The Home Front: Colorado Springs ‘topped Denver’ in magazine’s ‘Best Places to Live’

“Colorado Springs topped Denver to take the second-place ranking, behind Austin, Texas, in this year’s list of ‘Best Places to Live’ by U.S. News & World Report magazine,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Colorado’s second-largest city moved up nine places from 11th last year, while Denver fell one place in the rankings for the second consecutive year. Austin topped the rankings this year and last year after Denver finished first in the inaugural list. The Springs ranked sixth in 2016. “There are rankings, and there are rankings,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said Monday. “The U.S. News & World Report ranking is very prestigious and compares Colorado Springs against some of the nation’s most dynamic and prosperous cities, including Austin, Raleigh-Durham and Denver.”

“Coloradans living within 500 feet of an oil and gas operation have a risk of getting cancer that is eight times the upper threshold set by California’s Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study released Monday,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The study — from the Colorado School of Public Health, Boulder County Public Health, the University of Colorado, NASA and the University of California Irvine — concluded that the cancer risk estimate for individuals within those areas to be 8.3 per 10,000. The upper threshold of California environmental standards — which are more stringent than federal guidelines — is 1 in 10,000.”

“A campaign was launched Monday to remove a state appellate court judge from the bench, one of three judges responsible for a decision that led to the release of a violent sexual predator from his 324-year prison sentence,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Roughly 20 local residents attended a public meeting to discuss organizing the Justice for All campaign against the retention of Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Craig Welling, who voters will be asked to retain in 2020. Organizers said it’s not too soon to start raising money and planning a statewide campaign to oust the judge.”

“Extremely low snowpack in the high country this spring has area fire districts thinking wildfire season preparedness a lot sooner than usual,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Then again, it’s never too soon to plan ahead for the inevitable hot, dry summer months to come, says Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson. The Glenwood Fire Department is partnering with the neighboring Colorado River Fire Rescue to present a community wildfire preparedness and information day to educate residents about what they can do to be ready.”

“Colorado Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, on Monday was found guilty of ethical violations centering on her role in a public meeting on energy paid for by Extraction Oil and Gas,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission voted 3-2 to find Marble in violation of constitutional ethics requirements, bringing to an apparent conclusion a case that has stretched on for months, starting with a complaint centering on a meeting that took place more than a year ago. The complaint alleged Marble, whose district includes part of Weld County, received a benefit from a public meeting Feb. 15, 2017, at a C.B. & Potts restaurant in Broomfield that was paid for by Extraction Oil and Gas.”

“The more-than 2 feet of wet, heavy snow that fell in the mountains around Steamboat Springs April 6 to 9 left a tender snowpack that was prone to sliding,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “As of Monday morning, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center had posted three reports of avalanches close to Steamboat Springs, including two from citizen observers who exited the boundaries of Steamboat Ski Area. The third came from the avalanche center’s own forecaster Jason Konigsberg, who set out April 6 to assess conditions on Baker Mountain on the east side of Rabbit Ears Pass.”

“In what may be the first residential sale involving bitcoin in Northern Colorado, a Kansas attorney cashed in the virtual currency to purchase a $1.1 million home in north Fort Collins,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The home was purchased by Matt Bristow, a 34-year-old CSU alumnus who decided to return to Fort Collins after selling his law practice and losing a bid for Kansas state Senate. “Fort Collins was always my favorite place to live,” Bristow said. “When I had an opportunity to move back, I took it.” The Group Inc. Real Estate believes it is the first real estate transaction here involving bitcoin.”

“The path to owning a home is fraught with difficulty as Front Range housing prices skyrocket, but people determined to some day own a home and pay a mortgage should not despair,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “That was the message of a panel discussion on homeownership on the Front Range hosted by the Larimer County League of Women Voters on Monday evening at the Harmony Library in Fort Collins. The featured speakers brought personal and professional experience with the housing market from a variety of backgrounds — public and private, commercial and nonprofit. The league is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the active participation of citizens in their government and to educate about issues by studying them from all sides. The organization influences public policy through education and advocacy.”

“Balancing censorship of content with using the speed of the internet as an asset has become a challenge facing Longmont residents who run several local ‘neighborhood watch’ Facebook pages,” reports The Longmont Times-Call.  “Constant growth of the memberships in each of the online groups — with titles such as ‘Neighborhood Watch Longmont, ‘Real neighborhood watch Longmont’ and ‘Longmont Weather/Incidents and Alerts’ — since they were created to disseminate public safety notifications to the city’s residents has caused unexpected work for page administrators. With more than 5,500 members currently, the Neighborhood Watch Longmont page was started by Stephanie Upchurch in November 2015. Posts were infrequent at first, but the page’s membership tripled in one day after someone uploaded a video of a woman who appeared to be under the influence of drugs behind the wheel of a car at a gas station, Upchurch said.”

“Survivors of sexual assault and a crowd of their supporters are set to walk in solidarity April 26 for Family Crisis Services, Inc.’s 12th annual Take Back the Night event,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “The walk, a nationally-hosted event intended to raise awareness about sexual assault and show support for victims, will start with guest speakers at 5:30 p.m. in Veterans Park. Later, it will transition into a walk that travels along U.S. 50, Ninth Street, Main Street and Third Street before heading back to the starting point. Check-in for the event starts at 5 p.m. in the park. “I’ve always loved this event because sexual assault, specifically, makes people feel so alone and isolated,” said Kathryn Konicek, a therapist with Family Crisis Services.”

“Denver Police Department Chief Robert White insulted his officers, used poor communication when responding to an open records request and runs a department described as having ‘dysfunctional relationships,’ but he will not face discipline after two internal investigations concluded he did not violate any department policies,” reports The Denver Post. “Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Monday he will not discipline White for his actions in the denial of a 2016 open records request or a 2017 car chase after he was involved in a hit-and-run. Although the chief’s actions did not warrant discipline, the mayor said he should have exercised more professionalism and clarity in his communication during those situations, according to a news release.”

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.


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