<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:12:42 -0700 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Colorado Springs faces possible litigation over inadequate stormwater control]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-faces-possible-litigation-over-inadequate-stormwater-control/article/1564168?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-faces-possible-litigation-over-inadequate-stormwater-control/article/1564168?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs repeatedly has violated its water quality permit and now faces a potential federal lawsuit, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has warned the city.

The EPA inspected 14 sections of the city's stormwater system Aug. 18-19 and found "continuous failure" to meet standards or remediate problems highlighted in a state audit conducted Feb. 4-7, 2013.

Problems cited include inadequate funding, infrastructure problems, insufficient inspections, "not holding developers' feet to the fire," a lack of internal controls and too many waivers, Mayor John Suthers said Monday.

The city's federal MS4 permit (for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) requires adherence to water quality standards.

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Tue, 24 Nov 2015 12:39:38 -0700
<![CDATA[This Week: Events in and around Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/this-week-events-in-and-around-colorado-springs/article/1564078?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/this-week-events-in-and-around-colorado-springs/article/1564078?custom_click=rss

Here's a look at some of the top happenings in the Colorado Springs area this week, Nov. 23-27:

- Services for the Colorado State Patrol trooper who died as she investigated a crash on Interstate 25 will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Denver First Church of the Nazarene, the State Patrol said. Trooper Jaimie Jursevics, 33, died Nov. 15 when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver on southbound I-25 south of Castle Rock. More here.

- A proposal to redevelop South Nevada Avenue and adjacent areas with stores, restaurants, housing and other new uses will be the subject of Colorado Springs City Council meetings Monday and Tuesday.

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Mon, 23 Nov 2015 06:37:10 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs mayor appoints 2C panel to review road improvements]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-mayor-appoints-2c-panel-to-review-road-improvements/article/1563960?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-mayor-appoints-2c-panel-to-review-road-improvements/article/1563960?custom_click=rss

A Colorado Springs road improvements program financed by a new voter-approved sales tax increase will be coordinated and overseen by a five-member advisory committee appointed by Mayor John Suthers.

The Mayor's Office announced the panel members Friday. They are:

- Barry Falkenstine, founder and president of Higher Life Ministries in Colorado Springs and former chief of pavement analysis and design for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation;

- Barb Winter, executive vice president of Ent Federal Credit Union;

- Dave Zelenok, former Centennial public works director and former Colorado Springs director of public works and of transportation;

- City Council President Merv Bennett;

- and Councilman

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 09:10:36 -0700
<![CDATA[Another candidate joins the race for El Paso County commissioner seat]]> http://gazette.com/another-candidate-joins-the-race-for-el-paso-county-commissioner-seat/article/1563976?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/another-candidate-joins-the-race-for-el-paso-county-commissioner-seat/article/1563976?custom_click=rss

A fourth candidate entered the fray Friday to replace term-limited El Paso County commissioner Sallie Clark.

Air Force retiree and entrepreneur, Stan VanderWerf said he wants the post representing the western side of the county so he can push his ideas to foster businesses and grow the Pikes Peak region economy. The Republican is a political newcomer who runs an aerospace consulting firm and owns CEM-Tek, a Colorado Springs business that offers 3-D printing.

VanderWerf, who served for 27 years as an Air Force acquisitions officer, said the region has the brainpower to attract big business.

"What I really feel strongly about is I feel we have a lot of untapped talent in Colorado Springs," he said.

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 09:09:45 -0700
<![CDATA[AG asks state Supreme Court to dismiss governor's complaint]]> http://gazette.com/ag-asks-state-supreme-court-to-dismiss-governors-complaint/article/1563963?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ag-asks-state-supreme-court-to-dismiss-governors-complaint/article/1563963?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is asking the state Supreme Court to dismiss Gov. John Hickenlooper's complaint about lawsuits she filed against the federal government over his objections.

In a motion filed Friday, Coffman says the AG has the authority and duty to protect the legal interests of Colorado and its residents.

Hickenlooper asked the court Nov. 4 to issue a rule saying Coffman cannot sue the U.S. government without his permission. Coffman has said she has the right to file lawsuits on behalf of the state.

The governor and attorney general are elected separately. Hickenlooper is a Democrat and Coffman a Republican.

Hickenlooper went to the Supreme Court after Coffman joined

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Fri, 20 Nov 2015 18:45:57 -0700
<![CDATA[How and why the Colorado Springs Utilities board voted for Drake closure]]> http://gazette.com/how-and-why-the-colorado-springs-utilities-board-voted-for-drake-closure/article/1563886?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/how-and-why-the-colorado-springs-utilities-board-voted-for-drake-closure/article/1563886?custom_click=rss

The collective voices of the people of Colorado Springs finally spurred the surprising vote Wednesday to close the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant by 2035.

So says Tom Strand, the Colorado Springs Utilities board member who maneuvered that vote.

"It was the community from all fronts, whether the green folks, the Downtown Partnership with Susan Edmondson - it wasn't just the presentations in front of us," Strand said. "We'd been getting stopped in the parking lot of the church or the post office by people like (builder) Chuck Murphy, people like Chris Jenkins (of Nor'wood Development). We'd been getting a lot of questions about what we were going to do to help the renaissance of downtown.

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Fri, 20 Nov 2015 09:59:58 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado attorney general to respond to Hickenlooper's complaint]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-attorney-general-to-respond-to-hickenloopers-complaint/article/1563915?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-attorney-general-to-respond-to-hickenloopers-complaint/article/1563915?custom_click=rss DENVER — Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is responding to Gov. John Hickenlooper's complaint to the state Supreme Court about lawsuits she filed against the federal government over his objections.

Coffman is expected to file a motion Friday.

Hickenlooper asked the Supreme Court on Nov. 4 to issue a rule saying Coffman cannot sue the U.S. government without his permission. Coffman has said she has the right to file lawsuits on behalf of the state.

The governor and attorney general are elected separately. Hickenlooper is a Democrat and Coffman a Republican.

Hickenlooper went to the Supreme Court after Coffman joined a lawsuit challenging federal clean air rules. Hickenlooper supports the rules

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Fri, 20 Nov 2015 09:35:43 -0700
<![CDATA[Manitou Springs residents review ideas to improve city's parks, trails]]> http://gazette.com/manitou-springs-residents-review-ideas-to-improve-citys-parks-trails/article/1563892?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/manitou-springs-residents-review-ideas-to-improve-citys-parks-trails/article/1563892?custom_click=rss

More than 35 Manitou Springs residents brainstormed ideas during a Thursday night workshop to help city officials devise the 2016 Parks, Open Space and Trails Master Plan.

Seven small groups reviewed findings from a series of previous meetings and suggested tweaks that will give the city focus on prioritizing future projects.

"This process will help tremendously," said Wade Burkholder, the city's planning director. "It's about focusing us, which is something we really don't have right now."

The city contributed $25,000 toward the $100,000 master plan project, with the rest paid for by a Great Outdoors Colorado grant. Nancy Fortuin, chairwoman of the Parks, Open Space and Trails Steering Committee, said a plan been

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Fri, 20 Nov 2015 06:23:53 -0700
<![CDATA[Vote breakdown shows Colorado Springs defied anti-tax reputation in election]]> http://gazette.com/vote-breakdown-shows-colorado-springs-defied-anti-tax-reputation-in-election/article/1563864?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/vote-breakdown-shows-colorado-springs-defied-anti-tax-reputation-in-election/article/1563864?custom_click=rss

Despite the city's anti-tax reputation, voters in all parts of Colorado Springs during the coordinated election supported measures to pay for roads and trails.

The precinct results from the Nov. 3 election show that measures 2C and 2D - which provide additional funds for roads and allow the city to keep excess tax money for trails - passed throughout the city. Also, experts say, the results show that the groups targeting the extra funds chose the right issues to get the usually thrifty tax city to crack open its dusty wallet.

"Even though the city's reputation for being anti-tax is well deserved, that doesn't mean it's always anti-tax," said Josh Dunn, a political science professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado

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Thu, 19 Nov 2015 20:00:57 -0700
<![CDATA[CBI turns findings of Calhan water investigation over to District Attorney's Office]]> http://gazette.com/cbi-turns-findings-of-calhan-water-investigation-over-to-district-attorneys-office/article/1563872?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/cbi-turns-findings-of-calhan-water-investigation-over-to-district-attorneys-office/article/1563872?custom_click=rss

Agents from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation have formally presented findings of a probe into accusations of water theft in Calhan to the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office, an agency spokeswoman said Thursday.

The Calhan Police Department requested the CBI's assistance with an investigation in late February.

L.J. Mott, a professional engineer and District 2 director for the Upper Big Sandy Ground Water Management District, said at a board meeting in May that he found a discrepancy.

As much as 2.5 million gallons more water was pumped than what was documented as sold from the town's municipal wells in July and August 2014, he said.

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Thu, 19 Nov 2015 19:45:50 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado water plan extensive but isn't binding]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-water-plan-extensive-but-isnt-binding/article/1563850?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-water-plan-extensive-but-isnt-binding/article/1563850?custom_click=rss

DENVER - Gov. John Hickenlooper unveiled Colorado's first water plan Thursday, which calls for reducing Colorado municipal and industrial water consumption in the next three decades to levels that haven't been seen since 1970, when there were hundreds of thousands fewer residents.

The more than 800-page plan attempts to address a projected shortfall of water that could leave Colorado in perpetual drought-like conditions by 2050. It not only calls for conservation but a dedication to maintaining agricultural water access, billions in funding for state water projects and increased water storage capacity.

"Water in the West isn't rocket science," said James Eklund, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. "It's more

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Thu, 19 Nov 2015 19:29:48 -0700
<![CDATA[Polis joins with GOP to tighten rules for Syrian refugees]]> http://gazette.com/polis-joins-with-gop-to-tighten-rules-for-syrian-refugees/article/1563833?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/polis-joins-with-gop-to-tighten-rules-for-syrian-refugees/article/1563833?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Colorado congressman Jared Polis is one of 47 Democrats who joined with House Republicans to support making it harder for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the United States.

The measure passed Thursday would in effect suspend admissions of those refugees. It would require the FBI to conduct background checks and oblige security and intelligence officials to certify that each refugee is not a threat.

Polis says he supports improving what he says is an already extensive vetting system as well as raising the number of refugees to be admitted this year above the Obama administration's planned increase.

Fellow Democrat Rep. Ed Perlmutter, meanwhile, voted for the Democrats' alternative measure.

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Thu, 19 Nov 2015 14:50:46 -0700
<![CDATA[A handful of Syrian refugees have come to Colorado in 2015]]> http://gazette.com/a-handful-of-syrian-refugees-have-come-to-colorado-in-2015/article/1563780?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/a-handful-of-syrian-refugees-have-come-to-colorado-in-2015/article/1563780?custom_click=rss

Since 1999, 19 Syrian refugees have come to Colorado, including five in 2015 under a federal program that helps those fleeing violence in their home countries relocate to the United States.

That Department of Homeland Security program has come under intense scrutiny this week as governors across the nation have spoken out against allowing Syrian refugees into their communities. Prompted by initial reports that one of the terrorists involved in last week's Paris attacks posed as a Syrian refugee, members of Congress are also attempting to shut down the Syrian refugee program.

According to data from the Colorado Refugee Services Program, 2,287 refugees came to Colorado in 2014, predominately from the war-torn countries of

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Thu, 19 Nov 2015 13:57:04 -0700
<![CDATA[VIDEO: Protesters turn to humor in plea for Drake closure]]> http://gazette.com/video-protesters-turn-to-humor-in-plea-for-drake-closure/article/1563785?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/video-protesters-turn-to-humor-in-plea-for-drake-closure/article/1563785?custom_click=rss

Braving winds gusting at 40 to 50 mph, a dozen protesters shouted opposing messages and waved contrary signs across Tejon Street at midday Wednesday to send a message to the Colorado Springs Utilities board before it took an important vote.

Six satirists stood on the southeast corner of Tejon at Colorado Avenue, chanting "Clean air sucks!" Across Tejon, six others yelled back, "We love clean air!"

Their signs conflicted as well: "I (heart) POLLUTION" and "I (heart) HAZE" vs. "COAL KILLS - CLEAN AIR NOW" and "CLOSE DRAKE NOW."

The members of 350 Colorado Springs, a group battling climate change, turned to humor, having given up hopes that the CSU board would close the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant.

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Thu, 19 Nov 2015 07:20:51 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Utilities board surprises many with vote to close controversial power plant]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-utilities-board-surprises-many-with-vote-to-close-controversial-power-plant/article/1563754?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-utilities-board-surprises-many-with-vote-to-close-controversial-power-plant/article/1563754?custom_click=rss

The Colorado Springs Utilities board voted 6-3 Wednesday night to close the entire coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant by no later than 2035, a surprising sea change for a board that long has defended Drake.

Board members Larry Bagley, Merv Bennett, Jill Gaebler, Keith King, Bill Murray and Tom Strand voted for the closure. Voting no were CSU board Chairman Andres Pico and members Helen Collins and Don Knight. The board consists of City Council members.

The CSU staff and Customer Advisory Group (CAG) had recommended adoption of Portfolio D for the new Electric Integrated Resource Plan, an option that would have left Drake Unit 7 open indefinitely.

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Thu, 19 Nov 2015 06:40:34 -0700