Denver in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Nov. 8

A mule deer in front of the downtown Denver skyline. (Oborseth/Wikimedia Commons)

Today’s news roundup includes some insight on the big marijuana votes, Boulder’s plan for energy independence (kinda), a potential change in the weather and the flood of misinformation that may come with Election Day. Also: a really bizarre dustup involving Yale, the FBI and county clerks.

A mule deer in front of the downtown Denver skyline. (Oborseth/Wikimedia Commons)
A mule deer in front of the downtown Denver skyline. (Oborseth/Wikimedia Commons)

The polls on marijuana legalization:

Voters in nine states are considering either recreational or medical marijuana today. An average of all October polls finds that Florida will almost definitely approve medical (73% support) and California seems pretty high on recreational (55%), but the rest are very close. Massachusetts shows 52% support while Maine and Nevada came in tied, all for recreational. Arizona is at 48% support in the polls for recreational. (Marijuana Business Daily)

B-Cycle is free today.

You can check out one of those nice red bikes for up to 24 hours, free of charge. It’s supposed to be for Election Day. (Streetsblog)

Sterling might have its missing mail delivered.

A 22-year-old letter carrier was indicted last month on accusations he had hoarded more than 26,000 pieces of mail in the northeastern Colorado city. A prosecutor on Monday said he would allow that mail to be delivered. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom nor alleged mail-hoarding crime… (CBS4)

Boulder is still thinking about its own energy utility.

Xcel Energy has not been happy about Boulder’s plan to create a public utility. The utility and the city currently are in negotiations toward a settlement on that conflict. Meanwhile, city officials are still drafting a plan to potentially split off, and on Monday announced that a city-owned utility “would be cost effective over a 20-year period.” (Denver Business Journal)

The weather could break next week.

A couple reliable forecasting models show this nefarious high-pressure ridge potentially disappearing next week, which could open the door for some Denver snow in about 10 days’ time. (Denverite)

Brandon Marshall halts anthem-kneeling protest.

The Broncos linebacker stood for the national anthem, rather than kneeling, at Sunday’s game. What changed? He met earlier with Chief Robert White of the Denver Police Department, and now is pleased to see the department is reviewing its use-of-force policy, although some community groups are unhappy with the process. (ESPN, Denverite)

Researchers will be watching for earthquake activity.

A minor quake shook the ground northwest of Kersey on Sunday, while one in Oklahoma caused some damage. In Colorado, the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will be working with CU researchers to see whether the Kersey quake might be related to the drilling practice of injecting wastewater underground. (AP, CPR)

Want to follow school issues?

Chalkbeat has you covered.

Don’t believe the hype.

Here’s our news consumers’ guide to Election Day. (Denverite)

Making billionaire moves.

Colorado’s John Malone could unite Starz and Lionsgate, two of the big media properties with which he’s involved. (Denverite)

Elections staffers spent hundreds of hours investigating emails from a research project.

A Yale University professor’s research team sent out emails to county clerk’s offices across the country, including Colorado, as ABC7 reported. They asked questions such as “What do I need to bring to vote?” and about whether they had to register with a political party.

Noticing that similar emails were arriving in multiple places, the National Association of Secretaries of State sent out an alert, which in turn meant the Colorado Secretary of State investigated and that the FBI was informed. Colorado’s deputy secretary of state, Suzanne Staiert, told ABC7 it was “irresponsible in this climate and this close to an election to send out what is essentially spam to all of our county clerks to try and conduct essentially a lab experiment for academia.” Responding to and investigating the emails cumulatively took hundreds of hours, she said.

I don’t agree that this was an irresponsible waste of time. The project most likely was testing how well clerks respond to basic questions from people with different names and apparent ethnicities. It’s an important topic, and I do not see how a basic information request like this could be a serious hacking threat – but I realize that email does not feel very secure lately, so I suppose it was worth investigating. (ABC7)

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.