Category Archives: Uncategorized

GOV. RITTER STATEMENT ON DAVID HARTLEY CASE


Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today regarding the David Hartley case:

 

“My heart goes out to the family and friends of David Hartley as they struggle through this painful and difficult time. Earlier today I spoke with the Mexican Consulate’s Office about this tragic case and they assured me they are doing everything possible to recover David’s body and bring to justice those who committed this heinous crime. I asked that they commit all law enforcement resources available, and they assured me they would.”


GOV. RITTER APPOINTS FOUR NEW JUDGES TO COUNTY, DISTRICT COURTS


Gov. Bill Ritter announced today he has appointed four new judges to the bench in Colorado:

 

·         Mark Duncan Thompson of Breckenridge will replace retiring District Court Judge W. Terry Ruckriegle in the 5th Judicial District effective immediately. The 5th Judicial District serves Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties. Thompson is a shareholder of the Breckenridge law firm West, Brown, Huntley and Thompson. He received his bachelor’s degree from Bates College in Maine in 1989 and his law degree from the University of Denver in 1992.

 

·         Norma A. Sierra of Boulder will replace retiring Boulder County Court Judge Carolyn Hoye Enichen effective Jan. 11. Sierra is currently a District Court magistrate for the 20th Judicial District, which serves Boulder County. Before that, Sierra served as the district’s family court facilitator. She was a solo practitioner from 1996 to 2000 and a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1990 to 1993. She earned her B.B.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1984 and her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987.

 

·         Mark Marrow Randall of Arvada will replace retiring Jefferson County Court Judge Charles T. Hoppin effective Jan. 11. Randall is currently a chief deputy district attorney for the 1st Judicial District, which serves Gilpin and Jefferson counties. He also is the legislative director for the Colorado District Attorney’s Council. Randall earned his bachelor’s degree from Creighton University in Nebraska in 1985 and his law degree from the University of Denver in 1988.

 

·         Thomas Lee Lynch of Fort Collins will replace retiring Larimer County Court Judge Cynthia M. Hartman effective Nov. 30. Lynch is currently a deputy district in the 8th Judicial District, which serves Larimer and Jackson counties. Prior to that, he was an executive with Snowfly Inc., district director for former Congressman Bob Schaffer, president of JurisDATA Inc. and corporate services executive for Aspen Tree Software. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1988 and his law degree in 1991 from the University of Wyoming.

 

For a county court judge, the initial term of office is a provisional term of two years. Thereafter, if retained by the voters, county court judges serve four-year terms at an annual salary of $123,067.

 

For a district court judge, the initial term of office is a provisional term of two years. Thereafter, if retained by the voters, district court judges serve six-year terms at an annual salary of $128,598.

 

GOV. RITTER APPOINTS THREE NEW JUDGES


 
Gov. Bill Ritter announced today he has appointed three new judges – two district court judges in the 4th Judicial District and one county court judge in Douglas County:

 

·         Lawrence R. Bowling of Castle Rock will replace retiring Douglas County Judge Michelle Marker effective Jan. 1.

 

·         Timothy J. Schutz of Monument will replace retiring District Court Judge J. Patrick Kelly in the 4thJudicial District effective Oct. 31.

 

·         Barbara L. Hughes of Colorado Springs will replace retiring District Court Judge Timothy Simmons in the 4th Judicial District effective Dec. 31. The 4th Judicial District serves El Paso and Teller counties.

 

Bowling is currently a magistrate in Douglas County and has served as a magistrate in the 18th Judicial District – which covers Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties – since 2006. Prior to that, he was an assistant county attorney in Jefferson County, an associate with Quade, Fontana and Bonin, and a deputy district attorney in the 18th Judicial District. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado Technical College in 1981 and his law degree from the University of Denver in 1993.

 

Schutz is a founding member of the firm Hanes & Schutz, which was formed in 1992. Before that, he was an associate with Holland & Hart. He received his bachelor’s degree from Moorhead State University in 1984 and his law degree from the University of North Dakota in 1987.

 

Hughes has served as a district court magistrate in the 4th Judicial District’s Probate Division since 2000. Prior to that, she was an attorney with Colorado Legal Services in Colorado Springs, an attorney with Pikes Peak Legal Services in Colorado Springs, a law clerk in the 4th Judicial District and an attorney with Zuckerman and Kleinman. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and her law degree from the University of Colorado in 1988.

 

For a county court judge, the initial term of office is a provisional term of two years. Thereafter, if retained by the voters, county court judges serve four-year terms at an annual salary of $123,067.

 

For a district court judge, the initial term of office is a provisional term of two years. Thereafter, if retained by the voters, district court judges serve six-year terms at an annual salary of $128,598.

 


 

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES BALLOT ISSUE RESOLUTION


GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES BALLOT ISSUE RESOLUTION

 

Gov. Bill Ritter announced today an agreement has been reached between commercial rafting outfitters and private property owners along the Taylor River. The compromise clears the way for sponsors of 24 competing ballot measures to withdraw their respective proposals from the November ballot, averting an expensive and divisive election fight.

 

The Governor had asked two outfitters, Three Rivers and Scenic River Tours, and the owners of the Jackson-Shaw property, in May to find a mutually agreeable solution to their dispute.

 

Gov. Ritter thanked the parties for their hard work and willingness to find common ground. “To reach this accord, both sides had to make difficult concessions, and I appreciate their willingness to do so,” the Governor said. “Today’s agreement marks an important step toward opening a dialogue between landowners and rafters. My hope is that this dialogue will then lead to a fair and efficient dispute-resolution process for the future.

 

“Colorado’s rivers are essential to all Coloradans, not only for the vital drinking and agricultural water they carry, but also to our overall economy and quality of life,” said Gov. Ritter, who is an avid fly-fisherman. “Anglers, rafters and private landowners may all have separate and unique interests, but they all share a common Colorado interest that is bound together by doing what’s best for our children and the future of our state.

 

“I also applaud the decision of the sponsors to withdraw their ballot initiatives,” Gov. Ritter added. “The decision of these parties to withdraw these ballot measures was courageous and puts the interests of all Coloradans above their individual interests.”

 

Said Lewis Shaw, chairman and CEO of Jackson-Shaw Co., which owns the Wilder on the Taylor fishing reserve: “We are pleased to announce a resolution to the dispute on the Taylor River involving commercial rafting and private fishing property.  Gov. Ritter has offered much-appreciated guidance to both parties to reach this settlement privately, avoiding possible contentious legislative initiatives or impositions.  The agreement permits rafting companies Three Rivers and Scenic River Tours structured access through the private Wilder Ranch property while respecting each parties’ positions for their mutual enjoyment of this beautiful natural resource.”

 

“Over the years, Colorado’s property owners and rafters around the state, working on a case-by-case basis, have found ways to accommodate each other,” said John Leede, president of the Creekside Coalition, which represents about 600 riparian landowners across Colorado. “We believe this long-standing approach has served Colorado well by balancing the needs of various interests.   Our ballot issues were introduced to protect against legislative and ballot proposals from the commercial rafting community that we believed were one sided and would have disrupted the delicate balance between rafters, fisherman and property owners across the state.  We are appreciative of the Governor’s leadership in resolving this issue and we will continue to participate constructively in future discussions around these issues.”

 

The withdrawal of the ballot measures also clears the way for the creation of a task force that will propose a dispute-resolution process to address future conflicts on Colorado rivers.

 

Gov. Ritter will convene a task force of stakeholders to develop a proposal for resolving conflicts among landowners, anglers and the boating public. The task force will be charged with developing a framework for resolving disputes on Colorado rivers on a stretch-by-stretch basis as those disputes arise. This approach recognizes that disputes vary from place to place and that a one-size-fits-all strategy is unlikely to succeed.

 

The task force will be led by the Department of Natural Resources and the Governor’s Office.  The task force will include representatives from landowners, commercial and recreational river users, local government officials and law enforcement, which has historically been tasked with intervening in such disputes.

 

The task force will be asked to deliver a report outlining its proposal to the Governor by Dec. 31.

 

GOV. RITTER URGES OBAMA TO PRESERVE 1,000 AEROSPACE JOBS IN COLORADO


 

Gov. Bill Ritter today urged President Obama to reverse course and not cancel the Constellation space-travel program as currently proposed in NASA’s FY11 budget. The termination likely would mean the end of the Colorado-based Orion Project and the elimination of 1,000 jobs here in the Centennial State.

 

“The Constellation Program, and specifically the Orion project, is a centerpiece of Colorado’s aerospace sector, creating nearly 1,000 jobs here since 2006 and inspiring a new generation of engineers, scientists, teachers and students,” Gov. Ritter says in a letter to the White House. “To abruptly change direction like this will lead to significant dislocation and distress at a precarious time for the economies of our nation and our state.

 

“I urge you to partner with my administration and the many experts in Colorado to help chart a strategic path forward. Together, we can strengthen Colorado’s aerospace sector and meet the nation’s needs without sacrificing the jobs that are so crucial to Colorado’s economy and Colorado’s future.”

 

Gov. Ritter will stress the need to protect the Orion Project jobs in Colorado during a speech at the 26th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs on Tuesday (12:30 p.m., Broadmoor Hotel, Main Ballroom, 1 Lake Ave.).

 

Here is the complete text of Gov. Ritter’s letter to President Obama:

 

April 12, 2010

 

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

I write to express my concerns about the job losses that will occur if the Constellation Program is cancelled as proposed by your FY 2011 NASA budget. Through your leadership with federal economic policy, and thanks to aggressive state-led initiatives here in Colorado, we are making significant progress rebounding from the worst economic crisis in over 70 years.

 

Terminating the Constellation Program would be a major setback to our collective progress, resulting in devastating job losses impacting dozens of Colorado companies and thousands of Colorado families.

 

The Constellation Program, and specifically the Orion project, is a centerpiece of Colorado’s aerospace sector, creating nearly 1,000 jobs here since 2006 and inspiring a new generation of engineers, scientists, teachers and students. Colorado consistently ranks second or third in aerospace employment, with more than 300 companies, 170,000 employees and a cluster of military installations and research institutions.

 

This is an industry of the future that drives innovation and economic growth, provides well-paying jobs and contributes to our national security.

 

A comprehensive space exploration program is critical to national security and Colorado’s economy. Our aerospace sector is well-positioned to take advantage of increased NASA investments in robotics, energy-efficiency, satellite development and space exploration technologies. With initiatives like eSpace: the Center for Space Entrepreneurship, and the 8th Continent project, Colorado has created an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports innovative solutions to unique space exploration challenges.

 

While I understand the need to regularly assess and prioritize our nation’s space exploration efforts, I urge you to consider the economic impact of the termination. Colorado companies and their employees have, in good faith, worked hard with NASA to implement its plans, missions and visions. To abruptly change direction like this will lead to significant dislocation and distress at a precarious time for the economies of our nation and our state.

 

I urge you to partner with my administration and the many experts in Colorado to help chart a strategic path forward. Together, we can strengthen Colorado’s aerospace sector and meet the nation’s needs without sacrificing the jobs that are so crucial to Colorado’s economy and Colorado’s future.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bill Ritter, Jr.

Governor of Colorado

 

COLORADO TO APPLY FOR ROUND 2 OF "RACE TO THE TOP" FUNDING

 
Gov. Bill Ritter, Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien and Education Commissioner Dwight Jones announced today that Colorado will resubmit an application for Round 2 of Race to the Top education-reform funding.

 

Over the past week, Gov. Ritter, Lt. Gov. O’Brien and Commissioner Jones have reviewed the feedback and scoring results from the Round 1 application and talked with numerous education stakeholders from around Colorado. The three met this morning and decided it is in the best interest of Colorado students to re-apply for the federal grant funding.

 

“Colorado has broken new ground with student-centered reforms over the past three years,” Gov. Ritter said. “We put together a solid Race to the Top application for Round 1 that would have allowed us to build on and accelerate the reforms that will allow all children in Colorado to reach their God-given potential.  Our Round 2 application will make an even stronger case for how we will improve student achievement, turn around struggling schools and improve educator effectiveness.”

 

Colorado’s Race to the Top team will continue to review the Round 1 comments and submit the application for Round 2 by the June 1 deadline.

 

“We must reduce the achievement gap, turn around struggling schools and provide the best education possible for our students,” said Lt. Gov. O’Brien. “We are committed to accelerating education reform in Colorado and our Round 2 application will be a coordinated effort to ensure our children’s success.”

 

“Moving forward for round two is the right decision for Colorado students, teachers and schools,” said Commissioner of Education Dwight Jones.  “We will scrutinize every comment from the first round and look for every opportunity to improve Colorado’s application while staying true to the reform plans we have already put in motion. We appreciate Gov. Ritter’s ongoing support of the effort to access these resources in order to improve Colorado’s chances for success.”


GOV. RITTER’S SCHEDULE FOR MONDAY, APRIL 5

 
OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER, JR.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUNDAY, APRIL 4, 2010

 

CONTACTS:
Megan Castle, 303.319.8513, megan.castle@state.co.us
Evan Dreyer, 720.350.8370, evan.dreyer@state.co.us

 

 

GOV. RITTER’S SCHEDULE FOR MONDAY, APRIL 5
 
Monday, April 5, 2010
 
9 a.m.              Gov. Ritter will have his monthly appearance as the guest on the Mike Rosen Show, 850 KOA.

 

1:30 p.m.        Gov. Ritter will sign House Bill 1204 Plumbing Code Water Conservation Standards (Soper/Tochtrop) and House Bill 1148
Architect License Renew Professional Competency (Gerou/Tapia). Location: Governor’s Office, State Capitol.
 
###

 

 

GOV. RITTER, BIPARTISAN LAWMAKERS TO INTRODUCE CLEAN AIR-CLEAN JOBS ACT

 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

 

8:30 a.m.         Gov. Ritter and a group of bipartisan lawmakers will announce the introduction of the Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act at a news conference. Gov. Ritter, lawmakers and experts will also testify about the bill before the House Transportation and Energy Committee later in the morning. The lead sponsors of the act are Reps. Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) and Judy Solano (D-Brighton) and Sens. Bruce Whitehead (D-Hesperus) and Josh Penry (R-Grand Junction).

                       

The legislation will make Colorado a national leader in cutting air pollution, creating jobs and increasing the use of cleaner energy sources. It would require Xcel Energy to sharply reduce pollutants by retiring, retrofitting or repowering Front Range coal-fired power plants by the end of 2017 and replacing them with facilities fueled by natural gas and other lower- or non-emitting energy sources, including greater energy efficiency measures.  

                       

News Conference Location: West Foyer, State Capitol.

                                    House Transportation and Energy Committee Hearing: Old Supreme Court Chambers, State Capitol.

                             

COLORADO A FINALIST FOR ‘RACE TO THE TOP’ FUNDING


 

COLORADO A FINALIST FOR ‘RACE TO THE TOP’ FUNDING

 

Lt. Gov. O’Brien to Lead a Team for Washington, D.C. Presentation

 

Gov. Bill Ritter, Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien and Colorado Education Commissioner Dwight D. Jones announced today that the U.S. Department of Education has named Colorado as one of 16 finalists for the first round of Race to the Top education reform grants. Colorado and the other finalists were selected from 40 states and the District of Columbia.

 

Colorado is committed to providing a 21st century education that fully prepares our students to compete and succeed in a global economy,” Gov. Ritter said. “I am pleased we have been named a finalist, but this is a competitive grant process and we still need to make our case. Regardless of the outcome, we now have a roadmap that leads directly to stronger and more effective student-centered education reforms.”

 

The state’s Race to the Top proposal was developed with input from more than 600 people. The proposal is being supported by 134 local school districts serving 94 percent of Colorado‘s K-12 public school students.

 

“It’s gratifying to be in the finalist list, but we know this is just the beginning of our work. The end goal is reducing the achievement gap, turning around struggling schools and improving our skills, data and tools for students,” said Lt. Gov. O’Brien, who spearheaded the proposal process.

 

“We are thrilled to be included in the group invited to make presentations,” said Commissioner Jones. “We are confident that Colorado will continue to move forward in this process. One key to Colorado‘s application is the strong alliance among the state’s education community, and we believe that strength will carry us on this final lap.”

 

All 16 finalists will present their proposals to a panel of reviewers in Washington, D.C., the week of March 15. Lt. Gov. O’Brien and Commissioner Jones will lead the Colorado team of presenters. Colorado‘s Race to the top proposal asks for $377 million over four years. Successful first round Race to the Top applicants will be announced in April.

 

Work will continue on education reform at the local level, as Gov. Ritter today also announced the appointees to the Colorado Council for Educator Effectiveness. The council was created by executive order to work on defining educator effectiveness and new educator evaluations tied to student growth. The council will meet at 3 p.m. March 11 at the Colorado Community College System office,

9101 E. Lowry Blvd.

, Bldg. 959, President’s Conference Room, Aurora.

 

Members of the Council for Educator Effectiveness:

 

·         Colorado Department of Education: Nina Lopez, Special Assistant to Education Commissioner

 

·         Colorado Department of Higher Education: Lorrie Shepard, Dean, School of Education, University of ColoradoBoulder

 

·         Teachers: Shelly Genereax of Brighton School District 27J, Kerrie Dallman of Jefferson County Public Schools, Amie Baca-Oehlert of Adams District 12, Nikkie Felix of Aurora Public Schools

 

·         Public School Administrators: Margaret Crespo, Principal of John Evans Middle School in Weld County, Tracy Dorland, Executive Director of Teacher Effectiveness  in Denver Public Schools

 

·         Public School Superintendent: Sandra Smyser, Superintendent of Eagle County Schools

 

·         School Board Members: Bill Bregar of Pueblo District 70, Jo Ann Baxter of MoffatCounty

 

·         Charter Schools: Colin Mullaney, Principal of CheyenneMountain Charter in Colorado Springs

 

·         Public School Parent: Towanna Henderson of Denver Public Schools

 

·         Student: Shelby Gonzales-Parker of JusticeHigh School in Denver Public Schools

 

·         At-Large Member: Matt Smith, Vice-President of Engineering, United Launch Alliance

 

STATEMENT ON GOV. RITTER ACCIDENT


 

Shortly after 6 a.m. this morning, Gov. Ritter was involved in a bicycle accident at

23rd Ave.

and

High St.

in Denver. He is being treated at DenverHealthMedicalCenter for several injuries. It appears he has multiple rib fractures on his right side.

 

The Governor rides with a group of friends two to three times a week, and this morning was with a group of four other riders when he and another rider collided. The Governor is in good spirits, laughing and joking with hospital staff and his wife Jeannie.

 

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