Behind the Springs Podcasts

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Can a local government podcast be fun? Jennifer Schreuder from the City of Colorado Springs Communications Department says “yes!” Join Jen 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.


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Episode 75: One team, one fight

Colorado Springs Police officers are teaming up with a group called PAL (Police Activities/Athletics League) to make an impact in Colorado Springs. Hear from Officer Menter and “Coach Lev” about the program, how they hope it grows, and why they’re helping more than just young athletes.

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Episode 74: Cheers to 40 years

Whether you live right near one, or didn’t even know that our city has community centers … this episode is for you. Hear the great story about the founding of Meadows Park Community Center and find out what’s happening to celebrate the 40th anniversary!

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Episode 73: Year in review

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers is the special guest on Behind the Springs with a review of this past year and a look ahead to 2022. He has a list of priorities that impact all residents, so we hope you’ll join us for this great conversation!

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Episode 72: Snow removal in COS

It’s been a mild fall with warm temps, but the snow is coming eventually! How does the city prepare and how do they decide where to plow? You’ll likely learn a thing or two during this conversation with the person behind the team that works hard to make winter travel as safe as possible in Colorado Springs.

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Episode 71: It's time to FlyCOS!

It’s that traveling time of year again and the COS Airport has some great deals. They also have great news about what’s happening at Colorado’s small airport … here’s a hint: small commutes, small waits and BIG options!

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Episode 70: COVID-19 vaccines for younger kids

The Centers for Disease Control just approved the emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines for children 5-11 years old, giving the green light for vaccinations to begin. There are a lot of questions about his next phase, and we’re asking some of them during today’s episode of Behind the Springs. Join us for this conversation with experts from El Paso County Public Health and Children’s Hospital Colorado.  

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Episode 69: Improving the Gateway to the Garden

Construction is underway on the 30th Street corridor leading to Garden of the Gods. Find out what the project involves and what else is in the works around the city when it comes to improving the roads you travel. Tune in for a great conversation with our Public Works Director, Travis Easton.

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Episode 68: Electric Scooters in COS

Electric scooters have arrived in Colorado Springs! You’ll see them in the central areas of the city, including downtown. We’re talking with the Planning & Mobility Director at the Downtown Partnership about what the pilot program means for our city, why e-scooters are a great option, how the city and partners have planned for this new mode of transportation … AND of course, how much fun they are! 

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Episode 67: Building bridges

Three new bridges are coming to a popular park near you! Meet one of our senior engineers, who explains what this particular project means for fans and neighbors of North Cheyenne Canon Park. He’ll tell us why building bridges is important for so many reasons that impact all of us. 

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Episode 66: Talk about Tokyo with a COS medalist

Lucas Kozeniesky is back in Olympic City USA and excited to tell his Olympic story! We hear about his silver medal win, the quiet of Tokyo, and his goals for the future. Not only does he have big plans for himself, but he’s helping the younger generation train for the sport of rifle shooting. Learn about the sport, Lucas’s victory and why he loves to train in Colorado Springs. 

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Episode 65: Colorado Springs Utilities

It’s so much more than the name on your utility bill! What do you know about Colorado Springs Utilities? You’ll definitely want to hear more about its leader and the many projects impacting our entire community.

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Episode 64: Play COS

Colorado Springs police officers have something new in their patrol cars to help them connect with area kids. A program called Play COS is about having fun, starting conversations and creating relationships. Find out why it’s such a win-win for our community!

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Episode 63: Time to party!

The city’s big 150th anniversary bash is happening downtown on July 31st and you don’t want to miss it. Why is it going to be so great? Find out from Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers on this episode of “Behind the Springs”!

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Episode 62: Wildfire warning

Meet our city’s Fire Marshal and hear about all the things his team does and all the things WE can do to prepare for the summer heat and threat of wildfire. Brett Lacey has been in Colorado Springs nearly 30 years and shares great information that will help our entire community through this season and beyond!

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Episode 61: Pedal Our Past

June is bike month and we’re celebrating with something called “Pedal Our Past”! Learn more from our city’s bike planner and find out how to join the fun.

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Episode 60: COVID 19 vaccine and kids

The COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for kids ages 12-15. Get the facts from the Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado, who is also a parent and realizes that it’s a big decision for families. Please tune in for this great and important conversation! 

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Episode 59: Warm weather crime

We’re talking about hiking, street racing and car theft. Why? Because the weather is warming up and certain crimes tend to happen more often. Meet two of our city’s crime prevention officers from The Colorado Springs Police Department, who offer great tips and information to help keep you and your valuables safe this summer.

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Episode 58: Let's talk trees

Our city’s founder, General William Jackson Palmer, had thousands of trees brought into Colorado Springs back in the 1870s. We’re celebrating his legacy and our city’s 150th anniversary with a Tree Challenge! Meet our City Forester Dennis Will, find out why trees are such a big deal and learn how you can join the fun!

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Episode 57: Ready to get the vaccine?

There’s some good news and some bad news when it comes to COVID-19 in our community right now. Hear from Dr. Robin Johnson, the medical director from El Paso County Public Health about the vaccine and an increase in COVID cases. This conversation will answer a lot of questions about HOW to get the vaccine, WHY to get it, and WHEN we might be able to put this pandemic behind us.

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Episode 56: What is community development?

It’s National Community Development Week and you’re not alone if you don’t know exactly what that means! Listen in as we talk about affordable housing, homelessness and helping the most vulnerable in our community. By the end, you’ll understand why it’s so important to thank our many partners making a difference in Colorado Springs.

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Episode 55: Leave No Trace

What does it mean to “leave no trace”? And why does it matter? Hear from one of our city’s awesome park rangers about keeping our favorite parks, trails and open spaces in top shape. She’ll also reveal a famous figure behind this effort, specifically at the Manitou Incline.

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Episode 54: Meet the new Colorado Springs Fire Chief

Randy Royal has been working at the Colorado Springs Fire Department for more than three decades and now he’s the new leader. Hear about his background, his plans for the future and his wise words about this year’s wildfire danger!

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Episode 53: Brothers make history in COS

In this episode, you’ll hear from Robert and Arthur Sapp, two brothers raised in Colorado Springs. They both joined the Colorado Springs Police Department and became the first black sergeant (Robert) and first black lieutenant (Arthur) on the department. Interesting fact: the first black police office was one of the founding members of the department in 1887. Join us for some local history, great stories and Arthur’s thoughts on police department diversity, recruitment and training today. 

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Episode 52: Diversity Discussion

We have two guests, both devoted to promoting diversity in Colorado Springs, but in different ways. Meet these city employees and hear about what they’re doing to achieve their goals on our city team and in the community. Just as importantly, find out what YOU can do to promote diversity and learn more about our local history!

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Episode 51: Checking in with the mayor

From the latest on local COVID-19 vaccinations to the new summit house on top of Pikes Peak … hear what Mayor Suthers has to say about our community’s recovery and what he’s looking forward to this year!

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Episode 50: Vaccine distribution

This episode will help you better understand how the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed in our community and why it has a lot to do with supply versus demand. Hear the latest from Dr. Johnson, including how people can get more information and be connected to local providers. We’re nearing the finish line, but there’s more work to be done … by all of us.

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Episode 49: Farewell to Chief Collas

It’s a fond farewell episode with Colorado Springs Fire Department Chief Ted Collas, who is retiring after 36 years of service! Hear what he has to say about the department’s future, his own career and that time he started an IV on an elephant at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! We hope you’ll listen to this great conversation and learn about our incredible fire department in the process.

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Episode 48: 2021 CIty election

It’s time to talk about a different election, this one right here in Colorado Springs and coming up on April 6th. Meet our City Clerk and hear what she has to say about the recent focus on elections. Find out how to make your opinion count when it comes to positions and issues that impact your life every day!

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Episode 47: COS@150

150 is the magic number for this episode! 2021 is our city’s sesquicentennial year. What does that mean? It’s the 150th anniversary of our city’s founding. We’re talking to the curator at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum about a  new exhibit coming soon. 150 objects, illuminating 150 stories, commemorating 150 years. Dive into some local history and join in the celebration!

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Episode 46: COVID-19 Vaccine

Is the vaccine safe? What’s in it? We know there’s skepticism and worry, so we’re talking with the medical director of El Paso County Public Health about the concerns, facts, timeline and hope that come with this new vaccine. As Dr. Johnson says, “We don’t have a cure, we have prevention.” Learn more in this important episode of Behind the Springs.

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Episode 45: EngageCOS

It’s time to get engaged … with the City of Colorado Springs! We’re not just saying we WANT to hear from you, we NEED your input. How can you weigh in on big projects and initiatives? Find out about EngageCOS and how it’s easier than ever to make your voice heard when it comes to the projects that impact your everyday life. 

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Episode 44: Teamwork makes the dream work

The City of Colorado Springs is fortunate to have so many great partners in our community! In this episode, we highlight the relationship between the city and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). Whether or not you have ties to UCCS, you benefit from this partnership. Find out how from two leaders who know that teamwork is the key to our community’s success.

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Episode 43: ‘Tis the season to be SAFE

They’re called crimes of opportunity. The key is to NOT give criminals the opportunity. The Colorado Springs Police Department’s Crime Prevention Officers have great tips about puffing, porch pirates, online shopping and more. We hope this conversation helps you have a happy and safe holiday season!

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Episode 42: What does LETAC stand for?

LETAC is an acronym worth knowing because it will be around for years to come. The Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission (LETAC) is holding meetings, setting goals and getting ready to make a difference in Colorado Springs. How do they plan to do that? Hear from the Chair and Vice Chair of the commission in this episode of Behind the Springs!

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Episode 41: let's talk about GRIT

Have you heard people use the term GRIT? It means courage or resolve, or strength of character. Something we could all use at any time, but especially these days! Is it realistic to think we can attain the resiliency needed right now? Listen to Jen’s conversation with the creator of a new program who says YES. It’s not only possible, but it’s simple, important and FREE.

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Episode 40: celebrating local young leaders

We have two special guests on this episode who have recently been recognized with a the Mayor’s Young Leader Award! What is that, you ask? Tune in to find out about this awesome program, who it highlights and why. It’s more important than ever to celebrate those positively contributing to our community!

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Episode 39: The not so good news about our COVID numbers

We love to share great news on our podcast, but this time, we need to share some bad news about our COVID-19 numbers. El Paso County Public Health’s Medical Director talks about what they mean and what’s at stake if they continue to rise. She also gives us helpful information and tips as we head into the colder months. Stay informed and help us move our community in the right direction!

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Episode 38: breaking down the budget

You don’t have to have a head for numbers to learn about the city’s budget. It’s pretty simple and it’s so important! Listen to our Chief Financial Officer break things down to let you know how much is being spent on essential services that impact your life every day. Plus, who makes the decisions about the budget? And does the public have a say?

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Episode 37: A bridge to our city’s future

It’s longer than a football field, weighs more than a million pounds and provides a major connection in downtown Colorado Springs. It’s a symbol of progress, a piece of art … and it’s no ordinary bridge! Tune in to this conversation about the new pedestrian bridge connecting America the Beautiful Park to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and why it’s another example of how our city keeps moving forward during these challenging times.

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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 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