Boulder considers replacing airport with affordable housing and Excel doesn’t show up to community discussion on pollution from Valmont Power Station


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    03_05_24_am_headlines Alexis Kenyon

Colorado Primary, Super Tuesday

Voters in Colorado and fifteen other states and one territory are casting ballots in presidential primaries today, in Super Tuesday contests considered the most important so far in the 2024 presidential election campaign.

In Colorado there are 37 Republican and eighty-seven Democratic delegates.

Mail-in ballots were sent out last month. More than 800,000 have already been returned state-wide, according to Colorado Newsline.

However, the deadline for mailing in ballots has passed. State elections officials must have them today, and they say that postmarks do not count. Ballots can still be dropped off no later than seven o’clock tonight, at drop boxes located at official polling places. Voting can also be done in person. Polling places are also open until 7pm.

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Super Tuesday states:

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Trump On Ballot

Ex-President Donald Trump remains on the Colorado primary ballot. The United States Supreme Court, yesterday, overturned a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that would have removed him from the ballot. The State Supreme Court ruled in December that Trump was ineligible to hold office because of his actions in the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned that ruling in a unanimous decision.

While the state supreme court allowed Trump’s removal from the ballot, they also put that decision on hold during the appeal, and he has been on the ballot all along. 

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Affordable Housing Denver

The Denver City Council has approved a $10 million loan for the purchase of a property with 170 units of affordable housing.

The units are for people with disabilities, and low-income people who are 55 and over.

Approved yesterday, the contract provides Columbine Towers in Southeast Denver with $10 million for the renovation and maintenance of those 170 units.

Mayor Mike Johnston says that affordable housing remains a key issue for his administration. He wants to add three thousand affordable housing units across the city by the end of this year.

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Boulder Airport Recommendation 

The Boulder City Council is weighing a suggestion to close the city airport, and in its place, create a new mixed income neighborhood. 

In a letter sent to the City Council last week, the city’s Housing Advisory Board recommended closing the airport, and in its place, creating a mixed-income neighborhood similar to the Holiday Neighborhood in North Boulder, according to Boulder Reporting Lab. 

Their recommendation comes at a time when the City Council faces the issue of new housing and an ongoing affordability crisis. One member of the Advisory Board told the Boulder Reporting Lab that they’re trying to prod the City Council into action.

The advisory board also wants to make it easier to build duplexes and triplexes in single-family neighborhoods.

The Advisory Board recommendation also comes as City Council is expected to develop a new, long-term plan for the airport. A decision on that could be reached this summer.

 City Council is scheduled to develop its priority objectives during a retreat, set for early next month.

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Valmont Power Station

Boulder County has begun holding public meetings to hear the concerns of residents living near the Valmont Power Station.

The power station site, at Valmont Road and 63rd, is where some 1.6 tons of toxic ash is stored at an inactive landfill. The ash contains toxic heavy metals like arsenic, according to the Boulder Reporting Lab, which has previously reported that the ash is in direct contact with groundwater.

Boulder County Department of Public Health organized a public meeting last week to hear from underrepresented groups and focus on plans to clean up the site.

Many attendees expressed their concerns about the health hazards posed by the site. County Commissioner Claire Levy acknowledged that the impact of high polluting industries has, in her words, fallen disproportionately on communities of color.

By law, Xcel Energy must restore the Valmont site to its previously uncontaminated condition. There were, however, no Xcel representatives at the meeting, nor were representatives from the Colorado Department of Public Health or the Environmental Protection Agency, which are also responsible for the cleanup.

While the meeting last week is supposed to be one of a series, Boulder Reporting Lab says no new meetings are scheduled at this time.

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Denver DMV Cuts

DMV offices in Denver have begun to cut back on some of their services.

The cuts come as the city trims its budget to save money during its ongoing migrant crisis.

Starting yesterday, DMV offices in Denver will only process vehicle registration renewals online, by mail, or at a kiosk.

The city says the cutbacks will make more of its staff available for services that must be done in person, such as new vehicle registration and license plates. While Denver’s main DMV office will stay open, its four satellite offices will close for one week each on a rotating basis. The DMV cutbacks will be in effect through 2024.

Mayor Mike Johnston says the DMV cutbacks are part of the city’s migrant response plan, made necessary because Congress failed to pass an immigration bill last month, which would have helped Denver and other cities, according to Denver7.

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Colorado Snowpack

A weekend storm dropped up to a foot of new snow in parts of Colorado. The heaviest snow was around Montrose. Seven to eight inches fell along parts of the I-70 corridor, making driving hazardous in places.

It’s all been good for the snowpack. The National Resources Conservation Service says that as of yesterday, Colorado is at 99% of the median snowpack for this time of the year.

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Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon is an experienced radio reporter with more than 15 years of experience creating compelling, sound-rich radio stories for news outlets across the country. Kenyon has master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism in radio broadcast and photojournalism. She has worked in KGNU's news department since 2021 as a reporter, editor, and daily news producer. In all her work, she strives to produce thought-provoking, trustworthy journalism that makes other people's stories feel personal. In addition to audio production, Kenyon runs KGNU's news internship program and oversees the department's digital engagement.

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