Recent beatings of South Asian refugees have prompted Denver police to hand out cellphones to newcomers from abroad. On Dec. 11, a group of men beat and robbed teenage refugees from Bhutan in east Denver, following them from an RTD bus, according to police. Six were beaten, one requiring emergency-room treatment. The attack spread fear among refugees from Bhutan, Burma and elsewhere — who are concentrated in low-rent apartments and have been victims of previous robberies. The hope is that the emergency-only phones, which require no payments, will help refugees reach paramedics and police to prevent future trouble and give a sense of security.
Colorado Front Range residents are using less water, but some parts of the Western Slope have seen per capita water use explode in the past decade, according to a new state study.
Taxed by increasingly complex requests for climate modeling, the National Center for Atmospheric Research will build a new supercomputer — but house it in Wyoming, not Boulder. While climate-change modeling once dealt with global scenarios, the typical request now is more complex: ” ‘Where are the impacts?’ ‘How fast is it coming?’ and ‘What does it mean on a regional scale?’ ” Those who request models include utilities in major Western cities, insurance companies, an international bank and a ski area. All want to plug unique variables into computer models for climate change to anticipate how people can prepare and adapt.
Denver has hit turbulence in its biggest water-supply project since the 1960s — a $225 million effort to prevent future shortages. Denver Water proposes to divert enough for 45,000 families from mountain rivers on the western side of the Continental Divide, then pump it through tunnels to Front Range reservoirs, including an expanded Gross Reservoir above Boulder. But the plan requires federal approval, and at public hearings, opponents concerned about environmental harm have argued that Denver must rely more on using less water — not pump more from the mountains.
State water stewards have continued to permit groundwater pumping south of Denver, despite data and near universal agreement that underground water levels are falling and the resource is being depleted.
Three Iraq combat veterans from Colorado have launched themselves on a new kind of mission abroad: fighting poverty as civilians. Discharged this year from the Quebec Battery, 5th Battalion, 14th Regiment of the 4th Marine Division, a reserve unit based at Buckley Air Force Base, the three are devoting themselves to humanitarian aid projects in Asia and Africa. A fourth is setting up a domestic violence support service he will pursue when he leaves the Marine Corps. “After you’ve experienced the world at its worst, it seems to be a natural instinct to want to make it better,” said Cpl. Brenton Hutson, 24, a Wheat Ridge High School graduate who joined the military at age 17 and served in Ramadi and Fallujah in 2006 during the worst of Iraq’s sectarian war. National veterans group leaders say the jump from combat to humanitarian aid is becoming common as Americans return from war and want more than a comfortable domestic existence.