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AFA loses diversity officer, PPLD unveils All Pikes Peak Reads selections, more


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AFA diversity czar leaves

Dr. Adis Vila, the Air Force Academy's first diversity officer, resigned as of June 1.

Her hiring was announced with much fanfare in November 2010. In a news release at that time, the academy said Vila would serve as "strategic leader, diversity advocate and principal adviser to Academy leaders on diversity programs and issues and the Academy's primary voice on matters of equity, diversity and inclusion."

Now, she's slipped away with nary a mention. (This report results from our query about her departure.) A lawyer and scholar who speaks four languages, Vila left the post, academy spokesman David Cannon says in a statement, "for personal reasons."

"The Academy is exploring its options with respect to hiring a new CDO," he adds.

Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould hired Vila, calling the job "crucial ." Gould will soon be replaced by Michelle Johnson, a 1981 academy grad, who will become the first female superintendent. Her nomination was confirmed by the Senate on April 18. — PZ

Recall saga stretches on

Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler has hired a lawyer with ties to his old firm in an attempt to force Gov. John Hickenlooper to set a date for a recall election of Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron, both Democrats.

A hearing on the matter is expected in Denver District Court on July 17, according to the Denver Post. That's also when Hickenlooper is expected to hear back on a preliminary injunction that could allow him to hold off on setting a date for the election until court challenges against the recall end.

El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams, also a Republican, has also been attempting to pressure Hickenlooper into setting a date. Williams will be expected to be the impartial election official when the recall for Morse's seat is held, just as Gessler was expected to act as impartial judge when deciding whether there were enough valid signatures to trigger the recalls.

The governor must set an election date within 60 days of the petitions being certified by the Secretary of State. But there' s disagreement as to whether the clock starts ticking before the appeals process has been exhausted. If and when the recall moves forward, Morse would face Republican challenger Bernie Herpin. — JAS

2013 book picks unveiled

Within a theme of "My Voice — Our Future," the All Pikes Peak Reads 2013 lineup includes Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo, Gus Lee's China Boy and Carolyn D. Wall's Sweeping Up Glass. All three authors will visit Colorado Springs to participate in APPR events during September and October.

PPLD also selected The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie as its teen novel, and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate for children.

New this year, trained moderators will facilitate community dialogue sessions. Also new: The Tim Gill Center for Public Media will host a "Raise Your Voice" citizen and student journalism contest. Watch for details to be posted at — KA

Good unemployment news?

It seems astonishing, but an economic forecast to be delivered Wednesday to the Colorado Springs Utilities Board predicts the unemployment rate for Colorado Springs will be 5.8 percent in the coming five years.

Sitting at 7.9 percent as of May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is predicted to inch downward next year to 7.3 percent and to average 5.8 percent from 2014 to 2018.

The forecast is based on Moody's Economics, which performs economic forecasts for all U.S. cities, says Utilities spokesman Dave Grossman. He notes the forecast sets the five-year average state unemployment rate at 4.7 percent, a full percentage point below that of the city, which has typically been the gap in recent years. The national rate would be 5.9 percent under Moody's forecast.

The forecast is part of a financial planning and budgeting report to be heard by the Utilities Board, made up of City Council members. — PZ

City hosts flood meeting

The city will host another meeting to warn residents of flash floods and help them prepare for the worst.

The Fountain Creek Area Preparedness Meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., July 24, at the Al Kaly Shrine at 6 S. 33rd St. It is geared toward people in the Fountain Creek flood plain, and new maps identifying areas likely to be impacted by flash floods due to the Waldo Canyon burn scar will be discussed. — JAS

Maketa undecided about '14

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa says the local daily got it wrong when it reported earlier this week that he would not run for office in 2014.

"The Gazette got a little sloppy and tried to make it into something it wasn't," he tells the Independent. Maketa, who is term-limited as sheriff, says he remains undecided about a future run for office.

"I never said I was going to run, and I never said I was not going to run. ... What I have said for the last five months is, right now, if you asked me today, I don't have that desire, but that could change." — JAS

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