Have you heard the news? Arapahoe Libraries is fine free!
We are proud to announce that Arapahoe Libraries has eliminated
overdue fines. We hope you're as excited as we are.
If you still have overdue library materials at home, you can return the items and ask a staff member to waive accrued fines. Although we will no longer charge overdue fines, materials still have the usual due dates and replacement fees will be charged for lost items.
For more details, visit our Fines and Fees page or stop by your nearest Arapahoe Libraries location and speak to a staff member.
Arapahoe Libraries has put together a list of FAQs - Fine Free FAQs
Arapahoe Libraries is hosting a Business Tools Demo - An Exclusive Demo of ReferenceUSA
Thursday, March 22 | 7:30 - 9:00 am
Koelbel Library, 5955 S. Holly St. Centennial
More information HERE
Thanks to everyone who joined us to celebrate the Ribbon Cutting for Auric Solar on Tuesday, January 23. We enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the opening of Auric Solar's first Colorado office-- a company ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the nation's 500 Fastest Growing Companies! CEO and Co-Founder Jess Philips and Colorado Regional Manager John Israelsen invited us in to their new office with music, food, and a raffle, and Arapahoe County Commissioner Kathleen Conti assisted with cutting the ribbon. Another SMDC member, Fastsigns DTC created the new office's signage. We are excited to have Auric Solar as part of the SMDC community as they continue to grow and expand in our region!
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The state of the Denver Metro area economy is strong—and though this presents unique opportunities for growth, it also presents challenges for business owners according to Dr. Richard Wobbekind of the University of Colorado.
Dr. Wobbekind was joined by Maya MacGuineas, Travis Brown, and Tim Jones as speakers at the South Metro Denver Chamber’s annual Economic Forecast Breakfast, presented by the Moody Insurance Agency.
Dr. Wobbekind explained to the sold-out auditorium of nearly 500 attendees that continued population growth, while not as rapid as it has been in previous years, has put upward pressure on home prices, and that the subsequent low unemployment rate has left employers scrambling to find qualified applicants for the positions they have open.
“The economy is still strong here. We just don’t have enough labor,” explained Wobbekind.
Maya MacGuineas, representing the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and Fix the Debt Campaign, cast a cautionary light on the economic outlook for 2018 in light of current federal spending patterns.
“The big challenge now is that our national debt is 77% of GDP… ‘Kick the Can’ is the way we operate in Washington now. What this country really needs is an economic growth plan,” she explained to the audience. MacGuineas further explained that, while tax cuts will grow the economy, debt undermines that growth and compromises the country’s ability to both meet existing obligations and respond to unforeseen economic shifts.
Tim Jones, Senior Director of Media and Communications at First Rule Media, highlighted the opportunities presented by a business-friendly environment.
“Growth flows to beneficial tax situations,” explained Jones, while highlighting the growth Florida’s economy has experienced as a result of a business-friendly atmosphere. “It is the innovative states with business-friendly tax policies and regulations that are growing.” In explaining this, Jones highlighted high-tax states that were losing business investment and thereby revenue to lower-cost, alternative states.
Travis Brown, CEO of First Rule Media, expanded on this by putting into tangible numbers the benefit that both individuals and companies could experience by simply moving to a lower-tax environ.
“A family moving from Chicago to Denver making $138,000 a year would save $1,380 per year in taxes alone. There is a reason that money is flowing from high-tax to low- or no-tax states…and federal tax reform is going to magnify this.”
He further explained that the recent tax bill presents a unique opportunity for small businesses to invest in both employees and equipment, and that these investments will not only reinvigorate local communities, but will also produce more revenue at the state level.
“Small business owners should be looking into buying machinery, buying new vehicles, because it’s going to be a very beneficial time to make investments into your small business.”
Dr. Richard Wobbekind, shares his 2018 Colorado Business Economic Outlook Book.
Download the 53rd Annual Outlook Book
Foreseeing a shutdown of the federal government due to a broken Congressional deal over Dreamers, Colorado House Democrats made a plea to Washington Friday morning and put their Republican colleagues in an awkward position - playing out an all too familiar dynamic in politics: dysfunction. Like last session, Republicans and Democrats are racing to score political points for themselves to benefit future primary and general election campaigns, while federal politics cloud what happens in the state.
This week began with more sexual assault accusations and bitter fights regarding the civil rights commission, but thankfully not everything happening under the Golden Dome is hopeless partisanship.
This week there were a number of bills introduced (some resurrected from years past) highlighting priorities from each caucus and Governor Hickenlooper signed his first bill of the session.
As was indicated last week, the House majority is prioritizing work-life balance, rural education, the opioid epidemic and college education credits in this new legislative session.
"A major goal this session is to create more opportunities for Coloradans to turn their hard work into economic security," said Speaker Crisanta Duran (D-Denver). "These bills are part of a much larger agenda to preserve and enhance our Colorado way of life."
Republicans, the majority in the Senate, are focusing on transportation, Public Employee Retirement Act (PERA) reform, and the institution of the Colorado Energy Office, with a slightly different mission.
"The Colorado Senate Republicans are ready, willing, and able to start solving the tough problems facing Colorado," Senate President Kevin Grantham said. "I am so proud of my caucus for their commitment and dedication in tackling the major problems we are facing as a state."
Points of contention will remain, as they have in sessions past, on: energy issues, how to regulate business, and what the state can do to curb health care costs. Already a flurry of anti-energy bills have been introduced, most dealing with oil and gas, but one dealing specifically with wind. Bills that have died in past sessions, like the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) were introduced, but don't face a bright future. And a number of bills dealing with transparency in the healthcare system have been introduced, all facing a rather unpredictable course through the legislative bodies.
For those already wanting the session to be over, there are a lot of legislators in the same boat. Over 10 percent are running for higher office. Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) is taking on Congressman Doug Lamborn. Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Loveland) is running for state Treasurer; as are Rep. Dave Young (D-Greeley), Rep. Polly Lawrence (R-Roxbourough Park), Rep. Justin Everett (R-Littleton), and Rep. Steve Lebsock (D-Thornton). Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Thornton) is running for Attorney General. And the rest are leaving the House to run for seats the Senate.
This week marked the end of the campaign-fund reporting period, so those aspirations seem more realistic for some, but in such a tumultuous political environment, making predictions at this stage of the game is futile.
In the case that money matters, here are some takeaways on statewide races:
With a whopping $10.8M raised for this race (by all candidates), Democrats Mike Johnston, former state Senator, and sitting-Congressman Jared Polis lead the field in fundraising, both with war chests over $1.5M. Republican Walker Stapleton trails by $500K, but has outpaced his Republican opponents by almost $700K. Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is not to be ignored though, his loyal following may help him secure this nomination. And notably, Republican Victor Mitchell has the most cash-on-hand due to a $3M loan he issued to his own campaign.
Secretary of State
Democrat Jena Griswald is giving incumbent Wayne Williams a run for his money, pun intended. She has out-fundraised him by about $50K and holds $114K to his $58K. Could be anyone's game.
State Attorney General
Phil Weiser, Democrat, holds the lead here with nearly $700K separating him from his formidable Republican opponent, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler. He might be remembered as a gubernatorial candidate, but after sitting Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R) jumped in the race, Brauchler quickly redirected.
Republicans are have secured the top two ranks here. Brian Watson, former state legislative candidate and Rep. Polly Lawrence both have over $80K in cash-on-hand.
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Denver non-profit to open Boeing Blue Sky Gallery summer 2018
Denver, CO – January 16, 2018 – After more than a decade of planning and fundraising, Wings Over the Rockies (Wings), an aerospace focused Colorado non-profit, is proud to announce its unique to the nation entertainment and education campus, Exploration of Flight.
Designed to incorporate future-focused aviation and space centers, Exploration of Flight is a 15-acre campus located on the south side of Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado. The sister facility to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood, Exploration of Flight will be housed at one of the busiest general aviation airports in the nation, offering visitors incredible experiences that focus on aerospace.
Slated for completion in summer 2018, phase one of Wings’ Exploration of Flight campus, the Boeing Blue Sky Aviation Gallery, will offer a visitor experience unlike any facility before it. Entering a world of active flight, the gallery will be filled with interactive exhibits and activities designed to excite and thrill while educating visitors about aviation. Visitors will have the opportunity to engage with world-class exhibits, experience a thrilling simulator, tour Centennial Airport, witness live takeoffs, landings and even indulge in flight itself.
“This facility will be unique to the nation,” explained Wings Over the Rockies President & CEO, John Barry. “Our Air & Space Museum in Lowry will concentrate on the past while the Exploration of Flight Campus at Centennial Airport will focus on the present and future. One organization, two locations."
For more information about the Boeing Blue Sky Gallery opening or the Exploration of Flight Center, visit ExplorationOfFlight.org.
About Wings Over the Rockies:
Wings Over the Rockies is a Colorado-based non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring all people about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future. By utilizing the Air & Space Museum in Denver’s historic Lowry neighborhood to preserve the past and the Exploration of Flight Center at Centennial Airport to focus on the present and future, Wings strives to encourage the future aerospace leaders of tomorrow. For more information about Wings Over the Rockies please visit WingsMuseum.org or ExplorationOfFlight.org.
"We came a long way and have a long way to go" could be the theme for this legislative session. With Governor John Hickenlooper (D), Speaker Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) and President Kevin Grantham (R-Cañon City) all looking at their final session, reflection and ambition united the message from each.
Wednesday Speaker Duran and President Grantham along with their colleagues in the minority parties, Sen. Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) and Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), faced their respective chambers exposing a familiar divide. The question of how to spend state revenue signified an early point of friction, even as both sides abjured the bitter national political environment and local sexual harassment and assault scandals while recalling bipartisan cooperation at the end of the 2017 session.
"We can point with pride to what we achieved for Coloradans... which was widely acclaimed as the most productive in recent memory. We proved that we don't just talk about not being like Washington D.C. We proved by our actions that here in Colorado, we can work together to get things done," Speaker Duran said.
Her priorities will focus on the middle class and the under-served. Early proposals have circulated that will boost money available for affordable housing, address family leave policies, help families pay for child care and protect consumers from identity theft. Additionally, focus will remain on driving economic growth in rural Colorado and curbing opioid addiction, goals that GOP leaders share.
Republican priorities were outlined in the opening day speeches, but also in the slate of introduced bills Wednesday, like those that expand rural broadband, dedicate more money for transportation and bring back the Colorado Energy Office respecting an all of the above energy portfolio. Expected as early as next week are bills that will bring reform to the Public Employees Retirement Act (PERA) and more efforts to unwind portions of SB17-267, the omnibus bill from last session that, among other things, reclassified the Hospital Provider Fee.
The Governor addressed the chamber yesterday, possibly setting the stage for what many politicos believe will be a Presidential run. His priorities are not out of line from those set by leaders in the General Assembly, but are very ambitious. He hopes to find resolution on PERA reform, transportation funding, oil and gas wells that have been orphaned, the opioid epidemic, major education reform, building out broadband in rural areas and addressing the impact of the Gallagher amendment on state and local taxes. But those aren't all. His most significant recommendation? A tax increase to generate enough money to compensate for the $25 billion in transportation needs and he also hinted at urging voters to look at a new way to fund schools.
More to come as the legislative session unfolds and priorities truly begin to take hold. Legislators are taking the day off on Monday to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who the House spent commemorating on Friday afternoon.
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Session Highlights Provided By:
DENVER (Jan. 10, 2018) - The Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board of Directors has elected new board officers, choosing Director Doug Tisdale (RTD District H) as Chair for 2018. The agency has an exciting year ahead including continued testing on the highly anticipated G Line, which will expand commuter rail access to Wheat Ridge and Arvada.
RTD is governed by a 15-member, publicly elected Board of Directors. Directors are elected to four-year terms and represent specific districts within the RTD service area. Board members annually elect officers to serve on the Executive Committee.
Chair Tisdale is taking over the role from Chair Larry Hoy, who served as chairman in 2017. Hoy, who represents Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn, and Federal Heights in District J, previously served as the Board First Vice Chair in 2016.
Tisdale is the former mayor of Cherry Hills Village and serves as president of the law firm Tisdale & Associates LLC. Tisdale’s district includes: Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Littleton, Columbine Valley, and Highlands Ranch.
“I am humbled by the confidence and trust placed in me by the Board. I am committed to continuing to expand communication and collaboration, with our Directors, our Senior Leadership Team, our constituents, our partners, our stakeholders,” Tisdale said. “I appreciate and applaud the work done by Chair Hoy this last year and look forward to having the benefit of his sage counsel through the coming year.”
The other Board Officers chosen for 2017 are:
First Vice Chair: Director Natalie Menten
Director Menten, who represents District M, was reelected to the RTD Board of Directors in 2016. Menten’s district includes: Golden, Lakeside, Mountain View, the majority of Lakewood and Wheat Ridge, and portions of unincorporated Jefferson County.
Second Vice Chair: Director Barbara Deadwyler
Director Deadwyler was elected to the RTD Board in 2010. Director Deadwyler represents District B, which includes: Aurora within Adams County, portions of the City and County of Denver, and unincorporated Adams County lying south of Denver.
Secretary: Director Claudia Folska, PhD.
Director Folska, PhD., represents District E and was elected to the RTD Board in 2012. Dr. Folska’s district includes: portions of western Aurora, north-central Centennial, southern Denver, Greenwood Village east of I-25, and portions of unincorporated Arapahoe County.
Treasurer: Director Judy Lubow
Director Lubow, who represents District I, was elected to the RTD Board in 2012 and was reelected in 2016. Lubow’s district covers portions of Longmont, Lafayette, and Broomfield.
The Regional Transportation District develops, operates and maintains a public transportation system that meets the transit needs of close to 3 million people within an eight-county service area in the Denver Metro region. The agency’s buses, rail lines, shuttles and additional services provide 100 million annual passenger trips. For more information, visit rtd-denver.com, call 303-299-6000 and follow along on social media: www.facebook.com/RideRTD, @RideRTD on Twitter, @ridertd on Instagram and rideRTDco on YouTube.
Yes, indeed, there was a catch when the American Cancer Society invited Doug Tisdale to be the honoree at its annual Champions of Hope Gala, The Butterfly Ball.
No, he wasn’t asked to kick in a huge amount of money in exchange for the chance to spend an evening in the spotlight and listen as friends and professional colleagues would sing his praises.
Nor was he required to sell an extraordinary amount of tickets (although he did).
Truth be told, the stipulation came from Tisdale himself: He would accept the honor only if he could once again volunteer as the evening’s auctioneer.
Tisdale, an attorney, author and actor currently serving as executive vice president of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, is well-versed on persuading bidders to open their wallets, having volunteered his auctioneering skills on behalf of causes ranging from the Children’s Diabetes Foundation to the Colorado Neurological Institute, Cancer League of Colorado and Cerebral Palsy of Colorado.
And he did himself proud at Champions of Hope, bringing in top dollar for items that included a weekend’s use of a luxurious hybrid Karma Revero and a stay at one of the deluxe properties that are part of the Quintess Collection.
Bob Golden, president and CEO of the South Metro Chamber and a member of the American Cancer Society Denver board, presented Tisdale with the Champion of Hope award, describing him as “a man of integrity and professionalism,” a man who is adept at “strategic engagement,” or the art of connecting the right people to the right cause.
Tisdale deflected the praise by noting that the “true honorees tonight are the patients, doctors, researchers, caregivers and friends who live with one or more aspects of cancer every day.”
He also noted that his guests included three survivors: his steady companion, Stephanie Bender, longtime friend Arlene Mohler Johnson, and Andrea Hyatt, whose late husband, Jack, had been Tisdale’s mentor when he was a young lawyer starting out at the firm now known as Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.
The Champions of Hope Gala was chaired by Erica Ferris, marketing director for the Monarch Casino Black Hawk and a member of the ACS Denver board. She was aided by a committee of nine: Cynthia Batchelder, Allison Beck, Kate Brewer, Niki Brewer, Rob Carroll, Jeannie DeFore, Allison Gellner, Adam O’Leary and Natalie Serkova.
The popular fundraiser was held at Mile High Station and began with a social hour where an aerialist performed without a net for a crowd that included Amy Venturi, deputy chief of staff for Gov. John Hickenlooper, and her husband, Ken; Dana Davis, executive director of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation; Lisa Rigsby Peterson, executive director of the Lone Tree Arts Center, with Robin Scurto, the LTAC’s annual fund manager, Susan Stiff, president of the LTAC board, and the guild’s president-elect, Tonya Fallows.
Others staying on to enjoy a dinner catered by Footers and music by Raising Cain were Edgewater Mayor Kris Teegardin; KB Solutions president Kim Bimestefer; Michael Hafer, a senior vice president at Western Union, and his wife, Amy; and Steve Wiskow, luxury brand marketing manager and director of philanthropy for Bentley Denver, a dealership representing such high-end autos as Ferrari, Bentley, Lotus, USSV, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Maserati, Porche and Karma.
Arapahoe County Commissioner Jeff Baker has been named chair of the 2018 Board of County Commissioners with Commissioners Kathleen Conti serving as Chair Pro Tem and Bill Holen serving as Finance Officer.
Each year, the Commissioners select officers to oversee the Board. The appointments, which were made during the Board’s Jan. 2 public meeting, are effective until the Board’s first meeting in 2019.
Baker, who represents District 3, which includes unincorporated eastern Arapahoe County and portions of Aurora and Centennial, is a long-time County employee who left in 2016 to run for commissioner. He served as Chair Pro Tem in 2017.
“I’m humbled by the confidence my fellow Commissioners have shown in me to serve as chair this year,” said Baker. “I see my primary duty as chair to keep things moving, to conduct meetings as efficiently as possible, yet allow commissioners, staff and citizens to be fully heard and understood. For many people, coming to Littleton to participate in a public hearing about a matter that will impact their livelihood or property, it may well be the only interaction they ever have with government. I want them to feel welcomed and that their message was considered in our decision-making process.”
Baker’s priorities include transportation, criminal justice issues, economic development countywide and the opening of the Unified Metropolitan Forensic Crime Lab, currently under construction in Douglas County.
“Transportation, maintaining and improving our roads and bridge infrastructure is crucial to the economic vitality of our county,” Baker added. “I drive Arapahoe Road every day. I’ve seen the issues with I-225 bottlenecks approaching
I-25. I feel the pain of commuters on I-70 or Quincy Road. I hope to bring some federal dollars – paid by our citizens – back to the county to relieve traffic congestion and improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, equestrians and the driving public.”
Conti, who represents District 1, which includes the communities of Bow Mar, Cherry Hills Village, Columbine Valley, Englewood, Littleton, Sheridan, portions of Centennial and unincorporated north Arapahoe County, was named Chair Pro Tem. She is serving her first term as Commissioner and served as Finance Officer in 2017.
Holen, who is serving his second term representing District 5, was named Finance Officer.
In addition to Baker, Conti and Holen, the remaining members of the Board include Commissioner Nancy Sharpe, who is serving her second term as County Commissioner representing District 2; and Commissioner Nancy Jackson, who is serving her second term, representing District 4.
To learn more about what’s in store for Arapahoe County in 2018, or to find out which commissioner represents you, visit the County’s website at www.arapahoegov.com and click on Government, Board of County Commissioners.
***This article was originally posted at: http://www.arapahoegov.com/civicalerts.aspx?AID=951
Grants help expand digital literacy, promote community service and youth leadership development
DENVER – JANUARY 2, 2017 – Comcast in Colorado contributes approximately $15 million in financial and in-kind resources each year to programs and partnerships helping communities across the state thrive. These contributions include grants from the Comcast Foundation, which announced today total more than $650,000 to Colorado nonprofit organizations in 2017. The grants help grow the impact of programs aimed at expanding digital literacy, promoting service, and mentoring tomorrow’s leaders.
Anchor Center for Blind Children, Boys & Girls Clubs, Servicios de La Raza and Girls Inc. are just a few of the many local organizations making a significant difference in the community supported by the Comcast Foundation this year.
“Comcast is proud to support our partner organizations throughout the year to improve our communities and enrich the lives of all Coloradans,” said Rich Jennings, senior vice president of Comcast Mountain West Region. “The important work of these nonprofit organizations ensures Colorado is a better place to call home.”
Comcast Foundation grants recipients in Colorado in 2017 include:
Aurora Public Schools Foundation
Boys & Girls Club of Buckley Air Force Base Youth Center
Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation
Spirit of Aurora – City of Aurora
PLAY Boulder Foundation – Boulder Parks & Recreation
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pikes Peak Region
Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
City of Colorado Springs - Spirit of the Springs!
Colorado Springs School District 11
Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region
Pikes Peak United Way
Anchor Center for Blind Children
Bonfils Blood Center
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver
The Center Advancing LGBT Colorado
City Year Denver
Denver Housing Authority
Denver Health Foundation
Denver Indian Center
Denver Public Schools Foundation
Food Bank of the Rockies
Clayton Early Learning
Girls Inc. of Metro Denver
Lighthouse Writers Workshop
Mi Casa Resource Center
Mile High United Way
Project Angel Heart
Servicios de La Raza
The Greenway Foundation
Urban League of Metropolitan Denver
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
United Way of Eagle River Valley
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado
Freedom Service Dogs of America
Boys & Girls Club of Fort Carson Child & Youth Services Center
Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County
Food Bank for Larimer County
The Arc of Larimer County
United Way of Larimer County
Habitat for Humanity of Roaring Fork Valley
United Way Battlement to the Bells
Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County
United Way of Weld County
Troublesome Horse Rescue
The Action Center
Audubon Society of Greater Denver
Humane Society of the South Platte Valley
Littleton Public Schools Foundation
The Hudson Gardens
Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County
Pueblo City Schools D60 Education Foundation, Inc.
United Way of Pueblo County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado
Trinidad Community Foundation
Including the support in Colorado, the Comcast Foundation in 2017 donated about $20 million to nonprofit organizations in the communities it serves nationwide. In addition to the grants from the Comcast Foundation, Comcast also responds to community needs through local sponsorships and in-kind support, such as airing public service announcements, employee volunteerism, and providing technology equipment and services to organizations across the country. Looking ahead to 2018, the Comcast Foundation will build on its efforts through an added focus on expanding access to technology to promote digital inclusion, helping individuals build skills for the digital economy, and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurialism.
About the Comcast Foundation
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities—expanding digital literacy, promoting community service, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $200 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.
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