Afternoon Headlines Wednesday March 8, 2017

One month after the Jeffco school board voted to close Pleasant View Elementary School in Golden,sadness is tinged with uncertainty as the district and school leaders work on a transition plan.

As Chalkbeat reports several questions remain unanswered, including where the school’s preschool will relocate and details about providing transportation and similar services to displaced students.

About 275 students attend Pleasant View. More than 80 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, making it one of Jeffco’s poorer schools.

The school was built in 1950 and is in need of repairs the district can’t afford — one factor officials cited in recommending closure. The school board for Jeffco Public Schools voted in January to close Pleasant View after this school year and spare four other schools on the chopping block — at least for now.

Officials have developed a map with redrawn school boundaries near Pleasant View that the school board is expected to vote on Thursday night.  For many students in the neighborhoods absorbed into two new school boundaries, their new route to school is no longer within walking distance.

Significantly, the district has not settled on a new home for Pleasant View’s preschool, one of the largest in the area. District staff declined to discuss locations they may be considering.

Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter has joined the growing list of Republicans who have announced or are considering a run for governor in 2018, while on the Democratic side, former Interior Secretary and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar acknowledged that he is mulling a run, as well.

Gaiter says his campaign will center around bridging the gap between the urban and rural counties of the state.

Gaiter joins former lawmaker Victor Mitchell, who said he would shell out $3 million of his own money for the race.  He has said he will focus on college tuition and healthcare, and sees himself as a “long-shot, outsider candidate.”

In conversations The Colorado Independent had with several Republican consultants and activists in Colorado, plenty of other names emerged as contenders, including Denver-area District Attorney George Brauchler, who prosecuted the Aurora theater shooter and has become the state’s most visible proponent for the death penalty, and  State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a first-cousin to George W. Bush and a candidate who could likely raise plenty of money from the Bush world. 

As for Democrats, should Salazar run, it could spark a reshuffling of the potential candidates in what will be an open Democratic primary. So far, however, only former state Sen. Mike Johnston and Denver entrepreneur and Intertech Plastics CEO Noel Ginsburg have announced.

For more on the emerging fields in both parties, see

A controversial proposal known as the Climate Bill of Rights was defeated by Lafayette City Council in a 6-1 vote last night.  The proposal sought to affirm the right to a healthy environment and stable climate into city code, and to legalize civil disobedience if in defense of that right. For weeks, City Council meetings have been packed with Lafayette and Front Range residents speaking their minds on the proposal, with the majority of speakers supporting the bill as a last-resort protection against oil and gas drilling in their neighborhoods. Last night’s meeting was held in a public library to accommodate high attendance. But critics had concerns about enforcement and  the bill’s vague wording, with some wondering whether such a law would allow neighbors to protest neighbors for activities like driving or using a gas barbecue grill. 

Councillwoman Merrily Mazza was the sole vote in favor, with the rest of the Council, including Mayor Christine Berg, opposed. Community members have voiced their commitment to opposing oil and gas development, regardless of what laws are on the books.

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