Westside Briefs:
June 11 start for Farmers’ Market

       The summer-Saturdays Farmers' Market in Old Colorado City will return June 11 between about 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.
       About 25 growers and/or vendors are expected for the first day, according to Frank Schmidt, president of the Pikes Peak Farmers' Market, the non-profit organization that coordinates the annual outdoor enterprise on 24th Street next to Bancroft Park.
       During market times, 24th Street will be closed between Colorado and Pikes Peak avenues.
       The market will continue until the end of October.

Cyclists enjoy the newly paved Midland Trail between Ridge Road and 31st Street. Photo looks east.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Crafters at History Center
       When the Farmers' Market comes back to 24th Street June 11 (see story, above), so too will the craft booths outside the neighboring Old Colorado City History Center, 1 S. 24th St.
       From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through September, the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) “will host various arts and crafts vendors on the north side of the museum property facing Pikes Peak Avenue,” according to a press release from OCCHS board member Jo Cervone. “You will find bird houses, unique jewelry, hats, leather goods, pottery and much more.”
       This is the second straight year the History Center has scheduled weekly “mini-fairs” to run simultaneously with the popular Farmers' Market.
       The OCCHS is the volunteer group that owns and operates the center. The weekly fairs are center fundraisers.
       Osborne Trust applications
       Grant money from the William and Betty Osborne Trust Fund is available for 2011.
       To qualify, an organization must have non-profit status, provide charitable services to the needy within the boundaries of the fund and not receive tax dollars. These boundaries are west of I-25, north to the El Paso County line, south across part of the Broadmoor area and west into Teller County.
       Application forms can be obtained by sending a request to: Advisory Trustees, William and Betty Osborne Trust Fund, P.O. Box 6085, Colorado Springs CO 80934; or by e-mailing a request to wjeanforan@aol.com.
       The deadline to request an application is June 30. Completed applications need to be submitted by Aug. 1.
       The advisory trustees, consisting of past presidents of the Garden of the Gods Rotary Club, will review the applications and decide on the recipients and the amounts they will receive later in the year.
       Blues concerts on
       Aided by donations, the annual Paint the Town Blue summer concert series will return to Bancroft Park.
       The free shows, organized by the Pikes Peak Blues Community are scheduled every Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. from June 30 to Aug. 11.
       The principal funding assistance is from Pikes Peak National Bank and the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group.
       In case of rain, bands will play at nearby Front Range BBQ.
       The schedule is as follows:
       June 30 - Jim Adam & John Stilwagon.
       July 7 - The Kingsnakes.
       July 14 - Grant Sabin (solo).
       July 21 - Cous and The Bluez Knightz.
       July 28 - Brickyard Blues Band with Rev. Rocky “Gene' Wallace.
       August 4 - The Lethal Lisa McCall Band.
       August 11 - B.J. Estares & Route 61.
       Mesa Trail repairs
       A section of the Mesa Trail will soon be closed for “much-needed resurfacing,” according to a May 27 press release from the Trails and Open Space Coalition.
       “This is a short section of trail along Mesa Road, just up the hill from 30th Street,” the release continues. “If you've ridden on the few feet of experimental surface and found it to be less than ideal, relief is on the way.”
       South Slope hikes
       Eight opportunities will be provided from this month through September for guided hikes of the South Slope of Pikes Peak, with the starting point at the Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
       Red Rock is at Highway 24 and Ridge Road, and participants will caravan from there to the South Slope. The scheduled dates are June 18 and 25, July 9 and 23, Aug. 4 and 27 and Sept. 10 and 18.
       The hikes (7 miles in all, at elevations of 10,500 to 12,000 feet) cost $12 per participant and reservations are required.
       The South Slope is not yet open to the public.
       For more information, call the Trails and Open Space Coalition at 719-633-6884.
       Copper-theft suspects
       Police have arrested two men who are suspects in up to 150 thefts of backflow valves and copper pipe in the Pikes Peak region over half-year or more.
       The Police Department's Scrap Metal Theft Task Force said the victims included residences, schools, city parks and businesses.
       The suspects were identified as William Matuska and Bruce Williams.
       “During the execution of search warrants at the suspects' residences and storage facilities, several backflow valves [used in sprinkler systems] and parts from backflow valves were recovered as well as tools used to steal the backflow valves,” police said.
       The damages/losses - which have also been experienced in different parts of the Westside - are estimated at more than $150,000. The investigation is continuing, police said.

Westside Pioneer/press releases