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Maximum Security out of Preakness; Kentucky Derby DQ to be appealed

Denver Post Local News - 3 hours 44 min ago

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Taken down as the Kentucky Derby winner, Maximum Security is now out of the Preakness.

Maximum Security’s owner said Monday he will not run the horse in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown and will appeal the disqualification as Derby winner.

Gary West told The Associated Press by phone there is “really no need, not having an opportunity to run for the Triple Crown to run a horse back in two weeks.”

The 1 1/8-mile Preakness is May 18 at Pimlico Race Course. Though shorter than the Kentucky Derby, the race requires a quick turnaround. West didn’t want to burden his colt with the Triple Crown off the table.

Maximum Security is scheduled to leave Churchill Downs on Monday and arrive Tuesday at Monmouth Park, where trainer Jason Servis is based, the New Jersey track said.

“The horse will be better off long term with the rest,” West said. “He ran a really good and a really hard race on Saturday.

“Really, there are a lot of other Grade 1 races the rest of the year for 3-year-olds. So we’ll let him gather himself and point to one of the other races. I don’t know which one that will be, but it will definitely not be the Preakness.”

Maximum Security, the first to finish the muddy race by 1 ¾ lengths on Saturday, became the first Derby winner to be disqualified for interference. After an objection by two riders, stewards ruled the colt swerved out and impeded the path of several horses between the far and final turns. Country House, a 65-1 shot, was elevated to first.

Country House’s status for the Preakness is unclear. That race would mark his fourth start in eight weeks.

Trainer Bill Mott has said there’s no rush to decide on whether he’ll run in Baltimore. But he acknowledged the race’s importance and added, “The challenge of the Triple Crown is that there’s three races really close together, and it takes a champion.”

The only other Derby disqualification was in 1968, and long after the race. First-place finisher Dancer’s Image tested positive for a prohibited medication, and Kentucky racing officials ordered the purse money to be redistributed. Forward Pass got the winner’s share. A subsequent court challenge upheld the stewards’ decision.

West has said he realizes the appeals process will take “months, if not years.” He remains bothered that he was denied his request to view replays with stewards after the race.

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“There’s an extreme lack of transparency with the stewards,” he said. “They will not talk to us until Thursday. So we didn’t have any choice but to file an appeal. And we’ll see where that goes.”

Maximum Security was placed 17th of 19 horses after starting as the 9-2 second betting choice, ending his four-race winning streak.

Stewards cited the rule that calls for disqualification if a “leading horse or any other horse in a race swerves or is ridden to either side so as to interfere with, intimidate, or impede any other horse or jockey.”

Chief steward Barbara Borden said in a news conference she and two other stewards interviewed riders and studied video replays during a 22-minute review after the finish. The stewards did not take questions from reporters.

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Harry, Meghan ‘absolutely thrilled’ about birth of baby boy

Denver Post Local News - 3 hours 59 min ago

By GREGORY KATZ and MSTYSLAV CHERNOV

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, gave birth to a healthy baby boy early Monday, a beaming Prince Harry announced to the world, declaring he’s “incredibly proud” of his wife.

The baby weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces (3.26 kilograms) at birth and was born at 5:26 a.m. (0426 GMT; 12:26 a.m. EDT). Harry said their son was a little bit overdue and that had given the royal couple more time to contemplate names.

Harry said he was ecstatic about the birth of their first child and promised that more details — such as the baby’s name — will be shared in the coming days. The couple said earlier they weren’t going to find out the baby’s sex in advance.

“This little thing is absolutely to die for,” he said. “I’m just over the moon.”

Harry and the palace didn’t immediately provide details on whether the baby was born at a hospital or if it was a home birth. The royal couple had earlier said they wanted to keep details private.

The infant is seventh in line to the British throne and Queen Elizabeth II’s eighth great-grandchild. Harry is the younger son of Prince Charles, heir to the throne, and the late Princess Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.

The 34-year-old Harry, speaking before TV cameras on Monday afternoon in Windsor, said he was present for the birth.

“It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined,” he said. “How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension.

“We’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It’s been amazing, so we just wanted to share this with everybody,” he gushed.

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, was reportedly also with her daughter and said she is overjoyed, according to British media. Senior royals were informed of the birth, as was the family of Diana, Harry’s late mother, before he went before the cameras.

The couple’s Instagram account said: “It’s a boy! Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to announce the birth of their child.”

Harry said he planned to make another announcement, probably in two days’ time, “so everyone can see the baby.” It’s expected they will pose for a family picture at that point.

Crowds that had gathered in Windsor near the castle that is one of the queen’s favorite residences reacted with joy to the welcome news that the baby had been born. Some said it would provide a welcome respite from the continuing political stalemate over Brexit.

Londoners Pam and Keith Jonson said the news will provide a lift to peoples’ spirits.

“You can tell by people around,” Pam Jonson said. “Lifts everybody a bit. Definitely. With all that’s been going recently. It’s nice uplift actually.”

Prime Minister Theresa May congratulated the royal couple and wished them the best in a tweet.

The former Meghan Markle was an American TV star before retiring from acting to marry Harry at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle a year ago.

The child will be eligible for dual British-U.S. citizenship if Meghan and Harry want to go through the application process.

The birth of Britain’s latest royal baby marks the completion of Harry’s transformation from a boy whose mother died when he was just 12 to a sometimes-troubled teen, a committed military man, a popular senior royal, a husband and now to a proud father. He has long spoken of his desire to start a family.

He and his older brother, Prince William, along with their wives, are seen by many in Britain as the new, fresh faces of a royal family that had become stodgy and aged. They are raising the next generation of royals amid a genuine groundswell of British public support for the monarchy.

Meghan in particular represents a change for the royals.

At 37, she is older than Harry, had a previous marriage that ended in divorce and has strong feminist views. As the daughter of a black mother and a white father, she says she identifies as biracial.

Meghan also achieved considerable success in her own right before agreeing to a blind date with Harry that changed both of their lives. Meghan had an important role in the popular TV series “Suits,” pressed for increased women’s rights around the world and had a wide following even before she joined the world’s most famous royal family.

Harry and Meghan recently moved from central London to a secluded house known as Frogmore Cottage near Windsor Castle, 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of London. The move is seen in part as reflecting a desire for privacy as they raise their first child.

It also separates Harry and Meghan from William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, who had been living in the same compound at Kensington Palace in central London with their three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — the new baby’s cousins.

___

Gregory Katz reported from London.

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A previous version of this story has been corrected to show that Harry said “this little thing,” not “this little baby.”

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Read all Associated Press coverage of the latest royal baby at https://www.apnews.com/RoyalBaby

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PHOTOS: Furry Scurry brings 5K dogs to Washington Park

Denver Post Local News - 4 hours 19 min ago

The 2019 Furry Scurry dog walk was held on Saturday, May 4, in Washington Park. The 2-mile walk draws some 12,000 people and 5,000 dogs each year.

The race benefits the Dumb Friends League, which takes care of more than 20,000 homeless pets and horses each year.

Check out the photos on The Know Outdoors.

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Lil Wayne and Blink-182’s co-headlining tour is headed for Denver this summer

Denver Post Local News - 4 hours 26 min ago

Rapper Lil Wayne and pop-punk band Blink-182 will play a series of co-headlining dates at large venues this summer — including in Denver.

Tickets for their Sept. 4 concert at the Pepsi Center are on sale to the public at noon on May 10. A Citi card member presale begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7 and ends at 10 p.m. Thursday, May 9 via citientertainment.com.

Regular tickets for the 7 p.m. show will cost $42-$147.50 and will be available by calling 303-893-8497 or visiting altitudetickets.com.

The hip-hop star and influential pop-punk act preceded their official tour announcement with a mashup video of the Lil Wayne hit “A Milli” and Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again” on YouTube.

The 38-city tour will feature opening act Neck Deep, a Welsh pop-punk band.

Check out the full list of tour dates, via Pitchfork.

Lil Wayne and Blink-182 summer tour

June 27 Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide Arena
June 29 Hartford, Conn., XFINITY Theatre
June 30 Atlantic City, N.J., Vans Warped Tour *
July 1 Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 3 Indianapolis, Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
July 5 Hershey, Pa., Hersheypark Stadium
July 6 Burgettstown, Pa., KeyBank Pavilion
July 7 Toronto, Budweiser Stage *
July 9 Holmdel, N.J., P.N.C. Bank Arts Center *
July 10 Mansfield, Mass., Xfinity Center
July 11 Bristow, Va., Jiffy Lube Live
July 13 Bangor, Maine, Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion
July 16 Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Blossom Music Center
July 17 Darien Center, N.Y., Darien Lake Amphitheatre
July 20 Virginia Beach, Va., Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
July 21 Columbia, M.D., Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 23 Charlotte, N.C., PNC Music Pavilion
July 25 West Palm Beach, Fla., Coral Sky Amphitheatre
July 26 Tampa, Fla., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
July 27 Atlanta, Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
July 29 Jacksonville, Fla., Daily’s Place
July 31 Houston, Texas, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Aug. 1 Austin, Texas, Austin360 Amphitheater
Aug. 2 Dallas, The Dos Equis Pavilion
Aug. 4 El Paso, Don Haskins Center *
Aug. 5 Phoenix, Ak-Chin Pavilion
Aug. 7 San Diego, North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
Aug. 8 Los Angeles, The Forum
Aug. 27 Irvine, Calif., FivePoint Amphitheatre
Aug. 30 Portland, Ore., Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
Aug. 31 Seattle, White River Amphitheatre
Sept. 2 Salt Lake City, USANA Amphitheatre
Sept. 4 Denver, Pepsi Center
Sept. 6 Wichita, Kan., Hartman Arena *
Sept. 7 Council Bluffs, Iowa, Stir Cove *
Sept. 8 Kansas City, Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
Sept. 10 Detroit, DTE Energy Music Theatre
Sept. 13 Chicago, Riot Fest *
Sept. 14 St. Louis, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Sept. 16 Cincinnati, Ohio, Riverbend Music Center

* Blink-182 only

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Whether naive or in denial, Denver Botanic Gardens’ latest exhibit is elegant but misses the moment

Denver Post Local News - 4 hours 45 min ago

Strolling among the sculptures of human figures scattered through the Denver Botanic Gardens this summer, it’s difficult to decide if you should rush up and hug them, or stomp over and slap them in the face.

After all, the exhibit — titled “Human/Nature” — begs us to consider the relationship between people and the planet they live on, and that whole thing isn’t going so well these days. Maybe it’s all that plastic we’re dumping in the ocean, or those forests we’re decimating, or the temperatures we keep pushing up, pole to pole, creating an existential threat to both flora and fauna.

I don’t know about you, but I see trouble in paradise and it’s pretty clear who is at fault.

The bronze Homo sapiens positioned along DBG’s pathways seem oblivious to the catastrophe, and to mankind’s complicity in it. They’re just hanging about the trees and vines, showing off their amazingly good looks. As a show, “Human/Nature” is either full of naive optimism, suggesting some ideal notion that we can all get along, or it’s in denial.

That leaves viewers on their own to connect the necessary dots, to make something truly meaningful from this massive display of art. Though, I have to say, sorting through these bodies of evidence isn’t the worst chore to undertake on a sunny Saturday afternoon. If the No. 1 goal of sculptors across millennia has been to capture the wholeness of the human spirit in a single object, this assemblage includes some significant attempts.

If you go

“Human/Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection” continues through Sept. 15 at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., 720-865-3500 or botanicgardens.org.

The statues, all culled from the holdings of collector Craig Ponzio, are complex and pedigreed. They span decades and styles, so there’s something for every taste, from the classically influenced female forms of Auguste Rodin and Antoine Bourdelle, to the expressionism of Jacques Lipchitz and Eric Fischl, to the pure abstraction of Beverly Pepper, the environmentalism of Joseph Wheelwright and the politics of Manolo Valdés and Sassona Norton.

Some are as tall as 10 feet and, as usual with DBG’s larger-than-life summer offerings, the objects are installed impeccably and, somehow, delicately; heavy hunks of metal dropped with care among the bushy beard grass, Oregon grape, alpine willowherb, Chinese irises and other plants that make the place special.

It’s all very elegant, classical and quite pleasant if you just let the sunshine, soft breezes and the colorful pop and stink of spring blossoms fill your senses, forgetting about the other side of humanity lurking in these bushes — the stupid, selfish, greedy side that has entire plant species on the run.

With a few important dots connected, DBG’s curators might have stepped in here as a marriage counselor, of sorts, helping us hash out where we went wrong and rallying us to do better as co-habitators. No doubt, that can be a difficult conversation to facilitate; it’s not the kind of chat many garden visitors want during their downtime.

On the other hand, the time to have it is now. Global challenges are genuine and urgent and DBG, nature’s official ambassador to the city, has a right (and maybe a responsibility) to force it.

If it’s awkward, so be it. Responding to this pivotal moment does require a bit of discomfort and activism, and everyone who is experiencing their own reckoning over climate change understands that there’s work involved: all those bikers and walkers who quit their cars; those rabid recyclers and composters painstakingly separating their trash; the people who refuse plastic grocery bags and pass on drinking straws, plant trees, maybe eat a little less meat.

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That’s not meant to be a lesson on social responsibility — everyone has their successes and shortcomings when it comes to reducing their footprint — but rather to show the context that “Human/Nature” arrives in the middle of. It misses the moment.

No doubt, DBG knows what’s going on in the world and, in many commendable ways, it operates as a responsible institution, leading a dialogue on water issues, advocating for biodiversity, monitoring bee populations. The garden may not be on the brave forefront of environmental militancy, but it aims to provide a backbone for pro-planet arguments by conducting legit research and offering good advice on gardening with a conscience.

But, here, there’s a disconnect with its art program, a failure to understand that art can play a role in its most important missions, not just be decoration or a tactic for driving up paid admissions.

And it’s not so risky to put some politics on display. Exhibitions can be themed around disruption and remain beautiful. They can include discreet signage and illustrations that add context.

Imagine — borrowing some provocative tactics I’ve seen at other shows — if the figures at DBG were facing away from the crowds rather then posing for them like supermodels on a catwalk. What questions would that raise?

Or if they were stuck, forlorn, in the middle of the lily ponds? Or were being overtaken by native grasses instead of walking over them?  A talented curator, working with a willing art lender, would have a dozen better ideas than that, and still make the exhibit handsome.

This is the power of art, really, to be captivating yet woke, to take our breath away and at the same time knock sense into our heads.

The examples from the Ponzio collection are ripe with raw material. The artists built conflict and hope into their pieces. Valdés’ 2005 “Infant Margarita” — installed so effectively on the edge of DBG’s central lawn as to allow 365-degree views of the object — is part of a life-long body of work devoted to forcing civic dialogue. Lipchitz’s 1943 “Benediction II”  is an aching nude, a female form bent over and left with an actual hole in the center of her body. It’s a response, as the accompanying text points out, to the terror of the Holocaust.

The Icelandic sculptor Steinunn Thorarinsdottir’s 2009 “Lights” is a set of five life-sized, androgynous figures positioned near DBG’s prairie grounds. The artist placed translucent glass openings near the hearts of her figures, and they serve as reminders that our spirits remain accepting to better ways.

Their work isn’t meant as a final say, but as a jumping off point for a deeper exchange. Interestingly, it serves just that purpose for “Human/Nature’s” sideshow, a series of musical selections, written by Colorado composers, that are inspired by the individual sculptures. The pieces — by J. Hamilton Isaacs, Madeline Johnston, Michael Jason Corder and Ryan McRyhew — are striking and experimental, and visitors can listen on their phones as they wander the garden.

What is the proper role for an institution like DBG, in the middle of a crisis like this that is directly related to its mission? Smack in the middle of Denver, a progressive city in need of progressive institutions? Should it be more aggressive?

Maybe that’s heavy-handed. You can tell how I lean. So let me pass the weight to Sir Robert Watson, who heads the Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, a world leader in environmental research. Here’s what he said just last year in a plea for rapid responses to climate change:

“The best available evidence, gathered by the world’s leading experts, points us now to a single conclusion: We must act to halt and reverse the unsustainable use of nature — or risk not only the future we want, but even the lives we currently lead.”

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Lunch Special: Denver sports live chat with Mark Kiszla

Denver Post Local News - 5 hours 47 sec ago
(function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//embed.scribblelive.com/widgets/embed.js";ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, "script", "scrbbl-js"));Happy Monday, sports fans! Denver Post sports columnist Mark Kiszla is going to be here at noon to answer your questions about all things Colorado sports. The chat window is live, so submit your questions now.

Want to chat about the Nuggets or the Avalanche or have a query about Broncos or the Rockies? Columnist Mark Kiszla is taking your questions at noon.

Mobile users, if you can’t see the live chat, tap here.

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One million species face extinction, UN panel says. And humans will suffer as a result.

Denver Post Local News - 5 hours 9 min ago

Up to 1 million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, with devastating implications for human survival, according to a United Nations report released Monday.

The report’s findings underscore the conclusions of numerous scientific studies that say human activity is wreaking havoc on the wild kingdom, threatening the existence of everything from giant whales to small flowers and insects that are almost impossible to see with the naked eye.

But the global report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services goes a step further than previous studies by linking the loss of species to humans and analyzing its effect on food and water security, farming and economies.

Nature’s current rate of decline is unparalleled, the report says, and the accelerating rate of extinctions “means grave impacts on people around the world are now likely.” In a statement, Robert Watson, a British chemist who served as the panel’s chairman, said the decline in biodiversity is eroding “the foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

Human-caused climate change is a direct driver that is exacerbating the effects of overfishing, widespread pesticide use and urban expansion.

For example, the warming climate is altering ocean ecosystems, the study warns. Global trade has introduced invasive species to countries with devastating effects, such as crop-destroying stink bugs and tree-killing emerald ash borer in the United States. Travelers exploring forests in other countries have returned home with diseases lethal to animals, such as the white nose fungus that is killing millions of bats.

Coral reefs lost to warming and acidifying oceans, for example, could cause a collapse in commercial and indigenous fisheries, affecting billions of coastal residents who rely on seafood for protein. And the loss of pollinators such as bees and other insects is likely to have a devastating effect on farming.

“The most important thing isn’t necessarily that we’re losing … 1 million species — although that’s important, don’t misunderstand me,” Watson said during a teleconference Sunday. “The bigger issue is the way it will affect human well-being, as we’ve said many times — food, water, energy, human health.

“We care about nature but we care about human well-being,” Watson said. “We need to link it to human well-being, that’s the crucial thing. Otherwise we’re going to look like a bunch of tree-huggers.”

The report has a positive spin, saying “it is not too late to make a difference.” But that difference requires more than 100 developing and non-developed nations to work together to bring about change.

Nations that signed off on the study’s findings acknowledged that opposition from rich people invested in the status quo is expected.

“Let’s be quite candid,” Watson said. “Since 1992, we’ve been telling the world we have a problem. Now what’s different? It’s much worse today than it was in 1992. We’ve wasted all of the time … the last 25 years.” However, he said, “we have a much better understanding of the links between climate change, biodiversity, and food security and water security.”

Nearly 150 authors from 50 nations worked for three years to compile the report. They relied on input from 300 contributing authors who assessed the impact of economic development on nature to estimate future effects.

They note that the world’s population has doubled since 1950 and that urban areas worldwide have doubled since 1992.

The resulting pressure on natural resources has been enormous. Seventy-five percent of the land environment and well more than half the marine environment have been altered by humans.

On land, “more than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75 percent of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production,” the report said. Farms that cut into forests that trap carbon have expanded exponentially, increasing crop production by 300 percent since 1970.

At sea, a third of marine fish stocks were being harvested at unsustainable levels in 2015. “Sixty percent were maximally sustainably fished,” meaning they were being pushed to the verge of collapse.

The U.N. report followed a study in January that predicted a bug massacre — 40 percent of all known species face extinction, including beetles, flies, moths, butterflies and bees, the result of habitat loss and pesticides, according to a recent study.

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The United States is hardly immune to the loss of biodiversity. In recent weeks, the federal government moved to protect a declining group of Bryde’s whales in the Gulf of Mexico with an endangered listing because fewer than 100, and possibly as few as 45, are estimated to exist.

In January, wild reindeer were declared extinct in the Lower 48 states. Wildlife managers in British Columbia caught the last female in a herd of caribou that once migrated between the Pacific Northwest and Canada and stuck her in a pen because “that animal was not going to survive,” an official said.

Meanwhile, a doomsday count on the tiny vaquita porpoise in the Gulf of California is nearing zero. As Mexican fisherman continue to poach shrimp and fish consumed in the United States, vaquitas occasionally show up dead in their fishing nets.

In Antarctica, the second largest group of emperor penguins, the tallest of all penguins, have not produced offspring for three years, assuring a catastrophic drop in their numbers.

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Bonnie Brae Tavern owners receive non-historic status, making it easier to demolish

Denver Post Local News - 5 hours 25 min ago

Bonnie Brae Tavern has been deemed non-historic by the city of Denver, a designation that will make the 85-year-old restaurant easier to demolish if its owners choose to do so over the next five years.

The status was granted last week, BusinessDen reported, after no applications for historic preservation were submitted by the community. Last month, the third-generation family owners of the tavern applied for non-historic status as they weighed their options to remodel, expand or sell their building.

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Co-owner Michael Dire told The Denver Post in April that he, his sister and their two cousins were “just trying to find out where we stood” when they applied for the designation. He said they had no immediate plans for the space and mentioned an 85th birthday party coming up in June at the restaurant.

Community members had until the end of April to appeal on the building’s behalf for landmark designation. The Dire family has owned Bonnie Brae Tavern at 740 S. University Blvd. since 1934. Today, it stands as one of the oldest businesses in the area.

Calls and emails to the owners as well as to the city’s landmark preservation office were not immediately returned on Monday.

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A disposable coffee cup somehow made its way into a “Game of Thrones” scene

Denver Post Local News - 5 hours 28 min ago

Last week, scores of “Game of Thrones” fans complained they literally could not see the Battle of Winterfell because the episode was too dark. Things were brighter in Westeros this week, but some GOT viewers spotted something unexpected: a disposable coffee cup.

The decidedly modern object appeared during a celebratory post-battle feast about 17 minutes into “The Last of the Starks.” It’s but a minor detail in an episode that saw the gruesome death of a major character, but the idea of a grande triple shot soy latte making its way into a medieval fantasy was too distracting for social media to ignore.

So this is where we're at now! A Starbucks cup! #GameofThrones pic.twitter.com/dhWXyDo15w

— Nehal Mahran (@NehalMahran) May 6, 2019

The sighting prompted “Starbucks Cup” to trend on Twitter Monday morning, though eagle-eyed viewers noted it didn’t actually look like it was from the ubiquitous chain.

Many fans thought the cup was a pretty major mistake for the big-budget show, which took two years to make its final season — especially in light (pun intended) of last week’s issues.

“GOT producers were quick to point out that is not a Starbucks cup in front of Daenerys, ‘viewers just didn’t properly adjust their televisions to Wine Goblet,'” one fan quipped.

Others felt it made sense in the grand scheme of things.

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“That Starbucks cup is not nearly as improbable as the scene with Bronn,” one tweet read.

And because this has become an Internet story, there were also conspiracy theories: “Is it me or did Sansa plant the Starbucks cup in front of Dany as part of an elaborate plan to take her down?” another fan tweeted.

Another wrote, “Coffee cup in a #GOT scene — sloppy production OR is Game of Thrones set in the West World universe?”

We’ve reached out to HBO in hopes of finding out what happened — or at least, what Dany’s go-to order is.

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Historic Loveland downtown building reborn as The Gressiwick

Denver Post Local News - 6 hours 41 min ago

A “cool old building” in downtown Loveland has taken on the latest in a long line of identities with its recent launch as The Gressiwick.

The two-story brick commercial structure at 426 N. Lincoln Ave., combines the names of its owners and their passions.

“It’s my photo studio by day and event space and concert space by night,” said portrait photographer Christina Gressianu. She and her husband, musician Vi Wickam, have opened up the main floor of the building for use as an event venue, and Wickam teaches private fiddle lessons there.

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With a temporary certificate of occupancy from the city in hand, they have scheduled their first event, a whiskey and jazz Mother’s Day brunch May 12.

“I’m from New York. Mother’s Day was a big thing there,” Gressianu said. “There would be these amazing, spectacular brunches like you’d see on a cruise.”

For The Gressiwick’s inaugural event, “the caterer is going all out,” she said. The buffet will feature a carving station with meats, lobster and salmon; a dessert spread with blackberry cheesecake flambé and tableside ice cream; craft cocktails and more, she said.

Read the full story at reporterherald.com.

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In heart of spring, Boulder sprouts dandelion devotees

Denver Post Local News - 6 hours 57 min ago

A handful of adults in a field picking flowers with their children on a sunny afternoon might not raise many eyebrows in Boulder.

But look a little closer. The blossoms being methodically pinched from their stems and carefully stowed away in hand-weaved baskets or paper bags are dandelions. Branded as blight by many who would aspire to the perfect lawn and targeted for aggressive intervention, they are avidly sought after by others, who prize them for a wide array of properties ranging from the nutritional to the medicinal and beyond.

On a recent mellow afternoon in north Boulder, Gabriel Laperle of Lafayette and a few fellow enthusiasts deployed to a verdant expanse near the Wonderland Creek Bikeway, gathering dandelion blossoms before the ideal two-week window for doing so closed for the season.

Laperle, in particular would be hard to miss, his luxuriant dreadlocks blossoming from beneath a head scarf, the green ink of the tattooed Sanskrit mantra “Om tare tuttare ture soha” below his neckline, and a laid-back demeanor set several notches south of chillaxed.

He said he and his friends who are putting the dandy back in dandelions are accustomed to being approached by passers-by curious to know: What, exactly, is the deal?

“Totally,” Laperle, who punctuates his speech liberally with a soft chuckle. “We get stopped all the time by people asking what we’re doing. Generally, they’re just curious and think it’s really cool.

“The No. 1 question I get is ‘Oh what is that for? What is it good for? How do you use it?”

Try, just about everything.

“Phytochemistry geek”

Laperle, a clinical herbalist and nonpracticing Unitarian minister, is a graduate of both Naropa University and the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Lafayette, and commutes to Nederland to work at Alpine Botanicals. So, he knows the turf.

“I teach a lot on invasive weed medicine and using, just, weedy species, that most people overlook,” said Laperle, 29. “It’s kind of one of my missions to get that information out, and to make medicine out of plants that people would normally kill. There’s some really awesome medicinal plants.”

Of which dandelions, omnipresent in the Boulder Valley this time of year, are most certainly one.

A self-described “phytochemsitry geek,” passionate about the beneficial chemical properties of plants, Laperle can go on for some length about the righteous qualities of dandelions, known to botanists as Taraxacum officinale.

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“With dandelions, people know about the roots, but the flowers often get overlooked. And they’re only around for a couple of weeks in the spring. So you kind of have to get out and do it,” he said.

“The roots are the part that’s most commonly used in herbal medicine and they are a great cholagogue — something that stimulates bile production — and they are a great digestive bitter; they stimulate your digestion,” he said, just starting to get warmed up.

“Then, you know, some people eat the leaves, and they’re also very good in the early spring, and they’re a great detoxifier and diuretic.They make you pee. And then the flowers are their own medicine, and have wonderful antioxidant properties,” he said, going on to cite the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin, which herbalists prize for their role in protecting the macula lutea of the retina against ultraviolet damage and the potential development of macular degeneration.

While the dandelion is beneficial to humans, he added, it also is a critical ecosystem support to pollinators.

“They’re a really important source of food for bees early in the season. It’s very important for bees to have dandelions around, and to have dandelions that aren’t sprayed with chemicals,” Laperle said. “I would very definitely tell people to stop spraying their dandelions.”

And like most things in life, the dandelion, he will tell you, has its seasons.

“In the spring you just pick the flowers, or the greens, if you want them, but it’s already a little late for the greens. They’re a little bitter by now. The root is generally harvested in the fall,” he said. “But we also like to pick other wild edibles and medicinal plants that are around as well. So like this last time we were out, we picked a bunch of wild mustard that was nearby. There was a good stand of garlic mustard, and blue mustard, and we got a bunch of those and made a pesto.”

“Little sunshine-stars”

Lisa Ganora was happy to hear that her former student is spreading the message of better living through maximizing the living things all around us that others might figuratively, or literally, just sneeze at.

“He’s quite the picturesque hippie character, too,” said Ganora, director of the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. She then volunteered of her students, who number up to 80 a year, engage in more than a half-dozen different courses of study, “They’re not all like that, just so you know.

“We get more conventional students as well. It’s not just a hippie school, for the record.”

She added: “We love our hippie children. But it’s such a stereotype that the herbalists are hippies. That was more true back in the day. It has become more mainstream and integrated into, quote, normal society. But we have our little giggles over our hippies. I’m sure I was classified as one 30 years ago. But now herbalism is a lot more integrated into the mainstream.”

The Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism had been located in Boulder until June of last year, before being chased eastward, like so many others, by, as Ganora said, “gentrification.” It now is based out of “old Old Town Lafayette,” as Ganora put it, at 424 E. Simpson St. But its footprint in the state goes far beyond, thanks to its partnership with Elderberry’s Farm in Paonia, where the range of summer programs includes a “Summer Solstice Mead Weekend” and a “Wise Women Week” at summer’s end.

Ganora is well aware that plenty of folks look at dandelions merely as “weeds you just need to get rid of.

“But we see little sunshine-stars dotting the lawn,” she said. “They are like a medicinal food. That’s the kind of plants I really like. They have a very low toxicity. They are almost like they are nature’s superfoods. They are not exotic — and they grow everywhere.”

In response to inquiries about dandelion enthusiasts, she readily shared a recipe for dandelion fritters, created by Kat Mackinnon, her school’s director of botany; 2 cups of dandelion flowers produce six to eight fritters, other key ingredients include one-quarter cup of applesauce and one-third cup of hemp milk (or milk or your choice, “or water, if that’s what you’ve got”).

It’s “just Boulder”

Also on dandelion patrol this spring is Lafayette resident Aric Parker, 31, who describes himself as “best friends” with Laperle and traces their bond as “Buiddhist brothers” to their time in the same sangha, or community, of Buddhist practitioners, where many were involved in the healing arts and developing their skills as, as he put it, “energy workers.”

“It makes sense that we do what we do,” Parker reasoned. “My wife Leela is also an herbalist. If it wasn’t Gabe out there picking dandelions and all the natural things, it would be me and my wife. So we have some commonality.”

Parker shares with Laperle the status of Naropa graduate, and he is currently both studying through and working for the Shang Shung Institute School of Tibetan Medicine in Conway, Mass., assisting in the translation of 27 volumes of Tibetan medical texts, toward the goal of their one day being accredited as a source of information on homeopathy on the same level as traditional Chinese medicine.

Like his friend Laperle, he acknowledged they are often approached by the curious while on their dandelion safaris, and said people mostly appear to get it.

“People seem really fascinated, and when we tell them we’re going to make wine with it, they say that’s awesome,” Parker said. “But it’s actually really interesting. Dandelion wine is really profound, not just for feeling inebriated, but profound for healing heat-based disorders. If you have inflammation of the liver, or for detox, it’s great for all sorts of things.”

As with just about any other aspect of their pastime, both Parker and Laperle can talk at length about the ins and outs of where it’s appropriate to gather dandelions, with a strong preference for the properties of friends who are known not to spray toxic chemicals.

Laperle pointed out that its illegal to harvest from city of Boulder open space (a county Parks and Open Space spokeswoman said the same applies on Boulder County property) and that in every case, when in doubt, it’s wise to seek permission from those with jurisdiction over public lands.

Also, he said,”Not that anybody really cares with dandelions, but if you were going to want to harvest other plants that aren’t so abundant, then it’s really important to make sure that the stand is healthy, and that you’re not going to deplete the plant population by harvesting there.

“And the final thing would be, you don’t want to take anything from near a major road or right next to a path or anywhere that it might get dust or trampled. The more pristine, the better. Especially not next to a highway, basically.”

Wherever they go with their baskets and bags, the dandelion aficionados find that no one appears to think their passion is peculiar.

“I haven’t really run into anybody that does,” Laperle said, then reflected for a moment.

“Perhaps, that’s just Boulder.”

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The far-reaching burden of America’s student debt

Denver Post Local News - 7 hours 8 min ago

The $1.6 trillion in U.S. student debt may not pose a direct threat to the economy, but it’s causing anguish that goes far beyond financial concerns for the people who owe it.

One in 15 borrowers has considered suicide due to their school loans, according to a survey of 829 people conducted last month by Student Loan Planner, a debt advisory group.

Most student debt is held by people with balances on the lower end of the scale, with only 0.8 percent of the U.S. population owing more than $100,000, according to Deutsche Bank economists. They have labeled the issue as a “micro problem” for individuals, rather than a macro problem for the economy.

Yet that still equates to 2.8 million people with around $495 billion in debt as of March, according to Department of Education data. Even more worrying is that it’s an increase of almost $61 billion since the end of 2017.

Student loans are the second-biggest kind of debt in America behind home mortgages and often more expensive to service relative to the amount owed because interest rates are generally higher. Not to mention that unlike buying a home, an education isn’t a tangible asset that can be sold.

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It’s also turning into a hot political issue as next year’s presidential election approaches. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has proposed a plan to cancel loans for many borrowers, while former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper addressed some of the knock-on effects for the economy in a presentation at the Milken Institute conference earlier this week.

“Of course millennials would love to buy a house,” Hickenlooper said April 30 in Los Angeles. But, “they’re buried in debt!”

The following scenarios show the monthly costs associated with different levels of student debt. The first envisages a 10-year loan at 6 percent. To put the figures into perspective, a 30-year mortgage of $400,000 at current interest rates would cost about $2,000 per month.

In the second scenario, loans are shown over a 20-year term with rates at 7 percent. Monthly payments are smaller but the overall burden is bigger, with total interest payments on $100,000 of debt rising above $86,000.

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This lighter take on fish and chips could be your new favorite way to savor the “takeaway” classic

Denver Post Local News - 7 hours 25 min ago

While Fish and Almost Chips shares its two main ingredients with the British national takeaway dish alluded to in the title, its differences are significant enough to mention right upfront. Those changes make this recipe especially home-cook friendly – and healthful to boot.

We are roasting and broiling, instead of coating and frying, so there is less mess and no lingering smell of grease in the air. Snowy white cod is used here, but you could substitute with other equally thick and mild-tasting fish fillets. Instead of relying on a beer batter or tartar sauce to give it flavor, a marinade of garlic, lemon and olive oil does the trick.

The potatoes go into a high-heat oven first. They are cut into thin rounds and treated with flavor agents as well: oil, chives and shallots. The fillets are then broiled atop the par-cooked potatoes in just a few minutes, which means they stand a better chance of remaining intact when you serve them.

So, the meal’s not fit for wrapping in waxed newsprint, but here’s what you will get: some-crisped, some-tender potatoes, succulent fish, and one pan with minimal cleanup.

TIP: Lining the baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil and greasing that surface before the oiled potato slices are spread makes it much easier to turn them for broiling and remove them for serving.

Fish and almost chips

35 minutes

4 servings

Think baked and broiled, not fried. You’ll get some crispy potatoes and the fish will be succulent, bathed in a garlicky lemon marinade.

Serve with green salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds large red-skinned potatoes (about 5)
  • 4 small-to-medium shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinned cod fillets, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (may substitute 3 tablespoons dry white wine)
  • Leaves from 4 stems fresh parsley
  • Several stems fresh thyme

Steps

Position an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a double thickness of aluminum foil (or a single sheet of heavy-duty foil), then grease it with cooking oil spray.

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Rinse and dry the potatoes, trimming any eyes and the rounded ends. Cut the potatoes into thin slices – 1/4-inch thick or less – placing them in a large microwave-safe bowl as you work.

Add a few tablespoons of water to the bowl; cover with paper towel and microwave on HIGH for 8 minutes, until almost tender, repositioning them halfway through for even cooking.

Meanwhile, peel and cut the shallots into thin slices. Mince the garlic. Finely chop or snip the chives, to yield 3 tablespoons.

Carefully drain the water from the bowl of hot potato slices, then spread them on the lined baking sheet, along with the shallots, the 1/4 cup of oil, half the chives and about one-third of the garlic, tossing to distribute them evenly. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast (top rack) for 15 minutes, until the potatoes have fully softened and browned a bit.

While the potatoes are in the oven, cut the fish into 4 pieces of equal size; place them in a mixing bowl. Zest the lemon to yield 2 teaspoons, then juice it to yield 2 tablespoons, directly over the fish. Add the remaining garlic and 2 tablespoons of oil and the vinegar, then toss to coat evenly. Let the fish marinate until the oven has preheated to broil.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven; preheat the broiler. Place the marinated pieces of fish on top of the potatoes, and pour about half the marinade left in the bowl over the fish. Return the pan to the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, or to your desired degree of doneness. Some of the potatoes will brown and crisp at the edges; rotate the pan from front to back if they begin to burn.

During the last stretch in the oven, strip enough thyme leaves to yield 2 teaspoons. Coarsely chop the parsley. Top the fish and potatoes with the thyme, parsley and remaining chives. Serve right away.

(Adapted from “One Pot Recipes: Meals for Your Slow Cooker, Pressure Cooker, Dutch Oven, Sheet Pan, Skillet and More,” by Ellen Brown, Sterling Epicure, 2018.)

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Cashews give this simple pesto a boost of creamy goodness

Denver Post Local News - 7 hours 25 min ago

Other than a perfectly ripe peach, pesto is the food I turn to most throughout spring and summer. It’s fast, easy, cheap and versatile, so it’s no mystery why this Italian sauce has ingrained itself into American food culture.

Pesto was already popular, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it received a recent boost thanks to Samin Nosrat, the chef and author who highlighted it in the first episode of the Netflix series based on her popular book “Salt Fat Acid Heat.” Alas, not all of us can gently pound out a pesto in a mortar and pestle next to an authentic Italian nonna on a Ligurian hillside in the slanting afternoon sunlight.

A girl can dream, right?

Still, as beautiful and satisfying as a handmade pesto is, your food processor in your ordinarily lit kitchen can do the job — and do it well.

In searching for a recipe, I didn’t want to stray too far from the classic pesto, which is made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano and/or pecorino cheese. I’ve never been the biggest pine nut fan, and unless you get a good source, what you find at your typical grocery store can leave something to be desired (and the metallic taste that affects some people after eating them).

Over the years, I’ve experimented with a variety of other nuts, including walnuts, pecans and probably hazelnuts. But never cashews, which is why this particular recipe caught my attention. As you would expect, the cashews lend a delightful creaminess and thickness that is, in my book, an acceptable departure from tradition. The texture makes this pesto great for so much more than pasta, including a sandwich spread, a dip (perhaps mixed with yogurt or ricotta), the base of a salad dressing or a coating for roasted, sauteed or grilled vegetables. Depending on what you’d like to use it for, thin with olive oil or water as needed. If you’re making pasta, hold on to some of the starchy water you boiled it in.

This is a pretty garlic-forward recipe, so you can decrease the number of cloves if you’re especially sensitive to the raw stuff. We also liked the brightness imparted by a generous squeeze of lemon juice, which tempered the richer cashews beautifully.

You might say we went nuts for it, and you’d be right.

Basil-Cashew Pesto

15 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Cashews give this pesto a rich creaminess. The recipe can be doubled easily.

This is good for pasta, of course, and also as a last-minute stir-in for sauteed vegetables.

Make Ahead: The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 8 months.

Adapted from a recipe by Laura Genello, a food and farm enthusiast now on the staff of Great Kids Farm serving Baltimore.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium cloves garlic
  • Generous pinch coarse kosher salt
  • About 5 ounces basil leaves (4 cups)
  • About 5 ounces (1 cup) raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 generous tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
  • Water (optional)

Steps

Combine the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle; mash to form a coarse paste. Alternately, process the garlic and salt in a food processor until the garlic is finely chopped.

Rinse the basil leaves well, transferring them to a food processor without drying them; the extra moisture is needed for the mix. Add the cashews, sesame seeds, lemon juice, Parm and the garlic paste. Puree to achieve the desired consistency.

With the motor running, gradually add the oil to form an emulsified pesto. Taste, and add water (for consistency) or more salt, as needed. Transfer to a container; if you are not using the pesto right away, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on its surface before sealing and storing.

The nutritional analysis is based on a 1-tablespoon serving.

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XFL reaches multiyear agreement with ESPN and Fox

Denver Post Local News - 7 hours 38 min ago

The XFL has reached multiyear agreements with ESPN and Fox Sports to broadcast its games beginning in 2020.

The league also announced Monday that its season will start Feb. 8, the weekend after the NFL season ends with the Super Bowl.

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This is the second time Vince McMahon has launched a football league. The first version of the XFL lasted one season in 2001 — joint venture of WWE and NBC.

All 43 XFL games — 40 regular season, three playoffs — will be televised with 24 on ABC or Fox. The remainder will air on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2.

The eight-team league has set its schedule with most games on Saturday and Sunday. ESPN will show the championship game April 26.

The XFL will have teams in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington.

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2 sex offenders with gang ties escape from Lookout Mountain facility in Golden

Denver Post Local News - 7 hours 41 min ago

Two sex offenders with gang ties, including one deemed a violent sex offender, escaped from the Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center early Monday morning by breaking a window and using sheets to climb down to a dumpster, authorities say.

Provided by Golden policeJavier Madera, left, and Emilio Dominguez

Javier Madera, 19, who has a skull tattoo on his right forearm, and Emilio Dominguez, 17, who has “King” tattooed on his right hand, fled the youth detention facility between midnight a 1 a.m., according to Karlyn Tilley, Golden police spokeswoman.

Dominguez, who has been classified as a violent sex offender, is 5-feet-9 and weighs 182 pounds. The Denver resident also has a tattoo of roses and his last name, Dominguez, tattooed on his right arm, Tilly’s news release says. Dominguez has also been charged with witness intimidation, the news release says.

Madera, a Commerce City resident, is 5-feet-10 and weighs 147 pounds.

A correctional officer last saw the two detention center residents between midnight and 1 a.m. when he let the pair, who are roommates, go to the bathroom, Tilley said.

A Golden police officer did a routine perimeter check at 2:21 a.m. but did not see anything unusual.  When the officer did another check at 5:20 a.m., the officer saw a dumpster turned on its side and sheets hanging out of a window on the second floor on the northwest side of the building.  A window was also broken out.

If anyone sees the escapees they are to call 911 and not approach them, Tilley said.

A riot involving eight Lookout Mountain residents broke out Thursday evening in a housing unit call Cedar Lodge. Two teenagers were believed to have sparked the riot in which 11 staff members received minor injuries. The cause of the riot is under investigation.

It isn’t clear whether the two sex offenders had anything to do with the riot.

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Denver weather: Thunderstorms on the way, snow possible Wednesday

Denver Post Local News - 8 hours 38 min ago

Thunderstorms and rain showers are expected to increase through the day on Monday as a cold front streams into Denver, forecasters say.

The high temperature will be around 65 degrees in Denver, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Morning low clouds & patchy fog, then scattered showers & storms this afternoon through tonight. Strongest storms will be found south. #cowx pic.twitter.com/XqgYf7AIC9

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) May 6, 2019

There’s a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 5 p.m. Northeasterly winds of between 8 to 11 mph are expected. The chance for rain and thunderstorms will increase to 40 percent Monday night, the NWS says.

Temperatures will drop on Tuesday, when the chance for rain increases to 50 percent, the NWS says. The high temperature on Tuesday is expected to reach about 58.

Rain showers are likely Tuesday night. Thunderstorms are also possible, forecasters say.

The high temperature on Wednesday will only be around 46 degrees. Morning rain showers are likely, with thunderstorms and rain expected in the afternoon after 3 p.m., the NWS says.

A mix of rain and snow are possible late Wednesday night. Snow is expected after midnight on Thursday morning, forecasters say. The chance for precipitation is 60 percent, the NWS says.

Snow is expected through the rush hour Thursday morning. A mix of rain and snow is likely between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, the NWS says.

The high temperature on Thursday will be around 44 degrees. The low temperature will be around 34 degrees Thursday night, the NWS says.

It will get a bit warmer on Friday, with a high of around 57 degrees.

There’s a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms on Saturday, when the high temperature is expected to be 60 degrees, the NWS says.

At last, on Sunday, it will be mostly sunny, with a high near 67 degrees.

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Legal sports betting and TABOR refund question are coming to Colorado ballots this fall

Denver Post Local News - 9 hours 24 min ago

Colorado lawmakers have finished their work for the year, but they’ve also created some work for state residents: In the final week, the General Assembly voted to put measures on the November ballot that would legalize sports betting and permanently eliminate TABOR taxpayer refunds.

They are two big questions, both of which would raise money for the state, and it’s entirely possible that more measures will find their way onto the ballot before fall.

“This is the Colorado we live in,” House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver, told reporters. “Voters are conditioned to be asked these tough questions. They get mail-in ballots and they spend their time. We have one of the most deliberative electorates in the country, and so we’ll see.”

Not on the ballot: Gov. Jared Polis’ proposed vaping tax and a transportation bond measure the legislature passed in 2018 that’s now postponed until 2020.

Here’s more about the two issues that will be on the ballot:

Sports betting

House Bill 1327 creates the framework for the casinos in Colorado’s mountain towns to open a limited number of in-person sports books to bet on the outcome of games and individual plays as well as create mobile applications that can accept bets from anywhere in the state. The ballot question will ask voters in November whether they want to tax this new industry at 10 percent of its net proceeds starting in May 2020.

RELATED: Colorado lawmakers passed a bill asking to keep extra TABOR money. Here’s how it would work.

“Coloradans should have the option of betting on the Nuggets in the playoffs or the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup,” Garnett said. “I am confident voters will pass this measure.”

The bipartisan bill sailed through both chambers in the final weeks of session, but it did have a handful of opponents who thought that bets should be capped at $100, racetracks should be allowed to open sports books and Coloradans should vote on adding sports betting the way Amendment 50 added craps to casinos in 2008.

Read more about the sports betting bill by clicking here

TABOR refunds

The other question lawmakers decided to ask voters deals with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR.

The amendment says governments have to return all tax dollars they collect above an amount set by a formula that gets calculated each year. Lawmakers are asking voters for permission to basically remove that cap on taxes collected by the state — a move known as “de-Brucing.”

Those taxpayer dollars, if voters let lawmakers keep them, would be split evenly among K-12 education, higher education and transportation, according to another bill lawmakers passed.

“There is a broad, bipartisan coalition behind this measure,” House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder, said. “Colorado’s state budget should be able to grow with the economy so we can invest in our future.”

Only one GOP lawmaker voted for it as the bill worked its way through both chambers. They tried unsuccessfully to change the ballot question from a one-time ask to an annual question.

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“It should trouble all Coloradans that the majority would attempt to keep more taxpayer money instead of being fiscally responsible when year after year we have seen billion-dollar increases in the budget annually,” Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs, said.

Estimates vary on how much money this ballot question would keep in state coffers. The economic forecast adopted by the lawmakers who write the state’s budget predicts no TABOR refunds for the next two fiscal years.

“This is not an answer to all of Colorado’s fiscal problems,” Becker said. “But it’s a strong step in making sure our fiscal policy supports our way of life.”

Read more about the TABOR ballot question by clicking here

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PHOTOS: Summer Stargazing in Colorado

Denver Post Local News - 9 hours 24 min ago

Although stars are visible year-round throughout Colorado, is there a better time to view them than in the summer? The state is home to five International Dark Sky Places, with Dinosaur
National Monument having joined the ranks in April. Such a designation is reserved for the best places in the world to view stars without light pollution. But even spots that don’t hold the title are worth gawking from. There are ample locations — from Crested Butte to Keota — to gaze skyward this summer and wonder.

Check out the photos on The Know Outdoors.

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San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche: Three keys for Game 6

Denver Post Local News - 9 hours 25 min ago
Three keys for the Avs

Power up. The Avs are 4-1 when scoring a power-play goal in the postseason, and 2-3 when they don’t. They were 0-of-3 in Saturday’s Game 5 and failed to convert on the first opportunity after the game’s first penalty — a high-stick by Timo Meier that negated an apparent San Jose goal. Scoring at that time could have shifted all the momentum Colorado’s way. Most teams still playing aren’t scoring much with the man-advantage, but it’s almost always a secret of success and the Avs need to capitalize Monday with their season on the line.

Keep them in check. San Jose’s defensemen — particularly all-stars Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns — led too many end-to-end rushes with their skating and passing in Game 5. The Avalanche needs to ramp up the physical game on those two, making them pay by finishing checks after they distribute the puck. If Karlsson and Burns know they’re going to get hit on every shift, they’re more likely to get rid of the puck quicker, and Colorado doesn’t want the puck in their hands.

MacKinnon factor. Nathan MacKinnon had his worst game of the playoffs in Game 5. He couldn’t contain Tomas Hertl from scoring the gritty game-winning goal and MacKinnon had zero shots through two periods and just one for the game. MacKinnon could be the best remaining player in the playoffs and he needs to again show that in order for the Avalanche to force Game 7.

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