Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Dec. 19

That awful blue frame at Garden of the Gods is gone, plus serial killers trying to escape, alarm bells on the slot homes ban and impending winter.

Ute men, women, and children pose at Garden of the Gods in 1911. The photo is labeled "moon dance." (H.S. Poley/Western History and Genealogy Dept./Denver Public Library)
Ute men, women, and children pose at Garden of the Gods in 1911. The photo is labeled "moon dance." (H.S. Poley/Western History and Genealogy Dept./Denver Public Library)
Ute men, women, and children pose at Garden of the Gods in 1911. The photo is labeled “moon dance.” (H.S. Poley/Western History and Genealogy Dept./Denver Public Library)

There’s a whole bunch of news in here, but the most important thing you need to know is that they took down that awful blue frame at Garden of the Gods. But we’ve also got serial killers trying to escape, alarm bells on the slot homes ban and impending winter.

Read on.

Winter

It’s on its way. As Andy notes, the first day of the new season will be marked by the traditional weather of that season, a tradition that seems less frequently observed in these times. (Denverite)

But for now, it’s still nice out.

Pettiness

President Donald Trump’s nomination of Coloradan Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court was the decision that made voting for him worth it for thousands of conservatives, and Trump brags about it on the regular. But it turns out Trump talked privately about rescinding the nomination after Gorsuch after the judge told a Democratic senator that Trump’s attacks on the federal judiciary were “disheartening.” Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Robert Barnes report. (WaPo)

Fairness

Denver City Council adopted a series of changes that should make it less likely that small women- and minority-owned businesses get exploited by large contractors. Andy has that story. (Denverite)

Housing

The advocacy group All in Denver is calling for the city to dramatically increase its investment in affordable housing and ask voters to approve new debt of at least $110 million to do so. It’s an idea that’s getting traction with some City Council members, but the Mayor’s Office isn’t going all in just yet.

“We’ve been saying from the beginning that housing and housing costs really are the No. 1 concern in the city,”  Brad Segal, an economic development consultant and co-founder of All in Denver, said. “… If we’re serious, we need a much larger investment.” (Denverite)

“TIME MAY BE RUNNING OUT!” Realtors are warning Denver homeowners that an effort to ban slot homes will lower their property values. So sell now! One council member calls it “hooey,” but a developer who worked on the task force for this issue says it could happen. Andy reports. (Denverite)

Danger

The streets that are the most dangerous for pedestrians weren’t built with them in mind, and in half of crashes, the pedestrian had the right of way. Denver Public Works lays out ways the city could make these streets safer. David Sachs reports. (Streetsblog)

Waiting

Denver City Council decided to delay the vote on a $78 million contract to build a large part of its controversial flood-control project at its meeting on Monday in the face of ongoing questions and concerns from the community. Andy has that story. (Denverite)

Law and order

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the family of Ryan Ronquillo, who was killed by Denver police officers in a funeral home parking lot. The court found that Ronquillo posed a “mortal threat” to officers when he backed up in his car in an effort to escape. Kirk Mitchell reports. (DP)

Notorious Colorado serial killer Scott Kimball stands accused of hatching a complicated revenge-murder-escape plot from behind bars, as Kevin Vaughan reports. Kimball, a former FBI informant, was going to hijack a helicopter and escape to Alaska, according to court documents. (9)

Two people have pleaded guilty to repeatedly stealing baggage from carousels at Denver International Airport. One of the thieves told Brian Maass, “I made a big mistake.” (4)

Outdoors

Ride a chairlift into the future … or something. Winter Park is getting fancy digital screens on some chairlift safety bars. They’ll have trail, traffic and weather information but, much to Andy’s disappointment, no SkiFree. (Denverite)

That didn’t last long. Not that it should have happened in the first place. Following a public outcry, the city of Colorado Springs ordered the giant blue frame at Garden of the Gods removed. It was supposed to promote the Springs as Olympic City USA. Seth Boster reports. (Gazette)

Vail and Aspen made a list of “climate-resilient” ski resorts. Like other resorts on the list, they have high elevation and snow-making equipment. And as Scott Miller notes, the list was an analysis performed by a real estate company and excludes other high-elevation resorts in Summit County, so take with whatever grains of salt you will. (Vail Daily)

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.