The Home Front: Boulder is hiring the city’s first Diversity Officer

“Boulder is deciding among three finalists for the position of ‘diversity officer,’ a new role the city created to increase diversity and inclusivity within its workforce,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The human resources position replaces that of “learning and development specialist,” which featured work in training with a partial focus on diversity, city spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said. “When the incumbent left the city earlier this year, the city reclassified the job to Diversity Officer to focus more directly on diversity and inclusion strategies and initiatives,” Huntley said. The finalists are May Snowden, a consultant and facilitator who once served as vice president for global diversity for Starbucks; Frederick Davis, who has held numerous roles related to diversity and also once worked for Starbucks, as a human resources manager for global diversity; and Renata Robinson, the former vice president for human resources with Teach for America.”

“A year and a half into one of Greeley’s most ambitious road repair projects, the city is making progress on its great shame: More than half of the city’s roads don’t meet quality expectations,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The city shifted priorities that doomed Greeley to drop from 83 percent of roads warranting an excellent rating to just 47 percent in 2015. The scale is 0-100, and a 65 rating is considered excellent. Greeley officials believe that bleak number is improving thanks to voters who approved $12 million annually in taxes for roads by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin in November 2015.”

“Fake but colorful flowers populate some arrangements on a buffet table at Two Rivers Convention Center,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The main hallway, with wood and metal decoration, harkens back a few decades. It’s clear technology upgrades are needed at Grand Junction’s 43-year-old convention center, as well as a number of other fixes to bring the facility into the modern age. At minimum, the city is tasked with an estimated $2.3 million in upgrades to fix deficiencies — including roof repairs, the domestic water distribution system, kitchen items, overhead doors and exterior repairs such as windows, doors, soffit and concrete.”

“Medical calls at Hanging Lake are straining limited Glenwood Springs Fire Department staffing bandwidth, and the fire chief hopes that instituting a fee for the trail will provide some relief,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Glenwood Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said three types of calls to the department require the most staffing: structure fires, swiftwater rescues and Hanging Lake calls. ‘Lots of people hike that trail who aren’t well-equipped, who don’t have good footwear or who are just not in shape for that kind of grueling hike. So we run into a variety of issues,’ said the fire chief.”

“James Gaspard points to a pile of charred logs, burned in the 2013 Black Forest fire, and says, “What else were they going to do with it?” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “What else, he means, than shred the 50 truckloads of trees, cook the wood at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and sell it as a high-quality carbon product called biochar, which is what his Berthoud-area company does. Biochar Now, which the Loveland resident founded with local serial entrepreneur Bill Beierwaltes in 2011, has 40 large steel kilns operating on the 17-acre property it leases southeast of Berthoud.”

“On Tuesday afternoon, Boulder County commissioners will review their Parks and Open Space Department staff’s proposals for reducing the size of the elk herd that’s become a year-around fixture of Boulder County’s Rabbit Mountain Open Space area east of Lyons,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The staff’s recommended elk management plan includes permitting the limited hunting of elk on Mondays through Wednesdays between Labor Day and Jan. 31, as well as using fencing, hazing and other techniques to encourage the elk to resume seasonal migrations into and out of the county property.”

“They keep their eyes peeled, searching for life. They are quiet, focused intently on the job in this remote pocket of the Pike National Forest, this area where signs of death are everywhere – from the bloody deer leg on the steep slope to the valley below, where the black and naked trunks of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir still standing sway soundlessly with the wind,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Most of the once proud conifers lay flat on the scorched earth. Five years after the Waldo Canyon fire, there are other signs, too. And that is why Jennifer Peterson has come here along with colleagues from the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, the local nonprofit that has helped the U.S. Forest Service restore some of the 18,000 acres eaten by that historic blaze. The task on this day is to count the 900 willow trees planted a summer ago, to check on their progress.”

“Fort Collins resident Jed Link was shocked when he received a letter from the Larimer County Assessor’s Office valuing his home at $552,300,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Link and his family bought their home in south Fort Collins nine days before the cutoff for new appraisals at almost $30,000 less than what the Assessor’s Office valued the home. So, he decided to protest. Link isn’t the only one appealing his increased tax bill. The county Assessor’s Office saw a 25 to 30 percent increase in the number of protests this year.”

“U.S. Senator Cory Gardner toured the FEDC TechSTART on Saturday and participated in a morning roundtable with innovation business leaders and tenants from the co-working space,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Senator Gardner met with more than 15 tenants in their offices to learn about their unique offerings in the tech space, ranging from software development to web and creative design, social media support, legal services, program management, and many others.”

“The Denver metro area is home to some of the most segregated school districts in the state — and the nation — not because of Jim Crow-like laws but deep-rooted economic and racial schisms that keep white, black and Latino students separate but not equal,” reports The Denver Post. “Fissures have run through Denver Public Schools for decades, caused by housing segregation and the way school boundaries are drawn, school officials say. Those conditions often force students of color into high-poverty schools where teacher turnover is high, fewer teachers are licensed and advanced coursework is limited. The district has announced a new initiative to address the issue and promises to consider all possible solutions. Two decades of court-ordered busing of students and other actions, including enlarging school boundaries through enrollment zones, have done little to help integrate Denver’s K-12 campuses.”

“Officials from La Plata and San Juan counties and Durango were assured last week during meetings in the nation’s Capitol that funding for the Superfund site near Silverton would continue,” reports The Durango Herald. “The group met with elected delegates and Environmental Protection Agency officials because President Donald Trump cut the budget for Superfund, a nationwide environmental cleanup program, by 25 percent. Durango City Councilor Dean Brookie said the meeting was successful and that everyone was on board for the continued financial support of the project to clean the Animas River watershed.”