Colorado water is up for sale and House considers banning “excited delirium”


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    02_14_24headlines Franziska Stangl


Boulder has two new homeless policy advocates

Two former Boulder City Council members will become homelessness policy advocates for the city.

The Daily Camera says the Boulder Chamber has hired Rachel Friend and Leslie Durgin to work on a set of policies in connection with homeless support services, sheltering, and related issues supported by the city’s business community.

Rachel Friend served on the city council from 2019 to 2023. Leslie Durgin was a council member from 1987 to 1997.

Jonathan Singer, the senior director of the Chamber’s policy programs, said the two new advocates have, in his words, “a strong foundation in the policy,” and says that he is looking forward to having their input.

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Introduction of new bill to ban assault weapons

A new measure that would ban assault weapons in Colorado is in the State House of Representatives.

Democrats Elizabeth Epps and Tim Hernandez introduced House Bill 1292 yesterday. If it becomes law, it would ban the purchase, sale, and transfer of a range of semi-automatic weapons.

The bill says that, quote, “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are disproportionately used in public mass shootings” and that they are “uniquely lethal by design.”

A similar bill was rejected by a State House committee last year.

House Bill 1292 also faces opposition from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a gun rights organization, which has already said it would challenge the bill in court if it passes.

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See The Bill Here

Relaunch of project to cut Colorado River water use

Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming have relaunched a program that offers cash subsidies to ranchers and farmers in exchange for reduced water usage in hopes of salvaging the strained Colorado River. 

According to The Colorado Sun, the federal government originally launched The System Conversvation Pilot Program in 2015.

The program closed in 2018 and then relaunched in 2023. 

The Colorado River supplies about 40 million people across the West with water. This year, a record number of ranchers and farmers have signed up, about 130, compared to just 80 last year. During the first four years of the program, only around 15 to 40 people each year applied. 

The Upper Colorado River Commission oversees the program and will begin distributing funds in April. 

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Colorado water up for sale

A landmark water auction is taking place at the Boulder County Fairgrounds this morning. The 186 water units from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project will be auctioned, offering a rare chance to buy into the state’s essential water supply.  A single unit of water is one acre foot which is enough for two average families to use in a year.  

The water up for sale this morning is owned by two family trusts:  the Yoakum and Carlson Family Trusts.

The Big Thompson Project brings water from the western side of the Continental Divide to over a million people and 600,000 acres of irrigated farmland. The auction kicks off with the Yoakum Family’s 90 units this morning, followed by the Carlson Family Trust’s 96 units later this month at the Eaton Recreation Center east of Fort Collins. 

The current value of a single water unit is about $70,000.  So, the sale of the 186 units could bring over twelve million dollars.

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Bill to ban term “excited delirium” under consideration

Colororado’s House of Representatives passed a bill that bans the use of the term  “excited delirium” on death certificates and in first responder training. 

The American Medical Association opposes the term, which critics say has been used by police and other first responders to justify excessive aggression, as in the case of the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. 

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Two controversial statues will not be reinstalled

Denver will not reinstall the statues of Kit Carson and Christopher Columbus at Civic Center Park. Demonstrators knocked over the monument to Christopher Columbus, along with a Civil War monument, on statehouse grounds amid racial protests in 2020. 

The state pre-emptively removed a Kit Carson statue from the top of Pioneer Monument, a large fountain at Colfax and Broadway, in June 2020.

Kit Carson was a 19th-century frontiersman and Civil War General widely valorized in Western stories but reviled by many Native Americans for leading efforts to displace tens of thousands of their ancestors.

According to The Colorado Sun, the statue of Columbus will stay in storage until the city decides what to do with it

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Franziska Stangl

Franziska Stangl


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