The Home Front: Cory Gardner canceled his Friday town hall in Pueblo

UPDATE: The Pueblo Chieftain is now reporting Gardner canceled the town hall. “Gardner’s office confirmed the cancellation late Thursday morning, the paper reports. “His staff said he will be going to Puerto Rico on Saturday, invited by President Donald Trump to accompany Homeland Security personnel focusing on electrical power issues on the island.”

“Sen. Cory Gardner will have a town hall meeting in Pueblo this Friday, his sixth in the state since August, but the first here after a long summer of being targeted by disabled activists and other groups over his support for Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The town hall will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Pueblo Convention Center and the Colorado first-term Republican’s staff said the public should come early because space is expected to be limited. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. It’s scheduled to end at 11 a.m. Gardner was part of the 13 Republican senators — all men — who crafted a GOP health-care replacement plan last summer that ultimately fell short of having the 51 votes needed to pass.”

“By stumping for a Nov. 7 ballot proposal to reinstate stormwater fees in Colorado Springs, Mayor John Suthers may have crossed into an ethical gray area, though he likely didn’t break any laws, city and state officials say,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. In the past months, Suthers has advocated heavily for the fees, which will appear on El Paso County’s ballot as Issue 2A. He has called area voters by phone, hosted question-and-answer sessions and even donated his own money. In the coming weeks, mailboxes will be stuffed and radio ads will carry messages advocating for the fees as part of a campaign managed by the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, said campaign manager Rachel Beck. Already the cause has raised more than $311,000, much of which she credits to Suthers.”

“Citing looming construction deadlines, Weld County has moved to declare eminent domain against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The decision, during a Board of Weld County Commissioners meeting Wednesday, comes after months of fruitless negotiations for the additional right-of-way Weld County needs to complete Weld County Road 47 — the Weld County Parkway, a stretch of four-lane, concrete road running from Weld 60.5 to Colo. 392. Weld is spending $21 million on the project, which will connect Colo. 392 traffic with U.S. 34. The parkway already is complete from U.S. 34 to Weld 60.5.”

“Companies considering investing in broadband infrastructure in Grand Junction may be able to take advantage of some incentives approved Wednesday night by the Grand Junction City Council,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Councilors signed off on a Broadband Capital Funding plan, which offers up to 50 percent, or no more than $10,000 per project, for capital construction costs for companies to install high-speed fiber connections. Businesses that use the fund must repay the city within three years. Approved projects would be in areas that currently are not served with broadband. Grand Junction is rolling out the plan as a way to move forward after councilors stopped a plan earlier this year to invest more than $70 million to create a citywide broadband network with SiFi/Nokia, City Manager Greg Caton said Wednesday night.”

“Some families in Boulder and Weld counties are wondering what they will do if the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (called Child Health Plan Plus, or CHP+, in Colorado) goes away at the end of January,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Congress had until Sept. 30 to renew the program so that it could keep receiving federal aid, but let that deadline pass. Current law allows states to continue using unspent federal funds that were collected before Oct. 1, so the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing estimated that Colorado’s funding for CHP+ would last until Jan. 31.”

“When news spread that Verizon Wireless was getting ready to build a new cell tower to boost its 4G LTE signals in west Steamboat Springs, some residents who live up the road in North Routt County felt left out in the buffering zone,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “People in towns such as Clark and Hahn’s Peak have said they have had to endure spotty coverage and expensive, but slow, internet connections for years. And at a time when high speed connections are becoming more of a necessity in the digital world than a luxury, some residents are banding together to lobby for improvements. Without any changes, many will have to continue driving to the Clark store or even further to Steamboat to get work done and allow their children to complete online homework assignments.”

“The city of Fort Collins wants to be welcoming to all people, even if they are here illegally. After a long discussion, the City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution aimed at addressing the fear some immigrants feel when dealing with public officials, especially the police,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The Community Trust Initiative resolution passed on a 6-0 vote, with council member Ross Cunniff absent. The resolution is meant to clarify that police and other city employees may not ask residents about their immigration status unless that information is required by state or federal law. Receipt of some public services is limited to citizens and other legal residents.”

“A jury convicted Berthoud teen Tanner Flores of all counts in a first-degree murder trial of the death of Ashley Doolittle on Wednesday following seven days of trial and a deliberation that spanned two days,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “With their conviction, the jury conveyed Flores, 19, deliberately planned to kill Doolittle, his ex-girlfriend, kidnapped her on June 9, 2016, and in the course of that kidnapping fatally shot her in the head with a revolver, resulting in guilty findings on two charges of first-degree murder, one for committing a felony that resulted in a death, and another for specifically planning to kill Doolittle and doing so. He will face a sentence of life in prison, plus up to 32 years on the felony kidnapping charge. His sentencing hearing was set for Thursday at 2 p.m., when his friends and family will learn his fate.”

“The Vail Town Council’s Tuesday, Oct. 3, decision to rezone a 23.3-acre parcel in East Vail took a lot of time, but putting housing on part of that land will require even more time and effort,” reports Vail Daily. “The 5-2 vote, with council members Kim Langmaid and Jen Mason dissenting, split the parcel into two sections, both still owned by Vail Resorts. The western portion, 5.4 acres, is now governed by Vail’s housing zone district. That’s one of the town’s most restrictive in terms of planning oversight and limits building to only deed-restricted workforce housing. The eastern portion, 17.9 acres, is now governed by the town’s natural area preservation zoning. That’s also among the town’s most restrictive land uses, allowing little more than trails.”

“Fremont County Clerk and Recorder Katie Barr is under investigation after financial discrepancies recently were discovered,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “According to news releases from the Fremont County Commissioners and the Cañon City Police Department, the commissioners reached out to the CPPD Sept. 29 to investigate what appeared to be ‘irregular financial activity’ stemming from Barr’s office. According to the county’s press release, Barr ‘has voluntarily removed herself from the operations of the Office of the Clerk and Recorder,’ and in accordance with Colorado law, Chief Deputy Clerk Dotty Gardunio will step in to fulfill the duties of the elected office. During a preliminary investigation by the CCPD, financial discrepancies were discovered, and the CCPD requested assistance from the FBI because of the skills required in financial investigations.”

“Lafayette may be primed to halt new oil and gas development on the eve of widescale fracking plans slated for Boulder County,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Officials on Tuesday evening tabled a decision until later this month, citing the need for more communication and the presence of all the council members before any decision can be made. Councilwoman Merrily Mazza, who said she would vote “no” on a moratorium last week, was absent. If officially sanctioned next month, the measure would stay any drilling applications until November 2018.”

“Denver will buy the 155-acre Park Hill Golf Course property and work with Clayton Early Learning to develop a master plan for the area in an agreement expected to be presented to the city council next month,” reports The Denver Post. “As terms of the agreement, the city of Denver will immediately spend $10 million on the property as a down payment, then will pay $350,000 each year for the next 30 in a lease-to-own agreement. That agreement will come with an early buyout provision. If all the payments are made, Denver could end up paying the trust $10.5 million on top of the initial $10 million payment, which would result in $20.5 million being spent on the land.”