Behind the Springs Podcasts

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Can a local government podcast be fun? Jennifer Schreuder and Ted Skroback from the City of Colorado Springs Communications Department say “yes!” Join Jen and Ted twice a month for our lighthearted, in-depth discussions with Colorado Springs' elected officials and employees as we learn what keeps Olympic City USA ranked in the country's top three best places to live. If you enjoy life with Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods but want to be more in the know about what's going on in your city, this podcast is for you.

Questions?

Have a question or comment? Send them to BehindtheSprings@ColoradoSprings.gov

Episodes

Episode 36: Helping people in crisis the right way

Mental health is a big topic right now in the midst of the pandemic. But here in Colorado Springs, we’ve had a unique and effective approach to helping people in crisis for years. It’s called the Community Response Team or CRT. It’s the right care, in the right setting at the right time. Find out why it’s so important to get it right, and how this team impacts you whether or not you’re in crisis. We hear from CRT leaders at the Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado Springs Fire Department and Aspen Pointe Mental Health Services during this important conversation.

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Episode 35: A new experience on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain

The experience at the summit of Pikes Peak America’s Mountain is about to get even better! Hear from two project leaders about the new summit complex and what it will offer, including the latest update on construction at 14,000 feet. Plus, don’t miss your chance to be part of this amazing project. Even a small donation will receive recognition at the new visitors center on top of the world!

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Episode 34: COS burn ban

You can see and smell the smoke and it’s been HOT. But those aren’t the only reasons we have a burn ban in Colorado Springs. Tune in for an interview with Fire Marshal Brett Lacey about how COVID-19 is impacting his decisions and what our fire department is hoping YOU will do – and NOT do - to keep our community safe!

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Episode 33: Summer is ending but the pandemic is not

We’re doing great but it’s not over! Tune in for a pep talk from the Medical Director at El Paso County Health. Dr. Robin Johnson gives details about a new “data dashboard” that will help you stay updated on the latest COVID-19 numbers AND she provides some helpful tips as we wrap up summer and prepare for flu season.

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Episode 32: Improving our parks one potty at a time

There’s a TikTok video with 6 million views AND we’ve been asked to enter for an award … what’s all the excitement about? The city’s most high-tech bathroom at Bancroft Park!  Listen to our conversation with Britt Haley from the Parks Department about this new addition, what it means for park lovers, how it will save money, and how these types of projects are funded. Who knew a potty could be so exciting?!

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Episode 31: It's up to you

Should we send kids back to school?  When will this be over? What can I really do about it? Dr. Leon Kelly from the El Paso County Health Department doesn’t have all the answers, but he has quite a few that will make you think and perhaps realize the power of individual choices in the fight against COVID-19. Stay educated, stay vigilant and stay positive – we hope this conversation will help!

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Episode 30: Colorado’s Small Airport

The Colorado Springs Airport has BIG news about why it’s so great to be SMALL. Ted and Jen talk to Aviation Director Greg Phillips about the benefits of flying small and what COS has to offer to those starting to travel again. We hope you’ll listen to the conversation and consider flying out of our local airport!

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Episode 29: Army Hiring Days

U.S. Army Hiring Days are underway and that impacts Colorado Springs! Tune in to hear from Mayor Suthers and special guests Major General Matthew McFarlane and Recruiting Company Commander Cpt. Josh Trenkel. They talk about what makes the national recruiting event unique and why these efforts can have a significant positive impact locally. We hope you’ll listen to this special episode to learn more about the partnership between the city and the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson!

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Episode 28: Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission

Council Member David Geislinger talks about the formation of a new commission designed to bring policy recommendations to City Council, the Mayor and the Colorado Springs Police Department. Hundreds have applied already and he’ll share some of the goals of the commission and what the community can expect to happen next. Please join Ted and Jen for this important conversation.

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Episode 27: VisitCOS

What’s your plan for the summer? Visit Colorado Springs is the organization dedicated to promoting our region and they’re hoping you’ll choose to explore some attractions in your own backyard! Hear what Visit COS is doing to help us recover and why it’s so critical to our local economy. Plus, you’ll get some great ideas of places to visit and fun things to do!

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Episode 26: Police Advisory Committee

Ted and Jen sit down with City Council Member Wayne Williams to hear about a proposed Police Advisory Committee in response to recent protests in Colorado Springs. City Council held a special session this week to discuss the formation of the volunteer group. Wayne will explain the results of that session and next steps. We hope you’ll join us for this conversation.

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Episode 25: Mayor Suthers and Police Chief Niski

The Colorado Springs Police Chief and Mayor of Colorado Springs share their thoughts about the death of George Floyd, recent protests, the end of a city-wide curfew and what happens next in our community. Spend a few minutes listening to this important conversation.

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Episode 24: City Budget Impacts

You don’t need to have a head for numbers to know the budget forecast is stormy. How will the city keep serving residents during this pandemic and economic crisis? Hear all about the local plan from the city’s Chief Financial Officer, including how the city is prioritizing public safety and other critical services. It impacts you and our entire community! 

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Episode 23: COS Economic Update

It’s hard to find the positive news, but we have some for you! Hear from Dirk Draper with the Chamber & Economic Development Corporation about the current climate, challenges and resources available to local businesses. Find out how the Chamber & EDC is partnering with the city and others to move toward recovery. Ted and Jen talk with him about how this situation is far from easy, but we shouldn’t lose hope for the future of our resilient city! 

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Episode 22: COVID-19 update from El Paso County's medical director

We have officially entered the “Safer at Home” phase in our local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Why can’t we just open everything up? When will we know if we can move to the next phase? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? These are just a few of the questions Jen and Ted ask Dr. Robin Johnson, one of the leading health experts in the Pikes Peak region.  

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Episode 21: Be smart in our parks

Pop Quiz! What does the “Safer At Home” phase mean for our parks, trails and open spaces? It means that things stay the same. They’re still open if you want to get outside … BUT we need you to spread out! Jen and Ted talk with the city’s parks director about some of the issues they’re dealing with and easy ways for you to find new parks and trails to explore.

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Episode 20: Safer at home

Mayor Suthers talks about what the new “Safer At Home” phase means for local residents and he addresses important topics like the latest COVID-19 numbers in El Paso County, the city budget, and potential economic impacts lasting through the summer. He also offers the city’s thanks to everyone taking this pandemic seriously and to essential workers for all they’re doing for our community.

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Episode 19: The show must go on

We’re not sticking to our schedule lately since nothing is quite the way it used to be. But we want to start bringing you podcasts as often as possible right now with important information about COVID-19 and the response in Colorado Springs. What questions do you still have? Have you heard positive stories of community support worth sharing? Please email us at BehindTheSprings@ColoradoSprings.gov. We will continue to keep you informed and hopefully, uplifted during this difficult time. 

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Episode 18: SmartCOS

It’s hard to believe how quickly technology is changing these days! It’s important that our city government be ready to keep up with the latest and greatest ways to improve our services. That’s why we have an Office of Innovation and a “vision” called SmartCOS. Hear from two city employees about how their group is working on everything from smart streetlights to sustainability and what it all means for you!

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Episode 17: Let's talk traffic

Ever wonder how the traffic lights are timed? Or who’s in charge of the hundreds of intersections around the city? It’s no small task and we want to know more about what our City Traffic Engineer does to make sure everyone – whether they’re driving, walking, bicycling or riding the bus – gets around safely and smoothly. Join Ted & Jen as they bust some of the myths about traffic in Colorado Springs!

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Episode 16: training in Olympic City USA

She’s a 2019 World Champion women’s freestyle wrestler and she trains right here in Olympic City USA! Hear from Tamyra Mensah-Stock about her exciting journey as she sets her sights on competing in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 this summer. What’s it like to train in Colorado Springs? What does it take to become an Olympic athlete? Jen and Ted ask these questions and many more. Join them to learn about women’s wrestling and this amazing local athlete who you will hopefully be watching compete on NBC this summer!  

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Episode 15: what's the plan?

Does the city have a plan to deal with all of this growth? Of course! A lot of that centers around our planning department, so we’re talking with the director to get an idea of what our city planners do and what they don’t do. Are you wishing for a certain store or restaurant in your neighborhood? Or do you wish all the development would just slow down? Hear about the city planning’s role and why it’s so important to have a vision for the future of COS.

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Episode 14: validating the new parking rules

The city’s parking enterprise has increase parking rates and extended meter hours downtown for the first time in 14 years. It’s not exactly great news … in fact, even our parking director’s mom had something to say about it!  But Jen & Ted want you to know the reason for the change, where the money is going and how it impacts you. 

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Special Edition: lucky number 13

Colorado Springs is lucky number 13! We feel lucky in Olympic City USA to make it on the New York Times’ prestigious “52 Places to Visit in 2020(link is external)” list. Jen and Ted talk about all the reasons that our city is making headlines like this and why so many people want to live in or visit Colorado Springs! 

 

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Episode 13: what's it like to be mayor?

Jen and Ted have a great conversation with Mayor John Suthers about his job as Mayor, why he chose public service and public office and how he stays focused. He shares the importance of setting goals along with his favorite part of serving as the Mayor of COS. 

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Episode 12: there's an app for that!

Pothole on your street? Want to find the nearest park? There’s an app for that called GoCOS! It’s free to download onto your phone so that the power is at your fingertips. Hear from Citizen Engagement Specialist Jay Anderson about the features of the city’s new app and why the city needs you to use it!

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Episode 11: how you can HelpCOS

Homelessness is a complex issue, but Jen and Ted get some good information from the city’s Homelessness Response and Prevention Coordinator, Andy Phelps. What organizations and agencies does the city work with on this issue and what progress is being made? How can you donate and where does the money go? These are answers everyone needs to know. Plus, you won’t want to miss an emotional story at the end!

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Episode 10: this episode is FIRE

The Colorado Springs Fire Department does so much more than fight fires! Typically fire related calls are only one percent of CSFD call responses. Jen and Ted speak with Sunny Smaldino, Safety Educator for CSFD’s Division of the Fire Marshal, about preventative measures for fire and general safe behavior. While we try to educate, we also want you to laugh, so hear some funny stories from students that Sunny has met over the years of educating the youth in Colorado Springs!

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Episode 9: this episode could save your life

 

We’re getting a little more serious than usual to talk about the high number of traffic fatalities in Colorado Springs, and what our police officers identify as the major reasons. Listen to some frightening stories and life-saving tips from the lead of the Major Crash Team, Sgt. Jim Stinson. Jen and Ted will help provide you with a new appreciation for our police officers, the opportunity to reflect on your own driving habits and the chance to be more aware and ARRIVE ALIVE!

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Episode 8: FlyCOS

Like a Phoenix the Colorado Springs Airport has risen from the ashes of a fire that ruined staff offices in 2018 to winning Colorado Airport of the Year in 2019! Jen and Ted speak with Dana Schield about airport improvements, businesses growing in the area, and of course… HALF PRICE HOLIDAY PARKING!

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Episode 7: budget's big game

It’s budget season and that impacts YOU! Find out about the priorities included in the 2020 budget from our Chief Financial Officer Charae McDaniel. She shares the most challenging part of her job and how you can get involved in the budget process. You don’t even have to love numbers to enjoy this episode!

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Episode 6: take the "ball" by the horns

This week we're talking to Colorado Springs City Council President Richard Skorman. Find out how a group of middle school kids helped get a law passed that was later adopted by other cities across the country. If you're not familiar with what city council does or how what they do affects your everyday life, don't feel bad! Just tune into this episode of Behind the Springs! We made it fun, promise!

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Episode 5: parachuting vehicles onto the mountain

Pikes Peak! America’s Mountain! The one 14er to rule them all! Sandy Elliott, Operations Administrator for Pikes Peak—America’s Mountain, joins Behind the Springs to give an update about the new summit complex construction, the challenges of building a structure in the sky, funny stories from the mountain and of course Fast and the Furious.

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Episode 4: you have to be smarter than the raccoons

Animals and mannequin feet are just a couple things the City’s Stormwater Enterprise has to deal with daily. Stormwater Manager Richard Mulledy joins Jen and Ted to talk about the City’s amazing stormwater infrastructure progress. Mulledy even fesses up to not having ditched playing in the ditches when he was a kid and tells the story that propelled him to the position he’s in today. 

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Episode 3: 84,000 potholes

Jen and Ted take a quiz about our City streets with questions about 2C, PPRTA (Acronym Alert!) and everyone’s favorite subject in Colorado Springs… POTHOLES! We are joined by Corey Farkas, Manager of the Public Works Operations and Maintenance Division (AKA streets and other cool stuff). Learn about Corey’s background and how he has Olympic City USA running through his veins in more ways than creating the arterial roads to get you around the City!

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Episode 2: Princess Alice

In this episode of our Behind the Springs podcast, Mayor John Suthers and Cultural Services Director Matt Mayberry talk about the history of Colorado Springs, which includes a unique zoo with Princess Alice as the headliner. The Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) celebration for Colorado Springs is two years away, so what’s in the works for the big party?

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Episode 1: sweat equity

Our City’s founder General William Palmer would be proud: We kick off the Colorado Springs podcast with a look at our parks department! Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Karen Palus and TOPS (Trails, Open Space and Parks) Manager Scott Abbott share information about a potential November ballot item that would bring more City rangers to our trails and open spaces, as well as some improvements to popular neighborhood parks. Of course, we get to know our guests as we take a look Behind the Springs, and we find out about sweat equity!

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Episode 0.5: the launch!

We are excited to launch a new podcast called "Behind the Springs!" It's a casual, in-depth look at local government with hosts Ted Skroback and Jen Schreuder. Spoiler alert: This podcast is going to be FUN!

Listen to episode 0.5