Runners in the Team Prep distance running camp take a post plunge in the icy waters of Coal Creek as it flows through Totem Park in Crested Butte. The icing, sitting waist deep for 15 minutes, is a twice-a-day ritual for members of Team Prep. (Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun)

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

Good morning! You made it to Friday, and I don’t want to take up too much of your time as you prep for the weekend. Before we dive directly into stories ranging from athletic wunderkinds in the high country and alcohol-free cocktails here in the city, I want to point you to an interesting project.

The New York Times is looking to catalogue the street-level effects of the weakening of local news. They have an open-ended survey on their site right now, looking to hear how people are getting their local news. Colorado is lucky enough to be home to a lot of hard-scrapping news organizations, but we all know the battle is far from over.

If you have something to contribute to that survey, I’d love it if you emailed it to me as well. Hearing feedback from readers on how media (including us) are serving or more importantly not serving your needs is vital as we continue to grow our community.

OK, we’ve got a lot to get to, so let’s grease this bike chain already, shall we?




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The Latest from The Sun



After dumping Epic, Arapahoe Basin finds new partner in Ikon Pass

Skier Nathan Hahn makes his way down a run at Arapahoe Basin. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

It’s only been six months since Jason Blevins wrote the autopsy report on Arapahoe Basin’s relationship with Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass. But this morning’s announcement that the popular resort would be joining up with Epic’s local rival Ikon Pass is sure to make powder hounds around the state reconsider their winter purchases.

>> THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS Considering that it was allegedly the parking crush that pushed A-Basin to ditch the Epic Pass in the first place, click through to read Jason’s breakdowns of what’s different about this pass relationship and how it could impact how other indie ski areas get involved with big corporations.


The fastest kids in America are running hills and chilling in creeks around Crested Butte

Team Prep USA coach and founder Trent Sanderson, right, offers encouragement and advice to runners as they pass the Gronk, a relic of Crested Butte’s mining days, on Peanut Lake Road. (Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun)

8,900 feet

While we’re thinking at altitude, you don’t want to miss this story from longtime Western Slope sports reporter Dale Strode. Running nearly 9,000 feet above sea level, the fastest teenagers in the country push themselves to the limit.

>> WHO NEEDS AN ICE BATH WHEN YOU HAVE RUNOFF? My legs hurt just reading this story, but if you want a little inspiration for your next workout, don’t miss this story or Dean Krakel’s photos.


In Denver, a binge drinking capital, the sober-curious movement is gaining popularity

Death & Co. bartender Jonnie Long crafts a Dunmore on July 11, 2019. Long says that between 10% and 15% of the orders he sees during a shift are for nonalcoholic cocktails. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

There’s no getting around it: Socializing in Colorado involves a lot of booze. Whether it’s trivia night at a brewery, apres ski cocktails or trying that cider that your friend can’t stop raving about, alcohol is everywhere. But here in one of the healthiest states in the union, more people are trying to walk the line between drinking less without sacrificing a good time.

>> MOVE OVER CLUB SODA & LIME From craft brewers making nonalcoholic beer to the fanciest cocktail bars in the city expanding their mocktail lists, Jen Brown explores the options for the “sober-curious.”


Democrats in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race split on Medicare for All, as Bennet warns it’s “one sure way” to lose

“One sure way of losing a Senate race in Colorado would be to be for Medicare for All.”

— U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet
“So if we are serious about guaranteeing health care to all Americans, making sure that’s not just a paper promise but real access to health care, then I think we’ve got to rethink the way that the system works. It’s a false promise to tell folks that their coverage is secure under an existing system.”

— Andrew Romanoff, U.S. Senate candidate

The policy fight that is splitting the Democratic Party on a national level is also becoming a wedge in the race to take on Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.

>> EXPANDING INSURANCE COVERAGE VS. HEALTH CARE AS A RIGHT Jesse Paul breaks down where the field stands on the most-talked-about health care policy debate in the country — and where one of the biggest single-payer proponents stands now that he’s in the Colorado governor’s office.

>> Wondering who all the Democrats running to unseat Gardner are? We’ve been keeping track of the growing field

>> Speaking of Bennet, if you avoided the second night of the debates, here’s a little rundown of how he fared.


In contentious times, CU prof William Wei brings new perspective to the revamped role of Colorado’s state historian

William Wei, the Colorado state historian, examines a ballot box used in 1894 in El Paso County during the first statewide election in which women voted. (Kathryn Scott for The Colorado Sun)

Yesterday — Colorado Day — marked the beginning of William Wei’s year-long stint as the state historian. But what could seem to be a perfunctory title has evolved into an active, vital position with special importance to a society under tension.

>> IMMIGRATION, VOTING SECURITY AND OTHER NECESSARY CONTEXT Kevin Simpson spent some time with Wei as he explained his approach to bringing absolutely vital historical context to the most pressing issues of the day. Make a note to come back and read this one this weekend.


More from The Sun

  • Because of Colorado’s all mail-in ballot election system, the state is actually going to be one of the first — like, New Hampshire and Iowa status — where voters are picking candidates in the Democratic presidential primary next year. That likely means more attention from the big slate running against President Donald Trump. Plus, did you know some 17-year-olds in Colorado will be able to vote in the primaries?
  • The majority of Colorado’s Democratic congressional delegation now supports launching impeachment proceedings against Trump after Aurora’s U.S. Rep. Jason Crow announced this week that he backs the idea. We talked to Crow, a swing-district congressman, about how he came to his decision. 
  • Colorado’s waterway death count is now at least 20 after a 16-year-old girl died outside of Aspen this week. Here’s a look at where all the tragedies have happened — and a reminder to be really careful, still, if you’re venturing into a river or stream. 
  • A pair of lawsuits will decide the outcome of the first state-ordered outside school interventions under Colorado’s 2009 accountability law and may clarify the state’s authority to tell school districts what to do.




The Fun Stuff





In the mood for some historical fiction? Diana Holguin-Balogh’s steamy excerpt from “Rosary Without Beads” will make you look at Billy the Kid in a whole new light. But more importantly, it could so enthrall you with the conflicted young woman he woos that you’ll pick up this Colorado Book Awards finalist for General Fiction even knowing that there’s not exactly a happy ending waiting for Billy. And in the SunLit interview Holguin-Balogh tells the fascinating story of how the plot basis came to her at a family funeral.


Beer by the book: In Colorado’s shifting landscape of breweries and bars, the author discovers an expanding universe

Did you know that The Colorado Sun’s politics reporter John Frank is also one of the best beer writers in the country? In fact, he literally wrote the guide book for navigating the Colorado beer scene. If you want to get a glimpse of just how much the world of beer has changed in the past few years, check out this Q&A with him about “Beer Lover’s Colorado.”



If you missed the “Beer Lover’s Colorado” book release party at Fiction Beer Co. in Denver earlier this week, you can still try a liquid version. The Beer Lover’s Colorado beer is a Mango IPA. It’s a hybrid of the IPA style with bitterness like a West Coast version and the roundness of a New England version. And if you want a lighter offering, Breckenridge Brewery just debuted Cherry JAW-some, a cherry lime-aid beer made to commemorate Shark Week. Find it at The Farm House location in Littleton.

// Whiting Petroleum, owner of nearly 900 wells in Weld County, laid off a third of its staff yesterday. But if you’re looking to blame Colorado’s new industry regulations, Whiting boss Brad Holly says the bad quarter is all about North Dakota. // Greeley Tribune, Denver Business Journal ? 

// It’s getting a hell of a lot easier to take a bus to the slopes and Rocky Mountain National Park, but it looks like it’s going to be many more years until the promised Bus Rapid Transit system is operational along Colfax. // The Know, The Denver Post ?

// This headline about lessons learned in Colorado operating rooms pretty much says it all: “If you smoke pot, your anesthesiologist needs to know// Kaiser Health News

// Keep an eye on this story, which is one of the most interesting tenants’ rights fights in Colorado: An Aurora delivery driver and renter is fighting the battle against late fees that can spiral a small setback all the way into homelessness. // Denverite// If you need a longread this weekend, this incredibly well-researched report on an industry of deceit defrauding lonely women by faking Facebook profiles of men in the armed forces is gripping. // New York Times ?




Today’s Thing


Not half-bad for about 15 minutes of prep and an hour of pressure cooking. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

The Thing: The Best Damn Instant Pot Pulled Pork (recipe)

Why You Might Like It: I live in a small one-bedroom Cap Hill apartment with a lot of character but not a lot of ventilation or insulation. So when it’s reached above 85 degrees for 20 days in a row, cooking becomes a challenge of heat management. Enter the Instant Pot. I loved that thing when I first got it, but it had fallen into disuse like so many other gadgets, but after making this pulled pork recipe (the liquid smoke is the key), my appliance love affair is rekindled. And paired with some Ranch Style beans, white bread, coleslaw and some cold Grillo’s pickles, it’s almost like you’re at an Austin cookout, all without adding any heat to your apartment.

(If you’ve got any no-heat cooking recipes, hit me up and I’ll share a few during the last dog days of summer).

What’s your thing? Send us an email at and you could be published in a future Sunriser! 




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Stop and take a breath. That was a lot of journalism you just consumed and I don’t want you to get a cramp. And there’s no shame in keeping this newsletter handy to come back and read anything you missed over your weekend coffee. 

Colorado Sun stories are like a fine wine — no matter when you pop that cork, even days or weeks after we publish, you’ll still enjoy them. 

On Monday, we’ll do it all again with more journalism you won’t want to miss. 

Enjoy your weekend!

— Eric

Eric Lubbers is one of the co-founders of The Colorado Sun, focused on making technology work hand-in-hand with journalism. He was born and raised in Yuma, Colorado, and since starting his career with the Rocky Mountain News/YourHub in 2005...