Apple’s Corporate Responsibility for Distracted Driving – Room for Debate


It’s Impossible to Outsource Our Decision-Making

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You almost certainly already rely on technology to help you be a moral, responsible human being. From old-fashioned tech like alarm clocks and calendars to newfangled diet trackers or mindfulness apps, our devices nudge us to show up to work on time, eat healthy, and do the right thing. But it’s nearly impossible to create a technological angel on your right shoulder without also building in a workaround that is vulnerable to the devil on your left. Put another way: Any alarm clock user who denies that he has heard the siren song of the snooze button is lying.

There must always be an opt-out mechanism and fallible, foolish humans will always use it to thwart original intent of safety measures.

Technology can help us make good decisions, but outsourcing good decision-making to technology, tech companies or the government isn’t just a bad idea — it’s impossible.

People already know that distracted driving is dangerous. They tell pollsters so all the time. Because of this clear customer demand, smartphone makers offer safety conscious drivers a variety of ways to minimize distraction, from handsfree headsets and voice command to mute buttons and airplane mode.

But automatically disabling certain apps in a fast-moving vehicle — as the grieving family of 5-year-old distracted driving victim Moriah Modisette is suing to force Apple to do — won’t work. One of the great glories of the smartphone era is the ability to work, chat and read while on mass transit or riding shotgun, so there’s no way to build an accelerometer-based shut-down unless you also add an opt-out. And if there’s an opt-out, then fallible, foolish humans will always use it to thwart the original intent.

What’s more, legally mandated technological fixes tend to be even less effective than their market-driven counterparts: Think of the “Are You 18?” queries that pop up on sites peddling liquor, cigarettes or other adult products. (Has anyone in the history of the internet ever clicked “No”?) Judges and regulators consistently overvalue their ability to prevent catastrophe and undervalue the costs they impose on innocent users. The most wide-reaching effect of any kind of mandatory distracted driving safety provision will simply be to force every user of every smartphone, on every bus, train and plane to click “I am not the driver” every day unto eternity, without actually dissuading the kind of jerks who are determined to FaceTime while driving down the interstate.


Technology Can Save Us From Drivers Using Social Media

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While the untimely death of an innocent 5-year-old is tragic, it’s clear that Apple shouldn’t be legally responsible for the irresponsible driver who killed her. Almost any distraction can lead to an accident. If a driver slammed his car into someone because he took his hands off the steering wheel to unwrap a taco, surely we wouldn’t hold Taco Bell responsible, or outlaw the eating of tacos while driving.

That being said, companies do have a social responsibility to be mindful of hazards that arise from misuse of their products and take sensible precautions. In the case of Apple, it would be absolutely reasonable for it to use a non-intrusive mechanism to detect with near perfect accuracy when a user is driving to prevent hazardous distractions.

The challenge that arises here is whether the technology can achieve near-perfect accuracy in driver detection. From a technical standpoint, its straightforward to sense the rate that a phone is moving. For example Apple provides a set of software protocols called CoreMotion that lets programmers glean insights about the phone’s movement and even has an “automotive” property to predict whether the user is in a vehicle. However, detecting whether the user or owner of the phone is the driver or a passenger is trickier with just this approach. In the case of FaceTime and other apps involving a camera, there is an opportunity to use the camera, along with deep-learning algorithms, to literally look at the user and environment and discern whether the user in view is driving. There has been a wealth of research on detecting driver fatigue and other attributes, some of which has been discussed at the IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium. I would expect such a solution to be readily adopted by users if the accuracy is high enough, as mispredictions can create frustration and discourage use.

The state of deep learning technology is at a place where companies like Apple should explore its use for safety purposes. While a staunch libertarian would be opposed to the infringement on freedom, I simply can’t think of a situation where someone should be FaceTiming and driving, ever.


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Disabled rescue dog finds new freedom with wheelchair

A disabled dog born without its front legs has been fitted with a set of shiny new wheels after being rescued from a horror hoarding situation.

Loki, 3, who was born without limbs because of close breeding, was one of 30 animals rescued from the home of a hoarder.

The chihuahua/beagle mix was adopted by office manager Katie Orsenigo, 24, and car business owner Ron Petruska, 26, last May.

They brought Loki 1,000 miles from Alabama to their home in New York but soon realized the way he scooted around on his chest was hurting his back.

Loki’s vet advised the engaged couple to get the pup fitted for an animal wheelchair, so he could walk and run without causing long-term damage to his spine.

Loki fell in love with his wheels and now counts down the hours until he can hit the road with the couple’s other dog Marley, a 6-year-old Havanese.

Loki in his wheelchair, a disabled dog who was born without its front legs has been fitted with a set of shiny new wheels after being rescued from a horror hoarding situation.See SWNS story NYWHEEL; A disabled dog born without its front legs has been fitted with a set of shiny new wheels after being rescued from a horror hoarding situation. Loki, three, was one of 30 animals rescued from the home of an animal hoarder in Alabama and was born without limbs because of close breeding. The chihuahua/beagle mix was adopted by engaged couple Katie Orsenigo, 24, and Ron Petruska, 26, who read about the dog’s sad story on Petfinder. Katie, an office manager, and Ron, a car business owner, took Loki into their home in Mahopac, New York, but soon realized that the way he scooted around on his chest was hurting his back. Loki’s vet advised the couple to get the pup fitted for an animal wheelchair, so he could walk and run without causing long-term damage to his spine. After a few adjustments, Loki fell in love with his wheels and now counts down the hours until he can hit the sidewalk with havanese brother Marley, six.

The pup’s vet told his adoptive parents that if he continued to crawl around on his front, he risked long-term damage to his spine.

 (SWNS)

Orsenigo, of Mahopac, said Loki makes everyone smile and is the happiest animal despite everything he’s been through.

She said she fell in love with Loki after seeing his picture and reading his sad story on Petfinder.

“He looked so happy in spite of everything,” she said. “My fiancé and I were thrilled when they told us we could adopt him. Even though he seemed happy just scooting around on his chest, our vet said it would really hurt his back in the future if he kept doing it, so we started the motions of getting him a new wheelchair.”

Loki, a disabled dog who was born without its front legs has been fitted with a set of shiny new wheels after being rescued from a horror hoarding situation.See SWNS story NYWHEEL; A disabled dog born without its front legs has been fitted with a set of shiny new wheels after being rescued from a horror hoarding situation. Loki, three, was one of 30 animals rescued from the home of an animal hoarder in Alabama and was born without limbs because of close breeding. The chihuahua/beagle mix was adopted by engaged couple Katie Orsenigo, 24, and Ron Petruska, 26, who read about the dog’s sad story on Petfinder. Katie, an office manager, and Ron, a car business owner, took Loki into their home in Mahopac, New York, but soon realized that the way he scooted around on his chest was hurting his back. Loki’s vet advised the couple to get the pup fitted for an animal wheelchair, so he could walk and run without causing long-term damage to his spine. After a few adjustments, Loki fell in love with his wheels and now counts down the hours until he can hit the sidewalk with havanese brother Marley, six.

His adoptive mom said he quickly took to his new wheelchair, and now looks forward to his walks.

 (SWNS)

“It was really hard at first – he kept tripping over it and falling on his neck,” she said. “But we’ve made some adjustments now and it works really well. It’s great because he definitely associates his wheels as being a happy thing.”

Orsenigo said Loki’s wheels attract a lot of positive attention when she is out and about with her pooch.

Loki has even inspired the 24-year-old to found her own organization From Hope to Home, a network of animal foster parents who help dogs in need.

“It’s like Beyonce is on the street, people stop me and ask me questions about him, they just can’t resist his big smile,” she said. “He’s so cute, people can’t really resist him. Even though my other dog Marley is really grumpy, they have become friends. Even Marley can’t resist Loki’s positive attitude.”

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Peninsula woman’s paintings in Kenya honor organ donor

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) – Jeanne Edwards found a purpose for her pain.

Inspired by a Kenyan priest, Edwards created a series of paintings to honor an 18-year-old stranger who gave her husband, Mike Edwards, a second chance on life.

Mike Edwards, 65, of Port Angeles received a heart transplant on July 1, 2016, at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. The donor was a young man named Justin who had planned to enlist in the Army before he died.

To honor Justin and his family, Jeanne Edwards painted the Stations of the Cross, 14 images that commemorate the suffering of Jesus.

The paintings are now displayed in a church in Maralal, Kenya, a small town about nine hours north of Nairobi by dirt road.

“They put those up and I guess it was a big hit,” Mike Edwards said.

“They don’t really have much of an alter or anything there. It’s really rural.”

While she was caring for her bedridden husband in Arizona, Jeanne Edwards had been attending early-morning Mass on Sundays in the desert.

The sunrise services were led by “Father Chris,” a Kenyan priest with a wide smile and warm personality, she said.

“I loved listening to his homilies,” Jeanne Edwards said.

“The one thing that he said that stuck in my mind was: ‘There’s a purpose in all the pain and you should do something good that should come out of it.’”

SOMETHING POSITIVE

When Father Chris announced that he was returning to Kenya, Jeanne Edwards vowed to do something positive and exchanged emails with her priest.

“I started the first two paintings, sent photos of them, and he liked them,” Jeanne Edwards said.

“He liked my style. I just kept going.”

The Edwardses were invited to name the new church in Maralal where the paintings are displayed. They picked St. Teresa of Calcutta – Mother Teresa – for her work with the poor.

Mike Edwards has not yet been medically cleared to visit Kenya because of concerns about his immune system’s response to the live yellow fever vaccine.

“When we’re able, we’ll be visiting,” Jeanne Edwards said.

Jeanne Edwards, who described herself as an “impressionistic” painter, got the idea to paint the stations of the cross from a basilica she and her husband had visited in Budapest, Hungary.

While she was working on the paintings, the Edwards learned through the Mayo clinic that the mother of the heart donor wanted to meet them.

Correspondence between donors and organ recipients is closely monitored by hospitals, Mike Edwards said.

“It’s a long process, months actually, to get one letter though,” he said.

As a result, Mike and Jeanne have yet to meet the mother and still know very little about Justin or how he died.

“I know that he has two older sisters,” Jeanne Edwards said.

After the transplant, Mike Edwards experienced numerous complications that required extended hospital stays and weeks in bed. His wife of 45 years remained his caregiver as he went from walker to wheelchair three times in the first year.

“I’ve battled back so many times,” Mike Edwards said at his home overlooking the east side of Port Angeles Harbor.

Mike Edwards said his health has improved noticeably in the past two months.

“I’ve really been feeling good,” he said.

“I’m out there doing all my projects around the house again.”

“I’ve had some value changes, so I’m getting rid of a motorcycle,” he added.

“In honor getting a new chance on life, I don’t want to go down on a bike.”

The Edwards’ moved to the Port Angeles area from Issaquah in 2007.

A retired information technology professional, Mike Edwards has served on Port Angeles planning committees and volunteered with the Paint the Town community service project.

He also spearheaded the PA Forward “Choose Local” campaign to encourage reinvestment in the local economy.

“I was busy in the town doing all kinds of stuff,” Mike Edwards said.

Thanks to an aspiring service member he never met, Edwards will likely remain busy for years to come.

___

Information from: Peninsula Daily News, //www.peninsuladailynews.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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U.S. drug agency suspends Louisiana distributor over opioid sales

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said on Friday it had suspended a Louisiana pharmaceutical distributor from selling controlled substances for allegedly selling unusually large quantities of opioids to pharmacies without reporting the sales.

The DEA said it suspended Morris & Dickson Co, a privately owned drug wholesaler based in Shreveport, on Wednesday after an investigation showed “it failed to properly identify large suspicious orders for controlled substances sold to independent pharmacies with questionable need for the drugs.”

“Opioid distributors have a legal obligation not to facilitate the illicit diversion of drugs,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in the statement by the DEA, which is part of the U.S. Justice Department.

“That obligation has never been more important than it is right now as we face the deadliest drug crisis in American history,” Sessions said.

Morris & Dickson filed in federal court on Thursday for an injunction against the suspension, and U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote in Shreveport has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on its request for a temporary restraining order, according to court records.

The probe, which focused on purchases of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, showed that in some cases, pharmacies were allowed to buy as much as six times the quantity of narcotics they would normally order, the DEA statement said.

Family-owned Morris & Dickson was founded in 1841 and is the largest independently owned and privately held drug wholesale distributor in the United States, according to its court filing.

The U.S. government is trying to crack down on opioid abuse through a number of measures, including a proposal last month to tighten rules governing the amount of prescription opioid painkillers that drugmakers can manufacture in a given year.

Sessions has created an opioid task force and deployed prosecutors to hard-hit areas of the country with a mandate to bring more cases against traffickers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42,000 people died nationwide from opioid overdoses in 2016, the last year with publicly available data.

Reporting by Eric Walsh, additional reporting by Nate Raymond in New York, editing by G Crosse

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Fitbit’s New Female Health Tracking Features Explained

When Fitbit announced its newest smartwatch, the Versa, in March it also revealed that it was adding Female Health Tracking to its app some time in May, and integrating it into the Versa and Ionic. Since this is a first for fitness trackers, as far as we know, we wanted to find out more.

At its most basic, the feature allows women to input information about their periods and symptoms and the feature will then predict when stages of the menstrual cycle will occur and send push notifications as reminders nearer the time.

Sounds simple, sure, but we expect Fitbit to eventually make smart use of the information provided (just as it did with its best-in-class sleep tracking) and the feature also includes practical information. According to a Fitbit survey from February 2018, 80% of people don’t know how many phases are in a menstrual cycle and over 70% couldn’t identify the average length of a cycle. Assuming they didn’t exclusively survey men, those numbers suggest that a bit of extra info might be useful.

Coach spoke to Dr Dawn Harper at the launch of the Fitbit Versa to get more information about the menstrual cycle and the Female Health feature.

What are the benefits of the Female Health Tracking feature?

When we were at school we were taught about the female menstrual cycle. We were all told it’s 28 days and you ovulate right in the middle and that’s the way it’s going to be. In the real world I have been a GP for 20 years with a special interest in women’s health and I don’t think I have ever met a woman who has had an absolutely regular 28-day cycle for the whole of her menstruating life. And also, the way we respond emotionally to our changing hormones can change at different times in our lives.

What this app does is keep all your health information in one place. On a personal level I think it’s good for the individual, but it’s also very useful on a medical level. When women see their GP, if they have any kind of symptoms that could be linked to the menstrual cycle, they can give us information there and then in a very quick and easy-to-access way.

What are the phases of the menstrual cycle?

Let’s assume – although it doesn’t happen! – a 28-day cycle. When women start their periods their oestrogen and testosterone levels are rock bottom, and they usually feel pretty lethargic and sluggish.

Then oestrogen and testosterone rise very quickly, so within a day or two of starting their periods, women’s energy levels start to improve. That kicks off the feelgood hormones, and they start to feel more positive, social and alert.

Interestingly, there’s a study that shows that at that point in the cycle, women are likely to eat something like 12% fewer calories a day. It’s a silly, quirky one, but if you’re going to start a healthy eating regime, that might be the time to start it. The flip side of that is that you get a greater buzz from the things you crave, like nicotine, so it might not be the best time to quit as you may miss and crave things more.

Going into the second week, oestrogen and testosterone continue to rise, and there’s some research to show that women’s memories are better and they’re more erudite. So if you’re planning presentations or negotiations, that’s not a bad time to do it. Another quirky one – throughout that first half of the cycle, and certainly in the second week, because of that testosterone women find it easier to achieve orgasm and usually get more intense orgasms. So that’s a good time to plan a dirty weekend away!

Then you ovulate, and as soon as women ovulate testosterone and oestrogen fall, and progesterone starts to rise. If we’re in that classic 28-day cycle, week three is a time when women are likely to start feeling more sluggish, they don’t sleep as well, they’re not as good with words and not as “on it”.

There is actually some evidence that if you exercise at this point in your cycle, you get a relatively greater fat burn than if you exercise at other points. That might be a motivator – you might not feel like it, but you’re going to get more bang for your buck if you exercise!

In the fourth week testosterone and oestrogen are falling right back down again, and women are more likely to be irritable, have headaches and not sleep so well. If they are migraine or irritable bowel syndrome sufferers they’re more likely to get a flare-up.

How do you think the information tracked in the app can help women?

I can see women using the app to plan their life a little bit better, and accommodate how their hormones affect them and be more in tune with how they respond to hormones.

The other thing I think people will use it for is as a fertility tracker. So you ovulate 14 days before day one of your next period. If your period is 28 days, day 14 after and day 14 before are one and the same day, but people often get that confused and think they ovulate 14 days after their last period. You can’t necessarily predict it, but if you’re starting to recognise your own cycle, you’ll be more in tune.

Can you use it for contraception?

I think to use something like this for that purpose depends on how motivated you are to use it. The more motivated you are and the more data you put in, the more accurate it will become as a predictor. It’s a really appropriate method of contraception if you’re a woman for whom it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you became pregnant.

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Carrera Crossfuse Electric Bike Review

Electric bikes have something to offer every kind of cyclist, but for the e-bike revolution to truly take off, it surely needs to be embraced by commuters. The Carrera Crossfuse might well be the bike that tempts a critical mass of train and bus users onto two wheels, because it offers almost everything a commuter could want for a price that’s considerably lower than other e-bikes with similar features.

The first thing that makes the Crossfuse stand out is the range – a mammoth 80km to 130km. That means it will only require plugging in two or three times a month for most commuters and can handle long day rides if you want to use the Crossfuse for touring. I got 110km out of one charge riding almost all of that distance in Tour mode, which is the second-lowest level of assistance – there are four in total, running from Eco up to Turbo. If you blast around in Turbo the entire time the range will drop considerably, but unless you live in an especially hilly area you’ll rarely need it – the Tour mode will be enough assistance to breeze through your rides.

The second thing that this sets this e-bike apart is the ride. Thanks to its torque sensor, it delivers assistance from the Bosch Active Line PLUS motor in line with how hard you are pedalling, which makes for a far more natural and smooth experience than when assistance is provided based entirely on what level you pick. There’s no jerking into life when moving away from traffic lights – it feels just like riding a bike. A bike that just happens to require less effort.

The only downside of this kind of sensor is that on a steep uphill it can be nice to slap an e-bike into a high, fixed level of assistance and coast on up, whereas with the Crossfuse you need to pedal a little harder to get a bigger boost. It’s still not exactly hard to get up a hill, especially if you pick that moment to use the Turbo mode.

An important test for any e-bike is how it handles if the battery runs dry. At 24kg, the Crossfuse is a heavy beast, so I was not optimistic on this front. However, it passed just about the biggest test I could have thrown at it. The battery ran out 50m short of the biggest hill on my commute… the day after I ran the London Marathon. That I made it up the hill without assist or having to walk is testament to its rideability. That said, I will be making every effort to avoiding repeating the experience – it’s definitely not light enough that you don’t notice the difference between riding with assist and without.

There is front suspension on the Crossfuse, which you can lock or unlock. In theory city riding should be done with it locked for extra efficiency while riding, but given the state of London’s roads and cycle lanes, I opted for the extra comfort of the suspension for all my riding. After a thin-wheeled racer, tackling potholes head-on while cruising around on the Crossfuse was a joy.

The Crossfuse also has disc brakes, which are a feature to look for on any e-bike, because stopping an e-bike’s considerable weight quickly is a concern, especially when flying downhill.

There’s an awful lot to like about the Crossfuse and I’ve not seen many e-bikes, if any, that can match its feature set for £1,600 – its excellent motor and vast range are more commonly found on £2,000-plus models. However, there are a few quibbles to address.

The first is a lack of integrated accessories. A kickstand, mudguards and lights that run off the battery are all very useful on an e-bike. The second is the display screen on the handlebars, which indicates the amount of battery left through bars only. Many e-bikes will estimate how many miles or kilometres you have left in any given mode of assistance. That means it takes a while to learn how much distance you get from each bar and you risk running out of juice if you push that last bar too far.

These downsides are relatively minor compared with the upsides of the Crossfuse. If you opt for an e-bike in the £2,000-and-up range you will get a little more, mostly in terms of a lighter frame, upgraded gears and a customised motor. But the Crossfuse is a whole lot of e-bike for its price, and commuters in particular will get all they need from it.

£1,600, buy on halfords.com

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Keto diet reduces an athlete’s anaerobic performance, study suggests

The Ketogenic Diet is the latest way to lose weight quickly, but a new study has found that it may not be a great option for athletes looking to improve their performance.

Researchers from Saint Louis University compared the performances of 16 men and women who had followed either the Keto diet or a high carb diet for four days. They found that those athletes who had restricted carbs did not perform as well.

The Ketogenic Diet works by limiting the body’s intake of carbs. Often people balance a low carb intake by eating more protein but for the Keto diet to work both need to be restricted. This is because if the body has excess protein, it will convert that into carbs.

When the body has neither carbs nor protein, it then manufactures ketone bodies as emergency fuel. According to lead researcher, Dr. Edward Weiss, this is an “emergency backup system that allows us to survive when we are at risk of starvation.”

He is concerned that a body running on empty may not be able to work at full capacity, which is especially important for athletes competing in high-intensity sports.

“A typical diet is 60 percent carbohydrate,” Dr. Weiss said.

“So, if you limit carbs, you might find yourself just not eating that much. If you eliminate most food options, you may just be losing weight because you are cutting calories.”

He does believe that the Keto diet can be helpful for those who have epilepsy as research has shown that ketone production limits seizures but concludes that “unless there are compelling reasons for following a low-carb diet, athletes should be advised to avoid these diets.”

While we’re on the topic, check out the difference between Keto and Atkins diets and our 7 day Keto meal plan.

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    Colorado breweries take home World Beer Cup medals in 2018

    Winner winner, beer for dinner. WeldWorks won a bronze at the “beer Olympics”. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

    Colorado breweries took home a whole trophy case of hardware Thursday night at what is known as the “Olympics of Beer Competitions.”

    The biannual World Beer Cup Awards – presented at the Craft Brewers Conference hosted by the Boulder-based Brewers Association – celebrates the brewers who exemplify the guidelines in 101 different styles.

    More than 2,500 breweries submitted beers, including 807 from outside the United States. Here are the Colorado breweries who took home awards — including seven golds:

    American-style Wheat Beer
    Silver: Whacked Out Wheat, Telluride Brewing Co., Telluride

    American-style Wheat Beer with yeast
    Silver: Beehive Honey Wheat, Bristol Brewing Co., Colorado Springs

    Fruit Beer
    Silver: Razz Against the Machine, Little Machine, Denver
    Bronze: American Sour Ale with Guava, Loveland Aleworks, Loveland

    Field Beer
    Bronze: Beet Cream Ale, Cogstone Brewing Co., Colorado Springs

    Session Beer
    Bronze: Peacekeeper, Launch Pad Brewery, Aurora

    Experimental Beer
    Silver: Hickory Peach Wee Heavy, The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, Denver

    Fresh or Wet Hop Ale
    Gold: More Like Bore-O-Phyll, Call To Arms Brewing Co., Denver

    Gluten-Free Beer
    Gold: Gueten Beer, Sleeping Giant Brewing Co., Denver

    Brett Beer
    Gold: Saison Trystero, Our Mutual Friend Brewing, Denver

    Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
    Bronze: Bligh’s Barleywine Ale, Dry Dock Brewing Co. – North Dock, Aurora

    Fruited Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
    Bronze: Peach Climacteric, WeldWerks Brewing Co., Greeley

    Aged Beer
    Gold: Vladislav, Diebolt Brewing Co., Denver

    Smoke Beer
    Bronze: 18022/42, The Sandlot Brewery at Coors Field, Denver

    German-Style Pilsener
    Gold: Primadonna Pilsner, Rockyard American Grill & Brewing Co., Castle Rock

    Dortmunder/Export or German-Style Oktoberfest
    Bronze: The Weasel, C.B. & Potts / Big Horn Brewery – Fort Collins, Fort Collins

    Munich-Style Dunkel or European-Style Dark Lager
    Bronze: Fearless Youth, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Loveland

    Dark Lager
    Gold: Night Train, Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango
    Silver: Alternate Present, Fiction Beer Co., Denver

    Australian-Style Pale Ale or International-Style Pale Ale
    Bronze: Pete’s Stash Pale, Vail Brewing Co., Avon

    German-Style Koelsch
    Bronze: NBD Kolsch, Cerberus Brewing Co., Colorado Springs

    Belgian-Style Witbier
    Silver: White Rascal, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder

    Belgian-Style Dubbel or Belgian-Style Quadrupel
    Silver: BJ’s Quad, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – Boulder, Boulder

    English-Style Brown Ale
    Gold: Big Ben Brown Ale, Bull & Bush Brewery, Denver

    American-Style Strong Pale Ale
    Bronze: Gore Creek IPA, Vail Brewing Co., Avon

    Imperial Red Ale
    Bronze: Wreak Havoc, Bootstrap Brewing, Niwot

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    Aurora’s bike share programs LimeBike and Ofo a hit with students riding to class

    Gateway High School principal Dackri Davis has been so pleased with the rollout of Aurora’s bike-sharing programs, school leaders painted a spot in the parking lot for the dockless bikes to hang out during the day before students ride them home.

    Davis has seen anywhere from five to 15 students a day pedaling their way to class since the program’s October launch, and she’s noticing more as the weather improves.

    “It seems to be helping with students making it to class on time,” Davis said.

    Aurora Public Schools doesn’t offer bus service if a house is within 3 miles of a school. Brenden Paradies, a planner with the city of Aurora who manages the dockless bike-share program, said the program hopes to help with that extra mile or so home and back again.

    “Something surprising we’re seeing is how much our teenage and youth community are really utilizing this to get to school,” Paradies said. “It’s a been a benefit that we didn’t anticipate.”

    Data from Aurora’s bike-share permit program is letting the city know how to plan for its future infrastructure.

    Between two dockless bike-share companies — LimeBike and Ofo — Aurora bike-share riders from October through March have taken a total of 39,516 trips and traveled 26,525 miles. The program has more than 4,000 active users.

    On top of getting busy Aurora residents from Point A to Point B, the program is also moving the city forward in its future designing and planning, Paradies said.

    Ofo general manager Patrick Quintana works with the city of Aurora, sharing the company’s ridership data and community feedback to better inform the City Council and city management on their transportation decisions.

    “We know and understand that every market is different,” Quintana said. “Dock-based bike-share models such as Denver’s BCycle are usually in the densest, most affluent regions in the city. That’s expensive to make its way out to Aurora. It’s important to serve the areas outside of the main area of density, and that’s something these dockless models can really help with and a way to provide transportation equity.”

    Paths most often frequented by Ofo riders include to and from light-rail stations, along Westerly Creek Trail, Toll Gate Creek Trail and Campground Trail through Cherry Creek Spillway Trail.

    “This has been really helpful in helping us understand gaps in our transportation network,” Paradies said. “We are seeing use on our recreation trails more, which is important for us to realize so we keep investing efforts and money to make sure those are good options for people.”

    As an example, Paradies said because Westerly Creek Trail seems to be a hit among Ofo riders, the city might consider adding a protected bike lane in that area.

    LimeBike said their Aurora cycles have cruised most frequently along East Colfax Avenue.

    Neither organization provided numbers for how many cyclists rode along their most popular paths.

    Tom Tobiassen, the president and founder of the Bicycle Aurora advocacy group, said the program seems to be steering in a positive direction.

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