Jared Polis speaks to reporters on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

Compiled by John Ingold, johningold@coloradosun.com

Writer, @johningold

G’mornin’, Colorado!

Your regular, bushy-bearded host, Eric Lubbers, is still off, so you’ve got me today and my 10 o’clock shadow.

Since we are at the end of a loooong week of increasingly short days, I will dispense with the usual bits of wisdom here and just offer an incredibly heartfelt thank you. Ever since we launched The Colorado Sun only 88 days ago this morning, you have welcomed us into your lives and proved that Colorado is a place where people value being engaged, being informed and listening to one another. And, for that, I simply can’t thank you beautiful people enough.

But there’s still lots of folks out there who haven’t heard of us and who would want to be part of this community if they did, so here are three things you can do to help spread the word — and two of them won’t cost you a dime:

  1. Open and read your Sunrisers. (Check and check!)
  2. Forward them to your friends, your family, your neighbors, your baristas, your dog groomers, your fishmongers and any anybody else who is near and dear to your heart.
  3. Give the gift of news. Our merch store now has gift memberships — along with some pretty cool stickers, T-shirts and tote bags that won’t rip no matter how many wine bottles (uh, I mean, water bottles) you put in them. Every penny we make on those sales goes to supporting our locally focused, locally owned journalism. Buy them at coloradosun.com/store.

All right, the weekend is almost upon us, so let’s shake this tambourine, shall we?


Gov.-elect Jared Polis has dozens of positions to fill, but one is tougher than all the rest


Jared Polis speaks to reporters on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

Does anyone want to be the head of the Colorado Department of Human Services? Anybody? Anybody?

Reggie Bicha held the job for eight years, an absolute eternity in the a-million-things-are-happening-at-once-and-so-many-of-them-can-go-wrong world of human services leadership. He’s heading out the door, though, which means Polis needs to find someone who can simultaneously run two psychiatric hospitals, four nursing homes, 10 youth corrections centers and 40 group homes for people with disabilities — in addition to overseeing all the other responsibilities of the office, from child welfare to addiction treatment to food assistance.

>> Read the story here and find out who’s hoping to stay in their current jobs.


How to get away with … well, carelessness, at least

Political committees owe Colorado $2.3 million this year in fines for overdue filings, but don’t expect the Secretary of State’s Office to start busting knuckles to get their dough. The office typically settles for dramatically less.

>> Read the story to learn why.


In Colorado, there’s no such thing as free water


Chris Becker of Georgetown, Texas, fills a container at the Gillette Flats natural artesian spring in Teller County on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (Mark Reis, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“You’ve had a unique system where it didn’t cost you as much. But people in Colorado have to pay for water.”

— Bill Tyner, Colorado Division of Water Resources

“I didn’t come here from California to see it look like California.”

— Victor resident Wendy Lee Sobisky

A fascinating battle is raging in Teller County, where locals who have come to rely on an artesian spring that’s owned by no one are fighting back against a state order to cap the spring because it doesn’t have a permit. In a Colorado becoming drier by the year, will fights about water in the future be as much about our collective identity as about our resources?

>> Read the full story here.


More from The Sun

// Don’t be put off by the wonk factor: The literal power struggle between a giant electricity wholesaler based in Westminster and the West Slope electrical co-op trying to break free from it is an existential battle over how the West will be run.

// A bill on abandoned mines introduced Thursday by Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton has almost no hope of passing this year. So why do those guys think it could break two decades of gridlock on the issue?

// Online retailers selling in Colorado, take a breath. You now have until at least May 31 to comply with new sales tax rules.

The fun stuff



A scene from this week’s edition of “What’d I Miss?”

As someone who has felt the panic of having a live television camera stare straight into your soul and make you question everything you’ve ever believed about yourself in front of God and Wolf Blitzer and everyone, this week’s What’d I Miss really hit home. Plus, Drew Litton gives NFL defenses a warning about Broncos rookie sensation — and Colorado native — Phillip Lindsay.



“In all of the pictures I have seen of the two of them before I was born, she has a round face, and she looks shocked—at what, I don’t know, but it might be her luck at finding this handsome man who didn’t beat her like the two husbands she had before.”

— An excerpt from Stephanie G’Schwind’s “Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays,”

Truth be told, this one had me at the cover art, but the essay that follows, by Lupe Linares, is just as beautiful. In this week’s interview, Stephanie G’Schwind — the editor who compiled “Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays,” the anthology containing Linares’ essay — said she sees the collection as sharing a common heart: “It’s so satisfying to find essays that speak to one another, to see them side by side, and watch how, when gathered together, they become something much greater than their sum.”



Each Friday, The Colorado Sun’s beer writer, John Frank, offers a recommendation for the weekend.

Roadhouse Brewing is a newer name on Colorado’s beer shelves. The Jackson, Wyoming, brewer makes a handful of lighter beers, but it’s the West Coast IPA named Wilson that stands out. The punchy bitterness with tropical and pine hop flavors make for a quenching sip and refreshing alternative to the hazy IPA trend.

The Shortlist

Stuff about Colorado worth checking out

// Earlier this year, we told you about Black Forest and how Colorado struggles to reduce wildfire risk in vulnerable communities. Well, a recent report says that 2.9 million Coloradans — that’s half the state!live in the fire-prone wildland-urban interface. // The Colorado Sun, Sky-Hi News

// Ridiculous housing costs in California are creating a kind of Reverse Grapes of Wrath, as shown by this story about a landlord who sold all his houses in San Jose and moved himself and several tenants in a caravan to Colorado Springs. // East Bay Times

// Library scofflaws, rejoice! The end of library fines is nigh in Denver — and the city will also forgive nearly $500,000 in current fines — in the hopes of making it easier on low-income patrons. // The Denver Post

// We don’t usually share commentary in The Shortlist, but this one is so relevant to Denver’s current debate about supervised injection sites: National drug policy expert Keith Humphreys looks at the evidence for whether such sites reduce overdose deaths. // The Colorado Sun, The Washington Post

// Newspapers can be masters of dropping absolutely bonkers details beneath relatively banal headlines. This week’s entry in the genre comes from Yuma: Citizens let city know thoughts about dispensary // The Yuma Pioneer

// Then again, sometimes those headlines sell themselves: How ‘Hitler’s Last Soldier’ evaded the FBI, ended up in Colorado // The Coloradoan



Top five ways you can support The Sun:

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Your Thing for Today

The Thing: The semi-hidden murals of Allen Tupper True

Why You Might Like It: In this season of competitive cosumering, it’s practically magical to stumble upon something both free and beautiful — like watching a sunset that only you can see. Wander around central Denver enough, though, and that’s what will happen with Allen Tupper True’s murals. True is most famous for painting murals that adorn both the Colorado and Wyoming state capitol buildings. But, once you learn to spot them, they are everywhere.

A bank-turned-luxury hotel lobby? Yup. A court clerk’s office in the Denver City and County Building? Bingo. Inside the Greek Amphitheater in Civic Center Park? Yes indeed.

This website, apparently run by True’s granddaughter, has a good list of his murals. We can debate later whether True’s paintings overly romanticize or stereotype the Old West. But for now, if you happen to be in Denver, you might take a break from the holiday hubbub and have yourself a cultural scavenger hunt.

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.

Hey, you’re all caught up now! We’ll be back on Monday with another Sunriser written by another one of my talented colleagues.

Until then, thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

— John


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John Ingold is a co-founder of The Colorado Sun and a reporter currently specializing in health care coverage. Born and raised in Colorado Springs, John spent 18 years working at The Denver Post. Prior to that, he held internships at the Rocky Ford Daily Gazette, the Colorado Springs...