DENVER — May we make a recommendation?
The Next with Kyle Clark team will occasionally suggest work that's not from us but is worth your time. You'll find all the links to our recent recommendations below.
9/19/23: "Go as a River"
“Go As a River,” first-time Colorado author Shelley Read, shares the story of a young woman growing up in a male-dominated, often racist small town in the 1940s and 1950s.
The book is set at her family's peach orchard in the real-life town of Iola, which was abandoned and flooded to make way for the Blue Mesa Reservoir. “Go As a River” is a novel with a beautiful sense of place in the Gunnison Valley -- a story about how people shape the natural world and each other's lives.
It's a great read, especially if you pick it up before the end of peach season.
8/29/23: "Denver Had the Country's First Monument to Emmett Till"
Monday marked the date of the kidnapping and killing of Emmett Till, a Black teenager lynched after being accused of whistling at a white woman.
Last month, President Joe Biden designated a national monument to Till and his mother. It will have multiple sites in Illinois and Mississippi.
We just learned this weekend that Denver was actually the site of the country's first monument to Till. The statue called King and Companion was a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Till.
Westword editor Patricia Calhoun tracked the statue's history. It was installed in City Park in the late 70s, and critics immediately complained that King's head was too depicted as too big.
It was eventually replaced by another statue of King in 2003 -- this one without Till. The original now stands in Pueblo. Calhou wrote about the statue's dramatic journey.
7/7/23: "$2M wedding in Aspen ‘will go down in infamy,’ developer’s lawsuit says"
It's the story of a multi-million dollar party gone wrong in Aspen and proof that really rich people have problems like the rest of us -- just with more zeroes on the end.
Justin Wingerter for BusinessDen has the story of a lawsuit against a celebrity wedding planner -- a family comparing their misfortune to Pearl Harbor. There's an appearance (sort of) by St Louis rapper Nelly and chairs that were too heavy to lift for a traditional dance.
It was a disaster, in a no one gets hurt way -- and that makes for a great read.
7/20/23: "Freeing up Colorado River water from California farms will take more than money, just ask farmers"
In California's Imperial Valley, billions of dollars worth of America's food is grown and raised, and the farms have senior water rights to Coloradans when it comes to pulling from the Colorado River.
Alex Hager is a Fort-Collins-based reporter for KUNC Radio. He went to the valley to learn about the region that is offering to cut back on water usage, as states debate how to divvy up a drying river.
Hager talks to farmers about what they need in return for conservation and the impact it could have on national food supply.
7/17/23: "Firing of McAuliffe principal is having a chilling effect, Denver educators say"
When Denver Public Schools made the decision to fire McAuliffe International Principal Kurt Dennis after he disclosed details about the district's safety policy, it sent a message.
A new article from Melanie Asmar at Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization, suggests that message came through loud and clear. Asmar talked to district staff, past and present, who say they can already feel the chilling effect of Dennis' firing -- but they're speaking out anyway.
The article is a deep-dive into the the school safety concerns that led Dennis to speak out, the circumstances that led to his firing and why data doesn't support the school district's reasoning for the termination.
7/3/23: "Tribal nations push for seats at the table in Colorado River negotiations"
Sharon Udasin is a Colorado-based climate and policy reporter for The Hill. Her latest article gives a voice to the tribes often left out of the Colorado River negotiations.
With another round of long-term water use negotiations starting soon, 11 of the 30 tribes in the Colorado River region still have unresolved water rights claims.
If those are resolved, tribal water rights could represent as much as 29% of the river's annual water supply, and representatives tell Udasin their influence should be considered in talks about usage and conservation.
Udasin's article delves into what a sovereign approach to river negotiations might look like, and how tribal practices could inform our conservation efforts.
4/10/23: "Truthers: Tiffany Dover Is Dead*"
Tiffany Dover is alive, contrary to what you might have seen on the internet. Her story is a case study in how conspiracy theories targeting every day people ruin lives.
Anti-vax activists fixated on Dover during the pandemic when she fainted while talking to journalists after getting the COVID vaccine. The conspiracy theory went something like: people are dropping dead within minutes of getting the shot.
Dover and her family have fended off years of online rumors that she's dead. That she's actually a body double now raising her children.
Kyle recommends you check out the podcast Tiffany Dover Is Alive. It's the work of NBC News reporter Brandy Zadrozny who also has a long-form story out today on how an online conspiracy theory upended a woman's life.
3/1/23: "We rode RTD for 20 hours. Here's what we saw."
Kyle says this is one of the most impressive pieces of local journalism he's read in a while.
RTD is considering a ban on indefinite riding. It would kick unhoused people off trains, where they find safety and warmth. Denverite has an incredibly powerful piece by Nathaniel Minor and photojournalist Kevin Beaty.
They rode RTD or 20 hours to talk to other people riding for hours at a time. They honestly describe the mundane moments, and the criminal conduct they observe. What you'll remember are the heartbreaking conversations with people who say they don't want to be a bother to anyone but don't want to freeze on the streets.
1/6/23: Brown cloud thread
Longtime transportation planner Jim Charlier wrote a long Twitter thread explaining how Denver's current snow removal plan -- to plow the main streets then pray for sun -- was partly an environmental choice decades ago.
Less sand on the roads and fewer diesel plows out didn't just save money, but it reduced emissions on the kind of winter days when the Brown Cloud hung over the city.
He invited leaders to go beyond simplistic ideas and imagine a new plan that looks at everything from sidewalks, to bike lanes, to street drainage.
You can see the thread here.
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