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Endorse Biden For President almost 500 National Security Experts

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Almost 500 experts at national security-civilians and former senior uniformed officers-endorsed the president’s appointment by Joe Biden, saying “the present president is not responsible for his office’s huge duties.”

The 489 national security experts included 22 four-star officers addressed to “Our fellow citizens.” President Trump never responds by name to the message.

The letter signed includes retired Gen. Paul Selva of the Air Force, who later last year retired as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the officer of the Pentagon No. 2. For comment, Selva could not be reached immediately.

Another is former Vice Admiral Michael Franken, who retired in 2017 and was ineffective in Iowa this year.

Gen. Peter Chiarelli was also there before he retired in 2012, serving as Army No. 2 officer.

Chiarelli said he’s never been interested in politics until now in an interview with the NPR.

The “attacks” of the president and the “failure to lead,” he said, particularly on a response to the coronavirus, are a real challenge for the republic I think the present administration is. It “makes me ill,” Chiarelli said that the President has politicized the wearing of masks to prevent the virus.

I thought I was supposed to stand up and be counted, “he added.

The former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who worked on George W. Bush, as well as Political stalwarts, for example, Susan Rice, former State Secretary Madeleine Albright, and former Pentagon official Michele Flournoy have signed the document. Some are also included in this document.

Last week 235 senior military leaders endorsed the letter of the president in support of Trump and said he was a ‘solid supporter’ of the military and the veterans.

“Joe Biden’s military record and his veteran’s record is one of the failures: weakening budget cuts, lacking foreign policy decisions and failure to provide quality healthcare to our nation’s heroes,” the letter reads.

Among those signed: the Navy Chief Officer until 1982, and the U.S. Navy Commander in Europe, Adm. Thomas B. Hayward, and retired Adm. Leighton Smith in the 1990s.

The pro-Biden letter is likely to arrive when the Trump campaign publishes his messages, says Peter Feaver, a civilian-military specialist at Duke University.

The amazing thing about the letter that supports Biden, he adds, is that “those people on the lists worked under President Trump in high positions and are thus likely to respond first-hand to what they saw, not just at a distance.”

And Feaver says that all of this will lead to a continued politics of a nonpartisan military.

“This has an inevitable politizing effect upon the process of senior military appointment when a senior Military leader is like Admiral [William] Crowe had done in 1992 against President George H.W. Bush.”

In addition to ex-high civil officials, generals, admirals, several retired senior staff, including Sgt. Maj. Sean Baker and Sgt. John Estrada, sign a pro-Biden letter.

First, the COVID-19 pandemic “has shown that America requires leadership that is philosophy, wise, and accountable. As President Harry S Truman said, America needs a president who can recognize that ‘the buck ends here.'” ”

Echoing Trump’s coronavirus statement, the letter says, “It is hard to believe that (Biden) will utter the word ‘I’m not at all liable.'” ”

Biden states in the letter that he is ‘the leader our nation needs’ and ‘a good man with a strong sense of right and right.’

The letter says that the “disdainful attitude and failure to act” of the President continues “unabated” climate change, as does the North Korean nuclear program, in addition to the coronavirus response given by the Trump White House.

It is a reference to intelligence reports that Russians were paying to targeted US service members in Afghanistan to the Taliban while Pentagon officials still maintain that they are updating those reports. They are not just a warm-hearing, they are not.

The letter also contains the White House since there was not enough funding for NATO, the Kurdish allies in fighting ISIS, and Japan and South Korea.

Hundreds of U.S. troops were taken out of Syria by the President to allow Turkey to travel and attack Kurds, angry at the U.S. troops who operated on the ground to defeat ISIS.

‘Joe Biden is never going to sell his allies to apologize to despots for his dislike of an allied leader.’

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Type of ultraviolet light most effective at killing coronavirus is also the safest to use around people

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Type of ultraviolet light most effective at killing coronavirus is also the safest to use around people

Scientists have long known that ultraviolet light can kill pathogens on surfaces and in air and waterUV robots are used to disinfect empty hospital rooms, buses and trains; UV bulbs in HVAC systems eliminate pathogens in building air; and UV lamps kill bugs in drinking water.

Perhaps you have seen UV wands, UV LEDs and UV air purifiers advertised as silver bullets to protect against the coronavirus. While decades of research have looked at the ability of UV light to kill many pathogens, there are no set standards for UV disinfection products with regard to the coronavirus. These products may work to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but they also may not.

I am an environmental engineer and expert in UV disinfection. In May 2021, my colleagues and I set out to accurately test various UV systems and see which was the most effective at killing off – or inactivating – SARS-CoV-2.

David Herring, NASA via WikimediaCommons

When UV light enters a cell, it breaks the bonds that hold DNA or RNA together.

How does UV light kill a virus?

Light is categorized by wavelength – the distance between peaks of a wave of light – and is measured in nanometers. UV wavelengths range from 100 to 400 nanometers – shorter in wavelength than the violet hues in visible light – and are invisible to the human eye. As wavelength shortens, photons of light contain higher amounts of energy.

Different wavelengths of UV light work better than others for inactivating viruses, and this depends on how well the wavelengths are absorbed by the virus’s DNA or RNA. When UV light gets absorbed, the photons of light transfer their energy to and damage the chemical bonds of the genetic material. The virus is then unable to replicate or cause an infection. Researchers have also shown the proteins that viruses use to attach to a host cell and initiate infection – like the spike proteins on a coronavirus – are also vulnerable to UV light.

The dose of light matters too. Light can vary in intensity – bright light is more intense, and there is more energy in it than in dim light. Being exposed to a bright light for a short time can produce the same UV dose as being exposed to a dim light for a longer period. You need to know the right dose that can kill coronavirus particles at each UV wavelength.

A sunburned man sits on a beach

Ian Hooton, Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Sunburns are caused by UV light damaging skin cells.

Making ultraviolet lights safe for people

Traditional UV systems use wavelengths at or around 254 nanometers. At these wavelengths the light is dangerous to human skin and eyes, even at low doses. Sunlight includes UV light near these wavelengths; anyone who has ever gotten a bad sunburn knows just how dangerous UV light can be.

However, recent research has shown that at certain UV wavelengths – specifically below 230 nanometers – the high-energy photons are absorbed by the top layers of dead skin cells and don’t penetrate into the active skin layers where damage can occur. Similarly, the tear layer around eyes also blocks out these germicidal UV rays.

This means that at wavelengths of UV light below 230 nanometers, people can move around more freely while the air around them is being disinfected in real time.

UV lamp test diagram

Karl Linden, CC BY-ND

Researchers used this setup to test multiple different UV lights at various doses to see what it took to kill SARS-CoV-2.

Testing different wavelengths

My colleagues and I tested five commonly used UV wavelengths to see which work best to inactivate SARS-CoV-2. Specifically, we tested how large a dose is needed to kill 90% to 99.9% of the viral particles present.

We ran these tests in a biosafety level three facility at the University of Arizona that is built to handle lethal pathogens. There we tested numerous lights across the UV spectrum, including UV LEDs that emit light at 270 and 282 nanometers, traditional UV tube lamps at 254 nanometers and a newer technology called an excited dimer, or excimer, UV source at 222 nanometers.

To test each device we spiked a sample of water with millions of SARS-CoV-2 viruses and coated a petri dish with a thin layer of this mixture. We then shined UV light on the petri dish until we achieved a specific dose. Finally we examined the viral particles to see if they could still infect human cells in culture. If the viruses could infect the cells, the dose was not high enough. If the viruses did not cause an infection, the UV source at that dose had successfully killed the pathogen. We carefully repeated this process for a range of UV doses using the five different UV devices.

While all of the wavelengths we tested can inactivate SARS-CoV-2 at very low doses, the ones that required the lowest dose were the systems that emit UV light at a wavelength of 222 nanometers. In our experiment, it took a dose of less than 2 millijoules of energy per square centimeter to kill 99.9% of viral particles. This translates to needing about 20 seconds to disinfect a space receiving a low intensity of short wavelength UV light, similar to that used in our test.

These 222-nanometer systems are almost twice as effective as conventional UV tube lamps, which are often used in ultraviolet disinfecting systems. But importantly, the winning lamp also happens to be the safest for humans, too. At the same UV light intensity it takes to kill 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 in 20 seconds, a person could be safely exposed to 222-nanometer light for up to one hour and 20 minutes.

What this means is that widely available types of UV lamp lights can be used to safely knock down levels of the coronavirus with people present.

Better use of existing tech

Many places or organizations – ranging from the U.S. Air Force to the Space Needle in Seattle to Boeing – are already using or investigating ways to use UV light in the 222 nanometer range to protect public health.

I believe that our findings are important because they quantify the exact doses needed to achieve various levels of SARS-CoV-2 control, whether that be killing 90% or 99.9% of viral particles.

Imagine coffee shops, grocery stores, school classrooms, restaurants and concert venues now made safe by this technology. And this is not a solution for just SARS-CoV-2. These technologies could help protect human health in public spaces in future times of crisis, but also during times of relative normalcy, by reducing exposure to everyday viral and bacterial threats.


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Opinion: Denver students need a new school board

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Opinion: Denver students need a new school board

Denver Public Schools is experiencing a deeply concerning reversal of hard-earned progress achieved over the past two decades.  A recent report demonstrates how dramatic the downward slide has been for Denver students over the last year relative to all other school districts in Colorado.  While most Colorado school districts had lower growth scores which is reflected in the new Colorado “baseline growth” numbers, Denver did significantly worse compared to the state average.

These indicators portend a dramatic acceleration of the existing huge achievement gaps by race and income if a new school board does not take the helm and begin to focus on student needs and learning.  We need a new board with a laser eye on students.

While many Colorado school districts stepped up to meet the needs of students in the pandemic, the Denver School Board has been focused on adult issues, including the conduct of its members, board governance, and its attempts to limit the flexibility of innovation schools.

Other Colorado districts leaned into getting as many students back as quickly as possible especially those students most in need of support, other Colorado school districts like Adams 12 supported learning pods (while the Denver board asked families to stay in their online school programming that wasn’t working), while still others like Greeley set up full day summer school this last year to prepare students for the return to school (and having dramatic results). Denver’s University Prep public charter schools detailed a comprehensive plan to ensure students would continue to move forward.  The Denver School Board assumed no need to check in with families, all would return back to normal.

This has not always been the case. Denver Public Schools had a record of success that sadly it is departing from now.

Denver Public Schools had been a state and national leader with the expansion of health services, support for English language learning students along with academic learning to name but a few indicators for over a decade.

DPS was far from where it needed to be in terms of student support and achievement, but it had made significant progress with the growth of programming for the whole child and more resources being targeted to students most needing instructional help.

The evidence for these changes can be seen in a variety of indicators from graduation, college matriculation, academic “growth” along with improvements in the numbers of students meeting proficiency on the state standards for all groups of students by race and income. Most important, Denver had been outperforming state achievement growth scores for over a decade.

Denver’s previous median growth scores in math and literacy from 2016-2019 were 57 to 51 percentiles with the average over those years being 54.1 percentiles which is a significant gain over the state with the growth comparison of 50 percentile. Few, if any Colorado school districts had this track record over time.

Now, unfortunately, the latest 2021 state test scores in DPS which have been adjusted overall lower and called “baseline growth” were at the 40th percentile for 5th grade DPS literacy (Colorado’s average is 46th percentile) and the 6th grade DPS math percentile was 22nd (the CO percentile being 33rd).  You can see comparisons to other Colorado school districts here.

This is a catastrophic shift unlike any other large school district, going from making growth relative to the other students in Colorado to significantly losing growth relative to the state.  We also see early indicators of this terrible consequence with loss of enrollment in the early grades and a significant reduction in the number of students going to college and persisting per a DPS board report issued last week.

Only 20% of Denver’s students on free and reduced-price lunch met the state’s proficiency goal on reading at the 5th grade while even fewer of these same students, only 6% could meet Colorado’s basic standard for math at the 6th grade.

None of us, particularly our students, can afford to have low levels of achievement. We have seen what is possible in Denver and across the state, Denver can do far better. Be sure to vote by November 2nd and contact DPS if you’re available to volunteer your talents.

Rosemary Rodriguez and Dr. Rachele Espiritu are past members of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. Rodriguez is the parent and grandparent of DPS graduates, and Dr. Espiritu is the parent of a current DPS student and a graduate.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

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The most perfect Denver leaf-peeping posts we’ve seen this fall

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The most perfect Denver leaf-peeping posts we’ve seen this fall

With its ample parks, abundant sun and mountain backdrop, Denver is a gorgeous city. But the last few days, it’s been especially pretty as the city has seen some of the most vibrant fall foliage it’s had in years. Reds, yellows, oranges and more have joined the normal greens that dot the Mile High City.

Experts have said the way the weather shaped up in 2021 made for especially eye-catching fall colors. Sadly, it won’t last much longer as a storm with rain and winds moving in this week could strip the leaves bare.

Here are some of our favorite images shared on social media over the past few days:

Denver Colors 10.24 from Denver

Washington park in the fall 😌 from Denver

Last bit of fall in the city from Denver

This one street feels like a Hollywood movie set. from Denver

Denver from the DAM from Denver

Look how colorful Sloans Lake is if you let your phone crank the saturation ungodly amounts. from Denver

Denver’s fall is awesome from Denver

Fall in Wallace Park Denver from Denver

 

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