Headlines – September 20, 2023 Ivonne Olivas
E-Bike Rebate Applications Open
The popular e-bike rebate program provided by the Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency will re-open next Tuesday. Vouchers are expected to be claimed in just a few minutes after the rebate opens.
Any Denver resident can apply for the standard voucher and if chosen, will receive up to $300 for an e-bike or up to $500 towards the purchase of an e-cargo bike. Denver residents who make less than 60% of Colorado’s median income can apply for the income-qualified rebate voucher and can receive up to $1,200 for the purchase of an e-bike or $1,400 for an e-cargo bike. The adaptive voucher is available for people with disabilities and grants up to $1,400 for an adaptive e-bike. The next round of vouchers will be available Nov. 28.
Colorado Farm Accused Of Breaking Federal Labor Laws
The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating Star Farms in Brighton, Colorado over accusations of poor working conditions and lack of payment. The farm employs 65 seasonal migrant workers for the packing of produce found in Kroger-owned grocery stores.
Palombo employs the workers through the H-2A program, a program that allows employers to hire migrant workers for agricultural jobs. Star farms has been under investigation twice before, once in 2008 and again in 2015 for stealing employee wages. The 2008 investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor proved Palombo had 191 violations of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.
Greenhouse Manufacturing Regulations To Be Reconsidered
Legislators will hear a plan crafted by the the Air quality control commission today that is meant to encourage Suncor and other big polluters to cut back on greenhouse pollution.
The state air regulators propose corporations receive credits for reducing greenhouse emissions before 2030. They can then buy or sell those credits to other corporations after 2030.
The plan has received backlash from activists and legislators for having too many loopholes.
Senior analyst on the Environmental Defense Fund’s state climate team, Katie Schneer, told The Denver Post that this credit plan will only encourage corporations to delay reducing their emissions.
The eighteen corporations argue against the plan, saying it could lead to a loss of jobs.
The hearing will be held at 4:35 p.m. and the public can join over Zoom.
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum has returned five Asian artworks connected to a pair of former New York City gallery owners who’d been accused of trafficking illicit antiquities.
Museum officials say they contacted federal authorities back in January with a list of pieces linked a mother-daughter duo who operated a prominent gallery in Manhattan for decades.
The artifacts were gifted to the museum between 1980 and 2008. They include three bronze Cambodian pieces from the 12th and 13th centuries, as well as relics from Burma and Tibet.
The returns come as the Denver Art Museum faces a reckoning over its past collection habits – including shady dealers.
Colorado Schools Receive 2023 Nation Blue Ribbon
The U.S. Department of Education awarded 353 schools around the nation with the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Award highlights a school’s efforts and feats in closing the achievement gap between different groups of students.
Four schools in Colorado – Cederedge Middle School, Dennison Elementary School, McClave Elementary School and Parker Core Knowledge Charter School – made it on the list.
Colorado Schools Suffering From Low Cannabis Sales
The decline of cannabis sales in the state has caused Colorado schools to suffer according to the Colorado Department of revenue.
In previous years, cannabis sales funded about $40 million dollars for education.
Taxes from cannabis provide 30% of the Building Excellent Schools Today, or BEST program’s budget. BEST is a program created to fund educational institutions.
Executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, Truman Bradley, told 9News that stricter Marijuana regulations are the cause of lower sales. Recreational Marijuana sales declined 11.7% this year.
Colorado Launches Kinship Program
The Colorado Department of Human Services launched a new program on Sep. 15 that connects children who are unable to live with their biological parents with guardians whom they have an existing relationship with.
The Colorado Kinnected Kinship Navigator Program was piloted by several counties in the state from June 2020 to December 2021. It provides families participating in the kinship program with a “navigator” who is a direct point of contact and can provide support.
Children will be arranged to live with relatives, family friends, teachers, coaches or neighbors in replacement of traditional foster homes.