Good morning, Boulder. We know there’s a lot in your newsfeeds and on your hearts right now, so thanks for taking a moment with us today.

First up, a story of jubilation. Learn about the 150-year history of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the vocal music ensemble from Nashville that once toured along the route of the old Underground Railroad after the Civil War, before they bring sacred songs of Black resilience to CU Boulder’s Macky Auditorium on Sunday.

We’ve also got a powerful profile about a local renter navigating a strange new reality after losing everything in the Marshall Fire. “This has been a weird process of identity,” she said. “A lot of the things I lost in the fire were me.”

We’ll be back on Monday! 👋

– Jezy, managing editor

Theresa Trujillo with Coalition for Healthy Pueblo speaks at the Pueblo County Courthouse on Oct. 23, 2021, to oppose the county’s plan to replace Xcel Energy’s Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant with a nuclear reactor. This week, the county dropped support for a nuclear replacement after months of local outcry and pushback from a statewide coalition of environmental activists. Credit: Anthony Albidrez

Top Stories

‘This history belongs to all of us’: Fisk Jubilee Singers make a joyful noise to cap off NAACP Boulder County arts and culture series

The vocal music ensemble from Nashville’s historic Fisk University comes to Boulder on Sunday, Feb. 27, for an afternoon of songs from a long tradition of Black resilience. The free show will culminate two months of visual and performing arts programming presented by NAACP Boulder County. Read the full story

A Boulder renter who lost everything in the Marshall Fire wrestles with what it means to be a fire victim

“This has been a weird process of identity. A lot of the things I lost in the fire were me,” says Charla Harvey, a 28-year-old photographer and graduate student at Naropa University. Read the full story

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Quickly

⏱️ Partly sunny today with highs near 27. Expect gradually increasing temps over the weekend.
⏱️ Foundation removal will be included in the fire debris removal program for residents whose homes were destroyed by the Marshall Fire.
⏱️ Boulder Shelter is partnering with the city to provide Boulder Targeted Homelessness Engagement and Referral Effort (BTHERE) services. They’re hiring multiple positions for the housing-focused outreach team.
⏱️ The City of Boulder is reopening recruitment for volunteers to join its boards and commissions. Several city boards had more vacancies than applicants after the Feb. 21 deadline: Design Advisory Board, University Hill Commercial Area Management Commission, the Board of Zoning Adjustments and more.
⏱️ The Boulder Chamber is hiring for three positions: administrative and scheduling specialist, marketing and communications manager, and workforce development director. Apply here.
⏱️ Chef Edwin Zoe of Zoe Ma Ma and Chimera Ramen has been named a James Beard Award semi-finalist in the category of Outstanding Restaurateur.
⏱️ The City of Boulder is partnering with Community Cycles on launching a bike tire recycling pilot program.
⏱️ Applications are open for the artist-in-residence program at Caribou Ranch Open Space. But hurry — deadline is Monday, Feb. 28.
⏱️ District Attorney Michael Dougherty has issued a cease and desist order against a company called Professional Forest Management over newspaper and TV ads soliciting Marshall Fire victims to join a lawsuit against Boulder County and the City of Boulder.
⏱️ Colorado is poised to become the first state to accept cryptocurrency for payment of state taxes and fees, according to a tweet from Gov. Jared Polis.
⏱️ Dates have been announced for the UN Climate and Human Rights summit at CU Boulder: The inaugural Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit will take place Dec. 1-4, 2022 on campus and online.

Covid-19 in Boulder County: Feb. 25, 2022

  • 84 daily new cases (7-day avg.)  Down 52% 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 the historical average of 71% since July 2020.
  • Data: Here’s how and where we’re tracking all of the above.

Latest Covid news

  • Denver’s vaccine mandate to expire. As of Friday, March 4, City and County of Denver employees and contractors will not be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19. As of November, 23 city employees had been fired for noncompliance with the soon-to-expire public health order.
  • New rapid test distribution program. Reminder: Colorado residents will be able to get rapid at-home Covid-19 tests at certain community sites under a new distribution program. Find all participating Boulder County locations on the CDPHE website.
  • CU Covid update. The university’s vaccine booster requirement deadline was yesterday. Fulfillment numbers will be one of two metrics (along with continued reduction in community transmission) used by CU Health & Wellness Services to determine whether it will lift its mask mandate.

BRL Picks

👨‍🌾 Grow, baby, grow. Need help planning your garden? New and experienced growers alike are invited to a garden design workshop tomorrow at Growing Gardens at 1630 Hawthorn Avenue in Boulder. The event will touch on everything from drainage to seed selection and practical design techniques. Register here.
🎙️ Joyful noise. The Fisk Jubilee Singers of Nashville will bring 150 years of Black history to Boulder on Sunday, when the legendary vocal group performs as part of NAACP Boulder County’s Walk With Me series. Register for the free show here, and read today’s story about the acappella ensemble.
🧶 Get crafty. If you’re looking for a good stress melter, join Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary in Erie for craft night on Saturday, March 19. Participants will create their own mandala rocks for meditation and spend some quality time with the sanctuary’s newest pig residents, Arnie and Frankie.
🎸 Rock for relief. Tune in for a concert livestream supporting Marshall Fire relief on Monday, Feb. 28. Performers include Lyle Lovett, Brittany Howard, Dave Matthews and more. The event won’t be rebroadcast — so if you miss it, you miss it! Buy livestream tickets ($10) here.

What We’re Reading

  • Pueblo backs off nuclear. Pueblo County officials say they are retracting their support for replacing Colorado’s largest coal-fired plant with a nuclear reactor after months of backlash. “‘Sometimes we’re wrong. We step out, we make a mistake,’ County Commissioner Chris Wiseman told CPR News last week. ‘We stepped out too quick on this particular issue. We did not vet the community in the way that we should have, and now we’re trying to do that.'” [CPR News]
  • Judge issues order in Steve Rosenblum case. Boulder Municipal Judge Jeff Cahn says legal fees incurred while drafting a lawsuit against Boulder residents should have been reported as campaign expenses by the former city council candidate. “The Hearing Office finds that Complainants have established that the press releases were used by Respondent for the primary purpose of supporting his City Council candidacy.” [Daily Camera]
  • Colorado leaders respond to Russian invasion. State and federal lawmakers called for more sanctions against Russia and expressed solidarity with the people of Ukraine. “Gov. Jared Polis urged Congress to immediately suspend the federal gas tax and ‘double down on a rapid clean energy transition.’ Those steps, among others, would help prevent further energy and fuel price increases for Coloradans, Polis said. He also offered words of support to the people of Ukraine.” [CPR News]

ICYMI from BRL

⛷️ ‘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.
🌎 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.

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.

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– The BRL Team

Jezy J. Gray

Jezy Gray was the former managing editor of Boulder Reporting Lab. In addition to years of writing on the culture, politics and history of my home state of Oklahoma, he 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.