The Home Front: Colorado Springs coal plant ‘poses an air-quality concern’ but ‘not enough to delay construction’ of a new sports arena

“A controversial sports and events center that 1½ years ago was deemed all but dead now is set to go, split between two downtown locations, Colorado Springs officials announced,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. A 10,000-seat outdoor stadium for the Switchbacks minor league soccer team will be at CityGate, a vacant block southwest of Cimarron and Sahwatch streets, said Nick and Ed Ragain, who own the team. The stadium will be accompanied by a seven-floor building to the south with hundreds of apartments and mixed-use businesses, they said. … As for the stadium, the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant nearby poses an air-quality concern, but not enough to delay construction, Ed Ragain said.”

“Kolten Rydbom, 28, and his fiancée, Ashlee McPherson, 25, were having a rough morning in April when they decided to go to an IV bar in Denver,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “They were hungover, and McPherson had been sick enough she thought she might have to go to the hospital: she was shaking and vomiting. But to the amazement of McPherson and Rydbom, an IV full of vitamins made her feel ‘100 times better.’ As McPherson was recovering, Rydbom was starting to plan. He’s been a businessman since he was a child, selling video games and baseball cards online, and he started his first company while he was studying business management at Colorado State University. As he looked around the IV bar, Rydbom decided they could run a similar business.”

“A protest targeting a grizzly bear show at the Mesa County Fair attracted few local participants and lasted about an hour before the show’s first performance of the week,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Animal-rights activists with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, arrived from Salt Lake City on Tuesday morning, passed out signs and stood in a designated ‘comment area’ positioned near the fair entrance as attendees walked past.”

“Ending collections of Longmont’s 3.53 percent municipal sales tax on groceries could cost the city $9.41 million in budget revenues next year, according to the latest estimates from Jim Golden, the city’s chief financial officer,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “That’s $2.2 million more than Golden initially had estimated last month, but he told the council that it’s based on more reports from Longmont grocers and other retailers within the city selling food for home consumption. It’s also higher than the latest $7.6 million estimate of reduced city revenues projected by Jim Ruff, a Longmont resident who’s been analyzing the potential impact of a grocery-tax repeal for UnTax Food, the organization seeking to ask Longmont voters in November whether to have the city stop collecting its sales tax on food.”

“A three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from The New York Times spoke to a Steamboat Springs audience about his topics of expertise: cyber warfare and national security,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “David E. Sanger started his policy speech on ‘Cyber Conflict’ with a nod to one of President Trump’s anti-media phrases, ‘The Failing New York Times.’ ‘On occasion, we’ve reminded him that what’s kept us from failing has been, well, him,’ Sanger said, in one of the few times the audience laughed during Monday’s Seminars at Steamboat event at Strings Music Pavilion.”

“Dozens packed the Larimer County Commissioners hearing room Tuesday,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “As commenter after commenter took the microphone, continuous pleas were made for the commissioners to allow voters to reconsider a ballot initiative they said was vital to the community — a tax to fund a new mental and behavioral health facility. During his turn to speak, Loveland resident Bob Massaro turned around and asked how many people in the audience knew someone who either died by suicide or attempted suicide.”

“Capital Dynamics is the second-largest owner of solar generation in the United States, and it is offering to write the check for Pueblo to establish its own municipal electric utility,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “We’re ready to do that, whether it’s $200 million or $300 million or more,” said Ben Allehaut, Capital Dynamics director, after making a presentation to the Pueblo Electric Utilities Commission.”

“Members of the Loveland City Council requested more information Tuesday about plans prepared by city staff and consultants for a new branch library,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The project was discussed during a regularly scheduled study session. Councilors Dave Clark of Ward IV and Jeremy Jersvig of Ward I were absent. Library Director Diane Lapierre told council the library is currently in the process of creating a new strategic plan, which includes some preliminary plans for expanding westward with a branch in Mehaffey Park, though the location is still under consideration.”

“Durango residents generally support a sales tax increase over a property tax hike to address the city’s long-term budget needs,” reports The Denver Post. “The results of a statistically valid survey found that 58 percent of respondents supported a sales tax increase and 33 percent supported increasing the property tax. The survey also found that more than 50 percent of respondents supported increasing fees and cutting services to address the problem of rising expenses. The 401 residents surveyed could select multiple options for addressing city budget needs, according to survey results.”

“Where alfalfa once grew on a plot in unincorporated Boulder County, fledgling hemp plants are pushing skyward,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “On a recent weekday, Bob Sievers settled under a white canopy to shield himself from the sun and watched as workers dug holes by hand to fill long rows with hemp plants. The 83-year-old is a part-time University of Colorado professor, former CU regent and researcher. The university once described him as “the former CU regent who catalyzed the move of the university’s medical campus to the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, … a leading force in transforming the CU-Boulder campus into a hub of environmental research and scholarship, (and) an indefatigable crusader in the effort to eradicate measles worldwide with dry, inhalable vaccines.”

“A few weeks ago, eastern Eagle County residents were given a dire warning,” reports Vail Daily. “With the Red Canyon II Fire sweeping through the area north of Wolcott, they were told to prepare themselves for a significant power outage — one that could last for hours or even days. Luckily, the fire didn’t down the vulnerable transmission line — this time. But Holy Cross Energy wants to make sure there isn’t a next time for this scenario.”

“Sharen Swagerty had nearly made it home from the gym Monday evening when she found herself stuck in her car during a swift-moving flash flood and hail storm,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “She had not yet eaten dinner, her blood sugar was plummeting and the water outside her stalled car was rising. “I hadn’t had my supper yet, and my blood sugar started crashing,” she said. “The water was way higher than I realized, and I was stuck.” Mike Calhoun, a Good Samaritan going around helping stalled motorists near the Wolf Park subdivision, located south of town, noticed Swagerty, 65, in her car. She said he approached her, telling her not to open the car door, but to crawl out of the window.”

“Armed with shovels, pressure washers and a skid loader, Manitou Springs residents dug and scrubbed their way out of the debris from another flash flood,” reports The Denver Post. “‘We’ve done this about four times [since 2013],’ Patsy’s Candy & Gift Shop owner Ellie Johns said. ‘We’re pros now.’ A severe thunderstorm Monday afternoon triggered flash floods, mudslides and pea-sized hail that piled higher than people’s knees. The flooding and mudslides temporarily shut down U.S. Highway 24. ‘It was a mess,’ Johns said as she sat for a moment on a planter outside the shop she’s owned with her husband, Jack Johns, for 15 years. ‘We were up to our knees in hail and water.’ But, at least, this time it wasn’t mud.”

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