The Home Front: Wasp season, how jailed inmates vote, #opengov in Basalt, and relocated prairie dogs

Under the headline “Locked up but not locked out,” The Durango Herald has an A1 story about how most jail inmates in Colorado have the right to vote— but few actually do it. “In the last 20 years, Clerk and Recorder Tiffany Lee Parker said she’s aware of only one inmate who has requested a ballot from within the jail.” (According to the story, little is known about the voting trends of inmates – for example, if they tend to lean Democratic or Republican – largely because they haven’t been a part of the political process, says Juston Cooper, deputy director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition.)

The Aspen Times has an open government piece on its front page today, relaying the story of local citizen Ted Guy, who, through an attorney, filed open records requests with Basalt city council for recordings of executive sessions he contends were held improperly. “The notices failed to specify the reason for the private meetings, according to Denver attorney Steve Zansberg,” in the story. “The Aspen Times couldn’t determine if audio recordings exist for the four executive sessions that Zansberg alleges are public sessions. A town government doesn’t have to record meetings when the council is getting legal advice from its attorney, but no decisions are being made, Zansberg said.”

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has a profile of the B-29 Superfortress Warbird bomber, which is in Grand Junction for public tours through Labor Day. “The most advanced warbird in the sky in 1944, the B-29 Superfortress, is now an endangered species of sorts.”

The Fort Collins Coloradoan profiles the success of socially conscious craft beer company New Belgium— the fourth largest craft brewery in the nation— under a new CEO Christine Perich. “When not traveling to lead New Belgium’s nationwide expansion, Perich still likes to bike to work, somewhat of a calling card for New Belgium employees. She travels the same paths where you can occasionally find her predecessor, Kim Jordan, who has transitioned from CEO to executive chair of the brewery’s board of directors.”

“BUZZKILL,” reports The Greeley Tribune today. It’s wasp season. Why it’s bad, and what to do about it. “Climate has a lot to do with it. Wasps normally die off during the winter, and when we don’t have enough freezing cold days, they survive.”

Steamboat Today fronts a story about how area residents are divided about the universal healthcare ballot measure called ColoradoCare. “Most restaurants out there in the country are mom-and-pop shops with 50 or less employees and aren’t forced to offer Obamacare.”

The Loveland Reporter-Herald fronts a story about skilled masons repairing stone walls in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Longmont Times-Call has a story about a local program that allows drug abusers to surrender their stash and get rehabilitation aid with the help of local volunteers called “angels.”

The Gazette in Colorado Springs offers up an item about a massive tire dump site lagging behind in cleanup efforts south of the town of Fountain. “Tires had piled up for more than two decades after the dump began in the 1980s. Six years ago, the dump had an estimated 30 million tires in stacks above ground and buried 30 feet underground.”

The Denver Post fronts a story about some revitalization efforts on the South Platte River.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports how local advocates for a colony of prairie dogs “couldn’t be happier” now that the roughly 100 small mammals won’t be killed, but instead relocated.

Denverite’s 16th Street Mall journalism experiment is in full swing today where reporter Andrew Kenney is on Denver’s public promenade talking to strangers for 16 hours.

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