Most power back on in Boulder, a petition to close Boulder Municipal Airport

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    04_09_24_am_headlines John Kelin

 

 

Xcel Energy has restored energy to about 90 percent of  customers who lost power over the weekend

About ninety percent of Xcel customers have their power back on as of last night, according to Boulder Reporting Lab.

Most of the remaining outages are in the Boulder, Kipling, and Arvada foothills, which Xcel said had more wind damage than in lower elevations.

Xcel turned off the power to about 55,000 homes and businesses Saturday during a high wind event, most of them in Boulder County. Another hundred thousand lost power due to wind damage.

All schools in the Boulder Valley School District will be open today, according to the BVSD website. About half a dozen were closed yesterday, but power has been fully restored.

Boulder County Public Health, meanwhile, is urging people with private water wells who lost power over the weekend, to clean their wells before drinking the water. 

The Daily Camera says that includes flushing out all water lines.

Xcel de-energized more than six hundred miles of power lines Saturday, as a safety measure. It was the first time in Colorado that Xcel turned off power to customers, in what the company termed a public safety shutoff. They required a visual inspection before turning power back on. 

An unmoored Xcel powerline was identified by investigators as one of the causes of the Marshall Mesa wildfire on December 30, 2021. Xcel says that conclusion is wrong. The Marshall Mesa fire is the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history. 

 

Boulder Airport Petition 

A petition to close the Boulder Municipal Airport and convert it in affordable housing is underway.

Organizers of the drive hope to collect enough signatures to get the question on Boulder’s ballot this year.

The nearly one hundred-year-old airport sits on 179 acres of land, and has been the focus of a long debate over whether to convert that property into a residential neighborhood, according to Boulder Reporting Lab.

Petition organizers say they want to see the land turned into a “sustainable, mixed use neighborhood,”  the airport as soon as it is reasonably feasible.

At the same time, another group is campaigning to keep the airport open. While they are not trying to put the question before voters, they say the airport is a valuable asset to the community.

At present, the Boulder Municipal Airport is mostly used by private pilots, pilots-in-training, and glider pilots.

The city currently has commitments to keep the airport open. The results of a financial and legal analysis of a possible closing are expected to be given to the Boulder City Council sometime later this year.

Sun Reporter kicked out of Colorado GOP Assembly

A veteran reporter for the Colorado Sun was ejected from the state Republican assembly in Pueblo Saturday.

State GOP chair Dave Williams ordered the removal of Sandra Fish, according to Colorado Politics, on the grounds that her reporting is “unfair.”

Fish was escorted from the event by a law enforcement officer, even though she had press credentials to be there.

Williams, who is also running for U.S. Representative in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District, won the state party chair on a platform that included the false claim that ex-president Trump won the 2020 election.

Several state GOP officials have rallied to Fish’s defense, calling her a fair reporter, and her forced removal from the Republican assembly an embarrassment to the party.

Sandra Fish is an accredited journalist whose political reporting goes back some forty years.

 

Two-year Boulder City Council agenda focuses on homelessness and housing

The Boulder City Council set an agenda for the coming two years, during a two day retreat last week. At the top of its list of priorities are homelessness and housing, downtown revitalization, and wildfire preparedness.

In addition to current homeless programs, council members will look into a new initiative to help people who are considered “high utilizers” of city services— meaning those who repeatedly go through the city’s hospital and legal systems. 

Council members also prioritized housing issues, in particular increasing the city’s housing density limits. Boulder Reporting Lab says that could mean making changes to existing rules that prohibit duplexes and other multi-family dwellings. Some of those prohibitions still exist, in spite of changes made to the city code last year.

The council also looked at rent stabilization for mobile homes.

In downtown revitalization, city council wants to address office vacancies in downtown Boulder. Many office spaces are still empty in the aftermath of the COVID 19 pandemic, when the number of people working remotely nearly doubled, according to a recent survey.

Finally, as a wildfire protection measure, the council wants to amend zoning and building codes to limit the use of flammable landscaping and building materials.

 

Boulder Human Relations Fund

The City of Boulder is taking applications for its Human Relations Fund.

The city opened rolling applications yesterday, for events that take place from June through the end of this year.

The city said in a press release that the Human Relations Fund is to support community-initiated activities that focus on, or raise awareness of, civil rights, human rights, or equity issues and problems in Boulder.

More information, and applications, are on the city’s website.

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