Good morning! I hope everyone survived and thrived during the hottest weekend of the year (so far). Even during a heat wave, there’s no better place to be than this state, which I was reminded of when the Rube Goldberg machine I’ve rigged up to scan the internet for interesting news about Colorado served up something interesting from Tennessee.
This piece from TheChattanoogan.com sports-turned-travel writer Dan Fleser, who has some beautiful words about his trip to the Indian Peaks Wilderness — a “Whitman Sampler of what the state offers” — is a great way to reset your perspective. Sometimes you need to see our state through the eyes of someone who doesn’t have the luxury of popping into the high country for the weekend like we do.
My challenge to all of us is to make an effort this week (and beyond) to live up to Fleser’s headline all over the state, not just in the wilderness: “Colorado Never Disappoints.”
OK, you’re here for news, so let’s chase this ice cream truck already, shall we?
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>> ABOVE THE FOLD
Droves of passengers snake through a line for Denver International Airport’s south security checkpoint on Friday. The line was so long it spanned several baggage carousels. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
Quick, guess which day is the busiest single day in DIA history? If you’re like me (and you haven’t read the headline above), your brain jumped to the Christmas and Thanksgiving rush. In fact, the busiest day in the airport’s history was … a nondescript summer Friday.
>> CONSTRUCTION, SECURITY AND POOP BALLOONS We sent Jesse Paul to spend nine hours out at the airport to see how passengers and employees managed the record-breaking day, and just how normal breaking these records has become. I promise you will learn a thing or five about the airport by reading this piece.
A stretcher stands by as firefighters and paramedics work during a training scenario involving extraction from a vehicle in Sterling on July 17, 2019. (Austin Humphreys, Special to The Colorado Sun)
The thing about ambulances is that for them to be effective, you have to have them on call, 24/7. But in places like Holyoke, Sterling and Frisco, with lower populations, fewer emergencies and a scarcity of job applicants, local ambulance companies are changing their missions to include more services.
>> HOUSE CALLS, FIREFIGHTING AND MORE Michael Booth has the story of how these companies are fighting to stay solvent in already underserved rural areas.
It took an act of Congress to get two Colorado peaks named for renowned alpinist couple who died while climbing in Tibet
Getting two thirteeners in the Wilson Range southwest of Telluride named to honor Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff was a hike. (Photo provided by Steve Johnson)
Two of Colorado’s 13ers are now named for two of Colorado’s most accomplished alpinists, but it wasn’t easy.
>> A (VERY) RARE DISTINCTION Katie Klingsporn has the labyrinthine tale of the lengths a Telluride lawyer had to go to get the peaks named after the two climbers, making them the only two peaks in Colorado to earn their name through an act of Congress.
More from The Sun
- A U.S. appeals court sided with the Trump administration in a suit brought by environmental groups, who said the abandoning of an Obama-era proposal to make mining companies show they have the resources set aside to clean up pollution even if they declared bankruptcy and abandoned sites.
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>> FROM THE OPINION PAGE
- Mario Nicolais: Will political purity tests catch up to Colorado Democrats?
- Colorado Fiscal Institute’s Carol Hedges: Want to blame someone for our crumbling roads? Try TABOR.
- Diane Carman: The moon landing’s legacy: a generation with pie-in-the-sky ambitions.
- Boulder photographer Ning Mosberger-Tang: I’m an immigrant, but we all have a duty to speak up in the face of danger.
- Colorado environmentalist Megan Rast: It’s time for Colorado to adopt a standard for electric vehicles
- Tennyson Center CEO Ned Breslin: Their foster kids can be prone to violent outbursts, but these parents remain devoted. They need our help.
- Denver conservationist John Davenport: What’s good for the goose? Not a home in the city — and their presence isn’t so good for the rest of us, either.
- Mad Jack’s Mountain Brewery owners Jack and Allison Hansell: Land and water conservation fund is crucial to local Colorado businesses
- Global Energy Institute (part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) acting president Christopher Guith: It’s time to invest in the future. President Trump: Support Energy Innovation and Technology.
>> THE SHORTLIST
// Western Republican have decided that recalls — once reserved for corrupt or inept public officials — are just part of their political toolbox now as they lose the grip on power they once held in states like Colorado, Nevada and even California. // AP News
// This has been public for about a year, but it’s back in the news with this excellent first-person look at life as a delivery driver, here’s a reminder: If you use DoorDash and other delivery apps tip your driver in cash, every time. Why? DoorDash subtracts whatever you tip the driver in the app from the amount it pays the driver, literally pocketing the tip for themselves. // New York Times
// The debate over private prisons and immigration centers is turning into action in the financial sector: Bank of America, the second-biggest bank in the country, will no longer lend to private prison firms citing civil rights, joining JPMorgan and Wells Fargo. The Colorado Independent reports that PERA is invested in private prison firms, including GEO Group, which operates the large immigration detention center in Aurora. // Bloomberg, The Colorado Independent
// Xeriscaping is great on water, not so great on aesthetics, which is why CPR put together a great guide on how to go low-water without turning your whole yard beige. Related: Denver loves trees and wants more of them, but without changing the way we think about education and immigrant labor, we won’t have nearly enough arborists to keep up. // CPR News, Denverite
// Hey, remember the plan to look into importing prescription drugs from Canada to Colorado (and elsewhere in the U.S.) to offset the often insane prices here in the states? It doesn’t seem like anyone asked Canada about that plan. Reuters obtained some documents that indicate our neighbors to the north aren’t too happy with the idea. // The Colorado Sun, Reuters
// We can be worried about FaceApp and Facebook and Cambridge Analytica all we want, but did you know that your cell phone company is very likely selling your real-time location data some shady third-party companies, including people like Steve Bannon who tracked people who had been inside a Catholic church in Iowa to target them for political ads? // Slate, The Verge
// Hopefully someday soon, you will want to sit in the middle seat on an airline, and you can thank a Lakewood startup for the new staggered design. // Fast Company
// Wyoming, with dropping coal revenue, is looking at temporarily storing spent nuclear fuel in old uranium mines as a way to raise funds. // KUNC
// Colorado is just really good at making art depicting very large bears. The latest is a 15-foot grizzly in Telluride whose fur is made out of 187,000 pennies (here are a whole bunch of photos from the artists). // Telluride Daily Planet, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson Art
// Everyone made the same joke this weekend on Twitter, but here it is again: Colorado’s latest transplant is a real jerk. // Westword
// If you were in Fort Collins on Friday, I hope you got to say hi to The Fonz. // 9News
>> TODAY’S THING
The Thing: The Clearing (Subscribe links and info)
Why You Might Like It: I’ll admit it: I don’t like true crime stuff. Especially when it’s treated as entertainment. I’ve been in a newsroom since I was 21 and have a hard time separating the “narrative” from the actual human beings involved in the crimes, from those who were killed to the dozens of people left behind to grieve. But no matter how many tsk-tsks I direct into the ether, the genre has taken over cable TV, streaming services and especially podcasts in the wake of the megahit show “Serial.”
But “The Clearing,” a series that started last week, seems to be a little different. It’s the story, mostly, of a woman who suspected (and later confirmed) that her father committed several murders during her childhood and her reckoning with his horrible crimes — and the fact that the true-crime entertainment complex seized on a viral conspiracy theory that he was actually responsible for basically every unsolved murder from the Zodiac murders to JonBenét (Spoiler: Though the family very briefly lived in Brighton in the ‘70s, there is no possible way he had anything to do with the Ramsey murder). There are only two episodes out — so I reserve the right to retract this recommendation if it doesn’t keep it up — but it’s easily the smartest and most human take on true crime I’ve experienced yet.
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We will see you back here on Wednesday with more in-depth stories!