It’s Friday, June 2, 2023.

It’s Friday, Boulder. Thank goodness. I hate Saturdays.

For today, I cover the water rights of towns in and around Boulder County. The way water rights in Colorado work, it pays to be old. Lafayette, Louisville and Boulder all have established rights to local sources. Younger towns, however, like Erie and Superior, rely almost entirely on water from the Colorado River.

The question I had was, what if the Colorado River becomes an unreliable source for the Front Range? Will these older towns share their water with younger ones who will be hurting? As things currently stand, probably not.

Also, a lawsuit has been filed over the removal of Lisa Sweeney-Miran from the Police Oversight Panel. And e-bikes are coming to a trail near you.

Lastly, there are many new subscribers joining us here. Thanks for reading. We appreciate it.

Enjoy your weekend. Or Sunday at least.

— Tim, reporter

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Featured stories

Boulder County cities and towns pursue solutions to future Colorado River shortages, on their own

Boulder and Louisville have senior rights to local creeks, making them less reliant on the diminishing Colorado River. Others aren’t as lucky, however. An “every city for itself” approach still prevails. Continue reading…

Police Oversight Panel dispute heads to county court

News bite: Darren O’Connor, a Boulder-based lawyer and member of NAACP Boulder County, filed a lawsuit in Boulder County District Court on Thursday, alleging the Boulder City Council “exceeded their jurisdiction or abused their discretion” when it voted to remove a member from the volunteer-led Police Oversight Panel earlier this year. Continue reading…

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In other news

Down to the 60s, but still thunderstorms

This must be some kind of streak, at least for the time I’ve lived here. I can’t remember another year with this many thunderstorms. We’ll be enjoying temps in the 60s through the weekend with, as I alluded to, thunderstorms throughout. Careful with those lightning rods.

E-bikes are coming to Boulder open space trails

The Boulder City Council voted 7-0 last night to repeal the city’s prohibition on riding electric bikes on certain open space trails. Councilmember Rachel Friend abstained due to conflict of interest. Councilmember Mark Wallach was absent.

The decision will allow Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks to designate certain trails, covering roughly 34 miles, as permissible for class one and two e-bikes. Read more on BRL. And check out our previous coverage here.

City Council adjusts the 2023 budget

The Boulder City Council on Thursday approved a $31 million adjustment to the city’s $513.5 million 2023 budget. This adjustment is made by shuffling money around within the existing budget and allocating some additional revenue from taxes and grants.

Big line items include $5 million for the day services center for homeless people, $5.6 million for the Alpine-Balsam development — where the city plans to build city offices and affordable housing — and $1 million to cover cost overruns on the Colorado Ave. and 30th Street underpass project.

The city council also approved spending $150,000 on city’s rental assistance and eviction prevention program. In recent months, city officials have had to adjust how much money it gives to households due to high demand for help paying rent and limited funds. For more on that, check out our previous reporting.

Boulder’s buildings with LGBTQ+ history

With June being Pride Month, it’s worth noting that many buildings downtown have significant ties to the LGBTQ+ community.

  • 1332-1334 Pearl St. housed the Boulder Community Women’s Center in 1972, serving as a safe space for gay women and hosting support groups.
  • The Armory Building at 934 Pearl St., from 1988 to 1990, housed the offices of the Boulder County AIDS Project, providing essential services for those affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • The Boulder County Courthouse at 1325 Pearl St. was where, in 1975, Boulder County Clerk Clela Rorex issued the country’s first legally administered marriage licenses to a same-sex couple.

Louisville has a new chief of police

Rafael Gutierrez took over as Louisville’s new chief of police on May 30. Formerly the deputy chief of police for Greeley, Gutierrez brings 27 years of law enforcement experience. He holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Gutierrez’s stated priorities include establishing better emergency response programs. “I empathize with the Marshall Fire survivors and see the significant impact the fire had on the entire community. I will take an active role in helping to make the community whole again.”

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Boulder poised to allow electric bikes on certain open space trails. City councilmembers are expected to approve a plan that would allow e-bikes on at least 34 miles of open space.

Popular food truck Saucy Cluckers opens brick-and-mortar restaurant near Pearl Street. The new restaurant will serve its plant-based ‘chicken’ wings and more, bringing vegan comfort food downtown starting June 3. ‘It seems to have filled a bit of a niche.’

Boulder police officers shot and killed a man near Baseline Road. The fatal shooting is being investigated by the Boulder County Investigation Team, a group of law enforcement officials from other jurisdictions.

Boulder eyes paid leave program for seasonal and part-time workers. The paid leave proposal comes after the city council opted out of the state’s paid family leave program, which would have provided 12 weeks of paid time off to all employees.

Another Boulder resident files code of conduct complaint related to Police Oversight Panel. The complaint against the Police Oversight Panel is the 11th conduct complaint filed this year, as some residents have started using the legal process to voice a wide range of grievances.

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: