Who’s ready for the weekend? 🙋‍♀️ Before you get out there and enjoy the warm weather, take a beat with your morning edition of BRL Today.

Today’s top story by John Herrick looks at the upcoming primary race for Boulder County commissioner, which is shaping up to be competitive according to at least one metric: cash. He breaks down this year’s fundraising haul, along with the contest for Boulder County Sheriff, Senate District 15 and ballot measures.

Plus the debut of Boulder County’s Recovery Navigators Program for Marshall Fire survivors, an Australian rocket launch for a CU Boulder astrophysics lab, this weekend’s Pride festivities and more.

And lastly: a warm welcome to our newest local sponsor, SoBo Homes. The company launches our Presenting Partners program, tailor-made for small businesses. Email us to learn how your business can be featured in our newsletters and on our website while supporting nonprofit community news.

Until Monday,

– Jezy, managing editor

People walk along Boulder Creek en route to the Boulder County Farmers Market on Saturday, June 4. Credit: Jezy J. Gray

Quickly

🌤️ Mostly sunny and warm: Expect highs near 91 today with plenty of sunshine. Bring lots of water if you head outdoors on Saturday, when temps will inch near 95.

🗺️ Recovery Navigators: Beginning today, Marshall Fire survivors whose households registered at the Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) can begin receiving assistance through the county’s Recovery Navigators Program. Designed to help survivors during the rebuilding and recovery process through one-on-one counseling, the program is being administered with the help of Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, a faith-based, human services organization in Denver. Much of the $1.4 million program is being paid out of the Boulder County Wildfire Fund. As of June 9, the fund had raised more than $40 million from 77,000 donors. Most of the remaining money will go to Marshall Fire survivors rebuilding their homes.

🛣️ Roadwork notice: Boulder County is conducting chip sealing operations on various roadways through early July between 6:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. “Chip sealing work consists of applying asphalt to a road surface followed by a layer of one-quarter inch chips that essentially create a new layer on top of the road,” per the county website. Find the full list of affected roads here.

🗳️ Primary election: Ballots for the June 28 primary have been mailed to all eligible voters, according to the Boulder County Elections Division. The county says ballots “typically arrive within a few days, but can take up to a week.” Click here for more information and important dates, and be sure to read today’s top story below to learn more about who’s running and what’s at stake.

🚌 MAC meeting: Got thoughts on transportation and accessibility? The Boulder County Mobility and Access Coalition (MAC), “an alliance of community organizations, individuals, and interest groups working together to achieve common goals regarding transportation services to people with mobility challenges,” hosts a virtual meeting on Monday, June 13, from 2–3:45 p.m.

🚀 To the stars: The Laboratory for Atmospheric & Space Physics (LASP) at CU Boulder will launch two suborbital rockets from the Arnhem Space Center in Australia next month. The first (launch target: July 4) “will study how UV light from stars affects the atmospheres of surrounding planets,” while the second (launch target: July 12) “will take extreme ultraviolet measurements needed to model stars smaller than our Sun.” Read more about the missions on the NASA website.

🗓️ New BVSD Spring Break schedule: The holiday will come a week later for Boulder Valley students next year (March 27-31) as the district adjusts its schedule to align with CU. The move was approved by the Boulder Valley School District Board of Education during its meeting on Tuesday, June 7.

💨 Vape trade-in: Per Boulder County Parks and Recreation: “Do you have a friend or family member between the ages of 10 and 19 who vapes? Bring them to North Boulder Recreation Center on June 17 anytime from 4-7 p.m. to trade in their vape device (or devices) for a free recreation center day pass!”

Top Story

Ahead of primary election, candidates for Boulder County commissioner are about evenly matched in campaign cash

The race for Boulder County commissioner is shaping up to be competitive, at least according to one metric. Both Democratic candidates have raised near equal amounts of cash ahead of the June 28 primary, the latest campaign finance reports filed with the Colorado Secretary of State show. 

The two candidates seeking a spot on the Board of County Commissioners are Elaina Shively, director of the Center for Prevention and Restorative Justice at the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, and Louisville Mayor Ashley Stolzmann, a chemical engineer. No Republican candidates are running for the seat. 

The fundraising haul so far this year has Shively netting $67,500, slightly more than the $62,255 raised by Stolzmann. More than a dozen individuals donated the maximum amount allowed under the law, $2,500, split nearly evenly between the two candidates. 

Both candidates have stated priorities that include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rebuilding after the Marshall Fire and preparing for the next disaster, and addressing the county’s housing shortage. They come from different vantage points in city government — Stolzmann from city hall and Shively from the criminal legal system. Donations to the candidates from local elected officials indicate a split among those often aligned on policy matters.  

Top donors to Shively’s campaign include former Louisville City Councilmember Don Brown, who donated $2,500, and Stan Garnett, former Boulder County District Attorney and trustee of the Community Foundation Boulder County, who donated $1,750. Other local donors include Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty, Boulder Mayor Aaron Brockett and state Rep. Judy Amabile. 

Stolzmann’s top campaign donors include Ning Mosberger-Tang, a local environmental advocate, who donated $2,500, and Jamie Schingeck, a realtor, who also donated $2,500. Boulder City Councilmembers Matt Benjamin and Bob Yates, and state Rep. Tracey Bernett and Longmont Mayor Joan Peck, were also donors. 

Most of the money has been spent so far on mailers, yard signs and campaign consulting in an effort to win the seat vacated by Commissioner Matt Jones, a former state senator and two-time cancer survivor who is not seeking reelection. 

The amount of money raised is typical for this race. But it’s less than what commissioners raised in 2020, which drew in more than $200,000. Commissioners Marta Loachamin and Claire Levy, both of whom were elected that year, are up for reelection in 2024. 

Learn how your business can become a BRL sponsor.

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We are best suited for multi-faceted residential projects in and around Boulder. Our mission is to create wonderful spaces through a professional yet intimate process.  Your satisfaction in the final product is our top priority. Learn more at SoBo Homes.

BRL Picks

🏳️‍🌈 Pride festivities: Boulder County’s annual Pride Week wraps up this weekend with lots of LGBTQ-affirming events. Friday festivities include a virtual name and gender change workshop and a dance party at DV8 Distillery (21+), followed by the Longmont Pride Festival on Saturday and the Boulder Pride Festival on Sunday. Check out the full schedule for more info.

👩‍🌾 Container Gardening 101: “Want to garden but short on space? Rewrite the (garden) plot!” That’s the message from Boulder Public Library and master gardener volunteers from CSU Extension during Container Gardening 101, a hands-on workshop happening today at 1 p.m. at the Meadows Branch Library.  

🎤 Pass the mic: Motus Theater hosts a free storytelling event to recognize 10 years of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which provides administrative protection from deportation for eligible young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. UndocuAmerica Monoglogues: 10 Years of DACA in Story and Song takes place on Saturday, June 11, at the Dairy Arts Center’s Gordon Gamm Theater (2590 Walnut St.) A Spanish language presentation takes place at 3 p.m., followed in English at 6 p.m.

📚 Youth book sale: Boulder Public Library Main Branch is hosting a used book sale for kids and teens, June 14–20. Browse items at the branch’s Paper and Spine used bookstore to find that next great summer read for all ages. The store will be closed on Sunday, June 19.

Covid-19 Updates: June 10, 2022

  • 256 daily new cases (7-day avg.) ⬆️Up 12% over preceding 7-day avg.
  • 23 patients hospitalized with Covid (7-day avg.) ⬆️Up from a high of 14 last week.
  • 43% percent of ICU is occupied. Down from avg. of 70% since July 2020.

What We’re Reading

📖 Gov. Polis vetoes EV charger mandate: “Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday evening vetoed a bill that would have forced developers of new large commercial and multifamily residential buildings to set aside a portion of parking spaces to serve as electric vehicle charging stations. … Polis said House Bill 1218, which passed with almost no Republican support, had ‘inflexible mandates’ and could be premature as electric vehicle technology rapidly advances. He also noted the other steps he and the legislature have taken to increase electric-vehicle usage in Colorado and combat climate change.” [Colorado Sun]

📖 ‘Towing bill of rights’ legislation becomes law: “Coloradans who have their car towed sometimes face an impossible choice: Pay hundreds to get their vehicle back to drive to work or pick up their kids from day care, or risk losing the car to pay rent…HB22-1314 evens the playing field that has long tilted in favor of towing carriers, bill sponsors say, amounting to a new towing bill of rights that increases protections for car owners. The biggest change: Tow yards will have to return your car if you’re able to pay 15% of the fees, capped at $60.” [Denver Post]

📖 Xcel Energy gets approval for $2B transmission line: “Last week, the investor-owned utility won written approval from state regulators to build its $1.7 billion Power Pathway. The Colorado Public Utility Commission agreed the project is necessary for Xcel Energy to meet its state-mandated goal of 80 percent clean electricity by 2030. The 560-mile project will loop the prairies east of the Front Range with high voltage transmission lines, providing the necessary capacity for a rapid build-out of wind and solar energy in the region.” [CPR

ICYMI from BRL

✍️ Boulder’s gun laws are now among the most restrictive in Colorado. By pursuing regional gun-control ordinances, the City of Boulder is now flanked by several communities with similarly stringent gun laws. Cities bordered by Weld County are pursuing fewer reforms.

🔥 Why is the Town of Superior allowing Marshall Fire survivors to opt out of its residential sprinkler requirement? The latest regulatory concession for those seeking to rebuild highlights the tension between underinsured homeowners and the effort to create fire-resilient communities for the future.

🏘️ City of Boulder seeks to redevelop a mobile home park without pricing out its residents. As builders break ground, some remain skeptical. The city is investing millions in the Ponderosa neighborhood in North Boulder to help existing residents afford replacement homes. The financing model, never before tested in Boulder, could be expanded across the city to address the housing crisis.

Only 46 new members to reach our goal.

On Monday, in honor of BRL’s 6-month anniversary, we launched our first member drive. Reader support is vital to ensure we can continue our work and grow much bigger to provide more local news coverage. In less than a week, we’re already more than halfway to our July 4 goal of 100 new members. Thank you for your generosity! If you haven’t yet, will you join us today to become one of the our new BRL members? Any amount qualifies you as a member.

Thanks for reading!

Our journalism depends on you.
Have a story tip for us?
Send us your ideas at tips@boulderreportinglab.org.

– The BRL Team

Jezy J. Gray

I’m the managing editor of the Boulder Reporting Lab. In addition to years of writing on the culture, politics and history of my home state of Oklahoma, I was the final editor-in-chief of the Tulsa Voice, a local bi-weekly newspaper where I led a small but mighty team of journalists to regional and national honors in feature writing, diversity reporting, LGBTQ+ coverage and more. I look forward to listening to and learning from the Boulder community as we work together on telling the stories that matter here.