Hello from snowy Denver on this Veterans Day morning. We have some very relevant stories both for honoring the sacrifice of military servicemen and women and for how a school district deals with snow days on a modified schedule, so we won’t waste any more time.
Let’s salt this sidewalk, shall we?
ABOVE THE FOLD
The command is given and the All Veterans Honor Guard rifle squad renders the 21-gun salute using the M-1 Garand rifle, which dates back to World War II. Members of the guard recognize one of their own, Chris “Saint” Nielsen Jr. at Fort Logan National Cemetery on Nov. 6, 2019, in Denver. (Kathryn Scott, Special to The Colorado Sun)
They looked cold, breathing mist, but many of them fought overseas, which was a lot more uncomfortable than standing for a couple of chilly hours on American soil.
Fort Logan All Veterans Honor Guard Commander Maury Smith works what can only be described as a full-time job to provide a fitting send-off for servicemen and women — up to five funerals a day at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
Kids may get out of school for a snow day in Cañon City, but they don’t get out of learning. The district now can convene an e-learning day, with assignments to be completed on the computers provided to students by the district. (Sue McMillin, Special to The Colorado Sun)
Cañon City Schools are not a four-day-a-week district, but they’re close. A modified schedule has kids in class for nine days over two weeks, which means that each school day is a little longer, but consequently all cushion for snow days is off the table.
>> STORY: Sue McMillin looks at how the district is testing e-learning — for every single class, including shoveling snow for gym class — to keep kids learning throughout Colorado’s unpredictable winter.
A clash over patient privacy in the context of the nation’s opioid epidemic is brewing between the Drug Enforcement Administration and Colorado’s State Board of Pharmacy. And now the DEA has filed a lawsuit against the board, the head of Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies and the private company that the state pays to collect data.
More from The Sun
- That’s how many voters in Aurora — where the neck-and-neck mayoral race is separated by about 250 votes — did not receive replacement ballots from Arapahoe County until Election Day. Jesse Paul has more, including Secretary of State Jena Griswold blaming the USPS for the delays — and the postal service’s response.
- If the name Alex Cranberg sounds familiar, chances are you were paying attention to the long fight over school vouchers on the Douglas County School Board, where the Republican oil and gas man donated heavily in favor of the voucher program. Cranberg is in the news again this morning, this time for benefitting from a lowball contract to drill in Ukraine after Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whom Cranberg and business partner Michael Bleyzer have supported politically for years, proposed they be awarded the contract during a diplomatic visit. We’ve got the long and twisting story — including the Colorado connection — from the Associated Press here.. // Chalkbeat Colorado, The Colorado Sun via AP
- In case you missed it late on Friday, a week after our own Jason Blevins broke the story of Backcountry.com’s trademark lawsuits and sparked a sustained social media backlash, the outdoor retailer fired its intellectual property attorneys and partnered with one of the small retailers it targeted. But the company isn’t withdrawing more than 50 requests to the U.S. Patent office to cancel trademarks of other companies. Jason talked with CEO Jonathan Nielsen — who is now apologizing and promising change — and you can read all about it here.
- Smith Reservoir in Colorado is 135 years old and classified as a “high-hazard” dam, one of 24 in the state. That makes it eligible for a new federal grant program to help figure out how to fix it — but not actually pay for the repairs.
- The Interior Department has proposed a valuable federal water contract to a rural water district that once employed Secretary David Bernhardt as a lawyer and lobbyist.
- Colorado’s U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is plowing ahead with his presidential campaign despite what appear to be impossible odds. “Stranger things have happened,” the Democrat says.
- With a historic shift in the Denver Public Schools board, the question now is what the new union-backed majority will mean for teachers, students, and parents in Colorado’s largest city.
FROM THE OPINION PAGE
- Veteran and AARP Colorado volunteer A.W. Schnellbacher: “Let’s celebrate our nation’s heroes — and hidden heroes — this November”
- Steve House, GOP candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District: “Veterans’ sacrifice has earned our lasting gratitude — and the promise of quality, affordable health care kept”
- Columnist Mario Nicolais: “Choppy waters ahead for Colorado Democrats?”
- Amache internment camp survivor Robert Fuchigami and Tracy Coppola of the National Parks Conservation Association: “Amache presents a new national park opportunity to preserve an important part of our history”
- Fort Lewis College board of trustees chair Ernest House, Jr.: “Despite painful history, Colorado’s tribal nations and Fort Lewis College found path toward reconciliation”
- Lawyer and radio host Craig Silverman: “Let’s not hide from hard truths or label it fake news. Let’s talk about the impeachment hearings.”
- Centennial Bolt CEO Mark Cordova: “We need more elected officials who seek real climate solutions — not lawsuits”
- Tennyson Center CEO Ned Breslin and Tennyson fellow Tiffany Perrin: “Early childhood support is vital for Colorado families”
// Before we get into the news from around Colorado, here are a few very thoughtful pieces on Veterans Day.
- This is a remarkable story of Niwot artist Robert Bellows and how a chance partnership with three veterans (two served in Iraq, one in Vietnam) has turned into a passion of artistic expression through twisting metal that has helped cope with the trauma of war. // Left Hand Valley Courier
- More veterans are becoming vocally anti-war, including this brief but powerful op-ed from five veterans calling for the end of the war in Afghanistan. “Fifteen years from now, I don’t want my kid to die in the war that I went to.” // The New York Times 🔑
- For a decade straight, the suicide rate of veterans has been 17 per day. As the USA Today editorial board puts it: “This Veterans Day, know that the U.S. military is losing to the war called suicide” // Military Times, USA Today
- This essay from veteran Bryan Box gives an astonishing and powerful first-person perspective on life after service, dealing with PTSD and losing friends while finding purpose working in the forest. This is an absolute must-read today. // The New Republic
// Speaking of drilling, Aldo Svaldi explores Colorado’s oil and gas business model — namely the practice of taking on loads of debt to expand drilling operations and spending more than they make — and why Wall Street’s hunger for surplus cash could fundamentally change this practice. // The Denver Post 🔑
// Someone is making a big push to spread the far-right newspaper The Epoch Times in Colorado. The paper was the biggest pro-Trump spender on Facebook — more than the president’s own campaign — before being banned by the social network and is operated by Chinese “spiritual group” Falun Gong (which, among other things, is behind the widely advertised Shen Yun performing arts troupe). The paper — which routinely reports debunked conspiracy theories as news — has shown up unsolicited in mailboxes in Steamboat Springs and even in the news rack at the Colorado State Capitol. // NBC News, New Yorker, Steamboat Pilot, Westword
// It’s snowmaking season in the high country. Last year, Jason Blevins explained how the resorts can manage to make snow even in the midst of drought and this year, Heather Sackett explains in interesting detail how Aspen is making sure the rivers and streams near the resort are not harmed by making snow. // The Colorado Sun, Aspen Journalism via Aspen Times
// Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, fresh off a contempt of court ruling and a $100,000 fine for collecting on loans from defunct for-profit Corinthian College, has finally announced that the department will forgive select loans for students who attended the Art Institute of Colorado after the company that ran the college folded. // AP News, CPR News
The Thing: Saving a whole lot of time using your Mac or Windows computers
Why You Might Like It: Do you still spend time hunting for applications or documents by clicking around your start menu or Launchpad? It’s time to train yourself to use keyboard shortcuts. I haven’t used the start menu, dock or Launchpad to open apps or find files for about a decade and it’s saved me so much time and frustration. On a Mac, just hit ⌘ + Space and start typing the name of app you want. On Windows 10, hit the windows key and start typing. Within a few characters, the hundreds of options in your menu will be reduced to just a few, likely the exact one you’re looking for. (Ex.: if I want to open Firefox, I just type ⌘ + Space + F and it’s the first thing on the list)
If this isn’t already a habit for you it may take a little getting used to, but once you get into a rhythm, it will literally save you hours of clicking around. If you’re really ready to get efficient, you can try a beefed-up version of this same kind of program, like my favorite program ever, Alfred for OSX.
Got a thing? If you have something that you just can’t stop raving about that you’d like to share, send us an email at email@example.com and you could be published in a future Sunriser!
Try to stay warm out there today and drive safely. Six people died in car crashes in a 12-hour span in Colorado over the weekend.
That raises the death toll on the state’s roads this year to well over 500 — a grim statistic no matter how you analyze it. We can all do our part to keep each other safe over the coming winter.
We will be back here on Wednesday with more in-depth news affecting all of Colorado. See you then.