The Home Front: an environmental bill of rights for Carbondale, Steamboat Ski Resort sold and a UFO enthusiast is on trial

“For the first time since 2010, federal dollars will be available for the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program, and a bi-partisan group of Western U.S. senators honed in on the Colorado River Basin as a possible landing spot for some of that money,” according to today’s Greeley TribuneThe letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sent by Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado and Dean Heller of Nevada, seeks money for infrastructure and drought contingency planning in the Colorado River Basin. One beneficiary of that funding could be the Big Thompson Headwaters partnership, which includes the Northern Water Conservancy District, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Parks and Forest Service.

“There’s a nine-page list that School District 51 Director of Maintenance Eric Nilsen knows nearly by heart. For a long time, the list served only to remind Nilsen of the magnitude of the problems facing School District 51 buildings — the buildings he and the maintenance department take care of,” in today’s Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, which reports that “[t]he roof at Central High School is on the verge of failing, asphalt parking lots at Mount Garfield Middle School are cracked and crumbling, and heaving sidewalks at Dual Immersion Academy make them dangerous to navigate.” The price tag is now at $55 million, for repairs at 35 schools and several administrative buildings.

The Longmont Times-Call today looks at tonight’s Lafayette City Council meeting, in which the council “will consider a bevy of code changes to the city’s prized Old Town district in an effort to stave off a rash of new development. The changes, if approved, would cap months of a thoroughly Lafayette-centric saga — one complete with months of public outreach and a surprise 90-day development moratorium put in place in early July.”

“An environmental bill of rights in Carbondale would advocate items including clean air, clean water, protected “viewscapes,” increased recycling, automobile alternatives and “unimpeded views of the quintessential Western night sky,” reports the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “It wouldn’t have the force of law, but the whole Carbondale Board of Trustees supports the idea as a ‘guiding document.’…A draft of the document presented to trustees last week lists 14 ‘rights’ of Carbondalians and visitors, also including clear growth boundaries, solid waste reduction and increased recycling and automobile alternatives.”

Editor’s note: Not to mention introducing us to the term “Carbondalians.”

Steamboat Today reports that the Steamboat ski resort has been sold. “Employees at Steamboat Ski Area went to work Monday morning for a new company. A joint venture of KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company announced Monday that the purchase of Intrawest Resort Holdings, the parent company of the ski area, and Mammoth Resorts is complete. ‘I think we’re all tremendously excited about the opportunities for Steamboat and the new company,’ ski area President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Perlman said Monday. ‘Obviously, Steamboat continues to be an iconic resort, and with the new ownership — including the Henry Crown and Company as well as KSL forming the new company and bringing in other resorts including Mammoth and Squaw Alpine into the fold — the new company has 12 resorts coast to coast in North America, and it’s exciting times.'”

“The Thompson School District may borrow $10.4 million from the state to allow the district to operate as it waits for property tax revenue,” according to today’s Loveland Reporter-Herald. The state offers short-term, interest free loans to school districts across Colorado each year, and for the first time, the Thompson School District plans to apply for the money. A resolution authorizing the loan will be before the school board for discussion at its Aug. 2 meeting. ‘It’s a timing issue,’ said Gordon Jones, the district’s chief financial officer. “It’s when we get the (tax) money. It’s not if we’re going to get it but when.'”

“Prompted by faculty outrage, University of Colorado Provost Russell Moore and incoming Arts and Sciences Dean Jim White on Monday agreed to reduce White’s term to one year at the helm of the Boulder campus’s largest college,” according to the Boulder Daily Camera. “When White’s appointment was announced July 11, he was introduced as the new Arts and Sciences dean, with no mention that it was an interim position. Less than two weeks later, CU began referring to White as an interim dean who would hold the post for up to three years. Now, as faculty continue to protest they weren’t involved in the selection process, White’s interim tenure has been cut to one year.”

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports Monday was the start of the trial of a local UFO enthusiast, but not for his UFO claims. “Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a Loveland man who has gained national notoriety for his accounts of purported alien abductions. Stanley Tiger Romanek, 54, is charged with two felonies of sexual exploitation of a child for possession and distribution of child pornography. Romanek was arrested in February 2014 after the conclusion of a long-term investigation into online sharing and possession of child pornography. The investigation was first initiated by the Department of Homeland Security and was then continued by the Loveland Police Department and the Northern Colorado Regional Forensics Laboratory.

“In less than a week, three bodies have been found in Fremont County – two have been identified, but one is waiting on autopsy reports,” according to the Canon City Daily Record. “All three incidents are unrelated, but the discovery of each person was separated by only a few days. One of the bodies, which has not been identified, was discovered Friday afternoon in the Arkansas River east of Florence. Sgt. Megan Richards, public information officer for the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, said Colorado Parks Officers notified law enforcement at about 1 p.m. Friday that they had located the remains…Although the remains found are still unidentified, the discovery since has gained the attention of national news outlets as many seem to be speculating the remains could be Eric Ashby. For a month, Ashby, 31, of Colorado Springs has been missing and is believed to have drowned in a river accident.”

The Vail Daily today reports that “[a]fter years of dealing with zillions of details, the 1,540-acre Hardscrabble Ranchofficially changed hands Monday at a title company in Denver — and Ed Roberson exhaled. ‘We never exhale until the deed is signed,’ Roberson said.Roberson and the Mirr Ranch Group helped put together the $15.5 million deal for the Hardscrabble Ranch…Hardscrabble Ranch is south of Eagle up the Brush Creek Valley, and has been a working ranch since the late 1800s when the area was homesteaded. It will remain a working ranch.”

“Denver’s oldest and most historic cemetery has an aura of mystery about it. Overrun with wild yellow grasses, Riverside Cemetery is one of the city’s best-kept secrets, the resting place of many a famous Coloradan,tucked away in an industrial area north of the city center,” according to the Denver Post. “Now, that mystery might also involve finding the cemetery’s entrance, as the construction of a new Regional Transportation District commuter rail threatens to displace Riverside’s only point of entry. The new line will run right past Riverside’s front door on Brighton Boulevard, and RTD is proposing to close the cemetery’s entrance and build a new one off a side street. But Riverside officials worry that a new, less obvious entrance will confuse people and discourage visitors.”

“Plans to close the Manitou Incline this month for repairs may be endangered by funding issues,” reports the Colorado Springs Gazette today. ‘I’m very cautiously optimistic at this point,’ Karen Palus, director of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services said late last week, as a contract had yet to be drawn up for workers to repair the upper part of the mountainside stair stepper, perhaps this region’s most popular trail. The city had expected to have a contractor in place by the end of July, as outlined in its request for proposal. But the timeline has been thrown off by recent snags in the process to ensure reimbursable funding for the anticipated $2 million project.”