Friday, August 22, 2008

Ritter, Vestas Announce Plans to Build Large Wind Generation Facility Near Pueblo

Gov. Bill Ritter joined officials from Vestas Towers A/S, a Danish company, to announce plans to build the world's largest wind tower manufacturing plant in Pueblo.

“I applaud Vestas for continuing to invest in Colorado – this time in Pueblo – and for bringing new jobs to one of the greatest communities in the state,” Gov. Ritter said. “Vestas’ decision to locate what will be the world’s largest wind tower manufacturing plant here in Pueblo demonstrates that our New Energy Economy is benefiting every corner of Colorado.”

The $240 million capitol investment includes a manufacturing facility that will produce up to 900 steel towers annually for Vestas wind turbines, employing 450 to 550 workers, not including other contracting and consulting jobs. The plant is scheduled to open in 2009.

The tower manufacturing plant represents the largest single investment in Vestas history. Vestas officials cited easy access to rail and highways, the state's highly skilled workforce, a favorable business climate, and strong dedication and commitment from state and local leaders to growing Colorado's New Energy Economy as reasons for further expanding their Colorado operations.

Today’s announcement follows last week’s announcement that Vestas will open two new production facilities in Brighton, one to make wind blades and the other to assemble nacelles.

Nacelles are the housing units that sit atop the tower and contain the gearbox, generator and transformer. Vestas opened its first North American manufacturing facility in Windsor earlier this year.

All four production facilities amount to a $700 million capital investment by Vestas, and will result in the creation of nearly 2,500 new jobs in Colorado.

Ritter Names New Judges

Gov. Bill Ritter named three people to the bench Friday.

Laurie Ann Booras, of Centennial, and Gale T. Miller of Denver were named to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Kenneth M. Laff was appointed to the 2nd District Court, which serves Denver.

Booras has worked for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office in the appellate division since 1991. She previously worked for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office in San Antonio, Texas; the Travis County District Attorney’s Office; and the Texas Attorney General’s office. Booras received her bachelor’s degree from Cameron University in 1979 and her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1982.

Miller has been a partner at Davis and Graham since 1978 and is currently a commercial litigator. His practice has included natural resources, general commercial, antitrust and arbitrations. Miller previously worked as an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission. He received his bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in 1968 and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1971.

Laff has served as a senior deputy district attorney since 2000. He previously was president of the PLUS Group, was a principal at Ziegler and Ross, and was an associate and partner at Holme, Roberts and Owens. He received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1974 and his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1977.

The appointments are for provisional terms of two years, and then until the second Tuesday in January follow the next general election. Thereafter, if retained by the voters, the term for a Court of Appeals judge is eight years, six years for a District Court judge, and four years for a County Court judge. The current salary for a Court of Appeals judge is $134,128, $128,598 for a District Court judge, and $123,067 for a County Court judge.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ritter Joins Schwarzenegger to Push "EcoDriving" Campaign

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to kick off a new "EcoDriving" campaign to save consumers money at the pump, reduce fuel use and cut carbon emissions.

“The EcoDriving campaign offers easy actions that all of us can take – starting today, right now – to save money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and benefit the environment,” Ritter said. “By adopting EcoDriving tips, we can lower our fuel costs by 15 percent or more. And these are easy, common-sense driving and maintenance tips, like avoiding rapid starts and stops, using cruise control, reducing idling, and knowing when it’s best to use your air conditioner.”

Colorado and California are the first two states to support the consumer awareness campaign, details of which are available at an interactive website. Gov. Schwarzenegger appeared at today’s news conference at the Colorado Convention Center via a live satellite feed from California.

“You can save money and save the environment by driving green,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “Through EcoDriving, 10 top automakers and the states of California and Colorado have found we share an important commitment, and we commend Gov. Schwarzenegger and Gov. Ritter for their leadership in engaging consumers in green driving.”

“Today’s automobiles are really computers on wheels, with more than 3,000 interactive parts operating as a complex system,” McCurdy added. “The more you know about your machine, the better you can reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions.”

With 240 million vehicles on the road in the United States, the benefits of EcoDriving could be significant:

1. If just half of all drivers nationwide practiced moderate levels of EcoDriving, annual CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 100 million tons, or the equivalent of heating and powering 8.5 million households.

2. If all Americans practiced EcoDriving, it would be equal to 450 billion miles traveled on our roadways without generating any CO2 emissions. That’s 1,500 CO2-free miles for every man, woman, and child in the United States each year.

Sample EcoDriving practices include not tailgating, knowing the proper way to accelerate and brake, using synchronized traffic lights to a driver’s advantage, driving at the optimum highway speed, understanding when to use air conditioning and much more.

Sample maintenance practices include knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure, understanding aerodynamics and much more.

In conjunction with the unveiling of EcoDriving, the National Automobile Dealers Association announced that September will be free “Green Check-up Month” nationwide.

The EcoDriving interactive website will help drivers learn practical tips to improve their mileage and reduce their carbon footprint. The site includes a video guide to EcoDriving, an “EcoCalculator” to determine benefits for individuals or states, a Virtual Road Test and a variety of educational tools.

Alliance members hope to engage all 50 states and major consumer organizations in EcoDriving.

Ritter Names District Court Judges

Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the appointments of four new county and district court judges in the 1st, 5th and 10th Judicial Districts.

In the 1st Judicial District, which serves Gilpin and Jefferson counties, Ritter appointed Bradley Allen Burback of Arvada and K.J. Moore of Littleton as Jefferson County Court judges.

Burback has served as a District Court magistrate for the 1st Judicial District since 2006. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in 1986 and his law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1990. Burback, a former JAG officer, also received his military attorney certificate from the U.S. Naval Justice School in 1991.

Moore has served as a Jefferson County District Court magistrate since 2004. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado in 1991 and her J.D. and M.S.L. degrees from Vermont Law School in 1995.

In the 5th Judicial District, which serves Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties, Ritter appointed Karen Ann Romeo of Silverthorne as a District Court judge.

Romeo has worked in the District Attorney’s Office in the 5th Judicial District since 1997. She is currently the chief deputy and assistant district attorney. Romeo earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado in 1990 and her law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Michigan in 1996.

In the 10th Judicial District, which serves Pueblo County, Ritter appointed Deborah Rene Eyler of Pueblo West as a District Court judge. She has served as a District Court magistrate in this district since 2007. Eyler earned her bachelor’s degree in 1977 and her law degree in 1981, both from Creighton University.

The appointments are for provisional terms of two years, and then until the second Tuesday in January follow the next general election. Thereafter, if retained by the voters, the term for a District Court judge is six years and four years for a County Court judge. The current salary for a District Court judge is $128,598 and $123,067 for a County Court judge.