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Original intent and the Second Amendment by Robert Alexander

The far right is trying to use the Boulder shooting for its own agenda. Let’s not let it. by Angela K. Evans

The first entry in a limited series on how the media covered the Boulder shooting by Matt Cortina

In a bid for greater equity, the Dairy Arts Center makes room for indigenous artists at the Creative Nations Center by Caitlin Rockett

Boulder Strong project at Museum of Boulder, Creative Nations conversations plus more to do ‘when there’s nothing to do’ by Boulder Weekly Staff

Boulder-based kombucha titan Rowdy Mermaid launches a new immunityboosting beverage by Matt Cortina

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The Anderson Files : How gun rights helped mainstream neo-fascists Guest Column: Race is a thread that connects all mass shootings Letters: Signed, sealed, delivered, your views Boulderganic: Small local dairy farms may provide an ethical and sustainable alternative to industrial dairy Words: ‘A Spate of Poets,’ by Steve Elder Savage Love: Snooping is nuanced Astrology: by Rob Brezsny Film: IFS to screen 15 short films vying for three Academy Awards Food/Drink: Cork Burger @ Boulder Cork Drink: Boulder breweries shine at international beer competition Weed Between the Lines: Why CBD is quickly becoming a favorite workout supplement and recovery aid among ultra-athletes



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April 1, 2021 Volume XXVIII, Number 33 As Boulder County's only independently owned newspaper, Boulder Weekly is dedicated to illuminating truth, advancing justice and protecting the First Amendment through ethical, no-holds-barred journalism and thought-provoking opinion writing. Free every Thursday since 1993, the Weekly also offers the county's most comprehensive arts and entertainment coverage. Read the print version, or visit boulderweekly.com. Boulder Weekly does not accept unsolicited editorial submissions. If you're interested in writing for the paper, please send queries to: editorial@ boulderweekly.com. Any materials sent to Boulder Weekly become the property of the newspaper.

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How gun rights helped mainstream neo-fascists by Dave Anderson


s we anticipate the end of the pandemic, things are starting to get back to “normal.” What does that mean? In 2019, “we pretty much had a mass shooting once a week,” says criminal justice scholar Christopher Herrmann. So we are back to the fierce arguments about gun control. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is weaker due to numerous scandals, lawsuits and investigations. However, investigative reporter David Smyth says the NRA’s ideas have been adopted by “the overwhelming majority of elected officials in the GOP, especially on the national level ... along with many, if not most, of the 74 million people who voted for Trump’s reelection.” Since the 1970s, the NRA has claimed that any regulation of firearms is a step toward the confiscation of everybody’s guns. They offer an insurrectionist interpretation of the Second Amendment, which argues that an APRIL 1, 2021


armed populace is an essential defense against government tyranny. Darrell Miller, a constitutional law scholar at Duke University, notes: “The premise of the insurrectionist theory is, ‘I need these arms in order to defend myself against an oppressive government.’ But that can express itself in all kinds of ways. That can be passive, like, ‘I have this gun in my house.’ It could be, ‘I’m carrying this gun into this government building because I want to show them that they can’t do anything to me.’ Or, it can extend all the way into the use of violence against government officials.” It has become normal for people to assemble outside government buildings carrying highly lethal weapons. The FBI has charged Michigan militia members with see THE ANDERSON FILES page 7



plotting to storm the Michigan the militias grew out of a closedCapitol building and kidnap and kill door gathering in Estes Park in political officials. October 1992. This meeting of 175 Several individuals involved with Christian men was convened by the the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. late Pastor Pete Peters, who operated Capitol were hit with illegal gun pos- a radio ministry (AM, shortwave, session charges. However, the leaders internet) from his church in Laporte were aware of the strict gun control (near Fort Collins). laws in Washington, D.C. In a mesAryan Nations founder Richard sage on social Butler confessed media, a leader he was a “100% suggested bringing bigot” and gave weapons like clubs the Nazi salute. and bear spray Former Texas rather than guns. KKK leader and Chip Aryan Nations Brownlee, reportevangelist Louis ing for The Trace Beam advocated (a nonprofit jourthe formation of nalism outlet small leaderless devoted to gunguerrilla cells to related news), attack “governwrites: ment tyranny.” “Far-right Peters, Butler extremist groups and Beam were are talking explicleading propo— Chip Brownlee itly about using nents of Christian gun rights rhetoric Identity theology, and conspiracy theories concerning which teaches that the Anglo-Saxon, hypothetical gun confiscation under Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian and President Joe Biden as a way to kindred people are descended from attract new members, according to the Israelites of the Bible. They experts and a review of online postclaimed the Jews of today are actualings.” ly direct biological descendants of The Trace reviewed hundreds of the devil. chat room messages and posts on Larry Pratt, a former Virginia forums popular with far rightists. On state legislator, suggested that local the site Telegram, an encrypted fararmed militias should be formed to right messaging platform, a modera- help in the war on drugs. His modtor of a popular channel advised els were the civil defense patrols in members to recruit Trump supportGuatemala and the Alsa Masa vigiers “by the millions.” The post suglantes in the Philippines. These gested that they “be less combative” groups essentially functioned as govwhen addressing more mainstream ernment-sponsored death squads. people. “Instead push the most Pratt was the director of Gun extreme talking points that they Owners of America (GOA), which already have in their heads thanks to describes itself as the “no-comproTrump.” One of the talking points mise alternative to the NRA.” In the moderator listed was “They’re 1996, Pratt was forced to resign as a coming for our 2A guns.” co-chair of Pat Buchanan’s presidenThis isn’t a new development. tial campaign after his speech at the The rise of the patriot militia move- Estes Park meeting was revealed. ment of the 1990s was a response to The GOA has had a powerful gun control legislation. Leading figinfluence in the Colorado ures of that movement had longRepublican Party beginning in the standing involvement with neo-fas1990s. I wonder if Pratt would have cist groups, which they failed to had to resign from a political camemphasize. They used the gun rights paign today. movement to mainstream their poliThis opinion column does not necestics. sarily reflect the views of Boulder Much of the national impetus for Weekly.


extremist groups are talking explicitly about using gun rights rhetoric and conspiracy theories... as a way to attract new members.”



Race is a thread that connects all mass shootings by Ben Barron


hen a gunman opened fire in the Table Mesa King Soopers on Monday, March 22, prematurely ending the lives of 10 people, his bullets also ripped a wound in my homeplace. Boulder is the only home I’ve ever known. I was born here. I grew up here. After moving away for a few years, I came back here to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder. Like many, I have shopped at that King Soopers. I have multiple friends and colleagues who live within walking distance of that supermarket. Before last Monday it was just an average grocery store. It could have been anywhere in America. Six days earlier, a gunman killed eight people in Atlanta. I am writing this piece because I believe these two events were not separate from each other, nor are they separate from any of the other mass shootings that have plagued this country for the past several decades. We have to talk about the common conditions of these events. We have to talk about guns. And we have to talk about race. Six of the eight people murdered in Atlanta were Asian American women. The fact that the suspected shooter deliberately sought out massage parlors, attributing his rampage APRIL 1, 2021

to his sexual frustration, has everything to do with the unique ways Asian American women are sexualized by white men in the U.S. In Boulder, the media narrative took a sharp turn when images of the suspected shooter — who commentators immediately labeled white — were paired with an Arabic name. Fox News wasn’t covering the shooting at all until his name was released. Race is visible in these two cases. But race is also at play in every other mass shooting — when the suspected shooter is white, race defines how we don’t tell the story. Despite the vast majority of mass shooters being young white men, most Americans don’t look on all young white men with suspicion, believing that they might be violent criminals. The same cannot be said for young Black, Latino, Chicano, Arab American or South Asian men. The stories we tell about who the suspected shooter was, and why he (it almost always is a “he”) did what he did, are always inflected by race. More importantly, these stories distract from the conditions that make these shootings possible in the first place. There is a familiar script to these events: thoughts and prayers, see GUEST COLUMN page 8



GUEST COLUMN from page 7

followed by arguments over gun rights, followed by complacency and inertia. We turn our attention to punishing the suspected shooter — justice means making sure he gets sent to prison. We treat the symptom and then we move on, without addressing any of the root causes that made the symptom occur. I am talking about the absurd ease with which Americans can purchase assault-style weapons with highcapacity magazines — tools whose only purpose is to efficiently end human life. I am talking about the lack of investment in community mental health resources, which is hard to separate from the enormous investment in police and in prisons. The SWAT and police forces that responded to the Boulder suspected shooter were well-equipped with military gear — equipment they would not need if the suspected shooter weren’t able to purchase an AR-15 in the first place. Having a gun does not make you safer — presumably, the first police officer to respond to the scene had a gun and was trained to use it. His life is over. And I am talking about white supremacy, the way the Second Amendment only ever seems to apply to white people, the way a mass killing is “senseless” until the suspected shooter is not white, at which point it’s terrorism. There are concrete steps we know we can take. Press our public officials for common sense gun laws — no

assault weapons, no high-capacity magazines, routine waiting periods, thorough background checks. Invest in community mental health. And note and be aware of the role race plays in how we tell the stories of these events. We need to stop privileging the individual right to gun ownership over the collective right to gather safely in public, a right that is also enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. And we need to expand our notion of justice: Instead of seeing the imprisonment of an individual as a satisfactory solution, we need to change the conditions of our society before they produce the next shooter. Watching the news last Monday, I heard person after person say, “I never imagined this could happen in Boulder.” Having grown up here, having lived through Columbine then Aurora, having heard people call loudly for change and watched nothing change time and again, I can’t say that I agree. Until we address the root causes — gun access, mental health, misogyny, racism — the list of places forever associated with horrific acts of violence will continue to grow. Nowhere in this country is immune. Unless we change the conditions, it is only a matter of time. Ben Baron is Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder. This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

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wishes, hashtags, vigils, confusion and the eventual placating. There are too many unanswered questions left to sway in the breeze of conjecture, propaganda and aggrandizement. Strange rotten fruit staining our family tree. Where did we come from, how did we get here and the iconic ques-

We need to expand our notion of justice ... we need to change the conditions of our society before they produce the next shooter.

There is often a grasping which can follow mass shooting terrorism. Grasping to fear, trauma and hope. Hoping for the swift swing of the pendulum of justice back to normality. (The trauma is within every beat and breath.) Fearing the inevitable collective suffering transliterated and transmitted through text, phone calls, well 8


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LETTERS from page 8

tion: Where do we go from here? We know we are living in a bubble on the razor’s edge within an era of terrorism in a country founded on terroristic acts of genocide, slavery and rape. Lilac, lilies and rose. Terrified. Pop! The flowers’ smells will surely dampen as our compassion bleeds into apathy; yet reality will persist. We know that if we continue to harm one another we will remain in the perpetual aftermath of our many massacres. Empathy without preservation has a short shelf life. We have the ability to stop, drop the guns and roll forward. When we do, the disjointed moments of suffering will subside, and we will rise as the Phoenix to reclaim our collective joy. Sow. Mend. Joy. The joy of embracing spaces devoid of fear. Breath of fresh elevated air. The sounds of the mountains as we mesh into the peaceful landscape imposed upon our shattered innocence. All of it! We are guilty of being guiltlessly optimistic. We are Boulder. Our community will mourn with dignity and care. We are proud to be a Boulderite and nothing will ever damper our spirit... ...We will remain Boulder Strong! Anthony Gallucci/Boulder

Make oil and gas companies pay clean-up costs Boulder Weekly has covered the rising cost of plugging oil and gas wells, due to reduced profitability of oil and gas companies (Re: News, “Footing the bill,” June 18, 2020). Claiming a temporary drop in production, oil and gas companies have demanded — and received from Colorado — extremely low and ultimately ineffective bond payments for cleanup of oil and gas wells. This has left Colorado taxpayers with approximately $8.3 billion in unfunded liabilities and put our communities at risk from methane leaks and toxic substances leaching into groundwater. The COGCC is currently evaluating new financial assurance rules. I would ask fellow citizens to join me in urging the COGCC to require a much higher bond payment per individual well, such as North Dakota’s requirement for oil and gas firms to pay a $180,000 bond per well. If a company cleans up after itself, it can BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

have the money back. If it goes bankrupt or tries to hide from its responsibility, our state will have the money to properly cap the well, ensuring the health and wellbeing of its taxpayers. Laura Dravenstott

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COVID-19 Vaccines Having just completed the obstacle course of COVID-19 vaccinations with its hurdles, ambiguities and complexities, I take pause to reflect on how we got here. Not how we got into this hot mess of a pandemic; instead, how that 0.3-ml dose twice got into my arm. The mRNA class of vaccines is novel — just like its adversary — and how it came about is nothing short of wondrous. Over the course of just one year, the virus was identified, its genome was sequenced, multiple drug candidates were developed using an emergent technology, clinical trials were run with tens of thousands of participants, vast sums of money were committed, facilities were built, doses were manufactured at grand scale and distributed worldwide under ultra-cold conditions. Judging from my pharma-industry experience, this is a herculean feat in which any number of things could have gone wrong; but they didn’t. The trials revealed astonishing efficacy rates, the mRNA synthesis processes succeeded, the aseptic fill-finish processing yielded millions of sterile doses, the distribution and storage system worked well, and the medical professionals diligently set about administering doses. That is how we got here. I stand in humble awe of the women and men who believed in the science, worked untold hours, and gave it their all to help deliver us from this pandemic. Not just that, they also proved a new way to respond to future viral threats. Here’s to the scientists, physicians, engineers, chemists, process operators, business administrators, suppliers, delivery crews, nurses, pharmacists, and others too numerous to name who pulled this proverbial rabbit out of the hat. Hooray for you. So, when you get vaccinated — and I hope you do — thank whoever gives the shot and give a shout out to the amazing team that made it happen. Robert Carrier/Erie I



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Original intent and the Second Amendment by Robert Alexander



n the wake of every gun-toting madman, and an ever-expanding body count, comes a host of voices raised in heated debate about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms — as if the country’s founders can be held responsible for the carnage taking place in the nation’s schools, homes and public places. As a matter of fact, this topic never came up at the Constitutional Convention, that hot summer of 1787. There was talk about the danger of a standing army, to be sure, but the right to own firearms, as it is enshrined in the Second Amendment, came out of the various state ratifying conventions. According to the documentary History of the Bill of Rights, four states called for such an amendment. The proposals from New York and North Carolina were essentially the same as that from Virginia: “That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state.” Only a proposal of the Pennsylvania convention included language about the right to selfdefense. Significantly, this was also balanced out by the right of the community to protect itself from “danger of public injury”: “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals.” According to the Annals of Congress, however, James Madison did not include this language about self-defense in the draft he presented to the House on June 8, 1789: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.” Why was there no mention of self-defense? The right to defend one’s person or home was long recognized in English common law and had been included in various state constitutions. But the founding fathers saw the federal government 10


as one with limited powers, which left the regulation of community matters to the states themselves. Moreover, Madison’s proposed amendment was referred to a committee which switched the position of the first two clauses, drawing even tighter the connection between the militia and the right to bear arms: “A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.” The debate in the House was begun by Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, who commented only on the last clause: “I am apprehensive, Sir, that this clause would give an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the Constitution itself. They can declare who are those religiously scrupulous, and prevent them from bearing arms... . Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” The discussion which followed involved only this clause about religious scruples. There was absolutely no mention of the putative meaning of the right to keep and bear arms, either in selfdefense or in any context other than the right of the individual states to organize a militia. Finally, the House sent the proposed amendment to the APRIL 1, 2021

Senate, which deleted the clause about religious scruples and shortened the language to its present form. No record exists of the debate, if any took place, concerning these changes: “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” Because the right to bear arms was so closely connected with the need for a “well-regulated” militia, it behooves us to look more closely at the history of this phrase in colonial law, specifically in Virginia, as that was the legal code with which James Madison was most familiar. In 1757, during the French and Indian War, we find in Hening’s Statutes of Virginia an act “for the better regulating and disciplining the militia”: “Every soldier shall be furnished with a firelock well fixed ... and shall also keep at his place of abode one pound of powder and four pounds of ball.” Even during wartime, when pitched battles were being fought in the American homeland between French and British troops and their respective Native American allies, the militia’s right to bear arms meant only the obligation to keep at home a single-shot musket, together with a limited amount of ammunition. After the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the Virginia statutes were redrawn, and the stated purpose of the new act was not only “for regulating and disciplining the militia,” but also for “guarding against invasions and insurrections.” The term insurrection at that time was mostly used with the modifier servile, referring to the several occasions when slaves got it in their minds to take up arms against their oppressors. It was the task of the slave patrols, drawn from the militia, to ensure that black folks were kept from night-time rendezvous when they might plan or initiate revolt. Hence it was required that members of the militia keep their firearms close at hand: “Every officer and soldier shall [be] armed, equipped, and accoutered, as follows ... with a good, clean musket carrying an ounce ball, and three feet eight inches long in the barrel ... [and] each non-commissioned officer and private shall have at every muster one pound of good powder, see ANALYSIS Page 11



ANALYSIS from Page 10

and four pounds of lead ... Provided, That the militia of the counties westward of the Blue Ridge ... shall not be obliged to be armed with muskets, but may have good rifles ... in lieu thereof.” [Hening, 12:12] West of the Blue Ridge mountains, where slaves were few, the danger was rather from warriors of the First Nations defending their homelands. Here, rifled weapons were more useful than muskets against shadowy figures slipping through the woods; but east of the Blue Ridge, only muskets — less deadly than rifles — were allowed. Consistently, over a 30-year period, the right to bear arms — as part of a regulated militia — meant keeping at home a muzzle-loading, single-shot, long-barreled weapon. If such a firearm were brought into a church or a theater or a school, the damage could be contained; after one shot the perpetrator would be disarmed by angry civilians. On the other hand, “small-arms” in the 21st century are equivalent in killing power to 18th-century artillery, which was kept under lock and key in the local armories. Whatever the founders intended by the Second Amendment, it’s quite clear that they did not intend that artillery for use by the militia be kept in American households. The same year the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia, a group of rebels in western Massachusetts had attempted to take control of the artillery in the Springfield armory. Had they been successful in this attempt, American history might have taken a different turn. This was in the forefront of the minds of the men who met that summer in Philadelphia. In Springfield there had been state militia loyal enough to man the artillery and fire a round or two at the rebels, killing several and dispersing the rest. The men of the Constitutional Convention, and of the various state ratifying conventions, had no intention, the next time, of giving rebels access to the artillery. What would the country’s founders say now at the argument that men and women, not part of any “well-regulated militia,” can acquire and store at home — or carry on the street — weapons at least as deadly BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

as the field artillery of their day? It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to answer that question. A rocket-propelled grenade, fired into a classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or at Stoneman Douglas High School, might have killed fewer students than a murderer with one assault rifle. Yet the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) forbids trafficking in RPGs. Likewise


one man with a personal arsenal at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas did far more damage than the artillery lined up in 1787 at the Springfield armory. Has the Second Amendment come to this? Once it protected the right of a free people to a well-regulated militia. Now, according to certain proponents, it protects the right of a mass murderer to purchase on the open market a killer’s weapons of

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choice, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition. Can we not conclude that something has gone awry? Robert Alexander is the author of The Northwest Ordinance: Constitutional Politics and the Theft of Native Land (McFarland Books, 2017). This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.



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The far right is trying to use the Boulder shooting for its own agenda. Let’s not let it. by Angela K. Evans


n the first hours following news of the King Soopers shooting on Monday, March 22, there were reports of far-right and conspiracist QAnon profiles on alternative social media sites claiming the whole thing was staged by actors, a “false flag” and “no one died,” some suggesting it was a ploy to “take away our guns.” But the tone quickly changed once the suspected shooter’s name was released the next morning, as media quickly revealed his Syrian birth and Middle Eastern heritage. Almost immediately, notorious far-right social media users began assuming the attack was connected to Islamic terrorism. The Colorado Muslim Leadership Council quickly condemned the attack and expressed support of Officer Eric Talley, the other nine victims and their families. But some extremist experts began raising concerns over how the shooter’s identity could be co-opted to stoke Islamaphobia. At the same time, Muslims across Colorado questioned their safety, and some mosques, like the Islamic Center of Boulder (ICB), even shut down operations for a while as a precaution. On March 24, Tracy Smith of ICB told the community during a special virtual City Council meeting that some members of ICB are afraid to leave the house, others are changing the paths of their daily walks; women are afraid of wearing their hijabs in public, men feel they could be threatened because of their beards. “The sad reality is, right now within the Muslim community there is fear, stress and anxiety because of the very name of the [suspected] killer,” she said. “He does not represent the Muslim community, he doesn’t BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

represent Islam, he just happens to have a Muslim name.” By March 26, reporters at a press conference were asking Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty and Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold about any links with international terrorism or if the suspected shooter had ever returned to his birth country after immigrating to the U.S. when he was 3 years old. Dougherty assured the crowd that he had already shared all the information they had about the investigation into the suspect, which isn’t much, and said authorities were taking a “deep dive into the offender’s background.” But so far, no such connection has been shared with the public. And reporting from the Washington Post reveals that an analysis of the suspected shooter’s social media didn’t find evidence of “any radical or extremist views.” “There’s still a lot we don’t know,” says Eric Ward, an extremist expert and executive director of Western States Center. “But what we know is that a community was impacted by an unimaginable tragedy.” In his work, Ward says unconscious biases can often bubble to the surface in times of high anxiety, fear and stress, eliciting bigoted reactions and commentary, that are then often manipulated by extremist groups in support of their own agendas. “These opportunities provide a moment for those who believe in white nationalism or cultural or religious exclusion in the United States to attempt to reshape narratives that take advantage of that stress we are under,” he says. In the wake of the mass shooting in Boulder, Western States Center has been tracking disturbing I

and racialized rhetoric from “the usual suspects.” Charlie Kirk, conservative talk show host and co-founder of Turning Point USA, quickly blamed Joe Biden’s administration, claiming the suspected shooter is a “purported ISIS sympathizer.” Brigitte Gabriel, a prominent antiMuslim activist, drew a direct connection between the mass shooting in Boulder and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, saying it is “exactly what I’ve been warning this nation about for the last 20 years.” (The Council on AmericanIslamic Relations told the Guardian in 2017, Gabriel’s Act! For America organization is “one of the main sources of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation.”) A Republican running for California governor called the shooting “racism against whites,” assuming the suspected shooter is a “Muslim jihadist from Syria.” It’s not just that these figures are posting such sentiments online, Ward says. What’s more disturbing is the rate at which they are retweeted and shared, eliciting comments that are even worse. Other national articles and commentary about the shooting have generated similarly incendiary messages through comment sections, as well. These comments, and the fear they invoke in Muslims in particular, is concerning to be sure. But Benjamin Teitelbaum, a professor at CU Boulder who studies far-right movements, doesn’t believe attempts to racialize this shooting have been as effective as they may have once been. “In the past, a lot of far-right activism has been marketed such as it has to mainstream society on the APRIL 1, 2021

grounds that these figures are going to establish order,” he says. “Whereas lawlessness and chaos are reigning today, the far right provides the counterbalancing voice of order.” In these narratives, Teitelbaum says, the far right, whether more tempered elected officials or the most extreme of militant groups, attribute the chaos to either the welfare economic policies of big cities or to the multiethnic state, “and that made Islamic terrorism a very useful tool, especially following Sept. 11.” But in the last decade or so, mass shootings committed by white men have proliferated across the U.S., from Connecticut to South Carolina, Florida, Las Vegas and El Paso — then Atlanta just six days before the shooting in Boulder. “I do think that the zeitgeist has changed so much that these can’t be instrumentalized in the way that they once were,” he says. “The mass shooting as a sort of icon and spectacle, I don’t think is as useful to Islamophobia as it used to be, because there’s really no plausible way to describe it as an exclusively Muslim form of terrorism. ... It’s quite obviously and recently moreso a form of white male terrorism.” Still, Islamaphobia has been growing worldwide, including in the U.S. in recent years, according to a United Nations Human Rights Council report released at the beginning of March. The rise of far-right groups, negative portrayals in the media and local conditions of underlying class and ethnicity issues are just some of the reasons given in the report to explain an increase in hate toward see FAR RIGHT page 14




FAR RIGHT from page 13

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Muslims of “epidemic proportions” around the world. And just a few days after the Boulder shooting, starting on March 25, there were social media reports of white supremacist graffiti, stickers and flyers at South Boulder’s Tantra Park in connection with the group Patriot Front, which both the Southern Poverty Law Center and AntiDefamation League qualify as a hate group. Since then, the graffiti has been removed and the COURTESY OF ICB Boulder Police Department is investigating, according to the District Attorney’s office, which was notified of the propaganda through its Bias Hotline. Both the NAACP Boulder County Branch and Boulder Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) received images and reports of the propaganda, as well, and strongly condemned any hate speech or attempt to use the shooting to intimidate Muslim or BIPOC members of the community. “The crude flyer that we received attempts to create moral panic around diversity with an us-versus-them narrative after a tragedy that touched many facets of the community,” writes Sepideh Miller of the NAACP in an email. “Now is a time that we need each other more than ever.” From what BW has seen, nothing in the fliers or graffiti was explicitly antiMuslim or elicits a connection with the shooting. But, with inflammatory rhetoric like “white lives matter” and “diversity equals white genocide,” residents expressed concerns about the location and timing of the propaganda, just a few blocks away from the Table Mesa Shopping Center. “We have to be extra wary in this moment of anti-Muslim bigotry,” Ward cautions. “And just as we shouldn’t have a great tolerance for violence — particularly political, religious, racial, ethnic violence — in our society, neither should we have great tolerance for those who try to take advantage of these moments by promoting bigotry.” And the fear of Islamaphobic I

backlash is very real for many within Boulder’s Muslim community. The decision to close the Islamic Center last week was more a precautionary measure than anything else says Farah Afzal, who’s been a member of ICB for 11 years. While most of its activities and services have gone virtual this last year during the pandemic, a small group has been gathering regularly for daily prayers during the pandemic. The Center also suspended its regular congregational prayers on Friday. By Sunday, less than a week after the shooting, the Center was open again, according to Afzal. “It’s not like something happened, there wasn’t any threats, but it’s more an individual fear, like this could happen,” she says. “It is Boulder after all, we are a very close-knit community and very supportive of our neighbors.” If anything, ICB has been overwhelmed with community support in the wake of the shooting, receiving dozens of cards, flower bouquets and offers to accompany members of the faith community to the store or on hikes in solidarity. “Volunteers have been working tirelessly, answering all the supportive messages,” she says. Afzal encourages the Boulder community not to generalize the shooting by race or religion or fall for comments promoting skewed stereotypes. Rather, she urges the community to push back on such narratives with positive experiences and interactions with Muslim neighbors and friends or direct anyone to ICB if they want to learn more about Islam. “One of the things we can do again, to honor the lives of those taken, is for those of us who are nonMuslim to speak out against the antiMuslim bigotry,” Ward adds. “Increasing the fear in the community isn’t how we heal. It’s not how we find accountability, and it’s not how we find justice. And if we allow that to happen, then the people with the guns, and those taking to the airwaves to divide us, win.” BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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How the media covers mass shootings has evolved over time. But is it better?

The first entry in a limited series on how the media covered the Boulder shooting



rom the moment it happened, the shooting at King Soopers in South Boulder dominated the national news cycle for almost two days. Within minutes of the event, there was a livestream feed on YouTube of the scene, followed by local TV channel vans, reporters and stringers for national news outlets. More came, and then nearly all left — in their wake, a cache of stories with the suspect’s name and image, speculation about the motive, rundowns of how the shooting unfolded and a handful that shared a little about those who were killed. The impact of this shooting will be felt locally for years, but the national news cycle has already moved on to the trial of the murder of George Floyd, a legislative sex scandal... Joe Biden’s dog. And that’s fine; the national media was never going to follow this story long-term except to provide updates when warranted. But what’s striking, a little over a week after the event, is how mechanical the media was in covering the Boulder shooting. That is to say, it felt as if there was a playbook media organizations were following, and in the rush to cover the event, there wasn’t a lot of time for thoughtfulness about how covering another mass shooting may inspire the next one, or about how media coverage may affect a community’s or a victim’s loved one’s ability to grieve. Just look at a since deleted (then reposted for transparency) tweet from the Boulder Police Department:“ATTENTION MEDIA: We can’t believe we have to say this AGAIN. Leave grieving family members alone. IF they want to speak with you media liaisons will let you know. Repeatedly calling them & messaging them via social media is despicable. …” That playbook creates a lot of issues, and it’s unclear how well the Boulder community was served by the information we got and when we got it. These are issues that research and advocacy groups say the media can address for future shootings. So in this three-week series, we’ll look at the history of media coverage of such events and what the research indicates about inspiring copycat massacres; we’ll examine what the public needs to know (and see) during the event through the lens of the Boulder shooting; and we’ll cover what happens in the months after a 16


mass shooting and how the media can create change by not thinking of shootings as acute, isolated tragedies, but as an epidemic requiring ongoing, holistic coverage. A mass shooting occurs, and the media identifies the suspect and victims, and if possible, outlines the suspect’s motives and background, publishes their manifesto and photos, and maybe details how they gained access to a firearm or arms, and the events that led up to the shooting. A wealth of research indicates such coverage leads to copycat or imitation from other shooters. In fact, there’s research that suggests mass shootings occur frequently within two weeks of each other. Investigators tracking the Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech shootings found the killers had studied the Columbine shooting; and further research indicates Columbine spurred dozens of copycat attempts. The media is not responsible for these subseAPRIL 1, 2021


quent attempts (and shootings), but it does play a role, by providing idealization of the killers and a blueprint for how to do it. This is called the media contagion effect, and it pertains to suicide as well. Research from James Meindl and Jonathan Ivy details just how the effect inspires copycats. Images published by the media displaying shooters aiming guns, or completing acts of violence, project an air of danger and violence. Detailed accounts of the shooter create commonalities between them and those thinking of committing violence that otherwise wouldn’t have been recognized. Repeated accounts of the violence or body counts provide accolades to the shooter. And play-by-play recounts of the event provide feedback on the killer’s performance. So pernicious is the media contagion effect that law enforcement groups, including the FBI, have launched the Don’t Name Them campaign, which urges the media not to identify suspects by name after they’re captured, not to publish manifestos, not to publish photos of killers and, generally, not to give space or airtime to killers. “We suggest that the media cry to cling to ‘the public’s right to know’ covers up a greedier agenda to keep eyeballs glued to screens, since they know that frightening homicides are their No. 1 ratings and advertising boosters,” said Western New Mexico University researcher Jennifer B. Johnston at a recent American Psychological Association convention. She added we could see a one-third reduction in mass shootings in one to two years with efforts to curb the contagion effect. How’s that going with the Boulder event? A Google search for the killer’s name brings up 2.6 million results; CNN has a long story online titled “Here’s what we know about the Boulder, Colorado, mass shooting suspect,” with the killer’s name and image up top. There are plenty more like it. But media coverage of mass shootings has changed over the years, says Elizabeth Skewes, chair of the University of Colorado Journalism Department, who is currently researching media coverage of mass shootings. That research goes back to the 1966 shooting at the University of Texas. “If you go back and take a look at that coverBOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

age, there was much more focus on the events and on the shooter … and his backstory and what we knew about him,” Skewes says. “We knew he had been a Boy Scout troop leader and in the military. A lot of focus was on what drove what he did, but also who he was and why he did it. Victims were largely relegated to being their name, their age and, before HIIPA, their condition — critical, stable. There wasn’t much coverage of victims, and no coverage at all of the secondary trauma to people who may have witnessed but not been shot, or to the community.” Columbine was an informal turning point, Skewes says. Indeed, the enormity of that loss, the age of those killed, and the setting of it opened many eyes around the country to what would become a burgeoning epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence. Media, bolstered by increasing viewership of 24-hour cable news networks, responded in kind by, if not eliminating the killers from the conversation (which it certainly didn’t), producing stories about the victims, the community and the issues that led to that event. Skewes says media members, then, started to think about their role in covering these events, and started asking questions about what images they should use, how they should frame stories and what stories they should follow. The impulse was to mitigate what would eventually be known as the media contagion effect. Still, Skewes thinks it’s a “little too simplistic” to say that the effect alone drives killers. “That may be a factor but I think there’s so much else for people who even contemplate going into a school or store or theater or renting a room and mowing down people at a concert,” she says. “There’s so much more going into it that it’s more than people wanting to be known.” Of course there is. But research indicates it’s at least a factor. And if the history of media’s coverage of mass shootings can teach us anything, it’s that time is always helpful. Skewes says she’s seen more coverage of the killer himself in the Boulder shooting than in previous mass shootings, and that although his backstory may be useful to a greater conversation, Skewes might advise media organizations to “hold off on that story until later.” The story will still be there, and it might be better for the wait. “When we talk about trauma and trauma reporting, if you wait a month, if you wait six months — when somebody has had time to assess what’s happened more and make whatever sense they might be able to make out of this senseless act — you sit down and talk to somebody, it’s still a compelling story. You don’t lose anything by waiting,” she says. Meindl and Ivy also have some suggestions for improving media coverage to limit imitation from others: portraying the shooter as shameful or in a negative light; avoid in-depth descriptions of rationale and motive; reduce the amount of time spent covering mass shootings; and reduce the number of live events during coverage of a mass shooting, which could make the event seem more exciting. In the Boulder shooting, community members also had access to a livestream from someone on the scene at the event — something unique to this tragedy. National and local news outlets used the livestream in their packages and stories, endorsing the controversial feed, which showed people lying on the ground, without context or confirmation of their health status. It brings up a bigger question of what people need to know during an event like this: Do we need to see mass shootings happen in real-time? Do we need to hear from people who just survived the shooting, and family members, immediately? We’ll address that next week. BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE



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he milk you buy at the local grocery store could be from cows anywhere across the country — that’s the result of decades of industrialized dairy production in the U.S. But some local dairy farms are shifting the paradigm, opting to downsize their herds, farm different breeds and provide their communities with what research shows to be a higher fat, protein- and nutrient-dense product — with origins closer to home. Colorado Cow, a small dairy farm run by the

Downsized dairy

industry and realized they wanted to do things differently. They have since partnered with Origin, a regenerative dairy brand based in Cleveland, to reimagine a local, low-impact operation — a partnership that also extends to local farming sustainability organization MadAg. With all their goals aligned, it was an easy decision to make. Origin finds solutions to the questions of sustainability and quality in the dairy industry by working with small-scale, heritage-breed farms like Colorado Cow. Many small farms don’t transport their milk crosscountry. Rather, they sell locally, providing a better environmental option, which puts money back into the local economy. Heritage breeds, like Guernseys, consume 20-30% less feed and water, according to Origin cofounder Adrian Bota. This means less methane output and fewer resources used for the same amount of dairy. “We started this organization because we saw a gaping hole in dairy nutrition and the connection between the farm and consumer,” he says. “We wanted to create a new standard in dairy that was sustainable for the planet, the farmers and the consumers.” Colorado Cow’s Guernseys are 100% grass-fed, put out to pasture to graze every day and rotated on the land, allowing it to regenerate. The ratio of cows to acres of land allows the ground to effectively absorb their manure, sequestering certain amounts of carbon per acre. “Good milk ultimately comes from the soil,” says MadAg’s director of operations, Tanner Starbard. “With smaller operations, cows spend more time in the pasture grazing and less time being milked. This means they’re out there recycling resources, cultivating a sym-

Small local dairy farms may provide an ethical and sustainable alternative to industrial dairy

by Katie Rhodes DeGroot family in Kersey, Colorado, once housed 1,100 Holstein cows — a cow genetically bred to produce high quantities of milk, which studies have shown contain low nutritional density and high percentages of water. A year and a half ago the DeGroot’s reevaluated their operation and realized three things: Their cows weren’t happy, they weren’t making any money and their product wasn’t as good as they believed it could be. Now the farm is home to 80 Guernsey cows, an endangered heritage breed shown to produce rich, golden, nutritional milk. “We love our cows and wanted to make the best quality product we could,” says Terri DeGroot of Colorado Cow. “The dairy industry had become so big, and didn’t really care about the animals or the product. When we downsized, it was based on the idea that we could go back to what farming was supposed to be before it became so industrialized.” The DeGroots saw their part in a faceless dairy BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


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biosis just like what we saw with bison living on the grasslands. The animal eats, digests and returns those nutrients to the soil. Healthy soil makes healthy grass, which makes healthy cows who make good, nutrientrich milk.” Sustainable dairy farming does not replace big dairy but provides an ethical alternative, according to Tom Lipetzky, director of marketing programs and strategic initiatives at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “I wouldn’t necessarily view having a higher-priced product as negatively impacting other producers,” Lipetzky says. “They rather might be viewed as having identified a segment of consumers that value their story, how they operate, and the type of products they are willing to pay a higher price for.” Colorado Cow’s market right now is relatively niche due to its high pricing, but what consumers are charged is akin to what the product actually costs to make. “We’re trained to pay less for certain products,” Bota says. “It’s a broken system. The farmers in Big Dairy don’t get paid what they should, and the cows are continuously modified to produce more milk. We’re trying to get people used to paying the true cost of the product, which is why we pay our farmers nearly double the going rate in big dairy for their milk.” This could, however, alienate a large percentage of the population who cannot afford to pay $7 for a gallon of milk. For now, Colorado Cow is the only Origin partner in Colorado, but the DeGroots are hoping to offer a new perspective on what it means to be a dairy farmer making a living wage, and what it means to get your dairy products from local farms. “We want to show people in the community that we can make dairy in a healthy way,” Terri DeGroot says. “It’s a scary time for farmers as we try to navigate new pathways in the industry that are beneficial to the animals, the environment and the consumer, but this way we get to be real farmers again and believe in the products we’re putting on the market.” I


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‘We’re still here’ In a bid for greater equity, the Dairy Arts Center changes its rental policy and makes room for indigenous artists at the Creative Nations Center

by Caitlin Rockett


elissa Fathman remembers a moment two years ago, on Indigenous Peoples Day, watching Sarah Ortegon, an enrolled Eastern Shoshone also of Northern Arapaho descent, look up at the foothills as she spoke during a mural dedication at the Dairy Arts Center. “She basically said, ‘We’re standing on the grounds where my family once lived,’” Fathman, the Dairy’s executive director, says. “[The Dairy has made a] tribal land recognition, but somehow this, her saying that, standing there in the parking lot, looking up at the foothills, there was this visceral sense of: This is her land, and we’re taking up the space. I thought, if I could give this land back I would.” Fathman couldn’t give the land back, but she realized she could carve out a portion of the Dairy and give it to indigenous artists. When the Creative Nations Center BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

launches its first programmatic event at the Dairy on May 8, it will be a callback to that mural dedication two years ago. Like the painting, the exhibition, Sing Our Rivers Red — which has toured around the country — will honor the thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW) in the United States and Canada. As spring fades into summer, Creative Nations will take on physical form as a number of organizations with offices in the Dairy’s administrative space move out. “We have hundreds of arts organizations in Boulder; who gets to be here and who doesn’t?” Fathman says. “I’ve struggled with that since I took the helm at the Dairy in 2017. And so I thought it was time to change what we do with that portion of the building.” Come July, five arts organizations currently housed at the Dairy will vacate the administrative space, making room for a dedicated space for Creative Nations. The Dairy will work with an architect to create a direct entrance to the new center “right off the box office.” “When you come in the front door, you’ll be able to see the presence of the Creative Nations Center,” Fathman says. The changes don’t stop there: Beginning this year, when live performances finally resume, the Dairy will limit rental of the Carsen or Grace Gamm theaters to 16 weeks for any one organization, with a maximum of five weekend rentals of the Gordon Gamm theater. “That may seem like not very much,” Fathman says, if you’re thinking of a year as 52 weeks, “but really the theater season is 32 weeks. So when you’ve got an organization that’s been taking 25 weeks out of those 32, that’s almost your whole theater season.” I

The decision was both difficult and obvious to Fathman. As Boulder has grown, so has its arts community, and professional performance space around town is limited. “There’s a lot of pressure,” she admits. “No matter what decision we make, someone’s not going to be happy. Putting all that aside and just looking at the big picture, this is a City-owned building, so we have to think about how to serve the whole community. ... There’s so few professional theaters in town and we want to give opportunities to organizations who maybe this is the first time that they have a lighting director or box office ticketing.” To build out the new Creative Nations Center, Fathman called upon Longmont resident Tanaya Winder, an author and poet of Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Diné and Duckwater Shoshone lineage. Winder had previously worked with the Dairy in her capacity as director of CU Boulder’s Upward Bound Program, helping the art center put together indigenous film programming at the Boedecker Theater. Winder reached out to other indigenous artists, who reached out to more indigenous artists, eventually finding a core group of five who were interested in developing the Creative Nations Center from the ground up. “To me, the Center means possibility, it means hope,” Winder says over a phone call from her childhood home on the Southern Ute Reservation in Ignacio, Colorado. “I still can’t believe it’s happening: a space in a legitimate art center, where we have our own space, not just something making the Dairy Arts Center look good. They are really letting us take ownership and make it look like APRIL 1, 2021

we want. For those of us who haven’t had this experience, we’re getting this professional development, networking. I think it could be replicated across the country. I hope it sets that message and model for other arts centers.” Joining Winder as cofounders of the Center are Walt Pourier, Kelly Holmes, JayCee Beyale and Danielle SeeWalker. SeeWalker, a Denver-based Lakota visual artist who divided her time growing up between Bismark and the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, says that art has provided a way for her to work through her struggle with identity — a struggle she believes many Native peoples know well. “The U.S. government launched the Indian Relocation Act in 1959,” SeeWalker explains. “They realized a lot of the land reservations were [located] on had rich minerals underneath, and they wanted Natives off. So they picked different cities, including Denver, and sent Natives into these urban areas with the promise of careers, housing, support. When the money and jobs ran out quickly, when inflation increased expenses, a lot of Native people ended up homeless, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and unable to return to the reservation. But they knew their traditions. Even several generations later, there’s … this struggle of living this contemporary life in a city, but staying connected to traditional practices.” For both SeeWalker and Winder, the Creative Nations Center offers a chance to lift up indigenous artists and show the world that, as SeeWalker says, “we’re still here; indigenous people exist.” “I feel like when something’s right, it’s never forced,” Winder says. “And that’s the energy of the Creative Nations space.” I


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collections@museumofboulder.org Through the Boulder Strong Project, the Museum of Boulder is committed to “respectfully” preserving the messaging that has come from the community after the loss of 10 lives on March 22. The museum has, according to a press release, received advice from other museums in communities that have suffered similar losses, such as the Orange County Historical Society in Orlando, Florida (Pulse Nightclub, 2016), and the Clark County Museum in Nevada (Las Vegas, 2017). Museum of Boulder hopes to capture first hand stories and responses, “especially in light of a pandemic when family members and friends of loved ones cannot travel to the various vigils and sites offered for pause and reflection in Boulder during this time.” Museum staff have placed signs up on the various memorial sites; keep an eye out for #BoulderStrong. Museum of Boulder asks for “the understanding of community members” as staff works with various leaders related to this tragedy to begin collecting and archiving materials. If you would like to provide a story behind an item you left at a memorial, email collections@museumofboulder.org for information on how to do so. Museum of Boulder will be accepting digital photos and videos, and promises to be “mindful of balancing perspectives, especially related to the social media and television coverage regarding the event as well.”



“THIS PIECE, 10 CRANES, IS MADE from 100% recycled materials. The bags are from one of my many trips to King Soopers Table Mesa over the 33 years I have lived in Martin Acres. There are 10 folded peace cranes flying in a star formation to represent the necessity of every one of us to come together, using whatever we have to bring peace and kindness to our broken world. I am a local fiber artist, using my COVID confinement to make social justice statements with recycled materials.” — Wendy Rochman, bluewindowarts.com


7 p.m. Thursday, April 1, via Zoom, thedairy.org Join Dairy Arts Center’s Executive Director Melissa Fathman for a series of Zoom conversations with Walt Pourier and friends; on April 1, fellow Creative Nations Center cofounder JayCee Beyale will join the chat. Beyale grew up in the Four Corners area of New Mexico, and received his BFA in printmaking from the University of New Mexico. He currently resides in Westminster, but travels often to participate in collaborative murals and other art projects with fellow organizations and artists. Founder of Nakota Designs and the Stronghold Society, Pourier is Oglala Lakota, an American skateboarder, artist, designer, skateboarding activist and speaker. (Read more about the Creative Nations Center at the Dairy Arts Center on page 21.) BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE



9 a.m. Tuesday, April 6. Registration: bit.ly/3u06EJc On Tuesday, April 6, Louisville-based Commuting Solutions will virtually convene governmental officials, regional industry experts and private sector stakeholders to discuss transportation in the northwest metro region. Learn about upcoming transportation funding and bills in the Colorado legislature; transportation changes for the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap; Front Range Passenger Rail; and RTD Accountability Committee updates. see EVENTS page 24

APRIL 1, 2021



EVENTS from page 23


6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, via Webex. Registration: bit. ly/2QH9T9N More than three centuries later, the infamous witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, continue to intrigue and confound us. Archivist and historian Mickey DiCamillo brings questions — and some answers — to a new program for the Longmont Public Library. Registration is required and is limited to 195 participants. Once registered, participants will receive an email confirmation with information on how to join the Webex meeting.


Noon. Thursday April 8 via Instagram Live, instagram.com/bmoca For this 30-minute Virtual Studio Tour, join Autumn T. Thomas, an interdisciplinary artist currently working in wood sculpture, in her workspace in Denver via Zoom. Her work transforms wood into soft, twisting forms, mimicking the endurance required to thrive amid the oppression and marginalization of women of color. Just go to the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art’s Instagram page at noon on the day of the tour and click on the circular icon to join the chat.



8 p.m. Friday, April 2, Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder. Tickets are $50, bouldertheater.com Wood Belly’s contemporary take on bluegrass has been garnering attention since the release of their 2018 debut album, Solid Ground, which was followed by a win at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition.


5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak, Longmont, downtownlongmont.com Join the Lefthand Artist Group for a fun parade on April Fool’s Day. Wear your craziest fashion statement, and please bring a pool noodle for safe distancing (wish we’d thought of that all pandemic). Fun for the whole family — decorate your bikes, trikes, wagons and walkers, and remember to bring masks, bubbles, instruments and whatever brings you joy. Well-behaved pets are welcome as well.


April 2-16. This event is free: cupresents.org The Langston Hughes Project is a multimedia concert of Langston Hughes’ kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz, an homage in verse to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s. This concert links Hughes’ poetry and music to topical images of Ask Your Mama’s people, places, events and the works of visual artists with whom Hughes collaborated.


7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1. Virtual event longmontmuseum.org What’s The Longmonster?! It’s a virtual late-night style talk show featuring local folks sharing what they do, how they do it, and what it means to be doing it here. Hosted by Justin Veach, manager of Stewart Auditorium, and featuring the musical stylings of Dave Tamkin & Co.


6:30 p.m. Monday, April 5. This show is pay-what-you-can, betc.org 2020 presented challenges, tragedy, reckonings, growth and more as the world navigated a global pandemic, and the United States witnessed mass protests against racially motivated police brutality. Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company set out to interview people along the Front Range about what an unforgettable year meant to them. On Monday, April 5, BETC will host a virtual opening night watch party for its devised theater work CO2020. Head to BETC’s YouTube channel at 6:30 p.m. for a 20-minute pre-show event with Producing Artistic Director Stephen Weitz. Then you’ll have time to watch CO2020 before Weitz and company go live again at 9 p.m. with a panel Q&A, featuring select members of BETC’s creative team and special guests. No registration or YouTube account needed. Just head to BETC’s YouTube page.

April 1-May 27, east window, 4949 Broadway, Unit 102-B, Boulder, eastwindow.org Gregg Deal’s art challenges Western perceptions of indigenous people, touching on issues of race, history, cultural erasure and stereotypes. Through his work — paintings, mural work, performance art, filmmaking and spoken word — Deal critically examines issues and tells stories of decolonization and appropriation that affect Indian Country.




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5 p.m. Saturday, April 3, Wibby Brewing, 209 Emery St., Longmont. Tickets are $10- $20, wibbybrewing.com/events Space your face — and give folks space... like, 6 feet — at this open air tribute to The Grateful Dead in the pavilion and biergarten spaces of Wibby Brewing. The show will be socially and responsibly distanced with a limited number of first come, first served tickets available. Only full parties will be sat (in order of arrival) and no tables can be held. Wibby shows are always food drive events: Please bring two non-perishable food items per person for entry. Please email reservations@wibbybrewing.com with all questions.





Paradise Found

With new space on Pearl Street, Bart’s Records becomes Paradise Found

By Caitlin Rockett


hen Paradise Found Records & Music opens on April 1 at the corner of 17th and Pearl, it’ll be a homecoming of sorts. Pearl Street — albeit the West End — was where Bart’s Records started in the early ’90s; it’s the street where Bart’s bounced around for several years before finding its most iconic home where Ozo’s downtown store is today. All of that is to say: there would be no Paradise Found without Bart’s. “Not only is Bart a friend of ours, but he’s an inspiration,” says Paradise Found owner Will Paradise, who bought Bart’s Records from Bart Stinchcomb in 2016. After running the store for five years under the original moniker at cramped digs on Folsom Street, Paradise is taking the little record store that could back to Pearl for more spacious accommodations and a gentle makeover. “It’s a new day in a new location and I’m going to change the name, but the Bart’s sign is going to be hanging at the desk [at the new store],” Paradise says from the new space on Pearl, where a dozen or so empty racks wait for the thousands of records to be moved from the old location. “We’ll be selling Bart’s T-shirts and hoodies and hats. We realize that any success that we have, it’s because of all the work and the foundation that was laid by Bart himself and all the great people that have worked there over the years.” Both Paradise and one of his vinyl buyers, Patrick Selvage, gravitated toward Bart’s Records about 20 years ago, while Paradise was working in senior management for Whole Foods

and Selvage was just a freshman at CU Boulder. “I had a record label back then and my band (Tin Tin) played in-store [shows at Bart’s],” Selvage says. “Being at a show in your favorite shop and being able to talk to like-minded people about music, that’s what we want to carry on from Bart’s.” And with ample space in the new store, Paradise Records will feature a small stage and “topnotch” sound system for in-store shows and open mic nights, once health regulations allow. Paradise plans to roll out ultrasonic record cleaning services and flattening for warped records. There’ll be more team members, Paradise says, for better customer service and, best of all, room to display 40% more records. Vinyl is the heart of Paradise Found, and Paradise doesn’t really see that changing. “There are CAITLIN ROCKETT cycles for everything,” he says. “Things come and then they go and then there’s this resurgence. I don’t really want to think about a world where people don’t value vinyl, you know, but [the record industry] sold people CDs, which were this ‘indestructible’ form of media, and so expensive. It’s so interesting to see how people just bought that whole thing, hook, line and sinker. “But I think there’s an awareness around vinyl and an appreciation for it — I don’t see that going away,” Paradise adds. “Now, is it going to continue to just grow and grow and grow? No. There’ll be something else that will come at some point in time, but I think there’ll always be ... people who get [vinyl]. You know, there are people who like music and people who don’t. There are people who like dogs and people who don’t. People who like kids and people who don’t. I don’t trust the people that don’t like any of those things, myself. But vinyl, I think there’s this desire and appreciation for it, for the sound quality, the artwork, the smell.” “For a hundred years it’s outlasted all of these other iterations,” Selvage adds. “I don’t see it going anywhere.”



APRIL 1, 2021



EVENTS from page 25


The much beloved Conference on World Affairs returns virtually in its 73rd year with a week-long lineup of 29 livestreamed events. More than 80 speakers will facilitate dialogue around a variety of topics including racism in the U.S., health care and Generation CONFERENCE ON WORLD AFFAIRS Z. As always, it’s free and open to the public — this year, right from the comfort of your couch via YouTube. Below are just a few of this year’s panels.



3 p.m. Monday, April 5. Personal data is now more valuable than oil. How is it economically evaluated? Which data is the most valuable? What are the repercussions of it being mishandled?


2 p.m. Tuesday, April 6 The origins and growth of the movement and how the gaming industry is working to combat hate.


2 p.m. Wednesday, April 7 Which is in society’s best interest: innovative companies that dominate a service/product or smaller companies that compete for that service/market? Legal and economic perspectives provided.


7 p.m. Wednesday, April 7 and 5 p.m. Thursday, April 8 Motus Theater will present two productions at CWA: JustUs Monologues and UndocuMonlogues, exploring stories about incarceration and life as an undocumented person in the U.S. There will be live music at each event.


7 p.m. Thursday, April 8 Jake Sally and his cohort of leading experts discuss the future of entertainment.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS WITH SHANNON WATTS AND REP. JOE NEGUSE: ENDING GUN VIOLENCE. Open Range Competition Teams Summer Day Camps Classes & Private Lessons

Target & Hunting Full Service Retail Pro Shop & Service Recurve & Compound

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2 p.m. Friday, April 9 Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, will be in conversation with Rep. Joe Neguse, Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District.


7 p.m. April 10 and 11. Reservations are limited: colorado.edu/cwa/2021/03/20/ebert-interruptus-returns-virtually-2021-cwa Ebert Interruptus is back this year with Lovers Rock — the second installment in Steve McQueen’s five-part Small Axe anthology. Interruptus host Josh Larsen named it his favorite film of 2020, and he’s returning to CWA to lead this year’s discussion virtually via Amazon Watch Party and Zoom.


2 p.m. Saturday, April 10 We have the costliest health care system in the world with only average outcomes. Panelists offer some solutions. 26


APRIL 1, 2021




Call 720.253.4710 All credit cards accepted No text messages

A Spate of Poets by Steve Elder They’re everywhere – ! behind bushes, on benches, under bridges, in the hedges, eyes shining too much. I’ll be the log in your fire place. Let our nostalgia be legendary. They’re at the margins of our outdoor cafes. They’re throughout our parks chirping and susurrating about the oneness of god’s love and ours. Let our cheeks touch as we close-read menus. I grew a new taste-bud to share with you. They sing under dumpsters and stand in awe on our prairies. Birds perch on their Outstretched arms. Let me take you to a language where the words EXPULSION, DESPICABLE and CATASTROPHE will never exist.

Steve Elder is in charge of Tea Service at the University of Colorado Law Library. BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


APRIL 1, 2021





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Dear Dan: I’ve been with my boyfriend interactions on Tinder as grounds, some for 2.5 years and we have a great relationwon’t (for the record: I don’t) — and just ship — or so I thought. Last week, I being a jealous or insecure or paranoid persnooped on my boyfriend’s browser history son doesn’t count. Additionally, anyone who and I don’t know what to do with what I is tempted to snoop with or without cause found. I’m a longtime reader and Savage needs to consider the not insignificant risk of Lovecast listener SO I KNOW WHAT I DID finding something they 1) didn’t need to WAS WRONG. I believe my actions were know and 2) can’t unknow. ... driven by 1) lingering trust issues (a while So you snooped, SNOOP, and what did ago, I found out my boyfriend had been you find out? Something you didn’t need to looking at Tinder since we’d been together, know — your boyfriend isn’t cheating on though I don’t believe he ever messaged or you, he doesn’t have a secret second family intended to meet anyone) in another city, he doesn’t ROMAN ROBINSON and 2) my general anxiety/ spend every other Friday depression, which seems duct taped to a sling in a gay particularly high one year into sex dungeon. All you know the pandemic. Now, to what I now that you’ve snooped found: My boyfriend has that you didn’t before is... been looking at random well, all you know now is women on Facebook — not something you should’ve people he’s friends with, or known all along. Your boypeople in his immediate netfriend, like most people’s work, so far as I know. And boyfriends (mine included), then he clears his activity log. likes to look at people on the What do you think this internet. If you have no other means? Where is he finding reason to suspect your partthese names/women? Is he ner is cheating on you, using these pictures to masturbate? Should I SNOOP, then you’ll have to do what everyraise the issue with him or just feel shitty one else does and give your partner the about invading his privacy? He gives me no benefit of the (very trivial) doubt here. other reason to not trust him, I should say, Discreetly checking out the hotties on the and he seems like a pretty open book. street or on Facebook or even on a dating (Everyone in my life who knows him app is not cheating. Masturbating to imagagrees.) However, I can’t shake the fear/ es, mental or otherwise, of other women or paranoia that he’s living a double life and I men or non-binary folks isn’t cheating. What don’t want to be blindsided. I would appreci- you found is not, by itself, proof that your ate your insight. boyfriend is cheating or plans to. So your —Sincerely Nervous Over Online Pattern snooping is not, I’m sorry to say, retroactively justified, which means you’ll have to shut Dear SNOOP: My position on snooping the fuck up about it. is more nuanced than you think. To quickly Your boyfriend is entitled to a zone of summarize: I DON’T NECESSARILY THINK erotic autonomy. If he’s checking out hot WHAT YOU DID WAS WRONG. I mean, people on the internet and having a wank snooping is wrong and I believe people have every once in a while but not touching anya right to privacy — even partnered people one else ... and if he’s not neglecting you — but sometimes a snooper finds out some- sexually and if he’s not being inconsiderate thing they needed to know and/or had a (clearing his browser history/activity log isn’t right to know. A woman who finds out her evidence of guilt, it’s evidence of considerhusband has been sneaking off to big gay ation) — then he’s done nothing wrong here. sex parties ... and then goes home and has Only you have. unprotected sex with her? Yeah. She needFinally, if your boyfriend demanded a ed to know that and her husband doesn’t zone of erotic autonomy for himself but get to play the wronged party because his denied you the same — if he checked out wife found out about it by snooping on his other women online or off but blew up at you phone. for checking out other men or being checked My position — my maddening position out by other men — then you’d have a prob— is that snooping can only be justified retlem of a different sort, i.e., a controlling, sexroactively. If you learned something you ist and hypocritical boyfriend. Thankfully, needed to know and had a right to know, the SNOOP, your boyfriend doesn’t appear to snooping was justified. If you didn’t, it wasn’t. be any of those things. A person should only snoop if they have Send questions to mail@savagelove. other evidence or cause for concern — net, follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage, some will regard your boyfriend’s harmless and visit savagelovecast.com. I



MARCH 21-APRIL 19: Playwright August Strindberg

(1849–1912) was a maverick innovator who loved to experiment with plot and language. One of his stories takes place in a dream and the hero is the Christ-like daughter of a Vedic god. He once said that he felt “an immense need to become a savage and create a new world.” Given your current astrological potentials, Aries, I suspect that might be an apt motto for you right now. APRIL FOOL’S! I half-lied. There’s no need for you to become a savage. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. But the coming weeks will definitely be a good time to start creating a new world.


APRIL 20-MAY 20: Who says all Tauruses are

gentle, risk-avoidant, sensible and reliable? Taurus author Mary MacLane (1861–1929), known as the “Wild Woman of Butte, Montana,” authored shocking, scandalous books. In I Await the Devil’s Coming, she testified, “I am not good. I am not virtuous. I am not generous. I am merely a creature of intense passionate feeling. I feel — everything. It is my genius. It burns me like fire.” Can I convince you, Taurus, to make her your role model for the coming weeks? APRIL FOOL’S! I don’t think you should be EXACTLY like MacLane. Please leave out the part about “I am not good. I am not virtuous. I am not generous,” as well as the “I await the devil’s coming” part. But yes, do be a creature of intensely passionate feeling. Let your feelings be your genius, burning in you like a fire.


MAY 21-JUNE 20: Poet Emily Dickinson had a good

sense of humor, so she was probably making a wry joke when she wrote, “The lovely flowers embarrass me. They make me regret I am not a bee.” But who knows? Maybe Emily was being a bit sincere, too. In any case, I advise you to make a list of all the things you regret not being — all the qualities and assets you wish you had, but don’t. It’s a favorable time to wallow in remorse. APRIL FOOL’S! I was totally lying! In fact, I hope you will do the reverse: Engage in an orgy of self-appreciation, celebrating yourself for being exactly who you are.


JUNE 21-JULY 22: Provocation specialist Lydia

Lunch is a singer and poet who’s skilled at generating interesting mischief. She testifies, “My daily existence is a battlecade of extreme fluctuations where chaos clobbers apathy, which beats the shit out of depression which follows irritability which slams into anger which eclipses ecstasy which slips through my fingers far too often.” In the coming weeks, Cancerian, I recommend you adopt her melodramatic approach to living the intense life. APRIL FOOL’S! I lied. Please don’t be like Lydia Lunch in the near future. On the contrary: Cultivate regal elegance, sovereign poise and dynamic equanimity.


JULY 23-AUG. 22: In 1692, a Swedish man named

Thiess of Kaltenbrun was put on trial for being a werewolf. He claimed to be a noble werewolf, however. He said he regularly went down to Hell to do holy combat against the Devil. I suggest you make him your inspirational role model in the coming weeks. Be as weird as you need to be in order to fight for what’s good and right. APRIL FOOL’S! I half-lied. What I really meant to say was: Be as weird as you need to be to fight for what’s good and right, but without turning into a werewolf, zombie, vampire or other supernatural monster.


AUG. 23-SEPT. 22: I want to hear raucous music, to

brush against bodies, to drink fiery Benedictine,” wrote author Anais Nin. “Beautiful women and handsome men arouse fierce desires in me. I want to dance. I want drugs. I want to know perverse people, to be intimate with them. I want to bite into life. All that sounds like perfect counsel for you to consider right now, dear Virgo! APRIL FOOL’S! I lied. Nin’s exuberant testimony might be an interesting perspec-


tive to flirt with — if the COVID-19 virus had been completely tamed. But it hasn’t. So I must instead suggest that you find ways to express this lively, unruly energy in safe and sublimated ways.


SEPT. 23-OCT. 22: Here are affirmations that will serve you well in the coming days. 1) “I am willing to make mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from them.” 2) “I am grateful that I’m not as judgmental as all the shortsighted, self-righteous people.” 3) “I assume full responsibility for my actions, except those that are someone else’s fault.” 4) “A good scapegoat is as welcome as a solution to the problem.” APRIL FOOL’S! All the preceding affirmations are total bunk! Don’t you dare use them. Use these instead: 1) “I enjoy taking responsibility for my actions.” 2) “Rather than indulging in the reflex to blame, I turn my attention to fixing the problem.” 3) “No one can make me feel something I don’t want to feel.” 4) “I’m free from believing in the images people have of me.”

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OCT. 23-NOV. 21: According to author Kahlil Gibran, “If

we were all to sit in a circle and confess our sins, we would laugh at each other for lack of originality.” But I challenge you Scorpios to refute that theory in the coming days. For the sake of your sanity and health, you need to commit highly original sins — the more, the better. APRIL FOOL’S! I lied. Save your novel, imaginative sinning for later. The truth is that now is an excellent time to explore the joyous and healthy practice of being extremely virtuous. Imitate author Susan Sontag: “My idolatry: I’ve lusted after goodness. Wanting it here, now, absolutely, increasingly.”


NOV. 22-DEC. 21: The coming months would be a great

time to start your own university and then award yourself a Ph.D. in Drugless Healing or Mathematical Reincarnation or Political Metaphysics — or any other subject you’d like to be considered an expert in. Hey, why not give yourself three Ph.D.s and call yourself a Professor Emeritus? APRIL FOOL’S! I’m just joking. The coming months will indeed be an extremely favorable time to advance your education, but with real learning, not fake credentials.

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DEC. 22-JAN. 19: After his Nirvana bandmate Kurt

Cobain committed suicide, Capricorn drummer Dave Grohl was depressed for months. To cheer himself up, he wrote and recorded an album’s worth of songs, playing almost all the instruments himself: drums, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass and vocals. I think you should try a similar spectacularly heroic solo task in the coming weeks. APRIL FOOL’S! I lied. Here’s my true and actual advice: Now is a time when you should gather all the support and help and cooperation you can possibly garner for an interesting project.


JAN. 20-FEB. 18: Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik told

her psychoanalyst León Ostrov that if she were going to steal something, it would be “the façade of a certain collapsed house in a little town called Fontenayaux-Roses [near Paris].” What was so special about this façade? Its windows were made of “magical” lilac-colored glass that was “like a beautiful dream.” In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you, too, to decide what marvel you would steal — and then go steal it! APRIL FOOL’S! I half-lied. Yes, definitely decide what you would steal — it’s important to give your imagination permission to be outrageous — but don’t actually steal it.





FEB. 19-MARCH 20: I’ve never understood the appeal

of singer-songwriter Morrissey, especially since he began endorsing bigoted far-right politicians. However, I want to recommend that you adopt the attitude he once expressed in a letter to a friend. “It was a terrible blow to hear that you actually worked,” he wrote. “It’s so old-fashioned to work. I’d much rather lounge about the house all day looking fascinating.” Be like that in the coming weeks, Pisces! APRIL FOOL’S! I lied. In fact, you’d be making a silly mistake to lie around the house looking fascinating. It’s a highly favorable time for you to find ways to work harder and smarter.


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Friday, March 26 Saturday, April 3, 2021 Overflowing with cultural destinations, public art, and home to thousands of artists: Boulder ranks among the top art cities. Boulder Arts Week is Boulder’s only large-scale, inclusive celebration of our community’s vibrant arts, culture and thriving creativity. In 2021, Boulder Arts Week will feature virtual and COVID safe art walks, exhibitions, performances, dance, music, theater, public art, readings, and workshops. Join us to show your love for our arts community! Street Wise Arts. In progress photo of “Portrait of Sojourner Truth” by Jodie Herrera as part of Street Wise Boulder. Photo credit Peter Kowalchuk.



APRIL 1, 2021




And the nominees are... IFS to screen 15 short films vying for three Academy Awards

by Michael J. Casey


lmost two months later than last year’s ceremony and encompassing two venues, 2021’s Academy Awards will cap the cinematic year that couldn’t get started and never seemed to end. On Sunday, April 25, it’ll be Oscar night on ABC with hopeful nominees appropriately distanced inside Hollywood’s Dolby Theater and Los Angeles’ Union Station. Speaking of those nominees, a total of 56 movies will compete in 23 categories for statues. And if you don’t know by now, almost all of them you can see at home via a half-dozen streaming services, Video on Demand or virtual theaters. CU Boulder’s International Film Series’ virtual theater is where you’ll find the 15 nominees for the Animated, Live Action and Documentary Short Subjects. Of the three categories, Live Action stands tallest. All five shorts are solid, from Feeling Through’s gentle portrait of humanity to the professionally acted The Letter Room, while the remaining three, The Present, Two Distant Strangers and White Eye, explore divisions of class, nationality and race with cinematic flair. Especially Two Distant Strangers, which takes the all-too-familiar interaction and outcome of white cop/black civilian and gives it a Groundhog Day twist. It’s a clever distillation of 2020 that is at once funny and frustrating. Two Distant Strangers is one of the many nominees from black filmmakers — a considerable improvement from Oscar nominations past. Before this year, only two short documentaries from black filmmakers had been nomi-

nated, which doubles with this year alone: A Concerto is a Conversation and A Love Song for Latasha. Both are good, but Concerto — which bridges the gap between a grandfather, entrepreneur Horace Bowers Sr., born in the Jim Crow South, and grandson, composer Kris Bowers — really sings. Both men found success, and both share their stories with intimacy and insight thanks to a piece of camera equipment that allows them to talk directly to each other and the viewer simultaneously. It’s that direct address that makes Concerto more than just the story of two people. Ditto for Two Distant Strangers. These shorts have specificity, but not in a limiting sense. The same goes for the animated If Anything Happens I Love You, which depicts grief in the aftermath of a mass shooting. It’s beautiful, powerful and heartbreaking, and finds hope, even in the absence of answers. Some monsters we will never be free from. But as Two Distant Strangers reminds us: That’s just the way it is; some things will never change. All 15 nominees — plus three bonus “Highly Commended” shorts in the Animation category — are available at internationalfilmseries.com, starting April 2. Then on April 25, the Dairy Arts Center will host its annual Oscar watch party. Tickets are $25 and include food and a glass of bubbly. There’ll be a contest to predict the winners and trivia breaks hosted by master of ceremonies Stephanie Rudy. And for those of you who don’t yet feel comfortable congregating, the Dairy will livestream the festivities — info at thedairy.org.





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Cork Burger @ Boulder Cork

THE BOULDER CORK is a classic steak house, with a menu full of filet, sirloin, flatiron, prime rib and other cuts of beef, as well as seafood, pork and veg options. If you’re looking to experience the quality of the Cork, but want something more casual, we suggest the Cork Burger, which we devoured on a recent visit. A whopping beef patty is grilled to your preference; it’s tender, flavorful and imbued with the flavor of smoke. It’s set between a brioche bun with your choice of add-ons like cheese and bacon. It’s a classic burger, made with topnotch beef, and best enjoyed with a beverage from the Cork’s ample bar.


1 Cured donates $30,000 in sales in wake of shooting BOULDER’S CURED is an exceptional shop with a unique array of culinary goodies that keep us coming back. But owners Will and Coral Frischkorn are also exceptional people, and so they decided to donate 100% of sales last Saturday, March 27, to a variety of organizations pushing for gun reform as well as those supporting the families of the victims of the recent shooting. The response was massive — in fact, it was Cured’s biggest day of sales ever. In all, more than 300 people bought more than $30,000 worth of goods. Wrote the shop on social media: “Thank you for joining us, during one of the hardest years we’ve all faced, in the middle of a pandemic, to raise an incredible amount of money. We hope you’ll join us in raising a glass tonight to hope, community and the future.” More fundraisers are popping up at restaurants across Boulder County, including one on April 6 at Noodles & Co. We’ll keep you posted on more opportunities to support our community in this way. BOULDER WEEKLY


Twisted Pine kitchen reopening BOULDER’S TWISTED PINE Brewing reopened its kitchen this week; now you’ll be able to stop by seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m. to sample a limited menu featuring staples like pizzas, wings and pretzels. That, of course, is offered in conjunction with a beer lineup that includes classics like the Trail Blazer blond ale, Billy’s Chilies spicy wheat ale, several IPAs and much more. And, kudos to Twisted Pine: last weekend, $1 of every pint sold (almost $500 in total) was directed toward the Colorado Healing Fund, which supports the families of the shooting victims. For more info, head to twistedpinebrewing.com.

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APRIL 1, 2021



Boulder breweries shine at international beer competition by Matt Cortina


epending on who you ask, the beer awards held in the highest regard (at least around these parts) might be those earned at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the locally launched, internationally renowned beer competition that honors the best brews in dozens of styles. That’s for good reason: GABF brings together some of the best brewers in the country, and pitting so many entries side by side illuminates which beers stand out and are thus worthy of acclaim. But it’s not the only beer competition, and far from the only one whose awards are considered prestigious across the industry. There’s the World Beer Cup, the U.S. Open Beer Championship (which admirably makes beer-drinking sound like a


sport), and the New York International Beer Competition (NYIBC), which recently announced its 2021 winners. Now in its 10th year, the NYIBC separates itself from other competitions by choosing as its judges people in the beer and beverage industry: retail store buyers, sommeliers, Cicerones (beer sommeliers), restaurant beverage directors, hoteliers, distributors and importers. This year there were more than 800 entries, from breweries in 14 countries, in the 40 judged categories, which included state-specific awards. Gunbarrel’s Beyond the Mountain Brewing took home Colorado Brewery of the Year, with plenty of accolades for individual brews: Klaus’s Kölsch (gold, German-style kölsch); Sour Shakedown Party (silver, Americanstyle sour ale); and Prima Mexicana

(bronze, Vienna-style lager). And in its first year entering the competition, Boulder’s Sanitas Brewing Company took home the award for Colorado Ale Brewery of the Year. It also won a silver medal for its Passion Fruit Sour and a bronze for its Black IPA. “The [NYIBC] is one of the most legitimate competitions in the beer world, so to get two of our best-selling beers to win awards and to be named Colorado Ale Brewery of the Year was awesome,” said Sanitas Brewing Company co-founder Michael Memsic, in a press release. “It’s exciting that our beer is becoming more recognized, because it signifies to us that the changes and improvements we’ve made to our products are paying off.” Memsic added that he’s “extremely optimistic” about the upcoming spring and summer seasons, as Sanitas, like other breweries, has implemented improvements to its

space to meet COVID safety protocols, and estimates all employees will be vaccinated by May. It’s also got that big outdoor patio and drinking area. For Beyond the Mountain, the NYIBC accolades are a well-earned recognition of the unique craft beer the almost-4-year-old brewery has been cranking out. Owners and brewers Charles Hixon and Morgan Way had been homebrewing together since college before opening the brewery. And, by the way, Boulder’s American Homebrew Association is hosting the annual Big Brew for National Homebrew Day on May 1. Everything you need to participate (recipes, places to get ingredients, tips and videos) is available at homebrewersassociation.org/aha-events/ national-homebrew-day. And who knows, maybe you’ll end up a few years down the line with international beer awards like Beyond the Mountain and Sanitas.



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APRIL 1, 2021




Audacious growth

Boulder-based kombucha titan Rowdy Mermaid launches a new immunity-boosting beverage

by Matt Cortina


owdy Mermaid and its founder, Jamba Dunn, have always done things differently. Almost a decade ago, Dunn was just a Boulder dad with a doctorate in philosophy. With some time on his hands, after his corporate employer downsized the company, he started brewing kombucha in his garage. He had a feeling kombucha didn’t have to be so acidic, so vinaigrous, so sugary, but the beverage hadn’t yet boomed and alternatives to the few brands in existence were minimal. So he took his research background and a handful of herbs from the garden and created a kombucha that appealed to even his 3-year-old daughter — and, as it turns out, basically everyone. Selling kombucha fortified with ingredients that maximize its health benefits, Rowdy Mermaid launched and then grew, quickly. “I unwittingly started the first functional kombucha company, and it’s a category that still hasn’t really been segmented out,” Dunn says. “Because of that and because of the taste of our kombucha being very mild in terms of acidity and aggressiveness of flavor, we’ve always reached a broad range of consumers; people who didn’t like kombucha but liked what we were making, but also people in the diehard category. … It meant overnight we kind of reached a broad audience.” BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


Now, with Rowdy Mermaid soon to be available in Whole Foods nationwide, a rabid fan base, and the distinction of being the biggest single contributor to the growth of the kombucha market, Dunn and company are launching Adaptonic, a tonic featuring fruits, herbs and an extract of the immunityboosting reishi mushroom, known as the “mushroom of immortality,” loaded with health-boosting beta-glucans, which are known to boost immunity and reduce inflammation. Mushrooms are having a moment in the natural foods space, as are “immunity” beverages, but Adaptonic is a new kind of beverage, for all intents and purposes. It doesn’t taste like mushrooms, Dunn says, just the flavors added to it. (The first launch includes ashwagandha blackberry, matcha yuzu, strawberry holy basil and chamomile lime.) Those flavors will appeal to those perusing beverage sections, but, just like when Rowdy Mermaid launched before the kombucha boom, it’ll have to educate consumers on what exactly an adoptogenic tonic is. Dunn says he’s up for the challenge. “When I got into kombucha in 2012, only 5% of the U.S. population knew what kombucha was at the time,” he says. “I think people forget that because kombucha is so now widely available; it seems like most people know what it is. There was a time, a very short time ago, when very few people knew what we were doing. Everything we were doing was part of an educational process. “I’m convinced that people will gravitate toward the product,” he continues, “and APRIL 1, 2021

hopefully our consumers will do their own research, but right now there’s nobody asking for beta-glucans.” Dunn says the product launch isn’t about grabbing more market space, but the result of taking a beat during the pandemic and thinking about how the company could leverage its ample resources (it has an inhouse genetics lab and several other doctorate degrees on staff) to make something new that people looking to maximize the health impacts of their food and drink might want. The company shelved the release of other kombucha flavors (though it is launching the caffeinated Grapefruit Rise this year as well), and looked for other options. “We didn’t have a whole lot else to do at that time,” Dunn says. “We dug into the different ingredients we use, we read peerreviewed research papers. As a kombucha company that has always worked with mushrooms, [that’s] one of the areas we looked at.” Introducing a new product in the notoriously difficult beverage market serves as a significant marker in the mind-boggling growth of Rowdy Mermaid. Dunn says, with a laugh, that when he launched the first Rowdy Mermaid taproom (created, in part, to normalize drinking kombucha instead of alcohol, and thus to deter drunk driving), he wrote on a board in his office “Boulder >> Telluride >> the World.” Such audacious dreams would be met with laughter by others, too, if it didn’t turn out to be the exact path Rowdy Mermaid is taking. I


Running on CBD

ment has made it hard for scientists to conduct large-scale scientific research on it. Now that is finally starting to change. Dokken references one 2019 study from the University of Colorado Boulder published in Frontiers of Public Health, in which researchers from CU’s department of psychology and neuroscience, and the CU Institute of Cognitive Science, surveyed 605 cannabis users in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington about the relationship between their cannabis use and their exercise. Not only did that study find that many cannabis users in legal states were already using cannabis in conjunction with working out, but the researchers concluded that “most who do so believe it increases enjoyment of, recovery from, and to some extent the motivation to engage in exercise.” Another research paper, published in 2020 in Sports Med - Open by the University of Sydney (USYD), suggests something similar. The literature review found preliminary evidence that CBD has “antiinflammatory, neuroprotective, analgesic, and anxiolytic,” properties that it could protect against GI damage and “promote the healing of traumatic skeletal injuries.” This kind of preliminary research from accredited institutions like CU and USYD is starting to trickle in as the legal status of cannabis slowly starts to shift. And it’s all generally supporting what athletes like Dokken have been saying all along: CBD has a lot of potential as an athletic supplement — especially when compared to its alternatives. “When I was an athletic trainer for the Colorado Avalanche, I routinely handed out every narcotic and

Why CBD is quickly becoming a favorite workout supplement and recovery aid among ultra-athletes

by Will Brendza


efore daybreak on Saturday mornings, as most of Boulder sleeps, Flavie Dokken laces up her running shoes and prepares for her routine fivehour morning run. It’s just part of her training regimen as an endurance athlete. But before she starts a big training day like this, she pops a 5-mg CBD/THC fast-acting sativa gummy — and then she’s off. “I use [CBD] just as a tool to really get the best out of my training,” Dokken says. It helps her stay cool, calm and collected on her runs; it helps reduce inflammation in her joints and speeds up her recovery, she explains. “For any long training activity and then also post-race, I will always incorporate some type of CBD.” Dokken is a former bodybuilder, U.S. Army veteran, an ultra-marathon maestro and a WANA Brand Athlete. She’s been using cannabis in conjunction with her workouts for some time, but it wasn’t until after cannabis had been legalized in Colorado that she discovered the utility of CBD. And it’s changing her workouts. Not only by improving her function during a race, but by dramatically improving her ability to recover afterwards, she says. “It’s a great tool, among other ones, to recover and train better. It’s just a really healthy component.” Until recently, athletes like Dokken have had to rely solely on anecdotal claims to justify their CBD use. CBD’s ambiguous legal status with the federal govern-

opiate you can think of,” says Pat Kearns, a certified athletic trainer and EMT with more than three decades of experience. “There are a lot of problems associated with taking all those medications and all the side effects.” That didn’t sit well with Kearns. Which is why he says he took an interest in CBD very early on as an athletic trainer. He traveled to the University of Jerusalem to study cannabinoids and became so confident in the beneficial effects of CBD he’s been recommending it to his athletic clients ever since. “They welcome it,” Kearns says. “There’s a lot of athletes that are taking it. Current professional athletes. Playing athletes.” Kearns is also currently involved in his own ongoing research on CBD’s benefits for athletes. Using quantitative electroencephalogram and neuro-psychological exams, he’s testing the effects of CBD on the brains of retired professional athletes. His pilot study involved 24 subjects from different sports between the ages of 38 and 72, testing their brain function over a period of 24 weeks. And he says, so far, the results of that study have been really promising. “We saw the [athlete’s] brain calm down. We saw an increase of brain function as well as output, which we measured in volts,” Kearns says. “I’m a researcher and I want solid numbers — black and white. So, when you show me a brainwave and an output that’s been increased by four to five volts over the course of six to eight weeks, that’s pretty significant.” Despite all this promising preliminary research, however, robust evidence is still lacking and skepticism among medical and scientific communities remains. That’s why these studies from USYD and CU both conclude — and Kearns and Dokken agree — further scientific research in this area is crucial. Both Dokken and Kearns recommend people try incorporating CBD into their workouts. “I always recommend that you find what works best for you,” Dokken says. “And this works for me.” “It’s plant-based,” Kearns adds. “It’s something that’s available and it’s something that could help people’s performance on and off the field.”

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Boulder Weekly 4.01.21  

news, analysis, Second Amendment, far right, Boulder, agenda, media, shooting, Dairy Arts Center, Create Nations Center, events, Boulder Str...

Boulder Weekly 4.01.21  

news, analysis, Second Amendment, far right, Boulder, agenda, media, shooting, Dairy Arts Center, Create Nations Center, events, Boulder Str...