The Home Front: The ‘happy hippies of Manitou Springs’ say what Trump’s election means to them

“For yoga instructor Jess Saffer and the other happy hippies of Manitou Springs, last year’s presidential election was an emotional body blow – intense, raw and visceral,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “It felt like heartbreak,” said Saffer, 28, of the moment she learned that Donald Trump had taken the lead. Nine months in, a siege mentality has taken hold in this quaint, funky tourist town nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak. That’s because Manitou, known for its ancient healing waters and carefree vibe, is a blue dot in a sea of red. Though surrounding Colorado Springs is one of the most conservative cities in the state, Manitou, affectionately known as “Hippie Mayberry,” is one of the most liberal.”

“Taking the lead from the town of Breckenridge, Summit County government is deliberating whether to develop new guidelines on short-term rental units for the unincorporated areas it oversees to get a better handle on just how many exist,” reports The Summit Daily News. “Breckenridge created its first ordinances requiring owners obtain a business license on investment properties as far back as a decade ago to collect sales and lodging taxes on their use as vacation rentals. The fees go toward the town’s marketing budget as it continues to attempt to stay competitive with other resort destinations.”

“A proposal for a convenience store and fueling station off the interstate in Palisade might not come to fruition if the company cannot display its signage high enough,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The planned development by Golden Gate Petroleum hinges on the company’s ability to adequately advertise the fueling station to Interstate 70 motorists, said Craig Munson, general manager of operations for California and Nevada. Palisade’s Planning Commission allowed the company a sign variance to locate a sign at 60 feet, deviating from the maximum sign height of 20 feet, according to the town’s code. A few dozen Palisade residents have filed an appeal, opposing the commissioners’ Aug. 7 ruling to allow the variance. Palisade trustees may hear the matter during a Sept. 12 public meeting, at the earliest.”

“Chickens bobbed and clucked as Annette and Patrick Archambeau walked past the coop, taking the Windsor couple’s appearance as a signal it was time to eat,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Cats looped themselves around the couple’s legs as the pair went to visit their nearly grown foals. The pigpen was usually rowdy too, but they’d just culled the pigs for the season. After running their own nonprofit for more than two decades, they hope to teach others about how to live more sustainably. ‘One of the things we teach people is to slow down,’ Patrick said. ‘When you think you’re going slow, take your shoes off and go barefoot.'”

“Plans to initiate a mix of large-scale residential and commercial growth on Erie’s Dearmin East property, roughly 260 acres of grassland that’s home to an aging racetrack, have come down the pike,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Development plans feature 765 dwelling units, 13.5 acres dedicated to a future school site and 35,000 square feet for commercial space east of County Road 5 and north of County Road 6, according to the project’s initial sketch plan — a generalized land use plan and layout for a given area proposed to be included within a subdivision.”

“Ignacio School District’s standardized test results show an overall decline in performance in language arts and mathematics compared with last year,” reports The Durango Herald. In general, students tested below-average on the PSATs, SATs and CMAS exams. Kathy Pokorney, director of curriculum and assessment, said the numbers are not as alarming when looking at the accomplishments of individual grades. ‘Last year’s performance was phenomenal for us, but we have a slight decline this year in our median growth percentiles,’ Pokorney said. ‘But more than 50 percent of our students in all areas are making typical growth or higher. When we break it into subgroups, we see more stability.'”

“The Boulder City Council has scheduled an extra meeting to accommodate discussions on the Hogan-Pancost parcel, the intergovernmental agreement governing future city annexations and possible changes to the way officials engage members of the public,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The extra meeting will take place Monday, with the council returning for its regularly scheduled session on Tuesday. Monday’s council proceedings will begin with a study session, scheduled to run from 6 to 9 p.m., with a single agenda topic: review and discussion of the recommendations made by the Public Participation Working Group, a citizen advisory committee.”

“There was a time when marijuana was illegal everywhere and testing for it was as easy as could be,” reports The Denver Post. “It didn’t matter the level of cannabinoids found in a person’s body. If it was there, they were breaking the law. It’s different now. The tests have changed from depositing a urine sample into a cup to drawing blood or offering oral fluids. Also different is the particular type of cannabinoid — the chemical compound that reacts in the brain — detected by any of those tests.”

“Benjamin Davis, the founder of a white supremacist prison gang suspected in the assassination of Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements, has been found dead behind bars, the state Department of Corrections said Sunday,” according to a story in The Cañon City Daily Record that originally appeared in The Denver Post. “His death is being investigated as a possible suicide. Clements was gunned down on the doorstep of his home in Monument, just north of Colorado Springs, on March 19, 2013. He was killed by parolee Evan Ebel, who also killed 27-year-old Commerce City father Nathan Leon.”