Posts tagged interest
March 25, 2013This report is an executive summary of an extensive personnel investigation into allegations ofserious misconduct involving Boulder Police Officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow. Somedetailed information is included, while other details have been excluded to protect informationbelonging to other agencies and/or the criminal case that has yet to be concluded.
FULL REPORT SEE HERE:
Some names have been redacted to protect department members’ personnel privacy rights. Investigative
reports on personnel matters are typically not made public. The decision to release this report
was made in the interest of transparency (to the degree possible) and due to the already public
nature of the incident, the degree of public concern expressed over the incident, and the fact that both officers are no longer with the departmentOn January 1, 2013, at approximately 2255 hours, Officer Sam Carter shot and killed an elk with
police issued shotgun on the corner of 9th and Mapleton while on duty. Officer Carter had
made prior arrangements with off duty Officer Brent Curnow to assist him in loading the elk in
Curnow’s truck for later processing. Officer Carter made no attempt to report that he had
discharged his shotgun or that he had killed the elk. (Officers sometimes have to euthanize
injured animals to prevent further suffering.) Officer Carter did not notify a supervisor, dispatch,
or file any reports about the incident.
On the morning of January 2nd, the department began to receive media inquiries about the killing
of the elk. The department had no knowledge of any officer involvement in the killing at that
time. The department continued to follow-up on reports that an elk had been killed by a Boulder
officer and learned on the evening of January 2nd that Sam Carter had killed the elk. The
department then began a preliminary internal investigation to determine the circumstances and
why Carter did not report the shooting to anyone. As information was developed, it became
obvious that there were serious questions around the circumstances of the shooting and the
actions of the officers involved.
On January 3rd, a formal Internal Affairs Investigation (IA) was initiated against Officers Carter
and Curnow (see attached complaints officially filed January 4th). Both officers were placed on
administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. At about the same time, a
criminal investigation was initiated by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife (CPW).
While information was shared with CPW, the investigations remained separate and distinct. The
goal of the department’s IA investigation was to determine whether Officers Carter and Curnow
had violated any department rules and/or policies. The criminal investigation was left to CPW
and eventually forwarded to the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office. We did not conduct
a personnel investigation into the actions of Deputy Jeff George. That responsibility fell to his
employer, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.
On January 18th Officers Carter and Curnow were arrested and charged with multiple offenses
related to the elk shooting. On the same date, both officers were placed on leave without pay and
given appointments to report to the police department for their formal IA interviews on January BOULDER POLICE DEPARTMENT
21st. Rather than appear for their interviews as scheduled, their attorney Marc Colin appeared
and announced that both officers would resign effective January 22nd. Boulder Police continued to investigate to determine the facts and whether other employees were potentially involved. The department did not find any other violations of rules or policies by any other employees. Some employees had overheard statements by Carter and or Curnow about
wanting to get the elk, or shoot the elk. However, the context in which these statements were
made did not lead those employees to believe either officer would illegally or without
justification shoot the elk. Both officers were hunters, as were other members of the department,
and would often talk about hunting, so this type of conversation did not seem alarming. Often,
job related joking occurs at briefings to start the day, so it is not unusual to hear officers make
statements in jest. As one officer put it, Carter was always making brash statements in briefing
but never did any of the things he joked about. No one took him literally when he said he
wanted to kill the elk. Officer Curnow also reportedly teased a Sergeant about putting the elk
down as he knew that Sergeant was an animal lover.
The elk in question had been around Boulder for many months and was admired by many
officers. Some officers even took pictures of the elk due to its size and beauty. After the
shooting, the officers who worked with Carter and Curnow were shocked, disappointed, and
angry that they would do such a thing.
All of the information gathered during the investigation was provided to supervisors and the
department’s 12 member IA Review Panel, (six community members and six department
members). All reviewers were unanimous in recommending the allegations against Carter and
Curnow be sustained. Chief of Police Mark Beckner agreed with these recommendations and
entered a sustained finding in the personnel files of both Carter and Curnow.
None of the reviewers or panel members believed any disciplinary action was appropriate for any
other officer. The Chief of Police also asked specifically for feedback from supervisors and the
IA Review Panel in regards to some decision making on the part of two other officers. One
involved a post on a Facebook page about the elk and the other involved being more timely in
letting the department know of Carter’s involvement. The consensus feedback was that both
situations were best handled as learning experiences to be addressed through documented
counseling with supervisors. The Chief accepted this recommendation.
Early next month, researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder will begin the painstaking process of interviewing hundreds of undergraduates in an effort to understand why the rates of students switching out of science, technology, engineering and math majors has remained troublingly high over the last couple of decades despite widespread efforts to address the problem.
The five-year, $4.3 million project, undertaken in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, replicates and expands on a study begun by a couple of CU-Boulder researchers two decades ago and published in 1997 as a book. “Talking About Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences” has since become a seminal text in the field of STEM education.
“Part of the reason why we’re undertaking this study is that the rates of students switching out of STEM majors has remained so persistent,” said Anne-Barrie Hunter, co-director of Ethnography and Evaluation Research at CU-Boulder and principal investigator for the Colorado research team. “Here we are now, 20 years on, and the rates are still roughly the same. They’re very, very stubborn.”
The study, which is being funded by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is the first to be run out of CU-Boulder’s new Center for STEM Learning.
When the original study began in the early 1990s, the high rates of students leaving STEM majors — between 40 and 60 percent, depending on the discipline — were known, but the reasons for the switching were just conjecture. Some thought that the students who switched didn’t have the necessary ability to succeed in tough science classes, while others blamed teaching assistants with difficult-to-understand accents or the lack of experience of teaching assistants in general.
CU-Boulder researchers Nancy Hewitt and Elaine Seymour set out to determine whether any of the speculation was true by asking those who should know: the students. The pair led a research team that interviewed more than 400 undergraduates, both “switchers” and “persisters.”
“Our evidence didn’t support what they thought,” said Seymour, who is also involved with the new study. “We were really surprised.” As it turned out, “switchers” and “persisters” were equally bright and teaching assistants were often a much-needed lifeline for struggling students. In fact, both sets of students faced the same set of challenges, the largest of which was the way science classes were taught.
“What we discovered was that an incoming interest in the sciences was dissipated over the course of the first two years by the way the courses were taught,” Seymour said. “The teaching in those days was predominantly stand-and-deliver lecturing.”
Since Seymour and Hewitt’s book was published, there has been a nationwide effort to improve the quality of undergraduate science education. “Change is going on all across the country,” Seymour said. “But it may not be sufficient to move the needle.”
For “Talking About Leaving Revisited,” the researchers will interview undergraduates at the seven institutions that hosted the original study to find out if the reasons for switching have changed. But the new study will also go further by interviewing course instructors, observing classroom teaching practices and analyzing the transcripts of students across institutions to look for patterns among switchers and persisters. When the study is concluded, the research team plans to publish another book.
Talking About Leaving Revisited is one of the inaugural grants affiliated with CU-Boulder’s Center for STEM Learning, which was officially formed in December. The center, which was organized over four years with the backing of a $1 million institutional transformation grant from the National Science Foundation, aims to provide an infrastructure that will support the more than 75 existing STEM education programs on campus and allow them to more easily collaborate.
“We will provide a network and support structure designed to catalyze and provide links among these people, ideas, tools and resources,” said physics Professor Noah Finkelstein, one of the people who helped lead the effort to create the new center.
The Center for STEM Learning, which will also strive to be a state, regional and national resource, has three main thrusts: to transform the way STEM classes are delivered, to support research into the best practices for STEM education, and to help recruit the brightest to become STEM teachers.
For more information on the study visit http://wceruw.org/projects/projects.php?project_num=956.
Story by B.G. Brooks, Contributing Editor, CUBuffs.com
BOULDER – More challenging times are ahead for the Colorado women’s basketball team, but the Buffaloes appear to be steeling themselves for whatever comes their way.
Unbeaten CU (7-0) rolled past Colorado State 72-46 on Wednesday night in the first game of a women’s/men’s doubleheader at the Coors Events Center.
All things considered, it was a night for fun and frolic – but next week promises to bring the degree of difficulty to a higher level. The Buffs are off until Tuesday (7 p.m.) when they travel to the University of Denver (3-3), then host No. 8 Louisville (8-1) on Friday (7 p.m.) in their most significant challenge to date.
CU took command Wednesday night with an 18-4 first half run, led 37-17 at halftime and cruised past CSU (2-5) in the final 20 minutes. Buffs coach Linda Lappe used 12 players and nine of them scored, topped by Brittany Wilson’s 13. Jen Reese and Jamee Swan contributed 11 each and Arielle Roberson added 10. CU’s bench outscored CSU’s 33-5.
Momentum gained from the Buffs’ 69-62 comeback weekend win at Illinois obviously carried into mid-week. CU outrebounded CSU 59-26, outscored the visitors 30-18 in the paint and had 20 second-chance points to CSU’s two.
The Buffs, who won 64-55 last season in Fort Collins, trailed once in the first half (2-0), but thereafter took control and led by 20 (37-17) at intermission. Following that two-point deficit, CU surged past CSU the 18-4 over the next 7 minutes to take a 16-point advantage (22-6) and never slowed down.
During that spurt, Brittany Wilson scored eight of her 10 first-half points, while Reese added five. At the 11:45 mark, the Buffs were shooting 53.3 percent (8-for-15) from the field while holding the Rams to 21.4 percent (3-for-14).
After CU’s opening run to go ahead by 16, CSU never got closer than 11 points for the rest of the half. And the Buffs kept pouring it on, leading by 20 twice before the halftime buzzer.
Roberson, a three-time recipient of the Pac-12 Conference freshman of the week award in the season’s first four weeks, added eight points to the Buffs’ halftime total. She entered the game with an 18.5 average.
CU’s second-half goal likely was to not lose interest and allow a CSU run. Mission accomplished. A “B-Wil” three-pointer and a Rachel Hargis layup on a nice fast break assist from Chucky Jeffery fashioned a 25-point lead (42-17) before the second half was 2 minutes old.
Less than 8 minutes later, after treys on consecutive possessions by freshman Lauren Huggins, senior Meagan Malcom-Peck and another by Huggins, the Buffs had pushed ahead by 30 (61-31).
The second half was only half done, but it was time for the Rams to say goodnight.
Ever wondered who is living in your gut, and what they’re doing? The trillions of microbial partners in and on our bodies outnumber our own cells by as many as 10 to 1 and do all sorts of important jobs, from helping digest the food we eat this Thanksgiving to building up our immune systems.
In association with the Human Food Project, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder along with researchers at other institutions around the world are launching a new open-access project known as “American Gut” in which participants can get involved in finding out what microbes are in their own guts and what they are doing in there.
The project builds on previous efforts, including the five-year, $173-million NIH-funded Human Microbiome Project, to characterize the microbes living in and on our bodies, said Associate Professor Rob Knight of CU-Boulder’s BioFrontiers Institute. But unlike other projects that have focused on carefully chosen test subjects with a few hundred people, this project allows the public to get involved and is encouraging tens of thousands of people to do so, Knight said.
“Galileo saw outer space through his telescope, and we want to see the inner space of your gut through modern genetics,” said Rob Dunn, a scientist at North Carolina State University and a collaborator on the project. The new project will be “crowd-funded” by individuals interested in learning more about their own gut bacteria and by others who simply want to contribute to the project, said Dunn.
“By combining the crowd-funding model with the open-access data analysis model that we pioneered with the Earth Microbiome Project, we can finally give anyone with an interest in his or her microbiome an opportunity to participate, whether by contributing samples or by looking at the data,” said Knight, also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist.
Public interest is immense, says the research team. 18,000 people have already signed up to receive more information by email about the project when it launches. “The American Gut project builds on the Human Microbiome Project by allowing anyone to participate, and will let the public join in the excitement of this new field,” said Lita Proctor, program director for the Human Microbiome Project. “We can expect this to lay the groundwork for all sorts of fascinating studies in the future, that others will in turn build on.”
The American Gut project is an opportunity for the “citizen scientists” working with team of leading researchers and labs throughout the United States to help shape a new way of understanding how diet and lifestyle may contribute to human health through each person’s suite of trillions of tiny microbes, say the researchers. A key aspect of the project is to understand how diet and lifestyle, whether by choice — like athletes or vegetarians — or by necessity, including those suffering from particular autoimmune diseases or who have food allergies, affect peoples’ microbial makeup, said Knight.
“This will be the first project of its kind that might be able to address this question at such a large scale,” said Jeff Leach, founder of the Human Food Project and co-founder of American Gut. The gut microbiome has been linked to many diseases, including obesity, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease — all of which are much more common in Western populations, he said.
“We should start thinking about diets not only from the perspective of what we should eat, but what we should be feeding our entire gut microbial systems,” said Leach. A key aspect of the project is to integrate studies of Americans of all shapes and sizes with studies of people living more traditional lifestyles in Africa, South America and elsewhere, he said.
The steep decline in the cost of DNA sequencing and recent advances in computational techniques allow for the analysis of microbial genomes orders of magnitude cheaper than was possible only a few years ago, said Knight. Sequencing is now getting cheap enough — participants who donate $99 or more can expect to get tens of thousands of sequences from microbes in their gut — that participants can include their families and even their pets, Knight said.
Doctoral student Daniel McDonald is one of several CU-Boulder students who will be involved in the effort. “I am excited to have the opportunity to develop new computational tools in order to further explore this frontier,” said McDonald, who is in the Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology program at the BioFrontiers Institute.
“I am pleased to participate in this pioneering effort that marries the vast interest of the public in science with questions that are worth answering about human health and nutrition,” said Martin Blaser, chair of the Department of Medicine and professor of microbiology at New York University. “Through this consortium, the technical and intellectual resources are there to lead to important new knowledge.”
The project will seek to build on a growing canine and feline database as well. “The majority of data we currently have on the dog and cat microbiomes has come from a handful of small studies in research or clinically ill animals,” said Associate Professor Kelly Swanson of the Department of Animal Sciences and Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “This study will apply the technology to free-living pets, where diet, genetics, and living environment are quite different from household to household.
“This research may identify important trends not possible with lab-based studies, and help guide us on how to feed our pets in the future,” said Swanson.
The backdrop to the project is the radical decline in the cost of DNA sequencing, which allows analysis of microbial genomes orders of magnitude cheaper than was possible only a few years ago, and recent advances in computational techniques. Participants in the project include many of the key players in the Human Microbiome Project and research facilities around the world.
To learn more about participating in or contributing to the project visit https://www.indiegogo.com/americangut. For a list of additional collaborators on the project visithttp://humanfoodproject.com/the-people/collaborators/.
Raymond Webster Hamilton, wanted for questioning in a pattern of recent wallet thefts at three university campuses, is in custody.
Hamilton, 26, of Denver, is a suspect wanted in connection with the theft of an iPad at the University of Colorado Boulder over the summer. He is also a person of interest in at least 23 cases of wallet and laptop thefts at CU-Boulder, CU Anschutz Medical Campus and the Colorado School of Mines.
State parole officers arrested Hamilton in Denver on Monday, November 19, 2012. He declined to speak to a CU-Boulder police detective on scene. The investigation into the wallet and laptop thefts is ongoing. Hamilton was booked into the Denver County Downtown Detention Center on charges of providing false information to a pawn broker, three fugitive holds and a parole violation. He is being held without bond.
“We thank the media for their assistance in publicizing these cases, and we thank the public for their tips that led to this arrest,” said CU-Boulder Police spokesman Ryan Huff. “At the same time, we remind the campus community that they need to stay vigilant in protecting their valuable items.”
CU-Boulder police worked with Lakewood police to obtain an arrest warrant for Hamilton. He is not a CU student. The following is a chronology of recent thefts at the three universities:
- Hamilton pawned an iPad just hours after it was stolen from a CU-Boulder Visual Arts Complex office on July 25, 2012. As a result of that case, Hamilton had an active arrest warrant for pawning stolen property (a Class 6 felony) to a Lakewood pawn broker.
- On Oct. 17, 2012, someone stole five wallets and a laptop from CU-Boulder academic building offices and the University Memorial Center.
- On Oct. 19, 2012, someone stole three wallets from offices at the Colorado School of Mines. A CSM Police Department investigation determined that Hamilton is a person of interest in at least one of those cases.
- On Oct. 24, 2012, someone stole wallets and purses from 14 offices at CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Surveillance video of the suspect resembles Hamilton.
From Oct. 2 to Oct. 20, 2012, UCPD recorded 15 cases of a suspect or suspects stealing laptops and wallets from common areas or unlocked offices. For a Google Map with dates, locations and stolen items, see http://bit.ly/Oct2012CUthefts.
The CU Police Department reminds the campus community to keep lockers and offices secured when unattended. In common areas, such as dining facilities, libraries or the University Memorial Center, never leave laptops, mobile phones or other valuable items unattended – even if just stepping away for a few minutes. For more crime prevention tips, see http://police.colorado.edu/crime-prevention-and-safety.
Some arid lands in the American West degraded by military exercises that date back to General George Patton’s Word War II maneuvers in the Mojave Desert should get a boost from an innovative research project led by the University of Colorado Boulder.
Headed up by CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Nichole Barger, the research team is focused on developing methods to restore biological soil crusts — microbial communities primarily concentrated on soil surfaces critical to decreasing erosion and increasing water retention and soil fertility. Such biological soil crusts, known as “biocrusts,” can cover up to 70 percent of the ground in some arid ecosystems and are dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, fungi and bacteria, she said.
The project is aimed at restoring fragile habitats in desert areas that have been affected by the movement of U.S. military vehicles, including tanks, as well as high foot traffic, said Barger, a faculty member in CU-Boulder’s ecology and environmental biology department. The team has two U.S. Department of Defense study sites — Fort Bliss, which straddles southern Texas and New Mexico and is located in a hot desert environment, and the Dugway Proving Ground in northwest Utah, seated in a cool desert environment.
“Biocrusts often are associated with increased soil nutrients and water retention, but their most important task is to stabilize soil surfaces against wind and water erosion,” Barger said. “While most biocrusts are relatively resilient to wind and water erosion, they are highly susceptible to compressional forces like those generated by foot and vehicle traffic associated with ground-based military activities.”
At military installations like Fort Bliss, the Dugway Proving Ground and in the California/Arizona Maneuver Area in the Mojave Desert used by Patton’s troops, scars of past military activity still are evident, said Barger. “You can go to these places and see that the biocrusts in the old tank tracks, for example, are completely different than nearby biocrusts undisturbed by military activity.”
The project is being funded by a five-year, $2.3 million grant from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, the U.S. Department of Defense environmental science and technology program that partners with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. The research team also includes Jayne Belnap, Michael Duniway and Sasha Reed from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Biological Resources Division in Moab, Utah and Ferran Garcia-Pichel of Arizona State University in Tempe.
The first step of the program will be to grow biocrusts in laboratories at ASU, said Barger. “Our approach will be to expose laboratory biocrusts over time to a physiological ‘boot camp’ that includes increasing stressors like heat, light and dryness,” she said. “By doing that, we believe the biocrusts we eventually transplant into the study areas will have a higher probability of survival.”
The lab-grown biocrust products will be dried, bagged and transported to field test sites at each respective military installation and sprinkled on soil surfaces, said Barger.
Once in the field, the stress-adapted biocrusts developed in the lab nurseries for both hot desert and cool desert environments will be combined with other soil stabilization strategies, she said. The team, for example, will also experiment with adding polyacrylamide — a soil-stabilizing compound shown to increase soil porosity and reduce erosion, compaction, dustiness and water run-off — to the mix.
The researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of such soil “inoculations” and determine the optimum dosage for the test sites. Following the assisted recovery of the local biocrusts at Fort Bliss and the Dugway Proving Ground, the team will begin a series of seeding trials to develop strategies for native plant re-establishment, Barger said.
The last step of the project will involve a series of rainfall simulations and wind tunnel experiments combined with broad-scale soil erosion modeling to evaluate the influence of biocrust and native plant restoration in terms of precipitation and soil erosion.
While DOD military installations cover nearly 30 million acres — 70 percent of which are located in arid regions of the West — Barger said the research also could aid in the effective management of other federal lands. “We think our work on biocrusts also will be of interest to land managers at agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service,” Barger said.
The adaptation of biocrusts to extreme environments likely will come into play even more as climate change continues to heat and dry the West, she said. “We expect the drought in the Southwest to intensify as a result of climate change, and this project should tell us more about how adaptive these biocrusts are under shifting environmental conditions.”
The research project also has health implications, said Barger, since the disturbance of biocrusts can trigger the release of significant amounts of atmospheric dust, a dominant pollutant in some desert metropolitan areas. “There is a broad societal interest in stabilizing dryland soils in order to protect not only the functioning of local ecosystems but also human populations that reside in surrounding communities.”
“In terms of tackling an important environmental issue, this is by far the most exciting research project that I have been involved in,” said Barger, who has worked in Hawaii, Central America, South America, China and South Africa.
Residents encouraged to secure trash and food sources to protect bears
With bears foraging for food in preparation for their winter hibernation, it is important that residents take measures to deter bears by securing any potential food sources on their properties. See the Inside Boulder News segment about recent bear activity.
Bear-proofing food items and trash is the best way for residents to minimize the chance that bears will show interest in their property. Common bear attractants include garbage, compost, fruit from trees, bird feeders, food from outdoor grills and pet food left outside.
City regulations require that curbside garbage/compost bins not be placed out for pick up until 5 a.m. the day collection occurs. Alleyway bins are exempt from these regulations.
To be safe, the city recommends that residents west of Broadway store all garbage and compost bins in a garage or shed until the morning of collection, or keep their waste in a bear-resistant trash container. Residents within Boulder city limits can contact their trash hauler for specific information about bear-resistant trash containers.
Bears that learn that people are a source of food are sometimes killed to keep the public safe. During the past six years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has killed five bears in Boulder because of nuisance behavior or a threat to public safety. Please do your part to ensure that bears are not unnecessarily attracted to your property.
If there is a bear in your backyard, the following tips are recommended:
- Keep your distance. Back away slowly from the bear, ensuring it has a clear escape path;
- Never run. Running may cause a bear to chase you;
- Never approach a bear, or get in between a cub and its mother;
- Never provide food to a bear. This teaches it to approach people for food;
- Do not let the bear become comfortable around your home; and
- Once you are safely inside, do your best to scare the bear away. Yell, clap your hands and make other loud noises to encourage the bear to leave.
If the bear is observed within the city limits, call the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-3333. To report past bear sightings and encounters, call 303-441-3004.
The city is currently conducting an Urban Black Bear Education and Enforcement Pilot Program in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. For more information about the pilot program, contact Urban Wildlife Conservation Coordinator Val Matheson at 303-441-3004 or visit www.boulderwildlifeplan.net.
For a detailed discussion about bears in the urban/foothill interface, watch the “Bears in Boulder” segment of A Boulder View.
President Benson met with 36 Commuting Solutions and members of the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition on September 7 to discuss the delays in completing the corridor investments, including the RTD Bus Rapid Transit and Northwest Rail systems.
Due to the delay in completion of Northwest Rail for the foreseeable future, President Benson and the coalition believe that it is critical to complete true Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as soon as possible. The President has pledged his help to engage corridor executives and our transportation partners to ensure the BRT system is in place by the opening of the managed lanes in 2015, including a dedicated vehicle fleet, greater service frequency, real-time travel info and station area improvements.
Benson said that success will only come through collaboration and stressed the importance of working with RTD, CDOT, businesses, communities and groups such as 36 Commuting Solutions to collectively solve the problem. “We all have a vested interest, and working together will help us all meet our common goal,” said Benson.
DRCOG Approves $15 million for Phase 2 of the US 36 Express Lanes Project
“This new funding from DRCOG brings us closer to completing Phase 2 of the project,” said 36 Commuting Solutions Chairperson, George Gerstle. “Though progress has been made, it is imperative that we secure the remaining funding needed to finish Phase 2 in order to make US 36 a truly multi-modal corridor.”
For more information on Phase 2 of the US 36 Express Lanes project,
“This new funding from DRCOG brings us closer to completing Phase 2 of the project,” said 36 Commuting Solutions Chairperson, George Gerstle. “Though progress has been made, it is imperative that we secure the remaining funding needed to finish Phase 2 in order to make US 36 a truly multi-modal corridor.”
Boulder County, Colo. – As part of its ongoing efforts to provide the best in public service, Boulder County is seeking to improve resident involvement with the county, increase access to the public process, and gather diverse opinions.
In order to do so, a small group of county employees is exploring ways to increase the effectiveness of boards, commissions and public involvement in Boulder County government. The group has developed a short survey designed to better understand residents’ perceptions of the public process.
The survey is available through Monday, Aug. 13 and takes less than five minutes to complete. Please share it with friends and neighbors so they can voice their opinions as well.
For questions or additional information, please contact Abby Shannon at 720-564-2623 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest in Boulder County government.
Police attempting to identify three males who may have information in credit card theft, burglary
Boulder police are investigating a burglary that took place in the 800 block of 18th St. on March 18, in the early-morning hours. Three roommates admitted that they didn’t lock their door while they left the residence for a short period of time. While they were out, a credit card and some electronic items were stolen from the apartment.
The credit card was used at a local deli. Attached are three photos of the males Boulder police would like to identify and speak with. Investigators consider all of the men persons of interest in this case.
The first male is described as:
- White male
- Very short, buzz-cut hair, nearly bald
- Medium build
- Wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a CU logo & black pants
The second male is described as:
- White male
- Short, dark hair
- Black, long-sleeve shirt with a “SF” (San Francisco) logo & black pants
The third male is described as:
- Olive-skinned male
- Short, dark hair
- Gray long-sleeve shirt with an unknown logo at the shoulder
The case number is 12-3694. Photos of the men are attached.
Anyone with information about these men is asked to contact Detective Kristin Weisbach at 303-441-4474. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website atwww.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.
The Boulder Chamber’s advocacy efforts never rest. We are constantly watching, analyzing and speaking up on your behalf to create a vibrant and supportive economic environment.
Stay up to date on city, county and regional policy discussions that impact your business. Bookmark this page for updates on top advocacy issues, follow us on Twitter @boulderadvocacy and subscribe to the monthly Boulder Business Insider e-Newsletter.
Questions? Contact Angelique Espinoza, Public Affairs Manger at (303) 938-2077.
Boulder Chamber Supports Extension of Wind Production Tax Credit
The Boulder Chamber is supporting the extention of the Wind Production Tax Credit. View our letters to Senators Bennet and Udall. Both Senators have delivered speeches on the floor in support of extending this important Colorado job driver.
Senator Bennet’s on the Wind PTC
Senator Udall’s on the Wind PTC
Boulder’s Energy Future
Chamber Engages on Behalf of Members on Next Steps in Boulder’s Energy Future As Xcel Energy files with the PUC regarding renewable energy and DSM Incentives, and the City convenes business energy users to craft an ongoing input process, the Chamber is engaging with both entities to ensure the needs of our members are represented at the table. If you have input on these, or other advocacy issues, please email email@example.com.
Jan. 23, 2012 – Law firm chosen to aid city in potential condemnation proceedings with Xcel Energy read more->
The Boulder Chamber will continue to be at the table as the City evaluates options for its energy supply. With the narrow passage of Ballot Items 2B and 2C, the City Council is empowered to pursue forming a municipal utility. The Chamber supports the City Manager’s committment to caution and meaningful stakeholder input in her Press Release following the election. On December 6th, the City held a rountable with the newly seated Council and staff outlined their near term plans for exploring the feasibility of acquiring the electrical power distribution system from Xcel and forming a municipal power utility. Plans include hiring an Executive Director of Energy Strategy and Electric Utility Development, as well as additional legal and technical support staff. Staff also outlined three possible tiers for Boulder’s Energy Future, from ramping up current conservation and small renewable generation to full scall municipalization. Materials from the meeting are available on the City’s website. The Daily Camera provided this report.
Boulder Channel 1 news thinks the city and the Chamber should have worked out a deal with Xcel which would have led to a clean energy policy with Xcel. They city and chamber will now spend millions if not billions to operate this coal burning fossil.
Pinnacol Assurance Restructuring Proposal Delayed
The Board of Directors for Pinnacol Assurance announced jointly with Governor Hickenlooper that they would not pursue a restructuring proposal to privatize the state’s largest carrier of workers’ compensation insurance during the 2012 Colorado legislative session as previously intended. The Chamber has been following this issue closely since the Colorado businesses insured by Pinnacol have much at stake. Although a specially appointed Task Force spent several months reviewing and receiving input before reporting back the the Governor, many questions remain, such as how restructuring would impact service levels and rates, how to ensure availability of an insurer of last resort, and what happens to the policy holders’ dividends. It is likely that a proposal will come forward for the 2013 session after additional work. For more coverage on this issue, see Ed Sealover’s article in the Denver Business Journal.
State Legislative Update
sponsored by Jensen Public Affairs, Inc.
The opening days of the Colorado legislative session have seen the introduction of several important bills. The Boulder Chamber is currently prioritizing those with the greatest potential to impact the Boulder business community and developing a state legislative agenda for the 2012 session. Check back for ongoing reports on bills of interest to Boulder’s economy.
For the full list of bills under consideration see the following reports:
Bills of Interest->
2012 State Legislative Session Updates from Statewide Chambers:
Colorado Competitive Council (C3)
Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry (CACI)
Boulder Chamber Against PIPA/SOPA
The Boulder Chamber has been following the growing debate over H.R. 3261 the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S. 968 Protect IP Act (PIPA).While these bills seek to address a real problem of online piracy, the methods used in these bills would undermine freedom of expression, and stifle innovation. Our future prosperity lies in our nation’s ability to remain competitive in the digital age.
The Boulder Valley is the Silicon Valley of the mountain west and the Boulder Chamber will work to defend our innovative economy and its entrepreneurs. To that end, we have asked Senator Bennet to reconsider his cosponorship of the bill. We thank Senator Udall for his opposition to PIPA, and Congressman Polis for his opposition to the House companion bill SOPA. We will follow the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) bill in the House as a way of better addressing the online piracy issue.
UPDATE: Senator Bennet withdrew as a co-sponsor on January 23rd. The Senate bill was pulled from its scheduled floor vote on the 24 and the House bill’s judiciary committee hearing has been postponed indefinitely. It’s likely these bills are dead for the 112th Congress. Thank you Senator!
Boulder Channel 1 news questions The Chamber wisdom here. The Boulder Anti sopa and anti PIPa crowd are largely criminal hackers who are under investigation by the FBI. The Chamber also heralds the questionable business practices of those involved.
Boulder City Council
The Boulder City Council identified their 2012 priorities at their annual retreat on January 20-21st. The Boulder Chamber hopes to work with this new Council to promote a strong regional economy, and sent this letter for Council’s consideration in advance of their retreat. coverage of the retreat suggests some promising common ground, but also reinforces the importance of the Chamber as an advocate for a strong local economy.
In order to identify areas of common interest between the Boulder business community and City Council, and to identify policy-based opportunities for our organization to better educate and advocate on behalf of our members, we have instituted a Boulder City Council Scorecard to track votes of interest.
City of Boulder Considers Transportation Maintenance Fee
On Tuesday, Jan 24, the Boulder City Council will have a Study Session on a potential Transportation Maintenance Fee (TMF). The Transportation Advisory Board (TAB)has identified an ongoing funding shortfall for Maintenance and Operations, as well as Transportation Enhancements for the City. Although last year’s successful Capital Improvements Project tax will provide one-time funding to address significant deferred maintenance projects, it does not address long-term transportation funding challenges. The TAB has recommended a TMF which would be collected on utility bills and would cost the average household $24 and the average employer $327 per year. We will be following this issue and providing input to the City Council as it moves forward. ->Read More
Highway 36 Commuting Solutions News
Increased Pricetag for Northwest Rail
After preliminary evaluations by BNSF Railway Company, the cost to complete the Northwest Rail from South Westminster Station to Longmont has increased from RTD’s 2011 estimate of $894.4 million to $1.4 billion. This is based on a 2020 completion date, although RTD expects schedule delays due to the significant cost increase of this line. Read full story->
Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
Can you claim the Small Business health Care Tax Credit for 2011? If you are a small employer (business or tax-exempt) that provides health insurence coverage to your employees, follow these 3 simple steps to determine if you may qualify. view full website->
500 Year Floodplain Regulations: Critical Facilities and Mobile Populations Ordinance
How will the Critical Facilities Flooplain ordinance affect you? This ordinance impacts those who use, maintain, own or operate critical faciliites in the 100- or 500- year floodplain. To see if your facility is included, visit the The City of Boulder Flooplain map. If you are in the floodplain AND your business meets any of the facility types defined as essential service, hazardous materials, at-risk populations, or mobile populations, you may be required to meet new regulations. For definitions, the latest draft of the ordinance, information on scheduled meetings, and background information, visit the project website.
First reading of the ordinance WAS SCHEDULED FOR September 20 at 6 p.m.in the City Council Chambers, BUT HAS BEEN DELAYED. CHECK BACK FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Chamber Engages on Behalf of Members on Next Steps in Boulder’s Energy FutureAs Xcel Energy files with the PUC regarding renewable energy and DSM Incentives, and the City convenes business energy users to craft an ongoing input process, the Chamber is engaging with both entities. full story->
Clif Harald (Boulder Economic Council), Sean Maher (Downtown Boulder, Inc.), and Jud Valeski (Chamber Member-Gnip) testified before Council i
n support of a third story addition to the 1600 Pearl building, which will yield 18,309 square feet of much needed Class A Office Space. The building was approved by a 6 to 2 vote.
Boulder Channel 1 News feels this was a horrible mistake. This building is too tall as it is. It was protested when it was built for Borders Books in the 1990′s. It blocks the sun on Pearl ,obscures the view of the Mountains and it was rushed through council. Cliff Harold and Sean Maher should be drummed out of Boulder supporting this horrid decision.
Chamber Recieves Recognition at Annual 10 for Change Awards for being in the top ten for reducing overall GHG emissions in 2011.
CU team’s efficient unmanned aircraft
jetting toward commercialization
Propulsion by a novel jet engine is the crux of the innovation behind a University of Colorado Boulder-developed aircraft that’s accelerating toward commercialization.
Jet engine technology can be small, fuel-efficient and cost-effective, at least with Assistant Professor Ryan Starkey’s design. The CU-Boulder aerospace engineer, with a team of students, has developed a first-of-its-kind supersonic unmanned aircraft vehicle, or UAV. The UAV, which is currently in a prototype state, is expected to fly farther and faster — using less fuel — than anything remotely similar to date.
The fuel efficiency of the engine that powers the 50-kilogram UAV is already double that of similar-scale engines, and Starkey says he hopes to double that efficiency again through further engineering.
Starkey says his UAV could be used for everything from penetrating and analyzing storms to military reconnaissance missions — both expeditions that can require the long-distance, high-speed travel his UAV will deliver — without placing human pilots in danger. The UAV also could be used for testing low-sonic-boom supersonic transport aircraft technology, which his team is working toward designing.
The UAV is intended to shape the next generation of flight experimentation after post-World War II rocket-powered research aircraft, like the legendary North American X-15, have long been retired.
“I believe that what we’re going to do is reinvigorate the testing world, and that’s what we’re pushing to do,” said Starkey. “The group of students who are working on this are very excited because we’re not just creeping into something with incremental change, we’re creeping in with monumental change and trying to shake up the ground.”
Its thrust capacity makes the aircraft capable of reaching Mach 1.4, which is slightly faster than the speed of sound. Starkey says that regardless of the speed reached by the UAV, the aircraft will break the world record for speed in its weight class.
Its compact airframe is about 5 feet wide and 6 feet long. The aircraft costs between $50,000 and $100,000 — a relatively small price tag in a field that can advance only through testing, which sometimes means equipment loss.
Starkey’s technology — three years in the making at CU-Boulder — is transitioning into a business venture through his weeks-old Starkey Aerospace Corp., called Starcor for short. The company was incubated by eSpace, which is a CU-affiliated nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurial space companies. Starkey’s UAV already has garnered interest from the U.S. Army, Navy, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and NASA. The acclaimed Aviation Week publication also has highlighted Starkey’s UAV.
Starkey says technology transfer is important because it parlays university research into real-life applications that advance societies and contribute to local and global economies.
It also can provide job tracks for undergraduate and graduate students, says Starkey who’s bringing some of the roughly 50 students involved in UAV development into his budding Starcor.
“There are great students everywhere, but one of the reasons why I came to CU was because of how the students are trained. We definitely make sure they understand everything from circuit board wiring to going into the shop and building something,” said Starkey. “It makes them very effective and powerful even as fresh engineers with bachelor’s degrees. They’re very good students to hire. That’s a piece that I’m interested in embracing — finding the really good talent that we have right here in Colorado and pulling it into the company.”
Starkey and his students are currently creating a fully integrated and functioning engineering test unit of the UAV, which will be followed by a critical design review after resolving any problems. The building of the aircraft and process of applying for FAA approval to test it in the air will carry into next year.
Starkey’s continuing fascination with speed first began to burn inside of him when he visited Kennedy Space Center at the age of 5.
“When I teach I tell my class, ‘If it goes fast and gets hot, I’m in it.’ That’s what I want to do. There needs to be fire involved somewhere.”
Teenager arrested in January hit-and-run that hospitalized CU student
A 17-year-old female turned herself in yesterday, Thursday, Feb, 9, at the Boulder County Juvenile Detention Center after a warrant was issued for her arrest on charges stemming from a hit-and-run accident that injured a pedestrian in early January. Because the suspect is under 18, police are not identifying her. She is a resident of Boulder County.
The accident occurred on Jan. 4 at around 5:25 p.m. Twenty-three-year-old Mary Wakeman-Linn suffered serious bodily injury after she was hit by a car that did not stop as she was crossing in a pedestrian crosswalk on Baseline near Canyon Creek Drive. Wakeman-Linn is a student at the University of Colorado.
The teenage suspect faces a total of seven charges, two of them felonies. The charges include:
- Vehicular Assault (felony)
- Failed to Remain at the Scene After an Accident Involving Serious Bodily Injury (felony)
- Failed to Notify Police of an Accident
- Drove Motor Vehicle When License Under Restraint (Denied)
- Drove and Unsafe Motor Vehicle
- Overtaking Vehicle When Stopped for Pedestrian in Marked Crosswalk
- Failed to Yield Right-of-Way to Pedestrian in Crosswalk
The teenage suspect had been identified as a person of interest early in the case. After further investigation, police were able to obtain enough evidence to obtain the arrest warrant.
2012 Market Outlook. This report reveals LPL’s opinion of what investors can expect in the coming year and suggests how to best position a portfolio to seek profit from the opportunities and protect from the risks. In summary, LPL’s Market Strategists’ believe that:
• The U.S. economy will grow about 2%, while emerging markets post stronger growth and Europe experiences a mild recession.
• The U.S. stock market is likely to post an 8 – 12%* gain, supported by a slight improvement in valuations and mid-to-high single-digit earnings growth.
• Corporate bonds post modest single-digit gains as interest rates rise and credit spreads narrow. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is likely to end the year around 3%.
*LPL Financial Research provided this range based on its earnings per share growth estimate for 2012, and a modest expansion in the price-to-earnings ratio. Additional explanation can be found throughout the 2012 Outlook publication.
I personally believe the markets are poised for positive performance this year. In fact, recent US economic data suggests equity markets are priced as cheaply as they have been in decades, even if there is a 15% decline in earnings. However, the big issues, and my reasons for staying cautious this year, include how deep the European recession turns out to be and what kind of growth impact the discussions and decisions (or lack thereof) about our country’s looming deficit will have during this election year. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Tanya R. Mathews, CFP ®
Meridian Wealth Management Boulder
CU-Boulder study shows global glaciers, ice
caps shedding billions of tons of mass annually
Earth’s glaciers and ice caps outside of the regions of Greenland and Antarctica are shedding roughly 150 billion tons of ice annually, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.
The research effort is the first comprehensive satellite study of the contribution of the world’s melting glaciers and ice caps to global sea level rise and indicates they are adding roughly 0.4 millimeters annually, said CU-Boulder physics Professor John Wahr, who helped lead the study. The measurements are important because the melting of the world’s glaciers and ice caps, along with Greenland and Antarctica, pose the greatest threat to sea level increases in the future, Wahr said.
The researchers used satellite measurements taken with the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, a joint effort of NASA and Germany, to calculate that the world’s glaciers and ice caps had lost about 148 billion tons, or about 39 cubic miles of ice annually from 2003 to 2010. The total does not count the mass from individual glacier and ice caps on the fringes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets — roughly an additional 80 billion tons.
“This is the first time anyone has looked at all of the mass loss from all of Earth’s glaciers and ice caps with GRACE,” said Wahr. “The Earth is losing an incredible amount of ice to the oceans annually, and these new results will help us answer important questions in terms of both sea rise and how the planet’s cold regions are responding to global change.”
A paper on the subject is being published in the Feb. 9 online edition of the journal Nature. The first author, Thomas Jacob, did his research at CU-Boulder and is now at the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, in Orléans, France. Other paper co-authors include Professor Tad Pfeffer of CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and Sean Swenson, a former CU-Boulder physics doctoral student who is now a researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.
“The strength of GRACE is that it sees everything in the system,” said Wahr. “Even though we don’t have the resolution to look at individual glaciers, GRACE has proven to be an exceptional tool.” Traditional estimates of Earth’s ice caps and glaciers have been made using ground-based measurements from relatively few glaciers to infer what all of the unmonitored glaciers around the world were doing, he said. Only a few hundred of the roughly 200,000 glaciers worldwide have been monitored for a decade or more.
Launched in 2002, two GRACE satellites whip around Earth in tandem 16 times a day at an altitude of about 300 miles, sensing subtle variations in Earth’s mass and gravitational pull. Separated by roughly 135 miles, the satellites measure changes in Earth’s gravity field caused by regional changes in the planet’s mass, including ice sheets, oceans and water stored in the soil and in underground aquifers.
A positive change in gravity during a satellite approach over Greenland, for example, tugs the lead GRACE satellite away from the trailing satellite, speeding it up and increasing the distance between the two. As the satellites straddle Greenland, the front satellite slows down and the trailing satellite speeds up. A sensitive ranging system allows researchers to measure the distance of the two satellites down to as small as 1 micron — about 1/100 the width of a human hair — and to calculate ice and water amounts from particular regions of interest around the globe using their gravity fields.
For the global glaciers and ice cap measurements, the study authors created separate “mascons,” large, ice-covered regions of Earth of various ovate-type shapes. Jacob and Wahr blanketed 20 regions of Earth with 175 mascons and calculated the estimated mass balance for each mascon.
The CU-led team also used GRACE data to calculate that the ice loss from both Greenland and Antarctica, including their peripheral ice caps and glaciers, was roughly 385 billion tons of ice annually. The total mass ice loss from Greenland, Antarctica and all Earth’s glaciers and ice caps from 2003 to 2010 was about 1,000 cubic miles, about eight times the water volume of Lake Erie, said Wahr.
“The total amount of ice lost to Earth’s oceans from 2003 to 2010 would cover the entire United States in about 1 and one-half feet of water,” said Wahr, also a fellow at the CU-headquartered Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.
The vast majority of climate scientists agree that human activities like pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is warming the planet, an effect that is most pronounced in the polar regions.
One unexpected study result from GRACE was that the estimated ice loss from high Asia mountains — including ranges like the Himalaya, the Pamir and the Tien Shan — was only about 4 billion tons of ice annually. Some previous ground-based estimates of ice loss in the high Asia mountains have ranged up to 50 billion tons annually, Wahr said.
“The GRACE results in this region really were a surprise,” said Wahr. “One possible explanation is that previous estimates were based on measurements taken primarily from some of the lower, more accessible glaciers in Asia and were extrapolated to infer the behavior of higher glaciers. But unlike the lower glaciers, many of the high glaciers would still be too cold to lose mass even in the presence of atmospheric warming.”
“What is still not clear is how these rates of melt may increase and how rapidly glaciers may shrink in the coming decades,” said Pfeffer, also a professor in CU-Boulder’s civil, environmental and architectural engineering department. “That makes it hard to project into the future.”
According to the GRACE data, total sea level rise from all land-based ice on Earth including Greenland and Antarctica was roughly 1.5 millimeters per year annually or about 12 millimeters, or one-half inch, from 2003 to 2010, said Wahr. The sea rise amount does include the expansion of water due to warming, which is the second key sea-rise component and is roughly equal to melt totals, he said.
“One big question is how sea level rise is going to change in this century,” said Pfeffer. “If we could understand the physics more completely and perfect numerical models to simulate all of the processes controlling sea level — especially glacier and ice sheet changes — we would have a much better means to make predictions. But we are not quite there yet.”