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Topics - Colorado

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1
Cybersecurity firm opens second U.S. office in Denver’s “Silicon Mountain”

A-LIGN,  which works with businesses on cybersecurity and compliance around the world, has chosen Denver as its second location in the U.S.

A-LIGN, which works with businesses on cybersecurity and compliance around the world, has chosen Denver as its second location in the U.S.


A-LIGN, based in Tampa, Fla., opened its new office in the Industry Denver building in the River North Art District. The office, which opened last week, is home to 30 of the company’s 250 employees.


Scott Price, CEO of A-LIGN, called Denver “one of the fastest growing technology hubs” in the country.


“As we continue to grow at a rapid pace, the need for in-person interaction to assist our more than 2,200 clients is a top priority. With 50 of our clients located in Denver and a majority on the West Coast, establishing an office in Denver’s Silicon Mountain will help us meet their needs during their business hours and provide more opportunities to meet one-on-one,” Price said in a statement.


Some of the world’s largest and most innovative tech brands, including Amazon and T-Mobile, are investing in the Denver area, Price said. The area’s highly educated workforce provides companies like A-LIGN access “to a pipeline of smart and capable employees who are attracted to Denver’s thriving culture and innovative tech scene,” he added.


Other tech companies that have recently opened or expanded operations in the area have cited the talent pool and geographic location as reasons for choosing Denver. Amazon recently expanded what it calls its “Denver tech hub.”


A-LIGN was founded in 2009 and has clients and employees around the world, including in Central America and Europe. Price said the company plans to increase its workforce to 315 by the end of the year.






Source: Cybersecurity firm opens second U.S. office in Denver’s “Silicon Mountain”

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2
Colorado seeks 5,000 adults for health care apprenticeships, thanks to $12 million federal award

Colorado will soon be 5,000 health care apprenticeships richer after receiving $12 million from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Colorado will soon be 5,000 health care apprenticeships richer after receiving $12 million from the U.S. Department of Labor.


The program, announced by Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday, is hoping to enroll 5,000 adults, ages 18 and older, into paid apprenticeships in the health care field. No details were revealed as to how interested people can apply for the apprenticeships.


“In this ‘earn while you learn’ model, individuals will earn college credit, make a livable wage and gain valuable work experience, reducing out-of-pocket costs for education and the time required to earn a credential,” the governor’s office said in a news release.


Health care partners across the state also are kicking in $4.2 million in matching funds to get the ball rolling.


The Colorado Department of Higher Education is partnering with the Colorado Community College System and health care groups including Kaiser Permanente, Centura Health, HealthOne/HCA, UCHealth and Colorado Rural Health Center.


“At CCCS we’ve made a pledge to Colorado to keep tuition low, quality high and to deliver skilled workers to an ever-changing workforce,” said Joe Garcia, chancellor of the Colorado Community College System. “We are excited to partner with CDHE and several innovative health care providers in pursuit of this grant to scale health care apprenticeships throughout the state and across the nation.”


The program is a part of a national effort to create 23 private-public apprenticeships in key industry sectors such as information technology and manufacturing.


Health care contributes to one in three job openings in Colorado, according to a 2016 study referenced in the governor’s news release. From 2012 to 2017, Denver added 43,250 health care jobs to its existing 222,700 workers, representing 10 percent of the total job growth in the region, according to the news release.


“As the job market continues growing and changing, we must ensure that our workforce is prepared,” Polis said in a statement. “This grant allows us to provide skills-based training for 5,000 Coloradans, while expanding access to critical jobs in the health care industry that can help save people money on health care.”






Source: Colorado seeks 5,000 adults for health care apprenticeships, thanks to $12 million federal award

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3
Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez to get extended opportunity in Rockies’ rotation

After a decent three-run, five-inning outing in his Rockies' debut on Tuesday against the Giants, Gonzalez will get at least a couple more chances to prove his worth in the rotation.

SAN FRANCISCO — After a decent three-run, five-inning outing in his Rockies’ debut Tuesday against the Giants, right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez will get at least a couple more chances to prove his worth at the back end of Colorado’s rotation.


Gonzalez, signed to a minor-league deal during the offseason after he made his way back from a 2017 Tommy John surgery, will start Sunday against the Dodgers at Coors Field.


Following that, he’ll likely take the ball for Colorado’s final game before the all-star break, a Sunday matinee in Arizona on July 7.


“We have no other plans in mind (with the rotation) right now,” manager Bud Black said.


Opening day starter Kyle Freeland, who set franchise records for home and overall ERA last season, remains in Triple-A Albuquerque as he tries to rediscover his moxie. Since being demoted to the Isotopes on May 31, the southpaw has gone 0-4 with an 8.84 ERA in four starts, but Black remained optimistic despite the wayward stat line.


“He’s progressing with some of the directives we talked about (such as location and pitch mix), and he’s working on those in Triple-A,” Black said. “Overall, the progress has been positive … We continue to keep our eye on him because we know what he can do for us.”



There’s still no timetable for Freeland’s return to the majors, although it’s most certain to come after the all-star break. Meanwhile, southpaw Tyler Anderson (knee surgery) is unlikely to return this season, while right-hander Jeff Hoffman is back in Triple-A following a 6.75 ERA in seven starts this year.


Starters’ Election underway. The final round of fan voting for the 2019 all-star game is underway, and it ends at 2 p.m. Thursday. This round selects the starters at each position for the midsummer classic, and third baseman Nolan Arenado, shortstop Trevor Story and right fielder Charlie Blackmon are all on the ballot for Colorado.


Story’s return. The 26-year-old shortstop, sidelined on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain since June 20, began hitting again ahead of Wednesday’s series finale in San Francisco. “I suspect he’ll play before the all-star break,” Black said. “I don’t know whether he’ll make the Dodgers series, but we’re hoping next week (against the Astros) and the series right before the break (against the Diamondbacks) that he’ll play.”


On Deck


Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler (8-1, 2.96 ERA) at Rockies RHP Peter Lambert (2-0, 5.85)

6:40 p.m. Thursday, Coors Field

TV: ATTRM

Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM


Lambert is making his second straight start against the Dodgers after allowing three runs in five innings last week in Los Angeles. Fellow rookie Alex Verdugo had a couple extra-base hits against Lambert that day, including a homer. The right-hander has a 10.13 ERA in two starts (eight innings pitched) at Coors Field this year. Meanwhile, Buehler tossed a complete game against the Rockies on June 21 in which he allowed two runs and fanned a career-high 17 batters. Buehler also picked up a win over Colorado on April 6 and dominated the Rockies in the divisional tie-breaker last year.


Trending: Ryan McMahon is clearly getting the chance to solidify himself as the team’s everyday second baseman. The 24-year-old has started 11 straight games at the position, and 15 of the last 17 games.


At issue: Remember last season’s first-inning blues for Colorado, when its starters posted an MLB-worst 7.23 ERA in the opening frame? They’ve trickled into this season, as after German Marquez gave up one earned run (and two total) in the first Wednesday, the Rockies have a 4.95 ERA in the frame. That’s better than last year but still in the bottom third of baseball.


Upcoming pitching matchups


Friday: Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-1, 1.27) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (6-5, 4.91), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM

Saturday: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 3.07) at Rockies RHP Jon Gray (8-5, 3.92), 6:15 p.m., ATTRM

Sunday: Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda (7-4, 3.76) at Rockies RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-1, 5.40), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM



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Source: Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez to get extended opportunity in Rockies’ rotation

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4
Waterton Canyon reopens Wednesday after crews contain grass fire

Waterton Canyon near Lockheed Martin reopened early Wednesday morning after a 3 1/2-acre grass fire southwest of Denver led to an evacuation.

Waterton Canyon near Lockheed Martin reopened early Wednesday morning after a 3 1/2-acre grass fire southwest of Denver led to an evacuation.




The canyon was evacuated Tuesday as a safety precaution but resumed its normal hours on Wednesday and reopened 30 minutes before sunrise, according to Denver Water.


Fire crews from West Metro Fire Rescue, South Metro Fire Rescue and the U.S. Forest Service worked to contain the fire and left at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, said West Metro Fire District Chief Doug Hutchinson. The cause of the fire was determined to be lightning.



No structures were threatened on the Douglas County land, and West Metro Fire sent a fire crew to the area of the fire Wednesday morning to check on potential hotspots and conduct final cleanup.


As of Tuesday night, crews did not see any hotspots or smoke activity. The green conditions and moderate winds worked in the fire crews’ favor, Hutchinson said.


“This is a pretty typical scenario where a lighting storm passes through, a strike hits the ground and it starts a small fire,” he said.





Source: Waterton Canyon reopens Wednesday after crews contain grass fire

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5
Family of man killed during fight with Aurora police considering lawsuit; body camera footage shows extensive fight for the first time

Body camera footage released late Monday showed the extensive and brutal fight between David Baker and Aurora police that lead to Baker's death on Dec. 17. For more than seven minutes, three officers punched, Tased and wrestled with Baker after responding to an Aurora apartment complex and finding him choking a family member. During the fight, Baker choked an officer and grabbed another officer's Taser. Baker was unarmed.

A day after the Aurora Police Department released a gut-wrenching video of a fatal fight between a Navy veteran and officers, the man’s family is considering suing the agency over his death at the hands of officers.


David Baker
Family photo via attorney Mari Newman
David Baker

“We’re investigating,” said Mari Newman, an attorney with the well-known Denver civil rights firm Killmer, Lane and Newman.


Body camera footage released late Monday showed the extensive and brutal fight between David Baker and Aurora police that lead to Baker’s death on Dec. 17. For more than seven minutes, three officers punched, shocked and wrestled with Baker after responding to an Aurora apartment complex and finding him choking a family member. During the fight, Baker choked an officer and grabbed another officer’s Taser. Baker was unarmed.


Baker died after officers took him to the ground outside, handcuffed him and left him facedown on the pavement. The Arapahoe County coroner ruled that Baker died of restraint asphyxia — he couldn’t breath because of the way he was positioned — and ruled his death a homicide.


“It is an incredible tragedy,” said Newman, whose firm has litigated previous Aurora excessive force cases. “David Baker was a veteran. He was a person who was very important to his family. He suffered from mental health issues after his service. This leaves his children without a father.”



The body camera footage released just before 9:30 p.m. Monday was the first time the public was granted access to the video. The police department denied a records request filed in April by The Denver Post for the videos, citing privacy concerns. They later reversed course.


Police spokesman Anthony Camacho said Tuesday that police notified Baker’s next-of-kin before releasing the videos, but Newman said she did not know the release was imminent.


Baker’s family viewed the footage at the police department in the spring with police and prosecutors in the room, Newman said. They had not been given a copy.


“The entire event was not designed to be either comfortable or transparent with the family,” she said. “It was a very intimidating circumstance.”


The police video release compiles footage from the three officers who responded to the incident along with intermittent commentary from Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz.


Newman said the video style was “wacky” and reminded her of a Netflix documentary. She said Metz’s narration was misleading.


“I can’t think of any other instance in which body camera has been released in that way,” she said. “If they didn’t have anything to hide, why should they be going through such contortions to influence how it’s viewed.”


The footage showed officers using their Tasers repeatedly, with no effect. They punched Baker in the head multiple times and hit him with their batons.


About three minutes into the fight, Baker and the officers separated for about 45 seconds. Baker stood near the door to the apartment while his wife pleaded with him to stop fighting and to listen to officers.


“David, please stop, for your son,” she said.


Baker remained by the door, breathing heavily and ignoring orders to get on the ground. One of the officers then pulled on his wrist before grabbing at Baker’s face. The fight resumed.


Officers eventually wrestled Baker to the ground. He yelled “help” repeatedly as police attempted to control him.


As other law enforcement arrived, officers handcuffed Baker. After he stopped fighting, police stood around him as he laid on the pavement.


One officer noted that Baker appeared unconscious, to which one of the three original officers replied: “Good.”


Still, they waited three minutes before starting chest compressions. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.


Omar Montgomery, a representative from the Aurora chapter of the NAACP, said the organization has been working with the family since shortly after Baker’s death. He said police and prosecutors with the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office answered the family’s questions after the fight.



The incident between police and Baker, who was black, was difficult to watch and complicated, Montgomery said.


“For me, I would love to look at that tape and find out what are the additional things that could have prevented his death,” said Montgomery, who is running to be Aurora’s mayor. “What are some of the things that could have de-escalated the situation?”


The NAACP has had an ongoing conversation with Aurora police about building relationships in the community, diversifying the agency and training regarding use of force, Montgomery said. He also questioned whether Baker would have engaged police at all if he had received mental health services.


“We have to figure out how to do things better,” he said. “The last thing that we want is people dying at the hands of the police.”


Aurora police continue to review the incident, Camacho said.


Reporter Kieran Nicholson contributed to this story.





Source: Family of man killed during fight with Aurora police considering lawsuit; body camera footage shows extensive fight for the first time

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6
Once the site of an East Colfax strip club, Denver selects developers for affordable housing project

Plans have taken shape for the future of a former strip club and a nearby vacant lot on East Colfax after Denver officials picked two nonprofit firms to redevelop the properties and provide housing options for disadvantaged groups.

Plans have taken shape for the future of a former strip club and a nearby vacant lot on East Colfax after Denver officials picked two nonprofit firms to redevelop the properties and provide housing options for disadvantaged groups.


Once the site of a murder, the former PT’s II show club at 8315 E. Colfax Ave.,  is now slated for 83 income-restricted apartments. The apartments will be reserved for people making up to 80 percent of the area median income, with some reserved for people making 30 percent or under. (That’s $27,850 or less for a family of four over the course of a year, according to the city.) A ground floor space will be set aside for a high-quality early childhood education provider, according to plans from developer awardee Mercy Housing Mountain Plains.


A few blocks west, a vacant lot at 7900 E. Colfax that was once home to Ms C’s lesbian dive bar will become a supportive housing project for people experiencing homelessness with room for 72 families. Some of the services on site will cater specially to people who have suffered brain injuries, according to the city. Denver-based Brothers Redevelopment was the buyer/developer selected there. It will be working with the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado to provide programming, according to the city.


“We’re thrilled to work alongside two mission-driven nonprofit development partners to bring much-needed affordable homes and early childhood education to East Colfax,” Britta Fisher, chief housing officer with the Denver Economic Development & Opportunity office said in a news release last week.


The properties (including a parking lot at 1500 Valentia St. next to the former PT’s) were purchased by the city for a combined $1.95 million in 2017 with future affordable housing options in mind. The two properties are within a quarter mile of planned bus rapid transit stops on East Colfax. Mercy Housing Mountain Plains and Brothers Redevelopment responded for a city request for proposals for the properties. Pending City Council approval, each will pay $10 for the plots in return for keeping affordability restrictions in place for 99 years.


RELATED: East Colfax strip club set for five-story housing development as Denver pushes new strategy


“Through these land acquisitions and city-led development approach, we’re striving to ensure that hard-working residents and our most vulnerable can benefit from the public and private investments taking shape along East Colfax and make a home here,” Fisher continued in her statement.


Affordable housing and development that has focused on the higher end of the market while serving to push out lower-income residents, often people of color, has been a major bone of contention during the decade-long economic expansion Denver is experiencing. Denver leaders have been scrambling to address the issue with the City Council creating, then expanding a dedicated affordable housing fund in recent years.


As of Monday afternoon, 1,603 city-funded affordable housing units were under construction in the city with another 458 expected to be funded and break ground in the next year, according to Denver Economic Development & Opportunity office spokesman Derek Woodbury. In total, the city has 21,513 income-restricted residences, both for-sale and for-rent, within its borders.



The city’s affordable homeownership program was rocked last year by a revelation that hundreds of homes had fallen out of compliance with restrictions governing who lives in them and how they are sold. The city is still working to address some of those cases.


“We have a compliance team within our housing division that is squarely focused on that,” Woodbury said.


The developers on the East Colfax projects are both seeking low-income housing tax credits to help fund their projects. Each is expected to open sometime in 2022.





Source: Once the site of an East Colfax strip club, Denver selects developers for affordable housing project

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7
Sailor killed at Pearl Harbor to be escorted from Denver to Wyoming

LARAMIE -- A motorcade will escort the remains of a sailor who died during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from Denver to the burial site in Wyoming.

LARAMIE — A motorcade will escort the remains of a sailor who died during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from Denver to the burial site in Wyoming.


The Laramie Boomerang reported the remains of Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class George Hanson will be escorted Wednesday to Laramie for a burial Saturday.


The sailor’s remains were identified last December.



Hanson was among the 429 crew members killed when the USS Oklahoma capsized after being hit by aerial torpedoes during the surprise attack on military installations in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941.


The Federal Protection Agency is overseeing the motorcade.


Agency director Leah Mondy says police, fire and emergency medical services personnel will be along the route to render honors.


___


Information from: Laramie Boomerang, laramieboomerang.com





Source: Sailor killed at Pearl Harbor to be escorted from Denver to Wyoming

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8
Colorado Avalanche 2019-20 regular season schedule unveiled

The Avalanche will kick off its 2019-20 regular season campaign at the Pepsi Center against the Calgary Flames at 7 p.m. Oct. 3. It is the 11th time in the last 14 seasons that Colorado will open the season on home ice.

The Avalanche on Tuesday unveiled its 2019-20 regular season schedule, and Colorado will kick off new season at the Pepsi Center against the Calgary Flames at 7 p.m. Oct. 3. It is the 11th time in the last 14 seasons that Colorado will open the season on home ice.


Colorado will open with a four-game homestand before embarking on a six-game road trip, its longest of the year.


The Avs will play their second NHL Stadium Series outdoor game on Feb. 15 against the Los Angeles Kings at the United State Air Force Academy. Colorado previously played the Red Wings at Coors Field in 2016.


Tickets are available for the preseason and 40 home games at the Pepsi Center at coloradoavalanche.com. Ticket information for the NHL Stadium Series game will be announced at a later date.


All games will air on the radio on 92.5 FM or 950 AM. The television schedule will be announced at a later date.


Here is the full schedule:
































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































OCTOBER
DayDateOpponentTime
ThursdayOct. 3Calgary Flames7 p.m.
SaturdayOct. 5Minnesota Wild7 p.m.
ThursdayOct. 10Boston Bruins7 p.m.
SaturdayOct. 12Arizona Coyotes7 p.m.
MondayOct. 14At Washington Capitals3 p.m.
WednesdayOct. 16At Pittsburgh Penguins5 p.m.
FridayOct. 18At Florida Panthers5 p.m.
SaturdayOct. 19At Tampa Bay Lightning5 p.m.
MondayOct. 21At St. Louis Blues6 p.m.
FridayOct. 25At Vegas Golden Knights4 p.m.
SaturdayOct. 26Anaheim Ducks7 p.m.
WednesdayOct. 30Florida Panthers8 p.m.


NOVEMBER
DayDateOpponentTime
FridayNov. 1Dallas Stars7 p.m.
SaturdayNov. 2At Arizona Coyotes7 p.m.
TuesdayNov. 5At Dallas Stars6:30 p.m.
ThursdayNov. 7Nashville Predators7 p.m.
SaturdayNov. 9Columbus Blue Jackets7 p.m.
TuesdayNov. 12At Winnipeg Jets6 p.m.
ThursdayNov. 14At Edmonton Oilers7 p.m.
SaturdayNov. 16At Vancouver Canucks8 p.m.
TuesdayNov. 19At Calgary Flames7 p.m.
ThursdayNov. 21At Minnesota Wild6 p.m.
SaturdayNov. 23Toronto Maple Leafs5 p.m.
WednesdayNov. 27Edmonton Oilers8 p.m.
FridayNov. 29At Chicago Blackhawks2 p.m.
SaturdayNov. 30Chicago Blackhawks7 p.m.


DECEMBER
DayDateOpponentTime
WednesdayDec. 4At Toronto Maple Leafs5 p.m.
ThursdayDec. 5At Montreal Canadiens5 p.m.
SaturdayDec. 7At Boston Bruins5 p.m.
MondayDec. 9Calgary Flames7 p.m.
WednesdayDec. 11Philadelphia Flyers7:30 p.m.
FridayDec. 13New Jersey Devils7 p.m.
MondayDec. 16At St. Louis Blues6 p.m.
WednesdayDec. 18At Chicago Blackhawks6 p.m.
ThursdayDec. 19Carolina Hurricanes7 p.m.
SatudrayDec. 21Chicago Blackhawks7 p.m.
MondayDec. 23At Vegas Golden Knights8 p.m.
FridayDec. 27Minnesota Wild6 p.m.
SaturdayDec. 28At Dallas Stars5 p.m.
TuesdayDec. 31Winnipeg Jets6 p.m.


JANUARY
DayDateOpponentTime
ThursdayJan. 2St. Louis Blues7 p.m.
SaturdayJan. 4At New Jersey Devils5 p.m.
MondayJan. 6At New York Islanders5 p.m.
TuesdayJan. 7 At New York Rangers5 p.m.
FridayJan. 10Pittsburgh Penguins7 p.m.
TuesdayJan. 14Dallas Stars 7 p.m.
ThursdayJan. 16San Jose Sharks7 p.m.
SaturdayJan. 18St. Louis Blues1 p.m.
MondayJan. 20Detroit Red Wings1 p.m.


FEBRUARY
DayDateOpponentTime
SaturdayFeb. 1At Philadelphia Flyers5 p.m.
TuesdayFeb. 4At Buffalo Sabres5 p.m.
ThursdayFeb. 6At Ottawa Senators5:30 p.m.
SaturdayFeb. 8At Columbus Blue Jackets5 p.m.
SundayFeb. 9At Minnesota Wild5:30 p.m.
TuesdayFeb. 11Ottawa Senators7 p.m.
ThursdayFeb. 13Washington Capitals7 p.m.
SaturdayFeb. 15Los Angeles Kings (AFA)6 p.m.
MondayFeb. 17Tampa Bay Lightning7 p.m.
WednesdayFeb. 19New York Islanders8 p.m.
FridayFeb. 21At Anaheim Ducks8 p.m.
SaturdayFeb. 22At Los Angeles Kings8:30 p.m.
WednesdayFeb. 26Buffalo Sabres6 p.m.
FridayFeb. 28At Carolina Hurricanes5:30 p.m.
SaturdayFeb. 29At Nashville Predators6 p.m.


MARCH
DayDateOpponentTime
MondayMarch 2At Detroit Red Wings5:30 p.m.
WednesdayMarch 4Anaheim Ducks7:30 p.m.
FridayMarch 6At Vancouver Canucks8 p.m.
SundayMarch 8At San Jose Sharks8 p.m.
MondayMarch 9At Los Angeles Kings8:30 p.m.
WednesdayMarch 11New York Rangers8 p.m.
FridayMarch 13Vancouver Canucks7 p.m.
SundayMarch 15Vegas Golden Knights1 p.m.
TuesdayMarch 17San Jose Sharks7 p.m.
ThursdayMarch 19At Nashville Predators6 p.m.
SaturdayMarch 21Montreal Canadiens5 p.m.
MondayMarch 23At Minnesota Wild6 p.m.
WednesdayMarch 25Edmonton Oilers7:30 p.m.
FridayMarch 27At Winnipeg Jets6 p.m.
SundayMarch 29Nashville Predators7:30 p.m.
TuesdayMarch 31Arizona Coyotes7 p.m.


APRIL
DayDateOpponentTime
ThursdayApril 2Winnipeg Jets7 p.m.
SaturdayApril 4St. Louis Blues1 p.m.





Source: Colorado Avalanche 2019-20 regular season schedule unveiled

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9
Trump signs order imposing new sanctions on Iran, warns U.S. “restraint” is limited

President Donald Trump, warning that U.S. “restraint” has limits, signed an executive order Monday imposing additional economic sanctions on Iran in apparent retaliation for the downing of a U.S. drone last week.

President Donald Trump, warning that U.S. “restraint” has limits, signed an executive order Monday imposing additional economic sanctions on Iran in apparent retaliation for the downing of a U.S. drone last week.


Trump said the new “hard-hitting” sanctions will deny Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other top officials access to financial resources.


“We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran,” Trump said in an Oval Office signing ceremony attended by Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon.”


“We do not seek conflict with Iran or any other country,” Trump added. “I think a lot of restraint has been shown by us, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to show it in the future.”


Asked by a reporter whether the new sanctions were a response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz last week, Trump said that “you could probably add that into this.” But then he said, “This is something that was going to happen anyway.”


Trump spoke after Iran’s navy chief warned the United States on Monday that Iranian forces could shoot down more surveillance drones if they violate the country’s airspace. Those comments were made as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks with Arab allies in the Persian Gulf.


“The enemy dispatched its most sophisticated … and most complicated surveillance aircraft” to spy on Iran, and “everyone saw the downing of the drone,” Iranian Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi said Monday, referring to the U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk drone shot down by Iran on Thursday.


The incident capped a week of tensions following attacks on two commercial tankers near the Strait of Hormuz on June 13. The United States blamed the tanker attacks on Iran, which has denied involvement.


Khanzadi said the downing of the drone could “always be repeated, and the enemy knows it,” the Tasnim News Agency reported.


The naval commander’s remarks came amid a diplomatic push by the Trump administration to rally regional and other allies around what Pompeo described Sunday as a “global coalition” to confront Iran.


In his Oval Office remarks, Trump said: “I have many friends that are Iranians. It’s very sad what is happening to that country.”



He complained that a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six worlds powers, including the United States, “wasn’t properly done.” He added that Khamenei, the supreme leader, has said “he doesn’t want nuclear weapons,” which Trump called “a great thing to say.” Referring to the prospect of new nuclear negotiations, Trump went on: “If that’s the case, we can do something very quickly.”


In fact, Khamenei has asserted for years that Iran neither needs nor wants nuclear weapons, and he has declared such arms forbidden by Islam. Reflecting that position, the nuclear accord negotiated under the Obama administration says in its first paragraph: “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.”


In two incidents in May and June that have raised tensions with Iran, six commercial vessels were targeted in attacks near the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway for global oil shipments.


Pompeo met Monday with the Saudi leader, King Salman, “to discuss heightened tensions in the region and the need to promote maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz,” he said on Twitter.


The State Department’s Iran envoy, Brian Hook, was in Oman’s capital, Muscat, for meetings that he also characterized as focused on building a multinational force to protect shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf.


“There have been too many attacks,” he said in a Monday conference call with reporters. “We had tankers go up in flames here very recently, and we could have had a maritime disaster there.” Hook added that he shared declassified intelligence with U.S. allies pointing to Iranian involvement.


He has met with officials in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and was en route to Bahrain as part of the initiative, he said.


Several Arab states in the Persian Gulf have pinned their security on U.S. military prowess in the region.


But Trump lamented Monday on Twitter that the United States was “protecting the shipping lanes” in the strait “for other countries … for zero compensation.”


“All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been … a dangerous journey,” he said, adding that China and Japan get most of their energy imports through the strait.


“We don’t even need to be there,” Trump said, citing energy production in the United States. “The U.S. request for Iran is very simple — No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!”


Trump said over the weekend that he would speak with Iran without preconditions and that his chief concern was preventing Iran’s government from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Trump last year abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, which set restrictions on the country’s atomic energy program.


Iran said last week that it would boost its stockpile of low-enriched uranium beyond limits prescribed by the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. Iranian officials said that the other signatories to the deal, including the European Union, had failed to maintain the economic benefits allotted to Iran under the pact.


The near-total embargo imposed by the United States on Iranian industries has prompted European and international firms to withdraw investments, including in the nation’s lucrative oil and gas sectors.


Trump last week said that he authorized a military strike against Iran in response to the downing of the drone but aborted the mission at the last minute to avoid Iranian casualties.


His singular focus on the nuclear issue appeared at odds with his administration’s “maximum-pressure campaign,” which seeks to roll back Iranian influence in the region and persuade it give up its ballistic missile program and support for proxy forces in places such as Iraq and Syria.


Persian Gulf allies see Iran’s ballistic missiles and network of regional proxy forces as a threat to stability in the Middle East and have supported the administration’s aggressive push to compel Iran to give up both.


Critics say the strategy has had the adverse effect of prompting Iran to double down on what it says is a defensive posture in the region.


In his conference call with reporters, Hook said the United States was “looking for a deal (with Iran) that is truly comprehensive” and that addresses “the spectrum of threats to peace and security that Iran represents.”


He said such an agreement would include Iran’s nuclear program, its ballistic missiles, regional activities and the detention of dual nationals.


Still, Hook emphasized that “there is currently no back channel operating between the United States government and Iranian government.”


“They know where to find us,” he said.


An adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that if the United States “wants more than Iran gave” as part of the nuclear deal, then it “has to also give Iran more.”


“War and sanctions are two faces of the same coin,” the adviser, Hesameddin Ashena, said on Twitter. Calling for talks “while adding sanctions and threatening war isn’t acceptable,” he said.


Meanwhile, Iranian hackers have stepped up their targeting of U.S. public and private sector computer networks, according to cybersecurity firms. One group in particular, known as APT33 by the research firm FireEye, is thought to have links to the Iranian government and has carried out cyber attacks in other parts of the world — though not in the United States — in addition to intelligence collection, said John Hultquist, FireEye director of intelligence analysis.


“Launching destructive and disruptive cyberattacks is a capability that Iran may use to cause economic damage without significantly escalating the conflict,” Hultquist said.


Trump last Thursday approved a military cyber operation to disable Iranian computer networks used to launch missiles and rockets, The Washington Post reported.


“Though a U.S. action may have been constrained to military targets,” Iran may strike back in cyberspace, choosing “softer targets” such as private sector networks, Hultquist said.





Source: Trump signs order imposing new sanctions on Iran, warns U.S. “restraint” is limited

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10
Democratic voters not fully tuned in to 2020, AP-NORC Poll finds

WASHINGTON -- Nearly two dozen Democratic presidential candidates have crisscrossed the country for six months selling their vision for the United States. But, on the eve of the first debates in the campaign, a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows most Democratic voters haven't fully tuned in.

WASHINGTON — Nearly two dozen Democratic presidential candidates have crisscrossed the country for six months selling their vision for the United States. But, on the eve of the first debates in the campaign, a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows most Democratic voters haven’t fully tuned in.


Only 22 percent of Democrats registered to vote say they know a lot about the candidates’ positions, while 62 percent say they know a little. And only 35 percent say they’re paying close attention to the campaign, with almost two-thirds saying they’re paying some or no attention.


“It’s kind of a blur,” said Maggie Banks, 32, of suburban Denver, who has two young children and only has a chance to glean a few details about the race while listening to National Public Radio during her commute.


Banks said she has only a “vague” idea of who’s running and didn’t realize her state’s senior senator, Michael Bennet, or former governor, John Hickenlooper, were in the race.


Voters such as Banks comprise the vast majority of the Democratic electorate, implying there’s great potential for change in what’s essentially been a static race to date. Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a solid but not dominant polling lead, followed by some combination of Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. Behind them are a wide range of contenders from Senate veterans such as Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota to lesser-known candidates such as internet entrepreneur Andrew Yang.


The first big opportunity for candidates to break out of that muddle comes with the two nights of debates this week beginning Wednesday. Two groups of 10 candidates will get a chance to take their messages directly to a national prime-time audience from the stage in Miami.


The Democratic field is enormous and unprecedentedly diverse. It features several women, multiple candidates of African and Asian descent, one Latino and a gay man, Buttigieg, who at age 37 is less than half as old as the front-runner, Biden.


But majorities of Democrats say those characteristics make no difference to their level of enthusiasm about a presidential candidate. Four in 10 Democratic voters said they would be more excited about voting for a woman for president, and 36 percent said the same of a younger candidate. Only about a quarter were more excited at the idea of supporting a candidate who is black or Latino, while roughly 2 in 10 said they’d be more excited to support an Asian candidate or lesbian, gay or bisexual candidate.


What Democrats want the most is experience in elected office: 73 percent cited that as a quality they’re looking for in a presidential candidate.


Benji Grajeda, 50, of Santa Ana, Calif., was once excited at the idea that Hillary Clinton could become the first female president. Now he just wants stability.


“I don’t think it matters, gender,” said Grajeda, instead citing experience in office as his top priority because “Trump has no experience.”


“I never really thought about it until he won — he’s just not qualified,” Grajeda said.


There’s a large appetite for the campaign among Democratic voters, 79 percent of whom say they’re interested in the 2020 race. Republicans are only slightly less interested, with 70 percent reporting interest. But only about 3 in 10 voters overall say they’re paying close attention more than seven months before the first votes are cast in the Iowa caucuses.


Some, such as Charles G. Cooper, 57, of Orlando, Fla., say they figure it wasn’t worth tuning in too far before this week’s debates, which they expect to help shape the field. Cooper supports Biden — “I’m an Obama guy, and he was the vice president,” Cooper said — but he knows the front-runner has a history of gaffes during his past races and wants to see how he handles them.


Adam Pratter, 43, of San Diego, is also being strategic. He has studied up on the five candidates leading in the polls but studiously ignored the rest.


“Unless something extraordinary happens, they’re not going to make it,” Pratter said.



The stakes are high in this week’s debates and another set that will follow in late July. After that, it gets tougher to get onto the main stage.


For the third debate in September, the Democratic National Committee is requiring candidates to receive donations from 130,000 or more individuals and poll at 2 percent or higher in three polls. Analysts and many campaigns think that — and the difficulty raising money if a candidate does not continue to qualify for the debate stage — will winnow the field down quickly.


Banks hopes so. Her husband is a fan of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and she likes Sanders, but she doesn’t know how she could learn enough to judge the current, sprawling field.


“Some people will be weeded out as we go along, and I want that to happen so I can look at everybody’s ideals and experience,” Banks said.





Source: Democratic voters not fully tuned in to 2020, AP-NORC Poll finds

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11
STEM School says shorter charter contracts could cost it $4.9 million on the bond market

When parents begged, scolded and yelled at the Douglas County school board to grant STEM School Highlands Ranch a five-year contract instead of an abbreviated term last week, one issue came up over and over again: the school's bond rating.

When parents begged, scolded and yelled at the Douglas County school board to grant STEM School Highlands Ranch a five-year contract instead of an abbreviated term last week, one issue came up over and over again: the school’s bond rating.


STEM School Highlands Ranch at 8773 S Ridgeline Blvd. in Douglas County (Image courtesy of Google Maps)

The Douglas County School District and the charter school face a June 30 deadline to reach a new contract. The district had offered STEM a three-year contract in January, and STEM appealed to the Colorado Department of Education to grant it a five-year contract in February.


STEM later dropped the appeal as the parties tried to reach an agreement on their own, but negotiations fell off after the May 7 shooting that claimed the life of 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo and left eight other students injured.


At a meeting Tuesday night, the board discussed extending the school’s existing contract by only one year due to concerns about security in the wake of the shooting, but set that idea aside after parents protested.


In a Jan. 21 email to the Douglas County school board’s members, STEM board member Roy Martinez argued that a three-year contract is a “red flag” to bond rating agencies, which try to assess how likely a school, business or other organization is to repay its debts.


Standard & Poor’s gave the school a BB+ rating after the district gave it a three-year contract in 2014, putting it at the better end of speculative bonds — what some people call junk bonds. When a borrower has a junk rating, investors still will buy their bonds, but they demand high interest rates to compensate them for taking on a riskier borrower.


The three-year contract was extended by two years in 2017.


STEM will need to issue $15 million in bonds in the near future to buy the elementary school building it currently leases, to make improvements to facilities and to refinance some existing debt, Martinez said in the email to the board. An investment banker the school consulted estimated it would pay about $4.9 million in extra interest because of the low rating over 35 years, and about $562,000 extra in the first three years, he said.


“It is grossly unfair to penalize the students and faculty of a school that exemplifies the best that DCSD has to offer,” Martinez wrote.


At the Tuesday meeting, Douglas County school board secretary Krista Holtzmann said she had reservations about a five-year contract even before the shooting, because STEM hadn’t addressed a pattern of complaints related to special education. In a letter sent in May 2018 from the district board to the STEM board, the district reported it knew of eight complaints to either federal or state education officials.


“I’m not sure what the leaders of STEM expected,” she said. “We have to have cooperation from the leadership of the school.”


Tess Pautler, a mother of a STEM student, blamed a few disgruntled parents who complained to the district, as did many members of the public who spoke at the board’s most recent meeting. She told the board that its plan to offer only a short-term contract would hurt the district financially, and in terms of morale and enrollment.


“STEM is already doing things right,” she said. “The only failure is your failure to stand up to the cowardly anonymous callers.”


When STEM appealed to the state, it raised two issues in addition to the shorter contract, though neither got much attention Tuesday night. The other issues it objected to in the three-year contract were a requirement that STEM use the same open enrollment system other Douglas County schools use, and a prohibition on using per-pupil dollars to finance the creation of new schools in different districts.


State law allows the Colorado State Board of Education to send a district’s decision back for reconsideration if it believes conditions in a charter contract are “contrary to the best interest of pupils, school district or community.”



Changing the enrollment system would eliminate the ability to give preferences to siblings of current STEM students and children of STEM employees, the school said in its appeal. It also would get rid of multiyear waiting lists, meaning students who aren’t admitted would have to put their names in again for the next year.


“As a charter school, the school’s funding model depends upon enrollment and disruption of the school’s longstanding enrollment system could cause confusion and an unnecessary reduction in enrollment, and thus funding, for a highly successful and popular educational option for parents and students,” STEM School leaders wrote in their appeal.


It isn’t clear if the district and the school will be able to find common ground on any of the three issues. If they can’t reach an agreement before the June 30 deadline, the board raised the possibility of a one-year extension to allow negotiations to continue.


A special board meeting has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The agenda isn’t yet available, but board members had floated that Saturday as one possible date to discuss STEM’s future.





Source: STEM School says shorter charter contracts could cost it $4.9 million on the bond market

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

12
In Mideast, Mike Pompeo seeks a global coalition against Iran

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday Iran should not "mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness," after the U.S. abruptly called off military strikes against Iran in response to the shooting down of an unmanned American surveillance drone.

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he wants to build a global coalition against Iran during urgent consultations in the Middle East, following a week of crisis that saw the United States pull back from the brink of a military strike on Iran.


Pompeo said his first stop is Saudi Arabia, followed by the United Arab Emirates. Both U.S. allies work to counter Iran’s influence in the region.


“We’ll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned, and how we can build out a global coalition, a coalition not only throughout the Gulf states, but in Asia and in Europe, that understands this challenge as it is prepared to push back against the world’s largest state sponsor of terror,” he said about Iran.


But even as Pompeo delivered his tough talk, he echoed President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in saying the U.S. is prepared to negotiate with Iran, without preconditions, in a bid to ease tensions that have been mounting ever since Trump withdrew the U.S. from a global nuclear deal with Iran and began pressuring Tehran with economic sanctions.


“They know precisely how to find us,” Pompeo said. A fresh round of Iran sanctions is to be announced Monday, he said.


It was a week of topsy-turvy pronouncements on U.S. foreign policy toward Iran.


Trump initially said Iran had made a “very big mistake” and that it was “hard to believe” that shooting down a U.S. military drone on Thursday was not intentional. He later said he thought it was an unintentional act carried out by a “loose and stupid” Iranian and called off retaliatory military strikes against Iran. On Saturday, Trump reversed himself and claimed that Iran had acted “knowingly.”


But Trump also said over the weekend that he appreciated Iran’s decision to not shoot down a manned U.S. spy plane, and he opined about eventually becoming Iran’s “best friend” if Tehran ultimately agrees to abandon its drive to build nuclear weapons and he helps the country turn around its crippled economy.


Then Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, stepped in Sunday with a blunt warning from Jerusalem, where he was traveling. Bolton said Iran should not “mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness” after Trump called off the military strike. Trump said he backed away from the planned strikes after learning that about 150 people would be killed, but he said the military option remained.


A longtime Iran hawk, Bolton emphasized that the U.S. reserved the right to attack at a later point.


“No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East. As President Trump said on Friday our military is rebuilt, new and ready to go,” Bolton said during an appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, himself a longtime and outspoken Iran critic.


On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed the United States’ “interventionist military presence” for fanning the flames. He was quoted by the official IRNA news agency.


Pompeo, who addressed reporters from the tarmac before he boarded his airplane in Washington, declared the goal of his talks with the Saudi kingdom and the UAE is to deny Iran “the resources to foment terror, to build out their nuclear weapon system, to build out their missile program.”


“We are going to deny them the resources they need to do that, thereby keep American interests and American people safe all around the world,” said Pompeo, who was due to arrive in the region after one person was killed and seven others were wounded in an attack by Iranian-allied Yemeni rebels on an airport in Saudi Arabia on Sunday evening, the Saudi military said.



The downing of the unmanned aircraft on Thursday marked a new high in the rising tensions between the United States and Iran. The Trump administration has vowed to combine a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions with a buildup of American forces in the region, following the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.


U.S. military cyber forces on Thursday launched a strike against Iranian military computer systems, according to U.S. officials. The cyberattacks disabled Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, the officials said.


Throughout the recent crisis, Trump has wavered between bellicose language and actions toward Iran and a more accommodating tone, including a plea for negotiations. Iran has said it is not interested in a dialogue with Trump. His administration is aiming to cripple Iran’s economy and force policy changes by re-imposing sanctions, including on Iranian oil exports.


Associated Press writers Aron Heller in Jerusalem, Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, and Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.





Source: In Mideast, Mike Pompeo seeks a global coalition against Iran

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

13
Nearly 81, Bruce Benson ends decade-plus tenure at CU’s helm by looking forward: “My life is working”

In his downtown Denver office Tuesday afternoon, Bruce Benson -- a former politician, businessman and oil and gas executive -- admitted there were a few projects he wasn't able to check off his to-do list in time for his June retirement after leading the multi-billion dollar academic institution since 2008.

Bruce Benson delivered the same commencement address nearly 90 times at ceremonies across the University of Colorado’s campuses during his tenure as the school’s longest-serving president in 65 years.


The speech, laid out in succinct bullet points, imparts a scattering of Benson’s philosophies on life and leadership.



  • “Try to listen more than you talk”

  • “If you make a mistake or a bad decision, admit it, apologize, fix it as fast as you can and move on”

  • “If you have a life plan, don’t miss opportunities that may not fit exactly in your plan”

  • “Stay focused on what is important and finish what you start”


In his downtown Denver office Tuesday afternoon, Benson — a former politician, businessman, and oil and gas executive who will turn 81 on the Fourth of July — admitted there were a few projects he hasn’t been able to check off his to-do list in time for his retirement this week after leading Colorado’s largest academic institution since 2008.


But there were so many more things Benson started — and finished — to be proud of. Despite a contentious start at CU’s helm when some worried hiring a big-name Republican oilman to lead the four-campus university was ill-advised, Benson ended up winning over many of his naysayers as his work spoke for itself.


Since Benson took the helm, CU’s annual research funding jumped from $660 million to $1.03 billion. Annual fundraising for the university climbed from $135 million to $440.4 million under his watch. Minority student enrollment is at 29 percent, up from 18 percent 11 years ago. The number of startup companies based on CU technology has increased by 103 in the past decade. The university’s overall budget is $4.8 billion, up from $2.2 billion when Benson was hired.


“I like challenges,” Benson said when asked what made him take a job he didn’t want. “This place had plenty of challenges — lots of things that needed fixing. That’s what I’ve done all my life. Look at the zoo. Look at the DPS Foundation. I like fixing things. I like making people’s lives better.”


Denver Post file
Incoming University of Colorado President Bruce Benson, left, meets with his outgoing counterpart Hank Brown at the University of Colorado Denver offices on March 3, 2008. Benson would assume the top job at CU the following Monday, officially ending the three-year tenure of Brown, who was widely lauded for shepherding the university through troubled times.

“His love for the institution”


Benson’s resume is extensive.


He founded Benson Mineral Group in 1965, chaired the Denver Zoological Foundation board from 1997 to 2000, and chaired the Denver Public Schools Foundation after that. Benson worked in banking, real estate, cable television, restaurants and politics, having been the Republican nominee for Colorado governor in 1994.


All of this was made possible, Benson said, because of his CU Boulder education.


Denver Post file
CU President Bruce Benson discusses the university system’s budget in 2008.

“I think his success as president is rooted in his love for the institution,” said Bill Mosher, a longtime friend of Benson and member of Colorado State University’s Board of Governors. “It gives him the ability to connect with alumni, donors and grow the university as such a stabilizing force, and his stability has allowed CU to rise in national prominence and improve its financial footing.”


Benson will have a lasting legacy on the campuses he oversaw. Boulder’s Center for Western Civilization, Thought and Policy — now named after him — was long championed by Benson for its adherence to “diversity of thought.” Benson has pushed for more conservative representation on the left-leaning Boulder campus, always quick to rattle off his motto: “Teach students how to think, not what to think.”


Colorado Speaker of the House KC Becker, D-Boulder, said when Benson was first appointed, her Democratic predecessors were “nervous” because of his political background.


“He ended up stepping into the role as a state leader who promoted higher education and bridged divides,” Becker said. “I think he has contributed so much to CU, but even more broadly, the state because he’s been willing to take on tough issues and lead in areas where he could really reach across the aisle.”


RELATED: Like Mark Kennedy, Bruce Benson was a controversial pick for CU president — but he delivered as a fundraiser


Becker remembered Benson playing a role in securing a contested 2017 hospital provider fee bill that both parties could agree upon, getting involved because education funding was at stake.


“He really worked with both sides and tried to find a deal,” Becker said. “It’s things like that that I hope the future president of CU is able to do as well — being willing to step out and lead.”


Mark KennedyCU’s incoming president, fresh off of a controversial hiring process in which he was mocked, grilled and admonished by faculty, students and alumni — becomes captain of the ship July 1.


Cliff Grassmick, Daily Camera
Outgoing CU President Bruce Benson says goodbye during his last University of Colorado Board of Regents meeting at Williams Village in Boulder on June 13, 2019.

“Tougher than anybody imagines”


Kennedy has his work cut out for him.


“It’s a tough job,” Benson said. “It’s a little tougher than anybody imagines. This is a huge enterprise. I don’t know anything more complex than this job, and I’ve run a lot of stuff.”


One such ongoing struggle: higher education funding. Colorado is 48th in the nation when it comes to the amount of money the state pitches in to fund its public colleges and universities.


“Money is getting more scarce all the time, and I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Benson said. “You just have to be innovative and find other ways to fund things. What can we cut? What can we change? Who can we talk to?”


Colorado state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, who worked with Benson in the legislature on the Capital Development Committee, called the CU president a “phenomenal fundraiser.”


“He always prioritized the academics,” Sonnenberg said.


Another issue that’s weighed heavy on the president’s mind, nagging him enough to keep him awake at night: the mental health of those on CU’s campuses.


“Whether you want to talk about opioids or this little machine that’s screwing up the country,” Benson said, holding up his cellphone, “you look at the intensity of these kids who are under so much pressure to stay in school and graduate and you see suicide rates going up. These are big problems. I don’t know what to do about them. But you’ll see new ideas coming out of the university.”


To that point, Benson’s commencement speech advised students, “Know what you don’t know and be sure you have people around you that do know.”


From the looks of Benson’s office, he’s used to being surrounded by folks in the know.


Pictures of himself with President George W. Bush at Benson’s mountain ranch near Kremmling are framed on shelves. The famous CU twins Betty Hoover and Peggy Coppom flank Benson in another photo. Former governor and current presidential candidate John Hickenlooper poses with Benson along with former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb. Marcy Benson, a business and community leader, can be spotted by her husband’s side in most of the shots.


“Marcy’s been a huge part of this whole thing,” Benson said. “She’s so smart. I couldn’t have done this without her.”


AAron Ontiveroz, Denver Post file
Marcy Benson, right, listens as her husband, CU President Bruce Benson, center, is honored during a renaming ceremony of Predator Ridge at the Denver Zoo on May 21, 2012. The exhibit was renamed the Bruce D. Benson Predator Ridge.

“My life is working”


Benson’s CU belt buckle glistened in the afternoon sun pouring through the windows of his office overlooking the Denver skyline. Come Thursday, the office — now bearing his name — will no longer be his second home. Until then, it’s crunch time. With a half-empty Pepsi on his desk and a chunky manila folder full of last-minute to-do’s, Benson wasn’t easing into retirement by any means.



In fact, he grimaced at the word.


“I’m still going to be working,” Benson said. “Maybe I’ll drill a bunch of oil wells. We’ll still be helping some people at CU. There may be some hot new deal to get excited about. But my life is working. I love to work. I love to solve problems. And I love to see kids graduate.”


Benson would be hard-pressed to find better advice for his farewell than his own oft-repeated parting words to the CU graduates who’ll soon dip their toes into the dazzling, terrifying future with the flick of a mortarboard tassel.


“In the end, your honesty, your word, your reputation and your integrity are all that you have — don’t lose them. And don’t forget, the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get. Good luck to all of you as you start the next phase of your life. Again, congratulations.”


Daily Camera file
University of Colorado President Bruce Benson visits the Fast Break Club before the CU-Nebraska men’s basketball game at the Coors Events Center on the Boulder campus on Jan. 27, 2010.




Source: Nearly 81, Bruce Benson ends decade-plus tenure at CU’s helm by looking forward: “My life is working”

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14
Saunders: Rockies’ Trevor Story should think first before sliding headfirst

Pete Rose's headfirst slide is is the very essence of "Charlie Hustle," but is the headfirst slide worth the gamble?

LOS ANGELES — Conjure up Pete Rose sliding headfirst: Arms outstretched, mop of hair blown back, flying through the air like Superman.


It’s the very essence of “Charlie Hustle,” and it’s one of baseball’s most iconic images. But is the headfirst slide worth the gamble?


I ask this, of course, because Rockies all-star shortstop Trevor Story sits on the injured list after jamming his right thumb sliding headfirst into second base at Chase Field on Wednesday night. Story joined a list of big-league stars who’ve hurt themselves by choosing to lead with their hands (and their hearts) rather than their feet. Mike Trout, Carlos Correa, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Ryan Zimmerman, Yasiel Puig, Dustin Pedroia and the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado have all sustained hand injuries while sliding or diving into a base headfirst.


Arenado, you will recall, broke his left middle finger sliding headfirst into second in 2014 and ended up missing 37 games. I asked him for his thoughts on the issue.


“After I broke my finger, I said I was done trying to slide headfirst,” he said. “I still might do it, maybe once in a while, but if I do try to do it, I make sure my fingers are (pointed) up.”


Rockies manager Bud Black is not a fan of the headfirst approach.


“We’ve had this discussion, as a team,” he said. “We prefer our players to slide feet first, if they instinctively can. But what happens is that a lot of guys, when they are in competition, feel that the fastest way to the bag is by sliding headfirst.”


Black said he likes players who can slide both ways, noting that players using the “swim move” with their hands to allude a tag is an effective skill.


An article published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine in May 2017 upheld that most baseball organizations view that it’s safer to lead with the feet.


“The study seemed to affirm the long-held belief among players and managers that it can be more dangerous to slide headfirst, even as many consider it a more effective tactic than sliding feet first to avoid tags,” said an article in The New York Times. “Video analysis of half of the games played in the major leagues in 2015, prorated for the entire season, estimated the rate of injury to be one for every 249 headfirst slides, compared with one for every 413 feet-first slides.”


My colleague, Kyle Newman — who has not yet reached 30 and thus thinks he’s still invincible — plays in a men’s baseball league for the Colorado Cutthroats. He had to have stitches in his hand earlier this year when he dove back to the bag and got cleated by the first baseman. The wound, and subsequent scar, didn’t phase him.



“Real baseball players slide headfirst,” he crowed. “I slid headfirst into second to swipe a bag my very next game back. The baseball gods will protect me.”


Well, Mr. Newman, the gods sure didn’t protect Arenado or Story, and I think they’re a bit more important to the baseball universe (no offense).


Here’s my take: There’s no way that baseball should ban the headfirst slide. The last thing the game needs is another rule that legislates action on the field. There is a time and place for diving headlong into the bag.


But if I’m Mr. Story, I think I’d heed the advice of Mr. Arenado, use my head, and lead with my feet the next time I slide into second base.





Source: Saunders: Rockies’ Trevor Story should think first before sliding headfirst

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

15
Analysis: Avalanche gets an A-plus for choosing Bowen Byram, the draft’s best defenseman

The Avalanche made the right choice Friday night, making up for what it didn't do for nine years from 2008 and 2016 and much of its 25-year history with the NHL draft.

The Avalanche made the right choice Friday night, making up for what it didn’t do for nine years from 2008 and 2016 and much of its 25-year history with the NHL draft.


The Avs, using a selection obtained from Ottawa in the 2017 Matt Duchene trade, chose the top-ranked 2019 draft-eligible defenseman, Bowen Byram, with the fourth pick at Rogers Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The move marked the first time Colorado selected the top blue-liner available, and further sets up a fabulous defensive corps for 2019-20 and beyond.


And, yes, it further turns veteran defenseman Tyson Barrie into a valuable trade piece for that much-needed top-six forward because Byram is good enough to begin his NHL career this fall.


By choosing Byram, the Avs passed on centers Alex Turcotte and Dylan Cozens, who went fifth and seventh to Los Angeles and Buffalo. In hindsight, “losing” the draft lottery in April — Colorado had the best odds at No. 1 — wasn’t such a bad thing. Because the Avs got a franchise defenseman.


With the 16th pick — the Avs’ own first-rounder — they chose Boston College-bound center Alex Newhook, a junior-A star from the British Columbia Hockey League. Newhook likely will play a year or two at BC before signing with the Avs.


Byram will likely get a nine-game regular-season audition with the Avs in October before the team decides to keep him or send him back to his major-junior team, the Vancouver Giants. But make no mistake, he’ll be an NHLer by his 20th birthday.


He’s that good, and Colorado has generally ignored the top draft-eligible defenseman for too long.


In a 10-year span from 2007 to 2016, the Avs selected just two defensemen in the first round — Kevin Shattenkirk (No. 14) in 2007 and Duncan Siemens (No. 11) in 2011 — before going strong on the back end in 2017, with defensemen Cale Makar (No. 4) and Conor Timmins (No. 32).


Players like Makar and Byram don’t grow on trees. You have to draft them. The top free agent defensemen are too expensive and the others who become available aren’t good enough. They must be obtained in the draft, and ideally with a top-10 pick.


NBCSN analyst Craig Button said of Byram reminds him of Duncan Keith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks


“He will dial it up like a Duncan Keith but he’s got that closing speed defensively. Like Duncan Keith, eyes up all the time and you break down opponents and put them in positions where he can take advantage.”


Button added: “To me, not only is this brilliant for the Colorado Avalanche but if you’re Nathan MacKinnon and you’re Gabriel Landeskog and you’re Mikko Rantanen, you (already) got Cale Makar — that puck is going to zip around pretty nicely.”


Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic selected another potential captain in Newhook, who wore the “C” with his junior team, the Victoria Grizzlies, last season. At the 2019 World Under-18 Championship, Newhook tied Peyton Krebs for Canada’s scoring lead with 10 points (five goals) in seven games.



Krebs was selected at No. 17 by the Vegas Golden Knights.


Overall, it was a good first round for the Avalanche, which enters Saturday with six more picks in the seven-round draft, including three more in Rounds 2 and 3.





Source: Analysis: Avalanche gets an A-plus for choosing Bowen Byram, the draft’s best defenseman

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