The Home Front: In Fort Collins, an overwhelming community response to a vandalized mosque
Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado
The Loveland Reporter-Herald covered the overwhelming community response to vandalism at a Fort Collins mosque. “Early Sunday morning, a lone man tried every door to get into the Islamic Center of Fort Collins. Finding none unlocked, he picked up rocks and threw them through the center’s glass doors, shattering the glass and leaving shards that prevented morning prayers,” the paper reports. “Then he threw a Bible through the hole in the glass and left, leaving no clues or other message. Within the course of a day, however, hundreds of area residents left a message of their own, however, that such actions will not be tolerated. Several hundred residents of many faiths gathered Sunday afternoon in a hastily called rally to demonstrate their solidarity with the faithful who use the Islamic Center. There were so many, in fact, that the public address system reached only the closest couple of hundred — those outside hearing range joined in the clapping, chanting and singing when those in front started.”
There were about 1,000 who showed up, The Coloradoan in Fort Collins reports. “About 1,000 Fort Collins community members gathered outside the Islamic Center of Fort Collins on Sunday evening to show solidarity after a vandal targeted the Muslim house of worship earlier in the day. ‘No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor,’ was the overarching message on signs held by people of all faiths in the crowd. Attendees cheered as Sen. John Kefalas and President of the Islamic Center Tawfik AboEllail read the same in Spanish and Arabic. The damage at the Islamic Center was first discovered when people arrived for the first prayer of the day about 5:30 a.m., AboEllail said.”
“Drilling applications and investments by oil and gas companies are surging in Colorado after crude prices partially rebounded from their collapse in recent years, pushing the industry deeper into residential communities largely unaccustomed to drilling,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Major companies operating in the Denver-Julesburg Basin expect to more than double the number of oil and gas drilling rigs in Colorado, from 10 last year to 21 in 2017, The Denver Post reported Sunday. The Denver-Julesburg Basin is the source of more than 90 percent of the oil produced in Colorado and much of the states’ natural gas production. Applications to drill are up in Adams, Arapahoe and Larimer counties and southwestern Weld County. Meanwhile, seven of the largest companies operating in central and eastern Colorado plan to spend almost $4 billion this year, up from $2.3 billion for 2016.”
The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent reported on a rise in heroin ODs and how law enforcement is responding. “Though it has been slower to arrive in Garfield and neighboring counties, local law enforcement agencies are putting measures in place to be ready when it does,” the paper reported. “We continue to see heroin much more than I ever have in my 20 years with the department,” Bill Linn, assistant chief at the Aspen Police Department, told the paper. “Back when I started with the department, we never saw heroin, and now it just continues to build. We’ve really started to really hear about it over the past five years.”
“Revenues from a public-safety sales tax in Mesa County would go to the Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney, but those agencies still would have to compete for general-fund money, Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis said,” according to The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “He is working with others to draw up a proposal the commission will consider for the November ballot, McInnis said. Many details remain to be worked out, but McInnis has made it clear that the measure will seek a sales tax increase that can be used only for the Sheriff’s Office and for prosecutors.”
“As spring and summer fall upon Lyons, the Boulder County sheriff’s sergeant overseeing the town is bracing for an increase in traffic volume and other public safety issues,” The Longmont Times-Call reports. “In the midst of flood recovery, neighborhoods have been seeing spillover from the main routes as motorists attempt to evade lines of vehicles backed up during rush hours, Sgt. Bill Crist said. ‘It becomes very busy and inherently, the volume becomes an issue,” Crist said. “Along with volume, you have traffic violations of running stop signs, speeding and so on.'”
The Cañon City Daily Record reports on the Paper Patriots of Fremont. “Local artist Dakota Rogers decided last year she wanted to do something to show her appreciation to members of the military, but she wanted it to be close to home,” the paper reports. “After a couple of months of phone calls and Internet research, she finally made a connection with Operation Homefront and learned that at any given moment there are 35 to 45 recovering troops on the Army base at Fort Carson. She formed Paper Patriots of Fremont County and once every three months, a group of volunteers meets to decorate cards for wounded soldiers who are recovering just 45 miles from here. ‘We wanted to make cards of gratitude for these people to let them know we appreciate their service,’ Rogers said. ‘I just appreciate what they do for us — I have a lot of freedom because these people keep me safe.'”
“Plans to redevelop Erie’s treasured Wise Farm property should be significantly scaled back to reduce impacts on the surrounding rural aesthetic, according to neighboring residents, many of whom have signed a petition calling for town leaders to halt an ordinance approving such plans,” reports The Boulder Daily Record. “Trustees will meet on Tuesday to hear public comments and consider an ordinance to change the zoning to allow an increase in the density of homes that could be built on a portion of the 176-acre property south of Jasper Road and west of 119th Street. If approved, the proposal would add scores of low-density housing to primarily rural acreage, which, under the current zoning, allows for agricultural/open space and rural residential.”
The Durango Herald profiled a man leaving a local environmental advocacy group. “In Dan Olson’s line of work, there’s never a good time to leave,” the paper reports. “‘With issues that involve the environment, it’s not something you fix,’ Olson said recently from the San Juan Citizens Alliance’s office in the Smiley Building. ‘It’s an ongoing community dialogue about what is the right balance between economic development and environmental protection, and that work will never be done.’ In early May, though, Olson will step down from his role as executive director of the San Juan Citizens Alliance, a Durango-based environmental advocacy group, and relocate with his family to Portland, Oregon. ‘It’s super mixed emotions,’ Olson said. ‘There’s plenty of work left unfinished, but in the last three years we have really rebuilt a very strong platform for the alliance.’ Olson, 38, is leaving so that his wife, Emily, can attend graduate school for nursing and midwifery in Portland. Emily Olson works in the Durango office for Chama Peak Land Alliance. The two have a pre-school aged son, Henry.”
The Gazette follows up on lasting damage from a July storm in the Colorado Springs area. “The roof-pounding, window-shattering, car-crunching hailstorm that pummeled the Pikes Peak region July 28 lasted only a few hours. But the storm’s aftermath is entering its ninth month, with little end in sight. Weary businesses – some of which stopped advertising because they had too many customers – continue to reroof homes, replace gutters, and smooth out car bodies as fast as they can. And while they wait for repairs, some homeowners still rely on duct-tape patches to cover holes in their pockmarked siding.”
“The three-day Denver March Powwow has come a long way from when it started as a one-afternoon event 43 years ago, Master of Ceremonies Lawrence Baker said,” reports The Denver Post.
ColoradoPolitics has a look at this week at the Capitol.
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