A sign at the Jackson Lake State Park boat ramp. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

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

Good morning, folks! There are a few things I hope for you today: First, that you had a good, relaxing weekend, and second, that your commute does not involve eastbound U.S. 36, which is literally still collapsing this morning. This landslide under the turnpike is the latest side effect of the state’s wet winter, and something tells me it won’t be the last.

We have some truly fascinating stuff for you today touching on forensic environmentalism, a tense political battle and a method of addiction treatment most people don’t consider.

So let’s inflate this paddleboard already, shall we?




The Latest from The Sun


How exercise is helping extreme athletes and others in Colorado battle addiction

Destiny Trujillo stretches as she prepares to lift during her workout at The Phoenix Gym. (Joshua Polson, Special to The Colorado Sun)

An underrated obstacle to addiction recovery is boredom. The use of drugs and drinking is often associated with friends and events, and giving that up for sobriety can be as hard as the physical symptoms of withdrawal. In an engrossing longread, Sun contributor Dan England explores the connection between extreme endurance athletes and addiction.

>> NOT JUST FOR EXTREME ATHLETES While some ultramarathoners have histories of addiction, Dan also explores a more accessible method of using exercise to battle addiction through facilities like The Phoenix Gym in Denver, which has a very specific entry fee: 48 hours of sobriety.


Acres of destruction left by Colorado’s historic avalanche season are also delivering climate change evidence

Two student researchers were sent with chainsaws to a debris field above Silverton to collect tree-ring specimens for dendrochronologists looking for data. (Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun)

The devastating avalanche season in Colorado left scars that will mark the state’s landscape for years. But a silver lining to the destruction may come from climate change researchers.

>> THE DATA IN THE RINGS Joe Purtell writes about the sudden and massive new data set — in the form of downed trees — that climate researchers can use to understand how climate and avalanche cycles intersect. This story is fascinating, and Nina Riggio’s photos put the scale of destruction into context.


A question to repeal national popular vote compact in Colorado is poised for 2020 ballot

“I don’t want mob rule. I want to function as a republic.”

—Ann Howe, of Monument, who signed the petition to repeal Colorado’s national popular vote compact
“… The Electoral College system is kind of an antiquated, undemocratic concept.”

— Gov. Jared Polis, to a luncheon of business leaders

John Frank explains the current state of the fight to repeal the Colorado law that — if enough other states join the same compact — would award the state’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

>> REPEALS, PHILOSOPHICAL BATTLES AND MARGARINE The repeal effort says they already have enough signatures to get the challenge on the 2020 ballot (which still must be certified by the Secretary of State) but John’s piece explains just how it fits into an already contentious election cycle — and includes the fun fact that the last law repealed by Coloradans was a tax increase on oleomargarine in the midst of the Great Depression.


More from The Sun




From the Opinion Page




// The Trump administration said ICE “raids” would take place around the country this weekend, but in the Denver metro area and most other major cities, there seems to be no evidence that any such action took place. // 9News

// Here are three stories that are all part of the same narrative:

// Vesicular stomatitis, a virus that can infect horses, donkeys, mules, cattle, swine and yes, even humans — is hitting Weld County the hardest of anywhere in the country. // Greeley Tribune

// The bigwigs at the top of Colorado’s largest oil and gas producer stand to get some shockingly huge golden parachute payments when the company’s merger with Occidental closes. // Denver Business Journal ?

// The felony case against two Realtors accused of operating a short-term rental out of a non-primary residence is proceeding in Denver, and more charges are expected. // Denverite

// It’s been legal to use greywater (the waste water from your shower, sink and washing machine) for things like gardens in Colorado since 2013. So why isn’t the state doing anything with it? // CPR News

// The second episode of “On Something” the CPR/NPR podcast about the untold stories of the world of legal marijuana is out, and it’s on a subject I am personally fascinated by: the “legal hangover” of marijuana arrests from before pot was legalized. It’s a good episode. // On Something




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Today’s Thing


Iggy, just before enjoying his first doggy paddle.

The Thing: Jackson Lake State Park (more info)

Why You Might Like It: I received so many great suggestions about short-drive, dog-friendly destinations (I’m working on a bigger list to publish soon) but one thing they all had in common was the compass direction: Drive west from Denver. But thanks to an invitation from my sister (hi Emma!) visiting from Texas, I took Iggy east to Jackson Lake State Park on Sunday, and it was a great (if too short) experience. There are campsites aplenty, big sandy swim beaches with warm water and plenty of fishing if you’ve got the knack for it. All within an easy drive (just over an hour, depending on city traffic) northeast of Denver. I will definitely be returning soon for a lot longer than an afternoon.

Share your thing! You definitely have some thing that you can’t stop raving about. Share it with the world and send us an email at things@coloradosun.com and you could be published in a future Sunriser! 



You made it to the bottom of a Sunriser, which is, in my humble opinion, a great way to start your week. 

We say it in every newsletter, but only because it’s important: You, the person reading this newsletter, are the most powerful marketing tool that The Colorado Sun has. You can help us grow our community by sharing the stories you read here today with the people in your life you know would be interested (and encouraging everyone to sign up for The Sunriser at coloradosun.com/newsletters for a 3x weekly dose of thoughtful Colorado news). 

Have a great week and we’ll see you on Wednesday!

— Eric

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...