Boulder City Council votes against creating Gaza ceasefire resolution and Aurora PD creates police accountability “portal”

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    02_16_24headlines Franziska Stangl

Boulder City Council won’t consider Gaza ceasefire resolution

The Boulder City Council has voted against considering a resolution that would call for an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war.

The Boulder Reporting Lab says that in an informal vote last night, the city council voted 9-2 against exploring such a resolution.

Some of the council members who voted against it said that their job was not about international issues but local ones.

Boulder Reporting Lab said that previously, some council members have pointed out that under a city code provision, they are restricted on how much they can act on foreign issues. 

Mayor Pro Tem Nicole Speer indicated it may be time to revise that policy.

About fifteen people spoke during a public comment period, with about ten of them, according to Boulder Reporting Lab, supporting a ceasefire resolution.

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New Boulder County Coroner appointed

Boulder County Commissioners have appointed a new county coroner. Jeff Martin was named to replace Emma Hall, who resigned in January.

Boulder Reporting Lab says Jeff Martin was appointed in a unanimous vote. He has headed the office on an interim basis since Hall resigned over her alleged role in allowing a toxic work environment.

Martin is scheduled to deliver an appointment speech next week. The coroner is usually an elected position, and Martin’s appointment only lasts until January 14 of next year.

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Introduction of legal aid bill for Coloradans

U.S. Lawmakers have introduced an Equal Justice Fund Authority bill that, if passed, would provide more financial legal aid to people in underserved communities.

On average, colorado gives about 70 cents in legal aid per Colorado resident.  In other states, that number is about 5 dollars. That’s according to a new report by the Colorado Access to Justice Commission.

House Bill 24-1286, introduced earlier this week, would add around $20 to many civil court filings, according to The Denver Post. That fee would go to organizations like Colorado Legal Services, the Colorado Poverty Law Project, or the Community Economic Defense Project. 

So far, the state’s legal aid money – roughly $4.5 million – can only be used in specific cases, says The Denver Post.  The new bill would add about $5 million to existing funds, and any type of case would benefit from that money.

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Aurora Police Department launches “transparency portal”

In order to make the police’s actions more transparent, the Aurora Police Department has launched a website where the public can view crime statistics, demographics, and use of force data. 

The transparency portal provides data that goes back five years and can be filtered by categories like ZIP code, police district, year, or neighborhood.

According to The Denver Gazette, the department will regularly update the portal, which launched earlier this week. It’s part of the consent decree the Police Department joined in 2021, together with Colorado’s Attorney General’s Office, after Elijah McClain’s Death in 2019. 

It’s supposed to improve transparency and initiate change, specifically in the use of force by the police.

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Federal funds for DIA

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s” Airport Terminals Program” is awarding around $26 million to the Denver International Airport.

According to officials, DIA will use the money for further upgrades on the airport’s baggage handling system for shorter processing times and more efficient energy use. 

The airport has received close to $109 million in funds from the Airport Terminals Program, established under President Joe Biden’s 2021 infrastructure bill. 

According to The Denver Post, the DIA has a $500 million contract with PCL Construction Services, including five construction projects to modernize and improve the airport’s aging equipment.

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A new historic national park opens in Colorado 

A national park memorializing the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War Two has been designated in southeastern Colorado.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally established Amache National Historic Site yesterday, nearly two years after President Joe Biden named it a part of the National Park System.

The establishment comes just days before the Day of Remembrance of Japanese Incarceration During World War Two on February 19th.

Amache, near the town of Grenada, Colorado, was one of ten sites around the country where Japanese-Americans were incarcerated during the war, under terms of an Executive Order. All told, more than ten thousand people, most of them American citizens, were held at Amache from 1942 to 1945, according to a National Park Service press release.

Amache becomes the seventh incarceration site to preserve that history.

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Construction on Champa Street in downtown Denver

Champa Street in Denver will be closed for construction from midnight tonight through Monday night.

The lanes on that part of the street, located between Speer Boulevard and 14th Street, had been shifted in 2021 because of construction on the Convention Center.

Now, construction crews will realign the lanes. 

According to the City of Denver, there are detours on 14th Street, Glenarm Place, and Arapahoe Street and 14th Street.

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Franziska Stangl

Franziska Stangl

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