Westside Briefs:
Schedule for DHS move to GoG Road

       The El Paso County Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced its schedule to to complete its relocation to the new El Paso County Citizens Services Center at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road.
       The move will occur during the third week in March, according to county spokesperson Jennifer Brown.
       She said the following schedule will impact client services during the move:
       - Friday March 18 - All DHS offices will close at 2 p.m.
       - Monday March 21 - All DHS offices will be closed until 1 p.m.
       - Monday March 21 at 1 p.m. until Friday March 25 at 2 p.m. - Clients needing child welfare, adult protective and aging and adult services will go to 1675 Garden of the Gods Road. Affected will be these programs: Aid to the Needy and Disabled, Aid to the Blind, Old Age Pension, Home Care Allowance, Assisted Living, Home and Community Based Services, SSI Medicaid, OAP Health and Medical Care and Medicare Savings Plans.
       All other clients, including those needing EBT cards, will still go to the 17 and 105 N. Spruce St. locations.
       - Friday, March 25 - All DHS offices will close at 2 p.m.
       - Monday, March 28 - All DHS offices will be closed until 1 p.m.
       - Monday, March 28 at 1 p.m. - The move will be complete, and all DHS clients will be going to the Citizens Services Center at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road.
       At that time, the two office buildings that now house DHS operations at 105 and 17 N. Spruce will be empty and up for sale. The two locations currently involve, on the average, about 600 people a day, Brown said.
       Clients with specific questions can call 636-0000. Additional information is also available online at dhs.elpasoco.com.

A collage of red rock miners and buildings forms the cover of the book, "Geologic Folio: Red Rock Canyon Open Space." Its three authors are among more than 20 scheduled for the "Writers Rave" Feb. 26 at the Old Colorado City History Center.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Writers at History Center
       A first-time event, titled “Writers Rave,” will allow people to talk with more than 20 area authors Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Old Colorado City History Center.
       The program will last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no charge. The center, owned and operated by the volunteer Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), is at 1 S. 24th St.
       Also on hand will be representatives of Mother's House Publishing. The northeast Colorado Springs business has published nearly all of the works by the authors who will be at the Rave, noted Susie Schorsch, who runs the center's bookstore.
       These include several books written on behalf of the OCCHS, Schorsch said. The Mother's House staff are somewhat unique by their willingness to publish relatively few books at a time. This is especially helpful for books about history, which don't necessarily sell quickly. “They've bent over backwards to help the OCCHS get published,” she said.
       Most of the authors will present an introduction to their work.
       Scheduled authors, their introduction times - where applicable - and their topics (in parentheses) are:
  • Mary Bale, 10:30 a.m.; Craig Vroom, 11 a.m.; Jeff Keller, 11:30 a.m.; Barbara Tyner, noon; John Trivelli, 12:30 p.m.; Christie Howard, 1 p.m.; Black Forest Friends and Tom Szalay (children's).
  • Wojteck Rychlik, 1:30 p.m. (photography).
  • Ken Weissenburger, Sharon Milito and Don Ellis, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, 2 p.m. (geology).
  • D. Heffington, 2:30 p.m. (antiques).
  • Sharon Swint, 3 p.m.; Richard Gibson, 3:30 p.m.; and Barbara Barbaro, 4 p.m. (history).
  • Joyce Stolberg, 4:30 p.m.; Tom Wright, 5 p.m.; Jodie Wiedl, 5:30 p.m.; and Al and Hevine Schmidt (spirituality).

    The weed-eating goats invariably attract spectators when the Bear Creek Garden Association funds their trips from Wyoming to discourage weeds in the 20-acre buffer around the group's organic garden.
    Westside Pioneer photo

           County-garden extension
           The El Paso Board of County Commissioners Feb. 15 approved an extended facility and service agreement with the Bear Creek Garden Association (BCGA).
           The unanimous vote extends the now-25-year agreement through 2016, according to county spokesperson Dave Rose.
           The BCGA is a non-profit group that collaborates with El Paso County's Parks Division to manage a two-acre organic garden site in Bear Creek Regional Park off 21st and Rio Grande streets
           Gardeners lease space from the BCGA, which contributes “thousands of pounds of garden produce each year to community outreach organizations such as Care & Share, Marian House, Springs Rescue Mission, Silver Key and the Colorado Springs Senior Home, among others,” Rose said.
           The BCGA was praised by county leaders also for its efforts to provide organic weed control in a 20-acre area around the garden, at no cost to the county. This has included bringing in weed-eating goats when enough money could be raised.
           According to BCGA board member Karen Flitton, some garden plots are still available for this growing season. For more information, call Char Nymann, association president, at 473-5827.

    Westside Pioneer/press releases