The Home Front: Less GMO crops, more bike sharing in Colorado

“The Colorado Public Utilities Commission cut more than $6 million out of Black Hills Energy’s request for an extra $8.5 million a year in revenue Wednesday,” The Pueblo Chieftain reports. “Even so, Commissioner Frances Koncilja wanted more cuts and complained the state commission has been too agreeable in past rate requests from the electric utility. Black Hills is seeking a 5 percent hike in monthly electric bills to help pay for a $70 million “peak power” turbine at its Pueblo power station.”

The Boulder Daily Camera reports how the county is phasing out growing GMO crops on county-owned farmland. “Tenant farmers who have been growing genetically engineered corn on the lands they lease from the county can continue to plant it next year but will have to end using county-owned fields for GMO corn crops by the end of 2019. The staff-produced transition plan was approved by Commissioners Elise Jones and Deb Gardner but opposed by Commissioner Cindy Domenico. Genetically engineered sugar beets will continue to be allowed for the next five years but will have to be phased out completely by the end of 2021.”

“With fundraising and revenue barely keeping pace with costs, the Bright Futures scholarship program will need an infusion of cash in coming years, Weld County officials admitted publicly for the first time this week,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The Bright Futures program promises up to $3,000 per year for higher education to any Weld County high school graduate, GED recipient or honorably discharged military veteran.”

The Longmont Times-Call reports on a group considering affordable housing options in Boulder. “The Boulder County Housing Authority is inviting Longmont residents and the owners and employees of downtown Longmont businesses and properties to a Dec. 8 community outreach presentation about the agency’s proposal to develop an affordable-housing project there. The development being considered for a 0.8-acre site on the east side of the 500 block of Coffman Street would be a mixed-use building with 50 to 80 affordable-housing units, a parking garage and about 10,000 square feet of commercial office space.”

“Last year, the Thompson School District received less than $200,000 in marijuana tax money from the state to pay for 28 percent of the new roof installed at Berthoud High School,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “That grant was awarded from a pool of $40 million in total marijuana money that the state receives to split among all school districts through a competitive application process, according to information given to the Thompson school board during a budget discussion at Wednesday’s meeting. Each grant, once approved, also requires a large match from districts.”

Colorado State University is gearing up to expand its bike-sharing program, according to The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The expansion would fill a ‘black hole’ in the bike-share program’s coverage area and potentially lead to stations going in along the West Elizabeth Street corridor and at apartment complexes that cater to students,” Hanna Johnson, director of environmental affairs for Associated Students of Colorado State University, told the paper. “Johnson said Monday during a meeting of ASCSU representatives and the Fort Collins City Council.”

The Durango Herald reports how outreach is changing homeless camping culture in the area. “After years of shutting camps down, the Sheriff’s Office told residents camps would be left alone if they were kept clean and the campers obeyed the law, said Lt. Ed Aber, who started the effort.”

Cañon City Police will issue tickets to reckless drivers near a construction site, The Daily Record reports. “Clint Robertson, public information officer for CCPD, said in less than two hours Tuesday, the CCPD stopped 12 people who violated rules of the road.”

The Denver Post leads with a story today about Donald Trump electing to leave his businesses to focus on being president but “did not provide any details about how he planned to separate from his businesses, though he said legal documents were being prepared. He has previously said that he’d leave his business operations to his three eldest children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka.”

Colorado’s secretary of state, Wayne Williams, says an amendment passed by voters to amend the constitution to make it harder for voters to pass amendments to the constitution will make Colorado less of a guinea pig, reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs.