The standoff between City Hall and community acitivists heated up yesterday with a protest and a delayed vote on the extremely divisive issue of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” within the Colorado Springs city limits. Here’s an audio collage and photo essay from the event.

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The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, has filed a federal lawsuit in Denver after the Colorado Springs City Council yesterday voted to approve a panhandling ban…While Washington lawmakers wrestle with the fiscal cliff, Colorado Senator Mark Udall continues to press fellow members of Congress for an extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit.

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Colorado Springs City Council yesterday gave initial approval to regulations concerning oil and gas drilling within city limits…Council also voted in favor of a ban on panhandling in the downtown area…Fort Carson is hosting nearly 300 soldiers and 30 helicopters from Fort Riley in Kansas for high altitude training…Firefighters battling the Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park have ordered more resources to help contain the blaze.

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Protestors gathered outside City Hall in downtown Colorado Springs today as Council prepared to hear a first reading for oil and gas regulations.

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Vestas Wind Systems has announced it is closing its research and development office in Louisville. As KUNC’s Nathan Heffel reports, this comes after announcing the closure of two other such Vestas offices in Texas and Massachusetts.

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A pending agreement with state officials may make water quality testing a requirement for obtaining drilling permits in El Paso county.

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In an effort to give the public more information on the impact of oil and gas drilling in their communities, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources is launching a new public database on water quality near drilling well sites. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has announced a second round of layoffs this week at a Colorado plant, this time at its blade factory in Windsor. Earlier this week, the company let go of 75 workers at its Brighton plant. According to a press release from the Danish company, about 18% of Vestas’ Colorado workforce [...]

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The US Supreme Court will not hear an appeal challenging the federal roadless rule that bans mining, logging and other commercial development from some of the country’s most prized forests. The action announced yesterday is being praised by conservation groups and criticized by the mining industry.

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The Environmental Protection Agency has given final approval to Colorado’s strategy to reduce air pollution, which relies heavily on switching some coal fired power plants to natural gas…Pueblo City Council voted last night to postpone indefinitely a decision on city employee benefits for domestic partners, the Chieftain reports…Colorado government leaders have marked 11 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a service that also recognized the victims of the Aurora theater shooting and historic summer wildfires.

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The Environmental Protection Agency has given final approval to Colorado’s strategy to reduce air pollution, which relies heavily on switching some coal fired power plants to natural gas. The Regional Haze Plan is being praised by Governor John Hickenlooper for meeting national air quality standards. Tisha Schuller is President of the Colorado Oil and [...]

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Environmental groups have filed a formal protest against an Obama Administration plan to fast-track large-scale solar power development in Colorado and five other western states. The public lands at the center of the dispute in Colorado are in the San Luis Valley near the New Mexico border….More firefighters are on their way to help fight a wildfire near the Wyoming border.

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If elected president, Mitt Romney says he’d push to streamline oil and gas development on western public lands. The call comes as part of Romney’s newly announced energy policy platform. KUNC’s Kirk Siegler reports Colorado Democrats are calling it a return to Bush-era policies.

KUNC and KRCC are both members of Rocky [...]

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Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach and his staff addressed city layoffs and community development today at his monthly media conference…Federal officials say a 22-acre marijuana farm was discovered by firefighters battling the Waldo Canyon blaze…More Colorado layoffs have been announced by wind turbine maker Vestas…Stage Two of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge Race started in Montrose this morning.

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It’s no secret that Colorado is an energy rich state. From traditional sources of energy like coal and gas to renewable options like solar and wind power, Colorado seems to be on the cutting edge of an all-inclusive energy portfolio. And when it comes to presidential politics, KRCC’s Katherine-Claire O’Connor reports the candidates’ energy [...]

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Wind power giant Vestas has announced it’s laying off workers at its Pueblo facility…Trinidad Mayor John Rino has resigned effective immediately…Officials say State Highway 67 near Cripple Creek remains closed after a sinkhole opened over a mineshaft under the roadway.

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Wind power giant Vestas has announced it’s laying off workers at its Pueblo facility. Vestas would not provide an exact number, but did say that the job reduction represents about three percent of its total US and Canadian workforce. The plant had employed some 400 people making towers for wind turbines. In total, about 1700 [...]

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The agency that regulates oil and gas development has hired a new director. Matt Lepore is the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s former attorney and takes the helm during a tumultuous time. Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland sat down with him to talk about the future of energy development in Colorado.

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Organizations tasked with distributing donated funds to residents affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire came together this morning to talk about how they are doing just that. For the Pikes Peak United Way and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, funds don’t go straight to individuals. Rather, they go to area nonprofit organizations directly [...]

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The state agency in charge of regulating oil and gas drilling is hiring two additional employees to help improve the lines of communication with cities and counties. State leaders say the goal is to better respond to concerns about hydraulic fracturing and other issues. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Colorado oil and gas regulators are considering whether to increase the buffering distance between drilling rigs and schools or homes. A loose group of stakeholders has been meeting to hammer out the issue for several months. A recommendation is scheduled for this fall. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Oil and gas wells have moved into urban and highly populated areas of Colorado – in some cases literally bumping up against residential back yards. Yet the number of permits being issued by the state actually has dropped in half over the past several years.

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Colorado’s state capitol is on the verge of becoming only the second capitol building in the country to use a geothermal system to help regulate the temperature. A federal grant is funding the project, and crews will begin drilling a well to tap into an underground aquifer later this summer. Bente Birkeland has more [...]

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July 31, 2014 | NPR · The law, championed by Gov. Scott Walker, sparked mass protests in the state capitol and attracted national attention. The decision gives Walker an important election-year victory.
 

Arts & Life

July 31, 2014 | NPR · Don’t get too annoyed with this final round. Like “annoyed,” every answer contains the consecutive letters “A-N-N” somewhere within it. This game separates the canniest from the wannabes.
 

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Music

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July 31, 2014 | NPR · Labor disputes are nothing new to the Met Opera, but never have they been so public. With a deadline looming, both sides signal that negotiations are going nowhere.
 

Courtesy of the artist
July 31, 2014 | NPR · It’s the end of the month, which means it’s time for the best of the month, including new music from Kyle Hall, Tessela, Cassy and more.
 

KCRW
July 30, 2014 | KCRW · L.A. house-music pioneers Doc Martin and Marques Wyatt share a six-song mix on Metropolis.
 

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