No parent survey done before D-49 movie ban
The board of Falcon School District 49 recently voted to ban the showing of R-rated films from classrooms. But the school board hasn't had its final say on the ban. Final approval will come at its Sept. 13 meeting, according to Loretta Branham, the board's administrative assistant.
The initial 5-0 vote came after a committee recommendation, but D-49 never conducted a survey of district parents to find out where they stood. Part of the reason given for the ban was that some parents said kids who weren't given parental permission to watch the films were assigned less-than-equal work as a substitute, or ridiculed by other students.
D-49 would still allow excerpts of R-rated films to be shown in high school classrooms with parental permission. Parental permission would also be required to show PG-13 films to high schoolers.
D-49 board members did not respond to a request for comment. JAS
Peterson AFB, Cheyenne Mountain improve gate security
You probably thought state-of-the-art security measures were already in place at Peterson Air Force Base and Cheyenne Mountain.
But gate guards only now are receiving handheld military and government identification-card scanners to better ferret out would-be spies, saboteurs and terrorists. The scanners, in use at many U.S. installations around the globe, access some 100 databases, including those of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, FBI and local and state law-enforcement agencies.
The scanners are particularly useful for screening contractors at Peterson and the mountain, where homeland-security operations are conducted around the clock. In a single swipe, guards will know almost instantly whether the person they're dealing with is a wanted criminal, barred from the installation, or using a stolen ID, among other things. MdY
D-11: Look both ways, kids
Half the battle is getting there. Just ask District 11.
Near D-11's new Freedom Elementary School, located at 5280 Butterfield Drive, a new crosswalk was installed at Bridle Pass Drive and Little Field Drive. The crossing was placed with road curvature and traffic patterns in mind, but features no traffic light, no flashing beacons and no crossing guard.
D-11 and city officials think signs and a lower speed limit should suffice for now.
How are these decisions made? In the city limits, traffic technicians like Gary Herbst make those calls. Herbst says he'll examine traffic patterns shortly after school starts at Freedom. If the traffic meets specific guidelines, he'll ask for a crossing guard. The city and D-11 would share the cost.
Why not just put in the guard now?
"[If] children began to rely on that guard to cross, and then it turned out that it didn't meet the criteria ... what kind of situation have we set up?" Herbst asks, adding that parents should walk their kids to school and teach them safety precautions.
Crossing guards will be present at two designated crosswalks at McAuliffe, D-11's other new elementary school. The district has agreed to pay for guards at the recommendation of county traffic engineers, and because the crossings are high-traffic. JAS
Ranchers blast senators over Army expansion
Ranchers and their allies are disgusted by efforts by U.S. Sens. Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard to salvage the Army's politically unpopular plan to expand training grounds in southeast Colorado.
Monday, just days after Salazar visited Trinidad to pitch the idea of a "win-win" scenario that would allow Fort Carson's 235,000-acre Pion Canyon Maneuver Site to almost triple in size, the Pion Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition accused the senators of spin-doctoring, dubbing both senators' labors "ineffective" and "misleading."
"Why are Colorado's senators supporting this destructive proposal?" coalition leader Lon Robertson, a rancher, wondered in a scathing press release. "Who are they working for?"
Ranchers, backed by a large number of politicians and businesses, say if the Army gets it way, the region's agricultural economy will be decimated and its sensitive environment threatened.
The coalition wants the senators to side with the House, which voted 383-34 in June to block funding in 2008 for an extensive study that is key to expansion. Neither senator has indicated support for the House measure. MdY
A day for multiculturalism
A showcase of the city's array of art and culture will be on display downtown from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The Colorado Springs Diversity Forum has dubbed its first multicultural fair a day a "celebration of culture and diversity," where all are welcome.
The fair comes as the forum's task force seeks volunteers to help further their cause. If you're interested, e-mail Susan Saksa (email@example.com) or Shirley Martinez (firstname.lastname@example.org). MdY
Compiled by J. Adrian Stanley and Michael de Yoanna.