*whispering* Good morning, Colorado, and welcome to the 2020s. I don’t want to get too loud in case you had a little too much fun ushering the 2010s out the door last night. Today’s newsletter will be short and sweet, so you can get to exercising/cleaning up after last night/desperately trying to find a place that’s open to get coffee and a breakfast burrito.
Let’s eat all 12 of these grapes*, shall we?
* I participated in the 12 grapes New Year’s Eve tradition for the first time last night. It’s a great way to start the year with some vitamin C!
The latest from The Sun
Makin’ whoopie (pies): How Colorado’s Cottage Foods Act has produced a batch of home-kitchen entrepreneurs
A packaged-for-sale, vanilla whoopie pie from Yoder Roots Baking, a cottage food producer in Severance, in Weld County. The whoopie pies are made from a family Amish recipe. (Photo provided by Yoder Roots Baking)
“I’ve found ways to be present with my family. In my past jobs, I’d be really sad to miss so much. Cottage foods has given me a chance to be a really good father.”
—David Kaminer, who bakes sourdough bread in a brick cottage in his yard and sells them as Raleigh Street Bakery
First, some history: In 2012, Colorado passed a Cottage Foods Act that allows people to sell goods they make in their own kitchens — without a license or inspection — as long as they don’t contain meat, dairy or other ingredients that could spoil.
Fast forward to 2019, and there is a whole class of home-kitchen entrepreneurs who say the act has been life-changing. Jennifer Brown talked to some of them — as well as state health department officials who wonder how many chefs are still operating outside the law. WARNING: This story will make you hungry. >> STORY AND PHOTOS
For the first time, TABOR triggers an income tax rate cut. Here’s how much you can save on 2019 taxes.
—The temporary flat income tax rate in Colorado, down from 4.63%, triggered by TABOR
Colorado exceeded the revenue cap imposed by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by so much that for the first time, the actual tax rate used by the state to calculate 2019 taxes will be lowered. And Gov. Polis is cheering the cut — despite campaigning with fellow Democrats to end TABOR rebates with Prop CC to help pay for underfunded transportation and education programs. John Frank explains just how much your cut could be — even though you won’t actually see a check. >> READ THE ANALYSIS HERE
More from The Sun
—The amount spent on TV ads by two groups attacking Gov. Polis’ proposed public health insurance option.
- AD BLITZ AGAINST PUBLIC OPTION: Jesse Paul reports on a six-figure ad buy from a group tied to hospitals and insurance companies targeting the so-called “public option” — that would also include the authority for the state to set some hospital prices — that is expected to be one of the biggest fights in Colorado’s upcoming legislative session.
- CALIFORNIA’S DATA PRIVACY LAW KICKS IN: Back in October, Tamara Chuang wrote about how California’s much stricter data privacy law would affect both companies and consumers in Colorado. As of midnight, that law is in effect.
- POLITICAL SURVEY: The Sun sent out a survey to people working in and observing Colorado politics, and here’s what the respondents said were the biggest stories of the year, the decade and what to watch for 2020.
- COLLEGE SAVINGS: Colorado is hoping that by gifting $100 in seed money to the higher-education savings accounts of newborns starting in 2020 it can boost the number of people attending college down the road. Erica Breunlin has all the details, including information on how parents can enroll.
- FED CASE AGAINST DURANGO RAILROAD CAN PROCEED: The case by the U.S. government against the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad over liability for the 416 Fire can proceed. Our partners at the Durango Herald explain what’s next for the case.
- GREAT READS FOR 2020: We asked two of Colorado’s award-winning authors to help you jumpstart your 2020 reading list. Carter Wilson and Nick Arvin have some interesting suggestions.
What Colorado journalism looked like in 2019
Julio Guirra, migrant worker from Michoacán, Mexico, plays tug-of-war with other guests at the Child and Migrant Services’ Despedida in Palisade on Sept. 5, 2019. The annual farewell party honors migrant agricultural workers and shows appreciation for the community volunteers who provide services to the workers during the growing season. (Barton Glasser, Special to The Colorado Sun)
By this point in the holiday season, you’re probably sick of year-end wrap-ups. But I promise you haven’t seen one like John Ingold put together. This is a list, simply, of the best journalism about Colorado in 2019, created by writers at rural weeklies and radio stations and news startups and some of the biggest outlets in the world. (And no matter how comprehensive this list is, it can’t be complete, so if you have pieces you think belong here, send a link to John here.)
As I said on Twitter, looking at that list is a reminder of just how much people value the stories being told about Colorado — and how much the people who are covering it care about this state.
And it’s people like you, who are directly supporting journalism in your backyard, who are helping create the future of journalism right now. So I just want to kick the year off with a big, hearty thank you. I can’t wait to keep building this community with you in 2020.
But no matter how much good journalism is happening, the very real threats to local reporting aren’t going anywhere. Here at The Sun, we’re trying to build the future of impactful journalism right now, and we need readers like you to help us grow.
Becoming a Sun member is one of the most direct ways to make a difference in your community, and it takes just a few minutes (you can do it right from your phone) and as little as $5 a month to make an impact. So kick off 2020 by investing in your state.
(Special deal: Use the code DREW when you check out above and you can get a free copy of Drew Litton’s 2020 calendar!)
Have a great first day, and I’ll see you back here on Friday!