The Home Front: Colorado’s ‘Flat Earthers’ get their moment on the front page of The Denver Post

“They call themselves Flat Earthers,” reports The Denver Post. “Because they believe Earth — the blue, majestic, spinning orb of life — is as flat as a table.” They meet every Tuesday in a “windowless back room of a small Fort Collins coffee shop.” About three dozen of them. But, reports the Post: “All scientists and educators consulted for this story rejected the idea of a flat earth.”

“The Bureau of Land Management is to streamline its handling of drill-permit applications on federal land under an order signed Thursday by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who declared, ‘The war on American energy is officially over,'” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Environmental organizations blasted Zinke’s announcement, one saying it amounted to a “pointless giveaway to special interests.” The order is aimed at reducing the 2,802-application backlog for permits to drill, applications awaiting action as of Jan. 31, and reducing the time needed to process applications from an average of 257 days to the statutory maximum of 30.”

“Two Greeley car dealership owners indicted in the wake of a sweeping sex trafficking investigation have new court dates scheduled for later this summer,” reports The Greeley Tribune.

“Longmont City Councilwoman Polly Christensen blasted Councilman Brian Bagley on Wednesday night for making what she called ‘a personal attack on a fellow council member’ — Joan Peck — during last week’s council meeting,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “‘The City Council is elected by the public to represent them and make wise, thrifty and rational decisions for the good of the community,’ Christensen said at Tuesday night’s council meeting. ‘We are not elected by the public to waste time and taxpayer money with political grandstanding and public harassment,’ she said.”

“While illegal fireworks lit up every quadrant of Pueblo’s sky for hours on July 4, officers from the Pueblo Police Department issued only four citations for illegal fireworks and handled a total of 89 firework complaints from the morning of the Fourth to Wednesday morning,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Police Sgt. Eric Gonzales said officers can’t get to more fireworks-related calls for two interrelated reasons: the department’s manpower shortage and the fact that the complaint calls are low on the police department’s priority list.”

“Colorado State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, representing Routt and Eagle counties, confirmed Thursday, she will step down from her post in the state legislature in November in order to launch a bid to unseat Congressman Scott Tipton in the 2018 race for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “‘I filed with the federal election commission this morning,” the former two-term Routt County commissioner and current Steamboat Springs resident said Thursday.'”

“Area county clerks have been working to quell concerns about voter confidentiality following the announcement last week by Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams that he would release state voter-roll information to President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “‘It hasn’t been overwhelming, but we have gotten some phone calls and have talked to people who are real concerned about the information that is going to be shared,’ Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico said. Rest assured, though, the information that will be released is no different than what’s already available publicly and routinely disseminated to political groups, petitioners and candidate campaigns, she said. That includes data that is already public record, such as a voter’s full name, residential address, party affiliation, date of affiliation, gender, year of birth, and a phone number if provided along with a voter’s registration.”

“More than nine months after the former Loveland city attorney left for a job with the Colorado Municipal League, the City Council on Wednesday voted to make interim city attorney Clay Douglas’ job permanent,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The council voted 8-0 to hire Douglas, who has been serving on a part-time basis since November of last year. The city attorney is one of just three city employees directly hired and supervised by the City Council.”

“If you give a bison a treat, it’s going to come back for more. Dr. Jennifer Barfield knows that better than anyone,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The director of Colorado State University’s bison reproduction program makes the 30-some-mile trek to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area near the Colorado-Wyoming border once a week to check on Northern Colorado’s only genetically pure bison herd. She usually comes stocked with protein-packed range cubes, so the naturally curious and ever-peckish bison have learned to greet her white Mazda with enthusiasm.”

“A wildfire located seven miles northwest of Texas Creek, between U.S. 50 and Tallahassee Road, has burned approximately five acres as of Thursday afternoon,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Greg Goodland with the U.S. Forest Service said the cause of the Table Mountain Fire is unknown and will remain so until crews can get into the area.”

“Safeway said on Thursday that it would remove misleading signage attached to a series of products labeled as having price hikes due to a tax to which they are not subject,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “In the days immediately following Saturday’s debut of a sugary drink tax in Boulder, the grocer, which has three locations in the city, informed customers of the tax with little red signs reading “Price Includes Boulder Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax” underneath the price tags of certain beverages. Among the products tagged with the red signage were sugar-free teas, sugar-free apple cider vinegar and 100 percent juices. But the tax — a 2-cents-per-ounce levy on distributors — does not apply to those drinks.”

“Four bears in the region were killed in separate incidents Wednesday,” reports The Durango Herald. “Two bears were shot by homeowners after the bears entered their homes, and two were tracked by Wildlife Services and euthanized, said Joe Lewandowski, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. A fifth bear was caught in a bear trap north of Durango but will be released.”

“Two young Colorado Springs men who were born female landed on opposite paths once each told his parents that their supposed daughters are transgender and plan to follow that course,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Paxton Neuger found friends at Inside Out Youth Services, the Colorado Springs support agency for LGBT youths as well as IQ – “identity-questioning” – young people. Neuger, 19, had supportive parents too. Now he’s completed his first year of college and is spending the summer volunteering with Inside Out.”