Thursday, January 27, 2011


Bill Would Allow Neb. Teachers To Carry Guns

Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:37 AM CST
LINCOLN, Neb. — Two weeks after a high school gunman killed his vice principal and injured the principal, a Nebraska lawmaker has introduced a measure that would allow school administrators, teachers and security personnel to carry concealed handguns in school.

Under a bill introduced Tuesday by Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial, certain school staff and faculty certified under state law could carry concealed handguns in their schools. The bill would allow the carrying of weapons only if two-thirds of the school’s governing board approved.

Also, students and their parents or guardians would have to receive written notice of the school’s concealed handgun policy.

On Jan. 5 — the first day Millard South High School students returned to school from Christmas break — 17-year-old student Robert Butler Jr. shot Vice Principal Vicki Kaspar and Principal Curtis Case with his police detective father’s service weapon, then shot and killed himself.

Kaspar died; Case is recovering.

Christensen opposed a section in the 2006 concealed carry law that barred people from taking weapons onto public school property or college campuses. Still, he said he hadn’t planned to introduce his bill this session until the shooting.

“People didn’t think there was a need for it,” Christensen said Tuesday. “I think we have seen now there is a need.”

Many schools don’t even allow security officers to carry guns, which leaves students and school employees “helpless in the face of a shooter,” he said.

“Let’s have somebody trained who could step in and stop that situation,” Christensen said.

But allowing staff and faculty to carry weapons in a classroom won’t make schools safer, said Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Washington-based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

“I think it sends a very dangerous and damaging message to young people,” Everitt said. “It says to them, ‘We’re not only here to teach you, but shoot you, if need be.”’

Bringing a gun into a school could result in a confrontation escalating into potentially fatal violence, and a violent student could end up taking a gun from an armed teacher, Everitt said.

He faulted concealed carry laws nationwide as too weak.

“In 2009, this country had six mass shootings at the hands of people who had been permitted to carry,” he said. “We still have a very, very weak screening system in this country. There is nothing that ensures someone who is carrying is of sound mind or will responsibly handle that gun.”

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 42 states and the District of Columbia have banned guns in schools but could not say whether any states allow them.

Friday, January 21, 2011


If you like this type of programming, please let us know.

see more at:

1. Why did loyal Britons, who happened to be living far from the "motherland" in the colonies, decide to become independent?

2. What was signing the Declaration of Independence really like for Ben and the others?

3. Was George Washington a good leader for our troops? Could we have won the war without him?

4. In what way was this Revolutionary War a "civil war?"

5. OK, so after we declared our independence, then what happened and what was Ben's role?

6. How did the Constitution come to be written? What was new about it and what was Ben's role?

7. What didn't get done or wasn't done well enough?

and an upcoming appearance:

An Evening With Benjamin Franklin
Saturday, February 5th
(This is a Fund Raiser)
Mark Goldberg from KVOR will be emceeing the event!
Temple Beit Torah located at 522 E. Madison between Wahsatch and Templeton Gap (Just down the block from the Safeway in the Bon Shopping Centre)
Tickets available by emailing or calling 573-0841
Checks made out to TBT

Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children under 18
$20 and $5 of that is tax deductible

Chris will speak for about 40 minutes then there will be questions from a panal with questions that Chris has not seen in advance then there will be questions form the audience. Then there will be a cake and pie reception during which guests will have the ablilty to schmooze with Ben Franklin as he walks around the Temple!
There are only 150 seats available so please hurry and get advanced tickets to guarantee your seat!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I am VERY proud to have SOCIALSHIELD as a sponsor of my show. I can't think of a greater responsibility of parents than protecting their children.
all the best

Here is some information from their website:
Their phone number is 1-800-881-2345

Why SocialShield:
If you have kids, you need
SocialShield, it's that simple.

Start free trial
It seems as parents we are professional worriers. From the minute we find out we’re pregnant to the day we die, it never stops. Now here comes Facebook and the other social networking sites like Twitter and MySpace and we’re all playing catch up, worrying about what to worry about.

You cannot do what SocialShield does by being a friend on Facebook.
We do so much more.

Sure, there are predators out there looking for kids to exploit, but that’s just the beginning. Now kids are suffering to the point of killing themselves because of what others are saying about them online as a result of cyberbullying.

They’re ruining opportunities for life because they publicize youthful indiscretions on their pages that stay on the Internet forever.

They’re accepting friends they don’t know or who you don’t want them associating with.

It’s the Wild West; our children are now armed with six-shooters, and there is trouble that they don’t even realize.

But then there are the good things about these sites. They teach our kids how to spell, how to type, how to use computers. They learn how to express themselves in writing.

They can meet people from around the world, learn new cultures and make lifetime friendships with great kids whom they never would have known otherwise. For many kids that are shy in the real world, the SocialWeb allows them the freedom to spread their wings, make friends and become socially engaged.

The good outweighs the bad and, let’s face it, they’re going to do it because everyone else is.

Why do I need SocialShield for my family?
Social networking is the new Wild West of the Internet. While some of the dangers are physical, like bullying and predators, there are other pitfalls which await your children in this completely unregulated environment, especially when it comes to the permanent and serious damage that can be caused to their reputations.

So we created SocialShield, the latest in state-of-the-art parenting tools, unsurpassed customer service and the world’s only Promise to actively assist you in the event that your family falls victim to Cyber Bullies. In addition, we are the only company that will actively assist you in the event that your child starts to get himself in trouble that may result from unsafe or damaging behaviors.

We believe in a symbiotic relationship with caring and conscientious parents and guardians. We’ll be your partner by giving you the information and stepping in to help with our expertise when you need us. But you are ultimately where the buck stops. We can’t be their parents, but we can be your partner.

How do I login to my dashboard?
Once you have setup your account, select the login link in the upper right-hand corner of the home page and enter your email address and password.

Why do I need to connect with my kid’s social networking accounts?
In order to protect the privacy of your children and ensure that you are indeed their parent, you must either connect directly using their Facebook, MySpace and Twitter passwords and email addresses or have them accept our "invite" in the event you don't know or would prefer not to use their passwords.

When you login to your Dashboard, you will be prompted every time to connect or send an invite to your kid's accounts until the connection is completed. This is the most important step in the process of completing your setup. Neither our Cyber Bullying Promise nor our exclusive Free Online Reputation Assistance is valid until the connection is complete.

Can I use your service if I don't have my child's account passwords?
Yes, you can. After enrolling in our service, you can request we send an “invite” email to your child which provides instructions on what your child needs to do to connect his social networks to your SocialShield membership. Note that your child must accept the invite in order to complete the connection. Make sure you tell them that the invite is coming. We’ll tell them too and we’ll let you know when he’s done it.

Why should I know my children's account passwords?
"Rules one two and three for child safety online is to know their passwords….if there’s ever an incident, the most important thing is to know a child’s password so we [the police] can start working quickly.”

- Officer Steve DeWarns, Piedmont Police Department, Founder of

It is good parenting practice to know your kids’ passwords, even if you don’t use them to connect with us. Many parents actually set the passwords for their kids in every instance one is required so that they (their kids) cannot change them. In the unlikely event that something happens to your kids, having their passwords will dramatically help authorities expedite their investigations.

Are you sharing my child's information with any third party?
Absolutely not. The information we collect about your child will only be used to provide you with your SocialShield services. You can always choose to share some of the information with people you trust. We'll never share your child's information with any third party without your consent or knowledge.

How do you determine suspicious friends?
We define suspicious friends in many ways. We always alert you when an adult befriends your child. In addition, another red flag is in the event that one or more of your child’s friends has no friends in common with his other friends. We have patents pending on the techniques we use to find the suspicious friends. If you read through our testimonials, you can see that they work!

There are other heuristic analyses we do on friends, these are just a few. In any event, when something fishy comes up, we’re going to let you know.

Remember, in order to get this type of rich information, your child’s accounts must be connected to our service. See “why do I need to connect with my kid’s social networks” above.

What should I do if a friend appears that I don’t like?
As always, talk to your child. He may have a good reason to have that friend. For instance, your child may have international pen pals who are not friends with your child’s normal social group. Such relationships can open the world and provide a richer experience for your child. Of course, some friends are inappropriate. Ultimately, it will be your decision whether a suspicious friend is benign.

Should you choose to have your child remove a friend, it is a simple matter.

On Facebook:
Go to the person’s profile, click the "Remove from Friends" link at the bottom of the page. This will also remove you from the person's Friends List.
On Twitter:
Your child may be following others or being followed by others. First, log in to your child’s Twitter account. To remove any follower, click the “followers” link at the top right of the Twitter Home or Profile page to find the follower, and then click the drop-down menu under Actions to unfollow the person and/or report the person for spam. To unfollow anyone your child is following, click the “following” link at the top right of your child’s twitter Home or Profile page to find the person you want to unfollow, and then click the drop-down menu under Actions to unfollow that person.
On MySpace:
You can delete or block people on your child’s MySpace friends list following MySpace’s instructions:
To delete people from the friends list:
mouse over Friends (in the upper nav bar) and choose My Friends (from the drop-down menu)
click Delete Friends (on the upper right corner above the friend box)
check the boxes of the people you want to delete from your friend list, click Delete Selected Friends and click OK to confirm
To block people from the friends list:
click on the profile photo or name of the friend or user you want to block (either from your friend list, a comment, a blog post or by using the MySpace search box at the top of the page)
scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Block User
click Block this User (in the page that pops up)
Why does my child’s online reputation matter?
More and more prospective colleges, employers, even future friends, will run a search on your child when considering her; some will even demand her passwords and login information.

There are many reports of incredibly qualified people being denied entrance to the college of their choice or a job because of what they said or did online. Once something damning is up, it needs to come down very quickly or it can become a permanent fixture on the Internet, haunting your child for the rest of his life.

We alert you immediately of the use of profanity or threatening language on your child’s social network page. You can login to your SocialShield Dashboard anytime to see photos that have been posted by or about him and then take immediate action to have the content removed. In addition, we will send you your weekly email digest giving you the overview and detail of activities, photos, friends and locations of their networks.

If something does happen, our Free Online Reputation Management Assistance can help you in your efforts. However, swift identification of the issue and action by you is critical to helping them stay out of trouble in this important instance.

What do I do if I see an inappropriate photo or post on my child’s social network?
If an offensive comment or photo appears on your child’s page, then you can direct him to take it down himself. If someone else posted a photo and “tagged” your child to it (which is what the Internet search engines will pick up), they can “untag” themselves from the image through their social network.

On Facebook:
To remove the tag from a photo that someone else has posted and tagged your child in on Facebook, have your child log in to Facebook, view the photo, and then choose "remove tag" at the bottom next to your child’s name. The photo will no longer be linked to your child’s profile. Please note that depending on the privacy settings of the owners of those photos, others may still be able to view those photos elsewhere on Facebook. To have them removed from Facebook, you or your child will need to contact the owner of those photos to request removal.
On MySpace:
If your child’ photos have been tagged by a MySpace friend, your child will be notified and given the opportunity to accept or reject the tag on your profile. If your child accepts a tag, the photo will appear in his tagged photo album; if he doesn’t accept a tag, the tagged photo will not appear in his profile, but will remain in his friend's photos. To remove a tagged photo from your child’s profile, have him go to his Tagged Photos album, select the photo you want to untag and click “remove photo” at the bottom. This photo will disappear from your child’s profile but remain in the photo owner’s album. To remove it from MySpace, contact the photo owner.
How many social networks does your service cover?
There are about 20 social networks out there right now. Our system searches the English-speaking networks.

Is your trial really free?
Yes. You can cancel anytime in the trial period and we will not bill your credit card.

How do I remove a child from my account?
To remove a child from your account, login to your account, select Settings and follow the simple directions under “Manage Children.”

How do I cancel my membership?
To cancel, please contact us by phone at 1-800-881-2345. We’d surely appreciate it if you would let us know why you’re canceling so that we can improve our service. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.

I am experiencing a problem with your site. How should I submit a bug?
We work hard to ensure that all of our systems work flawlessly. However, sometimes things happen. If you experience a problem with your reports or our services, we want to hear about it. Please email us at

I forgot my username or password. What should I do?
Your username is your primary email address. In the event you forget your password, when you attempt to login, there is a link underneath the main login button that allows you to ask for a new password. Enter the email address you used to enroll in our service, click Submit and we’ll email you a link to reset your password.

How can I update my billing information?
Log in to your account, click Settings and you can update your billing information under Billing.

How can I change my membership plan?
Log in to your account, click Settings and you can change your membership plan under Billing.

How can I reactivate my membership?
Simply drop a note to and we’ll get you re-started.

What are the details of your Cyber Bullying Promise?
You can read details of the Promise in our Terms and Conditions.

How does your Free Online Reputation Assistance work?
We have to work together as a team to help keep your child from permanently ruining his reputation online. This could cost him a job, a college placement, even future friends and business opportunities. The key to effective reputation management is early warning so that we can help you get controversial or unacceptable content down before it becomes a permanent problem.

You are the early warning alarm. When you see something, just email us at and we’ll quickly and efficiently help you take the necessary steps to keep the content from appearing permanently.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot at public meeting in Arizona

I do not care if you are a republican, democrat, indy, tea party, lib or libertarian.... set it all aside, if you believe in God, please join me now and throughout the day to pray for her and the other victims and their friends and families and all of those doctors and nurses who are working on them. It is above politics.... this is NOT how we do it in this great country. When there is evil, we ALL stand against it. We speak out against it. We do not tolerate even the thought of it. We make sure it does not happen to anyone of either party. Life is hard. It is VERY hard in Arizona right now. Pray harder.


Firefall will be coming to the Springs for a concert on February 5th at Stargazers. I will be giving tickets away. And will soon have a video on the blog with me talking to rock critic Jeff Ahrendson and KKFM's Mark Stevens about the band.

Firefall members Jock Bartley (lead guitar/vocals), Steven Weinmeister (vocals/guitar), and Bill Hopkins (bass/vocals) make up Firefall Trio. Jock’s son, Jamey Bartley, will be joining them as their special guest drummer.
Firefall—the rock band that formed in Boulder, Colorado in 1974--was founded by Rick Roberts, who had been in the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Jock Bartley, who had been Tommy Bolin's replacement in Zephyr. The band's biggest hit single, "You Are the Woman", peaked at #9 on the Billboard charts in 1976.
Jock Bartley has a strong connection to, and a strong following in, Colorado Springs as he is a graduate of Manitou Springs High School. Jock, who along with being a great musician and singer/songwriter, is also a visual artist, and his work will be exhibited and available for purchase throughout the evening.
Come out early and meet Jock, Steven, and Bill, at the VIP “Meet & Greet” reception from 6:00-7:00 P.M., which includes hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and first choice of seating.

Firefall in 2011
Background information
Origin Boulder, Colorado, U.S.
Genres Country rock, rock, pop rock
Years active 1974–present
Labels Atlantic Records

Jock Bartley
Chris Ball
Steven Weinmeister
Bill Hopkins
Sandy Ficca

Past members
Rick Roberts
Steve Manshel
Larry Burnett
Mark Andes
Michael Clarke
George Hawkins
Tris Imboden
Kim Stone
David Muse
Chuck Kirkpatrick

Firefall is a rock band that formed in Boulder, Colorado in 1974. It was founded by Rick Roberts, who had been in the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Jock Bartley, who had been Tommy Bolin's replacement in Zephyr. The band's biggest hit single, "You Are the Woman", peaked at #9 on the Billboard charts in 1976. Other hits include "Just Remember I Love You" (#11 in 1977), "Strange Way" (#11 in 1978), "Cinderella" (#34 in 1977) and "Staying with It" (#37 in 1981) with female vocalist Lisa Nemzo.

Contents [hide]
1 History
1.1 Beginnings
1.2 Breakthrough and Success
1.3 Decline
1.4 Resumption and Later Work
2 Discography
3 Singles
4 References
5 External links

[edit] History[edit] BeginningsIn the early 1970s, Rick Roberts and Jock Bartley (GREW UP IN MANITOU SPRINGS, GUITAR LESSONS FROM JAZZ GREAT JOHNNY SMITH) first crossed paths when Bartley was on tour with Gram Parsons as a member of his backing band The Fallen Angels. Both The Fallen Angels and Roberts were performing in New York City at the same venue on consecutive nights. Roberts was impressed by Bartley's guitar work. The duo soon began practicing together. Encouraged to form a band, they contacted bassist-singer Mark Andes (a former member of the bands Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne who had temporarily retired to the mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado) and Washington D.C. singer-songwriter-guitarist Larry Burnett and coaxed them into joining their band, which they christened Firefall in 1974. Roberts got the name from a tradition at Yosemite National Park in California where a woodpile would be set aflame and slowly pushed off a cliff, the burning logs forming a blazing cascade as they fell.

For the drum chair the group auditioned several local musicians but eventually decided to phone Roberts' former band mate from Flying Burrito Brothers, Michael Clarke, who was most famous for his time spent in the '60s folk-rock band The Byrds. Clarke, who had recently relocated to Hawaii, agreed to come aboard.

The band tightened up their act performing in clubs in Colorado for over a year, mainly in Boulder and Aspen. In early 1975 the band recorded a demo tape consisting of three songs produced by Chris Hillman. They then began taking it around to major labels, but were unsuccessful at first.

[edit] Breakthrough and SuccessIn 1975 Bartley, Andes and Roberts were brought into Chris Hillman's band. Before a scheduled performance at The Other End in New York, Hillman took ill and was unable to play the show or finish the tour. Burnett and Clarke were then flown in to complete the commitments. Atlantic A&R representatives (who had already heard the band's demo tape) saw the Other End show and quickly signed the band to a multi-album contract. Work on their first album began in late 1975.

Just before the debut album's recording sessions at Criteria Studios in Miami, they brought in Roberts' high school friend from Bradenton, Florida, David Muse. Muse was a multi-instrumentalist who played the saxophone, flute, harmonica and keyboards. Jim Mason, who had worked with Poco in the past, was producer.

The album was recorded in one month and the result, the self-titled Firefall, released in May 1976, became Atlantic Records quickest album to reach Gold status. The group's first single, "Livin' Ain't Livin' ", stopped just short of the Top 40. In the following months the band toured with Leon and Mary Russell, the Doobie Brothers and The Band.

The band's next single "You Are the Woman", hit the Top 10 and the band began touring with Fleetwood Mac, who were at the beginning of their commercial peak. Their next single, "Cinderella", though it reached the Top 40 and was played extensively on FM radio, did not fare as well on AM radio because of its controversial lyrics which caused feminist groups to pressure the stations to avoid playing it. However, this did not have a lasting effect on the band's sales.

The group then headed back to Criteria Studios to record their second album, which was to be titled Tropical Nights. They were joined by Cuban percussionist Joe Lala(ex-Manassas) and the Memphis Horns. But after hearing the final mix, Atlantic Records decided that the album needed to be reworked. Firefall then went back on tour, redid several songs and added some new ones. The album was renamed Luna Sea and released in July 1977. The revamped LP peaked at #27 on the charts and went Gold less than two months after release. The single from the album "Just Remember I Love You", featuring backing vocals by future Eagle Timothy B. Schmit, reached the Top 10.

It was around this time that tensions were beginning to rise within the group, stemming from non-stop touring and management problems, not to mention frequent alcohol and drug abuse. At this time the group was also incredibly popular and playing to sold-out crowds with Fleetwood Mac as part of their Rumours tour. But this only delayed their disintegration for a short time.

In 1978 the band brought in producer Tom Dowd, who had worked with the Allman Brothers Band and Eric Clapton among many others, to produce their third album Elan, recording some at Criteria and some at L.A.'s Record Plant. The band and Dowd got along well personally but they had conflicting musical visions. The differences were apparently noticeable enough that the band's new management pressured the record label into letting the band rework the album. This put the band in debt with the label, and within the year they parted ways with their new management. The production team of Ron and Howard Albert were brought in to finish the record. Luckily, Elan, released in October 1978, was a massive success, and it became their first album to reach Platinum status. The hit single "Strange Way" continued the band's commercial hot streak.

[edit] DeclineAfter two years of non-stop recording and touring, the band seemed burned out. Several band members were not on speaking terms with each other and their financial situation was less than perfect.

Despite this, Atlantic Records still expected a new album. The band recorded the album sporadically over a year. The Alberts were again brought in to produce the album, but the band once again required a second effort, which was produced by Kyle Lehning. The result, entitled Undertow, was released in March 1980. This would be the last album with the original lineup. During a 1980 tour of Japan, Michael Clarke, due to his binge drinking, missed gigs or showed up in no condition to play. The band resorted to hiring a German drummer, Dan Holsten, whose playing technique was similar to Clarke's, to sit in. Holsten, who even looked a lot like Clarke, had played in several other bands in the Colorado area and caught the eye of Jock and Larry one night at a Colorado Springs bar. He became known as a 'reliable' back up drummer for tours and some studio work. Upon completion of the tour, Clarke and Mark Andes both left the band. Clarke later died of alcoholism at his Treasure Island home in Florida in December 1993.

They were later permanently replaced by Kenny Loggins' former rhythm section, consisting of bassist George Hawkins and drummer Tris Imboden. With the two new players, the band recorded Clouds Across the Sun, which was released in December 1980 and spawned the early 1981 hit "Staying With It", which was done as a duet with singer Lisa Nemzo. After only a few television appearances, Hawkins resigned from the group to join up with Mick Fleetwood's Zoo , a side project the Fleetwood Mac drummer was recording in Africa. Hawkins was replaced by Kim Stone. Everything seemed to be on track until Larry Burnett suddenly disappeared from the group while on tour in April 1981 to return home, citing ill health as his reason (Burnett eventually kicked a serious drug habit and is now pursuing a solo career). After playing a concert with the band in Hawaii not long afterwards, Rick Roberts announced that he also was leaving for a solo career. With the band lacking personnel and increasing financial debt, Atlantic dropped Firefall from their roster in 1981 and released Best of Firefall at the close of that year.

[edit] Resumption and Later WorkUpset with the way things had turned out, Jock Bartley decided to put together a new lineup in early 1982. At Ron Albert's suggestion, Jock got together with two Miami based musicians, John Sambataro and Chuck Kirkpatrick. Sambataro was a singer/guitarist/keyboardist/bassist/songwriter who'd sung on record with Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Dave Mason, McGuinn, Clark & Hillman, the members of the Bee Gees and many others. John and Jock had actually met back in 1978 when they both played on the Criteria sessions for Andy Gibb's Platinum album, Shadow Dancing. Kirkpatrick was a singer/guitarist/keyboardist who'd sung with John on a number of the aforementioned sessions and had worked as an engineer at Criteria on such albums as Derek & The Dominos' Layla. Albert then brought in Alan Jacobi, a Miami entertainment lawyer who had a relationship with Atlantic, and Jacobi convinced the label to help fund Firefall's rekindling. Atlantic sprang for some new demos which led to a new album deal, and in the spring of 1982, Criteria sessions for the Break of Dawn LP began with Ron and brother Howard producing once again. Backing Bartley, Sambataro and Kirkpatrick were a number of Miami session players, with Stephen Stills and Rick Roberts making guest appearances. The album appeared in September 1982 and Jock, John and Chuck began auditioning additional players for a followup tour. Chuck's brother Scott(a top notch session drummer who, like John, had also played on record and toured with McGuinn, Clark & Hillman) and Colorado bassist Greg Overton were chosen and, at the last minute, David Muse decided to rejoin the band.

In the winter of 1983, Firefall set out across the U.S. to promote Break of Dawn. Unfortunately, the single from it, "Always," failed to reach the Top 40 and quickly fell off the charts.

Mirror of the World followed in the fall of 1983, the title track a comment on the effects of TV violence on children. The album had a much harder edge than its predecessors, which many radio programmers thought reflected too great a departure from the classic Firefall sound. Though the first single, the rocking "Runaway Love", written by Bartley, Sambataro and Paul Crosta, briefly appeared in a video on MTV and received limited radio airplay, this album too failed to attract sales and quickly disappeared.

The group, once again dropped by Atlantic, nevertheless continued to tour, headlining in smaller clubs and opening in larger venues for groups like the Beach Boys, Little River Band and Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band. In 1983 Overton quit(he would return briefly to play a few shows in 1986 as a fill-in) and Muse decided to retire from touring again. Steve Hadjoupolos(woodwinds, keyboards, backing vocals) and Bob Gaffney(bass, vocals) were brought in and the group soldiered on. Sandy Ficca replaced Scott Kirkpatrick on drums in 1984 and is still with them to date.

On the evening of August 4, 1986, Chuck Kirkpatrick was leaving from a local club gig in the area of Florida where he resided. After breaking down on the road home, he was shot and wounded in the arm by a freak passerby in a car who then fled the scene. The wound was serious enough to almost require amputation of Chuck's left arm, but thankfully, doctors were able to save it and Chuck was able to play again after a very difficult rehab period. Many Miami musicians, including Jon Secada and members of the Miami Sound Machine, came to Chuck's aid playing a series of shows to help defray the cost of Chuck's medical care and rehab. Firefall brought in Colorado musician Mark Oblinger to sit in for Chuck until he was able to return to the band in November 1986. But Kirkpatrick's tenure in the band was coming to an end. In late 1987 Gaffney left and Eddie Gleason came on in the interim. Then Chuck left at the tail end of 1987 after differences with Jock Bartley. Oblinger(who'd subbed for both Chuck and Gaffney in 1986) returned as Kirkpatrick's permanent replacement in December 1987 and Bil Hopkins was the new bassist. Dan Clawson(ex-Pure Prairie League) came in as well to take the place of Hadjoupolos in early 1988.

In 1989, after seven years in Firefall, Sambataro decided it was also time to say goodbye. Surprisingly, this paved the way for the return of Rick Roberts and in September 1992 Rhino Records responded to the demand to put out Firefall music on CD by releasing Firefall: The Greatest Hits which featured all of the singles and AOR favorites and one new song, "Run Run Away," about adult victims of earlier child abuse.

In the early 90s the personnel shuffles continued. Oblinger left in late 1992 to be replaced by Bruce Crichton, who turned it over to Steve Manshel in June 1993. Roberts, who was suffering from health problems, left as well with Steven Weinmeister coming on board in May 1993. After Dan Clawson left that same year there were several people to occupy the woodwind/keyboards chair, including Bray Ghiglia(1993–1994), the returning David Muse(1994–1995; 2000–2003), Jim Waddell(1993; 1995–96; 1998–2000; 2003) and Bob Fisher(1996–1998; 2007). Chris Ball has been the band's regular sax/flute/keys player since 2003.

While touring in 1993 Firefall encountered the terrible Flood of 1993. One of their gigs was canceled and a few had to be moved to higher ground. In response Jock wrote "When The River Rises", a song with an upbeat message of finding strength in adversity. The band recorded the song in Colorado Springs at Startsong Recording Studio, with engineer/programmer Tom Gregor co-producing with Bartley. "When The River Rises" was then brought back to St. Louis and played on the radio for the first time. At that point, the flood waters had still not crested. Vowing to donate a large portion of the publishing to Flood Relief, the song was sent to other radio stations in the flooded areas. It received heavy regional airplay and was also used by CNN and other TV stations behind coverage of the disaster.

With the band's profile raised, the search for a new record deal began. Some smaller companies showed interest. They decided to go with a Colorado independent label, Redstone Records, who'd had some successes in the smooth jazz genre. Messenger was recorded in Denver and Boulder and was released in September 1994. Bartley had been stock piling songs for ten years for just this opportunity. Along with the hard edged "When The River Rises" and "Secret," his songs "Love Find A Way," "Very First Moment" (co-written with Rick Roberts) and "Who Ran Away" gave the album a familiar but updated Firefall sound. Bil Hopkins' song, "Say It's Over" (written with Mark Oblinger) and Steve Manshel's powerful "Innocent Victim" also appeared on the CD. Mark Andes and Richie Furay made guest appearances on the album and Jim Mason returned to the producer's chair. Messenger was much more diverse than anything the band had released to date with the usual love songs and ballads, but there were also songs about child abuse, environmental catastrophe and even sexual abuse/rape in the chilling "No Means No". The first single, "Love Find A Way," received some minor play on some stations, but Redstone didn't have the distribution clout to get the CD into all stores, so overall sales were disappointing. Some fans hailed it as "their best record since the early days of Firefall" and this gave the group a new touring impetus.

Manshel left the group in 1999 to pursue his own career and the band has been a five piece unit ever since. Other than short term fill-ins(Steve Jenks subbed for Hopkins in the spring and summer of 1998 and Gary Jones sat in for Weinmeister for a gig in November 1999 and one for Hopkins in June 2002), Bartley, Weinmeister, Hopkins and Sandy Ficca continue on in Firefall to this day.

In September 2007, Firefall released a brand new CD Colorado to Liverpool – A Tribute To The Beatles ( And on April 9, 2008, at Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado, there was a Firefall reunion concert that featured the current lineup joined by Mark Andes, David Muse, Larry Burnett and original Firefall studio percussionist Joe Lala. Rick Roberts attended the show as well but was unable to perform with the others due to health issues. As previously mentioned, Michael Clarke had died in 1993.

[edit] DiscographyLPs:

Firefall (1976)
Luna Sea (1977)
Elan (1978)
Undertow (1980)
Clouds Across the Sun (1980)
Best of Firefall (1981)
Break of Dawn (1982)
Mirror of the World (1983)
The Greatest Hits (1992)
Messenger (1994)
Colorado to Liverpool – A Tribute To The Beatles (2007)
[edit] SinglesPOP #42 - Livin' Ain't Livin' (1976)
POP #9, AC #6 - You Are the Woman (1976)
POP #34, AC #36 - Cinderella (1977)
POP #11, AC #1 (2wks) - Just Remember I Love You (1977)
POP #48 - So Long (1978)
POP #11, AC #24 - Strange Way (1978)
POP #43, AC #10 - Goodbye, I Love You (1979)
POP #35 - Headed For A Fall (1980)
POP #50, AC #9 - Love That Got Away (1980)
AC #46 - Only Time Will Tell (1980)
POP #37, AC #46 - Staying With It (1981)
POP #59, AC #24 - Always (1983)
POP #103 - Runaway Love (1983)

Stay tuned for more re: tickets I wil give away and details on a song I co-wrote and with one of the band members.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Dearest Republican Party -

Please know, I write this letter with love. You have given me so much and I owe it to you... I owe it to explain why I am leaving.

Granted, why should anyone take this letter seriously? After all, at only the young age of 30, I've already lost two elections, and according to some, I might not be able to campaign my way out of a wet paper bag.

But for some reason, when I have something to say, it seems that a lot of people listen. Yes, often times it is to ridicule me, vilify, demonize... but Maybe it's because they're aren't many people who have knocked on over 20,000 doors begging for votes, as well as run a major statewide campaign, all before the age of 30? There's gotta be some wisdom gained from all of that. And for those reasons, I think most would want to know why this 30-year-old, after so many experiences, is switching from Republican to Democrat.

So here goes -

There are three things I have always labeled myself before 'Republican,' as follows - a Constitutionalist, a Capitalist, and an American.

Consider this idea: without Capitalism, our Constitution, and our great country of America to hold both things together, there would be no Republican Party. There would be no Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. There would be no freedom! Ultimately, this is the finest credit of our Founding Fathers, a modern day group of divinely inspired saints, who wrote the greatest set of laws and actively fought for their implementation.

And yes, some will say that Europe (and Canada) would lead our world without America, but such words are the height of intellectual dishonesty. In France and Quebec, Muslim women may soon not be allowed to wear veils in many public places. In Switzerland, you are not allowed to build a minaret, a quasi-ban against building mosques. In England, various human rights groups have produced reports showing that Muslims are heavily redlined, so aggressively to the point that they have nothing to turn to but their own religion, leaving them angry, and in some cases... extreme.

Yes, the above examples may seem like simple squabbles, but as a minority whose mother grew up on the doorsteps of Afghanistan, where a Communist-Afghan government ceded control to the Soviet Union, with the eventual goal of invading the rest of South Asia and turning all the innocents into serfs, then yes... yes, it is difficult not to remain very cognizant of the stripping of any civil liberty.

In watching this summer, with the promotion of Arizona's SB 1070, calls to revoke the 14th Amendment, anger at the overturn of California's Proposition 8, and lastly, aggressive protest against a mosque in New York City, I came to question how much the GOP values the vision of our American Saints, the Founding Fathers. Quite frankly, we are no longer the party of Constitutionalists.

Now that said, we are not the party of bigotry, either. I know I made many criticisms this last fall, including accusations of bigotry, but on my deepest reflection, especially when I think of all the wonderful precinct captains and activists who fed and cared for me endlessly, when I knocked on doors, carrying our flag, I do not believe that the majority of the current activist network of the Republican Party is motivated by bigotry... and I am sorry for perpetuating that notion.

But I do know what you are motivated by: security.

In an effort to 'protect' what America is, what the Founding Fathers kindly left us, the Republican Party has made the decision to put most emphasis on security - aggressively ridding our country of illegal immigrants who may not share our American values, stopping terrorists, preventing all forms of treason, to the point of... to the point of gutting our Constitution and restricting our civil liberties, all through atrocious programs that will be funded with increased spending and taxes.

The Founding Fathers wrote little on immigration, but their policies led to Ellis Island, where a plaque under our Statue of Liberty read, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free."

When I look at our border with Mexico and see thousands of immigrants, putting themselves inside semis with little water, little food, under terribly hot temperatures, all taking the risk of never breathing again... all for the sake of living in a squalid apartment, so that they can work at a minimum-wage job, well... well, like George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, who both supported amnesty, I see a lot of "huddled masses, yearning to breathe free."

I also believe that gays should be able to marry each other, even if it invites violent reaction - like Patrick Henry, I do believe it better to be a dead man with full rights than a living man with none.

And of course, I believe that all religions have a right to worship, and in private property - a complete contrast to the vision of the Soviet Union's Communists, who banned all forms of worship, because to them, there was only one entity that should be worshiped - the government.

And hear this - I will never worship a party or a government, no matter how much its officials may rule by intimidation, because my Constitutional rights are given to me by God. I know who my Creator is, and more importantly, I respect anyone who wants to worship a Creator that is different from mine and I even extend that respect to people who don't believe in any kind of Creator, because to do so, under the vision of our Founding Fathers... well, that's what we call being an "American."

So I am at a juncture - do I stay with my party and work to change it? Or do I spend this precious time pursuing other goals? Because, honestly, I will run for office again - and I will run because I have a vision for what I want America to be:

Fixing our financial system by reimplementing the Glass-Steagall Act, while repealing the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and the Sarbanes Oxley Act.

Fix campaign finance by repealing the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act and replacing it with a system of unlimited contributions, with full transparency.

Fix health care with a privatized expansion of Medicaid, instead of ObamaCare and mandated health care.

Repeal the Patriot Act.

Cut all tax rates and cut spending.

Help our inner-cities, not with a gentrifying bulldozer, but rather, with opportunities in the form of college scholarships, small business loans, and school vouchers.

And the two most important goals in America, right now - extending equal rights to gays and finding a fair way to turn our illegal immigrants into citizens (a path where they get green cards, provided that they pay back-taxes and pay a fine for entering illegally - we can devise a logical solution, I'm sure).

The good news though? There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of activists, working on all the causes above. But we are sorely missing good leadership on these two issues.

Public Schools

Yes, many gripe about education, but few are offering solutions. As a person who served as a public school tyro-teacher at the Los Angeles Unified School District, I think I have the answer. Since our inception and the creation of small, red-bricked schoolhouses, our practices of pedagogy have seen little change. Pedagogy is the way, in which our teachers instruct their students, and sadly, today's pedagogy is based on an IQ score, a shallow evaluation that can somewhat test one's linguistic and logical skill, but too often misrepresents true intelligence. Instead, we need a public school system that is driven by new pedagogy - a system based on Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, Spencer Kagan's Cooperative Learning, and John Dewey's Project Based Learning. Training our teachers to practice these methods of pedagogy, when writing their curriculums and lesson plans, as well as rewriting our evaluations to test based on such theory, will advance our public schools to the next level.

Foreign Policy:

We must stop sanctions and open more free trade. Sanctions against third-world countries, particularly ones driven by dictators, terribly hurt the people, as many studies show, often to the point of exaggerating an already terrible situation. Free trade, as shown by many studies, creates new economies and new jobs, with civil liberties and literacy soaring soon after. The best example would be President Bill Clinton's removal of sanctions and opening of free trade with China - in just a few years, what was a long, Communist tradition, is starting to look very capitalistic! And yes, there is an ugly side... the sweatshops and low wages... but I'll take that any day over Saddam Hussein! And you know what? The people will unionize, demand more rights, and ultimately, a balance is created where capitalism flourishes, hand in hand, with human rights - this is why I truly believe, ultimately, the answer to ending global poverty is through capitalism. Yes, greed is, indeed, good.

Yes, I have some major goals for the world - goals that, to me, justify why I would want to run for office again - and mark my words - I will run again.

But in my deepest heart and with my best intellect... I just cannot see myself winning a Republican primary in my lifetime.

When I appeared on Fox News for one straight week this summer to debate Laura Ingraham, Bill O'Reilly, and David Asman over the need to build the Ground Zero mosque, on the basis of Constitutional ideals, I knew it was over...

Let's face it... a 30-second commercial of me, defending the mosque, running during any Republican Primary, over the next 20 years?

I'm finished... I knew it the moment I cinched my bolo tie in front of that Fox News camera.

And let's say, miraculously, that Tea Partying Republicans decide to openly embrace Muslims and fall in love with them and their mosques. I could still never run away from my strongly held pro-gay and pro-immigrant positions... and truly, why stay in a party that doesn't want your voice?

Yes, the Democratic Party is not perfect, but as of today, they are much closer to the Constitution than the GOP, in choosing the Founding Fathers over security, as evidenced by their pro-mosque, pro-gay, and pro-immigration activists... many of whom have kindly opened their door to me.

But the person who opened the door widest? Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

It is Speaker Pelosi, who has personally recruited me to join the Democratic Party. In calling me and asking to meet in Los Angeles, Speaker Pelosi looked into my eyes and said (I am paraphrasing), "I don't mind if you're conservative and don't support universal health care... what I ask of you is that you work to make sure that every American is given an opportunity. If we can agree on that, then you're a Democrat! And I want you to make your home here!"

To me, American opportunity is making sure we have great public schools, great public universities, and credit lines always open to potential small business owners, regardless of race, religion, economic background, and sexual orientation, because education and business creation, truly, are the ways we offer the "American Dream" - and Speaker Pelosi, I can fight proudly for that principle!

And more importantly, like my heroes Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, there is one particular quality of Speaker Pelosi that I adore, which is severely missing in today's political sphere - whenever she is on TV, no matter the channel or the group, Speaker Pelosi always says the same thing - nothing different. She's consistent - and where I come from, we call that "character."

Considering that she is young, motivated, and wants to write a new Democratic Party as we go forward, one based on opportunity for all, I proudly say that Speaker Pelosi is a hero of mine and I'm proud to stand with her as a Democrat, as she will be the primary influence upon our Democratic Party within my lifetime... as well as a great influence upon me.

And in following her path closely, what Speaker Pelosi reminds us is that we should reject political xenophobia, because there is only one thing that makes us all Americans: a drive to be the best! No matter who you are, who you love, what you speak, who you worship, or where you come from, provided that you follow our Constitution... that's what makes you a good American... that drive to be the best.

And it's no wonder that the Founding Fathers would write a Constitution that welcomes all and encourages all those to come in who yearn to "breathe fee." After all, under our system of public universities and healthy small business environments, the more people we welcome inside, the better we will get, because no one offers opportunity the way we do, without discrimination and with such a soft hand... that's what makes America an experience never before found in human history... but an experience whose system of freedoms is dependent upon the tough spines of those intellectuals who are courageous enough to maintain it.

Lifetimes are important... the leaders of today will dictate what is happening 10 years from now and likely more... and life is not infinite (I wish it was)... my choices today must reflect what I hope to accomplish, even if it is 50 years from now, because ultimately, my choices at this age of 30, are probably more important than the ones I'll make when I'm 80, because when 80 rolls around, well... well, the final curtain will be close.

Joining a great Democratic Party? It is the right decision. And while I'm not running anytime soon, I need as much time as I can get to help the Democratic Party by contributing to their candidates, volunteering time for their committees, and overall, helping grow the good party... if I rely on the Democrats to help me carry the goals above, then I need to spend some years helping them first.

In the coming weeks, I will be starting a group that champions gay marriage and pathways of citizenship for Illegal Immigrants, on the basis of Constitutional ideals (look out for that announcement). I'll also be sharing why I'm changing part of my name to "Miguel," in recognition of my recently discovered Spanish/Latino heritage, all things that coincide with this time full of changes.

But with that said, my dearest Republican Party, please know this - I will never regret our time together. Through the 2000s, with George W. Bush as president, we lifted many sanctions against Muslim countries, opened much free trade, and gave so much opportunity that, according to the Millennium Challenge Institute, the Muslim world saw spikes in civil liberties, literacy, and most importantly, jobs! Because through Bush, by aggressively helping the economies of the Muslim world, through free trade and the removal of sanctions, we built the one weapon that will most combat Osama Bin Laden's terrorism - prosperous middle classes! And with 53 of 56 Muslim countries declaring themselves allied with us by the end of 2008, I would say we did excellent... not everything was perfect, but in setting the goal to rid the world of terrorism, we planted the seeds that will not only accomplish such goal, but also end much poverty at the same time.

We did great. And we made for a great family.

I want to specifically and especially thank Speaker Newt Gingrich, a man who mentored me and taught me the greatness of the Republican Party. If the Republican Party can be put in a better direction, I think Speaker Gingrich the best man for the work, provided that he use his brilliant mind to push fiscal conservatism.

I want to thank Senator Jon Kyl - deep down, I know he's a good man, and I hope he champions the 'right' policies, not the popular ones.

A major thank you to Grover Norquist and everyone at the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). Yes, I may be a Democrat now, but I'm still keeping my membership with ATR!

I must thank Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, as well as Governor Ralph Carr, my political heroes, whose values were directly tested in the face of public opinion polls, yet who time and time again, came out with the 'right' position, not the popular one.

Of course, my mother, my biggest hero, my best friend, and the biggest reason for why I was a Republican - for the record, she was the first to actively encourage me to leave the GOP, despite her loyalty to it.

My political mentors, Minority Leader Mike May and Representative Douglas Bruce, the best mentors a man could ask for.

And of course, the great GOP activists of Colorado in the Counties of Lake, Summit, and Eagle, as well as Lincoln, Park, Larimer, El Paso, and Denver. Thank you to my favorite County Chairmen/women, Randy Milhoan of Eagle, Debra Irvine of Summit, MaryEllen Thoren of Lake, Janell Reid of Lincoln, Richard Elsner of Park, Larry Carillo of Larimer, Kay Rendleman of El Paso, and David Dill of Pueblo.

And of most special note: the Republican Party is the one that trained me - your precinct captains, your county chairs, vice-chairs, secretaries and treasurers - the ones who taught me how to knock on doors, get my teeth knocked out, put them back in my mouth and keep on going... you did become my family... and these lessons you gave me... these lessons will be my best advantage when I run again.

Should I be successful someday in making our foreign policy and public schools better, you, the Republican Party... you can be the first to take credit, because through you, I learned, I gained, I bettered myself.

I became wiser.

And you, the Republican Party, you brought the best out of me.

Some say I should stay. That I should stay and... and "change" you. And for the last few months, maybe I haphazardly tried?

But trying to "change" you is proving to be more devastating than even leaving.

Who am I to say you should change? Me? A two-time loser?

But more importantly, how am I suppose to enjoy this continual fight with family? How is a son supposed to go to his mother and tell her she's wrong? The precinct captains who fed him and taught him so much, when he knocked on all those doors? Would a good son truly stay here, just to continually tell his mother that she should "change?"


For this historical record will note, that I left you as a grateful, not an ingrate.

Yes, I do wish this was a song on the radio that would never end... a dance that could last forever... a moment in time I could freeze, put in my pocket, and keep as mine... forever.

But if running for office has truly taught me anything, it's that there are just some things I can never control, no matter how much I really wish I could.

What will I keep forever?

A broken red heart.

With love and peace - thank you.

Muhammad Miguel Ali Hasan


New Congress to Reconsider Defunding NPR

Part of Larger Push to Reduce Government Spending

Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) this week reintroduced two bills to ensure that taxpayer dollars no longer subsidize National Public Radio. H.R. 68 would end all federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the parent organization of National Public Radio (NPR), after fiscal year 2013. H.R. 69 is more narrowly focused on NPR and would end all federal funding for that news organization after fiscal year 2013.

“Congressional Republicans must show the American people that we are serious about cutting spending and reducing the size and scope of the federal government. We simply cannot afford to subsidize NPR, or any other organization that is not doing an essential government service. The government must learn to live within its means.

“While I like much of NPR’s programming, the fact is, it is luxury we cannot afford to subsidize. This effort to cut government spending should be part of the larger push from this new Republican Congress to cut spending and get our nation’s fiscal house in order.”– Doug Lamborn (CO-05)

This year, American taxpayers will subsidize the CPB to the tune of over $430 million. Congress has appropriated funding beyond the rate of inflation for the CPB. Over the past decade, funding for public broadcasting has risen over 26 percent.

Federal funding for CPB is unnecessary. The intent of federally-funded public broadcasting in the Public Broadcasting Act was to make “telecommunications services available to all citizens of the United States” (47 U.S.C. 396). Today, over 99 percent of Americans own a TV and over 95 percent have access to the Internet. Government-funded broadcasting is now completely unnecessary in a world of 500-channel cable TV and cell phone internet access.

NPR claims that less than 2 percent of its total annual budget comes from the federal government. But when the indirect revenues NPR receives in licensing fees from the federally-funded local stations are included, that number jumps to an estimated 20 percent.

NPR receives a significant amount of funding from private individuals and organizations through donations and sponsorships. For example, last October liberal activist billionaire George Soros pledged $1.8 million to NPR. NPR officials have claimed that taxpayer funding makes up only a small portion of their overall budget. Therefore eliminating taxpayer support should not materially affect NPR’s ability to operate. It will, however, save taxpayers millions of dollars each year.


WASHINGTON - No numbers in the year just ending are more consequential for President Obama than the results of the midterm elections. His party lost seats in the Senate and its majority in the House. The full impact of those numbers will only start to be felt when the 112th Congress convenes next Wednesday.

But other numbers from 2010 add shading and perspective to other aspects of the second year of the Obama presidency:

Speeches, statements and remarks: 491

News conferences and press availabilities: 27

-Formal, solo White House Press Conferences: 6

Town hall meetings: 17

-Backyard chats: 7

Domestic trips: 65 spanning 104 days

-Since taking office: 111 spanning 176 days

States visited for the first time: 9

Vacation trips: 6 (all or part of 32 days)

Foreign trips: 6 trips to 8 countries spanning 22 days.

Flights on Air Force One: 172

Flights on Marine One: 196

Unemployment Rates:

-January 8 2010: 10 percent.

-December 3, 2010: 9.8 percent.

National Debt in 2010: Up $1.56-trillion

-January 1, 2010: $12.311-trillion

-December 28, 2010: $13.871-trillion

Bills signed in 2010: 203.

Cabinet meetings: 6

Visits to Camp David:

-In 2010: 4 visits, 8 days.


-Golf: 29 rounds in 2010

-Basketball: 20 basketball outings.

Interviews: 107 in 2010

Meetings with foreign leaders: In 2010, President Obama had face-to-face meetings with 61 foreign leaders, 30 for the first time.

Days of no appearances: 24