It’s Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023.

Here we are at another Wednesday, Boulder, cruising towards a long weekend.

For today, Sally Bell has a story on Boulder Community Health and its contract dispute with UnitedHealthcare. Unless the two organizations find an understanding that changes the current trajectory, on Oct. 1, some 18,000 BCH patients could be paying out-of-pocket for services they currently have covered. The lack of an agreement stems from rising healthcare costs thanks to the Covid pandemic, inflation and overtime payments for overworked staff.

Also, an incident involving a CU student this past weekend gained lots of traction on Reddit and Nextdoor, but verifying any of the facts has proven difficult. A student, someone posted on Reddit, was stabbed downtown by a “transient.” Yet Boulder PD put out a statement that quickly made the incident seem less severe. And as BRL looked into the case with the help of the CU Independent, even basic information made itself elusive.

Lastly, Michelin’s first Bib Gourmand awards for Colorado are here — and a Boulder restaurant made the list.

Have a great day, and another great one tomorrow. I’ll see you Friday.

— Tim

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Featured stories

Critical deadline looms: 18,000 UnitedHealthcare-insured patients at Boulder Community Health face potential disruption in care starting October 1

A monthslong contract dispute has sparked patient concern over medical access and costs as the two parties struggle to reach agreement. “We’re all under red alert,” said a retired BVSD teacher insured under a UHC plan. Continue reading…

Was a CU Boulder student stabbed downtown last week? Here’s what we know and don’t know

University officials said they’re “aware of an incident” involving a student. The Boulder Police Department is now referring to it as an “altercation,” in which someone was cut – not stabbed – and driven to the hospital by friends. The case details matter in part because they could influence narratives leading up to the city’s November election. Continue reading…

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In other news

A bit more heat for those who want it

Temps will be in the 90s for the rest of the week. So despite crisp mornings that have hinted at fall, this heat should stave off the Halloween decorations that grocery stores are threatening to put out any day now.

Boulder gets another $4M to boost street safety for cyclists and walkers

Boulder has secured $4 million from the federal Transportation Improvement Program for improvements on Folsom and 30th Streets. In total, the city has gotten $14.7 million for projects from that program over the last year.

Specifically, the new funds will pay for:

  • 30th Street improvements, from Colorado to Aurora Avenues, to build protected bike lanes and improve infrastructure for buses and pedestrians.
  • Folsom Street improvements, from Pine Street to Colorado Avenue, to finish a preliminary design and community engagement to improve north-south connectivity.

Colorado’s inaugural Michelin Guide includes one restaurant in Boulder so far

On Tuesday, Michelin announced the first restaurants to be a part of its inaugural Michelin Guide Colorado. It awarded Bib Gourmands to Basta in Boulder and eight Denver eateries, including Ash’Kara. (Ash’Kara’s Boulder location closed suddenly in July.) Unlike the guide’s highly coveted Michelin stars for fine-dining restaurants, the Bib Gourmands are awarded to those with high-quality food sold at more moderate prices. Italian restaurant Basta, which opened in 2010, is profiled here.

Michelin revealed in June, as BRL reported, that its restaurant guide would be coming to the Centennial State for the first time. Over the last several months, inspectors have been anonymously dining at spots around Denver, Boulder, Aspen and Snowmass Village, Vail and Beaver Creek. The company will award Michelin stars to additional Colorado restaurants at an invite-only ceremony in Denver on Sept. 12.

While we’ll have to wait and see which, if any, of Boulder’s fine-dining establishments make the cut, some restaurant owners we’ve talked to think Corrida, Flagstaff House, Frasca, Oak at Fourteenth and Steakhouse No. 316 are in the running.

Labor Day closures

On Monday, Sept. 4, administrative facilities, public libraries and Age Well Centers will be closed in Boulder for the federal holiday. Scott Carpenter Pool’s lap lanes, however, will remain open, as will the Spruce Pool and the Boulder Reservoir. Flatirons Golf Course will be open for golfing — what it’s known for — and Open Space and Mountain Parks trails will remain accessible.

Participate in wildfire protection planning

On Aug. 30 at 6 p.m., a Boulder County Community Wildfire Protection Plan open house will be held at the Erie Open Space Building. Those who attend will have the opportunity to offer input for the 2024 CWPP Update and learn wildfire protection strategies. The plan will inform how county official prioritize mitigation projects and enact that mitigation. For those unable to attend, participation is possible through the an online survey.

Improv theater to commemorate 2013 flood

On Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, Motus Theater, an improvisational playback theater group, will put on “Stories of the Flood.” The performance will recount some stories from the 2013 floods by reenacting audience-shared narratives. Improv artists hope to capture the disaster’s drama, resilience and community spirit to promote healing for the past and preparedness for the future.

“Climate change will continue to intensify natural disasters,” said Kirsten Wilson, Motus Theater’s artistic director. “Our hope is that these stories can inspire, evoke empathy, occasionally even humor, and serve as a stark reminder of the power of community, as well as share insights into what we can do differently when responding to future natural disasters.”

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Tim Drugan is the climate and environment reporter for Boulder Reporting Lab, covering wildfires, water and other climate-related issues for Boulder with a focus on explanatory and solutions journalism. He also is the lead writer of BRL Today, our morning newsletter. Tim grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from UNH with a degree in English/Journalism. Email: