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Next week, Donald Trump releases his new budget. It's expected to cut spending on things like the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Good!

by John Stossel

Government has no business funding art. When politicians decide which ideas deserve a boost, art is debased. When they use your money to shape the culture, they shape it in ways that make culture friendlier to government.

As The Federalist's Elizabeth Harrington points out, the National Endowment for the Arts doesn't give grants to sculpture honoring the Second Amendment or exhibitions on the benefits of traditional marriage. They fund a play about "lesbian activists who oppose gun ownership" and "art installations about climate change."

The grant-making establishment is proudly leftist. A Trump administration won't change that. During the Bush II years, lefty causes got funding, but I can't find any project with a conservative agenda.

It's not just the politics that are wrong. Government arts funding doesn't even go to the needy. Arts grants tend to go to people who got prior arts grants.

Some have friends on grant-making committees. Some went to the same schools as the people who pick what to subsidize. They know the right things to say on applications so they look "serious" enough to underwrite. They're good at writing applications. They're not necessarily good at art.

Defenders of public funding say their subsidies bring things like classical music to the poor. But the truth is that poor and middle-class people rarely go to hear classical music, even when subsidies make it cheap.

Subsidies pay for art rich people like. Like so many other programs, government arts funding is a way for the well-connected to reap benefits while pretending to help the common man.

The Trump-hating left is incensed at the idea that government might stop funding the arts.

USA Today reports that "arts groups" will "battle President Trump." A Washington, D.C., lobby says it will mobilize 300,000 "citizen activists."

We can count on the media to distort the issue.

The New York Times ran the headline: "Why Art Matters." Of course it matters. But "art" is different from "government-funded art."

New York Magazine ran a photo of Big Bird, or rather a protester dressed as Big Bird, wearing a sign saying "Keep your mitts off me!" What New York doesn't say is that the picture is three years old, and Big Bird's employer, "Sesame Street," no longer gets government funds.

We confronted the article writer, Eric Levitz. He said, "Big Bird has long functioned as a symbol of public broadcasting ... Still, considering 'Sesame Street's' switch to HBO, I concede that some could have been misled."

You bet.

Big Bird doesn't need government help. "Sesame Street" is so rich that it paid one of its performers more than $800,000.

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Laura Carno Educating Citizens About Ballot Initiative that Allows City to Keep $6 Million in TABOR Refunds

Laura Carno


 
Press Release (Laura Carno)

I Am Created Equal, organized as a 501(c)4, announced today the launch of a citizen-led radio advertisement campaign focused on educating voters about Colorado Springs Ballot Issue 2, which will be on the Colorado Springs Municipal ballot this April.
 
If passed, Issue 2 will permit the City of Colorado Springs to retain up to $6 million in TABOR refunds. If Issue 2 doesn’t pass, the $6 million will be returned to the taxpayers.
 
“Mayor John Suthers and the City Council haven’t demonstrated that they are willing to properly prioritize taxpayer dollars,” said Colorado resident and I Am Created Equal founder Laura Carno, who recently wrote a blog on this topic. “They need to remember that every dollar they spend is a dollar you and I earned.”
 
Visitors to the IAmCreatedEqual.com site can hear the new “Not One More Dime” radio ad, donate to I Am Created Equal in support of the new radio ads, and read about what the City of Colorado Springs is actually spending your tax dollars on.
 
For more information, please visit IAmCreatedEqual.com. To schedule an interview about this campaign, contact Laura Carno at 719-492-0211 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
Script for Radio Ad:
 
Mayor Suthers, this is Laura Carno.  Mayor, when is enough enough?  I’m a fiscal conservative, and you’re supposed to be a conservative too, so why do you keep asking voters for more money?  You asked for fifty million to fix the roads.  You increased the budget by thirteen million.  And now you want another 6 million.  Mayor Suthers, we haven’t heard a single word from you about making the budget more efficient.  Not one cut, not one tough decision.  Just more, and more and more.  We all want our city to thrive, Mayor.  But we want you to look out for our pocketbooks.  You paid sixty thousand dollars a year for someone to be in charge of bike paths and you gave city employees a free medical clinic the rest of us can’t even use.  Now you’re shoving Measure Two onto taxpayers — the same taxpayers who already fund hundreds of millions for your city budget.  Until you get out a red pen and make some hard decisions, you shouldn’t get one more dime. 

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Press Release

Starting later this spring and summer, Frontier Airlines will launch seasonal service to five cities from Colorado Springs. The new cities include Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington. Later this fall, Frontier will add new seasonal service to both Fort Myers and Tampa, Fla. Frontier is offering special introductory fares as low as $29* on these new routes as of today at Flyfrontier.com.



“It’s been just over a year since we announced we were returning to Colorado Springs with our non-stops to Las Vegas,” said Barry Biffle, Frontier’s president and CEO. “Thanks to the terrific support of the entire Colorado Springs community as well as the surrounding area after we added Orlando and Phoenix service, we’re able to announce seven new seasonal cities at the same time today.”

“We continue to be extremely pleased with the growth at the Colorado Springs Airport and the commitment displayed to our city by Frontier Airlines. As our air service expands, we want to be sure to encourage all Southern Colorado residents to ‘look before you book – and fly COS whenever possible. It's up to us to support the investment of Frontier and other carriers in our community,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

"Colorado Springs continues to garner national attention for its innovative, collaborative business environment. We know that cost-efficient, reliable transportation options are critical to our city’s success. The expansion of Frontier flights to and from Colorado Springs will help boost our economy as well as further solidify our position among the top business communities in the nation. Thank you to the Colorado Springs Airport and Frontier Airlines for your partnership, your foresight, and your valuable investment in our business community,” said Dirk Draper, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC.

Customers can take advantage of Frontier’s bundled choices, the WORKS℠ or PERKS℠ containing all of Frontier’s most popular options for one low price. The WORKS℠ is available at FlyFrontier.com at time of initial booking and includes one carry-on bag, one checked bag, best available seat including Stretch and Exit Row options, full refundability when canceled at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure, no change fees and priority boarding. The PERKS℠ is available after booking and has the same options as The WORKS℠ except the ability to change flights and refundability.

“Our network continues to expand in markets where people want to fly,” said Josh Flyr, vice president – network planning. “Customer traveling in these new markets will now have a new low-cost option, and with the WORKS℠ and the PERKS℠, we offer the best value in U.S. air travel.”

For more information about Frontier Airlines flights and rates, visit www.flyfrontier.com.

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"Rocking and Rolling Through the Decades" was the monthly theme at Liberty Heights Memory Care, a Colorado Springs Assisted Living Community. The song, "Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear" by Elvis Presley sparked an idea for a fun intergenerational activity. The idea was to spruce up a Teddy Bear that can be given to a warm and loving home and to people who would love to have "Tony the Teddy" (as the Memory Care residents named him) as a permanent resident.  The idea was to have the teddy bear be a positive inspiration to the home that he would finally reside at and for the people who filled the home each day. The positive affirmations that were placed on Tony are meant to make people smile, feel confident and know that life is good, sayings like - "You were made to be AWESOME! - I believe in myself and my abilities - I can make a difference!”
 
Tony the Teddy was lovingly given to the kids at Zach's Place center, a Special Kids Special Families (SKSF) daycare respite facility located in Colorado Springs.  Thanks to Laura Kozlowski, Legacy Court Director at Liberty Heights Memory Care and all the residents that participated in this thoughtful project,  Tony the Teddy is very happy to have found his new home!   Zach’s Place at the Laurie Hillyard Family Center, is one of only two licensed day-care providers in the state of Colorado with the focus and training to provide specialized respite and day care for children with intellectual, physical and emotional disabilities.
 
For more information about SKSF programs, visit online at www.SKSFcolorado.org.  For more information about Liberty Heights Memory Care center visit www.seniorlifestyle.com/property/liberty-heights/.

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The Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC) is awarding nearly $35,000 in grants to eleven Colorado communities and organizations to help fund the planting of more than 500 new community trees in 2017. A diverse array of tree planting, maintenance and education projects are receiving funding. Communities receiving grants include Grand Junction, Durango, Alamosa, Aurora, South Suburban Parks & Recreation District, Monte Vista and Pueblo.

One project receiving funding this year is Durango’s Mountain Middle School’s, "Trees are the answer!" project. This project will help encourage and educate future generations on the principles of planting, nurturing and sustaining a healthy tree population.   Durango’s Mountain Middle School is focused on two areas of the campus that are void of all trees.

Another organization receiving 2017 funding is the City of Pueblo Parks and Recreation Department. They will receive $2,000 for their Municipal Tree Nursery Project. The purpose of the project is to strengthen community ties and partnerships with the City of Pueblo's Urban Forestry Program. Additionally, Pueblo Parks and Recreation will work with a local non-profit organization, Tree's Please, in two ways. First, Tree's Please and the City of Pueblo will create a City-Wide Tree Board. Secondly, the project will initiate a tree nursery to provide trees for future planting projects in the City of Pueblo.

While grant recipient projects vary, a few will add trees to parks, trails, schools, and downtown areas. Many will also focus on countering the threat posed by emerald ash borer (EAB), a non-native pest discovered in Boulder, CO, in 2013. EAB attacks and kills ash trees, which make up about 15% of the state's urban trees. Grant-funded EAB projects this year will plant native and diverse trees beneath existing ash, preparing for their likely eventual decline as EAB spreads across the state.

Each year, the CTC awards thousands in grant money to Colorado communities to help preserve, renew, and enhance one of Colorado's most valuable resources: its urban forest. Aside from aesthetic benefits, urban trees protect the air and water from pollution, save energy by shielding homes from summer sun and winter wind, increase property values, and improve the economic viability of commercial areas.

The Colorado Tree Coalition awarded nearly $50,000 to 17 organizations in 2016. Along with matching funds provided by the grant recipients this helped plant more than 360 trees in communities across Colorado. Each of these projects allowed residents the opportunity to make a difference in their community with a combined total of 3,117 hours of volunteer service.  CTC grants are made possible through the support of the USDA Forest Service, the Colorado State Forest Service, Xcel Energy Foundation, Xcel Energy Vegetation Management, Colorado Public Radio and other private donors, and our Colorado Tree Coalition members and supporters. Since 1991 the Colorado Tree Coalition has awarded 501 grants totaling over $844,000.  These grants have been matched with over $7.8 million in community money and/or time.  As a result of these grants over 74,110 trees have been planted throughout the state.

The Colorado Tree Coalition is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization leading statewide efforts to preserve, renew and enhance community forests. Programs administered by the CTC include, among many others: Trees Across Colorado, ReForest Colorado, the Select Tree Evaluation Program, and the 5th Grade Poster Contest. Learn more about Colorado Tree Coalition programs.