It’s Monday, August 21, 2023.

Welcome back to Monday, Boulder. I swear, it seems like just a week since we were last here.

For today, our wonderful summer intern, Hope Munoz, has two stories as her last hurrah before heading back to school.

First, she covers the city’s ongoing effort to revitalize University Hill. Through a 2013 ordinance aimed at reducing alcohol overconsumption and effects on “commercial investments,” the City of Boulder seems to have inadvertently hindered the economic feasibility of being a bar on the Hill, and also may have pushed drinking into house parties, causing conflicts with non-student residents. Several on the city council now want to roll back the ordinance. “Why are we making it so impossible for them to succeed?” asked one councilmember.

Then, Hope offers her final roundup of the summer, letting you know what you should get up to in town this week. Finally, city council will discuss what to do with Boulder’s municipal airport this week. Leave it as is? Develop housing there? Catch up on John Herrick’s coverage to get up to speed.

I hope the day treats you well.

— Tim, reporter

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Featured stories

City Councilmembers take aim at restrictive liquor laws to help revitalize University Hill

The conversation over the liquor ordinance is part of a larger, multiyear effort led by Boulder’s Community Vitality Department to revitalize the Hill. Continue reading…

This week in Boulder: Melanin Funk Festival, Taco Fest and the Great Boulder Duck Race

Other events include the Boulder Vintage Bicycle Swap & Show, a NedFest ‘Family Reunion,’ and the third-annual Community Roots Festival. Continue reading…

ICYMI: ‘Once-in-a-forever opportunity’: Boulder residents weigh in on repurposing airport for housing

The general aviation airport, dating back to 1928, covers more than 179 acres northeast of the city. Some want it redeveloped for housing. The city will be presenting an update to city council on its airport community conversations on Thursday, Aug. 24. Continue reading…

Boulder Reporting Lab is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization that empowers our community through non-partisan, locally focused journalism that informs and connects.

In other news

Hot and dry

The heat keeps increasing and the humidity keeps dropping. If the forecast is to be believed, Thursday thunderstorms will break the heat. Until then, iced tea is a good choice.

Chipping events coming to Boulder County

Wildfire Partners, a Boulder County initiative that helps homeowners identify areas of wildfire risk, is now helping people mitigate that risk. Through a countywide chipping initiative, Wildfire Partners is offering services for slash and brush disposal for those who qualify.

A minimum of five participants are needed for a neighborhood to be approved for the program. But once they are, the county will provide slash removal on a scheduled day. Check out the Wildfire Partners website for more details, or just go ahead and apply if you’re confident in yourself. You can also request a formal visit from Wildfire Partners as before. BRL previously reported on the topic and profiled a Boulderite with a Wildfire Partners’ certified home.

Xcel rate hike coming

Xcel Energy’s Colorado customers will see a $4 increase in their monthly electricity bills from Sept. 1, after the Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved a $96 million rate hike — equal to a 4.4% increase — that will affect over 1.6 million electricity consumers. The increase, aimed at covering prior investments and retiring coal-fired power plants, follows a $182 million increase in April 2022 and a natural gas rate rise in November 2023, CPR reported.

Although much smaller than the initial request of $312 million, the hike raises questions about who should fund the shift away from coal to meet climate targets. The City of Boulder opposed the deal, citing excessive shareholder returns.

Police make arrest after stabbing

On Friday, Boulder PD quickly arrested a suspect following a stabbing in front of the municipal building on Canyon and Broadway. Officers were able to respond within minutes as they were on foot patrol nearby, and applied a tourniquet to the victim. With the help of witnesses, officers identified the suspect and arrested him in Central Park. The victim suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital for surgery.

A friendly reminder: Free tulips coming your way!

If you thought a 50% off sale was good, what would you think if I told you there’s going to be flowers 100% off this Wednesday? Would that blow your mind?

Consider your mind blown. On Aug. 23, the City of Boulder Parks and Rec Department is partnering with 10 downtown businesses — including Ana’s Art Gallery and OZO Coffee Company — to distribute free bags of tulip bulbs. The tradition that dates back to the 1970s aims to maintain spring blooms on the Pearl Street Mall that are so much prettier than dirt patches. 

The bulbs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, with only one bag per family. If you’re willing to donate, anything you give will benefit the PLAY Boulder Foundation.

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Tim Drugan is the climate and environment reporter for Boulder Reporting Lab, covering wildfires, water and other related topics. He is also the lead writer of BRL Today, our morning newsletter. Email: