Out of Japan: Dependents of U.S. forces based in Japan landed in Denver yesterday, the first of several groups that could come through Denver International Airport (Gazette). Arrived of their own volition, the evacuated families are part of the military’s “Operation: Pacific Passage,” which should help relieve demand on the Japanese government for food, water, and electricity (Denver Post).

Fly In, Drive Out: Joe Biden may have appeared to be following First Lady Michelle Obama’s lead, but the U.S. vice president is vacationing in Snowmass, not Vail, after flying into Eagle County yesterday (Vail Daily).

It’s Esmil—and Biker Jim: The Colorado Rockies open the 2011 season one week from today at Coors Field, and now we know the team’s fifth starting pitcher will be Esmil Rogers (Denver Post). Biker Jim is ready for the first home game, opening the doors to his first brick-and-mortar outpost, in the Ballpark ‘hood (Westword).

Tancredo’s New Gig: Former U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo has taken a job as a marketing executive with Peak Capital Investment Services (Denver Post).

Ponzi Hunt: The feds are searching for two men, including Richard Dalton of Golden, involved in Ponzi schemes that defrauded 200 people of some $30 million. The victims were mainly families, who lost tens of thousands of dollars they thought had been invested on their behalf (Denver Post).

Hoop Nightmares: The University of Colorado’s Alec Burks and Cory Higgins may be fantasizing about this year’s NBA draft, but a looming labor stoppage could cut their dreams short (Denver Post and Los Angeles Times).

Stardust Memories: Engineers at the Lockheed Martin complex in Denver ordered NASA’s Stardust probe, which was on the lookout for comets, to burn up the rest of its fuel Thursday, the rocketry equivalent of pulling the plug on a dying patient. Ground controllers lost radio contact with the Stardust, which had been in space for 12 years (Associated Press).