The Home Front: Credit rater says downtown coal plant in Colorado Springs is economically ‘at risk’

“Colorado coal-fired power plants serving municipal electric utilities and rural cooperatives remain economically competitive despite the availability of cheaper natural gas and renewable energy, but one plant in Colorado Springs is ‘at risk,’ according to an analysis by Moody’s Investor Services,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Moody’s, which rates bond credit and does market research, assessed the market competitiveness of the 113 largest U.S. coal-fired plants that serve municipal utilities as well as the generation and transmission associations (G&T) that serve rural power cooperatives. In Colorado, Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is a G&T. A little more than half the plants – 63 – were market competitive, according to the Moody’s analysis.”

“A public presentation related to an ongoing study might seem to envision a possible new, million-acre-foot reservoir not far upstream of Lake Powell in southeast Utah as a means of helping Powell’s water levels,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “But it isn’t meant to suggest such a reservoir actually is being contemplated, a water official says.”

“Former state senator and now Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston made a campaign stop in Carbondale on Sunday,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “It was his second visit Garfield County in a month’s time as he works to win over the Western Slope in the statewide race. The June 26 primary election will be a crowded one, with four candidates each for the Democrats and Republicans vying for the right to be on the general election ballot in November. In the Democratic race, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis from Colorado’s 2nd congressional district and former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy are largely considered the frontrunners, while current Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne has the backing of outgoing Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited.”

“When the family of the late Bernice Nirode was going through her belongings at her home in New London, Ohio, following her March 2017 death, they came across a trunk in her bedroom,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “In the trunk was a heavy, slightly moth-eaten, cotton weave American flag, loosely folded. It had 48 stars. Bernice’s son, Dave, 62, and Dave’s wife, Susan, 51, live in west Greeley. The flag intrigued Dave, a retired SWAT force officer and watch commander in Ohio who moved to Greeley in 2012.”

“Lafayette may soon call a vote on a proposal to tweak the city’s trespass codes to protect nonviolent drilling protesters from prosecution. Trespass offenses, which are typically governed by restrictions on private property, are often the charges of choice for arresting citizens protesting on a company-owned oil and gas site,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The call is similar to the climate bill’s defunct enforcement clause — one that would have sanctioned acts of civil disobedience and direct-action protest in the face of oil and gas development — that was gutted from the controversial piece of code last year.”

“Like all new metro districts, the proposed Parkside Metro District will be governed by a service plan, which council may approve Tuesday by resolution,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The service plan includes a new disclosure mandate council called for earlier this month that is designed to ensure future residents are informed about the district’s schedule of rates and fees. According to a council memo, the ultimate goal of city staff is to have a standard model for metropolitan districts in the city.”

“Guy Seguele has come a long way from his unimaginable early years hiding in the Central African Republic,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “He recently got his own welding machine. He creates plant holders and animal figures for fun, including a big metal bird he made for his adoptive parents, Linda and Bob Vomaske. He likes to build things. Seguele is nearly finished with his first year at Front Range Community College’s welding program. He has a job at Walker Mowers in Fort Collins, where he builds industrial lawnmowers.”

“It’s not often you get to quit a job twice,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “But a desk in the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s newsroom is a very hard thing to walk away from. I quit my job as the paper’s government reporter for the first time about two years ago when I thought I needed to move to the state of Washington to get a change of scenery at a different paper. But, I changed course at the last minute after I was hit with an intense sinking feeling that comes from leaving a place as amazing as Steamboat and all the friends I’ve made here. I didn’t have a good enough reason to leave at the time, and the newsroom I was heading to didn’t even have a Tom Ross. I typed up a resignation letter that chronicled how each member of our newsroom had become a friend of mine and helped me become a better reporter in some way. Then I thought, “Why the heck am I leaving this place?”

“The Boulder City Council is intent on passing a new, local gun-control measure, and will likely advance such legislation during Tuesday’s meeting,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “But significant questions remain as to what the final, approved law will look like, and which classes of gun owners might be exempted from the law. Meanwhile, at least one council member is pushing for a sweeping redraft of the measure that’s been proposed, and may find support from other members for such action.”

“In an effort to meet new state water-quality standards by March, the city of Durango rushed to ask voters in 2015 to approve more than $60 million in debt so it could start construction on the wastewater treatment plant in Santa Rita Park,” reports The Durango Herald. “But a backlog of wastewater discharge permits at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment means the city may not have to comply with new rules until next year. The new water-quality standards limit nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen that can be released into the Animas River. Those nutrients contribute to harmful algae blooms that can decrease oxygen in the water and kill fish.”

“In the back room of a tattoo parlor in downtown Denver, reclined in a chair under the mounted head of an antelope, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne sat comfortably,” reports The Denver Post. “On her left arm, near the shoulder, a tattoo artist colored the “C” logo from the Colorado flag and imprinted three words. A video camera, positioned near a slumbering boa constrictor, captured the scene for a future campaign commercial.”

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.