Headlines – August 4, 2023 Por Jaijongkit
Neguse Encourages Veterans to Apply for PACT Benefits
Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse held an online press conference Wednesday urging veterans to file a claim for benefits before next week’s deadline.
The PACT Act, which greatly expanded VA Health Care, was enacted last year by President Joe Biden and Congress.
The bill offers healthcare coverage to about 3.5 million post-9/11 veterans who may have been exposed to toxins such as burn pits during their service.
Neguse, along with veteran services officials, is encouraging veterans to apply online or by phone to begin the process before the Aug. 9 deadline.
Hickenlooper Co-Sponsors Act to Increase Seasonal Labor Limits
Senator John Hickenlooper is a co-sponsor on a bill that would increase seasonal labor limits.
The bipartisan State Executive Authority for Seasonal Occupations Needing Additional Labor, or SEASONAL, Act would allow for governors to petition to get more H-2B visas for businesses in need. H-2B Visas allow migrant workers to hold temporary non-agricultural jobs.
The Department of Homeland of Security and Department of Labor only issues 66,000 visas a year nationwide.
The new law would allow states with unemployment rates at 3.5% for at least nine of the 12 months prior to the submission to apply for more H-2B Visas.
Hickenlooper said he co-sponsored the bill because Colorado companies rely on H2-B visa workers and that there have been widespread worker shortages because available visas have not kept up with the demand for the visas.
Any additional workers who are granted visas under this bill would be subject to current or future Department of Labor requirements.
Boulder Council to Decide on Home Occupancy Limits
With Boulder continuing to face a housing crisis, city council members will soon decide whether to increase the number of unrelated people allowed to live together in a home.
The suggested changes are intended to lower rental costs and increase affordable housing.
According to Boulder Reporting Lab, the city’s planning board had mixed reactions to a draft ordinance they reviewed last week.
While advocates for the proposal said it would help reduce housing costs, opponents said raising occupancy limits to five unrelated people in a single-family home might result in landlords charging much more for rentals.
The Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on the proposed ordinance on Aug. 17.
Major Road Work to Affect Denver, Longmont Thoroughfares
Both Longmont and Denver have major road work scheduled that might slow down commutes.
In Longmont, Hover Street between Ken Pratt Boulevard and Pike Road is expected to be closed starting Monday next week through Friday. Pedestrians and cyclists will not be allowed access at the railroad tracks on Hover Street, but the Colorado 119 underpass will remain open. And in Denver, the intersection of Larimer Street and northbound Speer Boulevard will be under construction starting today.
Major Music Promoter Handing Out Narcan to Concertgoers
A Denver hospital has teamed up with a music promoter to distribute thousands of Naloxone doses and fentanyl drug strips to concertgoers this summer.
The program is a partnership between AEG Presents and a CU Anschutz Medical Campus sponsored campaign called Keep the Party Safe.
Naloxone is used to help reverse overdoses from opioids. There were almost 1,800 overdose deaths in Colorado in 2022 as use of the synthetic opioid fentanyl have soared in recent years.
Denver Zoo Gives Pregnant Orangutan Herbal Tea, Baby Shower
A first-time expectant mother is experiencing relief from morning sickness, mood changes, and other typical pregnancy symptoms with the help of some herbal tea.
Why is this news?
Well, the mother-to-be is Eirina, a 14-year-old orangutan who lives at the Denver Zoo.
According to the Denver Gazette, when Eirina started laying in her nest all day and lost interest in food and drink, her caretakers got creative. After some unsuccessful experiments with natural anti-nausea treatments such as ginger, zoo specialist Cindy Cossaboon gave Eirina a tea blend that had helped her during her own pregnancy and it worked!
Now Eirina enjoys sipping the herbal tea with a straw, or without, and even participated in a baby shower last week at the zoo, where she opened gifts and had fun with the gift bags.
Zoo officials say Eirina is due any day now.