Cancellations and sporadic delays were making a mess of things, yesterday, at Denver International Airport during a record-breaking week of passenger traffic. Heath Montgomery, an airport spokesman, said 11 flights were cancelled because of winter weather in Texas. Denver International airport (DIA) estimates it had its seventh busiest day ever on Sunday with 175,000 passengers. This coming Sunday, Jan. 3, is expected to be the second busiest ever with almost 179,000 travelers. Airport officials say travelers might want to arrive earlier than the normally suggested two hours before their flight just to ensure smooth sailing on the way to the gate.

The latest federal education bill signed into law this month won’t have direct, immediate changes to Colorado, according to U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, but it will provide more “flexibility.” Polis, D-Colo., met with members of the Thompson School District Board of Education this, to discuss the bipartisan-backed Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, replacing No Child Left Behind. Though many of the act’s provisions are already state law in Colorado, it provides the state with more flexibility with funding (though not more of it) and rulemaking, Polis said, and he expects state legislators to go back and make changes to some of the state’s education requirements.

Some of the changes that will apply to Colorado include counting the ACT toward high school testing requirements, allowing states to determine what their requirements are for educators and empowering states to do more alternative education. “It allows what Colorado is doing under our waiver to be the law,” Polis said, adding that it makes these requirements more definitive.
The law also allows states and school districts to partner with the private sector, or “semi-philanthropic organizations,” to fund programs — mainly early childhood education, which is viewed as a way to save money in the long run — through bonds. The bonds would then be paid back to the funder through lower interest rates.

The lifting of a four-decade ban on U.S. oil exports could boost Colorado’s global trade fortunes — but the timing of when that happens is anybody’s guess. “In the next 12 months, it is unlikely to have much influence at all. It won’t play much of a role,” said Mark Snead, an economist at RegionTrack in Oklahoma City.
That’s because the world is awash in petroleum. But long-term, as prices recover and more shipping infrastructure gets built, Colorado petroleum producers could benefit.
And they would need to sell only a fraction of their output abroad to catapult into the ranks of the state’s top exporters. Colorado exports last year were up only 5 percent from the 2006 totals reached before the recession hit. Part of that reflects shifting demand for the state’s higher-end manufactured goods.

Colorado exported $8.4 billion in goods last year across nearly 100 categories. But just four groups accounted for more than half of all exports, according to WISERTrade numbers provided by the World Trade Center Denver. At $1.3 billion, Colorado’s largest export category is optical, photographic and measuring devices, a group that also includes surgical instruments and medical devices.