<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Fri, 04 Sep 2015 15:04:41 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[U.S. Sen. Bennet backs Iran nuclear deal]]> http://gazette.com/u.s.-sen.-bennet-backs-iran-nuclear-deal/article/1558710?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/u.s.-sen.-bennet-backs-iran-nuclear-deal/article/1558710?custom_click=rss U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet backed the president’s Iran nuclear agreement Friday joining the growing list of supporters for the controversial treaty despite an onslaught of opposition in Colorado and across the nation.

In a press release he sent out on the issue Friday afternoon, Bennet said after careful consideration he determined this deal is better than the alternative.

“This agreement is more likely to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon than the plausible alternatives,” Bennet said.

The issue has become a political lightning rod. Millions of dollars are being spent on TV ads opposing the Iran deal.

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 13:52:56 -0600
<![CDATA[Citizens decry Colorado Springs' proposed sit-lie ordinance at public hearing]]> http://gazette.com/citizens-decry-colorado-springs-proposed-sit-lie-ordinance-at-public-hearing/article/1558673?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/citizens-decry-colorado-springs-proposed-sit-lie-ordinance-at-public-hearing/article/1558673?custom_click=rss

About 200 impassioned people crowded City Auditorium for a public hearing Thursday night, the vast majority of them outraged by the city's proposed "sit lie" ordinance.

Councilmen Keith King and Tom Strand said they were eager to hear the public's viewpoints on the law they're sponsoring.

And hear them they did - including concerns about abuse of power and discriminatory enforcement and vows that those who support the law won't get re-elected but might see lawsuits against the city.

Twenty-eight speakers lambasted the law. Several cited an Aug. 6 statement by the Department of Justice in a lawsuit brought by homeless people against the city of Boise, which bans public sleeping or camping.

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Fri, 04 Sep 2015 07:42:10 -0600
<![CDATA[At least 100 cities have law like one Colorado Springs may enact]]> http://gazette.com/at-least-100-cities-have-law-like-one-colorado-springs-may-enact/article/1558543?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/at-least-100-cities-have-law-like-one-colorado-springs-may-enact/article/1558543?custom_click=rss

At least 100 of 187 major U.S. cities have "sit-lie" ordinances similar to the one proposed by the Colorado Springs City Council, a national study shows.

Whether they're effective depends on how they're written and executed and whom you ask. But they're most assuredly expensive.

Denver's law, enacted in 2005, forbids obstructing public rights-of-way in the downtown business district. The city also enacted a ban on urban camping in 2012.

Fort Collins rejected a sit-lie law last week, deciding instead to organize an outreach program to find and assist homeless people. Also that day, Aug. 25, nearby Windsor voted down a sit-lie law.

Aurora, meanwhile, has a strict law that bans lying in the Colfax Corridor, even on

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 22:06:17 -0600
<![CDATA[Effort behind ballot initiative to allow pot in bars dropped]]> http://gazette.com/effort-behind-ballot-initiative-to-allow-pot-in-bars-dropped/article/1558658?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/effort-behind-ballot-initiative-to-allow-pot-in-bars-dropped/article/1558658?custom_click=rss

Backers of a City of Denver ballot initiative to allow marijuana in public establishments like bars and restaurants have dropped the effort in favor of working with city council members on an ordinance.

"After a challenging five-week signature gathering process, we are not approaching the withdrawal of this initiative lightly," said a statement from the Denver Limited Social Marijuana Consumption Initiative. "We were persuaded, however, by members of the political and business communities, who requested participation in this process. We look forward to working with them to find a solution amenable to all parties."

Marijuana use is banned across the state in public.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 18:54:31 -0600
<![CDATA[VA healthcare chief confident that Congress will OK more money for troubled Aurora hospital]]> http://gazette.com/va-healthcare-chief-confident-that-congress-will-ok-more-money-for-troubled-aurora-hospital/article/1558657?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/va-healthcare-chief-confident-that-congress-will-ok-more-money-for-troubled-aurora-hospital/article/1558657?custom_click=rss

AURORA - The head of the nation's VA healthcare system said he is confident Congress will approve an additional $625 million in October to complete the partially-constructed, hugely over-budget hospital in Aurora.

It was Veteran Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson's tenth visit to the Aurora construction site where a budgeted $600 million facility is now projected to cost around $1.73 billion. The additional federal funding is needed to keep work at the site going and Gibson said all the money will come from existing VA sources.

"I am personally very optimistic that we will be able to make that work," Gibson said, as construction crews with Kiewit-Turner worked in the background on the regional hospital.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 18:17:56 -0600
<![CDATA[Computer glitch that interrupted services at El Paso County clerk and recorder offices is fixed]]> http://gazette.com/computer-glitch-that-interrupted-services-at-el-paso-county-clerk-and-recorder-offices-is-fixed/article/1558644?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/computer-glitch-that-interrupted-services-at-el-paso-county-clerk-and-recorder-offices-is-fixed/article/1558644?custom_click=rss

A computer glitch that temporarily shut down driver's license services at all four El Paso County clerk and recorder offices was fixed late Thursday afternoon.

The Office of the Clerk and Recorder announced the interruption about 3:30 p.m., and said just before 5 p.m. that the system had been restored.

People are advised to check the Clerk and Recorder's website or Facebook page before heading into the office.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 17:41:28 -0600
<![CDATA[Lawsuit against El Paso County over wind farm dismissed]]> http://gazette.com/lawsuit-against-el-paso-county-over-wind-farm-dismissed/article/1558570?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/lawsuit-against-el-paso-county-over-wind-farm-dismissed/article/1558570?custom_click=rss

El Paso County attorneys and lawyers for disgruntled residents reached an agreement this week to end a months' long lawsuit over a controversial wind farm, the county announced on Wednesday.

On Sept. 1, an El Paso County district court approved the mutual decision to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, a move that protects the El Paso County commissioners from being sued over their decision to approve the large wind farm project near Calhan. Tuesday's court ruling ended months of legal back-and-forth between the county officials and bitter eastern county residents, many of whom vehemently oppose the project out of fear of compromised property values and health effects.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 11:06:44 -0600
<![CDATA[Forces line up in battle over proposed Colorado Springs sales tax increase]]> http://gazette.com/forces-line-up-in-battle-over-proposed-colorado-springs-sales-tax-increase/article/1558593?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/forces-line-up-in-battle-over-proposed-colorado-springs-sales-tax-increase/article/1558593?custom_click=rss

The battle is on in authentic Colorado Springs style - pitting one batch of conservatives against another over the quest to increase the city's sales tax.

Mayor John Suthers, a conservative Republican, wants the sales tax to be increased by 0.62 percent to raise $50 million a year for five years to fix and rebuild the city's notoriously shoddy roads.

The proposal, which the largely conservative City Council put on the Nov. 3 ballot, would direct every dime of the new revenue to roads. And the city would contract out the work rather than hiring new employees.

Developers, contractors and the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association have coughed up $89,000 to promote the sales tax initiative through the newly formed Springs

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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 09:46:43 -0600
<![CDATA[Balancing Colorado's marijuana production with demand a tricky equation]]> http://gazette.com/balancing-colorados-marijuana-production-with-demand-a-tricky-equation/article/1558592?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/balancing-colorados-marijuana-production-with-demand-a-tricky-equation/article/1558592?custom_click=rss

DENVER - Colorado is on track this year to produce about 100 metric tons of marijuana - the weight of about 15 average-sized African elephants - in licensed pot grows for both medical and recreational purposes.

A study estimated the demand for marijuana in 2014 among in-state and out-of-state Colorado buyers was closer to 130 metric tons of marijuana.

It's the task of the Marijuana Enforcement Division under the Colorado Department of Revenue to ensure the amount produced is about equal to the market demand.

A difficult task, with some cautioning that the state has licensed too many new grows and is headed to overproduction, and others arguing the state has limited production too much and kept marijuana prices

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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 19:27:04 -0600
<![CDATA[CDOT oversight criticized in state audit]]> http://gazette.com/cdot-oversight-criticized-in-state-audit/article/1558532?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/cdot-oversight-criticized-in-state-audit/article/1558532?custom_click=rss

The Colorado Department of Transportation's oversight of a program that has received approximately $1.4 billion was criticized in a state audit released this week.

FASTER, or the Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery Act of 2009, created six motor vehicle fees to help transportation-related projects. Money from the fund is paying for Bustang, the interregional bus service.

Deficiencies were identified in collecting money in three of the six FASTER fees at CDOT, the Department of Revenue and the Judicial Department, the report said.

The state has collected about $1.4 billion since the legislation was enacted, according to the report.

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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 08:37:56 -0600
<![CDATA[Calhan loses two board members to resignation]]> http://gazette.com/calhan-loses-two-board-members-to-resignation/article/1558525?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/calhan-loses-two-board-members-to-resignation/article/1558525?custom_click=rss

Two members of Calhan's board of trustees resigned Monday, the town's mayor confirmed.

Trustees Daniel Rolenc and Frank Carpenter submitted letters of resignation via email, said Mayor Bryan Eurich.

A third board member, Char Trojanovich, submitted a notice of resignation by email Monday, but Eurich said she may rescind that decision.

The departures follow the resignations of former Mayor Blair Bartling and public works director Greg Maggard this year. Eurich was appointed mayor after Bartling's resignation July 1.

Eurich told The Gazette Tuesday that he did not know why Carpenter resigned. In regards to Rolenc, the mayor said issues with trustees may have been a factor.

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Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:39:57 -0600
<![CDATA[Proposed Colorado Springs ordinance has drawn much criticism]]> http://gazette.com/proposed-colorado-springs-ordinance-has-drawn-much-criticism/article/1558520?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/proposed-colorado-springs-ordinance-has-drawn-much-criticism/article/1558520?custom_click=rss

Reaction to Colorado Springs' proposed "sit-lie" ban has been uniformly negative, City Council members report.

The ordinance would outlaw sitting, lying, kneeling or reclining in rights-of-way and on certain planters in downtown and Old Colorado City business districts for 15 to 20 hours a day.

The punishment - six months in jail and a $2,500 fine - has prompted much outrage.

Councilmen Keith King and Tom Strand say the penalties should be reduced in the ordinance they sponsor. Mayor John Suthers, who proposed the law, said if the council wants lower penalties, "I don't have a problem with that."

The criticism isn't limited to the steep punishment, though.

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Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:50:48 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado group aims to mandate THC symbol on marijuana edibles]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-group-aims-to-mandate-thc-symbol-on-marijuana-edibles/article/1558448?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-group-aims-to-mandate-thc-symbol-on-marijuana-edibles/article/1558448?custom_click=rss

All marijuana edibles in Colorado - whether it's hard candy, brownies or granola bars - would be marked with a diamond shape that encloses the letters THC under rules that were debated before members of the Marijuana Enforcement Division Monday at the state Capitol.

The goal of the new "universal symbol" mandated under House Bill 1366 from 2014 is to end the accidental ingestion of marijuana infused products by making them easily recognizable even when they are outside of the package. The symbol would be required on both medical and recreational marijuana products.

For some manufacturers of marijuana infused products or MIPs the recommended rule will be fairly easy to follow. For others it represents a significant challenge.

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Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:37:25 -0600
<![CDATA[Census Bureau mandates 'test' survey to randomly selected households]]> http://gazette.com/census-bureau-mandates-test-survey-to-randomly-selected-households/article/1558442?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/census-bureau-mandates-test-survey-to-randomly-selected-households/article/1558442?custom_click=rss

Is your household one of the 1.2 million?

Mine is.

My family received a letter and then a follow-up postcard in the mail last week, saying we needed to fill out the "2015 National Content Test" of the United States Census Bureau by Tuesday, or someone would come knocking at our door.

For real?


Even though it's mid-decade, and the headcount census is traditionally taken at the beginning of each decade, the Census Bureau is conducting a short survey to "develop new methods that will make the next census easier, more convenient and less costly for taxpayers," according to the letter.

The translation: The Census Bureau is trying to figure out how Americans feel about filling out an online

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Mon, 31 Aug 2015 22:20:32 -0600
<![CDATA[This week: Events in and around Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/this-week-events-in-and-around-colorado-springs/article/1558387?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/this-week-events-in-and-around-colorado-springs/article/1558387?custom_click=rss El Paso County Parks will host a Ute Pass Regional Trail open house from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday at Ute Pass Elementary School.

Stations will be set up for information presenting the goals of the project, the public involvement, the developed alternatives, and the Master Plan concept. No formal presentation will be given, but the public will be able to ask questions of county staff.

To see the draft Master Plan and Appendix, visit the webpage:


El Paso County Parks office can be reached at 520-7529.

A free open house from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2015 20:16:23 -0600