Governor John Hickenlooper

Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

 The McCloskey Speaker Series on Aug. 12 was titled Democratic Governors Panel: Leading from the State Level. Democratic governors discussed how to lead a nation by facing the challenges of energy, education and citizens’ rights among other priorities at the state level. It featured Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut,  in conversation with Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson. Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington were unable to make it at the last minute.

Roaring Fork Mountain Association, or RFMBA, Executive Director Mike Pritchard shares the organization's trail projects and how they benefit more than just mountain bikers in the Roaring Fork Valley. RFMBA Board Vice President, Todd Fugate, also contributes.

Visit to learn more about the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and past, current , and future trail building projects.

Colorado has a new head of the state's Department of Natural Resources. Appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, Bob Randall now gets the official nod as head of the organization that oversees everything from state parks and wildlife, to oil and gas drilling, mining and water conservation.

Colorado's next lieutenant governor is poised to be a top executive from Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.

Gov. John Hickenlooper nominated Donna Lynne, an executive vice president at Kaiser, saying she would be very capable filling his shoes if he doesn't end up finishing his second term. Hickenlooper has long been rumored as a possible cabinet pick for a Democratic President.

"If I were offered something in Washington I would certainly look at it, but especially right now, I could not be happier to be the governor of Colorado," Hickenlooper said.

This week on Cross Currents, Kent Reed on the Hudson Reed Ensemble's 10th anniversary event.

Elise Thatcher

Governor John Hickenlooper will be a part of the Aspen High School commencement ceremonies on Saturday afternoon. The governor, a Democrat, will deliver the keynote address at the Benedict Music tent for the Class of 2015.

Two former governors, Roy Romer and Bill Owens, joined current Gov. John Hickenlooper at the state capitol to urge lawmakers not to go too far in reducing the numbers of standardized assessments school children take. This comes as legislators are debating several bills to lower the number of exams.

Republican Bill Owens said it's important to have standards and test against those standards to see if students are learning what they should, and to evaluate schools and teachers.

"Our friends from the left and the right for differing reasons, don't want to test, don't want to measure, don't want to have accountability," said Owens. "This is stunning to me."

We're just past the halfway mark for the annual 120-day legislative session. As lawmakers (and the reporters that cover them) enter the home stretch, what's the scuttlebutt under the gold dome? Which bills are being delayed? How is the Governor handling split legislative control?

For insights we picked the brains of reporters who work the halls on daily basis at the capitol.

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

The City of Aspen just got the results of an audit of a multi-year parking scam. Elected officials wonder if they should look at other departments as closely.

After three months of analyzing and negotiating, the Roaring Fork School District finally inked contracts with its superintendent and assistant superintendent.

Governor John Hickenlooper was sworn into office Tuesday for his second term, with the ceremony taking place outside the west steps of the state capitol. Several hundred people gathered to watch Hickenlooper along with other statewide elected officials take the oath of office.

"I believe that if we are willing to compromise and collaborate on what may seem like an imperfect solution, it is far better than if we cling to entrenched positions and work against one another in pursuit of different allegedly perfect solutions," said Hickenlooper. "Progress, even if incremental, is better than gridlock."

Your Morning News - December 11th, 2014

Dec 11, 2014

RFSD Keeps Sirko & Stein Under New Contact Plan

The Roaring Fork School District will have the same Superintendent for the next few years. The Board of Education decided to extend the contract for Diana Sirko as well as current Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Rob Stein. But there’s a twist. Once Sirko is done, Stein will take the reins as Superintendent for three years. Board President Daniel Biggs explains the reason for the unusual arrangement.

“We wanted to have this strong leadership team continue the great work that they’ve begun. We have so much ahead of us.”

Superintendent Diana Sirko echoed that description of keeping together an All-Star team.

“It was an atypical situation from the beginning, and I think the forward thinking of the board allows us to move forward and to assure Dr. Stein that he won’t be waiting forever in the wings, so to speak.”

Stein had been hired as Superintendent in 2012 but stepped down because of a family emergency. Sirko filled the position in Stein’s absence and has continued on following his return. 

Mountain Edition - December 4th, 2014

Dec 4, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Aspen City Council decides to take up lodging incentives again-- but much more cautiously.

Garfield County Commissioners suggest alternate routes for energy companies to reach leases on the contested Thompson Divide.

And the Glenwood Springs Police Department aims to crack down on people who don’t lock up their trash from bears.

The USA Pro Challenge announces Aspen will be included again in its route for 2015, only this time it won’t be the start.

Hickenlooper Claims Victory, SD 5 Race Still Undecided

Nov 5, 2014

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is declaring victory. He spoke to the media and supporters at the capitol this morning.

Votes have been tallied in 54 of Colorado’s 64 counties and the gubernatorial results are close with Hickenlooper leading by just one percentage point. His challenger congressman Bob Beauprez is refusing to concede. His campaign told the Denver Post about 120,000 votes still need to be counted.

Still, Hickenlooper said this morning he’s the victor. 

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez is facing a close race against Governor John Hickenlooper in his gubernatorial bid. Back in 2006, he made several missteps in his campaign for governor, but in this 2014 run he's run a much tighter ship.

After four years in office Governor John Hickenlooper is facing the toughest campaign of his political career. A recent poll from The Denver Post shows his race against Republican former Congressman Bob Beauprez statistically tied. What's more, Beauprez is also making gains on Hickenlooper in the Denver metro area and in rural Colorado.

In a news conference Monday Governor John Hickenlooper, alongside Democratic Congressman Jared Polis and other supporters, announced a deal on local control for oil and gas, heading off a showdown on the November ballot.

Mountain Edition - July 3rd, 2014

Jul 3, 2014

Sunday marks an anniversary of a local tragedy. A wildfire near Glenwood Springs 20 years ago, killed fourteen firefighters.

As the cycling world gears up from the Tour de France, the sport is still dusting itself off. We hear from Lance Armstrong who was found guilty of doping.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was in Aspen this week, discussing two hot topics at the Aspen Ideas Festival - marijuana and fracking.

Another Ideas Fest speaker was Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform.

A natural history documentary screens on PBS next year and this one is unlike any other nature film. We’ll tell you why.

Finally, we’ll take you to Snowmass Village where a giant yoga festival gets underway today.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition.

The Dope on Pot: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Katie Couric in Conversation

Recreational pot became legal in Colorado last year and retailers started selling it in January. While regulations were set up before retail sales started, the State of Colorado has enacted new laws to fine tune aspects of concern to lawmakers. Two new measures signed into law this spring included labeling for marijuana edibles as well as dosage regulations. Over the past seven months, the new marijuana industry is a tax revenue boon. It’s expected to bring in between $60-$80 million in taxes for Colorado in 2014.

John Hickenlooper, Katie Couric

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Colorado residents can vote this fall on whether communities can limit oil and gas drilling. The state supreme court approved four ballot measures Monday, June 30th, that allows such questions. The decision comes as Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper is in Aspen, speaking at the Ideas Festival about existing rules for the industry. He was joined yesterday by the head of the Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp.

The race to be Colorado’s next Governor is officially underway. Former Congressman Bob Beauprez will challenge Governor John Hickenlooper in November after winning a four way GOP primary race. Beauprez captured a four-point lead over his closest challenger, Tom Tancredo.