December 20, 2022
Headlines — December 20, 2022 Luis Licon
Fire In Boulder County Forces Hundreds To Evacuate
The mandatory evacuation orders and road closures associated with the Sunshine Wildland Fire remained in effect overnight. The Boulder Office of Emergency Management estimates the fire displaced over 450 people from their homes last night.
The blaze started in the Boulder County foothills due to a structure fire on Sunshine Canyon Drive. Strong winds caused the fire to spread quickly to the surrounding grassland and led to the mandatory evacuations of area residents. The evacuation area includes Pine Brook Hill and initially included the area west of Foothills Community Park.
Boulder’s OEM estimated the fire was 25% contained last night.
Eastman An Embarrassment
The Chair of the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents says former visiting scholar John Eastman is “an embarrassment.”
That came after Eastman was named in a House Committee recommendation to the Justice Department yesterday, that he be charged with violating criminal statutes in connection with the January 6th 2021, insurrection.
Former President Donald Trump was also named.
Subfreezing Temperatures to Strain Shelters in Denver
Subfreezing temperatures arriving later this week will strain Denver’s capacity to shelter both homeless and arriving migrant populations.
The Denver City Council approved an emergency declaration Monday to extend emergency sheltering of migrants arriving in the city. The Denver Post reports that the extension is now set to expire on Jan. 17.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock signed the emergency order last week after asylum seekers, many from Venezuela, started showing up in Denver looking for shelter.
More than 1100 (eleven-hundred) migrants have arrived in Denver aboard buses since December 9th, according to the city’s Office of Emergency Management. Nearly half of the migrants were planning to connect with friends or family in other destinations, according to immigration advocates.
Fort Collins Officials Will Publicly Review Newly Drafted Oil and Gas Regulations
Environmental groups are urging Larimer County residents to speak up at a meeting tonight where Fort Collins officials will publicly review newly drafted oil and gas regulations.
The Larimer Alliance and other Colorado environmental groups say while Fort Collins officials appear to be responding to community feedback as they draft new oil and gas drilling regulations, it seems the process to involve public opinion is being rushed. The coalition said recent incidents have highlighted the need for stricter laws…including the air pollution violations at Prospect Energy’s Krause tank battery site near Fort Collins. The state health department shut the site in August for endangering public welfare.
The Larimer Alliance and the City’s Air Quality Advisory Board expressed similar concerns after seeing an earlier draft of the new regulations in October. In a letter to Fort Collins Mayor Jeni Arndt and City Council Members, the City’s Advisory Board urged that the oil and gas regulation adoption process be slowed down to allow for QUOTE “careful consideration and public input.” UNQUOTE. They also suggested firmer guidelines with regards to where new oil and gas facilities could be placed. Only in industrial zoned areas, the Board said, and with a firm 2,000 foot setback from residential occupied buildings.
The first reading of the amended oil and gas regulations draft will be presented tonight at 6 pm at City Hall. More information can be found at fcgov.com.
Boulder Main Library Closes For Environmental Testing
The main branch of the Boulder Public Library closed Monday afternoon, to allow for testing related to methamphetamine contamination. The environmental testing will include taking swab samples from surfaces inside and outside the restrooms. Earlier testing of residue from restroom air ducts showed higher-than-acceptable levels of meth. That testing came after a spike in reports of people smoking in the public restrooms over the last four weeks.
In a press release issued by the city, library spokespeople said the closure is out of an abundance of caution. There is no indication that people who have been in the library and its restrooms recently face serious health risks. However, two city employees were evaluated and cleared, after showing symptoms consistent with potential exposure to meth residue or fumes.
Library Director David Farnan called the closure a “truly sad situation” that shows the impact of a widespread epidemic in the United States. There is no word at this time how long the main branch closure will last.
Boulder County Public Health Launch Newly Designed COVID-19 Dashboard
Boulder County Public Health replaced its COVID-19 data dashboard yesterday. The new dashboard has been designed to align with the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels and to be more interactive and mobile-friendly based on community feedback. It will feature all the same data as the current dashboard.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to strengthen federal rules for airline ticket refunds and consumer protections
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is leading a coalition of 34 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to strengthen protections for airline consumers and provide relief for those whose flights are unexpectedly canceled or significantly delayed. Weiser previously alerted the USDOT to concerns about Frontier Airlines’ practices regarding cancellations and refund issues, and the coalition is now urging the USDOT to adopt a new framework that ensures it responds promptly to concerns brought by state attorneys generals and develops clearer protocols for timely and effective enforcement.
Headlines — December 20, 2022 Luis Licon