This was a hard decision to make because I LOVE the CSBJ and I LOVE my work sister [Colorado Springs Independent publisher] Carrie Simison! But Jon Furda and I thought the risk of leaving something you love was worth the opportunity to serve the Colorado Springs community, our state and dare I say the nation in such an impactful way with the National Cybersecurity Center was worth the risk. The good news is that the CSBJ paper is as solid as I have ever seen it from top to bottom. Under the leadership of Amy Gillentine Sweet the team here will continue as a business resource with excellent LOCAL business coverage in a fair and balanced manner and great exposure for your business. So I ask of ALL my COS friends continue to support the BEST DAMN business paper in this region and KEEP reading the CSBJ and leading the conversation...I know I will!The journal and Colorado Springs Independent are owned by the Colorado Publishing House.
In these final days before your inauguration, we thought it might be helpful to clarify how we see the relationship between your administration and the American press corps.To finish reading the letter, reference the link above. It's really worth the time.
It will come as no surprise to you that we see the relationship as strained. Reports over the last few days that your press secretary is considering pulling news media offices out of the White House are the latest in a pattern of behavior that has persisted throughout the campaign: You’ve banned news organizations from covering you. You’ve taken to Twitter to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same. You’ve advocated for looser libel laws and threatened numerous lawsuits of your own, none of which has materialized. You’ve avoided the press when you could and flouted the norms of pool reporting and regular press conferences. You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he has a disability.
All of this, of course, is your choice and, in a way, your right. While the Constitution protects the freedom of the press, it doesn’t dictate how the president must honor that; regular press conferences aren’t enshrined in the document.
But while you have every right to decide your ground rules for engaging with the press, we have some, too. It is, after all, our airtime and column inches that you are seeking to influence. We, not you, decide how best to serve our readers, listeners, and viewers. So think of what follows as a backgrounder on what to expect from us over the next four years.
Our Founding Fathers knew the importance of a press that is free toSPJ asks for a meeting with Trump, saying, "We would like to have a conversation regarding how we can work together to ensure that self-government as outlined by the Constitution survives and flourishes, and that a free press remains a cornerstone of our nation and our liberty."
report on the activities of our government and elected officials. “Our
liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited
without being lost,” said Thomas Jefferson in a January 28, 1786, letter.
Yet here we are, almost exactly 231 years after Jefferson wrote those
words, and attempts to stifle the flow of information to citizens of the
United States continue.
DENVER — Six months after calling on Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz to stop funding groups who oppose basic rights and equality for all Americans, including LGBTQ Americans, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, and One Colorado, the state's leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans, expressed relief that Anschutz has stopped donating to these organizations.
“Last summer, an article in the Washington Post exposed nearly $200,000 in contributions from the Anschutz Foundation to anti-LGBT hate groups, including the Alliance Defending Freedom and the so-called Family Research Council,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “We called on Phil Anschutz to immediately stop funding these groups, for whom anti-LGBT discrimination is plainly central to their mission — and it's our understanding that he has done so.”
"It is heartening to see Phil Anschutz give his unequivocal support of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, and we appreciate that the Anschutz Foundation has stopped funding anti-LGBTQ hate groups after the Washington Post revealed the funding in their July article," said One Colorado Executive Director, Daniel Ramos. "We are grateful that Phil Anschutz looked at the facts and did the right thing after our organization and others asked him to cease funding these groups."
“We are relieved that Anschutz has ceased funding to grantees when made aware of their anti-LGBT activities, and we'll continue to be vigilant to ensure he keeps this promise,” said Silverii. "We're proud that our organization played a role in helping convince Phil Anschutz to stop funding hate."
Full Definition of unnerve
: to deprive of courage, strength, or steadiness
: to cause to become nervous : upset
His stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, including the 2012 true-crime anthology Seven Sins, The Best American Crime Reporting 2008 and The Best American Sports Writing 2009. He has also written for Rolling Stone, Outside, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Men’s Journal and other national publications and is the author of a book about child abuse and parricide, The Poison Tree.The ACLU's news release:
DENVER – The City of Trinidad has agreed to pay $375,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Colorado on behalf of Danika Gonzales and Felicia Valdez, two innocent women who were wrongly arrested and prosecuted for crimes they did not commit in a reckless 2013 “drug sting” where police relied on the false accusations of an untrustworthy confidential informant.
The ACLU filed suit in January 2015 alleging that Trinidad detectives incentivized a confidential informant, Crystal Bachicha, to make false, self-serving accusations. To obtain arrest warrants, the detectives deliberately concealed facts that they knew would destroy the informant’s credibility, including Bachicha’s convictions for fraud and drug crimes, her known biases against the people she claimed to have sold drugs to, and numerous documented instances in which Bachicha lied to law enforcement officers.
“Trinidad detectives allowed a devious snitch to frame our innocent clients for crimes they did not commit,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein. “With this settlement, our clients have been vindicated, and Trinidad detectives have received a clear message that the uncorroborated say-so of a shady snitch cannot justify destroying the careers and reputations of innocent members of the community.”
Overall, 40 individuals were arrested during Trinidad’s widely-publicized 2013 “drug sting,” on the basis of false, deficient, and misleading arrest affidavits. None of the 40 arrests resulted in a drug-related conviction.
“At the time Trinidad police tapped Bachicha to be an informant, they knew that she was a convicted felon, a liar, a drug user, and had a history of providing false information to law enforcement,” said ACLU staff attorney Rebecca Wallace. “Yet, over and over again, the police took Bachicha at her word as she falsely accused many of her enemies of selling drugs.”
Gonzales, who had been Bachicha’s probation officer, lost her job as a result of the false arrest. Valdez was fired from her job with the Trinidad School System, and she and her children were evicted from their federally-subsidized housing.
“This incident was traumatic for me emotionally and financially, and I lost my sense of normalcy and confidence. The reckless actions of the Trinidad Police Department have caused irreversible damage to my career, my family, and my trust in law enforcement,” said Gonzales. “However, I am relieved to have finally gotten to this point of closure. I am so very thankful for the continued hope and support given to me by my family, friends, and all of the outstanding attorneys with the ACLU of Colorado and Baker/Hostetler.”
The City of Trinidad has not conducted its annual drug sting since the 2013 debacle, and the two lead detectives have since retired, according to a recent report in Pueblo Chieftain.
“Our investigation into this case revealed a police department whose repeated use of unreliable confidential informants had caused it to lose the trust of the community it served,” said ACLU cooperating attorney Paul Karlsgodt of BakerHostetler. “Trinidad police acted under constitutionally-deficient procedures which gave untrustworthy informants an open invitation to lie, divert buy money, skim drugs for their own use, and use their positions as informants to settle personal scores against their enemies.”
“The settlement helps to repair some, but not all, of the lasting damage caused by these practices, and we hope it has also given the department an opportunity to self-reflect and make necessary changes to ensure this never happens again,” said cooperating attorney Casie Collignon of BakerHostetler.
Gonzales and Valdez were represented by Silverstein, Wallace, and ACLU staff attorney Sara Neel, as well as a BakerHostetler team led by Karlsgodt, Collignon, and former associate Nathan Schacht.
Andrea Chalfin, longtime news director at 91.5 KRCC, Colorado College’s NPR-member station, is taking over as host of the station’s daily broadcast of “Morning Edition.” The show is NPR’s flagship news magazine program.
Chalfin brings more than decade of experience as a reporter and broadcaster to the role. She has helmed 91.5 KRCC's news department since 2008, overseeing the station’s coverage of the Pikes Peak region and Southern Colorado. Her reporting has been recognized by the Associated Press, the Colorado Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television and Digital News Association, and Public Radio News Directors Inc., and has been heard on NPR, BBC, and other public radio stations across the country.
“I'm looking forward to this opportunity to not only shepherd a growing news operation, but also to help shape the sound of the most important program of the day,” says Chalfin. As the host of “Morning Edition,” Chalfin will contribute top-of-the-hour live newscasts and continue to direct the station's local news coverage.
“I'm very excited to have Andrea in this new role,” says Tammy Terwelp, the station’s manager. “She brings the journalistic skills needed for us to stay competitive and serve our audience with a deeper connection.”
Chalfin replaces Shawn Rosvold, who has hosted the show since February 2014. Rosvold is retiring after 50 years in the broadcast business, but will remain connected to 91.5 KRCC, occasionally filling in as a substitute host for “Morning Edition.”
Program Director Jeff Bieri expects Chalfin’s news experience will enable 91.5 KRCC to continue to develop the local profile of the morning drive-time program. “NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ is the gold standard of national news magazines,” Bieri says, “and it will be enhanced even further by Andrea’s contribution of local news and her on air presence.”
The Anschutz Foundation is not a member of Jonathan Capehart's alleged "vast right wing conspiracy." The Anschutz Foundation donates to hundreds of worthy organizations each year, and it does not attempt to dictate to those organizations how to spend their monies. Moreover, those donations are made in accordance with our process and guidelines, and neither process or guidelines identify or reference in any way sexual orientation or gender issues.
Mr. Anschutz, and the Anschutz companies, invest in many businesses employing tens of thousands of people. In all instances, personal lifestyles are neither a requirement or limitation to employment.
Mr. Capehart's attempt to smear individuals with unfounded allegations is straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. It is unworthy of him and of the publication by which he is employed.
This is no reason to comment further on his unfounded statements or on the individuals quoted in his article.
Phil Anschutz is one of the richest people in America, with an estimated fortune of over $10 billion, and is listed at #42 on Forbes' U.S. Billionaires list as of May 17, 2016.James Dobson, founder of Springs-based Focus on the Family, known for its opposition to LGBT people and its focus on conversion therapy over the years, also is named on the list of donors to various anti-LGBT rights organizations. Tom Minnery, also with Focus, is listed, along with the king of LGBT hatred, Gordon Klingenschmitt, who holds a Colorado House seat but was defeated in the June 28 Republican primary race for a state Senate seat.
His entertainment company, AEG, is the world’s largest owner of sports teams and venues, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, the Staples Center, and O2 Arena. In addition, Anschutz owns The Weekly Standard, the Washington Examiner, and Regal Cinemas. He’s also one of the largest landowners in the country.
Anschutz Foundation gave $110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom between 2011 and 2013.
Anschutz Foundation gave $50,000 to National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013.
Anschutz Foundation gave $30,000 to Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013
DENVER – One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families, and ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, released the following statement in response to a report in the Washington Post showing that Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz has funded anti-LGBTQ groups.Anschutz has been known to use his publications to showcase his investments, which was reported by Corey Hutchins for the Columbia Journalism Review, titled, "The Oklahoman runs a puff piece on its billionaire owner’s new resort property."
“Today the Washington Post revealed that while making a fortune off hardworking Coloradans – including LGBTQ Coloradans – billionaire Phil Anschutz has been giving money to organizations that have been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center,” said Dave Montez, Executive Director of One Colorado.
“Instead of investing in individuals and groups that spread misinformation and advocate violence, Phil Anschutz could invest in improving the lives of LGBTQ Coloradans and their families. LGBTQ students still face bullying and harassment in our schools, transgender Coloradans are denied access to the health care, identity documents, and basic rights they deserve, and it is still legal for to subject young people to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.”
"Phil Anschutz's extensive influence in Colorado politics has been known for years, but the degree of his support for anti-LGBTQ groups that fund extremist hate groups like Gordon Kligenschmitt’s ‘Pray in Jesus Name’ is shocking," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. "At a time in American history when discrimination and violence against LGBTQ citizens is on the rise, support for pro-discrimination groups puts Anschutz on the wrong side of Colorado, and on the wrong side of history."
"The Anschutz name is emblazoned on public institutions across our state," said Silverii. "Now that it has been revealed that his charity is also going to organizations that support political figures who call for gays and lesbians to be killed, it's time to ask Anschutz to take a good look at where his money is being spent. The Alliance Defending Freedom props up the same politicians who have introduced hundreds of rights-destroying bills in legislatures across the country – including right here in Colorado. Today, we’re asking Mr. Anschutz to cancel his checks to the ADF, and instead invest in Colorado-based organizations that help improve the lives of LGBTQ friends and neighbors, not try and strip their rights away."
City officials have known about the problem since at least the mid-1990s, when they passed an ordinance designed to restrict development, but the measure has not been enforced and new homes have gone up almost unabated.We've highlighted the references to The Broadmoor, because evidence suggests the Gazette had an opportunity to run some version of this story more than a month ago and apparently chose not to.
In other parts of the state where similar problems have occurred — including Boulder and Jefferson counties — landuse code prohibits building on known landslide areas.
Insurance will not cover the losses. At least 70 homeowners in southwest Colorado Springs are seeking federal grants to help buy out their destroyed or imperiled houses — the third round of such funding for the city. Nineteen of those properties are located in neighborhoods surrounding a Broadmoor Hotel golf course where a landslide has been an issue for years.
"In my mind, the process threw caution to the wind," said Jon White, a geologist with the Colorado Geological Survey. "Many knew the risks. Everybody should have been more cautious and the risks should have been disclosed to the potential homebuyers."
In a letter to Colorado Springs officials last week, state geologists urged the city to take more aggressive action than they have to monitor and assess the risk the Broadmoor golf course slide poses to homes, infrastructure and residents of the area.
By Jeffrey A. Roberts
CFOIC Executive Director
The judge in the Planned Parenthood shooting case defended his sealing of court records, arguing Tuesday that news organizations did not have a First Amendment or Colorado constitutional right to inspect the records while the police investigation was ongoing.
Answering a Jan. 27 order from the Colorado Supreme Court, state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman outlined reasons why El Paso County District Court Judge Gilbert Martinez was right to seal affidavits of probable cause in the case against Robert Lewis Dear. Coffman’s office represents the Colorado Judicial Branch on legal matters.
Accepting a media consortium’s arguments for unsealing the records would be “unprecedented in Colorado” and “contrary to the great weight of the case law,” Coffman wrote. Doing so, she added, would undermine the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, the Supreme Court’s rules on access to court records and “the important supervisory powers of the trial courts to protect ongoing criminal investigations and the privacy rights of victims and witnesses.”
Dear, 57, is accused of killing three people and wounding nine others during a shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Nov. 27.
The media consortium argued that Martinez’ order could keep the affidavits secret for more than a year, which would “deprive the public of knowing the most basic facts of what prompted government authorities to arrest Dear, to search his residence, and to file (a) 179-count criminal complaint.”
The media organizations urged the Supreme Court to clarify that under both the federal and state constitutions, “the public enjoys a presumed right of access to documents on file in Colorado criminal cases after the defendant has been formally charged…”
But Coffman, on Martinez’ behalf, presented arguments that neither constitution guarantees that right.
Her filing acknowledges, however, that three months into the case, the criminal investigation is likely over, “significantly diminishing the trial court’s concern that public disclosure would harm the process.” And because Dear has made statements proclaiming his guilt, “information that might have been previously sealed or redacted is now in the public domain.”
“Although the majority of the shooting victims’ names have not been released and would be appropriately redacted, these changed circumstances may render it appropriate to release the affidavits of probable cause in redacted form,” Coffman wrote.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition also signed the media consortium's Supreme Court petition as did the Colorado Press Association, the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Follow the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition on Twitter @CoFOIC. Like CFOIC’s Facebook page.