The state Capitol will be abuzz later this week when lawmakers are back for the 2016 legislative session. Today we speak with the Senate president, Republican Bill Cadman. Then, is the creator of "Star Wars" an innovator or copycat? The Denver Film Society gives the franchise a critical look. And a Colorado take on "Humans of New York" -- the interesting characters one man met walking the 500-mile long Colorado Trail.
Colorado Matters Podcast
Making people who are really sick more comfortable is the focus of a first-of -it's-kind palliative care master's degree program at the University of Colorado. Then, Hollywood actor Bill Pullman previews his new stage play in Denver. And, Elvis Presley would be 81 today. When he performed here, he made friends including police officer Robert Cantwell, and discovered his favorite sandwich, which is still served today in Golden.
Houses, cars, duffle bags full of money: These are all examples of property seized in alleged crimes. And law enforcement shares in the profits when the stuff's sold under a controversial federal program that's just been suspended. We'll hear what that means for agencies across Colorado. Then, a Nederland photographer who studied with Ansel Adams is making retro-sytle posters for all 59 national parks. And, from the archives, an interview with the widow of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. She wants to open their home near Aspen to visitors.
Short story writers may be have to be brief, but it doesn't mean they don't have a lot to say. Today, we listen back to some of our favorite interviews with writers of short prose. Craig Childs lives in Western Colorado and wrote a series of essays about communing with animals. Kent Nelson, of Ouray, talks about why he enjoys writing female characters. And then, hear how novelist and short story writer Antonya Nelson can reveal the world about her characters in just a sentence.
To weed out sexual predators in youth sports, two state lawmakers want to require background checks for people who coach, but critics question if screening would do much good. Then, if I ask you to think of artifacts from Colorado's history, would you picture a tofu cauldron? Also, Denver true-crime writer Harry Maclean thinks people are too quick to separate themselves from animals and how it influences his view of murder. And, 2015 was a big year for classical music in Colorado, with the first new recording from the Colorado Symphony in years.
Today, a wedge issue that whipped state lawmakers into a frenzy last session -- we're not talking about abortion or gun control, but about collecting rainwater. It's part of our "Zombie Bills" series. Then, a mysterious kidney disease is killing farm workers in Central America, and a CU researcher says climate change may be a factor. Then, the best new music out of Colorado this year, according to our colleagues over at OpenAir.
Three Colorado women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan talk about the challenges and opportunities of a major military policy shift: opening all combat roles to women. Then, a Denver artist who learned she had multiple sclerosis after waking up with distorted vision learned to let her affliction guide her creative vision. And, an 1800s diary sat in obscurity at the Denver Public Library until an archivist picked it up and found tales of Buffalo Bill Cody.
What happens when rape victims are coerced into recanting? We have the story from ProPublica. Then, state lawmakers who want to spur development and bring down housing costs have tried -- with no success -- for years to make it harder for condo associations to sue over construction defects. Also, some history: Denver had its first electrically-lit Christmas Tree in 1914 in the yard of a local electrician. And, holiday parties can lead you to have one too many and we have some advice on saying "that's enough."
We talk about what you told us you want and don't want from the media after a mass shooting in Colorado -- it's a question we posed through our Public Insight Network. Among the people who responded was Coni Sanders, whose father was killed at Columbine High School in 1999. She thinks telling these stories is important, "but it needs to be done so responsibility, meaning there be a focus on prevention, there be brief, little to no mention of the killers' names, especially showing their faces."
Also on Thursday, a rare coalition of American Indian nations, including the Ute Mountain Utes of Colorado, seek a new national monument across the border in Utah.
To solve old murders, the state has created playing cards with the faces of victims and details about their case. The decks are already circulating in prisons and leading to tips. One card features Tommy Kinslow. His mother says the 10th anniversary of his murder just passed but she remembers that night clear as day.
Then we talk about how Colorado gives tax breaks for affordable housing, energy development -- and bingo equipment. There are about 200 credits and exemptions in all, and one lawmaker wants to make sure the state's getting its money's worth.
And, quick, what’s Colorado’s state song? Isn’t it “Rocky Mountain High?" Yes. But there’s more to the story, and Rob Natelson of the Independence Institute, has written a paper about the song’s history.