Westside Briefs:
2nd ‘Roots’ concert at center May 17

       The Mitguards will be the featured band at the next “Roots in the Hood” concert Thursday, May 17 at the Westside Community Center's Hughes Hall, 1628 W. Bijou St.
       The doors will open at 5 p.m., with music starting at 6 p.m. and continuing until about 8:30.
       Admission price is $5, which includes samples of catered food, according to Brenda Knight, president of the Pikes Peak Blues Community, the event sponsor.
       The show is the second in a once-a-month, three-concert series at the center. The final concert in the series will be June 21.
       The first concert in April, featuring the Florissant Fossils, had a pretty good turnout, Knight said. She's hopeful for an even better crowd May 17 because the Mitguards, a duo playing traditional folk, country, swing and bluegrass, “have a good following down here.”
       The earnings from the concert series will help fund the free, annual summer blues concert series at Bancroft Park, starting in July.
       OCC Garden plots open
       The Old Colorado City Community Garden has a few plots available for rent this growing season.
       The location is the vacant lot at 2825 W. Pikes Peak Ave., where Pikes Peak Urban Gardens (PPUG) worked with the property owner and nearby residents to establish an 18-plot garden in 2009.
       According to Natalie Seals, who lives in the neighborhood and is this year's garden coordinator, the per-plot rental cost for the season is $45, which includes water.
       In addition, garden members work together, planning events, discussing changes and fundraising if necessary, to make improvements to the overall site, Seals pointed out.
       Also, while PPUG is no longer actively involved, the nonprofit organization remains available in an advisory capacity, she said.
       For more information, call Seals at 232-5901.
       GoG falcon watch starts
       Beginning Wednesday, May 16, the public can join a free program viewing and learning about prairie falcon nests in the Garden of the Gods' North Gateway Rock formation.
       The times will be 4:30 to 6 p.m., continuing on Wednesdays until the end of June.
       “These fast-flying, medium-sized raptors are interesting to watch as they soar above the Garden scouting prey to feed their fledglings, born in a nest scrape on the face of the Gateway spire and staying near their roost for the next month or so,” reads a press release from Jeanne McElderry of the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center.
       Program leaders will be Cliff and Jane Eisenach, who will offer a presentation and spotting-scope viewing at the Garden of the Gods North Main Parking Lot Trailhead off Juniper Way Loop.
       The Eisenachs are long-time Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center volunteers who also present programs on wildlife cats and black bears.
       National author at center
       Gayle Forman, a nationally known young-adult author, will meet the public and sign books at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St., Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m.
       Forman worked as a national magazine writer (including Seventeen, Glamour, The Nation, Elle and Cosmopolitan). She later won awards for her book, “If I Stay.”
       Her visit is made possible by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, now in its fourth year in partnership with the Pikes Peak Library District.
       Klan infiltration unveiled
       A former Colorado Springs Police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klax Klan in the 1970s will talk about his experience Saturday, May 12 at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St.
       Scheduled from noon to 2 p.m., Ronnie Stallworth's “Unknown Chapter of the CSPD” is sponsored by the African-American Historical & Genealogical Society of Colorado Springs.
       Stallworth is currently an adjunct criminal justice instructor for Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is also the author of two books, “Gangsta Code: The Sociological Implications of Rap Music, Hip Hop Culture, and Street Gangs” and “Bringing the Noise: Gangsta-Reality Rap and the Dynamics of Black Social Revolution.”
       PD self defense class
       A class titled Introduction to Self Defense will be offered at the Colorado Springs Police Department's Gold Hill Substation, 955 W. Moreno Ave., Wednesday, May 16 at 6 p.m.
       Taught by a CSPD officer, the class is free and open to the public.
       For more information, call 385-2117.l 385-2117.l 385-2117.

Westside Pioneer/press releases