Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Tuesday, June 30, 2009
10 a.m.            Gov. Ritter will take part in a historic education-reform milestone when the state's K-12 and higher-education governing boards agree on what knowledge, skills and behaviors high school graduates must have in order to enter college and to be ready for the 21st century global workforce. Colorado will become the first state in the country with fully aligned standards from pre-school to college. This also will be the first time in Coloradohistory the State Board of Education and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education have met in a joint session. This is the most significant accomplishment to date from 2008's Senate Bill 212, the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids. Location: State Capitol, House Committee Room 112.
1:15 p.m.        Gov. Ritter will join U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for a groundbreaking ceremony for a $32 million Recovery-Act funded project that will repave nine miles of C-470 and portions of a 26-mile bike path. This is one of the largest Recovery Act-funded transportation projects in ColoradoLocation: C-470 andAlameda, along South Rooney Road. Directions:  From C-470, exit at West Alameda Parkway and head west. Turn right (north) on South Rooney Road and go about ¼ mile.  Event will be on the right at the trail head. Parking alongside South Rooney Road.
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Bella Energy installs solar system on Colorado State University Engineering Building

csu system

Boulder, CO 2009
- Bella Energy and Colorado State University, using funding from the Governor's Energy Office, installed a solar electric system on CSU's Engineering Building to reduce their overall environmental footprint. The solar panels overlook the university's Plaza as a clearly visible demonstration of CSU's commitment to sustainability.

The Governor's Energy Office provided about a third of the solar system's overall construction costs from the state's 2009 Solar Rebate Program, which offers rebates of up to $15,000 per system for small businesses.CSU supplemented the GEO grant with federal rebate money it received from other energy efficiency projects. The grant program includes 32 Colorado cities, utilities and non-profit partners and is administered by the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (CoSEIA).
The roof mounted 18.9 kilowatt solar system is expected to produce more than 25,000 kilowatt hours per year of clean energy from the sun, and will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the Engineering Building by 18.3 metric tons per year.
Jim Welch, President of CoSEIA and CEO of Bella Energy said "Clearly CSU is committed to making the university community sustainable and takes seriously its role as a leader in creating the Governor's New Energy Economy. Students will see that renewable energy is part of their energy future."
"It's a valuable learning experience for students and it supplements our recent efficiency upgrades including installing new fluorescent lights, a closed loop-chilled water system and a CO2 demand ventilation system," said Carol Dollard, Energy Engineer for CSU's Department of Facilities Management. "We plan to install additional systems on campus that will produce more significant amounts of power."
Over the expected 30+ year life of the solar system, the cost of electricity from the grid will rise, increasing cost savings every year. The system will protect CSU against the uncertainty of future energy costs.
"The project happened very quickly because GEO funding had to be spent. Contracting and design work only took a few months and Bella Energy's mounting framework was fabricated offsite in their shop in only a few weeks. Bella Energy installed the system on the roof in a week," continued Dollard.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009
10 a.m.            Gov. Ritter will take part in a historic education-reform milestone Tuesday when the state's K-12 and higher-education governing boards agree on what knowledge, skills and behaviors high school graduates must have in order to enter college and to be ready for the 21st century global workforce. Colorado will become the first state in the country with fully aligned standards from pre-school to college. This also will be the first time inColorado history the State Board of Education and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education have met in a joint session. This is the most significant accomplishment to date from 2008's Senate Bill 212, the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids. Location: State Capitol, House Committee Room 112.
1:15 p.m.        Gov. Ritter will join U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for a groundbreaking ceremony for a $32 million Recovery-Act funded project that will repave nine miles of C-470 and portions of a 26-mile bike path. This is one of the largest Recovery Act-funded transportation projects in ColoradoLocation: C-470 andAlameda, along South Rooney Road. Directions:  From C-470, exit at West Alameda Parkway and head west. Turn right (north) on South Rooney Road and go about ¼ mile.  Event will be on the right at the trail head. Parking alongside South Rooney Road.
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Affiliated Computer Services Inc. (NYSE: ACS), a Fortune 500 company, announced today it will be expanding operations in Colorado and adding 600 jobs at a new facility near Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
"ACS' decision to locate these jobs in Colorado Springs proves yet again that this is a great state to do business," Gov. Bill Ritter said. "This announcement is a testament to our efforts to create a business climate that fosters growth and expansion throughout Colorado, even in these tough times. We thank ACS for its decision to expand in Colorado and will continue to support its growth in the state."  
Texas-based ACS has been a leader in the customer care industry for more than 20 years, with more than 34,000 agents in 142 customer care centers around the world. The company is investing $3 million in a new 34,000-square-foot customer-care center and is hiring customer care agents, trainers, managers, and supervisors. Candidates can apply online at www.acs-inc.com.
ACS' decision follows other recent job-creation announcements, including by DaVita Inc. in Denver, Hexcel Corp. inWindsor, Charles Schwab Corp. in Centennial, Leitner-Poma in Grand Junction, Abound Solar in Longmont and Ascent Solar in Thornton.   
According to the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp., ACS' expansion and hiring is the eighth job-creation announcement for the community this year, and the largest for the area since 2006. 
"Colorado Springs has a highly skilled workforce, some of whom are experiencing the downside of the current economy," said Mike Kazmierski, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation. "This is excellent news for a large number of our workforce and for our city."


ACS, a global FORTUNE 500 company with approximately 74,000 people supporting client operations reaching more than 100 countries, provides business process and information technology solutions to world-class commercial and government clients. The company's Class A common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "ACS."



Monday, June 29, 2009
9 a.m.              Gov. Ritter will deliver opening remarks to bank executives from Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming at the 2009 Five-State Bankers Association's Convention. Location: Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1750 Welton St., Denver.
10 a.m.            Gov. Ritter will proclaim today as "State Capitol Life Safety Project Day" to thank and honor the various companies and individuals for their work on the Capitol Life Safety Project, which modernizes the State Capitol. Location: State Capitol, Governor's Office.
7 p.m.              Gov. Ritter will serve as guest conductor for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for part of tonight's performance at Red Rocks. Location: Red Rocks Amphitheater, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today congratulated Colorado for its swift work to move highway projects forward with Recovery Act dollars. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law in February in Denver by President Obama, requires that states commit 50 percent of their highway funds by June 29, 2009.Colorado reached that milestone on May 7.
In fact, CDOT has already committed three-quarters of its Recovery Act dollars and has advertised for bids on 35 projects. Work has begun or will start soon on 12 projects. Colorado ranks in the top half of states for quickly advancing projects from the drawing board to the pavement.
"CDOT has done a terrific job of stepping up to the plate to quickly use Recovery Act funds to create jobs and invest inColorado's critical transportation infrastructure," Gov. Ritter said. "During this difficult economic time, it is important for all state agencies to move aggressively and take advantage of all opportunities to help the people of Colorado."
As of today, Colorado's largest ARRA project that will soon begin is the rehabilitation of C-470 in Douglas County from US 85 to I-25.  The $22.3 million project, completely ARRA-funded, will include concrete replacement, installing intelligent transportation systems and resurfacing.  This project's primary benefits will include improved safety, mobility and pavement preservation on C-470.  Portions of the C-470 bike path also will be rebuilt as part of the project.
"We have been working very hard to get projects advertised and under construction quickly," said CDOT Executive Director Russ George. "More and more people are getting back to work as these projects get underway across the state."
Nationwide, to date, $19 billion has been obligated to fund over 5,300 approved for highway and other transportation projects nationwide.  Of those, 1,900 projects are already underway. 
"Our number one priority with the Recovery Act is getting folks back to work – and there is no better way to do that in these early days than by putting shovels in the ground and jump-starting projects like these that create jobs and boost local communities," said Vice President Biden.  "By delivering on these projects ahead of schedule and under-budget, we have been able to do even more than we expected -- create more job opportunities more quickly, with more dollars left over to put toward more projects that put people back on the job."


Gov. Bill Ritter today directed his Cabinet members to submit plans and ideas on how to reduce their budgets by 10 percent. The Governor also said more employee furloughs and other personnel reductions will be necessary to close a $384 million budget gap in the fiscal year that starts July 1.
"We will go through each of the department submittals line-by-line and item-by-item as we determine how best to balance the budget," Gov. Ritter said. "We'll do it thoughtfully and carefully, the way we've been doing it, and we'll make sure our priorities and values are reflected in the cuts."
Department heads must submit their plans to the Governor by July 20. Reductions will be implemented in August, reviewed by the legislature's Joint Budget Committee in September and ratified by legislature in January.
The reductions come on top of $1.4 billion of budget-balancing steps already taken for FY08-09 and FY09-10. State employees currently are scheduled to take four unpaid furlough days in FY09-10, and Gov. Ritter said more will be needed. The shortfalls are the ongoing result of the recession, which continues to mean lower-than-expected revenues, particular in the areas of personal income and sales taxes.
"Over the past few days, I have talked with members of the JBC and leadership from both parties," Gov. Ritter said. "We all agree we need to move quickly to close the shortfall and keep the budget balanced – and we are.
"We will continue to make the tough choices we've been making for nearly a year," Gov. Ritter said. "We've been thoughtful and responsible in our approach – being more efficient, investing in better ways to do business, and protecting the delivery of vital services.
"We're positioning Colorado to lead this country out of the recession. Earlier this month, even Moody's predicted thatColorado will be one of the first five state's to emerge from the downturn.
"As Governor, I will continue to ensure we have both a balanced budget and a vision for building the Colorado our children and grandchildren deserve."

Colorado Cares Day Joins in National Service Effort

This year, Colorado Cares Day is being incorporated in President Barack Obama's new nationwide summer service initiative, United We Serve. The 11th Annual Colorado Cares Day will take place on Saturday, July 25, 2009. Currently, service projects are being planned in counties across the state.

First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the 81-day summer service initiative on June 22, 2009, in San Francisco at the National Conference on Volunteerism and Community Service. United We Serve will end on the new September 11th Day of Remembrance and Service.

Colorado Cares Day is a statewide day of service in honor of Colorado's statehood on August 1, 1876. This year, the Governor's Commission on Community Service (GCCS) is working to make this year's Colorado Cares Day the largest statewide day of service to date. The GCCS has incorporated AmeriCorps*VISTA resources to focus on this year's event to promote increased volunteerism and community service throughout Colorado.

"In celebrating Colorado's statehood with a day of service, residents are encouraged to give back to their communities, promoting the importance of community service," Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien stated. "The Governor's Commission promotes volunteerism as an effective means to address community needs."

The GCCS will work with community organizations throughout the state to encourage private and governmental organizations to develop and register service projects for Colorado Cares Day 2009. Service projects can be registered on the Commission website, www.colorado.gov/gccs. The service projects registered through the GCCS will be recognized in the Colorado Cares Day Report, which will be released in August 2009.

New this year, the GCCS is asking volunteers to register on the website to be matched to a service project. This is a much larger undertaking by the GCCS, and hopes are that this effort will help increase civic engagement among more Coloradans

For more information, or to get involved with Colorado Cares Day or other service initiatives, please contact GCCS Service Project Coordinator Meaghan Mills at meaghan.mills@state.co.us.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Gov. Ritter will be visiting Buena Vista, Salida and Gunnison on Friday, June 26:
10 a.m.            Buena Vista – Gov. Ritter will take part in a news conference to announce the launch of a new website for Collegiate Peaks Geotourism Initiative. The website, www.travelgreencolorado.com, will go live with the announcement. Location: Community park at 926 Main St., Buena Vista.
Noon               Salida – Gov. Ritter will hold a town hall meeting with local residents to discuss issues of local concern, the economy and other statewide topics. Location: Steamplant Event Center, 220 W. Sackett Ave., Salida.
3:30 p.m.        Gunnison – Gov. Ritter will tour the Hartman Rocks Recreation Area to highlight the $4 million that will be coming to the Gunnison area from the federal Recovery Act. Directions: Head west on Highway 50 from downtown Gunnison, turn left on Gold Basin Road (follow the Brown signs), and turn right into the base area for Hartman Rocks. Follow road through Base area and up the main hill.
6:30 p.m.        Gunnison  Gov. Ritter will help kick off the 7th annual Gunnison River Festival. Location: IOOF Park, 200 N. Main St., Gunnison.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lt. Gov. O'Brien Visits Steamboat Conservation Corps Site to Promote Kids' Outdoor Activity

Steamboat Springs – Lt.Gov. Barbara O'Brien today took her Colorado Kids Outdoors tour to Steamboat Springs, visiting a Rocky Mountain Youth Corps site doing trail work and restoration on Snake Island. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps has received Recovery Act funding to help put youth to work and assist local communities.
"This is a wonderful demonstration of our national resources connecting young people to the outdoors," said Lt. Gov. O'Brien. "The community, the kids, the environment will all benefit from what happens this summer," she added.
Lt. Gov. O'Brien held a forum for stakeholders in Steamboat Springs, the fifth in a series of statewide forums.  She is conducting a Colorado Kids Outdoors tour of the state this summer to find out what communities are doing to reconnect children to the outdoors.
"Colorado has a culture of outdoor activity that is important to our lifestyle. We bike, we hike and we go outdoors year round and we need to pass that culture along to the next generation," she added.
Nationally, children spend half the time outdoors they did 20 years ago and the childhood obesity rate has doubled. Research studies show that children are connected to electronic devices six and half hours a day. 
"We need to understand what works in our communities around Colorado. This is not just about sending our children outside. It's about what makes them healthier, more ready to learn and more connected to their world," said Lt. Gov. O'Brien.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Cabinet secretaries helped launch United We Serve, a national call to service by President Barack Obama. Mrs. Obama made the call to action to more than 4,500 nonprofit, volunteer, and service leaders at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in San Francisco, CA.
United We Serve is an extended call to service challenging all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service. The Corporation for National and Community Service is leading the initiative, which kicks off today and runs for 81 days through a new National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11.
The Governor's Commission on Community Service, under Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien, is overseeing Colorado's effort in participating in the call to service. The Commission has incorporated the state's annual Colorado Cares Day, a statewide day of service in honor of Colorado's Statehood, as a United We Serve program. Colorado Cares Day will take place on July 25, 2009. Over 30 Service Projects have already been registered on the Commission's website: www.colorado.gov/gccs.
"President Obama's new summer service initiative will create new projects and engage new volunteers to help improve communities and change lives throughout Colorado," Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien commented. "I am excited for the possibilities that this will bring and encourage all Coloradans to participate."
The Governor's Commission on Community Service is also preparing new service programs for the state during the month of August, and on the new September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance. For more information on Colorado's participation inUnited We Serve, contact the Commission's Service Project Coordinator, Meaghan Mills, at meaghan.mills@state.co.us.



Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today regarding the June revenue forecast:
"A couple hours ago, we received new revenue figures, and while they weren't unexpected, they do mean we have more work to do. Available funds will come in below budget for the current fiscal year and for the next fiscal year. Fortunately, we took steps in the 2009 legislative session that will help us deal with this for the remainder of 2008-09 without impacting services.
"For 2009-10, we will be taking immediate steps to determine the exact amount of the shortfall, and then crafting a plan to close that shortfall. I will be meeting with the JBC, legislative leaders and my budget staff in the coming days to put together that balancing plan.
"I will also be asking my department heads to continue running state government as efficiently, conservatively and responsibly as possible. This means holding the line on spending, hiring and travel.
"We've been taking action since last September to keep the budget balanced. We submitted detailed plans to the JBC that closed a $1.4 billion shortfall over two fiscal years – and we did it while protecting investments in education, health care, transportation, public safety and while preserving the safety net for our most vulnerable populations. In addition, the federal Recovery Act has been critical to our ability to keep the budget balanced.
"We now will move quickly to continue the budget balancing and do the hard work this situation requires. It will mean making even more difficult choices. We've done it before and we will do it again. While we are working on the FY09-10 budget, we also are preparing the FY10-11 budget, which will be submitted to the JBC on Nov. 1.
"What today's numbers show is that our fiscal challenges have not ended. But by working together we will continue finding solutions that keep leading Colorado forward and position us for a strong recovery."

Colorado Lightning and Wildfire Awareness Week 2009 - 22 Jun 09

(DENVER) - Governor Bill Ritter declared June 21 - 27, 2009, Colorado
Lightning Safety & Wildfire Awareness Week, noting that the key to
understanding the dangers of lightning and wildfire is education and
awareness. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs' Division of
Emergency Management is teaming with the National Weather Service,
Division of Fire Safety, and the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information
Association to help inform Coloradans about protective actions they
can take to reduce the damage these events can cause.

Lightning is one of the most lethal weather hazards in Colorado.
Already in 2009, 14 people have been killed by lightning nationwide
with one of those victims here in Colorado. In 2008, Colorado and
Florida led the nation with 4 deaths each. Over the past 10 years,
lightning killed an average of 44 people in the United States each
year, although that number only reflects those deaths reported and
verified to be lighting-caused. Even so, that's more than the annual
number of people killed by hurricanes.

In Colorado, the Ordway fire in April of 2008 year charred 8,900 acres
in Crowley County, took two lives, and damaged or destroyed 24
structures. Statistics from the Colorado Division of Fire Safety show
a total of 4,106 wildland fires in Colorado in 2008. One of the
largest fires in 2008 in the United States was the Bridger Fire in
southeast Colorado, which torched approximately 45,800 acres. The
cause of the Bridger Fire? Lightning. In fact, lightning was the cause
of nearly 111,147 acres being burned last year alone in the Rocky
Mountain Region.

Division of Emergency Management Director Han Kallam says, "talking
about the need for a plan is not the same as having a plan. There are
tools available at the local, state and federal-levels to help you
prepare. Take the time to learn and act now so you don't regret not
having a plan in place when it is too late."

Homeowners can protect their property from the ravages of wildfire by
creating defensible space around their homes. "The vegetation
surrounding a building or structure is fuel for a fire. Research and
experience show that fuel reduction around a building or structure
increases the probability of it surviving a wildfire. Good defensible
space allows firefighters to protect and save buildings without facing
unacceptable risk to their lives," said Kevin Klein, Director of the
Colorado Division of Fire Safety.

Coloradans can help protect themselves and their property and reduce
the damage and destruction of wildfires by being aware of preventive
measures they can take before and during lightning, severe weather and
wildfire events.

"We cannot control lightning. That said, we can take steps to lessen
our risk to lightning and wildfires by making smart decisions and
taking precautionary measures. Staying indoors during lightning
storms, ensuring our homes are defensible against wildfire and
ensuring our friends and families have plans to respond to medical and
fire dangers are steps we can and must take," adds Kallam.

People should also think about mitigation in terms of protecting their
pocketbook-in the short and long-term. "The ability to get and keep
affordable insurance is a strong financial incentive for homeowners
living in high risk wildfire areas to take responsibility for
protecting their property," says Carole Walker, Executive Director of
the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, adding that
"insurance companies now commonly require certain mitigation steps
before they sell or renew policies."

For a free guide on wildfire mitigation and insurance:


Many of the educational tools and family preparedness guides are now
online. For one-stop, easy-to-use tools, visit http://www.readycolorado.com
for Colorado-specific hazards, and preparedness information.
For information on wildfire preparedness, lightning safety and what
Coloradans can do to take responsibility and prepare for disasters,
visit the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) website at http://dola.colorado.gov/dem/
; the National Weather Service offices in Colorado at: Boulder - www.weather.gov/denver
, Grand Junction - www.weather.gov/grand junction, Pueblo - www.weather.gov/pueblo
, and Goodland, Kansas - www.weather.gov/goodland; the Colorado State
Forest Service website at http://csfs.colostate.edu/; the Division of
Fire Safety at http://dfs.state.co.us/; the Rocky Mountain Wildland
Fire Information website at http://
www.rockymountainwildlandfire.info/; and the Colorado Lightning
Resource Center - http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pub/?n=ltg.php.
Lightning hazard statistics for 2008 may be viewed at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/more.htm

Friday, June 19, 2009


9:00 AM         Lt. Gov. O'Brien will be delivering remarks to the "Adolescent Literacy for All"
                        Conference. Location: Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway, Denver.
9:30 AM         The First Lady will be speaking at the Student Services Conference for all
Community College Student Affairs Professionals. Location: Johnson and Wales Campus University of Denver, 7150 Montview Blvd, Denver
11:00 AM        Gov. Ritter will be making his first stop on a day-long Outreach Tour to
Southeastern Colorado.  He will begin the tour at the Peak Vista Family Medical Center in Colorado Springs to learn more about the Emergency Department Diversion Program. (NOTE TO PRESS: Due to HIPAA laws no pictures of patients will be allowed during the tour.) Location: 225 S. Union Blvd., Colorado Springs.
2:00 PM          Gov. Ritter will visit the construction site of the new 4th Street bridge currently
being built by CDOT. Location: 4th Street Bridge, Pueblo.
3:00 PM          Gov. Ritter will be touring the Pueblo Workforce Center to observe the new
Summer Youth Employment Program for disadvantaged youth created through funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Location: Pueblo Workforce Center, 212 W. 3rd St., Pueblo.