It’s Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Welcome to Wednesday, Boulder. Does this email look a little different to you? That’s because it is.

We’re changing things up to try and make your reading experience more enjoyable. Thanks to our readers Anne, Leah, Jason, Eve and Paul for providing their feedback to help make BRL Today even better. Not that it wasn’t already good. It was. Now it’s great. Kidding. I would never say such a thing seriously. We’re modest here at BRL.

For today, John Herrick brings you a story about the proposed homeless day center. City officials are planning to meet with neighbors near the proposed Folsom Street site, and as the city expected, some residents and businesses don’t want the center near them. 

Also, I offer a follow-up to last week’s city council decision to let the Upper Goose and Two Mile Creek mitigation project move forward to the design phase. Based on what was said at the council meeting, it seems the city has room to improve its communication methods. As it stands, in the next project phase for Goose Creek and Two Mile Creek, the city faces potentially challenging easement negotiations.

Enjoy your day as air quality also improves.

— Tim, reporter

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Featured stories

City of Boulder starts talks with neighbors over proposed homeless services center location 

The drop-in day center seeks to fill a gap in homelessness services. City officials reviewed more than a dozen locations before selecting Folsom Street as the preferred location for the site. Continue reading…

Boulder’s $40 million flood project is a possible preview of dozens more battles to come

As the city moves into the design phase for the Upper Goose Creek and Two Mile Creek flood plan, it now has to negotiate with homeowners who feel communication has been inadequate. What has transpired might be an indication of what’s to come as the city seeks to make Boulder more flood resilient. 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

Smoke improves

It looks like there will be much improvement on the smoke front today. (CDPHE has dropped its “multiple pollutants” advisory.) There will also be thunder, so that’s nice. Temps will hover in the 70s with a chance of showers. ☔

Goats in Louisville for fire mitigation

Louisville is using the services of 700 goats to help with vegetation management on North Open Space through May 29. This targeted grazing initiative aims to combat invasive plants, decrease the risk of future wildfires and make soil healthier. The project also offers a unique opportunity for the community to interact with the goats.

The goats are grazing during the day and evening in three designated areas of North Open Space. Visitors should make sure to keep their pets on leash, avoid touching the electric fence that keeps the goats focused in their grazing, and refrain from feeding or petting the goats. While the trail will remain open, closures may be necessary to facilitate the movement of the goats. If you miss seeing them this go around, fear not: The goats are scheduled to return in the fall.

Prescribed burn this Thursday

On May 25, if the weather allows, Boulder County will conduct a prescribed burn on five acres in Hall Ranch. The goal is to clear away woody debris and lower the chances of a large, uncontrolled wildfire. So if you see smoke and flames in the area for the next few days or even weeks, it’s likely the aftermath of the prescribed burn, not an emergency. The burn could make the air smoky, so take health precautions as needed. On the other hand, with the air so smoky lately from fires in Canada, you might not even notice a difference. Look at that, a silver lining.

Colorado River deal is reached

The White House reached an agreement with Arizona, California and Nevada to conserve water from the drought-stricken Colorado River. The deal aims to prevent the river from reaching dangerously low levels that could jeopardize water and power supplies for major cities and farmland in the West. The plan involves cutting water use by over a third of the river’s traditional flow through the seven states dependent on it. The federal government will provide $1.2 billion in compensation to cities, irrigation districts, and Native American tribes that reduce their water usage temporarily. While the deal is in place until the end of 2026, further cuts are expected in the future. The agreement, which avoids federal intervention and widespread water cuts, was aided by record snowfall in the West last winter. Boulder also benefited from the extra wet winter.

Boulder County Public Health has new leader

Alexandra Bambas Nolen has been appointed executive director of Boulder County Public Health. Nolen has more than 25 years of experience in public health, most recently serving as BCPH’s deputy director and interim director.

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BRL picks

🌎 Our Connected World

Boulder Public Library’s “Our Connected World” Summer of Discovery runs from June 1 to July 31. Participants of all ages can join the annual reading challenge. The program will also offer over 50 public events, including concerts, cinema screenings, workshops and more. Prizes include a Parks & Recreation facility pass and a Gateway Fun Park pass for finishers.

🥾 Go for a Hike

Meeting on Tuesday and Thursdays to go on a hike, the local hiking group calls themselves the Tuesday Thursday Hikers. They meet at 9 a.m. in North Boulder Park before breaking off into smaller groups based on where folks want to go, carpooling to trailheads while reimbursing drivers. Interested hikers are reminded to bring their own lunch, and snacks, and water.

🦖 Michael Garfield at Junkyard Social

Artist and philosopher Michael Garfield will be at Junkyard Social Club on June 9 for “An Evening of Music & Ideas.” The event includes a live recording of the Future Fossils podcast with special guests Evan Snyder and Ryan Madson from Junkyard Social Club. The conversation will focus on the evolution of technology and creativity. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event.

For more ideas on what to do this week, check out BRL’s Local Events page.

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: