The Home Front: Experts are baffled at an exodus of budget stores in Boulder

“As mega-retailer Walmart announced it would close its Boulder Neighborhood Market after a brief four years, much of Boulder cheered,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “A Daily Camera story on the planned exit drew dozens of gleeful comments on Facebook, and a handful of individuals — the same ones who protested the superstore’s opening — came out on closing day to celebrate its demise. But Jan Lagomarsino Brummett was trying to figure out where she would now shop for groceries. Where else could she find organic produce at such affordable prices, or canned goods that were sometimes three times cheaper than at neighboring stores? Where else could she go and, in one trip, get luggage and bandages, vitamins and her favorite brand of natural tea? It wasn’t that Brummett suffered from a lack of choice: Boulder is home to more grocery stores than nearly anywhere in the nation. But, as a senior counting, if maybe not every penny, then at least watching them closely, Brummett turned to Walmart because it helped her practice responsible spending.”

“Erie says its local drilling operators have each provided maps revealing the locations of oil and gas flowlines throughout the town, signaling their compliance with regulations denounced as ‘unlawful’ and ‘overarching’ by top industry officials,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The town’s four oil and gas firms — Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Crestone Peak Resources, Extraction Oil and Gas and Noble Energy — all submitted their information by the Dec. 31 deadline, according to Erie spokeswoman Katie Hansen. “Overall, the local operators have generally complied with the ordinance,” Hansen wrote in an email Wednesday. “Town staff is currently conducting a review of the data to evaluate its merits based on the reliability and accuracy as it relates to the infrastructure in place.” Company representatives each confirmed their compliance with the new regulations later in the week.”

“The Colorado House went to the dogs Friday when it gave preliminary approval to a bill restricting the ability of homeowners associations to ban certain types of canines,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “While opponents said HB1126 unnecessarily takes away an HOA’s bite in enforcing its own rules, proponents said its bark sends a loud message — that it’s wrong to discriminate against an animal based on size or breed.”

“When a teaching position opened up at the University of Northern Colorado, Justin Krawitz packed his bags and left South Africa,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The program was a good fit for him, but he wasn’t necessarily thrilled to leave his home country. South Africa had just celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first democratic election when he began teaching piano and piano pedagogy in 2014. He still wanted to participate in that progress, he said.”

“Jordan Tribble’s father used to encourage him to try ballet. Tribble wasn’t so sure about the tights,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Instead, he spent his high school years on football, cross country and martial arts. Now, the 2011 Glenwood Springs High School alumnus is preparing to return to town, tights in tow. Tribble is a professional flying trapeze artist in the process of launching a business to bring his passion home.”

“Like other Summit County towns, Breckenridge rode the bull through 2017 with more $550 million worth of taxable sales activity last year, an unprecedented amount that’s led to a 3.36 percent increase in the town’s estimated sales-tax revenue over 2016,” reports Summit Daily. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the nation saw its GDP increase by 2.3 percent percent last year, a far cry from the growth experienced across the four biggest towns in Summit County. Statewide annual statistics won’t be released until May 4.”

“In October, an overflow crowd of Front Range residents, brandishing signs and wearing surgical masks, descended on the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) meeting to voice opposition to a plan to drill oil wells in Broomfield,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. ‘We need a say. Tell the state it’s not OK,’ they chanted. In January, when notice went out on social media that oil and gas attorney Matt Sura was going to offer a briefing to homeowners on oil leasing, more than 200 people turned out at Thornton’s Margret A. Carpenter Recreation Center. Feelings about oil and gas drilling continue to run high in Colorado’s Front Range suburbs, and the pressure has been on local officials, who are getting little satisfaction from state regulators. The COGCC has primacy on oil and gas regulation, but local governments are seeking ways to address the impacts of drilling in their communities while not running afoul of the state. At the same time, they are facing a housing and population boom, with the five counties north of Denver adding 187,000 new residents between 2010 and 2016.”

“Think of it as a neighborhood get-together to talk politics — without the unwritten rules against it,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Or, it’s simply a way to get more involved in the political process and a potentially potent tool for those who feel their political party of choice is headed away from where they think it should be. Either way, local leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties are clear: Caucuses aren’t a secret club to swing party politics. If anything, they’re the opposite: a way for party members to control who could ascend to the highest political offices in the state and in the county. And they’re coming up on March 6.”

“Gerry Geraghty’s private house is a revolving door for people hoping to overcome their run-ins with the law. Since 2001, he estimates more than 100 people have taken shelter in his six-bedroom home – some are addicts, some are ex-convicts, others are just down on their luck,” reports The Durango Herald. “Some are also like Geraghty, whose mother was an alcoholic and whose wife, Lauren, is a recovering addict. “In many ways, these men and women in jail and people suffering from addiction are like orphans,” he said. ‘They’ve lost friends and family because of their criminal behavior. This is a home where people can land after getting out of jail or prison and have a safe, supportive living environment.'”

“South Korea turned out the lights Sunday on the latest Winter Games, but the Olympics will remain in the foreground in Denver for at least two more months as the city considers whether to shoot for hosting duties in 2030,” reports The Denver Post. “Among many issues are two that in some ways loom above all others: How much it would cost to host the Olympics in Colorado — and whether hosting duties here, where voters famously spurned the 1976 Winter Games, could be pulled off without taxpayer money. “We’re looking at (whether we can) run the Games on an operating budget without building any permanent infrastructure and, therefore, do a privately financed games,” said Rob Cohen, the CEO of IMA Financial Group and chairman of the 40-member Denver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Exploratory Committee.”

“One Colorado, the state’s largest LGBTQ organization, will be joined by hundreds of allies at the Colorado Capitol Monday,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “It’s an annual event that starts at 8:30 a.m. with a gathering nearby at the Central Presbyterian Church at 1660 Sherman St. Again this year, the LGBTQ lobby is pushing for a bill to make it easier for transgender people to amend a birth certificate to reflect their gender identity. House Bill 1046 is scheduled to be debated on the House floor Monday, where the Democratic majority is almost certain to send it to the Republican-led Senate. Colorado Politics reported on the bill’s initial committee hearing two weeks ago.”

“A nonprofit group has filed a campaign finance complaint alleging that Council President Albus Brooks improperly used city staff’s time and his social media accounts to promote a campaign fundraiser event, which he denies,” reports Denverite. “Brooks is hosting a ’39th Birthday Bash & Campaign Event,’ a March 10 party with drinks and a so-called silent disco. Attendees will pay $10 toward Brooks’ re-election fund for council District 9. The complaint, filed by the nonprofit Strengthening Democracy Colorado, focuses on the promotion of the event. It argues that one of Brooks’ city office staffers improperly worked on planning the event during ‘working hours.’ It also calls into question his use of the Albus Brooks: Denver City Council President Facebook page.”

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