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August 20-26, 2009
• Back to Student Guide ’09 A-Z
What happened in Boulder this summer?
Ward, hippies and hungry bears made headlines
by Marissa Hermanson
This summer’s happenings would seem unusual to an outsider, but they were pretty typical for a Boulder summer. Rainbow people passed through, bears snacked on human delicacies in the luxury of Boulder homes, Ward Churchill was upset, and a few tornadoes came and went. Also, CU’s tuition increased, CU got $340 million for research, and a Boulder-based bike team competed in the Tour de France. These are just a few highlights from this past summer in Boulder.
Ward didn’t get his job back
Looks like things didn’t go as Ward planned. On July 7, Ward Churchill’s ultimate fate with the University of Colorado was decided by Judge Larry Naves, who ruled against Churchill’s reinstatement at CU and said Churchill will not receive any financial compensation for his firing. Churchill’s attorney, David Lane, said that Churchill was surprised by the ruling and expected financial compensation or his job back. Churchill is appealing Naves’ ruling.
Back in April a civil trial jury decided that Churchill was wrongly fired by CU for his controversial essay about the 9/11 attacks. At the time, he was awarded and a mere dollar in damages and said that he would continue fighting to return as a CU professor.
Tornadoes outside of Windsor
One Sunday, back in early June, five tornadoes touched down across Colorado tearing up terrain — one twister encroaching on Lafayette and another touching down at the Southlands Mall in Aurora. The Southlands Mall twister was the most dangerous of the five tornadoes, causing gas leaks and moderate damage at the mall. Since then, funnel clouds were spotted near Erie, Superior and Broomfield.
In late July, the biggest storm of the summer hit the Boulder-Denver area with thunder and lightening, golf-ball-sized hail and a tornado that touched down briefly in Englewood. The storm caused 90,000 Denver-area homes to lose power, uprooted huge trees and blew windows out of many homes and apartments.
Rainbow Family did psychedelics on library roof
Seven members of the Rainbow Family were arrested for sleeping on the roof of the Boulder Public Library with their two dogs. When the local police and fire department coaxed the camping hippies off the roof early that morning, the Rainbow Family members said that they took psychedelic drugs before deciding to sleep on the library’s roof. They were passing through town after attending a “family reunion” in Cuba, N.M.
In the beginning of July, there was a bear break-in in a Sunshine Canyon house where a man who was watching a Rockies game didn’t notice a bear lunching in his kitchen. Luckily the man’s neighbor came to his rescue.
Later in July, there were five more bear break-ins all within a week in Boulder County homes. One man living in Sunshine Canyon killed a black bear intruder with his 12-gauge shotgun after it charged him.
Bear break-ins are common in late summer and fall because bears are scavenging for food so they can fatten up for the coming winter.
CU awarded nearly $340 million
The University of Colorado was awarded $339.7 million in research grants this year. NASA awarded CU $75 million. A majority of the funding — $42 million — will be put toward developing an instrument that will orbit the Earth and evaluate climate change. CU receives more money from NASA than any other university. Other grants are from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and the Department of Commerce.
Bike team attends Tour de France
Boulder-based cycling team, Garmin-Slipstream, competed in the Tour de France. Garmin-Slipstream came in second place for team rankings, behind Astana, Lance Armstrong’s team. For individual times, Garmin-Slipstream’s Briton, Bradley Wiggins, came in fourth and former Boulder resident, Christian Vande Velde, came in eighth.
A 22-percent increase in health insurance premiums caused an increase in tuition. The health insurance plan is mandatory for students who don’t already have a plan. The plan is now $1,052 per semester for students. The real question: does the health insurance plan cover medical marijuana costs?
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