We bring back Western Skies with a look at arts in the region. We take the time to look at the Colorado Springs scene, film production as an economic driver, the Broadmoor Art Academy, and more.

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2011: The Year That Was!

If you’re wondering what 2011 has in store for the Pikes Peak region, wonder no more. We were fortunate enough to receive this radio news transmission from the future. Surprises aplenty await us as you can hear for yourself in this message from the future of the [...]

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Legislative economists say Colorado will lag the country as it recovers from the recession. Last month the state had its highest unemployment rate since the early 1980s, but economists do point to some positive signs. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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A few years ago, upon the release of the film What Would Jesus Buy, I spoke with producer Morgan Spurlock (of Super Size Me and 30 Days fame) and director Rob VanAlkemade about the frenzy of consumerism around the holidays. The film focuses on Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping as they go [...]

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Wendy Red Star & Harrell Fletcher Interview

Today is the last day of the “Exchange Economies” exhibit at the Colorado College I.D.E.A. Space, and we highly recommend you swing by to have a look between 12:30 and 7 p.m. today, particularly to see the amazing Harrell Fletcher and Wendy Red Star installation [...]

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If the “green economy” seems like little more than an abstraction then you’ll want to take a peek inside the new Vestas Wind Tower Factory in Pueblo where KRCC reporter Shanna Lewis visited for this report and slide show from the KRCC Newsroom.

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Colorado’s economy is recovering steadily but slowly. A new study released yesterday by CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business says many sectors of Colorado’s economy will add jobs next year. But it won’t be enough to bring down the unemployment rate. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Governor Bill Ritter presented his final budget to the legislature’s newly elected joint budget committee on Wednesday. Ritter urged the group to be civil and thoughtful and to keep an open mind on new budget cuts. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Gubernatorial candidates Democrat John Hickenlooper and Republican Dan Maes discussed how they’d help non-profits and balance the budget yesterday. The two participated in a forum hosted by the Colorado Nonprofit Association. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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An economic forecast released yesterday shows that higher than expected unemployment has pushed the state’s budget further into the red….Insurance companies estimate the so-called Fourmile Canyon Fire west of Boulder caused an estimated $217 million in damage…and, the US Olympic Committee has announced that the Warrior Games are scheduled to return to Colorado Springs next [...]

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Governor Bill Ritter may be forced to cut another $189 million from Colorado’s budget because of a sluggish economic recovery and lower-than-expected revenues…Congressman John Salazar (D) is asking the House of Representatives to establish a database listing awards earned by U.S. servicemen and women…and, a dissident Anglican church in Colorado says its pastor has agreed [...]

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The growth in the number of medical marijuana users is helping the state bridge the latest budget shortfall. Governor Bill Ritter announced details of his plan to fill a 60 million dollar gap yesterday. As Bente Birkeland reports, it includes cuts, transfers and using new streams of money.

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Colorado housing officials say the number of new foreclosure filings in the state has reached its lowest point in five quarters…Governor Bill Ritter says the U.S. Forest Service is undertaking projects in national forests in the state, including the Arapaho and Roosevelt forests, to mitigate dangers from trees killed by pine beetles…and, Denver Mayor John [...]

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Like the rest of the nation, Colorado and its cities are facing tough decisions in this economic recession, but Colorado Springs has faced national attention over its budget issues. Among the pieces included in this month’s Western Skies, we’ll have a conversation about the complexities of the city budget, an upside to what some may [...]

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Colorado’s economy is recovering but is still lagging behind the rest of the nation, according to the state’s latest economic forecast. The non-partisan legislative council released the report yesterday and says slow growth is expected over the next several years. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Western Skies returns to the KRCC airwaves as a new one-hour monthly program that focuses on one specific topic. This month, we’re looking at the issue of tourism. We have a round-table that discusses the past, present, and future of tourism in the Pikes Peak region. We also revisit rafting issues that cropped [...]

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Craig Richardson produced this video version of our Western Skies radio story about the “world famous” Pikes Peak donuts.

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After budget shortfalls and a failed ballot initiative in Colorado Springs, cultural services found itself on the chopping block. That means the Pioneers’ Museum, Rock Ledge Ranch, and other facilities and programs were facing closure. KRCC’s Kate Jonuska recently checked in with the museum and the ranch to see how they’re faring.

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Colorado Springs Congressman Doug Lamborn and Colorado Senator Mark Udall took part in a congressional briefing on the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Carson…The Colorado House approved a bill to create a committee this summer that could work with the federal government to resolve complaints between immigrant sheepherders and their employers…and, Aspen home prices also [...]

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Governor Bill Ritter signed the state’s 18.2 billion dollar budget into law today. It goes into effect this July and fills a more than 1 billion dollar shortfall…State lawmakers are divided on whether teachers should be held accountable for the poor performance of students whose parents aren’t involved in their education…and, city employees in Trinidad [...]

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Colorado’s unemployment numbers show the state experienced its first year over year drop in the number of job seekers…and, a Democratic bill to crack down on payday lending initially cleared the house yesterday.

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The state’s annual 18.2 billion dollar budget bill is one step closer to clearing both legislative chambers and being signed by the Governor. The senate debated it on Thursday afternoon and evening. Many of the arguments fell along party lines. The senate will take up a final vote on the massive bill later today. Bente [...]

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A bill that would give businesses a new tax credit for rehiring laid off workers this spring and summer passed the state senate yesterday. It would apply for the 2011 tax year and still needs to clear the house. Bente Birkeland has more from the capitol.

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News

AP
December 21, 2014 | NPR · Brazil and the U.S. played to a 0-0 draw in the final of the International Tournament of Brasilia, giving Brazil the first-place finish overall. None of the games were televised in the U.S.
 

Reuters/Landov
December 21, 2014 | NPR · Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who ambushed two NYPD patrolmen, spoke to people on the street just before the shooting took place, according to a police official.
 

Courtesy of Amelia Wolf
December 21, 2014 | NPR · American Jewish college student Amelia Wolf spent Hanukkah last year in Ramallah. As the holiday approached, she was lonely — until her Palestinian hosts got wind of how she was feeling.
 

Arts & Life

Coffee House Press
December 21, 2014 | NPR · Valeria Luiselli, who was born in Mexico City and lives now in Harlem, released two slim, multinational books this year: the essay collection Sidewalks and her time-jumping novel Faces In The Crowd.
 

AP
December 21, 2014 | NPR · The actress stars in the new film Into The Woods, in theaters Thursday. On screen she’s a natural. But as a kid, she had a stutter so severe she could hardly say her own name.
 

Feral Films, Inc.
December 21, 2014 | NPR · A filmmaker invited white residents of Buffalo, N.Y., to speak candidly about race. Karen Grigsby Bates finds the results are thought-provoking, often surprising and sometimes disturbing.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
December 21, 2014 | NPR · How do you make a Christmas album without succumbing to formula? “Put a little Outkast to it,” the soul singer says.
 

December 21, 2014 | NPR · In the 1960s, the Beatles sent their most loyal fans a Christmas gift every year — a flexi-disc. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to music writer Colin Fleming about the annual holiday single.
 

KCRW
December 21, 2014 | KCRW · The singer and guitarist revisits “Hi-Fi,” from his much-loved breakthrough album, Transistor Radio.
 

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