The Home Front: ‘Jeers, hushes and profanities’ fill meeting to choose new head of El Paso County GOP

“Jeers, hushes and profanities made up a substantial portion of the El Paso County Republican Party’s executive committee meeting Monday evening as the group argued how best to fill the seat of chairman Trevor Dierdorff, who submitted his resignation this month,” reported ColoradoPolitics. “Ultimately the group’s vice chairman, Joshua Hosler — who previously said he had no interest in the spot — reversed himself and an overwhelming majority voted him into the chairman position. The move was met with standing applause, a dramatic change from the timbre that filled the previous two hours. ‘I don’t belong to an organized political party, I’m a Republican,’ former state Sen. Bernie Herpin said during the meeting before voting in favor of Hosler’s ascent.”

“In their first meeting since Weld County commissioners put the fate of a county oversight board on the November ballot, members of that oversight board struck back, accusing commissioners of greed and vengeance in their attempt to disband the Weld County Council,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Council President Brett Abernathy in a prepared statement echoed earlier comments to The Tribune, saying commissioners were motivated by financial incentives to disband the council, which sets commissioner salaries.”

“Monday was the 21st anniversary of the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, but monument supporter Nicole Croft was in a less-than-celebratory mood,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Croft was unhappily coming to terms with reports that a monument-review memo from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to the White House, leaked to the media, includes recommendations to reduce the monument’s size, along with that of the recently created Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah.”

“Longmont’s city staff is to present the City Council on Tuesday night with proposals for hiking fees charged to people using its recreational facilities and Union Reservoir,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Also under consideration is a staff recommendation that Longmont eliminate the weekend camping it now allows at Union Reservoir.”

“After a Denver-based animal rights activist group claimed in a weekend video that it ‘rescued’ three chickens from a Berthoud farm Sunday, the farm’s owner said she would have sold chickens to the group for $16 each,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Denver Baby Animal Save posted a video to its Facebook page documenting its actions Sunday. Members of the group said they took three chickens that were raised to be processed as poultry from Long Shadow Farm, 101 Bothun Road, which specializes in raising free-range chickens and lamb and offers poultry processing services to other chicken owners. Kristin Ramey, who owns Long Shadow Farm with her husband, said in a Monday morning phone interview that a small group of Denver Baby Animal Save members entered the farm Sunday posing as volunteers who wanted to help with the poultry processing chores planned for Sunday. The farm planned to process about 100 birds for slaughter, Ramey said.”

“A wildfire broke out near Dillon late Monday afternoon sending up a large plume of smoke and causing intermittent power outages, but the weather was favorable and limited its spread to roughly 21 acres,” reports The Summit Daily News. “Firefighters with Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue and the U.S. Forest Service were working to contain the fire from below and planned to hook uphill and wrap around it.”

“Broomfield City Council recently upheld a decision by City and County Manager Charles Ozaki to hire Green House Data for the city’s data center migration project after another company competing for the bid appealed the decision,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Handy Networks, a data center company based in Denver, filed the protest after losing the bid, claiming Broomfield staff ‘engaged in misconduct and did not fairly and completely evaluate its proposal.’ On Aug. 3, follow an investigation, Ozaki determined that there was no evidence to support Handy’s allegations.”

“Longstanding plans to ship millions of gallons of Poudre River water to Thornton are about to flow through a series of regulatory and permitting hoops,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Thornton water officials have selected a preferred route for a 48-inch-diameter pipeline that would run from Water Supply and Storage Co. reservoirs north of Fort Collins to the east side of Interstate 25.”

“Colorado’s record-low uninsured rate held strong despite uncertainty over the Affordable Care Act’s future and unwieldy price spikes for shoppers, a newly released survey shows,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The rate of Coloradans without health insurance hovered at 6.5 percent this spring – virtually unchanged from the same point in 2015 and less than half its pre-Obamacare level, the 2017 Colorado Health Access Survey found. In El Paso County, that rate was 7.5 percent – again, virtually identical to two years ago and a fraction of its rate before the health law took effect.”

“Some of the most consequential fights over Colorado government finance in the coming years won’t happen at the state legislature or at the ballot box, but in a courtroom, where fiscal conservatives and business groups are contesting government fees of as little as 20 cents,” reports The Denver Post. “In Aspen, a taxpayer advocacy group is fighting a 20-cent surcharge on grocery bags in a lawsuit that’s now gone all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court. At the state government level, a small business coalition is arguing that the secretary of state’s office for decades has been illegally using business filing fees to finance a slew of unrelated government services. And — perhaps most significantly — the TABOR Foundation is challenging the constitutionality of a $264 million hospital fee that generates another $264 million in matching funds from the federal government to pay for uncompensated care. At issue in each of these cases is a seemingly simple question: What’s the difference between a tax and a fee?”

“The governor of South Dakota wants Colorado and other Western states to team up on tackling workforce shortages that could be keeping companies away and slowing economic growth,” reports Denverite. “Gov. Dennis Daugaard was in Denver on Monday talking about the regional need to expand career opportunities for students, graduates and displaced workers. The push is part of the Western Governors’ Workforce Development Initiative.”


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