The Home Front: E-scooters are likely headed to another Colorado city. A challenge is ‘making sure their arrival isn’t a boondoggle.’

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

“Electric scooters are almost certainly in Fort Collins’ future. How they’re implemented — and making sure their arrival isn’t a boondoggle — is the challenge,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Users can typically rent e-scooters via smartphone and drop them off wherever when they’re done. The challenge is, wherever can mean wherever: the middle of sidewalks, doorways or even rivers, as seen with a similar program in Reno, Nevada. Regulations around their use potentially compound the issue. The e-scooters that users stand on are forbidden from roadways and bike lanes by the state. Their 15-mile-an-hour top speed nonetheless outstrips even the briskest walkers. In Denver, that led to at least one reported scrape as a rider tried to explain why he was on the sidewalk. So while the scooters may be inevitable — and carry their own benefits, such as reducing vehicle miles traveled — the city wants to avoid a free-for-all that leaves scooter riders, pedestrians and motorists elbowing out room in their respective lanes.”

“Two major water projects that will affect the water supplies of Weld County communities for decades to come had landmark years in 2018, and they’re looking toward more major developments in the next year,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The Northern Integrated Supply Project and the Windy Gap Firming Project, both projects managed by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, have been decades in the making, and once they’re complete, they’ll result in three new reservoirs intended to address a growing Front Range population. During the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District’s fall water users meeting Wednesday in Fort Collins, officials took an audience through the progress of both projects.”

“Eight college students from across Colorado got a bird’s eye view of the state’s rivers and streams this week through EcoFlight’s 15th annual Flight Across America,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The goal is to engage students in water issues, from dwindling snowpacks and low rivers to invasive tamarisk, said program coordinator Michael Gorman.”

“The Way Home, a new homeless advocacy organization in Longmont, formed just two and a half months ago as a group of stakeholders simply getting together to talk about homeless solutions for the area,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “On Monday, they officially joined forces with Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement, or HOPE, to begin planning a year-round homeless service center in Longmont — something that’s been talked about for decades.”

“The Environmental Protection Agency has been given the green light to conduct lead and arsenic tests at the Runyon Sports Complex, Pueblo’s main baseball fields, reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The Pueblo County commissioners gave the EPA permission Tuesday to access the Runyon Field Study area for activities related to the Colorado Smelter Superfund Site. Commissioner Terry Hart said the studies will begin in the next few weeks. “They are hoping to get everything done before the baseball season. That is their tentative plan,” Hart said.”

“A May election to determine whether Steamboat Springs would be included in the surrounding fire protection district — and pay its property tax — will not happen,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Around 11:15 p.m., in hour six of Tuesday’s Steamboat Springs City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously to table discussions on emergency services funding. Before deciding to table it, two motions on the subject failed in tie votes with Council President Jason Lacy absent from the meeting. “We’ve talked for an hour. We’re just churning right now,” said Council President Pro-Tem Kathi Meyer said as she voiced her readiness to move the issue to council’s Dec. 4 meeting.”

“Frisco officially cut the ribbon on the new Mary Ruth Place workforce-housing units on Tuesday as part of a concerted effort to bring more affordable housing options to employees in the Tenmile Basin,” reports Summit Daily. “The new complex, located on the corner of Galena Street and Fourth Avenue in downtown Frisco, will feature nine new workforce-housing units, including six one-bedroom units, two two-bedroom units and a studio apartment. All but one apartment has currently been rented, and tenants will start moving in as early as Thursday.”

“When Boulder County in March received a determination from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that $46,000-worth of recovery work from the 2013 flood would be ineligible for reimbursement, the amount wasn’t startling. But the reason FEMA rejected the funding set off alarms in county offices,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “FEMA, the agency that assists with disaster-recovery funding across the country, told Boulder County officials that a rebuilt portion of Geer Canyon Road damaged in the 2013 flood wouldn’t be funded because the county didn’t uniformly apply local construction codes and standards to the project.”

“A Cañon City man is facing two counts of vehicular homicide after a three-vehicle crash Oct. 24 on Eight Mile Hill,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record.

“After winning a partial judgment last week in federal court that left Colorado Springs potentially facing hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for stormwater violations, federal and state agencies that filed the lawsuit say they want to reach an agreement with the city rather than continue the costly legal battle,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “But first, the city will need to curtail ongoing violations, said Martha Rudolph, director of environmental programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, one of the plaintiffs in the case.”

“The trial of Fort Morgan City Manager Jeff Wells in Morgan County Court on a charge of third-degree assault got underway Tuesday,” reports The Fort Morgan Times. “It will continue and could possibly conclude Wednesday. Wells is accused of an alleged assault on his then-18-year-old old daughter Aubrey Wells in a city-owned vehicle on July 29, 2017, in a residential Fort Morgan neighborhood. The allegations are that Jeff Wells’ application of pressure on the brakes while his daughter was not buckled in caused her to hit her head and sustain a concussion. Yet Tuesday, the six-member jury of four women and two men was selected and then heard opening statements from both sides, as well as the start of the prosecution’s case. The judge called for the trial to recess for the day in mid-afternoon since the prosecution’s next witness would not be available until Wednesday morning.”

“The 2018 election results aren’t official yet, but minds are already turning to Colorado’s next big electoral contest: U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s 2020 re-election bid,” reports The Denver Post. “Given the mood of Colorado’s electorate in 2018, the Republican’s chances appear at first blush to be grave. And Gardner’s critics piled on again after the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee defended Republicans’ objections over vote counting in Florida on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. However, a lot can happen between now and Election Day 2020, including a Democratic primary election that will pick Gardner’s opponent.”

“Half of the world’s annual precipitation falls in just 12 days, according to a new study published by a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, and that trend is expected to continue,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “‘Climate scientists, when we think about precipitation, we know it’s kind of uneven and we expect it to become more uneven in response to warming,” said Angeline Pendergrass, an NCAR project scientist and lead author of the study. “This is something we have kind of known, but it hadn’t really been quantified and so we set out to quantify it.”

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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