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Fountain Creek Nature Center is vying for a "Geenie Award".

You can vote for them in the "Community" category (one of 5).

Start here; http://posting.csindy.com/coloradosprings/Survey?survey=3636982

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Press Release

The Griffis/Blessing retail portfolio continues to grow in with the addition of Vickers Place in central Colorado Springs. VIG Alliance, LLC has selected Griffis/Blessing, Inc to provide property management services for the 20,400-square foot retail center anchored by Allstate and Happy Hounds.

The Commercial Property Services Group team of Rita Dugan, ACoM, Portfolio Manager, Elizabeth Miller, Portfolio Assistant, and Cindy Colby, Property Accountant, will handle the day-to-day operations.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with local owner in enhancing the tenant experience and showing our experience in managing struggling retail centers,” says Senior Vice President Richard K. Davidson, CPM®. “This assignment has increased our retail management footprint to over one million square feet.”

Southern Colorado’s largest property manager of commercial and multifamily properties, Griffis/Blessing is headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO with additional offices in Denver. The organization currently manages over 4.5 million square feet of commercial space, and more than 9,300 apartment units located along Colorado’s Front Range. The company has provided award-winning property management and real estate investment services since 1985. For more information, visit www.griffisblessing.com.

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Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity joins national movement in April to address affordable housing needs.

Press Release

One in four households in the U.S. pays more than 30 percent of their income for housing and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing or medical care. In El Paso County, we have one of the fastest rental rate increases in the country, and to afford a two-bedroom rental at fair market value of $950, a family needs an annual salary of $34,234 which is nearly $15,000 greater than full-time employment at minimum wage. To address the critical need for affordable housing in our community and across the country, Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity is joining Home is the Key, a national campaign by Habitat for Humanity International aimed at highlighting the critical need for decent, affordable shelter throughout the month of April.

Everyone is encouraged to stop by the Pikes Peak Habitat ReStore during this season of spring cleaning to donate and recycle items. Donated items stay out of landfills, are repurposed by shoppers, and all proceeds from sales support Habitat for Humanity in building more houses. And now the ReStore offers recycling for metal and procelain items, including broken appliances.

“We have seen firsthand how an affordable home can play a key role positively influencing education, health and financial opportunities for families and individuals,” said Kris Medina, Executive Director of Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity. “Decent shelter is something we all need to thrive, and yet many in El Paso County still live in inadequate housing conditions. We invite our community in joining us in April and help us partner with even more homeowners in need of a hand up and a decent place to call home.”

Founded in 1986 Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity is one of 27 affiliates in Colorado, and is currently developing Country Living, a 34-lot neighborhood in Fountain, Colorado. Building on average six to eight homes every year, Pikes Peak Habitat has assisted 151 families in achieving permanent housing in El Paso County.

To learn how to get involved with Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity, visit www.pikespeakhabitat.org.

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The average American has little knowledge of the extent to which our institutions of higher learning have been infected with a spreading cancer. One aspect of that cancer is akin to the loyalty oaths of the 1940s and '50s. Professors were often required to sign statements that affirmed their loyalty to the United States government plus swear they were not members of any organizations, including the Communist Party USA, that sought the overthrow of the United States government. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down loyalty oaths as a condition of employment in 1964.

Today we're seeing the re-emergence of the mentality that gave us loyalty oaths, in the form of mandating that faculty members write "diversity statements," especially as part of hiring and promotion procedures. They are forced to pledge allegiance to the college's diversity agenda. For example, the University of California, San Diego requires that one's "Contributions to Diversity Statement" describe one's "past experience, activities and future plans to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, in alignment with UC San Diego's mission to reflect the diversity of California and to meet the educational needs and interests of its diverse population (http://tinyurl.com/mm6vzzq)." George Leef, director of research at The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, has written an article titled "Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty 'Diversity Statements'" (http://tinyurl.com/mxy363c). His article documents the growing trend of mandated faculty diversity statements -- such as that !
 at Virginia Tech, in which "candidates should include a list of activities that promote or contribute to inclusive teaching, research, outreach, and service."

College diversity agendas are little more than a call for ideological conformity. Diversity only means racial, sex and sexual orientation quotas. In pursuit of this agenda, colleges spend billions of dollars on offices of diversity and inclusion, diversity classes, and diversity indoctrination. The last thing that diversity hustlers want is diversity in ideas. By the way, the next time you hear a college president boasting about how diverse his college is, ask him how many Republican faculty members there are in his journalism, psychology, English and sociology departments. In many cases, there is none, and in others, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans might be 20-to-1. Nearly 100 percent of political campaign contributions from liberal arts faculty go to Democrats. At Cornell University, for example, 97 percent of contributions from faculty went to Democrats. At Georgetown University, it was 96 percent.

A study by my George Mason University colleague Daniel B. Klein, along with Charlotta Stern, titled "Professors and Their Politics: The Policy Views of Social Scientists" (http://tinyurl.com/qxne3db), concluded: "The academic social sciences are pretty much a one-party system. Were the Democratic tent broad, the one-party system might have intellectual diversity. But the data show almost no diversity of opinion among the Democratic professors when it comes to the regulatory, redistributive state: they like it. Especially when it comes to the minimum wage, workplace-safety regulation, pharmaceutical regulation, environmental regulation, discrimination regulation, gun control, income redistribution, and public schooling."
 

The fascist college trend that we are witnessing today is by no means new. As early as 1991, Yale University President Benno Schmidt warned: "The most serious problems of freedom of expression in our society today exist on our campuses. The assumption seems to be that the purpose of education is to induce correct opinion rather than to search for wisdom and to liberate the mind."

What diversity oaths seek is to maintain political conformity among the faculty indoctrinating our impressionable, intellectually immature young people. Vladimir Lenin said, "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." That's the goal of the leftist teaching agenda.

You might ask, "Williams, what can be done?" Parents, donors and legislatures need to stop being lazy. Check to see whether a college has diversity mandates for faculty. Check to see whether campus speakers have been disinvited. College administrators have closed minds about their diversity agenda, but there's nothing more effective in opening up closed minds than the sound of pocketbooks snapping shut.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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By John Stossel

Somehow, firing Tomahawk missiles at Syria suddenly changed people's opinions of President Trump. Now they call him a "serious" leader.

William Kristol said Trump's action "reassures you."

Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, long critical of Trump, now say he "deserves the support of the American people."

Politicians from France, the U.K., the EU, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Australia expressed their support. So did Hillary Clinton.

"Why is war such an alluring illusion?" asks Jeffrey Tucker, of the Foundation for Economic Education. "Good intentions are never enough to justify government intervention in anything. This is especially true in war, the meanest, deadliest, and most destructive government program ever conceived. And yet we keep doing it."

Trump says pictures of Syrian children killed by nerve gas moved him to order the attack. His supporters say launching the missiles was the "moral" thing to do.

But Syria's dictator killed more children in the past.

In 2013, after a horrible chemical attack, Trump tweeted, "Do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside ... If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay. Stay away."

Fortunately, it appears that these missile strikes didn't kill civilians. But four years ago Trump also said, "What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict?"

What changed? Just seeing pictures on TV?

For years, we've tried to sort out who is on which side in Syria. Last week's attack was an awfully fast switch to military action.

Both Democratic and Republican interventionists focus on Assad as the bad guy. Many say getting rid of him will make the Syrian public less likely to side with ISIS.

Maybe. But they've been completely wrong before about the aftermath of war. In Syria, dozens of factions are fighting each other. We don't know the motives of all of them. Some rebels Assad wants to crush are openly allied with ISIS.

None of this makes Assad a good guy, but it means we don't know what will replace him if he gets toppled. Fourteen years ago, many people thought nothing could be worse for Iraq than Saddam Hussein. The groups unleashed when Saddam fell were worse.

Before that, our support of "freedom fighters" in Afghanistan helped arm the Taliban and eventually ISIS. Today, they kill Americans with weapons American taxpayers paid for.
 

In Libya, Tucker reminds us, "(T)he US intervened with airstrikes to overthrow a terrible dictator but instead of unleashing freedom, the results unleashed a terror army that continues to spread violence and death ... (I)t is not enough merely to bomb a government or regime into disgrace, resignation or obliteration. It is grossly irresponsible not to ask the question: what comes after?"

We don't even know for certain that it was the Syrian president who used nerve gas.

He claims his regime attacked anti-government militias with conventional bombs, and one must have hit gas that the militias themselves stored.

I don't know if that's true, but I have a hard time being as confident as people like John McCain about what's going on over in the Middle East.

Even if Assad was responsible for the nerve gas, it's not obvious that using nerve gas is a more horrendous crime than fighting wars by other means. Nearly everyone seems to think so, and chemical weapons do drift in the air, making them more likely to kill civilians. But families torn apart by conventional bombs take little consolation in knowing that what killed their relatives wasn't poison gas.

If Trump turns out to be like most past presidents, he'll see his popularity rise because he took military action. George W. Bush's approval rating spiked 10 percent after he invaded Iraq. When his father invaded, his approval rating jumped 28 percent.

Trump loves being popular. I fear his new slogan may be "Syria first, then North Korea, then..."

John Stossel is the author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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