Rounding up the news for Tuesday, July 8

Howling Over John McCain’s Visit

Republican presidential nominee John McCain visited the Denver Performing Arts Complex yesterday, promising to balance the federal budget by 2013 and to shrink big government. McCain’s three prior visits to Colorado, and sojourns by his Democratic rival Barack Obama, are evidence to the Denver Post that Colorado will be a battleground state. The Post also notes (as many others have been for years) that had Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry won Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada in 2004, he would be president today. A Rocky Mountain News article makes note of an AP-Yahoo News poll that finds pet owners favor McCain over Obama, 42 percent to 37 percent, with dog owners a seeming lock for McCain.

Librariangate Sets off Free Speech Furor

When local librarian and former Denver Post reporter Carol Kreck joined other liberals outside John McCain’s town hall meeting yesterday, clutching a sign that read “McCain = Bush,” she was exercising her freedom of speech. Now she and a veritable online army want to know why she was escorted by four police officers and ticketed for trespassing. Kreck, a part-time librarian for an education think tank, says she was removed after an officer took away her sign “on city property” — or was it city property rented for a private purpose? Either way, this story is hot in many places, including 5280, ColoradoPols, and the Colorado Independent. A Colorado Springs Gazette article reports that one man attending the McCain event repeatedly shouted a question about why McCain supported impeachment for President Clinton and not President Bush.

TV News Comes to Grips With Obama’s Invesco Plans

When Barack Obama decided to move the location of his speech to accept the Democratic nomination from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field at Mile High, major television news organizations went into a tizzy — and then a conference call with the Democratic National Convention and Obama’s campaign staff. The TV news crowd is still sorting out myriad logistics, according to TV Week. As relocation plans were being confirmed, Denver police were reaching out to their brethren in Colorado Springs, seeking security help for the Democratic National Convention. Using Justice Department cash, Denver police will pay $491,789 for 52 officers and six sergeants for six days of work, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Meanwhile, Obama is winning the Web war, according to a new Nielsen Online report that says Obama has four times more visitors to his Web site than John McCain.

City Park Lake Mess Proves Very Un-Chinese

Blame the goose feces. Blame the hot weather. Maybe it’s the nitrogen levels flowing into City Park’s Ferril Lake from a wastewater treatment plant. Whatever it is, the newly renovated lake looks horrendous. It’s covered in a mucky green layer of algae — and just as Democratic tourists are soon expected to flock to the park. Helen Kuykendall, City Park’s administrator, tells the Rocky Mountain News that officials were caught off-guard by the goop and are looking into ways to clean it up. But funds are lacking, along with “the specialized equipment we need to clean up huge algae blooms like this,” Kuykendall complains. Perhaps she should consult with the Chinese, who are contending with an incredibly massive algae problem of their own in Qingdao Olympic sailing waters. The Chinese don’t have much in the way of “specialized equipment,” but they have employed thousands of troops and volunteers to clear up the waters well before sailing events begin on August 9.

Colorado’s Job Growth Hard to Predict

University of Colorado economics guru Rich Wobbekind has revised his job forecast for 2008, saying the state will see less growth than he had first thought. Wobbekind cites a weak national economy in a broadcast on CU’s Web site. The good news is that some Colorado industries are still relatively well off, including mining, accounting, engineering, and tourism. Wobbekind expects 1.5 percent job growth in Colorado, down from an earlier forecast of 1.9 percent, according to the Denver Business Journal. The revision comes as Frontier Airlines has announced it will gradually cut 456 Colorado employees to save money amid high fuel prices, and United Airlines says it will drop 150 employees.

Summer Doldrums? Try the ‘Porn Trial’

If you’re short on things to do today, Denver Post columnist Susan Greene suggests scooting on down to Chief Judge Edward Nottingham’s courtroom, in the U.S. District Court building downtown. Nottingham will hear federal inmate Mark Jordan’s pleas to view porn, if you accept the official Bureau of Prisons story. But Greene says Jordan is really challenging a “mind-blowingly prudish law denying him publications as mainstream as The New Yorker because prison officials deem them to be smut.” She also notes that Nottingham “happens to be grappling with nudie photo issues of his own.”

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.33, Western Convenience at South Kipling Street and Hampden Avenue (via

Weather Today: Scattered thunderstorms and 86 high/60 low

Weather Tomorrow: Afternoon thunderstorms and 90 high/61 low