Area boosts Care and Share
Southern Colorado's needy are getting fewer staple foods these days, but they are still getting them, thanks to generous donations over the past two months.
Care and Share spokeswoman Suzanne Lee says the community organized countless small and large food drives following publication of a cover story in the Independent ("Care and scare," July 3), which explained that the region's food bank was desperate for basic foods due to rising costs and increasing need.
At that point, Care and Share President and CEO Nicholas Saccaro predicted that by the end of August, his organization would no longer be able to provide a steady stream of staple goods to the thousands of people that depend on the organization's charity. He suspected Care and Share wouldn't be able to return to normal operations until at least October, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to start sending bigger shipments of food to the bank.
The community has responded to the crisis by donating 10,000 to 12,000 pounds of food since early July. That's not enough to meet all the demand, but it has been enough to continue providing some basics to families.
Demand continues to increase, and Lee says all recently donated food is already on its way to families. She's hoping a large food drive at King Soopers stores in September (co-sponsored by the Independent) will allow the bank to continue feeding the hungry without major interruption. JAS
EDC names new chairman
The Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp. has named Scott Bryan, president and CEO of Bryan Construction Inc., as its new chairman of the board. Bryan will be responsible for helping to build a more stable economy in the Springs, even as the national economy falters. In a press release, Bryan sounded optimistic.
"We are experiencing very challenging economic times and EDC is laying the groundwork for results," he stated. "An aggressive marketing effort has netted over 192 prospective companies and we are poised to recruit more companies as the economy shows signs of improvement. The board and staff are intensely focused on turning this corner."
Bryan takes the reins on Oct. 1. JAS
Gazette publisher leaving
After just 20 months in charge of Colorado Springs' daily newspaper, Scott McKibben resigned this week as publisher of the Gazette to accept an executive position with the Los Angeles Times Media Group.
The news came out Tuesday, with reports saying McKibben, 55, would leave in September to become chief revenue officer for the Times company. His time at the Gazette, which began in December 2006, has been marked by budget cuts and position eliminations as the Freedom Communications paper has tried to maintain a viable bottom line amid declining circulation. Though no specific numbers have been released, about 40 jobs have been cut in the newsroom alone during McKibben's tenure.
There was no immediate word on a replacement, interim or permanent.
In a Gazette story announcing his departure, McKibben said his priority had been to cultivate relationships with the local business, political and religious communities. He had come to the Gazette from the Denver area, but still kept his home in Littleton. RR
Locals like Pueblo outcome
On primary election day, Mayor Lionel Rivera said the "second most important race to the future of Colorado Springs in this election" was in Pueblo.
Colorado Springs City Council members bit their fingernails as they watched the tight race between incumbent Pueblo County Commissioner John Cordova and term-limited state legislator Dorothy Butcher. Springs politicians were Cordova fans, but it looked like they were rooting for the loser.
Then the Pueblo County election department admitted making a mistake tallying the ballots (some had been counted twice), and declared Cordova had won the race by 54 votes, 2,877 to 2,823.
That's surely cause for celebration for our City Council, which feared that delicate negotiations on the Southern Delivery System would be jeopardized if Butcher was elected. The challenger had been vocal in opposing the Springs' plan, while Cordova is seen as more open to a compromise. JAS
Gardner honored for efforts
State Rep. Bob Gardner of Colorado Springs has been honored as the state legislator of the year by Alliance, a state-level group of agencies providing support and services to people with developmental disabilities.
Gardner was recognized for his work in addressing a lengthy statewide waiting list for people with disabilities in need of services. He has developed legislation to provide new funding for reducing the waiting list.
"Rep. Gardner was a true champion for the needs of people with disabilities this year," Alliance past president Roger Jensen said in a release. "He stood up to a lot of pressure and stayed the course." RR
There once was a storyteller ...
True story: Colorado-based storyteller John Stansfield received an ORACLE award from the National Storytelling Network at the National Storytelling Conference in Gatlinburg, Tenn., on Aug. 10. The award acknowledges regional leadership and service among storytellers. Stansfield's Rocky Mountain Storytelling Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. MS
Compiled by Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and J. Adrian Stanley.