CONO decided to do the Dist 3 & 4 forums only because of the work we are currently doing in the SE neighborhoods. The community centers expressed interest in having forums hosted on-site to really encourage a bigger voter turnout in the zipcodes 80916 and 80910- which are always low.The forums are as follows:
We will have people there ready to register voters on site and we will have questions regarding the concerns in those neighborhoods- transportation, safety, connectivity, parks, trails, etc.
We are only planning these 3 forums so far but will support others initiated by neighborhoods as they arise.
The Political Action Committee of the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs (HBA PAC) has been working the last several months to identify visionary leaders for the April 4, 2017 municipal election. All six City Council District seats are on the ballot in this election.
Members of the HBA PAC have invested many volunteer hours meeting with candidates, who were evaluated based on several criteria, including their service to the Colorado Springs community, knowledge of City government, and demonstrated leadership to the community, as well as their background, availability to devote to public service, and ability to field an effective campaign.
Among the number of impressive candidates this election cycle, six received the HBA PAC endorsement. The candidates were endorsed based on their leadership, collaboration skills, community involvement, business experience and commitment to supporting and promoting sound economic development policy. They are as follows: Greg Basham (District 1), Dave Geislinger (District 2), Chuck Fowler (District 3), Deborah Hendrix (District 4), Lynette Crow-Iverson (District 5), and Andy Pico (District 6).
“We were inundated with a slew of qualified candidates,” said Kyle Campbell, HBA PAC Chairman. “We are pleased to endorse candidates with strong business backgrounds who believe in the process of city government, the principles of limited government, and allowing the private sector to work. All endorsed candidates demonstrate great leadership skills and the ability to build a consensus and will be an asset to our community as members of City Council. We look forward to working together with the newly-elected council members.”
To more accurately reflect its role and purpose, the Colorado Springs Stormwater Division has changed its name to Water Resources Engineering effective Tuesday, January 31, 2017.
The Stormwater Division has long represented the City’s team dedicated to managing the City’s storm drain infrastructure such as channels, culverts, creeks and waterways to convey water, mitigate runoff and flooding, and preserve water quality to comply with federal clean water regulations.
However, in recent years, more comprehensive watershed approaches have been replacing the traditional stormwater management practices. The focus of stormwater infrastructure has transformed from building concrete culverts and underground storm drains to creating more naturalistic channels that convey water, but also has become a valuable natural resource people can enjoy through the incorporation of trails or other amenities.
“Ultimately, the purpose of Water Resources Engineering is for clean waterways,” said Richard Mulledy, Water Resources Engineering Division Manager. “Because the majority of stormwater (precipitation or snow melt) eventually makes its way into our waterways and to downstream communities, managing our water resources at the source with a comprehensive approach, including the planning and management of constructed facilities, community education, and the adopt-a-waterway program, is key to maintaining clean waterways for our community and our downstream neighbors.”
Stormwater infrastructure projects and programs remain a significant part of the Water Resources Engineering Division to control flooding and comply with federal clean water regulations. As part of the new name, Water Resources Engineering will launch several campaigns throughout the year highlighting the importance of clean waterways and how simple actions people take can impact our waterways.
Scoop the Poop… For Clean Waterways! Pet waste adds up! Bacteria from every mess your pet leaves behind ends up in your water.
Volunteer…For Clean Waterways! Learn about volunteer programs to help keep our waterways clean, including “Adopt-A-Waterway”.
Think Outside the Lawn…For Clean Waterways! Learn how taking simple steps in and around the home can help keep our storm drains clear from debris and protect our waterways.
Report Spills and Dumping…For Clean Waterways! Illegal spills and dumping not only pollutes our waterways, they can be dangerous to people and the environment. Be a guardian of our water resources by reporting spills and dumping.
About 300 people gathered outside City Hall on Sunday to protest President Trump’s executive order to revive the stalled Keystone XL and Dakota Access (DAPL) pipelines.
His action wasn’t some final stamp of approval for DAPL, the hard-fought oil pipeline that, if built, would threaten the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s drinking water in violation of generations-old treaties. Rather, the document instructs the Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for permitting the project, to “review and approve [remaining pipeline sections] in an expedited manner, to the extent permitted by law.”
But, the action certainly signals what observers have long assumed: that the Trump administration will be dogged where the Obama administration was sheepish in its approach to fossil fuel infrastructure projects. So this executive order comes as no surprise, especially given President Trump’s own private investment in DAPL, disregard toward climate science and overall disdain for anyone who dares challenge state-guarded corporate power.
Some such people heeded a call from Unite Colorado Springs to come hear speakers from various environmental and activist groups before setting off on a short march through downtown to show local opposition to the pipeline order.
“Serving in the acting role these last two months, Jariah has provided excellent leadership and has displayed his own passion for and commitment to the betterment of our city,” said Peter Wysocki, the city’s planning director. “Jariah is a collaborative and dedicated leader and I am very pleased that the Board and City have selected him to continue to lead this effort.”
"Jariah is one of Colorado Springs’ most talented young executives,” said Wynne Palermo, CSURA Chair. “The board is excited to have him and we are confident he will accomplish our expectations to take us to a new level."
Most recently Walker served as a senior economic development analyst for the City of Colorado Springs.
“I’m honored that the CSURA board presented me with this opportunity and I look forward to working together on a number of great projects ahead,” said Walker. “Words cannot describe how much it means to me to be able to play an active role in the positive redevelopment of a number of areas in my own hometown.”
Prior to joining the city, Walker spent seven years as a senior partner with Walker Asset Management Realty, Inc. Walker serves on a number of committees, including the newly-formed Plan COS steering committee, charged with the two-year development of the city’s comprehensive plan. In addition, he is the economic team lead on the city’s sustainability committee and serves on committees with the Urban Land Institute, Strategic Plan, Business Climate Task Force and Renew North Nevada Plan.
The safety and security of America is a primary constitutional function of the federal government. President Trump's recent Executive Order is consistent with H.R 4038, a bipartisan bill that passed the House in the last Congress and called for a temporary halt of refugees from nations torn apart by terrorism until the implementation of increased security and screening measures. By taking steps to temporarily stop refugee admittance from nations that are hotbeds of terrorist activity, the President is taking prudent action to ensure that his national security and law enforcement teams have the strategies and systems in place that they will need to protect and defend America.
While I do not support the broad, misinformed, and inflammatory criticisms of the Executive Order, it is important that the privileges of law-abiding Green Card holders are not abridged. I appreciate the White House Chief of Staff clarifying this point over the weekend.
Rather than being influenced by one-sided media narratives, it is important to remember that President Obama also implemented temporary refugee and visa restrictions for national security purposes. Now is not a time for division fueled by dishonesty and partisan politics, now is a time for our nation to come together and work diligently to find lasting and sustainable solutions to the national security challenges of the 21st century.
The Air Force Academy recently entered into a settlement agreement with MRFF regarding FOIA and agreed to pay $25K in attorney's fees. Attorney's fees are not an uncommon expense for defendants in FOIA litigation, even when the parties settle without attributing fault or liability. This money is not paid directly by USAFA, but rather comes out of a general Air Force Litigation fund used in instances when the Air Force is sued.
The Academy respects the settlement agreement and intends to comply with it. We'd like to emphasize that each FOIA case is unique and USAFA makes every effort to process FOIA cases as promptly as possible.
FOIA requests are processed in the order that they are received. When MRFF made their request in 2011, USAFA was dealing with a large backlog of FOIA requests. USAFA was able to provide an initial response to MRFF in 2012, followed by a supplemental response in 2015 and another in 2016. The release to MRFF consisted of over 8,000 pages of documents, all of which had to be reviewed by numerous people page by page, making the review and production a time-consuming undertaking.
Late last week the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) reached an agreement to resolve a longstanding legal dispute over USAFA's handling of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted in 2011. The FOIA request sought records related to Mikey Weinstein, MRFF's Founder and President, the organization, and individual members of the Weinstein family. After four years of processing delays, MRFF filed a lawsuit in federal court in New Mexico to compel the Air Force Academy to finalize the FOIA response. The settlement calls for USAFA to conduct new searches for documents, broaden the time period of the searches, and pay MRFF's attorneys' fees.
Vincent Ward and Amber Fayerberg, attorneys in Albuquerque, New Mexico, represented MRFF in the litigation. In a joint statement released by Mr. Ward and Ms. Fayerberg, they stated: "This is a big victory for MRFF, for active, veteran and retired military members and civilians who support MRFF's cause, and for everyone who believes in the importance of government transparency and accountability. The Academy gave MRFF the run around for over four years, probably hoping it would go away. Not MRFF. We couldn't be more pleased with the outcome of the case. It is a true testament to MRFF's will and of course the determination of its founder, Mikey Weinstein."
MRFF Founder and President, Mikey Weinstein praised the result stating,
"Today is a glorious day of victory for justice and liberty! MRFF effusively thanks its fantastic and tenacious litigators, Vincent Ward and Amber Fayerberg, for prevailing for MRFF in this long federal court legal battle against the Air Force Academy's intransigent and ignoble efforts to nefariously thwart public disclosure of thousands of pages of important internal documents. Tragically, the only thing that USAFA is even worse at than following federal disclosure requirements via FOIA is USAFA's universally deplorable record of miserably failing to adhere to the Constitutionally-mandated separation of church and state. Today's splendid MRFF legal victory is a landmark win in MRFF's continuing fight to rebuild and buttress the shattered church-state wall at USAFA, in the Air Force at large and throughout all of the Department of Defense."
The Weinsteins are a legacy family at USAFA, with six of the family members alumni of the Air Force Academy and one other a graduate of the Naval Academy. The Weinsteins are also, however, active supporters and participants of MRFF and regularly take the Academy to task over its espousal and promotion of fundamentalist Christian Evangelicalism. MRFF's history with the Academy has resulted in a vitriolic campaign against Mikey Weinstein, his family, and many MRFF supporters as well as the production of thousands of documents, found in the form of emails, memoranda, and directives. MRFF requested that USAFA provide those records as part of its continued effort to hold USAFA and other military agencies accountable for their practices.
However, when MRFF lawfully sought these records under the FOIA in 2011, USAFA ignored the request for nearly one year. After producing only a fraction of the documents generated by the request in 2012, the USAFA spent the next three years delaying and refusing to produce records in accordance with the federal transparency law. After four years of obfuscation, MRFF filed suit on November 5, 2015 to compel the agency to provide the responsive records. The suit alleged specific violations of the FOIA, which requires government entities to make most types of records available to the public upon request, as well as alleging that USAFA engaged in a pattern and practice of deliberately violating the law with regard to MRFF. After over one year of litigation, the USAFA has produced nearly 8,000 additional records to MRFF and has agreed to perform supplemental records searches for those years during which the USAFA unlawfully delayed in responding to MRFF's request. USAFA has also agreed to pay MRFF's lawyers, Vincent Ward and Amber Fayerberg, $25,000 in legal fees.
MRFF anticipates that USAFA's supplemental records searches will turn up thousands of additional and important documents. This result is a victory for MRFF, a victory for the Constitution and a victory for government transparency. MRFF will continue to insist that military agencies open their files to the public and will continue to shed light on USAFA's violations of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion and freedom from the establishment of a government religion.