Colorado Parks and Wildlife senior aquatic biologist Josh Nehring holds a cutthroat Monday, July 1, 2019, before placing it in Cottonwood Creek in the mountains southwest of Westcliffe. (Mark Reis, special to The Colorado Sun)

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

Good morning! It’s July 3rd and I swear I can already smell the burgers and sweet corn on the wind. Here’s your reminder that fireworks are still pretty much entirely illegal in Colorado and that there are plenty of legal displays on the Front Range and in the mountains (and probably one in your town if you’re not in either of those regions) if you’re looking for that smoky thrill.

We’re going to knock this Sunriser out in a hurry so you can wrap up your preholiday tasks.

But before you check out for the weekend, do something great for your community take a minute to help keep our democracy healthy by supporting local journalism. Head to right now (before life gets in the way) to become a member of The Colorado Sun for as little as $5 per month.

Let’s spark this Roman candle already, shall we?



Are you planning an event in Colorado? If you want to get your event in front of the fastest-growing, most-engaged audience in the state, consider a placement in The Colorado Sun’s newsletters. Email for rates and availability.




The Latest from The Sun


These cutthroat trout survived in only one Colorado creek, until it was choked out by wildfire ash

Colorado Parks and Wildlife hatchery technician Billy Krall watches as cutthroats are poured from a net Monday, July 1, 2019, before being carried to Cottonwood Creek in the mountains southwest of Westcliffe. (Mark Reis, special to The Colorado Sun)

Can trout be cute? Because that’s been one of the most frequent responses to Jennifer Brown’s fascinating story about how a particular subspecies of Colorado cutthroat trout survived after a wildfire choked the one creek they lived in (and I guess this one is a little cute).

>> PARK RANGERS, MULES AND DEDICATION Jen and photographer Mark Reis tagged along as 4,500 of the young trout were carefully transported more than 5 miles from a hatchery truck to a fresh stream in custom saddlebags carried by a pair of mules, named Jenny and Tuco. This is a really great story of conservation and ingenuity.


Gardner, Trump remain out of favor with large swath of Colorado voters

“The number that I see in this poll that’s the worst for him is this 25% very unfavorable (portion) towards Cory Gardner versus only 11% very favorable. That’s kind of a bump up from what I’ve seen in terms of voters being very unfavorable towards him.”

— Chris Keating of Telluride-based Keating Research on his firm’s new poll

The latest major poll of Coloradans shows a steep cliff for Cory Gardner to climb to reelection, and 48% of respondents saying they would give President Trump a “D” or an “F” on his job performance.

>> STRONG SUPPORT FOR ABORTION RIGHTS, STRIKING PARTY SPLIT ON TRUMP The poll showed strong support for abortion rights in the state and a remarkable split between the way that Republican and Democratic voters view the president. Click through for more analysis.

// Former Gov. John Hickenlooper was urged by his staff to ditch his run for the presidency and enter the race against Cory Gardner during an exodus of some of his top staff members this week.

// WATCHDOG: Gov. Jared Polis hired a team at the firm of Squire Patton Boggs — which includes a former top adviser to his campaign — to lobby the federal government with a contract worth up to $144,000 per year. Sandra Fish has more on the contract.


Campers now want more than just a tent. One Colorado campground is leaning into those changing tastes — and shorter attention spans.

A guest bounds up a wall at Jellystone Park Camp-Resort near Estes Park as the sun sets on June 29, 2019. (Andy Colwell, Special to the Colorado Sun)

Like Fruity Pebbles and the floppy disk “save” icon, Jellystone has outlived its origins. Monte Whaley looks at how the chain of “camp-resorts” around the country, including three in Colorado, has adapted to the new demands of campers young and old — despite most of the young campers having no idea who Yogi Bear is.

>> MORE KARAOKE, FEWER PIC-A-NIC BASKETS As interest in camping surges from all walks of life, just pitching a tent isn’t cutting it for many cost-conscious families. (Don’t miss Andy Colwell’s photos of campers having a grand ol’ time)


More from The Sun

“Maybe it was bad luck. Whatever you want to say. I’ve got insurance and I hope that’s enough.”

— Al Harper, speaking to The Colorado Sun last summer after the 416 Fire broke out




Modworks is co-working for the modern professional and a proud supporter of The Colorado Sun. Take a look at the available spaces.



// Well, Lakewood did it. The fifth-largest city in Colorado voted to approve a cap on growth to fight a perceived “loss of character” and infrastructure strain in a special election. Donna Bryson breaks down the measure, including why scholars who study growth point to Boulder — with its housing shortages, spiking costs and roads clogged with people commuting to work from more affordable areas — as an example of what happens when cities try to artificially cap growth instead of more aggressively manage the inevitable changes. // Denverite

// An HOA in Parker has asked its neighbors to forgo fireworks out of respect for students who experienced the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch, sparking a divided response. // Denver7

// There has been a lot of news on the immigration front lately. Here’s a quick rundown:

// The Washington Post reports that the National Park Service will be using $2.5 million of its fee revenue to fund President Trump’s July Fourth party in D.C. It’s not like the NPS has anything better to spend that money on — I mean, outside of the $12 billion in backlogged repairs to the country’s parks. // WaPo, Pew Charitable Trusts

// That’s a shocking headline: “One-third of this year’s U.S. fatal skydiving accidents occurred in Longmont.” // Longmont Times-Call

// The person who is suspected of vandalizing BookBar ahead of the Denver bookstore’s drag storytime is in custody. The bookstore posted a lighthearted response with a less-funny-but-very-relevant list of book recommendations, including Madeline Albright’s “Fascism: A Warning.”  // 9News, BookBar Blog

// Colorado’s rivers are dangerous enough without people trying to do things like drive a Jeep across them (if you haven’t seen this video yet, prepare to shake your head in disbelief.) Meanwhile, a guide had to rescue some rafters on the Poudre River who weren’t wearing lifejackets. // Dolores Journal, YouTube, 9News 

// Colorado’s red flag gun law doesn’t take effect for months, but some sheriffs — like Weld County’s Steve Reams — are still beating their drums about possibly defying the law in their counties. // KUNC

// A heartfelt congratulations to The Colorado Peaches, our state’s senior women’s softball team, for their silver medal performance at the National Senior Games in Albuquerque. According to team member Fran Simon, the team’s coach did all of her coaching via FaceTime from the hospital where she was recovering from surgery on her hip! Head over to for more information on how to get involved or support the team.




Today’s Thing


The Thing: Spicy Texas Caviar (recipe)

Why You Might Like It: It’s fully barbecue season, and if you’re panicking over what to bring to a potluck over the holiday weekend, you can’t go wrong with Texas Caviar. Is it a dip? Sure! Is it a salad? Kinda! A little bit of chopping and a lot of can opening is all you need to make a giant bowl that is a perfect complement to the rest of your salty/savory spread. Just don’t skimp on the jalapeños or the red wine vinegar! You don’t want it to end up too sweet!

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! 



You did it! You’re that much closer to the start of your long weekend.

Programming note: We will not have a Sunriser this Friday (our very first break in more than a year!) but if you haven’t already, head to your newsletter preferences and sign up for the Daily Sun-Up, our daily headlines email that hits inboxes at 6 a.m. Mountain Time every day without fail.

That’s it for us until Monday when we will be back with more important journalism from across Colorado. 

Here’s your reminder to step up and become a Colorado Sun member (here!) before you head out to enjoy the long holiday weekend. It’s quick, easy and will immediately have an impact on people around the state.

We’re a little biased, but we think it’s the best Independence Day deal out there. 

Wherever your heading off to, make sure to tell your friends and family about the Sun and why you value our work. It’s as good a time as any to remind you that we’re all in this together. 

Have a great weekend, everybody. 

— 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: