The Home Front: City finally lifts ban on recreational pot

Your daily roundup of the biggest stories from newspapers across Colorado

“After dozens of workshops and discussions on the issue that date back to early 2017, Rifle City Council in November moved to bring recreational marijuana to a limited number of stores in town,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post Independent. “The move lifts a city ban on legalized recreational marijuana that has been in place since state voters approved it in 2012. That law allowed local jurisdictions to decide whether they wanted to allow recreational sales, and to determine how to regulate the business.”

“The Upper Pine River Fire Protection District doesn’t handle a lot of calls – less than 1,000 a year, said Chief Bruce Evans. And while there is no substitute for on-the-job experience, the fire district has a new way to prepare firefighters for wildfires, floods and other catastrophic events,” reports The Durango Herald. “It’s a computer program, one that can project an image onto various surfaces to simulate fires, floods and gas leaks – taking into account elevation, wind speed, wind direction and humidity – to determine how catastrophic events will play out in a real-time scenario.”

“Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife are asking the public for help in identifying a pilot responsible for harassing a large herd of elk near Craig last month,” reports The Vail Daily. “On Nov. 16, several witnesses reported seeing a single-engine aircraft make two low passes over the herd, disturbing the animals and causing them to scatter. Wildlife officers with Parks and Wildlife are taking the opportunity to remind the public that using aircraft to harass wildlife or aid in hunting is a violation of Colorado’s wildlife laws and the federal Airborne Hunting Act.”

“Pitkin County resident Marty Stouffer, whose documentary series “Wild America” ran 14 years on PBS, is accusing National Geographic of using his ideas and compromising his brand through a series of trademark violations,” reports The Aspen Times. “Stouffer and his Aspen-based company, Marty Stouffer Productions, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court of Colorado claiming National Geographic Partners and a host of its divisions lifted the “Wild America” brand for their own video productions.”

“Expecting mothers are often only given three options for pain relief during labor — intravenous narcotics, an epidural or nothing at all — but there is another option: nitrous oxide,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Most people know nitrous oxide as the laughing gas administered in their dentist’s office, but other countries such as Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and Finland have used it as an analgesic during labor for over a century. While a few university hospitals in the United States have offered nitrous as a form of pain relief for some time now, only recently has it become a more widespread option. Longmont United Hospital, for example, just started to offer it on Monday.”

“Investigators worked well into the evening Wednesday interviewing witnesses and neighbors and searching a Redlands home where a man was shot to death earlier in the afternoon,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Few details were available about the shooting reported at 2:41 p.m. at 2108 Saguaro Road in the Panorama subdivision, but Mesa County sheriff’s Sgt. Henry Stoffel said witnesses to the shooting were cooperating with investigators.”

“A long-term redevelopment plan in Cherry Creek North that calls for tearing down the Whole Foods and former Sears store has taken another step forward with a Denver city council committee approving sale of spaces in a nearby parking garage,” reports The Denver Post. “The 198 parking spots, which the city would sell for $6 million, are in the garage that faces Second Avenue, between Josephine Street and Clayton Lane. The city bought them for $4.7 million in 2002 to provide parking for neighborhood workers so more on-street spaces were available for shoppers. Denver rents them out for $75 a month.”

“Boulder will not pursue a moratorium on homes of a certain size, the City Council decided Tuesday night, but will act quickly to develop regulations that will encourage smaller dwellings and may include a cap on how big houses can be,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Council did re-define why large homes are a problem. They are inconsistent with neighborhood character and don’t align with the city’s environmental or affordable housing goals. Solutions, therefore, should be things that encourage preservation of existing homes or the building of more, smaller dwellings, either accessory dwelling units or higher-density buildings such as duplexes.”

“A large homeless camp within sight of the Colorado Springs Police Department headquarters in the south downtown Lowell neighborhood will be cleared out by Monday after the city received landowners’ permission to remove tents and residents,” reports The Colorado Springs Gazette. “The 10-acre encampment, known as “the quarry,” is home to at least 145 tents and tarp-covered shelters on private land near Wahstach Avenue and Fountain Boulevard. ‘We’re looking for absolute voluntary compliance,’ police spokesman Lt. Howard Black said Wednesday. ‘We’d like to see them leave the camp without (police) having to be involved at all.'”

“Donations Tuesday on Yampa Valley Gives Day totaled a record $913,836, shy of the $1 million goal but a 20 percent increase from last year’s fundraising total,” reports The Steamboat Pilot & Today. “The money will benefit 58 area nonprofits, all of which received at least one of the 3,161 donations made on the fifth annual day of giving, which began as a project of the 2014 Leadership Steamboat class.”

“A wide-ranging, highly impactful proposal to bring freight truck traffic out of the center of Northern Colorado’s urban areas was presented to Larimer County leaders Wednesday night, and will soon be presented to the public for input during a six-month feasibility study,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Region 4 Director Johnny Olson floated his idea to the elected officials and staff of potentially rerouting freight truck traffic off U.S. 287 and onto Interstate 25, avoiding the urban areas. In exchange, CDOT would jettison the section of U.S. 287 from Colo. 119 south of Longmont to Colo. 14 in Fort Collins, turning that portion of highway back to local control.”

“With the current contract for animal services set to expire in less than a month, Pueblo City Council on Monday night gave approval to a new three-year contract for PAWS for Life Animal Welfare & Protection Society to operate the animal shelter and to conduct animal control,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain.

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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