The north side of the Colorado State Capitol Building on September 1, 2019. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

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

Hello from a crisp September morning in Colorado, a state that is breaking heat records and seeing the return of drought, even as our new traction laws say you need snow tires or chains on I-70 and algae-filled lakes are getting hot air balloon pilots in trouble.

The blessing/curse “may you live in interesting times” seems to be in full effect in our beautiful state.

Oh, hey, don’t forget to join us tomorrow night at Wynkoop Brewing for our first anniversary party (more on that below)!

Let’s tap this keg already, shall we?



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The Latest from The Sun


TABOR hasn’t limited the size of government or helped provide basic services. And now it faces its biggest test.

You — the Colorado voter — are going to be asked an important question about the future of TABOR in Colorado with Proposition CC. To answer that question, you’re going to need to know all about what the bill was designed to do — and how it’s actually worked for the past 27 years.

Brian Eason’s analysis shows that it hasn’t actually limited the size of government (as its supporters intended) and has not kept pace with a growing population demanding public services like transportation, education and health care in Colorado (as its detractors feared).

>> Make time to read Brian Eason’s story about the past, present and future of TABOR before November rolls around.


Colorado State University is fast-forwarding archaeology with tech to help future researchers understand today’s Earth

The October 2011 cover of Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing journal showing a LiDAR scan hangs in Anthropology Prof. Chris Fisher’s office. (Valerie Mosley, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“Dude, there’s gotta be a better way.”

— What CSU archaeologist Chris Fisher says he was thinking when trying to document an ancient Mexican city the size of Manhattan

What do you do when you have too much cool ancient stuff to catalog using the old brush-and-trowel method? If you’re CSU archaeologist Chris Fisher, you take a technology most commonly known for being used in driverless cars — LiDAR — and begin the quest to create a detailed 3D snapshot of the entire world for future historians.

>> There is so much more amazing archaeology stuff in Nancy Lofholm’s story, you’re just going to have to click through to see it for yourself


Denver’s Pizzability (with a new brewery on tap) is looking for longevity after its viral hit

Tiffany Fixter helps Brian Olson with dough at Pizzability in Denver’s Cherry Creek North neighborhood. (Josh Polson, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“A disability is not a trend. We are a part of the community. Supporting us one time is not what is going to work.”

— Pizzability owner Tiffany Fixter

If you’ve heard of Pizzability in Denver, it’s probably because of a viral local news segment highlighting the poor treatment of its special-needs employees and the resulting round-the-block lines of new customers. But as Dan England writes, there’s a real business behind the story, and it’s weathering the good and the bad of sudden fame as it looks to become a long-lasting fixture in Colorado.

>> Read more about the people, pizza and (soon) beer here.


Adams County becomes first to enact stricter local oil and gas regulations since passage of new state law

1,000 feet

— The new residential setbacks for new oil and gas drilling in Adams County, double the state-mandated setback

Senate Bill 181, among its changes to the oil and gas regulatory environment in Colorado, contained a clause that freed local governments to create their own regulations. And after five hours of public comment, Adams County adopted regulations above and beyond state rules.

>> Read Amanda K. Clark’s breakdown of Adams County’s new rules, why they matter for the future of oil and gas in Colorado and a metaphor about diaper-changing on an airplane (yes, really).


Why the head of the U.S. Patent Office is interested in artificial intelligence, false trademarks and the Western Slope

DID YOU KNOW that Colorado is home to a major satellite office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office? DID YOU KNOW that in the five years since it opened, the office is seeing a flood of sometimes fraudulent applications through China and is deploying AI to help spot the fakes?

>> These are just two of the dozens of facts you’ll learn when you click through to read Tamara Chuang’s interview with Patent Office boss Andrei Iancu.


More from The Sun



The Sun’s big party is tomorrow (Thursday Sept. 5)! It’s our one-year anniversary, and we want you to come hang out with the staff, pick up some Sun swag and try our exclusive new beers. (Get your tickets here and members, search your email for your free ticket link).  I’ll let the man who literally wrote the book on Colorado beer, John Frank, explain our two brews:

  • Sunriser Mexican Lager: A beer as bright as the sunshine, this easy-drinking Mexican lager is spiked with lime zest to add complexity and depth, much like the journalism at The Sun
  • Unaffiliated Haze: Too often, it’s hard to see the truth through the political haze, so we created The Unaffiliated, a politics newsletter that helps you see clearly. This beer is the good kind of haze, a popular tropical and resinous IPA that the brewery put aside to share with our readers.

The Sunriser Mexican Lager. (John Frank, The Colorado Sun)



// Denver attorney David Lane will defend the suspect in the El Paso Walmart shooting that left 22 people dead. // 9News

// The Coloradoan has an excellent look at what has — and hasn’t — changed about college and drinking in the 15 years since the alcohol poisoning death of CSU freshman Sam Spady. // Coloradoan ?

// For a while, it was in vogue to write a “why I’m leaving NYC/San Francisco/Los Angeles” essay, often with the author heading to a place like Denver. But what happens when you already live in the destination? You write a “why I’m abandoning my Denver apartment to live in a van” essay. // Westword

// Some of the biggest meat producers in the country are latching on to plant-based proteins, from Cargill (owner of a huge meat processing plant in Fort Morgan) investing in pea protein to Tyson’s plan to release frozen plant nuggets to KFC selling out of its Beyond Fried Chicken. These massive corporations have apparently decided it will be easier (and more profitable) to get people to eat fake meat than to train them to adopt a less-meat lifestyle. // Food Dive, New York Times

// Rather than face criminal charges like other hosts before them, hundreds of Denver property owners are shutting down their AirBnbs and VRBO rentals as the city ramps up enforcement. // The Denver Post ?

// If you saw this New York Times story over the weekend (How a Trump tax break to help poor communities became a windfall for the rich), we’ve been covering how the opportunity zones are being used in Colorado, from a Boulder neighborhood to the Powderhorn ski area. // New York Times ?, The Colorado Sun

// Folks, I have a new life goal: I would like to break the newly established world record for eating one of Colorado’s most delicious delicacies, the slopper. Let’s be clear: I will never actually break the record, but boy howdy am I going to enjoy training for it. // Westword




Today’s Thing


The Thing: Generation Wealth (Trailer, Amazon Prime)

Why You Might Like It: There’s a cultural force based in the idea that we all want to watch how the rich and powerful live (for example, the entire Bravo network). But “Generation Wealth,” from photographer Lauren Greenberg, is a really fantastic look at how the American dream has transformed into a workaholic’s pursuit of luxury and superficial perfection. The documentary is more of a series of vignettes in search of a coherent theme, so don’t expect a tidy solution, but seeing these worlds stripped of some of their glitz is a valuable way to spend about 90 minutes of your time.Got a thing? Send us an email at and you could be published in a future Sunriser!



You made it to the end! Congratulations!

We’re excited to see all of you tomorrow night at our one-year anniversary party, but if you can’t make it, please drop us a note at to tell us what we’ve done well and what we could be doing better. 

Hearing from our readers about what our work means to them — and where we can serve them better — is a major part of our mission. 

If you’ve been reading and enjoying the work we’ve been doing, we’d be honored to have you as a member (join here) or if you’re already a member, to have you encourage your friends and family to follow your lead. 

Have a question about your membership? You can always reach us at

— 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: