<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:16:48 -0700 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[El Paso commissioners quickly pass ban on crosses on medical marijuana signs]]> http://gazette.com/el-paso-commissioners-quickly-pass-ban-on-crosses-on-medical-marijuana-signs/article/1569276?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/el-paso-commissioners-quickly-pass-ban-on-crosses-on-medical-marijuana-signs/article/1569276?custom_click=rss

Afraid visitors will confuse medical marijuana dispensaries with pharmacies, El Paso County commissioners on Thursday unanimously voted to ban green crosses from dispensary signage.

The resolution, which goes into effect immediately, only applies to dispensaries in non-incorporated parts of the county, and would not require existing facilities to remove their signs right away. But the resolution would require those businesses to change their signs when they renew their licenses, said Lori Seago, the senior assistant county attorney.

The addition to the county's ordinance governing medical marijuana will have a small impact, since only four medical marijuana facilities operate in county jurisdiction.

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Fri, 05 Feb 2016 11:22:49 -0700
<![CDATA[Lamborn: Colorado Springs clinic 'lied and heads need to roll']]> http://gazette.com/lamborn-colorado-springs-clinic-lied-and-heads-need-to-roll/article/1569289?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/lamborn-colorado-springs-clinic-lied-and-heads-need-to-roll/article/1569289?custom_click=rss

Workers at the Colorado Springs Department of Veterans Affairs clinic gave delayed care to hundreds of veterans and in some cases falsified records to make the situation appear better than it was, a report from the VA's internal watchdog found.

The VA had acknowledged long wait times at the clinic, but not to the scope found by the agency's inspector general. Investigators found that 68 percent of veterans appointments they reviewed took more than a month to get care.

"We reviewed 150 referrals for specialty care consults and 300 primary care appointments," the VA's inspector general said in the Thursday report. "Of the 450 consults and appointments, 288 veterans encountered wait times in excess of 30 days.

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Fri, 05 Feb 2016 07:19:55 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado right-to-die bill approved by House panel]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-right-to-die-bill-approved-by-house-panel/article/1569285?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-right-to-die-bill-approved-by-house-panel/article/1569285?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Supporters of a Colorado right-to-die bill hope to overcome a defeat in a GOP-led state Senate committee by urging a Democrat-led House panel Thursday to provide a legal option for the terminally ill to end their lives.

Opponents contend the bill would facilitate doctor-assisted suicide, especially with wrong terminal diagnoses, and insist existing hospice and palliative care for the dying is sufficient. They testified in droves Wednesday, and their arguments helped defeat a similar proposal last year.

A Senate committee voted 3-2 along party lines to reject the bill late Wednesday. The bill's sponsors hope to bring it back if it passes in the House.

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Fri, 05 Feb 2016 07:00:41 -0700
<![CDATA[Those who don't shovel snow in Colorado Springs could be cited]]> http://gazette.com/those-who-dont-shovel-snow-in-colorado-springs-could-be-cited/article/1569281?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/those-who-dont-shovel-snow-in-colorado-springs-could-be-cited/article/1569281?custom_click=rss

Another snowstorm and another snow day spent shoveling the sidewalk.

It's a grueling task familiar to Colorado Springs residents. Some love doing it, for safety reasons. Some do it in front of their home and their neighbors' homes.

And some people hate the task, and say they'll clear their walks when the city plows their streets.

Regardless of how residents feel about the age-old bugaboo of sidewalk clearing, Colorado Springs law states they must do it. City ordinance requires that residential sidewalks must be cleared 24 hours after snow has stopped falling or by 5 p.m. of the next business day. Property owners in violation could get a warning or a citation. The city can even clear the sidewalk and bill the homeowner,

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Thu, 04 Feb 2016 20:38:09 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado right-to-die legislation defeated in Senate hearing]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-right-to-die-legislation-defeated-in-senate-hearing/article/1569249?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-right-to-die-legislation-defeated-in-senate-hearing/article/1569249?custom_click=rss

Sen. Michael Merrifield's father wished to climb his favorite mountain, sit under a tree near Clear Creek and die peacefully on his own terms.

Instead Merrifield, a Democrat from Colorado Springs, retold the excruciating pain that his father, Kenneth Merrifield, lived through in the final months of his battle with prostate cancer before he died in 2001. Merrifield recounted the story in detail as he explained to members of a Senate committee Wednesday why he is sponsoring a bill making it legal for Colorado doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients.

"I watched him panting for breath," Merrifield said, stopping to regain his composure. "Then I told him, I whispered in his ear, that it was OK to go and

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Thu, 04 Feb 2016 08:07:00 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado group wants ballot measure to make it harder to change state constitution]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-group-wants-ballot-measure-to-make-it-harder-to-change-state-constitution/article/1569202?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-group-wants-ballot-measure-to-make-it-harder-to-change-state-constitution/article/1569202?custom_click=rss

DENVER - Civic leaders trying to make it harder to amend the Colorado Constitution will ask voters in November to require future petition signatures be gathered in each of the state's 35 Senate districts and that at least 55 percent of voters approve the initiative when it appears on the ballot.

"Our constitution has become a special-interest playground because the bar to amend it is so spectacularly, inexplicably, unthinkingly low," said former state Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, who is backing the five initiative petitions submitted Tuesday to Colorado Legislative Council Staff.

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Wed, 03 Feb 2016 21:10:37 -0700
<![CDATA[Latest Colorado health insurance enrollment surpasses 150,000]]> http://gazette.com/latest-colorado-health-insurance-enrollment-surpasses-150000/article/1569157?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/latest-colorado-health-insurance-enrollment-surpasses-150000/article/1569157?custom_click=rss

Thousands of people rushed to beat Sunday's deadline for purchasing health insurance for 2016, Colorado's exchange reported Tuesday.

The rush of last-minute shoppers helped push the state's exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, to 153,583 enrollments from Nov. 1 through Sunday, according to the exchange. The total was 11,944 more than the 141,639 enrollments recorded during the previous open enrollment period.

"I think there's a lot of satisfaction with the improvements we were able to achieve," said Luke Clarke, an exchange spokesman.

In addition, 25,604 people enrolled in dental coverage - most of whom also purchased medical plans.

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Wed, 03 Feb 2016 06:54:16 -0700
<![CDATA[Bill that would rededicate $15 million in state transit funding wins preliminary approval in Senate]]> http://gazette.com/bill-that-would-rededicate-15-million-in-state-transit-funding-wins-preliminary-approval-in-senate/article/1569147?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/bill-that-would-rededicate-15-million-in-state-transit-funding-wins-preliminary-approval-in-senate/article/1569147?custom_click=rss

A bill proposing to yank $15 million in transit funding for things like regional bus routes, urban rent-a-bike stations and bike lanes won preliminary approval Tuesday despite strong opposition from Democrats in the Senate.

Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, said that money is being "skimmed" from fees the state collects on things like vehicle registration, late registrations, car rentals and others. He said that when lawmakers imposed the new fees in the Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery Act of 2009 (FASTER), that money should have been limited to maintaining and constructing roads and bridges rather than transit programs.

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Wed, 03 Feb 2016 05:59:00 -0700
<![CDATA[Postal carriers on front lines of snowstorm hazards]]> http://gazette.com/postal-carriers-on-front-lines-of-snowstorm-hazards/article/1569115?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/postal-carriers-on-front-lines-of-snowstorm-hazards/article/1569115?custom_click=rss

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night . Wait a minute. Let's qualify that first part of the unofficial motto of the United States Postal Service. Snowstorms like the one that hit most of Colorado over the past few days can impact mail delivery.

Some Pikes Peak region residents may not have received mail Monday because of road closures or unsafe access to mailboxes, said Linda Neill, the U.S. Postal Service's customer relations coordinator for southern Colorado.

On Tuesday, all 12 post offices in the Colorado Springs area received mail from the central station in Denver, where it is dispatched for delivery, Neill said.

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Tue, 02 Feb 2016 20:20:02 -0700
<![CDATA[Feds issue reminder: Test students or risk losing funding]]> http://gazette.com/feds-issue-reminder-test-students-or-risk-losing-funding/article/1568810?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/feds-issue-reminder-test-students-or-risk-losing-funding/article/1568810?custom_click=rss

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The U.S. Education Department is not relenting on requirements to test students on math and language arts abilities, despite the end of No Child Left Behind, and it reminded some states that federal funding could be at stake if too many children skip the annual assessments.

But testing opponents say they're not giving up either, and after a surge in students opting out last year, they're looking for even more to sit out in the coming assessment season.

A letter from the federal department last month reminded state school chiefs that the requirement to test at least 95 percent of grade 3-8 students is still in place and will continue under the nation's new education law, passed in December.

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Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:32:53 -0700
<![CDATA[Proposed legislation would require snow tires, chains or four-wheel drive on part of I-70]]> http://gazette.com/proposed-legislation-would-require-snow-tires-chains-or-four-wheel-drive-on-part-of-i-70/article/1569073?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/proposed-legislation-would-require-snow-tires-chains-or-four-wheel-drive-on-part-of-i-70/article/1569073?custom_click=rss Snow tires, chains or four-wheel drive would be required under a bill moving through the Colorado General Assembly for drivers traveling Interstate 70 between Morrison and Dotsero from Oct. 1 to May 15 every year.

The bill passed on Second Reading in the House of Representatives on Monday morning, and will be considered on third and final reading later this week.

Some Republican lawmakers objected to the proposal.

"For me this comes down to personal responsibility and the person being able to make that decision themselves," said Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock. "I don't think that criminalization is a way to educate.

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]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 17:40:02 -0700 <![CDATA[This Week: Events in and around Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/this-week-events-in-and-around-colorado-springs/article/1569030?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/this-week-events-in-and-around-colorado-springs/article/1569030?custom_click=rss The city of Colorado Springs will host an open house Monday to ask for feedback on road improvements on Pikes Peak Avenue from Colorado Avenue to Nevada Avenue.

The proposed project includes the reduction of travel lanes to accommodate the addition of bike lanes. On-street parking may also be modified. This project will improve bicycle access from Shooks Run into downtown and provide a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

The open house will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada Ave., Suite 102. Call 385-5908 for information.

At 5 p.m. Monday, there will be a free panel discussion, "Election 2016: The Local Issue with local Representatives Owen Hill & Tony Exum."


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]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 07:20:02 -0700 <![CDATA[Bill would gut state funding for mass transit in Colorado]]> http://gazette.com/bill-would-gut-state-funding-for-mass-transit-in-colorado/article/1568996?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/bill-would-gut-state-funding-for-mass-transit-in-colorado/article/1568996?custom_click=rss

The Colorado Senate is expected to hear the second reading Monday of a bill that would remove up to $5 million from the state transit and rail fund.

If Senate Bill 16-011 eventually becomes law, it would repeal the portion of the Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery Act (FASTER) that provides grants to local transit agencies like Colorado Springs' Mountain Metropolitan Transit as well as several nonprofits.

"We're retreating and going backwards if we cease to fund transit," said Sen. Michael Merrifield (D-El Paso County). "A lot of people have no other opportunities to move about the community.

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Mon, 01 Feb 2016 05:14:16 -0700
<![CDATA[Southwest Colorado Springs homeowners struggle against the abyss]]> http://gazette.com/southwest-colorado-springs-homeowners-struggle-against-the-abyss/article/1568989?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/southwest-colorado-springs-homeowners-struggle-against-the-abyss/article/1568989?custom_click=rss

Rick Sisco's home in the Skyway neighborhood has been riding a landslide for months. It started as a crack, became a chasm, then a 13-foot cliff.

But because Sisco's circa-1964 home was built long before Colorado Springs passed its geological hazards ordinance, city officials know very little about the landslide that has ruined Sisco's property.

It's part of an estimated $14 million problem now facing the city, involving several older homes in southwest Colorado Springs that have been destroyed or buckled by landslides in the wake of record-setting rains in May. A lack of information is yet another obstacle facing city officials, who are dealing with damaged homes, unstoppable landslides and development concerns.

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Mon, 01 Feb 2016 05:10:37 -0700
<![CDATA[El Paso County scrambles to process concealed-weapon permits]]> http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-scrambles-to-process-concealed-weapon-permits/article/1568939?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-scrambles-to-process-concealed-weapon-permits/article/1568939?custom_click=rss

During his years as a police officer in Colorado Springs and Fountain, John Morse was always armed when he was off-duty. However, he says he never had to use his handgun when he wasn't on the job.

He says he understands why people want to feel safe and protected, so he wasn't surprised to hear about the recent spike in applications for concealed weapon permits in El Paso County, a likely response, authorities say, to two mass shootings in Colorado Springs in the past three months.

Workers in the Concealed Handgun Program at the El Paso County Sheriff's Office are handling 70 appointments a day - enough to hire a part-time employee to help out its five full-time staff members, says program coordinator Laurie Thomas.

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Sun, 31 Jan 2016 11:18:41 -0700