black forest colorado

2 dead as firefighters battle Colorado blaze – CNN

Story highlights

NEW: The two victims may have been trying to evacuate

NEW: “If it’s a draw, that’s a victory today,” sheriff says

The Black Forest Fire has scorched at least 15,700 acres

Some 360 homes are destroyed; 14 are damaged

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Firefighters made little headway Thursday against a raging wildfire near Colorado Springs, Colorado, which has scorched close to 16,000 acres, destroyed 360 homes and claimed at least two lives.

Witnesses spoke to the two victims in the afternoon, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa told reporters.

“They said that they could see a glow to the west. They were packing their personal belongings, trying to get out,” he said.

Earlier, county spokesman Dave Rose told CNN that the Black Forest Fire, burning northeast of the city, now appears to be the most destructive in terms of property lost in state history.

Read: Study warns of continued wildfires in western U.S.

Some 750 firefighters were battling the blaze, which was 5% contained late Thursday. With the help of helicopters and air tankers, they established a loose perimeter.

“The fire is very, very active within the containment area, and we don’t have a high level of confidence at all that we’ll be able to hold all of these lines around this fire,” Rose said.

The fire’s evacuation area was 93,000 acres, affecting approximately 38,000 people and 13,000 homes, and the flames were estimated to have burned through 15,700 acres, said Maketa.

That marked a dramatic increase from the 8,500 acres officials said had been burned by Wednesday night, he noted.

After he spoke, residents of about 1,000 homes in Colorado Springs were told to evacuate.

“Wind is probably our No. 1 threat,” the sheriff said. Combined with dry brush and high temperatures, the winds have fanned devastating flames.

Maketa struggled to find a phrase to describe how ferocious the fire is, settling on “very dynamic.”

“If it’s a draw, that’s a victory today because we haven’t had too many draws in the last couple of days,” he said.

’The flames were there’

Among those who lost their home were husband and wife, Jaenette and Kristian Coyne.

“We literally had five minutes, and we left because it was, the flames were there,” Jaenette Coyne told CNN’s AC360 Thursday night.

She said she grabbed a baby album and a personal computer with pictures on it. She also took a firebox, which contained most of the couple’s important documents.

The Coynes actually saw their home burn on live TV.

“It was probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. You have that moment where you say: ‘Is that really my house?’ But we know it was. However, now I’m grateful that I know. A lot of people here just don’t know,” Jaenette Coyne said.

In northeast Colorado Springs, CNN iReporter Heather Croze took photos outside her home, capturing a billowing plume of smoke. One shot shows just how wide the smoke was on the horizon.

A county fairground northeast of the Black Forest Fire looked like a Noah’s Ark with families who fled with their animals to escape the looming inferno.

There were nearly 30 chickens, several hundred horses, a handful of cows and a couple calves, and many alpacas and miniature horses, according to the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office. Assorted dogs, cats, goats and donkeys mingled with mules and llamas. Three stallions were there. And for good measure, one yak.

At least eight families also have taken refuge at the Elbert County Fairgrounds in Kiowa, the Denver Post reported, which is about 35 miles southeast of Denver.

Joanne Gaishin slept outside in her car after fleeing her home with 18 chickens and three turkeys. “I stayed in the front seat of my car with all of my fowl in there, with the roosters crowing in the morning,” she told the paper.

Read: Animals become symbols of hope in Texas town

’We have each other’

Paula Warren, one of thousands of residents forced to flee her home northeast of Colorado Springs, spoke about how difficult it was to leave and wonder if her home was all right.

“I thought I had about an hour, and it turned out to be about 20 minutes,” she said. “I had a pillowcase full of socks, and that’s basically all I have.”

By Thursday afternoon, she got bad news. A friend called her to say that her home was on an online list of residences that had been designated as destroyed. Warren didn’t know exactly where the friend had seen the information but she believed it to be true.

For a person who had just been told their home was gone, Warren had a cheerful attitude when talking with CNN, laughing and saying that she was just going to go back home when she could, hitch up a trailer on the property, live in that and rebuild her house.

Her home sat on five acres and she doesn’t think the land has been damaged. “Trees are still standing,” she said.

For now she and her two miniature horses are staying with a friend on the outskirts of Colorado Springs.

The animals have adjusted fairly well, she said.

“You can’t just take ‘em to a Motel 6,” she said. “And my friend is very tolerant.”

Like Warren, CNN iReporter Mike Schultz lost his home. He sent images of it burned to the ground, showing charred remains.

His wife, Caml Schultz, said their family was able to save only some photographs, paperwork and few items of clothes.

“But we have each other, and we’re blessed. So many people have suffered loss, and so we’re just thankful that we’re here and safe and that we’re loved, and that we have so many people that are willing to help take care of us,” she said.

Working to protect homes

Sheriff Maketa praised the swift and strong help that civilian workers have been getting from National Guard and other military responders. Authorities said that they are watching neighborhoods and homes to do everything they can to keep them safe while combating the blaze.

Still, there have been losses.

Maketa said Thursday that 360 homes had been destroyed; another 14 were damaged.

Rose, the El Paso County spokesman, stressed later that those figures were preliminary, and said he would expect them to increase.

“There are areas of the Black Forest that we have not been able to get into at all to make any sort of assessment. So it’s almost impossible to come up with another number, but it is safe to assume that that number will in fact rise,” he said.

Ken Litch, a 12-year resident of the area, watched Wednesday as the Black Forest Fire gained ground on his home. There wasn’t much else he could do.

“A hundred homes would be nothing,” he told CNN affiliate KUSA. “Whatever is in its way, it’s going to take.”

The inferno is likely to continue for a couple more days as temperatures are forecast to stay in the 90s through Friday, with winds gusting up to 30 mph.

Famous bridge still intact

Another major fire in the state is the Royal Gorge Fire, which is burning 55 miles to the southwest, on the other side of Colorado Springs.

It burned several buildings around the iconic Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, and threatened the bridge itself.

Authorities downgraded the number of acres burned from 3,800 to 3,100 late Wednesday. The wildfire was 20% contained, the state office of emergency management reported. Twenty structures have been lost to the flames.

“We have made good progress on the fire today without any accidents or injuries,” said Dennis Page, incident commander for the fire.

The famous Royal Gorge Bridge that spans the Arkansas River is intact but needs to be inspected before it can reopen for tourists, a spokeswoman for the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park said.

The suspension bridge, which is 956 feet above the river and among the highest in the world, is made of more than 1,000 wooden planks.

“We did not know until today whether the bridge was still standing,” Gorge Bridge and Park spokeswoman Peggy Gair said.

Gair says fire at the park burned a visitor’s center, a tramway building, a carousel and several restaurants.

Are you there? Send an iReport

There were other fires in the state as well, including in Grand and Huerfano counties. Black Forest was the biggest of the blazes.

Gallery: Wildfire photographer Kari Greer goes inside the inferno

Paul Vercammen reported from Colorado Springs; Dana Ford and Ashley Fantz reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Dan Simon, Greg Botelho, Shawn Nottingham and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.

evergreen colorado

Kendall Chase, Tokyo Olympics 2021 rowing — Evergreen, Colorado – The Denver Post

Kendall Chase, Evergreen

Specialty: Women’s 4

Age: 26

Chase, who graduated from Mullen High School, has been a longtime standout in the sport of rowing. She was honored with the Sportswomen of Colorado award in 2015 and ’16 and during her career at Cal and was twice named the Pac-12 women’s rowing athlete of the year. In 2013, she helped the Bears win the NCAA championship in the varsity eight. This will be her first Olympic Games.

Competing: July 24, 26, 28

Do you love watching the Olympics? Come talk about the Games with us on our exclusive Facebook group.

trinidad colorado

A Colorado canonization and the second coming of Trinidad – Colorado Springs Independent

On July 18, Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center opened the Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens, a 1-acre community recreation space in the heart of downtown Trinidad. Named after Sister Blandina Segale, a nun from the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati who came to Trinidad in 1872 to set up a school for the rough-and-tumble mining community — and funded by Jay Cimino, CEO of Phil Long who was born and raised there — the Gardens represent the rebirth of a town that 10 years ago was on the decline.

Decades before Colorado Springs was the City for Champions, Trinidad was known as the City of Champions. Like many towns in southern Colorado, Trinidad’s economy was driven by the mining industry, and when that industry left town so did residents, turning a once vibrant community into a shell of its former self. As both residential and commercial property values have soared along the Front Range, developers and investors have set their sights on Trinidad as a prime site for investment and redevelopment. 

While much has been made of the efforts of Denver-area developers like Dana Crawford and Kayvan Khalatbari to revitalize Trinidad, Cimino has been pouring resources into the community for over a decade. In 2007 he purchased Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, the current home of Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center. “This church meant a lot to him,” explains Gina Sacripanti, corporate communications director for Phil Long Dealerships. “He did his sacraments here. He was an altar boy, his mom played the organ.” 

When Cimino purchased the property, it was in rough shape. “It was falling in and dilapidated and sat empty,” says Ashley DiPaola, the Mt. Carmel Community Center manager. “They refurbished it and opened up its doors in 2010, providing health care as well as wellness programming and a community center and event space.”

The Garden’s structures were built using materials recycled from historic buildings.

Since then Mt. Carmel has worked to fill gaps and address needs in the community, partnering with Salud Family Health Centers to provide medical and dental care to residents who previously had to drive hours to access health care, or go without. “The CEO of Salud is actually a Trinidad hometown boy who grew up here,” says DiPaola. “Salud took over the primary care and behavioral health [at Mt. Carmel] in 2018. We opened the Dental [clinic] in partnership with Salud, which services the Head Start kids. Medicaid is a well known and well used insurance here in town. A lot of kids were not getting dental care, or having to go all the way to Pueblo to get dental care, so when Salud opened, that helped serve all the kids on Medicaid who needed dental assistance. Starting next year, hopefully, they’ll be going into schools to treat kids there.”

According to data provided by Sacripanti, Mt. Carmel reports 1,833 health care visits during the last quarter. Their services aren’t just limited to health care, however. “We have over 23 wellness programs that serve a wide variety of populations from kids to seniors,” explains DiPaola. “Once COVID hit, obviously we had to change how we did things drastically and quickly. All of our programming went to virtual classes, and we found the need in our community of people who needed help with food assistance. We started our food box program in April, and so far we’ve served 42,000 meals to the community.”

The establishment of Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center provided the health infrastructure needed to attract new residents. “Las Animas County is ranked one of the lowest counties in Colorado for health and wellness,” says Sacripanti, who explains that the newly opened Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens are an extension of Mt. Carmel’s mission. “Jay Cimino set a goal to raise Las Animas County’s ranking to the top 50 percent by 2030. It’s a lofty goal. Part of that is that access to health care.

Health care is also the holistic approach to the person — the spiritual, the physical, the mental. When someone doesn’t have one of those pieces it affects everything else. It’s really about the holistic approach to a person’s health. Jay had a vision to expand so that people can also have the opportunity for spiritual reflection. Spirituality was at the center of Trinidad. The tribute to Sister Blandina is really because she was the heart of what Trinidad is today. There’s a lot of immigrants in this community still. She was all about immigrants, giving a voice to those who didn’t have a voice, and giving justice to all. Those are key components to having a city and the community thrive. Jay wanted to provide a beautiful center location, in the heart of Trinidad, that allows that nurturing of mind, body and spirit. It’s an extension of Mt. Carmel’s mission and campus.”

Segale isn’t just the namesake for Trinidad’s newest community space. On June 29, 2014, the Vatican decreed the opening of the sainthood cause for Segale. The road to sainthood in the Catholic Church is a long and involved process, but Segale could be the first saint with ties to Colorado. The first step in the process is a thorough investigation of the life and virtues of the servant of God.

Mt. Carmel’s food program has provided 42,000 meals to the Trinidad community.

“I was contacted by the petitioner, Allen Sanchez [executive director of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops] of Albuquerque,” says Peso Chavez, a Santa Fe private investigator hired by the Vatican to investigate Segale. “I’ve known Allen for years and years and years, and he knows of my work, and asked me if I would be interested in doing an investigation involving the opening cause of the beatification and canonization of Sister Blandina Segale. I wholeheartedly accepted.”

Chavez had his work cut out for him. He spent nearly three years delving into historical newspaper reports, federal court records from the National Archives, and jail records from Cañon City to corroborate details of Segale’s life recounted in her 1932 book, At the End of the Santa Fe Trail. “My investigations basically start with the client — you go to the source,” says Chavez. “In this case all I had was her book. The very first phase of the beatification is to gather any kind of testimony about the life and virtues about the servant of God, to examine her writings and establish if there were any heroic virtues as a servant of God. One of the first heroic virtues was when she arrived from Cincinnati to Trinidad. She was 21 years old, small in stature. In her book she describes that on a certain day, she was teaching and one of her students came in and says, ‘Sister, my father is in jail and they’re getting ready to hang him.’”

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church held sentimental value for Cimino, who purchased it in 2007.

Chavez used historical records to establish the facts of the case. “It was on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 18, 1875,” says Chavez. “Morris James shot a young man by the name of Miles Brannon and [Brannon] died on Wednesday, May 19. That event did in fact take place and she saved Morris James from hanging.”

The threat from lynch mobs in frontier towns like Trinidad in the late 1800s was very real. “One hundred and fifty years ago Trinidad was tiny,” explains Chavez. “There were some ranchers, farmer types, and the mines were going. Here you have this situation where it was literally the Wild, Wild West. The acting governor at the time, Frank Hall, made a trip to Trinidad and he said, ‘Trinidad has the most frontier style of living in the whole Territory of Colorado.’ Lawlessness ruled.”

Though Segale interceded on James’ behalf, not everyone accused of a crime was so lucky. Chavez recounts a report from a historic newspaper he found during his research that illustrates the frontier justice of the time: “The sheriff arrested him and took him before a magistrate for preliminary trial. While he was in the judge’s office a crowd of citizens gathered around the judge’s office and finally took forcible possession of his body, carried him to a vacant building and put him to a vote of all present, whether or not he should be hung at once. The voice of the people was for hanging, and this just sentence was executed with commendable promptness.’ It’s not like we have certain rights now and we have motion hearings and evidentiary hearings. It was done that quick, and it was quite a threat.”

Pull Quote

The intent of all these revitalization projects that Jay [Cimino] has undertaken is to spur additional redevelopment. We’re just ecstatic that it really is happening.

— Karl Gabrielson

Segale’s actions saved James’ life. “The National Archives in Denver contain all the federal circuit court proceedings,” says Chavez. “They’re beautiful books, leather-bound, and all the handwriting is in cursive. I looked through stacks and stacks of stuff. He was convicted and went to do hard time at the territorial penitentiary. There are letters from one of the children that talks about Sister Blandina and how grateful they were. That’s a heroic virtue that was demonstrated. That’s something the archdiocese wanted to find out.” 

While Chavez’s investigation into Segale’s heroic virtues was a major part of his work, he also looked into Segale’s relationship with notorious sinner William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid. Bonney was an infamous outlaw who killed eight men and was himself killed by Lincoln County, New Mexico, Sheriff Pat Garrett at the age of 21 in 1881. “She did write in her book that she had three different encounters with Billy the Kid,” says Chavez.

Such connections would prove useful for a nun in the frontier west. Bonney was known for holding up stagecoaches, stealing horses and robbing settlements. One time, as recounted in her book, Segale’s stagecoach was stopped by Bonney’s gang. When the famous outlaw saw that it was occupied by Segale he simply tipped his hat and sent her on her way.

The investigation into her relationship with Bonney was made difficult by the fact that during that time there were actually two outlaws with the moniker “Billy the Kid” — Bonney and a man named William LeRoy. “There was questioning about her encounter with Billy the Kid,” says Chavez. “Some people speculated that it was a guy by the name of Billy the Kid LeRoy, but that wasn’t the case.” 

A statue of Sister Blandina Segale by Manitou Springs artist Fred Darpino.

Chavez is convinced Segale met the real deal. He was able to place Segale at the same Santa Fe jail as Bonney. “In the 1880s Sister Blandina moved from Trinidad to Santa Fe. She happened to be in the jail where she was going to visit Edward Kelly, who was accused of murder. While she was there she saw Billy the Kid, and he remembered her. It was William Bonney. That became a question for some people and some historians.”

The Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens is a nod to the Wild West history of Trinidad. The centerpiece of the Gardens is a bronze statue of Segale created by Manitou Springs artist Fred Darpino. Though bedecked with extensive landscaping, featuring a combination of pine and deciduous trees including blue spruce, hawthorns, pear and plum trees, as well as shrubs and flowers and modern water features, the structures in the garden were built with reclaimed materials from the historic buildings of Trinidad. “On this site, when Mr. Cimino purchased it, there were three buildings that we tore down,” explains Karl Gabrielson, a managing partner with the Trinidad Development Group, who oversaw construction of the Gardens. “Most of the timbers in the structures are recycled. All of the roofing material is recycled. It all comes from buildings that we’ve torn down. The façade on this building was the second story façade of a building that we tore down and disassembled piece-by-piece to reassemble it here on-site.”

Linda Weise (as Sister Blandina Segale) and Elena Soto of Colorado Springs Conservatory

The opening ceremony for the Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens was attended by Gov. Jared Polis, the Most Reverend Bishop Stephen J. Berg of the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo, Bishop Emeritus Michael J.  Sheridan, who recently retired as Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, the Most Rev. Bishop James R. Golka of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, Trinidad Mayor Phil Rico and Colorado Department of Transportation Director Shoshana M. Lew. There were musical performances by the Mt. Carmel Youth Orchestra. There was a dramatic performance by Linda Weise and Elena Soto of the Colorado Springs Conservatory, as well as a storytelling performance by film producer Michael Fitzgerald, who according to Sacripanti is working on a project about Segale’s life.

Cimino’s investment in Trinidad isn’t limited to nonprofit ventures like Mt. Carmel. Since 2007 he’s opened Phil Long Toyota in Trinidad and a number of other businesses. “In addition to Mt. Carmel, Jay Cimino has a number of other buildings here,” says Sacripanti. “He started all the development in 2015. We have a restaurant here, we have a construction business here. All those things were in place, gearing up, but the fruition of all the work is now being seen.”

Most recently, Trinidad celebrated the reopening of the New Elk Coal Mine, bringing industry and jobs to the region. “That was a huge deal way back, and then it ended up closing down,” says DiPaola of the mine that originally operated from 1951 to 1994. “It just reopened in April. We held their open house here, a company out of Australia [Allegiance Coal Limited] bought them, but that’s brought a huge influx of people in and created jobs as well as all of the businesses Jay has created and Dana [Crawford], who has put a lot of money in Trinidad. They’re really helping to revitalize the downtown area.”

Downtown Trinidad has seen a recent revitalization inspired in part by Cimino’s efforts.

In addition to business and industry, Trinidad is becoming a destination for outdoor recreation enthusiasts. “Fishers Peak State Park is also attracting outdoor recreation groups,” says Sacripanti. The 2020 opening of Colorado’s second-largest state park is bringing new opportunities to Trinidad. In October the town will host The ’Rad Dirt Fest, a gravel trail bicycle race and marathon event.

The influx of industry and opportunity has also attracted the attention of financial and real estate services, a good omen for a community looking to grow. “There’s a lot of businesses that are open, even some businesses that opened during the pandemic,” says Sacripanti. “5 Star Bank, they just opened a branch on Main Street. Keller Williams is opening a realty office here, so you also have businesses looking to expand their current operations in Trinidad as well.”

The dedication of the Gardens coincides with the ongoing economic revitalization of Trinidad. “The intent of all these revitalization projects that Jay [Cimino] has undertaken is to spur additional redevelopment,” says Gabrielson. “We’re just ecstatic that it really is happening.” 

aspen colorado

Madison man dead after rock-climbing fall in Aspen, Colorado –

When he wasn’t working, Kelly McDermott, left, with two unidentified hikers in an undated photo, was always heading west, said his uncle.

ASPEN, Colo. — A 32-year-old Madison man died after a fall while attempting to climb a notoriously dangerous peak near Aspen, Colorado, earlier this week, officials said, while three rescuers attempting to reach him on Wednesday were injured in an “avalanche of rocks” evidently caused by other climbers.

Kelly McDermott was reported missing after failing to return from a climb of a 14,137-foot Capitol Peak on Sunday. 

His body was spotted by a search helicopter in a precarious spot about 500 feet below the Knife Edge, a ridge that leads to the final climb to the mountain’s summit. Because of the location, it may take some time to recover his body, Pitkin County Undersheriff Alex Burchetta told The Aspen Times.

McDermott’s uncle, Cyril McDermott, said the news of his nephew’s death was a shock for the whole family. 

The younger McDermott worked as a respiratory therapist at UW Health since 2015, Cyril McDermott said, and contracted COVID-19 while working in the ICU. His case was mild and he was cleared after a couple of weeks of isolation. 

When Kelly wasn’t working, he would head out west and return with stories to tell, his uncle said. 

“He was a very adventurous type,” he said. “He was always in motion; wasn’t one to sit around and watch late-night movies or that kind of thing.” 

monument colorado

Proposed commercial project in Monument raises concern from residents; hearing delayed Monday – KRDO

MONUMENT, Colo. (KRDO) — Town officials are discussing a proposal to build a large commercial development but many residents are concerned about its potential negative impacts on the small but growing community.

Officials and a member of the development team did not respond to KRDO NewsChannel 13’s request for interviews Monday, but here’s what we know based on town records and interviews with neighbors:

The project, officially called the Conexus Commercial Metropolitan District, would be located on 80 acres just west of Interstate 25, bordered by Highway 105 to the north, Baptist Road to the south, Old Denver Highway to the west and I-25 to the east.

Six warehouses of varying sizes would be built on the site, along with reportedly 1,400 parking spaces and loading docks.

“A developer from Chicago is going to build these massive warehouses,” said Matt Brunk, a Monument resident. “They have clients like Amazon and NAPA — big companies that are going to put their people in here and use semi-trucks to get in and out.”

The project also would require an estimated $21 million in infrastructure improvements, including $6 million in road-related upgrades, that could be financed by voters approving a property tax increase in November.

A group of citizens under the names of Save Monument and Save the Trail has formed to oppose the project, citing concerns about noise, pollution, increased trucking traffic, property values, safety and the project crossing the popular Santa Fe Trail three times.

The group held an impromptu rally Monday afternoon at the Santa Fe Trailhead.

Opponents said that the project would affect the Pastimes, Santa Fe Trails and Trails End neighborhoods.

“If this passes, I can’t live with it,” said Monument resident and realtor Jennifer Knisley. “I’ll move. Already, two of the houses that were listed have had to lower their prices just because of the proposal.”

The Monument Board of Trustees scheduled a public hearing Monday evening to discuss the proposal, but decided to delay the topic for two weeks; people who attended Monday said that the Town Hall chamber was at capacity with another 100 people waiting outside to comment.

Board members delaying discussion of the matter seems to go along with an earlier report that the project’s developer withdrew the application recently, possibly to re-apply later.

The public hearing will now be held Aug. 16, but the delay further adds to neighbors’ frustrations.

“One town official told me that it’s a done deal and another one told me nothing has been decided,” said Brunk. “That makes it frustrating to figure out what’s going on, what’s true and what’s not.”

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eagle colorado

Westbound I-70 reopened, 1 lane eastbound open near Eagle – FOX 31 Denver

EAGLE, Colo. (KDVR) — UPDATE (6:51 p.m.): One eastbound lane of Interstate 70 is open following a full closure due to a wildfire.

UPDATE (5:21 p.m.): CDOT said westbound Interstate 70 has reopened while eastbound remains closed due to wildfire activity.

ORIGINAL: Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Department of Transportation have closed both directions of Interstate 70 between Eagle and Gypsum due to a wildfire.

Strong winds are blowing the blaze toward the highway and creating heavy smoke causing difficult visibility.

CSP posted video of the wildfire:

No estimated time to reopen has been given.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

air force academy colorado

Air Force Academy now back open for visitors – KKTV 11 News

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (KKTV) – Nearly a year and a half after closing its gates for the then-new coronavirus pandemic, the Air Force Academy says it is welcoming visitors back Monday!

“We’re excited to welcome the community back to the United States Air Force Academy,” said Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark. “I’m proud of our USAFA team for their incredible work to ensure a safe, successful environment for our cadets, faculty and families.”

The academy closed to visitors on March 13, 2020, a move that was intended to be for just a few weeks or months at the time. But when cadets were brought back last fall, the decision was made to keep the academy closed to all but those with Department of Defense identification. At the time, the first vaccines had not yet been released.

Going forward, the public is allowed on the academy from 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Visitors must have an ID and must wear a mask inside all academy facilities, regardless of vaccination status.

The academy says while most of the installation is back open, the Cadet Chapel remains closed for scheduled renovations. The Harmon Hall parking lot and planetarium are also closed.

Visitors are advised to monitor the academy website for any additional COVID-19 measures that might be put in place in the future.

Copyright 2021 KKTV. All rights reserved.

accidental steam discharge

Facebook Boots NYU Disinformation Researchers Off Its Platform – NPR

Fb reduce off entry to NYU evaluationers studying political advertisemalests and COVID-19 misinformation, saying their work violated its phrases of service.

Jenny Kane/AP

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Jenny Kane/AP

Fb reduce off entry to NYU evaluationers studying political advertisemalests and COVID-19 misinformation, saying their work violated its phrases of service.

Jenny Kane/AP

Fb has blocked a group Of latest York College evaluationers studying political advertisemalests and COVID-19 misinformation from entrying its website, a transfer that critics say Is Alleged to silence evaluation that makes The agency look dangerous.

The evaluationers On the NYU Advert Observatory launched a system final yr To collect knowledge Regarding the political advertisemalests people see on Fb. Round 16,000 people have put in the browser exrigidity. It permits them to share knowledge with the evaluationers about which advertisemalests the clients are proven and why these advertisemalests have been focused On them.

Fb said on Tuesday that it had disabled the evaluationers’ private accounts, pages, apps and entry to its platform.

“NYU’s Advert Observatory enterprise studied political advertisemalests using unauthorized means to entry and collect knowledge from Fb, in violation of our phrases of service,” Mike Clark, Fb’s product administration director, wrote in a weblog submit.

He said Fb took movement “to cease unauthorized scraping and shield people’s privateness” in compliance with an settlemalest it reached with the Federal Commerce Fee in 2019, when it paid a $5 billion penalty stemming from the Cambridge Analytica knowledge privateness scandal.

However on Wednesday, the evaluationers said They are not amassing private Particulars about Fb clients.

“We truly Do not collect something That might not an ad, That might not public, and we’re pretty cautious about how we do it,” said Laura Edelson, a doctoral candidate at NYU who helps lead the evaluation enterprise and whose account Fb disabled. She noticed thOn the code for the browser exrigidity is public and that it has been considered by outdoors specialists.

Fb says the browser exrigidity violates its privateness guidelines as a Outcome of it collects Particulars about advertisers, collectively with their names, Fb IDs and photographs. The agency says The information collected by the system Might Even be used to decide Particulars about clients who interacted with the advertisemalests but Did not consent to share their information.

Damon McCoy, an affiliate professor at NYU who was furtherly reduce off from Fb, said he believes The agency is using privateness declares as a pretext as a Outcome of It is unhappy with the group’s evaluation.

“It Seems like Fb is making an try to intimidate us, And by no means simply us, but they’re making an try to ship a message to fullly different unbiased evaluationers Which Attempt To consider their platform,” he said. “We’d like transparency and accountcapability.”

Research revealed Fb’s failures forward of 2020 election

NYU Cybersafety for Democracy, the group of evaluationers behind the Advert Observatory enterprise, found deceptive political advertisemalests thriving on Fb in November 2020 regardless of the platform’s insurance coverage policies; uncovered fregulations Inside The agency’s political ad disclosures; and tracked the diploma to which proper-wing misinformation will get extra engagemalest on the platform. They’re furtherly An elemalest of a enterprise That is monitoring false declares about COVID-19 and vaccines on social media, a topic that has Discover your self to be a supply of rigidity between Fb and the White House in current weeks.

“That is Sort of a blind males and an elephant drawback,” Edelson said.

To understand a extra full picture of disinformation on Fb, she said, “we Actually want to have The power To place the gadgets collectively, from The biggest method advertisemalests That publicize a sure message are publicized to The biggest method they’re focused” to messages That are not advertisemalests but That are submited by people Attempting to unfold false information in a coordinated method.

Fb publishes its personal library of political advertisemalests with Particulars about who paid for an ad and when it ran, However it Does not embrace details on how advertisemalests are focused to particular subsets of clients. It does make ad concentrating on knowledge out there to evaluationers who Take part in a program it controls.

In the weblog submit, Fb’s Clark said thOn The agency provides evaluationers “privateness-shielding strategies To collect and analyze knowledge” and that “we welcome evaluation that holds us accountable, and doesn’t compromise The safety of our platform or the privateness of the Individuals who use it.”

The NYU evaluationers say their work Is An important unbiased look at on Fb.

“We do not assume Fb ought to get To Search out out who will get To consider it and who doesn’t,” Edelson said.

Fb declined to commalest further on Edelson and McCoy’s declares.

Congress urged to require extra transparency in on-line advertisemalests

On Wednesday, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., referred to as Fb’s choice to disable the NYU group’s entry “deeply concerning.”

“For a quantity of yrs now, I’ve referred to as on social media platforms like Fb to work with, and greater empower, unbiased evaluationers, whose efforts persistently enhance the integrity and shieldedty of social media platforms by exposing dangerous and exploitative exercise,” he said in A press launch. “Instead, Fb has seemingly carried out The fullly different.”

Warner furtherly referred to as on Congress “To behave to convey greater transparency to the shadowy world of Internet promoting.”

Fellow Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon furtherly slammed the social community, writing in a Twitter submit: “After yrs of abusing clients’ privateness, It is rich for Fb To Put it to use as an excuse to crack dpersonal on evaluationers exposing its factors.”

Wyden said he had contacted the FTC to ask about Fb’s declare that it was involved the NYU system violated its privateness order, calling that excuse “bogus.”

The FTC declined to commalest.

Ramya Krishnan, a staff lawyer at Columbia College’s Knight First Modification Institute, said Fb’s choice To reduce off the NYU group illustrates how extremely effective the platform has Discover your self to be — and why regulationmakers want To behave.

“The agency features as a gatekeeper to journalism and evaluation about how The agency’s platform works and the influence of its platform on society. And We anticipate that That is untenable,” she said. “The general public urgently Should know And Desires to know the implications of Fb’s platform for public discourse and democracy.”

The Knight Institute, which is representing NYU’s Edelson and McCoy On this matter, urged Fb again in 2018 to create a “shielded harbor” provision in its phrases of service Which might permit teachers and journalists to evaluation and collect knowledge from its platform, whereas shielding clients’ privateness. However, Krishnan, said negotiations with The agency Led to a stalemate.

Now, she said, The reply lies in Washington. She says Congress ought to “mandate transparency” on social media platforms and create a shielded harbor regulation shielding evaluation.

“We’re not saying that Fb doesn’t have respectable causes for, Usually, prohibiting scraping,” she said. “However deliberately or not, these prohibitions are furtherly impeding journalists’ and evaluationers’ capability To consider, understand and report Regarding the platform.”

Editor’s notice: Fb is amongst NPR’s monetary supporters.

gunnison colorado

Gunnison Was An Affordable Alternative To Crested Butte. Then Came The Second Homes, Vacation Rentals And Remote Workers – Colorado Public Radio

That was last summer. Maestle spent time with friends out east through the fall and winter, looking for housing back in Gunnison along the way.

“Every single day, I looked at papers. I called realtors. I was on Facebook,” said Maestle, who’s made a living working in restaurants and on construction sites. “There’s still nothing.”

Maestle came back to the Gunnison Valley this spring and has been sleeping in his vehicle ever since. 

Jacob D. Spetzler/For CPR NewsBen Wright, a local handyman, holds up a sign as peak season vacationers pass by in order to raise awareness about the housing situation at the 4-Way Stop in Crested Butte, Colorado on July 1, 2021.

Gunnison wasn’t always this way. 

Thirty minutes north of Gunnison, in Crested Butte, affordable housing has been difficult to find for years.

While some Crested Buttians prefer to see their “Last Great Ski Town” as a funky alternative to Vail and Aspen, that view is getting harder to believe as the median home price reached $1 million in 2020 — a 38 percent increase in just a year. 

“We used to joke that the billionaires pushed the millionaires out of Aspen and they came over the Crested Butte,” said Kelly McKinnis, the owner and broker of Gunnison Real Estate and Rentals. “Now, even some of those millionaires are not able to stay in Crested Butte because of the housing prices.” 

And Crested Butte’s red hot housing market has ignited Gunnison’s, too, threatening its status as an affordable home for up-valley service workers.

Jacob D. Spetzler/For CPR NewsKelly McKinnis, owner and broker of Gunnison County Real Estate, in her office.

The average price for a two-bedroom rental in and near Gunnison has jumped more than $400 since 2016, according to a recent report commissioned by the Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority, now nearly matching Crested Butte prices. Gunnison home prices have risen 57 percent in that time too.

Those higher home prices are leading some landlords to sell rental properties to new homeowners who are unlikely to lease them out long-term, McKinnis said, contributing to the housing shortage. Vacation rentals in up-valley homes are also putting pressure on availability across the region. The recent housing report said the valley needs about 1,000 new homes by 2026.

“I haven’t seen it this bad in years and years — probably never,” McKinnis said.

Gunnison has made it easier to build accessory dwelling units — small homes in backyards — and is supporting a new development of 44 affordable homes and 21 market-rate homes, said Mayor Jim Gelwicks. 

Jacob D. Spetzler/For CPR NewsJim Gelwicks, the mayor of Gunnison, in the municipal building in Gunnison on June 17, 2021.

The city also has enough land on its eastern borders for about 1,700 new homes — a 35 percent increase over the city’s current stock — but it will take years to line up builders and investors, he said.

“Infrastructure is costly,” he said. “It’s not something where you can put it all in and put it on the first guy who builds a house out there and say, ‘Hey, you now own a 400-square-foot house that only cost you $40 million.”

Gelwicks, who moved to the area in 1981, said like many other mountain valleys in Colorado, Gunnison is experiencing a culture change. The area’s history of mining, ranching and agriculture isn’t as evident as it once was. And that’s not necessarily bad, he said. It’s just different. 

“It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a cattle drive through the city limits of Gunnison,” he said. “… but you see now spandex and bicycles. We have world-class bike races that happen in this community.” 

Jacob D. Spetzler/For CPR NewsA runner has a good view of town of Gunnison from the Ridgeline trail behind Western University.

The pandemic intensified what was already a tight housing market up and down the Gunnison Valley. 

One big reason, McKinnis said, is Gunnison’s popularity with remote workers and wealthy second homeowners who are able to afford higher real estate prices.

One of those new residents is Doug Campbell, the CEO of Louisville-based Solid Power. He bought a second home in Gunnison earlier this year — even though he could have afforded Crested Butte. 

“That just doesn’t appeal to me,” he said. “The community of Gunnison is what’s always appealed to me.”

Campbell said he loves to ski and mountain bike and chose Gunnison because he didn’t want to live in a resort town. He hopes to live in his new home six months out of the year and, eventually, retire to Gunnison. He’s also continued leasing out his adjoining apartment to a long-term tenant and said he has no interest in renting it to tourists as a vacation rental.

Jacob D. Spetzler/For CPR NewsA woman bikes past a Tesla charging station in front of the Gunnison municipal building on June 17, 2021.

“But you know, at the end of the day, one individual, one homeowner — there’s only so much you can do,” Campbell said. “I’m already renting out a portion of my space. So I’m doing my part.”

Not all of Gunnison’s new residents are affluent. 

Michael Salat and his wife left northern Wisconsin to follow their son to the Gunnison Valley last year. They stretched to buy a townhome in Gunnison — and are glad they landed there. They’ve worked seasonal jobs doing trail building, home cleaning, ski instruction and more.

“I’m not wealthy. I’m piecing it together too. I know what the struggle is,” Salat said, adding that they’re “trying to contribute to the community.”

Jacob D. Spetzler/For CPR NewsA large “W” stands on a hill behind Western University. The school is growing quickly, requiring increased housing for its students.

But Gunnison’s new exclusivity is leaving some pondering their future. 

Madison Fink and her husband James are trying to move to Gunnison so James can finish a graduate degree in recreation and outdoor education at Western Colorado University. They’ve been looking for a new home remotely from California since last year with no luck. 

“We both have a lot riding on this, and are hoping, and going to any length that we can to make it work out,” Fink said. “It’s definitely, definitely something that we’re trying to make happen with all our hearts.”

Adam Maestle said he’ll leave the Gunnison Valley at the end of the summer if he can’t find a new place. He originally gave himself a deadline of the end of June, then spent an entire morning backtracking. “I’m not ready to go anywhere yet,” he said.

Jacob D. Spetzler/For CPR NewsAn RV drives past Tributary Coffee Roasters on Main Street in Gunnison, Colorado on July 6, 2021.

But the months-long struggle is taking a toll. Maestle said the Gunnison Valley is where he’d planned to settle down, build a house, and raise a family. And now that’s uncertain.

“I’m afraid to commit to anything anywhere, because it’ll be the wrong decision,” he said. “No matter what I do. I feel like if I stay, it’ll be the wrong decision. If I go, it’ll be the wrong decision. And now I just feel like I’m lost.”

He isn’t ready to give up on the Gunnison Valley yet. He and some friends want to buy an empty piece of land out of town and put a bunch of RVs on it. There might be some legal issues to work out with that. But, Maestle said, if he’s going to sleep in a vehicle, it’d be nice to do it on his own land. 

accidental steam discharge

Oh, Facebook changed its privacy settings again – TechCrunch

Ever considerate of its users, Facebook has determined that its privacy settings needed a bit of a shuffle to keep things clear and easy to find. To that end they’ve taken the “privacy settings” settings and scattered them mischievously among the other categories.

“We’ve redesigned our entire settings menu on mobile devices from top to bottom to make things easier to find. Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place,” writes Facebook in a blog post announcing the changes.

Oh, sorry — that’s from 2018, when they centralized privacy settings to make them easier to find. This is the one from today about decentralizing them into a bunch of different places.

“Settings are now grouped into six broad categories, each containing several related settings: Account, Preferences, Audience and Visibility, Permissions, Your Information, and Community Standards and Legal Policies … We’ve unbundled the Privacy Settings category and moved the settings previously contained within it into other categories.”

Pictured: Facebook unbundling its privacy settings into new categories.

Under which of those categories do you think privacy settings belong? Facebook “renamed them to more closely match people’s mental models,” so it should be obvious. Just use your mental model.

If your answer is “all of them, conceivably,” congratulations, you got it! Now if you want to update your privacy settings, all you need to do is visit all of these new categories and subcategories individually. Any one of them might have a crucial toggle inside — it’s like a treasure hunt!

Facebook’s settings page, from oldest to newest. Which do you prefer? Image Credits: TechCrunch

We joke, but Facebook did also make the “Privacy Checkup” item much more prominent in this update. This “guided review” may give the company opportunities to employ dark patterns that lure users away from less desirable (for the company) privacy choices, but does certainly go through many of the more important settings and let people change them.

“We’re confident this new settings page will make it easier for people to visit their settings, find what they came for, and make the changes they want,” Facebook writes. We’ll all find out one way or another later today when the redesign rolls out for iOS, Android, mobile web and FB Lite.