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December 5, 2010

Western Skies, December 5, 2010: “Retrospective”

This month we’re going to spend the hour looking back at some of the topics we covered since kicking off the revival of Western Skies in June. There was a lot of overlap, stories that could have appeared in multiple episodes, and themes that kept popping up from topic to topic. Here are some of the conversations that took place this year in Western Skies.

You can listen to or download the full episode here:

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You can also head to the individual segments for full audio and available photos by clicking on any of the links below:

Roundtable: Tourism in the Pikes Peak Region
Our Libertarian Past: The Freedom School and Rampart College
4H Celebrates 100 Years
Crestone: Living a Spiritual Life in a Remote Town
A Day in the Life at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
Professional Baseball in Colorado Springs ca. 1902

Western Skies is a collaboration between KRCC News and The Big Something.

Roundtable: Tourism in the Pikes Peak Region

Producer Noel Black hosts a round table discussion about the past, present and future of this vital industry with Terry Sullivan, CEO and President of Experience Colorado Springs, Leah Davis Witherow, Archivist at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, and Susan Wolbrueck, Board President of the Manitou Springs Business Improvement District.
Download: Tourism Roundtable

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Complete Interview:Western Skies 6.6.2010 Roundtable

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From “Tourism,” in June.



Our Libertarian Past: The Freedom School and Rampart College

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.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Rampart College campus was sold in November of 1968. Rampart College remained open in Santa Ana, California until 1975. Many thanks to Jen Newman, Mike Procell, Jeff Bieri, Vicky Gregor and Craig Richardson for lending their voices to this piece.

From “Politics & Elections,” in October.

4H Celebrates 100 Years

4H has been in Colorado for 100 years, and the organization has come a long way during the last century in this state. Most people associate 4H with agriculture, but their mission of teaching life skills is a little more philosophical than the actual means. KRCC’s Shanna Lewis spent a few days at the state fair to see how the group is evolving.

Download the piece here, or listen online:

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From “Agriculture,” in September.


Crestone: Living a Spiritual Life in a Remote Town

On the Western Slope of the Sangre de Christo Mountains lays the spiritual community of Crestone, which has developed a reputation as the Shangri-La of the Rockies. But as KRCC’s Michelle Mercer reports, for many residents, just surviving in the town can take the most patience and practice of all.

Download the piece, or listen here:

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From “Religion, Faith, and Spirituality,” in November.

A Day in the Life at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site

Another public face of the difficult budget crunch in the city is that of Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site in Garden of the Gods. Site manager Andy Morris lives at the ranch, so KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin asked him to take us through a typical summer day.

Listen to or download the piece:

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KRCC’s Knox Graham created this photo and audio slideshow of the visit to Rock Ledge Ranch.

From “Colorado Springs Budget Issues,” in July.


Professional Baseball in Colorado Springs ca. 1902

Few people remember that Colorado Springs once had a professional baseball team called The Millionaires. Jeff Bieri reads this excerpt from Marshall Sprague’s history of the region, Newport in the Rockies.

Sprague on Baseball WS 8.1.10

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(Right/option-click on the link to download or click the play button to stream)


(Boulevard Park ca. 1902, photographer unknown. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 257-6465.)

One halftone image in full-page spread of six smaller images on page titled “In the Suburbs of the Sunshine City.” Image shows crowd standing outside large wooden structure with signs reading “Boulevard Park” and “Colorado Springs Baseball Club. Members of the Western League.” Caption at bottom of page reads “Boulevard Park, the home of the “Millionaires”.”

From “Sports in the Pikes Peak Region,” in August.

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September 5, 2010

Western Skies, September 5, 2010: “Agriculture”

We all need to eat, and in this episode of Western Skies, we attempt to connect you with the people who produce our food. From community supported agriculture to traditional ranching, we’ve talked to people involved with this basic necessity, and bring you their stories.

You can download the full episode, or listen to it here:

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You can also head to the individual segments for the audio, full conversations, and visuals:

Conventional/Mainstream Agriculture Roundtable
Profile: Jay Frost
Local Agriculture Roundtable
4H Celebrates 100 Years
Profile: Hardcore Farmer
Prototype Mobile Slaughter Unit’s Debut
Examining the CSA Model
Commentary: Preparing Bees for Winter

Western Skies is a collaboration between KRCC News and The Big Something.

Conventional/Mainstream Agriculture Roundtable

We’re going to begin with a roundtable discussion from a few people involved in what might be considered mainstream or more traditional agriculture. KRCC’s Michelle Mercer sat down with Shawn Martini of the Colorado Farm Bureau, 4th generation Lincoln County rancher Charles Hoffman, and Emily Lockard from the Colorado State University extension office in Pueblo.

Download the piece as aired, or listen here:

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Here’s the full conversation, available for download, or listening online (about 43 minutes):

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In this roundtable, Shawn Marinti references the Mountain Plover as an example of cooperation between conservationists and ranchers. Michelle Mercer has this look at the Mountain Plover, a story on agritourism that aired in the inaugural edition of Western Skies on tourism (June, 2010):

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Profile: Jay Frost

South of Colorado Springs, near the county line between El Paso and Pueblo, on the east side of Fountain Creek, Jay Frost works the land. Craig Richardson traveled there and spoke with Frost. He has this profile…and please note that Frost has aphasia which affects his speaking abilities.

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Local Agriculture Roundtable

Local agriculture takes on many different forms, and some consumers choose to purchase memberships to CSAs, some go to farmers markets, and some check the supermarkets for products produced in the state. Craig Richardson sat down with some folks in the area looking to promote local agriculture to talk about their efforts. Here he is with Larry Stebbins from Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, Michele Mukatis from Peak to Plains and Cultivate Health, and Michael Hannigan, CEO of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, which runs Venetucci Farm.

Download this piece as aired, or listen here:

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Here’s the full conversation available for download, or you can listen online (about 37 minutes):

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4H Celebrates 100 Years

4H has been in Colorado for 100 years, and the organization has come a long way during the last century in this state. Most people associate 4H with agriculture, but their mission of teaching life skills is a little more philosophical than the actual means. KRCC’s Shanna Lewis spent a few days at the state fair to see how the group is evolving.

Download the piece here, or listen online:

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Profile: Hardcore Farmer

Jamie Crocket in the weat fields of eastern Colorado

Many young people who grew up in cities are now moving to rural areas to try ranching and farming. As Noel Black reports, even some of the people you’d least expect are taking to the plows.

Listen to Jamie’s story (right-click or option-click to download, or click the play button to stream):

Hardcore Farmer

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Listen to some of Jamie Crockett’s songs:

“Rose for a Lie” by Nevertheless
Rose for a Lie

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“You Know What Jack Burton Would Say at a Time Like This” by Millionaire Murder Trial
“You Know What Jack Burton Would Say”

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Prototype Mobile Slaughter Unit’s Debut


(image courtesy of the Nebraska Environmental Action Coalition)

For many ranchers, there’s little choice for where to sell your cattle if they want to control the distribution or sell the butchered meat themselves. KRCC’s Noel Black visited a ranch in northwestern Kansas near the Colorado border where a small group of people is taking small steps to change that. Warning to listeners, some of the sounds and descritions in this piece are graphic.

(right-click or option-click to download, or click the play button to stream)

Prototype Mobile Slaughter Unit’s Debut

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Postscript: Megan Pusey, Director of Communications for the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, an industry trade group, says the units are too new to make any substantive comment, but that their main concern is always to make sure safety parameters are ensured at this level as they would be at larger meat packing operations.

Examining the CSA Model

Whether traditional, organic or natural, the way Colorado farmers grow food continues to change throughout the state. One of those evolutions comes in CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture farms, that have emerged over the last 25 years. KRCC’s Ellen Mahoney has this look at the CSA model.

Download the piece here, or listen online:

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Slideshow includes photos from Monroe Organic Farms (CSA) and the Munson Farm and Market.

Commentary: Preparing Bees for Winter

Donna Hartley and her husband, John, own Black Forest Honey. They maintain 150 hives east of Colorado Springs. Donna has this anecdote about what happens when the weather gets cooler, and how experienced beekeepers deal with the situation.

Download the piece here, or listen online:

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The Bear and the Honeybee, and The Honeybee and Colors (3:13):

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The Swarm (3:12):

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Donna also shared some of her bee stories for the Citizen Report:

Musings of a Mad Beekeeper
Continued Musings of a Mad Beekeeper

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