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News briefs from the Front Range


Nov. 6 election ballots should be in hand
If you are registered to vote in the 2007 election and haven't received your ballot in the mail, something's wrong. Ballots were sent late last week.

If this describes your situation, update your registration and pick up a ballot at the recorder's office at Centennial Hall, 200 S. Cascade Ave. To verify your current address, or to ask questions, call 575-VOTE (8683).

Mail your ballot following the provided instructions or drop it off at an El Paso County Clerk and Recorder office at 200 S. Cascade Ave., 5650 Industrial Place or at Chapel Hills Mall, on the north side of JCPenney. All ballots are due by Nov. 6, and drop-offs will be accepted until 7 p.m. that day. JAS

Lee begins state Senate run
Pete Lee came up with a proper way to celebrate his 60th birthday on Oct. 11 at Penrose Library. The local Democrat, a lawyer, teacher and community activist, launched his campaign for the state Senate District 12 seat now filled by term-limited Republican Andy McElhany.

Lee's opponent will be former state Rep. Keith King, who told the Independent he'll announce his candidacy within the next 45 days. Lee believes he'll garner support from moderate and traditional Republicans.

Most speakers at Lee's launch were local GOP members. District 2 School Board Member Deborah Hendrix said she was crossing party lines to support Lee because of his community service, and Colorado Springs Councilwoman Jan Martin also issued a statement endorsing Lee.

"As fundamentally Republican as I am, it is time to support quality, and not ideological labels. Mr. Lee is of high quality ... he is what we need to hope for and vote for," noted Lindsay Fischer, former judge and lifelong Republican. JW

Bristol wins two silvers at Great American Beer Fest
Add two more medals for Colorado Springs' most decorated brewery. Last weekend at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Bristol Brewing Co. earned silver medals for its Laughing Lab Scottish Ale (in the Scottish-style ale category) and Skull & Bones Cuvee (in the American-style sour ale group). This is Cuvee's first nod from festival judges, and Laughing Lab's eighth.

"It's great to win consistently," says brewery owner Mike Bristol. "To win a category consistently at the Great American Beer Festival is very difficult. And it doesn't get any easier over time, that's for sure."

GABF attendance was extremely high this year; tickets sold out for the first time in the festival's 26-year history.

Bristol was the sole medal-winner of four local breweries in the competition. Other entrants were Arctic Craft Brewery, Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. and Rock Bottom Brewery's Colorado Springs location. PF

'Lamborm' staff: Good at money, bad at spelling
With all the cash Rep. Doug Lamborn is collecting for his re-election campaign, he might want to consider hiring an editor or finding a new one. The freshman congressman was described as "Lamborm" in the headline of his own press release this week, which also was notable for being "authorized and paid for by the Lamborn for Congress."

Lamborm er, Lamborn reports a third-quarter "surge" in fundraising as he prepares to defend his seat from fellow Republicans. Lamborn says he raised $85,731 between July 1 and Sept. 30, edging challenger Jeff Crank. Lamborn was quoted excitedly in the press release mentioning all the "support" he's received from "supporters," especially within the 5th District. MdY

Fort Carson seeks whoever 'responsible' for death
It took Army investigators more than a year and a half to concede that Joseph Eric Barker, a former Fort Carson soldier, was probably murdered. The Army's Criminal Investigation Division this week announced a $10,000 reward "for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for the death."

Barker, 21, had recently been discharged from the Army when his body was found Feb. 21, 2006, in the sewage basin of Fort Carson's wastewater treatment plant. Anyone with information about Barker's death is encouraged to contact Fort Carson's criminal investigators at 526-3991 or military police at 526-2333. MdY

CC and FAC shows: twice as nice?
Two venues opened two decidedly different art shows last week.

At Colorado College's Coburn Gallery, Bently Spang: Cyberskins opened as a re-imagination of the "residue" from Spang's recent live CC performance of his show Tekcno Powwow II: The Return of the Funk. Does his exhibit recreate the images conjured by his performance?

At the Fine Arts Center Modern, Faces in the Crowd: Portraiture from the Permanent Collection at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center rethinks the concept of the work "portrait." But does a rethinking mean the concept will be any less stuffy?

See for yourself by checking out our full reviews for both shows. Log on to, go to "Culture" and click on the Web extras. EA

County gives city the fee

El Paso County leaders made a gesture of sorts not precisely one of goodwill when they agreed to make a voluntary contribution to the city instead of paying their stormwater bill.

The countys first-year bill from the citys Stormwater Enterprise came to about $43,000, factoring in a 5 percent discount for paying all at once. Commissioner Doug Bruce, who wants voters to be able to squash the enterprise for being the nasty, tax-collecting body he says it is, argued paying the fee amounts to a gift for something he calls a patent violation of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Commissioners Jim Bensberg and Wayne Williams joined Bruce opposing a motion to pay the fee. Williams proposed making a voluntary payment in the amount of the bill. Such payments presumably could be withheld in later years if the stormwater starts getting too, uh, thick. Commissioners passed the motion.

Despite a slow start, city officials say 96 percent of stormwater invoices have been paid. The enterprise could raise more than $15 million this year to start work on an assortment of flood and erosion control projects.

Commissioners acknowledged some projects could help county roads and structures in the event of floods, but expressed concern they have no control over the projects and no say if rates go up.

Bensberg disputed calling the payments a fee since the only way to avoid the Stormwater Enterprise would be to move all of the county buildings and facilities out of the city.

Bruce, showing that even when youre with him hes against you, disagreed flatly with Bensbergs assertion that leaving is the only alternative. We can not pay, he said. AL

Compiled by Edie Adelstein, Pete Freedman, Anthony Lane, J. Adrian Stanley, John Weiss and Michael de Yoanna. For more briefs, go to

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