Headlines July 2, 2021
Polis Issues Drought Declaration for 21 Colorado Counties
Governor Jared Polis has declared a drought emergency for 21 counties across the western part of the state. Much of western Colorado is currently experiencing a prolonged, multiyear drought, which in turn, creates conditions for large-scale wildfires. The federal government’s National Integrated Drought Information System classifies the drought conditions across a broad swath of western counties as “extreme” to “exceptional”. Those exceptional drought conditions include a massive area across the Southwestern United States, encompassing regions of six states.
Park Rangers Ask Public to “Know Before You Go” This Weekend
Park rangers are imploring the public to keep these drought conditions in mind when recreating on public lands this holiday weekend. Visitors to parks should inform themselves of rules and bans within each park. It’s part of the park service calls “know before you go.” Fireworks are prohibited on all federal park land and smoking and shooting is banned in many areas. Visitors planning a holiday trip can check the website of the park or park service ahead of their vacation for park rules and restrictions.
Updated COVID Guidance for Colorado and Boulder County
Colorado public health authorities have modified guidance with regards to face coverings. An updated health order, which took effect yesterday, “requires medical-grade face coverings for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated employees in settings which serve vulnerable or at-risk populations” such as homeless shelters, prisons, jails, and emergency medical and other healthcare settings. “Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated visitors, residents, and patients in these settings must also wear masks, though they do not need to be medical grade.” The new health order will remain in effect until August 1st. Federal guidance on face coverings mandates mask use in other settings, including in public transit.
Local Bus Driver Shortage
And in news related to public transit, the city of Boulder has scaled back the frequency of the HOP bus service due to a shortage of bus drivers. The HOP service previously ran buses every 15 minutes before 7pm. The new schedule, taking effect immediately, will send buses in 25 minute intervals. This reduction in service comes as Boulder Valley School District struggles to hire bus drivers to meet the transportation needs of students in the upcoming school year.
New Anti-Catalytic Converter Theft Program Launched in Colorado
When it comes to private vehicles, recent years have brought a spike in the theft of a specific car part – catalytic converters. According to the American Automobile Association – or AAA of Colorado – year-to-date thefts of catalytic converters in 2021 represent an increase of more than 1500 percent over 2019 levels. Precious metals contained in catalytic converters can be sold for scrap for around a hundred dollars, but their removal can damage a vehicle’s entire exhaust system and cost more than one thousand dollars to replace. The state triple AAA has launched a new anti-theft program in partnership with the Colorado State Patrol. Sargent Blake White explains. Motorists interested in the free program can check details at AAA.com