The Home Front: Asked about a 2020 prez run, Hickenlooper says ‘Never rule anything out’

The Gazette today reports on a speech by Gov. John Hickenlooper in Colorado Springs where he praised the city’s resurgence. Someone asked him if he might run for president in 2020. “I’m a pretty moderate person,” he said in a video on the paper’s website. “I’m probably a very moderate Democrat.” He said in most primary seasons people like him play supporting roles, not lead roles. “So you won’t run in 2020,” someone asked. “I didn’t say that,” he said, adding that he has two years to make Colorado the “national model,” and that you “never rule anything out.”

The new issue facing Boulder: Banks on the Pearl Street Mall. Now, no more of them, The Boulder Daily Camera reports. “Concerned that the Pearl Street Mall is becoming a less vibrant space for pedestrian-oriented retail, the Boulder City Council on Tuesday night approved a surprise temporary ban on new building permits for financial institutions,” the paper reports. “The ban, effective immediately, runs for 120 days and applies to ground-floor spaces on Pearl Street between Ninth and 18th streets. It could be expanded in coming months to include additional restrictions or incentives designed to encourage what Mayor Suzanne Jones called ‘the unique, local businesses’ that city leaders really want in Boulder’s central and internationally recognized commercial district.”

The Greeley Tribune reports today that renewable energy “appears to be taking the lead over natural gas power generation in Colorado, but coal-fired energy remains the leader by a substantial amount. In a presentation Wednesday to reporters, Erica Bowman, chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute, discussed the future of the oil and natural gas industry at the Colorado Petroleum Council’s office. She highlighted the oil and gas industry is turning around after two years of depressed prices, and Tracee Bentley, executive director of the Colorado office, said the state now has 26 drilling rigs up-and-running — a dramatic up-tick from about 15 rigs in the lows of 2016.”

“Discussions so far in the Colorado Legislature this year about putting something onto the fall ballot dealing with transportation funding is stuck in the slow lane,” The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports. “Legislative leaders in the Democratic-controlled House and GOP-led Senate agree that the time has long passed to do something about putting more money toward transportation, but those leaders have only managed to agree on what they don’t want to see happen. In the Senate, President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, and Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, have made it clear that they won’t go along with a stand-alone ballot measure that merely increases taxes. In the House, Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, said she doesn’t want any compromise to do anything that cuts into funding for K-12 education or health care programs.”

The Longmont Times-Call reports on Lafayette locals voicing support for an anti-fracking proposal. “The meeting, which was held in front of more than 60 citizens cramped inside the East Simpson Coffee Company in Lafayette, occurred as two parallel oil and gas narratives play out — both across the country and in the small east Boulder County city. The Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners building the Dakota Access Pipeline announced Wednesday night it plans to resume work immediately, less than a month after President Donald Trump breathed new life into the project with an executive order. Lafayette’s City Council, meanwhile, is grappling with an almost unprecedented anti-fracking proposal dubbed the ‘Climate Bill of Rights and Protections.'” (Read our own report on this issue yesterday by Kelsey Ray.)

“Pueblo County has asked to have a seat at the table in a federal lawsuit against the city of Colorado Springs,” The Pueblo Chieftain reports. “The lawsuit claims there is harm caused by discharges of pollutants down Fountain Creek into Pueblo and east to the Arkansas River’s other tributaries. The Pueblo County commissioners on Wednesday asked staff to file a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed Nov. 9 in U.S. District Court in Denver by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment against Colorado Springs.”

The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports on nine locals “with a diverse set of occupations” who applied to run for a seat on the city council, aka, “one of the hottest tickets in town.” Asked to name the top issues facing the city, th paper reports, “many of the applicants mentioned the high cost of housing.”

What is the meaning behind an “inadequate” restaurant rating? “It’s the lowest of five possible one-word ratings given by health inspectors in Larimer and Weld counties, and it can have a serious impact on the reputation of a restaurant in the region’s crowded dining scene,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “I think the biggest misconception is that (an inadequate rating) means there’s rats running around with cockroaches and hair everywhere,” Amelia Mouton, who runs Restaurant 415 in Fort Collins, told the paper. “That’s just not true. It’s a very complicated (code).”

The Loveland Reporter-Herald reports Northern Water officials “will be asked Thursday to kick in $100,000 alongside Larimer County and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to pay for boat inspections on Carter Lake and Horsetooth Reservoir to keep the waters and infrastructure clean from invasive mussels.”

“It’s almost time for the Vail Town Council to start writing checks for the Chamonix townhomes project in West Vail,” reports Vail Daily. “Those checks are going to be big ones. As the project comes closer to construction, town officials have a solid idea of what it’s going to cost to build the 32 townhomes. There are still variables, but if the units are built in a Nebraska factory, reassembled in Vail and built in one phase, the project will come in at about $17.5 million. The town is paying to build the townhomes, and the project will require the town to pay about $14.9 million between April and November of this year, with the rest of the project cost coming in 2018.”

The Aspen Times reports how a property developer’s $35 million deal fell through. “Developer Mark Hunt’s $35 million acquisition of two downtown Aspen buildings has collapsed. Hunt confirmed Wednesday that his purchase of the old Guido’s Swiss Inn structure, currently home to the Casa Tua private club, and its neighboring retail building at 447 E. Cooper Ave., fell through last month,” the paper reports. “It was just really about taking too much risk,” he told the paper. “There were too many unknowns.”

“When April Ralph was referred to Advantage Physical Therapy and Wellness in Durango last summer, she had aching pain down her left leg. To ease it, her physical therapist, Kolten Tea, used dry needles to help loosen the deep muscles in her lower back and thigh, in addition to other exercises,” reports The Durango Herald. “After inserting the needles, Tea sent a low electrical current through the needle to the muscles for about 30 seconds,” the paper reports. “You can feel the muscle twitching through the needle, and when it twitches it means that muscle is dysfunctional and it needs to be reset,” he told the paper., which reported “the electrical current helps reset communication between the nerve and the muscle.”

The Denver Post reports attorneys “overseeing the $375 million settlement with homeowners who lived downwind of the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant demanded on Wednesday that a California firm stop trying to process claims on behalf of up to 15,000 affected households. Philadelphia-based law firm Berger & Montague, which represents residents whose properties lost value after it was disclosed that plutonium had been released from the plant over the 40 years it operated on a windswept site northwest of Denver, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Optimal Settlements LLC demanding that it stop engaging in “unauthorized and deceptive communications” with claimants. The law firm also asked U.S. District Judge John Kane to step in and halt the company’s efforts.”

“Based on their findings during a public hearing Tuesday, the Cañon City Board of Adjustment ruled in favor of City Administrator Tony O’Rourke’s decision, acting as the city’s Zoning Administrator, that a ground-level residence in the Central Business District is out of compliance with zoning regulations,” The Cañon City Daily Record reports. “Ron and Sheila Kimmell purchased the building at 401 Main St. in April 2007. It was built in 1874. Ron Kimmell said the purchase and investment into the building was meant to be a good move for the downtown community, and they have maintained they want to be part of the solution and not the problem.”