The Home Front: The ‘largest lithium ion battery in Colorado’ is being installed near Longmont

Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado

“United Power officials hope the largest lithium ion battery in Colorado — being installed now just east of Longmont — will pay big benefits to both company and household bottom lines, as well as help it harness renewable energy in a reliable and dependable manner,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “If it does, it could serve as a model for other providers looking to increase the power they generate from non-fossil fuel sources. The battery when it is brought onto the grid early next month could save United Power as much as $1 million annually by storing energy that would otherwise go waste. Being supplied by California-based automotive and energy giant Tesla, the battery will have a storage capacity of four megawatts — enough to simultaneously power 600 to 700 homes, United Power New Energy Director Jerry Marizza said.”

“The Board of Weld County Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance Monday that changes the way oil and gas companies operate pipelines in Weld County, wrapping up more than a year of meetings with landowners, county officials and oil and gas industry representatives,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The board extended the discussions about the ordinance into Monday’s meeting, taking comments from Ryan Seastrom of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, who said the organization is happy with the changes, and landowner Dennis Hoshiko, who said he is apprehensive about them.”

“What a difference a week can make,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “A shift in the weather pattern in the West has made for a welcome dose of moisture locally, with Grand Junction getting 1.72 inches of rain for the first seven days of October and snow showing up in the high country, including on Grand Mesa.”

“Many downtown pedestrians hid their smiles beneath hoodies, raincoats and umbrellas as the first snow of the season started to fall Monday in downtown Steamboat Springs,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “On U.S. Highway 40, law enforcement also worked the first closure of the season due to adverse conditions on Rabbit Ears Pass. Several semitrailers jackknifed on the pass, according to police scanner traffic, briefly closing the road before one lane reopened. The chain law was in place before the highway closed, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Both the closure and chain law were lifted by 4 p.m. Monday.”

“Glenwood Springs is adopting a new, consistent list of rules that will apply to all of the city’s parks, including a ban on overnight camping,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “At its regular Oct. 4 meeting, Glenwood Springs City Council approved rules and regulations that will apply to all of the designated city parks, for the sake of consistency and user safety.”

“Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton’s clear goal was to call U.S. Rep. Jared Polis ‘radical and extreme’ as many times as possible in their hour-long gubernatorial debate Monday night at Colorado State University-Pueblo,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Polis, the Boulder Democrat, didn’t bristle at the steady barrage from Stapleton, but neither did he answer it with what the GOP candidate demanded— details on how Polis intends to pay for an ambitious agenda that includes affordable health care, free pre-school and kindergarten classes.”

“The city of Loveland will respond neutrally to the state Tuesday regarding proposed oil and gas drilling beneath some Loveland neighborhoods next year, but the city will also attempt to reserve its right to comment on the drilling application at a future time after it receives additional information,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The Loveland City Council voted unanimously Monday night in favor of the neutral response. Councilor Rich Ball, of Ward I, was absent. The city must inform the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which governs all oil and gas permitting and regulation in Colorado, of its opinion regarding the drilling by Magpie Operating Inc. by 5 p.m. Tuesday, if it wishes to give any reply at all. The city is among the mineral owners, who have 30 days from receipt of letters of notice about the project to send their comments to the state. The city received its notification 30 days ago.”

“People tend to think marijuana will do all sorts of things that science does not support. Dr. Salomeh Keyhani led a survey of 16,280 American adults, asking what they thought marijuana could do for them,” reports Vail Daily. “She and her colleagues found that Americans tend to ascribe benefits to marijuana that are not based in science. Americans are an optimistic lot, especially when it comes to their favorable view of marijuana’s health benefits. There aren’t many, Keyhani said.”

“Jenni Guentcheva and her late husband, Ventzi Guentchev, spent more than 30 years together both as husband and wife and as professional partners, and Guentcheva strives to continue his legacy every day,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Thursday marks one year since Guentchev died unexpectedly, but Guentcheva has kept his work going and his legacy alive through their joint practice, Goodneighbor LLC, a specialized treatment center offering psychotherapy for adults, children and families at 1012 Main St.”

“The Dillon Town Council continued its recent push for further development and economic revitalization at last Tuesday’s regular meeting, approving a new development plan for the Dillon Urgent Care and Residences,” reports Summit Daily. “The incoming facility — to be located at 956 W. Anemone Trail, near the Dillon Dam Brewery — will serve as a mixed-use facility meant to address community needs in workforce housing and affordable, extended-hours medical care. The development will also tear down and replace the existing building on the property, providing a new piece of mountain architecture on an otherwise run-down patch of land.”

“Colorado Springs officials are pitching an eight-point plan aiming to, among other things, expand homeless shelters, create a fund to help homeless military veterans and reduce illegal homeless camps,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The plan focuses on adults without children as the homeless population grows and concerns increase about illegal camping. Hundreds more people live outside than can be accommodated in shelters, and record-setting rents have cost people their apartments and left others unable to get off the streets. City officials have voiced most of the plan’s initiatives in City Council and community meetings. But the plan consolidates those ideas and imposes a deadline on their completion: Dec. 31, 2019.”

“The University of Colorado’s Board of Regents announced Monday they selected a firm to assist in the search for President Bruce Benson’s replacement. Benson, CU’s longest serving president in six decades, will retire in July,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The regents selected Wheless Partners for the search, and the university will pay the firm a $99,000 flat professional fee, up to $25,000 in additional fees for expenses such as advertising, and additional money for travel expenses, said Patrick O’Rourke, CU vice president of university counsel and secretary to the Board of Regents. The regents could later increase the $25,000 cap, depending on the firm’s advertising strategy, O’Rourke said.”

“From the natural catastrophes of extreme drought and crop-killing hail storms to the human-driven conditions of low commodity prices, rising interest rates and trade disputes, farmers and ranchers across Colorado feel like they’re living on shaky ground,” reports The Denver Post. “Numbers tell part of the story: Nearly half the state is in extreme to exceptional drought; 57 of Colorado’s 64 counties are designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as drought disaster sites; and China has imposed billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs that include some of Colorado’s top agriculture products.”

“The man killed in a shooting in southwest Fort Collins last week has been identified as the husband of the suspect, according to police,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The Larimer County Coroner’s Office identified Greg G. Baker, 60, as the victim of the shooting Oct. 2 in the 3000 block of Blue Leaf Court. The autopsy report revealed Baker died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Fort Collins police responded to the residence near Drake Road and Overland Trail at 12:42 a.m. Tuesday for what they said was a domestic disturbance. Greg Baker was found dead at the scene.”

“Disposal fees at the Montezuma County landfill will increase in 2019 to save money for $3 million in estimated closure costs when the current landfill reaches capacity and the permit expires in about 20 years,” reports The Durango Herald. “But for commercial haulers and private citizens who deliver source-separated recycling, the increase will be less because by diverting recyclables they are saving space in the landfill and extending its lifetime. Beginning Jan. 1, disposal fees for all municipal solid waste and construction and demolition loads will jump 29 percent, said landfill manager Shak Powers.”

“Not too far from the new Google campus in Boulder, an aging strip mall is in need of a makeover,” reports The Colorado Sun. “Redevelopment of Diagonal Plaza has been tried before. A Walmart Neighborhood Market, for example, popped up in 2013 but closed last year. Now, there’s a renewed effort to invigorate the shopping center, Google’s neighborhood and the rest of the 2-square miles in this Boulder census tract, thanks to new federal incentives for distressed communities. But, but, … Boulder? “The interesting thing has been that there is a reaction, ‘Why Boulder?’ But Boulder has several census tracts that meet the requirements,” said Clif Harald, executive director of the Boulder Economic Council. “We knew that we had tracts that would qualify, this one in particular.”

“Jim Scharper has come a long way from making sandwiches in his Mayfair basement apartment to distribute to people experiencing homelessness,” reports Denverite. “He’s come even further from sleeping in his truck. “I never envisioned this,” Scharper said as he stood in a warehouse in an industrial neighborhood off I-70 watching volunteers for Feeding Denver’s Hungry, the nonprofit he founded, fill plastic bags with snacks piled into the kinds of bins you might use to sort mail.”

“Colorado’s means of getting around are in great need of attention, partisans on every side agree,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “But the various solutions and competing ways of paying for transportation improvements offered by candidates and ballot measures are a different political matter entirely. The interstates across Colorado have gotten by on a federal gas tax that hasn’t been raised since 1991. And the legislature annually looks the other way on funding the repairs and expansion brought on by population and economic growth, despite the financial windfall of the state’s turbocharged economy. The Colorado Department of Transportation has told policymakers it needs an infusion of $9 billion in the next decade and $20 billion in next 20 years.”

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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