Wednesday, Boulder, and here we are. Today marks the tragic second anniversary of the King Soopers shooting. A remembrance event for the 10 people whose lives were taken will be held at eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce St. in Boulder from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The event is free but registration to attend in person or via livestream is required.
This week, Boulder City Council will consider a proposal put forth by city officials on how Boulder’s streets might be used in the future, including West Pearl, the stretch of street that was — for a period during the pandemic — home only to pedestrians. The city is proposing to keep cars where they are, which will likely cause dismay among some councilmembers and residents. Also, Jessica Mordacq gives an update on restaurants featured in 2010 when Boulder was named the foodiest town in America by Bon Appetit. Many restaurants that helped Boulder secure its place in Bon Appetit’s grace are still open. How? Change.
— Tim, reporter
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What to know today
- Rain, hopefully: Vegetation can’t bloom without moisture, so it’s a good thing we’re supposed to get some today. Temps will be in the 50s. Don’t get down about the gloom, the sun will be back tomorrow.
- If you receive a demand notice from a property owner, it’s best to show up in court: That’s the message from the city’s latest report on its eviction prevention program, known as Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Services, or EPRAS. Under the program, city officials and lawyers attend eviction court on Fridays to help tenants negotiate with their landlords.
- In 2022, property owners filed 248 eviction cases involving residents living in the City of Boulder at the Boulder County Justice Center, according to the report. The city was able to help prevent 70% of those cases from resulting in a court-ordered eviction, in part thanks to legal representation and financial assistance to cover unpaid rent. That’s higher than the 50% average prior to the program.
- The city offers households up to $3,000 to help cover rent. This money can help when negotiating with property owners. But when tenants don’t show up in court after receiving a demand notice, a judge may issue a “default judgment” against them, leaving a permanent mark on their records visible to future landlords.
- In some cases, property owners may drop an eviction complaint if the tenant agrees to move out. But city officials said finding tenants with “significant financial or mental health challenges” another place to live has been challenging. “The team has identified a gap in services surrounding housing navigation for tenants who have no options to remain in their current property,” the report states.
- While programs to support individuals in this situation exist, the report says, “there are many tenants who don’t meet eligibility guidelines and may be at risk of homelessness without housing navigation support. The EPRAS team is continuing to explore options to address this gap in services.”
- In February, the number of eviction case filings in Boulder County reached its highest level since before the Covid-19 pandemic. The primary reason Boulder property owners evict tenants is due to unpaid rent. We reported on this trend earlier this month. — John Herrick
- Deadline for property tax deferral coming: April 1 is the deadline to apply to defer your property taxes, if you qualify. There are now more people who qualify. Previously only for active-duty military and seniors over 65, the program now includes those whose property taxes exceeded “the property tax-growth cap of 4%,” averaged from the preceding two years.
- The minimum amount that can be deferred is $100, with a maximum of $10,000.
- From compost to reuse: The City of Boulder, along with Partners for a Clean Environment, is offering incentives to encourage local businesses to switch to reusable — reusable cups, plates, utensils and to-go containers. The hope is to get Boulder away from single-use products that end up in a landfill. The offering comes as A1 says the city’s compost, along with the composable plates and utensils utilized by restaurants, is too contaminated to process.
- “These changes present an opportunity to speed up our transition away from single-use products, like disposable food containers,” said Jamie Harkins, the city’s sustainability senior manager of circular economies.
- The incentives would offer up to $2,000 to businesses for necessities required by a switch to a reusable system, like robust dishware, dishwashers, and take-out containers that could be used more than once. The city has also partnered with Deliver Zero and r.Cup, two companies who offer some of the reusable containers and dishware that businesses will soon need.
- Those interested in accessing the money can apply online, and should do so quickly, as funds are limited.
- Become a Gross Reservoir advisor: Boulder County is seeking residents from the Gross Reservoir area to serve on the Gross Reservoir Community Advisory Working Group. The group will offer feedback on how to best distribute funds from the dam project’s mitigation fund, hopefully in a fair and equitable way.
- Members of the group will be required to attend, and ideally participate, in all meetings — meetings that will focus on the distribution of funds, not the dam project itself (despite there being residents with many comments to offer on the subject).
- Those interested should apply by March 27 at 1 p.m.
By John Herrick
March 22, 2023
As spring arrives and the outdoor dining season nears, city officials want to keep West Pearl open to cars, despite survey data showing most residents prefer the street without them. The recommendation is part of a plan for creating “sustainable, inclusive, bike- and pedestrian-friendly” downtown streets, known as the Downtown Streets as Public Space project. City planners, meanwhile, are recommending closing 13th Street between Canyon and Arapahoe on weekends.
‘Upping the game for community’: How these five Boulder restaurants have managed to stay relevant (or at least open) amid endless change
March 22, 2023
Boulder was lauded in 2010 as the “foodiest” town in America. BRL checked in with five of the restaurants that helped the city win this designation to find out what’s changed on their menus and beyond.
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🎉 Nederdays: A seeming replacement for the long-loved Frozen Dead Guy Days, this coming Friday and Saturday brings celebration for Boulder’s up-the-hill neighbor. With a 5k run, a sledding course on 1st Street and a hot cocoa trail, there’s “something for everyone.” From now on Frozen Dead Guy Days will be held in Estes Park. While Nederland wanted to keep the festival in their town, they didn’t get along with the festival’s current owners.
🩸Blood drive at the museum: The Museum of Boulder is hosting a blood drive next Tuesday, March 28 to address a blood shortage. The drive is operated through Vitalent, which also has a donation center in town you can visit at any time. If you donate, you’ll be entered into a raffle to possibly win a $10,000 gift card. A tip from personal experience: Don’t go to the park and do pull-ups after donating. You will pass out. And you will look like a fool.
For more ideas on what to do this week, check out BRL’s Local Events page.
- A sculpture to commemorate King Soopers tragedy was lost in the Marshall Fire. A new one is now slated for installation. The artist, who lives about two blocks away from the supermarket, will install the memorial outside the Museum of Boulder.
- Banning bolts in wilderness rock climbing: Boulder Congressman Joe Neguse jumps into the fight. “Colorado’s natural areas are home to some world-renowned rock climbing locations,” Rep. Joe Neguse said. “We are taking steps to protect our climbers and the spaces in which they recreate.”
- Boulder may ban cars from making right turns at some red lights, among other changes, to reduce traffic crashes. The intersection redesigns are part of the latest version of the Vision Zero Action Plan. The city is also planning to install more red light cameras and build safer bike lanes.
- Read previous editions of BRL Today. Catch up on the latest Boulder news.