Monthly Archives: September 2008



Monday, Sept. 29, 2008


10:30 a.m.                   Gov. Ritter will deliver opening remarks, welcoming Barack Obama back to Colorado.


Location: Mountain Range High School, 
12500 Huron St., Denver

 (Adams 12 School District).


2 p.m.                          Gov. Ritter will announce his opposition to Amendment 46 during a news conference.


                                    Location: West Steps, State Capitol.  


Faith Leaders, Governor to Sign Immigration Pledge

Colorado Interfaith Leaders and Governor to Sign Immigration Pledge

Denver, CO – On September 25th, 2008, Governor Bill Ritter will join a diverse group of interfaith religious leaders in Colorado to ask all Coloradoans of good will to sign an interfaith pledge on immigration during a press conference from the west Capitol steps.  By signing the pledge on immigration, Coloradans commit to stand for America’s finest ideals and core community values by rejecting the politics of division and isolation that fan anger and hate against persons and communities. 

Interfaith religious leaders across Colorado ask all people of good will to consider the losses we will continue to suffer if we as Coloradoans fail to seek comprehensive reform of the current immigration system.   Signers of the pledge  agree to work for just and humane immigration reform that will uphold the human dignity of each person and value the wholeness of each family unit.

WHAT: Colorado Interfaith Leaders Join Gov. Ritter for Press Conference to Sign Immigration Pledge

WHO:   Governor Bill Ritter

Rep. Rev. Terrance Carroll

Bishop Allan Bjornberg, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. Youngsook Kang,  Superintendent of the Metropolitan District of the Rocky Mountain Conference, United Methodist Church

Monsignor Tom Fryar, Archdiocese of Denver

Rabbi Joel Schwartzman, Congregation B’nai Chaim

Hafedh Ferjani, Denver Islamic Society

Butch Montoya, HS Power and Light

Rev. Patrick Demmer, Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance

Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan, Colorado Council of Churches


:  TODAY, September 25, 2008, 8:15 A.M. MT

WHERE:  West Capitol Steps


The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment will be holding an informational webinar today to introduce a new initiative called Strategies to Enhance Colorado‘s Talent Through Regional Solutions (SECTRS). This pilot program will address economic development from a local and industry-specific perspective by bringing local partners together to focus on growing certain industry sectors in their regions. 


“Local communities are the incubators of ideas and solutions to some of the state’s most difficult challenges,” Gov. Bill Ritter said. “This initiative falls in line with what the Jobs Cabinet has been working on – engaging local communities in the policymaking process and finding regional solutions for regional needs. The SECTRS approach will allow us to build on this momentum and move the state toward a more equitable and inclusive economy.”


To provide more information about SECTRS, its practical application and the real results it offers, the Department of Labor and Employment and Colorado‘s Workforce Development Council will be offering an innovative web conference on September 25.


When:             9 to 11 a.m. today (Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008)



The first hour of the two-hour virtual conference will provide an overview of the mission, methods and progress of the SECTRS initiative, its operation and scope. Keynote speaker Dr. Mike Campbell is the Director of Research and Policy for the United Kingdom Commission for Employment and Skills. Dr. Campbell advises the British government on the strategies and policies needed to increase skills, employment and productivity


The second hour will provide more detailed information for county leaders and their partners on how to move forward with the SECTRS initiative.


For more information and to register for this virtual training conference, visit eColorado Announcements.  For more information on the SECTRS Initiative, click here.



DENVER, CO  TOMORROW, Thursday, September 25, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will join Obama’s Campaign for Change and senior voters for a Denver area forum on the importance of protecting Social Security. In the midst of the current financial crisis, Social Security has never been more important to protecting Americans in retirement and to honoring the working efforts of all Americans. While McCain has a plan to privatize social security, Senator Obama knows that with a broken economy, unstable markets and failing banks, we just can’t afford more of the same. With a history of standing up against privatization of social security, Senator Obama has repeatedly voted against Republican amendments aimed at privatizing Social Security and cutting benefits. He has also worked to reform corporate bankruptcy laws to protect American workers and retirees. 

WHO:                   Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.

Paul Teske, Dean of the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver

Social Security Recipients

WHAT:                 Social Security Forum


WHEN:                 12:30 pm MT, THURSDAY, September 25, 2008


WHERE:               Wheat Ridge Recreation Center
4005 Kipling Street
Wheat Ridge, CO

Romer criticism raises Ritter’s hackles

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Written by: Alan Gottlieb- Head First blog
Today’s first annual Colorado Legacy Foundation luncheon was a nice happening, honoring 39 schools across the state that have had success closing achievement gaps.
But the otherwise typical schmoozathon received a jolt of energy from a polite but unmistakable clash between current Gov. Bill Ritter and one of his predecessors, the indefatigable Roy Romer.
What with the recent DNC and related events, I’ve heard Romer’s schtick several times in the past three weeks. It wears well. Romer, who now runs an outfit called Strong American Schools/ED in 08, is laboring to shock the nation out of complacency about the state of public education.
He was in fine form yesterday, speaking forcefully and make his points with more precision than is his norm.
“I may not be too popular at this luncheon by the time I finish,” he said, proceeding to urge his audience to help him wake up Colorado, and the U.S., about the dire straits we’re in. (Meanwhile, the Dow was cratering again, so people may have been aware of said straits). 
Romer laid out the well-known, depressing facts: we are falling behind other nations in education, and we’re going to pay dearly for it soon, if we aren’t already (we are).
“We’re a third world nation in terms of our performance in math,” Romer said.
What got under Ritter’s skin, apparently, was Romer’s repeated insistence that “we” — meaning Colorado and the U.S. —  are not doing enough to address this predicament. “We’re asleep, we’re kidding ourselves,” Romer said. 
Ritter bounded up to the podium like an unleashed dog, and said he wished to “offer a rebuttal, in part, as presumptuous as that may seem.” Colorado is focused on the challenges, despite Romer’s criticism, Ritter said, “in a way perhaps we haven’t been before.”
With that subtle dig at the former governor, Ritter laid out his education agenda, stressing the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) legislation that passed this year. He said new standards and assessments are coming, and they will be benchmarked, as Romer suggests, to standards in more educationally advanced countries.
“It’s going to take a couple of years to design this…because you can’t build this airplane while it’s in the air,” Ritter said.
Ritter also said the media didn’t “give credence” to the accomplishments of the 2008 legislative session on education, hinting that Romer perhaps was simply unaware of how far Colorado has come.


Gov. Bill Ritter‘s Blue Ribbon Transportation Panel embarks tomorrow on a five-week, 25-meeting community outreach effort acrossColorado to raise awareness about Colorado‘s transportation funding crisis and engage the public in the debate over possible solutions.


Members of the panel will make presentations and solicit public input in every corner of Colorado, beginning this week with meetings in Lamar on Wednesday, Pueblo and Colorado Springs on Thursday and Limon on Friday.


“The strength of Colorado‘s economy depends in large part on our ability to fund and build a modern, 21st century transportation system,” Gov. Ritter said. “But as members of the Transportation Panel know, our roads and bridges are deteriorating and our major revenue sources are declining.


“These meetings will help educate the public about this ‘quiet crisis,’ as the panel has called it, inform them about why transportation is so important to our economy, and urge people to become part of the dialogue going forward,” Gov. Ritter said.


Here is a complete list of meetings:


Date, Day & Time


Date, Day & Time


September 24Wednesday,        1:00 p.m.


Lamar Cultural Event Center

102 E. Parmenter

October 16   Thursday,           9:00 a.m.


Event Center

720 Ellsworth St

September 25Thursday,           9:00 a.m.


Rawlings Public Library

Ryals Room

100 E. Abriendo Ave.

October 16   Thursday,       

2:00 p.m.


Chamber of Commerce

902 7th Avenue

September 25Thursday,          2:00 p.m.

Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak Area COG

15 South 7th St

October 17       Friday,                  9:00 a.m.

Fort Collins

Fort Collins Council Chambers,

300 Laporte Ave

September 26   Friday,                 9:00 a.m.


Hub City

Limon Senior Center

220 “E” Ave

October 17

Friday,             9:00 a.m.


Adams County Economic Development , Inc

12050 Pecos Street, Suite # 200

October 2    Thursday,          9:00 a.m.

Castle Rock

Douglas County Admin Bldg

100 3rd Street

October 21       Tuesday,          

2:00 p.m.

Glenwood Springs   

Garfield County Courthouse      

108 8th St

. # 213

Hearing Room

October 2     Thursday,           2:00 p.m.


Denver Public Library

10 West 14th Ave


October 22


 9:00 a.m.

Grand Junction

Two Rivers Convention Center

159 Main Street

October 3          Friday,            

9:00 a.m.


Center Point Plaza

14980 East Alameda

October 22Wednesday,       2:30 p.m.


“The Bridges”

2500 Bridges Circle


October 3          Friday,            

2:00 p.m.

Jefferson County

Jefferson County Admin Bldg

Commissioners Hearing Room

100 Jefferson County Pkwy


October 23      Thursday,            9:00 a.m.


La Plata County FairgroundsExtension Building

2500 Main Ave

October 8            Wednesday,   

9:00 a.m.


Longmont City Hall

Council Chambers

Civic Center,

350 Kimbark St

October 23      Thursday,          4:00 p.m.


Alamosa Service Center

8900 Independence Way

October 8     Wednesday,     1:00 p.m.


Boulder County Courthouse

Hearing room

1325 Pearl St

October 24           Friday,                 10:00 a.m.


Las Animas County Courthouse    

200 East 1st Street

October 9  Thursday,       

9:00 a.m.


City Council Chambers

One DesCombes Drive

October 29Wednesday        2:00 p.m.


City Hall

300 4th Street

October 15    Wednesday,   

1:00 p.m.


Logan County Fairgrounds GaryDe Soto Building

1120 Pawnee Avenue

October 30   Thursday,       

9:00 a.m.

Steamboat Springs

Howelsen Hill Ski Area

Olympian Hall

845 Howelsen Parkway



October 30    Thursday        

3:00 p.m.


County Commons

037 Peak One Drive

Mount Royal Room


For more information about Gov. Ritter’s Blue Ribbon Transportation Panel, click here or visit, and click on the Transportation Panel link.



Gov. Bill Ritter today announced this year’s homeland security grant awards to communities across Colorado, providing more than $20 million to be administered by the newly operational Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.


More than 80 percent of the funds awarded will go to counties and local jurisdictions throughout Colorado to support local first responders and homeland security initiatives. The funded projects will improve the state’s preparedness for a man-made or natural disaster.


Projects include community preparedness initiatives, detection of and protection from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), interoperable communications capabilities, the Colorado First Responder Authentication Credentialing system, law enforcement crime data and counter-terrorism tools, planning activities, medical surge capabilities, exercise and training initiatives, and first responder equipment.


Colorado was one of only 11 states nationwide this year to receive an increase in funding from last year’s grant awards — $20.7 million this year, up 4 percent from last year’s $19.9 million. Officials attributed this to the high quality of the state’s application to the federal government, which ranked in the top 25 percent of all states nationally.


The newly created Governor’s Office of Homeland Security guided the local application and award process throughout the past six months using new risk-based funding formulas and a competitive scoring system that judges the quality of the projects submitted.


“This greatly improved process now provides strong guidance, training and monitoring for all homeland security grants. It ensures standardized and accountable procedures for all grants that are awarded,” Gov. Ritter said. “And it provides an inclusive, collaborative and responsible process that is delivering positive results and praise from the federal government.


“At the end of the day, this is about ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used appropriately and to their best and highest use, and that we are makingColorado‘s communities as safe as possible.”


In April, state and local agencies throughout Colorado submitted 30 applications seeking more than $35 million in funding for more than 150 projects. The projects were scored by a multi-jurisdictional Grant Review Committee in August. The resulting recommendations for awards were then approved by a Governor’s Homeland Security Senior Advisory Committee and by Gov. Ritter this month. Ninety projects will be funded with the $20.7 million allocation.


The 2008 grant programs and dollar amounts are:


·         Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP):                                     $20.7 million

o       State Homeland Security Program (SHSP):                           $11.8 million

o       Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI):                                $7.6 million

o       Metropolitan Medical Resource System (MMRS):                $963,663

o       Citizens Corp Program (CCP):                                               $249,368


·         Buffer Zone Protection Program:                                           $1.6 million


·         Transit Security Grant Program:                                             $831,648


·         Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant:                 $609,616


·         Nonprofit Security Grant:                                                       $55,843


Total Grant Funds for Colorado:                                              $23.8 million


Broken down by geographic area, total HSGP awards are as follows:


       1) City and County of Denver UASI:                                         $6.1 million

       2) North Central Region:                                                             $3.0 million

       3) North East Region:                                                                  $1.1 million

       4) North West Region:                                                                 $944,000

       5) San Luis Valley Region:                                                          $588,000

       6) South Region:                                                                          $747,000

       7) South Central Region:                                                             $1.2 million

       8) South East Region:                                                                  $712,000

       9) South West Region:                                                                 $721,000

       10) West Region:                                                                         $708,000

Local Agency Total:                                                                    $15.8 million


State Agency Total:                                                                     $4.0 million


Metropolitan Medical Response System:                                    $935,000


Homeland Security Grant Program Total:                             $20.7 million

(Up 4 percent from $19.9 million in 2007)


For more information, visit the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security website at






Gov. Bill Ritter today ordered the lowering of U.S. and Colorado flags to half-staff on all Colorado state government buildings on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, to honor former Colorado Senate President Ray Powers of Colorado Springs.


Powers passed away on Friday. He was 79. Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Springs First Church of the Nazarene,
4120 E. Fountain Road, Colorado Springs



Powers served in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1979 to 1980, and in the Senate from 1981 to 2000. He was Senate president his final two years.



Monday, Sept. 22, 2008


8:30 a.m.                     Lt. Gov. O’Brien will be delivering remarks during the 2008 Telluride Economic Summit on Early Childhood Investment. She will be speaking to business and finance leaders dedicated to investing in proven strategies to benefit children.


                                    Location: Telluride Conference Center, 
580 Mountain Village Blvd.


10:30 a.m.                   First Lady Jeannie Ritter will be participating in a news conference as part of the National Governors Association’s Spouses Seminar in Jackson Hole, Wyo.


News conference location: Jackson Lake Lodge, Moran, Wyo.


11:15 to 11:30 a.m.    Gov. Ritter will hold a media availability with Colorado Springs reporters following two separate morning meetings with energy company executives and the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.


                                    Location: Cheyenne Mountain Resort, 
3225 Broadmoor Valley Road, Colorado Springs



3:30 p.m.                    Gov. Ritter will join officials and researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Colorado School of Mines to announce major six-year research awards from the National Science Foundation. Mines will be receiving a $9.3 million grant, and CU will be receiving $7.2 million. The grants, secured with state matching funds, will be used for advanced-technology energy research.


                                    Location: West Foyer, State Capitol.