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With two preseason games left, projecting the Broncos’ 53-man roster

August 20, 2019 - 10:30am

The seemingly endless Broncos training camp has crossed the halfway point and the final cut date of Aug. 31 is approaching.

The starters have to get through Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams before shifting their focus toward the Sept. 9 opener at Oakland. But for the back-of-the-roster players, the next two games are critical.

Three games into the preseason, where do the Broncos stand with their roster? Has anybody emerged to possibly snatch a spot? How will the many injured players impact the math?

Three games into the preseason, here is our second projection of how coach Vic Fangio‘s initial 53-man roster will look like:

OFFENSE (25)

Quarterbacks (2): Joe Flacco and Drew Lock.

Lock has done enough to be Flacco’s backup and should be the choice if his right thumb doesn’t keep him out past the Rams game. Going into camp, we thought Hogan would be No. 2 or not on the roster. Going with two quarterbacks creates a roster spot at another position. Brett Rypien will head to the practice squad once he clears waivers.

Tailbacks (4): Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, Devontae Booker and Theo Riddick.

Riddick (shoulder) won’t be ready for the season opener, but he must be on the initial 53-man roster to be eligible for return-from-injured-reserve status. Riddick’s injury keeps Booker on the roster as a third-down back.

Fullbacks (2): Andy Janovich and George Aston.

In our first 53-man projection, we had two fullbacks because of how much they’ll be used by play-caller Rich Scangarello. We won’t take a victory lap, though, because Janovich (pectoral) is injured. Like Riddick, Janovich won’t be ready for Week 1 so he is a return-from-IR candidate. Each team is allowed two.

Tight ends (4): Jeff Heuerman, Noah Fant, Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli.

Butt (knee soreness) hasn’t played in a preseason game and hasn’t been involved in any 11-on-11 practice work. But he’s at least returned to practice. We still feel like he can help the Broncos, so he makes the initial 53. There are injury issues at this position that could force the Broncos’ hand and add a fifth one.

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Receivers (5): Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, Tim Patrick and Juwann Winfree.

Nick Williams and River Cracraft have had chances the last two weeks to seize the punt return spot — and make it as the sixth receiver — but the results haven’t materialized. At this point, the Broncos’ punt returner may not be on the roster.

Offensive linemen (8): Ja’Wuan James (RT), Dalton Risner (LG), Connor McGovern (C), Garett Bolles (LT), Ron Leary (RG), Don Barclay (G), Elijah Wilkinson (OT) and Austin Schlottmann (G/C).

Four of the five starters are set in James, Risner, McGovern and Bolles. But the Broncos should be worried about Leary. He is coming back from an Achilles’ injury and has not played in the preseason. Fangio said Leary’s knee was “bugging” him, which is why he didn’t play Monday. Even if Leary is ready for Week 1, reinforcements (Barclay or Schlottmann) better be ready.

DEFENSE (25)

Defensive linemen (5): Derek Wolfe, Adam Gotsis, Shelby Harris, Dre’Mont Jones and Zach Kerr.

Walker, a second-round pick two years ago, doesn’t make the cut. Our top five entering camp has remained the same.

Outside linebackers (5): Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Dekoda Watson, Justin Hollins and Malik Reed.

Jeff Holland squandered his chance to be a backup and was waived after only two preseason games. Reed emerged until he missed the last week with an oblique issue. He’s done enough, though, to make the team. Watson sticks as a core special teamer and Hollins as a semi-developmental player.

Inside linebackers (5): Todd Davis, Josey Jewell, Joe Jones, Alexander Johnson, Josh Watson and Kieshawn Bierria.

Davis (calf) hasn’t practiced since Day 1 of camp and the Broncos have tried several players in his spot, including Johnson, who started Monday. Watch out for the waiver wire because special teams reinforcements are often found at linebacker.

Cornerbacks (4): Chris Harris, Bryce Callahan, Isaac Yiadom and De’Vante Bausby.

Kareem Jackson’s ability to play corner allows the Broncos to go with four on the initial roster. Callahan (foot) hasn’t played in the preseason, meaning Yiadom and Bausby have gotten plenty of snaps. Horace Richardson flashed in the first preseason game, but played sparingly at Seattle and was scratched against San Francisco (back) to compromise his chances.

Safeties (6): Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Will Parks, Su’a Cravens, Dymonte Thomas and Trey Marshall.

After the top three safeties, things get muddled and suggest Fangio may be on the look-out for safety help on the waiver wire. Marshall started for Jackson against San Francisco because Parks (hamstring) and Cravens (illness) weren’t available. Special teams ability will be the key for the final three safety spots.

Specialists (3): Brandon McManus, Colby Wadman and Casey Kreiter.

The Broncos had a second kicker and second punter on hand during the early part of camp before cutting both. McManus has been solid in the preseason and Wadman punted better against San Francisco than against Seattle.

Categories: All Denver News.

An Old West saloon is moving onto the 16th Street Mall in the former Marlowe’s space

August 20, 2019 - 10:11am

For those who mourned the loss of Denver’s 30-plus-year-old restaurant Marlowe’s last year, news of its replacement should be a welcome relief.

Another throwback restaurant and saloon will open in early fall inside the 128-year-old Kittredge Building in the old heart of Denver at 16th Street and Glenarm Place. It’s called West of Surrender, and the name is a romanticized picture of Denver’s frontier past.

“When you got this far West, you could reinvent yourself; you didn’t have to surrender to the old life,” Gary Mantelli, West of Surrender’s co-owner, said of the name’s significance.

RELATED: These new Denver restaurants — coming soon — are worth getting excited about

Mantelli says he spent the summer binge-watching the new Netflix Western “Hell on Wheels,” and he was particularly moved that “when people let down from a hard day’s work, they found a lot of satisfaction in a good meal.” Now, he wants to capture that feeling at West of Surrender.

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The new restaurant will keep much of the original feel of Marlowe’s — from the imposing wood bar to the raised mezzanine seating — while tweaking fixtures and adding in couches and other decorative additions that Mantelli calls “new West.”

Some of the menu’s highlights will be smoked bacon “frontier flatbread,” pepper steak (au poivre) and sides like biscuits and cornbread. Scott Burnham, who previously cooked at Boulder’s Mateo and Denver’s La Merise, is leading the kitchen, while Matt Selby, who used to run the kitchens of Vesta, Steuben’s and Ace Eat Serve, is consulting.

Mantelli says the drinks list will focus on “good whiskey” and “good beer.” And while it’s not a sports bar, West of Surrender will be outfitted with plenty of TVs playing Colorado games.

Prior to starting this latest venture, Mantelli served as the president of Tavern Hospitality Group (Tavern, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Otra Vez), and he worked for Red Robin before that. He’s partnering with another Tavern alum, Matt Arminio, on this project.

Last December, Marlowe’s closed, as did its three sister restaurants: Paramount Cafe, Govnr’s Park Tavern and Lala’s Wine Bar + Pizzeria. All four were considered institutions of Denver’s restaurant scene. A new brunch restaurant, Ivy on 7th, was the first to replace one of the old guard. It opened in the former Lala’s back in April.

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Categories: All Denver News.

Bicyclist seriously injured in Commerce City collision with pickup truck

August 20, 2019 - 9:58am

A male bicyclist was struck early Tuesday morning in a collision with a pickup truck at a Commerce City intersection, police said.

The bicycle rider was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, said a news release by Commerce City police.

A four-door pickup truck was going southbound on U.S. 85 around 4:22 a.m. when it struck the bicyclist going east through the East 69th Avenue intersection.

It was the second serious accident involving a bicycle in the Denver metro area this week.

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A woman driving an SUV struck and killed a 77-year-old bicyclist on an Arvada road around dusk Sunday.

The Arvada victim has been identified as Peter Marks of Wheat Ridge, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis said Tuesday. The SUV driver has been identified as 43-year-old Teresa Albert of Arvada, Lewis said. The case remains under investigation. No charges have been filed, Lewis said.

Categories: All Denver News.

Pac-12 team previews: Expectations high for Oregon and Herbert, as is the pressure

August 20, 2019 - 9:53am

For Oregon to make a successful return to the national stage for the first time since 2014, the Ducks must overcome their chief shortcoming in this recent era of mediocrity.

The world outside Autzen Stadium has not been kind to the Ducks, whether they are the Ducks of Mark Helfrich or Willie Taggart or Mario Cristobal.

It has been a world of inadequacy and incompetence. A world of defeat and, often, bludgeoning.

Oregon’s record in road/neutral site games:

2016: 1-5 (losses by 10+ points: three)

2017: 1-5 (only victory: Wyoming; losses by 10+ points: three)

2018: 3-3 (losses by 10+ points: two)

Total: 5-13

The 2016-17 marks are poor by any measure; the ’18 record is hardly championship caliber.

And yet championships will define this season for Cristobal and quarterback Justin Herbert.

A division championship.

A conference championship.

An opportunity to play for the national championship.

The road to those goals goes through, well, the road.

*** Oregon’s home opponents in 2019:

Montana (last year: 6-5)

Nevada (8-5)

Cal (7-6)

Colorado (5-7)

Washington State (11-2)

Arizona (5-7)

Oregon State (2-10)

Combined 2018 winning percentage (FBS teams): 50.7

*** Oregon’s road/neutral games in 2019:

vs. Auburn (last year: 8-5)

at Stanford (9-4)

at Washington (10-4)

at USC (5-7)

at Arizona State (7-6)

Combined 2018 winning percentage: 60

If the Ducks successfully navigate those five road trips, they’ll have earned whatever hardware or accolades comes their way.

* Links to previous installments are bottom.

OREGON DUCKS

2018 record: 9-4/5-4

Program trending: Up

Critics of Oregon’s program — for instance: those dressed in purple — are quick to note that despite the attention given to the Ducks, Cristobal and Herbert haven’t won anything consequential. While that is undeniable, so is the progress: Oregon won four games in 2016, seven games in 2017 and nine games in 2018, marking year-over-year improvement of at least two games in back-to-back seasons. That alone qualifies as a program trending in the right direction. Add the recruiting successes, and the Ducks have significant momentum.

Coach: Mario Cristobal (second year)

Cristobal’s five-year win total: N/A

Contract status: signed through 2023

Seat temperature: Cool

Why not cold, or even frigid? Because our calculation in this category considers job security on an amortized basis: How many seasons could the coach avoid sliding onto the hot seat if results are steadily worse than expected? Chris Petersen and David Shaw could experience multiple suboptimal years before encountering serious heat. But with Cristobal — despite the contract extension — we’re not sure the same cushion applies. If the Ducks continue losing within the division (see below), Cristobal will enter 2020 with a considerable amount of pressure.

Key staff addition: Andy Avalos

We like the turnover at defensive coordinator, with Jim Leavitt moved out and Andy Avalos brought in. The Ducks needed a change — they needed a new scheme, a new tone, a new voice in the meeting room and on the sideline. Avalos deploys a 3-4 alignment that’s heavy on edge players in upright stances and simplified keys, which make for quicker reactions. It should mesh well with Oregon’s personnel.

Breakout star: Isaac Slade-Matautia

Opted against freshman Kayvon Thibodeaux for two reasons: So much attention has been paid to the 5-star defensive end that the term breakout simply doesn’t apply; also, we expect the low-profile Slade-Matautia to have a better season than Thibodeaux. The sophomore linebacker joins Troy Dye in the middle of the defense and, if he stays healthy (an issue last season), just might be one of the most productive tacklers in the conference.

Number crunch: One

Victories by the Ducks over their primary North competition in the past three years. Oregon is 1-2 against Washington and 0-3 against both Stanford and Washington State: 1-8 overall. And the lone win came in overtime; if not for a missed UW field goal at the end of regulation last season, the Ducks would be 0-9. Bottom line: If you can’t beat ’em, you can’t beat ’em. Oregon has finished behind all three teams in each of the past three years.

Pac-12 recruiting ranking 2015-19 (per 247sports): 3-5-3-2-1

Returning all-conference players: left guard Shane Lemieux (second team), linebacker Troy Dye (second team), special teams performer Brenden Schooler (first team), defensive tackle Jordon Scott (honorable mention), center Jake Hanson (honorable mention), left tackle Penei Sewell (honorable mention) and right tackle Calvin Throckmorton (honorable mention)

Best-case scenario: The Ducks withstand Auburn’s physical challenge and win the opener, an identity is established on offense (and maintained), the wide receivers limit dropped pass to two or three per game, Avalos’ defense is occasionally dominant but always stout, emotional highs and lows are cast aside in favor of an even-keeled approach, Herbert plays like a No. 1 pick and Oregon runs through the regular season with a single loss. Hello, CFP.

Worst-case scenario: The Ducks find a way to lose the opener, the receivers are generous with drops, the running game is consistently inconsistent, the defense bends frequently and breaks occasionally, the number of soaring victories is matched by the number of inexplicable defeats, game-management issues surface a bit too frequently and Herbert ends his career as the most talented quarterback in conference history to never finish better than fourth in his division.

Here we go …

Aug. 31: vs Auburn (Arlington)

Result: Win

Record: 1-0

Comment: Same marquee Week One opponent for the Pac-12, but a different matchup: Oregon ’19 is better equipped to handle Auburn’s defensive front than Washington ’18, and Herbert can make more throws than Jake Browning. Plus, the Tigers will have a freshman quarterback (identity: TBA) and not Jarrett Stidham.

Sept. 7: vs. Nevada

Result: Win

Record: 2-0

Comment: Win or lose the opener, there will be a hangover. And Nevada is good enough to take advantage … for two quarters.

Sept. 14: vs Montana

Result: Win

Record: 3-0

Comment: Zzzzzzz.

Sept. 21: at Stanford

Result: Loss

Record: 3-1/0-1

Comment: Ghosts of ’01, ’09, ’12, ’13 and ’18 appear as the Ducks find another mind-boggling way to lose to Stanford during what looked like a special season.

Sept. 28: Open

Result: N/A

Record: 3-1/0-1

Comment: Extra time will be quite useful for Cristobal as he drags the Ducks out of their post-Stanford low (or brings them down from the post-Stanford high).

Oct. 5: vs. Cal

Result: Win

Record: 4-1/1-1

Comment: Fresh and focused, the Ducks pick apart a defense that to this point in the season has been un-pick-apart-able. (They did it to the Bears last year, too.)

Oct. 11: vs Colorado

Result: Win

Record: 5-1/2-1

Comment: Easy Friday night win followed by a kick-back Saturday in which the Ducks watch five games that could impact their playoff chances: USC-Notre Dame, Oklahoma-Texas, Clemson-Florida State, Florida-LSU and Alabama-Texas A&M.

Oct. 19: at Washington

Result: Win

Record: 6-1/3-1

Comment: Veteran lineup allows Oregon to handle the emotions of the rivalry better than UW, and the Ducks should be much the fresher/healthier team. They’re coming off an open date and two home games while the Huskies will have just played back-to-back roadies (Stanford and Arizona).

Oct. 26: vs. Washington State

Result: Win

Record: 7-1/4-1

Comment: Turns out, Mike Leach doesn’t own the Ducks, he just had a four-year lease. Oregon’s running game seals it midway through the fourth.

Nov. 2: at USC

Result: Win

Record: 8-1/5-1

Comment: Biggest game the Ducks have played since the previous week. The difference: Oregon is well prepared for USC’s new Air Raid after having just faced WSU’s Air Raid. (The systems, while not identical, are close enough to help Oregon’s preparation.)

Nov. 9: Open

Result: N/A

Record: 8-1/5-1

Comment: Week off after three consecutive emotional wins couldn’t have come at a better time if Cristobal had crafted the schedule himself.

Nov. 16: vs. Arizona

Result: Win

Record: 9-1/6-1

Comment: No competitive edge — Arizona is also coming off an open date — but the Ducks won’t be lacking for urgency. Revenge is a dish best served in driving rain and 45 degrees.

Nov. 23: at Arizona State

Result: Loss

Record: 9-2/6-2

Comment: In four sloppy, frustrating quarters, the Ducks fall from the middle of the playoff race to the outskirts. Flight back from Phoenix feels like 25 hours, not 2.5.

Nov. 30: vs. Oregon State Related Articles

Result: Win

Record: 10-2/7-2

Comment: Tighter than expected but a victory nonetheless as Oregon clinches its first division title since 2014.

*** Previous: Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Colorado

*** Next up: Oregon State

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*** Send suggestions, comments and tips (confidentiality guaranteed) to pac12hotline@bayareanewsgroup.com or call 408-920-5716

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*** Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.

 

Categories: All Denver News.

The emerald ash borer, a tree-destroying beetle, confirmed in Broomfield County

August 20, 2019 - 9:44am

Broomfield has confirmed emerald ash borer in the city even though foresters have tried to prevent its spread.

It is the first confirmed report of the tree-destroying beetle in Colorado outside of a federal quarantine area in Boulder County, according to a news release from the Colorado State Forest Service and Broomfield.

The federal quarantine area was created in 2013 in much of Boulder County to prevent the destructive pest’s spread, the news release said.

About 15 percent of state’s urban trees are susceptible to the insect’s destructive ways, the release said. The trees usually die within two to four years of infestation. Broomfield had 2,900 trees that could have been susceptible to the infestations, but but the city removed and treated ash trees to prevent the spread. Still, many trees are on private land and remain vulnerable.

The first confirmation of the insect’s presence in Colorado was in September 2013 in Boulder, and since, it has been confirmed in Gunbarrel, Longmont, Lafayette, Lyons and Superior, according to the release. All of the confirmed reports were in the same quarantined area.

A Broomfield resident near 136th Avenue and Main Street contacted a city forester when noticing a suspicious insect, and experts confirmed the insect was emerald ash borer, the release stated. It’s unknown whether the insect arrived naturally or through accidental transport by humans, but the insects are capable of spreading a mile per year.

Despite emerald ash borer being found outside the quarantine area, that area is not expected to change for now, officials said. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service requires symptomatic trees to be found in connection with the insect before changes can be made. Prior to the detection, officials were planning to lift the quarantine in the winter, they said in the release.

“The primary purpose of this quarantine has been to slow the spread of EAB in Colorado, and we believe this is one reason it’s taken so long for the pest to be confirmed outside Boulder County,” Laura Pottorff, a plant health and certification section chief at the Colorado Department of Agriculture and lead member of the Colorado EAB Response Team said in the news release. “Based on recent data from the eastern U.S., our expectation is that EAB cannot be prevented from leaving the quarantine. We’re just glad we’ve given Front Range communities more time to better plan and prepare for its arrival.”

Categories: All Denver News.

AP preseason All-America college football team: CU’s Laviska Shenault Jr. honored

August 20, 2019 - 9:16am

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence headlines The Associated Press preseason All-America team, and he has two teammates from the top-ranked Tigers with him on the first team.

Lawrence, the first freshman to quarterback to lead a team to a national championship in more than 30 years, was joined on the first-team offense by Clemson running back Travis Etienne in the list released Tuesday and presented by Regions Bank. Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons was a first-team selection on defense. Clemson and No. 2 Alabama tied for the most first-team selections with three.

Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, an All-American last season, was selected to the preseason first team, along with defensive lineman Raekwon Davis and linebacker Dylan Moses.

Colorado Buffaloes junior wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. was named to the second team.

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Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, was selected to the second team.

Led by Alabama, the Southeastern Conference placed eight players on the first team, one more than the Big Ten.

The AP All-America team is sponsored by Regions Bank this season, the first time the venerable player honor roll that dates to 1925 has ever had a presenting sponsor.

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Trevor Lawrence, sophomore, Clemson.

Running back — Jonathan Taylor, junior, Wisconsin; Travis Etienne, junior, Clemson.

Tackles — Andrew Thomas, junior, Georgia; Walker Little, junior, Stanford.

Guards — Shane Lemieux, senior, Oregon; Ben Bredeson, senior, Michigan.

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Center — Tyler Biadasz, junior, Wisconsin.

Tight end — Albert Okwuegbunam, junior, Missouri.

Wide receivers — Jerry Jeudy, junior, Alabama; Tylan Wallace, junior, Oklahoma State.

All-purpose player — Rondale Moore, sophomore, Purdue.

Kicker — Andre Szmyt, sophomore, Syracuse.

DEFENSE

Ends — Chase Young, junior, Ohio State; A.J. Epenesa, junior, Iowa.

Tackles — Derrick Brown, senior, Auburn; Raekwon Davis, senior, Alabama.

Linebackers — Dylan Moses, junior, Alabama; Isaiah Simmons, junior, Clemson; Joe Bachie, senior, Michigan State.

Cornerbacks — Bryce Hall, senior, Virginia; Paulson Adebo, junior, Stanford.

Safeties — Grant Delpit, junior, LSU; Andre Cisco, sophomore, Syracuse.

Punter — Braden Mann, senior, Texas A&M.

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Tua Tagovailoa, junior, Alabama.

Running backs — D’Andre Swift, junior, Georgia; Eno Benjamin, junior, Arizona State.

Tackles — Trey Adams, senior, Washington; Calvin Throckmorton, senior, Oregon.

Guards — Tommy Kraemer, senior, Notre Dame; John Simpson, senior, Clemson.

Center — Tim Harris, senior, Washington.

Tight end — Jared Pinkney, senior, Vanderbilt.

Wide receivers — Laviska Shenault Jr., junior, Colorado; Justyn Ross, sophomore, Clemson.

All-purpose player — CeeDee Lamb, junior, Oklahoma.

Kicker — Rodrigo Blankenship, senior, Georgia.

DEFENSE

Ends — Kenneth Willekes, senior, Michigan State; Julian Okwara, senior, Notre Dame.

Tackles — Leki Fotu, senior, Utah; Marvin Wilson, junior, Florida State.

Linebackers — Paddy Fisher, junior, Northwestern; Evan Weaver, senior, California; Shaquille Quarterman, senior, Miami.

Cornerbacks — Kristian Fulton, senior, LSU; CJ Henderson, junior, Florida.

Safeties — Alohi Gillman, junior, Notre Dame; Jordan Fuller, senior, Ohio State.

Punter — James Smith, junior, Cincinnati.

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Family of Firestone teen burned in Cambodia gas explosion raising money to get her back to Colorado

August 20, 2019 - 8:29am
Screengrab from GoFundMeA screengrab from Abbey Alexander’s GoFundMe page taken on Aug. 20. Alexander was injured in a gas explosion in Cambodia on Aug. 14.

The family of an 18-year-old Firestone woman severely burned in a gas station explosion in Cambodia is raising $250,000 to fly her back to a Colorado hospital for skin grafts and intensive medical care, news reports and family members said.

Abbey Alexander, a teacher at IQ International in the city of Siem Reap, was riding a motorbike with a friend to work on Aug. 14 when an LPG filling station exploded in front of them, hurling Alexander and her friend from the motorcycle, an article in Cambodia News English said.

The explosion killed one person and injured Alexander, her friend and 10 other people, the article said.

Alexander suffered burns on more than 35 percent of her body, according to a GoFundMe account set up by her family.

Alexander had been living in Siem Reap since January with her parents, her brother and her fiance, the Longmont Times-Call reported.

“She’s been transported to a hospital with a better burn unit and the costs will add up quickly,” Alexander’s mother, Erin, wrote on her GoFundMe account.

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Alexander is under sedation for pain while undergoing daily surgery to scrub her burns, her mother wrote.

“Abbey seems to be in stable condition now. Her white blood cell count has risen and her organ functions are all good,” she wrote. “We are just waiting for word that the transport plane is heading this way.”

Alexander’s GoFundMe account has received $33,138 in donations so far.

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Why Bradley Chubb and the Broncos’ D can’t stop having fun, or taking names

August 20, 2019 - 8:04am

Most NFL trends in August, big-picture, aren’t worth their weight in tin. Then again, maybe the sound and fury from the Broncos’ early Monday night buffeting proffers more meat on the bone than your typical preseason turkey leg.

Because this bite just might be the juiciest: The Fighting Fangios haven’t been scored upon in the first quarter of their first three preseason contests — and the last time a Denver squad after three exhibitions kept a clean sheet during the first period, when the upper third of the roster is still doing most of the heavy lifting, you’d have to go back to August 2014, back to a young Von Miller and an aging DeMarcus Ware.

Then: After three preseason games, the Broncos were winning the first quarter by a combined margin of 13-0.

Now: After three preseason games, the Broncos are winning the first quarter by a combined margin of 13-0.

Then: The Broncos posted a 12-4 regular season mark and snatched an AFC West division title.

Now: Well …

RELATED: Broncos defense flexes muscle, but issues remain in loss to San Francisco

“As a grown man, you’ve just got to know that you’ve got to stay humble and you’ve got to stay level-headed,” offered outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, Miller’s latest partner in pocket-puncturing. Chubb’s first-half heroics Monday included a sack, three tackles and a forced fumble against San Francisco in the Broncos’ preseason home opener.

“Because if you start thinking that you’re hot (expletive), that’s when bad stuff starts to happen to you. So as a defense, I’ve always felt we have that same mindset.”

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Fair enough, although when the bad stuff happens, it’s almost never been on the starters’ collective defensive tab. On Monday, coach Vic Fangio’s No. 1 D held the Niners to 32 yards on 15 plays.

Over four possessions, San Francisco managed only two first downs, punting three times and getting picked off on its opening drive via second-year cornerback Isaac Yiadom, a gift from a panicked Jimmy Garoppolo, who’d tossed a wounded duck as a hungry Chubb closed in hot pursuit.

“The other team sees you having fun and you’re making plays and having caused a turnover, those are demoralizing feelings, going back to the sidelines,” safety Justin Simmons observed. “And that’s stuff that we can build on. Not everything was perfect in the first half, especially when (the defense was) in there, but we’ll build off that.”

Start stringing together enough goose eggs and before long, you’re building a beautiful orange wall. During the first quarter this month, Broncos opponents have been averaging 26.3 net yards and 1.7 first downs while converting on just one of nine third-down attempts.

RELATED: Broncos’ Emmanuel Sanders explosive in return from Achilles injury

“We don’t have to be perfect yet,” Simmons said. “Just by Week 1 in Oakland.”

Although if this is what imperfection tastes like, mark us down for seconds.

“I feel like we have the tools to be a great defense, but that takes a lot of work,” said nose tackle Shelby Harris, who deflected two passes in the first half, leaping high to swat one Garoppolo throw to the turf with his right hand, Mutombo-style. “And we want to put in a whole bunch of work in the next (few preseason games) and the whole season just to reach our ceiling.

“You can get excited about it, but you know, with expectations and all that potential, you’ve got to work for it.”

Monday looked way more like fun than work early on, especially when Harris chased a 49ers screen all the way to the right boundary, squirting past the San Francisco blockers and wrestling tailback Matt Breida to the ground for no gain, forcing the visitors into a 3rd-and-16 from the Niners’ 6-yard line.

“The more fun you have,” Harris said, “the better you play.”

Laurels now.

Rest later.

“Coach Fangio,” Chubb laughed, “won’t let us have that we’re-better-than-anybody mindset.”

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Aspen Skiing Co. changing to handle larger crowds after last season’s calls to “Stop Ikonizing Aspen”

August 20, 2019 - 8:03am

With the popularity of the Ikon Pass that was launched last year, Aspen Skiing Co. will make adjustments to deal with the masses, which last season choked parking and traffic at Aspen Highlands, as well as lift lines.

In an annual update to Aspen City Council on Monday, Mike Kaplan, Skico’s president and CEO, said the company heard loud and clear from locals about the surge of out-of-towners, noting the stickers that were plastered around town that said, “Stop Ikonizing Aspen.”

“There was no secret there was some nasty labeling going on,” he said. “The irony of this criticism, … I was taken aback by it” because Skico gets criticized for catering to the rich and famous, and the Ikon pass was a way to get the average Joe skiing.

He said Skico plans to hang more chairs on chairlifts that have capacity at Highlands and Snowmass to help move the lines quicker.

More buses will run from the Brush Creek Park and Ride lot, and Skico will look into message signs on Maroon Creek Road to alert motorists if the Aspen Highlands parking garage is full before traffic backs up. Skico may also use social media platforms such as Twitter for real-time traffic information.

Read more on The Aspen Times.

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Colorado Democrats split among Sanders, Biden and Warren, first state poll says

August 20, 2019 - 7:29am

It’s a three-person race in Colorado for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to the first 2020 poll of the state’s voters, but four of the five current leading contenders would beat President Donald Trump.

Among the Democratic candidates, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won Colorado’s 2016 caucus, leads with 26% support, according to the Emerson College poll released Tuesday. Former Vice President Joe Biden comes in a very close second with 25%, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is third with 20%. The margin of error is 4.8%.

Colorado’s own U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet received just 1% support in the poll.

Emerson College surveyed 403 likely Democratic primary voters by telephone and online between Aug. 16 and 19.

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In a broader survey of 1,000 registered voters, Sanders, Biden, Warren and Pete Buttigieg, the Indiana mayor, would beat Trump by at least 7 percentage points. U.S. Kamala Harris leads by 3 points, within the poll’s margin of error.

The poll also found former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper leading U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, the Yuma Republican up for re-election, 53-40 in a hypothetical match. Hickenlooper, who dropped his bid for president last week, has yet to announce whether he’ll mount a Senate bid.

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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Homegrown Husker Ben Stille excited to be part of Nebraska resurgence

August 20, 2019 - 7:23am

LINCOLN, Neb. — Ben Stille was born in 1997, the year Nebraska won its most recent national championship, and he grew up a half-hour from Memorial Stadium.

His earliest football memory — sitting in the rain wrapped in a giant black trash bag watching the Cornhuskers beat Nicholls State in 2006 — came during the Bill Callahan era, which most fans would rather forget.

Stille was 2 years old when Nebraska won its most recent conference title, so all he knows about the program’s rich history comes from old videos, books and stories he’s heard from relatives and friends.

With the program showing signs of taking off under second-year coach Scott Frost, the junior from Ashland might be playing for 24th-ranked Nebraska at the right time.

“It means a little more to me than a lot of guys, just seeing the rise and the fall of the program and kind of being around for all of it,” Stille said Monday. “And being a part of bringing it back means the world to me.”

The Huskers are picked by the media to win the Big Ten West after going 4-8 last year. If the Huskers meet the high expectations, it probably will be in large part because of Stille and his mates on the defensive line.

The line figures to be the strength of the defense, which by all accounts has been much improved in preseason practices compared with the unit that ranked near the bottom in nearly all the categories in the Big Ten.

Stille averaged five tackles to lead Nebraska linemen. He and twin brothers Carlos and Khalil Davis are back, and another returnee, Damion Daniels, is joined by older brother and graduate transfer Darrion Daniels. Junior college transfer Jahkeem Green arrived last week and is expected to be a contributor. Three or four other linemen also are in line to play.

Depth was not a luxury the Huskers had last year when they allowed more than 200 yards per game rushing against conference opponents for a second straight year. In league play, only six Power Five conference teams gave up more than the 5.6 yards per carry the Huskers allowed against nine Big Ten foes.

“I think early in the year we lacked a lot of confidence,” Stille said. “We gained confidence (but) toward the end of the year a couple of those games it felt we were getting pushed around. We knew there was a lot of room for improvement.”

The Huskers have fewer proven players at linebacker and in the secondary. Mohamed Barry is an honors candidate at inside linebacker, and outside linebacker Alex Davis appears to have elevated his game. Lamar Jackson and Dicaprio Bottle are the only cornerbacks with starting experience, and Eric Lee Jr., Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams have fewer than 10 combined starts at the two safety spots.

One of the most dynamic players is Cam Taylor, who could play cornerback, safety or even outside linebacker.

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“Having a guy like him that knows the whole defense and every position and is physical enough to play down low and is good enough on the edge to play coverage is pretty exceptional,” defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said.

In addition to shutting down the run, the Huskers also are looking for more takeaways and to get off the field quicker. The Huskers had 20 takeaways, tied for ninth in the Big Ten and 57th nationally. The defense had more than two three-and-outs in just three conference games.

“We definitely didn’t feel good after last year,” Jackson said. “At the same time, we played better football toward the end. Still, nobody is satisfied. We went 4-8. That’s still a losing season. We were home for bowl season and all that good stuff. That’s all stuff we kind of regret and have a taste for. We have to play better against every team, try to impose our will. That’s what we plan to do.”

This version corrects Mohamed Barry’s position to inside linebacker.

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60 Denver schools lack air conditioning as city heats up to 98 degrees

August 20, 2019 - 6:33am

DENVER — Monday was the first day back at school for more than 92,000 Denver Public School students. Monday was also a scorcher, with the mercury reaching nearly 100 degrees — but 60 DPS school buildings were not equipped to handle the record-breaking heat because they lack air conditioning.

Stedman Elementary School in northeast Denver is one of the schools without air conditioning. Teachers try to come up with efficient ways to keep the temperatures in classrooms down.

“Our teachers are very innovative; they’ve created some proactive solutions,” said principal Michael Atkins.

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The blinds stay closed during the day, and the lights are off in the classrooms. One teacher brought in a portable air conditioning unit her family had. Another teacher bought insulation from Home Depot to install over the windows.

The teachers open their windows in the morning and close them during the day. Fans are running in the corners as well.

Read the full story from our partner at thedenverchannel.com.

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White House insists fundamentals of U.S. economy “very strong”

August 20, 2019 - 6:02am

WASHINGTON — The “fundamentals” of the U.S. economy are solid, the White House asserted, invoking an ill-fated political declaration of a decade ago amid mounting concern that a recession could imperil President Donald Trump’s reelection.

Exhibiting no such concern, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway declared to reporters on Monday, “The fact is, the fundamentals of our economy are very strong.”

It’s a phrase with a history. Republican John McCain was accused of being out of touch when he made a similar declaration during the 2008 presidential campaign just hours before investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, setting off a stock market crash and global financial decline.

A case can be made for the White House position. The U.S. job market is setting records for low unemployment, and the economy has continued uninterrupted growth since Trump took office. But growth is slowing, stock markets have swung wildly in recent weeks on recession fears, and indicators in the housing and manufacturing sectors have given economists pause. A new survey Monday showed a big majority of economists expecting a downturn to hit by 2021 at the latest, according to a report from the National Association of Business Economics.

Trump begs to disagree.

“We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money,” Trump said on Sunday. “I don’t think we’re having a recession.”

Still, the Republican president took to Twitter on Monday to urge the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy by cutting interest rates and returning to “quantitative easing” of its monetary policy, an indication of deep anxiety beneath his administration’s bravado. And he backtracked last week on taking the next step in escalating in his trade war with China, concerned that new tariffs on consumer goods could hamper the critical holiday shopping season.

White House aides and campaign advisers have been monitoring the recent turbulence in the financial markets and troubling indicators at home and around the world with concern for Trump’s 2020 chances.

Any administration has to walk a fine line between reflecting the realities of the global financial situation and adopting its historical role as a cheerleader for the American economy. For Trump, striking that balance may be even more difficult than for most.

For decades, economic performance has proven to be a critical component of presidential job approval, and no American leader so much as Trump has tied his political fortunes to it. The celebrity businessman was elected in 2016 promising to reduce unemployment — a task at which he has succeeded — and to bring about historic GDP growth, where he has had less success.

The situation today isn’t nearly as dire as in September 2008, when the U.S. and the world were heading into the Great Recession. There are no waves of home foreclosures, no spike in layoffs, no market meltdowns and no government rescues to save powerful banks and financial companies in order to contain the damage. What does exist is a heightened sense of risk about the economy’s path amid slowing global growth and the volatility caused by the trade dispute between the United States and China.

There are other reasons as well for the administration’s rosy pronouncements, said Tony Fratto, a former Treasury Department spokesman in the Bush administration during the onset of the financial crisis. He said he sympathized with the Trump administration for having to choose between answering “honestly or responsibly” or otherwise about the state of the economy, noting that any hint of concern “could be self-fulfilling.”

“So much of the story of the economy is how people feel about it,” said Lanhee Chen, a Hoover Institution fellow and former economic adviser to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney. “And that’s an inherently a difficult thing to measure.”

Highlighting a disconnect between the nation’s broad economic indicators and the “personal economies” of voters in swing states is a priority for Democratic candidates and outside groups heading into 2020.

Trump’s advisers acknowledge there are few tools at his disposal to avert a slowdown or recession if one materializes: Internal concerns over a ballooning federal deficit, in part due to the president’s 2017 tax law, are stifling talk of stimulus spending, and skepticism abounds over the chances of passing anything through a polarized Congress ahead of the election. But that hasn’t stopped the White House from exploring ways to make the political cost less painful.

Seeking to get ahead of a potential slowdown, Trump has been casting blame on the Federal Reserve, China and now Democrats, claiming political foes are “trying to ‘will’ the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election.”

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If the Federal Reserve would reduce rates and loosen its grip on the money supply “over a fairly short period of time,” he tweeted, “our Economy would be even better, and the World Economy would be greatly and quickly enhanced – good for everyone!”

Those actions he’s talking about are the sort a central bank would traditionally take to deal with or try to stave off a slowdown or full-blown recession.

Strong fundamentals? A lot depends on which ones the administration highlights or ignores in public comments.

Conway and other Trump aides have accurately described the rising retail sales and the solid labor market with its 3.7% unemployment rate as sources of strength.

Yet factory output and home sales are declining, while business investment has been restricted because of uncertainties from Trump ratcheting up the China trade tension.

Even if the economy avoids a recession, economists still expect growth to weaken.

Federal Reserve officials estimate that the gross domestic product will slow to roughly 2% this year, down from 2.5% last year. During his presidential campaign, Trump had boasted he would achieve long-term growth of 4 percent, 5 percent or more.

___

AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon contributed.

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Denver weather: Thunderstorms, rain in the city and egg-sized hail possible on northeastern plains

August 20, 2019 - 5:47am

There’s a good chance that rain showers late Tuesday afternoon will take some of the sizzle out of a heat wave that already triggered a temperature record in Denver this week.

Still, the high temperature forecast for Tuesday is expected to climb to 97 degrees, which is only 2 degrees below the Denver record for Aug. 20 of 99 degrees set in 2013, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder. On Monday, Denver broke a 33-year heat record by reaching 99 degrees, the NWS said.

Severe storms on the Eastern Plains could generate damaging winds and egg-sized hail, forecasters said.

Near record Heat with a few severe storms possible over the far northeast plains. #cowx pic.twitter.com/ke2vjROZLl

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) August 20, 2019

Beginning around 3 p.m. Tuesday, there’s a 10 percent chance for rain and thunderstorms in Denver. By the evening, the chance for rain increases to 40 percent, forecasters said.

It should be much cooler in the Mile High City Wednesday, when there is a 50 percent chance for afternoon rain showers. The high temperature is expected to be about 84 degrees, the NWS said.

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Isolated afternoon rain showers and thunderstorms are possible again on Thursday, when the high temperature is expected to reach 87 degrees.

Temperatures are expected to climb back up into the 90s on Friday and through the weekend with highs of 90 on Friday, 93 on Saturday and 95 on Sunday, the NWS said.

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Trading water for cash along the Colorado River

August 20, 2019 - 5:26am

By Luke Mcgrath, The Washington Post

When it comes to global warming’s one-two punch of inundation and drought, the presence of too much water has had the most impact on U.S. agriculture this year, with farmers across the Midwest swamped by flooding throughout the Mississippi Basin.

But in the Southwest, it’s the increasing lack of water that’s threatening the agricultural economy, as well as the welfare of 40 million Americans and part of the food supply for the entire nation.

The 1,450-mile-long Colorado River serves as a source of water for seven states, but climate change and overuse have caused its levels to drop precipitously. From 2000 to 2014, flows declined 19% from the 20th century average, according to American Geophysical Union Water Resources research. By 2100, the river flow could fall as much as 55%.

The threat to fresh water is of course global in scope. The World Resources Institute has reported that access to water for hundreds of millions of people is now at risk due to global warming. Along the Colorado River, climate change is also taking its toll, responsible for aridification-the progression from cyclical drought to a permanent decrease in water.

With big western cities clamoring for a share of the river’s diminishing supply, desert farmers with valuable claims are making multimillion dollar deals in a bid to delay the inevitable. It’s an echo of the historic manipulation that long ago subdued this waterway, the carver of the Grand Canyon and icon of the American West. But if the river’s water keeps falling, more radical measures will be needed to protect what remains.

RELATED: Historic ranch on Colorado’s high plains now holds millions of gallons of water for Denver-area economic development

Since the 19th century, the biggest users of Colorado River water have been farmers, turning millions of acres of unforgiving landscape in California and Arizona into a patchwork of green and brown visible from space. For a century, their water supply has been governed by agreements among the states along the river basin. But the water itself is doled out by state administrators in part under a “first in time, first in right” mechanism that’s even older, dating back to the decades following the American Civil War.

When the states came together in the 1920s to sign a compact dividing rights to the river, they were operating from an overly optimistic assessment of how much water was available. Thus behind the eight-ball from the start, increasing water demands in the decades since have created a situation where more water is taken out of the river than flows into it. In March, with the river’s main reservoirs now below half of total capacity and the federal government about to step in, the states reached a temporary deal to cut river water use.

But in 2026, a more severe reckoning looms when a long-term deal must be struck. The Colorado River provides drinking water for 1 in 10 Americans, many in cities such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver and Phoenix. It also waters almost 90% of the nation’s winter vegetables, according to American Rivers, an advocacy group. When the broader compromise is due, it may remake how an entire region grows food and uses water.

“It wasn’t like one state used more water than they were supposed to: Each state is using what they’re legally entitled to under the compact,” said John Berggren, a water policy analyst for Western Resource Advocates. When you combine institutionalized overuse with an accelerating climate crisis, Berggren explained, that’s when you get “the problem.”

The “first in time” aspect of Colorado River rights began in the late 1800s, and is known as Prior Appropriation. A claimant, having through diversion of the river made beneficial use of the water (by farming or mining, for example), can continue to take the same amount they always have in perpetuity, or convey that “senior right” as a form of property. As faster-growing states like California accumulated more claims, however, slower-growing upriver states feared they’d be shut out.

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The 1922 Colorado River Compact was meant to fix this. The agreement meant that some 7.5 million acre-feet of water (equal to an entire acre of land covered in 1 foot of water, or 326,000 gallons) would be allotted every year to both the Upper Basin (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico) and the Lower Basin (Nevada, Arizona and California). Since the river flows from north to south, Upper Basin states are obligated to make sure Lower Basin states get their due.

But the math was wrong, and there was much less water available over the following years than the signatories had predicted.

Since 1989, Lower Basin states have often used much more than their share under the compact. As agriculture and big cities expanded, the deficit was made up by tapping the massive reservoirs of Lake Mead and Lake Powell. The river itself long ago ceased flowing into the Gulf of California, instead petering out in the Mexican desert. As water levels continued to decline and climate change added to the river’s stress, the Lower Basin has engaged in what John Fleck, director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, called “de facto prior appropriation.”

“The math is unbelievably simple,” said Douglas Kenney, director of the Western Water Policy Program at the University of Colorado Law School. “You just can’t use more than comes in.”

As western cities grew, added demands were placed upon the Colorado River. But unlike many of the desert farming communities, urban areas have made great strides in water conservation. Examples include Las Vegas paying residents to rip out their lawns and plans by Los Angeles to recycle 100% of its wastewater by 2035.

But it’s not enough to slow the river’s demise, given that about 70% of it goes to agriculture. Robert Glennon, a regents professor at the University of Arizona, said there needs to be improved efficiency in how desert farms irrigate their crops, as well as mutually beneficial programs to divert water to urban areas seeking insurance policies against future drought.

Indeed, a brisk trade in “water marketing” has sprung up. Municipal water authorities pay hundreds of millions of dollars to holders of senior river rights, or to fund rural conservation efforts, in exchange for water. Glennon said the farmers and their water districts long ago realized that, unless they inked deals with the big cities, the federal government would eventually step in.

No government is going to let some of its biggest cities go dry over antiquated claims to water, according to Glennon, author of “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It.” “If you don’t take advantage of doing deals with the cities for a modest amount of money, what you’re going to see is new legislation that crimps your rights, insists on greater conservation without paying for it,” he said.

For a price, cities can divert Colorado River water intended for crops via aqueduct to kitchen taps in Santa Monica and La Jolla. The water marketing model has been so successful that agricultural land use in the region is projected to decrease as conversion to urban use accelerates, according to a 2012 Bureau of Reclamation study.

One of the biggest water marketing deals was in 2003. The Quantification Settlement Agreement will soon send 200,000 acre-feet of water westward annually at a “melded supply rate” of $474 per acre-foot, for an approximate annual price of $94 million. The water originates from the rural Imperial Irrigation District (IID) in southeastern California and ends up with the San Diego County Water Authority. The IID also has a deal with the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), which serves Los Angeles and Orange counties, sending them 105,000 acre-feet a year at $111 per acre-foot.

The Palo Verde Irrigation District (PVID), a roughly 131,000-acre area next to where the river forms California’s border with Arizona, is locked into a 35-year deal with the MWD, which paid $6.2 million last year. Under the agreement, the MWD can demand that the rural district leave 28% of its land fallow to free up 115,000 acre-feet of water for some of Southern California’s largest cities and approximately 20 million people.

Not counting upfront payments, the MWD paid the farmers of the Palo Verde district about $164 million between 2005 and 2018. Deven Upadhyay, assistant general manager and chief operations officer of the MWD, said water marketing deals provide California’s southern cities with latitude to deal with changing climate conditions.

“We’ll continue to pursue flexible arraignments that allow us in wet years to store water, in drier years to do exchanges with other agencies,” he said.

With that kind of money at stake, even tiny water districts are getting involved. The Bard Water District, near the Mexican border, is only about 7,000 acres. But it’s already on its second, two-year pilot program in which it agrees to leave 2,000 acres fallow in exchange for money from the MWD. It made $950,000 for farmers and water district improvements during its first pilot in 2016-201.

But there is another price to be paid for these arrangements, said Ron Derma, general manager of the Bard district. Damage to residents and businesses who aren’t parties to the deals, and who depend on the farming economy, is getting worse. Leave too much land untilled, Derma warned, and the commercial infrastructure that supports agricultural communities could be permanently hobbled.

“You got people that depend on irrigation, you got people that spray [pesticides], tractor sales-all the things that are connected to farming,” he said.

But Bart Fisher, a board member of the Palo Verde Irrigation District and owner of an 11,000-acre farm a few miles from the river, said water marketing programs are beneficial to the community. Fisher, who MWD records show has collected at least $30 million under the fallowing agreement (not including any upfront payments), acknowledged that the deal has some “unanticipated, negative effects.” But he added that keeping land fallow also requires work, and that the influx of money fuels the local economy.

“There are elements of the economy that get a big bump when fallow payments come in,” Fisher said. “I get phone calls from the local John Deere dealer wondering when will there be a newer fallow program so they can sell new equipment.”

The local water districts and their member farmers have come to rely on all that city money. The MWD has slowly become the largest owner of land in the Palo Verde district, with 22,000 acres and the water rights that come with them. The PVID eventually sued, accusing the MWD of “thinly veiled attempts” to turn local lands into “water farms,” according to court documents. The University of Arizona’s Glennon said the 2017 lawsuit, which has since been dropped, sprang from fear among the farmers that their cash payments would dry up.

“The gravy train would come to an end,” Glennon said.

The MWD is quick to note that as part of the water marketing deals, it has made an effort to support rural towns, including paying $6 million for “community improvement” to the Palo Verde district, which is centered on the town of Blythe.

The town of almost 20,000 people is named for Thomas Blythe, who in 1877 became one of the first to establish rights to Colorado River water. The municipality, hard up against the Colorado River’s western bank, is surrounded on three sides by cropland. The farmers here are at the top of the list when it comes to claims on river water. Blythe’s 1877 claim yielded upwards of about 450,000 acre-feet a year as long as the Lower Basin still received 7.5 million acre-feet.

But Blythe itself is hurting. Census data estimate the median household income has decreased from about $48,000 in 2012 to less than $40,000 in 2017. Robert Conway, the general manager of Jordan/Central Implement Co., said the town has gone downhill since the fallowing program began.

“There’s not a lot of trickle-down economics in Blythe, that’s for sure,” he said.

For rural communities further down the list of water rights, the growing shortage of Colorado River water has become an existential threat. Arizona’s Pinal County, an agricultural community wedged between Phoenix and Tuscon, ranks near the bottom when it comes to claims. Here, farms lay fallow not for money, but simply because there’s not enough water.

Paul Orme, general counsel to four Pinal County irrigation districts, said planned reductions in water allotments may force local farmers to leave as much as 40% of their land unfarmed.

“The irrigation districts are going to have to tell their farmers at some point that instead of delivering you ‘x’ amount of water, we can deliver you ‘y’,” Orme said. “It will be up to the farmers to determine if they can make that work.”

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Bills and a baby: Colorado Sen. Brittany Pettersen is breaking new ground

August 20, 2019 - 5:00am

As the 2019 legislative session hurtled toward its end, state Sen. Brittany Pettersen felt sluggish.

The long hours, the sleep deprivation, the seemingly endless debate on controversial bills — it added up in a way that felt more intense for the Lakewood Democrat than in years past. Maybe it was the added pressure to pass legislation that came from Democratic control of the Senate. Maybe it was the craziness of procedural fights and partisan bickering that landed Senate leadership in Denver County Court.

Nope.

“Once I realized I was pregnant, it all made sense,” she told The Denver Post.

Pettersen, 37, is due at the end of January with her first child, a baby boy who will make her the first Colorado state senator to give birth in office and the first state lawmaker to do so during a legislative session.

“I think this goes in the bad planning column,” Pettersen joked.

But joking aside, her absence from the Senate chamber during the 2020 session — the inevitable result of increasing diversity at Colorado’s legislature — will have real policy implications. Pettersen will be the guinea pig for what maternity leave looks like at the Colorado legislature. What she and Democratic leadership decide about whether she chairs a committee or sponsors certain high-profile bills will set a course for the women who come after her.

And the timing of her maternity leave could impact how Democrats move bills through the statehouse and even what they’re ultimately able to accomplish. Democrats hold a narrow 19-16 majority in the Senate, which means they’ll have to delay votes if they lose any other Democrat for a bill that doesn’t have Republican support.

At left: Colorado state Sen. Brittany Pettersen comforts Jane Dougherty, who lost her sister Mary Sherlach in the 2012 Sandy Hook killings, after Pettersen spoke at the podium before Gov. Jared Polis signed the Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation at the Capitol in Denver onApril 12, 2019. At right: Colorado state Sen. Pete Lee and Sen. Brittany Pettersen talk during the Colorado General Assembly’s last day of regular assembly at the Capitol in Denver on May 3, 2019. (Photos by Joe Amon, Denver Post file)

The red flag gun control bill, a bill allowing  Lt Gov. Diane Primavera to serve as the head of the Office of Saving People Money on Healthcare, an election code reform bill and one about electric vehicles all passed through the Senate with 18 Democratic votes last session. Pettersen voted yes on all four.

“It gives me anxiety because I care deeply about my position, and it’s a little frustrating to think about not being able to be fully present during session,” Pettersen said.

She isn’t sure how many days or weeks she’ll spend on maternity leave. Her examples, so far, have all been men. Both Reps. Jonathan Singer, D-Boulder, and Kyle Mullica, D-Wheat Ridge, had babies during the last two legislative sessions and returned to the Capitol within days of their deliveries.

“It’s so different when you’re the woman,” Pettersen said. “My immediate reaction was, ‘No, I can go back to work right away. We’re going to figure this out. I can’t miss my committee meetings. I can’t miss days there.'”

But then a friend sat her down and gently reminded her those male colleagues didn’t birth a human, and her recovery would depend on how her pregnancy unfolds. She doesn’t know whether she’ll require bed rest or a cesarean section or whether her son will need any extra care after delivery.

“How long a new mom actually takes off from the Capitol is going to be interesting to watch,” said Laura Hoeppner, the director of “Strong Sisters,” a documentary about Colorado women in office. “Unfortunately, there is going to be all kinds of judgments.”

Pettersen represents a growing trend of younger women running for elected office. Colorado was the first state to give women the right to vote, the first to elect women to its state House of Representatives, and the Centennial State has led the nation in percentage of female lawmakers on and off for years. But most of those women, especially in past decades, chose to get politically involved after their children were grown.

“They felt like once their kids were adults, they could get involved in politics and run for office,” Hoeppner said. “That’s changed a lot. … It’s a new trend, and I think it’s going to change the way people talk about issues.”

Hoeppner worked as a legislative aide at the statehouse when former Rep. Karen Middleton — now the head of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado — had her daughter, Zoe, four months before the start of the 2009 session. Middleton balanced being a new mom and majority caucus chair by hiring a nanny who brought Zoe to the Capitol when Middleton had a free moment. She nursed her in the clerk’s office off the floor, and Zoe said her first word at the Capitol.

Denver Post fileIn this Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, Karen Middleton, candidate for Colorado state House of Representatives’ District 42, makes calls to voters on Election Day. Her daughter Zoe cooperated by taking a nap.

“One time I was walking into (Shish Kabob Grill) for a lunch meeting and there was my baby in a Bjorn at a different table,” Middleton said. “The only person I ever really got grief from was a woman who wondered why I wasn’t using day care like everyone else.”

She worked around the House calendar with the help of her nanny, aide and fellow lawmakers. And Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, who runs the Senate calendar, said it’ll be no different with Pettersen — even while she’s on maternity leave.

“To be honest, there’s always something that’s coming up with people during session,” Fenberg said. “There’s also not that many bills that need all 19 Democrats there to pass.”

He’s expecting a baby girl in December.

“So if anyone will understand the need to be home with the baby, it will be me,” Fenberg said. “It’s treated different, though. No reporter has called to ask me what I’m going to do during session.”

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostColorado state Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 19-181, addresses members of the Senate Transportation and Energy committee at the Capitol in Denver on March 5, 2019.

Pettersen, he added, could bring her son for an hour or two in the morning for floor work and then skip the committee meetings if she wanted. The two could even coordinate and bring their kids on the same days.

“She’s having a baby. That doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be in office,” Fenberg said. “The only option is to work around it and work with her. It’s going to be fine. I’m not worried about it.”

Conditions at the Capitol have improved since Middleton had Zoe. The statehouse didn’t have a changing table back then, and staff added a dedicated room for women who need to pump or nurse just a few months ago.

State lawmakers aren’t like regular employees. They don’t get sick days or vacation time. They get a flat $40,000 a year for serving, and constituents expect them to show up while the legislature is in session. Partisan staff don’t have paid maternity or paternity leave, either, and legislative aides aren’t offered health insurance.

“We’re not normally considered a progressive workplace when compared to other companies,” Fenberg said.

Pettersen said she’s lucky that her husband, Ian Silverii, has paid paternity leave through his employer and they can afford to hire a night nurse to help her transition back to work at the Capitol.

“I really can’t imagine the position that some women are in,” Pettersen said. “It’s so important that we have working environments that are accepting.”

AAron Ontiveroz, Denver Post fileColorado state Senator-elect Brittany Pettersen is applauded by fellow Senators Julie Gonzales (left), Jessie Danielson (second from right) and Steve Fenberg (right) during the Democratic watch party in downtown Denver on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

That’s why she plans to advocate for paid family leave in 2020. Pettersen was a strong supporter of the 2019 bill, which would have set up a system like unemployment that paid every working Colorado a percentage of their income for 12 weeks off work to care for a newborn or a sick family member. It would have been funded by payments from employers and employees. After the proposal failed to get enough Democratic support in the Senate, lawmakers authorized a feasibility study instead.

Nearly one-quarter of American women return to work two weeks after delivery, according an Abt Associates analysis of responses from Department of Labor surveys. Pettersen is considering returning to the Capitol — even if for just a few hours a day — that quickly, and she expects it will give her a new appreciation for how difficult that really is.

Real-life experiences shape your world view, Pettersen said. Her mother has struggled with an addiction to heroin for decades, and that has shaped Pettersen’s beliefs about drug treatment programs and how governments should respond to the opioid crisis.

She tried to run a bill in the last session to legalize safe injection sites. She pulled it before it got introduced, but the fact that it was on the table was enough for her opponents to mount a recall campaign this summer. Pettersen said she and her supporters have knocked on 40,000 doors so far despite the morning sickness and fatigue of the first trimester. And now that she’s showing, constituents are surprised to find her canvassing in 100-degree weather.

“When voters realize I’m pregnant, a common response is ‘They’re trying to recall a pregnant woman,'” Pettersen said. “I guess it helps sometimes.”

Middleton laughed when asked about campaigning while pregnant.

“When I would walk the neighborhoods, people never cared about any of the policies,” Middleton said. “They wanted to know when I was due and what I was having.”

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostState Sen. Brittany Pettersen, her husband Ian Silverii and their dog Ollie are photographed outside of their home in Lakewood on Aug. 12, 2019. Related Articles

Groups like Emerge Colorado and Emily’s List now coach female candidates on how to announce their pregnancies, and provide wraparound services like meal trains and babysitting schedules to balance running for office with making it home for bath time. Pettersen herself volunteers as a coach for women who want to run for local office.

“It challenged me a lot talking to other women, trying to convince them to run,” Pettersen said. “It’s the thing most people are scared of, but for me it was always choosing to actually commit to having a kid that was the most terrifying.”

She told them it’s never the right time to run for office, and they replied that the same is true for children.

“It helped me with my fear around it and whether or not we’re going to be able to handle it,” Pettersen said. “I had a reaction as somebody who is very focused on the work that I do and my career. I want to run for Congress. I thought about what all of this looks like running and maybe being there and having a kid.”

It took a few years, but this spring Pettersen turned to her husband and told him she felt ready to be a mom.

Categories: All Denver News.

Broncos vs. 49ers: A roundup from Monday’s NFL preseason game

August 20, 2019 - 5:00am

Emmanuel Sanders returned, Bradley Chubb was unstoppable, but the Broncos came up short against the 49ers in preseason action on Monday. Here’s a look at what you may have missed:

Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post

A special offer for Sports Omelette readers! Subscribe to The Denver Post’s sports coverage for just 99¢ for the first month and only $6.99/month thereafter. Cancel anytime. What’s on Tap?
  • Rockies: At Arizona Diamondbacks, 7:40 p.m. Tuesday, ATTRM | Buy tickets
  • Rockies: At Arizona Diamondbacks, 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, ATTRM | Buy tickets
  • Rockies: At St. Louis Cardinals, 5:45 p.m. Thursday, ATTRM | Buy tickets

TV/RADIO: Here’s what sports are airing today

Check out our new and improved stats page.

Scoreboard

MLB: Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3
Full story | Box score

NFL preseason: 49ers 24, Broncos 15
Full story | Box score

Must-Read David Zalubowski, The Associated PressSt. Louis Blues center Tyler Bozak, left, battles for position in front of the net with Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson in the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in Denver. Stanley Cup champion Tyler Bozak shares summer celebration, thoughts on new Avs forward Nazem Kadri, from DU pro camp

Bozak was at DU on Monday for Day 1 of the Pioneers’ weeklong annual pro camp where local professionals and former and current Pios train at Magness Arena. Bozak met recently with new Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri, his former teammate with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who was traded to Colorado on July 1. Bozak and Kadri played eight seasons together with the Leafs. Read more…

Cliff Grassmick, Boulder Daily CameraSam Noyer, left, and Tyler Lytle, during University of Colorado football practice on Aug. 8, 2019. Sam Noyer switching from quarterback to safety, CU Buffs confirm

Backup quarterback Sam Noyer, a junior who was one of the offensive stars of CU coach Mel Tucker’s first spring game a few months back, is now practicing at safety, a Buffs official confirmed to the Denver Post on Monday afternoon. Read more…

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostColorado Rockies Kyle Freeland looks dejected in the dugout during the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on Aug. 14, 2019 in Denver. The Rockies beat the Diamondbacks 7-6. Closer, Kyle Freeland’s progress top Rockies’ watch list for rest of season

It’s an all-too-familiar refrain for a franchise that has not won a division title in its 27 seasons, but with 40 games left in the season, that’s where we’re at. Read more…

Quick Hits

+ Avalanche giving former elite prospect Valeri Nichushkin another NHL chance.

+ Want to win Broncos season tickets? You can through the team’s social media contest.

+ Nuggets’ Bol Bol named NBA draft’s biggest steal in rookie class survey.

+ CU Buffs football: Laviska Shenault leads team into new era (game by game analysis).

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+ Climb for free at Denver-area gyms this weekend for Global Climbing Day.

Post Mailbag forms

+ Broncos Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Ryan O’Halloran here.

+ Nuggets Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Mike Singer here.

+ Avs Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Mike Chambers here.

+ Rockies Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Patrick Saunders here.

By The Numbers No. 1

Where Clemson is ranked in the AP’s college football preseason Top 25. Read more…

Parting Shot Rick Scuteri, The Associated PressOakland Raiders fans during an an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Raiders won 33-26. With Vegas move on horizon, Raiders fans are torn between staying loyal and moving on

These fans — often cast (and dressed) as cartoon characters of sorts — have very real feelings and have been forced to live with the pending loss for the better part of three years. Some are sticking with the team, some are toning down their fandom, and others are trying to move on. Read more…

Get in Touch

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at dboniface@denverpost.com or tweet me @danielboniface.

Categories: All Denver News.

Closer, Kyle Freeland’s progress top Rockies’ watch list for rest of season

August 20, 2019 - 5:00am

PHOENIX — It’s silver linings season for the Rockies.

With their playoff dreams long gone — FanGraphs puts their chances of making the postseason at 0.1 percent — the Rockies are searching for building blocks for next season.

It’s an all-too-familiar refrain for a franchise that has not won a division title in its 27 seasons, but with 40 games left in the season, that’s where we’re at.

“We got some good young baseball players here, but it’s going to take some time,” all-star third baseman Nolan Arenado said before Monday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. “We are going through that now, so we’ll see how this develops.”

With that in mind, here are five critical things to watch as the Rockies’ season heads into the final quarter:

1. Young arms in the bullpen. With closer Scott Oberg‘s season officially ending Monday when he was placed on the 60-day disabled list because of a blood clot in his right arm, the Rockies are looking for a ninth-inning pitcher to close out the season.

Manager Bud Black said he’s not ready to anoint a closer for the rest of the season, but he made it clear Monday that he’ll give young right-handers Jairo Diaz and Carlos Estevez a chance. Wade Davis, who lost his ninth-inning role to Oberg, will most likely be a seventh- or eighth-inning reliever.

The hard-throwing Diaz is worth watching. Although his overall ERA is 4.67, it was just 2.16 with a 1.08 ERA over his last seven appearances entering Monday.

2. Kyle Freeland‘s reclamation. Freeland, who’s scheduled to pitch Tuesday, has been the club’s biggest disappointment of the season (3-10, 7.09 ERA). And while his recent progress has been measured in baby steps, if the lefty can begin to resemble the 2018 version of himself, that would be huge.

3. Raimel Tapia‘s rise. I covered this topic last week, but Tapia could be one of those players who takes his game to the next level the more he plays. Rather than being exposed, he’s starting to blossom. Since the all-star break, he’s hitting .347, and his leaping catch against the center-field wall Saturday night to rob the Miami Marlins‘ Lewis Brinson of a home run illustrated Tapia’s potential and athleticism.

I admit I’ve been a skeptic of Tapia’s overall game, but he’s starting to win me over.

4. Catcher Dom Nunez’s development. Veteran Chris Iannetta was cut loose, in part, because the Rockies want to get a look at Nunez, 24, who was originally drafted as an infielder in 2013. I don’t know if Nunez is good enough to be Tony Wolters‘ primary backup next season or if the Rockies will have to search for a veteran in the offseason, but the next six weeks will provide a better idea.

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5. Veterans’ trade worth. In my opinion, during the coming offseason, the Rockies need to aggressively shop veteran relievers Bryan Shaw ($9 million in 2020) and Davis ($17 million), along with outfielder Ian Desmond ($15 million) and first baseman Daniel Murphy ($8 million, plus $6 million buyout in 2021). Whether there will be any takers could well depend on their performance down the stretch.

Pitching pickup. The Rockies claimed right-handed reliever Wes Parsons off waivers from the Atlanta Braves, who designated him for assignment over the weekend. Parsons, 26, was assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque. He takes the place of Oberg on the 40-man roster.

According to Black, Parsons throws a fastball, slider and changeup. The right-hander posted a decent 3.52 ERA in 17 games with the Braves this season. However, he gave away far too many free passes, walking 13 batters in just 15⅓ innings.

Springtime. The 2020 Cactus League scheduled was released Monday. Colorado opens the spring training season hosting the D-backs on Feb. 22 at Salt River Fields. The Rockies conclude spring training by hosting Seattle on March 24. Their regular season opens March 26 at San Diego.

On Deck Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostColorado Rockies Kyle Freeland pitches in the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on Aug. 14, 2019 in Denver.

Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (3-10, 7.10 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks LHP Alex Young (4-3, 3.98)
7:40 p.m. Tuesday, Chase Field
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM

The Rockies hope Freeland will continue to make progress, with an eye toward next season. His fastball command, ability to pitch down in the zone and a better feel for his changeup are beginning to yield results. Over three starts in August, the left-hander has a 5.29 ERA. That’s not great, for sure, but it’s a quantum leap from the 10.17 ERA he posted across six starts in May, a swoon prompting his demotion to Triple-A. Freeland is 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in three starts against Arizona this season. He is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four career starts at Chase Field. Young is looking to bounce back after two bad starts, in which he went 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA. On July 7, in his third big-league game, he no-hit the Rockies for six innings at Chase Field, giving up one walk and whiffing three. Despite Young throwing just 71 pitches, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo stuck to a predetermined pitch count and took his pitcher out of the game. The D-backs ended up winning 5-3.

Trending: Tony Wolters entered Monday’s night game as the only catcher in the majors not to have been charged with an error this season. He ranks third in the National League with 15 catcher caught stealings.

At issue: The Rockies entered Monday night with a 24-38 record away from home, having gone 1-5 on their last road trip. Their .230 road batting average is the lowest in the National League and their 638 strikeouts the most.

Pitching probables

  • Wednesday: Rockies RHP Jon Gray (11-8, 3.84 ERA) at Diamondbacks RHP Mike Leake (9-9, 4.64), 1:40 p.m., ATTRM
  • Thursday: Rockies RHP German Marquez (11-5, 4.71) at Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (7-13, 4.30), 5:45 p.m., ATTRM
  • Friday: Rockies RHP Peter Lambert (2-3, 6.55 ERA) at Cardinals RHP Jack Flaherty (7-6, 3.46), 6:50 p.m., ATTRM
Categories: All Denver News.

These are Colorado’s top-performing schools on this year’s CMAS tests

August 20, 2019 - 5:00am

All of the schools with top scores on this year’s Colorado Measures of Academic Success — or CMAS — standardized tests are located along the Front Range, and most are in the Denver metro area.

Each portion of the CMAS is graded on a scale of 650 to 850, for a maximum composite score of 1,700. Scores above 750 are considered to meet or exceed expectations for students at a certain grade level.

RELATED: Find your school’s CMAS and SAT scores here

Schools with the highest composite scores on this year’s tests are:

1. Polaris Elementary School, Denver; Denver Public Schools: 800 language arts, 791 math. Total: 1,591

2. Zach Elementary School, Fort Collins; Poudre School District: 789 language arts, 774 math. Total: 1,563

3. (TIE) Summit Middle Charter School, Boulder; Boulder Valley School District: 785 language arts, 777 math. Total: 1,562

3. (TIE) Dennison Elementary School, Lakewood; Jeffco Public Schools:  785 language arts, 777 math. Total: 1,562

5. Aurora Quest K-8, Aurora; Aurora Public Schools: 784 language arts, 777 math. total: 1,561

6. Parker Core Knowledge Charter School, Parker; Douglas County School District: 785 language arts, 775 math. Total: 1,560

7. Hulstrom Options K-8 School, Northglenn; Adams 12 Five Star Schools: 785 language arts, 774 math. Total: 1,559

8. High Peaks Elementary School, Boulder; BVSD: 781 language arts, 777 math. Total: 1,558

9. Cory Elementary School, Denver; DPS: 780 language arts, 777 math. Total: 1,557

10. Slavens K-8 School, Denver; DPS: 782 language arts, 774 math. Total: 1,556

Related Articles

Schools that do well on the CMAS tend to have fewer students who are living in poverty, learning English or facing other academic challenges.

Categories: All Denver News.

Ask Amy: The family trip turns into a cat roundup

August 20, 2019 - 3:30am

Dear Amy: My partner and I recently traveled abroad with her family.

We are all adults. We spent six days with her mother, father, brother and sister-in-law.

We both knew that there would be the usual frustrations associated with spending time in close quarters with her enmeshed family.

We stayed in vacation rental homes, where each couple had their own room.

During our time abroad, it became apparent to both of us that her family’s dynamics stifled our experience. Her mother and brother bickered for much of the time. In addition, her brother, who was very far removed from his comfort zone, complained endlessly about all sorts of things beyond anyone’s control.

At one point I overheard him say to his wife, “I really, REALLY don’t want to be here.”

My partner’s mother would constantly worry if we wanted to do anything on our own, and feared for our safety.

In an effort to respect her wishes, we stayed together as a group, but trying to get everyone to do the same thing in a given day was like herding bored house cats.

We aren’t super-assertive, but the rest of the group was extremely passive.

My partner and I both decided that we do not wish to have any future experiences like this previous one.

The problem is that her family seems intent on planning more vacations together, including one in six months!

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We don’t want to be rude or hurtful to her family members, nor do we intend to lie about our reasons for opting out of future family travel.

How do we (two independent, excited travelers) vacation with an anxious, enmeshed family?

— Travel Bugged

Dear Bugged: After outlining the many (valid) reasons why you don’t want to travel with this group, you then ask how to travel with this group. Are you sure you want to? You are both adults. You have free will. Until you learn to deliver a respectful, “We’re going to travel on our own this year,” you will be thoroughly dominated.

But if you really do want to travel with them, you should develop an itinerary for yourselves each day and invite them to join you, or not.

For instance: “Monday Marla and I will visit the Indigenous Museum. We’ll leave at 10 a.m. Anyone who wants to join us, please do. Otherwise, we’ll have lunch nearby and you can join us then.”

A family member’s worry about your safety should not dictate your own choices. You are an adult, and so is your mother. After reassurances from you, she will have to handle her own emotions.

Dear Amy: I have yet another question to add to your list of: “Why would you ask that?”

I am a teacher. I just turned 65. The annoying question I get is: “Are you still working?”

My answers generally are: “Yes, I am still working. Yes, I am still very capable and focused on my job. Yes, I can still roll with the changes and embrace the new technology. Yes, I still enjoy what I do. Yes, my students (and colleagues) still bring me joy.”

But I get really tired of answering this question, and so do my contemporaries. But when one has worked all of one’s adult life, why not work for a couple more years?

Any suggestions? I’d love a new answer to this question.

— Still Working

Dear Still Working: Call me clueless, but to me, the question “Are you still working?” seems a natural conversation-starter for people in your age-cohort.

Many people in their mid-60s are retired, or thinking of retirement.

This “Are you still working” question is another version of, “… and what’s new with you?”

The version of this that might bother me (if I were you) would be: “WHY are you still working?”

Because I can’t quite see the offense, I can’t suggest a snappy comeback. So I suggest you answer, “Yes, I am. What about you?” as a way to both answer the question and also toss it back to the person who asked it.

Dear Amy: “Smoked Out in Redwood City” was complaining about neighbors who use a fire pit at night.

In your answer, you reported that Redwood City is “in close proximity” to the area where the devastating Camp Fire was.

Amy, your answer was great, but these towns are 200 miles apart!

— Get a Map

Dear Map: The scariest part is that I actually looked this up on a map, and I still made the error. Thank you for the correction.

Categories: All Denver News.