Monday already? 🙈 Get ready to take on the week with BRL Today.

Our staff is gearing up for a conference in preparation for our Chronicle of Philanthropy journalism fellowship, so no top story today. But you’ll still find lots of essential community information, including Covid news; today’s deadline for summer sports leagues; Boulder County Public Health’s new chief medical officer; a visit from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and more. Plus, Mayor Aaron Brockett’s response to the latest developments surrounding Boulder’s proposed library district.

And lastly, a sign of hope to start your week. 🌱👇

– Jezy, managing editor

Grass grows out of the ashes in the burn scar of the NCAR Fire on April 9, 2022 — two weeks after wildfire torched nearly 200 acres of open space in South Boulder. Credit: Harry Fuller

Quickly

🌧️ Cloudy and rainy: Expect mostly cloudy skies today with highs in the low-50s. Rain chances increase in the afternoon and carry on through tomorrow.

🚜 Rural infrastructure tour: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will visit Boulder County this afternoon to launch the Biden Administration’s Rural Infrastructure Tour. They’ll also participate in a joint field visit regarding wildland fire preparedness and response. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and Rep. Joe Neguse will also attend.

🩺 Boulder County Public Health gets new chief medical officer: Per BCPH: “Dr. [Bob] Belknap is a specialist in public health, infectious diseases and internal medicine and brings a wealth of experience to Boulder County. He has been the director of the tuberculosis program for metro Denver counties since 2013 and currently serves as the interim executive director of the Public Health Institute at Denver Health and as CMO for Broomfield County.”

🛣️ Diagonal highway makeover: Boulder County commissioners host a virtual town hall on Thursday, April 14, regarding the Highway 119 (Diagonal) Makeover. The Zoom meeting takes place 5:30–6:30 p.m. Register here, and send an email with the subject line “April 14 Town Hall” if you’d like to speak.

🥎 Summer sports league registration deadline is here: Today is the last day to sign up for summer softball and kickball leagues through the Boulder Parks and Recreation Department. Read more about the city’s community sports program and sign up here.

📅 Tax deadline: Remember to file your taxes before April 18 to receive your Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit payments. Visit Get Ahead Colorado for help getting started.

📚 Mayor responds to library district developments: City Council voted last week to form a library district and to allow advocates to seek a ballot measure in November asking voters to pay for it with up to a 3.8-mill property tax. The county commission, which needs to adopt a similar resolution to establish the library district across much of the county, suggested a lower 1-mill property tax. It tabled its vote.

“We have a pretty tight timeline to keep the district formation on track for 2022. So the delay is worrying,” Mayor Aaron Brockett told the Boulder Reporting Lab on Friday. “We’ll have some discussion back and forth between city and county staff, and between the elected representatives as well, and see if we can come up with something that is mutually acceptable. But 3.8 and 1 are pretty far apart.”

BRL Picks

📢 Volunteers needed. The annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, of the National Association of Letter Carriers, returns this spring on Saturday, May 14. The event collects non-perishable food donations along postal routes. Via Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA): “Volunteers will help in a variety of ways from representing and helping EFAA at local post offices to loading and unloading, sorting, organizing, and stocking in our Food Bank at our main office in Boulder.” Sign up here.

🚲 Two wheels, big screen. Join Community Cycles for its first in-person fundraising event of the year during its Bicycle Film Festival on Friday, April 22. Featuring an all-new selection of short films from around the world, the diverse program includes narrative films and documentaries by award-winning filmmakers and emerging directors alike. Tickets here.

🚌 MAC meeting. Got thoughts on multi-modal transportation and accessibility? The Boulder County Mobility and Access Coalition (MAC), “an alliance of community organizations, individuals, and interest groups working together to achieve common goals regarding transportation services to people with mobility challenges,” hosts a virtual meeting today from 2–3:45 p.m.

🧊 Cool down. Coal Creek Meals on Wheels still needs coolers to help keep their clients’ meals fresh for home delivery. Got one you can donate? They’ll take styrofoam, hard-shell and other varieties. Drop off your donations at 455 N. Burlington Ave. in Lafayette or call 303-665-0566 for pick-up.

Covid-19 Updates: April 11, 2022

  • 76 daily new cases (7-day avg.) 🔺Up 4% over preceding 7-day avg.
  • 0 patients hospitalized with Covid (7-day avg.) Down from avg. of 40 since July 2020.
  • 49% percent of ICU is occupied. Down from avg. of 71% since July 2020.
  • Across the state, down to 80 people hospitalized with “confirmed Covid.” According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), of those hospitalized as of April 8, 54% are unvaccinated. In total, nearly three-quarters of Coloradans ages 5 and older are now fully vaccinated.
  • CDPHE suspends Centennial clinic from administering vaccines. Sixty-eight people will likely have to be re-vaccinated after a CDPHE investigation found that Health Now Family Practice in Centennial violated federal standards. CDPHE wrote: “Health Now Family Practice is not meeting the necessary standards required by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine administration pursuant to the emergency use authorization issued by the FDA.”

What We’re Reading

📖 Corporate landlords are buying mobile home parks. What does it mean for residents? “In the two years since Colorado’s opportunity-to-purchase law went into effect, only Sans Souci and two other parks have been sold to residents. In 20 cases, park owners failed to notify residents in compliance with the law before selling, according to data from the state Department of Local Affairs. In others, residents were notified but struggled to coalesce quickly enough to make a purchase offer.” [New York Times]

📖 Boulder’s Walnut Cafe sells to employees. “More than just an eatery, the cafe has been a home and haven to many, including the city’s LGBTQ population. Soon, it will be up to others to carry on that legacy of welcome. Derichsweiler recently signed the papers selling the Walnut to two employees, both of whom started out as servers.” [Boulder Beat]

ICYMI from BRL

🇺🇦 ‘It could have been me’: A Ukrainian-American in Boulder County watches war unfold from over 5,000 miles away. Longmont resident Valeria Schweiger talks about processing grief, stress and fear as violence engulfs her native Ukraine.

🌎 Boulder seeks new climate tax focused on safeguarding the city against extreme weatherPlans 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.

🚲 Boulder outdoor influencer battles burnout and takes a breather. High-energy YouTuber Ryan Van Duzer, who built a huge online following with adventure cycling content in Colorado and beyond, offers advice on dealing with anxiety in the wake of community trauma.

📚 Boulder County commissioners punt vote on library district, prompting potential stalemate over long-sought plan to boost funding. In response to the delay, City of Boulder advocates for the district are moving forward to get their own measure on the ballot in November.

One Quick Favor to Ask…

Will you share our newsletter with a friend? We’re so proud of the reporting we’ve been doing lately, and we can’t help but think, What if even more Boulder locals were getting our journalism straight to their inbox?  Spreading the word is one of the easiest (and no-cost) ways you can help us grow into a much bigger newsroom able to cover every aspect of our community. If you’re benefiting from our work, please send this signup link to at least one friend, family member, colleague or neighbor, or share this link to our signup page!

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.