The Home Front: In one Colorado town ‘you can now feed squirrels in peace’

“You can now feed squirrels in peace within Loveland city limits — though your neighbors might not feel as at ease,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The Loveland City Council on Tuesday night amended its ordinance banning feeding of wildlife to exclude squirrels and birds. Birds, however, do not include wild ducks and geese. Council members voted 5-2 in favor of the change, with Mayor Cecil Gutierrez and Councilwoman Joan Shaffer voting against it.”

“Even though the state’s new texting and driving law comes with a steep penalty, it may not be so applicable in Greeley,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The law took effect as soon as Hickenlooper signed the bill on June 1, but Greeley has had its own municipal ordinance banning texting and driving since 2016. The differences in the two laws are worth noting, and whichever applies depend on the infraction — at least in Greeley. Under city ordinance, said Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner, a person can be punished with a fine of up to $1,000 for texting and driving — even if they’re at a stoplight — although the penalties are rarely that heavy.”

“Dealing with spiders, grasshoppers and other insects for almost 30 years was the least of Bob Hammon’s job as an entomologist. Beyond insect identification, diagnosing problems and knowing how to control pests, the majority of his work was about connecting with people — the growers, the homeowners, the gardeners. And that part of the job came with experience, not his scientific training,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Hammon’s job is part teacher, part botanist, part detective, part psychologist, part fundraiser in addition to his role as the region’s resident insect expert. Last week, he retired from his position as the Colorado State University Extension Service entomologist for Mesa, Delta and Montrose counties, but that doesn’t mean he’s quit working.”

“Colorado health authorities have stopped monitoring the plume of groundwater contaminated with PFCs at levels exceeding a federal health advisory limit that is spreading south from Colorado Springs toward Pueblo, state and federal officials confirmed,” reports The Denver Post. “This widens the challenge of dealing with the perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, which do not break down and have been linked to birth defects, cancers and other health harm. Pueblo leaders on Thursday said they expect tracking of contaminated water to continue as PFCs seep south through the Fountain Creek watershed toward the Arkansas River.”

“In coping with losing his vision after a buckshot impacted his face, throat and chest in a turkey hunting accident, Longmont resident Tom Essig says the hardest part for him is not seeing the faces of his family,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “He sees only shadows dance out of the corner of his right eye — as if he were wearing a pair of very dark sunglasses — but he and his wife, Amy, of 11 years are optimistic for a miracle. “I’m just asking for one (eye),” Tom Essig said. ‘I’d love to see again.'”

“Perhaps it was an ear piercing gone very, very wrong,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Or could it just be that awkward phase after a bad haircut? No, it’s much more likely Mother Nature is to blame for what’s happened to Northwest Colorado’s iconic Rabbit Ears Peak. The stone rabbit landmark that greets drivers and hikers on the top of Rabbit Ears Pass has recently lost a big chunk of one of its ears. Local residents might not have even noticed the rabbit’s new floppy ‘do.'”

“There is a plan to fix the staff shortage at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo and a top priority is to get enough people hired so employees can at least have annual leave again,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “It’s outlined in a letter that Superintendent Ron Hale gave to employees on June 6 — although Hale’s resignation was announced Thursday as well. Effective immediately, Kim Nordstrom, director of the state’s mental health institutes, is serving as acting superintendent.”

“Larimer County has given a Loveland man 60 days to clean up what officials and neighbors have described as an illegal campground that included cabins made out of calf sheds and an outdoor shower that simply drained onto the ground on his property near Carter Lake,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Barry Gustafson told the county commissioners at a public hearing on Monday that the last person to be staying on his property would be out this week and he had already begun cleaning up other trailers and illegal storage units on Prairie Way. Code enforcement officer Tony Brooks and neighbors disagreed, saying even just hours before the Monday hearing, it did not look as if much cleanup had started despite Brooks letting Gustafson know in October and again in May that the illegal camping and storage had to go.”

“University of Colorado President Bruce Benson said his conclusion that three top Boulder campus officials had no ill intent in their failure to report domestic violence allegations against a former football coach largely was based on his knowing the employees and their families,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “After Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting in Colorado Springs, Benson shed light on the disciplinary decisions he made regarding those employees — including Chancellor Phil DiStefano — for not reporting allegations that assistant coach Joe Tumpkin had severely abused a woman for about two years.”

“Hitting the campaign trail early, Victor Mitchell, a Republican candidate for Colorado governor, stopped Thursday in Cañon City to briefly speak to the Royal Gorge Republican Women,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Mitchell, who served one, two-year term in the State House of Representatives in 2007, said he’s been an entrepreneur for years and led more than six companies to success. On Thursday, Mitchell told the small group gathered that he has a set agenda of real ideas he wants to put forward as governor, which includes freeing Colorado businesses from state regulations, getting Medicaid under control and reducing the number of standardized achievement tests taken in schools. His message to the small group that gathered to hear him speak was that he has fresh, innovative ideas that can help Colorado in the future.”

“A ‘tiny home’ and a number of beehives will soon be set on a plot of land on Colorado Springs’ north side, potentially setting a precedent for the city Planning Commission,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The commission unanimously agreed to adjust the agricultural zoning for a small portion of the 400-acre Samelson Family Ranch, allowing for the new structures. This is a first, said Meggan Herington, assistant planning director. Tiny homes aren’t quite recreational vehicles and they’re not quite trailers. A tiny home is a small, often mobile, structure ‘coming to the forefront of the compact living movement,’ Herington wrote in a report to the Planning Commission.'”