Westside Briefs:
Library to honor Pioneer’s decade Dec. 14

       The Old Colorado City Library will honor the Westside Pioneer Saturday, Dec. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. for its 10 years as a weekly print newspaper.
       Free and open to the public, the event will include cake and ice cream, a slide projection of front pages over the years and a collection of historian Mel McFarland's Cobweb Corners columns. On hand will be Pioneer founders/ publishers Kenyon and Therese Jordan, who recently announced that their last printed newspaper will be Dec. 19, after which they will retool their website - westsidepioneer.com - and become an online-only publication in January.
       The Jordans' older son Travers, the publication's technical specialist, also plans to attend.
       “For the past decade, through fire and flood, endings and beginnings, history made and in the making, the Westside Pioneer has documented our lives, events, and all that makes the Westside so unique,” writes library information specialist David Rasmussen in a column that appears on Page 3 in this week's Pioneer.
       The Jordans will also bring copies of their recently published children's adventure novel, “The Quest for Bunny Island.”
       For more information, call the library at 634-1698.

As part of continuing fire mitigation work in Red Rock Canyon Open Space, John Biggs of the Mile High Youth Corps watches Dec. 3 as a Siberian elm he had just chainsawed falls in a planned spot.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Red Rock mitigation starts
       The Mile High Youth Corps has begun thinning work on scrub oaks and invasive Siberian elms on 73 acres in the far western portion of the Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
       John Biggs, a Youth Corps assistant crew leader, said this week that the effort is going well, with workers only cutting in areas that have been marked for that purpose by Colorado Springs Parks (Forestry Division).
       Started two weeks ago and slated to last over half a year, the project is aimed at reducing the chance of fire spreading through dead, dying or overgrown vegetation and into the homes just west of Red Rock.
       Cuttings are being fed into a chipping machine on site. The wood chips that remain are being taken to City Parks to be used as mulch.
       The Red Rock work is the main focus of a two-site project that will also include four acres near the Section 16 Trailhead off Gold Camp Road.
       The project was explained at a public meeting in early November. Funds are coming from a mix of city and state funds
       Newspaper recycling loss
       One of the two public newspaper recycling sites on the Westside is about to close.
       The bins that have been located on Pikes Peak Avenue outside the Colorado Springs Shrine Club, 6 S. 33rd St., will be removed sometime between Dec. 10 and 15 because the company that had placed them there believes the service is no longer affordable, according to Dr. Ralph Hathaway, club secretary.
       The bins had been there for eight or nine years, he estimated. “On behalf of the Shrine Club, we want to thank our neighbors for participating in our program for recycling,” he said.
       Any earnings from the recycling were used for Shrine Club charity efforts.
       For the most part, people had not abused the opportunity. A few examples to the contrary were when people dropped trash in the bins or left off furniture. On one other occasion, Hathaway looked inside and found someone amongst the papers who had “probably spent the night there,” he said.
       The remaining newspaper reycling site is at the Uintah Gardens shopping center.
       Regional Park friends plan
       El Paso County Parks is trying to start a friends group for Bear Creek Regional Park.
       A preliminary meeting on the idea, attended by about 10 people, was held Dec. 3 at County Parks Offices off South 21st Street.
       Tim Wolken, director of the county's Community Services Department, e-mailed afterward that the need is accentuated because County Parks “is still significantly below previous funding levels. To address the funding levels, County Parks has significantly expanded our volunteer recruitment, adopt-a-park groups, friends groups and fundraising drives.”
       According to a press release, “a friends group consists of volunteers who assist County Parks staff by providing input on park operations and long-range planning, coordinating park improvement projects, assisting with special events at the park and seeking financial support for improvement projects.”
       For more information, contact Dana Nordstrom, the department's community outreach coordinator, at dananordstrom@elpasoco.comor phone County Parks at 520-7529.

Westside Pioneer/press releases