Headlines Feb. 14, 2022
Headlines — February 14, 2022 Alexis Kenyon
Governor Asks Residents To Be Civil And Respectful
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is urging people to be civil and respectful toward everyone’s mask-wearing preferences. Polis appeared on this weekend’s Fox News Sunday.
The Denver Gazette reports states led by Democratic Governors – including Connecticut and New Jersey – have eased masking mandates. Colorado’s statewide mask mandate ended last May.
The state’s positivity rate of infection remains high, but has dropped significantly since a peak about a month ago. As of last Wednesday, just over 860 people were hospitalized in Colorado with COVID-19, the fewest number since the beginning of October.
Anti-Vaccine Protest At Governor Polis’s Residence
On Saturday about 100 protesters gathered at Governor Polis’ Boulder residence rallying against COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Some carried signs saying, “Freedom over Fear,” and “Unmask the truth.”
The Daily Camera reports that one protester said they were part of the group, No Vaccine Mandates Colorado. The governor’s office has not responded to the protests.
COGCC Will Rule On Firestone Drilling Waiver
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will decide Wednesday whether to allow drilling despite the state’s 2,000-foot setback rule. A subsidiary of oil giant Occidental Petroleum asked for a waiver from the buffer so it could drill 26 wells near almost 90 homes in the town of Firestone. The Colorado Sun reports critics say granting the request would make the new oil and gas rules useless.
A 2019 law imposed the 2,000-foot buffer rule, which marked a shift in COGCC’s role as an advocate for oil and gas industry to one that protects public health, safety, welfare and the environment.
According to The Colorado Sun, the commission has already approved two drilling waivers inside the 2,000-foot setback rule, one involving only a few homes and another that a resident approved.
State Health officials oppose the waiver unless drilling meets certain conditions that Occidental Petroleum has rejected.
Bill To Monitor Air Toxins
A measure at the state legislature would require strong air monitoring rules to cut hazards in neighborhoods. Environmental justice advocates have prioritized the bill, according to The Colorado Sun. The measure would place five new air toxin measuring sites around the state, set hazardous levels for dozens of chemicals, and start requiring the cutback of industrial emissions.
The environmental groups and the bill’s sponsors say that air toxins at the neighborhood level are largely unknown and unregulated.
Secretary Of State Issues New Rules To Secure Election Systems
Colorado Secretary of State Gena Griswold has issued new temporary rules to enhance the security of the state’s voting systems. She said that every Colorado voter, Republican, Democrat, and Unaffiliated deserves accessible and secure elections, according to Colorado Newsline.
Investigators have been looking into the conduct of two county clerks, one in Mesa County and the other in Elbert County, involving the sharing of copies of hard drives. Griswold said that the rules changes are immediately necessary for Colorado to comply with both state and federal law.
Far right election deniers focused on Gena Griswold during a meeting in Douglas County last Thursday. Colorado Newsline reports Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters attended the “emergency meeting,” days after police arrested her on suspicion of obstructing a warrant for the seizure of her iPad. The crowd at the event gave Peters a standing ovation.
Before Peters arrived, Shaun Smith, a prominent election conspiracy advocate, rallied the crowd against Secretary of State Griswold, accusing her of complicity in election fraud, chanting, “lock her up.” Smith said if someone is involved in election fraud, they deserve to hang, garnering applause and shouts from the crowd.
Griswold tweeted the video of the event and said threats to election officials are happening every day. She tweeted, “people must stand up to these blatant attempts to end democracy as we know it.”
FEMA Approves Funding For 75% of Marshall Fire Cleanup
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to cover 75 percent of the cleanup costs for removal of property debris caused by the Marshall Fire. The Daily Camera reports Louisville City Manager Jeffrey Durbin announced FEMA’s approval. Those costs include removing debris from destroyed structures, downed and damaged trees, burned vehicles and other items.
Headlines — February 14, 2022 Alexis Kenyon