Good morning and happy Friday! It’s been a busy, busy week. For example, we had a whole election just a few days ago that already feels like it happened a month ago.
We’ve got so much news to digest today, but I want to take a minute for a short lesson on how to make your Colorado Sun experience the best it can be.
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OK, let’s foam this latte already, shall we?
ABOVE THE FOLD
Colorado’s newest farmers are YouTube-taught, social justice-minded and preaching the gospel of microgreens
Emerald Gardens microgreens co-owners Dave Demerling, 33, left, of Arvada, and Roberto Meza, 32, right, of Bennett, tend to some of their crop in their hydroponic farm’s greenhouse in Bennett on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)
When you think of Colorado farmers, you likely picture corn and winter wheat growers out in Yuma or melon farmers in Rocky Ford or rows of peach pickers in Palisade. But a new crop (pun absolutely intended) of farmers in the state is helping redefine agriculture in the 21st century. Warning: You’re going to get a hankerin’ for microgreens and kohlrabi after reading this one.
Colorado districts aren’t getting enough state money to maintain schools and attract teachers. So they’re turning to local taxpayers.
Fowler Elementary students cross Colorado 167 on their way to lunch at the Fowler High School cafeteria on Oct. 23, 2019. Fowler voted in favor of a bond measure that school district officials hope will increase their chances to receive BEST funding. (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)
Colorado’s state education funding mechanism is broken, and while lawmakers are finally setting out to retool that formula, local dollars are more important than ever. That means the fates of small school districts increasingly rise and fall at the ballot box.
- From Chalkbeat: School board candidates backed by the Denver teachers union won big on Tuesday, setting up a new era at DPS.
- From Jennifer Brown: “Colorado communities do what state lawmakers wouldn’t: Raise taxes on cigarettes, vaping products.”
John Hickenlooper didn’t always reimburse travel on private planes, report says. An ethics panel will decide if that was illegal.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on several occasions last year criss-crossed the nation on private planes owned by high-powered businessmen or their companies, at times to conduct state business, but only repaid the owners of the aircraft in one instance.
- BENNET’S BIG BET: Sen. Michael Bennet, currently polling at less than 1% in New Hampshire, officially filed paperwork to secure his spot on the 2020 Democratic ballot there. He’s hoping the state gives his bottom-of-the-pack presidential campaign a much-needed shot in the arm when it holds its bellwether primary election in February. Moe Clark has the story (and photos) from the Granite State.
Backcountry.com breaks its silence amid trademark lawsuit controversy to apologize and say “we made a mistake”
It took a while, but the CEO of Backcountry.com finally released a statement addressing the controversy and backlash over his company’s trademark lawsuits against small outdoors manufacturers over the word “backcountry” — news broken by The Colorado Sun last week.
- The CEO of ski-maker Icelantic, Annelise Loevlie, writes in an opinion piece: “Backcountry.com is abusing its power and bullying smaller businesses. But this could make us stronger.”
- “The industry as we have known it no longer exists.” Read Jason’s review of former Steamboat ski exec Chris Diamond’s latest behind-the-scenes book.
- How do you adjust to life after you skied one of the highest peaks of the Himalayas? Telluride’s Hilaree Nelson talked to Jason about dealing with “post-traumatic stoke.”
More from The Sun
- Two of the largest electric co-ops under the Tri-State Generation umbrella are trying to leave, citing the fact that Tri-State still gets nearly half of its power from coal. Mark Jaffe explains the latest moves — and why the co-ops are asking Colorado regulators for help.
- ICYMI: Prop DD was narrowly approved by voters, so sports bets can (and will) be placed next spring.
- A new comprehensive Secret Service report that investigated 41 school attacks from 2008 through 2017 confirmed that bullying and later warning signs were common among school shooters. It also gave a shout out to Colorado’s Safe2Tell program.
- Colorado was one of 19 states that sued to block the Trump administration’s rule that would have allowed health care workers to refuse to participate in abortions. A federal judge struck down the rule on Wednesday.
THE FUN STUFF
You may not have heard of Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Jones, but in 1918 she was the first black female graduate at the University of Colorado. She wasn’t allowed to walk in graduation and her picture never appeared in the yearbook. But CU prof Polly E. Bugros McLean has charted her family’s life –– and almost literally traced this dynamic woman’s steps –– from slavery in Virginia to the burgeoning black middle class in the American West in “Remembering Lucile.” And in the SunLit interview, McLean reveals how a headline in the 1993 Rocky Mountain News charted her course for this very personal but also overarching historical work.
Don’t forget to sign up for this month’s book club meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at BookBar in Denver, where we’ll have author Rory Kress to talk about “The Doggie in the Window.” Have you ever looked at your pup and wondered about its backstory? That’s what launched Kress on a cross-country investigation of breeders, rescuers and even the USDA as she unravels the mystery of where our furry friends come from. The event is free, but please RSVP here or go to coloradosun.com/bookclub for more info and a great deal that can score new Sun members a free book!
// Drew Litton’s cartoon about Michael Bennet’s never-give-up attitude immediately brought to mind this iconic symbol of relentlessness in ’80s cinema:
“Where’s my two dollars?”
// In “What’d I Miss?” Myra and Ossie have a heart-to-heart about pain and guilt and privilege and why societal changes can sometimes feel so personal.
The countdown is on to “An Evening with Drew Litton.” At 6 p.m. next Wednesday (11/13), he’ll take us through the iconic images that have defined his cartooning career, with backstory, anecdotes and –– wait for it –– CALENDARS! His 2020 edition will go on sale for the first time (at a discount) at the event, which is free for Sun members (search your email for “Drew Litton” to get your access code) and $10 for nonmembers. Get your tickets here.
// This is a very impressive work of collaborative journalism. Niki Turner of the Rio Blanco Herald Times and Susan Greene of The Colorado Independent explored a fatal police shooting in Rangely — and the silence from officials in its aftermath. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and a powerful editor’s note explaining how the collaboration worked. // Rio Blanco Herald Times, The Colorado Independent
// A few months ago, I floated the thought experiment of making RTD fares completely free to help encourage more transit riders (and keep more cars off the road). Apparently, I’m not alone in that theory, as Chase Woodruff writes for Westword. In that article, he cites a book called “Free Public Transit: And Why We Don’t Pay to Ride Elevators,” which pretty much sums up the whole theory right there in the title. // Westword
// Speaking of alternative transportation, Denver will be getting a new protected bike lane north of Wash Park on a stretch of road where 37-year-old Alexis Bounds was struck and killed on her bike in July. But, as always, not everyone is happy about the neighborhood addition. // Denverite
// The 2019 election is still not over in Aurora, where the almost-final vote counts have Mike Coffman winning the race for mayor by just 273 votes, though there are still votes to be “cured.” // Sentinel Colorado
// Effie Krokos got a ticket for playing Frisbee topless in her Loveland front yard in September. But that ticket came months after a federal court ruled that bans on female toplessness were unconstitutional — and now Krokos has been awarded a $50,000 settlement for the wrongful charge of indecent exposure. // Loveland Reporter-Herald 🔑
// This is a pretty typical prep sports story, I’m just sharing it as a reminder that the Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s mascot is the oyster. // Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
The Thing: Free National Park admission (info)
Why You Might Like It: Monday is Veteran’s Day, and among the memorials, parades and races happening throughout the weekend, all national parks will have free admission on Monday. So if you have the day off (or can take one) it might be a good time to check out one of Colorado’s four national parks before winter weather truly sets in (but check the forecast and be prepared, because you never know).
REMINDER: If you have something that you just can’t stop raving about that you’d like to share, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be published in a future Sunriser!
My goodness, what a week. Thanks for spending some of it with us and staying up-to-date on what’s happening all over this big, beautiful state of ours.
Don’t forget, you can always come back and scan these Sunrisers over the weekend when you might have a little more time to digest a story about microgreens.
And I’ll leave you to your weekend by sending you off with one of the sights that greeted me this week living in the shadow of the state Capitol.
Get some rest and we’ll talk Monday!