<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:12:02 -0700 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Comcast pact calls for higher fees in Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/comcast-pact-calls-for-higher-fees-in-colorado-springs/article/1594425?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/comcast-pact-calls-for-higher-fees-in-colorado-springs/article/1594425?custom_click=rss Comcast cable television subscribers would see their franchise fee ratchet up from $1.53 to $5 a month on a $100 bill under a new agreement proposed by the city.

The fee increase would be phased in, climbing to 3.5 percent of a customer's bill this year, to 4.5 percent a year later and then to 5 percent by 2019.

The fee revenues are passed directly to the city, which wants to use that money for a 311 system, a regional undertaking that would give people answers to all kinds of questions simply by dialing 311.

Only eight of the nation's 50 biggest cities - including Colorado Springs - lack 311. Denver has been using the system for a decade.

"I will not be supportive of raising this fee," Councilman Don Knight said.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:07:17 -0700
<![CDATA[Deadline is Monday to file nominating petitions to run for Colorado Springs City Council]]> http://gazette.com/deadline-is-monday-to-file-nominating-petitions-to-run-for-colorado-springs-city-council/article/1594756?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/deadline-is-monday-to-file-nominating-petitions-to-run-for-colorado-springs-city-council/article/1594756?custom_click=rss

Prospective Colorado Springs City Council candidates have until 5 p.m. Monday to submit nominating petitions with at least 50 valid signatures of voters registered in the district they seek to represent.

The petitions must be delivered to the City Clerk's Office at 30 S. Nevada Ave., Suite 101.

All six district council seats will be on the ballot; three at-large council seats will not.

Larry Bagley is not seeking re-election in District 2, where no candidates have surfaced yet, and District 3's Keith King is retiring from politics.

The four other district incumbents - Don Knight in District 1, Helen Collins in District 4, Jill Gaebler in District 5 and Andy Pico in District 6 - all are seeking re-election.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:29:36 -0700
<![CDATA[Last call for alcohol could vary if Colorado legislature approves bill]]> http://gazette.com/last-call-for-alcohol-could-vary-if-colorado-legislature-approves-bill/article/1594711?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/last-call-for-alcohol-could-vary-if-colorado-legislature-approves-bill/article/1594711?custom_click=rss

A bill expected to be introduced this week into the Colorado House would let towns, cities or counties decide if last call at the local bar remains 2 a.m. or goes all night long.

Rep. Steve Lebsock, a Democrat from Thornton, is introducing a bill that would allow municipalities to extend the hours.

"The state of Colorado should not be in the business of telling local governments when to open and close their businesses," Lebsock said. "It's a local control issue."

Lebsock said local governments, working with local law enforcement, are better informed to make a decision about when bars should close, or not close at all. A 2 a.m.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:08:00 -0700
<![CDATA[Inaugural speeches a catalog of plodding oratory, with gems]]> http://gazette.com/inaugural-speeches-a-catalog-of-plodding-oratory-with-gems/article/1594708?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/inaugural-speeches-a-catalog-of-plodding-oratory-with-gems/article/1594708?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON  — Quick quiz: Recall a phrase, any phrase, from either inaugural speech of one of America's most accomplished political orators, President Barack Obama.

Come up empty? Sad!

Fact is, inaugural speeches are usually not the finest hours in speechmaking, with some towering exceptions brought to us by Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and one or two others. Most are a lot of word candy, tasty to the crowds but empty calories for history. It's one thing to be eloquent, another to say something for the ages.

And when an inaugural speech does grab hold of the public imagination, history tends to remember it differently than the way it was received at the time.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:55:06 -0700
<![CDATA[El Paso County Sheriff Elder denies anonymous claims of departmental wrongdoing]]> http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-sheriff-elder-denies-anonymous-claims-of-departmental-wrongdoing/article/1594681?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-sheriff-elder-denies-anonymous-claims-of-departmental-wrongdoing/article/1594681?custom_click=rss

Days after the appearance of a new website containing unsubstantiated allegations against El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, he still hasn't seen it.

Nor does he intend to.

"This is the largest Sheriff's Office in the state," Elder said Wednesday. "The last thing I can do is sideline myself worrying about what some anonymous website says."

During a 70-minute interview in his downtown office, the county's top law enforcement officer dismissed many of the accusations, including the claims that he has torn up his policy manual and upended his disciplinary process to benefit a favored deputy. He chalked up the allegations to "disgruntled" employees and former employees bent on "impugning him.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 06:27:03 -0700
<![CDATA[AP Source: Trump picks former Ga. Gov. Perdue to lead USDA]]> http://gazette.com/ap-source-trump-picks-former-ga.-gov.-perdue-to-lead-usda/article/1594683?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ap-source-trump-picks-former-ga.-gov.-perdue-to-lead-usda/article/1594683?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to serve as agriculture secretary, according to a person familiar with the decision but not authorized to speak publicly before it is announced.

Perdue, 70, would be the first Southerner to lead the Agriculture Department in more than two decades. He comes from the small city of Bonaire in rural central Georgia, where he built businesses in grain trading and trucking.

The agriculture secretary job is the last Cabinet position for which Trump hasn't named a candidate.

Perdue began his political career as a Democrat in the state Legislature in the 1990s. But it was after switching his allegiance to the Republican Party

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:00:59 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado hospitals could close if Obamacare is repealed and not replaced, execs say]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-hospitals-could-close-if-obamacare-is-repealed-and-not-replaced-execs-say/article/1594671?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-hospitals-could-close-if-obamacare-is-repealed-and-not-replaced-execs-say/article/1594671?custom_click=rss

Hospitals across the state could be forced to cut back services or even close if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without an adequate replacement, several health care executives in Colorado warned on Wednesday.

A hospital in the San Luis Valley, for instance, may not be able to maintain a level of care that means patients currently don’t have to leave the valley for chemotherapy or to have surgery on broken bones, its CEO said. A hospital in Delta County — already with a profit margin only in the low single digits — could see its revenue dip dangerously close to the red, its CEO said.

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:50:45 -0700
<![CDATA[A blurry proposition: Separating political stunts from the real deal]]> http://gazette.com/a-blurry-proposition-separating-political-stunts-from-the-real-deal/article/1594619?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/a-blurry-proposition-separating-political-stunts-from-the-real-deal/article/1594619?custom_click=rss

One person's political stance can be another's political stunt. And the often-blurred line between the two can disappear entirely in news coverage. So, how's the public to tell the difference?

If it's the news media's duty to cull wheat from chaff - clarifying which political developments are the real deal and which were ginned up in advance - we often enough drop the ball. Or worse, we pick it up and run with it, content to have a "story" even if it was calculated, contrived and packaged for us in the first place.

A few weeks back, a federal judge in Denver arguably did the media's job for them - declaring from the bench, in so many words, that a brouhaha unfolding in his courtroom struck him as a "political stunt." Yet,

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:04:02 -0700
<![CDATA[Advocates for repealing the Colorado death penalty will be back before the legislature]]> http://gazette.com/advocates-for-repealing-the-colorado-death-penalty-will-be-back-before-the-legislature/article/1594617?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/advocates-for-repealing-the-colorado-death-penalty-will-be-back-before-the-legislature/article/1594617?custom_click=rss

Advocates for repealing the death penalty in Colorado are back with a legislative effort for the first time in four years, motivated by their belief the issue is gaining traction in battleground and red states.

But proponents still face an uphill battle in the legislature.

The Better Priorities Initiative of Colorado hopes to build off of work in the right-leaning state of Nebraska, where the legislature there repealed the death penalty in 2015, despite opposition led by Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The Nebraska legislature repealed the death penalty over the governor's veto, becoming the first conservative state in more than four decades to abolish the death penalty.

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:03:05 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado Energy Office gets new executive director praised by both sides]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-energy-office-gets-new-executive-director-praised-by-both-sides/article/1594632?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-energy-office-gets-new-executive-director-praised-by-both-sides/article/1594632?custom_click=rss

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday named a top Department of Natural Resources official to lead the state's Energy Office.

Kathleen Staks will take over for Jeff Ackermann, who was recently appointed to the Public Utilities Commission.

Staks will leave her role as the assistant director for energy and minerals at the Department of Natural Resources.

"The Energy Office has implemented great programs over the last several years to further energy efficiency and innovation and I look forward to exploring new opportunities across the energy spectrum," Staks said.

She will assume the role of executive director on Friday.

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:58:17 -0700
<![CDATA[Hickenlooper's plan to raise marijuana tax to fund schools draws doubts]]> http://gazette.com/hickenloopers-plan-to-raise-marijuana-tax-to-fund-schools-draws-doubts/article/1594647?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/hickenloopers-plan-to-raise-marijuana-tax-to-fund-schools-draws-doubts/article/1594647?custom_click=rss

Concerns have been raised that a proposal by Gov. John Hickenlooper to raise marijuana taxes would divert sales to the illegal market.

It's an interesting theory, considering the governor's office has made curbing so-called "gray" and "black" market sales a priority.

But former state Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, who led much of the effort around Proposition AA four years ago to levy marijuana taxes, said the governor's office might want to think twice about raising marijuana taxes if it plans on making a dent in illegal activities.

"It seems kind of odd that at the same time they're trying to do something about the black and gray markets they're going to ratchet up the taxes and drive more people to the black and gray

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:51:56 -0700
<![CDATA[El Paso commissioners express confidence in Sheriff Elder after anonymous charges]]> http://gazette.com/el-paso-commissioners-express-confidence-in-sheriff-elder-after-anonymous-charges/article/1594585?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/el-paso-commissioners-express-confidence-in-sheriff-elder-after-anonymous-charges/article/1594585?custom_click=rss

Almost three years after scandal ripped through the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, anonymous letters and a recently launched website attacking current Sheriff Bill Elder prompted the county commissioners into executive session Tuesday morning

The Board of County Commissioners ended their regular meeting Tuesday with the executive session to discuss "allegations against the Sheriff's office and legal options in response." They did not elaborate what was meant by "legal options."

In a statement released late Tuesday afternoon, the BOCC said, "All allegations in the anonymous letters recently received have been investigated and/or evaluated with the advice and oversight of the County Attorney's Office.

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:51:32 -0700
<![CDATA[AP-NORC Poll: Obama won nation's approval, didn't unite it]]> http://gazette.com/ap-norc-poll-obama-won-nations-approval-didnt-unite-it/article/1594625?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ap-norc-poll-obama-won-nations-approval-didnt-unite-it/article/1594625?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — More Americans feel Barack Obama's presidency divided the country than feel it brought people together, a new poll shows. Yet he leaves office held in high esteem by a solid majority.

Eight years after Obama's historic election, just 27 percent see the U.S. as more united as a result of his presidency, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted after the 2016 election. Far more — 44 percent — say it's more divided.

Those figures underscore one of the key contradictions of Obama's presidency. By and large, Americans like him. Yet, aside from the big "Obamacare" health care overhaul, he has been unable to translate that approval into congressional

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:22:40 -0700
<![CDATA[U.S. Olympic museum funding may hit Colorado Springs City Council wall]]> http://gazette.com/u.s.-olympic-museum-funding-may-hit-colorado-springs-city-council-wall/article/1594596?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/u.s.-olympic-museum-funding-may-hit-colorado-springs-city-council-wall/article/1594596?custom_click=rss

The prospect of spending Colorado Springs tax dollars on the U.S. Olympic Museum raised the dander of four City Council members at a Tuesday night forum that drew about 36 residents to the East Library.

The museum has applied for $500,000 from the Lodging and Automobile Rental Tax collected to support tourism, and the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau promised Tuesday to give the museum $500,000 from its reserves.

The CVB is funded largely by LART dollars.

"LART is supposed to be used to bring in tourism. It would be unprecedented to use capital improvements money on a private interest," said Council President Pro Tem Jill Gaebler, who is seeking re-election to District 5 in the central city.

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:38:06 -0700
<![CDATA[ON UNSOLID GROUND: New Colorado Springs landslides law ready for council vote]]> http://gazette.com/on-unsolid-ground-new-colorado-springs-landslides-law-ready-for-council-vote/article/1594589?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/on-unsolid-ground-new-colorado-springs-landslides-law-ready-for-council-vote/article/1594589?custom_click=rss

About 18 months after landslides started shaking and destroying 27 Colorado Springs homes, a rewrite of the city's geological hazards ordinance was deemed Tuesday to be ready for a vote.

City Councilmen Don Knight and Tom Strand have spent six months working on the law, chiefly to ensure that state geologists get more say on how to build appropriately in the landslide susceptibility zone.

Knight initially called for a moratorium on building in that zone west of Interstate 25, citing a culture that valued developer rights over residents' safety.

City officials quickly quashed that notion, urging Knight to remedy laws instead. He and Strand had expected to be done last June 28. Instead, the proposal will be introduced at

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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:36:39 -0700
<![CDATA[Report: Trump orders Obama-appointed ambassadors to leave posts by inauguration]]> http://gazette.com/report-trump-orders-obama-appointed-ambassadors-to-leave-posts-by-inauguration/article/feed/437162?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/report-trump-orders-obama-appointed-ambassadors-to-leave-posts-by-inauguration/article/feed/437162?custom_click=rss

Caitlin Yilek

President-elect Trump's transition team has reportedly ordered all ambassadors appointed by President Obama to leave their posts by the time the billionaire is sworn in — no exceptions.

That plan could leave the United States without Senate-confirmed diplomats in critical countries for months.

But several American diplomats familiar with the order told the New York Times that Trump's team will not allow any extensions.

A senior Trump transition official said the move was to ensure that Obama's overseas diplomats leave their government jobs as scheduled, just as federal government employees in the U.S. are required to do.

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]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 20:49:45 -0700 <![CDATA[Trump names Bush-era veteran and policy newcomer to posts]]> http://gazette.com/trump-names-bush-era-veteran-and-policy-newcomer-to-posts/article/feed/435597?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-names-bush-era-veteran-and-policy-newcomer-to-posts/article/feed/435597?custom_click=rss

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday appointed an experienced hand from the George W. Bush era to his national security circle and a figure from the Trump Organization to make international deals.

Thomas Bossert will become an assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. A statement from Trump's transition team said Bossert will advise the president on issues related to homeland security, counterterrorism and cybersecurity, and coordinate the Cabinet's process for making and executing policy in those areas.

The position notably "is being elevated and restored to its independent status alongside the national security adviser," the statement said.

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