholarships.

    • I’m Kris Beasley and I want to help keep our schools the best in Colorado! To continue D-38’s tradition of educational excellence, we must have local control of: when and how much the district tests, the data privacy of our kids and how our teachers teach and are evaluated. D-38 must also have the right fiscal resources to develop innovative, academically strong and globally aware citizens. I’ll work to get state school funding restored to pre-recession levels and unfunded mandates reduced … and continue to balance the budget!

    Sarah Sampayo

    • Sarah Sampayo has three children attending D-38 schools. Her credentials include: mediator, attorney, university adjunct professor, doctorate of jurisprudence, wife of USAF retired officer, and developed/taught a martial arts anti-bullying program.

    • Studies show that student success requires only three things: a disciplined child, parental support, and good teachers. School boards should provide the environment for all three requirements, then get out of the way. Sarah believes common core is eroding the pillars that gave D-38 its track record. Eliminating Common Core is critical to children’s academic success, teacher retention, and our nation’s future. It is also our right as a "local control state." An elected official works for you. Parents’, teachers’ and students’ input should be honored. Sarah has been active on local and state levels on issues facing education. She is endorsed by the Colorado State Board of Education chair, and works with state legislator Paul Lundeen regarding education.

Director District 4

    This is for a four-year term.

    Mark Pfoff

    • I have been on the school board for seven years and I’m currently the board president. When I first arrived on the board the school district was in debt and spending over a million dollars more a year than it was funded. Within a year we balanced the budget and it has been balanced ever since (six years). The operational debt was paid off in August of 2014 and we restored our reserves to their highest level since 2006. At the same time our student achievement has soared and we continue to be one of the highest-rated school districts in the state. We have the highest on-time graduation rate in the state.

    • I’m running for re-election to maintain our conservative fiscal strategy and our current learning environment, which has proven successful. We live in a wonderful community with great schools, let’s continue that tradition!

    Gordon O. Reichal

    • I have spent 42 years in military service and support defending freedom.

    • A fundamental American freedom is education. Families deserve the right to control their educational choices. Our business community and taxpayers with or without children in school have earned the right to be respectfully heard and participate in D-38 decisions. Monument Academy families, home schoolers, and online education children are equal partners for improving education. We must recognize the tremendous value of our seniors’ life lessons, their diversity of life experiences, and love for helping children obtain their best education future. Teams of teachers, volunteers, and involved families generate outstanding educational systems improving our nation for years into our future. We must provide everyone opportunities to participate and honor education traditions and to pay it forward. I ask for your mail-in ballot vote and support to continue improving D-38 and our nation. Thank you.

Director District 5

    This is for a four-year term.

    Dale L. Bastin

    • I was a public servant and leader in the Air Force for 25 years including 16 years abroad. I have been a community college and continuing adult education instructor. I witnessed education systems in Germany, Belgium, and Canada plus schools in Arizona and Texas; benchmarking those institutions’ practices to enhance our district’s schools.

    • D-38 must provide programming diversity to meet tomorrow’s challenges. We must recruit, retain top talent and maintain low student/teacher ratios. I support policies allowing educators to capture students’ imaginations while inspiring them to acquire new skills. Technology ushers in changes to teaching/learning infusing classes with digital learning tools; expands course offerings/experiences/materials; builds 21st-century skills; increases student engagement and accelerates learning. Blended learning incorporates face-to-face and online learning that accommodates students’ diverse learning styles. I’ve heard taxpayers who believe they have no say in education decisions. I aim to regain residents’ trust and support for the district.

    Matthew Clawson

    • Background: BS-Brigham Young University, JD-University of Denver, MBA-University of Colorado; partner in a local law firm. Member of LPSD 38 school board (appointed 8/2015), four children in the district since 2010. Former president and executive vice president of Pikes Peak Boy Scouts of America Council overseeing about10,000 youths and 4,000 adult volunteers; United Way and the Boys/Girls Clubs of America. Colorado native and second generation school board member.

    • Top issues: Colorado education budget is a long-term issue between lawmakers and school districts. The D-38 board/superintendent must focus on the highest student achievement with available resources. Funds need to be focused on our teachers/classrooms that are the key to a quality education for our children. Children should be the focus of all district policies, decisions, and programs.

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Monument Board of Trustees, Sept. 8: " We will fight this" citizens asked to help lobby state reps

By Lisa Hatfield

On Sept. 8, the Monument Board of Trustees heard 80 minutes of public comments urging the town not to " be bullied" by Colonial Management Group (CMG), which has filed a lawsuit against the town, the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Adjustment. The trustees also approved the Final PD Site Plan for the Sanctuary Pointe water tank and booster station and appointed Daniel Rathke as an alternate member of the Planning Commission.

Citizens: " Do not let this dispensary open!"

Mayor Rafael Dominguez said the town has been sued in El Paso County District Court. Town Attorney Gary Shupp said that as of Sept. 8, the town had not actually been served with litigation but had received a courtesy copy of the complaint filed by Metro Treatment of Colorado LP and Colonial Management Group LP, represented by attorneys Christopher J. Dawes, Christopher T. Groen, and Risa B. Brown of Fox Rothschild LLP. The complaint states that because of " the defendants’ discriminatory reaction and behavior," the plaintiff " has suffered economic injury … including losses in excess of $800,000, as well as lost profits and other opportunity cost" since it has not been able to open its planned methadone clinic at 192 Front St. in Monument.

In response to the public comments, Dominguez said, " This town is not intimidated (by CMG), nor is the board. We have three attorneys that are going to be working this issue: the town attorney, a land use attorney that we are hiring, and our CIRSA insurance attorney. We will fight this."

The lawsuit named the Town of Monument and all the members of the Monument Board of Trustees and Monument Board of Adjustment both as individuals and as official members of those boards.

The complaint " involves a challenge to the Town of Monument’s refusal to issue zoning approval and a business license for a methadone treatment facility within the town’s limits." It also asks for judicial review of the Board of Adjustment’s revocation of zoning approval and review of the Board of Trustees’ approval of an ordinance enacting a six-month moratorium on the new establishment of any business that classifies itself or seeks approval for itself as a clinic in the B and C zoning classifications of the town. See www.ocn.me/v15n9.htm#mboa0810 and www.ocn.me/v15n9.htm#mbot0824.

The plaintiffs also asserted claims under the U.S. Constitution, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1973, and other cases citing the defendants’ " discriminatory actions."

During public comments, Greg Coopman read a statement from attorney William Louis, who represents Jamie Fenley and the " No Methadone in Monument" group. Louis’ comments included:

    • CMG has filed long-haul litigation.

    • Do not be intimidated by CMG naming you (board members) in your individual capacity; it is nothing more than an intimidation tactic.

    • This is not about keeping addicts out. It is about keeping a methadone dispensary out of its currently proposed location.

    • If CMG cannot be made to go away, then we the people encourage you (trustees and staff) to fight. We will fight with you.

Eighteen people spoke to the board, imploring members to stand firm against CMG’s planned methadone clinic and the associated lawsuit in order to protect Monument’s homes, businesses, and citizens. Their comments included:

    • Tom Allen, chairman of " No Methadone in Monument" : Our intention is to work through this as professionals. Allow us to work through this with you.

    • Greg Coopman: It is common practice that these companies try to intimidate by lawsuits to strong-arm settlements that ultimately allow them to open…. Do not let this dispensary open.

    • Stephen Phillips: It is clear that CMG is in direct violation of federal regulations under the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), since they are not showing willingness to work with the community in which they want to move. The town staff or trustees need to contact the DEA and the state.

    • Wayne Laugesen: A major exhibit in this lawsuit is an irresponsible memo written and distributed on July 23 by Town Manager Pamela Smith.… CMG is a criminal enterprise masquerading as a health care clinic.

    • Dennis Connors: You have not been well served by the bureaucratic staff of the town. There is still an opportunity to rectify this situation. CMG has been through this before. They started out in stealth phase … and now are on the intimidation phase. If you do the right thing and do not give in, my family and I will be forever grateful, no matter what the outcome.

    • Angela Small: You need to ask for the town manager’s and town clerk’s resignations.

    • Dede Laugesen: Trust has been broken.

    • Bobby Morris: Now you want to work with the public? Because you are threatened with a recall?

    • Anna Walsh: Katie Peck of CMG said it was Denise Vincione, controlled substance administrator, Colorado Department of Human Services, who recommended to CMG that they come to Monument…. Anyone else here can contact the state and lobby, too…. CMG does not have a state license yet. They have to meet at least eight criteria under the Controlled Substance Act (HB 14-1173) before they can sell a drop of methadone.

    • Chris Randell: I would encourage businesses to start pooling together what their lost revenue would be if the clinic came in. I bet it’s more than $800,000.

The trustees’ responses included:

    • Dominguez: I did every damn thing I could when I found out about it. Same thing with this board…. Continued suggestions that anyone resign are counterproductive.

    • Jeff Bornstein: Let’s channel the anger and work positively. We are going to fight.

    • Jeff Smith: Everyone should lobby the state. You are already mobilized and have articulate speakers. Use your 1,000 voices; it means more than our seven. Don’t wait for us get through the legal mire. This needs to be on the agenda for the Colorado state Legislature to keep it from happening in other small towns.

Questions about shots fired in Limbach Park

Bobby Morris demanded an explanation about the Monument Police Department’s handling of an incident on Sept. 3 where youths were shooting at a target on a tree in Limbach Park around midnight. Police Chief Jake Shirk said, "I can guarantee you, we are actively investigating" but that he could not give a report to the board until the investigation was complete.

Sanctuary Pointe water tank and booster station

Morgan Hester, consultant to the Monument Planning Department, presented an ordinance for a Final PD Site Plan for the Sanctuary Pointe water tank and booster station. Andrea Barlow of NES Inc. also answered questions from the trustees.

The new water tank and booster station would provide water service for the Triview Metropolitan District. It would be located about 1.5 miles northeast of the intersection of Jackson Creek Parkway and West Baptist Road, within Phase One of the Sanctuary Pointe development. It was approved unanimously by the trustees.

Rathke appointed to Planning Commission

The trustees unanimously approved a resolution appointing Daniel Rathke as an alternate member of the Monument Planning Commission. Alternate members may " take the place of any member who may be temporarily unable to act owing to absence from the town, illness or interest in the case before the board or any other cause."

Town manager’s report

Town Manager Pamela Smith’s comments included:

    • Bulk fill station: no firm date has been set to move the station from its current location on Wagon Gap Trail, but surveying and contracts are in progress.

    • The new Forest Lakes development will include 275 acres of commercial development within the town boundaries, south of West Baptist Road and west of I-25.

One disbursement over $5,000 was approved as part of the consent agenda:

    • Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority, preliminary engineering of Area 3 facilities − $6,400

Public Works Director Tom Tharnish explained that this was a preliminary design for a possible site to store renewable water that the town may be able to purchase from the south. (Renewable surface water will become a more important water supply as Denver Basin groundwater becomes more expensive to produce and treat. Search for keywords at www.ocn.me for numerous discussions of this topic.)

The meeting went into executive session at 8:15 p.m. to conference with an attorney for the public entity for the purposes of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions (lawsuit).

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

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Palmer Lake Town Council, Sept. 10: Board approves 2014 audit report; new town administrator on board

By James Howald

On Sept. 10 the Palmer Lake Town Council met to hear the town’s most recent audit report, to introduce the town’s new administrator, to discuss a potential lawsuit threatened by Greg Dobbs, to review the town’s junk ordinance and disaster preparedness, and to take up several other issues.

2014 audit report shows no significant problems

David Green of Green & Associates LLC presented to the board the audit report his company prepared of the town’s finances for 2014. Green’s report gave the town a "clean" or "unmodified" opinion, meaning the audit uncovered no serious concerns with the town’s finances.

Green commented that the audit went smoothly despite changes to the software the town uses for financial matters, and that his company got good cooperation from both the town and the town’s previous auditor. Mayor Nikki McDonald pointed out that the 2014 audit cost the town less than half what was spent for the previous audit because of changes to financial processes and the selection of Green & Associates as the auditing firm.

At the end of 2014, the town’s general fund had a balance of $816,080, an increase of $211,453 over the previous year, the report showed. "You guys had a good year," Green said.

The audit report divides the town’s finances into five funds, four of which had surpluses, and one of which, the police fund, had a negative balance and had to borrow from the general fund. This is "fairly common" for police departments, Green said.

In response to a question from Fire Trustee Rich Kuehster, Green said the Fire Department’s net pension obligation at the end of 2014 was $26,628. Based on actuarial studies, the Fire Department has an $87,000 unfunded liability for pensions, Green said.

The board voted unanimously to approve the audit report as amended.

Town administrator introduced

McDonald introduced the newly hired town administrator, Cathy Green-Sinnard. Green-Sinnard has worked for both Monument and Pueblo, where she worked on the Pueblo Riverwalk, McDonald said. Green-Sinnard will take over the administration of the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant, which provides funds to develop the park adjacent to Palmer Lake, and has already met with GOCO and Jeff Hulsman, McDonald said.

Residents threatens to sue town

During the public input portion of the meeting, resident Greg Dobbs announced his intention to sue the Town of Palmer Lake.

Dobbs and his wife, Shirley Dobbs, are involved in a dispute, discussed in previous Town Council meetings, with the Schuler family concerning the Schulers’s removal of a retaining wall from an area that adjoins the Dobbs’s property. The Dobbs family claims this work alters their access to their property.

The retaining wall was on land that is a platted road that the town has never accepted or developed. Greg Dobbs says that because the town has the legal right to use the land in question for a road at some future date, the town was harmed by the Schulers’s actions, and he wants the town either to sue the Schuler family or to replace the retaining wall.

The town’s position, as stated by Town Attorney Larry Gaddis, is that the town was not harmed by the Schulers’s actions, that this matter is a dispute between neighbors, and that Dobbs and Schuler should find a mediator to help them resolve this situation between them without action by the town.

In the Sept. 10 meeting, Dobbs raised an additional issue: that he has been unfairly prevented from being on the agenda for town hall meetings since the dispute began in November 2014. When asked by Parks and Recreation Trustee Paul Banta if a mediator had been engaged, Dobbs said no. Dobbs said his family was prepared to go to court to get a fair resolution of his issue.

Junk ordinance review continues

Economic Development Trustee Judith Harrington updated the board on the work she and Police Trustee Bob Grado have been doing to revise the town’s junk ordinance. Harrington noted this ordinance has been a concern to both the board and the community for some time.

The Police Department is responsible for enforcement of the ordinance, and they would like some clarification, Harrington said.

Harrington and Grado believe the best approach is to adopt the same wording used by El Paso County, and develop an intergovernmental agreement so that the county will help with enforcement.

The ordinance needs to be updated to address more directly the question of fire hazards, Harrington said. Harrington pointed out that a homeowner can comply with the existing ordinance by building a fence to block off the view of rubbish on their property, but that a fence does nothing to address the possibility of fire.

Pre-disaster mitigation plan approved

McDonald led a discussion of whether or not the town should adopt the Comprehensive Update to the El Paso Multi-Jurisdictional All Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan. Jurisdictions in El Paso County updated this plan in response to the fires that have taken place in the last few years, McDonald said. The plan addresses roles, responsibilities, communications, and evacuation tactics that come into play when there is a fire or a flood, according to McDonald.

Having the plan in place is a requirement for the town to be eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds in the case of a disaster, according to Harrington.

The board voted unanimously to approve the plan.

Request to purchase land from town considered

Local business owner Ron Reed asked the board to consider his offer to buy a portion of a lot the town owns near Highway 105, close to the building housing Sara’s Sausage of Palmer Lake. Reed proposed that the town agree to subdivide the 3.46-acre lot so that he can purchase a single acre.

The board voted unanimously to allow Reed and his investors to go onto the property to test the soil as a next step.

Improved insurance rating saves homeowner dollars

Kuehster gave the board details on a recent drop of one point in the Insurance Services Organization rating for some parts of the town. The lower rating has the potential to save homeowners $100 on their insurance bills, and speaks to the effectiveness and training of the town’s Fire Department, Kuehster said.

Disc golf tournament generates complaints

Banta told the board that a recent disc golf tournament had resulted in some complaints about drinking and camping in the park, and he requested that a more orderly process be followed if the event is held again.

GOCO grant paperwork in good shape

Green-Sinnard told the board that, as she took over the administration of the GOCO grant, she was pleased to find that "all the contracts were buttoned up and signed." Her role in regards to the Awake the Lake effort will be to ensure paperwork is done, people are reimbursed, volunteers are adequately insured, and help keep things running smoothly, Green-Sinnard said.

Green-Sinnard asked the board to approve an agreement to allow completion of the 18th hole of the disc golf course adjacent to the lake. The board voted unanimously to approve the agreement.

Business license renewed

The board voted unanimously to renew a business license for Rockwall Drywall. Banta reminded business owner Mark Thomasson that the town prohibits outside storage of building materials.

The meeting adjourned at 9:13 p.m.

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The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 at Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. Meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of the month. Information: 481-2953.

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

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Donala Water and Sanitation District, Sept. 17: Operators praised for water main

By Jim Kendrick

On Sept. 17, General Manager Kip Petersen briefed the Donala Water and Sanitation District board on the prompt actions that four Donala water operators took on Aug. 22 when they responded to an excessively high flow reading and unusually high pump activity to minimize the damage caused by an early morning water main leak on Jessie Drive adjacent to the Antelope Trails Elementary School. Petersen introduced water operators Ronny Wright, Aaron Tolman, and J.R. Vialpando who worked straight through until 11:45 p.m. to restore service. Troy Vialpando, the fourth member of the repair team, was on vacation and could not attend the board meeting. He was also praised by Petersen and the directors.

The board also unanimously approved the purchase of a former Gleneagle golf course maintenance building and storage lot from the new residential developer that is now the owner of the former golf course parcel.

Water Returns workshop

Petersen announced that Donala will be holding the Water Returns workshop in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Avenue on Oct. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. The topics to be presented by the consultant landscaping firm Water Returns will be "Preparing Your Landscape for Winter" and "Planning for Spring." For more information see: www.donalawater.org/images/stories/pdfs/September%202015%20Newsletter.pdf

Petersen also announced that the district will hold an election in May 2016, at which time the current board president, Bill George, will be "termed out" an cannot run for office again.

The absences of Board President George and Director Bill Nance were unanimously excused.

Water main break

Wright said he noticed the high flow and extra pumping activity at home at about 4 a.m. on Aug. 22. Donala’s answering service called him at 7:20 a.m. to report a resident’s call about seeing a possible leak near the school while walking his dog. Petersen said that the operators’ priorities were to get the affected residents notified of a potentially lengthy outage, repair the leak, and restore service as soon as possible. Wright’s four-man crew arrived on site at about 10:30 a.m. with the necessary gear after turning off the appropriate valves to shut off flows to the area of the leak and making customer notifications to the 30 homes affected.

The crew discovered that a residential home saddle tap that was installed adjacent to the water main failed. The saddle tap leak wore a hole in the 8-inch 100 psi water main. This hole then developed into a split that propagated along the length of the water main. This unusual longitudinal split had expanded to about 10 feet in length when the water valves were shut off by about 10 a.m. The high pressure water spraying out of the split created a large erosion cavity that undercut the adjacent street, sidewalk, and the school’s adjacent south perimeter grassy slope. The crew’s physical investigation of the cavity revealed that the water main leak was upstream of the meter for the adjacent house connected to the failed saddle tap, precluding any billing problems for this homeowner. A new segment of pipe was installed to replace the damaged portion of the existing main, using cast iron couplers at each end of the splice. See photo on page 1.

The need to complete repairs was urgent because west Jessie Drive is the primary residential collector that provides access for all the homes near the Antelope Trails Elementary School, which is located on Jessie Drive between Gleneagle Drive and the east end of Copperfield Drive. Vehicles can also access the homes served by Jessie Drive and Copperfield Drive via Lariat Lane, a one-block unpaved dirt road that serves five adjacent homes to the west in the adjacent Chaparral Hills subdivision. Lariat Lane connects Copperfield Drive to the south end of Leather Chaps Drive.

After customer service was restored, Wright reviewed the recorded digital signals from the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system for this segment of the Donala drinking water distribution system. The flow and pumping data showed that the progressively worsening split in the water main began at about 3:30 a.m. During the time that the pressurized leak from the widening split in the water main was active, about 250,000 gallons of water were lost.

Petersen noted that the four operators worked on repairs on Aug. 22 straight through until 11:45 p.m. to make the adjacent road and unsupported section of school sidewalk safe. He stated that the crew had quite a gallery of observers throughout the repair and compacting operations for the cavity that resumed at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 23.

"I was really proud of those guys. They did a good job." Petersen also said that overall, most of these people "were impressed by how professional they were and considerate of the residents. We’re fortunate to have these men working for us."

Additional daily repairs were substantially completed to make the road passable to traffic again by 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23. Petersen said the contractor that replaced the damaged road and sidewalks did a good job. The total cost for the repair was about $20,000, some of which may be reimbursed by insurance.

Maintenance facility purchased

Petersen presented the sales contract for the golf course maintenance and storage facility, which he said had been reviewed and approved by Donala’s attorney Rick Fendel. The facility is located near the west end of Palm Springs Drive. Petersen said that Senior Assistant County Attorney Lori Seago had provided a letter stating that Donala’s planned "use of the existing facility is consistent with the development agreement that covers the entire golf course property." He added that all conditions have been satisfied and the environmental assessment for the property was complete. Donala’s first priority will be building a perimeter fence, installing security lights activated by motion detectors, and installing security cameras.

The board unanimously approved the $200,301 contract for Donala’s purchase of the property from Westbrook Capital Holdings LLC of Englewood, and authorized Petersen to sign all the required documents at the closing that was scheduled for Sept. 18.

Financial reports

Petersen reported that water sales revenues had "picked up in the past six weeks" due to less rain than in previous months. Revenues are still expected to be less than the amount budgeted for 2015. He said that Donala’s reduction in water sales revenue would not "be as dire as we had initially thought." There were almost 10 million gallons more in sales through the end of August than for the first eight months of 2014, which had a dry spring and wet fall, the opposite of this year. Tap fees remain higher than budgeted for 2015 due mainly to construction in Paradise Villa. Petersen said this upturn in revenue had now allowed him to initiate a few of the previously postponed 2015 capital projects during the remaining warmer weather.

In contrast, wastewater treatment revenues continue to be as steady as they were in 2014. Petersen said he would soon wrap up the draft 2016 Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility budget to provide to Donala’s wastewater facility co-owner special districts, Forest Lakes and Triview Metropolitan Districts so their district managers can also present their 2016 district budgets by Oct. 15. Donala operates the facility for all three of these wastewater special districts. Director Ken Judd thanked Petersen for his aggressive cost control so that expenditures "track" the variable flow of revenues to date this year.

Petersen noted that Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) increased electric power rates by 9 percent on July 1. He added that MVEA will increase the higher second half of 2015 electric power rates a second time by 9 percent on Jan. 1, 2016. Donala water rates have to increase to pay the increased costs due to these substantially higher electric power rates throughout all of 2016 that will be about 18 percent more than the rates for the first half of 2015. Petersen said he hoped to be able to limit the Donala water rate increase that will become effective on Jan. 1, 2016 to 5 percent. Donala’s water rates were increased about 10 percent in 2015.

It is still the Donala board’s goal that annual revenue from its water fees should be increased to the level needed to pay annual costs of drinking water service so that water operations become self-sustaining. The board has the same goal that Donala’s annual wastewater revenues should cover Donala’s share of Upper Monument Creed Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility annual operations costs.

Manager’s report

Petersen reported that he, Director Ken Judd, and Director Bob Denny had attended the Arkansas Basin Roundtable meeting on Sept. 5. Most of the meeting’s discussions centered on comments the group would be providing regarding Gov. John Hickenlooper’s statewide water plan. The next step for the roundtable is to hire an implementation coordinator for the Arkansas Basin portion of this water plan. The next Arkansas Basin roundtable meeting will be held on Oct. 7.

Petersen noted that he and Judd would be attending the Special District Association’s annual conference in Breckenridge Sept. 23-25.

Petersen stated that he, Judd, Superintendent Robert Hull, and Chief Water Operator Mark Parker had participated in the Colorado Springs Utilities’ (CSU) annual mountain water tour on Sept. 10-11. All of CSU’s water supply is renewable surface water. The first day of touring focused on the Blue River Water System including Montgomery Reservoir near Hoosier Pass on Highway 9, the Hoosier Tunnel that connects the reservoir to the Blue River watershed, and the Otero pumping station. There was an overnight stay in Salida. The second day of touring featured visits to the Pueblo Reservoir, the Southern Delivery System (SDS), and the new SDS water treatment facility at the intersection of Highways 24 and 94. This new facility has a treatment capacity of 50 million gallons per day.

Petersen said that the 2015 annual season for taking credit for Willow Creek Ranch renewable surface water is over. As of Sept. 1 Donala had 433 acre-feet of water stored in the Pueblo Reservoir. There was a lengthy technical discussion of options to consider if 2016 Arkansas River flows are higher than the Pueblo Reservoir can store, as currently predicted due to higher than average El Niño rainfall. The Pueblo Reservoir was 63 percent full on Sept 17.

There was also a preliminary discussion about the possibility of injecting some of Donala’s renewable surface water that Donala may not be able to store in Pueblo Reservoir into some of Donala’s groundwater wells for later retrieval. If the state were to approve the proposal, this option may be preferable. Petersen said storing water in a water tank too long causes it to go "stale." Due to the need for more rain, snow, and flow information that won’t be available until spring, no decisions were made.

Operations/projects report

Well 9A had a failed motor that was replaced at a cost of $50,000. Recorded data for this well showed a lightning strike occurred just before the motor failure. Some of the cost may be eligible for insurance reimbursement.

Well 1A was out of service on Sept. 17 due to a failed pump, most likely caused by gravel ingestion. This well is about 11 years old. No cost has been determined yet for repairing the failed pump because the pump inspection that was to be conducted in Wyoming had not yet been completed and it was is not yet known whether this pump would have to be replaced.

Three mixers in the Upper Monument equalization basin had to be repaired or replaced. In addition a pump motor had to be replaced at a cost of $10,000. Also, a motive pump impeller had to be replaced at a cost of $16,000. Petersen said these were all routine operational costs.

Petersen stated that installation of two sections of the water line between Donala’s Latrobe and Holbein water tanks had been postponed until 2016.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

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The next meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Information: 488-3603 or www.donalawater.org.

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

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Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, Sept. 10: District increases employee health benefits

By James Howald

At their meeting on Sept. 10, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) board members reviewed and improved their benefits program, discussed an issue with the placement of a fire hydrant, and listened to several reports.

Benefits increase from 15.5 percent to 16 percent of salary

District Manager Jessie Shaffer gave the board the results of his review of the benefits the district provides to its employees. Following a request from Shaffer, the board voted to increase benefits from 15.5 percent to 16 percent of employee salary. President Barrie Town, Treasurer Jim Taylor and Director at Large Tommy Schwab voted in favor; only Secretary Beth Courrau voted against the increase.

The board voted to form an ad-hoc committee consisting of Courrau and Director at Large Rich Strom to continue the work on employee benefits.

The board also voted unanimously to approve Resolution 15-07, which documents the benefits provided to the district’s existing employees as of Sept. 10.

Placement of hydrant on Lake Woodmoor Drive a concern

The board discussed a safety issue raised by the recent realignment of Lake Woodmoor Drive adjacent to Brookmoor Estates.

The changes to the road were made to allow safer access to and from the subdivision, but also shifted the location of the road slightly, so that the fire hydrant, which previously was acceptably far from the road, is now closer to the east side of the road.

Since the hydrant is at the foot of a hill, it might be hit by a sliding vehicle when the road is icy. According to Shaffer, the hydrant is in an easement that belongs to El Paso County. The board decided to study the location of the hydrant further before deciding if it should be moved.

District finances in good shape

The financial report presented to the board shows that due to an increase in tap fees resulting from a faster pace of development in the district, the district’s operating income is close to $2 million greater than anticipated. While some nearby districts are raising rates because their revenues are down, WWSD does not need to raise rates, according to Town. The board voted unanimously to approve the financial report as presented.

Joint Use Committee report

Taylor gave the board an update on the Joint Use Committee’s (JUC) budget and plans. The JUC’s priorities are replacing the UV purification equipment at the Tri-Lakes Waste Water Treatment Facility (TLWWTF), hiring a third operator, and purchasing a vehicle, Taylor said.

There is a concern on the part of the Fire Department about the storage of sodium hydroxide, Taylor added, and additional ventilation and power generation may need to be added to the construction currently under way.

The JUC believes the TLWWTF is in good shape relative to nitrogen, Taylor said. Taylor also reported a recent wet test failure, which he believed was not significant, at the facility.

Weeds slow flows in Chilcott ditch

Taylor and Shaffer gave the board a report on the status of the Chilcott ditch. Dry soil and weeds are consuming water in the ditch, allowing only 10 percent of the flows to reach the JV Ranch, according to Shaffer. There is also some seepage from an embankment, Shaffer said.

Shaffer also mentioned some contentious issues that have arisen between the ditch company and residents who live near the ditch. In one case, a property owner was renegotiating the terms of an easement the ditch company has on his lot. The board decided, informally, that they would support the property owner’s position in the easement debate.

JV Ranch weed eradication proceeds

In his manager’s report, Shaffer said the efforts to eradicate weeds on the JV Ranch were yielding better results, due to an improved mix of herbicides.

The meeting adjourned at 2 p.m.

Note: OCN received a clarification from Mark Gebhart, deputy director, El Paso County Development Services Department, on our coverage of the WWSD meeting in August. Gebhart told us that the Board of County Commissioners did extend the MGP project.

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The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 8. Meetings are usually held at the district office at 1845 Woodmoor Drive on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. 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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Triview Metropolitan District, Sept. 8: Water loss only 11 percent for July

By Lisa Hatfield

At the Sept. 8 meeting of the Triview Metropolitan District board, the directors discussed unaccounted-for water calculations, road repair planning and the possibility of getting assistance with this from Monument, and the need to not grant exceptions to district policies. They approved a handful of administrative decisions including a drug testing policy and an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Monument for mutual aid in case of emergencies.

Director Marco Fiorito was absent.

No public comments were made during the meeting.

Unaccounted-for water 11 percent, not 37

District Manager Valerie Remington said that the discussion at the August meeting was not accurate and that " 37 percent water loss is not anywhere close to where we really are." She and President Robert Fisher explained that to correctly calculate water loss for the district, pumped water from the prior month’s board packet must be compared to billed water from the current month’s packet so that both statistics for pumped and billed water are for the same month.

She said that in July, the actual unaccounted-for water was only 11 percent, not 37 percent as the August discussion had indicated, and added that this was first time unaccounted-for water was over 10 percent since she started working at Triview. She said it would have been even lower if one meter at the elementary school had not broken. " It’s not extraordinary; it’s very low," Remington said. She said her research showed that nationally, water loss between 10 and 20 percent was considered normal.

To read about three reasons for water loss in the district mentioned by Remington at the August meeting, see www.ocn.me/v15n9.htm#tvmd0811.

Administrative decisions made

The directors unanimously approved the following items:

    • A resolution stating that district staff will grant " no fee waivers, past-dating, or grandfathering of fees" for homeowners and contractors.

    • Kempton Construction’s low bid of $638,000 for the contract to build the new potable water, raw water, and sewage transmission lines at Promontory Pointe. The contract included a relatively large 10 percent contingency plan, since the area is on undeveloped land with rough terrain and " a lot of unknowns." If additional expenses surpass 5 percent, any further expenses would require additional board approval.

    • A drug policy and a random drug testing policy for all district employees in " safety–sensitive" positions.

    • An IGA with Monument stating that in the case of an emergency in either Triview or the town, such as a flash flood, they would coordinate response efforts and share resources such as staff, consultants, or equipment. It will now go to the town for its approval.

Operations and manager’s reports

Remington’s comments included:

    • D4 well outfitting still under way.

    • The Valero (Diamond Shamrock) truck stop at the I-25 Baptist Road intersection will now be included into Triview and will tap into Triview’s potable water system. Valero will abandon the well it currently uses and is already connected to the district’s sanitary sewer. See www.ocn.me/v9n4.htm#tmd.

    • A resident wanted to make a shorter route for his children to get to the bus stop and had requested an exception to the regulation against installing gates into the common area in district-maintained fences. Fisher said the answer was " no" since these exceptions had already been discussed a lot in the past. Remington asked district Attorney Gary Shupp to draw up a resolution regarding fences the board could vote on in the future.

    • Road repairs have been scheduled with a contractor for a cost of $54,000 for " mill and overlay" in 31 spots and " remove and replace" asphalt in five spots.

Vice President Reid Bolander voiced concern that with 28 miles of streets in the district and $500,000 of road repairs needed, a backlog of street maintenance is accumulating. Fisher agreed and said this was why the district is going to develop a road master plan, to decide exactly how to spend $500,000 on roads in 2016.

Fisher said he planned to ask Monument if it would participate and help with the district’s road maintenance plans since " they are doing a good job of planning and executing."

Checks over $5,000

Fisher recommended that a check to A Green Image for $7,165 for weed control application be pulled from the list of checks, because he was concerned that the application killed more than just weeds. The directors unanimously approved these disbursements:

    • JDS Hydro Consultants Inc., Sanctuary Transmission Line − $11,162

    • Mountain Peak Controls Inc., D-4 well progress billing − $13,062

    • DRC Construction Services Inc. CCTV video inspection and cleaning of one-fifth of Triview’s sanitary sewer collection system − $15, 792

    • Applied Ingenuity, first progress payment for D-4 well completion − $201,070

    • John Hurley Asphalt LLC, road repair down payment − $27,000 (added to list during manager’s report)

The meeting went into executive session at 6:11 p.m. to conference with the district’s attorney regarding legal advice on specific legal questions and personnel matters. However, Shupp excused himself before the executive session began, saying Remington could take his place since the three items had already been covered, so Shupp could attend the Monument Board of Trustees meeting scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.

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Triview Metropolitan District board meetings are normally held the second Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. at 16055 Old Forest Point, Suite 300. Information: 488-6868 or see www.colorado.gov/triviewmetro. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 13.

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

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Donald Wescott Fire Protection District, Sept. 15: Wescott swears in new firefighter

By Jennifer Green-Lanchoney

Donald Wescott Fire Protection District’s newest permanent firefighter, Robert Mulroney-Hurd, was sworn in during the Board of Directors meeting Sept. 15. Mulroney-Hurd, who began as a volunteer firefighter, now joins 12 other paid firefighters on the Wescott team.

District Directors Bo McAllister, Harland Baker, Greg Gent and Joyce Hartung were present at the swearing in, as was the executive staff, Chief Vinny Burns and Assistant Chief Scott Ridings. District Director John Fredell was absent.

Annual training event

Station Capt. Sean Pearson led a team of five firefighters to train at the Nassau County Fire Service Training Academy in New York during the last week of June. This was the first out-of-state training exercise for both Wescott and the training academy. Pearson stated that the training event was a huge success, helping firefighters better fight many types of fires with props such as a burn buildings and vehicles. The education was unlike anything they could have received in Colorado, said Pearson. He added that after every burn cycle firefighters discussed their approach, indicating strengths and weaknesses and greatly enhancing firefighting knowledge.

Because the station would like to make this an annual event, Wescott has allocated $51,000 in the projected 2016 training budget. This is a more than 50 percent increase over the amount budgeted for 2015. Another Wescott group is scheduled to go back to the training academy this year.

Administrative

Stacey Popovich, Wescott administrative assistant, explained the current state of financial affairs for the Wescott fire district. The district currently has $1.538 million in total funds. The financial statement was approved unanimously. The August meeting minutes were approved unanimously as well.

Chief’s report

Assistant Chief Ridings gave the August run report, indicating a 30 percent increase in the number of calls received in 2015 over 2014. There were two grassfires and one vehicle fire that resulted in no damage.

2016 budget

Chief Burns brought the proposed 2016 budget to the board for review and approval. Of note, the tax assessor raised the station’s valuation, which comes to the station in the form of a Special Ownership Tax, to $175,000. This is a $20,000 increase over the 2015 tax assessment. With an expected increase in tax revenue and other income, the station expects almost $200,000 in additional funds during 2016.

Burns explained that the additional funds will be used to increase proposed budgets for wildland equipment and gear, salaries, training, and medical benefits. Salaries are expected to increase 7 percent across the board.

Popovich also explained the increase in medical benefit costs. Their previous plan at Rocky Mountain Insurance was increased by $36,000 annually. Popovich began to research other options for the district, choosing the Colorado HealthOp Bison Plan. The Bison Plan increased the cost of medical insurance by $2,400 over last year.

The board requested time to look over the proposed budget, and will re-engage at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

*********

The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors’ next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 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.

Jennifer Green-Lanchoney can be contacted at jengreenlanchoney@ocn.me.

Caption: District Director Greg Gent swears in firefighter Robert Mulroney-Hurd during a Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting Sept. 15. Mulroney-Hurd began as a volunteer firefighter and now joins 12 other paid firefighters on the Wescott team. Photo provided by Jennifer Green-Lanchoney.

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Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, Sept. 23: 2016 draft budget presented; one vacant firefighter position filled

By Lisa Hatfield

The directors of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District discussed the 2015 amended budget, the 2016 draft budget, and approved filling one vacant firefighter position at the Sept. 23 meeting. Franz Hankins was promoted to lieutenant.

President Jake Shirk and Vice President Roger Lance were excused. Secretary Mike Smaldino chaired the meeting.

Promotion ceremony

Fire Chief Chris Truty swore-in Lt. Hankins, who was promoted from firefighter engineer. Hankins’ son Dylan pinned on his father’s new badge.

2015 budget amendments discussed

Truty explained that as usual, there were unanticipated changes in expenses and revenues for the 2015 budget. He summarized by saying that budget revenue for 2015 would probably change from $5.2 million to $5.7 million. He said total expenses would change from $5.1 million to $5.5 million, which would increase the district’s net position for the budget year by $165,000.

The directors will have a public hearing and vote on the amended 2015 budget at the Oct. 28 meeting.

Truty said that property tax assessment values increased 7.9 percent in 2015, but this was short of hoped-for growth. Re-assessments will not be done again until 2017.

One firefighter position filled

Smaldino raised a question about staffing that related to the 2016 budget, which will not be finally approved until December. One of the district’s goals is to gradually increase staffing to levels that meet national standards, as Truty has said in the past. See www.ocn.me/v15n4.htm#tlmfpd0325.

Because the district had a budget surplus for 2015, Smaldino wondered if the district could begin the hiring process for one new firefighter at this meeting instead of waiting until after the 2016 budget was approved. Hiring one new firefighter would offset some overtime expenses incurred now due to minimum staffing requirements, Truty said.

The directors conducted a lengthy discussion of the risks and implications of the decision. The primary concern was that the board would be committing money to an expense that was not yet approved for 2016, although all indications were that the board would approve the 2016 staffing plan that Truty was suggesting, including adding this one new firefighter.

The directors voted unanimously to offer a job to one of the candidates that Deputy Chief Randy Trost had recommended. It would still take 30-60 days for the new firefighter to actually join the district as he still would have to finish the qualification process.

2016 draft budget presented

Truty outlined many choices to be made regarding the 2016 budget in the areas of the operating fund, capital improvements, impact fees, and emergency reserves funds.

The 2016 operating budget was drafted at 7 percent above 2015 budget, or $5.5 million. He said staffing and achieving average wages were the most significant issues, but the district is also making decisions about long-term funding goals, short- and long-term capital replacement plans, and enhanced public safety.

Truty said the main objective for the 2016 budget was to address two competing district goals: increasing staffing and making a significant effort toward improving staff wages, which currently are about 20 percent below average for comparable districts. He said the overwhelming choice of the union would be to improve current wages instead of increasing staffing. The goal was to increase the firefighter base wage by 8 percent starting in 2016. Because of the formula approved at the August meeting, this would mean increases between 1 percent and 20 percent for all staff depending on rank and longevity. See www.ocn.me/v15n9.htm#tlmfpd0826.

He said that the 2016 budget year would have enough funds to cover the restoration of the third firefighter by filling one of the three vacant positions at Station 2, with hopes of filling the last two vacant positions by 2018.

For detailed figures, contact the district, and attend the next several TLMFPD meetings: Wednesday Oct. 28, Tuesday Nov. 17, and Tuesday Dec. 8.

Financial report

Treasurer John Hildebrandt reported that as of Aug. 31, district expenses were under budget by 1.66 percent and ambulance revenues were 4 percent below what was budgeted, but overall revenues were on track. The district’s total cash was $3.7 million in five accounts. The financial report was approved unanimously.

Chief’s report

Truty said that the ambulance billing company the district has been using suffered a catastrophic failure of its computer system and all backups in September. "It looks bleak," he said, adding that the district has signed on with another billing company now and hopes a potential $500,000 in ambulance revenue in limbo right now will not have to be re-billed by the new company.

The TLMFPD crew members Gillette, Hankins, Peters, Vincent, Guerra, and Ayala, deployed to California and Washington to help with firefighting efforts there, have returned. Truty said it gave them excellent training and experience.

The Town of Palmer Lake plans put a mill levy vote on their ballot in November to fund the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department. See www.ocn.me/v15n8.htm#pltc.

Office Administrator Jennifer Martin’s report included updates on all the public relations and community events the TLMFPD crew members assisted with in September, including Muscular Dystrophy Association Fill the Boot fundraiser, ambulance presence at several public events, a flag ceremony on Sept. 11 with the American Legion, assistance with Tri-Lakes Emergency Preparedness Fair at the Church of Latter Day Saints, CPR classes, mitigation assessments, and car seat checks.

The meeting adjourned at 8:01 p.m.

**********

The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28, in the Monument Town Hall at 645 Beacon Lite Road, with station tours open to the public starting at 5 p.m. Meetings are usually held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. For information, contact Jennifer Martin at 719-484-0911.

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

Caption: Dylan pinned on his father Lt. Franz Hankins’s new badge after Fire Chief Chris Truty swore him in at his promotion ceremony on Sept. 23 at the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District meeting. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.

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Woodmoor Improvement Association Board of Directors, Sept. 23: Board approves The Dunes covenants and amendments

By Jackie Burhans

At the Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 23, the board voted to approve the covenants document from La Plata for The Dunes along with amendments.

Covenants for The Dunes approved

Director Mark Ponti reported that WIA lawyer Leonard Rioth and architectural control administrator Bob Pearsall have been meeting with their counterparts in The Dunes over the last three months. They worked on The Dunes’ Project Design Standards Manual (PDSM) which is equivalent to the WIA PDSM with some additions and exceptions. That was voted on and approved earlier this year. The next document agreed upon was the declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions of The Dunes at Woodmoor. This sets forth the covenants and gives the WIA the authority to enforce the covenants including the PDSM approved earlier this year. The WIA board unanimously approved the covenants for The Dune as recommended by the board attorney.

The second document discussed covered amendments to the covenant that takes the original property platted for the Dunes in 1971 for commercial and multi-family use and converts it to single family. Hale explained that a 1999 lawsuit by KAB-Pankey LLC sued and won to allow commercial and multi-family; this document takes that and converts it to single family. A motion was made and approved by the board, with Jennifer Cunningham abstaining.

Hale asked Angela Essing, director of planning for La Plata, to update the board on the timeline for the project. Essing noted that the project was delayed due to the rains so they are hoping to have the roads completed by early March or early spring and then have home construction after that. She noted that it depends on the winter and how quickly we have a hard frost.

Board report highlights

    • A second WIA covenant review meeting was held on Sept. 21. The goal is to remove obsolete clauses, clarify, and bring the covenants up to date. The project is three-fourths complete and will require another one to two meetings before a draft is available for board review.

    • After the Sept. 7 robbery of the Woodmoor Conoco, there have been rumors that one of the solicitors staying at the Ramada Inn was responsible. This was reported to be false, and the robbery is being investigated by the El Paso Sheriff’s Office (EPSO).

    • On Sept. 14 there were reports of criminal trespass and burglary from cars with unlocked doors. A stolen vehicle was crashed in Black Forest, others broken into, and a second vehicle crashed in Cimarron Hills. EPSO is investigating and has pictures of female suspects. If anyone has information, they should contact Detective John Watts at 719-390-5555.

    • The WIA expected to break ground on Sept. 28 for the new Pavilion in the parking lot. It was expected to be completed by Oct. 2, and residents will be able to reserve it for their use.

    • Paving at the parking lot at the Marsh common area on the corner of Woodmoor Drive and Top O’ the Moor has been completed. The paving was necessary to address drainage issues in that area. The lot will be striped for four cars and boulders will be placed along the perimeter.

    • Community Affairs Director Cunningham reported that the new town manager for Monument, who is from Kansas, will be starting on Oct. 1.

    • Community events include the University of Colorado Health mobile mammography bus, the Pink Life Saver, at the Pikes Peak Brewing Co. on Sept. 27 with a new brew, a "Bear 4 Boobies" prickly pear saison brewed by the ladies of PPBC.

    • Cunningham noted that the annual Kiwanis Empty Bowl Dinner will be held at Lewis-Palmer High School on Oct. 7. This event costs $20 and raises money for Tri-Lakes Cares.

**********

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 Oct. 21. WIA board meeting minutes can be found at: http://www.woodmoor.org/content/admin-bod-meeting-minutes.html once approved and posted.

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

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September Weather Wrap

By Bill Kappel

September was a mild and mainly dry month. This was quite a contrast to the pattern we’ve seen since May. However, September is a transition season for the Front Range and will often be at one extreme or the other, either very wet or very dry. Remember 2013 when most of the region received record rainfall and devastating flooding. This year, temperatures were about 8°F warmer than normal, with barely a tenth of an inch of rainfall (normal is closer to 2 inches). September 2010 was very similar, with a monthly total of 0.11 inch of rainfall, so the dry, warm weather this month isn’t unprecedented.

One of the few periods of wet weather occurred during the first few days of the month as afternoon thunderstorms developed on the 1st and 3rd. These produced brief rain showers. No precipitation fell from the 4th through the 21st, an exceptionally long period of dry weather for us. Of course, we have been very wet since May, so there are no issues with drought even with this extended stretch of dry weather. Temperatures were also well above normal during this period. Highs consistently reached into the upper 70s to mid-80s through the period, 5-10 degrees warmer than normal for mid September. The clear skies and longer nights allowed overnight temperatures to cool to about normal, with most morning seeing lows in the 40s and even a few 30s in the colder spots.

Although fall officially began on Sept. 23, it still felt like summer. Temperatures were again above normal during the week of Sept. 21, with highs in the upper 70s to mid-80s. Overnight lows bounced between mild low 50s and more fall-like upper 30s. Once again we were mainly dry, with one brief area of rain showers during the overnight hours of the 23rd. Interestingly, this moisture was associated with remnant tropical moisture from a tropical system that moved through the Gulf of California and desert Southwest. With the exception of the afternoon of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd, when this storm was affecting the region, skies were basically sunny the entire week.

Relatively cooler air did finally move in during the end of the month, with a cold front pushing through around 5 p.m. on the 28th. This brought gusty winds, clouds, and a few light showers to the area. Low clouds and fog greeted many of us the next morning. And with the higher levels of moisture in the region, a few thunderstorms developed early that afternoon. Rain showers were again brief, however, barely producing measureable amounts of rain. Highs dropped back to normal levels, in the mid- to upper 60s, but of course this felt much cooler because we had been so warm for so long.

A look ahead

October can be an active weather month for the Tri-Lakes region with snowy conditions often experienced by the end of the month. Most years, we are greeted by a good snowfall around Halloween, and after a warm and dry September, we could be in for a good storm this year. Remember the 6-15 inches of snow that fell during 2004 from Halloween night through Nov. 1. Snow can be heavy at times during any part of October as when over 20 inches of snow fell Oct. 9-10 in 2005 and 2006 saw over 24 inches of snow fall in less than 24 hours on Oct. 26. And more recently, nearly 10 inches fell on Oct. 8, so get those snow plows ready. Of course, the weather can also be very dry and mild, so enjoy those sunny days when you can.

September 2015 Weather Statistics

Average High 79.4° (+7.2) 100-year return frequency value max 77.5° min 63.5°

Average Low 45.2° (+4.5) 100-year return frequency value max 46.7° min 36.1°

Monthly Precipitation 0.11" (-1.83")

100-year return frequency value

max 4.34" min 0.40"

Monthly Snowfall 0.0" (-0.5")

Highest Temperature 86° on the 13th

Lowest Temperature 33° on the 20th

Season to Date Snow 0.0" (-0.5", 100% below normal) (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)

Season to Date Precip. 6.76" (-1.41", 17% below normal) (the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)

Heating Degree Days 98 (-159)

Cooling Degree Days 17 (+12)

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 are on page 31.

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

Former superintendent supports four

One of the critical marks of a healthy, productive, and progressive community is the quality of the schools. We’re blessed in our community to have one of the best school districts in the state and one that is also recognized in the nation as a high-performing school district.

I am proud to have been a part of the legacy of teachers, staff, administrators, and school board members who have pursued the mission of excellence over the years. This didn’t happen by accident but rather by those directly involved with the children in the schools as well as the intentional, purposeful, and thoughtful organizational planning of the school board members to give our students those experiences that would best prepare them for success in life.

This November, we have an opportunity to continue this tradition of excellence by participating in the election of school board members committed to our community and to our students. I am supporting the campaign of Mr. Pfoff, Mrs. Hawkins, Mr. Clawson, and Mr. Beasley. My experiences with them give me the trust that decisions regarding budget, curriculum, hiring, and other school district issues will be done with the best interests of students in mind. Each of these candidates has children in our schools, participates in school functions such as PTOs and Accountability Committees, and accentuates the positive direction of the district while looking for ways to improve the educational experiences for our students.

Join me in voting for the Pfoff, Hawkins, Clawson, Beasley team of school board candidates to ensure that the momentum of excellence continues well into the future.

Ted Bauman

School board listens to community

We are lucky to be served by Lewis-Palmer School District 38. As a transplant to Monument, I have known about the excellence of LP since high school. In college I would meet LP alumni that were well-prepared, organized, hard-working, and knowledgeable of the world around them. This is a positive reflection on both the community and district.

There are many aspects that come together to make a great school district. First are high expectations from the community and great families. Second are dedicated and inspiring teachers, administrators, and support staff.

The third part that holds many districts back from the level we experience is the school board. We are lucky to have a board in place that balances a world-class education with a fiscally responsible budget. This is a board that listens to its community. A board that sits down with staff to seek solutions. A board that celebrates excellence in the classroom and community while striving to improve where it can. It is a board whose children have an excellent education from this district and who ensure that future generations receive the same opportunities for which we are known.

Our current board acts in the best interest of our students. As a result they run one of the best school districts in Colorado. This November I will be voting for Beasley, Clawson, Hawkins, and Pfoff. They are an outstanding group of citizens that know why we are here—for the good of our children.

Tom Chapman

Lani Moore for school board

I am writing to urge conservatives to come out in force this November to elect Lani Moore to District 38’s school board. I have met Lani and can say that she is the unapologetic conservative choice for District 38.

Lani wants to increase student privacy, family rights, and the taxpayers’ standing in budgeting decisions. She does not hesitate to say that the district has not done enough to explain where money is being spent or justify the current amount of student fees families face every fall and she is running to establish policies to fix that.

I appreciate the way Lani is not afraid to openly state her desire to fight Common Core and respect the attitudes and values of our conservative community in curriculum decisions.

Please support our students, teachers and taxpayers with your vote for Lani Moore. She cannot do this alone, so be sure to vote for the other conservative candidates, Sarah Sampayo and Gordon Reichal.

Bruce Clark

Put education above ideology

This school board election is more important than most; it will decide the direction of Lewis-Palmer for the next four years.

One group of candidates—Kris Beasley, Matt Clawson, Sherri Hawkins and Mark Pfoff—is committed to sticking with the policies and best practices that have made the Lewis-Palmer School District so successful in the last decade. There’s no denying the district is one of the best: it has the highest on-time graduation rate in the state, is near the top in testing scores, has been on the Advanced Placement program honor role for four years (one of only 17 in the country to do this), and has been Accredited with Distinction for several years. In addition to this record of academic excellence, the district’s finances are in great shape: budgets balanced for the last six years, all audits clean, and a high bond rating that means tax dollars go to education not interest payments.

The other group of candidates—Lani Moore, Gordon Reichel, and Sarah Sampayo—seems much more focused on their political and personal agendas than on education, judging by their Facebook posts, letters to the editor, comments to the school board, and meet-and-greet presentations. Their strategy revolves around divisive hot-button issues that often have little relevance to what’s really going on in the Lewis-Palmer district.

We don’t have to look far to see the chaos that ideological school board majorities bring. In Jefferson County the conservative majority on the school board is currently being recalled by voters who don’t like the way they ran the district. In Douglas County, the taxpayers are financing a lawsuit, now on its way to the Supreme Court, that uses the district’s families as lab rats in an experiment on vouchers.

I hope you will join me in voting for candidates that will put education above ideology.

Micheale Duncan

Four candidates value school district

As parents, teachers, and community members of the Lewis-Palmer School District (LPSD), we feel compelled to share our thoughts regarding the election for the LPSD Board of Education.

We are very proud of District 38. Like so many in our community, we made a choice to move here because of the tradition of excellence in the Lewis-Palmer schools. We know firsthand from our triangular ownership in LPSD (parents, teachers, and taxpayers), that we have an incredible school district! Like most, we treasure how truly special LPSD is.

Unfortunately, there is a small undercurrent of individuals who do not feel the same about LPSD.

These individuals refuse to recognize anything positive about a district well-known as one of the best in Colorado. We feel hurt and confused when members of this vocal minority attempt to denigrate the district. They want to force radical change to promote a narrow agenda and irrational fears. Their ideas undermine public education, change curriculum, disrespect teachers, ignore our tradition of excellence, and serve others outside our community. Such negativity doesn’t serve the needs of our students.

Fortunately, there are individuals on the ballot that recognize that LPSD is extraordinary. They understand how to work with the community, administration, teachers, and staff to provide the best education possible for students. They understand that LPSD, like any organization, is not perfect.

However, these candidates are excited about our district, its history of excellence, our students, and our future. They have the skills to lead the district to even greater success without "throwing out the baby with the bathwater."

We love this community and its school district. Join us in support of candidates whose actions show that truly care about LPSD. Cast your ballot for Kris Beasley, Matthew Clawson, Sherry Hawkins, and Mark Pfoff for the LPSD school board.

Cynthia and Raleigh "Butch" Eversole

Continue school district’s commitment and values

Lewis-Palmer School District has an excellent record of supporting, advocating, and keeping children as their number one priority. As a parent, community member for 37 years, and principal for 12 in this district, I want to see this commitment and value system continue for all children.

Mark Pfoff, Sherri Hawkins, and Kris Beasley have dedicated themselves in providing support to our community. Both Sherri and Mark have served us well as existing board members, and Kris has been active as a member of the District Safety & Security and Accountability Committees. Their dedication and record speak loudly to what they are all about. Matt Clawson, a parent of four children in our district may be new, but I was impressed with his experience with working with the Boy Scouts of America Council and the Boys/Girls Clubs of America. He too is an advocate for kids.

A vote for these candidates would clearly mean continuing the culture of doing what is best for our children, teachers, and community. I endorse these folks as they "walk the talk."

Julie Jadomski

Who’s who on the ballot

As a District 38 parent, I believe voters should know who’s who when those school board ballots arrive:

The union is recommending Mark Pfoff, Kris Beasley, and Sherri Hawkins. The union is openly opposing Sarah Sampayo, Gordon Reichal, and Lani Moore.

Diane MacPherson

Don’t return to dysfunction

Beginning in mid-October, citizens of the Tri-Lakes Community will vote in an election that is arguably more important than any other election in our nation; we will elect four people to serve on the District-38 Board of Education. We will be voting on the future of our children.

Eight years ago I was elected to the board, the first of two terms. Prior to that election, the board was very divided and dysfunctional. While those five volunteers were outstanding individuals, solid members of the community, and very successful in private life, they were unable to work beyond their differing viewpoints, and thus unable to function as a unified board.

As a result, superintendent turnover was excessive, and expensive; budget management lacked direction, and operational debt soared. District leadership was distracted and not as supportive of our employees as it should have been. Student performance was quite good, but it fell short of potential.

Our board goals over the past eight years have been simple. Work together, tell the truth, trust each other, and be willing to compromise. And today, our district is doing exceedingly well. We are at or near the top of every performance metric out there. Employee retention and morale is extremely high. The budget is balanced, and reserve accounts are healthy. We have a world-class superintendent who leads a dynamic staff.

During the last eight years, the community has repeatedly elected a board that was committed to working as a team. We have supported those who work with our kids each and every day—our employees. Despite the challenges of budget cuts and economic recession, we all kept a singular goal in mind—doing what’s best for kids. It would make no sense to return to the dysfunction of eight years ago with this election.

So please join me in supporting our kids by voting for Kris Beasley, Matt Clawson, Sherri Hawkins, and Mark Pfoff in the upcoming election.

John Mann

Apologies to Mann

My apologies to D-38 Board Vice President John Mann. In a previous letter I stated that all five members of the current board were originally appointed, when in fact Mr. Mann was elected in November 2007.

Melinda Zark

Is this the end of the D-38 school system?

We have been fortunate to have one of the best school districts in Colorado. However, if the current union-backed board members, Sherri Hawkins, Kris Beasley, and Mark Pfoff, are re-elected to the school board, then the district will lose its special status as a top-ranking school district.

The reasons for the decline are clear. Local control and school choice will be replaced by federal educational mandates. The most threatening mandate is Common Core. Common Core testing, curriculum, and textbooks emanate from the Department of Education. This top down, one-size-fits-all approach to education will lead to the loss of local control. A homogenized educational system will make school choice meaningless. Our schools will be nothing more than educational hubs of D.C.

Concerned members of the community have tried to work with the current school board to fight against Common Core. We thought we had the school board on our side. Last February, the board issued a letter to the community opposing Common Core. This letter was a hollow gesture. Since then, the school board has complied with every Common Core demand. When community members have expressed their concerns, the board played the "we will lose our state funding if we don’t comply" canard.

Last spring, many parents opted their children out of Common Core testing. Community members asked the school board to notify more parents about the opt-out option. The board not only refused, but sent out letters encouraging participation.

To stop the federal takeover of our schools, it is imperative that we elect Sarah Sampayo, Gordon Reichal, and Lani Moore, each of whom have pledged to do their utmost to stop Common Core and to preserve local control and school choice to maintain our great D-38 school district.

Michael O’Hare

A Code of Ethics

I recommend each candidate for the D-38 Board of Education election agree to this Code of Ethics. 1) Decisions must be made by the board as a whole, allowing diverse opinion to be publically expressed by board members, 2) Focus board action on policymaking, goal setting, planning, and evaluation while delegating authority for the administration of D-38 to the superintendent, 3) Make policy decisions only after full and transparent financial and impact discussions with public participation, 4) Decisions are based on facts and are not surrendered to insiders, unions, or special groups, 5) Promise to inform themselves about educational issues by individual study and participation in state and national school boards associations before voting, 6) Make certain the board remains accountable to the community, 7) Remember always that our greatest concern is the educational welfare and academic performance of all the students at all schools.

With these ethical standards, elections can be based on a candidate’s vision for the future. I ask for your vote to implement these standards of conduct for the D-38 school board. As to the above, I do so promise and I hope all candidates will agree as well. Pay it forward!

Gordon O. Reichal

Re: Unaccounted-for water 37 percent?

Reid Bolander and Triview Metro District are perplexed by the stealing of water? Oh my goodness. Why does every Jackson Creek resident know what’s going on but the vice president does not? It is not leaky pipes, it is not open space irrigation, it is not new houses prior to meters. ... It is Classic, Vantage and the other builders tapping into fire hydrants and filling their 10,000 gallon water trucks several times a day!

Yes, I have seen it with my own eyes by Promontory Point near Saber Creek Drive. Mystery solved! Now you don’t need to hire another $250,000 per year water expert!

Don Russo

Editor’s note: At the Sept. 8 Triview meeting, District Manager Valerie Remington said unaccounted-for water was 11 percent. See related Triview article.

Remember Chief Truty’s projections

I would like to remind Palmer Lake voters of a quote in July 2015 OCN:

"… [TLMFPD Chief] Truty said that over the past months, the discussion of projected revenues and expenditures for capital projects and operations indicate annual shortfalls from $2.1 million to $3.5 million per year, including annual budget increases but excluding a training center. He said the total mill levy increase required to cover all the projected costs could be from 4.5 to almost 9 mills with an average of about 6.75 mills. The current mill levy is 11.5 …."

On Nov. 3, 2015, the Town of Palmer Lake will be voting on a ballot issue to raise property taxes by 10 mills in support of Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department. Before anybody votes "no" to 10 mills this November, with an expectation of voting to join TLMFPD next year for 11.5 mills, Chief Truty’s projections should be considered, because if we become part of Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, we’d also become part of their annual shortfalls at an additional cost of up to 9 mills (or 11.5 + 9 = 20.5 mills)—possibly more once Palmer Lake were included.

I hope Palmer Lake voters will keep these thoughts in mind when voting on the mail-in ballot coming soon.

Bob Wickham

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Between the Covers at Covered Treasures Bookstore: Books you’ll want to talk about

By the staff at Covered Treasures

If you’re in a book club, these titles may be intriguing to you. These selections are book club favorites for their many facets and issues ripe for discussion.

The Plover

By Brian Doyle (Picador US) $16

Declan O’Donnell has sailed deep into the vast, wild ocean, having finally had "enough" of other people and their problems. He will go it alone. He will be beholden to and beloved of no one. But fate soon presents him with a string of odd, entertaining, and dangerous passengers, who become companions of every sort and stripe. The Plover is the story of their adventures and misadventures in the immense blue country one of them calls "Pacifica." Hounded by a mysterious enemy, Declan’s lonely boat is eventually crammed with humor, argument, tension, and a resident herring gull. This is a sea novel, a maritime adventure, the story of a cold man melting, a compendium of small miracles, an elegy to Edmund Burke—and a heartfelt celebration of life’s surprising paths, planned and unplanned.

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster Inc.) $27

Marie-Laure is a young blind girl living in France during World War II, and Werner is a German orphan who serves as a Nazi radio specialist. On a special assignment to track the resistance, Werner passes through Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the way, against all odds, people try to be good to one another, in this deeply moving and beautifully written novel.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

By Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill) $14.95

A.J. Fikry’s life is not what he expected it to be. He lives alone and his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history. But when a mysterious, unexpected arrival appears at the bookstore, it gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. This novel references fine literature, with an excerpt from one of Fikry’s favorite works at the beginning of each chapter. His love of books and bookish people and, really, all of humanity, comes through in this endearing story of redemption and transformation.

Our Souls at Night

By Kent Haruf (Alfred A. Knopf) $24

Kent Haruf’s latest—and last—novel is a spare, yet eloquent, bittersweet, yet inspiring, story that reveals quiet, often heartbreaking truths about regret and growing old; and it is the way this short book ends that has many Haruf fans debating whether or not this was his preferred ending. In the familiar setting of Holt, Colo., Louis and Addie, both widowed, familiar to each other, yet not close enough to be considered friends—meet each evening at her house. Their brave adventures—their pleasures and their difficulties—are hugely involving and truly resonant, making this the perfect final installment to this beloved writer’s enduring contribution to American literature.

Last Train to Paris

By Michele Zackheim (Europa Editions) $16

This historical novel set in the 1930s centers on Rose Manon, a small-town girl who spent her youth dreaming of a more exciting life. When she learns of an opening for a staff reporter in New York City, she heads east to pursue her dreams. Rose’s ambitions take her to Paris and Berlin where she leads a charmed life until the Third Reich gains momentum and influence. Rose finds herself caught in an inescapable web of terror, and decades later, she must come to terms with the consequences of a heart-wrenching decision that changes the course of her life.

The Children Act

By Ian McEwan (Anchor Books) $15

Fiona Maye is a leading English High Court judge who presides over cases in the family division and is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude, and sensitivity. At the same time she is dealing with regrets and a crisis in her personal life, she is called on to try an urgent case: Adam, a beautiful 17-year-old boy, is refusing for religious reasons the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely expressed faith? Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.

Some books, like these, beg to be discussed. Enjoy the reading, as well as the ensuing conversation! Until next month, happy reading.

October library events: Learn about nocturnal animals

By Harriet Halbig

Family programs

The Family Fun activity for October is Creatures of the Night. Come to the library from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3 to learn about such animals as bats, snakes, insects, and others. Learn how nocturnal animals have different features and behaviors that allow them to be active at night. There will be an owl and a few other creatures to show their adaptations. This program is presented by Nature’s Educators of Aurora.

The annual Pumpkin Day program at the library will be Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 10:30. There will be no 11:15 story time on that day so children can listen to Bengetta Chapman explain the life cycle of pumpkins, read pumpkin stories, and decorate pumpkins with stick-on features.

Legos Club will meet from 10 to 11:30 on Saturday, Oct. 17. You bring your imagination and we will provide the Legos. All parts remain the property of the library.

The October Homeschool program will be a presentation about Pikes Peak Library District resources available to students of all ages. Did you know that your children can access a free tutor on any of their subjects? Learn a foreign language without having to purchase books or CDs? The library offers many sources of help for the home-schooler. Join us on Monday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 2.

The Fourth Friday Kid’s Crafts program on Friday, Oct. 23 will be making a giant stuffed paper pumpkin. No registration required.

Teen and tween programs

AfterMath free math tutoring continues on Mondays from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Experienced math tutors assist students of all ages and grade levels. Drop in for help with your math questions. No appointment required.

Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 3:30 to 5 to learn how to make kumihimo bracelets. Learn this braiding craft and make a bracelet for yourself or a gift. There is no charge and all materials are provided, but registration is required. This is an intergenerational program.

Adult programs

Sheriff John Anderson will be at the library on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 1:30 to 3 to offer a presentation on the cultural and historical significance of the Ute Prayer Tree in the Pikes Peak region, followed by a signing of his recently published book on the topic. No registration is necessary.

The Monumental Readers will meet on Friday, Oct. 16 from 10 to noon to discuss Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.

On the walls of the library in October will be watercolors by Steven Schmidt.

Palmer Lake Library events

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

The October Family Fun program on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 10:30 a.m., will be Skins and Skulls.

This is a program about mammals found on the eastern plains of Colorado: where they live, what they eat and how to look for them. Skins and skulls from these animals will help identify them and their habitat. You will learn from the skulls and teeth what kinds of things the animals eat and whether they are predator or prey. Presented by Susan Permut, volunteer naturalist at Castlewood Canyon State Park and a resident of Red Rock Ranch.

Celebrate Halloween with Not So Scary Stories on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 4:30 p.m. Come for fun and lots of laughs. Costumes are welcome but not required. This program is best for those 4 years and older.

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

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Palmer Lake Historical Society: Hundreds Enjoy Estemere Community Event

Almost 700 people enjoyed a sunny fall day on September 12th as they toured Estemere Mansion, the "pearl of Palmer Lake," enjoyed great food and music, attended programs on local historical subjects, and met with representatives of local history and art groups. Estemere is a Victorian Mansion built in the 1880’s by Dr. Findlay Thompson, a founder of Palmer Lake, and lovingly restored by Roger and Kim Ward, the current owners. Periodically, the Ward’s open their home to the public and allow the Palmer Lake Historical Society to sponsor tours of the Mansion and surrounding buildings.

Self-guided tours of Estemere were held throughout the day with the assistance of numerous Docents in period costumes who helped create the atmosphere of the 1800s. The Monument Home Makers held a bake sale, while NT Sliders sold authentic Native American tacos and fry bread. The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts and the Palmer Lake Art Group sponsored art exhibits, and the Palmer Lake Historical Society sponsored an information table and book sale. Music was provided throughout the day by local musicians Cellist Steve Fuhrmann and Folk Singer Nicholas Davey. The small Chapel building was continuously overflowing as visitors attended programs about the Palmer Lake Star presented by Jack Anthony, owners of Estemere from 1883 to 2015 presented by Dan Edwards, Ute Prayer Trees of the Pikes Peak Region presented by John Anderson, and viewed historic photos from the book, "Communities of the Palmer Divide," presented by Kim Braun.

Our thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the day a success, especially the D-38 Key Club members who provided invaluable support. A special thanks to the Wards for allowing us to use their home for this Community event.

On September 17th, over 40 people skipped the Broncos game to attend an enthusiastic and informative program by local historian John Stansfield about Enos Mills, the resident of Estes Park most responsible for the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park. Stansfield, in the persona of Mills, gave a brief history of Mills’ early life and the events and people who influenced his desire to learn about and ultimately champion the cause of preservation of Colorado’s natural beauty, especially the area around Estes Park. Stansfield’s portrayal was so convincing it was hard at times to separate the historian from his subject. After tracing the highlights of Mills’ transformation into a crusader to "protect the scenery," Stansfield closed with Mills’ describing the long and arduous journey and the efforts by notables and ordinary citizens that ultimately resulted in legislation being passed by Congress designating the area surrounding Estes Park as Rocky Mountain National Park.

On October 15th, join the Palmer Lake Historical Society at 7:00 pm at Palmer Lake Town Hall as local historian Dave Wallace describes the highlights of the life of George Washington, the Father of our Country. Wallace assumes the persona of Washington, both in dress and spirit, as he takes us through Washington’s exploits and ultimately his selection as the first President of this new Nation. Admission is free.

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Art Matters: Fall into the art of the outdoors

By Janet Sellers

October is officially Arts Month in the Pikes Peak region. Our Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPR) champions this annual celebration to highlight the visibility and the value of the arts for all of us, and it’s closely connected to October as National Arts and Humanities Month. I hope we can all get out and enjoy Arts Month this year—make some, purchase some, enjoy some local art. Besides great memories, local art is an heirloom treasure that lasts generations.

Let’s take in the local art and artist scene with gusto as it’s our last chance this month to grab some outdoor art fun and not have to wear ski clothes to stay warm or watch our watercolors freeze before our eyes. On the plus side, there will be fewer bugs in the outdoors as it gets colder. Yes, some of us still paint outdoors in cold weather, even snow.

My fellow plein air painters around the state and here in town have enjoyed many warm months of this special outdoor style of dynamic painting called plein air painting. There is nothing else in the art world with such a fresh, dynamic feel to the realistic, peinture sur le motif "painting what the eye actually sees" as in these works, vs. the pre-planned studio style of a pre-determined look.

It wasn’t until the invention of the paint tube in the 1840s that working outdoors became quite popular. This painting tradition requires works to be started and finished outdoors (studio finishes are frowned upon). The immediacy of the paint strokes must be handled well, and quickly—artists must pack up on the fly when chased by a storm!

Be a plein air art lover—our fall colors will peak early this year, so let’s get out and enjoy colors!

October art indoors:

Bella Art and Frame Gallery’s Oct. 1-31 group art exhibit is titled, "Miniature Fine Art Show" featuring art in miniature; opening reception Oct. 9, 6-9 p.m., 183 Washington St., Monument.

Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TCLA) exhibit "From the Earth" continues through October. It is an exhibit of fine art in wood, with some amazing and rare woods, in a variety of functional and fine art forms.

TCLA Call for Artists: a current member and resident artist call. Artists may sign up now as member artists to be in this show. Artists may submit up to five works for free, and accepted artists may submit bin art. Oct. 16 is the deadline for entries. TCLA, 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake.

Janet Sellers is a local artist, art teacher, and Mini-cine/online video maker. Her art and sculptures are on exhibit locally and all over Colorado. Sellers can be reached at janetsellers@ocn.me

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Snapshots of Our Community

Historical Society hosts Estemere Tour

by Jackie Burhans

The Palmer Lake Historical Society (PLHS) hosted a tour of Estemere on Saturday, Sept. 12 in Palmer Lake. Estemere is a fully restored Victorian mansion built in the 1880s. Owners Kim and Ralph Ward opened their home for the first time in five years for this PLHS fundraiser. Over 650 people attended the event and enjoyed a self-guided tour with docents and volunteers from the D-38 key club and Lewis-Palmer High School social studies National Honor Society Rho Kappa in Victorian period clothing. Additional information on Estemere and PLHS can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/ofjl9wh.

Caption: Richard Cooper, a Palmer Lake Historical Society member, who volunteered to be a docent for the Estemere tour. Photo by Al Walter.

Caption: Sherry Enterline of The Legendary Ladies group from Denver greeted attendees at the entrance of the tour. Photo courtesy of Jackie Burhans

Author presents lecture on mining trails

by David Futey

On Sept. 10, author Lee Whiteley gave a presentation on the Cherokee and Smoky Hill Trails used by prospectors and others to reach the Pikes Peak area gold fields and beyond at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. The Cherokee Trail was a route from the Sante Fe Trail in the Arkansas Valley and Old Bent’s Fort through Denver and onto Fort Bridger, Wyo. In the present-day Colorado Springs area, the trail from Pueblo came through Fountain, then eventually trended along Meridian Road in the Black Forest and onto Russellville. Remnants of the trail are visible at certain locations.

Caption: Guest lecturer Lee Whiteley (third from left) is joined by museum volunteers Ken Aron, Betty Chastain, Bill Kathmann, Executive Director Richard Sauers, and museum board member Jeff Tapparo at the opening of the Buck O’Donnell art exhibit. Whiteley talked about the Smoky Hill and Cherokee trails taken by prospectors to reach the Pikes Peak area gold fields in the 1850-60s. Photo by David Futey.

The Tri-Lakes Emergency Preparedness Fair, Sep. 12

by Jackie Burhans

The Tri-Lakes Emergency Preparedness Fair was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Monument on Saturday Sept. 12. Community members hosted demonstration booths on ham radio operation and education, first aid, fire/police department, emergency sanitation, water safety, safe food storage, and more with samples of foods prepared from food storage rations. Recipes can be found at http://tinyurl.com/p2orpkm.

Caption: Organizers Vicki Kay, left, and Holly Heath. Photo by Jackie Burhans

Haunted Mines at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry through Oct. 31

by David Futey

Caption: The Haunted Mines opened on Sept. 18 for its 9th season of Halloween scare and terror for those who "are up for the challenge." Located at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry, the haunt ‘scares because they care’ with a portion of the proceeds going to the museum, Donald Wescott Fire Department and other non-profits. The recommended age is 12 and above and those who enter should be prepared to ride the Descender Hoist, enter the haunted cemetery, crawl through the vent shaft, and make their way through mazes and mining themed areas. The Haunted Mines runs through Oct. 31. Information on its operating hours and to purchase tickets is at www.hauntedmines.org. Photos provided courtesy of the Western Museum of Mining & Industry.

RMMA back home to perform in the Tri-Lakes area. Next concert Nov. 21.

Caption: Rocky Mountain Music Alliance (RRMA) opened its ninth concert season with a Beethoven Sonata concert at the Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church on Sept. 20. Filip Fenrych, a dazzling violinist, was a gold medal winner of Crescendo Music Awards and the Entergy Young Texas Artist in Texas. Dr. Zahari Metchkov, at the piano, is originally from Sofia, Bulgaria. He is RMMA’s artistic director and is on the faculty at Colorado State University Pueblo. RMMA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to provide for the enjoyment of classical music in the Tri-Lakes region and to support the study of classical music. They bring world-acclaimed musicians to Colorado several times each year to perform chamber music in intimate settings. Contributions may be sent to RMMA at 15954 Jackson Creek Parkway, Suite B, PMB #215, Monument, CO, 80132. The next concert, "The Piano Concerto Night," will be Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. See http://rmmaonline.org or call (719) 630-8165 for more information. Photo by RMMA President Coleen Abeyta.

Don’t Be a Zombie" Run, Sept. 26

Caption: Rocky Mountain Music Alliance (RRMA) opened its ninth concert season with a Beethoven Sonata concert at the Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church on Sept. 20. Filip Fenrych, a dazzling violinist, was a gold medal winner of Crescendo Music Awards and the Entergy Young Texas Artist in Texas. Dr. Zahari Metchkov, at the piano, is originally from Sofia, Bulgaria. He is RMMA’s artistic director and is on the faculty at Colorado State University Pueblo. RMMA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to provide for the enjoyment of classical music in the Tri-Lakes region and to support the study of classical music. They bring world-acclaimed musicians to Colorado several times each year to perform chamber music in intimate settings. Contributions may be sent to RMMA at 15954 Jackson Creek Parkway, Suite B, PMB #215, Monument, CO, 80132. The next concert, "The Piano Concerto Night," will be Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. See http://rmmaonline.org or call (719) 630-8165 for more information. Photo by RMMA President Coleen Abeyta.

Don’t Be a Zombie" Run, Sept. 26

Caption: Fionn Miller, left, spun the wheel and answered questions about his own emergency plans at the American Red Cross Disaster Relief booth at the 2015 Zombie Run. El Paso County Parks hosted the second annual "Be Prepared…Don’t Be a Zombie" Run Sept. 26 at Fox Run Regional Park to help showcase the need for all residents to develop their own family and workplace emergency preparedness plans. For example, Ben Bills of www.ElPasoTeller911.org advised citizens to give their physical address right away when calling 9-1-1 with a cell phone. Other entities presenting information, games, demonstrations, and prizes included the Pikes Peak Firefighters Association Emergency Services Rehab trailer, El Paso County Public Health, El Paso County Office of Emergency Management Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), American Medical Response (AMR), and El Paso County HAZMAT team. See www.pikespeakzombierun.com/emergency-preparedness.html for lots and lots more information. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.

Brewery wins People’s Choice Award

Caption: Representatives from Pikes Peak Brewery proudly show the plaque they won as the People’s Choice Award at the Sept. 19 Bines and Brews event held in Limbach Park, Monument. Photo by Debbie Galle.

Gleneagle Sertoma Held Golf Tournament

Caption: Gleneagle Sertoma held its 14th Annual Patriot Golf Tournament on Sept. 14 at Kissing Camels Golf Club. The tournament honors our local patriots representing Fort Carson, the Air Force Academy, Peterson AFB, and local police and firefighters. The proceeds benefit Home Front Cares and other local charities. Pictured are two Sertomans, Garrett Barton, left, and Bob Duckworth manning the registration table. An after-tournament buffet luncheon was held for the golfers who participated. Photos courtesy of Gleneagle Sertoma.

Bridge to (almost) Nowhere

Caption: SEMA Construction installed sixteen 145-foot bridge girders on the new West Baptist Road bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Monument Creek in August. The bridge is west of I-25 and east of the new Forest Lakes development, which will eventually include about 475 homes. According to Dave Rose, El Paso County public information officer, tax-payer funding for the $13.16 million Baptist Road West Improvement project, which also includes a roundabout at Old Denver Road, was provided by the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority ($11.4 million), Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority ($750,000) and grant funding through the Department of Local Affairs ($1 million). Photo by Lisa Hatfield.

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Our Community Notices

By Judy Barnes, Events Editor

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

Wednesday Senior Lunch at Big Red

Oct. 7: Raspberry chipotle chicken, roasted potatoes, salad.
Oct. 14: Chili, salad, Fritos
Oct. 21: Lemon chicken over rice, salad
Oct. 28: Meat loaf, potato bake, salad
Rolls and butter are served with each meal except sandwiches. Dessert is also provided.

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

Regional Transportation Plan comments due Oct. 9

The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) has released its draft Moving Forward 2040 Regional Transportation Plan for public review and comment through Oct. 9. The plan establishes the vision and goals for transportation within the region and identifies existing and future needs, and is based on three years of research on the current state of transportation and land use, as well as previous citizen input and PPACG Board guidance. Read the plan at: www.movingforwardplan.org, send your comments to travel@ppacg.org.

Volunteers needed for weed removal

The Palmer Lake Noxious Weeds Eradication Team seeks volunteers to help remove noxious weeds; come help one or all the events! Volunteers meet the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, 8-11 a.m. Bring gloves and wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy shoes, and a hat. Dates: Oct. 10 & 24. Volunteers meet at Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent, Palmer Lake. For more information, phone 481-2953 (then press 0), or www.townofpalmerlake.com.

Crafters and Artisans for the Pine Creek Bazaar, Nov. 7

The Pine Creek High School Band is looking for vendors to participate in the 18th Annual Pine Creek Holiday Bazaar on Nov. 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The bazaar benefits the Pine Creek High School Instrumental Music Program. Pricing and registration information can be found at the bazaar’s website, www.pcbandboosters.com/bazaar.html.

Black Forest Together (BFT) needs volunteers; Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

BFT is searching for team leads, work team members, volunteer work groups, resource center office volunteers, and donations so that they can help residents of burned areas of Black Forest do cleanup and mitigation of their properties. Workers are needed Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in October and through Nov. 21, weather permitting. For more information, please contact Donna, 495-2445, BlackForestTogether@gmail.com, or come by the Resource Center at 11590 Black Forest Rd., Suite 30, in the Forest Plaza Center Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Handbell ringers needed

The Tri-Lakes Community Handbell Choir based in Monument needs ringers, high school and adult, (especially guys), and preferably experienced. If you are interested, please contact Betty Jenik, 488-3853

Tri-Lakes men’s a cappella singing group forming

Singers are wanted for a unique men’s singing group that will feature close harmony, a cappella singing, somewhat in the style of the Four Freshmen and Vocal Majority. For more information, call John Hobson at 368-7833, or Phil Zara, 481-3197.

Monument School of Fine Arts, enroll now

Art and movie classes for kids and adults, every skill level. Join award-winning art classes for traditional art and painting instruction. For more information, contact Janet Sellers, 387-1890, www.JanetSellers.com.

SunDance Studio Fall registration is open

Register now for dance and fitness classes for toddler through adult, gymnastics, tumbling, cheer, and more. 1450 Cipriani Loop, Monument. For more information, contact 481-8208, www.thesundancestudio.com.

Monument Academy enrolling for preschool-eighth grade

Waitlists are moving, some seats are still available in this free public school of choice. For more information, contact 481-1950, www.monumentacademy.net.

St. Peter Catholic School enrolling for preschool-eighth grade

The school offers full and half-day preschool, academics, athletics, and more. NCA accredited, state licensed, financial aid available. Call or visit: 124 First St. Monument; 481-1855; www.petertherock.org.

SafeCare Colorado services now in El Paso County

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (LFS) now provides SafeCare Colorado Services in El Paso County. SafeCare Colorado offers proactive in-home, voluntary services that support at-risk families in understanding the health, development, and safety needs of young children. LFS home visitors will deliver the SafeCare curriculum to parents through weekly visits over a four to five month period. The curriculum covers: Infant and Child Health, Home Safety and Parent/Child Interaction. The goal of SafeCare is to build parental skills and consistently reinforce positive communication and problem solving skills—helping to prevent child abuse. For more information, contact 303-217-5854, www.lfsrm.org.

Mountain View Electric Association 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 in the mountains. "What does having electricity and the ‘cooperative difference’ mean to you?" is this year’s topic. For more information, contact 494-2670, www.mvea.coop/community/essay-contest.

Volunteer drivers needed for cancer patients

Help transport cancer patients to and from medical treatments. The American Cancer Society provides free rides through its Road to Recovery program. For information about the Road to Recovery program or to volunteer, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Bustang & Park-n-Ride improvements

Bustang, the new interregional express bus service from the Colorado Department of Transportation, has begun. Along I-25, there are seven round trips per day, Mon. to Fri., from Colorado Springs to Denver, with a stop at I-25/Monument Park-and-Ride. Single ride tickets from Monument to Denver’s Union Station cost only $9, $7.50 for seniors. Each coach is equipped with restrooms, bike racks, free Wi-Fi, power outlets and USB ports. Parking lot improvements include new asphalt paving, lighting, striping, signing, and new shelters equipped with lighting and infrared heating units. For information or to buy tickets online, visit www.ridebustang.com, or phone 800-900-3011.

Become a CASA volunteer

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

HAP needs volunteers

The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that serves and supports seniors in our community. HAP currently needs volunteers, three hours a week; and active board members, eight to 10 hours a month. For more information, call HAP board president, Dave Betzler, at 205-7651.

Donate live trees for Black Forest burn area

If you are doing wildfire mitigation, you might have good live trees to donate to Black Forest burned-out areas. The Black Forest Together (BFT) Tree Donor Program is accepting live trees to be either transplanted in the Black Forest burn area or sold to support the cost of this program. Trees up to 12 inches in diameter (or up to 38 inches around) are ideal. The size of trees is measured at ground level. For more information, contact www.billmantia@aol.com.

Emergency Notification System update

If you registered for the Emergency Notification System (reverse 911) prior to July 2013, you may need to create a new account. Go to www.elpasoteller911.org and select "sign up" on the registration page. If you are able to log in using your existing user name and password, no further action is needed. If you get an error message indicating your email or password is invalid, press the sign-up button and create a new account. If you need assistance, dial 785-1971 and a staff member will return your call.

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.

Free Senior Safety Handyman Services

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

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.

Monument Marketplace Facebook page

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

Get volunteer help for your nonprofit

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

Attention Tri-Lakes residents with medical conditions

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

Tri-Lakes HAP Senior Center programs

The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership Senior Citizens Center is next to the Lewis-Palmer High School Stadium (across from the YMCA) and is open 1-4 p.m., Tue.-Fri., and earlier for scheduled activities. The facility has a lounge, craft room, game room, and multipurpose room. Programs include 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.TriLakesHAP.org.

Senior Safety Program

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

County prescription discount program could save you money

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

Free gun-lock kit

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

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Our Community Calendar

    By Judy Barnes, Community Calendar Editor

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

    GOVERNMENTAL BODIES

  • Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Mon., Oct. 5, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets 1st & 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.
  • El Paso County Planning Commission Meeting, Tue., Oct. 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.
  • Woodmoor Water & Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Oct. 8, 1 p.m., 1845 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 488-2525.
  • Tri-Lakes Wastewater Facility Joint Use Committee Meeting, Tue., Oct. 13, 10 a.m., 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: Bill Burks, 481-4053.
  • Triview Metropolitan District Board Meeting, Tue., Oct. 13, 5 p.m., 16055 Old Forest Point, Suite 300, Monument. Meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: 488-6868.
  • D-38 Accountability Advisory Committee (DAAC) Meeting, Tue., Oct. 13, 7 p.m., Lewis-Palmer High School, 1300 Higby Rd., Monument. Meets 2nd Tue. each month, location varies. Info: 488-4700, www.lewispalmer.org.
  • Palmer Lake Sanitation District Board Meeting, Wed., Oct. 14, 10 a.m., 120 Middle Glenway. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2732.
  • Palmer Lake Planning Commission Workshop, Wed., Oct. 14, 6 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • D-38 School Board Candidate Forum, Wed, Oct. 14, 6:30-9 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Sponsored by the D-38 District Accountability Advisory Committee. Info: 488-4700, www.lewispalmer.org.
  • Monument Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Oct. 14, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 884-8017.
  • Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Board Meeting, Thu., Oct. 15, 6 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 488-4700.
  • Monument Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Oct. 15, 10 a.m., 130 2nd St. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 481-4886.
  • Donala Water & Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Oct. 15, 1:30 p.m., 15850 Holbein Dr., Colorado Springs. Meets 3rd Thu. each month except Nov. and Dec. Info: 488-3603.
  • Palmer Lake Town Council Meeting, Thu., Oct. 15, 6 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 3rd Thu. Each month. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Mon., Oct. 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., Oct. 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., Oct. 20, 7 p.m., Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: 488-8680.
  • Palmer Lake Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Oct. 21, 6 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Forest View Acres Water District Board Meeting, Thu., Oct. 22, 6 p.m., Monument Sanitation District boardroom, 130 Second St. Meets 4th Thu. each month. Info: 488-2110, www.fvawd.com.
  • Academy Water and Sanitation District Board Meeting, Tue., Oct. 27, 6 p.m., Wescott Fire Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 4th Tue. each month. Info: 481-0711.
  • Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Board Meeting, Wed., Oct. 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., Oct. 28, 7 p.m., Woodmoor Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Dr. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: 488-2693, www.woodmoor.org.

    LOCAL LIBRARY EVENTS

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

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

  • Monument Library: 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: 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: Storytime, every Tue., 10:30-11 a.m., 11:15-11:45 a.m. (except Oct. 13, when Pumpkin Day, 10:30 a.m., replaces both). Ages 3 and up, with adult. 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.
  • Palmer Lake Library: Storytime, every Wed. , 10:30-11 a.m. Ages 3 and up, with adult. Palmer Lake Branch Library, 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library Family Fun: Creatures of the Night, Sat., Oct. 3, 4-5:30 p.m. Learn about snakes, bats, owls, insects, and other creatures that are active at night. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Pumpkin Day, Tue., Oct. 13, 10:30-11 a.m. Stories and free pumpkins to decorate. Takes the place of both Storytimes today. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Kumihimo Bracelets, Wed., Oct. 14, 3:30-5 p.m. Teens and adults, make a friendship bracelet. Registration required and materials are provided. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Tween Time: Fun & Freaky Challenges, Fri., Oct. 16, 4-5:30 p.m. For ages 9-12: balloon stomping, donut chomping, candy tossing, "frog egg" gobbling, wormy treasure hunt, ping pong ball and marshmallow stunts. Registration is required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Family Program–LEGO Club, Sat., Oct. 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.
  • Palmer Lake Library: Skins and Skulls, Sat., Oct. 17, 10:30-11:30 a.m. A program about mammals found on the eastern plains of Colorado: where they live, what they eat and how to look for them. Palmer Lake Library - 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Fourth Fridays Kids Crafts, Fri., Oct. 23, 4-5 p.m. Ages 5 and up, make a giant stuffed pumpkin craft. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Homeschool Program: PPLD Resources You Won’t Want to Miss, Mon., Oct. 26, 1-2 p.m. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Pikes Peak Library District’s Kids Web: Kids Web at www.ppld.org features resources for school reports and homework, Tumblebooks––free online read-along books, and a Fun & Games link. A "grown-ups" link has information about local school districts, home-schooling, and more.

    Adult programs

  • Monument Library: Socrates Café, every Tue., 1-3 p.m. This group focuses on a deeper look into philosophy, religions, spirituality, and the common threads among humanity. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Senior Chats, every Wed., 10 a.m.-noon. All seniors are welcome to share onversation and a cup of coffee i casual discussion group. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Beginning Computer Classes. Check at the desk for the schedule of free classes Wed. mornings for beginner computer users. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Palmer Lake Library: Palmer Lake Knitting Group, every Thu., 10 a.m.-noon. Knit with other knitters. Palmer Lake Branch Library, 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Ute Indian Prayer Trees of the Pikes Peak Region, Sat., Oct. 3, 1:30-3 p.m. Sheriff John Anderson will give a one-hour presentation on the cultural and historical significance of the Ute Prayer Tree in the Pikes Peak region, followed by a signing of his recently-published book on this topic. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Monumental Readers Book Club, Fri., Oct. 16, 10-11:30 a.m. All are welcome to this spirited group. Meets 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Tri-Lakes Knitters & Crafters, Fri., Oct. 16, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Drop in to share ideas, get help. Meets 1st and 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: Clare Wissinger, 481-8442, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Colorado Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Free Film Screening: Where do we go Now? Sun, Oct. 18, 1:30-4 p.m. View and discuss this thought-provoking movie about two different religious groups that live together in a small village. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Life Circles, Mon., Oct. 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: AARP Smart Driver Course, Wed., Oct. 21, 12:45-5 p.m. Sign in at 12:30 p.m. Any aged person may attend, but the insurance discount only applies to those age 55 and older. Court-directed persons are welcomed; instructors are authorized to sign off related court documents. Cost: $15 AARP members, $20 for non-members. Pre-class reservations are requested but a few walk-ins might be accepted. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Showing of Education Inc., Wed., Oct. 21 & 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. A documentary film about school board elections .Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Life Circles, Mon., Nov. 6, 9:30-11 a.m. Get inspiration and structure for writing your memories or history. Meets 1st & 3rd Mon. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Tri-Lakes Knitters & Crafters, Fri., Nov. 6, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Drop in to share ideas, get help. Meets 1st and 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: Clare Wissinger, 481-8442, www.ppld.org.
  • The Library Channel (Comcast 17) broadcasts 24/7. See live simulcasts of programs, recorded presentations, a schedule of Library events, children’s story times, an adult literacy program, El Paso County Commissioners meetings, and much more. Find the schedule online at www.ppld.org, then click on the link "Happenings @ Your Library," then click on the "Comcast 17" link to search the schedule.

    WEEKLY AND MONTHLY EVENTS

  • Monument Hill Farmer’s Market, every Sat., 8 a.m.-2 p.m., behind the D-38 Administration building at Second and Jefferson St. in Downtown Monument. Park in the Administration Building parking lot or at the Catholic Church. Playground for the kids, many new vendors plus all your old favorites. Open each Sat. through Oct. 17. Indoor market starts Nov. 21. Info: 592-9420.
  • Monument Hill Kiwanis Club Breakfast Meeting, every Sat., 8 a.m., Monument Hill Country Club, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, 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: Bill Healy, 278-8393.
  • Monument Community Yoga, every Sat., 9 a.m., Woodmoor Community Center, 1691 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. All levels. Cost: cash donation. Info: BePresentYogaLLC@gmail.com.
  • Free Workshop at Monument Natural Grocers, every Sat., 10-11:30 a.m., 655 W Hwy 105, Monument. Patty Moore, MNT, presents various health-related topics. Info: 487-0448.
  • 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.
  • Outdoor Plein Air Oil Painting Demo, with art class afterward, every Sat.-Sun., 3-5 p.m. For plein air art fun join Janet Sellers and get free local scene coloring pages while she demos at Monument Lake, Palmer Lake, and other local scenic spots. RSVP & Info: janetsellers10@gmail.com, 387-1890.
  • Holy Trinity Anglican Church Sunday Worship, every Sun., 8:30 a.m.; teaching & community time (preschool-adult), 10 a.m.; family service with children’s church, 10:45 a.m. 13990 Gleneagle Dr. Nursery available all morning. Info: 505-8021, www.HolyTrinityAnglicanChurch.org.
  • Tri-Lakes Reformed Church Sunday Worship, every Sun., 9:45 a.m., Woodmoor Community Center, 1691 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Info: www.trilakesreformed.org.
  • Catriona Cellars Sunday Brunch, every Sun., 9:30-noon, 243 Washington St., Monument. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. RSVP & Info: 481-3477.
  • Cathedral Rock Church Sunday Service, every Sun., 10 a.m., Tri-Lakes YMCA, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy, Monument. Info: www.cathedralrockchurch.org.
  • Fuel Church Service, every Sun., Donuts and coffee, 10 a.m.; Main Service, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Lewis-Palmer Middle School, 1776 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Non-denominational. Info: info@fuel.org, www.fuelchurch.org.
  • Women’s A.A. Step Study, every Mon., 6 p.m. Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 W. Baptist Rd. Info: 481-0431.
  • Yin Yoga Classes with Erica Jacknin, RYT, 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). All levels welcome. $14 drop-in. Pre-paid: 5 for $65, 10 for $110, 20 for $200. Info: (717) 654-2442, ericajacknin@gmail.com, www.artwithyoga.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., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. WMMI is located at 225 North Gate Blvd. (I-25 Exit 156 A) in Colorado Springs. Info: 488-0880, info@wmmi.org, www.wmmi.org.
  • Senior Lunches, every Mon. & Thu., except the 1st Thu. each month and holidays, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Administration Complex, 166 Second St., Monument. Arrive 11:30 a.m., dine at noon. Stay for free bingo the 2nd Thu. each month. Cost: $2. Info: Dorothy Myers, 481-4189; Maggie Nealon, 488-3037.
  • Transmission Meditation: Group Meditations every Mon. & Thu., 7 p.m., in Palmer Lake. The simplest, most potent way to serve humanity and help transform our world. Dynamic aid to personal growth. Info: 303-494-4462, www.TransmissionMeditation.org.
  • 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.
  • HAP Thrift Store, open Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 790 Suite D, Hwy 105 (between Palmer Lake and Monument). Oct. special: 20% off kitchenware, cookware, small appliances. Every Saturday: 1/2 Price Sale on selected items. Every Wednesday, Every Month Senior Discounts: 20% off everything for 62 years or older. All proceeds support Tri-Lakes Senior Programs. If you have furniture to donate, call 488-3495 for a pickup. Info: www.trilakeshap.org.
  • Tri-Lakes YMCA Senior Coffee, every Tue., 9:30-11:30 a.m., 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy, Monument. Members and non-members are welcome. Seniors, come socialize and have coffee and snacks in the front lobby. Sign up to bring snacks. Free. Info: 630-2604, hbrandon@ppymca.org, www.ppymca.org.
  • Yarny Birds Stitch Group, every Tue., 10 a.m. & 6 p.m., 790 Hwy 105, #C, Palmer Lake. An open group for knitters, crocheters, and fiber arts of any type. Classes starting soon. Info: 377-0403, yarnbirdfibers@gmail.com.
  • Al-anon Meeting: Monument Serenity, every Tue., 7:30-8:30 p.m., Ascent Church, (formerly the Tri-Lakes Chapel) 1750 Deer Creek Rd., Monument. Info: Kay, 481-9258.
  • Art at Wisdom Tea House: The Peep Show People Exhibiting Extraordinary Paintings by Carol Naylor’s Students, open Tue.-Sat., 8 a.m.-4 p.m., 65 Second St., Monument. Info: 481-8822, www.wisdomteahouse.com.
  • Happy Hour at The Villa Palmer Lake, every Tue.-Sun., 5-6 p.m., 75 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Well cocktails $3, Pikes Peak Brewing Co. pint drafts $3.50, bottled beers $1 off, glass of wine $2 off, bottles of wine $8 off; buy one entrée, receive a second entrée of equal or lesser value at half price. RSVP & Info: 481-2222, www.theVillaPalmerLake.com.
  • Weekly Meditation at Yoga Pathways, every Wed., 11:15 a.m.-noon, 755 Hwy. 105 (3/4 mile west of Monument Safeway). Led by Raleigh Dove, Certified Yoga Therapist. Info: 481-4137, www.YogaPathwaysStudio.com.
  • Gleneagle Sertoma, every Wed., luncheon meeting at Liberty Heights, 12105 Ambassador Dr., (off Voyager Blvd in Colorado Springs). Interesting speakers and programs; all are welcome. Info: Call Garrett Barton, 433-5396, Bill Bristol, 481-3366, www.gleneaglesertoma.org.
  • Senior Citizen Luncheons, every Wed., noon-1 p.m., D-38 Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) invites area seniors for lunch & activities. Free blood pressure screening 1st & 3rd Wed. $3 donation requested. Info: 484-0517.
  • Tri-Lakes Church of Christ Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal (Free) & Classes, every Wed., 6-7:30 p.m., 20450 Beacon Lite Road, Monument (Corner of Beacon Lite & County Line Roads). Info: 488-9613, gregsmith@trilakeschurch.org, www.trilakeschurch.org.
  • 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.
  • Lifting Spirits Adult/Senior Day Service Open House, Mon., Oct. 5, 1-4 p.m., 755 Hwy. 105 Unit C, Palmer Lake. Caregivers, find out how to make your lives easier. Refreshments served. Meets 1st Mon. each month. Info: Linda, (303) 579-8114.
  • Caregivers Support and Brainstorming Open House, Tue., Oct. 6, 2-4 p.m., Lifting Spirits Adult Day Center, 755 Hwy. 105 Unit C, Palmer Lake. Meets 1st and 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Linda, (303) 579-8114.
  • American Legion Tri-Lakes Post 9-11, Tue., Oct. 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.
  • Senior Bingo at Old Monument Town Hall, Thu., Oct. 8, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Administration Complex, 166 Second St., Monument, after the noontime senior lunch. Come for lunch at 11:30 a.m., then stay and play. Free! Prizes! Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: Maggie Nealon, 488-3037.
  • Bridge, Thu., Oct. 8, 12:30-3:30. Tri-Lakes Senior Center located on Lewis-Palmer High School campus. Walk-ins are welcome. Meets 2nd and 4th Thu. each month. Reservation suggested: call Roger and Syble, 488-2669.
  • Legacy Sertoma Dinner Meeting, Thu., Oct. 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., Oct. 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.
  • Palmer Lake needs Volunteers for Weed Removal, Sat., Oct. 10 & 24, 8-11 a.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent, Palmer Lake. Bring gloves and wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy shoes, and a hat. Meets 2nd & 4th Sat. each month, 8-11 a.m. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Palmer Lake Art Group, Sat., Oct. 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., Oct. 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 for shredding, up to two legal paper-sized boxes, from private households. Bring a nonperishable food item for Care and Share. Info: 520-7878, http://adm.elpasoco.com/Environmental_Services/Solid_Waste_Management.
  • Alzheimer’s Support Group, Sat., Oct. 10, 10-11:30 a.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 2nd Sat. each month. Info: LaVonne Putman, 488-2557.
  • Foot Care Clinic, Wed., Oct. 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., Oct. 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.
  • Tri-Lakes Lions Club, Thu., Oct. 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: George Washington, Thu., Oct. 15, 7 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Dave Wallace will bring Washington to life. This program is free to the public. Meets 3rd Thu. each month, 7 p.m. Info: Pat McCarthy, 659-1363; www.palmerdividehistory.org.
  • Tri-Lakes MOMS Club Recruitment Meeting, Fri., Oct. 16, 10 a.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Bring your kids for fun, games, food, and prizes. Normally meets 1st Fri. each month. Info: monumentmomsinfo@gmail.com, https://m.facebook.com/MonumentMomsClub.
  • Little Log Kitchen Free Meal, Sat., Oct. 17, noon, 133 High St., Palmer Lake. Sponsored by Little Log Church every 3rd Sat. Info: 481-2409.
  • Amateur Radio WØTLM (Tri-Lakes Monument Radio Association), Mon., Oct. 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.
  • Tri-Lakes Home Educators’ Support Group, Mon., Oct. 19. Meets 3rd Mon. each month for support, information, field trips, and special events. Info: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TLHESGmembers or tlhesgmembers-owner@yahoogroups.com.
  • Senior Tea, Tue., Oct. 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.
  • Caregivers Support and Brainstorming Open House, Tue., Oct. 20, 2-4 p.m., Lifting Spirits Adult Day Center, 755 Hwy. 105 Unit C, Palmer Lake. Meets 1st and 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Linda, (303) 579-8114.
  • Fibromyalgia Support Group, Tue., Oct. 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., Oct. 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.
  • Ladies Auxiliary to V.F.W. Post 7829, Wed., Oct. 21, 7 p.m., Monument Hill Country Club, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. New members welcome. If you are a female relative of a veteran who served on foreign soil during war or other military action, you may be eligible. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: Kathy Carlson, 488-1902, carlsonmkc@aol.com.
  • Drummers! Wed., Oct. 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: Char, 488-3138.
  • Bridge, Thu., Oct. 22, 12:30-3:30. Tri-Lakes Senior Center located on Lewis-Palmer High School campus. Walk-ins are welcome. Meets 2nd and 4th Thu. each month. Reservation suggested: call Roger and Syble, 488-2669.
  • Legacy Sertoma Dinner Meeting, Thu., Oct. 22, 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.
  • Palmer Lake needs Volunteers for Weed Removal, Sat., Oct. 24, 8-11 a.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent, Palmer Lake. Bring gloves and wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy shoes, and a hat. Meets 2nd & 4th Sat. each month, 8-11 a.m. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Senior Social, Wed., Oct. 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.
  • Foot Care Clinic, Fri., Oct. 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: $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.
  • Lifting Spirits Adult/Senior Day Service Open House, Mon., Nov. 2, 1-4 p.m., 755 Hwy. 105 Unit C, Palmer Lake. Caregivers, find out how to make your lives easier. Refreshments served. Meets 1st Mon. each month. Info: Linda, (303) 579-8114.
  • Caregivers Support and Brainstorming Open House, Tue., Nov. 3, 2-4 p.m., Lifting Spirits Adult Day Center, 755 Hwy. 105 Unit C, Palmer Lake. Meets 1st and 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Linda, (303) 579-8114.
  • Monument Homemakers Club Monthly Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Thu., Nov. 5, 11:30 a.m., Tri-Lakes Fire Department Administrative Building, 166 Second St., Monument. Meets 1st Thu. each month except Jan. and unless D-38 is delayed or closed due to bad weather. Newcomers welcome. For a ride to the meeting, call Faye Brenneman, 488-0076. RSVP & info: Irene Walters, 481-1188, or Bev Wells, 488-3327.
  • Palmer Divide Quiltmakers, Thu., Nov. 5, 7 p.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 1st Thu. each month. Info: pdq504@gmail.com.
  • Tri-Lakes MOMS Club Monthly Meeting, Fri., Nov. 6, 10 a.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Normally meets 1st Fri. each month. Info: monumentmomsinfo@gmail.com, https://m.facebook.com/MonumentMomsClub.
  • 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

  • Palmer Lake Art Group 42nd Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair, Fri.-Sun., Oct. 2-4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent, Palmer Lake. Featuring all original fine arts and hand-crafted items. Proceeds go to art scholarships for D-38 high school students. Info: Plaginfo@palmerlakeartgroup.com, www.palmerlakeartgroup.com.
  • Haunted Mines at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI), Fri.-Sat., through Oct. 31, 7 p.m., 225 North Gate Blvd., (I-25 Exit 156A). Open Thursdays also, beginning Oct. 15. Don’t miss this terrifying adventure. All proceeds go to WMMI and local charities. Info: 487-1666, info@hauntedmines.org, www.hauntedmines.org.
  • The Open Door Books and Gifts Class: Learn to become a Psychic Medium. Taught by world renowned psychic medium Sarina Baptista. Info on this and other classes: 251 Front Street, Suite 8, Monument; 487-9076.
  • Community Meeting on the New Santa Fe Regional Trail, Mon., Oct. 5, 6 p.m., Academy International Elementary School, 8550 Charity Dr., Colo. Springs. El Paso County Parks is hosting the meeting to discuss public use of the trail through the Air Force Academy. Info: 520-7529.
  • Monument Hill Kiwanis Empty Bowls Dinner & Silent Auction, Wed., Oct. 7, 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 7" 8GB HD Kindle Fire. Cost: $20, one child under 12 free with each adult ticket purchased. Info: RF Smith, rff106k@gmail.com, 719-210-4987.
  • D-38 Candidate Forum, Thu., Oct. 8, 6:30 p.m., Woodmoor Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Moderated by State Rep. Paul Lundeen. Q & A. Sponsored by Liberty Education Action Fund. Info: www.Leafonline.org.
  • Bella Art & Frame Miniature Fine Art Show Opening Reception, Fri., Oct. 9, 6-9 p.m., 183 Washington St., Monument. Show will be judged; cash awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place. Info: 487-7691, www.bellaartandframe.com.
  • Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by Bill Hearne, Fri., Oct. 9, 7-9 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m., 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.
  • Reynolds Ranch Harvest Festival, Sat.-Sun., Oct. 10-11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Western Museum of Mining & Industry, 225 Northgate Blvd. (I-25 Exit 156A). Pumpkin patch, apple cider press, hayrides, face painting, farmers market, food vendors, children’s activities and demos, "Spooky Histories," and entertainment. Cost: $5 aged 13 and older. Info: 488-0880, info@wmmi.org, www.wmmi.org.
  • 2015 Annual Pheasants Forever Youth Outdoor Days, Sun., Oct. 11, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Bearpoint Kennel/Haystack Ranch, 8305 S. Perry Park Rd., Larkspur. Kids ages 10-15 will experience trap shooting, fishing, archery, & more. Register at www.pikespeakpheasantsforever.org.
  • Inaugural Palmer Lake .5K Run, Sun., Oct. 11, 9:30 a.m.-noon, official shotgun start 10:30 a.m. , Palmer Lake. Start line is the northern "Welcome to Palmer Lake" sign on the west side of the tracks. Finish line is at O’Malley’s Pub. Prizes for best, most original Bronco outfit or anything else you can think of; be creative! Donut station at halfway point. Cost: $25, includes unique shirt and refreshments. Registration & Info: info@awakepalmerlake.org.
  • D-38 School Board Candidate Forum, Wed, Oct. 14, 6:30-9 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Sponsored by the D-38 District Accountability Advisory Committee. Info: 488-4700, www.lewispalmer.org.
  • Joshua Davis of "The Voice" Live at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Thu., Oct. 15, 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m., 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: TLCA Members $20, Non-members $25. Day of show: TLCA Members $25, Non-members $30. Tickets & Info: www.trilakesarts.org, 481-0475.
  • Buffalo Grass Acoustic Society Open Stage featuring Barry Ward, E Bar C, and Jory Lane, Fri., Oct. 16, Show starts at 7 p.m., free jam session starts at 5:30 p.m., Cowboy Church of Peyton, 15504 Bradshaw Rd., Peyton. Cost: Adults, $5; Members, $3; Kids under 16 free. Info: 495-0733, info@buffalograssacoustic.org, www.buffalograssacoustic.org.
  • Pumpkin Patch at Peak Ranch’s Alpaca Boutique, Sat., Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 19850 Beacon Lite, Monument. While they last, pick your pumpkins in Paco Pastures. Cost: $4. Free tours and treats. Optional food donations accepted for Tri-Lakes Cares. Info: www.peakranchalpacas.com/events.
  • Wine & Roses 2015, Fri., Oct. 23, 6-9 p.m., ProRodeo Hall of Fame, 101 Pro Rodeo Dr., Colo. Springs. Tri-Lakes Women’s Club presents an evening of fine wines, beers, and spirits with celebrity servers, local chefs, silent auction, raffle. Dressy western attire optional. Cost: $50 in advance, $55 door. Proceeds benefit local non-profits, first responders, and educational and service organizations in the Tri-Lakes area. Tickets & Info: www.tlwc.net.
  • Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by Steve Smith &Tim May, Fri., Oct. 23, 7-9 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m., 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.
  • Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Fire Station Tour, Wed., Oct. 28, time to be determined. Info: Jennifer Martin, 484-0911, www.tlmfire.org.
  • Kings Deer Handmade Art Show, Fri.-Sat., Oct. 30-31, 12-5 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., King’s Deer Golf Course, 19255 Royal Troon Dr, Monument. Original fine arts and handcrafted items from local artists. Info: 481-4812, kingsdeer@comcast.net.
  • Creepy Crawl 5 K & 1-mile Kids’ Run, Sat., Oct. 31, 5K begins 9:30 a.m., 1-mile free Kids Run begins 10:30 a.m., Santa Fe Trail in Palmer Lake. Put on your costumes and join this Halloween tradition. Registration & Info: www.ppymca.org/raceseries.
  • Country Critters Uptown Grand Opening, Sat., Oct. 31, noon-4 p.m., 615 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Drawings, door prizes, and hot dogs. Learn about all the great things for your pets. Info: 481-0220.
  • Downtown Monument Safe Trick or Treat, Sat., Oct. 31, 4-6 p.m. Bring the kids downtown for a night of safe trick-or-treating as Monument merchants provide treats, activities and show-off their creative costumes. The Monument Police will patrol the streets for the children’s safety. Info: www.monumentmerchants.com/events.htm.
  • Downtown Monument Holiday Open House, Fri.-Sat., Nov. 6-7. Catch the holiday spirit with special promotions, refreshments, holiday decorations, and door prizes. Info: www.monumentmerchants.com.
  • Pine Creek Bazaar & Silent Auction, Sat., Nov. 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 10750 Thunder Mountain Rd., Colo. Springs. The annual holiday craft bazaar benefits the Pine Creek High School Instrumental Music Program. Grandma’s Kitchen opens 11 a.m. Info: www.pcbandboosters.com/bazaar.html.
  • St. Peter Holiday Boutique, Sat., Nov. 14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 124 First St., Monument. Info: 481-1855, www.petertherock.org.
  • Stars Alive: An Evening with the Legends at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Fri., Nov. 20, 7 p.m., doors open 6:30 p.m., 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Live performances with tribute artists performing the music of the legendary stars they impersonate: Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis. Advance tickets: TLCA Members $16, Non-members $20. Day of show: TLCA Members $20, Non-members $24. Tickets & Info: www.trilakesarts.org, 481-0475.
  • Rocky Mountain Music Alliance (RMMA) Concert: Concerto Night, Sat., Nov. 21, 7 p.m., Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. Grieg and Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concertos. Reception follows concert. Cost: $10 online, $12 at door. Tickets & Info: www.rmmaonline.org.

    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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