Headlines Jan. 7, 2022
Boulder County Officials Release Updated Numbers On Property Loss And Damage From Marshall Fire
Boulder County officials released updated tallies Thursday of homes and businesses destroyed and damaged by the Marshall Fire. The number of burned homes now stands at 1,084, with 149 residential structures damaged.
The fires also destroyed seven commercial properties and damage to 30.
County officials estimate residential damage will cost more than $513 million. President Joe Biden will arrive in Colorado today to tour the destruction caused by the fire.
Boulder County Health Officials Urge Residents To Follow Safety Guidelines When Returning To Homes Impacted By Fire
Boulder County Public Health officials are urging residents whose homes remain intact from the Marshall Fire to follow essential safety guidelines when returning to their properties.
Officials are warning residents not to disturb ash and debris from the fire. Caustic ash contains cancer-causing substances that, when inhaled, can damage internal organs.
Officials recommend a tetanus vaccination for those who have not had a documented dose within the past ten years, as there is a significant risk of getting tetanus when cleaning up after a fire.
Health officials also report the county does not currently have air monitoring in or immediately downwind of the burn area and are urging residents to avoid physical exertion outdoors until officials deem the quality of air safe. Residents can view up-to-date information at BoulderOEM.com or boco.org/marshallfire.
Protect The Vote Groups Hold Rally
Colorado Common Cause, the League of Women Voters Colorado, Mi Familia Vota, New Era Colorado, and the NAACP held a rally yesterday marking the anniversary of the U.S. Capitol insurrection. Leaders called for filibuster reform and passage of voter protection legislation currently stalled in the U.S. Senate.
The Denver Gazette reports a far-right group identified as “We The People” had planned a rally at the Colorado Capitol later in the day to commemorate last year’s January sixth attack, but the rally failed to materialize.
COVID Surge Impacting RTD Services
The Regional Transportation District announced Thursday that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases along with the agency’s worker shortage for bus and rail operators, technicians, and mechanics are having adverse impacts on the agency’s ability to provide scheduled service.
The agency reports it has seen 77 COVID-19 employee cases spanning all facilities and operating divisions between December 15th and January 5th, the highest surge since the start of the pandemic.
RTD officials recommend customers can stay up to date on service changes by signing up for service alerts through the RTD website.
King Soopers Union Members Announce Strike
With their current contract set to expire this Saturday, Colorado King Soopers workers announced their intent to strike. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7 labor union announced Thursday that their 8,400 Colorado workers will announce a start date for the strike in the coming days. The workers plan to strike for better pay and working conditions.
Colorado Newsline reports that the union had been in a heated contract dispute with King Soopers over a new labor agreement. The talks have since stalled.
The union made the announcement following a near-unanimous January 2nd vote by the union’s membership to allow the strike. Leaders said that workers will be paid $160 a day for picketing full time and $80 per day for picketing part-time.
Kim Cordova, president of UFCW Local 7, said talks to end, what she calls, King Soopers unfair labor practices, prevent grocery workers from securing an industry-leading contract. She says the grocery store chain continues to bring in record profits while its workforce suffers with low wages amid a skyrocketing cost of living.
Representatives for King Soopers said that the company had offered wage increases, expanded health benefits and signing bonuses as part of its latest offer.