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County Expands Housing Program for the Homeless

in Local Flavor/Politics by

In a 3-0 resolution passed on the 16th of this month, the Board of Commissioners voted to expand the only current program for housing Larimer County’s homeless.  The resolution expands the current facility to include 250 more beds from the 617 existing ones.  When asked spokeswoman Gail Byrd of Larimer County Corrections replied with, “This facility is currently the BEST that Larimer County has to offer our homeless, so why not expand it?  More beds are needed, so let’s just get ’em ya know… If you’ve got a winning formula, just stick to it.  I congratulate our commissioners on their foresight and the slam-dunk vote.”

Larimer County taxpayers will now foot the $75 million re-model for this iteration of public housing (that’s about $215 for each man, woman and child in the county) that will include beds, three meals a day, bathrooms, basic exercise facilities and concierge uniform services. “It’s like a home away from home, except, I guess, they don’t have a home.  Our guests call it ‘Club Larimer.'”

When asked if the expansion would still be used for traditional incarceration and pre-trial detention, Ms. Byrd had this to say. “Of course we’ll still have a detainee population, I mean, we can’t give up on them either. But we’re expanding our services to show that we are also an organizational resource for those who need it.  Nevertheless, let’s not forget that it’s criminals that ultimately keep us in a job, so this is a shout-out to the criminal community of Fort Collins.  We appreciate you: no one supports the blue quite like you! And it’s time that we show you how much you are appreciated.”

 

U-boat Restorer to Offer Rides at Horsetooth

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This year a new feature is coming to the Wings of Freedom Tour that is held the weekend after the Fourth. However, this new entry will not be featured at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport because, well, submarines cannot fly by themselves. Instead of heading to the airport, drive over to Horsetooth Reservoir for the experience of a lifetime with Fins der Fuhrer.

Ray Gilbert, 75, a former Naval submarine officer himself, has painstakingly and lovingly restored a Type IXC/40 German U-boat from World War II. He started the project when he was 30 but only finished it a couple of years ago.

“Yes, it did take awhile to complete; took a bit of money to do so also, and my wife was infinitely patient for the entire length of the project. It’s not like you can just fit the sub in your garage and start restoring. Heck, I even had to learn German in order to read some of the manuals that I found.”

While Mr. Gilbert attempted to find parts through contacts within both the United States and the European Union, most times it came down to using his own machinist, his best friend, Norman New, who was also at hand for the submarine’s voyages in Horsetooth.

“We took her out yesterday,” commented Mr. New, “and she’s running just fine. We don’t go too deep or too far just because we don’t have much of a crew and everything was restored according to strict standards. In other words, this baby does not run with an app or just a push of a button so we don’t want to push her too hard.”

So, does this mean that she will be available for rides to the public during the weekend tour? “Of course, that’s why we brought her out here!” exclaimed Mr. Gilbert.

The two are offering two types of rides: the full experience and the day-cruise. The full experience will have the submarine being submerged fully so that riders will get a feel for what it was like to be in a U-Boat, while the day-cruise will be riding outside. The latter will also perambulate the entire reservoir while the former will be half-out and then back. In between, to refit and refresh the sub, they will be doing short tours.

“To be able to accommodate both the submarine requirements and the fact that we will have civilian riders, we will be taking small groups. We will have a few more crew members as well but not a full complement,” said Mr. Gilbert.  “It squeezes real tight in a U-boat.  Besides that, some of the civvies just don’t pay attention!  Once when I was trying to submerge, someone flooded the batteries instead of the ballast tanks.”  A large plume of toxic chlorine gas ensued, ending tour operations for that day, Mr. Gilbert explained.  “Well, at least nobody got asphyxiated or badly injured.”

There is understandably a price difference between the two experiences as well as the tour. The day-cruise will be $2200 a person while the full experience is $5000 per person. The tour, which will feature the bridge, sleep quarters, gallery and radio room, is available at $430 per person. There is an age limit of 14 or older for all experiences and a legal waiver the size of a Papal Encyclical.

Surprisingly, there are already waiting lists for the two types of rides. “And we’re almost full for just the tours,” said Mr. New.  “I’m gonna have to get creative about the realism of the rides- ya know. Of course, U-Boats back then had no showers or laundry, so I’m thinking of adding a super BO and mold realism feature.”

Last question? “Of course, the guns work,” replied an exasperated Mr. Gilbert, referring to the 20 mm mount on the conning tower. “And we got the ammo for it too, in case the bomber pilots decide to play a re-enactment on us.”

Larimer County Assessor’s Office Winging It

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Property tax assessments for 2019 have raised quite a fuss in Larimer County since they arrived in residents’ mailboxes at the beginning of May. With the deadline for disputes drawing near, your intrepid reporter decided to speak with the office on how they created such a hullabaloo.

County spokesperson, Tre Brighter, had this to say, “Well, you see, the previous assessor created his own algorithm for assessment calculations. So, when he left, he took the equations with him, because, you know, intellectual property and all that.”

“To put it more precisely, we had to get something out and, like, fast so we sorta, kinda had to wing it.”

Apparently ‘winging it’ meant a combination of actual data and some rather inventive, and unorthodox, methods. “I don’t know how many other offices use our methods but I’m betting not many,” continued Brighter. What were these methods?

“Well, a Magic 8 ball, darts, a blindfold–you know for impartiality’s sake–and Pin-the-Zero on the House. Like I said, we had to wing it in order to get the new figures out in time for our deadline.”

The new assessment figures have caused quite a stir in Larimer county as indicated by a noticeable increase in disputes and a constant line of some angry property owners outside the county building.

Kevin Nouveau-Riche, a resident of Laporte, was furious. “You bet your ass I’m disputing!” he fumed while standing in front of his two-bedroom concrete bungalow. “How the hell did something I bought in 2016 for $250,000 end up coming in at $1.4 million. This piece of craptastic house ain’t worth that; it’s not like I live on Mountain [Avenue] in FoCo!!!”

Brighter wringed his hands when your reporter told him about Mr. Nouveau-Riche’s discrepancy. “Yeah, that was probably a Magic 8 ball prediction or Pin-the-Zero.”

Mr. Brighter did have this to say. “We’ll definitely be more prepared for the next assessment. Right now we’re using Monopoly to help us create the necessary equations for next time.” He paused, “Or are we using Sorry?”

Poudre River Gold Mine Reassures River Community: We’ll Only Pollute a Little Bit

in Business and Economics/Environment/Local Flavor by

After finding gold along the Poudre River, Trump Mining Corporation, a precious metals extraction company owned by none other than The Don himself addressed community members in Fort Collins, Greeley and all other municipalities that line our precious riverine resource.  In a Tweet, our president declared to the Poudre River community, “This is going to be the BEST gold mine EVER!!!  Fort Collins, Greeley, Laporte, Bellevue and all those places there are gonna be proud of this.”

These surprising developments however, have been met with fierce criticism.  FoCo environmental activist Fern Greene reached out to the Focopolitan Tribune and gave us a full interview.  “Gold mines are about the dirtiest, filthiest most environmentally degrading operations possible!  I’m so outraged that this fucking thing is even gonna open!  Do you know how much cyanide and mercury is used in the mining of gold?  Where’s it all gonna go?  And what is this all for?  To get some rich-ass people more fucking jewelry than they already have?  I’m sorry, but as a member of this community, I say, ‘no.’  Pollution of rivers and soil is the kind of thing that should only happen in countries where black and brown people live, not here!”

We at the Tribune managed to contact a spokesman from Trump Mining.  Aurelio Goldberg assured us, “Yeah, we do use mercury and cyanide in mining gold, but at least we have the river to take it away.  No problem there.  We just dump the stuff in the Poudre and away it goes…”  Horrified at such a flippant disregard for the environment, your reporter Ludwig Schnee asked about how this might effect the wildlife of the ecosystem to which Mr. Goldberg replied, “It’s gonna kill some fish, but so much the better.  All those anglers I see in the summer aren’t gonna need to pay a cent for those expensive waders, rods, bait or line.  They just need to go down and pluck ’em out; we did the hard part for them.”

Something tells us at the Trib that this can’t be the end of this…

I-25 High Speed Chase Catches Motorists by Surprise

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While police departments across the United States have been changing their policies regarding high-speed chases in urban areas, there are still instances of such follies upon the motorways. A recent incident on the north-south corridor of I-25 is a case in point.

Motorists traveling northbound on that section between Johnstown and Fort Collins witnessed the unusual occurrence. “I haven’t seen something like this since that right-wing bank robbery one on 285 [referring to a 1996 incident]!” gushed one excited young woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

Onlookers were treated to an exhilarating 45 MPH high-speed chase of one wanna-be Chevy Volt bandit followed by three police vehicles.

Another driver, 25-year-old Adam Summerfeld, who happened to be on the road, was amazed at the speed. “45 on I-25!?!?! Can you believe it? I wish that happened a lot more for just us regular drivers. I just got over to the right lane and let them do their thing. But it was a sight to see!” He walked off, muttering, “45! Man, 45!”

Police spokesman Colin O’Keefe acknowledged the irony of a “high-speed” chase being classified as anything else than an extreme speed. “Yes, the legal speed limit is 75 MPH but that rarely happens on I-25 anymore. So when we attempted to stop this person for a broken taillight and he took off, we had to step in. Eventually we clocked him at speeds up to 45 MPH! We didn’t expect that he would flee and then not follow requests to respectfully pull over.”

The police eventually barricaded the individual on the exit ramp for US-36 eastbound due to lack of volume at that particular location. “It was an emergency decision. We needed lots of room for the number of vehicles involved and in case he came barreling off the highway and a physical incident occurred,” intoned O’Keefe, “And that exit just doesn’t have lots of cars sometimes.”

The driver 46-year-old Ziggy Smith only had this to say in his defense. “Man, I just wanted to get home. I’d already been traveling from south Denver for over 2 hours.”

Shutdown Inspires DPS Teachers’ Strike

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Kyla Sandoval has been a teacher at DPS for 2 years.  A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado’s Education program, she has slaved away for a pittance at a crime-ridden, run-down high school (which shall remain anonymous).  As coach of the debate team, Ms. Sandoval has inspired her pupils to go beyond the “Fuck you!… No, fuck you!” exchanges typical of DPS debate clubs.  But for all her efforts, Ms. Sandoval has yet to be paid enough to cover rent and expenses without public assistance.  “Damn dude, it really sucks to be on SNAPs and have to do the whole LulaRoe routine when you already have a full time job!”  Kyla went on to explain how she has a veritable Pikes Peak in student loan debt.

Kyla’s story is one of many for teachers at DPS.  Is it any wonder that the teacher’s union is considering a strike?  Ms. Sandoval explained what was behind the putative strike, “I’ll be honest: I was truly inspired by the government shutdown, and I think teachers at Denver Public Schools (DPS) should follow the fine example that our president is giving us.  THAT’S why we like to use ‘Red for Ed;’ our president is of the party that has red as its color and he’s shutting everything down.  It’s like we’re the same or something… we just want to make enough bread to make a living and shit.”

Focopolitan Tribune reporter Buck Hummingbird interviewed the president of the PTA of said high school.  La’Tonya Jackson had this to say, “If this ‘Red for Ed’ thing happens, the education my kids gonna git is gonna have to be better than the education they git from watching daytime TV!” Ms. Jackson paused, “But it’s probably all gonna wind up just like our president: don’t do shit and nuthin’ git done!”

Although Denver’s “Red for Ed” movement has yet to initiate its strike, the claims have been heard loud and clear. Whether anybody will do jack shit about it, is another story…

Entrepreneur Proposes Cherry Picker for Control Tower for Local Airport

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With the recent addition of an American Airlines flight connecting the po-dunk city of Cheyenne, Wyoming to its major hub in Dallas, Texas, and thereon to anywhere around the world, Focopolitans and Lovelanders have a good reason for being butt-hurt.  How could a second-rate community like Cheyenne get a flight to someplace worth going to, while Northern Colorado Regional Airport (NCRAP) gets only occasional flights to Vegas, Phoenix or the obscure Illinois town of Rockford?

Enter new arrival Armando Torres.  A recent immigrant from Sinaloa, Mexico, Armando has massive experience in the fields of logistics and airstrip management.  “I have worked for more than 20 years managing private airfields.  Whether it’s a jungle in Colombia or a desert in Northern Mexico, when it comes to managing air traffic, cargo and airstrips, I’m an expert!  I used to manage a whole fleet of single-engined, propeller-driven cargo planes until the police came and took my previous employers to jail.”  He went on, “You guys here at NCRAP have a lot to work with: I mean, you guys actually have hangars and a PAVED RUNWAY!  That’s way more advanced than anything I’ve ever dealt with, and I moved stuff- I mean, a few dozen Cesnas a day for years, hombre!”

While NCRAP serves the Fort Collins-Loveland area and has in the past hosted flights by carriers such as Allegiant Air, it currently has no commercial flights to anywhere.  The reason given by the airlines is that the airport does not have a control tower.  But for Señor Torres, that is no impediment.  “No worries, esse!  Tell those cabrones at the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] that I’ll jack up a cherry-picker as high as it goes, and that’s enough.  I’ll pay for it in cash- greenbacks.  You think I ever worked with a control tower back in Colombia?  In other words, as we say, ‘La garantia soy yo.’  The warranty is me.  We can get a flight started to Culiacan [Mexico] in no time flat!”  When we asked Sr. Torres about safety, he didn’t miss a beat, “No problem.  I’ll just tether myself with a sky hook.”

With such a spectacular resume, officials are loath to let Señor Torres get away. “This could solve all of the issues that we’re having in getting flights from the airport, no matter the destination,” proclaimed an anonymous airport official. “Plus, he’s willing to take on maintenance of the cherry-picker too!  It’s a grand deal.  The only concern I have is safety.  Mr. Torres admits to only a few mishaps, but his record-keeping is… let us say, a little South of the border.  Even so, nobody’s perfect, right?”

Mr. Torres and NCRAP have submitted plans to the Federal Aviation Administration.  Final approval is pending and a ruling expected this January.

Old Town Peace Monument Not Effective at Making Peace, but Popular with Area Dogs

in Arts and Entertainment/Local Flavor by

This is the holiday season.  This is the season of kin group get-togethers, presents, fruitcakes (of the literal as well as of the figurative kinds) and calls for function in the family and peace on earth.  While the former depends greatly on individuals, and sometimes can be achieved for short periods of time, the latter is a little harder.  Notwithstanding, the Fort Collins city council has done its bit: years ago, our elected officials erected a fatuous wooden dick-shaeped thingy in Old Town that has written on it in four different languages “May peace prevail on the Earth.”

If you haven’t noticed the pole, your dog probably has if you’ve ever taken it to Old Town.  The pole serves as a message board for all male canines who frequent the square, and serves as a communal p-mail site.  Fluffy, a Goldendoodle commented to Focopolitan Tribune reporter Ludwig Schnee, “That stick there is really cool to pee on.  I swear, there’s scent from at least 40 other dogs on there every time I use it.”   It should be clear to all Focopolitans that that is all the pole is good for.

The object’s permanence in Old Town, and the fact that nobody but this newspaper openly mocks it, is a testament to something about Fort Collins: we LOVE to signal our virtue, from yard signs to bumper stickers, that’s a favorite pastime of ours.  When it comes to actually doing something though, we happily stop at symbolism.  At that, only Boulder can beat us.  21-year old CSU student Stephanie Jarr stated, “I didn’t even know this was here for years, but now that I do, I agree with it totally!  I think I’m gonna take a selfie by it and post it on Instagram.”

A cursory look at the state of affairs in the world is clear evidence that this thing isn’t working.  Apparently, it takes more than the erection of a phallic object to elicit world peace, however laudable such quixotic yearnings may be, but in the meantime, it is incumbent on us here in Foco to show ourselves just how virtuous we are…

Chase Bank Robbery: What is Known, What We Don’t Know and (Most Importantly) What We Think

in Business and Economics/Local Flavor by

Last Wednesday around 2:15 PM, Fort Collins Police Services responded to a reported robbery at the Chase Bank on 1275 East Magnolia St.  What ensued was a police search that must have made the lousy schlub of a bank robber feel like DB Cooper himself!  The search, which involved dozens of uniformed officers, police detectives and even an observation drone gave our dear friends in blue something to do for a few hours between two prolonged periods of taking calls, writing tickets, paperwork and otherwise dull cop shit.  It might be worth mentioning in passing that their presence as well as their flashing blue lights did little to discourage lookie-Lous.

In any event, we reached out to an FCPS officer involved in the case who requested not to be named.  He told Focopolitan Tribune reporter Ludwig Schnee, “Ooooh yeeeeaaaaaahhh!!!  A break from busting bums out by the homeless shelter!  Woohoo!  What, and we even got the cobwebs off our tactical gear?  And we’re using a drone?  This is what I signed up to be a cop for!  Whooopeeee!”

While the police is officially mum about the case, as it’s ongoing, we were able to speak to a detective who also requested anonymity.  “We absolutely canvassed the strip mall, which contains a variety of retail outlets in addition to the bank.”  The detective went on to elaborate what he discovered at these various businesses: “Q-Doba has LOTS of burritos.  Dairy Queen sells ice cream, Game Stop is apparently a geek hangout.  Papa Murphy’s sells pizza and the UPS store has lots of mailing packages.”  Your police force is sure astute in its observations.

Apparently, the suspect was masked, but it has still not been conclusively disclosed whether he was armed or not.  Nobody was injured in the incident.  Given the schlubby way that the crime was committed, it would be no surprise to us at the Focopolitan Tribune if the bank robber was planning a shopping trip to Wal-Mart, just two parking lots and a street away from the scene of the crime.  It’s our opinion the he bought the balaclava there, anyway.  Given this guy’s MO, it is our opinion that he’s a top candidate for a “people of War-Mart” meme that you see social media when you’re supposed to be working.  We therefor would like to conclude that given that he’s not exactly Ocean’s Eleven material, this dude’s probably gonna get caught.

All suspects are innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of law.

Holiday Involves Reunion of Live People Around Dead Bird

in Arts and Entertainment/Business and Economics/Health and Fitness/Local Flavor by

This Thursday, November 22nd, we at the Focopolitan Tribune noticed an utterly bizarre cult-like ritual.  A multi-generational agglomeration of an area kin-group assembled between four walls, exchanged greetings and pleasantries and roasted a dead bird.  After roasting said bird, the human kin-group held hands.  Soon after, an elder spoke utterances to a sky-daddy, requesting divine benediction upon the dead avian.  The elder subsequently cut into the bird, probably of the species meleagris gallopavo.  After the ritual incision of the bird’s fleshy breast, the kin group started literally to devour the beast together with sour-tasting, but edible small fruits.

What followed was a welter of feasting, with people gorging themselves on avian meat, the small sour fruits, heavy sauce and mashed potatoes.  After picking the bird literally to the bone much like vultures on a wildebeest carcass on a vintage Wild Discovery episode, the kin group devoured a reduction of a sugary orange-colored gourd baked over a thin layer of buttered flour.  After the bizarre communal feasting, some members of the kin-group swore non-binding weight-loss oaths.

Concluding the parade of oddity, the assembled went on to refer to the following day as “Black Friday” and began discussing plans that reeked nefariously of a corporate capitalist takeover OF THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!!

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