Latest News – August 27

Jury Duty: Democracy in Need of Support

By Bruce Brown, District Attorney, 5th Judicial District

District Attorney Bruce Brown

District Attorney Bruce Brown

Thomas Jefferson considered jury duty the lynchpin of our democracy. In a letter to Thomas Paine in 1789, during the debate that preceded ratification of the United States Constitution, Jefferson wrote: “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” Ultimately the right was secured in Article 3, Section 2 of the Constitution, “The trial of all crime…shall be by jury”.

We take for granted our right to a trial by jury and we as a society do not discuss often enough the responsibilities that accompany this right – jury duty.

Jury duty can carry with it steep material costs, especially for low and middle-income families because the State stipend of fifty-dollars per day does not match pay lost from work. Lengthy trials like many we’ve seen over the past year, create financial hardships that take months or years from which to recover.

And, while there are many young families with parents willing to serve on juries, childcare costs can often far exceed the court’s reimbursement forcing them to carry a heavy financial burden.

Recently a young woman told our District Attorney Office staff that she “kind of liked jury duty” but that her service fell on the day that she and her husband were closing on their first home. They faced the difficult choice of being held in contempt or buying their first home.

JuryAside from the inconvenience and financial strain, jury duty also can have detrimental psychological effects as dozens of articles and studies noting the strain on jurors – often referred to as ‘vicarious trauma’, a mentally tense state brought about by hearing stories or seeing physical trauma suffered by others. This is particularly true for those who serve as jurors on murder, assault and sex abuse cases.

In 1992, Stanley Kaplan, MD and Carolyn Winget, MA, published an article on the “Occupational Hazards of Jury Duty” in the American Academy of Psychiatric Law that included interviews from 40 jurors in four cases – two murder trials, one child abuse case and an obscenity case.

The researchers reported that twenty-seven of the jurors suffered from an array of illnesses including stress, gastrointestinal pain, heart palpitations, headaches, depression, anxiety, hives and alcohol abuse. While professionals such as prosecutors, law enforcement officers and emergency room physicians choose their line of work accepting trauma exposure, jurors do not volunteer for this duty and courts do little to assist them in dealing with violent material and testimony.

Jury duty can trigger feelings of isolation that long trials create, particularly when coupled with prohibitions that jurors not talk to others, even fellow jurors, about what they are hearing until the conclusion of the trial, leaving little timely outlet for processing their exposure to graphic and disturbing evidence. Many jurors struggle with the burden of responsibility knowing that their vote will permanently affect the suspects, the victims and their families.

Then there is the challenge of separating their personal feelings of antipathy, disgust or sympathy toward the defendant and making decisions based on the evidence presented at the trial.

Since trial by a jury of our peers is so central to protecting our rights and our freedoms, what are we doing to support jurors? Particularly in mountain communities where many residents are seasonal and the jury pool can be small?

Here in Colorado I am working want to work with others to provide key services and support for jurors so that jurors do not become additional crime victims.

The most immediate and critical needs are for financial support to cover childcare costs and counseling to help jurors cope with the trauma of being exposed to sometimes horrifying evidence and testimony. In the coming months we will be working with policy-makers and experts to increase support for jurors and thereby help to strengthen and preserve a key institution that protects our freedom – trial by jury.

Bruce Brown, District Attorney, represents the people of Summit, Eagle, Clear Creek and Lake. E-mail: bbrown@da5.us

Latest News – August 26

Colorado’s Tallest Peaks See Snow Dusting in August

Winter begins the slow march into Leadville Today as a considerable dusting of snow appeared on Mt. Massive, Colorado's second highest peak. Photo: Leadville Today/Brennan Ruegg

Winter begins the slow march into Leadville Today as a considerable dusting of snow appeared on Mt. Massive, Colorado’s second highest peak. Photo: Leadville Today/Brennan Ruegg

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Leadville Community Market Saturdays thru Sept 24

The Leadville Community Market (LCM) is back this year to be held on Saturdays from August 20 thru September 24. The market will be in the same location, in the First Mountain Bank parking lot from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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The Leadville Community Market runs Saturdays through September 24. Photo: Leadville Today/Brennan Ruegg.

The LCM organizers report that vendor participation has expanded to eight full-season booths, including two committed fresh produce vendors. The weekly market also features goods and services from local residents and companies.

The popular “Community Table,” will return again with fresh goodies this season, where local gardeners & chicken keepers can sell their products for a small fee.

Vendor applications can be found HERE. Connect with the event for the latest news on LCM Facebook Page or contact LCM organizers at 719-293-4742 or online at www.leadvillemarket.com.Spac_50Community Market poster

Latest News – August 25

One City Under a Groove

by Brennan Ruegg, Leadville Today contributor

“Soul is the ring around your bathtub.”

-Funkadelic

Get downtown this weekend as DOWN2FUNK returns to the Scarlet Stage on Saturday, August 27. The Scarlet Tavern at 326 Harrison Avenue will welcome back the Colorado native funk/hip-hop band who have a record of working the Leadville crowd into a sweaty mob of groove.

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Earlier this month, the band graced the ARISE Music Festival in Loveland alongside Ziggy Marley and Elephant Revival.

In their own words, DOWN2FUNK “is a High-Energy Funk Band born in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. D2F fuses conscious hip hop lyrics, soulful choruses & funky psychedelic solos designed to entertain the party people.”

So do you promise to funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk? The music starts at 10 p.m. on Saturday. It’s a free show, but you must be 21+ with ID at the door. So grab your shorty and come busta move like never before on the corner of 4th and historic Harrison Avenue.  For more info connect with the Scarlet on Facebook: LINK. Or visit the DOWN2FUNK website here.

Latest News – August 24

Leadville’s Wesley Sandoval Smashes Leadman Record

The Leadville Race Series (LRS) season wrapped up last weekend with the 34th annual Leadville Trail 100 (LT100) Run on August 20 and 21, presented by New Balance and produced by Life TimeSM, The Healthy Way of Life Company.

Leadville’s Wesley Sandoval finished fourth overall in the Leadville Trail 100 Run and also smashed the existing Leadman Record by 26:31.

Leadville’s Wesley Sandoval finished fourth overall in the Leadville Trail 100 Run and also smashed the existing Leadman Record by 26:31.

Nearly 650 runners from all 50 states and 30 countries came to compete in the legendary ‘Race Across the Sky’ event and run 100 miles through the challenging Colorado Rockies terrain with elevations ranging from 9,200 to 12,600 feet, with a total elevation climb of more than 18,000 feet.

Ian Sharman, of Bend, Oregon (Great Britain) won the race for the third time with previous wins in 2015 and 2013 with a finish time of 16:22:39 and beat his personal best from last year’s win by 11 minutes. For the second year in a row, Kyle Pietari of Denver, Colorado (United States) finished second at 18:16:48 and Luke Jay of Littleton, Colorado (United States) finished third at 18:31:22.

In the women’s division, Clare Gallagher of Boulder, Colorado (United States) took the top honors and came in fifth overall. Clare finished in 19:00:27. Maggie Walsh of Littleton, Colorado (United States) finished second at 21:00:28 and Jennifer Benna of Reno, Nevada (United States) finished third at 21:45:00.

The LT100 Run also marked the fifth and final challenge for those who competed for the title of Leadman and Leadwoman. Each Leadman and Leadwoman candidate must also compete in the Leadville Trail Marathon, Leadville Silver Rush 50-Mile Mountain Bike or Silver Rush 50-Mile Trail Run, Leadville Trail 100 MTB and the Leadville Trail 10K Run. This year, Leadville’s own Wesley Sandoval finished fourth overall in the Leadville Trail 100 Run at 18:40:01 with a total Leadman time of 35:54:55 and smashed the existing Leadman Record by 26:31.

Top female finisher Clare Gallagher crosses the finish line at this wekend's Leadvilel Trail 100 Run.

Top female finisher Clare Gallagher crosses the finish line at the Leadville Trail 100 Run.

Additionally, after 30 hours of racing, Kristi Kozney of Arvada, Colorado and Kara Diamond-Husmann of Denver, Colorado, dug deep and showing extraordinary fortitude crossed the line right at the 30-hour mark.

“I want to congratulate our winners and all of the participants who gave it their all on the course today,” says Josh Colley, LRS Race Director. “The accomplishment of running 100 miles is not only done through grit, guts and determination but also the support of crews and volunteers on course. By working together, we can all accomplish amazing results and encourage each other to lead a healthier way of life.” 

Latest News – August 23

Hey Jeepers: Heads Up for Motorized Use Changes

This one’s for all you off-roaders, jeepers and ATV-lovers, there are some meetings starting TODAY concerning the US Forest Service’s travel management process, or simply put, to decide which roads are to remain open or not as a result of the MVUM lawsuit. 

Stay informed about changes in motorized use in Lake County.

Stay informed about motorized use in Lake County.

These meetings allow for folks to voice their concerns NOW, not once the changes begin to be implemented.  Tomorrow’s (August 24) meeting in Salida is as close as Lake County residents are going to get to express concerns in person, so please take note of time and dates listed below:

  • Tuesday, August 23, 2016: 5 – 7 p.m., Pueblo Community College,  Fortino Ballroom  900 West Orman  Avenue, Pueblo CO, 81004.
  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016: 5 – 7 p.m.,  Steam Plant Theatre and Event Center Ballroom, 220 West Sackett Street, Salida, CO  81201.
  • Thursday, August 25, 2016: 5 – 7  p.m., Colorado Springs Utilities, Pikes Peak Room, Leon Young Service Center, 1521 S. Hancock Expressway, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Each meeting will include an opportunity for the public discuss the proposed action with Forest Service personnel and view maps of the proposed alternatives. The public is also encouraged to provide input regarding developing reasonable alternatives, resources to be evaluated, and other significant issues.  Comments will be accepted through close of business on September 8, 2016, and  submitted to:        

Write  comments  to:  Travel  Management,  Pike  &  San  Isabel  National  Forests,  2840  Kachina Dr., Pueblo, CO 81008; Email  comments  to:  comments@psitravelmanagement.org; or Fax comments to (719)  553-1440.

Forest Service Motor Use ChangesSome back ground: The current PSI Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) dates back to 1984. Many changes have occurred since that time, with new types of use, increased user volumes, general population pressures, wildland-urban interface developments, and other factors. The PSI issued revised MVUMs in 2009 reflecting updated routes open to the public for motorized use, but was subsequently challenged in court by various environmental groups contending that the Forest Service did not meet their agency obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal legislation. Parties to the lawsuit eventually reached a settlement agreement in 2015, which they believe is in the public interest and a fair and equitable resolution of the dispute.

As a result of the settlement agreement, the PSI is conducting travel management planning to designate roads, trails, and areas open to public motorized vehicle use on the six districts of the PSI National Forestswhich includes significant land within Lake County. Scoping for travel management began on July 25, 2016 with publication of a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS). Scoping is a process used to identify important issues and determine the extent of analysis necessary for an informed decision on a proposed action. To read the FULL document release by the US Forest Service: LINK.