Headlines February 22, 2021
United Airlines Suspends Jets after Engine Failure Rains Debris on Broomfield
United Airlines has grounded some of its Boeing 777 airplanes after one of them experienced an engine failure and spewed debris over Broomfield Saturday afternoon. The decision came as the Federal Aviation Administration plans to order increased safety inspections for the type of engines involved.
The engine failure on United Flight 328 happened just minutes after the Hawaii-bound flight took off from Denver International Airport. The plane returned to the airport and no one on it or on the ground was injured. But, according to the Daily Camera, there have been reports of property damage. Broomfield Police began receiving calls from residents early Saturday afternoon who said they thought a plane was falling from the sky. Debris fell over at least a mile including on Commons Park. Authorities are asking anyone who finds debris not to touch it so it will stay intact for investigators.
Denver Mayor Says Police Will Not Participate in Breaking Up Homeless Encampments
The city of Denver will take law enforcement officers out of actions to break up homeless encampments. In an exclusive story, Axios reports that Mayor Michael Hancock said that they have seen through research across the country that, obviously, it heightens tensions when police move in first.
Clashes between police and protesters armed with cell phone cameras have become the norm during homeless camp sweeps, with some confrontations turning violent.
Hancock said he has directed his team to create a “compassion or civilian corps” to clean up tent cities, instead of armed police officers. The team of trained professionals would warn people sleeping on the streets that campsites are illegal and connect them to the social services they need. Last month, a legal challenge prompted a federal judge to rule that city officials must give residents at least seven days’ advance notice.
Service providers agree that the strategy to take police out of the equation is a welcomed step, and one that many advocates have been requesting for years.
Mental Health Workers Picket in Denver
Mental health workers in Denver picketed on Saturday afternoon demanding better and more stable pay. Denverite reports that employees of the non-profit Mental Health Center of Denver said they’re asking for a guaranteed pay scale that would make incomes more predictable year to year.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been negotiating with the nonprofit since October. Counselors, job trainers, housing specialists, and others who are members of the union were due for raises in January, but the ongoing bargaining process has delayed their wage increases.
Unionized workers haven’t received any raises since the pandemic began, but their nonunion colleagues have.
The Mental Health Center operates nine facilities in Denver and its workers staff the city’s STAR pilot program, which removes police officers from low-level 911 calls.
Boulder Council Considering Two for City Manager
The Boulder City Council is considering two candidates for the vacant city manager position. Kevin Jackson is the deputy city manager in Long Beach, California, and Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde is the deputy city manager in Austin, Texas.
The Daily Camera reports that the city manager administers policies set by the Council. Jane Brautigam served in the position for 12 years until retiring Oct. 30.
Boulder is hosting a forum from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday for people to meet the two finalists. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and speak with the candidates in small breakout groups. A timeline for appointing a new city manager is not definite.
Longmont Considering Legal Options About RTD
Longmont’s City Council will meet in a closed virtual meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the city’s legal options about pushing the Regional Transportation District to go forward with the Northwest Rail passenger train service.
The Times-Call reports that in January council members indicated they might explore legal options if RTD does not agree to proceed with development and funding of at minimum a peak-hours commuter rail service between Denver and Longmont.
Council members have previously questioned whether RTD could be required to reimburse the community for the taxes paid toward the project, or otherwise forced to proceed with it.
Report on McClain’s Death To Be Released Today
A report of an independent investigation into the death of Elijah McClain will be released today. McClain died in Aug. 2019 after an encounter with Aurora police officers and Fire Rescue first responders, who subdued him with now-banned restraints, including a ketamine injection and a carotid chokehold.
Amid a swelling protest, council members announced in July the city would conduct an independent investigation.
According to the Aurora Sentinel, the report into McClain’s death will be released this morning and a press conference with the investigators and police scheduled after.
The investigation, which has been led by civil rights attorney Jonathan Smith, doesn’t bring the possibility of criminal charges against police or first responders but other ongoing investigations do. Smith’s team