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

Good morning and happy Monday, folks. I hope everyone took full advantage of a beautiful weekend (my quite-small dog used his to meet two somehow even smaller dogs, for example). But now that we are fully in the work week, we have a little bit of everything in today’s Sunriser, including one of the all-time great Colorado names in the form of state livestock brand inspector Spud Tharp.

So let’s quit dillydallying and brand these calves already, 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



Colorado cattle rustling’s colorful history helps modern brand inspectors keep up with a changing crime

Shane Schaneveldt, left, Spud Tharp, center, inspect cattle prior to an auction at the Producer’s Livestock Marketing Association Sale Barn in Greeley, on April 3, 2019. (Jeremy Sparig, Special to The Colorado Sun).

Here in 2019, cattle rustling may not seem like the most pressing issue. But for Colorado’s nearly 70 brand inspectors, rustling is not only still happening, but is just one part of the evolving world of agricultural crime.

>> Read Kevin Simpson’s fascinating dive into the modern world of cattle rustling — including how it overlaps with meth trafficking — here.  


Snow tires, chains or AWD are required on I-70 when it’s snowy. But motorists could soon need them all winter long

“Sometimes one side of (the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels) is spring and the other side of Eisenhower is a whiteout. You can’t react in that amount of time — instantaneously putting on snow tires. Winter can come at any moment.”

— Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail

Here’s some news you can use: It’s already the law to have some kind of grip-assist to drive I-70 in the mountains when snow is actually falling and CDOT enacts its traction law. But as Jesse Paul explains, a bill that is almost through the legislature would make that requirement for snow or shine, all winter long.

>> Read more about the particulars of the bill — including how checkpoints could be part of enforcement — here.


Colorado may make it tougher to get vaccine exemptions, but abandons “really aggressive option”

Back in February, John Frank wrote about Colorado’s lowest-in-the-nation rate of vaccination for kindergarten students and the lawmaker/ER nurse who proposed legislation to eliminate many of the personal exemptions that fueled the state’s low rate. But State Rep. Kyle Mullica’s legislation, officially introduced last week, has softened since February.

>> Read John Frank’s breakdown of what’s changed in the legislation and why here.


More from The Sun


From the Opinion Page



“It would be comical if it weren’t so Orwellian.”

— Mario Nicolais, on Rep. Patrick Neville (the highest-ranking Republican in the state House) complaining that he has to “battle constantly against these establishment Republicans.”


// This is one of my favorite pieces I’ve read all year. If you’ve ever been near Park Avenue and East 18th Avenue in Denver after sundown, you’ve seen a loft emanating an unearthly pink. I personally spent many stops at that stoplight staring as non-creepily as possible into the windows for clues to the owner. But David Sachs and Kevin Beaty at Denverite did one better: They just went and talked to the loft’s fascinating owner and got some breathtaking photos of the incredible interior. // Denverite

// Did you catch our piece on the rise of the aluminum can in craft brewing last week? Quartz had a look at some of the cool engineering going into the modern cans, from a fully topless container to the return of the churchkey for some reason. // The Colorado Sun, Quartz

// Much of the talk of recalls in Colorado politics has been focused on the red flag gun bill and oil and gas regulation. But up in Estes Park, a group of residents are collecting signatures to recall the mayor and mayor pro tem, in part, for alleged conflicts of interest around a proposed mountain roller coaster on the mayor pro tem’s property. // Coloradoan ?

// The old Cottrell Clothing Company building, one of the most historic buildings still on the 16th Street Mall, saw the “Only in Colorado” gift shop — its final tenant — close shop. The developer who owns the building and the small parking lot behind it says he expects to raze the building and redevelop the plot. // BusinessDen

// This is a cool feature on the Florida native who is pushing for zero injuries at Steamboat Resort. // Summit Daily

// You’ve probably already heard that the long-delayed light rail G line from Denver through Wheat Ridge will finally open this month. But if you’re like me, you hadn’t heard its clever nickname before: “the train to the grain.” // 9News

// OK, this seals the deal. I need to finally go eat at Comal. While you wait for me to report back, check out this cool feature about the “food incubator” that is helping refugees support themselves while slinging their delicious food. // Food & Wine Magazine


Today’s Thing



The Thing: A couple of really beautiful maps for your walls (Raven Maps & Images)

Why You Might Like It: I’ve been in full spring-cleaning mode for the past few weeks with an eye for decrapifying that would make Marie Kondo blush. Part of getting rid of a whole lot of stuff is that you end up with empty space and a desire to give everything an aesthetic refresh. I love maps as art, and there are no better maps out there than the ones made by Raven Maps & Images. And just recently, they debuted the stunning map of the four states that make up the Colorado River basin you see above, which you can hang on your wall for under $100. But if you don’t want to spend that much (or just want Colorado) they have a gorgeous $40 shaded elevation map of our beautiful state that I’m sure can dress up some part of your home or office.

GOT A THING? 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!

That’s it for today! We have a big week of stories lined up, so make sure to check back here on Wednesday for more.

And in the meantime, tell a friend or two about The Sun and get them signed up for a free newsletter at Readers like you help us get more readers like you, which helps us make more journalism for readers like you! (Become a member here.) It’s a cycle where everyone wins.

Have a great Monday!

— 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: