Good morning and happy Earth Day! It seems weird to focus a single day on contemplating the Earth, considering it’s where we keep all our stuff. If you consider the jump in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere since the first Earth Day in 1970, there’s a good argument that we should be thinking about it pretty much all the time.
We’ve covered the close-to-home aspects of the environment and climate change here at The Sun, from “last descents” of melting, classic ski runs to hard numbers about how far Colorado has to go to reach some aggressive emissions goals to covering Colorado’s recycling woes and much more. Just today, we have a story on the evolution of electric car etiquette in our state and the state Senate is considering a bill that would ban restaurants from using Styrofoam containers (keep an eye on coloradosun.com for more on that bill).
But while it might be tempting to pin your hopes to some kind of magic-bullet solution, one of the most important things you can do is realize that curbing climate change isn’t going to come from a single action or technology (sorry, Hyperloop), but through thousands (millions?) of small actions, from the personal choices you make every day to empowering leaders who will take the biggest emissions sources and infrastructure issues seriously around the world. So it’s not hopeless — yet — but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.
Let’s plant this tree already, shall we?
Time running out on our membership deal
We’ve extended our discount deal on new annual memberships with The Colorado Sun for one more day!
Support independent, thoughtful journalism for the entire state of Colorado for as little as $5 a month. For a limited time, get a 10% discount on all annual memberships and our Newsletters+ membership that gives you access to our Tuesday politics newsletter, The Unaffiliated, and our Thursday outdoors newsletter, The Outsider.
Just head over to coloradosun.com/join and plug in the code BIGREADER to get the discount (good through 5 p.m. Tuesday, so don’t wait!).
>> ABOVE THE FOLD
As mountain suicides soar, Vail Health is committing $60 million to mental health care in Eagle County
One in four
That’s the number of seventh and eighth graders in Eagle County who had considered suicide, according to a recent survery. That’s in addition to the overall county population’s 324 suicide attempts last year, nearly one every day. But, as Jason Blevins writes, attempts to fight the behavioral health crisis got a big boost in funding — and a sense of urgency — from Vail Health.
There’s legislation at the Colorado Capitol to prevent law enforcement from working on behalf of ICE. And Gov. Polis is concerned.
Gov. Jared Polis made it one of his campaign promises not to make Colorado a “sanctuary state.” Then, this session, he issued a policy memo about a bill that would prevent local governments from working with federal immigration officials and said he would potentially veto the measure as it was first introduced. As Jesse Paul writes, even though the bill has lost some of the most sweeping provisions, the governor is still apprehensive — though starting to warm up to the measure as more and more of it gets cut.
So what is an “ICEhole” and what does it have to do with electric car charging?
Arriving at night at the Residence Inn in Glenwood Springs, Tesla owner Sean Mitchell was miffed that all the charging stations were occupied by gasoline vehicles. (Provided by Sean Mitchell)
Switching gears from one ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to another (Internal Combustion Engine), Tamara Chuang tells the (frankly insane) story of the collision between automobile cultures. Electric vehicles can’t just gas up and drive away, so access to charging stations is essential to keep them on the road. And, whether through ignorance (or arrogance in one notable case), some traditional vehicles are blocking charging stations. And yes, this story includes a state lawmaker lamenting the lack of legally protected parking spots for her big, gas-burning vehicle.
More from The Sun:
- Michael Bennet’s prostate cancer surgery was deemed a success, which means, if he follows through on his pre-surgery statements, he’s running for president.
- Immigration authorities have made it even more clear that anyone who works in the marijuana industry — including Colorado’s legal industry — can be denied U.S. citizenship.
>> THE OPINION PAGE
- From Boulder photographer and Indivisible Colorado organizer Ning Mosberger-Tang on the passage of the oil and gas regulation bill: “This is how democracy works in Colorado”
- Dan Baer, recently in the running to face U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner next year, argues that there should be a system to require a year of national service from every young American.
- Mario Nicolais on the “Holy Week miracle at Notre Dame” and his own experience as a student when Columbine went from being just a rival high school to being a symbol.
- Diane Carman connects the story of the Columbine killers to the young woman whose own suicidal ideas shut down Colorado schools.
- State Reps. Serena Gonzales and Brianna Titone, both Democrats, make the case for a bill tackling aspects of the affordable housing crisis.
- Denver Health officials, including the chief medical officer, argue for the reauthorization of Colorado’s Professional Review Act, which allows health professionals to candidly evaluate their peers. The idea is to help improve care.
- Rev. Amanda Henderson, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, lays out her support of the family leave bill up for debate at the statehouse.
- The CEO of Mental Health Colorado and the director of a children’s nonprofit write in support of a House bill that would help extend substance abuse treatment for women after giving birth.
>> THE SHORTLIST
// Home Depot has a contract to put a new store on a plot of prime transit-adjacent land in Denver. Neighbors aren’t happy about the wasted potential, but the store is considering adding apartments to its roof to help create “the most urban Home Depot” in the country. // Denverite
// Colorado is doing more surprise emissions inspections at oil and gas sites — but the small staff of regulators can’t keep up with the industry identified by the state as the biggest source of smog and methane. // The Denver Post 🔑
// The University of North Dakota campus has been “chaotic” since the college’s president, Mark Kennedy, was named the sole finalist to lead the University of Colorado system, according to this article from the North Dakota side of things. Meanwhile, the controversy over Kennedy’s nomination is further highlighting Colorado’s uniquely political board of regents and adding scrutiny to his past voting record and current positions on things like affirmative action. // Jamestown Sun, The Denver Post 🔑, CPR News
// NIMBYism is a problem for any new development, but up in Fort Collins, neighbors were up in arms against *checks notes* a new child care center? // Coloradoan 🔑
// Were you looking for an excellently written longread about the intersection of Chip and Joanna Gaines, Baylor University and the powerful Antioch Community Church that is slowly taking over civic positions and transforming Waco, Texas? If so, I’ve got just the link for you. // BuzzFeed News
// A good reminder to get your pets microchipped: A puppy stolen from a backyard in Florida was found injured and malnourished in a stranger’s yard in Hugo, out on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, nearly two years later. The pooch was reunited with her family in Fort Lauderdale just in time for Easter. // The Miami Herald
// Speaking of dogs, let’s end this section with a video of Australian shepherds leaping like hyperactive, furry dolphins through fields of mallow. // @changalaaussies on Instagram
>> TODAY’S THING
Why You Might Like It: You’ve definitely been in at least one of the following places: Sitting at the bar at a restaurant/coffee shop/watering hole. Inside a public bathroom. Camping. Literally anywhere outside the house with a baby.
The one thing you need in each one of these situations is a place to hang your purse/backpack/jacket/diaper bag that isn’t either the ground (see: public bathroom) or awkwardly draped on a chair (see: crowded restaurant). The Clipa2 (on the left) and the HeroClip (on the right) are just small enough to leave clipped to your go-to bag (be it your purse, a diaper bag or, in my case, a heavy hybrid backpack/camera bag), strong enough to hang just about anywhere and cheap enough to not worry too much if you lose it. That freedom seems like a small thing, but once you get a taste of it, you’ll wonder how you did without it. (Note on the differences: the Clipa2 is simpler, more stylish and rated for up to 33 pounds, whereas the HeroClip has a more elaborate mechanism and can hold 50 pounds but is also a little more expensive and looks like a carabiner.)
What’s your thing? 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!
And that concludes your Earth Day edition of The Sunriser. As a digital-only news outlet that does a lot of telecommuting, we’re a pretty green little organization, if I do say so myself.
If you’re still on the fence about becoming a member to support our journalism, you still have a little time to get in our Big Reader discount over at coloradosun.com/join (just use the discount code BIGREADER before 5 p.m. Tuesday). Hurry before it expires!
But either way, go hug a tree or high-five a bald eagle or whatever you do to celebrate Earth Day and we’ll see you back here on Wednesday.