Happy Hump Day, Boulder! 🐪 Ready for your mid-week edition of BRL Today?

We’ve got a pair of top stories for you this morning. First up, Jessica Mordacq offers a look inside the new Brasserie Ten Ten, which is reopening later this month after a high-profile closure during the early months of Covid. Then climate reporter Tim Drugan explores the City of Lafayette’s new restriction on outdoor water usage, and why similar measures aren’t being enacted in Boulder.

Plus the first cases of monkeypox confirmed in Boulder County, an update on drought conditions in Colorado, zero-waste volunteers needed at this week’s Boulder County Fair and a whole lot more.

Until Friday,

– Jezy, managing editor

After a pandemic-induced closure, local culinary hotspot Brasserie Ten Ten is bringing a taste of France back to Walnut Street. Courtesy: Brasserie Ten Ten

Quickly

🌤️ Mostly sunny and warm: Expect highs in the low-to-mid 90s today under a mix of clouds and sunshine. Similar conditions should be in store Thursday and Friday, with increasing rain chances likely over the weekend.

💧 Drought update: Per the National Drought Mitigation Center: “Drought continues to grip Colorado with 5% of the state in extreme drought. But, moderate and severe conditions improved by over 21 percentage points at the end of July.” The center’s newest Drought Monitor map will be released tomorrow.

🦠 First confirmed monkeypox cases in Boulder County: Four county residents have tested positive for the monkeypox virus, according to Boulder County Public Health. There are 80 reported cases statewide. “It’s important that everyone be aware of this disease, so that those at risk can seek medical care and get tested promptly if they believe they have been exposed or have symptoms,” said Dr. Lexi Nolen, the department’s acting executive director.

💻 Virtual virus update: Reminder — Boulder County Public Health, in partnership with Out Boulder County, Boulder County AIDS Project, El Centro Amistad and the Center for People with Disabilities, will host a virtual community update on monkeypox tonight at 6 p.m.

🔥 Wildfire funding on the ballot: Boulder County commissioners have voted unanimously to place a measure on the Nov. 8 ballot asking voters to approve a .1% countywide sales and use tax to pay for wildfire mitigation projects. The projected $11 million in annual revenue would pay for forest thinning projects and financial assistance for residents to make their homes more fire-resistant, according to county officials.

🚦 Transportation measure gets greenlight, too: Separately, county commissioners approved a ballot measure to extend the county’s .1% sales and use tax to help pay for a wide range of transportation projects. Potential projects include: wider road shoulders for cyclists; multi-use paths along US 36 from Boulder to Lyons and along CO 119 from Boulder to Longmont; and a free bus to Gold Hill, according to a proposed project list. The current tax sunsets in 2024. (Commissioners also voted for a ballot measure seeking a .1% sales and use tax increase to pay for emergency response services in unincorporated Boulder County.)

🙋 Zero-waste volunteers wanted: Reminder — Boulder County Fair is looking for volunteers this week (Aug. 11–14) to help monitor recycling, landfill and compost bins and spread the word about the zero-waste initiative. “Volunteers will help by educating fairgoers on the importance of zero waste and will be around the waste stations to ensure waste streams are uncontaminated,” according to the county. Multiple shifts are available over the course of the four-day event, with no prior experience necessary. Volunteers must be 13 or older. Sign up here.

🥾 Trailhead closure: Beginning today, the Lost Gulch Trailhead on Flagstaff Mountain will be closed to vehicles for parking lot grading and other maintenance. All connecting trails will remain open for pedestrian use, according to OSMP.

🚧 Road closure, too: Daytime, weekday closures on Sugarloaf Road between CO 119/Boulder Canyon and Betasso Road will begin this Friday, Aug. 12. Roadwork will take place Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1-3:30 p.m. Sugarloaf Road will remain open as a single-lane roadway during all other hours.

🛣️ Transportation safety project feedback: The City of Boulder is seeking public input on a project designed to make it easier and safer to travel along Baseline Road between 30th Street and Foothills Parkway. Learn more about the project and offer your thoughts here.

Top Stories

After a high-profile closure during Covid, Brasserie Ten Ten returns with a refresh. Here’s how the Walnut Street bistro is reviving French tradition ahead of this month’s reopening.

By Jessica Mordacq

On a single day in June 2020, Boulder lost three restaurant institutions: The Med and its Mediterranean cuisine, Via Perla and its Italian fare, and French restaurant Brasserie Ten Ten. Their shared owners, Peg and Joe Romano, announced on each restaurant’s website and social media they were shuttering business indefinitely as a result of the pandemic and Colorado’s dining capacity restrictions. 

The Romanos, like everyone else, didn’t know how long the pandemic would last. They were losing thousands of dollars a day. So when the opportunity arose to sell their restaurants, they jumped on it — at least for two out of the three. 

The couple, who owned the businesses under the Walnut Restaurant Group umbrella, sold The Med and its second floor offices, along with Via Perla, which reopened as My Neighbor Felix last year. 

But they kept their smallest property, Brasserie Ten Ten, which first entered the Boulder restaurant scene in 2003 at 1011 Walnut St.

Now, more than two years after closing, the French-inspired bistro is set to officially open again this month.

The City of Lafayette is imposing new year-round restrictions on water usage. Why isn’t Boulder doing the same?

By Tim Drugan

In June of this year, the City of Lafayette imposed year-round limitations on water use. Focused on outdoor consumption, residents are allowed to irrigate their lawns only three days a week. And on those three days, irrigating must be done between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. — unless the watered area is a city-owned facility, like a golf course. Other exemptions include watering by hand using a hose with an automatic shut-off valve, and irrigation for commercial agriculture.

If residents fail to adhere to these new requirements — for instance, by watering the sidewalk in front of their house — they could face fines up to $500.

With Lafayette’s proximity to Boulder, such limitations raise questions as to why one city would enact water restrictions while its neighbor offers only suggestions for mindful usage, when both face the same underlying drought and global warming. The reason, according to Kim Hutton, Boulder’s water resources manager, lies in the complexity of Colorado water law.

BRL Picks

🎡 Fair enough: The Boulder County Fair returns tomorrow through Sunday, Aug. 14. Grab the family and head to the fairgrounds in Longmont for four days of fun, including live entertainment in the Fair Garden, the Kid’s Corral and Petting Zoo, 4-H animal projects, the return of a live in-person junior livestock sale — and, of course, all your favorite fair foods. Full schedule here.

👩‍⚕️ Picture of health: Join the Museum of Boulder and Boulder Community Health (BCH) for the opening reception of a new exhibition, 100 Years of Boulder Community Health, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18. The exhibition  highlighting BCH history, partnerships, and innovations will be on display in the museum’s Lodge Gallery through Sept. 19.

🥳 Park party: Join Boulder Parks & Recreation for an afternoon celebration of the 11th anniversary of Valmont Park on Saturday, Aug. 13, 1–4 p.m. Festivities will include bike and skate demos, summertime food truck treats, face painting, massage, music and more at 5110 Valmont Rd.

🐦 Wing it: Looking to get up close and personal with our feathered friends who call Boulder County home? Head to the Wild Bear Nature Center in Nederland on Saturday, Aug. 13, for a free bird walk event that’s fun for the whole family. Bring binoculars if you have them, and be sure to dress for the weather and bring a water bottle. More info here.  

Covid-19 in Boulder County: Aug. 10, 2022

  • 119 daily new cases (7-day avg.) Down 30% over preceding 7-day avg.
  • 15 patients hospitalized with Covid (7-day avg.) ⬆️Up from high of 13 last week.
  • 37% percent of ICU is occupied. Down from avg. of 67% since July 2020.
  • Per CDC guidelines: Boulder County is currently in the yellow (medium-risk) Covid level, designating medium-risk for Covid transmission. The designation is based on the region’s cumulative case rate, which is below 200 per 100,000 people.

What We’re Reading

📖 Second psychedelics initiative unlikely to make it to state ballot: “Voters will decide whether to legalize psychoactive mushrooms statewide this November. But another initiative to decriminalize most plant-based psychedelics, Initiative 61, likely won’t make the ballot, according to organizers. Proponents were required to turn in signatures to the Secretary of State’s office by Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline. But they said meeting the signature requirement was difficult with an all-volunteer campaign.” [CPR]

ICYMI from BRL

💰 City of Boulder officials want more money to clear homeless encampments. Members of the Boulder City Council appear reluctant to extend a pilot program launched in April 2021 that was intended to remove tents and other belongings of homeless people from public spaces.

💧 How does mine waste affect water sources in Boulder County? A look at reclamation efforts in the Fourmile watershed offers a glimpse. Boulder Watershed Collective Director Maya MacHamer gives us a tour of two former mining sites, where ghosts of the past meet an uncertain future.

♻️ Colorado’s largest compost manufacturer says there’s too much contamination in its organics stream. What does that mean for the future of Boulder’s curbside program? A new policy from local hauler Western Disposal, which has raised questions about the future viability of its composting services, is cracking down on non-compostable items in residential bins.

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– The BRL Team

Jezy J. Gray

Jezy Gray was the former managing editor of Boulder Reporting Lab. In addition to years of writing on the culture, politics and history of my home state of Oklahoma, he 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.