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Panorama: Mile-High Headlines for Thursday, August 7

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Obama Tickets Hottest Thing Since the Rockies There’s no truth to the rumor that the Democrats have turned to the Colorado Rockies and Irvine, California-based Paciolan Inc. for help distributing 75,000 tickets to Barack Obama’s presidential acceptance speech at Invesco Field later this month. About half the tickets will go to Coloradans, and key officials praised the plan for that reason, including Governor Bill Ritter, who was “delighted” at “such a large portion,” according to the Denver Business Journal. The plan was announced yesterday afternoon. All Coloradans have to do for a shot at scoring tickets is sign up here for a “community credential” or call 888-468-7404 (TTY: 720-362-2208). Fears of a Mile-High meltdown, on par with the famed Rockies championship-series ticket fiasco, are already starting to surface. As one Westword blog headline puts it, “What’s the Word That Usually Goes With ‘Cluster’?” No pushing! And good luck. Judge Sides With Secret Service and Denver on Security Plan Denver officials and the Secret Service don’t have to budge one inch on their planned security restrictions for the Pepsi Center during the Democratic National Convention, which is now less than three weeks away. Activists who plan to descend on the streets en masse argued, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, that delegates would not be able to hear them because parade routes end blocks from the arena and a designated protest area sits in a parking lot about two football fields away. But federal Judge Marcia Krieger wrote that security plans are “narrowly tailored to serve important governmental interests,” according to The Denver Post. Meanwhile, the 50,000-foot “freedom cage” in the Pepsi Center’s Lot A might just turn into a crash pad for tens of thousands of young, bleary-eyed, Red-Bull-riled protesters planning to errect a tent town in City Park. The self-described “Tent Staters” have been told repeatedly by Denver officials they will be kicked out of the park at 11 p.m. each night because of curfew laws, leaving an organizer dumbfounded and telling the Post, “We’ll feign sleep.”

Former Denver Post Managing Editor Ain’t Too Pleased With the Lack of ‘Burbs Stories Joe H. Bullard, a former managing editor for The Denver Post, notes that newspapers are struggling like hell to keep readers, reinventing themselves by re-focusing their newsrooms on everything local. But that’s not the case in Denver, Bullard writes in an essay that appears on veteran newspaperman/new media adventurer Alan D. Mutter’s blog, Reflections of a Newsosaur. Both the Post and the Rocky Mountain News do “a horrible job of reporting anything that occurs outside of the city and county of Denver,” Bullard writes. His solutions sound draconian: Firing editors, liberating reporters from desks and sending them to cover their neighborhoods with laptops and digital cameras, ideas to keep deadbeat scribes accountable, and so forth. The Colorado Independent takes a jab at Bullard’s piece, noting, for instance, that he doesn’t mention the rise of those oddly popular, watchdoggish, small suburban newspapers. Think you have all the answers? First test your knowledge of the newspaper industry at Editor & Publisher magazine. Army Proud (And Snubbed): Keith Eastin Okay folks. Now listen. Be calm. Army Undersecretary Keith Eastin just wants to expand Fort Carson’s training grounds into your fine ranchland by about 100,000 acres, which is much less than the 418,00 he originally wanted. “We’re not going to take your land, but if you want to sell it, we want to talk to you,” Eastin said yesterday in Trinidad, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. And it was almost sad. Eastin made the remarks practically alone, in a large hall, just after a rowdy group of ranchers shouted at him and other Army officials. 
 “I’m not for sale,” Abel Benevides, whose land sits in the area the Army is eying, told officials. “It’s over. Go home,” another rancher told Eastin before leading a large group out of the meeting. Ranchers were really irked by the fact that Eastin showed up despite a push by Representatives John Salazar, a Democrat, and Marilyn Musgrave, a Republican, to continue a ban on the sale of land in the region into 2009. Wild Dogs Roam the Range; Not the “Fuzzy, Cuddly” Type A tight-knit pack of wild dogs roam the wind-ravaged plains in an unremitting search for fissures in the fences that separate civilization from wild Colorado 20 miles east of Colorado Springs. The dogs strike! There is a blood-curdling noise. Barking. Maybe some howling. A cow is missing and the ravenous bunch retreats to some hazy horizon, their bellies full. “These are animals that have ripped livestock to death and have eaten them alive,” Amy Lathen tells The Denver Post, clearly shaken, adding that the feral brutes even terrorized her by surrounding her car and barking their heads off in remote Ellicott. Perhaps they sensed that Lathen was a politician, an El Paso County commissioner no less, poised to join other county officials in giving federal agents the green light to set traps, even shoot the dogs, if necessary. As Lathen says, these are “not your fuzzy, cuddly dogs.” Rockies Rained Out; Got Hernandez It didn’t seem possible. The Rockies were rained out on the same day they agreed to terms to acquire pitcher Livan Hernandez from the Minnesota Twins. To be clear, what didn’t seem possible was all the rain–1.29 inches–a record-setting amount for August 6 in Denver, according to the National Weather Service. As for Hernandez, Colorado got him for $1.6 million and didn’t even have to give up a player, according to The Denver Post. The All-American Coloradan Lopez Lomon, a Sudanese athlete who came to Colorado Springs to escape the violence in his homeland, has been given the honor of bearing the American flag as the U.S. Olympic contingent enters Beijing’s 90,000-seat Bird’s Nest Stadium on Friday night. Lomon, a 1,500-meter track runner, has been a U.S. citizen for a mere 13 months, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. This Doesn’t Change Anything, But… Four U.S. Olympic cyclists, including Colorado’s Mike Friedman, quickly offered sincere apologies for arriving at Beijing’s airport wearing masks to protect their pink and perfect lungs from the gruesome air that Chinese officials are temporarily addressing by shutting down industrial factories and sending workers home. (Appearances, appearances.) Though a U.S. official says the cyclists were “very eager” about apologizing, U.S. Olympic overseers will not prevent American athletes from masking up if they so choose, according to several news sources, including Agence France-Presse wire. Videodose: Focus on the Family’s Stuart Shepard wants people to pray for rain, rain, and more rain until Barack Obama’s big speech at Invesco Field at Mile High during the Democratic National Convention this month is a complete and utter washout. Obama’s stand on abortion inspired Shepard’s snide jab, which, of course, he’d take absolutely no credit for, as he outlines in this video. Instead, God would get all the credit. Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.71, Western Convenience, 1650 S. Chambers Road in Aurora. (via www.gasbuddy.com). Weather Today: Even cooler, possible storms 76 high/60 low Weather Tomorrow: Possible storms 87 high/61 low Enjoy what you’re reading? Starting August 18, Panorama will be available as an e-newsletter. Sign up now, and receive our Mile-High headlines each weekday morning via email. Send headline tips to [email protected].

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