Boulder Weekly 03.23.2023

Page 1

Asked and Answered

Why can’t I afford to live in the town I grew up in?

Boulder’s meme queen fields your burning questions on life and love in the foothills P. 22

Help! I’ve fallen in love with a hippie…


Where are all the gay bars?


P. 7
P. 35
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10 FEATURE: A local man’s journey with ALS shows the limits of medicine and the power of community BY WILL MATUSKA

19 MUSIC: Colorado musician Patrick Dethlefs plays through the pain BY JEZY J. GRAY

22 COMMUNITY: Boulder’s meme queen fields your burning local questions on life and love in the foothills BY SAMUEL SHAW

37 FLASH IN THE PAN: Making cheese is really simple

18 MUSIC: Joe Casey of Protomartyr on what comes next

21 THEATER: Lady Macbeth takes the stand in a fierce and fresh new work from Boulder’s Local Theater Company

24 EVENTS: What to do this week on the Front Range

29 FILM: ‘The Boston Strangler’ times two on Hulu 30 ASTROLOGY: by Rob Brezsny

31 SAVAGE LOVE: Size peace

32 NIBBLES: Three years later, our favorite kick-back weekend repast is back on the menu

35 DRINK: Spring cocktails by the connoisseurs

39 WEED: New research shows DMT affects parts of the brain used in imagination and other higher-level functions

CONTENTS 03.23.2023 BOULDER WEEKLY MARCH 23 , 2023 5
7 WRITERS ON THE RANGE: Let’s tell the truth about those big, bad wolves 9 LETTERS: Signed, sealed, delivered: your views 14 NEWS: Silicon Valley Bank backed start-ups led by women, people of color and LGBTQ people 16 NEWS ROUNDUP: The week’s news in Boulder County and beyond


MARCH 23, 2023

Volume XXX, Number 31

PUBLISHER: Fran Zankowski



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Caitlin Rockett



FOOD EDITOR: John Lehndorff



Dave Anderson, Emma Athena, Will Brendza, Rob Brezsny, Michael J. Casey, Angela K. Evans, Mark Fearer, Kaylee Harter, Nick Hutchinson, Dave Kirby, Ari LeVaux, Adam Perry, Dan Savage, Bart Schaneman, Alan Sculley, Samuel Shaw, Toni Tresca, Gregory Wakeman, Colin Wrenn



Kellie Robinson


Matthew Fischer


Chris Allred


Carter Ferryman





Mark Goodman


Sue Butcher, Ken Rott, Chris Bauer


BOOKKEEPER: Emily Weinberg

FOUNDER/CEO: Stewart Sallo

As Boulder County’s only independently owned newspaper, Boulder Weekly is dedicated to illuminating truth, advancing justice and protecting the First Amendment through ethical, no-holdsbarred journalism and thought-provoking opinion writing. Free every Thursday since 1993, the Weekly also offers the county’s most comprehensive arts and entertainment coverage. Read the print version, or visit boulderweekly. com. Boulder Weekly does not accept unsolicited editorial submissions. If you’re interested in writing for the paper, please send queries to: Any materials sent to Boulder Weekly become the property of the newspaper.

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Boulder Weekly is published every Thursday. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. © 2023 Boulder Weekly, Inc., all rights reserved.

Boulder Weekly welcomes your correspondence via email (letters@boulderweekly. com). Preference will be given to short letters (under 300 words) that deal with recent stories or local issues, and letters may be edited for style, length and libel. Letters should include your name, address and telephone number for verification. We do not publish anonymous letters or those signed with pseudonyms. Letters become the property of Boulder Weekly and will be published on our website.


The return of wolves to the West has always been contentious, and the deaths last fall of more than 40 cattle in western Colorado alarmed ranchers. But here’s the truth: Wolves did not kill those cattle found dead near Meeker.

After months of investigation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife found no evidence of wolves in the area at all.

Yet when the news of the cattle deaths went public last October, the agency issued a press release stating it was “investigating a report of dead domestic cow calves on White River National Forest lands near

Meeker that show damage consistent with wolf depredation.”

A month later, the agency’s Northwest regional manager testified before the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission that while some of the cattle had injuries that appeared to come from wolves, he found the situation “perplexing; it’s confusing; it’s frustrating, trying to figure out exactly what occurred in this incident.” The story of wolves as the culprits, however, made national headlines.

Wolves are coming back to the state naturally and because of the passage of Proposition 114, mandating restoration of wolves by the end

of this year. Through a Colorado Open Records Act request, the Humane Society of the United States obtained documents and photos about the livestock deaths in western Colorado and shared them with Carter Niemeyer, an expert on wolflivestock conflict. He is also a member of the state’s Technical Working Group on wolf restoration.

In his Feb. 14 report, Niemeyer found that “the evidence at Meeker is inconsistent with wolf attacks.” Niemeyer and veterinarians concluded that the cattle more likely died from “brisket disease,” which commonly afflicts cattle living at high altitudes.

Let’s tell the truth about those big, bad wolves


Misunderstandings like this one, which lasted weeks, aren’t helpful. Do wolves ever come into conflict with livestock? Yes, but it’s relatively rare. In the Northern Rockies, where wolves are established, they account for less than 1% of cattle losses. Disease, birthing problems, weather and theft take nine times as many cattle than all predators combined, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In Washington state, which is home to at least 33 wolf packs after nearly 15 years of wolf recovery, more than 80% of the packs have no conflict with livestock in an average year.

Overall, the threat of wolves to the livestock industry is negligible. For the few livestock producers who are impacted by wolves, it is, of course, economically painful and time consuming.

But options exist for ranchers to safeguard their livestock. Oldfashioned riding the range to drive off wolf packs, cleaning up carcasses so they don’t attract wolves, penning up livestock at night, installing scare devices, and using guard dogs are all deterrents that can work.

Unfortunately, data from the United States Department of Agriculture suggest that few livestock owners use these effective, non-lethal mitigation measures.

But many livestock producers across the west — in southern Alberta, the Big Wood River Drainage of Idaho, the Tom Miner Basin and Blackfoot Valley of

Montana and elsewhere — do use a variety of these deterrents, which make it possible for their herds to live alongside both wolves and grizzly bears.

To its credit, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has produced a resource guide for livestock producers. But as wolves integrate into western Colorado, the state must improve the way it investigates livestock deaths. These investigations must be timely and transparent — as in other Western states such as Washington — and without scapegoating. The Colorado Legislature could do its part, too, by providing funding for a trained, rapid-response team that would immediately investigate livestock injuries and deaths.

According to Niemeyer, authorities must respond as if they were investigating a crime scene — checking out dead livestock within 24 hours to prevent losing evidence from tissue decomposition or scavengers.

Only when a cause is determined, based on evidence, should information be made public. If wolf recovery is going to be successful for both wolves and people, everyone involved — livestock producers, wolf advocates, agencies — must work together. What happened in Meeker has been a valuable lesson in what not to do.

Story Warren is a program manager in wildlife protection for the Humane Society of the United States. This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

8 MARCH 23 , 2023 BOULDER WEEKLY Downtown Boulder R Gallery+WineBar, 2027 Broadway a play by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe March 31st - May 14th BOULDER On the Downtown Mall at 1425 Pearl St. 303-449-5260 & in The Village next to McGuckin 303-449-7440 DENVER Next to REI at 15th & Platte at 2368 15th St. 720-532-1084 In Store • Online • Curbside All Men’s & Women’s Sandals Included Even New Arrivals!


The newest revelations about Fox “News” knowingly airing false, incorrect and deceptive stories about Dominion Voting and the Jan. 6 insurrection, and Tucker Carlson’s recent attempt to rewrite the story of what happened on Jan. 6 must be addressed.

Because of the structure of cable and satellite service providers, consumers who do not watch Fox News and who do not endorse or support the lies Fox News continues to air are forced to pay for this service. Anyone who pays for anything beyond a “basic” channel line-up are paying (indirectly) for Fox News programming. That means millions of Americans are inadvertently paying Tucker Carlson’s salary. It means that millions of Americans are paying the salary of a man who deliberately airs misleading versions of what occurred on Jan. 6 at our Capitol, and continues to build false narratives that divide our country. This must change. Our cable/satellite providers need to provide a channel line-up that does not include or provide any compensation to Fox News. We must all demand this change, and be willing to drop their service if they do not address this issue. We can no longer tolerate paying for propaganda harmful to our

democracy. I urge everyone to contact your cable provider and demand this change.


With its proposed free range/libertarian ADU and occupancy expansion, the pro-business-growth City Council and its hand-picked Housing Advisory Board are flailing at a remedy for a housing shortage of the Council’s own making, its business-first bent. Established residential neighborhoods will bear the brunt of the loosened regulations. For some Boulderites beginning to live precariously in today’s inflationary economy, the prospect of rental income may appear a welcome respite, but becoming a landlord has its costs and stresses. The beneficiaries of the new regulations are the LLCs owning multiple properties and having the operating capital to build and add ADUs to these. Coupled with the university’s constantly expanding enrollment, various neighborhoods are increasingly filled with student rentals, much to the detriment of community cohesiveness and belonging. As with the CU South Campus and City flood mitigation plan, it is the people of Boulder who end up paying the cost of the Council’s misdeeds.

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Syed Atif Ali (known as Atif) was halfway through a hike in Iceland when he started pushing the pace.

He wanted to run, like he often did on trails surrounding Boulder, where he received degrees from both CU and Naropa universities and has lived since the mid-2000s.

An avid outdoors person, Atif was driven to this two-week Icelandic adventure after his last long hike left him with an unexplainable feeling that he didn’t have many more hikes left.

But this time he was really struggling.

“Why can’t I run anymore?” he remembers thinking to himself during his hike.

When he fell and broke his ankle, he wasn’t surprised — just relieved.

Sprawled just off the trail surrounded by glaciers and mountain peaks, Atif thought he might finally know what was happening to his body.

“That [trip] was kind of my last hurrah,” he says during a visit to his rental home outside Lafayette.

A few years later, in September 2021, doctors at the Anschutz Medical Campus diagnosed Atif with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and gave him a year and a half to

live. Looking back, he says that fall on the hike in Iceland was a culmination of something he was feeling for some time — muscle weakness and problems with coordination leading him to feel insecure walking, crossing the street and running.

He says getting that diagnosis at 45 years old was devastating — he thought he was about halfway through his life.

The rare and life-threatening neurological disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, disrupts nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movements like walking, talking and breathing. The ALS Association estimates at least 16,000 people have the disease at a given time in the U.S. (two per 100,000 people).

Today, Atif struggles to lift his hand and arms, can’t stand without support, has difficulty talking and breathing, and requires a round-the-clock caregiver. He says the disease has progressed rapidly — just last November he was walking on his own.

He’s participated in multiple trials to test different treatments, but has not felt improvements. There’s no cure or effective treatment to reverse ALS’ progression.

Despite the physical, emotional and financial toll, Atif’s friends describe him as gracious, caring and strong.

His participation in the local arts and music scene around Boulder gave him a reputation as a popular “community guy” known to have “many orbits” of involvement in Boulder, including volunteering at local radio station KGNU.

Because of that reputation and his diagnosis, the community has been pouring out support for him over the last year and a half — with nearly 350 people donating a total of nearly $80,000 to help support him.

Chris Allred is a longtime friend of Atif’s. He says Atif has a “very strong spirit.”

“He’s facing this challenge with such fortitude and high spirits,” Allred says. “He’s just such a bright soul and he’s facing it better than I can imagine anyone doing with such a challenging diagnosis.”


Despite first being discovered in 1869, there are still unknowns surrounding ALS.

According to the ALS Association, 10% of people with ALS inherit a mutated gene with a known connec-

tion to causing the disease. The other 90% of cases, including Atif’s, don’t have a definitive cause and are considered “sporadic.”

While it’s unclear how Atif developed ALS, he highlighted a brain injury caused by a car accident in 2016. On the outside it looked like he was recovering, he says, but on the inside it felt like “something had changed.”

“[The crash] took away a certain filter,” he says.

One study published in the National Library of Medicine in 2018 found trauma events confined to the head are risk factors for ALS.

Brian Frederick, senior vice president of communications at the ALS Association, says there are some diagnosis trends, like higher rates within certain occupations like military or NFL players or “clusters” of cases found in certain locations that could potentially point to an environmental cause. But, he reiterates that these are not definitive.

Frederick says the disease is hard to study because it affects people in different ways and along different timelines.

“We’re still trying to understand what causes ALS, so the lack of a clear, specific cause makes it more

A local man’s journey with ALS shows the limits of medicine and the power of community

difficult to develop treatments,” he says.

Frederick, who received a Ph.D at CU, says he is seeing more resources invested in ALS research that is leading to new treatments and discoveries.

For example, in September 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Relyvrio to treat patients with ALS. This is the first new treatment in “years,” according to Frederick. Another drug called Tofersen was under discussion during an FDA advisory committee meeting on March 22.

“We’re very hopeful that we’ll continue to see new treatments come online for a disease that hasn’t had a lot of treatments in the past,” says Frederick.


Atif has family in Houston and Chicago, but one of the main reasons he came back to Boulder County was because of his friends. One of those friends is Allred, a sales rep at Boulder Weekly and former roommate of Atif’s.

On a sunny Friday at Atif’s place outside Lafayette, Allred arrives with home-baked cookies and purified water. The two of them used to go to CU’s International Film Series together and go on hikes at the Hessie Trailhead west of Nederland. They joke about how cold the house they lived in together on Goss Street always was.

Allred was one of the friends who answered Atif’s call in mid-February

when he wanted to move out of the nursing home he was in because of “difficult conditions.”

“It was very hard to be in that space with my limited function,” Atif says. “I was relegated to a bed, and my decline happened very rapidly.”

Atif didn’t want to spend his last days there, so a crew of friends helped move him and his 400-lb electric-powered wheelchair to Lafayette.

While his new space is quieter and better fit for his needs, it presents challenges, like finding the money to pay for rent and home healthcare. While Atif’s support system is managing donation money, there’s concern it’s not sustainable without Medicaid support, which is estimated to arrive in up to two months.

Allred says all the support Atif has received from the community is a testament to his impact.

“It really shows the effect he’s had throughout his life because more and

more friends and loved ones keep showing up to help,” Allred says. Even Christy DeArment, who met Atif just this year through donating reiki sessions once a week, is touched by Atif.

“He’s a really amazing man and he impacts people when they meet him,” she says.

Atif has received Hospice care since December, when doctors gave him six months to live. Between now and the end, he doesn’t want to go back to a nursing home. For the rest of his time he says he is “trying to have a situation that allows the end stages to be comfortable, and with friends and community as much as possible.”

Scan the code to donate to Atif. Learn more about ALS and ongoing research at



fritz family brewers

cory’s illustrious brewing career started in Boulder way back in 1992 as a homebrewing college student. As an active member of the home brew club Hop Barley and the Alers, he learned from more seasoned brewers to appreciate a wide variety of beers, but especially lagers.

He spent so much time at What’s Brewin’ home brew shop they had


Armene Piper is a Boulder native who grew up on the outskirts of town; she can still remember when Arapahoe and 75th Street were dirt roads. Now she lives in Longmont with her husband, five children and four dogs. She is deeply committed to her clients and takes great pride in providing the best customer experience with unparalleled results.


Locally woman-owned and operated, Wild Birds Unlimited Specializes in bringing people and nature together through the hobby of backyard bird feeding. We offer a wide variety of naturerelated products and expert, local advice. Our store stocks the highest quality items made in the the USA with emphasis on eco-

no choice but to eventually give him a job. He then spent 2 years brewing at Tommyknocker’s in Idaho Springs, before moving to Jackson, Wyoming to brew at Snake River Brewing.

Cory spent 17 years brewing and honing his craft at Snake River and it is there that he met his amazing wife and business partner Kelly.

6778 N. 79th Street, Niwot

Armene also works closely with the transgender community to help them feel more authentic in their own body’s. Armene offers Cryoskin slimming and toning, laser hair removal, vein treatments, sun and age spot treatments, toenail fungus treatments, as well as Boleyn stretch mark and scar camouflage. 1446 Hover Street, Longmont 303-551-4701

friendly products and recycled plastics. We source our unique gifts from Fair Trade companies and local artisans. We also have gift cards and last-minute gift ideas. Stop in and let us explain our mission to Save the Songbirds one backyard at a time!

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ozo coffee

oZO Coffee Company is a coffee roaster & retail operator based in Boulder, Colorado with Espresso Cafe locations in Boulder and Longmont, Colorado.

Founded in 2007, OZO Coffee has based its growth on core

Blue Agave

Blue Agave History. Northern Colorado’s most highly recommended dining attraction.

Blue Agave is family-owned and operated, bringing collectively over five decades of experience in the restaurant business, offering recipes that go back generations that derive

principles of service, quality, community, and sustainability. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our passion for coffee with you.


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Check out our Happy Hour, Mon- Friday 10a-5pm.

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We are crazy for clean cars!! We are a locallyowned and operated express tunnel car wash located at 1876 Hover Street in Longmont. Our state-of-the-art carwash system reclaims 70% of the water used, because we

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Silicon Valley Bank was one of the few that would give venture-backed start-ups led by women, people of color and LGBTQ people a line of credit

Silicon Valley Bank was the only institution that would give Liz Giorgi a line of credit. It was 2019, and Giorgi was launching a new business venture called soona, a virtual photography studio service (which launched its first physical studio in Denver). Twenty-seven other banks had turned her away. Giorgi remembers sitting down with bankers who asked clearly inappropriate questions: What does your husband do for a living? How much money does he make?

But Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) offered a solution. Being a resource for women founders was one of SVB’s stated goals. It helped women-owned, venturebacked tech businesses like hers in a climate where businesses owned by people of color, women and LGBTQ people face significant barriers to accessing credit. That was true even for founders like Giorgi, who had already previously built a successful video production business that counted Facebook as a client.

“People think of this underbanked problem as these banks need to market to more women,” Giorgi said. “No, no, no, this is a cultural problem that happens at an individual level … and that creates these ripple effects across the entirety of the entrepreneurial ecosystem where the end result is women are underbanked.”

Access to Innovation, one of SVB’s programs, was centered around connecting women-, Black- and Latinxowned businesses with start-up funding. Another, the SVB Fellows Program, connected entrepreneurs from those same groups with venture capital firms.

The bank was focused on diversity within its workforce, too. For five years in a row, it had been recognized by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for its performance in transparent gender data reporting and equity in the workplace. About 46% of its workforce and 38% of its senior leadership was women. Those diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives have drawn criti-

funding marketplace for women-led start-ups and small businesses.

But on March 10, SVB’s appetite for risk and a serious miscalculation of the changing economic climate led to its demise. SVB failed to act quickly when a confluence of rising interest rates and diminished funding in startups, the bulk of SVB’s business, led founders to start pulling cash from their accounts. To help mitigate that, SVB sold a portfolio of Treasury bonds at a nearly $2 billion loss — and when news got out, panic ensued

The vast majority of the accounts with SVB held more than $250,000, the most that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) will insure in case of a bank failure. About 90% of the bank’s $175 billion in deposits were uninsured, according to

seven other women founders who are wondering, like her, where to look.

“One of the reasons that there are … female founders talking about this is because you want to be able to say, ‘OK, I got this sort of offer from this bank, what did you get?’” said Giorgi, whose relationship with SVB helped turn her business into a 145-person operation with $54 million in venture capital funding in just three years.

Underrepresented founders “are mostly asking to be treated the same,” Giorgi said. “And these situations are more painful simply because we aren’t.”


A new Federal Reserve survey released this month found that small businesses report significant challenges getting fully approved for the loans they’re seeking from banks. The percentage of small businesses that received full funding dropped 36% in 2022 when compared with 2019, and the largest drop was for Blackowned businesses (41%). Asianowned small businesses saw a 28% drop in approvals, and Latinx-owned businesses experienced a 17% decrease. The survey also found that 74% of women-owned firms had to rely on the owner’s personal savings or funds from family and friends in the past five years, compared with 64% of businesses owned by men.

cism from conservative lawmakers who say the bank was too focused on “woke” policies and that caused it to make mistakes, but so far there has been no evidence that those initiatives were connected to what would happen next.


The bank knew that “women entrepreneurs are a massive market opportunity and they were very bullish on trying to engage with our community in various ways,” said Karen Cahn, the CEO of iFundWomen, a

FDIC filings, an unusually high proportion. Fearing the bank’s collapse after the Treasury bonds were sold, depositors withdrew their money before they lost it. That sent the bank into free fall, and the federal government stepped in. On March 13, President Joe Biden announced that depositors will be made whole, whether or not all of their money was insured.

That was a relief to small-business owners who were worried they’d lose their money and their businesses, but the question now is what comes next? Giorgi said she’s heard from

LGBTQ-owned businesses report similar challenges: Nearly half of LGBTQ owners received none of the funding they applied for in the past year, according to an analysis of a 2021 Federal Reserve survey by the Center of LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research. Thirtythree percent of respondents said lenders didn’t approve financing for “businesses like theirs.” The figure was 24% for non-LGBTQ-owned businesses.

But it’s those same groups that have been driving business creation. In 2021, 49% of new businesses were run by women, compared with 28% in 2019, according to a recent


study by Gusto, a software company that provides payroll and HR management for businesses. The share of new businesses run by Black owners tripled to 9% in that timeframe, and the share of Latinx owners rose from 8% to 10%.

And yet, in 2022, women business owners got just 2.1% of capital investments in venture-backed startups, according to PitchBook, a venture capital, private equity, and merger and acquisition database. About 0.3% goes to women of color, iFundWomen found. And LGBTQ founders get less than 1% of venture capital funding, according to StartOut, a nonprofit that collects data on LGBTQ entrepreneurs.

Even at a bank like SVB, which worked primarily with venture-capitalbacked firms, many women, people of color and LGBTQ people were shut out. Now, the bank’s failure will affect all minority groups that already struggle to get venture capital funding, Cahn said, because those purse strings are probably going to get tighter.

“The funding opportunities in venture capital for women that were virtually nonexistent before are literally nonexistent now,” Cahn said.

Vanessa Pham, the CEO and cofounder of Asian cooking sauce company Omsom, said that’s one of her concerns in the days ahead.

“In any contraction everything gets harder for small business and emerging brands,” said Pham, who runs the business with her sister, Kim. They’re daughters of Vietnamese refugees. In a collapse like SVB’s, “I know that will impact us in many ways, both in terms of consumer spending and meaningfully on operations and financial access.”


When news broke of SVB’s failure, Pham said her first worry was that they would fall into an ecosystem where it would be up to investors and creditors “to decide who gets to live.” Omsom had all of its capital in an SVB account.

Businesses owned by people of color and women are viewed as riski-

er from the onset, in large part because of historic inequality that forces those businesses to start from a place of lower capital and less access. For women, it’s in part because they are paid less than men — the gender pay gap hasn’t budged in 20 years — and so they are more likely to have less money saved, to have fewer assets like a home. Those challenges are compounded for people of color, and women of color especially, for whom the pay gap is wider, homeownership rates are lower, and banking relationships are less established.

Still, Pham has had more access than many women of color, she said. She studied at Harvard and worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company. She went to SVB because she knew they worked well with other venture-capital-backed start-up businesses.

For her, getting through the collapse of the bank happened through community. The Pham sisters posted an open letter to SVB on Instagram that went viral.

“This poses a major existential threat to many small businesses (especially those creating physical

goods),” the sisters wrote on March 11. “When large institutions and gatekeepers make big changes, it is oftentimes the smallest and most marginalized groups who feel the impact the heaviest.”

In response, investors, vendors and customers showered them with support, including by buying their products. A friend helped Omsom establish a line of credit with JPMorgan Chase. Pham’s now working on establishing more banking relationships.

“I would say there is a lot of grassroots community building going on where we are supporting each other in very tangible ways,” Pham said.


Moving forward, banks may also put higher standards in place for issuing credit, loans and providing funding, which will also affect businesses owned by women, people of color and LGBTQ people, said Lyda Bigelow, a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the University of Utah.

“Part of the problem is that, especially when you’re talking about startups, perhaps your current return measure, or current increase in sales

year-over-year, or current expected growth over the next 12 months, maybe those metrics don’t look as good as a comparable start-up run by a white dude,” Bigelow said. “That’s always difficult for the smallest and riskiest start-ups and that generally correlates with the founders’ demographics.”

Danny Taing, the founder of Bokksu, a Japanese snack box subscription service, said he’s been mourning the loss of the community that SVB created for minority founders. Not only did the bank connect him with his lead investors, but it also helped fund Asian-American events and was planning to feature him more broadly in the community in the coming months as both an AsianAmerican founder and an out gay man.

“It’s going to be a huge loss for our community because plenty of straight white male founders have support networks, but there’s pretty much no money for us. … Now I have to build new relationships again from the ground up with bigger banks, and honestly I don’t think they are going to care about me,” Taing said. “It’s this loss of a really big champion.”




The federal Office of the Solicitor General recommends the Supreme Court allow the City of Boulder and Boulder County’s case against Exxon Mobil and Suncor to proceed in Colorado state court.

The recommendation came on March 16 after the two fossil fuel companies asked for a higher court to review the case in June 2022.

Boulder County Commissioner Ashley Stolzmann says the lawsuit focuses on “local injuries and violations of state law.”

“This case is about ensuring that the taxpayers of Boulder County, and similar communities, do not have to foot the entire bill for the costs of climate change harms,” she told Boulder Weekly via email. “Because of their deception, the fossil fuel companies continue to profit from the climate crisis and also bear responsibility.”

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2018 by Boulder County, San Miguel County and the City of Boulder against Exxon and Suncor for “their decades of misinformation and other contributions to the climate crisis.”

“Fires, floods, and extreme weather not only pose threats to our community, but they are also very costly to taxpayers,” Boulder Mayor Aaron Brocket said in a press release. “The companies responsible for these costs must pay.”

The Supreme Court will decide whether to follow the Solicitor General’s recommendation or hear the case.


There’s some good news in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report.

The Sixth Assessment Report, released on March 20, compiles the latest findings from climate scientists to show impacts of climate change, risks in the near- and long-term, current adaptation status and more.

Scientists from around the world write in the report that progress across all sectors and regions have generated “multiple benefits,” with more countries making commitments to reduce emissions and helping communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.

At the same time, the report says climate change has already “led to some irreversible impacts as natural and human systems are pushed beyond their ability to adapt.” The report also found there is more than a 50% chance global temperature will reach or surpass 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040.

Despite some promising low-carbon tech developments and more funding toward climate adaptation and resilience, the report still calls for policymakers to make more ambitious greenhouse gas reductions.



The Gross Reservoir Community Advisory Working Group is accepting applications to join the group and make recommendations to Boulder County on the best way to distribute the $5 million Gross Reservoir Community Impact Mitigation Fund.

The Fund was designed to provide direct payments to eligible property owners who might be impacted by the dam’s expansion project after Boulder County’s settlement with Denver Water.

The working group will meet three times between April and May to develop recommendations. The application deadline is Monday, March 27 at 1 p.m. Apply at


Colorado has drafted 15 members for the board that will advise on how to implement psychedelic therapy programs.

Voters passed Proposition 122 last November, decriminalizing certain hallucinogenic compounds, including psilocybin and mescaline, and authorizing state-licensed treatment centers to administer the drug under supervision.

The state confirmed the members, appointed by Gov. Jared Polis, on March 14 to serve on the Colorado Natural Medicine Advisory Board. The board, consisting of experts in health care, mycology, Indigenous traditions and more, will advise the Department on Regulatory Agencies on how to successfully implement the proposition.

“This is just one part of a careful and intentional process toward creating a state-regulated system to ensure safe, equitable access to these medicines for all Colorado adults who can safely benefit,” Tasia Poinsatte, executive director of Healing Advocacy Fund Colorado, said in a press release. “In order to effectively combat Colorado’s mental health crisis, we must ensure access to new and innovative pathways to healing, and today’s confirmation is an important step towards that goal.”

Prominent medical institutions like Johns Hopkins, UCLA and NYU have found some natural psychedelic medicines to be effective at treating anxiety and depression. The Food and Drug Administration recently designated psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy” for treatment-resistant depression.

Gross Reservoir, west of Boulder and Eldorado Springs.



Joe Casey of Protomartyr on what comes next

The latest offering from Detroit post-punk outfit Protomartyr begins with a grim salutation: “Welcome to the haunted earth / the living afterlife,” vocalist Joe Casey murmurs over a lonely kick-drum heartbeat and splashy clean guitar. “Where we choose to forget the years of the hungry knife.”

Such unsettling invitations are a linchpin for Protomartyr, named after Saint Stephen who allegedly fell asleep while being stoned to death by an angry mob in 34 A.D. The first track from the band’s previous album Ultimate Success Today parted the curtains with a frantic sense of paranoia, dropping listeners into the uncanny horror of a “day without end.” But with the weary welcome announcing its follow-up Formal Growth in the Desert, out June 2 via Domino, Casey turns his attention to the day after.

“Let’s say you go to the doctor and the doctor says you have three months to live. Right there, you probably have the thought: ‘OK, I guess I’m dead.’ But then you have to wake up tomorrow. The world keeps on going,” the philosophical 45-year-old frontman says of the new album’s opening salvo. “It’s very depressing, but there’s some kind of humor in that. You go downstairs and make your coffee and turn on the TV and it’s still the same mundane bullshit. The world doesn’t stop because one person suffers.”

And there’s plenty of suffering to go around in the Protomartyr discography. Since breaking out of the Michigan punk scene more than a decade ago with their 2012 debut No Passion All Technique, the hardscrabble Motor City quartet has built a sterling reputation by tempering teethbaring ferocity with a profound spiritual and social ennui. From the community carnage of political corruption

(Under Color of Official Right) to the bondage of grief (The Agent Intellect) and the bone-deep bummer of American decline (Relatives in Descent), the band has cemented its critical-darling status by trading less in punk’s telltale rage at a broken world and more in the crushing sadness of it all.

“We’re living after a very traumatic period, and we’re acting like it’s not happening,” Casey says of the mass death and collective breakdown coloring the years since Ultimate Success Today was swallowed by the raging peak of the pandemic. “We’re the people who are stuck on this earth. The afterlife is this moment, trying to find some life after death.”


But it’s not all doom and gloom on Formal Growth in the Desert. As the title suggests, there’s something that looks like hope blooming in the barren expanse of its 34-minute runtime. That might be why Domino promoted the album with Protomartyr-branded seed packets to sprout a Rose of Jericho “resurrection plant,” a desert

species of spikemoss that can spring back to life after long periods of neglect. Emblazoned on the packaging are the lyrics to the album’s first anthemic chorus: Make way / for tomorrow

“‘Tomorrow is another day’ is kind of a pie-in-the-sky idea that seems to be both a positive and a negative thing. [“Make Way”] is about getting out of the way, because the next day is coming, the next thing is coming,” Casey says. “That kind of repeats itself throughout the rest of the record: Get out of the way, because your time has passed. Or get out of the way, because you’re unimportant. [It’s about] getting over adversity, too.” When it comes to the new record’s sense of growth, you see it before you hear it. The last five Protomartyr album covers, all designed by Casey, feature the striking collage-style portrait of a single entity: atomic bomb developer J. Robert Oppenheimer, silent actress Maude Fealy as Joan of Arc, and a snarling rabid dog, to name just a few. But this time around, Casey places two figures in the frame: an almond-eyed young person casting their gaze on a berobed golem figure, raising a single hand to its humanoid visage.

“For good or ill, this is the first of our albums that has some love songs

on it. So I thought, ‘Well, this is a perfect time to introduce a second face,’” Casey says with a laugh. “I was thinking the next [cover] would be an inanimate object. Then I thought, ‘What if it’s a statue getting turned into a human?’ There’s tons of mythologies about that. So I decided this would be the first with two people in it, just to throw a curveball that isn’t really a curveball.”

Much like the yin and yang of the twin figures gracing its haunting cover, Formal Growth in the Desert brings dissonant ideas into harmony as the time-tested band turns its gaze to the future. But after fronting Protomartyr through all these terrible teeth-gnashing years, Casey is still stuck on what it means to make way for tomorrow.

“The most dehumanizing, terrible things can happen to Americans, and we are able to just kind of forget about it the next day and move on,” he says. “I can’t tell if that is utter stupidity, or cruelty — or resilience, possibly.”

ON THE BILL: Protomartyr with Immortal Nightbody. 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, Hi-Dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver. Sold out. Detroit post-punk quartet Protomartyr comes to the Hi-Dive in Denver on March 28. Photo by Trevor Naud. Formal Growth in the Desert is out June 2 via Domino Recording Company.


Patrick Dethlefs plays through the pain

When local singer-songwriter Patrick Dethlefs looks back on his earliest memories, he hears the sound of his dad’s guitar. Music filled the rooms of his childhood home in Kittredge, Colorado — usual suspects like Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and The Grateful Dead — but it was his father’s original compositions that cut through the noise.

“He’d write songs, but it was never a professional aspiration of his to become a musician,” says the 32-year-old artist currently based in Lakewood. “He just did it because he liked it.”

Dethlefs followed suit. Pulled to the playground of meter and melody, he picked up the trumpet in elementary school, but it didn’t take. Then his neighbor got an electric bass, and the idea of starting a band began to germinate. Everything changed on his 12th birthday, when Dethlefs got his first guitar as a gift from his parents. Then it all changed again a few short years later, when his dad died.

“There’s probably a bit of responsibility in [terms of] why I am the way I am — or maybe why I reflect the way I do, in song at least,” Dethlefs says. “Trying to process that [loss] and find my way has been such a big part of my life.”

When it comes to reckoning with the not-quite-gone presence of what was lost, you’ll hear something of the sentiment on the title track from Dethlefs’ most recent 2021 LP, If You Listen Before the record unspools into its sensible mix of galloping country soul and indie-folk tenderness, the artist presents listeners with a couplet that captures the everevolving lives of the things we thought we left behind.

“Nothing’s gone with the wind,” he sings with hushed reverence over a delicate finger-picked guitar. “It’s always here with you, if you listen.”


Dethlefs has called the Centennial State home since he was a kid, but he has become a common fixture around Boulder in particular over the last few years. Maybe you caught him with Sound of Honey at the Chautauqua House last month, or the Gold Hill Inn before that — or perhaps during an intimate evening at eTown Hall, or an in-store performance at Paradise Found Records and Music. Dethlefs gets around in Boulder County, and he says the region’s unique and intimate spaces are a big reason why.

“Playing a bigger venue is awesome, especially in an opening situation,” he says. “But for doing my own thing, I feel like playing a smaller, more unique spot makes the whole experience a little more interesting for me and the people listening.”

To that end, Dethlefs returns to our corner of the Front Range for a Sunday night solo performance with singer-songwriter Margo Cilker at The Velvet Elk Lounge in downtown Boulder on April 2. He says concertgo-

ers will get a stripped-down glimpse at an artist newly emboldened by the tumult of the last few years.

“I was feeling a bit stuck with songwriting, but then the pandemic made it apparent that … it doesn’t need to be so trying to do this — it could be just fun,” he says. “I feel like I’m trying to create from that point of view, versus a career sort of thing. I mean, I would love [to be successful], but it’s also maybe out of my control at some point.”

The newly un-stuck Dethlefs is sure to remain a common sight on local bills for the foreseeable future, but where it goes beyond here is anyone’s guess. When it comes to navigating that unknown, he’s taking it one song at a time — a process that feels as much like an act of remembrance as an act of self-care.

“I play music because I enjoy it, but it also feels like a bit of a connection to [my dad] because he loved it so much,” Dethlefs says. “And it does feel like one of the ways I work through stuff is by playing music, besides going to therapy and journaling and doing whatever else to feel healthy mentally. Music is a huge part of that. It can just kind of bring me back into the moment.”

ON THE BILL: Margo Cilker with Patrick Dethlefs (solo). 9 p.m. Sunday, April 2, Velvet Elk Lounge, 2037 13th St., Boulder. $15 | Patrick Dethlefs (full band). 7 p.m. Friday, April 7, Jamestown Mercantile, 108 Main St. Free

“I play music because I enjoy it, but it also feels like a bit of a connection to [my dad] because he loved it so much,” says Front Range singer-songwriter Patrick Dethlefs. Photo by Brooke Svitak. Patrick Dethlefs’ 2021 full-length, If You Listen, is available now on streaming platforms.
765 E. South Boulder Rd, Louisville CO 80027 303-435-7571 Monday - Saturday 7:30am to 2pm European Cafe in Louisville Fresh baked pastries and sandwiches Local Ampersand Coffee, Sherpa Chai and Dushanbe Tea MEDIA SPONSORS COMMUNITY PARTNERS INCLUDE:
Street Wise Arts, Artist: Ciarra Bourne. Photo by Tyler Dittlo.


Lady Macbeth takes the stand in a fierce and fresh new work from Boulder’s Local Theater Company

An eerie sense of dejá vu gripped the country during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, as again the world watched another white man rise to power despite credible allegations of sexual assault. For Pesha Rudnick, founding artistic director of Boulder’s Local Theater Company, that uncanny sense of familiarity was met with a sharp flash of anger.

“I felt all the rage from when Clarence Thomas was nominated and we ignored Anita Hill,” Rudnick says. “Our country has a history of putting women on trial and not believing them; this was a clear moment of history repeating itself, and our chance to change the story.”

This opportunity to shift the narrative came by way of UNDONE: The Lady M Project, Local’s bold reimagining of Macbeth that puts one of

Shakespeare’s most powerful and famous women characters on trial.

But it’s not just Lady M (Anne Penner) on the stand in this new production running at The Savoy in Denver through March 26. Characters from Shakespeare’s original play, such as King Duncan (Matthew Schneck) and chambermaid Greer (Emelie O’Hara), appear in court at a trial that ultimately investigates our perception of powerful women.

“We felt Lady Macbeth had so much depth but didn’t have the words or stage time to tell her story,” says director and playwright Mare Trevathan. “Macbeth gets to be complicated, but Lady Macbeth is an evil manipulator. You don’t hear male politicians called Macbeth, but women in power are frequently labeled a ‘Lady Macbeth’ as an insult.”


When Penner and Trevathan reached out to Rudnick with the idea in 2019, she encouraged them to create a pitch for Local’s annual new play summit. After being commissioned to write the play, they read aloud every scene from Macbeth with a reference to Lady Macbeth and “created a recipe for each scene” based on the essential elements of the exchange.

The pair then created their own version of each scene combining contemporary language with the original Shakespearean text. About a month before they were supposed to present an online reading of the play in 2020, they enlisted the help of theater historian and dramaturg Hadley Kamminga-Peck on the script, based in part on her academic research relating to women characters in Elizabethan drama.

“Mare, Hadley and Anne have been working for decades in Colorado and had this exciting vision for the shared development of a play,” says Rudnick. “I got excited about their

shared leadership on the production because that allows us to double down on the shared leadership model we have implemented on the administrative side of Local.”

But when the team first presented a workshop reading of the play online in the 2020 Local Lab, audiences said it was still too much about Macbeth.

“We thought we had taken a lot of liberties with the script … turns out, we hadn’t been as irreverent as we thought,” Trevathan says. “[That] was very helpful feedback for when we revised it for the Local Lab development workshop in 2022 and its world premiere this year.”

In its current form, UNDONE: The Lady M Project is written in a mostly contemporary style with Macbeth (Orion Carrington) waiting in the wings until the show’s surprising third act in a Portland coffee shop. And though the change in setting is a bit jarring and disconnected from the play’s polished first two acts, its absurdity was part of the point for the creative team.

“The actor encouraged us to make the script weirder. If a play presents itself as weird, and this is certainly weird, then you really have to pursue that,” Penner says. “So, we pursued it through time travel and ended up in 2023 Portland.”

But as the old saying goes, truth is often stranger than fiction. And as Rudnick reflects on the real-world circumstances leading to the notion that her company should tell a story like this one, Local’s founding artistic director says there’s nothing strange about correcting a centuries-old imbalance like the one at the heart of UNDONE.

“The character of Lady Macbeth is even more important now after coming out of the Trump administration,” Rudnick says. “It is more important than ever to give women a voice.”


The Lady M Project by Hadley Kamminga-Peck, Anne Penner, and Mare Trevathan. 7:30 p.m. through March 26 (2 p.m. matinée on Sunday), The Savoy, 2700 Arapahoe St., Denver. $40

Left to right: Chelsea Frye, Abner Genece and Thadd Krueger. Photo courtesy Local Theater Company. Anne Penner as Lady M. Photo courtesy Local Theater Company.


Meet Whole Foods Daddy, Boulder’s meme laureate crystallizing the decadence, weirdness and beauty of the People’s Republic

Gabby Vermeire still remembers the first meme she posted in 2019. The template: an anime illustration of a bespectacled man gesturing fondly towards a butterfly with three captions splashed across the frame. On the man, “midwesterners,” on the butterfly, “Pasta Jay’s” — and beneath both, “Is this literally the best place in Boulder?”

The image macro was a big hit among Vermeire’s friends in their group chat. Then it made its way to the city’s dedicated subreddit, r/Boulder, where strangers upvoted the post 250 times. But Instagram is where Vermeire’s oddball local memes found a real audi-


Boulder conundrums and queries, solved and answered

ence, one that’s inched within 10,000 followers and garnished the tall, bookish parale gal with an air of micro-celebri ty, at least online, and a cult status among CU students and local 20-somethings.

As it turned out, there was a vacuum for memes that put Boulder’s ineffable weirdness into context, and Vermeire was happy to fill it. She had a lifetime of training after all; having grown up on The Hill, the city’s contradictions and archetypes — bohemian millionaires, alt-medicine moms, Google tech bros, and of course, the many shades of CU

We all have questions and need advice, but sometimes the pseudo therapy in the Instagram stories of astrology girls doesn’t cut it. Or maybe the gatekeeping culture of adventure bros has you fearing the judgment that comes with revealing yourself as a newbie at anything. This advice column exists to hold space for you and your Boulder queries (especially the uncool ones).


With their running-honed bods, tired eyes, fashionably tousled hair and five-o’clock shadows, Lucky’s DILFs — that is, actual fathers, not just hotties of a cer-

student life — were as familiar as the local fauna. Her research pedigree includes an undergraduate degree in political science and biology from CU Boulder. This is Whole Foods Daddy’s natural habitat.

“I grew up in fear of CU students, which is a very natural, normal and healthy thing. Then I became a CU student. Now I’m older than them and still maintain a healthy fear,” Vermeire, 27, says with a laugh between sips of

tain age — are a classic Boulder sex symbol. They are frustratingly loyal to their partners, making them more desirable but even less attainable. I am assuming you are not a half-off bag of muesli, but have you considered disguising yourself as one? Or perhaps some on-sale ketogenic breadcrumbs? Part of the biology of a Lucky’s DILF is that he cannot resist a sale or a food trend. Spilling your hot fresh rotisserie chicken on him in the checkout line will have a 100% success rate as well.

son, but their post history suggests anti-homeless supervillain status

4. Tips 20% on the food but not the bottle of wine at Frasca and gives the server the smuggest smile you’ll ever see in your life

5. Voted Michael Bloomberg



1. “In this house we believe…” yard sign

2. More than three pages of results when you search their name in the Daily Camera letters to the editor archive

3. Has requested to connect with you on Nextdoor for some rea-


I’m betting you’re in a place where you need some validation, and are perhaps feeling self-conscious about testing the limits of your friends’ capacity to “hold space” for your 12 a.m. sad-texts. Feeling poopy one month after a breakup

“People kept assuming I was a dude, likely because people think boys are funnier than girls,” says Gabby Vermeire, administrator of the Whole Foods Daddy meme account on Instagram. Photo by Samuel Shaw.

West End Tavern’s house malbec. An affinity for wine is one aspect of her online persona inspired by reality. The ritual lubricates Vermeire’s creative process and helps her unwind after grueling shifts in family court. But when it comes to her identity, a certain degree of ambiguity has provided Vermeire freedom to experiment with characters. One is the wise “Chrone,” sometimes depicted as a babushka chastising sorority girls for sporting club wear during lethal cold snaps. Others gleefully indulge various levels of thirst for species of men only found in Boulder, from “fit wook Dads going commando under their harem pants,” to recumbent cyclists with the “legs of Zeus.” These clues combined to suggest an important facet of Vermeire’s identity that her early content didn’t: that the account is run by a woman.

“I’ve started to become more transparent about this coming from the perspective of a woman because people kept assuming I was a dude, likely because people think boys are

funnier than girls,” Vermeire says.

But the “manic-pixie-granola-girl desperate for guys” presented by Whole Foods Daddy is inflated for comic effect. The real Vermiere is less sure-footed, and more ready to laugh at her own expense.

“I constantly identify as an uncool person. That’s a big part of my actual personality,” Vermeire says. Many of her posts are marinated in that same self-deprecating charm, a key ingredient for relatability.


The memes would ring hollow if they didn’t faithfully capture Boulder, both its sparkle and blemishes. On that front, Vermeire has developed a working theory of her subjects.

“Boulderites love to work out and are really hot, for the most part. Those two things are probably related,” she says. If there is a thread connecting the city’s denizens, Vermeire posits, it’s an enduring drive “to become aspirational versions of themselves,” which introduces a problem.

ly; the hurt means it was real.


(or three, or six…) is perfectly valid. Being dumped is a breakup’s more agonizing iteration. Many of us in our “slut eras” owe our existence to the absolute ego death of a good dumping. Making it more difficult, living in a small town quickly turns common spaces like coffee shops and climbing gyms into awkwardly shared territories. What do? Cry it out in pigeon pose, or make art. Channel that hurt into creativity, like Stevie Nicks singing “Silver Springs” (live 1997) or a Naropa student painting a portrait of her ex with her menstrual blood for her thesis. If you must, ease your sorrow with some margs and/or other substances, but don’t numb the pain complete-

Oh nooo, you’re in situationship with a gentle and resourceful soul who hooks you up with psychedelics? Not to invalidate your terrible struggle, but it seems like you’re the one who should be giving the rest of us advice. My advice? Decolonize your mind! Reject what society told you about living in a van down by the river. While your unwashed lover may have extra potent pheromones (which many would consider a plus), they are also likely saving over a thousand dollars a month in rent compared to us Boulder-renting chumps. Unburden your mind of what your mother would think and enjoy the freaky van-lovemaking free from a

“If you’re only built on self-actualizing, what’s real anymore?”

Her answer: the surrounding natural wonder. “The mountains and beauty are the bedrock,” Vermeire says. “It’s the thing that’s real and enduring about this place.”

Less savory but no less real are the college town’s manifold inequalities. It was at Alfalfa’s, the now-defunct natural grocer on Broadway, where Vermeire sharpened her political consciousness working a service position after college. The store, for her, was Boulder in miniature.

“It’s where a huge amount of inspiration for the page came from,” she says. “You’d sort of see what the power dynamics in the city are.”

There was plenty of comic material at Alfalfa’s, too. But these lighter elements were “juxtaposed with homeless people shooting up in the back room and creepy advances from older, wealthy men who were prominent in the community, who can literally get away with anything because they own the world.”

Beyond running gags on Boulder stereotypes, Whole Foods Daddy performs a subtle civic function: illuminating the gap between the city’s polished, affluent presentation and those struggling on its margins. Boulder’s Gross Metro Product, the combined value of goods and services produced within its boundaries, is larger than the GDP of over half the countries in Africa. Nevertheless, solutions for housing its homeless or working-class residents continue to elude the city government.

“That’s what’s so complicated about Boulder,” Vermeire says. “That’s why you can’t describe it any other way than a total contradiction.”

Not that Vermeire sees her Instagram account as a treatise on the city’s social ills. “I come from the perspective of trying to be funny, first and foremost. And I think that’s the main purpose of the page. I want people to laugh over something we all have in common,” Vermeire says, tipping back her wine glass.

roommate’s prying ears.


Listen, being five years out of college barely qualifies my experi-

ence as post-college grad. But to answer your question in short: Yes, it’s a blast. Instead of waking up for a 10 a.m. lecture after doing shots you didn’t pay for at the Downer, you get to wake up for an 8 a.m. job (if you want to make rent) after doing shots at the Downer that no one bought for you. You may not have the blush of youth anymore, but you have gained the wisdom to know Illegal Pete’s breakfast burritos are the best cure for a hangover. Plus, having a newly developed prefrontal cortex makes it less likely that you’ll wake up next to the bouncer.

Got a burning Boulder question? Find wholefoods_daddy on Instagram, or email with the subject line “Dear Whole Foods Daddy.”




11 a.m.-1 p.m. Museum of Natural History (Henderson), Paleontology Hall, 1035 Broadway, Boulder. Free

140 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the Centennial State. CU’s newest exhibition at the Museum of Natural History dives deep into the tracks they left behind, and what fossil prints tell us about these prehistoric Coloradans. Head down to campus for a dino-mite opening day celebration at Paleontology Hall.


7-10 p.m. Saturday, March 25, Velvet Elk Lounge, 2037 13th St., Boulder. $100

Boulder may not be anywhere close to the ocean, but that isn’t stopping Jax Fish House from bringing Maine to the mountains for a night celebrating the delectable mollusk. Taking place at the Velvet Elk Lounge, the main event is an oyster eating and shucking contest. A portion of the proceeds benefit RISE Against Suicide, a local nonprofit supporting at-risk youth.




Noon-3 p.m. Sunday, March 26, Sanctuary Art Gallery, First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce St., Boulder. Free

Sanctuary Art Gallery at First United Methodist Church invites you to the opening reception of the current exhibition, Celebrating Women, featuring local and national artists. This free event, announcing the ongoing gallery show on display through April 30 will feature a dance performance by local belly-dancing troupe Tribal Misfits and more.



Fri.-Sat., March 24-25, Town of Nederland, 45 West First St., Nederland. Free

The tight-knit town of Nederland loves their community, and even more so, they love sharing it. Come out to Nederdays for a free, accessible weekend of fun for the whole family. Make the beautiful drive for a barn dance, silent disco, ice sculptures, hot cocoa, and even a sledding course right down the middle of First Street.



9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 25, Eldorado Mountain Yoga Ashram, 2875 County Road 67, Boulder. $100-$150 (all materials provided)

Mala beads, a form of prayer beads in Tibetan Buddhism, are as beautiful as they are sacred. Now is your chance to create one of your own, as part of a workshop at the Eldorado Mountain Yoga Ashram. Festivities include a yoga class, light refreshments and lunch. Bring your mind, body and spirit, along with “a smile and a willingness to learn.”



4 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, Heart-Centered Yoga Studio, 1455 Dixon Ave., Suite 210, Lafayette. Free. Register at

Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) will present a free, trauma-informed yoga open house including a brief presentation on the science of how yoga helps with traumatic stress, a 30-minute traumainformed yoga class for all levels, and a question-and-answer session. It is free to attend in-person or virtually. MESA will also hold a four-week trauma-informed yoga series April 4, 11, 18 and 25. Cost is $25 for the series.




GANO & FRIENDS II FEAT. METHOD WITH GANO, SHIFTY, AMICI, GUSTED, REDS, RIJ AND JEN 8 p.m. Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. $22

MAPACHE 9 p.m. Velvet Elk Lounge, 2037 13th St., Boulder. $20

CODY WAYNE. 5 p.m. BOCO Cider, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 14, Boulder. Free

DAVE CORBUS 7 p.m. R Gallery + WIne Bar, 2027 Broadway, Boulder. Free

ADRIAN HERRERA TRIO 7 p.m. Muse Performance Space, 200 E. South Boulder Road, Lafayette. $20


CUSS 8 p.m. Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway, Englewood. $28


8 p.m. Aggie Theatre, 204 S. College Ave., Fort Collins. $30


IVY LAB WITH OAKK AND LAKE HILLS 9 p.m. Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. $36


9 p.m. Velvet Elk Lounge, 2037 13th St., Boulder. $17

RODNEY RICE 6 p.m. BOCO Cider, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 14, Boulder. Free

KOHANNA MCCRARY 6 p.m. Trident Cafe, 940 Pearl St., Boulder. Free


9 p.m. Ogden Theater, 935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. $87


G. LOVE & THE SPECIAL SAUCE WITH NAT MYERS 9 p.m. Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. $46

JOAN OSBORNE. 8 p.m. Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. $25

SERPENTINE 6 p.m. BOCO Cider, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 14, Boulder. Free

ELEPHANT REVIVAL. 8 p.m. Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop St., Denver.


THE LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS & HILLBILLY CASINO, MAD DOG AND THE SMOKING J’S 8 p.m. Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. $30


LOUIS COLE BIG BAND WITH GENEVIEVE ARTADI 8 p.m. Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. $27

WEEGE 4 p.m. BOCO Cider, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 14, Boulder. Free

THE STONE FOXES. 9 p.m. Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, 1215 20th St., Denver. $20

THE HOME TEAM 7 p.m. Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake St., Denver. $23


ON THE BILL: Memphis indie-rock outfit Blvck Hippie wants you to know it’s OK to be an outsider — and they want Black kids to know “they can be weird too.” Don’t miss the emoinfused, VHS-inspired band’s explosive live show at Trident Cafe alongside psychedelic Denver art-rock trio Shadow Work on Tuesday, March 28. See details in the listing below. (Image courtesy Blvck Hippie)


THE HEAVY HEAVY WITH ALPENGLOW. 8 p.m. Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. $20

INHALER 7 p.m. Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake St., Denver. $26


BLVCK HIPPIE & SHADOW WORK. 6 p.m. Trident Cafe, 940 Pearl St., Boulder. $10


8 p.m. Hi-Dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver. Sold out. Story on pg. 18.

VANCOUVER SLEEP CLINIC WITH JULIA PRATT. 8 p.m. Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. $32

LADY WRAY 7 p.m. Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., Denver. $18



THE DELTA SONICS. 9 p.m. Velvet Elk Lounge, 2037 13th St., Boulder. Free

DELTA RAE 8 p.m. Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. $25

GRAYSCALE 6:30 p.m. Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., Denver. $23

Want more Boulder County events? Check out the complete listings online by scanning this QR code.


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Despite being the first woman to play professional baseball as a regular on a men’s league team in the United States, Toni Stone’s place in history was ignored for decades. Lydia R. Diamond’s play at Aurora Fox Arts Center explores Stone’s love of the game as a young girl through her barrier-smashing breakthrough on the Negro League All-Star team, the New Orleans Creoles and the Indianapolis Clowns. See listing for more details.

DRINKING HABITS Longmont Theatre Company, 513 E. Main St. Through March 26. $30

UNDONE: THE LADY M PROJECT. The Savoy Denver, 2700 Arapahoe St. Through March 26. $12. Story on pg. 21.

TONI STONE Aurora Fox Arts Center, 900 E. Colfax Ave. Through April 2. $28

1776 Buell Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 1350 Curtis St. Through April 2. $35

THE FOREIGNER. Jesters Dinner Theatre, 224 Main St., Longmont. Weekends through April 2. $22

SOMETHING ROTTEN! BDT Stage, 5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder. Through April 21. $75


Vietnamese poet and novelist Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai comes to Boulder Book Store on March 25 for a reading and signing event surrounding her new book, Dust Child The latest from the award-winning author is “a suspenseful and moving saga about family secrets, hidden trauma, and the overriding power of forgiveness.” See listing for more details.


CHILD 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25, Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder. $5


LEAGUE 2 p.m. Sunday, March 26, Tattered Cover, 8895 Westminster Blvd. Free


Tuesday, March 28, Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder. $5


Tuesday, March 28, Tattered Cover, 2526 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. Free

THE WORLD’S BEST BOOK CLUB: MOTHER NIGHT 7 p.m. Thursday, March 30, Boulder Book Store, virtual. Zoom link:

MAYRA BUENO GUERRERO AND LUCAS BLECKER: YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS 6 p.m. Thursday, March 30, Tattered Cover, 2526 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. Free

26 MARCH 23 ,
Image courtesy Workman Publishing Kenya Mahogany Fashaw as Toni Stone. Photo courtesy Aurora Fox Arts Center.


Celebrate Month of Photography 2023 with an ongoing exhibition of photographs by Kali Spitzer at East Window Gallery in Boulder. On display through June 28, the spellbinding works in Explorations of Resilience and Resistance / Our Backs Hold Our Stories “embrace the stories of contemporary BIPOC, queer and trans bodies, creating representation that is self determined.” See listing for more details.

JOYSOME. Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Through March 31. Free

CHAUTAUQUA: 125 YEARS AT THE HEART OF BOULDER Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway. Through April 2. $10

BLACK FUTURES IN ART: WE’RE NOT JUST HISTORY Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Through April 7. Free

TONY UMILE: A RETROSPECTIVE. Firehouse Art Center (Main Gallery), 667 Fourth Ave., Longmont. Through April 9. Free

DUALITY: CONTEMPORARY WORKS BY INDIGENOUS ARTISTS Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road. Through May 14. $8

JERRIE HURD: BEYOND THE MALE GAZE BMoCA at Macky, 1595 Pleasant St., Boulder. Through May 26. $2

HER BRUSH: JAPANESE WOMEN ARTISTS FROM THE FONG-JOHNSTONE COLLECTION. Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway. Through May 13. $15 (Colorado residents)

EXPLORATIONS OF RESILIENCE AND RESISTANCE / OUR BACKS HOLD OUR STORIES East Window Gallery, 4550 Broadway, Suite C-3B2, Boulder. Through June 28. By appointment only.

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Boston was in a panic. Thirteen women were murdered from June 1962 to January 1964. All were in their homes; all were alone. There was no evidence of forced entry, and though the cabinets and dressers were ransacked, police couldn’t determine if the culprit was looking for anything in particular.

The victim’s ages ran the gamut from 19 to 85 and were located across multiple precincts of the greater Boston area. But the bodies showed signs of sexual violence, and all had a piece of fabric tied around their necks with an unusual knot. That led people to believe it was all the work of one deranged individual. Two reporters from the Record American nicknamed the perpetrator “The Boston Strangler,” and the police department conducted one of the largest manhunts in city history.

These are a few of the disturbing details behind some of the most notorious killings in American history. Naturally, they make good fodder for the movies. Several, in fact, but let’s take two: 1968’s The Boston Strangler and 2023’s Boston Strangler, both

available to stream exclusively on Hulu. The films are two sides of the same story: one from the cops’ point of view, and one from the reporters’. But from the same information, both come to staggeringly different conclusions with significantly different villains.

Let’s start with 1968’s The Boston Strangler, directed by Hollywood journeyman Richard Fleischer. Using a similar technique Steven Spielberg would employ seven years later with Jaws, Fleischer and screenwriter Edward Anhalt withhold the monster visually for the film’s first hour. Instead, Fleischer and company use split screen to ratchet up the suspense of the killings and the discovery of the bodies.

The reveal of the killer is one of those classic cinematic moments: The camera tracks slowly through a living room to reveal Albert DeSalvo, a mildmannered man watching television with his family. And the audience knows DeSalvo is the killer because it’s Tony Curtis in the role. Curtis was one of the most beautiful creatures ever to stand before, behind or next to a camera, and here he uses heavy

makeup and a fake nose to make himself look unremarkable. “Like anyone I’ve ever seen,” as one woman describes him.

Despite Curtis’ performance, The Boston Strangler (1968) is not really about DeSalvo. It’s about the police trying to find him. George Kennedy plays homicide detective Phil DiNatale, and Henry Fonda leads the ensemble as John S. Bottomly, the man tasked with coordinating the investigation across multiple departments.

On the flip side is writer-director Matt Ruskin’s newly released Boston Strangler, which focuses on the two Record American reporters, Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) and Jean Cole (Carrie Coon), who brought the connections of the victims and the details of the murders to the public. Much like the police work in the ’68 film, the ’23 movie documents the hard work, long nights and endless reading involved in trying to find the one thing everyone else overlooked.

Both Stranglers are obsessed with the psychology of criminal minds. The earlier film leads viewers to believe that the monsters in our midst can be

known. The latest version wonders, to use the parlance of our time, “But what if we’re wrong?”

That’s the stuff of true crime and revisionist history. Both movies are narratives constructed to maximize suspense, develop characters and engage viewers, yet both lean so heavily on the procedural aspects and the “based on a true story” disclaimer that they portend to be some form of authenticity.

That’s what makes them more interesting to consider in tandem than apart. Formally, the ’68 film is much more exciting with its use of split screen, narrow framings, impressionistic editing and performances. The ’23 movie, by comparison, is a drab affair confined to shallow focus and a battery of performances all in the same key.

Yet, Ruskin’s new take finds resonance. While the original film wonders why so many women opened their doors to a stranger, particularly in an atmosphere of panic, the recent update takes time to consider the experience of the victims. “What must that have been like for her?” McLaughlin asks.

Both inquiries speak to the curiosities of the era, as do the endings. The ’68 Boston Strangler concludes with a cry to solve America’s mental illness problem, placing the blood on society’s hands. The ’23 version lays the blame on another collective. Watch the two together, and the question seems to be, what terrifies you more: apathy or conspiracy?


The Boston Strangler (1968) and Boston Strangler (2023) are streaming on Hulu.

Carrie Coon and Keira Knightley in ‘Boston Strangler’ (2023). Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox. ‘ The Boston Strangler’ times two on Hulu

ARIES (MARCH 21-APRIL 19): If we were to choose one person to illustrate the symbolic power of astrology, it might be Aries financier and investment banker J. P. Morgan (1837–1913). His astrological chart strongly suggested he would be one of the richest people of his era. The sun, Mercury, Pluto, and Venus were in Aries in his astrological house of finances. Those four heavenly bodies were trine to Jupiter and Mars in Leo in the house of work. Further, sun, Mercury, Pluto, and Venus formed a virtuoso “Finger of God” aspect with Saturn in Scorpio and the moon in Virgo. Anyway, Aries, the financial omens for you right now aren’t as favorable as they always were for J. P. Morgan—but they are pretty auspicious. Venus, Uranus, and the north node of the moon are in your house of finances, to be joined for a bit by the moon itself in the coming days. My advice: Trust your intuition about money. Seek inspiration about your finances.

TAURUS (APRIL 20-MAY 20): “The only thing new in the world,” said former US President Harry Truman, “is the history you don’t know.” Luckily for all of us, researchers have been growing increasingly skilled in unearthing buried stories. Three examples: 1. Before the US Civil War, six Black Americans escaped slavery and became millionaires. (Check out the book Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills.) 2. Over 10,000 women secretly worked as code-breakers in World War II, shortening the war and saving many lives. 3. Four Black women mathematicians played a major role in NASA’s early efforts to launch people into space. Dear Taurus, I invite you to enjoy this kind of work in the coming weeks. It’s an excellent time to dig up the history you don’t know—about yourself, your family, and the important figures in your life.

GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20): Since you’re at the height of the Party Hearty Season, I’ll offer two bits of advice about how to collect the greatest benefits. First, ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman says that mental preparation is the key to effective partying. He suggests we visualize the pleasurable events we want to experience. We should meditate on how much alcohol and drugs we will imbibe, how uninhibited we’ll allow ourselves to be, and how close we can get to vomiting from intoxication without actually vomiting. But wait! Here’s an alternative approach to partying, adapted from Sufi poet Rumi: “The golden hour has secrets to reveal. Be alert for merriment. Be greedy for glee. With your antic companions, explore the frontiers of conviviality. Go in quest of jubilation’s mysterious blessings. Be bold. Revere revelry.”

CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22): If you have been holding yourself back or keeping your expectations low, please STOP! According to my analysis, you have a mandate to unleash your full glory and your highest competence. I invite you to choose as your motto whichever of the following inspires you most: raise the bar, up your game, boost your standards, pump up the volume, vault to a higher octave, climb to the next rung on the ladder, make the quantum leap, and put your ass and assets on the line.

LEO (JULY 23-AUG. 22): According to an ad I saw for a luxury automobile, you should enjoy the following adventures in the course of your lifetime: Ride the rapids on the Snake River in Idaho, stand on the Great Wall of China, see an opera at La Scala in Milan, watch the sun rise over the ruins of Machu Picchu, go paragliding over Japan’s Asagiri highland plateau with Mount Fuji in view, and visit the pink flamingos, black bulls, and white horses in France’s Camargue Nature Reserve. The coming weeks would be a favorable time for you to seek experiences like those, Leo. If that’s not possible, do the next best things. Like what? Get your mind blown and your heart thrilled closer to home by a holy sanctuary, natural wonder, marvelous work of art—or all the above.

VIRGO (AUG. 23-SEPT. 22): It’s an excellent time to shed the dull, draining parts of your life story. I urge you to bid a crisp goodbye to your burdensome memories. If there are pesky ghosts hanging around from the ancient past, buy them a oneway ticket to a place far away from you. It’s OK to feel poignant. OK to entertain any sadness and regret that well up within you. Allowing yourself to fully experience these feelings will help you be as bold and decisive as you need to be to graduate from the old days and old ways.

LIBRA (SEPT. 23-OCT. 22): Your higher self has authorized you to become impatient with the evolution of togetherness. You have God’s permission to feel a modicum of dissatisfaction with your collaborative ventures—and wish they might be richer and more captivating than they are now. Here’s the cosmic plan: This creative irritation will motivate you to implement enhancements. You will take imaginative action to boost the energy and synergy of your alliances. Hungry for more engaging intimacy, you will do what’s required to foster greater closeness and mutual empathy.

SCORPIO (OCT. 23-NOV. 21): Scorpio poet Richard Jackson writes, “The world is a nest of absences. Every once in a while, someone comes along to fill the gaps.” I will add a crucial caveat to his statement: No one person can fill all the gaps. At best, a beloved ally may fill one or two. It’s just not possible for anyone to be a shining savior who fixes every single absence. If we delusionally believe there is such a hero, we will distort or miss the partial grace they can actually provide. So here’s my advice, Scorpio: Celebrate and reward a redeemer who has the power to fill one or two of your gaps.

SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22-DEC. 21): Poet E. E. Cummings wrote, “May my mind stroll about hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple.” That’s what I hope and predict for you during the next three weeks. The astrological omens suggest you will be at the height of your powers of playful exploration. Several long-term rhythms are converging to make you extra flexible and resilient and creative as you seek the resources and influences that your soul delights in. Here’s your secret code phrase: higher love

CAPRICORN (DEC. 22-JAN. 19): Let’s hypothesize that there are two ways to further your relaxation: either in healthy or not-so-healthy ways—by seeking experiences that promote your long-term well-being or by indulging in temporary fixes that sap your vitality. I will ask you to meditate on this question. Then I will encourage you to spend the next three weeks avoiding and shedding any relaxation strategies that diminish you as you focus on and celebrate the relaxation methods that uplift, inspire, and motivate you.

AQUARIUS (JAN. 20-FEB. 18): Please don’t expect people to guess what you need. Don’t assume they have telepathic powers that enable them to tune in to your thoughts and feelings. Instead, be specific and straightforward as you precisely name your desires. For example, say or write to an intense ally, “I want to explore ticklish areas with you between 7 and 9 on Friday night.” Or approach a person with whom you need to forge a compromise and spell out the circumstances under which you will feel most open-minded and openhearted. PS: Don’t you dare hide your truth or lie about what you consider meaningful.

PISCES (FEB. 19-MARCH 20): Piscean writer Jack Kerouac feared he had meager power to capture the wonderful things that came his way. He compared his frustration with “finding a river of gold when I haven’t even got a cup to save a cupful. All I’ve got is a thimble.” Most of us have felt that way. That’s the bad news. The good news, Pisces, is that in the coming weeks, you will have extra skill at gathering in the goodness and blessings flowing in your vicinity. I suspect you will have the equivalent of three buckets to collect the liquid gold.

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DEAR DAN: This is a question I should have asked you 10 years ago! I’m a 68-year-old GWM, who was sexually assaulted by my (also gay) medical provider, multiple times, until I finally distanced myself from him both socially and professionally. I vacillated for several years whether or not I should report him, but never did. Recently, I discovered that he apparently committed suicide after another patient accused him of multiple sexual assaults. I contacted this man’s attorneys, and they are moving forward with a lawsuit against the clinic and the provider’s estate. At their request, I have agreed to provide a deposition. They have also suggested that I consider filing a suit. I am a happily married man, retired, and living in Europe. Should I just let all this go? Or should I jump into the fire with a lawsuit?

— Decline Or Challenge

DEAR DOC: Agreeing to be deposed — or agreeing to file an affidavit — in support of the other patient known to have been assaulted by your former medical provider… that’s no small thing. So, even if you decide not to file a lawsuit yourself, DOC, you aren’t just letting this go. You’re doing something meaningful and significant; you’re helping another victim get the justice and restitution he feels he needs and helping to hold the clinic where you, this man, and most likely other men were sexually assaulted.

So, the question isn’t, “Am I going to sit this out?”, as you aren’t sitting this out. The question instead is, “Am I going to file a lawsuit of my own?” And the answer to that question… well, that’s not an answer I can provide you with, DOC. Because the answer depends on what you need, DOC, to feel whole. If you don’t want the hassle and don’t need a settlement, you aren’t obligated to get more involved than you have already — and, again, agreeing to be deposed (by both sides) in a case like this is no small thing. Justice is being done, institutions are being held accountable, and you’re helping. If you want to file a lawsuit of your own, you should. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to.

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Three years later, our favorite kick-back weekend repast is back on the menu

Contrary to street rumors at the time, brunch was not created in Boulder in the 1970s, but the weekend meal has found a warm welcome at the foot of the Flatirons. Brunch had reached iconic, bigger-than-dinner status in Boulder and environs until that day in March of 2020 when all restaurants were shuttered by the pandemic. Since then, the huevos rancheros, eggs Benedicts and bottomless mimosas have slowly crept back on local menus after overcoming staffing and egg price challenges and our unwillingness to dine out again in groups.

There are so many destinations, you could easily brunch every Sunday for a year and never eat at the same Boulder County eatery twice.

Upscale brunch has come roaring back at Salt, River & Woods, Brasserie Ten Ten, Corrida, and Jill’s Restaurant, along with newer spots like My Neighbor Felix and Boulder

Social. They join such Boulderbrunch stalwarts as Chautauqua Dining Hall, Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, Snooze, Centro Mexican Kitchen, Tangerine, Lucile’s and The Huckleberry in Louisville.

Brunch had always been hugely popular at Boulder’s Mateo in pre-pandemic days.

“With spring coming and golf season approaching, we thought it was the right time to bring Sunday brunch back,” says Matthew Jansen, chef/ owner of Mateo, which opened in 2001.

“It’s a wonderful, peaceful way to start the day. Brunch seems to be more of an indulgent, hedonistic experience than other meals,” he says, adding that you don’t have to dress up.

Mateo’s new brunch menu features bagels with lox, and eggs on Benedicts, in omelets and with hanger steak. Jansen says he was eager to add some New Orleans’-influenced dishes ranging from deep-fried beignets coated in powdered sugar, to shrimp and grits with andouille sausage.

Mateo’s eye-catching eggs Florentine loads poached eggs with spinach, roasted tomatoes and Hollandaise sauce — a natural match with an elaborately garnished spicy Bloody Mary.


Pre-pandemic, the Greenbriar Inn served one of Boulder’s bestknown weekend meals, an elaborate Sunday brunch buffet begun in 1983, which famously included everything from oysters to desserts.

Now, the Greenbriar Inn’s Sunday brunch features many of the same dishes served individually.

“What we’re doing now for brunch, we think, gives our customers better looking and better tasting food. Also, there is much less food waste than there is from a buffet,” says Phil Goddard, co-owner (with his wife Emma) of the Greenbriar Inn.

The menu includes starters like baskets of pastries and breads and oysters on the half shell. The menu adds variety with house-smoked salmon with tomato jam, lemon ricotta pancakes, huevos rancheros with grilled pork belly and shakshuka — that’s eggs poached in tomato sauce with feta cheese. A dessert sampler is available as a sweet finale.

And yes, on a handful of holidays including Easter and Mother’s Day, the Greenbriar’s brunch buffet will make a rare reappearance.


Cafe Aion — which dishes Spanish- and Moroccan-accented fare on University Hill — has gradually reintroduced brunch over the past year.

“Brunch on our patio in the sun brings the diners in. We get people on the way to — or returning from — a hike at Chautauqua,” says chef/ owner Dakota Soifer, who opened the eatery in 2010.

The weekend roster features familiar items like eggs Benedict or steak and eggs with crispy smashed pota-

toes, but the rest of the brunch menu boasts big international flavors.

“One of my favorite things is when a couple comes in and splits a big seafood paella at 11 a.m. They get a nice bottle of Spanish white wine and enjoy themselves,” Soifer says. Cafe Aion also dishes traditional, meaty and vegetarian paellas complete with the craveable crispy rice on the bottom.

During the pandemic, Cafe Aion added Brasserie Boulder, a ghost kitchen under the same roof that focuses on bistro fare.

“For brunch we folded in some of those traditional French dishes like the croque madame and salmon Niçoise salad. It’s fun to have a little more breadth,” Soifer says.

For sweets, the menu features fried-to-order sugar doughnuts (including the hole), a coffee-infused crème brûlée, and a chile- and cinnamon-spiced flourless chocolate torte.

Overall, the best Boulder brunch advice is to make your reservations very early. Spring has a particular brunch buzz in Boulder around a gauntlet of the big dates: Easter, Mother’s Day, various graduation weekends and CU’s nationally broadcast spring football game.

You’re not the only one rediscovering how much they miss a leisurely weekend meal with friends.

Baked eggs with caramelized onions, chorizo and harissa is on the brunch menu at Cafe Aion. Photo courtesy Cafe Aion. Bagel with lox at Mateo. Photo by John Lehndorff. Smoked salmon Benedict dished at the Greenbriar Inn. Photo courtesy Greenbriar Inn


After a two-year hiatus, Boulder’s High West Oyster Fest returns March 25 at the Velvet Elk Lounge including the fabled shucking and eating competitions featuring sustainably farmed oysters.

Kona Hawaiian BBQ is now dishing everything from chicken katsu (with scoops of rice and macaroni salad) to Spam musubi at 26 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont.


Before it recently crashed, Silicon Valley Bank issued yearly reports on the wine industry. Its recent 2023 report bodes ill for reds, whites and bubblies. According to the report, wine consumption overall continues to drop. The only fast-growing group of wine drinkers is 70- to 80-yearolds. About 35% of people aged 21 to 29 drink alcohol, but little wine.


“Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly arranged and well-provisioned breakfast table. We come to it freshly, in the dewy youth of the day, and when our spiritual and sensual elements are in better accord.”

John Lehndorff hosts Radio Nibbles at 8:20 a.m. on KGNU, 88.5 FM, streaming at Comment:

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A taste of modern Japan in the heart of Boulder

Whether the sun is shining or snow is falling, our little corner of Pearl Street is the perfect place to soak up winter in beautiful Boulder! Feast alongside the jellyfish, sink into a lounge or take a seat at one of our lively bars.

Prefer the great outdoors? Our fireside patios are the coziest place to savor those mild winter days. When your own couch is calling, all of your favorites are available for curbside pickup too.

No matter how you choose to dine don’t miss our ever-evolving specials, delicious seasonal cocktails, and latest rare whiskey!

Sun-Thur 11am to 10pm | Fri-Sat 11am to 11pm | 303.938.0330 | 1136 Pearl JapangoRestaurant JapangoBoulder



To celebrate National Cocktail Day — March 24 — we spoke with a couple of local cocktail connoisseurs, as well as the 2022 U.S. Bartender of the Year, about the art of mixology, what’s hip, and their favorite spring recipes.


Johnny Adair puts a few drops of bitters into a customer’s upturned palm and instructs her to rub her hands together before she takes a whiff.

“Watching you make drinks is a joy,” the customer tells Adair as she takes in the loamy musk of green peanuts.

Adair, bar manager at Niwot’s Farow, has made the bitters for a drink he’s submitted to the Catoctin Creek Mixology Contest. It’s a variation on a whiskey-based vieux carré, with a bonus creamy foam on top. His drink menu, like Farow’s food, follows the seasons. Adair’s take on an espresso martini is perfect for changing weather.


2 oz Nimbus Costa Rican cold brew

1.5 oz Brandy or cognac

.75 oz chocolate-infused Averna

.75 oz heavy cream

.5 oz demerara syrup

Combine everything in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until the tins are frosty. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Dust with Venus Hawaij spice.


1 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate

8 oz Averna

Combine the two ingredients and infuse at room temp for two days. Strain and store at room temperature.


1 cup demerara sugar or sugar in the raw

1 cup water

Bring ingredients to a boil until sugar dissolves. Pour into a heat proof jar. Refrigerate.


Amy Caccamo leads the bar team at Gemini, where her cocktails provide a backdrop for Spanish-style tapas.

“It sounds lame, but TikTok and Instagram are what drive trends,” Caccamo says, like the infamous negroni sbagliato that gained popularity several months ago after a video of British actor Emma D’Arcy calling the drink her favorite went viral.

Caccamo likes to keep things simple.

“I’m a sucker for classics,” she says. “One of my favorite drinks is a caipirinha. ... I like a classic gin and tonic, but I make my own tonic. So I’m a sucker for the classics — just make them yours.”

Here’s Caccamo’s spring caipirinha.

Pollak had a different experience from Caccamo: “I was sure the negroni sbagliato was going to take off after that House of the Dragon TikTok thing, but it hasn’t really happened,” she says. She sees people enjoying espresso martinis, dirty martinis, spicy margaritas and old fashioneds.

“The most exciting trend, to me,” she says, “is low- and no-ABV cocktails showing up on menus all over the country.”

Her submission is a zero-ABV sipper.


1 oz cachaça

1 oz fino sherry

1 oz basil pineapple syrup (Make a simple syrup, like Adair’s demerara, and add basil leaves and some muddled pineapple to the mix as it cools. Strain before using.)

Half a lime

Muddle lime in the bottom of the glass. Mix in cachaça, fino and syrup. Shake it and “dirty dump” all contents.


When she’s not winning national bartending competitions, Jessi Pollak is the bar manager at Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis.


1 oz Seedlip Grove 42 (or use a London Dry Gin)

.75 oz Raspberry Honey Syrup

.5 oz Lemon Juice

2 oz club soda

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with 2 oz club soda and stir gently to combine. Garnish with a lemon peel.


1 cup clean raspberries

1 cup raw local honey

1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir until raspberries easily fall apart, then cut heat and allow to cool. Once cool, strain.

cocktails by the connoisseurs
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Making cheese is really simple

Imade my first batch of curds and whey by accident. I was enjoying a cup of tea with milk, and decided to add a squeeze of lemon. Immediately, my cup filled with cheese curds. I guess I’m no Little Miss Muffet, because I made another cup of tea rather than sip my way through that lumpy mess.

Curds and whey are what milk becomes when you heat it to a boil and add acid. This causes the milk to separate into coagulated chunks of curd surrounded by watery liquid known as whey. The splitting of milk into curds and whey is the first step in cheesemaking, and a point of departure to many wonderful places.

And for paneer makers, it’s nearly the finish line. Simply strain the curds through cheesecloth, let them hang for a few minutes to drain, then let it sit for a few hours under a heavy object to press out the last of the whey. Voilà, you have made cheese.

In the making of most well-known cheeses, curds and whey is just the beginning, regardless of whether it’s going to end up aged, moldy or full of holes. But if you are aiming for the simpler end of the spectrum, like cottage cheese or Indian-style paneer, you’re almost done. And these easy cheeses can be just as satisfying as their fancier peers. Simply strain the curds, perhaps give them a squeeze,

and enjoy your cheese.

The acid you choose to curdle the milk will impact the flavor. I have used fresh tangerine juice, and both curds and whey came out tasting like creamsicles. I could totally understand Little Miss Muffet wanting to eat this, because I quickly slurped down my first bowl of tangerine curds and whey. It doesn’t need sugar, but can handle sweetness if you want to add it. Meyer lemon, which is sweeter than regular lemon, makes a sweet lemony curd and a deliciously drinkable whey. Citrus or yogurt wheys are great for adding to either hot oatmeal or “overnight”-style oats. You can also add it to pancake batter, smoothies, or drink it straight.

Vinegar makes a sharp, clean tasting paneer, but the whey is not as drinkable. Yogurt makes the mildest, creamiest paneer.

Once the curds are properly drained and pressed, they need nothing else. Salted and slipped into the kids’ salads, the curds went down like faux feta.

Last week I had some old milk in my fridge that was stressing me out. At any moment the kids would reject it. Before that happened I had to use it.

I found my answer at the winter farmer’s market, thanks to a bag of new spinach. The idea crystalized, or curdled, as it were, around a meal of

saag paneer, the Indian dish of spinach and cheese.

The plan was to go home and make paneer from my old milk. I would cut the cheese into cubes, panfry them, and add these browned creamy cubic nuggets to a pan of liquified, seasoned spinach. I also grabbed a bag of winter-market arugula, as a proper saag paneer contains mustard leaves of some sort.

As planned, the combination of earthy, spicy veggies and meaty chunks of creamy cheese made a satisfying and complete meal. Once you know how to make easy cheese, there will never be an excuse to let milk go sour ever again. Miss Muffet would be proud.


Pour the milk into a thick-bottomed pot. Heat on medium, frequently scouring the bottom, ideally with a rubber spatula, to prevent buildup. When foaming and about to boil — about 20 minutes — turn off the heat and allow to sit for a minute while you ready your acid.

Let it cool to room temperature. It will separate as it cools.

Lay two pieces of cheesecloth over a colander, crossed at the bottom to make a plus sign. Set the colander over a pot or bowl. Ladle yourself a cup of curds and whey, and see what you think.

Mix your acid with the two cups of water. When the water starts to foam, turn it off. Wait 10 minutes. Then, while gently stirring the milk, slowly add the acid water. Then leave the milk alone for a while and let it separate.

Carefully pour it through the cheesecloth, filtering the curds and catching the whey below. Pull the corners together and hang the curds by the corners.

If your acid is yogurt or citrus, set the whey aside for oatmeal or other uses. It’s full of protein and tastes really good. If it’s vinegar, the taste is more acquired but you can still drink it.

After an hour, unhang the curds. Pull the cheesecloth tight and shape the cheese into a puck-shaped disk. Put weight on the cheese; I put it in a deep bowl with a gallon jug of vinegar on top.


1 gallon whole milk

1 cup of yogurt or 6 tablespoons citrus or white vinegar

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt



5 tablespoons olive oil or ghee

1 onion, minced

2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped ginger root

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons coriander

1 teaspoons mustard seed

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 pound fresh spinach

After about two hours, unwrap your cheese and cut the disc into cubes. Fry the cubes in a thick-bottomed pan and a tablespoon of olive oil or ghee, turning occasionally until brown on a couple sides.


In a dry, heavy-bottomed pan, toast the mustard, cumin and coriander seeds on medium heat for about four minutes. Add three tablespoons of olive oil or ghee and the garam masala, onions, garlic, ginger and serranos. Cook until the onions are translucent, then turn off the heat.

When the water boils, blanch the spinach and arugula for three minutes. Transfer spinach immediately to a bowl of ice water. When cold, drain the leaves and squeeze out the water. Put the leaves in a blender, along with the onion mixture, and liquify. Season with salt, add water if it’s too thick, and blend again.

To put it all together, add the spinach mixture to the pan of browned cheese. Heat to a simmer. Serve with rice, and Indian-style condiments.

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State-licensed psilocybin-assisted therapy clinics will begin opening in Colorado next year, thanks to Proposition 122 passing in November, and by 2026, clinics will also be allowed to administer ibogaine, mescaline, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT) therapy.

All four of those substances are derived from plants: Psilocybin comes from mushrooms, ibogaine from the iboga shrub, mescaline from peyote cactus, and DMT from ayahuasca. DMT, however, is unique in one particular regard: It’s a drug that is produced by many plants and animals other than ayahuasca — including

humans. Endogenous DMT is a product of our own brains. People who use DMT often have transcendental, sometimes out-of-body experiences. They hallucinate vividly and report meeting higher-dimensional beings, having near-death experiences, and kaleidoscopic journeys through universes beyond our own.

And the entire trip lasts just 10-20 minutes.

Terrance McKenna compared it to psilocybin: “Unlike mushrooms, where over hours and hours on a high dose you might navigate yourself to the center of the Mandela, DMT is like being struck by metaphysical lightning.”

New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science sheds some light on that metaphysical lightning. Researchers wanted to see what happens inside people’s brains as they experience DMT. The results not only show that this drug affects the parts of the brain where we generate our reality, but it also acts on the highestevolved areas of the brain that deal with complex problemsolving, language, planning, and imagination.

Robin Carhart-Harris, one of the study’s authors, explains that DMT blurs typical connections in the brain, causing them to be less distinct from one another.

For the study, 20 volunteers received a 20-mg injection of DMT. A placebo shot was administered during a second visit to act as a control.

“At the dose we use, it is incredibly potent,” Carhart-Harris says. Enough, he explains, for subjects to “breakthrough” into “another world.”

Throughout the experience, patients gave updates on how intense the trip felt on a 10-point scale. They were also scanned using both electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

The researchers were able to see a direct connection between areas instrumental for imagination and other higher-level functions of the brain and the intensity of their subjects’ DMT trips. Chris Timmermann, head of DMT research group at Imperial College in

London, says the drug creates a system of hyperconnectivity within the brain.

One of the studies’ major conclusions has to do with the “entropic brain hypothesis.” The idea suggests that psychedelics increase the entropy of brain activity in parallel with the “depth of content” — or richness — of one’s conscious experience.

“We suspect that while the newer, more evolved aspects of the brain dysregulate under DMT, older systems in the brain may be disinhibited,” CarhartHarris says. “A similar kind of thing happens in dreaming.”

Other research has noted that brain activity and experiences similar to those caused while under the influence of DMT also happen during neardeath experiences. People who have close calls with death often report feeling like they have transcended their bodies, entered an alternate realm, and even encounter entities — very similar to reported DMT experiences. Suggesting to some researchers that endogenous DMT is released by our own brains at the time of death.

With luck, a lot of future research surrounding the DMT state and its effects on the brain will happen here in Colorado. With DMT clinics just a few years away, this state is uniquely positioned to become a hub for this kind of research and to delve more deeply into the uses of DMT as a therapy drug.

“This is just the beginning in cracking the question of how DMT works to alter consciousness so dramatically,” Carhart-Harris says.

New research shows DMT affects parts of the brain used in imagination and other higher-level brain functions
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