Aspen–The city of Aspen is appealing a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that says ballot secrecy is not protected under the state constitution. The ruling came in the case of former Aspen Mayoral candidate Marilyn Marks who asked to see how council members voted to replace outgoing councilman Dwayne Romero in May of 2009. Marks says just because the vote was held in a public forum, the ballots should not have been cast in secrecy. That’s how the state’s high court saw it and now the city of Aspen has until November 14th to file a challenge.

Washington, D.C. / Colorado–A bill that would allow ski resorts to offer other tourist attractions and amenities year ’round has been passed by the House of Representatives. The measure now goes before the Senate.

Aspen–The Maroon Bells has become too popular lately with thousands of people flocking to see the fall colors. Forest Service officials say to keep crowds and traffic down it may be necessary to restrict vehicular access. The colors peaked last weekend.

Denver–Every Republican leader in Colorado has signed a letter opposing a five year, three billion dollar tax increase to raise money for public education. The GOP sent the letter to Governor Hickenlooper and the Democrats urging them to follow suit.

In other news…

FLORENCE, Colo. (AP) – A convicted terrorist from Tanzania says
his free speech rights are being violated at the federal prison in
Florence. Khalfan Khamis Mohammed says prison officials should not
be able to put limits on the people with whom he can speak or
write. Mohammed is serving a life sentence after he was convicted
for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Tanzania.
The Denver Post reports a federal judge ruled that national
security concerns are not enough to toss out Mohammed’s complaints
about the restrictions.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration wants to speed up the
construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines in 12
states, including Colorado. The projects are expected to create
thousands of jobs, help avoid blackouts, restore power more quickly
when outages occur and reduce the need for new power plants. A
formal announcement is expected today. A copy of the plan was
obtained by The Associated Press.

DENVER (AP) – Xcel Energy Inc. and the Boulder Smart Energy
Coalition have spent $471,000 to persuade voters in Boulder not to
create a municipal utility. Xcel had been seeking an agreement for
Boulder to get its electricity from the company, but talks broke
down this summer. The city’s voters will decide in November whether
Boulder should have the authority to form its own utility.

POWELL, Ohio (AP) – An Asian elephant born seven years ago at
the Columbus Zoo is moving to a new home at the Denver Zoo. The
plan is to move Bodhi (BOH’-dee) to Colorado by the end of the year
to have him sire calves to increase diverse Asian elephant zoo
populations. The elephant’s new home on 10 acres in the Denver
Zoo’s Asian Tropics has five elephant yards that can house eight to
12 elephants.