Roses in bloom at St. John's Cathedral in Denver on June 25, 2019. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

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

Good morning, folks, and happy Friday to all! I don’t want to get corny and spend this intro talking about the weather, but it’s going to be impossible to ignore the summer heat today. 

Drink lots of water, don’t forget the sunscreen and find someplace shady and/or air-conditioned to luxuriate in the stories in today’s Sunriser.

So, let’s prep the aloe vera for our inevitable sunburns, shall we?



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The Latest from The Sun


From “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” to a comic book baron: Denver’s scene is a lesson in drag diversity

Yvie Oddly performs during Denver PrideFest in Denver’s Civic Center on June 16, 2019. (Photo by Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

First, let’s just take a moment to appreciate that photo of Yvie Oddly by Andy Colwell. I don’t think The Sun has published a fiercer image. But don’t let the photography distract you from diving into Joanne Ostrow’s fun, educational look at the diversity in Denver’s drag scene (plus there are a lot more fun photos with the story).

>> THE LIBERATING CRAFT OF SELF-EXPRESSION Whether you don’t know a thing about drag or you’ve been hooked since “Paris is Burning,” you need to read this piece about 25-year-old Yvie Oddly, currently taking the world by storm, and forever-young Bettie Pages, 64, (aka Mile High Comics owner Chuck Rozanski.) You’ll be smiling a little bigger after reading it, I promise.


So how did Hick and Bennet do in the debate last night?

The 10 candidates, including Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, from the second of two Democratic presidential primary debates in Miami and hosted by NBC News. (Provided by NBC News)

Near each end of the debate stage in Miami last night stood men from Colorado trying to make the case that they should be president. If you missed it last night, Jesse Paul and John Frank boiled down the two-hour affair into an easy summary.

>> HICKENLOOPER HITS HIS MARKS, BENNET VS. BERNIE While neither Colorado candidate stole the show, each had their moments, including the former governor repeatedly touting his record in Colorado (while exaggerating a little) and Michael Bennet and his Senate colleague Bernie Sanders trading barbs over health care. Take 5 minutes to catch up here.

ALERT: This morning the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear the challenge to President Donald Trump’s decision effort to overturn the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. That could have big impacts for thousands of Colorado’s immigrants. The state’s Democratic attorney general is suing to prevent DACA from being unwound.


To appeal to calorie-counting drinkers, Colorado’s craft brewers are taking new approaches 

Brian Grace, head brewer at Thirsty Monk brewery in Denver, pours a “low-calorie ale” called Monk Lite. (John Frank, The Colorado Sun)

I’m sorry, I can’t get over the idea that a classic Belgian brewery in Colorado is serving something called “Monk Lite.” I just keep picturing a tonsured Belgian monk doing CrossFit and declining his daily bread with a demure “I’m watching my carbs.” But Monk Lite is just the tip of a trendy iceberg of “healthy” beer and hard seltzers that John Frank explored for The Sun.

>> COLORADO’S ACTIVE LIFESTYLE STILL WANTS TO PARTY If you’re looking to keep your summer bod while still tipping back a few, we’ve got the skinny on the hippest “low-cal” drinks in the state. 

  • Speaking of brewskis: Outdoor retailers are taking steps to reduce their impacts on the environment and climate. But their efforts are creative — like paper beer bottles ?? and waterless dye — as opposed to traditional steps, like buying carbon credits. 


More from The Sun

  • Boulder-based manufacturer Nite Ize, maker of phone mounts and specialty lights, got a major boost from Amazon this week when the pair joined forces in a lawsuit going after counterfeit creators. This is the latest step in a years-long saga for Nite Ize, which has been trying to cut down on counterfeit and knockoff products that are rampant on sites like Amazon. 
  • The popular Warren Gulch downhill mountain bike trail in Idaho Springs has been in use for 90 years — that is, until recently. Clashes over the route’s path through private property have led to its closure. Jason Blevins has the details and the potential remedies.
  • Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton’s seat in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District is likely the most competitive for Democrats next year. And they are going to have a primary battle after state Rep. Donald Valdez announced he is making a bid for the spot, news that was broken by The Sun.




The Fun Stuff


From our cartoon and book wrangler, Kevin Simpson:


// With Fourth of July festivities looming, Drew Litton was inspired to create a critical take on Colorado’s entries into the jam-packed Democratic presidential sweepstakes.

// The PERA portfolio took a big hit last year, which means more financial pain for those enrolled in the state retirement program. Leave it to Jim Morrissey to craft a painfully funny visual metaphor for the program’s ongoing struggles.

// In “What’d I Miss?” we see Myra, a 50-something with a 20-something’s mindset, dismissed by both generations


Sometimes choosing the week’s excerpt from the selections in the SunLit folder can be a daunting task. This was one of those weeks. So I asked my two sisters, visiting from out of town, to make the call. They’re both longtime members of multiple book clubs — one even worked several years at Borders before its demise — and have a discriminating eye. Narrowing the field separately, they each picked “Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption.” The raw, poignant account of author Susan Devan Harness’ last days with her adoptive father, and of the love-hate relationship she felt, touches on universal elements as well as some very particular facets of the father-daughter bond. It’s a fascinating read, as my big sisters will attest (thanks Pam and Dee).

And in the SunLit interview, the author explains how this book added humanity to the data-driven volume on transracial adoption she completed earlier. 

John Frank’s Beer Pick

If I had my pick, I’d visit Buena Vista this weekend for the Rapids & Grass Beer Festival on Saturday. And the hometown brewery, Eddyline, is serving a beer that’s on my wish list: Summer in the Citra. First crafted in New Zealand where the brewery’s founder lives, it’s now stateside as a seasonal offering. Packed with citra hops and a dash of New Zealand motueka hops, it’s bright with citrus and floral notes. Head that direction for the festival — one of my favorites — or look for Eddyline in cans closer to home.



// Oh hey, remember on Wednesday when I said that the House passed a $4.5 billion emergency aid package for the border full of stipulations on how children must be treated at the border? Well, just kidding. The Senate sent it back to the House, Democratic moderates united with Republicans to remove the restrictions and oversight provisions, and Nancy Pelosi capitulated (though freshman leadership, including Colorado’s Rep. Joe Neguse, voted against the bill.) Here’s a good breakdown of what the heck happened. // New York Times ?

// Sludge (a great resource for tracking money in politics) breaks down who is making money from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in every state, including here in Colorado. One of the interesting ones is a $3.9 million contract with Professional Bull Riders in Pueblo, to advertise for recruits. // Sludge, Splinter

// While we’re talking national political trends, most Americans believe we’re angrier than a generation ago and — much more worryingly — a growing number of people in America are saying they believe discrimination (against gays, transgender people, atheists, Muslims, Jews and African Americans) should be allowed. Yes, seriously. Here’s a fun chart to contemplate. // KUNC, The Washington Post 

// Back to Colorado: A major crash on Peña Boulevard on Sunday found dozens of drivers dutifully following their Google Maps detour suggestions straight into a muddy dirt road// Denver7

“Simply paying people more isn’t the answer. If you do that, you’re just going to drive up rental rates further and landlords are just going to get richer.”

— Jim Laing, Aspen Skiing Co.

// Aspen Skiing Co. is taking the bird’s eye view of the economy of their resort towns and arguing that building more housing is more effective than paying their employees more to compete for scarce inventory. // Aspen Times

// Summer break can interrupt crucial learning momentum for English language learners and struggling readers. Melanie Asmar explores how Denver is hoping to slow the “summer slide.” // Chalkbeat Colorado

// The Front Range has reached capacity for Canada geese (44,000 mating pairs of the little poop machines live here now), and Denver is trying a new form of management: Capturing, killing and eventually using the geese as food for hungry families. // Denverite

// Remember Nancy Lofholm’s story about the struggles of mountain town post offices? Fitting that theme, Colorado City residents will be driving a half-hour into Pueblo to get their mail after the town’s postal contractor decided not to renew its contract. // The Colorado Sun, Pueblo Chieftain// Interesting: CHSAA is now requiring all coaches to take mental health and suicide prevention courses, which may be one way to fight Colorado’s higher-than-average youth death rate. // 9News, The Colorado Sun




Today’s Thing


The Thing: Holey Moley (ABC, Hulu, probably somewhere on your TV) 

Why You Might Like It: I can’t exactly explain this. Maybe it’s because of how dark the news has been lately or the break in World Cup action leaving me jonesing for any high-drama athletic competition, but this extremely dumb show with with an extremely dumb premise has been a highlight of my week. It’s such a simple idea (adults fighting through an elaborate and showy mini-golf competition) that is just so well executed, from the American Ninja Warrior-style obstacles to the Howard Cosell-yellow sport coats worn by Rob Riggle and Joe Tessitore during their genuinely funny improv commentary. There are two episodes out now, with eight more on the way, and there are a lot worse ways to spend 40 minutes.

What’s your thing? What’s the TV show/dog toy/gardening hack/etc that you just can’t stop raving about? Send us an email at and you could be published in a future Sunriser! 



I swear the event horizon of holidays get longer and longer every year. We’re still six full days from the Fourth of July, but the senioritis is already in the air. So go enjoy your weekend as it blends into (what I hope) is a short week for you.

This is a bold statement, but one that I believe strongly: One of the most patriotic things you can do is support journalism. Helping people understand the forces at work in their government and society is the only way to preserve a true democracy.

So for those of you who are already members of The Colorado Sun: Thank you. And if you’ve been on the fence, it’s time to jump in. Head over to and become part of the solution.

Stay cool and I’ll see you back here on Monday!

— 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: