SIPA doles out micro-grants to help Colorado governments get online

Andrew Cole, who oversees the Go Code Colorado program and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, with their micro-grant.
Andrew Cole, who oversees the Go Code Colorado program and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, with their micro-grant certificate.

An app for anglers statewide, a GIS map for fire hydrants in the Le Veta Fire Protection District and scanning newspaper articles about the Chicano movement for Colorado State University at Pueblo — those proposals and more received micro-grants Tuesday night from a program designed to help government put more information and services online.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office also was awarded a grant, of $5,000, for its awarding-winning Go Code Colorado program, which helps make government data more easily assessable and understandable.

The grants were doled out from the Statewide Internet Portal Authority or SIPA, which explores how citizens can electronically access state government information, products and services. Williams serves on SIPA’s board.

More than $100,000 was awarded at the ceremony at the Ralph Carr Judicial Center, where Williams spoke to the crowd. Lawmakers, including Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, and Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor, were on hand to give out the awards.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, back right and to the right, and other members of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority after micro-grants were awarded Tuesday night.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, second row and to the right, and other members of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority after micro-grants were awarded Tuesday night.

Medal of Honor recipient inspires at Healing Our Heroes event

Congressman Mike Coffman, U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser and Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry at the Healing our Heroes gala Friday in Denver. Petry was the keynote speaker.
Congressman Mike Coffman, U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser and Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry at the Healing our Heroes gala Friday in Denver. Petry was the keynote speaker.

For the second time in my life, I’ve shaken the hand of a Medal of Honor recipient.

The first time was in the early 1980s when I worked for The Gallup Independent in Gallup, N.M., and got to know Heroshi Miyamura. The Gallup native, known as “Hershey,” in 1951 in Korea killed more than 50 enemy soldiers, including hand-to-hand fighting with a bayonet, while ordering his men to fall back.

Hershey Miyamura.
Hershey Miyamura.

The next time was at the Healing our Heroes luncheon Friday in Denver when I met former Army Ranger Leroy Petry, who also is a New Mexico native. I didn’t realize until I went to shake his hand that he lost his right one while throwing a live grenade away from his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan in 2008.

Petry served as the keynote speaker for the Healing our Heroes gala, which raised money to help injured veterans receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

“I thank God every morning that I’m here,” Petry said. “So many paid the ultimate price or suffered horrific injuries.”

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