A sasquatch statue at Paulino Gardens in Denver, which is closing on July 28. No word whether this Bigfoot statue is still available or subject to any discounts. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

Compiled by Eric Lubbers, eric@coloradosun.com
CTO/Newsletter Wrangler, @brofax

Good morning and happy Wednesday! My dog is currently throwing a treat around the apartment to entertain himself, and I think he’s picking up on my cabin fever vibes. So I turn to you, dear readers, for help finding the best close-to-Denver spots for a weekend (or even just an afternoon) getaway for a journalist and a high-energy 15-month-old mini Australian Shepherd with mild motion sickness. My inbox is open.

We’ve got so much good stuff, from women’s full-contact football to fungus-threatened toads to what PERA’s bad year means for you (even if you aren’t a state worker), that we don’t want to putter around here.

So let’s chase this squirrel already, shall we?




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The Latest from The Sun


Editor’s note: I liked the quick-hit format of Monday’s newsletter, so we’re trying it again today. As always, I’d love your feedback on the format of The Sunriser, so shoot me an email with your thoughts. — Eric

NEW THIS MORNING: A September 2017 plane crash that killed a Fort Collins family of four was caused by the pilot’s decision to fly into weather he wasn’t rated to handle, federal investigators say.

Morgan Darden during practice as The Mile High Blaze prepared for their playoff game in St. Louis. (John Leyba, Special to The Colorado Sun)

  • “WE’RE NOT A WOMEN’S FOOTBALL TEAM. WE ARE A FOOTBALL TEAM.” While the nation is celebrating the triumphant USWNT for their World Cup victory, closer to home, women are donning helmets and pads and hitting the gridiron. Carol McKinley has a fascinating look at The Mile High Blaze and the Women’s Football Alliance — accompanied by photos from John Leyba and a couple of ’80s-Topps-inspired trading cards designed by yours truly.

A yearling boreal toad gets a shower after being found in an alpine wetland above Buena Vista. (Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun)

  • CUTE LITTLE TOAD, SERIOUS CONSERVATION WORK: The chytrid fungus is threatening amphibian populations around the world, including the once-prominent boreal toads that sleep under layers of mountain snow and emerge to spend the summer gobbling insects all over the high country. Jen Brown has the on-the-ground story of the effort to save the toads with a bath in bacterial “purple rain” wash (warning: there are some adorable photos on this story).

Beverly Kurtz, who lives near Gross Reservoir Dam, is fighting plans to raise the dam to increase capacity. (Chris Schneider, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“It appears to be a midnight patronage appointment with Marguerite Salazar leaving and going to a job in New Mexico. It appears she just gave this job to Chris without going through a posting and process. I think Chris’ job should be rescinded unless anybody can convince me that it wasn’t done improperly.”

— Kent Lund, Colorado Securities Commission board member


Breaking in here to remind you that if you’re not yet a Colorado Sun member, now is the time to step up and join us. Journalism like this is only made possible by support from like readers from you. So keep it coming by taking the quick and easy step of pitching in $5 a month: cosun.co/join


“It appears to be a midnight patronage appointment with Marguerite Salazar leaving and going to a job in New Mexico. It appears she just gave this job to Chris without going through a posting and process. I think Chris’ job should be rescinded unless anybody can convince me that it wasn’t done improperly.”

— Kent Lund, Colorado Securities Commission board member


Win/win: Sponsoring The Sunriser is a great way to support local journalism and get your message in front of the fastest-growing audience in Colorado. Email underwriting@coloradosun.com for rates.


// Here are a few big-picture pieces I found fascinating over the last few days:

// Speaking of housing, the proposal to build units to house 1,000 people by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless looks to be truly dead after a campaign against it by Lakewood residents and now a decision by a federal judge. // The Denver Post ?

// When talking climate change, many people immediately say “but what about overpopulation?” Climate reporter David Roberts explains exactly why it isn’t worth the discussion — including the slippery slope from “population control” to xenophobia and eugenics and the fact that there are much more useful strategies, including my favorite: “Female empowerment is the most effective carbon mitigation strategy”. // Vox

// CSU is growing all over the state. Kevin Duggan lays out how the university system is looking ahead with its familiar new chancellor. // Coloradoan ?

// Denver’s Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is still hard at work on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government — as we reported earlier this year — even as the evidence that a journalist was murdered on orders from the Saudi crown prince piles up. // The Colorado Sun, Washington Post

// Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora, is pushing for weekly visits to the privately run ICE detention center in Aurora as well as an end to all for-profit detention facilities. // Aurora Sentinel

// This is a fascinating look at the Arts District on Santa Fe and how success, the Gallagher amendment and gentrification can combine to target and slowly consume an arts community. // Westword 

// Everything must go at the iconic, beautiful Paulino Gardens, which is closing for good on July 28. I’m still waiting for the discount on this Sasquatch statue. // BusinessDen

// I keep repeating the phrase “smuggled drug-filled burrito” like a mantra after seeing this headline. // 9News




Today’s Thing


The Thing: Exponential View, a super-smart newsletter (read this week’s edition)

Why You Might Like It: Are you interested in how robots and automation will (and already are) impact the world? Or how the business of surveillance technology is spreading? Or do you just like thinking big thoughts about the future? Then Azeem Azhar’s weekly newsletter “Exponential View” is right up your alley. It’s written briskly but informatively and includes regular features like “Short morsels to appear smart at dinner parties” and a sterile-but-terrifying feature that simply reminds you of the current CO2 levels in the atmosphere, plus where that number was 12 months ago, 50 years ago and 250 years ago for context. It’s a great addition to your already superb taste in newsletters.

You’ve got a thing, I just know it. If you have something that you just can’t stop raving about share it with us at things@coloradosun.com and you could be published in a future Sunriser! 



Thanks for getting to the bottom of this newsletter with me. Reminder of your homework for the day:

  • Let me know what you think of the format of this newsletter (and what you’d like to see out of a newsletter like this). Email here.
  • Short drives from Denver to entertain an intrepid but carsick puppy. Email here.
  • Become a member of The Sun for as little as $5/month (or get four people to sign up for The Sunriser at coloradosun.com/newsletters if you’re already a member).
  • Take a breath and power through the rest of this week.

You can do it, I promise. Have a great day and we’ll see you on Friday.


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: eric@coloradosun.com...