Good morning!

We have lots of reporting for you today, on the businesses that are quietly working to bring back a local live music scene; the Spanish translation of our story on BVSD’s school punishment rates; updates on the Boulder-originated First Amendment lawsuit wending its way through the courts, plus the ACLU’s suit against the city; and much more. But first…

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— Stacy, publisher

What to know today

  • A wee bit chilly, eh?: In the 60s? What is this, autumn? And some rain for the next two days? Perhaps pumpkins are upon us.
  • Boulder shelter hires new CEO: The 40-year-old Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, the largest homeless services organization in Boulder County, has hired Greg Morris as the organization’s new CEO starting Oct. 3, 2022. Morris has led nonprofits providing homelessness services and served as the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho. He will replace Spencer Downing, who has served as interim director since October 2021.
    • “The Boulder Shelter’s strategic emphasis on moving more people into permanent supportive housing is what drew me to the organization,” Morris said in a news release. “Addressing homelessness is one of the biggest civil and human rights challenges of our time, and alongside other critical partners, we need to rise to meet this moment with urgency, compassion and unwavering resolve.”
  • Boulder asks court to dismiss ACLU lawsuit: The City of Boulder wants the Boulder County District Court to dismiss claims brought against Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Colorado. The suit aims to halt enforcement of the city’s camping ban, which makes sleeping in public spaces illegal.
    • In a court filing on Sept. 16, city attorneys argued police have discretion in how they enforce criminal laws, and that legal precedent does not allow the courts to “prescribe how that discretion must be exercised” without “running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers.” The argument comes in response to an Aug. 26 order by the court asking parties in the lawsuit to file briefs on the extent to which the court can decide policy questions. The ACLU, which sued the city over its camping ban on May 26, has not yet filed a brief in response to the order.
  • City welcomes older adults back to the East Age Well Center: After closing for the Covid-19 pandemic, the beloved community center is open again. The partial reopening gives older adult community members access to programs and services at two locations in Boulder, the East Age Well Center and the West Age Well Center.
    • “The city’s Age Well Centers are dedicated to serving the educational, social and fitness needs of older adults in our community,” the city’s website says. “Older Adult Services (OAS) supports adults 60 and older and their family caregivers through community connection, learning and play.”
    • The closure of the East Age Well Center highlighted the disproportionate toll of the pandemic on older adults. Programs offered at the East Age Well Center include drop-in fitness classes, Tai Chi and dance. A full list of services and programs will be available on the city’s website.
  • Local organizer defends his Twitter actions: Eric Budd, a local political organizer (who wears a name tag with his Twitter handle on it), defended his decision to create a Twitter account with the name of the council candidate he worked to oppose in the 2021 election. Dubbing it an “innocuous political action,” Budd argued his actions are protected under the First Amendment right to free speech.
    • The opening brief is Budd’s latest defense to a lawsuit by former city council candidate Steve Rosenblum. Rosenblum sued several high-profile organizers for conspiring to spread defamatory statements after they published links to a blog that contained statements erroneously attributed to Rosenblum. 
    • The case is pending before the Colorado Court of Appeals and could have major implications for free speech rights and campaign tactics in local elections.
    • Budd’s legal filing comes after other organizers made their case to have the lawsuit dismissed. Budd, who created a Twitter account under the name “@steveforboulder” and posted a link to an anonymous blog that criticized Rosenblum, faces a separate allegation of misappropriating Rosenblum’s name and likeness.
    • Citing a 2001 Colorado Supreme Court case, Budd argued that Rosenblum’s claim should be thrown out because Budd did not gain “a personal benefit from the creation of the Twitter account” and that his “conduct was privileged under the First Amendment.” Budd cited several court rulings on issues related to Instagram and Twitter accounts impersonating other people, arguing “no reasonable person could infer that candidate Rosenblum actually endorsed the content of a blog that harshly criticized Rosenblum’s character and fitness for office, even going as far as to liken Rosenblum to white supremacists.”
    • Rosenblum’s attorneys have requested an extension to file a response to the brief until Nov. 23, 2022. A judge on Tuesday granted the request.
  • Boulder County offers funding for Zero Waste programs: Boulder County is allocating up to $15,000 per project — whether for reuse, recycling or composting — for its 2023 Zero Waste Funding Program. “Zero Waste Funding provides an opportunity for businesses and organizations to contribute to Boulder County’s vision of becoming a zero-waste community.” 
    • Applications must be received by 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022 to be considered. Project funding will begin in January 2023. The minimum amount available is $1,000.
  • Igniting climate action through music: The City of Boulder and the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra are “teaming up to inspire climate action through art.” The philharmonic’s opening night will feature pieces that explore the consequences of unmitigated climate change. The performance will take place on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at CU’s Macky Auditorium. Tickets are available online.
    • “We should be looking to harness the power of music for the benefits it can offer in facing some of the world’s most urgent problems,” said Boulder Climate Initiatives Director Jonathan Koehn. “The arts are an incredible medium to bring people together and inspire action. We hope that Boulder Phil’s performance will evoke a sense of urgency and hope – emotions that are essential to build a better climate future.”

Go deeper

Boulder used to have a live music scene where local artists could gain a foothold. Businesses are working to bring it back.

In the 1970s and 80s, Boulder was a hub for up-and-coming musicians. Tulagi, which the Fox Theatre bought nearly two decades ago, famously hosted one of The Eagles’ first shows in 1971, before the Los Angeles band released its debut album.

Today, the Fox Theatre and Boulder Theater — the city’s biggest concert venues — host mostly larger, nationally touring acts. And in recent years, Boulder was down to a handful of performance venues for local musicians.

That left bars as the only informal settings for local live music, and those venues have been disappearing — Lazy Dog, Bohemian Biergarten’s music space, No Name Bar and Supermoon all shuttered recently.  

But a resurgence of venues that cater to area bands and DJs is quietly underway.

Continue reading…

Nuevos datos sugieren que la disparidad de suspensiones entre los estudiantes latinos de Boulder High es la mayor en BVSD

El Distrito Escolar del Valle de Boulder publicó por primera vez un tablero informativo con datos a nivel escuela de las tasas disciplinarias de los estudiantes.

Continue reading…

A BRL Presenting Partner sponsor

The menus are live and First Bite diners are clamoring for reservations for the upcoming 10 days of culinary creativity in Boulder, Sept. 30 – Oct. 9. The 17th annual dining event will highlight over 30 locally owned restaurants in Boulder County, each offering menus that fit the dining style of their establishment. Diners can also celebrate the dining scene through a new industry award and preview tours. Learn more at First Bite.

BRL picks

🚶 Boulder Walks seeks volunteers: Boulder Walks is “a city program that provides opportunities for neighbors to connect with each other and the places they live.” It also gives community members a way to engage in pedestrian planning activities. An Older Adult Walk Leader Training will be held this fall. If you’re interested in becoming a walk leader, contact Whitney Garcia, program manager for Older Adult Services, at or 303-441-4915.

📚 ‘Less Is Lost’: Andrew Sean Greer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Less,” has a sequel coming out, called “Less Is Lost.” He’ll be in Boulder for the only Colorado stop on his book tour on Thursday, Sept. 22, at Boulder Pubic Library’s Canyon Theater. Arsen Kashkashian and Maeve Conran will interview him for the BBS and KGNU Bookclub Show. Tickets are $10.

🎃 Longmont Oktoberfest: Longmont Oktoberfest is back, Saturday, Sept. 24 at The Garden at Left Hand Brewing Company. Attendees can expect brews, live music, and local food vendors every evening with special Oktoberfest-themed activities and all-day music on both Saturday and Sunday. 

🍁 Anderson Farms fall festival: Anderson Farms is hosting its annual Fall Festival. Admission includes activities such as a 30-acre corn maze, hay ride to the pumpkin patch, pumpkin launching, and more. For those who enjoy being scared, after dark Anderson Farms hosts Zombie Paintball Hunt, a unique paintball experience where you shoot zombies throughout the cornfield while riding on a zombie wagon. Or, check out Terror in the Corn, Anderson Farms’ haunted hayride, cornfield and ghost town experience.

Covid in Boulder County: Sept. 21, 2022

  • 105 daily new cases (7-day avg.) Down 13% over preceding 7-day avg.
  • 8 patients hospitalized with Covid (7-day avg.) Down from a high of 16 last week.
  • 56% percent of ICU is occupied. Down from avg. of 66% since July 2020.


Tim Drugan

Tim Drugan covers wildfires, water and other climate change-related issues for Boulder Reporting Lab 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.