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“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet service to see who they really are.”
– Will Ferrell  
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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 2 February 2019  

None Black Forest News   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos   None Did You Know?  
None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher   None Marks Meanderings  
None Monkey Business   None News Briefs   None News From D 49   None People on the Plains  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
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Bill Radford

  Faces of Black Forest
  R&R — a decade
  By Bill Radford

   Throughout its 10 years, R&R Coffee Café in Black Forest has changed locations, evolved its menu, added staff and survived the devastating fire of 2013.
   One thing that hasn't changed: a quest for excellence.
   "Sort of the mental space I've always had with this place is the next cup we serve is better than the cup we did before," said owner Ryan Wanner. "It's just that constant mental state of what can we tweak to make it just that much better. We do that on the food and the drink side of things."
   Wanner opened R&R in March 2008, across the street from its current location. In the beginning, the business included just Wanner, his mother-in-law, who prepared from-scratch pastries, and a friend of hers.
   R&R crossed the road to 11424 Black Forest Road in early 2013, more than tripling its space. Today, Wanner has a dozen employees. (His mother-in-law still works there a couple of days a week, and he handles the rest of the baking.) And R&R has an alluring breakfast and lunch menu, from omelets and cinnamon roll French toast to burgers, soups and salads. Wanner looks to local sources for everything he can.
   Although menu offerings were limited by the tight quarters in the initial space, "We realized very quickly that coffee alone wasn't going to fly," Wanner said.
   On the coffee side, Wanner has worked steadily to improve the roast quality.
   Initially, he said, "We had a lot of air style roasting. (While that produces) perfectly fine coffee, it's just that you hit upper limits on what you're able to do with quality after a while." Since switching to a vintage Diedrich roaster about a year ago, he said the coffee quality has just “skyrocketed.”
   Wanner, age 41, developed his interest in roasting when he was a student at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where he received barista training while helping a friend open a coffee shop. "It just hooked me," he said.
   Before opening R&R, he worked at another Black Forest coffee shop that went out of business. "When they closed up there, I bought all the roasting equipment from them."
   Operating a business in the heart of Black Forest has its challenges, Wanner said. Starting a business is tough enough, “But adding in a limited market location like this makes it that much more difficult." Despite that, he said R&R has seen year-over-year growth most years.
   About half of R&R's customers are regulars, he said. "Word of mouth has always been our No. 1 source of advertising here."
   One tool that helps draw business: social media. "I can tell on the weeks we don't post on Facebook, our numbers slow in here,” Wanner said.
   One challenge he and fellow business owners have discussed is how to reap benefits from the new homes and continuing development at the north end of Black Forest.
   "We get our fair share of people coming up from there, but I think we could be pulling in more,” Wanner said.
   What has he learned from a decade in business?
   "Sleep is highly rated," he said, with a laugh, referring to the many hours required of a small-business owner.
   More seriously, he added, "It's just that I never have all the answers. There's always something new to learn, there's always something new I can be doing, there's always something we can refine."
Ryan Wanner, owner of R&R Coffee Cafe in Black Forest, poses next to a vintage Diedrich coffee roaster. Photo by Bill Radford
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  Culvert repairs close Burgess Road in December
  By Lindsey Harrison

   The El Paso County Public Works Department closed a portion of Burgess Road in Black Forest, between Goodson Road and Vollmer Road in December for culvert replacement work.
   Matt Steiner, EPC public information officer, said three pipes were installed perpendicular to Burgess Road to replace existing drainage infrastructure. The culverts had previously been identified as in need of replacing, and work was scheduled to begin Dec. 12, he said.
   The work was completed Dec. 14, although the current asphalt repairs are temporary and will be revisited in the spring when the weather is warmer, Steiner said. Custom flared concrete end sections will also be installed in the spring at that location, he said.
   The county has identified five additional culverts east of Windmill Road that must be replaced when the weather and resources permit, but the EPC will provide advance notification and/or signage in the area to alert community members, Steiner said.
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  AARP Black Forest
  New in 2018
  Submitted by Stanley Beckner

   New in 2018 is the leadership of AARP Chapter 1100 in Black Forest. At an installation ceremony on Jan. 10, Jeremiah Mora, AARP Colorado Associate State Director — Community Outreach, installed and welcomed a new slate of Chapter 1100 officers for 2018. He also presented each new officer with a distinctive lapel pin to confirm his or her position and responsibilities.
   A business meeting followed the usual potluck lunch. Ray Rozak, the 2018 chapter president, outlined some of the important upcoming chapter activities and goals for 2018; and urged all members to attend and participate.
   Rita Fitzpatrick presented a short introduction to The Atlas of Caregiving, with some pertinent life stories, to illustrate the value of individual and family caregiving and planning. She will present an interactive workshop on the subject April 11, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Black Forest Lutheran Church. The workshop will be free and open to the public. Call Rita at 719-573-6895 if you have questions.
   President Ray Rozak reminded chapter members that the annual stroke and heart attack identification instruction will be presented by Chief Rebiski, Black Forest Fire and Rescue, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 14 in the Fellowship Hall of the Black Forest Lutheran Church. This valuable reminder illustrates how to identify a person in distress and emphasizes the urgency to take immediate action. The presentation is free and open to the public. A person need not be a chapter 1100 member to attend. All ages are welcome to hear this potentially life saving presentation.
   The Feb. 14 chapter meeting will begin at 12 p.m. with a potluck lunch, followed by a program by Hilary Valdez from Penrose Hospital. She will discuss how to maintain a healthy heart.
   Chapter members were also reminded that the senior social group, which is open to all, will meet Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. in the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.
   Chapter 1100 membership is open to all ages. For more information, call Ray at 719-495-6767.
The AARP Chapter 1100 officers above were installed at theJan. 10 AARP meeting in Black Forest by, second fromleft, AARP ColoradoAssociate State Director-Communications Outreach Jeremiah Mora.Those installed were DonDinwoodie (left rear), Ray Rozak, Stanley Beckner, Beverly Schaab, Linda Siebe, RitaFitzpatrick; Jim Belk (back),Shirley Karlstrum, Louis Schwarzman and CharlesKarlstrum.Not shown: Patricia Dix,Waldo Pendleton and LavonneHidy. Photo submitted
Rita Fitzpatrick provided an introduction to the Atlas of Caregiving, an interactive family caregiving planning class that she will present from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on April 11 at the Black Forest Lutheran Church in Black Forest. Photo submitted
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  Stroke and Heart Attack Awareness

   The Black Forest AARP Chapter and the Black Forest Fire and Rescue will present a free Stroke and Heart Attack Awareness session from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 14 at the Fellowship Hall of the Black Forest Lutheran Church. The session is free and open to the public.
   Attendees are welcome to stay for the regular Black Forest Chapter meeting and lunch, which commences at noon on the 14th. The program for the day will be by Hilary Valdez from Penrose Hospital, who will speak on how to maintain a healthy heart. For more information, call Ray at 719-495-6767 or Stan at 719-596-6787.
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  No fee senior social

   A monthly informal occasion for seniors is the no fee event. They meet in the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road in Black Forest.
   Seniors are welcome at the Black Forest AARP and Black Forest Lutheran Church monthly informal gathering, held at the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road. The social is from 1 to 4 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month, and all are invited to socialize, play games, work on hobbies or to simply sit and talk about “whatever.”  Light refreshments are available. For more information, contact Lavonne at 719-494-1276.
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  Black Forest Women’s Club

   The Black Forest Women’s Club next meeting is Feb. 8 at the Lutheran Church on Black Forest Road. Refreshments and coffee will be served at 9:30 a.m. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. The program will be presented by a train enthusiasts! Come hear interesting facts about trains and Steve’s plans to lay tracks in his yard!
   We support local charities and Wolfred School children at Christmas time.
   Visitors and guests are always welcome. Any questions, call 719-495-3846.
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  Boy Scout Troop 70 chili dinner and silent auction

   Enjoy a bowl of hot chili with baked cornbread, fresh salad and homemade desserts and drinks at the annual Boy Scout Troop 70 chili dinner and silent auction Saturday, Feb. 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Black Forest Community Center. The cost is $5 for adults and kids over age 12; $4 for seniors 55-plus; $3 for kids age 12 and under and all Scouts in uniform.
   All proceeds benefit Boy Scout Troop 70. The Black Forest Community Center is located at 12530 Black Forest Road.
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  Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild Scholarship

   The Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild Scholarship was created in 2006, and is awarded annually to a graduating senior attending a high school (public, private, charter or home school). Applicants must physically reside within the boundaries defined in the application. Applicants must demonstrate academic competence, strong community involvement and school participation. Eligible students should intend to enroll in an accredited college, university or other institution of formal education by the fall of 2018.
   The Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild was established in 1964 and is the longest, continuous craft guild in the western United States. It consists of local artists and crafters who annually donate to groups and individuals that enhance the Black Forest community. Members of the guild, the local community and patrons of our spring and fall craft shows, fund the scholarship program.
   Applications can be downloaded from the Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild website: All applications will be reviewed by the scholarship committee — members of the guild. If interested, complete the scholarship application and postmark on or before, Friday, April 27. Late applications will not be accepted. Please submit applications to Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild, P.O. Box 88222, Black Forest, CO 80908.
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