Headlines Jan. 14, 2022
Officials Prepare for Further Marshall Fire Cleanups
Most areas of Louisville should have running water by Tuesday. That’s according to city officials who hosted a meeting yesterday for residents affected by the Marshall Fire. When water pressure is back, the city will test water quality at individual homes. For now, the city will continue to fill bulk water tanks.
Boulder County has dumpsters available today and Saturday in fire damaged neighborhoods for area residents to throw out spoiled food.
Right-of-Way cleanup efforts begin today to remove fire-damaged and destroyed obstacles like downed trees from roadways and sidewalks. Vehicles will go to a staging location to check VIN numbers. Officials expect the work to take two to four weeks to complete.
Louisville City Council members expressed concern at their meeting Thursday that few residents have filled out a Right of Entry form to opt in or out of the Debris Removal Program. Property owners in fire-affected areas are urged to submit forms as soon as possible – to allow specialists to remove hazardous materials on properties – and to apply mulch to the soil to prevent ash from becoming airborne or spreading into waterways. The deadline for turning in the form is Wednesday, January 26. More information is available at bouldercounty.org.
Governor Polis Focuses on Living Costs in State Address
Governor Jared Polis began his State of the State address Thursday, with a moment of silence for Coloradans lost last year to COVID, violent crimes and the recent Marshall Fire. He expressed his gratitude for those who helped the community during these crises and emphasized his hope for Colorado’s future.
Polis said saving Coloradans money and keeping living costs affordable are top priorities. He proposed offering greater physical and mental health services, especially for children impacted by the pandemic. And he restated his goal to reduce crime rates. The governor touched upon efforts related to climate change, such as reducing emissions, updating the state’s water plan and using newer firefighting technology. But according to The Colorado Sun protesters outside the Capitol and some Democratic lawmakers felt that not enough focus was placed on climate change.
Colorado Awarded Payout in National Student Loan Settlement
Colorado is one of 39 states to benefit from a $1.85 billion settlement with student loan servicer Navient. Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Thursday that the state’s payout will provide complete debt relief for over 1,300 Colorado student loan borrowers and $260 each in restitution to nearly 7,000 others. The Colorado Newsline reports that the settlement comes after what Weiser’s office said was widespread unfair, deceiving, and exploitative student loan servicing practices.
A multistate lawsuit against Navient alleges that the company guided borrowers who faced financial hardship into long-term forbearance, where they did not have to make payments but interest accrued on the loan. When student borrowers are unable to make payments on their loans, they are supposed to have options, including switching to income-driven repayment plans, which set payments based on a borrower’s income. Navient also allegedly issued subprime loans to students attending for-profit schools and schools with low graduation rates.
Navient has denied the allegations, and it did not admit to wrongdoing as part of the settlement. Borrowers who are affected by the settlement will receive notice later this year and should make sure their address is updated with the Federal Student Aid office.
Union Employees Offer to Negotiate with King Soopers
Kroger, the parent company of King Soopers, agreed Thursday to resume negotiations with striking union members. At a rally Thursday, Kim Cordoba, president of the Local 7 union, announced that the union had told the company it was willing to return to the bargaining table. However, picket lines continue, with many of the almost eighty five hundred [8,500] Denver metro area workers on strike. Employees say they want fair pay, a safer workplace, and affordable healthcare.
Boulder Star Shines One More Night
Tonight is the last chance to see the Boulder Star, a seasonal landmark shining at night from the mountainside. The Boulder Chamber and the City of Boulder continued its illumination past the usual January 2nd turn-off date – to symbolize sympathy for Marshall Fire victims, as well as appreciation for first responders. Officials agreed to turn off the lights now to protect the habitat of nesting raptors nearby.