Cases of beer line the shelves at the King Sooper's in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)





Compiled by Jennifer Brown,

Writer, @JenBrownColo


Welcome to Wednesday, friends.

Just a guess, but I bet you’re gearing up for a batch of holiday parties this weekend. Office parties, classroom parties, mimosa brunch and dinners with mistletoe and holiday ham. That’s a lot of socializing, so let me help. Read on to catch up on the week’s most interesting Colorado news, conversation pieces sure to get you through the line at the open bar or even a three-hour dinner.

But first, let me tell you my heart is grateful for your support. All I want for Christmas, besides peace on Earth and love for all, etc., is for The Colorado Sun to make its way into the hearts, minds and inboxes of people in every corner of the state. You can support us by forwarding this newsletter to your friends, buying a membership (only $5 per month) or wearing a Colorado Sun T-shirt to one of those holiday parties.

Thanks for reading. Now, let’s frost this cookie, shall we?

Colorado legalized marijuana six years ago, but no one told the dogs


The Pueblo Police Department’s K-9 officer Widget poses next to drugs seized by law enforcement in November 2018. (Handout)


Old-school drug dogs trained to sniff for meth, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy during traffic stops also bark when they smell pot. But since marijuana isn’t illegal in Colorado, should a barking dog provide enough legal cover for police officers to search a vehicle?

Most of those old dogs have retired and been replaced by pups that know marijuana isn’t worth barking about. Still, the transition has left a haze over Colorado law regarding which searches are justified. As John Ingold reports, the Colorado Supreme Court will hear arguments on the matter today.

Read the whole story here.


We’ll buy more books, build more houses and sell more beef to South Korea

Who still shops at the mall? The answer is GLMs, which stands for good-looking moms and is an acronym I’d never heard before reading Tamara Chuang’s breakdown of Colorado economic predictions for 2019. Here are a few more tidbits from this interesting piece: Coloradans are expected to buy more books, our natural gas bills won’t go up, and though rent will rise, it won’t go up as fast as before.

Read the whole story here.


Cory Gardner got an award, but none of the praise

“There’s no doubt pollution contributes to climate change. Climate change is real.”

— U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, in an interview with The Colorado Sun

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner got a national science award. Then dozens of scientists signed a letter in protest, and then the American Geophysical Union that bestowed the honor ended up apologizing. The award was for improving science education for women and minorities, but that’s not at all what the controversy is about. Critics say the Republican senator isn’t worthy because he has supported legislation that would make climate change worse. But Gardner tells the Sun’s Jesse Paul that he’s “on the record” as saying “climate change is real.” The whole debacle says a lot about what kind of fight Gardner is headed for in 2020.

Read the whole story here.

More from the Sun

// It’s last call for 3.2 beer, as Colorado grocery and convenience stores are clearing the shelves to make way for full-strength brew. The change goes into effect New Year’s Day thanks to an overhaul approved by state lawmakers in 2016.

// Colorado is one of only four states that doesn’t require continuing education for physicians, even though it does for attorneys, accountants, physician’s assistants, teachers and real estate agents.

// The Colorado Classic will become a women-only bike race in 2019, a “Billie Jean King kind of moment” coming in August. The race route hasn’t been revealed, but the usual suspects are Aspen and Vail.

// The top 10 corporate and nonprofit donors in Colorado’s election last month spent a combined $51.6 million, and about 60 percent of that money went to Protect Colorado. The committee led the effort to defeat Proposition 112, which proposed larger setbacks for oil and gas development. And in a related Colorado Sun analysis, read how Super PAC money totaled $74 million, more than what the candidates spent on their races.



// President Trump calls the press the “enemy of the people,” but the president is not the media’s worst enemy, writes columnist Jim Hightower. Rather, it’s the “new breed of fast-buck hucksters who’ve scooped up hundreds of America’s newspapers.”

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The Shortlist

Stuff about Colorado worth checking out


// DO NOT REPLY ALL! What is it with people who reply all just to say, “Stop replying all!” Read this little nugget about the mayhem that ensued when a deputy director at the Utah Department of Corrections sent an email intending to invite 80 people to an annual potluck, but instead sent it to 22,000. // New York Times

// Here’s a tragic reminder to always wear a ski helmet. A University of Colorado student has died after crashing into a tree at Eldora Mountain Resort. The 26-year-old wasn’t wearing a helmet, the ski resort says. // Daily Camera

// Do Coloradans drink too much when they hit the slopes? Or as soon as they lift up their goggles after a day carving tracks? Tracy Ross from 5280 magazine gives a first-person account of skiing and drinking, drinking and skiing. // 5280

// Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, raised by a single mother with two jobs, spends his days off the field talking to middle school kids and visiting shelters. Read why The Athletic picked him as Denver’s 2018 “Person of the Year,” and find out how many text messages were waiting for him after he first took a knee that night in 2016. // The Athletic

// In a story about the best and worst in public transportation, guess which city shows up under the heading “What City is Doing it Wrong?” Among other things, Denver gets dinged for building lots of transit without actually reaching “a lot of places where people want to go.” // Vox

// Horses now trot on land in Globeville, once home to Eastern European immigrants who worked at north Denver-area smelters. A restored prairie named Platte Farm Open Space has transformed the property from a sad lot of heaped trash and stolen cars. // Denverite

// Looks like another Denver tech company is headed toward its public debut. Reuters is reporting that the owner of cybersecurity firm Ping Identity has hired investment banks to prep for an IPO. Ping, by the way, was acquired in 2016 by Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm founded by Denver native and the nation’s wealthiest African American Robert Smith// Reuters, Forbes

// Check out these Utah wildlife officials releasing an adorable bobcat kitten back into the wild after it was trapped for eating chickens. The Center for Biological Diversity nicknamed the little guy “Mr. Murderbritches” in a tweet that went viral. // Center for Bio Div


Your Thing for Today

The Thing: Broken Harts, a podcast

Why You Might Like It: This new podcast is gripping, although sometimes in a way that makes you want to throw up. It’s the story of what happened in the months and years before two foster mothers and their carload of adopted children plunged off a California cliff to their deaths last March. What’s just as unsettling as the intentional crash that horrified the nation is the hidden abuse and neglect that went on apparently for years behind closed doors. Here’s the key question in my head after the first two episodes: Why are people so hesitant to report suspected child abuse?

You can listen for free at It’s reported by Glamour and HowStuffWorks.

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.

That’s all for today. Please tell your friends about The Colorado Sun! And if you’ve got any Elf on the Shelf ideas — the kind for busy moms, not Pinterest moms — send those directly to me. The little dude is staying with us for 12 more nights.  

— Jennifer


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Jennifer Brown writes about mental health, the child welfare system, the disability community and homelessness for The Colorado Sun. As a former Montana 4-H kid, she also loves writing about agriculture and ranching. Brown previously...