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Denver, CO

Poll finds steady support for Denver’s mayor but suggests new tax increases may face skepticism

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Poll finds steady support for Denver’s mayor but suggests new tax increases may face skepticism


Denver Mayor Mike Johnston’s popularity is holding steady after 11 months in office, according to a new poll released Wednesday, but its findings suggest a sales tax increase he’s pitching for the November ballot could face some skepticism from voters.

Johnston remains confident in his tax proposal, unveiled Monday. It would generate an estimated $100 million a year to expand on the city’s affordable housing work, including by preserving or building tens of thousands of units affordable to people now getting priced out of the city. His own internal polling suggests two-thirds of the city would support the tax increase, he said.

Mayor Mike Johnston, joined by members of the City Council and community leaders, announces a new sales tax proposal to expand affordable housing in Denver on the steps of the City and County Building on July 8, 2024. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

But the June survey of 409 registered Denver voters for the nonprofit Colorado Polling Institute found that a solid majority — 64% — believe the city’s taxes are already high. Among them, 35% said the city’s taxes were “way too high,” while 29% said they were “high but acceptable.”

Still, it’s been rare for Denver voters to turn down tax increases, and a pollster noted that plenty of voters voiced moderate opinions on the question.

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Those responses were collected before Johnston announced his proposed 0.5% affordable housing sales tax. If the City Council gives its blessing in the weeks ahead, that new tax would share the November ballot with a new 0.34% sales tax being sought to shore up the finances of Denver Health, the city’s safety net hospital.

If both pass, the city’s effective sales tax rate would increase from 8.81% to 9.65%, making Denver stand out along the Front Range.

The bipartisan poll, conducted by Democratic polling organization Aspect Strategic and Republican firm New Bridge Strategy, was conducted via a mix of online and phone interviews between June 13 and 18. It has a margin of error of 4.85 percentage points.

In good news for the mayor, the poll found 48% of voters viewed him favorably. That’s virtually flat compared to the 46% who viewed Johnston favorably in a Colorado Polling Institute poll in August, just his second month on the job.

But the share viewing Johnston unfavorably climbed significantly, from 22% in August to 38% in June, according to the results.

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That’s due in part to rising familiarity as Johnston has been in the news, including as he’s spearheaded a new homeless strategy and responded to the migrant crisis. Just 11% of voters told pollsters they had no opinion or had never heard of the mayor in June, down from 32% in August.

His favorability ratings in the new poll contrast with results from a Magellan Strategies survey of 1,595 Denver voters conducted in May. That poll found that 43% approved of his performance — while fully 50% disapproved. The margin of error was 2.45 percentage points.

The survey was conducted for the council’s central office primarily to gauge support for a potential tightening of term limits. Its contract with Magellan was valued at up to $29,000, council spokesman Robert Austin said. The poll also found that the council’s approval rating was underwater, with approval at 36% and disapproval at 49%.

Regardless of his own support levels, Johnston is banking that voters will approve his tax request in November.

On the Colorado Polling Institute survey’s taxes question, Lori Weigel, of New Bridge Strategy, viewed the responses with some nuance. She noted that just about any voter is liable to say they pay too much in taxes, which is why the poll allowed respondents to grade the city’s tax burden by offering several options: way too high, high but acceptable, about right and lower than what one would expect.

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“When we look at the ‘high but acceptable’ or ‘about right’ (responses), it’s a majority sort of gravitating towards that middle spectrum,” Weigel said.

The Johnston administration has done its own polling. In a meeting with Denver Post journalists on Tuesday, the mayor said his data shows 65% of city voters would favor the “Affordable Denver” sales tax increase. That figure was steady regardless of whether respondents owned or rented their homes, he said.

“We were really surprised that you have total alignment between renters and homeowners, and you also have — not surprisingly — massive support from younger voters for this issue,” Johnston said. “As we know, if you can’t afford to live here, then all the rest of the other things are secondary.”

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Denver, CO

Denver heat wave: Record-breaking heat continues through the weekend

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Denver heat wave: Record-breaking heat continues through the weekend


DENVER — The record-breaking heat will continue through the weekend, bringing triple-digit highs across Colorado’s urban corridor, including Denver, and the plains through Sunday.

A heat advisory remains in effect for the eastern half of the state. On Saturday and Sunday, afternoon temperatures will reach 100 to 105 degrees, with overnight low temperatures in the mid- to upper 60s.

And escaping the heat by heading to the high country may not be much of a reprieve. According to the National Weather Service, some of the high mountain valleys could even make it to the 90-degree mark.

NWS

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Friday’s temperatures also broke records when Denver officially reached 102 degrees at Denver International Airport, breaking the record high temperature for July 11 of 101 degrees in 1971, according to historical National Weather Service data.

Weather forecasters and health officials warn Coloradans to stay hydrated and limit outdoor activities during the peak afternoon hours, especially those people who are susceptible to weather-related health issues. Heat is the top cause of weather-related fatalities nationwide.

“Highs will soar into the 100-105 degree range each day, and the prolonged period of heat will add to heat stress on people and outdoor animals,” added the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder.

Denver7 | Weather

Record-breaking heat wave arrives in Denver: What to expect across Colorado

6:09 AM, Jul 12, 2024

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Denver will see a slight heat relief from the heat on Monday when temperatures are expected to climb to the mid to upper 90s. But Tuesday and Wednesday are shaping up to bring even a higher chance of relief with lower afternoon temperatures and a chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Here’s when and where it’s been the hottest in Colorado

While these temperatures are significantly higher than the norm for this time of year, it’s worth remembering that Colorado and Denver have endured their fair share of triple-digit misery.

The Mile High City has seen 106 instances of such extreme heat since 1872, according to the National Weather Service.

However, it’s important to note that Denver rarely experiences consecutive days of 100-degree weather, with only 15 such occurrences on record.

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On three occasions — June 2012, July 2005, and July 1989—Denver experienced five consecutive days of temperatures reaching 100 degrees or more, the most consecutive triple-digit days the city has seen.

According to NWS records, the last time Denver experienced a triple whammy of 100-degree days—what we will likely experience this weekend—was in June 2021.

The hottest temperature recorded in Denver was 105 degrees, which occurred only on five occasions since 1872. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Colorado was 115 degrees. That record occurred on July 20, 2019, near Lamar in southeast Colorado.

Saturday morning forecast

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Daily horoscope for July 13, 2024

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Daily horoscope for July 13, 2024


Moon Alert: Avoid shopping or important decisions after 6:30 p.m. EDT today (3:30 p.m. PDT). The Moon is in Libra.

Happy Birthday for Saturday, July 13, 2024:

You have a physical, action-oriented approach to life, which is why you’re a courageous, daring risk-taker. It’s important that you believe you can succeed. New beginnings, adventures and major changes will take place this year. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities. Prepare for leadership.

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)
★★★★
Enjoy today! Do what you please. With your strong focus on home and family, you might be gardening or camping. This is also a great time for children’s activities. Meanwhile, social outings and sports events are appealing! With the Moon opposite your sign, be patient with others. Tonight: Cooperate.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)
★★★
You might have an ambitious to-do list, because fiery Mars in your sign makes you eager to have a finger in many pies. You’re talking to siblings, relatives and neighbors; reading and writing; plus some of you are taking a short trip. Don’t overdo it. Go with the flow. Tonight: Work.

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GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)
★★★★
This is a lovely day to schmooze and enjoy the company of others. In particular, you’ll appreciate your daily surroundings more than usual, which, let’s face it, is such a blessing. If money and shopping are on your mind, be smart and check the Moon Alert. Tonight: Play!

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)
★★★★
Although you have strong energy to do what you want today (including shopping and doing financial negotiations), you’ll love a chance to retire and hide at home with good food and comfy surroundings. “It’s hard out there without your towel.” Tonight: Relax.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)
★★★★
Enjoy schmoozing with others today, because the Moon is sitting in your House of Communications. This means you have a strong desire to talk to others and share your ideas. You want a meaningful connection with someone. You also want to be heard! (Leos know how to grab the talking stick.) Tonight: Conversations.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
★★★
Keep things relatively laid-back today, because it’s easy to try to do more than you really can accomplish. Don’t push the river. Nevertheless, you are focused on shopping and earning money, no question. Plus, this is a popular time for you. Go gently. Tonight: Check your belongings.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
★★★★
Things will go your way today, because the Moon is in your sign and the Sun is at the top of your chart. This puts you in the driver’s seat. Meanwhile, relations with friends (especially younger people and creative types) will be warm and friendly. Take it easy today. Enjoy yourself. Tonight: You’re strong.

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SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
★★★
You’ll be successful dealing with parents, bosses and important people today. People will listen to you. Meanwhile, you might be focused on travel plans or legal or medical matters. Whatever the case, pull in your reins a little. Don’t try to do too much today. Easy does it. Tonight: Enjoy solitude.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
★★★★
Your interactions with a friend might be important today. Travel will also appeal to you because you want to explore new ideas and see new places. This is hardly surprising since you’re the traveler of the zodiac! Be open to the possibility of a romance with someone different. Tonight: Friends and groups.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
★★★
People notice you today. Meanwhile, you will benefit financially when dealing with others today. Money might come to you. This is also a playful day! Competitive sports might be in the picture. You will have more objectivity about a close relationship or partnership, which is helpful for you. Tonight: You’re noticed.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
★★★★
Shake things up a little today. You want some adventure. Perhaps you need to escape from your home scene because there’s too much chaos or activity taking place. Fortunately, you’re motivated to work hard, which is why you can accomplish a lot. Tonight: Explore!

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)
★★★★
This continues to be a playful, fun-loving time for you. You’re also mentally energetic, which empowers your communication skills with others. Don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with any job you’re doing. Jump in. Tonight: Check your finances.

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BORN TODAY

Actor Harrison Ford (1942), actor Ken Jeong (1969), actor Patrick Stewart (1940)



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Denver, CO

3 Colorado workers at commercial egg facility presumed to have avian flu

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3 Colorado workers at commercial egg facility presumed to have avian flu


DENVER (KDVR) — Three presumptive positive cases of avian flu have been identified in workers at a commercial egg layer operation in Weld County.

So far, the three workers at the egg-laying farm have exhibited mild symptoms, including conjunctivitis and common respiratory infection symptoms. None of them have been hospitalized.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the workers were culling poultry at a farm in northeast Colorado and said they suspect the cases were a result of working directly with infected poultry. The department also noted that the risk to members of the public is still low: All cases in humans have been after the infected individuals came in direct contact with infected animals.

One case of avian flu was identified in a man working at a northeastern Colorado dairy farm earlier this month. Officials said he exhibited only symptoms of pink eye, or conjunctivitis, and recovered from the infection, but also noted he had direct exposure to dairy cattle that were infected with avian flu.

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Northeast Colorado is where the first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the state this year was detected on April 25, when dairy cattle were found to have highly pathogenic avian influenza. The outbreak has led to at least 10 facilities being placed in quarantine.

The infected egg-laying farm, which has about 1.8 million chickens, prompted Gov. Jared Polis to issue a disaster emergency declaration on July 5 for the H5N1 avian flu outbreak in Weld County. State health officials told FOX31’s Matt Mauro that all of the birds would be culled to prevent the spread of the virus.

How to protect against the risk of avian flu

The bird-borne virus can be transmitted to cattle and humans but has also been found in other mammals. According to the World Health Organization, symptoms of the virus are primarily respiratory, but the most recent human case involved conjunctivitis (pink eye).

According to CDPHE, it is safe to drink pasteurized milk and eat “properly handled and cooked dairy, beef, and poultry products,” because the process kills bacteria and viruses, including avian flu.

The state health agency is also reminding Coloradans not to touch dead or sick animals, but if it’s unavoidable:

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  • Wear personal protective equipment including a N95 respirator, eye protection and gloves
  • Wash hands with soap and water afterward
  • If there’s no soap and water available, use an alcohol-based hand rub

If you work with dairy cows that may have avian flu and start to feel ill, CDPHE encourages you to call 303-692-2700 during regular business hours, or 303-370-9395 outside of those hours. H5N1 must be reported to the Colorado Veterinarian’s Office. There is also an emergency rule enacted for mandatory testing of lactating dairy cattle moving interstate.



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