Panorama: Catholic League Protests DNC Bloggers, Ethics Questions at the Children's Hospital, and More

August 20 2008, 12:21 PM

Mile-High Headlines for Wednesday, August 20 Catholic League Prez Calls Out Two DNC-Credentialed Blogs Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, an organization that defends the "right of Catholics to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination," is protesting two of the 120 blogs that are credentialed to cover the Democratic National Convention. Though Donohue characterizes the lefter-than-thou Daily Kos as "radical," the ones that really get him roiled are Bitch Ph.D., a site that rails against Catholic beliefs, and Towleroad, which has "homosexual tendencies," according to a press release. Donohue doesn't appreciate Bitch Ph.D.'s rantings on Jesus Christ. As for Towleroad, it has depicted men in jock straps and underwear and puts down Pope Benedict XVI. Donohue wants the DNC to yank credentials for both blogs. Should those bloggers be allowed to come anyway, they'll likely marvel at The Big Tent, ProgressNow's two-story, 8,000-square-foot headquarters for hundreds of bloggers, according to The Wall Street Journal. Get this: Bloggers will not only get workspaces and couches; they'll also be provided Google-sponsored massages, smoothies, and candy. A Rapid-Fire Look at the DNC When thousands of delegates arrive in Denver for the Democratic National Convention next week, they'll be carrying transportation vouchers that they can give to cab drivers. Yeah, right, say the cabbies, who worry they won't be paid, according to the Rocky Mountain News, which quotes some Dems telling the drivers, essentially, "trust us." ... City Park's fountain has been restored to its multicolored, illuminated, 1908 DNC self. The new fountain made its debut last night amid much fanfare and gushing, according to The Denver Post... Those plastic key cards are just bad for the environment and won't do for the everything-will-be-green DNC, which is cooperating with 90 hotels throughout Denver to provide cards made from sustainably-harvested birch wood, according to the Denver Business Journal, which notes more than 70,000 cards were donated by Sustainable Cards of Boulder. ... As for DNC protesters, here's what you should do if your assembly is suddenly deemed unlawful and ordered to disperse, according to 5280.com's Jeralyn Merritt... Be careful about where you adjust your undies; someone might be watching and laughing. Private security companies are installing cameras--400 and counting--all over Denver as the DNC approaches, according to CBS4 News. ... And, a drumroll please: Former President Jimmy Carter and former Vice President Al Gore, a.k.a. the Greenmeister, will speak at the convention, according to The Denver Post.

Some Heart Donations at Children's Hospital on Shaky Ethical Ground A crack team of intensive care doctors at the Denver Children's Hospital reported this month that they had successfully conducted heart transplants in three infants, causing, as Salon.com puts it, "quite a stir because the medical team, in the eyes of some ethicists, crossed the accepted boundary between life and death." The doctors published a report in the New England Journal of Medicine stating that they removed hearts from dead children and transplanted them into children with severe congenital heart disease, according to Salon. Here's the rub: Though the standard medical practice is to wait two to five minutes before removing a donor's organs, the doctors acted after 75 seconds, a violation of the "dead-donor rule" that requires a declaration of death before an organ can be donated. In short, a donor's heart might theoretically begin beating on its own. Yet that rule is harder to apply to the infants who provided the hearts, and so far "the practice has been a success" for the children receiving the hearts, writes Salon, in a debate that seems to be working itself out with consenting parents. Boulder Just Not Diverse Enough for City Manager Candidate When Tom Barwin returned home to Oak Park, Illinois, after interviewing in Boulder for the city manager's job, he told a local Oak Park newspaper newspaper that it was like "visiting another planet." Barwin flew out to Boulder this month for what the Daily Camera calls a "grueling series of public interviews." He didn't get the job, but Barwin says he probably wouldn't have taken the $180,000-a-year position if the city offered it to him. Yes, Boulder is "beautiful and the climate was nice," he tells the Oak Park paper, "but I think I counted six people of color in three days." Barwin, who is white, also didn't much care for the long-winded nature of the city council, which comprises the city manager's nine elected bosses. Jane Brautigam, the city manager of Dublin, Ohio, got the job in the end. She starts in October. Meanwhile Boulder Deputy Mayor Crystal Gray is taking Barwin's comments "with a grain of salt," according to the Camera. Don't Let the Garage Door Hit Your Butt on the Way Out Vince Chowdhury's difficult days in politics are over. The embattled Jefferson County School Board member announced yesterday that he would resign, a decision that follows his guilty plea to misdemeanor assault for slapping his teenage daughter, according to The Denver Post. Earlier this month, Chowdhury was a candidate for state Legislature but decided he didn't want to be considered even though his name remained on the ballot. He admits he "lost it" on June 17, when his daughter took too long to open the garage as he waited in the car, according to the Post. Chowdhury says it is in the "interest of his family" to resign. Recall organizers at the school were glad to hear the news. A Movement to Lower the Drinking Age Though it is illegal for people to consume alcohol before the age of 21, they do it anyway but in less safe situations, such as parties with with funnel-and-tube contraptions and trash cans full of potluck hooch. That's the "reality" that John McCardell, the former president of Middlebury College in Vermont, wants to confront as leader of the Amethyst Initiative, which seeks to nurture responsible adult drinkers by lowering the drinking age to 18, according to National Public Radio. The initiative, named for the ancient Greek purple gem that wards off tipsiness, is reaching out to universities around the country for support and finding it in places such as Duke and Dartmouth universities. The University of Colorado, the nation's Number 13 "party school," according to The Princeton Review, could add its name to the list today, 9News reports, but university spokesman Bronson Hilliard thinks it is "safe to say we need a lot of convincing that this is the right way to go." Carmelo Says U.S. Team Has Golden Touch Four years ago, the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony promised a gold medal for the U.S. Olympic basketball team. Didn't happen. Now Anthony can "sense redemption" in Beijing, according to the Rocky Mountain News, and believes that, come Sunday, the team will stand atop the podium with that medal, earning their fourth gold in 15 Olympic tournaments. "After '04, we were at the lowest point as far as USA Basketball was concerned," Anthony said. "We were at the bottom for us." But Anthony says the remaining games are winnable and that he senses a "360." Skiers to Get Incentives to Keep Coming Last season saw a record number of skiers. After all, the powder was really good. Who knows whether the snow will be as good this year? One thing is certain: Gas prices are higher, but Colorado Ski Country USA, the industry's trade association, wants to make sure the skiers keep coming, so it has announced a series of incentives. Rentals should be easier, and out-of-state skiers who fly into the state might be able to avoid new baggage fees for bringing their own gear or get gift cards and discounts, according to the Summit Daily News. Videodose: The Reverend Jesse Jackson sits behind a desk for a long, one-sided chat with the Rocky Mountain News in this video. Senator Barack Obama brings the history of the civil rights movement full circle, Jackson says, adding that it is "sad that much of that journey isn't being depicted by current media coverage of the campaign," the paper writes. Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.62, Sinclair, 2101 S. Holly St. (via www.gasbuddy.com). E-mail relevant articles to [email protected]

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