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Colorado Edition: Today's The Day

Ash tree
Matt Bloom
A dead ash tree.

Today on Colorado Edition: we'll celebrate World Mental Health Day with the president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado. Plus, what homeowners are doing about the invasive emerald ash borer. And,  we'll discuss the police oversight task force in Boulder, and look ahead to what recommendations they'll be making to city council Thursday night. Finally, ahead of Friday's climate strike in Denver, we'll discuss youth activism. 

News of the Day: 

  • Racist Incident At CU Boulder - Student leaders have reached an agreement with the University of Colorado Boulder to reform policy to prevent racism on campus following an incident Saturday. The Black Student Alliance posted a list of demands Monday in response to video of a white woman cursing and using racist slurs against Black students studying. University officials, including Chancellor Phil DeStefano, met with student leaders and agreed to ban the woman from campus, and circulate fliers with her picture and information on reporting further activity. Students will also work alongside the office of equity and inclusion to create a more streamlined process for reporting racism. Chancellor DiStefano agreed to provide an update on progress by the end of next week. 
  • Boy Scout Merger - A Boy Scouts council in Grand Junction has merged with a Denver-area council amid declining membership numbers and financial difficulty. The Daily Sentinel reports the combined Western Slope service area was created in May to serve about 2,400 youth members and about 1,000 volunteer adult leaders in northwestern Colorado. Officials say the Grand Junction Boy Scouts council joined efforts with Denver in part because of decisions to allow gay scouts and leaders by the national organization. Boy Scouts officials say they are expecting further membership decline this year when the Mormon church separates from the organization and forms its own global youth activity program. 
  • Weld County Property Value Rising - Assessed property value in Weld County is rising due in part to an increase in oil and gas profits. The Greeley Tribune reports the Department of Finance and Administration published in September that assessed property value shot up more than 34%. That's the equivalent of $3.9 billion in taxable property. Before oil and gas production ramped up in the county, a typical assessed value every other year increased around 7% to 10%. That's according to the Weld County Director of Finance and Administration. 

World Mental Health Day

Credit Nathan Heffel / KUNC

Today is World Mental Health Day, a day to raise awareness of mental health issues and the efforts that are being made to support mental health.

We thought we'd take this opportunity to have a conversation with Vincent Atchity, the new president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, an advocacy organization for mental health. 

Emerald Ash Borer In Colorado

Adult Emerald Ash Borer
The invasive emerald ash borer.

Colorado has dealt with its fair share of invasive pests over the years: zebra mussels, northern pike, the mountain pine beetle, to name just a few. But one bug currently making itself at home may be the most destructive yet.KUNC's Matt Bloom has more. 

Boulder Police Oversight

Body camera footage
Credit Boulder Police Department
Boulder Police Department
Still frame from body camera footage released by Boulder Police. Zayd Atkinson (left) was confronted by multiple police officers on March 1, 2019 while picking up trash outside his home.

After months of meetings and planning, a police oversight task force in Boulder will present recommendations Thursday evening to city council. These recommendations are focused on improving transparency between Boulder police and civilians. 

Sam Lounsberry, city reporter with The Boulder Daily Camera, joins us to explain what's going on. 

For live updates on the meeting, check-out Sam's twitter (@samlounz).

Youth Activism

Credit Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC
91.5 KRCC
Denver-based Haven Coleman was one of the three organizers for the U.S. Youth Climate Strike.

16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is striking with activists and students on Friday at Civic Center Park in Denver. She and other youth activists have been at the forefront of the climate movement around the world. 

Ben Kirshner, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder's School of Education, joined us to talk about the role of youth activists in global movements. 

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. We're in the middle of our fall membership drive. If you value the news you get from KUNC and Colorado Edition, consider becoming a sustaining member today. Thank you!

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

  • "Cocoon Transit" by Origami 
  • "Dance of Felt" by Piano Mover
  • "Gaena"  by Azalai

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, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.