The Home Front: How to counteract declining enrollment at this college in Durango? Consider a name change.

“Fort Lewis College has begun its process of considering renaming the school, in part to counteract enrollment decline,” reports The Durango Herald. “Talk of a name change has been taking place for at least the last five years. Now it is in action. One of the college’s first actions was appointing an 11-person name change committee. ‘There are a whole bunch of moving parts to this,’ said Mark Jastorff, vice president for advancement and committee chairman. ‘We started by talking to Native American alumni and had some preliminary discussions with the community.’ The college recently posted an online survey targeted to alumni, students, faculty and staff to gauge feedback. Jastorff said FLC has about 28,500 alumni. The survey reached about 14,000 alumni with active email addresses. The remaining alumni will get the survey by mail. FLC spokesman Mitch Davis said response to the surveys has been ‘very good.'”

“In two months, when Alejandra Borunda’s 8-year-old son awakes screaming with one of his regular ear infections, she will pause before deciding whether to take him to a doctor,” reports The Denver Post. “In two months, when Borunda’s 11-year-old daughter asks about the braces the orthodontist has said she needs, Borunda will try to turn the conversation elsewhere. Borunda’s kids are among the more than 75,000 children and pregnant women in Colorado covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And, unless Congress acts in the next two months to renew the 20-year-old program, they will be uninsured.”

“Commissioners from area counties who visited federal government officials at the nation’s capital a few weeks ago came back feeling hopeful that they’ve got sympathetic ears in Washington and improved prospects for action on issues of local importance, like collecting on overdue oil and gas revenues,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Of course, it doesn’t hurt when two of those sympathetic ears belong to David Bernhardt, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior. He’s also a Rifle native who happens to have once been taught in school there by Mike Samson, now a Garfield County commissioner. Samson was part of a contingent also including Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese that visited with Bernhardt and other high-level officials during their recent trip east. Recounting his sit-down with Bernhardt during a trip recap at a subsequent Garfield commissioners’ meeting, Samson told how Bernhardt recalled having had him as his government and speech teacher.”

“He was Greeley’s mayor for eight years, the president of the Colorado Senate and director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, but Tom Norton said if there was a ‘most likely to’ line in his high school yearbook, it might have predicted a future working at a filling station,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “That’s probably not entirely true. After all, Norton, a four-year varsity wrestler in Lander, Wyo., was voted president of his class at Lander Valley High School. But Tom Norton, 77, has a penchant for downplaying himself and his accomplishments. Any good politician does, and for Norton, it helps balance an often brash public persona.”

“The city of Loveland has [compiled] an abridged list of financial incentives it has awarded to businesses between 2002 and 2017,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “City staff members put together the list as they work on setting up a better process for future incentives. The list includes 40 agreements between the city and businesses for which the city has determined its final calculations for gains and losses, reported as a total net incentive. A total net incentive is defined as the total incentive, less payments received from fee deferrals or clawback recovery. A “clawback” is a special contractual clause by which money must be paid back under certain conditions.”

“Victims of crime in Loveland should have a better chance of obtaining services that could help them, thanks to a $35,000 grant,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The Loveland Police Department will add a half-time victim advocate position in 2018 to work with victims of crime and connect them to services offered at Alternatives to Violence, a nonprofit victim advocacy agency that serves the southern part of Larimer County. A $35,000, one-year grant from the Eighth Judicial District’s Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement (VALE) Board, supplemented with an additional $8,000 from within the police department, will go toward funding the salary and benefits of the new position.”

“With a mid-afternoon temperature of 60 degrees Sunday at Steamboat Springs Airport, Yampa Valley residents were walking around in T-shirts and soaking up the sun,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The record high temperature for the same date was set in 1995 at 61 degrees. “Above normal temperatures have been sticking around here for awhile,” said Dennis Phillips, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. The average high temperature for Nov. 26 is 34 degrees. The National Weather Service high-temperature prediction for Sunday was 56 degrees. On Monday, it was expected to be 57 degrees, which is three degrees lower than the highest-recorded temperature of 60 degrees in 1914.”

“It would finally become legal for owners of Longmont homes to rent all or part of their homes to visitors staying there for short periods of time, under an ordinance up for an initial City Council vote on Tuesday night,” reports The Longmont Times-Call.

“When figuring out household expenses, sometimes the focus is on spending and sometimes it is on planning and saving,” reports Vail Daily. “The same holds true for municipal budgets. For the town of Gypsum in 2018, saving and design is the focus. What’s the town saving up for? Three roundabouts — and they won’t be cheap.”

“The same area of north Boulder that one year ago was the site of some neighborhood frustration over marijuana odor is now host to a near repeat of that drama,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “A cultivation facility that, according to state records, is licensed to local pot shop Boulder Botanics was fined $2,000 for a ‘failure to remedy odor violations.’ This cultivation center is located in the same industrial building, at 4727 Broadway, where the Dandelion Grow was fined last fall. The Dandelion Grow was emitting scent that neighbors described as “constant and very pungent” and ‘like a really stinky skunk smell.'”

“Du’Wayne Hall moved from Utah to southeast Colorado Springs seeking a fresh start in his old hometown and a relationship with the estranged adult daughter he barely knew,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Fifteen years later, he’s almost 60; things haven’t worked out with his daughter and he’s looking to move on. But a fixed income and physical challenges have conspired with skyrocketing rents to keep him where he is: a bug-infested 500-square-foot efficiency in a complex where police are constantly being called and gunfire punctuates the night. ‘At least the cockroaches are small,’ said Hall, sitting at his kitchen table, several feet from a shoulder-high pile of boxes and belongings that claims most of the room. ‘They come through and spray for bugs once a month, and you can’t have anything in cabinets, or on the walls, or touching the walls.'”

“You’d be hard-pressed to find a public place that welcomes smokers nowadays in Denver,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “The city has even recently moved to ban smoking and vaping along the 16th Street Mall. However, like a relic from another era, Denver International Airport still has a dedicated indoor space, the Smokin’ Bear Lodge Smoking Lounge on concourse C, where passengers can light up before their flight. Three DIA smoking lounges have already closed, and the Smokin’ Bear space will shutter when its lease expires in 2018, according to the Denver Business Journal, but DIA still landed on a health list that some call the smoky list, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“Thanksgiving is over, outdoor ice rinks are opening, Christmas music is now socially acceptable and it’s lemonade stand weather in the Mile High,” reports Denverite. “Denver hit a record-breaking 74 degrees on Sunday, the National Weather Service reports. The previous record high for Nov. 26 was 72 degrees, set in 1998. Local men were seen marking the occasion by removing their shirts for jogs through Cheesman Park. The local weather has been flirting with record-breaking warmth for a few days now, and as the Denver Post pointed out, it’s possible we could see a new record set on Monday as well. The temperature to beat is 74 degrees — a record set in 1950.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.


  1. Lipstick on the pig. Fort Lewis has been in trouble for years, and a name change ain’t gonna fix the issues.

    Here’s a helpful hunt for college applicants:

    If you choose a “University” with “Fort” or “Christian” in the name, you’re gonna have a bad time come job seeking time.

  2. This is so true. An alumni I ran into many questions and comments when job hunting re: the name Fort Lewis. I am not sure where to submit a name change. Is there a form online? Anyway I would like to submit
    the name Skyland University or Skyland College.
    Also true in CA “college” usually refers to junior colleges 2 yr schools.

Comments are closed.