Headlines September 15, 2021

Headlines September 15, 2021

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Biden Says Change Needed Now to Combat Climate Change

President Joe Biden visited the Denver metro area yesterday and in remarks he made at the National Energy Laboratory in Arvada, he said that changes have to be made now to slow climate change, not next year or 10 years from now.

The president talked about the costs of and reason for climate change. “In addition to lost lives, lives shattered extreme weather cost America last year $99 billion, $99 billion – extreme weather cost last year,” Biden said. “And it’s going to break the record this year and be well over $100 billion.  We know what the driver is: climate change. And we know what’s causing climate change: human activity.  This is no longer subject to debate.”

Biden was joined by local political leaders including Governor Jared Polis, and U.S. Representatives Joe Neguse, Jason Crow and Ed Perlmutter.

The president’s visit to Colorado occured as Congress considers his $3.5 trillion expansion of social safety net programs through higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Boulder Valley School District Board Members May Face Recall 

Petitions have been filed to recall three of the seven directors of the Boulder Valley School District.

The petitions target Board members Kathy Gebhardt, Richard Garcia, and Lisa Sweeny-Miran.

The district announced that it had learned of the recall on Friday and has set up a webpage explaining how it could play out. The district states that an election could cost close to $770,000, which is not included in its budget.

The website says that some reasons for the recall petitions include not paying attention to dissenting opinions, mandating masks indefinitely, and not acknowledging legitimate medical exemptions.

However, the district said they are required by the county health department to require masks indoors.

if the recall petitions are verified, it’s not clear when an election would occur, but it would not be during the November general election.

Boulder Council Holds Public Hearing on CU South Annexation Agreement 

Last night the Boulder City Council held a public hearing on the CU South annexation agreement. About 100 community members signed up to speak with most of those sharing stories of their experiences during the flood of 2013.

Boulder Council Candidate Sends Cease and Desist Letter

A candidate for Boulder City Council has sent a letter to a group of community members demanding that they cease and desist working against him.

Steven Rosenblum is seeking one of the five vacant seats on the council and through his lawyer, Stan Garnett, he wrote to the group called Boulder Progressives, and to about 10 community members saying there has been a coordinated campaign against him.

The Daily Camera reports the letter also claims that websites and social media accounts have been set up using Rosenblum’s likeness without his permission, and that his complaint mostly concerns an anonymous blog under the name Safer Boulder Leaks

Rosenblum said that he is not a founder of Safer Boulder and it has never been his responsibility to moderate it. He added that the Boulder Progressives have taken other people’s comments, some he called abhorrent, and attempted to attribute them to him.

Among his claims, Rosenblum says SarahDawn Haynes shared a post on Twitter about him and used that information to stop a possible endorsement from the Sierra Club Indian Peaks Group of which she is an executive committee member.

Haynes said it feels like it’s a blatant attack on the integrity of those on the side of housing and racial justice and wondered whether Rosenblum’s threatened lawsuit would stick given the First Amendment.

The cease-and-desist letter threatens that a legal case will be filed unless there’s an apology and retraction by 5 p.m. Thursday.

Report on DPS Board Member Tay Anderson Due to Be Released 

The report of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Denver School Board Member Tay Anderson is due to be released today.

The claims of inappropriate conduct by Anderson have been anonymous and brought forward by the group Black Lives Matter 5280, an anti-gun violence group called Never Again Colorado, and a woman who told a legislative committee that a large number of young people came to her seeking protection from a man who was later identified by DPS as Anderson.

The school board said in a press release that the allegations against him were serious and warranted a thorough and independent review to assure the safety of the DPS community as well as a fair process for Anderson.

Chalkbeat Colorado reports that Anderson has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Substitute Teacher Shortage in Metro Area

Schools in the Denver metro area can’t find enough substitutes to fill in when a teacher is absent.

The Denver Post reports that the shortage started earlier than this year but has increased during the pandemic and includes other areas like school nurses and bus drivers.

The reasons for the shortage are complex, but include some substitutes being concerned about returning to the classroom because of the coronavirus.

At least 80 K-12 schools in the state have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks affecting more than 120 staff members.