The Home Front: A look at foreign tech workers on H-1B visas in the Boulder valley

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

The Home Front: A look at foreign tech workers on H-1B visas in the Boulder valley

“The use of foreign workers by American companies — hotly debated from the White House to local boardrooms — is controversial, to say the least,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Critics claim that companies using the most visas bring in cheaper workers and displace U.S. citizens from high-paying jobs. The local tech community, plagued with a labor shortage, contends that’s not the case. But a review of H-1B records filed by Boulder, Longmont and Broomfield businesses since 2010 shows more than a dozen so-called outsourcing companies operating locally — and posting pay scales that were, on average, 11 percent less than other top H-1B sponsors, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.”

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on the consensus at the Capitol following the latest legislative session. “Troopers, transportation, transparency in government, oh, and dance halls and Pueblo chili. From the serious to the inane, the Colorado Legislature managed to accomplish much during the 2017 session that ended last week despite the two chambers being split between the two major parties. While no side of the political aisle got everything they wanted, both said they were satisfied with what they were able to enact. “You have leadership in both chambers who now are more familiar with having a split Legislature,” Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, said in explaining why he thinks more got done this session. “We have had more consistency in the split dynamic, and having to work together or nothing gets done. It’s about trying to find the right words on paper so that we … move the ball forward, and that’s what I would encourage constituents to consider.”

“On Mother’s Day, faith-based organizations joined with Garfield County immigrants to show that their concerns cut across all religions,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Faith leaders from Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist, St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, Aspen Jewish Congregation and others spoke at a vigil at Sayre Park in Glenwood Springs and vowed to stand together against deportation and family separation regardless of faith. In celebration of immigrants, the Rev. Shawna Foster announced that Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist will offer sanctuary in the Roaring Fork Valley.”

“Their biggest fear was goatheads, but to the four riders, it felt like an adventure nonetheless,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “They had plans to ride a route that will eventually become the Wildcat Trail. At least that’s the hope. The 12-mile trail would start in Milliken, follow the old Wildcat railroad tracks and could fill the key piece needed to bridge a trail system that would allow riders to travel from Fort Collins to Colo. 52 with no exposure to traffic. But there’s no trail there now. There’s not really even a good path. There is, instead, the hardscrabble terrain of Weld’s eastern plains, and that means the dastardly weed goatheads, which seem sharp and tough enough to pop the treads of a tank.”

“Longmont’s city staff is to make presentations at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting about the city’s current policies and practices when it comes to dealings with undocumented immigrants,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The council voted unanimously on May 2 to seek the staff presentation, after heard from dozens of residents who showed up on Aug. 25 to argue for or against the idea of formally declaring Longmont a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants.”

“Do not tell Richard ‘Festus’ Hagins something is impossible, because he will prove you wrong,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “After buying his house in Hayden 24 years ago and building a garden, he wanted to grow corn, but everyone told him it was not possible with the 79-day growing season in Hayden. “I took it as a challenge,” Hagins said. It took 16 years, but Hagins finally was able to grow a crop of Northern Extra Sweet Corn that took top honors at the Routt County Fair.”

The Cañon City Daily Record takes readers inside Broncos country.

“A Loveland Police Department SWAT team was called to action Sunday evening in a cul-de-sac in east Loveland,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Residents in the area of Winchester Court and Chancery Drive received calls via the city’s Everbridge notification about 6:30 p.m. notifying of police activity in the area. No details of the incident were reported in the call, but residents were told to stay indoors through the duration. After 10 p.m. Sgt. Jeff Pyle said the incident involved a man who had made suicidal threats, and shortly after that he was taken into custody with no injuries to officers or himself.”

“The El Paso County Coroner’s Office has issued a finding in the 2014 death of a Fremont County jail inmate that backs up his family’s contention that he died of prescription drug withdrawal after being deprived of an antianxiety medication,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “John Patrick Walter, who suffered delusions and shed 30 pounds in less than three weeks before his April 2014 death at the Cañon City detention center, died of “acute benzodiazepine withdrawal,” according to an April 17 report by Dr. Emily Berry.”

After the end of the legislative session, Denverite “sat down with Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran to talk about wins, losses and what comes next.”

“Crews laying fiber-optic lines on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass are bringing the region closer to better internet connectivity,” reports The Durango Herald. “Widespread phone and internet outages in June 2016 that affected 911 centers and regular customers, demonstrated the region’s need for more fiber optic lines to major internet hubs outside the area. “We, in this region, have a real lack of redundancy and Wolf Creek is one of the only ways out of the region,” Southwest Colorado Council of Governments Miriam Gillow-Wiles told the paper.

ColoradoPolitics.com offers “the 10 biggest takeaways from the Colorado legislature: traffic jams, pot, shoddy construction and more.”

“People still love to hate their cable TV company, but that’s not the main reason more consumers are abandoning traditional TV services,” reports The Denver Post. “People are cord-cutting because there are newer and cheaper cable TV-like alternatives that promise to save them money. Just two years ago, Douglas County’s Dish Network became the first to launch a package of TV channels online, its $20-a-month Sling TV with 20 channels including ESPN, Disney and HGTV. Today there’s AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV (not yet in Denver), with more rumored to be on the way. These aren’t the same as the on-demand Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which let viewers leisurely watch when they feel like it. The newer breed of internet video involves near-simulcasts of broadcast and cable channels — commercials and all — only there are no more long-term contracts or rented equipment.”

 

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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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