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The week ahead: Bye-bye, battleground state -- it's back to basics

John McCain will stop in Grand Junction on Election Day.

Back on June 30, CNN posited that Colorado could become "the ultimate battleground state in the general election." Four months later, it looks like the war is over and John McCain will go down fighting in this state (sending Sarah Palin back to Colorado Springs today and dropping in on Grand Junction himself tomorrow). But another front could always break out at Colorado's polling places tomorrow, particularly if another Denver election snafu provides lawsuit cannon fodder for months to come.

But in the meantime, it's back to basics here.

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Denver County LEAP hosts a Low-Income Energy Assistance Program heating fair today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Denver Human Services office at 2855 Tremont Place; to find out more, call 1-866-HEAT-HELP. At tonight's Denver City Council meeting, councilmembers will consider Mayor John Hickenlooper's budget proposal; it's set for final vote November 10. And yesterday, Governor Bill Ritter released his proposed state budget, which is looking lean and mean.

On Thursday, November 6, the city invites the public to discuss an issue so heated it makes the election look like a sewing bee: parking. The gathering is from from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center, room 507; for details, go to this page on DenverGov.org.

For lean and mean, look no further than FasTracks, which recently sent notes to property-owners who may be in the way of the west line. If you want to get on the inside track, apply to be on the Citizens Advisory Committee through November 7. And for another insider look at government, the Division of Registrations, part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, hosts an importmational session on new licensing requirements for physicians, massage therapists, accountants and more, 9 a.m. November 8 at 1560 Broadway; for details, go to www.dora.state.co.us. -- Patricia Calhoun

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