Hey there, Boulder. 👋 Welcome to your Monday edition of BRL Today.

Last month, we brought you a story about the restaurant-owned meal delivery service Nosh Boulder and its efforts to pitch in after the Marshall Fire. This month, after the unexpected closure of the local co-op alternative to DoorDash and Grubhub, we’re talking to its director of operations about what went wrong.

Also in today’s newsletter: CU experts react to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; CDC drops mask mandate recommendations for schools; state lawmakers eye a sweeping climate bill that would ban gas-powered lawn equipment; plus Covid-19 updates, trail closures, volunteer opportunities and more.

We’ll see you here again next Wednesday. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to email us with story tips, words of wisdom, constructive criticism and points in between. 📨

– Jezy, managing editor

The Fisk Jubilee singers performed at Macky Auditorium on Sunday, Feb. 27 to cap off the Walk With Me series presented by NAACP Boulder County. For more on the 150-year history of the legendary vocal music ensemble, read our story from Friday at the bottom of today’s newsletter. Credit: Anthony Albidrez

Top Story

‘We ran out of runway’: Nosh director of operations on the end of the restaurant-owned meal delivery service in Boulder

The city-subsidized alternative to big corporate apps went under suddenly this month, shocking local supporters. What can the experiment’s failure tell us about the future of the co-op delivery model in Boulder? Read the full story

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Quickly

⏱️ Partly sunny with highs near 57. Should be the start of warming trend through most of the week, before snow forecasts return for the weekend.
⏱️ Tonight: Four CU experts will offer insights into the “history of Ukraine and Russia, domestic politics and society of the region, sentiments on the ground in Ukraine, and sanctions by the West.” The event begins at 7 p.m. Register here.
⏱️ Boulder County is hosting a virtual meeting on Wednesday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m. regarding the coordinated debris removal program for people whose properties were destroyed by the Marshall Fire. Register here.
⏱️ FEMA specialists will be at the Longmont Ace Hardware through tomorrow to answer questions about rebuilding and repair after the fire.
⏱️ The Town of Superior has begun using a chlorine dioxide system at its water treatment plant to address ongoing taste and odor issues.
⏱️ United Policyholders and expert panelists will answer FAQs on wildfire insurance claims on Wednesday, March 2, at 6 p.m. Register here.
⏱️ Identifying projects for effectively investing American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds is the mission of three new working groups from the Boulder County ARPA Steering Committee. Virtual kick-off meeting is today.
⏱️ BVSD is looking for people to volunteer as judges to provide feedback on student projects for National History Day. Today is the deadline to apply.
⏱️ The new community-curated exhibition Voces Vivas: Stories from the Latino Community opened this weekend at the Museum of Boulder.
⏱️ Make your miles 👟 matter: Join Colorado Parks & Rec for the 2nd annual Miles For Meaning. Log your miles for charity during this 31-day challenge, starting March 1.
⏱️ Reminder: Caribou Ranch open space will be closed today through March 2 for a forestry thinning project. Park reopens at sunrise on March 3.
⏱️ All trails at Hall Ranch and Heil Valley Ranch are closed due to muddy conditions. The Eagle Wind Trail at Rabbit Mountain is also closed.

Covid-19 in Boulder County: Feb. 28, 2022

  • 83 daily new cases (7-day avg.)  Down 41% 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

  • CDC drops mask mandate guidance for schools. The CDC says schools should only require masks when Covid cases and hospitalizations are high. “The move is the first major change in national guidance on masks in schools since last summer, and follows decisions by many states and districts to lift mask mandates in recent weeks. Still, many schools have continued to require masks for students and staff, and the CDC’s shift could pave the way for further changes.”
  • No more mask mandate on BVSD buses. The move follows a Feb. 25 CDC decision to no longer require people on school buses to wear masks. “CDC is making this change to align with updated guidance that no longer recommends universal indoor mask wearing in K-12 and early education settings in areas with a low or medium COVID-19 Community Level.”
  • Update on vaccine timing. The recommended time between the first and second doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines has been extended for certain people, per the CDC. “The change is based on several studies which have shown that an 8-week interval between the first and second dose may be optimal for some people ages 12 and older, especially for males aged 12-39 years.”
  • Gov. Jared Polis: “Live life normally.” Citing vaccine availability, effective treatment and high immunity levels, Polis said fully vaccinated Coloradans can go back to their “normal” lives. He also highlighted the state’s four-step plan for managing the virus moving ahead. “We hope this plan forward can reduce the likelihood of future emergencies,” said Polis. “We fully expect that there will be a seasonal impact of COVID-19, based on the limited data we have that seems likely.”

BRL Picks

🚲 Youth bike fundraiser. Local outdoor adventure influencer Ryan Van Duzer, who spoke to us about burnout earlier this month, is raising money to get kids on bikes. He’s teaming up with Walnut Cafe Owner Dana Derichsweiler to raffle off a Priority 600x mountain bike, after raising $45,000 for efforts last year. Hurry — deadline is today.
🎤 Diversity panel. The history of the Latinx experience in Boulder County is the subject of a panel at the CU Law School on March 16, 7–8:30 p.m. State Historian Nicki Gonzales will moderate the panel, “The Roots of Today’s Racial Exclusion in Boulder County and the Road Ahead,” featuring Donna Lovato, executive director of El Comité de Longmont, BVSD school board member Richard Garcia, and Frank Archuleta, historian for the City of Lafayette.
🌻 Soak up the sun. Jack’s Solar Garden is looking for an artist in residence to brighten up the family-owned solar farm in Longmont. They’re offering $500 up front to help with supplies and logistics, plus another $500 at the end of the project in October. Deadline to apply is March 15.
⛰️ Movies that rock. If you love outdoor adventure, you won’t want to miss this year’s Reel Rock film program at Boulder Theater on Friday, March 11. The event will feature 16 world premiere films presented by esteemed climbers Alex Honnold and Nina Williams. Tickets here.

What We’re Reading

  • Pre-war concerns from a Ukraine expert at CU. In an article published weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, CU Boulder geography professor John O’Loughlin expressed concern for civilians in a potential military conflict. “‘What about the people who will have to carry the burden of a war?’ said O’Loughlin, fellow of the Institute of Behavioral Science. ‘The geopolitical strategists don’t seem to be too worried about the human suffering that would occur.'” [CU Boulder Today]
  • That expert and others weigh in. With war underway, O’Loughlin and other CU researchers share their concerns for the future. “‘The problem is that what starts in Ukraine doesn’t stop in Ukraine, because NATO is next door,’ he said. ‘It means that there’s a risk of NATO troops and of Russians coming in contact with each other.'” [CU Independent]
  •  No more gas-powered lawn tools? “Two Democratic state lawmakers have introduced a sweeping climate and environment bill that would outlaw gas-powered lawn equipment along the northern Front Range, set new greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and force insurance companies operating in the state to conduct a climate assessment. Senate Bill 138 also aims to make carbon capture and sequestration easier and ensure the state’s pension system for public employees can weather the effects of climate change.” [Colorado Sun]

ICYMI from BRL

🎙️ ‘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.
🔥 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.
🌎 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.

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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.