Current News

New report blames state’s slowing solar sector on fossil fuel groups

The Colorado Statesman

After years of rapid growth, Colorado’s once red-hot solar energy industry has faded recently, according to a new report from Environment Colorado, which blames fossil fuel-funded think tanks and utilities for raining on the state’s solar parade.

According to “Blocking the Sun: 12 Utilities and Fossil Fuel Interests That Are Undermining American Solar Power,” Colorado’s solar power capacity increased 44 percent a year from 2010 to 2013, but then dropped dramatically between 2013 and 2014, knocking the state from 7th to 10th in terms of solar power capacity per capita in the United States.

Roberts, Sonnenberg talk about decisions to pass on Senate bid

The Colorado Statesman

The decision last spring by U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora to turn down a run for the Republican nomination for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat threw state and national GOP leaders into a crunch to find someone, anyone, who could take on U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Denver Democrat, in next year’s election.

Hancock names new Denver sheriff, promises ‘fresh perspective’

The Colorado Statesman

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the appointment of a new sheriff Thursday, proclaiming a “new day” for a troubled department

Patrick Firman, a longtime Illinois corrections chief, will take over a department that has been plagued with systemic problems and has cost the city millions of dollars in legal settlements over misconduct cases.

“It's going to be a challenge,” Firman said at a press conference held inside the Denver City and County Building. “There's a lot of reform that's been suggested. I think for anybody to say it's going to be easy is kidding themselves.”

Denver unveils construction-defects reform proposal to spur condo building

The Colorado Statesman

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock this week unveiled a proposal aimed at reining in costs associated with construction defects lawsuits, an issue he believes has hampered the city's ability to provide housing options for a booming city population.

The proposed ordinance is the latest effort by a municipality to deal with a polarizing issue that has yet to yield results at the state level.

Denver Chamber lays out wish list for state water plan

The Colorado Statesman

James Lochhead, head of Denver Water, put it simply and perhaps with a hint of optimism: “We can have it all.”

Lochhead was among a group of statewide water leaders who sat down last week to chat about Colorado’s Water Plan. Their chat took place before several hundred at a Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce luncheon, convened to discuss the role business can play charting the state’s water future.

Fight on the right in Colorado Springs over proposed tax hike to fix potholes

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Springs residents are known for their opposition to tax increases, but they’re also fed up with the potholes that pepper the city’s streets.

Voters will decide which is worse on Nov. 3 with Ballot Issue 2C, a measure that would increase the 2.5-percent city sales tax by 0.62 percent to raise $50 million annually for five years to rebuild, pave and maintain the eroding roads.

Young Dems’ debate watch crowd cheers Sanders, warms to Clinton

The Colorado Statesman

At Jake’s Sports Bar in a borderland corner of Denver’s hipster Five Points/Cole neighborhoods, roughly 150 people — a collage of tattoos, piercings, thick-frame eyeglasses and baby bangs — crowded together Tuesday evening at a Colorado Young Democrats 2016 presidential candidate debate-watch party.

This was primarily a Bernie Sanders crowd. They cheered the Vermont senator’s passion, laughed at his jokes, tweeted out his sharp running critique of income inequality and the “rigged system” where “Congress doesn’t regulate Wall Street; Wall Street regulates Congress,” as he put it.

Guest Commentary

Brackney: Time to reform antiquated liquor laws to benefit consumers, craft breweries alike

Guest Contributor

Did you know that 42 states allow full-strength beer or wine to be sold in their grocery stores? And of the eight that don’t, only five still sell 3.2 beer – or, as it’s more commonly known, near beer?

Colorado unfortunately occupies the ignominious space of only allowing “near beer” in grocery stores, along with states like Kansas and Oklahoma.

Colorado Capitol Watch

Noonan: Womb-to-tomb surveillance by Dept. of Ed?

Colorado Capitol Watch

Surveillance is the business model of the Internet, according to computer security analyst Bruce Schneier in a recent New York Times article on European data privacy. Surveillance is also, apparently, the business model of our own Colorado Department of Education.

CDE prefers to call its work “longitudinal analysis.” It started when the state decided to measure cohorts of students from kindergarten through high school. The Legislature added measures down to pre-kindergarten, up to higher education and, recently, to careers and prison.


Hudson: Worry turns into confidence at Clinton debate-watch party

The Colorado Statesman

Polly Baca, Colorado’s first female Hispanic state Senator and Democratic National committeewoman, who later served for many years as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, shoehorned 40 Clinton supporters into her downtown Denver condo for the first Democratic presidential debate of 2016. State Rep. Angela Williams, who’s running for a Denver Senate seat next year, joined the predominantly female crowd.