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Panorama: Bail Bait

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Mile-High Headlines for Thursday, October 2

Bail Away
Colorado’s two senators, Democrat Ken Salazar and Republican Wayne Allard, were split during yesterday’s 74-25 passage of a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street. The bill now goes back to the House of Representatives, where it was defeated earlier this week. Salazar voted for the measure and Allard against, according to the Denver Business Journal, which noted the bill was “sweetened” with $150 million in tax breaks. Senators also temporarily increased the amount of bank deposits covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to $250,000, up from $100,000, according to The New York Times. Both presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain voted for the measure, but that didn’t soothe ordinary Coloradans, who “expressed worry, confusion and anxiety,” writes The Denver Post. Meanwhile, “gone are the days when the US could go into debt with abandon, without considering who would end up footing the bill. And gone are the days when it could impose its economic rules of engagement on the rest of the world…” according to Germany’s Der Spiegel.

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Swinging Through the Swing State
Four years ago, Democratic Senator John Kerry lost Colorado to President George W. Bush by roughly 100,000 votes. Back then, Republicans had a voter-registration advantage of about 150,000 voters. Today, the gap for Dems is “substantially” smaller, according to the Rocky Mountain News, as Bush’s popularity has tanked. Senator John McCain, trailing by a point in the state, based on the latest Ciruli Associates poll, will be in Denver today and then in Pueblo on Friday. Yesterday, Michelle Obama was in Boulder, speaking to a crowd of about 8,500, urging them to vote for her husband (see video via the Rocky Mountain News). There are more than 170,000 unregistered youth voters across Colorado, according to the Boulder Daily Camera and Michelle Obama sought to connect with them by mentioning, for instance, that her husband only recently finished paying off his student loans–after his books became best sellers.Smile, You’re On Camera
In 2005, London’s underground subway used its 6,000 cameras to identify four suicide bombers who killed at least 55 people. USA Today reported the development back then as support for the proliferation of surveillance cameras in cities around the world. Since then, cameras have popped up everywhere terrorists might, including Denver, quadrupling in town because of the Democratic National Convention, according to The Denver Post. Sixty-three cameras now watch over Denver, and police recently used them to spot a drug deal around Civic Center, resulting in seven arrests. There’s more to come. The cameras have a range of about a city block, with excellent zoom clarity and recording capabilities. Under a new proposal, they could be monitored by civilian employees so officers aren’t off the street. City Councilman Doug Linkhart is among the critics who have voiced privacy concerns. Mark Silverstein, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, said “There is something terribly invasive about police employees watching us with sophisticated cameras.”

Some Mind Being Mined
State casinos want voters to pass Amendment 50, which would increase the limit of a single bet for craps and roulette from $5 to $100. But an old cash game for Colorado, mining is causing a new controversy in Cripple Creek, one of three touristy gambling towns with a mining history. When a company proposed to strip-mine “the most prominent ridge in the area, Cripple Creek’s loyalty was tested,” according to The Los Angeles Times. The town, like others throughout Colorado and the West, is in the midst of the biggest mining boom in three decades. The number of claims on federal lands has doubled since 2004, and gold prices have risen from $400 an ounce to nearly $900. Other communities have fewer qualms: Leadville “has cheered the reopening of the long-shuttered Climax mine,” writes the Times. Still, the boom is fueling conflict, with environmentalists and residents leading the opposition. In Crested Butte, locals are flying Tibetan prayer flags to protest plans for a mine in a mountain basin.

Booze Baggin’ It
Leave it to the fine students at the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus to bring an entirely new meaning to the phrase “booze bag.” As the Colorado Daily reports during homecoming week, there’s now a rubber flask that students can strap around their stomachs under their clothing–a potential “secret contribution” to partying and tailgating. Moreover, the $12.95, 750-milliliter Booze Belly was developed by the home team: Leeds School of Business grads Peter Tanoury and Peter Engler. “In spite of the potentially controversial nature of the product, Tanoury said he hopes to see the Booze Belly become successful at CU and in college towns across the country,” the Daily writes. Cubicle dwellers take heart. There’s something for the relentless alcoholic in you, too: $2 Pocket Shots, which slip nicely into a breast pocket or purse, earning honors from Wired Magazine as the “Most Dangerous Object in the Office Recently.”

Nuggets: A Little Big Help, Please
Denver Nuggets’ center Nene was thinking a bit like a general manager yesterday, noting his team needs “one more big man,” according to the Rocky Mountain News. Many Nuggets’ watchers share the concern following the recent trade of 6-foot-11-inch Marcus Camby and the departure of 6-foot-8-inch Eduardo Najera. Though Nene, 6-foot-11-inch, would love such help, the “Nuggets most likely will enter the season with what they’ve got,” according to the Rocky, leaving it to be seen how the team will match up against taller squads, such as Phoenix, featuring Shaquille O’Neal, 7-foot-1-inch, and Amare Stoudemire, 6-foot-10-inch.

Former Broncos Running Back Busted
In just one year Travis Henry went from being the National Football League’s leading rusher to facing drug charges after being busted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to USA Today’s Game On! blog. “Travesty” Henry was arrested Tuesday with an accomplice in a cocaine sting in Centennial, according to The Denver Post. A detention and bail hearing is set for October 6.

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Audiodose: With several opposing measures on the ballot pertaining to labor and business, Tom Hacker, editor of the Northern Colorado Business Report, says the relationship between employers and their workers may be changing (via KUNC).

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.26, Western Convenience, 10515 South Parker Road (via www.gasbuddy.com).

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