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Though some medical leaders have advised that COVID vaccines should be offered to the global unvaccinated population before booster shots are rolled out, Gov. Jared Polis strongly disagrees.

The governor admonished the Federal Drug Administration at a Monday press conference for what he believes to be far too slow of a pace for releasing booster shots.

Federal regulators are on track to approve booster shots of Pfizer for the general public by September 20, with Moderna expected to come shortly after. (Boosters for those who are immunocompromised have already been approved.)

But Polis has made it intentionally easy for all Coloradans to nab their third jab: "We made it so Coloradans can simply self-report their conditions," he said. "You can simply say, 'I have a weak immune system,' and that therefore you need the shot."

In fact, Polis was encouraging Coloradans to get a third shot two weeks before the FDA even authorized them for vulnerable populations, and now he’s planning for a massive booster rollout later this month.

According to the governor, about 2.4% of Colorado adults have already received their booster shot, and he’s encouraging everyone to follow suit and “beat the rush.”

State officials assure that Colorado has enough doses to handle the demand for boosters while also still offering shots to the unvaxxed.
[Axios Denver; CO Politics; CO Sun; CPR]

☀️ Clear, sunny skies with a high near 89 — too bad most pools are closed for the season…

— Peyton Garcia, (@peytonmgarcia)


City Council extends a controversial contract
City Council has voted to extend Denver’s contract with Environmental Hazmat Services, a company that aids the city in homeless encampment sweeps, through October 2023. Denver’s sweeps have been highly controversial, with advocates claiming that EHS employees are hostile toward the encampments’ residents. Several council members also criticized the company but said they felt no choice but to continue the partnership. To address some of these issues, the extended contract now requires EHS employees undergo sensitivity training and on-site performance reviews. [CO Politics]

🔎 Tay Anderson findings will be published today
A third-party investigation firm that was commissioned back in April to look into anonymous sexual assault allegations against Denver school board member Tay Anderson has concluded its investigation. The firm turned over a 96-page report of its findings to the school board, which is slated to be released to the public today. The summerlong saga involved several dozen serious accusations against Anderson, all of which he vehemently denies. [Chalkbeat]
👉 What you can do: Refresh your memory on the subject.

🗳️ Republican Heidi Ganahl aims to unseat Polis
Heidi Ganahl, a University of Colorado regent and the state’s only elected Republican, has announced a 2022 gubernatorial campaign against incumbent Gov. Jared Polis (who is halfway through his first term). While Polis has faced some criticisms over his handling of the pandemic, forecasters don’t think it’s likely he will be unseated. If she does win, Ganahl will be the first female governor in state history and only the second elected Republican governor in almost 50 years. [Denver Post]

🩺 Denver Public Health announces a new name
Yesterday, Denver Public Health unveiled its brand new name: the Public Health Institute at Denver Health (PHIDH). The agency said the new name is the result of more than two years of strategizing and better reflects the institute's ability to work across jurisdictional lines in the metro area. (But if you ask me… did they really need the word “health” in there twice?) [9News]


A Dead Accountant, 33 Zombie Businesses, and $2.3 Million in Fraud
17 mins
Today, Host Bree Davies talks with Zack Newman and Jeremy Jojola, two members of the 9News investigative team, about a wild case of pandemic relief fraud that they uncovered right here in Denver.

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+ TONIGHT: Soul Stories at The Merc
Engage in meaningful conversations about healing, vulnerability, equity, inclusion, and artistic expression at this recurring social gathering at Mercury Cafe.

+ ALL WEEKEND: Oktober AF Fall Market
The true arrival of fall can be marked by the return of pumpkin spice lattes and all things Oktoberfest, both of which can be experienced at this weekend market.

+ ALL WEEKEND: Denver BBQ Festival
How much pulled pork and beef brisket can you fit into your belly over the course of a weekend? Now’s the time to test the limits.


Photo courtesy of: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Meet Omo, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s new 9-week-old, 200-pound bundle of joy. Mom Zambezi helped debut the name this week over a special breakfast of carrots, oranges, and hay arranged in the shape of the new calf’s name. And Dad Biko revealed the gender last month by smashing a watermelon dyed blue on the inside (with animal-safe food coloring, of course). Zookeepers allowed the calf and mother nine weeks to bond before conducting an examination to determine the sex and pick out a name. Find ALL the adorable baby hippo pics on the zoo’s Facebook page

Hey everyone! We’d like to take a second to spotlight City Cast Denver reader Hailey Goodale. Hailey is encouraging friends to sign up for this newsletter, and that’s pretty dang awesome. Thanks, Hailey! 

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