Boulder Weekly 10.6.2022

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FUTURE Was killing the permit for the Dowe Flats Quarry the end of operations at the Lyons cement plant, or an invitation to pollute for decades to come?





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Does the killing of Dowe Flats Quarry signal the end of the Lyons cement plant, or an invitation to pollute for decades to come? by Will Matuska


Local Polar explorer Ryan Waters’ journey to become the first American to complete the True Adventurer’s Grand Slam by Chad Peterson


Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra brings planetary peril into focus with season opener ‘Ozymandias’ by Jezy J. Gray


Clay Rose of Gasoline Lollipops talks beating career burnout, revisiting old songs and unquitting the music business by David Kirby

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7 Opinion: Our library needs sustainable, stable, reliable funding 8 Unrepentant Tenant: More on evictions 21 Art & Culture: As the Open Studios tour returns, we take you inside three workspaces on the itinerary 24 Events: What to do when there’s nothing to do 29 Film: Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s ‘Memoria’ to play CU Boulder’s International Film Series on 35mm 28 Astrology: by Rob Brezsny 31 Critter Classifieds: Find a furry four-legged friend 37 Savage Love: Done wrong 38 Weed: Advocates move to fill a growing gap between medical professionals and the science of cannabis




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Publisher, Fran Zankowski Circulation Manager, Cal Winn EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief, Caitlin Rockett Arts & Culture Editor, Jezy J. Gray General Assignment Reporter, Will Matuska Food Editor, John Lehndorff Intern, Chad Robert Peterson Contributing Writers: Dave Anderson, Emma Athena, Will Brendza, Rob Brezsny, Michael J. Casey, Angela K. Evans, Mark Fearer, Dave Kirby, Ari LeVaux, Adam Perry, Dan Savage, Bart Schaneman, Alan Sculley, Toni Tresca SALES AND MARKETING Market Development Manager, Kellie Robinson Account Executives, Matthew Fischer, Carter Ferryman, Chris Allred Mrs. Boulder Weekly, Mari Nevar PRODUCTION Art Director, Susan France Senior Graphic Designer, Mark Goodman CIRCULATION TEAM Sue Butcher, Ken Rott, Chris Bauer BUSINESS OFFICE Bookkeeper, Emily Weinberg Founder/CEO, Stewart Sallo Editor-at-Large, Joel Dyer Oct. 6, 2022 Volume XXX, number 8

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 Boulder Weekly does not accept unsolicited editorial submissions. If you're interested in writing for the paper, please send queries to: Any materials sent to Boulder Weekly become the property of the newspaper. 690 South Lashley Lane, Boulder, CO, 80305 p 303.494.5511 f 303.494.2585 Boulder Weekly is published every Thursday. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. © 2022 Boulder Weekly, Inc., all rights reserved.

Boulder Weekly welcomes your correspondence via email ( 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.

Foundation, BLDG61 was launched and quickly became one of the most popular library resources. Now only a few years later, cities across our state have followed suit. This model of hands-on education has become a norm, and for many cities, Boulder was the model to follow. This type of progressive programming requires sustained support. Sadly, bouncing budgets and staffing cuts have limited the hours of operation and growth of BLDG61. When my husband and I moved to Boulder in 2015 for jobs at CU, I only had a few friends in Colorado. While the school provided me with a new community, finding my place in the city was difficult. I describe myself as an indoor cat in a city of mountain dogs. Boulder was the third place I moved to in less than 10 years. I wanted to put down roots, but it was tough to find my people here. In February 2016, as the makerspace was about to open, I ran into a library employee and we started talking about a project I was part of in California called the Sewing Rebellion. She asked me if I’d like to bring it to Boulder and host it in the makerspace. I said yes and before I knew

Our library needs sustainable, stable, reliable funding by Steven Frost


e all know that Pearl Street and the Flatirons are icons of our city. These locations serve as a welcoming pad for thousands of tourists each year, but for locals, the library is where you find the heart of Boulder. It is truly one of the perks of living in this city, and, in particular, its makerspace, BLDG61, is truly special among all it offers. However, declining sales tax receipts, bouncing budgets, and staffing cuts have limited the opportunities it is able to offer the community. When it opened in 2016, many people were not sure what role a makerspace should/could play in a public library. Many asked if it was the library’s role to provide maker-based education. Thanks to the vision of the library director, his staff and support from the Boulder Library



see OPINION Page 8

OCTOBER 6, 2022



The worst thing that can happen to a tenant by Mark Fearer


ne of the worst housing crises — if not life crises — a tenant can face is eviction. The U.S. is in the throes of one of the worst rental housing crises in its history, with record high rents and a record number of evictions nationwide. Thousands of Boulder renters are “housing insecure,” paying well over the 30% of income that Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines as the maximum amount Americans should pay for housing costs. Colorado has some of the worst eviction laws in the country for tenants, and few know what rights they have to contest an eviction. Legally, evictions are called Forcible Entry Detainer (FED), a term originating in the late 1800s and still used today. After a long lapse in tenant activism, a number of renters from the Boulder chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) started doing some tenant union organizing. “There are other ways as a tenant you are in a precarious situation, and we were all worrying about eviction all the time,” said DSA member Ruy Arango, although none of the DSA members ultimately faced eviction. “Anyone who lives [in Boulder] and doesn’t own a home can attest [that] being a tenant is a difficult thing,” he added. They saw ballot initiatives called No Eviction Without Representation (NEWR) that won in New York City and San Francisco and were inspired to look more closely at the evictions in Boulder. In 2019, DSA members went to eviction court for a year, where FEDs were heard every Friday, collecting evidence of what they witnessed (this was before Colorado’s pandemic-induced eviction moratorium). As DSA members suspected, most tenants didn’t appear in court, and of those who did, only 2% were represented by an attorney. Not surprisingly, the court ordered default judgments against the no-shows, and most others were evicted anyway. They also found that 88% of landlords had legal representation in court (most of the time, the larger landlords didn’t even 8


appear). Predictably, landlords won the vast majority of eviction cases. After data collection was complete, the DSA group decided to launch the No Eviction Without Representation Campaign for Boulder’s November 2020 ballot. They chose eviction support because it didn’t infringe on state laws, and could be legislated at the local level. They consulted with the San Francisco NEWR campaign and a local housing attorney to develop language that would give all tenants, regardless of income, the right to legal representation in court and access to a fund for back rent, so as to avoid eviction. That fund and legal assistance would come from an annual $75-perunit tax on landlords. “We were all volunteers — we all put in a lot of time and not insignificant amount of our own money into the campaign,” Arango says. The collection of initiative signatures and the campaign itself was all done against the background of the pandemic where millions were no longer collecting paychecks and often faced evictions. While there was a relatively quick mobilization of federal resources to help with supplementary income, and a state eviction moratorium was put into place, it was all temporary. Despite predictable opposition from the landlord lobby, the measure passed by 58% and created the Eviction Prevention And Rental Assistance Service (EPRAS), run by the city of Boulder. Arango is now a busy graduate student and hasn’t been very involved with EPRAS. He is under no illusions of the program’s limitations. “The only thing that is going to stop the housing crisis is moving away from a market distribution model for housing,” he says. “Markets are unable to meet human needs.” I’ll take a deeper look at the success of EPRAS and a Denver attempt to enact similar legislation in the next column. This opinion does not necessarily reflect the view of Boulder Weekly. Email: OCTOBER 6, 2022

OPINION from Page 7

it I’d found my people. The Colorado Sewing Rebellion was popular and attracted 20-50 participants every month from spring 2016 to fall 2019. With the help of library staff, I would teach people to mend their clothes, follow patterns, design Halloween costumes and tailor garments to their sizes. We created accessories from leftover streetlight banners, collaborated with community artists and even hosted a popular workshop that showed people how to put pockets into dresses and skirts. Like many of the programs BLDG61 offers, it hasn’t returned since 2019 due to a decrease in budget, staff size and limited hours of operation. Today, if you walk into the makerspace during its open hours (three days a week), you will see the 3D printers and laser cutters humming along as expected. You will also see small business owners embroidering T-shirts, people mending their clothes, parents working with children on class projects, and staff teaching people to use complex software. The BLDG61 staff creates a welcoming learning environment that, as a professor at CU, I model my own classrooms after. You can’t just put a laser cutter with a manual in a room and hope people will figure it out. The staff must be composed of people who possess a broad range of educational and technical skills. The library’s current dependence on sales tax has made long-time programming, promoting current staff and the creation of new positions much more difficult. A library district will allow l

long-term planning and a more stable place for people to build community, work and learn. Even without my deep ties to BLDG61, I would support the creation of a Library District by voting yes on 6C. This is an opportunity for our city to invest in its future and those who will create it. Voting yes on 6C will improve Boulder and support our creative, marginalized and entrepreneurial neighbors. We cannot be a society that thinks about our city as just a place to lay our heads, buy stuff and go out to dinner. We are not a bedroom community, we are not just a tourist destination. We are a city of innovation and creativity. As a community, we share a set of progressive values that are reflected in the library, its programs and its patrons. Our library needs sustainable, stable and reliable funding, so please vote yes on 6C. Steven Frost (they/them) is an assistant professor in the Department of Media Studies at CU Boulder and faculty director of the B2 Center for Media, Arts, and Performance. Their research focuses on textiles, queer studies, pop culture, and community development. They serve on the Boulder Library Commission and Library Foundation. Frost is co-founder of the Experimental Weaving Residency, Slay the Runway and Colorado Sewing Rebellion. This opinion does not necessarily reflect the view of Boulder Weekly. Email:


VOTE ‘YES’ ON EVEN-YEAR ELECTIONS I support moving city council elections to even years. Voter participation is a passion of mine. In my first election when I was 18 years old, I registered and voted against Ronald Reagan. I was passionate and informed about voting and even chose to vote differently than my parents did. I felt like my vote really mattered. I hope Boulder voters can recall their own first time voting, how it shaped them and how this measure promises to capture the voices of more voters. Since that first experience, I have become engaged in local politics, and have spent a lot of time volunteering at voter registration events, and even served as an election judge in Boulder County. These experiences over my lifetime have led me to believe that we cannot discount the voice of one person or group over another. Every vote matters and every voice should be heard. For example, a renter’s vote is equal to a homeowner’s vote. A vote from someone who moved here yesterday is equal to a vote from someone born here. A young person’s vote is equal to a senior citizen’s vote. From the perspective of someone who has worked as an election judge in even years, it is more difficult to vote here in odd years. There are fewer open polling centers and hours of operation in odd years. Many of the first time voters met while issuing ballots at the CU UMC polling center spoke about wanting to experience the joys of voting in person. Much of the work centered around updating addresses and registering people to vote for the first time. People move from time to time, so not every voter will receive a mail ballot. The polling centers are critical to making voting accessible to more people so having the increased hours in even years is especially important for voter participation. The voter turnout data makes it clear that more people vote in even years. Let’s hear the voices of our whole community. Join me in voting “yes” on ballot measure 2E! Rosie Fivian/Boulder

VOTE ‘YES’ ON LIBRARY DISTRICT I will vote “yes” on measure 6C to fund our libraries because right now, wealth inequality is at an all-time high, attacks on public schools and libraries are nearly a weekly occurrence, and our community is polarized and bombarded with misinformation and “alternative facts.” As a single teen mom, the Boulder Public Library was a key resource in helping me find a job after getting my GED and associate degree. I was able to research local businesses and find books on resume writing. As a parent and grandparent, the library has been a go-to space to connect with other parents, get out of the house and engage in activities with other kids, and participate in community events. Libraries level the playing field for everyone. As a formerly low-income parent scraping by in Boulder, I can attest to how invaluable the libraries are to someone living in poverty. They break down barriers to technology and cultivate a sense of community with free and low-cost programs. Libraries are also key partners for our schools providing collaboration opportunities of all sizes. But Boulder libraries are under direct threat right now due to underfunding, as are many libraries in the state that are dependent on a city or county general fund. A library district provides a successful and stable source of funding as evidenced by the many robust library districts in our state. They offer vital programs and hours that aren’t under threat of city budget cuts. Our libraries are currently operating at 2002 funding levels, adjusted for inflation, yet they are trying their best. We need to give them a stable funding path so that they can do what they are meant to do: provide equal access to information to everyone. Vote “yes” on measure 6C. Angela Bowman/Boulder


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A hazy future Was killing the permit for the Dowe Flats Quarry the end of operations at CEMEX Lyons Cement Plant, or an invitation to pollute for decades to come?

by Will Matuska CEMEX LYONS

Cement Plant, pictured above, has been operational since 1969. It can no longer mine raw materials from the nearby Dowe Flats Quarry (opposite page).




or decades, residents in Lyons have raised concerns about the cement plant and its quarry located outside of town. “We’re the closest community to the plant and the mine, and I can tell you that the cement dust is everywhere,” says Hollie Rogin, mayor of Lyons. The CEMEX Lyons Cement Plant south of Highway 66, and its adjacent quarry at Dowe Flats north of the highway, has long been a focus of community concern around air quality, light and noise pollution, traffic impacts and negative effects on local property values. In May, when CEMEX applied with Boulder County Parks and Open Space for a 12-year extension on the life of the Dowe Flats Quarry where the plant mined raw materials to make cement, some community members saw it as an avenue to end operations at both the mine and the plant. “We’re just people who want the biggest polluter to go away,” says Kathleen Sands, who started the Lyons Climate Action Group and has focused on raising awareness around issues with the CEMEX plant. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the plant is the top emitter of greenhouse gases in Boulder County, emitting 357,101 metric tons of CO2 equivalent a year (2020). The second highest pollution in the county is the CU Boulder Power Plant, with 55,263 metric tons of CO2 equivalent a year (2020). Sands and others hoped CEMEX couldn’t operate without the mine — at OCTOBER 6, 2022

least not profitably. The mining permit application went through a public land use process with the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners over the summer, gathering testimonies from citizens and reviewing documents. Commissioner Claire Levy saw how important this decision was for the public. “We handled a lot of testimony,” Levy says. “This was something that was obviously of great public interest.” Thursday, Sept. 29, the County Commissioners voted 2-1 to deny CEMEX’s permit application to keep mining at Dowe Flats. It looks like an environmental victory — one step closer to getting the biggest polluter in the county off Lyons’ doorstep. But some believe the decision could lock in the county’s largest CO2 polluter for decades to come.

The deal The Lyons Cement Plant — located 20 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park — was built in 1969 and acquired by Mexico-based CEMEX in 2000. The building materials company acquired a 25-year permit to mine at Dowe Flats, which expired on Sept. 30. The raw materials mined at Dowe Flats were sent south over Highway 66 to the plant, where they were heated in a kiln to produce portland cement. “CEMEX believes renewing the permit for Dowe Flats Quarry is the most efficient method to obtain matel

rials to produce cement that is vital for the growth of Colorado,” the company states on its website. CEMEX did not respond to multiple interview requests. The original mining extension application submitted to the County, co-signed by Parks and Open Space, stipulated that Parks and Open Space would acquire about 1,800 additional acres of open space (the county has been paying for 700 of those acres since 1997). CEMEX also proposed an increased lease payment (400 times more than payments under the previous permit) to the County, and the closure of both the mine and the plant after 15 years. In the final hearing before the Commissioners voted, CEMEX sweetened the deal by lowering the proposal from 15 to 12 years and offsetting 5% of their annual greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy credits. Commissioner Levy, who voted to deny the permit, simplified CEMEX’s proposal as an “attempt to simply throw some money at it.” Now that the proposal is denied, the mine ceased operations on Sept. 30 and will undergo a three-year reclamation process. The County will get 774 acres of open space, and CEMEX will remain owner of the land. In a May 2 press release announcing CEMEX’s mining-extension proposal, Boulder County Parks and Open Space wrote that CEMEX could operate its plant “indefinitely even after the mine closes.”


A difficult decision Boulder County Commissioner Matt Jones says he wants the CEMEX plant gone as much as anyone else — but he voted to approve CEMEX’s mining proposal. He says it was a hard decision. “The guaranteed shutdown at 12 years. Over 1,000 acres of open space. That’s the nugget, really,” he says. Jones also drew on County staff, who recommended approval of the permit. On the other hand, the County’s Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend the commissioners deny. Commissioner Levy voted with Commissioner Marta Loachamin against the mining extension. Levy says she didn’t feel like the additional acres of open space in the proposal would do anything to offset the direct impacts of mining, like reported fugitive dust clouds. She also says she didn’t see enough data showing impacts from or comparisons between proposed scenarios. “There wasn’t any fresh analysis based on current circumstances as to whether [CEMEX is] still compatible [with its original permit],” Levy says. “I don’t think [CEMEX] should have a high degree of confidence that they’ll be able to continue operating that plant as long as they want to.” The uncertainty surrounding the plant’s lifespan revolves around CEMEX’s permitting and legal nonconforming use status. The plant became legally nonconforming in 1994, which means it was built before current zoning laws and is therefore not permitted by current zoning laws. Because the plant is legal noncomforming, CEMEX has a vested property right to continue operations as long as it doesn’t increase the size of the plant or the plant’s footprint — CEMEX doesn’t have to abide by current zoning and special-use permit requirements. But, if CEMEX doesn’t follow these rules, the plant could be shut down. CEMEX is forced to bring materials to its Lyons plant from somewhere else now that the Dowe Flats mining permit has expired. Proponents of shutting the quarry down think the increased cost of trucking in materials will shutter the plant sooner rather than later. If CEMEX needs to build infrastructure on site to support increased truck traffic, thereby changing the plant’s size and footprint, it could cause CEMEX to lose legal nonconforming status. Attorney James R. Silvestro, representing local environmental group Save Our Saint Vrain Valley, wrote in a memo to the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners that, “Without a formal administrative review, [County] Staff has incorrectly assumed that the cement plant is a legal nonconforming use and that it will not lose that status if the Application BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

is denied and CEMEX is forced to supply the cement plant with imported raw materials.” Jones voted in favor because he wanted to take the sure thing. The closing of both the plant and the quarry after 12 years would add more guaranteed pollution, but he valued knowing when the plant would close. He thinks CEMEX really could run the Lyons plant for decades to come. “Nobody knows how long that plant will be there. My guess was long beyond 12 years,” he says. “And we will have a lot more air pollution from it. Both greenhouse gasses and more direct pollution.” Boulder County’s climate goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, and 90% below 2005 levels in 2050. Both sides of the CEMEX debate believe their stance supports these goals.

were in opposition to the County renewing the mining permit, and 10 were in support. On its website, CEMEX writes, “The [Lyons Cement Plant] has been recognized repeatedly for its environmental performance and community outreach accomplishments by organizations including Wildlife Habitat Council, Portland Cement Association, The National Association of Environmental Professionals and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” The company sponsors community events and works with schools on environmental education. While the community health impacts from the plant are unknown, the EPA finds cement plants as “significant” sources of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. Cement plants also produce particulate matter that is regulated by the state. WYLIE HOBBS At the THE DOWE FLATS state level, QUARRY, north of the Colorado Highway 66, was a Air Pollution source of raw maControl Division terials for CEMEX (APCD) proLyons Cement Plant vides compliance for the last 25 years. oversight of CEMEX Lyons. Since 2000, CEMEX has been the subject of 12 formal enforcement actions. Based on observations during inspections, APCD also found CEMEX Lyons “not in compliance” with 12 permit requirements in 2018, “out of compliance” due to two violations in 2019, and “not in compliance” with six requirements in 2020. CEMEX has also reached settlements “I think [extending the permit is] more likely to with the EPA four times due to violations. In 2013, meet the greenhouse goals eventually,” says Jones. CEMEX paid a $1 million civil penalty to resolve Dale Case, director of Boulder County Comviolations of the Clean Air Act at the plant in Lymunity Planning and Permitting, says the mining ons. The most recent settlement between CEMEX permit expiring does not change any permitting for and the EPA was in 2016. CEMEX’s cement plant. According to Case, CEMEX can continue operating the plant under state law unless the company makes changes that could trigger a lose of legal nonconforming status — and there are currently no Therese Glowacki, director of Boulder County proposed changes. Parks & Open Space, supports the Commissioners’ If CEMEX takes steps that lead to the loss of decision, and says the Commissioners did what its legal nonconforming status, it could apply for a they thought best for the community. special use permit to continue operating under the “700 acres will be coming to open space in three current land use code. Without seeing an appliyears, so that’s a good thing,” Glowacki says. cation, Case couldn’t say how difficult that permit Mayor Hollie Rogin is proud her community would be to acquire. showed up and voiced their opinions. Right now, Case says, “it’s all speculation as to “It was so much work from so many people,” what is going to happen with the plant site.” Rogin says. “So many people in our community banded together and worked so hard. I am very grateful to the County Commissioners for being able to see all the nuances of an incredibly complex situation.” In reviewing CEMEX’s mining application, For the time being, we wait to see how CEBoulder County sent notices to property owners MEX will move forward. within a 1-mile radius of the Dowe Flats Quarry. Of those who responded to the notices, 238 Email:

A hazy future

CEMEX and the community


OCTOBER 6, 2022




A change in trajectory

Local Polar explorer Ryan Waters explains how he did a lot of really hard stuff to become the first American to complete the True Adventurers Grand Slam

by Chad Peterson



should write a song called ‘Crying in my Goggles,’” Ryan Waters remembers muttering aloud as he and fellow Polar adventurer Eric Larsen prepared to cross a gap between Arctic ice. It’s Day 53 of Waters and Larsen’s 2014 ski expedition to the North Pole, and the two are a single day’s push — just three miles — from the Pole when they come upon another break in the Arctic shelf, a floating platform of ice that forms where continental ice meets the sea. These breaks have become more and more prominent as Earth’s climate has warmed, pushing huge glaciers into the sea, increasing ocean levels and slowly drowning coastal cities across the globe. Waters and Larsen — who both call Boulder home these days — have taken turns stripping down to wet suits and swimming between these gaps in the ice while pulling the sleds and their fellow adventurer. Now it’s Larsen’s turn to swim and Waters’ chance to float. On the opposite side, Larsen struggles to pull himself onto the shelf. After multiple tries, he finally beaches himself on the ice. The duo launched their trip at Cape Discovery on the northern coast of Canada, packing two sleds weighing over 300 pounds each. Over 53 days, the pair endured temperatures as low as minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit, pressure ridges in the ice as high as 12 feet, and polar bears lurking around


OCTOBER 6, 2022


GRAND SLAM: Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen (top photo) skied to the North Pole from the northern coast of Canada unassisted and unsupported in 2014 — it may have been the last time for such an expedition.



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the arctic tundra. ON THE SHELF: Ryan Waters The final three miles took a grueling eight will speak about his book, hours, but upon arriving at the North Pole, WaAn American’s Grand Slam; ters became the first American to complete the A True Adventurers Unlikely True Adventurers Grand Slam. To join, an adJourney,’at Boulder Bookventurer must climb the Seven Summits — the store, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder, highest mountain peak on each continent — on Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. The and ski unsupported (no resupplies or outside book is available for purchase help) and unassisted (no mechanical, wind, or from Falcon Guides (falcon. guide help) to both of the Earth’s poles. com) or your local bookstore. It’s been seven years since Waters and Larsen completed their Arctic expedition, giving Waters time to reflect on his accomplishment in his recently released book, An American’s Grand Slam, A True Adventurer’s Unlikely Journey (out now from Falcon Guides). Part adventure story, part memoir, Waters details his transformation from a high school football player who craved time in the outdoors, to his desk job as a geologist, to become an assistant climbing instructor for Outward Bound in North Carolina, to his trips to the North and South poles and conquering the Seven Summits. He’ll speak about his adventures at a book reading at Boulder Bookstore on Nov. 10.

‘Almost by accident’ Waters remembers dreaming about climbing mountains on the first day of his final physics class at Ole Miss. He found himself unable to focus on the lecture, transfixed on the notion of scaling a towering, snow-covered Himalayan peak called Pumori — “daughter mountain” in the Sherpa language. Waters made a promise to one day visit the mountain and climb its “graceful slopes.” Waters graduated with a degree in geology and took a job in Atlanta working as an environmental consultant. After three years there, he applied for a job with Outward l


Bound in North Carolina. “That was the literal moment I felt the direction of this life begin to take a significant turn,” he writes in his book. Waters worked at Outward Bound in North Carolina for a year and then landed a job with the company working in Patagonia. Before heading to South America, Waters took every opportunity to get out and climb, whether it be on the soaring mountains of Wyoming or the sandstone boulders of Horse Pens 40 in the Appalachian Mountains of Alabama. In the wild and pristine environment of Argentine Patagonia,Waters honed his skills moving across rock, snow and glaciers. “When I started working in South America it was a big experience,” Waters says, “because I was not only instructing people but I was working with other instructors who do it a lot …and learning stuff from them.” In 2007, while a part of an expedition aiming for the summit of Cho Oyu, a Tibetan peak that ranks sixth-highest in the world, Waters met Norwegian explorer Cecilie Skog, who had completed the True Adventurers Grand Slam. The two became friends and on a visit to Boulder, Skog mentioned the possibility of crossing Antarctica. Waters jumped at the opportunity. “I do consider myself a mountain climber first,” Waters admits. “The polar stuff camealmost by accident by running into these people in these circles that I was in. It’s not like you’re just going out cross-country skiing in Colorado. It’s remote. There is a challenging environment. There are a lot of different skill sets that I didn’t know about. So once I agreed to [cross Antarctica with Skog], I had that feeling like, ‘Shit, now I gotta actually figure this out.’” Waters and Skog skied across Antarctica in 70 days in 2010, covering 1,117 miles from Berkner Island to the South Pole, completing their journey by skiing to the Ross Sea. Four years passed, and in that time Waters ticked off Mount Vinson, completing his Seven Summits bingo card. Waters and Larsen’s 53-day ski expedition to the North Pole has yet to be repeated, and it is unlikely that a ski expedition from the coast of Canada to the North Pole will ever happen again due to warming temperatures causing less stability in the ice shelf. “The conditions and thin ice make it much harder now than in the past, which is a major hurdle in itself,” Waters says. “Equally important, the company that used to support the flight options from Canada has since decided to no longer support expeditions to the North Pole due to the challenges presented by thinning seasonal ice. So it is kind of a bittersweet thing to have potentially done what could stand as the final trip in this fashion.”

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Climate classicism

Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra brings planetary peril into focus with season opener ‘Ozymandias’

by Jezy J. Gray



hat’s the sound of a biosphere on the brink? For Drew Hemenger, the answer to that question lies in a multitude of voices. That’s why the New York-based independent composer employs more than standard classical accompaniment in his latest work, Ozymandias: To Sell a Planet, making its world premiere with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra on Oct. 8. Marking the debut of the accompanying Boulder Philharmonic Chorus, anchored by tenor soloist Matthew Plenk, the urgent new symphony also incorporates U.N. climate reports, Indigenous texts and speeches by activist Greta Thunberg across its five movements. “There’s an arc to the piece — a story,” Hemenger says. “The first movement is when only Native Americans were on this land. The second movement is the Industrial Revolution. In the third movement, I was thinking about the Weimar Republic, a decadent society on the verge of collapse. The fourth movement is what's happening now, and the fifth movement is a sort of warning to humanity.” Bringing these elements together under the umbrella of classical performance, the resulting collaboration with Boulder Philharmonic Music Director Michael Butterman is a call to action, asking audiences to consider their place in the imperiled ecosystem we call home. “Michael said environmentalism and science are both important things that resonated in Boulder, and these are both important things that resonated with me personally,” Hemenger says. “I think if it doesn't resonate with you, then you're living with your head in the sand.” 16


OCTOBER 6, 2022


Composer Drew Hemenger (above) premieres his latest work with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra on Oct. 8.


For Hemenger, that resonance began with childhood visits to his grandparents’ home in Florida — a part of the country where the ravages of climate change are increasingly hard to ignore, evidenced most recently by the devastating Category 4 hurricane that has killed more than 100 people in the Sunshine State at the time of this writing. “Spending all the time in the ocean and fishing helped me develop a love of nature. Now seeing how dramatically things are shifting, it has become very personal for me,” he says. “But it never occurred to me to write a piece about [climate change]. I've never really written anything so directly political.”

ON THE BILL: Ozyman-

dias: To Sell a Planet. 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, Macky Auditorium at CU Boulder, 1595 Pleasant St. Tickets: $22-94,

‘Hymn to the Earth’ Engaging with the political moment is a key piece of Ozymandias. While drawing historical inspiration from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s classic poem of the same name, dovetailed with Shawnee Chief Tecumseh’s “To Sell a Country” speech from the early 19th century, the composition also features excerpts from the latest grim report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those findings broadly indicate that “climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming.” Dubbed Hymn to the Earth, Saturday’s evening of music at Macky Auditorium — marking the launch of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2022-23 season — will also feature performances of Michael Abels’ Global Warming, along with time-tested classics like the Overture to Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Trauermusik from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, and Strauss’ Don Juan. “I'm hoping people who know that music will hear it in a different context, in the scope of how these pieces are put together. If people are slightly hesitant about new music, there's a lot of familiar stuff on this program they will love,” says Butterman, the Boulder Phil’s music director. “On the other hand, this is a chance to really hear a fresh and vibrant compositional voice addressing the existential issue of our time.” In addition to serving as an early creative partner for Hemenger in the evolution of Ozymandias, Butterman found himself saddled with another important task: bringing the composer’s harrowing vision of climate catastrophe to life. But the local conductor says audiences should expect more than standard doom and gloom. “We've been through a couple of years of really odd times with COVID,” Butterman says. “So although the subject matter of the concert is very serious, I hope it has a kind of a celebratory feeling of getting back together again to address a problem that needs everyone's attention.” In terms of addressing that intractable problem, representatives from the City of Boulder’s Climate Initiatives Department will be on hand during the upcoming program to discuss action strategies and resources. Audience members will also have the chance to participate in the city’s climate audio collage project by sharing their own visions for a more climate-resilient Boulder. While such focus on the political structures governing our lives is an essential component to fighting climate change, Butterman and Hemenger agree that artists and works like Ozymandias also have a vital role to play in responding to the most pressing problems of our contemporary moment. “When you use something like art — whether it's visual art, music or theater — you impact the emotional center of people's intelligence. And that often is more of a motivating factor for people,” Butterman says. “To go from intellectual acknowledgment to actual action, sometimes we need that emotional drive to have a connection with something. I think that's what art provides.”


Boulder Philharmonic Music Director Michael Butterman (left) and climate activist Greta Thunberg (above).



OCTOBER 6, 2022






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Gas Pops, revisited Clay Rose of Gasoline Lollipops talks beating career burnout, revisiting old songs and un-quitting the music business ahead of album release show at Boulder Theater


by David Kirby

nyone familiar with Clay Rose’s songwriting knows his favorite themes: dancing with, or running from, personal demons, testing the limits of mortality, sin and redemption, regret and release. The devil, the preacher, a soiled conscience, a bruised soul. The eternal karmic skirmish. The pandemic hit Rose and his band Gasoline Lollipops hard. The Front Range outfit had just completed All the Misery Money Can Buy, a well-produced, musically ambitious offering recorded at the iconic Dockside Studio in Louisiana. Rose took it upon himself to line up supporting gigs, networking and shaking hands. Was this going to be the album that vaulted his award-winning alt-country/Americana band into the next strata? “That was the first album, and the only time in my life, where I had really done a record from the recording process through the promotion process, correctly,” Rose told Boulder Weekly. “I hired the people you’re supposed to hire to do those things. The whole thing was completely self-funded, and I’m not a wealthy person. That was a whole lot of work and a whole lot of money that went into it, only to have the rug pulled out from beneath our feet at the last second.” But despite the extra work and expense, including months booking two separate tours, Rose says “relief” was the first emotion he experienced upon learning of the impending shutdown. “I felt relief that I didn’t have to go out for four months BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

and miss vital steps in my baby daughter’s life,” Rose said. “And I felt so relieved that for a moment I thought, maybe I shouldn’t be playing music anymore, that I got so caught up in the career path that I didn’t see the signs telling me I was done. And I even told the guys in the band that I thought maybe I was done. “And then after a couple of months of not playing, I realized I really missed playing at the Gold Hill Inn,” he continued. “Whatever had been amputated from me…fit perfectly at the Gold Hill Inn.” So after years of tours and bigger stages, rising Spotify stats, album releases and critical plaudits, the key for Rose, the spark of reinvigoration after getting flattened by the pandemic shutdown, actually came from the stage — the small stage. “It’s connection with other people,” he says. “When the stage gets too big and the room gets too big, I have a hard time connecting with people.” “For me, it wasn’t just the pandemic, or the Trump debacle. It wasn’t just the George Floyd thing, or my step dad dying, or the forest fires burning down half the state. It was everything all at once,” he continued. “I think we all did, but I certainly got the shit kicked out of me on a really deep level, and when I came back onstage, it was with a limp. I couldn’t go out there with my rock ‘n’ roll face and pretend it was the same party we were rocking before the interruption.”

‘I have a lot of baggage to unpack.’ Emerging from near collapse, Rose and the band returned this summer to produce their new album Nightmares, featuring a handful of new songs and new recordings of earlier material, some dating back to 2012. Recorded at Animal Lane in Lyons and mixed at PS Audio in Boulder, the album’s DSD (Direct Stream Digital) treatment renders an articulated, intimate sound. Given Rose’s newfound appreciation of close-up connection to his audience, the new LP reflects a mature re-read of material that got the failed-brakes rock treatl

OCTOBER 6, 2022

ment the first time around. It ON THE BILL: represents a healthy distance Gasoline Lollipops from the band’s early days, with The River when as Rose concedes, they Arkansas. 7 p.m. didn’t always know what they Friday, Oct. 14, were doing in the studio. Boulder Theater, “When the dust settled 2032 14th St. and we grew up a little bit, we Tickets: $20, realized we had wasted some really great songs,” Rose said. “We re-recorded a bunch more than actually made the cut, but a lot of them just didn’t land.” One track that did land was “Mary Rose,” a standout on the new album. A tribute to Rose’s sister who died under tragic circumstances in 2005, the song stands as a pained and poised, almost prayerful ballad — a far cry from the chugging up-tempo country rocker the band first delivered on Resurrection in 2017. “We re-recorded it the way I wrote it … that was a deeply personal song to me, I wanted people to hear the lyrics,” he said. “And it’s always been a crowd favorite, as far as a dance song goes. I always thought it was interesting watching people dancing to this story, but at the same time, it was OK. It was celebratory of her life. “Still, there were some nights when it was pretty rough, when the crowd was drunk and it’s turning into a meat market scene out on the dance floor, and I’m up there grieving my sister,” he continued. But the octane tank for Rose and the band isn’t dry just yet. Darkness and fatalism wear different costumes, and despite the poise and introspection of Nightmares, Rose hasn’t jettisoned his pissed-off ex-punk defiance. “My feeling is that [the show] will kinda be in two parts. We’ll do the ethereal, new, intimate, exposed, raw album … and then we’re just gonna have a cathartic, shit-kicking barn burner,” he said. “For me, that’s where the exorcism really takes place. I have a lot of baggage to unpack.” Email: l



Making space

As the Open Studios tour returns with its largest cohort of local artists, Boulder Weekly takes you inside three workspaces on the itinerary

by Jezy J. Gray


or nearly 30 years, Open Studios has been supporting Boulder County artists by fostering connection between creatives and the community. Nowhere is the nonprofit’s mission more legible than its namesake studio tour program, running this year through Oct. 16. Offering a chance to see local artists’ processes up close, the annual three-weekend event opens creative workspaces to the public in a mutually beneficial exchange of inspiration and ideas. From Eldorado Springs to the eastern edge of Boulder County, local art lovers can traverse the region using the online Open Studios map, discovering new artists, techniques and media along the way. “It’s an excellent opportunity for artists to develop their collectors and get exposure,” says Open Studios Executive Director Mary Horrocks. “In the last few years, we have seen approximately 8,000 patrons at locations on the tour. We do post-tour surveys, and the average patron tells us they visit, on average, six different studios.” This year’s Open Studios tour features more artists than ever, with nearly 20% of the more than 150 juried participants opening their doors for the first time or returning from hiatus. Horrocks hopes the mix of fresh and familiar faces will demonstrate the depth and breadth of creative talent in Boulder County, while also underscoring the intensive labor undergirding each individual art practice. “Making art is really hard work. The artists on this tour are constantly working on their craft, and it’s an important part of their income,” she says. “I hope people come away with a newfound appreciation for the wealth of artistic talent we have in this community.” In the lead-up to the final two weekends of Open Studios, Boulder Weekly dropped by the spaces of three local artists for a look into their creative processes. Editor’s note: The following has been edited for brevity and clarity.


Shayna Larson flips through watercolor swatches (above) and sketchbook (below) in her front-porch studio on Pleasant Street in Boulder.

Studio #75: Shayna Larson | 520 Pleasant St.


y daughter and I have been visiting different artists on the Open Studios tour for the last five years or so. When she was eight, we rode our bikes around on the tour, and she discovered encaustic painting. The artists were so nice, and they let her play with the wax. She was like, ‘This is what I want to paint!’ Now she's 13, and she paints encaustic every week. I wasn't painting either. But going around and visiting all these local artists, I thought, ‘I want to do that, too.’ Painting has been such a huge part of getting me through the last few years of the pandemic. COVID didn’t exist in my little studio. I was just in here painting, and the world was OK. So if I could inspire somebody else, that would be wonderful. My latest series uses pigments made from rocks that I find on hikes behind my house. They look like every rock you might step on when you're hiking. The l

OCTOBER 6, 2022

key is: When you find one, if you scratch it on another and it makes a mark, you can make paint. It's labor intensive, but it's really meditative. I hope people come out and support local artists during Open Studios, but I also hope they might pick up a brush or take a pottery class. There are so many different ways to be creative, and Boulder has a lot of creative people.” l


Pete Wysong shows off an unfinished rhino sculpture at his home ceramics studio in North Boulder.

Studio #27: Pete Wysong | 1732 Quince Ave.


aku is a 500-year-old Japanese ceramics technique. It's very organic and random. I have a kiln outside that I heat up to about 1,800 degrees, which takes about an hour. I put on a mask and Kevlar gloves to open the kiln door. (I have a fire suit, but that’s another story.) I reach in with tongs and I grab it when it's glowing red hot. I pull it out, and if I can manage not to drop it, I'll put it into a trash can full of straw or sawdust. So it catches on fire and the heat and the smoke turn the clay black. I use what's called Terra Sigillata for glazing, which is a thin clay. It's like liquid clay. It looks like I'm painting coffee on the piece. It's just a super refined thin silt. Then I polish it to a shiny black. Ceramics is mostly what I do. But I’m learning how to weld and I’ve started incorporating that, too. I also do pastels and watercolors when I have summers off from teaching middle school art. I love Open Studios because I get to meet people. I get to talk about art and educate people about this whole process. Because so many people are unfamiliar with how to get to this point. I remember bringing medicine cabinets and I made and painted into my classroom — very simple woodwork. And one of my students was like, ‘You made that?’ And I was like, ‘Well, yeah. People make stuff! You know, that's how it works. You can go buy it at the store — but somebody made it.”



OCTOBER 6, 2022




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Fuki Funakoshi gestures toward a selection of paintings inside her Wilderness Place studio, which she shares with other local artists.


Studio #50: Fuki Funakoshi | 2810 Wilderness Place (Unit C) • 303.664.1600 • Lafayette, CO


'm originally a graphic designer, ON VIEW: More than so I do a lot of logo creations for 150 artist studios websites. But I've always loved across Boulder County drawing. I do it for a job, but I also just are open to the public, like creation. Then I made a decision Oct. 8-9 and 15-16, to try something new, back when I was with individual works living in Japan. I started doing character from each artist on creation on my own, and I opened an display at the Museum of Boulder through Oct. online store in the early 2000s to sell my 18. Full studio map at original goods and characters. Open Studios lets me meet more new people who are seeing my art for the first time. And I get to teach kids some anime character stuff that not many other artists are doing. It’s a great opportunity for me to introduce myself to people. Art needs to come from an original place, even if we borrow some idea from another person. But every character needs to be very special. It can't be close to any other thing. It needs to be very original, and kids are very good about that. Often better than adults. I want to stock my memory with something other than photographs. There are many great photographers, but I want to make some original way to keep that experience. Even fantasy, I want to keep it in my mind. It’s hard to remember with just a photo. I want air, movement, feeling. I don't need it to be perfect.”

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If your organization is planning an event, please email the arts & culture editor at





n Creative Nations Indigenous Arts Market & Festival

Various times, Oct. 6-10, Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Ticket prices vary: Observe Indigenous Peoples Day Weekend with a litany of art-forward events at the second annual Creative Nations Indigenous Arts Market and Festival. The five-day, art-forward blowout features screenings from the 2022 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour, live music from Earth Surface People, a fine arts market, dance performances, an Indigenous fashion show and more.

n Boulder Burlesque presents The Dark Forest: A Halloween Burlesque Show 8 p.m. Oct. 7-9, The Spark Theater, 4847 Pearl St., B4, Boulder. Tickets: $20-$50, Get lost in the woods as Boulder Burlesque beckons you into a realm of fear and seduction, challenge and sexuality, fear and unknown. Ten percent of all ticket profits will be donated to Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence. Please bring proof of vaccination or a medical exemption note and negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event.



OCTOBER 6, 2022

Impressionism. R Gallery + Wine Bar, 2027 Broadway, Boulder. Through Oct. 16. Free

ON VIEW: Painting, printmaking and personal narratives collide in Kristopher Wright: Just As I Am, the latest body of work from the Denver-born artist featuring 16 large-scale works exploring themes of joy, community and healing at the BMoCA East Gallery through Feb. 19, 2023.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Photographer. Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, Denver. Through Nov. 6. Tickets: $13 (Colorado residents), Marcella Marsella: Aqueous Bodies. BMoCA at Macky, 1595 Pleasant St., Boulder. Through Nov. 13. Tickets: $2, Water is Life. Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Through Nov. 19. Free

Kristopher Wright: Just As I Am. BMoCA East Gallery, 1595 Pleasant St., Boulder. Through Jan. 22. Tickets: $2, The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse. Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, 1485 Delgany St., Denver. Through Feb. 5. Tickets: $10, Lasting Impressions. CU Art Museum, 1085 18th St., Boulder. Through June 2023. Free

Native Artist Exhibition. Creative Nations Sacred Space, Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Through Nov. 2022. Free Tipi to Tiny House: Hands-on Homebuilding. Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road. Through Jan. 8. Tickets: $8,

Onward and Upward: Shark’s Ink. CU Art Museum, 1085 18th St., Boulder. Through July 2023. Free

For more event listings, go online at events

n Second Nude Foods Fest

3:45-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, Nude Foods Market, 3233 Walnut St., Boulder. Free Need to get rid of those old batteries and grab a Halloween costume for this year’s spooky season? Celebrate the one-year anniversary of Nude Foods Market with live music, a Halloween costume swap, a hard-to-recycle materials drive and more.



n Dia De Los Muertos: Day of the Dead Family Celebration

11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, Downtown Longmont at Fourth Avenue and Main Street. Free Honor the holiday with the community at the Day of the Dead Family Celebration in downtown Longmont. Enjoy music and dance performances, arts and crafts activities, and delicious food during this street festival.

n Justice Hall: NAACP Boulder County Public Town Hall

3-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, First Congregation Church (UCC), 1128 Pine St., Boulder. Free Join NAACP Boulder County for a public town hall addressing bias in policing and prosecution. Listen, speak and engage on the critical issues facing Black and brown communities in Boulder during this afternoon town hall focused on the recent Vera Institute of Justice report on prosecution in Boulder County, which found “substantial racial disparities … in case filings, sentencing outcomes, and adult diversion referral.”

n Reproductive Rights March and Demonstration

9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, Boulder County Courthouse, 1200 Pearl St., Boulder. Free YWCA Boulder County hosts a “power at the polls” rally to support reproductive rights at home and across the country. Join a coalition of local organizations and activists for a march beginning at the Boulder County Courthouse along with a short program of speakers. The event is held in conjunction with the Denver Women’s March and other demonstrations throughout the U.S.

ON STAGE: Don’t miss the final weekend of The Children, presented by Butterfly Effect Theater of Colorado at the Dairy Arts Center. The 2016 play loosely inspired by the Fukushima nuclear explosion in Japan tells the story of a pair of retired nuclear physicists who process ecological disaster from their isolated home on the British coast.

Butterfly Effect Theater of Colorado presents The Children. Dairy Arts Center, Grace Gamm Theater, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Through Oct. 8. Tickets: $15$51, ‘The Chinese Lady.’ Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Singleton Theatre, 1400 Curtis St., Denver. Through Oct. 16. Tickets: $35, tickets.denvercenter. org

Arts in the Open Presents ‘Frankenstein.’ Chautauqua Park, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder. Through Oct. 30. Tickets: $15-$20, Theater of the Mind. York Street Yards, 3887 Steele St., Denver. Through Dec. 18. Tickets: $65,

For more event listings, go online at events

n Boulder County Parks & Open Space: Black Bears in Our Backyard

10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, Location provided when registering: It’s the time of year when bears are gorging on berries in preparation for their winter hibernation. Join volunteer naturalists for this one-mile hike to learn more about the history of bears living in and around Boulder, and how to share our natural spaces.

n Persian Culture Day

Noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder. Tickets: $10, Join members of the community to celebrate Persian Culture Day with an afternoon of arts, traditional food, beverages, performances and activities celebrating Persian culture at the Museum of Boulder. Festivities include an art-card making station, an apothecary presentation, culinary demonstrations, an herbal tea station, live dancing and more. see EVENTS Page 26

For more event listings, go online at BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


OCTOBER 6, 2022



n Queers and Cakes CHRIS MAGGIO

EVENTS from Page 25

n Boulderthon: Signature Boulder Marathon and Half Marathon

8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, 1400 Block of Pearl Street. Registration and pricing: Run all over the beautiful city of Boulder in the upcoming Boulderthon. Participants have the choice of competing in a half or full marathon. The race begins at the Boulder Reservoir and finishes in the heart of downtown on Pearl Street.

n Dogs Enjoy Afternoon Reading (D.E.A.R.)

2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, City of Longmont Public Library, 409 Fourth Ave. Free Help your child practice their reading skills for a non-judgemental, furry audience. This program is designed to help kids gain confidence in their reading skills by reading to a group of local therapy dogs at the City of Longmont Public Library. GORDO



n Remembering 1864: From Fort Chambers to Sand Creek

3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, Dairy Arts Center, Gordon Gamm Theater, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Free Forty-six prominent residents of Boulder participated in the Sand Creek Massacre in southeast Colorado on Nov. 29, 1864, killing more than 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people, including children. Join citizens of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations in remembering those lost in the massacre and learn about the long-term effects on the two tribes during this free event. 26


2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, Center for Community, 2249 Willard Drive, Boulder. Free What’s sweeter than a little queer camaraderie? Join CU’s Center for Inclusion and Social Change for a slice of cake and chat about aspects of LGBTQ+ life and culture at the Center for Community located on the CU Boulder campus.

n Garden Upkeep at Boulder Public Library

ON THE BILL: Indie rock breakout Alex G brings his celebrated songwriting to the Ogden Theater in Denver on Oct. 12 in support of his latest LP, God Save the Animals, released last month via Domino Records. He will be supported by Brooklyn dream-pop band Barrie.

H Friday, Oct. 7 An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories with Suzanne Vega. 8 p.m. Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder. Tickets: $25, Viagra Boys + shame with Kills Birds. 8:30 p.m. Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. Tickets: $22, James Robinson. 7 p.m. Muse Performance Space, 200 E. South Boulder Road, Lafayette. Tickets: $20, Halfway There with Thunder Roads. 8 p.m. Dickens Opera House, 300 Main St., Longmont. Tickets: $10, New Family Dog. 8:30 p.m. Gold Hill Inn, 401 Main St., Boulder. Tickets: $15 cash at the door,

H Saturday, Oct. 8 Here Come the Mummies with Saxquatch. 8 p.m. Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder. Tickets: $22,

Kyle Walker With Bathroom Break, KandyShop. 9 p.m. Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. Tickets: $25, Lizzy Plotkin and Natalie Spears. 7:30 p.m. Gold Hill Inn, 401 Main St., Boulder. Tickets: $20 cash cover charge,

H Sunday, Oct. 9 Noites do Nordeste: Jane Uitti Brazilian Band. 7 p.m. Muse Performance Space, 200 E. South Boulder Road, Lafayette. Tickets: $20, Half Pelican. 7 p.m. Gold Hill Inn, 401 Main St., Boulder. Tickets: No cover charge, Melt-Banana with Quits and Whiff. 7 p.m. Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver. Tickets: $20,

H Monday, Oct. 10 Choir! Choir! Choir! 8 p.m. Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. Tickets: $20, Jazz Jam Session with Host Brad Goode. 7 p.m. Muse Performance Space, 200 E. South Boulder Road, Lafayette. see CONCERTS Page 27

OCTOBER 6, 2022


4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave. Free If you need to work on your green thumb, look no further than this event hosted by the CU Farm & Garden Club. Learn the ins-and-outs of keeping up your garden at Boulder Public Library. Enter through the art gallery and take a right to find the garden space.

n Pumpkins and Paint Brushes

2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. University Memorial Center North Stage, 1669 Euclid Ave., Boulder. Free Take an hour for yourself to prepare for the spooky season with an afternoon of pumpkin painting and Halloween fun. The event is part of the CU Boulder’s Wellness Wednesday program, “[providing] a space to engage in self-care activities, learn about campus resources and build community.”

n Chris Davenport: Ski Adventure & SCARPA Product Launch

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13. Neptune Mountaineering, 633 S. Broadway, Boulder. Free Chris Davenport has traveled all over the globe guiding explorers and pushing the envelope of professional downhill skiing. Join Davenport and Neptune Mountaineering at the Table Mesa Shopping Center in South Boulder to hear his stories as a ski adventurer.


ON THE SHELF: Join scholars and educators for The Holocaust in Comic Books Panel at Tattered Cover in Denver on Oct. 13, featuring conversations about holocaust education through comics and graphic novels like Captain America, Hellboy, Maus and more.

Linda Cutting — A Is For Always. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder. Tickets: $5, Qian Julie Wang. 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, Tattered Cover Colfax, 2526 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. Free Keith Martin-Smith — When The Buddha Needs Therapy. 6:30 p.m. Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder. Tickets: $5,

The Holocaust in Comic Books Panel. 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, Tattered Cover, 2526 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. Free Sandra Bornstein — 100 Things To Do In Boulder Before You Die. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder. Tickets: $5,

For more event listings, go online at events

The Nickie and Vickie Rivers Show has invited you to be in their LIVE Studio Audience It’s the invite of a Lifetime! People are dying to be on this show ... literally! Join us for this hilarious “whodunit” where you get to play detective!

CONCERTS from Page 26

H Tuesday, Oct. 11

Tickets: $25,

Patrick Watson. 8 p.m. Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. Tickets: $25,

Dom Dolla. 8 p.m. Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder. Tickets: $36,

Superorganism. 7 p.m. Meow Wolf, 1338 1st St., Denver. Tickets: $20,

H Thursday, Oct. 13

H Wednesday, Oct. 12 Alex G with Barrie. 8 p.m. Ogden Theater, 935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver.

Delvin Lamarr Organ Trio With Ghost Tapes. 8 p.m. Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. Tickets: $20,


10/14, 10/15, 10/29 and more in November! Time: Dinner 5:30pm / Pre-Show 6:00pm Talk Show 7:00pm Tickets: $60 includes dinner and show Food Trucks: 10/14 & 10/15 - The Post. 10/29 - Georgia Boys BBQ.

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that generates ideas for new fairy tales. Since you will benefit from imagining your life as a fairy tale in the coming weeks, I’ll offer you a few possibilities. 1. You marry a rainbow. The two of you have children: a daughter who can sing like a river and a son who is as gleeful as the wind. 2. You make friends with a raven that gives you savvy financial advice. 3. You invent a new kind of dancing; it involves crying and laughing while making holy prayer gestures toward your favorite star. 4. An angel and a lake monster join forces to help you dream up fun new adventures. 5. You discover a field of enchanted dandelions. They have the power to generate algorithms that reveal secrets about where to find wonders and marvels.

Merwin had a teacher who advised him, “Don’t lose your arrogance yet. You can do that when you’re older. Lose it too soon, and you may merely replace it with vanity.” I think that counsel is wise for you to meditate on right now. Here’s how I interpret it: Give honor and respect to your fine abilities. Salute and nurture your ripe talents. Talk to yourself realistically about the success you have accomplished. If you build up your appreciation for what is legitimately great about you, you won’t be tempted to resort to false pride or self-absorbed egotism.

MARCH 21-APRIL 19: “Magic Realism Bot” is a Twitter account


APRIL 20-MAY 20: On February 1, 1976, singer Elvis Presley

was partying with buddies at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. As the revelry grew, he got an impetuous longing for an 8,000-calorie sandwich made with French bread, peanut butter, blueberry preserves, and slabs of bacon. Since this delicacy was only available at a certain restaurant in Denver, Colorado, Elvis and his entourage spontaneously hopped onto his private jet and flew 900 miles to get there. In accordance with astrological omens, Taurus, I encourage you to summon an equally keen determination to obtain pleasurable treasures. Hopefully, though, they will be more important than a sandwich. The odds of you procuring necessary luxuries that heal and inspire are much higher than usual.


MAY 21-JUNE 20: Gemini writer Nikki Giovanni reminds us, “It

cannot be a mistake to have cared. It cannot be an error to have tried. It cannot be incorrect to have loved.” In accordance with astrological omens, I ask you to embody Giovanni’s attitude. Shed any worries that your caring and trying and loving have been blunders. Celebrate them, be proud of them, and promise yourself that you will keep caring and trying and loving. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to renew your commitment to your highest goodness.


JUNE 21-JULY 22: I was born near Amarillo, Texas, where the

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OCTOBER 6, 2022

U.S. Energy Department stores over 20,000 plutonium cores from old nuclear warheads. Perhaps that explains some of my brain’s mutant qualities. I’m not normal. I’m odd and iconoclastic. On the other hand, I don’t think my peculiarity makes me better than anyone. It’s just who I am. I love millions of people who aren’t as quirky as me, and I enjoy communicating with unweird people as much as I do with weirdos. Everything I just said is a preamble for my main message, Cancerian: The coming weeks will be prime time for you to give extra honor and credit to your personal eccentricities, even if they comprise a minor part of your personality.


JULY 23-AUG. 22: Author Jennifer Huang testifies, “Poetry is

what helps me remember that even in my fragments, I am whole.” What about you, Leo? What reminds you, even in your fragments, that you are whole? Now is an excellent time to identify the people, animals, and influences that help you generate a sense of unity and completeness. Once you’re clear about that, spend quality time doing what you can to nurture those healers. Maybe you can even help them feel more cohesion and harmony in themselves.


AUG. 23-SEPT. 22: Virgo journalist Sydney J. Harris described

“the three hardest tasks in the world.” He said they weren’t “physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts.” Here they are: 1. to return love for hate; 2. to include the excluded; 3. to say “I was wrong.” I believe you will have a special talent for all three of these brave actions in the coming weeks, Virgo. Amazingly, you’re also more likely than usual to be on the receiving end of those brave actions. Congratulations in advance!


SEPT. 23-OCT. 22: When he was young, Libran poet W. S.


OCT. 23-NOV. 21: In his absurdist play Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett offers us two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, who patiently wait for a white-bearded man named Godot. They’re convinced he will provide them with profound help, perhaps even salvation. Alas, although they wait and wait and wait, Godot never arrives. Near the end, when they have abandoned hope, Vladimir says to Estragon, “We are not saints, but we have kept our appointment.” My sense is that you Scorpios, like Vladimir and Estragon, may be close to giving up your own vigils. Please don’t! I believe your personal equivalent to Godot will ultimately appear. Summon more patience.


NOV. 22-DEC. 21: Poet Charles Wright has testified, “I admire

and revere and am awed by a good many writers. But Emily Dickinson is the only writer I’ve ever read who knows my name, whose work has influenced me at my heart’s core, whose music is the music of songs I’ve listened to and remembered in my very body.” In my astrological reckoning, now is an excellent time for you Sagittarians to identify artists and creators who provide you with similar exaltation. And if there are no Emily Dickinson-type influences in your life, find at least one! You need to be touched and transformed by sublime inspiration.


DEC. 22-JAN. 19: I’ve read and studied poetry for many years,

but only recently discovered Capricorn poet Lizette Woodworth Reese (1856–1935). How is it possible I missed her? Her contemporary, journalist H. L. Mencken, described her work as “one of the imperishable glories of American literature.” She received many other accolades while alive. But today, she is virtually unknown, and many of her books are out of print. In bringing her to your attention, I am announcing my prediction about you: Anything in your life that resembles Reese’s reputation will change in the next 12 months. If you have until now not gotten the recognition or gratitude you deserve, at least some of it will arrive.


JAN. 20-FEB. 18: Author Sophia Dembling defines a friend as a

person who consoles you when you’re feeling desperate and with whom you don’t feel alone. A friend is someone whose life is interesting to you and who is interested in your life. Maybe most importantly, a friend must not be boring. What’s your definition, Aquarius? Now is an excellent time to get clear about the qualities you want in a friend. It’s also a favorable phase to seek out vital new friendships as you de-emphasize mediocre and overly demanding alliances.


FEB. 19-MARCH 20: Do you or do you not wish to capitalize on

the boost that’s available? Are you or are you not going to claim and use the challenging gift that would complicate your life but also expedite your growth? Act soon, Pisces! If you don’t, the potential dispensation may disappear. This is an excellent chance to prove you’re not afraid of achieving more success and wielding more power. I hope you will summon the extra courage necessary to triumph over shyness and timidity. Please claim your rightful upgrade!


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Between the notes

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s ‘Memoria’ to play CU Boulder’s International Film Series on 35mm


essica first heard the bang in the early morning hours. ON SCREEN: It’s an unearthly sound, a loud thump she describes as Memoria on 35 a big concrete ball falling into a metallic well surroundmm, International ed by seawater. Certainly not a sound you hear every Film Series, 7:30 day. But for the Scottish scholar living in Colombia, it’s p.m. Wednesday, a sound that haunts her in a way that feels both random and Oct. 12, specific. CU-Boulder Starring Tilda Swinton and written and directed by Thai Muenzinger filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Memoria is a movie Auditorium. where the ear directs the eye. It’s also a movie that requires your full attention and rewards those who give it. I suppose that’s why distributor Neon decided it would only be released in theaters, never on home video. It’s a strategy that speaks to the sanctity of the movie theater, not to mention a clever ploy to take the passivity out of movie watching. Jessica’s search for the sound no one else seems to hear brings her to a man no one else seems to know (Juan NEON FILMS Pablo Urrego) and another living in the jungle with nothing more than his memories (Elkin Díaz). Curiously, both men bear the name Hernán. Memoria is a sometimes slow, sometimes meandering mystery that winds its way into the South American jungle but never loses focus. It’s reminiscent of a Haruki Murakami tale: a work of magical realism where the magic doesn’t feel that unusual and the realism doesn’t feel that grounded. Weerasethakul has made a name for himself on the world stage with his dreamy, mythical takes on slow cinema — a type of visual storytelling that brings to life Claude Debussy’s aphorism: “Music is the space between the notes.” His 2000 debut, Mysterious Object at Noon, playfully breaks from the narrative because Weerasethakul seems to decide mid-movie that he wants to make something else. In 2004’s Tropical Malady, the movie reincarnates itself when one of the characters disappears into the jungle and reappears as a tiger. Memoria is something different. The narrative feels tighter and more focused. That banging noise doesn’t just initiate Jessica’s quest; it directs it — slowly bringing her closer to a place she is meant to discover. I’m not sure Jessica gets to see what makes the noise, but everyone in the theater does. It’s one of the most surprising and satisfying reveals I’ve seen in a long time. On its own, Memoria is a great movie that deserves an audience, but Neon’s onetheater-at-a-time release strategy has elevated every screening into one of the year’s premier cinematic events. The film casts a wonderful spell — a warm, comforting spell that wipes clear the doors of perception — and it could only work in a theatrical setting. And that Memoria will unspool on 35 mm for CU-Boulder’s International Film Series screening is all the more reason to go.

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Longmont Humane Society 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont,


elcome to Critter Classifieds, a new column where you can meet four-legged friends who need your love and support. Boulder Weekly is currently working with Longmont Humane Society to feature a few pets each week who are looking for forever homes. We hope to bring other organizations in on the fun in the future. Longmont Humane Society provides temporary shelter to thousands of animals every year, including dogs, cats and small mammals who are lost, surrendered or abandoned. Visit the shelter to learn more about these featured pets and others up for adoption and fostering. If your organization has volunteer needs, please reach out to us at


1 H Sadie

H Jumanji

Handsome Jumanji is 4-years old and looking for his forever home. He is very friendly and starts to make biscuits on his blanket as soon as he sees you. Jumanji is a big boy at 12lbs, but at heart, he’s still a kitten who wants to curl up in your lap. He would love a home with children of any age to give him lots of cuddles — he loves to rub his cheeks on people.

Note: The animals you see here may have been adopted since this article was written. Please visit longmonthumane. org or stop by the shelter located at 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont to view all available animals.

Sadie is a loving 6-year-old girl. She currently weighs 74lbs and could use an exercise buddy to help her shed a little weight. This enthusiastic gal can be picky with her doggy friends, but once she warms up, she loves to play and chase toys. She cannot live in a home with cats. Sadie would love a home with older children to play with.

3 H Rufus

Rufus is a 3-year-old boy from Texas. This southern gentleman weighs 62lbs and would do best in a home with high school-aged children since he is not a fan of being hugged or having his tail touched. Rufus is still learning to mind his manners around cats, but could do well with a cat willing to help him learn. Rufus gets along with most of the dogs he’s met at the shelter, but he is still learning how to ask for personal space.

Your support makes a big difference to the Longmont Humane Society. For those in a position to help, LHS is currently experiencing a shortage of adult dog food, dog treats and small/medium milk bone biscuits. Donate these supplies and more directly from the LHS Amazon Wish List — visit the longmonthumane. org to learn more.

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Overdue praise for the shishito by Ari LeVaux


t wasn’t love at first bite, but I finally warmed up to the shishito pepper. The name is an abbreviation of shishitogarashi, which is Japanese for “the tip of this pepper looks like a lion’s face.” This description is as fanciful as looking for faces in clouds, but you don’t need to imagine a lion in order to appreciate the shishito. Shishitos are finger-length, thin-skinned, wrinkled and usually mild, but every now and then you’ll get a hot one, which keeps things exciting. My introduction to this pepper came at the farmers market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where growers bill them as “frying chiles.” This distinction is important because roasted green chile is a sacred autumn tradition in New Mexico, where chile roasters are everywhere, in seemingly every parking lot and empty space. These propane-heated rotating steel mesh cages resemble giant hamster wheels. As the hot roaster spins, the chiles inside are tossed and cooked until they are collapsed and blistered, releasing their intoxicating fragrance into the air. Locals call it New Mexican aromatherapy. It makes everybody within smelling distance happy and hungry. Roasted green chile is arguably the backbone of New Mexican cuisine, thanks to a simple and delicious formula: add green chile to food, and add the phrase “green chile” to what you call it. Thus, a cheeseburger becomes a green chile cheeseburger. Scrambled eggs become green chile scrambled eggs. Enchiladas become green chile enchiladas. At the Santa Fe farmers market, shishito growers have skillets in their stalls which they use to demonstrate the shishito’s fryability. They fry their shishitos in a few drops of oil, and put them on plates for customers to sample. I was one such sampler, and I was not impressed. The frying thing seemed like a gimmick, and



didn’t fill the air with as much fragrance as traditional New Mexican chile varieties like Big Jim, Sandia and Numex. It took a farmer in Montana, where I now live, to turn this perception upside down. And all he had to do was let the shishitos ripen. Any pepper will eventually turn red if you leave it long enough, and my farmer friend waits until his shishito

crop resembles a Christmas sweater before bringing his red and green mix to market. The red shishitos add a pleasing sweetness to the mix, making it more complex. Finally, after years of denial, I hopped aboard the shishito bandwagon. Back in Santa Fe, the lower heat of the shishito was a turn-off, but now that I’m older and have less to prove, I don’t mind milder chiles, because I can eat more of them. And without being surrounded by chile roasters on every corner as one is in New Mexico, I’ve noticed that blistered shishitos actually smell pretty good. With the help of my friend’s red and green shishitos, I’ve been converting my burgers, eggs, soups and pretty much

OCTOBER 6, 2022



everything else within reach into New Mexican-style cuisine. Here is a recipe for lemon miso shishitos that brings us full circle to the pepper’s Japanese roots. It’s based on the blistered shishitos on the menu at the acclaimed Nobu restaurants. I’ve added salmon, to make it a complete meal rather than an appetizer, and because the lemon miso glaze is a perfect sauce for salmon. I serve the shishitos and salmon with jasmine rice rather than Japanese rice, because jasmine rice adds a lovely fragrance that dances elegantly with the aroma of the shishito. This recipe employs white miso, which I greatly prefer to the darker varieties. White miso contains rice fermented with the usual soybeans, which makes for a sweeter paste into which I will liberally dip my spoon and snack on while making this dish. And while shishitos are sold as frying chiles in New Mexico, I prefer my shishitos broiled. Email:


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Combining elements of East and Southwest, this transcontinental recipe is so delicious that you won’t know where you are. 1 pound salmon fillet, cut from the thick end 1 pound fresh shishito peppers, washed and dried 1/4 cup white miso paste The juice of one lemon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon butter 3 tablespoons sesame seeds Soy sauce, to taste Jasmine rice (serves 2) 1.) Turn the oven to broil. Position an oven rack about seven inches below the element or flame. 2.) Combine 2 tablespoons lemon juice and the miso, and stir together until completely mixed. 3.) Sprinkle the fish with salt. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse it with the remaining lemon juice. Smear



OCTOBER 6, 2022


the fish with half of the lemon miso mixture. Let it sit in the fridge until it’s time to cook it. 4.) Rinse the shishitos and put them on a baking pan. Roast them under the broiler, tossing and stirring often, until they are blistered on all sides — about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool. (You can roast any chile this way, including New Mexico-style, Anaheim, poblano, Jalapeno, etc.) 5.) Put half of the butter on the salmon and place the fish in an oven pan under the broiler, skin-side down, and cook until browned on top and solid to the touch — about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. 6.) Toss the shishitos with the remaining lemon/miso paste and the remaining half-tablespoon of butter. 7.) Plate the shishitos and salmon with rice, garnish with the sesame seeds and a lemon wedge, and serve with soy sauce.


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by Dan Savage Dear Dan: I’m a gay Black man in my early 30s. When I was a teen, I was called fat and ugly by family and friends. I should also point out that I was in an all-white community with white parents. When I was coming to terms with my sexuality as a teenager, I began working out. I built a lot of muscle and have kept it on for the past 17 years, and working out really helps with my anxiety issues. I get a lot of attention from guys, and I’m frequently told how good looking I am. I used to revel in this because I thought I was ugly. But what I thought would bring me happiness really hasn’t. I’ve wanted to have a monogamous romantic relationship with someone where we both love and respect each other. It hasn’t happened. I’ve gone out on dates with guys who shoved their

hands down my pants in public. One time when a guy asked for my number in Target, he began to fondle my nipple when I was putting it in his phone. I’ve been sexually harassed at work and pressured to have sex after saying no. I’ve looked to some older, wiser friends and mentors for support about some of these experiences, but I am often told that I should “enjoy the attention while I’m young” or that I should expect this behavior because of how my body looks and how I dress. Some of my friends have told me not to take things so personally and that some guys just see me as their gay Black fantasy come to life. Is this really what I have to look forward to in my romantic journey? Parts of me wonder if some of my challenges are about my blackness. I know this is not always the case, and honestly there’s a feeling of shame to even bring this up as if I’m using my race as an excuse for my problems. But my experiences have been so different from my white friends and mentors that I’m unsure. I’m seeing a therapist who is a person of color who has been helping me with my blackness and sexuality. But my big question for you is this: Am I doing something wrong? Or am I navigating the same challenges other queer people of color face? —All Around Confused

Dear AAC: Your therapist is both better qualified and in a better position to help you parse the challenges imposed on you as a queer person of color, the challenges imposed on you by your experiences growing up, and the challenges you may be imposing on yourself. But I will say this: there’s nothing shameful about wondering whether your blackness — along with other people’s racism, your own internalized anti-blackness, and other forces beyond your control — may be interfering with your happiness. But I will say this, AAC: You deserved better from your family and friends growing up; you deserve better from your friends, mentors, romantic partners, sex partners, and strangers at Target now. You should be able to wear what you want without guys touching you without your consent. No one should be pressuring you to have sex you didn’t explicitly say yes to and/ or have already explicitly said no to. And if being someone else’s “gay Black fantasy come to life” was something you enjoyed doing—if stepping in and out of that role was something you wanted to do for yourself— that would be one thing. But you shouldn’t be consigned to that role by strangers, AAC, and it troubles me that your friends think you should have to tolerate it, much less embrace it. As for whether you’re doing something wrong… There are guys out there who’ve done everything right and still haven’t managed to find — into their mid-30s — a relationship they want. Remember, AAC, it’s not as simple as finding a guy who wants the same relationship model you do, i.e., the loving and monogamous model over the loving and non-monogamous model. You

have to find someone who wants what you want and that you’re sexually compatible with. It should go without saying that sexual compatibility is hugely important in sexually exclusive relationships, but I’m saying it because people enter into sexually exclusive relationships with people they don’t click with sexually all the fucking time. (Seriously, some weeks it’s half the mail.) But sexual compatibility by itself isn’t enough. You also have to find someone whose career, life, and family goals align with your own. And at some point, AAC, you will have to compromise. You may find a guy who wants monogamy but also other things (kids? poodles? tit rings?) that you do not. Or you may find a guy you click with sexually, emotionally, and socially but who doesn’t want monogamy or won’t want it forever. You may not want it forever. To make a relationship work over the short term, you will have to negotiate and make compromises; to make one work over the long term, you will have to renegotiate and revisit those compromises. Two final things… First, I’d like to invite gay or queer Black readers to jump into the comments thread and share your experiences and insights with AAC. And if you’ve never seen the film Tongues Untied, AAC, you might want to sit down to watch it. Marlon T. Rigg’s 1989 documentary about what it means to be Black and gay in our culture is just as relevant now as it was 30 years ago. Everyone should watch it. Email Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage. Find columns, podcasts, books, merch and more at

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OCTOBER 6, 2022



Bridging the knowledge gap

used and 30% use regularly,” she says. “That’s a gap we want to bridge.“ Montemayor started the non-profit to support doctors, clinicians, caregivers, marijuana industry professionals, anyone working with medical marijuana patients, with science and with advocacy help. They provide education based on science for medical professionals, about a topic many see as too taboo to touch. In 2014, CCC held its first Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference. The event is yet another effort on Montemayor’s part to bridge that knowledge gap between doctors and the science of cannabis. It isn’t something taught in medical school, and it certainly isn’t something doctors and nurses learn about in the hospital. And with the amount of mis- and dis-information surrounding this still-federally scheduled substance, doing research on one’s own can be confusing and disheartening. The Medical Professionals Conference is a chance to plug medical professionals into the right spigots of information. It offers certified continuing medical education and continuing nursing education for physicians, nurses and clinicians. “One of the problems is doctors who write medical marijuana in Colorado are excluded from a lot of conventional medicine,” Montemayor says. “And as a result, we have a lot of doctors who know nothing about it. … How are you supposed to make a good recommendation for a patient when you don’t know anything about it yourself?” The fourth Medical Professionals Conference will

As the gap between medical professionals and the science of cannabis grows, some advocates are fighting to fill it

by Will Brendza


here are 27,000 licensed physicians in the state of Colorado. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), only 311 of those are registered with the government to write medical marjuana prescriptions. There used to be more medical marijuana physicians, says Martha Montemayor, a certified nutritional consultant and the founder and director of Colorado Cannabis Clinicians (CCC). But the Regulating Marijauna Concentrates bill, HB1317, changed that (Weed Between the Lines, “Now in Effect,” Jan. 6, 2022). Passed last year, the bill not only severely restricts medical patients’ access to cannabis, but also changed the rules for doctors recommending cannabis to patients. Cannabis recommendations were legal and protected by a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling (Conan v. Walters). While cannabis prescriptions were still federally illegal and could cost a doctor their medical insurance or license. They could recommend cannabis concentrates, for example, to a patient suffering from epilepsy. They could not prescribe it. HB1317 now requires doctors to actually write patients prescriptions for cannabis concentrates — which cost the state a lot of medical marijuana physicians, according to Montemayor. At the beginning of 2022 there were well over 400 of them. After HB1317 went into effect, over a third of those disappeared. “That said, when you go to the Department of Public Health website, it shows that 30% of people in Colorado have used cannabis in the last five years,” Montemayor says, adding that, when you look at national statistics, 52% of adults have tried cannabis in their lifetimes. “That means over 95% of doctors know nothing about something that half of their patients have already



OCTOBER 6, 2022


take place this Nov. 4, 5, and 6, and the schedule of seminars and lineup of speakers is the most impressive yet. 24 MDs, PHDs, RNs, lawyers, cannabis business-people, and even representatives from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will speak over the three-day event at the Hyatt Regency in Aurora. The keynote speaker this year is Spanish physician Christina Sanchez. Her research on cannabis and breast cancer helped prove that the entourage effect is real and tangible (Weed Between the Lines, “All about those terpenes,” May 27, 202). Montemayor says there will also be doctors discussing their experiences using cannabis to treat AIDS and HIV patients. She invited Dr. Libby Styut, an addiction psychiatrist who Montemayor calls “one of the architects of HB1317” to talk about her real experiences with teens who have had psychotic breaks after using cannabis concentrate. “We really do have something for everyone who works with cannabis patients,” Montemayor says. The conference isn’t just for doctors and nurses, either, Montemayor says. A lot of doctor- and nursing-students attend to learn about a medicine their schools aren’t allowed to discuss. A handful of business owners and entrepreneurs show up to learn more about the medical science surrounding the plant they sell. There are even a few curious journalists listening in to get the scoop on the newest science and developments in cannabis medicine. “Our goal is to bridge that knowledge gap so that doctors in Colorado feel confident talking to patients about medical marijuana,” Montemayor says. “It’s going to be a fantastic conference.”


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