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    Google News / 23 min. ago
  • Aurora prep sports schedule, 1.16.18Aurora prep sports schedule, 1.16.18

    AURORA | The Aurora prep sports schedule for Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018: Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or sports@aurorasentinel.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel AURORA PREP SPORTS SCHEDULE, 1.16.18 BOYS BASKETBALL Adams City at Vista PEAK, 7 p.m. Prairie View at Aurora Central, 7 p.m. Hinkley at Northglenn, 7 p.m. Legend at Gateway, 7 p.m. Rock Canyon at Regis Jesuit, 7 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Aurora Central at Prairie View, 6 p.m. Northglenn at Hinkley, 7 p.m. Regis Jesuit at Rock Canyon, 7 p.m. Vista PEAK at Adams City, 7 p.m. GIRLS SWIMMING Longmont at Gateway, 4 p.m. Englewood at Aurora Central, 4:30 p.m. Overland at Hinkley, 4:30 p.m. Eaglecrest at Rangeview, 5 p.m. Mullen at Grandview, 5 p.m. The post Aurora prep sports schedule, 1.16.18 appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 24 min. ago more
  • Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey tells fans ‘we’re going to Super Bowl’Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey tells fans ‘we’re going to Super Bowl’

    Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson (97) celebrates as he leaves the field after a 45-42 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL divisional football AFC playoff game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. | All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey did pretty much the same thing that upset his Jacksonville Jaguars teammates last week. He started looking ahead. Ramsey told thousands of fans awaiting the team’s return from Pittsburgh late Sunday that the Jaguars “are going to the Super Bowl and we are going to win that (expletive).” Jacksonville (12-6), of course, has the AFC championship game at New England remaining before even getting to the Super Bowl. The small-market franchise is winless in seven games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and 1-10 all-time against the Patriots (14-3). Ramsey’s comments surely will find their way north. “You come back and you’ve got all the fans here and things of that nature,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “Obviously that’s something that everybody, they want to do when you get close. Whether you have to say it or not? The one thing I do know is the road to it always leads through New England. “Our focus isn’t on anything else but the New England Patriots. It will be a great challenge for us obviously.” The Jags took exception to the Steelers talking about facing the Patriots instead of them, and used it as motivation in a 45-42 victory Sunday. Nonetheless, they stood behind their outspoken and ultra-talenteddefender. “To me, it’s just a man that has confidence in his team,” defensive tackle Abry Jones said. “What’s he going to say? He knows what we’re going up there to do. It’s not like he ain’t saying nothing that’s not true.” Fellow defensive tackle Malik Jackson said the difference between Ramsey’s remarks and comments from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, running back Le’Veon Bell and safety Mike Mitchell is the timing. “We’re so close that I think it’s OK to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this,'” Jackson said. “It’s one of those things that I think he believes in himself after the game he just had, locking down one of the best receivers in the game. “He’s pretty hyped and he wants to let everybody know he’s hyped, so I think he’s just happy and he understands that we have a giant in front of us and we’ve just got to pay all the attention to this team. “We don’t even know who’s going to play in the Super Bowl because we’re not looking ahead to that.” Ramsey was unavailable during the team’s open locker room session Monday. “He’s going to talk, but we’re going to show up,” defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said. “I just don’t like when people talk all week. You talk reckless and you lose.” The Jaguars voiced their displeasure with being overlooked by the Steelers last week and were really vocal after the victory at Heinz Field. Players yelled, “Where’s Mike Mitchell at now” as they came off the field. “I feel like they took us lightly. I don’t know why because we whooped them the first time,” Ngakoue said. “You’ve got to respect all your opponents. That’s why we’re not big in trash-talking. We’re big in playing on Sunday. “Real guys, real people don’t talk. We throw the first punch. We threw the first punch and we got the victory.” And now they have a matchup against the NFL’s most successful franchise over the past two decades. The Jaguars are 1-3 against New England in the postseason, with the lone victory coming after the 1998 season — before coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady teamed up to take five Super Bowl titles. Jacksonville’s win came against coach Pete Carroll and backup quarterback Scott Zolak. The Jags are 0-7 against the Brady-Belichick combination. “We’re not going to go out there like the Steelers the week before and talk about people in a bad way and give them bulletin board news,” Jackson said. “We just continue to work and earn respect. … We just keep proving people wrong. (Blake Bortles) keeps proving people wrong, and we just keep going on it and pounding people. It’s just awesome to see and awesome to be a part of. “We understand we have to do what we have to do or we’ll be watching the Super Bowl at home like everybody else.” The post Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey tells fans ‘we’re going to Super Bowl’ appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 7 h. 25 min. ago more
  • Colorado teens brainstorm the future of cities, and they see dronesColorado teens brainstorm the future of cities, and they see drones

    Colorado middle-schoolers have been racking their brains over how to make the world a better place. They engineered their big ideas into future city models featuring renewable energy, heated sidewalks, curbside composting, drone-based health care and smart homes. The students showed off their work at the regional Future City Competition, which took place Monday at the Global Village Academy in Aurora. The program is designed to teach students how to solve real-life problems by creating a city from scratch. This year’s theme was “The Age-Friendly City.” One group even visited a nursing home to get a feel for a population its members were unfamiliar with. Students were tasked with identifying a problem, brainstorming solutions, designing, building, testing, improving and redesigning, and finally, sharing their concepts. They were building from scratch, designing their own zoning, infrastructure and city planning processes. They were then required to write an essay, build a model, form a presentation and defend their city in front of a panel of judges, which included a city planner of Denver and engineers. Judges then grilled the students on how engineering played a role in their city, what the main challenges were, how their cities evolved through the process and what residents in the cities would be doing for a living. Joe Amon, The Denver PostLiberty Classical Academy 8th-grader Grace Miller, 7th-grader Olivia Newitt and 8th-grader Josephine Koschal explain the workings of Terra Mare, the city they built that won first place in the Future City Competition, an educational program that asks middle-school students to imagine, design, and build cities of the future.Joe Amon, The Denver PostHome-schooled students Emma Lindo, 8th grade; Eowyn Shreve, 7th grade; Amanda Lindo, 7th grade; and Liberty Classical Academy students Grace Miller, 8th grade; and Josephine Koschal, 8th grade, wait to defend their cities during the Future City Competition.Joe Amon, The Denver PostThe world's largest wind turbine tree in Terra Mare, the project from Liberty Classical Academy that won first place in the Future City Competition.Joe Amon, The Denver PostJudges Nick Haag with RAFT Colorado, Ianin McLeman with Bentley Systems, Lisa Barnes with Bureau Veritas North America and Eugene Howard of Denver Community Planning and Development look over Denora, made by students of Global Village Academy of Aurora, during the Future City Competition.Joe Amon, The Denver PostHome-schooled students Eowyn Shreve, 7th grade; Emma Lindo, 8th grade; and Amanda Lindo, 7th grade, defend their city, Polar Ljos, during the Future City Competition.Eighth-grader Josephine Koschal explains the workings of Terra Mare, the city from Liberty Classical Academy that won first place in the Future City Competition, an educational program that asks middle-school students to imagine, design, and build cities of the future.Show Caption of Expand Judge and IDS GeoRadar manager Steven Ulrich said he was impressed with the number of drones that were implemented in the cities. “The use of drones as an immediate act of medical assistance,” Ulrich said of what he found to be the most impressive innovation that went into the cities. “How far can we take the drone technology?” The entire process was intended to help shape tweens and teens into well-rounded adults, teaching them important skills such as critical thinking and public speaking. Students had to learn how to speak coherently in front of a panel of experts, how to take criticism and how to think on their feet. Deric Walter, a consulting engineer from Boundaries Unlimited in Glenwood Springs, volunteered as a mentor and said his main focus for the young engineers was getting them to think outside themselves. Why does Denver function the way that it does? How do plans get put into construction? “It builds up the hope for the future,” he said. “It gives them a purpose.” Related ArticlesJanuary 15, 2018 Despite concerns, Jeffco school board agrees to spend $1 million to start funding school innovations January 15, 2018 Denver schools’ budget plan: More money for poor students, cuts to central office January 15, 2018 Will recess cuts boost learning? One struggling Colorado district wants to find out. January 14, 2018 Education Department awards debt collection contract to company with ties to Betsy DeVos January 13, 2018 Annual Preschool Showcase offers Denver parents and toddlers an educational shopping experience Groups excelled in different ways — one group’s model was very conservative while their rendered images were immersive, another group’s model was two-stories and included a 3-D printed tree. Egg cartons, bike lights, old shampoo bottles, toothpicks and marbles all made an appearance in the models for these futuristic cities. Grace Miller helped engineer the winning city, Terra Mare, along with Josephine Koschak and Camden and Olivia Newitt. The team, from Liberty Classical Academy in New Castle, earned a trip to Washington, D.C., where they will present their city in hopes of winning the national title and a trip to NASA. Grace, 13,  competed last year and said the most important part of the whole process was having a team that was attentive to everyone’s ideas, which was a huge problem last year. “It sounds silly, but it’s just really great to see my teammates grow,” she said. “And my knowledge grow.” While some students have dreams of becoming engineers, others don’t, but the lessons learned are lifelong. “Your actions really do have an impact,” 14-year-old Josephine said.

    DenverPost.com / 10 h. 35 min. ago more
  • MacKinnon helps Avs beat visiting Ducks 3-1 for 7th straight winMacKinnon helps Avs beat visiting Ducks 3-1 for 7th straight win

    Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog, right, of Sweden, picks up a loose puck in front of Anaheim Ducks right wing J.T. Brown in the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) DENVER | The save by Jonathan Bernier that sticks out the most was the one where he simply stuck out his stick. Out of sheer desperation, no less. To thwart what looked to be a sure goal, too. It’s just another sign of how well things have been going for the Colorado Avalanche in recent weeks. Nathan MacKinnon kept up his torrid home scoring with a goal, Bernier turned back 33 shots and the Avalanche beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Monday for their seventh straight win. Matt Nieto and Colin Wilson also scored for the Avs, who are outscoring opponents 29-10 during their longest win streak since the 2005-06 season. MacKinnon leads the league in scoring on home ice this season with 41 points (15 goals and 26 assists) in 24 games. “We’re feeling good,” said MacKinnon, whose team is vying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013-14. “For us, it’s so tight, we can’t get comfortable. … We have to stay hungry.” Bernier has been sensational since stepping into goal with Semyon Varlamov sidelined by a lower-body injury. Bernier came up big midway through the second period when he reached out with his stick to thwart Ryan Kesler. That set up a rush the other way, with MacKinnon scoring on a wrist shot past Ryan Miller. “It happens quite a bit in hockey — you make a big save, you go to the other side and you score,” said Bernier, who has a career-best six-game win streak. “It was nice to be rewarded. You make a big save and you get a big goal.” Chris Wagner had a goal in the second period for Anaheim. It was his first goal since Nov. 27. Anaheim pulled Miller with around 3 minutes remaining, but couldn’t get anything by Bernier, who played for Anaheim last season. “They skate really fast, for the most part, and they capitalized on their chances,” Wagner said. “We gave them too many chances off the rush and too many power plays. That hurt us.” The Ducks were without forward Andrew Cogliano as he served the first of a two-game suspension that ended his consecutive games streak at 830 — the fourth-longest in NHL history. He was suspended for an interference penalty against Los Angeles forward Adrian Kempe on Saturday. Cogliano, who had never missed a game in his career, fought back tears as he talked about the streak on Fox Sports West: “It’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m not going to lie. … I miss the game.” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle downplayed Cogliano’s absence from the lineup. “You don’t like to put too much emphasis on one player being out of your lineup,” Carlyle said. “For Cogs, it’s unfortunate the suspension is in place. But we take our medicine and move on. It’s up to other people to step up and make a difference.” Like forward J.T. Brown, who was just claimed on waivers from Tampa Bay and was in the lineup Monday. He had an assist as he digests a new system. “You’re going to make mistakes. They said, ‘We’ll coach you through them. Don’t be afraid to make those mistakes. Just go out there and play,'” Brown said. Wilson’s power-play goal with 19.6 seconds remaining in the second gave the Avalanche a 3-1 lead. Colorado improved to 18-1-1 when ahead entering the final period. “Our guys are enjoying coming to the rink right now,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “They’re playing the right way and they’re having success, so that leads to confidence and a little bit of energy and guys wanting to keep this thing going. It’s been a fun stretch for sure.” NOTES: Anaheim D Francois Beauchemin was a scratch. … Colorado won the other matchup between the teams this season 3-1 on Oct. 13 at Pepsi Center. … Colorado is 7-3-1 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. … Avalanche rookie Alexander Kerfoot had an assist to give him at least a point in three straight games. … Colorado was 1 for 6 on the power play. UP NEXT Ducks: Host Pittsburgh on Wednesday to open a five-game homestand. Avalanche: Host San Jose on Thursday and the New York Rangers on Saturday as part of a three-game homestand. The post MacKinnon helps Avs beat visiting Ducks 3-1 for 7th straight win appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 11 h. 17 min. ago more
  • Trump marks King day out of view, buffeted by race claimsTrump marks King day out of view, buffeted by race claims

    WEST PALM BEACH |  President Donald Trump marked his first Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday Monday largely out of sight, buffeted by accusations that he used a racially tinged word to describe African countries and scoffed at the suggestion of admitting more Haitians to the U.S. Trump decamped to his Florida estate for the long weekend, spending hours each day at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach. On Friday, before he departed the White House, Trump encouraged the public “to observe this day with acts of civic work and community service in honor of Dr. King’s extraordinary life … and his great legacy” as he signed a proclamation recognizing Monday as the national holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. King’s family also urges the public to observe the holiday by performing civic work and acts of kindness. Trump dedicated his weekly address to the nation, released Monday, to King. “Dr. King’s dream is our dream, it is the American dream, it’s the promise stitched into the fabric of our nation, etched into the hearts of our people and written into the soul of humankind,” Trump said in the address, which he tweeted out to his followers. “It is the dream of a world where people are judged by who they are, not how they look or where they come from,” the president said. Trump’s tribute followed the firestorm that erupted last week after he was accused of using the word “shithole” to describe African countries and seeming to balk at admitting more Haitians to the U.S. He voiced a desire for more immigrants from countries like Norway. Trump is said to have made the comments in the Oval Office during a meeting about immigration with a bipartisan group of senators. The White House has not denied that Trump used the vulgarity, but Trump and some Republicans have disputed public accounts of the meeting. Trump defended himself Sunday night, declaring that “I’m not a racist.” He said comments attributed to him “weren’t made.” The president’s defense appeared not to sway the sizable crowd of Haitians — waving their country’s flag — who gathered near the foot of a bridge leading to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach to jeer at Trump as the motorcade returned from the golf club. The Haitians and their supporters shouted, “Our country is not a shithole,” according to video posted by WPEC-TV, and engaged in a shouting match with the pro-Trump demonstrators who typically gather on the other side of the street. The smaller pro-Trump contingent waved U.S. flags and campaign posters and yelled, “Trump is making America great again.” One man could be seen telling the Haitians to leave the country. Police kept the sides apart. In Washington, King’s elder son, Martin Luther King III, criticized Trump, saying, “When a president insists that our nation needs more citizens from white states like Norway, I don’t even think we need to spend any time even talking about what it says and what it is.” He added, “We got to find a way to work on this man’s heart.” Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence, who worshipped at a Baptist church in Maryland on Sunday, listened as the pastor denounced Trump’s use of the vulgarity. Maurice Watson, pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Largo, called the remark “dehumanizing” and “ugly” and said “whoever made such a statement … is wrong and they ought to be held accountable.” Worshippers stood and applauded as Watson spoke. He didn’t name Trump, but his reference was unmistakable. Trump’s low-key King holiday contrasts with how some of his recent predecessors observed the day. President Barack Obama and his family performed community service. President George W. Bush accepted a portrait of King for display in the White House from his widow, Coretta Scott King, in 2002. Trump has appeared with King relatives in the run-up to Monday’s holiday. Isaac Newton Farris Jr., a nephew, was among the group that attended Friday’s proclamation signing. Last week in Atlanta, Trump invited King’s niece, Alveda King, aboard Air Force One to watch him sign a bill expanding an existing historic site in the Georgia capital that is dedicated to King. The site includes King’s childhood home and Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached. Trump had flown to Atlanta to attend the college football championship game between Georgia and Alabama. Trump also keeps a bust of King on display in the Oval Office. The post Trump marks King day out of view, buffeted by race claims appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 16 h. 3 min. ago more
  • BIG CHILL: Cold blast blankets Aurora  — GALLERYBIG CHILL: Cold blast blankets Aurora — GALLERY

    The post BIG CHILL: Cold blast blankets Aurora — GALLERY appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 16 h. 34 min. ago
  • Listen Live: Cherry Creek at Grandview in Centennial League girls basketball on Post Preps RadioListen Live: Cherry Creek at Grandview in Centennial League girls basketball on Post Preps Radio

    Grandview girls basketball hosts Cherry Creek on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in an early yet pivotal Centennial League showdown. The Class 5A bout will be streamed live via Post Preps Radio, as well as archived afterward on The Denver Post site. The lone in-state loss for the No. 2 Wolves (9-3, 4-0) came against No. 1 Regis Jesuit on Dec. 11, while the No. 4 Bruins’ (9-3, 4-0) only setback to a Colorado team was to No. 3 Ralston Valley on Dec. 7. Scott Hormann and Nick Vinson have the call starting at 1:25 p.m from Aurora. See the full Post Preps Radio schedule here.

    DenverPost.com / 17 h. 45 min. ago more
  • MLK DAY: Aurora State Rep. Janet Buckner emotionally recalls why silence is unacceptableMLK DAY: Aurora State Rep. Janet Buckner emotionally recalls why silence is unacceptable

    AURORA | Highlighting an powerful message from Martin Luther King Jr. last week — that silence is betrayal — Aurora Rep. Janet Buckner emotionally recalled on the House floor racism she faced at her local swimming pool as a young girl. Buckner told her colleagues in the Legislature that her granddaughter asked to go swimming, and Buckner said she couldn’t go with her because she has a fear of water. “The reason I do is because when I was a young girl, I wasn’t allowed to go to the swimming pool with the Caucasian kids because I was told if I wanted to swim, I could come the night before they cleaned the pool. Before they changed the water,” Buckner said. Her parents, who Buckner said were not rich, offered to build a pool in the family’s yard. But Buckner knew they couldn’t afford that. When Lawrenceburg, Indiana, finally integrated its swimming pools, Buckner said she took lessons. But on the day she was to receive a certificate, as she was halfway across the pool, two white boys called her the N-word. “I stopped swimming. I went down to the bottom of the pool, and I almost drowned,” she said, fighting back tears. That feeling never goes away, she added, making the reason why talking about inequality and racism even more crucial. The resolution, which both chambers passed, honors the birthday of King. Several members from all over the political spectrum spoke on behalf of the resolution, echoing the importance of what King stood for and the relevance it has today. The post MLK DAY: Aurora State Rep. Janet Buckner emotionally recalls why silence is unacceptable appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 17 h. 50 min. ago more
  • EDITORIAL: Time’s up. Repugnant and now dangerous, it’s time for Legislature to expel state Rep. Steve LebsockEDITORIAL: Time’s up. Repugnant and now dangerous, it’s time for Legislature to expel state Rep. Steve Lebsock

    Time’s up, a national movement to empower those victimized primarily by sexual harassment, is a phrase perfectly suited to remedy a bad situation at the Colorado State Capitol made intolerable by state Rep. Steve Lebsock. Lebsock, a Thornton Democrat, is the subject of an investigation and controversy over allegations that he sexually harassed state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and four other Capitol staffers and lobbyists. Winter went public late last year with the allegations, in a story first told by Colorado Public Radio reporter Bente Birkeland. Immediately after, the embattled Lebsock, also a candidate for state treasurer, tacitly apologized for his boorish behavior. However, when a crowd of state officials and newspaper editorial boards, including the Aurora Sentinel, demanded his resignation, he changed tactics. No longer just a lout, he’s become a callous brute. He has since repeatedly denied allegations made by all five women, despite witness accounts corroborating Winter’s charges. He has offered unconvincing lie-detector tests as evidence in his favor. He has made dubious, vicious counter-allegations, saying that it was actually Winter who propositioned him at various times. In the weeks following the initial revelations, Lebsock has consistently refused demands that he resign his House seat. Faced with likely and extremely rare expulsion voted on by all members of the House, he has asked for a stay until an official investigation, underway, is complete. We have consistently observed that the evidence and witness accounts against Lebsock is compelling, and his own subsequent behavior is repugnant. All that has left us, and many others, unwavering in our insistence that Lebsock resign. But we agreed with him that it would be premature and regrettable for the House itself to take up the “nuclear” expulsion bill and force him from office — before results of the state’s official investigation into the allegations is complete. We see things very differently now. As the Legislature began its session last week, Lebsock launched a barrage of defamatory tweets and comments, followed by delivering to fellow lawmakers a hostile 28-page bizarre defense that amounts to a libelous manifesto. Rather than appearing as a defensive move, Lebsock’s stunt, and his subsequent remarks, make it clear he much worse than unscrupulous. As Lebsock continues to raise the level of malevolence, he is increasingly dangerous to not only the critical work underway at the Capitol, but to state lawmakers and others at the Capitol. If Lebsock does not immediately resign, state lawmakers should immediately take up a measure to expel him from the House. Threats of introducing such a bill on the first day of the legislative session last week did not materialize, prompting even more worrisome social media taunts from Lebsock. He has gone out of his way to try and ensure all of Colorado might have some lingering doubt about just how repulsive his sexual harassment episodes were, but he leaves no doubt at all at what a vicious, irresponsible and vile person he truly is. While justice for his victims is an important goal, his expulsion is a matter of the wellbeing of the Legislature and all Colorado residents. Time’s up. If Lebsock won’t leave, get him out. The post EDITORIAL: Time’s up. Repugnant and now dangerous, it’s time for Legislature to expel state Rep. Steve Lebsock appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 18 h. 28 min. ago more
  • Could Colorado’s green energy debate go big in 2018?Could Colorado’s green energy debate go big in 2018?

    DENVER | Brian Bagley isn’t the first person that comes to mind when you picture a wind or solar advocate. The 40-something Longmont mayor has a concealed carry permit and wears cowboy boots. Four antique shotguns hang on the walls of his law practice. He’s a former registered Republican, but switched to independent for the 2016 election. Yet, in December, Bagley issued a mayoral proclamation for his city to pursue a 100 percent renewable energy source by 2030. “I’m getting a lot of hits from the far right, saying ‘Oh, Bagley, you caved to the left. You tree hugger, you.’ What they don’t understand is it makes economic sense,” he said. If Longmont’s city council members agree, they would join cities like Aspen, Boulder, Nederland, Breckenridge and Pueblo in going to or exploring renewable energy options. It’s a topic the public will hear lots more about this year. The Compact of Colorado Communities is expected to discuss both climate change goals and clean energy during their conference later in January. Some Democratic governor candidates want the state to pledge to go 100 percent renewable. Democratic State Sen. Matt Jones, who represents Longmont and other northern Front Range cities, said he’ll introduce legislation to prompt utilities to move toward 100 percent because “the price of wind and solar has dropped like a rock”. Utilities like Xcel Energy see that trend too. They are increasingly choosing renewables for new power sources because of tax credits and cheaper supply costs. Right now the state’s largest utility is reviewing plans with state regulators to move 55 percent of its electricity portfolio toward wind and solar. But there’s a big challenge for cities that want to get to 100 percent renewable energy. Where does the power come from when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing? Right now Boulder is pursuing one of the most challenging paths. They want state permission to form their own municipal utility. That means purchasing most of the infrastructure from Xcel. Kendra Tupper, Boulder’s Chief Sustainability Officer said the city has 13 years to figure out its most reliable electricity mix. “There are ways that you firm up those renewable resources through storage through natural gas generators, through batteries, all kinds of things,” Tupper said. Boulder and others pursuing these goals are waiting to see how technologies advance. Batteries could hold promise for storing wind or solar energy. But many utilities say the technology needs improvement before it can be widely used. It’s one reason why a nonprofit city-owned energy provider in Colorado commissioned a recent study to look at other strategies. The Platte River Power Authority looked at a future mix of traditional and renewable energy sources. It produced initial estimates that show this plan could ultimately cost customers up to 10 percent more. So far, PRPA isn’t committing to any specific goals but plans to study the issue further. “We are simply overproducing renewables to offset the carbon that we’re producing that ends up in a net zero result. So from our perspective, we’re zero net carbon,” said Jason Frisbie, general manager of PRPA, which supplies electricity to Fort Collins, Longmont, Estes Park and Loveland. By way of comparison, the libertarian Independence Institute estimated that taking the state to 100 percent renewable energy could cost as much as $44.8 billion. There are challenges that come with predicting future costs including an uncertain policy landscape and the declining costs of supplies. Hitting a renewable goal by 2030 would involve a number of different players, Frisbie said. “I think you have distributed generation, you have electric vehicles, you have energy efficiency,” he said. “So I think it’s going to be a comprehensive solution moving forward.” Longmont Mayor Brian Bagley is encouraged by the Platte River report. He expects the Longmont city council to solidify his goal with a vote later in January. So what will this mean for low-income customers who can’t afford a 10 percent rate increase? Bagley advises a go-slow approach. “Just like we don’t know about battery power. We don’t know about the future of pricing either,” he said. “Nobody’s saying right now we’re going to buy all 100 percent renewable today. We’re going to do it step by step.” The new year will bring more progress toward renewable energy across the state. United Power Cooperative plans to pilot a community battery storage project in 2018. That’s in addition to battery storage projects Xcel has tested in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood. It’s also testing battery strategies near Panasonic’s Denver headquarters as part of the Pena Station Next project. Electric vehicles will also dominate discussions. Expect more talk on how Colorado plans to spend $68 million in VW settlement money on a play that will include electric charger stations. Gov. Hickenlooper also plans to finalize a statewide electric vehicle plan early in 2018. Information from: KCFR-FM, http://www.cpr.org/news The post Could Colorado’s green energy debate go big in 2018? appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 19 h. 43 min. ago more
  • Denver Zoo prepares to welcome baby slothDenver Zoo prepares to welcome baby sloth

    DENVER | The Denver Zoo is getting ready to welcome a baby sloth. The Denver Post reports the sloth will be the first offspring of Charlotte and Elliot, who were matched as part of a species survival program. Sloths have a 10-month gestation period, so the new arrival could come anytime now through late February. Charlotte, a Linne’s two-toed sloth, is believed to be between seven and 10 months pregnant. Visitors can spot her in one of the top corners of a room in Bird World, where she is expected to give birth. Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com The post Denver Zoo prepares to welcome baby sloth appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 19 h. 43 min. ago more
  • After 8-year hiatus, Ford Ranger returns to US in 2019After 8-year hiatus, Ford Ranger returns to US in 2019

    DEARBORN, Mich. | Ford made the wrong bet on small pickup trucks in 2011. It hopes to put things right — and win back customers — with the 2019 Ford Ranger. Ford is unveiling the North American version of the Ranger on Sunday ahead of the Detroit auto show. It goes on sale next spring, eight years after Ford pulled it off the market in the U.S. and Canada. Back then, the cheap but dependable Ranger was the best-selling truck of its size. But gas prices were high, demand was dwindling and the struggling company wanted to devote more resources to hybrids and to improving fuel economy in its full-size F-150 pickup. The company shuttered the 86-year-old Minnesota factory where the Ranger was made. “It was politically correct to cast aside pickups at the time,” says Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for the market research firm AutoPacific. A rival small pickup, the Dodge Dakota, was pulled off the market the same year. The Ford factory is still closed, but everything else has changed. Gas prices are low. Ford is profitable and has the cash to invest in new vehicles. And while the market for midsize trucks did get smaller after peaking in the mid-1990s, it never went away. Automakers sold 448,000 midsize pickups in the U.S. in 2016; that’s forecast to grow to 470,000 in 2019, according to the consulting company IHS Markit. The midsize Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma both notched sales increases last year even though overall U.S. sales were down. Ford has continued selling the Ranger abroad; it’s the best-selling pickup in Europe and New Zealand. But in the U.S., it thought buyers who needed to haul things occasionally would gravitate toward SUVs. The company gradually realized there was still U.S. demand for a smaller, easy-to-maneuver pickup. So much demand, in fact, that GM shifted van production out of its Wentzville, Missouri, plant so it could make more midsize trucks. Affordability was also an issue, says Todd Eckert, Ford’s truck marketing manager. As buyers add more features to full-size trucks, the average price of an F-Series pickup has crept past $45,000. By contrast, the Colorado starts at $20,200. Ford isn’t yet releasing pricing, but it will be competitive with other midsize trucks. Ford will market the Ranger as a vehicle for urban adventurers. It has a terrain management system that automatically adjusts the transmission and vehicle controls for driving in snow, mud or sand. A new trail control feature maintains a set speed even on slow, bumpy trails. The North American Ranger shares its underpinnings with the Ranger that’s on sale globally. But to meet U.S. safety standards and customer expectations, the frame was reinforced with high-strength steel. Steel bumpers were added in the front and rear to better resemble the F-150, which isn’t a big seller outside North America. Under the hood is the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that powers the Ford Mustang sports car. Ford says that will give the truck the power of a V6 engine with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder. It’s mated to a 10-speed transmission. Unlike the Tacoma, Ford won’t offer a manual transmission. Ford isn’t yet releasing horsepower, fuel economy, payload or towing capacity. The Ranger will be offered in two-door or four-door configurations with a choice of a 5-foot or 6-foot bed. That will suit Dan MacLeod, 28, an insurance broker from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, who wants room for car seats and a bed that will fit his hunting and fishing gear. MacLeod used to drive an F-150 and now he drives a GMC Yukon SUV, but he prefers Ford trucks and will buy a Ranger if he likes what he sees. But other fans are already dismissing the new Ranger. Alex Orians, a sophomore at Xavier University who is originally from Canton, Ohio, owns a 1996 Ranger, but he doesn’t like the rounded styling of the new Ranger. Orians also suspects that while the Ranger has sentimental value for some drivers, most will prefer something more capable and comfortable. “If I had the capital for a new pickup, an F-150 would be the first place I’d look,” Orians said. Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst with IHS, says as long as consumer confidence remains strong — and it was at a 17-year high in November — there will be a niche market for rugged trucks like the Ranger. “It appeals to your ability to do whatever you want,” she said. The post After 8-year hiatus, Ford Ranger returns to US in 2019 appeared first on Aurora Sentinel.

    Aurora Sentinel / 19 h. 43 min. ago more
  • Inland Real Estate Acquisitions, LLC Closes the Purchase of a 408 ... - Business Wire (press release)Inland Real Estate Acquisitions, LLC Closes the Purchase of a 408 ... - Business Wire (press release)

    Business Wire (press release)Inland Real Estate Acquisitions, LLC Closes the Purchase of a 408 ...Business Wire (press release)Inland Real Estate Acquisitions, LLC announced that it closed the purchase of Après Apartments, a 408-unit multifamily property located in Colorado.and more »

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  • Icy roads create chaos around Aurora; I-70 closed, I-225 reopened ... - Aurora SentinelIcy roads create chaos around Aurora; I-70 closed, I-225 reopened ... - Aurora Sentinel

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  • Could Colorado's green energy debate go big in 2018? - Aurora ... - Aurora SentinelCould Colorado's green energy debate go big in 2018? - Aurora ... - Aurora Sentinel

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  • Brian Vasquez sexual assault case: Colorado teen suspended ... - Kansas City StarBrian Vasquez sexual assault case: Colorado teen suspended ... - Kansas City Star

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  • Report: Troubled Aurora VA Hospital Likely Be Understaffed ... - U.S. News & World ReportReport: Troubled Aurora VA Hospital Likely Be Understaffed ... - U.S. News & World Report

    9NEWS.comReport: Troubled Aurora VA Hospital Likely Be Understaffed ...U.S. News & World ReportDENVER (AP) — The Veterans Affairs Department is expected to announce within weeks that a troubled Denver-area hospital under construction is finally complete after years of delays and severe cost overruns.Report: Troubled Aurora VA hospital likely be understaffedThe Grand Junction Daily Sentinelall 2 news articles »

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  • Through "mouth painting," disabled Aurora artist creates...Through "mouth painting," disabled Aurora artist creates...

    The oil portraits, most on squares of canvas, line the main rooms and gaze at all angles into the living space of Matt Hendrick's Aurora home. They all share the same artistic underpinnings, only three shades of color on either a black or white background - deceptively simple, especially considering how the artist produces them.

    Aurora News / 2 d. 21 h. 41 min. ago
  • Through “mouth painting,” disabled Aurora artist creates portraits that defy his limitationsThrough “mouth painting,” disabled Aurora artist creates portraits that defy his limitations

    The oil portraits, most on squares of canvas, line the main rooms and gaze at all angles into the living space of Matt Hendrick’s Aurora home. They all share the same artistic underpinnings, only three shades of color on either a black or white background — deceptively simple, especially considering how the artist produces them. Hendrick looks at his work from his wheelchair. A car accident 26 years ago left him quadriplegic, but that hasn’t kept him from finding serenity through his art. “It’s like a meditation,” he says. But he performs this ritual without the use of his hands. He tried holding a brush with his damaged fingers once but didn’t care for the erratic results. After seeing a YouTube video of another painter with disabilities grip the brush in his mouth, with astounding results, Hendrick gave it a try. Now, he creates distinctive portraits, inspired by photographs, that take him about six hours to complete. Throughout the course of “mouth painting,” as he calls it, he occasionally takes time out to rest his neck when it gets fatigued from the brushstrokes. Hyoung Chang, The Denver PostArtist Matt Hendrick, 47, lost the use of his hands when his spinal cord was damaged in a car accident in 1991. Hendrick uses his mouth to hold the brush when he paints. He uses positive and negative space and as little paint as possible to create iconic portraits. Hyoung Chang, The Denver PostArtist Matt Hendrick, 47, of Aurora, lost the use of his hands when his spinal cord was damaged in a car accident in 1991. Hendrick uses his mouth to hold the brush when he paints. He uses positive and negative space and as little paint as possible to create iconic portraits. Hyoung Chang, The Denver PostArtist Matt Hendrick, 47, lost the use of his hands when his spinal cord was damaged in a car accident in 1991. Hendrick uses his mouth to hold the brush when he paints. He uses positive and negative space and as little paint as possible to create iconic portraits. Hyoung Chang, The Denver PostArtist Matt Hendrick, 47, lost the use of his hands when his spinal cord was damaged in a car accident in 1991. Hendrick uses his mouth to hold the brush when he paints. He uses positive and negative space and as little paint as possible to create iconic portraits.Hyoung Chang, The Denver PostArtist Matt Hendrick, 47, lost the use of his hands when his spinal cord was damaged in a car accident in 1991. Hendrick uses his mouth to hold the brush when he paints. He uses positive and negative space and as little paint as possible to create iconic portraits.Hyoung Chang, The Denver PostArtist Matt Hendrick, 47, lost the use of his hands when his spinal cord was damaged in a car accident in 1991. Hendrick uses his mouth to hold the brush when he paints. He uses positive and negative space and as little paint as possible to create iconic portraits.Show Caption of Expand He has sold some prints off his Instagram account, MattHendrickart, but he still owns all but the very first of his originals — that one was a gift to a relative — and sounds almost as enamored of the process as with the finished products posted on his website. He loves turning on his video camera and making time-lapse recordings of himself at work. “It slows you down and puts you in the present moment,” Hendrick says of his painting. “I won’t think about anxieties or problems, just focus on what I’m doing. The time goes by fast, and the feeling lingers for a while. My mind doesn’t race.” In fact, it was a slow, years-long evolution that brought Hendrick, 47, to a point in his life where he could embrace painting. He always felt drawn to visual arts, particularly those to which he could apply technology. He shot photos for the school yearbook and newspaper but also liked to toy with images in less restrictive ways, such as experimenting with double-exposures and various compositions. He had a darkroom in the basement of his home and learned to appreciate the technical aspects of photography — film speeds, aperture settings, exposure times. That melding of tech and art appealed to him as he graduated from Aurora’s Rangeview High School in 1989 and spent a year at Colorado State University. Ultimately, he decided to pursue photography full-throttle at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. He envisioned a career in commercial photography, and his admiration for celebrity portrait artist Annie Leibovitz was rewarded when she made an appearance at one of his classes. But only a few weeks into the fall semester, his vision of the world changed. During parents weekend at RIT, his mother was driving them somewhere while he slept in the front passenger seat. His recollection of the accident begins as he awakens after the collision. Its aftermath appears like a slideshow in his memory: his body twisted, with his head lying on the seat; someone knocking on the passenger-side window; him insisting that he just wants to sleep; a helicopter airlifting him to the hospital. He was paralyzed from the neck down, losing movement of his legs and most of his upper body except for his shoulders and biceps and a little function in his wrists, though none in his fingers. He split the next six months between Swedish Medical Center and rehabilitation at Craig Hospital, where staff encouraged him to reconnect with photography by setting him up with a “sip and puff” camera that he operated with his mouth. “That made me more depressed than the injury,” Hendrick recalls. “I had the attitude, ‘If I couldn’t do it the way I used to, I didn’t want to do it at all.’ I held that attitude for about 10 years. I didn’t touch a camera. It was insulting almost to even try to do it.” Hendrick turned his attention to computers during that span, exploring computer-aided design and, eventually, Photoshop software that introduced him to the ways the digital revolution was changing photography. He focused on graphic design, including jobs creating labels for international wine and cigar brands. “It was satisfying that I could find work, and just work at home,” he says. “But graphic design itself limited me.” Around that time, he reached another turning point. He had some of his old black-and-white negatives, shot during his first weeks at RIT, converted to digital format on a CD. Then he went to work with Photoshop in an exercise that, in some ways, took him back to his pre-accident life, when all things seemed possible. On the computer, he found, he could not only replicate creative approaches that he used to perform in the darkroom, but even move beyond those. “There was some emotion,” Hendrick says of dealing with images from his earlier life. “I remember hesitating to do it. But then I saw that I could produce what I did before — double exposure where you lay the negatives on top of each other — and you have even more options. It was like the playing field became level again.” He became fully engaged once again with photography. He put together a studio in his house and, with the help of a couple of assistants, began shooting model portfolios and pet portraits. Then — and this was perhaps 15 years ago — one of his caregivers brought up the idea of painting. “She was trying it, and she thought it would be a good activity for me,” Hendrick says. “We tried it, and tried to put the brush in my hand, and it just wasn’t very satisfying. I wasn’t very good at it. So I kind of abandoned it for a few years.” About two years ago, he saw the video of an artist painting by holding the brush in his mouth and tried it himself. His first effort was a baby portrait of his niece, done in monotone blue. The results shocked him. “I couldn’t believe how good it was,” he says. “Compared to what I’d been doing with my hand, this was it.” He began painting portraits of famous people from photographs: Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, Julia Roberts and Robert De Niro, to name a few. Just as he had found with his photography, part of the attraction to this venture was the technological aspect. This new creative dimension had another side-effect: It brought him into collaboration with his mother, Andrea MacMillan, who retired after 27 years as an elementary school teacher but retained a hunger for learning. Painting happened to be something she had been researching, although she never picked up a brush herself. She had assembled information and resource books, a collection she called “my art school,” even though she had never taught the subject. Since she and her husband moved in with Hendrick, class was in session. “I didn’t know he’d be the first student,” MacMillan says. “When I came here, he had more access to me, I wanted to share more in-depth stuff about painting. We started with color values and how to work those in the context of deep shadows and highlights. It just took off from there. It was breaking new ground for both of us, my talking to him and his ability to grab it and run with it.” Related Articles Winter Park was correct in keeping veteran’s service dog off chairlift, state Civil Rights Commission rules Poverty, segregation persist in U.S. schools, report says Denver agrees to spend $3 million on disabled access fixes under federal settlement — but that’s just the start Pepsi Center will provide captioning after Denver woman’s lawsuit claimed Americans with Disabilities Act violations Denver is best city to own a house and 2nd best to live, but worst to find love — if top 10 lists are to be believed Hendrick began experimenting with degrees of light and dark of any particular hue, which he determined by analyzing the gray-scale values in photographs of his subjects through Photoshop. Then he chose just three of those values — less paint to mix — and used them to create portraits that, through use of both the positive space of the subjects themselves and the negative space around them, coaxes the viewer’s brain to fill in the blanks. He knew he had achieved success when people instantly recognized his subjects. But since he began painting, he has shifted from celebrities to finding inspiration in faces he finds on the image-collecting site Pinterest. Hendrick has slowed his pace of production to one portrait every other week, to alleviate the strain on his neck. He has gone all-in on this medium, even selling his photo studio equipment. Still new to “the art thing,” he isn’t sure where this interest will take him — perhaps to a gallery show of his work. His mom figures that, in addition to the intrinsic rewards, painting has expanded her son’s network — socially, digitally and professionally. “It has really reached beyond this house,” she says. “It takes the emphasis off what his issues are. It’s not limiting him. It’s extending him.”

    DenverPost.com / 2 d. 23 h. 24 min. ago more
  • Researchers Working With Stem Cells To Treat DiabetesResearchers Working With Stem Cells To Treat Diabetes

    New Law Helps Crack Down On Illegal Marijuana Grow Operations A new law in Colorado is making it easier for law enforcement to crack down on illegal marijuana grow operations. Travel Alert: Mountain Winter Driving Tonight Will Improve Saturday A strong jet stream moving across the state from the northwest is causing the wintry weather.

    Aurora News / 3 d. 6 h. 37 min. ago
  • Family: Missing Aurora woman linked to murder investigation - The Denver ChannelFamily: Missing Aurora woman linked to murder investigation - The Denver Channel

    The Denver ChannelFamily: Missing Aurora woman linked to murder investigationThe Denver ChannelAURORA, Colo. -- Family members of a missing Aurora woman say she disappeared two weeks ago, and now, her disappearance may be linked to a murder investigation. The last time anyone saw 29-year-old Barbara Walker was New Year's Eve, according to her ...

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  • Overdue and $1 billion over budget, Aurora VA hospital will likely...Overdue and $1 billion over budget, Aurora VA hospital will likely...

    The $1.7 billion facility will open with a to-do list hundreds of items long, according to document obtained by The Denver Post WASHINGTON - In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to announce that it has all but completed construction of a new hospital in Aurora - a major milestone for a project that drew national outrage in 2015 when the agency admitted it was $1 billion over budget. But according to a congressional document obtained by The Denver Post, the Jan. 23 target will be little more than an illusion as the team building the $1.7 billion facility expects to spend several more months finishing hundreds of items on its to-do list.

    Aurora News / 3 d. 11 h. ago more
  • Overdue and $1 billion over budget, Aurora VA hospital is still incomplete and will likely be understaffed, document ... - The Denver PostOverdue and $1 billion over budget, Aurora VA hospital is still incomplete and will likely be understaffed, document ... - The Denver Post

    The Denver PostOverdue and $1 billion over budget, Aurora VA hospital is still incomplete and will likely be understaffed, document ...The Denver PostWASHINGTON — In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to announce that it has all but completed construction of a new hospital in Aurora — a major milestone for a project that drew national outrage in 2015 when the ...and more »

    Google News / 3 d. 12 h. 48 min. ago more
  • Overdue and $1 billion over budget, Aurora VA hospital is still incomplete and will likely be understaffed, document saysOverdue and $1 billion over budget, Aurora VA hospital is still incomplete and will likely be understaffed, document says

    WASHINGTON — In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to announce that it has all but completed construction of a new hospital in Aurora — a major milestone for a project that drew national outrage in 2015 when the agency admitted it was $1 billion over budget. But according to a congressional document obtained by The Denver Post, the Jan. 23 target will be little more than an illusion as the team building the $1.7 billion facility expects to spend several more months finishing hundreds of items on its to-do list. Even then, the project is unlikely to reach its full potential when it opens later this year. Officials at the VA are “pessimistic” about filling all the jobs at the new hospital in time for its planned summer opening, which “may reduce services initially offered,” according to the latest findings. Old hospital likely to stay open at least 3 years Also, because of the way the new hospital campus was built, there won’t be enough space for facilities such as a rehabilitation center for veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder. The shortcoming means it’s likely the VA will keep open for at least three years the Denver hospital that the Aurora campus is supposed to replace. The timeline could stretch even longer if Congress doesn’t approve the VA’s request to spend millions of additional dollars to construct another building at the new campus, although the whole situation is going to cost taxpayers either way — since keeping open the old facility is also expensive. “Operating both (VA medical centers) will also generate excess security, logistics, facilities management, food service, and administrative staffing costs in the low tens of millions” of dollars, according to a draft document prepared for the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs. The new list of problems is sure to draw renewed attention to the project, which largely has gone unnoticed since 2015, when the VA revealed the project was $1 billion over budget and years behind schedule. The admission briefly put the project’s funding in jeopardy — as several members of Congress questioned whether it should give the VA more money to finish it. Ultimately, they relented, but the episode prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take charge of the project and compel the VA to change how it undertakes large-scale construction. Congressional hearing on hospital set for next week On Friday, three members of Congress toured the construction site: Colorado lawmakers Mike Coffman and Ed Perlmutter, and Phil Roe, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the House veterans committee. His panel has a hearing planned for Wednesday that will examine the project’s progress. Said Coffman, a longtime critic of the VA’s management of the new hospital: “I certainly remain very frustrated in terms of where we are right now.” In response to questions about the project’s progress, VA spokesman Curt Cashour said the agency “continues to work closely with its project partners to resolve issues as they arise.” Daniel Brenner, Special to the Denver PostDENVER, COLORADO – JULY 27: Patients wait for their appointments Thursday, July 27, 2017 at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver. Wait times for medical appointments at veterans facilities in eastern Colorado and the Denver area are among the worst in the nation. The average wait for a primary care appointment at the Denver VA Medical Center has grown to more than 18 days as of July 1. (Photo by Daniel Brenner/Special to the Denver Post) In a separate document obtained by The Denver Post, a top VA official acknowledges many of the issues outlined in the congressional document. But Stella Fiotes, acting principal executive director of the VA’s Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction, said they were being managed correctly – including the add-on items on the construction to-do list. “It is common on complex projects like this one, to defer items that can be more cost effectively and efficiently handled through a follow-on contractor,” she wrote. One piece of good news from the federal document is that the VA probably will not need more money to either finish construction of the new facility or outfit the campus with furniture and medical equipment — costs that are expected to run $1.7 billion and about $340 million respectively. But plenty of work remains. Document calls construction’s status “misleading” Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contractor Kiewit-Turner anticipate most construction work will be done this month, that milestone is “misleading,” according to the congressional findings, because “many design-error corrections, renovations and final completion items that are necessary before activation have been excluded from the definition of ‘construction completion.’” Those include replacing dozens of power outlets and upgrading the facility’s psychiatric offices because “dozens of fixtures” there pose a suicide risk because of features such as sharp edges. Kiewit-Turner plans to finish some of this work — about 75 items — by May, but an additional 300 items are left on the construction to-do list that must be completed by a contractor that has yet to be selected. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had “planned to depart the construction site (in January) but now will continue managing construction through at least June,” according to the four-page congressional document. “Activation activities are ongoing and the facility will open to serve our local veterans in August 2018,” Fiotes wrote. Hundreds of hospital jobs remain unfilled Another worry outlined in the congressional document is the ability of the VA to find employees to staff the new Aurora facility. The existing hospital has 653 vacancies out of a staff of 2,787 — about 23 percent – and that of the “421 positions that need to be hired during activation, VA has onboarded 199 people, with 222 remaining,” according to the congressional document. The tight Denver labor market, they continued, has made VA officials pessimistic about their ability to fill all the slots by the time the campus is ready. While the lack of staffing won’t delay the hospital’s opening, it probably will lead to holes in what services are offered. Coffman, R-Aurora, said his biggest worry was that the VA plans to continue operating the Denver facility after the new Aurora campus opens. “I think the VA really needs to get out of there,” he said. PTSD rehab work to remain at old hospital Notably, a PTSD rehabilitation facility and seven patient-care teams will remain at the Denver hospital for at least three years, according to the congressional document. That’s for two reasons: A planned PTSD building at the new campus was nixed earlier because of the project’s escalating cost, and there’s not enough space at the new hospital to house the seven primary-care teams. Related ArticlesOctober 12, 2017 Dozens of surgeries at Denver VA hospital put off because of doctor shortage July 27, 2017 Wait times at Colorado VA facilities among worst in the nation, new data show June 15, 2017 Ex-VA chief says he wasn’t told about Colorado hospital’s ballooning costs January 27, 2017 Trump administration to exempt VA hospital in Aurora from federal hiring freeze December 20, 2017 VA promotes official tied to Aurora hospital boondoggle, drawing criticism from Mike Coffman “The new (VA medical center) has 34 primary care exam rooms compared to 60 at the existing (VA medical center), and it cannot accommodate seven existing (patient care) teams serving 8,500 veterans,” according to the House document. The three-year timeline comes from the expectation that the VA ultimately will build another building on the new campus. Fiotes, of the VA, acknowledged as much. “VA plans to keep the existing hospital in service until the PTSD building can be completed at the new campus,” she wrote. “Additionally, seven Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) will remain at the current facility to serve veterans until VA conducts further analysis on how to optimize their impact for local area care based on where those PACT teams can continue to function.” Even so, she remained upbeat about the nearly complete medical campus — despite its long history of problems. “The new facility will provide a much more up-to-date and positive veteran and family experience,” she wrote.

    DenverPost.com / 3 d. 12 h. 48 min. ago more
  • New Colorado Beers for a New Colorado YearNew Colorado Beers for a New Colorado Year

    Nothing gives us a warmer, fuzzier feeling than the thought of trying brand-new beers from some of Colorado's 350-plus craft breweries - especially when the weather is cold and the nation's mood is stormy. From coffee beers to hazy, New England-style IPAs to even a sake beer, there is a lot to look forward to.

    Aurora News / 3 d. 15 h. 33 min. ago
  • Colorado administrators indicted for suspending student who reported sex assault by teacherColorado administrators indicted for suspending student who reported sex assault by teacher

    Principal David Gonzales, left, and Vice Principal AJ MacIntosh are accused of failing to report a student's claim of a sex assault. A female student who told school administrators she'd been sexually assaulted by a teacher was suspended and then forced to apologize to the accused perpetrator and hug him, according to an indictment against three Colorado school officials handed down Wednesday.

    Aurora News / 3 d. 20 h. 3 min. ago more
  • Colorado administrators indicted for suspending student who reported sex assault by teacher - Fox NewsColorado administrators indicted for suspending student who reported sex assault by teacher - Fox News

    Fox NewsColorado administrators indicted for suspending student who reported sex assault by teacherFox NewsThe teen said Gonzales asked her to recant the allegation, and, once she had, administrators suspended her, the Aurora Sentinel reported. In a separate meeting with MacIntosh, Vasquez, a counselor, Gonzales and the teen's parents, she was reportedly ...

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  • Oil and gas industry spills increased by 17 percent around Colorado last yearOil and gas industry spills increased by 17 percent around Colorado last year

    Oil and gas spills across Colorado increased in 2017 after two years of decline, with companies reporting nearly a dozen mishaps per week — including numerous leaks along pipelines and at least six cases in which hydrocarbons flowed directly into waterways. A review of the latest state data also shows 22 incidents under investigation in which gas apparently contaminated domestic water wells. The industrial spills disclosed to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission show continuing environmental harm as the total number of active wells statewide surpassed 55,000. Oil and gas companies in 2017 produced oil and gas worth about $10.6 billion. Their operations are concentrated in Weld County, north of metro Denver, with more than 23,700 wells. Garfield County in western Colorado has more than 11,400 wells. Closer to Denver, companies have drilled about 400 wells in Boulder County and 989 in Adams County. State lawmakers created the COGCC to regulate oil and gas development while protecting people and the environment. In 2017, COGCC enforcers imposed an all-time high $7,166,851 in penalties for violations of rules. On Thursday, leaders of Conservation Colorado, one of the state’s largest environmental organizations, raised concerns that spills increasingly degrade Colorado’s land, air and water and urged lawmakers to do more to deal with worsening cumulative impacts. Companies reported 619 spills in 2017, state data show. Altogether, companies spilled more than 93,000 gallons of oil into soil, groundwater and streams. They also spilled more than 506,000 gallons of “produced water,” waste from drilling and hydraulic fracturing that emerges from deep underground and contains chemicals. That number of spills reflects a 17 percent increase above the 529 spills reported in 2016, state data show. Total annual spills remained lower than the 792 spills in 2014 and 624 in 2015. “We have concerns about any oil/produced water spill, which is why we have a regulatory system set up to ensure such spills are reported, investigated and cleaned up,” Colorado Department of Natural Resources spokesman Todd Hartman said. The volume of oil spilled each year has decreased compared with the volumes spilled between 2009 and 2013, Hartman said, adding that this happened “with thousands of additional active wells added since that time.” In at least six cases in which oil and gas spills directly contaminated rivers and streams, COGCC regulators notified Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment water quality officials. State investigations of the 22 household water wells that may have been contaminated with gas are continuing because COGCC rules require companies to take precautions (using steel casing held in place by cement), in drilling and later abandoning wells, to guard against contamination of fresh water. Some of the wells were located in agricultural parts of Weld County, according to a report provided to the water quality officials. So far, the investigations “tell us that well integrity issues do exist in certain cases and do cause thermogenic gas impacts to the aquifer,” Hartman said. “But with thousands of water wells sampled in the (Denver-Julesburg) Basin, we also know that the problem is not ubiquitous or systemic throughout the basin. These are unique circumstances that the agency takes very seriously and makes every effort to investigate and stop the source of gas and ensure that the impacted party has a reliable source of safe drinking water.” Related ArticlesJanuary 13, 2018 Could Colorado’s green energy debate go big in 2018? January 12, 2018 17 former wildlife officials urge Interior to rethink easing rules against killing birds January 12, 2018 Feeling pinched? Denver-Boulder inflation races ahead at fastest pace in a decade January 12, 2018 Denver’s Liberty Oilfield Services IPO rolls out strong January 12, 2018 Pipeline protester Red Fawn Fallis won’t get more details on FBI informant she alleges seduced her The Colorado Oil and Gas Association industry trade group did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Conservation Colorado officials said lawmakers must do more to deal with environmental harm. “The oil and gas impacts in Colorado are only getting greater. And they are not going to go away soon. There are myriad impacts. Damage to our water. Oil and gas well fragmentation of habitat. Air pollution caused by the leaking methane. Not to mention public health and safety,” said the group’s deputy director, Jessica Goad. “People don’t feel like there’s a venue where change can be made. We’ve seen the oil and gas commission struggling to determine how to fix the issues of oil and gas pipeline mapping and the leaking. And we have not made progress in the legislature. Dozens of bills have been killed in the state Senate over the last few years,” Goad said. Conservation Colorado has 36,000 members. It is focused on legislation that would require bigger buffers between industrial facilities and schools. It is also seeking to increase local control over industrial operations inside cities and increase health and safety protection for residents.

    DenverPost.com / 3 d. 23 h. 54 min. ago more
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    Aurora News / 4 d. 14 h. 54 min. ago more
  • Colorado says mine can continue polluting creek above a Denver drinking water reservoirColorado says mine can continue polluting creek above a Denver drinking water reservoir

    Colorado health officials have granted Climax Molybdenum a third extension of a “temporary” lifting of the state’s health limit for molybdenum pollution of a creek, allowing continued elevated discharges above Denver’s drinking water supplies. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment water-quality commissioners voted unanimously this week to give Climax until June 2020 to meet state standards. The delay, commissioners said, will give time for Climax to resolve scientific uncertainty around how much molybdenum is too much for people. They also said Climax must use the extra time to work toward reducing the pollution of Ten Mile Creek to acceptable levels. “CDPHE expects Climax will make progress on, and adhere to, the plan to resolve uncertainty … as well as follow the commission’s direction … to investigate molybdenum sources and treatment alternatives,” according to a statement that an agency spokesman said could be attributed to the agency’s water-quality standards manager Blake Beyea. Climax has been lobbying the CDPHE to relax the statewide limit for molybdenum pollution of waterways, which would ease the company’s wastewater-cleaning burden. Climax has submitted industry-backed studies, not yet fully reviewed, supporting a loosening of Colorado’s limits to 9,000 parts per billion from 210 ppb for streams used to supply drinking water, and to 1,000 ppb from 160 ppb for streams used for irrigating pastures and food crops. Climax Molybdenum, a subsidiary of the $46 billion global mining company Freeport-McMoRan,  runs the open-pit Climax Mine in high-altitude tundra above Dillon Reservoir on Fremont Pass, between Frisco and Leadville, employing about 400 workers. Molybdenum is used to harden steel and for petroleum-industry lubricants. An existing water treatment plant below the mine removes many contaminants, though not molybdenum. Removing all molybdenum from mining discharges could cost hundreds of million of dollars — either for Climax or for Denver Water and the 1.4 million metro residents it supplies. Denver Water officials and downstream communities concerned about the contamination — CDPHE officials have said they’re aware of molybdenum spikes at up to 3,000 ppb – accepted giving Climax more time with the understanding that Climax would work to reduce the pollution. CDPHE commissioners granted this third extension of their temporary 2014 lifting of the 210 ppb limit yet also will provide “more substance and details on what Climax must do during the delay,” said Steve Bushong, an attorney for a group of communities and agricultural water users. Related ArticlesJanuary 3, 2018 Climax asks for extension of water pollution limit Colorado residents and state health scientists “wanted to make sure progress was being made on identifying the source of the large molybdenum spikes and identifying ways to address it — instead of kicking the can down the road for 18 months,” Bushong said. Denver Water spokeswoman Stacy Chesney said the utility “anticipates that these activities should help minimize future spikes of molybdenum on Ten Mile Creek.” Climax Molybdenum officials “are pleased” that the CDPHE granted the extension, Freeport McMoRan spokesman Eric Kinneberg said. “During the time the temporary modification is in place, additional independent analyses of the recently completed studies on molybdenum’s impact on human and animal health will proceed, and we look forward to discussing their conclusions with our stakeholders,” Kinneberg said. “Climax will also evaluate and share information on possible methods to reduce the variation of molybdenum concentrations in the discharge, in addition to continuing its environmental stewardship and robust water treatment.” The Environmental Protection Agency is required to list unregulated water contaminants and has set health advisory levels for some, including a 40-ppb limit for molybdenum. That means the concentration in drinking water is not expected to harm a person exposed to molybdenum at that level. The EPA hasn’t set a drinking-water regulation for molybdenum. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, or ATSDR, has determined that ingesting no more than 45 micrograms of molybdenum a day is OK for adults but that most Americans ingest 76 to 109 micrograms. Long-term exposure of rats and mice to molybdenum dust has been shown to cause damage to the nasal cavity and lungs. Animal studies also found molybdenum at high levels can impair reproduction, kidneys and lungs. ATSDR officials have said they’ll produce a toxicology profile for molybdenum. It is not classified as a carcinogen.

    DenverPost.com / 4 d. 14 h. 56 min. ago more
  • FBI Seeking Information About Attempted Bank Robbery in Denver, Colorado and Armed Bank Robbery in Aurora ... - Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog)FBI Seeking Information About Attempted Bank Robbery in Denver, Colorado and Armed Bank Robbery in Aurora ... - Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog)

    FBI Seeking Information About Attempted Bank Robbery in Denver, Colorado and Armed Bank Robbery in Aurora ...Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog)The suspect is described as a white male, 50 to 60 years of age, approximately 5'10” tall, possible facial blemish, with a medium build. During the Aurora robbery, the suspect brandished a handgun to the teller, demanded money, and fled the bank on ...

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  • G'Ducks Bar Is Your "Any-Collar Bar" in Southeast AuroraG'Ducks Bar Is Your "Any-Collar Bar" in Southeast Aurora

    In Aurora's Mission Viejo neighborhood, if you look hard enough in the back corner of a nondescript shopping center off South Chambers Road and East Hampden Avenue , you just might find the hidden gem that is G'Ducks Bar . The sign for the unpretentious little spot is reasonably visible, just enough to indicate that the battered wooden door underneath must be the entry to the bar.

    Aurora News / 4 d. 22 h. 11 min. ago more
  • Car strikes, kills bicyclist in AuroraCar strikes, kills bicyclist in Aurora

    A car struck and killed a bicyclist early Thursday morning in Aurora, police say. The crash happened at 3:28 a.m. at East Hampden Avenue and South Kalispell Street. The bicycle rider was declared dead at the scene, according to a report by Sgt. Mike Douglass. The driver of the vehicle remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation, Douglass said. Related Articles Go in or walk away? Shooting that killed Douglas County deputy underscores danger officers face when confronting mental illness Pedestrian hit, killed Friday night in Aurora while crossing Arapahoe Road Coroner says man found in Aurora ditch is homicide victim Former Grandview High School security guard pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of a child Aurora police asking for public’s help finding a missing at-risk adult The identity of the bicyclist is not being released at this time, pending notification of next of kin. This crash is under investigation.

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  • 3 Cherry Creek school leaders failed to properly report claims of sexual assault by a teacher on 14-year-old student, indictment says3 Cherry Creek school leaders failed to properly report claims of sexual assault by a teacher on 14-year-old student, indictment says

    By Tony Kovaleski, Ryan Luby and Brittany Freeman, Denver7 AURORA — Three Cherry Creek school leaders — a principal, assistant principal and former counselor — were indicted on a charge that they failed to properly report claims of sexual assault by a teacher on a 14-year-old student and, in fact, suspended the student. The claims arose after Aurora police arrested Prairie Middle School social studies teacher Brian Vasquez in August 2017 and accused him of physical abuse and exchanging nude photos with several students. During that investigation, a recent grand jury indictment says he admitted to sexually exploiting other students beginning in 2013. The indictment centers on allegations made by a specific student in 2013. The student, identified as “child victim” or “CV,” said Prairie Middle School assistant principal AJ MacIntosh and principal David Gonzales told her the accusations would be devastating to Vasquez’s career. Related ArticlesJanuary 14, 2018 Crimes against homeless people up 42 percent in Denver and suburban cops say that’s pushing transients into their towns January 11, 2018 Westminster police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault charge January 10, 2018 A pastor in Memphis admitted a past “sexual incident” with a teen. His congregation gave him a standing ovation. January 10, 2018 State education department employee allegedly “upskirted” 26 coworkers, nearly 100 others January 6, 2018 Colorado judges, lawyers not always comfortable with comfort dog Cherry Creek spokeswoman Abbe Smith said in a letter to parents that Gonzales and MacIntosh have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the court proceedings. According to the indictment, the student said MacIntosh pressured her “to recant her disclosure of sexual abuse by Vasquez.” It also says school personnel notified Vasquez of the allegations who later met with the victim to “impress upon her the devastating effects her disclosure would have on his career and family.” Cherry Creek School Superintendent Harry Bull said he was aware of the indictments but has not read them. “We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office,” Smith said. Also named in the indictment is Cheryl Somers-Wegienka, a former Prairie Middle School counselor, who is accused in the student’s suspension. The first court appearance for all three is Jan. 23. Read the full story at thedenverchannel.com. Denver Post staff writers Monte Whaley and Kieran Nicholson contributed to this report.  

    DenverPost.com / 5 d. 12 h. 47 min. ago more
  • Colorado Harvest Co. Sells Aurora License to Starbuds After 280E AuditColorado Harvest Co. Sells Aurora License to Starbuds After 280E Audit

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  • Ten Arty Things to Do and See This Weekend in DenverTen Arty Things to Do and See This Weekend in Denver

    Exhibits opening this week run the gamut in subject matter, from works by tattoo artists to an installation of mind-blowing light sculptures by nonagenarian Dorothy Tanner. Famous women will be celebrated and the issues of modern times torn apart; teaching artists share their process and artists of the new West find their place in history in a survey focusing on one of Denver's finest galleries.

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  • Colorado oil-gas regulators delay decisions on rules for pipelinesColorado oil-gas regulators delay decisions on rules for pipelines

    Colorado officials trying to set rules for multiplying underground oil and gas pipelines dived into details Tuesday ranging from when companies must report accidents to industry assertions that providing precise maps would aid terrorists — and hit a wall. Locations of many old pipelines remain largely unknown, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulators were told. Beyond pipelines under well pads, larger “gathering lines” may be the responsibility of other state and federal government agencies. A single company operates 3,700 miles of these lines — some carrying gas, some carrying oil. And an 811 “dial-before-you-dig” system touted by state officials as a repository for pipeline location data apparently cannot provide the maps that community planners, residents and emergency crews say they need. COGCC members decided to delay their scheduled “rule-making” until Feb. 13. Commission chairman John Benton directed state staffers to work more with companies and communities to refine draft proposals in this project, spurred by the fatal April 17 blast at Firestone that was caused by a leaking gas pipeline. On one hand, underground pipelines can help reduce industrial truck traffic as companies increase extraction of fossil fuels along Colorado’s increasingly populated Front Range. On the other, pipelines can leak, degrading soil and water, and the volatility of hydrocarbons leads to fires and explosions. During a second full-day forum, the COGCC focused on industry concerns. While companies support the state push to make better rules, Colorado Oil and Gas Association president Dan Haley said, “the cumulative administrative burden of the proposed rules is significant.” For example, DCP Midstream operates 3,700 miles of gathering lines with 2,500 valves, company attorney Alison Barry told commissioners. Requiring submission of data on all that “would impose burdensome reporting requirements,” Barry said. A PDC official said new rules shouldn’t take effect until March 2020. Anadarko Petroleum attorney David Neslin challenged a proposed 30-day notice requirement for construction of new oil lines. “A shorter period for construction notice, we believe, will be more efficient and functional for the industry,” Neslin said, suggesting two days. “Anadarko supports the concept and the purpose of these proposed rules,” he said, though “the proposed rules create substantial cumulative burdens.” Colorado communities are demanding stricter protection for people and the environment. They’ve asked state regulators to provide pipeline maps that they contend are crucial for urban growth planning and emergency response. They’re also pressing for a rule that companies use at least two systems for detecting pipeline leaks, such as pressure-monitoring, infrared camera inspections and deploying sensors called “smart pigs” that move through underground lines. They want companies to report all accidents and let locals decide whether abandoned pipelines must be removed. Related ArticlesJanuary 12, 2018 Plan for 140 oil, gas wells would develop all of Crestone Peak’s eastern Boulder County assets January 12, 2018 Oil and gas industry spills increased by 17 percent around Colorado last year January 8, 2018 Colorado oil and gas regulators face flak from communities as they refine pipeline rules December 21, 2017 Anadarko reports release of cancer-causing chemical while removing tank battery near Dacono Noble Energy engineering manager Jeannette Jones told commissioners maps in local government hands could lead to terrorist tampering with pipelines. If companies give COGCC regulators details, the state officials must filter that data to limit public access, Jones said. COGCC member Erin Overturf probed that impulse for secrecy. “Local governments are sophisticated. … I also am not concerned with local governments committing acts of terrorism,” Overturf said. “What do you see as the risks of providing them that information?” Local officials could share pipeline info with developers, Jones replied. “It just opens the door.” Haley later said in an interview that “we are OK with reasonable mapping.” A move toward consensus on some matters encouraged government coalition leader Kim Sanchez, Boulder County’s chief planner, who noted “neither the commission nor industry challenged the legitimacy of the local governments’ request for accurate and comprehensive pipeline mapping for informed planning and emergency response.” Sanchez added that local authorities “don’t question that the data must be adequately protected to address safety or terrorism concerns.”

    DenverPost.com / 6 d. 10 h. 30 min. ago more
  • Colorado engineers are helping us return to the moon, and beyondColorado engineers are helping us return to the moon, and beyond

    Astronaut Nicole Mann examined the circuit board on the table at SEAKR Engineering’s Centennial headquarters. To the untrained eye, the electronic quilt of black chips and gold resistors, barely a foot long, resembled something that could have been plucked from inside a dusty home computer. But Mann and the engineers at SEAKR knew its power. It is one piece of the technology aimed at safely launching the NASA Orion spacecraft to the moon and beyond, possibly with Mann as its pilot. Orion is this century’s successor to the Apollo program that landed man on the moon. Its deep space missions are aimed at taking astronauts to the moon and, one day, to Mars. This time around, creating a state-of-the-art spacecraft is an international effort. Ten countries in the European Space Agency have joined the United States in building modules for the ship and for the accompanying Space Launch System rocket. Most of the components have been tested and completed, leaving the formidable tasks of delivering and assembling them. And then, the first mission itself. “Not only does each piece have to work, but when it comes together, it all has to work,” said Charles Lundquist, deputy program manager for Orion. This stage of the project involves NASA personnel touring the facilities that helped build Orion and its many components and thanking the workers, including employees of SEAKR. SEAKR is just one of 200 Colorado companies contributing parts to the next generation of NASA spaceships. Colorado is home to the country’s second-largest aerospace economy, with more than 400 aerospace companies and 188,280 space-related jobs, according to the Colorado Space Coalition, a group that promotes space industry in the state. Originally founded in California in 1981, SEAKR Engineering moved to Colorado in 1995. The company employs 440 people across multiple facilities in Centennial and Superior. Its main contribution to Orion is electronics for the spacecraft’s vision processing unit. The work of SEAKR engineers plays an integral role in saving images taken in deep space and sending them back to Earth. “You’re not just building some box. You’re not just building some computer board,” Mann told SEAKR employees. “You’re building a part that’s critical to space travel.” A preview of Centennial’s mark on the Orion mission is seen in a video from the spacecraft’s December 2014 test flight. About five hours in, the video reveals gorgeous views of Earth’s oceans dappled by clouds — recorded in space and transmitted back to Earth, courtesy of Colorado engineers. SEAKR has contributed parts to about 200 launches, all successful, and specializes in designing and building memory chips, such as the one for Orion. Naturally, SEAKR puts its products through rigorous testing to make sure they’re fit for the extremes of outer space. The Orion spacecraft has to survive acceleration from zero to 28,000 mph, and so does the technology on board. The same goes for the huge temperature variations involved in space travel, from fiery lift-off to the crushing cold of zero gravity. SEAKR engineers re-create these extraterrestrial extremes with the help of massive machinery — thermal testing chambers, vacuum chambers, vibration rooms. During Mann’s recent visit, the Temperature and Vacuum Test Room drowned in the sounds of pistons firing and Thermotron chambers whirring as they heated up to more than 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). Technicians carefully recorded test results. One of those engineers is Marie Derr, the tech lead and systems engineer on the Orion project. She’s worked on the spacecraft since she started with SEAKR in March 2014, and was responsible for making sure the design fit the client’s requirements. “I never would have envisioned myself being a tech lead on a project like this that’s going to space,” she said. Derr was one of several SEAKR employees recognized by the visiting NASA entourage for their work, given an Orion mission patch and a certificate for “extraordinary performance, leadership and collaboration.” Orion is scheduled for an unmanned mission in 2019. The 40-day jaunt will take the spacecraft from low-Earth orbit to 40,000 miles past the moon, a test of the spacecraft and all the technology aboard. Manned flights are scheduled to begin in the early 2020s — at first to the moon and eventually to Mars. The long-term plan for the Orion mission is to construct a hub called the Deep Space Gateway on the far side of the moon, a sort of galactic rest stop for astronauts during the three-year trip to and from Mars. The Orion spacecraft will serve alternate roles as a cargo ship ferrying goods and astronauts to the hub and a groundbreaking deep space explorer. Related ArticlesJanuary 6, 2018 Legendary astronaut, moonwalker John Young has died, NASA says December 22, 2017 Former astronaut, long-time Coloradan, Bruce McCandless, dies at 80 “It’s far enough away that we’re gonna learn a lot. It’s close enough, you can get back in a week if something bad happens,” Lundquist said of the Deep Space Gateway. “It’s kinda the Goldilocks, the just right spot.” In the meantime, assembling Orion and planning for long-term missions in space consumes NASA’s schedule. Spending continuous years in space means astronauts, such as Mann, could face unprecedented levels of radiation exposure, muscle and bone loss and mental health concerns. The distance between Earth and Mars means there could be a 22-minute time delay in all communications, unlike the near instantaneous relay during the Apollo missions. The crew and spacecraft have to be autonomous in an entirely new way. But for Mann, the chance for humans to return to the moon and inspire a new generation of astronauts make it more than worth the risks, she said. “This is what we’ve been waiting for, right?” Mann said. “It’s just a really exciting time to be a part of NASA.”

    DenverPost.com / 6 d. 12 h. 54 min. ago more
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