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Nuggets Journal: “Fearless” Bones Hyland making strong case to crack rotation



Nuggets Mailbag: Will Bones Hyland get playing time his rookie season?

In the wake of Friday night’s Bones Hyland experience, Aaron Gordon verbalized what everyone was thinking.

“Youngin’s fearless, and I love it,” Gordon said. “His game is nice.”

With 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists and six turnovers in the overtime loss to Minnesota, Hyland’s all-encompassing night teased the potential while simultaneously revealing the growing pains to come before he cements himself a fixture in Michael Malone’s rotation.

If Friday night was any indication, though, that time could be rapidly approaching.

Moments after draining what appeared to be a dagger 3-pointer, putting the Nuggets up 101-99 with 10.5 seconds left in regulation, Hyland’s focus faltered and he allowed an uncontested dunk which sent the game to overtime.

After the game, Hyland admitted he thought the Nuggets were up three at the time, justifying his otherwise inexplicable decision. He said he heard someone say, “’Just let them get the layup,’” and also mentioned that he wasn’t in great position to read the scoreboard. Hyland, though, took responsibility for the gaffe – a costly rookie moment on a night where the 26th pick of the draft looked like a steal.

Displeased with the execution in the fourth quarter and overtime, Malone was nevertheless heartened by the teaching moments Friday’s game presented.

“Those experiences that Bones got tonight, those are invaluable,” Malone said.

That Hyland’s blunder, not to mention his six turnovers, came in the preseason, made them a bit more tolerable.

That they came alongside a blistering shooting showcase helped, too.

Hyland earned the second half starting alongside Nikola Jokic, P.J. Dozier, Michael Porter Jr. and Gordon. Less than a minute into the third quarter, Hyland already had the crowd buzzing. His first 3-pointer came off a transition corner look, the type the Nuggets have emphasized all preseason. The next one came off a selfless feed from Dozier, who absorbed attention, then kicked it back to Hyland for the open shot.

Next, Hyland again headed to the corner in transition, pump-faked, made the 3-pointer and coaxed a foul. Ball Arena erupted and was, in real-time, falling head over heels for their new rookie.

Hyland hit two more before the quarter was over, one that elicited some verbal jabs in the direction of Minnesota’s bench and another deep 3 in the grill of former Nugget Malik Beasley. To say Hyland’s confidence was soaring would’ve been selling the 21-year-old short.

“That’s what I do, honestly,” Hyland said. “I was like 2 for 10 on the first two preseason games. I was like, ‘That’s not me at all, that’s not how I shoot the ball.’ … I make it rain from the three.”

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A battle between pedaling and peace heats up over plans for mountain bike park in Conifer



A battle between pedaling and peace heats up over plans for mountain bike park in Conifer

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 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?”

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

Ranch near the corner of Shadow Mountain Drive and South Warhawk Road. in Conifer, Colorado on Friday, December 3, 2021. Full Send Bike Ranch will be a 250-acre lift access downhill mountain bike park at the area. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

“Just about the riding”

“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.”

1638627057 690 A battle between pedaling and peace heats up over plans

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

Stop Bike Ranch sign near the corner of Shadow Mountain Drive and South Warhawk Road. in Conifer, Colorado on Friday, December 3, 2021. Full Send Bike Ranch will be a 250-acre lift access downhill mountain bike park at the area. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

“God’s country”

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.

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A tech whistleblower helps others speak out



A tech whistleblower helps others speak out

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.

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The best tech gifts that aren’t gadgets



The best tech gifts that aren’t gadgets

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.

(Mary Lam via The New York Times

An image supplied by Mary Lam. Supply-chain disruptions may make it tough to buy devices, but the most thoughtful presents were never tangible to begin with.

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.

The gift of fixing

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.

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