Good morning and happy Monday, folks! Here in Denver, it’s pretty cloudy out, which reminds me a lot of a morning 364 days ago when I stood next to my colleagues in Civic Center park and we announced The Colorado Sun to the world.
Our editor Larry Ryckman wrote a column reflecting on what we’ve been able to accomplish in this past year, including some new stats about the growth of The Sun community. We have more than 5,400 paying members — a number we are incredibly proud of and far beyond where we thought we’d be just nine months into publishing.
Our goal is to get that number over 6,000 before the end of this week and, as they say, many hands make light work, so no matter how you’re helping — joining, upgrading, spreading the word or getting a baby onesie (they really are super cute) — I want you to know that it’s making a huge difference for the future of journalism in Colorado.
OK, we’ve gone on plenty long enough. Let’s raise this barn already!
>> ABOVE THE FOLD
“In Colorado, we import a lot of very healthy and wealthy people. They move here from other places. We don’t really invest in the children and families in Colorado. We just don’t do right by the families who have been here for many generations.”
— Kellie Teter, maternal child health program manager at Denver Public Health
Colorado is among the wealthiest, healthiest states in the nation but has a higher teen and child death rate than the national average, a rate that has grown worse over the past two decades.
>> HOW BIRTH RATES, INEQUALITY AND MORE CONTRIBUTE Jennifer Brown reports that the primary reason for the rise in Colorado’s youth death rate is suicide, which reached a high in 2017 and is the leading cause of death for Coloradans ages 10-24. As Jen writes, there are many social factors affecting the health of Colorado kids.
How does Phil Weiser fit into the group of Democratic attorneys general out to combat the Trump administration?
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser in March at a news conference announcing a lawsuit against the Trump administration. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
From the moment he was sworn into office, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser has made it part of his job to join other attorneys general in lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s orders on everything from health care to immigration to abortion rights.
>> A QUESTION OF DUTY Jesse Paul takes a deep look at the work Weiser has done as part of a band of Democratic attorneys general who say it’s their responsibility to be a check on the executive branch. And, FWIW, observers say Republicans have done the same with Democratic presidents.
>> BONUS: Here are all the lawsuits against the Trump administration Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser has joined. We will be regularly updating that list throughout Weiser’s tenure, so keep it handy.
“My problem is not what I’m selling, it’s how do I get this information to the buyer?”
On the surface, it would make sense: Who better to run the executive branch of the country than someone who has experience running the executive branch of a state?
>> TOUGH SLEDDING FOR GOVERNORS But as Nicholas Riccardi and Bill Barrow report for The Associated Press, current and former governors — including John Hickenlooper and his anti-socialism message — are struggling to stand out in the Democratic presidential primary. Don’t forget, Hickenlooper and Sen. Michael Bennet both made it to the first debate stage, which could be a make-or-break moment for both of their campaigns.
>> FROM THE OPINION PAGE
- Mario Nicolais explores a little-heralded decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals that could set off a domino effect in the world of campaign finance, affecting groups from Colorado Pioneer Action to Planned Parenthood.
- Diane Carman takes a look at the warning signals coming from San Francisco and thinks it’s high time for Denver voters to start imagining a great city.
- Democrats might suggest that Sen. Cory Gardner “hates puppies and ice cream,” but U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, chairman of Colorado’s Republican Party, writes that Colorado “has a good one” in Gardner.
- For Father’s Day, Tom Downey reflects on “the quiet glory of pink laundry,” which for him is a totem for the joy of raising a daughter.
- Immigration authorities often fail to distinguish between the accused and the guilty, and that “severely hampers the justice process for all Coloradans,” Rebecca Galemba writes.
- Our opinion page continues the debate over electric vehicles in Colorado. Plug In America’s Joel Levin argues that the Colorado Auto Dealers Association is “peddling misinformation” about EVs while Sara Almerri, public affairs director for the Freedom To Drive Coalition (partially funded by CADA,) argues “There’s a better road to cleaner vehicles than California’s ZEV standard.”
>> THE SHORTLIST
// I’m 35 and just now making enough money to actually put some away for home ownership. In the 1970s and ’80s, I’d have been looking at about nine years of saving before I could put a down payment on a house in Denver.
But as The Atlantic reports, here in 2019, for someone making the median income in Denver, it would take them 22 years of saving 5% of their income to cover the down payment for a median-priced house. And that doesn’t include the fact that health care costs have spiked and new essential costs, like broadband internet and cell phone service (and student loan debt,) add costs for millennials that just didn’t exist for young people in 1975.
Denver’s number is scary, but it pales in comparison to the big three: San Francisco (40 years), Los Angeles (43 years) and New York (36 years). // The Atlantic
// Meanwhile, extending yourself to buy a home is not recommended by financial advisers. But it’s a really good investment in a place like San Francisco (or Denver?) where home prices keep rising. “Housing Can’t Be Both Affordable and a Good Investment” // CityLab
// A major lawsuit alleges that Porter Adventist Hospital in south Denver caused at least one death and “hundreds of severe infections” by using improper surgical tool sterilization techniques. // The Denver Post 🔑
// Confederate flags fly over the Colorado graves of Confederate soldiers. A Colorado Springs columnist digs into it. // The Gazette 🔑
// A Boulder-based pharmaceutical company has been scooped up by giant Pfizer. The price tag is going to make your eyes pop out of your head. // The Greeley Tribune
// Lakewood voters will soon decide whether to join other Colorado cities in limiting their housing growth. Unsurprisingly, developers are pouring money into efforts to stop the ballot question in a big way. // The Denver Post 🔑
// Remember that giant boulder that fell on a southwest Colorado highway? Well, “Memorial Rock” has become a royal pain for the people who live nearby. // CPR News
>> TODAY’S THING
The Thing: Going back to bar soap.
Why You Might Like It: Cast your mind back with me to the year 1997. As an impressionable 13-year-old, I saw a commercial for Zest Body Wash, where I was called a “chump” by the late NFL fullback Craig “Ironhead” Heyward for thinking that body wash was somehow less manly than bar soap (the whole commercial is a master class in toxic masculinity messaging.) But it worked, and I used body wash — complete with the thick plastic bottles it comes in — for the next 20+ years. But last year, after I had to toss yet another empty bottle, I decided to give good ol’ bar soap another try and I haven’t looked back. I’m a big fan of the Dove Minerals + Sage bar and recently I took a chance on some extremely-old-school Kirk’s castile soap and it’s been a revelation. Bar soap might not save the world, but it’s a quick way to reduce plastic waste — and it’s allowed in a carry-on!
I’ll bet you have 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 email@example.com and you could be published in a future Sunriser!
Thanks for spending some time reading this Sunriser to start your work week.
Getting useful journalism to Coloradans in all corners of the state is the reason we’re doing this. Your help on this mini membership drive is absolutely essential for the future of The Sun and our independent, reader-friendly mission. So here’s a quick reminder of how you can help:
- Become a member (or upgrade your current membership) at coloradosun.com/june.
- Get at least five people in your life to sign up for The Sunriser at coloradosun.com/newsletters.
- Buy a gift membership or some of our cool merchandise at coloradosun.com/store.
Thanks again and have a fantastic week. We’ll see you back here on Wednesday.