01_23_24_AM_headlines Alexis Kenyon
CU Boulder holds MLK Event
CU Boulder held its first-ever Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation yesterday, celebrating the legacy of the civil rights icon and urging attendees to build a better world.
Several hundred people attended. Keynote speaker Tabatha L. Jones Jolivet told them society must undergo a “radical revolution of values” that places people above material things. She said the key to building a better world is rooted in people’s power.
CU Boulder professor Reiland Rabaka, a founding director of the Center for African and African American Studies, reminded listeners of Dr. King’s term, “beloved community,” by which he meant a society that includes all people.
Even as the Convocation proceeded, news outlets began reporting the death of Dr. King’s youngest son. Dexter Scott King died from prostate cancer at his home in Malibu, California, at the age of 62. His brother, Martin Luther King III, asked for prayers for the entire King family.
Denver is conducting its point-in-time Homeless Survey
Metro Denver is in the midst of a point-in-time count of the area’s homeless population. The annual survey began last night and continues through today.
The Metro Denver Homeless Initiative conducted the annual survey with the goal of counting every person who is unsheltered over approximately a 24-hour period. Denver7 reports that the point-in-time survey is for the entire seven-county metro Denver region, which covers about 4,500 square miles. It’s required to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Metro Denver Homeless Initiative employees and volunteers are doing the counting. They’re including people in shelters and those staying outside. Last year’s point-in-time survey counted 9,065 people.Organizers call the annual survey a “snapshot” and say an undercount is inevitable. The data they gather supplements other data and helps raise awareness of the issue.
30,000 people used Metro Denver’s homeless services last year
A new report find the number of people using homeless services in the Denver metro area has risen by several thousand. The report, issued last week by the Denver Metro Homeless Initiative, found 30,409 people accessed services offered by more than 100 regional providers, including those in Boulder, Denver, and Arapahoe counties. It based its findings on information gathered between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.
According to Denverite, the report does not reflect the efforts of Mayor Mike Johnston, who has made ending homelessness in Denver the centerpiece of his administration.
Aurora City Council approves plans to buy the Crowne Plaza Hotel for homeless navigation camp
Aurora City Council members approved the allocation of $26.5 million for the acquisition of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, last night. The purchase is part of the city’s plans to build a new “regional navigation center” for unhoused individuals.
The facility will be used for transitional housing, employment services, workforce development, mental and behavioral health services, case management, emergency and day shelter space, and meals.
The city expects to close on the property in May, and the earliest the facility could open is early 2025, according to city staff.
Lynch Survives No-Confidence Vote
State House Republican leader Mike Lynch will stay on as House minority leader after narrowly surviving a no-confidence vote. The vote yesterday on whether to allow Lynch to continue as minority leader was an even 9-9 split, according to The Denver Post, with one member absent.
Lynch pleaded guilty to driving while ability-impaired after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in September 2022. He received 18 months of probation on that lesser charge. He was also charged with possessing a firearm while intoxicated and received a deferred sentence.
Lynch’s case did not become public until last week. Several of his Republican colleagues said yesterday that the lag between the incident and it becoming public seemed like a cover-up, according to The Denver Post.
There may be a second no-confidence vote once all GOP House members are available. Mike Lynch is a third-term legislator who is also running for U.S. Congress in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District.
Denver Pastor Charged in Alleged Crypto Scam
A Denver pastor and his wife are facing civil fraud charges for alleged violations of the Colorado Securities Act.
Pastor Eli Regalado and his wife, Kaitlyn, created and marketed a cryptocurrency to members of the Christian community, according to The Denver Gazette. The complaint against them says the cryptocurrency, known as INDX coin, is practically worthless.
Train service between Union Station and the first stops on four of RTD’s light rail lines will be disrupted for routine maintenance. The work is still a few weeks away. The Denver Post reports the service interruption on the A, B, G, and N lines will be on Feb. 3 and 4, a Saturday and Sunday. Normal service is expected to resume on Monday. RTD says bus shuttle services will be available for those riding the affected routes. The disruption is to allow federally required maintenance on the tracks.
Colorado Snowpack Nears Average
The Colorado snowpack is at near-normal levels, thanks to heavy snow earlier this month. The National Water and Climate Center says the snowpack is at 92 percent of a 30-year average. That’s up from just under 70 percent at the start of January, before the snow. One climatologist told The Denver Post that in terms of water levels and drought, Colorado looks much better than just a few weeks ago. However, some parts of the state have not had as much snow and are not faring as well. The snowpack in the Upper Rio Grande basin is at 69 percent of normal levels, while the San Juan basin is at 80 percent.