Maria Berkenkotter chosen by Gov. Jared Polis as his very first Colorado High court appointee

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Gov. Jared Polis on Friday selected Maria Encarnacion Berkenkotter as his first Colorado Supreme Court appointee.

“Throughout her career, she has shown a keen ability to render sound and wise decisions on a broad range of issues,” Polis said in a written statement. “She has deftly presided over high-profile, complicated and often emotional cases, and has implemented beneficial operational changes within the Judicial Branch. She has decades of experience in her field and is universally respected among the Colorado bar. I have no doubt she will be an asset to the State and add immense value to the Supreme Court.”

Berkenkotter, a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, is the former chief judge in the 20th Judicial District in Boulder County. She currently works for the Judicial Arbiter Group. 

Berkenkotter was nominated for a position on the Colorado Supreme Court in 2018 under then-Gov. John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper selected Carlos A. Samour instead.

Berkenkotter was among three finalists this year for the Colorado Supreme Court seat left open by the retirement of Nathan B. Coats, the last Republican-appointed judge on the seven-judge panel.

Andrea Wang, an assistant U.S. attorney, and Timothy MacDonald, a partner with the law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, were the other two finalists.

“I’m honored to be selected by Governor Polis for this important position,” Berkenkotter said in a written statement. “It is essential for the foundations of our democracy, including our courts, to remain strong during these unprecedented times.”

Berkenkotter presided over the high-profile 2016 trial of Dynel Lane, who was sentenced to 100 years in prison for cutting the fetus out of another woman in Longmont. Before becoming a judge in Boulder County, Berkenkotter worked as an attorney in private practice and for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

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  • Maria Berkenkotter selected by Gov. Jared Polis as his first Colorado Supreme Court appointee
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via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/11/20/maria-berkenkotter-colorado-supreme-court-selection/



Dip in Colorado joblessness rate activates loss of federal advantages equally as new restrictions struck workers

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As the number of Coloradans on unemployment declined in the past several months, the state hit an important new level: the number of unemployed relative to the overall workforce fell below 5%.

That’s a sign of an improving economy as more people returned to work. But it’s also a number that is devastating to those still unemployed. 

COVID-19 IN COLORADO

The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:

  • LIVE BLOG: The latest on closures, restrictions and other major updates.
  • MAP: Cases and deaths in Colorado.
  • TESTING: Here’s where to find a community testing site. The state is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
  • STORY: Colorado governor unveils new coronavirus restrictions aimed at preventing lockdowns

>> FULL COVERAGE

Falling to 4.9% on Nov. 7 triggered the loss of federal funding for the State Extended Benefits program, which provided 13 weeks of additional benefits for those who had exhausted their regular benefits.

SEB will now end Nov. 28 instead of Dec. 31. And due to federal rules, Colorado cannot qualify for the extra federal money at least for 13 weeks, even if the unemployment rate heads back above 5%, which is likely as new “Level Red” restrictions go into effect for several counties Friday evening.

“This unemployment is my only source of income,” said Cory Eberhard, a Denver area resident who lost his job in March. “I am a professional musician and due to the pandemic, my entire industry basically no longer exists.”

Eberhard received his first SEB payment on Thursday. But it’s been difficult to find work as social distancing and health mandates have restricted public venues, bars and events. He’s among the 16,000 Coloradans now on the last bit of extended unemployment benefits. About 145,000 more unemployed Coloradans haven’t made it to SEB yet. 

“Fortunately I have had a fairly steady stream of unemployment so far, but it has taken emailing journalists to find answers because it is impossible to reach a human at the Dept of Labor to get specific customized answers for my particular issues,” he said in an email. “And my unemployment income is a fraction of what I make and is well below the poverty line. Apparently now even that income is running out, even though they just furloughed most of the service industry again.”

As of Nov. 7, the state had paid out $11.7 million in SEB funds. This benefit was available to workers whose employers paid into the state unemployment system. But those workers had to use up their 26 weeks of regular benefits and then move to another 13-week federal program called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC. 

SEB kicked in only after those two programs were exhausted. The benefits help provide 52 weeks of unemployment benefits for people who were unemployed early on and have been unable to find work due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is similar to the Great Recession, when federal funding provided 52 weeks unemployment benefits. 

But as of Friday, there has been no federal guidance on what will happen next, said Cher Haavind, the deputy director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment during a media call.

“State Extended Benefits is a marriage of federal and state programs (and) allows states with high unemployment rates to add an additional 13 weeks of benefits. Essentially, you trigger on to this program and unfortunately you trigger off,” Haavind said. “…When you look at the convergence of SEB triggering off and the end of (other unemployment) benefits, this will certainly create an issue for Coloradans who have relied on these benefits.”

Several federally funded unemployment programs end on Dec. 26, including PEUC and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA. 

More on Colorado unemployment and pandemic jobs: What’s Working

Many have been waiting on Congress to pass a new coronavirus relief package. Talks between the two political party leaders appear to be underway, but no progress has been made, according to CNBC. ABCNews reported that nothing will be done before Thanksgiving as members of Congress head home for the holiday.

A special state stimulus check of $375 will also be mailed out starting Dec. 1. More than 400,000 Coloradans are eligible and have been notified by the state’s Department of Labor.

Those on SEB will be notified starting next week that the last day to qualify for the benefit is Nov. 28. 

Labor officials said there is another possible option for those who’ve exhausted all benefits: The PUA program, also funded by the CARES Act, was created to provide 39 weeks of benefits to gig workers and the self-employed who ordinarily wouldn’t have received a cent from the state because they don’t pay into the state’s unemployment insurance.

There is a chance that some people on regular unemployment who did not use up all 39 weeks of benefits could be eligible for PUA, according to the state. 

Since the COVID restrictions on businesses began in mid March, Colorado has paid out $6.12 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits. More than 700,000 people filed a claim for unemployment during that period and as of Nov. 7, there were still 224,076 receiving unemployment benefits.

That number is down from more than 330,000 in July. October’s unemployment rate was 6.4%, the same as in September, down from the high of 12.2% in April.

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  • Dip in Colorado unemployment rate triggers loss of federal benefits, just as new restrictions hit workers
  • “Snake Oil Inc.”: Colorado energy agency apologizes after email mocks drilling companies
  • Maria Berkenkotter selected by Gov. Jared Polis as his first Colorado Supreme Court appointee
  • New Colorado avalanche study reveals troubling trend heading into busy backcountry season
  • “Black in Denver” illustrates through photos — and words — the vast diversity of the Black diaspora

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via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/11/20/state-extended-benefits-unemployment-rate-seb/



Serpent Oil Inc.: Colorado energy company asks forgiveness after e-mail buffoons drilling companies

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The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has apologized after employees inadvertently sent an email that ridiculed some companies the state agency regulates.

The email was sent Sunday as the agency was testing a new e-filing system. It was sent to hundreds of oil and gas workers across the state, KCNC-TV reported Thursday.

The message referred to the state’s oil companies as “Snake Oil Inc.,” “Bad Oil and Gas,” “Here We Go Again” and “Acme Company.” The agency’s email named one of the company’s law firms as “Blah Blah Blah” and its case number as “666.”

A follow up message from the agency said that “the emails were sent in error.”

“This is completely unacceptable,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement Thursday. “Whether you agree with everything the oil and gas industry does or not, in Colorado we treat everyone with honor, respect and professionalism. I have confidence in Chair Robbins and Director Murphy’s leadership and know that they will be taking this opportunity to make sure all employees at COGCC understand their responsibility to the oil and gas industry and its workers.”

A spokesperson for the state agency apologized in a statement Wednesday, saying that the employees involved in the email have been rebuked.

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  • Dip in Colorado unemployment rate triggers loss of federal benefits, just as new restrictions hit workers
  • “Snake Oil Inc.”: Colorado energy agency apologizes after email mocks drilling companies
  • Maria Berkenkotter selected by Gov. Jared Polis as his first Colorado Supreme Court appointee
  • New Colorado avalanche study reveals troubling trend heading into busy backcountry season
  • “Black in Denver” illustrates through photos — and words — the vast diversity of the Black diaspora

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via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/11/20/cogcc-agency-emails-mistake/



Heres what a Zoom loaded with Colorado journalists informed U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet regarding his neighborhood news bill Your regular summary of Colorado regional information

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On Thursday, Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet sat in on a Zoom call with dozens of Colorado journalists and local media publishers to gather input on a bill he filed to help save the local news.

Those on the call represented outlets large and small— nonprofits, for-profits, print, digital, TV, radio, and more. (Endale Getahun, a multi-lingual news producer in Aurora, even talked about how he’s been offering local news via Roku during the pandemic.) The media folks offered remarks about how they’re faring, prodded Bennet about what his bill might accomplish, and urged him to examine certain aspects he might not have considered.

At issue is the Future of Local News Commission Act, which Bennet rolled out in September with Democratic U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. The bill would create a 13-member commission to examine, among other things, “potential new mechanisms for public funding for the production of local news to meet the critical information needs of the people of the United States and address systemic inequities in media coverage and representation throughout the country.”

Melissa Davis of the Colorado Media Project set up the hour-long roundtable and asked me to help moderate it. Here’s a sampling of some things that came up on the call:
  • Journalism is no longer “safe and easy”: That came from 9News General Manager Mark Cornetta. “Many journalists have been physically attacked by police, by angry mobs, and have had their gear and property destroyed on top of sustaining physical injuries,” he told Bennet. “In addition, journalists and their families have been threatened, doxxed, to the point that they’ve had to find alternative places to live and have had to hire, in some cases, 24/7 security for their protection.”
  • The CARES ACT saved newsroom jobs: “At KVNF a reporter resigned and that position would have gone unfilled without knowing that this onetime funding was coming in. Same at KDNK,” said KVNF’s Gavin Dahl. KSUT, a tribal station in the Four Corners region of Colorado, “is actually building on their news department this year in part thanks to these funds,” he added. “So, straight up, it was a lifesaver for our newsrooms.”
  • Old-school journalists are thinking differently about public funding: “I’m on record … as being against the idea of public funding — or government funding — of media,” said Laura Frank, a former Rocky Mountain News and Rocky Mountain PBS journalist who serves as the inaugural executive director of COLab. “But I will say that the last year has brought me to the point where I am completely open to the discussion, and I think a commission is the right way to look at this.” Former Associated Press and Denver Post editor Larry Ryckman, who now runs The Colorado Sun, told Bennet, “Like Laura, I’ve had some misgivings about government funding. I think my thinking about that is evolving. I’m certainly eager to join in a conversation about it. The reality is that legacy media has been funded by the government in some way or another for decades— through legal notices and through other things. So, it’s not a foreign concept that there’s some government funding that goes to media.”
  • Can’t be beholden: “Certainly, what you guys wouldn’t want, and what I wouldn’t want, is for the press to become beholden to government for support,” Bennet said at one point. “And that’s a real challenge we’re going to have to think through, but it’s not an excuse to throw up our hands and say there’s nothing we can do.” (Those who recall the fate of the Silver & Gold Record at CU might know something about that.)
  • A COVID death close to a newsroom: The novel coronavirus has disproportionally hit communities of color, said Bee Harris, publisher of Denver Urban Spectrum, which has served the Black community for more than 30 years. “As a matter of fact,” she told Bennet, “our editor, his mom was one of the first who died of COVID back in March. So, it has hit home very closely to the Denver Urban Spectrum.”
  • Don’t just hear from journalists. Bring in communities: That was a suggestion from Mike Rispoli of Free Press who helped successfully advocate for a public media fund in New Jersey. “Certainly, what we would want the commission to do is take the soundings of journalists, but not just journalists, communities as well,” Bennet told him. “I know from my travels around the state that people are really worried about this issue. They may not be worried about whether journalists are able to make a living or make a profit or sustain, but they are really worried about where information is coming from and how decisions are being made, and they feel like democracy is being corrupted as a result.”

Included in the duties of the federal panel created by The Future of Local News Commission Act is this, emphasis mine:

… recommendations, in addition to any other proposals deemed appropriate, may explore the possible creation of a new national endowment for local journalism, or the reform and expansion of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or another appropriate institution, to make public funds a part of a multi-faceted approach to sustaining local news.

Some folks on the call zeroed in on the CPB part.

  • “I would say we’re quite likely very supportive of a commission that you are proposing,” Colorado Public Radio CEO Stewart Vanderwilt told Bennet. But he urged any commission to have “close coordination” with the CPB to reduce the risk of unintended consequences that could dismantle “a system that has been very beneficial to the American people.” He called the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television “transformative” for setting the stage for what public broadcasting is today, noting how “in many cases, the most robust locally owned newsrooms are now inside of public broadcasting institutions.”
  • But has the CPB been helpful to minority broadcasters? Endale Getahun, who serves immigrant communities in Aurora across various platforms, doesn’t think so. He told Bennet he hoped any commission would scrutinize the CPB, which he feels hasn’t been friendly to minority broadcasters in the past. His audience, he said, is made up of many Uber drivers, taxi drivers, and hospitality workers. “It is hard to reach them” during this pandemic, he told Bennet, adding that he’s found using Roku devices and other platforms have helped him reach even more people than on radio during the pandemic.
  • Government flaks can’t replace reporters: Susan Greene, formerly of The Colorado Independent, now at COLab, told Bennet that Colorado Press Association members in small towns are complaining their governments are “completely bypassing” them. “I don’t know if this is a Colorado thing or all over, but it’s interesting that government money is being used for spin essentially — not that everything PIOs do is spin, some of it is valid information — but … bypassing reporters, there’s something wacked about that,” she said. “I think that might need to be looked at.” Bennet said he thinks about that a lot. “When a PIO becomes the stand-in for the press … then you’re living in an autocratic society, not in a democracy,” he said.
  • Bennet thinks Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t get the 1A: After having dinner with the Facebook founder nearly a year ago, Bennet says he did not leave impressed. “It would be difficult to find somebody who has less of an understanding of what the First Amendment is all about than Mark Zuckerberg,” Bennet said. He added he left the dinner “horribly worried about what Facebook’s position in all this is,” and said, “nothing that’s happened since then has made me think about it any differently.”
  • What about tax law and diversity? Damian Thorman, COLab’s board chair, said he hoped any federal commission would look at tax implications as legacy local news publishers looking at transferring to new ownership could use some tax benefits to encourage them. “We really want to make sure the commission is looking at how diversity is impacted as we try to build up and support the ecosystem,” he said. “It’s really important that we look at some kind of encouragement of diversity.”
  • Leverage on Big Tech: Dan Petty, digital director of audience development at MediaNews Group, which owns The Denver Post, wondered about the possibility of giving those in the local news industry the ability to collectively bargain or negotiate with large internet companies for carrying or aggregating their content. TV broadcasters make plenty of money from re-transmission fees, he noted, but there isn’t really an analogous comparison for the publishing industry. Bennet said he thought it’s something the commission should consider, and added he believes the anti-trust division of the Justice Department should look into it as they investigate Big Tech.

During his unsuccessful run for president in the 2020 Democratic primary, Bennet didn’t hide his frustration about how he believed social media was impacting contemporary politics— and its affect on his own campaign.

“The Twitter base of the Democratic Party decides what’s important, not the actual base,” he told The Atlantic last fall. “The actual base of the Democratic Party are a bunch of people that have never, ever, ever engaged with a politician on Twitter. They are the people we met with today who are teaching school. Those women are invisible to cable television. The children that are in that school are invisible to cable television, and invisible to the Twitter universe.”

To the Zoom full of journalists Thursday, he said there might be a role for his potential federal commission to take at doing … something about the platforms.

“Now that we’re on the back end of the 2020 elections I’ve never been more persuaded that if this democracy is going to survive we need an answer of some kind for the existing social media,” Bennet said. “I see no reason why social media couldn’t have been a constructive force for our democracy. I see no reason it couldn’t have been a democratizing force for America or for democracy around the world. But I think it’s fair to say that instead, much of it has been a destructive force. I see no reason why it couldn’t have been a powerful tool to inform people and engage people and organize them in a way that strengthens our democracy, but we are a long, long way from that. And I don’t have any brilliant answers for those challenges but I hope this commission will think it through.”

He went on:

“I do know these platforms have become too large and too powerful and they’ve been far too cavalier about their responsibilities to anticipate and to address the damage the platforms are causing our democracy. They’re flooding users with toxic disinformation, they’re digitally gerrymandering Americans with secret algorithms, they’re radicalizing people with self-reinforcing content loops, and on top of that they’re destroying local journalism by aggregating your content and with it the lion’s share of the ad revenue. Sitting back and doing nothing, I think, is not an option for our democracy.”

Colorado in the past year has become a place where these kinds of conversations about the efficacy of increased public support for the local news industry have been taking place more than elsewhere. The ways in which government support is actually materializing in practice here, though, is something of a different story.

Despite Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis throwing cold water on the idea of increased state-government support, this year his office’s economic development agency offered for the first time ever an Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant to a local news publisher. As the revenues of local news publishers cratered during the pandemic, outlets large and small across Colorado applied for and received federal relief dollars through programs of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Meanwhile, Colorado’s tourism office has been paying for the travel arrangements of Texas journalists who vacation in Colorado and publish stories about their experience.

“In the past two years, members of Congress from both parties have introduced five bills to boost local media, via antitrust exemptions, tax credits, and other means,” Columbia Journalism Review recently reported. None of them have passed.

“There are no silver bullets to any of these problems, but I know that we can’t just wait around for the situation to resolve itself,” Bennet said on Thursday’s call. “If we do that, we’re going to wake up one day in an America without local news, and we can’t let that happen. So that’s why we wrote the bill, and my colleagues and I are going to push hard to get it passed in the next Congress.”

On that front, Bennet told the assembled media industry faithful that he plans to seek bi-partisan support for the Future of Local News Commission Act. “We’re going to have to find somebody on the Republican side who’s living in a journalistic desert,” he said — and then he added some grim commentary: “That’s not going to be that hard to find.”

The inside story of what happened to Pulp in Pueblo — and so much more

Several weeks ago I got a call from Abe Streep, who had written that great New York Times magazine piece about Pueblo and the struggling Gannett-owned Chieftain newspaper. He was planning to follow it up for a piece in Columbia Journalism Review about Pulp, the scrappy monthly news magazine run by the scrappy John Rodriguez. I learned some things on the call I didn’t know, and it was clear to me Streep was going to go deep on it.

The piece is now out, in CJR’s winter edition of the magazine, and you really should set some time aside to read the entire thing. It’s headlined “For Pueblo,” and it’s just gutting — line after line. You’ll learn a lot about Pueblo, about Rodriguez, and about a city’s relationship with its hollowed-out daily broadsheet after it was swallowed up in a newsroom-devouring monster merger in a place that once supported 20 different foreign-language newspapers.

Here’s a particularly devastating graf:

In May, Nick Gradisar, Pueblo’s mayor, told me that, following the Chieftain’s sale to GateHouse, “It’s to the point we will write a story and we can just send it to them and they’ll change a few words and publish it. You know, that’s the advantage of them not having many reporters —we get to write our own story.”

Against the backdrop of the Chieftain’s troubles (like so many daily newspaper troubles) emerges a story about Pulp and an idea that “had recently been picking up steam in Colorado” — a potential appetite for increased public support for local news. It’s a story about how that played out on the ground in Pueblo, and about place, home, and the people who leave it and why. Streep cites Kara Mason, a former Pueblo journalist who now edits Sentinel Colorado, growing up “having absorbed the idea that staying in town meant failing.” Early during the coronavirus pandemic, Pulp was failing too, and Rodriguez was scrambling to save it.

Another excerpt:

Then a bold, if slightly desperate, idea came to him. In his brushes with the professional journalism crowd, he’d heard about an increasingly popular school of thought: if the press is a public service, it ought to be publicly funded. That idea had recently been picking up steam in Colorado. Rodriguez figured it was worth making a case for the Pulp’s survival. So he reached out to Gradisar; the county commissioners; the president of the city council; and Jeff Shaw, the chief executive officer of pedco. He suggested that the town’s leaders bail out its media with tax dollars. “We are in a new world,” Rodriguez emailed Shaw, “but I think Pueblo helping Pueblo must be our future.” He acknowledged that the proposal brought potentially awkward complications. “Who wants to fund something,” he later asked me, “which could expose people for doing a bad job?” He wasn’t sure of that himself.
These excerpts don’t come close to doing the story justice, so do read the whole thing here. You’ll be glad you did.

RMPBS CEO: Media ‘built on the roots of privilege’

Amanda Mountain, who runs Rocky Mountain PBS, said this week her news outlet makes up “the largest membership organization in the state.” She also reflected on her values as a public media manager.

Some excerpts from Mountain in a write-up by the Orapin PR firm:

I stand for the democratization of the media. I think that media and the roots of media are really built on the roots of privilege and by nature of that privilege, there has typically been a division between the community and the media that is serving the community. Oftentimes I think that division, even when unintentional, has seeded mistrust and created opportunities for misinformation, or underrepresentation of so much of our American story.
And another:
Our vision for Rocky Mountain Public Media is nothing short of a Colorado where everyone feels seen and heard. So often media has shaped self-perception and public-perception in ways that are not accurate with someone’s lived experience. So reconciling that and having media truly reflect people’s lived experiences has tremendous potential, I think. When people are seen and heard it can change lives. It can empower people, it can motivate people, it can inspire people, it can remind people of the power they have to share their voice and the innate value in that.
Find the entire Q-and-A with her here.

‘Support our young people’: The loss of a KUNM journalist in New Mexico 

The suicide of 29-year-old public radio journalist Hannah Colton in New Mexico has those in the business telling each other to check in on one another.

From Marisa Demarco for KUNM where Colton led the news team:

She has been a brilliant news leader during the pandemic, guiding the team and editing stories about the virus, the calls to stop racist policing and the 2020 election. She was passionate about equity and racial justice. She fought those fights in the field, in news content and on behalf of her staff. … In April 2019, she shared on social media a story she did for KUNM called “Hands-On Therapy Helps Students Rebuild Self-Esteem After Trauma.” On that post, Hannah wrote: “The older I get and more work I do, the more convinced I am that most or all of us are traumatized to some degree by this messed up, unjust, patriarchal, white supremacist society. Healing is possible, but we cannot heal alone. And that’s why I love making pieces about mental health. Especially when I get to speak with compassionate, expert elders.”

“We in news organizations need to do more to support our young people, especially in these difficult times,” wrote Colorado journalist Sandra Fish in a tweet thread.

(KRCC’s May Ortega, who knew and worked with Colton, said of Fish’s thread: “News managers need to read this.”) In a letter in the University of New Mexico’s Daily Lobo, those close to Colton wrote that friends checking in on each other isn’t enough. “She was a movement journalist,” they wrote, “someone who practices journalism that meets the needs of communities directly affected by injustice, who actively engages in unlearning transactional and extractive interactions and who does away with the myth of objectivity.”

On anxiety and depression in the newsroom

In the latest edition of Denver’s 5280 is a feature by the magazine’s editorial director ​Geoff Van Dyke, who is 46, about what it’s like living and working with anxiety and depression. In the piece, he talked about “the voice” — and lucky you if you don’t know what he’s talking about.

From 5280:

By early afternoon, my mind would clear … but that simply made head space for the depression and anxiety that can manifest when one tries to make it through even the best days. It also left room for the voice, the voice that tells me the reason my company is struggling is because I suck at my job; that the reason I’ve put on 10 pounds is because I’m lazy and drink too much; that the reason my kids are bored is because I’m a crappy dad. After listening to the voice berate me for a few hours, 5 o’clock would once again bring relief. I’d crack a beer or mix a margarita. Lather, rinse, repeat. …

Over the past half year, I’ve been pushed into profound misery for roughly 48 to 72 hours at least once a week. I don’t smile. I don’t laugh. I have difficulty feeling love. I contemplate different ways of hurting myself. I want to sleep so I don’t have to think about anything anymore. Sometimes I’ll work the better part of the day and then crawl into bed at 4:30 in the afternoon and sleep for two hours. Then, of course, I can’t fall asleep at night. My mood darkens. My mind whirs. The voice returns.

Van Dyke started writing the piece in May “with no intention of publishing it.” Read it all here. And if you ever need to talk to someone you can call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or text TALK to 38255.

More Colorado local media odds & ends

?Another conservative figure is now threatening to sue The Colorado Times Recorder. (The progressive outlet doesn’t seem worried.)
?New ‘Unhoused‘ podcast partnership bridges Boulder Weekly with KGNU.
?CJR quoted a Colorado journalism professor for its much-trafficked story about Substack.
⚰Journalist Arthur H.“Dick” Dixon died at 79 in Salida.
?Editor & Publisher reports The Denver Gazette debuted online. “The online publication launched Sept. 14.”
?A source asked a Denver Post reporter to remove their name from a story about a Denver-based voting system targeted by Trump “because they were receiving threats.”
?Look at these front-page COVID headlines from newspapers in our neighboring states this week.
⚖A pastor in Colorado Springs and her sons are suing some former parishioners, “claiming they posted ‘defamatory, false and slanderous’ statements on social media about her, her family and her church.”
?Glenn Rabinowitz has joined BusinessDen as an associate editor.
?Speaking of BusinessDen, after six years as a free daily news site in Denver, “we are tweaking our business model,” the outlet told readers this week in an email. “Starting later this month, BusinessDen.com stories will be restricted to paid subscribers.”
?The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent’s new bilingual reporter says she’d “like to be a resource and advocate for the Hispanic population as well as for other minority groups in Glenwood.”
?Colorado’s rising COVID-19 caseload means one Denver news anchor is back in the basement.
?‍?A Colorado College student wrote an op-ed with his dad for The Oregonian.
?The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition wants to know if a home-rule city’s charter overrides the Colorado Open Meetings Law.
?Boardhawk, “an independent advocacy news site focused on Denver Public Schools,” is looking for “an experienced reporter to cover the district, with a particular emphasis on its board of education.” ($40k-$50k/independent contractor no benefits.)
?A new public notice placement company called Column “switched over the state of Colorado to use its services.”
?Colorado makes two cameos in this piece about “how national digital networks are transforming local news.”
?Colorado Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet joined colleagues “in asking Facebook to crack down on anti-Muslim content and material that violates the website’s policy against calling for individuals to bring weapons to advertised events.”
?Colorado’s outgoing Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner told a reporter he thought a question about whether he considers Joe Biden the president-elect was a “Gotcha” question. “I’m not going to play your games,” Gardner told him. “I’m tired of it.”
✒A former Coloradoan editor is the new editor of The Salt Lake Tribune.

*This column appears a little differently as a published version of a weekly e-mailed newsletter about Colorado local news and media. If you’d like to add your e-mail address for the unabridged versions, please subscribe HERE. 

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Linking to nature benefits youngsters yet they may require aid handling a world in peril

#withnature?‍?‍? ? ? ?‍?‍? ✌

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As an environmental psychologist who works to improve young people’s access to nature, I recently completed a review that brings two bodies of research together: one on connecting children and adolescents with nature, and the second on supporting healthy coping when they realize they are part of a planet in peril.

My review shows that children and adolescents benefit from living near nature and having adults in their lives who encourage free play and outdoor discovery.

When they feel connected to nature, they are more likely to report good health and a sense of well-being, more likely to get high scores for creative thinking, and more inclined to show cooperative, helping behaviors. They are also more likely to say they are taking action to conserve nature, such as by feeding birds, saving energy and recycling.

On the flip side, lack of access to nature has adverse effects. For example, COVID-19 restrictions on travel and social gathering led more people to visit parks to escape stress and move freely. But some families don’t have safe, attractive parks nearby, or their local parks are so heavily used that it’s hard to maintain safe distances. Under these conditions, city families stuck indoors reported mounting stress and deteriorating behavior in their children.

My research literature review also shows that feeling connected with nature can bring difficult emotions as well as happiness and well-being. When young people are asked about their hopes and fears for the future, many describe environmental breakdown. For example, when a doctoral student I supervised asked 50 10- to 11-year-olds in Denver what the future would be like, almost three-quarters shared dystopian views:

“Everything will die out, and there will be less trees and less plants, and there will be less nature. It just won’t be such a great Earth anymore.”

“I feel sad because the animals are going to die.”

“I feel sad because when I die I am probably gonna have a grandson or a great grandson by then and maybe them or their son or nephew is going to have to experience the end of the world.”

Children who worry about the environment are likely to report that they are doing what they can to protect nature, but they almost always report individual actions like riding their bike to school or saving energy at home. Knowing that climate change and biodiversity loss are bigger problems than they can solve themselves can affect their mental health.

Fortunately, the research also shows some key ways adults can help children and teens work through these feelings and maintain hope that they – in alliance with others – can address environmental problems constructively.

1. Create safe opportunities to share emotions

When family, friends and teachers listen sympathetically and offer support, young people are more likely to feel hopeful that people’s actions can make a positive difference. Opportunities to envision a promising future, plan pathways to get there and have hands-on experiences of working toward this goal also build hope.

2. Encourage time outdoors in nature

Free time in nature and opportunities to develop comfort and confidence in nature are positive experiences in themselves; and by boosting well-being, providing time in nature can contribute to young people’s resilience.

3. Build community with others who care for nature

Meeting other people who love and care for nature affirms young people’s own feelings of connection and shows them they’re not alone in working for a better world. Learning individual actions that add up to making a difference, or joining collective efforts to improve the environment, simultaneously demonstrate a sense of connection with nature and commitment to its care.

4. Empower their ideas

It’s important to treat young people as partners in addressing environmental problems in their families, schools, communities and cities. A boy who was part of a group of children who created climate action proposals for his city in the Mountain West summarized the benefits. After they presented their ideas to their city council and got approval to launch a tree-planting campaign, he noted, “there’s something about it … getting together, creating projects, knowing each other, working together.”

Research is clear: Children and young people need free time to connect with nature, but it’s also important to support them when they struggle with the consequences of feeling part of a natural world that is currently at risk.


Louise Chawla is a professor emerita of environmental design at the University of Colorado. She serves on the scientific advisory board of the Children and Nature Network and on the executive committee of Growing Up Boulder, a program that involves children and teens in urban design and planning. 


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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  • Connecting to nature is good for kids – but they may need help coping with a planet in peril
  • Dip in Colorado unemployment rate triggers loss of federal benefits, just as new restrictions hit workers
  • “Snake Oil Inc.”: Colorado energy agency apologizes after email mocks drilling companies
  • Maria Berkenkotter selected by Gov. Jared Polis as his first Colorado Supreme Court appointee
  • New Colorado avalanche study reveals troubling trend heading into busy backcountry season

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Even more contribution walkings profit cuts may be needed to close $4.5 billion opening in Colorados PERA

#benefitcuts? ? ✂️

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Colorado’s 634,000 public pension members face automatic contribution hikes and benefit cuts in 2022 thanks to a financial failsafe that’s expected to kick in for the second time in three years.

It would also require more taxpayer money from public agencies already reeling from the pandemic’s economic fallout.

The latest round of expected austerity measures comes as a result of what’s known as an “experience study” — a once-every-four-years review of the key economic and demographic assumptions used to calculate how much money the Public Employees’ Retirement Association needs to pay off future benefits to retirees.

The upshot: PERA may owe around $4.5 billion more in future retirement benefits than pension officials expected when lawmakers crafted the landmark 2018 pension rescue package.

PERA’s board of directors on Friday voted unanimously to adopt the study’s recommendations, which Executive Director Ron Baker said would likely cause automatic adjustments to benefits and contributions, effective in 2022. Without the adjustments, PERA would need 35 years to pay off its unfunded debts, well past the 30-year window required by state law.

There are a number of factors to blame for the latest hit to PERA’s finances. Public sector retirees are living and drawing benefits longer than expected. And PERA’s consultants expect that persistent low inflation and slower population growth in Colorado will result in the public workforce not growing as quickly as expected. Because PERA contributions are tied to the payrolls of public sector agencies, like the state government and school districts, that means less money coming into the system to pay off the pension’s $29.8 billion unfunded debt to retirees.

It was not immediately clear how the changes will affect public sector budgets or PERA’s total unfunded liability. More precise estimates will be available in June, when PERA releases its next annual financial report.

The sign on Colorado PERA headquarters in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver on Sept. 18, 2018. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

But if the auto-adjust mechanism is triggered as expected, here’s how the changes would affect employees, retirees and taxpayers beginning July 1, 2022:

  • Most public workers covered by PERA would be required to contribute an extra 0.5% of their paychecks to the pension.
  • Affected government agencies would contribute an extra 0.5% of pay.
  • Retiree cost of living raises would drop to 1 percent from an expected 1.25 percent.

The sobering news comes on the heels of PERA reporting in June its best financial year in decades — a high watermark that state pension officials warned might make the pension’s finances look better on paper than they really are. At the time, the effects of the coronavirus and the experience study hadn’t been factored in.

The last time PERA conducted a similar study four years ago, it tipped the pension into a full-blown crisis, eventually resulting in the 2018 pension bill, Senate Bill 200. The fact that no one on PERA’s board is calling for another legislative rescue this time around highlights the financial resilience of the prior reforms, which were designed to keep the system on financial track even if the economy tanked.

On the other hand, PERA is quickly using up the financial cushion it built for itself. If the auto-adjust provision kicks in next year as expected, PERA will have used up half of the financial lifeline that lawmakers built into the reforms. If the system’s finances remained in trouble at that point, further legislation would be needed.

Meanwhile, the state government’s finances remain on shaky ground. Lawmakers last year slashed a required $225 million payment to the pension. Rising coronavirus cases threaten the state’s economic recovery. And Colorado voters passed conflicting fiscal ballot measures this fall that could limit the amount of money the state has available to pay down PERA’s unfunded debts.

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  • In “A Perfect Eye,” a bizarre murder scene reveals puzzling artistic touches
  • Opinion: This Thanksgiving, let’s show respect for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 war
  • Connecting to nature is good for kids – but they may need help coping with a planet in peril

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Author Stephanie Kane created a brand-new sort of investigative from a globe she understood little around

#newyork?‍? ? ? ? ⬆️ ⚖

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Stephanie Kane

Stephanie Kane is a lawyer and award-winning author of six crime novels. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she came to Colorado as a freshman at CU. She owned and ran a karate studio in Boulder and is a second-degree black belt. After graduating from law school, she was a corporate partner at a top Denver law firm before becoming a criminal defense attorney. She has lectured on money laundering and white-collar crime in Eastern Europe and given workshops throughout the country on writing technique. She lives in Denver with her husband and two cats.

Stephanie’s books have won A Colorado Book Award for Mystery and two Colorado Authors League Awards for Genre Fiction. Her latest crime novel, “A Perfect Eye,” is a finalist for three awards: Colorado Authors League Award for Mystery, Crime, Suspense; Willa Literary Award for Original Softcover Fiction; and National Indie Excellence Award for Mystery.

The following is an interview with the author.

UNDERWRITTEN BY

Each week, The Colorado Sun and Colorado Humanities & Center For The Book feature an excerpt from a Colorado book and an interview with the author. Explore the SunLit archives at coloradosun.com/sunlit.


What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to create a new kind of detective and place her in a world foreign to me: art. 

Lily Sparks, Paintings Conservator at the Denver Art Museum, has a uniquely discerning eye. Making Lily a paintings conservator lets me explore themes related to art and crime: the passions that drive artists and criminals and how they play off each other, how art can inspire crime, and what a criminal’s identification with an artist might drive him or her to do. “A Perfect Eye” pits Lily’s eye against a forger with a grudge against the art world. 

Lily comes by her eye honestly. After her mom died, her dad started taking her on neighborhood walks to teach her to be observant and remember what she saw. He made it a game, retracing their steps and asking her what had changed. Each time she saw something new.

“A Perfect Eye” by Stephanie Kane

What starts out as a way to bond becomes a talent that sets Lily on her path to becoming an art conservator. But you have to ask why a dad would train his daughter to do that. Is it to protect her—or to distract her from something he doesn’t want her to see? That question is the foundation for Lily’s character arc.

Every gift has a downside, and Lily’s is no exception. Focusing on details can make you miss the bigger picture, in effect blind you to the meaning of what’s right under your nose. Across her mystery series, she moves away from her laser focus on details to seeing the bigger picture. 

Place this excerpt in context. How does it fit into the book as a whole and why did you select it?

Chapter 3 shows Lily’s eye at work, and how she uses her training in art to analyze a crime scene. By looking at crime scenes through an artist’s lens, she sees an entirely different set of clues. Called in on a particularly grisly case, she recognizes it as the work of a warped artist.

Tell us about creating this book: any research and travel you might have done, any other influences on which you drew?

Lily was inspired by a real person: art historian Amy Herman, who wrote a nonfiction book called “Visual Intelligence.” Herman teaches medical students, lawyers, FBI agents and cops to be more observant by studying paintings in museums. I thought that would be a cool skill set for a new kind of detective. 

“A Perfect Eye” also required a great deal of research into museum culture, conservators, and Impressionist painters and technique. I hit the books, then interviewed a curator, conservators, and a museum docent. I toured two conservation labs. Human sources brought Lily and her world alive.

In researching art forgers, I was surprised to learn some of the best are scorned artists. To them, the financial incentive is secondary; they do it to put one over on the art world, to prove the experts wrong. That becomes their downfall: once they succeed, they want recognition—to have their cake and eat it, too. But without a real painter to copy, they’re nobody.

What were the biggest challenges you faced, or surprises you encountered in completing this book?

The biggest challenge was penetrating the museum world. Like all cultures, it has its own internal tensions, lingo and taboos. (The biggest taboo is never ask what anything costs!) When I interview live sources, I listen for slang or jargon—if I’m lucky enough to catch it, what I think of as Orwellian double-speak. Docents-in-training are called “Provisionals.” Museum guards are now “gallery hosts.” Sounds innocent, right? But a mystery writer can make anything Orwellian.

Walk us through your writing process: Where and when do you write? What time of day? Do you listen to music, need quiet? 

My process is fueled by solitude and caffeine. An ideal writing day starts with a brisk early-morning swim in an outdoor pool followed by a tall iced coffee. If the weather’s good, I write on a screened porch with a backdrop of birds and light traffic and no other distractions.

What’s your next project? 

“Automat,” Lily’s second mystery, released on October 15. 

The title comes from a painting by mid-century American realist painter Edward Hopper, best known for his disengaged customers in a neon-lit diner and his flapper staring into a coffee cup in a lonely automat at night. What drew me to Hopper was that he painted the same hard-featured woman over and over again. What would happen if a killer overidentified with the artist and his subject, and decided to avenge him? 

— Buy “A Perfect Eye” through BookBar.
— Read an excerpt from the book.

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  • Opinion: This Thanksgiving, let’s show respect for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 war
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In A Perfect Eye an unusual murder scene reveals puzzling artistic touches

#newyork?‍? ? ? ? ? ?

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Stephanie Kane is a lawyer and award-winning author of six crime novels. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she came to Colorado as a freshman at CU. She owned and ran a karate studio in Boulder and is a second-degree black belt. After graduating from law school, she was a corporate partner at a top Denver law firm before becoming a criminal defense attorney. She has lectured on money laundering and white-collar crime in Eastern Europe and given workshops throughout the country on writing technique. She lives in Denver with her husband and two cats.

Stephanie’s books have won A Colorado Book Award for Mystery and two Colorado Authors League Awards for Genre Fiction. Her latest crime novel, “A Perfect Eye,” is a finalist for three awards: Colorado Authors League Award for Mystery, Crime, Suspense; Willa Literary Award for Original Softcover Fiction; and National Indie Excellence Award for Mystery.

The following is an excerpt from “A Perfect Eye.”

UNDERWRITTEN BY

Each week, The Colorado Sun and Colorado Humanities & Center For The Book feature an excerpt from a Colorado book and an interview with the author. Explore the SunLit archives at coloradosun.com/sunlit.


2020 Colorado Authors League finalist for Mystery, Crime, Suspense

Chapter Three

Built by an oil baron’s widow and bought by an Italian financier as a surprise gift for his wife, the Kurtz Castle had a two-story arched portico, stone parapets and a coat of arms filched from Burke’s Peerage. Its wrought-iron doors, copper-framed windows, greenhouse and lily pond added charm, but the storybook effect was undercut by a Mobile Crime Unit van and a half-dozen police cars parked out front. 

“I think you’ll want this,” Paul said. He held out his snowy hanky.

She shook her head. The last thing she wanted was to smell cloves.

He showed his ID to a uniformed officer at the gate. A plainclothes cop escorted them in. They went from an entrance hall with a travertine staircase with twisted railings and bronze plaques, through a living room with a carved marble fireplace, a walnut parquet floor, gold-plated light fixtures, and a Cezanne and a Picasso. A fan was running a few rooms away. At the soaring library paneled in red oak, the fairy tale ended.

The first thing she registered were the hot police lights and men in sport coats and ties talking quietly as they clustered around an object against the far wall. The second was the stench. Then the frigid air from a ventilation system on full blast and the loud whir of an industrial fan. Paul hadn’t mentioned Kurtz’s body would be there. 

Stephanie Kane

Something cool and crisp pressed into her hand. His hanky. 

The talking had stopped, the men were watching her. She was glad she’d skipped breakfast. She balled up the hanky and slipped it in her pocket. 

Propped on an upholstered chair against a wall papered in celadon silk with gold leaves, Kurtz stared imperiously. His head was intact, and his thinning silver hair was parted at the side and darkened and slicked with brilliantine. His hands rested on the chair’s arms in a lord of the manor pose. From his chest down, he was riven in two. There was so much blood she couldn’t tell if he was clothed, or even if he had skin. The Klieg lights flickered, creating a grotesque chiaroscuro. Paul seemed unaffected by the odor and gore. Maybe it was because he’d grown up on a farm. 

“When was he found?” she asked.

“This morning, by his butler,” a paunchy detective replied. He seemed to be in charge. She almost missed the wink to his colleagues. Indulge the little lady so we can get this stiff outta here. 

Paul stepped in smoothly. “Ms. Sparks has been invaluable to the FBI. She’s a pro like you.”

Their faces spoke resentment, skepticism, and doubt. How did they feel being one-upped by a Fed in a fancy suit jetting in from D.C., and some blonde he was probably shacking up with? It must’ve been hard for him to come to her for help. She ran through her dad’s training. 

Prioritize.

Focus on one thing at a time. 

Quantify, assign a value to each data point. 

It’s only what you refuse to see that can hurt you.

Details, please…

But nothing prepared her for this. She closed her eyes to block out the lights and faces and stench. Think of it as a work of art, like the bird Jack caught. 

Specks of fluff by her night stand, a tiny red smear on the floor under her bed. The huddled mass fit neatly in her palm. Then the maggots…. Jack coolly watching, concealment versus credit resolved—it took you long enough! His jade cat-eyes devouring her with the naked passion of a lover. I did it for you….

“A Perfect Eye” by Stephanie Kane

“Lily?” Paul said.

“Can you turn off those lights?” The steadiness of her voice surprised her. “And the fan. They’re distracting.”

He signaled one of the men, and the heat and noise cut off.  “Just your impressions,” he said softly. “I’ll send you the photos later.”

Breathing through her nose, she approached the body. Kurtz’s torso had skin, but every inch of it was flayed. She reached into her backpack for the tool of her trade.

“What the hell is that?” the detective asked.

“A loupe,” Paul said admiringly. Every conservator worth her salt carried one.

She peered closer, trying to keep the nausea at bay. Just another canvas. Now she saw dozens, hundreds of geometric slashes and pointillist pricks, driven to the bone. 

Artists control their conditions.

“Was he tied up?” she asked.

“Not that we can tell,” the detective said. 

“Were these wounds inflicted before he died?”

“Huh?”

Paul came to her rescue. “This took time,” he explained. “The killer couldn’t subdue Kurtz long enough to carve him up if he was conscious.” 

A whiff of excrement emanated from the wall. She took four steps back. Daubed like impasto on the celadon silk were gobbets of intestine. From the flaying, or added later? Some gobs appeared completely dry, others wet-on-wet. Did he tamp down Kurtz’s guts with an instrument, then rub them in with his finger? They were confined to a specific area. 

Nothing an artist does is accidental.

Putting away her loupe and stepping farther back, she turned to the composition. Art was deliberate, with an eye toward how it would be viewed. To the left of the chair was a divan with a coat and hat. If you ignored the divan, the tableau was compact, rectangular. The back of the chair created a strong horizontal line that tightened the structure. But was Kurtz meant to be viewed head-on? She moved back and forth, examining the scene from different angles. 

Degas said the frame is the painting’s pimp. 

What was central to Kurtz’s display, what was his proper frame?

With the fan off, the smell had become a rancid, nauseating reek. The cops were getting impatient. They wanted to wrap it up, but she wasn’t ready. She looked again at the pale green silk, the crimson daubs… 

Aha! 

The wall itself was part of the display. But something bothered her. She was missing an important detail. She refocused on the chair. Granted Kurtz’s torso was split from sternum to hip, but something was unnatural about his legs. She took another six paces back, feeling the men behind her part to give her room.

“Why are his legs bent like that?” 

“He was tall,” the detective replied. Papers rustled. “Six-one.”

“Were his ankles broken?” 

“How’d you know that?” he demanded.

“They’d have to be, for his feet to curl like that under the chair…. An inside joke.”

“Joke?” 

Did I say that out loud? But painters inserted all sorts of things in a canvas or frame that had meaning only to them. “Maybe he wanted to make it look like the chair cut off Kurtz’s legs.” 

“Huh?”

“Was anything stolen?” she asked.

“No,” the detective said.

“Alarm triggered?”

“It and the cameras were disabled, but Kurtz’s paintings are armed. That pissed the burglar off.”

At that gala, how quickly Kurtz’s flattery had turned to insolence! Did he insult his killer? She stepped back one last time. In the natural light, the wounds seemed artistic—impressionistic. But something about his legs…

The detective signaled the medical examiner to remove the body. Crime scene specialists bagged and tagged the remaining evidence. It was almost dark when she and Paul left. He put his arm around her and before she could stop her herself she leaned in. 

“I owe you a drink,” he said.

She pulled away. “Some other time.”

“There’s something I want—” 

“Let’s not go there, Paul.”

He dropped his arm. “Come on, Lily. One drink doesn’t mean a thing.”

She hesitated. “I have a date.”

He opened the passenger door and waited for her to buckle in. By the time he was behind the wheel, he was all business. It was better that way. 

“Just between you and me, what did the crime scene tell you?” he asked.

“I felt like I was looking at a painting.”

He stared like she was nuts. “You think an actual artist killed Kurtz?”

“Yes. And he cropped the body to fit the frame.” 

— Buy “A Perfect Eye” through BookBar.
— Read an interview with the author.

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  • More contribution hikes, benefit cuts may be needed to close $4.5 billion hole in Colorado’s PERA
  • Author Stephanie Kane created a new kind of detective from a world she knew little about
  • In “A Perfect Eye,” a bizarre murder scene reveals puzzling artistic touches
  • Opinion: This Thanksgiving, let’s show respect for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 war
  • Connecting to nature is good for kids – but they may need help coping with a planet in peril

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Did you miss our previous article…
https://danpabon.com/miami-search-engine-optimization-specialists-review/

Miami Search Engine Optimization Specialists Review

#makesure? ?

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Miami SEO Expert recodes websites to make sure they are attractive to search engines crawling the web. We make sure that your company’s website is up to W3C standards and we W3C validate all our client’s websites, assuring the website is error-free and it appears consistent in all web browsers. Our goal is to gain the attention of search engine spiders while increasing traffic to web portals and also increase leads for businesses in Miami or the whole of Florida SEO by providing relevant content and services.
As such, the SEO experts at Miami SEO Expert will provide you with ranking data for each keyword your website currently ranks for, the amount of search traffic those keywords have each month, and a number of recommendations on how each keyword can be modified, improved, or replaced with a better keyword in order to maximize the amount of value each keyword brings to your website’s overall performance.
Link building is an important aspect of SEO, because external links that lead back to your website validate the quality and caliber of your site’s content in the eyes of search engines like Google. However, our Miami SEO experts don’t just focus on building one type of link. We focus on a complete link building strategy that encompasses every type of link used in an SEO campaign including:
Internal Links : Internal links are links that connect one page on your website to another page within your website. Outbound Links : Outbound links are incorporated into each page of your website, and they link to other high quality well-established websites. This type of link is commonly used to give the user access to a source’s website if you are citing a statistic or fact, but can also be used to further elaborate on the information contained within the content of a web page.
“Consistent communication and results are key for client satisfaction. Not every month can be a strong month that’s just the nature of SEO. But we make sure to always keep our clients updated on deliverables and demonstrate our value through long-term website visibility and growth.” Interested in being considered as an SEOblog “Featured SEO Expert”? Reach out to our team at [email protected]! We’d love to hear from you and give you a high-traffic platform to share your SEO agency’s story and insights.
Find An SEO Agency We’re excited to have talked to Miami SEO expert Ben Zero from Novel Cognition for the next installment of our Featured SEO Expert Series! Novel Cognition is one of SEOblog’s Top SEO agencies in Miami. He has spent the last 14 years delivering results to some of the most iconic brands in the world, leveraging the latest tools and strategies in SEO, SEM, content, social and digital ads.
Who is the best SEO in the world? Obviously, the Miami SEO expert.
Why Hire an SEO expert?
SEO experts get this question all the time from business owners who need more traffic and long-term stability for their company to succeed. Once a website has built up enough trust, authority, and strong links to reach Page 1 in Google, the number of visitors and sales massively increases! But how long does that process take? The answer is, “It depends.” There are specific factors that help a website gain ranking more quickly.

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Fact check: Elimination of Ascendancy Ballot Solution record from Colorado web site was temporary

#dominionvotingsystems? ? ? ? ❌ ❌ ? ✅

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By Ali Swenson, The Associated Press

CLAIM: “The Colorado Secretary of State is DELETING DOMINION DOCUMENTS from the official Colorado Secretary of State website.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. A 2015 request-for-proposal document from the election technology firm Dominion Voting Systems was temporarily removed from the Colorado secretary of state’s website on Friday. However, it was only taken down for a day, to redact personal information of Dominion employees, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold told The Associated Press. The redacted version was restored to the document’s original web address on Saturday.

THE FACTS: The temporary removal of a five-year-old Dominion document from the Colorado secretary of state’s website became the catalyst for baseless theories over the weekend as internet sleuths presumed it was a sign of nefarious activity.

“@JenaGriswold What are you trying to hide?” read a tweet shared more than 21,000 times on Sunday.

Other social media users falsely claimed the move was “proof” of a behind-the-scenes link between Dominion and a competing election technology company, Smartmatic.

As it turned out, the real reason for removing the document was to protect Dominion employees from the harassment they’ve faced from supporters of President Donald Trump who are unwilling to accept the election results.

“My team decided to pull it down to redact personal biographic information of Dominion employees because we are under the understanding that they are getting pretty aggressive threats,” Griswold told the AP in an interview.

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A redacted version of the document went live on the Colorado secretary of state website on Saturday, according to Griswold.

Dominion has faced a slew of false fraud claims in recent weeks, many of which the AP has debunked. The company has also debunked several of the claims on its website.

Dominion says these claims have led to “persistent harassment and threats against personal safety” toward its employees.

“Dominion employees are being forced to retreat from their lives due to personal safety concerns, not only for our employees themselves, but also for their extended families,” the company said in a statement on its website.

There’s no evidence that any voting system “deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” read a statement emailed to reporters on Nov. 12 by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, a federal agency that oversees U.S. election security. “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” the statement said.

Colorado uses Dominion technology in 62 of its 64 counties. The 2020 election in the state was “extremely successful, holding true to our state’s high standards of election turnout, accessibility, and security,” Griswold said in a statementon Friday.

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via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/11/23/dominion-voting-systems-colorado/



Did you miss our previous article…
https://danpabon.com/lauren-boebert-may-carry-her-glock-at-u-s-capitol/