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Colorado Edition: Oil And Water

Oil well
Matt Bloom
An oil well near the border of Boulder and Weld counties.

Today on Colorado Edition: we'll discuss a controversial ban on fracking in a Colorado town and what a water auction means for the state. Plus, we'll learn about the latest school safety measures, and discuss the link between high altitude and depression. 

News Of The Day:

  • Vail Development - The town of Vail's Planning and Environmental Commission has narrowly approved a convtroversial plan to build 61 residential units on bighorn sheep habitat. According to The Vail Daily, the land is on private property owned by Vail Resorts, and had been zoned for residential development since the 1970s. At yesterday's commission meeting, the project developer pledged to offer $100,000 in seed money to enhance habitat for the bighorn sheep. For more on the debate around this development, listen to our interview with John LaConte from the Aug. 12 episode of Colorado Edition.
  • Schnell Farm - A 131-year-old farm will remain in the city of Lakewood. The City Council has voted unanimously against rezoning the 11-acre area. The Denver Post reports that decision will effectively block Richmond American Homes from building more than 75 houses where Schnell Farm currently sits. The farm was put on the National Register of Historic Places more than two decades ago, and the farm, barn and outbuilding would have likely been demolished for the development project. 
  • Scooter Ban - Denver City Council voted unanimously on Monday to ban scooter use on the city's sidewalks, in most cases. According to The Denver Channel, scooters are allowed if they are moving slower than 6 miles per hour, or if the rider is getting on or off of the scooter. 
  • Ikon Pass - The Zermatt Ski Area in Switzerland will become the first European destination for the Ikon Pass. It's known for the iconic Matterhorn that towers more than 3,500 acres in both Switzerland and Italy. Ikon pass holders will have seven-day access to Zermatt and the Matterhorn. The move is a continuation of the competition between Alterra's Ikon Pass and Vail Skiing Company's Epic Pass. Both passes offer use to resorts worldwide. Ikon collaborates with resorts outside the U.S. including Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Australia. The Epic Pass also has access to resorts in Europe, Australia and Japan. 

Longmont Fracking Ban

Credit Kirk Siegler
A drilling rig near Longmont, Colo.

Earlier this month, two activist groups, Our Longmont and Colorado Rising, filed a motion with a district judge in Longmont to lift the injunction which currently prevents the city from enforcing the ban on fracking.

On Friday, the district judge granted the motion to open the case, something which environmental groups are hoping could lead to the injunction being lifted. Matt Bloom, KUNC's oil and gas reporter, joins us to bring us up to speed about what's going on. 

Water Auction

Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC

There's a big auction happening tomorrow, but it's not office supplies or rare works of art that are up for bidding — it's water. KUNC's Luke Runyon joins us to explain what's going on. 

School Safety

Credit Pixabay

Safety is on the minds of teachers and parents as kids return to school this month. It's also something state lawmakers have turned their attention to. For an in-depth look at school safety, Erica Meltzer, bureau chief of Chalkbeat Colorado, joins us. 

High-Altitude Depression

Credit CGP GREY / CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0
Mountain states have high rates of suicide and depression, possibly in part due to oxygen deprivation. The crew of a two-year mission inside this sealed experimental facility in Oracle, Arizona suffered declining oxygen levels comparable to climbing a 13,000-foot mountain.

According to a Gallup poll released this year, the Mountain West is home to some of the happiest states in the country, but we also have some of the highest rates of deppressive disorders and suicide. Researchers are trying to find out why. Turns out the mountains might have something to do with it. KUNC's Rae Ellen Bichell reports

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music this week by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • "Bling Bong" by Robbie Reverb
  • "Highway 430" by Truck Stop
  • "Way Post" by Desert Kalimba

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. News director Catherine Welch and managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, beginning Sept. 2, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.