Good morning from one hour in the past. Or at least, that’s what it probably feels likes as your body clock reconciles with the change in the clock on your wrist/phone/wall. I had just gotten used to the sunrise happening during my morning dog walk, so heading out into the pitch black was definitely a bummer. But I guess that’s what I get for being a morning person!
We have some really fascinating stories and opinion columns in today’s newsletter, so let’s wind this clock already, shall we?
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>> ABOVE THE FOLD
We the (faithful) People: A coalition of religious groups is pushing to redefine faith in Colorado politics
Dr. Malcolm Newton, the president and founder of the Denver Institute of Urban Studies and Adult College, performed a poetic hymn to the interfaith community assembled for the Faithful Tuesdays event on Feb. 12, 2019, at the Colorado Capitol in Denver. (Marvin Anani, Special to The Colorado Sun)
“Right now, I think your average person says, ‘Oh, you’re religious? You must be conservative,” said Adrian Miller, executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches, who spoke at the launch of Faithful Tuesdays, a coalition of faith groups who are trying to push legislators to create moral policy and redefine the political voice of religion in Colorado. Jenn Fields has the story of why the groups, ranging from Catholic priests to Colorado Sikhs to Temple Emanuel and beyond, felt the call to make their voices known.
Worried about slowing economy, Democrats look to delay Polis pledge for full-day kindergarten
“It’s something that’s really critical — it’s a critical investment in kids’ brains and in the future, and it will just be one more thing that when we hit the next recession, policymakers will be faced with the choice of cutting or keeping at the expense of something else.”
— Scott Wasserman, Bell Policy Center president
One of Gov. Jared Polis’ biggest campaign promises was a push to fully fund all-day kindergarten statewide. And while there’s one thing that everyone on all sides of the debate can agree on — yes, there’s enough money in next year’s budget to do it — budget writers, even on the left, are twice shy after being bitten by the recession of 2009 and having to drastically cut services.
More from The Sun
- Democrats running for president line up behind legalizing marijuana at the federal level, with a notable exception: John Hickenlooper.
- A one-day sentencing reduction for some Colorado crimes would help legal immigrants avoid deportation. This is another one of those bills that was rejected when Republicans controlled half of the legislature, but now that Democrats are in charge it was smooth sailing.
An avalanche Thursday on Jones Pass in Clear Creek County claimed the state’s seventh snow-slide death this season. That means we’ve now surpassed the annual average.
>> IT’S THE SUN’S HALF-BIRTHDAY. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE.
The sun setting on Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)
Happy half-birthday to us! 🎂 The Colorado Sun started publishing six months ago yesterday, and we are so grateful for everyone who has become a member, read our work or even just dropped our name to family and friends. To celebrate, we’re having a little virtual party, including:
- Discounts on new memberships (only good for a few more days!)
- Free T-shirts for new annual Politics+ members
- All new memberships entered in a drawing for some primo Rockies tickets
- And more!
I wrote a column looking at what we’ve done so far, where we’re headed and how members and Colorado businesses can help us achieve our goal of growing sustainable, local journalism in our awesome state. Give it a read here and help us grow our community!
>> THE OPINION PAGE
- CSU professor of economics Edward Barbier writes that, yes, America can afford a Green New Deal and lays out the specifics of how it could work.
- This is a remarkable column: “I led the last Colorado jury to sentence someone to death. Shouldn’t voters have a say on the death penalty?”
- David Norris, CEO of Element3 Health, responds to John Roble’s piece on the epidemic of loneliness with a list of ways to combat loneliness through clubs and other structured forms of socializing.
- Mario Nicolais wonders, in the political world where lawmakers almost always know how they’ll be voting, if testimony in front of the legislature matters in Colorado anymore.
- The founder of Hunters Against Gun Violence argues that hunters can support “red flag” laws and still support the Second Amendment.
- Colorado Rising Action executive director Michael Fields argues that TABOR has united Coloradans.
- Ken Holsinger and Laura Chartrand argue that the oil and gas reform bill working through the statehouse would harm funding for water infrastructure projects in Colorado.
>> THE SHORTLIST
// The unending snow in the high country isn’t just a mountain avalanche danger. “Urban avalanches,” aka snow sliding off of roofs around Crested Butte, have killed one person and injured two. // Crested Butte News
// Here’s a great example of local journalism having real impact: After David Migoya’s “Shrouded Justice” series, the Colorado Supreme Court will discuss changes to the rules that have kept thousands of criminal and civil cases hidden from the public. // The Denver Post 🔑
// It’s March 11 and Colorado has already had more than its yearly average of 2,500 avalanches. // 9News
// The Boulder Daily Camera first reported the growing backlash to an incident in which Boulder police officers drew their guns on a black man picking up trash in his own yard. Yesterday, a large crowd gathered to protest and ask for change at the department. // Boulder Daily Camera 🔑
// Time for a little hometown bragging: Both the girls and boys basketball teams from Yuma were state champs this weekend. For the second year in a row. It’s the first time in Colorado history that one school has had both the boys and girls teams go back-to-back. // 9News
// The Oregonian is examining instances of the government of Saudi Arabia getting involved in criminal cases here in the U.S. (here’s the project homepage). As part of the project, they did a great breakdown of the case of Homaidan al-Turki here in Colorado: “He was convicted of a US sex crime. Then the king of Saudi Arabia got involved.” // The Oregonian
// On a lighter note, I’m pleased to introduce you to @thepancakegod, aka 22-year-old Josh Bryant, a recent transplant to Greeley who has amassed 36,000 followers on Instagram by making (and eating) pancakes every day since Sept. 26, 2016. The Tribune has a nice profile of him here. // The Greeley Tribune
// One of the men previously profiled as an “ambassador” at the infamous 16th Street Mall McDonald’s for his work to keep order (and lend a hand, or clothes, to people in need) was fired by the restaurant after he was stabbed in the chest outside the restaurant. // Westword
// The crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 over the weekend sent shockwaves through the airline industry. There were no survivors and it was the new Boeing airplane’s second catastrophic crash in a year. Southwest Airlines and United Airlines both fly MAX planes out of Denver International Airport. Southwest is standing by the aircraft. United flies the larger MAX 9 model. // BBC, Atlanta Journal Constitution
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>> TODAY’S THING
Why You Might Like It: I used to spend a lot of time (and money) at Twist and Shout here in Denver where I’d bounce from listening station to listening station, taking wild stabs at tracks to sample, then, often, buying an entire CD based off of hearing 20-45 seconds of music. Those urgent italics come from the fact that I was doing this just over eight years ago and the concept already feels so ancient that I might as well be describing how to properly use a sextant. I still shop at Twist, but music discovery happens all day every day, through social media, snippets picked up from soundtracks and, at least weekly, by the beautiful robot inside of Spotify that uses the eight years of my daily music habits to suggest things I might like. It’s right more often than it’s wrong, and I can thank it for dropping “My Zero” by Ezra Furman in my lap a couple of years ago.
It’s a great intro to Furman, whose best-in-show lyrical style mixes angst and cleverness and sex and longing and awkwardness into a tight, almost feral growl on top of some of the catchiest rock music going. When I started watching the Netflix show “Sex Education” (also highly recommended) it was a delight to find out he provided most of the soundtrack. Furman has so many great tracks it’s hard to know where to start, so I made you a little five-song starter pack on Spotify. Warning, you will find yourself humming a few of these if you listen. It’s unavoidable.REMINDER: If you have something that you just can’t stop raving about that you’d like to share, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be published in a future Sunriser!
Thanks for making it to the bottom of this Monday Sunriser. Don’t forget to check out our half-birthday celebration post and feel free to share it far and wide (here is a Twitter post and a Facebook one to make it easy!) with your social network with a note letting people know why you value local journalism.
Have a great Monday!