January 26, 2023
Boulder County Democrats Hold Virtual Forum For HD 12 Candidates
Boulder County Democrats held a virtual candidate forum Wednesday evening for the four contenders for the party’s appointment to House District 12, a seat left vacant by former Democratic state Rep. Tracey Bernett. Bernett resigned on the eve of the legislative session. She’s facing criminal charges for allegedly lying about the location of her residence in order to run for re-election after the state’s independent redistricting commission changed the boundaries of the district.
The four candidates competing for the vacant seat are former Congressman David Skaggs, Superior Trustee Jennifer Kaaoush, Lafayette resident Alfredo Alvarado, and Louisville City Council member Kyle Brown.
The vacancy committee of House District 12 Democrats will vote on a new representative this Saturday at 1:00 PM.
CU Boulder Study Links Prenatal Pollution Exposure To Lower Cognitive Scores
A CU Boulder study published in the journal Environmental Health found prenatal exposure to air pollutants has adverse effects on infant cognitive development. The new research from the University of Colorado Boulder followed over 160 Latino mother-infant pairs from Southern California, tracking the effects of pollutants on child development. The research found just under 20% of the infants exposed to high levels of air pollution in their second and third trimesters showed significant cognitive impairment. These infants displayed lowered cognition, motor controls and delays in language and communication skills.
Lead researcher Tanya Alderete told the CU Boulder Today that she recommends pregnant mothers avoid air pollutants to “give their child the best start possible.”
The multi-year study focuses on residents of Southern Calif., but its findings are relevant to residents of the Denver Metro and Northern Front Range corridor.
Federal regulators have found air quality in this region to be out of compliance with Clean Air Act standards for over a decade. Of those exposed, the most highly impacted by the pollutants are often low income communities of color.
Colorado Senate Committee Clears Bill Aiming To Facilitate Affordable Housing On State-Owned Land
Legislation that aims to facilitate development of affordable housing on state-owned land cleared the Senate Local Government and Housing Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 6 to 1. Senate Bill 23-1 calls for the allocation of $13 million to a fund that will test the concept and allow the state’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Collaboration Unit to broker real-estate transactions between the state and developers.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Dylan Roberts, a Democrat from Avon, told the committee the bill addresses land cost, which is one of the biggest barriers to more affordable housing.
According to Colorado Newsline, funding from the bill will allow the Colorado Department of Transportation to clear land in Vail so developers can break ground on a stalled project to build 80 units of workforce housing.
The legislation will go before the Appropriations Committee next.
RTD Hosting Two Open Houses On Northwest Rail Peak Service Study
The Regional Transportation District will host two open houses in the coming weeks to provide the public with information about the Northwest Rail Peak Service Study, which will evaluate a proposed commuter rail line between Longmont and Denver. The agency says the study will examine costs to upgrade existing track, develop rail stations, and how to provide service during peak hours for the line that would serve Arvada, Westminster, Broomfield, Louisville, Boulder and Longmont.
RTD Study Manager Patrick Stanley stated in a press release that the agency has faced challenges in making the rail line a reality such as escalating costs, evolving train operation requirements, and constraints, but says RTD remains committed to bring a rail solution to the northwest area.
RTD’s first open house will occur next week, Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Hampton Inn & Suites Boulder-North. The second open house will occur Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Westminster City Park Recreation Center. Both events run from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Community members unable to attend the open house events can access a self-guided meeting at the RTD website from Jan. 31 through Feb. 21.
FRCC Receives Child Care Grant To Assist Parents In Attending College
Front Range Community College is receiving $1.45 million in grant money from the Department of Education to help parents finish their degrees. The grant will go towards the Child Care Access Means Program for supporting students enrolled at FRCC who are also parents. Students with children will be eligible to receive a portion of the grant money covering up to 60% of their monthly child care costs during the school year.
The CCAM program was originally founded in 2018 to support financial stability for students and their families and to keep student parents enrolled. Front Range Community College projects the grant funds will last up to four years while helping to cover childcare expenses for over 150 student parents.
Boulder Unitarian Church Holding Donation Drive To Support Migrants Arriving In Colorado
Boulder’s Unitarian Church at 5001 Pennsylvania Ave. will be accepting donated items as a mutual aid effort for migrants staying in emergency shelters and refugees arriving in Colorado. The donation drive event starts this evening from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. and will run Friday evening from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. and on Saturday from 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Organizers are asking for new and gently used items that include duffel bags, backpacks, men’s winter and work clothes, men’s boots with sizes ranging from seven to 10, and new or unopened items such as toiletries, socks, underwear and shower sandals.