Aurora Archives - Colorado Politics

Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsNovember 15, 20173min245
U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, R-6th Dist., helped foster the passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act conference report, a bill that contains significant policy and funding initiatives for the Department of Defense. Coffman, as Chairman of the House Armed Forces Subcommittee on Military Personnel, says he worked across party lines to ensure that […]

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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyOctober 20, 20172min3330

After fielding much furor over proposed light rail line service reductions, the Regional Transportation District OK’d a new plan for the R Line running through Aurora, excluding the cuts.

RTD targeted the R line, which runs through Aurora along Interstate 225, for reduced service due to poor ridership. But the route is just six months old, Aurora officials argued, calling the proposal premature. Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan also said the district had fallen short on properly marketing the R line to develop ridership. Cuts to the line would have reduced weekday service and ceased weekend routes.

But now, the transit agency’s board of directors has walked back those cuts, approving a new R line plan this week that doesn’t change much of anything, 9News reports.

After public meetings, calls and emails, RTD revised its plan to keep weekday service as is, and reduce weekend service to every 30 minutes on weekends instead of every 15, according to the RTD board member for that district, Bob Broom.

The board is expected to hold its final vote Oct. 24. Broom told 9News he expects the plan to win approval and doesn’t believe service reductions make sense for any line younger than 1 year.


Adam McCoyAdam McCoySeptember 21, 20173min4580

Even with cuts to service, Aurora’s light-rail R line would be sustainable.

That’s the pushback from Regional Transportation District spokesperson Nate Currey in an interview with 9news’ Kyle Clark after Aurora characterized proposed cuts to the rail line as premature and said the district hasn’t done enough to market the route.

RTD’s proposed cuts to the rail line due to poor ridership irked Aurora city officials last week. They said the route is just six months old, and the proposal was premature. Cuts to the line that runs along I-225 would reduce weekday service and cease weekend routes.

This week, Currey told Clark the line would remain viable even with cuts, and should ridership pick up, RTD could restore service. Currey also said he was surprised by the response from Aurora and Mayor Steve Hogan.

It’s unfortunate he feels this way about us. I think we’ve been very good partners. We’ve been transparent with Aurora with that. And our process is, our staff makes a recommendation, we go out to the public for feedback, they make a final recommendation, and then our elected board votes on that. So they take all that into consideration.

Responding to Hogan’s comment on the lack of marketing on RTD’s part, Currey said communities often expect the district to go it alone, but it should be a partnership.

“If they want the success of the R Line just as much as we do, they need to be out there promoting it with us,” Currey told Clark, in part.

RTD starts public hearings Thursday on the proposed cuts in Aurora.

Watch Currey’s full interview with Clark here


Adam McCoyAdam McCoySeptember 18, 20174min4970

A proposal to scale back light rail service on a route exclusive to Aurora has miffed city officials who are characterizing reductions as unfair and premature.

The Regional Transportation District has targeted the 10.5-mile R line, which runs through the city along Interstate 225, for reduced service due to poor ridership. But, as the city points out, the line is less than 6 months old.

As Aurora Sentinel’s Kara Mason reports, the light rail cuts would target stops south of Anschutz Medical Campus and near the VA Hospital among others. Weekend service would discontinue and weekday routes would run at peak times — 5 and 9 a.m., and 3 and 6 p.m.

“Despite the short time the line has been operational, the up to 2,500 new residential units planned and under construction next to the light-rail line, and a connection to the Anschutz Medical Campus where 25,000 work and 1.7 million people are treated each year, RTD thinks the ridership isn’t up to par and wants to cut the frequency and add unnecessary transfers to the routes,” city officials said of the cuts in a statement, which also encouraged residents to use its draft letter to RTD to voice opposition

“The city of Aurora thinks it is not only premature, but also unfair to the residents and taxpayers in Aurora.”

In a letter to RTD, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said the district has fallen short on properly marketing the R line.

“Since the opening of the R line, RTD has failed to market the line in order to further develop ridership,” Hogan said. “We would like to see an aggressive advertising campaign implemented, as well as some innovative measures. RTD should be invested in the long-term success of the R-line.

“The proposed R line service cuts would impose two very inconvenient train transfers and doubling of travel times for riders making trips between the southeast corridor and the heart of Aurora (23 minutes to 44 minutes for a trip between Arapahoe Station and Aurora Metro Center station),” he said. “It seems these changes would also impact those wanting a direct and easy way to get to the country’s sixth-busiest airport-DEN.”

RTD will hold a public meeting discussing the proposed cuts Thursday Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Aurora Municipal Center City Café on the 2nd floor.


Adam McCoyAdam McCoySeptember 15, 20174min3560

Hurricane Harvey absolutely devastated a swath of Texas. Some areas received more than 50 inches of rain during Harvey, leaving some cities completely underwater.

But back home in Colorado, Aurora is offering a helping hand, organizing a drive to aid victims of the natural disaster.

The city is opening donation locations across the community starting Friday in an effort to collect specific items identified by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner as being most needed in the wake of the hurricane.

“Too often when we see images of disasters like the recent hurricanes, we are left with a sense of helplessness, wanting to do something to help, but unsure of how to do it,” Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said in a statement. “When we heard from Mayor Turner that there were specific needs that we could address, I challenged our city to respond, and I’m grateful to see a tangible, compassionate and impactful way for the people of Aurora to reach out to our neighbors.”

The city said it will partner with Buehler Cos. of Aurora for local transportation, warehousing and long-haul trucking of donations.

Aurora is accepting donations of toiletries (personal hygiene items), cleaning supplies and diapers. No other donations will be accepted, including monetary.

Drop off those donations between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, at the following locations:

  • Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway
    • Parking lot southwest of Aurora Municipal Center, near Aurora Central Library
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 9898 E. Colfax Ave.
    • Parking lot south of the MLK Library (access from Elmira Street)
  • Tallyn’s Reach Municipal Services Center, 23911 E. Arapahoe Road
    • Parking lot west of Tallyn’s Reach Library (access from Arapahoe Road)


Adam McCoyAdam McCoySeptember 5, 20173min1960

Aurora’s dream of motor sports, as part of an entertainment district on the outskirts of the city, have once again been dashed.

Even with all the city’s energy centered for years on striking a 1999 city charter amendment that bars public funding for motor sport projects, Aurora officials said late last week the campaign advocating for a ballot initiative never got off the ground, the Aurora Sentinel reports.

It’s a glum development for Aurora considering the challenges that have stalled ambitions in the past and the recent obstacles to pave the way for the entertainment district.

The city charter amendment has frustrated the city’s entertainment and NASCAR-style racetrack ambitions for years. In June, city officials agreed to seek voter approval via a ballot question to roll back the amendment (city voters have twice before said no through the ballot). Aurora residents then challenged the ballot question in court, but the city won the dispute.

As the Sentinel’s Kara Mason reports, an unforeseen medical issue affecting the chief strategist ultimately stifled the campaign:

Mayor Steve Hogan called the meeting at the request of councilwoman Sally Mounier, a chief sponsor of the measure that would end a ban against the city from cooperating with a possible race track project on a 1,700-acre plot of city-owned land near I-70 and Hudson Road.

Mounier said she asked to pull the proposal from the ballot because a critical campaign to pass the measure never materialized.

“Proponents of the amendment have informed the council that, due to an unexpected medical issue concerning their chief political strategist, their ability to run a campaign has been severely compromised,” the resolution said.

It’s unclear whether the city will pursue a future ballot initiative to realize the entertainment district.  


Adam McCoyAdam McCoyAugust 17, 20173min4611

Is the American Dream dead? Some might say yes, but 73 soon-to-be American citizens who now call Colorado home might beg to differ.

The immigrants from 32 countries ranging from Afghanistan to Vietnam will take the Oath of Allegiance Thursday morning to become brand-spanking new American citizens during a naturalization ceremony at the Aurora Municipal Center.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Denver District Director Kristi Barrows will administer the oath and Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, Mayor Steve Hogan and several city council members are among the long list of local officials slated to attend and speak during the ceremony.

The city said its Office of International and Immigrant Affairs has been working to promote the benefits of naturalization:

Efforts included the expansion of English as a second language and citizenship classes in Aurora in collaboration with local nonprofits and the launching of the “Citizenship Corners” at Aurora local libraries, which have materials to promote naturalization among immigrants and refugees in the city.

The naturalization process typically includes a background check, interview with an USCIS officer and English and civics test, according to USCIS. Immigrants have to have lived in the U.S. for five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen, before becoming eligible for naturalization.

USCIS is encouraging new citizens and their families and friends to share their naturalization experience and photos on social media using the hashtag #newUScitizen.

Aurora’s Global Fest, which celebrates cultural experiences and artistic expression from around the globe, will round out the week on Saturday at the Aurora Municipal Center.