The Home Front: Bears, hot springs and how Colorado reacts to Trump’s latest

Gov. John Hickenlooper responded to President Donald Trump’s rollback of environmental regulations with a commitment to renewable energy, says the Greeley Tribune today with an AP story. “Hickenlooper said Colorado has already met carbon pollution goals under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan,” author Dan Elliott writes.

Meanwhile, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says Trump’s restoration of federal coal leasing “is certainly a signal that the war on coal is over,” writes the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel this morning. Zinke said that the Interior is “not in the business of picking winners and losers” and that market forces should determine which fuel sources are most prominent.

On the front page of the Denver Post this morning: The surprising story of 85-year-old Ruby Stein, who survived four nights stranded in her car in the Colorado mountains in Eagle County. Rationing food, making a makeshift blanket and melting snow to stay hydrated, Stein focused on survival so that she could see her grandchildren and great grandchildren. “I didn’t want it to be over with,” she said. The Post also fronts a story about the Republican plan to resuscitate the “left-for-dead” healthcare overhaul, which comes amid fears that even more insurers will soon leave the Colorado marketplace.

Boulder County’s population continues to boom — at the tune of nearly 10 new residents every day. The Boulder Daily Camera writes that the increase, measured using census data from 2015 to 2016, represents a 1 percent jump. The city of Boulder, contrary to beliefs that the urban growth boundary has halted population gain, is keeping pace.

The Longmont Times-Call today writes about the increasingly controversial Statehouse bill to increase oil and gas setbacks near schools. Republican Rep. Lori Saine called Mike Foote’s bill, which would move the boundary for mandatory setbacks from school buildings to school property lines, an attempt to ban drilling. Foote said the bill was far from it.

A contract dispute between Anthem BlueCross BlueShield and Centura Health is down to the wire, writes the Durango Herald today. The insurance provider has threatened to drop Centura from its network coverage, a move that could cause significant problems in areas where communities have few choices for healthcare and insurance. “On Wednesday, representatives for both Anthem and Centura said the two sides are negotiating, and progress is being made,” the Herald reports.

Proposed cuts to the Meals on Wheels program has volunteers and elderly residents worried, reports the Fort Collins Coloradoan today. Many older couples rely on the service, and say visiting with volunteers is as important as the food itself. Regardless of cuts, local volunteers are committed to providing the service, particularly as they prepare for the “silver tsunami” of aging Boomers.

The increasing popularity of Aspen’s Conundrum Hot Springs has the Forest Service preparing to implement a permit system, writes the Aspen Times. The hot spot attracts up to 300 backpackers on summer weekends, and the permit system will be the guinea pig for a similar system at Crater Lake, Snowmass Lake and other popular locales in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

Bears are waking up from hibernation in Steamboat, writes the Steamboat Today, and that means it’s time for residents to start taking care of their trash. Letting a bear get into the garbage can be a death sentence — if they become a nuisance, Parks and Wildlife will euthanize them. Bear activity in 2016 was mild compared to previous years, which one wildlife officer attributes to a more productive berry crop.

 

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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