The Home Front: Will a Colorado town legalize civil disobedience against fracking?

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The Home Front: Will a Colorado town legalize civil disobedience against fracking?

“An anti-fracking ordinance aimed at hobbling oil and gas development within Lafayette through sanctioning acts of civil disobedience and non-violent protest will go in front of city leaders Tuesday,” The Longmont Times-Call reports. “The vote comes just two years after a Boulder District Court judge tossed out the town’s voter-approved fracking ban and marks a return to form for the truculent community.” The ordinance would “legalize non-violent direct action protests — such acts can include sit-ins, strikes, workplace occupations or blockades — [and] would target drilling activity and allow protesters unprecedented immunity from arrest or detainment,” The Boulder Daily Camera previously reported.

The Coloradoan in Fort Collins reports on the closure of a biogas local waste-to-energy plant because of bad smells. “Nobody expected North America’s biggest trash-to-treasure operation to smell like roses,” the paper reports. “But they didn’t expect the dizziness, headaches and eau de ‘scorched manure,’ either. Weld County’s Heartland Biogas facility, a $115 million anaerobic digester that turns cattle manure and food waste into renewable biogas, was supposed to be the 21st century’s answer to a burning question: What the heck do we do with all our waste?”

A man who bought a storage unit at an auction contacted The Cañon City Daily Record to tell the paper what he found inside. “A bloody rope, an ax and boxes of paperwork were among the items of evidence found in the storage unit” that belonged to a local county sheriff’s lieutenant and were part of evidence in a 2006 murder. He told someone in law enforcement and the former owner of the storage shed caught wind. So did the sheriff, the paper reports. “I was told to not tell anyone about the shed,” the new storage unit owner told the paper. “Why would they have all of this old murder evidence?” The Fremont County sheriff’s office says it is cooperating with the state police agency in an investigation.

A high school teacher in Glenwood Springs started a program for students building tiny homes for teachers, reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “First and foremost, this is about creating a hands-on, multidisciplinary learning experience for the kids,” he told the paper. “It’s a perfect program for the Design/Build class — they’re learning about electrical, plumbing, structural elements, and so much more. Right now, while the weather is still cold and snowy, we’re working indoors to build the house’s interior components. Once things warm up, we’ll move outside and start building the exterior structure on a trailer donated to us by Alpine Bank.” There is a housing crisis for educators in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Greeley Tribune profiles a mobile tattoo removal service run by Jesus Bujanda and his wife Gayedine who wanted to help young people in detention centers before they start looking for work. “He now makes trips into … some facilities as a contractor with the state to start removing ink before folks are released,” the paper reports. “He calls his business TattooEmergency911 and he’s been operational since August. He lives in Denver and travels around the state in the ambulance. He still teaches full time, so he fits removals in after hours and on weekends. It’s a lot of work, but he loves it. Growing up in Denver, he saw the havoc gangs could wreak on people’s lives and how difficult it was to survive if you struggled to get a decent job.”

“A company that holds a federal oil shale lease in eastern Utah says it appreciates the royalty-rate flexibility in new lease rules released by the government last week,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The Bureau of Land Management unveiled federal oil shale regulations on Tuesday establishing that royalty rate structure set in 2008 will now serve as a floor for rates, with the discretion of the Interior secretary to set higher rates on a lease-by-lease basis. The agency rejected royalty options that included a minimum 12.5 percent rate, the rate it imposes for conventional oil and gas leases. The 2008 rate structure included a rate of 5 percent of the value of production for the first five years of commercial development of a lease, increasing by 1 percent in subsequent years and a half percent in the 13th year, to a maximum of 12.5 percent.”

The Loveland Reporter-Herald fronts a piece today about a local woman who is speaking at the Women’s March on Denver Friday during the inauguration of Donald Trump. “Jacki Marsh won the world’s first women-only road racing competition, the Crazylegs Mini Marathon, in New York City in June 1972, just a few weeks before the passage of Title IX.”

A Boulder County family is trying to raise money to combat a rare neurodegenerative condition called Batten disease afflicting a child named Mila. “It is a disease without a known cure and leaves children blind, unable to walk, talk or swallow,” The Boulder Daily Camera reports. “No child has survived Batten disease and the particular type that Mila has means she is currently unlikely to reach her late teens, her mother Julia Vitarello said. Because the disease is hereditary, there is a 25 percent chance that Mila’s 2-year-old brother may also have the disease.”

The Durango Herald profiles a local chief district judge and former Olympian speed skater who recently retired.

“For millions of Americans, Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial spoke to the power of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on those same steps,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs for a story about local leaders reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. “Eight years later, as the country marks the slain civil rights leader’s birthday, many are questioning how America went from seemingly realizing King’s dream with the election of the first black president to the racially divisive campaign that put Donald Trump in the White House.”

The Denver Post reports on a Sunday rally in Denver where Democratic politicians urged Obamacare supporters to fight efforts to repeal the national healthcare law. “Republicans in Congress are preparing to repeal the law but so far have presented no plan to replace it,” the paper reports.

Denverite looks back at Martin Luther King’s last stop in Denver.

ColoradoPolitics has a video of two Capitol reporters talking about talks of bipartisanship in the legislature this year. But how long will it last?

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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. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

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