Headlines – April 04, 2023 Alyssa Palazzo
Election Day In Denver
Today is election day in Denver, as voters head to the polls to choose a new mayor, and decide who will fill seats on the City Council.
If none of the 16 mayoral candidates gets at least half of the vote, there will be a run-off between the two top vote-getters on June 6th. Current Mayor Michael Hancock is term-limited. He’s been in office since 2011.
In the City Council race, eight seats will be decided, including two at-large seats. Voters will also choose Denver’s next auditor.
Early ballots went out last month, but as of April 2nd only about fifteen percent had been turned in, according to Colorado Politics. They say most of the submitted ballots are from voters 65 and older.
Two Gun Safety Measures Get Final Approval
Two gun safety measures have received final approval from state lawmakers, and are headed to Governor Jared Polis for his signature.
Senate Bill 170 is the so-called “red flag” expansion law that would widen the list of those who can ask for orders to keep firearms away from people who might pose a risk to themselves or others. The new law would include district attorneys, college faculty, K-12 teachers and counselors, and medical personnel.
In his 2023 State of the State address, Governor Polis said he supported expanding the red flag law, and he is expected to sign it.
Senate Bill 169 would raise the minimum age for buying a firearm from eighteen to twenty-one. The governor has not said whether he supports that one.
A third gun safety bill is on its way to a conference committee. Senate Bill 168 would allow the victims of gun violence to sue gun manufacturers in certain circumstances.
Two other gun safety measures are on the horizon. House Bill 1230 is an assault weapons ban. And a bill that would outlaw so-called ghost guns is expected in the current legislative session.
Light Rail Disruptions
Commuters who ride the Regional Transit District’s light rail system are looking at service disruptions over the next six months.
Maintenance work that began yesterday is expected to disrupt service in the RTD’s light rail system’s E, H, and R lines. The Denver Post says RTD will repair the caps on retaining walls, and that service disruptions are expected through October.
The work started at the Lincoln Station and will continue north, running along I-25 and Broadway.
Nine R-line stations are out of service between the Lincoln and Florida stations near Lone Tree.
Sections of the E-Line are continuing service as scheduled, but lines between Southmoor and RidgeGate Parkway are running every 30 minutes instead of 15 as usual.
The H-line will experience disruptions starting later this spring.
Jill Biden In Denver
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden spent a little more time in Colorado than originally planned.
She arrived on Sunday, the first stop on a tour highlighting Federal laws backed by President Joe Biden. Her Monday afternoon flight from Colorado to Michigan was forced to return to Denver due to an unspecified aircraft issue.
The plane landed without any problem, and Dr. Biden’s press secretary said everyone on board was safe. The trip to Michigan will be rescheduled.
While she was in Colorado, the first lady heard from local lawmakers, from students who have used state job training programs, and how federal legislation has benefitted the state.
Marshall Fire Grants/Tax Rebates
Two programs to help homeowners and small businesses affected by the Marshall Fire and Wind Event are underway.
The homeowners who are rebuilding on the property where they lost their homes due to the Marshall or Cal-Wood fires qualify for Boulder County’s use tax rebate.
The Daily Camera reports that the maximum rebate for those rebuilding who submitted in 2022 is $3,500 and the maximum for those who submit in 2023-2024 is $4,200.
The deadline to apply for the Marshall Fire-affected properties rebate is Dec. 1, 2024. Cal-Wood Fire-affected properties have until Oct. 31, 2023, to apply.
The rebate program is not available for purchasers of lots affected by the fires.
Small businesses that were affected by the Marshall Fire and wind event can apply for a grant.
Boulder County and the state of Colorado are working with the Colorado Enterprise Fund to provide grants through a one-time competitive program. The maximum grant amount for a single business is $20,000.
Small businesses must apply by 5:00 PM April 28 on the Colorado Enterprise Fund website.
Gas Powered Landscape Equipment
The City of Boulder is inviting residents to fill out one of three questionnaires on the topic of gas-powered landscaping equipment.
Each one targets a specific group: people who live and work in Boulder, people who own Boulder rental property, and the owners and employees of Boulder landscaping businesses.
The city is looking for feedback on the impact of gas-powered equipment like lawn mowers and leaf blowers, which can pose health and environmental issues.
Each of these questionnaires is open until April 17th, and can also be found at https://www.beheardboulder.org.
Headlines – April 04, 2023 Alyssa Palazzo