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Vol. 15 No. 3 - March 7, 2015


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

the PDF file. This is a 22.9 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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Donald Wescott Fire Protection District, Feb. 17: Firefighter Luke Jones receives Life Saving Medal

By Jennifer Green-Lanchoney

A Wescott firefighter received a Life Saving Medal during the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District monthly Board of Directors meeting at Fire Station 1 Feb. 17.

The meeting was called to order by District Director Greg Gent at 7:03 p.m.

District Directors Harland Baker and Joyce Hartung were present, as were the executive staff, Chief Vinny Burns, and Assistant Chief Scott Ridings. Director John Fredell was excused from the meeting and Director Bo McAllister also was absent.

Luke Jones, a Wescott firefighter, was awarded the Life Saving Medal for his actions in December 2014. The medal is given when an individual’s actions are extremely noteworthy and directly contribute to efforts that result in saving a life.

Assistant Chief Ridings presented Jones with the medal and Chief Burns presented him with an accommodation certificate.

The meeting continued as Stacey Popovich, Wescott administrative assistant, informed the board of the January financial statement. Baker questioned a $104,052 deficit in a Wells Fargo Public Trust account, and was told by Burns that the account was used for the district and employees’ salaries. January’s financial statements were then approved.

The monthly run report, a report of total call volumes for the month, increased 50 percent with 230 total calls in January 2015. The station responded to 153 calls in January 2014.

Following a brief discussion, it was agreed that there was no new or old business on the table. District directors and the executive staff then approved the Jan. 20 minutes unanimously.

Before adjourning, Gent said that after an executive session the board had decided to keep Station 3, and not sell it, until further discussion and a plan is put into place.

As a result of being a "well-oiled machine," said Burns, the meeting adjourned at 7:14 p.m., one of Wescott’s shortest meetings.

Caption: From left, Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Scott Ridings and Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Chief Vinny Burns congratulate Luke Jones, a Wescott firefighter, on earning a Life Saving Medal for his actions in December 2014. The medal is given when an individual’s actions are extremely noteworthy and directly contribute to efforts that result in saving a life. Photo by Jennifer Green-Lanchoney.

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The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors’ next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 10 at 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 jenlanchoney@ocn.me.

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Monument Board of Trustees, Feb. 2: Developer requests industrial/commercial zone immediately south of LPHS; board extends public comments to March 16

By Nancy Wilkins

At the Feb. 2 Monument Board of Trustees meeting, Jeff Trent, Tanja Smith, Patty Kathmann, Scott Blum, Jim Blazek, Lam Tram, and Michelle Glover asked the board to turn down Vision Development’s request to rezone large portions of Regency Park, to a higher density. Sky Hall requested $10,000 for a permanent art piece to be displayed in the center of a future traffic circle. A special permit was approved for the 14th Annual Tri-Lakes Cruisers Benefit Car Show, Town Manager Pamela Smith announced that Monument and Palmer Lake are expected to reach an intergovernmental agreement concerning lake water, and the board decided to extend public comments on Vision Development’s rezoning request to the Board of Trustees meeting on March 16.

Pesicka shows two zoning proposals from Vision Development Planning Director Mike Pesicka showed the board the zone map from Vision Development’s first request representing the 6th amendment, plus an updated map showing Vision’s most recent rezoning request.

All Monument development and rezoning plan maps specify various types of zoning. Planned Residential Development zones (PRD-2, PRD-4, PRD-6, and PRD-10) represent the maximum number of dwelling units allowed per acre. Planned Multi-use Development (PMD) can have residential, commercial, retail offices and town houses. PID is industrial and PCD is commercial. Pesicka also presented the existing zone map and said section 17-43 of the town code lists the zoning development standards. All three maps and the zoning code development standards should be available to the public.

Citizens object to higher density rezone

After receiving letters in the mail with information on the rezone request, citizens living in Remington Hills objected to the higher density rezoning at a neighborhood meeting held Nov. 20. They also objected to the rezone request at the January 15 Monument Planning Commission meeting. Remington Hills is located south of Higby Rd, east of Jackson Creek Parkway, on the north bend of Leather Chaps Drive.

The fifth amendment zoning shows an area of about 250 acres with the existing Remington Hills subdivision in the center, with parcels zoned PRD 2 to the north and east, PRD 6 to the west, and land designated for schools to the south. It is currently surrounded mostly by vacant land. Vision Development proposed an increased zone density in areas west, north, and east adjacent to Remington Hills in its initial Amendment 6 rezoning request.

Specifically, Visions Development was asking for about 93 acres to be rezoned from PRD-2 to of PRD-4 to the north and east of Remington Hills. Where PRD-6 zoning had been, west of Remington Hills, the developer proposed an even higher density zone of PMD.

After hearing objections at the Jan. 15 Planning Commission meeting, the developer created a second proposal.

Developer asks for higher density around Higby Road, Jackson Creek Parkway, and Bowstring Road

Pesicka explained the developer wants to move PRD-10 away from Jackson Creek Parkway toward Higby Road. A parcel around Jackson Creek (area 35) of about 12 acres that is currently PRD-10, now would become more dense with PMD zoning in both Vision proposals. Parcel 34, which is about 11 acres southwest of the intersection of Cloverleaf Road and Higby Road remained PRD-4 in the first Vision proposal, but is now changed to PRD-10 and reduced to about 8 acres in the second proposal.

Although the second Vision Development proposal returns about 70 acres of PRD-4, (parcel 41) east of Remington Hills back to the existing zoning of PRD-2, neither proposal changes the PRD-4 parcels 38 and 39, about 50 acres adjacent to the north side of Remington Hills, back to their original zone of PRD-2.

Both proposals ask for industrial/commercial zone directly south of high school

Both proposals would create both PID and PCD zones on about 18 acres (parcels 30 and 37) south of Lewis Palmer High School on the southeast corner of Higby and Jackson Creek Parkway This is the only parcel that appears to have two designations, PID and PCD. With both designations, the developer can have either industrial, or commercial, or a combination.

The existing plan calls for residential PRD-10 in the same area.

Blevins: "This is only 250 acres."

Rick Blevins, representing Vision Development, said, "Looking at PRD-10, we are thinking of duplexes. Regency Park is 1,700 acres. This is only 250 acres.… We’re not changing all of it." Blevins explained he was asking for a rezone of 250 acres to work with the new understanding that Higby Road would stay in its existing location, and not curve south, as indicated on the current zoning map. Blevins said two areas are ready now to be submitted for a final plat: the existing PRD-6 and part of PRD-2. The existing PRD-6 is between Remington Hill and the electrical substation. Vision Development did not ask for any change to the multiple PID sections (5-15) already zoned industrial, located west of I-25 and north of Baptist Road.

Legal counsel: "The expectations when homeowners originally purchased home can also be considered"

According to Monument’s attorney Gary Shupp, a developer can come in and develop as it is currently zoned. A rezone request requires the board to consider the current comprehensive plan and the change requested. Shupp said the comprehensive plan is "ancient" and the board can consider deviations from it. Shupp also said the Triview Metropolitan District indicated it has enough water to support the rezoning, so water issues should not be a factor, but traffic studies, other documents, and public comments can also be taken into consideration. And Shupp said the expectations when homeowners originally purchased the home can also be considered.

Jeff Trent: "We considered the master plan in our decision"

Jeff Trent said he chose to live in Monument to maintain a small town feel, and looked at the comprehensive plan. Trent said, "We took the risk to move to areas that were not developed. We took that risk but considered the master plan in our decision. That has parks and open space.… I respectfully ask the board to deny this request."

Trent also said he did not know the board scheduled a weekend planning meeting to discuss the comprehensive plan but would have attended had he known. According to Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman, the retreat was posted on Monument’s website and at the post office but not on Facebook.

Tanja Smith: "Not fair to all of us who relied on the promises made at the time."

Tanja Smith said, "It is my understanding Triview does not have a renewable water source, which requires years of planning, permits, design and build.… Once Regency Park is developed, Triview will dissolve, and Monument will be responsible for the water service to our neighborhood."

"At the Planning Commission hearing held Jan. 14, Blevins said amendment 6 counts for less homes," Smith said. "Blevins failed to state PMD was in the overall count. PMD could mean up to 20 homes per acre."

"We did not want to live in high-density Colorado Springs; we waited 28 years … to save for our dream home … now developers want to change the demographics, Smith said." That is not fair to all of us who relied on the promises made at the time…. Does Monument want Vision Development to … degrade what makes this the best place south of Denver to live? I ask that you consider the impact.… Thank you."

Patty Kathmann: "The comprehensive plan was that people can guide decisions regarding growth and development"

Kathmann said, "PRD-6 equates to approximately 7,500 square-foot lots, which are rather small. Zoning 10 puts in more renters. If you are talking about the expenses for schools, that puts more burden on taxpayers."

Kathmann pointed to the map that was on display at the meeting, saying, "At one time this was designated as a park space through previous plans, and now it is a 6." Pesicka confirmed that several park plans were void as the developer never finished, and the protected mouse habitat "came in."

Kathmann said, "The 2003 comprehensive plan was that people of the community can guide decisions regarding growth and development.…We used to live in Highlands Ranch … we left there to move to small-town America. The plan (here) was for the people to decide the development. It was the plan that we agreed to when we purchased here."

Scott Blum asked the board to reject the proposal, and was concerned with procedures at the Planning Commission.

Jim Blazek: "This is a major overhaul … not a minor tweak"

Blazek said, "We had the plans for PRD-2 near the north and east of us. The majority of houses will now be PRD-4. We looked at the master plan and (were) expecting to go with the master plan…. But this is a major overhaul to this plan; it is not a minor tweak. I am against this (proposed) plan, and it should be brought back to where it was. A lot of decisions were made based on the understanding."

Lam Tram: "They sold me the plan. They promised us"

Tram said, "I am here concerned about the home value…. For twenty years I work hard, to give my children what my parents did not have an opportunity to do…. In 2008 I decided to move my family here, I looked at many places. They sold me the plan. They promised us.… It’s all about the investment plan, and following through with it.… My problem is also your problem. Don’t take away my life (investment). Think about that decision."

Michelle Glover: "Comprehensive plan is the last time the community had input"

Glover said, "We looked at the master plan and the comprehensive plan. We just made our final move, and we chose Monument. The comprehensive plan is the last time the community had input. We feel that the entire town will feel the changes. Has the community seen the entire plan?"

Glover continued: "I looked at your biography, and I believe that most of you came here for the small-town feel. If you make this decision now, you are basically saying to the town we don’t want your input. Let’s give this town a chance to have input. Commit to work together. We are asking that you say no tonight, and give this town a chance to have input."

Board extends public comments to March 16

Following public comments, the developer declined the opportunity to make any further statements. Trustee Jeff Smith said, "I’m of the personal belief that good fences make good neighbors, but good space makes good neighbors.… Thank you for your participation." Trustee Jeffrey Bornstein said, "I think we all feel the same way, sometimes you got to do what’s right. I have an obligation to do what the people want. We are not under the gun, and it is not something that has to happen in 24 hours." Trustee Becki Tooley said, "I listened to how you expressed your concerns and I think we can find an amicable solution…. All your opinions are very valuable to us."

Pesicka recommended at least one month to give people a chance to provide input and to review new information that has come before the board. Pesicka also said the rezoning issue doesn’t have to go back to the Planning Commission.

The board voted unanimously to extend public discussion on the rezoning request, amendment 6, ordinance 05-2015, containing the first requested zoning map to March 16. Pesicka said the town’s website would be updated to provide more information about the rezone request. The board made no motions on the second proposed zoning map.

$10,000 requested to fund art in future traffic circle

Sky Hall, president of Tri-Lakes Views and Art Sites, requested $10,000 to fund a permanent art piece for the center of a future traffic circle at Baptist Road and Old Denver Road. Hall said flagstones would be placed at the base of the structure, to which art would be applied. Hall said a committee would look at different concepts from various artists. "Once we get art proposals, anyone is invited to come in and see what we have … we’ll want input. We want to draw from the best artists." Although Hall said he has not yet asked for private donations, $10,000 is the full amount requested.

Hall also announced the 2015 "Call to Artists" for the next generation of their annual art project, expected to be installed in June. The $10,000 requested for the art in the traffic circle is separate from the annual project. The board did not make any motions or vote on Hall’s request.

Board congratulates local resident Jason Brown

Local resident Jason Brown recently won the national title in the free skate competition at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The board made the announcement to honor Brown as well as honor recent scholastic and sports achievements from D-38 students.

Chamber of Commerce moves to 166 Second St.

Executive Director Terri Hayes from Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce said the new Chamber office will move in early February to the old Town Hall building at 166 Second St. Hayes said their previous location with about 1,035 square feet at 300 Highway 105 will be available to rent.

Tri-Lakes Cruisers 2015 Benefit Car Show: not just for cars

The board unanimously passed a resolution to issue a special events permit for the 14th annual Tri-Lakes Cruisers Benefit Car Show. The event is scheduled for June 14, when portions of Second, Front, and Washington Streets will be closed from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. Richard Cissell said the cars shown are not restricted by any particular year, and motorcycles are also welcomed. Proceeds go to Tri-Lakes Cares.

Last-minute continuance avoids trial over water to fill the lake

Town Manager Pamela Smith said the attorneys for Monument and Palmer Lake requested a continuance for several weeks to finalize an intergovernmental agreement. The trial was scheduled to start the next morning, Tuesday, Feb. 3 in Colorado Springs. Smith said the emails between the two were "fast and furious." More information on the agreement is on page 6.

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The Monument Board of Trustees meets regularly at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month at 645 Beacon Light Rd. Please call 884-8017 or visit www.townofmonument.org. for more information.

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

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OCN needs volunteer ad coordinator

This position involves about 45 hours per month with lots of emailing and phone calls with local businesses to finalize ad graphics and costs. Experience with Excel would be a plus. Training is available. Please contact Lisa Hatfield at 339-7831 or editor@ocn.me if you’d like to become one of our enthusiastic and committed OCN volunteers!

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Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, Feb. 12: Study proposes $256 million to supply renewable water

By Nancy Wilkins

At the Feb. 12 Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) Board of Directors meeting, Will Koger from Forsgren & Associates proposed an infrastructure plan to transport renewable water. The board approved a non-potable water irrigation policy, voted to approve a contract with SePRO for aquatic weed control, and approved a re-vegetation contract for the J.V. Ranch. Director Jim Taylor reported the results of his recent inspection of Chilcott Ditch.

Proposed infrastructure located through Black Forest area

Directors Jim Taylor, Rich Strom, Secretary Beth Courrau, Treasurer Tommy Schwab, and President Barrie Town listened to the proposed plans needed to transport renewable water. Koger from Forsgren & Associates proposed a three-phase plan consisting of three separate areas of construction for eventually bringing renewable water to WWSD from the Arkansas River Basin. Members of the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority (PPRWA) requested the study, and WWSD is one of eight water districts that are members of the PPRWA. See map of the proposed area.

Increasing the number of wells brings diminishing returns

Koger presented a graph from page 21 of the "Citizen’s Guide to Denver Basin Ground Water" from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education showing the "law of diminishing returns" whereby each additional well in the same area increases the cost of water pumped. The graph depicts the productivity of each additional well diminishing, using a theoretical 100-year life of the Denver Basin Aquifer. The graph illustrates the increasing cost of producing more wells to produce an even supply to account for the water level lowering. Koger also estimates the cost of building a new well is somewhere between $1.2 million to $1.5 million. The "Citizen’s Guide to the Denver Basin Ground Water" can be found at www.dcwater.org/pages/cfwe/cg-groundwater.pdf.

Based on consumption projections and increasing costs of pumping water from the Denver Basin, Koger said: "By 2050 it is not economical to use the supply. It can still be there for drought, or emergency, but it is not economical to use that water as your primary source of supply."

Looking at the Arkansas River Basin for renewable water resources

Koger suggested looking at the Arkansas River Basin as a renewable, alternative source of water, and specifically suggested areas to consider where a pipeline, reservoir storage, and pumping stations may be located. The suggestions include a pipeline connecting area water districts eventually to the Arkansas River Basin, and to consider a possible reservoir near Fountain. The area for the infrastructure for the water delivery pipeline system presented by Koger did not consider connections with the Southern Delivery System, but was separated into three physical locations as a three-part implementation plan.

Estimated cost of $256 million excludes cost of water

Koger said, "There is a good reason to work together as a region. So that everyone has a smaller piece of the costs." Looking at engineering, property acquisition, and permit costs, Forsgren & Associates estimated $33 million, storage development $ 82 million, conveyance pipelines and appurtenances $67 million, and water treatment facility $74 million, for a total of $256 million, excluding the acquisition costs of water. Koger says ideally, these costs would be shared by several water districts who utilize the system.

Board votes to approve policy for non-potable water irrigation

Prompted to complete a policy for the Brookmoor homeowners association, the board voted unanimously to approve a policy to allow non-potable water for irrigation. Looking for a way to reduce water costs, Russ Broshous, Brookmoor’s representative, approached WWSD earlier this year for permission to tap in to WWSD’s non-potable water supply. Shaffer was to meet with Broshous subsequently to discuss specific terms. The formalized policy may allow Brookmoor the opportunity to be able to use the non-potable water this summer. Not eligible are individual homeowners. Jim Taylor wanted to make sure that firefighting use, drawing from the lake for emergency use, was available and codified into the policy.

Aquatic herbicide florodone will target several plant species in Lake Woodmoor

Attempting to prevent clogged intake pipes on Lake Woodmoor, the board voted 3-1 to accept a contract with SePRO, which will be intruding florodone into Lake Woodmoor.

Shaffer said the florodone would be dropped by boat into the water in three treatments. Florodone is believed to affect elodea, the common coon tail plant, duckweed, and other plant species that root into the soil, but not algae. Shaffer said that as the plants take in the herbicide, it upsets the photosynthesis process.

Concerned over long-term unknown future effects of this herbicide, Tommy Schwab voted against the motion. Taylor asked about the effect on Kentucky bluegrass.

Shaffer said he believes the concentration level that affects lawn grass is around 10 ppb.

Woodmoor Lake water is sent to the non-potable water and potable water systems, and both systems are used for lawn irrigation. Shaffer addressed the need to stipulate in the contract between SePRO and WWSD terms whereby the district is not responsible for possible adverse effects of florodone, although it was thought that there were none. As part of the service to WWSD, SePRO will provide water quality data.

Contract to re-vegetate J.V. Ranch approved

The board unanimously approved a contract to re-vegetate J.V. Ranch. Under the existing contract terms with the purchase of J.V. Ranch, WWSD is required to provide weed control and irrigation improvements. Director Taylor also showed photographs of the Chilcott Ditch area, recommending shoreline improvements and pointing out areas where the ditch probably needs to be dredged and cleared of debris.

Board moves forward to provide easement for Monument Hill Self Storage

John Erinson, representing Monument Hill Self Storage, requested WWSD sell a small 20 by 30 by 50 parcel of land in order to place a drain channel into Deer Creek. Shaffer said he expected the impact to the stream from the drain water to be minimal, and commented that Deer Creek is an intermittent creek, dry most of the time, but a tributary to Monument Creek. The board unanimously voted to move forward on the non-exclusive easement purchase agreement.

Woodmoor agrees with Palmer Lake on costs of phase one of nutrient removal system

Attorney Erin Smith recommended the board vote to approve an agreement between WWSD and Palmer Lake Sanitation District concerning the phase one costs for the prosperous nutrient removal project. Smith announced the Palmer Lake Sanitation District board already approved the arrangement Feb. 11. According to Smith, the agreement caps the contribution with Palmer Lake, paying one-third of the costs, yet also allows for both to seek reimbursement from either partner. Woodmoor’s costs are around 64.1 percent. The board unanimously voted to approve the agreement terms. The agreement allows the project to move forward.

Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District jointly owns the wastewater treatment plant with Palmer Lake Sanitation District and Monument Sanitation District. Representatives from these three entities meet regularly as the Joint Use Committee (JUC). Director Strom is Woodmoor’s representative.

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Board meetings are held at the district office on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. The next board meeting is scheduled for February 12. The district office is located at 1845 Woodmoor Dr. Visit www.woodmoorwater.com or call 488-2525.

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

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Academy Water and Sanitation District, Feb. 18: District focused on funding, IGA details as connection plans continue

By Susan Hindman

Since July 2014, the Academy Water and Sanitation District board has been pursuing connection of its wastewater system to the neighboring Donala Water and Sanitation District collection system and the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. The focus of its meetings since that time has been on preparing an intergovernmental agreement, getting a better idea of the costs, and getting information about how to pay for it. At Academy’s Feb. 18 board meeting, Keith McLaughlin, with the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority, gave a presentation about its funding programs, including the Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, which he said has been "a low-cost source of funding" for water and wastewater entities since 1989.

New state wastewater regulations led to the need for the district to pursue connecting to Donala, replacing the district’s current lagoon treatment system. The district’s wastewater permit, issued in October 2013, mandates that plans and funding be in place by October 2016 and that new operations start in October 2018.

The original estimate of $3.9 million—which would cover construction, a plant investment fee, engineering, and contingencies—was recently lowered to $3 million by GMS Engineering. The costs will be shouldered by the district’s 300 residential customers at a time when Academy had just paid off its debt after 20 years and residents saw a drop in their property tax bill.

In December, Jason Meyer, who handles funding acquisition for GMS (the district’s engineering firm), spoke to the board at length about various funding options, including the revolving fund. He had suggested inviting McLaughlin to a future meeting to further explain that program.

Requests for $2.5 million or less are addressed by low-interest loans from the revolving fund; more than that generates the issuance of bonds. The timing for getting the funding is complicated by a new requirement that revolving fund monies must be spent in two years, so only projects that are ready to start construction will be approved. Before the district can even apply for the loan, it has to have site and design approval and all engineering plans and specifications approved by the state’s Water Quality Control Division.

How the district repays either the loan or the bond generated a lot of discussion. Two options were presented, one that involves a vote of the residents and one that doesn’t.

General obligation bonds are what voters approve (or vote down) in elections, and, if approved, payment would come via a mill levy increase that is paid for through property taxes. It would require compliance with TABOR (or an accompanying de-TABOR ballot question). This election couldn’t be held until May 2016.

But if the district were to set up an enterprise for the sanitation side—which McLaughlin said he sees 90 percent of the time—it could get a revenue bond. Residents would pay for this bond through user fees, and TABOR would not be an issue. An enterprise can be set up by board resolution and would bypass the need for an election, though a public hearing would be required. With the tight schedule the district is facing, establishing an enterprise would allow things to move quickly. There was a lengthy discussion on this subject, and no decisions were made.

Meanwhile, the draft intergovernmental agreement with Donala continues to be refined by GMS and Academy’s lawyer. The board scheduled another special meeting—the second in two months—for March 3 to review the next version.

Rate increase is first in 5 years

With current water use rates falling short of covering the costs of water production, Treasurer Walt Reis proposed increasing the water rate. The cost analysis he’d prepared indicated that while the current service fees cover the costs of repair and maintenance, the use rates don’t cover what they need to. He recommended rates increase by $1 in each of two categories:

• 0–12,000 gallons: $8 per 1,000 gallons

• 12,000 + gallons: $12 per 1,000 gallons

Water use rates haven’t been raised since 2010. The increase is only on the water side; wastewater rates will remain unchanged. The board approved the increase, effective March 1.

New meeting date and time

Starting in March, the board will meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m., at the same location, the Wescott Fire Station on Gleneagle and Jessie Drives.

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The Academy Water and Sanitation District board meets at 1 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month at the fire station on Gleneagle and Jessie Drives. The next meeting is March 17.

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

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Tri-Lakes Facility Joint Use Committee, Feb. 10: New emergency electric power generator bid option dropped

By Jim Kendrick

On Feb. 13, Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Manager Bill Burks said the facility’s engineering firm, Tetra Tech RTW, had reversed its position on the necessity of immediately installing an emergency backup electric power generator to avoid total phosphorus discharge permit violations during an extended electric utility failure. Last June, Tetra Tech RTW initially estimated that the overall cost of designing and constructing the emergency generator system was roughly $200,000. The Joint Use Committee (JUC) subsequently decided to make the generator a bid option to have the ability to control part of Tetra Tech RTW’s escalating total project cost, which has grown from $1 million to $2.87 million. After converting the generator and several other proposed parts of the proposed project to bid options, the cost of all the basic components needed to remove total phosphorus to meet the 1 milligram per liter discharge limit under the state Health Department’s new Control Regulation 85 was reduced to $2.32 million.

At the 90 percent design completion briefing on Feb. 4, Tetra Tech RTW engineer Steve Tamburini said that his original estimated cost of $11,000 for creating two separate total phosphorus expansion designs, with and without an emergency backup electric generator, was too low. The differences in the electrical systems for both options were far more extensive than he originally estimated to be able to provide emergency generator electrical power to every major treatment component in the facility except the ultraviolet disinfection building, which already has its own separate small emergency backup electric generator.

The proposed emergency generator would have provided backup power to one of the two existing parallel wastewater treatment trains of aeration basins and their attached secondary clarifiers. The activated sludge lagoons use electrical aeration blowers to sustain bacteria that digest biosolid wastes via alternating aerobic processes supported by this aeration immediately followed by anaerobic processes when the blowers are turned off. The gravity secondary clarifiers mechanically separate the biosolid sludge produced by the aeration basin bacteria from the treated water.

The emergency generator would have also provided power to one of the two parallel treatment trains in the new tertiary chemical phosphorus removal clarifier. This new clarifier will remove total phosphorus using a flocculation and sedimentation process that will rapidly mix the injected polymers into the wastewater from the existing secondary clarifiers. The total phosphorus coated with the polymers will clump together and settle to the bottom of the new tertiary chemical clarifiers and then be continuously swept by mechanical rakes at the bottom of the clarifier tanks to sump pumps that will send these captured phosphorus solid clumps via new transport pipes to the facility’s existing sludge lagoon. As noted above, Tamburini originally thought at least one of the these two tertiary chemical total phosphorus clarifiers would have had to be powered by the emergency generator in the event of a public electric utility failure by Mountain View Electric Association.

On Feb. 10, there was JUC consensus to abandon all further preparations for Tetra Tech RTW’s backup generator. The $200,000 cost for this backup generator is not included in the $2.32 million estimated basic cost for the total phosphorus removal tertiary clarifier expansion project and is not eligible for state nutrient design and construction grant reimbursement.

The other bid option Tetra Tech RTW has proposed for installing a new high speed turbine blower for greater electrical power efficiency, at an additional cost of roughly $300,000, will remain in the overall total phosphorus plant expansion bid package to be put out to bid. However, this new high technology blower installation is not being mandated by the state, is not eligible for reimbursement from the state’s $1 million nutrient treatment design and construction grant, and is not included in the $2.32 million estimated basic cost for the total phosphorus removal tertiary clarifier expansion project.

New discharge permit still not issued

Burks also reported that he still not had received the facility’s new five-year discharge permit from the state Health Department. The Water Quality Control Division has provided no explanation for the delay or an expected date for issuing the permit. The facility approved the final draft of the discharge permit last fall. The state demanded that Tri-Lakes apply for this new discharge permit early even though the current discharge permit does not expire until the end of 2016 so that the five-year permit cycle will align with the five-year review cycle for the Arkansas River basin standards, www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/Regulation-32.pdf.

Design approvals still pending

Burks reported that Tetra Tech RTW had advised him that the regional 208 plan review by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments staff had been successfully completed. Burks said Tetra Tech RTW had sent the design and construction documents to the state engineers in the Pueblo regional office 60 days ago for their review and approval. Once the state approves these documents, Tetra Tech RTW will go out for bid on the $2.32 million project and the sole remaining $300,000 high speed turbine bid option.

Once this approval is received, Tetra Tech RTW can go out for bid on this expansion project.

There was a lengthy technical discussion about several different design issues and options from the 90 percent planning review held between Burks and the owner district managers and engineer Steve Tamburini of Tetra Tech RTW on Feb. 4. Burks stated he would prioritize separation of the air ducts that currently feed compressed air to the two operational basins in a common air duct, then add automatic controls of blower speeds of flow rates and air valves for the numerous ducts in each aeration basin, then add the new high speed turbine blower last. Adding these capabilities will allow for more efficient control of ammonia levels in each aeration basin and more effective lowering of total inorganic nitrogen concentrations in the treated effluent discharged to Monument Creek.

Financial reports

Burks noted that the amended final 2015 facility budget had been received by the state Division of Local Governments on Jan. 30. He distributed hard copies of the final amended 2015 budget to the members of the JUC. For more information about the amendments to this 2015 final budget, see http://ocn.me/v15n1.htm#tlfjuc1209.

During his review of the January financial reports, Burks noted a monthly state nutrient grant reimbursement of $36,207 in January for Tetra Tech RTW’s preparation of design and construction documents for the total phosphorus removal tertiary clarifier expansion project.

The total amount of state nutrient grant reimbursements the facility has received to date was $168,437, which included all of the $80,000 state planning grant and $88,437 from the $1 million state design and construction grant. See http://ocn.me/v13n8.htm and http://ocn.me/v13n8.htm#grant for more information on Tri-Lakes’ state nutrient grants.

The financial reports were unanimously accepted as presented.

Plant manager’s report

Burks reported that the plant was operating very efficiently, as shown in the facility’s December monthly discharge monitoring report and separate 2014 fourth-quarter discharge monitoring report, even though only one of the facility’s two hourly operator positions is filled and funding for a third hourly operator in the 2015 budget was deleted. Burks noted that four of the 19 applicants for the empty position were certified. The ad for the open position ran through Feb. 22.

The net December total phosphorus influent results for the Tri-Lake plant were 0.987 million gallons per day (MGD) and 76.0 pounds per day (ppd.) The new total phosphorus chemical removal tertiary clarifier constituent treatment capacity is rated at 264 ppd by Tetra Tech RTW. The December phosphorus influent testing results for flow (MGD), concentration in milligrams per liter (mg/l), loading (ppd), and percent of loading were:

• Monument – 0.199 MGD, 36.5 ppd, 47.8 percent

• Palmer Lake – 0.210 MGD, 7.5 ppd, 9.9 percent

• Woodmoor – 0.578 MGD, 32.0 ppd, 42.4 percent

Burks reported that the new annual Control Regulation 85 nutrient data submittal will use the same format as the one required for 2013 data. This information will be submitted by Tri-Lakes through the Arkansas and Fountain Coalition for Rural/Urban River Evaluation (AF CURE) baseline created two years ago for Monument Creek and Fountain Creek wastewater facilities. This will be a substantial labor-saving software device for AF CURE wastewater operators.

AF CURE has been successful in spreading the responsibility and equitable cost sharing among all its member wastewater entities to sample and characterize the stream and watershed health of Monument Creek from Palmer Lake and Woodland Park to Pueblo. This stream model data collection will enable all AF CURE members to defend themselves from the imposition of unreasonable discharge permit limits for metals and other emerging contaminants of concern when the real aquatic life problems are being caused by contaminants from agricultural and natural non-point sources being delivered to the creeks by stormwater runoff rather than sanitary sewer pipes.

There was a lengthy discussion of the limits of technology that will apply after 2022 to enhanced biological nutrient reduction treatment process processes that don’t work at higher elevations and in desert climates.

Burks noted that the sludge hauling firms Parker Ag and Liquid Waste Management have merged, which will reduce competitive bidding opportunities in the future.

The meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

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

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

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Donala Water and Sanitation District, Feb. 19: Total district water demand drops as groundwater well productivity also falls

By Jim Kendrick

On Feb. 19, General Manager Kip Petersen advised the Donala Water and Sanitation District board on lessons learned at a session he attended on communications from water entities to television and other media as well as the Internet, such as Donala’s annual water production has dropped from 1,400 acre-feet to about 820 acre-feet.

Water engineer Will Koger of Forsgren Associates gave a briefing on a draft of a regional water and infrastructure feasibility study Forsgren performed for seven water district members (including Donala) of the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority (PPRWA) and Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU). Phase 2 of the study will be a preliminary engineering report.

Petersen announced that Donala Waste Plant Operator Aaron Tolman had successfully upgraded his wastewater treatment license to "C" level.

Directors Bill George, Dave Powell, Ken Judd, Bill Nance, and Bob Denny were all present. Donala resident Kevin Deardorff also attended the meeting.

Manager’s report

Petersen reported on his and Director Bob Denny’s attendance at the annual Colorado Water Congress conference in Denver. Petersen noted that there were a lot of people from southeast Colorado expressing longstanding animosity and anger toward El Paso County water entities at this session and the most recent Arkansas River basin roundtable meeting. Many people said El Paso County was "stealing water from southeast agricultural interests to fuel growth along the Front Range." Koger supported Petersen’s summary, saying that public relations with Colorado residents to the south will remain "a tough nut to crack."

There was board consensus on his suggestion to prepare Donala presentations about the district’s renewable water that will be transported by the CSU Southern Delivery System. Petersen added that he gained a deeper "appreciation for what it takes to keep a ranch or farm going in today’s social and economic climate."

Petersen briefed the board on successful Denver water conservation efforts over the last decade that has lowered individual consumption to about 86 gallons per day per person. He noted that Donala’s annual water production has dropped from 1,400 acre-feet to about 820 acre-feet.

New redevelopment policy approved

Petersen presented a district policy amendment proposal for redeveloped properties within the Donala service area that have a significantly changed use. Owners of redeveloped property will have to provide Donala with renewable water rights for increased water demand by the new use, or pay Donala for all its cost for providing additional renewable water for the new use as well as transporting this additional water to Donala’s distribution system and treating it before delivery to the redeveloped property. He reported that this new policy needs to be in place before Donala signs a new long-term contract with CSU for transport and treatment and the separate new long-term contract with the federal Bureau of Reclamation for storage of Donala’s renewable water within the Pueblo Reservoir. Likewise, any new costs for infrastructure and treatment of wastewater from the redeveloped property would have to be paid to Donala by the owner.

Current district ratepayers will not be paying excess fees to subsidize redevelopment of areas within Donala, such as the former Gleneagle golf course, or new water-intensive commercial development on currently unsubdivided vacant land.

The proposed redevelopment policy amendment was unanimously approved by the board.

Financial reports

Petersen briefed the board on district water operations on budgeted cash reserves before any significant property tax revenue is received. Only $28.07 in property tax revenue had been forwarded to the district in January. Total revenue for January was $237,542—only 3.39 percent of the $7 million budgeted. Total January expenditures were $676,246.

The biggest water expenditure was the first 2015 $392,168 loan payment to the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority. The total amount budgeted for water authority loan payments throughout 2015 is $804,345. A total of $27,797, of $42,000 budgeted for 2015, was paid for computer and software annual expenses. Total wastewater expenditures were $26,539 of $1.35 million budgeted for all of 2015.

Petersen presented a summary of specific cost and coverage changes that have resulted from the district changing its insurance carrier from Cincinnati Insurance Co. of Littleton to Travelers Insurance, which produced total annual savings of $13,853.

Feasibility study results presented

Koger presented the results of the first phase of this new PPRWA water/infrastructure feasibility study. He discussed study goals and findings, region-wide implementation, and next steps. Previously Donala participated in the 2008 PPRWA Water Infrastructure Planning Study. For more information, see http://ocn.me/v8n3.htm#pprwa and http://ocn.me/v8n2.htm#dwsd.

The goal of the study is to provide means for El Paso County water providers to transition from providing potable water from non-renewable Denver Basin aquifers to a regional infrastructure to provide water from renewable ground water sources.

For this new study, it was assumed that the current economic production of non-renewable ground water by the eight study participants, 14,566 acre-feet per year, will drop to 4,847 acre-feet of economic non-renewable ground water per year (35 percent of current production) in 2035, and to zero by 2050. The current annual water demand in El Paso County for potable water is 16,284 acre-feet per year, and was assumed to grow to 25,024 acre-feet in 2035 and 29,960 acre-feet in 2050. The county’s annual ground water production deficit in 2050 was assumed to be 9,397 acre-feet.

While groundwater wells will not be totally depleted in 2050, none will be economically useable by county water districts and municipalities as a primary supply at that time, and will be useable only for droughts and emergencies. It will take about six groundwater wells then to produce what one groundwater well can produce now, on average. The more renewable water that can be produced as soon as possible, the longer the existing ground water wells will be available for drought and emergencies.

There was a very lengthy technical discussion about numerous options for types of renewable water sources, bulk water piping, storage, potential locations of new joint transport and treatment facilities, state/federal grant and low-interest loan opportunities that will be addressed in the next phase of this study.

Operations report

Petersen reported a problem with one of the two operational treatment trains at the Upper Monument Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility that treats the sanitary sewer flows of both Donala and the Triview Metropolitan District. Due in part to very cold weather and the higher than normal loads of fats, oils, and grease that occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, one train is having issues with mictrothrix parvicella contamination. A vendor has offered to conduct a case study at no charge to treat the contamination with a product that would compete with the mictrothrix parvicella to "starve them out" as a method to eliminate the problem. At this meeting, only two weeks of the four-week study had been completed. The facility has a third currently unused wastewater treatment train that could be activated in about a week if the current contamination treatment process proves unsuccessful.

The board went into executive session at 3:30 p.m. to discuss a potential acquisition of water rights.

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The next meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on March 19 in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Information: 488-3603 or http://www.donalawater.org.

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

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District Accountability Advisory Committee, Feb. 10: Committee discusses Monument Academy and Lewis-Palmer Elementary UIPs

By Harriet Halbig

The District Accountability Advisory Committee of the Lewis-Palmer school district discussed the Unified Improvement Plans (UIPs) for Monument Academy and Lewis-Palmer Elementary School at its Feb. 10 meeting.

Lis Richard gave a brief introduction to the Monument Academy campus, where the meeting was held. She said that Monument Academy is the second-largest school in the district with 950 students in grades K through 8 and is parent-run, with its own Board of Directors. The academy abides by the same laws as the traditional schools in the district. All teachers are certified. The contract between the district and the academy is renewed every five years, with the next renewal due next year. The district and the academy are pleased with their relationship, she said.

Monument Academy has no plans to include the high school grades, because the district’s high schools are of high quality.

Class size is kept below 24 students. Special education services are offered, as are programs for gifted students. Parents are asked to volunteer at least 16 hours per semester. Middle school programs are segregated from the lower grades.

Monument Academy UIP

Richard reported that this was a good year for the academy. In the previous year, the school was rated as "approaching" and "does not meet" in some areas and that is no longer the case. She said that part of the problem is that when dealing with high achieving students, showing growth is challenging. All of the targets created last year have been met.

Although all targets were met, there are a few initiatives being pursued. The first of these is to better align the curriculum vertically to avoid duplication of effort. The second is to stress reading more at the middle school level.

Monument Academy is rated as "exceeds" in academic achievement and "meets" in academic growth and academic growth gaps.

Lewis-Palmer Elementary School UIP

Lewis-Palmer Elementary School (LPES) is rated as "meets" in academic achievement and academic growth and as "approaching" in academic growth gaps. The school is rated as "meets" in academic growth in the areas of reading and writing, and as "approaching" in mathematics.

In academic growth gaps, the school rated as "meets" in reading for those on free/reduced lunch. Among minority students and English learners, it has a rating of "approaching" for students needing to catch up and a rating of "does not meet" for students with disabilities.

The school is rated as "does not meet" in math for all categories except students who need to catch up, which is rated as "approaching." In writing, minority students and English learners are rated as "meets," those eligible for free/reduced lunch and those needing to catch up are rated as "approaching," and students with disabilities are rated as "does not meet."

The narrative included in the UIP stated that the decline in performance in math is of particular concern and that analysis has shown that the students who were receiving extra help outside of the classroom were often missing important things inside the classroom. As students fall further behind, the amount of growth required in a given year increases.

Causes of the problems were identified as a lack of professional development and a tendency to teach to the general population rather than small group intervention.

In terms of target setting, the UIP states that LPES will provide professional development focused on using best practices to embed progress monitoring in math and to plan for differentiated learning so the growth rate will increase. Implementation of this plan will include the use of the NWEA assessment several times a year to monitor progress.

Math in particular will be a focus of attention, with professional development offered and monthly meetings to adjust instruction based on discussion and analysis of data.

Community Family Partnership update

Special Education Parent Liaison Michelle Nay spoke briefly on the subject of family, school, and community partnering in support of the Colorado Multi-Tiered System of Supports.

The rationale behind community family partnering is that students spend more than 70 percent of their waking hours in school and therefore activities in the home and community should support concepts taught in the schools. Therefore, responsibility for the success of students is shared among the school, family, and community.

Among the expectations of the program are that schools will welcome all families, communicate effectively with families, share power over curriculum and other matters, support student success, and collaborate with the community. Some ways to apply these expectations are to offer flexible hours for meetings, use of partnering vocabulary, welcoming family participation on teams, and homework design focused on successful completion.

Legislative update

School Board Liaison John Magerko spoke of ongoing efforts by the Colorado Testing Task Force to reduce the amount of testing, notably testing of high school seniors and testing of juniors except for the ACT test, and allowing more time for kindergarten students to take the first READ Act assessment. The task force also recommends allowing students to use paper and pencil for tests.

Superintendent Karen Brofft reported on the annual meeting of the Colorado Association of School Executives. The primary subjects of discussion were school spending and the governor’s request for an additional $380 million in 2015-16, and the fact that school districts should not accept current funding levels as the new normal.

Brofft said that District 38 has lost $19 million in the past few years due to shortfalls in funding from the state level.

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The District Accountability Advisory Committee meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. Locations vary. The March 10 meeting will be at Prairie Winds Elementary School, 7909 Kings Deer Pt. E., Monument.

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

 

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Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education, Feb. 19: Board discusses technology strategy, budget projections, parental concerns

By Harriet Halbig

The Board of Education of Lewis-Palmer D-38 discussed changes in its technology resources, a new position to concentrate on that aspect of the district, a first look at the 2015-16 budget, and some parent concerns at its Feb. 19 meeting.

Instructional technology update

Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development Sheila Beving said that teachers have noticed that students seem more engaged when working with computers and are more likely to finish their assignments. She showed the board some items created by students with 3D printers and said that she had consulted administrators from neighboring districts on their treatment of this challenge.

Beving said that she had concluded that the district needs to acquire many more devices for student use, and that evaluating the alternatives, creating and implementing a procurement process, and addressing budgeting for this purpose would require time and expertise not now available within the district.

Beving said that, in six months, she would like to have a director of Instructional and Informational Technology. In a year, she would like to see an action plan in place to address budgeting, communications, the district website, and classroom needs.

Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman said that her office has developed a request for information that will be sent to systems providers.

Director of Personnel and Student Services Bob Foster told the board that a description of the position of director of Instructional and Informational Technology had been prepared. The board approved the position and directed that it be posted on the D-38 Personnel Services website, soliciting applications through March 13.

Budget projections

Wangeman reported that, year to date, the district has added 80 students, will graduate 525 seniors, and add 246 kindergarteners.

She said that district representatives are continuing to meet with developers to learn of their plans for building in the area, the number of homes, and the price points of those homes, in an effort to anticipate growth in student population.

Wangeman said that the governor would like to increase the per-student funding by $220 in the coming year, but that inflation alone would require an increase of almost $225.

Utility cost increases in the coming year may be offset by the decreased price of diesel fuel, but the cost of electricity is likely to rise.

Wangeman presented a list of requests for the coming year, including capital improvements, purchase of three buses and other vehicles, and the cost of the new director of Instructional and Informational Technology position. She also said that grant money is being sought for some of the capital improvements.

Superintendent update

Superintendent Karen Brofft reported that discussion of a waiver from assessment continues. While the state Board of Education encouraged a decrease in the amount of testing, the state attorney general said that such waivers may not be legal.

Brofft announced that Community Relations Manager Robin Adair has left the district. The position of public information officer will be posted on the district’s personnel site until March 6.

Brofft reported that the district has received a secondary school health professional grant that will support drug and alcohol prevention programs, additional counselors, and full-time nurses at each school.

Referring back to state funding, Brofft said that the district has lost $19 million in promised funding over the past several years.

Other matters

The board received a number of additional reports, among them:

• Former Superintendent Ted Bauman reported on the Lewis-Palmer Hall of Fame for 2015, saying that nominations are now being sought. He and former Superintendent Jeff Ferguson are co-chairs of the committee. Bauman stressed that individuals from all levels of the district, including volunteers, are eligible for nomination. The deadline for nominations is April 30. The ceremony will likely be held in the fall.

• Director of Assessment and Gifted Education Lori Benton introduced the board to the new assessment dashboard, a report that will be in the board’s packet each month to give up-to-date information on data derived from assessments.

• Foster offered a first reading of policies on the subjects of staff use of technology resources and accountability.

• The board approved the employee benefits package for the coming year.

• The board approved the extension of the superintendent’s contract through June 30, 2016.

• The board reaffirmed its resolution from February 2014 regarding local control with regard to curriculum, standards, and use of the PARCC assessments.

• The board approved a resolution asking the state Board of Education to certify the board as the sole chartering authority within district boundaries.

Citizens’ comments

Six parents of students at Lewis-Palmer Elementary School addressed the board with concerns about changes in the atmosphere at that school, finding it less welcoming and positive than it had been prior to the recent change in administration. Stressing that the teachers are excellent, the parents felt that the previous atmosphere of enthusiasm and support has suffered and that students seem to be aware of the difference.

A teacher from the school said that the teachers there are happy and that parents are welcome to visit at any time to assess the situation. She said that the new leadership welcomes input from parents.

Dennise Wilson, co-chair of the Lewis-Palmer Education Association, reported that the organization had raised money for Tri-Lakes Cares to distribute to local families to help with their utility bills.

Special recognitions

Steve Waldmann, parent and chess team coach, introduced some of the trophy winners from the tournament held on Feb. 14 at Lewis-Palmer Elementary School. This was the ninth annual tournament and was attended by 75 students. Waldmann thanked Key Club members and teachers for their help.

Carrie Hendrix, Lewis-Palmer High school computer instructor and yearbook adviser, said that the school’s 2014 Westwind yearbook has been nominated for the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pacemaker Award. Six members of the yearbook staff spoke briefly to thank Hendrix for her support.

Palmer Ridge High School Field hockey coach Paul Lewis was introduced as the Gazette Field Hockey Coach of the Year. Additional honors awarded to the team by the Colorado High School Activities Association included academic state champions, and the team was runner-up in the state tournament last fall.

Caption: Members of the Lewis-Palmer High School Westwind yearbook staff are, from left, Lauren White, Nicholas Lewis, Jordan Arnold, Riley Bircham, Hannah Spivey, Kelsey Falvo, and teacher and advisor Carrie Hendrix. Photo by Julie Stephen.

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The Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education 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 March 19.

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

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Monument Board of Trustees, March 2: Town manager candidate "meet and greet" March 14

By Lisa Hatfield

At the March 2 Monument Board of Trustees meeting, the trustees discussed the hiring process for new town manager, heard a presentation about the need for renewable water sources for the town, approved four ordinances, and applauded Chief Water Operator Nick Harris.

Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Kaiser chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Rafael Dominguez.

Town manager hiring process continues

Trustee Jeff Smith asked Town Attorney Gary Shupp to clarify that the process of selecting finalists for the town manager position did follow open meeting laws. Shupp said since it was just an administrative meeting with two trustees, not a committee designated for this process, the posting of the meeting Smith asked about was not necessary.

Town Manager and Interim Town Treasurer Pamela Smith said she received about 50 resumes for the town manager job, but not as many qualified candidates for the treasurer position. Smith said it was decided to hire a new town manager, and she will retain the town treasurer position then.

Residents are invited to a "meet and greet" on March 14 to meet the two finalists for the town manager position. The meeting is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Monument Town Hall, 645 Beacon Lite Road.

Renewable water study update

Will Koger of Forsgren Engineering presented information about the need for a "prompt" transition from non-renewable groundwater, which the town heavily depends on now, to a renewable supply of water and a regional water supply approach, possibly teaming up with six or seven other water districts to achieve economies of scale on new infrastructure. For more details, see summaries in Donala on page 15 and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation on page 1.

Four ordinances approved

The trustees unanimously approved the following ordinances:

• Implementing a distance restriction of 500 feet between any licensed liquor establishment and any public or parochial school.

• Revising the Monument Municipal Code regarding public consumption of alcohol so that future town events with special event permits do not violate town ordinances about drinking in the streets.

• Amending the sign ordinance code to make it more concise and understandable.

• Amending the maximum fence height in Planned Industrial Development areas so that it is now 8 feet instead of 6 feet.

Kudos to Harris

Chief Water Operator Nick Harris received a kudos award from Public Works Director Tom Tharnish for his help in collecting data and background information relevant to the recent water rights change issue with Palmer Lake. Tharnish thanked Harris for his "creative solutions that helped solve this case."

Town manager’s report

Smith presented the disbursements over $5,000 at both the Feb. 17 and March 2 meetings:

• Triview Metro District $2,772

• Lytle Water Solutions LLC $14,350 for six water projects engineering and consulting fees

• Triview Metro District $163,194

• Cool Breeze Heating and Air Conditioning $5,097

• Krassa & Miller LLC $14,202 for various legal advice on seven water cases

• Trench Shoring Services $6,618

Smith said she is trying to arrange meetings with CDOT in March with the possibility of coming to an agreement with CDOT about a new location for the bulk fill station currently located on Wagon Gap Trail.

"Whole community"

Trustee Becki Tooley expressed her gratitude to a "random guy," Kevin Nelson, who stopped to tow her car and another car out of the snow recently. "That’s the spirit of why I moved here. We’re a whole community. It’s a wonderful thing."

The meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.

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

See additional Monument Board of Trustees articles on pages 1-6.

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Woodmoor Improvement Associate Board of Directors, Feb. 25: Board vacancy to be filled; covenants to be revised

By Jackie Burhans

The Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board discussed the resignation of board member Dick Green, a plan to update the covenants, and increased interactions with El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Treasurer Tom Shoemaker was absent.

Board vacancy

President Jim Hale reported that new board member Dick Green had resigned after selling his house more quickly than expected. Erik Stensland has stepped into the role of vice president and is temporarily in charge of Forestry until a new director is appointed. Hale wants to get a person with knowledge and experience on the Forestry Committee to come on board and hopes to make an appointment at next month’s meeting.

Covenants to be revised

Hale proposed establishing an emergency fund of $100,000.

Vice President Stensland indicated that he wants to rewrite the covenants this year and then move on to the rules and regulations. He will work with Sherrie Storey, Covenants and Forestry administrator, and bring that draft to the board with a proposal to get feedback. Hale indicated he is the only one on the board that was involved with the previous covenant revision process and noted that the board will have to get legal counsel involved and will need to figure out how to get the changes passed in an affordable and timely way.

WPS reports and Sheriff’s Office

Per Suhr, director of Public Safety, after the latest revision of the Woodmoor Public Safety (WPS) database, said we believe everyone is happy with it; residents are getting the information they are used to and it still tracks the activities of WPS. Suhr noted that WPS has been logging patrol checks of Woodmoor Park and the YMCA as business customers and have been asked by the chief to discontinue this because the two entities are part of Woodmoor and pay their assessments just like other residents.

Suhr relayed that the patrol commander of the county Sheriff’s Office has asked the board for permission to let the deputies use the WPS office to access the computer for phone follow-up. WPS Chief Nielsen said they could have a separate login or bring their own laptops and leverage the WIA Wi-Fi or use their data cards and have a place to sit. Hale indicated it would be great opportunity, if they are up in this part of the county, to interact with them and discuss local issues. Chief Nielsen noted that, under Sheriff Elder, there has been a significant increase in traffic stops, patrols, and communication.

Other business

Highlights from the board member reports include:

• The board has decided on a 2015 Jeep Cherokee to replace an older vehicle. A motion was made to approve the purchase of the new vehicle and was seconded and unanimously approved.

• Hale talked to the owner of the new Magnum Shooting Range about the possibility of WPS using the facility to shoot and qualify locally. Hale suggested that he, Chief Nielsen, and Officer Les Milligan should discuss this with the owner.

• Vice President Stensland reported for Forestry that meetings would be started shortly to organize so that the new director will have something to start with.

• Director of Common Areas Alan Bassett reported that four people had signed up to volunteer for the ad hoc common area committee.

• The board discussed a variety of projects including possible community events, a pavilion in front of the Barn, and improvements to parking near Toboggan Hill.

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The Board of Directors of the WIA usually meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Barn at 1691 Woodmoor Drive, Monument. Due to holidays, the next meeting will be on March 25. WIA board meeting minutes can be found at: http://www.woodmoor.org/content/admin-bod-meeting-minutes.html once approved.

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

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February 2015 Weather Wrap

By Bill Kappel

It was quite a roller coaster ride during February, as we saw an extended period of warmth during the first half of the month, then an extended period of cold and snow during the last third of the month. Overall, temperatures during the month were warmer than normal, and snowfall was well above normal. That’s a good sign as we head into spring and need that moisture to get the season off to a good start.

The first day of the month was cooler than normal, with 1-2 inches of snow falling. High temperatures were held in the mid- to upper 20s that afternoon. But this was the last day with below average temperatures until the 16th. Highs were around normal to slightly warmer than normal over the next few days, as quiet and generally dry weather moved in from the 2nd through the 4th. Then, a strong ridge of high pressure, which had been dominating the weather pattern along the West Coast of the United States most of the winter, moved a little farther east. This allowed very mild and dry air to move into Colorado. Our temperatures soared over the next couple of days.

Record warmth occurred around the region as our January thaw occurred a little late this year. Temperatures warmed into the upper 50s on the 5th, about 15 degrees warmer than normal, and continued to climb over the next couple of days. Highs reached the low to mid-60s each day from the 6th through the 8th as a warm ridge of high pressure built in from the southwest. Of course, on the other side of this high pressure, the air was flowing straight out of Canada into the Midwest and East Coast, so that while we were seeing sun and warmth, they were getting cold and snow. Daily record highs were set at many locations on the afternoon of the 6th and 7th all along the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Colorado. No precipitation fell during this time as well, giving the region a nice feel of spring. Of course, it’s easy to forget our snowiest time of the year is still ahead, with March and April being our two snowiest month of the year

Unsettled conditions briefly returned for most of the week of the 9th, but not before one more day of near record warmth. Highs reached the low 60s on the 9th as the high pressure that had been keeping us warm and dry for most of the month held on for one last day. Moisture began to move in the next day, and with the mild air mass in place, we actually had a few sprinkles fall during the afternoon of the 10th. It was a very rare occurrence in February. This did change to snow that evening and continued into the next morning. Most of us picked up 1-3 inches of snow and temperatures were held to below normal levels on the 11th. Mild air quickly moved back in ahead of the next system, with temperatures reaching back into the mid-50s on the 12th through the 14th. The next storm began to affect the region as the storm track shifted just enough back to the west to allow a couple of disturbances to move through starting on the 15th.

The pattern finally began to make a significant change with the reinforcing shot of cold and snow on the 16th as another 3-4 inches of snow accumulated that morning and afternoon. Temperatures remained below freezing through the mid-afternoon of the 18th as the fresh snow cover helped to limit any warm-up. Morning lows were also chilly, with the fresh snow cover and clear skies, and we briefly dipped below zero on the morning of the 17th. A quick intrusion of mild air followed this storm, with highs jumping back into the 50s on the 19th and 20th, but that would be the last time we would see above normal temperatures through the remainder of the month.

A strong storm began to move through late on the 20th and was in full force on the 21st. This brought heavy snow and colder temperatures. More than a foot of snow accumulated from late on the 20th through early on the 22nd, with the heaviest snow falling on the 21st. Temperatures were held down as reinforcing shots of cold air continued to filter in. Highs only reached the mid-teens on the 22nd and 23rd, and overnight lows flirted with zero each morning. A brief break occurred as this storm moved out and before the next system moved in, but temperatures stayed below normal through the period.

High temperatures reached into the mid-30s on the 24th and 25th, but tumbled quickly back to the mid-teens on the 26th and 27th behind the next cold front. Another 6-8 inches of snow accumulated with this final push of cold air as well, helping to bring our snowpack levels to the highest of the season so far. The last day of the month started cold, with lows right around zero, but lots of sunshine that afternoon made for a pleasant day weather-wise. Although with all the fresh snow on the ground, temperatures still only managed to make it into the mid- and upper 20s.

A look ahead

March is known for a wide range of weather conditions in the region. We can see 70° temperatures one afternoon and blizzard conditions the next. Many of us remember the blizzard of March 2003 when we received 30-50 inches of snowfall that shut down the region. However, snow that does fall begins to melt quickly this time of the year, providing beneficial moisture for our plants and limited inconvenience for us.

February 2015 Weather Statistics

Average High 40.5° (+1.7°)

100-year return frequency value max 51.9° min 32.8°

Average Low 16.0° (+3.3°)

100-year return frequency value max 21.9° min 3.7°

Highest Temperature 66° on the 7th

Lowest Temperature -5° on the 24th

Monthly Precipitation 1.48"

(+0.60" 40% above normal)

100-year return frequency value max 2.10" min 0.02"

Monthly Snowfall 29.0"

(+16.0", 55% above normal)

Season to Date Snow 73.9"

(+4.9", 7% above normal)

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

Season to Date Precip. 14.19"

(+1.32", 10% above normal)

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

Heating Degree Days 1001 (-104)

Cooling Degree Days 0

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.

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

D-38 school board vacancy position

I am Sarah Sampayo – wife, mother of three, attorney, and Monument homeowner. I would like to announce my interest in running for the Director District 2 vacancy on D38’s school board for this year’s upcoming Nov 3rd ballot. I received my BA-MA in religious studies through the foreign studies program of Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium. I taught at the University of Texas before pursuing a law degree at Texas Tech, where my focus was mediation and constitutional rights. In 1999, while my husband was on a teaching assignment at the Air Force Academy, we bought one of the first homes built in Jackson Creek. Our two sons were born here in Colorado. We moved away on various military assignments, added a daughter, and returned to retire to our Jackson Creek home in 2008. For six years, I homeschooled my three children - one gifted, one special needs, and one dyslexic - before entering them first into private, then D-38 public schools. I regularly participate in education decision making at both the state and local level. I have been active for over two years in D38’s District & Building Accountability Boards, PTO, and school principal and D38 Board coffees. I am known for being a good listener, I have a passion for independent research, and I am committed to helping solve problems. Most recently, I have helped draft education legislation for our El Paso County State representatives and testified at several Colorado House and Senate education committee hearings. Our community needs leaders who are committed and engaged – both in the classroom, as well as with policy. As concerned parents and community members, we all have a vested interest in the future of education. My goal is simple. Let’s put students, teachers, and parents as our priority. Let’s restore local control in education.

Sarah Sampayo

Refuse the Tests!

We are parents of a student in D-38 and have chosen to refuse state and federally mandated tests for her this year, including the PARCC that is scheduled to be given this month. There are many reasons to refuse the testing, particularly this first year when legislators are closely watching parents’ response and student participation. As we witnessed last fall in Boulder and Jefferson Counties, there is a bipartisan ground swell of concern about these tests. Our own State Board of Education is not supportive of these tests, voting to allow local school districts to request waivers and to hold school districts "harmless" if they do not reach 95% participation this year. PARCC is tied to federal funding and Common Core Standards, all of which represent an effort to wrest control from local school districts and parents alike when it comes to educating our children. Of greater concern is the fact that our children’s right to privacy is not protected; in fact, their private information can be shared with other government entities by contract, as well as anyone else with a supposed "educational interest". There is nothing to compare these test results to, just like last year’s CMAS test could not be compared to the prior year’s TCAP, which was different from the earlier CSAP, and on and on. Who is benefitting from these tests? Certainly not our children. The expense (in the millions) to administer these tests, the time taken from instruction and the stress on students and teachers alike are more reasons to refuse to participate in this madness. PARCC may well be a one year test due to the backlash; is it worth putting your children through it? Do your homework, and refuse the test.

Dr. Dennis and Diana Helffenstein

Attention Fellow Grandparents!

Do you know what Common Core is? Do you really know? I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to the news, but I didn’t become aware of Common Core until 2013 – 3 years after it became the "law of the land" in Colorado. Forty-four States, including Colorado, passed legislation to adopt Common Core in 2010. As we begin to peel back this onion, we are uncovering what it’s really all about.

As I read parents’ letters to the OCN, the Gazette, and the Denver Post, I’m struck by how much they worry about the testing, data mining, D38. His learning disability presented many challenges, but nothing like what’s happening to parents today. Then my thoughts go to my 4-year old granddaughter. What’s around the corner for her? And then I worry.

She is the reason I am doing my homework. I’ve scrolled and sifted through countless on-line articles and I have even attended public meetings put on by local concerned parents. Here’s my bottom line. Don’t believe those who say Common Core is just about a uniform set of standards. Common Core is the federal takeover of the American public schools. Sound familiar?

Even though our children are grown and gone, the future of our grandchildren’s education is in peril. Let’s all get educated on Common Core. We all know how to Google, right? Make your own judgments. If you decide you are against Common Core, figure out how to become involved. One way is to contact our D38 school board. Find out how you can help them "fight the good fight."

Sharon "Sam" Schafer

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Between the Covers at Covered Treasures Bookstore: Exciting reads for tweens and teens

By the staff at Covered Treasures

How can you tear those middle readers and young adults away from their electronics and lead them into a good book? Some authors have penned stories so engrossing that the keyboards will be put aside.

The War That Saved My Life

By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Penguin Putnam $16.99)

Ten-year-old Ada has never left their one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. But when her little brother, Jamie, is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute before sneaking out to join him at the home of Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada learns to read and to ride a pony, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. Will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime, or will the children fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

Rain Reign

By Ann M. Martin (Macmillan $16.99)

Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms, and she purposely gave her dog the name Rain, because it’s a special one with two homonyms. When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Now, Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. This powerful story is brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.

The Accelerati Trilogy: Tesla’s Attic

By Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman (Hyperion $7.99)

When 14-year-old Nick and his family move into a ramshackle Victorian house they’ve inherited, they’re in for some weird experiences. As Nick opens the door to his attic room, he’s hit in the head by a toaster. He soon figures out that the attic is a strange magnetic vortex, and the objects stored there have extraordinary properties. Fans of intrigue, action, humor, and nonstop surprises are guaranteed a read unlike any other.

Monument 14

By Emmy Laybourne (Macmillan $9.99)

Six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth-graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. Outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Cinderella’s Dress

By Shonna Slayton (Entangled Teen $9.99)

Being a teen-ager during World War II is tough. Kate simply wants to help the war effort by creating window displays at the department store where she’s working, but when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dresses, life gets complicated. Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart shipped off to boot camp, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.

All The Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven (Random House $17.99)

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death; Violet Markey lives for the future. When Finch and Violet meet six stories up on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. When the unlikely pair teams up to discover the "natural wonders" of their state, they go where the road takes them, from the bizarre to the beautiful. This is a heart-wrenching, unflinching story of love shared, life lived, and two teens who find one another while standing on the edge.

Prisoners of the Empire: Under the Blood-Red Sun

By Graham Salisbury (Random House $9.99)

Tomi was born in Hawaii. His grandfather and parents were born in Japan and came to America to escape poverty. When Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese, and the United States declares war on Japan, Tomi’s father and grandfather are arrested and taken away. Tomi must be the man of his family and help his mother and little sister survive. It’s a terrifying time to be Japanese in America, but it helps that Tomi’s buddies remain loyal.

In this rapid-paced, high-tech world, there are still books that have the power to draw young people away to a quiet corner to read. Until next month, happy reading.

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March library events: Magician will present rabbit show

By Harriet Halbig

Family programs

The Lego Club will meet on Saturday, March 21 from 10 to 11:30. Bring your imagination and we will supply the Legos. Open to all ages; no registration required.

Up in the Air with Peter Davison, on March 24 from 3 to 4, features juggling, dance, and theater to transform the stage into a world of motion. From amazing interactions with ordinary objects to hilarious audience participation, this is a celebration of life to appeal to all ages.

On Wednesday, March 25 from 3 to 4 come to the library for Connie Elstun’s Bunnies and Birdies. This family-friendly presentation features magician Elstun and her costumed rabbits as they invade the library to take their spring break.

Chickens in the Library is our program on Thursday, March 26 from 3 to 4. Laura Foye will teach you how to care for chickens, allow you to pet a soft (real) chicken, and visit the craft table to make your own chicken-y creations.

There will be a special story time on Tuesday, March 31 at 10:30 with a special guest storyteller from KCME who will introduce us to stories with a classical music twist. There will be no 11:15 story time on this date due to this special presentation.

AfterMath free math tutoring continues each Monday from 3:30 to 7 through mid-May, excluding school and library holidays. Experienced tutors will work with all ages on any level of math. Bring your homework and drop in for some help. No appointment is necessary.

Adult programs

Local storyteller and writer John Stansfield will portray Charles Fox Gardiner, Colorado medical pioneer, at 1:30 on Saturday, March 7. Stansfield will capture the essence and adventure of practicing medicine in late-19th and early 20th century Colorado. No registration is required.

Local video producer Jim Sawatzki will show his film Voices of Cripple Creek on Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m. No registration is required.

The Monumental Readers will meet on Friday, March 20 from 10 to noon to discuss The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.

Local firefighters will host a fire mitigation workshop on Saturday, March 28 at 10 a.m. Learn how to be safe and protect your property during fire season. No registration is necessary.

On the walls of the library during March will be quilts by the Palmer Divide Quilters. The quilters will also have small items in the display case.

Palmer Lake Library programs

Palmer Lake’s Family Fun program for March is Chickens in the Library. Meet some of the friendliest chickens ever, hear amazing chicken stories and make a gadget that sounds just like a chicken. Laura Foye will bring her favorite birds and will entertain and inform you about these interesting animals on Saturday, March 21 at 10:30.

During spring break, meet amazing arachnids, hissing cockroaches, scorpions, and who knows what! Tarantula wrangler Rowen Monks is back with an assortment of wild insects for you to see up close in Tarantulas and other Creepy Crawlies on Wednesday, March 25 at 10:30.

On the walls of the library will be small quilts by Harriet Halbig.

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

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Palmer Lake Historical Society: The Civil War battle at New Market

By Al Walter

Over 60 members of the local community met in Palmer Lake Town Hall on Feb. 19 to hear Palmer Lake Historical Society member Pat McCarthy present the results of his research of the Civil War battle at New Market, Va. McCarthy’s presentation was part of the monthly History Series sponsored by the Historical Society that brings local historians to the Town Hall on the third Thursday of each month to discuss events or individuals that played a role in local, Colorado, or U.S. history.

McCarthy discussed highlights of the battle, which, in part due to the participation of cadets from the nearby Virginia Military Institute (VMI), resulted in a Confederate victory that pushed Union forces from the Shenandoah Valley. A landmark of the battle is the "Field of Lost Shoes," so named because many of the cadets lost their shoes as they charged Union forces across the muddy field. Several audience members were alumni of VMI and participated in the question- and-answer period after the presentation.

On Jan. 15, the Historical Society held its annual potluck dinner and membership meeting. During the business portion of the meeting, the members elected new officers for the 2015 Board of Directors. Those elected were Al Walter, president; Phyllis Bonser, vice president; Mike Walker, secretary; and Barbara Arbuthnot, treasurer. Following the business meeting, attendees enjoyed a pot luck dinner with musical entertainment provided by local artist Joe Bohler on the piano.

**********

The next program in the History Series will be on Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Palmer Lake Town Hall. Noted author Ann Williams will discuss the history of the last ride of Kid Curry, one of the worst of the infamous "Wild Bunch." Ann’s great-grandfather was the Colorado rancher who ended Kid Curry’s crime spree. The event is free to the public.

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HANG - High Altitude Gardening : March into some organic plant advantages

By Janet Sellers

In this month of truly wacky days of snow, ice and then happy sunshine, it can be hard to imagine spring is on its way. Even so, it’s time to plan and plant seeds indoors now. Personally, my biggest indoor sprouting success was taking the live composted soil from the outdoor raised garden bed and putting seeds in 3 inches of that medium. I used window boxes for this, and I think seed germination seems to thrive with a group effort. The little seeds were so happy to sprout together and have live soil ready for their needs!

I think the organic live soil microbiology was key. The rich, organic soil we made last year from compost supported a thriving veggie garden all summer from my makeshift sprout set-up, and it’s still supporting three leftover tomato plants now in a 3- to 4-foot sprawl tumbling over the plant shelf in my sunroom. They’ve been bearing fruit since December. I might try to propagate those tomatoes from leaf cuttings this month for plants.

Besides the ease of growing with organic methods, a major U.S. study—the largest of its kind to date—showed organic foods have more nutrients than other forms of conventional growing and farm care. Washington State University documented the benefits of organic farming, including more antioxidants, fewer pesticide residues, and even longer shelf life.

Researchers at Washington State University found that when a strawberry plant gets to grow without persistent pesticides, it produces certain phytochemicals to help do its own pest control. These are also the same substances that are responsible for aromas and flavors, and there’s a strong suggestion that "organic plants are healthier, and taste better, because they’re allowed to thrive without the chemical burden and do what they do as plants."

"Without the synthetic chemical pesticides applied on conventional crops, organic plants tend to produce more phenols and polyphenols to defend against pest attacks and related injuries. In people, phenols and polyphenols can help prevent diseases triggered or promoted by oxidative damage, like coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers...." (Washington State University News, July 2014).

In other news, the Tri-Lakes Garden Community (TLGC) had an ad hoc dessert pot luck and info afternoon Feb. 15, and we hope to have more of these in March, so stay posted by joining the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tri-Lakes-Garden-Community/1386155058330111.

If you have some handy tips or gardening news, please share! I’ll try to include these soon.

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

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Art Matters: Art and how to grow a better brain at any age

By Janet Sellers

We always think artists are smart and capable by need as well as interest, and are thinkers and visionaries. But new brain studies show that artists’ brains actually have more gray matter than most people. Since the days of Leonardo, artists have held esteemed respect as thinkers and inventors, and even revolutionaries for society. The visual power of art is highly influential to society in many ways.

A small 2014 study reported in the scientific journal, NeuroImage, was based on brain scans and drawing performance of art students vs. non-artists. Findings were that the artists had more gray and white matter, and were strong in spatial skills abilities. The study found that art abilities are not innate, but based on training and upbringing.

"The people who are better at drawing really seem to have more developed structures in regions of the brain that control for fine motor performance and what we call procedural memory," Rebecca Chamberlain, the study’s lead author, explained.

Another study reported January, 2015, at NeuroImage showed how visual art learning improves neural structure and function to larger gray and also white matter. That study revealed art training improved not only perceptual abilities, but also perception-to-action.

All this science may sound complicated, but the simple fact is that, if we start art training and learn to enjoy art at any age, the art activities will create a brain and mind with greater capabilities. And that’s great news for all of us. We can grab our pencils and start right away or take a class and get our brains in shape!

Here are some local arts events to inspire everyone, and remember there

Upcoming local art activities

1. Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TCLA)—Exhibit, Visions of Light photography exhibit featuring the use of light in artworks, March 3-28. Opening reception March 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. TCLA, 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake.

2. Wisdom Tea House—Art show by Daniel Armour, Window into Spring acrylic exhibit through April 25. Wisdom Tea House, 65 Second St., Monument.

3. Tri-Lakes Views—Local arts group sponsors ARTSites for local outdoor art exhibits, maps at local shops. Their 2015 call for entries due date is April 15. Details at www.trilakesviews.org.

4. Kirkland Professional Photography—Free sessions for pet photos and free 5-by-7 portrait March and April. Kirkland will make a donation to Tri-Lakes Cares. Details at 719-487-1779.

5. Colorado Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest—Due March 15: Call for student artists grades K-12. The due date for Colorado postmarked entries is March 15, and details about the program are available online at the Colorado link here: http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck.

Janet Sellers is a local artist and art teacher, and helps produce local arts programs. Her paintings and art sculptures are on view in local art venues and her public art is on view in Colorado and California cities. She can be reached via OCN at JanetSellers@OCN.me.

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Snapshots of Our Community

UCCS students visit WMMI, Feb. 9

Caption: On Feb. 9, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (UCCS) students from the 19th Century American History course pose in front of the 35-ton Corliss steam engine at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI). During their museum visit, the students learned about the development of steam power, an energy source that powered the Industrial Revolution from the 18th to 20th centuries and is still used today. The students learned that steam was initially used to create a vacuum in a condenser, used to draw down one side of a beam engine. Eventually steam engines were developed that created mechanical energy from steam pressurizing a piston up and down in a piston chamber, which then rotated an axle and flywheel. A belt on the steam engine flywheel transferred the energy to the flywheel on the machine needing power. Museum staff operated a number of steam engines demonstrating this transfer of power principle. Information on upcoming events at the museum is at www.wmmi.org. Photo by David Futey.

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TLCA holds Americana Sweetheart Dance, Feb. 13

Caption: It was a full house for the Americana Sweetheart Dance held at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts Feb. 13.  Both adults and children alike took to the dance floor for a night of music and dancing. The Valentines Day celebration featured a performance by WireWood Station, a group who has toured the nation, but has local roots. The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts  is a community center that aims to nurture emerging artist, and also provides a space available for theatre  productions, art classes, concerts and can even be rented out for private parties or wedding receptions.  During the month of March Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts is preparing a Visions of Light Photography Exhibition with an opening reception planned for March 6. For more information on upcoming concerts, exhibits or the availability of the facility call 719-481-0475. Photo by Jennifer Green-Lanchoney.

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Tri-Lakes Cares receives $33,000 Wal-Mart Foundation grant

Caption: This is Penrose St. Francis nurse Cindy Stickle providing medical services for a TLC client. Photo courtesy of Tri-Lakes Cares.

Tri-Lakes Cares recently received a $33,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to assist with medical services for low-income residents of the Tri-Lakes region. Specifically, this grant will positively impact the local community by supporting the in-house medical clinic and providing financial assistance to low-income households so they are able to afford medical services such as doctor’s visits, diagnostic procedures, medical supplies and equipment, dental work, prescriptions, vision care, and more.

Tri-Lakes Cares (TLC) is a community-based, volunteer-supported resource center whose mission is to improve people’s lives through emergency, self-sufficiency, and relief programs. Launched in 1984, TLC has been serving the Tri-Lakes area of El Paso County for 30 years, providing for the basic needs of low-income people. Tri-Lakes Cares offers a food pantry, medical clinic, case management, housing and utility assistance, seasonal programs, and more to help people manage and overcome poverty.

While the Affordable Care Act and TLC’s in-house Health Care Guide are helping uninsured clients register for health care, there are still many households without coverage in our community. Also, some insured households have trouble making co-payments or have high deductibles before their insurance coverage begins. TLC’s medical services program addresses the two biggest barriers that clients in our area face when trying to access health care: affordability and local access.

TLC provides the only free, local clinic in the Tri-Lakes region, which includes the communities of Monument, Palmer Lake, and Woodmoor; northwestern rural El Paso County; the U.S. Air Force Academy; and parts of the Gleneagle and Black Forest neighborhoods.

The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S. In the last fiscal year, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave $19.3 million to Colorado nonprofits. To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at www.walmartfoundation.org/stategiving. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit www.foundation.walmart.com.

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Heritage lecture and exhibit opening: Molybdenum and the Climax Mine, Feb. 12

Molybdenum, or "moly," is the star of a new Climax Mine exhibit that was unveiled at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry (WMMI) Feb. 12. The Climax Mine, located in Climax, Colo., is a major molybdenum mine in Lake and Summit counties and was reopened in 2012. The Climax Mine produces much of the world’s molybdenum. The exhibit’s grand opening was celebrated with a lecture by former Climax Mine General Manager Mike McDonald. McDonald is the current Henderson Mine general manager. This relatively unknown rock continues to silently improve quality of life around the world. "Moly" is used in creating high-strength steel alloys, lubricating spacecraft engines, and producing radiographic images, and is essential to almost all life on the planet. The WMMI is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 225 North Gate Blvd. To tour the exhibit, call the museum at 719-488-0880.

Caption: Mike McDonald, left, Henderson Mine general manager, and David Futey, Western Museum of Mining and Industry (WMMI) manager, pose in front of molybdenum ore at the new Climax Mine exhibit Feb. 12 at the museum. McDonald gave a heritage lecture to commemorate the Climax Mine exhibit opening at the WMMI. The Climax Mine, located in Climax, Colo., is a major molybdenum mine in Lake and Summit counties and was reopened in 2012. Photo by Jennifer Green-Lanchoney.

Caption: Jeff Tapparo, chief engineering manager at DePuy Synthes, shows his colleagues (left to right) Bob Borowski, Rod McMillan, and Woody Brown, an Intramedullary nail at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry molybdenum exhibit grand opening Feb. 12. The nail, which is made from a combination of molybdenum and titanium, is a medical device that aids in the treatment of a variety of bone fracture patterns. Molybdenum is used in many applications, including creating high-strength steel alloys. Photo by Jennifer Green-Lanchoney.

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Awake the Lake benefit dinner, Feb. 21

Caption: Despite blizzard conditions, over 100 people attended the Awake the Lake benefit dinner and concert on Feb. 21. The benefit included dinner and a concert as well as a silent auction and cash bar with proceeds going to refill and restore Palmer Lake and to provide matching funds for the $350,000 Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant awarded to Awake Palmer Lake. The event was held at the recently closed MoZaic restaurant at the Inn at Palmer Divide, which will be converted into an addiction recovery center. Photos by Jackie Burhans.

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Matching grant can help area residents reduce wildfire risk

Caption: A "matching grant" partnership for fire fuels reduction is now available to residents across the Tri-Lakes and Palmer Divide area. Thanks to a 2015 grant agreement between the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) and the Town of Palmer Lake, property owners who are ready and willing to do fuels mitigation now to reduce wildfire risk can have 50 percent of the costs paid for the grant funding when they pay or do in-kind work to pay for the other half, and when they sign contracts with CUSP. Property owners can schedule to get the actual work done with SWIFT (shown here), the Juniper Valley State Wildland Inmate Fire Team, one of several State of Colorado insured, licensed wildfire fighting 20-man crews currently under master contract with CUSP. The crew works with two on-site supervisors; the members of the crew have non-violent records and are usually eligible for parole, which they forego temporarily to be on the team. Judy Harrington, volunteer coordinator of the Palmer Lake/CUSP Fire Break Project, said that Tri-Lakes and Palmer Divide is not the only place SWIFT works for CUSP, "So if we don’t use them, we will lose them to other CUSP projects." SWIFT is highly trained and experienced in fighting wildfires and thus well-informed about mitigation requirements of prevention in the WUI. The cost is $1,000/acre/one day depending on terrain and density/type of vegetation, which is a break for grant participants from SWIFT’s usual $1,800 rate, according to Harrington. Residents interested in contracting with the SWIFT team can achieve this through Harrington and get on-site certification of completed work by CUSP Forester, or they may use private contractors and arrange for FireWise assessments by their local fire protection district prior to mitigation in order to qualify for the grant. Under new Colorado fire mitigation tax law, out-of-pocket costs may be eligible for 2015 tax credit; check with tax preparers for details. This grant money will be paid on a first-come-first-served basis to residents who have completed all the requirements. See documents at www.townofpalmerlake.com or request them from Harrington at 719-229-9636 or judithreginaharrington@gmail.com. Photo by Judith Harrington.

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Legacy Sertoma Honors Essay Winners; Presents Red Kettle Proceeds

Caption: Legacy Sertoma annually sponsors an eighth-grade competition of essays written on the subject "What Freedom Means to Me." This year, students of Monument Academy under the leadership of teacher Bekah Schneider participated, and the winners along with their parents were recently honored at a special dinner held at the Monument Hill Country Club. Shown, left to right, are Daniella Ferrante, first-place winner; Aidan Schneider, third place (tie); Carson Schlem, second place; eighth-grade teacher Schneider; and Emmajane Rankin, third place (tie). Daniella went on to represent the club and her school at the Pikes Peak Sertoma District National Heritage Banquet in Colorado Springs on Feb 18. Photo courtesy Legacy Sertoma.

Caption: Legacy Sertoma President Jim Fitzpatrick, right, and Vice President of Sponsorship Dave Cooper, center, present a $5,277 check to Salvation Army representative Dirk Lambert. That represented the total amount collected in the recent November-December Red Kettle Campaign conducted at the Monument Walgreen’s store. Legacy and the Salvation Army thank everyone who donated and made the campaign a big success. Photo courtesy Legacy Sertoma.

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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

March 11: Tuna on a croissant, avocado, chips
March 18: Chicken with artichokes, rice, salad
March 25: Chicken Caesar salad, garlic bread
Rolls and butter are served with each meal except sandwiches. Dessert is also provided.

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

Free income tax filing assistance by AARP

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is offering free income tax filing assistance. Trained AARP volunteers will be available to answer questions and to assist filers in completing their federal and Colorado income tax returns every Monday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Tri-Lakes Cares, 235 Jefferson St., Monument, until April 13. Free e-filing of both federal and Colorado returns is available.

Taxpayers with more complicated returns should seek the advice of a paid professional. Filers are asked to bring their W-2’s, 1099 INT, 1099 DIV, any health insurance information received, etc. Appointments are

recommended. Please call 481-4864, ext. 118, and leave your name and telephone number and you will be contacted for an appointment.

Tri-Lakes Women’s Club announces 2015 grant process, apply by March 15

Tri-Lakes Women’s Club (TLWC) grant application for 2015 will be available until March 15 on the TLWC website, www.tlwc.net. Eligible organizations include nonprofit and public service organizations and public schools that serve the Tri-Lakes area. Special program and project requests are welcomed. The application package includes the instructions as well as other very important qualifying information. For more information, contact the committee chair, Donna Wagner, at granting@tlwc.net.

Tri-Lakes Y spring sports, sign up now

Practices begin the week of March 30 for Spring Volleyball, grades 1-8, Spring Soccer, 3 years old through grade 6, Spring Flag Football, grades 1-6. All spring sessions run April. 11-May 16. Financial assistance is available. Register at www.ppymca.org or at the Y, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy., Monument.

"Pet of the Year" local photo contest

Win $600 in prizes. Kirkland Professional Photography is offering free sessions to get some new photos of an amazing pet, and pet with people. These will be used for marketing their pet photography. In addition to your free session (regularly $189), Kirkland will give you a free 5-by-7 portrait to show their appreciation for your participation. One lucky client will win a $500 Kirkland Professional Photography gift certificate. Woodmoor Veterinary Hospital, the photo contest judges, will award a $100 gift certificate to the winner as well. Tri-Lakes Cares will receive a donation from Kirkland Photography for every entry. Kirkland will photograph your pets in March and April; a limited number of sessions are available. Call 487-1779 to make a reservation.

St. Peter Catholic School enrolling for preschool-eighth grade, 2015-2016

The school offers full and half-day preschool, Core Knowledge Curriculum with small class sizes, Christ-centered education. NCA accredited, state licensed, financial aid available. Call or visit: 124 First St., Monument; 481-1855; www.petertherock.org.

Sponsors needed for Lewis-Palmer Football Old School Golf Tournament, May 23

This scramble tournament fundraising event still needs hole sponsors, $100 per hole, with a sign at a hole; a company to cater lunch for 80 people at Lewis-Palmer High School; and prize donations. To become a sponsor or for more information, contact Coach Tupper, 867-8029, or email dtupper@lewispalmer.org.

Monument Hill Country Club 3 Sport All Day Summer Camps

For ages 7-13: Golf, Swim, Tennis, Bingo. Session 1, June 8-12; Session 2, July 6-10; Session 3, July 20-24; Session 4, Aug. 3-7. Cost: $210 members, $250 non-members. Sign up with Keegan, Keegan@monumenthillcc.com. Info: www.monumenthillcc.com, under Events.

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 BILLMANTIA@aol.com.

Exchange student host families needed for 2015-16 school year

Welcome a new culture into your home and provide a life-changing experience for a teenager from another country. EF (Education First) High School Exchange Year program offers exceptional and financially secure exchange students. Contact local exchange coordinators Sheryl and Dave Ellis, 208-9739 or sheryl.ellis@EFexchangeyear.org. For more information about the program, visit www.EFexchangeyear.org.

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.

Colorado State University Extension offers spring gardening classes

Spring gardening/landscaping classes will be conducted Saturdays, 10 a.m.-noon, at Devry University, 1175 Kelly Johnson Blvd., Colo. Springs. The cost for each class is only $15. For more information and a list of classes available, visit http://elpasoco.colostate.edu or call 520-7688.

HAP needs volunteers

The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that serves and supports seniors in our community. HAP currently needs volunteers, three hours a week; and active board members, 8 to 10 hours a month. For more information, call HAP board president, Dave Betzler, at 205-7651.

Tri-Lakes Cares receives $1,000 donation

Tri-Lakes Cares received a $1,000 donation as part of the Glass Slipper Ball held Jan. 24. During the event, local chefs competed for patrons’ votes in certain categories. Kelly Shearwood, executive chef at the MoZaic at The Inn at Palmer Divide, won the People’s Choice Award with her Ancho Chili Pork Belly with Chorizo Posole. The prize was $1,000 to give to the charity of her choice, and Shearwood named Tri-Lakes Cares as the benefactor. The Glass Slipper Ball is designed to build awareness and funding for local and global women’s initiatives. Tri-Lakes Cares has been serving the Tri-Lakes area for 30 years, with a food pantry, medical clinic, case management, housing and utility assistance, seasonal programs, and more to help people manage and overcome poverty. For more information on Tri-Lakes Cares, visit www.tri-lakescares.org or call 481-4864.

Sheriff’s Office warns of phone scam

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has received information of fraud that involved impersonation of a deputy sheriff, even using the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch number of 719-390-5555. This can be done by using an application called "Spoof Card." The victims received a phone call; the caller identified himself as a deputy from the Sheriff’s Office. The suspect told the victims they had a warrant and needed to report to the Sheriff’s Office at 27 E. Vermijo Ave. to make a $1,000 payment to clear up the warrant. The Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens that the office never calls and informs individuals they have an active warrant and never asks individuals to make payments to clear up a warrant. Warrants must be taken care of at the Criminal Justice Center, by being booked into jail and then bonding out. If you have information about these events or have experienced something similar, please call the Sheriff’s Office Communications Center non-emergency line at 390-5555.

Academy North Gate bridge work through summer

Two bridges outside the U.S. Air Force Academy’s North Gate will be under repair through August 2015. To ease congestion, the academy will make the gate a one-way, entrance-only road in the mornings. From 7-9 a.m., no outbound traffic will be allowed through the North Gate, and travelers exiting the academy during those hours will have to use the South Gate.

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.

LEAP—Help for heating bills, and more

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a federally funded program that provides cash assistance to help families and individuals pay a portion of winter home heating costs. LEAP now offers additional services to eligible residents. The crisis intervention program provides assistance with the repair or replacement of the home’s primary heating system. The weatherization program improves energy efficiency in homes, helping to reduce heating costs permanently. The eligibility period for LEAP runs through April 30. Application packets will automatically be mailed to residents who received LEAP assistance last year at the address where they were living at that time. To find out if you qualify for LEAP, call 1-866 HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) or visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap.

Donala’s Customer Assistance Program

The Donala Water and Sanitation District offers a Customer Assistance Program in conjunction with Tri-Lakes Cares to help Donala customers in financial hardship, unable to pay their water and sewer bills. Applications can be picked up at the Donala office at 15850 Holbein Dr. in Gleneagle or at Tri-Lakes Cares in Monument. For information call 488-3603.

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 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).

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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 Special Meeting, Sat., Mar. 7, 8 a.m.-noon, Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Following board training, trustees will review the town’s Comprehensive Plan. Normally meets 1st and 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.
  • Tri-Lakes Wastewater Facility Joint Use Committee Meeting, Tue., Mar. 10, 10 a.m., 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: Bill Burks, 481-4053.
  • Triview Metropolitan District Board Meeting, Tue., Mar. 10, 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., Mar. 10, 7 p.m. Meets 2nd Tue. each month, location varies. This meeting is scheduled to be held at Prairie Winds Elementary School, 7909 Kings Deer Pr. E. Call to confirm: 488-4700, www.lewispalmer.org.
  • Palmer Lake Sanitation District Board Meeting, Wed., Mar. 11, 10 a.m., 120 Middle Glenway. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2732.
  • Palmer Lake Planning Commission Workshop, Wed., Mar. 11, 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 Special Education Advisory Council, Wed., Mar. 11, 6:30 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 488-4700, www.lewispalmer.org.
  • D-38 Board/Parent Coffee, Wed., Mar. 11, 6:30-8 p.m., Administration Building, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Info: 488-4700, info@lewispalmer.org, www.lewispalmer.org.
  • Monument Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Mar. 11, 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., Mar. 12, 6 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 488-4700.
  • Palmer Lake Town Council Meeting, Thu., Mar. 12, 6 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Monument Board of Trustees Special Meeting: Meet and Greet with Town Manager finalists, Sat., Mar. 14, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Normally meets 1st and 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.
  • Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Mon., Mar. 16, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Normally meets 1st and 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.
  • El Paso County Planning Commission Meeting, Tue., Mar. 17, 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., Mar. 17, 7 p.m., Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: 488-8680.
  • Academy Water and Sanitation District Board Meeting, Tue., Mar. 17, 1 p.m., Wescott Fire Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: 481-0711.
  • Palmer Lake Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Mar. 18, 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.
  • Monument Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Mar. 19, 10 a.m., 130 2nd St. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 481-4886.
  • Donala Water & Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Mar. 19, 1:30 p.m., 15850 Holbein Dr., Colorado Springs. Meets 3rd Thu. each month except Nov. and Dec. Info: 488-3603.
  • Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Board Meeting, Wed., Mar. 25, 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., Mar. 25, 7 p.m., Woodmoor Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Dr. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: 488-2693, www.woodmoor.org.
  • Forest View Acres Water District Board Meeting, Thu., Mar. 26, 6 p.m., Monument Sanitation District boardroom, 130 Second St. Meets 4th Thu. each month. Info: 488-2110, www.fvawd.com.

LOCAL LIBRARY EVENTS

  • The Palmer Lake Library hours are Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.
  • The Monument Branch Library hours are Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun., 1-5 p.m. 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Aftermath, every Mon. (except Mar. 23), 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., 3:30-4:30 p.m. Let your child practice reading to a Paws to Read dog. No registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Storytime, every Tue., 10:30-11 & 11:15-11:45 a.m. (no 11:15 Storytime Mar. 31 due to special program at 10:30 a.m.) For ages 3 and up. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Paws to Read, every Wed., 4:15-5:15 p.m. Let your child practice reading to a Paws to Read dog. No registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Toddler Time, every Thu., 9:30 a.m. & 10:15 a.m. Rhymes & rhythms for one- and two-year-olds. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Tween Tie Dye program reschedule, Sat., Mar. 14, 2:30-4 p.m. For those 26 who missed the tie dye program canceled Feb. 22 due to weather conditions, this is the make-up date. The program required registration and is currently full. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Family Program–LEGO Club, Sat., Mar. 21, 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: Family Fun–Chickens in the Library! Sat., Mar. 21, 10:30-11:15 a.m. Learn how to care for chickens, pet a sweet, soft (real!) chicken, and make your own chicken-y craft. Palmer Lake Branch Library, 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Spring Break program–Up in the Air with Peter Davison, Tue., Mar. 24, 3-4 p.m. Juggling, dance, and theatre. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Palmer Lake Library: Creepy Crawlies with Rowen Monks, Wed., Mar. 25, 10:30-11:15 a.m. An assortment of wild insects for you to see up close. Palmer Lake Branch Library, 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Bunnies and Birdies, Wed., Mar. 25, 3-4 p.m. Magician Connie Elstun and her hilarious costumed rabbits. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Chickens in the Library!, Thu., Mar. 26, 3-4 p.m. Learn how to care for chickens, pet a sweet, soft (real!) chicken, and make your own chicken-y craft. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: A very special Storytime, Tue., Mar. 31, 10:30-11 a.m. A special guest storyteller from KCME, who will introduce us to stories with a classical music twist. 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: Magic: The Gathering Club Meeting, every Mon., 7-8:45 p.m. Teens and young adults meet to play Magic in a safe, casual atmosphere. Library: Monument Library - 1706 Lake Woodmoor Drive Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Socrates Café, every Tue., 1-3 p.m. This group focuses on a deeper look into philosophy, religions, spirituality, and the common threads among humanity. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Senior Chats, every Wed., 10 a.m.-noon. All seniors are welcome to share conversation and a cup of coffee in this casual discussion group. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Beginning Computer Classes. Check at the desk for the schedule of free classes Wed. mornings for beginner computer users. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Palmer Lake Library: Palmer Lake Knitting Group, every Thu., 10 a.m.-noon. Knit with other knitters. Palmer Lake Branch Library, 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Charles Fox Gardiner, Colorado Medical Pioneer, Sat., Mar. 7, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Storyteller and writer John Stansfield portrays Dr. Gardiner, capturing the essence and adventure of practicing medicine in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Colorado. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Yoga Class, Thu., Mar. 12, noon-1:15, Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: "Voices of Cripple Creek" movie, Sun., Mar. 15, 2-3:30 p.m. Local historian and video producer Jim Sawatzki will show this one-hour sequel to "Treasure of Cripple Creek." Discussion follows. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Monumental Readers Book Club, Fri., Mar. 20, 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., Mar. 20, 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: Fire Mitigation, Sat., Mar. 28, 10-11:30 a.m. Learn about fire mitigation techniques from local fire-fighters. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Homeschool Program, Mon., Mar. 30, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Meets last Mon. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Yoga Class, Thu., Apr. 2, noon-1:15, Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Monument Library: Tri-Lakes Knitters & Crafters, Fri., Apr. 3, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Drop in to share ideas, get help. Meets 1st and 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: Clare Wissinger, 481-8442, www.ppld.org.
  • The Library Channel (Comcast 17) broadcasts 24/7. See live simulcasts of programs, recorded presentations, a schedule of Library events, children’s story times, an adult literacy program, El Paso County Commissioners meetings, and much more. Find the schedule online at www.ppld.org, then click on the link "Happenings @ Your Library," then click on the "Comcast 17" link to search the schedule.

WEEKLY AND MONTHLY EVENTS

  • Monument Hill 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. 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 Tai Chi in the Park, every Sat., 9-10 a.m., weather permitting, Fox Run Park, Stella Drive entrance. Minimal instruction. Look for instructors wearing baseball hats, and grass signs posted, "Get your Qi On." Info: 232-1618 or 232-1619.
  • Bingo by the American Legion, every Sat., game sales start at 6 p.m., games start at 7 p.m., the Depot Restaurant, in Palmer Lake. Proceeds go to scholarships and other community support activities. Info: 481-8668, www.americanlegiontrilakespost911.com/bingo.htm.
  • Calvary Fellowship Monument: Saturday Evening Service, every Sat., 6 p.m., 238 Third. St., Monument. Info: Pastor Tony Magar, 290-1748.
  • Holy Trinity Anglican Church Sunday Worship, 8:30 a.m.; teaching & community time (preschool-adult), 10 a.m.; family service with children’s church, 10:45 a.m. 13990 Gleneagle Dr. Nursery available all morning. Info: 505-8021, www.HolyTrinityAnglicanChurch.org.
  • Tri-Lakes Reformed Church Sunday Worship, 9:45 a.m., Woodmoor Community Center, 1691 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Info: www.trilakesreformed.org.
  • Fuel Church New Church Service at Lewis-Palmer Middle School, every Sun., Donuts and coffee, 10 a.m.; Main Service, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Non-denominational. Info: info@fuel.org, www.fuelchurch.org.
  • Women’s A.A. Step Study, every Mon., 6 p.m. Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 W. Baptist Rd. Info: 481-0431.
  • Monument Hill Kiwanis Bingo, every Mon., 7:30 pm, Carefree Bingo, 3440 N. Carefree Circle, Colo. Springs. All proceeds benefit those in need in the Tri-Lakes Community. Info: mark.zeiger@gmail.com.
  • Senior Lunches, every Mon. & Thu., except the 1st Thu. each month and holidays, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Administration Complex, 166 Second St., Monument. Arrive 11:30 a.m., dine at noon. Stay for free bingo the 2nd Thu. each month. Cost: $2. Info: Dorothy Myers, 481-4189; Maggie Nealon, 488-3037.
  • Transmission Meditation: Group Meditations every Mon. & Thu., 7 p.m., in Palmer Lake. The simplest, most potent way to serve humanity and help transform our world. Dynamic aid to personal growth. Info: 303-494-4462, www.TransmissionMeditation.org.
  • Tri-Lakes YMCA Senior Coffee, every Tue., 9:30-11:30 a.m., 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy, Monument. Members and non-members are welcome. Seniors, come socialize and have coffee and snacks in the front lobby. Sign up to bring snacks. Free. Info: 630-2604, hbrandon@ppymca.org, www.ppymca.org.
  • Yarny Birds Stitch Group, every Tue., 10 a.m. & 6 p.m., 790 Hwy 105, #C, Palmer Lake. An open group for knitters, crocheters, and fiber arts of any type. Classes starting soon. Info: 377-0403, yarnbirdfibers@gmail.com.
  • Al-anon Meeting: Monument Serenity, every Tue., 7:30-8:30 p.m., Ascent Church, (formerly the Tri-Lakes Chapel) 1750 Deer Creek Rd., Monument. Info: Kay, 481-9258.
  • Gleneagle Sertoma, every Wed., luncheon meeting at Liberty Heights, 12105 Ambassador Dr., (off Voyager Blvd in Colorado Springs). Interesting speakers and programs; all are welcome. Info: Call Garrett Barton, 433-5396, Bill Bristol, 481-3366, www.gleneaglesertoma.org.
  • Senior Citizen Luncheons, every Wed., noon-1 p.m., D-38 Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) invites area seniors for lunch & activities. Free blood pressure screening 1st & 3rd Wed. $3 donation requested. Info: 484-0517.
  • Tri-Lakes Church of Christ Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal (Free) & Classes, every Wed., 6-7:30 p.m., 20450 Beacon Lite Road, Monument (Corner of Beacon Lite & County Line Roads). Info: 488-9613, gregsmith@trilakeschurch.org, www.trilakeschurch.org.
  • 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.
  • Bridge, 2nd and 4th Thu. each month, 12:30-3:30. Tri-Lakes Senior Center located on Lewis-Palmer High School campus. Walk-ins are welcome. Reservation suggested: call Roger and Syble, 488-2669.
  • Black Forest AARP Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Wed., Mar. 11, noon, Black Forest Lutheran Church, 12455 Black Forest Rd. All ages welcome. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: Chuck, 749-9227, or www.aarpchapter1100blackforest.weebly.com.
  • HAP-py Feet Foot Care Clinic, Wed., Mar. 11, 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 toenail trimming. Cost: $30 for a 30-min. visit; limited financial assistance is available for qualifying applicants. Meets 2nd Wed. and last Fri. each month. Info & appointments: call the Visiting Nurse Association, (303) 698-6496.
  • Candlelight Yoga at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, Wed., Mar. 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m., 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Pause, meditate, and medicate with wine and chocolate truffles after yoga. Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 481-0475, info@TriLakesArts.org, www.trilakesarts.org.
  • Civil War Roundtable, Wed., Mar. 11, 7 p.m., Monument Sanitation District Conference Room, 130 2nd St., Monument. Open to all, no prior knowledge needed. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: Leon Tenney, lwt1862@comcast.net.
  • Senior Bingo at Old Monument Town Hall, Thu., Mar. 12, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Administration Complex, 166 Second St., Monument, after the noontime senior lunch. Come for lunch at 11:30 a.m., then stay and play. Free! Prizes! Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: Maggie Nealon, 488-3037.
  • Legacy Sertoma Dinner Meeting, Thu., Mar. 12, 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., Mar. 12, 7 p.m., Tri-Lakes Fire Station 1, 18650 Hwy 105 west of Monument near the bowling alley. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 481-3364.
  • Palmer Lake Art Group, Sat., Mar. 14, 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., Mar. 14, 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., Mar. 14, 10-11:30 a.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 2nd Sat. each month. Info: LaVonne Putman, 488-2557.
  • NEPCO Meeting, Sat., Mar. 14, 10 a.m.-noon, New Monument Town Hall & Police Building, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Classic Homes presentation on the Sanctuary Pointe development to begin this month in Black Forest. All are welcome to this meeting of local homeowners associations. Info: 481-2723 or visit www.nepco.org.
  • Amateur Radio W0TLM (Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Radio Association), Mon., Mar. 16, 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.
  • Drummers! Mon., Mar. 16, 6:30-8 p.m., Yoga Pathways, Suite A, West End Center, 755 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Free and open to the public. Bring any kind of drum or other hand percussion instrument. Beginners welcome! Usually meets 3rd Mon. each month. Verify date & time: Char, 488-3138.
  • Tri-Lakes Home Educators’ Support Group, Mon., Mar. 16. 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., Mar. 17, 1-3 p.m., Senior Center at Lewis-Palmer High School (across from the YMCA). Come early to socialize, bring a salad or dessert to share. Meat dishes and tea provided. Voluntary donations welcome. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Irene C., 484-0517.
  • Fibromyalgia Support Group, Tue., Mar. 17, 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., Mar. 17, 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., Mar. 18, 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.
  • Palmer Lake Historical Society: Kid Curry’s Last Ride, Thu., Mar. 19, 7 p.m.., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Ann Williams tells of a great-grandfather and his involvement with a posse and Kid Curry. This program is free to the public. Meets 3rd Thu. each month, 7 p.m. Info: Pat McCarthy, 659-1363; www.palmerdividehistory.org.
  • Mount Herman General 4-H Club, Thu., Mar. 19, 6:30 p.m., Palmer Lake Elementary School, 115 Upper Glenway. Visitors welcome. Meets 3rd Thu. each month, Oct. through April. Info: 520-7675, pwear@pro-promotions.com.
  • Tri-Lakes Lions Club, Thu., Mar. 19, 6:30 p.m. social, 7-8 p.m. meeting, Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: David Prejean, 434-7031.
  • Little Log Kitchen Free Meal, Sat., Mar. 21, noon, 133 High St., Palmer Lake. Sponsored by Little Log Church every 3rd Sat. Info: 481-2409.
  • Senior Social, Wed., Mar. 25, 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.
  • HAP-py Feet Foot Care Clinic, Fri., Mar. 27, 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 toenail trimming. Cost: $30 for a 30-min. visit; limited financial assistance is available for qualifying applicants. Meets 2nd Wed. and last Fri. each month. Info & appointments: call the Visiting Nurse Association, (303) 698-6496.
  • Monument Homemakers Club Monthly Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Thu., Apr. 2, 11:30 a.m., Tri-Lakes Fire Department Administrative Building, 166 Second St., Monument. Meets 1st Thu. each month except Jan. and unless D-38 is delayed or closed due to bad weather. Newcomers welcome. For a ride to the meeting, call Faye Brenneman, 488-0076. RSVP & info: Irene Walters, 481-1188, or Bev Wells, 488-3327.
  • Palmer Divide Quiltmakers, Thu., Apr. 2 7 p.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 1st Thu. each month. Info: Barb Broshous, 999-5447.
  • MOMS Club of Monument/Palmer Lake Monthly Meeting, Fri., Apr. 3, 10 a.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 1st Fri. each month. Info: monumentmomsinfo@gmail.com.
  • Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery: First Saturday Prayer Day, Sat., Apr. 4, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 3190 Benet Lane, Colo. Springs. Social time with coffee followed by prayer, reflection, teaching. Meets 1st Sat. each month. Info: 633-0655, www.benethillmonastery.org.
  • Craft Club, Sat., Apr. 4, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Fairfield Inn & Suites, Mt. Herman Room, 15275 Struthers Rd. Ages 15 and up; each month features a fun, easy to follow paper craft. All supplies provided. Fee varies by project. Meets 1st Sat. each month. Info: Linda, 375-8991, Lindacarpy@gmail.com.
  • Lifting Spirits Adult Day Center Open House, Mon., Apr. 6, 1-4 p.m., 755 Hwy 105, Unit C, Palmer Lake. Caregivers, find out how to make your lives easier. Refreshments served. Meets 1st Mon. each month. Info: Sonja Search, 488-1415, liftingspirits@qwestoffice.net.
  • American Legion Tri-Lakes Post 9-11, Tue., Apr. 7, 6:30 p.m., Depot Restaurant, Hwy 105 & Primrose St., Palmer Lake. New members welcome. Meets 1st Tue. each month. Info: 481-8668, www.americanlegiontrilakespost911.com.
  • 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

  • Yoga Nidra at Yoga Pathways, Sun., Mar. 8, 4:30-5:40 p.m., 755 Hwy. 105 (3/4 mile west of Monument Safeway). Deep relaxation practice, not a workout. Led by Raleigh Dove, Certified Yoga Therapist. Info: 481-4137, www.YogaPathwaysStudio.com.
  • Homebuyer Seminar, Tue., Mar. 10, 5:30-6:45 p.m., Serrano’s Coffee, 625 Highway 105 in Monument. Janie Howard of Parker St. Claire Realty and Lisa Ramsey of Heartland Bank will show you how you can buy a home for zero down and answer your questions about the state of the real estate market. Janie can be reached at 287-0427. Lisa can be reached at 205-1782,
  • D-38 Board/Parent Coffee, Wed., Mar. 11, 6:30-8 p.m., Administration Building, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Info: 488-4700, info@lewispalmer.org, www.lewispalmer.org.
  • Pikes Peak Brewing Co. Celtic Countdown: Irish Trivia & Mobile Hangers Boutiqe to benefit Tri-Lakes Cares, Thu., Mar. 12, 6-8 p.m., 1756 Lake Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Info: 208-4098, info@pikespeakbrewing.com, www.pikespeakbrewing.com.
  • Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by The Rifters, Fri., Mar. 13, 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.
  • Pikes Peak Brewing Co. Celtic Countdown, Fri., Mar. 13, The Stubby Shillelaghs 7 p.m., Leprechaun Contest 8 p.m., 1756 Lake Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Info: 208-4098, info@pikespeakbrewing.com, www.pikespeakbrewing.com.
  • Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery: Welcoming Prayer Workshop, Sat., Mar. 14, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 3190 Benet Lane, Colo. Springs. Open to people of all faith traditions. Info: 633-0655, www.benethillmonastery.org.
  • Pikes Peak Brewing Co. Celtic Countdown, Sat., Mar. 14, Four Miles for Kenya Race, 7:30 a.m., Irish Dance Troop 3 p.m., bagpiper 4:30 p.m., food truck, 5 p.m., Paddy o’the Peak on Nitro, 6 p.m., The Constant Tourists 7 p.m., 1756 Lake Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Info: 208-4098, info@pikespeakbrewing.com, www.pikespeakbrewing.com.
  • Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI): Family Exploration Day–Science, Sat., Mar. 14, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Come see Cool Science, CSU Electricity Demonstrations, Thompson Machines, Bricks-4-Kidz Legos and more! All activities included with standard museum admission rates: $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.
  • Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery: Mozart & Beethoven Chamber Concert, Sun., Mar. 15, 2:30 p.m., pre-concert lecture 1:45 p.m., 3190 Benet Lane, Colo. Springs. Cost: $20. Info: 633-0655, www.benethillmonastery.org.
  • Learn to Skate, session starts Mon., Mar. 16, 4:30 & 5 p.m., 16240 Old Denver Hwy, Monument. Spring Special, 8 classes for $80 plus skate rental. Ages 3 through adult. Info: Sk8CoachDeb@gmail.com, www.RockyMountainSkatingAcademy.com.
  • Tri-Lakes Cares Blood Drive, Tue., Mar. 17, 3-7 p.m., 235 Jefferson St., Monument. License ID required. No appointment necessary. Info: 776-5714.
  • Metaphysical & Wellness Fair, Sat., Mar. 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Open Door Books and Gifts, 251 Front St., Suite 8, Monument. Card & intuitive readers, an astrologer, energy & chakra clearing with sound, aromatherapy. Info: 487-9076
  • Yoga Nidra at Yoga Pathways, Sun., Mar. 22, 4:30-5:40 p.m., 755 Hwy. 105 (3/4 mile west of Monument Safeway). Deep relaxation practice, not a workout. Led by Raleigh Dove, Certified Yoga Therapist. Info: 481-4137, www.YogaPathwaysStudio.com.
  • Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI): Bricks-4-Kidz Star Wars Space Adventures mini camp, Mon.-Tue., Mar. 23-24; Super Hero Academy mini camp, Wed.-Fri., Mar. 25-27, 9-11:30 a.m. Campers will face new challenges each day, building motorized models with LEGO® bricks and learning STEM principles along the way. Prices range from $50 to $75. Visit www.bricks4kidz.com/cos-pikespeak to register, or for schedules, dates, and more. WMMI is located at 225 North Gate Blvd. (I-25 Exit 156 A). Info: 488-0880, info@wmmi.org, www.wmmi.org.
  • Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery: "Born into Brothels" Free Film, Mon., Mar. 23, 6:30 p.m., 3190 Benet Lane, Colo. Springs. The Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado will give a brief presentation. Donations welcome. Info: 633-0655, www.benethillmonastery.org.
  • Gleneagle Community Blood Drive, Thu., Mar. 26, 1-6 p.m., Antelope Trails Elementary School, 15280 Jessie Dr. Walk-ins are welcome. Blood is for the Penrose-St. Francis Blood Bank. For reservations, call 488-2312. For eligibility questions, call 776-5822.
  • Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by Spirits of the Red City, Fri., Mar. 27, 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 .
  • Monument Hill Farmers Market Winter Market, Sat., Mar. 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Grace Best, 66 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets every 4th Sat. each month through April. Info: 592-9420.
  • Fire Mitigation, Sat., Mar. 28, 10-11:30 a.m. Learn about fire mitigation techniques from local fire-fighters. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
  • Forestgate Presbyterian Church Easter Week Services: Maundy Thursday Service, Thu., Apr. 2, 7 p.m.; The Sufferings of Christ, Fri., Apr. 3, noon-2 p.m.; Easter Sunday Worship, Sun., Apr. 5, 8 & 10:30 a.m. 970 North Gate Blvd., Colo. Springs. Info: 495-5672, www.forestgate.org.
  • Protect your Home from Wildfire Community Event, Sat., Apr. 18, Fire Marshal fire-wise talk, 9-10 a.m., caravan to Black Forest burn sites, 10 a.m.-noon, Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. Free and open to all. Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Marshal John Vincent will explain how to make your home and property more defensible from wildfire and prepare for the upcoming wildfire season. After that, Palmer Lake Fire Chief Margo Humes and Black Forest Together representative Bill Mantia will conduct an explanatory tour discussing lessons learned from the Black Forest fire. Info: Write to TLUMC Emergency Preparedness Group at epg@tlumc.org or call 339-7831 or 229-9636.
  • Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild 51st Annual Spring Show & Sale, Thu.-Sun., Apr. 30-May 3, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun., Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Rd. (just north of Shoup Road). New! Faster checkout, shorter lines. More than 90 artisan and culinary members will sell their work. New items arrive throughout the show. Free admission. A portion of sale proceeds will benefit the Black Forest Arts and Crafts Guild Scholarship Fund and the Black Forest community. The facility is wheel chair accessible, but no strollers allowed because of fire regulations. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are accepted. Info: www.facebook.com/BFACG, www.bfacg.org, 495-3035.
  • Pine Forest Show: Antiques, Home Décor, and Garden Sale, Sat., May 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., May 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Lewis-Palmer High School, 1300 Higby Rd., Monument. This annual fundraiser presented by the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club features new and returning dealers and exhibits, "The Bakery," plants for sale, bistro dining, and glass repair. Cost: $6. See the ad for $1 off one admission. All proceeds benefit non-profit service organizations and public schools in the Tri-Lakes community. Info: publicity@tlwc.net, www.tlwc.net.
  • First Annual Lewis-Palmer Football Old School Golf Tournament, Sat., May 23, 8 a.m. This fundraiser for Lewis-Palmer High School’s football program costs $120 per player $480 per foursome, includes cart and range balls, and free t-shirt. Lunch will be served at Lewis-Palmer High School (LPHS) after the tournament. Scramble tournament, so all skill levels are welcome to play, prizes for the longest ball, closest to the pin, best dressed, high score, and low score. Still needed: hole sponsors, $100 per hole; a company to cater lunch for 80 people at LPHS, prize donations. Info: Coach Tupper, 867-8029, or email dtupper@lewispalmer.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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