Nearly 50 years ago, leaders from several Northern Colorado communities recognized that this area was on steady track toward growth.

At that time, the newly built Interstate 25 north of Denver had no trouble bearing all of the north Front Range traffic on its four lanes of concrete. Community edges were easy to see because of the large number of farms that separated them.

Leaders from Loveland, Longmont, Estes Park, Greeley, Fort Collins and Boulder recognized that as new residents moved to their communities, the need for year-round, uninterrupted water would become ever greater. In response, they formed the Municipal Subdistrict in the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District — now known simply as Northern Water — to acquire water rights on the Western Slope.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter-Herald.



Class of 2017, do you remember what the world was like when you started first grade? We didn’t think so. Your parents might not remember, either.

It was like this. In 2005:

• The average cost of a gallon of gas was $2.27. (As of this week, it’s $2.37.)

• Cars didn’t drive themselves, and Uber was still four years away.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter-Herald.



Millennials — the generation of young adults born between 1977 and 1994 — have been getting a lot of abuse lately.

Australia’s version of “60 Minutes” recently aired a piece wherein one of that country’s millionaires said if young people would stop buying $19 avocado toast and $4 coffees they could afford to buy houses.

The internet responded with mathematical reasoning to point out that in most places, giving up such things wouldn’t be nearly enough to allow young people to save the money needed to buy homes.

Young people who are graduating from high school and college this year or have done so in the past decade are coming of age in a time when real estate prices are rapidly rising, health-care/insurance costs are rising and wages have been stagnant. They face definite challenges to buying a home.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter-Herald.



In some criminal activity, especially the illicit drug trade, the economics at one time proved to be too attractive. While the risk of arrest and incarceration was always just around the corner, criminals could amass enough money and other assets like cash, cars and even houses to provide for them when they got out of prison.

To combat that element, state and federal lawmakers enabled civil forfeiture rules to be used in such a way criminals would not be able to profit from their ill-gotten gains — or even use them to pay for lawyers while being prosecuted for their offenses.

The side benefit: the seized assets also allowed law enforcement agencies to stretch their budgets further and provide better protection for the communities they serve.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter-Herald.



No matter where one stands on the legality of marijuana, or whether marijuana businesses should operate in your community, the safety of those businesses and the people who operate them is important.

Without access to banking services, due to the fact that federal law still criminalizes the drug, dispensaries deal almost entirely in cash.

Automatic teller machines in the lobby of marijuana retail establishments allow banks to collect service fees for those who want to withdraw cash to buy the product, but the person on the other side of the counter can’t put that cash back into an account and write checks for wages, rent and other necessities.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter-Herald.



The writers of the Colorado Constitution were smart in a way that even the Founding Fathers weren’t. They knew that if any work was going to get done in the Capitol, the legislative session would have to have a hard cap on the number of days it convenes.

Unlike in Congress, the conclusion of the legislative session means any new bills will have to wait another year.

So it was on Wednesday, the 120th day of the Colorado General Assembly, that lawmakers from both parties finally got down to finding compromise on several of the sticky topics that have been facing them — and creating uncertainty among a wide range of interests across the state.

For instance, while the issue called the “hospital provider fee” may have seemed to be a narrow one regarding the health care industry, rural hospitals and legislators, it carried ramifications that influenced the entire state budget. Implemented as part of the state’s response to the Affordable Care Act, the hospital provider fee has generated hundreds of millions in revenue for the state — enough to trigger provisions in the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter-Herald.



A surge in fatal and serious-injury automobile accidents in Front Range communities this spring has shaken area residents and has left them wondering why roads are so dangerous.

The cause of any crash is for accident investigators to determine — and it is not for us to suggest who was at fault in any crash — but if there is a good time for a reminder about safe driving habits, this is it.

Recent crashes have left residents pointing to the dangers of distracted driving, and even if the blame is misdirected, it’s true that distracted driving is deadly.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter-Herald.



Investigators last week announced the cause of an April 17 explosion in Firestone that killed two men and injured two other people.

Now Coloradans need to know what oil and gas producers and the state are going to do to keep such tragedy from happening again.

The answer to the question of what happened — that gas from a cut flow line attached to a nearby well entered the house and caused the explosion — raises many more questions and concerns.

The gas, a combination of methane and propane, had seeped into the ground and entered the basement of the home on Twilight Drive through a French drain and a sump pit, and ignited.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter-Herald.



Astute readers of the Reporter-Herald might have noticed an article last week discussing this evening’s meeting in Fort Collins in which the progressive city will take public input on a potential service.

The city that was the first in Northern Colorado to develop a climate action plan now is looking at more ways in which to be active on the environmental front: by offering curbside pickup of yard waste.

Sounds familiar? If so, it’s because such a service has been offered for years in the city of Loveland. From April to November, residents who pay a small fee can fill their green yard waste carts with grass clippings, leaves, flowers and small twigs for pickup and removal to the city’s recycling center, 400 N. Wilson Ave. There the products are part of a composting program in the city that allows residents to buy that nutrient-filled compost to make the next year’s gardening even better.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter-Herald.



Astute readers of the Reporter-Herald might have noticed an article last week discussing this evening’s meeting in Fort Collins in which the progressive city will take public input on a potential service.

The city that was the first in Northern Colorado to develop a climate action plan now is looking at more ways in which to be active on the environmental front: by offering curbside pickup of yard waste.

Sounds familiar? If so, it’s because such a service has been offered for years in the city of Loveland. From April to November, residents who pay a small fee can fill their green yard waste carts with grass clippings, leaves, flowers and small twigs for pickup and removal to the city’s recycling center, 400 N. Wilson Ave. There the products are part of a composting program in the city that allows residents to buy that nutrient-filled compost to make the next year’s gardening even better.

Read more at The Loveland Reporter Herald.