Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, March 14

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Good morning. It still feels very early. I have nothing witty to say, but I do have the news, including a celebrity moment for Denver Fugly, a roadway rework, a map of oil drilling and still-legal school spankings, among other stuff. Great.

View of a bear in the crux of a tree, Colorado. Between 1910 and 1930. (Harry Mellon Rhoads/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Rh-4486)  historic; denver public library; dpl; archive; archival; denverite

View of a bear in the crux of a tree, Colorado. Between 1910 and 1930. (Harry Mellon Rhoads/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Rh-4486)

Denver Fugly goes national:

How fired up does architecture get Denver? Well, architect Jeffrey Shepard apparently got 3,000 emails after running an op-ed on the topic in The Denver Post. He’s one of several locals, along with activist Brad Evans, researcher Christine Franck and city planner Brad Buchanan, to be quoted in this CityLab story on our purported fugliness. (CityLab)

City considers reworking Speer and Leetsdale:

The plan is to double bus and bike capacity while “slightly reducing car capacity,” in the corridor that includes Speer Boulevard and South Leetsdale Drive in South Denver, as Joe Vaccarelli reports. That could include more special peak-time bus lane footage on Broadway, better connections with the Cherry Creek Trail and more, with an estimated cost of $56 million. (DP)

Garnett considers another DA run:

Stan Garnett, district attorney for Boulder, might run for state district attorney for a second time, as Christopher Osher reports. He’d be up against Rep. Joe Salazar, a fellow Democrat, and the incumbent Republican Cynthia Coffman. (DP)

Wells and spills in Colorado:

The Western Organization of Resource Councils pulled together state data to create a map of drilling sites and impacts in Colorado and the West. (WORC)

Soon-to-open restaurants:

Andra Zeppelin has you covered on this season’s restaurant openings. I’m kind of into the idea of Candr, a fried chicken and rosé joint, although I feel like I can already get plenty of those separately. (Eater)

Western Slope lawmakers are mad about water:

The Front Range gets a lot of its water from rivers that naturally run toward the Western Slope – and these seven Republican lawmakers are warning Gov. John Hickenlooper not to divert any more of it, as Joey Bunch reports. (Colorado Politics)

No change to weed hours yet:

The City Council decided to take more time to decide whether weed stores should be allowed to stay open until midnight, rather than Denver’s current 7 p.m. limit, as Adrian reports. (Denverite)

“Could jail inmates tip elections in Durango?”

That’s the headline on this Durango Herald story about efforts to make voting easier for people in jail on misdemeanors, who (unlike felony inmates) retain the right to vote. It’s kind of an odd question, as no one in the story actually asks it, and it’s really not the thrust of the story. As reporter Shane Benjamin points out, jail inmates are “among the most disenfranchised” people, even though their lives may be heavily impacted by policies and candidates.

Also, it seems to me like any random group of voters could be said to “tip” the elections. About 45,000 people voted in La Plata County in November, but the jail’s recent population was only 144, according to the Herald. (Durango Herald)

School spankings will stay legal:

Republicans in a House committee rejected a bill that would have banned spankings and other corporal punishment in schools. Sen. Bob Gardner of Colorado Springs said it’s a decision best left to the local districts and that he hadn’t seen any evidence of corporal punishment happening in schools that allow it. The bill’s supporters said physical punishment was ineffective, harmful, and disproportionately applied to students of colors and students with disabilities, as Joey Bunch reports.

Meanwhile, a bill that would forbid schools from expelling students in second grade and younger is advancing through the statehouse. (Colorado Politics)