The Home Front: Trump’s National Security Council pick has Fort Carson, Colorado ties

The Gazette reports today that President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the National Security Council, Army. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, “will be a familiar face in Colorado Springs.” He led a unit from the local Army base Fort Carson through a deployment in Iraq. “After leaving command of the Colorado Springs regiment, he’s become one of the Army’s gurus for tactics and doctrine,” the paper reports. “In a 2013 Colorado Springs visit, McMaster said that the military’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to be repeated by future enemies who watched American troops struggle against shadow insurgent groups.”

“Service contractors have agreed to restart work on a tar sands project in eastern Utah in exchange for stock in the endeavor or deferral of payments,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “US Oil Sands Inc. announced the deals late last week as it looks to complete commissioning of its project to use a citrus-based solvent to extract oil from tar sands in its PR Spring Project north of Interstate 70 not far from the Colorado border. The arrangements come just a little more than a month after US Oil Sands closed on a $7.5 million loan with its largest shareholder, allowing it to bring employees back to work after layoffs late last year due to cost overruns on the project.”

The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent reports how the Roaring Fork School District teachers association is questioning Riverview School’s hiring plan. Why? “After observing the initial hiring at the school, we are very concerned that the focus of the district is not on giving priority to current dedicated, quality district employees,” reads a statement from Roaring Fork Community Education Association President Rhonda Tatham. The paper reports “the district announced last week that up to 24 teachers could be displaced from their jobs or not have their contracts renewed.”

“Trampoline bungee jumpers along with downhill bikers and uphill hikers will have to wait until June 30 to take advantage of summer operations at Steamboat Ski Area while the mountain’s 30-year-old gondola is updated,” reports The Steamboat Pilot & Today. “The news, announced Monday by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., came as a surprise so soon after Intrawest, Steamboat’s parent company, announced in early February the company’s capital improvement plan for its resorts for 2017. Steamboat appeared to be left out of planned upgrades.”

A story about dogs running geese off a golf course beat out news of how local progressives are reacting to GOP U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on the front page of the Fort Collins Coloradoan. And how are they reacting?” A group of Fort Collins progressives plan to answer a question Tuesday night that few would have thought of six months ago: What happens when you throw a town hall for a senator and he doesn’t show up?” the paper reports. “There’s enough interest in what a U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner-less town hall looks like that IndivisibleNOCO, the organizing group, closed registration for attendance due to space concerns, member Tara Morton said. The Colorado Republican’s Fort Collins office has played a front-and-center role in the spate of protests that erupted here since the inauguration of President Donald Trump. His staff here and in Washington, D.C., have also grappled with an explosion of emails, phone calls and social media messages.”

The Boulder Daily Camera reports how the Public Utilities Commission’s chief engineer is recommending “the commission deny Boulder’s pending application to acquire certain Xcel Energy assets and form a municipal electric utility. In testimony filed late Friday, Gene Camp wrote on behalf of PUC staff that the city’s latest proposal — an application supplemental to one partially dismissed just over a year ago — “lacks sufficient detail” and cast doubt on several key aspects of Boulder’s plan. It was one in a series of testimonials filed Friday, many of which are confidential. But among those available to the public were filings from the state Office of Consumer Counsel, the local branch of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and IBM — all of which are also skeptical of Boulder’s municipalization plan. Arguments before the PUC will be held starting in April, with a ruling expected late this summer.”

A story about property taxes frustrating fire districts pushed out news about two southwest Colorado companies pulling ads from for front page real estate at The Durango Herald. The paper reports how in November, “a Twitter account called Sleeping Giants began alerting companies that their advertising was appearing on Breitbart News, which has been accused of publishing racist, misogynistic, homophobic and xenophobic content.” “We are trying to stop racist websites by stopping their ad dollars,” the Sleeping Giants profile says, according to the paper. “Many companies don’t even know it’s happening. It’s time to tell them.” Within months, the Herald reports, “more than 1,130 companies fled the publication formerly headed by President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon.”

The Denver Post reports how Highland Ranch students are using virtual dialogue with the WWI kaiser to spark an interest in history. “The students have also created a virtual-reality world that charts the rise and fall of major civilizations. Using 3-D programs and Oculus Rift virtual-reality goggles, anyone can go into a carefully detailed museum, walk through several rooms and examine exhibits.”