The week ahead: elections and energy

Burn, baby, burn.

Panic globally, act locally. Maybe three decades will be enough time to figure out whether oil shale is really any answer to energy needs. The 28th Oil Shale Symposium kicks off today at the Colorado School of Mines -- for information, go to www.mines.edu. On Tuesday, the Governor's Energy Office hosts the second annual New Energy Economy Conference, which focuses on local sustainable initiatives. Save some energy, because there's a Sustainability Gala to benefit the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado Thursday night at 1770 Sherman Street; find details at www.sustainablecolorado.org. And on October 18, Saturday@the Park is a daylong ceelbration of Denver's green infrastructure; play in City Park and plant 75 trees in the process. Dig up more info at www.theparkpeople.org.

Those FasTracks public hearings pick up speed this week, too.

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FasTracks gatherings are scheduled for October 15 in Montbello, the Highland neighborhood and Lakewood, followed by Thornton on Thursday; for a complete schedule, hop on www.RTD-FasTracks.com. And the Governor's Transportation Panel continues its meetings to convince the public that the state has a transportation problem, with stops in Logan County on October 15, Brush and Greeley on October 16, and Fort Collins and Westminster on October 17; the schedule stops here. Closer to home on October 18, Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, the Denver Department of Community Planning & Development and the Urban Land Institute host "Is this any way to grow a city?," a free forum on planning, from 9 a.m.- noon in the East High Cafeteria; to RSVP, e-mail athmaratlarge@ecentral.com.

Early voting starts exactly a week from today -- and in the meantime, expect to be assaulted by hundreds of campaign ads. Take a civilized break on Tuesday, October 14 when state senator Ken Gordon offers a talk entitled "The World Is Run by People Who Show Up," outlining how every citizen can be more than an observer of the political scene; the event is free, and runs from 6-8 p.m at eventgallery 910 Arts on Santa Fe Drive. For information, go to www.gallery910Arts.com. Show up. -- Patricia Calhoun

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