<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Sat, 28 Feb 2015 06:57:58 -0700 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Homeland Security budget issues could impact Colorado Springs command]]> By tom roeder tom.roeder@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/homeland-security-budget-issues-could-impact-colorado-springs-command/article/1547071?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/homeland-security-budget-issues-could-impact-colorado-springs-command/article/1547071?custom_click=rss

The Homeland Security budget showdown will be felt at U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, but won't impact the command's ability to protect America from threats, including terrorism, a spokesman said Friday.

Northern Command, formed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to protect American soil and provide Defense Department support in civilian disasters, has a sizable contingent of Homeland Security workers from the agency itself and its departments, including the Secret Service, Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard.

Those workers "will be forced to go on furlough or work without pay," command spokesman Army Lt. Col. Mike Jazdyk said Friday.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
The Homeland Security budget showdown will be felt at U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, but won't impact the command's ability to protect America from threats, including terrorism, a spokesman said Friday.

Northern Command, formed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to protect American soil and provide Defense Department support in civilian disasters, has a sizable contingent of Homeland Security workers from the agency itself and its departments, including the Secret Service, Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard.

Those workers "will be forced to go on furlough or work without pay," command spokesman Army Lt. Col. Mike Jazdyk said Friday.

]]>
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:30:28 -0700
<![CDATA[Congress OKs 1-week bill to keep Homeland Security open]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/congress-oks-1-week-bill-to-keep-homeland-security-open/article/1547077?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/congress-oks-1-week-bill-to-keep-homeland-security-open/article/1547077?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — Bordering on dysfunction, Congress passed a one-week bill late Friday night to avert a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department, as leaders in both political parties quelled a revolt by House conservatives furious that the measure left President Barack Obama's immigration policy intact.

The final vote of a long day and night was a bipartisan 357-60 in the House, a little more than an hour after the Senate cleared the measure without so much as a roll call.

That sent the legislation to the White House for Obama's signature, and capped a day of bruising political battles and rhetoric to match.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
WASHINGTON — Bordering on dysfunction, Congress passed a one-week bill late Friday night to avert a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department, as leaders in both political parties quelled a revolt by House conservatives furious that the measure left President Barack Obama's immigration policy intact.

The final vote of a long day and night was a bipartisan 357-60 in the House, a little more than an hour after the Senate cleared the measure without so much as a roll call.

That sent the legislation to the White House for Obama's signature, and capped a day of bruising political battles and rhetoric to match.

]]>
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:28:41 -0700
<![CDATA[Bill to address SWAT pranks rejected]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/bill-to-address-swat-pranks-rejected/article/1547072?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/bill-to-address-swat-pranks-rejected/article/1547072?custom_click=rss

DENVER — A bill to make it easier to catch kids who call in false bomb threats and prank others with phony threats failed Friday in the Colorado Senate.

The measure would have modified Colorado's anonymous threat hotline, called Safe2Tell. The hotline was enacted after the 1999 Columbine High School shootings to give students an anonymous way to report threats.

Officials say the hotline has saved lives. But the anonymity has made Safe2Tell a bullying tool for some.

The sponsor of the measure, Sen. Owen Hill, said that the word "Safe2Tell" has become a verb for bullies to threaten others with falsely reporting that the target is considering suicide or hurting others.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
DENVER — A bill to make it easier to catch kids who call in false bomb threats and prank others with phony threats failed Friday in the Colorado Senate.

The measure would have modified Colorado's anonymous threat hotline, called Safe2Tell. The hotline was enacted after the 1999 Columbine High School shootings to give students an anonymous way to report threats.

Officials say the hotline has saved lives. But the anonymity has made Safe2Tell a bullying tool for some.

The sponsor of the measure, Sen. Owen Hill, said that the word "Safe2Tell" has become a verb for bullies to threaten others with falsely reporting that the target is considering suicide or hurting others.

]]>
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:11:47 -0700
<![CDATA[Governor: Oil, gas rules must protect mineral owners' rights]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/governor-oil-gas-rules-must-protect-mineral-owners-rights/article/1547067?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/governor-oil-gas-rules-must-protect-mineral-owners-rights/article/1547067?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Any attempt to give local governments more control over oil and gas drilling in Colorado must protect the rights of people who own underground mineral rights, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Friday.

Some people have owned or leased those rights for decades, long before Colorado's growing cities spread onto land above rich oil and gas deposits, Hickenlooper said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"What right does government have to take that person's lease away from them?" he said. "Through no fault of their own, the march of suburbanization, suddenly their lease is worth less than it was."

Surface owners' property rights should also be protected, Hickenlooper said, adding that energy companies are



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
DENVER — Any attempt to give local governments more control over oil and gas drilling in Colorado must protect the rights of people who own underground mineral rights, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Friday.

Some people have owned or leased those rights for decades, long before Colorado's growing cities spread onto land above rich oil and gas deposits, Hickenlooper said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"What right does government have to take that person's lease away from them?" he said. "Through no fault of their own, the march of suburbanization, suddenly their lease is worth less than it was."

Surface owners' property rights should also be protected, Hickenlooper said, adding that energy companies are

]]>
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:09:08 -0700
<![CDATA[Partial shutdown? House rejects Homeland Security funding]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/partial-shutdown-house-rejects-homeland-security-funding/article/1547058?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/partial-shutdown-house-rejects-homeland-security-funding/article/1547058?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON (AP) — The rebellious Republican-controlled House unexpectedly voted down short-term funding for the Department of Homeland Security late Friday, increasing the prospect of a partial shutdown at midnight of an agency with major anti-terrorism responsibilities.

The vote was 224-203 against the measure as 52 Republicans abandoned their leaders on the legislation.

"You have made a mess," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said accusingly to Republicans as the vote neared.

In the aftermath, even some Republicans agreed.

"There are terrorist attacks all over world and we're talking about closing down Homeland Security. This is like living in world of crazy people," tweeted Rep.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
WASHINGTON (AP) — The rebellious Republican-controlled House unexpectedly voted down short-term funding for the Department of Homeland Security late Friday, increasing the prospect of a partial shutdown at midnight of an agency with major anti-terrorism responsibilities.

The vote was 224-203 against the measure as 52 Republicans abandoned their leaders on the legislation.

"You have made a mess," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said accusingly to Republicans as the vote neared.

In the aftermath, even some Republicans agreed.

"There are terrorist attacks all over world and we're talking about closing down Homeland Security. This is like living in world of crazy people," tweeted Rep.

]]>
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:01:53 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado moves ahead on medical marijuana crackdown]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-moves-ahead-on-medical-marijuana-crackdown/article/1546952?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-moves-ahead-on-medical-marijuana-crackdown/article/1546952?custom_click=rss

DENVER — A crackdown on medical pot growers in Colorado passed its first and toughest test in the state Legislature Thursday.

The bill's 5-0 bipartisan approval in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee gives law enforcement and state pot regulators hope that years of unsuccessful attempts to curb unregulated pot growers are nearing an end.

The bill changes rules for caregivers, who in Colorado are people designated to grow medical marijuana on behalf of others.

Colorado has about 3,000 marijuana caregivers but no statewide registry of where they're growing pot. As a result, police have no way to verify claims that growing sites are legal.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
DENVER — A crackdown on medical pot growers in Colorado passed its first and toughest test in the state Legislature Thursday.

The bill's 5-0 bipartisan approval in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee gives law enforcement and state pot regulators hope that years of unsuccessful attempts to curb unregulated pot growers are nearing an end.

The bill changes rules for caregivers, who in Colorado are people designated to grow medical marijuana on behalf of others.

Colorado has about 3,000 marijuana caregivers but no statewide registry of where they're growing pot. As a result, police have no way to verify claims that growing sites are legal.

]]>
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:12:35 -0700
<![CDATA[Ballot Countdown: Colorado Springs candidate events kick off busy March]]> BY MONICA MENDOZA MONICA.MENDOZA@GAZETTE.COM - http://gazette.com/ballot-countdown-colorado-springs-candidate-events-kick-off-busy-march/article/1546894?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ballot-countdown-colorado-springs-candidate-events-kick-off-busy-march/article/1546894?custom_click=rss

Round table about seniors' issues

Mayoral candidate Mary Lou Makepeace will host the third in a series of five round table discussions from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at The Center at Cordera, 9208 Grand Cordera Parkway.

The discussion will focus on issues important to seniors including housing and transportation, home care and lifelong learning.

Panelists include: Jason Reever, executive director of The Center at Cordera, Pat Ellis, executive director of Silver Key, Gregg Coopman, vice president of Right at Home Senior Care and Vicki Heffner, executive director of The Pillar Institute for Life Long Learning.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
Round table about seniors' issues

Mayoral candidate Mary Lou Makepeace will host the third in a series of five round table discussions from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at The Center at Cordera, 9208 Grand Cordera Parkway.

The discussion will focus on issues important to seniors including housing and transportation, home care and lifelong learning.

Panelists include: Jason Reever, executive director of The Center at Cordera, Pat Ellis, executive director of Silver Key, Gregg Coopman, vice president of Right at Home Senior Care and Vicki Heffner, executive director of The Pillar Institute for Life Long Learning.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

]]>
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:52:50 -0700
<![CDATA[US to spend $57 million more on stream damage from '13 flood]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/us-to-spend-57-million-more-on-stream-damage-from-13-flood/article/1546960?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/us-to-spend-57-million-more-on-stream-damage-from-13-flood/article/1546960?custom_click=rss

DENVER — The U.S. Agriculture Department said Thursday it will spend another $57 million on recovery work on Colorado rivers and streams that were damaged by the 2013 flood.

Most of the work will be done in Boulder, El Paso and Larimer counties, along with other projects in Jefferson, Morgan and Weld counties, officials said.

Projects can include shoring up eroded banks, removing debris and reseeding hillsides with trees and other vegetation, said Jason Weller, chief of the National Resources Conservation Service, part of the Agriculture Department. Work can be done on public or private land if requested by a state or local government agency, he said.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
DENVER — The U.S. Agriculture Department said Thursday it will spend another $57 million on recovery work on Colorado rivers and streams that were damaged by the 2013 flood.

Most of the work will be done in Boulder, El Paso and Larimer counties, along with other projects in Jefferson, Morgan and Weld counties, officials said.

Projects can include shoring up eroded banks, removing debris and reseeding hillsides with trees and other vegetation, said Jason Weller, chief of the National Resources Conservation Service, part of the Agriculture Department. Work can be done on public or private land if requested by a state or local government agency, he said.

]]>
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:47:29 -0700
<![CDATA[Group backs off plan to put fracking ban on Colorado ballot]]> By Dan Elliott, Associated Press http://gazette.com/group-backs-off-plan-to-put-fracking-ban-on-colorado-ballot/article/1546944?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/group-backs-off-plan-to-put-fracking-ban-on-colorado-ballot/article/1546944?custom_click=rss

DENVER — An activist group on Thursday backed off its earlier announcement that it would to try to get a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing on the Colorado ballot and said it would instead try to persuade Gov. John Hickenlooper to halt the practice.

Karen Dike of Coloradans Against Fracking said the group has not ruled out a campaign to put a ban on the 2016 ballot if the governor doesn't act.

"He should do the right thing and protect Colorado citizens, but if he doesn't, we'll look at other ways to achieve our goal, and our goal is to ban fracking in the state of Colorado," she said.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
DENVER — An activist group on Thursday backed off its earlier announcement that it would to try to get a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing on the Colorado ballot and said it would instead try to persuade Gov. John Hickenlooper to halt the practice.

Karen Dike of Coloradans Against Fracking said the group has not ruled out a campaign to put a ban on the 2016 ballot if the governor doesn't act.

"He should do the right thing and protect Colorado citizens, but if he doesn't, we'll look at other ways to achieve our goal, and our goal is to ban fracking in the state of Colorado," she said.

]]>
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:37:45 -0700
<![CDATA[Lee, Merrifield bills applauded by Colorado Springs residents]]> By BILLIE STANTON ANLEU billie.stantonanleu@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/lee-merrifield-bills-applauded-by-colorado-springs-residents/article/1546682?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/lee-merrifield-bills-applauded-by-colorado-springs-residents/article/1546682?custom_click=rss

Bills to radically reduce standardized testing and increase restorative justice for juveniles got a warm reception from about 50 citizens who braved a snowy Saturday morning to hear from state Rep. Pete Lee and state Sen. Michael Merrifield.

The people gathered at Penrose Library applauded several times as the Colorado Springs Democrats outlined their efforts.

Particularly popular was Merrifield's Senate Bill 78, which would slash standardized testing in Colorado public schools.

It would require the state Board of Education to seek a federal waiver so only one test each would be administered in elementary school and in middle school. The ACT would be the sole test in high school.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
Bills to radically reduce standardized testing and increase restorative justice for juveniles got a warm reception from about 50 citizens who braved a snowy Saturday morning to hear from state Rep. Pete Lee and state Sen. Michael Merrifield.

The people gathered at Penrose Library applauded several times as the Colorado Springs Democrats outlined their efforts.

Particularly popular was Merrifield's Senate Bill 78, which would slash standardized testing in Colorado public schools.

It would require the state Board of Education to seek a federal waiver so only one test each would be administered in elementary school and in middle school. The ACT would be the sole test in high school.

]]>
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:18:45 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado's most controversial marijuana-related bill gets test Thursday]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorados-most-controversial-marijuana-related-bill-gets-test-thursday/article/1546922?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorados-most-controversial-marijuana-related-bill-gets-test-thursday/article/1546922?custom_click=rss DENVER — Colorado's most controversial marijuana-related bill of the year is up for its first test in the Senate Thursday.

A measure to crack down on medical pot users faces a hearing. The bill would increase oversight on doctors who recommend marijuana for severe pain, the most common ailment on Colorado's medical marijuana registry.

The bill would also increase oversight on caregivers. Those are people authorized to grow medical pot on behalf of patients.

Colorado wants to reduce the number of people using medical marijuana, which is taxed at a fraction of the rate of recreational marijuana.

But previous attempts to crack down on the medical use of pot have run into stiff opposition.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
DENVER — Colorado's most controversial marijuana-related bill of the year is up for its first test in the Senate Thursday.

A measure to crack down on medical pot users faces a hearing. The bill would increase oversight on doctors who recommend marijuana for severe pain, the most common ailment on Colorado's medical marijuana registry.

The bill would also increase oversight on caregivers. Those are people authorized to grow medical pot on behalf of patients.

Colorado wants to reduce the number of people using medical marijuana, which is taxed at a fraction of the rate of recreational marijuana.

But previous attempts to crack down on the medical use of pot have run into stiff opposition.

]]>
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 08:49:49 -0700
<![CDATA[Red-light camera ban passes 1st test in Colorado]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/red-light-camera-ban-passes-1st-test-in-colorado/article/1546895?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/red-light-camera-ban-passes-1st-test-in-colorado/article/1546895?custom_click=rss

DENVER — A ban on red-light cameras and speed-van enforcement passed its first test Wednesday in the Colorado Legislature.

But a long afternoon of testimony showed the topic is as divisive as ever. In Colorado, 12 cities use the traffic-enforcement cameras.

State lawmakers have been debating red-light cameras for years, and the question pits lawmakers against police agencies that insist the cameras improve public safety.

"What are we targeting here, public safety or another revenue source?" asked Rep. Dan Coram, R-Montrose.

The question came after hours of testimony from police and pedestrian advocates asking lawmakers not to ban the cameras.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
DENVER — A ban on red-light cameras and speed-van enforcement passed its first test Wednesday in the Colorado Legislature.

But a long afternoon of testimony showed the topic is as divisive as ever. In Colorado, 12 cities use the traffic-enforcement cameras.

State lawmakers have been debating red-light cameras for years, and the question pits lawmakers against police agencies that insist the cameras improve public safety.

"What are we targeting here, public safety or another revenue source?" asked Rep. Dan Coram, R-Montrose.

The question came after hours of testimony from police and pedestrian advocates asking lawmakers not to ban the cameras.

]]>
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:32:13 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado lawmakers consider stricter snow-tire requirements]]> By Ivan Moreno, Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-consider-stricter-snow-tire-requirements/article/1546877?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-consider-stricter-snow-tire-requirements/article/1546877?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Colorado lawmakers are considering requiring snow tires or chains on noncommercial vehicles at all times during winter and spring months.

The bill goes to the core of what's a maddening experience for skiers and other travelers to the mountain resorts who get stuck in traffic for hours because of accidents on Interstate 70.

Democratic Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, the proposal's sponsor, says road delays and closures are costly to the tourism industry.

The proposal expected to be debated by the full House Thursday means drivers would need to have tires equipped for snow regardless of weather conditions from Nov. 1 to May 15 or face fines if they cause an accident.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
DENVER — Colorado lawmakers are considering requiring snow tires or chains on noncommercial vehicles at all times during winter and spring months.

The bill goes to the core of what's a maddening experience for skiers and other travelers to the mountain resorts who get stuck in traffic for hours because of accidents on Interstate 70.

Democratic Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, the proposal's sponsor, says road delays and closures are costly to the tourism industry.

The proposal expected to be debated by the full House Thursday means drivers would need to have tires equipped for snow regardless of weather conditions from Nov. 1 to May 15 or face fines if they cause an accident.

]]>
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:36:58 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado House rejects drill-limit penalties]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-house-rejects-drill-limit-penalties/article/1546881?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-house-rejects-drill-limit-penalties/article/1546881?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Democrats in the Colorado House have rejected a proposal to penalize communities that ban the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The vote Wednesday comes as the GOP Senate voted recently in favor of a similar proposal.

The votes show that Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature remain far apart when it comes to local communities limiting or banning fracking.

Lawmakers from both parties are staking out positions in advance of a Friday report from a task force reviewing Colorado's oil and gas regulations.

The task force will recommend that local governments be given a consulting role on some decisions about the location of large oil and gas facilities.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
DENVER — Democrats in the Colorado House have rejected a proposal to penalize communities that ban the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The vote Wednesday comes as the GOP Senate voted recently in favor of a similar proposal.

The votes show that Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature remain far apart when it comes to local communities limiting or banning fracking.

Lawmakers from both parties are staking out positions in advance of a Friday report from a task force reviewing Colorado's oil and gas regulations.

The task force will recommend that local governments be given a consulting role on some decisions about the location of large oil and gas facilities.

]]>
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:34:53 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs council, mayoral candidates stress need to end strife]]> BY BILLIE STANTON ANLEU billie.stantonanleu@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-council-mayoral-candidates-stress-need-to-end-strife/article/1546850?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-council-mayoral-candidates-stress-need-to-end-strife/article/1546850?custom_click=rss

"Collaboration," "cooperation" and "leadership" were the catchphrases Tuesday night as at-large Colorado Springs City Council and mayoral candidates spoke at the Organization of Westside Neighbors forum.

Eleven of the 13 at-large candidates attended; Vickie Tonkins and Vanessa Bowie did not. Mayoral candidate Lawrence Martinez likewise was missing from that field of six.

One of the first questions posed to five council candidates at the Westside Community Center concerned the city's two strategic plans - one by the mayor, the other from the council. The candidates agreed one plan is preferable.

"They need to be coordinated and relate to one another," said Merv Bennett, the sole council incumbent seeking re-election.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
"Collaboration," "cooperation" and "leadership" were the catchphrases Tuesday night as at-large Colorado Springs City Council and mayoral candidates spoke at the Organization of Westside Neighbors forum.

Eleven of the 13 at-large candidates attended; Vickie Tonkins and Vanessa Bowie did not. Mayoral candidate Lawrence Martinez likewise was missing from that field of six.

One of the first questions posed to five council candidates at the Westside Community Center concerned the city's two strategic plans - one by the mayor, the other from the council. The candidates agreed one plan is preferable.

"They need to be coordinated and relate to one another," said Merv Bennett, the sole council incumbent seeking re-election.

]]>
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:51:12 -0700