Headlines – June 2, 2023

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Boulder Officials Declare June 2023 Gun Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Today, people observing the second annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day are wearing orange to honor survivors and victims of gun violence.

In a press release Thursday, Boulder County Commissioners Claire Levy, Marta Loachamin and Ashley Stolzmann declared that the County is officially recognizing June 2023 as Gun Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

They urged that state and federal officials ban assault weapons, pointing to Australia’s successful track record with gun violence prevention.. Since Australia banned assault weapons 26 years ago, the country has only had three mass shootings. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been over 200 mass shootings so far in the U.S. in 2023 alone.

This year, the Colorado General Assembly passed bills that strengthen ‘red flag’ laws, raise the minimum age for purchasing a firearm, and introduce a waiting period for purchases. However, the three commissioners expressed frustration that a bill banning assault weapons did not pass this year.

“Wear Orange” events will be held throughout Boulder County this  weekend.

DIA Announces New Way To Expedite TSA Lines

Denver International Airport has launched a new program that allows departing passengers to avoid long lines by scheduling an appointment with TSA.

DEN Reserve, which began yesterday, is free, but only for travelers who are not registered with TSA PreCheck or CLEAR. Those both require signing up in advance and paying fees. However, airport officials say it’s best to sign up for DEN Reserve on their website three days in advance of traveling. Alternatively, passengers can capture a QR code while at the airport to check for available TSA appointments.

DEN Reserve is operated at the TSA checkpoint at A Bridge between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Land Next To Denver Golf Course Earmarked For Affordable Housing 

A new affordable housing project is in the planning stages in Denver. If it all comes together, it could result in more than 350 units. 

The project is being developed by the Urban Land Conservancy, and would be built on the last vacant property by the Park Hill Village West development.

Located at 4050 North Colorado Boulevard, the planned 350 units would be for people making around $80,500 annually, which is about eighty percent of the area’s median income. Up to seventy of the units would be for seniors.

The project would be built on 6.7 acres of land. Under a current agreement with the nearby Park Hill Village development, fifteen percent of a new project’s acreage has to be preserved for open space, according to Denverite. That would have to be reduced to ten percent, the amount now designated for open space in the new development, in order for the project to move forward.

The project site is near the Park Hill Golf Course. Earlier this year, voters rejected a plan to change a land use agreement to build an income-restricted housing project there.

Urban Land Conservancy is working with a Nashville, Tennessee firm on the project’s financing. Its architect is Denver-based Shopworks Architecture.

Deadline To Appeal Boulder County Property Values Is June 8

​​Residential property owners in Boulder County have until June 8th to appeal their assessed property values if they believe they are incorrect. The County mailed property owners a Notice of Valuation postcard on May 1.

Those who wish to appeal their assessments, which raise property taxes when  the valuations increase, can do so through the Boulder County website, by fax, mail, drop box or email. For more information, go to bouldercounty.gov.

Denver Court Sentences Three Men For Deadly Crime Spree

Three men involved in a deadly crime spree were sentenced to multiple decades in prison. Those sentences were announced by the Denver District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday.

On August 17, 2021, 18-year-old Shmuel Silverberg was walking near Yeshiva Toras Chaim School when he was pursued by vehicles, assaulted, shot and killed.

Five suspects fled the scene but were later arrested. In April of this year, they pled guilty to charges ranging from first-degree kidnapping to second-degree murder.

Early in the investigation, Denver Police officials said the crime appeared to be part of random attacks, rather than antisemitism. The defendants were also charged for carjackings, robberies, and assaults. Another victim, Thomas Young, was beaten, robbed, and shot, which left him paralyzed from a spinal cord injury.

The two remaining suspects are scheduled to be sentenced later this summer.

Colorado Springs Will Be Home To New Space Force Units   

The Air Force announced Wednesday that four additional Space Force units will now be based in Colorado Springs. The news came at a moment when the Biden Administration is considering whether to forge ahead with former President Donald Trump’s plan to move Space Command’s headquarters to Huntsville, Alabama. Colorado Springs has been the military branch’s temporary headquarters for several years.

According to The Associated Press, the new announcement may further escalate what was considered a political decision by Trump. Alabama’s Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville said earlier this year that he would pause military nominations until the Department of Defense reverses a new policy allowing female military personnel to be reimbursed for travel costs if they have to go out of state for reproductive care, including abortions. The Pentagon and the White House say locating the new Space Force units in Colorado Springs is not linked with Alabama’s strict anti-abortion laws.

 Coloradan Students Go Far In National Spelling Bee 

Two Colorado girls competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee made it as far as the fourth round, before being eliminated.

Twelve-year-old Aditi Muthukumar of Westminster was tripped up by the word “surette,” which is a kind of tree.

Sofia Tommey Wu, who just completed fifth grade at Boulder’s Douglas Elementary School, finished in a tie for 173rd place. She missed the word “pappardelle.”

First place went to 14-year-old Dev Shah, of Largo, Florida, who called his victory surreal.

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