Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Colorado! I hope, if you have the day off, you can spend a little bit of it giving back to your community, or at least contemplating the actual ideas of MLK, rather than the somewhat sanitized myth that usually gets presented this time of year. (With news that the world’s 26 richest people now own as much as the poorest 50 percent, maybe his ideas on “economic justice” and how it intersects with race are a good place to start.)
If you’re joining the Marade in Denver, 9News has a good guide to get you started, but you’ve still got time to digest some morning news.
So let’s buy this Rams jersey, shall we?
Colorado’s booming pronghorn population is running horn-first into newly built neighborhoods
It’s hard to call Colorado’s management of pronghorn, the swift little white and tan antelope that shed their horns every year, anything other than a success. Numbering about 5,000 in the 1940s, the population has now topped 85,000 including a bump of 20,000 since 2004 alone. But as the state’s hunger for housing development is seeping into the prairie, the animals are getting trapped in fences, being hit by cars and sometimes just hanging out at airports.
10G vs. 5G: The confusing future of broadband is being ironed out right here in Colorado
“The blurring of the lines is quite intentional. It’s a measure of one-upmanship. You want the best and the shiniest thing out there, and surely 10G is that because 10 is twice as big as five,”
— Ian Olgeirson, industry analyst
Much faster internet is coming via two very different technologies. Cable companies, thanks to work by Colorado’s CableLabs, launched “10G,” a fancy term for using existing cable and fiber optics lines to give customers 10 gbps speed. Meanwhile, wireless carriers are touting 5Gas the wireless future, offering a huge boost in speed … once they turn it on and start selling phones that can use it.
As Jared Polis cheers a GOP tax cut plan, report shows that the gap between effective tax rates of rich and poor in Colorado is growing
“It doesn’t seem to me that our biggest challenges for dealing with a growing population, and a changing economy … are addressed by less money.”
— Carold Hedges, executive director of the Colorado Fiscal Institute
Folks, it’s going to be a weird legislative session. Around lunchtime Thursday, Jared Polis cheered a proposal by Republican lawmakers to lower the personal and corporate income tax rate. Yes, the same Jared Polis who is requesting large amounts of money to fund his ambitious first-year agenda. Some Democrats were stunned, characterizing the plan as a giveaway to the rich in a state where the tax code already favors the wealthy.
>> MORE FROM THE SUN
- Fatal avalanches that happen inbounds, like the one in Taos last week, often spark lawsuits against ski areas. Jason Blevins writes about why those lawsuits almost never get very far and if, as resorts pursue snow into slide-prone terrain, that trend can hold.
- Prepare to see a lot of this kind of headline over the next 22 months: Republican U.S. Senators like Cory Gardner are trying to figure out how closely to run with Trump.
- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (who was infamously expelled from CU for sending prank messages through the computer system) was in Aurora last week. Tamara Chuang has a great summary of his talk, from AI to Facebook to why he wishes Apple would have put a division in Colorado a long time ago.
>> THE OPINION PAGE
“From the beginning, I remember when Trump first was elected I said I believed that this was the final phase, last tribal hurrah for people like him,”
— José Azua
- Diane Carman talks to a Colorado man who emigrated from Mexico 52 years ago about the history of anti-Latino racism and argues that Trump’s wall is “just the wretched symbol of a dying racist culture.”
- Last week, Mario Nicolais wrote a piece titled “The tyranny of the national majority” about the effort by some Colorado lawmakers to commit Colorado’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Mike Foote wrote a rebuttal: “It’s time to end ‘Tyranny of the Battleground States’”
- Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, writes that Americans deserve a government that works for all of us — not just for the oil and gas industry.
- Attorney Mike Chiropolos has a list of 10 things Colorado lawmakers should prioritize to be “forward thinking” on fracking.
- Ari Armstong argues that Colorado’s convoluted sales tax rules punish small business.
- Mario Nicolais has some thoughts on last week’s Colorado Supreme Court oil and gas ruling.
>> THE SHORTLIST
// The Womxn’s March in Denver wasn’t the only one in Colorado, as marches happened in just about every corner of the state, from Colorado Springs and Pueblo to Greeley and Durango. // KRDO, Pueblo Chieftain, Greeley Tribune, Durango Herald
// Hyoung Chang with The Denver Post has a very cool timelapse video of the Pepsi Center being turned from ice rink to basketball court for an Avs/Nuggets double-header. // Denver Post on YouTube
// Breckenridge will try to keep ski season going, in some form, through Memorial Day. // Summit Daily News
// Redlining is a hot historical topic in Denver, but Pueblo has its own history of the segregationist practice. // Denverite, Pueblo Chieftain
// Sam Tabachnik has the story of why a century-old subdivision in Cherry Hills Village still had the name “Swastika Acres.” // The Denver Post
// Today I learned that Platte Canyon High School has a yacht club. // 9News
// 9News reporter Jeremy Jojola messed around in Photoshop and made a pretty cool collage of 17th and Wynkoop in Denver … 100 years apart. // @jeremyjojola
// Attention Colorado planning commissions: “Atlanta Planning Commissioner Is on a Mission to Stop Ugly Building Construction” // Architectural Digest
>> TODAY’S THING
Why You Might Like It: Remember the Fyre Festival? The debacle probably faded into your memory banks about 48 hours after you saw the first clips of rich Instagram kids getting scammed with terrible cheese sandwiches and FEMA tents. But just 18 months after the event, not one, but two high-quality, thorough documentaries of the event were released last week on competing platforms.
I know saying “watch two documentaries about the same subject back-to-back” is a really weird suggestion, but it is absolutely worth it. What appears on the surface to be a circus of schadenfreude, of watching rich “influencers” experience some hardship for once, is just the gilded surface of a rotten story exposing just how easily someone in our society can wreak havoc armed with the right jargon, an unimpeachable optimism and — most importantly — a sociopathic ability to never stop lying to everyone and committing millions of dollars worth of fraud. It’s a business story, it’s a crime drama, it’s a sociology study and it’s a good old-fashioned trainwreck you can’t look away from.
(Note: if you can only bring yourself to watch one, watch the Hulu doc. It’s a more complete look at the ecosystems of capital and social media that allowed it to happen, while the Netflix doc is more blow-by-blow of the event.)
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.
Thanks for spending some of this holiday off (if you got it) with us learning about your state. Have a great rest of the week!