Missing Links Solid Local Predictions for 2016 Rick Langenberg

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Politics and Culture

*The Woodland Station area in downtown Woodland Park will feature a new Medieval Jousting Center this summer to host conflicts between officials and elected leaders from the Teller County and Woodland Park governments, as part of a needed team building enterprise. The new center will debut in July with a heavily promoted sword duel between County Commissioner Dave Paul and WP Councilman Bob Carlsen. If successful, the center may become the starting point for a new Summer Medieval festival that may compete with the Renaissance festival in Larkspur.

“We always had Medieval tendencies in this area,” will announce Paul, who originally sought a fight with the local media, or with the operators of Teller County Waste. The new center will mimic slightly the bid of the late author/journalist and New York City mayoral candidate Norman Mailer, who once campaigned on the premise of having sword fights in Central Park to resolve neighborhood disputes. Plus, after three more failed development bids at Woodland Station, the Jousting Center will gain the political support of WP leaders.

*The Woodland Park Aquatic project will take another side route, with plans unveiling for constructing the pool hub next to the Shining Mountain Golf Course clubhouse, replacing the current driving range. This announcement will follow after another troubling environmental report in January regarding the location, proposed at the end of 2015, at the WP High School. As a result, the cost of the project will hit the $20 million mark and fuel the possibility of another bond issue for the extra expenses. The project, in fact, will be listed in the Guinness Word Record book for the longest campaign for a recreation/aquatic hub in the United States.

*The city of Woodland Park, under the guidance of Manager David Buttery, will post speed limits of 10 miles per hour in the downtown core, starting in April. “We need people to really slow down. This way people won’t go through any more red lights,” will announce Buttery, in a press release. “This is a public safety measure and has nothing to do with recent speeding tickets.” The announcement, though, will trigger concerns over more road rage incidents.

*The city of Woodland Park will set a new record for the most ballot issues ever proposed in April, including a new proposition for a mayoral/city manager form of government similar to what occurs now in Colorado Springs and mandatory incentive packages for new development projects. Plus, another issue will set the stage for the expansion of the DDA district to extend to a 20-mile area that encompasses several communities, including the growing Charis Bible College campus.

*Due to some serious lobbying from several local journalists, the Green Mountain Falls government and the Blue Moose Tavern will form a partnership for the development of a new 10,000 square-foot bar/lounge addition in the GMF Town Hall to handle their six hour meetings on Tuesday evenings and four-hour executive sessions on Goose-gate and other fine subjects. “There is no entertainment that I can provide at the Blue Moose that competes with these meetings,” will announce Blue Moose owner Karla Penner. “We are already planning a Tuesday Margarita special after the fourth executive session of the year.” As an added incentive, anyone who talks louder than board critic Mac Pitrone in the new GMF Town Hall Lounge will automatically receive three free drinks.

*The Colorado Department of Wildlife will file a lawsuit against the town of Green Mountain Falls for its continued prohibition against feeding waterfowl in late summer 2016.“I told everyone this was going to happen,” will warn resident Ann Pinell, the infamous Goose Lady of Green Mountain Falls. “As I have said before, ducks and geese are not wildlife.”

*Cripple Creek will host a gun fight with the city of Black Hawk to determine the fate of the controversial Ameristar resort. If successful, Cripple Creek will hopefully get state historic preservation to rip up the 33-story resort and turn it into a gaming museum. If they lose the battle, Black Hawk will construct another 40-story project.

*Cripple Creek Marketing Director Steve Kitzman will announce 16 new events and festivals, giving extra meaning to the town’s new identity as ”Truer, Grittier and Wilder.” By the end of the year, some experts will even call Cripple Creek, “Deadwood West.”

*The American Eagles Overlook will be relocated in downtown Victor and will feature a new major attraction. “What better way to promote Victor,” will announce CC&V spokepeson Jane Mannon..

*Teller County will finally bite the political bullet and legalize recreational marijuana in early June following the filing of six lawsuits regarding the jail. “We regret this decision,” according to Teller County Administrator Sheryl Decker. “But we must look out for our bottom-line,” she will add in citing new reports from Manitou Springs, indicating the town raking in $20,000 a day in marijuana-related tax revenue. “You can’t deny the spirit of private enterprise,” will announce County Commissioner Marc Dettenrieder, who actually rendered one of the original dissenting votes when the board outlawed cannabis retail outlets during a previous hearing in 2014. “I am glad these guys are finally on the right track and are standing up for individual rights,” will announce attorney Michael Slivka, a big proponent of Amendment 64.

*The Shining Mountain Golf Club will gain recognition as the new site of the annual Longest Driving Contest, sponsored by the PGA tour, with the prospects of a 475-yard t-shot blast with the help of the High Country altitude. “This has been a dream of mine for years,” will announce head greens-keeper and golf maintenance director Jodie Hale. “I have been known for hitting drives of this length myself, but that’s according to statistic and score-keeping antics of certain people from TMJ, which is always very suspicious.”

People
*In a move that will stun political observers, Teller County Sheriff Mike Ensminger will select Eli Stone, TMJ columnist and local restaurant co-owner/manager as his new media spokesman. “It has come to my conclusion that we agree on many big issues, such as gun control, constitutional rights and combating Islamic terrorism. We both are facing editorial threats from a former Teller County Commissioner candidate and a member of the Democratic Party. My stand is final and Murf is now my right-hand man,” will announce Ensminger. “No one, even people in the upper ranks of TMJ, can reverse this decision.”

*Photographer Charles Chambers will spearhead the first ever hike up Pikes Peak in sandals and beach attire in February in celebration of his previous outing with the Teller County Search and Rescue club for a training exercise that almost forced certain Search and Rescue members to bury him in the snow for the sake of outdoor ethics. Chambers will accompany popular Colorado author Jon Krakauer, known for such epic adventure mountaineering real/life stories as “Into Thin Air” and “Into the Wild,” for a new book on what to do when surviving in the high country with faulty attire. “I see this as a possible sequel to the movie “Everest,” will announce Krakauer, in a press conference in Boulder.“I am always a big supporter of Hollywood productions,” will announce Chambers.

*Cripple Creek City Admininstrator Ray DuBois will embark on a new career as a professional race car driver and make a major bid this summer at beating Clint Vahsholtz and other local greats in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. During the announcement of his bid to turn pro, he will tout a special ride in an electric vehicle last summer that beat the sound barrier. “I credit everything to a certain journalist who rode with me and encouraged me to shatter all speeding records,” will say DuBois. Needless to say, he won’t be driving in downtown Woodland Park with his race car, unless he plans to confront City Manager David Buttery in a tank.

*Cripple Creek City Councilman Terry Wahrer, who helped orchestrate the campaign for limited stakes gaming, will get appointed to another council seat, following another resignation in the summer, and set a local record for the person appointed to the most positions in Cripple Creek, while winning the fewest elections. “I just can’t leave Cripple Creek. It must be the fine influence of Tim Braun or Chris Hazlett or the great atmosphere of Ralf’s.”

*TMJ Production Manager Dr. John Jones will get the nod from Dallas Cowboys Owner/King Jerry Jones as the team’s new marketing consultant. “I should be happy with the appointment, but this makes me the 40th consultant for the Cowboys in the last few years. Jerry just can’t make up his mind about anything. Maybe he should move to Teller County. Football is a little bit different up here in the North,” will announce Jones

*TMJ Trouble-maker Rick Langenberg will launch another losing campaign to get certain old rockers, such as the Yes band from the 70s, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio. This time he will send bones and skeletons from old fans and former members. But as usual, Jann Wenner, Dictator or the Rolling Stone Magazine, will guard the entrance to this fine institution with his sword, and say absolutely No to Yes for the 20th time.

Have a Great and Happy 2016!