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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 27, 20173min3780

The Colorado State Fair Foundation gave state Rep. Clarice Navarro its Outstanding Service Award for her time, effort and leadership for the annual carnival, concerts, rodeos and various competitions in Pueblo.

“It’s not every day that you get to experience racing pigs, sea lions or zip lining all in one location in Colorado, but it’s the 4-H and National FFA Organization kids that steal my heart every year,” Navarro wrote in an op-ed in the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper to laud the event in August.

“The Fair administration and staff have tried diligently to ensure that there is something to see and do for everyone. While I’m a stalwart for keeping the Fair in Pueblo, I also know that we have to have an event that appeals to everyone across this great state, and this year should not disappoint.”

Navarro has been a stalwart for the fair at the statehouse, as well, resisting efforts my northern Front Range lawmakers who suggest it should be moved out of Pueblo to help attract more visitors.

The fair began in Pueblo four years before Colorado became a state.

Pueblo native Adam Daurio, vice president of the foundation’s board, presented Navarro with the award.

Navarro has represented Fremont, Pueblo and Otero counties since she was first elected in 2012. She grew up in southeast Colorado and cites her rural upbringing in her support for 4-H and FFA programs, which inspires her support for the fair, she said.

The is a member of the “Fair Ladies” buyers group, one of the groups that bid on champion livestock to benefit the young competitors. She also is a member of the 1872 Club, which denotes the year the fair started and is part of the State Fair Foundation.

“This is probably one of the most meaningful awards that I have received while serving in the state legislature,” Navarro said in a statement. “I love the Foundation for the support and hard work they put in for the fair and the 4-H and FFA kids. The Foundation is an amazing organization led by amazing people that deeply care about the future of the Colorado State Fair.”


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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 17, 20173min2940

Chance Hill, the lone candidate for the University of Colorado Board of Regents from the Congressional District 5, tipped off Colorado to his bucks and his endorsement from Ken Buck Tuesday.

Hill’s campaign finance disclosure report will show $41,034 in donations. He has loans of $7,000 and expenses totaling $7,537.

That leaves him with a healthy $40,501 in cash on hand for the race, if one materializes.

The Republican political newcomer has sewn up some impressive endorsements so far: Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Rep. Clarice Navarro and current CU Regent Kyle Hybl, who is term-limited from running for re-election.

Buck, the Weld County district attorney before being elected to Congress to represent Colorado’s District 4 in 2014, added his name to Hill’s list Tuesday.

The congressman for District 5, Doug Lamborn, has not announced an endorsement in the race.

Here’s Buck’s endorsement letter:

I wholeheartedly endorse Chance Hill to be the next CU Regent from Colorado’s 5th Congressional District.

Chance understands that we must instill the next generation with a sense of what it means to be American–and that a proper education lies at the foundation of that cause.

America was founded on certain values that have informed our national character since our inception: individual liberty, self-government, and the value of free expression and belief.

Unfortunately, many universities throughout this country have forgotten that fostering true intellectual diversity — in an environment in which everyone learns about different viewpoints in the marketplace of ideas–is central to the mission of an institution of higher learning.

We must push back against the groupthink Leftist culture that dominates our college campuses — not to indoctrinate students into subscribing to an alternative worldview, but to challenge them to independently form their own opinions after being exposed to a variety of perspectives.

That effort will continue with the right leadership of our CU System–and I believe that Chance is the right person from District 5 to help steer the ship. He is a strong Constitutional Conservative, and he will not be afraid to challenge liberal entrenched interests and needless bureaucracy.

Chance has excelled professionally in the military and in the CIA, and I also expect him to do well in the CU arena. I encourage you to learn more about Chance at www.chanceforcuregent.com and to help him in this endeavor.

He has my full support.

Sincerely,

Congressman Ken Buck, Colorado’s 4th Congressional District
Author, “Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption Is Worse Than You Think”


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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 11, 20172min2730

Chance Hill picked up another key endorsement this week when state Rep. Clarice Navarro, a rising-star Republican, threw her endorsement to the first-time candidate running unopposed so for the University of Colorado regent’s seat from Congressional District 5.

Hill has landed a sack full of big-name endorsements, including Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who is the former El Paso Couty Republican Party chairman, as well as Kyle Hybyl, the current regent for the district who is barred from seeking re-election.H

Here’s what Navarro said in her endorsement letter, released Tuesday:

Dear Friends,

I enthusiastically endorse Chance Hill to be the next CU Regent from Colorado’s 5th Congressional District.

I have come to know Chance as a result of his outreach to voters throughout southern Colorado, especially in Fremont County and Pueblo.

Chance will be a strong voice for the appointment of university administrators who understand the importance of fostering a culture of true intellectual diversity and free speech on CU campuses.

I also believe that Chance will fight for UCCS’s interests within the CU System and will make strides in continuing UCCS’s upward trajectory–which is so important to southern Colorado’s economy.

Chance has run a tremendous campaign, and I think that he has proven his work ethic, his passion, and his leadership skills–all of which will benefit the voters and students of Colorado’s 5th Congressional District when we are fortunate to have him as our CU Regent.

He has my full support.

I encourage you to learn more about Chance at www.chanceforcuregent.com and to support him in any way you can.

Sincerely,

Clarice Navarro
Colorado State Representative
House District 47



Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirSeptember 22, 20173min5720

Much of the school-choice agenda — charter schools, in particular — has evolved over the past few decades from a once-obscure Republican cause to a bipartisan initiative to a nonpartisan and, by and large, non-political given. Even presidents of both parties have championed charters; after all, parents of every political stripe, and of none, love having the option if they can get their kids into one.

Republicans nonetheless have a special attachment to the topic of school choice and remain some of its most ardent advocates. And it just so happens that the state GOP is hosting a forum on on the subject Sept. 30, a Saturday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the public library in Parker. Interested? Republican or otherwise, you could find it enlightening. Here’s more from a Republican press release:

Join our forum featuring Representative Clarice Navarro as keynote speaker, among an informative panel of school choice proponents who advocate for school choice in our communities and at the Colorado State Capitol. Members of the panel will include Ross Izard from the Independence Institute, Adam Johnson, Colorado State Director of the Republican National Committee, and local legislators still TBA!

We will also hear directly from parents willing to provide personal accounts of their experience with charter schools & school choice and why this issue is of importance to the community. Whether you are a concerned parent, uncertain regarding school choice, or interested in getting involved, we welcome your participation.

That’s at the Parker Library – Event Hall A, 20105 Main Street, Parker, CO 80138. RSVP by clicking here or contact Cierra Bayers at (303) 944-5683 or cierra@cologop.org for more information.


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Clarice NavarroClarice NavarroAugust 16, 20175min1301
Clarice Navarro

The Colorado State Fair is rapidly approaching, and I wanted to provide an open invitation to anyone and everyone who wants a truly fantastic fair experience.  The Colorado State Fair is one of the things I look forward to each and every year, and this year, with new leadership at the helm it is surely not to disappoint.  There is always a time for new ideas and innovation, and I anticipate that this year will be one of change and invigoration.

The State of Colorado, specifically the Fair staff, led by the Colorado State Fair Director Sarah Cummings, has been busy elevating the customer experience with “MORE FREE TO SEE.”  They have been working on upgrading the physical appeal and providing some “freshness” that fair-goers have been seeking.  They have taken the psychology of event flow, yes that’s event terminology, to an all new level, and they’ve done so on limited resources and time.  I for one am excited to see the changes and attempts at making the Fair an even better event than it already is.

It’s not every day that you get to experience racing pigs, sea lions, or zip lining all in one location in Colorado, but it’s the 4-H and FFA kids that steal my heart every year.  The Fair administration and staff have tried diligently to ensure that there is something to see and do for everyone.  While I’m a stalwart for keeping the fair in Pueblo, I also know that we have to have an event that appeals to everyone across this great state, and this year should not disappoint.

Then there are all the things you don’t necessarily pay attention to like better parking, new animal wash areas, an improved sewer project, new asphalt in some areas, and strategically placing some attractions in an attempt to better drive the flow and traffic to underutilized areas.  Events like this don’t just happen, and there has been serious thought into each and every aspect of this year’s fair.

Finally, there is the Junior Livestock Sale where the 4-H and FFA children sell the animals they have raised.  This sale generates about $500,000.00 annually for our youth exhibitors, and if you have not been to the sale, you should come and experience it.  There are plenty of ways to support the fair, and sale day is not only one of emotion, but it is a lot of fun too.  A great deal of that money generated comes from people right here in Southern Colorado who recognize the benefits of supporting the youth across our great state.  From the decorative embroidered shirts of the Denver Rustlers Buyers group to the Fair Ladies Buyers group, thousands of kids from across Colorado have paid their way through college from the investment that all of the buyer groups have invested over the years, and there are many buyer groups that anyone could become involved with.

The Colorado State Fair provides nearly $34 million in economic activity to Colorado throughout the year, and $29 million of that activity is driven by the annual Colorado State Fair event.  As you can tell, I’m very proud of the Colorado State Fair, and I’m very proud of Pueblo and all of Southern Colorado for making it an event the entire state can be proud of.  So come on out to the Fair, and enjoy a piece of Pueblo and Southern Colorado history and the future.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJuly 24, 20176min990

Colorado’s political right has made its heartburn abundantly clear by now over Senate Bill 267, the eleventh-hour, catch-all, bipartisan legislation that wound up funding a little of this and a little more of that — and unexpectedly became the sleeper of the 2017 legislature. The bill’s title purported to address the “sustainability of rural Colorado” but, as it turned out, reclassified the endlessly debated hospital-provider fee; authorized the lease-purchase of state buildings to fund highways; gave a $30 million lift to rural schools; the list goes on.

Just to underscore the indignation among true believers in the state’s law on tax limitation — which SB 267’s critics say was trampled — the venerable (and once influential) Colorado Union of Taxpayers, or CUT, has named a number of the bill’s legislative supporters to a “wall of shame.” It’s evidently a first for the decades-old group. CUT’s ire, and the wall itself, are mostly directed at black sheep in its own flock — i.e., what it deems wayward Republicans. All but two named to the wall are in fact members of the GOP:

…those legislators who sponsored SB17-267 and those CUT pledge signers (indicated by *) who flagrantly violated their pledge to Colorado Taxpayers: Senators Randy Baumgardner*, Kevin Grantham*, Lucia Guzman, Kevin Priola*, and Jerry Sonnenberg; Representatives Jon Becker, KC Becker, Phillip Covarrubias*, Lois Landgraf*, Polly Lawrence*, Kimmi Lewis*, Larry Liston*, Clarice Navarro*.

Some recent history: While much of legislative leadership as well as some rank-and-file members in both parties were patting themselves on the back for the considerable compromise that went into SB 267 (signed into law by the governor in May), the Republican right rebelled. Went ballistic, really. Particularly the reclassification of the hospital-provider fee aggrieved the likes of the libertarian-leaning Independence Institute, among others, because it effectively allows the state to hold onto surplus tax revenue it otherwise would have to return to taxpayers under constitutional taxing and pending limits. Hardline fiscal conservatives also didn’t like how the bill uses a technical loophole to borrow highway-construction funding without first seeking voter approval.

The fact that a number of Republicans signed onto the measure in both chambers — the Senate, which they control, and the House, which they don’t — drew epithets like “betrayal” and “sellout” from the right. Independence’s Jon Caldara and like-minded advocates were left nearly speechless (not literally in Caldara’s case, of course):

Support for the measure by some of the legislative GOP has in fact led to something of a rift in Republican ranks, as highlighted by a heated Twitter exchange we captured not long ago.  Some of the sharpest barbs flew between Caldara and roving Republican operative Tyler Sandberg:

Founded in 1976, CUT describes itself as “our state’s long-serving advocate for taxpayers.” Its familiar scorecard ratings of lawmakers, assessing their fiscal conservatism or lack thereof, have at times held considerable sway among Republicans at the Capitol.

CUT’s leadership includes a cast of longtime, tax-battling stalwarts, including Greg Golyansky as president and Marty Neilson, in charge of outreach.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJune 9, 20175min640

Colorado lawmakers wasted little time working on the next steps to combating the state’s drug abuse crisis, announcing a special study commission this week. Ten members were named the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Interim Study Committee to find more solutions.

The committee is authorized to recommend up to six bills in the 2018 session, based on its findings.

Overdose deaths in Colorado have doubled since 2000, and the state has the second-highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country, behind only Oregon.

“I’m looking forward to working on this committee to help address the issues Colorado, especially Southern Colorado, is facing regarding opioid and other substance abuse disorders,” said Rep. Clarice Navarro, R-Pueblo, a member of the committee. “I’ve seen firsthand what this is doing to our communities in Fremont, Otero and Pueblo counties, and I know we can do more to ensure safe communities for our family, friends and neighbors.”

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, said he appointed Navarro to be “an impactful member” because her district has been hit hard by opioid addiction “that all of Colorado faces.”

The group will hear from all sorts of experts, agencies and organizations, as well as examine an array of data, including prevention, education and insurance coverage that could support treatment and recovery. They will examine the hurdles and gaps that get between addicts and recovery.

Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, will chair the committee, and Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs will co-chair. Other members are Reps Perry Buck, R-Windson; Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood; and Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, with Sens. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver; Cheri Jahn, D-Arvada; Kevin Priola, R-Fort Morgan; and Jack Tate R=Centennial.

Last session lawmakers passed Senate Bill 193 to use $1 million of marijuana tax money for a substance abuse research center at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. They also passed Senate Bill 74 to create a pilot program marrying anti-addiction medication and therapy in Pueblo and Routt counties.

In addition, House Bill 1351 calls on the Department of Human Serves to study options under Medicaid for inpatient and residential recovery programs. Currently the state offers only four days of emergency treatment.

Outside the Capitol, the Colorado Hospital Association announced this week its launching an opioid safety pilot in eight hospitals and three freestanding emergency departments

The hospitals and emergency rooms will use new guidelines on reducing the use of opioids for pain treatment, while gathering data, establishing best practices and determine how well alternatives manage acute pain.

“Knowing how I was treating pain in the (emergency department) and the potential for addiction after discharge led my colleagues and I to seriously think about how we could reduce patient exposure to opioids, while at the same time improve pain management,” said Dr. Don Stader MD, a member of the Colorado chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and chairman of its opioid task force.

While opioids address all types of pain, the alternatives developed by Stader and Swedish Medical Center pharmacist Rachael Duncan, focus on specific kinds of pain and their root causes. In other being sick no longer necessarily comes with the bonus of getting stoned off the medication.

The hospitals are Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Boulder Community Health and Community Medical Center Emergency Room, Gunnison Valley Health, Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland and UCHealth-Greeley Emergency and Surgery Center, Poudre Valley Hospital & UCHealth Emergency Room-Harmony in Fort Collins, Sedgwick County Health Center in Julesburg, Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree and Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs.

 


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Clarice NavarroClarice NavarroApril 18, 20175min1010

There is an opioid crisis in Colorado and across the nation. Colorado, and especially southern Colorado, has seen an increase in use and abuse of opioids. Traditionally, when we hear the word opioid we think of the “junkie,” but that’s not where it ends or begins. With the rise in use and abuse, we see a rise in crime and opioid-related deaths. The use and abuse can be attributed to many things including cost, over prescribing and especially mental illness. As with other drugs that are abused, there are all of the negatives that follow, and our communities are seeing it firsthand. Our law enforcement agencies are overwhelmed, our hospitals must cope and we see a rise in crime rates. All of which beg the question, "What is being done?"