Mile-High Headlines for Wednesday, November 26

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Advocates Protest “Milk” Screenings
For the most part, gay-rights advocates are happy that the new film “Milk,” which is based on the story of Harvey Milk–one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials–won’t be confined to art-house theaters. But please, they say, don’t see it at the Century Boulder Theatre or any other theaters around the country run by Cinemark-Century, according to Boulder’s Daily Camera. Those venues are owned by Alan Stock, who would have upset Milk for contributing $9,999 to California’s recently passed Proposition 8, which bans same-gender marriage. The cause has created a large following on Facebook, and hundreds of protesters, including a representative for Congressman-elect Jared Polis–or maybe Polis himself–will gather outside the Boulder cinema this weekend to direct moviegoers to other places where they can see the film. Rob Epstein, who directed a 1984 documentary called “The Times of Harvey Milk,” notes in The Huffington Post that Milk, who was elected to San Francisco’s city council and later fatally shot, fought a ballot measure in California in 1978 that sought to bar gays and their supporters from working as teachers in public schools. Meanwhile, The New York Times gives “Milk,” starring Sean Penn in the lead role, a decent review, while The New Yorker calls it “vibrantly entertaining.”

The Trouble in Banking
Colorado’s 145 commercial banks reaped a paltry $15 million in the third quarter, which ended September 30. That’s down from $217 million in the second quarter and $405 million from the third quarter one year ago, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. figures cited in the Denver Business Journal. It’s another sign that the economy has entered a recession. Yet the state’s commercial banks haven’t stopped loaning money. Outstanding loans total about $33 billion, which is up 14 percent from the same point last year. Some banks are struggling. Kansas-based Team Financial Inc., the owner of Colorado National Bank, warned its stockholders that the FDIC could seize it for not meeting federal capital-reserve requirements, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Should it fail, the FDIC has insured deposits up to $250,000. But for some people, the FDIC guarantee isn’t good enough, according to 7News. They’re socking away their cash in home safes.

Toying with the Holidays
After Thanksgiving, the shopping frenzy begins. And for millions of moms across the country, the holiday season is one of sacrifice, which is largely a new concept for a generation of parents not used to going without, according to The New York Times. Women are less likely to pick up items for themselves this year in order to fulfill their children’s dreams. Parents must be careful about what they buy, too, according to The Denver Post. Toys that will be banned under a new law, which goes into effect in February, are lurking on store shelves. According to a U.S. Public Interest Research Group report, “Trouble in Toyland,” other toys are simply dangerous, posing choking or toxic hazards. With the economy as tight as it is, one retailer, Dollar Tree Inc.–a.k.a. the store where everything costs a buck–is performing quite well on Wall Street, according to BloggingStock. And Denver’s largest annual toy drive for needy kids, at the Denver Santa Claus Shop, is underway, according to Fox 31.

Does the GOP Have a G-O-D Problem?
Focus on the Family is equating conservative Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker with Benedict Arnold. Parker writes that as Republicans try to figure out why they were handed so many losses in elections earlier this month, “they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit. Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.” Specifically, the problem–one that’s killing the Republican Party–she writes, is the “evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP.” The Colorado Springs-based Focus reacted with predictable fire and brimstone, saying Parker is “certainly not a conservative anymore” and that there were victories for Christians in California, Florida, and Arizona, where voters defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. Read more about the well-oiled political machine at Focus by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Eileen Welsome in 5280.

Answers in the Wind
Since the election, there hasn’t been much talk about billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens’ plan to create a new national energy policy that cuts oil dependence while expanding renewable sources of power, such as wind farms. But the plan, which Pickens wants Congress to enact within President-elect Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office, is quietly gaining momentum. The progressive ProgressNowAction advocacy network is the most recent group to join a list of supporters that includes 168 mayors across the nation and 10 of Colorado’s elected officials, according to the Denver Business Journal. U.S. Senator-elect Mark Udall, U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, and U.S. Congresswoman-elect Betsy Markey, all Democrats, are proponents, along with Republicans like Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera and state Representative Don Marostica, of Loveland. Pickens wants electricity created by wind to replace natural gas, which could then be shifted for use in cars, reducing the nation’s need to import oil.

Buffs Play Friday
When the University of Colorado’s football team takes on Nebraska on Friday, consider the “bad news” and “good news” offered by the Rocky Mountain News. First the bad: Based on their average points in Big 12 Conference games this year, the Buffs would have to play about four games to match the 65 points they scored in last season’s Nebraska contest. The good news is that Buffs’ cornerback Jimmy Smith doesn’t think Nebraska’s offense, which scored 51 points in last season’s matchup, can get nearly as much past him and the defensive squad this time around.

Sakic Returns?
When the Avalanche take on the Blues at the Pepsi Center tonight, don’t look for left wing Darcy Tucker, who has racked up three goals and four assists in 20 games. He’s got a sprained left knee and probably won’t recover for about four weeks, according to the Rocky Mountain News. But perhaps captain Joe Sakic will be on the ice after missing five games due to a back strain. He was expected to play Tuesday against the Ducks but needed an emergency root canal.