The Bartlett grain elevator in Yuma at sunrise on Dec. 23, 2019. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)
Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa /winter solstice and good morning from a pink-hued, frosty slice of the Great Plains. I’m home in Yuma for a few days, and I hope wherever you are this week is where you want to be (and if it isn’t, here’s to getting there next year).
Holidays or no, the news doesn’t take vacation, so let’s untangle these lights already, shall we?
The Latest from The Sun
Medicaid law forcing caregivers to be tracked by GPS inspires privacy backlash from disabled community
The Sandata app uses the location function to track in-home service providers. A new federal law aimed at reducing Medicaid fraud will require workers to digitally log in to verify their location. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)
“My gripe is that it puts the focus not on caring for the child — it’s focusing on logging in and out at the right time. We are here taking care of the kids because, guess what? They live with us!”
— Jim Ruwwe, a parent speaking at a state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing meeting
A federal law aimed at reducing Medicaid fraud would require therapists, respite workers and nurses to be tracked by GPS. But for many people in the disabled community, their caregivers are family members living at home — and they say the requirement would invade privacy and add even more bookkeeping to their already busy lives.
STORY: Jennifer Brown talked to advocates and benefits managers and looked at what’s next for Colorado’s implementation of the law.
Bill Daniels, stepping into the CABLEVision bus, is one of the cable TV industry’s pioneers. He created the first cable system in Casper, piping in broadcast signals from Denver using microwave technology. The picture is in The Cable Center’s timeline of the industry’s history. (Tamara Chuang, The Colorado Sun)
Denver is a city built on cable. The official mayor’s residence is the one-time home of the man in the photo above, Bill Daniels, a purple mansion straight out of the ’80s — fittingly located on East Shangri La Drive. But with cord cutting, an ever-growing roster of streaming services and a public battle over airing pro sports, what does the future of cable look like?
HISTORY + FUTURE: Tamara Chuang reports from — among other places — the Cable Center museum on the University of Denver campus, on the past, present and future of video.
Money and politics: Budget numbers, new tax fights and Hickenlooper’s investments
We had a little rush of stories about money and politics since Friday, so let’s run through them real quickly:
- John Frank looked at the December economic forecasts for three budget numbers that will set the tone for the 2020 legislative session.
- The Prop. CC body is still warm, but the tax fight isn’t over. Brian Eason analyzed 35 ideas for new tax-related ballot initiatives from the Colorado Fiscal Institute that they say are intended to find the right balance to fund schools, roads and higher education.
- John Hickenlooper — targeted for his wealth during both his abandoned presidential race and his current bid for the U.S. Senate — is worth somewhere between $7.8 million and $23.6 million, according to a new financial disclosure. John Frank and Jesse Paul break down the numbers.
More from The Sun
- From the Associated Press: Hispanic voters are far more likely to be Democrats than Republicans, but within that demographic, men are more likely than women to vote Republican. And nowhere is that gender gap more visible than in Colorado Springs.
- From the Associated Press: Did you hear the news that the U.S. has an entirely new branch of the armed forces now? Space Force is official with President Trump’s signature. Robert Burns looks at how Colorado’s military and aerospace industries could be a major part of its future.
From the Opinion Page
<center><a href=”https://coloradosun.com/2019/12/22/wildfire-forest-health-public-lands-salazar-opinion/”><img align=”center” data-file-id=”330181″ width=”450″ src=”https://newspack-coloradosun.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/DSC2770-F.jpg?w=800″ style=”border: 0px; width:100%; max-width:600px; margin: 0px;padding-top:2em;” /></a><p style=”width:100%; max-width:600px;padding-bottom:2em;”><span style=”color:gray;”><em>At the 172,000-acre Trinchera Blanca Ranch, forest managers pile unusable wood around aspen groves to prevent elk from eating young aspen sprouts. (John McEvoy, Special to The Colorado Sun)</em></span></p></center>
- Former Senator and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and philanthropist and owner of Trinchera Blanca Ranch Louis Bacon on forest thinning: “Super fires across the West have many causes, but one gets little attention”
- Columnist Mario Nicolais on JK Rowling’s anti-transgender comments: “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our friends”
The City of Denver stepped up in a way
To build homeless shelters, hide campers away.
But, even 10 million or more’s not enough
To house all the people, their kids and their stuff.
It takes some real vision, some work and some guts
To make sure developers don’t drive us nuts.
Put the brakes on the luxury market and say,
“If we don’t pay attention we’ll look like LA.”
- Columnist Diane Carman channels her best Dr. Seuss for a parable about Denver housing policy: “The Grinch is dreaming of warm beds for all this Christmas”
- Attorney and radio host Craig Silverman: “‘Tis the season for basketball, but we get lumps of coal from Comcast and Altitude”
- Lawyer and talk radio host Randy B. Corporon: “Cory Gardner will do the right things — acquit President Trump and win in 2020”
The Colorado Report
THE BEST JOURNALISM FROM IN AND AROUND THE STATE
// DRIVING WHILE POOR: Alex Burness looked at a phenomenon I’ve been watching for years: The seemingly “small” fines that — for people who can’t afford them — can cause a destructive life-changing ripple effect by suspending driver’s licenses, which makes it harder to work, which makes it hard to afford fines, and on and on. // The Denver Post ?
// TRUMP’S PLAN TO CRIMINALIZE HOMELESSNESS: The White House is preparing to issue an executive order on homeless camps that will ignore policies favored by advocates for a more aggressive approach that leans on law enforcement. Colorado — along with mostly West Coast cities the president has sought to embarrass — is on the list of potential targets obtained by CityLab from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. // CityLab
// SUPREME COURT AND HOMELESS CAMPS: The Trump administration’s plans took a hit when the Supreme Court declined to hear a case, effectively upholding a lower court’s ruling that cops can’t stop people from sleeping on the street if no other housing is available. Or as this headline put it: “Supreme Court leaves cities with one option on homelessness: More housing” // LA Times ?
// DIA THE MOST CROWDED AIRPORT? Flights out of Denver are the least likely to have extra seats of the 100 largest airports in the country, which is great for climate change, bad for anyone hoping to stretch out a little. And a reminder, no matter how crowded it feels traveling on the holidays, the busiest day in DIA’s history was a nondescript Friday in July (and our own Jesse Paul was there to see how it operated). // Denver Business Journal ?, The Colorado Sun
// I CAN’T STOP LOOKING AT THESE FROZEN WAVES: Ryan Osborn hunted down some weather experts to explain the gorgeous frozen waves in Rocky Mountain National Park, a perfect combo of cool photography, interesting landscapes and bizarre meteorological phenomenon. // Denver7
// COLORADO TRAFFIC FROM A TRUCKER’S PERSPECTIVE: A column in a trucking industry magazine looks at Colorado’s increasingly crappy traffic from the cab of a tractor-trailer. // LandLine Media
The Thing: Snickers/Cool Whip/Apple Salad.
Why You Might Like It: If you’ve already redlined your caloric intake for the holidays, you’re probably thinking it’s just about time to start hitting the salad bar to drop that Festive Five around your middle. This is a way to ease — sloooowly — into healthier eating while still offering family and guests something fun. Withdraw gradually from your annual sugar high with the Snickers, which really is just a slightly sweeter energy bar. The Cool Whip is 90% air. And the apple is, well, apple. (Granny Smiths are a personal fave, but if you want to experiment with apples, you might get some inspiration here.) Put it all together and you’ve got a tasty treat that actually includes the word “salad,” so you’re officially on your way to regaining those healthy eating habits you abandoned at Thanksgiving.
OK, you have plenty to do, I’m sure, so get back to it.
If you happen to be looking for a quick, easy digital gift for the Colorado news lover in your life, you can always pick up a gift membership to The Colorado Sun! Just head to coloradosun.com/join and click “Gift Subscription” to get started.
We’ll see you back here on Christmas morning for a special edition of the Sunriser. Have a great week!