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Thursday, March 27,2014

In case you missed it

WHEN TUMBLEWEEDS ATTACK

Anyone who has seen the classic horror film Night of the Triffids saw it coming, but the rest of the people in parts of Utah and Colorado woke up to a nightmarish hellscape of tumblin’ tumbleweeds with absolutely no advance notice of the plantbased invasion.

The usually docile plants tumbled en masse, blocking roads, sidewalks, houses and more. Disaster was barely avoided at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge when a dust devil swept into a controlled burn of the rogue weeds, transforming them into a swirling tower of flame that in no way resembled the apocalypse.

That’s probably why the public works people in the apparently dusty Weld County town of Firestone sent out notice that they were now accepting tumbleweeds for disposal. They made sure to include a mention that though they planned on burning them, they weren’t in a rush.

“Tumbleweeds will be burned at a later date when weather conditions deem safe,” a press release closed ominously.

POVERTY: ON THE RISE IF YOU’RE A KID 

If you thought the Great Recession was bad, just take a look at things now. Despite politicians’ insistence for years that the economy is on the rebound, more children in Colorado lived in poverty in 2012 than at the worst point of the economic death-spiral. That’s according to the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a nonpartisan nonprofit that focuses on expanding kids’ access to health care and education. About 224,000 of the state’s kids — 18 percent of them — are poor. The findings were in the campaign’s KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report, which also concludes that child care is a “heavy burden for thousands of Colorado families, both in terms of affordability and availability.” The state is the fifth-least affordable state in the country for child care for infants and 4-year-olds.

FEELING GOOD? YEP, YOU’RE IN BOULDER 

In never-ending-national-rankings news, the city of Boulder scores well in a predictable category: Well-being. But our yogis and bikers and GMO-less masses could neither out-sweat nor out-meditate Provo, Utah.

Perusing Provo’s official website — www.provo.org — the place sounds a lot like Boulder. There’s hiking, biking, music, great shops, restaurants and even a picture of a kid on a lazy summer day blowing bubbles with his mom. The 6-year-old survey by Gallup and Healthways ranked Fort Collins as third most well-being-est in the nation, Denver-Aurora 18th, Greeley 45th and Colorado Springs 58th. Perhaps what edged the scales in Boulder’s favor was GQ’s recent conclusion that though the city’s inhabitants are the nation’s worst-dressed, they tend to look fantastic naked.

POT CONVICTIONS MAY BE OVERTURNED 

Hey, remember way back when pot was still illegal? All the way back in December? Ever wonder what will happen to all the people who got busted back then now that the reefer madness has receded?

Thanks to a ruling from earlier this month that threw out a woman’s 2011 conviction for possession of marijuana because that is no longer illegal, an unknown number of Coloradans may now be eligible to have their convictions overturned.

There’s just one catch: The only folks eligible are those who were in the middle of the appeals process on Dec. 10, 2012, when Amendment 64, which legalized pot, began to go into effect.

Still, lawyers estimate that could apply to thousands of people. 

As for those that weren’t mid-appeal, STBY, y’all. Read more about it here

FACEBOOK BUYS OCCULUS RIFT Hey kids, are you worried about the creeping onset of technology and its myriad unexplored social implications? Well then pay no attention whatsoever to the fact that Facebook — the world’s largest social network with a cavalier reputation for addressing privacy concerns — just dropped $2 billion to purchase Occulus Rift, the computer gaming interface that has taken interactive virtual reality to an entirely new level. Just think of it as a really neat new way you’ll be video chatting on Facebook in the near future, and not a way Mark Zuckerberg can achieve his childhood dream of becoming The Lawnmower Man.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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