The Home Front: Meet the ‘Hartsel flats settlers’

The Gazette in Colorado springs has a fascinating enterprise feature about the “Hartsel flats settlers,” the eccentric residents who live on that barren stretch of Highway 24 near 11-Mile Reservoir in the miles before the tiny town of Hartsel. The area, where land is cheap and people are scarce, is where the accused Planned Parenthood shooter lived in a trailer on a parcel. “Many of the new residents bought land sight unseen in the sprawling, windswept subdivisions where 5-acre lots go for less than $7,000,” the paper reports. “The properties are hawked on the internet and sold by real estate companies that ask few questions.”

Undocumented students at Colorado State University face an uncertain future under president Donald Trump, reports The Fort Collins Coloradoan. “These children — who must have entered the country before turning 16 and before June 2007 — can apply for protection from deportation and a renewable work permit. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to “immediately terminate” DACA — an action that would have a swift and dramatic impact on about 28,000 DACA applicants in Colorado who have been approved since its inception in 2012. Trump can undo the program because it was enacted via executive action, rather than an act of Congress.”

The Durango Herald reports on a Durango resident who founded the organization Tweet Congress, “a nonpartisan online platform that tracks congressional tweets. It also allows users to find their representatives on Twitter and search for certain topics in tweets, like taxes,” and is now trying to expand internationally.

“A new class sponsored by Northwest Colorado Health is helping to provide local Latino community members with personal health knowledge they may not have,” reports Steamboat Today. “The CHARLAR program, which stands for Community Heart Health Actions for Latinos at Risk, has been around in Denver for several years, according to Erick Ocampo, a community connector for Northwest Colorado Health who is running the program in Steamboat Springs.”

The Longmont Times-Call reports how Boulder County commissioners are considering a plan to phase out the growing of GMO crops on city-owned land. “As of this past Wednesday morning, however, only one person had taken advantage of a county offer for people to sign up in advance, online, to speak at that hearing, according to Gabi Boerkircher, a spokeswoman for the commissioners’ office.”

“Bowie Resources LLC is seeking to build a plant to produce synthetic gas from coal waste at its mine near Paonia, a potential opportunity for the company to claw back jobs lost when the mine was idled earlier this year,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Coal gasification involves producing gas by subjecting coal to heat and pressure rather than burning it directly, the U.S. Department of Energy says on its Office of Fossil Energy website. The gas produced at the Bowie No. 2 Mine would be used to generate either electricity or diesel/fuel oil, according to a permit revision application a contract engineer submitted on behalf of Bowie to the state Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety.”

The Loveland Reporter-Herald reports on how a city planning commission will vote on approval of “a site plan for the new Larimer County building to be located at First Street and Denver Avenue.” The 48,000-square foot county building “will be located on 7.8 acres of land on the northwest corner of East First Street and North Denver Avenue, relocating from its current site in downtown Loveland on Sixth Street.”

A Boulder man and University of Colorado graduate who builds classic arcade games is finding success in nostalgia, reports The Boulder Daily Camera. The generation who grew up with arcade games are eager to pass on their passions, and are just now at the age where they have kids and the resources to do so, he told the paper, creating a perfect set of circumstances for his business to thrive.

The Denver Post reports on a new HOV lane. “In a move that could shift the dynamics of carpools across the Denver metro area, the popular High Occupancy Vehicle rules that let two occupants ride free on Express Lanes through often-congested segments of U.S. 36 and Interstate 25 will require at least one more rider to claim the privilege.”