Headlines November 24, 2020

Headlines November 24, 2020

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Boulder County COVID-19 Hospitalizations Highest Yet

Daily hospitalizations for the coronavirus reached an all-time high in Boulder County Monday, as the number of cases topped 10,000.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, the 157 new cases recorded yesterday brought the county to 10,130 cases, and the death toll remains at 115. County data shows there are currently 119 people hospitalized, 15 more than Friday’s current hospitalizations.

On Monday, Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order allowing at-capacity hospitals to transfer patients, and stop admitting new ones, to help them respond to a surge in COVID-19 patients across the state.

Virtual Debrief Planned for Lefthand and Cal-Wood Wildfires

A virtual debrief of the Lefthand Canyon and Cal-Wood wildfires is scheduled for Monday, November 30 to discuss how fire officials are preparing for the next fire season. Local fire professionals and forest managers will provide overviews of both fires.

According to Plan-Boulder County, they will also discuss fire suppression, weather conditions, evacuations and preliminary observations on how previously mitigated forest areas responded to the wildfire. Plan officials said the goal of the virtual event is to allow participants to discuss topics and ask questions which are important to them and to learn about existing wildfire related programs, preparations and resources in the areas where they live.

Groups Call New Oil, Gas Regulatory Rules “Big Step Forward”

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has approved a set of new rules that conservation groups say will help greatly in efforts to protect wildlife from new energy development. Last year, Colorado passed legislation installing paid, professional regulators as commissioners, and John Gale, conservation director for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, says this was the first big test of the new commission. The major changes include requiring new development to be two-thousand feet away from schools or homes, and limiting development near waterways and wildlife. Gale says that will increase stream buffers in Colorado by almost 10 times.

“For the last 65 years, they’ve been operating with the stated intent of fostering the oil and gas industry in Colorado, said Gale. “What these rules will usher in is a much-needed balance, in consideration for things like fish and wildlife,” Gale says energy development isn’t off the table in Colorado – but some key resources are too important to risk by allowing drilling or other development nearby.

Denver Mayor Calls Out DPS Board for Superintendent Exit

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is blaming the Denver Public Schools Board of Education for the departure of school district Superintendent Susana Cordova. Hancock and former Mayor Federico Peña called for an independent committee to lead the search process to find Cordova’s replacement.

The mayors sent a joint letter Monday claiming the board undermined Cordova and caused her to take a position in Dallas, according to the Denver Post. Hancock said they mistreated Cordova at public board meetings and interfered in the day-to-day management of the school system. She resigned earlier this month and is one of three area superintendents who have resigned since July. Superintendents in Jeffco and Douglas County school districts have also turned in resignations in recent months.

Rueter-Hess Reservoir Incline Challenge Opens on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day will mark the opening of the Rueter-Hess Incline Challenge in Parker. The 132 steps and 232-foot elevation gain is located next to the still filling Rueter-Hess reservoir. There is a reservation system to keep crowding to a minimum.

Construction on the incline began in June and finished earlier this month. The trailhead is located next to the Rueter-Hess Water Purification Facility at 11865 Heirloom Parkway in Parker.

The Denver Post reports that the reservoir is part of the Hess Purification Facility in Parker.

Mary Colton, Parker’s director of parks and recreation, feels that the opening is perfect timing as the operation of gyms and recreation centers in several Colorado counties have fallen into the Level Red, Severe Risk category, due to COVID-19.

The Rueter-Hess Incline Challenge is the latest outdoor stair-step facility to open in Colorado, following the launch of the 164 step Challenge Hill in Castle Rock’s Philip S. Miller Park in 2018.  60 miles to the south in Manitou Springs is the Manitou Incline located at the base of Pike’s peak. It has more than 2700 steps with a 2000 foot elevation gain.