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Messages - Colorado

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1
Downtown Denver parking lot eyed for 81-story building sells to different developer

The land deal that was allegedly going to bring an 81-story skyscraper to downtown Denver fell apart a year an half ago and now the lot has sold to another developer
A rendering of the Six Fifty 17 skyscraper against other Denver office towers
An early rendering of the 1,000-foot skyscraper New York-based Greenwich Realty Capital announced in 2017 that it planned to build at the corner of 17th and California streets in Denver. Greenwich never closed on a deal to buy the land which earlier this month sold to another development firm for $17.5 million.

The land deal that was allegedly going to bring an 81-story skyscraper to downtown Denver fell apart a year an half ago and now the choice patch of land previously tabbed for that project has sold to another developer.


Boston-area company Harbinger Development ponied up $17.5 million for the parking lot at the southeast corner of 17th and California streets, according to Buzz Geller, managing partner of of Paradise Investment Properties, the company that has controlled the centrally located parcel since 2002.


At $700 for each of the lot’s 25,000 or so square feet, the sale represents a new record price for undeveloped land in the city, said Geller, who has worked in real estate in the city for better than 30 years. Researchers in the Denver office of international real estate services firm CBRE on Tuesday confirmed that claim.


“(This sale) shows that the city is still on the move,” Geller said.”And there is less land than ever to build on in the downtown area.”


Officials with Harbinger did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday. The development firm had the property under contract for around 100 days before closing the deal, Geller said.



Another East Coast developer, New York City-based Greenwich Realty Capital, made two years worth of monthly payments to keep the lot under contract before failing to close on the purchase early last year, according to Geller. He declared that arrangement dead in February 2018.


Greenwich and its boisterous managing partner Michael Ursini made waves in Denver in September 2017 when conceptual plans for 1,000-foot-tall tower the company aimed to build on the property leaked online. If built, the condo/hotel/retail tower dubbed Six Fifty 17 would have been by far the tallest building in Denver. Those plans never got off the ground.


Geller said a video on his website, prepared by Denver’s Davis Partnership Architects, provides “a lot more realistic” interpretation of what can go on the roughly half-acre lot compared to what Greenwich was proposing.


Geller’s company owns a number of other parking lots in Denver’s core neighborhoods Including a large site — more than 1.25 acres — along 19th Street between Lawrence and Arapahoe streets that is now under contract with a Colorado-based developer. Kairoi Residential’s plans for a high-rise apartment building on another Paradise-owned lot, part of the “Bell Park” property at Speer Boulevard and Larimer Street, will be discussed at a Lower Downtown Design Review Board hearing Sept. 5, Geller said.


 


 


 


 


 


 





Source: Downtown Denver parking lot eyed for 81-story building sells to different developer

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

2
Plutonium in soil sample near Rocky Flats five times higher than cleanup standard

A soil sample with an elevated level of plutonium taken along the eastern edge of Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge is more than five times the cleanup standard established for the radioactive substance at the former nuclear weapons plant northwest of Denver, state health officials said Tuesday.

A soil sample with an elevated level of plutonium taken along the eastern edge of Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge is more than five times the cleanup standard established for the radioactive substance at the former nuclear weapons plant northwest of Denver, state health officials said Tuesday.


But Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment toxicologists “do not believe there is an immediate public health threat,” the department said in a letter penned to community members.


“We do believe that further sampling and analysis is needed to assess what this elevated sample may mean for long-term risks, and whether it is an isolated instance or a sign of a wider area of relatively high contamination,” said Jennifer Opila, director of CDPHE’s Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division. “We are taking the sample result seriously because it is much higher than previous samples in the vicinity and higher than the cleanup standard.”


CDPHE said the soil sample in question, taken on the west side of Indiana Street about a mile north of 96th Avenue, returned a result of 264 picocuries per gram of soil of plutonium. The standard for cleanup of the Rocky Flats plants, where triggers for nuclear weapons were manufactured over a 40-year period, was 50 picocuries per gram.


Opila said officials in charge of the yet-to-be-built Jefferson Parkway have taken approximately 250 soil samples along the west edge of Indiana Street, just east of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge fence line, in preparation for building the four-lane tollway that would connect Broomfield to Golden and nearly complete the beltway encircling metro Denver.


She said many of those samples are “still being analyzed by the laboratory” but that highway officials will “share that data with the department, and the department will share it with the community, as it becomes available in the upcoming weeks and months.”


The CDPHE in its Tuesday letter said the high reading came from a single sample. One portion of the sample registered the 264 picocuries-per-gram reading, while a second portion of the same sample registered only a 1.5 picocuries-per-gram reading, which is “within the range of anticipated levels.”


Jefferson Parkway officials have committed to conducting “additional detailed testing in the immediate vicinity” of the sample with the elevated level, Opila wrote.


She said CDPHE has shared the plutonium reading with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


According to the EPA, plutonium emits radioactive alpha particles that are not very harmful outside the body but can be “very damaging” when inhaled.


“When plutonium particles are inhaled, they lodge in the lung tissue,” the EPA says. “The alpha particles can kill lung cells, which causes scarring of the lungs, leading to further lung disease and cancer.”


The state of Colorado says in an online fact sheet about plutonium at Rocky Flats that the “larger the ‘dose’ in the body, the greater the toxicity.”


Bill Ray, executive director of the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority, said in an email to the CDPHE written Friday but released Tuesday that the technical consultants working with the authority believe the elevated reading is coming from a particle of plutonium approximately 8.8 microns in size — or about one-tenth the width of a human hair.


He said the firm analyzing the samples, Fort Collins-based Engineering Analytics, is “satisfied that their Quality Control measures were appropriate.”


“They performed a re-test of the same sample and came up with a similar result,” Ray wrote.


Retired Northern Arizona University chemistry professor Michael Ketterer, who is in the midst of analyzing soil samples taken last month along Indiana Street in connection to trails that have been proposed for the refuge, said finding a plutonium particle as large as the one reported last week is “a low-probability event” given the thousands of soil samples that have been taken on and around the refuge that showed no cause for concern.



Yet, it deserves attention, he said.


“The overriding message is that this result points to a relatively large particle of plutonium dioxide in the sample,” Ketterer said. “We need to study this further and make a determination about the health risk it presents.”


Rocky Flats had a long history of environmental contamination with hazardous radionuclides, including plutonium, as fires at the plant and winds blowing and water flowing in an easterly direction dispersed pollutants from the plant toward Denver.


State officials estimate that more than 14 tons of plutonium were left at Rocky Flats after the plant was closed in the early 1990s. The site was cleaned up over a 10-year period starting in 1995 at a cost of $7 billion.


In 2016, two firms that contracted to run Rocky Flats agreed to a $375 million settlement to be paid to thousands of homeowners living east of the plant as compensation for a decline in home values as a result of living downwind of the plant.





Source: Plutonium in soil sample near Rocky Flats five times higher than cleanup standard

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

3
White House insists fundamentals of U.S. economy “very strong”

The "fundamentals" of the U.S. economy are solid, the White House asserted, invoking an ill-fated political declaration of a decade ago amid mounting concern that a recession could imperil President Donald Trump's reelection.

WASHINGTON — The “fundamentals” of the U.S. economy are solid, the White House asserted, invoking an ill-fated political declaration of a decade ago amid mounting concern that a recession could imperil President Donald Trump’s reelection.


Exhibiting no such concern, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway declared to reporters on Monday, “The fact is, the fundamentals of our economy are very strong.”


It’s a phrase with a history. Republican John McCain was accused of being out of touch when he made a similar declaration during the 2008 presidential campaign just hours before investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, setting off a stock market crash and global financial decline.


A case can be made for the White House position. The U.S. job market is setting records for low unemployment, and the economy has continued uninterrupted growth since Trump took office. But growth is slowing, stock markets have swung wildly in recent weeks on recession fears, and indicators in the housing and manufacturing sectors have given economists pause. A new survey Monday showed a big majority of economists expecting a downturn to hit by 2021 at the latest, according to a report from the National Association of Business Economics.


Trump begs to disagree.


“We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money,” Trump said on Sunday. “I don’t think we’re having a recession.”


Still, the Republican president took to Twitter on Monday to urge the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy by cutting interest rates and returning to “quantitative easing” of its monetary policy, an indication of deep anxiety beneath his administration’s bravado. And he backtracked last week on taking the next step in escalating in his trade war with China, concerned that new tariffs on consumer goods could hamper the critical holiday shopping season.


White House aides and campaign advisers have been monitoring the recent turbulence in the financial markets and troubling indicators at home and around the world with concern for Trump’s 2020 chances.


Any administration has to walk a fine line between reflecting the realities of the global financial situation and adopting its historical role as a cheerleader for the American economy. For Trump, striking that balance may be even more difficult than for most.


For decades, economic performance has proven to be a critical component of presidential job approval, and no American leader so much as Trump has tied his political fortunes to it. The celebrity businessman was elected in 2016 promising to reduce unemployment — a task at which he has succeeded — and to bring about historic GDP growth, where he has had less success.


The situation today isn’t nearly as dire as in September 2008, when the U.S. and the world were heading into the Great Recession. There are no waves of home foreclosures, no spike in layoffs, no market meltdowns and no government rescues to save powerful banks and financial companies in order to contain the damage. What does exist is a heightened sense of risk about the economy’s path amid slowing global growth and the volatility caused by the trade dispute between the United States and China.


There are other reasons as well for the administration’s rosy pronouncements, said Tony Fratto, a former Treasury Department spokesman in the Bush administration during the onset of the financial crisis. He said he sympathized with the Trump administration for having to choose between answering “honestly or responsibly” or otherwise about the state of the economy, noting that any hint of concern “could be self-fulfilling.”


“So much of the story of the economy is how people feel about it,” said Lanhee Chen, a Hoover Institution fellow and former economic adviser to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney. “And that’s an inherently a difficult thing to measure.”


Highlighting a disconnect between the nation’s broad economic indicators and the “personal economies” of voters in swing states is a priority for Democratic candidates and outside groups heading into 2020.


Trump’s advisers acknowledge there are few tools at his disposal to avert a slowdown or recession if one materializes: Internal concerns over a ballooning federal deficit, in part due to the president’s 2017 tax law, are stifling talk of stimulus spending, and skepticism abounds over the chances of passing anything through a polarized Congress ahead of the election. But that hasn’t stopped the White House from exploring ways to make the political cost less painful.


Seeking to get ahead of a potential slowdown, Trump has been casting blame on the Federal Reserve, China and now Democrats, claiming political foes are “trying to ‘will’ the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election.”



If the Federal Reserve would reduce rates and loosen its grip on the money supply “over a fairly short period of time,” he tweeted, “our Economy would be even better, and the World Economy would be greatly and quickly enhanced – good for everyone!”


Those actions he’s talking about are the sort a central bank would traditionally take to deal with or try to stave off a slowdown or full-blown recession.


Strong fundamentals? A lot depends on which ones the administration highlights or ignores in public comments.


Conway and other Trump aides have accurately described the rising retail sales and the solid labor market with its 3.7% unemployment rate as sources of strength.


Yet factory output and home sales are declining, while business investment has been restricted because of uncertainties from Trump ratcheting up the China trade tension.


Even if the economy avoids a recession, economists still expect growth to weaken.


Federal Reserve officials estimate that the gross domestic product will slow to roughly 2% this year, down from 2.5% last year. During his presidential campaign, Trump had boasted he would achieve long-term growth of 4 percent, 5 percent or more.


___


AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon contributed.





Source: White House insists fundamentals of U.S. economy “very strong”

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

4
PHOTOS: Denver Broncos host San Francisco 49ers in first home preseason game, August 19, 2019

The Denver Broncos hosted the San Francisco 49ers for the first home game of the preseason on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

The Denver Broncos hosted the San Francisco 49ers for the first home game of the preseason on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.





Source: PHOTOS: Denver Broncos host San Francisco 49ers in first home preseason game, August 19, 2019

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

5
Colorado / Denver council members will propose plastic bag ban
« on: August 19, 2019, 10:43:06 AM »
Denver council members will propose plastic bag ban

Three council members are working on legislation that would ban plastic bags for customers of grocery stores and other retailers.

Three Denver City Council members are in the early stages of crafting a bill to ban plastic bags for customers of grocery stores and other retailers.


It won’t be introduced for months, said Councilwoman Kendra Black.


“I have a meeting set up with the restaurant association and the Colorado Retail Council to talk about it. I talked about it to the other council members,” she said. “I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but we are moving forward with it.”


Black is working with council members Debbie Ortega and Stacie Gilmore on the proposal, she said.


One major question for the Denver proposal, which was first reported by Westword: Would it also include a fee for paper bags? If not, the policy could simply shift consumers to a different type of waste, Planet Money reported. Black said she’s working on that detail.


Council members also will have to navigate a 1993 law that may restrict local governments from regulating plastics. It has been the subject of some debate, but Telluride has nevertheless had a bag ban since 2011. Other Colorado cities, including Boulder, charge a fee for bags.


“There’s some legal gray area,” Black said. But, she added: “I’ve been assured by some state legislators that they are going to repeal (the 1993 law). So I think the timing might just line up perfectly.”


The Denver City Council previously considered a 5-cent fee on plastic bags, but Mayor Michael Hancock threatened to veto it in 2013, calling it a burden that would put Denver “at a disadvantage.” It was never implemented.


Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle all ban plastic bags, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws are meant in part to keep plastic waste out of the environment, since lightweight bags can easily blow into waterways, parks and the rest of the world. But they also can bring side effects: In Austin, Texas, consumers took lots of reusable bags from grocers — and tried to recycle them. Reusable bags also can carry a heavier carbon footprint if they’re not used dozens of times.


Black and Gilmore also are interested in forbidding the use of city money on single-use plastics, such as cutlery and water bottles, with some exceptions. She expects to introduce the bag ban bill this fall or winter.


“I have a lot of work I need to do on it,” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to be super-controversial.”


The World Counts project estimates that 5 trillion plastic bags are used each year.





Source: Denver council members will propose plastic bag ban

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

6
Longmont police arrest man accused of starting fire at hardware store

Longmont police have arrested a 54-year-old man they say Longmont firefighters tackled at the scene of a fire late Saturday night.

Longmont police have arrested a 54-year-old man they say Longmont firefighters tackled at the scene of a fire late Saturday night.


Michael Schrodt

At 11:30 p.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to a fire alarm at Budget Home Supply, 780 Boston Ave., where they found heavy smoke and requested more firefighters and equipment come to the scene, according to a release from Longmont police.


Firefighters entered the building and found several fires in different spots in the store. While extinguishing those fires, firefighters found a suspect inside the store, still lighting fires, and tackled him after he ran away from them, according to an arrest report. They brought him outside to waiting police officers, who handcuffed him and took him to a hospital for a medical evaluation.


“This was a first for us,” Longmont Chief of Fire Jerrod Vanlandingham stated in a release. “You don’t typically expect to encounter an arsonist lighting fires at the time you are trying to extinguish them.



“Our crews had little choice but to tackle the suspect, subdue him and drag him out of the building to awaiting police officers.”


Police and firefighters determined there were no other suspects or fires on scene after clearing the building, the release states. No one was injured, and both departments are still investigating. The arrest report states that a store manager estimated the water and smoke damage inside the store could amount to $500,000.


The suspect, 54-year-old Michael Schrodt, was arrested and taken to the Boulder County Jail after he was medically cleared at the hospital. Bond has not been set. He faces charges of criminal mischief more than $100,000, first-degree arson, second-degree burglary, and reckless endangerment.


Mountain View Fire provided backup to cover the city and while Longmont Fire responded to this fire.





Source: Longmont police arrest man accused of starting fire at hardware store

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

7
Evacuation ordered in Evergreen over “public safety threat”

An evacuation has been ordered for parts of Evergreen on Sunday as authorities investigate what they call a “public safety threat.”

An evacuation has been ordered for parts of Evergreen on Sunday as authorities investigate what they call a “public safety threat.”


The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that deputies are evacuating a 300-foot area in the 1000 block of El Rancho Road, just south of Interstate 70 in Evergreen.


Dionne Waugh, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said a bomb squad had been called to investigate a parked vehicle. She declined to disclose the nature of the threat.


A call came into police around 4:40 p.m. suggesting there could be explosives inside the vehicle, according to a sheriff’s office tweet. The owner of the vehicle was placed into custody, the sheriff’s office said.


“We’re trying to get people out of the area, so we can safely and quickly investigation this,” Waugh told Denver7.


Read more at thedenverchannel.com.







Source: Evacuation ordered in Evergreen over “public safety threat”

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

8
Minnesota, Baylor among college football’s dark horse league contenders

College football is a chalky sport.

College football is a chalky sport.


Parity is usually found in the middle class. The favorites usually win the championships. For some teams, though, simply being in contention late in the season or reaching the conference title game is a huge accomplishment. Just ask fans of Northwestern or Pitt, both of which were surprising division winners last season. Or Washington State fans, whose team went into the regular-season finale with a chance to play for the Pac-12 title. Or fans of Syracuse, understandably fired up about finishing second to Clemson in the ACC Atlantic.


The traditional powers will probably wind up claiming the playoff spots and big trophies this year, too. But a few dark horses will emerge to make those conferences races more interesting.


Maybe these six teams:


ARIZONA STATE




The Pac-12 South is currently a bit of a mess. Only Utah is a solid bet to be good. There is opportunity for another team to make a big move. USC is the best bet purely on talent, but the Trojans should never be considered a dark horse in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils have some interesting pieces. The offense is loaded with experience, led by star running back Eno Benjamin, but will be breaking in a new quarterback and looking for a big-play receiver to replace N’Keal Harry. The defense is filled with sophomores — most notably linebacker Merlin Robertson — who played through growing pains last year and could be a lot better in Year 2 under Herm Edwards. The schedule (this will be a recurring theme) provides the benefit of not facing North Division powers Washington and Stanford.


BAYLOR


At Temple, coach Matt Rhule took the Owls from 2-10 in his first season to 6-6 in the second to a 10-win breakthrough in Year 3. At Baylor, Rhule’s team went 1-11 upon arrival and jumped to 7-6 last year. The Big 12 doesn’t provide the same opportunity for upward mobility that the American Athletic Conference does, but the Bears seem to be heading in the right direction. Quarterback Charlie Brewer is a good place to start. There is speed on both sides of the ball. The schedule sets up nicely, with three nonconference cupcakes to build confidence in September and five Big 12 games in Waco, including Oklahoma and Texas on back-to-back weekends in November.


MINNESOTA


At first glance, the Gophers’ sophomore-heavy depth chart looks a year away from making a serious challenge in the Big Ten West. But Year 3 under P.J. Fleck could see an early arrival. The Gophers have one of the Big Ten’s best receivers in Tyler Johnson, three good running backs and a nice balance of senior leadership and talented underclassmen on defense. They also have the most favorable schedule in the West, with five Big Ten home games and only one division crossover against the East’s Big 4. The Gophers get Penn State at home.


NAVY


Since winning the West Division and reaching the championship game in their first season in the American Athletic Conference, the Midshipmen have gotten worse each season. Navy bottomed out last year at 3-10, coach Ken Niumatalolo’s worst record in 12 seasons. Has playing in a conference caught up to Navy? Maybe, but it’s hard to believe the Middies won’t bounce back at least a little bit. The schedule steers them clear of East Division favorites UCF and Cincinnati and in a division with good depth that could be enough to nudge Navy into contention.


TENNESSEE


The Volunteers are nowhere near challenging Georgia or Alabama after finishing last in the SEC East in 2018. Jeremy Pruitt is still reshaping the roster after a lack of development under Butch Jones. But there are enough former blue-chip prospects in Knoxville for the Vols to be competitive against any team in the SEC East not named Georgia. If the offensive line can keep him healthy, former four-star recruit Jarrett Guarantano could emerge as the SEC’s third-best quarterback behind Tua Tagovailoa and Jake Fromm.


WAKE FOREST


The race for second to Clemson in the ACC Atlantic is wide open again. Why not Wake? Coach Dave Clawson has two capable quarterbacks (Jamie Newman and Sam Hartman) to lead an offense with experience upfront and numerous potential playmakers. Admittedly, the defense needs significant improvement. The margin between success and failure for Wake is thin, but you don’t have to stretch the imagination to picture the Demon Deacons heading into a midseason home game against Florida State at 5-1 or even 6-0.





Source: Minnesota, Baylor among college football’s dark horse league contenders

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

9
With baseball amid a historic power surge, the Rockies find themselves behind the home run curve

This year, with a more aerodynamic ball causing a historic homer spike league-wide, the Rockies aren't racking up the round-trippers as much as the inhabitants of Coors Field should be.

In 1996, as the Blake Street Bombers emerged as one of the most feared offensive forces in baseball, the Rockies mashed 149 home runs at Coors Field. That number has stood as the most ever at home in a single season in major league history.


The Bombers’ power, paired with the mile-high elevation, made for a distinct home-field advantage in LoDo, where opposing pitchers often looked for ways to avoid a start.


But this year, amid a historic home run onslaught throughout baseball, the Rockies aren’t joining the fun. And, perhaps not coincidentally, their home-field edge is gone.


Heading into the weekend, Colorado’s 157 home runs ranked 10th in the National League. And the team had hit only 89 long balls at home, tied for eighth in the league.


All of which begs a critical question: Is the Rockies’ current lineup constructed to consistently win at Coors Field? And, is the team’s lack of home run power a sign that it will continue to have trouble keeping pace with, and triumphing over, the power of visiting clubs?


“It’s hard to answer,” Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “I don’t think it’s a huge concern we’re not on a record home run pace. But we have some guys who are young and inexperienced, so the power isn’t going to be there right away. Some guys are going to develop into their power.”



The Rockies feature three heavy-hitters with Arenado (27 home runs), shortstop Trevor Story (27) and outfielder Charlie Blackmon (24), as well as an array of mid-tier power guys.


After that, there’s a significant drop-off featuring hitters with little to no ability to leave the yard, i.e. outfielder Raimel Tapia, infielder Garrett Hampson and catcher Tony Wolters. Those three players have combined for 11 home runs. The result of such imbalance is increased pressure put on power production from the trio of Arenado, Story and Blackmon, especially considering that league-wide 51 players are on pace to hit 30 or more home urns.


That pressure is evident when comparing last-place Colorado to one of the power-surging teams this year, such as Minnesota. The Twins have clubbed 236 home runs heading into the weekend, having already set a franchise record, and are on pace to break the Yankees’ single-season MLB mark of 267, set last year. The Twins already have five hitters with 20 or more home runs and are likely to tie or break the MLB record of seven players with 20-plus long balls.


“There’s times where it feels like (me, Story and Blackmon) are the guys who really need to get some things done,” Arenado said. “But at the end of the day, we’re a team and we all need to pick each other up. That’s what the good teams do.”


Clearly, Colorado hasn’t been able to do that this season, both power-wise and overall with an offense that’s not dynamic enough to overcome the club’s glaring pitching deficiencies.


Throughout Rockies history, it’s become accepted that Colorado needs to use the advantage of playing at elevation to flirt with winning about 50 home games in order to get into playoff contention, due to the difficulty of adjusting to sea level on the road. This year’s Rockies team has hovered around .500 at home all season and is well under .500 on the road.


The lack of the ability to consistently deliver gut-punch homers has neutralized the team’s home-field advantage. Opponents have blasted 105 dingers at Coors Field.


However, Blackmon argues that pure power isn’t needed to win at Coors Field if the Rockies can become better at mastering other facets of the game, including stringing hits together.


“Where you don’t find a ton of power in our lineup, you find a lot of on-base skills and defensive value,” Blackmon said. “But if there’s one area that could definitely use improvement (in the lineup overall), it’s being more consistent hitters, and not having so many peaks and valleys.”



For now, Colorado’s accepted the fact that they’re not the Twins, Yankees, Dodgers or Astros, all of whom have clubbed over 200 home runs. So the Rockies will make do with who they are and try to compensate for not putting much fear in the heads of opposing pitchers.


“Everybody should understand their role and what they can bring,” Hampson said. “Guys like me and Tony, we’re not up there trying to hit home runs, and I don’t think anyone wants us to go up there and try that. To have a well-balanced lineup, you’re going to need some speed and some guys to do the little things like bunt a guy over.


“But obviously, this game has translated into one where there’s a lot of home runs and a lot of power. We’re going to need more of that as well to keep up with the other teams.”





Source: With baseball amid a historic power surge, the Rockies find themselves behind the home run curve

Colorado Chat Rooms - USA Chat Club

10
Broncos Briefs: On second day, offense shows fight-back mentality against 49ers

Pushed around by the 49ers during Friday’s practice, the Broncos’ offense showed more execution and spunk during Saturday’s session, culminating in a spirited skirmish.

Pushed around by the 49ers during Friday’s practice, the Broncos’ offense showed more execution and spunk during Saturday’s session, culminating in a spirited skirmish.


“We had to come out here with an edge to us and not let them set the tempo,” receiver Tim Patrick said.


The brouhaha happened during the second period of 11-on-11 work. Two plays after running back David Williams jawed with several 49ers defenders, things escalated after he finished a carry.


“One person hit me and then a second person hit me and I was like, ‘OK, cool,’” Williams said. “But then third person came up to hit me.”


Cue chaos. Punches were definitely thrown, but only the coach’s tape will provide definitive evidence.


Broncos receiver Brendan Langley and tight end Bug Howard were ejected from practice.


“I had instructed the coaches that if something happened extracurricular-wise that they deemed (a player should be) removed from the field, do it,” said Broncos coach Vic Fangio, who was on the other field.


No 49ers player was dismissed from practice by their coaches.


Williams appreciated his teammates coming to his aid.


“That just shows how close we are as a team and have each other’s back,” he said.


Before and after the brawl, the Broncos offense showed up well.


“We came out firing,” quarterback Drew Lock said. “A lot of positive plays. Got the juices flowing early so when that happens, it’s going to be a good day.”


Said general manager John Elway: “We had a better day (Saturday). I don’t know if we met the intensity (Friday) that the Niners put out there and that’s up to us.”


Quarterback Joe Flacco was 6-of-7 passing during the first 11-on-11 period, including a terrific catch by receiver Courtland Sutton over cornerback Richard Sherman. Receiver Kelvin McKnight had a one-handed catch on a pass thrown by Lock.


During the second 11-on-11 period, Flacco’s drive started with a screen pass to running back Royce Freeman that was busted open when left guard Dalton Risner pancake-blocked linebacker Malcolm Smith downfield. After the brawl, Flacco connected deep with receiver Emmanuel Sanders.


Miller sits out. Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller missed his first practice of training camp.


“He’s OK,” Fangio said. “He’s made every practice we’ve had since OTAs and we decided to give him a day off.”


Also not practicing: Fullback Andy Janovich (pectoral), cornerback Horace Richardson (back), outside linebacker Malik Reed (oblique), running backs Theo Riddick (shoulder) and Khalfani Muhammad (undisclosed), safeties Dymonte Thomas (attending funeral), Su’a Cravens (illness) and Will Parks (hamstring) and inside linebackers Todd Davis (calf) and Joseph Jones (triceps).


K. Shanahan homecoming. On Friday morning, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan made his first visit to the Broncos’ facility in more than a decade, since his father, Mike, was the team’s coach.


“It looks completely different,” said Kyle, an alum of Cherry Creek High School. “There used to be a (practice) bubble that blew down one day. The facility looks great. I really enjoyed our time here.”


The 49ers used the Broncos’ indoor facility as their locker room, but Shanahan visited coach Vic Fangio’s office in the main building.


“It was different walking in — it’s been remodeled a bunch,” Shanahan said. “A very special place to me.”


No QB order. Two days ahead of the first two preseason games, Fangio announced the order the quarterbacks would enter the game.


Not this time, though, for Monday night.


“I’m not sure yet,” Fangio said. “We’re going to discuss that (Saturday night).”


Lock took the majority of second-team snaps during the six days of practice following the Seattle game.



Return game “wide open”. Special teams coordinator Tom McMahon said the punt/kick return jobs remain “wide open.”


McKnight, Langley, running back Devontae Jackson and receivers River Cracraft and Nick Williams have caught punts in the first two preseason games for a 3.5-yard average.


“We haven’t had any production,” McMahon said. “Somebody has to produce and separate themselves. I’ll be honest with you — nobody has produced at an NFL level and we have to block better. We got our tail kicked (last week at Seattle).”


D. Thomas fined. Per a league source, Thomas was fined $28,075 by the NFL for his unnecessary roughness penalty against Seattle on Aug. 8.


Staff writer Kyle Fredrickson contributed to this story.





Source: Broncos Briefs: On second day, offense shows fight-back mentality against 49ers

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11
Colorado / Advocates already see fallout from immigration rule change
« on: August 17, 2019, 10:33:38 PM »
Advocates already see fallout from immigration rule change

Diabetics skipping regular checkups. Young asthmatics not getting preventive care. A surge in expensive emergency room visits.

CHICAGO — Diabetics skipping regular checkups. Young asthmatics not getting preventive care. A surge in expensive emergency room visits.


Doctors and public health experts warn of poor health and rising costs they say will come from sweeping Trump administration changes that would deny green cards to many immigrants who use Medicaid, as well as food stamps and other forms of public assistance. Some advocates say they’re already seeing the fallout even before the complex 837-page rule takes effect in October.


President Donald Trump’s administration trumpeted its aggressive approach this past week as a way to keep only self-sufficient immigrants in the country, but health experts argue it could force potentially millions of low-income migrants to choose between needed services and their bid to stay legally in the U.S.


“People are going to be sicker. They’re not going to go get health care, or not until they have to go to an emergency room,” said Lisa David, president and CEO of Public Health Solutions, New York’s largest public health organization. “It’s going to cost the system a lot of money.”


Immigrants who want permanent legal status, commonly called a green card, have long been required to prove they won’t be “a public charge.” The Trump administration announced Monday that would redefine the term to mean those who are “more likely than not” to receive public benefits over a certain period. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will also now consider other factors, including income, education and English proficiency.


“We want to see people coming to this country who are self-sufficient,” said Ken Cuccinelli, the agency’s acting director. “That’s a core principle of the American dream. It’s deeply embedded in our history, and particularly our history related to legal immigration.”


Two California counties and attorneys general in 13 states sued, saying the changes will increase public health risks.


There are signs that is already happening in cities including Chicago, Detroit and New York, immigrant advocates say.


Within hours of the announcement, a Minnesota immigration attorney said she received a flurry of calls from worried clients about whether to leave Medicaid. A Detroit nonprofit helping Latinos and immigrants with social services said its usually jam-packed lobby was empty the day after the rules were unveiled. New York’s largest public health organization, Public Health Solutions, which serves a large immigrant population, reported a 20% drop in food stamps enrollment since the rule was first proposed in the fall.


There is precedent for such a chilling effect.


After 1996 welfare and immigration changes that limited public assistance for some immigrants, the use of benefits dropped steeply among U.S. citizen children and refugees, groups who were still eligible. Studies based on data following that change showed people disenrolled from Medicaid at rates ranging from 15% to 35%, according to Harvard University’s François-Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights. And, it found, this came at a high cost: Asthma-related school absences in 1996 led to $719 million in lost parental productivity.



Federico Mason, who emigrated from Mexico over two decades ago, said he is worried about the new criteria because he is low-income and doesn’t speak English well. The Chicago resident said he has no immediate plans to remove his 8- and 15-year-old sons, who are U.S. citizens, from Medicaid, but the new rule has made him more fearful about providing for his family and about applying for a green card.


“If one day I want to adjust my status, it will be more difficult because of these unfair policies that continue to discriminate against me,” he said in Spanish.


Overall, non-citizen low-income immigrants use public benefits at a much lower rate than low-income U.S.-born citizens, but there’s the possibility that millions of people could drop benefits out of fear or confusion. Estimates vary. It could be as high as 24 million people, according to the nonpartisan Fiscal Policy Institute, which includes in its count anyone in a family that has received food, health or housing support and where at least one person is a non-citizen.


Dr. Deanna Behrens, a pediatric critical-care physician in suburban Chicago who wrote public testimony opposing the rule change, said children are the most vulnerable.


She said non-citizen parents might hesitate to apply for their children who are U.S. citizens, mistakenly fearing that if their children get benefits it will destroy their own chances of getting a green card and tear their families apart. That will lead to people being unable to afford care for chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes, as well as preventative measures. Instead, they’ll rely on far more costly emergency rooms.


“This has forced the immigrant families into an impossible choice,” Behrens said.


Roughly 544,000 people apply for green cards annually, with about 382,000 falling into categories that would be subject to the new review, according to the government.



Esperanza Health Centers, which runs four Chicago-based clinics that serve low-income and largely immigrant populations, has seen an increase in the number of uninsured children. Since a draft of the new rule was released in the fall, the clinics report having 600 children without insurance, including those who have disenrolled from Medicaid. Typically, it’s about 200, according to Jessica Boland, director of behavioral health.


“We’re condemning people to having a much more unhealthy lifestyles because we believe that there is something awful about their request for what we think for most people is a right and not a privilege: health care,” said Dr. Kenneth Davis, president and CEO of Mount Sinai Health System, which covers eight hospitals in New York.


Over a dozen major patient groups, including the March of Dimes and the American Heart Association, have written fierce opposition to the rule.


The issue is personal for Dr. Jasmine Saavedra, a pediatrician who works at an Esperanza clinic in a heavily Latino Chicago neighborhood.


She is convinced that if new Trump administration criteria were in effect for her parents three decades ago, she would have had a far different future. Her parents emigrated from Mexico in the 1980s unable to speak English and with little education. While working low-wage jobs, they relied on food stamps for a short time to get by.


Her mother later quit public assistance because of the stigma, but Saavedra said there were days when her mother wouldn’t eat so her children could. She believes that helped her become a doctor and her two sisters become an accountant and a nurse.


“Maybe when certain people think about immigrant families, they do think of it as a burden on this country, the way people would tell my mom she was when she was receiving assistance,” Saavedra said. “But my parents, with no education, not speaking this language, being impoverished with a little bit assistance when they could, got us out and they have three successful daughters.”


Associated Press video journalist Mike Householder in Detroit contributed to this report.





Source: Advocates already see fallout from immigration rule change

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Colorado / QB Josh McCown joins Eagles, ends retirement, AP source says
« on: August 17, 2019, 04:16:24 PM »
QB Josh McCown joins Eagles, ends retirement, AP source says

A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press the Philadelphia Eagles have signed 40-year-old quarterback Josh McCown. He is coming out of retirement to join his ninth team and play his 17th season.

PHILADELPHIA — A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press the Philadelphia Eagles have signed 40-year-old quarterback Josh McCown. He is coming out of retirement to join his ninth team and play his 17th season.



The person spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because the team hasn’t announced the move.


McGowan provides insurance behind Carson Wentz. The Eagles already lost two quarterbacks in the first two preseason games. Nate Sudfeld broke his left wrist and is expected to return in September. Cody Kessler left Thursday night’s game with a head injury.


Rookie Clayton Thorson was the only healthy quarterback on the roster behind Wentz before McCown ended his brief retirement.


McCown was 23-53 as a starter, including 5-11 with the Jets over the past two seasons. He’s completed 60.2 percent of his passes, has thrown 98 touchdowns, 82 interceptions and has a 79.7 passer rating.





Source: QB Josh McCown joins Eagles, ends retirement, AP source says

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13
Hemp industry grappling with surging consumer, retailer interest amid ongoing uncertainty over regulations

The only constant in the burgeoning hemp and CBD industry right now is "the dramatic pace and depth and breadth of change," Patrick Rea  of CanopyBoulder said Friday to a packed conference room in downtown Denver. But hanging over the collective enthusiasm at the American Herbal Products Association summit was the uncertainty of what the Food and Drug Administration is going to do about regulations.

The only constant in the burgeoning hemp and CBD industry right now is “the dramatic pace and depth and breadth of change,” Patrick Rea  of CanopyBoulder said Friday to a packed conference room in downtown Denver.


Rea, whose company invests in cannabis companies, pointed to the wide consumer interest in hemp and CBD — cannabidiol — that is extracted from hemp and used in creams, tinctures and food. It’s in the same family as marijuana, but has negligible amounts of THC, the high-inducing chemical in marijuana.


Gov. Jared Polis, who championed the cannabis industry as a Colorado congressman, said his administration is working to keep Colorado a leader in the industry.


“Colorado accounted for half of the nation’s industrial hemp production in 2017. And as of 2018, we had 835 licensed processors, 1,200 registered land areas, 62,000 acres growing hemp and 10 million indoor square feet of hemp registered,  Polis said.


State agencies are working together through the Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan, or CHAMP, to manage and promote hemp cultivation and production in the state.


Even though the Food and Drug Administration is just starting to consider regulations for hemp, such large, national retailers as Walgreens and CVS are adding hemp and CBD to their shelves. Whole Foods is selling CBD-infused lotions.


And a new report by the Brightfield Group, an analytics and market research firm, said the CBD market grew about 700 percent this year and is expected to generate an estimated $5 billion by the end of 2019. If the FDA creates a regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD, those sales could skyrocket to nearly $24 billion by 2023, Brightfield said.



But hanging over the collective enthusiasm at the American Herbal Products Association summit Friday was the uncertainty of what the FDA is going to do. The 2018 federal farm bill legalized hemp, but maintained the FDA’s authority over the plant. The agency says it’s still illegal to market CBD in food or as a dietary supplement.


The FDA held a meeting in May to take public comments to help the agency shape its policy.


“It is really important to us that we treat these products, cannabis and cannabis-derived products, the same as other products in the FDA regulatory space,” said Cara Welch, with FDA’s program dealing with dietary supplements. “We can’t really give them a pass just because they’re popular.”


Welch said a major effort for the agency is gathering more information on the effects of CBD, what levels are safe and the quality of products being sold. She said a review of the drug Epidiolex, a CBD solution approved to treat rare forms of epilepsy, raised concerns about potential harm to the liver.


Since 2015, the FDA has sent warning letters to companies marketing CBD as a treatment for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and other illnesses, Welch said. Some products the agency has tested contained no CBD, while others had high levels or high levels of THC.


Fearing the FDA could take a long time to develop regulations, there are calls, including by former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, for Congress to let federal regulators consider individual petitions and health studies by manufacturers rather than waiting until comprehensive regulations are completed.


“It’s become much more complicated than we might have expected,” said Michael Bowman, a fifth-generation Colorado farmer who helped write language for the 2014 federal farm bill that opened the door for the hemp industry.


The earlier bill allowed cultivation for research purposes and allowed states to permit “pilot programs.” Colorado established a program and became one of the country’s leading producers. Under a new state law, Colorado will submit a plan for regulating hemp so it can retain oversight over the state industry.


The new farm bill has some holdover language from the old law that has muddied the regulatory waters, Bowman said. Some federal agencies have taken the position that the law has been implemented while others are waiting for FDA regulations.


Some large food and drink companies remain on the sidelines and Facebook and Google have yet to accept CBD advertising, added Bowman, a co-founder of First Crop, a public benefit company working with hemp farmers.


The 2018 farm bill removed hemp from the classification as a controlled substance. Colorado, which approved the recreational use of marijuana in 2012, was the first state to legalize hemp. For decades, the plant was a legal crop and was used to make textiles, paper, rope and other products before getting lumped in with marijuana.



Michael Harinen  of Louisville-based Bluebird Botanicals said he understands the FDA has an important job to do. He said Bluebird Botanical recently gave the federal agency all its records on complaints from consumers and the company’s responses, as well as the results of the tests of its products that are done by independent firms. He said it’s important the industry develop and follow strict controls.


Bluebird is one of many companies involved in the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and U.S. Hemp Authority, which has written standards and has a certification program.


“There’s a lot of growth happening in the industry right now,” Harinen said. “Even the little baby steps some of the large national retailers are making are bringing in some really big purchase orders.”


Bowman said he’s cautiously optimistic that the industry and regulators will work through the issues, allowing the hemp industry to really take off.


“This genie is a long ways out of the bottle, and it’s not going back,” he added.





Source: Hemp industry grappling with surging consumer, retailer interest amid ongoing uncertainty over regulations

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14
Some plague-affected prairie dog areas in Commerce City to remain closed through Labor Day

Sites in Commerce City with plague-affected prairie dogs will remain closed through Labor Day, unaffected areas of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife refuge will reopen [cq comment="cq August 17"]Saturday.

Some sites in Commerce City with plague-affected prairie dogs will remain closed through Labor Day, and unaffected areas of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge will reopen Saturday.


Closures through Labor Day are necessary so “authorities can continue to treat the prairie dogs’ holes with insecticide to kill any remaining fleas that could transmit the disease to prairie dogs, people and pets,” according to a Tri-County Health Department news release.


The prairie dog colonies are being monitored, and burrows are being treated, said John M. Douglas Jr., executive director of Tri-County. But there is still evidence of fleas in hiking and camping areas, which could put people and pets at risk, so those areas will remain closed, Douglas said.


Confirmed cases of plague in Commerce City forced closures in multiple areas this month.


Areas of the wildlife refuge set to reopen include the visitor center, Wildlife Drive and recreational fishing. Some trails and parking lots in the refuge will remain closed through Labor Day. Closed areas will be marked clearly.


In Commerce City, the Prairie Gateway Open Space remains closed, along with vacant fields along East 56th

Avenue near intersections with Quebec and Valentia streets, the health department said. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is open, and unpaved parking lots there will remain closed.





Source: Some plague-affected prairie dog areas in Commerce City to remain closed through Labor Day

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15
Colorado / State investigating unpaid wage claims at Metro Urgent Care
« on: August 16, 2019, 10:09:47 PM »
State investigating unpaid wage claims at Metro Urgent Care

State investigators are looking into multiple unpaid wage claims filed against Metro Urgent Care after the chain of metro Denver medical clinics abruptly shut down on Aug. 1 and failed to pay its staff.

State investigators are looking into multiple unpaid wage claims filed against Metro Urgent Care after the chain of metro Denver medical clinics abruptly shut down on Aug. 1 and failed to make payroll.


“We have received wage claims for this employer and we have 21 (cases) that are under investigation,” confirmed Cher Haavind, chief communications officer for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.


The Arizona-based company got its start in Colorado in 2016. It operated 14 urgent care clinics across metro Denver but shut half of those down after struggling to meet rent payments.


The remaining seven closed on Aug. 1, causing about 65 people to lose their jobs.


Brendon Lochert, the founder of Metro Urgent Care, told staff in an email that he had failed to secure financing and that they would be immediately out of work.


“This puts us in a horrible position with all employees as we cannot make payroll tomorrow either. This doesn’t mean you will not be getting paid, just means it will take a little time to wind down and get payments out,” he wrote. Efforts to reach Lochert were unsuccessful.


Sara Jaurigui, an area practice manager for Metro Urgent Care who lost her job, estimates the company owes her $7,245 between three weeks of pay, 97 hours of paid time off, unpaid mileage expenses and insurance premiums that were deducted in July but not applied.


She said the company hasn’t provided pay stubs since April and hasn’t forwarded 401(k) contributions to employee retirement plans, which is a violation of federal law. Employees are also trying to find out if the company has made its quarterly tax filings as required.


“As of now, they have not responded to our payment demands,” she said.


Irene Aguilar, a former state senator and physician, has long sounded the alarm that the proliferation of medical facilities this decade in metro Denver would not end well, especially free-standing emergency rooms, which she argued were overcharging patients.


“They oversaturated the market,” she said on hearing about Metro Urgent Care’s speedy unraveling.


Metro Urgent Care operated a location in Broomfield, two in Denver, two in Westminster, one in Lafayette and one in Centennial. Phone numbers at all seven clinics were out of service.





Source: State investigating unpaid wage claims at Metro Urgent Care

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