The Home Front: ‘Nearly three of every thousand’ Colorado agency workers filed a sexual harassment claim at work

“Nearly three of every thousand Colorado state government agency workers have filed a sexual harassment claim at work in the past five years, a Rocky Mountain PBS investigation found,” as re-published in The Durango Herald. “Sexual harassment allegations rocked the General Assembly this year and led it to oust one of its own members, Rep. Steve Lebsock, for the first time since 1915. But workplace sexual harassment spreads far beyond the statehouse, into the 17 principal agencies that employ more than 24,000 Coloradans. An RMPBS analysis of complaints compiled by the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration shows several state agencies with multiple harassment complaints filed in the past five years. The most came from the Colorado Department of Transportation, which had double the rate of complaints of any other state agency. CDOT, with nearly 3,000 employees, received 21 of the 62 complaints handled by the state between 2013 and the end of 2017. All but one involved a male accused of harassing a female.”

“Garfield County commissioners on Monday signed the second of two property tax abatement agreements with oil and gas companies in recent weeks over misreported production revenues,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “The county agreed to a $1.1 million refund for Caerus Piceance, LLC, related to errors identified by the company in the volumes and revenues of natural gas the company reported to Garfield County for properties acquired in 2014. Due to the error, Caerus overpaid $1.1 million dollars in property taxes to the county and other local governments and school districts. Those entities must now refund the money.”

“Frisco’s town council candidates are running unopposed this year, but the town’s election is still stirring up some controversy as it pits workforce-housing needs against density and open space concerns,” reports Summit Daily. “Ballot Question 2B would effectively strip the old community center lot on Third Avenue of its ‘pocket park’ designation, allowing the town to build at least a dozen affordable housing units there.”

“The past misdeeds of a disgraced ex-lawman and politician took center stage in the case against Michael Blagg on Monday as attorneys bickered out of juror earshot about whether and how much he should be allowed to testify,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Defense attorneys over the weekend asked a Jefferson County district judge to exclude testimony from former Mesa County sheriff’s Investigator Steve King, who years after his involvement in Blagg’s case was fired and criminally charged.”

“The city of Loveland’s mandatory period of public bidding on the building occupied by Larimer County at Sixth Street and Cleveland netted just one proposal,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The offer came from Longbow Industries, the holding company for steel erection firm LPR Construction and the originally intended buyer of the building. After nearly cementing an incentive deal with LPR, who would buy the building from the city after the city bought it from the county, city staff were informed by its watchdog mayor, Jacki Marsh, that the city would be violating state law if it were to proceed without allowing a public bid on the property.”

“A Steamboat Springs Siberian husky named Sitka, which has been the focus of an emotional custody dispute, has been returned to her original owner on the Front Range pending future legal proceedings. The saga began on Feb. 1, 2017, when Steamboat resident Ashlee Anderson’s husky got loose and was taken to the Routt County Humane Society,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “After scanning Sitka for a microchip, it was discovered Sitka originally came from Cañon City, where she lived with Michael Gehrke for about three years.”

“During the weekday lunch rush at the Fort Collins Whole Foods store, you are just as likely to find customers with plates and to-go boxes as those with shopping carts,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “About a quarter of the space inside the Midtown grocery store is dedicated to a food court. There’s something for every appetite, from pizza and pasta to sushi and build-your-own poke bowls, as well as rotating soup, salad, sandwich and hot food bars. “You can grab and go quickly, or take your time to sit and eat. It is convenient in so many ways,” said Mackenzie Poole, a Fort Collins resident and Whole Foods regular, while eating lunch at the store’s covered patio Friday afternoon. Grocery stores throughout Fort Collins and the rest of the country have been thinking more like restaurants. While supermarket delis have long offered baked goods, rotisserie chickens and salads, prepared food options have significantly expanded in recent years. Sushi bars and gourmet sandwich stands are especially common at Fort Collins grocers.”

“Longmont community services officials and residents convened in the gymnasium of the city’s Senior Center on Monday evening to gauge the most salient aspects of homelessness mitigation efforts throughout the community,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Residents were shuffled between different stations throughout the evening, and were charged with offering some of the most important aspects of the different fields currently affecting the local homeless population. Housing, health, mental health, substance abuse, basic needs and employment issues took top billing. Among housing, having shelters in place for both families and individuals, prevention programs and understanding the different types of populations within the homeless received the most attention.”

“When surveyed about their community values, Eagle County residents often cite open lands and riparian corridors as priorities,” reports Vail Daily. “Now, a new fundraising program launched by the Eagle Valley Land Trust and the Eagle River Watershed Council gives residents and visitors a way to financially support those values in a way that their pocketbooks will barely notice. The 1% for Land and Rivers initiative is pretty self-explanatory. The organizations are reaching out to area merchants willing to impose a voluntary 1 percent fee on transactions, with the money going to the two sponsoring nonprofits. Participating businesses will display signs noting their participation in the program, and customers will have the option to opt out of the payment at the time of purchase.”

“District 4 Councilman Mark Gill announced Monday that he is resigning from his position on the Cañon City Council effective March 31,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Gill is moving to Colorado Springs, where a majority of his business is conducted, in addition to the Denver area. He said the decision wasn’t an easy one, but it is in the best interest of his business as an independent factory representative for a piece of automotive equipment. Prior to serving on the council, Gill served on the Cañon City Planning Commission and Board of Adjustments.”

“How expensive has housing gotten in Boulder County? So pricey that creating a new definition of affordable wasn’t enough to move the needle in an annual affordability study, released Monday,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The Longmont Housing Affordability Review has been produced since 2013 by Kyle Snyder, with First American Title, and Amy Aschenbrenner, CEO of the Longmont Association of Realtors. The 2017 report was the first in the study’s history in which the definition of affordable homes was revised upward, to $350,000 for single-family and $270,000 for a condo or townhome. Advertisement The change was necessary because of the dearth of houses selling under the old thresholds of $150,000 for a condo/townhome and $250,000 for a single-family, as Snyder noted in last year’s report. But even with the new goal posts in place, there was little affordability to be found in Boulder County’s housing market.”

“Strong consumer spending, coupled with a booming stock market, the federal tax code overhaul and a resurgent oil and gas industry are projected to grow the Colorado state general fund by as much as $1.29 billion next fiscal year, raising hopes that lawmakers this session will make major investments in the state’s two most glaring needs — transportation and schools,” reports The Denver Post. “The two quarterly revenue forecasts released Monday by the governor’s office and the Colorado Legislative Council both project a significant boost to tax collections this fiscal year and next, leaving the state with more than $500 million more to spend than economists expected during the most recent forecasts three months ago.”

“Colorado College’s board of trustees has agreed to strip a dormitory that opened in 1954 of its namesake, disgraced school president William F. Slocum, who more than a century ago was accused of perpetrating sexual improprieties on female students and staff as well as professors’ wives,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Slocum Hall, at Nevada Avenue and Cache la Poudre Street, is now known as South Hall, and its commons area is South Commons. “The board finds there is overwhelming and uncontroverted evidence that Slocum engaged in instances of sexual misconduct and egregious sexual assault while he was president of the college,” reads a statement from the board. ‘Sexual assault and sexual harassment are unacceptable today and were unacceptable in Slocum’s time’ and are ‘in direct conflict with the mission and values of Colorado College.'”

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