This morning, the Boulder Transit Center was reportedly shut down for a time after authorities found a "suspicious item."
It turned out to be a bong.
Funny? Sure — but the response reflects serious concerns raised after two Jewish organizations in Boulder received threatening letters containing white power that, fortunately, turned out to be danger-free.
At around 6 a.m. today, April 7, according to 7News, RTD personnel spotted "some kind of pipe in a bag" at the transit center.
The facility was evacuated, a street was closed and police were called.
Shortly after their arrival, the cops determined that the pipe was a bong that someone had abandoned.
If this was an overreaction, it was made more understandable by what took place yesterday in Boulder.
Before 9 a.m. on Monday, April 6, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office sent out the following alert:
An employee of the Jewish Community Center, 3800 Kalmia Drive, Boulder opened a letter with a message indicating "your have enemies", which also contained white powder.
The community center notified the Sheriff's Office. When deputies arrived on scene they evacuated the building, quarantined the office, the people who were in contact with the envelope, and the envelope itself.
The Health Department has been notified as has the Boulder County Hazmat team both of which are on the way to assist in the investigation.
A short time later, the Hazmat team determined that the white powder in question was "benign...not a threat to humans," the BCSO confirmed. But the reason for alarm was made clear by a message included in the envelope.
As noted by CBS4, it read, "You Have Enemies."
The JCC didn't mention this threat in its update to membership. It read:
This morning the Boulder JCC received a suspicious envelope. Testing by a local law enforcement agency determined the envelope contained a non-toxic white powder. Our JCC leadership is in regular and direct contact with local authorities.
The JCC takes the safety and security of our members and our community very seriously. We will keep you informed if any more information becomes available or if we need to take any additional steps to secure our facility.
The story doesn't end there. CBS4 points out that two suspicious packages were found near the JCC (their contents have not yet been revealed) and another white-powder letter was sent to Boulder's Congregation Har HaShem.
As with the JCC, the powder in letter two proved to be harmless.
Thus far, no arrests have been made in the white-powder cases, although law enforcers have what seems to be a pretty big clue: the letter to the JCC included a return address.
With these investigations ongoing, a certain degree of paranoia is to be expected.
So please, for everyone's sake, hang on to your bong.
Look below to see a CBS4 report about the white powder scares.Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.