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Panorama: Debate and Flinch

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Mile-High Headlines for Tuesday, October 7

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Udall-Schaffer Face Off
U.S. Senate candidates Mark Udall and Bob Schaffer were respectively cool and hot last night during a 9News debate at the University of Denver. Udall, the Democrat, was “laid-back and conciliatory,” and Schaffer, the Republican, “came out firey and attacking,” according to the Rocky Mountain News. The two men competing to replace retiring Republican Wayne Allard predictably diverged on many issues, including drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and tax cuts for the wealthy. But they agreed when it came to the controversial $700 billion Wall Street bailout. Schaffer is against it and Udall, a U.S. representative, voted “no” against the bill twice last week. And–as a side note–Karen Allard Campbell, a relative of both Allard and former Colorado U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, announced that although she’s a “proud Republican,” she’d rather see Udall replace her Uncle Wayne, according to The Hill, which notes her differences with Schaffer on social issues such as abortion.

The Bailout and Your Retirement
On its first official post-bailout workday, Wall Street still showed signs of trauma, as the Dow Jones tumbled below the 10,000-point mark for the first time in four years. The New York Times notes, “Three days after the plan was approved, it looks like a pebble tossed into a churning sea.” The Bush administration’s bailout has done “little to reassure investors,” including in Europe, where banks began to fail and contend with “panicky” withdrawals. Closer to home, an attorney for the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement System submitted a statement to a House panel noting that everyone with a retirement account is “facing life changing adjustments” (via The Denver Post). On the “Today Show on Monday, “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer said market investors who need cash in the next five years should pull it out “this week.” Even the Pope is waxing theosophical on the coming financial Armageddon, saying, according to Britain’s Times: ”He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career and money builds the house of his life on sand.” Worried about your bank? Check its ratings here (via the Post).

The Bison Kill
Last winter was a tough one for Monte Downare, after his bison herd roamed from his South Park ranch onto Jeffrey Scott Hawn’s property. Hawn, a 45-year-old Texan, who oversees a $400 million global software company in Seattle, was outraged and allegedly hired hunters to slay the stray bison last March. Hawn, accused of killing two of the bison himself, was offered a plea bargain by prosecutors yesterday in a Fairplay courtroom, according to the Rocky Mountain News, although the terms were not revealed. Thirty-two bison, valued at $77,000, were killed, but Hawn has filed a lawsuit accusing Downare of allowing the bison to trample fences. Downare says Hawn’s fences were already in bad repair, damaged by elk, antelope, and snow drifts during “one of the snowiest” years in three decades, writes The Associated Press.

Memogate
The liberal Colorado Democracy Alliance is using nefarious and elitist strategies, according to a “CONFIDENTIAL” memo obtained by Face the State. Marked with phrases such as “Imbedded Media Ops,” the memo was a list of “operatives” working toward Democratic victories in 2006, and it outlined responsibilities, including a campaign to “educate the idiots,” a.k.a. the AFL-CIO union and plans to target “minorities, GED’s, drop-outs.” The Denver Post interviewed Isaac Smith, who claims he obtained the memo while working for a now-defunct think tank that shared downtown office space with the alliance. Smith, who says he’s politically unaffiliated, claims he was “hoping to sound the alarm” about the secrecy of the alliance, a group of 20 wealthy Colorado liberals who support “progressive” causes and politicians. The conservative Independence Institute is saluting Smith as a whistleblower, but Mark Grueskin, legal adviser for the alliance, practically called Smith a liar and says the memo is a forgery, according to the Post.

Colorado is Gradually Warming
Is it getting hot in Colorado or is it just you? Over the next four decades, the state’s average temperature is projected to rise by as many as four degrees, according to a new study commissioned by the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Summers will become hotter, snow in the mountains will melt earlier in the year, and stream flows in the Colorado River Basin could shrink by 5 to 20 percent. The Rocky Mountain News notes the report comes as state officials prepare a three-day drought conference, starting tomorrow. The theme of a warming climate will play heavily as state officials and water utilities have to “cope with water supplies that will be less predictable and, often, less abundant.” The study was completed by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Colorado State University. Lead author Andrea Ray of NOAA in Boulder said in a statement that “temperature increases alone will reduce our water supply by mid-century, even with no change in precipitation.”

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Henry in More Trouble
A federal cocaine charge against former Denver Broncos running back Travis Henry has been dismissed, but he’s not off the hook. In fact, he could be in even deeper trouble, facing more serious charges of drug trafficking between Colorado and Montana, according to The Denver Post. Henry and co-defendant James Mack were indicted in federal court in Denver on Monday. A magistrate set Mack’s bond at $10,000 and Henry’s at $400,000 because Henry allegedly threatened to kill people. Both men have been placed on electronic monitoring, meaning they can’t leave home without permission.

Bound For Eternal Fame
Rod Smith, the Denver Broncos’ all-time leading receiver, and Sonny Lubick, the Colorado State University football coach who guided his team to national respect, top the list of 2009 inductees to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, according to The Denver Post. The two retirees join former Colorado Rockies president and chairman Jerry McMorris; Colorado A&M’s (CSU) first African-American football player, John Mosley; hockey player and coach Ralph Backstrom; and volleyball coach Lo Hunter.

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.15, Western Convenience, 10515 South Parker Road (via www.gasbuddy.com).

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