Elijah McClain, another United States police killing

Rashiaa Veal holds a sign honoring her cousin Elijah McClain at a press conference in front of the Aurora Municipal Center on October 1, 2019. Photo Credit: Andy Cross/MediaNewsGroup/The Denver Post via Getty Images

This photo from Colorado in the USA shows Rashiaa Veal holding a sign honoring her cousin Elijah McClain at a press conference in front of the Aurora Municipal Center on October 1, 2019. Photo credit: Andy Cross/MediaNewsGroup/The Denver Post via Getty Images.

From Colorlines in the USA:

Millions Demand Justice for Elijah McClain Following Death in Police Custody

State officials will reexamine the 2019 death of the 23-year-old, who died after Aurora, Colorado, officers put him in a chokehold.

By Shani Saxon, June 25, 2020 2:31PM ET

Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced on June 24 that his administration will launch an investigation into the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man killed in August 2019 following an encounter with police officers, CNN reports. The announcement came after millions of people signed a Change.org petition demanding an independent investigation into McClain’s death.

Reports CNN:

On August 24, 2019, McClain was stopped by three White officers as he walked home from a convenience store, after a 911 caller described a “suspicious person”, according to a police overview of the incident. McClain resisted officer contact, the report says, and a struggle ensued. On one of the officers’ body cameras, McClain is heard saying, “I’m an introvert, please respect the boundaries that I am speaking.” Bodycam video shows McClain telling officers that he was trying to stop his music to listen to them, then they begin to arrest him. One officer is heard telling another, “He just grabbed your gun, dude.”

According to an overview of the incident that police provided to CNN, an officer placed McClain in a chokehold, causing him to briefly lose consciousness:

lose consciousness:

They released the hold, the report says, and [McClain] began struggling again. When paramedics arrived at the scene they administered ketamine to sedate McClain, the report said. According to a letter from the district attorney, McClain suffered a heart attack while in the ambulance, and he was declared brain dead three days later. An autopsy did not determine a cause of death but listed intense physical exertion and a narrow left coronary artery as contributing factors, according to the police overview. The coroner found the amount of ketamine in his system to be a therapeutic amount.

In addition to Polis’ new investigation into this case, the city of Aurora is planning its own investigation, according to CNN. “The mayor, City Council and city manager are working to initiate a new independent, external review of the actions of police, firefighters and paramedics in the Elijah McClain case,” a state official told CNN. “We are considering a team of experts from across the country to be involved and provide insight from different perspectives, but the exact participants have not been selected yet.”

Mari Newman, an attorney representing the McClain family, is calling for charges to be brought against the officers involved in McClain’s death. “He was an angel among humans,” Newman said of McClain while speaking to CNN via Denver’s KCNC. “He would go to play his violin on lunch hour to animals who were waiting to be adopted so they wouldn’t be lonely.”

Newman added, “It shouldn’t take millions of people signing a petition, and it shouldn’t take international media attention for elected officials to do their jobs.”

The three white men who killed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery on February 23 were indicted Wednesday on murder charges by a Georgia grand jury. The men were not arrested and charged until last month, after a video of the brutal killing went viral on social media and prompted nationwide protests: here.

Aurora, Colorado, police attack protesters after investigation reopened into 2019 death of Elijah McClain: here.

Neo-nazi synagogue bombing plot, Colorado, USA

This 4 November 2019 video from Colorado, USA says about itself:

Richard Holzer Arrested In Plot To Blow Up Pueblo’s Temple Emanuel [synagogue]

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In the United States a man was arrested who wanted to commit an attack on a synagogue. The 27-year-old man from the state of Colorado is said to have planned a bomb attack on the Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo city, south of Denver. Court documents show that he wanted to unleash a “racial holy war”.

Richard Holzer was arrested last weekend after he accepted 14 dynamite sticks and two pipe bombs from some men and women about whom he thought they supported him. That turned out to be undercover FBI agents and the explosives turned out to be fake. He is said to have intended to commit the attack that day.

According to the FBI, Holzer told the agents that he is a skinhead and that he used to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He is said to have glorified violence on Facebook and spread messages in which he recommended white supremacy.

Mein Kampf

He is also said to have been very anti-Semitic on several occasions in his contact with the undercover agents. When he met one of them, he was “wearing a Nazi armband” according to the FBI. He is also said to have had the book Mein Kampf [by Adolf Hitler] with him.

See also here.

White Supremacist Arrested For Plot To Blow Up Colorado Synagogue … Holzer also used racial slurs to refer to Latino people: here.

A group of men wearing large white kippas and tallesim handed out fliers promoting Holocaust denial and hung up cards bearing anti-Semitic canards on a pedestrian mall in Boulder, Colorado. The fliers handed out at Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall by the men who appeared to be posing as Jews claimed the Holocaust was “impossible”. The men also hung notes on index cards around the mall that claimed “Academia is dominated by Marxist Jews”, Jews run the porn industry,” and “Jews ran the Atlantic slave trade,” the Daily Camera newspaper reported: here.

In addition to Holzer, at least 12 other people have been arrested for participating in plots to attack Jews since the Tree of Life shooting, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL reports that incidents targeting Jews surged 57 percent in 2017. In the first half of this year, the ADL recorded 780 anti-Semitic episodes across the US: here.

Richard Holzer (Facebook)

This Week Proves It: Anti-Semitism On The Right Is The Only Real Threat To Jews: here.

Striking Colorado, USA teachers speak

Denver, USA teachers fighting to defend public education

By Andrea Peters in the USA:

13 February 2019

Teachers in Denver, Colorado are continuing their strike over low pay and underfunding of the school system. According to the union, 3,800 of the district’s 4,725 teachers are participating in the strike, which is the latest in a series of teacher walkouts extending across the United States since the spring of 2018.

Denver Public Schools (DPS), which serves 92,000 students and operates 207 schools, is attempting to keep the district running by putting administrators and substitute teachers in the classrooms. There is widespread support among students and parents for the DPS employees, who work in a state that ranks among the last in the nation in terms of teacher pay and live in a city where the median home price of $421,000 is double the national average.

Negotiations between DPS and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) resumed on Tuesday. DPS officials say their proposal to raise starting salaries to $45,500 from their current level of $43,255 is contingent on slashing other district jobs. School Superintendent Susana Cordova says 150 jobs would have to be eliminated from the district’s central office and has claimed that support staff and janitors will not be affected. Not only are such promises dubious, but the cutting of central office staff has often been the prelude to the restructuring of school districts and the expansion of charter schools and other school privatization schemes. …

Teachers in Denver are fighting powerful corporate and political forces, which have long promoted merit pay and other attacks on teachers and public education. That is why they must not fight this struggle alone. The WSWS Teacher Newsletter urges teachers to elect rank-and-file strike committees at every school and in every neighborhood to mobilize the broadest support in the working class to back the teachers and to fight for the expansion of the strike throughout Colorado and beyond. …
Denver teachers choose their students, not corporate profits

In Colorado, the central role in axing social spending and making the state one of the nation’s most attractive for the wealthy has been played by the Democratic Party. With the exception of a two-term period from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, Democrats have controlled the governorship since 1974. Per pupil funding in Colorado for K-12 education is $2,000 below the national average and places the state among the bottom third of all states for school financing.

Small increases in budget allocations for public education in recent years have been far outstripped by increasing numbers of students, declining local funding and growing costs facing schools. The state does not even provide a free full-day kindergarten education. Families are charged tuition based on a sliding scale, with the maximum rate being upwards of $2,500 for the school year. Colorado’s current governor, Democrat Jared Polis, is a founder and advocate of charter schools. In May, the state’s previous Democratic governor signed into law a massive attack on the pensions of teachers and other public sector workers.

At the center of teachers’ demands is the overturning of Denver’s merit pay system, ProComp. The “incentive-based” compensation program was designed and implemented in the mid-2000s … . As a substitute for raising teachers’ base pay, the DPS and DCTA developed ProComp to award bonuses on the basis of student test scores, teacher evaluations, subject matter taught, the “high-priority” character of the student population, labor-market demands and a variety of other metrics.
A striking teacher

The “merit” standards are so complex and change so much that educators say they cannot predict their monthly, much less annual, income. The scheme is also used on school psychologists, counselors, librarians and other staff.

Abbie Ashby, a first-year math teacher, told the World Socialist Web Site: “I’m striking because the bonuses we receive disrupt our classrooms. I work in a ‘high priority’ [high poverty] classroom so despite the incentives, our middle school students only kept two of their teachers last year. My 8th grade students had so many math teachers last year.

“Since the incentives are unreliable, many teachers have taken significant pay cuts from year to year. Some teachers tell me they make less now than two years ago. I have no idea what my paycheck will be. As I told my students, from month to month I have to choose between buying snacks or school supplies for them in the classroom, or things for myself, like hygiene products. I’d like to be able to afford both things for my students and for myself.”

The merit-based pay system was billed as a means to boost teacher retention and student performance. It has achieved neither of these. The achievement gap between poor and better-off students is one of the largest in the country, exceeded only by Washington, DC, and Atlanta.

The overriding intent of the scheme is to scapegoat teachers for educational problems that are the inevitable product of poverty, social inequality and decades of defunding public education. One in five children in Denver live below the government’s official poverty line and a third come from families where no parent had full-time, year-round employment. These figures underestimate the real scope of social suffering. According to Shift Research Lab, however, a family of four in Denver must make 3.4 times the federal poverty line to actually be self-sufficient.

By linking their compensation to conditions in the schools, the ProComp system makes teachers pay for the devastating fact that large numbers of their students are living in households that cannot pay for the basic necessities of life.

The origins of Denver’s merit-based pay system can be traced back to the work of the National Commission on Teacher and America’s Future (NCTAF), headed by Democrat Jim Hunt (governor of North Carolina) and Linda Darling-Hammond. The latter served as an education advisor to Barack Obama and was considered for education secretary until Obama chose Arne Duncan, another proponent of corporate-backed “school reform”.

In 1996, the NCTAF published a report entitled, “What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future”, that advocated merit pay in the educational system. The agenda contained in this report was picked up by DPS, the DCTA and the Rose Community Foundation, which worked to institute a pilot ProComp program in Denver in 1999.

Mental health matters, credit: DPS

The “pay-for-performance” (PFP) model got a further boost in 2000 and 2003 from the right-wing scholar Edward Lazear, who would come to serve as the chief economic adviser to George W. Bush from 2006-2009. On the basis of data showing that a pay-per-item compensation model (in other words, piece rate) at Safelite Autoglass had significantly increased worker output and profits, the Stanford University professor argued that teachers should be subject to a similar “motivational” pay system.

The efforts in Denver caught the attention of other big donors, such Eli Broad, a multibillionaire promoter of privatizing public schools. In 2005, a major campaign effort initiated by the DCTA and DPS, backed by the Democratic Party and financed by so-called non-profits, steamrolled voters into supporting a tax measure to fund ProComp. The tax measure promised an additional $25 million for school financing as long as it was used to implement the merit-pay system.

“Entrepreneurial behavior within the unions” and “unprecedented labor-management collaboration” were key to securing the “groundbreaking” initiative, according to the major book on ProComp, Pay-for-Performance Teacher Compensation, published in 2007.

In fighting against merit pay, low wages and the underfunding of schools, Denver teachers are in conflict with the trade unions and the Democratic Party. The DCTA has already made clear that it is merely requesting changes to the ProComp system, not its elimination. Similarly, the head of the National Education Association (NEA), Lily Eskelsen Garcia, declared that the biggest issue was the lack of clarity in the ProComp system, not the existence of merit pay itself. “You are unique here in Denver because here you are saying, ‘Can I just know what I’m being paid?’” she told a crowd of striking teachers outside the Capitol building Monday.

Denver’s teachers’ strike is part of a broader struggle of educators throughout the United States and the world. Educators everywhere, and the students and communities they serve, are their allies … Only by taking the initiative in their own hands, through the formation of rank-and-file committees and linking up with educators and other workers across Colorado and beyond, can teachers mobilize the necessary support to wage this decisive battle.

By Rebecca Decario:

Striking Denver teachers speak out

13 February 2018

Teachers in Denver, Colorado are continuing their strike over merit pay and the chronic underfunding of the school system by city and state Democratic Party officials. There is broad support among students and parents for the strike, with many students walking out of school to join the picket lines and protests by their teachers.

As the hundreds of teachers marched the mile to Civic Center Park, near the State Capitol Building, cars honked, and people came out of the neighborhoods and stores to support them. Teachers and students spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the “pay-for-performance” ProComp scheme that ties teachers’ compensation to standardized test scores and other measurements largely determined by poverty, school defunding and other social ills, which teachers have no control over. In addition to scapegoating teachers for these conditions, the arbitrary character of the merit pay system has left teachers unsure of their actual income from month-to-month.

“I’ve been working for DPS (Denver Public Schools) for 12 years and I’ve been a teacher for 21 years, but I honestly have no idea how much money I make,” Ryan Short, a teacher at East High School, told the WSWS Teacher Newsletter. “It varies every year and, yes, every month. It’s ProComp and the different bonuses that come and go. One year a bonus might be worth something, the next year it is worth nothing.

“We want salaries to be equitable for all teachers. We are asking for a transparent salary scale, higher base pay and incentive bonuses. We want it to be fair and predictable for all teachers. We all work hard. As a special education teacher, there’s no reason I should be paid an extra $2,500 a year above the science teacher next to me. The money is not why I do what I do. We should raise the wages for everybody and make it fair for everybody, then turnover will be less, and student success will increase.

“I am married to a professional, we do OK, but I’m out here fighting for all the people I work with. Without a doubt, I’ve had friends come and go out of the profession just because they can’t afford it.

“There’s a movement across the country to honor teachers and pay them a professional wage. If you just pay people a fair base salary where they don’t have to worry about money, it will increase productivity and creativity.”

Asked what the low pay for teachers means for students’ educations, Ryan said: “When a teacher rushes out of the building at 3:15 to get to their second job and works to 9:30 or 10 at night, yes, students suffer. When teachers are working 18-hour days, it definitely affects students.”

Abbie Ashby, a first-year math teacher, said, “I’m striking because the bonuses we receive disrupt our classrooms. I work in a ‘high priority’ [high poverty] classroom so despite the incentives, our middle school students only kept two of their teachers last year. My eighth grade students had so many math teachers last year.

“Since the incentives are unreliable, many teachers have taken significant pay cuts from year to year. Some teachers tell me they make less now than two years ago.

“I have no idea what my paycheck will be. This is my first year and every time I get it, I am completely confused. I don’t know if I’m getting all the right money for incentives.

“I live in 800-square feet with three adults, that’s what we can afford. I make about $42,000 a year. I rent because I could never afford a house or be approved for a loan. If I were to apply for a mortgage, incentives would not be considered to qualify for a mortgage.

“We’re not eating great, we’re eating the same couple of things every day. It’s okay, my partner is on food stamps, so that helps. As I told my students, from month to month I have to choose between buying snacks or school supplies for them in the classroom, or things for myself, like hygiene products. I’d like to be able to afford both things for my students and for myself.”

Another educator Jennifer, said: “Every year is different, as to what my bonus is going to be, or even when we’re going to be paid for the bonuses. One year the bonus was only paid in December. I can afford to live in Denver only because my parents help me.”

Asked about the role of the Democrats in supporting accountability schemes like ProComp, Jennifer said: “I think the Democratic Party is just as much a party of the establishment as any other. I was a Democrat for a month to caucus for Bernie. I left when they screwed him over. I’m independent now, probably for life. If the Democrats don’t become more progressive, they’re going to die, just like the Republicans are.”

Another teacher, Joe Walden, told the WSWS: “We have been working on this for years in terms of ProComp. One of our messages is that incentives don’t work. We need a good starting salary and a reasonable plan to build that salary over the course of our careers. A sticking point is the role of professional development; the administration makes it an impossible hoop to jump through.

“We have a general idea of how much money we make each month, but we don’t know what is going to be incentivized each year. This year we got one for growth in test scores; we received $1,000. Last year, it was close to $2,400. It’s announced about three weeks before you get it.

“We all love our children, we love our students. Paying us more bonuses doesn’t make us work harder. We believe in the future and want to have an impact on that future.”

Rebekah and Cathryn marching to support their teachers

Two East High School students, Rebekah Wilson and Cathryn Seaman also spoke with the WSWS. Rebekah said: “I’m out here because the teachers in DPS have done so much for me. They helped me bring my GPA up from 1.7 to 5.9. That wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing teachers in my life.

“I have one teacher with four to five kids at home, and yet he’s always at the school. They deserve more pay. They have families themselves and shouldn’t be struggling to have food on the table. One of my teachers’ husband had no pay because of the government shutdown too.”

Cathryn Seaman added, “My teachers work really hard. They are always there to support us. They do a lot of work outside the classroom and shouldn’t have to work second jobs. They work every day to make sure we are learning, are safe and comfortable in school. They deserve to get decent wages.”

TEACHERS IN WEST VIRGINIA TO STRIKE West Virginia public school teachers plan to go on strike again Tuesday, nearly a year to the day after they began a historic walkout that inspired teacher strikes in other states. [HuffPost]

A year since statewide strike. West Virginia teachers walk out to oppose charter schools: here.

West Virginia educators remain defiant in second day of statewide strike: here.

West Virginia teachers denounce attack on public education: here.

Hummingbirds’ mating season displays, new study

This video from the USA says about itself:

Broad-tailed Hummingbird – Colorado Rocky Mountains

Nature and birds of Snowmass Village, Colorado (late June/July [2012]). Featured closeup of Broad-tailed Hummingbird (at 2:50). Opening scenes from the ridge on Hanging Valley Wall looking south to Sievers Mountain and west to Willoughby Mountain, Clark Peak, and Hagerman Peak. Birds shown are Horned Lark, Eremophila alpestris; Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus; Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula; male Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Selasphorus platycerus; Cordilleran Flycatcher, Empidonax occidentalis; House Wren, Troglodytes aedon; American Robin adult and juvenile, Turdus migratorius; Slate-colored Fox-Sparrow, Pasarella iliaca; MacGillivray’s Warbler, Oporornis tomei.

From Princeton University in the USA:

Dive-bombing for love: Male hummingbirds dazzle females with a highly synchronized display

December 18, 2018

Summary: Male Broad-tailed Hummingbirds perform dramatic aerial courtship dives to impress females. In a new study, scientists have shown that diving males closely time key events to produce a burst of signals for the viewer. They synchronize maximal horizontal speed, loud noises generated with their tail feathers, and a display of their iridescent throat-patch (gorget), performed in a mere 300 milliseconds — roughly the duration of a human blink.

When it comes to flirting, animals know how to put on a show. In the bird world, males often go to great lengths to attract female attention, like peacocks shaking their tail feathers and manakins performing complex dance moves. These behaviors often stimulate multiple senses, making them hard for biologists to quantify.

Hummingbirds are no exception when it comes to snazzy performances, as males of many species perform spectacular courtship dives. Broad-tailed hummingbirds (Selasphorus platycercus) fly up to 100 feet in the air before sweeping down toward a perched female, then climb back up for a subsequent dive in the opposite direction. At the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colorado, home to a population of breeding broad-tailed hummingbirds, researchers from Princeton University have been investigating how hummingbirds combine speed, sound and color in their displays. Their work appears in the Dec. 18 issue of the journal Nature Communications.

“The dives are truly amazing feats for such small birds”, said Benedict Hogan, a postdoctoral research associate in ecology and evolutionary biology and the study’s lead author. “We know from previous work that the males can reach really high speeds. They combine that speed with intriguing noises generated by their wing and tail feathers, and of course with their brightly iridescent plumage.” But how do these different components fit together, and what might a dive sound like and look like to a female?

To explore this, Hogan and Mary Caswell Stoddard, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and the study’s senior author, created video and audio recordings of 48 dives performed by wild male broad-tailed hummingbirds. They then used image-tracking software to estimate each male’s trajectory and speed throughout the dive. Combining these estimates with the audio data, the researchers measured the precise time at which the males produce a mechanical “buzz” with their tail feathers.

To incorporate information about iridescent plumage color, which is difficult to extract from the video recordings, the team headed to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Using a multi-angle imaging technique and an ultraviolet-sensitive camera, they photographed broad-tailed hummingbird specimens. Hummingbirds are tetrachromatic — their eyes have four color cones, one of which is sensitive to ultraviolet wavelengths — so by combining the photographs with a model of hummingbird color vision and details of the U-shaped flight path, the researchers were able to estimate a female “bird’s-eye view” of the male’s iridescent throat feathers.

Putting it all together, Hogan and Stoddard could determine how the events in a hummingbird’s dive unfold.

“We discovered that the most dramatic aspects of the dive — high speed, the mechanical buzz and a rapid iridescent color change — happen almost all at once, just before the male soars past the female”, said Stoddard. “These aerial acrobats deliver an in-your-face sensory explosion.”

First, the male starts the tail-generated buzz. Then his bright red throat feathers become visible to the female and quickly appear to change to black, due to his speed and orientation. During this time, the male reaches top horizontal speed. Because of his high speed, the researchers estimate that a female will perceive an upward and then downward shift in pitch as he approaches and departs.

“This is due to the Doppler effect, the same phenomenon responsible for the perceived change in pitch as a car with its horn blaring drives past you,” said Hogan.

All of these key events occur in a 300-millisecond window, roughly the duration of a human blink.

How much does the timing matter to females? That needs more study, say the researchers. For now, they can only hypothesize about the different elements of the dive display. The tightly synchronized moves might provide information about the male’s health or tap into a female’s aesthetic preferences. Whatever the explanation, the team emphasized the importance of considering timing and motion in animal courtship signals.

“In the real world, many animals strut their stuff in complex, dynamic ways”, said Stoddard. “Whether it’s a diving hummingbird or a dancing peacock spider, we need to account for motion and orientation to understand how these remarkable displays evolved.”

African American woman makes neonazi a non-nazi

This ABC video from the USA says about itself:

Former neo-Nazi removes swastika tattoos after unlikely friendship

26 September 2017

Colorado resident Michael Kent recently sat down at a tattoo parlor in Colorado Springs to have his swastikas covered up.

Kent, a former neo-Nazi, credits an African-American parole officer named Tiffany Whittier with helping him to see beyond skin color and changing his views about white supremacy.

“If it wasn’t for her I would have seeped back into it,” said Kent. “I look at her as family.”

Whittier, 45, even inspired Kent, 38, to take down the Nazi flags he had hanging in his living room and replace them with smiley faces.

“I’m not here to judge him. That’s not my job to judge. My job is to be that positive person in someone’s life,” Whittier said.

Added Kent, “When you wake up and see a smiley face, you’re going to go to work and you’re going to smile.”

Kent now works full-time on a chicken farm in Colorado, where all his co-workers are Hispanic.

“Before all this, I wouldn’t work for anybody or with anybody that wasn’t white”, said Kent. “[Now] we have company parties, or they have quinceañeras, I’m the only white guy there!”

Redemption Ink, a national non-profit that offers free removals of hate-related tattoos, helped connect Kent with Fallen Heroes Tattoo in Colorado to begin the 15-hour process of covering his swastikas. The sterile environment is new to Kent who had his previous ink work done in prison. “I’ve never, never, never been inside of a tattoo shop getting a professional tattoo,” he said.

Kent believes the painful process will help him move forward after spending years as a member of a violent skinhead group based in Arizona. As a father of two young children, Kent also hopes his children will see the world differently. “I don’t want my kids to live the life I lived and live with hate,” said Kent. “I want my kids to know me for who I am now—a good father, a hard worker, and a good provider.”

Triceratops dinosaur fossil discovery in Colorado, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

4 September 2017

Construction workers in Colorado made an incredible discovery when their heavy machinery hit an ‘immovable’ object—a rare triceratops fossil.

Dinosaur bone discovered at Colorado, USA bike trail

This video from the USA says about itself:

Part 1: Triceratops femur excavation, Baker, Montana

29 July 2014

On a private ranch, purchased from owner.

These two videos arte the sequels.

From KUSA-TV in the USA:

Man planning bike trail finds dinosaur bones instead

Miles Moraitis, KUSA

4:33 PM. MDT August 02, 2017

Imagine hiking on a trail and stumbling upon dinosaur bones. Well that’s exactly what happened to a Colorado land management official when he was walking and planning out the new Palisade Plunge bike trail near Grand Junction.

In April, Chris Pipkin of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was surveying the new Palisade trail. He saw something strange in a boulder about five feet off the trail. Curious, he took a photo and sent it to his colleague Eric Eckberg. He confirmed it was indeed a dinosaur bone.

Eckberg is a geologist and paleontology coordinator for the BLM in Grand Junction. Upon receiving the photo, he mobilized a group of local paleontologists and even some BLM interns to help excavate the bone.

“It’s in remarkably good shape for something that’s roughly 80 million years old,” Eckberg said.

The bone is two feet long and about two inches around.

Eckberg says it likely belonged to a hadrosaur — a group of dinosaurs known for their duck-bills. Their bones have been found before in this area.

“It’s kind of one of those career defining moments for me in a way,” Eckberg said. “You don’t get to go and extract a dinosaur bone that often.”

The bone will now head to the Museum of West Denver. Experts will take a look at it and try to determine exactly what dinosaur it came from. They could even figure out how the dinosaur died.

That process takes a while though. The museum doesn’t expect the bone to go on display for at least a couple months.

Bighorn sheep in Colorado, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

22 April 2017

A bachelor group or band of male Colorado bighorn sheep ranging from youngsters all the way up to the mature male leader. Their gray coloring makes them very hard to see among the boulders and sparse vegetation around 8,000 feet elevation. Filmed near the Arkansas River in Cotopaxi, Colorado.

Tyrannosaurus rex, by David Attenborough

This video, recorded in the USA, says about itself:

What Was Tyrannosaurus rex Like? – #Attenborough90BBC

25 May 2016

Sir David visits the Museum of Colorado to talk to Robert T. Bakker, who explains some of what he has learnt about the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Dinosaur love life discovery in Colorado, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

5 August 2011

Dr. Martin Lockley answers the question “Why do dinosaur tracks contribute to our extinction theories?”

Dr. Martin Lockley is a renowned world expert in the fields of paleontology, geology and evolution. A native of England, he created the Dinosaur Tracks Museum at the University of Colorado at Denver, and is currently its director.

A fountain of knowledge on dinosaurs, fossil footprints and prehistoric creatures, renowned paleontologist Martin Lockley leads an expedition to find and identify dinosaur foot prints within the Gateway confines as well as an excursion just outside Gateway to search for more tracks.

This time, better news from Colorado, USA than last time.

From the Denver Post:

Dinosaur love nests unearthed on local land by Colorado researcher

Rubber molds and fiberglass copies of the scrapes are being stored at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

By Elizabeth Hernandez

01/07/2016 07:00:00 AM MST

A skilled Colorado dinosaur tracker has unearthed 100 million-year-old dino love nests in Denver’s backyard.

The first evidence of dinosaur dating was discovered by Martin Lockley, a University of Colorado Denver geology professor who stumbled across large scratch marks in Colorado rocks. Initially, the marks had Lockley and his international team stumped.

Taking a cue from birds — relatives to the carnivorous dinos that lived in the area — Lockley said he and his crew started to think the scratches could be a ritual activity many male birds partake in: pseudo-nest-building.

“It’s like they’re showing off to a prospective mate,” Lockley said. “They say, ‘Look, I can make a nest.’ And if a female is watching, they make another and another.”

Dozens of scrapes would send the female dinosaurs swooning until mating took place and a real nest was built.

“When we first realized that they were mating evidence, my first thought was, ‘This is going to be big,’ ” said Lockley, who has been at CU Denver for 35 years. “It’s dinosaurs and sex. What a combo.”

Flowers and a box of chocolates? Hardly.

The scrapes, Lockley said, are very deep, narrow grooves, with a claw mark on the end.

These etchings of courtship, which come in pairs, can be as large as bathtubs.

The markings have been found at Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, areas around Montrose, and Dinosaur Ridge, just south of Lakewood, said Harley Armstrong, the Bureau of Land Management’s state and regional paleontologist.

“The reason it’s a big deal is that these kinds of scrapes have never been found ever in the world,” Lockley said, “but that didn’t stop scientists from speculating.”

Many researchers long believed dinosaurs were trying to attract one another, but there was no physical evidence of the prehistoric courtship until Lockley unearthed his two years of research.

“Not only have we found the scrape marks — like dinosaur foreplay,” Lockley said, “but we found 50 or 60 of these things, and these sites are what have been called display arenas where they play out their display activity and then go and nest.”

Because the marks were unable to be removed from the massive rock slabs without being damaged, 3-D images were created to document them. Rubber molds and fiberglass copies of the scrapes are being stored at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

The Lockley-led study appears Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Armstrong said. “It’s another feather for Colorado’s fossil cap. Because we have some of the known dinosaur fossils, the world has been coming to our doorsteps since 1877.”

Lockley looks forward to finding more scratches and ones that existed more than 100 million years ago.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all after publishing this article that there are people in Europe, South America, Asia that go, ‘Oh, we have those. We just didn’t know what they were,'” Lockley said.