Mile-High Headlines for Friday, September 12

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Obama and Palin Won’t Cross Paths in Colorado
Don’t let the one-day armistice between John McCain and Barack Obama fool you. On the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the two walked together, chatted, and even shared a brief laugh, according to the Associated Press (via The Denver Post). But the two presidential contenders remain very much at war, which will be evident Monday as they continue their fight for the hearts and minds of Coloradans. Details are still being sorted out, but Illinois Senator Obama will bring his Democratic message to Grand Junction and Pueblo, and the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, will host a pancake breakfast in Jefferson County, according to The Denver Post. ABC News‘ Charles Gibson interviewed Palin last night, asking whether she felt she was experienced enough. She predictably answered “yes,” as Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican senator from Rhode Island, defended his argument that Palin is a “cocky wacko” (via The Boston Globe), objecting to Palin’s assertion, during her convention speech, that Obama is overly concerned with terrorists being read their rights. That comment “got to the core of everything wrong with the last eight years,” Chafee says.

Under the Radar, Fliers Stir Meatpacking Plant
The more than 100 Muslim workers fired during a dispute with JBS Swift & Company after they were not given proper accommodations to say prayers during Ramadan were “low-profile” Thursday, as 9/11 remembrances took place, according to the Greeley Tribune. But there was controversy anyway, when non-Muslim workers at the slaughterhouse said they received threatening fliers depicting protesters holding signs with slogans such as “Behead those who insult Islam.” A spokesperson for the Muslim workers says he “did not think the Muslim workers were behind the fliers.” The D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations says the conflict has escalated like no other involving Muslims in the United States and wonders if it can be resolved–“Usually in these cases we’re able to come to an amicable solution”–according to The Associated Press. Meanwhile, the United Food and Commercial Workers union complained that workers received no advance warning that they would be fired, as the company has claimed, and that union officials were excluded from initial negotiations with the company, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

Boulder Mayor Fears Threats

Politics in the People’s Republic of Boulder can get a little strange–even life-threatening, according to Boulder Mayor Shaun McGrath, although he provides few specifics other than some high-blood-pressure moments. But those might be enough to trigger something bad in these sad times, he said, pointing to a killing earlier this year in Missouri of a mayor and four others by an angry town resident. As such, the Boulder council wants cops to be present at council meetings and study sessions, according to the Daily Camera. As McGrath says, “There’s been a few cases where there have been members of the public that have given us pause.” Local television opinion-monger Jann Scott, a notorious critic of the city council, challenges the mayor’s safety concerns on his blog, writing that they appear unnecessary and overzealous: “on the anniversary of 9/11, the city council has ordered the police into city council meetings to silence the public.”

Goodman Not the Only Journo Arrested at RNC
As the Boulder Weekly notes, the 24-hour news cycle surrounding the Republican National Convention in St. Paul last week is long gone. But there are reasons to remain concerned about what happened to newshounds like Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!” She wasn’t the only journalist arrested on the streets outside the confines of the orchestrated convention. Dozens of reporters, press photographers, and videographers were caught up in the police net, according to Minneapolis’ City Pages, which reports that many journalists were arrested along with a large group of protesters and bystanders just as John McCain spoke of America’s effort to face “threats to peace and liberty in our time.” Goodman was arrested when she approached a line of police officers to ask about the arrest of two of her producers, as this popular video shows. The Minnesota Independent provides an alphabetical list of more than 40 names, including journalists working for The Associated Press, New York Post, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and others.

Raising the Speed Limit Lowers Speed
It doesn’t seem to make sense at first, but there’s strange psychology at work on Colorado’s highways. Back in 2001, state transportation geeks pulled out their calculators and found that raising the speed limit on Lakewood’s Sixth Avenue Freeway, from 55 miles per hour to 65, actually led 85 percent of drivers to reduce their speed by five miles per hour. That’s according to the Rocky Mountain News, which says the principle is now being employed on I-225 between I-25 and South Parker Road. The speed limit there was upped 10 miles per hour to 65 yesterday. As the Rocky notes, the old speed limit was “routinely being ignored by most drivers,” who, according to a Colorado Department of Transportation survey of the 3.7-mile stretch of highway, were driving 70 miles per hour. That created problems for drivers who obeyed the law as well as those who broke it, increasing the probability of accidents, according to CBS4.

Lance Armstrong, Another Colorado Bike Race
Last month, 36-year-old Lance Armstrong was in Colorado for the Leadville 100, a grueling mountain bike race in which he finished second. Now the seven-time Tour de France champ–on the “comeback trail”–is slated to be part of a three-man team on Sunday in the inaugural 12 Hours of Snowmass, an intermediate race, following his victory Wednesday in a 10-mile mountain bike run in Aspen, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

Colorado Rockies Blow It
Another bullpen meltdown was at the heart of the Rockies’ 8-4 loss to Atlanta on Thursday–a sweep for the bad guys, writes the Rocky Mountain News. The Rox are now 13 games below .500 and have lost five straight games. There’s always next year.

Pollster: Democrat Mark Udall released a poll yesterday claiming an 11-point lead over Republican Bob Schaffer in the race for U.S. Senate–45-34, according to Harstad Strategic Research (via The Hill), which claims attack ads against Udall have been “strikingly ineffective so far.”

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.46, Western Convenience, 10515 South Parker Road (via

Correction: From Denver, it is about 855 miles to Tempe, Arizona, not 700-and-something, as “Oh Goody, A Giant Blue and Yellow IKEA” indicated in yesterday’s Panorama. My apologies: Something happened between point, click, type, and frustrated double-click on Mapquest–just what remains unclear.

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