Headlines – June 23, 2023


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    Headlines – June 23, 2023 Kira Z

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Boulder Rally to Mark Roe V. Wade’s Overturning

Abortion rights advocates in Boulder will gather at the Central Park Bandshell Saturday to increase awareness about the ongoing fight for reproductive care in the United States. It’s one of countless rallies planned across the country to mark the first anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The YWCA Boulder County and the Women’s Collaborative of Boulder County said tomorrow’s event is meant to bring supporters of health care and reproductive rights together in solidarity.

Last year’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court led to 14 states passing near-total abortion bans. However, according to Reuters, opinion polls indicate that most Americans want abortion to be legal in all or most situations.

In Colorado, lawmakers swiftly responded to the Court decision by codifying state rules around reproductive rights. Since then, the state has become a haven for those traveling from restrictive states to seek abortions.

Supreme Court Justices Ruled Against Navajo Nation in Colorado River Water Rights Case

The Supreme Court ruled against the Navajo Nation Thursday in a case about their rights to water from the Colorado River. 

In the ruling, justices voted 5-4 against giving the Navajo Nation rights to the Colorado river water.  

The Navajo nation is the largest reservation in the U.S. It’s located along the Colorado river and despite this, a third of its population do not have running water in their homes. 

Navajo Nation lawyers called the request modest and said the Navajo Nation just wanted an assessment on its water needs and how to meet those needs, according to the Associated Press.

Justice Neil Gorsuch Agreed With the Sentiment in a Dissent and Likened the Navajos’ Struggles to Spending Time Waiting for Help at the DMV

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote that water allocations in the West are generally a “zero-sum situation” and that Congress and the President are responsible for laws regarding water allotments. 

President of the Navajo Nation, Buu Nygren, said the ruling was disappointing but promised to continue to try to obtain water rights for his people.

City Of Boulder Opposes Xcel Rate Case Settlement

The City of Boulder is holding firm in its opposition to Xcel Energy’s electric rate settlement agreement, which the company submitted to state utility officials back in November.

Xcel is asking Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission to allow it to increase its total revenues collected from customers by over $260 million dollars. That would mean an over 8% bill increase for residents, an over 7% increase for small businesses, and a 5-7% increase for larger companies.

In a statement yesterday, Boulder officials said they support Xcel’s proposal to invest in wildfire mitigation as part of its application. But they are questioning whether the company’s overall rate hike increases, plus a proposed 10% rise in equity return for its shareholders, is fair to community members already burdened by rising utility prices.

Boulder Mayor Aaron Brocket echoed these concerns. In a letter to the commission he said, “…it seems there are still opportunities to tighten the belt a bit and make sure it is not just Xcel’s customers who must bear the brunt of these financially challenging times.”

The City filed a testimony in the proceeding, and public comments can still be submitted on the commission’s website. Hearings will begin July 10th. The commission will decide after the hearings whether to accept, revise or reject Xcel’s settlement.

New Housing Ordinance Coming to Commerce City 

Under the new ordinance, the city would inspect rental units of all property owners for compliance to health and safety codes. Property owners with units that pass the inspection would then be able to obtain mandatory licenses. 

If a unit fails the inspection, landlords would have up to 60 days to address violations. Consequences of failing to address violations would include fines, revocation of the landowner’s license, and, potentially, even criminal charges.  

The non-profit organization United for a New Economy, or UNE, paved the way for the measure. Their efforts took 8 months, hundreds of conversations with tenants, and meetings with Commerce City Council members. UNE’s work focuses on building racial and economic justice in Adams County. 

Rep. Neguse Announces $25M For Transportation Corridor 

Congressman Joe Neguse announced Thursday that the Department of Transportation is giving $25 million dollars to Boulder County to improve its travel infrastructure between Longmont and Boulder.

The grant’s funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enacted in Nov. 2021.

Neguse, who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, wrote Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in February, seeking support for the so-called CO 119 Diagonal Highway Mobility Improvement Project.

Plans for the project include a regional bikeway, a Bus Rapid Transit line, and intersection safety improvements.

Boulder Launches First New K9 Unit in 20 Years 

Astro was officially sworn in Wednesday by Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold. 

According to a city press release, the one-and-a-half year old lab/pointer mix will be an explosives detection and community engagement dog. She will also be called in for gun-related crime work.

The Police K9 was named in honor of fallen officer Eric Talley’s favorite sports team, the Houston Astros.

Astro hails from Washington State and will soon begin training with her human handlers.

Tornado Touches Down In Highlands Ranch

A tornado touched down in Highlands Ranch on Thursday afternoon, knocking down fences and trees, causing power outages, and flooding intersections. 

South Metro Fire Rescue officials said some hail-related injuries were reported, but most community calls to firefighters were related to structural damage. According to a sheriff’s office spokeswoman, the dispatch center received 282 reports of weather damage.

Denver Celebrates Pride Fest This Weekend 

Denver is hosting several Pride events this weekend, as month-long celebrations come to a close.

As part of Saturday’s PrideFest, the Pride 5K will gather participants to quote “run, walk, roll or sashay” in a loop that starts and ends at the Colorado State Capitol Building. The 5K event raises funds to support The Center on Colfax.

And on Sunday, festivities will continue with the Coors Light Denver Pride Parade down Colfax Avenue, from Cheesman Park to Civic Center.

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    Headlines – June 23, 2023 Kira Z

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