Westside Briefs:
‘Chile Chili’ – new event at Rock Ledge

       A food event titled the Chile Chili Festival is scheduled at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site Saturday, Sept. 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
       The event is organized by That's Natural, a Pueblo-based business “dedicated to promoting sustainable development through local community outreach initiatives,” its website states.
       At the event, about 20 farming-related vendors will offer products or information about efficient ways to grow food, and there will also be about 10 food-specialty vendors. According to an event press release, it will be a “culinary celebration of the chile pepper,” featuring Milberger Farms, which will be roasting green chiles during the festival.
       Entertainment will be provided by the Hometown Circus Clowns, and two visual artists from New Mexico (Jeff Tabor and Trinon Crouch) will be on hand, according to Tisha Casida, founder and director of That's Natural.
       Tickets are $5, with half price for ranch members and no charge to active military.
       Half the ticket proceeds and all of the beer sales will be donated to Rock Ledge Ranch, Casida said.
       The event is separate from the EcoFestival, scheduled Saturday, Aug. 27 at the ranch (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a $4 admission donation), for which a portion of the proceeds will also go to Rock Ledge.
       For more information, call 1-719-252-1763 or go to thatsnatural.info.
       Coke building proposal
       An exercise studio is seeking a parking variance from the city so it can operate in the refurbished, long-ago Coca-Cola bottling plant at 415 W. Pikes Peak Ave.
       Erin McCauley of City Land Use Review is taking public comments about the proposal until Friday, Sept. 2, after which she can make an administrative decision.
       According to the city, a business called Catalyst Athletic Performance wants to use 4,557 square feet at the northeast corner of the 45,000-square-foot building, and is seeking a variance to allow 70 parking spaces where 97 are required.
       Public comments can be submitted at 385-5345 or emccauley@springsgov.com.
       Reading tutors needed
       The Children's Literacy Center is seeking volunteers, ages 14 and older, to tutor more than 100 children in grades 1 to 6 who are behind in reading.
       The Old Colorado City Library, 2418 W. Pikes Peak Ave., is one of the tutoring sites in the free citywide program.
       The center is at 2928 Straus Lane, Suite 100.
       Training for new tutors will begin Aug. 30.
       Using a prepared curriculum focusing on phonic and comprehension skills, tutors work with a child on a one-to-one basis for up to 12 weeks, meeting twice a week for two hours, according to the Literacy Center website.
       For more information, call the center at 471-8672 or go to peakreader.org.

Westside Pioneer/press releases