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Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandDecember 19, 20175min485

Gov. John Hickenlooper  paid tribute to families who have paid the ultimate price – the sacrifice of a loved one in military service – during a reception at the state Capitol Tuesday.

Since 2001, the Christmas tree at the state Capitol has been decorated in honor of Coloradans who lost their lives in service to Colorado and the nation. Tuesday, 37 families listened as the state paid tribute to their sacrifice.

That included the two young children of James Alvarado, a Marine who died at Camp Pendleton in 2014.  At the time of his death, his daughter was just four; his son had not yet been born. Together they placed a photo of their dad on the tree. 

This time of year is profoundly challenging for Gold Star families, Hickenlooper said during the ceremony. “This is a natural time for love and reflection but also the most poignant reminder of loss and sacrifice.” And when sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives enlist in the military, it’s not just who makes the sacrifice by serving the state and nation, he said. “It’s also the families and friends who make that sacrifice.”

Hickenlooper, who said he has been ill and lacking sleep, was emotional during his remarks. He told a story of how his mother’s first husband died at the close of World War II. There is “some comfort and joy in sharing loss with others,” he said, and said that’s why the annual event is so meaningful to him.

Cleo Allgood, mother of Col. Brian Allgood; and Pat O’Kane Trombley, mother of Commander Thomas O’Kane Gramith, show their sons’ pictures during Tuesday’s Gold Star reception. Gramith died in Afghanistan in 2009; Allgood, a surgeon, died in Iraq in 2007. (Photo by Marianne Goodland, Colorado Politics.)

TaRhonda Thomas of KUSA lost her brother, Chief Warrant Officer Terry Thomas, in 2006. She appeared to choke back tears as she spoke of her brother. “It’s a pain every Gold Star family knows, wishing they were with us for the holidays.” Gold Star losses are not just our own, she added. “It’s shared by everyone.”

Adjutant General of Colorado, U.S. Air Force Major Gen. Mike Loh, said unless people walk in the shoes of the Gold Star families, “you’ll never understand the sacrifices” they’ve made in the name of freedom.

The reception featured Christmas music from the Colorado National Guard’s 101st Army Band.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, the term “Gold Star family” is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag. Families first flew these flags/banners during World War I. The flag included a blue star which represented an immediate family member(s) serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities. If that loved one died during their service, the blue star was replaced by a gold star. “This allowed members of the community to know the price that the family had paid in the cause of freedom.”



Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsDecember 7, 201615min407

DENVER — Glad to see you are surviving #SnowApocalypse2016 Part Deux … Impossible not to turn on a television or flip through a Colorado newspaper and not hear that — dare we say it — we are experiencing cold snowy weather in Colorado in December. Gasp at the thought! Moving on … “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan,” the opening of the speech delivered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt the day following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Marking the 75th anniversary of what would begin World War II, we remember — and celebrate — the greatest generation. It’s impossible to not compare them to the current culture — a stark contrast. Leaves you to wonder if the impossible feats of the United States during World War II could be accomplished by America’s millennials now … Discuss.



Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsDecember 2, 201615min454

DENVER —Since we are certain few of you are old enough to have seen the movie or understand the reference … We won’t say T.G.I.F! (says a curmudgeonly old person). Interesting week in political circles. Outside of eaaaarly speculation concerning the 2018 Colorado governor’s race, state lawmakers are drawing lines in how the state should tackle transportation, health care, education and, of course, how it will handle your hard-earned cash (you know the money it takes from you in taxes) with an upcoming projected budget shortfall (apparently your not sending them enough). Additionally, hanging over the Capitol dome are several possible legal challenges to recently passed propositions 107 and 108. And there's (always) more. So ... let’s get started!



Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsDecember 1, 201618min436

DENVER — Happy Thursday to you and yours from all of us at the Colorado Statesman. Has it been hard for you getting back in the swing of things following the long (not long enough) Thanksgiving holiday? There, there, we understand. We’ll continue to carry on — making your mornings in Colorado politics more interesting is our goal. (emoji, emoji, emoji!) As we head into the home stretch of 2016, it’s good to see the wrangling and jockeying taking place at the state Capitol. Twenty-three days after the election, things were just too quiet. And who could ignore the whispers and rumors of political races in 2018, 2020 or even the upcoming assemblies? Let the games begin!


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Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsNovember 17, 201612min335

Fifteen Years Ago this week in the Colorado Statesman ... When the cat’s away … While Colorado legislators were recessed, in their place, the Annual Youth in Government Program took over the House, Senate, judiciary and governor's seats to get a hands on lesson in government affairs. Entering its 48th year, the youth program sponsored by the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver — cast students as lobbyists, justices, pages, journalists and elected officials. More than 200 Colorado high school students from across the state participated. Students prepared at their own schools where bills were researched and written and students got a primer on parliamentary procedures. Then, during the three-day session at the Capitol, bills were run at length through the legislative process, from lobbying to debating. On the third day and final day the bills which were passed went to the youth governor, Robert Lee (Fairfield High School-Boulder), to sign or veto.



Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsFebruary 5, 20161min511

 

The Colorado Statesman celebrated its 118th Anniversary Feb. 4, marking the occasion with the release of this film which was screened at a relaunch party hosted at the Governor’s Mansion Carriage House in Denver. The Colorado Statesman is the state’s longest running political news source, and one that has made numerous advancements in how we deliver important political and public policy news to you — quickly, effectively, accurately and conveniently. Our goal is to continue to provide you with our award-winning journalism for another 118 years. Long live The Colorado Statesman.

To become an exclusive member-subscriber to Colorado’s premier political news source, click here.


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Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsFebruary 4, 20164min532

Sports brings people together. People from different background, ethnicities, races, religious preferences and political beliefs can rally together for a united cause, and we have seen just that this week — we are United in Orange.

Politicians on either side of the aisle have overcome the deep chasms that divide.  Our beloved team has brought Republican and Democrat, Tea Partiers and Progressives to terms of agreement, even endearment. We are thankful for those things that unite in a world so often divided.

Today, a toast to our home team and their incredible journey to Super Bowl 50. Go, Broncos! Bring back the Lombardi!

Denver Broncos Rally Civic Center Park Jan. 31
Creating a sea of orange and blue, Broncos fans rally in Civic Center Park in front of the Colorado state Capitol Jan. 31 — an event led by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia. (Photo by Bernard Grant/The Colorado Statesman)

 

John Hickenlooper speaks to Denver Broncos fans over the Jumbotron in Civic Center Park
Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks over the Jumbotron from his location in Italy to hundreds of Broncos fans gathered in Civic Center Park Jan. 31. Hickenlooper was traveling for a speaking engagement at an industry conference. (Photo by Bernard Grant/The Colorado Statesman)

 

Mayor Michael Hancock and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia pump up the crowd of hundreds of Broncos fans gathered for a Super Bowl 50 rally in downtown Civic Center Park Jan. 31. (Photo by Bernard Grant/The Colorado Statesman)
Mayor Michael Hancock and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia pump up the crowd of hundreds of Broncos fans gathered for a Super Bowl 50 rally in downtown Civic Center Park Jan. 31. (Photo by Bernard Grant/The Colorado Statesman)

 

A Broncos fan pumps his fist resolutely in a sea of orange and blue in front of the Colorado state Capitol during a Super Bowl 50 Denver Broncos rally in downtown Civic Center Park Jan. 31 in Denver.
A Broncos fan pumps his fist resolutely as he stands in a sea of orange and blue in front of Colorado’s signature gold-domed state Capitol building. The photo was taken during a Super Bowl 50 Denver Broncos rally in downtown Civic Center Park Jan. 31 in Denver. (Photo by Bernard Grant/The Colorado Statesman)

 

Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock smile for the camera as they stand on the stage rallying excited Denver Broncos fans in Civic Center Park on Jan. 31.
Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock smile for the camera as they stand on the stage rallying excited Denver Broncos fans in Civic Center Park on Jan. 31. (Photo by Bernard Grant/The Colorado Statesman)