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January 16, 2014 Jefferson County, Colorado | Volume 90, Issue 23
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Hickenlooper: State of state is strongGovernor touts economic numbers during annual address.By Vic Velavvela@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Gov. John Hickenlooper sounded like a man running for re-election during his annual State of the State address inside the Capitol on Jan. 9, as he touted Colorados eco-nomic rebound and called on lawmakers to ignore divi-sive politics.
The governor sounded themes of unity throughout his speech, but particularly when he lauded Coloradans re-silience during times of tragedy last year which led to one of the most enthusiastically-received lines of the day.
Colorado does not shutdown. Colorado does not quit. Colorado does not break, he said, to a standing ovation inside the House chamber, where all 100 state lawmakers were gathered.
Hickenlooper hyped Colorado as a magnet for busi-nesses and a state where job numbers continue to grow. And, for the most part, he stayed away from contentious issues that dominated the Legislature last year.
While Democrats walked away glowingly from the gov-ernors speech, many Republicans voiced a wait and see response.
Well it felt good, but lets see if those feelings continue for the rest of the year, said Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock. When he talked about not wanting parties to lock down, I hope he holds to that with his own party.
Much of the governors speech focused on the states improving economic numbers. Hickenlooper said that the state has experienced a significant rebound in job numbers since 2010, when the state was ranked 40th in the nation in job growth.
Now, the state ranks fourth in that category, has added
Gov. John Hickenlooper motions to his cabinet, seated in the House cham-bers in the Colorado State Capitol, during the State of the State speech in Denver on Jan. 8. Photo by Hannah Garcia
Metro West Housing Solutions open apartment complexBy Clarke Readercreader@coloradocommunitymedia.com
The first transit-oriented development along the W Rail is open and taking residents at the Lamar Station Crossing.The housing project by Metro West
Housing Solutions (MWHS), which is the first apartment community constructed along the new line, celebrated its grand opening on Jan. 10.
I cant tell you how excited we are to be here, Tami Fischer, executive direc-tor and CEO of Metro West said. This is the culmination of a seven-year process, and were pleased to be the groundbreak-ers in this area.
MWHS staff, community leaders and city staff were all in attendance to cel-ebrate the opening of the 110-apartment complex. Lamar Station Crossing, which is south of the rail line between Lamar and Harlan streets, is 80 percent afford-able rentals and 20 percent market rent-als.
Rents start as low as $389 a month for
a one-bedroom, $463 for a two-bedroom and $530 for a three-bedroom. Prices will go up from there, based on income levels, to market price, which is around $800 for a one-bedroom.Just imagine the possibilities here and for future projects like this, said Mayor Bob Mur-phy. There were so many great partnerships and collaborations that came together to make
At top, staff from Metro West Housing, the city of Lakewood and community leaders at the opening of the Lamar Station Crossing Development on Jan. 10. At right, The Lamar Station Crossing development. Photos by Clarke Reader
Lamar continues on Page 12
State continues on Page 12
2 Lakewood Sentinel January 16, 2014
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Hope springs eternal on the hillOpening day in baseball is the best
time to be a Cubs fan.Theres so much promise. Its a new sea-
son. And every team is tied for first place.Its just too bad the Cubs have to, you
know, actually play baseball. As the season goes on, fans frustration mounts. And by the end of year, even the diehards are tired, grumpy and over it.
I recently asked a fellow Cubs fan if that reminds him of anything.
In true Cubs fan fashion, I put a post up on Facebook the other day, talking about how optimistic I was coming into the legislative session, hopeful that we are going to have an opportunity to create some good public policy for the people of Colorado, Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, said. Like Cubs fans in years past, Ive been very disappointed toward the end of the season. Lets hope Im not disappointed by the end of this legislative season.
Boy howdy, were Republicans disap-pointed over what Democrats accom-plished last year: Election reform and rural renewable energy mandate increases and attempts to overhaul the school finance system.
Oh, and gun control. Oh boy. Repub-licans may have gotten all Genghis Khan over some bills, but they promised the Wrath of Kahn after Democrats created legislation that led to universal back-
ground checks on gun sales and limited the amount of rounds that gun magazines can hold.
So, Democrats, on the heels of their huge wins last session, must be riding high as work begins at the Capitol this year, right, Rep. Max Tyler of Lakewood?
To be honest I came into it a little grumpy.
Oh. Nevermind.The grumpiness came from the sum-
mer, whether it was created by nature or by the battles over the recalls, Tyler said. It was more like a pretty difficult cam-paign season over the summer.
Tyler did say that the grumpiness subsided as he got back to work inside the Capitol and that hes energized about the upcoming session. And every lawmaker will tell you that theyre optimistic and looking forward to getting back to work.
But, clearly the polarizing battles from last session, followed by the recall elec-tions in the fall, still weigh in the back of
lawmakers minds as they start work this year.
And what about all the long hours they put in last year? Floor debates and committee hearings lasted FOR-EVER. Seriously, the greatest runners in Kenya looked at last years legislative session and said, I wont no part of that marathon.
Lawmakers had to have woken up on the first day of the session on Wednesday Jan. 8, thinking to themselves, Am I really looking forward to another round of com-mittee hearings that dont end until one in the morning?
I dont mind the 1 a.m. mornings, said Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont. When you said, Waking up on Wednes-day, its like, I went to bed?
In other words, Singer was lucky to get any sleep last session. But hell probably get a little more rest this time. Yes, there will be fights over some old battles and there will be new and improved contro-versy this time around.
But I dont see this years session being as maddening as last years was.
In most sessions youre going to get two or three meaty, weightier issues, Waller said. Last year, I think we saw 15. But I dont think well see that this year.
Singer doesnt either. And hes not sur-prised by what hes hearing from leaders of both parties, as the current session gets underway: Democrats wanting to move on
from what happened last year and Repub-licans looking to go to battle on some of those familiar issues.
What do you expect? You expect the majority to talk about coming together and you expect the minority to underline those differences that keep us apart for the next election cycle, Singer said.
So, there will be fights and there will old battles revisited. But it sounds like lawmakers actually may be able get home before Letterman comes on TV, at least some of the time.
Everybody said, Yeah it was so crazy, said Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada, who was a freshman last year. But how do I know? I thought this is how we always do this. But the idea of not being here from 7 in the morning to 10 at night every day. Wow, it sounds really intriguing to me.
Well, thats a good thing. Because last year was draining for everyone: Lawmak-ers, their families, reporters ...
Who cares how draining it was for reporters? quipped a smiling Waller. You get no love at all.
This from the Republican Cubs fan whose team was badly beaten last year.
Vic Vela covers the Legislature for Colorado Community Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Vic on Twitter: @VicVela1.
jeffco news in a Hurry
Update on Apex ParkJeffco Open Space announced that
flood recovery efforts will be their primary focus for 2014. Objectives for the park including a partial opening of Apex in the first quarter of 2014 with completed re-pairs by Sept. 30, 2014. Their first projects including repairs to Apex, Pick-N-Sledge,
Grubstake, Argos and Bonanza Trails to allow for