Preparing Your Teen for Driving

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Back when I was a teen getting a driver's license was pretty simple. We enrolled in driver's education offered in public schools and at the end of the course we took an exam and upon passing were eligible for a learner's permit. The permit was obtained at the local DMV where you fill out an application and maybe showed them your birth certificate (if you even had one). You had to be 15 1/2 years old to get this permit and then your parents would take you out and teach you how to drive. You didn't log your hours on the road.  It wasn't that formal. We just drove with adults until turning 16, at which point we could go get our actual driver's license. There wasn't a lot of regulation to it.

Well, times have changed. Today it's quite different than that. My daughter recently went through the process, so it's fresh in my mind. Allow me to enlighten you about obtaining a Colorado driver's permit and license today.

Start with Driver's Education

First, driver's education is no longer offered in the public schools. So you have to find a private driving school and enroll them in it. In Colorado Springs we have many options for schools like Academy School of Driving, 1st Drive or Master Drive. I opted for Master Drive since they have a great reputation here. The student must be at least 14 years old in order to enroll. They must take 30 hours of classroom training. Additional behind-the-wheel training is available through each school but is not mandatory. Upon completion of the 30-hour class, the student takes a written exam, but he can only do that after turning 15. This exam can be taken at the driving school or at the local DMV. In order to pass the exam, the student cannot miss more than five answers. Otherwise, they must re-take the exam.  After passing the student can now apply for a learner's permit.  

Obtain the Learner's Permit

In order to get the permit the student must meet the following requirements:

1. They must be at least 15 years of age

2. They must show proof of 30 hours of driver training school

3. They must show proof that they passed the written exam or be prepared to take the exam at the DMV

4. They must have a valid birth certificate

5. They must have a valid social security card

6. They must show two written proofs of their current Colorado address (which I found a bit challenging because my 15-year-old doesn't receive a lot of official mail at the house yet)

7. They/you must pay a fee of $17

8. They must have a parent or guardian with them at the time of application so that person can sign as the responsible party for the minor behind the wheel (basically, if your kid crashes and does any harm or damage to another it's your liability).

Once you've done all this the applicant is issued their learner's permit. The student driver must have that permit for one year before they can obtain an actual driver's license. During that year the student driver must log at least 50 hours behind the wheel with an adult who is at least 21 years old. Those driving hours are written on a form provided by the DMV, and that form must be signed by the parent or guardian. 

Finally the Driver's License

After the year is up and the student driver has logged the required hours, they can then go to the DMV and get their driver's license.  There they will have to pass a written exam and actual evaluation behind the wheel. 

I know it sounds like a lot to go through, and at first, I was slightly overwhelmed by the regulation involved here. But I have concluded that it's all good. Requiring kids to spend more time learning how to drive is a plus, not only for their own safety but for the safety of all drivers on the road. Requiring more documentation at the time of application is a plus because driving is a privilege for US residents, and proving proof is a small price to pay. And requiring kids to drive for at least one year before obtaining a license is a plus because it's more supervised time behind the wheel. Thank you, Colorado, for holding us to this higher standard!

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The Value of Colorado Springs Farmers Markets

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It’s not news to any of us that summer is here. We’re getting more consistent sunshine here on the front range. AND we just enjoyed a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend. I hope you got the chance to enjoy time on your favorite trail in town...take in a picnic or some reading at a local park...spend time in the mountains...run the BolderBoulder...catch up on some DIY projects around the house...grill out in your backyard...

Whatever you did this past weekend, not only was it gorgeous but it was the beginning of... ALL THINGS SUMMER! Can I get a big shout out!?!

Summer in Colorado Springs is grand. I’m not one to have a favorite season. I love them all for the wonderful and distinct features they each offer. In summer, I love getting outside as much as possible. I crave time in the mountains and on lakes throughout the state. The long days and cool nights are the best! I’m sure you have your favorite things too.

One of the best parts of summer is access to local produce and other Colorado local products available at farmers markets all around the Colorado Springs area. We have some fantastic markets in nearly every corner of the Pikes Peak Region. You could hit up a different market every day and get a tour of the town. How fun!? You could even make it fun summer bucket list - visit all of the available farmer's markets in town!

Why Farmers Markets Matter

Some people might think, why not just hit up your local grocery store? Besides getting a chance to combine being outside and visiting different parts of town, it’s also incredibly valuable to support local farmers and other local merchants! Did you know that your dollars go further in our community’s economy when you shop and eat at locally owned business?

Another enjoyable part of farmers markets is the chance to meet friends and neighbors...whether it’s just you or you bring the whole family. What a fantastic activity on a Saturday morning or since the kids are out of school...any ‘ole day of the week. You can hang out in your own neighborhood in town and interact and buy products from the people who live nearby. Or try visiting a new area and explore its local parks, restaurants, and coffee shops before or after your time at the farmers market. You will be supporting the people and the produce of that community.

Other Thoughts on the Value of Local Farmers Markets

I have always been a fan of farmers markets, but I thought I would see what others have to say about them. I reached out to some folks I know around the community about why farmers markets are a valuable part of our community and here is what they said. 

“Farmers markets help to connect rural and urban communities and thus are an invaluable piece of civic architecture. They are a vibrant spot for our neighborhoods, they signal the value that Coloradoans put on local food, help to keep these dollars in our state, and preserve our precious farmland. Moreover, having these markets helps community members who may have difficulty accessing fresh fruits and vegetables through programs like Double-UP food bucks, where every dollar becomes 2 when spent on meat, produce, etc. at these markets -- this is not available at grocery stores.”

Michelle Larkins, Ph.D., Food & Environmental Sustainability Researcher, Colorado Springs Food Rescue

“I like spending Saturday mornings at the market with my kids. They gain a better understanding of where our food comes from and why it's valuable. Meeting farmers and planning our meals based on what's available keeps us grounded and in touch with the realities of our sustaining resources. It's real life, real food, and real people. We need bits of that in our modern world. The farmer's markets are gifts all over our city each summer for those who will go out and enjoy all offer!”

Niki Parks, Local Colorado Springs Resident, Gleneagle

"Farmers market season is exciting because we get to experience the bounty of our local region. From the Pueblo Chile to Rocky Ford melons, we have rich and diverse agriculture in southern Colorado. By buying local produce, you are supporting family farms and strengthening our community. Palmer Land Trust partners with farmers to ensure our region has a vibrant local food base, resilient farming communities, and protected land and water resources."

Rebecca Jewett, Executive Director, Palmer Land Trust

"Shopping at markets that sell locally sourced food provides a valuable outlet for farmers who are mostly small, family operations. Their fruits, vegetable, cheeses and other products retain the flavor and nutritional value that is lacking in supermarket products. Do something good for yourself, your family and your community and buy locally produced foods."

Matt Heimerich, Lower Arkansas Valley Conservation Director, Palmer Land Trust

Go Meet A Farmer!

So, get outside this summer (and into the fall at some markets!) and meet a farmer. Enjoy a slow Saturday morning picking out some Palisade peaches or finding that perfect Pueblo chile or scoop up some local honey. Yum!! And at every market, you’ll find local and regional vendors offering other creative, unique products for your kitchen as well as your home in general. Right in your own neighborhood!

Colorado Springs Area Farmers Market Schedule

Here’s a rundown of the Colorado Springs farmers markets that might be around you. Some markets opened this past Memorial Day weekend. Others will be opening throughout June. Some only go through the summer. Others will run through the fall. So, make sure to check the links, if provided, to get more details on dates and to stay in touch as markets will make last minute changes for holidays, weather, etc. Hope you find your local, neighborhood market! And enjoy the adventure of another neighborhood’s market features.

I frequent farmer's markets a lot during the summer, so if you see me browsing around, stop and say hi and we can talk a little about zucchini recipes and the latest about the Colorado Springs Real Estate Market.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturdays

Sunday

Other helpful links to get information on farmers markets in the Pikes Peak region as well as around the state.

https://www.springsfarmersmarkets.com/

http://www.colorado.com/co/food-wine-beer/farmorchardsfarmers-markets

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (May 20-May 21)

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One weekend before the Memorial Day holiday and we're still getting snow, freezing overnight temps, and cold breezes to make you think winter is back. No matter! There are still plenty of fun events happening in Colorado Springs this weekend. 


Things to Do This Weekend

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Colorado Public Lands Day Celebration -  Sat May 20, 8:00am, Red Rock Canyon Open Space Ridge Rd. & US-24

Admission: Free. We are the first state in the nation to have our own state holiday to recognize Colorado public lands! Join together to work on improving our trails followed by a guided hike tour and other outdoor activities. Minimum age is 16, or 13 with a parent/guardian. For more info, visit: Rocky Mountain Field Institute.

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Tesla’s Toolbox: Water Widget Races -  Sat May 20, 10:00am - 12:00pm, Space Foundation Discovery Center 4425 Arrowswest Drive

Admission: Included in admission ($5-$10). Engineer your own self-propelled boat and race it against others! For more info, visit: Space Foundation Discovery Center.

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Run to the Shrine -  Sat May 20, 7:30am - 5:00pm, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd

Admission: Registration fee $30-$55/person. Take advantage of the one day of the year you can view Colorado Springs on foot from the scenic road leading up to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun. Proceeds benefit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! For more info, visit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

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Colorado Springs Philharmonic presents Carmina Burana -  Sun May 21, 2:30pm, Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts 190 South Cascade Avenue

Admission: $21+. Enjoy the medieval cantata Carmina Burana performed by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. For more info, visit: Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

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City Wide Gaming Event Benefit -  Sun May 21, 10:00am - 8:00pm, Imagination Space 750 Citadel Dr. E

Admission: $7/day. Come play role playing games, board games, card games, and miniature games with proceeds benefiting the Imagination Celebration and Dragon Theatre. All skills levels welcome. For more info, visit: Facebook Event.

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (May 13-May 14)

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Happy Mother's Day! Perfect weekend to take out the important women in your life to fun events in Colorado Springs. Many things to do with Mom including a Victorian Tea, Pikes Peak discounts, and more! 


Things to Do This Weekend

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Victorian Tea and Ball -  Sat May 13, 4:00pm - 10:00pm, BeMore Event Center 3958 N. Academy Blvd

Admission: $35/person. Learn Victorian era history and enjoy dance and music. For more info, call: (719) 635-1773.

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Treat Yourself Mother's Day Fair -  Sat May 13, 10:00am - 1:00pm, PPLD - Briargate Library 9475 Briar Village Point

Admission: Free. Massages, chocolates, clothes, and crafts will spoil moms on Saturday. First 50 moms will receive goodie bags!  For more info, visit: Facebook Event.

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Active Adults Club: Spring Birding Photography Workshop -  Sat May 13, 11:00am - 1:00pm, Fountain Creek Nature Center 320 Peppergrass Lane

Admission: $20/person. Mike Pach, award-winning local photographer, teaches how to take bird photography. Hobbyists and professionals welcome. For more info, visit: El Paso County.

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Mother's Day on Pikes Peak -  Sun May 14, 9:00am - 3:00pm, Pikes Peak - America's Mountain 5089 Pikes Peak Highway

Admission: Mom free with paid admission. Treat Mom to free visit to Pikes Peak on Sunday. For more info, visit: City of Colorado Springs website.

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Pike’s Peak Antique Machinery Days -  Sun May 14, 10:00am, Western Museum of Mining and Industry 225 North Gate Blvd.

Admission: $5/person. Last day to attend the first annual Pike's Peak Antique Machinery Days featuring antique tractor pulls, silent auction, antique engines, and more! For more info, visit: WMMI.

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (May 6-May 7)

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Let the Cinco de Mayo festivities continue around Colorado Springs this weekend! Take advantage of this warm weather before some rain moves in next week. 


Things to Do This Weekend

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First & Main First Saturday Car Show - Rocky Mountain Mustangers -  Sat May 6, 8:00am - 10:00am, Parking lot in front of Dick's Sporting Goods @ First & Main Town Center

Admission: Free. First & Main First Saturday Car Shows are back for the season! For more info, visit: First & Main Town Center.

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'Sleeping Beauty' -  Sat May 6, 2:00pm - 4:15pm, Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus 2115 Afton Way

Admission: $15/adult, $10/12 & under. Enjoy this classical ballet performance by Rahcael's School of Dance. For more info, visit: Rachael's School of Dance.

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Fountain Creek Family Fun Day -  Sat May 6, 10:00am - 2:00pm, Fountain Creek Nature Center 320 Peppergrass Lane

Admission: $5/member, $6/non-member. 20 outdoor activities for the whole family including dino fossils, kite making, puppet shows, and more! For more info, visit: El Paso County.

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Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles -  Sun May 7, 3:00pm - 6:00pm, Warehouse Restaurant & Gallery 25 W Cimarron St

Admission: $30/person. Enjoy local jazz and swing tunes from Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles. For more info, visit: Friends of Colorado Springs Jazz.

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Pine Forest Spring Show & Sale -  Sun May 7, 11:00am - 3:00pm, Lewis-Palmer High School 1300 Higby Rd

Admission: $6/person, $1 off with canned good donation. Don't miss the home decor, antiques, garden exhibit, and Art Fest at this year's Pine Forest Spring Show & Sale. For more info, visit: Tri-Lakes Women's Club.

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