Compiled by Eric Lubbers,

CTO/Newsletter Wrangler, @brofax

Good morning and happy 2019, all! There’s something particularly excruciating when the winter holidays land on Tuesdays, because for most people, Jan. 2 becomes an unavoidable hard right turn into reality with no buffer.

So let me be one of the first to welcome you back! We can try to hit the ground running (or at least tuck and roll).

Let’s keep this resolution, shall we?

Environmentalists are demanding aggressive action on climate change. How far will Colorado’s Democrats actually go?

“We have about 10 to 12 years to address this or we are looking at serious catastrophic impacts. And Colorado, because of our geography and the importance of water with longer summers and less snowpack, we are at the tip of that spear.”

House Speaker-elect KC Becker

For all the talk of Trump, transportation and health care during the November election cycle, now that Democrats have the trifecta (governor, House and Senate) in Colorado, climate change has emerged at the top of the majority’s agenda. But as Brian Eason writes, they are running into a powerful oil and gas lobby, an opposition party that says the defeat of Proposition 112 was an endorsement of the status quo and a hard-to-read governor.

>> Get into the details, from limiting carbon to energy efficiency, here.

The future of electric cars might be rolling through Louisville, thanks to CU research on solid state batteries

Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell holds a sample of the solid electrolyte-coated aluminum foil at the heart of his company’s solid state battery technology. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“Batteries are ripe for hype.”

Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell

Whatever you’re reading this email on, more likely than not it’s powered by a lithium-ion battery. Right now, that’s the state of the art in battery technology. But as Mark Jaffe writes, the need for smaller, cheaper, more powerful batteries for the electrification of cars and other fossil-fuel-burning existing technologies has exposed the limits of lithium-ion technology.

Enter the solid state battery, and Louisville’s Solid Power, which aims to build the largest solid-state battery factory in the U.S. on the back of breakthroughs at the University of Colorado.

>> Read about Solid Power and the pitfalls and promises of solid state technology here.

More from The Sun

REMINDER: If you want to get our stories in your email inbox earlier and each morning, sign up for our Daily Sun-Up newsletter. It has all of our headlines from the past 24 hours and goes out at 6 a.m.

The Shortlist

Stuff about Colorado worth checking out


// TIMELY: Many, uh, “brave” souls took the coldest Polar Plunge in Boulder in years yesterday (the photos are amazing). The same day, NPR ran this story about the growing research that exercising in frigid cold might make humans healthier (featuring Colorado-based journalist Scott Carney). // Daily Camera, NPR

// A few weeks back, I recommended the free video streaming service Kanopy, available through participating library systems. That’s great, except not every library system in the state supports it. But as Reddit user palosanto77 pointed out yesterday, any Colorado resident can register online and get a free Denver Public Library card! So get after it already!

UPDATE: Right after publication, I heard from DPL that the Kanopy service is only available for Denver residents due to a limited budget, which is understandable. I’m sorry for the confusion, but you should still check on Kanopy to see if your local library supports it!

// This story about Longmont’s wireless Wi-Fi service shutting down highlights some bad news for the few people who still used that service, but a great reminder that Longmont probably has the best, cheapest internet service in the entire country ($70/month for 1GB upload and download speeds). // The Longmont Observer

// Please go look at the very good dogs of the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol. // Aspen Daily News

// For the first time since 1870, the Greeley Tribune will cut print production from seven days a week to four, joining the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Durango Herald as midsize papers taking drastic measures to cut costs and keep journalists employed. Consider this your reminder to pay for the journalism you read in some way or another. // Greeley Tribune, CPR, Durango Herald

// During the height of Denver’s rental unit shortage, the idea of a landlord giving out free rent or other incentives was laughable. But as more apartment units sprang up (most of them of the luxury variety) even the high-end buildings are starting to offer incentives to fill vacancy. // BusinessDen

// Luke Runyon, you have my attention: “What Happened When The Colorado KKK Tried To Build A Dam// KUNC

// A quick rundown of how the government shutdown is affecting people in Colorado and around the country:

// And to end this section on an inspiring note, this is a beautifully reported story of the journey of a single deer over its 242-mile migration through Wyoming and Idaho — and how that migration fits into the region’s economy and conservation efforts. // High Country News

Your Thing for Today

The Thing: “Letterkenny” (On Hulu here in the U.S.)

Why You Might Like It: I watch a lot of television. I used to say I wasn’t proud of that but I’m not not proud of it lately. TV and movies used to be a pretty good equalizer. Meet some people at a party and there’s a good chance you had all seen “M.A.S.H.” or “Seinfeld” and it made for an easy conversation point. But there is Too Much Media these days, and everyone has a different constellation of programs in their personal hopper. So I’ll chalk up my TV habit as an exercise in making my constellation as broad as possible in the hopes of overlapping at least a little with the people I meet.

But “Letterkenny.” Sweet “Letterkenny.” I’ve got a soft spot for any show that can portray small-town life with nuance, and even though this Canadian comedy seems heavy on the stereotypes at first (the three groups in the show are literally called The Hicks, The Skids and the Hockey Players) the depth of those characters is revealed in a really clever way. Plus, it is easily the most joke-dense show I think I’ve ever seen and has a killer soundtrack.

There are six short seasons on Hulu (heads up: it’s a very adult comedy and has quite a bit of NSFW language and subject matter), but it’s worth a binge, even if just to incorporate some of their Ontario terminology into your daily life.

Anyway, pitter patter, let’s get at ’er.

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.

And just like that, the first Sunriser of 2019 is in the books. We’ve got some big plans ahead for this newsletter, so keep an eye out for updates.

We had an amazing 2018, but we still need your help getting the word out. So please make it part of your resolution to help tell people about The Sun and get them signed up for one of our newsletters.

— Eric

Chief Technology Officer

Austin, TX

Eric Lubbers is one of the co-founders of The Colorado Sun, focused on making technology work hand-in-hand with journalism. He was born and raised in Yuma, Colorado, and since starting his career with the Rocky Mountain News/YourHub in 2005 has been in the daily Colorado news ever since.

Topic expertise: Photography, technology, data visualization, user experience, cooking

Education: Bachelor of Arts from Chadron State College, most of a master's degree in history from the University of Colorado Denver

Honors & Awards: Online Journalism Awards — Excellence in Social Media Engagement, Small Newsroom

Professional membership: Online News Association


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