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New Poll Study Shows B.C. Residents least religious, most likely to see holidays as fun, not stressful

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B.C. residents least religious, most likely to see holidays as fun, not stressful: poll

A new poll has found that B.C. residents have the brightest expectations for their holiday experience.

The survey, conducted by Research Co., found 70 per cent of B.C. respondents expect the holidays to be “more fun than stressful,” the highest margin in Canada.

Quebec followed with 60 per cent, while Albertans expressed a grim mood with 45 per cent expecting more fun versus 43 per cent expecting more stress.

A majority of Canadians overall (57 per cent) expected more fun than stress from the season, while one in four expect stress to dominate.

The poll found British Columbians to be the least religious group in Canada, with just 25 per cent saying religion was “very” or “moderately” important in their daily lives.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents (60 per cent each) placed the most value on religion, far above the national average of 38 per cent.

The poll also asked Canadians what their preferred seasonal greeting was — and found that a strong majority still prefer the traditional “Merry Christmas.”

Nationally, 74 per cent of Canadians prefer the greeting, while just 14 per cent think “Happy Holidays” is a better alternative.

Canadians over the age of 55 had the strongest preference for “Merry Christmas” (79 per cent) versus “Happy Holidays” (14 per cent), while the trend was less pronounced among those aged 18 to 34 (67 per cent versus 17 per cent).

The poll was conducted between Dec. 3 and Dec. 6, among 1,000 adults in Canada. It is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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Editorial: We supported Neil Gorsuch; now we implore him to support women’s liberty

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Editorial: We supported Neil Gorsuch; now we implore him to support women’s liberty

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Coloradan whose nomination we enthusiastically supported in 2017, is the one person remaining who can protect the reproductive freedom of American women.

We implore Gorsuch, a man we put our trust in with unwavering support, to not upend almost 50 years of Supreme Court precedent guaranteeing women the autonomy to make the most crucial personal decision they will ever consider – whether or not to carry a pregnancy for nine months and give birth to a child.

“We are not afraid of a judge who strictly interprets the Constitution based solely on the language and intent of our nation’s founders, as long as he is willing to be consistent even when those rulings conflict with his own beliefs,” we wrote in the weeks leading up to Gorsuch’s appointment as President Donald Trump considered a host of less appetizing judges.

But a large crack has been struck in the rock of our faith in Gorsuch.

Gorsuch sided with the conservative majority on the court in a 5-4 decision to allow a Texas law to take effect that we believeis unconstitutional on its face.

That 5-4 ruling is forcing women in Texas to continue unwanted pregnancies. Today, as you read this, women in the very earliest stages of pregnancy are denied abortions in Texas, contrary to the court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that the government could not ban abortions until after the point of fetal viability outside the womb.

The court essentially decided that it cannot rule until plaintiffs with standing bring the case.  While women in Texas must either have babies or flee the state in search of medical care, the court decided to hear oral arguments in December on another abortion ban, this one in Mississippi.

Gorsuch must, for the good of women and families across this nation, join the minority of jurists and strike down these unconstitutional laws. Not only are women’s rights under assault, but religious freedom (or rather freedom from religion) is also under attack.

In Mississippi and Texas, a gaggle of mostly conservative Christian men is forcing religious practices, beliefs and views on every woman and doctor in their states. If the newly appointed Christian majority of the Supreme Court upholds those laws, trust in America’s greatest secular institution will be irreparably harmed. Gorsuch and his colleagues are called upon to uphold the U.S. Constitution, not the word of God. Regardless of the legal hoops the conservative majority will attempt to jump through in any opinion they write abandoning Roe and the cases that have built upon its foundation, Americans will struggle to draw any conclusion other than that the separation of church and state has officially ended.

Here’s the legal problem Gorsuch would have with attempting to say Roe v Wade was based upon a faulty interpretation of the 14th Amendment — the court has upheld that interpretation numerous times and not just with regard to abortion. In the 1992 ruling of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the court addressed skepticism about Roe v. Wade head-on.

“Roe determined that a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy is a ‘liberty’ protected against state interference by the substantive component of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” wrote justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Souter in the majority opinion.  “Neither the Bill of Rights nor the specific practices of States at the time of the Fourteenth Amendment’s adoption marks the outer limits of the substantive sphere of such “liberty.” Rather, the adjudication of substantive due process claims may require this Court to exercise its reasoned judgment in determining the boundaries between the individual’s liberty and the demands of organized society. The Court’s decisions have afforded constitutional protection to personal decisions relating to marriage, see, e.g., Loving v. Virginia; procreation, Skinner v. Oklahoma; family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts; child rearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters; and contraception, Griswold v. Connecticut and have recognized the right of the individual to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child, Eisenstadt v. Baird. Roe’s central holding properly invoked the reasoning and tradition of these precedents.”

Gorsuch cannot unwind such a legal opinion woven into so many decades of court precedent and still expect Americans to have faith in the highest court in the land. For a judge or justice who has pledged an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, upholding women’s liberty – even if he or she is ethically or religiously opposed to abortion – is what is required of them.

Do the right thing, Gorsuch, for this country.

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Five new attractions at Colorado ski resorts we can’t wait to try this winter

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Five new attractions at Colorado ski resorts we can’t wait to try this winter

Fall arrived on Wednesday and now we’re counting down the days to ski season, knowing that by this time next month we could have lifts turning at two or three Front Range ski areas. And, yes, our skis are already waxed, tuned and ready to go.

While we wait anxiously to visit our favorite ski areas and backcountry tours, we’ve compiled a list of five cool new amenities at Colorado resorts this season that we think you will like:

Steilhang Hut, Arapahoe Basin: In German, steilhang means “steep slope,” but for many skiers it evokes images of the most prestigious downhill race in the world at Kitzbuehel, Austria (the scariest pitch on that legendary course is called The Steilhang). The Steilhang Hut at A-Basin takes its name from the steep slopes of the East Wall that loom above it. The new German-style alpine hut, located near the top of the ski area above treeline, will feature Colorado-made specialty sausages, German-style craft beer from Denver’s Prost Brewing Co., soft pretzels and strudel made by Denver bakeries. It will be located at the intersection of two intermediate trails, Lenawee Face and Dercum’s Gulch. It will have a wraparound deck, composting toilets and solar power. Sight unseen, but knowing the setting well, we think this might become our favorite place on a ski mountain for lunch.

Loveland Snowcat Tours in Dry Gulch: Dry Gulch is located on the north side of Interstate 70, just east of Loveland’s Lift 8, outside the operational boundaries of the ski area. The snowcat will provide guided backcountry tours in 580 acres of open bowl and tree skiing. Full-day trips consisting of eight to 11 runs with 600 to 800 feet of vertical drop will be offered along with lunch, and avalanche transceivers will be provided. Trips will be offered when conditions permit and are expected to start in January. Prices have not yet been set.

McCoy Park, a 250-acre expansion coming this ski season at Beaver Creek, is designed to make the experience of open bowl skiing — typically reserved for expert and advanced skiers — accessible to beginners and intermediates. (Brooks Freehill, provided by Beaver Creek Resort)

McCoy Park, Beaver Creek: The notion of bowl skiing typically conjures images of wide-open vistas with steep and deep terrain, the exclusive province of expert and advanced skiers and riders. The intent of McCoy Park, Beaver Creek’s 250-acre expansion, is to give families with less advanced skills a sense of what the bowl-skiing experience is like. With 17 runs and two chairlifts, the terrain is suitable for beginners and low-intermediates. Vail Resorts’ PR material says the idea is to give beginners and intermediates a chance to improve their skills on terrain “mimicking the setting of advanced trails such as mountain-top vistas, groomed glades, adventure zones and more.”

Ember at Snoasis, Winter Park: There’s something lovably old school about Snoasis, a mid-mountain restaurant built back in the 1960s. This season it will have a trendy new dining amenity, the trend being outdoor dining with modern cuisine. Ember will be set up on an outdoor patio at Snoasis with a live fire wall. Guests will be able to choose from a menu of “global cuisines” and a “cut of the day,” such as lamb or wild game. Snoasis has always been one of those places you want to linger on a sunny day and savor the views, but this season it should be even more tasty. Something else to keep in mind: If you’re a fan of Stoney’s Bar & Grill, the popular Denver sports bar will have a new location in the Winter Park Village base area.

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Excess at its best: LoDo’s K Contemporary gallery gives “bunny artist” Hunt Slonem the big show he deserves

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Excess at its best: LoDo’s K Contemporary gallery gives “bunny artist” Hunt Slonem the big show he deserves

Hunt Slonem is an artist and a brand. He is known best for his large, repetitive paintings of bunnies — and his work is in 250 museums across the globe.

It’s also on tote bags, throw pillows, beach hats and assorted tabletop accessories that he sells on his website, as well as in a dedicated “Hop Up Shop” at the Bergdorf Goodman department store. He’s figured out how to what so many artists dream of: sell work on a grand scale while retaining creative credibility. Four-plus decades into his career, he is bigger than ever, and everyone seems to like him.

For his first solo exhibition in Denver, K Contemporary Gallery matches that bigness by placing his work in an opulent, over-the-top setting that resembles an elegant salon. There are more than 300 Slonem objects in the show, titled “Curiouser and Curiouser,” and they are surrounded by luxe furnishings — candelabras, chandeliers, gilded mirrors, fancy rugs — making for an immersive art experience not often seen in commercial galleries.

Gallery owner Doug Kacena, who curated the exhibition with Jonathan Saiz, said the backdrop was inspired by Slonem’s second pre-occupation, buying and restoring historic homes. In between all those rabbit paintings, he’s been the force behind efforts to save landmarks such as Charles Sumner Woolworth’s mansion in Scranton, Pa., and the Cordts Mansion in Kingston, N.Y.

To create the scenery, the curators borrowed wares from Denver stalwarts Erin Johnson Antiques and Shaver-Ramsey Fine and Custom Rugs. They painted walls in brilliant blues, hot yellows and flat blacks. They set out enough exquisite tables and chairs to open a fine restaurant. It’s all very lush and busy and indulgent.

But it’s well-reasoned and art-first. The interior decoration doesn’t overwhelm the work. Part of that is because there is so much of it; art is stacked, hung and set everywhere in the two-story gallery.

The other part is that Slonem’s products can take the competition. They are full of color and confidence, and maximalism is their charm.

Slonem works over a variety of media. There are the paintings, of course, but also three-dimensional glassworks, as well as bronze works, neon works and outdoor sculptures. Slonem is productive, and maybe to a fault: His output has a distinct signature but there’s also a mass-produced, factory-made feel to it, and the commercial product lines only enhance that perception.

“Curiouser and Curiouser” puts a positive spin on that abundance by honoring the concept of excess and playing up Slonem’s “neo-expressionist” habit of repetition. He paints bunnies again and again, birds again and again, butterflies again and again. He piles on the color and crams subject matter onto canvases.

If you go

Hunt Slonem’s “Curiouser and Curiouser” continues through Nov. 6 at K Contemporary, 1412 Wazee St. It’s free. Info at 303-590-9800 or kcontemporaryart.com.

One notable painting in the show pairs various species of feathery, tropical birds with bears and layers them on top of jungle flora rendered in sharp yellows, golds, reds and greens. Even his simple black line drawings of bunnies — the ones he is most famous for — feature bursts of oranges and purples in the background.

The gallery describes the overall effect as a “meditative visual mantra,” and it is possible to see these pieces, all together, as something like spiritual chants — not quite quiet, but meditative in the way they allow one idea to relentlessly occupy brain space. Bunnies, if you have enough them, can be hypnotic.

1632747826 319 Excess at its best LoDos K Contemporary gallery gives bunny
Hunt Slonem also makes bunnies out of neon. (Provided by K Contemporary Gallery)

But it’s also possible to see these works as a depiction of nature and all of its power: bunnies with their capacity to reproduce, butterflies with their adaptability to change. Through endless repetition, Slonem’s work suggests animals and plants — even delicate, winged insects — are strong, inevitable forces, not secondary to humans but equally mighty. There’s a frivolity to the paintings and sculptures, a silliness, but also great respect for the environment.

“Curiouser and Curiouser,” because of its excess, brings that quality out of the work in a way many Slonem’s fans might not have recognized in the past. It’s solid a testimony in favor of the art of curation.

“Curiouser and Curiouser” is also, simply said, a fun show to see. It would have been easy for K Contemporary to just throw these works up on a wall or place them on pedestals. That is what commercial galleries usually do, and Slonem’s star-power would have brought in the crowds regardless of how the objects were displayed.

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Most Colorado hospitals post some required price information — but it still may not be what you pay

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Most Colorado hospitals post some required price information — but it still may not be what you pay

Most Colorado hospitals are at least partially complying with rules meant to make it easier for patients to shop for care, but even if people find and use all the price tools available, there’s still a chance they won’t know what they’re paying until they get a bill.

Colorado passed a law requiring hospitals to post self-pay prices for their most common procedures in 2017. Two years later, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mandated that hospitals post their chargemasters — essentially, a list of “sticker prices” for almost anything they offer, from procedures to the daily rate for a room.

Now, hospitals also have to post the rates they’ve negotiated with insurance companies and whatever discounts they offer to uninsured people, as well as the estimated cost for “shoppable” services.

The Denver Post surveyed the websites of 87 Colorado hospitals to find out whether they were posting price information as required by the state and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Of those, 34 hospitals posted all required prices, 34 posted only the sticker price, two posted no prices, and the rest posted some subset of the required information.

That’s better than the rate some nationwide studies have found. The nonprofit group Patient Rights Advocate randomly sampled 500 of the roughly 6,000 hospitals nationwide that are subject to the rule, and found only 28 included complete information. The most common problem was leaving off at least some prices, such as the rates they negotiated with insurance plans or the cash price charged to uninsured patients.

It’s possible the difference comes from the group of hospitals examined, not from any inherent tendency to follow the rules in Colorado. Nationwide studies have focused on large medical centers and hospital systems, but The Post’s analysis included both small and large hospitals. The majority of the hospitals posting all prices in Colorado were independent, and many of them were small, rural facilities.

Julie Lonborg, senior vice president at the Colorado Hospital Association, said posting all that information quickly is difficult, particularly since hospitals have diverted much of their tech talent to handle required COVID-19 reporting. There also are lingering questions about what counts as sufficiently “consumer-friendly” language, and whether posting the information required for the federal mandates will satisfy state law, she said.

“I think that we need to allow time for everyone, post-COVID, to catch up,” she said. “If we hadn’t been doing this on top of a global pandemic, we might be a little bit further.”

Lincoln Health, which includes a 15-bed hospital in Hugo, was one of the 34 hospitals that posted all required prices. Spokeswoman Megan Mosher said they contracted with a company that sells transparency tools to ensure they were in compliance, but the expense and time to maintain it might be better spent elsewhere. Few patients use the tools, and they can get more relevant information by calling, she said.

“Our patient financial counselor is able to provide complete, accurate and comprehensive price estimates to our patients, resulting in better education and financial preparedness from our patients, which is what transparency should really be about,” she said.

Hospitals that don’t comply with the federal requirements can be fined a maximum of $300 per day, but the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed increasing that to $5,500 per day for the largest hospitals. Smaller hospitals would pay $10 per bed each day that they don’t comply.

Making prices public

Transparency proponents argue that forcing hospitals to post their prices will drive down health care spending by allowing people to shop around. Hospital trade groups counter that the information is essentially useless to the average person. Awareness of transparency rules is low: a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation in May found only about 9% of people knew hospitals were required to post prices.

Making price data public is useful for making policy and holding high-priced hospitals accountable, said Adam Fox, deputy director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. It also can help patients who are trying to find affordable care, but the posted prices aren’t a guarantee, he said.

“Ultimately, this increased transparency is good, but it’s not a silver bullet to lowering health care costs,” he said.

The vast majority of Colorado hospitals did comply with the requirement to post their chargemasters. Two of the 87 hospitals — Heart of the Rockies Medical Center and Telluride Regional Medical Center — appear to have not posted one, though Heart of the Rockies did have a tool allowing patients to look up prices. Sedgwick County Health Center has a file posted, but it didn’t contain any information when downloaded, suggesting a technical problem.

The requirement that hospitals post their chargemasters was a “helpful first step,” but it only allows for general comparisons of which hospitals are more or less expensive, Fox said. The base prices are largely theoretical, since private insurers pay lower rates, and most hospitals have discounts for people paying out-of-pocket.

In 2019, federal regulators announced they would also require hospitals to list what they charge the different insurance plans they accept, and the prices they charge people paying out-of-pocket. They also required a list of 300 “shoppable” services — scheduled procedures that allow for price comparisons.

The American Hospital Association sued to block the new rules and lost. In April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services started sending warning letters to hospitals that hadn’t posted all the required information, but two studies in June found significant numbers still had incomplete data on their websites. Federal regulators have delayed issuing any fines to give hospitals more time to adjust, but it’s not clear how long that reprieve will last.

Only three Colorado hospitals didn’t post shoppable services: Telluride Regional Medical Center, Keefe Memorial Hospital and Sedgwick County Health Center, which once again had a file posted that didn’t show any data. Community Hospital in Grand Junction didn’t post a separate file of shoppable services, but added all of the required information to its chargemaster.

Some hospitals made it easier to find shoppable services than others, though. On 17 hospital websites, someone looking for the shoppable services list had to click through five screens, sometimes starting on pages that weren’t intuitive, such as the “pay my bill” section. Hospitals that had a price-estimating tool frequently required anyone browsing to enter personal information before using it, which could discourage some people from shopping around.

Good to double check

The new requirements give people a better idea of what they might actually pay than the chargemaster does, though it still could be a good idea to double-check with the hospital and your insurance company, Fox said. What you actually pay will depend on how complex your care is, whether all your doctors are in your insurance company’s network and how large a share of the total cost your insurance plan requires you to pay out-of-pocket.

“These shouldn’t be taken as the amount that somebody will get billed,” he said.

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing has called for changes to make prices easier to use, and to increase penalties for hospitals that don’t comply. In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, it asked federal regulators to:

  • Require hospitals to give guaranteed prices, not just estimates
  • Increase the minimum penalty to $300 per day, with no maximum penalty
  • Order hospitals with pricing tools to allow patients to use them without entering personal information
  • Require standardized tools and formats, so patients can make comparisons more easily
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Vail’s back bowls to get new quad as part of Vail Resorts’ $320M Epic lift upgrade

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Vail’s back bowls to get new quad as part of Vail Resorts’ $320M Epic lift upgrade

Ever wanted to lap Sun Down Bowl with only one lift ride? Vail Resorts announced Thursday an unprecedented number of on-mountain projects planned for the 2022-23 North American season in what will be the company’s largest single-year investment in its resorts.

The sweeping set of 19 new chairlifts, including 12 high-speed lifts, a new eight-person, high-speed gondola and six new fixed-grip lifts, is part of Vail Resorts’ $315 million to $325 million capital investment plan for 2022. Each of the upgrades is designed to reduce wait times, increase uphill capacity and create more lift-served terrain. The projects outlined span 14 resorts including Vail Mountain, Keystone Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado.

At Vail Mountain, the installation of a new high-speed four-person chair from the base of Chair 5 (High Noon Express) to the Wildwood restaurant will reduce wait times on peak days at Chair 5 and create the opportunity for skiers and riders to conveniently access the trails in Sun Down Bowl.

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Denver’s airport makes plans to plug all oil and gas wells as it focuses on sustainability

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Denver’s airport makes plans to plug all oil and gas wells as it focuses on sustainability

City leaders aim to make Denver International Airport “one of the greenest airports in the world,” but dozens of oil and gas wells that dot its sprawling landscape stand as clear contradictions of that goal.

Now DIA says it will permanently plug those 64 remaining wells, which have been idle since 2018, within three years as part of its new environmental sustainability plan. An airport spokeswoman says a bid request will go out soon to hire a contractor that can plug all of the wells by late 2023 or early 2024.

Most of those wells were operating long before DIA was built in the 1990s on 54 square acres annexed from neighboring Adams County. But over the years, the airport allowed the use of fracking to develop new wells.

The side hustle brought in $7 million in 2010, helping in a small way to subsidize DIA’s main operations. But declining gas and natural gas prices reduced that take significantly in more recent years, with the wells generating just $2.3 million in 2017.

The next year, the city auditor questioned the economics of extraction since the wells are expensive to maintain and operate.

Since DIA hit pause on the wells in May 2018, in part due to environmental concerns, airport leaders and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration have been cool to the idea of restarting them — though they have hesitated at times to foreclose the option. Hancock has since announced larger initiatives to address climate change, and he’s faced pressure from City Council members and environmentalists.

Now it’s official: DIA is getting out of oil and gas for good.

“Our five-year (sustainability) plan focuses on a variety of new efforts that supplement the work we are already doing, support Mayor Hancock’s climate action agenda and continue to improve environmental performance across all aspects of our operations,” said Phillip Washington, who took over as airport CEO in July, in a recent news release.

Ean Thomas Tafoya, the state director of the environmental group GreenLatinos, is among those who have pushed to ban fracking in Denver — which functionally meant fracking at DIA, the only place it occurred in the city. The most recent campaign aimed to get a city charter amendment on the ballot in 2020, but it was sidelined by the pandemic.

Tafoya praised DIA’s decision.

“We need to do away with fracking because we know it’s contributing to the climate crisis in a huge way,” he said.

DIA isn’t the only airport that’s allowed oil or gas extraction on its property. Several have dabbled with it, including Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Among DIA’s past oil customers was Suncor, which has a refinery in Adams County and supplies jet fuel back to the airport.

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CSU launches $11M “student success” effort to boost 70% graduation rate

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CSU launches $11M “student success” effort to boost 70% graduation rate

Colorado State University leaders say they’ll invest $11 million in an effort to close “equity gaps” and increase student success.

Overall, 47% of CSU students graduate within four years and 70% graduate in six years — on par with similar public universities nationwide.

“Too many students do not complete their degrees,” CSU Provost Mary Pedersen said. “This comes down to converting students into graduates. The $11 million is to increase the number of students who are successful so that they are not walking away with debt but no college degree.”

CSU officials say they’re particularly concerned about low-income students and students from marginalized communities. They’ve found lagging performance and lower graduation rates among students who are the first in their families to attend college, students from rural areas and those who face financial pressure.

The “equity gaps” have become a focus for academic administrators at CSU, the University of Colorado and around the U.S. — disparities in graduation rates that officials have correlated with family income, race, gender and other traits.

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Respect wild animals, or protect the lands from feral animals?

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Respect wild animals, or protect the lands from feral animals?

 Respect wild animals and let them live in peace

Re: “State pressure stops BLM’s wild horse roundup early,” Sept. 16 news story

The Bureau of Land Management’s, dare-I-say-mis-management, of our wild horse and burro herds foments the illegitimate suffering of these animals, by helicopter gathers, by cruelly depriving them of water and forage on public lands mandated for their protection, by cruel transportation to subsidized slaughter through an Adoption Incentive Program, and by cruel warehousing in feedlot-like settings ripe for disease and death.

And all this is performed at taxpayer expense without regulatory oversight while falsely blaming wild horses and burros for the destruction of public lands.

There are documented issues of discrepancies in the BLM’s numbers of animals moving through the Wild Horse and Burro Program, skewing the basis for the removal of wild equines from the range, and jeopardizing the program at multiple levels.

Truthfully, there is no wild horse and burro population problem on federal lands; the issue is the greed of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other livestock interests who want no competitors for the grass that grows on our public lands.

There are now more than 4.3 million cattle and sheep on our western lands — 30 of these domesticated ruminants for every wild horse. These ranchers have long wanted to exterminate the wild equines, who eons ago occupied a central role in the North American ecosystem, or these ranchers want to reduce them to remnant populations that are the equivalent of functional extinction.

We are asking for an immediate moratorium on all further gathers and removals of wild horses and burros until the BLM conducts a comprehensive, science-based, review of its wild horse and burro program and the impacts of private livestock grazing.

Richard Karcich, Centennial


Re: “Doves migrating with hunters out in force,” Sept. 12 sports story

Promoting dove hunting is disgusting. Using a .410 shotgun to murder unsuspecting and defenseless doves is disgusting. What is wrong with people? According to birdsandblooms.com, doves have good co-parenting skills; they mate for life; they fly up to 55 mph. Doves stockpile food. Doves eat weed seeds, which is valuable to farmers or anyone living near vacant lots, and doves are beautiful.

Shame on mindless people who murder doves. For shame, for shame, for shame.

Donald L. Vasicek, Centennial


Horses feral, not wild

Re: “Respect wild animals and let them live in peace,” Sept. 19 letter to the editor

There are no wild horses in the Sand Wash Basin in western Colorado. They are feral animals that are destroying the public lands. They must be managed wisely. The entire ecosystem needs to be considered in their management, not just the horses.

I got back last month from an eastern European country and was surprised that I never saw a rabbit while there. I saw lots and lots of feral cats and some feral dogs. A conservationist friend explained that the feral cats most likely are eating the bunnies in their nests, so the bunnies do not mature. I also saw no hawks nor eagles during this visit — no rabbits, no birds of prey. The entire ecosystem is disrupted and unhealthy because of all the feral cats roaming the cities and countryside.

Michael Johnson, Denver


While I understand the letter writer’s concern, he is also totally romanticizing these equine species. This current population of horses has only been in the Western Hemisphere since the Spanish let them loose about 500 years ago, not “eons.” They are neither native nor useful to anyone in this age of the automobile. The only role they play in our ecosystem is to graze pasture better used by our domesticated cattle, which can be used for human food.

Harriet Rosen, Denver


Leaving Tri-County health is a huge mistake for Dougco

Re: “Leaving Tri-County health was practical not political,” Sept. 14 My Turn

I was the executive director of Tri-County Health Department between 2001-2013. The statement made by Abe Laydon is dead wrong and Douglas County residents will be adversely affected because of the decision to separate from Tri-County.

The separation has been studied over many years and Douglas County has consistently remained with Tri-County. It is unfortunate that a disagreement about COVID-19 masking would take center stage for dissolving one of the most successful multi-county health departments in the country according to the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

First, you get economy of scale. More than one county can call upon specific services usually not available in many single county health departments. For example: occupational health services; water and sanitation engineering services; maps and data services for a variety of public health problems; advanced maternal and child health services; along with syringe access services. Douglas County taxpayers would have to pay much more for these advanced services. Grants alone will not cover the costs.

I hope that Douglas County residents take note of the extreme disservice provided by the Douglas County Commissioners and ask that the commissioners reconsider their decision.

Richard Leon Vogt, Littleton


As expected, Douglas County leadership acted on their promise to walk away from Tri-County Health and create their own health board. To no surprise, they created another political arm that will rubber stamp their political agenda.

Three of these new members have no health background but are entrenched into the political machine of the county. The naysayers to masks want choice over their bodies speak out of both sides of their mouths and one side wants choice but the other side denies choice in letting taxpayers vote on direction to walk away from Tri-County.

How much will taxpayers be stuck paying with this new Douglas County Health Organization? I will bet it will be more than $2 million currently being paid and taxpayers will be stuck with higher costs. Our Commissioners have no clue on final costs.

Dave Usechek, Parker


Unfair advantage for Kafer in Littleton City Council race

As you are aware, one of your regular columnists, Krista Kafer, is a candidate for an at-large seat on the Littleton City Council. It appears to us that The Denver Post is providing a serious advantage over her exceptionally well-qualified opponent, Gretchen Rydin. Your paper furnishes Kafer with a sizeable forum to make her conservative opinions widely known.

Granting preferential visibility and free publicity to one candidate for public office is blatantly unfair.

In the interest of equity, we ask Kafer to voluntarily desist from writing and publishing columns until after Littleton’s November election. If Kafer chooses not to temporarily suspend her columns, then The Denver Post should either defer them until after the election or offer Rydin, a licensed clinical social worker, equal space on your opinion pages.

Jeffrey A. May & Karen A. Crossen, Littleton

Editor’s note: Kafer has previously agreed that her last column until after the election will run Sept. 26. Rydin is, of course, welcome to submit a guest commentary to The Post.


Tay Anderson’s name has been cleared stop with the accusations

Re: “Report: Assault claims not valid. Investigation calls out behavior; DPS board member faces censure,” Sept. 16 news story

Shame on you for carrying the smear of his character tagged on to the fruitless investigation into Tay Anderson.

Prolonging the mudslinging as you are by headlining the baseless insult suggesting he engaged in un-elaborated “unbecoming” behavior is disgusting. Frankly, appending such a claim to an exonerating report is tantamount to race baiting. What is The Post’s end game here?

Andrew Waterhouse, Grand Junction


From the opening of The Denver Post editorial of June 4, 2021; “Denver School Board Member Tay Anderson should not be on school district property. Period. End of
story.”

At a cost of over a thousand dollars a page, the outside report concluded that the allegations which so animated The Post editorial board are “unsubstantiated.”

Will The Post now accept that it made an error in judgment and extend an apology to Anderson? And, more importantly, will the Post Editorial Board have the humility to examine the underlying reasons why its members took this position so that it will not make a mistake like this in the future? There is no shame in making mistakes. The shame comes if one fails to acknowledge and learn from them.

Guy Wroble, Denver


How best to get the population vaccinated from COVID-19

I would like to see MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, and the USTA vigorously promote COVID vaccinations.

Professional athletes should add promos to their uniforms or helmets just as some have done with regard to their opinions about racism. Many lives could be saved.

Jerry Angerman, Denver


Re: “Biden’s push covers 793,000 Coloradans,” Sept. 10 news story

I support the current mandates for COVID-19 vaccination, testing, quarantine, etc., but with one proviso: As soon as the incident is contained, whomever is enforcing the mandates removes them.

At times there are reasons to enforce such mandates, but they should not be used by the state entity to exert further continued control over the populous once the cause for the mandate has been contained. Nor should the state entity willfully continue the mandate beyond that point as an effort to further its control.

Employing mandates was demonstrated in Albert Camus’ 1948 novel “The Plague.” In the novel Camus’ narrator described a fictional bubonic plague epidemic in the northwest Algerian city of Oran shortly after World War II. He clearly described the actions and reactions of the Oran government enforcing mandates to control the plague and the peoples’ own actions and reactions to the infection. These mandates and their implications can be used as a guide to withstand the present pandemic.

I coincidentally read the novel just as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting at the end of 2019. Once I had read it, I could see his descriptions of the psychological reactions of both the government and the populace were spot on describing their actions and reactions during the current pandemic.

As a result, my personal reactions to the pandemic have been more rational and I am able to support the mandates and discomforts they have caused. Again, with the proviso that once we have controlled COVID-19 better, we relax and remove the mandates it has caused.
Otherwise, I will take my concerns to the ballot box.

There are many examples which could be given, but I recommend a person, elected or not, policy maker or not, buy/borrow/rent/Kindle the book to better understand what Camus was writing about and how to react to the current situation with its mandates.

Ralph Johnson, Lakewood


Re: “Mandate prompts outrage by GOP,” Sept. 11 news story

Regarding the Senate candidate from Ohio’s comments about mandatory vaccines: “the American people have a right to assess the risks and benefits of the vaccine and make the decision for themselves and their families,” I would hope someone running for Senate would consider themselves a patriot.

Being patriotic means putting your country or your community first, over your own interests. Would Mike Gibbons have resisted blackout curtains had he lived in WWII London?

We are all in this together, and if people behaved in a way that protected us all, then a vaccine mandate would not be necessary. To those still unvaccinated, please show your patriotism by stepping up and taking the vaccine. Lives are at stake, including your own.

Nancy Litwack-Strong, Lakewood


Don’t otherize your opponents

Re: “Colorado’s GOP must not be consumed by conspiracies,” Sept. 15 opinion column

Dick Wadham’s boasts that he masterminded Wayne Allard’s successful campaign for the Senate in 1996 with the slogan, “the Veterinarian versus the Lobbyist.” That is a reminder of everything wrong in our politics today.

Wadhams conveniently omits that part of the campaign’s framing was to vilify Allard’s opponent, Tom Strickland, simply for being a lawyer even though Strickland was a highly respected professional with a strong record of public service.

Wadham’s slogan was intended to polarize the electorate and vilify a political opponent because of his choice of profession rather than his policies or accomplishments. You can draw a straight line between such cynical attempts to “otherize” a political opponent and the toxic political climate in the country today.

If Dick Wadhams truly laments the current state of alienation in our politics today, he need only look in the mirror to see one source of where such toxicity came from.

Steve Silverman, Boulder


Redistricting map disappoints by not creating competitive districts

Re: “Panel agrees on third version of redistricting map,” Sept. 16 news story

As far as congressional districts, the current and likely adopted redistricting plan will probably keep the most number of current elected representatives and party faithful happy for a while. But it maintains the status quo and largely ignores the ideal of “competitive” districts. They are mostly wildly lop-sided.

The Republicans should be happy to salvage a hefty share of the Colorado congressional delegation, which allows their fringe-Trump ultra-right-wing room to continue to ignore independents and any thought of ever winning a state-wide election again. (Hence the unheeded warnings and pain of folks like Liz Cheney and Dick Wadhams). To a lesser extent, it allows the Democrats the same wiggle room.

Over many decades I have been a member of both parties, driven by which is actually the party of ideas (not crazy ones) which can appeal to our new majority/plurality — the independents (a thanks here to the demographic “suburban women”).

The quiet D&R cooperation in the last legislative session — D’s considering R’s amendments while still getting massive reform and a lot done — was hopeful. More competitive Congressional redistricting would have made both parties wake up and smell the coffee: quit fighting yesterday’s battles. It looks as if this is not going to happen. An opportunity has been missed for real competition of ideas.

Richard Opler, Parker


Take a break from Meow Wolf

Re: “Meow Wolf do’s,” Sept. 17 news story

Does Meow Wolf now own The Denver Post? It surely does get millions of dollars’ worth of free advertisement.

Every day, there’s another multi-page article with brightly colored illustrations, touting Meow Wolf. This, despite the fact that the entity is being sued for stealing an artist’s work, and has pushed out local artists in numerous cities. It is a mega-capitalist group bloated by writers who are in its thrall.

Give local artists and small galleries more free publicity. Take a long break from the talons of Meow Wolf. Please!

Dixie Elder, Longmont


Colorado should regulate supervised visit providers

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies is the state’s umbrella regulatory agency, charged with managing licensing and registration for multiple professions and businesses, implementing balanced regulation for Colorado industries, and protecting consumers.

The Colorado General Assembly should know that one of Colorado’s industries that does not fall under any regulations is those private individuals that offer supervised visitation. Children rely on these individuals so they can stay in contact with a parent that the courts allege are dangerous. So why are these people not held to a standard or any regulations? Currently no license or certification is required to provide supervised visitation. A couple of states have some legislation with requirements, but no state actually governs or regulates providers. So there is not anyone you can report unethical behavior to.

In 1991, the Supervised Visitation Network was formed and they have published standards and ethics that members pledge to follow, and in some cases they can respond to ethical complaints or violations of the standards by a member, but they can only address a member’s status with the organization.

How is it possible that most organizations involved with children in Colorado are held accountable to laws and standards but the individuals deemed safe to be supervising children have no accountability, guidelines, are not held to any standard, and parents have no way to report violations.

This should be addressed and the providers should be held accountable for unethical behavior. DORA or some other agency should be monitoring these organizations.

Judi-Beth Atwood, Longmont


The real problem with “zero income” tax is clear

Re: “Polis’ zero income tax talk started a needed debate,” Sept. 12 opinion column

Doug Friednash wasted a lot of space providing little factual information. So if 9 states get by without income taxes, how do their fairness ratings rank them? The state of Washington is one, and they are consistently rated as one the most regressive because the state must heavily rely on regressive sales taxes instead.

Nor did Friednash offer the obvious fact that while progressive income taxes were highest, after WWII, so was U.S. economic growth. Colorado (and every government) should have an ongoing inquiry into its best taxation system for stability and fairness.

And Polis’ idea of using “sin” taxes to replace income taxes isn’t thought through. If the “sin” taxes are high enough to actually reduce the “sinning,” the tax base declines. Sin taxes should only be used on top of stable tax bases, and the most fair systems have the 3-legged stool of income, property and transactions (or value added).

Christopher Juniper, Denver


A review of Boebert’s legacy

Colorado’s voters in the 3rd Congressional District need to know about the background of their congresswoman, Lauren Boebert.

She was arrested in Rifle, Colo., three times in the past decade for various offenses. Boebert failed to appear for court hearings for a driving offense in 2015 and for disorderly conduct at a music festival in Grand Junction in 2016, triggering judges to issue arrest warrants.

While running for Congress in 2019, Boebert charged her campaign for mileage reimbursement that would equal about 39,000 miles of travel, further than the circumference of the earth.

In 2020, she owed a $19,522 state tax liens for non-payment of unemployment insurance premiums going back to 2013 for her Shooter’s Grill in Rifle.

Her husband made about $938,000 in 2019 and 2020 consulting for Terra Energy Partners, an oil and gas company. Lauren introduced a bill in Congress in 2020 to prevent the U.S. president from prohibiting drilling on public lands, a bill that would have benefited Terra Energy Partners. She violated federal disclosure laws by failing to reveal her husband’s income from 2019 and 2020.

In May 2020, Garfield County suspended the Shooter’s Grill license after Boebert repeatedly opened her restaurant for in-person dining in defiance of state and local coronavirus restrictions. In 2021, she refused to let Capitol police search her bag after she set off metal detectors.

During the Jan. 6th insurrection, she tweeted the location of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as they were hiding from the Capitol invaders.

Is this the person the citizens of the 3rd District want representing them in Congress?

Jim DeWall, Centennial


Dem’s plan needs curtailed

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is bringing up some concerns about the proposed “social infrastructure” proposal that many of us share. I don’t remember President Joe Biden running on a platform that envisioned expanding the social safety net to the degree proposed.

My concerns include:

(1) First, shore up Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for current and future generations.

(2) Ensure safeguards in further social spending so that our tax dollars do not go to individuals or families with an income above their state median income level; too many programs end up benefiting those who don’t truly need the help.

(3) Appoint someone like Elizabeth Warren or Katie Porter to oversee and assure every last penny we spend is spent as intended.

(4)The amount is too high. Calculate what income tax reforms to ensure high earners and corporations pay their fair share will bring in to pay for these programs in full. Then you’ll have the number that can be spent.

John W. Thomas, Fort Collins


Re: “Fair share: Anschutz’s $8 million Colorado lawsuit is everything wrong with billionaire tax breaks,” Sept. 19 opinion column

The recent opinion column regarding Philip Anschutz’s suit for a Colorado tax refund calls out for clarification. At the time Anschutz filed for a Colorado refund in April of 2020 he was entitled to a Colorado tax refund as a result of the CARES Act. Perhaps other Colorado taxpayers were as well.

Colorado’s response was to rush enactment of a change in the law to retroactively prohibit the refund for all Colorado taxpayers, and then refuse to pay the refund. Anschutz followed the rules, and Colorado changed them after the fact. The government can’t do that.

Megan Schrader’s opinion suggests that she believes that Colorado should be able to retroactively increase taxes. The legality of that retroactive tax increase is what is at stake in this litigation, which will ultimately be decided by the appellate courts. If the lower court decision is upheld Colorado could simply top up the treasury whenever it wants by imposing retroactive taxes on whoever it wants. That seems to be your position. No Coloradan should support that.

Bruce F. Black, The Anschutz Corporation


Make tax incentives public

Re: “Four companies offered incentives,” Sept. 17 news story

The article states the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved $11.3 million in tax credits to four companies. The largest award, worth up to $7.7 million, went to a foreign maker of medical devices and health care technology products. However, this company was not named but, instead, given a code name to protect its identity.

Why? This is taxpayer money being passed out, even if it’s through payroll tax credits, and we have a right to know where out money is going. Is this a company taxpayers might not approve of? Both the company name and its country of origin should be made public.

Carl Christensen, Arvada


Milley was serving the U.S.

Re: “No, General Milley, President Trump wasn’t losing it,” Sept. 16 opinion column

This op-ed by Timothy L. O’Brien was well written and absolutely correct. My first reaction was to the headline — “No, General Milley, President Trump wasn’t losing it” — and I almost didn’t read the piece, figuring it was a screed by some Trump apologist. But I did read it. A better title would have been, “Thank God for General Milley!”

Donald Trump has the moral and intellectual maturity of a 13-year-old, and that’s doing a disservice to many tweens I have known. But we’ve known that about him for many years, long before he decided to run for president. It is clear to me that someone with that level of moral and intellectual immaturity should not be president.

So, to O’Brien’s point, Trump’s behavior following his loss in the 2020 election was predictable and not out of character. Having said that, however, I applaud what Mark Milley did. What he did was work within the standard military framework.

Some people, including Trump, have tossed around the term “treason,” apparently without understanding what that term means. Treason has historically only been applied during times of war when someone acts against the interest of the country. General Milley swore loyalty to the U.S., not to a particular president. In that context, Milley was fulfilling his oath of office by taking actions to protect the USA. Trump likely believes that anyone disloyal to him committed treason, but that clearly is a distortion of the term. In my view, Mark Milley is a hero.

James W. Craft, Broomfield


A question of qualification

Re: “Republican Heidi Ganahl enters governor’s race,” Sept. 15 news story

The Denver Post reports that Heidi Ganahl “refused to say whether she accepts the 2020 presidential election results.”

That is where the article should end.

Our great country is drowning in a flood of disinformation and conspiracy theories that threaten our future as a democratic republic operating under the rule of law.

The mainstream media should carry out their responsibility to promote truth and facts by refusing to run any articles or quotes from politicians and public figures who perpetuate the lies that continue to cripple our civic culture.

Joe Biden won the free and fair election of 2020.

Stephanie Logan, Centennial


Heidi Ganahl’s candidacy announcement has a useful lesson for future candidates for any office. When asked if the candidate believes the 2020 presidential election was legitimate, I’m looking for two possible answers. It’s either “Yes” or “No, and here is why.”

Reasons why should look like actual evidence. It’s not a trick question or an issue that you’re still developing policy on. Dodge the question, fail to provide reasons, put it off for tomorrow or joke about it, and I am not voting for you. Ever.

David Stewart, Aurora


In times of uncertainty, unite

Our country has been suffering a collective PTSD since 9/11. Unfortunately, we’ve turned our grief and uncertainty into fear and anger, and we’re taking it out on each other.

The sad irony is that we need to be coming together now more than ever. Everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is questioning what’s happening, wondering what to believe in and what to count on.

Our bedrock institutions have revealed corruption. Climate change is taking away homes and livelihoods. We’re feeling short-changed and left behind. Perhaps that’s the impetus behind refusing to get vaccinated or wear a mask. It’s the one last thing we have control over.

I get that residents on the Western Slope don’t think Front Range folks understand their ways or needs. I get that big-city progressives feel like everyone is shooting the messenger.

Please take note that disease and climate change are bigger than us and not confined to politics. Changes are coming whether we like it or not. We’re wasting precious time searching for the one that caused all this. As old gives way to new, we can turn loss into gain. It’ll be different. But with everyone at the table and all hands on deck, we can find our niche and a new way to contribute to the greater good of humanity, thereby securing food, water, peace and freedom.

Patricia Scott, Denver


Music appreciation

After a far too long absence, our Colorado Symphony has returned and began the 2021-2022 season. Opening night was, at once, truly gratifying and triumphant.

The world-renowned pianist, Emanuel Ax, rewarded the audience with a spellbinding performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Conductor Peter Oundjian led a fine-sounding group of musicians, some familiar, some new.

It was a special time — no arguing, no discord — just excellent music with an audience engaged with rapt attention.

There truly are moments in which gratitude and appreciation can transport us to a better place. The symphony’s return provides those experiences.

Welcome back, Colorado Symphony!

John Leopold, Centennial


Vaccine payments wasteful

Re: “Mayor seeks $5M to give vaccinated city workers bonuses,” Sept. 11 news story

The Denver Post published an article about our Denver mayor wanting to spend $5 million of taxpayer money for a bonus (bribe) to unvaccinated city employees to get vaccinated.

It is ridiculous even to suggest this kind of wasteful spending. If the city wants its employees to be vaccinated, they can just tell them that they must be vaccinated to work for the city. If they don’t want to get vaccinated, that’s their personal choice. This isn’t firing them; it is requiring a reasonable standard for city workers.

Hopefully the city council will stand up against this abhorrent use of taxpayer money.

Elaine Little, Denver


Don’t sign up for BVSD recall

Re: “Petitions seek to recall three BVSD board members,” Sept. 16 news story

Boulder residents are lucky to have Richard Garcia, Kathy Gebhardt and Lisa Sweeny-Miran on our school board. Please do not sign the petition to recall them.

Your signature on this petition will cost our schools hundreds of thousands of dollars if it triggers a recall election, taking away from funding currently allocated to schools. The BVSD board wisely chose to align our schools with the Boulder County Public Health mask guidelines to keep our schools open and students as safe and healthy as possible. Also, lack of consistency has been a source of great frustration as we negotiate the pandemic, and the board is to be commended, not recalled, for maintaining consistency with our public health department.

Missy Carrier, Erie


Biden should address the drone strike that killed 10 innocents

Re: “Pentagon reverses itself, calls strike ‘tragic’ error,” Sept. 18 news story

I believe I can safely predict President Joe Biden will not make a prime time TV apology concerning the “over the horizon” drone strike that killed at least 10 innocent Afghanistan civilians, including an aid worker for a U.S. aid group and seven of his children.

Let me remind your readers that President Biden did make a prime time TV appearance on Aug. 31, proudly boasting that the United States did kill several Islamic State individuals who were instrumental in the bombing at the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. military service members and killed many Afghanistan citizens.

Any apology will be made by someone else and not in prime time. If the president does comment on the tragedy, it will not be in prime time and he will undoubtedly throw someone or some agency under the bus.

Is this presidential leadership?

We will soon find out.

Nick Panetta, Aurora


Ditch Trump and ‘trickle down’

Re: “Colorado’s GOP must not be consumed by conspiracies,” Sept. 15 opinion column

Dare I say it out loud? As a former Republican turned Democrat in the 1990s, I agree with Dick Wadhams! His points are correct. The Trump phenomenon needs to be pushed off the political highway so we can get back to normalcy. What Wadhams misses in his description of a good Republican agenda includes their trickle-down economy debacle. That it has never worked for our economy needs addressing. Until they are honest that it fills the pockets of the rich, leaving the rest of us struggling, they won’t be relevant!

Sue Cole, Centennial


Sustainable beef production

Cattle ranchers, like me, are dedicated to caring for our animals and the land every day. Growing up in the suburbs of Denver, I wasn’t involved in agriculture until my family purchased Eagle Rock Ranch in 2012. Living on a ranch that has been in continuous operation since 1868, my family takes great pride in knowing that we provide our neighbors with high-quality protein in the most sustainable way possible.

Ranching in the mountains at over 9,000 feet elevation has its challenges. The winters are long, animals’ health risks are increased, and the weather is unpredictable. However, without cattle being raised in harmony with existing wildlife on our land, I often question what would replace our cattle who upcycle the vegetation that’s inedible to humans, aerate the soil, and prevent fires? Our land takes care of itself because we have cattle grazing and renewing grasses that help manage threats.

We know cattle are the most sustainable option for our land because of how they interact with and benefit neighboring environments. Our family has installed hundreds of log and rock structures along the Tarryall Creek while planting willow saplings to stabilize the riverbank and provide shade cover for fish. Our cattle interact with the creek during the winter to help with stabilizing the banks and keeping our creek fish-friendly.

Consumers should feel good about eating beef, knowing it is produced on ranches just like ours, by people just like us, across
America.

Erin Michalski, Jefferson County


Wait, aren’t we supposed to “trust the science?”

All throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have been urged to trust the science. Now Gov. Jared Polis wants the FDA, which is supposed to protect us from bad food and drugs, to get out of the way and let the state administer booster shots.

Can someone tell me when the governor received his medical degree? Or do we only trust the science as long as it agrees with what we think should happen?

David Forsyth, Denver

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Colorado Symphony, flush with $88 million endowment, sees longtime leaders depart

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Colorado Symphony, flush with $88 million endowment, sees longtime leaders depart

Jerry Kern’s vanilla-and-caramel Havanese, Mikey, calmly eyed the knees of people streaming by in the Edge Bar, at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver, on Tuesday. He barked only once — and unsurprisingly, at another compact canine.

“He comes in the restaurant with me sometimes,” said Kern, 83, who lived in the luxury hotel for a time with his wife and philanthropic partner of 23 years, Mary Rossick Kern. “He’s always very quiet in there. Aren’t you, Mikey?”

Posting up on a couch with Mikey is not something Kern does frequently. On Sept. 9, Colorado Symphony officials announced his retirement as CEO and board chairman, following two on-and-off decades of financial and artistic growth and tumult. At the same time, leaders revealed the symphony’s endowment had reached $88 million, which Kern boasted as “unprecedented in the Colorado performing arts community.”

“It’s not tied to the pandemic,” Kern said of his departure, which the symphony attributed to personal reasons (while deflecting requests for more information). “I’m free to say anything now. But I’d rather talk about how it’s almost ten years to the day that the musicians reached out to us after the whole board left and they were about to declare bankruptcy.”

That would have been a staggering blow to Denver’s cultural scene, which in 2011 was matching its rapid population and construction growth. Colorado Symphony is one of the four main arts organizations at downtown’s Denver Performing Arts Complex, along with Colorado Ballet, Opera Colorado and Denver Center for the Performing Arts (theater and Broadway).

Kern first got involved in the early 2000s when his wife, who had been at the CSO (as it was called at the time) more than a decade, brought him in. They later stepped away from their leadership duties after helping launch innovative, lucrative programming. But they returned in 2011 when the symphony was on another path of doom — at one point $1.2 million on the red, and saddled with disgruntled musicians and nearly two dozen canceled concerts.

Former Colorado Symphony CEO and board chairman Jerry Kern is leaving the organization with a legacy of growth and financial stability. (Provided by Jerry Kern)

“We initially got very little support from the city, and we were being told on a regular basis that they didn’t believe in our longevity,” Kern said. “Now I’ve got a great relationship with the mayor’s chief of staff, Alan Salazar.”

The Kerns focused on fundraising, new revenue streams, lowering the average age of attendees, and fresh programming. All were successful, resulting in $4 million to $5 million in annual ticket sales, pre-pandemic. In addition to classical repertoire, the symphony is now known for its live film-score screenings; playing backup for acts such as The Flaming Lips, Tenacious D and Gregory Alan Isakov at Red Rocks Amphitheatre concerts and live albums; and holiday programming.

But Kern and city leaders have clashed publicly over finding the best long-term deal for the symphony. In 2014, they near-simultaneously announced different visions for the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which the city owns, and on which the symphony’s Boettcher Concert Hall sits. Kern revealed a $40 million Build a Better Boettcher campaign at a press conference; hours later, the city revealed its Next Stage plan to redevelop the larger complex.

By 2019, the symphony and the city of Denver signed an agreement effectively condemning Boettcher, which was built in 1978 and had become a liability with its empty seats and poor acoustics. The symphony also considered picking up stakes and moving to Cherry Creek, leaving Denver without one.

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What are the odds of winning tonight’s $545 million Powerball drawing?

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What are the odds of winning tonight’s $545 million Powerball drawing?

ST. LOUIS – You have a chance to become a multi-millionaire Monday night when a near-record Powerball jackpot goes up for grabs.

Monday night’s drawing is worth an estimated $545 million. If the winner chooses the up-front payout, they will receive $392 million. The drawing will be done at 10:00 p.m.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.

Here are five things more likely to happen:

  1. Being killed by hornets, wasps or bees
  2. Becoming president of the United States. Those odds are about 1 in 1 million.
  3. Becoming a movie star:
  4. Going to the emergency room with a pogo stick-related injury. Those odds are about 1 in 115,300, according to Deseret News.
  5. Having conjoined twins. The odds of birthing conjoined twins are about 1 in 200,000, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The odds aren’t great when it comes to winning the Powerball Jackpot, but what if you win?

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