Posts tagged open

Boulder Channel 1

Liveable Boulder and Better Boulder duke it out

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Jann Scott at plan Boulder event where Livable Boulder and Better Boulder face off.

Posted by Boulder Channel One on Friday, August 28, 2015

Late yesterday we got  word of a debate between Livable Boulder and A Better Boulder in the Boulder Creek  room at the Boulder Public  Library. It was arranged by… well, we are not sure . Plan Boulder said they set up the debate. One boulder and Better boulder said they arranged it. And everyone said that Liveable Boulder was divisive except Livable Boulder who asked ” why is the other side being so mean”.
See 3 Videos here on Face Book 
We would have liked to heard the debate, but by start time there was a line out the door. Hundreds were being turned away including our news department who couldn’t get within 10′ of the room. They should have held the event in the Library theater. They are definitely going to have to redo it. The overflow crowd could not hear a thing.  Former city council woman Allyn Fienberg stood next to our reporter and pointed out everyone who was in the attendance. They included half the city council, environmentalists, activists and boomers. Mostly boomers.  There were hardly any millennials in the room.

The techies who made so much noise about how horrible Boulder is did not show up. Becky Boone who F Bombed her way to to notoriety at Ignite Boulder made a brief appearance. ( we thought the city fired her). She told  Millennials that they better vote in this next election if they want the Livable Boulder initiative to fail, showed up for all of 30 seconds and then disappeared. Her peeps were not there.

Former Boulder City Councilwoman Allyn Feinberg talks about protecting Boulder… at butter Boulder, 1 Boulder Boulder tomorrow plan Boulder event at Boulder library Boulder Boulder Boulder Boulder Boulder Boulder Boulder

Posted by Boulder Channel One on Friday, August 28, 2015

Allyn Fienberg told us ” they never show up and don’t vote either.  They represent 20 % of the population and they come and go every semester… so they are not real citizens and they don’t act like it. … They want to live in Boulder , they want to change Boulder. They want  their Big tech companies to take over the city, but they don’t respect Boulder…….People live in Boulder because of it’s beauty…its access to the national forests and parks…. but we don’t want to see Better Boulder destroy the downtown area with big tech companies ” Fienberg also said that tech companies  could easily move to Gunbarrel Industrial park and have plenty of housing there.

Absent were startup  gurus Andrew Hyde, his boss Brad Feld and their kids. Andy Shulties  former councilman  who runs Better Boulder was there, but left half way through.. that is not a good sign.

Feinberg said that Will Toor was on the wrong side of the issues.. namely” letting each neighborhood decide it’s own growth”… People standing around Fienberg chimed in “it will be a disaster”.

Former Boulder mayor Will Toor tries to explain a better boulders position at plan boulder a better Boulder Boulder library 1 Boulder tomorrow Boulder event

Posted by Boulder Channel One on Friday, August 28, 2015

Will Toor former Mayor and founder of Better Boulder, said that Boulders best years were ahead of us and that Livabile boulder was standing in the way of progress and growth.

Several attendees said that Brad Feld ,  Tech Stars were pouring millions of dollars into A Better Boulder to stop Livable Boulders no growth initiative. Feinberg said “follow the money ”  Feld has flooded downtown Boulder with his startup companies taking over all of the office space. Now they want the rest of the city. Feinberg said that they are  relative newcomers to town like Feld completely miss the essence of Boulder… what happens here is Companies start here and then when the get big enough they move. They don’t get to take over the city or they move to an office park or build within our rules.

by Jann Scott

Boulder channel 1 news

christmastime 3

‘Christmastime’ filming begins Nov. 13 – Nov. 21 Boulder

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christmastime 3HOLLYWOOD COMES TO BOULDER City of Boulder Welcomes the Filming of ‘Christmastime’
LOCATION: The City of Boulder is finalizing preparations for the filming of a movie, ‘Christmastime’ on and around the Pearl Street Mall. Filming will begin this Friday, Nov. 14 and continue through Friday, Nov. 21.

‘Christmastime,’ directed by Michael Landon, Jr., includes Ernie Hudson, Marley Shelton, and Christian Kane in the cast. The plot is focused around a couple who owns a business on the Pearl Street Mall and is visited by an angel during the holiday season. Approximately 150 residents from in and around Boulder will work as extras during the week of the filming.

STAGING AREA: The Municipal Center parking lot on Canyon Boulevard, just west of Broadway, will serve as the primary staging area for film crews from Thursday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. until Friday, Nov. 21 at 11:59 p.m. The Municipal Center parking lot will be closed to city employees and the public throughout this time period. The Library parking lot across the creek, accessible from Arapahoe Avenue, will remain open and available for public parking.

PLOT SUMMARY Echoing in the deepest depths of space, a humble prayer ascends: One from Maire Taylor, a smart, beautiful businesswoman who asks that her husband find the strength and wisdom to let go of their 9 year old marriage … While a second prayer simultaneously comes from Billy Taylor, a hopelessly romantic artist who asks that his wife receive the strength and wisdom to hold on. From these humble pleas, comes an answer in the form of a little miracle (an 8 year old runaway from heaven) who takes it upon herself to rekindle the once intimate friendship and romance that has slowly, but surely slipped away from Billy and Maire due to a heart-wrenching loss. Using all of her skill and charm (as well as some well-intentioned mischief!) our little 8 year old runaway comically sets out to heal their broken hearts and save their marriage by helping them get back to the basics of love.

FULL CAST AND CREW Christmastime

james canyon 1

Restrictions Established in James Canyon

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boulder county 1Traveling and Cycling Restrictions in James Canyon

Mayor Schoedinger asks for patience and cooperation to assist with recovery

Due to continued recovery and repair operations associated with the September 2013 flood event, Boulder County is re-establishing restrictions on non-local traffic, including bicycles, in James Canyon from the junction with Left Hand Canyon, through Jamestown, to the junction with State Highway 72 (Peak to Peak). The restrictions will go into effect immediately. Lefthand Canyon will remain open to all roadway users.

While the county’s high-hazard area remediation work has moved out of the area and into Fourmile Mile Canyon, private recovery efforts remain extensive. There continues to be a high-volume of large trucks and heavy machinery moving in and around Jamestown, which is creating a hazardous environment for motorists and cyclists alike.

After the flood event, many sections of Lefthand Canyon and James Canyon Drive were completely destroyed and Boulder County worked quickly to replace the previous asphalt roadway by installing temporary dirt “winter roads.” In areas where “winter roads” were created, the unpaved roadway narrows significantly and safe, uphill shoulders for cyclists are no longer available. This forces cyclists into the main flow of traffic for extended lengths, creating hazardous riding and driving conditions for travelers in both directions.

County Transportation Director George Gerstle asks for everyone’s patience and understanding by avoiding travel in James Canyon, as well in the Fourmile Canyon and the Raymond/Riverside area unless you are a resident or have business in the area. “If you don’t live in these areas and aren’t helping rebuild these hard-hit communities, you’re probably obstructing recovery operations. We want to remind folks who want to travel the mountain canyons that Lefthand and Sunshine canyons are better options and are open all the way to the Peak to Peak Highway. These canyons are also are narrow and have been reconstructed out of dirt in many areas, so we are asking everyone to be patient and drive slowly, and remember we’re working to make the roads more safe for everyone.”

As was available before to area residents who routinely commute by bicycle, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is offering special permits that will allow those people to continue cycling. Please call 303-441-3650 to obtain a permit. Failure to comply with the cycling restriction may result in a court summons.

For more information, contact Andrew Barth, Transportation Department communications specialist, at 303-441-1032.

 

Source: Boulder County

 

cu track field 2

Show up Early CU-Boulder commencement

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Show up early for CU graduation here in Boulder this morning.The University of Colorado Boulder will hold its spring commencement ceremony on Friday, May 9, at 8:30 a.m. at Folsom Field and people planning to drive to campus should arrive early. Early arrival recommended for CU-Boulder commencement May 9 – See more at: http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/05/07/early-arrival-recommended-cu-boulder-commencement-may-9#sthash.IY6JVcoz.dpuf
Due to traffic delays, and ongoing construction on U.S. 36 leading into Boulder, early arrival is strongly advised. Gates open at 7 a.m. and guests should plan to be seated by 8:15 a.m.
Campus parking meters and pay stations are free for commencement parking, with the exception of Euclid Auto Park, which will require payment all day. Traffic officers and parking supervisors and attendants will be available to assist campus visitors.
For more information about commencement visit http://commencement.colorado.edu/, and for information on commencement parking visit http://commencement.colorado.edu/ceremonies/spring/parking/.

- See more at: http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/05/07/early-arrival-recommended-cu-boulder-commencement-may-9#sthash.IY6JVcoz.dpuf
source CU

boulder creek 1

More Boulder Creek Reopened

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boulder creek 2At 5 p.m. today, May 2, the City of Boulder and Boulder County Sheriff’s Office will open an additional section of Boulder Creek from Broadway to the bridge at Arapahoe Avenue near 38th Street (just west of Foothills Parkway).

This means the creek will be open from the western edge of the city to Arapahoe Avenue just east of 38th Street.

Contractors have completed the debris removal in this area allowing the creek to open to kayakers, swimmers and tubers.

As flood recovery work progresses, other sections of Boulder Creek will be reopened when the city and county deem that it is safe for public use.

With higher flows anticipated due to spring runoff, the city will continue to monitor Boulder Creek for public safety concerns.

In past years, Boulder Creek has been closed to tubing and swimming if flows exceed 800 cubic feet per second. This threshold will continue to be used to trigger these recreational closures during spring/summer 2014.

 

Source: City of Boulder

 

City of Boulder

Boulder News Briefs for April 2, 2014

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Boulder Parks Open SpaceBirds of special concern/raptor monitor program volunteers needed

The City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department’s Urban Resources division is seeking volunteers for its Birds of Special Concern/Raptor Monitor Program at the Boulder Reservoir, located at 5565 N. 51st St. Training and orientation will be held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. A slideshow presentation will be held in the morning followed by an easy walk of the monitor locations.

Monitors should be able to work independently and have their own binoculars. Skilled birders with the ability to identify osprey, American bittern, northern harrier and burrowing owl are preferred, but some identification training will be provided for beginners. Responsibilities include monitoring and reporting animal presence, bird behavior, nest locations, fledgling success, wildlife closure violations and assisting with educating the public. The days are flexible but a minimum commitment of one site visit per month consisting of approximately 1.5 hours each, from late April through early August, is requested.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Mary Malley, volunteer services coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department, at 303-413-7245.

 

North Boulder Rec CenterNorth Boulder Recreation Center will close early on Saturday, April 5

The North Boulder Recreation Center (NBRC), located at 3170 Broadway, will close early at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, to prepare for the annual Father and Daughter Dance. The East Boulder Community Center, located at 5660 Sioux Drive, will be open extended hours until 7 p.m. to accommodate NBRC’s early closure. The pools will close one-half hour before each center’s closing time.

For more information and to register for the Father and Daughter Dance, visit the registration website.

Source: City of Boulder

basketball--heart

Buffs whip Southern Utah, head to WNIT round three

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By: B.G. Brooks, Contributing Editor

  

 

BOULDER – April approaches and the Colorado women’s basketball team plays on. Arielle Roberson’s second-half scoring and her team’s overall shot blocking swept CU past Southern Utah 79-68 on Saturday night and into the third round of the WNIT.

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Roberson opened the second half with a 3-pointer, launching the Buffaloes on a 17-5 run that produced their largest lead of the game – 45-26. Held scoreless in the first half, Roberson finished with a team-high 15 points, collected 11 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season, and added a career-best five of CU’s 14 blocked shots – the second-most in team history.

 

Rachel Hargis tied her career high of 12 points against Southern Utah

Rachel Hargis tied her career high of 12 points against Southern Utah

“That was a tough team we played,” CU coach Linda Lappe said. “Southern Utah does so many good things . . . we had a tough time scoring in first half. Their defense was stingy, but I really liked the way we opened the second half; we had a different level of energy. At the end we were able to do just enough to hold on to our lead and win.”

The Buffs (19-14) defeated the Thunderbirds (23-10) for the second time this season, claiming a 75-59 win in their final non-conference game on Dec. 29, also at the Coors Events Center.

CU’s next WNIT opponent and game site are to be determined. The Buffs advanced with a 78-71 first-round win over TCU, while the Thunderbirds moved into the second round with a 71-56 win over Colorado State.

CU closed Saturday night’s first half with a 12-5 run that produced a 28-21 lead at intermission. Then, the Buffs opened the final 20 minutes with a 17-5 surge to begin pulling away. They led by as many as 19 points but the T-Birds, who never led, closed to within nine points twice in the final 3 minutes. CU hit seven of 10 free throws in the final 1:23 to put the game out of reach.

Roberson said she opened the game “timid . . . I was just going through the motions. It was just a mindset.” She took only two first-half shots, which she said drew a halftime admonishment from associate head coach Jonas Chatterton.

“Coach Jonas was saying ‘shoot the ball,’” Roberson recalled, and in the second half she did. Roberson hit six of her eight field goal attempts. “I just hit the switch,” she said. “In the second half I decided to be myself again and just go out there, be aggressive and play.”

Lappe said Roberson wasn’t “really going, getting touches” in the first half. “She needs our offense to work, to move around her” while she “moves within the offense . . . she was on the receiving end of that (and) stepped up within the flow of the offense.”

Lappe also reiterated Roberson’s thought about her second-half play: “I thought she came out with a different mindset.”

But Roberson had plenty of help. Rachel Hargis tied a career high with 12 points and contributed four steals, while Lexy Kresl added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Brittany Wilson was CU’s fourth double-figure scorer with 11 points, while her twin sister Ashley added eight points.

The Buffs went up 6-0 on consecutive 3-pointers by Brittany Wilson and held the lead until the T-birds went to Carli Moreland, a senior from Broomfield. She scored six straight points to pull Southern Utah into a 16-16 tie with 5:42 left before the break.

But that deadlock served as a launch point for the Buffs. They closed the half with a 12-5 run and led 28-21 at intermission, with a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer by Kresl on an in-bounds play at the shot clock buzzer highlighting the surge.

Moreland, meanwhile, got the T-Birds’ final five points of the half, giving her 11 straight. She finished with a game-high 17, with Desiree Harris coming off the bench to add 16.

Roberson had three first-half blocks and got her fourth – setting a career high – in the first minute of the second half. Lappe attributed her team’s 14 blocks to “great help-side” defense, with Roberson adding that communication was a big factor. “I think we did that very well in practice . . . I think it just carried over.”

After Roberson’s trey to open the second-half scoring, Hargis scored on a left-handed spin move and the Buffs were up 33-21, prompting a Southern Utah timeout with 18:22 to play. When the Buffs got one of two free throws from Ashley Wilson and a jumper from Roberson, their lead jumped to 15 (36-21) and the T-Birds were on the ropes.

Lappe called Hargis’ shot “huge. It helped our whole mindset in the second half. Rachel took really good shots and that’s the key . . . she wasn’t in a rush and was just taking her time.”

In scoring 51 second-half points, the Buffs shot 60.7 percent (17-of-28) from the field and finished at 47.9 percent (23-of-48) for the game. The T-Birds scored 27 points off of the Buffs’ 24 turnovers, but CU limited the visitors to 34.5 percent shooting (19-of-55) and held a 21-8 advantage in second-chance points.

That the Buffs are still playing is a large bonus for seniors such as Hargis and the Wilson sisters. “It’s always great to be able to continue to play when other teams are going home and other careers are done,” Hargis said. “We want to play as long as we can; it’s an awesome feeling.”

pebble mine

EPA moves to protect Bristol Bay fishery from Pebble Mine

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Release Date: 02/28/2014
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov

Agency action begins process to prevent damage to world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery

(Washington, D.C.—Feb. 28, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is initiating a process under the Clean Water Act to identify appropriate options to protect the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska from the potentially destructive impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine. The Pebble Mine has the potential to be one of the largest open pit copper mines ever developed and could threaten a salmon resource rare in its quality and productivity. During this process, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot approve a permit for the mine. 

This action, requested by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, reflects the unique nature of the Bristol Bay watershed as one of the world’s last prolific wild salmon resources and the threat posed by the Pebble deposit, a mine unprecedented in scope and scale. It does not reflect an EPA policy change in mine permitting. 

The Pebble Mine would be three times as large as the Kennecot mine pictured above

The Pebble Mine would be three times as large as the Kennecot mine pictured above

“Extensive scientific study has given us ample reason to believe that the Pebble Mine would likely have significant and irreversible negative impacts on the Bristol Bay watershed and its abundant salmon fisheries,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “It’s why EPA is taking this step forward in our effort to ensure protection for the world’s most productive salmon fishery from the risks it faces from what could be one of the largest open pit mines on earth. This process is not something the Agency does very often, but Bristol Bay is an extraordinary and unique resource.”

The EPA is basing its action on available information, including data collected as a part of the agency’s Bristol Bay ecological risk assessment and mine plans submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Today, Dennis McLerran, EPA Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10, sent letters to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Alaska, and the Pebble Partnership initiating action under EPA’s Clean Water Act Section 404(c) authorities.

“Bristol Bay is an extraordinary natural resource, home to some of the most abundant salmon producing rivers in the world. The area provides millions of dollars in jobs and food resources for Alaska Native Villages and commercial fishermen,” McLerran said. “The science EPA reviewed paints a clear picture: Large-scale copper mining of the Pebble deposit would likely result in significant and irreversible harm to the salmon and the people and industries that rely on them.”

Today’s action follows the January 2014 release of EPA’s “Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska,” a study that documents the significant ecological resources of the region and the potentially destructive impacts to salmon and other fish from potential large-scale copper mining of the Pebble Deposit. The assessment indicates that the proposed Pebble Mine would likely cause irreversible destruction of streams that support salmon and other important fish species, as well as extensive areas of wetlands, ponds and lakes. 

In 2010, several Bristol Bay Alaska Native tribes requested that EPA take action under Clean Water Act Section 404(c) to protect the Bristol Bay watershed and salmon resources from development of the proposed Pebble Mine, a venture backed by Northern Dynasty Minerals. The Bristol Bay watershed is home to 31 Alaska Native Villages. Residents of the area depend on salmon as a major food resource and for their economic livelihood, with nearly all residents participating in subsistence fishing. 

Bristol Bay produces nearly 50 percent of the world’s wild sockeye salmon with runs averaging 37.5 million fish each year. The salmon runs are highly productive due in large part to the exceptional water quality in streams and wetlands, which provide valuable salmon habitat. 

The Bristol Bay ecosystem generates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and provides employment for over 14,000 full and part-time workers. The region supports all five species of Pacific salmon found in North America: sockeye, coho, Chinook, chum, and pink. In addition, it is home to more than 20 other fish species, 190 bird species, and more than 40 terrestrial mammal species, including bears, moose, and caribou. 

Based on information provided by The Pebble Partnership and Northern Dynasty Minerals, mining the Pebble deposit may involve excavation of a pit up to one mile deep and over 2.5 miles wide — the largest open pit ever constructed in North America. Disposal of mining waste may require construction of three or more massive earthen tailings dams as high as 650 feet. The Pebble deposit is located at the headwaters of Nushagak and Kvichak rivers, which produce about half of the sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay. 

The objective of the Clean Water Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. The Act emphasizes protecting uses of the nation’s waterways, including fishing. 

The Clean Water Act generally requires a permit under Section 404 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before any person places dredge or fill material into wetlands, lakes and streams. Mining operations typically involve such activities and must obtain Clean Water Act Section 404 permits. Section 404 directs EPA to develop the environmental criteria the Army Corps uses to make permit decisions. It also authorizes EPA to prohibit or restrict fill activities if EPA determines such actions would have unacceptable adverse effects on fishery areas.

The steps in the Clean Water Act Section 404(c) review process are:

  • Step 1 – Consultation period with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and owners of the site, initiated today.
  • Step 2 – Publication of Proposed Determination, including proposed prohibitions or restrictions on mining the Pebble deposit, in Federal Register for public comment and one or more public hearings.
  • Step 3 – Review of public comments and development of Recommended Determination by EPA Regional Administrator to Assistant Administrator for Water at EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC.
  • Step 4 – Second consultation period with the Army Corps and site owners and development of Final Determination by Assistant Administrator for Water, including any final prohibitions or restrictions on mining the Pebble deposit.

Based on input EPA receives during any one of these steps, the agency could decide that further review under Section 404(c) is not necessary.

Now that the 404(c) process has been initiated, the Army Corps cannot issue a permit for fill in wetlands or streams associated with mining the Pebble deposit until EPA completes the 404(c) review process. 

EPA has received over 850,000 requests from citizens, tribes, Alaska Native corporations, commercial and sport fisherman, jewelry companies, seafood processors, restaurant owners, chefs, conservation organizations, members of the faith community, sport recreation business owners, elected officials and others asking EPA to take action to protect Bristol Bay.

digi journo

CU symposium: Is digital journalism an oxymoron?

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Ethics of digital media to be examined
at CU-Boulder symposium March 14-15

Students, scholars and media professionals will discuss media “in the fast-paced world of digital journalism” at a University of Colorado Boulder symposium March 14-15.

CU-Boulder’s Journalism and Mass Communication program will host the conference including two talks that are free and open to the public.

Jay Rosen will give one of the talks on March 14 at 10 a.m. at the Old Main Chapel. Rosen, who will discuss “The Ethics of Point-of-View Journalism,” is a journalism professor at New York University and a media critic. He is an adviser at First Look Media, a new venture featuring the work of Glenn Greenwald, who published the explosive national security documents leaked by former government contractor Edward Snowden. Rosen also writes the blog PressThink.

Glen Greenwald is a shining example of digital journalism. Others,,,not so much.

Glen Greenwald is a shining example of good digital journalism. Others,,,not so much.

At 2 p.m. on March 14 at the Old Main Chapel, Steve Buttry will present “Upholding and Updating Journalism Values.” Buttry is the digital transformation editor for Digital First Media. The company operates about 800 multi-platform media products nationally, including several in Colorado. He is a prominent consultant in digital journalism and author of the blog The Buttry Diary.

During other portions of the symposium, participants will explore issues such as the loss of the “ethics support group” found in traditional newsrooms for today’s freelancers, developers and entrepreneurs; today’s ethics challenges in the journalism work environment; and what the latest research and journalistic practice says about norms and values in the digital age.

“Technology has enabled new forms of public communication that raise new kinds of ethical questions,” said Paul Voakes, CU-Boulder professor of journalism and mass communication. “For example: When corrections can be made seamlessly and instantly online, is first-time accuracy now overrated? What are the appropriate journalistic uses of drones? In a profession increasingly populated by developers, activists, entrepreneurs and volunteers, where does a code of ethics fit?”

Excluding the two public talks, symposium participants will work in groups to write brief papers about the issues discussed. The papers could lead to collaborative essays or research projects, according to symposium organizers.

The symposium is supported by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Colorado State University and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

For more information about CU-Boulder’s Journalism and Mass Communication program visit http://journalism.colorado.edu/.

-CU-

 

ARCTIC SUNSET

Polar bears are already drowning in climate change

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With incredible simplicity this visually stunning ad will show people that polar bears are dying right now — but we can save them. It will direct viewers to a dedicated “take action” website that will make it very easy for them connect with other polar bear advocates and to call and write the White House and Congress. The Center for Biodiversity is seeking donations to put this ad on television. Contact them if you want to help. The new ad is even better than the 2008 version, which reached 90 million people and forced President Bush to protect polar bears under the Endangered Species Act. But we’re running out of time to make it happen. We need just $10,000 more this week to make the ad a go. Please donate $35, $50 or $100 today to save the polar bear.

Population Size Declines   In southern portions of their range, like Hudson Bay, Canada, there is no sea ice during the summer, and the polar bears must live on land until the Bay freezes in the fall, whereupon they can again hunt on the ice. While on land during the summer, these bears eat little or nothing. In just 20 years the ice-free period in Hudson Bay has increased by an average of 20 days, cutting short polar bears’ seal hunting season by nearly three weeks. The ice is freezing later in the fall, but it is the earlier spring ice melt that is especially difficult for the bears. They have a narrower timeframe in which to hunt during the critical season when seal pups are born.

As a result, average bear weight has dropped by 15 percent, causing reproduction rates to decline. The Hudson Bay population is down more than 20 percent.  Retreating Sea Ice Platforms The retreat of ice has implications beyond the obvious habitat loss. Remaining ice is farther from shore, making it less accessible. The larger gap of open water between the ice and land also contributes to rougher wave conditions, making the bears’ swim from shore to sea ice more hazardous. In 2004, biologists discovered four drowned polar bears in the Beaufort Sea, and suspect the actual number of drowned bears may have been considerably greater. Never before observed, biologists attributed the drowning to a combination of retreating ice and rougher seas.

Scarcity of Food Exacerbating the problems of the loss of hunting areas, it is expected that the shrinking polar ice cap will also cause a decline in polar bears’ prey — seals. The reduction in ice platforms near productive areas for the fish that the seals eat affects their nutritional status and reproduction rates.   Polar bears are going hungry for longer periods of time, resulting in cannibalistic behavior. Although it has long been known polar bears will kill for dominance or kill cubs so they can breed with the female, outright predation for food was previously unobserved by biologists. Polar Bear Status In 2008, the polar bear was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act primarily because of the decline of its primary habitat: sea ice. The Secretary of Interior listed the polar bear as threatened but restricted the Endangered Species Act’s protections and thus the polar bear’s future is still very much in jeopardy. The polar bear is the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” of the serious threat global warming poses to wildlife species around the world, unless we take immediate and significant action to reduce global warming pollution.

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