Lane closures on I-25 for Highway 85 Bridge Work
FOUNTAIN — On Thursday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 15, northbound and southbound Interstate 25 will be reduced to one lane between the South Academy Boulevard exit and Lake Avenue/Circle Drive exit for repairs on the U.S. 85 overpass.
Work hours are 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Drivers should anticipate slower speeds and watch for flaggers directing traffic through the construction zone.
For project updates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the project hotline at 719.239.5562.
Traffic information about this or other CDOT projects also is available at cotrip.org, by calling 511 or via subscription e-mail or text. To subscribe, please visit www.codot.gov and click on the small letter icon at the bottom of the page. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including Southeast Colorado (Everything East of I-25 and South of I-70).
I-25 Overnight Full Closure Scheduled for I-25/Cimarron Project this weekend
Colorado Springs – Northbound and southbound Interstate 25 will be closed between the U.S. 24/Cimarron and south Nevada Avenue/south Tejon Street interchanges from 11 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14 until 6 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 15. Lane closures begin at 9 p.m., Saturday. This closure is necessary to allow Colorado Springs Utilities to relocate overhead power lines as part of the project work. Motorists will be directed to exit at Nevada Avenue and Cimarron Street during the closure. Officers from the Colorado Springs Police Department and Colorado State Patrol will be present at detour locations to help direct traffic.
· Southbound I-25: drivers will take Exit 141 (Cimarron St./U.S. 24), and go east on Cimarron St. to Nevada Ave., and south on Nevada Ave. to I-25.
· Northbound I-25: drivers will take Exit 140 (Nevada Ave./Tejon St.), and go north on Nevada Ave. to Cimarron St., and west on Cimarron St. to I-25.
Motorists are advised to follow the clearly marked detour signs. I-25 will reopen to traffic by 6 a.m., Sun., Nov. 15. Work is weather dependent and subject to change.
PROJECT INFORMATION: The $113 million I-25/Cimarron Interchange Design-Build Project involves rebuilding the I-25 interchange between Colorado Avenue on the north and South Nevada Avenue to the south, 8th Street on the west and the Cimarron Street bridge over Fountain Creek on the east. Improvements are intended to provide enhanced operations, correct existing safety and design deficiencies, and to serve the anticipated short- and long-term travel demands in this area. When complete, this will be a high-functioning interchange that safely handles more vehicles and enhances multi-modal travel for those using I-25, US 24/Cimarron Street and the trail system along Monument and Fountain creeks. Substantial completion is planned for fall 2017.
For updated project information, visit http://www.codot.gov/projects/i25cimarronDB, call 719-302-6781 or email email@example.com.
To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit www.codot.gov and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at www.codot.gov/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Live road conditions are available at www.cotrip.org, downloading the CDOT Mobile app or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/coloradodot.
Lt. Gov. Garcia to join Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education——- ORIGINAL POST, TODAY, 9:52 A.M. ——-
DENVER — Tuesday, Nov.10, 2015 — Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia today announced that Lt. Gov. Garcia has accepted a position as president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. He will leave his dual role, which includes executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), and plans to begin with WICHE sometime before July 1, 2016.
“I want to thank Gov. Hickenlooper and the State of Colorado for the incredible opportunity to work on important policy issues for the last five years,” said Garcia. “This was a difficult decision but education has always been my passion. I look forward to carrying the message of opportunity, college completion and workforce development throughout the West.”
“Joe will be nearly impossible to replace,” said Hickenlooper. “He has been an exceptional lieutenant governor and in leading education efforts for Colorado. He has given five years selflessly to the success of this state and the future education of our children. We are grateful and wish him continued success.”
Before he was elected lieutenant governor, Garcia was president of Colorado State University - Pueblo. He also served as president of the second-largest community college in Colorado, Pikes Peak Community College and as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary’s Representative for the Rocky Mountain States; Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies; and was named the first Hispanic partner in the 100-year history of the law firm, Holme Roberts & Owen.
Lt. Gov. Garcia has been actively involved throughout his career as a board member for many non-profit agencies such as the YMCAs of Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver; Pikes Peak Legal Aid; the Colorado Springs and Pueblo Economic Development Agencies; The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (where he served as board president); the Pikes Peak Child Nursery Centers Inc.; the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities; and numerous other civil rights, educational, and cultural organizations. He earned a business degree from the University of Colorado and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.
In the event of a vacancy, the governor nominates the lieutenant governor who takes office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses according to the Colorado constitution.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and its 16 members work collaboratively to expand educational access and excellence for all citizens of the West. By promoting innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy among states and institutions, WICHE strengthens higher education’s contributions to the region’s social, economic, and civic life. Its programs – Student Exchange, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, Policy Analysis and Research, and Mental Health and several other interstate collaborations – are working to find answers to some of the most critical questions facing higher education today. WICHE’s 16 members include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific territories and freely associated states (the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is the first of the group to participate).
Opioids function in the body by attaching to specific proteins, called opioid receptors. When opioids attach, the body relaxes and breathing slows. But too much of an opioid can cause respiration to slow to a lethal level.The drug isn't brand new. In fact, it's been around for many years. But it's been slow to catch on in law enforcement and public health circles, in part due to controversy. The main point of contention seems to be concern that a drug that can stop a heroin overdose death will make heroin use more attractive. (The Huffington Post ran an article about that argument a couple years ago.)
Naloxone acts by competing with opioids for the receptor sites, essentially pushing the opioids out of the way and reversing the effects of the drugs.
Gov. Hickenlooper announces $100 million commitment to Colorado’s biking infrastructure
DENVER — Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced the state’s commitment of more than $100 million over the next four years to enhance Colorado’s ability to become the best state to ride a bike.
“Our goal is to make Colorado the best state for biking in the country,” said Hickenlooper. “These investments will help fuel our economic growth and tourism industry, move us toward a cleaner environment and advance our goal of being the healthiest state in the nation.”
Colorado is often ranked the fittest state, and was recently ranked the most physically active state in the country. Even with these stats, Colorado has an obesity rate of more than 21 percent, up from 16 percent in 2004. In addition, a nationwide study found that kids are only spending 4-7 minutes outside in unstructured play every day, but are spending 7-10 hours a day staring at screens. Biking is one of the ways Colorado is aiming to change these stats.
The four year plan and $100 million budget will allow Colorado to add bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, better understand and market the cycling industry and support awareness and education efforts to promote safety.
“We want to encourage riders of all shapes, sizes and abilities and make biking as safe and accessible as possible statewide,” said Ken Gart, Colorado’s bike czar. “With more than 5,000 miles of biking trails throughout the state, and events like Pedal The Plains and the USA Pro Challenge, Colorado is poised to take this lead.”
The Colorado Pedals Project, Bicycle Colorado, Great Outdoors Colorado, and many more are working with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Office of Economic Development, Colorado Tourism Office, and other state agencies, to develop the overall strategy, distribute money, and accomplish shared goals.
CDOT is committed to spend at least 2.5 percent of its construction budget on bike and pedestrian programs including infrastructure.
“Coloradans have put a high priority on providing choice in how they get from A to B, whether for commuting or for recreation, and cycling for many is a key alternative," said Shailen Bhatt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation. “At CDOT we believe that including cycling plans into road planning and construction will help us reduce congestion and contribute to solving the transportation challenges facing the Colorado."
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests Lottery proceeds in Colorado's rivers, parks, open space, wildlife, and trails and has been the state's single largest funding source for trails.
“GOCO is excited to be a part of this new initiative and any opportunity to leverage funding to provide places for people to get outside from the backyard to the backcountry," said Lise Aangeenbrug, GOCO executive director.
Bicycle Colorado, one of the first statewide bicycle advocacy groups in the nation, and now the largest, encourages and promotes bicycling, increased safety, improved conditions and provides a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado.
“Bicycle Colorado is excited that more children, families and new cyclists will ride thanks to the improvements this funding will provide,” said Dan Grunig, Bicycle Colorado executive director. “Improved health and a stronger economy are other perks to come from this investment in better bicycling.”
Hickenlooper made the announcement at the Interbike Conference, the largest bicycle trade event in North America, bringing together manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of cycling. He is the first governor to ever speak at the conference.
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 4,500 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. For more information, visit goco.org.
About Bicycle Colorado
The mission of Bicycle Colorado, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is to encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for bicyclists in Colorado. Incorporated in 1992, Bicycle Colorado has a sustained and successful history of protecting and improving access for bicyclists on Colorado roads, paths and trails. For more information, and to become a member, please visit bicyclecolorado.org.
After making numerous comments over the past year attacking lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families, Representative Klingenschmitt just can’t seem to get enough. He recently called on the Boy Scouts of America to drown all gay leaders in its organization. Gay adults are involved in scouting for the same reasons everyone else is; to serve youth, and to help them grow into good, strong citizens. These comments are reprehensible – and he should be ashamed of himself for making them.Soon thereafter, Progress Colorado issued this statement:
One Colorado calls on the leaders of the Colorado Republican Party, and Republican leadership in the State House, to condemn Representative Klingenschmitt’s comments and affirm that no one should be targeted for violence just because of who they are, or who they love.
While experience tells us we shouldn’t hold our breath for an apology from Mr. Klingenschmitt, an apology is exactly what is owed – not just to gay scouts and leaders across the state, but to the countless friends and family members who are tired of seeing their loved ones attacked just for being who they are. Simply put, Representative Klingenschmitt – the fair-minded people of Colorado deserve better.
After national news outlets publicized new statements from Republican Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs that appear to advocate for the murder of gay members of the Boy Scouts of America, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, once again called for Klingenschmitt to resign—and questioned Republican legislative leaders who restored his committee postings after a previous incident.
"Just how far is too far?" said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "After Rep. Klingenschmitt claimed that a sitting member of Congress from our state wants to 'behead Christians,' and that the tragic attack on a pregnant woman in Longmont last March was 'the curse of God,' ProgressNow Colorado called for him to resign. Instead, House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso restored Klingenschmitt to his committee assignments as soon as the media stopped paying attention, and swept the matter under the rug. That was a huge mistake, and today Republicans are paying the price as Klingenschmitt once again brings shame upon the entire state of Colorado."
In a new video posted to Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt's Youtube channel this past week, Klingenschmitt claims that allowing gay scoutmasters to serve in the Boy Scouts "will lead to sexual abuse." Klingenschmitt invokes a Bible verse that says for those who cause "little ones to sin," "it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Klingenschmitt then says it would be "better" for "child molesters" like the scoutmasters he previously described to be drowned.
"It would be easy to dismiss Klingenschmitt's statements as the ravings of a deranged lunatic, except for the fact that he is an elected Republican legislator in the state of Colorado," said Runyon-Harms. "By not acting to distance themselves from Rep. Klingenschmitt, Colorado Republicans are validating what he says. Every day that goes by with Klingenschmitt continuing to serve as a Republican legislator, his hatred speaks for them. It has to stop, and the only ones who can stop it are Klingenschmitt's Republican legislative leaders."
"It is months past time for Colorado Republicans to ask Rep. Klingenschmitt to resign," said Runyon-Harms.
Midland Trail underpass at I-25 to close July 20
Temporary Trail Detour in Place During Construction of New Trail
Beginning the morning of Monday, July 20, crews on the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) Interstate-25/Cimarron Interchange Design-Build Project will close the Midland Trail I-25 underpass into America the Beautiful Park as they begin a series of trail improvements. The access to the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail off Colorado Avenue will remain open; and signed, clearly marked Midland Trail detour routes will be in place for users to navigate around the closure. The new trail configuration that opens in summer of 2017 will create a better experience for trail users.
Midland Trail Detour: Eastbound trail users will take S. Chestnut Street north to W. Cucharras Street, continue as it becomes S. Walnut Street and connects to Colorado Avenue, then take Colorado Avenue east under I-25 to the Greenway Trail or continue on Colorado Avenue to Cimino Drive to access America the Beautiful Park and connect back to the Midland Trail.
Gov. Hickenlooper vetoes “red light” and “photo radar” bills
DENVER — Wednesday, June 3, 2014 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today vetoed SB 15-276 “Concerning the Elimination of the Use of Automated Vehicle Identification Systems for Traffic Law Enforcement” and HB 15-1098 “Concerning the Elimination of the Use of Automated Surveillance Camera Vehicle Identification Systems for Traffic Enforcement.”
“Speeding and disregard for traffic signals are a danger for all drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. These actions have very real, at times fatal, consequences,” said Hickenlooper. “While not always popular, when used correctly, radar and red light cameras make roads safer. Unfortunately, these bills go too far.”
“To that end, we encourage the General Assembly to enact legislation in 2016 that limits photo radar and red light cameras to only the following locations: (1) school zones; (2) construction and roadway work zones; and (3) areas with disproportionately high traffic and pedestrian accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Secondly, legislation should require that fine revenue be used solely for traffic safety improvements and enforcement, rather than general operating funds or non-transportation purposes.”
The governor also directed the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to study the use of automated traffic enforcement systems.
“Together, we can create legislation that continues to allow cities and towns to decide what is best for themselves, while also protecting the safety of drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.”
This morning the CDOT Transportation Commission approved $1,000,000 toward the Southwest Chief TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant application. This is the first time the State of Colorado has approved funding for the SW Chief. Last year, 12 Southeastern Colorado communities provided local matches to secure the successful TIGER Grant submitted by Garden City, KS. This year the City of La Junta is the lead applicant for the TIGER Grant. Colorado now joins Kansas, and several communities in both New Mexico and Colorado in providing funds toward the grant application.
Several residents from Southeastern Colorado made the trip to testify at the Transportation Commission, including La Junta City Manager Rick Klein, Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace and Senator Larry Crowder. Commission Member Bill Thiebaut made a motion to use contingency fund dollars towards the grant. The motion likely saved the funding resolution, as bus advocates argued against funding the grant from transit funds.
In a statement, Sal Pace said:
"This was a huge victory today for the Southwest Chief and all of Southern Colorado. This is the first time Colorado has put money toward this important project. We owe a lot of gratitude to Commissioner Thiebaut, whose savvy was key to today's success, and to La Junta City Manager Rick Klein, who has taken on the tireless task as the lead applicant for this TIGER Grant application. Finally, the Governor's Administration and CDOT promised to help and they did! Now, we move forward with our Grant application, which is even stronger than the one submitted last year that successfully received $12 Million from the USDOT."
Gov. Hickenlooper names Irv Halter as Executive Director of Department of Local Affairs
DENVER — Tuesday, April 28, 2015— Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today Irving “Irv” Halter, Jr., will be the executive director of the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) effective May 1, 2015.
“Irv Halter has a distinguished career in the public and private sector. His vast experience and passion for good government will greatly benefit the State of Colorado,” said Hickenlooper. “We are thrilled he will be leading the agency and joining our team.”
Halter, a retired major general in the U.S. Air Force, joins the state after a distinguished military career with more than 32 years as an Air Force Officer. Halter served as a fighter pilot in the Air Force, leading more than 35,000 airmen and managing assets valued in the billions. As vice director of operations, Halter also advised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in his duties as principal military advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the President.
From 2009-2013, he was vice president of Computer Sciences Corporation for Air and Space, where he was responsible for leading key programs valued at over $750 million annually for the U.S. Air Force, NASA and the Missile Defense Agency.
“I am honored to join Governor Hickenlooper’s team and look forward to working with the Department of Local Affairs professionals to strengthen and support Colorado communities,” Halter said.
He replaces Reeves Brown who resigned in March, having served since 2011, and Kevin Patterson, chief administrative officer, who filled the interim role.
Halter grew up on a family farm in rural southern New Jersey. He graduated with a degree in history from the United States Air Force Academy, and a masters degree in international affairs from Troy State University. He and his wife Judy, a graduate of the University of Denver, have lived in Colorado Springs for the past six years. He is a member of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, and a former vice Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee. He ran for Congress in Colorado’s District 5 in 2014.
ProgressNow Colorado Calls For Gordon Klingenschmitt’s Resignation
DENVER: After nearly a week since video surfaced of Colorado Springs Representative Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt’s outrageous remarks on the horrific assault on a pregnant woman in Longmont, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Republican leadership to call on Dr. Chaps to resign.
“Enough is enough,” said said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “Republican leaders in the House and Senate have had almost a week to hold Klingenschmitt accountable, and there he is, still representing Colorado’s 15th House District despite his offensive behavior.”
On Monday, House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso removed Klingenschmitt from one of his two committee assignments, saying it was one of the “few tools” he had for discipline [Denver Post, 3/30/15], prompting fellow Republican Justin Everett to call the move a gesture to “save face” on the House floor today.
State Sen. Owen Hill, another Republican from El Paso County, took the additional step on Monday to send an email calling for Klingenschmitt’s resignation.
Yet silent on the whole matter is Senate President Bill Cadman, a fellow Colorado Springs Republican, who represents Klingenschmitt’s district in the state Senate.
“There is more the legislative leadership could do if they just had the courage to do it,” added Runyon-Harms. “Every day that Klingenschmitt is in office is an insult to the people of Colorado.”
Attempting to achieve the host community designation represented a community effort. I want to personally thank all of the individuals and organizations who supported the development of the strategy and the creation of the package that was submitted to the State of Colorado Department of Public Safety's Division of Fire Prevention and Control. We all feel a sense of disappointment, but also of pride in how the region came together on this project.————————————ORIGINAL POST WED., MARCH 18, 2015, 3:41 P.M.————————————————-
The Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) today presented its recommendations and selection of Rifle-Garfield County Airport to Gov. John Hickenlooper as host community for the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting.
"We were fortunate to have a number of outstanding candidates to consider for the Center of Excellence and it was a difficult decision with both urban and rural applicants, but Rifle and Garfield County stood out as the best choice," said Hickenlooper.
"As home to the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Facility and with its proximity to the Colorado Army National Guard High Altitude Aviation training site, we know the Center will be better positioned for success in Rifle which will benefit all of Colorado. This decision will serve as the best way forward to meet our shared goal of protecting lives, property and our natural environment from devastating wildfires,” Hickenlooper said.
The Center of Excellence was created in Senate Bill 14-164, which also authorized the State Fire Division to purchase or contract for aerial firefighting assets. During the legislative session, proponents of the Center explained that there is currently no mechanism for determining the efficacy of aerial firefighting, and the need exists for an innovative, science- and data-focused research entity. For this reason, the Center was held up as an integral part of ensuring the successful implementation of Colorado's own aerial firefighting fleet.
“In short, the Center of Excellence will research, test, and evaluate existing and new technologies that support sustainable, effective, and efficient aerial firefighting techniques,” said State Fire Director Paul Cooke.
Because several jurisdictions in Colorado expressed interest in hosting the Center of Excellence, a means to gather information from interested jurisdictions had to be established. The Division elected to go through a formal Request for Information (RFI) process as a way to collect information about the various benefits of interested jurisdictions in a non-binding fashion.
The Division received six responses to the RFI from the following jurisdictions:
• Clear Creek County
• Colorado Springs
• Fort Collins-Loveland Airport
• Montrose County
• City of Rifle/Garfield County
• Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport/Jefferson County
“Each of the seven communities that were vying for the Center has something unique to offer”, Cooke said. "In the end, it really comes down to which location offers the most significant and mutual benefit to the state and the host community."
The City of Rifle is located on the Western Slope along I-70, less than one hour from Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction.
The reasons the Division selected Rifle to host the Center include:
• The location offers proximity to open lands and uncontrolled airspace with a variety of
terrain, close proximity to high-risk wildfire areas, high altitude locations, and nearby
watersheds that source much of the drinking water for nearby states.
• The area is where Colorado sees the majority of its wildland fires.
• Local understanding of the needs and risks for firefighting personnel and operations.
• Small town affordability.
• Nearby Higher Education institutions willing to tailor programs to graduate students with skills to staff the Center in the future.
• The area is host to the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management facility, which
houses BLM, USFS, Colorado River Fire Rescue, and DFPC resources.
• Close proximity to the Grand Junction Air Center which provides tactical aircraft resources (air tankers, smokejumpers, lead planes, and air attack) for initial attack and large incident support.
• Close proximity to the Colorado Army National Guard High-Altitude Aviation Training Site (HAATS).
• Free, readily available, suitable office space for three years.
• Grant writing assistance from the city.
• Potential economic development benefits to the area.
Rifle/Garfield County also touted the willingness of its higher education institutions, government partners, and business organizations to embrace the activities of the Center of Excellence and build on their existing expertise in workforce training, curriculum development, firefighting experience, and related mutual interests to support the success of the Center of Excellence. Further, this jurisdiction has garnered region-wide support for hosting the Center, with support from more than 21 different public and private entities throughout Colorado.
Cooke says, "The Rifle/Garfield County location offers DFPC the ability to pair its currently existing resources (Fire Management Officer and Engine Crew) with the Center of Excellence staff.” He added, “The location could easily become the Western Slope hub for DFPC programs.”