Headlines October 1, 2021

Headlines October 1, 2021

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Boulder County Clerk Approves Recall Petition for Three BVSD School Board Members

The Boulder County Clerk’s office approved yesterday revised petitions to recall three Boulder Valley School District board members. The recall committee now has 60 days to collect 15,000 signatures for each petition.

The petitioners are seeking to recall Kathy Gebhardt, Richard Garcia, and Lisa Sweeney-Miran based on their decisions and actions concerning the Coronavirus pandemic, including the requirement for facial coverings. According to The Daily Camera, the petitions were originally filed in September and then revised to incorporate written responses from board members. The Daily Camera reports the estimated cost for a recall election in Boulder, Broomfield, and Gilpin counties is about $670,000.

JBS Fined After Worker Dies In Chemical Vat

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited JBS Foods Inc. for eight safety violations stemming from the death of a Greeley plant worker who fell into a vat of chemicals used to process animal hides. The company is also facing close to $59,00 in fines. The employee died on March 27th while trying to install a paddlewheel used to churn chemicals. According to The Greeley Tribune, OSHA investigators issued the citations earlier this week and determined JBS failed to secure the trolley and hoist adequately that are used to lift the paddlewheel. The company has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to comply, contest, or request a meeting with OSHA officials.

Pro-Choice Vandals Deface Catholic Church

Vandals damaged and defaced the property of a Boulder Catholic church early Wednesday morning. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the vandalism, which includes spray paint graffiti conveying a pro-choice abortion stance. Other damage includes slashed tires, broken stain glass, and smashed eggs. According to The Denver Gazette, the Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Boulder had set up crosses on its front lawn last weekend in recognition of abortions performed daily. As part of the vandalism, church officials found many of the crosses ripped out and spray painted. Sheriff investigators believe the vandalism involved several people. Earlier in September, the Louisville Police Department reported the St. Louis Catholic Church was vandalized with pro-choice graffiti defacing church signs, entry doors, and walls surrounding the building.

Federal Judge Orders Remedial Action On Colorado Oil And Gas Leases Issued Without Adequate Environmental Review

A Federal judge has ordered remedial action for the Bureau of Land Management who awarded oil and gas drilling leases on 58,000 acres of public lands in 2018 without adequate consideration for air quality and wilderness protections. Instead of developing a new environmental assessment for the 58,000 acres of public land in northwest Colorado, the BLM recycled a lease from 2017 and used a version of a 2015 model to determine air quality impacts.

The environmental groups WildEarth Guardians, The Center for Biological Diversity, Rocky Mountain Wild and the National Parks Conservation Association sued BLM asking District Court Judge Marcia Krieger to void the drilling leases. Instead, Krieger ordered BLM to correct the leases based on updated air quality models and wilderness studies.

Judge Krieger said that the BLM overlooked evidence that leasing would cause greater particulate emissions. Modeling was available to assess the impact of particulates from coal-fired power plants and oil and gas operations, but was not used.

The BLM is reviewing the decision to determine next steps but added that no permits for drilling have yet been issued.


Construction Trade Association Sue Denver Over Vaccine Mandate

Seven construction trade associations sued the City of Denver, Mayor Michael Hancock, and the executive director of the city’s health department, Robert McDonald over the city’s vaccine mandate. According to The Denver Post, the trade organizations are seeking to block the vaccine mandate for private construction workers who work with the city. The Denver Post reports the trade associations claim the city’s mandate will deplete contractor workforces resulting in delays and higher construction costs. The lawsuit also notes many people of color work in the construction industry who may be “vaccine hesitant due to mistrust of the government.”

98% Of The Denver’s Full-time City Employees Are Vaccinated

As the deadline for Denver’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate loomed yesterday, the city’s dashboard showed 98% of the city’s full-time employees had submitted a proof of vaccination or were approved for exemption. According to The Denver Gazette, as of yesterday, city employees who are not fully vaccinated and are not exempt, will face disciplinary action including termination.