Denver in 5 minutes, what you need to know today, Dec. 29

It’s almost the end of 2016. We can make it. As the year nears its end, here’s what’s going on in Denver and the region today.

The natural gas-burning Zuni Generation Station and a snowy Denver skyline. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)skyline; cityscape; cowx; weather; cold; snow; winter; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;

It’s almost the end of 2016. We can make it. As the year nears its end, here’s what’s going on in Denver and the region today.

The natural gas-burning Zuni Generation Station and a snowy Denver skyline. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) skyline; cityscape; cowx; weather; cold; snow; winter; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
The natural gas-burning Zuni Generation Station and a snowy Denver skyline. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver’s camping ban could be challenged

Three homeless defendants have asked for jury trials in their camping cases. Their ultimate hope is to overturn the city’s camping ban, which makes it a crime to sleep outside. No one has challenged a municipal camping ban in Colorado since 2011. (Denverite)

Treating firefighters like pro athletes

Workman’s comp claims are way down since Denver Fire instituted a program that provides intensive physical therapy to injured firefighters. (Denver Post)

Colorado insurance costs are rising faster than the national average

That’s partly because Colorado employers have been slower to adopt cost-saving measures like pressuring workers into high-deductible plans, narrowing physician networks and adopting outcomes-based wellness programs. As an employee, I hate all of those things, but not doing them has a cost. (DBJ)

Kwanzaa’s elders look back on 50 years of celebration

Kevin Beaty spent some time with the folks who have been there since the beginning at the Kwanzaa Elders Luncheon on Wednesday. Here they are in their own words, with some great portraits to boot. (Denverite)

Obama’s legacy in the West

From energy policy to public lands, Obama’s policies had a big impact. You need to be a subscriber to read the whole thing, but you can also sign up for a free trial. (High Country News)

Moving on from Ironwood

I always called this store on South Broadway “Crystals and Plants,” and in its memory, I will strive very hard to keep alive the plants I bought there. Owner Alyson Two Eagles is closing up shop and plans to become a mediator working in conflict resolution. For people who have taken a risk or two or tried something different, it’s good to be reminded our lives can have many stages and twists and turns. (Westword)

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.