Colorado cities rebel: Boulder declares itself a sanctuary city, Fort Collins sends climate-change letter to Trump

Today’s news from around the state, Jan. 4, 2017

Colorado cities rebel: Boulder declares itself a sanctuary city, Fort Collins sends climate-change letter to Trump

 

Defying Donald Trump, Boulder has declared itself a sanctuary city. “It was a largely symbolic gesture, as Boulder already acts as other self-proclaimed sanctuary cities do — that is, it refuses to comply with federal authorities by questioning, detaining or turning over people on the basis of immigration status,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “We are sending a message of reassurance to people,” Mayor Suzanne Jones said.

2016 was the second-warmest year on record for the city of Fort Collins, The Coloradoan reports today. And meanwhile, the city of Fort Collins sent a letter to Donald Trump about climate change. Mayor Wade Troxell’s letter, which the paper reports was written with council members, states, “it makes financial, social and environmental sense for us to increase our energy efficiency, diversify our energy portfolio for resilience, reduce waste, capitalize on valuable discarded resources for a circular economy and expand multi-modal transportation options for our workforce and community.”

There have been fighting words in Weld County, and now a lawsuit might come of them. The Greeley Tribune reports today how Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway “filed a notice of claim against his fellow commissioners alleging retaliation and defamation after he said he publicly exposed their violations of Colorado’s open meetings laws and questioned their use of county funds at an emergency training last summer, among other wrongdoings.” The paper reports Conway’s attorney, Jill Gookin of Loveland, “filed the notice of claim with Weld County Attorney Bruce Barker on Tuesday — the day before the commissioners are set to appoint commissioner oversight for county departments and elect a chairperson for the year.”

Here’s the money quote from County Commissioner Conway in the paper:

“They are so blinded right now by their anger and rage at me personally for calling them out publicly that they can’t look at this thing objectively. My hope in moving forward is they’ll start to see maybe we need to step back.”

“How do you defend people like that?” That’s a common question public defenders get. But these low-paid legal warriors do it because they are drawn to the mission not the money, as reported by The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent today. “It’s people who really want to do this kind of work. And some people really just love the rush of being a litigator,” Tina Fang, head of the Glenwood Springs Office of the Public Defender, which covers the 9th Judicial District, which includes Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties, told the local paper. “Being in a public defender’s office as a lawyer is just about the best way you can go about getting into court litigating.”

The Longmont Times-Call today reports a handful of swastikas carved into a playground and noticed by a lawmaker have been removed. “Police also have been assigned to follow up on the report to determine when the swastikas were carved and by whom,” the paper reports.

Today’s front page of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel mixes national headlines with local stories. “GOP makes about face in gutting ethics office” and “Ford keeping jobs in US, after Trump tweet” round out the national news while a plan to save water makes the local cut. A “move to pay those in the agricultural community to not plant a portion of their crops is the first time an experiment of its kind has been done in the Grand Valley, and it’s one that could change the way water providers operate in the future to conserve precious resources during drought,” the paper reports.

With the headline “Springs moves against Ark Valley District,” The Pueblo Chieftain brings news that Colorado Springs is “opposing an Arkansas River water district’s request to join a lawsuit that seeks to stop the city from discharging pollutants into Fountain Creek and other tributaries of the river.”

In a classic Colorado headline, a ski area might buy a barn, reports Steamboat Today.

The Loveland Reporter-Herald reports a drawn-out lawsuit involving a Loveland Police Department detective might come to a close. “The lawsuit, initially filed in November 2009, was brought forward by plaintiff Jeremy C. Myers, who sued Koopman and others for allegedly violating his constitutional rights when investigators searched his property near the old sugar factory on North Madison Avenue in September 2007 and arrested him on suspicion of making methamphetamine — the charges were dropped two months later, when the “drugs” found at the site turned out to be sugar products,” the paper reports.

La Plata County is developing regulations for a drone the county bought. “The county must approve regulations before the drones can be used in an official capacity,” reports The Durango Herald. “But because each mission will be different, the draft policy does not account for some situational concerns. An open house to gather public comment on the draft policy is set for next week. For example, as it’s drafted, the policy recognizes that residents’ privacy is paramount and that all missions will comply with relevant privacy laws and regulations, but privacy parameters and data collection methodology will be set project by project.”

The Cañon City Daily Record has the grimmest front page of them all today. “Body found in ditch,” reads a headline above the fold, while “Dive team finds teen’s body in pond,” reads a headline below it.

Republican lawmakers are mulling reforms to the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs, the city that birthed the controversial constitutional amendment that restricts state spending.

 

Photo by ms.akr for Creative Commons on Flickr.

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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project.

3 Comments

  1. Dave on said:

    I wonder if felons can hold public office? I hope our new President will prosecute these people to the fullest extent who conspire to break federal law.
    Is the Mayor aware of US Code 8 § 1324?
    Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
    (a) Criminal penalties
    (1)(A) Any person who—
    (i) knowing that a person is an alien, brings
    to or attempts to bring to the United States in
    any manner whatsoever such person at a place
    other than a designated port of entry or place
    other than as designated by the Commis

    sioner, regardless of whether such alien has re

    ceived prior official authorization to come to,
    enter, or reside in the United States and re

    gardless of any future official action which
    may be taken with respect to such alien;
    (ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the
    fact that an alien has come to, entered, or re

    mains in the United States in violation of law,
    transports, or moves or attempts to transport
    or move such alien within the United States
    by means of transportation or otherwise, in
    furtherance of such violation of law;
    (iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the
    fact that an alien has come to, entered, or re

    mains in the United States in violation of law,
    conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or
    attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from de

    tection, such alien in any place, including any
    building or any means of transportation;
    (iv) encourages or induces an alien to come
    to, enter, or reside in the United States, know

    ing or in reckless disregard of the fact that
    such coming to, entry, or residence is or will
    be in violation of law; or
    (v)(I) engages in any conspiracy to commit
    any of the preceding acts, or
    (II) aids or abets the commission of any of
    the preceding acts, shall be punished as provided in subparagraph
    (B).
    (B) A person who violates subparagraph (A)
    shall, for each alien in respect to whom such a
    violation occurs—
    (i) in the case of a violation of subparagraph
    (A)(i) or (v)(I) or in the case of a violation of
    subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), or (iv) in which the
    offense was done for the purpose of commer

    cial advantage or private financial gain, be
    fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than
    10 years, or both;
    (ii) in the case of a violation of subparagraph
    (A)(ii), (iii), (iv), or (v)(II), be fined under title
    18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both;
    (iii) in the case of a violation of subpara

    graph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) during and in
    relation to which the person causes serious
    bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 of title
    18) to, or places in jeopardy the life of, any
    person, be fined under title 18, imprisoned not
    more than 20 years, or both; and
    (iv) in the case of a violation of subpara

    graph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) resulting in
    the death of any person, be punished by death
    or imprisoned for any term of years or for life,
    fined under title 18, or both.

  2. K A Wagner on said:

    Thank you, Independent, for mentioning Fort Collins in this article. Unfortunately, no one can rely on the Coloradoan for the full story. The “mayor’s letter” was an attempt by the conservative majority to side step signing the National Mayor’s Letter on Climate change. Despite numerous emails, phone calls and public comment, the council members whose election was made possible by the oil and gas industry (Campana, Martinez, Troxell & Horak) argued loudest against the letter, with comments such as “too partisan” and “we don’t want to poke the president-elect in the eye.” Mayor Troxell, highlighted the climate-deniers opposition by saying that, “The sea rise level really doesn’t affect Fort Collins.” The vote on the measure was postponed until 1/17, because the conservatives were hung up on the letter’s mention of the Paris Climate Agreement. Their arguments about the Paris accord sent the issue in an entirely different direction and effectively silenced citizens who asked council to move forward on the letter. The time to change the balance of council will be the April 4 Election.

  3. John on said:

    Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama stood up against the lawful federal authorities as well. Best of luck, President Trump.

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