Been skiing at Eldora Mountain lately? ⛰️ If you’re like many people we’ve been hearing from, you probably spent more time in traffic than you planned to. That’s why we sent reporter Ryan Ernstes to find out what solutions are in the works to help alleviate vehicle congestion at our local ski mountain.

We’ve also got the latest from John Herrick on the city’s plans for a new “Climate Tax” that could end up on the November ballot. The goal, the city says, is to generate more money for its climate resiliency efforts, and it’s part of a larger shift in its climate strategy. And, don’t miss today’s vital Marshall Fire, Covid-19 and other news and information below.

We’ll see you here Friday!

– Jezy, managing editor

King Soopers employees Lance Goehringer (left), who was present at the time of the March 2021 shooting, and Kelly Goehringer (right) pose with their son Caleb next to their portrait during the Feb. 18 opening reception of the Boulder Strong exhibition at the Museum of Boulder. The show is a collaboration between the museum and Ross Taylor, photojournalist and CU Boulder professor, designed “as a tool for reflection, story-generating and healing.” Credit: Anthony Albidrez

Top Stories

‘Traffic this year is hell’: Growing congestion going to Eldora Mountain Resort sparks public frustration, and solutions

Construction on 800 new parking spots is scheduled to begin as early as May. Resort management is also considering a return to the reservation system and other measures, with guidelines for next ski season possible in March. Read the full story

Boulder seeks new climate tax focused on safeguarding the city against extreme weather

Plans are underway for a November ballot measure modifying the city’s existing climate taxes on electricity consumption and utility revenue to generate more money for resiliency efforts, part of a shift away from historical investments in driving down emissions. Read the full story

Want to see your business here? Become a BRL Community Sponsor today!

Quickly

⏱️ Cloudy and frigid today with highs in the low teens. Dangerous wind chills through the morning. Snow expected in the afternoon.
⏱️ Low-interest loans are still available to businesses, nonprofits, renters and homeowners affected by the Marshall Fire through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Applications are due March 1.
⏱️ Related: March 2 is the last day to register for FEMA assistance.
⏱️ The third virtual community meeting for fire-affected residents of unincorporated Boulder County will take place tonight, 6–8 p.m. Topic: the process of rebuilding destroyed homes.
⏱️ The Town of Superior also continues its series of virtual meetings on rebuilding after the fire tonight. The Sagamore and Rock Creek Ranch neighborhoods will be the topics of discussion at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
⏱️ The Boulder Valley Build Expo is connecting homebuilders and architects with those whose homes were destroyed in the Marshall Fire during informational sessions on Friday and Saturday at Ascent Community Church in Louisville.
⏱️ Caribou Ranch open space will be closed Feb. 28 through March 2 for a forestry thinning project. Park reopens at sunrise on March 3.
⏱️ Trails previously closed due to muddy conditions at Rabbit Mountain, Heil Valley and Hall Ranch are now open. The south side of Heil is still closed for fire recovery.

Covid-19 in Boulder County: Feb. 23, 2022

  • 95 daily new cases (7-day avg.)  Down 48% over preceding 7-day avg.
  • 28 patients hospitalized with Covid (7-day avg.) Down from avg. of 41 since July 2020.
  • 71% percent of ICU is occupied. About the same as average of 71% since July 2020.
  • Data: Here’s how and where we’re tracking all of the above.

Latest Covid news

  • New rapid test distribution program. Colorado residents will be able to get rapid at-home Covid-19 tests at certain community sites under a new community distribution program. Find all participating Boulder County locations on the CDPHE website.
  • A positive milestone. The seven-day average of daily new cases in Boulder County is below 100 for the first time since the Omicron surge. The last time this number dipped below 100 was around Dec. 20, based on our tracking.

BRL Picks

🐾 Walk on the wild side. Want to learn about local wildlife? Join volunteer naturalists to look for signs of activity like tracks, scat, feathers, fur and more on Saturday, Feb. 26. You’ll also learn about how animals survive Colorado’s cold winters. Bring ski or hiking poles in case trails are icy. Location provided upon registration.
🎻 Bach in business. Originally scheduled for October of last year, the Boulder Bach Festival presents a classical music program at 4 p.m. this Saturday at the Stewart Auditorium inside the Longmont Museum. The performances “embrace a diversity of musical styles, traveling across time and across cultures including works in romantic style with Moorish-Andalusian, Roma, and Sephardic influences.”
🩰 Black voices of dance. Celebrate some of the country’s leading Black choreographers with a program of original works presented by Boulder Ballet at the Dairy Arts Center, Feb. 24–27. The event features three world premieres from Gregory Dawson, Sidra Bell, and Amy Hall Garner, with talkbacks after each performance. Tickets here.
📚 Book talk. Literary giants Margaret Atwood and Judy Blume will discuss Atwood’s new essay collection, Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021, in a virtual conversation presented by Boulder Book Store on Tuesday, March 1. Tickets to the online event start at $30 and include a hardcover copy of Atwood’s new book.

What We’re Reading

  • CU Boulder study: More ‘flammable nights’ in store. “Forty years ago, cool, moist nights regularly provided relief to firefighters — and ‘flammable nights’ were rare. Now, due to a changing climate, nights are warming faster than days are, and there are 11 more flammable nights every year in the U.S. West — a 45 percent spike, the team found. ‘Night is the critical time for slowing a speeding fire — and wildfire’s night brakes are failing,’ said Jennifer Balch, CIRES Fellow, Director of CIRES’ Earth Lab and lead author on the study out today in Nature.” [CIRES]
  • No new building codes for Superior fire victims. The Town of Superior will not be enforcing stricter building codes on people rebuilding destroyed homes after the Marshall Fire. “People are very concerned about the cost to rebuild and the requirements to rebuild and they didn’t want any additional impediments to getting in the way of rebuilding their homes. We heard that loud and clear, and we want to expedite that process as much as possible too,” Superior Mayor Clint Folsom said. [KDVR]

ICYMI from BRL

🏗️ Widespread underinsurance prompts City of Louisville to streamline regulations to help people rebuild. The Louisville City Council approved an emergency ordinance intended to expedite construction in neighborhoods destroyed by the fire, even as it pursues other regulations that could slow things down. 
❤️ After launching during the early days of Covid-19, an online volunteer group becomes a lifeline in the wake of the Marshall Fire. Yesterday’s opening of a new free store for fire victims at the Christopher Plaza shopping center in Louisville is the latest community relief effort spearheaded by local resident Serena Overson. 
🔥 ‘Colorado is a flammable place’: experts urge renewed focus on resilience after the fire. In the final installment of a virtual conversation series, panelists share insight on building fire-adapted communities in response to the expanding wildland-urban interface. 

About Us

Hi. We’re Boulder’s new nonprofit newsroom. Our mission is to help you get more informed about the issues you care about and more connected to the city you love. To do this, we provide high-quality, original journalism on the most pressing issues plus curated community information — all paywall-free. Learn more about us here and here.

Not subscribed to this newsletter yet? Sign up. It’s free! You can find all previous editions of BRL Today here.

We’re just getting started, but we have BIG plans. Already like what you see? Consider becoming a BRL member today.

Thanks for reading!

Our journalism depends on you.
Have a story tip for us?
Send us your ideas at tips@boulderreportinglab.org.

– The BRL Team

Jezy J. Gray

I’m the managing editor of the Boulder Reporting Lab. In addition to years of writing on the culture, politics and history of my home state of Oklahoma, I 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. I look forward to listening to and learning from the Boulder community as we work together on telling the stories that matter here.