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Panorama: Mile-High Headlines for Tuesday, August 5

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No Evolution in the Ritter Revolution Ever since Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, opined in the Washington Post last week that Bill Ritter would be a “revolutionary” choice for Democratic vice president, the governor has been talking about how much he loves Colorado. Nobody ever said he didn’t–at least in this context. But lately Ritter has been in aw-shucks mode, downplaying the notion that Barack Obama might take a closer look at little ol’ him. During his monthly appearance on Mike Rosen’s 850 KOA radio show yesterday, Ritter reiterated what his office told 5280.com on Friday: that Obama’s campaign hasn’t contacted him and that he is quite happy to be Colorado’s governor. Ritter added that whomever Obama chooses, it is “not going to be me.” On the other hand, Rosen didn’t press Ritter to categorically say whether he would say “yes” or “no” in the seeming unlikely event that Obama makes the offer. Historic “Non-Pooliferation Treaty” Offered Groups planning to protest during the Democratic National Convention have signed a “Doo Doo Accord,” promising not to use their own poop and urine as weapons against police. The groups, Recreate 68, Unconventional Denver, and the Alliance for Real Democracy, offered the concession to the City Council last night, hoping to prevent the passage of an ordinance banning people from carrying noxious items like buckets of human waste during protests, but council passed the new law anyway, according to the Denver Daily News. The ordinance also makes it illegal for people to carry items like chains and padlocks if the intent is to use them to obstruct streets, as police fear protesters may do. Westword stepped into the stink, advocating that people sign the accord if they want an excrement-less convention, and the Rocky moved quickly to other stories on the feces beat, getting the poop scoop on the pesky pigeons in Civic Center Park, writing that “no head is safe, no shoulder is immune, no uncovered cup of coffee can get cocky because at any moment, one of these perpetual defecation machines can strike.” Enough of this crap. Let’s move on.

Authorities Prepare for Massive Demonstrations The Secret Service doesn’t like to discuss threats against the people they protect, but because presumed Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama is left-of-center and black “there are special worries,” according to The New York Times. Officials, the newspaper reports, have “expressed concern about low-level chatter on websites frequented by white separatists who spew hate about Mr. Obama’s race and what they perceive as his liberal agenda.” The Times also notes that agencies, which fear nefarious individuals may infiltrate peaceful protest groups, are staking out their turf in preparation for massive protests. For example, there was “a brief flare-up” between the FBI and Secret Service when each wanted to patrol the skies with their surveillance aircraft, harboring infrared cameras. “The issue was resolved in favor of the Secret Service, according to people briefed on the matter,” the Times writes. The Death of Chandler Grafner Prosecutors in the ongoing trial of Jon Phillips continued painting a disturbing and sad picture of seven-year-old Chandler Grafner’s last days. Phillips, Chandler’s father, is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse after allegedly starving his son to death last year. Yesterday, jurors heard that Chandler’s little brother, Dominic Phillips, told a detective that Chandler was kept in a closet day and night with no food, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Dominic told Denver detective Ken Klaus that his “mommy and daddy put Chandler in the closet because he was being really bad.” Dominic said Chandler sometimes had to defecate “in his hand” and would rub “it all over the walls of the closet,” adding that his brother urged him to bring food. But Dominic wouldn’t, explaining, “I don’t want to get into trouble.” More arguments, including the defense, are expected in coming days. The case should go to the jury by the middle of next week, according to Fox31 reporter Julie Hayden. Hours of Fire Coverage: Everything’s Okay Today, Folks After hour upon relentless hour of uninterrupted coverage by Denver television news teams, the fire on Green Mountain, which came precariously close to homes and blackened a 300-acre chunk of grassy open space, is over. The fire, which prompted evacuation lasting several hours, was completely contained by 9:30 p.m. In the end, the siding of one house and some fences in the area were damaged, according to 9News. At one point, sheriff’s deputies blocked the entrance to the Sixth Avenue Estates neighborhood and ordered families to a shelter at Jefferson County Fairgrounds, according to 7News. Yet many homeowners pulled out garden hoses to battle the flames themselves. The hot, dry weather was to blame. Denver, which is expected to finally break the record-setting 23-day string of 90-plus-degree days today, is on track for its driest year in history, according to Examiner.com. CSU Women’s Volleyball A Fave; Buffs Football Starts Practice A panel of coaches and media representatives believe that Colorado State University women’s volleyball, the defending Mountain West Conference champion, will repeat this year, according to CBS Sports. The Rams received 125 points in the survey, dwarfing the closest rival, Utah State University, which received a paltry 95 points. Meanwhile, the University of Colorado Buffs football squad practices for the first time today, according to the Colorado Daily. Cody Hawkins returns as the starting quarterback, hoping to improve upon last year, when he set the freshman record for touchdown passes. Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.71, Safeway, 22771 E. Aurora Pkwy. (via www.gasbuddy.com). Weather Today: Possible storms and 85 high/61 low Weather Tomorrow: Possible storms 88 high/60 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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