The Home Front: Gov. Hickenlooper came to Colorado Springs and ran into an anti-marijuana buzzsaw

“An El Paso County commissioner on Tuesday publicly accused Gov. John Hickenlooper of turning a blind eye to potential negative effects of legal recreational marijuana to protect an industry that has generated millions in tax revenue for the state,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The governor called Longinos Gonzalez Jr.’s claim ‘absolute nonsense’ during a question-and-answer session at an annual winter conference for Colorado local governments, held at the Hotel Elegante in Colorado Springs.”

“Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton might not have been in attendance for a participatory art project-cum-political rally Tuesday at Grand Junction’s Factory, but his name was front and center as attendees called for immigration reform to shield from deportation young people illegally brought to the U.S. as children,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Local government officials and advocates gathered with Grand Junction residents at the coworking space on Main Street Tuesday to participate in the Inside Out/Dreamers Project, launched by French artist JR and spearheaded by the Emerson Collective. Community members were invited to have their photos taken in a photo-booth truck Tuesday as an expression of solidarity with young people once beneficiaries of the now-expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.”

“With the final count tied at 440 to 440, the town’s proposed car tax failed. The ballot question was proposed by the New Castle Community Revenue Committee, made up of various New Castle community members, and asked for a one-time 3.5 percent use tax collected when New Castle residents purchase a new or used vehicle that requires registration,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico told the Post Independent ‘a tie vote on a question means the question fails because in order for it to pass it has to pass by at least one vote.'”

“Greeley City Council at-large councilman-elect Eddie Mirick never got his felony forgery conviction expunged, California court officials confirmed late Tuesday, likely paving the way for his removal from city council either by the council or via a resident-backed election contest filed in Weld District Court on Tuesday,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Mirick pleaded guilty to felony forgery nearly 40 years ago, and the Greeley Charter prohibits people with felony convictions from serving on the city council. Mirick has maintained his innocence and said the felony was later converted to a misdemeanor. Neither Mirick’s attorney nor California court authorities have provided any proof the felony was converted to a misdemeanor, and that doesn’t appear to matter.”

“The Dillon Town Council rejected a proposal for a large hotel earlier this year over height and parking concerns, but now the developer has cut his design down to size and hopes his re-envisioned ‘crown jewel’ development at the entrance of town will soon become a reality,” reports Summit Daily. “The original six-story Crossroads at Lake Dillon Hotel would have been a towering 90 feet tall, with commanding hilltop views of Lake Dillon and the surrounding mountain ranges. The new pitch, although only one story shorter, has shaved 32 feet of the total building to bring it in line with town code.”

“The Dacono City Council implemented a six-month moratorium on permitting new oil and gas development on an emergency basis,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “City Manager AJ Euckert said that city staff felt that Dacono needed to examine its oil and gas development regulations — which have not been updated since 1996 — but the city is not trying to ban oil and gas development. “It’s totally within our purview as a city to guard the health, safety and welfare of our residents and just hit the pause button while we review our regulations,” he said Tuesday.”

“There won’t be a homeless warming shelter in the Hyde Park neighborhood, City Council decided after hearing from West Side residents Monday night,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “‘That’s dead,’ Council President Steve Nawrocki said Tuesday morning. “We’re not going to put the shelter in the Hyde Park Community Center and that’s what residents will be told (if they attended a community meeting Tuesday night).” Council voted 6-1 at its meeting Monday night to delay any consideration of the Hyde Park plan until at least next week, but even that was swept aside Tuesday.”

“The Loveland Fire Rescue Authority has a plan for betterment of service and expansion of its facilities, and the need for improvements is largely in light of both a growing local population and a fire department staff that’s increasing in size, according to a presentation by the organization Tuesday night,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “LFRA Chief Mark Miller, Chairman of the Loveland Rural Fire Protection District Jeff Swanty and former Loveland fire chief Randy Mirowski presented the LFRA 2018 Strategic Plan before the Loveland City Council at a study session Tuesday evening, which detailed coming changes. The plan calls for adding two fire stations, improving staffing, replacing and upgrading equipment, upgrades to currently existing fire stations and increases to the organization’s budget. These expansions are not only due to population growth in Loveland, but also to regulations and improvements that have caused the department to have more firefighters on staff.”

“If there were any doubt the futures of CSU and Fort Collins are inextricably linked, consider this: Spending by the university, its students, faculty and staff account for about 20 percent of the city’s sales and use tax collections, according to a 2015 economic impact study released Tuesday by the university,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The analysis, conducted by three Colorado State University economists, is the first CSU-specific economic study in more than a decade. It confirms what most city and county officials already know: CSU is the largest engine driving Larimer County’s economic train.”

“La Plata County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a fee increase for use of the La Plata County Fairgrounds, the first such increase in more than a decade,” reports The Durango Herald. “The fee increase is expected to boost revenue for the county. In 2016, fairground fees generated about $79,000 in revenue. After the increase, revenue is expected to increase to $135,000. According to the county’s General Services Department Director Mark McKibben, fees for the fairgrounds were last increased in 2006. Given the length of time since the last increase, the county looked at whether revenues are in line with similar facilities.”

“The man who allegedly set a Coaldale RV on fire Sunday night crashed a stolen truck into a Fremont County Sheriff’s Office vehicle after an officer fired shots at him, according to the arrest affidavit,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record.

“There are many new efforts the Boulder Public Library is hoping to undertake in the near future, including creating new facilities in north Boulder and Gunbarrel, investing in the Canyon Theater as a community performance space and adding off-site programming that reaches underserved communities such as seniors and Latinos,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “But the library’s funding — just more than $8 million last year — has been relatively flat for years, even as more and more people become cardholders, and even as the library’s visitor base has swelled to more than 1 million people per year. On Tuesday night, the City Council wrestled with how the library can possibly come up with more money — not only to look ahead toward new efforts, but also simply to serve existing demand.”

“Carriage houses, garage apartments, granny flats and backyard cottages have been, for decades, part of the fabric of some of Denver’s most established and well-off neighborhoods — offering a place to accommodate family members or to rent out for extra income,” reports The Denver Post. “But now accessory dwelling units, as they’re known in the city’s zoning code, are gaining new cachet in an unexpected place, offering a potential way to stabilize homeownership among lower-income residents.”

“Sixteen development projects were held up this month as the standard of how buildings can excel in architecture, design and place-making,” reports Denverite. “The 2017 Mayor’s Design Award went to a variety of projects including a tiny home village, boutique shops, a coworking space and a food hall. An awards ceremony for the projects was held earlier this month. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and his executive director of Community Planning and Development, Brad Buchanan, presented the awards.”

“Colorado House and Senate leaders plan to meet in mid-December to review workplace harassment policies at the state Capitol in the wake of a flurry of recent allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against legislators, Senate President Kevin Grantham said Tuesday,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “The Legislative Council’s Executive Committee — made up of leaders from both parties in both chambers of the General Assembly — plans to hire an independent consultant to review existing procedures and issue recommendations to lawmakers. The panel also plans to discuss proposals to expand the scope and frequency of harassment training for legislators and staff.”

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