The Home Front: Colorado’s ACLU is ‘demanding 31 towns and cities across the state repeal ordinances restricting panhandling’

“The Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is demanding 31 towns and cities across the state repeal ordinances restricting panhandling, seeking to capitalize on a 2015 federal district court ruling that struck down of the city of Grand Junction’s ordinance,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The ACLU on Tuesday sent individualized letters to the municipalities — including Palisade, De Beque, New Castle, Ouray, Paonia and Rangely — asking them to repeal anti-panhandling laws. The ACLU emailed letters in coordination with an effort by the National Center on Homelessness and Poverty and 18 other organizations in 12 states seeking the reversal of more than 240 panhandling bans.”

“A recent death and near deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in Routt County has shocked the real estate industry into action,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Joan Conroy of Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty had a client living in the Waterside Village Condos in Steamboat Springs when an elderly woman accidentally left her car running in an attached garage in January. Conroy’s client and other condo owners had CO detectors, which alerted emergency responders to the danger. Though the woman passed out from CO poisoning, she did survive.”

“UCHealth announced Tuesday its participation in a nationwide research collaboration working to transform the way cancer is treated,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital is among the first community hospitals to join the personalized medicine consortium, according to the release. The Oncology Research Information Exchange Network, with the Total Cancer Care protocol, gathers data from patients with different cancers over the course of their treatments, with the goal of matching patients with the best treatment options available. Partners in the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network have access to data from more than 216,000 patients from 18 participating U.S. cancer centers. The patients who enrolled have been diagnosed with cancer or are at a high risk of developing cancer.”

“Boulder County biologists studying Preble’s meadow jumping mouse and fish populations along the St. Vrain Creek have been encouraged this summer by signs of species rejuvenating since their habitats were altered by the 2013 flood,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Preble’s mouse researchers hesitate to say the flood caused the mammal’s decline in prevalence along the South Boulder Creek and its seeming disappearance from the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge over the last five years. But flood recovery restoration work by local governments along the St. Vrain — especially west of Longmont, downstream from Lyons — has created conditions conducive to a comeback for the Preble’s mouse.”

“Rosemarie Romeo was rushed to Glenwood Medical Center in December 2015, after accidentally misusing her anxiety medication,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “She says she scheduled a follow-up visit and a geriatric psychiatrist gave her a list with names for local mental-health care providers. ‘Many of the counselors weren’t even in practice anymore or their numbers didn’t work,’ Romeo said. ‘Not one person mentioned Mind Springs,’ a major mental health organization that comprises 12 locations across the Western Slope. Romeo, a 77-year-old Medicare and Medicaid recipient, says she continued to struggle with finding a mental health counselor as well as other affordable services in the area.”

“Seven of the 10 mayoral candidates who have turned in their signatures to get on the November ballot will have to wait a bit longer to see if they made it,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “That’s because the signatures on their nominating petitions were still going through the verification process as of Tuesday night, according to Brenda Armijo, the acting city clerk. One of the 10 candidates, Janet Wilson, saw her nominating petition verified Tuesday and she will be on the ballot. Two potential candidates did not collect enough signatures to make the ballot, according to Armijo. They were identified as Xavier Quintana and Anthony Pemberton.”

“The Loveland City Council wants to have more data behind its budgeting decisions, and a project to help with that has hit its midway point, staff told council Tuesday,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Following a 2.5-hour executive session to confidentially discuss the sale of property and city-involved litigation, council heard a presentation from special projects consultant Leah Browder on the project’s progress.”

“Eagle County will ease back to Stage 1 fire restrictions as of 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 31. But it’s still really dry, reports Vail Daily. “Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek, the county’s lead fire official, said the decision to ease away from the current, more restrictive Stage 2 fire restrictions was made during the weekly conference call among fire officials throughout the Upper Colorado River watershed.”

“Boulder Community Health’s cardiology team recently became the first in Boulder County to implant patients with the world’s smallest pacemaker,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The device, known as a Micra Transcatheter Pacing System, is about the size of a vitamin capsule and weighs about as much as a dime, according to BCH Boulder Heart’s Dr. Sameer Oza. This summer Oza and his team have implanted two patients with the tiny pacemaker system.”

“A jury took just over two hours to rule CSU did not violate the law in its dealings with a former professor who sued for retaliation after she complained she was sexually harassed,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The jury of two women and four men unanimously ruled computer science professor Christina Boucher engaged in protected action when she complained about sexual harassment and the culture for women in the computer sciences department and filed a complaint with the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity.”

“Former Fremont County Undersheriff Ty Martin will dust off his gun and badge and come out of retirement to serve as the county’s interim sheriff,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Martin was appointed to the office during Tuesday’s Fremont County Board of Commissioners meeting, replacing Jim Beicker whose term was set to expire in January. Beicker decided to step down early in order to have some downtime and be with his wife. Martin and Beicker both received a standing ovation from a packed board room during Tuesday’s meeting. Beicker was presented with a proclamation by the commissioners, recognizing him for his more than 30 years of law enforcement service in Fremont County, nearly 16 of those years as sheriff.”

“If America’s enemies launch a cyber attack, a Colorado senator’s bill would give them something new: guaranteed consequences,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner penned a measure that would label hackers attacking the U.S. as “critical cyber threat” actors, giving the White House a menu of sanctions that can target individuals, foreign agencies or nations. “We know the threat of cyber attacks is increasing each and every day,” said Gardner, who is pushing the bill with the help of U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.”

“The most action-packed summer blockbuster in Colorado isn’t playing out on the silver screen, but around a rosebud’s roots: predatory wasp versus invasive Japanese beetle,” reports The Denver Post. “The unwelcome beetle — a six-legged, flying insect no bigger than a fingernail — haunts gardeners’ psyches with its ability to make healthy leaves look like Swiss cheese. Its chilling presence on plants across Colorado’s Front Range has been felt, and seen, particularly hard this year, prompting drastic measures from local horticulturists and entomologists who just want the beetle to croak. With that in mind, shipments of live predatory wasps were mailed this year from North Carolina to Colorado researchers, who released them into the wild with an assassin’s mission: Sniff out Japanese beetle larvae known as white grubs, burrow underground and lay eggs on the grubs that will eventually hatch, eating the infant beetles.”

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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