You can get your own Colorado Sun sticker pack at (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

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

It’s the Friday before a long holiday weekend, so as per tradition, I’ll try to get through this absolutely bursting-at-the-seams block of news swiftly so you can finish packing/working/rounding up kids before you get on with your holiday.

Let’s unroll this sleeping bag already, shall we?

(Programming note: We’ll have a short little Sunriser on Monday and then be back at full-strength on Wednesday).


Tickets are going fast for The Sun’s anniversary party next Thursday! Admission is just $10, but Colorado Sun members get in for free! So get your tickets right now or become a member to get your spot locked down. Hope to see you there!



The Latest from The Sun


Colorado made kindergarten a priority. But when it comes to four-day school weeks, lawmakers don’t see a problem.

Brynn O’Donnell, left, and Alicia Nevarez join fellow students in learning fact strategies with addition and subtraction in Barbara Haggerty’s third-grade classroom at Pennock Elementary School in Brighton, one of 111 Colorado school districts on a four-day school week. (Kathryn Scott, Special to The Colorado Sun)

The advocacy for full-day kindergarten was thick during the last legislative session. It was one of Gov. Polis’ major policy goals and it found support in just about every corner of Colorado politics. But those same politicians, while they say they are uncomfortable with the rise of four-day school weeks, don’t see the latter policy as a problem.

>> Brian Eason completes our series on four-day school weeks by looking at how the issue fits into the already contentious fight over education funding

ALSO: Catch up on the entire three-part series this week here.


He climbed and descended 50,000 vertical feet in 13 days — blind. His dog, Lulu, showed him the way.

Trevor Thomas stops for a photo with his guide dog Lulu earlier this month on the Collegiate Loop Trail. (Photo courtesy Trevor Thomas)

“The trail would just arbitrarily disappear and reappear. She is pretty much making her decisions as we go. She is providing me the visual information I can’t get myself.”

— Trevor Thomas, the world’s only blind, sponsored through-hiker, on how his dog Lulu worked with him to navigate the Collegiate Loop Trail

Are you ready to feel inspired and maybe a little intimidated? Jason Blevins has the absolutely enthralling story of Trevor Thomas as he returned to Colorado with a new guide dog to help him conquer the daunting Collegiate Loop Trail.

>> Click here to read the whole inspiring story (and think “good dog” to yourself many, many times).


Colorado liftmaker Leitner-Poma entering boom as ski industry battles heat up and cities seek to innovate

Leitner-Poma employee Cody Wells works to weld two bullwheels together to create a midstation pivot point for the new six-seat chairlift at Alpine Meadows in California. (William Woody, Special to The Colorado Sun)

If you’ve skied at one of Colorado’s mountain resorts, chances are you’ve ridden a Leitner-Poma chairlift, gondola or platter-pull before. But it turns out that even if you’re not one to hit the slopes, the Grand Junction-based company could be ferrying you from place to place in a city sometime soon. Who knew?

>> Jason Blevins brings you this story about the chairlift maker’s bright future — and how it doesn’t just stem from the ski industry’s rush to modernize 


Colorado’s oil and gas industry voiced its concerns. But Gov. Jared Polis dismissed them.

The state’s new oil and gas regulations have industry leaders feeling anxious, and an appearance by Gov. Polis at the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s annual summit didn’t help.

>> Read why the governor’s take that the industry’s concerns are “silly” and that global market forces are more important than local regulations is stoking tensions.


Colorado’s minimum wage rules don’t apply to farm, construction and other jobs. But that might be changing.

Rafael Cueto Rios, left, stands with his wife and a group of workers at a news conference outside of the Colorado Department of Labor offices in downtown Denver on Wednesday. The group was calling for protections in Colorado’s minimum wage laws to apply to everyone. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

Did you know that not every worker in Colorado has protections under the state’s minimum wage laws? It turns out that if you work on a farm or construction site, your bosses don’t have to pay you overtime or give you a lunch break. The Colorado Department of Labor is looking to change that as the state’s minimum wage changes next year to $12 an hour.

>> Read Tamara Chuang’s story on how this disparity came to be and why a possible remedy is being discussed now. 


More from The Sun

  • Remember that big controversy about voting rights out of the small Gunnison County town of Pitkin? Well, the drama is still brewing after the district attorney who handled the case appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court to review the overturned conviction of a woman who was accused of voting in the wrong precinct. As Jesse Paul writes: “It’s the small-town controversy with no end in sight.” 
  • The Trump administration is rolling back Obama-era methane rules modeled after Colorado’s efforts to decrease emissions of the potent greenhouse gas. While this won’t affect what the state has put in place, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is vowing to sue over the change because he’s worried about out-of-state methane’s impacts here.
  • The Bureau of Land Management’s new boss is distancing himself from his longtime stance on selling federal land that he held before he got the job managing that same land. 
  • U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet will not be on the presidential debate stage next month. But despite not being able to reach the threshold to qualify for the face off, he is vowing to stay in the race and attacking the Democratic National Committee for trying to winnow candidates like himself. 




The Fun Stuff



// In R. Alan Brooks and Cori Redford’s “What’d I Miss?” Ossie realizes just how far afield rhetorical devices like “whataboutism” can take us — especially before that first cup of coffee.

// While we generally try to stay Colorado-centric here at the Sun, when you see Drew Litton’s take on the (limited) but bizarre backlash against Andrew Luck for retiring early with his health (mostly) intact, you’ll understand why he felt compelled to stretch his boundaries.



Put the bizarre circumstances of the so-called Slenderman stabbing in Wisconsin five years ago into the hands of a master of the psychological thriller like Carter Wilson and you get…”Mister Tender’s Girl.” Although this novel about a survivor trying to move on with her life was definitely inspired by the crime provoked by the fictional Slenderman, Wilson explains in his interview why, after the initial news accounts of the incident, he almost immediately quit reading them. 


John Frank’s Beer Pick

Ratio Beerworks’ in Denver uses organic carrot juice to make its King of Carrot Flowers. (Courtesy of Ratio Beerworks)

One of the more unusual beers in Denver also is one of the more popular. Ratio Beerworks is bringing back its much-hyped King of Carrot Flowers saison Friday at noon. The brewery in Denver’s River North beer district uses organic carrot juice to make this carrot and elderflower saison, and it is known for its citrus flavors and stunning orange hue. If it sounds weird, don’t worry. Just follow the crowds because this is a seasonal favorite that won’t last forever.

(Ed note: I now have this beer’s namesake Neutral Milk Hotel song stuck in my head, where it will remain for at least the rest of the day. — Eric)


Need a shot of real news (and great photos) in your news feed? Follow The Colorado Sun on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Scott Winans, head of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association rides down a recently constructed portion of the Palisade Plunge Trail on the west side of the Grand Mesa Plateau southeast of Grand Junction. (William Woody, Special to The Colorado Sun)


// You can now (technically) get gig-speed broadband in Fort Collins for 60 bucks a month, making the city the largest in the state to offer municipal broadband. // Coloradoan ?, The Colorado Sun

// Depending on which block you live on in Centennial, online shopping sites or maps could think you live in Aurora, Littleton, Englewood or just about any other nearby city. Ellis Arnold explores the efforts by U.S. Rep. Jason Crow and others to update the tricky history of ZIP codes in the southern suburbs. // Centennial Citizen

// Greeley is still dreaming of an In-N-Out of their own, but I’m confused because they have a Good Times, so they already have the best fast-food burger in the country ?.  // Greeley Tribune

// An Adams County charter school is teaching students how to tackle active shooters. Seems like a good time to revisit Jennifer Brown’s thoughtful story about the potential risks of lionizing student heroes. // The Denver Post ?, The Colorado Sun

// When Axios needed an example of how local and state laws can dictate how well a hospital does financially, it used Colorado’s UCHealth and its 13.3% operating margin. It’s the latest in the site’s look at hospitals “swimming in cash.” // Axios

// I could watch people lowriding up and down Federal Boulevard all day. // Denver7

// A woman who gave birth alone in a Denver jail cell in 2018 is suing the city alleging deputies ignored her pleas during labor. // The Guardian

// This is a great story about Colorado Blackpackers, Sun contributor Patricia Cameron’s new venture that is looking to open up the outdoors to historically underrepresented groups. // CPR News

// If you’ve got a Ring video doorbell and live in Denver or Columbine Valley, you could be contributing to an Amazon-owned surveillance network that law enforcement can tap into. Privacy advocates are worried both about a private company having access to so much real-time footage and that police suddenly have an impromptu surveillance network in residential neighborhoods. // CNet, Ring




Today’s Thing


The Thing: A password manager. You need one, trust me.

Why You Might Like It: I’ve only had to remember one password for the last decade. Seriously. I use the service LastPass to not only remember all my passwords, but also to generate super-strong, unique passwords for every one of the hundreds of services I’m signed up for around the internet — which I can access from any browser (including my phone) whenever I need them.

Why am I telling you this? Because you need one, too. There are basically two things you can do to keep your data safe from breaches: Use unique, strong passwords and turn on two-factor authentication. A password manager can help you with both. Start with this excellent introduction from one of the editors of Wirecutter and take the time to find the manager that will work best for you. It will not only make you safer in the future, but it’ll save you time every time you need to log in to something. 

Send us an email at and you could be published in a future Sunriser! 



This has been some week. We’ve been busy cranking out some important in-depth journalism this week and there’s no better time for a reminder that you are the folks who make it possible.

Remember, we broke the news that the STEM School Highlands Ranch security guard who accidentally wounded a student during the May attack on the school wasn’t actually supposed to be armed.

We also rolled out our four-day school week series, which you can catch up on here

That’s not to mention stories on the outdoors, politics and energy.

If you think this journalism is important there are two things you can do right now to make more of it possible for the long haul. 

  1. Become a Colorado Sun member or urge the people you know to follow your lead. There’s probably nowhere else your $5 a month can have a bigger, more immediate impact.
  2. Join us next week for our 1st anniversary party (members, check your email for a special invite) and tell us how we can best serve our community. (Or drop us a note at

Enjoy your time off and catch up on all this important work we’ve been cranking out. Have a great weekend! 

— 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: