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

Good morning! I’ve never been a fan of Thursday Night Football, and I think Broncos fans are with me after another double-digit loss that has a chorus of fans and writers calling for John Elway’s head on a platter — with one even asking Peyton Manning to come in and save the day.

But thankfully, you didn’t open this email for Broncos thoughts, you opened it for a sampling of some of the most interesting, important news happening in Colorado — and today we have an extra-intriguing helping of the good stuff.

So without further ado, let’s fire this vice president of football operations already, shall we?


Business owners and event marketers: Now is the time to reserve your spot as an underwriter of The Sunriser or one of The Sun’s other newsletters. Email for rates and availability.



The Latest from The Sun


The most thrilling commute in Colorado: How Grizzly Reservoir’s caretakers keep water flowing

“OK, I’m getting creeped out,” says Glenn Schryver after a few seconds of driving without his headlights at 45 mph in the pencil-straight tunnel beneath Independence Pass. (Jason Blevins, The Colorado Sun)

Come for the videos, stay for the incredible story. Jason Blevins and photographer Dean Krakel went deep under Independence Pass to experience Colorado’s coolest commute and learn about the handful of dedicated reservoir caretakers that keep water flowing from the high country to cities like Colorado Springs, Aurora and Pueblo (But seriously, go check out this story on the biggest screen you can find).

>> Read on to see how the caretakers are dealing with last year’s monster avalanche season and what’s in store for them this winter.


People are effectively training bears to get into trouble, and Colorado wildlife officials are sick of it

District Wildlife Manager Ian Petkash and Samson, a Belgian malinois, chase a bear away from the site where it was caught as part of a hazing study in Park County. (Provided by Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

From a new way of tracking incidents between people and bears to some more-aggressive forms of hazing (as seen above), frustrated officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife are trying to change bears’ behavior because the state’s humans seem to be reluctant to change theirs. This is a must-read for everyone in Colorado (and a good one to forward to anyone you know who lives in bear country).

>> Erin McIntyre and John Ingold have the definitive look at the 4,951 recorded incidents between bears and people so far in 2019 — and what human behaviors are making things worse.


Fracking can cause short-term health problems up to 2,000 feet from drilling sites, new report says

Oil and gas activities have moved closer to neighborhoods in Colorado, including this Crestone Peak site known as the Pratt pad in Erie. (Doug Conarroe, Special to The Colorado Sun)

A long-awaited state study released yesterday shows that oil and gas operations in Colorado may lead to nausea, headaches and nosebleeds for people within 2,000 feet of drilling sites. The report details the worst-case scenario for adverse effects – a standard practice for determining air quality regulations — and raises questions about whether the state’s current 500-foot buffer is adequate.

>> John Frank breaks down the study, why the oil and gas industry is trying to dismiss it and what actions the Polis administration is already taking. 


Venture investors have plunked down $1 billion into Front Range companies this year

“Denver really opened my eyes to what was possible. Probably the thing that made me think about building a scalable business more than anything else was — for the first time in my life, after having moved to Colorado — I had met other women who had raised venture.”

— Elizabeth Giorgi, founder of photo and video production startup Soona

Denver’s tech scene may not be pulling down $100-million rounds of funding like startups on the coast, but — as Tamara Chuang reports — Colorado companies have slowly built a thriving scene of smaller-scale investments and more diverse founders.

>> Take a look into Colorado’s billion-dollar year here. 


Colorado’s highly coveted unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly support Trump-impeachment inquiry, new poll shows

The majority of Colorado voters — 54% — support an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. But when you look at the state’s most important voting bloc, those oh-so-coveted unaffiliated voters, that number jumps to 61% approval. And that mindset is going to have a major impact in 2020.

>> Jesse Paul has more on what this poll means for the U.S. Senate race — and why many voters seem to already have made up their minds more than a year before the election.


More from The Sun

“Save the World” is the title of artist Emanuel Martinez’s mural at the Fraser Valley Shopping Center. The mural is one of eight focused on health and the environment and funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (Photo provided by CDPHE)

HEADS UP: Today we will learn more about whether the effort to recall Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, will be successful. Check around midday for the story.



The Fun Stuff



// Speaking of Colorado history, this week’s “What’d I Miss?” tackles the question of why some young activists — like Greta Thunberg — are taken seriously while others like Colorado’s Xiuhtezcatl Martinez aren’t embraced as readily by the public.

// Drew Litton: “I’m not quite sure we needed a study to tell us it’s a health hazard.” (Fans of Drew’s art work, don’t miss today’s thing!)

// Jim Morrissey brings us a lesson in Halloween decorum from Sen. Cory Gardner.


Maybe you’ve seen them, carved into aspen in Colorado’s high country: names and dates, symbols, even elaborate artwork. As author Andrew Gulliford explains in this week’s SunLit excerpt, the carvings often are the still-lingering history of sheepherders. In “The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes,” Gulliford touches on the families invested in sheep, the bloody war with cattle ranchers and even the current clashes with hikers and mountain bikers. In his SunLit interview, he also reveals an inventive strategy for avoiding the rude question of how big a herder’s ranch is, while still getting an idea of its scope.

The first meeting of The Colorado Sun Book Club is in just 10 short days! Get your spot reserved at while you’ve still got time to read “Mister Tender’s Girl” by author Carter Wilson, who will be on hand to talk about the book on Oct. 28 (reading is absolutely not required to attend, though). 




Along with Comrade Brewing in Denver (last week’s beer pick), Colorado’s Westbound and Down Brewing won big at the Great American Beer Festival earlier this month. The Idaho Springs brewery took home the Midsize Brewpub of the Year award and two silver medals. One of those recognized beers is on tap now: the Westbound Double IPA. It’s a menagerie of new hops that gives it a papaya and tropical fruit kick balanced by a solid malt backbone at 9.3% ABV.


// Folks, the RTD driver shortage is getting serious, with proposed “significant” cuts to bus and train services as the district is down 100 bus drivers and 60 light rail operators. If your reaction is just “pay them more,” you may be surprised to know that the issue of bathroom breaks, not pay, is the biggest bone of contention for drivers right now. Nathaniel Minor at CPR has much more. // CPR News

// A Colorado Springs author of books like “The Illuminati Secret Laws of Money — The Wealth Mindset Manifesto” and “The Abundance Bible: The Secret Powers of Manifesting Wealth Health and Peace of Mind” — and donor to President Donald Trump — has been appointed by Trump to the Commission on Presidential Scholars, which chooses the most distinguished high school seniors in the country each year. // The Denver Post ? 

// Denver has decriminalized possession of magic mushrooms (more on that here), but it’s still illegal to cultivate or sell them, as a Denver man alleged to be a mushroom dealer found out after the DEA used news reports to zero in on his apartment operation. Our own John Ingold wrote a very similar story back in 2010 during the early days of medical marijuana businesses in Colorado, showing that jumping the gun on legalization — and bragging about it — is a time-honored tradition. // 9News, The Denver Post ?

// Remember that fanciful startup that promised to whisk your car on maglev tracks and solve traffic and had a deal to build a test track in Colorado? The remnants of Arrivo were just bought by some people who started a collective on Reddit. // The Colorado Sun, The Verge

// I’ll leave you today with the headline and deck from an op-ed that lays it out pretty bluntly: “Tech Companies Are Destroying Democracy and the Free Press. Ad revenue that used to support journalism is now captured by Google and Facebook, and some of that money supports and spreads fake news.” // New York Times

Note: If you want to be part of the solution here in Colorado, become a member of The Colorado Sun if you haven’t already. Every new member directly supports journalism, with no tech companies or fickle markets in between.



Today’s Thing


The Thing: An Evening with Drew Litton (event link)

Why You Might Like It: Come spend the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 13, with The Colorado Sun as legendary cartoonist Drew Litton shares highlights of a career that has spanned more than three decades. He has caricatured some of the region’s most famous faces, preserved some of its most stirring moments and continues to chronicle Colorado through his work with The Colorado Sun and others. Interact with the cartoonist as he tells his own story through slides of his most famous and thought-provoking work. And for any budding artists out there, you’ll get to watch him produce a cartoon in real time.

The Details: The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place. RSVP at Admission is free for Sun members (watch for an email with your code for free admission) and $10 for non-members (but if you become a member at for as little as $5/month, you can still get free admission). Cocktails available at a cash bar.



We like to remind people before they head out to enjoy the weekend how important their support of The Colorado Sun is. We say this a lot, but it’s seriously true: without you, our members, we would not exist. Period. 

If you value what we do and want to keep it around, you have to support our work. That’s the only way this relationship can continue. So to the members out there that are making more journalism possible in Colorado, you rock. 

To those of you who haven’t made the leap yet, we promise good vibes for your weekend if you step up now. After all, what better way to begin your adventures than knowing you’ve done something huge to support your community? (BECOME A MEMBER HERE, starting at just $5 a month. It’s really easy.)

Good luck braving more snow!

(And before the whole newsletter gets away from me, happy birthday, Dad!)

— Eric

Chief Technology Officer

Austin, TX

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 has been in the daily Colorado news ever since.

Topic expertise: Photography, technology, data visualization, user experience, cooking

Education: Bachelor of Arts from Chadron State College, most of a master's degree in history from the University of Colorado Denver

Honors & Awards: Online Journalism Awards — Excellence in Social Media Engagement, Small Newsroom

Professional membership: Online News Association


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