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

Happy Worst Holiday of the Year, everyone! Even though I think I’ve said this every year I’ve been writing newsletters, 2019 seems like an even worse time for April Fool’s Day. A holiday that years ago ditched Saran-wrapped toilet seats and Kool-Aid powder in shower heads for tech companies and corporate brands competing with each other to make The Most Viral Lie just leaves a bad taste in my mouth (especially as misinformed, sloppy or maliciously false ideas are being amplified all 365 days of the year). I’m not against anyone having a good time, it just feels like a holiday based on lighting matches in the middle of a tinder-dry forest.

So as an antidote, we have a newsletter chock-full of prank-free news about our state — complete with a tank rolling through LoDo.

Let’s retread this Pershing, shall we?


The Latest from The Sun



A World War II tank gunner with a story to tell rolled into downtown Denver to pay respects to the general he revered

WWII re-enactors prepare to roll through LoDo in front of Union Station on March 30, 2019, as part of a ceremony honoring Cpl. Clarence Smoyer. Smoyer served with Gen. Maurice Rose, the war hero and namesake of Denver’s Rose Medical Center — originally General Rose Memorial Hospital. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

If you were hanging out in LoDo on Saturday morning, you may have seen some soldiers in full World War II battle dress mingling among the tourists grabbing brunch at Denver Union Station. Those re-enactors were there to pay homage to Cpl. Clarence Smoyer, a tank gunner who served with Denver’s Gen. Maurice Rose on the 74th anniversary of Rose’s death, which occurred just weeks before the end of the war. Kevin Simpson has a great story about Smoyer’s role in the final push into Cologne (including some incredible newsreel footage of Smoyer in action) and his intersection with one of Denver’s most revered military heroes.

>> Get to know the “Spearhead” unit and see more photos from the event here.


Jared Polis won’t get one top priority this session: his income tax cut

“We pay too much because special interests get too much in tax breaks. We effectively subsidize big business at the expense of small business.”

— Gov. Jared Polis, speaking to the National Federation of Independent Business

The promise of a statewide income tax cut quickly became one of Gov. Jared Polis’ top priorities in the early days of his term in office. But in an interview with The Colorado Sun, he said that getting it done before the end of the session on May 3 just isn’t going to happen.

>> Read John Frank’s breakdown of the issue, from opposition within his party to the thorny nature of rolling back popular tax breaks to pay for it.


The oil and gas bill is just about finished. Here’s a look at the concessions the industry won in the process.

The oil and gas reform bill that is nearing approval in the statehouse looks a little different than the one first proposed. Three major changes to the bill, advocated by the oil and gas industry, have made the new regulations a little bit more friendly to drillers.

>> Read about each of the three big changes — as well as the one big change the GOP did not get — here.


More from The Sun

“We need to teach them how to spell r-e-c-a-l-l.”

— Rep. Ken Buck


From the Opinion Page



[Hickenlooper] never denied any of this. He just didn’t mention it, apparently counting on Colorado’s decimated newspaper industry to keep his secret.

— Dave Krieger on John Hickenlooper’s record in Colorado.

// Dave Krieger on John Hickenlooper’s op-ed against the Green New Deal:  Is Hick running from his record on fracking?

// Mario Nicolais looks at the new normal of recalls — once a matter of last resort — in Colorado politics.

// Jade Woodard of Illuminate Colorado makes a research-based argument that paid family leave plans, like the bill working through the legislature, prevent the maltreatment of children.

// Jake Lilly, a prosecutor in Colorado’s Fifth Judicial District, writes that equal pay for equal work would be a strong move to pull Colorado women and children out of poverty and make it easier for them to leave domestic violence situations.

// Denver Public Schools superintendent Susan Cordova describes universal kindergarten as “an investment that pays off.”

// Corinne Platt, the mayor of Ophir, says that David Bernhardt’s scrapping of the sage grouse plans is wrong for Colorado and the West.

Reminder: We’re looking for opinion contributions about Colorado from all across the ideological spectrum. Shoot us an email at if you have a letter, column or idea about a thinker we should reach out to.


// Yesterday was Cesar Chavez Day in Denver, and as Kevin Beaty writes, politicians from Gov. Polis to just about every Denver mayoral candidate rolled through Su Teatro for the event that included a lot of conversation about immigration and income inequality. // Denverite

// The star of this look at Greeley’s Ultimate Indoor Garage Sale is definitely the heart-shaped lamp made from a real elk leg. How romantic! // Greeley Tribune ?

// The brawl between photographers who strictly document reality in sharp, unflinching detail and those who use modern tools to create works of abstracted beauty is on full display in Denver, writes Ray Mark Rinaldi. // The Know

// The CEO of a Denver company that sells food storage and other survivalist gear to preppers around the country got unusually honest about his business with BusinessDen: They’re downsizing because with President Trump in the White House, their demographic isn’t preparing for disaster like they were under Obama. // BusinessDen

// The City of Denver quietly rebooted the expansion of the Colorado Convention Center after the scandal surrounding private contractors accused of wrongdoing in the bidding process for the huge project. // The Denver Post ?// This is one of the most fascinating stories in tech right now and it doesn’t get nearly enough attention: Elizabeth Warren has become the highest profile politician to endorse a “Right-to-Repair” law for tractors and other farm equipment that can force farmers to spend huge amounts of money at dealerships to fix equipment broken by bad software (instead of fixing it themselves, like they used to). // Motherboard


Today’s Thing



The Thing: “Faces Places” (Watch it on Netflix)

Why You Might Like It: Agnès Varda, the mother of the French New Wave, died last week. I’ll be the first to admit that my dip into the appreciation of that movement didn’t involve her enough, but it was her last film, “Faces Places” — made with the wheatpaste artist JR — that was my introduction to her. The documentary, in which Varda and JR travel through rural France creating giant works of art that reflect the real stories of the people they meet, is a master showcase of creativity and what so many of the obituaries for Varda have made her defining characteristic: naked, unflinching empathy. This a good one to put on when you just need to watch something pleasant and nourishing.

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!

Thanks for making it to the bottom of the newsletter! Here’s where I usually remind you that for us to keep serving the Colorado community, we need not only your direct support, but for you to help us spread the word. That all still applies (and we’ve got a new page you can share with your friends and family so they can get The Sunriser:, but I just wanted to take a quick moment to congratulate my dad, Jack Lubbers, on his induction into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Saturday.

It’s an honor that couldn’t be more fitting for someone who has dedicated his entire life — more than 30 years of coaching athletes in Yuma and all over the Eastern Plains — to helping kids turn into better adults through sports. Congratulations, Dad!

OK, have a good week and we’ll see you back here on Wednesday.

— Eric

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: