The Home Front: Could Colorado Springs allow recreational marijuana despite the mayor’s opposition?

“At the two malls in town you can buy key chains and Christmas ornaments shaped like marijuana leaves,” reports The Los Angeles Times on the front page of The Cañon City Daily Record. “Along a downtown shopping corridor, paintings of cannabis plants grace storefront windows. Even Kmart stocks its shelves with T-shirts and mugs decorated with the signature green leaf and “Colorado est. 2012” — the year the state legalized recreational marijuana. But that is the one pot product you can’t buy in Colorado Springs. When Coloradans voted overwhelmingly to make non-medical marijuana legal, they left it up to cities whether to allow sales. Colorado Springs, home to five military bases and known for its conservative politics and religious values, blocked recreational cannabis sales. Now some in town want to change that, saying the state’s second largest city is missing out on sales taxes that are enriching cities across Colorado.”

“The developer of a proposed apartment complex along the Blue River in Silverthorne will revise his designs after elected leaders all but rejected them last week, saying the blueprint was simply too much for such a prominent downtown location,” reports Summit Daily. “The private land at 300 Blue River Parkway currently houses two businesses, Uncle John’s Farm Stand and the Higgles Ice Cream Food Truck, in addition to parking for the Silverthorne Town Center and a picnic area.”

“Children enroll in extracurricular activities such as sports, dance and the martial arts for a variety of reasons, including exercise, growing their talents, learning teamwork and just plain, old fun,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “There are times, though, when these same activities meant to enhance a child’s life can cause undue stress and plenty of confusion over priorities. But how can parents know the difference between activities that are positively challenging kids to grow into well-rounded adults and those that are the source of anxiety? The answer lies in some of the most difficult skills of parenthood: listening and observing.”

“The Bureau of Land Management pulled two parcels of concern to Dinosaur National Monument and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert from an oil and gas lease sale it conducted last week, but sold some other parcels in the area that will still be within sight of a visitor center there,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The parcels were part of the agency’s quarterly lease sale in Utah, which last week included acreage in northeastern Utah. Altogether it offered about 94,000 acres of leases and sold about 54,000 acres for nearly $6 million. The lease sale as initially proposed drew concerns from the National Park Service about parcels adjacent to the monument’s western boundary and within a mile of the southern boundary and Quarry Visitor Center. The agency worried about visual impacts to the monument and its visitors, air pollution, and impacts on night skies and water quality.”

“The acts of two complete strangers have touched the lives of Darlee and Cody Deninger, delivering a Christmas wish that will allow the 12-year-old to hit the slopes on a snowboard this winter,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Darlee was looking for a way to take her son Cody snowboarding to get him outside and away from video games, but the single mother was not sure she could afford the gear. Cody had been snowboarding twice before in his life and loved the activity, and they were able to get a discount lift pass available to sixth-grade students in Colorado. So, on Black Friday, Darlee began scoping out gear and considering buying a helmet, gloves, snow pants, goggles and a few other necessary items.”

“The town of Timnath has paused the majority of its capital improvement projects and town events in the wake of voters rejecting a sales tax hike last month,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The November ballot measure — which failed with almost 59 percent of voters against it — would have raised the town’s sales tax from 3 percent to 4.3 percent and the sales tax on food purchased for home consumption from 2.25 percent to 3.45 percent. Voters rejected a similar tax increase in 2016. When the Timnath Town Council approved its 2018 budget Tuesday, funding had been removed for most of its planned infrastructure projects, including the widening of Harmony Road.”

“It looks to be cold during the upcoming holiday, but it is still uncertain whether it will be a white Christmas in Steamboat Springs,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “According to local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who runs snowalarm.com, we should see snow this week leading up to the Dec. 25 holiday. For Monday and Tuesday, Weissbluth is calling for a mix of clouds and sun. Above average temperatures and mostly sunny skies should be expected Wednesday ahead of possible snow.”

“The Platte River Power Authority on Tuesday night is to present the Longmont City Council with a recent study’s scenario for providing a ‘zero net carbon’ electric energy supply for Longmont, Loveland, Estes Park and Fort Collins by the year 2030,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Representatives of PRPA, the wholesale electric power supplier for those four municipalities, and from consulting firm Pace Global LLC, are to brief the council on Pace’s conclusions about the feasibility and costs of achieving that zero-net-carbon goal.”

“Thanks to a shoebox-sized satellite built by University of Colorado students, a decades-old mystery surrounding the source of some potentially-damaging particles in our planet’s radiation belts has been unraveled,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The mystery electrons in question exist in Earth’s inner radiation belt, but their origins were unclear for the past 60 years, according to a Wednesday CU news release. Data from the students’ satellites showed the electrons are created by cosmic rays stemming from explosions of supernovas, said the study’s lead author, Professor Xinlin Li who teaches in CU’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.”

“It’s been roughly six years since the 40-bed Direct Supervision Pod at the Eagle County Jail housed prisoners, but by mid-year 2018 the facility will be back in service,” reports Vail Daily. “The Direct Supervision Pod opened back in 2010, and the facility was touted as a safe, effective detentions environment that would provide a more constructive jail experience. The theory behind how the pod operated was that it would ultimately result in fewer relapses for inmates.”

“What effect did Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012 have on homelessness here? It’s a question that’s been asked, in one form or another, by longtime Coloradans, new transplants, police officers, social service providers, and everyone in between in recent years as recreational marijuana dispensaries have popped up around the state,” reports Colorado Public Radio on the front page of The Durango Herald. “There isn’t much data to give a good answer. And that lack of clarity has led to speculation that masses of people experiencing homelessness, sometimes called ‘urban travelers,’ have moved to Denver solely to get stoned. But experts told the Denver City Council last week that while anecdotal stories may support that theory, existing data, while problematic, doesn’t. Donald Burnes, executive director of the University of Denver’s Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness, pointed to the most recent annual survey of the metro area’s homeless population.”

“It’s not exactly the Pike’s Peak gold rush of 160 years but with crude prices on the rise, explorers are returning to the oil-rich rock of Colorado as a way to expand beyond the shale plays of Texas and New Mexico,” reports Bloomberg on the front page of The Denver Post. “During the three-year crude-market collapse, as prices fell below $27 a barrel, the Denver-Julesburg Basin northeast of Denver was largely abandoned as explorers tightened down drilling budgets. Now, with prices headed toward $60 on the heels of OPEC-led production cuts, the region is spurring renewed interest. More than $2 billion of drilling deals have been announced in the last four months in the DJ Basin. In addition, Colorado has seen more than $1.8 billion in pipeline deals and extensions this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

“Less than three months after taking over health care at the El Paso County jail, Armor Correctional Health Services had yet to dent a backlog of medical requests that left more than 300 inmates without access to prompt treatment,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The private, for-profit company also fell short on promises to have nurses visit each ward at least once a day, conduct health assessments within two weeks of inmates’ booking and maintain up-to-date medical records – all listed as violations of a multimillion dollar contract documented in an ongoing audit. “They are not capable of keeping up or have not had occasions to keep up with some of the requirements,” Sheriff Bill Elder said of the contractor, describing what he called “growing pains” in the company’s move to assume care for an average daily population of more than 1,500 inmates.”

“Is Denver Mayor Michael Hancock too cozy with the development community?” asks ColoradoPolitics. “A Denver councilman questioned the mayor’s philosophy toward developers following a recent news story on the topic. In an interview earlier this month, the Denver Post asked Mayor Michael Hancock what he thought of the perception that he is too friendly with developers. Hancock defended himself, arguing in reality he would never falter in his integrity to the office — and his family and he’s not even part of the the city’s permitting process.”

“Denver conducted its largest emergency drill in a decade from a bunker-like facility in the basement of the City and County Building on Friday,” reports Denverite. “Built in 1951 with the idea that it might have to survive a nuclear attack, the emergency operations center was bustling with 96 city employees from 36 departments dealing with imaginary casualties, medical response, road closures, shelter-in-place orders and more. The simulated scenario involved a terrorist attack on a commercial building with large numbers of dead and wounded. One team took reports from the field while others coordinated the response or looked 12 to 24 hours ahead to what the next needs would be. From another room, observers from outside agencies evaluated Denver’s performance.”

 

 

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Colorado Springs if finally starting to cast off the shackles placed upon it by the pervasively corrosive influence of the religious extremists and hyper-conservative military sheeple who have cowardly sheltered in its warm embrace for far too long.

    The sooner CS moves on from the dishonest machinations of bigoted, anti-science, anti-public education footsoldiers of the far right, the sooner it takes that crucial next step of becoming a normal, thriving blue urban oasis the likes of which we’ve seen across the country.

    You want your property values to spike, your tax revenues to increase and your public policies more founded in common sense than common myths?

    Keep kicking the Fundies and the Flat Tops the curb. The paradigm will keep shifting.

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