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Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at

Articles by Valerie Richardson

FILE - In this March 25, 2014 file photo, a worker oils a pump during a hydraulic fracturing operation at a gas and oil well pad near Mead, Colo. The University of Colorado's governing Board of Regents could vote Thursday April 16, 2015 on whether to stop investing in coal, oil and gas. The regents are expected to discuss a proposal from a student-led group called Fossil Free CU. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, file)

University of Colorado rejects fossil-fuel divestment calls

The fossil-fuel divestment movement, fresh off its biggest victory to date at Syracuse University, took a step backward Thursday as the University of Colorado Board of Regents rejected calls to sell off its holdings in oil, natural gas and coal. Published April 16, 2015

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2013 file photo, Tom Tuning, right, greets homeless men who wait for the opening of the St. Francis Center's day shelter, where Tuning works, in downtown Denver. Homeless people in Colorado would have a right to seek civil remedies if they're harassed by authorities while resting in public with a bill getting its first hearing at the state Legislature Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, file)

'Right to rest' Colorado bill seeks to ban 'discrimination' against homeless

Homeless people would have a right to sleep in public places — and sue for damages if it's denied — under a “right to rest” bill under consideration in the Colorado legislature. Also known as the Homeless Bill of Rights, the Colorado legislation would give people “experiencing homelessness” the right to rest and eat or accept food in public spaces where food is not prohibited, as well as occupy a legally parked vehicle, “without discrimination.” Published April 15, 2015

Oases: Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown is instituting statewide mandatory water reductions on residents. Republicans are striking back, saying such draconian policies will not save the Golden State from its drought. (Associated Press)

Liberals blamed for California drought

For California Gov. Jerry Brown to crack down on shower-taking and toilet-flushing to save precious quarts of water as millions of gallons flow into the Pacific Ocean doesn't make a lot of sense to Travis Allen. Published April 13, 2015

Rep. Michael Burgess, Texas Republican, tours Yucca Mountain in Nevada after newly published Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff findings appear to provide wiggle room for adopting rules to open a national nuclear waste dump in the Nevada desert, if decision-makers want to go forward. (ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS)

Yucca Mountain nuclear dump gets another look

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid hasn't left office yet, but one of his signature achievements — keeping the nation's radioactive nuclear waste from being stored in his home state of Nevada — is already showing signs of decay. Published April 9, 2015

capitol offense: Demonstrators take to the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock in protest of homosexual discriminatory language in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Changes were signed into law by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. (Associated Press photographs)

Arkansas, Indiana religious freedom bill revisions spark more debates

Arkansas and Indiana lawmakers rushed Thursday to reconfigure their much-maligned religious freedom bills, striking compromises that mollified some critics but also touched off a new round of debate between religious conservatives and gay rights advocates. Published April 2, 2015

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is interviewed in a hallway at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) ** FILE **

Corporations enter the fray over religious freedom laws

No business wants the kind of publicity that was heaped Wednesday upon Memories Pizza, which may explain in part why so many companies have rushed to oppose the Religious Freedom Restoration Act measures in Arkansas and Indiana. Published April 1, 2015