Latest US and World News - Capture Club
kmcowan 19 May, 2018 0

Latest US and World News

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  • Omarosa Slams Her Former Colleagues in Forthcoming Tell-All
    In her new book Unhinged, set to be released on Tuesday, Omarosa Manigault Newman charts her fifteen years in the “cult” of Trumpworld, from her “Apprentice” days to the West Wing. She uses the word often throughout her 330-page memoir—cult—describing its leader as “mentally impaired,” his followers as “worshipful.”Manigault admits to being an unwitting member herself. The former reality-television start writes of knowing her “friend and mentor,” Donald Trump, was “racial” from the start of their relationship, but not necessarily “racist”—a distinction she can’t quite define, but one she says kept her enmeshed in the cult for over a decade. Manigault’s breaking point, in her words, was when chatter about the “N-word tape”—a rumored recording of Trump using the racial slur during his “Apprentice” days—became “intense again” last fall. Manigault writes that she has not heard the alleged tape herself, but that she has confirmed through “three sources” that it exists. It is for this reason, she concludes, that she was “brusquely” fired on December 17, 2017 from her post as assistant to the President, with Chief of Staff John Kelly deep in fear of what she might know, and what she might reveal publicly.Yet while Manigault Newman paints herself as a doe-eyed, innocent passenger on the Trump Train, unaware of its defects until one bombshell-like moment, she’s not so charitable toward her former colleagues. As Manigault Newman tells it, she was engaged only in a good-faith effort to serve her country, but people such as Vice President Mike Pence, Hope Hicks, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos were actively intent on destroying it, all in service of their idol: Trump.Here is how she describes her former “battle buddies” in the cult of Trumpworld, according to an advance copy of Unhinged obtained by The Atlantic.Vice President Mike PenceManigault Newman writes that she became suspicious of Pence’s ambitions during the Republican National Convention in summer 2016. It was the third night of festivities when she met Pence and his three brothers, “who looked like his clones,” in the Trump family box.“‘We always knew this would happen to Mike. He’s always wanted to be president...I mean vice president!’ one of his brothers said with a wink,” Manigault Newman writes. “It was a real joking-not-joking look, and I filed it under ‘keep an eye on that situation.’”Having kept an eye on the “situation” in the two years since, Manigault Newman concludes that Pence’s presidential ambitions guide his actions unilaterally. That, she writes, should “worr[y]” people: “So everyone wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider it. We would be begging for the days of Trump back if Pence became president.”She accuses Pence of a monotonous acquiescence to this White House’s every scandal. In senior staff meetings, she says, Pence would defend Trump by saying, “‘God is telling me to support the president. God is telling me I’m here to serve.’ He was being directed by a higher deity to agree with Trump no matter what.”His team wasn’t so on message, Manigault Newman writes. “I became troubled about [Pence]. The first thing I noticed was that people on his staff kept slipping up and calling him president—accidentally sometimes. Jokingly, in private, I heard people say things like, ‘When we’re in charge…’ or ‘Once you become president…’....I suspected that Pence was just biding his time, looking the part of the perfect VP, until Trump resigned, was impeached, or served his term.”If Trump had caught on to his number two’s alleged ambitions, he didn’t let on. “Perhaps his attraction to Pence was another sign of his loneliness,” Manigault Newman writes. “No one else in his life gazed at him with such adoration, certainly not his wife anymore. (Maybe Ivanka?)”Hope HicksManigault Newman writes condescendingly of Hicks, former Trump campaign spokesperson and White House communications director, describing her as “very nice, capable, sensitive, and out of her depth.”Manigault Newman argues that Hicks was an infamously silent spokesperson—indeed, she never spoke publicly on the campaign trail—because she was “so painfully aware of her inadequacies.” “Hope was terrified to give statements or even entertain the idea of it. She lacked confidence because she knew she wasn’t qualified to talk about policy or the political process,” Manigault writes. “She had no insight into or understanding of what was going on.”Manigault Newman recalls an early conversation with Hicks about encouraging turnout during one of the primaries. “She didn’t even know the basic terminology,” she writes. “I remember once talking to her about GOTV for one of the primaries. She said, ‘What’s GOTV?’”Manigault Newman writes she was “surprised” by Hicks’s answer, because it was “politics 101.” She says she’d then observe Hicks “always Googling terms while we were in meetings, always playing catch-up, always sensitive about what she didn’t know.”In Manigault Newman’s view, Hicks’s attractiveness kept her around. “Trump has an affinity for pretty women,” she writes. “He’d rather have a pretty woman with no experience around than a qualified, less-attractive woman.”Manigault critically implies that Hicks knew her looks were her armor. She “pushed her fashion choices as far as possible, wearing miniskirts with thigh-high boots or diaphanous summer dresses in the dead of winter, the opposite of traditional Washington conservative style.” Manigault Newman also suspects Hicks of informing John Kelly that she was “this close to getting [her] hands” on the supposed tape. “I’d informed Hope Hicks...that chatter about the N-word tape was heating up,” Manigault Newman writes. “Ever since that meeting, she’d been eager and asking frequently about my progress on the matter.” Manigault Newman offers no evidence that Hicks tipped off Kelly to Manigault Newman’s “progress on the matter,” yet still identifies Hicks, in this sense, as the catalyst for her termination.Reince Priebus“I liked Reince,” Manigault Newman writes of Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman-turned-White House chief of staff, “but he and Donald were a very bad fit.”Manigault Newman says Trump would have preferred David Bossie, Corey Lewandowski, or Jared Kushner as chief of staff, but House speaker Paul Ryan “pressured” the president-elect to appoint Priebus. “From the beginning,” she writes, “the GOP was putting up safety guardrails so that Donald wouldn’t drive the US government over a cliff.”Why did Trump give in to “pressure” from Ryan? Priebus, after all, had shown “weakness” and “doubt” in Trump in the aftermath of the Access Hollywood tape, as Manigault Newman puts it. But “if putting in Reincey (as he nicknamed him) would make peace with the Never Trumpers and the GOP,” she writes, “then it was worth it.”Yet Manigault Newman says that Trump “never let Reince—or anyone for that matter, ever—forget that Reince wanted him to drop out. He would demean Reince and mock that moment of weakness.”Manigault Newman had her own personal problems with Priebus, whom she says could be “very slippery.” She describes being asked during the transition the top three positions she wanted to be considered for. She only wrote one: director of the Office of Public Liaison (OPL).She assumed she was a shoo-in. “But then Reince blindsided me and told me there were a dozen or so people he was considering for the job, including me. He suggested that...I should consider taking a job in” presidential personnel.She wasn’t interested. She also informed him that her “top priority” was to be an “assistant to the president”—the highest appointees in the White House other than cabinet officials.Manigault Newman says that she could feel Priebus “stonewalling.” And then there was another obstacle: Paula White.The televangelist and Trump spiritual adviser, according to Manigault Newman, had “objected” to her running OPL. Manigault Newman then called Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. “‘Yes,’” she writes that he told her. “‘She doesn’t want you as the head of the OPL because you’re not an evangelical.’”“I was incensed,” she writes. The two, she says, had a “heated exchange” by phone, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to get her the title she craved. Priebus came back to her with an offer of assistant to the president and “director of communications” for OPL.Manigault Newman would never quite abandon her grudge against White. She writes of being “surprised” to hear that White was delivering the invocation at the inauguration.”A Trump family member pulled me aside and told me to back off,” she writes. “When I asked why, I was told she and Trump enjoyed a special relationship.”“I was not sure what to make of this...But I could not stop myself from contemplating whether her positions as his spiritual advisor had ever been missionary,” she writes, seeming to imply that she wondered whether the televangelist and Trump had had an affair. After Priebus’s firing six months into the administration, Manigault Newman says White claimed to her in a “come to Jesus conversation” that it was Priebus who hadn’t wanted her as OPL director, not she. “She apologized in any event,” Manigault Newman writes. “And I moved on.”Sean SpicerManigault Newman claims that during his short-lived tenure as White House press secretary, Sean Spicer “had difficulty pronouncing certain words, so we would have to go through each one phonetically with him.”“He also stuttered a lot when he got really nervous,” she adds, “which could make him appear to be lying when he was not. He was just nervous.”The President could never quite marshal respect for Spicer, she says. Trump was “as usual, highly critical and mocking, to Sean’s face and behind his back.” She recalls watching a clip of a briefing with Trump when he said of Spicer, “He looks like a spokesman from Men’s Warehouse [sic]. Cheap and tacky.” He would often refer to him in private, she says, as “Mr. Men’s Warehouse [sic].”Manigault Newman seems to resent that when Spicer was fired, he was “allowed to stay in the White House for several weeks, to just ramble around and use the office to find a new job. He was given the dignity of a peaceful transition—which was not afforded to me.”When his replacement, Anthony Scaramucci, was fired, Manigault Newman claims that Scaramucci “started crying.”She writes: “I like to think that somewhere in the West Wing, Sean Spicer was still rambling around in the final days of his grace period, heard Anthony’s high-pitched, plaintive wail, and smiled.”The childrenManigault Newman writes that her “heart went out” to Donald Trump Jr. whenever she saw him interact with his father. He was desperate, she says, for his father’s encouragement and support. “Having lost my father very young, I understood Don Jr.’s longing for his father’s approval, which was not forthcoming.”She recalls, moreover, sitting in the family box during the RNC convention and observing Don and Vanessa Trump’s marriage “hanging by a thread.” “They never held hands or touched. They never even looked at each other. She had a dour expression on her face the entire time,” she writes. (Don Jr. and his wife have since divorced. He now reportedly dates ex-Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.)That fall, when Don Jr. infamously compared Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles, Manigault Newman writes that Trump “just shook his head and said, ‘Look what he did now. He screwed up again. What a f**kup.’”He was never so critical of his daughter Ivanka.She writes again of the RNC convention, when Trump walked on stage and placed his hands on his daughter’s “bare upper arms and kissed her” following her speech. “Then he placed his hands low on her hips while appraising her, and then patted her on her hip. The placement of his hands made everyone uncomfortable.“But I was used to the sickening feeling I had whenever they touched or kissed or he openly admired her form,” Manigault Newman continues. She recalls a meeting pre-convention, when Ivanka strode into a meeting wearing a fitted skirt. “The entire meeting had to stop so he could gush about her body. ‘You look great! I like the way that skirt fits. Doesn’t Ivanka look great?’ He insisted that we all agree that his daughter’s tight skirt was very flattering.”Once in the White House, Ivanka had among the tougher times enduring criticism from the press, Manigault Newman claims. Ivanka, she says, “would not stop talking about being ribbed” by a Saturday Night Live skit that featured Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka “selling a fragrance called ‘Complicit.’” “Like her father,” Manigault Newman says, “Ivanka was thin-skinned and could not seem to take a joke.”Trump took his daughter’s skewering in the press to heart, she writes. “He wanted Jared [Kushner] and Ivanka out of the White House. It hurt him when people attacked her.” But Manigault Newman writes that she was one of the few who wanted Ivanka to stick around, and was thrilled when she was promoted to a senior staff position. “His forgetfulness and frustration were getting worse. Any time somebody new came in to brief him, he’d get angry and say, ‘Who’s that guy? What’s he want?’...I thought Ivanka’s promotion from adviser to assistant would give him a measure of emotional comfort and support he needed.”She devotes very little copy to Eric and Tiffany Trump.Interestingly, the same goes for Kushner. Manigault Newman does write, however, that when Ivanka Trump first started dating Jared Kushner, she asked her father what he thought of Kushner. “’He seems a little sweet to me,’” she writes Trump said, “using his phrasing for ‘gay.’”Of all the children, Manigault Newman seemed to grow closest to Lara Trump, Eric’s wife. The two often worked side-by-side on the campaign trail. She writes that Lara was the first person she tried to confide in with her concerns about what she calls the president’s “mental decline.” When Trump seemed to admit to Lester Holt in an interview that he had fired FBI Director James Comey because of the Russia investigation, Manigault Newman “realized that something real and serious was going on in Donald’s brain,” she writes.“But what could I do? Declare a state of mental emergency for Donald J. Trump? Should I report this insight whom exactly?”She writes that she texted Lara and asked to get together. “I’m really concerned about him,” Manigault Newman claims she said to Lara.“She said, ‘I know. The whole situation is really messed up.’”“‘No, I mean his language is incoherent,’” Manigault Newman responded. “‘This is more than just a—’”“‘No,’” Lara apparently said, “like she didn’t want to hear it.”Melania TrumpManigault Newman has a theory about the First Lady: her every sartorial choice is deliberate and meaningful. She points to the Gucci “pussy bow” blouse Melania wore to the presidential debate following the Access Hollywood tape. The white pantsuit to Trump’s first joint address to Congress. The “I DON’T REALLY CARE. DO U?” Zara jacket to a Texas border facility. “Taken as a whole, all of her style rebellions have served the same purpose, and not only misdirection and distraction—strategies her husband knows all too well,” Manigault Newman writes. “I believe Melania uses style to punish her husband.”Manigault Newman claims that “it was often discussed among Trumpworld intimates” that Trump had pulled strings to help Melania obtain an EB-1 visa, which gives immigrants with “extraordinary ability” US citizenship. “I have speculated that Trump was able to use his networks and resources to secure it or expedite it.”She implies that this may be part of what keeps Melania by Trump’s side today. “Since Donald is fully aware of however she acquired her permanent citizenship, he could...expose the methods and somehow invalidate it,” she writes. “He is a vindictive man...If Melania were to try to pull the ultimate humiliation and leave him while he’s in office, he would find a way to punish her.”“In my opinion,” she concludes, “Melania is counting every minute until he is out of office and she can divorce him.”All the same, Manigault Newman writes that rumors that Melania spent election day “sobbing” when Trump won are “inaccurate.” On election day, “I remember thinking, ‘She’s smiling!’ Melania rarely smiles…Melania was as upbeat as I’d ever seen her in thirteen years of our acquaintance, and very engaged by what was going on. She, like everyone, wanted to win, desperately.”***Manigault Newman casts herself as this victim in her story. Her argument is that for years, she talked herself out of seeing Trump for who he was: a “racist,” “bigot,” and “misogynist.” She provides plenty of examples of Trump’s display of such traits, whether during his “Apprentice” days, on the campaign trail, or even in the White House. It didn’t matter: Manigault Newman continues to sketch herself as the innocent bystander until she wasn't, like a child who suddenly realizes that not all people are good.And that’s the problem with Manigault Newman’s version of events. She tries to use the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as the climax of her story, the moment she decides she wants out of the cult of Trumpworld. But it’s hard to take her assessment—that her “blind spot” vis-a-vis Trump was “shattered,” that she refused to go on TV following the event because she would not “defend the indefensible”—seriously. Because she doesn’t leave the White House immediately after. As with so many moments throughout the book, when she charts her “unease” and “worry” and “fear” about Trump the man and Trump the president, she never acts. Indeed, even after the peak disgust she says she felt after Charlottesville, she says she still resolved not to leave until January, when she could claim a “work anniversary” exit that’s typical among White House staffers. Yet if her stance against Trump was in fact so principled, as she claims time after time throughout her book, why would she not leave in outspoken defense of those principles? Why would she give the public any room for doubt about her values, especially when she claims they are the values she holds dearest?It amounts to a portrait of a woman who likely did have nagging qualms about the president throughout her tenure, but valued her plum title and sense of power so much more. Accordingly, her exit from the White House was not a personal decision; rather, she was fired.Weighted concerns about Charlottesville and a supposed N-word tape read as ham-fisted  attempts to save face and squeeze a final fifteen minutes of fame out of her proximity to the leader of the free world. It’s no wonder that Manigault Newman has contradicted herself multiple times with regard to the tape—whether she has in fact heard it, whether it was in fact the reason behind her termination. It is, after all, the most troubling hypothetical her book has to offer. What’s unfortunate is that rather than spark a serious discussion about such a tape and its deep, moral implications, Manigault Newman has promoted it only, it seems, as an extension of herself. As a way to drum up more attention and prolong her star power.It’s a tactic you’re bound to embrace and master should you hang around Trumpworld long enough. Consider Manigault Newman, then, its most accomplished cult member yet.
  • The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: One Strzok and He’s Out
    Written by Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2)Today in 5 Lines Peter Strzok, the FBI agent removed from the Russia investigation over anti-Trump text messages, was fired, his lawyer said. Bobby Goodlatte, the son of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, said he’s “embarrassed” by his father's “political grandstanding” during Strzok's hearing earlier this year. Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman released audio of a phone conversation with President Trump after she was fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly. Trump responded on Twitter, writing that Manigault Newman was “vicious, but not smart.” After nearly two weeks of witnesses, prosecutors rested their case against Paul Manafort. During a visit to Fort Drum, Trump signed a $716 billion defense bill named after Senator John McCain, but made no mention of the senator. Today on The Atlantic Death of a Nation? David Frum writes about Dinesh D’Souza’s resurgence under President Trump and what his comeback says about the state of conservatism. Becoming the Enemy: Regardless of whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s convergence of interests may damage the United States even more in the long run, argues John Sipher. The Next Revolution: Though Democrats have bet on America’s diversifying electorate to secure their party’s future, many second generation Latinos may be more hesitant to align with white coastal liberals who have been complicit in their parent’s mistreatment. (Reihan Salam) An Expert on Violent Encounters: Graeme Wood profiles John Correia, a pastor whose self-defense YouTube videos have made him something of a celebrity in gun-rights circles. SnapshotPresident Trump salutes a U.S. Army soldier as he observes a military demonstration with U.S. Army Major General Walter “Walt” Platt, the Commanding General of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York. (Carlos Barria / Reuters)What We’re ReadingSend Me Your Location: A new AP investigation reveals that many Google services track the location of iPhone and Android users, even if their privacy settings prohibit Google from doing so. (Ryan Nakashima)Protests for Puerto Rico: Critics of the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria are launching a seven-figure campaign to mobilize displaced Puerto Rican voters, and planning demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the hurricane. (Ed O’Keefe, CBS News)He’s A Late Adolescent: Science doesn’t draw the same “bright line” as the Supreme Court when determining the age at which defendants stop being children and start being tried as “adults.” (Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project) Taken for Granted: Despite the party’s resources, Democrats are not placing enough attention on Hispanic outreach—and that’s a mistake. (Adrian Carrasquillo, The New Republic) VisualizedCountdown to November: This interactive map tracks the House races to watch in the 2018 midterms. (The New York Times) Mapping an Epidemic: Republicans control the regions of the country with the most opioid prescriptions per person. (Sam Baker, Axios)
  • The Atlantic Daily: ‘Literally Unreal’
    What We’re FollowingCharlottesville Anniversary: The white-supremacist “Unite the Right” rally planned for August 12 in Washington, D.C., drew roughly two dozen marchers, who were were far outnumbered by counterprotesters. Elaine Godfrey and Madeleine Carlisle reported from the event. Donald Trump commemorated the violence that followed last year’s rally with a tweet that decried “all types of racism,” but he avoided explicit condemnation of hate groups. Here’s what Susan Bro, whose daughter was killed in Charlottesville last year, has to say about the country’s response to white nationalism.Turkey’s Troubles: Turkey’s central bank took steps to slow the decline of the lira, the county’s national currency, after the doubling of U.S. tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum exacerbated its slide. In his tweet announcing the tariffs, Trump declared that “our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!” Krishnadev Calamur explains what’s fractured in the allies’ relationship.Academy Angst: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a new Outstanding Popular Film category for the Oscars, reportedly in response to broadcasters’ concerns about the awards show’s declining ratings. But critics say the award won’t solve the Academy’s problem—and could create troubling new incentives for filmmakers and studios.—Rosa Inocencio SmithSnapshotThe growing number of American adults who live with roommates share a home life that, as shown in Janice Chang’s illustration, can be fraught with complications—but also surprisingly intimate. Read more.Evening ReadSophie Gilbert on America’s diet culture: The weight-loss industry in the United States is worth $66 billion a year, an amount that’s substantially bigger than the GDP of Costa Rica. At any given time, about one-third of Americans are on a diet. And yet, the adult obesity rate, at 39.8 percent, continues to rise. Kim Kardashian hawks weight-loss lollipops made of sugar and unregulated appetite suppressants, touting their “literally unreal” effectiveness. (If you’re looking for a way to describe the benefits of most weight-loss products sold on the internet, “literally unreal” is as good as any.) Clearly the status quo isn’t working. But hating fatness, it turns out, is a hard habit for culture to break. Keep reading, as Sophie considers how two new shows, Dietland and Insatiable, reveal how cultural concepts of fatness have changed—and where they still have a long way to go.What Do You Know … About Education?1. From 1970 to 1979, the number of ____________ majors in U.S. colleges more than doubled.Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.2. In the run-up to Brown v. Board of Education, some black educators in the South described their role in the school-integration movement as “_____________.”Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.3. Starting next year, the Common Application used by hundreds of colleges will no longer ask students about their ____________.Scroll down for the answer, or find it here. Answers: journalism / hidden provocateurs / criminal history Dear TherapistEvery week, Lori Gottlieb answers a reader’s questions in the Dear Therapist column. This anonymous reader writes: I recently discovered that my husband and a female colleague of his have a texting streak going back as far as 2016. I found this out when I saw his phone. While there’s nothing sexual in their messages, and he assures me they are only friends, I have repeatedly expressed my displeasure and discomfort about the situation. I have also repeatedly asked for this behavior to stop. He lies and tells me they no longer text, until he gets caught red-handed again … He tells me I am overreacting and that I should get over it. I am considering separating from him if his behavior doesn’t stop. What do you suggest? Read Lori’s advice, and write to her at We’re making some changes to The Atlantic Daily. We welcome your thoughts as we perfect the newsletter. Click here to share your feedback. Did you get this newsletter from a friend? Sign yourself up.
  • Erdoğan Tilts at Windmills as Lira’s Decline Continues
    Turkey’s central bank moved on Monday to shore up the declining lira, as the trouble with the country’s currency threatened to spread to the broader economy—and the global financial system. But it took no steps to address the issue of interest rates, which economists say must be raised to deal with the crisis.The central bank announced it was lowering the amount of funds maintained by commercial banks, and added that it will “provide all the liquidity the banks need.” The lira, which had declined to about 7.20 against the U.S. dollar on Sunday, recovered slightly to about 6.61 after the announcement. This year, the lira has lost 41 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar.The central bank’s decision came three days after Donald Trump announced the doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports. U.S.-Turkey relations have been tense since the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They have only grown worse since Turkey declined to free Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who was arrested in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed coup and charged with espionage. Trump’s announcement caused the beleaguered lira to lose 14 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar on Friday alone.‘U.S. relations with Turkey are not good at this time’Erdoğan reacted angrily to the U.S. actions, telling his supporters Friday that “there are several campaigns being carried out” against Turkey. He continued with that messaging Monday: “Turkey is under siege in the economy, as in other areas,” he said, adding that the country’s “economic dynamics are solid, strong, and intact.” Of the United States, he said: “You act on one side as a strategic partner, but on the other, you fire bullets into the foot of your strategic partner. We are together in NATO, and then you seek to stab your strategic partner in the back.” His words were coupled with the country’s public prosecutor’s warning of a possible crackdown on news reports and social-media posts that “serve as economic attacks.”Erdoğan’s reaction to the crisis mirrors his responses to other crises in Turkey under his leadership. This is the same man who, long before the advent of President Trump, accused a “deep state” of conspiring against him, and oversaw in the early 2000s charges against more than 100 people in connection with a coup plot that may or may not have existed. More recently, Erdoğan blamed the United States and others of backing the 2016 coup attempt, and blamed Western nations for not doing enough to oust Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The Turkish leader is now bringing that approach to bear on his response to the currency crisis. His government’s public response suggests it believes that the lira’s woes are the result of outside machinations rather than economic mismanagement.Although the lira’s decline stemmed from a number of factors, the actual chain of events leading to the crisis is fairly straightforward. Turkey’s economic growth came on the back of low interest rates and foreign capital. The low rates allowed Turkish companies to borrow money cheaply to finance projects. But corporate debt swelled to 70 percent of gross domestic product—one of the highest shares among major economies. Much of this borrowing was done in foreign currencies like the U.S. dollar—not in liras. This factor is one reason why Turkey’s broader economy could be vulnerable as the lira continues to slide. The loans incurred by Turkish companies in U.S. dollars and other foreign currencies will now be more expensive to repay; profits will also be hit because of the depreciation.  “This is a foreign currency crisis in its origin, but given the reliance of Turkey—both in the government and corporate sectors—on external finance, this could turn into a debt crisis which engulfs its banks,” Hasnain Malik, the head of equity research at Exotix Capital, said Monday in a research note. “Because of the high participation of foreign banks and portfolio investors in Turkey, there are clear risks of contagion.”Investors would like to see Turkey’s central bank raise interest rates (its benchmark rate is at 17.75 percent), address inflation (which is at 16 percent), and engage with multilateral lenders to keep the crisis from spreading. Erdoğan, however, has railed against higher interest rates. Turkey’s central bank has stayed mum on rates, casting doubts about its independence. Erdoğan’s appointment of his son-in-law as the country’s finance minister hasn’t inspired confidence either.   Economists worry that Turkey’s troubles could cause investors to start pulling money from other emerging economies. Other currencies fell Monday against the U.S. dollar, including the Indian rupee, which hit a record low, and the South African rand. Markets in Asia and Europe fell as well on Monday before recovering.Erdoğan, meanwhile, found others to blame for the lira’s slide. “There are economic terrorists on social media,” he said Monday. “They are truly a network of treason. We will not give them the time of day … We will make those spreading speculations pay the necessary price.”
  • Photos: 15 Years Since the 2003 Northeast Blackout
    On August 14, 2003, a series of faults caused by tree branches touching power lines in Ohio, which were then complicated by human error, software issues, and equipment failures, led to the most widespread blackout in North American history. More than 50 million people across eight northeastern U.S. states and parts of Canada were left without power for at least 24 hours, and many of them were in the dark for weeks. In New York City, thousands of commuters were stranded when the power cut out late on a Thursday afternoon. Memories of the 9/11 attacks only two years earlier were fresh in people’s minds as scenes of thousands of people evacuating Manhattan on foot were replayed.
  • Swim Caps Are Keeping Black Women Out of Pools
    Noelle Singleton challenges any swim-cap maker who claims a swimmer’s hair won’t get wet with their caps to send her one. She’ll post a review on social media of her swimming a 100-meter individual medley in it.Swim caps matter for Singleton, a 30-year-old black swim coach in Georgia with a thick, full-moon-shaped afro. Known on her AfroSwimmers Instagram account as Coach With the Fro, she has been offering swim lessons that target the black community for 16 years. The first question she always gets from female clients, she says, is: “What do I do with my hair?” She gives them tips, including which swim caps to buy. But, “I tell them up front: Please expect your hair to get wet,” Singleton says.Historically, swimming pools have played a murky part in racial segregation and disparity in the United States. Despite a public-pool boom in the 1950s and ’60s, generations of black people have not learned how to swim. In 2017, a report from the USA Swimming Foundation found that 64.2 percent of black adults said they had no or low swimming abilities, versus 39.7 percent of white people. Among the black parents in that group, 78 percent said their children had no or low swimming abilities, too.Numerous factors contribute to why blacks are less likely to swim: a lack of lap pools to learn in, a lack of representation in water sports, a fear of drowning, and a lack of affordable swim lessons. But one thing that’s often overlooked is that swim caps aren’t designed to protect common hairstyles among black women, adding yet another barrier to their participation in swimming, kayaking, water polo, diving, and other aquatic activities. “It’s an epidemic,” Singleton says of their exclusion.For black women, hair is a long-standing point of pride, self-expression, status, and heritage. Some women will spend hundreds of dollars—and sit for hours—to get box braids or install a weave. That’s not including the hair products required for daily maintenance. All this makes swimming risky. Chlorine can damage the softness of an afro, the tightness of a box braid or sisterlock, or the clean scalp hidden under a sew-in weave. For some hairstyles, the prospect of starting over with washing, conditioning, sitting under a hair dryer, combing or picking out hair, and restyling in general is frustrating.While doing research for an earlier version of the USA Swimming Foundation report, Carol Irwin, an associate professor at the University of Memphis School of Health Studies and one of the lead researchers on the study, remembers asking black women around campus if they swam. Most said they did not, because of their hair and chemicals that dried out their skin. So Irwin and her colleagues put the hair question on the 2010 survey, “thinking it might be significant.” Black respondents reported significantly greater concern about getting their hair wet, and about the negative impact of chemicals on children’s appearances, than white respondents did.According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black children drown at 5.5 times the rate of other children. Drowning was the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths among black boys and girls under 18 in 2016. Still, as Irwin points out, the drowning rates are higher among the boys. “I truly believe [black women] avoid the water like the plague,” she says. “They might get into the shallow end and splash around, but it has to be limited because of their hair. Maybe their hair is saving them, I don’t know.”Swim caps have conventionally been designed as one size fits all for straighter, less curly hairstyles. They help with resistance in the water, but are not meant to keep water fully out. Singleton tells her students that the most important factor in choosing a swim cap is size and type, not brand, but she says many students don’t know how to put on a swim cap properly in the first place. There’s little instruction on the internet on what to do if they have afros or dreadlocks. “I’ve had black girls that have had the entire backs of their hair broken off from breakage, or [from] not having the right moisturizers because of the chemicals and the rubbing of the caps,” she says.But recently, the cultural push for products that accommodate diverse bodies and hair types has begun to permeate the aquatics world. Some swim caps now do exist that are designed for dreadlocks, braids, afros, and more. And swim caps are now made of silicon instead of latex, which helps keep the cap from rubbing off hairline edges.In 2014, a client told Stella Walker, a hairstylist in North Carolina, that she was looking for swim caps to accommodate her sisterlocks. Walker, who specializes in the style, started looking online for options. She soon found herself reaching out to companies manufacturing swim caps to see if they could help her create larger sizes. She never heard back from them, she says, so she looked to China to make them. “People pay a lot of money to have those styles, so those folks definitely don’t jump at the opportunity to get in a pool without a cap,” Walker says.Just like hairstylists who sell weave hair or shampoos as side revenue, Walker now sells her jumbo and extra-large Lock Journey caps in online stores including Etsy and Amazon. Her caps are designed for traditional, waist-length locks, but she says anyone with long hair can use them. She says the key for her caps is that they create a seal along the hairline and are worn below the ear for a tighter fit.Walker has heard some clients say they would squeeze on two or three traditionally sized swim caps to protect their hair. She shudders when she comes across advice like not wearing a cap at all, or not applying moisturizing products when swimming without a cap. Chlorine can cause dryness, hair breakage, or color damage, Walker warns. And adding moisturizer before putting on a swim cap causes it to slide around, allowing water to get inside.Singleton, the swim instructor, sees this rise in entrepreneurs as positive. But she worries when she hears companies say their larger caps keep all water out of women’s hair. “If you have the proper swim cap that has the correct fit, it is possible to help eliminate the amount of water your hair will absorb while swimming,” she says. “But to make something that says it keeps your hair dry, it’s false advertising and inaccurate.”Despite the hair issue, Singleton says she’s starting to see a growing number of black parents putting their children in swim lessons, and even getting into the pool themselves. The statistics seem to back her up: Even though 64.2 percent of black people said they have no or low swimming abilities in the 2017 report, that number was still close to five percentage points less than in the 2010 report. (For white people, the number dropped about two percentage points over the same time period.)“The parent can’t swim, so they don’t go to the pool or swim,” Singleton says. “I’m seeing a lot more people step off that train of thought and say ‘I don’t know how to swim, but I don’t want my child to not have opportunities.’”
  • ‘Lessons’ From the Internet’s Most Violent Videos
    Every day, John Correia combs through dozens of violent attacks caught on mobile phones, security cameras, CCTV, and police body cameras. The videos are sent to him by a legion of fans across the globe who seek his advice. After carefully analyzing each one, Correia breaks down lessons in self-defense videos, which he posts to his YouTube channel. A former evangelical minister, Correia is on a mission to teach his followers how to avoid, survive, and “win” any violent altercation they may encounter. "If you can’t be safe, be dangerous," says Correia in this new documentary from The Atlantic. Read more about Correia in Graeme Wood’s profile in the September 2018 issue of The Atlantic.
  • The Gun Guru of YouTube
    Andy FriedmanSomeday John Correia will meet Jesus. As an ordained pastor, he has thought about how their first conversation will go. That is why he keeps his Heckler & Koch VP9 loaded with a 9-mm magazine in pristine condition. “You’re only going to draw a gun on the worst day of your life,” Correia told me. “You want to make sure the equipment works. I treat these mags like babies.” If he drops one and dents it, he never carries it again. “I don’t want Jesus to look at me and go, ‘How come you didn’t test your equipment, dummy?’ ” Better to be shot dead in a fair fight. “At the very least I want him to say, ‘He smoked you! He was better than you!’ And I’ll say, ‘Yes, Lord, I got smoked.’ ”Until two years ago, Correia, who is 42, was not well known outside Phoenix, where he was raising four kids, tending a conspicuously well-armed flock at West Greenway Bible Church, and teaching part-time at Arizona Christian University. (He co-wrote a book about the Koine Greek word pistis, or “belief.”) I had come to visit him in Phoenix because in 2016 he was born again, professionally, as YouTube’s top expositor of mayhem, a subject in which I take both personal and professional interest. “I’m the John Madden of on-camera violence,” he says. About once a day, he posts a video depicting graphic real-life violence. Then he slows down the video and explains what happened, and how the good guys might have prevailed, or avoided the confrontation altogether. If you have never seen a person stabbed, shot, or (in one case) bludgeoned with a fish tank, go watch the 800 videos Correia has edited and analyzed. His popularity on YouTube has made him a minor celebrity at gun conventions. In deep-red states, people recognize his bearish, jovial figure on the street and greet him. “They’re always nice,” he says. “Maybe that’s because they know I’m probably armed.”Correia’s transformation began when he asked his self-defense teacher how to guard against a knife attack. “The way we practiced didn’t seem right,” he told me. On YouTube, Correia had watched a few real-life stabbings caught on surveillance video, and “they didn’t look like what we were training against.” In the safety of the dojo, Correia and his classmates were practicing for an attacker who would extend his blade with one elegant thrust, like an Olympic fencer. “There was no energy, no resistance, no ill will,” he added. A real killer, the surveillance footage suggested, will hook you by the neck with one arm and plunge the knife into you repeatedly with the other, shredding your belly into strips of human bacon and chitterlings. “I asked him, ‘What do we do about this?’ ” The sensei, normally hard to stump, didn’t have an answer. “Right now,” he shrugged, “we die.”Since then, Correia has watched approximately 13,000 more videos of deadly and near-deadly encounters, in an effort to bring reality to a field distorted by fantasy. As violence has become rarer, fewer people have had the misfortune of becoming personally acquainted with it. We harbor illusions about how muggings, gangland slayings, and bar fights go down, and about what we can do to intervene or protect ourselves. The new ubiquity of video surveillance could force gun nuts and gun haters alike to confront reality. Correia says he is “an evidence-based self-defense trainer”—a sabermetrician of violence who, having cataloged the events of each video, can tell you with nerdy accuracy that a third of attacks involve multiple assailants. Pepper spray works about 90 percent of the time. Twenty-three percent of the videos come from Brazil, so if you don’t want to be stabbed on camera, don’t go to Rio.“Every situation is a snowflake,” he says. “But the same principles show up again and again. All I do is to teach people and give them a vocabulary for what to do.” In Correia’s most popular video, which is from Venezuela, an armed robber approaches his victim, an off-duty cop, in an ATM line. After dropping his wallet and necklace on the ground, the cop falls back, lets the mugger stoop to pick up the loot, and takes advantage of his distraction to draw a pistol and shoot the criminal four times. There are “some significant lessons here,” Correia says. He approves of the distraction. “This was incredibly wise … Give [the mugger] something else to think about. Don’t just stand there and fight him when he’s strong.” He commends the cop for “concealing his draw.” (The cop hid, somewhat ungallantly, behind a civilian for a few seconds to do so.) “This guy did a great job.”Video: How to Win a Gun Fight "If you can’t be safe, be dangerous," says Correia in this Atlantic documentary.Correia’s narration is notable for its sanity and practicality, and (a rarity in the gun world) for not viewing all problems as solvable with more and larger guns. He used to carry more than one gun on his person, plus a spare mag in case he needed to reload. But in his study of violent encounters, he has seen zero emergency reloads and zero uses of a backup gun (or bug, in gun lingo), so he seldom carries extra mags anymore and has stopped carrying an extra gun altogether. He replaced them with a first-aid kit—which he has used twice, once to save a life—and pepper spray, which he has used twice to defend himself against stray dogs.Overwhelmingly, the lesson of his videos is to avoid violence in the first place. “The answer to most social violence is: Check your ego,” he told me. Give up your valuables. Don’t kill to save your car, and don’t die to save your wallet. Don’t play “the monkey game,” an escalating display of dominance, often but not always between two drunk men. Many of the videos take place at ATMs or in what he calls “transitional spaces,” such as convenience stores and parking lots. He enumerated for me his “rules of stupid”: “Don’t do stupid things with stupid people at stupid times.”Fans have come to love his folksy catchphrases. His pepper-spray canister is a “spicy-treat dispenser.” When a woman pulls a gun from her purse and sends a mugger scrambling, the mugger is experiencing the “fibsa factor” (“Fudge, I’m being shot at”). A victim who disarms his assailant then pummels him for good measure is administering (against Correia’s advice) an “educational beatdown.” When uniformed cops jump on a suspect, it’s a “polyester pileup.” Armed robbers killed by their victims have “taken the room-temperature challenge.” Murder victims remind us, Pastor John says, of the need for “spiritual fitness”—mental preparedness for the possibility that “today might be your last, and you need to be right with your loved ones and right with God.”“If you know how many guns you own,” Correia told me, “you don’t have enough guns.” I have watched nearly all of Correia’s videos but do not carry a gun, or wish to. (I once owned one—a single-shot assassination tool, designed to look like a Montblanc pen—but couldn’t manage the paperwork necessary to bring it home from Pakistan.) Nevertheless, before we parted, I asked him to teach me to shoot, so he took me to a gun range for a lesson.Like a flight attendant, Correia started the session with a litany of safety measures, reminding his assistant and me to keep our guns pointed downrange, to always treat them as if they were loaded, and to exercise trigger discipline (which is to say, keep your finger off the trigger when you’re not aiming downrange). He started by sending about 30 rounds through a human silhouette on a paper target, clustering them with each burst around the head and the heart. He liked the gun, an H&K P30sk, and admired its polymer-based frame. He used to carry a Glock, he says, but has become an H&K “fanboy” and a brand ambassador for the company. (“I prefer German murder-plastic to Austrian murder-plastic.”)The jokes ended when Correia turned and offered to let me fire a few rounds. He handed the gun to me ritualistically, repeating verbatim his earlier safety reminders. Before he placed it in my hand, he popped out the magazine and invited me to probe the chamber with my finger, to satisfy myself that the gun was empty. “Nothing in there, right?” My finger emerged a little blackened. “Nothing,” I said, and he handed me the gun and a fresh magazine. I loaded it and aimed.“Press the trigger slowly,” he said. “Let it go off. Let it surprise you.”I lined up the iron sights with my left eye and the target. I snaked my finger around the trigger and applied pressure like he’d suggested, with the slow, deliberate squeeze of a python’s tail. Boom. The first shot poked an ovoid hole in the target’s epigastric region. “You’re a fast learner,” he said, generously. “That was about as perfect a shot as existed. We’re going to make an honorary Arizonan out of you.” The next two shots landed off-center. Correia remained encouraging.On Second Amendment issues, Correia is very nearly a gun-rights absolutist. But he advised me, as gently as possible, that if I didn’t intend to put in time at the range, I might be safer unarmed. “You should be able to put five shots in five seconds in that circle,” he said, indicating an area seven yards away and about the size of a dinner plate. I could probably have hit a dinner table at that distance. A plate would’ve taken some work.I don’t think I’m an especially incompetent shot. I’m just lazy and unwilling to spend hours at the range on the off chance that I run into a killer in a dark Brazilian alley. In Correia, however, I saw the perfect concealed-weapon carrier: someone who has trained to a high standard, who will avoid confrontation whenever possible, and who is much more eager to save lives with his first-aid training than to take lives with his VP9.As Correia drove me to the airport, I told him about a news story I once read about a man, described as a “Good Samaritan,” who saw a kidnapping under way in a Walmart parking lot in Kansas. This was an armed Good Samaritan, and he killed the aggressor on the spot. I told him I remembered the biblical Good Samaritan story going differently, with the Samaritan administering first aid and nourishment rather than hot lead.Correia, unsurprisingly, had thought a lot about how a Christian life might be reconciled with instruments of death. “I look forward to a day when there’s peace on Earth and goodwill toward men,” he told me. “That’s not going to happen till Jesus comes back.”It sounded like a cop-out. But Correia wasn’t finished. “I have devoted my life to two things,” he said, his eyes on the road. The first was pastoring, and the second was armed self-defense. “And if my theological commitments are correct, neither of them will exist in the perfect state in which we’ll find ourselves later. If the picture of the afterlife that the Bible presents is true, we won’t be sitting on a cloud strumming a harp. There will be some continuity with the current world, but living in perfection.”I asked whether there would be guns in heaven.“No,” he said firmly. “When everyone follows the Lord and knows him and loves him and doesn’t have any problems, we won’t need guns.” (He later allowed that heaven might have target shooting, but only for recreation, not in training for self-defense.) “We won’t need preachers,” he added. “I’ll be out of work. I will have to find a new profession in eternity.”This article appears in the September 2018 print edition with the headline “The Minister of Self-Defense.”
  • The Master of Negation
    Over the past few days, the news for Republican congressional candidates has been almost unremittingly bleak. Troy Balderson, a state senator running in a central Ohio district that had long been considered rock solid for the GOP, is only narrowly ahead of the Democrat Danny O’Connor, a relative newcomer who has yet to concede defeat. In Washington State’s jungle primary, which winnows candidates of all parties down to the top two vote winners who then go on to contest the November general election, Republican candidates badly underperformed expectations. Seemingly safe Republican seats, such as southern Washington’s sprawling Third District, currently represented by the erstwhile rising star Jaime Herrera Beutler, now appear to be in jeopardy. Hopes that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the tight labor market would together lift the fortunes of the incumbent party have dimmed, and Republicans are turning to a more urgent message as the midterms approach: If the Democrats win, the Donald Trump presidency will be imperiled.So suggested Representative Devin Nunes of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and one of President Trump’s most zealous defenders, to a closed-door gathering of donors late last month. Steve Bannon, the right-wing impresario once considered Trump’s chief ideologist, is speaking in similarly apocalyptic terms, warning that the first thing Democrats will do if they secure a House majority is move to impeach the president. In an interview with New York magazine, he claimed that while Democrats were committed to removing Trump from office, regardless of the findings of the Mueller investigation, they were shrewd enough to avoid campaigning on doing so: “Because they’ve seen the same data I’ve seen. The way to get the deplorables out is very simple: It’s talking impeachment. They want to shut you up, and they want to impeach Trump. So if you like Trump, you gotta show up. It’s very simple.” Elsewhere, in an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Bannon made his point more plainly, insisting that Trump voters back GOP candidates in the fall, even when said candidates were, in his words, “RINOs” or “establishment figures.” This is a far cry from the bravado of months ago, when Bannon was busily orchestrating primary challenges against supposed RINOs and establishment figures in Senate races around the country, and it ignores the fact that there is no scenario in which Democrats could successfully remove the president from office without a substantial number of Republican votes in the Senate.The RINO hunters become the huntedOf course, there is a more plausible version of Bannon’s argument. Short of removing the president from office, a Democratic majority in the House could subject the Trump administration to heightened scrutiny. The Framers of the Constitution had assumed that in the normal course of events, the legislative and executive branches of the federal government would engage in a constant tug-of-war, thus checking the tendency to overreach on the part of either or both. In practice, as the legal scholars Daryl J. Levinson and Richard H. Pildes have documented, this expectation has been honored mostly in the breach. Partisan political competition has long since taken precedence over competition between the legislative and executive branches. Though some Republican lawmakers have endeavored to constrain Trump in various ways, most have been reluctant to do so, seeing him less as an institutional rival and more as the paramount leader of their party coalition, in keeping with modern practice.Indeed, one could argue that Republicans must hold the House and the Senate to protect Trump from an endless series of investigations that would, even short of impeachment proceedings, cripple his ability to advance his domestic policy agenda. Fair enough. But this leaves us with still more vexing questions. What exactly is Donald Trump’s agenda going forward? And is pursuing it consistent with Republican success?Just as Democrats in Congress can’t remove the president from office without the aid of Republicans, Republican lawmakers need Democratic votes to effect deep and lasting changes to, for example, U.S. immigration policy, one of the president’s priorities, or to finance the upgrading of American infrastructure. There is very little that can be done without bringing along some number of swing-state and rural Democrats, and as Republican fortunes decline, said Democrats feel ever less inclined to cooperate. After the midterms, the Democratic senators who manage to win reelection in notionally Republican states will be further emboldened. The window for a Trump legislative agenda is closing.There are steps that can be taken by executive fiat, to be sure, but as a number of journalists have reported, there is a consistent pattern linking together many of the Trump administration’s more ambitious efforts to overhaul rules and regulations over which it has considerable sway: These efforts have been pursued so shambolically that they are often vulnerable to legal challenge. Andrew Wheeler, the acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is reportedly making an effort to ensure that his agency’s new policy initiatives are on firmer ground than those pursued under his much-ridiculed predecessor, Scott Pruitt. But he has met with resistance from the Trump White House. And why is that? Josh Barro, writing in Business Insider, offers a novel hypothesis: that the president’s objective is less to patiently lay the groundwork for a comprehensive rethinking of environmental regulation than it is to pick visible fights with the left that have the potential to energize the president’s base. The point of picking the fight is not to achieve some policy breakthrough, as Wheeler might have it. Rather, the point of picking the fight is to fight, and to fight endlessly if possible.Why Scott Pruitt’s critics will miss himAs a presidential candidate, Trump appealed to Republican primary voters who were less ideological than the avowed conservatives who flocked to Ted Cruz and other more doctrinaire candidates. He did so by presenting himself as a master of the art of negotiation. Yet his real talent, then as now, has proven to be his knack for negation, as Martin Gurri, the author of The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium, has argued. According to Gurri, the politics of negation is a style perfected in online communities. By way of illustration, he writes, “If you asked an indignado or an Occupier or a Tea Partier what they stood against, you would get long, long lists of grievances. If you asked what they stood for, you’d get throat-clearing noises and generalities like ‘social justice’ or ‘the Constitution.’” The creation of a positive program of reform is almost beside the point. Revolt is its own reward. Even when Trump’s policy prescriptions are perfectly banal, he frames them in an exaggerated and pointedly polarizing manner, as if it were his goal to stoke outrage. And for now, a decent-sized slice of the electorate welcomes his politics of negation, or is more fearful of the new modes of negation that are arising in response to Trump than they are of him.Where does that leave the hapless Republican politicians seeking to represent voters who’ve come to identify with Trump’s brand of negation? Though many Republicans are uncomfortable with the president and his often erratic behavior, they won’t divorce themselves from him, for the simple reason that he continues to enjoy widespread support in their electoral constituencies—that is, among the women and men who’ve voted for them. To rebuke the president is one thing. To persist in doing so once it becomes abundantly clear that your objections have done nothing to diminish support for him among your voters is another thing entirely. It is at that point that you either stay true to your convictions, fully aware that doing so will mean your own political doom, and your replacement by someone who is more responsive to public preferences, or you swallow your pride and accommodate the changing political mood. The alternative is to deem voters who see Trump as their flawed champion—despite caveats, disagreements, and misgivings—as unworthy of representation.Can Trump’s Republican critics find strength in numbers?But this is not a counsel of inaction, or of intellectual paralysis. The logical course of action for Republicans in the Trump era is to do the hard work of building a more constructive populism, in the not-unreasonable expectation that the obsessive, furious rejection of the status quo found among Trump’s voters exists alongside a longing for something more substantial. The raw materials have been there for the taking. Though no one would accuse Trump of having crafted a coherent and actionable policy agenda, a few things separated him from his Republican rivals: He recognized that the welfare state is here to stay; that the reigning model of global economic integration had lost its legitimacy; that the GOP was an increasingly blue-collar party; that the socially liberal upper-middle-class constituted a part of society that had a bad habit of mistaking its narrow interests for those of the whole of American society; and that the Rust Belt was open, albeit tentatively, to a more egalitarian politics of the right.In office, the president has done little of substance to build on these insights. But that was entirely predictable. Trump is the master of negation, not creation. The job of creation belongs to the many politicians who badly want to represent the tens of millions of Americans who still stand by the president, yet who know in their bones that he can’t give them what they want and need. How might Republican lawmakers have built on these insights? There is no shortage of examples. To name but one, it would have been trivial for Republicans to have tweaked the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by boosting the value of the earned-income tax credit. Expanding the credit by 10 percent, an amount far short of the more ambitious proposals, would have cost Treasury no more than $7 billion a year, a pittance when compared with the legislation’s total impact on federal revenue. Yet this modest idea was never seriously considered, despite the fact that it would have almost surely been welcomed by Trump, not to mention that it would have given embattled Republican candidates something to crow about on the stump.If the Democratic landslide does come this November, rest assured that Republicans will blame the president and his politics of negation for their fate. Know that this will be at best only half of the truth—the deeper fault lies with a congressional GOP that has utterly failed to rise to the challenge of binding America’s wounds.
  • The Strange, Unique Intimacy of the Roommate Relationship
    Alex Schelldorf shares a sunny Chicago apartment with a man who creates messes but who doesn’t, Schelldorf says, clean them up. His roommate also leaves doors open long enough for Schelldorf’s Shiba Inu to escape and has a habit of making what Schelldorf considers to be insensitive offhand comments to guests. But Schelldorf won’t have to deal with these annoyances much longer. This roommate, who declined to comment on their relationship, is not renewing the lease, and Schelldorf, 31, who works for an education-and-health-research nonprofit, again finds himself back at square one: on the internet advertising for a roommate.His search for a compatible roommate hasn’t been a complete bust, Schelldorf says, but it has made him reconsider the way the assorted people he’s lived with have affected his life, both emotionally and financially. Over the course of eight years, he’s moved 11 times and has lived with 10 roommates. He’s also lived alone three times. But with student loans, a high cost of living in the cities where he’s resided—including Washington, D.C., and Tampa, Florida—cohabitation has been beneficial for his lifestyle and, he says, for his mental health.“I genuinely enjoy living with other people,” Schelldorf says. “It sounds weird to say this, but just [having] another warm body in the house is sometimes good.”For many Americans, cohabitating is a necessity, not just a preference. In decades past, many 20- and 30-somethings shared a household with their spouse—nearly half of the adult population lived with a spouse as recently as 2007—but lately, delayed marriage rates, climbing student-loan debt, and rising housing costs have led to increased numbers of doubled-up households, a term used by demographers to describe homes that include additional adults other than the householder or their partner. This includes people who live with roommates or parents. In 2015, about a quarter of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 lived with roommates, up from 23 percent a decade prior, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Nearly 32 percent of the overall American adult population lived in a shared household in 2017, an increase from about 29 percent in 1995, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. In examining housing trends among young adults, Jonathan Vespa, a U.S. Census Bureau demographer, noted that by 2015, most adults between the ages of 18 and 34 were not living alone, or with a spouse or an unmarried romantic partner, a dramatic shift from the decade prior when most young adults in most of the country lived independently.Vespa discovered that, on average, the type of person most likely to live with roommates is between the ages of 18 and 24, has completed some college, but is usually enrolled in school. People who are unemployed are more likely to live with roommates, Vespa found, and rent either a single-family home or an apartment together.The trend may have been spurred by the 2008 recession, when unemployment rates peaked at 10 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But it seems like a recovering economy hasn’t led young people to change course. Shacking up with roommates has persisted “despite an improving labor market, despite more young grads getting jobs,” says Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist for the real-estate-and-rental website Zillow. In a survey, Zillow found that 30 percent of American adults aged 23 to 65 lived with roommates, up from 21 percent in 2005. “We thought this would be a cyclical phenomenon, but it’s turned out to be quite durable, which is quite surprising.”One possible explanation is that many young adults and recent graduates who flock to expensive coastal cities for job opportunities find themselves shacking up with friends, or sometimes complete strangers, to cut costs. Zillow found that Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco were among the top cities for adults living in doubled-up households; nearly half of adults in Los Angeles lived with a non-partner. “You think of people moving to booming job centers and they don’t have a family network to rely on in these areas,” Terrazas says.The United States has seen this phenomenon before. As people moved to cities seeking work in the 19th century, boarding houses became hubs where diverse residents—immigrants, single men and women, workers of all kinds—could live affordably and mingle with others in shared spaces. Now, as housing becomes increasingly scarce and rents continue to rise (cities like Orlando, Salt Lake City, and Knoxville are experiencing the fastest rent growth in the country), the boarding-house experience is back, just at a smaller scale. Along with it comes the proliferation of a unique sort of relationship—sharing your home life, and all its little intimacies, with someone, or multiple someones, who you aren’t related to, and who you may not even be friends with.Susan Fee, a Seattle-based therapist and the author of My Roommate Is Driving Me Crazy!, hears her fair share of roommate woes. Living in a city where many young people move for work, she says, has impacted the way adults in their 20s and 30s live. “This is not out of loneliness,” Fee says. “They really have no choice; they can’t afford it any other way.”What’s surprising to Fee though, is when renters don’t take the proper precautionary measures to vet potential roommates on important topics like expectations of cleanliness and how to handle disagreements. When things go sour, “they see it as any other sort of rejection,” Fee says, “and it hurts and it makes them wary of people.” Instead, she believes framing these conflicts as social lessons provides a unique benefit. By learning from the shortcomings of one living situation—like a lack of chore division or poor communication—and not placing blame on the other person, Fee explains, being a roommate can allow for individual growth.To smooth the social boundaries, Fee suggests taking a pseudo-dating mind-set when interviewing potential roommates and inquiring about past living situations. Because these relationships are not necessarily as intimate as friendships or romantic partnerships, it’s imperative to have clear definitions on if cohabiting is purely a “financial transaction,” or if the roommates expect to have a social relationship, too, Fee says.Alex Schelldorf, the nonprofit worker in Chicago, thought he took the necessary screening precautions with his current roommate. But he ultimately ended up feeling like they weren’t on the same page about chores, which Schelldorf says he did the bulk of. These housekeeping items were routine chores growing up in a southern household, he says, and there was an expectation for each family member to do their fair share. If disagreements arose, “in family situations, people yell, you argue, but you still love each other.”Schelldorf translates the lack of cleaning cooperation as a lack of respect. The fact that the two housemates aren’t relatives—or even friends, for that matter—has led him to wonder what emotional responses, if any, are appropriate when tensions are running high. “That sucks a lot, to know that someone doesn’t care about you enough to take out the trash or to put something in the dishwasher,” he says. “How is that supposed to make me feel as somebody who has to breathe the same air as you?”“In relationships in general, we tend to blame a lot of what happens on other people,” says Amy Canevello, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “The data suggests that really we have a whole lot of control over how we feel about things” based on how we perceive certain actions. “It’s objectively not [about] what the roommate is doing, but how I’m orienting myself in that situation.”In research examining social dynamics and motivations within non-romantic cohabitation, Canevello found that the motivations behind roommates’ behaviors—like not taking out the trash or bringing home dinner for the group, for example— often don’t align with how other housemates view them. One roommate may perceive a well-intentioned gesture as manipulative, for example. Instead, she theorizes that roommates perceive their household in one of two ways: as a socially dynamic ecosystem, where each household member feels supported, or as a self-serving “egosystem” in which fellow roommates’ actions are seen as either helping or hindering your ability to fulfill your needs—like respect and belonging. In the case of a roommate who never takes out the trash, “the ego response is ‘This person doesn’t care enough about me,’” Canevello says, “versus an eco response to that can be ‘Maybe I haven’t explained to them enough and they don't understand,’ or ‘There’s something that’s keeping them from doing it that I don't know about.’”Taking these different perspectives, Canevello says, can help explain why people may have difficulty interpreting their roommates’ intentions. “I think that when other people are sending signals that they care about you, that’s very clear—that’s not something I’m going to reject easily,” Canevello says. “When somebody is sending a signal that they may or may not care about your feelings or care about your needs, it’s confusing.”After a few months of living with a woman new to Philadelphia, Anna Lockhart began to question her roommate’s motives. The two women connected via Craigslist in late 2016 and began living together without having met before. From the get-go, Lockhart says, she and her housemate, Caroline, avoided confrontation, frequently hiding objects they had broken rather than owning up to the deed, and silently removing artwork from the walls. “She had put some horrid plywood art on the wall and I did hate it,” Lockhart explains, “but I only took it down because I got a wall hanging in the mail from Etsy when she was out of town, put it up to see what it would look like, and forgot about it.”Part of the problem, they both say now, was that they had differing expectations for their relationship: Lockhart had an established social life in Philadelphia, one that Caroline, who works in education in the Philadelphia suburbs, probably wasn’t going to grow into. “I really didn’t want to put in an emotional effort to get to know her,” Lockhart, 31, says. “I got the sense that we weren’t going to be super tight friends.”“The ideal situation in my mind was this person and I are going to end up being really close and wanting to spend time with each other and will be interested in going out to dinner together,” Caroline, 31, who asked not to share her last name since she works in education, says now, “but at the end of the day, you never know.”One day, after living together for six months, Lockhart discovered on Twitter that Caroline had written an essay about their relationship, in which she detailed ways living with Lockhart “cramped her style,” citing Lockhart’s preferences of keeping the house warm and living without cable. “I have come to realize that the one thing standing between me and all of my housing dreams coming true,” she wrote, “is this person I still don’t fully know, a woman who leaves half full coffee mugs around the house and has a boyfriend that comes over basically every Sunday night.”It wasn’t Lockhart’s actions specifically, Caroline says, that drove her to write the piece, but more a desire to return to living solo, which she had been prior to moving to Philadelphia. Caroline didn’t share her plans to publish the essay; Lockhart never mentioned to Caroline that she had seen it, either. They finished out the lease and parted ways peacefully after living together for a year, they say. Caroline now lives by herself in the house and Lockhart, who is an editor at an academic publishing company, lives with her boyfriend.While shacking up with a stranger may be a sound financial decision, it seems that people don’t always realize the social implications of these living situations until after the fact. Lockhart says she wasn’t the ideal roommate either. She also notes that the conditions in which the two women lived—in close quarters and with a stranger— though not unprecedented, weren’t common in every generation. “We’re in a time where everyone kind of laments our [generation’s] social skills because they’re being usurped by social media,” Lockhart says, “but we really are navigating a lot of social spheres.”Living with nonfamily may make people feel like they have to police their actions and emotions more carefully. “You have these relationships that are close relationships—you’re living with somebody—but the problem is you don’t have this relationship where you can say whatever you want to that person necessarily, kind of like mother-in-law relationships,” says Claire Kamp Dush, a professor of human sciences and sociology at Ohio State University. “I can’t say whatever I want to my mother-in-law, but I can say more to my mom. They’re not in your family, you’re not related to them, there’s not this expectation that you’re going to be there for each other no matter what.”While this gray area may be socially tricky for some, it’s where Hafeez Baoku thrives. Inspired by compelling conversations with his various housemates over the course of a decade, Baoku, 27, founded the podcast The Roommates, and co-hosts it with his roommate, Chris Below. The two discuss topics like dating, pop culture, and politics.Baoku took a chance on his housemates when first moving to Houston in 2016. A friend recommended Baoku stay with mutual acquaintances, including Below, now 24, in the city while visiting from Dallas for a job interview. He never left. The five men in Baoku’s house have varying backgrounds and personalities, and Baoku says the dynamic forced him to become a more empathetic person. He considers his roommates close confidantes, and not just people to help split the cable bill: “They’re actual human beings that I’m invested in and I care about their lives.”What makes their roommate relationship unique, Baoku says, is their ability to remain friends and partners despite occasionally not seeing eye to eye. Recently, for example, Baoku “went on a little rant,” saying his roommates didn’t appreciate his dishwashing efforts and that he felt he should be exempt from household chores. Faced with criticism, he snapped: “I was like, you guys should apologize to me because you’re ungrateful of the job that I did.” The exchange left Below with a bad taste in his mouth since he feels he does his fair share of domestic work. He discussed the encounter later with Baoku.“I’m usually the type of person who doesn’t hold onto grudges,” Below says. But “I’m not going to live in a house where I have to continue to explain to somebody about the same thing over and over again. I don’t want to come home angry all of the time. Either I have to adjust to what’s happening or I leave.”“My personality is to be oblivious to how other people feel,” Baoku explains. “It wasn’t about the dishes; it was about me being insensitive.”Over the past two years of living together, Baoku and Below say they have made many of these minor adjustments to course correct their relationship and to grow together both in service of the podcast and the household. Though there was never a time the pair was so badly hurt by each other they considered moving out, they say it was the culture of open communication that cemented their bond. “It brought us closer together instead of driving us apart, ” Baoku saysAnd then there are those for whom living with a roommate feels like living with family. In households where longtime friends, or even respectful strangers, are living harmoniously—what Canevello refers to as an “ecosystem”—the effect can be uplifting. “We see less anxiety and depression,” she says. “I’m in my ecosystem and I’m getting all my [emotional support] that I need from other people and that’s making me happier. I’m in my ecosystem and I’m contributing to other people’s happiness and making sure that other people are doing well and that leads me to be less anxious and depressed.”Kyle Petty, a TD Bank employee from Bay Shore, New York, says his relationship with his roommate Steve is one of the most important in his life.Petty lost touch with his family after coming out as gay about 12 years ago and turned to his inner circle of friends for the support typically provided by relatives. Though the 33-year-old and his roommate have been friends for a decade, they’ve only been living together for a year. He takes solace in their companionship and their routines, from carpooling to events to a bathroom schedule. It’s a dynamic Petty says is akin to family, not without its challenges, but intimate, loving, and supportive.“Obviously our bond is not at all romantic but I do look forward to coming home,” Petty says. “Oh Steve’s home? I can’t wait to tell him about my day and I can’t wait to hear about his day.”
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  • Self-order kiosks, mobile customer parking part of McDonald’s $111-million Colorado update plan
    McDonald’s and its local franchisees are combining to invest $111 million in physical and technological upgrades at 140 Colorado restaurants this year and next, the company has announced. The work, which ranges from remodeling to complete rebuilds, is part of a $6 billion modernization effort McDonald’s will roll out across the U.S. by the end 2020, according to a news release issued Tuesday. The work includes: Adding self-order kiosks to make ordering and paying easier Creation of new counters that allow workers to bring food to customers at the table Creation of designated parking spots for mobile order pick-ups Expanded McCafé counters and new digital menu boards New dining room decorations and updated exteriors Related ArticlesAugust 13, 2018 Job fair coming to Westminster Thursday as Denver Premium Outlets seeks to hire 500 August 13, 2018 VF Corporation, parent company of outdoor brands The North Face, Smartwool, will relocate headquarters, 800 workers to Denver August 11, 2018 FDA milk label changes could cause Boulder company to lose FDA approval August 10, 2018 Bank of the West’s anti-fossil fuel stance sets off firestorm in Western Slope, energy states August 9, 2018 Colorado’s alternative energy economy boosted by wind and biofuels McDonald’s has more than 200 independently owned locations in Colorado, according to the company. State Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, called the company “a leader in job creation and economic growth,” in Tuesday’s release.
  • Boulder County commissioners to vote Tuesday on alternative sentencing, jail tax for November ballot
    Boulder County voters in November will be asked to extend an 0.185 percent sales and use tax to fund an alternative sentencing facility and programs as well as improvements to the county jail. County commissioners Tuesday morning are slated to take formal action to advance the issue to the ballot. The tax, if approved, would generate a projected $10 million a year between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2024. The tax would essentially continue collections of the 0.185 percent sales and use tax Boulder County voters approved in 2014 to fund flood-recovery efforts, although revenues would no longer be spent on flood recovery and mitigation. The flood-recovery sales tax is set to expire Dec. 31, 2019. Related Articles Teachers union endorses Jared Polis for Colorado governor after snub in primary Analysts: Walker Stapleton must be ready to deal with family skeletons as Colorado governor’s race heats up Club 20 declines to allow surrogate in place of Jared Polis for Grand Junction debate Tax pileup ahead for Denver voters? November ballot will include new taxes for scholarships, parks and more Initiative to pay for preschool, full-day kindergarten qualifies for Colorado ballot On Aug. 2, commissioners voiced support for Sheriff Joe Pelle’s proposal for the tax extension and dedicating revenues to pay for a new alternative sentencing facility and upgrades to the jail. Tuesday, commissioners are expected to translate that support into adoption of two resolutions: One outlines the proposed tax extension and how it would be spent. The second approves the language voters would see on the November ballot when they will be asked to vote yes or no on the measure. Read the full story at
  • Broomfield council to hold special meeting on agreement with Extraction Oil & Gas
    Broomfield residents who wanted a public meeting on the latest revision to Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc.’s drilling plan in that city are getting their wish. Residents will have a chance to make public comments at a special city council meeting 5 p.m. Tuesday at the George DiCiero City and County Building, 1 Descombes Drive. Broomfield’s operator agreement with Extraction requires that Extraction submit to Broomfield a Comprehensive Drilling Plan, which contains 23 sections on topics ranging from air quality and noise control to emergency preparedness and risk management. The document provides specific processes and procedures that regulate control measures for the six proposed well pads and the 84 wells allowed under an operator agreement Broomfield signed with Extraction in October. Related Articles Saturday, Aug. 13, 2018 letters: Tariffs, death penalty, fracking Bank of the West’s anti-fossil fuel stance sets off firestorm in Western Slope, energy states Guest Commentary: Don’t outlaw Colorado’s energy industry Contract dispute leaves at least 150 workers unpaid for collecting signatures for Colorado oil and gas setbacks initiative Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018 letters: Zinke, ski club, oil & gas, Mueller The Broomfield city manager’s office was expected to administratively approve the latest plan Aug. 1, but public outcry halted that action. The plan is subject to approval by the city manager, and not through a public city council vote, as determined in the operator agreement. Read the full story at
  • What’s the deal with Longmont’s roadside straw? So far, it’s a mystery.
    For now, at least, the oversized drinking straw adorning a utility marker on Airport Road will remain a mystery. Longmont area political parties, a public art group and an environmental group all said Monday they didn’t know the straw’s origin. A neighbor said it appeared about two weeks ago on the west side of Airport Road, south of Buckthorn Drive and north of the intersection with Clover Basin Drive. The straw is largely made of papier mache, painted white with a red stripe on the street-facing side and a yellow stripe on the side facing the sidewalk. The bend in the bendy straw is made using a PVC pipe joint. Related Articles Woman faces arson charges over Civic Center Park fire that burned “Tree of Transformation” artwork Vandals set fire to “Tree of Transformation” art installation in Civic Center Park Is it a guerrilla art installation? A protest prop left for the public to contemplate? Read the full story at
  • University of Colorado Hospital falls off list of the best U.S. hospitals, according to new ranking
    The University of Colorado Hospital is no longer among the top 20 hospitals in the nation, according to the latest ranking by U.S. News & World Report. The University of Colorado Hospital has fallen off the list after becoming the first Colorado hospital to be listed on U.S. News’ “Best Hospitals Honor Roll” two years ago. The facility ranked as the 20th best hospital in 2016 before moving to the 15th slot in 2017. Dr. Jeffrey Glasheen, chief quality officer for UCHealth and University of Colorado Hospital, said the hospital’s drop in the ranking is the result of U.S. News changing its measures for the ranking rather than the facility’s performance. “We actually believe we performed at a higher level this year,” he said. The best hospital in the U.S. is the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., followed by the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, according U.S. News. For the ranking, U.S. News looks at measures such as survival and readmission rates, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing. The ranking, which is in its 29th year, compared more than 4,500 medical centers across the nation. Related Articles University of Colorado Hospital best in the state, 15th in nation, according to new rankings Porter Adventist suspends transplant operations, forcing 232 patients to find another hospital Colorado employers stretched thin by tight labor markets While it may not hold one of the top 20 spots in the nation, University of Colorado Hospital is listed as the best facility in the state, according to U.S. News. “I would say, overall, we are very proud of our performance,” Glasheen said. The hospital is followed by Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver and Parker Adventist Hospital in Parker, both of which are under Centura Health’s umbrella. Rose Medical Center in Denver places fourth in the state, followed by UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, according to U.S. News. “This is just a very exciting thing that reflects back on our mission,” said Dr. Patty Howell, chief medical officer of Porter Adventist Hospital. “What really sets us apart is our connection to the community and being a legacy hospital here in town.” University of Colorado Hospital, alongside National Jewish Health in Denver, were ranked the best hospital in the nation in the specialty of pulmonology, which deals with the respiratory system. The two hospitals are academic affiliates. National Jewish Health said this is the 17th year it has topped the list for pulmonology. “We are honored to be recognized once again as the leading respiratory hospital in the nation,” said Dr. Michael Salem, president and chief executive officer of National Jewish Health in a statement. “The U.S. Newsranking is one of many measures, including patient satisfaction surveys, research grants, publications and many others, which place us at the forefront of respiratory care and research.”
  • Authorities identify boy pulled from Colorado Springs pool
    COLORADO SPRINGS — Authorities have identified the 5-year-old boy who died after nearly drowning in a pool at a Colorado Springs apartment complex last week. Related Articles 16-year-old girl faces charges as adult in death of her 7-year-old nephew at their Montbello home Denver coroner ID’s victims of triple homicide, says they were shot to death Woman suspected of drinking and driving in crash that killed 2-year-old passenger on I-70 El Paso County deputy charged in crash that killed elderly couple Two men, one woman killed in south Denver triple homicide appear to have been homeless, police say The Gazette reports the El Paso County Coroner’s Office has identified the boy as Fabrice Niyogushima who died Wednesday after he, a 3-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy were pulled from the pool Aug. 5. A 12-year-old relative told the newspaper that he found the children at the bottom of the pool after hearing their screams. Adults initiated CPR, and police and firefighters continued attempts to revive the children before they were taken to the hospital. Police say the two younger children were released from the hospital last week. KKTV reports Fabrice’s family entered the U.S. as refugees, fleeing violence in Burundi, Africa.
  • Photos of Congress Park peeping Tom suspect released by Denver police
    Surveillance photos were released Monday of a suspected peeping Tom in Denver’s Congress Park neighborhood. The man is suspected of peeping in neighborhood windows in the late-night and early-morning hours going back to December 2017 through earlier this month, according to police. #Denver, can you help identify this suspect who is wanted for several window peeping incidents? If so, call 720-913-7867 and you could earn a cash reward! — Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) August 13, 2018 Anyone who recognizes the man in the photos, or who has information on a suspect, is asked to call police at 720-913-7867.
  • Mother of 2-year-old killed in I-70 crash ID’d by state police
    DENVER — Colorado State Patrol said Monday that the woman whose 2-year-old child was killed in a crash on Interstate 70 last Friday near Lookout Mountain is under investigation for driving under the influence of drugs during the crash but has not been charged. The Colorado State Patrol is investigating a mother suspected of driving under the influence before a crash that killed her toddler. Troopers identified Samantha Maestas, 28, of Westminster as the driver in the deadly crash on Monday. CSP Trooper Josh Lewis told Denver7 Maestas was not wearing a seatbelt during the crash and said investigators believe she was on drugs during the crash, though they are still awaiting the results of toxicology reports. According to investigators, Maestas could also face vehicular homicide charges, CSP said Saturday. The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office will make the final determination on which charges she could face. Lewis also said that Maestas’ 2-year-old daughter, Sophia Maeastas, was strapped into her car seat when the vehicle in which she and her mother were traveling crashed. Related Articles Morgan County woman dies after I-76 crash that saw car go airborne How many Coloradans are driving high? New report offers one answer Walking while drunk is no joke: Thousands of drunken pedestrians die each year in traffic accidents Pedestrian dead after being struck, dragged by car in Aurora Medical issue may have preceded Jeep crashing into Boulder building Read the full story at
  • CU Buffs lineman Jake Moretti follows road map to recovery
    A year ago, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith sometimes showed the talent that made him one of the best linebackers in the 2016 NFL Draft. Smith recorded 99 tackles and was impressive at times for the Cowboys, despite still battling back from injury. Now it appears he’s fully healthy. The Colorado Buffaloes are paying attention, because the devastating knee injury suffered by Smith during his final game at Notre Dame in 2015 is similar to the injury that CU offensive lineman Jake Moretti had during the summer of 2016, just before his senior year at Pomona High School. Like Smith, Moretti tore his ACL and stretched his peroneal nerve. He also dislocated his knee. It’s the nerve issue that has led to Smith and Moretti spending so much time battling back. “It’s tough,” Moretti said. “Sometimes I wish it was just the ACL, but it’s the cards I’m dealt and I just have to make the most of it. The toughest part has just been the time period, because with the nerve you don’t really know. The training staff and the strength staff have been awesome in helping me get through it.” Related Articles Colorado Buffaloes backup quarterback battle continues With Kurt Roper, school is in session for Colorado Buffaloes’ quarterbacks Travon McMillian, Colorado Buffaloes football transfer running back, off to an impressive start Colorado Buffaloes nose tackle Javier Edwards carries confidence into senior year WR Tony Brown eager to get on field with Colorado Buffs football team Read the full story at
  • CSU football’s Adam Prentice leads life of purpose
    FORT COLLINS — Adam Prentice doesn’t mind what people don’t know. Mike Brohard, Loveland Reporter-HeraldColorado State fullback Adam Prentice is taking full advantage of his college experience. He’s gotten used to answering the question, “What does a fullback do?” They probably don’t know he’s a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council or about his trip to Jamaica with CSU’s Green & Global initiative. He’s pretty sure what he does as a volunteer — or the connections he’s made through the John W. Mosley Student-Athlete Mentoring program, one run out of Colorado State’s Black/African American Cultural Center — are of little interest to anybody. Or how his idea for carport roof was adopted and built through the internship he does with CSU facilities. His work off the field in the community is constant, leading to a nomination for the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works team. Prentice does what he does because it means everything to him and the young man he was raised to become. Related Articles Colorado State football coach Mike Bobo is on medical leave after being admitted to hospital Colorado State football’s defense makes its point Talented Colorado State receiver Warren Jackson is “ready for action” CSU football to rely heavily on a group of sophomores on defensive line Rivalry games against Colorado State, Nebraska loom large for Colorado Buffaloes football Read the full story at
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  • Local sake brewers eager to take advantage as classification changes in Colorado
    With more than 330 craft breweries operating in Colorado, home brewers have a lot of examples to follow if they want to get their beer in front of the drinking public. As local sake brewers can attest, the path has been far cloudier for those trying to bring the traditional Japanese spirit to the masses. Thanks to a law passed by the Colorado General Assembly this spring, the road map gets much clearer Wednesday.  Sake, a rice-based beverage brewed like beer but noncarbonated and higher in alcohol like wine, has been added to the state liquor code as a “vinous liquor.” “As of Aug. 8, sake will be regulated like a wine in the state of Colorado,” state department of revenue spokesman Lawrence Pacheco said. “That means that residents will be able to buy sake in winery sales rooms.” If things go according to plan, Colorado Sake Co. will open the state’s first sake tasting room in Denver’s RiNo district in September. The business, a self-financed operation based in a 1,000-square-foot brew space behind Wine & Whey at 3559 Larimer St., was a major driver behind the law change. Now, it hopes to be at the forefront of a sake wave. “We’ve always loved sake and we wondered why don’t more people drink sake,” Heather Dennis, one of the company’s co-owners said last week as she and her partners worked to stockpile inventory in advance of the new sales rules. “We realized it was an issue with access or lack of access. That’s why we want the tasting room. To introduce and educate people.” Colorado Sake Co.’s origins date back to 2016. That’s when co-founder William Stuart went to an event where he tasted sake made by Denver-based brewer Gaijin 24886. “I said, ‘I can do that,’ ” Stuart recalled. He went home, found a recipe online and kicked his roommates out of the fridge so he could ferment his creation at the requisite 50 degrees. Sake has four ingredients: rice, water, yeast and koji, an Asian culinary ingredient made of steamed rice that has sprouted mold spores. Unlike beer, where yeast is added to malted grain after it cooks to produce alcohol, all the ingredients in sake brew simultaneously in a process called multiple parallel fermentation. Stuart said it took him a year to master making koji. From there, he experimented until developing a sake recipe he was pleased with. In May 2017, he and his partners went to the state to get a limited winery license. They were rejected. “We were told, ‘You’re manufacturing beer and you’re selling wine,'” Stuart said. Because of narrow definitions in the state liquor code, a rule change was needed to include and regulate sake. While it is well-known to consumers —  often served hot, or in the form of a shot dropped into a beer, much to the chagrin of its advocates and aficionados — it is only produced by about 20 brewers in the Unites States today, according advocacy group the Sake Education Council.  Shaban Athuman, The Denver PostHeather Dennis talks to William Stuart in their office on Aug. 2, 2018 at Colorado Sake Company in Denver. On Aug. 8 sake tap rooms will become legal in Colorado. After being denied a license, the Colorado Sake Co. team embarked on a journey through the state lawmaking process that included talking to legislators, dealing with lobbyists and fielding questions from wineries and big-time beer makers, Stuart said. Finally, with the help of primary sponsors state Sen. Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, and Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, the change was signed into law on April 11.  Related ArticlesApril 10, 2018 Two Colorado craft breweries land on list of nation’s 50 fastest growing December 7, 2017 Molson Coors is brewing its next big thing: A tastier nonalcoholic beer August 6, 2018 Guest Commentary: Craft beer is booming but the last beer bust may repeat itself “Ever since the days of Hakushika Sake in Golden, sake has kind of occupied this sort of gray area in the liquor code,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, an offshoot of the state department of agriculture dedicated to marketing local wine, cider, mead and, now, sake. “It was really great we got this law changed.”  Hakushika Sake USA Corp., a private Japanese company, shut down in 2001, state records show.  Gaijin 24886 lost its space because of the new law, founder and brewer Marc Hughes said. The facility was licensed for beer production, not wine. But Gaijin is focused on the positives. It is working on finding a new location with aims to open a tasting room by next summer. In the meantime, a few varieties of Gaijin can be purchased at Divino Wine & Spirits at 1240 S. Broadway.  “There is a lot of interest in experimentation with different things in town,” Hughes said of sake’s prospects in a crowded Denver liquor market. “It’s just about finding the right way to capture it.” Colorado Sake Co. isn’t being distributed in liquor stores at the moment, but its flagship varieties, American Standard and the cinnamon and vanilla flavored Horchata Nigori, are on tap at Mizu Izakaya in Highland. The restaurant, at 1560 Boulder St., carries at least 50 sakes per season. Colorado Sake Co. is the only American brand it stocks. “I think that it’s just incredible that we are going to have the opportunity to get sake into more and more consumers’ hands,” Mizu beverage director Jerrica Ash said. “My goal is to make sake a spirit that in every restaurant not just in Asian restaurants.”
  • Investigation into 1984 serial murders with hammer in Aurora and Lakewood reaches critical stage, police say
    Authorities have reached a critical stage in the investigation of a string of infamous rapes and murders a few days apart in 1984, including the home-invasion murders of three members of an Aurora family and the bludgeoning of a Lakewood grandmother, Lakewood police say. A joint news conference about the case involving Aurora and Lakewood police and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is planned for Friday. A killer used a hammer to kill Patricia Louise Smith, 50, in Lakewood on Jan. 10, 1984, and a different hammer to kill Bruce and Debra Bennett and their 7-year-old daughter, Melissa, six days later in Aurora. Only one family member, then-3-year-old Vanessa, survived, but with severe facial injuries. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation previously submitted a DNA profile taken from frozen evidence from Smith’s murder to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System. A match was found with evidence submitted by Aurora in 2002 from the Bennett case. The killer had sexually assaulted Smith and days later Debra Bennett and her young daughter. On Tuesday morning, The Denver Post received a tip that a DNA match had recently been made between the suspect in the Lakewood and Aurora killings and a prison inmate in Nevada. The tip included the prison booking number and the name of the offender serving a lengthy prison term for attempted murder and use of a deadly weapon. Brooke Santina, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Corrections, said she could not comment on any link between the Nevada inmate and the Colorado murder cases. Santina confirmed that an inmate matching the name and prisoner number The Post provided is incarcerated in Nevada and is eligible for parole in 2021. When asked whether authorities had made a DNA match between the specific Nevada inmate and DNA taken from Colorado murder victims, Santina said she had been in contact Tuesday with Arapahoe County authorities and was awaiting their approval before commenting. Denver TV station 9News reported Tuesday that multiple law enforcement sources confirmed that they are looking at a suspect who is being held in another state. Aurora police spokesman Bill Hummel declined to comment Tuesday. The alleged suspect in the case has been convicted of previous crimes, including attempted murder, use of a deadly weapon, burglary and aggravated escape. The description of the Nevada inmate matches some aspects of a genetic snapshot of the 1984 suspect produced by Parabon NanoLabs, a Virginia company that created a profile using DNA predictions of the suspect’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, freckling and face shape. Related Articles Jefferson County DA charges Nevada inmate in 1984 hammer killing of Lakewood grandmother 16-year-old girl faces charges as adult in death of her 7-year-old nephew at their Montbello home Man in demonic clown costume, bladed glove gets 42 years in prison for fatally slashing man outside Torchy’s Tacos Man faces attempted murder charges in Colorado Springs police officer shooting Wheat Ridge woman gets 10 years for igniting car occupied by her sleeping husband in front of grandson In June 2002, then-Arapahoe County District Attorney Jim Peters obtained a John Doe arrest warrant in the Bennett killings based on the DNA. Peters charged John Doe with 18 counts, including three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of sexual assault, first-degree assault and two counts of sexual assault on a child and burglary. The same killer is believed to have first struck Jan. 4, 1984, when he slipped inside an Aurora home and used a hammer to beat James and Kimberly Haubenschild. James Haubenschild suffered a fractured skull and his wife had a concussion. Both survived. On the same day, a man using a hammer attacked flight attendant Donna Dixon in the garage of her Aurora home, leaving her in a coma. Dixon survived.
  • Tiny home village for homeless thriving in Denver’s RiNo district
    From the start, supporters have hoped Beloved Community Village would help people beyond the 13 residents who moved off Denver’s streets and into its 8-foot-by-12-foot tiny homes last July. The village, 11 homes, a bathhouse, two portable toilets and a circular common building bounded by a brightly decorated chain-link fence at the corner of 38th and Blake streets, was meant to be a pioneer. It’s a pilot project designed to demonstrate tiny homes, arranged in a community where rules are set by the residents themselves,  should be part of the solution to combating homelessness in Denver. It’s had its challenges. Two of the original residents returned to the streets after their neighbors asked them to leave for violating village rules. The village had to move about 200 feet in January — from one side of its lot to the other — at a cost of $25,000 because of now-changed city rules governing temporary residential structures. The city chipped in $10,000. But Beloved has persevered. A year after opening, supporters are touting the results of a University of Denver study of the village as proof it is improving lives, both for its residents who were chronically homeless and in the surrounding community. “Unfortunately, the residents here have had to be the guinea pigs, but they have helped us sort out some of the issues that will help improve the model as we scale into the future,” Cole Chandler, a member of the Colorado Village Collaborative, said. “We intend to see dozens of these villages across the metro area.” The study assessed the village from its opening on July 21, 2017, through April. Among the key findings: Of the 12 original village residents who participated in the study — one person declined — 10 remained housed through April. It goes beyond the scope of the study, but those 10 people are still in stable housing today, Chandler said, Three residents moved out of the village into housing of their own. Two of them, a couple, saved up for their own apartment, Chandler said. A third person was approved for Section 8 rental assistance. And all villagers — nine of whom were already working when they moved in — were either employed, in school or collecting disability, as of April. That fact also holds true today. To read the full findings of the study, visit There were 5,317 people experiencing homelessness in Denver and seven surrounding counties in January, according to a point-in-time report compiled by the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative. For Chandler, whose organization was created to help establish and support tiny home villages in Denver, the study demonstrates that more communities like Beloved should be built in the metro area and soon. “The idea was to build low-barrier housing for people with barriers to accessing the existing system” he said, noting each tiny home cost $22,000 to build. “With traditional housing-first scenarios, there are a lot of overhead costs with all of the support systems that they create, which are very helpful for a large portion of the population. We can do things at a lower cost.” AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver PostNew construction rises behind a row of tiny homes in the Beloved Community Village on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. The study was performed by the DU’s Burns Center on Poverty and Homelessness. It was commissioned by the Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise, also a part of DU. The institute has invested a combined $91,725in building and assessing the Beloved village and a proposed second village that Chandler’s group is seeking to build in Denver, director Rebecca Arno said. Arno suspects the village’s self-governing model, with residents setting guidelines for behavior and other aspects of community life, has empowered the people living there. Cersilla Wolf, one of the village’s charter members, has enrolled in college classes, opened an shop selling her own crocheted wares and began working at nearby Bigsby’s Folly Winery & Restaurant in RiNo, which reached out to the Colorado Village Collaborative about hiring a villager. Wolf also has taken on the mantle of resident finder. She built a second, lofted bed into her home and brought in two other people struggling to find stable housing to live with her. Freddie Martin has been Wolf’s roommate since March after meeting her on the Metro State University campus. A history major who takes notes during village meetings to “create a historical record,” Martin said he hasn’t had a secure home in about a decade. He’s paid rent to live with friends but hasn’t been able to raise the money — including a security deposit and first and last month’s rent — to move out on his own. Now housed, he hopes to finish his degree in the fall. “This place has been a godsend,” Martin said. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver PostKim Grier speaks about her road to Beloved Community Village on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Beloved Community Village –the collection of 11 tiny homes built to accommodate chronically homeless people and get them on the path to permanent housing — is about a year old. A recent DU study shows that it is not having a negative impact on the surrounding community, and is helping most residents build more stable lives. Wolf’s first roommate, Kim Grier, lives next door now. The 27-year-old is trying to get a photography business off the ground while working at King Soopers. “When I got this house, this was the first place I ever had to live that wasn’t dependent on my emotional relationship with another person,” she said. “It’s a place that’s yours, where you can think.” Related ArticlesJuly 29, 2017 Formerly homeless residents move into crowdfunded tiny home community as city monitors pilot project March 19, 2018 Denver sold bonds to reduce the human and financial costs of homelessness. The results so far are promising. October 30, 2017 Denver initiative to move chronically homeless people into housing shows “promising” early results The DU study also examined the village’s impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Combining responses from a random sampling of nearby residents and a selective sampling of business owners, researchers found 78 percent of people in the area believe the village either didn’t hurt community safety or helped it — a perception supported by crime data. “Even the people who at the beginning of this process told me this will never work, this will be a disaster, have come back and said, ‘Wow, were we wrong,’ ” said RiNo Art District president Jamie Giellis. “It’s been awesome.” The Village won’t be behind its colorful fence at 38th and Blake much longer. Chandler said an agreement is in place with a new property owner host, but he’s not ready to say where until more community outreach can be done. Colorado Village Collaborative hopes to raise $90,000 for a new commons building for the village when it does move, one with running water, three bathrooms and a full kitchen. Urban Land Conservancy, the nonprofit that owns the land Beloved sits on today, is moving forward with plans to develop the lot. The Walnut Street side will be turned into 66 affordable apartments in partnership with Medici Communities, conservancy president Aaron Miripol said. The Blake Street half will be sold to local developer McWhinney, which expects  to build a 16-story mixed-use building that will also house Urban Land Conservancy’s office. Colorado Village Collaborative was dealt a setback this month when Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission voted that it could not proceed with building an eight-home women’s village on the property of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 2015 Glenarm Place because it didn’t fit with the surrounding historic district. The vote was a temporary setback in Chandler’s view. He plans to meet next week with another property owner who he says has offered to host the women’s village for three years. He hopes to get it built before winter. Miripol, who has been involved with efforts to provide stable housing for people in need for decades, said he has been frustrated by the barriers that have cropped up and prevented the tiny home concept from growing in Denver and beyond. He hopes the results of the DU study will help turn the tide. “You can have a successful community like this. You can have an impact on people’s lives and you can do it in a way that is not harming the community, but in fact is very positive,” he said. “It’s important other folks step up and do this too.”
  • Overburdened sewer system prompts Westminster City Council to ban new development for 12 months
    A Westminster sewage collection network in so overtaxed and outdated, the City Council has enacted a year-long moratorium on new development that would feed into it. The health and well-being of city residents is believed to be at stake. The 22-mile-long Big Dry Creek Interceptor Sewer system collects sewage and wastewater from about two-thirds of the city of more than 110,000 people. It serves nearly all of Westminster north of West 92nd Avenue and south of 124th Avenue. After being briefed about the sewer’s capacity, age and condition issues last week, the City Council on Monday night unanimously adopted an emergency ordinance that freezes acceptance of new, large-scale development proposals in the area served by the Big Dry Creek network for up to a year. “The (sewer) system is now at a trigger point of risk that warrants both near-term mitigation measures, as well as longer-term expansion to support continued development,” a staff memo recommending the emergency ordinance read.  “Not addressing these system constraints is believed to compromise the health, safety, and welfare of the community with a level of risk that is not acceptable.” The moratorium, which went into effect at noon on Tuesday, is designed to allow a consultant to inspect the sewer, collecting information that will be put to use in a project to fix, expand and replace portions of it, according to a city memo. City staff are expected to work simultaneously to pinpoint spots for where incremental or innovative fixes could be employed and make plans for easements and land acquisitions that might be required by future repair and replace projects. One idea floated at Monday’s meeting was reactivating decommissioned sewer lines in the area to help with capacity. The Big Dry Creek system was first assessed in 2012, then again in 2015, according to the city staff. Those studies found “several segments” of the system were nearing the end of their lifespan or were not large enough to handle all of development and growth in the city. The city made plans to overhaul the system starting in 2019  director of public works and utilities Max Kirschbaum said Monday. But an assessment done earlier this year — when factoring in projects in the city’s pipeline and flows those could contribute to the sewer system — painted a dire picture. Kirschbaum said the system is already running the risk of a sanitary sewer overflow, an event where raw sewage escapes from a sanitary sewer. Westminster’s sewer flows have increased by 40 percent since 2008, city officials said. The Big Dry System was dates back to the 1970s, before the city went through several waves of population growth. Related Articles Job fair coming to Westminster Thursday as Denver Premium Outlets seeks to hire 500 VF Corporation, parent company of outdoor brands The North Face, Smartwool, will relocate headquarters, 800 workers to Denver FDA milk label changes could cause Boulder company to lose FDA approval Bank of the West’s anti-fossil fuel stance sets off firestorm in Western Slope, energy states Colorado’s alternative energy economy boosted by wind and biofuels The moratorium applies to new development applications that would increase flows into the Big Dry Creek network. Home renovations or projects that will not add to the sewage flows will not be subject to the freeze, officials said. Applications and pre-applications submitted prior to the moratorium taking effect will be honored. But developers who fail to follow up a pre-application meeting with more complete planning documents within six months will see their projects expire, according to the city. Even if a developer has city approval to move forward with plans, they may not be given access to the sewer system. Westminster’s municipal code dictates wastewater service commitments do not take hold until a building permit is pulled. That means builders in the affected area who goes in for building permits may be told the sewer network does not have the capacity to serve their projects. Access to the sewer system will be assessed and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to ensure fairness, city officials say. Jenni Grafton, the city’s acting economic development director, estimated there are between 30 and 40 projects in the affected area that could be in line to pull permits. Some of the city’s premier mixed-used neighborhoods and shopping areas will not be impacted by the development freeze. The Downtown Westminster project, rising where the Westminster Mall once stood, and the Westminster Station transit-oriented development going up around the city’s B-Line train stop, are served by a separate sewer network. The same is true for its north Interstate 25 and Huron Street business district. Those areas include the St. Antony North Health Campus and the Orchard Town Center shopping area.  Several developers that have projects on tap in Westminster came to Monday’s meeting to urge the council to move along their projects. Council members sought to assuage fears. Councilwoman Shannon Bird said, “We are not closed for business.” The city will lift the moratorium before 12 months if possible, but its sewer contractor is expected to need nine months to assess the system. Mayor Herb Atchison preached patience. “We need to get the study done first,” he said. “How big is (the problem) and how long do we think it will take us to fix it? That’s not going to happen in 12 months.”  It is unclear how much it might cost Westminster to address the emergency, but city staff did say where they expect much of the money to come from: sewer rate hikes and municipal debt.
  • Sneak peek: A photo tour of Denver’s 16th Street Mall Target ahead of Sunday’s grand opening
    “A little strange.” That’s how Denver-area native Brian Zielenski described seeing a Target on the city’s 16th Street Mall when he walked by the not-quite-open-to-the-public store Tuesday afternoon. When he thinks of 16th Street, he thinks of restaurants and shops that sell T-shirts with pictures of the mountains on them to tourists. “I guess I just don’t picture a big-box store like a Target or a Best Buy or a Walmart — that kind of large-format store — being on the mall,” he said. What was disorienting for Zielenski was celebrated by some top city leaders Tuesday afternoon. Mayor Michael Hancock and City Councilman Albus Brooks attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony and sneak peek event at the store located at 1600 California St. It opens to the public at 8 Sunday morning. Brooks, who represents the Central Business District on City Council, celebrated that a reported 60 percent of the store’s workforce so far lives within 5 miles of it and represents a diverse cross section of Denver. The councilman was part of the council that approved a $4 million incentive package, delivered to landlord Gart Properties, to bring the store to the neighborhood. When fully staffed, the store expects to have around 80 employees. The roughly 30,000-square-foot store, located on the second and third floors of its building and served by escalators and elevators, has a heavy emphasis on groceries on its first level. Located on the right-hand side when coming up the escalator, roughly a third of the space is occupied by freezer and cooler cases, snack foods, paper goods, cleaning supplies and a produce section. Related ArticlesJuly 17, 2018 Coming Sunday: Target ready to open in downtown Denver’s 16th Street Mall November 7, 2017 When Whole Foods at Union Station opens next week, groceries will only be half the story May 16, 2018 Downtown Denver’s big boom continues, report shows people living in prosperous area overwhelmingly white, single and well off The grocery aisles are likely to draw some heavy traffic from people who dwell on the eastern end of the Central Business District. The Central Platte Valley neighborhood to the west added a Whole Foods in November to go along with its King Soopers, but for people who live closer to Broadway, the nearest grocery options remain the Safeway at 757 E 20th Ave. or the King Soopers at 1331 Speer Blvd.  Whitney Andreasen, a south Denver resident who was among the lucky few invited to Tuesday’s preview because her mom works for Gart Properties, made the visit count. She picked up a Bluetooth speaker for her patio. “I love it,” Andreasen said of the store — particularly its airy layout with the main floor opening up to a wrap-around-balcony-style second level. “They packed a lot in here. I can’t believe all the food.” The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.
  • Coming Sunday: Target ready to open in downtown Denver’s 16th Street Mall
    When fast-fashion retailer H&M opened its first Colorado location on Denver’s 16th Street Mall in 2011, more than 900 people lined up for its grand opening. Target is set to open its long-in-the-works store on the mall at 8 a.m. Sunday. The first 1,000 shoppers get a free reusable bag. It remains to be seen if that event will generate the same kind of fervor H&M did. After all, Target is well known in Colorado, having operated stores here for decades. It’s got brand recognition but isn’t trendy or new like its Scandinavian counterpart. Regardless of how many people line up before the new store’s doors are flung open at 1600 California St., downtown business advocates are ecstatic over its arrival and what it says about the economic vitality of a portion of Denver sporting a retail vacancy rate of 3.3 percent. “When Target chooses to locate somewhere they are sending a message that the customer base is there,” Downtown Denver Partnership CEO Tami Door said Monday. “This shows this brand has identified the center city of Denver — and it sends this message to other brands — as a place where they believe they will be successful.” The 16th Street Mall store won’t be just any Target. At 30,000 square feet, it’s less than quarter the size of the retailer’s average store. It will feature a curated collection of goods designed to appeal to downtown shoppers, Ashlee Justis, the store’s team lead, said. Related Articles Downtown Denver Target set to open by summer 2018, will offer fresh produce, home decor, pharmacy and more Fixing Denver’s 16th Street Mall could cost between $90 and $130 million and take 3 years to complete Growing Denver retail market not crushed by closure of eight Toys R Us stores, report says On its main floor, the second floor of the 1600 California St. building, shoppers will find clothes and accessories — including Broncos and other local team gear — and an electronics and entertainment department complete with cellphones that can be activated on the spot. There will be a grocery section with fresh produce and frozen goods, as well as grab-and-go items such as sandwiches, meant to cater to customers popping in and out on their lunch breaks. Floor two will carry cosmetics and personal care products and travel goods — again catering to a specific downtown market segment: tourists. There will also be an assortment of home wares and decor, a category H&M added to its 16th Street Mall store in 2015. “Why this is going to be so exciting, especially for the downtown Denver guest, is this store is created especially for them,” Justis said. “It’s going to be a quick, convenient spot to get those products you have relied on Target for traditionally.” Doubling down on the convenience, the store will have a CVS pharmacy and self-checkout kiosks. It will also serve as the order pickup point for people who buy from, company officials say. Place an order on the website, and within an hour that item will be ready at the store. The store is an example of Target’s real estate evolution. After going from big to jumbo in the form of its Super Target store formats, the company is now going small. When the 16th Street Mall store opens it will be one of 71 small format stores the retailer has opened across the country. Meant to fit in denser urban centers or near college campuses, the smaller footprint allows Target close places it hasn’t been before, such as downtown Denver, company spokeswoman Jacqueline DeBuse said. “We’ve always been interested in the (downtown) Denver community,” DeBuse said. “We know there are daytime professionals and round-the-clock residents.” DeBuse’s reference to round-the-clock residents offers a potential clue as to why it has taken Target so long to hit its mark downtown. The Downtown Denver Partnership’s CEO Door said her organization has been working on bringing the brand to the city’s urban core for decades. Every time an opportunity came up, some factor dragged it down, whether the location or property owner wasn’t the right fit, or Target not being in an expansion mode at the time, or the demographics not being strong enough. “When you’re working to attract a retail location, everything has to be right,” she said. In downtown Denver today — defined by the partnership as the area made up of the Auraria, Lower Downtown, Ballpark, Central Platte Valley, Golden Triangle and Center Business District neighborhoods — more people are working, visiting and living than ever before. Randy Thelen, the partnership’s vice president of economic development, said 23,000 people live downtown, three times as many as 2000. The area’s 136,000 employees is an all-time high. Add that in with a $4 million tax incentive package from the Denver City Council, and the “Why now, Target?” question answers itself.
  • Shrouded justice: Thousands of Colorado court cases hidden from public view on judges’ orders
    Thousands of court cases across Colorado — hundreds of them involving violent felonies — are hidden from public view, concealed behind judges’ orders that can remain in effect for years, The Denver Post has found. More than 6,700 civil and criminal cases have been restricted from public access since 2013, usually by judges who agreed to a request from prosecutors or defense lawyers to shield them, The Post found. Of those, 3,076 are still under suppression orders that keep the details away from the public — 345 are felony criminal cases — as they work their way through the legal system, according to state computer records. Until recently, no information about any of the suppressed cases was available publicly — not the names of the defendants, the charges they faced or even the identity of the judges who closed them — until The Post began questioning the practice. The Post identified 66 felony cases that remained closed to the public — including homicides and sex crimes requiring registration as a sexual offender — even though the defendants had already been convicted and sentenced, some to lengthy prison terms. In every suppressed case, The Post found, the judge’s suppression order and the reasons supporting it are shielded from public scrutiny. Courthouse employees and many law enforcement officials, including prosecutors, will not even acknowledge the suppressed cases exist, The Post found. That means someone could be arrested, charged, convicted and sent to prison in Colorado without anyone seeing why, how or where, and whether the process was fair. “This sounds like the Star Chamber to me,” said Alan Chen, a constitutional law professor at University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, referring to the 15th-century English court chastised for arbitrary rulings and secret proceedings.  “Colorado is one of the worst states in terms of access to criminal court records for reasons I really have no explanation for. I’ve not heard of this being practiced anywhere else in the country. It’s frightening that if anything improper is going on, no one will know about it or have any way to find out.” Although courtrooms remain open to the public, including hearings for suppressed cases, the only way to know when a hearing is to occur is to be there when it is scheduled. A Denver Post reporter happened to attend one hearing in which a murder suspect pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and no public record of the event existed. The only way to learn the defendant’s name was to be there when the judge announced it. According to interviews and analysis of cases that were later opened to the public, the reasons behind a suppression order are varied: Prosecutors don’t want to alarm other members of a drug ring as they’re being rounded up; the case involves a juvenile defendant; or law enforcement says a criminal investigation is ongoing. Civil cases have been suppressed as well, typically — though not all — to shield victims of abuse or sexual assaults from publicity. But there are other reasons as well. The Post found one criminal case — that of a board member and part-owner of the Broomfield Academy charged and convicted of felony sexual assault of a child and misdemeanor child abuse — in which prosecutors requested and received a suppression order to avoid publicity. The case remains suppressed. It found another — of a member of the Adams County 14 school board eventually convicted with attempting to lure a child for sex — in which the judge ordered the suppression at the outset, without anyone even asking for it, because the judge “had concerns about releasing information,” records obtained by The Post show. The case remains suppressed. The case of Clifford Galley, 28, convicted of attempted first-degree murder, was one of a number The Post found that remained suppressed long after the defendant went to prison. Galley was sentenced to 169 years in prison and won’t see freedom in his lifetime. Documents related to the case were suppressed after his arrest in 2013 and no one except for his lawyer, prosecutors or a judge could see them. Last month, a judge lifted the suppression order after The Post asked prosecutors questions about it. His appeal, however, remains suppressed. Denver Post emails to several of the judges responsible for suppressed cases went unanswered except for one, and that judge passed it along to state court administrators to respond. Because of this story, the Colorado judicial system is changing the way it handles suppressed cases. Investigative journalism holds our institutions accountable — help us do more of it by subscribing. Suppressed cases are different than those sealed by the court, the reasons for which are limited by state law. Sealed cases are restricted to those where a defendant was exonerated or, under certain conditions, the case was dismissed, such as with a deferred sentence. Some low-level drug felonies can also be sealed under specific criteria. By contrast, a judge may suppress a case for any reason at his or her discretion — usually, but not always, at the request of lawyers in the case, but most frequently prosecutors. Once a case is suppressed, it remains so until a judge reopens it, which The Post found often does not happen because neither defense lawyers nor prosecutors ever bother to ask. “This isn’t right; it can’t be right. It’s a chance for them to victimize our family all over again,” said Mark Chalfant, whose son, Mark, was killed in a Taco Bell parking lot in Aurora in July 2014. Four teenagers were convicted in the case — one as a juvenile — yet all the records remain closed under suppression orders three years later. Shrouded justice How news coverage of two high-profile sex-crime cases faded after they were suppressed by Colorado judges Douglas County sheriff’s officers had arrested one of their own — Deputy Robert “Mike” French — in the early hours of Feb. 9, 2013, on suspicion of trying to lure a 16-year-old boy into a sexual relationship. It was a Saturday and French, then 41, was taken to the Douglas County Detention Facility at about 3:30 a.m. He was kept there until he was to appear before a judge two days later. On Monday morning, before any word that French had been arrested was made public, Senior Deputy District Attorney Jay Williford asked a judge to suppress the case and all the information surrounding French’s arrest and the crimes he was accused of committing, court records show. The judge agreed. Continue reading Although media attention about the shooting and the arrests was widespread, the court cases were immediately suppressed. Only the 30-year sentence of triggerman Sterling Hook made a headline in a local newspaper a year later — after prosecutors released the information. “No one else ever gets to know what they’ve done,” Chalfant said, noting that no one other than family attended court hearings spread over a year. “That’s just wrong.“ Court records “critically important” Open-records experts and several attorneys interviewed by The Post were troubled by the newspaper’s findings, saying it runs against the Colorado and U.S. constitutions and their guarantee of an open and accessible court system. “Court records in general are a critically important source of information for the public,” said Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. “Without access to court records and proceedings, Coloradans can’t monitor the judicial system. They can’t know whether it’s working properly or not.” The Colorado Supreme Court in June refused to declare that access to court records is an absolute right guaranteed by the First Amendment or the Colorado Constitution. But that decision dealt with a specific document that had been sealed within a court file, not the entire case itself or its details. The Post’s investigation also found: — Most suppressed cases had scant or no media attention, and the majority of the few that did were typically at the time of a defendant’s arrest, before anything was suppressed by a judge. Several suppressed cases did get press coverage when charges were filed and again after a defendant was sentenced, when prosecutors issued an announcement — but nothing in between. — Until recently, no trace of a suppressed case existed in the public-access computers the state provides at county courthouses throughout Colorado, or the online for-pay services that compile the same data and the state recommends to the public. That has changed since The Post began inquiring. Until last week, the public still could not see what charges had been brought against a person in a suppressed case or see any details about it, such as the next court hearing or any sentence given. — Sealed cases are restricted by law to only the judge who issued the order, and acknowledging their existence is prohibited. Public information about suppressed cases, however, per Colorado Supreme Court rule, should include names and case numbers, though the details of a case and the courtroom proceedings around it have been restricted. Despite that, court officials and some prosecutors’ offices still treat the two types of cases as the same and refuse to give any information about a suppressed case. — Public schedules posted daily outside of courtrooms, called dockets, show the cases being heard that day, including the names of defendants. If the case is suppressed, however, the docket only shows that a time is allotted for a hearing, but not why or for whom. — Even high-profile cases that received intense publicity are under suppression orders, meaning access to any of their court records today is prohibited. Among them: Aurora theater shooter James Holmes; witness killers Sir Mario Owens and Robert Ray; and Jessica Ridgeway killer Austin Sigg. The media was able to follow these cases by appearing at a public court hearing to learn when the next was to be held. Many times prosecutors and defense lawyers say they simply forgot the case was still suppressed. “That’s very troubling” The Denver Post began investigating suppressed cases in Colorado nearly a year ago after reporters were denied access to records and expressed concern about the practice. The Post obtained data from the State Court Administrator that helped it determine the extent to which suppressions have been used in each judicial district in Colorado. The Post then reviewed dozens of suppressed cases that have been unsuppressed to see how the practice was being used. Since 2013, there have been 6,707 cases suppressed by judges in Colorado, and the bulk of them were criminal cases, The Post found — misdemeanors first, then felonies, followed by civil court matters. A judge’s suppression order was lifted in 3,631 of them, meaning the public can now access the cases, sometimes soon after a defendant was arrested or parties to a civil lawsuit were served with court papers, records show. “Generally it’s one thing to suppress a (single) document, which is very legitimate, but when entire files begin to disappear from the public record, that’s very troubling,” Denver attorney Larry Pozner said. “We’re very skeptical in America of things done in the dark, and other than juvenile law, you can walk into an American courtroom and take notes, and they can’t say, ‘It’s none of your business, get out of here.’ ” The Post’s analysis found that the number of suppressed cases varies dramatically from county to county. Prosecutors in La Plata County, where Durango is the county seat, have suppressed 366 felony cases over the past five years, the most by any jurisdiction, records show. But those cases were nearly always unsuppressed once a defendant was arrested and brought to court, the longest taking two years, The Post found. “It’s not uncommon to suppress a case until the defendant is arrested and the warrant served,” said Christian Champagne, district attorney for Colorado’s Sixth Judicial District that includes La Plata, Archuleta and San Juan counties. “Ours is an area where people come through and leave for long stretches of time.” In the 18th Judicial District, which is made up of Arapahoe, Douglas, Lincoln and Elbert counties, 62 cases are still suppressed from public view even though the defendants have been tried, convicted and sentenced, The Post found, the highest among the state’s 22 judicial districts. The majority of the cases — 47, most of them from a single drug-conspiracy investigation from four years ago — are in Arapahoe County, followed by 14 others in Douglas County, and one in Elbert County. That total doesn’t include 115 active felony cases that are still under suppression in the district — nearly half the statewide total, The Post found. “I still think there are some legitimate reasons on behalf of the safety of certain victims and witnesses … that we ought to have the ability to continue to suppress those,” 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler said. In 2015, prosecutors asked that the Douglas County sex-assault case against Broomfield Academy then-owner and board member Michael Greenberg, 62, be suppressed because it likely would garner a lot of media attention. A television station reported his arrest. There was no media report after the suppression order was issued. The private school is to close this year, according to its website. The case has remained suppressed ever since even though Greenberg pleaded guilty to felony sexual assault of a child in which he received a four-year deferred sentence, and to a misdemeanor charge of child abuse. He is a registered sex-offender in Centennial, records show. Following The Post’s inquiry, prosecutors have asked a judge to unsuppress the case. “Our office filed a motion to suppress, the reason being is that the case would be subject to extensive pretrial publicity,” Brauchler’s Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney Rich Orman told The Post in an email, saying he and Brauchler were not consulted by the DA who handled the case. “This was a mistake, and we should not have sought suppression of a court file for this reason.” Brauchler said suppression orders sometimes are important to solving serious crimes, but concedes that once their usefulness is over, cases should not remain hidden from public scrutiny. “Already in many cases, specifically gang and some domestic violence cases, the concern over an individual’s own safety is so strong that if you can’t provide some other assurance, even in the short-term, I think we’ll lose out on cooperation from a lot of key witnesses,” Brauchler said. “But the public should maintain the ability to scrutinize what we do, why we do it and how we go about that.” After speaking with The Post, Brauchler’s office began unsuppressing many of the cases and instituted policies limiting how the practice should be used in the future. There are some cases, however, that Brauchler said should remain suppressed for the safety of the defendant — one of whom is serving a 16-year prison term in a rural county jail after having testified against another defendant who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, records show. There have been no suppressed cases involving a criminal defendant in Denver District Court the past five years, the years The Post reviewed, according to records. “This is just a completely foreign procedure in my years of experience as a district attorney,” said former Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey. “In my 33 years, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve never even heard of suppressing an entire case. How can you have cases that don’t even show up on a court docket? I’ve never seen such a thing.” Experts in open-records law say the practice of suppressing entire cases rubs against the grain of a system intended to be transparent. “The most outrageous, unjustifiable and unconstitutional thing you’ve found is the public being denied the right to know which cases are on file in our courts of law against which defendants, and to have access, at the minimum, to the indexes of those cases,” said Denver attorney Steven Zansberg, an expert on open-records laws who represents a number of media outlets including The Denver Post. “How is there a case where the public doesn’t know how or why someone is arrested or in prison?” he asked. “Courts throughout the land have held the public — we the people — have a constitutional First Amendment right to have access to those records.” Many cases suppressed When Frank Huner Jr., a 58-year-old Sedalia man, was charged in July 2017 with first-degree murder for allegedly killing his son, whom he said he mistook for an intruder, news of his arrest peppered the media. Since then, however, there’s been not a word about the Douglas County case — and not a single reference to it could be found anywhere among the state’s courthouse databases available for the public to search criminal and civil cases. Courthouse employees refused to identify the case even existed. During the course of The Post’s investigation, the State Court Administrator has changed the computer programs that provide the public with information about criminal and civil cases so that a defendant’s name, case number and the county where the case is being heard is displayed. Until a week ago the public could not see the charges they faced or details about a suppressed case’s progress through the judicial system. Such is the case of Daniel Pesch, a 34-year-old Littleton man charged in December 2017 for the 2010 murder of Kiowa High School science teacher Randy Wilson. The case has been suppressed since the moment it was filed, even though the media covered Pesch’s arrest. It’s only been recently unsuppressed after dozens of hearings. Still, several key portions of the case remain concealed from public view. As well with Jeffrey Falk, 54, a former ThunderRidge High School math teacher sentenced in June 2016 to 21 years in prison for victimizing young boys and collecting “a library of child porn.” He had pleaded guilty in Arapahoe County district court to three counts of sexual exploitation of a child two months earlier. His arrest in 2015 made headlines, but the four cases against him were immediately suppressed until he was sentenced. No other stories were published until after he pleaded guilty, was sentenced, and prosecutors later made a public announcement in June 2016. Related Articles Colorado secretly created a way to police medical marijuana doctors, a lawsuit suppressed for years alleges Editorial: “Shrouded justice” uncovers court secrecy in need of reform How a Denver Post reporter found that thousands of Colorado court cases have been hidden from public view One of the four cases against Falk was unsuppressed a month after that, records show — but the other three felony cases for which he was sentenced remained closed. That changed on June 13 after The Post began asking why. The first-degree murder case in Adams County against juvenile Aidan Zellmer remains suppressed even though a judge has already ruled the 15-year-old is to stand trial as an adult. And despite media coverage about the case, the warrant affidavit that describes the evidence that led to Zellmer’s arrest remains suppressed, as well as any other information about the case against him. Even when a defendant has been charged, convicted and sent to prison, if the case is suppressed, some district attorney’s offices still treat it as if the matter has been sealed, even though the two are very different. “The short answer is that suppressed and sealed means the same thing to the extent the public is barred from access,” Denver district attorney’s office spokesman Ken Lane told The Post when asked to provide information about a suppressed case from 2013 in which Denver was the special prosecutor in a different county. “So, if whatever case you’re referring to is in fact suppressed by a court order, then respectfully, I’m not going to violate a court order and release case information to the public.” “I never quarrel with a man who buys ink by the barrel,” former Indiana Rep. Charles Brownson said of the press. But we need your help to keep up with the rising cost of ink. Get your first month for just 99 cents when you subscribe to The Post.
  • Thai soccer team cave rescue helped by Denver company’s 3D Earth mapping abilities
    The saga of 12 boys and their soccer coach who spent more than two weeks trapped in a cave in northern Thailand reached a positive conclusion Tuesday when rescuers retrieved the last of the group from their subterranean confines. In the Denver area, the staff of Intermap Technologies was paying close attention to the rescue efforts, in part because they directly assisted them. The Arapahoe County-based geo-tech firm, which has been in the business of 3D mapping the Earth for three decades, was contacted by rescuers on June 27, three days after the boys and their coach went missing following soccer practice in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province, according to an Intermap news release. The company, which has clients all over the world including in Thailand, agreed to help free of charge. The search team’s request: Give us as much elevation, hydrology and other data on the search area as possible. Within three hours, Intermap worked up a data set that mapped the area’s elevation to within a meter’s accuracy. When it blended its material with data from a local university, the Thai government, multi-sensor satellites and other sources, Intermap was able to produce an interactive, 3D model that included the layout of the cave network where the boys were trapped. “Our superhero power is our data sets see things that your eyes can’t,” Intermap chairman and CEO Patrick Blott said Monday night as rescue efforts were ongoing. “They didn’t have data to understand the terrain and they knew we did. That’s why they called us.” Courtesy IntermapThis image is a 3D rendering of Intermap’s NextMap One product over the search area. Low elevations are blue, higher elevations are shown as orange. The entrance to the cave at the upper right and runs under the closest ridge. “We have AI  — artificial intelligence — driven engines. They run super fast. We’re dealing with terabytes of data, mashing it together and creating analytics and profiles in a very short amount of time,” Blott added of how quickly his team was able to spring into action. The data Intermap produced was used to identify potential drilling points when tunneling was being considered as a rescue option. It also identified drainage pathways for fast-rising monsoon rain waters and alternative ways in and out of the cave network. Ultimately, it helped guide divers swimming through the network to the trapped kids, Blott said. Related ArticlesJuly 10, 2018 All 12 boys, soccer coach rescued from Thailand cave, police say July 8, 2018 8 boys rescued from flooded Thailand cave; 4 and coach remain After locating the boys and their coach 10 days after they went missing, divers were able to extract all 13 of them safely as of Tuesday morning, according to a Facebook post from Thai navy SEALs that headed up the rescue effort with help from volunteers. One person, retired Thai SEAL Saman Gunan, died trying to deliver oxygen to the boys during the rescue effort. “It starts and ends with the guys on the ground, the SEALs that take that risk,” Blott said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families, and particularly to the family of the SEAL who lost his life. But we are very thankful those families have their kids back.”
  • Bridge to the plane: Celebrating Denver International Airport’s walk-over bridge at age 25
    The beauty of the pedestrian bridge stretching between Denver International Airport’s main terminal and the A concourse is in the eye of the crosser: It is the gateway to the Rockies for people from far-off lands or a potential shortcut for flyers running late. No matter the perspective, the 365-foot-long pathway is a unique part of DIA. The free-spanning pedestrian overpass, supported by 35-foot steel trusses, is (for now) the longest structure of its kind in North America. It is designed so that two passengers jets can pass beneath it wingtip to wingtip. On Friday afternoon, officials from DIA, the city of Denver and the design and construction teams that created it gathered at the airport’s Westin Hotel to mark the 25th anniversary of the bridge’s completion. It was built in fewer than 12 months and was finished roughly a year and a half before the airport opened to passengers in February 1995, officials say. “Just from a structural standpoint, the steel has got to be substantial in height or length just to able to span that distance without a column,” Tim Habben, president of the bridge’s designer, LOA Architecture, told The Denver Post prior to Friday’s event. “Whenever I am trying to establish some credibility with clients that we don’t know, I point to that bridge.” Luis Acosta, who founded Denver-based LOA as Luis O. Acosta Architects in 1985, led the design. Fun fact: DIA has the only passenger bridge in the US where you can watch an airplane taxi beneath you — Denver Int'l Airport (@DENAirport) September 30, 2013 Not only is it free spanning, the bridge was built as a self-supporting structure independent of the terminal and concourse buildings because it was not part of the airport’s original design, according to Habben. It was added later, he said, to provide an alternative way to access gates without relying on the airport’s subterranean train system. Many Coloradans know the bridge for being home to the third of three TSA checkpoints at DIA. Travelers looking to stretch their legs pre-flight or hoping to shave off some of the time they would spend waiting in one of the two security lines on the main level of the Jeppesen Terminal can head up to the northern end of the terminal’s top floor and walk across the bridge to reach a security screening area and the A gates beyond. Courtesy LOA ArchitectureAn internal view of the 365-foot-long pedestrian bridge connecting DIA’s Jeppesen Terminal with the gates beyond. Fewer people know the bridge has two floors, the upper of which houses DIA’s international customs checkpoint. For some, its east- and west-facing windows provide their first views of Colorado — or even the United States — when they arrive from another country. “Really, it is that first entry point for international passengers,” DIA spokeswoman Emily Williams said. “If you stand on the bridge, you get a panoramic view of two diverse Colorado ecosystems: the mountains and the plains.” Related ArticlesAugust 13, 2017 Denver’s 34-year deal at DIA might be the city’s first big public-private partnership, but don’t expect it to be the last June 28, 2018 Massive Denver public projects involving private sector would be streamlined under Mayor Hancock proposal to City Council June 21, 2018 Nearly two years in the making, Brighton Boulevard makeover expected to supercharge RiNo growth Changes are coming to the bridge along with the rest of the airport. This summer, Great Hall Partners, a group led by Spanish company Ferrovial Airports, will get started on a $650 million overhaul of the Jeppesen Terminal. The project will eventually move all security screening areas to the top floor and eliminate the checkpoint on the bridge. The bridge will feature more support and service spaces when the renovation is complete, Williams said. Plans to build a new international arrivals center at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington call for a 900-foot-long, free-spanning bridge that would unseat DIA’s as longest on the continent. A longer free-span bridge already exists at Gatwick Airport in the United Kingdom. Last year, around 2.5 million people used the DIA bridge to get to departing flights, according to the airport, roughly 12 percent of all those screened by TSA. Another 800,000 people went through customs there. Friday’s celebration of the bridge anniversary was a precursor to larger celebrations to come when DIA itself turns 25 in 2020.
  • Election takeaways: Colorado’s primaries show Democrats have momentum heading into November
    Moments after Colorado voters picked candidates in the primary election, the race to November began. The two men left on the ballot for governor traded barbs in their victory speeches Tuesday night. The state’s Democratic and Republican parties launched websites the next day to blast their opponents. And one national political group debuted a television commercial to boost its candidate. Looking to November, the primary voter turnout shows more Democratic momentum at this point, according to interviews with a dozen political observers. The party will need the energy if it wants to hold the governor’s office, flip the state Senate and claim the competitive 6th Congressional District – all races that Republicans are intent on winning. “If you’re trying to gauge a blue wave or enthusiasm, I would say those numbers look pretty good for Democrats,” said Paul Teske, the dean of the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs. “Midterm elections are always a referendum on the president, and we have a fairly unpopular president, probably more unpopular in Colorado than a lot of other states.” Here’s a look at the lessons from the primary election and what they mean for Democrats and Republicans ahead of November. The big shift starts now The top-of-the-ticket primary races for Colorado governor finished Tuesday as expected, with Democrat Jared Polis and Republican Walker Stapleton securing their respective party nominations. A modest surprise is the huge margin – 20 percentage points – by which Polis finished ahead of his closest rival in a race some observers expected to be closer. The next key step is the selection of running mates within a week of the primary election. Once the gubernatorial candidates pick a lieutenant governor, the running mate must accept the nomination within 30 days under state law. At the same time, the candidates will spend the summer months refocusing their campaigns for a general election audience, a move that typically shifts them to the political middle in order to win the swing voters that decide most Colorado races. Stapleton spent much of his campaign aligning himself with President Donald Trump and raising concerns about so-called sanctuary cities that don’t assist federal immigration authorities. David Flaherty, a Republican pollster in Colorado not affiliated with the campaign, said “without question” that Stapleton needs to move to the middle. “He will lose if he doesn’t, and anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional,” Flaherty said. Flaherty said general election voters want to hear about education and pocket-book issues, such as the cost of housing — two topics that the Democratic candidate has preached for months. But Polis also will have to rework his image and distance himself from the inevitable label as “a Boulder liberal,” even as he seeks Democratic Party unity. “His move needs to be as much stylistic as substantive,” said Eric Sondermann, a Denver political analyst. “He needs to show … that (his campaign) gets the whole state, that they are not just deeply stewed in that Boulder milieu.” Largest primary turnout ever The voter turnout rate for all registered voters — both active and inactive — through Thursday was 31 percent and is expected to rise slightly. It ranks as the largest primary turnout among registered voters at least in the past decade. Related ArticlesAugust 13, 2018 Teachers union endorses Jared Polis for Colorado governor after snub in primary August 12, 2018 Analysts: Walker Stapleton must be ready to deal with family skeletons as Colorado governor’s race heats up August 10, 2018 Club 20 declines to allow surrogate in place of Jared Polis for Grand Junction debate August 10, 2018 Tax pileup ahead for Denver voters? November ballot will include new taxes for scholarships, parks and more August 9, 2018 Initiative to pay for preschool, full-day kindergarten qualifies for Colorado ballot More ballots were cast in Tuesday’s election than in any other primary in Colorado, a result of the state’s booming population and the inclusion this year of unaffiliated voters. Also drawing people to the polls was the long list of competitive races, especially at the congressional and gubernatorial levels. Through Thursday, 1,176,526 ballots were processed. Of those, 469,771 came from registered Democrats and 415,379 from registered Republicans. Unaffiliated voters turned in 291,376 ballots in the first-ever Colorado primary elections in which they could cast a ballot. That comes out to an unaffiliated turnout rate of about 20 percent for the state’s largest voting bloc — which has more than 1.4 million voters. More of those voters took part in the Democratic primary than in the Republican primary by a margin of about 60,000, according to the latest data. “They still have tens of thousands of ballots to process,” Judd Choate, elections director at the Colorado secretary of state’s office, said midweek. For comparison, the most similar primary election in Colorado in the past decade — in terms of competitiveness and turnout rate– took place in 2010, when Democrats and Republicans competed for a U.S. Senate seat. In that primary contest, 774,071 ballots were cast from among the state’s 2,391,825 active voters, for a 32 percent active-voter turnout rate. The turnout slides to 24 percent when adding in the state’s 850,000-plus inactive voters to the total. Thousands of votes nullified Ballots cast by at least 6,000 unaffiliated voters were nullified because they tried to vote in both the Republican and Democratic primary contests. A voter-approved initiative from 2016 allowed unaffiliated voters to participate in a Colorado primary election for the first time this year, but members of the bloc were only allowed to cast a ballot in one race or the other. The canceled double-votes came despite a more than $1 million educational effort from the state and outside organizations to inform voters about the rules. The numbers equaled about 2 percent of the total unaffiliated votes cast. That’s far lower than state elections officials feared. “This number of about 2 to 2.5 is a really pretty solid number, considering that our population has never done an election like this and other comparable states have seen slightly higher numbers,” said Choate. El Paso County led the state’s largest counties, with 5 percent of unaffiliated ballots spoiled, while Adams County had just 0.5 percent of their unaffiliated votes nullified. Officials say they will be taking a close look at what worked and what didn’t in order to minimize the spoil rate for unaffiliated voters in future elections. “One of the things we will do is an after-action review of this election,” Choate said. “There are all sorts of things I think we can learn from this as we review it.” David Zalubowski, The Associated PressElection judge Michael Plous works as judges organize primary election ballots for counting as they arrive at the Denver Elections Division headquarters early Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) For the most part, money talks With one exception, all the statewide and congressional races were won by the candidate who spent the most money, according to preliminary numbers. Polis spent $11 million of his own money in the governor’s race and came out the victor. He also received big-money help from two outside groups. Stapleton appeared to be the lone exception. His rival, former state Rep. Victor Mitchell, loaned his campaign $4.8 million and easily outspent Stapleton and the handful of outside groups that came to his aid, according to preliminary campaign finance data. In the 6th Congressional District race, Democrat Jason Crow spent $695,000 through June 6, compared with $254,000 for challenger Levi Tillemann. One of the largest disparities came in the Republican state treasurer’s race, where businessman Brian Watson spent about $700,000 to overcome state Reps Justin Everett and Polly Lawrence, who spent roughly $81,000 and $292,000, respectively. The gold-plated campaigning won’t stop in June. The Republican Attorneys General Association plans to spend significantly to elect 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler in Colorado. The organization announced Wednesday its first television ad on Brauchler’s behalf, a modest $40,000 commercial that will air across most the state. Revenge of Democratic establishment U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Democratic presidential caucuses in Colorado in 2016, and his progressive wing of the party made national headlines Tuesday after voters snubbed establishment candidates for upstarts aligned with his wing of the party. But in Colorado, that wasn’t the case. In the Democratic primary for Colorado attorney general, Phil Weiser, a former University of Colorado Law School dean, defeated Sanders-endorsed state Rep. Joe Salazar, who conceded Saturday after a close vote. State Rep. Dave Young overcame a challenge in the treasurer’s primary from first-time candidate and Sanders supporter Bernard Douthit. Four Democratic upstarts — Mark Williams, Tillemann, Saira Rao and Karl Hanlon  — also lost bids for Congress running on an outsider platform against their respective establishment-backed candidates, Joe Neguse (2nd district), Crow (6th district), U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (1st district) and former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush (3rd district). “The primary electorate remains, not surprisingly, more moderate than the noisiest and most active activists, as evidenced by the impressive wins for Neguse, Crow and Diane Mitsch Bush,” said Jim Carpenter, a Democratic strategist and chief of staff for former Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter. “Definitely more establishment candidates have done well. Weiser fits into this, too — so does Michael Dougherty in the Boulder (district attorney’s) race.” Dougherty beat out state Rep. Mike Foote to become Boulder’s top prosecutor. Women candidates finish about 50-50 The Colorado primary races saw a significant number of women candidates make bids for public office, many of them for the first time. A female candidate won nine of the 17 races in which at least one woman competed, a Denver Post analysis shows. All but one of those women were Democrats. Laura Chapin, a Democratic strategist, said the 53 percent win-record is just a matter of “sheer volume.” “We’ve got a whole lot of women running, and some of them are going to win and some of them are going to lose … that still means more women in office,” she said. But at the top of the ticket, three women – Republican Cynthia Coffman and Democrats Cary Kennedy and Donna Lynne – failed to win their party nominations for governor in a state that has never elected a woman to the post. The results came despite more interest from women voters. About 100,000 more women voted than men in the primary election, according to figures through Thursday. Pat Waak, the former state Democratic Party chairwoman, said she always wants to see more women win, but it takes a good candidate to cross the finish line first. “I think there is a gender power that is growing,” she said, “but I think in the end, people just want somebody who will listen to them, understand what the issues are and make a difference on those issues.”
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  • Colorado’s highest-paid executives took home the big bucks in 2017 with the top earner making $68 million
    When HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List got married last October, a bunch of the confetti fell on the management team working at the combined company’s Golden headquarters. Four executives at ANGI Homeservices, which connects homeowners needing services with screened contractors, joined the list of Colorado’s 10 highest paid executives last year, pushing down or pushing out some familiar names. Click to enlarge On the whole, 2017 was a rewarding year for the top 100 executives at Colorado’s 50 largest public companies. They saw a 6-percent jump in median pay to $4 million and a 14.1-percent jump in average pay to $6.3 million, according to a Denver Post analysis using information provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. ANGI Homeservices CEO Christopher Terrill pulled down $68.8 million in reported compensation, making him Colorado’s highest-paid executive last year. The last time a Colorado executive made more than that was in 2014, when Liberty Media CEO Gregory Maffei showed $124.1 million in compensation after receiving a large number of stock options. Click to enlarge Maffei is a regular on the highest-paid list in Colorado, and given the media empire he oversees, it isn’t easy to unseat him from the top spot. But Maffei fell from first in 2016 to fourth last year, despite a 17.3-percent bump in reported compensation to $19.8 million. Ahead of him were Brandon Ridenour, chief product officer at ANGI, who made $60.6 million, and Craig Smith, president and chief operating officer at ANGI, who made $47.9 million. Also making the list in seventh place with $14.5 million was Allison Lowrie, the chief marketing officer at ANGI. What ANGI reported for executive pay needs some explanation. The lion’s share of compensation for its four executives came in the form of stock options. Terrill, for example, had $64.2 million of the $68.8 million in reported pay last year in stock options, while for Ridenour, options represented $57 million out of his $60.7 million in pay. Click to enlarge A good chunk of those stock option awards followed the conversion of stock appreciation rights in HomeAdvisor into newly minted shares of ANGI Homeservices, a public company spun off after the acquisition of Angie’s List. Effectively, years of earlier compensation were converted and reported in one lump sum when the new company formed. “The company does not view these modification charges as representative of any additional actual cost to the company or any additional benefit provided to the relevant named executives,” ANGI Homeservices said in its proxy filing. The company declined to comment for this story. Excluding those previous awards, Terrill made closer to $13.1 million in compensation, which would have ranked him in the bottom half of the Top 10 list. Ridenour, Smith and Lowrie would not have made the cut. Translated, don’t expect to see the four return to the list of Colorado highest paid executives next year, unlike the other names who make regular appearances. That includes Kent Thiry, chairman and CEO of DaVita Inc., a Denver-based provider of dialysis treatments. Thiry reported $15.3 million in compensation, a 24.6-percent increase from 2016. That ranked him fifth among Colorado executives in terms of pay. Related Articles Colorado CEOs earn in three days what the typical worker earns in a year, new disclosures show U.S. CEOs seen earning 140 times more than the typical worker Right behind him at $15.1 million was Daniel Caruso, CEO and chairman of Zayo Group Holdings, a Boulder-based fiber-optic carrier. Caruso received a 27.8-percent bump in pay last year. Rounding out the top 10 were Newmont Mining CEO Gary Goldberg at $13.8 million, Ball Corp. CEO John Hayes at $12.9 million and Cimarex Energy CEO Thomas Jorden, at $11.05 million. It is also worth noting who didn’t make the list. Chipotle Mexican Grill’s founder and former CEO Steve Ells just missed the cut after suffering a 29.4-percent drop in reported compensation to $11.4 million. Ells was a regular on the Colorado list, even after shareholders started screaming foul about what they were forking over. He was ousted as CEO late last year and his replacement is moving Chipotle out of Denver. Another noteworthy change last year was a big jump in stock option awards for the 446 Colorado executives studied. Option awards were 13.63 percent of total compensation in 2016 and 16.2 percent in 2015. They shot up to 28.5 percent of the total in 2017. Stock awards went the other way. They fell from 44.8 percent of the total in 2016 to 36.7 percent in 2017. Salary dropped from 17.1 percent of the total to 15.8 percent. As a general rule, analysts favor having more compensation come in the form of equity, which they argue better aligns the interests of executives with those of shareholders. Whether companies favor awarding shares of stock over stock options isn’t as important as how long executives must wait to receive their reward, said Sanjai Bhagat, professor of finance at the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business. Make it too easy or too quick for executives to collect, and then they are motivated to take shortcuts to boost the share price in the short-term, said Bhagat, author of the book “Financial Crisis, Corporate Governance, and Bank Capital.” “We should be thinking about using more restricted stock and option grants and having vesting periods with a long horizon,” he said. Colorado executive pay list The table lists names, companies and compensation details of Colorado’s highest-paid executives in 2017, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as well as the companies’ stock performance. Click column headers to sort the table, use dropdown menus to filter it by company or male/female; click icon next to name for details. Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence
  • Jury awards $289M to man who blames Roundup for cancer
    SAN FRANCISCO — A jury’s $289 million award to a former school groundskeeper who said Monsanto’s Roundup left him dying of cancer will bolster thousands of pending cases and open the door for countless people who blame their suffering on the weed killer, the man’s lawyers said. “I’m glad to be here to be able to help in a cause that’s way bigger than me,” Dewayne Johnson said at a news conference Friday after the verdict was announced. Johnson, 46, alleges that heavy contact with the herbicide caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The state Superior Court jury agreed that Roundup contributed to Johnson’s cancer and Monsanto should have provided a label warning of the potential health hazard. Johnson thanked jurors “from the bottom of my heart” for their work, along with his lawyers and his family. His was the first case filed by a cancer patient against the agribusiness giant to reach trial. It was expedited because court filings indicated that Johnson was dying. His victory may set the precedent for many others. “A unanimous jury in San Francisco has told Monsanto: ‘Enough. You did something wrong and now you have to pay,’” said Brent Wisner, Johnson’s lead trial lawyer. “There’s 4,000 other cases filed around the United States and there are countless thousand other people out there who are suffering from cancer because Monsanto didn’t give them a choice … We now have a way forward.” Monsanto has denied a link between the active ingredient in Roundup — glyphosate — and cancer, saying hundreds of studies have established that glyphosate is safe. Monsanto spokesman Scott Partridge said the company will appeal. Partridge said scientific studies and two government agencies have concluded that Roundup does not cause cancer. “We are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family,” Partridge said. “We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective, and safe tool for farmers and others.” Johnson used Roundup and a similar product, Ranger Pro, as a pest control manager at a San Francisco Bay Area school district, his lawyers said. He sprayed large quantities from a 50-gallon tank attached to a truck, and during gusty winds, the product would cover his face, said Brent Wisner, one of his attorneys. Once, when a hose broke, the weed killer soaked his entire body. Johnson read the label and even contacted the company after developing a rash but was never warned it could cause cancer, Wisner said. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. Related Articles Texas researchers make meth in their lab for drug-test device Rabid bat bites Fort Morgan resident 5th lawsuit filed against EPA over 2015 Gold King Mine waste spill Ask Amy: Baby shower leads to pilfered leftovers Colorado will pay $1 million to settle lawsuit over strip-searches of the intellectually disabled “The simple fact is he is going to die. It’s just a matter of time,” Wisner told the jury in his opening statement last month. But George Lombardi, an attorney for Monsanto, said non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma takes years to develop, so Johnson’s cancer must have started well before he began working at the school district. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Roundup’s active ingredient is safe for people when used in accordance with label directions. However, the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classified it as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. California added glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Johnson’s attorneys sought and won $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million of the $373 million they wanted in punitive damages.
  • Colorado’s alternative energy economy boosted by wind and biofuels
    Mention alternative energy, and rooftop solar panels and electric vehicles may come to mind. But in Colorado, a disproportionate share of jobs in that emerging part of the economy are tied to wind turbines and biofuels, according to a new report from the business group Advanced Energy Economy. The alternative energy sector, or what the industry is now calling advanced energy, employs 3.2 million people in the United States, including 62,800 people in Colorado, a number close to Grand Junction’s population, according to the report. The biggest category in Colorado and across the country involves energy efficiency, with the bulk of those jobs on the installation side, i.e. construction trades, and to a lesser degree in research and manufacturing, i.e. Denver-based Johns Manville. Energy efficiency employment accounts for 32,000 jobs or 51 percent of the total in advanced energy in Colorado. Nationally, the share is closer to 62 percent, a difference that can be explained by Colorado having a higher share of workers in power generation, said Monique Hanis, a spokeswoman for AEE. About 30 percent of the state’s advanced energy jobs, or 18,600, are tied to electricity generation, while the share nationally is about 20 percent, she said. In that regard, Colorado is similar to California, where the ratio is around 33 percent. But within power generation, Colorado’s workforce blows heavily toward wind. The state has 7,800 workers in solar and 7,300 in wind, thanks to four manufacturing plants that Danish turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems owns in the state. By contrast, California has 138,000 in solar and 5,000 in wind. Nationally, there are three jobs in solar for every job in wind generation, Hanis said. The group’s definition of advanced energy isn’t limited to renewable sources. It also includes natural gas and nuclear, pretty much anything other than coal, oil, gasoline and diesel. Colorado really stands out when it comes to biofuels. The state has 5,900 workers involved in making fuels from corn and biomass. That category represents 9 percent of advanced energy employment versus only a 2.8 percent concentration nationally, said Phil Jordan, vice president at BW Research in Wrentham, Mass., and the report’s author. After years of strong gains, advanced energy employment only grew 3 percent last year in Colorado, in line with the larger economy. Related Articles Bank of the West’s anti-fossil fuel stance sets off firestorm in Western Slope, energy states Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar argues against bigger drilling setbacks in Colorado Denver Mayor Michael Hancock lays out plan to reduce city’s carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 “Solar set things back. Solar had its first decline nationally in 10 years,” said Jordan. The report estimates Colorado will see an 8-percent gain this year in advanced energy jobs, assuming employers can find the workers they need and tariffs on solar panel and steel imports don’t derail installations. About 54 percent of employers in Colorado said it is “very difficult” to find qualified candidates for advanced energy jobs, which outnumber hospital-related jobs and are three times the number of agriculture jobs. Of the advanced energy jobs in the state, 12,200 are in Denver County, 8,000 in Arapahoe County, 6,700 in Jefferson County and 5,300 each in El Paso and Adams counties.
  • Apple becomes 1st trillion-dollar company
    SAN FRANCISCO — Apple has become the world’s first publicly traded company to be valued at $1 trillion. The milestone marks the financial fruit of stylish technology that has redefined society since two mavericks named Steve started the company 42 years ago. The peak reached Thursday seemed unimaginable in 1997 when Apple teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, with its stock trading for less than $1. To survive, Apple brought back its once-exiled co-founder, Steve Jobs, as interim CEO and turned to its archrival Microsoft for a $150 million cash infusion to help pay its bills. Jobs eventually introduced such popular products as the iPod and iPhone that have driven Apple’s rise. Apple shares rose 2.7 percent to an all-time high of $207.05 around midday. They’re up 22 percent so far this year.
  • Boulder’s Zayo Group sells Minnesota phone company for $42 million
    Zayo Group Holdings Inc., a Boulder-based communications infrastructure firm, has sold Scott-Rice Telephone Co., a Minnesota local exchange carrier, to Nuvera Communications for $42 million, according to a news release. Zayo acquired Scott-Rice Telephone as part of its March 2017 purchase of Electric Lightwave. Since the acquisition, it has been managed separately but within Zayo’s Allstream business segment, the release said. Scott-Rice Telephone serves residential and business customers in areas of Scott and Rice counties southwest of Minneapolis. “The completion of this sale is an important step toward the separation of the Allstream assets,” Zayo chief financial officer Matt Steinfort said in a statement. “It better positions us to focus and execute on our core communications infrastructure business.” Related Articles Self-order kiosks, mobile customer parking part of McDonald’s $111-million Colorado update plan Job fair coming to Westminster Thursday as Denver Premium Outlets seeks to hire 500 VF Corporation, parent company of outdoor brands The North Face, Smartwool, will relocate headquarters, 800 workers to Denver FDA milk label changes could cause Boulder company to lose FDA approval Bank of the West’s anti-fossil fuel stance sets off firestorm in Western Slope, energy states Read the full story at
  • Denver’s Guild Education rakes in $40M in venture funding with employee-education program
    Guild Education landed a whale this spring. The Denver-based tech-education startup announced May 30 that it is working with Walmart to offer college degrees from three universities to all of the mega retailer’s 1.4 million U.S. associates so long as participating workers chip in $1 per day toward the cost. It was the biggest partnership to date for the firm that already boasted Chipotle Mexican Grill and Taco Bell as clients. Now, two months later, Guild is celebrating $40 million in Series C funding. The investment was led by Silicon Valley firm Felicis Ventures. Its managing director, Wesley Chan, is now a Guild board member. Rethink Impact & Education, Salesforce Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and Workday Ventures joined in the funding, according to a news release. Previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Harrison Metal, and Cowboy Ventures also contributed. Series C money is the last investment startups seek in their seed-to-full-grown progression. Combined with earlier investments, Guild has now taken in $71.5 million since being formed by Rachel Carlson and Brittany Stich in 2015.  Related ArticlesMay 30, 2018 Walmart employees can now earn a college degree thanks to this Denver partnership September 6, 2017 4 Silicon Valley venture firms invest $21 million in Denver’s Guild Education July 22, 2018 Colorado employers stretched thin by tight labor markets The aim of the new funding is to help Guild continue forming education-as-a-job-benefit relationships with Fortune 1000 companies, according the news release. Employers across the country, from Amazon to King Soopers, are adding education support options to their compensation packages to help attract and retain staff. “Amidst record-low unemployment and impending automation, both employers and employees are fearful of how to prepare themselves for the future of work,” Carlson, Guild’s CEO, said in a prepared statement. “Offering education as a benefit through Guild helps companies attract and retain employees for today’s job, while helping them upskill for the jobs of tomorrow.” Guild, now serving more than 2.5 million adults, works with 90 universities and education providers to give companies access to degrees, classes and programs, officials say.
  • Denver mobile service provider Visible launches program to boost tech-centric nonprofits
    A Denver-based phone service provider has launched a business accelerator program aimed at growing nonprofit organizations that are applying mobile technology to social issues. Visible, an app-based mobile carrier that launched earlier this year with backing from its owner Verizon, last week announced the first nine startups selected for its Visible Connect initiative. The nonprofits will receive $10,000 and participate in a boot camp that will connect them with mentors who can help them expand, according to a news release. Participants include Feeding Children Everywhere. Its Fed40 app allows families in need to request healthy meals that are then shipped to their door at no cost. Talking Points, another participant, is a multi-lingual texting app designed to help teachers communicate with their students’ parents in the parents’ native language. Related ArticlesMay 10, 2018 New mobile service called Visible calls Denver home, launches with $40 unlimited data plan May 25, 2018 Denver has struggled with mobile service speeds and two companies aim to keep mobile carriers honest February 8, 2017 Verizon, T-Mobile rank as best 4G cellphone service in Denver but speeds still slower than nation, says report A full list of nonprofits can be found at The program was developed in partnership with Uncharted. The company, also based in Denver, specializes in helping entrepreneurs taking on social concerns grow their operations. Uncharted will be sharing access to its network of mentors, the news release said. The program’s boot camp will be held in Denver on Aug. 13- 17. A event dedicated to connecting the organizations with funders is planned for October.
  • Longmont electric vehicle motor maker opening customer service facility in China
    UQM Technologies, Inc., a Longmont-based electric vehicle motor maker, has signed a lease agreement in Shanghai, China, to open a customer service center for both its fuel cell compressor systems and propulsions systems, according to a company news release. UQM has seen growth in its fuel cell compressor systems, particularly in China, where the fuel cell market is expanding quickly, the release said. “We are very pleased to see the expansion of our fuel cell compressor business, and the opening of a service center in China is the next step in solidifying our position as a leader in this market,” UQM CEO Joseph Mitchell said in a statement. “With our proven technology, and now our local presence established in China, we are continuing to execute on our strategy for global growth.” With the establishment of a physical location in Shanghai, UQM will now begin the process of creating a wholly-foreign-owned-entity in China, the release said. Related Articles Self-order kiosks, mobile customer parking part of McDonald’s $111-million Colorado update plan Job fair coming to Westminster Thursday as Denver Premium Outlets seeks to hire 500 VF Corporation, parent company of outdoor brands The North Face, Smartwool, will relocate headquarters, 800 workers to Denver FDA milk label changes could cause Boulder company to lose FDA approval Bank of the West’s anti-fossil fuel stance sets off firestorm in Western Slope, energy states “In alignment with management’s overall long-term strategy, the entity will support UQM’s other main undertakings in China, including the joint venture with China National Heavy Duty Truck Co., Ltd., and sourcing and purchasing key components.” Read the full story at
  • DexYP to close last Denver metro office, eliminating at least 39 jobs
    Jerry Cleveland, The Denver PostNew Qwest Yellow Pages books are stacked on pallets at a distribution center on E. 54th Ave. in Denver awaiting deliver in December 2002. DexYP, a successor to Dex Media, plans to close its office in Greenwood Village soon, marking the end locally for a company that once was a major employer and early innovator in online advertising. “As we continue to look for efficiencies and cost reduction opportunities, it was determined that a lease renewal wasn’t an option,” said Paige Blakenship, a spokeswoman for DexYP. The Dallas-based business directory publisher, now focused primarily on cloud-based business software, filed a notice with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to eliminate 39 jobs at its office at 7600 E. Orchard Road in Greenwood Village by Sept. 30. The fate of the remaining 140 jobs is under review, but more layoffs are likely. Any employees retained will work remotely once the office on Orchard Road closes, Blankenship said. That represents a sad end for a firm that once was one of the region’s premier employers, said Jo Lynne Whiting, a former top executive at US West Dex. DexYP came from the merger of Dex Media and Yellow Pages publisher YP Holdings last year. Dex Media in turn came out of Qwest Dex, previously US West Dex and before that US West Direct, one of seven directory businesses created when anti-trust regulators broke up AT&T in 1984. Initially a laggard, US West’s directory business experienced explosive growth in the 1990s by taking advantage of the newly minted internet and turning its sales force into business consultants. The company’s portals once generated as many online searches as the major search engines and the firm was the leading producer of online ads in the region, Whiting said. At the company’s peak in 2000, there were 3,570 employees in 14 states and close to a dozen offices spread across Colorado. That year, the metro Denver business directory came in at a hefty 4,500 pages, according to a history of the company compiled by Jarett Zuboy. That was also the year Qwest Communications acquired US West. Financial mismanagement under Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio put the region’s premier telecom provider on the brink of bankruptcy. Related Articles Self-order kiosks, mobile customer parking part of McDonald’s $111-million Colorado update plan Job fair coming to Westminster Thursday as Denver Premium Outlets seeks to hire 500 VF Corporation, parent company of outdoor brands The North Face, Smartwool, will relocate headquarters, 800 workers to Denver FDA milk label changes could cause Boulder company to lose FDA approval Bank of the West’s anti-fossil fuel stance sets off firestorm in Western Slope, energy states His successor sold the Qwest Dex directory business in 2002 for $7 billion to a private equity consortium, allowing the company to pay down debt and survive. But the new owners piled heavy debts on their cash cow, causing it to stumble. R.H. Donnelley Corp., a directory publisher, acquired Dex Media in 2006. Back then, the company still had 900 employees in the metro area. At the start of this decade, the company’s “Dex Knows” ads were everywhere. But with each passing year, print directories fell further out of favor. Google, and later Facebook, extended their dominance over digital advertising. Whiting argues that the heavy debts piled on the company in leveraged buyouts left it less able to cope with the competitive threats. “The financial re-engineering really changed it. Before that, there was a real loyalty to the customers,” she said.
  • Texting can be positive and powerful, according to scientists
    Texting gets a bad rap. It’s blamed for everything from fostering social isolation to increasing teens’ risk of ADHD to driving down adolescent self-esteem to damaging the spine – a phenomenon known as “text neck.” But some technological and medical experts say the negativity is unfair and overblown. Texting can and should be a positive force in people’s lives, both in terms of emotional and physical health, they say – so long as it’s used correctly. “I have a reputation as sort of being the Darth Vader of anything that has to do with texting,” said MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle, author of “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.” “Which, of course, is not really what I have said or am saying – the problem really isn’t that people have this new, interesting, intimate way of touching base . . . the trouble is what happens to face-to-face conversation if your phone is always there.” If done well, Turkle and other experts said, texting can improve interpersonal relationships, help people deal with traumatic events and bridge intergenerational gaps. Research backs this up: A 2012 study conducted by psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley found that sending and receiving text messages boosted texters’ moods when they were feeling upset or lonely. There are also medical applications: Texting eases communication with personal doctors, advances research as an easy and accurate way of gathering patient information in scientific studies, and can offer support to at-risk or suicidal individuals via instant-response crisis text lines. Eric Topol, digital health expert and executive vice president of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., admitted he’s not a huge fan of texting – but said even he has been forced to acknowledge its benefits. “I’m not a big texter, [but] I also recognize it has many attributes for promoting health,” he said. It all comes down to when and how you text, according to Turkle and Tchiki Davis, who holds a doctorate in psychology and studies, writes and consults on well-being technology. Both said there’s one cardinal rule of texting: Don’t do it when you’re around other people. If you’re out to dinner with friends, put your phone away and keep it out of sight, Turkle said. Even leaving the phone – turned off and facedown – visible on the table will make conversations more trivial and will reduce the possibility of “empathetic communication,” Turkle said. She warned some people use texting to avoid difficult face-to-face interactions. “Don’t let it turn you away from the necessary vulnerability you need to feel in relationships,” Turkle said. “Is texting keeping me away from a necessary conversation? If not, enjoy.” It’s better to refrain from texting even around total strangers, Davis said. She mentioned what she called a classic scenario – when commuting home from work at the end of a long day, people whip out their phones and disappear into their screens, ignoring their fellow passengers on the bus or the subway. “The research would suggest you would get more out of your experience if you try to interact with strangers – a whole body of research shows we can improve your well-being even through just tiny interactions with strangers,” Davis said. “Basically, anytime you’re with another person, I would recommend keeping your phone off or on silent.” Once you’re completely and truly alone, go ahead and break out your phone, Turkle and Davis said – but be thoughtful about who and what you text. Run through your roster of friends and family and consider who might be feeling lonely or confronting a difficult situation. Then shoot them a message. And if you yourself are struggling, texting a loved one is a great way to handle it, Davis said. “Studies have shown that people who text and reach out to others experience less pain,” Davis said. “It can be used to cope and just kind of deal with challenging situations. Do reach out to others if you’re alone and need support.” There are smaller things you can do to improve your texting life, too, Davis said. Try not to gossip via text. Write longer, fuller messages to reduce the chance the receiver misreads something you’ve sent. Text your friends memes or videos you think they’d find amusing. Use more exclamation points. Turkle said texting is an especially good way for parents to connect with their adult children. Turkle’s daughter is getting married and recently went shopping for a wedding dress. Though Turkle couldn’t come along, her daughter texted her pictures of different dresses, often accompanied by question marks. Turkle said the messages made her feel close to her daughter. Related Articles Self-order kiosks, mobile customer parking part of McDonald’s $111-million Colorado update plan Job fair coming to Westminster Thursday as Denver Premium Outlets seeks to hire 500 VF Corporation, parent company of outdoor brands The North Face, Smartwool, will relocate headquarters, 800 workers to Denver FDA milk label changes could cause Boulder company to lose FDA approval Bank of the West’s anti-fossil fuel stance sets off firestorm in Western Slope, energy states “It gives you a sense of co-presence – the little dots give you the fantasy of, it’s happening as you’re there with it,” Turkle said. “I think now parents and children are able to stay in touch in a much better way because of texting and have a greater sense of continuity of presence.” More and more doctors, scientific researchers and mental-health advocates are using texting in their everyday work and are realizing its benefits, Topol said. For physicians and their patients, texting offers a quick and non-intrusive way of getting in touch. Turkle remembered one night a few weeks ago when she noticed a rash on her calf. It would have been a “big deal” to call her doctor past 9 p.m. at night – so instead, she texted him a picture of the rash and asked whether she needed to visit the emergency room. He replied right away. “He said, ‘You ate something, don’t worry,’ ” Turkle said. “This is amazing and we know that kind of medicine where you’re going to be able to be in that kind of contact with practitioners through texting and sending photographs is going to be a big part of the future of medicine.” The ease, speed and ubiquity of texting also renders it a powerful asset for research, Topol said. Over the course of the past five years, texting has been used to collect information in dozens of randomized trials studying things such as pregnancy, blood pressure and diabetes, he said. Texting offers several key advantages for this kind of data gathering, according to Topol: It expands the scope and size of randomized trials because, given that nearly 70 percent of the world’s population likely has cellphones, it can be done almost anywhere around the globe. It reduces “labor intensiveness” because researchers are not forced to play “phone tag” with trial participants. It can be done algorithmically, eliminating the need for human intervention. It allows for immediate feedback. And finally, most people are more likely to reply to a text than an email. “Most people respect getting texts, that is, it’s high on their priority list of things to do,” Topol said. Texting is also making a mark in the arena of mental health. In recent years, advocates have started suicide and mental-health support lines that exclusively offer text-based support. Crisis Text Line, founded in 2013, offers 24/7 help – connecting texters with trained crisis counselors – throughout the United States. As of July 2018, the group had received and responded to over 75 million texts. Lean On Me offers a similar all-hours service, but specifically targeted to college students. The organization, launched in 2016 by a handful of MIT undergraduates and one alumnus, connects texters with volunteer peer supporters. Since its founding, Lean On Me has expanded to seven college campuses, including MIT’s. “Sometimes students need a quick outlet to vent about their day, talk about a frustration or simply hold a conversation,” Lean On Me staffer Shaye Carver wrote in an email. “I don’t think vulnerability necessarily requires face-to-face interaction. . . . Texting allows users to respond in a minute or an hour and take as much time as they want to reflect on how they feel.” Others are using text lines in more whimsical ways. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in summer 2017 debuted a program called “Send Me” that allows anyone to text the museum a request to see a particular item. In return, an algorithm sends the texter a piece of SFMOMA art that matches or depicts the requested item. Send Me quickly went viral. At the height of the craziness, the museum handled about 3 million texts in one month at a peak rate of about 70,000 text messages per hour, according to Jay Mollica, the museum’s creative technologist. A year later, Mollica said that Send Me is still “going strong” as a “very positive, good vibes machine.” He attributes Send Me’s success to the “personal” nature of texting, a medium used mostly to stay in touch with close friends and family. “So the personal aspect of texting is I think what made people get really attached to it,” Mollica said. “People’s relationship to the service is very personal – so in the morning people will say, ‘Send me coffee.’ In the afternoon they’ll say, ‘Send me beer.’ And late at night they’ll say things like ‘Send me friends.’ ” As of July 2018, the top requested items on Send Me were all “serendipitous,” Mollica said – including the terms “love,” “hearts, “cats,” “dogs,” “purple” and “happiness.”

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