The Home Front: Colorado’s Eagle County has the nation’s 13th largest increase in foreign-born residents

“A lot has changed here since 1980. The population has more than quadrupled in the past 37 years,” reports Vail Daily. “Who makes up that population has also shifted significantly. Pansop, a recently-started, New York-based data analysis firm, has been crunching data from the U.S. Census Bureau, focusing at the moment on the percentage of foreign-born residents living in the United States. That number-crunching has found that since 1980, Eagle County has shown the nation’s 13th-largest increase in the percentage of foreign-born residents. … “The reasons for the influx are varied, but mostly reflect the need for employees in construction, lodging and other industries.”

“A master plan released by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education last week depicts an urgent need to increase education attainment beyond high school for all Colorado residents, and Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster said he hopes the commission’s ‘aspirational’ master plan is backed up with funding,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The commission’s master plan, called “Colorado Rises,” details four strategic goals for higher education in the state, including increasing credential completion, erasing equity gaps, improving student success and investing in affordability and innovation. The overarching goal is to increase the number of adults in Colorado with a post-secondary education from 55 percent currently to 66 percent by 2025.”

“Lifetime farmer Bill Markham sees the benefits of agricultural students getting hands-on experience outside the classroom in a real farm setting,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “So do educators within the Thompson School District and officials with the town of Berthoud. Together, they are working on a collaboration that has been in the works for several years to allow agricultural students use of a heated arena and possibly farmland on property donated to Berthoud.”

“Leanna Valadez, owner and operator of the R Bar and Lounge in Old Town Fort Collins, found herself in a peculiar position Friday night: a cadre of anti-abortion protestors out front had some regular patrons of the progressive and LGBTQ-friendly bar in a tizzy,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Some passers-by thought the bar had done an about-face on its politics, Valadez said. That sent her and a supporter in a search of counter-signage that reaffirmed the ownership’s support of Planned Parenthood and the right for abortion access.”

“After a dry summer, Steamboat Springs has seen 1.37 inches of precipitation for the month of September, according to data collected by Colorado State University,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “More snow and rain might be on the way. The latest storm dropped about two inches of snow at the top of Steamboat Ski Area on Friday night.”

“Lafayette may restrict local restaurants from advertising “sugary drinks” on kids’ menus — though the enforceability of the city’s proposed ordinance may rest more in its message than in substance,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “If approved by the City Council, the measure would limit children’s default choices to water and milk — among other offshoots, such as sparkling water and non-dairy milk alternatives — according to the proposal’s draft language, which city officials could finalize on Tuesday. It’s possibly the first initiative of its kind in Colorado, according to attorneys who specialize in municipal law; an almost identical ordinance was approved in Davis, Calif. It was the impetus for Lafayette’s initiative, officials say.”

“Surviving on the streets in Colorado Springs used to be a workout,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “For years, it meant trekking at least 4 miles across downtown for a shower, clean laundry, three square meals a day and a bed. Getting workforce help, food stamps or a driver’s license tacked on another 6 or 7 miles each way. That is, until now.”

“With the opioid epidemic reaching unprecedented national levels and more heroin flowing into Southwest Colorado, additional addiction-prevention work is set to start this fall,” reports The Durango Herald. “In October, 12 AmeriCorps members will be hired across the state as part of the Colorado AmeriCorps Community Opioid Response Program, and two will be hired for a year to work in Southwest Colorado to organize prevention events and education. The program is funded through federal and state grants. AmeriCorps members will organize educational events taught by experts for doctors and other prescribers around the use of opioids, such as oxycodone.”

“More than 1,000 apartments and rooms for rent are sitting empty in Boulder right now, either too expensive or too old or just too inconveniently located for someone to claim,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Renters have never had more choices, as reflected in the 7.9 percent vacancy rate — a 10-year high watermark. Rents, though still growing, slowed their upward trajectory in late 2015 as more units became available. Yet developers marched on with their plans for high-end apartments, betting on Google and other growing companies to push demand back up above supply. The picture is much the same across the region. From 2011-2016, 56 percent of all new housing units in Boulder County were multi-family, the projects more likely to be rented than owned. And active development in the two biggest cities, Boulder and Longmont, is even more skewed: For every single-family unit under construction or in the permitting process, there are three planned multi-family dwellings. ‘We cringe every time we see a new complex approved,’ said Gary Epperson, of Longmont’s PMP Realty, which manages hundreds of for-rent rooms and homes in Longmont.”

“Colorado health officials grappling with groundwater contamination from firefighting foam — containing a toxic chemical the federal government allows — have proposed to set a state limit to prevent more problems,” reports The Denver Post. “A Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment limit for the perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) also could give leverage in compelling cleanup by the Air Force, which has confirmed high levels of PFCs spreading from a military air base east of Colorado Springs. More than 65,000 residents who relied on the underground Widefield Aquifer as a water source have had to find alternative supplies or install new water-cleaning systems as a plume of PFCs contamination moves south through the Fountain Valley watershed.”

“Democratic Senators Michael Bennet of Colorado and Cory Booker of New Jersey introduced legislation Friday to require a government audit of the White House commission on election fraud, calling the controversial panel a ‘sham’ and charging it was wasting taxpayer money,” reports “There is simply no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the United States,” Bennet said in a statement. “The commission is wasting taxpayer money investigating the president’s invented claims about voter fraud, while serious threats like Russian interference in our elections go unaddressed.”

“Denver could come up with a lot more money for affordable housing much more quickly if the city borrowed to do it, and members of All in Denver want the idea of a housing bond to be included in the comprehensive housing plan the city is on the verge of finalizing,” reports Denverite.