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July 25, 2022


PrideFest Returns After Two-Year Hiatus

Joy Mixed with Concerns Over New Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws, New Monkeypox Virus

PrideFest returned to Colorado Springs after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Celebrations spanned Friday to Sunday in a sweltering and occasionally stormy weekend. The joy at proclaiming gay rights was tempered by a host of new concerns. Monkeypox, the first case of which was recorded in El Paso County last week, has been defined primarily by gay male sex, raising the spectre that the virus will spur some of the same biases seen in the 1980s for HIV and AIDS.

On the legislative front, many attendees worried that some Republicans were taking up the battle cry of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who wanted to use the Roe v Wade decision as a battering ram to reconsider gay marriage. Yet this is an issue sure to split the GOP. When the House of Representatives passed a bill last week confirming gay marriage, many Republicans joined the vote to give the bill a significant, lopsided victory. Yet the bill is unlikely to be heard in the U.S. Senate due to stalling tactics of the leadership. Worse yet, The New York Times listed more than 300 pieces of legislation brought up in state legislatures, which would roll back gay rights on multiple fronts. Republicans on a state and local level appear to be even more conservative than those operating in the federal Congress.

Still, these storm clouds on the horizon could not stop the cheer felt by PrideFest attendees, able for the first time to join together after a long pandemic season of loneliness. Inside Out Youth Services and other local organizations have many summer and fall events planned, to keep PrideFest a year-long observation.


Pikes Peak Women Podcast Talks to New CEO of Peak Vista

On today’s Elevating Pikes Peak Women, we're discussing another new woman in leadership in the Pikes Peak Region.  Host Mary Lou Makepeace introduces us to the new CEO of Peak Vista, Dr. Emily Ptaszek.  They will discuss Peak Vista's services to the community, the new CEO's background in the field, the strengths Dr. Ptaszek sees in the institution, and the vision she sees for Peak Vista and Colorado Springs.    
For topics discussed in the podcast, you can access more information at
Listen to this podcast at Studio 809 HERE 
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Special thanks to Studio 809 Supporter and Community Partner,

Mary Lou Makepeace, Marcy Morrison, Denise Abbott, Karole Campbell, Lindy Conter, Susan Davies, JJ Frazier, Kimberlie Griffis, Melissa Marts, Michelle Ray, Beth Roalstad, Deb Walker, Kayla Zowada


PPJPC Launches Youth Activist Training with Help of Many Volunteers

PPJPC’s Youth Activist Training begins today (Monday) with a full week of activities, including visits to Food to Power and a presentation by Warm Cookies of the Revolution on Monday; an Urban Experience walk on Tuesday; Government and Policy Day on Wednesday, featuring Yolanda Avila and Julie Ott; Environmental Day with a visit to Concrete Coyote Park, as well as presentations by Lindsay Facknitz and Liz Rosenbaum; and an Activist Initiative wrap-up day on Friday.

PPJPC would like to extend sincere thanks to Heidi Cooper as training coordinator, as well as to such allies as Kevin Mitchell of the Food to Power team, Evan Weissman of Warm Cookies, Debbie Vitulli and Bill Thomas of PPLD and Urban Experience, Susan Peiffer of Inside Out Youth Services, Pikes Peak Port Laureate Ashley Cornelius, Andy Petersen of The Place, Corey Almond of Catholic Charities, Yolanda Avila of City Council, Julie Ott of D11, Steve Wood of Concrete Couch, Lindsay Facknitz of Stop Drake, Liz Rosenbaum of Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition, and so many others!

Members can still help out by donating food, from a GrubHub card to a meal preparation, through our Meal Train account. You can check out the way Meal Train works by visiting our web site at 


Peak Environment Podcast 91 Examines Native Plants and Their Role in Providing a Healthy Watershed

Learn about the newly revived Kathleen Marriage Garden at Sondermann Park, and how you can incorporate native plants into your landscape and help support a healthy watershed. Colorado Native Plant Society Executive Director Maggie Gaddis and Fountain Creek Watershed District Interim Executive Director Alli Schuch talk about the history of the garden, how it was brought back to life, and how native plants help support a healthy watershed. They also discuss National Pollinator Month.

Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District
Fountain Creek Watershed info
Fountain Creek Watershed Map
Fountain Creek Brewshed Alliance Map
Colorado Native Plant Society

Register to Virtually Attend the Next Sustainability in Progress meeting
Sustainability in Progress: Stormwater Green Infrastructure Plan
Jul 20, 2022 08:00 AM

You’ll find Podcast 91 here

Also, be sure to check out Podcast 90 on the city’s Green Infrastructure plan. Join City of Colorado Springs Stormwater Enterprise Manager Richard Mulledy as he discusses how a dry winter, long-term drought, and record low levels in major Colorado River reservoirs have all of us wondering what we can do to minimize our water consumption. Kate Larson of Resource Central shares how the organization is helping communities implement programs to encourage homeowners to conserve water.

City of Fountain Conservation and Sustainability Manager Katie Helm also shares the response from community members and why being able to partner with another organization to administer these services is so invaluable. (Resource Central is helping the city of Fountain with Lawn Replacement, Slow the Flow (irrigation evaluations), a smart controller program, and seminars).

Podcast listeners can find this episode by searching for Peak Environment on any podcast app

You can also find Podcast 90 here

Transit Agencies Offer Free and Reduced-Cost Rides Through August

350 Colorado sent out an alert regarding several Colorado transit agencies, who have partnered to encourage the use of mass transit by offering free or reduced-cost rides through August. Here are details:

Would you like to run your errands, go out on the town, and get to work conveniently while helping create the transition to a clean, green economy? Now is your chance, at no cost to you. In August, across the state, we have the opportunity to ride RTD buses, MMT, GET, Poudre Express, light rail, paratransit, the HOP, Access-a-ride, trains to airport and more for free! All cities are eligible for this program and so far we have confirmed Denver Metro area, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Greeley, and Lafayette are participating. And the long-distance intercity “Bustang” routes are 50% off from July 1 to September 5. If you are able, join us in making a commitment to ride transit as much as possible in August, and spread the word to your friends!

 Support better transit! By helping to make this initiative a success and showing overwhelming public support for transit, this will lead the expansion of service that will make RTD even more convenient. Chicken and egg. “If we show up they will build it!” We will also help to lower greenhouse gas emissions and ozone pollution (oil and gas production plays the biggest role in contributing to ozone, but driving is the second highest source.)

 Plot your routes now for all of your usual destinations: use your maps app—it’s easy! The RTD app is also extremely useful! Or you can plan trips or research routes by visiting the agency’s website, where you can use the Trip Planner app, access schedules or sign up for Service Alerts. Next Ride provides real-time vehicle information. To ask questions of RTD during normal business hours (6 a.m.-6 p.m.), call Customer Care at 303-299-6000.

Check out more info about the zero-fare program here. If you want to try out your routes before zero-fare month, you can buy your tickets on the RTD app, or at your local grocery store. Stay tuned for more information from 350 Colorado in the coming weeks.

 If you have questions or want support in doing this, please do not hesitate to email me: I’ve been riding transit since 2019.


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