<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Wed, 25 Apr 2018 08:52:06 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Banning Lewis Ranch gets new annexation agreement from Colorado Springs City Council]]> http://gazette.com/banning-lewis-ranch-gets-new-annexation-agreement-from-colorado-springs-city-council/article/1624897?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/banning-lewis-ranch-gets-new-annexation-agreement-from-colorado-springs-city-council/article/1624897?custom_click=rss

A modified annexation agreement for the Banning Lewis Ranch won approval Tuesday from the Colorado Springs City Council, slashing and eliminating fees for about 40 property owners at the 24,000-acre ranch on the city's east side.

Mayor John Suthers harkened back to Julius Caesar's historic crossing of the Rubicon river. "The die is cast," Caesar reportedly uttered in 49 B.C. as he led his army into Italy.

"We need to do it now. It's time to act," Suthers said, urging the council to approve the pact, replacing one from 1988.

After about five hours of discussion, debate and comments in support and opposition, only council members Bill Murray and Yolanda Avila voted against the new accord.

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Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:54:22 -0600
<![CDATA[10 things to know about Banning Lewis Ranch]]> http://gazette.com/10-things-to-know-about-banning-lewis-ranch/article/1624899?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/10-things-to-know-about-banning-lewis-ranch/article/1624899?custom_click=rss William Marion Banning staked out Banning Ranch near Colorado Springs in 1897. It was eventually transferred to Raymond W. “Pinky” Lewis, Banning’s son in law. Around 1930, Lewis expanded his property on the Hereford cattle ranch to about 38,000 acres spanning from Falcon to Widefield. Arizona real estate developer Frank Aries led the ambitious effort in the 1980s to annex the Banning Lewis Ranch into Colorado Springs. After the property’s 1988 annexation, Aries ran into financial problems and turned over the ranch to his lender in lieu of foreclosure after defaulting. The ranch was the biggest property involved in the nation’s S&L bailout in June of 1989, as federal regulators took over Western

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Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:14:58 -0600
<![CDATA[Explainer: Colorado Supreme Court ruling throws Doug Lamborn off the ballot]]> http://gazette.com/explainer-colorado-supreme-court-ruling-throws-doug-lamborn-off-the-ballot/article/1624919?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/explainer-colorado-supreme-court-ruling-throws-doug-lamborn-off-the-ballot/article/1624919?custom_click=rss

When the Colorado Supreme Court ordered state officials Monday to leave U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn's name off the Republican primary ballot, jaws dropped and heads spun. Almost immediately, the six-term congressman's attorneys vowed to take their case to federal court, where they hope to overturn a state provision at the crux of the ruling, seeking to keep Lamborn's electoral hopes alive. What are their chances? And why does Colorado's petition process seem so fraught with problems?

How did we get here?

Major-party candidates can get on the Colorado ballot two ways - through the caucus and assembly process and by petition.

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Wed, 25 Apr 2018 06:40:05 -0600
<![CDATA[Another judge rules against Trump on 'Dreamers' program]]> http://gazette.com/another-judge-rules-against-trump-on-dreamers-program/article/1624921?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/another-judge-rules-against-trump-on-dreamers-program/article/1624921?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled against the Trump administration's decision to end a program protecting some young immigrants from deportation, calling the Department of Homeland Security's rationale against the program "arbitrary and capricious."

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington wrote Tuesday that the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, "was unlawful and must be set aside."

Bates wrote that DHS' decision "was predicated primarily on its legal judgment that the program was unlawful. That legal judgment was virtually unexplained, however, and so it cannot support the agency's decision."

Bates gave DHS 90 days to "better explain its view that DACA is

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 22:33:07 -0600
<![CDATA[Six-term GOP Congressman Doug Lamborn should be kept off ballot, Colorado Supreme Court rules]]> http://gazette.com/six-term-gop-congressman-doug-lamborn-should-be-kept-off-ballot-colorado-supreme-court-rules/article/1624839?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/six-term-gop-congressman-doug-lamborn-should-be-kept-off-ballot-colorado-supreme-court-rules/article/1624839?custom_click=rss

In a stunning decision, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn didn't gather enough valid petition signatures to qualify for the June primary ballot in his bid for a seventh term.

Lamborn, however, plans to "immediately" sue in federal court, challenging the Colorado law that could keep him off the ballot, a campaign spokesman said.

Five GOP voters in Lamborn's 5th Congressional District had sued last month to remove the incumbent from the primary, charging that some of his campaign's circulators, hired to gather petition signatures, weren't Colorado residents, as the law requires.

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 13:58:01 -0600
<![CDATA[Teens' killings, deputy's death: Could Colorado Springs gang unit have made a difference?]]> http://gazette.com/teens-killings-deputys-death-could-colorado-springs-gang-unit-have-made-a-difference/article/1624789?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/teens-killings-deputys-death-could-colorado-springs-gang-unit-have-made-a-difference/article/1624789?custom_click=rss

In the weeks before the Colorado Springs Police Department would disband its gang unit, members of the specialized team sat talking with known gang member Diego Chacon as part of a disturbance call.

It wasn't the first time they'd contacted the then 17-year-old, who was known for his trail of petty crimes, but this time he told them he was done with the South Side Soldados. He wanted out of the gang life, a ranking officer familiar with the conversation said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media.

Police Chief Pete Carey abruptly disbanded the unit in September 2016 to combat a "critical" staffing shortage that left patrol officers unprotected on violent calls and response times

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 12:19:41 -0600
<![CDATA[Momentous Banning Lewis Ranch vote scheduled; concerns voiced about fire, police]]> http://gazette.com/momentous-banning-lewis-ranch-vote-scheduled-concerns-voiced-about-fire-police/article/1624794?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/momentous-banning-lewis-ranch-vote-scheduled-concerns-voiced-about-fire-police/article/1624794?custom_click=rss

Just how long future residents of the 24,000-acre Banning Lewis Ranch might have to wait before police and fire stations are built in their neighborhoods remains unclear, as the Colorado Springs City Council approaches a vote Tuesday on an updated annexation agreement for the sprawling countryside east of the city.

Until those stations are built, police officers and firefighters will have to cover the ranch from existing stations, potentially diminishing their already-substandard response times.

The council is somewhat split on the proposed agreement, though its approval is considered likely.

The new agreement would eliminate several fees and ease other financial requirements on developers.

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:42:59 -0600
<![CDATA[City resolution protecting Banning Lewis Ranch open space a small win for some, has developer's support]]> http://gazette.com/city-resolution-protecting-banning-lewis-ranch-open-space-a-small-win-for-some-has-developers-support/article/1624852?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/city-resolution-protecting-banning-lewis-ranch-open-space-a-small-win-for-some-has-developers-support/article/1624852?custom_click=rss

The largest property owner at Banning Lewis Ranch is resolved to preserve the land's natural features and responsibly develop the site, says a resolution being considered by the Colorado Springs City Council.

But the resolution is non-binding and doesn't specify how Nor'wood Development Group - which owns about 18,000 of the ranch's 24,000 acres - will maintain its plot of land.

Even so, the resolution is a small win, said Lee Milner, a founder of the city's Trails, Open Spaces and Parks program and a longtime open space advocate.

"Does the resolution give us something to stand on? Yes," Milner said Monday. "And I'd rather have something to stand on than not.

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:42:20 -0600
<![CDATA[Gay rights: Colorado Senate committee OKs religious adoption rules, nixes conversion therapy ban]]> http://gazette.com/gay-rights-colorado-senate-committee-oks-religious-adoption-rules-nixes-conversion-therapy-ban/article/1624882?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/gay-rights-colorado-senate-committee-oks-religious-adoption-rules-nixes-conversion-therapy-ban/article/1624882?custom_click=rss

A Republican majority on a Colorado Senate committee took two opposite actions that riled up gay rights advocates Monday night.

The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee passed a rule on adoptions that the gay rights organization says is designed to allow discrimination against same-sex couple. It also voted down a bill that would have banned licensed therapist for practicing conversion therapy or minors questioning their sexuality.

Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, who sponsored Senate Bill 241, said discrimination isn't always a bad thing.

"Some uses of discrimination are not illegal," he said. "We identify what is illegal, because it's wrong.

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:32:50 -0600
<![CDATA[How to get rid of household wastes, such as mattresses or TVs, for free in Colorado Springs area]]> http://gazette.com/how-to-get-rid-of-household-wastes-such-as-mattresses-or-tvs-for-free-in-colorado-springs-area/article/1624861?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/how-to-get-rid-of-household-wastes-such-as-mattresses-or-tvs-for-free-in-colorado-springs-area/article/1624861?custom_click=rss

Residents will have to register for El Paso County's next household hazardous-waste disposal event, since the April 14 "Clean Sweep" dropoff drew nearly 800 people, with some waiting in line more than an hour.

It was the highest attendance since the 1990s, when the events spanned two days at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, said county Environmental Division Manager Kathy Andrew, who expected 400 to 500 people this year.

Instead, the county's Household Hazardous Waste Facility collected 80,000 pounds of electronics, 398 mattresses, 956 tires, hundreds of gallons of chemicals, such as motor oil and antifreeze, and more, Andrew said.

"Certainly, our goal is always to provide excellent customer service," she said. "We

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:19:02 -0600
<![CDATA[Fire damage to Colorado Springs Airport estimated at $5 million]]> http://gazette.com/fire-damage-to-colorado-springs-airport-estimated-at-5-million/article/1624845?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/fire-damage-to-colorado-springs-airport-estimated-at-5-million/article/1624845?custom_click=rss

Fire damage to the Colorado Springs Airport will cost about $5 million to repair, while the cause of the blaze remains under investigation, officials said Monday.

The Colorado Springs City Council is considering an emergency appropriation so the airport can start repairs now before insurance claims are finalized. The council will vote on that appropriation Tuesday.

The three-alarm fire sparked late April 16 tore through the airport's roof, ceiling and office spaces. Nearby propane tanks - on site for roof repairs - fueled the flames further. Flights were halted but resumed early Wednesday.

The airport, an enterprise of the city, has money on hand to make the repairs, but it needs permission to spend it, Aviation

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:17:42 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado teachers have a lot to sweat out in final days of legislative session]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-teachers-have-a-lot-to-sweat-out-in-final-days-of-legislative-session/article/1624851?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-teachers-have-a-lot-to-sweat-out-in-final-days-of-legislative-session/article/1624851?custom_click=rss

Colorado teachers have a lot riding on the last two weeks of this legislative session, in policy and politics, from their paychecks to their pensions.

The state House this week is expected to debate and vote on a fix to the state Public Employees' Retirement Association, a move to shore up the pension plan within 30 years, so the money collected from current workers and taxpayers is there when they retire.

More than 60 percent of the 586,634 public employees in the pension plan are teachers, school administrators, bus drivers, lunchroom workers or others who tend children in K-12 education.

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Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:15:38 -0600
<![CDATA[Tiebreaker decides open Woodland Park City Council seat]]> http://gazette.com/tiebreaker-decides-open-woodland-park-city-council-seat/article/1624842?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/tiebreaker-decides-open-woodland-park-city-council-seat/article/1624842?custom_click=rss

A tied race for an open Woodland Park City Council seat was decided Wednesday with a drawing of lots.

Councilman Noel Sawyer won the drawing and was re-elected, beating fellow incumbent Jon Schafer, City Clerk Suzanne Leclercq said in a news release.

Both councilmen got 997 votes in the April 3 municipal election. An April 16 recount confirmed those results.

Mayor Neil Levy also was re-elected, defeating Councilman Val Carr. Levy received 1,187 votes to Carr's 1,008. Two other open council seats went to Realtor Hilary LaBarre, with 1,059 votes, and former city Finance Director Kellie Case, 1,205.

The winners were to be sworn in at Thursday's council meeting, Leclercq said in the release.

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Mon, 23 Apr 2018 18:41:44 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Senate president: Latest harassment report on Baumgardner 'much more professional']]> http://gazette.com/colorado-senate-president-latest-harassment-report-on-baumgardner-much-more-professional/article/1624821?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-senate-president-latest-harassment-report-on-baumgardner-much-more-professional/article/1624821?custom_click=rss

Colorado state Senate President Kevin Grantham of Cañon City told reporters this morning he believes the latest investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Sen. Randy Baumgardner "was done in a much more professional manner."

That statement is in marked contrast to his views of an earlier investigation into a separate allegation against the Hot Sulphur Springs Republican - an investigation that Grantham and Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert of Parker called "biased, inaccurate, inconsistent and with conflicts of interest."

As first reported by Bente Birkeland of KUNC Monday morning, the latest investigation revealed at least four nonpartisan Senate staffers complained about Baumgardner leering at a fellow

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Mon, 23 Apr 2018 17:07:59 -0600
<![CDATA[Census: Immigrants on welfare triples, Medicaid doubles]]> http://gazette.com/census-immigrants-on-welfare-triples-medicaid-doubles/article/1624840?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/census-immigrants-on-welfare-triples-medicaid-doubles/article/1624840?custom_click=rss

Welfare and Medicaid use by new immigrants, even those with college degrees, has surged to new levels, an indication that the jobs they came to America to take aren’t there, according to a new report.

The Census Bureau charted the growth in the use of taxpayer-funded programs for financially poor new immigrants and found the biggest rise in the use of welfare, roughly triple over the last 10 years.

And, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies, the use of Medicaid by immigrants has gone up nearly as much.

Steven Camarota, the center's director of research and the study's lead author, highlighted those two Census data points in noting that it has happened despite the increase in education

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Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:04:03 -0600