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Updated: 23 min 38 sec ago

Body of 56-year-old transient man found along Longmont’s St. Vrain Creek

1 hour 3 min ago
Lewis Geyer, Times-CallA man’s body was found along the St. Vrain Creek in Longmont.

Longmont police and the Boulder County coroner are investigating the discovery of a man’s body at the base of a tree along the St. Vrain Creek this morning.

Deputy Chief Jeff Satur said police responded about 10:15 a.m. to a deceased 56-year-old transient man on the creek’s south bank, west of Main Street between Boston Avenue and Ken Pratt Boulevard.

Satur said a friend had been checking up on him, and found him dead today.

Read the full story at TimesCall.com.

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Ask Amy: Woman should exit from troubled relationship

1 hour 24 min ago

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together for two years.

He has a beautiful daughter whom I have a great relationship with.

He and I are 12 years apart, and at times I second guess his maturity.

He moved in with me about eight months ago.

I know he loves me and I love him dearly, however, his temper can really make me second guess everything too easily.

He likes to go out with friends about three times a week. When he comes home, I tend to get very nervous and begin questioning what I might have done wrong to get him upset.

It can be anything from not blow-drying my hair, to leaving a piece of his mail on his side of the bed.

I understand some men like their women to do things for them and I want to do things for him. But that piece of mail turns into a pile of garbage in his eyes, because it starts an argument of why am I so lazy. He claims I don’t do anything for him or think of anyone but myself. Then he begins to express that’s why I’m so overweight and he body shames me in every way a man can.

I will take the bait occasionally and speak up for myself, but his anger takes over and he’s never wrong. Other times I simply stay quiet and he goes on and on.

I love this man and I try so hard to sleep these things off. But I find myself becoming an angry person being around him while he’s upset.

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I know I’m not naturally an angry person, so there has to be something we can do to keep this from happening all the time.

Can you help me with this?

— Hurting

Dear Hurting: What you call possible immaturity, I call abusive. The behavior you report: Going out by himself several times a week, returning home and putting you down, boxing you in so that you are constantly worried about tiny “infractions” — these are all alarming actions of a relationship that is imbalanced and abusive.

There is nothing you can do to change this dynamic unless your partner commits to change, and the guy you describe in your question does not sound inclined to change. He holds the power, and he will not readily relinquish it.

The best path for you is the path that leads you out of this unhealthy relationship. It’s time to ask him to leave your home. If you need more encouragement, please seek out family and friends who can help you to look at this risky relationship in an objective way. Don’t let this person isolate you.

Dear Amy: “Wondering” posed a question about how to talk about her ex-husband to her young children. I agreed with your advice to be very careful.

I was divorced with two daughters. I had the ex-husband from hell. However, I had a rule. No one, absolutely no one — could say anything negative about him in my children’s presence, not my parents, not my family, not my friends.

When he tried to agitate me, I would smile and walk away. If I received a harassing phone call from him, I would listen, thank him for his opinion and politely hang up.

It was very difficult to do, but I would not allow myself to get drawn into a battle where only my children would suffer.

When my children got older and started asking questions about his behavior I would say: “It’s OK to love your dad. You don’t have to like what he does, or his values, or the things he stands for. But, it’s OK to love him.”

— Been There

Dear Been There: Thank you for promoting this very compassionate and wise reaction to a very tough situation.

Dear Amy: I’m writing in response to a comment from a person who works in HR who said that HR’s role is to protect the company, not the employee.

I’ve been in HR for nearly 25 years. I realize that writer’s viewpoint is a common one, but HR folks who take their roles seriously and thoughtfully see it as a dual advocacy role.

Yes, part of our jobs is to keep the company out of court, but if you’re doing it right, with the right motivation, you are also advocate for doing right by the employees. In ethical companies, those are not mutually exclusive concepts.

— HR from Both Sides

Dear Both Sides: Point taken. Thank you.

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EPA chief looking “closely” at dropping storm-water lawsuit against Colorado Springs, says Rep. Doug Lamborn

1 hour 24 min ago

Colorado Springs’ years-long challenge with storm water that has carried pollutants and controversy downstream to Pueblo County has taken a new turn, with a member of Congress saying he has asked the EPA to drop a lawsuit against the state’s second-largest city.

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn told The Denver Post this week he has spoken twice in recent months with Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt about the legal action and also sent him a letter, a decision driven in part by the arrival of the Trump administration in Washington.

The El Paso County Republican, who calls the lawsuit “punitive” and unnecessary in light of Colorado Springs’ financial commitment to address the problem, said he also hopes to meet with Pruitt and Colorado Springs officials in the coming weeks to discuss the legal action at length.

“He’s directed his staff to be looking at this closely,” Lamborn said of Pruitt. “He doesn’t know all the details because he has so much on his plate. He seemed to agree with the premise that if Colorado Springs has committed such a huge amount of money to address storm-water drainage, that going through the expense of a lawsuit and the expense of fines to do what the city has already agreed to do is just piling on.”

Storm water in Colorado Springs flows into the Fountain Creek watershed and down toward Pueblo, where it meets the Arkansas River — a vital waterway for drinking water and agriculture in southeast Colorado. Pueblo has been battling with Colorado Springs for years over water quality and concerns about flooding.

The EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sued Colorado Springs in November 2016 over alleged water quality violations stemming from its mismanagement of runoff, including silt and other debris.

Colorado Springs responded by calling the lawsuit a waste of money, noting the city has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to address the problems. 

I enjoyed speaking w/ @EPAScottPruitt once again, I reiterated the importance of the EPA dropping its stormwater lawsuit against CO Springs pic.twitter.com/rve5kj1se6

— Rep. Doug Lamborn (@RepDLamborn) May 23, 2017

“The City appreciates Congressman Lamborn’s support to resolve this issue, as the continuance of the lawsuit only hampers our ability to effectively address our stormwater issues,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, in a written statement. “The suit should be expeditiously resolved. Expensive litigation and potential imposition of fines is wholly unproductive. I encourage the plaintiffs to review our stormwater plan and inform us with specificity what further work needs to be accomplished.”

Lamborn said he waited until President Donald Trump’s administration came into office before petitioning the EPA to drop the suit. He said former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, an Obama administration appointee, was “a lost cause.”

“It took the election of Donald Trump to show there would be a different approach in the EPA,” Lamborn said. “Hillary Clinton would have either kept Gina McCarthy on or brought in someone like her.”

The EPA did not comment for this story.

Lamborn said he believes the EPA is the driving force behind the lawsuit and that his next goal is to get Colorado’s health department to drop its case. CDPHE, however, said this week that it has no plans of backing down.

“CDPHE agrees with EPA that the City is in ongoing violation of its (storm-water) permit and that these violations are significant,” CDPHE executive director and chief medical officer Dr. Larry Wolk said in a statement Wednesday. “We believe these significant violations need to be corrected in order to protect the state’s water quality.”

Colorado Springs has entered an intergovernmental agreement with its downstream neighbors in Pueblo County to invest $460 million over the next two decades on storm-water management. And the city’s voters recently allowed $12 million in tax revenues to be used for infrastructure.

Pueblo County, however, joined the EPA and CDPHE lawsuit earlier this year to ensure its voice is heard.

The lawsuit alleges Colorado Springs has violated the Clean Water Act and Colorado Water Control Act by failing to comply with the conditions of its storm-water permits, seeking court-ordered mandates and damages. It says the city has failed to provide adequate resources to address its storm-water issues since at least 2009.

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Bob Loevy, an emeritus political science professor at Colorado College, said it makes sense that Lamborn is getting involved because storm water is such a hot button issue in his district. Loevy said another incentive could be that the congressman is facing a “strong challenger” for his seat in state Sen. Owen Hill.

But others are less sure about the wisdom of Lamborn’s involvement.

“I’m not sure that interfering in a lawsuit that’s been filed is necessarily in the best interest in the folks living downstream of Fountain Creek,” said Jane Ard-Smith, chair of the Pikes Peak chapter of the Sierra Club. “It’s not just the EPA, but it’s also the state of Colorado that filed the lawsuit. This was not an action that was taken lightly. The EPA doesn’t go around suing willy-nilly. We’ve seen a history of storm-water violations, so I would hope that the congressman would see the value of enforcing clean water laws.”

Lamborn said anyone who thinks he isn’t acting in the interests of clean water is missing the point.

“People who say that are not looking at the agreement that Colorado Springs has reached,” Lamborn said. “Mayor Suthers and the city are committed to a $460 million program to get on top of this problem once and for all. I believe the mayor and the city — that they are good on their word. When you listen to them, it’s obvious that they are sincere — that they don’t like being in the position of being sued and being blamed for problems that should be cleaned up.”

Categories: All Denver News.

Bold, aggressive coyotes targeted as wildlife managers seek peace with people

1 hour 30 min ago

Coyotes colonizing cities have hit a new hurdle as wildlife managers deploy a precision lethal approach that targets the boldest and most aggressive animals — aiming ultimately to eliminate traits that may lead to conflicts with people.

This push favors docile coyotes — the kind that could coexist with dogwalkers on greenways — and is rooted in new federal research that compares cowering coyote behavior in rural habitat with extreme boldness among those in metro Denver.

The goal is to move beyond questionable strategies of exterminating multiple coyotes, wildlife managers say, and facilitate harmony with humans. Coyotes have their benefits, such as reducing rodents and feral cats, which snatch songbirds. But the very same boldness and aggressiveness that enabled coyotes to rapidly colonize cities also is linked to problematic attacks on household pets and occasionally people.

It may be working. Targeting and killing 10 or so coyotes a year whose behavior fits the emerging profile of boldness and aggressiveness has coincided with stabilization of Denver’s coyote population between 500 to 1,000 coyotes, said carnivore ecologist Stewart Breck, a wildlife researcher at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins. Coyote attacks on people and pets have decreased and the species easily can withstand the killing, he said.

  • Joe Amon, The Denver Post

    A coyote racing along the rise of the runway at Denver International Airport. February 19, 2015 Denver, CO (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post)

  • Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

    A coyote blends beautifully with his environment amid Aspen trees and dried brush early in the morning on April 6, 2016, in Nederland.

  • Joe Amon, The Denver Post

    A wild coyote on commercial development land near the Commerce City Civic Center.

  • Brian Brainerd, The Denver Post

    An urban coyote investigates Glasier Farm, 9800 E. Alameda, in Denver.

  • Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post

    A coyote crosses a frozen Lake Mary at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar spent the morning touring the refuge and discussing proposed projects that could be funded under President Obama's economic recovery package currently before Congress.

  • ohn Prieto, The Denver Post file photo

    Kristan Pritz, Director of Broomfield's Open Space and Trails and is working on a first of its kind policy dealing with human and coyote cohabitation. Photo of Pritz at The Field Open Space. May 28, 2010. John Prieto/The Denver Post.

  • Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post

    A coyote walks the shore of Ketring Lake in Littleton, CO Feb. 21, 2013. The Friday forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and highs near 40.

  • Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post

    A Bald Eagle takes interest as a coyote makes off with the remains of a Canadian Goose on the reservoir at Cherry Creek State Park.

  • Joe Amon, The Denver Post

    Skulls of Colorado's three predators, Cougar, Coyote and Bear at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins.

  • Coyote footprint cast at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins. Joe Amon, The Denver Post

  • Andy Cross, The Denver Post

    -A wild coyote walks freely on the Cherry Creek Country Club golf course near Yale Ave. and Cherry Creek Dr. South, behind the Cherry Creek Meadows townhome complex Thursday morning. THE DENVER POST/ ANDY CROSS

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    A coyote uses its good sense of smell and hearing to hunt a field mouse under the snow in a field west of Fraser, Colo., Tuesday, March. 29, 2005. The area after having summer like weather the past few days got a light snow throughout the day. RJ Sangosti/ The Denver Post RJ'S Cell 970 217 6147

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“You don’t want those very bold and aggressive coyotes breeding and passing on those traits to other coyotes,” he said. “Think of removal of coyotes as a way to manage behavior. You are not ‘managing coyotes.’ You are managing coyote behavior.”

Few species are more successful than coyotes in adapting as humans increasingly populate western North America. Though the U.S. government paid $1.8 million in $1 bounties for dead coyotes from 1914 to 1947, coyotes have expanded their western plains habitat, thriving today from Alaska to Panama. Denver, Chicago and Los Angeles became urban habitat: hunting is illegal inside city limits, wild predators are rare, ditches and drain pipes give good cover for raising pups, and there’s abundant food from squirrels to discarded food.

Coyotes over the past decade colonized almost every U.S. city and get by mostly without conflicts, especially where cities incorporate natural land, and are proving highly flexible. In the Denver suburb Highlands Ranch, coyotes in 2001 went regularly to a McDonald’s where employees were feeding them buns from a drive-through window – until one in the parking lot nipped a woman on her calf and deputies exterminated them all.

Government wildlife managers call social acceptance a crucial challenge. In the past, Greenwood Village and other municipalities deployed sharpshooters to exterminate coyotes.

The targeting of aggressive coyotes gained momentum in Denver a couple of years ago. A boy and girl were playing in Denver’s City Park, near a fountain outside the Museum of Nature and Science, according to a CPW report. The parents were looking away. A male coyote was stalking the children, creeping within 50 feet. A museum director inside saw what was happening. He bolted outdoors, chased off the coyote and, then notified Colorado Parks and Wildlife area manager Eliza Hunholz.

Hunholz raced to the scene and quickly found the coyote. Working with fellow CPW and federal sharpshooters, Hunholz directed efforts that evening in which officers mimicked the call of a territorial male coyote. They lured back the one that stalked the children, one aiming an infra-red scope long rifle and squeezing the trigger. It fell, about 50 yards west of the fountain.

“We want the well-behaved ones,” Hunholz said, characterizing the targeting approach as a combination of genetic and behavioral control.

“It takes that individual coyote out of the gene pool so it is not breeding,” she said.

Conflicts with coyotes in City Park quickly ceased, and CPW officials say less-aggressive coyotes still live there, but stay out of sight.

“We had coyotes that pioneered their way into the city starting around 2002,” Hunholz said. “They were bolder.”

Three years ago, a harsher crackdown on coyotes in south suburban Clement Park offended people in the area. They’d complained about a group of coyotes. CPW’s team responded and exterminated five.

“Then people said: ‘Why on Earth did you take out so many coyotes?’ What we heard, loud and clear, was that people do not want us to just categorically kill coyotes,” Hunholz said.

CPW crews increasingly are working with federal researchers to develop a behavioral profile — beyond raised hackles, bared teeth and forward approach — for targeting the small percentage of bold and aggressive coyotes deemed likely to cause trouble.

The results so far — about five have been killed in metro Denver this year — have raised hopes among wildlife managers that city people and coyotes could coexist.

“I didn’t think it would happen this way,” Hunholz said. “I thought we were going to have to continue to kill multiple coyotes. I didn’t think it would resolve itself this way.”

There are still big questions to be answered. Scientists studying coyotes’ quick learning and rapid adaptation say they are trying to determine how much of boldness and aggressiveness is rooted in genetics, versus learning to take advantage of changing conditions.

First, federal researchers in Utah focused on developing a method to measure boldness and aggressiveness. They placed “novel objects” in pens with captive coyotes and found that, while most coyotes cowered, a few touched the objects. They also conducted “flight initiation” tests measuring how quickly coyotes fled when a human approached.

Then Breck and others began comparing the behaviors of wild coyotes in rural south-central Utah, where hunters and trappers regularly kill them (state officials still pay bounty money for dead coyotes) and in Denver, where coyotes are neither hunted nor trapped.

Breck studied coyotes fitted with radio collars at 30 locations in metro Denver parks. He and his researchers set up motion-activated cameras. They monitored what coyotes did when facing objects placed between four stakes — pungent white quarter-sized fatty acid pellets that appeal to coyotes. The researchers also walked up on coyotes sleeping in parks at night and measured how quickly they dispersed. Sometimes they challenged the coyotes, yelling. Did they walk away? How soon would they run? How far? Did they turn back? Did they look over their shoulders as they dispersed?

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The video images show rural coyotes hiding, barely visible, and shunning novel objects placed on their turf. But in metro Denver parks, coyotes mostly approached the pungent tabs, and some touched them, Breck said. “We saw much bolder responses in urban environments.”

The science is laying a foundation for targeting coyotes based on behavior.

Those killed “could be the best and brightest,” USDA supervisory wildlife research biologist Julie Young said.

“But their landscape has changed. The human population is just continuing to grow,” she said. “For a carnivore to live in a city, humans have to feel they’re not going to be harmed by that carnivore. And so those ones that are very aggressive toward humans? That’s going to set the threshold.”

But will the killing to weed out those traits hurt the species?

“I feel pretty confident it won’t,” Young said, adding that new methods of chemical sterilization also may help reduce aggressive behavior because aggressiveness often involves females protecting and finding food for their pups.

“This is about increasing social tolerance. There are just so many humans out there. So many ways that we use the landscape. It is not just for wildlife any more.”

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Police: Fort Collins woman was passed out on drugs when infant son died

1 hour 55 min ago
Larimer County Sheriff's OfficeMandi Woodall

FORT COLLINS — Police have arrested a northern Colorado woman whose infant son died while investigators say she was passed out from drug use for 18 hours on her birthday.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports 28-year-old Mandi Woodall was arrested Thursday and is being held in the Larimer County jail.

Investigators say she told them she took a two-hour nap with the 3-month-old boy Tuesday, and he was unresponsive when she awoke. But authorities believe she had been sleeping for nearly an entire day and that drugs played a role.

They have not said how the boy died. Two other children at the home were uninjured but showed signs of neglect.

Booking documents do not indicate if Woodall has hired an attorney.

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Colorado representatives try to rename peaks after climbers who died in avalanche

2 hours 3 min ago
Charlie Fowler Collection via MountainfilmIn this undated photo provided by Mountainfilm, mountain climber Charlie Fowler is seen in Tibet.

NORWOOD — Colorado’s congressional representatives are trying to name two peaks in the southwestern part of the state after two local climbers who died in an avalanche in Asia.

The state’s two senators, Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, and Rep. Scott Tipton have introduced a bill renaming the as yet unnamed 13,000-foot peaks after Charlie Fowler and Chris Boskoff. The two were killed in 2006 while climbing a remote massif on the border of China and Tibet.

The peaks that would bear their names loom over the southwestern Colorado town of Norwood where the climbers lived.

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Their fathers were enemies, but the children of Vietnam’s dead share a bond

2 hours 26 min ago

By Michael E. Ruane, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Susan Mitchell-Mattera leaned her small American flag and the framed picture of her family against the black stone of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Thursday and raised her father’s old harmonica to her lips.

As she played the opening notes of taps, Vu Ngoc Xiem, a veteran of the North Vietnamese army whose father was killed in an American bombing attack during the war, reached out and steadied her hand.

Up on the wall, at Panel 14W, Row 14, was the name of Mitchell-Mattera’s father, James C. Mitchell Jr., a sailor who was killed when his helicopter was shot down in 1970, days before he was to come home. He was 24.

Mitchell-Mattera played only a few notes, but they hung in the humid air on an overcast day when the Wall was just starting to dry from the overnight rain, revealing the names of the 58,000 American dead in the Vietnam War.

It was one part of an emotional morning as Vietnamese and American children of parents killed on opposite sides in the war gathered to honor lost fathers and mothers and to embrace each other as brothers and sisters.

There were many tears and hugs on both sides, and the laying of hands on the dark stone.

At the start of the Memorial Day weekend, the group was visiting Washington, D.C., for the debut of a documentary about children who lost parents to the Vietnam War.

The film, which was shown Thursday at the GI Film Festival at the Navy Memorial in Washington, is part of the 2 Sides Project, an enterprise launched two years ago by Margot Carlson Delogne, 52, as she sought to fill the void left by the absence of her father, who was killed in the war.

The nonprofit aims to connect sons and daughters who lost parents on both sides of the Vietnam War.

In 2015, Carlson Delogne took a film crew and a small group of Americans who had lost fathers in the war to Vietnam. They visited sites where their fathers were believed to have been killed and met with Vietnamese who had lost fathers and mothers in the fighting.

Several of the Vietnamese encountered on the trip, including, Vu, 65, a veteran and retiree from Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, were invited to Washington for the opening of the film and the weekend’s commemorations.

The Vietnamese had never been to the United States before.

They included Nguyen Thi Hong Diem, 49, also of Ho Chi Minh City, whose father and mother were both killed fighting for the insurgent Viet Cong, and Dang Thi Le Phi, 53, of Da Nang, whose father died in the war when she was 2.

They were joined by several Americans who had made the trip in 2015. Among them were Ronald R. Reyes, 49, of Moorpark, California, whose 19-year-old father, Ronald, was killed serving with the Marines at Khe Sanh in 1968, and Mitchell-Mattera, 52, a nurse from Carson, California, whose father was shot down over the Mekong River Delta, in what was then South Vietnam.

The group arrived at the memorial at 10 a.m., with Vu bearing a bouquet of flowers to leave there.

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After a translator helped explain how the names are arranged on the Wall, and Reyes described it as “like a scar in the ground,” the group descended the path into the memorial, which was thronged with visitors.

They paused at the center. Vu placed his flowers and spoke on behalf of the Vietnamese.

In an interview earlier in the week, he explained that his father was killed manning an antiaircraft battery at the Ham Rong Bridge near Thanh Hoa against a fierce bombing campaign the Americans called Operation Rolling Thunder.

His father, Vu Ngoc Sam, then in his 40s, had been fighting in the army since the Vietnamese enemy had been the French.

He was rarely home, his son said, and the family saw him mainly when he passed their rice farm in Nam Dinh Province, south of Hanoi, on the march.

After the attack on the bridge, in 1965, there was nothing left of his father, no body to bury. So the family erected a small tomb near their home and left it empty.

More tragedy struck two years later, when Vu was in high school. He was 16 and a class leader. He had been outside checking the school’s adjacent bomb shelters when U.S. jets attacked.

To illustrate, Vu lined up a candy bar, a package of cookies and a small recorder case on a hotel lobby countertop to show how the three buildings of his high school were arranged.

One bomb landed beside the first school building, he indicated with his finger. Another bomb and landed near the third building. But the middle building suffered a direct hit.

The shock waves blew him off his feet and into a pond, he said. He recovered, ran to the destroyed building and began trying to dig out his classmates.

Dozens of them, and a teacher, were killed, he said.

The incidents filled him with hostility, he said, and he went on to become a war correspondent during the closing chapters of the conflict.

Thursday, as he stood before the Wall in a coat and tie, hands clasped before him, he spoke of peace and healing.

“We are the sons and daughters of the Vietnamese war martyrs,” he said through an interpreter. “We want to heal the wounds of the war . . . the pain and sacrifice and losses on both sides. Today I’m very moved standing here. I am the son of a war martyr, and also a veteran.”

But “we travel on the same road,” he said. The Vietnamese and Americans embraced and wept.

Then the group went to see the names of the American fathers.

When they reached the carving of Ronald Reyes’ father’s name, the son used his necktie to wipe moisture from the stone.

His father was a skinny teenager from La Puente, California, who joined the Marines and was killed in the fighting around Khe Sanh on March 30, 1968, weeks after his 19th birthday.

Reyes said his father’s spirit has followed him his whole life.

As he held his hand over his father’s name Thursday, Vu pressed his hand over Reyes’s in a sign of affection.

When the group got to the name of Carlson Delogne’s father, Air Force Capt. John W. Carlson, on Panel 13E, she said: “My father’s name is not touchable. It’s too high up.”

But she explained how to count down from the top to Row 18, where he was listed.

Carlson Delogne, a resident of Walpole, Massachusetts, was 2 when her father was shot down in an Air Force jet Dec. 7, 1966. His body has never been found, and although he has a tombstone in Arlington National Cemetery, there is no grave.

She said she remembers nothing of him.

“I have searched long and hard in my memory, and I have just nothing,” she said in an interview this week. “I’ve asked over the years people who knew him, ‘What was he like?’ Always searching for what in me is from him.

“I’ve never had a satisfying answer,” she said.

Carlson Delogne also studied his letters and papers and listened to some of the cassette tapes he sent home to his family.

At the same time, she detested Vietnam for taking her father. “I had a hatred toward it,” she said.

But her attitude started to change when she met other children of Americans killed in Vietnam. And she realized that bombs dropped by her father may have killed the fathers of Vietnamese women.

“I began to wonder . . . [if] there was . . . a daughter on the other side who was like me,” she said. “I started to wonder how she felt and how she had grown up.”

The 2 Sides Project seeks to answer such questions.

As she stood at the Wall on Thursday, Carlson Delogne pointed up to Row 18.

“You see his name?” she asked.

Her Vietnamese friends said they did.

Categories: All Denver News.

Why Americans are eating more pork now than they have in decades

2 hours 33 min ago

HUMESTON, Iowa — The Iowa Select pig farm gives its visitors headphones, because the squeal of hogs is deafening. This is either a chorus for the damned — or the sound of pork’s ascendancy.

Americans, long devoted to chicken and beef, are eating more pork now than they have in years. And brand-new farms such as this one, a $20 million facility one hour south of Des Moines, are opening to meet demand for everything from pork belly to pig ears.

In Iowa alone, meatpackers have recently broken ground on new slaughterhouses worth well over $500 million. By the end of 2018, the Agriculture Department predicts that U.S. pork production will equal – and occasionally exceed – that of beef, though neither red meat yet rivals chicken.

Some of that demand will come from growing foreign markets. But Americans have developed a new taste for pork, particularly bacon, as well. According to the market research firm Euromonitor, sales of pork are up 20 percent in the United States since 2011.

“More people are eating out, and pork is in a good position in the food service sector,” said Dennis Smith, a commodities broker and analyst at Archer Financial Services. “Just look at all the bacon they’re putting on burgers.”

As Smith and others who watch the hog industry explain it, a confluence of factors appears to lie behind pork’s growing popularity. Bacon is indeed one of them: Last winter, demand grew so high that the country’s pork-belly supply hit a 50-year low – sparking (unfounded) fears of a bacon shortage.

The growing influence of Asian cuisines, particularly Korean and Vietnamese, have also made some cuts of pork newly popular. In its 2016 food trends report, Google named char siu, bulgogi and banh mi – which frequently include pork – among the year’s hottest foods.

And Americans are increasingly turning to fast-food restaurants for breakfast, where bacon and pork sausage are both popular.

Demographics play a major role, as well: Pork is a popular meat in Latino cooking, and sales have grown with that population.

Pork has also benefited from the fact that Americans’ spending on food, particularly at restaurants, has rebounded since the recession. According to the USDA, Americans have spent more money at restaurants in each year since 2010. A 2013 study by researchers at Purdue University found that spending on meat, in particular, spiked after the recession, especially for high-quality cuts of chicken, pork and beef.

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If all that weren’t enough, pork has also had a little help from an organization called the Pork Board – an industry group that works to grow demand for the “other white meat.” (They are, in fact, the ones who coined that tagline in the 1980s.)

For the past several years, the Pork Board has been waging an aggressive campaign to popularize different cuts of pork, explained Jarrod Sutton, a marketing executive with the organization. Aside from publicizing pork recipes and rebranding several cuts – a pork chop can now be a “porterhouse,” for instance – the board has worked behind the scenes with restaurants and retailers, getting things such as pork bellies on their menus and in their meat cases.

Recently, Pork Board partnered with Longhorn Steakhouse – a chain best known, as its name implies, for gigantic servings of beef – to feature a sous-vide pork chop with garlic-herb butter.

According to Datassential, a market research firm that tracks restaurant menus, that is only one of many U.S. restaurants that have recently begun introducing dishes made with pork belly, pork shoulder, pulled pork and better chop cuts.

“How much pork are people willing to consume?” Sutton asked. “Based on the intelligence we have, it’s only going to grow in the future.”

Anticipated growth in the United States is not the only reason that new hog farms and slaughterhouses are popping up across the Midwest. Foreign demand is also strong in markets such as Mexico, China and Japan, and hog farms and processors are becoming more productive.

A number of companies have recently decided to embark on expansion projects. In Sioux City, an afternoon’s drive from the Humeston pig farm, Seaboard Triumph Foods is building a huge, $300 million plant that will span almost a million square feet and process upward of 20,000 hogs a day. Prestage Foods, a large producer of pork and turkey, recently broke ground on a new pork plant in Eagle Grove, Iowa, that will process 10,000 hogs each day.

When these facilities open, USDA predicts, an additional 900 million pounds of pork will hit the U.S. market – which may edge prices down a bit and further stimulate demand. In either case, by the end of 2018 U.S. farmers are expected to produce as much pork as beef – which is, for the pork industry, an unprecedented accomplishment.

“It’s never happened before,” Smith said. “It’s the first time in history that pork has equaled or surpassed beef production.”

In Humeston, pig producers are gearing up. In addition to this new facility, which houses more than 6,000 sows, Iowa Select is building three other, larger sow farms across Iowa.

A new litter of piglets is born here every 25 minutes, on average, stumbling out into the chorus of pig squeals and the glare of overhead heat lamps. Bloated sows lie in grids of 84 metal pens to give birth, their piglets – some still trailing dried umbilical cords – squirming and sleeping next to them.

After three weeks here with their mothers, the piglets are trucked to a separate nursery, then to a “finishing” farm where they’ll fatten up. After that, it’s off to the packing plant.

. . . And quite possibly, your next pack of bacon.

 

Categories: All Denver News.

Bowie State student killed in possible hate crime laid to rest

2 hours 47 min ago
Michael Robinson Chavez , The Washington PostMembers of Bowie State University’s ROTC program carry the casket of Richard Collins III into First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Md.

By Lynh Bui, Ovetta Wiggins and John Woodrow Cox, The Washington Post

The stage beneath the blue-and-white church steeple in Maryland was not where Richard Collins III was to be celebrated this week.

The young lieutenant, who had just been commissioned in the U.S. Army last week, should have marched across the stage at Bowie State University’s graduation ceremony Tuesday to claim his diploma, in mortarboard and flowing black robe.

Instead, hundreds of students, relatives, friends and fellow soldiers gathered Friday morning at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden to honor the young man who was fatally stabbed in College Park at the University of Maryland.

The 23-year-old’s death – now being investigated by the FBI as a possible hate crime – baffled and devastated both campuses at a moment of heightened racial tension in America. The seemingly random killing at the threshold of Collins’ military career drew condemnation from lawmakers across the state and an immediate promise from U-Md. to launch a comprehensive plan intended to “combat hate.”

Pauletta Handy, a 53-year-old Bowie resident and the mother of a Maryland graduate, didn’t know Collins, but she felt like she did.

“I’m a black mother,” she said at the church, her eyes glassy. “To have a good kid like that, somebody who wanted to serve our country, and for him to get taken out not in Iraq but right here in our own country over racism.”

Collins’ body arrived just before 8 a.m. in a black hearse bearing the seal of the U.S. Army. White-gloved comrades in their dress blues quietly marched Collins’ casket into the church as four others stood at the entrance in silent salute.

Wearing dark sunglasses, Collins’ mother clutched a handkerchief as she accepted hugs and condolences from friends, uniformed service members, politicians and police officers.

The service was joyful at points, with cheers, applause and chants of hallelujah from the crowd.

“Our pain, our grief, our suffering is very, very deep,” said Pastor Steve Pierce. “Let us work together for peace and justice.”

The funeral comes six days after Collins was killed in what police said was a “totally unprovoked” attack while at a bus stop with two friends on the U-Md. campus in College Park. Police say that Collins had been visiting the campus when Sean Christopher Urbanski, a U-Md. student, approached the group about 3 a.m. Saturday and told Collins to move. Collins refused before Urbanski stabbed him in the chest, police said.

Urbanski, 22, of Severna Park, Md., has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and first-degree assault. His attorney has said that drugs and alcohol may have played a role in the incident.

Prince George’s County police picked up Urbanski about 50 feet from where Collins collapsed, court papers state. Police recovered a knife from Urbanski’s front-right pocket, police said. He remains jailed on a no-bond status.

The attack rattled both universities, which have been in the middle of spring graduation celebrations. Collins’ slaying has stoked fear and concern among students and administrators at the College Park campus, where racially motivated incidents had already unsettled the community in recent months.

Collins was black, and Urbanski is white. Although police initially said the attack did not seem to be racially motivated, authorities announced Sunday that they had launched a hate-crime investigation after learning that Urbanski appeared to have some involvement with a social-media page called “Alt-Reich: Nation.”

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“We’re not supposed to be here,” the Rev. Darryl Godlock said before the funeral, insisting that people “stop hating one another, stop attacking one another.”

On Wednesday, U-Md. President Wallace Loh announced “an action plan to combat hate and create a safer campus.” The plan includes dedicating $100,000 for diversity and inclusion programs and creating a “trained, rapid-response team” offering services to the community’s hate-bias incidents.

“How could this happen to a young man with so much promise?” Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III wrote in a letter that was read during the service. He quoted John 15:13: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Baker added that he hoped Collins’ “sacrifice inspires us all to drive out hatred, racism and intolerance within our communities.”

The audience – which included U.S. Sens. Benjamin Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and former NAACP president Ben Jealous – interrupted the reading with standing applause.

One speaker suggested that Collins was standing up against bigotry the night of the stabbing.

“When he said, ‘No,’ he said, ‘This war is not going to be one that I’m going to lose,’ ” said Artie Travis, Bowie’s vice president of student affairs.

Travis said he longed for a day when he would not have to look over his shoulder in fear simply because he was a black man, a comment that resonated with Vicky Bruce.

“That’s something I’ve never had to feel as a white person,” said Bruce, who lives in Urbanski’s community.

Bruce, 50, didn’t know Collins but attended the funeral along with women from Anne Arundel County Indivisible. In Collins’ honor, the organization is pushing anti-hate legislation in the county, where a noose was recently found hanging outside of a middle school.

“If you let these racist groups survive and foster, it’s like a cancer in our society,” said Bruce.

Throughout the services, Collins’ family, commanding officers and colleagues spoke fondly of the young man who loved lacrosse and soccer, who helped a relative build a robot for an engineering class and who wanted to serve in the military to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Hughes, head of the U.S. Army’s Cadet Command, said Collins kept the highest academic and physical test scores among his class while also encouraging other colleagues to succeed.

Collins would pick up fellow cadets from the Metro station in the morning so they could get to their physical fitness tests.

“He helped his fellow cadets reach their dreams and their goals, and I’ve got to tell you, that is pretty lofty for a man of a mere 23 years of age,” Hughes said.

Collins’ cousins described him as a fiercely opinionated person who was always eager to defend his beliefs. They shared stories of their mischief, including the time he cut a younger cousin’s hair. “He was the fun coordinator,” his oldest cousin, Kristal Godfrey, said, but he was also the preacher when they “played church.”

Godfrey urged the crowd to honor her cousin’s memory with love, which drew swelling applause.

“I want to challenge you to love,” she said. “Not the hippie kind of love. I’m talking about that fierce, unrelenting love. . . . A love that stands up for what is right . . . that does not allow hate to persist.”

Friday’s service ended with Collins’ mother accepting an American flag on her son’s behalf in a gesture akin to her husband’s days earlier, when he had walked across the stage at Bowie State’s graduation to accept their Richie’s diploma.

Luz Lazo contributed to this report.

Categories: All Denver News.

Just don’t call it “climate change”: Rebranding government in the age of Trump

2 hours 53 min ago

WASHINGTON – “Climate change” is out. “Resilience” is in. “Victims of domestic violence” are now “victims of crime.” Foreign aid for refugee rights has become aid to protect “national security.” “Clean energy investment” has been transformed into just plain “energy” investment.

The federal government is undergoing a rebranding under President Donald Trump – although not all at his direction.

As Trump sets new priorities for Washington sharply at odds with what the town has seen for the past eight years, some officials working on hot-button issues such as the environment, nutrition and foreign aid are changing the names of offices and programs that might draw skepticism from the conservative Republican leaders he has installed atop agencies.

While entire departments are changing their missions under Trump, many of these rebranding efforts reflect a desire to blend in or escape notice, not a change in what officials do day-to-day – at least not yet, according to 19 current and former employees across the government, and nonprofit officials who receive federal funding.

“I do think it exemplifies a general sense of looking at our programs, looking at the way we characterize our activities, and trying to rebrand or repaint them in ways that hopefully make them less of a target,” said one Energy Department employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe the changes inside the government.

The changes in messaging come as Trump and his Cabinet leaders are setting new priorities – and that will increasingly change the operations of most agencies as time goes on and the administration gets lower-level political appointees into top posts.

The Environmental Protection Agency has shifted from enacting climate change regulations to reversing them, while the Energy Department has moved from boosting prospects for renewable energy to promoting President Trump’s fossil fuel-focused agenda. The Trump State Department is aiming to cut spending on diplomacy and foreign aid, and the Agriculture Department has backed away from Obama-era rules to ensure healthy school lunches.

“I think you’re seeing a combination of people trying to stay below the radar so they don’t get whacked, and also trying to morph so they can accommodate what the new administration’s point of view is going to be,” said Adam Cohen, who served as deputy undersecretary for science and energy at the Energy Department from October 2015 until this month.

Some of the most striking examples of rebranding come from agencies dealing with energy and the environment, where references to “climate change” and “clean energy” have sometimes disappeared.

In late April, the “Energy Investor Center” replaced the Department of Energy’s “Clean Energy Investment Center,” which was founded in early 2016 to help the private sector better learn how to put money into renewable technologies.

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Language about the focus on the “clean and alternative” energy market vanished from the program’s website.

The old web link, which included the word “clean,” redirects to one that doesn’t, according to an analysis by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, which tracks government website changes affecting the environment.

Energy spokeswoman Lindsey Geisler said these changes were not ordered by the Trump administration but were made by career staff to “better reflect the broader focus of the project, which includes all traditional and nontraditional energy sources.”

“It’s our own career staff, they’re in their ‘Keep their head down, maybe they won’t cut our budget’ mode,” said an Energy Department staffer who also spoke anonymously because the employee was not authorized to speak publicly.

– – –

Self-censorship?

At two other federal agencies – the EPA and the Federal Highway Administration – programs have shifted to talking about “resilience” rather than “climate change.”

The EPA’s “Climate Ready Water Utilities” site was renamed “Creating Resilient Water Utilities” – even before the inauguration, the timing of which suggests it was unlikely that Trump appointees were involved in the change.

At the Federal Highway Administration, a website focused on the environmental impacts of cars and other forms oftransportation replaced a page addressing “climate change” with one about “sustainability” sometime in January.

Another page, on climate change “adaptation,” morphed into one titled “resilience,” and the overall program, formerly known as the Sustainable Transport and Climate Change group, was renamed the Sustainable Transportation and Resilience group.

The rebrandings extend beyond the energy and environment sphere.

A key Obama-era initiative at the Agriculture Department called “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food,” which brought together seven farm-to-table nutrition programs, was moved from the agency’s main website to an obscure one within the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, where it appears under the blander “Local & Regional Food Sector.” Instead of highlighting farmers markets, organic agriculture and a “Farm to School” program, the site features “Opportunities for Farmers and Ranchers” and guidance on”Aggregating, Processing and Distributing.”

Development programs, facing potentially drastic funding cuts to international aid, have reframed their missions to de-emphasize Obama-era priorities such as women’s health and climate change and instead play up regional stability and religious freedom in areas where Christians are persecuted.

“Civil servants running data-driven initiatives are trying to figure out how to reframe their work to appeal to a White House that has so far taken an ideologically driven ‘Ready, fire, aim’ approach to understanding many of our federal programs,” said Daniel Holt, founder of the Washington-based consulting firm Anchorage Partners and USAID’s director of public engagement from 2015 to 2017.

“Staff shouldn’t feel their jobs are threatened by those who haven’t looked into the efficacy of the programs they’re going after,” Holt said. “These are civil servants who have sworn an oath to faithfully do their jobs in service of our country.”

The rebranding has been made easier by a vacuum in political leadership at most agencies, where five months after Trump was sworn in, Cabinet secretaries have few if any of their senior leaders in place. Many of these changes have gone unnoticed as civil servants await policy direction from appointees who have not been confirmed by the Senate or even nominated.

The retooling poses risks. The more overt the changes, the more they leave digital fingerprints that are easily noted in an era in which outside groups and journalists are scrutinizing government sites and data sets for any sign of changes. Reframing can’t escape the Internet archive.

Nongovernmental organizations reliant on federal funds are getting the message, too. One federally funded international aid organization that works in more than 50 countries now highlights its development work as a counterweight to violent extremism and a vital tool to shore up the national security interests of the United States. By stabilizing institutions in volatile parts of the world, the organization is saying to its partners and stakeholders, it is lessening the chance of a mass migration of refugees to the United States – a policy that is in line with the Trump administration’s America-first priorities.

“The work is the same, but it’s a question of talking a little bit more about one thing versus another,” said an official with the group, who spoke on the condition that it not be identified.

Other services that survive on federal funding say they are trying to determine the significance of budget cuts if they do not rebrand.

Domestic violence programs that receive money from the Justice Department and Health and Human Services have traditionally attracted bipartisan support. But bracing for cuts, some advocates say they are shifting their talking points. Futures Without Violence, a nonprofit group that receives federal funding to fight domestic and other forms of violence, is emphasizing its role helping victims of crime instead of violence to better align with the administration’s affinity for law enforcement.

“There were victims on January 18 and there were the same victims on January 20” when Trump was inaugurated, said Kiersten Stewart, the group’s director of public policy. “Might we highlight certain voices? Of course.”

Career employees are used to changing directions with new administrations. But Michael Termini, chief of staff at the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower protection group, is still concerned about how government employees are responding to the current environment.

“It’s not somebody telling me, ‘Don’t post that,’ ” he said, “but I’m afraid that if I do, they’re going to pounce.”

“We call that, in the whistleblowing world, a chilling effect.”

Some career employees are simply keeping their heads down. “Managers are actually not moving forward with new material for fear of actually being noticed,” said one EPA employee who was not cleared to speak in public and asked for anonymity.

There are cases that look like outright censorship. The EPA took down its entire climate change website, an informational resource dating back to the Clinton administration, even though climate scientists say it is accurate and career staff resisted the move.

And there are changes that are almost imperceptible. At the U.S. Forest Service, the banner atop the website of its Office of Sustainability and Climate Change dropped a single word – “change” – sometime after Feb. 1, according to the Internet Archive. It now says “Sustainability and Climate” instead of “Sustainability and Climate Change.”

But the rebranding is pervasive. Even an agency as focused on climate change as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is shifting its messaging.

One marine scientist who works with state and local governments and other groupssaid that he and his colleagues are playing down climate as a factor in the protection of ocean habitats because they quickly realized that “it’s a hot potato.”

“We’re being encouraged to look at things holistically,” said the scientist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. He described the change in approach as “self-driven because we’re trying to lay low.”

“We’re trying not to be explicit about climate change anymore,” the scientist said.

Categories: All Denver News.

Senate Intelligence Committee requests Trump campaign documents

2 hours 58 min ago

By Robert Costa, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON – The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race, has asked President Donald Trump’s political organization to gather and produce all Russia-related documents, emails and phone records going back to his campaign’s launch in June 2015, according to two people briefed on the request.

The letter from the Senate arrived at Trump’s campaign committee last week and was addressed to the group’s treasurer. Since then, some former staffers have been notified and asked to cooperate, the people said. They were not authorized to speak publicly.

The demand follows a Senate request months earlier for the campaign committee to preserve documents.

Dozens of former staffers are expected to be contacted in the coming days to make sure they are aware of what they are required to produce and how to submit those documents, the people added.

The letter was signed by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the Senate committee’s chairman, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the committee’s ranking Democrat. Spokespeople for Burr and Warner declined to comment.

The request to Trump’s political operatives represents the first time that Trump’s official campaign structure has been drawn into the Senate committee’s ongoing bipartisan investigation. That investigation is separate from the federal probe being led by the Justice Department’s special counsel, former FBI director Robert Mueller III.

In recent months, several Trump campaign associates, such as Roger Stone and Carter Page, have been contacted by Senate investigators, but the campaign itself had not been asked to preserve and produce materials.

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Trump’s campaign committee is now led by former deputy campaign manager Michael Glassner and John Pence, a nephew of Vice President Mike Pence. It is based in New York at Trump Tower. Glassner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A White House spokesperson had no immediate comment.

– – –

The Washington Post’s John Wagner and Karoun Demirjian contributed to this report.

Categories: All Denver News.

Jazz festivals you should check out this summer in Colorado

3 hours 14 min ago

It’s time again to make plans to gas up the SUV and travel to numerous Colorado mountain destinations for the summer jazz festival season. Every major festival is back this year, and that’s good news for state tourism, particularly in ski resort towns, but also for fans that make events like Jazz Aspen Snowmass and Telluride Jazz such successful endeavors every year.

Estes Park Jazz Fest Weekend, June 3-4: There’s always a sense of camaraderie at relatively small gathering, where locals meet up with day trippers from the Denver-Boulder area to take in performances from mostly Colorado artists at the intimate Performance Park stage. Participants include vocalist Sheryl Renee and excellent journeyman saxophonist Don Braden. Tickets range from $10-$15, and the full lineup is at visitestespark.com.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Experience, June 23-July 1: Jazz Aspen Snowmass has become the textbook example of how to throw a music festival, combining world-class musicianship with the distinctive atmosphere the Aspen area has to offer. Most events take place at the Benedict Music Tent, and this year’s headliners include New Orleans keyboardist John Batiste & Stay Human (from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,)

Earth Wind & Fire, a band with notable Colorado roots, and what promises to be an impressive tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, featuring the Count Basie Orchestra and singers Patti Austin, Lizz Wright and Andra Day. A variety of ticket packages are available through jazzaspensnowmass.org.

Winter Park Jazz Festival, July 15-16: This assemblage of smoother jazz artists returns to Hideaway Park with Pieces Of A Dream, Rick Braun and Richard Eliot, Brian Culbertson and MAZE featuring Frankie Beverley. There are lodging options for those who enjoy this style of music and want to make a weekend of it: visitwinterpark.com.

Evergreen Jazz Festival, July 28-30: It’s a pleasure to see this lovingly homegrown three -day party return. The Evergreen Jazz Festival is a celebration of traditional jazz, played in smaller neighborhood venues including the Elks Lodge and Lake House. This year they’re touting eleven groups from New York to California, featuring the Barnhart-Midiri Quartet and The Brain Cloud, who play variations on Western Swing. Tickets for these shows often sell out, so get yours at evergreenjazz.org.

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The 41st Telluride Jazz Festival, Aug. 4-6: They haven’t finalized their lineup for this year, but Telluride’s friendly multi-venue vibe makes for one of the best recurring jazz festivals in the US. Headliners announced so far include vocalists Mavis Staples and Macy Gray. Get more information at telluridejazz.org.

Vail Jazz Party, Aug. 31-Sept. 4: This event improves with age, as numerous top-shelf improvisers perform in various combinations while performing exhilarating mainstream jazz. Much of the activity takes place at the Vail Marriott, and this year’s lineup includes Wycliffe Gordon, John and Jeff Clayton, Terell Stafford, Lewis Nash, Ken Peplowski and many other familiar names. Find the schedule at vailjazz.org.

Dazzle Jazz moves to the Baur’s Building with national acts like the Brian Blade Fellowship (June 6-8) and the Chris Potter Quartet (June 9-10) … The band Let The Beat Speak performs the music of —James Brown at Nocturne on May 31—… The jazz supergroup Hudson (Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, John Medeski and Larry Grenadier appears at Boulder’s Chautauqua Auditorium on June 11.

Bret Saunders (bretsaunders@kbco.com) can be heard from—6 to 11 a.m.—weekday mornings at KBCO 97.3 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @Bretontheradio

Categories: All Denver News.

21 places to get a great burger in Colorado for National Hamburger Day May 28

3 hours 28 min ago

The beer on tap is “craft.” The $13 cocktails – whose ingredients might as well be listed in Klingon for its ease of readability – are poured by mixologists wearing bow ties and newsboy caps. For some indescribable reason, there’s olive oil powder on my dessert plate.

Then there’s the burger.

The building I’m eating in is covered in white subway tiles, filled with community tables carved from reclaimed wood and decorated with mason jars. So. Many. Mason jars. It’s crowded and loud. The men are bearded and tattooed; the women overalled and banged. I get lost, pondering how a look so unique became a uniform. (And noted that my own bangs need a trim.)

Still, there’s the burger.

In a time when we can buy sugar-free, half-caf, soy milk chai tea lattes with extra caramel drizzle and vegan sriracha ice cream, isn’t it nice that we still have the humble burger to fall back upon? Even at its most hipstered-out – gluten-free bun, grass-fed, organic Angus beef, runny, fried egg on top and loaded with chicharrones (Why not? Chicharrones are good.) – it’s still a burger.

Case in point: my two favorite Colorado burgers come from polar opposite restaurants. The first is at Bud’s Caf— & Bar in Sedalia. My God, how I love this place. There are bikers, but no fries (don’t ever ask for fries at Bud’s); surly waitresses, but no lettuce. It’s just a greasy handful of meat, cheese and bun, which is exactly what I want a burger to be.

Except when I don’t. Then I go to The Squeaky Bean, a restaurant that is so on-trend that it serves not merely octopus carpaccio or salmon crudo but both octopus carpaccio and salmon crudo! And because the brunch wars are real, people, it hosts a weekend brunch Bingo knee-deep in scratch-made Bloody Marys and avocado benedicts.

It also serves a fantastic burger at lunch: two thin patties draped in melty American cheese, translucent onions, pickle strips and tangy sauce on a cushy bun. Before the $2 add-on for a fried egg or sweet chile bacon, it costs $15. The last I checked, Bud’s double cheeseburger ran me $6.70.

Bud’s and The Squeaky Bean are very different restaurants. In fact, I don’t think they’d get along well at all. If they ever met, I think Bud’s might knife the Bean in a bar fight while the Squeakster preached farm-to-table philosophies and protested Trump’s immigration policies. Still, even as diametrically opposed as these two restaurants may be, their burgers are equally great – and similar.

Because, you see, burgers are still of the people and for the people. No matter how much anyone “crafts,” “curates” or “deconstructs” food, the burger remains a culinary core, pure and simple. It’s a steadfast linchpin of society, dressed up in a sesame seed bun.

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If aliens landed here, hungry for fuel and a taste of American culture, I would hand them a hamburger so they could see that, yes, we humans can be kind of crazy and hateful and mean and destructive, but we did this. We created these palm-sized patties of meat and sandwiched them between two round pieces of bread, and then we added cheese, maybe some ketchup. See? We’re not all bad!

We still have the burger. And we still have hope. Because hope is meaty and charred and it comes with a side of fries. Just not at Bud’s because, well, just don’t ever ask for a side of fries at Bud’s.

Now, we’re sure you already have it marked on your calendar, but in case of an oversight, May 28 is National Hamburger Day. We’ve chosen 21 restaurants to get you started on your burger-filled weekend (hey, there are worse ways to spend a three-day weekend). Once you’ve tried them all, vote for your favorite.

5280 Burger Bar Using local, all-natural ingredients, these gourmet burgers run the gamut from traditional (American cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickle) to out-there (the Central Park burger adds pastrami, smoked gouda and fried onion straws). 500 16th St., Denver, 303-825-1020; 5280burgerbar.com

American Grind This Avanti Food & Beverage restaurant doesn’t just make one of the best beef burgers in town; it’s also developed quite the following for its veggieburg, made with sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and chickpeas. 3200 Pecos St., Denver (inside Avanti Food & Beverage), 720-269-4778; avantifandb.com

Bent Fork American Grill—”Thick” and “juicy” are pretty good adjectives for this suburban spot’s hamburgers. Try the Buffalo Beer Cheese Burger with Fat Tire beer cheese, Thousand Island dressing and buttermilk onion rings. 12191 E. Iliff Ave., Aurora, 303-337-6600; bentforkgrill.com

Big Al’s Burgers and Dogs The Fort Collins favorite is famous for its 60/40 burger — —60 percent beef and 40 percent bacon. Sound decadent and delicious? It is. 140 W. Mountain Ave., Fort Collins, 970-232-9815; bigalsburgersanddogs.com

Bingo Burger Capitalizing on its southern Colorado location and the awesome, locally grown Pueblo chiles, Bingo mixes the chiles into its patties, for spicy, beefy goodness. 132 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs (also in Pueblo), 719-418-6223; bingoburger.com

Blackbelly Our only complaint about Blackbelly’s bone marrow butter-brushed burger is that it might be a little too good; by the time we’re midway through, the bun is in shambles. The chuck/sirloin/short rib patty is ground at the restaurant’s adjacent butcher shop. 1606 Conestoga St., Boulder, 303-247-1000; blackbelly.com

Bud’s Bar The greasy, cheesy burgers have been the same for decades, and that’s just how we like ’em. Sedalia may seem far to go for a burger, but trust us, it’s worth the drive. Warning: Do not ask for fries. 5453 Manhart St., Sedalia, 303-688-9967

Cherry Cricket Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Cherry Cricket emerged from the fire that shut it down last November more triumphant than ever. Or, at the very least, just as good. The Cricket is known for its build-your-own burgers with nontraditional toppings like peanut butter, sauerkraut and cream cheese. 2641 E. 2nd Ave., Denver, 303-322-7666; cherrycricket.com

CityGrille There are 15 burgers on CityGrille’s menu (and this isn’t even a strictly burger joint), so you know you’re going to find something you like. Bonus: You can sub been-there-done-that fries with tater tots. Jackpot. 321 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, 303-861-0726; citygrille.com

Crave Real Burgers There’s over-the-top, and then there’s Crave’s The Luther burger: bacon, egg and cheddar served on — wait for it — two glazed doughnuts. These guys fry queso fresco, whip up Thai chili peanut sauce (yes, for the burgers) and pile pulled pork onto beef patties. More is more, right? various locations; craverealburgers.com

Finley’s Pub This unassuming Wash Park restaurant grills up a great burger. The secret? A smidgeon of bernaise sauce crowns the short rib/ground chuck blend patty. 375 S. Pearl, Denver, 303-282-4790; finleysdenver.com

Highland Tap & Burger Restaurant guide Zagat called Highland’s Shroom Luva’s burger the best in Denver. With saut—ed mushrooms, white truffle aioli and Emmenthaler cheese, it’s definitely an umami-ful bite. Top it with salt-cured foie gras, because more is more, gosh darn it. 2219 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, 720-287-4493; highlandtapdenver.com

Hopdoddy Burger Bar Hopdoddy is making dreams come true through June 6: It’s created the love child of two American classics in the form of the limited-edition Truffle Mac N’ Cheese Burger. It’s a fried “patty” of truffle mac ‘n’ cheese atop Angus beef.—We’re a go for overindulgence. 1747 Wynkoop St, Denver; 303-446-2337; hopdoddy.com

Larkburger Chef-owner Thomas Salamunovich took the fine-dining techniques of his Vail restaurant, Larkspur, and brought it to the masses in the form of the Larkburger. Now we can all eat like a truffle- fries-loving Vail carnivore. various locations; larkburger.com

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery This hippie bar, which also has great beer, makes a mean cheeseburger. And a mean black bean burger, because this is Boulder. 1535 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-546-0886; mountainsunpub.com

My Brother’s Bar What can we say about one of the most legendary bars in town that you haven’t already heard? Probably nothing, but if you’re one of the six Denver residents who hasn’t tried the paper-wrapped jalapeno cream cheeseburger, get thyself to My Brother’s Bar ASAP. 2376 15th St., Denver, 303-455-9991; mybrothersbar.com

Park Burger Park Burger does it all — turkey burgers, ahi tuna burgers, lamb burgers — but what it might do best is the basic (in a good way) Angus beef Park Burger. Add some cheese, maybe some bacon, and all is right with the world again. various locations; parkburger.com

Roadhouse Boulder Depot The Roadhouse does a lot of things – wings, enchiladas, even oysters – but something they do really well is the Asian-inspired Depot burger. With crispy wontons, mushrooms and sweet and spicy sesame, this burger’s flavors bounce around all your taste buds. 2366 Junction Pl., Boulder, 303-443-2167; roadhouseboulderdepot.com

Smashburger One of the kings of Colorado’s fast casual burger chains, Smashburger smashes each patty for exactly 10 seconds to lock in the juices and create a crispy, meaty burger shell. People seem to like the smash — the restaurants are popping up all over the globe. various locations; smashburger.com

The Squeaky Bean—Dare we say it? The Squeaky Bean’s double cheeseburger (available on its lunch menu) is almost In-N-Out-esque. Thin, just-greasy-enough patties, ultra-melty American cheese and tangy sauce make for a perfect burger bite. 1500 Wynkoop St., #101, Denver, 303-623-2665; thesqueakybean.com

TAG Burger Bar Build your own burger with toppings like pico de gallo, chicken tenders and truffle oil (just maybe not all on the same burger) or order up a house favorite like the Congress Park with guacamole and buffalo-style mayo. 1222 Madison St., Denver, 303-736-2260; tagburgerbar.com

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Rocker Chris Cornell remembered as “voice of our generation”

3 hours 39 min ago

LOS ANGELES — Music’s elite and Hollywood stars remembered Chris Cornell at a somber memorial service Friday that focused on the Soundgarden frontman’s love of family and friends as much as it did on his musical achievements as one of rock’s leading voices.

“Chris was as melodic as The Beatles, as heavy as Sabbath and as haunting as Edgar Allan Poe,” Tom Morello, Cornell’s Audioslave bandmate, said during his eulogy. “The demons he wrestled with were real, but he harnessed those demons and rode them like a mother-flipping chariot of lightning strapped with Marshall stacks to make some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll of all time.”

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington and guitarist Brad Delson performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for the crowd of mourners, including Brad Pitt, Pharrell Williams, James Franco, Christian Bale and numerous members of rock royalty, many of whom were moved to tears.

Four large portraits of Cornell were on display on a dais where Morello, actor Josh Brolin, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, film producer Eric Esrailian and Cornell’s Soundgarden bandmates Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron delivered eulogies under overcast skies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

They all spoke of the rocker’s compassion and his delight in his three children. Cameron said he and Cornell had “so many normal dad conversations” about the Cornell kids: Christopher, Toni and Lily.

“Losing my brother and artistic soulmate will always pale in comparison with you three kids losing your dad,” Cameron said. “Let it be known that I am here for you and will forever be in your lives.”

Linda Ramone opened the service with word that Cornell was buried next to her late husband, punk rocker Johnny Ramone, whose headstone features a statue of him playing guitar.

Cornell’s grave marker, decorated with bouquets of flowers and several red roses, reads, “Voice of our generation and an artist for all time.”

Cornell’s music played before the hourlong service, and afterward as guests visited his grave site in the cemetery’s Garden of Legends section.

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Among those paying respects were Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters; Krist Novoselic from Nirvana; Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield of Metallica; Dave Navarro and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction; singer-songwriter Joe Walsh; guitarist Nile Rodgers; rocker Courtney Love and Bush’s Gavin Rossdale.

Scores of fans gathered outside the cemetery during the service awaiting a public viewing of Cornell’s grave site later Friday afternoon.

“We had to be here. He was part of our generation,” said 49-year-old Marcus Dubray, breaking into tears. He and his wife were visiting Los Angeles from Sacramento for her birthday when they heard about Cornell’s service.

“I was ready to go to Seattle” for the funeral, said fellow fan Alfredo Perez, 47.

Melody Andrade brought her 4-year-old son Jude to memorialize the Seattle rocker. The pair wore matching T-shirts that read, “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” the title of a Temple of the Dog song Cornell wrote.

“I feel like this is just as big as the death of Elvis or John Lennon. That’s why I had to bring my son,” Andrade said. “There will never be another. He’s a modern day Freddie Mercury. I needed some closure on this.”

Fans brought flowers and notes and sang Cornell’s songs together. Some listened to his music aloud on their phones. One fan brought a guitar and strummed Soundgarden songs. Many left heartfelt notes, guitar picks and one woman left roses wrapped in a flannel shirt, an emblem of the grunge era.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place for numerous stars, including Jayne Mansfield, Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino and Cecil B. DeMille.

Cornell, 52, was pronounced dead May 18 after he was found unresponsive in a Detroit hotel room hours after performing a concert with Soundgarden. Coroner’s officials said preliminary autopsy results show the singer hanged himself, but full toxicology results remain pending. The singer’s family has disputed the findings and claim Cornell may have taken more of an anti-anxiety drug than he was prescribed.

Cornell was a leading voice of the grunge movement in the 1990s. Besides Soundgarden, he scored hits as a solo artist and with bands Temple of the Dog and Audioslave.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

 

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Saunders: Todd Helton “jealous” of pitching talent he sees on 2017 Rockies

4 hours 24 min ago

Todd Helton is jealous.

From his home in Knoxville, Tenn., No. 17 keeps close tabs on the Rockies. He reads about them, checks box scores daily, watches games whenever he can, and checks out highlights on MLB Network.

There’s been a lot to celebrate.

The Rockies, in first place in the National League West, entered a weekend series against the Cardinals with a 31-18 record, legitimized by a 7-3 record on their just-completed 10-game road trip

“I’m impressed,” Helton said by phone after finishing a round of golf with some friends in Florida. “I knew Buddy Black was a great hire as manager, but I didn’t know how good those young pitchers were. That (Antonio) Senzatela kid, from what I have seen, is absolutely dirty. And anytime you have a great closer it makes things a lot easier. And they do have a good one.”

The closer is right-hander Greg Holland, the former Kansas City all-star with an electric fastball and diabolic slider, who has begun his Colorado career by converting 19 saves in 19 opportunities and posting a 0.96 ERA and an 0.80 WHIP.

Helton, 43, certainly had his share of glory days in 17 seasons with the Rockies. They rode Rocktober to the 2007 World Series and made the playoffs in 2009. Helton was voted to five all-star teams and there’s even a burger shack in his name on the left-field concourse at Coors Field. He leads the franchise with 2,247 games played and holds club records for hits (2,519), home runs (369), doubles (592), walks (1,335), runs scored (1,401) and RBIs (1,406). His No. 17 jersey was retired in 2014.

He had a great career and should be enshrined in Cooperstown, in my opinion.

Yet for all of his grand history, Helton wouldn’t mind turning back the clock for a season or two.

“I’m a little jealous,” he said with a chuckle, “Yep, a little jealous. I wish we’d had some of those (pitchers) when I was playing.”

Helton played his final game Sept. 29, 2013 at Dodger Stadium. It was an emotional day and Helton was, understandably, a little edgy. I clearly remember Nolan Arenado, a 22-year-old rookie at the time, following Helton around the clubhouse that day. Arenado was like a puppy at Helton’s feet and drove the veteran a little bit crazy.

Now, nearly four years later, Arenado has replaced Helton as the face of the franchise. When they were teammates, Helton saw Arenado’s potential, but he admits he didn’t know the third baseman would become one of the best players in baseball.

“It’s hard to predict anybody ever being that good,” Helton said. “I didn’t see the power. I never thought he would be hitting as many home runs as he’s hitting. But I did know that he would drive balls into the gaps and drive in runs. But he’s really blossomed. He can drive the ball out of the ballpark, and man is he fun to watch on defense.”

Is Arenado the best defensive third baseman he’s ever seen?

“Yes,” Helton said without hesitation. “He makes the routine plays 100 percent of the time and he’s an acrobat over there. His lateral range is unbelievable. He looks like a shortstop on balls to his right. He’s got it all. There might be guys with more raw talent, but there are certain guys that just want to be great. Nolan’s one of those guys.”

Helton’s also been wowed by Charlie Blackmon, the center fielder who evolved into the Rockies’ starting center fielder during Helton’s final season.

“Charlie, hitting leadoff, is doing what Charlie Blackmon does,” Helton said. “He’s driving the ball out of the ballpark. He looks good up there. That’s a tough lineup. Nobody wants to face them.”

These days, Helton and his wife, Christy, are busy raising their daughters, Tierney Faith and Gentry Grace. Helton also helps the University of Tennessee baseball team as the director of player development.

“It’s a title that gets me around the kids so I can help out and give my two cents,” he said.
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Last week, Helton’s alma mater announced that coach Dave Serrano would resign at the end of the season. The Volunteers’ finished 27-25 overall, 7-21 in SEC play.

“It was a tough season, we didn’t play well at all,” Helton said. “Hopefully I will be more involved this coming year. It depends on who the new coach is.”

Helton still owns his 4,000-acre ranch near Kersey, on the banks of the South Platte River, a place he once joked was “a little redneck heaven.” He speaks with Rockies owner Dick Monfort “every once in a while.”

Asked if he remains closely connected with his former team, Helton said: “Not really. But I live a long ways from Denver now. Hopefully I will come watch them play when I come back into town. It’s a fun team to watch, that’s for sure.”

Spotlight on: Nelson Cruz, OF/DH, Mariners

What’s up: The disappointing Mariners make an interleague visit to Coors Field to face the Rockies on Monday and Tuesday before the teams head to Seattle for games on Wednesday and Thursday. Seattle entered the weekend in last place in the American League West with a 21-27 record. The Mariners snapped a five-game losing streak on Thursday when Cruz blasted a go-ahead, three-run homer off reliever Jacob Turner to beat Washington 4-2. The home run was Cruz’s 12th of the season and gave him 40 RBIs, the most in the AL.

Background: Cruz hasn’t been the problem in the great Northwest, where there is a feeling that the Mariners are underachieving. Their five-game losing streak, in which they managed to score just one run in each game, led manager Scott Servais to question his team’s commitment. “We’ve got to pick up our intensity,” Servais told The Seattle Times. “We are better than this. I’ve about had enough of this. We need to dial it up a little bit.” Cruz responded with his home run the next day.

Saunders’ take: The Mariners are at a crossroads and if they don’t turn things around quickly, major trades could go down in late July. Cruz would be a possible target for a contender in need of a slugger. Cruz, 36, has one year left on his contract and will earn $14.25 million in 2018. That could be a manageable number for a contending team. Yes, he’s nearing the end of his career, but he’s proven power hitter, mashing 40 or more homers in each of the last three seasons. Second baseman Robinson Cano, Cruz’s all-star teammate, is not going anywhere. After this season, Cano, 34, still has six years and $144 million left on his contract.

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Police: Man hurling racial slurs at Muslim women kills 2, injures 1 on Portland light-rail train

May 26, 2017 - 8:56pm

PORTLAND, Ore. — Police in Oregon say two people died and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young Muslim women.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports officers arrested a man Friday afternoon who ran from the train.

Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson says the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using “hate speech or biased language,” and turned his focus on the women.

Simpson says passengers intervened and were “attacked viciously.” He says one person died at the scene and another at a hospital.

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Simpson says police don’t know if the man has mental health issues or if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Millions of Muslims marked the start of Ramadan Friday, a time marked by intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and nightly feasts.

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If FBI wants to talk to Kushner, lawyer says he’s ready

May 26, 2017 - 8:30pm

WASHINGTON — If the FBI wants to talk to Jared Kushner about his Russian contacts, they won’t have to track down the president’s son-in-law. Amid reports the FBI is scrutinizing Kushner’s encounters, his lawyer says he stands ready to talk to federal investigators as well as Congress about his contacts and his role in Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Federal investigators and several congressional committees are looking into Russia-Trump campaign connections, including allegations that there may have been collaboration to help Trump and harm his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“The FBI tries to be thorough in their investigations,” said defense lawyer Edward MacMahon, who is not involved in the case. “If it’s been publicly reported that he met with Russians, and the investigation has to do with administration officials meeting with Russians, well, then, they’ll probably want to talk to everybody.”

Kushner was a trusted Trump adviser last year, overseeing the campaign’s digital strategy, and remains an influential confidant within the White House.

One likely area of interest for investigators would be Kushner’s own meetings with Russians, given that such encounters with a variety of Trump associates are at the root of the sprawling probe, now overseen by former FBI director Robert Mueller.

The White House in March confirmed that Kushner and Michael Flynn, the ousted national security adviser, met with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, at Trump Tower in December for what one official called a brief courtesy meeting.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Kislyak told his superiors that he and Kushner discussed setting up a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.

The Post report, citing anonymous U.S. officials who were briefed on intelligence reports on intercepted Russian communications, said Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner proposed using Russian diplomatic facilities for their discussions, apparently to make them more difficult to monitor. The Post said Kislyak was reportedly “taken aback” by the suggestion.

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Flynn was pushed out of the White House in February after officials said he misled Vice President Mike Pence about whether he and the ambassador had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia in a phone call. Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, told Congress this month that that deception left Flynn vulnerable to being blackmailed by the Russians. Flynn remains under federal investigation in Virginia over his foreign business ties and was interviewed by the FBI in January about his contacts with Kislyak.

Obama administration officials told The Associated Press earlier this week that the frequency of Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak raised enough red flags that aides discussed the possibility Trump was trying to establish a one-to-one line of communication a so-called back channel — with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Reuters reported Friday that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak last year, including two phone calls between April and November.

The news agency anonymously cited current and former U.S. officials. Kushner’s attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told Reuters that Kushner “has no recollection of the calls as described.”

Regarding Kushner, former FBI agent Jim Treacy said Friday: “If there is an investigation on anybody, would other folks around that person be of interest to the FBI as far as being interviewed? The answer to that is a big yes.” If the FBI wants to speak with someone, it’s not necessarily an indication of involvement or complicity, said Treacy, who did two tours in Moscow as the FBI’s legal attache.

“Really, being spoken to, does not confer a target status on the individual,” he said.

Investigators are also interested in a meeting Kushner had with the Russian banker, Sergey Gorkov, according to reports from The Washington Post and NBC News.

“Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings,” Gorelick said in a statement Thursday. “He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry.”

Another potential line of inquiry could concern Kushner’s failure to disclose some of his contacts with Russian government officials when he was filling out his application for a security clearance. The omissions were described as an “administrative error” by Gorelick, who said additional information about his meetings were provided to the FBI the day after he submitted his incomplete clearance application.

When applying for a security clearance, applicants are asked to disclose details about their interactions with foreigners, including the names of all the foreign government officials the applicant has had contact with over the past seven years. In some cases, people can lose their security clearances and jobs for not properly disclosing foreign contacts. Some Democrats have called on Kushner to be stripped of his security clearance and have asked the FBI to review whether Kushner complied with the law.

Todd Hinnen, the former acting head of the Justice Department’s national security division, said it would be easy to read too much into investigators’ interest in Kushner.

“That doesn’t mean he is a subject or the FBI suspects him of any wrongdoing; it also doesn’t mean the FBI doesn’t suspect him of any wrongdoing,” Hinnen said in an email.

“Given his position and his contacts, interviewing him would be an important step in any thorough investigation,” Hinnen said.

 

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Antonio Senzatela authors another sterling outing as Rockies blast Cardinals in return home

May 26, 2017 - 8:13pm

Bud Black spoke about the young starting pitchers for the Rockies on Friday afternoon as if he were providing a word bank for a Mad Lib puzzle.

His crisp, one-word sentences provided simplification to the confounding performances by the young hurlers who have helped lead the Rockies to the top of the National League.

Antonio Senzatela’s sterling outing in a 10-0 victory over the Cardinals in front of 40,312 at Coors Field, complemented by a late offensive explosion, provided another crisp canvas to paint with his manager’s vocabulary.

Here’s one way to fill it out:

Senzatela once again displayed the “competitiveness” that has been a hallmark of his rookie season, tossing eight scoreless innings and surrendering only four hits. He improved to 7-1, tying him for the most wins in the majors, and lowered his ERA to 3.19 while allowing only one Cardinals hitter to reach second base.

Boxscore: Colorado 10, St. Louis 0

The 22-year-old right-hander displayed his best “stuff” from the start. He churned out one groundball after another, rendering the two singles the Cardinals mustered in the first two innings harmless with the help of a pair of double plays.

Senzatela, who struck out three and walked none, retired 10 straight during one stretch, working at the determined pace of quick-clicking metronome. When he finally did run into trouble in the sixth, after Randal Grichuk led off with a double, Senzatela showed “poise.”

Kolten Wong flew out to center, advancing Grichuk to third. Senzatela then struck out pitcher Carlos Martinez for the second out. Dexter Fowler then hit a slow grounder to first base. Senzatela sprinted off the mound, showing “awareness” as he dropped his foot on the bag just ahead of Fowler.

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Two more double plays took Senzatela through the eighth. Another of the Rockies’ pitching “students” had hurled a gem once again as the Rockies improved their NL-best record to 32-18. The Cardinals fell to 23-22.

“He pitched well and threw strikes with the fastball,” Black said of Senzatela after the game. “In the previous couple (starts) the fastball was just a little bit off the plate. Today he dialed it in.”

While Black provided the adjectives to properly frame Senzatela’s performance, words are becoming harder to find for Charlie Blackmon.

The scorching-hot center fielder finished a double shy of the cycle. His home run, a gargantuan solo blast to right field in the eighth off Martinez, was his 12th of the season, briefly tying him for the team lead. He also drove in the Rockies’ first run of the game in the third, when he belted a run-scoring triple to left-center field. Blackmon had four hits to extend his major league-best total to 69. His 45 RBIs also are the most in baseball, as are his seven triples.

Clinging to a 2-0 lead going to the bottom of the eighth, the Rockies put eight on the board on nine hits. After Blackmon’s homer, Nolan Arenado made it 4-0 with an RBI double to center field. Mark Reynolds reclaimed the team’s home run lead when he hit a two-run homer to left field later in the inning, his 13th of the season. And the hits … and runs kept coming, turning a tight affair into a blowout.

“It’s contagious. You see a couple of good at-bats and you lock in,” Blackmon said of the big inning that mirrored several the Rockies had on their recent 7-3 road trip. “You get the other team on their heels a little bit. It does seem like we’ve been able to snowball some innings.”

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12-year-old Rylie Guentensberger, injured when car crashed into Parker store, dies Friday

May 26, 2017 - 7:59pm
Denver7Rylie Guentensberger, 12, a seventh-grader at Aspen View Academy in Castle Rock, died Friday her family announced Friday on Rally For Rylie, a Facebook page.

A middle school girl, who was critically injured when a car crashed into a running store in Parker late last month, has died.

Rylie Guentensberger, 12, a seventh-grader at Aspen View Academy in Castle Rock, died Friday her family announced on Rally For Rylie, a Facebook page.

“Today is a day of tears… Today is a day of memories… Today is a day of celebrating a special life…” the announcement said. “Today, our sweet Rylie passed away.”

By 8 p.m. Friday, more than 500 people had commented and 57 people had shared the post.

Seven people, including Rylie and her mother, Meghann Guentensberger, were injured April 29 when a car slammed into RNK Running & Walking, 13019 South Parker Road, going 20 yards into the business, which was open, before coming to a stop.

Parker police say a woman who was driving the vehicle may have had a medical condition that led to the crash.

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“Over the last month, we have had a lot of time to think about and celebrate our girl,” the Facebook page said. “We always knew she was special, but this last month has shown us just how many lives she’s touched. She has made us all stronger, love more fully, and smile more often.”

The family asked for privacy in this difficult time. Arrangements are pending.

“Above all, as you go about your days – live as Rylie did. Be Happy!”

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By the numbers: Warriors, Cavaliers dominant on path to third title fight

May 26, 2017 - 7:13pm

The Warriors and Cavaliers will meet in the NBA Finals on Thursday for the third consecutive season, and their respective paths through the postseason were nothing short of dominant. A closer look at the numbers:

24-1

The combined record Golden State and Cleveland compiled during the first three rounds of the postseason. The Warriors became only the third team in NBA history to reach the Finals without a loss.

16.3

The margin of victory for Golden State this postseason, the highest ever for a team entering the Finals. Only two of the Warriors’ 12 victories have come by fewer than 11 points.

7

Combined games won by the teams this season by at least 20 points.

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120.7

Points per 100 possessions scored by the Cavaliers in the postseason, best among playoff teams.

99.1

Points per 100 possessions surrendered by the Warriors, the best defensive mark in the playoffs.

7

Combined NBA most valuable player awards won by players in these Finals. LeBron James has won the award four times, Stephen Curry has won two and Kevin Durant has one.

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