Friday, Boulder. Feels good. Here’s the news.

For today, John Herrick covers the latest on the Police Oversight Panel. A special counsel, hired by the City of Boulder, recommended that Lisa Sweeney-Miran, a panel member, be removed for bias against police. We report on why councilmembers voted the way they did, reactions, as well as contributing factors in the lead-up to the vote. If you want to understand the full history, this is our 15th story on this issue — you can catch up here.

Also, the library board of trustees has been approved as the newly formed Boulder library district moves forward. These trustees will now have the tall task of helping set up a brand-new library system.

Have a wonderful weekend,

— Tim, reporter

What to know today

  • Sunny and rainy: We’re in that time of year where sun collaborates with thunderstorms and showers to confuse everyone. 70s will be on the docket today. Sunday will drop all the way to the high 60s. What a great time of year.
  • The GS from Boulder to Golden may return later this summer: RTD is proposing to bring back the bus that travels from the Downtown Boulder Station to the Federal Center Station, just south of Golden, as part of its September 2023 service change, according to RTD officials. The bus route was suspended as part of district-wide, pandemic-era service cuts.
    • The southbound bus would leave downtown Boulder at 7:10 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:36 p.m. and 5:13 p.m. The northbound bus would leave Federal Center at 7:02 a.m., 8:22 a.m., 3:37 p.m. and 4:39 p.m. The RTD board of directors is expected to vote on the service change later this month, officials said.
    • The reinstated bus route is the latest step toward restoring services that have been suspended for about three years, much to the frustration of many Boulder commuters. Later this month, RTD is planning to bring back the FF2 express bus from Boulder to Union Station in Denver.
  • Library District board of trustees appointed: The Boulder City Council and Board of County Commissioners this week approved a slate of trustees to oversee the newly formed library district, which extends across much of Boulder County. The district, funded by a property tax approved by voters in 2022, will replace the City of Boulder’s library services.
    • The trustees were appointed to one- to five-year terms. They are: Benita Duran, Sam Fuqua, Douglas Hamilton, Cara O’Brien, Joni Teter, Sylvia Wirba, and Jenn Yee. Among their first tasks will be hashing out an intergovernmental agreement with the city over how to transfer over its library services and buildings to the new district.
  • Loads of lifeguards ready for the summer: Boulder Parks and Rec successfully hired over 150 lifeguards for the summer season, despite a nationwide labor shortage. It’s the most the department has ever hired at one time for a summer (and a far cry from last year at this time). Thanks to this, the city is able to offer services that were put on pause during the pandemic — like birthday party packages at North Boulder Recreation Center and golf instruction for adults and kids at Flatirons Golf Course. Scott Carpenter Pool’s lap lanes and splash pad are already open.
    • Perhaps most notably, the Spruce pool is expected to open mid-summer. If that happens, it would be the first time since 2020.
    • The department is still hoping to fill some final staffing slots, like a few more camp counselors and lifeguards. People of all ages who are interested should apply. Some jobs are available for those as young as 14. More information about job openings can be found at
  • Drilling plans stopped: Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc. announced it won’t drill county-owned minerals following a five-year battle, Boulder County said. The project, known as the Blue Paintbrush project, involved the drilling of up to 32 new wells on a property in Weld County — a property where Boulder County owns a conservation easement.
    • The county fought the project to protect public health, the environment and open space property. Extraction obtained drilling permits from Weld County and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), but Boulder County rejected its lease offer in 2022, leading to Extraction’s pursuit of “forced pooling.” (Broadly speaking, forced pooling laws allow companies to drill without obtaining consent from all mineral rights owners.) Just weeks before a COGCC hearing on the matter was scheduled, Extraction withdrew its forced pooling application.

Go Deeper…

Boulder City Council removes Police Oversight Panel member, prompting threat of legal action

By John Herrick

May 5, 2023

The Boulder City Council has voted to remove Lisa Sweeney-Miran from the Police Oversight Panel, the latest flashpoint in a dispute that has dominated Boulder headlines for months. The decision was seen by some as a rebuff to the community organizations that helped appoint the member, and it may prompt a lawsuit against the city. 

“I think the [Police Oversight Panel] is done,” Jude Landsman, a vice president with the NAACP of Boulder County and member of the selection committee that picked Sweeney-Miran, told Boulder Reporting Lab. “This has far-reaching consequences and sets a terrible precedent.”

Continue reading…

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BRL Picks

🇲🇽 Reminder – Longmont celebrates Cinco de Mayo: Longmont is gearing up for its 20th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration at Roosevelt Park this Saturday, May 6, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Each year thousands of people come together to join in the celebration and enjoy the food, shopping, live entertainment, car show, break dance competition, and free family activities.” 

🎹 Junkyard Music and Arts Festival: Junkyard is a seven-hour, open-air electronic music festival in Boulder that aims to showcase the creativity of the artistic community locally and beyond. The event will feature up-and-coming house and techno artists, art installations and fashion. It’s happening today, May 5, at the Junkyard Social Club, from 3:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.

📖 Dave Eggers at the Boulder Bookstore: Dave Eggers will be signing copies of his book “The Eyes and the Impossible” at the Boulder Bookstore this Sunday, May 7 at 5:00 p.m. Attendees will need to purchase a copy of the book through Eventbrite to gain admission to the signing line.

👵 Take advantage of programs to age well: The City of Boulder offers a range of services and programs to support older adults, and May is a good time to highlight them, as this month is recognized as Older Americans Month. Boulder City Council will declare May 2023 as Older Americans Month at a meeting on May 18. Learn about all offerings on the city’s website.

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


Tim Drugan is the climate and environment reporter for Boulder Reporting Lab, covering wildfires, water and other climate-related issues for Boulder 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. Email: