Editor’s Pick: Stories of the Week

From union representation to media consolidation, Colorado Confidential reports on the stories you often won’t see elsewhere.

Check out some of our best stories of the holiday week below the fold: Science Sunday
Science Sunday is a weekly wrap-up of science news of special interest to Coloradans. Emphasis given to work performed by Colorado researchers, or whose results are of importance (or sometimes just entertaining) to the state.

How Now Brown Snow
Snow cover in the San Juan Mountains was shortened by between 18 and 35 days because of dust blowing in from the Colorado Plateau, according to research published by Thomas Painter of Boulder’s National Snow and Ice Data Center and colleagues.

When dust from the plateau blows into the mountains, it settles darkly on the white snow. This results in the dust and snow combined absorbing more solar energy — a process the scientists call “insolation” — and increases the speed at which the snow melts.
Examine the facts here…

Colorado Journalism: A Changing Landscape
For weeks now, when you call the Southern News Bureau of the Rocky Mountain News, the phone just rings, and rings. No one answers for one simple reason: there is no more Southern News Bureau of the Rocky Mountain News.

Dick Foster, who for two-and-a-half decades was the one-man bureau responsible for covering the entire southern half of the state full-time, was one of 17 reporters who took a recent buyout from the Rocky.

The newspaper, like the Denver Post and so many others, is in economic rough times, faced with reinventing itself amid a rapidly changing industry. And those who are left behind face an even bigger challege: doing more – much more – with less resources.
Flip the page…

Cold Comfort
Justice delayed can be justice denied.

Sometime in 2003, Juanita Victoria Medina, was convicted of a crime punishable by up to 3 years in prison, which would have made her eligible for release sometime in 2005, but was sentenced to six years in prison.  Today, in 2007, the Colorado Supreme Court has finally overturned the improper sentence, but only after she has been in prison roughly long enough to be eligible for release under the incorrect sentence.
Read the rest of the story here…

New Age Union Busting
A new age of union busting has dawned in Aurora, known by some as “the Bronx of Denver,” totaling more than 300,000 people.
City Council member Ryan Frazier is sponsoring a state initiative to make it harder for labor unions to exist, in a state where union membership already composes less than 10 percent of the workforce to begin with.

Coming to a ballot near you?
More on the flipside…

BoCo Buzz: New Commish; Going to the Dogs
Boulder County Assessor Cindy Domenico will make a move in the county courthouse, while state Rep. Paul Weissmann will stick around at the capitol.

Domenico won the race to replace County Commissioner Tom Mayer hands down, with 47 of 81 votes in the first round. Mayer died of cancer last month, and state law requires a vacancy committee – in this case the county central committee – to select a replacement.
Get the buzz…

Hush, Hush and on the QT: The Commissioner Conspiracy

What lurks behind the attacks on Democratic county commissioners West of the Divide? Who wants to tarnish reputations? Who’s afraid of more Democrats in the legislature?

Read on and remember, everything mentioned is strictly “Hush, Hush.”
Get the scoop here…

Medical Marijuana Law Suspended
A Denver district judge issued a temporary injunction Tuesday against a Colorado policy limiting the number of patients a medical marijuana provider can serve. The lawsuit was brought by David “Damien” LaGoy, a medical marijuana patient who is suffering from AIDS and Hepatitis C. LaGoy uses marijuana to ease the nausea that would otherwise prevent him from taking his medication.
LaGoy had asked the state to approve Daniel Pope as his registered medical marijuana provider. The state refused because Pope already served five patients, the limit according to a policy adopted by the health department in 2004.

Sensible Colorado, a non-profit organization working for effective drug policy, took LaGoy’s case pro bono in an effort to overturn the five-patient policy. Brian Vicente, an attorney and head of Sensible Colorado, argued that the policy was adopted in violation of Colorado Open Meetings Act.
Continue reading…