Ernest LuningErnest LuningAugust 7, 201712min2805

Will voters care if Democratic congressional candidate Jason Crow represented some unsavory characters early in his career as an attorney? It’s a serious vulnerability, says one of his primary opponents, and a veteran Republican strategist who won two statewide races in Colorado thanks to similar attacks on another Democrat agrees. Crow’s campaign team, however, says his background and experience will only serve to strengthen his bid to unseat Republican Mike Coffman, a five-term incumbent.


Joey BunchJoey BunchJuly 7, 20173min455
open space
A mountain biker rides through the tall, lush grasses and wildflowers in Red Rocks Canyon Open Space. (Photo by Christian Murdock/The Colorado Springs Gazette, )

Great Outdoors Colorado wants to know that when it gives out a grant that applicants aren’t wading into a bog of red tape that could tie up conservation and low-impact recreation projects.

GOCO is making a water rights mapping software part of the deal to ensure local governments, land conservation groups or Colorado Parks and Wildlife to guarantee due diligence as part of this year’s applications.

Local policymakers need to know this. This year’s round of GOCO Open Space Grants are due by Aug. 3, with a July 20 deadline to show a draft. Grant projects tend to be natural greenways, stream corridors, sheds for scenic views and other low-impact recreation areas and habitats.

Tools such as Denver-based Water Sage, used in drafting the state’s water plan, can be written into the grant.

“GOCO supports our grantees’ use of systems designed to enhance the due-diligence review process associated with real estate transactions,” Chris Castilian, GOCO’s executive director, said in a statement. “Water Sage provides an efficient mechanism for searching, identifying and confirming water rights.”

Water Sage isn’t the only tool for the job, but it’s the one that explained all this stuff to Colorado Politics, and we don’t know any others. The cost per application ranges from $99 to $6,000, depending on the size of the project, so the lottery players who fund GOCO are picking that up.

“Understanding water rights can be an overwhelming task,” said Spencer Williams, the business development manager at Denver-based Ponderosa Advisors, which developed the tool starting in 2013. “With Water Sage in hand, applicants can navigate Colorado’s challenging water rights system with confidence and ease and know it won’t break their budget.”

GOCO, which turns 25 this year, has spent $917 million from the Colorado Lottery on more than 4,900 projects in all 64 Colorado counties, the agency says.



Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinJanuary 17, 20175min484

Citing her work with traditional and renewable energy, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Kathleen Staks executive director of the Colorado Energy Office, effective Jan. 20. She will replace Jeff Ackermann, who was recently appointed to the Public Utilities Commission.

Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsDecember 9, 201616min332

DENVER — Happy Friday! Although, if you’re like most of us you’ll be working the second-shift this weekend attending parties, school plays and assorted holiday events. We wish you the best with that and God’s speed. With 42 days before the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump, it’s kinda fun to ask which of your politically plugged-in friends are heading to the big doins in D.C. We’ve found quite a few have tickets in hand and have pressed the fancy duds. Most, looking forward to — in what can only be called a NANNA move — sharing taunting photos and posts of themselves on social media.