Matt Bloom | KUNC

Matt Bloom

Reporter, Economy and General Assignment

I cover a wide range of issues within Colorado’s dynamic economy including energy, labor, housing, beer, marijuana, elections and other general assignment stories. Follow me for updates on everything from the fight over oil and gas, the 2020 race and the giant mountain of dirt next to Interstate 25.

I love stories. As more people move to Colorado, I’m more focused than ever on making sure KUNC’s reporting makes you think, question and sometimes laugh about the changing world around us.

Before coming to KUNC, I worked at KPCC, KCRW and NPR West in Los Angeles, where I helped produce the first season of Embedded, covered wildfires and produced a daily talk show. In 2016, I graduated with a degree in journalism from Indiana University, where I started my first podcast at WIUX Student Radio.

I’m a proud member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and am a strong supporter of fair LGBT representation in the journalism industry.

Outside of work, I sing with the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, Matt Bloom Trio and watch far, far too many movies.

Matt Bloom / KUNC News

Back in February, David Sislowski was sitting at a coffee shop in Windsor when a friend suggested he make an Instagram account for his mayoral campaign. That must be a joke, the former corporate lawyer thought. He’d never even used the app before. 

After some resistance, the friend walked him through the process of setting up an account. He took a selfie and posted it, thinking the whole thing was kind of funny. 

“Looking back, it was a smart move,” he said. Within a few short weeks, all of his in-person campaign events were cancelled to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Matt Bloom / KUNC News

Northern Colorado's first responders and healthcare workers are getting tested for COVID-19 at a temporary drive-through testing site in Loveland.

The facility, which is set up in the parking lot of The Ranch Events Complex, is one of three sites around the state supplied with staff and test kits from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Local health department workers from Larimer and Weld counties are helping run the operation.

©patpitchaya from Getty Images Pro / via Canva

A new month is upon us and that means it's time to pay the bills. But with so many Americans out of work due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus, some housing, utility and financial service providers — both local and national — are adjusting their payment options.

Matt Bloom / KUNC News

More than 1,200 N95 masks. Nearly 100,000 gloves. Almost 40 gallons of bleach.

Residents from Fort Collins, Loveland and communities throughout northern Colorado donated thousands of items of personal protective equipment during Larimer County’s first PPE drive in the face of the local COVID-19 outbreak.

Matt Bloom / KUNC News

José Casillas knew something was wrong based on the number of burritos he was selling. As manager of Mi Gallo Giro, a small Mexican restaurant in Evans, he typically filled five big orders a week for oil and gas companies’ safety meetings, making 50 to 100 burritos for each one.

But last week, two of his regular customers called to cancel their orders. Another cut their request in half.

Mark Jarvis / Flickr Creative Commons

Rocky Mountain National Park is shutting its gates to visitors to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. It’s the first of Colorado’s national parks to take the step.

The closure started on Friday at 7 p.m. and will remain in effect “until further notice,” according to a statement from the National Park Service. The closure includes all visitors at all times.

Matt Bloom / KUNC News

More than 20,000 Coloradans filed for unemployment benefits this week as major industries continued to shed workers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to state labor department data shared Friday.

Grace Hood

School districts from Fort Collins to the metro Denver area will continue offering meal services to food insecure families even while classes are postponed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

KUNC asked several of the region’s largest school systems to share their plans. 

Courtesy of Blake Letzring

The city of Loveland is recommending residents not participate in some community-organized cleanups of homeless encampments due to safety concerns — even as participants involved in the effort say they’re taking appropriate precautions.

In a notice posted on its website this week, the city said the cleanups can expose well-meaning volunteers to hazardous waste such as used needles, razor blades and, in some cases, “potentially aggressive occupants.”

Weld County (left photo) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (right photo).

State oil and gas regulators are seeking roughly $18 million in fines from the company responsible for the 2017 home explosion in the town of Firestone. It’s the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s largest fine ever issued against an operator, officials said.

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