November 16, 2022
Aurora Hires Interim Police Chief
The city of Aurora continues to struggle to hire a police chief. City officials announced Tuesday that the former Miami police chief Art Acevedo will fill the position on an interim basis starting in December.
The Denver Post reports Miami officials fired Acevedo last year, six months into his tenure, after allegedly losing trust of the department’s officers and using foul language with a demonstrator.
Acevedo will take over for current interim Chief Dan Oates who will return to his home in Florida. Oates has led the police department since Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly fired Chief Vanessa Wilson in April.
Aurora spokesperson Ryan Luby told the Denver Post the city has received no new applications for police chief since restarting the search in October. Prior to his short tenure in Miami, Acevedo’s led police departments in Houston and Austin, Texas.
CU Anschutz Clinical Trials For Older Adults
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is launching a new Older Adult Research Specialist Training Program. The program will serve under researched groups in medicine.
According to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, older adults from historically marginalized groups – like those who come from rural areas or who have less education – are generally not well represented in clinical research studies leading to major health disparities.
The program is free for adults ages 60 and over and lasts seven weeks. It will train participants for paid opportunities to work as research navigators with the medical campus.
EPA Awards Air Pollution Monitoring Grants For Seven Colorado Communities
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has awarded seven Colorado communities grants for air quality monitoring. The United States Environmental Protection Agency awarded a combined $2.9 million [dollars] to several community groups and agencies in Colorado to conduct air quality monitoring in and near underserved communities.
EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker announced the awards in early November and said in a press release the funds will help address air quality information gaps and will provide data to underserved communities so they can more closely evaluate potential pollution concerns and opportunities to address them.
According to the EPA, assigned appropriations under the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act and this year’s Inflation Reduction Act made the grant funding possible.
Among the community groups receiving funds is Cultivando, which will implement with its $500,000 award a continuous air monitoring station and a mobile air monitoring van to track air toxic data in Commerce City and the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods of Denver.
The EPA also awarded the City of Fort Collins and 350 Colorado close to half a million dollars each to deploy air monitoring near oil and gas development, with 350 Colorado tracking VOCs, ozone, methane, and particulate matter at two Greeley public schools that are within close range of oil and gas extraction.
The Colorado Sun reports 350 Colorado and other environmental groups will contract with Boulder scientist Detlev Helmig and his firm Atmosphere Innovation Research to conduct continuous air monitoring.
New DIA Security Checkpoint
Holiday travelers should expect delays at Denver International Airport due to ongoing construction on a new security checkpoint.
The second new Great Hall Project checkpoint is on the northeast side of the Jeppesen Terminal. There will now be one pathway from bridge security to the north end due to the closure of the east side area.
DIA administrators expect the new security checkpoint to be completed by 2024. Until then, all security areas will stay open during construction.
Frontier Airlines Refunds Passengers
Federal officials announced Monday that Frontier Airlines, along with five other airlines, agreed to refund over $600 million to travelers who experienced canceled or significantly delayed flights since the early days of the pandemic.
An investigation by the US Department of Transportation found Frontier Airlines changed its definition of a significant delay to make refunds less likely and had a 15-day period in which the online system that processes credits was down. The Denver-based airline will refund $222 million and pay a $2.2 million civil penalty.
Frontier spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz told CBS News that the airline proved its commitment to treating customers fairly by issuing nearly $100 million in “goodwill refunds.”
Walmart Opioid Lawsuit
Courts are continuing to hold large pharmaceutical companies accountable for the opioid crisis.
Walmart proposed on Tuesday a $3.1 billion settlement to cover damages caused by selling powerful prescription opioids. Attorney General Phil Weiser announced the settlement would include a $40 million payment to Colorado.
With over $50 billion in settlement funds from Walmart and other companies like Walgreens and CVS, Colorado officials will use the money to widely reduce the record numbers of overdose deaths.
Weiser said in a press release, “This agreement with Walmart adds to the important progress we’ve already achieved through our settlements with the opioid manufacturers and distributors, and there is more work to do.”
E-Bikes Allowed On RTD Rail Vehicles
The Regional Transportation District – or RTD – is expanding its new policy on ebikes from buses to rail transit.
RTD announced yesterday that passengers may load e-bikes onto rail vehicles if the bikes weigh 55 pounds or less and have tires no wider than 2.3 inches in width. Bicycles are still prohibited inside buses and on light rail high blocks.
Bus operators may allow riders to store bikes in the luggage compartment if the front mounted rack is full.
RTD staff and the American Public Transportation Association collaborated in drafting its policy mirroring that of other similar agencies.
Longmont Costco Expected Spring Of 2023
A new Costco warehouse store is expected to open in Longmont in the spring of 2023. The city has contributed $15 million in funding and fee rebates for the big box store that will occupy 150,000 square feet on a nearly 50-acre site near Longmont’s Harvest Junction Development.
The Daily Camera reports that In March, Residents and Workers for a Safe Longmont sued to hinder the building process, saying city officials did not properly apply city laws. The lawsuit claimed the plan was faulty as it violated the city zoning codes and did not consider traffic flow in the construction surrounding area. In July, a Boulder County District Court judge dismissed the case.