Friday, November 30, 2007

$5.8 million in grants announced for crime victims programs in Colorado

A projected 54,000 Coloradans who will be victims of violent crime and
abuse during 2008 will be assisted by programs set to receive $5.8
in federal crime victim compensation and assistance funds awarded by the
Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, DCJ Director Jeanne Smith

A total of 138 victim assistance projects in non profit organizations,
enforcement agencies, district attorneys' offices and probation
share in the federal grant funds. In addition to the $5,810,075
awarded by
the Division of Criminal justice, another $10 million is collected
throughout the state by local courts in Colorado for victims programs
deposited into a fund that is administered by each judicial district for
local victims service programs. All of the victim service funding comes
from assessments made by courts against defendants who plead or are
guilty. None of the funding comes from tax revenue.

Victims of child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, drunk
homicide, assault, robbery and elder abuse are eligible for programs
through the DCJ program.

Awards are determined through a competitive process that takes into
money collected by local courts. Funding in support of programs in
some of
Colorado's less-populated areas reflects the fact that local collections
may not provide basic services that are needed by crime victims.

A governor-appointed board determines which projects are recommended for
funding, and Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., approves the recommendations
of the
Governor's Victims' Compensation and Assistance Coordinating Committee.

Here is a breakdown, by the state's judicial district number, of award

First Judicial District: $359,581
Second: $1,005,280
Third: $106,642
Fourth: $267,722
Fifth: $152,392
Sixth: $152,626
Seventh: $243,204
Eighth: $334,919
Ninth: $204,101
Tenth: $215,080
Eleventh: $182,108
Twelfth: $200,146
Thirteenth: $321,770
Fourteenth: $104,463
Fifteenth: $66.393
Sixteenth: $142,553
Seventeenth: $177,136
Eighteenth: $282,501
Nineteenth: $201,782
Twentieth: $268,810
Twenty-first: $151,274
Twenty-second: $217,093

Statewide organizations: $452,499

Awards correspond to the calendar year beginning January 1, 2008.

Ritter to deliver national radio address

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter will deliver the national Democratic radio
address at 9 a.m. Mountain/11 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, Dec. 1,
addressing the positive, problem-solving vision for the country
offered by moderate Western Democrats. Gov. Ritter also will discuss
Colorado's New Energy Economy and the need for a new direction to move
the nation forward.

"I was asked to speak in my capacity as a new governor with new ideas,
and as the host governor for the 2008 Democratic National Convention,"
Gov. Ritter said. "It's a great honor to give a national address, and
I think the can-do spirit we embody here in Colorado speaks to what
people around the country want from their leaders and from the next
President of the United States."

The address will be available nationwide on major radio networks,
including AP, ABC, NPR, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, C-SPAN, Armed Forces
Radio Network, American Urban Radio Network, Voice of America Radio
Network, BBC Radio, CBC Radio and the Australian Broadcasting

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the appointments and re-appointments
of six Coloradans to the Colorado Transportation Commission, which
establishes policies and priorities for the Department of

For terms expiring July 1, 2011, the nominees are:
• Jeanne J. Erickson of Evergreen to represent the 2nd Transportation
• Heather Barry of Westminster to represent the 4th Transportation
• Bill Kaufman of Windsor to represent the 5th Transportation
District (re-appointment)
• George Krawzoff of Steamboat Springs to represent the 6th
Transportation District
• Leslie W. Gruen of Colorado Springs to represent the 9th
Transportation District
• Kimbra Killin of Holyoke to represent the 11th Transportation
District (re-appointment)

"As we continue to build a safe, modern and efficient transportation
system, the people of Colorado will be extremely well-served by these
new and returning transportation commissioners," Gov. Ritter said.
"They will provide the leadership we need to meet the 21st century
road, highway, transit, air and other transportation challenges facing
Colorado today and in the years to come."

The Colorado Transportation Commission began as a three-member Highway
Commission in 1909 to approve highway work and distribute funds.
Today, as an 11-member commission, it allocates funding and sets goals
and policy for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

"I welcome the new and returning commissioners and thank those
departing commissioners for their years of service and their
commitment to improving transportation in Colorado," said CDOT
Executive Director Russell George. "Serving on the commission requires
hard work and long hours. We are fortunate to have citizens who care
enough about transportation to volunteer their time and expertise for
the betterment of Colorado."

The appointments require Senate confirmation.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Report Card Provides Statewide Healthcare Data to Consumers

 Data to Consumers
Website allows Coloradans to compare local hospitals
on their performance in multiple categories


DENVER—Governor Bill Ritter today launched a new website that provides statewide hospital data and clinical outcomes to the public.  The website, known as the Colorado Hospital Report Card, was unveiled at a press conference held at Denver Health Medical Center.


"By providing information in a clear, accessible and usable format, the Colorado Hospital Report Card will improve the information available to Colorado citizens about hospital quality.  This will help them make informed decisions about where they choose to receive care," said Governor Ritter.


"We are proud to be on the cutting edge of information reporting and healthcare transparency," said Steven Summer, president and CEO of the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA). "Uniform, accurate, comparable data will allow consumers to evaluate hospitals as they make decisions regarding their medical care needs."


Dr. Ned Calonge, chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explained that the Colorado Hospital Report Card was created as a result of House Bill 06-1278 (sponsored by Representative Paul Weissmann, D-Louisville and Senator Maryanne Keller, D-Wheat Ridge). The bill required general hospitals in Colorado to report on clinical measures that allow consumers to compare healthcare services of these facilities. This data is to be made available on a website that enables consumers to conduct an interactive search to compare information from specific hospitals. The CDPHE selected CHA to create and maintain the Colorado Hospital Report Card.


"This easily accessible information is a significant benefit for Colorado patients," said Dede de Percin, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.


CHA's Hospital Report Card Implementation Committee – a group of hospitals, public health officials, insurers, buyers and business leaders –  is primarily responsible for identifying and recommending the necessary elements of the Colorado Hospital Report Card. The committee meets monthly to evaluate the effectiveness of the report card and to assess and recommend new measures to be included.


"Colorado hospitals are committed to continuously improving quality and safety for the Colorado patients they serve, through public reporting, information systems and process improvements," said CHA's Summer. "This report card allows hospitals to understand areas in which they can improve in terms of care and patient safety."


To view the Colorado Hospital Report Card, visit



Gov. Bill Ritter's health care outreach forums, called the
"Governor's Dialogue on Health Care Vision and Values," resume this
week, with sessions scheduled for today in Pueblo and Colorado
Springs. The meetings are part of a two-month, statewide outreach
program to solicit input from business, civic and health care leaders
regarding health care reform.

The Pueblo forum is scheduled for 7 to 9:30 a.m. today (Nov. 28) at
the Pueblo Convention Center, 320 Main St.

The Colorado Springs forum is scheduled for 4 to 6:30 p.m. today at
the Broadmoor Hotel, 1 Lake Ave.

Ritter Administration officials attending the meetings will include
Joan Henneberry, executive director of the Colorado Department of
Health Care Policy and Financing, and Jim Martin, executive director
of the Department of Public Health and Environment.

The "Governor's Dialogue on Health Care Visions and Values" involves
11 meetings around Colorado in November and December. About 60
community leaders are invited to participate in the structured
meetings to address questions such as: Who should pay for people who
can't afford health coverage? What form of coverage should they get?
What is the role of government? What is the role of employers? What is
the role of individuals?

The public is invited to attend each meeting and provide verbal and
written comments.

Following today's forums in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, the remaining
sessions are:

Dec. 5, Denver, 7:30 to 10 a.m., Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway
Dec. 5, Aurora, 4 to 6:30 p.m., Aurora Community College, 16000 E.
Centre Tech Parkway
Dec. 6, Westminster, 7:30 to 10 a.m., The MAC (former Senior Center),
3295 W. 72nd Ave.
Dec. 11, Sterling, 4 to 6:30 p.m., Ramada Inn, 22140 E. Highway 6
Dec. 12, Fort Collins, 4 to 6:30 p.m., Lory Student Center, CSU, (W.
Laurel/S. Meldrum streets)

Monday, November 26, 2007



Gov. Bill Ritter, a 1978 graduate of Colorado State University, issued
the following statement today regarding Sonny Lubick:

"Sonny Lubick has for the past 15 years been the face, heart and soul
of Colorado State football. His impact was not only felt on the
football field in terms of wins and losses, but in the lives of the
hundreds of young men he influenced. The lessons he taught helped many
reach new heights on and off the field. Students, alumni and fans will
miss him dearly.

"Thank you, Sonny, for your unwavering dedication to the students of



Gov. Bill Ritter today announced that he has named Dick Wolfe as
Colorado State Engineer and praised him as the best person to lead the
division of water resources at this time in the state's history.

Prior to this appointment, Wolfe has been serving as assistant state
engineer in the Colorado Division of Water Resources since 2005. He
led the South Platte Task Force in examining water issues in the
Northeast Colorado Basin and made recommendations on possible
solutions to the challenges facing the state's water users.

"This is one of the most difficult and important positions in our
state," said Harris Sherman, executive director of the Colorado
Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "While there were several
outstanding candidates for the position, we believe Dick's 14 years of
experience in the state engineer's office more than prepared him for
the challenges ahead."

The vacancy was created when state engineer Hal Simpson retired in May.

Wolfe graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) where he earned
both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master's Degree in
Agricultural Engineering.

After seven years as a partner in a small engineering firm that
specialized in water rights and water resources, Wolfe joined the
Colorado Division of Water Resources as an engineer.

"While it is a privilege and an honor to serve as the next state
engineer, I clearly recognize that such a privilege comes with great
responsibility as well," said Wolfe. "I told Gov. Ritter that I'm
committed to building new relationships with our staff and the water
users and I want to work with water users and the water community to
establish an open dialogue on our mutual concerns."

At the Colorado Division of Water Resources, Wolfe served as a
supervising engineer, a team leader, and as chief of water supply.

Wolfe received the 2005 Leader of the Year Award from the division's
staff, and authored several articles in various publications,
including "Water Administration: State Engineer's Office" in the
Colorado Water Law Bench Book. He also served on the Fort Lupton City
Council and was the mayor of Fort Lupton from 1995 to 1997.

Dems urge voter registration in time for Colorado caucus

Party Caucus Voter Registration Deadline is 5th

Colorado Democrats, Governor Ritter, and Democratic Delegation Urge all to register to VOTE.

The deadline to register party affiliation in order to participate it the party "caucus" process is December 5, 2007.

Pat Waak, Democratic Party Chair said, "With the Democratic National Convention coming to Colorado next August Coloradans have a heightened interest in playing a role in our nations future.  One of the first steps in the political process is party affiliation so I'm urging all those legally qualified to vote to register at there local County Clerk and Recorders office."

In order to vote in a precinct caucus, the voter must be a resident of the precinct for thirty days, and have registered to vote no later than twenty-nine days before the caucus, and be affiliated with the political party holding the caucus for at least two months as shown on the books of the county clerk and recorder; except that any registered voter who has turned 18 years old or has become a naturalized citizen during the two months preceding the meeting may vote at caucus even though the voter has been affiliated with the political party for less than two months.
Colorado Democrats urge voters to register.

"With 2008 and the early caucuses rapidly approaching, it's important for Coloradans of all political stripes to make sure they are registered to vote. The outcome of next year's caucuses, primaries, conventions and general elections will make a difference in the lives of Coloradans for years to come. I encourage everyone to get involved, and the first step is ensuring that you are registered to vote by Dec. 5."
--Governor Bill Ritter

"Voting is our single most important responsibility as individual citizens.  I urge every Coloradan to register as soon as possible, particularly before the December 5th deadline, so that they can have a strong voice in the future of our Nation."
-- U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar

"Exercising your vote is the ultimate form of political participation in the democratic process. I encourage Coloradoans from Denver to Grand Junction to Alamosa to register to vote and become part of real change. With the 2008 Democratic National Convention being held in our own backyard of Denver, I hope Coloradoans will join together in both nominating and electing the next President of the United States."
--U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette

"Next Summer Colorado will have the attention of the nation and the world as we select our Democratic nominee to run for the Presidency of the United States.  This is a unique opportunity to see democracy up close by participating in our democratic process.  By registering to vote every individual has a chance to have a say in the direction of our country.  Please register to vote and then register your opinion, together we can build a stronger America."   --U.S. Rep. Mark Udall

"Our system of Democracy depends on all of us participating, and voting is the primary responsibility we have in being a part of a Democracy. I urge all of you to be a part of changing the way our country does business by registering to vote and then voting."
-- U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter.

"Each of us has an opportunity to be a part of American history as Coloradans gets ready to host the Democratic National Convention.  In order to participate, make sure you're registered to vote by December 5th.  Your vote is your voice; and your voice can help take America in a new direction."
-- U.S. Rep. John T. Salazar

Colorado Democrats wanting more information regarding the delegate selection process can go to

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the appointments of numerous Coloradans to a variety of boards and commissions:
Board of Trustees for Adams State College
Jeanne "Gigi" Darricades of Alamosa and Bruce Oreck of Boulder, for terms expiring Dec. 31, 2011.
Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline
Stewart A. Bliss and David W. Kenney Jr., both of Denver, for terms expiring June 30, 2011.
Colorado Community and Interagency Council on Homelessness
State Sen. Betty Boyd of Lakewood, for a term expiring at the pleasure of the Governor.
Committee on Anticompetitive Conduct
Bobbee J. Musgrave of Denver for a term expiring Oct. 31, 2010.
Health Information Technology Advisory Committee
(for terms expiring Jan. 1, 2009)
Mitchell C. Carson of Longmont
Keith Clay of Aurora
Lynn S. Dierker of Denver
Richard L. Doucet of Fort Collins
Dennis E. Ellis of Arvada
State Sen. Bob Hagedorn of Aurora
Marji G. Harbrecht of Golden
Edward P. Havranek of Denver
James E. Hogan of Highlands Ranch
Michael Locatis of Centennial
Donna J. Marshall of Golden
State Rep. Tom Massey of Poncha Springs
Nandan S. Menon of Grand Junction
Wayne H. Persutte of Centennial
Michael P. Rodriguez of Denver
Alok Sarwal of Parker
Kathleen "Kiki" Traylor of Littleton
State Board of Pharmacy
(for terms expiring July 1, 2011)
Averil G. Strand of Fort Collins
G. Jeannine Dickerhofe of Superior
Eva K. Edelblut of Fort Collins
Leonard L. Hierath of Denver
For more information or to obtain an application, contact the Governor's Office of Boards and Commissions at 303.866.6380, or by clicking here.
# # #

Thursday, November 15, 2007


For the first time in Colorado state government history, all of the
executive branch budget requests are now posted on the Governor's
Office of State Planning and Budgeting website, making the budget
process more open to the general public.

This, along with the State Taxpayer Accountability Report, released in
June with State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, ushers in a new era of
transparency and convenience for Colorado taxpayers, said Todd
Saliman, Gov. Bill Ritter's budget director.

"We are doing everything possible to bring greater fiscal transparency
to state government," Gov. Ritter said. "We believe taxpayers have a
right to know how we spend taxpayer dollars. My FY08-09 budget
recommendations address high-priority needs in public safety,
education, child services, health care, energy and natural resources,
and it is in the best interest of the taxpayers to see how we propose
to make those investments."

The FY08-09 budget requests are available for viewing or download by
clicking here.

For access to additional information, visit



Gov. Bill Ritter's P-20 Education Coordinating Council holds its next
meeting tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 16) at MorganCommunity College in Fort
Morgan, 920 Barlow Road.

Gov. Ritter convened the P-20 Council earlier this year to serve as
the vehicle for statewide education reform. The panel's goal is to
align Colorado's education systems from pre-school to grad school so
they serve as a cohesive pipeline that produces a highly skilled and
well-educated workforce for the 21st century.

For more information, visit the Governor's website at

and click on the P-20 Council link at the top of the page.

Here is the agenda for Friday's meeting:

9:30 a.m. Welcome from Morgan Community College
President Michele Haney

9:45 a.m. Discussion of Subcommittee Recommendations
P-3 Subcommittee Recommendations
Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien

10:15 a.m. Dropout Subcommittee Recommendations
Dr. Jim Henderson

10:45 a.m. Educator Subcommittee Recommendations
Bruce Benson

11:15 a.m. Data Subcommittee Recommendations
Alex Medler

Noon Prep & Transitions Subcommittee Recommendations
President Joe Garcia

12:45 p.m. Working Lunch (box lunches will be available)
Progressive 15
Cathy Shull, Executive Director

Report on Conversations 2007
Bill Fulton, Civic Canopy

1:30 p.m. Break

1:45 p.m. Further Discussion of Recommendations

3:15 p.m. Voting Procedures and Wrap-Up

3:30 p.m. Public Comment

Wednesday, November 14, 2007



Gov. Bill Ritter announced today that Colorado has received two
federal grants worth $2.6 million that will provide training funds to
the spouses of military service personnel, assisting them in making
career advancements.

"Military spouses are often moving two or three times a year," Gov.
Ritter said. "They have to pack up and take off, making sacrifices
that many of the rest of America cannot even imagine. This funding
will help them gain the skills needed to successfully enter, navigate
and advance in 21st century jobs."

The grant funds are being provided by the U.S. Departments of Labor
and Defense and will be administered by the Colorado Department of
Labor and Employment and Workforce Centers across the state.

The first grant totals $600,000 and is part of the "Military Spouse
Career Advancement Initiative." Military spouses with a high school
diploma or GED and/or some level of post secondary education can apply
for up to $6,000 over two years in the form of a Career Advancement

This money can be used to pay for expenses directly related to post-
secondary education and training, including tuition, books, necessary
equipment, and credentialing and licensing fees in nationally
identified high-growth fields such as education, health care,
information technology, construction trades and financial services.

The second grant is for $2.1 million and is being made available as
part of the Base Closure and Realignment process.Colorado is not among
the states that will see base closures. Instead, these funds will
assist military families as well as the families of Department of
Defense civilian employees who will be redeployed to bases in Denver,
El Paso and Teller counties.

Colorado Springs will face the challenge of thousands of service
personnel and their families being redeployed to the Fort Carson Air
Force Base over the next few years. Redeployment and relocation can
be difficult for spouses, who often find themselves in a new city
without the career they had to leave behind. This grant will address
their employment and retraining needs.

"Opportunity starts with education," said Colorado Department of Labor
and Employment Executive Director Donald J. Mares, "and thanks to this
financial partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and the
Department of Defense, we can offer opportunities to a significant
number of military families. These grants will help build a vibrant
and dedicated workforce for Colorado."

To learn more about the grant programs and training dollars that are
available, military spouses should contact their nearest Colorado
Workforce Center (click here for a directory of Workforce Centers).


Gov. Bill Ritter's Blue Ribbon Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel meets tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 15) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oxford Hotel in Denver1600 17th St. This will be the panel's final meeting prior to submitting a report to Gov. Ritter next month.
Gov. Ritter convened the 30-member Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel earlier this year to explore the state's transportation funding challenges. The state's primary revenue sources are declining while demand and the costs of construction and maintenance are rising.
The panel's work commenced in April with a statewide transportation summit. Since then, the panel has met 12 times in communities around Colorado. The panel's technical advisory committee also has met more than a dozen times since April.
Here is the complete agenda for Thursday's meeting:
                               I.      Coffee and Continental Breakfast
                            II.      Welcome and Introductions from Co-Chairs
Doug Aden, Cary Kennedy and Bob Tointon
                         III.      Comment from Russ George, CDOT Executive Director
                         IV.      Process Review – Carla Perez, Governor Ritter's Office
                            V.      Review Remaining Policy Issues
a.       Climate Action and VMT
b.      Economic Development and Transportation
c.       Severance Tax and Transportation
d.      Performance and Accountability
                         VI.      Pilot Recommendation
a.       VMT Pilot Proposal
                      VII.      Finalize Funding Recommendations
a.       Comments from 10/25 exercise
b.      Impact fees for Regional Transportation Authorities (RTAs)
                   VIII.      Discussion on Post-Recommendation Activities of the Panel
a.       Communication and Outreach – "It's all in the Presentation"
b.      Small group exercise
c.       Full group discussion
                         IX.      Closing comments from co-chairs and Russ George

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Colorado Supreme Court upholds decision to let voters decide
whether fertilized eggs should have rights

Denver, CO (Nov. 13, 2007) – Kathryn Wittneben, executive director of
NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, expressed extreme disappointment with
today's decision by the Colorado Supreme Court to allow a proposed
2008 ballot initiative to proceed that would extend certain rights to
fertilized eggs. "Proponents of this initiative have publicly stated
that the goal is to make all abortion illegal -- but nothing in the
language of the initiative or its title even mentions abortion. If
that's not misleading, I don't know what is," Wittneben said.

In a 7-0 decision, the Court upheld an earlier finding by the Colorado
Initiative Title Setting Review Board that the proposed initiative
meets Colorado's single-subject requirement and that the title of the
initiative is not misleading. The initiative, which would appear
before voters during the 2008 general election if proponents gather
enough signatures, would amend Colorado's constitution to redefine the
legal term "person" to include any human being from the moment of
fertilization in those provisions of the constitution relating to
inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law.
"The impact of this initiative will extend far beyond the legality of
abortion. If fertilized eggs have the legal right to access Colorado's
courts – which is one of the rights that would be granted by this
initiative – what does this really mean for Coloradans?" Wittneben
asked. "Does this mean fertilized eggs can petition the courts to make
it illegal to use the most effective forms of birth control if those
contraceptive methods create an inhospitable uterine environment for
fertilized eggs? Does this mean that a fertilized egg can sue a
pregnant woman if she miscarries? If we're talking about granting
rights to fertilized eggs, all of these questions about possible
negative impacts and legal consequences have to be raised."
Substituting the language proposed in the initiative, the rights
defined in Colorado's constitution would be changed as follows:
• Article II, Section 3. Inalienable Rights. All persons, including
any human beings from the moment of fertilization, have certain
natural, essential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned
the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of
acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and
obtaining their safety and happiness.
• Article II, Section 6. Equality of Justice. Courts of justice shall
be open to every person, including any human being from the moment of
fertilization, and a speedy remedy afforded for every injury to
person, including any human being from the moment of fertilization,
property or character; and right and justice should be administered
without sale, denial or delay.
• Article II, Section 25. Due Process of Law. No person, including
any human being from the moment of fertilization, shall be deprived of
life, liberty or property, without due process of law.

Proponents of the initiative have until February 2008 to gather the
more than 76,000 valid signatures required to qualify the measure for
the November 2008 ballot.


Friday is Colorado's "Philanthropy Day"

The Governor's Commission on Community Service, under the Office of Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien, is scheduled to recognize nine Colorado individuals and organizations on Friday for volunteering their time and financial resources toward making their communities a better place.


"The generosity of time and financial commitment by these individuals, organizations and corporations in Colorado is a wonderful example of how we can enhance the quality of others' lives," Lt. Gov. O'Brien said.
National Philanthropy Day is a day set aside by communities across the country each November to recognize the thousands of generous people and organizations who donate their time, talent and financial resources to worthy causes.  It is an opportunity to recognize philanthropic accomplishments and to remind us all that the spirit of giving is very much alive.
National Philanthropy Day in Colorado is Friday, Nov. 16. More than 900 community members are expected to attend an awards luncheon honoring the nine outstanding individuals and organizations. 
The 2007 winners are:
Award                                                            Organization/Winner
Outstanding Large Business/Corporation       Alpine Banks of Colorado – Glenwood Springs
Outstanding Small Business/Corporation       InsureMe - Englewood
Outstanding Foundation                                 Bonfils-Stanton Foundation - Denver
Outstanding Philanthropist                             Katherine Loo - Boulder
Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy      Jackie Norris - Denver
Outstanding Volunteer                                   John McConnell – Grand Junction
Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser                 Shirley Bradsby - Lakewood
Outstanding Youth                                         Danielle Graham - Swink
Outstanding Youth Group                              B.I.O.N.I.C. (Believe It Or Not I Care) Team - Lakewood

More than 110 nominations were received this year, a record number of entries. A unique group of community representatives, including members of the nonprofit, business and government sectors, met in Denver in August to select the 2007 winners.


Awardees will be honored at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon on Friday at the Renaissance Denver Hotel, 3801 Quebec St.


Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today regarding the
resignation of Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald:

"It has been a privilege to serve with Joan Fitz-Gerald in state
government this year. I have benefited from her leadership, and the
people of Colorado have benefited from her vision, her commitment to
public service and her judgment. She deserves much praise for her
dedication to a host of important issues, from open-space acquisition
to bark-beetle eradication to forging a bi-partisan consensus around
Referendum C. I wish her nothing but the best."

Friday, November 9, 2007

On the eve of Veterans Day weekend, Gov. Bill Ritter today issued the
following statement in support of Colorado's military veterans, active-
duty personnel, Colorado National Guard members, and military families:

"As the son of a veteran, and on behalf of the people of Colorado, I
want to extend my personal gratitude to Colorado's military veterans
and their families. Their commitment to public service and the
sacrifices they have made for their country, this state and their
communities deserve the highest recognition we can give them. We also
must acknowledge our active-duty military personnel and Colorado
National Guard members who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and

Gov. Ritter also offered his appreciation to state officials for their
military service, including Senators Brandon Schaffer, Jack Taylor,
Steve Ward and Mike Kopp and Representative Joe Rice, and Secretary of
State Mike Coffman.

Gov. Ritter's father served in the Army during World War II. He died
in 2005 and is buried at Ft.Logan National Cemetery. Gov. Ritter's
father-in-law, Marwood Lewis, was a Navy captain.

Colorado is home to approximately 450,000 military veterans.

More than 300 Colorado National Guard members are currently deployed
in Iraq or Afghanistan, with more than 200 scheduled for deployment
over the next month. Over the past five years, 2,000 Colorado National
Guard members have been deployed, with two fatalities.

Gov. Ritter's FY08-09 budget proposal includes funding for several
veteran-related programs, including $2.3 million to restore the
Colorado State Veterans Trust Fund to pre-recession levels.

The Governor issued a proclamation earlier this week saluting
Colorado's veterans. On Saturday, he will participate in the annual
Veterans Day Parade and tribute in Denver.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Gov. Bill Ritter departs next week for a multi-day economic-
development trade mission to Canada, a visit that will focus on the
energy and bioscience industries. In his first trade visit to another
country, Gov. Ritter will be stopping inCalgary, Toronto and Edmonton.
Canada is Colorado's top export trading partner and one of Colorado's
leading investors.

"Canada is a major source of foreign investment in Colorado," Gov.
Ritter said. "The similarities between our key industries make Canada
a natural partner for Colorado, especially in the bioscience, fossil-
fuel energy and renewable energy sectors. This mission will allow us
to develop new partnerships and retain existing Canadian investments
inColorado. We hope to raise our visibility and position Colorado as a
preferred partner for Canadian companies."

Colorado exported more than $1.8 billion in manufactured and
agricultural products to Canada in 2006. Overall trade between
Colorado and Canada amounted to nearly $3.5 billion and supported
93,000 jobs in Colorado in 2006.

During next week's partnership-and-retention trade mission, Gov.
Ritter's itinerary includes: visits to the MaRS Discovery Centre in
Toronto and Canada's legendary oil sands in Alberta; industry meetings
with several energy-producing and bioscience companies, and visits
with government officials."

The Colorado delegation will include representatives from the Colorado
Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Governor's
Energy Office, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, University of
Colorado, Colorado State University, Consulate General Office of
Canada, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., Aurora Economic
Development Council, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson
Economic Council, Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp., Grand
Junction Economic Partnership, Denver Office of Economic Development,
Colorado BioScience Association, Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority
and Forest City.


As part of her statewide agenda to improve access to mental health
care, Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter will be giving the keynote
address at the Southwest Mental Health Annual Community Dinner in
Durango tonight (Thursday, Nov. 8).

The dinner begins at 6 p.m. in the College Union Ballroom, Fort Lewis
College Student Union Building, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango.

Gov. Bill Ritter was in Durango earlier this week, also stopping at
Fort Lewis College. He announced an $11.6 million budget proposal to
build a new 29,000-square-foot biology and agriculture facility at the

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Colorado honors two 90-90-90 schools - Leadville and Las Animas

Las Animas and Westpark Elementary Schools Win Top Title I Award 
The Colorado Department of Education announced today the selection of Las Animas Elementary School and Westpark Elementary School as Title I "Distinguished Schools" of the year.
The award recognizes two Title I schools—one that has achieved academic success, and one that made progress in closing achievement gaps associated with race and poverty.
Las Animas Elementary School is located in Las Animas RE-1 School District in southeastern Colorado; Westpark Elementary School is located in Lake County R-1 School District in Leadville.
Each school will receive $10,000 and both will be invited to send representatives to the National Title I conference from Jan. 31 – Feb. 3, 2008 in Nashville, Tenn. Colorado's distinguished schools will be honored at the event along with distinguished schools from around the country.
"The principals and teachers in these two schools have blended high expectations with an unwavering focus on improving student achievement," said Commissioner of Education Dwight Jones. "Congratulations to these two schools for this well-deserved recognition." 
Las Animas Elementary School was nominated for this award based on outstanding academic achievement for Title I students.
"The staff and students at Las Animas Elementary School are excited to receive this award," said Principal Libby Hiza. "Every year we have set a goal to become a '90-90-90' school and have worked hard to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that every child succeeds. It is rewarding to reach this pinnacle of achievement, and this recognition gives us the energy we need to continue to grow!"
A "90-90-90" school is one where 90 percent of the students are minorities, 90 percent are eligible for free or reduced lunch under federal poverty guidelines, and 90 percent are achieving at or above grade level.
At Las Animas Elementary School, 97 percent of the students performed at the partially proficient and higher levels in both reading and math on the 2007 CSAP. Additionally, 92 percent of students were proficient or advanced in reading and 87 percent were proficient or advanced in math.
Westpark Elementary School won the award based on success closing the achievement gap between students eligible for free or reduced lunch and those not eligible.
In 2005-2006 school year, only 75 percent of the students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch scored at a proficient level on CSAP. In 2006-2007 the percentage soared to 95 percent—an improvement of 20 percentage points.
"In January 2006, while looking at student data, the staff was in tears trying to find success," said Westpark Principal Linda Adams. "Now we are again in tears receiving this award. We followed our motto and did 'Whatever it takes.'"
In addition to high performance on CSAP, both schools were required to have made Adequate Yearly Progress targets and have at least 35 percent of the student body in both schools eligible for free or reduced lunch.
Title I, which is part of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), supports school and district programs to improve student achievement.
The U.S. Department of Education distributes Title I funds to states for the purpose of districts providing additional instruction for students at risk of not meeting reading and math standards. In Colorado, Title I provides 150,000 students in 608 schools with approximately $116 million in additional funding for struggling students.
For more information, contact Mark Stevens, 303-866-3898, or Tanya Price, 303-866-6397, in the CDE O