Good morning folks! It’s been a busy couple of days since we last talked, from an impeachment inquiry to a slight shift in Colorado’s leaf-peeping schedule (so you may want to plan your trip after all).
We’ll have a quick rundown of what the impeachment inquiry means for Coloradans, plus a whole bushel of fresh news from emergency responders to farming to insurance costs to mosquitos. Yes, mosquitos.
Let’s turn on this bug zapper and get to it, shall we?
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The Latest from The Sun
A quick look at the impeachment inquiry from a Colorado perspective
The Donald Trump portrait at the Colorado Capitol on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
- The basics: President Trump is accused of withholding aid to Ukraine and using that aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. After a still-anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint from within the intelligence community, the president confirmed that he did discuss Biden with Zelenskiy in July — and this morning released a (not verbatim) transcript. (More from The Guardian)
- What changed: Many Democrats have been pushing to begin impeachment since 2017, but leadership refused, so what changed? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had frequently stated that impeachment would harm the party’s chances of defeating Trump in 2020 and threaten the Democrats majority in the House. The Ukraine scandal inspired representatives in the House — including Colorado freshman Rep. Jason Crow — to demand impeachment proceedings over the weekend. Pelosi announced the formal impeachment inquiry Tuesday after growing pressure. (More from The New York Times.).
- What it means for Coloradans: So how is this going to affect Colorado? Here’s a quick summary of where the delegation stands on the inquiry. Beyond the participation of Rep. Diana DeGette, the chair of the powerful House Oversight and Investigations Committee, in the proceedings, the biggest effect could be on Sen. Cory Gardner’s reelection bid. Democratic leadership, long worried about impeachment putting the House majority at risk, now see impeachment as a way to make vulnerable GOP senators, like Gardner, publicly condone or excuse the president’s actions — or split from Trump, causing friction with the Republican base. (More from CNBC)
- How it works: Impeachment is the process of Congress trying a case to remove the president from office for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The impeachment inquiry announced by Speaker Pelosi will refer to the six ongoing House investigations of President Trump to gather evidence before presenting a vote on the House floor on one or more articles of impeachment. (More from The New York Times).
- What’s next: The White House released a not-verbatim transcript of the July 25 call in question and has said they will allow the whistleblower to testify before Congress. But Democrats in the House are formally objecting to the White House’s failure to cooperate, demanding the full whistleblower complaint and an unredacted copy of the transcript be released to House committees for review. (More from The Washington Post)
In sprawling Las Animas County, first responders are hard to find. So Junie Verquer is training students in emergency medicine.
Instructor Dominic “Junie ” Verquer breaks down the performance of his Emergency Medical Response students after a classroom drill on Sept. 19, 2019, at the Hoehne School. (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)
Las Animas County takes up about 4,800 square miles of land — the most of any county in Colorado and roughly twice the size of Delaware — but only has about three people per square mile. Covering that kind of wide open area with emergency responders is hard, but through classes run by Dominic “Junie” Verquer, local students are getting lifesaving skills (and a potential career path).
The climate strike protest marched to the Colorado Capitol in Denver on Sept. 20, 2019. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
Americans increasingly view climate change as a crisis and want more to be done to tackle it, and the heat is on in the race among Democrats to take on Sen. Cory Gardner.
The four stages of mosquito development — from left, eggs, pupa, larva and adult insect — are represented in a sculpture hanging on the door of historian Timothy Winegard’s office at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. (Nancy Lofholm, Special to The Colorado Sun)
Former Canadian military officer and hockey player Timothy Winegard stands 6 feet, 3 inches tall, but what rocketed him to the New York Times best seller list is a bug that barely measures 3 millimeters.
RJ Monroe preps the free produce stand in the yard of the home where she and her husband, Sean, have a “yard garden” planted and maintained by The Table to grow fresh local produce to be given to neighbors. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)
Communities of faith in Colorado — like their counterparts nationwide — are struggling to attract and keep young people in their fold. Can the answer be found in zucchini and chiles?
More from The Sun
- We’ve got some new numbers about Colorado’s insurance landscape: Our uninsured rate is holding steady, but there are a few troubling trends emerging, namely more people are having problems paying their medical bills than in 2017. John Ingold crunched the numbers.
- One question has haunted Colorado since the passing of TABOR: What qualifies as a tax? A federation of local businesses went to court to find out whether fees charged to businesses by Colorado’s Secretary of State qualify as taxes, but the results were vague, at best.
- One of the teens charged in the deadly shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch had his first appearance in court Monday. Witnesses picked holes in his story.
- The GOP is trying to mobilize college students in Colorado, starting with a training at the University of Denver.
// HAM radio can reach space? It takes some work, as Longmont fourth graders learned during a call with International Space Station astronaut Nick Hague on Tuesday. // Daily Camera ?
// Steamboat Springs is logging more 911 calls than ever, but it’s been 40 years since the growing resort town has collected property taxes to support the fire department. Is now the time? // KUNC
// What does it take to replace outdated electric infrastructure in Glenwood Canyon? Helicopters. // KDNK
// Tri-State’s coal-fired power plant in Nucla shut down three months early. // Grand Junction Sentinel. ?
// The perennial question: Where’s all that pot tax money going? In Pueblo, $700,000 was handed out to 350 students in the form of college scholarships. // Pueblo Chieftain ?
The Thing: “Running from Cops” (search your podcast player or click here for links)
Why You Might Like It: That’s right, I’m recommending another podcast. But this one taps into one of my most deep-seated hobbies: Trying to deconstruct the reality of “reality” television. This podcast analyzes “Cops” and “Live PD,” some of the longest-running and most popular reality shows, to see just how real the interactions between police and their communities are (and how the shows have manipulated America’s view of crime and law enforcement for decades).
In the first episode alone, you hear the audio from an episode in Georgia that sounds routine — two teenagers in a church parking lot, officer searches the car and finds a substance that he “nic tests” to quickly determine that it’s cocaine. But after the arrest, one of the teen’s lawyers found out the “nic test” isn’t admissible in court and that the officer tested it four times offscreen before he got a positive result. A later lab test determined it wasn’t a drug of any kind. But the episode still aired, even after the evidence showed the teens did nothing wrong.
It’s a really compelling, deeply researched podcast that will have you giving a little more thought to your television consumption.
Got a thing? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be published in a future Sunriser!
That’s it for today. Thanks, as always, for getting to the bottom of this newsletter with me.
If you found our Colorado impeachment primer useful, please forward this email to your friends, family, coworkers, book club or anyone else you think could use it (and make sure to include a link to coloradosun.com/newsletters so they can sign up for themselves).
Have a fantastic day and we’ll see you on Friday.