It’s Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.

Welcome to your middle-of-the-week newsletter, Boulder. And a warm welcome to all our new readers. Even if Wednesday isn’t your favorite day, let’s try to at least keep it manageable with some interesting news.

For today, John Herrick has a story on the City of Boulder’s proposed 2024 budget. With Boulder facing a rising homeless population and an affordable housing crisis, it’s not surprising that a good portion is going to housing and human services. Slightly more, even, than is going to the police. Boulder PD is still getting a hefty chunk, mind you, but not enough to fully implement a plan the police chief just recently released that focuses on preventing crime before it happens rather than reacting to calls as they come in.

Also, UnitedHealthcare and Boulder Community Health have reached an agreement that will prevent coverage conundrums for more than 13,000 Boulder County residents. What impact the new agreement will have on premiums is unclear, but there is relief for many who don’t have to find a new doctor. Meanwhile, a Boulder restaurant has snagged a Michelin star.

And finally, shifting gears entirely, my dog’s breath has taken on an unusual odor recently. I can’t figure out the scent, but it’s some kind of decomposition for sure. So if you find what we’re doing here at BRL valuable, I hope you’ll help me buy him some toothpaste. By clicking the obtrusive button below, you’ll be on your way to improving a local canine’s dental health — and supporting local journalism that deeply informs and, occasionally, brings a smile to your face.

I’ll see you Friday.

— Tim

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Featured stories

Budget 2024: In a shift, City of Boulder may soon invest more in housing and human services than policing

The Boulder City Council is scheduled to begin reviewing the city manager’s proposed 2024 budget this week amid uncertainty over critical sales and property tax revenue. Continue reading…

Contract settlement ensures uninterrupted healthcare access for 13,000 Boulder area UnitedHealthcare policyholders

A multiyear agreement secures in-network for Boulder Community Health services and physicians, relieving widespread concern among many. Continue reading…

In other news

No more 90s?

Today in the 70s, tomorrow and Friday in the 60s, and only a few low 80s on the horizon? Could we have arrived at autumn relatively unscarred?

Boulder City Council to weigh in on negotiations with library district

The Boulder Public Library District’s Board of Trustees is supporting the recommendation by City of Boulder officials to transfer ownership of the city’s libraries over to the newly formed district, rather than renting the buildings from the city.

In a recent letter to the Boulder City Council, the trustees said that Colorado law has safeguards to ensure buildings are not mismanaged — including giving the city councilmembers final say over who serves as a trustee.

Moreover, the trustees said, owning the buildings makes it easier to finance maintenance and renovations. They also said a future city council may decide to not renew a leasing agreement, a possibility that could prevent the district from doing long-term planning.

“Finally, the Board of Trustees notes that false narratives were circulated during last year’s election campaign claiming that library districts are irresponsible or not to be trusted in managing our community’s beloved library system,” the letter states. “Instead, they are strictly managed and controlled under the Colorado Library Law with volunteer Trustees appointed specifically because of their love of libraries and all they can accomplish in a community.”

Councilmembers on Thursday will weigh in on the city’s negotiations with the district’s Board of Trustees. For more on the intergovernmental agreement, see our prior reporting. Read this news bite on BRL.

Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine wins Michelin Star

The inaugural Michelin Guide Colorado 2023 has been released, featuring five One Stars and four Green Stars. Notably, Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine received one of these coveted Michelin stars. Additionally, two Boulder restaurants, Blackbelly Market and Bramble & Hare, were awarded Green Stars, recognizing their commitment to environmental sustainability.

Last month, Michelin also granted a Bib Gourmand to Basta in Boulder, a distinction for restaurants offering high-quality food at moderate prices.

To learn more about Michelin’s arrival in Colorado and Boulder’s role in it, read the full story.

In that article from June, Bobby Stuckey, co-founder and master sommelier at Frasca, shared with us: “I get asked, minimum five times a week from guests, ‘Why don’t you guys have Michelin?’” Now he gets to tell them, “We do.”

Boulder Police looking for witnesses

Boulder PD is looking for witnesses in a hit-and-run incident that happened early Saturday morning. A gray Ford Focus, driven by a man allegedly under the influence and with a suspended license hit two pedestrians on the sidewalk. The victims, an 18-year-old female and a 19-year-old male, are in stable condition. Police are looking into the possibility that another crash might have involved the same driver.

Possible witnesses are encouraged to contact Officer Kaufman at 720-291-2768 or, reference case 23-09015.

Last chance for an e-bike voucher

By registering online by 5 p.m. today, Boulderites older than 18 can enter themselves for a chance to get savings up to $1,600 on a form of transport that’s both more fun and more sustainable than a car. Note that the cost for an e-bike even after the standard voucher is estimated to be around $1,000. 

The vouchers will be allocated through a lottery process, with a standard income pool in addition to one for those making under a certain income. Income-qualified recipients may get an extra $200 for safety gear.

The initiative is funded by Boulder’s Climate Tax that passed last November. For those who want to learn more, read the city’s pre-registration webpage.

BRL reported on the first round of vouchers, where Boulderites’ interest far exceeded the number available.

Gross Reservoir funds might be coming your way

The Gross Reservoir Community Impact Mitigation Fund’s Phase 1 distribution has started. Letters totaling the future payouts of $4 million were sent to a swath of eligible households in August. Due to a high volume of requests, recipients are requested to wait up to 60 days for award payments to arrive via check. More than $1 million in claims are already in the process of being paid. If you think you’re eligible for money, to ensure payment in the 2023 tax cycle, claims must be submitted by Nov. 15, 2023.

Local cannabis industry blazing towards carbon neutrality

In 2020, a joint initiative between The Cannabis Conservancy and Boulder County started a program to reduce carbon emissions. A recent report shows these efforts are working, according to the county. Since its launch, 29% of cultivators in Boulder County have adopted energy-efficient practices and utilized renewable energy sources. In the Flow, an overachieving cannabis company, has reduced their emissions an impressive 70%.

BRL understands what it means to be local. If you want to reach the most engaged audience in Boulder, contact Stacy Feldman, our publisher, at

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: