Afternoon Headlines July 18, 2017

Tomorrow, protesters will gather at the state capitol in Denver to protest US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
DeVos is scheduled to speak on Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is taking place at the Hyatt Regency hotel. The organization, ALEC for short, consists of business interests and legislators pushing for conservative, free market values. ALEC and DeVos both advocate for school choice through vouchers and charter schools, which critics say divert funds from public education towards private and religious schools.

Those protesting tomorrow include the Colorado Education Association, Colorado’s largest teachers union, as well as political candidates running in November’s elections.
The “Denver Resists DeVos” rally will begin at 10 am on the west side of Denver’s capitol building and eventually march to the Hyatt Regency where ALEC’s event is taking place.

At its meeting this evening, Boulder City Council will discuss the city’s ongoing efforts towards removing itself from Xcel Energy’s grid and setting up a municipal electric system.

Under discussion tonight will be the future of funding the municipalization efforts. The tax that funds the effort to form a municipal electric utility is scheduled to expire in November. If renewed at its current rate it would generate a projected $6.3 million over the next three years.

The Daily Camera reports that that amount would be roughly $10 million short of what staff working on the municipalization project anticipates it would need through 2020.

A memo from staff to the City Council said that should Council opt against a tax extension on the ballot but still seek to fund municipalization, it could look to reallocate money from elsewhere in Boulder’s budget.

The city of Boulder is hosting a series of community events to discuss municipalization. The next meeting is scheduled for 4:00 pm on Monday July 24th at Chautauqua.

On Monday, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife recovery team in conjunction with other conservation groups, reintroduced hundreds of greenback cutthroat trout hatchlings into a river in Summit County, as part of the state’s efforts to increase numbers of the fish that were recently on the brink of extinction.

The greenback cutthroat trout is Colorado’s state fish, and biologists have been working hard to increase their numbers in the wild. Last year, reintroduction efforts were not successful.

The stretch of river where yesterday’s release happened, is 4 miles above the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70. Biologists have determined that it offers ideal habitats for the trout to survive.

The little 5 inch fish were bred in captivity, so the conservation volunteers kept a hopeful eye on them after they transplanted them into the mountain streams. Success has already been seen in Zimmerman Lake near Fort Collins, and on Monday, the onlookers reported witnessing the fish swimming and feeding after they acclimated to their new home.

If this attempt to restore the greenback cutthroats to their natural habitat fails, Parks and Wildlife will try again next year when the conditions are optimal.

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