May 6 • 57M

Can Star Trek Help Save the World?

and local news updates including a response from the Town of Estes Park to my CORA Rant Episode, Loveland, and Estes Park Police updates.

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Colorado's Counter Culture Magazine. Covering local arts, music, writing, local breaking news, deep-dive investigative articles, and podcasts based in Estes Park by Journalist, Author, and Artist Jason Van Tatenhove. https://coloradoswitchblade.com
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UPDATE: I fixed a section of the podcast after the Star Trek audio clip that repeated: 6:45 pm

We begin today’s podcast with an update on a former Loveland police officer involved in the violent arrest of Karen Garner being sentenced.

I also speak about the choice of a new Estes Park Police Captain.

The Town of Estes Park also responded to my ‘Weekend Rant’ episode dealing with transparency and CORA requests. Here is the full response that I discuss in the episode.


Here is the email:

Hi Jason, Hope you're enjoying the snowy day. I'm reaching out in response to the April 24 podcast on open records. I understand sharing your opinions is at the core of the podcasts, and what makes them so interesting. There is some confusion, however, around some of the Town and Police Department open records practices. I thought I'd try to help clear that up in hopes that it helps with future reporting

First and foremost, the Town and PD strictly follow the Colorado Open Records Act. It dictates most of our practices, including:

  • What records are releasable. Records are released as allowed by CORA. Custodian discretion only comes into play when release of a record could be contrary to the public interest as defined by CORA. The instances of this are exceedingly rare.  If release of a record is denied, the requester can petition the court to rule on the matter. CORA Title 24, Article 72, section 3 dictates specific requirements for release of criminal justice (police) records: C.R.S. 24-72-304 C.R.S. 24-72-305  Section 2 dictates requirements for municipal records: C.R.S. 24-72-203 C.R.S. 24-72-204 

  • How quickly the custodian must respond. CORA requires a response from the custodian within 3 working days. C.R.S. 24-72-303  C.R.S. 24-72-203 

  • How long records are maintained. The Colorado State Archives is authorized by CORA to prepare retention and disposition schedules for state agencies, municipalities and counties, school districts and special districts in Colorado. As such, the Town has adopted the Archives’ Colorado Municipal Records Retention Schedule. This schedule outlines the documents the Town and Police maintain, how they are maintained, and the retention of each record. This schedule is used by 206 municipalities in Colorado. https://archives.colorado.gov/records-management 

  • What fees can be charged for producing copies of records. Fees are established by the custodian in accordance with CORA guidelines, not to exceed actual costs. C.R.S. 24-72-205

A few additional clarifications:

  • At the Town of Estes Park, custodians of records are the Town Clerk (municipal records) and the Police Department Records Technician (criminal justice records). The PIO does not manage records requests. 

  • The Town and PD strive to make the open records process as smooth as possible while we strictly adhere to CORA. We appreciate all feedback. Concerns cited in the podcast are primarily concerns with CORA and could be addressed by contacting a state representative. 

  • Chief Kufeld is not resigning. He is retiring after nearly 35 years of public service. 

  • Jacobo Mendoza case was a Larimer County case.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss further. I let Travis know you were interested in talking about this recently, but he did not hear from you. Please don't hesitate to reach out so we can get you connected with the experts on staff. That's what we're here for!  Thanks for hearing me out. 

Kate Rusch

Public Information Officer

Town of Estes Park

970-577-3701


I also take the second half of the episode to speak about the very real potential and power of science fiction storytelling to change the world for the better.


Today’s podcast is sponsored by: