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By Harriet Halbig
The Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education received news of approval of a waiver in the school readiness process, discussed and passed a policy on administering medical marijuana during school hours, and approved the purchase of three new buses during its Sept. 15 meeting.
School readiness waiver approved
During her update, Superintendent Karen Brofft thanked Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman and Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Sheila Beving for their efforts in gaining a waiver from the use of TS Gold to determine student readiness to enter kindergarten.
Early this year, the district’s first effort to gain a waiver was denied. The board voted in May to apply again, following public hearings to demonstrate community support for the action.
TS Gold is a commercial product that evaluates student readiness through an exhaustive examination of a variety of factors. Parents had raised objections to some of the data included in the evaluations. District teachers felt that using TS Gold was unnecessary, as the district report cards for students that age are very detailed. In the interest of avoiding duplication of effort, the board sought the waiver, which was granted the day before the meeting, on Sept. 14
Brofft also reported that Director of Assessment and Gifted Education Lori Benton had been working with the high schools to develop a new guide to dual enrollment, in which students may attend Pikes Peak Community College or the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs while still in high school and receive both high school and college credit.
Benton is hoping to get reduced tuition rates for teachers who need additional credentials to teach such classes in the high schools.
Medical marijuana policy passed
After discussion in its Aug. 18 meeting, the board once again addressed the administration of medical marijuana during school hours. The policy allows a parent or guardian to administer the materials at a designated location and students must have a certificate from the state Department of Health to demonstrate the need. The marijuana must not be in smokeable form and not be in a form that could be shared. The substance would not be stored on school grounds, and school nurses would not be involved.
Director Sarah Sampayo stated that the school district is not granting the right to the use of medical marijuana, as that right is conferred by the state.
Board Secretary Matthew Clawson expressed concern that marijuana is still considered a class 1 controlled substance under federal law and that the state board is trying to force the districts to pass such a policy. He also expressed concern that there has been no long-term research on the effects of marijuana use by young children.
Board President Mark Pfoff said that the state has decided to have a policy on this subject and left it to the districts to decide how to do it right. He assured the board that the policy could be changed later if necessary and shared Clawson’s concern about lack of research.
Vice President Sherri Hawkins, Treasurer John Magerko, and Sampayo agreed that having a policy will direct the administration of the product and Sampayo said that she understood that if having such a policy would interfere with federal funding, the state would fill the gap.
The policy was passed on a vote of 4 to 1, with Clawson opposing.
Bus purchases approved
Transportation Fleet Manager Chuck Kruger joined Wangeman in presenting a proposal for the purchase for three new buses for the district.
Wangeman assured the board that this is not a change to the budget, but the board must approve the action when it is taken. The funds would come from the capital budget approved in June and include one special needs bus, which could accommodate up to three wheelchairs and 30 passengers, and two regular buses. She said that the cost would be slightly below what was previously estimated, at $300,000.
Kruger said that although the district has excellent mechanics, parts for buses that are over 10 years old are difficult to find. Many district buses are over 20 years old. The new buses will be Freightliners and have new safety features, all including cameras, self-applied snow chains and GPS so that district administration can know where each bus is at a given time. The lights are also better, as is visibility.
The board approved the purchase of three new buses.
Director of Institutional and Informational Technology Elizabeth Walhof and teachers Devon Johnson of Prairie Winds Elementary and Mary Gregory of Lewis-Palmer High School reported on activities over the summer in the area of technology in the schools.
A Teacher Technological Proficiency Matrix was developed to include digital proficiency, operations skills, teaching and learning techniques, and professional growth. The matrix would allow teachers to see where they are and how to use technology to teach 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and character.
The goal is to know what all teachers are using and what works in the classroom. "Do we have what we need?" Walhof asked.
Data from a survey earlier this year showed that 41 percent of students think they have technology skills necessary for college. Thirty-two percent feel that school gives them the skills needed in the workforce. Although these numbers are improving, they are in need of more improvement.
Walhof said that the matrix will serve as a framework for teachers to use as a tool for growth and a way to view technology as part of the curriculum and skill set at all grade levels.
Walhof said that specific tools are not mentioned in the matrix because the tools change and develop at a rapid rate.
Brofft commented that the matrix involves not values but skills that would give students what they need to compete in college and the workforce.
Wangeman requested the carryover of funds from last school year to this in order to complete projects begun before June 30 and not yet complete and to allow two elementary schools to purchase Smart Labs.
She also said that we are seeing a change of demographics in schools, including increased enrollment of those needing special services, which may require the hiring of more paraprofessionals.
The board approved the carryovers.
The board recognized Howard Eggers for his years of work in the preschool program and offering legal advice.
The board also recognized Spencer Griffith and Katherine Steele of DePuy Synthes for their company’s contributions to the district, including improvements to the visitor side of the stadium.
Bear Creek Elementary teacher Erica Ensign told the board of her school’s plans to hold an appreciation assembly for firefighters the following week. See photo on page 1.
Derek Araje commented that the board is ignoring open records laws by not making all board packets available to the public at the same time as the board. He said that the number of Colorado Open Records Act requests reflects their lack of transparency.
Palmer Lake Elementary School teacher Megan Smallman expressed how glad she is to be employed by the district and explained how the PLES fifth-graders go to High Trails Camp each year with funds raised by a community garage sale.
Deborah Goth said that Derek Araje was the named suspect in the police report regarding a data breach in the district, having been given access to a student’s account by that student’s parent. She also said that one person, Ana Konduras, placed the majority of open record requests in the past 18 months.
Goth said that the district is one of the best in the state and cannot understand why some individuals insist on putting a negative spin on its officials and activities rather than supporting a successful enterprise.
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 Oct. 20.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By James Howald
In September, the Palmer Lake Town Council met only on Sept. 8; the meeting scheduled for Sept. 22 was cancelled due to lack of agenda items.
Once again, the question of whether to allow the sale of recreational marijuana in Palmer Lake was the focus of public comments. Issues related to the town’s water supply were also discussed. The board granted two new business licenses.
Ballot initiative could lead to lawsuit
At the previous Town Council meeting in August, Town Clerk Tara Berreth announced that enough signatures had been collected and verified to require the town to include on the ballot in November a pair of initiatives that could legalize and tax recreational marijuana sales. At the same meeting, Town Attorney Maureen Juran told the board that in her opinion the board had only two legal courses: It could either vote to legalize and tax such sales themselves at the August meeting, or it could put the measures before the voters in November. Citizens have a constitutional right to use the ballot initiative process, Juran said.
On Sept. 8, resident Chris Amenson used the public comments portion of the meeting to imply that he would sue the board if they did not prevent the ballot initiatives from going before the voters.
Amenson introduced himself as the author of citizen initiative 301, which was passed in 2014 and made the sale of recreational marijuana in the town illegal until at least 2017. He went on to say he had managed the successful defense of the initiative against a legal challenge.
Amenson pointed out that town leadership had changed since 2014, and asked the current mayor and board if they would allow initiatives that would legalize heroin or LSD. Amenson argued those drugs are illegal under federal law, and that should prohibit initiatives to allow their sale. Marijuana is also illegal under federal law, Amenson said.
Amenson argued that if the current initiatives were approved by voters, and implemented by the board, then the board would be violating federal law. Amenson argued that, in that case, the town’s financial resources could not be used by board members to defend themselves in court if they "knowingly and willfully violate federal law by allowing retail sales of marijuana."
While Amenson did not say directly that he would sue the board, he described his experience with a lawsuit based on similar principals.
The board made no comments and took no actions following Amenson’s comments.
Upper reservoir target of fire mitigation effort
The board voted unanimously to proceed with fire mitigation efforts at the town’s upper reservoir. Mayor John Cressman noted that a fire in that area would endanger the town’s water supply. The town is seeking grant funds, which would need to be matched by the town, from the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) to assist with the work.
Public access to reservoir trail discussed
Resident Judith Harrington suggested to the board some ways to protect the town’s reservoir. Harrington proposed:
• Actively monitoring hikers on the trail adjacent to the reservoirs to ensure they are obeying laws concerning camp fires and keeping their dogs out of the town’s water supply
• Requiring permits to hike the trails
Cressman and Trustee Mitchell Davis acknowledged the need to protect the town’s water. Trustee Paul Banta suggested the town look for ways to manage the problem that would require less involvement by the town’s government.
The board decided to begin with the placement of signs encouraging hikers to follow the rules.
Monument Creek watershed project funded
The board voted unanimously to provide $615 to a project to improve management of the Monument Creek watershed. The funding was requested at an earlier meeting by Larry Small, and would be provided in the town’s 2017 budget.
Well drilling draws attention
Town Administrator Cathy Green-Sinnard asked the board to provide direction concerning wells that were being drilled in the town’s right of way. Green-Sinnard argued that a permit should be required to drill wells in areas where the town had right of way. Anyone seeking to drill such a well would risk being required to re-drill the well if the town needed to use its right of way in the future, Green-Sinnard said.
The board voted to open a discussion with the developer drilling the wells, and to develop a more detailed process to handle the issue.
Two new business licenses granted
The board voted to approve business licenses for My Door Company and Artisan Chic.
The two meetings for October will be at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 and Oct. 27 at Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. Meetings are normally held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Information: 481-2953.
James Howald can be reached at email@example.com.
By Jackie Burhans
The Monument Academy (MA) school board met on Sept. 8 to hear about testing, Director Don Griffin’s meeting with Highway 105 engineers, and to discuss the school’s audit report. Board member Julie Galusky was absent.
PARCC and NWEA testing challenges
Board President Sonya Camarco noted that the school has seen a low participation in PARCC testing for the last two years and that kids who opted out had stayed home. She wondered if the kids who did participate could be switched to the library, allowing the kids who opt out to have a full day of school. Principal Lis Richard noted that a large amount of space is needed even though only 30 to 40 percent of the kids participate. All of the grades have to test at the same time and cannot be in the same room. Richard noted that the school is considering a delayed start so that the kids who opt out can come later and teachers can plan solid instruction rather than lose that time.
Griffin and Richard noted that a project to replace computer servers was taking longer than anticipated. Richard noted that due to time required to do the replacement, configuration, and data migration, it was decided that MA would do the NWEA testing a little bit differently this fall only. MA will only test new students and second-graders (since they’ve never been tested before) to lessen the load on the system. MA will not add Science for this round of testing. They will still be able to show the year’s growth from spring to spring.
Highway 105 project update
Director Griffin met with two engineers on the Highway 105 project on Sept. 7. The initial drawings he saw did not appear to have any accommodation for MA parents. At one point, they wanted to restrict left turns from 105 into the church property, which would be a disaster, he said. They also suggested a solid median that would run from Knollwood Drive almost past the church—this would cause parents to make a U-turn on a blind hill. The county engineer came back at Griffin’s invitation that afternoon to observe the carline and take pictures. Griffin discussed parent needs during pickup and concerns for safety and talked about MA paying for a warning light. Griffin felt the county heard MA’s concerns.
Paul Niedermuller of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP appeared before the board to discuss the audit report. He noted that some adjustments were made on the building core to comply with standards and some adjustments related to the pension liability surrounding MA’s participation in the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA). He noted that net pension liability is an estimate and that the assumed rate of return of Colorado PERA is set by the Legislature at 7.5 percent. Over the past two years, the miss on that projection is about $1.3 billion from the school trust fund. The MA balance sheet reflects this by amortizing its portion of the investment miss. He also noted that the MA staff was tremendous to work with and helped to make the process seamless.
Camarco asked if there were any plans by the state to address the investment miss. Niedermuller did not know of any specific plans but noted that state Senate Bill 1, which ratchets up the school trust fund, will sunset in two years and the Senate will have to decide the new contribution rate, which will impact MA’s cash flow due to the costs of providing employee benefits. He noted that MA’s pension liability has increased from $8.7 to $9.1 to $11.3 million as it has grown, while the funding level for the state’s school trust fund has gone from 64 percent to 62 percent to 59 percent despite Senate Bill 1. The board unanimously accepted the audit.
Board report highlights
• Treasurer Patrick Hall reported that revenue was up $68,838 per month over the prior year and that the school has seen an increase in kindergarten enrollment.
• Principal Richard reported that the greatest challenge was that there are a lot of new personnel in the building and that she is seeing great parent support.
• Scott Saunders commented on the Elementary Spanish instruction getting good feedback. He commended Richard for stepping up and being proactive with the situation with the teacher who wasn’t a good fit and was pleased with the professional development for new teachers to learn the MA culture.
• Saunders noted that board policies 1500A (Board of Directors Governance Policy) and 1500B (Executive Director Policy) were reviewed by the governance committee and legal. The only changes involved minor typos and grammatical issues. The board unanimously approved both polices as reviewed.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Monument Academy library at 1150 Village Ridge Point. The Monument Academy usually meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. Information on the MA School Board, including schedule, minutes, committee and finances can be found at http://www.monumentacademy.net/school-board.
Jackie Burhans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Harriet Halbig
The fourth annual induction ceremony for the Lewis-Palmer Hall of Fame took place at Lewis-Palmer High School on Sept. 17.
The Hall of Fame was founded in 2013 to celebrate those who have made significant and lasting contributions to the success of District 38 and its students. Candidates may have been employed by the district or have been volunteers, elected officials, or others.
The class of 2016 consists of five individuals:
• Patricia Heinz, who died in 2008, created a special education program for those with moderate needs and helped develop a program for those on the autism spectrum and encouraged integrating them into the classroom. She worked at Kilmer Elementary and developed a center-based program there
• Ken Emry entered the district in 1975 as a physical education teacher and through the years progressed to football, basketball, and track coach and athletic director/assistant principal at Lewis-Palmer High School. He encouraged everyone to participate in sports.
• Hal Garland was hired in 1999 as director of transportation and then director of auxiliary services, overseeing such functions as food service. He developed a bus replacement plan and sought safety features for all vehicles, including two-way radios and video cameras. He was honored as Transportation Administrator/Director of the Year at the state level and was a nationally certified transportation director.
• Craig Ketels spent his entire professional career in the district, beginning as a student teacher in 1980. He taught instrumental and vocal music and drama at the middle school and high school levels. Many of his former students said he was their favorite teacher and taught them to strive to excellence and develop a work ethic. As the department grew, he focused on the Lewis-Palmer High School band and became activities director in 2004. During his tenure the musical ensembles in the district were recognized on the state, regional, and national levels.
• Dr. Jerry Parsons entered the district as principal of Palmer Lake Elementary School in 1973, moving to the newly formed Lewis-Palmer Elementary while the Palmer Lake school was renovated. In 1989 he became business manager for the district. His decision to serve elementary students was based on his conviction that values are formed at that stage in students’ development. He founded the school library with support from a Reading is Fundamental grant. He also encouraged participation of volunteers.
Please consult the district website, www.lewispalmer.org, for information on nominations.
Caption: The 2016 Lewis-Palmer Hall of Fame honorees are, left to right, Dr. Jerry Parsons, Craig Ketels, Ken Emry, and Hal Garland. A legacy award was present for the work of the late Patricia Heinz Photo by Harriet Halbig.
Harriet Halbig can be reached at email@example.com.
By Lisa Hatfield
On Sept. 6, the Monument Board of Trustees got answers to some of its questions about the town’s water enterprise fund finances and learned more about the public input needed for the current update of the town’s comprehensive plan.
Trustees Kelly Elliott and Dennis Murphy were excused.
Public input continues for comprehensive plan update
Mayor Pro-Tem Don Wilson said that as of Sept. 6, the town had received 880 responses to its comprehensive plan update survey.
He said many focus group meetings are also being held with small groups such as homeschool families, high school students, economic development advocates, and homeowners associations. The focus groups are providing another venue for the public from the Tri-Lakes area to give more detailed suggestions. "This is not a board thing. It is coming from the people," Wilson said.
What land use issues really matter to you as a resident or business owner in the community? Tri-Lakes area residents can take the online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/monumentplanupdate, or contact Planning Director Larry Manning or Planner Jennifer Jones at the town offices with questions on the update of the 2003 Comprehensive Plan that is under way.
Water enterprise fund history summarized
For almost two hours, the trustees and staff went through specific questions the trustees had asked about the financial history of the water enterprise fund. Town Treasurer Pamela Smith summarized 26 years of information and said all the numbers she used in the presentation were taken from audits performed by independent auditors and reported to the state. She encouraged any trustee or member of the public to make an appointment to meet with her if they wanted to ask more questions or review the numbers in detail.
The questions covered a range of issues, including how much money has been earned and spent by the Monument water enterprise fund and the 2A Acquisition, Storage, and Delivery (ASD) funds, how much has been invested in the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District water system and the Triview Metropolitan District. She presented financial details to answer each question specifically. Smith’s comments included:
• The raw numbers are here, but everything needs to be reviewed to ascertain the numbers are correct and match the audits. These numbers will probably change after they are reviewed. There is a lot more work to be done.
• A copy of the independent audits from 1954-2015, as well as year-end financial statements from 2005 forward, are available for review in Smith’s office.
• Staff is still working on a comprehensive list of all funds transfers from the water fund to (and from) the general fund or other funds since 1989.
• Doing this extra audit would not be cheap, and the town has spent unexpected money this year on both a land use attorney and the legal settlement with Colonial Management Group.
• Over the years, the town has used cash reserves when we should have used debt to pay for expenses, which is what has gotten us into this position. It’s insane to just use your cash up.
• The 2016 water rates increase has helped considerably and gotten us closer to a balanced budget in the water enterprise fund this year.
She presented a list of all the firms that have been used as independent auditors from 1954 to 2015 and a list of all resolutions and ordinances that affect the sales tax revenue into the water enterprise fund starting in 1980.
A lot of discussion centered on the 2A ASD fund and how that money was supposed to be used. Smith explained that in 1989, a ballot initiative created a 1 percent water sales tax that was to be used solely for water system improvements. However, in 2005, the direction of the 1 percent water sales tax was modified when Monument voters approved using 35 percent of that revenue to build and outfit the new Town Hall and police building. The last payment of $365,000 for that building was scheduled to be paid in August 2016.
The remaining 65 percent of the 2A ASD revenue from the 1 percent water sales tax, and by 2017 100 percent of it, was designated by the voters to be used for "new water acquisition, storage and delivery." Town Manager Chris Lowe reiterated that 2A funds could only be used for projects identified in the 2A vote.
Currently, the water enterprise fund has almost $2 million in its 2A ASD fund. But Smith said, "Even if we add $400,000 to that $2 million, every year, that is nothing if you are trying to acquire new water such as tie into the Southern Delivery System or complete the reuse project. You would need millions upon millions of dollars for those."
But it was the definition of "new water acquisition, storage and delivery" that generated a long series of questions from Trustees Greg Coopman and Shea Medlicott, including whether that money could be used for general water system operations. Town Attorney Gary Shupp said the answer was no. But it culminated in a decision to invite the town’s water attorney, Bob Krassa, of Krassa and Miller LLC, to address the board soon to answer those same questions. See related Sept. 19 Monument Board of Trustees article on page 10.
Mayor Jeff Kaiser "teed up a question" for Smith, asking her to speak about the email Kaiser received from a citizen about six months ago, and other rumors circulating, that claimed the town had "lost" $1.5 million. "Is that possible, with this many audits?" Kaiser asked. Smith said she did not believe so and, "At that point you are questioning my integrity and honesty, and I find that insulting. No, that would be a significant anomaly in a $5 million budget." She thought the misinformation was the result of public confusion about $745,000 that was put in the general fund instead of the water fund and was later brought forward as part of the capital building fund.
Coopman, who has asked many questions about specific financial calculations and wanted a comprehensive look at the fund instead of random samples by auditors, said, "Maybe it would be okay to get a review and analysis" from an auditor instead of actually performing a new audit. His intention was, "to understand how we got to where we are today and how are we going to get where we need to be responsibly."
Coopman said it would make sense to have Kyle Logan of Logan and Associates let the board know, in person or via email, "if he thought it would be responsible or make sense to look more comprehensively at these funds and audit a little more in depth prior to making substantial investments in a water system that supports less than 1,000 homes." The majority of the board agreed.
Checks over $5,000
The following invoices over $5,000 were approved after being pulled from the consent agenda at the request of Kaiser on behalf of Elliott.
• Land Title Guarantee Co., land for water tank site − $204,000
• Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck, land use attorney − $19,341
• SA-SO, street repair and maintenance − $5,357
• CIRSA Insurance, 2015 payroll audit additional premium − $10,975
Ordinances and liquor license approved
Rick Velliquette represented The Bistro on 2nd in applying for a new hotel and restaurant liquor license application. The trustees asked him about staff training and then approved the application unanimously.
Shupp presented an ordinance amending Chapter 5.04 of the Monument Municipal Code concerning business license and regulations. The trustees asked many questions, including how the ordinance might affect business partners physically located outside of the town of Monument but doing business in Monument. The trustees unanimously approved the ordinance, and Coopman gained board consensus to direct town staff to clarify that section’s wording within the next 30 days for further board consideration.
Shupp also presented an ordinance making it so town fees could be modified by resolution instead of by ordinances in the future. Coopman expressed concern that tap fees were not included and that the fee schedule included a six-year schedule for water rates, even though the board had only approved one year. After some discussion with Town Manager Chris Lowe and an amendment by Coopman, the board unanimously approved the resolution. Note: Tap fees were scheduled to be voted on at the Sept. 19 meeting. See related Sept. 19 Monument Board of Trustees article on page 10.
Manning presented a resolution and a related ordinance approving a change increasing the number of banner boards allowed and describing the size, height, location, and design of banner boards. The trustees unanimously approved both items.
Recognition of supporters
Many volunteers and sponsors of local events were recognized for their contributions, including:
• Town Streets Superintendent Ron Rathburn was honored by Public Works Director Tom Tharnish for over 30 years of service (and counting!) to the town.
• Eric VanDenHoek was thanked for all his behind-the-scenes support of town staff in order to pull off events.
• The sponsors of the July 4 Street Fair and the Free Movie Nights at the clock tower in Monument Marketplace. Community Liaison Specialist Madeline VanDenHoek thanked Colorado Springs Health Partners, Integrity Bank and Trust, Solar City, Mountain View Electric Association, Kum & Go, Financial Future Services, Big Opposable Thumb, Goodwill, Lang Investment Services, The Wheaton Team, Christian Brothers, US Taekwondo Center, Espresso Americano, Walmart, Safeway, and the Lewis-Palmer Elementary Boxtops committee.
• Fountain Creek Watershed, Creek Week/Town Clean up volunteers. Executive Director Larry Small said last year, volunteers cleaned up 10 tons of debris in our three counties. This year’s event was scheduled for Sept. 24-Oct. 2.
The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Thanks to Audrey Burkart for recording this meeting. Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Kate Pangelinan
The Sept. 14 Monument Planning Commission (MPC) meeting was once again led by Commissioner Kathy Spence, as Chairman Ed Delaney was not present. Alternate Commissioner Daniel Rathke was also absent. The meeting’s discussion focused primarily on plans for the new Jackson Creek Senior Living center to be built at the northeast corner of Jackson Creek Parkway, by what will someday be Harness Road. The final plat and final planned development site plans for this facility were approved by the MPC and will now move on to consideration by the Board of Trustees. The motion to approve the plans passed 3-2, with Commissioners David Gwisdalla and Spence voting against.
About the care facility
According to designs presented to the MPC, the senior living facility will feature 131 units across the course of 6.5 acres. The building would be painted in a natural palette, in keeping with Monument’s other fixtures. Many large glass windows would let in clear, natural light along the side of the building. Native grasses would be cultivated between this project and the nearby road. A special wing for memory care patients would be built, too, utilizing bracelets to alert staff if the memory care patients wander too far from their rooms and enclosed patio. Care would be taken to assure that no dazed patients ever make it all the way to the busy road, or fall into the pond on the other side of the intersection.
Also, scheduled transportation to places like King Soopers or hospitals would be provided to patients for free. A separate personal transportation service for other, non-scheduled journeys could also be utilized by residents, although it would come at a fee if the patient wanted to travel more than three to five miles. The facility would own two vehicles for this purpose, and no residents would be allowed to travel in an employee’s personal car. 122 parking spots would be provided for the whole facility. Commissioner Michelle Glover was not sure this would provide adequate parking for staff as well as residents and visitors, though the applicants assured her that many residents would likely utilize provided transportation and therefore need no cars of their own. Town code would require 92 parking spaces be built, and this care facility is pointedly providing more than the requirement. Glover then wondered if this might be a "hole in our code," something to look into for the future—should there be different rules for staffed residential buildings?
Other concerns about the new care facility plans included, but were not limited to, Glover wondering if the 30-foot trail behind this facility would be maintained, as plans for it weren’t made clear on the map. As it turns out, this trail will "jog" along Harness Road, eventually turning into an "L" shape and bringing visitors to a crossing.
Also, questions were asked about future plans for the facility. No further expansions have been formally submitted, though the applicant did mention the possibility of someday extending the facility, possibly to include such things as residential cottages. Also, Gwisdalla expressed frustration that road projects can be partially built and then left in limbo, effectively producing "roads to nowhere" until future developments are completed. He requested that a condition to approving the care facility’s plans be that areas that might otherwise have been partially built be completely landscaped until they are ready to be worked on in earnest.
Reports and communications
Glover and Commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick reported that the town advisory committee meetings have been going well, revealing genuine community interest in Monument’s affairs and providing valuable feedback. A quiz on the town’s Facebook page generated 950 responses, which Glover was particularly pleased with, as it proved civilian readiness to respond and communicate. Gwisdalla wondered if citizen responses could truly generate change in Monument, and Glover was optimistic that they could, indeed, help direct the town.
The planning commissioners all will get tablets, in correspondence with the direction of the town—all things are intended to become more electronic. The hope is that MPC members will be able to zoom in on provided maps and pictures, allowing easier engagement with packets.
Glover and Planning Director Larry Manning also discussed the possibility of a regional trail map being provided with packets and proposals, as well as the MPC being alerted if a trail somehow relates to a project.
Another conversation centered on the signs Monument puts up to announce the coming of new developments. Glover and Gwisdalla both thought these signs need to be much bigger and more obvious so citizens can be aware of developments and come to MPC meetings discussing them if they’re interested. Manning said they would look into these suggestions.
Also, the town planners are still working on summarizing the MPC’s opinions on the landscape ordinance in order to get them formally to the board.
The next Monument Planning Commission meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 645 Beacon Lite Rd. Meetings are normally held on the second Wednesday of the month. Information: 884-8017 or http://www.townofmonument.org/meetings/.
Kate Pangelinan can be reached at email@example.com.
By Lisa Hatfield
On Sept. 19, the Monument Board of Trustees approved an increase in water tap fees paid for providing water infrastructure to new development in the town’s water service area west of I-25. The town’s water attorney defined what "new" meant as the trustees learned about water law and potential legal uses of the 2A Fund for "new" water storage, delivery and acquisition. And Jamie Fenley was appointed to the Board of Adjustment in a divided vote.
Trustees Greg Coopman and Kelly Elliott were excused.
Tap fees jump with consensus from stakeholders
The trustees unanimously approved an ordinance noticeably increasing the price developers will pay for access to potable water within the town of Monument water service area west of I-25.
Town Manager Chris Lowe and Public Works Director Tom Tharnish presented the ordinance, explaining that the proposed impact fee schedules had been reviewed extensively over the last nine months with input from the stakeholders such as the Home Builders Association (HBA) members and the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corp. (EDC), who wrote letters of support for the increase.
Higher tap fees will provide revenue to support the new capital improvements needed for new housing and commercial development. The impact fee will jump in 2016 and then increase 9 percent a year for six years. Tharnish, Lowe, and Will Koger of Forsgren Associates said the new tap fees are "close to the middle" compared to rates and fees of neighboring communities, and town staff will review them annually.
For example, tap fees increased 66 percent for access to a new three-quarter-inch tap, the average size of a residential water pipe, going from $9,000 to $15,000 in 2016.
2A fund and water definitions
The town’s water attorney, Bob Krassa of Krassa & Miller LLC, answered trustees’ questions for an hour to help them understand more about water law and some definitions regarding aspects of the town’s 2A Water Storage, Acquisition and Delivery (ASD) Fund. See related Sept. 6 Monument Board of Trustees article on page 7.
Since 2005, a voter-approved 1-percent water sales tax has been paying both for the new Town Hall and specifically for "new water acquisition, storage and delivery." Starting in 2017, 100 percent of this revenue will go into the 2A fund, and many of the trustees wanted to know what actually constitutes "new water acquisition, storage, and delivery," since the 2A Fund has $2 million in it.
Krassa’s comments related to the 2A fund included:
• He thought 2A funds could be used to build a new water storage tank, new water treatment plant, or new delivery infrastructure, to drill a new well, or to buy new water rights.
• 2A funds could not be used to replace current infrastructure, do maintenance, or to re-drill an existing well.
• A "water right" is the right to take water out of a natural stream or the ground. Water rights are conveyed by deeds in a decree in water court.
• In Colorado, you don’t really own the actual molecules of water ("wet water"), but through water rights ("paper water"), you have a right to use a specified amount.
• Monument produces the vast majority of its water from the aquifers under the town, which are part of the Denver Basin, whose four aquifers are being depleted.
• Water is available if you are willing to pay market price for water rights. Recent examples: Aurora, Colorado Springs, and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District.
Krassa said there is no such thing as a dumb question on water rights, because even if you have asked it before, the answer might be different because of a different context. Other information he shared included:
• Ninety percent of water used in homes is only used once and then goes to the wastewater plant and is discharged for downstream use by others.
• The town has water rights in the lower three aquifers of the Beaver Creek Ranch in the residential portion of Forest Lakes, and on Beaver Creek it has five senior water rights.
• The town does not use those molecules of water directly. But because it has rights to that much water from Beaver Creek, it is allowed to pump that same quantity from the aquifers under the town … as long as those aquifers can produce water.
• Eventually, the town will actually need to pump the water out of a well in Forest Lakes. The aquifers are not being replenished at a significant rate, so the water is being "mined."
• The small amount of renewable water that the town has from Beaver Creek, and the junior rights you have for your reservoir, are so important, because renewable water is renewed every year by the hydrologic cycle.
• We keep trying to find renewable water for this town that is affordable; the last time we were successful was 1982 when the Beaver Creek rights were acquired. We need to keep looking for renewable water.
• The town also owns one-third of the storage capacity in the water tank in the Forest Lakes development. (Koger said the town is not using this capacity now, and the pressure is not directly compatible with the town’s nearby system.)
• Will Koger is working on an "indirect water reuse" project for local entities, to make the maximum use of each drop of water and prolong the life of the aquifers a little while.
• However, "direct reuse" of water can be 10 times cheaper than "indirect reuse," which requires pumping treated effluent miles back upstream to be mixed with surface water before being treated to drinking water standards. Direct reuse presents a "perception problem," and avoiding that problem costs money.
• The state could take the lead and really restrict the watering of bluegrass lawns. But the Colorado Water Plan just adopted is "same old, same old."
Forsgren Associates Assistant Division Manager Jonathan Moore said he is working on a regional plan to bring renewable water to the area, which could help everyone in the community if Woodmoor Water and Sanitation, Triview Metropolitan District, Donala Water and Sanitation District, and the town can all work together to implement such a plan.
Resident Nancy Swearingen said the town could not just keep pushing off the decision to provide water for the future of the community "just because it was too expensive." "Very well said!" opined Krassa.
Fenley appointed to Board of Adjustment
Town Planner Larry Manning said that the town had advertised for a month and currently had six applicants for the two open positions on the Board of Adjustment (BOA). Jamie Fenley was the only resident who appeared at the Sept. 19 meeting, and Manning did not know why the others were not there, although Roger Hernandez had called to say he could not attend.
After the trustees interviewed Fenley, Trustee Shea Medlicott made a motion that Fenley be appointed to three-year BOA term and to hold off filling the one-year position until the other candidates could be interviewed. Trustee Jeff Bornstein was out of the room.
The motion failed with a tie 2-2 vote. Mayor Jeff Kaiser and Mayor Pro Tem Don Wilson were opposed, with no reason given.
Bornstein returned, and Kaiser said, "We have a motion before you, do you vote for Ms. Fenley?" and Bornstein said "yes." "The motion passes 3-2," Kaiser said.
However, Shupp and Medlicott said no, the entire motion was to appoint Fenley and wait until interviews could be done for the one-year term, and that motion failed.
Medlicott made a new motion to appoint Fenley to a three-year term. It was approved 3-2. Kaiser and Wilson were opposed, with no reason given.
Medlicott then made a motion to wait to interview others in person before appointing anyone to the one-year term. It was approved 4-1. Kaiser was opposed, with no reason given.
Chamber of Commerce update
Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Terri Hayes told the trustees about recent changes for the Chamber, which "provides leadership to support, improve, and promote existing and new business." Her comments included:
• The Chamber moved from its old location at 300 Highway 105 over a year ago, because the building was too small to welcome visitors and plan events.
• The Town of Monument made space for the Chamber at 166 Second Street, which has been undergoing renovations since then to make it an inviting and practical space.
• The new location includes a community room that is available for the public to rent. It is free for nonprofits and Chamber members, but there is a charge for for-profit events.
• The Chamber has recently merged with the all-volunteer Tri-Lakes Economic Development Commission, which focuses on supporting "primary" employers with nationwide influence.
• The big events organized by the Chamber include the July 4 Street Fair & Beer Festival, summer concerts in Limbach Park, the annual community awards dinner, and Bines and Brews. See related photos of the Sept. 17 Bines and Brews event on page 23..
• They are assisting with the town’s current Comprehensive Plan Update.
• New "wayfinding signs" are coming soon downtown.
• An updated town brochure will be distributed from Denver to Pueblo in 2017, Town Treasurer Pamela Smith said.
Checks over $5,000
• Triview Metro District—sales tax July, motor vehicle August, Regional Building use tax August $133,398
• Community Matters—preliminary work on comprehensive plan $11,975
• A-One Chipseal—asphalt road work $63,687
• CIRSA—deductible for liability insurance claim $5,000
• Common Knowledge Technology—replace seven 2011 computer towers $6,262
• Forsgren Associates Inc.—work on Well 9 treatment plant $6,755
The trustees voted to go into executive session at 9:06 p.m. to receive legal advice on specific legal questions (business license ordinance and potential litigation). Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman told OCN that no announcements or votes were made after the executive session.
Caption: The Monument Board of Trustees approved a jump in water tap fees on Sept. 19. This chart shows the new Town of Monument domestic (potable) water impact fees for new developments in the town water system on the west side of I-25. Multi-family units have a different structure. For details, see http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com and click on the Sept. 19 Board of Trustees packet. Chart courtesy of Town of Monument.
The Monument Board of Trustees usually meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at Monument Town Hall, 645 Beacon Lite Road. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 3. Call 884-8014 or see www.townofmonument.org for information. To see upcoming agendas and complete board packets for the Monument Board of Trustees or to download audio recordings of past meetings, see http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com and click on Board of Trustees. To search all of Monument’s ordinances, see https://www.municode.com/library/co/monument/.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By James Howald
The Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) board met on Sept. 1 to hear operational reports from district staff. Typically, the board meets on the second Thursday of each month, but in September the meeting was held a week early to accommodate the schedules of board members and staff.
Board members tour JV Ranch
Director at Large Brian Bush told the board he found his recent trip to the JV Ranch helpful to his understanding of the ranch’s operations, and said he felt the district should do more to educate consumers about the value the ranch provides them. In response to a question from Bush, District Manager Jessie Shaffer said the ranch potentially provides the district 2,500 acre-feet of water annually. Additional water is used on revegetation to prevent erosion on the ranch, according to Shaffer.
District finances are strong
In his financial report, Treasurer Jim Wyss said that the district’s finances are "very strong," citing the $21 million that the district has in cash on hand. That amount is up from $19 million for the previous year, Wyss reported.
Operational reports show no surprises
Assistant District Manager Randy Gillette said that due to heavy rains the Chilcott ditch was facing issues with sand accumulation, which were being addressed.
Demand for water is low at present and cooler temperatures have improved the quality of the water in Woodmoor Lake, Gillette added.
Shaffer said results from a taste and odor study should be ready by December.
Well 15 is out of service, Gillette said, but wells 7, 16, and 18 are in service.
Village Center Filing 4A has received its conditional acceptance certificate, Shaffer said, resulting in increased tap fees for the district. The district has received 93 tap fee applications, Shaffer said.
The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. Meetings are usually held at the district office at 1845 Woodmoor Drive on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. See www.woodmoorwater.com or call 488-2525 to verify meeting times.
James Howald can be reached at email@example.com.
By Lisa Hatfield
At the Sept. 13 Triview Metropolitan District board meeting, the directors voted to begin a roads maintenance plan starting this fall and finalized its winter street standards policy for residents’ reference during blizzards.
Triview, on the east side of I-25, includes two-thirds of the population of Monument and is still growing at a rapid rate. Triview was created as one of the first Colorado Title 32 developer special metropolitan districts within the Regency Park development and was annexed into the town in 1987. Triview provides roads, parks, and drainage maintenance, as well as water and sanitation utility services, to the residents of Jackson Creek, Promontory Pointe, and Sanctuary Pointe. Triview’s water system is wholly independent of Monument’s Public Works water system located on the west side of I-25. There is no emergency pipe connection between these two water systems. The Town of Monument provides land use planning, police, and general governance for the district.
Initial roads study complete; work planned
Alex Vega, senior staff geotechnical engineer, and Ryan Feist, P.E. Geotechnical Services manager of Terracon Consultants Inc., presented the directors with their initial broad analysis of Triview pavement conditions and management recommendations for the Triview board. The $55,000 study sampled 20 percent of the portion of Jackson Creek Parkway between Higby Road and Baptist Road and 20 percent of each road in Jackson Creek. (Jackson Creek Parkway north of Higby Road is in Monument.) The Terracon study also outlined the costs of performing Triview road repair work over the next six years. The primary goal is keeping the good roads in good shape so they will last longer, Feist said.
Feist said 90 percent of roads will fail if water gets into them, so it is most important to seal cracks in the roads that are still in good condition. Maintenance costs four to five times more if it is delayed until a road is already beginning to fail, as portions of a number of roads in Jackson Creek are. Feist said failure symptoms include alligator cracking, patches, potholes, rutting, and depressions caused by either poor construction or heavy traffic, including longitudinal cracking, edge cracking, lane/shoulder drop-off, and weathering.
Vega and Feist said that some roads in Jackson Creek, such as Talus Road, have clay "bubbling up through the asphalt" because it appeared that they were originally constructed incorrectly, with no road base used, and asphalt was applied directly to clay soil.
The priorities they recommended were, in this order:
1. Preventive maintenance—crack sealing in selected spots on all pavements in better condition.
2. Safety maintenance—pothole repairs and patching on pavements that are failing, but reconstruction is not affordable.
3. Global treatment—crack sealing plus curb-to-curb slurry seal, chip seal (aggregate applied over tar layer), or cape seal (chip seal with an extra layer of oil on top), on pavements in better condition.
4. Reconstruction—only for failing pavements, starting with digging down six inches to install new road base and then applying new asphalt.
Vega cited the success of Maricopa Community College in Arizona that has followed Terracon’s prioritization methodology over the last 20 years and increased its overall pavement condition index significantly while spending less money overall.
Terracon suggested spending the most money, about $875,000 in 2017, to protect the most roads with global treatments. The range of the projected estimate of costs and prioritization rationale for the total of six years of maintenance and repairs was between $1.6 and $2.1 million, depending on whether further maintenance after 2017 included just spot treatments or more global treatments like chip seal, slurry seal, or cape seal.
Engineering analysis and design would add another 15-20 percent to the cost, and they would also need to do a comprehensive review of the 20 percent of the roads slated for maintenance in 2017.
Triview includes more than 3 million square feet of pavement, some of which is approaching 20 years old. District Manager Valerie Remington had told the board on June 14 and Aug. 9 that crack sealing would be done this fall, since it is the best season for minor maintenance. See www.ocn.me/v16n7.htm#tmd-0614 and www.ocn.me/v16n9.htm#tmd.
After the presentation, initially, the directors decided to wait until spring 2017 to start the work. However, during the financial report, Vice President Mark Melville restarted the discussion when Remington reported that only 28 percent of "parks and street improvements" expenditures would be spent in 2016. This left about $750,000 to be carried forward to 2017. Remington said she thought they were pretty much out of time for roads this fall. "Before we write this off, let’s make sure," Melville said. "I am afraid to put this off another month."
After another discussion, the directors voted unanimously to start work in fall 2016. Triview staff has already identified 52 different spots in need of crack sealing which will cost $48,376, and this is the type of preventive maintenance suggested by Terracon. Also this fall, the directors want to spend $48,600 to repair one 1,200-square-foot section of Talus Road that is becoming a safety hazard.
The board also directed Remington to start doing the preparation so that a big push on roads maintenance work could begin as soon as possible next spring when temperatures allow tar and asphalt work to be done. Secretary/Treasurer Marco Fiorito said he expected to hear a report from her at the October meeting on the progress toward that goal.
Winter street standard approved
The district’s winter street policy was approved unanimously and was designed to help district residents know what services they could expect during winter storms. The five-page document included:
• The district does not include "snow removal" but instead does "snow plowing."
• Service levels are based on the severity of the weather event.
• Residential streets will have a single lane plowed during a storm, if the intensity of the storm provides for this.
• At end of a storm, additional travel space will be cleared of snow pushed toward edges of streets, as much as 5 feet from curb.
• Opening of driveways after a plow goes by is the responsibility of the homeowner.
• On some cul-de-sacs, the lack of curb space between driveways might result in more driveway blockages than on through-streets.
• The district maintains sidewalks that run along primary streets or parks.
• Clearing snow on residential street sidewalks is the responsibility of property owners pursuant to a Town of Monument ordinance.
• If mailboxes are on the sidewalk of a residential street, it is the responsibility of the homeowner whose property is adjacent to shovel the snow at the mailbox.
See the district’s website for the complete document.
Tap fee policy changed, bonds refinanced, IRS placated
The directors voted unanimously to amend the district tap fees policy paid by developers for residential and/or commercial water and sewer taps. The district will continue to allow the developers to pre-pay tap fees at the current rate, but they will be valid for only one year from the time of payment. If the party pre-paying the tap fee fails to complete building a physical connection to the district within one year, they could have up to one more year to complete the connection by paying any difference in tap fees at that time, but after that they would forfeit all pre-payments to the district.
The consensus was that at some point in the future, the directors would consider a water and sewer tap fee increase. Remington shared a chart comparing Triview’s fees with those of other water and sanitation neighboring districts, some of which have fees more than twice as high but do not have to provide as many services as Triview does (water, sanitation, roads, parks, and drainage maintenance).
Water attorney Chris Cummins of Monson, Cummins & Shohet LLC suggested that volumetric usage rates should increase at the same time that tap fees increase, since anticipated capital costs come from both growth and maintenance of existing systems.
Cummins also suggested that the district should include a section on its website about recently approved resolutions.
See related Sept. 6 and Sept. 21 Monument Board of Trustees meeting articles on page 7 and 10.
The directors also voted unanimously to accept DA Davidson as its underwriter so it could offer and issue Series 2016 bonds to refund Series 2009 bonds. President Reid Bolander said this would save the district $1 million a year in interest rates.
The board unanimously approved a resolution saying that effective Jan. 1, 2017, elected board members are district employees, in order to comply with direction from the federal Internal Revenue Service.
Remington’s comments on the budget, now 58 percent of the way through the year, included:
• Water enterprise fund revenue is only 34 percent of the budgeted amount.
• Water and sewer tap fees are "woefully low" at only 11 percent of the capital projects fund budget (over $700,000 short of what was budgeted)
• The preliminary total cost for June-July water leak was estimated at $186,000, including $151,000 owed to Donala.
• She has not had time to look into getting state or federal grants to help pay for the unexpected costs.
Checks over $5,000 unanimously accepted by the directors:
• JDS-Hydro, Sanctuary Pointe storage tank – $7,455
• DN Tanks Inc. Sanctuary Pointe tank – $281,690
• Stockman Kast Ryan & Co. LLP, 2015 audit – $13,500
• Donala Water and Sanitation District, water deliveries and costs – $151,943
• Bradley Excavating, 7-Eleven water main stub and blow-off – $6,902
Since $150,000 had been budgeted for painting the concrete water storage tank in 2016, but this had not yet been completed, the board consensus was to defer painting the tank to 2017 and use that money to pay Donala.
Landscape maintenance concerns
Resident Anthony Sexton voiced his concerns about maintenance of parks and green spaces in Jackson Creek and Promontory Pointe, saying it was "severely failing" and offered again, as he had in October 2015, to assist the district with its maintenance planning and execution. See www.ocn.me/v15n11.htm#tmd1013. He said weeding twice a year is not acceptable, and some elm saplings in the park in Promontory Pointe had grown so big that some residents thought they were planted trees.
The directors voted to go into executive session at 8:27 p.m. to confer with the district’s attorneys regarding advice on specific legal questions. Remington told OCN that no votes or announcements were made after the executive session.
Note date change: The next Triview meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. at the Fairfield Inn, Mt. Herman Conference Room, 15275 Struthers Road, Colorado Springs. Meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month. Information: 488-6868 or see www.colorado.gov/triviewmetro, including frequently asked questions on the More Info tab. See also "Triview Metropolitan District" on Facebook, or Twitter.com/@TriviewMetro.
Thank you to OCN volunteer Audrey Burkart for recording this meeting. Lisa Hatfield can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jim Kendrick
On Sept. 15, Donala Water and Sanitation District General Manager Kip Petersen announced that he would present the first draft of the 2017 Donala budget to the board after this meeting, which will include a Jan. 1 water rate increase of 4 to 5 percent and a $1 per month increase in the sewer charge. These increases would finally meet the board’s long-standing goal of paying for all current water and sewer services with current rates and charges as the district nears buildout and the resultant loss of further significant tap fee revenues.
Petersen noted that Donala’s $30,292 in operating interest through August was three times higher than the $10,000 budgeted for all 2016 operating interest. In August, the Donala board approved revisions to the capital-preserving investment fund policies that were recommended by its investment consultant firm Chandler Asset Management. He said all the other Donala budget items were in line with the 2016 budget.
Petersen stated that separate budget lines will be created to report Donala’s new operating revenues and expenses for its service contract with Forest Lakes Metropolitan District. Donala staff members operate and maintain all the Forest Lakes water and wastewater infrastructure under this service contract. Forest Lakes is a new development at the west end of Baptist Road.
Director Bob Denny asked Petersen what Forest Lake’s long-term operational staffing plans are. Petersen said, "They’re going to want us to do it all for the foreseeable future. They don’t want a staff." Petersen stated that Donala would need to create a new permanent operator position in the 2017 budget to help meet the needs of the Forest Lakes service contract. Petersen said that the Forest Lakes Metro board members are Classic Homes employees and their district manager is still Ann Nichols. Donala staffers will be operating Forest Lakes water and wastewater systems indefinitely. However, Donala can’t make a profit on this services contract. "We’re not losing money," he added.
Petersen stated that the Triview Metropolitan District board had approved a full single-payment reimbursement of $151,943 on Sept. 13 for the emergency water Donala supplied from July 4 to July 9. He said he expected to receive the full payment check from Triview later in September. ( www.ocn.me/v16n8.htm#dwsd0721, www.ocn.me/v16n9.htm#dwsd)
The board unanimously approved the financial reports.
Petersen stated that the sole source bid Donala received from Yocam Construction LLC for increasing the size of the existing concrete dump pad at the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (UMCRWWTF) was too high, over twice the amount he had budgeted. Yocam is currently rebuilding the Monument Creek streambank reinforcements and the secondary access road under the adjacent railroad track trestle that were destroyed by a stormwater event. The streambank work has to be completed by Sept. 30 due to winter hibernation noise restrictions for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse habitat along Monument Creek that are being imposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The UMCRWWTF concrete dump pad is used for air drying solid wastes. Enlarging the pad’s surface area while Yocam is also doing the secondary road stormwater repair concrete work would make dried solids removal from the pad by the district’s JETVAC truck faster and easier. Petersen said Donala’s pad enlargement would be reduced to lower the cost, and negotiations with Yocam would be renewed.
There was a discussion for consideration of a proposed renewable surface water right purchase agreement from the Gray Family Trust for "a firm water right" from Laughlin Ditch flows of 324 acre-feet of surface water per year. This renewable ditch surface water could be reused to extinction, adding another potential 162 acre-feet of annual use, 484 acre feet in all. The trust’s purchase price was $4.75 million. The trust also offered to provide seller financing for Donala’s purchase. The board unanimously approved a motion for Petersen and Donala’s water attorney Rick Fendel to conduct further due diligence investigations on the trust’s proposed sale to Donala. The Laughlin Ditch is located near Colorado Springs Utilities’ Las Vegas Wastewater Treatment Facility near the U.S. Highway 24 exit on I-25. (See http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2007/5028/pdf/SIR07-5028_plate1.pdf)
The district’s Robert Hull water treatment plant on Bermuda Dunes Way is being renovated with new stucco and new paint.
Petersen said Donala currently has 355 acre-feet of renewable surface water from its Willow Creek Ranch in storage at the Pueblo Reservoir; 100 acre-feet of this total will be used for 2016 return flows.
Well 2A is back in operation. A video inspection of well 4A showed no problems with the well’s screens, as hoped. Sections of the well pipes are corroded and need to be replaced. The well 4A meter, motor, and pump will also be replaced.
The board went into executive session at 2:58 p.m. to determine positions, develop strategies for negotiations, and instruct negotiators.
The next board meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 20, in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Information: 488-3603 or www.donalawater.org. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month.
Jim Kendrick can be reached at email@example.com.
Caption: On Sept. 16, Monument Sanitation District Manager Mike Wicklund, right, swore in new appointee John Howe as a director of the district board. Howe’s appointment will run through May 2018. Photo by Jim Kendrick.
By Lisa Hatfield
At the Sept. 16 meeting of the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility (TLWWTF) Joint Use Committee (JUC), the three members heard about progress on construction, considered the first draft of the 2017 budget, welcomed a new staff member, and learned more about upcoming water quality studies relevant to TLWWTF’s operation.
TLWWTF operates as a separate joint venture public utility and is owned in equal one-third shares by Monument Sanitation District (MSD), Palmer Lake Sanitation District (PLSD), and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD).
The three-member JUC acts as the board of the facility and consists of one director from each of the three owner districts’ boards: WWSD board Director at Large Rich Strom, president; MSD board Chairman Ed Delaney, vice president, who was excused and was represented by MSD board Secretary Terry Madison; and PLSD board and JUC Secretary/Treasurer Ken Smith. Other board and staff members of the three owner districts also attended, including MSD District Manager Mike Wicklund, PLSD District Manager Becky Orcutt, and WWSD District Manager Jessie Shaffer.
New MSD board member John Howe also attended the meeting to gain more background knowledge.
Facility Manager Bill Burks said construction of the total phosphorus (TP) chemical removal clarifier expansion might achieve final completion by Sept. 29. He said the final punch list for Aslan Construction completion by Sept. 29 was compiled by Tetra Tech, Burks, and the TLWWTF operators.
Soon, TLWWTF staff will begin operating the new TP clarifier and analyzing the efficiency of its phosphorus removal, well in advance of the Nov. 1, 2019 permit deadline.
The expansion will allow TLWWTF, which currently has no designed TP treatment capacity, to comply with the state’s Control Regulation 85 TP discharge effluent limit of 1 milligram per liter (mg/l) by Nov. 1, 2019 in accordance with the compliance schedule in the facility’s May 1, 2015 five-year discharge permit.
Burks said he will try to schedule a local presentation of the same paper that Tetra Tech just presented on the TP clarifier project at the three-state Joint Annual Conference of the Rocky Mountain American Waterworks Association and the Water Environment Federation (AWWA & WEF) in September. Members of the public and local wastewater district would be welcome to attend the speech and also tour the new building.
2017 draft budget presented
Burks presented a first draft of 2017 TLWWTF budget and answered many questions from the members concerning planned replacements of various specific pieces of equipment that are aging and becoming hard to repair. The members also discussed the operation of the new TP clarifier, its one-year warranty from Tetra Tech, and how both seasonal temperatures and the timing related to Reg. 85 TP effluent discharge limits could affect how it is operated.
Plant manager’s report
Burks introduced new staff member Kevin Love, who was welcomed by the whole group, since it has been a struggle to find the right person to hire for this entry-level operator position. MSD Environmental Compliance Coordinator Jim Kendrick said, "You know you have a job that will never be impacted by recession!"
Burks reviewed the July discharge monitoring report (DMR), saying the results were well within the required parameters as usual.
The consensus of the members, confirmed by consistently excellent DMRs, was that TLWWTF effluent is already of much higher water quality than many people in the world have available for drinking water. When "water reuse" is discussed as the trend of the future, such as it was at the AWWA & WEF conference, it means that treated effluent, which already has to meet discharge permit standards to be added back into the stream, is treated another time to reach state and federal drinking water quality standards. Direct and indirect reuse takes advantage of that water instead of sending it downstream. "What’s the difference? Water is water, especially if you don’t have it anymore, like is happening in Texas now," Burks said.
Periphyton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and water quality
Kendrick summarized the Sept. 6 meeting of Arkansas River/Fountain Creek Coalition for Urban/Rural River Evaluation (AF CURE). He said that Coordinator Sarah Reeves, environmental engineer and vice president of Brown & Caldwell (B&C), said that B&C has hired Otter Tail Environmental to perform the periphyton study in the Fountain and Monument Creek watershed portion of the Arkansas basin. These study results will meet Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) data formatting standards. TLWWTF will not have to help fund this study, Kendrick said.
Meanwhile, GEI Consultants Inc. is doing a separate aquatic life and periphyton study for TLWWTF in a format that will meet federal U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data formatting standards, which are different than state CDPHE standards. GEI planned to take samples of benthic macroinvertebrates (immature stages of many flies, beetles, mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies, dragonflies, aquatic worms, snails, and leeches) in Monument Creek in September. These samples will be collected to assess aquatic life, and samples of periphyton (aquatic organisms, such as certain algae, that live attached to rocks or other surfaces under water) to assess biological response to nutrients including phosphorus and nitrogen.
Reeves’ draft contract agreement letter stated that AFCURE and its members are monitoring periphyton because Colorado Regulation 31, Basic Standards and Methodologies for Surface Water, will be fully implemented in 2021. It includes an interim stream value for chlorophyll a of 150 mg/m2 to protect recreation classified use. Because of this future regulation, several entities within AF CURE are interested in monitoring periphyton (analyzed as chlorophyll a) to understand seasonal trends, the potential risk of stream impairment, and the appropriateness of the Colorado Water Quality Division’s sampling methodology. Also, AF CURE is developing a nutrient model for Fountain Creek and Arkansas River to understand the sources and loadings of nutrients and their impacts on designated uses. This nutrient model will utilize periphyton data in order to understand the impact of nutrients on recreation.
The meeting adjourned at 12:25 p.m.
The next meeting will be held Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility, 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meetings throughout 2016 will normally be held on the second Tuesday of the month and are open to the public. For information, call Bill Burks at 719-481-4053.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jim Kendrick
On Sept. 16, Senior Assistant County Attorney Lori Seago, a member of the new county Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA) transitional shutdown staff, told the BRRTA Board of Directors that BRRTA must remain in operation past the end of 2016 in order to complete a full 2016 audit that would include the early redemption of all the remaining BRRTA bond debt that allowed an early end to the temporary BRRTA one-cent sales tax on June 30, 2016.
County Engineer Jennifer Irvine announced that the Colorado chapter of the American Public Works Association had selected BRRTA’s new roundabout at Baptist and Old Denver Roads as its Project of the Year with a presentation at the awards banquet of the Nov. 7 association conference. She noted that county Transportation Department Project Manager Dennis Barron had prepared the successful award submittal. (See colorado.apwa.net/EventDetails/9768/)
The BRRTA board consists of two Town of Monument elected officials and three elected El Paso County officials. The current members are County Assessor Steve Schleiker (president), Monument Mayor Jeff Kaiser (vice president), County Commissioner Darryl Glenn (secretary/treasurer), Monument Mayor Pro Tem Don Wilson, and County Commissioner Dennis Hisey.
Glenn’s absence from the meeting was unanimously excused.
Note: BRRTA’s remaining outstanding 2007 privately held road construction revenue bonds were paid off through an extraordinary mandatory redemption as unanimously directed by the board on March 18. June 1, 2016, was the first eligible redemption date available in the bond covenants after BRRTA received a final state reimbursement through the Colorado Department of Revenue. The BRRTA sales tax, which was collected solely to pay for this bond debt, was subsequently terminated on June 30, the first semi-annual date eligible under state law after all the BRRTA bonds had been redeemed. All bills have been paid for the upgrade of Baptist Road west of I-25. (http://www.ocn.me/v16n7.htm#brrta)
Seago also informed the board on Sept. 16 that the other El Paso County staff members who have taken over BRRTA’s operations must set up a new escrow account for each remaining final payment to cover three years of liability in case there is a lawsuit regarding payment. However, state law limits the total BRRTA liability to $350,000 for this process, Seago said. She recommended that $350,000 be kept in reserve for this three-year liability period that cannot be started until 2017.
Seago is still researching how to stop these seemingly never-ending new three-year liability cycles for BRRTA, yet still spend all the remaining total of about $1.3 million in its BRRTA’s cash accounts on close-out administrative expenses and useful projects solely within BRRTA’s construction rights-of-way. Some precedents have been set by the shutdown of the county’s Struthers Road Improvement District.
A citizen comment was made that the BRRTA board create a grant for all its remaining funds at shutdown to be made by the county’s BRRTA staff to a new county Baptist Road Improvement District.
Some close-out steps approved
The board unanimously approved a resolution that authorized:
• Closure of BRRTA’s bond accounts with UMB bank.
• Moving the remaining UMB bank funds in these accounts to the BRRTA COLOTrust Plus General Fund account.
• An electronic deposit agreement for future deposits of still-unremitted as well as future BRRTA funds from the Colorado Department of Revenue to this BRRTA COLOTrust Plus General Fund account.
The board unanimously approved a BRRTA check to the Department of Revenue for creation of a $25,000 department reserve fund to have cash on hand so that the department can pay potential refunds to commercial entities that have paid too much in BRRTA sales tax in error due to incorrect calculations or collections of sales tax after the June 30 termination date.
The board also unanimously approved an updated Memorandum of Understanding between BRRTA and the Department of Revenue that specifies the details of each of these new circumstances and the related new procedures that are now required for control of confidential vendor sales tax data.
County Engineer Irvine proposed three types of projects in the county’s Baptist Road right-of-way that the county could perform using remainder of the BRRTA funds:
• Replace sections of the existing very eroded county gravel trail on the north side of Baptist Road with concrete sidewalks.
• Replace sections of the road base medians with sections of concrete medians.
• Construction of a cul-de-sac at the west end of the BRRTA frontage road from Leather Chaps Road to the Family of Christ Church for county snow plows and emergency vehicles.
The consensus was to draft an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between BRRTA and El Paso County to give all future BRRTA spending responsibilities to the county in 2017 that would need to be approved by the Board of County Commissioners. A draft of this IGA will be an agenda item at the next BRRTA meeting on Oct. 14. Irvine said she would provide preliminary cost estimates for these three proposals by Sept. 30.
Monument Mayor Jeff Kaiser said he would schedule a Monument Board of Trustees agenda item in October for seeking citizen recommendations for any other projects that could be performed within the county’s Baptist Road right-of-way.
The board unanimously approved the second-quarter 2016 BRRTA financial reports as presented by Finance Manager Nikki Simmons of the county’s finance division, and the second-quarter 2016 BRRTA sales and use tax collections report as presented by Elaine Johnsen, EPC Funding Optimization manager and district manager for BRRTA, and Sales and Use Tax Manager Brian Olson of the county finance division. Total first half 2016 and tax revenue was $642,164 and total first half use tax revenue was $69,260.
The board also ratified the following timely payments totaling $19,114 that had already been made before this postponed meeting:
• $3,500 toward the new Aspen Grove stainless steel tree structures installed by Tri-Lakes Views in BRRTA’s new Baptist-Old Denver Road roundabout.
• $8,500 to Biggs-Kofford CPA for the 2015 BRRTA audit.
• $7,114 to T Charles Wilson Insurance for liability insurance for 2016-17.
• $88 for printing of a sales tax termination notice postcards sent to BRRTA vendors.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:53 p.m.
The next regular BRRTA board meeting is scheduled to be held on Oct. 14 at 2:30 p.m. in the Academy Conference Room of Citizen Service Center, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road, rather than Nov. 11 as previously planned. Meetings are normally held on the second Friday of the second month of the quarter. Information: 520-5547 or 520-6386.
Jim Kendrick can be reached at email@example.com.
By Lisa Hatfield
The El Paso County Planning Commission considered two items relating to the Tri-Lakes area in September. The following items were both approved unanimously and are scheduled to be considered next by the Board of County Commissioners.
Forest Lakes 2A final plat
On Sept. 6, the final plat for Forest Lakes Filing 2A was unanimously approved with 11 conditions and 1 notation. Planner Raimere Fitzpatrick of the Planning and Community Development Department said five adjoining property owners had been notified of the application, but none submitted a response.
Forest Lakes Filing 2A is located within a portion of the Amended Forest Lakes Filing 2 Planned Unit Development (PUD), which was approved to authorize the development of 161 single-family residential lots. The development is located on the south side of Forest Lakes Drive, about two-thirds of a mile west of the intersection of Old Denver Road and West Baptist Road.
The owner, Forest Lakes Residential Development LLC, requested approval of a final plat to create 73 single-family lots, right-of-ways, and five open space tracts. This final plat area is within the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District, which will provide water and wastewater service and maintain landscaping, open space, and private drainage facilities within the development.
Other service providers will include Mountain View Electric Association, Black Hills Energy, and Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District. A Parks Land Agreement to construct a neighborhood park and trails within the development is in progress. A 9.89-acres school site was dedicated to Lewis-Palmer School District 38 in the Filing 1 Final Plat, according to the staff report.
The staff report noted that the State Engineer’s Office says the proposed water supply can be provided without causing injury to decreed water rights, and the County Attorney’s Office says the water supply is sufficient. See related Board of County Commissioners article on page 18.
Variance of use for contractor equipment yard
On Sept. 21, the commissioners unanimously approved a request for a variance of use for Bajwa Roofing, the property at 882 N. Washington St., Monument, which is zoned RR-5.
Planner Nina Ruiz, Planning and Community Development Department, said the applicant requested a variance so that the vacant land can be used for a contractor equipment yard and for outdoor automobile and boat storage. She said the variance excludes the storage of inoperable vehicles, trucks greater than 5 tons, trash, junk, roofing waste, and debris.
The applicant and business owner, Amanreet Bajwa, said that later she would like to add a metal building for indoor storage and an office. She said properties on Washington Street are already being used similarly, and that the western border would have the required fencing and trees for screening, since there is a residence on the property to the west.
She had approached the Town of Monument with this application, since it was possible that her land would be annexed into the town, but she said they directed her to follow through with the county. Ruiz said she had not heard back from the Town of Monument either.
Commissioner Jerome Hannigan expressed concerns about the properties northeast of the applicant’s, which adjoins the Santa Fe Trail system. He wanted to know if there would be sufficient visual buffering with those areas, which include Wakonda Hills subdivision and a large undeveloped area. Note: according to the El Paso County assessor parcel map at http://gis2.asr.elpasoco.com, it is an 85-acre tract of agricultural grazing land.
Resident Dennis Ackerman, whose property is west of the applicant’s, spoke in favor of the variance, as long as he did not get "another junk yard" like the property southeast of him, he said. "Let’s try to keep it tidy. I just want to make sure about the visual barrier."
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
The El Paso Board of County Commissioners approved two items related to the new Forest Lakes development in September. Also, on Aug. 31, the commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution asking voters to reject the "ColoradoCare" single-payer healthcare plan proposed on the November election ballot as Constitutional Amendment 69. See http://news.elpasoco.com/Pages/default.aspx?ReleaseID=2346 to read their two-page statement.
Forest Lakes Filing 2A final plat and parklands agreement
On Sept. 20, the commissioners unanimously approved the final plat for Forest Lakes Filing 2A that was requested by Forest Lakes Residential Development LLC to create 73 single-family residential lots east of Pinon Lake. This application was approved on Sept. 6 by the El Paso County Planning Commission. See related article with more detail on page 17. See: http://adm.elpasoco.com/Development%20Services/Pages/PlanningCommission2016.aspx.
Also, as part of the consent agenda, the commissioners approved a parklands agreement with the owner, Forest Lakes Residential Development LLC, and the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District. This agreement was to address credit for urban park fees in exchange for constructing urban park improvements.
The property owner’s park plan includes the development of a waterfront park along the north edge of Bristlecone Lake on Forest Lakes Drive in Filing 1, a trailhead parking lot for the park and county trail, a gazebo, a small amphitheater, a low-profile playground, a small turf area, seating, signage, and landscape/irrigation within Forest Lakes "to provide urban recreation opportunities for residents living within Forest Lakes and the public," the agreement said.
The property owner must compete the improvements within two years, and the property owner in coordination with the district will provide a design and construction cost estimate for the park improvements to the county for review prior to the recording of the final plat for Forest Lakes Filing 2A. This reporter observed that these amenities are already under construction along Bristlecone Lake.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By Bill Kappel
September was very dry, with temperatures slightly above normal. In fact, no days during the month received significant rainfall (greater than 0.25 inch in one hour). This was very similar to last September when the total monthly precipitation was also way below normal. However, September is a transition season for the Front Range and will often be at one extreme or the other, either very wet or very dry. We did see our first below-freezing temperatures of the season on a couple of the mornings during the third and fourth weeks of the month, right on schedule.
The first two weeks of September were dry, with temperatures a little warmer than normal. High temperatures on the 1st and 2nd were in the 70s, then jumped into the low to mid-80s from the 3rd through the 8th. Temperatures dipped slightly on the 9th and 10th as some cooler air worked into the region, only reaching the upper 60s on the 10th. Breezy and warmer conditions moved in on the 11th and 12th, as temperatures jumped back to the upper 70s and low 80s. This was ahead of some unsettled weather that affected the region the next couple of days. This was a big change, as we had no precipitation from the 1st through the 11th. The frontal passage on the 12th did produce a round of showers and thunderstorms during the late afternoon through early evening hours, but most of us received less than .10 inch of rain.
Temperatures were cool the next day, with highs only reaching the upper 50s and plenty of low clouds and fog around. The next day started with some fog and low clouds as well, but sunshine returned that afternoon and temperatures warmed into the low 70s. This cooler air mass signaled a change of season and the longer nights, combined with clearing skies, allowed temperatures to cool quickly. In fact, temperatures dipped below the freezing mark for the first time this season just before sunrise on the 16th in many of the low-lying spots. This is about a week or two ahead of the normal first freeze date. However, clear skies and a dry air mass meant highs reached back to above normal levels on the 17th and 18th, returning to the upper 70s and low 80s.
The last few days of summer ended on the warm side, with highs ranging from the upper 70s to low 80s from the 19th through the 22nd. We were mainly dry during this time as well, with just one brief round of showers and gusty winds during the afternoon of the 21st. After one more warm day on the 22nd, the first official day of fall, cooler air began to settle in, with temperatures dropping back to slightly below normal levels. The cooler air mass that moved in over the weekend combined with the longer nights to produce some chilly mornings. Most areas dropped below freezing for a few hours during the early morning hours of the 25th. Of course, the clear, cool conditions also get the fall colors going in full effect, making for some nice scenery against the Colorado blue sky backdrop.
The last few days of the month continued the trend of mild and dry weather. High temperatures reached well into the 70s from the 26th through the 28th, about 10°F warmer than normal. The clear skies and dry atmosphere allowed overnight temperatures to drop quickly, reaching the mid-30s each night. Slightly more unsettled conditions moved in for the last day of the month, as we actually saw a few scattered showers in the region and gusty winds at times. Temperatures remained slightly above normal, however, with highs still reaching the upper 60s and low 70s.
A look ahead
October can be an active weather month for the Tri-Lakes region, with snowy conditions often experienced by the end of the month. Most years, we seem to get a good snowfall around Halloween, and after a warm and dry September, we could be in for a good storm this year. Snow can be heavy at times during any part of October, as when over 20 inches of snow fell from Oct. 9-10 in 2005, and 2006 saw over 24 inches of snowfall in less than 24 hours on Oct. 26. And for those of you who were around during October 1997, you won’t forget the nearly 4 feet that shut everything down for several days. Of course, the weather can also be very dry and mild, so enjoy those sunny days when you can.
September 2016 Weather Statistics
Average High 76.2° (+4.5)
100-year return frequency value max 77.5° min 63.5°
Average Low 43.1° (+2.0)
100-year return frequency value max 46.7° min 36.1°
Monthly Precipitation 0.09" (-1.71")
100-year return frequency value max 4.34" min 0.40"
Monthly Snowfall 0.0" (-0.5")
Highest Temperature 84° on the 5th, 7th
Lowest Temperature 30° on the 25th
Season to Date Snow 0.0"
(-0.5", 100% below normal) (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)
Season to Date Precip. 5.43"
(-2.74", 44% below normal) (the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)
Heating Degree Days 174 (-71)
Cooling Degree Days 13 (+7)
Bill Kappel is a meteorologist and Tri-Lakes resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Letters to Our Community should not be interpreted as the views of OCN even if the letter writer is an OCN volunteer.
Deja vu all over again
Once again the voters of Palmer Lake face the issue of whether to legalize the sale of retail marijuana—the third time in 2 1/2 years. All the reasons the voters turned it down twice before remain—only the proponents have changed.
When considering this question please remember that retail marijuana:
Can cause permanent brain damage by disrupting development of the brain. It shrinks the hippocampus, the learning, cognition and memory center. This can create a loss of 8 points of IQ by age 38.
Causes health problems including cancer of the head, nose and throat, and is a major cause of testicular cancer in young males. It causes chronic bronchitis and respiratory problems, and increased risk of heart.
Causes mental illness, crime, and violence. Marijuana affects brain systems that are still maturing through young adulthood; its use by teens has been associated with schizophrenia, paranoia and other psychosis leading to depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, even for years after smokers quit.
Can kill or permanently harm a fetus. Today’s high potency pot can cause fatal brain damage to a fetus only two weeks after conception. Babies of mothers who smoked pot during pregnancy had an 11-fold increase in non-lymphoblastic leukemia. Behavioral problems include long-lasting deficits in attention.
Is addictive. Research tells us that 1 in 6 people who start using marijuana as adolescents become addicted. According to ONDCP, 17 percent of those under 18 will become addicted to it, 9 percent who start after 18 will become addicted, and many will move on to the hard drugs that kill. Teen "heavy" marijuana use is up 80 percent since 2008.
So why legalize retail marijuana in Palmer Lake? Vote no to save our town.
Birthdays are no longer IT passwords
I would like to publicly thank Derek Araje, who alerted my wife and I in May that our son’s private information in Inﬁnite Campus was easily accessible by others. I had no idea that inside Google Apps for Education where my son logged in to do his work there was a directory of the students that included their student ID numbers. Derek explained that once someone had my son’s student ID, all they needed was his birthday and they could log in and then see all of his private information. That private information included: locker number and combination, school schedule, bus stop location with drop-off and pick-up times, grades, family members, and health information, etc.
My wife and I were very upset to learn how accessible our son’s private information was. Not only was I upset with D38 for letting this happen, I was upset with myself as a parent for not noticing it myself. Further adding to my disappointment, I have since learned that another parent had already complained to the district about its lax handling of student logins for these websites months prior. It seems as though this issue was not taken seriously until Derek continued to bring it to people’s attention.
Thank you again, Derek for notifying my wife and I, and shining the light on this extremely important issue. I would like to also thank those involved at D38 for finally taking this issue seriously and requiring my children to set up a new, unique, and secure password when school started this year.
D38’s IT controversy response
I am a Palmer Ridge graduate and a senior in college whose six siblings attend or have graduated from D38 schools. My family is grateful to have attended D38, and can attest that it is one of the best districts in the state, with some of the best teachers and staff. D38, however, has not taken students’ digital security and privacy very seriously.
For as long as I can remember, D38 students have used their birthdays for passwords for their online accounts. Birthdays should never be used as passwords because they are so easy to access: They can be found through Facebook, Google searches, or by casually asking the individual.
Several parents reported concerns and other security problems to district staff this year, but they were met with an apathetic attitude. Unfortunately, some of the parents who got involved in the effort to get the district to overhaul the system have been disparaged by district supporters on social media as having "political agendas" and personal grudges. I feel compelled to respond to their comments here.
One of those parents is Tammy John: mother of nine, retired pediatric and psychiatric nurse, cadet sponsor mom, and not to mention a mother to me after my mom left. I can attest that Tammy is too busy to indulge personal grudges. She’s raised three college graduates, two who are in college, and four children attending D38 schools. If anyone is qualified to address educational concerns, it’s Tammy.
Tammy is involved because she takes her children’s safety seriously; and while advocating for her own children, she advocates for others’ children. Children are her "agenda." She shouldn’t be accused. She should be thanked. On behalf of all the children you have helped over the years, thank you Tammy John.
On Jan. 17, 2016 my husband let our dogs out around 9 p.m. and for reasons unknown Mia, our 8-year-old black-and-white Shih Tzu ran off into the night! We canvassed our neighborhood and placed flyers the next day in Fox Run.
A day later, I receive a call from a man in Fox Pines who housed Mia overnight, fed her, then let her go. Three days later, a woman in Canterbury Estates calls to say she saw Mia strolling through her garden.
The trail went cold for seven months despite placing additional flyers in areas where Mia had been sighted. I wrote about Mia on Nextdoor.com, social networks, Facebook. The Humane Society Pikes Peak (HSPP), Colorado Springs Lost Pet, Black Forest Lost Pet, Town of Monument, North Springs Mamas, local veterinarians, and a local radio station were all contacted.
Aug. 31 arrives and finally, a client of mine tagged me on North Springs Mamas. A woman on Furrow Way posted "Found pup off Furrow Way and Furrow Road." Her neighbor had Mia!
The next day, I meet with the woman, only to be told that her husband took the dog and went door to door looking for the owner. He gives the dog to a young woman driving an older white van who told him she was a caretaker of an elderly couple living in the Woodmoor area. I post more flyers around Woodmoor.
In the following days Woodmoor Public Safety and Monument police were informed of Mia’s disappearance. I also drove around Woodmoor, stopping to speak with residents regarding our lost dog.
If you know of Mia’s whereabouts, please help bring her home. Mia is chipped and any local vet or the HSPP will be able to assist in her safe return to us. Contact Jenny Geery at 1 (925) 487-2818.
By the staff at Covered Treasures
This fall’s book offerings for 10- to 20-year-olds include some real-life adventures, as well as those that feed the imagination. Following are some titles that may make you laugh, cry, smile, or escape to another world.
By Ally Condie (Dutton Children’s Books) $17.99
Cedar and her family are spending the summer in her mother’s hometown, trying to recover after a tragic car accident left them in broken pieces. Everything about Cedar’s summer changes when she lands a job at the renowned Summerlost theater festival and enjoys a growing friendship with Leo, as they piece together clues about the tragic life of one of Iron Creek’s most famous residents. This story explores the strength of family and the transformative power of friendship in the face of tragedy.
By Randy Cecil (Candlewick Press) $19.99
In exquisitely rendered black-and-white paintings, the tale of Lucy, a small homeless dog; Eleanor, the girl who loves her; and Eleanor’s father, a would-be vaudevillian with stage fright, unfolds in four acts. Cecil’s cinematic styling and gentle humor combine to make a reading—and viewing—experience sure to become a classic.
Moo: A Novel
By Sharon Creech (Harper Collins) $16.99
When Reena and her brother Luke move to rural Maine, they are completely caught off guard by the natural world. Soon they are enlisted by their parents to help an elderly neighbor with her farm chores. They are at first wary of grouchy Mrs. Falala and her equally grouchy cow, Zora, but soon, Luke is teaching Mrs. Falala to draw, and Reena is preparing Zora for the state fair. With a mix of joy and sadness, this tale is perfect for readers of all ages.
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
By Megan Shepherd (Delacorte Books for Young Readers) $16.99
Little Emmaline sees winged horses in the mirrors at Briar Hill, a children’s hospital in rural England during World War II. Whether the horses are real or just her imagination, the hope and solace they provide are very real. This is a moving and magical story, transporting readers to another time and place.
By Kate Milford (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) $17.99
Greenglass House is always quiet during the winter season, and Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night, the guest bell rings, again and again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests with strange stories connected to the rambling old house. Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about the house—and themselves. Lovers of the Harry Potter books will find this fantasy appealing.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
By E. Lockhart (Hyperion) $9.99
Frankie is not the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer, especially when "no" means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society. Frankie is the kind of girl who might pull a few pranks to show that she’s smarter than any of them. This is the story of how a Bunny Rabbit brought down the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds.
I’ll Give You the Sun
By Jandy Nelson (Penguin) $10.99
At first, artists Jude and her twin brother are inseparable. Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different, yet equally devastating ways, but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor. If she and Noah can find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world. This is a story of first love, family loss, and betrayal, told from different points in time and by separate voices.
Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life
By James Patterson (Little Brown and Co.) $8
It’s Rafe Khatchadorian’s first day at Hills Village Middle School, and it’s shaping up to be the worst year ever. He has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix, but luckily he’s got an ace plan for the best year ever—if he can pull it off.
It’s time to turn off the TV and the video games and curl up with a good book. You may be surprised at the adventures that await. Until next month, happy reading.
The staff at Covered Treasures can be reached at email@example.com.
By Harriet Halbig
Nurture your creative self at the library during October. Teens can participate in writing and art activities, and adults can learn the craft of wood burning.
Also note the series of adult classes on job searching.
Learn about fermenting techniques to preserve the bounty from your garden. Come to the library on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10 to noon to learn from one of our local gardeners.
The Second Thursday Craft on Oct. 13 from 2 to 4 will feature wood burning. Bring your own piece to work on if you’d like. Small practice pieces and one good piece of wood will be provided for each attendee. Registration is required and opens a week before the class.
Having problems with your computer? Get help with your questions during our Computer Help Lab on Friday, Oct. 14 from 9 to 10 a.m. Registration is required and opens one week before the lab.
Join us on Thursdays at noon for the Pikes Peak Library District’s first established yoga group. The class is from noon to 1 on Thursday, following D-38’s schedule. There will be no class on Oct. 20.
The Monumental Readers will meet from 10 to noon on Friday, Oct. 21 to discuss The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.
There will be a series of classes on job search and career tools in late October. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the subject will be job searching. Wednesday, Oct. 26, the subject will be resumes and cover letters, and on Thursday, Oct. 27, the subject will be networking, interviews and open lab. All sessions are from 2 to 3 p.m. Registration is required.
Learn about the art of paper crafting from Roxanne Lingle on Friday, Oct. 28 from 2 to 4. Registration is required for this mixed media class.
Coloring for Everyone will be on Friday, Oct. 7 from 3 to 5:30. Joint us for relaxation and conversation while coloring. The theme for this month is Frame Your Holidays, and a variety of coloring pages will be supplied along with coloring pencils and pens. Drop in any time; no registration necessary.
October’s Family Fun program on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2:30 is Art Guffaw, during which Jim Jackson of the Milibo Art Theatre introduces an easel where works of art come alive.
Lego Club will meet from 10 to 11:30 in Saturday, Oct. 15. We provide the Legos and you provide the imagination. We will meet in the children’s area this month.
Teen and tween programs
Join an intergenerational knitting group on Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 3 to 4:30. This group will meet the first Wednesday of each month. Practice materials are provided, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own materials and projects. Some instruction is provided for novices.
The Teen Advisory Board will meet on Friday, Oct. 14 from 4 to 5 in the study room. Help plan future events and parties for teens at the Monument Library. You must fill out a volunteer application in order to receive credit for volunteer hours. Come for snacks and a chat!
AfterMath free math tutoring is available in the library each Monday from 3:30 to 7. Experienced tutors are available to help with any level of math. No appointment is necessary. Please note that AfterMath follows the D-38 calendar. If the schools are closed due to weather, tutoring will not be held.
There will be a Tween Time program on Friday, Oct. 21 from 4 to 5, featuring activities suitable for those aged 9 to 12. Call the library (488-2370) for this month’s program.
The Teen Arts and Crafts Studio will be on Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 4 to 6. Use our community room to create. Supplies will be available, but feel free to bring whatever materials you are currently working with. No registration required.
On the walls of the Monument Library during October will be digital landscape photographs by Del Jessen. In the display case will be White House memorabilia from the collection of Gail Sohns.
Palmer Lake Library Events
The Palmer Lake book group will meet on Friday, Oct. 7 at 9 a.m. to discuss Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.
The Third Saturday family program at Palmer Lake is Owls. Great horned owls are found in Colorado and throughout the Americas. Learn about where they live, what they eat, and what makes them such successful predators, and make a fun owl mask to take home. It’s presented by Susan Permut, a volunteer naturalist at Castlewood Canyon State Park and resident of Red Rock Ranch.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sigi Walker
On Sept. 15 author/historian William (Bill) Reich presented "Colorado Inventions and Inventors of the 19th Century" as part of the Palmer Lake Historical Society’s Monthly History Series. Reich began with a history of the U.S. Patent Office. The first patent was issued on July 13, 1836, to J. Ruggles for traction wheels on a steam locomotive traversing up a steep grade. Some of the earliest patent documents were destroyed in a fire, so copies are very rare.
In 1862, the first patent was issued in Colorado Territory to J. Burrell for his ore amalgamator. It was used to separate gold from ore. Another Colorado patent holder was Henry Perky. In 1895, he invented a way to make shredded wheat "biscuits"—what we know today as Nabisco Shredded Wheat. Railroad equipment, mining equipment, numerous bicycle patents, various kinds of agricultural equipment, medical devices, and others were also mentioned. Patents were awarded to both men and women; surprisingly a total of 32 Colorado women were awarded patents in the 19th century. Reich included biographies of the inventors he spotlighted, which provided additional interest.
Reich profiled John Empson, who on his way to Estes Park passed through Longmont and decided to settle there. He opened a cannery in 1889 and canned corn, beans, cabbage, tomatoes, pumpkins, and peas. Peas presented a problem: They had to be removed from the pea vines. In November 1892 he was awarded a patent for his "pea huller or sheller" and promptly leased the device to other Colorado canners. He continued to improve his pea viner and was granted 10 more patents for improvements between 1893 and 1907. After Empson died in 1926, the company was sold to Kuner’s, which is still in business today.
Reich grew up in Wheat Ridge and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Management and Mechanical Engineering. He spent his professional career in management of small, start-up, technically-oriented companies and in engineering product design. His books include Colorado Industries of the Past (2008), Colorado Rail Annual No. 29—Black Smoke & White Iron (2009), Colorado Railroad Icehouses (2010), and Colorado Rail Annual No. 31—Colorado Railroad Water Tanks (2012). His most recent book, published in 2014 by the Colorado Railroad Historical Foundation, is Colorado Inventions and Inventors of the 19th Century.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, Oct. 20, when the Historical Society presents John Anderson’s debut of his new program, "The Legacy of Juan Batista De Anza." Appointed governor of New Mexico by the Spanish king, De Anza traveled across the San Luis Valley vowing to rid colonists of Comanche attacks. Learn about the battle in 1779 near the present site of downtown Colorado Springs.
For more information, visit our website at www.palmerdividehistory.org or call 719-559-0837. ■
Caption: The evening’s presenter, Bill Reich, and Mike Walker, Historical Society secretary. Photo by Historical Society board member Su Ketchmark.
Caption: Dan Edwards holds his award of recognition, standing with Roger Davis, Historical Society museum director. Photo by Historical Society board member Su Ketchmark.
By David Futey
On Sept. 10, the Western Museum of Mining & Industry hosted the Reynolds Ranch Restoration Day. The event acted as a fundraiser, with proceeds going toward restoring the 1892 Reynolds Ranch House located on the museum property. The first of three phases of restoring the house began in August, with foundation and drainage work to be completed in October. The house was built by Joseph and Sarah Reynolds and is a remnant of the town of Husted, a stop on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Besides seeing a parade of tractors and Model As and Ts, visitors could watch a blacksmith at work, museum steam engines operate, and, the highlight, enter portions of the Reynolds House and feel a sense of local history. As part of the ongoing fundraising efforts, the museum is selling a tree ornament depicting the house for $25, which can be purchased at the museum gift shop. Upcoming events at the museum and information on how to assist in the fundraising efforts is at www.wmmi.org.
David Futey can be contacted at email@example.com.
By Janet Sellers
This time in the fall, September, we have wonderful harvests (well, some of us sustained so much hail damage we had much less to harvest than usual) and great fall colors bursting up against our clear blue skies and even on the ground. We can look up, down, and sideways and see the bright colors against the natural forest of deep and moody greens.
I was hiking around in Palmer Lake with Phyllis Head, who wanted to show me how some eradication efforts were going around town and in the trailhead areas, and we sure got an eyeful of fall majesty in colors from earth to sky. I remembered there is a Ute Indian Spirit Tree, I think I remember that it is a trail marker or direction tree, and it’s above the first part of the trail, its direction pointing to something very important, or about someone very important. It does point towards Tava, the Sun Mountain of the Ute (we call it Pikes Peak but it had the Ute name Tava for thousands of years).
The tree is up high on the slope, and as I pondered what its direction could mean, I gazed out in the direction it pointed and below, near the trail, was a huge patch of poison ivy. Even if the majestic Spirit Tree indicated some other motive of import, it sure brought my awareness to the brightly colored red, orange, and yellow leaves of poison ivy. Yikes! So pretty but so dangerous.
Then, Head called my attention to the side of the trail where some fine examples of weed eradication were done by our little friends the knapweed flower weevils. Knapweed is also known as "hardhead" due to the seeds’ hard shell. Spotted knapweed was accidentally introduced into North America in the late 1800s in contaminated alfalfa and clover seed and in soil used for ship ballast. In North America, plants generally live three to seven years but can live up to nine years or longer.
We can see the white/purple flowered knapweed menacing our forests, pastures, meadows, roadsides, field borders, waste areas, and woodland edges. It is drought tolerant, and the nasty plants and seeds can last in the soil over 100 years and pop up then as well. It kills out native plants and takes over an area. The plants expand by seed and by root to cover any area with their vicious, thistly vegetation.
Luckily for us, the flower weevils and root weevils have come to our rescue. This time of year the weevils have done their job and are already back in the root area soil hunkering down for the winter. It is most advisable to not disturb the soil, but cut the knapweed off at the ground, since the VIP bugs need to stay in the root area to overwinter until spring, and then get going on their knapweed eradication. This natural weed control method is the most successful and (benign to other plants) in Colorado, and is specifically targeted to eradicate knapweed.
I’m glad the weevils are there already and can continue to protect our land—they are very valuable tiny garden friends!
Janet Sellers is an avid newbie gardener and nature friend, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Janet Sellers
Fall is here and so is the start of the autumn art season. Get ready for art shows, local pop-up shops, studio art markets, and more from now until New Year’s holiday fun. Many of us enjoy the October/November art works for Halloween and El Dia de los Muertos (also known as "All Soul’s Day" or "Day of the Dead" which honors/memorializes loved ones in a fun way). There are also a lot of occasions coming up that will spark the desire for artfully made paintings, jewelry, ephemera, and decorations.
Historically, the nature of the October fun is ephemera, or short-term themed goods and pumpkins, gourds, apples, and other fall garden harvest items. There exist in private and museum collections amazing vintage Halloween or El Dia ephemera that are treasured, and they command a high price—that is, if they even go on the market at all.
Our best chance at the memorabilia is to collect some pieces each year and save them for posterity. What were once expected to be short term in popularity, such as papier-mache or tinwork cats, bats, goblins, and pumpkin-faced characters, are now sought-after collectors’ items fetching big prices in spite of their humble origins and materials. It’s the spirit of the imaginative art and crafts that create the interest year after year.
The most widespread, from North to South America, seems to be the Dia de los Muertos art and celebrations. Here in the U.S. Southwestern states, the fun rivals the Halloween and harvest festivals for a month of festive parties, trinkets, costumes, and art. As an artist, it’s been my favorite season, and I often have had El Dia-themed artworks in galleries this time of year where the art receptions always made a polite nod of respect to the sacred theme of remembering loved ones in a joyous way. My friends from Mexico would tell stories of going with their grandmothers to fill the cemeteries with carpets of golden marigolds in ornate patterns, bringing favorite treats, toys, and the like to have a party atmosphere and remember with storytelling those who have passed before us.
Some places in our area will have this art available this season; the ones I know of or find out about I will post on our area’s Facebook page, "Local Holiday Pop Up Shops," so you can find them. Hopefully, we’ll have lots of fun art events, pop-up shops and art marts all over town as we did last year. Most of the time, we just have to keep our eyes on the pop-up signs along the road. Remember, it’s a pop-up shop surprise!
Gallery art events
Bella art and Frame Gallery, second annual Miniature Fine Art Show. Reception: Oct. 8, 6-9 p.m. Show dates: Oct. 7-Nov. 4; 183 Washington St., Monument.
Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, ongoing shows through Oct. 28: "Perceptions of Nature" and "Monochrome" (photography show); 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake.
Janet Sellers is an artist, local art teacher and writer. She welcomes your questions and comments: email@example.com.
Lions Club awards scholarship
Caption: Tri-Lakes Lions Club awarded a $2,500 College Scholarship check to Shannon Cornuke, second from left, at its September monthly membership meeting. From left are D38 School District Lions Coordinator Lion Bob Foster, Cornuke, District 6SE Gov. Cathy Valenzuela, and Tri-Lakes Lions Club President Lion Dave Prejean. Tri-Lakes Lions praised Cornuke’s community service work, accomplishments, courage, and strength of character all while struggling and winning against a severe medical challenge. "Our country and our Lions Club International are certainly in safe hands with outstanding citizens such as Shannon leading the way into the future," they said. Photo courtesy of Tri-Lakes Lions Club.
Judy Collins at TLCA, Sept. 15
Caption: On Sept. 15, the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA) hosted one of the iconic singers since the 1960s, Judy Collins. Collins opened with Joni Mitchell’s Chelsea Morning and concluded her hour-and-a-half performance with Mitchell’s Both Sides Now followed by Send in the Clowns and, with the audience, Amazing Grace. In between she recounted the course of her life and musical career. Collins grew up in Boulder and went to Denver East, where she got credit for singing This Land Is Your Land in the school commons. In 1956 she won $500 from the Kiwanis Club Stars of Tomorrow in Denver, which led to a national competition. In 1961, she was signed by Elektra Records and debuted her first of over 40 albums, A Maid of Constant Sorrow. Starting out she considered herself a vessel for songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Leonard Cohen, and Gordon Lightfoot in the Greenwich Village area where she lived. Today she looks back on a life and career, inspired by her father, of songwriter, author, actress, social activist, and inspiration for Stephen Stills Suite: Judy Blues Eyes. She continues to perform as she did this evening with a vocal range and strength unique to her, which seemingly have only been enhanced through the years. Information on upcoming events at the TLCA is at www.trilakesarts.org. Photo by David Futey.
Bobcat in N. Woodmoor, Sept. 15
Caption: This bobcat was spotted from inside a home in North Woodmoor on Sept. 15. According to Woodmoor Public Safety Chief Kevin Nielsen, bobcats in Woodmoor are common, but seeing one, especially during the day, is not. Bobcats are most active during the dusk and dawn hours and primarily feed on small animals such as squirrels, rabbits, and mice. However, they can also feed on small pets such as cats and small dogs. Bobcats rarely attack people unless cornered. The best way to avoid a bobcat is to make noise (so as not surprise the cat) and give the cat an avenue to escape. Keep your small pets close especially during half-light conditions, and you should be fine. Photo by Jodi Nooney.
WMMI copper mining exhibit
Caption: On Sept. 8, the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI) Executive Director Richard Sauers is photographed with Donna Kelley at the opening of the museum’s exhibit on Morenci, Ariz. and life in a company town. Kelley developed the exhibit, which included examples of copper from the Morenci mine, and also lectured on life in that mining town as part of her graduate work and thesis at Northern Arizona University. Starting in November 2015, Kelley, a fifth generation resident of Morenci, did ethnographic interviews with residents in town centering on how life is impacted by living in a company town. Summarizing her research, she discovered that residents felt company towns were a safe place to raise a family but they could never own a home because they were all owned by the company. Residents also spoke of how the company reacted to or influenced the choices in activities and the experience of living in a community dependent on one resource for income, copper in this instance. There were differences in generational perspective, with parents seeing working in the mine as good job but wanting something more or different for their children and older generation mine workers feeling the younger generation was not capable of similar craftsmanship or quality of work. Though perhaps not readily visible to a town visitor, a class system existed between the "big bosses," mine owners, and executives living on "Snob Hill," and the workers who lived in a different area of town. This class separation was a common theme in company towns. The Morenci exhibit will be available for viewing until mid-December. Information on it and upcoming events at WMMI are at www.wmmi.org. Photo by David Futey
Front Range Open Studios
Caption: Metalwork artist Kathleen Krucof had her studio and artwork open for the Front Range Open Studios in September and gave interesting, short talks on the studio process of her art in her studio. The involved process and tools are illustrated here, with the artist modeling how to wear one of her bracelet cuffs. While time-consuming to create, her metalwork is remarkable to behold and worthy of respect in both craft and aesthetic sensibility. Photo by Janet Sellers.
Gleneagle Sertoma Patriot Golf
Caption: Mary Obenauf and Bob Duckworth, both of Gleneagle Sertoma, helped the silent auction fundraising tables for the Gleneagle Sertoma’s Patriot Golf Tournament, a fundraising event at Kissing Camels golf resort on Sept. 16. The four-person scramble honored local patriots representing the military, police, and firefighters, and proceeds will benefit The Home Front Cares and other local charities. Photo by Janet Sellers.
Santa Fe ballfields renovated
Caption: The renovations of the ballfields at the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Beacon Lite Road, and those at Dirty Woman Creek Park on Mitchell Avenue, are complete. On Sept. 22, these representatives from the Town of Monument, Lewis-Palmer School District 38, and Tri-Lakes Little League met at the Santa Fe ballfields to celebrate this effort, which took the partnership of all three organizations. Town Manager Chris Lowe said now that the field has sod on it instead of hard-packed dirt, the ball bounces instead of rolling all the way to the fence. "The infielders will actually have something to do. It looks like real baseball now." Tri-Lakes Little League now offers both fall and spring baseball and softball seasons. For information, see www.trilakeslittleleague.com. The YMCA also uses the fields, and any other groups that are interested in renting the fields can reserve them through the Town of Monument by calling 719-481-2954. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
Outpourings, Sept. 21
Caption: Tim Gore, development director of The Independence Center, retired Army veteran, and ultra-runner, shared his stories and energy with the crowd at the kickoff meeting of Outpouring: TLUMC Supporting Community on Sept. 21 at the Pikes Peak Brewing Co. Gore’s two 100-mile running race experiences, the Leadville 100 and the West Highland Way Race, raised funds for the nonprofit Colorado Springs Rescue Mission and the original Rescue Mission in Scotland. Then he told about The Independence Center, celebrating its 30th anniversary of empowering individuals with all types of disabilities (both visible and invisible) to live independently and fruitfully and build community. The Independence Center offers home health care, a certified nursing assistant school, and advocacy help. He encouraged people with questions to see www.theindependencecenter.org or call 719-471-8181 x171. The next Outpourings on Oct. 18 will feature Air Force veteran and Palmer Ridge High School history teacher Mark Ewig on the Founding Fathers and ups and downs of developing the U.S. Constitution. Information: Mr. Lynn Weber, LWeber1971@aol.com or 719-488-2832. Photo by Lisa Hatfield
Bines and Brews, Sept. 18
On Sept. 18, participants of the Bines and Brews Hopfest’s third annual fresh hops brew competition among Front Range breweries enjoyed a sunny afternoon of conviviality that included sampling the artful efforts of the small breweries as well as hard cider and sipping moonshine. The event was sponsored by the Tri- Lakes Chamber of Commerce, and ticket proceeds will benefit local charities.
Caption: Line in front of the People’s Choice Award recipient 3 Hundred Days of Shine.
Caption: Pete Kilman of Storybrook Brewing Co., left, winner for 2015, looks on as Steve Shuett, general manager of 38 State Brewing Co., claims the trophy as the winner for 2016. Photos by Debbie Galle; caption by Janet Sellers.
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.
Needy families will benefit from Empty Bowls Dinner, Oct. 5
The Monument Hill Kiwanis Club will once again sponsor the annual Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction to benefit Tri-Lakes Cares Oct. 5, 5-7:30 p.m., at Lewis-Palmer High School. The Tri-Lakes area was the first community in Colorado to hold this event. In 1992, Linda Pankratz noticed a magazine article about high school art students in Michigan who sponsored an "Empty Bowl" dinner to raise funds to feed the needy. Linda called Anne Shimek, and together with Liz Elliot, Nita Gingerich, and Sharon Williams they organized the first Tri-Lakes Empty Bowl dinner at the Mennonite Church in Palmer Lake. Local artists produced 350 bowls as gifts to the participants. That evening, 250 people raised $3,000 for Tri-Lakes Cares. After that, members of the community took over the project and made it grow over the years. Four years later, Monument Hill Sertoma (now Monument Hill Kiwanis) stepped up to manage the event along with their D-38 high-school age Serteen Club.
Empty Bowls has grown into a nationwide event, usually held during World Hunger Week, the second week in October. Over the years, the number of bowls donated here has increased to 1,000 per year and attendance has grown to over 800. Patrons enjoy a meal of soup in a hand-made bowl, bread, beverage and dessert provided by donations from local restaurants, merchants, clubs, and churches. There is musical entertainment and a silent auction of merchandise donated by local merchants. Tickets for the dinner are $20, with one child under the age of 12 admitted free with a paid adult. All proceeds go to Tri-Lakes Cares. You can buy tickets at local Tri-Lakes merchants or online at www.monumenthillkiwanis.org.
Volunteers needed for Citizen Review Panel, apply by Oct. 7
The El Paso County Board of Commissioners is seeking community-minded citizen volunteers to serve on the Citizen Review Panel. Applications are due by Oct. 7. The volunteer application is located at www.elpasoco.com. Click on the "Volunteer Boards" link. For more information, call 520-6436 or visit www.elpasoco.com.
Volunteers needed for Pikes Peak Library District Board of Trustees, apply by Oct. 11
The El Paso County Board of Commissioners is seeking community-minded citizen volunteers to serve on the Library District Board. Applications are due by Oct. 11. The volunteer application is located at www.elpasoco.com. Click on the "Volunteer Boards" link. For more information, call 520-6436 or visit www.elpasoco.com.
Volunteers needed for CSU Extension Advisory Committee, apply by Oct. 14
The El Paso County Board of Commissioners is seeking community-minded citizen volunteers to serve on the CSU Extension Advisory Committee. Applications are due by Oct. 14. The volunteer application is located at www.elpasoco.com. Click on the "Volunteer Boards" link. For more information, call 520-6436 or visit www.elpasoco.com.
Prepare for Election Day, register by Oct. 31
The El Paso County Clerk’s Office wants all voters to be prepared for this highly anticipated presidential election. This is an all-mail ballot election and voters’ registration must be up to date in order for their ballots to be mailed to them. Voters can visit www.GoVoteColorado.com now to check that the address on their registration record is correct. Ballots will be mailed to local voters Oct. 17-21. The last day for an individual to submit a voter registration application and still receive a ballot in the mail is Oct. 31. For more information, contact Chuck Broerman, El Paso County Clerk & Recorder, 520-6202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monument Hill Foundation: Supporting youth and the community
Each year the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club (formerly Monument Hill Sertoma Club) raises money for Tri-Lakes Cares with the Empty Bowls Dinner and for the Salvation Army through the Red Kettle Campaign. Also, over the past 10 years the club and its granting arm, the Monument Hill Foundation, have granted more than $1 million raised by various club activities to qualifying Tri-Lakes and El Paso County organizations. This year the foundation received 36 grant requests totaling $141,628. Twenty-six grants will be awarded, valued at a total of $48,890. Among the organizations to receive grants is the Lewis-Palmer School District, which will receive eight grants totaling $17,840. The Monument Hill Foundation and the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club are Colorado corporations and are federally designated 501(c)(3) public charities. For more information about the foundation’s annual granting program, please contact Barbara Broshous, 719-999-5447.
YMCA 5K Race Series and Kids Fun Runs; register early to save
The three-race series includes the Creepy Crawl Oct. 29 on the Santa Fe Trail in Palmer Lake, Turkey Trot Nov. 24 at the Briargate YMCA, and the Jingle Bell Dec. 10 at Fountain Creek Regional Park. Register for the Creepy Crawl now through Oct. 15 for $30, Oct. 16-28 for $35, and Oct. 29 for $40. Sign up online at www.ppymca.org/raceseries.
Break-ins and vehicle thefts
The Palmer Lake Police Department investigated two burglaries in September that occurred during the night, possibly between the hours of midnight and 2:30 a.m. The suspect(s) entered through cut screens to unlocked windows, or through unlocked doors, and entered the homes while the residents were asleep. The suspect(s) took small electronics, wallets, keys to vehicles, and then the vehicles. Three vehicles were stolen from Palmer Lake; two have since been recovered. The Sheriff’s Office experienced a similar case in the Gleneagle area. In this case a blue Ford Edge was stolen, which had not been recovered at the time this was written. Stolen credit cards were used at a Walmart. Monument police urge members of our community to remove valuables from and lock all vehicles as well as house doors and windows.
Hangers to Hutches will close its doors Oct. 30
The Tri-Lakes Cares Board of Directors voted with great regret to close the resale shop when its lease expires Oct. 30. The impact of Goodwill, the sidewalk construction on Jefferson Street, and other challenges have all led to a decrease in patronage and an overall pattern of increased expenses and decreased income, despite the valiant efforts of more than 100 volunteers. It was a difficult and emotional decision for the board, but made with the best interest of Tri-Lakes Cares and its mission to the community at heart. The statement by the Board of Directors can be viewed at www.tri-lakescares.org.
LEAP—Help for heating bills begins Nov. 1
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. The eligibility period for LEAP runs Nov. 1-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.
Would you like to honor a member of your family who served honorably in our U.S. military? Join American Legion Post 9-11 in honoring your family hero by having an 18-by-36-inch banner flown in the Tri-Lakes area featuring his/her photo in uniform with area and dates served on active duty. The banner will be attached to town posts by Palmer Lake Legionnaires and flown from Memorial Day through Veterans Day. The cost to each family is $125. To order or for more information, call post headquarters at the Depot Restaurant, 481-8668.
Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) Essay Contest, apply by Nov. 18
High School juniors can win an all-expense-paid trip to either Washington, D.C., or a week at Leadership Camp at Glen Eden Resort. This year’s topic is, "The Power of Membership: In a cooperative you are a member-owner—not just a customer. Explain the difference this relationship makes." For more information, contact Megan Morse, 719-494-2622, or visit www.mvea.coop/community/essay-contest/.
Volunteers needed for chipping and mitigation projects
Black Forest Together continues to coordinate service projects to assist homeowners in Black Forest with chipping and forest management projects to reclaim their land from the devastation of the 2013 fire. This is a great community service opportunity for ages 14 and up. For more information about upcoming projects, contact Donna Arkowski at email@example.com or call 495-2892.
Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance needs volunteers
The Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that serves and supports seniors in our community. The Alliance currently needs volunteers, three hours a week; and active board members, eight to 10 hours a month. For more information, call Program Coordinator Sue Walker, 719-464-6873. Volunteers are also needed to work a three-hour shift once a week in the thrift store, to move items from storage into the store, or to pick up and transport donated items. To volunteer, call 488-3495.
Free transportation and safety services
Mountain Community Senior Services offers free transportation and safety services to Tri-Lakes seniors. If you need a ride to a medical appointment, grocery shopping, or the local senior lunches, a volunteer driver will be happy to help you. Call 488-0076 to leave a message for the dispatcher. If you are in need of grab bars in the bathroom, a ramp to your door, or repair of stairs or railings, please call Cindy Rush, 488-0076, and leave a message. For more information, visit www.TriLakes-mcts-sshs.org. The senior transportation program needs additional volunteer drivers. For information, email MCSS at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the MCSS dispatch hotline at 488-0076. ■
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.
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.
WEEKLY AND MONTHLY EVENTS
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 email@example.com or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132.
Contact us at (719) 488-3455, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132-1742.
This page was last modified on February 02, 2022. Home page: www.ocn.me.
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