The Home Front: Aspen might raise the purchasing age for tobacco to 21

“Members of Aspen City Council said Monday they are willing to forgo upward of $75,000 in annual tobacco tax revenue by licensing Aspen tobacco and nicotine merchants while raising the purchasing age from 18 to 21,” reports The Aspen Times. “Their comments came after hearing a case made by proponents of raising the legal age from 18 to 21, which would put tobacco and nicotine sales on the same footing as marijuana and alcohol. The city also issues licenses to purveyors of cannabis and alcohol. Led by Pitkin County Medical Officer Dr. Kimberly Levin, the presenters offered data showing that 88 percent of adult smokers began the habit by age 18. Nicotine addition, Levin argued to the council, is tougher to beat than addictions to heroin, cocaine and alcohol.”

“Conservation groups have sued a federal agency in connection with a Colorado Parks and Wildlife plan to reduce bear and lion numbers to study the effect on mule deer, after one of the groups previously sued CPW over the matter,” The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports. “WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity have brought the new action against Wildlife Services, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They’re challenging the agency’s overall carnivore-killing program in Colorado, including its involvement in the CPW project to kill lions and black bears on the Roan Plateau in northwest Colorado’s Piceance Basin, and lions in the upper Arkansas River Valley, for the research purposes. The action comes as CPW hopes to begin reducing bears and lions in the Roan project on May 1. The agency opposes a request in WildEarth Guardians’ state lawsuit for a preliminary injunction that would keep that work from going forward while the case is more fully litigated.”

“Garfield County commissioners Monday moved one step closer to allowing a small injection well within the Battlement Mesa residential boundaries,” The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent reports. “Before the vote, injection wells, used to dispose of wastewater from the oil and gas drilling process, were not permitted within Battlement Mesa. With Monday’s vote, the door is opened. “I have not made up my mind with injection wells, but I’m willing to let Ursa come forward with their rational why and where this is a good idea,” Samson said after moving to approve a zoning change for the community in unincorporated Garfield County.”

“Colorado’s Pedal The Plains bicycle tour is making its way to Weld County this September,” The Greeley Tribune reports. “The sixth annual Pedal The Plains Bicycle Tour will be Sept. 15-17. It boasts a 177-mile route over three days and features two Weld County communities as host towns. The route, announced Monday, will take riders from Kersey to Keenesburg to Brush before swinging riders back to Kersey for its conclusion. It is the first time all host towns are participating in the bike tour. Pedal The Plains is held each year to celebrate Colorado’s agricultural roots, and the state’s frontier heritage on the Eastern Plains. When participants aren’t pedaling through the plains, they can enjoy locally sourced food, beer gardens, live entertainment and the welcoming community spirit of rural Colorado, according to a news release.”

“Leaders at the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center in Fort Collins are gearing up for increased demand for services,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Last month, SAVA Center advocates served nearly three times the number of rape crisis callers and walk-in clients than they did in March 2016. The increase in people seeking services is due to more local outreach and education, as well as increased national media attention on the subject.”

“The western United States is in uncharted territory when it comes to wildfires, and University of Colorado Boulder researchers are trying to navigate this new, charred landscape,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “A paper, led by CU and published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explores the “new era of western wildfires.” The wildfire experts assert current wildfire policies can’t properly protect people, homes and ecosystems from the more intense wildfires caused by climate change. “For a long time, we’ve thought that if we try harder and do better, we can get ahead of wildfire and reduce the risks,” lead author and CU Boulder Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research Scientist Tania Schoennagel said in a news release. “We can no longer do that. This is bigger than us, and we’re going to have to adapt to wildfire rather than the other way around.”

“Municipalization is still alive in Boulder,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Given an opportunity to halt the city’s arduous march toward energy independence through a municipal electric utility, the City Council voted 6-3 Monday night against placing a settlement with Xcel Energy on the 2017 ballot, and in favor of continuing litigation. In the near future, council members acknowledge, the city’s prospects in court aren’t great; the Public Utilities Commission has expressed significant concern with the city’s application for the transfer of Xcel assets, and will consider dismissing the application altogether at a hearing on Wednesday.”

“The Florence City Council unanimously approved amending several ordinances at its meeting Monday, with the expectation that it will help the city from wasting resources, such as the police department,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “The vote approved the second reading of each ordinance. These ordinances include those pertaining to unsightly vehicles, harassment, drug-related offenses, driver’s license and license plate violation and an ordinance pertaining to accident reporting.”