Headlines June 15, 2021

Headlines June 15, 2021

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Xcel Recommends Limiting Appliance Use Durning Heatwave

The ongoing heatwave in the Front Range promises to continue through at least Thursday. Utility company Xcel says it has additional crews standing by as temperatures approach 100 degrees for the next three days. The company said it didn’t anticipate any major outages from the heat, though several smaller outages occurred throughout the metro area yesterday. No question hot weather has arrived early this summer.

Xcel recommends limiting the use of major appliances to cooler times of the day so as not to overburden the grid. Xcel and other utilities are also making sure to prepare for an active fire season. A spokesperson said there would be upcoming open houses to learn more about how the utility is preparing. Western Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and California – all part of this week’s heat wave – are experiencing extreme drought conditions.

Polis Will Continue Pay to Pandemic-Related Unemployment to Coloradoans

Colorado’s Republican congressional delegation of Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck, and Lauren Boebert sent a proposal to Governor Polis saying that he should stop the extra $300 a week in federal pandemic relief as it is hurting business by deterring unemployed workers from seeking jobs.

The Associated Press reports that Governor Polis rejected the proposal arguing that ending the $300 a week benefit that expires on September 6th would hurt individuals, business owners, and the broader economy.

In addition to the $300 federal pandemic relief benefit, Colorado is also offering its own cash incentives for job seekers. Their “Jumpstart” program rewards those getting hired by June 26th will collect up to $1,600 in incentives.

The state labor department reports that some 3,800 new claims for regular state benefits were filed last week, which is the lowest level since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Non-Profit Gives $1.5 Million to King Soopers Victims 

A non-profit that collected the most money after a mass shooting at a Boulder King Soopers has doubled what it distributed to families in the two weeks since a victim’s husband raised concerns about slow distribution and asked for more transparency. Denver’s Channel 9 reports the Colorado Healing Fund had distributed $1.5 million to victims as of Monday, up from approximately $700,000 at the beginning of June. Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who established the non-profit with a grant from her office and now serves as the chair of an advisory board for the fund, said the fund has collected $4.4 million since the shooting on March 22.

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert Will Not be Investigated for U.S. Capitol Riot

Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert will not be investigated for claims that she aided the January 6th U.S. Capitol riot. The House Ethics committee has thrown out the complaint against the Western Slope Republican. The committee of five Democratic and five Republican representatives informed Boebert on Friday that it decided not to look into the claims of her involvement. Boebert, who hoped Congress would not certify President Joe Biden’s electoral victory, compared the day to the American Revolution.

Denver Trailer Offers Showers and Laundry Service to Unhouse Population

A mobile trailer parked in Denver’s Civic Center Park is now offering showers and laundry service to people including the unhoused population. City leaders hope it will help those experiencing homelessness and those who are out of work preparing for job interviews. The trailer includes two showers and several washing machines and dryers. Denver Parks and Recreation partnered with a group called the Dignity Project to make the trailers — which are called “Showers For All” — a possibility. Through the rest of June, it will be available each Monday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Arvada City Council Votes Down Zoning Changes for Amazon Distribution Center

The Arvada City Council yesterday voted down zoning changes that would have cleared the way for a proposed Amazon distribution center. Several residents spent months organizing against the proposal and gathered more than 9,000 signatures against the project. Amazon has come under scrutiny in recent years for practices like union busting and pressuring local governments for tax incentives, even while documents leaked to investigative newsroom ProPublica show the company’s owner, multibillionare Jeff Bezos, paid nothing in income taxes last year.

Ozone Alert for the Front Range

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued an ozone alert for today. The alert indicates “Concentrations of ozone in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category are most likely for locations in the southern and western portions of the Denver Metro area, and northward along the Front Range and lower foothills to include Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins.” This Ozone Action Day Alert will remain in effect until at least 4 p.m. today.