Wake-Up Call: Ward without end, and other long-running controversies

News is busting out all over today -- and not just in Denver District Judge Larry Naves's courtroom, where Ward Churchill may take the stand in his case against the University of Colorado, now starting week two.

Or on the Auraria campus, where veteran newshounds of the Rocky Mountain News will unveil their plans for www.iwantmyrocky.com at 11 a.m.

Today's also the day that the Colorado Supreme Court will issue its long-awaited ruling in Mesa County Board of Commissioners v. State of Colorado, the "mill levy stabilization case" that challenged Governor Bill Ritter's 2007 freeze on property taxes, and could have a profound impact on the state budget, since hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake -- many of them already spent.

And at 12:30 p.m., the Latinas and Latinos Rally for Educational Equity will take over the west steps of the Capitol, with Senator Chris Romer and representatives Edward Casso and Joe Miklosi in attendance.

And that's not all...

Today is also the day that closing arguments in the complaint Ethics Watch filed against then-Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman (now Congressman Coffman) are due at the office of the Independent Ethics Commission. It's the first case to go this far since Amendment 41 passed.

The Office of the Independent Monitor for the City of Denver, headed by Richard Rosenthal, will issue its annual report regarding the Denver police and sheriff's departments complaint-handling and disciplinary processes today. And tonight, Denver City Council will once again take up the controversial question of what names to put where on the new Denver Justice Center.

Also tonight, the Denver Board of Education will vote on whether Manual High and Montclair Elementary can become the state's first "innovation schools," with charter-like freedoms.

That's just the start of the action this week:

On Tuesday, the fourth annual Sustainable Opportunities Summit will kick off at the Colorado Convention Center. The event will continue through March 19, with panelists from around the world; for a complete schedule, go to www.sosummit.org.

The Meetings Industry Council of Colorado's ninth annual trade show will also be in the Colorado Convention Center on March 18. Since business meetings have come under fire as "junkets," you can expect some hot discussions. For the schedule, go to www.mic-colorado.org.

But the hottest day of all could be March 21, when the Colorado Republican Party will hold its state central committee meeting. There, state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams will face a challenge from Tom Stone, former chairman of the Eagle County Board of Commissioners. For details -- and some of Wadhams's greatest hits -- go to www.cologop.org.

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