The Home Front: With Hyperloop, could we one day travel from Denver to Vail in minutes?

“Personal travel that tests the sound barrier in hermetically sealed tubes might seem like some far-flung, futuristic notion, but if Colorado gets its way it could be less than a decade from reality rather than the light years away most probably imagine,” reports The Summit Daily News. “From an original group of 2,600 whittled down to two-dozen in April, the state was named to an exclusive list of 10 finalists last week in a worldwide competition for precisely this concept. Should the electromagnetic capsule design proposed by Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One ever get off the ground, a 360-mile track that includes a leg from Denver to Vail, with a stop in Silverthorne along the way, may soon zip people up to the mountains in mere minutes at speeds of 700 miles per hour.”

“Inspired by parents, by children, by the opportunity for renewal, 38 western Colorado residents gathered Wednesday on Colorado National Monument to take oaths as United States citizens with Independence Monument as a backdrop,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “For Iana Kondra-Pisciotta, the ceremony was the culmination of a voyage that began 20 years ago in her native city of Dubna, Russia, when her father urged her to go out into the world and explore. She did and found that “being a U.S. citizen is a true privilege,” Kondra-Pisciotta told more than 100 people gathered at the Saddlehorn Campground on the monument, where she took the oath administered by U.S. Magistrate Judge Gordon Gallagher.”

“For the first time in a decade, Weld County employees will receive 3 percent raises, according to preliminary 2018 budget discussions among county commissioners and the county’s finance director,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The raises, for all Weld employees, will cost $2.76 million. In pitching the raises, Weld County Finance Director Don Warden told commissioners during a Monday work session the Mountain States Employers Council survey released in July showed 3.2 percent salary increases across the public and private sectors. Warden said it was important to remain competitive with other government entities, as well as private businesses.”

“Thirteen spruce trees growing in the median of East Eisenhower Boulevard east of Sculptor Drive will be cut down during the week of Oct. 2, according to the city of Loveland,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Traffic on U.S. 34 will flow mostly normally during the project, which will take three to four days, said Dave Klockeman, senior civil engineer for the city. The city is not yet certain which days of the week crews will be removing the trees. According to a city press release, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the city are in agreement that the spruces are a hazard due to their poor health — which raises the trees’ risk of toppling into traffic — and that they must come down.”

“It was apparent Wednesday night at Bud Werner Memorial Library that wildfires are on the minds of Routt County residents,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “University of Colorado faculty member Michael Kodas had a captive audience as he discussed his new book “Megafire, The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame.” Kodas first tasted fire as a young journalist in Connecticut when he climbed over fences to reach a dozen people trying to put out a grass fire. Before he was able to take the first picture, he was tackled by a guard.”

“Free speech — even when many find it repulsive — cannot be ceded, especially at an institution where debate is foundational, Colorado State President Tony Frank said at his fall address Wednesday,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Against a national backdrop of professional provocateurs being shouted down and violent clashes over political ideologies and a campus incident where a noose was found in a CSU dormitory, Frank argued that the university community must instead fight hate speech with speech and inclusion.”

“A site long associated with a pillar of Boulder County’s high-tech past could house one of the current reigning tech giants: Amazon,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The massive StorageTek campus in Louisville is under contract to California’s Bancroft Capital, which is using it to woo Amazon as the web retail giant hunts for a second headquarters. Officials from Bancroft confirmed their intent to the Colorado Real Estate Journal, which first reported the story Monday. Bancroft confirmed to the Camera on Wednesday.”

“The Colorado Department of Corrections will receive $10.6 million to temporarily lease a private prison to relieve crowded conditions in the state prison system,” reports The Durango Herald. “But the Colorado Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee declined Wednesday to spend money to update the Centennial Correctional Facility-South, a shuttered prison designed to hold inmates in solitary confinement. State law does not allow inmates to be held at the prison, which also is known as Colorado State Penitentiary II.”

“Three-year-old Andres Silva, son of a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient, sorted through a toy box on the floor of the University of Colorado Law School on Wednesday afternoon,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “CU Law Professor Violeta Chapin, a group of local attorneys, volunteers and Chapin’s students gathered in the Wolf Law Building to help people renew their DACA application and answer their questions free of charge. As young Silva played beneath a Martin Luther King Jr. poster emblazoned with the words “free at last,” his mother, Brenda Silva, talked with a lawyer to renew her DACA application so she could continue caring for her six children, ranging from 1 to 16 years old.”

“Colorado Springs Utilities won’t meet its goal of producing 20 percent of its energy through renewable resources by 2020,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “But it’s coming about as close as possible within the parameters outlined in Utilities’ 2016 Electric Integrated Resource Plan, said John Romero, general manager of energy acquisition engineering and planning.”

“The Colorado economy will continue to grow at a steady clip, according to state economic forecasts released Wednesday, thanks in part to rebounding oil prices that have energy companies adding rigs in Colorado for the first time since a 2015 downtown in the industry,” reports The Denver Post. “But despite the encouraging outlook, rural Colorado is expected to continue to lag behind the Front Range, dragged down by a precipitous drop in agricultural commodity prices and the ongoing struggles of the coal industry, which has shed nearly half its jobs since 2003.”