Good morning and happy Friday! We have a whirlwind of news coming at you on this sloppy spring morning, so I won’t waste much time here at the top. Between heading to the mountains, spring cleaning and trying to wrangle the last bit of joy out of spring break, we’ve all got a lot to get to this weekend.
If you want to start your time off by doing something good for your community, we’d be honored if you’d become a Colorado Sun member. Rumor has it that doing so brings you good luck — that’s worth $5 a month, right?
OK, let’s foam this latte, shall we?
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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 FullDayK.co
ABOVE THE FOLD
Showers, catered meals, wine lists: Colorado’s new backcountry ski huts are crazy luxurious
Red Mountain Alpine Lodge on Red Mountain Pass is a swank alternative to off-the-grid huts for backcountry skiers. (Photo provided by Red Mountain Alpine Lodge)
Backcountry ski huts have long been an excursion into the solitude of nature. Just you and some friends and the snowy wilderness. But as Jason Blevins writes, the latest additions to Colorado’s hut culture are taking cues from Europe and Canada and adding some serious luxuries — from indoor toilets to Wi-Fi to private chefs.
Subscribers to The Outsider, Jason Blevins’ premiere outdoor newsletter, got to see this story early. Head to coloradosun.com/theoutsider for more on how to sign up, upgrade or opt-in to getting it in your inbox.
MORE: It’s just about pond-skimming season. Sun contributor Alison Osius has a great piece on the end-of-season ritual, including some history and which resorts are looking to offer it (whenever the season actually ends).
The oil and gas industry is again spending big to stop more regulation in Colorado. This time, it’s not working.
That’s how much the American Petroleum Institute has spent (at least) on a TV ad opposing the oil and gas regulation bill working its way through the legislature. That number is just one part of the massive spend by the industry on lobbying, Facebook ads and other campaigns (some of them factually misleading) unearthed by Sandra Fish and John Frank.>> Read the details, including the rush to hire more lobbyists, here.
Oklahoma just agreed to a big settlement with the maker of Oxycontin. Should Colorado do the same?
“So the $200 million settlement for Oklahoma is absolutely insufficient. Let’s actually aim for what is going to get us through the next five to 10 years of this crisis.”
— State Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood
Oklahoma’s $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma over a lawsuit alleging the Oxycontin manufacturer knowingly contributed to the opioid crisis in the state was seen by many as the opening shot in an expensive battle.
More from The Sun
- You may have never heard of Sam Mamet, but there’s a good chance his 40 years of work at the Colorado Municipal League has had an impact on how your city or town operates. Jason Blevins has a Q&A with Mamet as he heads into retirement.
- John Frank looks ahead to Saturday’s vote for a new Republican Party chairperson. Three candidates are running, and they all have to answer the same question: With Donald Trump in the White House and Democrats in control at the statehouse, what’s the future of the GOP in Colorado?
- Speaking of Republicans, they scored a big win in the state Senate by negotiating for an extra $106 million in transportation spending in the budget. But Jesse Paul explains why that change is far from a done deal, even if everyone is celebrating.
- Jesse also was in the Senate when Democrats — minus the vote of their Senate president — passed the controversial “red flag” gun bill. It still has to be reapproved in the House before heading to the governor and, after that, a likely court challenge.
- A bipartisan health care bill Gov. Jared Polis signed on Thursday won’t do much to immediately help consumers, but that’s the end game of the measure requiring hospitals to annually report in-depth financial data to the state. (Via our friends at The Associated Press.)
- Those darn kids today are so … so … politically engaged? A coalition of young advocates is backing a bill that would make Colorado the first state in the country to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school board elections. (Via our friends at Chalkbeat.)
THE FUN STUFF
// I say it every week, but “What’d I Miss?” is a really great comic strip that I’m proud to have in The Sun. This week, a conversation between Ossie and Myra cracks open long-standing tension within the black community over fashion, assimilation and police brutality. This week’s installment is here, but this arc starts here (and you can always just go back to the beginning and read all the strips in order).
This week’s pick is “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet,” the often untold stories of the black chefs who have fed every American president. Read an excerpt from the book and a short interview with Denver author and James Beard Award winner Adrian Miller.
John Frank’s Beer Pick
Three Colorado breweries made the list of the 50 fastest growing U.S. craft breweries released this week. One is Storm Peak Brewing from Steamboat Springs. The brewery is now distributing across the state, so look for its Lawnmower session ale or Chowder Hazy IPA and celebrate its new status.
// A Denver sheriff’s deputy is accused of forging fake Army orders to get paid time off and was busted, in part, for using the WingDings font in the forgery, making it the second–worst font-related crime after the Prime Minister of Pakistan was removed from office, in part, for forging documents dated to 2006 with a Microsoft font that wasn’t released until 2007. // The Denver Post 🔑, The Independent
// Colorado’s outdoor hotspots are getting as crowded as Interstate 25 during rush hour. Public lands managers have been trying to find ways to deal with the scourge. For Hanging Lake, the made-for-Instagram stop along Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, that means you’ll now need to have reservations — yes, like you’re going to a restaurant. Want to go? Slots open up April 1. // The Aspen Times
// Speaking of Colorado icons, the Air Force Academy’s chapel is beautiful — but in need of big repairs. Those fixes won’t come anytime soon, though. Darn hurricanes. // The Gazette
// Denver sportscaster Vic Lombardi is a known quantity when it comes to catching up with the Mile High City’s teams. Now, he’s taking followers on a play-by-play of his journey battling prostate cancer. It’s brutal, but it’s important. // Westword
// Who doesn’t love Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay? He’s become a Denver icon. But lesser known is his father, Troy, an RTD bus driver whose profile has risen in recent years. “I wanna work still,” he says. Conor McCormick-Cavanagh has this great profile for you. // Westword
// Sometimes people say they don’t like reading the news. It’s a downer, it’s depressing. But that’s like saying you don’t like eating, if all you ever do is eat fast food. Quality journalism is like a fine meal that should be savored. Why “slow” journalism is (quickly) growing a following. // NiemanLab
// FWIW, Colorado’s beloved flag was as much of a flop when it debuted as the hated green-and-white triangle logo that Gov. Jared Polis retired this week. // Colorado Public Radio
// PAM GRIER IS BACK, BABY! The black velvet painting of the ‘80s icon and graduate of Denver East High School has been returned to VooDoo Doughnuts on East Colfax. Mystery solved. Kind of. // CBS4
// This is a weird one: Denver’s former auditor, Dennis Gallagher, was admonished by Denver’s Department of Law for an email blast to city employees criticizing Mayor Michael Hancock and propping up Jamie Giellis, one of Hancock’s opponents in this fall’s election. Gallagher got a cease-and-desist letter for his reply-all antics. // 9News// Colorado College’s student newspaper, The Catalyst, has a good series about how to promote women in freestyle skiing. “Not many companies seem to want to have a girl freestyle skier as the face of their company.” // The Catalyst
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Why You Might Like It: I drink a lot of coffee. I don’t smoke or drink alcohol (asthma and allergies, respectively. Excuse me as I re-tape my nerd glasses) and I’m trying to cut down on soda, so coffee has become my only true vice. And as I’ve worked more from home, that vice has become increasingly elaborate. This is my current routine to make a vanilla latte that’s as good or better than any coffee shop in town:
- Brew a pot of coffee or, if you’re really feeling it, grind some fresh beans and use an Aeropress to make a double-shot of espresso.
- Put a thin layer of that DIY vanilla syrup (or Abuelita chocolate syrup or nothing, if you don’t like sweet in your coffee) at the bottom of your mug.
- Heat up a couple of ounces of whole milk (microwave for a minute is OK) and dump it into a manual milk frother (they look like little French presses and can be had for around $12). Give it a pump or 10, then pour on top of the coffee.
The only warning I have is that once you have the rhythm down, it’s very easy to accidentally make — and drink — five of them a day.
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So, that’s a wrap on another week and another Sunriser. The forecast calls for weekend weather that’s perfect for staying indoors and catching up on some of the great reading that may have eluded you during the week.
Thanks again for reading, supporting and sharing the work you see here with your friends, family and colleagues. Every new person who sees one of our stories or reads one of our newsletters is a potential new member, and we want to include as many Coloradans in our growing community as possible!
Have a great weekend!