(Slide show is best viewed in full-screen mode by clicking on the arrows in the lower right-hand corner of the player. Click the right and left arrow buttons on the lower left to move through the slides. All photos by Noel Black and Michael Myers.)

One year ago, photographer Michael Myers and [...]

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What began as a simple slide show examining the iconic Colorado Springs photo-op of Pikes Peak Avenue looking west toward the Antlers Hotel over the years quickly turned into an exploration of the history of the hotel itself. With Marshall Sprague’s Newport in the Rockies as our historical compass, and images from the [...]

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Stratton's Streetcars

On November 23, 2010 By

In this slide show of images from the Pikes Peak Library District’s Digital Photography Archive with text by Marshall Sprague from his history of the region, “Newport in the Rockies” (read by Craig Richardson), we hope you’ll catch a glimpse of Colorado Springs’ former public transportation glory as it was funded by millionaire gold king Winfield Scott Stratton.

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Based on his Pulitzer-Prize-nominated 2009 article “Casualties of War” about the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on a platoon of Fort Carson soldiers after they returned from Iraq, Gazette reporter Dave Phillips’ book Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home was published on November 9. Though the official book signing at Border’s was last week, you can pick up a copy and get it signed tonight at Southside Johnny’s tonight from 5 to 8 p.m.

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The mobile slaughter unit we profiled in the Septembers edition of Western Skies will be on hand tomorrow at Venetucci Farm for a demonstration of how this kind of small-time processing can connect consumers with the food they eat. Very few people in the US ever get the opportunity to have a literal ranch-to-table experience and we highly recommend this for those who want to have a more complete understanding of how their meat can be processed in a humane and healthy way on the land where it was raised by a person who lives in our community.

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Columnist, former City Councilman and Colorado Springs native son John Hazlehurst is a vast trove of local history and one of the city’s most colorful raconteurs. Craig Richardson and Noel Black sat down with him to record some of his more vivid memories of his political life as a member of City Council and protege of then-Mayor Bob Isaac from 1991 to 1997. Among the highlights of these anecdotes: a possible lost opportunity to have averted TABOR, how Mary Lou Makepeace stole his thunder, and sage words from the liquored-up lips of Mayor Bob.

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Tomorrow’s election has a number of races and initiatives that will likely have profound effects for the city, state and nation. We hope you plan to vote tomorrow if you haven’t already. Here are a number of interviews and links to KRCC’s recent coverage of the election and its many issues. We hope this coverage will enlighten you about the past, present and future of local politics as you make your decisions.

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We say it a lot here on The Big Something: Our open spaces are our greatest local treasures. Who among us hasn’t enjoyed Red Rock Canyon or the newly added Section 16 at least once? Today, City Council will consider the purchase of the Anderson property, which would add 72 acres to the newly purchased Corral Bluffs open space just east of Colorado Springs.

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With a large Libertarian contingency here, some might wonder how the ideals took root in Colorado Springs. Part of the answer may come from a recent New Yorker article titled “Covert Operations” by Jane Mayer about Tea Party funders Charles and David Koch. It referred to a now-defunct Colorado Springs-based libertarian institution called The Freedom School. With the help of the Colorado College and Pikes Peak Library District Special Collections, Noel Black and Craig Richardson created this portrait of the Freedom School, which later became Rampart College.

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Ode to Section 16

On September 29, 2010 By

Yesterday, the Colorado Springs City Council approved the purchase of Section 16 from the State of Colorado, adding 640 acres of adjacent open space to the already remarkable Red Rock Canyon Open Space and the recently purchased White Acres, preserving for the community an inestimable treasure that will be a legacy for many generations to come. Local teacher and writer Eva Syrovy is a regular at Section 16 and wrote this essay, which accompanies the slide show above.

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Today’s edition of The New Yorker has a fascinating article by Peter Hessler about the history and legacy of mining radiocative materials in southwestern Colorado and its possible revival. Though the article covers Colorado’s Western Slope and discusses the former town of Uravan (where much of the Manhattan Project’s materials were mined, and which has since been buried, literally, as a Superfund site) and its former residents, there are clear implications closer to home.

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We’re really incredibly proud of this episode of Western Skies. It’s heavy on the information and an attention grabber all the way through. If you care about the food you eat and where it comes from, we guarantee you’ll learn something great. If you missed it, you can listen to the whole thing [...]

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It’s almost impossible to believe how controversial many of Christo and Jean-Claude’s projects have been. After all, they work with fabric. Yet even in New York City the infamous Orange Gates took 26 years to realize after many controversies. The Over the River Project, which would cover 5.9 miles of the Arkansas River, is no different and there are 11 days left to comment.

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Zine Garden

On August 31, 2010 By

Full of diaries, cartoons, essays, articles and poems by herself and others about everything from gender bending chickens to a primer on garlic, Sandra Knauf’s wide-eyed struggles with the earth and its bounty (or not) over the past decade make her zine approachable and highly relatable. On top of that, there’s a lot of practical gardening and urban farming wisdom to be gleaned.

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Wanda Reaves, Project Manager for the Colorado Mountain Reclamation Foundation invited The Big Something on morning sojourn up the Queens Canyon Quarry scar. Shrouded in mystery for the mere fact that it isn’t open to the public, Wanda helped us demystify the history, the reclamation process and why it is that it is unlikely ever to become an open space or a public park.

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You’ve doubtless driven by them thousands of times without paying them much mind. The Japanese garden that rests in the median on Nevada Avenue between the YMCA and Acacia park, or the Nuevo Casas Grandes mural on Tejon street. These are symbols of the bonds our community has with cities around the world as part of the Sister Cities International program. Many Springs residents will recognize Fujiyoshida, Japan as our first and perhaps, most familiar sister city, but there are five others equally deserving of your sororitorial affections. Warren Hill, president of Colorado Springs Sister Cities International, acquaints us with our far-flung global family.

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Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has been touring the nation over the past year for the Arts in Crisis Tour, a program implemented following the economic downturn designed to assist arts and cultural organizations better position themselves during the lean times. Craig Richardson spoke with Kaiser during his visit to Colorado Springs.

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Proud at Pride

On July 20, 2010 By

What are folks at Pride so proud about? Craig Richardson spoke to some of the attendees to get a sense of how things have changed since Pride Fest began in Colorado Springs 20 years ago.

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Pride Fest Turns 20!

On July 15, 2010 By

The 20th (that’s right, 20!) annual Pride Fest is this Sunday, July 18 at Acacia Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parade will beginning at 11 a.m. and cruise down Tejon Street from Colorado College until it hits the park. KRCC will be there again this year to take photos and video, so come find us. Don’t miss our slide show from last year’s Pride Fest.

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If you missed Western Skies on the topic of the Colorado Springs city budget this past Sunday, have no fear: you can listen to the entire show or browse through the segments on the Western Skies page of KRCC.org.

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Whether you heard this week’s inaugural episode of the relaunch of Western Skies or just want to hear it again, you can access the entire show and its various segments and lots of Web extras at the Western Skies page on KRCC.org.

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The much beloved news magazine Western Skies returns after several years of dormancy. Produced by KRCC News Director Andrea Chalfin and The Big Something‘s Noel Black, the hour-long, monthly show will air beginning this Sunday at 11 a.m. Shows addressing a single topic facing the region and the west will follow on the first Sundays of each month.

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It’s easy to get frustrated about alternative forms of transportation in a Western town where cars are king, but if the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico isn’t reason enough to dream then we don’t know what is. Again, if you missed our two-part post on the past, present and future of [...]

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