Deal bans trap in Colorado, agency says it’s not used anyway

An agreement approved Monday between U.S. officials and environmentalists would ban the use of predator-killing cyanide traps on Colorado public lands, but a government agency said federal workers already had stopped using the devices except on the state’s private lands.

Public pressure for a nationwide ban on the traps — meant to protect livestock from predators — has increased since an Idaho teenager was injured and his dog killed by one in March.

The environmental groups WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity sued the government earlier this year alleging cyanide traps kill wildlife and pets indiscriminately.

Under Monday’s agreement, which was approved by U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel, the Agriculture Department must re-consider the environmental impacts of the traps as part of its predator management program in Colorado.

Agriculture Department spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa said the devices haven’t been used for years on federal or state lands in Colorado, despite an agency study from January that suggested they were allowed on state land. Espinosa said the inclusion of state lands in that study was unintended.

Espinosa’s statement was corroborated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Lauren Truitt, who said federal workers haven’t used the traps since voters approved an anti-trapping initiative in 1996.

Stuart Wilcox with WildEarth Guardians said he was skeptical of the claim the traps aren’t currently being used on public lands in Colorado. But he had no records that showed otherwise.

The government in June launched a nationwide review of the devices also known as M-44s or "cyanide bombs." The traps are partially buried and baited to attract predators, and animals that trigger them are sprayed with a deadly dose of cyanide.

Espinosa declined to say when the review might be done. An agreement is pending in a separate lawsuit challenging the devices’ use nationwide.

Currently authorized for use in 15 states, M-44s last year killed more than 12,500 coyotes and 852 other animals including raccoons, opossums and skunks, Espinosa said. More than 16,500 traps were deployed nationwide, she said.

The government’s January study said federal workers used 122 M-44s in Colorado between 2010 and 2014. The study did not specify where the traps were set.

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Follow Matthew Brown on Twitter at www.twitter.com/matthewbrownap

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James Nord, Associated Press file In this Jan. 12, 2017 file photo, Republican South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley speaks after a committee hearing in Pierre, S.D. Thirty-six attorneys general have signed onto a legal brief in support of South Dakota’s bid to collect sales taxes from out-of-state internet retailers, Jackley said this week. South Dakota is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether retailers can be required to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Thirty-five state attorneys general and the District of Columbia this week signed on to support South Dakota’s legal bid to collect sales taxes from out-of-state internet retailers.

South Dakota is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether retailers can be required to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence. The case could have national implications for e-commerce.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a statement Thursday that Colorado filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting South Dakota’s petition to the high court. The state is seeking to overturn legal rulings issued mostly before the online shopping boom that hamstring officials who want to collect sales taxes from out-of-state retailers.

“South Dakota is leading the national fight to bring tax fairness for our local retailers and to help support main street businesses,” Jackley said.

The support includes neighboring Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming. The other states are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

The brief says the jurisdictions all rely on consumption taxes to fund essential government operations.

States have pushed Congress to address the issue without success, and one estimate put the loss to states at roughly $26 billion in 2015. South Dakota estimates it loses about $50 million annually to e-commerce.

“The problem with the physical-presence rule is that it was first conceived of in 1967, two years before the moon landing and decades before the first retail transaction occurred over the Internet,” according to the brief.

Some companies such as Amazon have decided to collect state sales taxes despite the precedent.

South Dakota legislators passed a law last year requiring collection of the tax. The law was struck down in September by the state Supreme Court due to precedent. The state had welcomed the defeat so it could try to get the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

It takes four U.S. Supreme Court justices to vote to hear a case, or grant certiorari. Jackley said that he hopes the high court agrees to hear the case and issues a decision by June 2018.

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By Giacomo Puccini, Saturday through Nov. 15, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, Denver, tickets: $20-$210, myoperacolorado.org. Info: 303-468-2030.

One of opera’s most iconic stories, Giacomo Puccini’s "La Boheme," is considered to be one of the world’s masterpieces.

The musical tale of six struggling young bohemians in Paris at the close of the 19th century resonates with those new to opera as well as diehard opera fans – despite the fact that it ends sadly.

Opera Colorado opens its 2017-18 season with "La Boheme," on stage through Nov. 15 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. But don’t put off purchasing tickets, as it’s expected to sell out.

The opera will be conducted by Ari Pelto and directed by Matthew Ozawa, with an ensemble cast including soprano Anya Matanovic as Mimi and tenor Dominick Chenes as Rodolfo.

Pelto, Opera Colorado’s music director since 2015, said he has directed nearly 100 performances of "La Boheme" but never tires of it.

"It ranks very near if not at the top of my list of favorite operas. I adore it," he said. "We in the opera world, many of us have done ‘La Boheme’ many times, and all of us still love it. It’s so beautiful, fun and moving, and so incredibly well-written. It is one of the great gems of the world."

Some may recognize "La Boheme" as the opera that moved the character played by Cher to tears in the 1987 movie "Moonstruck" and as the inspiration for the 1996 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical "Rent." It is popular with opera newbies in part because none of its four acts is longer than 30 minutes, Pelto said. Also, "The music is irresistible. And practically everybody would recognize something from it."

The instrumental music in "La Boheme" is performed by the 70-member Opera Colorado Orchestra, now in its second season.

"Part of my responsibility in my position is nurturing, leading and guiding the orchestra, and it’s a group that I’m very proud of. They play incredibly well," Pelto said.

When Opera Colorado planned this, its 35th season, the company looked for three contrasting works, he said. The world premiere of "Steal a Pencil for Me," by Gerald Cohen and Deborah Brevoort, to be at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center in January, and Verdi’s "Falstaff," set for May, round out the schedule.

"This season is certainly a study in contrasts," Pelto said. "Although they’re three incredibly different works, their one similarity is they’re all ensemble pieces. They all rely on having an ensemble cast, not one person who makes it work."

Opera will always attract newer and younger audiences, Pelto said. On Thursday, per tradition, Denver-area middle and high school students will be the audience for the final dress rehearsal of "La Boheme."

"Every time, that audience goes crazy. They love it. I’m a firm believer that anybody who’s given the chance to go see an opera is going to have a good experience, with very few exceptions. I think people can be intimidated by it, but they don’t realize they’re going to be able to understand the story," Pelto said.

For "La Boheme," the translation from Italian is shown on the backs of the seats at Ellie Caulkins.

"It’s a show with great music and great singing. With no microphones used. When people realize that, they are in awe."

MICHELLE KARAS, THE GAZETTE, 476-1602, MICHELLE.KARAS@GAZETTE.COM

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Denver officials are asking voters to approve $937 million in bonds for hundreds of projects, including transportation, parks, libraries, city buildings and cultural institutions.

I have lived in Denver since 1975, and don’t recall ever voting against a bond issue. This year I am voting “no” on every measure except Question 2B, because I don’t trust the mayor and City Council to be proper stewards of that much money. You only have to look at the abuse of the drainage fee to be scared to give these people almost $1 billion to play with.

With 2B, for cultural facilities, there will be representatives of the facilities involved in spending the money, which should limit the hanky panky of the mayor and council.

The pro campaign is also dishonest, in a subtle way, when they say there will be no increase in tax rates. While true, an honest administration would tell voters that they will pay more in taxes because their assessed valuations have gone up.

Denver voters are generally supportive of bond issues. Denver elected officials could be honest with them and still win, but they don’t trust the voters.

Bill DeGroot, Denver

The writer is a retired manager of floodplain management for the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, which covers the Denver metro area.

Submit a letter to the editor via this form or check out our guidelines for how to submit by e-mail or mail.

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The Mile High City is a great place to explore and have a ton of fun. Denver is full of places of interest, and people are flocking there to relocate and also vacation in general. As you make your way to Denver, I want to keep you well fed. You are going to find quite a few restaurants, and I have three recommendations for you so that you don’t have to worry about picking a dud.

Blue Pan Pizza is on West 32nd Avenue, and as you can tell, deep dish, Chicago style pan pizza is served up at this establishment. I am a fan of both New York style pizza and Chicago style pizza if they are made well. You can get both when you visit Denver, and this is one of the best places to get Chicago style pizza. And to be truthful, it is a unique twist on deep dish pizza, but reviews say it is ‘Detroit style.’

Hacienda Colorado is the next restaurant, and it is on East Mexico Avenue. Enjoy fajitas, tacos and even lettuce wraps. Have you heard of skinny margaritas? This place serves up all kinds of delicious Mexican cuisine. If Mexican food and margaritas sounds good to you, then this is your place to stop.

Now it is time for a cafe. Paramount Cafe is up next, and you can find it on 16th Street. Enjoy cheesecake, a gyro, elk burgers and much more. Now it is time to pick which of these restaurants you are going to enjoy first. Will it be Paramount Cafe? Will it be Hacienda Colorado? Or will it be Blue Pan Pizza? If you ask me, I would have to see what the Blue Pan Pizza is all about first, but each of these establishments have excellent ratings.

DENVER — Two men used a jack to free a 4-year-old preschooler who was hit and dragged under a minivan Wednesday morning near a suburban elementary school, authorities say.

According to Westminster Police, the boy, who was with a parent, was struck while in a crosswalk near Skyline Vista Elementary School at a spot where there was no crossing guard.

A man who saw the crash, Aldo Ocegueda, ran to grab a car jack, which his brother used to lift the van off the boy while he helped pull the boy away before medical personnel arrived on scene.

“We just jacked the car up," Ocegueda said. "My brother put the car up, and I helped pull the little boy out.”

More: Bystanders mobilize after wreck, lift van off victim

Police say the child did not seem to be seriously hurt but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The woman driving the van stayed on the scene and is cooperating with investigators.

Westminster Police say she was cited for careless driving and for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

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Bob Dylan paid tribute to his late friend and Traveling Wilburys bandmate Tom Petty with a cover of "Learning to Fly" during the encore of Dylan’s Saturday night concert in Broomfield, Colorado.

The performance, a surprise deviation from Dylan’s usually rigid setlists, came one day after what would have been Petty’s 67th birthday.

Into the Great Wide Open’s "Learning to Fly" was penned by Petty and Jeff Lynne, also known as Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. and Otis Wilbury when they – along with Dylan, Harrison and Roy Orbison – performed together in the rock supergroup Traveling Wilburys.

Following Petty’s death October 2nd, Dylan said of Petty in a statement to Rolling Stone, "It’s shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him."

In years past, Dylan has occasionally delivered tributes to late friends and artists like Warren Zevon ("Mutineer" and others), Link Wray ("Rumble") and fellow Wilburys "brother" George Harrison ("Something") onstage.

Watch more crowd-shot footage of Dylan’s "Learning to Fly" below:

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An 11-year-old Cub Scout was reportedly kicked out of the program allegedly for asking a Colorado state senator some tough questions during a meeting organized by the Boy Scouts of America.

Ames Mayfield was booted last week following an Oct. 9 discussion hosted by his Cub Scout den in Broomfield, Colorado, with Republican Sen. Vicki Marble, his mother, Lori Mayfield, told ABC affiliate KMGH in Denver.

Lori Mayfield recorded the tense exchanges between her fifth-grade son and Marble and later posted the videos on YouTube. At one point in the videos, Ames asks the Fort Collins-area senator about controversial remarks she reportedly made at a legislative meeting on poverty at the Colorado State Capitol Building in 2013.

“I was astonished that you blamed black people for poor health and poverty because of all the chicken and barbecue they eat,” Ames says.

“I didn’t; that was made up by the media,” Marble responds in a quiet, measured tone. “So, you want to believe it? You believe it. But that’s not how it went down. I didn’t do that. That was false. Get both sides of the story.”

According to KMGH, Marble in 2013 said, “When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race. Sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up. Diabetes is something that’s prevalent in the genetic makeup, and you just can’t help it.”

The senator continued at the time, “Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down South and you, I mean, I love it. Everybody loves it.”

While responding to Ames’ question, Marble told the Cub Scouts, "I have a multicultural family and I’m very proud of it."

"I have blacks in my family. I have blacks and Mexican — they aren’t Latino, they’re Mexican. I have Jew. Oh, and I have Native American too. And we talk about our genetics and what we’re predisposed to so we can take care of each other, and we eat everything and we exercise," Marble said in the videos, later adding that her cultural background includes the "lousy Irish," generating some chuckles from the audience.

"We have multicultural foods within the United States and we are very blessed to have it. And we all love it and we all eat it. And we just better figure out our genetics," the senator said.

But it was Ames’ pointed question about gun control that got him removed from the Cub Scouts, his mother told KMGH.

"I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offenders to continue to own a gun,” Ames asks Marble. “Why on earth would you want someone who beats their wife to have access to a gun?"

An adult facilitating the discussion then cuts off the boy, saying, "OK, Ames, that is a really thorough question."

Lori Mayfield told KMGH her son was booted from the scouting program a few days after the meeting. Ames was just three months away from advancing to a Boy Scout, she said.

"My son was praised for [the question] during and after the meeting," she told KMGH in an email. “He is heartbroken his den leader kicked him out … What does that teach scouts [about asking challenging questions]?"

"He’s devastated," she added. "He has worked so hard for everything and he really liked his current den leader."

ABC News has reached out to Lori Mayfield for additional comment.

The Boy Scouts of America’s Denver Area Council did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Thursday. However, a spokesperson on Wednesday told KMGH that the council is helping to find Ames another den "so that he may continue to participate in the scouting program."

ABC News’ Stacy Chen contributed to this report.

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Emmanuel Sanders (10) of the Denver Broncos sits on the turf after missing a pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter of the on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. The Denver Broncos hosted the New York Giants.

Broncos Country had waited since Oct. 1 to see their team in action, then waited most of Sunday for the Broncos to kick off under the lights in prime time. The result: a thorough beating by Big Blue. The Broncos were crushed 23-10 at home by the depleted New York Giants.

Kiszla: The Broncos’ No. 1 problem is No. 13. Trevor Siemian is not the answer at quarterback.

Trevor Siemian suffers through nightmare performance in upset loss to Giants.

Eli Manning’s mistake-free performance lifts undermanned Giants over Broncos.

Broncos WRs Emmanuel Sanders, Isaiah McKenzie out for Week 7 with ankle sprains.

They said it
“That was a great game plan. They just kept the ball away. But the way their defense played really affected how we played them. If we would have scored and got up on them, they would have to throw the ball more, but with us not scoring, they could just play safe like that. You can’t really change the game when they don’t have to throw the ball and just run and be safe and trust the defense.”

— Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, on the Giants performance

Quick hits

+ Box score: Giants at Broncos.

+ Report card and game balls from Week 6 against the Giants.

+ PHOTOS: Broncos host the New York Giants in Week 6.

+ Trevor Siemian briefly left game with left shoulder injury.

+ WATCH: Trevor Siemian hits Demaryius Thomas with a 40-yard pass.

+ WATCH: Trevor Siemian connects with Emmanuel Sanders for a 33-yard pass.

+ Donald Stephenson, Cody Latimer were among Broncos’ inactives vs. Giants.

+ Eye on the Chargers: AFC West rival finding rhythm after rough start to season.

+ Broncos Q&A: Brandon Marshall opens up about NFL’s national anthem controversy.

+ The NFL could mandate players stand for the anthem.

+ Kiszla: Here is NFL’s chance to be better than Washington politicians in tackling anthem controversy.

+ Garett Bolles hasn’t been perfect. But he’s so far proven why the Broncos wanted him.

+ Countdown almost complete: Broncos’ Shane Ray is ready for his comeback.

They said it
“Great football teams take it upon themselves to play great no matter who they’re playing. They don’t hold their standards up to who they’re playing, but they hold their standards up to the expectations they have in their football team.”

— Broncos general manager John Elway

Next game

Sunday, Oct. 22 at Los Angeles Chargers (2-4), 2:25 p.m.
TV: KCNC-4; Radio: 850 AM, 103.5 FM
Opening points spread: Chargers favored by 1.5
Total points: 42

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at msanelli@denverpost.com, call me at 303-954-1017 or tweet me @mariosanellidp.

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Next man up is the unofficial motto of the NFL — all sports really, but especially the NFL, in which injuries fuel the need for constant replacements. Never has it been more poignant than when the Giants injury report was released Friday.

Linebacker Jonathan Casillas, defensive end Olivier Vernon, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, center Weston Richburg, running back Paul Perkins and defensive end Romeo Okwara all were ruled out of Sunday night’s game against the Broncos in Denver. The winless Giants didn’t bother to mention wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris, all lost for the season after suffering severe injuries in last week’s 27-22 loss to the Chargers.

It’s almost a worst-case scenario for the Giants, heading to one of the more hostile settings in the National Football League and needing contributions from players who figure to be seeing their first extensive action. Curtis Grant, a free agent from Ohio State, could see duty at inside linebacker. Roger Lewis, Tavarres King and Travis Rudolph, all undrafted free agents, are the new names at wide receiver.

The mantra “Next man up” is mostly psychological coach speak to trick a team into believing there should be no drop off when one player assumes the role of his fallen predecessor.

“It’s one of those things where we’re asking all of those guys to do pretty much across the board the same thing as one another so it will be the next man’s opportunity to go out there and play,” linebacker coach Bill McGovern said Friday.

It sounds good in theory, but the Giants know they’ll have trouble replacing Marshall, much less Beckham, the best player on the team. Despite his antics, he was a touchdown waiting to happen. It’s also devastating to be 0-5 and heading to Denver without veterans like Casillas, Richburg, Shepard and Vernon.

McGovern was asked if he can tell when the next man up is eager to prove himself or scared to death.

“As you see the week progress, you see them get excited to play,” he said. “I haven’t seen anybody be scared or afraid of anything. Our guys are excited for the opportunity to go back out there and play.”

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said that’s the way it should be. “We lost all our receivers and they’ve got to step up,” he said. “I’m sure this is a moment they’ve been waiting for their entire life. That’s why you play this game, to be able to showcase your talent. I think these guys are ready to showcase their talent. This is a perfect opportunity to go out there and ball.”

This is not what the Giants envisioned. It’s not what anyone envisioned. Being winless and decimated heading to Denver for a nationally televised game sounds like a recipe for disaster. Perhaps that’s why Ben McAdoo played the “There’s nobody giving us a chance in hell” card during his Friday press conference.

“People don’t think we can score a point without [Beckham],” he said. “They think our defense has lost its stinger.”

If by “they” McAdoo means the Giants fan base, then he’s right. The offense already was struggling to score points with Beckham, and the defense has underachieved all season. “They” also can’t be blamed for whatever led to cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie being suspended for Sunday night’s game.

Pierre-Paul didn’t seem motivated by anything other than trying to get the first win of the season.

“I’m going to go out to have the best game I want to have,” he said. “I’m pretty sure some of my teammates are going to do the same thing.”

The Giants can’t know what to expect in Denver. Their depleted roster will be relying on new faces in new roles. “Next man up” sounds good in theory. It may not play so well in Denver.

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