Happy Wednesday, readers! I have to start this email with a big, hearty thank you from the whole staff for everyone who joined in yesterday’s #GivingNewsDay push to support local news. Even though it’s happened thousands of times at this point, it is still a thrill every single time we get a new member. Not just because of the financial support, but because it means someone in Colorado cared enough about independent, thoughtful news that they made an effort to help sustain our work. And that means the world to us. So thank you!
But we are packed with fascinating news from The Sun and outlets around the state today, so let’s froth this latte, shall we?
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There is just so much untreated depression in Denver.
“It’s common. It’s serious. It affects people throughout their lifespan.”Dr. Bill Burman, Denver Public Health director
A major new survey of depression rates in Denver paints a grim picture. One in eight people in Denver is clinically depressed. Rates are higher for kids and even higher for gay kids. And 70 percent of those with symptoms aren’t getting treatment, either because they don’t know how to get it or they just can’t afford it. Jennifer Brown breaks down the first-of-its-kind study from Denver Public Health with some eye-popping statistics and a few ideas of what can be done to make progress.
There’s a lot more to the departure of Denver Zoo’s polar bears than you’ve heard
That’s the year that the polar bear exhibit opened at the Denver Zoo. Last month, Cranbeary and Lee, the zoo’s wildly popular polar bear pair, were shipped off to separate zoos. But beyond the optimistic language of the zoo’s press release, looming problems involving antiquated habitat designs, stressed-out grizzly bears and an uncertain master plan for the zoo all contributed to the end of the polar bear exhibit in Denver.
One man’s trash…
“This just does not happen. We’ve done archaeology. Nothing like this.”Matt Mayberry, Colorado Springs Cultural Services Manager
The railroad magnate who founded Colorado Springs left behind a big heap of garbage that has been hidden just below the surface of Garden of the Gods Park for 140 years or so. And boy, does it have archaeologists excited. Jesse Paul got dusty for his story — and photos — of the site that was discovered by crews were scouting for a spot to put a detention pond to mitigate flood risk following the Waldo Canyon fire.
More from The Sun
“Once you devote staff time to it, you start learning a lot.”Gerald Rome, outgoing commissioner of the Colorado Division of Securities
- It has been a bad couple of months in the world of cryptocurrency. Values are tanking, token sales are failing and, in Colorado, regulators are wising up to the industry and issuing a whole bunch of cease-and-desist orders to initial coin offerings and forms of fraud using cryptocurrency. Tamara Chuang talked to the man leading the charge — and to his replacement — about the future of regulating the wild world of crypto.
- The Denver City Council made the city’s pursuit of a safe injection site for IV drug users official — but there’s still a big hurdle at the statehouse to clear. (We’ve got an explainer about what a safe injection site is and what advocates hope it will accomplish in case you missed it the first time around.)
- A DU student saw “a broken thing we think we can fix” in the world of charitable giving and withdrew from school to turn people’s attention and pocket change into real change in the world. (<– this is a very cool good news story from Kevin Simpson).
Stuff about Colorado worth checking out
+ That’s how much CU had to pay a University of Colorado philosophy professor to resign during a contentious termination process in 2015 alleging the professor retaliated against a female student who said she was sexually assaulted by a male student. That professor was just named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for founding the company that makes PopSockets. // Boulder Daily Camera (h/t Matt Sebastian)
+ My god. We’ve been verbed. Denver’s cocktail of superficial hipness, fast & ugly redevelopment and sky-high housing costs has been distilled to a single word and exported to other metro areas. “Stop the Denverization of Kansas City. Troost doesn’t need to be hipster-friendly” // Kansas City Star (h/t Joe Rubino & Vincent Chandler)
+ Quick, someone Venmo me $3.95 million. Don’t ask why. // BusinessDen
+ Colorado law enforcement officers have routinely continued to find work after major infractions, including having sex with prostitutes in squad cars and DUIs (and that was just one guy!). So it’s a little jarring to see a sheriff’s lieutenant resign … for stealing granola bars from the scene of a drug bust. // The Denver Post, The Durango Herald
+ Hey 2nd Congressional District (FoCo, Boulder, the northern Metro and parts west): You get a gold star for having the second-highest voter turnout in the country. // CBS 4
+ Chalkbeat is following the saga of Adams 14, which is a real-world example of the complications that the state deals with when trying to rehabilitate a struggling school district. // Chalkbeat Colorado
+ DID YOU KNOW: The International Gladiolus Hall of Fame is tucked inside a library on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greeley, in honor of the city’s official flower? [[Insert unfair and outdated joke about something that smells good finally being associated with the city]] // Greeley Tribune
+ Harrowing: An Aspen Mountain Powder Tours employee survived being completely buried by an avalanche Saturday. // The Aspen Times
+ There is nothing more “modern Denver” than a huge “digital pharmacy” business opening its “HQ2” in the Golden Triangle — and not actually serving the Denver area. // BusinessDen
+ Coloradans of child-bearing age, like me, aren’t having kids because they can’t afford it, the globe is warming and *loosely gestures at everything happening in the world*. // The Denver Post
+ “Please Enjoy This Enormous Australian Cow” // Deadspin
Your Thing for Today
Why You Might Like It: Do you have a Facebook profile? Do you have friends from high school? Then you probably know about the latest generation of multi-level marketing businesses, aka pyramid schemes designed to look like bootstrapping small businesses selling makeup, vitamins, etc.
I watched from the sidelines as one of these scams took over the portion of my Facebook network based in and around Yuma until it seemed like dozens of my old classmates were all bought in, all the while wondering … who the hell are they selling these overpriced skin care products to in a town of 3,500?
After listening to the first few episodes of this podcast, I understand much better now: The sales people themselves are the cash cow for the company .. and they’re getting rooked. As a podcast, “The Dream” — by alumni of “This American Life” and other radio notables — can be a touch repetitive and a little slow moving in the first few episodes about the history of MLM schemes (they are still fascinating), but stick with it and you’ll get a whole lot more insight into how these schemes work and why they’re so hard to actually take down.
Editor’s note: Every Sunriser will include one … thing … to cap off our time together. The Thing will be just about anything, like a TV show or a book or a particularly cool dog toy.
You made it to the bottom! That’s especially impressive on a Wednesday of a post-holiday week. Thanks for reading and remember: You are our best form of marketing. The more people you tell about the value you get out of The Sun (and The Sunriser or our daily headlines email for people in a hurry), the more informed Colorado becomes.
Finish the week strong, I know you can do it. See you on Friday.