<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:40:20 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Raises and more for Colorado Springs city workers]]> http://gazette.com/raises-and-more-for-colorado-springs-city-workers/article/1586721?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/raises-and-more-for-colorado-springs-city-workers/article/1586721?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs employees can expect a 2 percent merit-based pay boost, raises of varied percentages for police and firefighters and benefits with no increased costs next year, Mayor John Suthers told the staff in a Thursday email obtained by The Gazette.

Staff vacancies went unfilled and workers' wages were frozen this year as Suthers grappled for money to beef up the city's stormwater program to deflect lawsuit threats and appease Pueblo County, which bears the brunt of Fountain Creek sedimentation and stormwater.

"I can't emphasize enough, this money wasn't easy to come by," Suthers said in January. "I've got a lot of unhappy police officers and firefighters out there.

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Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:12:21 -0600
<![CDATA[Fresh ideas proposed to improve downtown Colorado Springs as a place to live, work and play]]> http://gazette.com/fresh-ideas-proposed-to-improve-downtown-colorado-springs-as-a-place-to-live-work-and-play/article/1586648?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/fresh-ideas-proposed-to-improve-downtown-colorado-springs-as-a-place-to-live-work-and-play/article/1586648?custom_click=rss

Downtown has enjoyed recent successes with new housing, business investment and dining options, but more steps must be taken to ensure it flourishes as an economic, cultural and entertainment hub, updates to earlier improvement plans suggest.

The proposed Experience Downtown Colorado Springs Plan of Development and Master Plan, which are being brought forward over the next few weeks for public review, recommend that some of those additional steps should build on visions and projects already underway in the area.

That means, for example, completing the U.S. Olympic Museum, increasing the number of residences under construction and turning downtown into a more walkable and bike-friendly environment.

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Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:17:08 -0600
<![CDATA[Rally to elect Darryl Glenn set for Saturday on steps of Colorado Capitol]]> http://gazette.com/rally-to-elect-darryl-glenn-set-for-saturday-on-steps-of-colorado-capitol/article/1586681?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/rally-to-elect-darryl-glenn-set-for-saturday-on-steps-of-colorado-capitol/article/1586681?custom_click=rss

The Conservative Campaign Committee will hold a rally for supporters of Republican U.S. Senate nominee Darryl Glenn on Saturday at the state Capitol in Denver.

At the rally, scheduled for 1 p.m. on the capitol's west steps, Glenn supporters will call for the defeat of Democratic incumbent, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in the Nov. 8 election.

Speakers will include Glenn, an El Paso County Commissioner, state Rep. Perry Buck, Colorado Republican Party Vice Chair Derrick Wilburn, and state Sens. Vicki Marble and Laura Woods. Representatives from organizations including the Colorado Issues Coalition, Colorado Taxpayers Union, Millennial Policy Foundation, Freedom for Education, Tea Party Express and Liberty Watch Colorado will also

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Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:06:12 -0600
<![CDATA[Borders of City Council districts shift in redistricting of Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/borders-of-city-council-districts-shift-in-redistricting-of-colorado-springs/article/1586627?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/borders-of-city-council-districts-shift-in-redistricting-of-colorado-springs/article/1586627?custom_click=rss

All six City Council districts, whose seats are up for election April 4, gain or lose a little in the redistricting of Colorado Springs released Wednesday by City Clerk Sarah Johnson.

"This is incredibly important," Johnson said at a news conference. "This is going to be your representative for the next four years."

Under the City Charter, the clerk alone decides how to redistrict the city and must do so every four years.

But Johnson didn't fly completely solo. An advisory committee appointed in May gathered public comment at seven meetings and recommended its own redistricting to Johnson.

"I couldn't take all of what they did because it would throw the numbers off too much. We're very similar," she said of the

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Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:21:46 -0600
<![CDATA[Congress clears stopgap spending bill, $1.1B to fight Zika]]> http://gazette.com/congress-clears-stopgap-spending-bill-1.1b-to-fight-zika/article/1586650?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/congress-clears-stopgap-spending-bill-1.1b-to-fight-zika/article/1586650?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — Averting an election-year crisis, Congress late Wednesday sent President Barack Obama a bill to keep the government operating through Dec. 9 and provide $1.1 billion in long-delayed funding to battle the Zika virus.

The House cleared the measure by a 342-85 vote just hours after a bipartisan Senate tally. The votes came after top congressional leaders broke through a stalemate over aid to help Flint, Michigan, address its water crisis. Democratic advocates for Flint are now satisfied with renewed guarantees that Flint will get funding later this year to help rid its water system of lead.

The hybrid spending measure was Capitol Hill's last major to-do item before the election and its completion allows

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Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:15:24 -0600
<![CDATA[UCCS police all smiles in receiving potentially life-saving gear]]> http://gazette.com/uccs-police-all-smiles-in-receiving-potentially-life-saving-gear/article/1586622?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/uccs-police-all-smiles-in-receiving-potentially-life-saving-gear/article/1586622?custom_click=rss

This was their early Christmas present.

Standing side by side, 15 officers from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Police Department closely inspected gear designed to protect them from rifle shots during an active-shooter situation. Some did it with ear-to-ear smiles, knowing that the equipment was special and possibly life-saving.

On Wednesday, Shield 616 - a local nonprofit that support law enforcement agencies - delivered tactical-gear kits to all members of the university's police force and its chief, Mark Pino. The gear included a ballistic helmet, a specialized vest and optics designed to give officers a better view of an active shooter.

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Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:56:05 -0600
<![CDATA[Congress overrides Obama's veto of Sept. 11 bill]]> http://gazette.com/congress-overrides-obamas-veto-of-sept.-11-bill/article/1586598?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/congress-overrides-obamas-veto-of-sept.-11-bill/article/1586598?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — Congress has rejected a veto by President Barack Obama for the first time since he became president.

The House voted 348-77 Wednesday to override his veto of legislation and allow the families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for the kingdom's alleged backing of the attackers.

The Senate had voted 97-1 to override his veto.

The lawsuit legislation now becomes law despite elements that Obama and top Pentagon officials warn could put U.S. troops and interests at risk.

Several lawmakers who voted for the legislation acknowledged the defects could trigger lawsuits from people in other countries opposed to U.S. policies and military actions.

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Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:55:50 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Statehouse candidates to take part in voter forum regarding mental health]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-statehouse-candidates-to-take-part-in-voter-forum-regarding-mental-health/article/1586608?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-statehouse-candidates-to-take-part-in-voter-forum-regarding-mental-health/article/1586608?custom_click=rss A Denver-based nonprofit will host a panel for state legislature candidates to discuss their platforms on issues related to mental health.

The event, organized by Mental Health Colorado, is from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave.

Attendees will have the chance to meet candidates for state House Districts 14 through 21 and Senate Districts 10 and 12 to learn more about their stances on issues such as insurance coverage and funding for treatment of mental health issues. Audience members will also be allowed time to ask the candidates questions of their choice.

Three other sessions were held this month featuring candidates in Lakewood, Aurora and Denver.

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]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:35:01 -0600 <![CDATA[Senators vote 97-1 to override Obama's veto of Sept. 11 bill]]> http://gazette.com/senators-vote-97-1-to-override-obamas-veto-of-sept.-11-bill/article/1586587?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/senators-vote-97-1-to-override-obamas-veto-of-sept.-11-bill/article/1586587?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — The Senate acted decisively Wednesday to override President Barack Obama's veto of Sept. 11 legislation, setting the stage for the contentious bill to become law despite flaws that Obama and top Pentagon officials warn could put U.S. troops and interests at risk.

Five weeks before elections, lawmakers refused to oppose a measure backed by 9/11 families who say they are still seeking justice 15 years after the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. The bill permits them to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for the kingdom's alleged backing of the 19 hijackers who carried out the plot. Saudi Arabia is staunchly opposed to the measure.

Senators voted 97-1 to override Obama's veto. The lone "no"

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Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:04:41 -0600
<![CDATA[FBI director again defends integrity of Clinton email probe]]> http://gazette.com/fbi-director-again-defends-integrity-of-clinton-email-probe/article/1586590?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/fbi-director-again-defends-integrity-of-clinton-email-probe/article/1586590?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers may question the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for using a private email server as secretary of state, but they should not question the investigation's thoroughness, FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday.

"You can call us wrong. You can call me a fool. You cannot call us weasels," Comey said under hours of questioning at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Republicans grilled Comey on the FBI's year-long investigation into the potential mishandling of classified email, which concluded in July when the FBI recommended against prosecution and the Justice Department closed the case.

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Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:40:59 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs council applauds new fire chief, bids airport director farewell]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-council-applauds-new-fire-chief-bids-airport-director-farewell/article/1586535?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-council-applauds-new-fire-chief-bids-airport-director-farewell/article/1586535?custom_click=rss

Ted Collas, a 31-year employee of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, got a standing ovation Tuesday when the City Council unanimously confirmed his appointment to fire chief.

Mayor John Suthers nominated Collas, who has been serving as interim chief since former Chief Christopher P. Riley was given $80,000 in a six-month severance package in March.

Collas will be paid $160,235 a year to oversee 482 staff members and 22 fire stations.

"I can assure all my colleagues we're getting the best," City Council President Merv Bennett said, prompting the standing ovation.

When the applause died down, Suthers quipped, "OK, Ted, get back to work."

As Collas was being welcomed in, Aviation Director Dan Gallagher was

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Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:43:09 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs marijuana panel opposes changes to moratorium]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-marijuana-panel-opposes-changes-to-moratorium/article/1586543?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-marijuana-panel-opposes-changes-to-moratorium/article/1586543?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs' latest moratorium on medical marijuana businesses should be left intact with no more provisions for "hardship" cases or relocation, the city's Marijuana Working Group recommends.

But half of the City Council disputed that idea Monday, and that 4-4 split likely will morph into a 5-4 majority when Councilman Bill Murray returns from a Smart Cities Council conference.

"If somebody wants to move to an approved area, why should we stand in their way for the next (nine months)?" asked Councilman Don Knight, who last year launched moratoriums on marijuana enterprises.

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Wed, 28 Sep 2016 07:10:11 -0600
<![CDATA[Pay increases could be part of 2017 El Paso County budget]]> http://gazette.com/pay-increases-could-be-part-of-2017-el-paso-county-budget/article/1586503?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/pay-increases-could-be-part-of-2017-el-paso-county-budget/article/1586503?custom_click=rss

Budget season officially kicked off Tuesday for El Paso County officials as Chief Financial Officer Nicola Sapp painted a picture of the upcoming year that reflects a concerted effort to begin rebounding from almost 10 years of belt tightening.

Sapp, who introduced the 2017 preliminary balanced budget at the county commissioners' regular meeting, said her office is finally trying to "get back to manageable levels of operations."

Cuts in 2002 affected unfunded projects like the county jail and courthouse. Rollbacks continued from 2006 to 2009 as the Great Recession forced the county to reduce its budget by $45.2 million and trim 12 percent of its workforce.

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Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:41:23 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs tests giving more of Research Parkway to bicyclists]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-tests-giving-more-of-research-parkway-to-bicyclists/article/1586513?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-tests-giving-more-of-research-parkway-to-bicyclists/article/1586513?custom_click=rss

Bike lanes will be installed on Research Parkway between Chapel Hills Drive and Austin Bluffs Parkway on Wednesday and Thursday, as part of a test by the city of Colorado Springs to make the 3-mile stretch of road that connects with numerous bike trails safer for bicyclists, walkers and drivers.

The demonstration project - which costs under $10,000 - is a first for the city and features a painted buffer with vertical delineators to separate bikers from traffic, cutting the six-lane road into four lanes.

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Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:15:47 -0600
<![CDATA[Ted Collas, approved as Colorado Springs Fire Chief, will earn $15,000 more than predecessor at start]]> http://gazette.com/ted-collas-approved-as-colorado-springs-fire-chief-will-earn-15000-more-than-predecessor-at-start/article/1586491?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ted-collas-approved-as-colorado-springs-fire-chief-will-earn-15000-more-than-predecessor-at-start/article/1586491?custom_click=rss

Ted Collas was approved Colorado Springs Fire Chief during Tuesday's Colorado Springs City Council meeting.

Collas, 54, began his career with the department in 1985 and became acting chief in March when Christopher P. Riley retired. Collas was promoted to the full job on Oct. 12 after a nationwide search that included 45 applicants.

"Ted's institutional knowledge, along with his leadership experience with the Colorado Springs Fire Department, make him the best candidate to move our fire department forward," City Council President Merv Bennett said during Collas' confirmation.

Collas will be paid $160,235 annually - about $15,000 more than Riley's starting salary - and oversee a department with 22 fire stations and 482

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Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:28:05 -0600