The Home Front: Drone classes, ‘Traily McTrailface’, and how the Western Slope differs from Denver

Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado

The Home Front: Drone classes, ‘Traily McTrailface’, and how the Western Slope differs from Denver

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel today tells a tale of two states— how the West Slope and Denver differ. “Denver metro area residents like what they see when they look at cranes piercing the sky for new buildings, and Western Slope residents tend to be somewhat disappointed by the amount of economic activity they see, according to a survey released Wednesday,” the paper reports. “The Centennial State Survey by Colorado Mesa University and the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College found that the Mile High City and its environs see a much different economy than do residents on the other side of the Continental Divide. More than half of the survey respondents living in the Denver metro region rate the local economy as excellent or very good. A fifth of Western Slope residents saw their local economy as excellent or very good. Similarly, 57 percent of metro-area respondents said they were pleased with job opportunities available to them, while just 37 percent of Western Slope residents said the same. Statewide, “There’s a sense of optimism, but that optimism isn’t equally shared,” said Justin Gollob, professor of political science at CMU, who headed the survey.”

“Greeley-Evans School District 6 teachers and the district’s individual schools will feel the squeeze of a tightening budget in 2017-18, according to a district proposal reflecting probable state funding allocations,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “District 6 administrators shared the preliminary budget proposal Wednesday during a half-day special meeting with school board members. Based on the long bill currently in the Colorado House, District 6 is looking at a $4.62 million increase in funding. The 3.8 percent increase is better than a cut, but district leaders say it’s not as much as they would like, particularly given increasing expenses.”

The Longmont Times-Call reports on the growing hobby of local drone flying and a new class about how to use them by the local parks and rec. “Registration recently opened for an ‘Introduction to Drones’ class this month and in June as well as two ‘Drone Academy’ classes for kids in July,” the paper reports. “Recreation Coordinator Kale Olson said that with the popularization of the devices for both recreational and commercial reasons, he thought it’d be practical to pilot a safety class. He said drones are not allowed over Longmont unless they’re flown in a private backyard and below the roof line.”

“A third Fremont County Sheriff’s officer in as many months has been placed on administrative leave. The Pueblo Chieftain has learned that Sgt. Arin Hart, who has worked for the sheriff’s office nearly four years, was placed on administrative leave last month reportedly because of questionable handling of more than one case,” the paper reports. “Assistant District Attorney Thom LeDoux confirmed Hart was on administrative leave as did longtime Defense Attorney Jeff Manning and Chief Deputy Public Defender for the 11th Judicial District Daniel Zettler.”

“In Larimer County, prosecutors find themselves staring down some 3,000 felony charges in a given year, and they effectively have four courtrooms in which to try those cases,” reports The Fort Collins Coloradoan. “Some of these cases involve the alleged abuse of children, which, due to their complex nature, can take weeks to resolve in a jury trial and frequently involve allegations of additional crimes such as domestic violence. The cases can also require the testimony of the children involved, which leaves attorneys grappling with what effect taking the stand could have on the victim and the case. “These children can get lost because everyone is so focused on the parent,” said Lynn Oesterle-Zollner, former executive director of children’s advocacy group CASA. ‘Even though the intention is all child focused.'”

“A city whose residents helped coin a name as quirky and memorable as the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge is going back to the public to help name a new mountain bike trail on Buffalo Pass,” reports The Steamboat Pilot & Today. “And if you’re hoping something like Traily McTrailface prevails, be advised this naming contest has a higher bar to clear than some other naming contests when odd, out-of-the-box entries have made international headlines. The U.S. Forest Service will be screening the suggested names and deciding which ones will be put out to a vote of the public later this summer.”

“Annemarie Chenoweth, a resident in the Big Thompson Canyon, has been vocal about her frustration with the U.S. 34 permanent repairs process since the beginning,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “In at least two Colorado Department of Transportation meetings about plans for construction last year, she stormed out of the meetings in anger. At an open house Wednesday night in which agency officials discussed a new, longer closure schedule that would shorten the construction timeline, Chenoweth said she decided to take a different approach. She was passing around a petition asking for signatures to refuse CDOT’s plan.”

“Aspen Valley Hospital is required to keep on hand enough cash that it could continue to operate for 180 days even if it never collected a single bill in that time, hospital CEO Dave Ressler said,” reports The Aspen Times, which is also running a six-part series on mountain town healthcare by William Scanlon. “Over the past decade, Aspen Valley has expanded its office space for practices and clinics. The first two phases are complete, one is half complete and the fourth is expected to cost about $11 million out of the entire $150 million project. Of that total, $50 million in general obligation bonds will be repaid through property taxes. Aspen Valley is two-thirds of the way through a $60 million campaign to raise money through philanthropy. Hospital reserves will be paying the balance. Ressler has heard the complaints that the hospitals are palaces, with the gleam of bigger urban hospitals but much higher costs. But he says Aspen Valley isn’t trying to duplicate bigger hospitals.”

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports on priorities for new members of the city council.

“Efforts to preserve Louisville’s sole mobile home park are taking shape as officials try to stave off echoes of Boulder County’s affordable housing woes,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “City councilors have proposed several options for the 94-unit Parco Dello Zingaro Mobile Home Park, a 16-acre cluster of “pre-fab” homes that have served as a cheap alternative to the surrounding growth for decades. Preserving the park could include city-funded incentives for the park’s owner, such as tax incentives, loans or grants to “promote the maintenance” of the park. The city also could provide support for a resident-owned community (ROC) similar to Boulder’s Mapleton Mobile Home Park, wherein residents purchase the park outright or through the assistance of a nonprofit or housing authority and forms an owners association to manage the property.”

The Denver Post today looks at how World War I shaped Colorado. “Even 100 years after the United States’ entry into the war to end all wars, Army 1st Lt. Charles Stewart’s letters to his wife — found years ago in a trunk in the attic of a Denver home — still evoke vivid snapshots of a relatively short but bloody chapter in history.”


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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.


  1. Joseph Kooyenga on said:

    HEY!! Are all your proofreaders on vacation? Those of us west of the Divide do not care much for being called part of the “Western Slop”, regardless of political proclivities; and, many of us here are aware that WWII (2) did NOT start 100 years ago.

  2. Tina Griego on said:

    Thank you for the catch, Joseph. Our apologies to the good folk of the Western Slope.

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