It’s Friday, Boulder, and a beautiful one at that, if you think clouds are beautiful.

Today, John Herrick continues covering the closing of Golden West, the last remaining assisted living home in Boulder that accepts medicaid. Two weeks after Golden West announced it was closing its facility, many of the 33 residents who live there are planning to leave Boulder in search of another place to live. Some are looking as far as California, as there are few options available in Boulder County they can afford. The result is the breaking up of a community of older adults — many with underlying health conditions who rely on Medicaid to pay for their daily care — who also have depended on each other for years as part of their support system.

Also, Boulder City Council has delayed, once again, a decision on whether to approve the list of new candidates to serve on the city’s Police Oversight Panel at a high-profile time for the panel.

Enjoy your weekend. I’ll see you Monday.

— Tim, reporter

What to know today

  • Cloudy with more snow coming: Today will be in the 30s with clouds blocking the sun. Tomorrow, rays will poke through before snow returns on Sunday.
  • Boulder City Council poised to investigate the selection process for new Police Oversight Panel candidates. The Boulder City Council voted 5-4 to delay a decision, again, on whether to approve a list of new candidates to serve on the city’s Police Oversight Panel, which reviews investigations into allegations of officer misconduct.
    • The decision is another rebuff to the selection committee assigned to nominate new members to the volunteer-led oversight panel. The committee includes representatives from NAACP Boulder County and El Centro Amistad.
    • The reason for the delay was that, ahead of Thursday’s meeting, a resident filed a complaint against the city alleging that the selection committee violated city code when it vetted and nominated candidates. The city council is now required to order an investigation into the complaint, according to the city attorney. Read the full news brief.
  • County to seek streamlined emergency alert system. During a city council meeting on Thursday, Mike Chard, director of the Office of Disaster Management for both the City of Boulder and Boulder County, told councilmembers that next Monday, he will seek funding from the Boulder Regional Telephone Service Authority to purchase Zonehaven, a system for evacuation updates during floods and wildfires, for all of Boulder County.
  • North Boulder shelter leadership shuffle: The board of directors of the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, the city’s largest nonprofit-run homeless shelter in North Boulder, has named Mike Block, the organization’s chief housing officer, as its interim chief executive officer.
    • In October 2022, the organization hired Greg Morris as its CEO. Morris has led nonprofits providing homelessness services and served as the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho. On Thursday night, Boulder Reporting Lab was unable to confirm the reasons for his departure.
    • In response to a request for comment on the leadership transition, Katie Randall, a spokeswoman for the shelter, said in an email, “While we can’t comment on personnel matters, we are confident that the organization is stable and resilient. Furthermore, the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless will continue to maintain its commitments to our partner agencies, shelter staff and clients.”
  • Comment sought for East Boulder Creek site: Boulder County is starting the planning process for a 1,337-acre swath of land east of Gunbarrel. Made up of five separate open space properties, the East Boulder Creek site includes a dozen ponds, five miles of streams, wetland habitat and pastures. Mining happened on the site, with oil and gas extraction still ongoing. Yet the county says they see the site as an “opportunity to welcome the community to a new public space while ensuring a thriving habitat and agriculture values.”
    • Through a questionnaire, residents can share what they would want from such an open space site, be it a place for quiet contemplation or one to hang out with their kids. There’s also the opportunity to suggest a name for the site.
    • The survey will be open until Feb. 28, though more input opportunities will be available through the project’s duration.
The rough location of the East Boulder Creek site per the county’s website.
  • House District 12 forum: Next Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Boulder County Democratic Party will hold a forum to fill the vacancy in House District 12. The vacancy comes after Tracy Bernett’s resignation. The Boulder County District Attorney filed criminal charges against her for allegedly falsifying her home address, presumably to run for reelection in a district where she thought she would have an easier time winning her race. She rented a one bedroom in Louisville while still living in Longmont.
    • The forum will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. All candidates who have completed this form by Jan. 24 will be invited to participate. Those interested can watch on the Boulder County Democrats’ Youtube channel.
    • The names of current candidates — there are seven presently — can be found on the vacancy committee website.
  • RTD sales outlet moved from Boulder Station: Starting Jan. 20, RTD is relocating its sales outlet from Boulder station to Boulder Junction at Depot Square Station. The move will be temporary, but how temporary is still unknown. The move is due to traces of methamphetamine found in restrooms of Boulder Station last week.
    • This comes after the bathrooms of the Boulder Public Library on Arapahoe Ave. were closed to a similar meth problem. And just as the library was closed for sanitation for a time, so too will Boulder Station “for the safety of RTD’s customers and employees.”
    • Those wishing to get to the new sales outlet might have a bit of trouble if trying to get there by the public transit they’re buying tickets for. Buses do not stop at Boulder Junction, though RTD says that “some routes have bus stops near the station, such as the 225, Bound and BOLT.” It also reminds potential riders that the city’s HOP buses have a stop nearby.

Go deeper

After Golden West’s decision to close assisted living facility, fears of losing not just a home, but a ‘safety net,’ as residents scatter to find housing

By John Herrick

January 20, 2023

Earlier this month, after Golden West announced it was closing its assisted living home and gave residents 60 days to move out, Mike Morrison said he called 40 providers across the Front Range to try to find his mother and sister, who both live there, another place to live. 

“There is no other place with two rooms together,” Morrison said. “If I shipped them off, each of them to a different part of Colorado, we wouldn’t be a family anymore.” 

His sister has Cerebral Palsy, and his mother is 92 and experiencing memory loss, he said. He wants them to remain together and close by so he can take care of them. 

Morrison said he sent in an application for them to live next door, in Golden West’s independent living home, known as the Towers. He hasn’t heard back.

“I wish we had more time,” he said. “That’s left me with the inability to put together a plan B.” 

Continue reading…

City of Boulder poised to investigate selection of new Police Oversight Panel candidates

By John Herrick

January 20, 2023

Councilmembers delayed a vote to approve new candidates after a resident filed a complaint alleging a violation of city code.

Continue reading…

BRL picks

🎸 Samantha Fish at Boulder Theater: Tonight, the downtown theater will be filled with “combustible riffs, visceral rhythms, and spine-tingling vocal work.” An artist who has worked with the producer of Lady Gaga and Sting, Fish will be accompanied by the drummer Josh Freese who has played with Guns N’ Roses and the Nine Inch Nails. Tickets start around $35.

🏉 Football at Avanti: Just as it has all season, this Sunday Avanti will provide fans a place to watch the game. And as always, this Sunday will include all-day happy hour drinks with the addition of the Avanti Wing House. Get your normal wings from New Yorkese, or Vegan Cauliflower Wings from Rye Society.

🧘🏻‍♀️ Yoga at the museum: This Sunday, yoga will be taking over the Museum of Boulder through a one-hour vinyasa class led by Soul Lorain. It’s open for all levels, but bring your own mat. Tickets are $8.

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

ICYMI


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.