Headlines August 20, 2021

Headlines August 20, 2021

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Records Show Fairview High School Principal was Investigated by Boulder Police

Fairview High School principal Don Stensrud was investigated by Boulder Police starting in November 2019 for potentially obstructing the sexual assault investigation of the school’s star quarterback. That’s according to records obtained by the Denver Post.

The newspaper obtained documents through an open records request on Wednesday showing Stensrud stopped police investigators from interviewing the student.

The Denver Post reports that Stensrud’s attorney has claimed that the principal was following school district policy in which a school principal or designee should be present if possible during police interviews of students along with an effort to notify parents.

The District Attorney’s office declined in April 2020 to press charges against Stensrud.

Stensurd was placed on paid administrative leave last week as he and the school district face a federal Title IX lawsuit alleging that Stensrud fostered a permissive environment of sexual assault at the school.

Colorado Transportation Commission Proposes Rule to Curb Transportation Project Pollution

Colorado’s Transportation Commission announced a proposed rule on Monday that would require certain transportation planning efforts adopted after October 1st, 2022, to comply with greenhouse gas pollution reduction standards and targets that were put into law as of 2019.

This would include the adoption of mitigation measures such as providing additional transmit services or the improvement of bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

According to reporting by Colorado Newsline, if Colorado’s five metropolitan planning organizations covering Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Pueblo, and Grand Junction, fail to comply, Colorado would withhold state funding from certain high emitting projects.

In recent years, transportation sector emissions have overtaken electricity generation as the state’s largest source of greenhouse gases.

The Colorado Department of Transportation plans to hold at least eight public hearings on the proposed rule beginning September 14th in Durango.

CDOT’s website has information on how residents can register to speak at the hearings and residents can submit comments online until October 15th.

Arapahoe, Denver, Jefferson, Adams, and El Paso Lead Colorado Counties with Evictions

Out of 64 counties in Colorado, five counties account for more than 73% of evictions filed this year.

Thousands of evictions have been filed throughout Colorado since January, highlighting the gaps in both state and federal pandemic eviction protection. Colorado Newsline reports that between January and August there have been 13,212 evictions filed, with most being filed in Arapahoe, Adams, El Paso, Jefferson and Denver counties.

But the number of eviction filings doesn’t accurately represent the number of people that have been displaced from their housing because these are only the cases that got filed in court.

Jana Happel, a staff attorney for Colorado Legal Services in Denver said that those filings are only the tip of the iceberg as people self-evict themselves.

Federal health officials did announce on Aug. 3 a new, narrower moratorium on evictions through Oct. 3, which will protect struggling renters in areas of the U.S. that are seeing rising COVID-19 infection rates. The new order protects renters behind on their payments who are living in counties with high rates of community COVID-19 transmission.

But this new order does not help those that slip through the gaps in protection. Eviction filings are high in communities of color. These communities make up a disproportionate amount of the rental market and spend a larger portion of their incomes on housing costs.

Low-income community members, especially people of color, are paying more per square foot than the market rate because there’s less supply making it very competitive for scarce resources.

Native and Indigenous Leaders Ask CSU to Return 165 Acres to Original Stewards

Native and Indigenous leaders are asking Colorado State University to return 165 acres of the Hughes Stadium parcel to its original stewards.

Rocky Mountain PBS reports the Hughes Land Back initiative led by an alliance of local Native and Indigenous leaders hopes to reclaim and restore the Hughes Stadium parcel adjacent to Horsetooth Reservoir for their communities and all people.

The alliance made their arguments during a public comment session earlier this month at the Colorado State University Board of Governors Meeting.

The Land Back movement in the United States aims to restore and return public lands taken from Indigenous communities.

The movement asserts that many universities and colleges were not just built on stolen Indigenous land but many institutions profited from the additional use and sale of stolen land provided under the 1862 Morrill Act.

A High Country News investigation found that half of the 89,000 plus acres given to Colorado State University under the Morrill Act were taken from the Arapaho and Cheyenne nations and occurred not even a year after the 1865 Sand Creek Massacre.

Earlier this week, Governor Polis rescinded two proclamations by Territorial Governor John Evans that led to the Sand Creek Massacre on November 29, 1864 in which more than 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people were murdered and mutilated by military troops in an unprovoked attack led by Colonel John Chivington.