Headlines — December 19, 2022

December 19, 2022

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Fire Crews Respond To Explosion Along Poudre River Bike Trail

Fire crews responded early Sunday morning to reports of an explosion along the Poudre River bike trail, near Fort Collins, between Shields Street and South Taft Hill Road. The Poudre Fire Authority said they were able to quickly extinguish the fire that was in a cottonwood stand while also assisting one individual with an unknown medical condition.

Poudre Fire has released no further information on the incident and says the cause of the blaze is under investigation. 

Denver Hosts Panel Discussion On Homelessness Prevention Efforts

Denver’s Housing Stability Office hosted a panel discussion Friday covering the city’s efforts to provide services while also conducting a homeless advisory meeting where unhoused community members could raise their concerns and requests. Among the panelists were officials from governmental offices and nonprofits including the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Urban Peak Denver and Mile High United Way

Britta Fisher from Denver’s Housing Stability Office says the city in the last three years has helped 5,000 households regain stable housing while also building affordable homes and housing units with supportive services. Fisher also noted that the city now operates shelters 24/7 rather than just at night. Other panelists noted improvements in data collection, resources from the American Rescue Plan Act, and the integration of housing and health. 

Several unhoused community members raised concerns about homeless camps sweeps and their struggles during freezing weather after the city throws away their belongings. 

Colorado Community Colleges Doubled Graduation Rates

Colorado’s community colleges increased their graduation rates from 15 percent to 31 percent between 2015 and 2020. This according to a report released by nonprofit, Complete College America, an organization that encourages states and college systems to improve graduation rates.

Colorado education officials say several changes helped streamline the path towards a degree. These include offering free tutoring or extra class time to students enrolled in courses for credit toward their graduation. This saves students money that otherwise might be lost to non-credit remedial courses. The college system now also focuses on meeting students’ basic needs by offering food pantries and help with housing.

However, since the pandemic, more students of color are choosing not to spend money on college. This shift concerns Colorado educators, who don’t want Black and Latino students to lose ground gained in recent years.

CU Faculty Calling For Explanation On Investment Losses Earmarked For Projects At The System’s Four Campuses 

Faculty leaders throughout the University of Colorado system are asking the university’s leadership and the CU Board of Regents why CU did not withdraw investment gains that were earmarked for projects at the system’s four campuses. The university has lost nearly $120 million in stock market downturns that it earmarked for projects  nearly a year ago. According to the Denver Post, CU President Todd Saliman blamed the financial misstep on a now resigned system treasurer Tony Vu.

CU faculty say the financial loss is felt systemwide and they are seeing programs halted, reinstated, or campus leadership using funds earmarked for other needs. Saliman says the university plans on hiring a third-party expert to help evaluate what went wrong and to ensure an investment mishap does not happen again. 

Boulder Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report Shows Emission Reduction 

The city of Boulder says its community-wide greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by more than 15 percent in the last five years. This, according to a 2021 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report the city released last week.

The city’s climate targets, against a 2018 baseline, are to reduce emissions by 70% prior to 2030 and becoming a net-zero city by 2035. The 2021 emissions snapshot from the report says the biggest contributors to emissions come from building electrical use at 38%, on-road transportation fuels at 27%, building natural gas use at 23%, and aviation at 10%. 

Broomfield Launching Solar Co-op With The Help Of A Non-Profit 

Broomfield officials and the non-profit Solar United Neighbors have announced they are launching a solar co-op to help the community’s residents and small businesses acquire and use solar energy. The Daily Camera reports the solar co-op will aim to inform members about solar energy and will also help and solicit proposals from solar companies for members to vote on and choose to do their solar installation. 

As part of the federal Inflation Reduction Act, co-op members will also have an opportunity to take advantage of a 30% rooftop solar tax credit. Broomfield officials say the co-op is free to join and is open to homeowners and business owners in Broomfield.