Good morning and happy Friday, folks! We had a solidly packed week of news, and the new stuff published this morning is no exception, so there won’t be much dilly-dallying here in the intro today.
Let’s herd this yak, shall we?
Fresh powder + Journalism = A win for everyone
Because we’ve had snow on the brain, we’re offering a 10 percent discount for new members of The Sun with the discount code SKISILVERTON19 (details here). Not only will you get a discounted membership to support independent local journalism and the accompanying warm fuzzy feelings, new members will be entered to win two ski passes to Silverton Mountain. The discount is only available through 6 p.m. Sunday, so get cracking.
>> ABOVE THE FOLD
#MeToo at the Colorado Capitol stalls
“This should be enough of a priority that the conversation will continue. We can’t pretend to fix it in one year.”
— State Sen. Faith Winter
A year after a series of #MeToo moments shook the foundations of the Colorado statehouse, many of the promised changes to how the Capitol culture handles sexual harassment complaints remain unfinished. John Frank talked to lawmakers pushing for change about the challenges and the particular steps that need to be taken.
A state report says Colorado hospitals shifted billions in costs to privately insured patients
In the murky, often-confusing world of hospital billing, one thing hospital administrators will tell you with regularity is that Medicare and Medicaid payments don’t match up with the costs of care. But as an explosive new state report shows, in the years since Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid in Colorado, hospitals are overcharging people with private insurance relative to the cost of care by the billions, more than wiping out any losses from Medicare and Medicaid with a surplus over $1.2 billion.
Ouray’s iconic ice park ready for the future
I’m not going to spend much time selling Jason Blevins’ excellent explainer of how the Ouray Ice Park, after 25 years of transforming the town’s winter economy on the backs of volunteer labor and sweetheart access deals, has emerged from a rocky transition in management, or how the work done to preserve the park could be a blueprint for other troubled Western wonders. Because I know you’re already sold and want to go look at some gorgeous photos.
Three ballet companies click heels for a whirlwind, puppet-filled “Wizard of Oz” in Denver
Three ballet companies from around North America. Ten-foot-tall flying monkeys. Dueling egos, 100 costume changes, wired tornado choreography and a big-eyed little Toto puppet. These are just some of the components behind the whirlwind “Wizard of Oz” performance coming to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in February.
MORE FROM THE SUN
- Colorado’s crisis texting line, for people feeling anxious, depressed or suicidal, had been around for three years without much direct marketing to teenagers. But after a marketing campaign featuring real stories from teens launched in El Paso County, usage of the line tripled. Jen Brown has the story of how the teen-led campaign is now going statewide.
- A Broomfield neighborhood has filed a federal lawsuit to stop a Colorado law that allows oil and gas under its homes to be drilled without their consent, aka “forced pooling.” Mark Jaffe explains the lawsuit and the potential ramifications.
- Did you see Sen. Michael Bennet’s now-viral verbal acosting of Sen. Ted Cruz on the Senate floor yesterday? We’ve got the video here, as well as the context for both Bennet and Sen. Cory Gardner’s votes on the shutdown.
- I’m going to let this headline do the work: “Soured by Denver lemonade stand incident, Colorado could allow kid businesses to operate permit-free” I can’t wait to see how long it takes for a kid to start a money-laundering operation.
>> THE FUN STUFF
“Don’t let your guard down, keep learning.”
— Charlie Papazian
John Frank talked to Charlie Papazian, a founder and former leader of the Brewers Association and author of the million-plus-selling “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” book (aka a “father of craft beer”) on the eve of his retirement. If you’re a beer lover, you need to read these words of wisdom.
JOHN FRANK’S BEER PICK
The brewers at New Belgium are officially making beer at their new location inside The Source hotel in Denver. Wander inside and watch them work from a balcony over the brewery, then head to The Woods tasting room on the eighth floor to try the stout. It is rich in color and flavor but finishes lighter and dry from the clever use of a saison yeast.
I was born but I shouldn’t have been.
That’s one of the jarring lines from this week’s SunLit pick, Charlotte Hinger’s “Fractured Families.” In this interview, author Hinger talks about the real-life setting for this “diabolical” murder mystery, the creepy “Garden of Eden” in central Kansas.
// Now, I’m not going to hold this comic against Jim Morrissey. Mostly because I am an electric scooter owner who used beard wax this morning and part of being That Guy™ is acknowledging that you are That Guy. Besides, I’ve almost eliminated plaid from my wardrobe as a small effort to avoid falling into this stereotype.
>> THE SHORTLIST
// Oy what a day for the state’s big school districts.
- Denver Public Schools has apologized after sending a note threatening to report striking teachers to immigration authorities.
- Meanwhile in Douglas County, a man referencing the story of a middle school teacher put on leave for a tweet calling a Kentucky student “Hitler Youth” was escorted from a school board meeting by police. // 9News, Westword, The Denver Channel
// Chalkbeat looks at the compensation for substitute teachers in Denver ($100/day during non-strike times) and how that compares to cities around the country. // Chalkbeat Colorado
// This is a striking story from Jackson Hole: After a woman was stuck in snow and slowly suffocating, her hot pink skis got the attention of a Boulder County man who was able to rescue her. // Jackson Hole News & Guide
// Two words: yak ranching. // The Denver Post
// Three things are turning Lake Powell into a “dead pool”: climate change, politics and growth. // The Salt Lake Tribune
// One of the most interesting things going in prep sports (besides Regis Jesuit’s Fran Belibi dunking her way onto SportsCenter) is the steady rise of girls wrestling. Check out this feature on a brother-sister wrestling duo in Gilcrest and Brad Cochi’s piece on the growing demand for a girls wrestling division in Colorado. // ESPN, Greeley Tribune, BoCo Preps
// As is often the case, a man who was arrested after threatening to “kill as many girls” as he saw before the Womxn’s March in Denver has a lengthy history of harassment, threats and stalking charges. // The Denver Post
// As a palate cleanser: Here’s a Steamboat Springs truck with a whole bunch of stickers. (note to self: send him a Colorado Sun bumper sticker) // 9News
>> TODAY’S THING
Why You Might Like It: I’m a big Harry Nilsson fan (you could spend all day just reading his Wikipedia page) and one of my favorite songs of his is “Jump Into the Fire.” I’m also a big fan of LCD Soundsystem, but somehow didn’t discover that the latter covered the former during their legendary “retirement” show at Madison Square Garden in 2011. Live recordings don’t usually do it for me (Bowie live at Santa Monica 1972 is a notable exception) but man, LCD Soundsystem does that crazy, rollicking song justice and then some on that recording. It’s Driving Away From The Office On A Friday Night Music™ of the highest order.
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.
We did it. Another Sunriser and another week in the books. Don’t forget about our special membership offer/drawing for those Silverton Mountain ski passes. If you’re already a member, maybe tell someone you think would appreciate the work we’re doing to pick up a discounted membership (details here) — and maybe they’ll take you with?
No matter how you spend the weekend, I hope it’s a good one. See you on Monday.