Headlines – September 5, 2023




First of Six Denver Town Hall Meetings on Homelessness Tonight

The first of six September town halls on homelessness is scheduled for tonight in Denver.

Mayor Mike Johnston is hosting the town hall, set to begin at six o’clock at Denver Dumb Friends League, at 2080 Quebec Street.

The mayor will likely face questions about his recently-announced plan to establish so-called “micro-communities,” as he works to fulfill a pledge to find housing for a thousand unhoused people by the end of this year.

Residents in some areas have expressed reluctance to have the micro-communities in their neighborhoods. At the same time, some members of Denver City Council worry about the cost.

The second of this week’s town halls is scheduled for Thursday evening, also at six. That one will be at the Joe Shoemaker School, at 33-33 South Havana Street.

Four more town halls are set over the next few weeks.


Many Rodway Inn Shelter Residents Will Transfer To Permanent Housing

Most of the people living in a shelter scheduled to close soon will be finding some form of permanent housing, once that shelter closes in September.

That’s according to The Gathering Place, a non-profit that ran the former Rodeway Inn in Denver. The former inn was purchased by the city in 2020 and leased to the Gathering Place. But this summer the city decided against renewing the lease, leaving the future of its residents in doubt. Many feared they would end up back on the streets.

The Gathering Place says most current residents, made up of women, transgender, and nonbinary people, either have a place to go to permanently or are close to making arrangements. Anyone left without housing can go to a former Best Western in Central Park, due to open as a shelter soon.

The former Rodeway Inn is closing for good later this month.


Adams County To Open First Teen Shelter

In a first for Adams County, a new shelter for teens facing homelessness will open in Thornton. 

It took 18 months for the Thornton City Council to secure funding and the new location for the Community Reach Center. The 10-bed facility will provide temporary shelter for kids ages 12 to 18. Stays there will be voluntary and designed for displaced youth or those facing homelessness.

The Thornton City Council hopes the facility will help kids stay away from the streets where they can become victims of violent crime or be involved in crimes themselves.

The center is expected to open by the end of the year.


Kaiser Healthcare Employees Move Closer to Strike

Healthcare workers affiliated with the Service Employees International Union Local 105 in Colorado have authorized strike action against Kaiser Permanente.

With a ninety-nine percent yes vote, members made it clear they’re prepared to walk off the job if a new contract agreement isn’t reached by the September 30 deadline.

The union says it wants better pay, safer staffing levels, and better patient care. They add that they hope a work stoppage can be averted.

Kaiser Permanente said in a statement emailed to KGNU that it continues to negotiate in good faith and is committed to hiring ten thousand represented jobs nationwide.

The vote by unionized workers does not mean a strike will happen. It does give the union the power to call a strike if an agreement isn’t reached by the end of the month.

Local 105 represents more than three thousand Kaiser workers in Colorado. Nationally, strike authorization votes will continue through September.


UC Health Warns that Three Simultaneous Viruses May Soon Circulate In Colorado

At the same time, healthcare professionals are warning that three potentially deadly viruses may circulate at the same time in Colorado this fall.

Doctors at UCHealth say that instances of RSV, COVID-19. and the flu viruses all increased at the same time this year in the Southern Hemisphere. They’re concerned that the trend may reach into the northern hemisphere, too.

They recommend people plan to get their flu shots sooner rather than later this flu season, especially those in the most vulnerable groups.


Colorado Pharma Layoffs And Plant Closures

A Colorado pharmaceutical company is laying off seventy people and permanently closing two of its plants.

Aktiv Pharma Group told state regulators last week it will lay off workers at its Broomfield headquarters, and at two locations in Fort Collins. 

The company’s CEO said that circumstances are forcing them to scale back plans to grow. Five years ago they announced more than $275 million in U.S. government contracts.

Aktiv Pharma Group makes self-injectable medications for life-threatening conditions.


Boulder Community Survey Begins Today

A new community survey asking about the quality of life in Boulder, and how to improve it, begins today.

The city is mailing the survey to six thousand randomly chosen Boulder households. Anyone who is interested may fill out the survey online beginning October 3rd. 

Boulder City Council will use the results in determining future decisions.

City officials call such surveys valuable for understanding the community, measuring progress, and setting future priorities.


Louisville Road Closure

Starting today, a section of Dillon Road in Louisville will be closed in both directions. The closure runs through Friday.

Louisville police tweeted that the affected part of Dillon is between South 96th Street and South Pierce Avenue.

The closure is to accommodate repair work on the tracks at a railroad crossing.

Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon is an experienced radio reporter with more than 15 years of experience creating compelling, sound-rich radio stories for news outlets across the country. Kenyon has master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism in radio broadcast and photojournalism. She has worked in KGNU's news department since 2021 as a reporter, editor, and daily news producer. In all her work, she strives to produce thought-provoking, trustworthy journalism that makes other people's stories feel personal. In addition to audio production, Kenyon runs KGNU's news internship program and oversees the department's digital engagement.

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