Loud & Clear: Body cameras, the death penalty and Anschutz’s wind farm

Listen Now
Image: Loud and Clear typewriter

Colorado Matters listeners share their feedback in "Loud and Clear." Our coverage of police body cameras brought numerous responses, many in support of the technology. Shannon Donohoe writes on our Facebook page, "It makes sense. If there's an instance of police brutality, then it'll be much easier to discipline. On the other hand, it'll save cops from being falsely accused of brutality. It's a win-win."

Andrei Andronescu, of Lakewood, adds: "There must be some type of reprimand if they're not turned on by the officer, whenever performing official duty [and/or] interacting with a citizen."

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, Colorado Matters shared a timeline of the LGBT movement in Colorado. Neal McBurnett, of Boulder, wanted to add an event, writing on Facebook, "Colorado is also where the first ordained minister came out as gay, and that happened in 1969, near Colorado Springs!"

He's right, according to religion writer and New York Times columnist Mark Oppenheimer, Rev. James Lewis Stoll was "the first minister of any American religious denomination, and probably in the world, to publicly admit his homosexuality," Oppenheimer wrote.

Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz is attempting to build the largest onshore wind farm in the United States. Former Wall Street Journal reporter Gabe Kahn told us the federal government is still assessing how the project would affect eagles and other species that live on Anschutz's Wyoming ranch and in the area of a proposed power line all the way to California. U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Theo Stein says the impact on animals would be more significant than our interview indicated.

"The project would result in the loss and fragmentation of sage brush habitat important for greater sage grouse, mule deer, pronghorn and elk, an other species of conservation concern in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Nevada... The public has a right to understand what those impacts are. That's why environmental reviews required by the Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service seem to take so long."

Stein says one of those reviews is expected to come out this fall, regarding golden and bald eagles, and his agency will take public comment on it.

We also recently featured the University of Denver's new full time animal law professor, Justin Marceau. We talked about whether civil rights extend to animals, like "habeas corpus" for chimpanzees. Diana Mageehon of Roseburg, Oregon visited our Facebook page, and wrote, "I think it's about time humans give other sentient beings the courtesy of not using them for experimental purposes -- the great apes and other primates have complex societies which need to be respected."

Several people spoke up about the death penalty after our conversation with Coloradans who'd changed their minds on the issue -- in both directions. Meggin Jackson, of Denver, says she thinks a life sentence is more appropriate sentence for convicted murderers than the death penalty, "... because to be required to survive with no hope or chance of leading a normal life in society is I think a sentence worse than death."

She goes on to say that, as a lawyer, she knows the system isn't perfect.

"I also believe that the risk of putting a wrongfully convicted person to death is too great a risk to justify any other possible benefit to society."

And from Dylan Nordeck, a short quote: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

Finally, listeners had lots of say about the climber who made it to the top of Peak 98-54 in southwest Colorado. It was one of the state's highest unsummited peaks, but David Goldstein] conquered it -- with the help of a drone, which his critics said was cheating. But that's not an opinion listeners seemed to share.

On Twitter, Valerie Williams of Denver wrote, "Don't hate it cause you ain't it! Its not cheating. The goal is to go to the top. There are no written rules."

And from Jennifer Goodland, of Golden: "If it's cheating to use a drone, why isn't is also cheating to use ropes or any other type of climbing technology? Is it cheating to drive all the way to the top of Pikes Peak?"

To comment on any of our stories, click contact at the top of the page, or get in touch through Facebook or Twitter.