Friday, September 7, 2007

Fountain Creek watershed an inspiration

A recent Gazette story about a new Army Corps of Engineers report that recommends safeguards for Fountain Creek (right) and how those controls might affect residential and commercial development served as a reminder to Colorado Springs resident Bob Wearden about the significance of the Fountain Creek watershed. Wearden, a retiree who has self-published two books of poetry, took note of the Fountain Creek watershed in a poem he wrote in 2001. He recently sent a copy to The Gazette, and gave his permission for its publication. He calls it "Watershed Event," and it goes like this:

We know about the jumping frog

of Calaveras County,

But something's even more agog

Here in the Rocky Mountains.

Many things in the region...

Pikes Peak and Seven Falls,

Bring tourists by the legion,

But far above them all...

The celebrated watershed

Of mighty Fountain Creek,

Of which we locals bow our heads

And reverently speak.

You know it by the signage

You see all over town.

Provides us with the drainage,

Without which we would drown.

When rain clouds gather overhead,

Or snowfall comes our way,

We know our trusty watershed

Will send it all away.

We need another festival

To help us pay the rent.

Let's start another festival --

A Watershed Event!

We'll start a watershed website

We'll put it on the net.

So Londoners and Denverites

Can visit without getting wet!

Forget about the culture

NORAD, the rocks of red.

Forget the Starr Kempf sculpture

Celebrate the watershed!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Smoothie King opens in Springs

Three Colorado Springs residents have opened a Smoothie King at 9275 N. Union Blvd., in the King Soopers shopping center at the Marketplace at Briargate. The store offers more than 50 made-to-order smoothies plus healthy living products such as energy bars and vitamin supplements. Smoothie King is a New Orleans-based franchise company with roughly 450 stores in 34 states.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Former Vegas chef departs local hospital for his own gig

Chester Wright, head chef at the new Memorial Hospital North, has moved on.

The former executive chef at the Mirage in Las Vegas started working at the hospital when it opened in April and recently received funding to open his own restaurant in northern Colorado, said Joy Powell, Memorial Hospital North's vice president and administrator.

The hospital's Garden Terrace Cafe, which is building a reputation on serving gourmet-inspired healthy cuisine, is run by independent contractor Sodexho, which is narrowing the list of chef candidates, Powell said.

Four finalists are competing in a cooking contest with five-course meals administrators taste as part of the selection process for the job.

"We have people from the community coming daily to eat lunch and dinner here because of the good food and great prices," Powell said.

Test your knowledge of Colorado

Gov. Bill Ritter has proclaimed Sept. 10-14 as Let’s talk Colorado Week as part of a joint effort by the Colorado Tourism Office and AAA Colorado to increase awareness of what the state has to offer its residents. During the week, residents are invited to visit one of AAA Colorado’s 14 statewide offices to get instate travel ideas. The first 3,000 visitors will receive an informational gift bag. Coloradans also can register to win a weekend trip for two on AAA Colorado’s Spring Wine Train; for details, go to

In addition, AAA Colorado has released a 10-question Colorado trivia quiz. Answers will be available at the AAA Colorado Web site after Gov. Ritter releases them at a Friday press conference. Here are the questions:

1. Where is the annual scuba diving event that takes place at 10,000 feet?

2. What is zipping and where can you zip in Colorado?

3. Where is Penny Hot Springs?

4. Where can you find a bridge named Bob?

5. Where can you see a genuine Star Wars X-wing fighter?

6. Where is America's first "weather trail?"

7. Where can you see the only remaining steam shovel that helped build the Panama Canal?

8. Where is the USA’s highest yacht club?

9. Who was Lou Bunch and where is there a brass bed race in her honor?

10. Where are the only boat locks in Colorado?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We're No. 4 -- as a place to relocate

Colorado Springs has made another list -- this time as one of the better small-market cities to which a family can relocate, according to a 2007 ranking by Primacy, a worldwide relocation service. Colorado Springs was No. 4 on Primacy's list of 50 metropolitan areas with populations of 350,000 to 575,000. The top three areas were Provo-Orem, Utah; Ogden-Clearfield, Utah; and Durham, NC. Primacy used nearly 50 factors important to relocating families. Real estate was one of the top factors, including home prices and affordability, property taxes, appreciation rates, and rent costs. Other factors included the health of the local economy, quality of life, education, climate, recreation and arts and culture. Of metro areas with a population of more than 1.25 million, Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Kansas City, MO-Kansas City, Kan., ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively Of cities with populations between 575,000 and 1.25 million, the top three were Knoxville, Tenn., Wichita, Kan., and Raleigh-Cary, NC. More information: