It’s Monday, Oct. 23, 2023.

Good Monday to you, Boulder. I hope your weekend was everything you hoped it would be.

First off, thank you to all who came to our mayoral debate at Trident last Wednesday, including the candidates. And thank you to KGNU for handling all the amplification needs. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.

Credit: Chloe Anderson

For today, John Herrick has a story on the 2A ballot measure. The measure, if approved, would provide significantly more funding for local nonprofits that work in the arts than they’ve had previously. But opponents worry that by earmarking money for the arts, the city will have less to spend at its discretion on other services, like homelessness services. Not a new sales tax, the measure would extend an existing .15% sales tax for another 20 years starting in 2025. John also covers the latest on the Police Oversight Panel, including a resignation that happened on Friday.

Also, the star on Flagstaff Mountain is coming back soon, but as was the case last year, don’t go near it. Years of people having fun and visiting the light have caused extensive erosion that ruined it for the rest of us. There are also animals in the area that would prefer to be left alone.

Finally, ballots have been mailed, making it the perfect time to head on over to our voter guide. See the link below.

Enjoy the day.

— Tim

P.S. Did someone forward you this email? Subscribe here.

BRL Today newsletter sponsor

Don’t miss Colorado Poet Laureate Andrea Gibson, actor Betty Hart, and special video messages by best-selling authors Michael Connelly and Gillian Flynn, at Boulder Library Foundation’s fundraising gala, Oct. 26. Witness the stories of lives forever changed by library programming. Buy your tickets today!

Featured stories

Ballot Issue 2A: A bold pitch to more than double funding for the arts in Boulder

The measure would boost funding for local nonprofits. But opponents say it would limit discretionary spending on other needs, such as homelessness services or another climate or public health emergency. Continue reading…

Boulder City Council approves overhaul of Police Oversight Panel’s rules and appointments

The most significant change gives the city manager the authority to appoint new members to the 11-member panel. Previously, Boulder City Council appointed members to the panel. The public hearing on Oct. 19 generated few fireworks. But the decision by the city council to not consider recommended tweaks to the ordinance prompted the resignation of one of the panel’s co-chairs. 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

Cool coming

Today will be warm, but if you give the forecast credence it’s the last day that we’ll reach the high 70s for some time. Indeed, snow showers may be coming before the month is out. But sun will surround that snow, as this is Colorado, and that’s what we’re about.

The Boulder City Council unanimously approves a $515.3 million budget for 2024

Earlier this year, City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde recommended a 2024 budget that signaled a slight shift in priorities, proposing to spend more money on human services than on policing, perhaps for the first time in the city’s history. (We reported on this last month.)

The 2024 budget represents a slight increase in terms of operating expenses, even though the overall spending is lower than last year’s approved budget due to an accounting change related to bond proceeds.

Before approving the budget, councilmembers made several relatively minor tweaks, including adding an additional $500,000 for pavement management, $103,000 for pay raises related to the downtown ambassador program, $30,000 for underpass lighting and maintenance, and $10,000 in one-time spending for the community connectors program. Councilmember Nicole Speer proposed cutting the city’s roughly $3 million budget designated for clearing out encampments of homeless people and spending this money on restroom facilities, incentives for people to pick up trash, expanding shelter capacity and providing emergency assistance. Speer’s proposal failed to gain the support of a majority of councilmembers. 

New fitness court coming to North Boulder Park

This Friday, Oct. 27, is the grand opening of the new fitness court in North Boulder Park. Part of a larger remodeling process, the court replaces the old fitness area that sat just south of the playground. Where the old fitness area once was will be an expansion of playground space, as a playground overhaul is coming soon. The new playground, the city says, will host equipment for kids aged 2 to 12, while the fitness court is for those 14 and older.

The park’s bathrooms have also been updated with heated floors and better plumbing that lets them be used year-round.

Next steps for North Boulder Park is a “teen area,” opportunities for “nature play” and the aforementioned playground renovation. Also associated with the park is coming stormwater improvements. In large rain events, water tends to pool at 9th and Balsam — the intersection bordering North Boulder park to the east. The pooling water is part of Upper Goose Creek, which the City of Boulder Stormwater Utility has made a top priority for flood mitigation. The project was approved by city council in May to move into a more detailed design phase.

“When we get a high-intensity thunderstorm, water tends to pond up there,” said Joe Taddeucci, the city’s director of utilities. “That is exactly what those projects are intending to address.”

The star is coming back, the city says stay away

On Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, the star on Flagstaff Mountain will be lit as it is each year. A tribute to active and former members of the armed services, the star also helps Boulderites deal with the days that, though already seeming quite short, will only get shorter for another couple months.

This year marks the 75th that the star has been lit, and though gatherings used to take place under the bulbs strung amongst the trees, the city has put its foot down on that fun. Because the star is on steep terrain, all the people visiting it over the years caused substantial erosion. Their presence also disturbed wildlife that was already disturbed by the hundreds of strange lights strung throughout their habitat. Those poor owls. Our light is wreaking havoc on their circadian rhythms.

Look out for those ballots

Ballots were mailed by the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder last Monday, so you should either already have your ballot or be getting it soon. If you’re wondering how to fill yours out, allow me to point you towards BRL’s handy dandy voter guide. We don’t tell you how to vote, but we give you all the information you need to be informed when you do.

If you’re mailing your ballot back, make sure it’s in the mail by Oct. 30. But if you’re a procrastinator, no worries. You have until Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. to get your ballot into one of the many drop boxes around the city.

BRL Today newsletter sponsor

Celebrate Boulder County’s restaurant scene with 10 days of fresh fall menus, creative specials, and foodie events! Head to to explore menus and make your reservations today

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: