We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Upon looking into this matter, we learned that all athletic coaches' social media accounts are personal and not maintained by the Air Force Academy Athletic Department. The views and comments within these accounts are personal and not the views of the Air Force Academy or Air Force. However, we appreciate that the accounts could appear official and have advised that an appropriate disclaimer be included to avoid confusion in this regard.As we understand it, this means the coaches are free to use Academy images on their "personal" Twitter accounts that they use to proselytize, but they have to insert a disclaimer that it's not an official Academy account.
The Academy remains committed to protecting individuals' right to practice any religion they choose, or no religion, provided their practices do not violate policy or law, or impede mission accomplishment, military readiness, unit cohesion, standards or discipline.
DENVER—In response to reports that President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the Department of the Interior, the Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:The Western Values Project also issued a statement, saying:
“This week, President-elect Trump told America he wants to follow in Teddy Roosevelt’s footsteps by conserving America’s parks and public lands. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, unfortunately, has shown little interest in the issues she would encounter on a daily basis as Secretary of the Interior.
“Before the Senate considers her nomination, the American people deserve to know where McMorris Rodgers stands on the issues facing our public lands today, particularly at a time when members of her party are encouraging the President-elect to take the unprecedented step of erasing national monuments from the map and selling off public lands.
“If Cathy McMorris Rodgers is confirmed, we hope she takes her new boss’s words seriously and follows in the conservation tradition of Teddy Roosevelt, not the robber barons who would have drilled, mined, and clear-cut their way across the West a century ago.”
In 2011, Cathy McMorris Rodgers was a co-sponsor of HR 1126, which would have sold off more than 3 million acres of public lands to private interests. This year, McMorris Rodgers voted against an amendment that would have prevented efforts to dispose of public lands outside of the established planning process. These positions should raise a red flag for anyone who values keeping our public lands public.
President-elect Trump this week promised to honor “the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, believe it or not, one of our great environmentalists.” When asked by a reporter earlier this year about proposals to “transfer” American public lands to states, Trump said, “I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do. I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold. We have to be great stewards of this land.”
President-elect Trump’s statements are contradicted by the crusade by some members of Congress to dispose of public lands into state and private hands.
President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, who has pushed for the sell off of public lands owned by all Americans, is drawing a stark contrast with his previously stated desire to honor “the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt” — the iconic President that led a massive expansion of America’s Parks System.But not everyone is critical of the selection of McMorris Rodgers. The Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association says this in a release:
A longtime member of the political establishment in Washington, D.C., Congresswoman McMorris-Rogers has frequently opposed the expansion of national public lands, while taking a lifetime total of $357,340 from oil and gas companies. That record is a clear sign the next Department of Interior will prioritize resource extraction over the protection of important Western landscapes that drive the outdoor economy.
Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project, issued the following statement in response to the nomination:
“Rep. McMorris-Rodgers traded Washington state’s conservation values for Washington, D.C.'s pay-to-play traditions a long time ago. During her long career in Congress she cozied up to special interests while openly leading the charge to privatize our nation’s public lands. If personnel is policy, then it’s fair to say the incoming administration is setting itself up to erase Teddy Roosevelt’s legacy of expanding and protecting our most valuable landscapes.
“The vast majority of Westerners believe that no one set of special interests should dominate the way our lands are managed. Far from draining the swamp, this pick is a clear sign that the incoming leadership is willing to rig the public lands system in favor of the extraction industry, and at the expense of access to public lands. If that’s the direction this administration goes, Westerners will hold them accountable for turning their backs on a core part of our heritage.
“The incoming administration has plenty of tools at its disposal if it wants to avoid the public lands problems of the past, and we'd be happy to be proved wrong about Congresswomen McMorris Rodgers’ commitment to making public lands work for everyone.”
1995 HEADLINE: “McMorris Seeks Halt to State Land Buys” As far back as 1995, then state representative McMorris Rodgers sponsored a bill to block a state Recreation Agency “from giving grants to buy land for parks, trails and other recreational lands.” She said at the time that “too much land is going off tax rolls and into public ownership.” [Bruce Rushton, “Legislature ’95: GOP Sends ‘Message’ With Bill on Park Lands,” The News Tribune, 02/06/95]
“McMorris said the state owns enough land, and instead of buying more land the state should manage what it owns more carefully.” She also said, “‘At a time when there's not enough funding for vital state services, the money saved should be used to fund prison and school construction.’” McMorris also “said when public lands are removed from a county tax base it is much more difficult for counties to maintain needed services.” [Staff, “McMorris Seeks Halt to State Land Buys,” The Wenatchee World, 02/12/95]
McMorris also said, “‘The government owns enough land in Washington state’.” [Michael Paulson, “Wildlife Program Threatened: GOP Wants to Curb State Land Purchases,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 02/23/95]
At a hearing on the proposal in March of 1995, McMorris “said ‘more public lands are not needed.’” [Michael Paulson, “Lobbying for State Land Buys Conservations Don’t Want a Bank,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 03/04/95]
“Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said changes are needed to limit funding for federal land acquisitions.” According to the Spokesman Review, “Federal land acquisitions are often poorly managed and inaccessible to the public, McMorris Rodgers said recently in a statement. If changes are made, it’s likely the fund could be back soon, she added. ‘As we look to reauthorization, we must bring the LWCF into the 21st Century,’ the Spokane Republican said. ‘I want to look at ways to strengthen our state and local parks and limit the practice of bureaucrats in (Division of Conservation Services) buying up large swaths of farmland and rangeland.’” [Kevin Graeler, “Republicans seek land funding change,” The Spokesman-Review, 10/04/15]
2012: McMorris opposes “removing lands from private ownership” in speech to logging industry At her 2012 keynote speech at the Society of American Foresters National Convention, McMorris Rodgers said “It is no coincidence that many of the counties with the highest unemployment rates in the country are those which are surrounded by federal forests.” McMorris’s speech advocated for return of national forests to local, private ownership saying “By removing lands from private ownership – and thus, from the local municipal tax rolls – the government stifles locally-driven development and makes rural communities more dependent on Washington, DC.”
2011: Cathy McMorris Rodgers co-sponsored “The Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act” The bill would compel the Secretary of the Interior to sell federal lands throughout the West “previously identified as suitable for disposal.” [H.R. 1126, the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2011]
Since 2004, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has raked in $357,340 from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics - Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers Industries, accessed 12/08/16]
It is being reported that Donald Trump will nominate Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican representative for Washington State’s 5th Congressional District and Chair of the House Republican Caucus, to be the next Secretary of the Interior.
“As the outdoor industry well knows, the U.S. Department of the Interior is one of the most important cabinet offices for our issues,” said OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts. “We believe we will have a productive and collaborative relationship with Representative McMorris Rodgers like the ones we enjoyed with Secretaries Jewell, Salazar, and Kempthorne before her.”
McMorris Rodgers currently represents several outdoor industry businesses in her district, understands that public lands and waters are the foundation of the massive $646 billion outdoor recreation economy, and was an original cosponsor of the Outdoor REC Act that was just signed into law.
When discussing the outdoor recreation economy, McMorris Rodgers said: “Here in the Northwest, spending time outdoors in nature is a way of life. For many, it’s a big part of the reason we choose to live here, and it also is an economic driver. In the West, there are 640 million acres of federal land. This land belongs to the people, and I believe it should be open to many types of activities — providing enjoyment and economic opportunity for local communities.”
OIA has an excellent relationship with McMorris Rodgers and her staff, and we would look forward to working with her to continue the investment in and protection of outdoor recreation on America's public lands.
The Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) Conservation Finance Division is providing technical assistance to the City and County to look at the feasibility of a conservation measure for our community. There has been a large group of community stakeholders working with TPL on this initiative. These stakeholders have worked with TPL to fund a public opinion survey to test a couple of parks questions related to additional funding. This community initiative is in part due to the information expressed by the community in our Park System Master Plan. As you may recall the analysis that was completed regarding parks spending per capita showed that our City compared to other communities our size was significantly underfunded and understaffed. The City of Colorado Springs is around $44.00 per person and the average of other communities is around $96.00 per person as shown in the Park System Master Plan report completed in 2014. The group of community stakeholders has been discussing sustainable funding for parks for some time with a recent emphasis that would help bring our community closer to the average. No decisions have been made as the group and TPL are still gathering information.So while the April 4 election will decide a majority of City Council with six of nine seats up for grabs, it also is expected to pose two tax questions — both of which will ask for more money.
The TOPS measure that was passed in 2014 allowed the same amount of funding to be open to all Parks. This did not increase the funding for maintenance it just expanded the number of facilities where those funds could be spent. The TOPS Parks Category raises an estimated $1.4 million. This funding is now available for ALL parks(over 200 facilities) and can be used for a variety of things such as acquisition, development, construction, maintenance, repair and renovation.
Earlier this afternoon, I spoke with the DoD/IG Investigator assigned to MRFF’s IG Complaint about a AFA football coach’s use of a Twitter account linked to the AFA’s Athletic Department for proselytizing his religion. I confirmed that I was their counsel on this matter and that MRFF did not desire that this be handled anonymously, as it is a matter of public interest especially since it is and has been an on-going issue at the AFA.Moreover, it appears the academy has removed all twitter accounts of coaches from its athletics website.
The City Clerk and the City Attorney's Office will be conducting a Candidate Training Session from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 in Room 102 of the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada Ave, CO 80903.
Training topics will include: candidate filing, election information and campaign finance law. The training will be recorded and posted on the City Clerk’s website following the meeting.
On Tuesday, January 3, 2017, City Council district candidates for the April 4, 2017 General Municipal Election may begin to circulate nominating petitions. The six City Council district seats will be on the April ballot. Registered voters will vote only on the candidates for their respective district and on any questions that will appear on the ballot. Information on the City Council districts and an address look up feature is located at www.coloradosprings.gov/election.
· Candidate filing documents and nominating petitions will be available beginning Tuesday, January 3, 2017. These documents may be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office (30 South Nevada Avenue, Suite 101), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
· City Council district candidates will need to gather a minimum of fifty valid signatures from registered voters who live in the City Council district the candidate is filing to run in. Petitions must be returned to the City Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. on Monday, January 23, 2017.
For additional candidate and election information, please visit www.coloradosprings.gov/election, email email@example.com, or call the City Clerk’s Office at (719) 385-5901 Option 4.
State grants are highly competitive, and signifies that Cottonwood provides high-quality programs, community service and administrative ability to the city and the state at large. Cottonwood serves over 25,000 visitors annually, and works tirelessly to give a voice to underserved populations. These include fully scholarshipped art classes, programming with TESSA, Finding Our Voices and Urban Peak, as well as exhibitions that partner with entities such as the United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire and the Colorado Springs Queer Collective.
2016 has proved to be a banner year for Cottonwood Center for the Arts. This grant will join the gifts and donations from the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, Richard Petritz Foundation, Griffis/Blessing, Inc., Google, and the kindness of individuals throughout the community.
Ruling on the POPS Ballot Title Board legal action:
This morning, District Court Judge McHenry ruled in favor of the City's Title Board and against Save Cheyenne. He wrote in his ruling that the Protect Our Parks (POPS) Ballot Charter Change Title should exclude the "Strawberry Fields" clause in order to comply with the City Charter's single subject requirement for Initiated Ballot Titles. Judge McHenry stated in his ruling that including Strawberry Fields, even though the deal hasn't yet closed, could confuse some voters, as they may favor or oppose the Strawberry Fields land trade and the POPS voter "approval" requirement for future park disposition as well. Thus, he stated, POPS with Strawberry Fields clause in it, could be confusing for voters and constitutes two subjects.
Judge McHenry also ruled that, unlike the "future disposition" of dedicated Parks, the "Strawberry Fields" land deal is now an administrative decision since Council voted 6-3 to approve the transaction in May. It is not legal for citizens to place a Charter Change Initiative in front of voters that is "administrative" in nature.
While we are disappointed with this ruling, w e do very much appreciate Judge McHenry's willingness to expedite this appeal process so that if he had ruled in our favor, we could have had enough time to collect 15,200 valid signatures.
Next steps - No signature collection:
Save Cheyenne will continue its Court challenge of the original Council decision. Nothing in Judge McHenry's POPS Ballot decison should affect our claim that the City did not and does not have the legal authority to convey this land to the Broadmoor to begin with or that the City didn't comply with its own procedures in doing so. We will not move forward to collect signatures to place the "approved" Title in front on voters because the time-frame to collect 15,200 signatures is still very short (less than a month), and we do not want to force an expensive "special election" by taking our full three months as allowed by law if Strawberry Fields isn't included. At this time, we know of no other similar transaction pending to motivate us to go forward to collect signatures at this time.
We intend to ask City Council to refer the City-approved language to the ballot for April 2017:
At next Monday's informal, Save Cheyenne will ask Council to place the approved title language on the April 2017 ballot, without the inclusion of Strawberry Fields paragraph. We still strongly believe that all dedicated parks in the City's inventory should have the same "voter approval" protection as all TOPS and GOCO purchased properties as well as the same protections Denver City and County parks currently enjoy and have enjoyed since 1954. Colorado Springs lags in public policy to protect our most special lands.
This is particularly important to us now because of the bad precedent set by the proposed Broadmoor land swap. We are afraid this decision could open up the door to other similar land transactions in the future. It's important to note that other attempts, in the past, were made by City or County staff and some elected officials to sell or trade Boulder Park, Section 16, Bear Creek Park and parts of Monument Valley Park. It should also be noted that several local City or County officials were willing to allow Stratton Open Space, Red Rock Canyon, White Acres, Rock Ledge Ranch in Garden of the Gods, Union Meadows, Blodgette Peak Open Space and University Park Open Space to be developed for housing; it took a loud public outcry, major fundraising and voter petitions to protect these "well-loved" parks and open space for the entire public to enjoy.
We believe strongly that we are on the right side of both the law and, more importantly, the moral side for the people and wildlife who depend on these public lands.