The Home Front: Harsh reality after transportation measure’s failure

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

“(Durango), with 2A failing, doesn’t have any money for major road projects, said Levi Lloyd, city operations director. That means roads that need reconstruction or re-pavement won’t get fixed, at least in the next year, he said. The city will fill potholes and seal cracks, but those maintenance measures are more of a Band-Aid when many of the streets need a suture or surgery – a medical metaphor for capital improvement projects,” reports The Durango Herald. “The city invested about $6.7 million in capital improvement projects from 2014 to date, Lloyd said. But if no money is apportioned to pay for street reconstruction, the city could lose all the progress it made in the past four years as early as 2021.”

“City council will turn the question of how best to pay for Boulder’s wildly popular library system over to residents, as the library’s board pushes for a special tax district as a stable source of funding,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Nearly 1 million people visit the library each year, and demand for services is growing. The number of new borrowers rose 20 percent over the past four years, according to figures provided by the library board of commissioners. Program attendance shot up 64 percent during that time, with summer reading program participation increasing a whopping 598 percent. But the support the city lends to the library has not kept pace. Staffing decreased 5 percent between 2006 and 2016, library commissioners say, and funding is stuck at 2002 levels, though planned cuts for 2019 were restored after public outcry.”

“From medical records to wristbands, Colorado hospitals and health systems are finding new ways to change how they record patients’ gender identities,” reports The Denver Post. “The changes come as the Trump administration is considering limiting the definition of gender, a move that would pull back on the recognition and protections of transgender people under federal law.

“More than 60 people from across the Western Slope gathered Tuesday night to share their concerns about air quality and the oil and gas industry,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Some asked the state to adopt rules for more frequent inspections to prevent leakage of hydrocarbons and curb emissions, and to apply more stringent air-quality rules that were adopted for the Front Range last year to the rest of Colorado. Others said the industry doesn’t need more regulation and has enough financial incentive to reduce leaks and emissions already.”

“Longmont City Council on Tuesday night approved an agreement that will eventually double the number of police officers assigned to St. Vrain Valley School District middle and high schools in the city,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Increasing the school resource officers from six to 12 was approved in a unanimous 6-0 vote, with Councilman Aren Rodriguez absent.”

“Superintendent Marc Schaffer took a stab at a high school economics test and learned about print-making and American Sign Language when he stepped out of his office and into the halls of Loveland High School on Tuesday,” writes The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “All of the Thompson School District leadership team hit classrooms across the district, shadowing students from different grade levels to listen and learn what school is really like for the students. ‘I hope he gets the experience of Loveland High as I see it,’ said senior Brooklynn Norwood, who spent the morning with Schaffer. ‘I hope he sees the good parts, and I hope he sees the things I’d like to change.'”

“As winter weather descends on the state, there’s a shortage of snowplow drivers in Colorado,” reports The Steamboat Pilot & Today. “Across the state, the Colorado Department of Transportation is still seeking to fill more than 100 snowplow drivers and highway maintenance employees.”

Reports The Fort Collins Coloradoan: “The work aimed at keeping irrigation water flowing through the 20-mile-long waterway could affect hundreds of west Fort Collins property owners.”

“Beloved local Bindu Pomeroy was mourned by the community on Tuesday, Nov. 27, as word of the local teacher’s death spread fast among his many friends,” reports The Vail Daily. “Pomeroy was a well-known snowboarder, nicknamed “The Mayor of East Vail,” and died doing what he loved most — hitting big cliffs in the popular out-of-bounds area which has killed several other well known locals including the grandson of Vail’s founder, Tony Seibert.”

“Mike Burkett, who last season led the St. Mary’s girls’ basketball team to the program’s first state championship, has been put on administrative leave due to an allegation of misconduct. In 19 seasons at St. Mary’s, Burkett earned a 369-99 record as head coach,” reports The Colorado Springs Gazette. “Burkett was placed on administrative leave in mid- to late October, according to St. Mary’s principal Dave Hyland, and an interim basketball coach has been placed in charge until the investigation has concluded. Hyland said he cannot divulge the nature of the misconduct allegation and is limited on what the school can tell the community until the investigation has concluded.”

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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