Ben Donnelly regains his footing on the highline he and friends rigged between two landmark crags above Minturn. (Zach Mahone, Special to The Colorado Sun)

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

Good morning! I woke up to a slight chill in the air and it instantly lifted my spirits. I’ve been busy enough this summer that I didn’t even notice that we passed the tipping point (specifically on Monday) where the sun will set before 8 p.m. until next May. The honey locusts in my neighborhood are already losing leaves  — though the constant car exhaust might have something to do with that.

Speaking of fall, we’re also getting closer to The Sun’s one-year anniversary party (can you believe we haven’t even been publishing for a full year yet?). Members, watch your inbox for a special invitation to the party if you haven’t already received yours.

We’ll have more details for non-members to join in the shindig, but why not just take the time to become a member? It starts at just $5/month and gets you a special invite, so just head to and join in the fun.

OK, let’s walk that highline already, shall we?


BREAKING: The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission just voted 8-1 to adopt a zero-emissions vehicle mandate. That comes after a three-day hearing where both sides laid out arguments for and against the change.

Tamara Chuang was there for it all, and explains in this story how this will — and won’t — change things for Coloradans.



The Latest from The Sun


In the Zen zone high above Minturn, slackliners traverse the state’s longest highline

Ben Donnelly walks on the highline he helped rig between two landmark crags above Minturn. (Zach Mahone, Special to The Colorado Sun)

You have no idea how hard it was for me not to just make this entire newsletter Zach Mahone’s photos of Ben Donnelly and Mauro Poletti walking more than 1,200 feet between two cliffs in Minturn on the longest highline ever rigged in Colorado. The photos (and the drone footage in the story) will clench your stomach and — if you’re like me — inspire intense feelings of jealousy.

>> Read Jason Blevins’ story on this feat— and watch that absolutely stunning drone footage — here.

  • The Breck Epic race is a six-day, 215-mile (well, sometimes 250-mile) test for even the most experienced mountain bikers. But after founder Mike McCormack rebuffed a corporate takeover over fears of the race growing too big too fast for the town, he’s forged a new path forward by sticking to his guns. Jason Blevins has the fascinating story here.


Adams County DA had “romantic relationship” with victim advocate who died last month, court record says

The family of an Adams County victim services manager wants District Attorney Dave Young to be “firewalled” from the investigation of her death last month because of a relationship the two had while they worked in the same office. Jesse Paul obtained a sworn affidavit where Kate Petrocco wrote that she and Young, her boss, had been in a “romantic relationship.”

>> There’s much more to this story. Read it all here. 


Aurora spent $34 million on water from a toxic mine. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Joseph Harrington, president of MineWater, stands outside the site of the main London Mine shaft in the Mosquito Range near Alma. (Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun).

It’s no secret that Colorado’s populated Front Range is thirsty (and getting thirstier). Or, for that matter, that the state’s history of mining has left some seriously polluted pockets in the high country ecosystem. Jason Blevins brings us the story of how a new company is trying to kill two birds with one stone by tapping toxic mines to provide fresh water to the Front Range.

>> Read the whole story here.


Separated by the foster care system, a camp in the Colorado mountains is reuniting siblings

Sisters Darlene, 18, and Lexi, 14, recently found each other after 13 years. Lexi was adopted as an infant, while Darlene grew up mostly with relatives but also in foster homes. (Jennifer Brown, The Colorado Sun)

“It’s so weird because I’ve gone my entire life without a sister and then, like meeting her was like this added piece in my life that made the puzzle make sense.”

— Lexi, a high school freshman, at Camp to Belong

Folks, we’ve had a lot of bad news lately. So I absolutely insist that you make time to read Jennifer Brown’s story about Camp to Belong, where for one week a year, a YMCA camp in Douglas County becomes a place where siblings who have been separated by foster care get to reunite and work on the relationships they missed out on earlier in life.

>> Get ready to get choked up (in a good way). Read the whole story here.


“This won’t be a coronation.” If Hickenlooper wants to be a U.S. senator, he needs to clear many hurdles

“I intend to give that some serious thought.”

— John Hickenlooper, on running for Senate
“If he’s going to switch gears and run for the Senate, he has a lot to explain to Colorado voters. This won’t be a coronation.”

— state Sen. Angela Williams, D-Denver, one of the candidates in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate

It’s official. Yesterday John Hickenlooper ended his failed-to-launch bid for president, pouring gasoline on speculation about whether he’ll jump into the Democratic primary fight for Senate. But as John Frank and Jesse Paul write, that fight won’t be easy, with many of the same problems that plagued his run for president promising to follow him into the Senate race.

>> Read more about the uphill battle Hickenlooper faces.


More from The Sun




The Fun Stuff



// In the horse race that is the Democratic presidential stakes, John Hickenlooper turned out to be an also-ran. Drew Litton offers a fun take on the former governor’s prospects for getting back into the race — for Senate.

// In this week’s “What’d I Miss?” both Myra and Ossie ponder the ways that well-intentioned efforts to make the world better can sometimes manage to make things worse (with a nod to this Colorado Sun story by Karen Augé).



The cover of “While Gods Sleep,” the Colorado Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy.

One of the fascinating things about reading just an excerpt from sci-fi/fantasy author Liz Colter, who now has won back-to-back Colorado Book Awards in that genre, is that you get to pick up on clues and context to imagine the full-blown worlds she creates. In “While Gods Sleep,” (check out the excerpt here) she fulfills her long-held wish to merge mythology with fantasy, which makes for some truly imaginative elements as she sends her protagonist on a mission to the underworld. And in her interview, she reveals how setting the novel in 1950s Athens added to her research.


John Frank’s Beer Pick

Don’t let the heat of summer fool you, it’s time for Oktoberfest beers. Ska Brewing is first out of the gate, and I recommend getting its Oktoberfest soon because it won’t last long. The Durango brewery’s first-ever batch in 2018 won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Also, Avery Brewing’s The Kaiser, an imperial Oktoberfest, debuts today. Try even more malty goodness at Left Hand Brewing’s big two-day Oktoberfest party in Longmont this September. Tickets are on sale now.


Want a shot of news (and some gorgeous photography) in your feed? Follow The Colorado Sun on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.



// WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO: The condensed body camera footage of the fatal shooting of De’Von Bailey, 19, by Colorado Springs police has been released, showing officers shooting him several times in the back as he fled after officers said they were going to check him for weapons. He was later found — after he had been fatally wounded — to have a pistol. The footage was released after Bailey’s family and the public called for it to be unveiled. The investigation of the shooting is stoking serious tensions between city residents and police. Here is The Gazette’s full coverage (and a quick summary from CPR News). // The Gazette ?, CPR News

// The Denver residents who were pushing to declare Tom’s Diner on Colfax a historic landmark over protests of Tom himself have withdrawn their application, meaning that the clock is ticking on the demolition of the building and beginning of construction on what is, honestly, one of the better-looking apartment building designs I’ve seen in the city. // Westword, KDVR

// We’ve all driven by it on our way to the mountains, but the giant flag on U.S. 6 near Federal Boulevard has a deep story — and comes with a really, really big price tag. // Denverite

// If you’re ready to fish your heart out, Haviland and Electra lakes near Durango will be drained for dam repair after Labor Day, and all limits on fishing have been lifted. // Durango Herald

// There have been countless studies on the benefits of building high-speed rail connecting the Front Range and the mountain corridor, but the latest is all about the money, specifically the $711.7 million in new economic activity that train would generate every year. // Denver Business Journal ?

// Lone Tree could end up having the metro area’s first In-N-Out burger. // Douglas County News Press

// This is maybe the most uncanny, bizarre thing I’ve seen on the internet in a while. Amazon, worried about its reputation of treating warehouse workers terribly, started paying some employees to tweet nice things about their jobs, resulting in a Borg-like army of Twitter users that wouldn’t pass a Voight-Kampff test. The New York Times did a great job of summarizing this bizarre attempt at corporate propaganda. // The Guardian, Blade Runner, New York Times




Today’s Thing


Feel the zzzzzzzzs.

The Thing: Better sleep for under $20

Why You Might Like It: I’ve lived in very loud neighborhoods most of my adult life (shout out Cap Hill!) and I had convinced myself that the occasional late-night yelling match/playful dogfight/battalion of emergency vehicles was not having any effect on my sleep. Then I bought a big jar of ear plugs and a 3D sleep mask and realized what a fool I’d been. I think any ol’ earplugs will do the trick, but make sure you find an eye mask with a contoured shape so you don’t scrape your eyelashes on the mask. Great for quick naps, too!

What’s your thing? Hit us up at and you could be published in a future Sunriser! 



What a week. We’ve covered major political and environmental stories, while uncovering a whole lot of questions about what comes next.

It’s people like you that help us keep covering all of these important changes. 

Remember, if you haven’t already spread the word about The Colorado Sun, now is the time to do so. Remind your neighbors, friends and family members why in-depth journalism is so important and urge them to become members at (or at least sign up for The Sunriser at

Have a fantastic weekend.

— Eric


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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: