Headlines June 10, 2021
Colorado Vaccine Update
Governor Jared Polis announced Wednesday that at least 70% of eligible residents in 12 Colorado’s counties have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Counties with 70 percent vaccination include metro counties like Denver, Boulder and Broomfield, and more rural counties such as San Juan, San Miguel, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison. The Biden Administration had set a vaccination rate goal of 70 percent of the eligible population by July 4th. While counties like Boulder, Denver and Broomfield are well ahead of that goal, the national average is unlikely to meet the mark by Independence Day. Data shows that vaccine uptake is lagging in heavily Republican areas.
State Reports New Gray Wold Pups
Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced Wednesday it had spotted at least three gray wolf pups with two other collared wolves. Staff said it had conducted three separate observations of the den site from a safe distance approximately two miles away between June 4 and June 8. A Colorado biologist said the state is continuing to actively monitor the den site while “exercising extreme caution so as not to inadvertently jeopardize the potential survival of these pups.” All three wolf pup spottings were made at dawn or dusk in low light conditions and biologists and area staff said they are hoping to have additional opportunities to observe the pups as they grow larger and spend more time outside of the den. The discovery comes after Colorado voters narrowly approved a ballot measure last year that requires the state to reintroduce the animal on public lands in the western part of the state by the end of 2023.
Colorado Environmentalists Celebrate End of Keystone Pipeline Project
Colorado environmentalists are celebrating after the developer of the Keystone XL pipeline announced Wednesday it is pulling the plug on the controversial project after the Biden administration revoked its permit in January. TC Energy, the Canadian company behind the project, said it decided to terminate the project after a comprehensive review of its options. The cancellation ends more than a decade of controversy over the pipeline. Environmentalists had argued the project threatened the environment and would only worsen the climate crisis. The project aimed to carry oil from the tar sands of Canada into the United States, and it has been a political football for years.
The JBS Meat Packing Plant Loses Multimillion-Dollar Discrimination Lawsuit
The food processing company JBS located in Greeley will pay about 300 employees up to $5.5 million for past employee discrimination.
The EEOC, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, filed a lawsuit against the food processing company in 2010. The EEOC claimed that JBS discriminated against Black people, Muslims and immigrants from Somalia.
The alleged discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law forbidding discrimination in the workplace.
According to the EEOC allegations, Muslim employees were not allowed time to pray and were harassed when they attempted to pray during their designated break time. During the 2008 Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, prayer and reflection, the company prohibited employees from drinking water and washing before their prayers by turning off water fountains.
The EEOC also claimed that company managers and other employees threw meat or bones at Black and Somali employees as well as calling them offensive names because of their race, national origin and religion.
In addition to the monetary settlement, JBS will now make changes to its anti-discrimination policies, hold yearly trainings on anti-discrimination laws and give former employees the opportunity to be rehired.
Boulder Invites Community Input on the Local Future of Policing
The City of Boulder is inviting community members to share thoughts about how policing should work moving forward. A press release from the city says the Boulder Police Department is working to make significant changes in the midst of local and national discussions around the need for reform in policing. Part of that work includes updating the department’s master plan. The first meeting on the topic is today, June 11th from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Go to beheardboulder.org/reimagine-policing for more information.