Headlines September 29, 2021

Headlines September 29, 2021

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COVID Testing Pushed for Schools

State health officials are continuing to push more schools and school districts to sign up for the Colorado COVID-19 testing program. So far less than a third of schools have indicated an interest in doing so.

Governor Jared Polis said yesterday the state is using various strategies to combat the virus.

“The vaccine is key to fighting the virus. We also can’t dismiss the significance of other strategies that are also important, Polis said. “Testing, mask wearing, avoiding large indoor gatherings in tight spaces, and if you go wearing a mask.  In Colorado, we’re all of the above. We’re using vaccines, we have one of the highest rates in the region one off the higher ones nationally. That’s why we have a lower COVID rate. Testing. Mask delivery programs, free medical grade masks to schools, testing in schools. We are leaving no stone unturned.”

Polis declined to say whether he would implement a statewide mask mandate for schools adding that he thinks schools are doing a great job.

On Monday, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment extended a public health order that requires long-term care facilities to schedule clinics for booster shots by Oct. 1 for those who are eligible for the Pfizer booster.

The department said in a release that vaccine effectiveness may decrease over time in some people, and a booster dose can help bring up immunity levels.

Congressional District Maps Approved by Commission

Congressional redistricting maps in Colorado have been approved by a newly created independent commission.

Late last night, the 12 commissioners voted 11 to 1 to pass a map that would have the result in three safe districts for Democrats, three for Republicans, and, as The Colorado Sun reports, the remaining two could go either way.

Under the plan, the most competitive district would be the 8th which comprises the north Denver metro area north to Greeley, and is heavily Hispanic. Currently, Democrats would have just over a 1 percent advantage in that district based upon results from recent statewide races.

The new plan, if approved will be used in the 2022 congressional elections. It’s possible the results in the state could determine partisan control of the U.S. House. Democrats currently control four of Colorado’s seven congressional seats.

The map that was approved received votes from three Democrats, four Republicans and four unaffiliated commissioners on the 12-member panel. The only no vote came from Democratic Commissioner Simon Tafoya, from Denver.

The commission will forward the new map to the Colorado Supreme Court by Friday. The court could adopt the plan by Nov. 1 or send it back to the commission for revisions.

Janitors at DIA Could Go on Strike for Better Wages

Janitors at Denver International Airport are in the process of voting whether to go on strike for fair wages and workloads.

According to a release, three hundred fifty members of the Service Employees International Union Local 105 started to vote on Monday and will conclude their decision today.

The union says that there have been weeks of negotiations with the city contractor and employer called Flagship Facility Services, which is based in California.

The janitors provide services to the entire airport and the Westin hotel. If a strike vote is approved, they could walk off the job Thursday when the current contract expires. However, the workers could continue to negotiate further without striking.

Protest in Denver to Target Corporate Opposition to Human Infrastructure Bill

Today community organizers and advocates will hold a demonstration outside Amazon’s offices in downtown Denver. A joint release from the Colorado Fiscal Initiative and the organization called Together Colorado, says that the purpose of the demonstration is to draw attention to Amazon’s multi-million dollar efforts against President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda.

The protest is part of a national day of action and other events across the U.S. that target corporations which are lobbying to keep low corporate taxes to be used to fund investments in, among other things, climate infrastructure, expanding affordable housing, health care, and direct assistance to workers, families.

The protest is being organized by various groups including Padres y Jovenes Unidos, SEIU Local 105, the Colorado Education Association, and the Colorado People’s Alliance.

The demonstration will take place starting at 1:30 this afternoon in front of Amazon’s offices located at 15th and Wynkoop in Denver.

Evaluation of Boulder Shooting Defendant Will Take Longer

The doctors who are determining the competency of the man charged with killing 10 people at the Boulder King Soopers in March will have more time to do their evaluation.

The Daily Camera reports that the judge in the case ruled that the two doctors performing the evaluation will now have until October 11th instead of the three weeks she originally ordered.

The lawyers had asked that the doctors be given two more months; but, prosecutors from the Boulder District Attorney’s Office objected to that amount of time. The next hearing on the issue is scheduled for October 14.

Boulder City Attorney Candidates

The City of Boulder is considering three new candidates for City Attorney. The Daily Camera reports that the search was extended this summer. The three are Teresa Taylor Tate, Adam Stephens and Sandra Llanes, the current interim city attorney

On Friday, City Council members will interview the three finalists.