The week ahead: Energy discussions and lots of hot air

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James Carville and Mary Matalin should have temperatures rising.

With less than a month to the November 4 election, today is the very last day to register to vote in Colorado. If you’ve moved recently, or didn’t vote in the last presidential election, it’s not a bad idea to check to see if you’re still registered; you can do it at www.govotecolorado.com, the Secretary of State’s election site. That’s the same place where you can request a mail-in ballot – and you might want to this year, since even with the union "poison-pill" measures officially pulled last week (but still on the ballot), there are fifteen statewide initiatives and amendments to consider.

Learn about them at tonight’s League of Women Voters’ ballot-issues presentation that starts at 5:45 p.m. at Montview Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia (for info, go to www.lwvdenver.org). And the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute hosts its own tour of the ballot initiatives from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight at the Aurora Public Library, 14949 East Alameda Avenue (www.coloradoc3.org). If you attend either, you’ll have to Tivo 9News’s Schaffer/Udall debate – but if it’s as useless as their September 28 Meet the Press standoff, you won’t be missing much.

Besides, you can catch them live at a Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce debate that starts at 3 p.m. tomorrow, after a Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce-hosted Ballot Initiative Overview, both at the Hyatt Regency downtown and both free; to register, go to www.cwcc.org.

This week also sees a renewed emphasis on the biggest issue of the early summer -- energy and the environment -- before the economic meltdown skipped the trickle-down level and simply flooded everything, including all the headlines.

With oil down below 90 dollars a barrel, it’s tough to remember that day in late June when it went over 140 – but the energy crunch isn’t going away. From October 6-8, the initial Colorado Conservation Summit will convene in Keystone (www.COnservationsummit.org), with more green action to follow at the Governor's Conference on Managing Drought and Climate Risk, in Denver October 8-10 (www.cwcb.state.co.us).

But there will still be plenty of hot air in this state, since on October 10 Mary Matalin and James Carville are the featured attraction at the Aurora Economic Development Council’s A-List 2008 (last year’s event starred Bill Clinton); for information, go to www.auraroedc.com.

Finally, two cultural landmarks to celebrate at the end of the week: The Great American Beer Festival lets the good times flow at the Colorado Convention Center (all 46,000 tickets are sold out, but that just gives you a good reason to visit a local brewpub -- still a viable industry in this state). And down in Greenwood Village, the Comedy Works South will open its doors. The Landmark project has seen lots of costly delays, but on October 10, the yuk stops here. -- Patricia Calhoun

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