<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Sun, 29 Mar 2015 20:25:55 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Colorado attorney general worried over legal marijuana lawsuit]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-attorney-general-worried-over-legal-marijuana-lawsuit/article/1548761?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-attorney-general-worried-over-legal-marijuana-lawsuit/article/1548761?custom_click=rss GRAND JUNCTION — A lawsuit filed by Oklahoma and Nebraska that asks the U.S. Supreme court to curtail Colorado's new recreational marijuana law could have dire consequences for all three states, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said.

Colorado argued in a response to the lawsuit that Nebraska and Oklahoma were trying to reach across their borders and selectively invalidate state laws with which they disagree.

Coffman said if the U.S. Supreme Court sides with the two states that border Colorado, the decision would take away the regulatory system that Colorado has built, but leave the legalization vote intact. Details of the potential impact on the hard-fought regulations on the marijuana industry were not



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GRAND JUNCTION — A lawsuit filed by Oklahoma and Nebraska that asks the U.S. Supreme court to curtail Colorado's new recreational marijuana law could have dire consequences for all three states, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said.

Colorado argued in a response to the lawsuit that Nebraska and Oklahoma were trying to reach across their borders and selectively invalidate state laws with which they disagree.

Coffman said if the U.S. Supreme Court sides with the two states that border Colorado, the decision would take away the regulatory system that Colorado has built, but leave the legalization vote intact. Details of the potential impact on the hard-fought regulations on the marijuana industry were not

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Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:18:54 -0600
<![CDATA[Events in and around Colorado Springs this week]]> The Gazette http://gazette.com/events-in-and-around-colorado-springs-this-week/article/1548764?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/events-in-and-around-colorado-springs-this-week/article/1548764?custom_click=rss El Pomar Foundation's Forum for Civic Advancement is hosting a lecture on international threat assessment from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Penrose House Conference Center, 1661 Mesa Ave. Retired Air Force generals Gene Renaurt and Kevin P. Chilton will give their assessment on current and potential threats to the United States and its allies. Space is limited and an RSVP is required by calling Jordan Miranda at 577-7071 or emailing jmiranda@elpomar.org.

The El Paso County Democratic Party is hosting a caucus planning meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 22 E. Rio Grande St. For information, email info@peakdems.org or call 473-8713.



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El Pomar Foundation's Forum for Civic Advancement is hosting a lecture on international threat assessment from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Penrose House Conference Center, 1661 Mesa Ave. Retired Air Force generals Gene Renaurt and Kevin P. Chilton will give their assessment on current and potential threats to the United States and its allies. Space is limited and an RSVP is required by calling Jordan Miranda at 577-7071 or emailing jmiranda@elpomar.org.

The El Paso County Democratic Party is hosting a caucus planning meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 22 E. Rio Grande St. For information, email info@peakdems.org or call 473-8713.

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Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:14:21 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado lawmakers start debating annual state budget]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-start-debating-annual-state-budget/article/1548762?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-start-debating-annual-state-budget/article/1548762?custom_click=rss DENVER — Colorado budget writers have spent months assembling the state's spending plan for next year, and this week their fellow lawmakers will begin debating, tinkering, and voting on it. The process will begin in the Senate. By Thursday, the chamber is expected to pass it over to the House. Here are some highlights from the budget, which will take effect beginning July 1.

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REFUNDS

One sign of Colorado's improving economy since the Great Recession is the state is collecting enough tax revenue that they have to issue refunds under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. The voter-approved constitutional amendment requires refunds when revenue exceeds the combined rate of inflation and population growth.



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DENVER — Colorado budget writers have spent months assembling the state's spending plan for next year, and this week their fellow lawmakers will begin debating, tinkering, and voting on it. The process will begin in the Senate. By Thursday, the chamber is expected to pass it over to the House. Here are some highlights from the budget, which will take effect beginning July 1.

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REFUNDS

One sign of Colorado's improving economy since the Great Recession is the state is collecting enough tax revenue that they have to issue refunds under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. The voter-approved constitutional amendment requires refunds when revenue exceeds the combined rate of inflation and population growth.

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Sun, 29 Mar 2015 18:22:27 -0600
<![CDATA[New buses, routes, times coming to Colorado Springs]]> The Gazette - http://gazette.com/new-buses-routes-times-coming-to-colorado-springs/article/1548709?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/new-buses-routes-times-coming-to-colorado-springs/article/1548709?custom_click=rss

New bus routes kick in April 6, with more frequent stops for some, Mountain Metropolitan Transit has announced.

Route 5, which connects the downtown terminal with The Citadel transfer center, will have stops every 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes, and Saturday service will be restored on Route 4 (Broadmoor/Eighth Street to downtown), Route 6 (Wahsatch/Citadel) and Route 8 (downtown to The Citadel via Cache La Poudre/Galley).

Mountain Metro will run 33 buses instead of 31, said director Craig Blewitt. That number will increase to 35 buses when the Manitou Springs Summer Shuttle starts in mid-May.

The Colorado Springs transit service now provides 22 routes on weekdays, including eight that run later than 6:45 p.m.

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]]> New bus routes kick in April 6, with more frequent stops for some, Mountain Metropolitan Transit has announced.

Route 5, which connects the downtown terminal with The Citadel transfer center, will have stops every 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes, and Saturday service will be restored on Route 4 (Broadmoor/Eighth Street to downtown), Route 6 (Wahsatch/Citadel) and Route 8 (downtown to The Citadel via Cache La Poudre/Galley).

Mountain Metro will run 33 buses instead of 31, said director Craig Blewitt. That number will increase to 35 buses when the Manitou Springs Summer Shuttle starts in mid-May.

The Colorado Springs transit service now provides 22 routes on weekdays, including eight that run later than 6:45 p.m.]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 04:41:20 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado Springs candidates trumpet transit needs, spurring high hopes]]> By BILLIE STANTON ANLEU billie.stantonanleu@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-candidates-trumpet-transit-needs-spurring-high-hopes/article/1548707?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-candidates-trumpet-transit-needs-spurring-high-hopes/article/1548707?custom_click=rss

The Colorado Springs bus system is "a joke" to many people who depend on it, but city election candidates have inspired hope among the disillusioned.

"I'm very optimistic that all the front-runners are aware of the issue and the situation ... I'm optimistic we'll get there in this next administration," said Jim Godfrey, chairman of the Citizen Advisory Committee of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority. "At least I hope so.

"I don't know that (city governance) could get a whole hell of a lot worse. Anything will be better than what we've got."

"Many, if not most, of the people running for office are interested, sympathetic and want to see (transit) improve," said Jim Egbert, who serves on the same PPRTA panel.

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]]> The Colorado Springs bus system is "a joke" to many people who depend on it, but city election candidates have inspired hope among the disillusioned.

"I'm very optimistic that all the front-runners are aware of the issue and the situation ... I'm optimistic we'll get there in this next administration," said Jim Godfrey, chairman of the Citizen Advisory Committee of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority. "At least I hope so.

"I don't know that (city governance) could get a whole hell of a lot worse. Anything will be better than what we've got."

"Many, if not most, of the people running for office are interested, sympathetic and want to see (transit) improve," said Jim Egbert, who serves on the same PPRTA panel.]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 04:35:09 -0600 <![CDATA[Steamboat police chief and deputy chief put on leave]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/steamboat-police-chief-and-deputy-chief-put-on-leave/article/1548701?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/steamboat-police-chief-and-deputy-chief-put-on-leave/article/1548701?custom_click=rss

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs Police Chief Joel Rae and Deputy Chief Bob DelValle have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations by former Detective Dave Kleiber that his bosses created "a hostile work environment" with "heavy-handed policing."

Steamboat Springs City Manager Deb Hinsvark said it was a joint decision between herself, Rae and DelValle. "We all agreed that this was the best way to move forward at this time," Hinsvark said.

"Chief Rae and Chief DelValle and I have agreed that it would be better to give this investigation a clear and unimpeded path," Hinsvark wrote in an email. "As a result, they have been placed on administrative leave for the term of the



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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs Police Chief Joel Rae and Deputy Chief Bob DelValle have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations by former Detective Dave Kleiber that his bosses created "a hostile work environment" with "heavy-handed policing."

Steamboat Springs City Manager Deb Hinsvark said it was a joint decision between herself, Rae and DelValle. "We all agreed that this was the best way to move forward at this time," Hinsvark said.

"Chief Rae and Chief DelValle and I have agreed that it would be better to give this investigation a clear and unimpeded path," Hinsvark wrote in an email. "As a result, they have been placed on administrative leave for the term of the

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Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:45:17 -0600
<![CDATA[Victim's family refuses Klingenschmitt donation]]> Megan Schrader, The Gazette http://gazette.com/victims-family-refuses-klingenschmitt-donation/article/1548650?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/victims-family-refuses-klingenschmitt-donation/article/1548650?custom_click=rss

The family of Michelle Wilkins, the pregnant Longmont woman whose baby girl was cut out of her body, gave back a donation from Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt Friday after the Colorado Springs Republican called the attack “a curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb.”

A Gofundme.com page for Wilkins has generated more than $84,000 for the 34-year-old, who survived being stabbed and having the 7-month-old fetus removed from her womb. Klingenschmitt donated money to the fund, but a post on the website page on Friday said “Just wanted everyone to know: Payment Refunded. A refund of $1,000.00 has been issued for a payment made by Gordon Klingenschmitt.”

The



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The family of Michelle Wilkins, the pregnant Longmont woman whose baby girl was cut out of her body, gave back a donation from Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt Friday after the Colorado Springs Republican called the attack “a curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb.”

A Gofundme.com page for Wilkins has generated more than $84,000 for the 34-year-old, who survived being stabbed and having the 7-month-old fetus removed from her womb. Klingenschmitt donated money to the fund, but a post on the website page on Friday said “Just wanted everyone to know: Payment Refunded. A refund of $1,000.00 has been issued for a payment made by Gordon Klingenschmitt.”

The

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Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:01:24 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado law kept Boulder DA from charging Lane with murder]]> BY MEGAN SCHRADER megan.schrader@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/colorado-law-kept-boulder-da-from-charging-lane-with-murder/article/1548672?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-law-kept-boulder-da-from-charging-lane-with-murder/article/1548672?custom_click=rss

DENVER - A woman accused of brutally cutting an unborn child from the womb of a woman who was 7 months pregnant will not face homicide charges - even though the infant did not survive the attack.

Republican lawmakers say the lack of a homicide charge in the case proves there is a gap in state law. News that a bill to create fetal homicide charges in Colorado was being drafted prompted a swift response from Democrats, who say they addressed the issue in 2013 without risking prosecution for decisions women make for both prenatal medical care and elective abortions.

Dynel Lane, 34, was charged with attempted murder, assault and unlawful termination of pregnancy, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett announced Friday.

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]]> DENVER - A woman accused of brutally cutting an unborn child from the womb of a woman who was 7 months pregnant will not face homicide charges - even though the infant did not survive the attack.

Republican lawmakers say the lack of a homicide charge in the case proves there is a gap in state law. News that a bill to create fetal homicide charges in Colorado was being drafted prompted a swift response from Democrats, who say they addressed the issue in 2013 without risking prosecution for decisions women make for both prenatal medical care and elective abortions.

Dynel Lane, 34, was charged with attempted murder, assault and unlawful termination of pregnancy, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett announced Friday.]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 04:10:13 -0600 <![CDATA[Woodland Park gets grant of more than $870k for equipment upgrade]]> BY STEPHEN HOBBS stephen.hobbs@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/woodland-park-gets-grant-of-more-than-870k-for-equipment-upgrade/article/1548677?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/woodland-park-gets-grant-of-more-than-870k-for-equipment-upgrade/article/1548677?custom_click=rss Woodland Park was awarded more than $870,000 Friday for an upgrade of a fleet maintenance facility, according to a news release.

The project includes a 6,250-square-foot addition to a 2,215-square-foot facility and plans to make its doors large enough for modern equipment, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs said in an email.

The total amount awarded for the Woodland Park project is $874,733, according to the news release.

More than $34 million in grants were awarded for 40 projects across the state from the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund.

Money for the grants comes from the state severance tax on energy and mineral production, the release says, and funds paid to the federal government for



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Woodland Park was awarded more than $870,000 Friday for an upgrade of a fleet maintenance facility, according to a news release.

The project includes a 6,250-square-foot addition to a 2,215-square-foot facility and plans to make its doors large enough for modern equipment, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs said in an email.

The total amount awarded for the Woodland Park project is $874,733, according to the news release.

More than $34 million in grants were awarded for 40 projects across the state from the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund.

Money for the grants comes from the state severance tax on energy and mineral production, the release says, and funds paid to the federal government for

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Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:07:06 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado defends pot law, says states free to legalize weed]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-defends-pot-law-says-states-free-to-legalize-weed/article/1548641?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-defends-pot-law-says-states-free-to-legalize-weed/article/1548641?custom_click=rss

DENVER — States are free to legalize marijuana, Colorado argued Friday in a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court in response to a lawsuit from neighboring states that have asked the nation's highest court to shut down Colorado's pot law.

The filing marks the first time Colorado has defended legal marijuana in writing. The federal government did not sue to block the state's 2012 vote to legalize pot for all adults over 21.

Colorado said that Nebraska and Oklahoma should sue the federal government for not enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, not other states. Colorado said the states' "quarrel is not with Colorado but with the federal government's" approach to letting states experiment with pot law.



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DENVER — States are free to legalize marijuana, Colorado argued Friday in a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court in response to a lawsuit from neighboring states that have asked the nation's highest court to shut down Colorado's pot law.

The filing marks the first time Colorado has defended legal marijuana in writing. The federal government did not sue to block the state's 2012 vote to legalize pot for all adults over 21.

Colorado said that Nebraska and Oklahoma should sue the federal government for not enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, not other states. Colorado said the states' "quarrel is not with Colorado but with the federal government's" approach to letting states experiment with pot law.

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Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:35:53 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado GOP appalled over Klingenschmitt's act-of-God comment in baby's death]]> BY MEGAN SCHRADER megan.schrader@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/colorado-gop-appalled-over-klingenschmitts-act-of-god-comment-in-babys-death/article/1548605?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-gop-appalled-over-klingenschmitts-act-of-god-comment-in-babys-death/article/1548605?custom_click=rss

DENVER - Colorado Springs Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt said in an online video that a pregnant woman in Longmont who had her baby cut from her womb was the result of "a curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb."

Republicans and Democrats lambasted the statement Thursday as insensitive and wrong.

Klingenschmitt, a Republican, said his words were being twisted.

He runs the for-profit activist ministry "Pray in Jesus Name" and recently posted a "PIJN News" video online about the Longmont case. He concludes by reading a Bible passage about the pregnant women of Samaria being ripped open.



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DENVER - Colorado Springs Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt said in an online video that a pregnant woman in Longmont who had her baby cut from her womb was the result of "a curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb."

Republicans and Democrats lambasted the statement Thursday as insensitive and wrong.

Klingenschmitt, a Republican, said his words were being twisted.

He runs the for-profit activist ministry "Pray in Jesus Name" and recently posted a "PIJN News" video online about the Longmont case. He concludes by reading a Bible passage about the pregnant women of Samaria being ripped open.

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Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:36:44 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado moving to standardize pot-testing labs]]> By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-moving-to-standardize-pot-testing-labs/article/1548643?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-moving-to-standardize-pot-testing-labs/article/1548643?custom_click=rss DENVER — Colorado is moving to establish another marijuana first — the first government standards for marijuana testing.

A bill approved by its first committee in the state Legislature Thursday would create statewide laboratory standards for the state's 18 pot-testing labs.

Currently the labs are certified by state health authorities, but they don't have uniform rules for testing pot for potency, homogeneity and contaminants, as required by state law.

Lab owners say they need the standards because different labs now produce very different results. Existing pot tests generally just look for whether the drug is present, not how strong it is.



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DENVER — Colorado is moving to establish another marijuana first — the first government standards for marijuana testing.

A bill approved by its first committee in the state Legislature Thursday would create statewide laboratory standards for the state's 18 pot-testing labs.

Currently the labs are certified by state health authorities, but they don't have uniform rules for testing pot for potency, homogeneity and contaminants, as required by state law.

Lab owners say they need the standards because different labs now produce very different results. Existing pot tests generally just look for whether the drug is present, not how strong it is.

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Fri, 27 Mar 2015 07:21:50 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Senate Education Committee approves test opt-out bill]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-senate-education-committee-approves-test-opt-out-bill/article/1548640?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-senate-education-committee-approves-test-opt-out-bill/article/1548640?custom_click=rss

The Senate Education Committee approved a bill Thursday that would explicitly allow opting students out of required assessments, though its political prospects moving forward are questionable.

The result of an alliance of conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats, Senate Bill 223 would shield teachers, principals, districts and schools from consequences if test participation drops below required levels because of parents opting their children out.

The committee approved the bill 8-1, with Sen. Michael Johnston of Denver the lone dissenter.

Regardless of what happens in the Senate or House, Gov. John Hickenlooper's office has signaled the governor will not support opt-out legislation that would put



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The Senate Education Committee approved a bill Thursday that would explicitly allow opting students out of required assessments, though its political prospects moving forward are questionable.

The result of an alliance of conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats, Senate Bill 223 would shield teachers, principals, districts and schools from consequences if test participation drops below required levels because of parents opting their children out.

The committee approved the bill 8-1, with Sen. Michael Johnston of Denver the lone dissenter.

Regardless of what happens in the Senate or House, Gov. John Hickenlooper's office has signaled the governor will not support opt-out legislation that would put

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Fri, 27 Mar 2015 06:00:12 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado expanded snow tire requirement passes toughest test]]> By KRISTEN WYATT The Associated Press - http://gazette.com/colorado-expanded-snow-tire-requirement-passes-toughest-test/article/1548612?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-expanded-snow-tire-requirement-passes-toughest-test/article/1548612?custom_click=rss

DENVER - A bill to require all motorists to use snow tires or chains during snowy months on Colorado's major mountain highway has passed its toughest test in the state Legislature.

The measure cleared the Senate Transportation Committee 5-0 - but not before the committee chairman and other Republicans on the committee expressed doubts about how effective the requirement would be in improving jammed Interstate 70.

"The largest problem here is volume," not drivers with improper tires, said Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction.

The head of the committee - Sen. Randy Baumgardner - warned he may try to change the bill when it gets to the Senate floor.

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]]> DENVER - A bill to require all motorists to use snow tires or chains during snowy months on Colorado's major mountain highway has passed its toughest test in the state Legislature.

The measure cleared the Senate Transportation Committee 5-0 - but not before the committee chairman and other Republicans on the committee expressed doubts about how effective the requirement would be in improving jammed Interstate 70.

"The largest problem here is volume," not drivers with improper tires, said Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction.

The head of the committee - Sen. Randy Baumgardner - warned he may try to change the bill when it gets to the Senate floor.]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 04:10:26 -0600 <![CDATA[Insights at Large: Longinos Gonzalez Jr.]]> By BILLIE STANTON ANLEU billie.stantonanleu@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/insights-at-large-longinos-gonzalez-jr./article/1548606?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/insights-at-large-longinos-gonzalez-jr./article/1548606?custom_click=rss

Longinos Gonzalez Jr. naturally opposes sales of recreational drugs, having done counter-drug work during half of his 20-year stint in the Air Force.

And Gonzalez's opposition to marijuana in Colorado also appears to be tied to his concern for children and teens. He has taught science in middle and high schools over the past year.

As one of 13 candidates vying for three at-large Colorado Springs City Council seats in the April 7 election, he notes that he has handled Air Force budgets, owns seven properties and paid off three of them on a military salary.

"That was all budgeting and planning," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez's parents were farmworkers who insisted that their children focus on education, resulting in his

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]]> Longinos Gonzalez Jr. naturally opposes sales of recreational drugs, having done counter-drug work during half of his 20-year stint in the Air Force.

And Gonzalez's opposition to marijuana in Colorado also appears to be tied to his concern for children and teens. He has taught science in middle and high schools over the past year.

As one of 13 candidates vying for three at-large Colorado Springs City Council seats in the April 7 election, he notes that he has handled Air Force budgets, owns seven properties and paid off three of them on a military salary.

"That was all budgeting and planning," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez's parents were farmworkers who insisted that their children focus on education, resulting in his]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 04:10:23 -0600