Inside Denver - April 8th, 2019

Inside Denver (Apr 8th, 2019)

Loophole allows air pollution from fracking / Rich renters take over Denver / Speed dating with Grandma

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 The week starts warm and mostly sunny in Denver, with high of 76 today and 80(!) on Tuesday. Wednesday brings rain and cold, with a high of 51 and overnight temps topping out at 27.

1. Thanks to a regulatory loophole, oil and gas drillers in Colorado can operate for up to 90 days without federal permits limiting air pollution. Seven companies were able to operate 193 well sites throughout the Front Range with no permits, emitting 3 tons per day of volatile organic compounds, according to state records. The rationale, air quality officials contend, is to establish a baseline for how much air pollution a site will produce, which then informs the permitting process. Emissions increase as the volume of extracted material grows. — DENVER POST

2. A Denver radio show host is launching a campaign to defeat a ballot measure for Denver’s upcoming May election that would expand protections to people experiencing homelessness. Peter Boyles, a talk-show host on 710 KNUS, visited Seattle this month to document the unhoused population. It’s the best comparison for what could happen in Denver, he says, if voters pass I-300, also known as the Right to Survive Initiative. Boyles made similar (successful) efforts to prevent safe use sites in the state. — WESTWORD

3. Colorado could adopt a first-of-its-kind model to lower health insurance premiums for residents across the state. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would force hospitals to charge lower prices and pay fees of up to $150 million a year. The money would go into a fund that insurance companies can use to pay for high-cost patients. Officials estimate that premiums could decline by as much as 35% in parts of the state. House Bill 1168 passed an initial House vote Friday, but still needs a recorded vote to move into the Senate. — COLORADO SUN

4. Sweeping regulations aimed at putting public health and safety over profits in oil and gas drilling are headed to Governor Jared Polis’ desk. Senate Bill 19-181 passed the Colorado Legislature amid huge debate and with no Republican Senators voting in favor. Now state agencies will turn the law into on-the-ground policies, even as ballot measures to repeal the vote are beginning. The American Petroleum Institute claims the regulations will cost Colorado $31 billion and 232,000 jobs. — DENVER POST

Powder Report

It may be spring, but it's still snowing in the high country. A storm moving through Wednesday and Thursday could drop 5-10 inches near the northern continental divide. For a more complete forecast, visit

There's less than a week left to enjoy the slopes at Steamboat, which closes for the season on Sunday. Go out with a splash at the Pond Skim, an annual closing day tradition. See a complete closing schedule for Colorado's ski resorts at The Know.

5. The number of renters who make over $100,000 a year has more than doubled in Denver since 2009, according to a new report from Apartment List. The Mile High City leads the nation in growth of high-income tenants. — WESTWORD

6. Lawmkers have introduced a bill that would require snow tires, chains or other traction on vehicles traveling I-70 anytime during the winter season, not just when it snows. — COLORADO SUN

7. Ever passed the perennially pink apartment near 18th and Park? Now you can take a look inside the home of the eccentric professor who lives there. — DENVERITE

8. It's mud season in Colorado, but you don't have to get mired in the muck. There is plenty of fun to be had, from discounted stays at resorts to gravel biking and spring skiing. — 5280

9. Bubbe knows best, which is why craft-themed bar Grandma's House is hosting Speed Dating and Matchmaking with Grandma. Residents from Eaton Senior Communities will offer their best advice on love and romance during the event. — 303 MAGAZINE

10. In addition to yoga and barre, aspiring shredders will soon be able to take a ski and snowboard conditioning class at iconic concert venue Red Rocks. Just climbing the stairs oughta do it: You’ll traverse 2.7 miles jogging up (and back down) the 69 rows. — THE KNOW

Inside Denver is created by Shay Castle, a Boulder-based freelance journalist who has resided in/reported on the Denver metro for six years. She currently runs Boulder Beat, a weekly newsletter covering local government, and enjoys beer, biking and maintaining a plucky Twitter account, @shayshinecastle.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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