Headlines Jan. 28, 2022
State Modeling Report Predicts Decline In Colorado’s COVID-19 Curve
The state’s health department and the Colorado School of Public Health released an updated COVID-19 modeling report earlier this week. The report estimates 80% of the state’s population will be immune to Omicron by mid-February.
Omicron infections and hospitalizations have peaked statewide and will continue to decline. Some locations worldwide are reporting a slower decline in hospitalizations. Unless a new variant emerges, the report predicts the pandemic lull could reach into the summer.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said in a news briefing yesterday the BA. 2 variant, a descendant of the Omicron variant, has not been detected in wastewater testing and officials do not believe it is widely circulating in Colorado.
Boulder Public Works Will Begin Next Phase Of Marshall Fire Debris Removal
Boulder County crews will begin the curbside collection of smoke and wind-damaged items from properties that were impacted by the Marshall Fire starting this Sunday, Jan. 30. Residents can still sign up for this collection by filling out an online form.
For properties that were burned and destroyed by the Marshall Fire, Boulder County has extended the deadline to Feb. 8 for residents to submit a rite of entry form that will allow the county to remove imminent hazards and to perform soil stabilization work.
County officials are encouraging those property owners choosing not to take part in the program to still fill out the form by designating as an opt-out. The opt-out designation will assist officials in accurately tracking all properties and to ensure efficient remediation efforts.
Residents can get more information on county debris removal by calling the hotline at 303-214-3203.
U.S. Reps Joe Neguse And Ken Buck Introduce Dearfield Study Act
U.S. Representatives Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, and Joe Neguse, a Democrat from the 2nd District, have introduced the Dearfield Study Act to direct the Department of Interior to do a special resource study on the Dearfield Homestead. The resource study would determine the Dearfield Homestead’s historical significance and viability of the land becoming part of the U.S. National Park System.
The Colorado Newsline reports that Olivier Toussaint Jackson found The Dearfield Homestead, which is about 70 miles northeast of Denver, in 1910. Booker T. Washington motivated Jackson to establish the colony. Washington felt that land ownership was the best path to prosperity for African Americans. Washington, the Black activist and author, had helped found what is now known as Tuskegee University, the historically Black university in Alabama.
The Dearfield Homestead was a thriving agriculture community, home to multiple churches, businesses and restaurants, reaching its peak in early 1900s. 700 residents from 35 states lived on the land until the Dust Bowl, which started in 1930, caused the collapse of crop prices forcing many residents to return to the Denver area.
Longmont City Council Approves Funding For Costco
The Longmont City Council approved funding this week to support the city’s development and incentives toward a Costco retail store that is projected to open in 2023. The project also includes development of affordable housing at an adjacent 9-acre property.
The additional funding passed by a unanimous vote, with a brief amount of discussion by council members. The Daily Camera reports there was no public comment on the project during the meeting.
Rising construction and development costs prompted the city to allocate roughly $3.6 million from three separate city funds to offset recent bids that went over development estimates that were originally projected in Nov. 2020. The allocation includes funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and the city’s Affordable Housing Fund.
The site of the development is located east of Harvest Junction South, near the intersection of Ken Pratt Boulevard and South Martin Street.
The Daily Camera reports a group of Longmont residents represented by an attorney are opposing the project. The group has no current litigation against the city but has expressed the city should stop facilitating the construction of another big box store that is redundant to other stores in the area.
A city report estimates sales taxes generated by the store will recoup Longmont’s $12.8 million expenditure toward the Costco project and the nearby affordable housing project in less than four years. Construction on the project will begin in April.
Workers at Denver Starbucks File For Union Election
Workers at a Starbucks on East Colfax Avenue in Denver submitted a petition yesterday to the National Labor Relations Board for an election toward union representation.
According to an affiliate with Service Employees International Union, a majority of the workers at the Denver store signed union authorization cards. Union efforts are increasing against the coffee giant as the petition follows recent NLRB filings by Starbucks workers in Superior and at other stores nationwide. Starbucks employees at a Buffalo area store successfully formed a union in early December.