The Home Front: No other state ‘has as many people living in a church or temple to avoid deportation’ as Colorado

“On Mother’s Day, Sandra Lopez was one of a handful of immigrant leaders who spoke at a prayer vigil in Carbondale where Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist announced it was becoming a sanctuary congregation,” reports The Denver Post. “The mother of three told the crowd that because she was living in the U.S. illegally, she might one day need to claim sanctuary here herself. Although she said it at the vigil, “I never imagined that I would be the one,” Lopez said through an interpreter from Two Rivers, where she claimed sanctuary Thursday, after she learned her latest request for a stay of removal had been denied. Lopez is a 42-year-old Mexican national, lives in Silt, has no criminal convictions and has been in the country since 1998. All three of her children are U.S. citizens, including the baby, Areli, who could be heard fussing on the other end of the line during a phone call Tuesday. Areli, who is staying at Two Rivers with her mother, will be 2 next month.”

“Peterson Air Force Base bosses worked Tuesday to soothe the Fountain City Council’s frustrations over the base’s role in polluting drinking water for thousands of residents in southern El Paso County,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The meeting came as the Air Force faces mounting pressure from local governments and Congress to address pollution tied to the service’s decadeslong use of a firefighting foam that contained fluoridated compounds. The chemicals have been tied to health risks from high cholesterol to cancer and brought alarm to the region last year after the Environmental Protection Agency warned water users that the contaminated Widefield Aquifer was unsafe to drink.”

“A state agency has opened the door to statewide air quality regulations that energy industry officials had thought was closed with an agreement to limit new regulations to the Front Range,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission next month is to complete air quality regulations that will apply in the Denver metro area, but the commission also said it would begin a two-year process of considering regulations that would apply statewide. Extending the regulations met with opposition from Mesa County officials. “One size fits all does not work in Colorado, how many times do we have to say it?” Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese said, opposing statewide regulations. Adopting rules that would apply across Colorado would invite annual vehicle inspections, as well as requirements governing agriculture, landfills and other businesses, Commissioner Scott McInnis said. Environmental organizations will call for greater state involvement.”

“As sure as autumn follows summer, tree leaves will fall with each chilly breeze and pile up on your yard. But how do you deal with leaves in an environmentally friendly way?” The Coloradoan in Fort Collins has some tips.

“A shadowy group outside Greeley is working to influence the Greeley City Council election, spending nearly $50,000 on glossy mailers favoring four specific candidates and sending those mailers to voters across the city,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The Greeley for a Stronger Economy independent expenditure committee has disclosed just one round of spending: $5,000 on website and digital advertising urging people to vote for Greeley City Council Ward 2 candidate Brett Payton. But this week, mailers are dropping across the city urging votes for Payton, at-large candidate Edward Mirick, Ward 3 candidate Michael Fitzsimmons and mayoral candidate John Gates. The glossy mailers say economic prosperity is the foundation of a strong community and feature pictures of the various candidates depending on where voters live.”

“Homeless adults in Pueblo have nowhere to go for emergency shelter until late December, even as cold weather sets in,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “City Council got that news Monday night, along with a request to make a city-owned building available for below-freezing nights until a remodeled Pueblo Rescue Mission can open in about 45 days. Anne Stattelman, of the nonprofit Posada housing agency, told council the closing of the Salvation Army shelter on West 13th Street means the city has no emergency warming shelter for homeless people on freezing nights.”

“An independent review has found no wrongdoing on the part of La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt, who was accused of having a conflict of interest and accepting things of value while serving in her official capacity,” reports The Durango Herald. “More specifically, La Plata County resident David Peters accused Lachelt of having a conflict of interest by having a dual role as a county commissioner and being a paid employee with Western Leaders Network, an environmental conservation nonprofit. Peters said Lachelt should recuse herself from deliberations and voting on oil and gas matters, but she has yet to do so.”

“The Rocky Mountain Flycasters and Big Thompson Watershed Coalition have received a grant to enhance the wheelchair -accessible fishing pier once it is rebuilt in the Big Thompson Canyon — a popular spot for anglers, birdwatchers and picnickers,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “A learning station, which includes educational signs with information on the river ecosystem, will be installed at the fishing pier site at mile marker 72, which is west of Drake, with the $2,300 Embrace A Stream grant through the national Trout Unlimited organization as well as donations.”

“Boulder County commissioners have scrapped a plan for a sustainable agriculture research program that would help it transition away from the use of GMOs after the hunt to find someone to run the program became mired in controversy,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “County open space staff placed the blame for the failure squarely on area farmers who fiercely opposed the county’s RFP process, alleging it was unethical and biased toward organic farming. “It has become increasingly clear that key producers and stakeholders (are) unwilling to collaborate,” said Eric Lane, parks and open space director, during his remarks to commissoners recommending that the bids be thrown out and a new request for proposals (RFP) not be issued. Lane went further, stating that the farmers implicitly threatened to sue the county if their preferred bidder, sugar beet co-op Western Sugar, was not selected. Last year, the county decided it would begin phasing out GMO crops on its open space farms and issued a request for proposals to create a transition program. Two entities bid: The one-man Mountain High Research from Fort Collins, and nonprofit Rodale Institute, a proponent of organic farming.”

“Seven hours worth of oil and gas talk led to a six-to-four vote to approve a new operator agreement with Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Multiple substitute motions were made, and failed, before council made their decision in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Extraction attorney Eric Christ said every word of the agreement had been negotiated with Broomfield staff. “This is our last and final offer,” he said after council members tried to work in changes to the agreement through their motions. ‘We’ve gone as far as we can.'”

“After more than a year of collaboration among several community partners, Fremont County Sobering Center soon will open its doors to help individuals in need of a safe place to sober up, without requiring medical assistance,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “The Fremont County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday entered into a contract with St. Thomas More Hospital for operation of the center, which is expected to open Nov. 2.”

“Protesters dressed like characters in the novel and TV series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ plan to greet Vice President Mike Pence Thursday outside a fundraiser for Colorado Republicans in Greenwood Village,” reports ColoradoPolitics. ‘By wearing the handmaid’s red cape and white bonnet, we will send a strong message to Pence and the administration that we demand freedom and autonomy for women in all areas of our lives, as well as members of marginalized communities everywhere,’ protest organizer Dana Miller of the Indivisible Denver group said in a statement. The outfits, depicted in Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, have become familiar sights at Pence appearances. In the book and a Hulu TV show that began airing this year, women are treated as property in a fundamentalist society — a warning, Miller said, of the “potentially terrifying, dystopian future where women have no rights and are relegated to child-bearers only” that could result from policies supported by Pence, a former GOP governor of Indiana.”

“An alternative Christian church in Denver wants to roll out a shop with skates, knee pads and other gear for area roller derby players,” reports Denverite. “Scum of the Earth Church filed a rezoning application Friday for its site at 935 W. 11th Ave. in Lincoln Park. If approved, the church would give Denver’s strong, women-led roller derby scene a shopping option between the stores in Loveland and Colorado Springs. “There isn’t actually a roller derby shop in Denver, and we are one of the highest per capita roller derby cities. So we felt there was kind of a need there and that it was something we could fulfill at Scum because we have a lot of roller derby participants at our church,” said Kayleigh Merchant, an administrative assistant at Scum of the Earth.”

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