It’s Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.

Good morning, Boulder. I hope your week is going swimmingly.

For today, John Herrick has a story on University Hill’s liquor laws. This Thursday, City Council will decide whether to relax regulations that aimed to curb partying and drinking among CU students, but according to critics has instead just hurt businesses in an already struggling area of Boulder. Implemented in 2013, the regulations require businesses with liquor licenses to generate at least half their revenue from food and close by 11 p.m. Yet these regulations that tried to “punish students,” as Councilmember Matt Benjamin said, has had the side effect of causing the Hill to “die a slow death,” as Councilmember Tara Winer said.

Also, Jessica Mordacq has a story about a new coffee shop that might quell some of the sadness North Boulderites feel at the potential loss of Logan’s Espresso Cafe. Ruzo Coffee will take over the space previously used by Cilantro Mexican Restaurant. The landlord for the area wouldn’t renew the lease for either Logan’s or Cilantro. With a tentative opening on Jan. 5 2024, Ruzo Coffee is being run by 20-year-old twin brothers.

Lastly, the city has received the highest number of applicants for its food tax rebate program in at least five years.

Have a tremendous day. I’ll see you Friday.

— Tim

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Featured stories

Boulder City Council to decide whether to repeal University Hill’s ‘discriminatory’ liquor laws

The rules were intended to curb drinking and partying in the student neighborhood. But they may also hurt businesses in an area that is ‘dying a slow death.’ This decision will likely be the current council’s last major policy decision before a new council is sworn in on Dec. 7. Continue reading…

Ruzo Coffee steps in to fill void after beloved Logan’s Espresso Cafe’s expected closure in North Boulder

Jordan and Matthew McDaniel, 20-year-old twin brothers who grew up in North Boulder, will open Ruzo for business in January 2024, in the shopping center anchored by Lucky’s Market. The space is two doors from Logan’s Espresso Cafe that is expected to close at the end of the year. Continue reading…

ICYMI: South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project moves forward, but faces permitting and open space allocation challenges 

After voters rejected a ballot measure in the 2022 election that would have halted the South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project at the CU South property, what is the project’s status a year later?

City staff now need the approval of the Open Space Board of Trustees to “dispose” of about five acres of open space for constructing the project’s flood wall. The project, more than two decades in the making, is the top priority in the city’s effort to protect residents from catastrophic flooding. 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

A slow descent into winter

60s for the next few days lead into the 50s, which lead into the 40s. Clouds will stumble hither and thither across the sky until they finally drop some water on Sunday and Monday.

City receives the most applicants for the food tax rebate in years

The city’s food tax rebate program offers a sales tax rebate for qualified lower-income residents. This year, the rebate was $99 for individuals and $302 for families, according to the city.

The city received 1,241 applications for the rebate this year, according to a recent city staff memo. That is the most applications since at least 2019 and one of the largest year-over-year increases in the history of the program, according to city officials.

This was the first year the city accepted applications from residents regardless of their residency status, in accordance with a 2021 Colorado law that sought to remove barriers for public benefits. The demand may also be an indication of the rising need for financial assistance among the city’s residents.

“Additionally, the ending or reduction of related government support such as rent assistance and expanded SNAP benefits increased the need for financial relief in our community considering high levels of inflation,” officials wrote in the memo.

Apply by this Friday for guaranteed income pilot

The pilot program, called Elevate Boulder, will give 200 Boulder families $500 a month for two years. Applications close this Friday for those who qualify. If you’re 18, make between 30 and 60% of the area’s median income and faced a Covid-19 hardship, you should consider throwing your hat in the ring. The money comes with no strings attached for those who end up receiving it.

Funding for the pilot comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, and is one of more than two dozen that are already in place across the United States. The goal of guaranteed income is to provide stability for those who are struggling even with the current social services in place.

King Soopers shooter trial begins; new detail ‘speaks to his brutality’

At a preliminary trial that began on Tuesday, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the man who killed 10 people in 2021 at the South Boulder King Soopers, submitted a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. A detective called by Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty walked through the events of the shooting and said that Alissa targeted moving targets inside the King Soopers during his rampage, CPR reported. He would pass over those who had laid on the floor to try and shoot those attempting to escape.

“People were running, people were hiding and then he moved in with the intent to kill,” Dougherty also told the judge. “He wasn’t simply shooting the store with bullets … It speaks to his brutality but also his aim, intent and focus.”

After a long wait because Alissa was not deemed competent to stand trial, a three-week trial is scheduled to begin next summer. He is being held at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo under a bond of $100 million.

Tamale Fair this weekend

This Saturday, Boulder County’s Latino Chamber of Commerce is hosting a celebration of “yummy Tamales” complete with an “adrenaline pumping” wrestling match and live music. Taking place at the Longmont Museum, the event starts at noon and goes until 7 p.m. Electric vehicles will also be available to look at and drive, just make sure to wipe your hands from tamale juice so you don’t get it on the steering wheel.

Lafayette yard clean up – reminder

If you live in Lafayette north of Baseline Road and West of Highway 287, and also those living west of Highway 287 north and south of Baseline Road, the city is providing a curbside clean-up program that will be coming your way this Saturday. By the curb, you can leave:

  • Up to 20 Kraft paper bags of yard waste (leaves, grass clippings, plants, etc.).
  • Up to five bundles of shrubbery and tree limbs cut to four feet in length and no more than 18 inches in diameter and tied with twine or rope.

The city says you should have the waste on the curb by 7 a.m. lest you miss the truck.

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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: