Abortion rights in Colorado; Boulder electric code; Auraria demonstrations; public transit bills; Mt. Sanitas trail grant

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    05_20_24_am_headlines John Kelin

Abortion Rights on Colorado Ballot

Colorado voters will decide whether to add abortion rights to the state constitution this fall, following the approval of an initiative that will put the question on the ballot.

Colorado’s Secretary of State office announced on Friday that enough valid signatures have been gathered for it to qualify.

The initiative requires 55% voter approval, according to the Denver Post. If it is approved, state and local governments would be prohibited from outlawing abortion, and from impeding access to abortions.

State law already protects abortion in Colorado. But if it’s in the state constitution, adding new restrictions would be more difficult.

Adding abortion rights to the constitution would also mean that it’s covered by health insurance plans for state and local government employees, and for people enrolled in state and local government insurance programs.

In April, backers of a separate measure to ban abortion in Colorado failed to get enough signatures to put the question on the ballot.

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Boulder Electric Code

Boulder City Council is expected to take a final vote on the city’s new energy code early next month.

Council members voted unanimously last week to advance the new code to a third reading and final vote.

The 2024 City of Boulder Energy Conservation Code sets minimum energy efficiency standards for many new buildings and remodels, according to the Daily Camera. It includes exemptions for certain buildings, like restaurants and hospitals.

City officials in Boulder say that buildings are “major consumers of energy,” and that upgrading the energy code could reduce energy costs, and greenhouse gas emissions.

If the city council approves the new code, it is expected to go into effect on December 1st.

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Auraria Demonstration

A pro-Palestinian encampment on the Auraria campus in Denver has been taken down, but demonstrators say they will continue their fight for Palestine.

Pro-palestinian protesters camped out on Denver’s Auraria campus for twenty-three days before they packed up midday this past Saturday. Campus officials announced that buildings would be closed until further notice, with the campus switching to fully-online classes for the beginning of its summer semester.

Demonstrators told Denver7 that are seeing the campus shut-down, along with what the protest cost the university, are signs of success, according to interviews from Denver7.

Students for a Democratic Society, an organizer of the efforts, said in an emailed statement that the encampment was just a tool of their protest, and that now, they’ll be picking up a new one. The protest cost the university nearly $290,000 in damages to the quad, hiring emergency personnel, and staffing safety and officer support.

There is no indication that the protest forced the campus to fulfill the demands of the demonstrators, which included cutting all financial ties to the Israeli government.

Meanwhile, at the University of Denver, a student group called DU for Palestine says the university is restricting their movements around campus, because of their pro-Palestine activities. Administrators said the measure, called “location restrictions,” is written into the school’s Honor Code, and will continue until student demonstrators comply with identification checks. The students say they will appeal.

Auraria encampment ends

Administration statement 1

Administration statement 2

University of Denver

 

Public Transit Bill

Governor Jared Polis has signed four bills aimed at improving public transportation in Colorado.

The bills, signed into law last week, are expected to direct tens of millions of dollars into transit projects in the years ahead.

One of the projects is a multi-billion dollar plan to create a rail system connecting Fort Collins, Boulder, and Denver, and in a later phase, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, according to the Denver Post.

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Mt. Sanitas Trail Grant

One of the most popular hiking areas in Boulder is about to get an overhaul. 

The city has received a 1.1 million dollar grant for repairs on existing Mount Sanitas trails, and the construction of two new ones.

The city calls the trails on Mount Sanitas some of the city’s “legacy trails.” But they are steep and prone to erosion, and require ongoing maintenance.

The planned improvements, according to a press release, include repairs, new infrastructure like fencing and signage, and creating several new trails. The city says they’ll also improve access to rock climbing in the area. It’s being paid for through a fund administered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The Mount Sanitas area averages more than 375,000 visitors every year.

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