Good Wednesday to you, Boulder. I hope you’re doing well.

Today, John Herrick breaks down the implications of the library district measure passing. City council is already gearing up to discuss which of their cohorts they want serving on the committee that will appoint the library district’s first trustees. The trustees, chosen by the committee, which is chosen by council and Boulder County commissioners, will oversee the new library system and, over the next year, will hash out how to operate the expansion. (Check out the near-final election results, race by race, if you missed our special edition newsletter yesterday, and our ongoing election coverage.)

Also, there are many opportunities to get involved in the Boulder community this winter. You can dress up like someone from the 1800s, or you can just shovel a bus stop. Both are important, one just has a higher risk of injuring your back.

Thanks for reading. We do appreciate it.

— Tim, reporter

What to know today

Sun today, snow tomorrow: In the 40s today with mostly sun. Tomorrow, temps drop into the 20s as snow drops from the sky.

Lime e-scooters in Boulder here to stay? City transportation officials are recommending allowing e-scooters across the entire city, with some restrictions. In a presentation to the city’s Transportation Advisory Board on Monday, city officials presented the results of a study from a pilot program, launched in August last year, which allowed the deployment of 300 Lime scooters, mostly east of 28th Street. The city surveyed the scooter riders and found nearly half of them said they used a scooter to get around when they otherwise would have used a car.

  • “It is believed that shared e-scooters as part of the city’s Shared Micromobility Program (both shared e-bikes and e-scooters combined) may be instrumental in significantly contributing to a shift from the dependence of motor vehicles,” city officials wrote in a memo to the Transportation Advisory Board.
  • Board members were generally supportive of allowing more scooters across the city.
  • “This is a core component of an overall multimodal system,” board member Ryan Schuchard, founder of More Mobility, an organization promoting multimodal transportation, said in response to the presentation. “This isn’t just scooters. This is part of an integrated system that we need to build.”
  • The city data show one of the most popular corridors for scooter riders was 30th Street, where the city is building a multi-use path.
  • As part of the expansion, the city is considering requiring more scooters to be “docked” at certain locations, much like is required for the BCycle bikes. The city would also have other restrictions in the downtown area, such as not allowing people to ride on Pearl Street.

You can now take your ebike on the bus: RTD, as of yesterday, is allowing those with motors to bring their bike on all RTD transit vehicles “with few exceptions.” To clarify, you don’t get to bring your bike on the bus. It has to ride on the front or below.

Boulder Fire-Rescue now open to outreach and education requests: After a hold during the pandemic, Boulder Fire-Rescue is now reopening its metaphorical doors to the public. On its new website, Boulderites can request a variety of services that include, but (as the saying goes) are not limited to: seat belt checks, fall prevention program, Stop the Bleed trainings and CPR.

Boulderites leaving Twitter: Mayor Pro Tem Rachel Friend has left Twitter. Though not noteworthy or newsworthy in itself, it is a local representation of a national trend as the platform changes. Friend was previously active on the platform, but said her decision to leave was in part due to “Twitter’s chaotic business moves and its less than stellar treatment of local employee community members.” She also said that the overall feel of Twitter made departing the right choice.

  • “For me, Twitter curdled into something more toxic than not,” she said. “So I will be seeking out different spaces where I can interact with community members where the spaces themselves don’t come with like a boiling side of hate.”
  • For those who haven’t been following, Elon Musk, owner of Tesla, now also owns Twitter. The platform, though not used by a majority of Americans, is used by many politicians and journalists, thereby theoretically shaping the policy and storytelling consumed by everyday folks. In his short tenure, Musk has fired a substantial portion of his employees (including dozens in Boulder), leading to moderation and security issues on the platform.

Volunteer opportunities with the city: Boulder released a list of ways for residents to get involved this winter. Promoted under the guise of “staying warm,” the opportunities include shoveling bus stops, shoveling tennis courts and adopting a spot in town to beautify, among others.

Go deeper

Boulder voters approved a library district: What happened and what comes next

By John Herrick

Boulder voters this month approved the creation of a library district across much of the county, according to the latest 2022 election results, setting a course for an expanded library system that advocates have long been clamoring for.

After trailing behind on election night, the ballot measure to form a library district — and pay for it through a property tax increase — inched ahead as ballots were counted in the subsequent days. The latest results show Ballot Measure 6C passing 53% to 47%. 

The vote marks an official end to the yearslong campaign. Now, city and county officials, library advocates and lawyers will begin hashing out the complicated — and potentially politically dicey — details of what the district will look like and how it will operate.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2023, residents will start paying additional property taxes to support the new library district. 

Residents who live in the district boundaries — which include the City of Boulder, Gold Hill, Eldorado Springs, and areas of unincorporated Boulder County — will see their property tax bills bump up by 3.5 mills. 

Continue reading…

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BRL picks

🎤 Lavender Gala: For its 22nd year, Rainbow Elders of Boulder County hosts the gala on Dec. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Nissi’s Entertainment and Event Center in Lafayette. The event includes a three-course lunch, and will feature “Gender Illusion Technician,” Mrs. Eda Bagel. “This is a celebration of and for the LGBTQ+ older adult community of Boulder County and allies.”

🤠 Volunteer with Boulder County: Both Walker Ranch and Altona School are looking for residents to fill out their rosters. At Walker Ranch, you can dress in 1800s garb and present to field trips at the mountain ranch. At the Altona School, a one room schoolhouse on the Heil Valley Ranch, you will also “lead educational, fun programs.” It’s unclear if you get to dress up. Applicants should apply by Dec. 1.

🏔️ How does someone from Tennessee climb Everest? “One story at a time,” the event description says. I would also assume with supplemental oxygen. On Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at Neptune Mountaineering, Ben Clark will talk about his adventures through his directing and photography.

Covid in Boulder County: Nov. 16, 2022

  • 82 daily new cases (7-day avg.) ⬆️ Up 51% over preceding 7-day avg.
  • 29 patients hospitalized with Covid (7-day avg.) ⬆️ up from a high of 18 last week.
  • 69% percent of ICU is occupied. ⬆️ Up from avg. of 64% since July 2020.

What else we’re reading

Colorado students struggled to keep up their math skills during the pandemic. Less than a third of middle and elementary school students are hitting their set benchmarks.

  • “The pandemic increased the load of trauma in our students, and that diminishes our brain’s capacity to be in a space of learning,” said Wendy Ward Hoffer, senior director of content development and publications at the Denver nonprofit Public Education and Business Coalition.


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.