Headlines – May 22, 2023

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    Headlines – May 22, 2023 benita

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Barker Reservoir Expected To Spill Over Soon

The City of Boulder announced Friday that Barker Reservoir is expected to flow over the spillway any day now. Last week’s rains, plus a surplus snowpack that’s now melting mean that this normal event is likely to occur sooner rather than later.

Because the annual spill creates a faster current and higher waters downstream, city officials are urging the public to be cautious while near Boulder Creek.

In related news, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation let eight days of water flow from the Blue Mesa Reservoir on Colorado’s Western Slope. The release of water hasn’t happened in a few years because of drought. Officials hope the extra flow will help endangered fish species in the Gunnison River, and help replenish the record low water levels further downstream at Lake Powell.

Coalition Turns To CO Voters To Phase Out Fracking Permits

 A coalition of grassroots groups are turning to Colorado voters in an effort to phase out all new oil and gas leases by 2030. Kate Christensen with Safe and Healthy Colorado says even after state lawmakers passed legislation mandating that oil and gas regulators prioritize the protection of public health and the environment, they continue to permit hundreds of wells, many right in the middle of highly populated areas already in violation of EPA ozone pollution limits.

“And that is why we need a ballot initiative, because every other move hasn’t got us the results that we need for our climate crisis, and for our air quality, and for our water. Nothing else has worked, we have to do this,” Christensen said.

 

Leading global scientists have repeatedly warned that fossil fuels cannot continue to be extracted and burned if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association says if voters approve the measure, there will be significant job losses and higher fuel prices. They argue even if permits stop, the demand for oil and gas won’t.

 Christensen points to a recent report which found the oil and gas industry in Colorado contributes less than one percent of the state’s total employment. And she says the industry’s own research shows there are ample oil and gas reserves to meet future demand.

“The International Energy Association – not a green group, just an energy group – came out with a report last year that said we have already extracted all the fossil fuels we need to extract to make a transition to renewables by 2050,” she said.

 

Christensen says setting a timeline for phasing out drilling permits is critical for communities that are dependent on fossil fuels to build an exit strategy and get the support they need to transition to the new clean-energy economy. If the coalition can collect 125,000 signatures to make the 2024 ballot, she says the effort could embolden people in other states.

“There’s only a few people who are really profiting off of this. Most of us are not seeing the benefit of oil and gas production. We’re just getting the asthma, we’re just getting the wildfires. What this could do is encourage other states to pass ballot initiatives along the same lines,” Christensen said.

Boulder Grand Jury Indicts Fentanyl Drug Ring

A Boulder County Grand Jury has indicted 16 people in connection with distributing narcotics, following a four-month long investigation. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that the Drug Task Force had seized 30 pounds of fentanyl and 25 pounds of methamphetamine. 

Five of the suspects were also indicted on attempted kidnapping, robbery and aggravated motor vehicle theft.

Flight Attendant Assaulted During DIA Deplaning

Bad behavior by airline passengers seems to be one of the lingering effects of the pandemic. A belligerent Frontier Airlines passenger struck a flight attendant with an intercom phone after being asked to leave the plane.

According to 9News, Denver police cited the woman for assault, then helped her book another flight home. Flight 708 was departing for Tampa before 4 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Police said the flight attendant was not seriously injured.

Denver Museum Closing Indigenous Hall For Cultural Reparations

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science announced Thursday it will close its North American Indian Cultures Hall this summer.

A museum press release states the decision follows discussions with tribal representatives and the staff acknowledges that the exhibit perpetuates racist stereotypes.

Concerns about the exhibit include using inaccurate names for tribes, displaying their belongings without consent and displaying Indigenous people in dioramas as though they only existed in the past.

 Curators say they are working with Indigenous partners to redesign the exhibit to better represent tribal cultures.

Rockies Game To Host Naturalization Ceremony

Tonight’s Rockies home game against the Miami Marlins will host a first-time event for the Colorado team. At Coors Field, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix will administer the oath of citizenship to 25 naturalized immigrants.

Colorado Politics reports that emails between Rockies management that they obtained shows they rejected the idea of a naturalization ceremony last summer because they thought it might “look political.” It is unclear why management decided to go forward with a ceremony this year.

Chautauqua Shuttle Begins In Late May 

Just in time for summer crowds and the endless circling around for a parking spot, the City of Boulder is starting up its free, Chautauqua Park shuttle service. Beginning Saturday, May 27, park visitors can catch the shuttle from two free, nearby parking lots or from downtown Boulder.

The service will begin this Saturday and run through Labor Day, on September 4. Dogs, strollers and hiking gear are allowed on the shuttle. More information is available on the city’s website.

“Smoke Cyclone” Moving Through Eastern Colorado

​​Meteorologists say dozens of wildfires burning in western Canada may bring a “smoke cyclone” through eastern Colorado today and Tuesday. The fires have contributed to hazy skies and poor air quality over the weekend throughout the lower 48 states.

When smoke from the forest fires in Alberta and British Columbia began to drift south last week, Colorado health officials began posting alerts and advisories. They are warning older adults, children, and people with heart or lung disease to avoid prolonged, strenuous, outdoor activity.

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    Headlines – May 22, 2023 benita

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