<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Fri, 03 Jul 2015 06:19:38 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Authors of Colorado's Amendment 64 want increase in public use of recreational marijuana]]> http://gazette.com/authors-of-colorados-amendment-64-want-increase-in-public-use-of-recreational-marijuana/article/1554904?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/authors-of-colorados-amendment-64-want-increase-in-public-use-of-recreational-marijuana/article/1554904?custom_click=rss

DENVER - Authors of the constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana in Colorado want to legalize public recreational pot clubs in Denver, while Colorado Springs officials work in the opposite direction.

Denver, which does allow private pot clubs, forbids the consumption of marijuana at public venues like bars, restaurants, clubs or theaters.

Colorado Springs city ordinances are silent on the issue, opening the doors for private social clubs where people can go to consume marijuana - sometimes even "acquiring" the product there.

But Denver, which has a slew of legal recreational dispensaries, whereas Colorado Springs has banned the sale of recreational pot.



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DENVER - Authors of the constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana in Colorado want to legalize public recreational pot clubs in Denver, while Colorado Springs officials work in the opposite direction.

Denver, which does allow private pot clubs, forbids the consumption of marijuana at public venues like bars, restaurants, clubs or theaters.

Colorado Springs city ordinances are silent on the issue, opening the doors for private social clubs where people can go to consume marijuana - sometimes even "acquiring" the product there.

But Denver, which has a slew of legal recreational dispensaries, whereas Colorado Springs has banned the sale of recreational pot.

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Thu, 02 Jul 2015 21:51:22 -0600
<![CDATA[Audit: Colorado Springs may owe feds millions in mismanaged housing funds]]> http://gazette.com/audit-colorado-springs-may-owe-feds-millions-in-mismanaged-housing-funds/article/1554886?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/audit-colorado-springs-may-owe-feds-millions-in-mismanaged-housing-funds/article/1554886?custom_click=rss

The Colorado Springs housing division must provide documentation to show how it spent more than $9 million of federal funds or pay it back after a new audit revealed problems in how two grant programs were managed.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General reports released Tuesday built on previous city and federal audits that showed oversight issues, mismanagement of funds and paperwork that was altered or poorly kept.

The recent inspector general reports say the city committed money to more than 50 projects that lacked proper documentation, spent $6 million for salary and project costs that are unaccounted for and paid out $3.1 million for projects that did not have complete



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The Colorado Springs housing division must provide documentation to show how it spent more than $9 million of federal funds or pay it back after a new audit revealed problems in how two grant programs were managed.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General reports released Tuesday built on previous city and federal audits that showed oversight issues, mismanagement of funds and paperwork that was altered or poorly kept.

The recent inspector general reports say the city committed money to more than 50 projects that lacked proper documentation, spent $6 million for salary and project costs that are unaccounted for and paid out $3.1 million for projects that did not have complete

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Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:49:54 -0600
<![CDATA[List: Fourth of July closings in the Colorado Springs area]]> http://gazette.com/list-fourth-of-july-closings-in-the-colorado-springs-area/article/1554820?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/list-fourth-of-july-closings-in-the-colorado-springs-area/article/1554820?custom_click=rss

Closings

Banks and credit unions: Most banks and credit unions closed Saturday. Some may be closed or have shortened hours Friday. Check with individual bank or credit union for hours.

Buses (Metro Transit): Buses running on Sunday schedule Saturday.

Government offices: City, county, state and federal offices closed Friday.

Libraries: All Pikes Peak District library branches closed Saturday.

Postal Service: All offices closed and no mail service Saturday

The Gazette: Office closed Friday; newspaper delivery unaffected.

Malls: The Citadel, Chapel Hills and the Promenade Shops at Briargate: Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.

Major department and grocery stores: Most open regular hours Saturday.



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Closings

Banks and credit unions: Most banks and credit unions closed Saturday. Some may be closed or have shortened hours Friday. Check with individual bank or credit union for hours.

Buses (Metro Transit): Buses running on Sunday schedule Saturday.

Government offices: City, county, state and federal offices closed Friday.

Libraries: All Pikes Peak District library branches closed Saturday.

Postal Service: All offices closed and no mail service Saturday

The Gazette: Office closed Friday; newspaper delivery unaffected.

Malls: The Citadel, Chapel Hills and the Promenade Shops at Briargate: Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.

Major department and grocery stores: Most open regular hours Saturday.

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Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:14:47 -0600
<![CDATA[Mayor wants age limit, evaluations for Colorado Springs judges]]> http://gazette.com/mayor-wants-age-limit-evaluations-for-colorado-springs-judges/article/1554854?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/mayor-wants-age-limit-evaluations-for-colorado-springs-judges/article/1554854?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs will lose half of its dozen municipal judges over the next several years under a mandatory retirement age of 75 sought by Mayor John Suthers.

Three of those judges are 72, the age at which state and Denver County judges must retire. Three others are 70, 68 and 63.

The local judiciary also will face formal performance evaluations under the changes initially proposed by Presiding Judge HayDen W. Kane II, administrator of the Colorado Springs Municipal Court.

"Very selfishly," Kane said, "it gets me out of some very uncomfortable (situations) . . It was really awkward in the past for the court administrator to have those discussions with judges going blind. It was bad stuff.

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]]> Colorado Springs will lose half of its dozen municipal judges over the next several years under a mandatory retirement age of 75 sought by Mayor John Suthers.

Three of those judges are 72, the age at which state and Denver County judges must retire. Three others are 70, 68 and 63.

The local judiciary also will face formal performance evaluations under the changes initially proposed by Presiding Judge HayDen W. Kane II, administrator of the Colorado Springs Municipal Court.

"Very selfishly," Kane said, "it gets me out of some very uncomfortable (situations) . . It was really awkward in the past for the court administrator to have those discussions with judges going blind. It was bad stuff.]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 04:05:16 -0600 <![CDATA[Second Calhan official resigns amid probe of possible water theft]]> http://gazette.com/second-calhan-official-resigns-amid-probe-of-possible-water-theft/article/1554807?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/second-calhan-official-resigns-amid-probe-of-possible-water-theft/article/1554807?custom_click=rss

Calhan's mayor resigned Wednesday amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of water theft.

Blair Bartling, who became mayor in 2006, submitted a letter of resignation around 8 a.m. Wednesday, town clerk Cindy Tompkins said.

"Please accept this letter as notification that I am resigning my position as mayor of the town of Calhan effective July 1, 2015," Bartling's letter said.

When reached for comment Wednesday, Bartling said the ongoing water investigation is "not even close to why I resigned." He declined to tell The Gazette why he resigned.

Bartling's decision follows the departure of Calhan's public works director Greg Maggard in June and comes as the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is looking into a

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]]> Calhan's mayor resigned Wednesday amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of water theft.

Blair Bartling, who became mayor in 2006, submitted a letter of resignation around 8 a.m. Wednesday, town clerk Cindy Tompkins said.

"Please accept this letter as notification that I am resigning my position as mayor of the town of Calhan effective July 1, 2015," Bartling's letter said.

When reached for comment Wednesday, Bartling said the ongoing water investigation is "not even close to why I resigned." He declined to tell The Gazette why he resigned.

Bartling's decision follows the departure of Calhan's public works director Greg Maggard in June and comes as the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is looking into a]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 04:05:14 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado senators team up to prevent major cuts to Pikes Peak region military facilities]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-senators-team-up-to-prevent-major-cuts-to-pikes-peak-region-military-facilities/article/1554746?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-senators-team-up-to-prevent-major-cuts-to-pikes-peak-region-military-facilities/article/1554746?custom_click=rss

DENVER - Colorado's senators crossed party lines last week and teamed up to ask the secretary of defense to look kindly on the state when making decisions about reducing forces at military installations.

"As you grapple with difficult force structure decisions and the confines of the current budget environment, we write to highlight the value that the state of Colorado and our local communities offer the Department of Defense," wrote Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, in a letter sent Friday to Pentagon chief Ashton Carter.

Carter is expected to unveil proposed cuts following the Fourth of July holiday, and people in Washington, D.C. - and across the country - are waiting anxiously.



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DENVER - Colorado's senators crossed party lines last week and teamed up to ask the secretary of defense to look kindly on the state when making decisions about reducing forces at military installations.

"As you grapple with difficult force structure decisions and the confines of the current budget environment, we write to highlight the value that the state of Colorado and our local communities offer the Department of Defense," wrote Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, in a letter sent Friday to Pentagon chief Ashton Carter.

Carter is expected to unveil proposed cuts following the Fourth of July holiday, and people in Washington, D.C. - and across the country - are waiting anxiously.

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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:08:12 -0600
<![CDATA[19 new laws take effect Wednesday in Colorado; homemade hash oil, cyberbullying addressed]]> http://gazette.com/19-new-laws-take-effect-wednesday-in-colorado-homemade-hash-oil-cyberbullying-addressed/article/1554785?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/19-new-laws-take-effect-wednesday-in-colorado-homemade-hash-oil-cyberbullying-addressed/article/1554785?custom_click=rss

DENVER — People who make marijuana hash oil with hazardous materials at home will face felony charges in Colorado, and online bullies will be subject to penalties for harassment under new state laws taking effect Wednesday.

Licensed manufacturers of pot concentrates won't be affected by the new law, but amateur cooks will be charged if they use materials like a flammable liquid chemical or compressed gas, both of which have been linked to explosions. More than 30 butane explosions were connected to hash production in 2014.

One of the sponsors of the law, Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Delta, said that one benefit of the legislation is that it will allow law enforcement to make arrests before there's an explosion, rather



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DENVER — People who make marijuana hash oil with hazardous materials at home will face felony charges in Colorado, and online bullies will be subject to penalties for harassment under new state laws taking effect Wednesday.

Licensed manufacturers of pot concentrates won't be affected by the new law, but amateur cooks will be charged if they use materials like a flammable liquid chemical or compressed gas, both of which have been linked to explosions. More than 30 butane explosions were connected to hash production in 2014.

One of the sponsors of the law, Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Delta, said that one benefit of the legislation is that it will allow law enforcement to make arrests before there's an explosion, rather

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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 06:16:11 -0600
<![CDATA[Paul to Denver crowd: Government should mind its business]]> http://gazette.com/paul-to-denver-crowd-government-should-mind-its-business/article/1554781?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/paul-to-denver-crowd-government-should-mind-its-business/article/1554781?custom_click=rss

DENVER - A few hours after meeting with leaders of Colorado's marijuana industry, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul didn't talk about legalizing pot when he addressed a crowd of about 300 packed into a bar in Denver's Cherry Creek neighborhood Tuesday.

The Republican presidential hopeful from Kentucky did talk about his general philosophy about the federal government's role - which can be summed up as "leave me the hell alone."

For about half an hour Paul walked through rights enumerated in the Constitution and how the federal government - particularly President Barack Obama - have overstepped its bounds, starting with the Patriot Act, which became law under former President George W. Bush.

"It wasn't being used on terrorists, it was

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]]> DENVER - A few hours after meeting with leaders of Colorado's marijuana industry, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul didn't talk about legalizing pot when he addressed a crowd of about 300 packed into a bar in Denver's Cherry Creek neighborhood Tuesday.

The Republican presidential hopeful from Kentucky did talk about his general philosophy about the federal government's role - which can be summed up as "leave me the hell alone."

For about half an hour Paul walked through rights enumerated in the Constitution and how the federal government - particularly President Barack Obama - have overstepped its bounds, starting with the Patriot Act, which became law under former President George W. Bush.

"It wasn't being used on terrorists, it was]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:10:16 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado's TABOR law will be reviewed in appeals court]]> http://gazette.com/colorados-tabor-law-will-be-reviewed-in-appeals-court/article/1554783?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorados-tabor-law-will-be-reviewed-in-appeals-court/article/1554783?custom_click=rss

DENVER - The U.S. Supreme Court didn't take up a legal challenge to Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, known as TABOR, and instead remitted the case back to the federal court of appeals for reconsideration Tuesday.

A group of 33 plaintiffs, including current and former lawmakers, filed suit against Gov. John Hickenlooper in May 2011 saying TABOR violates their U.S. constitutional mandate to manage the purse strings of government.

TABOR requires voter approval before any tax can be increased at any level of state government. Colorado voters approved TABOR in 1992 as an amendment to the state constitution.

The ruling from the U.S.

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]]> DENVER - The U.S. Supreme Court didn't take up a legal challenge to Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, known as TABOR, and instead remitted the case back to the federal court of appeals for reconsideration Tuesday.

A group of 33 plaintiffs, including current and former lawmakers, filed suit against Gov. John Hickenlooper in May 2011 saying TABOR violates their U.S. constitutional mandate to manage the purse strings of government.

TABOR requires voter approval before any tax can be increased at any level of state government. Colorado voters approved TABOR in 1992 as an amendment to the state constitution.

The ruling from the U.S.]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:10:16 -0600 <![CDATA[Contract details Senior Center agreement between Colorado Springs, YMCA]]> http://gazette.com/contract-details-senior-center-agreement-between-colorado-springs-ymca/article/1554778?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/contract-details-senior-center-agreement-between-colorado-springs-ymca/article/1554778?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs will bear the financial risk of any budget shortfalls at the Colorado Springs Senior Center when a new operator takes over this summer, documents show.

The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region's contract to run the Colorado Springs Senior Center largely insulates the nonprofit from the center's financial woes, the contract shows. The nonprofit "will in no event be responsible" for a budget shortfall because those losses would be covered by the city, the contract said.

Any excess revenue will be split evenly between the YMCA and the city, with the YMCA using that money to further operate the center and the city putting its share back into one of two trust funds that benefit the center.

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]]> Colorado Springs will bear the financial risk of any budget shortfalls at the Colorado Springs Senior Center when a new operator takes over this summer, documents show.

The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region's contract to run the Colorado Springs Senior Center largely insulates the nonprofit from the center's financial woes, the contract shows. The nonprofit "will in no event be responsible" for a budget shortfall because those losses would be covered by the city, the contract said.

Any excess revenue will be split evenly between the YMCA and the city, with the YMCA using that money to further operate the center and the city putting its share back into one of two trust funds that benefit the center.]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:10:12 -0600 <![CDATA[Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality should be celebrated]]> http://gazette.com/supreme-court-ruling-on-marriage-equality-should-be-celebrated/article/1554792?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/supreme-court-ruling-on-marriage-equality-should-be-celebrated/article/1554792?custom_click=rss

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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:10:09 -0600
<![CDATA[El Paso County meeting with implications for Black Forest residents is postponed]]> http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-meeting-with-implications-for-black-forest-residents-is-postponed/article/1554754?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-meeting-with-implications-for-black-forest-residents-is-postponed/article/1554754?custom_click=rss The El Paso County commissioners have postponed until next week a board meeting that will revisit the suspension of certain Black Forest land use codes, which are set to expire this week.

The suspension was put in place after the 2013 Black Forest fire to allow homeowners to live on their properties in trailer homes. The code suspension expires this week. The commissioners will meet July 7 to discuss the suspension, and whether it should be extended.

Although the suspension will expire, homeowners will not be penalized until after a decision has been made, a spokesman for El Paso County said on Tuesday.



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The El Paso County commissioners have postponed until next week a board meeting that will revisit the suspension of certain Black Forest land use codes, which are set to expire this week.

The suspension was put in place after the 2013 Black Forest fire to allow homeowners to live on their properties in trailer homes. The code suspension expires this week. The commissioners will meet July 7 to discuss the suspension, and whether it should be extended.

Although the suspension will expire, homeowners will not be penalized until after a decision has been made, a spokesman for El Paso County said on Tuesday.

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Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:46:29 -0600
<![CDATA[Archaeologists call on feds to protect Chaco Canyon area]]> http://gazette.com/archaeologists-call-on-feds-to-protect-chaco-canyon-area/article/1554758?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/archaeologists-call-on-feds-to-protect-chaco-canyon-area/article/1554758?custom_click=rss

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tucked away among northwestern New Mexico's sandstone cliffs and buttes are the remnants of an ancient civilization whose monumental architecture and cultural influences have been a source of mystery for years.

Scholars and curious visitors have spent more than a century trying to unravel those mysteries and more work needs to be done.

That's why nearly 30 top archaeologists from universities and organizations around the nation called on the U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday to protect the area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from oil and gas development.



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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tucked away among northwestern New Mexico's sandstone cliffs and buttes are the remnants of an ancient civilization whose monumental architecture and cultural influences have been a source of mystery for years.

Scholars and curious visitors have spent more than a century trying to unravel those mysteries and more work needs to be done.

That's why nearly 30 top archaeologists from universities and organizations around the nation called on the U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday to protect the area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from oil and gas development.

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Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:37:50 -0600
<![CDATA[Video: What you missed at the Western Conservative Summit in Colorado]]> http://gazette.com/video-what-you-missed-at-the-western-conservative-summit-in-colorado/article/1554704?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/video-what-you-missed-at-the-western-conservative-summit-in-colorado/article/1554704?custom_click=rss

The Gazette's Eric Singer shows you video highlights from presidential hopefuls and their surrogates at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this past weekend.



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The Gazette's Eric Singer shows you video highlights from presidential hopefuls and their surrogates at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this past weekend.

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Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:37:07 -0600
<![CDATA[Could El Paso County disaster policy be endangering lives and property?]]> http://gazette.com/could-el-paso-county-disaster-policy-be-endangering-lives-and-property/article/1554582?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/could-el-paso-county-disaster-policy-be-endangering-lives-and-property/article/1554582?custom_click=rss

When flood waters blasted Fountain Creek in 2013, longtime farmer Dave Kinischtzke knew more was at stake than his farm - with state utility poles and pipelines crossing his land and an important watershed downstream, Kinischtzke needed to stabilize the swollen creek that ran along his property.

Kinischtzke was awarded hundreds of thousands of federal dollars to fix the creek through an obscure government program that funnels money to private land owners. For counties with post-wildfire flooding, the money is coveted for its flexibility to help homeowners such as Kinischtzke, whose private property flooding could have major impacts on homes, public infrastructure and watersheds around him.



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When flood waters blasted Fountain Creek in 2013, longtime farmer Dave Kinischtzke knew more was at stake than his farm - with state utility poles and pipelines crossing his land and an important watershed downstream, Kinischtzke needed to stabilize the swollen creek that ran along his property.

Kinischtzke was awarded hundreds of thousands of federal dollars to fix the creek through an obscure government program that funnels money to private land owners. For counties with post-wildfire flooding, the money is coveted for its flexibility to help homeowners such as Kinischtzke, whose private property flooding could have major impacts on homes, public infrastructure and watersheds around him.

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Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:27:15 -0600