It’s Wednesday, Boulder. Here’s the news.

For today, John Herrick covers the developments of Golden West, the assisted living center that closed last week. Most of the 33 residents who lived there have scattered across the state to another home they can afford. This displacement meant leaving behind a community some had built up for a decade or more. Even though Golden West said all tenants have found a new place to live, residents, staff, family and friends described the transition as heartbreaking.

“These people served our community. And we are now casting them out,” said Joan Raderman, founder and program director for Circle of Care, a local nonprofit that provides cultural programs for older adults.

Also, clarifying what Western Disposal said last week, some bags are still okay for compost. Just make sure they’re made out of pumpkin skin. Kidding. See the approved brands below.

Have a good day. It’s hopefully the chilliest for a while.

— Tim, reporter

What to know today

  • In the 30s, but not for long: Today might be the last of the cold for some time. With temps rising towards the 60s, we might finally be making the climb towards spring.
  • Vision Zero plan: The city released its Vision Zero plan that aims to reduce traffic fatalities over the next five years. While total crashes per year in Boulder have been declining since 2001, severe crashes have remained steady. Nine people were killed in crashes between 2018 and 2020, and 150 were seriously injured, half while walking or biking.
    • The plan includes reimagining high-risk roads where nearly half of severe crashes have happened and remodeling intersections. The city will also continue deploying photo radar vans and increase the number of red light cameras to catch those who thought yellow would last just a bit longer. Vaguer goals include education on safe driving and working with police to cut down on dangerous habits.
    • The city presented the 38-page draft at a public meeting yesterday, with presentations to the Transportation Advisory Board coming on March 13, and to city council on April 6.
  • Compost update: Confusion has swirled since A1 Organics, the company that recycles compost for Boulder’s residents and businesses, announced it would soon only accept food and plant waste for composting. But Western Disposal, which picks up compost for A1, has now said that paper bags filled with plant matter outside the curbside bin are okay.
    • It also released some approved compost bag brands for countertop bins — BioBag, EcoSafe, NatureBag and Biosak — though it would prefer that you didn’t use them.
  • New library’s groundbreaking: The City of Boulder will soon begin construction on the North Boulder Branch Library, a project over 30 years in the making. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place April 5 at 1:00 p.m. at 4500 13th St. (Snow postponed the February groundbreaking.) The public is invited to join.
    • The $12.5 million project will be funded through various sources — the culture and safety tax, developmental excise tax and impact fees to name a few — and operations costs will be covered by the library district budget. While some plans have yet to be realized due to construction costs, the project received a $700,000 grant to build outdoor amenities.
  • Hidden Star trail closed: If you frequent Niwot’s open space, rejoice that the county is repairing a bridge as you bemoan the temporary closure of your favorite trail. Severe erosion is to blame, as the pedestrian bridge on a portion of the Hidden Start trail has been deemed unsafe. Repairs will start next Monday and hopefully finish in early April.
  • Parks and Rec hiring as young as 14: If you’re 14, you can be a ninja instructor. If you’re 15, you can be a lifeguard. If you’re 29 writing this newsletter, you can wonder how you ended up a reporter instead of a ninja. I didn’t know it was even an option.
    • The city Parks and Rec Department is likely encouraging so many hires after shortages on lifeguards and other staff affected hours of rec centers and pools in the past year. Labor shortages were a problem before Covid, but the pandemic only made the matter worse.

Go Deeper…

Golden West’s assisted living closure has left residents scattered across Colorado and beyond

By John Herrick

March 8, 2023

Parachute, Colorado. Denver. Washington, D.C. Residents at Golden West’s assisted living center, which closed last week, have scattered across the state and even the country, severing ties with a community where many expected to live out their lives. 

Golden West, a Boulder-based nonprofit, announced in January it was shutting down the assisted living home, located at 1055 Adams Circle, due to financial reasons. The closure took effect on March 4. 

All of the assisted living center’s 33 residents, many of whom require daily care for underlying health conditions, such as dementia, have since moved out, according to the organization.

The transition has been challenging, according to residents and staff. Golden West’s assisted living home, known as the Mezzanine, was the last one in the City of Boulder that accepted Medicaid. Many residents struggled to find another place they could afford. 

Continue reading…

BRL’s free civic news and information is brought to you by local donors. Consider joining our generous supporters today!

BRL picks

♀🌹👩 The New Local: In celebration of International Women’s Day, THE NEW LOCAL nonprofit gallery and workshop on 741 Pearl Street will be hosting an inaugural event today, March 8, “reflecting on Boulder’s rich history while elevating contemporary female creative voices.” The event will also run on March 11. THE NEW LOCAL’S “mission is to champion exceptional, local, women-identifying creators across multiple artistic disciplines.”

⛏️ Volunteer at Nederland Mining Museum: Applications open on April 3 for those interested in imbuing visitors with knowledge of our county’s mining past. Hours vary, but will average four to eight a month. Training will start April 30.

🎶 Jeff & Paige Live at Junkyard Social Club: This Saturday, March 11, bring the family to the Junkyard Social Club to “play, climb, build, dig, explore, drink coffee, hear music, dance, and sing” with nature- and science-focused musical artists Jeff and Paige. Tickets are $22 per person (under 2 are free).

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 related topics. He is also the lead writer of BRL Today, our morning newsletter. Email: