Robin Kniech on Condo Construction, Revisions to City's Affordable Housing Ordinance

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Last year, we told you about the dearth of condo construction in the Denver metro area. Some say the reason that developers are steering clear of building condos is that most projects end up as the subject of costly construction-defect lawsuits. One of the local policy makers concerned about this issue is Denver Councilwoman Robin Kniech, who spearheaded a recent push to revise the city's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance to encourage developers to build more affordable units.

Does she think the revised ordinance will result in more condos in Denver?

See also: Has condo development hit a wall in Denver?

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George Graham ID'd as CU Boulder Student Found Dead, Cause of Death Unclear

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George Graham in a Facebook photo. More images below.
On Tuesday, as we've reported, a CU Boulder student died at Stearns West, part of the Williams Village dormitory complex. That student has now been identified as George Graham, 21, but a cause of death has not yet been determined. Here's what we've learned thus far about a promising young man who lost his life much too soon.

See also: CU Boulder Student's Death Casts a Pall on Start of New School Year

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Videos: Denver's Body Camera Program Touted on Rachel Maddow Show

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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver Police Chief Robert White as seen in a body-camera video -- one of several clips on view below.
The City of Denver is working overtime to reverse the negative publicity generated of late by local law-enforcement agencies. Last week, draft reforms were released in regard to the Denver Sheriff Department. And now, the Denver Police Department, which has seen at least eight officers get into trouble this year alone, has rolled out a carefully managed PR campaign about a body-camera pilot program that included an appearance by Police Chief Robert White on last night's edition of Rachel Maddow's MSNBC program. Videos, photos and additional details below.

See also: Denver Sheriff Department Draft Reforms Release Tries to Stem Tide of Negative PR

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Ethan Abbott, Farming Activist: Anti-GMO Political Prisoner or Combustible Harasser?

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Photo by Ambrose Cruz courtesy of March Against Monsanto Facebook/Occupy Denver Facebook
A 2013 March Against Monsanto that Ethan Abbott helped to organize.
Even his supporters admit that Ethan Abbott, the embattled natural farming activist who's been feuding with county authorities on several fronts, has a bit of a temper. But Abbott, 38, who was sentenced yesterday to ninety days in jail and eighteen months of probation in Weld County Court over a 2012 altercation with a neighbor, says that there's more to the case than his orneriness -- that, in effect, he's the one being harassed and set up by influential people with ties to factory farming and fracking.

It's an attitude that the judge who sentenced him finds disturbing. "Mr. Abbott doesn't deal with conflict well," Judge John Briggs told the assembled at Abbott's tense sentencing hearing. "The way that Mr. Abbott perceives things and reacts is not always consistent with reality."

See also: "Denver's March Against Monsanto One of Ten Largest Worldwide, Organizer Says"

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CU Boulder Student's Death Casts a Pall on Start of New School Year

Categories: News

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Photos from the Williams Village Facebook page. More images below.
Tragedy struck the University of Colorado Boulder community on just the second day of the new school year: A male student was found dead in Stearns West, a dorm that's part of the large and iconic Williams Village complex.

Although there's no indication that a crime led to the student's passing, little information has been released about him thus far. But that hasn't prevented an outpouring of shock and grief among members of the campus community.

See also: Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth Mastermind, on Summering (and Teaching) in Boulder

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Knee Defender Spat on Diverted Flight to Denver: Who's the Bigger A$$hole?

Categories: News

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The in-air spat that took place on a Denver-bound flight this weekend presents a classic conundrum.

The question: Who's the bigger asshole -- the guy who used a device called the Knee Defender to prevent the person sitting in front of him from reclining into his work space or the woman who responded to the situation so angrily that the flight had to be diverted.

See also: William Breathes's DIA Hell Night: How Not to Travel Home in a Thunderstorm

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Planned Parenthood: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Alleging State Dollars Used for Abortions

Categories: News

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An image from the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Facebook page.
A judge has thrown out a lawsuit alleging that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains was using state funds to provide abortions. The lawsuit was filed by former Colorado lieutenant governor (and longtime Planned Parenthood foe) Jane Norton. It accused Planned Parenthood of violating Colorado's Abortion Funding Prohibition Amendment by subsidizing the rent of a separate corporation that provides abortions.

But Denver County District Court Judge Andrew McCallin found Norton failed to show that state funds paid for any actual abortions, and he dismissed the lawsuit.

See also: Planned Parenthood's scheme to bust abortion protesters

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Deputy Thomas Ford: No Charge After Slugging Inmate Who Said "I'll F*ck You Up"

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A screen capture of Deputy Thomas Ford laying out inmate Kyle Askins; Ford's seen at the upper right. The video and more below.
Last week, we noted that the Denver Department of Public Safety's release of draft reforms for the Denver Sheriff's Department followed weeks of negative PR for the embattled agency, including outrage over a video showing Deputy Thomas Ford punching out an apparently nonviolent inmate.

Now, the Denver District Attorney's Office has announced that it will not file charges against Ford due to extenuating circumstances not revealed by the sound-free video -- namely profane and racist verbal attacks by the inmate, Kyle Askins, whose choice to stand up when approached is characterized as offering a rationale for Ford to get physical

See also: Denver Sheriff Department Draft Reforms Release Tries to Stem Tide of Negative PR

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Day of Rage protest: Video of Cop Pushing Down Woman, Communication and Rally Size Debate

Categories: News

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Photo by Brandon Marshall. Click to see the complete Ferguson Protestors Rally in Denver slide show.
Members of groups such as Occupy Denver and local affiliates of Anonymous often protest together, as was the case for a police brutality rally in April. But there seems to have been something of a communication breakdown related to Thursday's Day of Rage event, which decried the Ferguson, Missouri police killing of Michael Brown, whose funeral is scheduled for today.

In the wake of the gathering, which resulted in one arrest, there have been widely varied crowd estimates and surprisingly little outcry over a video showing the woman seen above falling to the ground after being pushed by a Denver police officer. Continue for that clip, photos from the scene by our Brandon Marshall and more.

See also: Videos: Police brutality protests by Occupy Denver, Anonymous end in six arrests

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FBI Director James Comey in Denver: Counterterrorism Is Our First Priority

Categories: News

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FBI Director James Comey
Counterterrorism is the FBI's number one priority, FBI Director James Comey said in a visit to Denver on Wednesday. That includes monitoring what Comey called "homegrown violent extremists," Americans who become radicalized via the Internet. "In their pajamas, in their basement, they can get all the inspiration they need, all the training they need, to emerge and commit some terrible act of jihad here in the United States," he said. "That is not a New York problem. That is not a D.C. problem. That is an everywhere problem."

It's also one Colorado has seen firsthand in the case of nineteen-year-old Shannon Conley, who was arrested for trying to provide material support to the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, a group that Comey called "savages."

See also: Shannon Conley, teen accused of trying to aid ISIS terror group: Her rebirth as "Slave of Allah"

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