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F R E E E v e r y T h u r s d a y F o r 2 6 Ye a r s / w w w. b o u l d e r w e e k l y. c o m / M a r c h 2 6 - A p r i l 1 , 2 0 2 0

WHAT TO DO

WHEN THERE’S ‘NOTHING’ TO DO...


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Aerial Summer Camps Save 10% on tuition with our Sibling Discount!

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news:

Homeless services providers adapt to the coronavirus pandemic by Angela K. Evans

We are all about LIFESTYLE

3022 E.Sterling Cir. #150 Boulder, CO 303-245-8272 frequentflyers.org • info@frequentflyers.org

New SKI IN/SKI OUT Condos in Winter Park

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news:

Funeral services in Boulder County are being delayed, and with them, the grieving process by Matt Cortina

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news:

Domestic violence nonprofits prepare for increased abuse by Angela K. Evans

buzz:

As Boulder County’s nonprofit animal shelters scale back to prevent the spread of COVID-19, supplies and donations are needed more than ever by Caitlin Rockett

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What to do when there’s nothing to do by Boulder Weekly Staff

970-531-7670 Chillrentalwinterparkcolorado.com Chillwinterparkcolorado@gmail.com

Learn to fly on our aerial playground filled with fabrics, trapezes & more. Create a magical show each week! 8 weeks to choose from June 1 - July 22. Ages 5-17. All levels of experience.

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boulder county events:

Available Now! Chill. exclusive , elegant mountain condos for lease

O P E N DA I LY 1 1 : 3 0A M – 8 P M

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beer:

COVID-19 will have long-lasting effects for Boulder County brewers by Michael J. Casey

33

feast:

Local farmers and ranchers prepare to face coronavirus challenges head-on by Matt Cortina

departments 8 9 10 15 18 21 26 27 28 29 31 38

Stew’s Views: There’s a dragon with matches that’s loose in the town Letters: Signed, sealed, delivered... your views Danish Plan: Could the plague bring reform to Congress? News: One of Colorado’s most isolated, rural hospitals faces coronavirus News: Gender pay gap improving, but still a problem Lab Notes: Crowding the night sky Savage Love: Physical distancing do’s and don’t’s Words: ‘Ode to coronavirus’ by Lindsey Aronson Astrology: by Rob Brezsny Film: Festivals, studios and theaters test the streaming waters Food/Drink: Food news and what to try this week in Boulder County Cannabis Corner: Marijuana in the time of the virus

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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MARCH 26, 2020

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VOTE NOW! 23nd Annual Best of Boulder COUNTY 2020

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Ballot closes at midnight on March 31. E V O T

F O R

U S !

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VOTE FOR US!

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FOOD American Restaurant Appetizers/Tapas Asian Fusion Bagel Bakery BBQ Breakfast / Brunch Burger Burrito Business Lunch Catering Chinese Restaurant Chocolatier Cidery East County Restaurant Fine Dining Restaurant Food Delivery Food on the Hill Food Truck Frozen Yogurt Gluten-Free Menu Ice Cream Indian/Nepali

Restaurant Italian Restaurant Japanese Restaurant Kid Friendly Restaurant Late Night Food Lyons Restaurant Mexican Restaurant

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Pho Pizza Slice Pizzeria Place to Eat Outdoors Place to Go on a First Date Restaurant Ambiance Restaurant Dessert Restaurant Service Sandwich Seafood Sushi Restaurant Taco Take-Out Thai Restaurant Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant Veggie Burger DRINK Bar Beer Selection at a Restaurant Chai Cocktails

Nederland Restaurant New Restaurant Organic Restaurant Overall Restaurant Pancake/Waffle

Coffee House Coffee Roaster Craft Brewery Cup of Coffee Distillery Happy Hour Juice/Smoothie Bar Latte/Mocha Margarita Teahouse Wine Selection ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE Advanced Education Arcade Games Art Gallery Bank/Credit Union Classical Music Festival/Event (non-music) Live Dance Group Live Jazz Venue Live Theatre Group Local Celebrity Local Musician/Group

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������������������������������� ����������������������������������� ����������������������������� 303.938.9300 ����������������������������� WWW.CARELLIS.COM ���������������������������� 645 30th STREET • BOULDER ������������������������ ������������������������������������������������� MARCH 26, 2020 ��������������������������������������� ������������

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BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


All ballots must be submitted online.

Vote now at boulderweekly.com.

Scan to take the survey directly from your smart phone or tablet! BOULDER’S

BEST

COSTUMES & CLOTHING

VOTE FOR US!

BEST BBQ Movie House/Theater Music Festival Museum Music Venue Nonprofit Open Mic Performing Arts Venue Place to Dance Place to Play Pool Place to Wi-Fi Private School Sports Bar Summer Camp FITNESS & HEALTH Acupuncture Alternative Health Care Provider Barber Shop Chiropractic Care Dance Studio Day Spa Dental Care Golf Course Gym/Fitness Center Hair Salon Indoor Climbing Gym

959 Walnut Boulder 303.443.2850

Lasik Services Martial Arts Massage Medical Facility Medical Marijuana Evaluation Service Medical Marijuana Wellness Center Nail Salon Pet Boarding Pilates Studio Psychotherapy Recreational Marijuana Center Skin Care Services Tanning Salon Veterinary Care Yoga Studio RETAIL Arts & Crafts Supplies Auto Dealer - New Auto Dealer - Used Auto Detailing Auto Service/Repair Bath & Body Shop Bicycle Shop

Bookstore Camera/Video Photofinishing Carpet/Flooring CD/Record Store Clothing Store - Kid’s Clothing Store - Men’s Clothing Store - Used Clothing Store Women’s Company Owned or Led by Female CEO Computer Repair Computer Retail Costume Shop Dry Cleaner Farm Florist Furniture Store Gift Store Grocery Store Hardware Store Hot Tub/Jacuzzi Hotel Hydroponic Store Jewelry Store

Kitchen Supply Store Law Firm Lingerie Store Liquor Store Mattress Store Moving Company Music Store Natural Foods Store New Business Optical Store Outdoor Gear Pet Store Pipe Shop Real Estate Group Shoe Store Ski/Snowboard Shop Solar Systems Stereo/Electronics Tattoo/Piercing Parlor Tire Shop Tobacco Shop Toy Store Video/DVD

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vote us for Best Women Owned Business

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A Holistic Funeral home

Call (720) 515-2344 for info thenaturalfuneral.com

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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MARCH 26, 2020

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Open For Carry Out!

Take Out & Delivery Available

Take Out, Delivery Available & WE CATER!

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gondolieritalianeatery.com

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512 MAIN ST., LONGMONT, CO 303-772-0252 www.mikeoshays.com

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720-630-8053 659 30th Street, Williams Village Free Delivery • 303-447-FAST

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Open Mon-Sat 11am-8pm 2426 Arapahoe Ave. Boulder 303-443-0596

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3117 28th Street, North Boulder Free Delivery • 303-442-FAST

Order online at: www.eatreelfish.com

1325 Broadway, University Hill Plaza 303-447-1133 • Carry-out or dine-in only

Atlas Valley Center, SW corner of Arapahoe & 95th

Take Out & Delivery Available

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AUTHENTIC JAPANESE CUISINE

917 Front St #100, Louisville 720-304-0300 Follow us on instagram Sushiyoshilouisville

Take Out & Delivery Available

1320 COLLEGE AVE, BOULDER | 720.475.1561 Check out our menu: www.peckishco.com


Publisher, Fran Zankowski Circulation Manager, Cal Winn EDITORIAL Editor, Matt Cortina Senior Editor, Angela K. Evans Arts and Culture Editor, Caitlin Rockett Special Editions Editor, Michael J. Casey Adventure Editor, Emma Athena Contributing Writers, Peter Alexander, Dave Anderson, Will Brendza, Rob Brezsny, Paul Danish, Sarah Haas, Jim Hightower, Dave Kirby, John Lehndorff, Rico Moore, Amanda Moutinho, Leland Rucker, Dan Savage, Josh Schlossberg, Alan Sculley, Ryan Syrek, Christi Turner, Betsy Welch, Tom Winter, Gary Zeidner SALES AND MARKETING Retail Sales Manager, Allen Carmichael Account Executives, Matthew Fischer, Sami Wainscott Market Development Manager, Kellie Robinson Advertising Coordinator, Corey Basciano Bookkeeper, Regina Campanella Mrs. Boulder Weekly, Mari Nevar PRODUCTION Art Director, Susan France Senior Graphic Designer, Mark Goodman Graphic Designer, Daisy Bauer CIRCULATION TEAM Dave Hastie, Dan Hill, George LaRoe, Jeffrey Lohrius, Elizabeth Ouslie, Rick Slama Founder/CEO, Stewart Sallo Editor-at-Large, Joel Dyer

March 26, 2020 Volume XXVII, Number 32 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-holds-barred 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: editorial@ boulderweekly.com. Any materials sent to Boulder Weekly become the property of the newspaper.

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here’s plenty of in-depth, unique stories about how coronavirus is impacting our community in this week’s edition of Boulder Weekly. But for the latest news, numbers and regulations visit bouldercounty.org/families/ disease/covid-19 and covid19.colorado.gov.

690 South Lashley Lane, Boulder, CO, 80305 p 303.494.5511 f 303.494.2585 editorial@boulderweekly.com www.boulderweekly.com Boulder Weekly is published every Thursday. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. © 2020 Boulder Weekly, Inc., all rights reserved.

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Boulder Weekly

welcomes your correspondence via email (letters@ boulderweekly.com) or the comments section of our website at www.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.

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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hey’re Clerks fans, and they’re open for to-go business. T|aco in Boulder is now B|urrito, selling burritos, bowls, chips, margs and more. It’s just another one of the many clever moves Boulder County restaurateurs have made in light of coronavirusrelated shutdowns. Go to boulderweekly.com/cuisine/restaurant-listings to view a constantly updated list of places offering takeout and delivery. I

MARCH 26, 2020

ith Boulder County enacting a stay-at-home policy (effective March 26 at 8 a.m. through April 17), beginning with our April 2 edition, you’ll have to read Boulder Weekly online over the next few weeks at boulderweekly. com. Click on the link to our full digital edition to read BW as you would our print paper.

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Personalized Interventions and Targeted Transitional Services to Support K-12 Students in Reaching their Full Potential

There’s a dragon with matches that’s loose on the town BY STEWART SALLO

Kate Riedell, Ph.D., Director Specialized Expertise in Autism, Learning and Intellectual Disabilities and ADD/ADHD

400 E. Simpson Street, Suite G02 Lafayette, CO 80028 info@truelearningeducation.com 510-909-9939

LONGMONT’S FAVORITE

PUB & ALE HOUSE HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS SUNDAY BRUNCH 512 MAIN ST., LONGMONT, CO 303-772-0252 www.mikeoshays.com

Longmont’s

INDOOR FLEA MARKET

OVER 90+ DEALERS! Items & Gifts for Ages 0-99 FURNITURE NEW & USED HOME DECOR & TONS MORE!

1201 S. Sunset St. Longmont, CO 80501 303.776.6605

Open Monday - Saturday 9am-6pm Closed Sunday frontrangefleamarket026@gmail.com

Music - Cocktails - Live Bands Open Monday - Sunday 4pm - 2am

301 Main St, Longmont, CO 720.684.4728 • www.thespeakeasy.buzz

Vegan & Gluten Free available!

45 + toppings to

create what you crave

1749 N. Main Street, Longmont • (303) 923-5513 8

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MARCH 26, 2020

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he current crisis is not the first time I have been tested in my life, nor will it be the last. For all of us, the human experience is a roller coaster ride with ups and downs, and the measure of our lives is not made with a yardstick that quantifies the highs and lows but, rather, with the residual feelings we have in our hearts when things smooth out again. Right now, in this moment, as we face one of the most formidable challenges of our lifetimes, it is imperative that we act in a way that will leave us feeling that we did our utmost to meet the adversity we are facing — individually and collectively — with strength, with compassion, with wisdom and with courage. Each of us needs a place to turn for guidance and inspiration at a moment such as this. In my life, I have always been able to find the answers in two places: music and movement. Luckily, even as Boulder County has ordered all county residents (with few exceptions) to stay at home, effective 8 a.m. on March 26, these two sources of clarity are still available to all of us. For almost as long as I can remember, the Grateful Dead and cycling have been my primary soundtrack and activity, and, indeed, I am on the verge of launching a new website: DeadheadCyclist.com. You can consider this column to be a preview of the weekly posts that will be made under that moniker, beginning around the middle of next month. As I was riding up Lefthand Canyon this past weekend, I was

struck by a deeply metaphoric lyric in the Grateful Dead tune, “Fire on the Mountain.” There’s a dragon with matches that’s loose on the town. Takes a whole pail of water just to cool him down. Clearly, we are facing a “dragon with matches” in a novel virus that is spreading like wildfire (keeping with the same metaphor). And we, as a community of individuals, are being called to “cool him down.” The question at hand is this: What “pail of water” can you contribute to the cause? At a minimum, you can observe the stayat-home order through April 17. But what else is in your pail of water? In the wake of this pandemic, many people are stepping forward with heartwarming acts of kindness and good will. Health care workers are risking their lives to provide medical care; delivery people are making sacrifices to get supplies to stores, which have stepped up efforts to ensure their hygiene and are allowing senior citizens to shop early to minimize their exposure; restaurants are donating food, and delivery services are paying their employees out of pocket to make deliveries; people are connecting on the internet to run errands for higher-risk individuals who are afraid to leave their homes. The list goes on and on, and I would encourage you to add what you can. At the Weekly, we are focused on continuing to provide you with valuable information and our unique

A dragon with matches is a

metaphor, but this new virus is real. Your personal pail of water is needed right now, so please give some thought to what you can contribute.

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see STEW’S VIEWS Page 9

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


Longmont’s source for BEAUTIFUL QUALITY GLASS

STEW’S VIEWS from Page 8

perspective during this challenging time. But with the County’s stay-athome order in place, we will publish our content exclusively online during the weeks of April 2, 9 and 16. Just log on to boulderweekly.com and select the Digital Issue button at the upper right to read the magazine exactly as it would appear in print. We will resume publishing our print edition just as soon as we have cooled down this dragon. Finally, I want to make you aware of a new Membership Program we are rolling out this week. Restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, and arts and entertainment events make up a significant percentage of our advertisers, and the financial crisis being faced by those businesses, and others, is almost as significant as the health crisis we find ourselves in the midst of. Consequently, much of the revenue we receive from these businesses has

been suddenly lost, thereby threatening our ability to provide the award-winning content we have offered to our community week-in and week-out for more than 26 years. These local businesses are our partners, and we are in this with them. So, please support them in any way you can, and please consider supporting our work by becoming a Boulder Weekly Member. You can sign up now at boulderweekly.com. A dragon with matches is a metaphor, but this new virus is real. Your personal pail of water is needed right now, so please give some thought to what you can contribute. You can email me at publisher@ boulderweekly.com with your ideas, and we will help you implement them in any way we can. Together we can ensure that we come out of this episode with the feeling that we did everything we could, and that feeling will last a lifetime.

LIKE US! facebook.com/publicmon

341 MAIN ST. LONGMONT, CO 303-287-3181 Check facebook.com/get rolfing for updates and tips for Finding balance

Take care of each other. 720-878-2888 GETROLFING.COM 1290 Yellow Pine Ave. Boulder, CO 80304

Cold / Flu? Consider A Proven Ancient Alternative

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Lower tax burden during this unprecedented time

Unprecedented times require unprecedented measures. We are seeing measures throughout the state and country to protect our health and economy. With 18% or more (so far) of households suffering job loss and many businesses shut down or failing, this is a plea for property taxes to be waived. We don’t want families choosing between food and medicine or paying property taxes. Many of the government facilities and services are currently closed during this time so I propose that county governments waive property taxes for as long as the federal government is waiving student loan interest to allow families and businesses to get back on their feet after this devastating economic time. If you agree with me, please contact your county assessor’s office, your county officials, your state legislators and Governor Polis. Jeannine Harrington/via internet

On the economy

In Milton Friedman’s consumer, supply-side, “trickle down” politicoeconomic system, a healthy economy is one in which the world’s wealth is concentrated in corporate and monied hands, while the majority of people, happy with affordable goods and distractions are, in effect, sentenced to “community service” wages, some higher, some lower depending on their value as “human capital.” What COVID-19 and climate change have exposed is that public and environmental health cannot be shortchanged by the pursuit of power and wealth. The global economy, in theory and practice, rests on Friedman’s thesis of the necessity of concentrated wealth and cheap labor. Its weak link is its reliance on the availability of “human capital” as both supplier and consumer. When public health breaks down, be it physical, mental or environmental, the network collapses. The human element cannot be so openly deemed secondary. Robert Porath/Boulder

Boulder Vision Center

VOTED BEST OF BOULDER 2013

Concerned about the waste created by contact lens wear? We accept blister packs, top foils and even used contact lenses for recycling through Bausch and Lomb’s One by One Recycling Program.

Dr. Terri Oneby 303-443-4545

For more information, visit BauschRecycles.com or stop by our office.

Dr. Lowell Steinberg 303-447-8470

28th near arapahoe - buffalo village bouldervisioncenter.com MOST MAJOR HEALTH AND VISION INSURANCES ACCEPTED

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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MARCH 26, 2020

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Could the plague bring reform to Congress? by Paul Danish

Adam Sloat

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he latest China Plague (at 1929 to about 720,000 today. That least the fourth to originate in alone tells you why the cost of runthe People’s Republic since ning for Congress, and the influence 1957) has set off discussion in of money in politics, has soared in Congress as to whether mem- the last century. It also tells you why bers of the House and the Senate Americans have less and less personshould be allowed to vote remotely. al contact with their congressmen. They should, and for reasons that But if the House of go far beyond the need for social disRepresentatives were to start contancing when the coronavirus is loose ducting its business via videoconferin the land. encing, it would no longer have to let Plague or no plague, the real the size of its membership be defined question should be why should by the size of its meeting room. It Congress continue to convene in the could, in fact, limit the size of conCapitol (the gressional disbuilding), or for tricts to a size that matter in the that was concapital templated at the to mount a (Washington, time the Bill of congressional campaign Rights was draftD.C.), when it in which the largest could conduct all ed — no more of its business than 50,000 citicosts were shoe leather remotely? zens per conand a relatively small Conducting gressional number of leaflets. Talk the business of distirct. the Congress by (There was about getting big money video conferenceven an attempt out of politics. ing and the interto write that net would have number into the advantages that extend beyond keepConstitution when the Bill of Rights ing members from spreading the was sent to the states for ratification. coronavirus to each other during quo- The original bill had 12 amendrum calls. It would allow for a proments, not 10. Two of the original 12 found and long-overdue restructuring were not initially ratified. One of of how Congress does business, start- these, the one stating that a coning with allowing for an increase in gressional pay raise couldn’t take the size of the House of effect until after the next congresRepresentatives. sional election, was ratified on May Currently the House of 5, 1992, more than 202 years after it Representatives consists of 435 mem- was proposed. The other had been bers. There is nothing magic about intended to limit the maximum popthe number. The size of the House of ulation of congressional districts to Representatives was set by law (not 50,000, but the wording of the by the Constitution) at 435 in 1929, amendment was botched; it ended ostensibly because that was the maxi- up saying that 50,000 people could mum number of Congressmen who be represented by no more than one could be seated comfortably in the congressman, which meant that a House chamber. single congressman could still repreFailure to expand the size of the sent more than 50,000. Most state House (or the House chamber) since legislatures chose not to consider it.) 1929 has led to a near tripling in the But if Congress were to conduct population of the average congresits business exclusively online and sional district, from about 250,000 in never set foot in Washington, con-

Broker/Owner

Your Boulder Real Estate Expert and Music Guy

MORTGAGE BROKER Q&A WITH MY FRIEND JEFF

It would be possible

Question: Jeff, any tricks or suggestions for homebuyers to secure the best mortgages and to make their offers really stand out from the pack?

Answer: Listing agents really like to hear from the buyer’s lender and know they are on top of things, so if you can select a local mortgage professional who communicates well with local real estate agents - that will go a long way to make your offer more attractive. Getting fully pre-approved ahead of time, where all that might be left to do is the appraisal on the home definitely helps too.” - Jeff Waymire, Trustlink Mortgage

720-466-8212 adam@adamsloat.com www.westwaterrealty.com 10

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MARCH 26, 2020

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BOULDER WEEKLY


TRADITIONAL VIETNAMESE PHO HOUSE

Curbside Take Out Now Available Delivery Available through Grub Hub, Door Dash, & Uber Eats 2855 28th Street, Boulder, CO 80301 • 303-449-0350 DINE IN - TAKE OUT • www.boulderpho.eat24hour.com gressional districts could be made much smaller, maybe even to 50,000 people each. If this were to be done, the size of the Congress would expand from 435 to 6,600. The City of Boulder is currently part of Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes all or part of 10 Colorado counties and has a population that in 2016 was estimated at 804,000. Boulder’s population is currently estimated at about 107,000. If the size of congressional districts were limited to 50,000, the city would have two representatives in Congress and a slice of a third. A congressional district that consisted of roughly half the homes in Boulder would be small enough that a candidate could personally knock on most of the doors in it. In other words, it would be possible to mount a congressional campaign in which the largest costs were shoe leather and a relatively small number of leaflets. Talk about getting big money out of politics. But wouldn’t a 6,600-member House of Representatives be too big and clumsy to function as a deliberative body? No, it wouldn’t, especially if it leveraged the new ways of doing business that video conferencing would allow. Start with floor debate on major legislation. Currently such debates are not 435-member free-for-alls. They are highly structured affairs to which a limited amount of time is allocated, and for which each side lines up teams of speakers and appoints floor managers who allocate microphone BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

time to members of their teams. Such debates could easily be conducted via video conferencing. Most of the actual crafting of legislation takes place in committees and subcommittees. These could be expanded both in number and in membership to reflect an enlarged House. This would serve to reduce the workload of any given committee, especially if there was a limit placed on how many bills an individual member could submit in a given session of Congress. According to Wikipedia, 24 of 99 state legislature chambers, including both of Colorado’s, have such limits. Conducting congressional business online would also allow for the creation of new ways of deliberation. Moderated online conferences could take the place of floor debate. Twitteror Facebook-type feeds could provide a new format for hearings. For those occasions like the State of the Union where the Congress had to be brought together in the flesh, there’s an obvious option that wouldn’t involve building a new Capitol. Meet outdoors on the lawn on the west side of the current Capitol. Members would stand. February weather in Washington can seriously suck, which would encourage the POTUS to be brief and to the point. And Nancy Polosi could burn her copy of the president’s speech page by page in a golden brazier to keep her hands warm, which would be a far more dramatic gesture than merely tearing it up after the session. This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder I

FROM THE DIVIDE TO YOUR DOOR!

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LOOK FOR OUR SOLAR WATER CART AT BOULDER EVENTS MARCH 26, 2020

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s Daniel (a pseudonym) walks up to the Severe Weather Shelter operated by Bridge House on 30th Street and Valmont, he goes through a health screening in a tent outside. After getting his temperature taken and answering questions about his recent health, he’s given a green sticker before he can enter the facility. It’s a sign that he’s all clear — not showing symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the quickly spreading coronavirus. “Everything changes day to day,” Daniel says, as Homeless Solutions Boulder County (HSBC) and its partner service agencies have been constantly adapting to public health recommendations in light of the global pandemic, causing cities, businesses and most of daily life to shut down. “We realized pretty early on that the homeless were going to be the ones that were possibly the most at risk and so that’s why we put a real focus on trying to come up with a solution and staying ahead of this,” says Kurt Firnhaber, the City of Boulder’s housing and human services director. Not only is this population at medical risk, given they live outside and often have weaker immune systems, Firnhaber says, but they also often stay in close quarters at shelters in Boulder and Longmont. “And if they become positive, there’s not a place for them to recover, and the hospitals simply cannot absorb that,” he says. “In a certain way we’re sort of planning for the worst and hoping for the best.” For Boulder County and city officials throughout the region, as well as homelessness service providers, the pandemic has only exacerbated the shortcomings of the system. HSBC has mobilized to do everything it can to separate unhoused individuals who are sick from the rest of the population. At the same time, everyone is focused on continuing to provide services for clients already in the system, making sure they get the essential food, housing, and economic and mental health help they need. “It’s a shit show,” says Chris Nelson, executive director at Attention Homes, which serves youth experienc-

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Homeless services providers adapt to the coronavirus pandemic by Angela K. Evans ing homelessness. “It’s challenging.” Attention Homes is connected to more than 100 youth in the community. The organization has eliminated its street outreach program for the time being and the drop-in center and shelter are only serving youth 18 and under at this point, whereas before, young adults up to age 25 were welcome. The drop-in center is also prepared as an isolation space for any youth exhibiting symptoms or who may have tested positive for COVID19. As of this writing, it has not been needed, Nelson says. On Friday, March 20, the cities of Boulder and Longmont and Boulder County opened a COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC) for unhoused individuals. Located at the East Boulder Rec Center, the CRC is staffed 24 hours a day by government workers and community volunteers, although more are needed. It’s not a walk-up shelter, rather a place for people to go once they’ve been screened elsewhere. The Medical Reserve Corps, a national network of medical and public health volunteers, is providing daily medical rounds and care. Currently the CRC is set up to hold 47 people, with the possibility of

opening up to more space using other rooms and even the gym. Prior to intake at shelters on Wednesday, March 25, there were six individuals staying at the CRC. “While the numbers have been low, I’m not sure that’s representative of what’s actually going on,” Firnhaber told City Council on March 24. And for those unhoused individuals not experiencing symptoms, there are few places they can publicly be, as stay-at-home orders have gone into effect across the region. “We’re in a unique, challenging situation that we’re violating the social distancing rules every single day just by being open,” says Greg Harms, executive director of Boulder Outreach for the Homeless Overflow (BOHO), which operates the North Boulder shelter. It’s a problem faced by all shelters in the area, many of which are changing normal operations due to the coronavirus. “Our providers have been collaborative, adaptable and creative through all this, as the COVID-19 global pandemic is unprecedented,” Alice Kim, with Boulder County, writes in an email. Most shelters and service providers have suspended all non-essential

MARCH 26, 2020

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volunteers and changed food services to prepared and bagged meals, rather than hot food services. All have tents outside their facilities to screen for possible COVID-19 cases. BOHO is now operating the coordinated entry system for HSBC over the phone. All public buildings including libraries and rec centers — places frequently visited by unhoused individuals — closed recently as well. And all of the agencies are adapting to the changing needs of the population. “When we talk about ripple effects, the unintended consequences of closing facilities is that our most vulnerable population doesn’t have access to basic resources that they normally can count on,” says Joseph Zanovitch, executive director of Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement (HOPE) Longmont. With rec centers closed, in particular he says, there isn’t a place for unhoused individuals to shower. “We didn’t expect this when we started hearing about closures, we didn’t even think about this,” he says. Now, HOPE is opening up a little bit earlier to allow people to come and shower at two different Longmont churches it uses each week. In Boulder, Isabel McDevitt, the executive director at Bridge House, says people utilizing the severe weather shelter have typically not had access to showers, but they are still exploring options. “The bathrooms and the facilities that people have been using in public buildings ... are certainly being missed right now. I can guarantee that,” she says. Several of the providers are also offering virtual counseling to help their clients manage anxiety and other mental health issues that may arise or worsen due to the stress of the pandemic. “Housing instability and homeless individuals are always challenged every day when things are running normally, and when there is a crisis, they feel it the most,” says Kristina Shaw with Mental Health Partners. Despite all of the changes, Harms and Zanovitch both say the number of people seeking services has BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


remained fairly consistent the last few weeks. Firnhaber told City Council on March 24, he actually expects fewer people in the shelter in coming weeks as more are transferred to the CRC. At Attention Homes, Nelson says, there have actually been fewer people walking up to the shelter and drop-in center than there have been in many years, “either because they are sort of isolating wherever they are, [or] because they don’t want to be exposed.” But Nelson says he doesn’t expect that to last. The need for Attention Homes and other homelessness services could dramatically increase in the weeks and months to come, he says, as many already on the verge of economic instability lose employment. “We’re really concerned about a big influx,” Nelson says, “as the numbers of people who have need for those kinds of resources continue to grow, especially people who are experiencing homelessness for the first time. They’ll want to come and try to figure out what they can do.” With the rapid spread of the disease, forcing people into shelter-like environments may not be the best practice during all of this, Nelson says. “There’s a common-sense piece to it

that it might be safer if we can help people stay on the streets safely for the time being.” Firnhaber says enforcement of Boulder’s camping ban, especially for individuals, as opposed to encampments, is not a huge priority at the moment. He told City Council on Tuesday night that from a public health perspective, individuals experiencing homelessness are safer outside rather than congregating in facilities. “This is just another example that the sheltering system is less than optimal and that the real solution for people is for them to have their own place,” Harms says. “This crisis just amplifies that notion for us.” For the most part, however, Harms says people in our community experiencing homelessness are a resilient group, and people have been adapting well to the constantly changing situation. In fact, Nelson adds, the rest of us may even be able to learn something from them. “For young people who have been on the streets or experienced homelessness or have been through a lot of trauma and crisis, that’s a population to learn from,” Nelson says. “They’re just taking that resiliency and applying it daily.”

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ince opening in 2012, hundreds of folks have walked through the doors at Harvest of Hope pantry every week. But that all changed on March 17, when the pantry found out one of its volunteers had tested positive for COVID-19, causing it to immediately close. “We’re unique in welcoming everyone who comes to our door for service, except when the doors aren’t open,” says Rick Chadwick, board chair at Harvest of Hope. The pantry had already taken steps to increase social distancing in light of the pandemic, moving its services to the parking lot beginning March 13. But, working with Boulder County Public Health, the pantry was forced to close for a week in order to deep clean the pantry and train a new batch of young volunteers to step in, as the majority of its regular volunteers are over the age of 65 and at-risk, according to the CDC.

Mike Freiss, 75, a former board member and long-time volunteer who has been involved with Harvest of Hope since its founding, is now being asked to stay home and help from behind the scenes. “It’s been very hard not to be there and support the staff and serve the population that comes in,” he says. Harvest of Hope reopened on March 23. Set up once again in the parking lot, morning clients (lowincome individuals and families) can pick up groceries. People experiencing homelessness are offered sandwiches as well as bagged groceries in the afternoon. The pantry is offering limited mail service for unhoused individuals. Everyone is asked to leave the parking lot once they’ve been served. “I know a lot of the volunteers miss their opportunity to be with the clients,” Freiss says. “It’s going to be nice to get back to that; it’s just hard to predict when that will be.”

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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Boulder County in the Bardo

With restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people, funeral services in Boulder County are being delayed, and with them, the grieving process

by Matt Cortina

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n George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, Saunders spins a fantastical tale of purgatory and mingling souls not yet settled in eternal homes. It’s all born out of the historical fact that Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, often walked into a nearby cemetery at night to visit his 11-year-old son’s grave to hold his body before it was set into the ground. It’s a story that mines the nature of grief and how religious traditions from east to west — the Tibetan Bardo to the Catholic purgatory — consider the time between life as we know it and life beyond. But it also highlights a sort of earthly purgatory, born from grief — how closure does not come when loved ones die, and how there’s often a time of tumult between a loved ones’ last breath and when, if that time comes, we make peace with their passing. Funerals and memorials are an important part of that grieving process for many, but in the time of coronavirus, when gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, this important step is now being delayed for some families. “We’ve had a number of funeral services and memorials that have been postponed,” says Mike Murphy, the third-generation owner of M.P. Murphy and Associates Funeral Directors in Boulder. “We have a number of clients who have had to cancel previously scheduled services.” Murphy says some clients are postponing some ceremonies well into the summer, choosing to delay the grieving process. “The service involves a lot of grieving, of letting go, and that happens within the body of the service,” Murphy says. While some delay services, other families who lose loved ones during this time are opting for small ceremonies that adhere to the 10-person limit. Still others are choosing to do small cere14

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monies now with a plan to do larger memorials later. The Darrell Howe Mortuary in Lafayette has been in talks with a company to livestream services through Skype or Zoom. “In our industry, we’re not very progressive as far as technology goes,” says director Kim Bridges. “We’re working toward that right now.” The coronavirus restrictions add another layer of complexity to the funeral planning process, but Bridges says clients can expect the same level of care and attention the company has always offered. And, she adds, most people understand these are unique times. “Because this has all come up so quickly, 99.9% totally understand,” Bridges says. “They’re all saying, ‘We get it. We want to be healthy, and we want your staff to be healthy.’ So they’ve been very accommodating. We are pushing hard for this livestream.” But if services are being delayed, what happens to the bodies? For those wishing to inter their loved ones via a burial, bodies can be kept for specified amounts of time in refrigeration. For those looking into cremation, Murphy says, “We’ll do all the necessary legalities to proceed with that.” “This is Boulder, Colorado, the Republic of Boulder,” he says. “The majority of our client families request cremation... Doesn’t make it easier for stress level.” In kind, religious organizations have had to postpone some memorial services in light of the gathering restrictions. One wonders: Do mortuaries and funeral serMARCH 26, 2020

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vice providers have to take extra precautions with coronavirus spreading? “That’s a good question,” Murphy says. ”Do I ask that question now? I do. And I have to.” Murphy and Bridges both say their normal precautionary measures when dealing with a human body apply in this time of coronavirus. With assistance from the Coroner’s Office and health care workers, they would be notified if a body might have been infected with COVID-19, even though additional protocols would be put in place before the body is discharged that would ensure the virus could not be transmitted. Colorado is one of the few relatively unregulated states when it comes to mortuary and funeral services — you can bury someone in your yard without a license, for instance. That means, in complicated times like these, it may help to work with licensed professionals, Murphy says. “I deal with professionals. You should expect the same in the funeral service profession for the same reasons my plumber has a license, my hairdresser has a license, my golf pro has a license,” Murphy says. “We practice universal precautions. We use common sense. We have the education, we have the talent and the experience to deal with this from the past. “It is not an easy time to lose someone, but to have that loss compounded by inconvenience has to be horrific,” he says. Death affects everyone. Grief affects everyone, and sometimes it lingers. Recently, I remembered that in a copy of Lincoln in the Bardo I picked up from a free library in Boulder, there were notes and marginalia and underlined parts throughout, but one note stood out to me. I couldn’t recall just what it was so I found the book and flipped through until I found it. The line: “As we approached, he lifted head from hands and heaved a great sigh. He might have been, in that moment, a sculpture on the theme of Loss.” Written in blue ink in the margin: “For 3 years I have been a sculpture on the theme of Loss.” Here’s hoping we can get back to life, death and everything in between, sometime soon. BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


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n Colorado’s Eastern plains, there is one hospital on the I-70 corridor between Denver International Airport and the Kansas border: Lincoln Community Hospital in Hugo. It serves an area the size of Connecticut, with a population density of about one person per square mile. It has two emergency room beds. “We usually have a couple patients in the hospital a day. Eight ER patients a day,” says Lincoln Health CEO Kevin Stansbury. “My personal opinion is, like most areas of the country, it is probably here and it just hasn’t been diagnosed yet,” he says. It being COVID-19. Rural health providers like Lincoln Health face unique challenges when it comes to combating COVID-19: fewer doctors, fewer rooms, older populations and long-standing financial issues. For instance, a 35-bed nursing home is attached to Lincoln Community Hospital, presenting a challenge for hospital workers to keep those who present with illnesses away from an older population that is more susceptible to complications if they contract COVID-19. “[COVID-19] doesn’t present as being a real acute illness in most people who are going to travel,” Stansbury says. “Having said that, we’re very concerned if it should come to the community that a large portion of our demographic is older folks we want to

Mental health care goes online by Matt Cortina

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ith stay-at-home mandates in Boulder and Denver, and further restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people, Mental Health Partners (MHP) is taking its services online to help treat those struggling with addiction, mental health issues, housing insecurity and more. “We have been really successful in moving 90% of our services online,” says Kristina Shaw of MHP. The organization oversees a network that BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

COURTESY LINCOLN HEALTH

protect, and the mortality rate rises dramatically for patients that are 65 or older.” So, like hospitals in more dense communities, Stansbury is asking residents to be screened via a phone call before coming to the ER. “By keeping folks out of the building, that is better for us and for our patients.” Only family members who are essential to patients’ care are allowed to enter the nursing home. That doesn’t mean, however, that people in Lincoln Health’s care are quarantined from all human interaction. Family members and friends are welcome to sit outside the window of people in assisted living,

and the facility even hosted a “Corona party,” serving a case of Corona beer that was donated to the facility last Christmas. Lincoln Health also facilitates Skype meetings between patients and family members. But access to critical medical equipment to combat COVID-19 is a challenge. Though Stansbury says there have not been any confirmed cases in the area, they are evaluating several cases and are awaiting results. “Our biggest shortage is the access to testing kits and delays that happen when you send them in, and a number of people are working to resolve that issue,” he says. “We have a shortage of

the isolation masks. We still have some and we’re working through those.” Given the reality that Lincoln Health might not get masks before running out, or that other, more densely populated areas might be prioritized first, the local community is stepping in to help, Stansbury says. “We’ve had generous members of the community offer to sew masks for us, and we’re working with folks around the state to ensure masks are safe.” The state has ordered all hospitals to delay elective surgeries and procedures in order to minimize exposure and ration personal protective equipment, which Lincoln Health is doing. But such procedures are vital to the financial viability of rural hospitals — Stansbury says it “constitutes most of our revenue.” In turn, Stansbury suggests people from the Front Range think about accessing Lincoln Health’s care during this time so that the hospital system can make ends meet, lower the burden of hospitals that service denser areas and help people get the medical care they need. “We have excess patient capacity,” Stansbury says. “We are willing and able to receive patients from the city who would be willing to let us care for them. “You have good nurses out here. Good doctors,” Stansbury adds. “We take good care of our patients, we just know what our limits are.”

includes everything from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to crisis and detox centers to one-on-one therapy, and much more. “We have the tech infrastructure to move people remote and still be able to provide services and care, which is very important now because a lot of people are feeling mental health anxiety and stress,” Shaw says. “People who are currently being treated for mental health issues, we want to keep them in a stable environment and not send them to the ER.” MHP has canceled all its in-person groups, and clinicians are able to reach out to people in groups and offer one-on-one therapy. It is also working to provide clients with phones, or minutes on their phones,

to access care. People can still access MHP’s 24/7 crisis and addiction center at 3180 Airport Road in Boulder (unless they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, in which case they are advised to call or text 1-844-493-TALK). And they can still receive medical evaluations at locations in Boulder, Longmont and Broomfield. Though making sure all of its 13,000-plus clients have access to the necessary technology to get care has been a challenge, there have been some benefits to moving things remotely, Shaw says. “Some clients are finding it easier to open up being on the phone or being on a Zoom call because it does

reduce that barrier,” she says. “And then a couple clients, they sometimes have the challenge of getting to places because they have a physical disability or [no] transportation. If they don’t have to leave their home, they are expressing gratitude for that.” And Shaw says there has been broader community support online — in this time of high anxiety, MHP is posting mental health tips on social media, and the response has been overwhelming. “We have seen engagement through Twitter through the roof,” Shaw says. “People are sharing everything.” For mental health tips and more information on accessing care, visit mhpcolorado.org.

One of Colorado’s most isolated, rural hospitals faces coronavirus by Matt Cortina

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MARCH 26, 2020

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Domestic violence nonprofits prepare for increased abuse by Angela K. Evans

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ne abuser cut off his partner’s phone service after she stopped going to work due to the coronavirus, leaving her completely isolated from friends, family, really anyone else but him. There have been other reports of an abuser withholding access to a partner’s medical care, or throwing a partner out on the street. “If you don’t do what I want you to do, if you challenge me in any way, I’m going to throw you out and you’re going to end up catching the virus and dying in a ditch somewhere because there’ll be no place for you to go,” Barbara Paradiso says she’s heard from one survivor. It’s examples like these that are causing domestic violence and child abuse organizations to prepare for an increased need for services to keep people safe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and stay-athome orders. “Most domestic violence happens in the home, proven through research; it doesn’t happen outside of the home,” says Paradiso, director at the Center on Domestic Violence at the University of Colorado Denver. “So when we say to people you have to stay at home with the person that is your abuser, then the risk increases exponentially.” Add economic stress, the inability to work or leave the house, and a loss of control, and it creates a situation ripe for increased violence. “Domestic violence is about power and control and this is a situation where most of us are feeling powerless and out of control,” says Anne Tapp, executive director of Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) in Boulder. “Even in relationships that haven’t been abusive, the level of stress and strain that people are experiencing is going to put people on edge.”

Fielding roughly 8,700 calls a year, SPAN’s crisis hotline hasn’t seen a large increase in use in recent weeks. Although, “We’re anticipating that it may increase over time as people are spending more time isolated with their partners,” Tapp says. In other areas of the world where people have already been required to stay home for weeks, reports of domestic violence have increased. In China, it’s been reported that incidents of domestic violence have almost doubled during the coronavirus lockdown. There have been concerns of similar patterns in Italy and Germany. When it comes to child abuse and neglect, the risk factors have also increased — social isolation, family stress, parenting stress, financial uncertainty and insecurity, and the absence of child care or school. Yet, the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline has seen a significant drop in calls since Gov. Polis closed all schools through at least April 17, according to CO4Kids, a statewide effort to raise public awareness about child abuse and neglect. In just one week, the hotline saw 783 fewer calls, mainly attributed to the fact that under normal circumstances, 40% of calls to the hotline come from mandatory reporters such as teachers, school staff and child-care providers, who are no longer seeing children. “We are concerned about this significant drop in calls, particularly because children and youth who may be experiencing abuse and neglect are now home all day and isolated,” Minna Castillo Cohen, director of Colorado’s Office of Children, Youth and Families, said in a press release. “My kids have had friends over the years who I was worried about so... the idea of sheltering in those homes frightens me,” says Boulder City Council member Rachel Friend. Through the City’s hotline service, she asked staff last week to look into the issue, but as of the March 24 special

Council meeting, no one has. She’s hoping to connect with experts at the City, state, Boulder County and local school boards to see if there’s something agencies can be looking at cohesively to help protect those in potential abusive situations. In response to the pandemic, emergency shelters around the state are adopting different policies to safely accommodate individuals and families in need of a safe place, and increasing other services like online counseling and support groups. SPAN has reduced its Boulder shelter capacity from 27 to 15 in order to provide appropriate distancing for their clients, with two rooms for isolation if someone is exhibiting symptoms. Annually, SPAN serves about 375 survivors of domestic violence and their kids in the emergency shelter, but that’s only a fraction of those who need help — the organization turns down 1,200 requests on average per year because it’s met capacity. SPAN does offer hotel vouchers, Tapp says. SPAN has spent an extra $10,000 a week due to the COVID-19 crisis, as the organization is helping clients with food and rent, and staff is working overtime to provide services and sanitizing the shelter regularly. Tapp encourages the entire community to be on the look out for potential abuse, as she expects an increase in reports and calls to law enforcement from neighbors and family members. And SPAN is encouraging its clients to share their situation more openly with people nearby, even developing code words with neighbors in the event that a situation gets out of hand. “One of the things that’s incredibly dangerous about both the virus and how we’re having to respond to it is that it’s increasing social isolation and disconnection and also fear and anxiety and suspicion of each other,” Tapp says. “But really we are in this together, and we can really do this well as a community or we can let it get the best of us. But if we’re in it for the long haul, I think we can make this work.”

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Gender pay gap improving, but still a problem

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arch is Women’s History Month, a celebration of female contribution to American history and our contemporary society. It coincides with International Women’s Day, March 8, which recognizes not only the achievements of women, but also draws attention to persistent inequality throughout the world. Although the U.S. passed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, female earnings have remained consistently lower than their male counterparts throughout the country, including in Colorado. The Centennial State ranks 20th in the nation for smallest pay gap between men and women, according to a recent report from business.org, a Salt Lake City-based organization focused on helping the small business market nationwide. It used data from the 2018

Oil and gas permits, environmental rollbacks continue amid shutdowns

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he federal government and regulators are pushing forward on approving oil and gas permits in Colorado and rolling back environmental protections nationwide, despite widespread government shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. The Center for Western Priorities (CWP) recently found that the U.S. Department of the Interior is pushing forward on 76 policies that weaken protections to wildlife and expand fossil fuel extraction on public lands. Currently, seven proposed and final rules are being reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, including regulations that weaken air quality restrictions for offshore drilling, reopen tax loopholes for oil, gas and coal companies, weaken the Environmental Protection Act and more, according to CWP. “Instead of allowing Americans to focus on their health and well-being, 18

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American Community Survey to determine its rankings. Nationally, female workers over the age of 16 make 80.1% of the median earnings of men of the same demographic. Louisiana has the largest pay gap: women there make $0.70 to every man’s $1. In Colorado, the gender pay gap has improved 3.6% since 2010, and on average, women in Colorado earn $0.83 for every $1 men make. In Boulder, women earn $0.75 to every man’s dollar, making Boulder’s gender pay gap greater than every other reported Colorado metro area, including much more conservative places of the state like Colorado Springs (77.8%) and Greeley (80.4%). JOEL DYER

Pueblo, where on average women make $0.96 cents to every $1 men in the city make, ranks in the top 10 of metro areas across the country. The analysis also found that pay discrimination hits female entrepreneurs the hardest and the pay gap

actually widens for women with advanced degrees. Nationally, women who have a bachelor’s degree earn 68.45% compared to men with the same degree and only 67.6% if they have a professional degree compared to men.

Rescue teams, Sheriff’s Office preparing for increase in calls

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the Trump administration is moving forward with destructive proposals to expand drilling and mining and reduce protections for wildlife,” said CWP Policies Director Jesse Prentice-Dunn in a statement. Concurrently, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) confirmed to Boulder Weekly that it is still reviewing and approving permits and that the number of applications has not fluctuated amid coronavirus-related shutdowns. The COGCC announced on March 25, however, that it would pause rulemaking related to SB 181. Boulder County canceled all upcoming meetings to review its proposed oil and gas regulations due to COVID-19. “Updates to the schedule will be announced as soon as a safe and robust public process is possible,” the County said in a press release. MARCH 26, 2020

oulder County trails and open space were packed this past weekend, and will likely be in the near future on any day that’s reasonably nice. But with more people recreating, there is a potential for more injuries and more calls to the Sheriff’s Office and Rocky Mountain Rescue. “The biggest issue we encountered over the weekend was the number of people recreating in the mountains,” says Mike Wagner, division chief at the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office. “Trailheads, it was across the board, Countywide... parks. It was crowded because people have been quarantined. ... We appreciate people are out exercising, but it does create other [issues] in the system.” Like the potential for increased interactions between law enforcement, rescue workers and people exercising, and subsequent trips to area emergency rooms. Drew Hildner, a team leader at Rocky Mountain Rescue, says the group got four rescue calls this weekend, “a little bit unusual for this time of year, but not enough to be remarkable.” “I wouldn’t yet be ready to chalk it up to anything to do with COVID-19, but it is something we are prepared for and continually keeping an eye on,” Hildner says. “It is something we are anticipating from a planning standpoint.” Individual injuries and calls may be limited now, but they can add up and jam the system quickly at a time like this, Wagner says. “People get injured. Injured people can end up in the hospital,” he says. “That has a direct impact to the hospital system and emergency department. Hospitals are already stretched thin, and it’s just adding additional complexity to the challenge.” The answer is not to stop exercising or getting out in nature, to be sure. But, Hildner says, maybe use some common sense when you’re out on the trail. “Now is not the time to push your limits, or to try things that are at your technical limits or trying to get new, fastest times on some trial or something like that,” he says. “We’re just kind of asking people to slow down, take it easier and maybe do more planning and preparation.” I

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


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SPACEX/PUBLIC DOMAIN

Crowding the night sky

SPACEX IS launching satellites into orbit in order to deliver broadband internet service to people across the globe, but the satellites present challenges for astronomers.

by Travis Metcalfe

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n mid-March, SpaceX launched 60 satellites into orbit 340 miles above the surface of the Earth, part of a planned global broadband internet service called Starlink. It was the sixth large batch of satellites to be delivered for the project since May 2019, and the company expects to add thousands of additional units to the network over the next several years, bringing the total to nearly 12,000 by the end of 2027. Considering that there are currently around 2,000 satellites in orbit, there is growing concern among astronomers that future scientific observations will be spoiled by an increasingly crowded night sky. The Starlink project is part of Elon Musk’s ambitious goal to establish a human presence on Mars within his lifetime. It’s an expensive proposition, even for the billionaire who founded both Tesla (the electric car company) and SpaceX (the reusable rocket company), among other ventures. Hoping to generate the cash to fund the Mars plans, SpaceX developed the Starlink concept to deliver broadband internet to remote areas of the planet that currently aren’t served, and to be competitive with services in existing markets. Starlink hopes to begin rolling out service in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2020, with global coverage anticipated in 2021. By the middle of the decade, SpaceX expects $30 billion in annual revenue from Starlink, compared to just $5 billion from its launch business. Each of the Starlink satellites weighs 500 pounds and is about the size of a table, with a much larger solar panel that unfolds after launch. Because they are so compact and stackable, SpaceX can launch 60 at a time in its Falcon-9 rocket and eventually 400 at once with the Starship rocket. Shortly after launch, as the satellites are ejected from the rocket one by one and deploy their solar arrays, they form long trains of lights moving across the sky, about as bright as the stars in the Big Dipper. Worldwide reports of BOULDER WEEKLY

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UFOs spike after each launch, and the hashtag #Starlinked begins to trend on Twitter as professional astronomers complain about the satellite train drifting through the line of sight of their telescopes. “If you do imaging with a camera and a longterm exposure, then certainly you will see streaks going through your picture,” says Meinte Veldhuis, president of the Little Thompson Observatory (LTO) in Berthoud. Veldhuis moved to Colorado from the Netherlands in 1978 for an internship at Ball Aerospace, where he continued to work as a program manager until 2005 on projects including the Hubble space telescope. In 1996, he and a dedicated group of volunteers in Berthoud estab-

lished LTO at the local high school to help get students interested in science and math. On the third Friday of every month, they host a public star night with a short presentation followed by telescope viewing, a program that has served more than 78,000 visitors over the past 20 years. Veldhuis helped LTO establish dark sky regulations for Berthoud in 2008 and update them in 2018, so he is sensitive to the possible impact of Starlink. When the second batch of Starlink satellites launched in November 2019, astronomers started to organize and raise concerns about the project. SpaceX insisted that the trains of bright lights after each launch were temporary, and that the satellites would gradually disperse and fade as they reached their final orbits. Even so, during the hours after sunset and before sunrise when they are not eclipsed by the Earth’s shadow, the satellites continued to be easily visible and had significant impacts on professional astronomers and night sky photographers. In response to the MARCH 26, 2020

concerns, SpaceX gave one of the satellites a dark coating to see whether it could address the issue. “If you paint the satellite black, that doesn’t help very much,” Veldhuis explains. “The satellite is so much smaller than the solar array, and the solar array you cannot really coat, so when the sun shines on it you can see that really well.” Astronomers in the U.S. are particularly sensitive to Starlink because they have invested much of the past decade building a new facility to gather panoramic movies of the night sky. Starting in 2022, the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) will use a telescope mirror as wide as a tennis court with a 3,200-megapixel digital camera to gather images of the entire visible sky every night for 10 years. Among other things, LSST hopes to catalog all of the potentially dangerous asteroids in the solar system. However, with 12,000 Starlink satellites in orbit, more than 200 will be above the horizon at any given time. The LSST expects that nearly every image obtained within two hours of sunset or sunrise will contain a satellite streak, seriously compromising the observations. “I don’t know how you would solve this. I think we’ll have to live with it,” Veldhuis says. “It’s a trade-off between business and science, and science doesn’t always win.” From a typical suburb, you can see several hundred stars without binoculars or a telescope. By the middle of the decade, if SpaceX follows through with its current plans for Starlink, about half of the points of light you see in the sky will be moving. To remind yourself of what might be lost, visit LTO in Berthoud for a public star night, and check out heavens-above.com for predictions of when a Starlink satellite will cross the sky where you live. Travis Metcalfe, Ph.D., is a researcher and science communicator based in Boulder. The Lab Notes series is made possible in part by a research grant from the National Science Foundation. I

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF HUMANE SOCIETY OF BOULDER VALLEY

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here animal shelters are concerned, the news from cities hardest hit by COVID19 was bleak: “More dogs in shelters will be euthanized during coronavirus outbreak,” The Independent wrote of New York; “People are handing over their dogs,” one shelter director told The Seattle Times. Shelters in Phoenix, St. Louis and Memphis also told local journalists they urgently needed more foster families. But both chapters of the Humane Society in Boulder County say their lists for foster families are overflowing; what they need most right now are pet supplies and monetary donations. “There’s been a panic or scare that people are surrendering their pets because of this,” says Elizabeth Smokowski, CEO of Longmont Humane Society. “We have seen some [surrenders], but not as high as normal. In the past week we’ve seen eight surrenders; normally we can see eight in a day.” Smokowski says her staff is working from a long list of previously approved foster applicants. Over the weekend of MARCH 26, 2020

March 21, in order to allow for quicker foster placements during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Agriculture waived a requirement for foster homes to undergo a physical inspection (all must still pass a background check), leading to even more foster applicants. “We currently have a very long list,” Smokowski says, adding that the waitlist alone includes nearly 700 applicants. “The community has been wonderful.” Amanda Boerman, marketing and community relations manager for Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV), says the situation at HSBV is similar: There’s been no uptick in animal surrenders, and the need for monetary and supply donations is greater than the need for foster applicants at the moment. But Boerman says the organization is being vigilant about how things could change as more people lose income because of closures and stay-at-home orders. “We’re trying to keep our eyes and ears open as far as employment and income loss and all of those pieces,” she says. “Our organization does have a

Safety Net program, so if people need a little help with pet food or discounted veterinary support, we definitely support people [with those resources] to keep those [owner-pet] relationships intact. “We also recognize people are going to have to make tough decisions based on the situation, so we are having conversations about that,” Boerman adds. “That’s part of our big push for donations right now: Let’s be here for our community and for these pets that are going to be impacted. Whether you lose your job or whatever that looks like, we want to keep those relationships together as best we can.” Keeping those relationships intact can be particularly challenging for pet owners experiencing homelessness, as many emergency shelters won’t allow animals. So both Humane organizations work with government organizations to help those owners as they access shelter services, something that could become more urgent as COVID-19 spreads. “We have a Safe Keep program,” Smokowski says. “So when there are clients [experiencing homelessness] that need temporary sheltering of their animals, we can work with them through that program.” As with all current services through either Humane Society, those looking to use the Safe Keep program need to

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BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


make an appointment first. Boerman says that while HSBV’s foster needs are currently met, that may not be the case for other organizations. “Boulder generally has really good volunteer engagement as a city and as a county. I suspect more rural communities might have a harder time,” she says, though relaxed state regulations on foster home inspections should provide organizations with “a lot more flexibility to recruit those individuals now.” What’s most troubling is finances. In these early days of stay-at-home, the financial impact to nonprofit organizations like the Humane Society has been outsized. With many public-facing, incomegenerating services — like training classes, adoptions, intake and clinic services — severely reduced or completely halted, there’s simply less money to work with. (As of March 25, Boerman stated via email that HSBV has closed its adoption center.) “The biggie for us has been the financial impact,” Boerman says. “When you move to reduce person-to-person interactions, not only are you losing out on revenue from services we provide at our open facility, we also had to cancel and postpone all of our fundraising events. We postponed our largest fundraiser, Puttin’ on the Leash, which typically raises about $450,000, indefinitely. We’re trying to see what other opportunities we can seize.” Longmont Humane Society also had to cancel its annual fundraiser, Homeward Bound, which was scheduled

for March 21. According to Smokowski, the event usually nets about $145,000. She says her team is also researching new avenues, like an online auction. “We have to purchase the software and then learn to use the software, which is a challenge,” she says. “But it’s worth it. We’re just deliberating when the best timing to do that is.” Creating space for social distancing has also meant both organizations have had to cancel all volunteer rolls for the time being. However, with reduced public-facing services, staff at both organizations have been able to focus on the enrichment work volunteers would normally do, like cleaning and caring for animals still in residence. Both organizations are currently still facilitating lost-and-found intake services by appointment only to minimize unnecessary interpersonal contact. All other public services are closed. Boerman says BVHS has had to cancel its out-ofstate transfer program, which helps shelters outside of Colorado find homes for animals when their facilities are full, but it is still providing support to in-state municipal organizations, including the Denver Animal Shelter, Adams County Animal Shelter and Aurora Animal Shelter. “They still had animals in their building that are perfectly prepared for adoption or maybe need a different environment,” she says. “Our team is stepping in and helping those organizations.” Other animal rescue organizations

have been equally hard hit by social distancing protocols. Lovin’ Arms Animal Sanctuary currently cares for 94 animals — cows, pigs, sheep, horses, ducks and other non-domestic animals — that have been rescued from abusive or neglectful situations. Lovin’ Arms provides lifetime care — no fostering — but does rely on donations and significant volunteer work as a nonprofit organization. Executive Director Shartrina White says she and her team are currently training a small back-up team of volunteers who can care for animals in the event that someone on the four-person staff gets sick. The sanctuary has also had to cancel fundraising events that normally keep operations running through the year. “One of the things I’m interested in is creating content online,” White says. “Animals really help teach children compassion and kindness. We’re looking to do a weekly or daily story time, looking for teachers to help create content online for story time. I know there’s a lot of people who have talents around teaching plant-based eating. We’d like to offer online classes for free and ask for donations; classes about more compassionate ways to eat, even about how to recycle, how to be more environmentally friendly. I think people are at home and if they want to donate their talents to us, if they can help, we’d be grateful.” Both chapters of the Humane Society in Boulder County and Lovin’ Arms Animal Sanctuary have Amazon wishlists that can be found on their websites.

fosters at this time) • RezDawg Rescue, Lafayette, rezdawgrescue.org • Colorado Canine Rescue, Brighton, coloradocaninerescue.org (a small rescue with limited availability) • Western Border Collie Rescue, wbcrescue.org • Soul Dog Rescue, Fort Lupton, souldog.org • Mother Gaia Animal Rescue, mgarcolorado.org • Rocky Mountain Pet Rescue, Winter Park, mountainpetrescue.org • MaxFund Animal Adoption Center, Denver, maxfund.org • Farfel’s Rescue, Boulder, farfels.com • All Points West German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue, Elizabeth,

allpointswestgsp.org • L.O.L.A.’s Rescue, lolasrescue.com • Breeder Release Adoption Service, Boncarbo, breederadoptions.org • Humane Society Of The South Platte Valley, Denver, hsspv.org • Denver Animal Shelter, denvergov. org/content/denvergov/en/denver-animalshelter.html • Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue, rmfr-colorado.org • Cat Care Society, Lakewood, catcaresociety.org • Aurora Animal Shelter, auroragov. org/residents/animal_services/aurora_animal_shelter • Denver Dumb Friends League, ddfl.org • PawsCo, pawsco.org

We are open for take out! Choose from our entire menu.

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Lookin’ to help?

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here are a number of animal welfare and rescue organizations in the area. The following list is not comprehensive. Even if there is no current need for foster families at a given organization, donations and supplies are typically welcome, but please check an organization’s website for specific information on its needs and how you can best be of service. Consider following organizations on social media to stay upto-date. • The Good Dog Rescue, Westminster, thegooddogrescue.org • Moms and Mutts — Colorado Rescue for Pregnant and Nursing Dogs, Sheridan, mamcorescue.org • Summit Dog Rescue, Boulder, summitdogrescue.org (not seeking new BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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MARCH 26, 2020

MORNING GLORY CAFE 1377 FOREST PARK CIRCLE, LAFAYETTE 303.604.6351

The restaurant will be closed for one month. We are catering! See you at the cafe in April. Be safe! Love, MG Family Visit our FB page for updates I

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What to do when there’s ‘nothing’ to do...

VIRTUAL EVENTS

EXCEPTIONAL WOMEN SPEAKERS SERIES — HOSTED BY THE WOMEN OF THE J AND THE BOULDER JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER. 7 P.M. TUESDAY, MARCH 31, BIT.LY/2UAKFIM

If your organization is planning a virtual event of any kind, please email Caitlin at crockett@boulderweekly.com. BOULDER ARTS WEEK. MARCH 27-APRIL 4, BOULDERARTSWEEK.ORG/CALENDAR.

BOOKS

n Boulder has the third largest concentration of artists in the country according to a recent study conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts. Celebrate the rich diversity of Boulder County’s cultural landscape at the seventh annual Boulder Arts Week from March 27 to April 4! This large-scale, inclusive celebration of our community’s vibrant arts and cultural offerings and our city’s thriving creativity is now being offered online. Search the calendar for exhibitions, performances, dance, music, theater, public art, lectures, readings and workshops that you can enjoy from home. There are tons of projects that are great for kids and adults alike. Please support your local arts community during this time of uncertainty.

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TRANS DAY OF REMEMBRANCE. 5:30-7 P.M. TUESDAY, MARCH 31, OUTBOULDER.ORG/EVENTS/2020/3/31/TRANSDAY-OF-CELEBRATION. n Join this virtual gathering to hear a variety of trans individuals share poetry, songs and other forms of art. Hear local representatives speak. This event is open to all identities. Spanish interpretation will be available at this event. If you are interested in performing poetry/prose or a song, or speaking at our Trans Day of Celebration, please email Charlie Prohaska (they/them) at cprohaska@outboulder.org. For any questions about this event, please email Michal Duffy (they/them) at mduffy@outboulder.org.

TRUST EXERCISE — SUSAN CHOI n Susan Choi won the 2019 National Book Award for fiction with this engrossing novel, examining power dynamics, love and memory. Set in a nondescript American suburb in the ’80s, Sarah and David begin a clandestine love affair during the summer of their freshman year of high school. But when sophomore year begins, miscommunications tear their romance apart. Ostensibly a coming-of-age novel, ‘Trust Exercise’ is much more than the first 131 pages would have you believe. By the end, you won’t know what to believe. — Caitlin Rockett

BY BOULDER WEEKLY STAFF

n Join Global Greengrants Fund President and CEO Laura García, and Director of Gender and Equity Ursula Miniszewski for a discussion about the important role women play in addressing climate change. Ursula and Laura, lifelong environmentalists and feminists, will discuss the unique impacts of climate change on women, the gap in funding at the intersection of women and environment, and many of the solutions women are implementing worldwide. This discussion is free and open to all. Please RSVP at the link above or find more info and a link to the Zoom meeting at boulderjcc.org. Clay Rose and Adam Perry of Gasoline Lollipops Live at Gold Hill Inn. 7 p.m. MST, Sunday, March 29, facebook.com/ GasolineLollipops n If you missed the virtual show by Clay Rose and Adam Perry of Gasoline Lollipops at Jamestown Mercantile on Sunday, March 22, you’ve got another chance to rock out with these local heroes as they offer another virtual show, this time from Boulder’s Gold Hill Inn, on Sunday, March 29. “We’ll be playing requests only,” Perry says via email, “so listeners can comment, requests and even call the Inn at 303-444-7622 with their song requests and messages, and we’ll put them on speaker phone during the show.” Full-time musicians like Rose have lost livelihood with closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any donations made during the show (via @Clay-Rose-2 on Venmo and clayrosemusic@gmail.com on PayPal) will be given directly to Clay and his family. Photo credit: George Blosser.

THE ART BEFORE THE HORSE — CHRIS MCDONNELL

Reincarnation Blues — Michael Poore

n ‘BoJack Horseman’ redefined adult animation. Through six seasons on Netflix, a show about a humanoid horse — a has-been actor, depressed and totally succumbing to his addictions — became a cult classic that addressed mental health and power dynamics in a way no television show has before. Released prior to the fourth season, Chris McDonnell’s book gives die-hard fans a chance to see the pain-staking attention to detail that show creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and illustrator Lisa Hanawalt applied to every scene of this emotionally charged and hilarious show. — CR

n Milo is the oldest soul in the universe. He’s been reincarnated 9,996 times when we meet him, but he’s only got four more lives to get it right ­— that is, to achieve nirvana and become eternally one with the universe. Oh, and he’s in love with the incarnation of Death. For fans of Neil Gaiman and Kurt Vonnegut, this is a darkly hilarious love story that tenderly examines the messy beauty of humanity. Good for adults and young adults alike. — CR

White Noise — Don DeLillo

Sabrina & Corina — Kali Fajardo-Anstine

n After an “airborne toxic event” throws a midwestern town into chaos, Jack Gladney and his very blended family must find a way to carry on with the everyday chaos of family life. While the black cloud in the sky presents something tangible to fear, it’s the background sound of everyday modern life — the constant presence of television commercials, tabloid magazines, radio programming, satellite dishes, microwaves — that’s surreptitiously unraveling them all. As significant now as it was when it debuted in 1985, ‘White Noise’ offers insight into the way humans are shaped by the constant hum of consumerism. — CR

n The resilience of Latina identity is the heart of Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s collection of short stories, all set in Denver. A combination of strength, grace, caution and trauma mark her characters and their narratives, as we move through time and space watching a city gentrify and a new generation emerge. It’s the story of friendship, mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins, and ultimately heritage and home. Longlisted for a National Book Award, Fajardo-Anstine’s sharp, direct dialogue and prose is full of promise. — Angela K. Evans

MARCH 26, 2020

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BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


STREAMING CAT BLUES: WEEK TWO

1. HANNI EL KHATIB — “STRESSY” If you’re feeling stressed, PalestinianFilipino American singer-songwriter Hanni El Khatib has the song for you, evoking the sounds of those Dust Brother-produced albums of the ’90s.

BY MICHAEL J. CASEY

2. ALEX WILDISH — “WEIGHTLESS” This local singer-songwriter was the winner of last year’s Songwriter Showcase at Folks Fest. “Weightless” is a dreamy, soul-searching example of her lyrical prowess. 3. LEIFUR JAMES — “SUNS OF GOLD” Leifur James’ wide-reaching musical influences — classical, soul, jazz, hiphop, house and ambient — are evident on this noir, piano-driven groove. 4. ROSIE LOWE — “BIRDSONG” A neatly funky track waxing poetic on the energizing power of physical love.

n ‘Apocalypse Later: Harold

Camping vs. The End of the World’ As 2010 drew to a close, TV preacher and Biblical mathematician, Harold Camping, predicted the world would end on May 21, 2011. Or on Oct. 21, 2011. Whichever. Most saw him for the crackpot he was, but those “Save the Date” billboards sure did scare the crap out of a lot of people. And from public panic to Camping’s calm, Zeke Piestrup’s documentary is positively captivating. It seems like you can’t go a decade without a good end-of-the-world scare. On Amazon Prime.

n ‘Brakhage’ Coronavirus canceled this month’s

Brakhage Center Symposium. It’ll probably cancel the two remaining Celebrating Stan programs this semester as well — damn coronavirus. Need your Brakhage fix? Stream Jim Shedden’s documentary about the experimental filmmaker and CU-Boulder professor for free on Vimeo, and let Brakhage set you right.

5. STEVE GUNN — “NEW MOON” A mystical folk journey that will have you dreaming of walking away from your desk, out of the city and into the love of your life.

n ‘After the Storm’ Ryota is a successful novelist, but

he’s also a louse of a son, a failure as a spouse and a flop as a father. But he needs a place to stay. Typhoon’s a-coming and his mother, ex-wife and estranged son will have to let him ride it out in their cramped little apartment. It’s quiet, sweet and surprisingly hopeful — just the sort of story you’d expect from Japanese maestro, Hirokazu Kore-eda. His latest, ‘The Truth’, will hit theaters after this storm passes. Until then, give ‘After the Storm’ a stream via Kanopy.

6. JACKLIN — “BODY” A deceptively quiet song about just how exhausting — and terrifying — defeat can be. Jacklin herself has called it “a very long and exaggerated sigh.” 7. SAULT — “UP ALL NIGHT” Lots of artists want to cultivate an air of mystery, but SAULT means business. Can’t tell you much about these musicians other than they make groovey, dubby, hooks that dare your ass not to shake.

n ‘American Factory’ Winner of the 2019 Oscar for Best

Documentary, ‘American Factory’ tells the tale of a shuttered Ohio auto plant brought back to life thanks to Chinese investors (sort of). In today’s world and today’s economy, there’s no such thing as local, no matter how hard we want to believe. On Netflix.

8. JORDAN RAKEI — “MAD WORLD” A soulful, electronic-tinged ditty that wonders aloud how to live in a world that often feels quite mad.

n ‘The Housemaid’ Dong-sik Kim just needed a little

extra help around the house. He’s busy working at the factory during the day, composing music at night. His wife takes care of their two kids, but when she becomes pregnant with their third, help must be hired. Enter Myungsook, young, attractive and completely unhinged. At first, you think Myung-sook is a stock femme fatale, but then she becomes so much more. Claustrophobic and relentless, ‘The Housemaid’ is the perfect intersection of noir and horror, and one of South Korea’s greatest films. ‘Parasite’ got you hankering for more? ‘The Housemaid’ is at The Criterion Channel.

9. PAUL HASLINGER — “INTRINSIC” This minimal, slow-building piece of instrumental noir feels like a never-released interlude ripped off of Trent Reznor’s harddrive. 10. THOM YORKE — “I AM A VERY RUDE PERSON” Nobody does anxiety better than Thom Yorke. On his third solo album, Yorke sets his worries against his most danceable grooves yet, including this subtle head-bobber.

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

FILM

HEAVY ROTATION

BY CAITLIN ROCKETT

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MARCH 26, 2020

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protective gear he needs to minimize his risk of exposure? “We’re all doing our best to take as many preventive steps to lower our Dear Dan: My question is on manrisk of being exposed,” aging “gray area” intimacies during the said Dr. Summers, “but there’s still a pandemic. I have a lover/friend that I’ve maddeningly unacceptable shortage of been hanging out with — fucking, drink- personal protective equipment like ing tea, going on hikes, eating ice masks, gowns and gloves nationwide. I cream, watching movies and other hope he has sufficient access to these activities — for about nine months. things. But is there a risk he could get He’s 36 and was married for 10 years exposed to the virus at work? and due to that experiDefinitely.” ROMAN ROBINSON ence he’s been a bit emoDr. Summers lives tionally “boundaried” but with his husband and four he’s still really sweet and children and in addition to a good communicator. I’m the precautions he takes in grad school doing a at work — where he may double masters, so the be seeing patients with small amount of time coronavirus (he doesn’t we’ve been spending know for sure because together has worked well tests still aren’t available) for me. Here’s the issue: — Dr. Summers strips he’s also an ER doctor. down to his underwear on Do I keep seeing him durhis front porch of his ing this pandemic? I just home when he gets home moved to the city where we both live from work. His clothes go straight into for my grad program and he’s my main the washing machine, he goes straight source for connection, comfort and into the shower. support here. Every time I see him we “I’m still afraid of bringing it both feel tremendously less stressed home,” said Dr. Summers. “But with and our connection feels emotionally four kids home from school, my hushealthy. I just know he is bound to be band’s sanity depends on my being at a huge risk for exposure and since present as much as I can. So for me, he’s not a committed partner and we staying away isn’t an option. That’s don’t live together, I don’t know if he not the case for PDDAD. She has to falls within or outside of my physical decide whether the undefinable risk of distancing boundary. It seems like the exposure isn’t worth it. Or, alternativebest thing to do from a logistical perly, she can decide the connection she spective is hole up with my cat and not has with him is important enough to see another soul in person until a vacher own well being that the risk is cine is invented or something, but I worth it. But only she can make that don’t know when that will happen. decision for herself.” —Physical Distancing Do’s and If you decide the risk of infection is Don’ts too great — or if your boyfriend decides the risk of infecting you is too great — Dear PDDAD: “This is really a mat- you can still be there for each other. ter of a personal risk/benefit calculaYou can Skype and Zoom, you can text tion,” said Dr. Daniel Summers, a pediand sext, you can leave groceries on atrician who lives and works near his porch and wave to him from the Boston. “What PDDAD is willing to sidewalk. But if you decide to keep accept as a risk may be different from connecting with each other in person, what someone else would.” PDDAD, you should minimize the And there’s definitely a health benamount of time you spend moving efit to getting together — we are social through the city to get to each other’s animals and isolation is bad for us — places. And that means — emotional but your lover is at high risk of infecboundaries be damned — picking one tion. And when front-line health care of your apartments to hole up in togethproviders get infected, they tend to get er for the duration. sicker than the average person who You can follow Dr. Summers on gets infected, according to CNN, which Twitter @WFKARS and you can read is something else you need to factor him at Slate’s Outward. into your risk/benefit calculation. Additionally, does your boyfriend’s Send emails to mail@savagelove. workplace — I’m going to call him your net, follow Dan on Twitter @ boyfriend for clarity’s sake — have the FakeDanSavage, and visit ITMFA.org.

BY DAN SAVAGE

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BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


Stressed Out? Think Massage! Call 720.253.4710

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Ode to coronavirus by Lindsey Aronson

As I lay here watching the world crumble from my phone screen, I look outside my window. The trees stand as per usual. This time covered in soft freshly fallen snow. Powdered white and frosted tips. I exhale. My busy schedule clears white as the snow. At first I feel desperate, fearful, helpless, rageful. But then, I simply sit. And I simply breathe. No need to fill this void. Why not build a snowman in it? Oh coronavirus, you are slowing us just like the snow. Helping us to grapple what it means to be alive. What it takes to survive.

You say, go home. Maybe this is the time life as we know it changes for good. Maybe we’ll soon forget about it and carry on with business as usual. But regardless of outcome, you are asking us to pause. To feel. To reconsider. To reflect. Who are we? What are we doing? Are we happy? Coronavirus, are you happy? Who are you? What are you doing? We haven’t met personally yet, but I feel you coming for me. I’ve been preparing my immunity for the fight, but I am also curious to know you. Do you have a message for me?

We grasp and wrestle in force and control.

How will it feel to have you dance in my lungs?

And you say, surrender.

For now, I wait. I give gratitude for my strength, my health, and for yet another moment to pause.

You say, rest.

Lindsey Aronson is a Spanish teacher, dance teacher, therapist and coach... a lover of nature, dancing and the wild synchronicities of this thing we call life.

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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MARCH 26, 2020

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BY ROB BREZSNY ARIES MARCH 21-APRIL 19: Your oracle comes from Aries

poet Octavio Paz: “The path the ancestors cleared is overgrown, unused. The other path, smooth and broad, is crowded with travelers. It goes nowhere. There’s a third path: mine. Before me, no one. Behind me, no one. Alone, I find my way.” APRIL FOOL! Although the passage by Octavio Paz is mostly accurate for your destiny during the rest of 2020, it’s off-kilter in one way: It’s too ponderously serious and melodramatic. You should find a way to carry out its advice with meditative grace and effervescent calm.

TAURUS APRIL 20-MAY 20: A century ago, fiery writer Maxim

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Gorky and hard-ass Taurus politician Vladimir Lenin were listening to a Beethoven sonata together. “I can’t listen to music too often,” Lenin told his companion. “It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid, nice things.” This is crucial advice for you to heed in the coming weeks, Taurus. You need to be as smart and tough as possible, so don’t you dare listen to music. APRIL FOOL! Lenin was half-mistaken, and I half-lied. The fact is, music makes you smarter and nicer, and those will be key assets for you to cultivate in the coming weeks. So yes, do listen to a lot of music.

GEMINI MAY 21-JUNE 20: By the time he was 55 years old,

Gemini author Thomas Hardy had written 18 novels and many poems. His stuff was good enough to win him two separate nominations for a Nobel Prize in Literature. But during the last 32-plus years of his life, he never wrote another novel. According to one theory, it was because he was discouraged by the negative reviews he got for his last novel. I suspect you may be at a similar juncture in your life, Gemini. Maybe it’s time to give up on a beloved activity that hasn’t garnered the level of success you’d hoped for. APRIL FOOL! The truth is, it is most definitely not time to lose hope and faith. Don’t be like Hardy. Rededicate yourself to your passionate quests.

CANCER JUNE 21-JULY 22: Cancerian theologian John Wesley

(1703–1791) was a Christian who embodied the liberal values that Christ actually taught. He advocated for the abolition of slavery, prison reform, the ordination of women priests, and a vegetarian diet. He gave away a lot of his money and administered many charities. To accomplish his life’s work, he traveled 250,000 miles on horseback and preached 40,000 sermons. Let’s make him your role model for the coming weeks. Be inspired by his life as you vividly express your care and compassion. APRIL FOOL! I lied a little bit. Although most of what I just recommended is a good idea, the part about traveling long distances, either on horseback or by other means, is not.

LEO JULY 23-AUG. 22: The neurotic but talented French

novelist Marcel Proust observed, “Everything vital in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded religions and composed our masterpieces.” With that in mind, and in accordance with current astrological omens, I urge you to cultivate your own neurotic qualities in their extreme forms of expression during the coming weeks. You’re due for some major creative breakthroughs. APRIL FOOL! I was kidding. The fact is, you can generate creative breakthroughs in the coming weeks by being poised and composed — not extra neurotic.

VIRGO AUG. 23-SEPT. 22: Virgo author Leon Edel wrote

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a five-volume biography of renowned author Henry James. In the course of his research, he read 15,000 letters that were written by James. He came to have a profound familiarity with the great man. In accordance with current astrological omens, I recommend that you choose a worthy character about whom you will become equally knowledgeable. APRIL FOOL! I halflied. It’s true that now is an excellent time to deepen your understanding of people you care about. But don’t get as obsessed as Edel!

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LIBRA SEPT. 23-OCT. 22: About 2,000 years

ago, a Roman woman named Sulpicia wrote six short love poems — a total of 40 lines — that are still being analyzed and discussed by literary scholars today. I bring her to your attention because I think that in the next four weeks you, too, could generate a small burst of beauty that will still be appreciated 2,000 years from now. APRIL FOOL! I lied about the “small” part. The burst of beauty you create in the immediate future could actually be quite large, as well as enduring.

SCORPIO OCT. 23-NOV. 21: French poet Louis Aragon

(1897-1982) was an influential novelist and a pioneer of surrealistic poetry. Much of his writing had a lyrical quality, and many of his poems were set to music. He also had a belligerent streak. Before the publication of one of his books, he announced that he would thrash any writer who dared to review it in print. Success! There were no critical reviews at all. I recommend his approach to you in the coming weeks. Make it impossible for anyone to criticize you. APRIL FOOL! I lied. I would never suggest that you use violence to accomplish your aims. And besides that, the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to solicit feedback of all varieties, even the critical kind.

SAGITTARIUS NOV. 22-DEC. 21: I hesitate to be so blunt, but it’s my

duty to report the facts. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you should have as many orgasms as possible in the next 15 days. You need to tap into the transformative psychological power that’s available through monumental eruptions of pleasure and releases of tension. (P.S. Spiritual orgasms will be just as effective as physical orgasms.) APRIL FOOL! What I just said is true, but I left out an important component of your assignment: Be loving and responsible as you pursue your joyous climaxes, never manipulative or exploitative or insensitive.

CAPRICORN DEC. 22-JAN. 19: Ancient Greek orator Demosthenes

was renowned for his skill at delivering powerful, charismatic speeches. While he was still learning his craft, he resorted to extreme measures to improve. For example, there was a time when he shaved just half of his head. It made him ashamed to go out in public, forcing him to spend all his time indoors practicing his speeches. Would you consider a similar strategy right now? APRIL FOOL! I was just messing with you. It’s true that the coming weeks will be a good time to minimize your socializing and devote yourself to hard work in behalf of a beloved dream. But shaving half your head isn’t the best way to accomplish that.

AQUARIUS JAN. 20-FEB. 18: The coming weeks will be a favor-

able time for you to tell as many lies as possible if doing so helps you get what you want. I hereby authorize you to engage in massive deceptions, misrepresentations, and manipulative messages as you seek to impose your will on every flow of events. APRIL FOOL! I lied. In fact, everything I just said was the exact opposite of your actual horoscope, which is as follows: You have a sacred duty to tell more of the truth than you have ever been able to tell before. As you dig deeper to discover more and more of what’s essential for you to understand and express, dedicate your efforts to the goal of gliding along with the most beautiful and interesting flow you can find.

PISCES FEB. 19-MARCH 20: Fifteen minutes before the

Big Bang occurred, where was the matter that now constitutes your body and my body? And if, as seems to be true, the Big Bang was the beginning of time, what time was it 15 minutes earlier? Questions like these are crucial for you to ponder in the next two weeks. APRIL FOOL! I lied. The questions I articulated should in fact be very low priority for you. In the immediate future, you’ll be wise to be as concrete and specific and pragmatic as you can possibly be. Focus on up-close personal questions that you can actually solve, not abstract, unsolvable riddles.

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


In lieu of the theatrical experience Festivals, studios and theaters test the streaming waters

by Michael J. Casey

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n compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Gov. Jared Polis’ decree, movie theaters are shuttered until mid-April. Or at least until mid-April — it could be longer. And with no theaters to screen in, no press reviews to market, most major studios are postponing tent-pole releases anywhere from months to a year. MGM’s latest James Bond installment, No Time to Die, was slated for an April release, but will now hit theaters in November. Universal pushed F9 (the latest in the Fast & Furious franchise) back to April 2021, while Disney has shelved its live-action remake of Mulan indefinitely. The delay of those three, in particular, is designed to maximize profits. All three will either flirt with or surpass the $1 billion box office mark, but only with a strong world market. Other movies are getting a much different treatment: Streaming. Typically, studios, movie theaters and streaming services have an agreed-upon 90-day theatrical window before a movie is available for home viewing. There are many exceptions to this rule, but with the current shutdown of public spaces, studios are collapsing the window and giving audiences stuck at home the chance to stream these movies now: Focus Feature’s Emma, Universal’s The Invisible Man, Warner Bros. Birds of Prey, IFC Film’s upcoming Resistance and Film Movement’s Corpus Christi. Even Disney is expediting Frozen II and Onward to its service for myriad children no longer at school. Meanwhile, in the independent scene, a group of 30+ film festivals has banded together to try and sell tickets to canceled film festivals. These programs will go on, as planned, just via streaming platforms. But there are some tricky waters to navigate, as many of these films have not yet been acquired. And distributors aren’t keen on paying for something that’s already hit the internet. Seed&Spark, the subscription-video-ondemand platform spearheading this campaign, is trying to assuage distributors from those fears, while also ensuring the hard work of new and independent filmmakers won’t simply evaporate into the ether. More information can be found at try.seedandspark.com/film-festival-pledge. Then, there are the art-house theaters (which don’t operate on much of a margin to begin with). The distribution company Kino Lorber is modifying its on-demand rental service, Kino Now, to partner with local theaters across the U.S. Moviegoers can see the movies that would be playing at their local theater under normal circumstances, and the movie theater gets to keep its share of the ticket. Currently, Boulder’s Dairy Arts Center has partnered with Kino Lorber to bring Bacura to the virtual theater while Denver’s Sie Film Center has added offerings from Film Movement and Oscilloscope to its virtual theater (in addition to Kino Lorber). It’s an attempt to maintain normalcy in less than normal times. More distributors and theaters are sure to follow as many are still scrambling to keep the lights on and businesses solvent for the duration of this shutdown — make sure to check your favorite cinema’s website for details. One thing is for sure: We won’t have a lot of places to go, but there’ll be plenty to watch over the next couple of weeks. BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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BOULDER WEEKLY


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skeptical of good news nowadays, but we have one bit of it for you: The local restaurants that have switched to takeout/delivery services are still producing worldclass fare, and the experience of enjoying at your own pace at home is, well, kind of great. Take Black Cat’s Big Bang-for-your-buck dinner for two. For $75, select from a menu of expertly prepared dishes made from ingredients culled from Black Cat’s sprawling Boulder County farm operations. We’re talking crispy arancini with a creamy, goat’s cheese and rice filling served alongside greens and shaved prosciutto to start. Then, heaping portions of vibrantly spiced yellow curry hot pot and/or the mulefoot pork loin with spicy, smoky guajillo salsa, polenta and braised greens. Top it off with an apple pistachio financier or flourless chocolate torte — or get one of each. Big flavors boom throughout the meal, and each bite feels like a little bit of a welcome escape.

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1 n Eat well, while you shelter in place

MICHAEL J. CASEY

Thankfully, stay-at-home orders and other coronavirus restrictions still allow for restaurants, breweries and more in Boulder County to offer takeout and delivery services. Patronizing these establishments is critical to help carry these businesses through this difficult time. For a regularly updated list of those that are now offering takeout/delivery meals (and, in an excellent development, alcoholic beverages), visit boulderweekly.com/cuisine/restaurant-listings.

BOULDER WEEKLY

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n Left Hand Brewing Co.’s Galactic Cowboy Nitro Imperial Stout Left Hand is Boulder County’s purveyors of nitro beers, and its latest valentine, Galactic Cowboy Imperial Stout, is a winner. Jet black in the glass with a thick, creamy collar of egg-shell foam, a whiff of roast on the nose, a spike of sweet malt in the mouth, a whole lot of mind-softening alcohol to send you off to sleep. It’d be vicious if it weren’t so smooth. See you, space cowboy...

MARCH 26, 2020

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The future of brewing in Boulder County

COVID-19 disruptions will have long-lasting effects

by Michael J. Casey

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n March 16, 2020, Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association (BA) — the Boulderbased trade group representing small and independent breweries — posted a short questionnaire on the organization’s website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact Poll. His aim: gather quick data on how the global pandemic was affecting local businesses. Two days later, Watson published the results. Of the 600-plus breweries that responded, 98.9% reported that their business had seen an immediate effect. The survey did not say where the 1.1% of breweries reporting no impact were located or what made them so damn special. And though the findings may seem obvious, they are also illuminating. “Draught sales make up roughly a third of craft production,” Watson writes. “The rapid shuttering or restriction of breweries, bars and restaurants has drastically cut short-term cash flow as well as production in the medium-term.” The short-term impact is evident, but it’s the medium-term slowdown of production that’s concerning: 88.8% of respondents said production has either slowed or stopped. Years ago, Charlie Papazian wrote in The New Brewer: “When you do the analysis, smaller companies provide more direct and indirect jobs per unit of product made.” When we talk about craft breweries, we’re talking about small companies. Many employ less than a dozen and operate on thin margins. Not only are they ill-equipped to handle an unprecedented shutdown, but there have been other storm clouds on the horizon keeping them up at night. From a public that was drinking less (overall beer consumption was down 1% in 2019) to fears of market saturation as the number of craft breweries approaches

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HALF EMPTY or half full? Let’s just be thankful there’s beer in the glass.

five digits. A disruption, any disruption, in business can have long-lasting effects. Gov. Jared Polis’ 30-day closure of in-person dining and drinking will be the proverbial nail in the coffin for a good number of breweries, brewpubs and bars. These were most likely on the chopping block to begin with — either due to rising rent costs, poor performance or top-heavy practices — but they will go into the history books as the first wave of COVID collateral damage. There are others. The BA canceled the Craft Brewers Conference and the World Beer Cup, along with Savor — its yearly food and beer pairing festival held in Washington, D.C. The Colorado Brewers Guild (CBG) suspended Collaboration Festival indefinitely and postponed Colorado Pint Day. Those events are crucial for both the small and independent breweries it promotes while also raising operating costs for both the BA and the CBG. This is just the start. And, as of publication, there is no indication that 30 days will be sufficient to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. This could drag on for months. To compound this downer, the U.S. economy has been overdue for a nation-wide recession, while another shakeout in the brewing sector seemed imminent. COVID-19 appears to be the catalyst that will force this hand. In the coming weeks, we’ll explore the various aspects of what long-term effects we might find with a COVID-19 shutdown, 30 days, or more. And we’ll see how this global pandemic may bring about a rapid collapse to the unprecedented growth enjoyed by local brewers. We’ll also take a look at how the craft brewing market has changed, both in size and identity, and what the future may hold. It ain’t all doom and gloom, but it’s not going to be pretty. Better grab a cold one; this may take a while.

MARCH 26, 2020

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How to help: Gift cards

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ift cards are the best way to lend a hand to a struggling business. Buying beer and food helps, but a gift card purchase gives the company an immediate influx of cash with no hit to their bottom line — which means the money can go to labor instead of goods. And, for you, a gift card secures a future treat when this all said and done. It’s like a war bond, only more delicious. Some are even incentivizing gift cards by offering additional bonuses. The Big Red F Restaurant Group, which operates The Post Brewing Company and West End Tavern, among others, will kick in an additional 20-30% if you buy a gift card in amounts from $250-$1,000. That’s a lot of money to help out a business you frequent, and a lot of free drinks down the road. Currently, there are over 30 Boulder County breweries to buy from. The Colorado Brewers Guild has posted an interactive map created by Megan Bleess to get you started: tinyurl.com/thggxgw.

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


MATT CORTINA

Ready to grow

Local farmers and ranchers prepare to face coronavirus challenges head-on

By Matt Cortina

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ith the start of the Boulder County Farmers Market delayed until May 2, and a massive curtailing of demand from restaurants, local farmers and ranchers are finding unique ways to stay viable and keep operations running amid coronavirus-related shutdowns. But let it be known, farmers need your help now. “They need your patronage to weather this potential economic shortfall,” says Adrian Card, the Colorado State ag extension agent for Boulder County. “And they’re doing everything they can to keep their food products as safe as possible.” First, a lay of the land: Local non-commodity farmers (that is, not the farmers and ranchers that sell large-scale items like soybeans, sugar beets, alfalfa and commodity pork) make money through direct-to-market avenues like farm stands, farmers markets and CSAs. Others also have staked a sizeable chunk of their businesses on selling into restaurants. Still more sell into grocery stores or packaged food companies. All those avenues are in jeopardy now, but particularly those — and it’s the majority — farms and ranches that sell directly to the consumer. Card says the primary concern he hears from local farmers and ranchers is that there won’t be enough consumer confidence, or the necessary channels, to sell their products. Luckily, food is an essential business and so

farmers and ranchers don’t need to pull back on staffing. But with borders closed and self-quarantines, there are concerns about whether there will be enough healthy farm workers to cultivate fields. “There are those workers coming from other parts of the world... will any of them encounter health-related issues that prevent them from working?” Card says. Despite the challenges, some restaurants and farmers are finding novel ways forward. Black Cat, for instance, got approved in about a week to open a farm stand on the corner of Jay Road and Diagonal Highway that allows them to sell earlyseason crops along with grains grown and milled on their land, as well as local wine, beer, cider and cocktails. The Big Red F restaurant group, in collaboration with the Boulder County Farmers Market, is launching a series of pop-up farm stands, wherein people can find out the contents and price of a box of local produce on Big Red F’s social media, reserve their orders and then pick up their box on Saturday mornings. Big Red F food and beverages, say The Post’s hot chicken or West End cocktails, can also be added. The first pop-up is scheduled for Saturday, March 28 from 9-11 a.m. at Zolo Grill (2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder). The $30 CSA-style box of mixed produce from Oxford Gardens, Elliott Gardens and Rocky Mountain Fresh includes cucumbers,

mixed greens, Bibb butterhead lettuce, arugula, mizuna, watercress and basil. There are only 40 boxes available. Go to zologrill.com to reserve your box. And places like Bucker Family Farm are offering pop-up freezer sales, home delivery and drivethrough pickups of local meat. For commodity farmers, the boom in people stocking up on meat at their grocery stores might be a benefit, and Card says he hasn’t heard of local farmers and ranchers who produce such goods being impacted too severely by coronavirus. “You’ve been to King Soopers, people are pulling stuff off the shelf like mad,” Card says. “This is my opinion, for some of these undifferentiated producers and these wholesale markets, I don’t think they’ll see an income shortfall, maybe the opposite.” And given that many restaurants have had to lay off most or all of their staffs, there is thought that some of them might find work on farms — it’s a logical jump. But Card says even though there might be demand for workers, it’s not the same kind of work. “Farmers may or may not be receptive to workers who are not familiar with farm work and may not know the physical requirements,” he says. “Moving into stoop labor, it would be as if I’m going from working in a restaurant to pouring concrete. It’s more physically demanding.”

Delivery & Take Out Available 303.647.3755 Visit our FB page or Website for daily dinners Longmont Public House 1111 Francis Street, Suite A, Longmont, Colorado longmontpublichouse.com BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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MARCH 26, 2020

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n FEAST COURTESY ROSETTA HALL

Drinks To-Go

A

silver lining amid all the shutdowns is the new ability for restaurants, breweries and other food establishments to offer drinks to-go. In response to this development, a number of local spots are offering unique make-at-home cocktails in addition to premade drinks, beers, wines, spirits and more. Here’s a rundown of a few of them, but check out boulderweekly.com/ cuisine/restaurant-listings for a regularly updated list of spots offering takeout/delivery food and drinks.

n Blackbelly (Boulder)

Digital love: a.d. laws ‘blackbelly select’ bourbon, rum, amaro, creme de cassis; pour over ice at home. (Two cocktails per order $10)

n Community (Lafayette)

2 in 1 Gin Rummy: Sage gin, pear juice, cherry juice, ginger beer ($10)

n Corrida (Boulder)

Mezcal pineapple margarita: (six servings for $40)

n Longmont Public House (Longmont)

Mixed 6-pack: Mix of craft beer, ciders and spiked seltzers; put a note in your order if you want to lean one way or the other. ($8)

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n OAK at fourteenth (Boulder)

OAK Vodka Martini: KetelOne Vodka, Lillet Rose, Cocktail Punk Morning Grapefruit bitters, Vaya con Dios Mezcal, Aperol, sweet vermouth and honey (Four cocktails for $40, eight cocktails for $80)

n Rosetta Hall

Margaritas, Pineapple Daiquiris, Aperol Spritz, Palomas, Negronis and a lot more: (Everything comes in batches of 4 for $20 including a small bag of ice and garnishes.)

n Sugarbeet (Longmont)

Blackberry Bramble: Sno Vodka, amaretto, blackberries, lemon and chocolate bitters ($10)

n Teocalli Cocina (Lafayette)

El Minero: Fresno and jalapeno infused tequila, pineapple juice, fresh lime and saffron bitters ($9)

n Waterloo (Louisville)

Rocky Mountain Lemonade: Leopold Bros. Rocky Mtn. Blackberry Whiskey and house-made lemonade ($8)

n West End Tavern (Boulder)

Mountain Manhattan: Breckenridge Bourbon, sweet vermouth and angostura bitters ($10-$20) BOULDER WEEKLY


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Marijuana in the time of the virus By Paul Danish

D

o bogart that joint, my friend. Don’t pass it over to me for the next 14 days. Erik Altieri, director of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), is urging stoners to stop the practice of sharing joints until the coronavirus runs its course. “We all know a large part of what binds us together as cannabis consumers is community and sharing,” Altieri wrote in a post on the NORML website. “However, while we are living through the current pandemic we should all be more mindful of our day-to-day consumption practices, and how the choices we make impact not only ourselves, but also those we care about.” NORML is also suggesting that people stop passing pipes, glassware and vape pens for the duration of the pandemic. And it said that 90% isopropyl alcohol is an effective way to clean pathogens off mouthpieces. • • • • Activists in South Dakota, where two separate marijuana legalization initiatives (one for medical and one for recreation pot) have been petitioned onto the state’s November ballot, are changing their strategies to push them across the finish line. New Approach South Dakota, said it has shelved its plans to host events and do in-person outreach in support of the two initiatives instead focusing on the use of social media. The group said it will host virtual town halls, broadcast guest speakers and produce more web content, among other things. It also plans to focus on encouraging South Dakotans to consider absentee voting. “We strongly urge everyone to sign up and go vote as soon as absentee voting opens up,” New Approach said in a post. “This process ensures democracy doesn’t fall by the wayside due to COVID-19.” South Dakotans for Better Marijuana laws, a separate group that’s backing the recreational initiative, echoed the sentiment. • • • •

A recreational pot legalization petition drive in Arizona, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, has gathered 270,000 names so far; it needs 237,000 valid voter signatures by July 2 to make the ballot. The group would probably like to get at least 50,000 more signatures to cover signature disqualifications, but the ability to do that might be compromised by the coronavirus outbreak. Even if petitioning isn’t suspended, vol-

untarily or involuntarily, people who are social distancing may avoid petitioners. The Smart and Safe Arizona initiative got a boost earlier this month when the backers of a rival legalization plan threw in the towel and endorsed the Smart and Safe Arizona plan. The rival group, the Arizona Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, had tried to get the Arizona legislature to put its proposal on the ballot instead of trying to petition it on, but

couldn’t find any support. • • • • The coronavirus pandemic is upsetting legalization efforts in at least three East Coast legislatures. In Vermont, the legislature has been working on a bill that would allow recreational pot sales in the state. The Vermont legislature legalized possession and use of marijuana a couple years ago, but sales remained illegal. Both houses of the state’s legislature have passed legalization bills but they differ on tax rates and other issues. A conference committee has been appointed to iron out the differences, but the legislature adjourned until March 24 due to the virus, which set everything back and moved epidemic-related measures to the top of the agenda. A similar sort of upheaval has hit New York legalization efforts. Governor Andrew Cuomo had wanted recreational marijuana legalization legislation included in the state’s budget bill, which has to be passed by April 1. But some legislators are saying marijuana might be pushed aside for consideration of coronavirus-related measures. In Connecticut, where a recreational marijuana legalization bill has the strong support of Governor Ned Lamont, the legislature is shut down until at least March 30 because of the virus. Even if there are no further delays, it’s unclear if a bill can clear both houses before the legislature adjourns on May 6. A recent poll from the Hartford Courant and Sacred Heart University found 63% of Connecticut residents favor ending marijuana prohibition. • • • • On March 23, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock issued a stay-at-home order to fight the epidemic. The order exempted “essential” businesses like groceries from closure, but initially did not exempt liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries. But within hours, both were moved to the “essential” category. Sometimes the ruling class is a little slow to recognize human nature.

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