Denver in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Oct. 27

4 min. read
Red Rocks Ampitheatre. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Hello. Today's news roundup will tell you what happens if the Democrats win the statehouse, why oil drillers have a new reason to hate flowers, why skiers should have homeowners' insurance and more. It also includes a video of some guys climbing a hot-air balloon. Cheers.

Denver on an autumn day. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
 Corey Hutchins on the battle for the statehouse.

Democrats have a chance to take the Colorado House, which would give them control of all the elected wings of Colorado's state government. That kind of turnover can result in some major and fast-paced changes to the law.

Hutchins writes that the Democrats likely will try to expand the state budget for new spending on transportation and schools if they win, and also may focus on climate change and criminal justice. Last time they took over, they passed tougher gun laws and instituted all-mail elections. If you're interested, there's a lot more to read. (Colorado Independent)

Oil drillers will have to watch out for wildflowers.

A federal court ruled that two varieties of beardtongue flowers must be protected. Beardtongue flowers like to live in oil-rich areas. Therefore, beardtongue wildflowers now will join the greater sage grouse as another obstacle to drillers in Colorado and the West. (DP, Denverite)

So long, The Hill?

The demolition of Boulder's iconic shopping center on The Hill is looking very likely. Cosmo's Pizza and Bova's both may have to close or move, along with about ten other affected businesses. Their likely replacement is already largely approved by the city: A hotel with some ground-floor retail, breaking ground in 2018. (9News, Daily Camera)

 A dispensary may land near a school.

Normally, Denver marijuana businesses can't be within 1,000 feet of a school. The owner of 285 Pearl Street argues that his building should be exempted, as it has already housed a marijuana business. (Grandfathering, in other words.) The new shop, Perps 'n' Turps, would be about 600 feet from a Denver School of Science and Technology campus. (Denver7)

Uber brought its autonomous truck here because it likes RoadX.

Colorado DOT in 2015 launched RoadX, a $20 million effort to use real-time roadway monitoring and other statistics to reduce highway deaths and traffic. Otto, a subsidiary of Uber, says the state's commitment to technology was one reason it made Colorado the proving ground for its new driverless truck this week. You shouldn't, however, expect to see more of these unmanned semi-trucks anytime soon; the delivery of Budweiser beer was just a test. (DBJ)

Homeowner's insurance covered that $260,000 ski-injury bill.

Yep. Your policy may cover allegedly impacting another rider at a "high rate of speed" and separating the other person's shoulder. Also recommended: ski better. (Summit Daily)

ThinkProgress claimed victory over CU's Roger Pielke Jr.

Pielke, a University of Colorado professor, wrote a 2014 piece for FiveThirtyEight that questioned the connection between climate change and the rising cost of natural disasters. ThinkProgress, a publication of the liberal Center for American Progress, was among the loudest voices criticizing Pielke's piece.

Emails stolen from John Podesta's account show ThinkProgress' editor claiming that ThinkProgress had essentially gotten Pielke booted from FiveThirtyEight. Seeing the email, Pielke tells the Daily Camera it was all a "political witch hunt." I don't think the email proves that; after all, ThinkProgress may have achieved its goals by being right. I don't know enough about this particular issue to say whose claims about the costs of climate change are ultimately correct. (FiveThirtyEight, ThinkProgress, Daily Camera)

Denver Climbing Company put a climbing wall on a hot-air balloon.

The moves look easy, but that's some serious exposure. (Warning: Electronic sports music.)

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