The Home Front: ‘Colorado is expected to gain an eighth seat in Congress’ after 2020 Census

“No matter how Coloradans vote Nov. 6 on whether to change how the state draws congressional district boundaries, the people who draw the lines after the 2020 Census likely will have a little more work to do,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Colorado is expected to gain an eighth seat in Congress after the next national headcount, according to the latest census estimates as analyzed by The Washington Post. The Post says Colorado is one of six states projected to gain one or more congressional districts after the next census. If so, the first election for that eighth seat would come in 2022.”

“Smartwool employees are still processing news of the company’s planned move from Steamboat Springs to Denver,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “‘It’s a very sad day to have to move out of this amazing community that we have here in Steamboat,’ Smartwool President Jen McLaren said. Over the weekend, Smartwool’s parent company, VF Corporation, told company leadership that the brand’s headquarters would be relocating to the Denver metro area within the next two years. Employees and city and county officials learned of the move Monday morning. ‘This was really a VF decision, first and foremost, and it is a strategic decision that was made by the senior leadership team,’ McLaren said. VF Corporation owns the outdoor brands The North Face, Alta, Eagle Creek and JanSport. These companies will relocate with Smartwool to a yet-to-be-identified location in the Denver area. This decision is intended to increase collaboration and connectivity between brands, McLaren said.”

“Boulder County voters in November will be asked to extend an 0.185 percent sales and use tax to fund an alternative sentencing facility and programs as well as improvements to the county jail,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “County commissioners Tuesday morning are slated to take formal action to advance the issue to the ballot. The tax, if approved, would generate a projected $10 million a year between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2024. The tax would essentially continue collections of the 0.185 percent sales and use tax Boulder County voters approved in 2014 to fund flood-recovery efforts, although revenues would no longer be spent on flood recovery and mitigation.”

“Trina Kauk spent the bulk of her childhood scampering with her older brother between the buildings of downtown New Raymer, from the tavern that later became a post office to the grocery store where kids picked up the mail and probably some treats on the way home from school,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “She, Bob and her parents, Kenneth and Betty Thompson, lived in the tavern, where, like most businesses on the street, living quarters were set up in the back. It was a busy, flourishing town, serenaded by a train, back in the mid-1950s to the early ’60s as she grew up. As she got older, she sadly realized her childhood wouldn’t last forever. That’s something we all face, of course, but Kauk was forced to come to terms with a more visceral reminder as she watched that train station close, the school move two miles east, the grocery store move to a new building on Colo. 14, and the other businesses die off. She is now 62, and she is one of the founding members of Friends of Raymer, a group of people like her who grew up in the town and don’t want to see their family history crumble down to dust.”

“About 200 Loveland residents took to Facebook last week to share their shock upon opening their most recent city utility bills,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Some report that though they feel their households are using less water and energy compared to years past, or at least keeping to the status quo, their bills report meter readings that feel far out of step with their lives. Some customers speculate about what might be changing in how the city assesses utility bills, but city staff say that with the exception of a 9 percent increase in fees over last year, nothing is different — except, perhaps, that it’s an especially hot summer.”

“Grand Junction city councilors asked staff to work with community center campaigners to hash out details on a potential ballot question asking voters to fund the project and possibly develop part of Matchett Park at the same time,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “At a work session Monday night, three councilors also indicated they were in favor of asking voters to consider funding a community center, presumably with a sales-tax increase. Exact numbers have not been determined and no official decision was made, but Phyllis Norris, Duke Wortmann and Bennett Boeschenstein voiced support for putting a referred measure on the April municipal ballot.”

“By 6:30 a.m., they were rolling east down the highway, the familiar yellow buses en route to Pueblo County High School, Vineland Middle School and Avondale Elementary School,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Along the way, sharp-dressed youngsters bearing backpacks and bookbags stood off the side of the road, alertly awaiting the bus that would usher them to the start of a new school year. For students and staff in Pueblo County School District 70, Monday signaled the official beginning of classes and the end of summer break. As children made their way to their respective school — the younger ones by bus and parental transport, many of the “bigger kids” in personal rides — the Mesa was abuzz with the signs of a fresh academic beginning. For Pueblo County High School Principal Brian Dilka, the 2018-19 school year formally started at about 6:45 a.m. Monday, although the personable leader didn’t stray far from his office throughout the summer.”

“Public health officials are reminding northeast Colorado pet owners to ensure their animals are up to date on their rabies vaccinations after confirming a rabid domestic bat in Morgan County,” reports The Sterling Journal-Advocate. “According to a press release from the Northeast Colorado Health Department, a Fort Morgan woman was sleeping and felt something on her upper arm. After swatting at the object, she realized it was a bat when it flew across the room. The woman called the Fort Morgan Police Department, which responded and captured the bat. The police sent the bat in for rabies testing and NCHD confirmed that it had the fatal disease. “Fortunately, all of the pets in the home were current on their rabies vaccinations so they do not need further treatment,” the release states. ‘The victim of the bat encounter immediately started Post-Exposure Prophylaxis to prevent the onset of the rabies virus.'”

“Federal authorities today announced prosecution results from marijuana grows on federal public land last year, as they prepare for this year’s marijuana harvest season,” reports The Fort Morgan Times. “U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, U.S. Forest Service Special Agent in Charge Kent Delbon, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Special Agent in Charge Gary Mannino announced all three agencies are working together with local law enforcement to make public lands safer, to prevent environmental damage, and to combat illegal marijuana trafficking. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) provided substantial assistance. During 2017, Forest Service agents and BLM officers, in concert with local law enforcement, dismantled marijuana operations on public land throughout the state, with several defendants receiving sentences of up to five years in prison.”

“Eagle County will remain under Stage 2 fire restrictions until weather conditions change,” reports Vail Daily. “Those restrictions essentially ban all outdoor fires, including on private property. Propane-powered stoves are still allowed. The local restrictions were imposed in late June and have applied to the entire county. Despite the county’s varied terrain — from high desert to high alpine — Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek said uniform countywide restrictions make it easier from both an enforcement and user perspective.”

“There is an open seat on the Cañon City School Board after Kristyn Econome resigned during Monday’s meeting to accept a position at Cañon City High School as a Spanish teacher,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “‘I thoroughly enjoyed serving on the board the past few years, but this new opportunity is also exciting at the same time so I’m looking forward to getting back in the classroom and working directly with kids,” Econome said. Econome has served three years on the school board as the assistant secretary and treasurer. She has eight years of teaching under her belt and her most recent teaching position was at Cañon City Middle School and Harrison K-8 in 2010 as a Spanish teacher.”

“Summer is winding down, which means it’s almost time for students to return to Boulder,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “University of Colorado students are already trickling back into town and freshmen begin their move-in in earnest this weekend, which makes this weekend the best time to avoid U.S. 36, any major artery around campus and the checkout lines at Target. CU officials said they’re continuously tweaking the move-in procedure, and this year is no different. They’ve scheduled more students to move in this weekend to lessen weekday traffic jams, and they’ve changed up the order that students move into their residence halls. They’ve divided the campus into regions, and to ease congestion around any one part of campus students will only move into one residence hall per region per time slot.”

“VF Corporation, the parent company of popular outdoor brands like The North Face, JanSport and Smartwool, announced Monday it will move its global headquarters to Denver, bringing 800 high-paying jobs with it,” reports The Denver Post. “Just how soon all those big earners could be on the ground in the Mile High City is up in the air, VF officials say. If all of those positions are squared away by 2026 there is more than $27 million in tax incentives in it for the company. In a new release issued Monday, VF chairman, president and CEO Steve Rendle called Denver “a great strategic fit for our business.” “We believe that the creation of our new headquarters in the area will help us to unlock collaboration across our outdoor brands, attract and retain talent, and accelerate innovation,” Rendle said. About 85 VF executives are expected to move to Denver next spring. They are the first wave of a relocation and consolidation plan that will see The North Face, JanSport, Eagle Creek and Altra move their headquarters into Colorado from elsewhere and see Steamboat Springs-based Smartwool move its leadership to Denver.”

“The risk of erosion from the Plateau Fire’s burn scar into McPhee Reservoir is considered low, according to a recent hydrology report,” reports The Cortez Journal. “Burn specialists and hydrologists flew over the fire area Saturday, focusing on Plateau and Beaver drainages. Monsoonal rains could push some sediment into channels that feed McPhee Reservoir, but it will not be a significant amount, said San Juan National Forest hydrologist Shauna Jensen.”

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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