The Home Front: No more smoking on Denver’s 16th Street Mall

“Starting on Dec. 1, police officers will ask people on the 16th Street Mall to extinguish their nicotine delivery devices, from cigarettes to vaporizers,” reports Denverite. “The Denver City Council on Monday unanimously approved the Breathe Easy Ordinance, which will allow cops to issue tickets up to $100 to anyone smoking or using an e-cigarette on the pedestrian mall or within 50 feet of its edges. The proposal was introduced by Council President Albus Brooks, who said his main concern was the health and welfare of the people of Denver. Some people expressed concerns that police would use the new ordinance to target people experiencing homelessness, essentially pushing them off the mall. Brooks said that was not his intention, noting that it will not be possible to get arrested for violating the ban, as it is a civil rather than criminal offense.”

“Crews remained on scene Monday at an abandoned oil well that spilled about 300 barrels of drilling mud and small amounts of oil along a private driveway on Colo. 60 southeast of Loveland,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The well on private land in the 2500 block of East Colo. 60, which had been abandoned in 1984, began bubbling up the mix of mud and oil on Sunday. A resident on the property called the Loveland Fire Department, which then handed off the call to Berthoud Fire because the property is in the Berthoud jurisdiction. Initial reports were that oil was spilling from the well, but state officials confirmed Monday that the spill was mostly drilling mud, which is a material used in the drilling process.”

“Though Wendell Bates and Paul O’Brien did not work at the Uravan uranium mill at the same time, their memories of yellow dust and long days tell the same story,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “It was dirty work,” Bates said. “That yellowcake got all over you. You could put some in your car and still take some home.” Bates, 79, was one of the few workers during his eight-year stint in Uravan who used safety equipment. He credits his continued health to that diligence. He has breathing difficulties, but no cancer — not like so many of his former mill colleagues who are sick or have died from the effects of working in the atomic energy industry. Working with uranium was a family legacy for O’Brien. His father, R.C., sampled uranium for the Atomic Energy Commission compound in Grand Junction. He later developed and died from kidney cancer and lung disease.”

“Throughout the year, friends and family often bring Karen Wood skulls,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Her mother-in-law once gave her a set of busts of the seven deadly sins as a gift. Wood herself enjoys buying rubber or plastic snakes, even if the slithering reptiles frighten her in real life. Wood loves decorating for Halloween. She starts putting things up every year in the beginning of September, so everything will be finished by the time October comes. It’s an excuse to feel like a kid again for one night, she said.”

“For the third time this year, wildlife officers have euthanized a black bear that had become a nuisance in Steamboat Springs. The bear was trapped Sunday night on Clubhouse Drive,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The trap was set because a bear had been breaking into garages, ripping apart freezers and getting into food.”

“City officials are not optimistic about the prospects for forming a public-private partnership to provide high-speed internet services in Fort Collins should the city decide to go into the broadband business,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “A request for proposals to partner with the city in delivering broadband services issued in May garnered responses from 11 companies, according to a memo from staff to the City Council. But none met the city’s objectives, including willingness to mitigate the financial risk of building and operating a broadband network.”

“Avon’s artist-in-residence program is not off the table. It will just take a little time to get together, so officials have decided it’s best to not let a potential worker home sit vacant amid a situation that’s being described as a housing crisis,” reports Vail Daily. “An artist-in-residence program was the first idea for the former fire station, which was vacated this month as part of the Eagle River Fire Protection District’s migration over to its new location on Buck Creek Road. That idea was met with enthusiasm from the Avon Town Council, which examined the idea during a couple of work sessions.”

“The state auditor’s office on Monday blasted Colorado’s management of a program designed to fund regional tourism projects, saying it failed to establish proper internal controls or adequately monitor projects after approval,” reports The Denver Post. “The legislature established the Regional Tourism Act in 2009 to kick-start large-scale tourism projects, provided that they were unique, would draw a large number of out-of-state visitors and could not be built without state tax-increment financing. Five of nine projects that applied for funding were approved from 2012 to 2015 and awarded more than $445 million from the higher state sales taxes revenues they were forecast to generate from out-of-state visits over several decades. So far, the state has distributed $11.3 million to three projects.”

“Nathaniel Vincent Czajkowski was a rapper, not a troublemaker. Despite the negativity often associated with the rap genre – rampant drug use, gang violence, offensive language – Nate didn’t fit the narrative, his parents said Monday,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. Neither did his two friends – Abubaker ‘Abu’ Sentamu and Nathan Spaulding – who along with Nate were shot Sunday morning as they stood outside a restaurant on Austin Bluffs Parkway. “They were not those types of boys,” said Abu’s mother, Timeka Reese. Reese and Diane Czajkowski, Nate’s mother – in separate interviews – described their sons as protectors, not instigators. They pointed to a year-old incident at Doherty High School as proof.”

“Tom Tancredo is set to kick off a campaign for governor of Colorado, joining a crowded Republican primary field in what will be his third run for the office, Colorado Politics has learned,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “Tancredo enters the race — after more than two months spent exploring a run — on the heels of a private poll showing him with a wide lead over other GOP candidates. The poll also shows Tancredo in a statistical dead heat with leading Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Jared Polis. “I think that all of the things we need to do in the state of Colorado really require some bold leadership,” Tancredo told Colorado Politics late Monday. “It will not be easy to get some real change here, but I think I can provide that kind of leadership. I’m not afraid of taking on tough issues and being bold.” He said pressing issues facing Colorado families include roads, gun rights, education, sanctuary cities, energy and growth.”

“The city of Loveland has responded to a city sales tax complaint filed by Netflix, rescinding its tax assessment and filing a motion to dismiss the streaming service’s complaint,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “But through its lawyers, Netflix replied it still isn’t satisfied. The tax disagreement may ultimately result in a statewide ruling on whether Colorado cities may levy sales tax on online content streaming subscriptions, as the city said it wishes to defer to Colorado law on the issue. In a complaint filed Oct. 3, the online streaming service and DVD rental behemoth pleaded for relief from an assessment of more than $116,000 in city sales tax for “sales/rental of tangible personal property” that went unpaid over a roughly three-year period. The complaint states that the city’s tax assessment violated state and federal law, including the U.S. Constitution.”

“Nancy Reeder temporarily is experiencing homelessness, but that has nothing to do with her identity as a woman,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “So who is Nancy Reeder? “I’m a 55-year-old woman who is very family oriented, and I miss my family,” she said. “I was a preschool teacher for 20 years.” Even so, Reeder said she receives glares from strangers and most people go out of their way to avoid her when she is walking from Loaves & Fishes to wherever she is going.”