Headlines – October 4, 2023

Daily local and regional headlines from across Colorado’s Front Range

 

Kaiser Workers Begin Strike

Over 75,000 Kaiser Permanente employees nationwide will go on strike, starting today. This includes about 3,000 workers in Colorado.

Contract negotiations have been ongoing since workers requested pay increases and adequate staffing levels. Yesterday, the unions and Kaiser failed to reach a deal. X-ray, surgical, pharmacy and emergency department technicians are participating in the strike. Doctors will not be participating.

Kaiser voiced their disappointment in the strike on their website, warning that wait times might be longer than usual. Locations in Westminster, Loveland and Littleton, among other cities, will remain open regardless of the strike.

Kaiser workers in Colorado plan to return to work at 6 a.m. on Saturday, according to the union’s website.

The coalition of Kaiser unions also announced members were striking in California, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Democracy Now reports that this is the largest strike of healthcare workers in U.S. history.

 

Report Connects Deaths With Native American Boarding Schools

A new report reveals connections between Native American children’s deaths and boarding schools in Colorado.  

History Colorado made the report public Tuesday. It uncovered events that occurred between the years 1880 and 1920 at the Fort Lewis Indian Boarding School and the Grand Junction Indian Boarding School. 

Children were sometimes coerced or kidnapped into the schools as part of a federal assimilation program.

Over 60 students were identified at an unmarked cemetery but researchers believe the number of deaths in correlation to the boarding schools is much higher. 

Once in the schools, they suffered neglect, unlawful labor and physical and sexual abuse. 

Administrators from Fort Lewis College, then known as the Fort Lewis Indian Boarding School, told The Denver Post they plan to use the report as an educational resource as they grapple with their dark history.

 

Free College For Engineering Students At CU Boulder

CU Boulder has launched a free college program for some engineering students.

The Lattice Scholars project is an expansion of the CU Promise program. It will allow first-generation low-income engineering students to earn their degrees free of charge.

This is CU’s first free college program focused on only one field. The program is funded through a donation from the local engineering firm Campos EPC.

According to Chalkbeat Colorado, eligible students are those whose families make less than $65,000 a year. The school will identify them through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA so interested students do not need to apply.

 

Denver Neighborhood To Rival The Build Of A Micro-Community

Holly Hills, a Denver neighborhood is fighting against a proposed micro-community in their backyards. 

The micro-community, expected to be located at 5500 East Yale St., will house 100 to 400 people. It is unclear how many tiny homes will be built. The lot is located off of I-25 and would be part of Mayor Mike Johnston’s plan to fight the housing crisis.

Holly Hills residents say they were not notified by the state of the plans to build a micro-community nearby. Residents say the proximity to schools will pose a public threat.

They plan to form a Registered Neighborhood Organization, or RNO, to advocate for themselves. Becoming an RNO will allow Holly Hills to establish rules between them and businesses, developers or other entities. 

Holly Hills residents say they intend to take Mayor Johnston to court if becoming an RNO fails to halt the micro-community building process.

 

Denver To Invest In Building Pickleball Courts

Parks and Recreation Department is planning to invest $2 million in building pickleball courts.

The investment comes from a parks tax passed back in 2018. 

Denver’s parks and Recreations Department aims to build six to ten new courts using the money. The project hopes to provide a solution to pickleball noise complaints made by residents, as new courts will be built at least 500 ft. from any homes.  

Martin Luther King Jr. Park is one site on the list.

The spending plan will be reviewed by the Denver City Council in November.

 

Banned Books Come To Life In Longmont

To shed light on Banned Books week, the Longmont Public Library will host Books on the Chopping Block this Saturday. 

Outlaw Production Collective, a freelancing production company, will perform readings from the the top ten most challenged books in the country.

The demands to censor certain books in 2022 doubled from 2019, according to the company, and the highly targeted books told the narratives of people of color and the LGBTQ community.

Artistic Director Katy Nielson says that the suppression of books and their ideas is suppression of the human experience. The event is free to the public.

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