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Inside Denver

Inside Denver (Jun 20th, 2019)

 Enjoy the sunshine today, because the weekend will be cool and rainy. Storms are forecast through Sunday, with the daily high topping out at 72 on Friday. 

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1. Colorado has two years to drastically improve its recycling practices or risk missing a key goal. Officials set a goal of 28 percent of the state's trash being diverted from landfills either through recycling, compost or reuse by 2021. A recently released report on the progress shows Colorado's recycling rate was 17.2 percent in 2018. The state lags behind many of our neighbors in diversion as a percentage of waste and per-capita recycling. Landfills along the Front Range are filling up, and some towns are abandoning recycling altogether due to the cost.   COLORADO SUN

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2. Voters in 2020 may get the chance to overturn TABOR, an amendment to Colorado's constitution that limits how the government can tax and spend. A court ruled this week that the ballot campaign can continue, after being rejected early this year by election officials. TABOR has long been criticized by Democrats for falling school and transportation funding, while Republicans maintain it is necessary to control wasteful spending. More than 124,000 signatures will be needed to place the measure on ballots next year.  ASSOCIATED PRESS

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3. By the numbers: Peña Boulevard widening project

Officials announced this week that a massive project is planned to expand the main road into Denver International Airport from its current six lanes. Construction is scheduled to start in January 2020, and an airport spokesman said no lane closures will be allowed while work is ongoing, in an attempt to keep things moving.  DENVER POST

$93.5 million: Total cost of project

14: Miles of roadway that will be widened.

9: Number of lanes Peña Boulevard will have as it approaches the airport

2.5: Years it will take to complete the first 3.5-mile stretch

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4. The parking lots around the Denver Broncos stadium will be converted into a mixed-use neighborhood with homes, shops and restaurants. Denver City Council this week gave the OK to the Stadium District Master Plan after a year-plus of work. Details on the design, size and number of homes and buildings are still being developed; no timeline has been attached to the project. But it will be modeled after similar developments near Coors Field and stadium districts around the country. Affordable housing, parks, walking and biking trails have all been promised for the area.  303 MAGAZINE

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Throwback Thursday

14 years ago this month, Denver got its beloved Blue Bear. The iconic ursine, perched outside and peering into the Colorado Convention Center, is actually a work of art by Lawrence Argent, titled I See What You Mean. Construction on the 40-foot-tall, 10,000-lb. sculpture began in June 2005. All told, it cost $424,400.

In an interview about the creation of the sculpture, Argent said he wanted to evoke the curiosity of bears and make passersby similar interested in what was going on inside the convention center. The blue bear marks the heart of the arts and culture district and has become a well-loved, unofficial symbol of the city.

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5. Despite grumbling and stall tactics, Republican lawmakers voted for 96 percent of legislation proposed by Democrats in Colorado’s last session, according to an analysis by the Colorado Sun. At least one Republican lawmaker supported all but 19 of the 460 bills that were approved.  COLORADO SUN

6. Sixty-four percent of Colorado's 2.8 million acres of state trust land can't be accessed by public roads, according to a new report from recreation groups. Outdoor recreation industry leaders are angling to open those lands up for public enjoyment. — DENVER POST

7. A 39-year-old man is facing felony charges after allegedly stealing 15 comic books worth $49,000 from Mile High Comics. The suspect broke the store’s window, leaving a trail of blood behind him. — DENVERITE

8. The Japanese practice of forest bathing — taking slow, mindful walks or medidating in the woods — is taking off in Colorado. Create your own contemplative outing, or join one of the guided forest bathing hikes available in Boulder. — THE KNOW

9. Denver will soon be home to three female-focused co-working spaces. The Riveter, Rise and Charley Co. all offer women-specific amenities like mother's rooms, spaces and peer mentoring and networking. — 303 MAGAZINE

10. A 10-year-old Colorado girl has become the youngest person to ever climb the famous El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Selah Schneiter, of Glenwood Springs, climbed the 3,000-foot route with her father. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Inside Denver is created by Shay Castle, a freelance journalist who has resided in/reported on the Denver metro for six years. Her work runs the gamut from investigations on state and local government to features on the World Championship of Massage (seriously). She enjoys beer, biking and maintaining a plucky Twitter account, @shayshinecastle.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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