Compiled by Eric Lubbers,
CTO/Newsletter Wrangler, @brofax

Good morning and happy first Friday of spring! I can’t tell if it was finally adjusting to daylight saving time or just the placebo effect of knowing it was a new season, but I’ve been in a very pleasant mood as we drift to the end of the week.

Before we dive into the news, I realized that we didn’t advertise one part of our half-birthday celebration as much as all the fun gifts. Down near the bottom of my column we asked for feedback from our readers via a little check-in survey. Nothing formal, just a couple of questions and some space for you to let us know what you like about The Sun, what you’d like to see more of and a little bit about how we can make reading The Sun more convenient for you.

If you’ve got a few minutes, we’d love to check in with you at, let’s Hasselback these potatoes, shall we?



It’s time for Colorado to ensure every child has access to full-day kindergarten — no matter their ZIP code or their family’s ability to pay. Read more at




The Latest from The Sun



With recycling on the ropes around the country, Colorado mountain towns are trying their own ideas to reduce single-use plastic

Dagny Tucker, founder of Boulder-based Vessel Works, collects stainless steel mugs in the town of Telluride that are being used in a pilot program with local cafes. Customers use the mugs and drop them off in canisters around town. They’re picked up, cleaned and redistributed for customers to reuse. (Provided by Vessel Works)

Last year, China stopped accepting much of the world’s recyclables (see this excellent episode of “99 Percent Invisible” for more on that). That move disrupted recycling flows nationwide, leading some cities to kill recycling services altogether or even burn collected material. But in Colorado, some communities are looking beyond banning single-use plastic by investing in partnerships with companies seeking to replace some of the biggest waste-producing items — like coffee cups, straws and even some plastic packaging.

>> Tamara Chuang looks at some of the ambitious efforts around the state — as well as how far they need to go to make a dent.


Family leave, death penalty repeal revealing split among Democrats as Colorado’s legislative session heats up

The 2019 legislative session is entering its final sprint, and the ruling Democratic party is experiencing some internal tension over two of their biggest pieces of legislation. Jesse Paul explores the growing schism and looks ahead at the long list of bills still left to go before the end of the session.

>> Read the whole story here.

MORE: The red flag gun bill is being heard in the Colorado Senate as you read this Friday morning. Here’s a link to all of our stories on the politics/policy as the measure heads toward its biggest hurdle.


A monumental question: Can Denver’s Beat Generation fans create a tribute to a movement and its inspiration?

A display at My Brother’s Bar shows the most famous image of Neal Cassady, left, and Jack Kerouac, along with a copy of a letter Cassady wrote to his mentor while serving time at the Colorado State Reformatory. (Matt Staver, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Whether you’re a big fan of the Beat Generation or not, the role of Jack Kerouac and Denver’s Neal Cassady — not to mention the city itself — in the transformation of the literary and cultural scene around the country in the wake of World War II is undeniable. And now, there’s an effort to immortalize Cassady and Kerouac in bronze somewhere in the city. But the memorial is just one facet of Kevin Simpson’s epic piece, which touches on Denver’s efforts to maintain its cultural heritage, how memorials like this have to reconcile the actions of the artists in different eras (not just their work) and a man who found out he was Cassady’s son just eight years ago.

>> You’re going to want to take some time and sink your teeth into this one. Click here to read.


More from The Sun


The Fun Stuff





// Myra and Ossie’s road trip through white privilege continues as Ossie tries to explain just how fraught a black man’s interactions with police are, no matter how polite they seem on the surface. (If you’re just dipping in, you’re definitely going to want to read last week’s strip for context, or you could just start at the beginning.)

// Drew Litton celebrates the best pro sports team in the state.

// Jim Morrissey illustrates some unhappy neighbors to drilling.




This is a refreshingly different entry in our SunLit section: Colorado State University professor and poet Camille Dungy answered some questions about her latest collection of poetry, “Trophic Cascade” and we were lucky enough to get to publish an excerpt. Inject a little poetry into your morning here.

John Frank’s Beer Pick

The best way to learn about a beer style — and your taste preferences — is a side-by-side comparison. And an even better method is a blind tasting. This is why The Big Reveal is such a cool event. The state’s brewers guild and will pour 20 different made-in-Colorado American IPAs on Saturday at Denver Union Station and crown a crowd favorite in this head-to-head competition. Find more details and tickets here.


// Here are three stories that feel connected:

// Three Denver housing stories: 1) More Hispanics are being displaced from changing neighborhoods here than in any other major city. 2) More people are looking to move out of Denver than in to it. 3) People are starting to commute to Denver from places like Elizabeth (an hour away on a good traffic day) and beyond. // 9News

// Finally, some good news! The Esquire Theatre will finally reopen this summer — with a bunch of new upgrades — after a water leak closed down the theater in December. // 303 Magazine

// Xandra McMahon looks at some of the ways that artificial intelligence will affect Colorado workers. // CPR News

// This seems … bad. North Dakota lawmakers are considering a bill to restrict journalists’ access to records around “critical infrastructure” — including oil pipelines — after reporting by The Intercept about the criminal case of Colorado’s Red Fawn Fallis included numerous documents obtained via open records requests. // The Intercept

// My personal electric scooter is in the shop (read: waiting for me to watch a YouTube video about how to replace a brake cable), but reading this piece on the microtransit phenomenon has helped me cope with having to drive more often: “I rode an e-scooter as far from civilization as its batteries could take me.” // Gizmodo

// One of the more fascinating stories in the state is a battle over a water pipeline pitting the Denver suburbs vs. northern Colorado communities. Jacy Marmaduke has a great explainer to catch you up on the ins and outs of the issue. // Coloradoan ?

// The Cañon City Record checked in with the Fremont County coroner after a year full of homicides and cold cases: “Last year was a very rough year.” // Cañon City Record

// Now that’s a pretty solid headline: “The road to Mars includes a detour through Lakewood.” // Lakewood Sentinel

// Huh, the last name of the new head coach of the Yuma High School track and field team sure sounds familiar. // Yuma Pioneer

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Today’s Thing



The Thing: “Moonlight Mile” by The Rolling Stones (YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music)

Why You Might Like It: It’s not exactly breaking new ground to recommend a Rolling Stones song, but even though I consider myself a big music guy, I realized I’d never actually heard the closing track from Sticky Fingers until last week. I know I say this a lot, but it’s been a long week, and it turns out this underappreciated little ballad makes for a perfect “clocking out for the weekend” soundtrack.

REMINDER: If you have something that you just can’t stop raving about that you’d like to share, send us an email at and you could be published in a future Sunriser!

OK, let’s call it a week! Well, depending on when you read this, you may have some hours yet to go before you can officially start your weekend, but you’re close enough to smell it at this point.

Thanks, as always, for sharing the stories, quotes, photos and anything else that catches your eye here in The Sunriser with the people in your life. Stay tuned next week, when we’ll be officially debuting The Outsider, a brand new newsletter for our members by the inimitable Jason Blevins (if you missed yesterday’s sneak preview, check it out here)!

Now go enjoy your weekend. That’s an order.

— Eric

Eric Lubbers

Eric Lubbers is the Chief Technology Officer and one of the co-founders of The Colorado Sun. A native of Yuma, Colorado, he writes The Sunriser newsletter in addition to handling most of the behind-the-scenes tech stuff. Email: