Friday, April 27, 2007

No left turn planned into complex on Union

When the HealthSouth complex at Austin Bluffs and Union was built, I asked why can’t there be a crossover in the median built for people going north on Union. I was told there was going to be one put in. That has been years ago and there isn’t one yet. While they are doing the construction at Austin Bluffs and Union, why can’t they build the crossover so it would be easier for patients and workers.

- FM

When HealthSouth was built there was no plan for a left turn. “Never was,” said principal city traffic engineer David Krauth, citing the problems it would cause on a busy, fast-moving road. He also said that builders were aware that the interchange would be constructed at that intersection.

Amazing car driven by TV's "Bachelor" not sold here

I was watching “The Bachelor” on television when my boyfriend spotted that gorgeous sports car bachelor Andy drives. He would really like to know what it is and if he can go someplace in Colorado Springs or Colorado to see one up close. Can you help?
- Tammy

ANSWER: It’s quite a vehicle, a Saleen S7 Twin Turbo, considered one of the fastest cars in the world. It can hit 200 mph or possibly more, and goes from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds. Horsepower: 750. The gull-wing doors, which open up instead of out, are reminiscent of the DeLorean.

Now, have your boyfriend sit down for the big one, the price tag: a new Saleen S7 is $602,000 and the bachelor’s super-duper one could run as high as $1 million.

It’s sort of the ultimate in product placement. Steve Saleen, founder of Saleen Inc., let the Jeep-owner bachelor drive the car on the show, taught him how to handle the performance vehicle and introduced his new School of Speed when the bachelor and bachelorettes went on the driving course with 550-horsepower Saleen S281 Extremes. For a time the Saleens were sold at two John Elway Lamborghini dealerships in the Denver area, but they moved them to a different location. Now, you and your boyfriend will have to take a field trip to Scottsdale, Ariz., to see them. For info and photos:

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pikes Peak Center improvements indoors and out

Why are they digging up the lawn in front of Pikes Peak Center? What’s going on

ANSWER: It’s part of the major improvements at the Pikes Peak Center. First they spruced up the interior and, among other things, added some much-needed restrooms.

Now, they’re creating Wells Fargo Plaza out front.What had been a large green expanse of lawn will become a more pedestrian-friendly and inviting area, with new places to stroll and sit, terraced landscaping, a xeriscape garden, an amphitheater for outdoor events and a plaza. Everything should be complete and ready to enjoy by June.

Earlier in “Did You Ever Wonder?” we reported that there would be a new marquee to replace the original one that was having technical difficulties. The new marquee has been installed and calls the center by its new full name: Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Readers have answers about dog obedience competitions

I am wondering if Gazette readers might know about any dog obedience competitions in Colorado? I went to one in California many years ago where mainly military or law enforcement agencies had their dogs compete against each other in different categories. I would love to go to one again.
- Patricia Mork, Falcon

ANSWERS: Joni Weed, Colorado Springs Kennel Club Obedience Trial Chair, e-mailed, “There are many. Here in Colorado Springs, on the 9th and 10th of June the CSKC has their conformation, obedience and rally show at the Phil Long Expo Center. It is open to the public (we love an audience) and the dogs compete in several levels. Bring a folding chair and lounge comfortably at ringside while dogs of all breeds strut their stuff. (
"The Pikes Peak Obedience Club ( holds their annual obedience and rally trials in October in Falcon at the Latigo Trails Equestrian Center. PPOC's dog agility trials are at the same location in July and January.
"The Regional German Shepherd Club has all-breed obedience and rally trials in Colorado Springs in September each year. There are obedience trials in Brighton, Durango, Longmont, Greeley and Pueblo. In addition, agility trials are in Colorado about 45 weekends a year.” There’s not one Web site covering all of the events but a reader said to go to for many Colorado shows.
A reader called to say that Frisbee dogs — possibly 60-80 teams — will be competing June 3 at Bear Creek Park (
You’ll find these events in The Gazette calendars, in the Saturday pet coverage in The Gazette's Life and in Look Out on A2.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Male pronghorn have distinctive markings

Do female antelope have horns? We have several antelope wandering around on our 40 acres and can’t tell males from females.
- Milly Fix, Ellicott

ANSWER: What you're seeing are pronghorn and there is an easy way you can tell the bucks and does apart, aside from looking under the chassis, according to Mike Seraphin of the Division of Wildlife. Both males and females are a light reddish brown or tan with white bands on the throat but the males have black jaw patches on the side of the cheek, close to the neck.

Both the male and female pronghorns have horns, Seraphin said. The bucks have longer horns with the prong that inspired the name. Seraphin said that the horns on pronghorn and big horn sheep never fall off, they just continue to grow even though the outer sheath will sluff off. This is unlike members of the deer family, whose males are the only ones with antlers, which fall off once a year.

An interesting tidbit: when the hairs on the rump of pronghorn stick up in a patch, they’re warning the herd of potential danger such as their main predators — coyotes, bobcats, golden eagles and passing cars.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Readers remember Nevada cruising drive-ins

I believe there used to be a drive-in at the south end of Nevada near Southgate that completed the Nevada Avenue “cruising” circuit for teenagers in the ’50s and ’60s that included Jay’s Drive-In by Colorado College, Garth’s in the center, and this mystery drive-in on South Nevada. I have asked several people if they remember the name of this place and we all draw a blank.

- Don Castle

It was the Fabulous Scotchman, which opened in July 1957 at 1815 S. Nevada Ave. At first its menu was short orders served in woven baskets, but a year later it also had counter and booth service and a dining room with steaks and trout.

Arnie Blair remembers a drive-in further north of the Fabulous Scotchman. "In the 1950’s there was a drive-in called W & W Food Ranch next to Fountain Creek on the east side of Nevada. Two of my co-workers from Alexander Film worked there in the evenings. It was a large complex with the W & W Gas Ranch on the north side. Several of us guys from work used to hang out there in the evenings during our “cruising.” I believe that area is now the home of one of the motels."

Diane Sigler asks: “I grew up in a house on South Nevada, and remember the W & W gas station, but there were a couple of others that I wonder if people remember. There was a place on the corner of Las Vegas and Nevada where an old 7-Eleven building is now. It was some sort of a drive-in restaurant, I just can't remember the name(s). Then there was a place on the corner of Mill Street and Nevada called McHales. It's been long gone and a car lot now sits there.”

A recent “Back Pages — 50 Years Ago” in The Gazette’s Sunday Life referred to Garth’s in the 400 block of South Nevada Avenue and discussed an innovation there: car-hop girls giving orders to the kitchen via walkie-talkie radios.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Weather, not neighborhoods, dictates direction planes take off and land

I live south of the airport and I am aware of periods of increased air traffic (military, commercial and private). The current runway construction may be causing variation from the usual traffic patterns, but in “normal” times, is there an official policy that determines the amount of traffic that flies over the southern and northern residential areas adjacent to the airport? I am interested to know if there is an attempt by airport authorities to be equitable in the sharing of takeoff and landing noise pollution between the two neighborhoods.
- Jeff

ANSWER: It’s not about sharing the noise between neighborhoods, it’s all about the weather, said the airport’s aviation director Mark Earle. "The runways are fixed alignments, and the alignment of this airport was determined decades ago. “You can land or take off in either direction, and both approaches are used. What drives the decision is the weather.

"Aircraft will take off into the wind because it reduces the speed the aircraft must maintain to take off . To aircraft, wind is relative. With the winds behind you, you fly a faster air speed if flying down wind. Pilots take off into the wind. The air traffic controllers choose the runways as they align with the wind and the pilots make the final decision.”

When work is completed on the closed runway, possibly by May 1, the air traffic will be spread out more, Earle said. Earle said housing developments near the airport will see, or hear, more or less traffic depending on the weather. “Airports have noise associated with them, there’s no avoiding that. “The amount of land we purchased around the airport addresses that. We own the land around the airport where the noise impact is the greatest.”