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"May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right."
– Peter Marshall  
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  Volume No. 18 Issue No. 7 July 2021  

None Book Review   None Business Briefs   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher   None Health and Wellness  
None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News From D 49   None Pet Adoption Corner  
None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Wildlife Matters  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In

    Military Appreciation Day
    A Walk in the Park
    A very military month
    Master plan final say
    Next phase of BLR slated for 2022
    Building and real estate update
    County news release May 26
  Military Appreciation Day

   The American Legion Dane R. Balcon Post 2008 held a Military Appreciation Day event May 15 at Dane R. Balcon Park. Plenty of activities were available for attendees. NFH Reporter Pete Gawda took photos of the gathering.
The following members represented American Legion Dane R. Balcon Post 2008 at the event: (from left to right), Penny Cabalar, Mikaylah Cabalar, Jennifer Kendig and Brandon Cabalar, commander of the post.

Stacy Dutton and Tyler Warrick from Painted Paws for Veterans manned a booth at the park. Warrick founded Painted Paws for Veterans as a nonprofit organization to rescue dogs from kill shelters and train them to be comfort dogs for injured veterans.

(From left to right), Sue Chapman, Grace Chapman and Luci Kimbal represented Girl Scout Troop 43820.

The two rock climbing walls were a big hit with the kids.

Chaplain Bob Deck of the American Legion Dane R. Balcon Post 2008 participated in the day’s activities as well.

Bill Shield and Katie Schneider of PCS Alliance Realty set up an information booth at the event.

U.S. Air Force JROTC cadets from Falcon High School presented the Colors: (from left to right) Michaela Wright, Alan McDonald, Garrett Westphal and Izabel Noe.
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  A Walk in the Park
  Photos by Cara Lord-Geiser

   A “Walk in the Park” fundraiser to raise awareness for lupus took place May 29 at Longview Park in Meridian Ranch. Lupus affects 1.5 million Americans. Money from fundraisers goes to research, new treatments and awareness. There is no cure, but medical treatments can help to control the disease.
Richard and Christine Stearns-Houde of Meridian Ranch organized and hosted the first annual Falcon Lupus Walk in the Park. The couple is also hosting a bingo night June 24 in person and virtual at Meridian Ranch recreation center. Contact or 719-216-6200. They are also sponsoring a craft fair in Longview Park July 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; booths still available for $50.

Emma Chandler, age 3, from Merdian Ranch, is deserving of a special treat for “walking” the event with her mom.

Reno Nevada resident, David Stearns, made the trip to the Lupus event in support of his daughter, Christine Stearns-Houde.

Falcon High School juniors Rachel Habermas (left) and Ashley Zilverberg entertained the attendees with face painting and bubbles!
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  A very military month
  By Ava Stoller

   June is replete with military significant events such as the anniversary of D-Day in World War II, the anniversary of the outset of the Korean War, the United States’ Army’s 246th birthday, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness month.
   This year is the 77th anniversary of D-Day, the largest Allied invasion of World War II on the Normandy beaches in 1944. It was a crucial moment and turned the tide of the war in the Allies’ favor. The most recent American Legion Magazine includes journal entries from a 14-year-old French boy, Paul Renaud, from June 1 through June 7. He chronicles the liberation of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, a French town regarded as Kilometer 0 in the march to victory in the European theater. Three battalions of paratroopers landed on June 5 through June 6 to secure the town. The German’s counterattack from perhaps neighboring towns trapped townspeople in a trench as they took refuge in between the Allies and German fighting. Renaud ends his night of June 6 into June 7 with, “A short time later, we hear tanks on the road from Ravenoville. The Yankees arrive. We are safe.”
   Shortly after the historic win of World War II came the Korean War — also known as the forgotten war, possibly due to the fact that it was never officially declared a war. According to Air Force Magazine, to get around the necessity of asking Congress to declare war, President Truman called it a “police action.”
   After the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Korea, which was under Japanese control, was split on the 38th Parallel. From, the north half was occupied by the Soviet Union where they set up a communist government, and the United States gave financial and military support to the southern half, encouraging a republic.
   On June 25, 1950, the North Korean People’s Army surprised South Korea’s forces and quickly headed toward the southern capital of Seoul. According to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions website, Resolution 83 determined that the armed attack constituted a breach of peace. It recommended that members of the United Nations provide South Korea with assistance to repel the armed attack and restore international peace and security to the area.
   Cold War tensions were a prominent element in the conflict. According to, the Korean War saw the United States follow its policy of containment as it worked to block aggression and halt the spread of communism. As such, the Korean War may be seen as one of the many proxy wars fought during the Cold War.
   The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was a defining moment in the war. From the Official U.S. Marine Corps website in a story by Ned Forney, “Changjin” as it is called in Korea, was a two-week-long bloodbath pitting 30,000 U.S., Republic of Korea and British troops against 120,000 Chinese soldiers.
   Fighting in the winter of 1950 in bitter cold and brutal terrain, men endured severe frostbite, sleepless nights and total mental and physical exhaustion. Below-zero temperatures, snow-covered mountains, icy roads and wind-swept cliffs made every skirmish, firefight, and attack a nightmare beyond imagination. With tens of thousands of young Americans and Chinese locked in eye-to-eye, hand-to-hand combat in the desolate, freezing mountains surrounding the Chosin Reservoir, the death toll soared.
   By late November 1950, 1st Marine Division and 31st Regimental Combat Team, surrounded and vastly outnumbered, were on the verge of annihilation. As casualties mounted, the generals realized there was only one way to avoid a catastrophic defeat: break out to the sea. By the time U.S. forces, with thousands of North Korean refugees in tow, reached the evacuation beaches, nearly 6,000 Americans were dead or missing; thousands more were wounded. None of the men who survived the horrific battle would ever be the same. Today they are called “The Chosin Few.”
   A commonality between all wars is the presence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs website, descriptions of PTSD symptoms can be dated back to the 1700s and even earlier in literary accounts by Homer (“Iliad”), Shakespeare (“Henry IV”) and Charles Dickens (“A Tale of Two Cities”). In 1761, an Austrian physician, Josef Leopold Auenbrugger, wrote about “nostalgia” among soldiers who experienced military trauma, reporting missing home, sleep problems, anxiety and feeling sad. In the Civil War, it was called "soldier's heart" or "irritable heart” — soldiers were often returned to battle after receiving drugs to treat the symptoms.
   Throughout time, the symptoms have remained generally the same but the name constantly changes. From the VA’s website, some symptoms of present-day PTSD were known as "shell shock" because they were seen as a reaction to the explosion of artillery shells. "War neuroses" was also a name given to the condition during this time. As treatment, soldiers may have received a few days rest before returning to the war zone. In World War II, the diagnosis was replaced by Combat Stress Reaction, also known as "battle fatigue." With long surges common in World War II, soldiers became battle weary and exhausted. Up to half of the WW II military discharges were said to be due to combat exhaustion.
   Finally in 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added PTSD to the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. From, recent data shows about four out of every 100 American men (or 4%) and 10 out every 100 American women (or 10%) will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.
   In 2010, Sen. Kent Conrad pushed to get official recognition of PTSD via a “day of awareness” in tribute to a North Dakota National Guard member who took his life following two tours in Iraq.
   In 2014, the Senate designated the full month of June for “National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month.” The recognition is intended to raise public awareness about issues related to PTSD, reduce the stigma association with PTSD and help ensure that those suffering from the invisible wounds of war receive proper treatment.
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  Master plan final say
  By Leslie Sheley

   The El Paso County Comprehensive Master Plan draft has been two years in the making. On May 5, the first of two meetings took place; members of the El Paso County Master Plan Advisory Committee presented information and statistics to the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners.
   The committee members recommended adoption of the plan.
   Chairman Brian Risley said the plan was launched when county commissioners requested better guidance for making development decisions. He said, at present, they have to consult 10 small area plans (written anywhere from 1977 to 2008), review 21 sketch plans (visual aids used to accompany site plans, drawn anywhere from 1982 to 1986); and there are also several areas with no plans.
   Risley said the master plan advisory committee is made up of people the board of county commissioners felt represented the interests of the whole county. Working with the committee to provide input were subject matter experts, about 200 partner agencies, members of the public and county staff, he said.
   They received 3,000 responses to the master plan survey and had 800 public contacts, Risley said. “Black Forest was a very active area for public input; they provided significant comments through the master plan process,” he said.
   Andrea Barlow, former chair of the master plan advisory committee, recommended adoption of the plan as written to the board of county commissioners. She said, “I just want to emphasize that this has been a very thorough process.”
   Mark Gebhart, deputy director of El Paso County Planning and Community Development, said the plan will be used to evaluate development proposals and to coordinate local and regional initiatives going forward. He said the plan will also give guidance to establish a regulatory framework for the future.
   Gebhart said it would have been cost prohibitive to update each of the 10 small plans and develop plans for the areas that didn’t have one. He said they also found inconsistent terminology in some of the Tri-Lakes area plan. “That sort of thing has created battles on planning commissions relative to what the plans really said/meant in those areas at the time it was written,” Gebhart said.
   John Houseal, principal and cofounder of Houseal Lavigne Associates (consultants to the process), reviewed the 14 chapters of the plan, the key areas of the county from a land-use perspective, areas of change and the identified place types (a design tool used to guide and evaluate urban development in terms of form, scale and function in the built environment).
   He said the study area is more than 2,100 square miles. Of that, 14% of the county is protected conservation area; 70% falls in the minimal change, undeveloped area; 6% falls into minimal change because it already has development in place and 90% of the county will see little to no change in terms of development. Houseal, said most of the development will take place in 10% of land area.
   People get nervous when they hear “priority development areas” — these are areas where anticipated development might be proposed, he said. They are not areas that would require an illogical extension of resources, services and infrastructure or would have a major impact on the rural or environmental character of the county, Houseal said. “The plan identifies priority development areas as this prevents leap frog development and premature conversion of rural lands into developed intense areas,” he said.
   “The best way to think of a comprehensive master plan is that it is a foundation for decision making; it is not regulatory, and it is not zoning. It does not dictate what you can and cannot do with your property; it is meant to guide staff, developers, commissioners, business investors, and council members to make decisions in a uniform manner and work toward mutual objectives several years out.”
   Also included in the plan is a matrix that includes a specific strategy the county can take to fulfill each objective and ensure goals are accomplished. “We intentionally planned this part with the goal of getting things done,” he said.
   Public comments were addressed after the lunch break.
   Update: The El Paso County Board of County Commissioners voted 8-0 to approve the plan at the May 26 meeting. 
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  Next phase of BLR slated for 2022
  By Pete Gawda

   On May 26, the Colorado Springs City Council approved the master plan amendment, right of way vacation, PUD zone change, and concept plan for Banning Lewis Ranch, Village A by Oakwood Homes.
   The Village A phase will include building a portion of Banning Lewis Parkway, with a narrower right of way.
   Katelynn Wintz, senior planner with Colorado Springs Planning and Development, said the proposed amended master plan for Village A will include 297 acres of vacant land, stretching southward from an extended Dublin Boulevard to an extended Stetson Hills Boulevard. It will be bound on the east by the proposed Banning Lewis Parkway.
   Scott Smith, vice president for land development at Oakwood Homes, said the new homes in Village A will be a mixture of various types of home construction, from single-family homes to carriage homes (a cluster of four separate homes that share a driveway). The plans also include Oakwood Homes Sterling Duets Collection — homes that share a common wall, but Smith said they are not duplexes.
   Smith said the anticipated total number of homes in Village A will be about 1,130. He said construction of new homes should start in early 2022.
   Oakwood Homes plans to donate land for schools, Smith said. If there is any outstanding obligation to schools after the land donation, then Oakwood Homes will be responsible for paying fees to the school district, Wintz said. Smith also said that Oakwood Homes would be working with the city to provide land for fire and police stations.
   Wintz said there will be two community parks totaling 15 acres included in the 28 acres reserved for open space and trails. She said Village A will also have stream-side trails and open space corridors allowing pedestrian access to the adjacent villages.
   The right of way for the proposed Banning Lewis Parkway was narrowed from 300 feet to 142 feet as part of the 2018 amendment to the original 1988 developers’ agreement for Banning Lewis Ranch. When the developers’ agreement was amended, Wintz said the proposed development pattern and the residential development revealed that the 1980s studies were incorrect in assuming an expressway-level roadway would be required. She said the developing land use pattern dictates a lesser roadway classification.
   Todd Frisbie, city traffic engineer, said the narrower right of way is sufficient to provide six travel lanes. When expansion becomes necessary from the currently proposed four lanes, he said the additional two lanes would be constructed in the median. Frisbee said the timetable for construction of the Banning Lewis Parkway is driven by new development. Developers build sections as needed to provide access to new development and to connect to existing roadway infrastructure, Frisbie said.
   While Frisbie said the amended developers’ agreement states that developers will pay for their own required improvements for the parkway, Smith said construction will be funded by the Banning Lewis Development districts that were recently approved by the City Council. Smith said ultimately the new residents will pay the cost for construction of streets in Village A through the costs of the homes and in fees charged by the metropolitan districts.
   Smith said the Banning Lewis Parkway is scheduled to be constructed from Dublin Boulevard north to Woodmen Road later this year. He said the extension of Dublin Boulevard is also scheduled for that time. Construction of the first section of the Banning Lewis Parkway from Dublin Boulevard south will begin in 2022. The balance will be connected as necessary to serve local traffic, Smith said.
   The City Council is also considering the use of a 15-acre site on the corner of Dublin Boulevard and Banning Lewis Parkway for commercial development.
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  Building and real estate update
  By Lindsey Harrison

   Paint Brush Hills subdivision
   The El Paso County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a request by Aeroplaza Fountain LLC and Heidi LLC for preliminary plans to create 224 single-family residential lots on 88.63 acres in the Paint Brush Hills subdivision. The property is located at the northwest corner of Keating Drive and Devoncove Drive, about 1.25 miles northwest of the Meridian Road and Londonderry Drive intersection. It is zoned residential suburban-6,000 and RS-20,000 and included within the boundaries of the Falcon/Peyton Small Area Master Plan and the Black Forest Preservation Plan.
   Rex Road at Meridian Road intersection project
   The commissioners unanimously approved a request for a contract amendment resulting in a change order to AECOM Technical Services Inc. for civil engineering design services for the Rex Road at Meridian Road intersection project for $333,100. The amendment provides professional services to complete the final design of the project, including finalization of the construction plans and specifications, right-of-way plans and subsurface utility engineering plans.
   EPC Fairgrounds
   The BOCC unanimously approved a contract and purchase order to Pyramid Construction Inc. for the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility improvements at the Fairgrounds North parking lot for $179,965. Improvements will bring the parking lot up to ADA capability and standards. The project has a target completion date of June 30, in preparation for the EPC Fair July 10.
   Winsome subdivision
   The commissioners unanimously approved a preliminary release of credit for subdivision improvements for the Winsome Filing No. 1 subdivision for $330,001.80. All improvements have been completed and inspected.
   Rolling Hills Ranch subdivision
   The BOCC unanimously approved the preliminary release of a bond for subdivision improvements for the Rolling Hills Ranch subdivision for $2,015,139.00. All improvements have been completed and inspected.
   Wyoming Estates minor subdivision
   The commissioners unanimously approved a request by Home Run Restorations Inc. for a minor subdivision to create four single-family residential lots on 40.01 acres in the Wyoming Estates. The property, zoned RR-5, is located on the west side of Curtis Road, about 2.75 miles north of Highway 94. The lots will measure as follows: 5.15 acres, 5.08 acres, 5.06 acre and 21.19 acres, with 3.53 acres dedicated for future public right of way. The property is included within the boundaries of the 2003 Highway 94 Comprehensive Plan.
   Homestead North at Sterling Ranch subdivision
   The EPC planning commission unanimously approved a request by SR Land LLC to rezone 65.29 acres from RR-5 to RS-6,000 in the Homestead North at Sterling Ranch subdivision. The property is located at the northeast corner of the Vollmer Road and Briargate Parkway intersection and included within the boundaries of the Falcon/Peyton Small Area Master Plan and the Black Forest Preservation Plan.
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  County news release May 26
  Old Meridian Road closed

   Drivers can expect new traffic alignment on US 24 during closure
   Starting on June 9, the El Paso County Department of Public Works’ Contractor, HEI Civil, will close access to Old Meridian Road north of U.S. 24 and will temporarily realign the southwest-bound lanes of U.S. 24 at the intersection for approximately 5 weeks, depending on weather. Traffic on U.S. 24 will be moved to the northeast-bound lanes and will be limited to one lane each direction, and left turns will be prohibited in either direction throughout the intersection. During the closure, crews will construct roadway improvements along the north side of the intersection and begin the conversion to right-in/right-out only function for the new intersection configuration in connection with the U.S. 24 and Meridian Road Improvements Project.
   Detour information:
  • Motorists shall follow the detour to access the north side of Old Meridian Road using U.S. 24, New Meridian Road, and Rolling Thunder Way
  • Business access at the south side of the intersection will remain open during the closure but can only be accessed from the northeast-bound lane of U.S. 24
  • Left turns on and off U.S. 24 to and from Old Meridian will not be available during this closure

   Work on this project consists of:
  • Connecting “New” Meridian Road to U.S. 24 and extending it to Falcon Highway
  • Creating a full movement signalized intersection at “New” Meridian Road and U.S. 24
  • in/right-out access only
  • Constructing a Park-n-Ride facility south of U.S. 24 adjacent to “New” Meridian and “Old” Meridian
Typical work hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Limited weekend or night work is possible. All work is dependent on weather and resource availability. The construction schedule is subject to change. Project completion is anticipated in Fall 2021. Future updates will be provided as the project transitions through each phase.
   Drivers are reminded to reduce speeds and to watch for workers, equipment, signs, and barricades. El Paso County wishes to thank drivers in advance for their cooperation.
   Cautious and attentive driving within the project area will ensure the safety and efficient completion of this project. Funding for this project is provided by the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA), the Federal Highway Association, and El Paso County.
   For more information and questions:
   Phone: 719-219-6865
Meridian Road closure in Falcon: photo is taken near Big O Tires and Diamond Shamrock, facing east. Photo by Cara LordGeiser
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