Headlines – August 8, 2023

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    Headlines – August 8, 2023 Por Jaijongkit

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Gun Purchase Age Limit Law Halted

Opponents of a new state law restricting the purchase of guns to people 21 and older have won a round in court.

A district judge ruled yesterday that in signing Senate Bill 23-169 into law, Governor Jared Polis did not demonstrate that the measure is consistent with the nation’s tradition of firearms regulation. Judge Philip Brimmer added that the plaintiffs challenging the law “have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits” of their case, according to the Denver Post.

The age limit law went into effect yesterday, but is now on hold.

The measure, signed by the Governor in April, is one of several being challenged by the advocacy group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. The group is also challenging a new law that requires a waiting period for all firearm purchases in Colorado. Judge Brimmer did not block that measure, which doesn’t go into effect until October.

DPS Locked Discipline Room Investigation

The interim principal at Denver Public School’s McAuliffe International School is on paid administrative leave during an investigation into the use of a locked, so-called “seclusion room” as a form of student discipline.

Micah Klaver had been named interim principal after the firing of Kurt Dennis last month. Now school board officials say Klaver, too, may have been involved in putting students into a locked room for disciplinary reasons.

The widening investigation into use of a locked room began after an emailed tip from an anonymous employee. The Denver Post says most of the employee’s allegations have been corroborated.

Denver Police have opened their own investigation into the matter.

Vax Rate Down in Colorado Kids

State health officials say as many as 1 of every 10 kindergarteners are not fully vaccinated. 

Colorado state data shows vaccination rates among children are down for the third straight school year, following a national trend.

State health officials said that, with the exception of hepatitis B, immunization rates for school-required vaccines among kindergartners have fallen below 90% for the second year in a row.

Colorado Board of Health data also shows that coverage for measles, mumps and rubella among kindergartners is at a 16 year low.

Vaccination compliance rates were slightly up in children in preschool and child care. Health officials are calling on parents to update their kids’ vaccinations. 

Former State Supreme Court Judge Censured

Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats has been censured for violating the state’s judicial code of conduct.

A special tribunal formally censured the retired chief justice yesterday, marking the first time ever that a Colorado Supreme Court Justice has been censured. 

Coates admitted to authorizing a multi-million dollar contract with a high-ranking court employee, despite evidence that she had falsified documentation related to that contract.

The censure does not come with a penalty. Coats retired in 2020.

Boulder Habitat Humanity Factory

Construction on a new Affordable Housing Modular Factory is set to begin in Boulder this month.

It’s a joint project between the City, the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD), and Flatirons Habitat for Humanity.

The facility is initially expected to produce 12 to 15 modular homes a year. Those first homes will be used to upgrade residences at the Ponderosa mobile home park in North Boulder, according to a press release. They’ll be solar powered and fully electric.

The city is paying to build the factory. Habitat for Humanity will manage and staff it, and BVSD is providing land at 6500 Arapahoe Ave. Students from BVSD’s Technical Education Center Construction Program will receive on the job training there. 

Boulder Expands Shared E-Scooter Program

Also this month, Boulder is expanding its shared e-scooter program, following a successful pilot program.

Lime, the company that provides the e-scooters, will expand its fleet size to nine hundred by the end of August.

The pilot program began in 2021 in parts of East Boulder, Gunbarrel, and CU Boulder’s East Campus. The expanded program is city-wide, according to a press release, about three times the size of the pilot program.

An evaluation showed that e-scooters reduce traffic congestion and provide new, eco-friendly ways for people to get around.

Workers Rights Laws in Effect 

Three new laws protecting the rights of Colorado workers are now in effect.

The new laws come from the passage of Senate Bills 23-172, 111, and 58.

SB 172, known as the POWR Act, lowers the standard for harassment, so that cases no longer need to be considered severe or pervasive to be defined as harassment. 

Some say this could be an issue for companies, since one employee comment could put them in court for years. The bill’s sponsor says that as long as companies provide proper training and a safe culture, there is nothing to worry about.

The new law also defines marital status as a protected class.   

Senate Bill 111 expands protections applied to private sector employees and applies them to public employees, including the right to participate in political processes while off duty.

SB 58, the Job Application Fairness Act, helps prevent discrimination against older job seekers by prohibiting employers from requiring or asking about an applicant’s age. Although the bill took effect yesterday, employers have until next July 1 to remove age-related questions from applications.

DIA Jobs Fair

There are more than five hundred job openings at the Denver International Airport, and the DIA is holding a jobs fair tomorrow to fill them.

The jobs fair is in-person only, and runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

It’s taking place on the plaza between the Westin Hotel and the Jeppesen Terminal, according to 9News.

Hiring employers include airlines, concessions, rental car companies, and the City and County of Denver. Full time and part time positions are available.

To register and see a list of openings, visit jobs.flydenver.com.

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