Panorama: First Responders on Alert for DNC, McCain Drowning in Hot Colorado Water, and More

August 2008

Mile-High Headlines for Thursday, August 21 Police Told to Prepare for Tough Streets Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and others who will be on the streets during the Democratic National Convention next week are being told to prepare to contend with just about anything, providing a snapshot of potential conflicts with protesters. That's according to a "first responder alert" memo obtained by CBS4 reporter Brian Maass in this Rocky Mountain News story. Officers and others are being warned that cases of nails might be used to make "caltrops"--spikes that cause flat tires--"thereby blockading the street." Caltrops could also be thrown at first responders or harm dogs and horses, officers are told. Some "violent" protesters will use shields "as an assault weapon against the officers" and even "as a slashing weapon against the officers." Personnel should also be wary of large numbers of helmets, chest protectors, gas masks, metal pipes, and PVC piping, which can be used by protesters to lock themselves together in a "sleeping dragon" and "block intersections and building entrances." Even simple protest signs could be dangerous, officers have been warned. The DNC Headline Chase House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was at the Tattered Cover Book Store in LoDo yesterday to sign her book, "Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters," encouraging women to vote. After all, it has been 100 years since women first cast ballots in an election, according to CBS4, which covered the event. ... The post office is selling souvenir envelopes celebrating the DNC. The envelopes show Denver's skyline and the state's blue-and-white flag with a red "C" and yellow dot. Each envelope is $10, according to the Denver Business Journal. ... Weren't the Dems supposed to clean up all the corporate lobbying? The San Francisco Chronicle notes how a loophole allows Visa and U.S. Bank to host an event to honor the freshman class of House Democrats and AT&T to celebrate the conservative "Blue Dog" Dems. ... I25 will be closed for four hours during Barack Obama's acceptance speech, the Secret Service tells the Rocky Mountain News. "We're planning to start the closing of I-25 at 5 o'clock, and we're planning to start the reopening at 9 o'clock," says Malcolm Wiley, a Secret Service spokesman. (And you thought I wasn't going to mention Obama today.)

McCain Drowning in the Water Issue Someone throw John McCain a life preserver. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has been battered for recently telling The Pueblo Chieftain that a 1922 compact--which sends water from mountain states, including waterrific Colorado, to California, Nevada, and McCain's home state of Arizona--should be renegotiated. Colorado Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams, usually a deft spin doctor for the GOP, brandished brutal honesty, saying McCain could lose valuable votes in Colorado, according to Examiner.com. And Colorado U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, a Democrat, is outraged, saying McCain's proposal would "happen over my dead body." McCain responded by issuing a letter to Salazar and Colorado's other senator, Republican Wayne Allard, explaining that his comments were "mistakenly construed." Yet McCain still advocates cooperation and dialogue among the sprawling, water-thirsty states participating in the compact. Britain's Guardian hopped on the story, and the lefty ProgressNowAction is circulating an online petition to stop any potential effort. Xcel Shutting Down Coal Plants For the first time ever in the U.S. "a utility has volunteered, and regulators have approved, a plan to shut down power plants" because of toxic emissions linked to global warming. That's according to the Denver Business Journal, which writes that state regulators have approved Xcel Energy's plan to shut down two coal-fired plants, saying it will benefit public health. Xcel seeks to switch to natural gas to make up for the lost power, though that plan has yet to be approved, according to Power Engineering magazine. The magazine notes that the Cameo plant in Grand Junction is scheduled to close by December 2010 and the Arapahoe station plant in Denver would close by December 2012. Maybe Xcel is looking to cash in, you say? For all of you, here's a recent story by the Littleton Independent, noting that natural gas bills are climbing. Anchorman Bob Palmer, a Household Name, Dies at 77 Smooth and folksy. Reliable and trustworthy. That is how Bob Palmer, who died Tuesday night, is being remembered today. The anchorman, who spent decades on television in Denver, was 77. "He was 'Mr. Credible,'" Steve Keeney, owner of two local radio stations, tells The Denver Post. Palmer was a graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder and a longtime supporter of its journalism department. He started his career in 1963 and five years later joined KMGH, staying there for 14 years, before moving in 1982 to KCNC, now better known as CBS4. He retired in 1991. "He was the Walter Cronkite of Denver television--a pioneer broadcast journalist whose delivery was unmatchable and whose integrity was unassailable," CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard says in a statement. Stop the Helton "Has to Go" Talk. Just Stop It! Denver Post columnist Patrick Saunders has heard the "murmur growing from some of you Rockies fans." Yes. You all love Todd Helton. But he's 35 and has an injured back, probably out for the rest of the season, and still gets more than $16 million a year. That might be better spent elsewhere. You fans think, "Can't we find a way to get rid of him? But in a nice way?" Saunders adds that "Helton deserves a chance to return and reclaim his position. He deserves not to be thrown away." Indeed, he could heal. Patience. After all, on Tuesday a Rockies trainer was "upbeat" after receiving a back specialist's review of Helton, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Clavijo: Heave Ho the Rapids Go Fernando Clavijo is a fine soccer player but as coach of the Colorado Rapids... Well, on Tuesday, with a dismal tally of 40-49-25 into his fourth season, Clavijo returned to Commerce City from a family emergency in Uruguay only to say that his family still needs him and that he is leaving the team, according to The Denver Post. The Rapids are currently 7-10-3. Englishman Gary Smith, who has dabbled a bit in his homeland's leagues, is the interim coach as the Rapids travel to Washington to face D.C. United on Saturday. Videodose: CBS4 shares 40 years of classic news memories of legendary Denver anchorman Bob Palmer, who died Tuesday night at 77 years old. Pollster: Compared with other freshmen U.S. senators (from the class of 2004), Colorado's Ken Salazar isn't doing so hot. His approval rating is "solidly mediocre" at 39-36 percent, according to PolitickerCo.com. Does he deserve that rating? Senator Salazar tops our list of Colorado's Most Politically Influential Latinos. Learn more about Salazar's unlikely ascent in "No Más Mustache" by 5280's Maximillian Potter in this month's issue of the magazine. 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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