Suggest a Correction
ST. LOUIS – Police have arrested 21-year-old Michael Brown for the murder of of 19-year-old Deshuan Jackson.
Brown has been charged with first degree Murder, first degree Attempted Robbery, and two counts of Armed Criminal Action.
The murder took place on Nov. 25, 2020 on the 1400 block of N. 19th St.
Officers responded to a call for a shooting. Police report that the victim was lying in the street.
Emergency services took the victim to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
CONIFER — A titanic battle of Colorado values and priorities is brewing over a proposed mountain bike park on a 9,000-foot mountain overlooking this quiet foothills community 40 minutes from Denver.
On one side are the thousands of cyclists who take to the state’s roads and trails every day, seeking the thrill and challenge of rolling across world-class terrain amid jaw-dropping settings. On the other are long-time mountain residents, adamant about keeping Colorado’s relentless growth at bay while protecting a peacefulness and quietude that is increasingly under strain.
The battle lines in this faceoff are drawn on a heavily wooded 250-acre parcel along Shadow Mountain Drive just west of Conifer, where a plan to build Colorado’s first dedicated lift-access mountain bike park — with 16 miles of trails and an 830-foot vertical drop spanned by a chairlift — has resulted in dueling campaigns for and against it.
A Change.org petition in support of the project has gathered nearly 2,500 signatures while an effort to stymie the plan has garnered around 4,400 signatures.
John Lewis, a member of a well-organized group fighting the proposed project, said he and his neighbors are ready for the Full Send Bike Ranch proposal to land in front of the Jefferson County Planning Commission. The men behind the project say that could come as early as next month, with a hoped-for opening in 2023 should the county give its blessing.
Lewis last week pointed to a vast slope of evergreen trees fronted by North Turkey Creek burbling through a sun-dappled mountain meadow as natural features he doesn’t want to see degraded or disturbed by the construction of a downhill mountain bike facility with a 300-space parking lot.
He worries about hundreds of vehicles traversing narrow Shadow Mountain Drive every day, negotiating blind curves and racing past driveways to reach the bike park. He worries about impacts to wildlife and to the bucolic views he and his neighbors have enjoyed for decades.
He also worries about an increase in wildfire danger — a flicked cigarette from a moving car, perhaps — to an area that is already tinder dry.
“It’s just not appropriate for a residential area,” Lewis said, driving his truck several miles up Shadow Mountain Drive and passing dozens of signs denouncing the project. “I don’t mind these guys building their bike park — but why here?”
“These guys” are Jason Evans and Phil Bouchard, lifelong friends and bike aficionados from New Hampshire who moved to Colorado last year just as the COVID-19 pandemic was descending on the state. Bouchard, who describes himself as the “strategy” side of the Full Send operation, defends the project as a net gain for the Conifer area.
He said he and his business partner will be working with the U.S. Forest Service to do major wildfire mitigation on the site, removing dead and down trees to make it far safer than it is now. And he said the Full Send Bike Ranch will help draw cyclists off other trails in the area that are currently overcrowded.
“We think the park will alleviate a bit of pressure on a lot of trail systems,” Bouchard said.
Opponents, he said, have painted the project as an assault to the neighborhood. But there will be no nighttime operations lit up with bright lights and no plans to have competitions with loudspeakers blaring riders’ names and results, Bouchard said.
“It’s a relatively low-impact recreational development that is closed six months of the year,” he said.
The park, he said, answers an unmet demand from Colorado’s avid cycling community. While a number of the state’s ski resorts — including Breckenridge, Keystone and the popular Trestle at Winter Park — offer lift-assisted downhill freeride mountain bike runs, Bouchard said they are sideshows to their primary ski operations.
“It’s just about the riding,” he said of Full Send Bike Ranch.
Full Send would be just over a half hour from the metro area via U.S. 285, and because it’s at a lower elevation than the state’s ski resorts, could be open for more days in the year — with a season extending from April to November.
“If you want to go mountain biking, you don’t have to wait until Saturday and put in a three-hour commute on Interstate 70,” Bouchard said. “You could go after work on a Wednesday.”
Plans also call for a lodge where riders can enjoy a beer after a run. Tickets would be priced at $50 to $80 a day, with season passes available, Bouchard said. The effort to build the park would be a multi-million dollar one, money Bouchard and his partner are confident they can raise if the project is approved by Jefferson County.
The friends are working on a lease arrangement with Colorado’s State Land Board, which owns the parcel.
Gary Moore, executive director of the Colorado Mountain Bike Association, said the Full Send Bike Ranch “scratches an itch” among the state’s earnest pedalers.
“They’re coming at this from a clean sheet design,” he said. “They could really just do what they want to do without facing restraints. There’s a huge contingent of mountain bikers on the Front Range that aren’t getting access to that style of riding.”
But neighbors point to Jefferson County’s own Conifer/285 Area Plan, updated in 2014, which notes that residents “value the community’s natural environment and rural neighborhoods.”
“Passive and active recreation facilities, including recreational buildings and outdoor multi-use fields, should be designed to respect and be compatible with the area’s natural resources, rural character and adjacent land uses,” the document states.
That’s where the proposed facility falls woefully short, said Todd Jeffries, who serves on the safety committee for the Stop Full Send Bike Ranch group. Cutting trails through the forest and building a large parking lot near to where North Turkey Creek flows through will have long-lasting negative impacts on the wildlife that call the area home.
And what if the project doesn’t pencil out in the long term?
“(The land) could never be brought back to the condition it was in,” Jeffries said. “This place will be permanently scarred.”
John Patrick, who lives on 10 acres across Shadow Mountain Drive from the proposed bike park, said its mere presence would be enough to drive him from his neighborhood of 38 years.
“This is God’s country,” he said, gazing across a meadow to the mountains beyond. “We got mountain lions, we got elk, we got bears, we’ve even had moose. I never thought I’d have to leave — but I’d be moving.”
By Erin Woo, The New York Times Company
In October, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed a bill to expand protections for people who speak up about discrimination in the workplace.
A new website arrived to offer tech workers advice on how to come forward about mistreatment by their employers.
And Apple responded to a shareholder proposal that asked it to assess how it used confidentiality agreements in employee harassment and discrimination cases.
The disparate developments had one thing — or, rather, a person — in common: Ifeoma Ozoma.
Since last year, Ozoma, 29, a former employee of Pinterest, Facebook and Google, has emerged as a central figure among tech whistleblowers. A Yale-educated daughter of Nigerian immigrants, she has supported and mentored tech workers who needed help speaking out, pushed for more legal protections for those employees and urged tech companies and their shareholders to change their whistleblower policies.
She helped inspire and pass the new California law, the Silenced No More Act, which prohibits companies from using nondisclosure agreements to squelch workers who speak up against discrimination in any form. Ozoma also released a website, The Tech Worker Handbook, which provides information on whether and how workers should blow the whistle.
“It’s really sad to me that we still have such a lack of accountability within the tech industry that individuals have to do it” by speaking up, Ozoma said in an interview.
Her efforts — which have alienated at least one ally along the way — are increasingly in the spotlight as restive tech employees take more action against their employers. Last month, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, revealed that she had leaked thousands of internal documents about the social network’s harms. (Facebook has since renamed itself Meta.) Apple also recently faced employee unrest, with many workers voicing concerns about verbal abuse, sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination.
Ozoma is now focused on directly pushing tech companies to stop using nondisclosure agreements to prevent employees from speaking out about workplace discrimination. She has also met with activists and organizations that want to pass legislation similar to the Silenced No More Act elsewhere. And she is constantly in touch with other activist tech workers, including those who have organized against Google and Apple.
Much of Ozoma’s work stems from experience. In June 2020, she and a colleague, Aerica Shimizu Banks, publicly accused their former employer, the virtual pinboard maker Pinterest, of racism and sexism. Pinterest initially denied the allegations but later apologized for its workplace culture. Its workers staged a walkout, and a former executive sued the company over gender discrimination.
“It’s remarkable how Ifeoma has taken some very painful experiences, developed solutions for them and then built a movement around making those solutions a reality,” said John Tye, the founder of Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit that provides legal support to whistleblowers.
He and Ozoma recently appeared on a webinar to educate people on whistleblower rights.
Meredith Whittaker, a former Google employee who helped organize a 2018 walkout over the company’s sexual harassment policy, added of Ozoma: “She has stuck around and worked to help others blow the whistle more safely.”
Ozoma, who grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and Raleigh, North Carolina, became an activist after a five-year career in the tech industry. A political science major, she moved to Washington, D.C., in 2015 to join Google in government relations. She then worked at Facebook in Silicon Valley on international policy.
In 2018, Pinterest recruited Ozoma to its public policy team. There, she helped bring Banks on board. They spearheaded policy decisions including ending the promotion of anti-vaccination information and content related to plantation weddings on Pinterest, Ozoma said.
Yet Ozoma and Banks said they faced unequal pay, racist comments and retaliation for raising complaints at Pinterest. They left the company in May 2020. A month later, during the Black Lives Matter protests, Pinterest posted a statement supporting its Black employees.
Ozoma and Banks said Pinterest’s hypocrisy had pushed them to speak out. On Twitter, they disclosed their experiences as Black women at the company, with Ozoma declaring that Pinterest’s statement was “a joke.”
In a statement, Pinterest said it had taken steps to increase diversity. On Wednesday, the company settled a shareholder suit about its workplace culture and pledged $50 million to diversity and inclusion efforts.
By speaking out, Ozoma and Banks took a risk. That’s because they broke the nondisclosure agreements they had signed with Pinterest when they left the company. California law, which offered only partial protection, didn’t cover people speaking out about racial discrimination.
Peter Rukin, their lawyer, said he had an idea: What if state law was expanded to ban nondisclosure agreements from preventing people speaking out on any workplace discrimination? Ozoma and Banks soon began working with a California state senator, Connie Leyva, a Democrat, on a bill to do just that. It was introduced in February.
“I’m just so proud of these women for coming forward,” Levya said.
Along the way, Ozoma and Banks fell out. Banks said she no longer spoke with Ozoma because Ozoma had recruited her to Pinterest without disclosing the discrimination there and then excluded her from working on the Silenced No More Act.
“Ifeoma then cut me out of the initiative through gaslighting and bullying,” Banks said.
Ozoma said she had not cut Banks out of the organizing. She added that Banks had “felt left out” because news coverage focused on Ozoma’s role.
Since leaving Pinterest, Ozoma has moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she lives with a flock of chickens she calls the Golden Girls. She also runs a tech equity consulting firm, Earthseed.
Through Earthseed, Ozoma is continuing her work around whistleblowing. She is collaborating with the nonprofit Open MIC and the consulting firm Whistle Stop Capital to stop tech companies from using nondisclosure agreements to keep workers anywhere from coming forward on discrimination.
In September, Ozoma, Whistle Stop Capital and Open MIC, along with the social impact investor Nia Impact Capital, filed a shareholder proposal at Apple. The proposal asked the company to assess the risks associated with the use of concealment clauses for employees who have experienced harassment and discrimination.
Last month, Apple said in a letter that it wouldn’t take action on the proposal, arguing that the company “does not limit employees’ and contractors’ ability to speak freely about harassment, discrimination and other unlawful acts in the workplace.” It declined to comment beyond the letter.
Ozoma also supports and counsels other tech activists. The Tech Worker Handbook website, in part, was designed to help with that. The website has information on how to navigate nondisclosure agreements and how to protect against corporate surveillance or physical threats. Across the top of the site is a slogan: “Preparedness Is Power.” Since it went online Oct. 6, the site has had over 53,000 visitors, Ozoma said.
“I send it to people who are thinking about coming forward,” said Ashley Gjovik, a former activist employee at Apple who has relied on Ozoma for support. When people think about whistleblowing, she added, “their mind won’t go to the places of the personal, digital, security stuff, all of the legal ramifications, how do you even get that story out, the impact on friends and family, the impact on your mental health.”
Last month, Ozoma also got a call from Cher Scarlett, another activist Apple employee who left the company this month. (Scarlett declined to provide her real name for security reasons; she is legally changing her name to Cher Scarlett.) She asked Ozoma how to pass legislation like the Silenced No More Act in her home state, Washington.
Ozoma described the steps she had taken, including working closely with a lawmaker who could write a bill, Scarlett said.
Along with another tech activist, Scarlett then contacted Karen Keiser, a Washington state senator and a Democrat. Keiser now plans to sponsor a bill to expand whistleblower protections when the legislative session starts in January, her office said.
“This is why the network of whistleblowers and women like Ifeoma are so important,” Scarlett said.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
By Brian X. Chen, The New York Times Company
My favorite holiday tech gift doesn’t require batteries or software updates. It’s not even a gadget, though it was made with technology.
Can you guess what it is?
A few years ago, my wife experimented with her iPad and a digital stylus to make digital illustrations. Using Procreate, a drawing app, she loaded a photo of our beloved corgi, Max, as a reference to trace over before embellishing the image with a polka-dot bow tie and a cartoonishly long tongue. I liked it so much that I picked a background color that would complement our home and uploaded the illustration to the app Keepsake, a printing service that assembles your images in a nice frame before delivering it to your door.
A large, framed portrait of Max now hangs as a centerpiece in our living room in all its two-dimensional glory. It makes me smile and is always a conversation starter when we have guests over. That’s more than I can say about other tech gifts that I’ve received over the years, such as video games and smart speakers, which only brought short-lived joy.
This type of gifting exercise — tech-adjacent presents that don’t involve hardware or thoughtless Best Buy gift cards — may be especially welcome this year. That’s because we are living in a pandemic-induced era of scarcity driven by a global chip shortage and supply chain disruptions that have made conventional gifts difficult to buy. (Anyone trying to buy a game console for the last year understands this pain.)
So here’s a list of ideas for tech gifts we can give without actually buying tech, from the presents you can create to experiences that will last a lifetime.
Last week, I told a friend I had a special present for her: I would fix her iPhone problem.
She had complained to me about her 5-year-old iPhone SE. The device could no longer take photos or install software updates because nearly all of the device’s data storage was used up.
So before she left for her Thanksgiving vacation, I met her for lunch and walked her through the process of backing up photos to an external drive before purging all the images from the device. Then I plugged her phone into a computer to back up all her data before installing the new operating system.
She was thrilled to have this problem fixed before her trip. She can now take lots of photos on vacation. Plus, a new Apple software update has a tool to add a digital vaccine card to the iPhone’s wallet app, which makes holiday travel slightly less stressful in the pandemic.
For those who are somewhat tech savvy, this may serve as a template. Listen to your loved ones’ complaints about their tech and offer the gift of solving the problem. If it’s a sluggish Wi-Fi connection, see if you can diagnose the issue to boost speeds. If it’s a short-lived phone battery, consider taking them to a repair shop to get the battery replaced for a small sum.
In some ways, this beats giving a brand-new gadget because it spares them the hassle of learning how to use a new piece of tech.
Apart from the example of the digital illustration of my dog, there are plenty of other ways we can use tech to create for friends and family.
For one, I’m a fan of photo books that can easily be created with web tools. A few years ago, a colleague’s Secret Santa gift for me was a calendar she made using Google’s photo books service. She created it by pulling photos from my dog’s Instagram account and compiling them into a calendar — each month was a different photo of Max posing next to an entree cooked by my wife and me. I was delighted.
In general, photo-printing services offer nice ways to turn digital photos into physical keepsakes in the form of old-school, large prints and even mugs and Christmas ornaments. (Wirecutter, our sister publication that reviews products, tested two dozen photo-printing services and highlighted its favorites.)
Before the pandemic upended our lives, my wife bought a DSLR, the type of digital camera used by professionals, with the goal of learning more about digital photography. Then the lockdowns happened, vacations turned into staycations and the camera ended up living in a drawer.
My plan for a holiday present for my wife is a two-hour digital photography lesson with a photo studio in San Francisco that takes students on a stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge while teaching the fundamentals of photography. (Hopefully she doesn’t read this column.)
What would your friends and family like to learn? We have plenty of options for potential gift classes, since the pandemic drove many teachers to offer virtual instruction online, including for cooking lessons and workout routines. The gift of knowledge goes a long way and sometimes gives back, like when the recipient of online cooking lessons uses that newfound knowledge to make you dinner.
The pandemic may have exposed us to more screen time than we could ever imagine enduring, so a great gift this year could also be anything that takes our attention away from tech.
That could be renting a cabin in an area with no cellular service, tickets to a play, a winter hike and a picnic — anything that gives us respite from our inevitable return to screens.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
Bill Gates admits mRNA vaccines aren’t working, ‘We need a new way of doing vaccines’
CNN Resuming 24-Hour News Format, Majority of On-Air Talent To Be Fired in ‘Major Shakeup’
Gulf War Syndrome – Washington’s Dirty Little Secret
5 Health Tips For the New Year
Lesbian couple killed in mass shooting while running to help wounded daughter, 19
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) – What Is EFT And How Can It Help You?
Venture Capital Admits It’s Obsolete. Now What?
Improve Your Health While Relaxing In Your Hot Tub