This month we’re going to spend the hour looking back at some of the topics we covered this year. There was a lot of overlap, stories that could have appeared in multiple episodes, and themes that kept popping up from topic to topic. Here are some of the conversations that took place this year in Western Skies.

You can listen to the entire episode, or download here:

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You can also head to the individual segments by clicking any of the links below.

The Great Road Trip through Southern Colorado
“The Dry:” African American Homesteaders in the Arkansas River Valley
The Ghost Army and Local Artist George Vander Sluis
Film Production as Economic Development
The Nickel as a Canvas

Western Skies is a collaboration between KRCC News and The Big Something.


The Great Road Trip through Southern Colorado

Big Something producers Noel Black and Craig Richardson took to the road this past July to meet some of our neighbors. This is their story.

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From the August episode, “Uniquely Colorado.”


“The Dry:” African American Homesteaders in the Arkansas River Valley

Despite the fertility of the Arkansas River Valley, not every seed will grow. Such was the case with the African-American homesteaders who settled “The Dry,” which was abandoned due to irrigation issues. KRCC’s Kate Jonuska reports on a recent archeological dig that is attempting to bring The Dry’s history back into the light.

Listen here, or download:

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From the August episode, “Uniquely Colorado.”


The Ghost Army and Local Artist George Vander Sluis

Ghost Army

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Wartime subterfuge is as old as the Trojan Horse. But during World War II, the Army created a top-secret troop of artists called the Ghost Army to use fake arsenals, sound effects and other sleights of hand to trick the Germans. One of the artists in the troop, George Vander Sluis, spent time teaching at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in the 1940s.

The Ghost Army is also the subject of a documentary of the same name by filmmaker and author Rick Beyer (quoted in the story above). The film is due to be completed later this year and you can watch a trailer below or visit his website at ghostarmy.com.

From the March episode, “Military.”


Film Production as Economic Development

Movies like How the West Was Won starring Henry Fonda and Gregory Peck, the original True Grit with John Wayne, and Sleeper with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton have given places like Canon City, Denver, Durango, and Bent’s Old Fort near LaJunta visibility on the silver screen. But as other areas began offering large incentives, Colorado’s desirability seemed to fade into the background. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin examines the current state of on-location shoots in Colorado, and how one county is looking to the film industry as part of its economic future.

Download or listen to the story here:

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Colorado Creative Industries
Office of Film, Television, & Media

Mark Cloer, Director of Economic Development for Crowley County, says, “We offer the natural, the true effect.” Instead of recreating something in a Hollywood set, Cloer says, “We offer reality. We offer a true touchstone opportunity for the filmmaker.” See and decide for yourself, in this slideshow of scenes from Crowley County.

Here’s a trailer teaser for a music video from Montauk Media, filmed in its entirety in Crowley County. It includes the abandoned house seen as in the slideshow above.

“The Fallout” Music Video Teaser from Montauk Media on Vimeo.

Here’s a music video from Montauk Media, partially filmed in Crowley County:

We Shot The Moon “Amy” Music Video from Montauk Media on Vimeo.

From the February episode, “Arts.”


The Nickel as a Canvas

As the economy continues to sputter, one local artist is reviving an art form that allowed down-and-outers in the early 20th-Century to turn nickels into, well, maybe not gold, but a lot more than a nickel. KRCC’s Noel Black reports.

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Postscript: We checked with the American Numismatic Association, and it IS legal to deface US money of any kind as long as your don’t try to pass it off as a different denomination.

From the October episode, “The Economy.”

 

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News

AP
August 23, 2017 | KUT-FM · U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos issued the injunction, writing that changes did not “fully ameliorate” the law’s “discriminatory intent.” She had struck down the original law in 2014.
 

AFP/Getty Images
August 23, 2017 | NPR · An Amnesty International report depicts the terrors faced by the Syrian civilians trapped by ISIS fighters. Among those terrors: errant airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition pushing to liberate them.
 

August 23, 2017 | NPR · State wildlife officials have asked the public to catch as many of the non-native Atlantic salmon as they can after an estimated 5,000 escaped from an aquaculture farm.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images
August 23, 2017 | NPR · The gritty pulp thriller follows a small-time criminal trying to get his brother out of jail after a bank robbery gone wrong. It’s directed by brothers Josh and Benny Safdie.
 

August 23, 2017 | NPR · Karl Ove Knausgaard — famed for his epic memoir My Struggle — goes for short and sweet in Autumn, a meditative seasonal reflection. But while there are lovely moments, the book strays into banality.
 

Courtesy of ESPN Films
August 23, 2017 | NPR · Carter High School is really an afterthought in Friday Night Lights — the thug-like football team that stole the state title. A new film follows Carter’s rise to the top, and its fall from grace.
 

Music

AP
August 23, 2017 | NPR · The CEO of the company that runs Chuck E. Cheese pizza parlors says its animatronic house band simply can’t live up to the expectations that kids today have for entertainment.
 

August 23, 2017 | NPR · John Abercrombie helped define the sound of jazz guitar: from jazz-rock fusion to funky organ combos to the distinctive less-is-more sound he created on dozens of albums for the ECM label.
 

Courtesy of ECM Records
August 23, 2017 | WBGO · Abercrombie began forming his style in Boston while attending Berklee in the mid-’60s, eventually helping to redefine the lines between jazz, fusion and rock.
 

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