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Colorado Edition: Second Chances

Warren Brown Photography
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Today on Colorado Edition: what new gun policies from Kroger and Walmart mean in Colorado. Plus, a look at upcoming recall deadlines. We'll also hear about the state's move to bring broadband to the tiny town of Ophir. And we'll discuss how the outdoor recreation industry is affecting elk populations.


News Of The Day:

  • Office of Future of Work - Governor Jared Polis has created another office of state government. The new Office of Future of Work will help prepare residents for jobs in a world that is increasingly turning to automation. It’s the second office Polis has created this year to address an issue. His first was the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care. The governor’s office didn’t immediately provide the cost of the new office.

  • Short-Term Rentals - Hundreds of property owners in Denver are surrendering their licenses for short for rental units, like Airbnb, rather than deal with strict regulations the city has imposed. The Denver Post reports the surge in withdrawals comes as the city began asking property owners to sign affidavits, acknowledging they were following rules requiring their short-term rental locations also be their primary residence. So far more than 150 licenses have been surrendered this year. 

  • Topless Ban Lifted - The Fort Collins city council has removed language from its city code that banned women from going topless in public. The policy has been in the court system for years. The advocacy group, “Free the Nipple,” filed a lawsuit in 2017, arguing the law was sexist and unconstitutional against women and the transgender community. The legal battle over the issue has cost Fort Collins more than $300,000. The two plaintiffs will be reimbursed about $200,000 for legal fees. 

  • Colorado Climber - A Colorado climber will represent the U.S. at the first Olympic climbing competition. Brooke Raboutou is the first American athlete to qualify the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Daily Camera reports she made the cut based on her performance at the World Championships in Japan last month. Raboutou was among the first seven women in the world to qualify. Only 40 climbers, split equally by gender, will be allowed to compete in Tokyo. 

Gun Policies in Supermarkets

Credit Robert Nelson . FLICKR

Walmart announced Tuesday they would discontinue the sales of some types of ammunition across the country. That announcement came on the same day that Kroger, the parent company of grocery store chains including King Soopers and City Market, asked customers to stop carrying firearms openly in stores. To learn more, we spoke to Jacob Charles, executive director of the center for firearms law at Duke Law.

Recall Efforts In Colorado

Credit Henry Zimmerman / KUNC
A polling location poster in the window of the town hall in Estes Park.

There are a handful of recall efforts going on in Colorado, including one against Governor Jared Polis. We spoke to KUNC's Leigh Paterson about the recalls and how new gun laws tie into things.

Rural Broadband Access

Brian Morgan and town leaders in Ophir spent four years working to get high-speed internet connected before the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit Credit Scott Franz / KUNC
Ophir and the new utility pole that is being used to beam high speed internet down into the town of about 80 homes.

Colorado is spending more than $100 million  to get everyone living in rural areas connected to high speed internet. And the investment is finally starting to reach some of the most rugged and remote places.  KUNC’s Scott Franz recently traveled to Ophir, Colorado to see how the arrival of broadband is affecting the community.

Mental Health Facility In Danger of Closing

Credit Courtesy Clear View Behavioral Health
State officials are trying to revoke Clear View Behavioral Health’s hospital license for a slew of alleged safety violations.

The state is currently is currently attempting to shut down a mental health facility in northern Colorado. Clear View Behavioral Health is based in Johnstown, near Greeley and Loveland. But in a state that increasingly needs mental health resources, what does this mean for access and care going forward? We spoke with Bizwest’s Dan Mika to learn more.

Elk Decline and Outdoor Recreation


In the past few years, the population of elk near the town of Vail has plummeted. And many scientists say the reason isn’t solely due to hunting or development, but that outdoor recreation plays a part too. We discussed the decline and its potential causes with Christine Peterson, who wrote about the issue for The Guardian.

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:

  • “Great Great Lengths” by The Balloonist
  • "Neil Takes Two" by Studio J
  • "Stale Case" by Darby
  • "Greylock" by Skittle

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.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.