Joey BunchJoey BunchJune 1, 20174min30
Former U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is endorsing Jason Crow’s bid to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in eastern metro Denver’s 6th Congressional District. “To effectively serve, you need courage of conviction, passion for making your community a better place, and the support of your friends and neighbors,” the Democratic Party elder  says in a […]

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U.S. Navy SEALs take their name from the environments in which they operate: sea, air and land.

Becoming a SEAL means completing one of the most mentally challenging and physically demanding training programs in the world. In doing so, Remington J. Peters, 27, had much to be proud of.

Petty Officer Peters enlisted in the Navy a few months after graduating from Grand Junction High School. He became a member of the Navy SEALs and was a veteran of two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. A special warfare operator first class, Peters joined the Leap Frogs, the Navy’s parachute demonstration team, about a year ago. He made more than 900 jumps.

Read more at The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.



Steamboat TodayJune 1, 20171min180

The opioid epidemic is real, and as the Steamboat Pilot & Today has reported and continues to report, it’s hit Steamboat Springs and Routt County hard. One overdose death is too many, and from 2014 to 2016, the rate of drug overdose deaths in Routt County increased six-fold, with more than 65 percent of those deaths attributed to the abuse of prescription opioids.

Thanks to the efforts of the Rx Task Force, a group of concerned community leaders who began meeting in late 2015 to work toward educating the public about the growing problem, the issue of prescription drug abuse in our area is not going unnoticed, nor will the problem go away without a fight.

That’s why we were encouraged when it was announced this month that Routt County and Yampa Valley Medical Center will be part of two different statewide initiatives aimed at fighting opioid abuse.

Read more at Steamboat Today.



The Pueblo ChieftainJune 1, 20171min40

We were thrilled to hear the news this past weekend that the events center at the Colorado State Fairgrounds still will carry the name of Southwest Motors, at least through 2022.

Friday, Fair General Manager Sarah Cummings announced a new partnership with Mike and Randi Zavislan, owners of the well-known car dealership, that will see Southwest Motors remain the event center’s naming sponsor for the next five years.

And the Zavislans sweetened the deal.

Read more at The Pueblo Chieftain.



We live in a complex, exciting and dangerous time when social media and 24-hour entertainment networks give everyone an open microphone. The potential benefits and pitfalls loom large.

Free speech has never been put to a greater test.

The most recent example of open mic derangement syndrome comes courtesy of comedienne Kathy Griffin. It is the latest episode of an American exercising freedom without self-restraint, hoping a groveling apology will undo all harm.

“I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong,” Griffin said.

Read more at The Colorado Springs Gazette.



Joey BunchJoey BunchJune 1, 20176min4
The Colorado Department of Human Services is celebrating some good news for the people it assists with the governor’s fresh signature on three laws Wednesday. House Bill 1284 requires background checks for those working directly with at-risk adults. House Bill 2017 to steer children younger than 13 to programs instead of incarceration for low-level offense. […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJune 1, 20174min4
A panel of health and policy experts say Republicans aim to  repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will mean cost and pain for Coloradans. Left-leaning interests put together a conference call for reporters with their side’s researchers to talk about the impact of the American Health Care Act, which passed quickly from the U.S. House last month and […]

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ColoradoPolitics.comMay 31, 20177min11

June is the month of marriages, and we’d like to announce a big, fat, happy one in the political realm.

Colorado Politics, a new digital publication launched last November, and the venerable, 118-year-old Colorado Statesman are joining forces.

“We see it as a perfect match of speed and substance, immediacy and insight,” said Vince Bzdek, a former political editor at The Washington Post who will oversee the combined website and print magazine for Clarity Media. “Together, the aim is simple: Drive the political conversation in Colorado every day, in every way. And have fun doing it.”

Pulitzer Prize-winner Joey Bunch, a former Denver Post political writer and onetime CNN contributor, will be the lead correspondent for the site and magazine.

“From the start, Colorado Politics has been an exciting venture, and the reception in the political community has been tremendous,” said Bunch, who swears he is not losing his hair since helping launch the site. At all. “The Statesman’s history and resources are welcome additions and should raise people’s expectations of us as the political news source that has it first, has it right and treats both sides fairly. Our readers tend to be folks who are the most engaged in state politics. This merger helps ensure they’re the best informed.”

The websites of the two media companies will become one starting June 1, under the Colorado Politics banner. Clarity Media, which owns The Gazette newspaper and several weekly publications in Colorado Springs as well as the Washington Examiner, Weekly Standard and Red Alert Politics in Washington, D.C., will become the Statesman’s new owner.

The Statesman’s print newspaper, which has published nonstop since 1898, will continue to publish weekly under the Statesman banner until a complete redesign and relaunch planned for later in 2017. At that time, the Statesman will be rebranded Colorado Politics.

The new, combined website will feature free and exclusive subscriber-only news stories daily. Subscribers also will receive the print edition of the newspaper in the mail every week with additional subscriber-only content being provided in the future. The print edition will also be available on newsstands around Denver in the coming months.

“The Statesman brings deep roots and an unmatched understanding of Colorado’s political history to the new enterprise,” said Bzdek, who also oversees the editorial staff of The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Colorado Politics brings some of the best political journalists in the state to the partnership, and a culture and metabolism that take full advantage of the instancy of digital publishing.”

Going forward, the merging of brands will mean more substantial reporting on all things politics and policy, and the expansion of a wide roster of contributors from across the state. Readers can expect an increase in exclusive, insider scoops; the addition of invaluable special features and tools to help professionals in the field make better decisions for their businesses; and an upgraded web site and mobile site. The print edition will grow as well, with more pages, more columns, and more cartoons.

Colorado Politics and Statesmen reporters will also team up to bring more horsepower to The Hot Sheet, a daily newsletter and blog for the new site.

Clarity expects to add more staff members in the future.

“I am excited by the merger,” said Jared Wright, longtime stalwart of the Statesman who will run the business, advertising and circulation operations as general manager of the new publication. “Combining forces of the two publications just made sense. The rich 118-year history of The Colorado Statesman and the confluence of minds and resources will create some very compelling opportunities for how we cover political and public policy news in Colorado and the value we offer our readers and clients.”

Other staffers include Peter Marcus, who The Washington Post twice named as one of the nation’s top state-based political and legislative reporters; Dan Njegomir, a 25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene as an award-winning reporter, Gazette editorial page editor, legislative staffer and political consultant; Ernest Luning, longtime journalist and news editor who has written for The Statesman and The Colorado Independent; Erin Prater, a multimedia journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times Upfront, The Washington Times, The Denver Post, MSNBC.com, Military.com and the Gazette; Jim Trotter, another Pulitzer winner and longtime Colorado editor, who will help edit the site in conjunction with his managing editor duties at the Gazette.

The staff will report to Ryan McKibben, CEO and president of Clarity.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is a fan of both publications. He has called Colorado Politics his “first click in the morning.”

“Overall, I wouldn’t trade a strong media in the state Capitol for anything. I think it is essential not just to the drive of good government but to the preservation of liberty, and freedom,” he said in a video testimonial for the Statesman recently.

Bzdek echoed those sentiments. “You know, the better the people creating policy know each other and trust each other, the better the government and its decisions. We believe a publication like this is truly the best way of making sure those people know each other and we citizens know who our politicians are and what they’re up to. This merger is really a vote of confidence in the power of the press to bring people together — and make lives better.”



Joey BunchJoey BunchMay 31, 20178min100

President Trump is considering pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, the landmark international deal to curb greenhouse emissions.

Colorado leaders on the left were aghast Wednesday at surrendering the nation’s status as a leader on climate change response, but they couldn’t have been surprised. Trump promised as much on the campaign trail, even surmising climate change was a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese.

“Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement would represent an abdication of American values,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Denver, said in a statement. “This would be yet another example of President Trump’s ‘Putting America Last’ agenda—last in innovation, last in science, and last in international leadership. The Paris Agreement has wide support—from global oil and gas companies to coal generators in our Western states. We should not be moving backwards as the rest of the world races forward to compete in the clean energy industry.

“We cannot ignore the threat of climate change. In Colorado and throughout the West, we have seen its effects through increased droughts and wildfires. Yet, by investing in clean energy, we’ve grown our economy and created good-paying jobs. In Colorado, where we have the lowest unemployment rate in the country, we will continue to build on the progress we’ve made to reduce carbon pollution and implement policies, like the Clean Power Plan, that improve our economy, public health and national security.”

The agreement was signed by agreement in 2015. Participation is voluntary and its terms are non-binding.

“The U.S. is the leader in clean reliable energy, being part of the Paris agreement was symbolic, at best,” said Sen. Ray Scott, a Republican from Grand Junction who chairs the state Senate’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee. “We have a 100 year history using fossil fuels and beyond to better everything from clean water, clean air, advanced medical equipment to shoes on our feet, we’ll be just fine without the Paris agreement.”

A month ago, Gov. John Hickenlooper was one of 12 Democratic governors who formally asked Trump not to pull out of the agreement.

“Remaining in the Paris Agreement is crucial to Colorado’s future,” Hickenlooper said then . “Clean energy is a win for Colorado jobs, a win for Colorado consumers, and a win for cleaner air. We look forward to continuing our progress and working with this administration to create 21st century jobs for a 21st century workforce.”

The governor said Colorado is one of the country’s largest “clean energy” employers with nearly about 2,100 such companies and more than 62,000 jobs and $3.6 billion in wages.

“Colorado’s renewable energy industry is poised for significant growth in the years ahead, which will help clean Colorado’s air, reduce consumers’ electricity bills, and support well-paying jobs,” the governor’s office reported.

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat from Boulder, and other Democrats introduced a pointless resolution in the Republican House in February to ask Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement.

“We must protect our jobs, health & climate,” Polis tweeted Wednesday.

Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrate from Denver, wrote on Twitter Wednesday, “@POTUS’ reported decision to leave the #ParisAgreement harms our country and our planet in so many ways.”

None of the state’s Republican congressional delegation had tweeted about the Paris Climate Agreement as of mid-afternoon.

Pete Maysmith, the executive director of Conservation Colorado, the state’s largest environmental organization, called Trump, “a reckless embarrassment for our nation.”

“Considering that the U.S. is one of the largest carbon polluters in the world, this decision will have the disastrous consequences,” Maysmith said in a statement. “On top of that, the rest of the world will move forward without us in terms of innovation and international diplomacy while the U.S. will be stuck in the polluting days of the past.

“Considering that there is now a tremendous vacuum in U.S. leadership when it comes to curbing climate change, we call on states to take the lead. In particular, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper must take any action necessary to set our state on track to achieve the carbon pollution reductions laid out in the Paris climate agreements.”

Conservation Colorado noted that the Paris Agreement, as its known, is a voluntary partnership that sets a non-binding goal of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Colorado would aim for an 80 percent reduction by 2050.

Critics have said climate-change deals are just a way for liberals to hurt energy and coal jobs, while driving up costs for consumers.

I reached out to many of those in Colorado who usually oppose such proposals, and I’m waiting to hear back … and waiting and waiting and waiting.

Many conservatives and interest groups, in general, are proving to be slow to respond to any hypothetical questions when it comes to unpredictable president.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include Sen. Ray Scott’s comment.


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Steamboat TodayMay 31, 20171min80

Routt County rancher and county commissioner Doug Monger likes to keep a low profile when he’s not making decisions at the historic county courthouse.

But he said Tuesday he felt too strongly about the future of healthcare to pass up chance to step in front of a camera and speak out about the issue.

“I’ll be the first to tell you Obamacare’s not perfect,” Monger says in the intro to the advertisement from Healthier Colorado, which is aimed at Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. “But Donald Trump’s healthcare plan will make things even worse.”

18 during a snowstorm on a ranch in Parker.

Read more at Steamboat Today.