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The milliondollar question
When will live music return to Boulder County? by Caitlin Rockett
What does the bottoming out of oil prices mean for Colorado’s oil and gas producers and the communities that live near wells by Matt Cortina
Maris Herold takes the helm at Boulder Police Department by Angela K. Evans
State and federal officials deal with an increase of fraud related to the coronavirus pandemic by Angela K. Evans
Pro tips on physical distancing from the nonhuman world by Maya L. Kapoor, High Country News
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Boulder County’s live music businesses face the facts and prepare for the future... one that might not include gathering for a while by Caitlin Rockett
Other Lives’ Jesse Tabish on isolation, connection and finding his voice by Caitlin Rockett
Five employees at a meatpacking plant in Greeley have died of COVID-19, underscoring issues of inequity in the U.S. food production industry by Matt Cortina
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Guest Column: Highly recommended: ‘Planet of the Humans’ Letters: Signed, sealed, delivered... your views News: Good Samaritan delivery driver helps stranger in need News: Federal judge orders ORR and ICE to release minors with ‘greater speed’ What to do when there’s nothing to do: by Boulder Weekly Staff Film: IFS’ virtual theater brings ‘Satantango’ home Savage Love: Aroused state Food/Drink: Food news and what to try this week in Boulder County Beer: Will this recession be brought to you by the letter V, U, W or L? Astrology: by Rob Brezsny Words: ‘When we howl’ by Lee FG Cannabis Corner: CIA: You’re not necessarily a bad man, ‘Mr. Brown’
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Publisher, Fran Zankowski Circulation Manager, Cal Winn EDITORIAL Editor, Matt Cortina Senior Editor, Angela K. Evans Arts and Culture Editor, Caitlin Rockett Special Editions Editor, Michael J. Casey Adventure Editor, Emma Athena Contributing Writers, Peter Alexander, Dave Anderson, Will Brendza, Rob Brezsny, Paul Danish, Sarah Haas, Jim Hightower, Dave Kirby, John Lehndorff, Rico Moore, Amanda Moutinho, Leland Rucker, Dan Savage, Josh Schlossberg, Alan Sculley, Ryan Syrek, Christi Turner, Betsy Welch, Tom Winter, Gary Zeidner SALES AND MARKETING Retail Sales Manager, Allen Carmichael Account Executives, Matthew Fischer, Sami Wainscott Market Development Manager, Kellie Robinson Advertising Coordinator, Corey Basciano Bookkeeper, Regina Campanella Mrs. Boulder Weekly, Mari Nevar PRODUCTION Art Director, Susan France Senior Graphic Designer, Mark Goodman Graphic Designer, Daisy Bauer CIRCULATION TEAM Dave Hastie, Dan Hill, George LaRoe, Jeffrey Lohrius, Elizabeth Ouslie, Rick Slama Founder/CEO, Stewart Sallo Editor-at-Large, Joel Dyer
April 30, 2020 Volume XXVII, Number 37 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. 690 South Lashley Lane, Boulder, CO, 80305 p 303.494.5511 f 303.494.2585 firstname.lastname@example.org www.boulderweekly.com Boulder Weekly is published every Thursday. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. © 2020 Boulder Weekly, Inc., all rights reserved.
welcomes your correspondence via email (letters@ boulderweekly.com) or the comments section of our website at www.boulderweekly.com. Preference will be given to short letters (under 300 words) that deal with recent stories or local issues, and letters may be edited for style, length and libel. Letters should include your name, address and telephone number for verification. We do not publish anonymous letters or those signed with pseudonyms. Letters become the property of Boulder Weekly and will be published on our website.
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Inside: Why are meatpacking employees in Colorado dying of COVID-19?
ive workers in the JBS meatpacking facility in Greeley have died of COVID-19. This is due in part to high numbers of the disease in Weld County, but also, critics say, slow responses from local and federal lawmakers, and the company, to ensure the plant has necessary safety protocols in place. The COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths in meat processing facilities across the country underscore issues of inequity between major corporations and their employees, many of whom are refugees and first-generation Americans. Just this week, the Trump administration announced an executive order to keep meat processing facilities open despite COVID-19 outbreaks (and subsequent closures at several plants across the U.S.) Said Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump consistently showed American workers that he puts profits over people. The news that the president will invoke the Defense Production Act to secure the nation’s food supply, instead of mandating OSHA to ensure meat processing plants are safe for workers, sends a clear message about his administration’s priorities: corporate billionaires’ profits are more important than human lives.” Labor groups like the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union are calling for safety protocols like regular testing and quarantining of at-risk workers (with pay) as well as better paid sick leave policies. Read more on page 30. I
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Highly recommended: ‘Planet of the Humans’ by Gary Wockner
With twice the current population, will there be left any wilderness areas, remote and quiet places, habitat for song birds, water fowl and other wild creatures? Certainly not very much.” — Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day
lanet of the Humans — the sweeping and highly controversial film by executive producer Michael Moore and filmmaker Jeff Gibbs — has been viewed 3.4 million times on YouTube as of this writing. That’s great news because the film is one of the most important environmental documentaries of the 21st century so far. The film goes where no environmental documentary has gone before, deep into criticism of the American environmental movement over the last two decades, a criticism that is long overdue and necessary. First and foremost, the film’s major premise is that the American environmental movement completely ignores the “elephant in the room” — human population growth. The filmmaker, Jeff Gibbs, as well as other experts interviewed in the film make this point several times: “Though each of them takes climate change seriously, every expert I talked to wanted to bring my attention to the same underlying problem.” — Jeff Gibbs “There are too many human beings using too much, too fast.” — Richard Heinberg “As a global community we have really got to start dealing with the issue of population.” — Steven Churchill “Population growth continues to be, not the elephant, the herd of elephants in the room.” — Nina Jablonski There are, in fact, very few environmental groups that even have population programs — the Center for Biological Diversity being a notable exception — while none of the groups highlighted in the film have population programs. 6
The famous environmentalist and Sierra Club Director, David Brower once said that, “Population is pollution spelled inside out,” but Brower’s successors at the Sierra Club have erased Brower’s population legacy at the Club. Further, no environmental group — as in none — has a program about reducing population growth in the U.S., a country whose rapidly growing populace is among the biggest consumers and polluters in the world. Second, the film makes a case that the American environmental movement has “sold out” to corporations and polluters due to financial ties and gifts. There is some truth in this premise, but there’s even more truth in the fact that “corporation sell-out” is not the biggest problem, but rather sellout to huge foundation donors and individual donors is more problematic. As just one of hundreds of examples, the Energy Foundation, based in San Francisco, is headed by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, who has long been an outspoken champion and cheerleader for fracked gas as a “mission critical fuel” in the clean energy economy. The Energy Foundation funds almost every organization mentioned in the film, and has deep influence in the American environmental movement including on the leading political-environmental organization, the League of Conservation Voters and its many state affiliates. Every environmental group has some level of ties to its larger donors’ influences, and the bigger the group, the more often and pronounced the influence. There are paths forward that allow groups to avoid these influences — such as having very strict “mission” and “conflict” policies, and relying on small donors rather than large — but as environmental groups grow in size, these paths are almost always overwhelmed by donor influence. Third and finally, the film makes a case that renewable energy has an environmental footprint that is often neglected in wholesale support for APRIL 30, 2020
“clean energy” as the technological solution to climate change. It’s important that this case be made because the implications of building exponentially more wind and solar or biofuels, and more electric cars, are often ignored or greenwashed by environmental groups. Although much of the film’s footage and argument is now outdated, there’s a section in the middle showing a sequence of images and words with hectic music that hits hard on these important issues. For example, the impacts of mining rare metals, the impacts of lithium mining, and the impacts of all of the other materials used in clean energy and batteries is often ignored. The film hits on the issue of electric cars, also with outdated information and footage, but this issue is only accelerating now. The environmental footprint of building cars, fueling cars with electricity, and storing that electricity in the car and on the grid is often ignored by environmental groups, especially when the world needs over a billion cars. There’s just too many people wanting too much energy — there’s no way to produce this energy without massive negative environmental impacts. Planet of the Humans has intense critics, and I highly encourage readers to read and investigate those criticisms. You can google reviews of the film, or take a look at three — by 1) Bill McKibben, 2) Emily Atkin, and 3) Josh Fox. I greatly respect all three of these voices — as well as the many others criticizing the film — and I encourage a broad public dialogue about the film and its criticisms. My two main criticisms of the film are 1) that it puts too much blame on the American environmental movement and some specific environmental groups. The juggernaut we are fighting against is a thousand times bigger than most of the budgets of the groups combined. Further, the biggest groups with the biggest budgets are the biggest problem, in my opinion, and thus the film lumps “environmentalism” all together when the activities of The Nature Conservancy (which is sometimes called “The Nature Conspiracy” — it has a huge budget, is corporate/market-driven, and arguably very sold out) are very different I
than 350.org (very small budget, somewhat radical and anti-corporate, and mostly true to its tight mission). And 2) is the “gotcha” journalism tactic of sticking microphones in ecocelebrities’ faces and asking an adversarial question, and then tightly editing those quotes to achieve a specific gotcha outcome. I happened to be at the climate march in September 2014, and I can personally attest to the rightwing attack journalism that was on display at that particular event. While Mr. Gibbs’ questioning wasn’t exactly “right-wing attack,” it was “adversarial.” I strongly believe that if filmmakers of this stature — Moore and Gibbs — would have given the eco-celebrities the opportunity to have a thoughtful interview, each would’ve done so with a different result. Despite its faults, I highly recommend Planet of the Humans. Its main premise — that environmental groups are selling “hopium” and have degenerated into corporate-greenwashed advocacy for technological solutions to climate change — is an important beginning for discussion. Second, the film then forces a necessary discussion about what environmentalism needs to become, which is a comprehensive critique and advocacy against human overpopulation, overconsumption and overdevelopment. We need to have a positive aim of creating societies with fewer people, more protected areas and economies that support limited numbers of people comfortably rather than in energy-resource luxury. Moore and Gibbs released Planet of the Humans on Earth Day, the founder of which, Gaylord Nelson, was a staunch believer that human overpopulation was a key driver of environmental degradation. Since Earth Day 1970, the U.S. population has increased by exactly 60%, from 205 million to 328 million, and is expected to reach 440 million by the year 2065 — which will likely be 440 million high energy consumers and high resource consumers. The U.S. is a country of humans, on a planet of humans, with no end in sight. Gary Wockner, Ph.D., is an environmental activist and part-time Boulder resident. This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly. BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
‘Safer at home’ move-in order
Governor Polis has decisions to make with this pandemic. I think he has made the wrong one recently. In opening up the state for some businesses, testing was not mentioned, although I am sure he would prefer to have readily available testing. Without the ability to test, this modest opening he proposes is risky. With our limited testing, we have to assume that everyone is a possible carrier of the virus and staying away from everyone, is the safest thing to do. The estimates of infected Coloradans average between 13,000 and 33,000. Why wouldn’t there be an increase in new cases even though “social distancing must continue” for seniors and those with pre-existing conditions. A “potential” is mentioned of having “to return to a more cautious approach if the state sees a spike in new cases.” And why wouldn’t there be more infections (and deaths) unless we can test? In this modest “opening,” we are the guinea pigs. Some businesses are to open (such as restaurants) with social distancing within them. Some other businesses are to open with the practitioners and maybe the customers wearing masks. For dentists and those working with hair and doing tattoos, social distancing (six feet) is not possible. I don’t want people to be kept from working and I don’t want to see people get sick and possibly die. Of course if more people get the virus, (and why wouldn’t they?) we will be back to social distancing and shuttered businesses. We all, but especially the workers, are at risk in this proposal. I keep hearing: testing, testing, testing is necessary for a safe opening up of the economy. It looks like we are just giving up on testing and going ahead with this dubious experiment? Not me. Patricia Youngson/Boulder
The suspicious firing of CU Professor Detlev Helmig
Distinguished CU scientist and professor Detlev Helmig was recently fired by the University. Professor Helmig studied and monitored air pollution, particularly the sources of BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
local air pollution in our northern Colorado area. His research established the connection between our polluted air and the massive oil and gas activities locally occurring. Professor Helmig’s work made Colorado a safer, healthier place. In return, it appears that CU allowed powerful interests to convince them to fire him. Many faculty at CU and other universities have private projects going on, some that make them money, some that don’t. Yet CU fires only the one researcher who speaks up loudest about the dangers that the oil and gas industry impose on our communities and on our world. Oil and gas production causes pollution that shortens lives; burning oil and gas damages our atmosphere as well as our lungs. We need to move on from fossil fuels, yet CU has now made anyone who works to reduce fossil fuel use feel less safe about trying to do so. Shame on CU for apparently allowing the oil and gas industry to direct their personnel decisions. The public demands an independent, third-party investigation into the firing of Professor Helmig and his reinstatement if it is found that political and financial pressure from the oil industry played a role in this highly suspicious termination. Judy Lubow/Boulder
Want a donation? Check Danish. There are many people, businesses and organizations that need support during these challenging times. While BW “...is dedicated to illuminating the truth, advancing justice and protecting the First Amendment...,” there is responsibility that comes with these excellent aspirations. Amongst other things, responsibility to give verifiably correct information and to not engage in activities such as race-baiting. Paul Danish has failed to meet these standards and your editors have not held him accountable. Race-baiting was discussed by Chris Malley in his letter in your 4/2/20 issue. In the 4/16/20 Danish Plan, hydroxychloroquine (HC) usage is repeatedly promoted to the readership for COVID-19 often associated with “wink-wink” smug hyperbole. Just I
because he read and/or heard something about HC and COVID-19 doesn’t make him a medical authority any more than reading a manual about flying would make one of your editors an advisor for 747 pilots. After Danish disses Fauci (and by implication innumerable well-educated, experienced, thoughtful, careful and appropriate medical practitioners) for Trump’s utterly uninformed, asinine assertions about HC, he suggests folks seek black market availability. Quinine and its congeners have side effects — occasionally including something called Torsades de Pointes, a lethal cardiac arrhythmia. This is why these medicines are only available by prescription from licensed practitioners who have spent years learning the medical field. That’s not “safe enough” for the population at large to be taking willy-nilly. If letting Danish use dog-whistle tactics to race-bait and give specific inappropriate medical advice is part of being a responsible news organization, the BW might want to take a closer look in the mirror. No way I’ll financially support BW with Danish being given a mouthpiece for his inappropriate claptrap. Mark Cole, MD/Boulder
Don’t be fooled; you do have a choice
We cannot lose focus over clear differences between two imperfect APRIL 30, 2020
political parties. The Supreme Court, the raping of our public lands and national parks, and the future of federal involvement with renewable energy research are clearly on the line. There’s a specific example of how the two parties differ at the Department of Energy’s Golden Field Office for Renewable Energy Research. During George W. Bush’s administration, when Republicans held the majority in the Senate, the Geothermal Program (a pet program for then Senator Harry Reid of Nevada) was targeted for extinction. I was working on the program from 2004 to 2008. The budget was slashed and only enough money was left in 2005 ($5 million) to close out all research projects that existed. We were in extreme scale back mode with about two dozen recipients across the western U.S. Then, the 2006 Congressional election gave control of the Senate back to Democrats. One of the first items they passed? With Harry Reid as Majority Leader, they added $50 million to Department of Energy Geothermal Research — We had more than a dozen new projects to administer. There is a difference between the two parties. It’s just that you don’t always see it because the media is so caught-up in what they do. Pete Simon/Arvada I
Wells abundant, but the market runneth dry
What does the bottoming out of oil prices mean for Coloradoâ€™s oil and gas producers and the communities that live near wells?
By Matt Cortina
n April 21, crude oil prices dropped below $0 per barrel, meaning companies were paying others to unburden themselves from oil contracts. The numbers 8
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have since fluctuated, and forecasts are murky. Natural gas prices have experienced similar volatility. So what does that mean for the oil and gas industry in Colorado? And what for the people who live near operations and are concerned about the long-term environmental impacts? 2020 has not been kind to the industry so far (as opposed to, well, no one). Whiting Energy, in North I
BOULDER COUNTYâ€™S INDEPENDENT VOICE
Dakota, filed for bankruptcy on April 1. Furloughs and layoffs have been reported at Colorado oil and gas companies, and stock prices have dropped dramatically. “Investor confidence in the industry is low,” says Morgan Bazilian, director of the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines. “Share prices were already falling prior to the pandemic and they’ve dropped precipitously. The biggest oil and gas producer was Andarko, now Occidental. Their share price went from something like $60 down to $7. ... We’ve already seen that going forward this is not a blip. This is a massive detrimental time for the industry.” Blame for the drop in oil prices is laid at the feet (by industry members and some experts) on the refusal of companies overseas to cut oil prices, combined with lower demand during worldwide stay-at-home orders. Locally, some have claimed that regulatory uncertainty caused by SB 181 has impacted their bottom lines. Dan Haley, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA), says though the market drop is impacting the industry, the factors that led to its bottoming out may not be long-lasting. “Last week’s drastic price drop reflected an oversupplied market, a decrease in demand driven by the coronavirus, and an emerging storage issue as May contracts were expiring,” Haley says. “However, I would argue that the long-term fundamentals of the industry are sound.” But another contributing factor — some say the largest — is that the oil and gas industry is heavily indebted. North American oil and gas companies currently own more than $200 billion in debt. Meanwhile, depending on the region, estimates are that companies need oil to be make around $30-$50 per barrel to be cash-flow positive, and hundreds are at risk of bankruptcy if prices dip below $20 per barrel for a sustained period of time, says Micah Park of 350 Colorado, a environmental advocacy group. “This has always been an unsustainable industry,” Parkin says. BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
“They’ve never had one year of positive cash flow in aggregate whether they were high oil prices or low prices. They’re called zombie companies because they’ve been surviving on borrowing just to service the current interest of debt. They’re not even able to pay down their debt.” Low bond rates and the fact that Colorado has one of the lowest
effective severance tax rates (a tax on companies that mine or drill natural resources) in the West have long undercut industry claims about its benefits (local taxes and employment) to communities. But Parkin is concerned that with companies going bankrupt, or at risk of doing so, there will be less money in the coffers for communities to clean up the 80,000
wells in the state once they are no longer producing enough for a company’s portfolio. “We’ve been deeply concerned before the downturn in oil prices that they were going to go bankrupt and we’re going to have to clean up the mess,” Parkin says. “We were see OIL PRICES Page 10
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hopeful we could increase bonding and severance tax [with SB 181], but none of that has happened. ... We’re going to see a lot of bankruptcies in the next year. Our communities aren’t in a very good position. We have no nest egg that’s sufficient to take care of capping those wells.” It varies, but cost estimates for capping a well range from $10,000 per well to hundreds of thousands of dollars. And research from Cornell University indicates capped wells are liable to leak, and that they need to be recapped at least every 20 years. Estimates for cleaning old wells across the country skyrocket, cumulatively, into the billions. Given the glut of energy supplies, 350 Colorado is circulating a petition asking Governor Jared Polis to halt fossil fuel extraction in the state during the pandemic. If not, there is also a concern that companies will resort to flaring, that is, burning excess natural gas when there is no market for it, despite the release of greenhouse gasses and general wastefulness. Bazilian says the disruption in 10
the energy sector may have longempower local communities to lasting impacts, but cautions that it’s ensure oil and gas extraction was too soon to say for sure. done with public health and the “Anyone who tells you anything environment as its foremost priority, with confidence is not saying anyParkin laments that the Colorado thing useful,” he says. “You will def- Oil and Gas Conservation initely see permanent job losses to Commission (COGCC) has yet to some degree. You will see company acquisitions and companies going out of aren’t business. You probably won’t see, even if there’s a in a very good position. We have rebound in a U shape or a V shape, ... the kind of no nest egg to take care of confident, long-term growth that the industry capping those wells.” had been relying on and investors had been rely— Micah Parkin, 350 Colorado ing on. I think you have a long-term change in the industry that’s going to be very make state rules that reflect the different from how they expected it intention of that legislation. The to be a couple years ago.” COGCC announced April 29 it will One should keep an eye on how not begun critical rule-making until lawmakers handle the bottoming out a new set of commissioners is seated of oil prices. The Trump administra- on July 1. Rules are tentatively set to tion earmarked $3 billion in the take effect in November. CARES Act for energy companies Any optimism that the drop in before Democrats pulled it out. And oil prices might deter fracking from though SB 181 was supposed to entering Boulder County should be
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tempered, as well. Bazilian points out that Crestone was one of the first companies to partner with the Payne Institute and its data resources on technology that continuously monitors air toxin releases from oil and gas sites. That is, the downturn may not impact companies as much if they’re already invested in ways to monitor their environmental and social impacts. Considering the “pressure on these companies not just from economics but also from the need to play a positive role in a low-carbon energy transition, responsible gas is one thing that those operators are going to be looking at very seriously,” Bazilian says. Parkin points out that all things considered, continuous monitoring is a small benefit that should be included in the state’s oil and gas rules for all wells and that it should not hasten the drilling of Boulder County. “For that to be a selling point to bring fracking into our community is ridiculous,” she says. BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
t was “just a typical, normal day on the delivery route,” for Colton Coulimore, an almost30-year-old Amazon Prime driver from Longmont. Then, as he was driving north on 28th Street in Boulder, he saw a man flailing on the ground, in the middle of the road in front of a busy shopping plaza. “It came to me this guy was in trouble and he needed somebody,” Coulimore says. “And I couldn’t go against my moral character.” So, in the time of social distancing, face masks, sterile gloves and hand sanitizer, Coulimore whipped his delivery truck around at the nearest intersection, parked it in front of the plaza entrance and helped his fellow man, the risk of getting COVID-19 be damned.
amazing,” Patrick says. “The guy did everything right. He positioned his vehicle to protect the guy who was laying on the sidewalk. It would be easy for people to drive over him. He went straight to flashers. He just jumped out and sprung into action. It was impressive his ability to engage and be there for this guy and take care of him.” Coulimore says he relied on training he learned while serving as a lifeguard and some emergency response training he took in college. He has also credits his don’t-think-twice response
Good Samaritan delivery driver helps a stranger in need in the time of social distancing
By Matt Cortina “It was just a reaction,” he says. “I knew that coronavirus has been around. It just doesn’t matter, if you see someone in trouble, don’t let them go. What would they want in return? If they saw me laying on the road, would they stop and help me?” Coulimore made eye contact with the man, gently flipped him over, asked his name and if he had been hit or injured by someone or something. He asked if the man had epilepsy — he was seizing on the ground — and the man nodded his head and said yes. He asked if anyone had called for help — the man said no — and that’s when Sandy and Patrick Morrissey arrived. The Morrisseys had seen the man seizing on the ground, and Patrick, a physical therapist, knew it was his duty to turn around to help. As Coulimore went to his car to get a mask for the man, Patrick called 911 for emergency assistance. Sandy got the man a bottle of water from their car after she asked if he needed anything. But with help on the way, Coulimore’s truck blocking the road and the man’s seizures subsiding, the gravity of Coulimore’s selfless act hit the Morrisseys. “He was just so selfless. He just jumped out there. We’re adults and Patrick’s in the health field so of course we were going to stop,” Sandy says. “I gotta tell you, Colton was the story. He’s BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
to his upbringing — both his parents are in law enforcement. I asked Patrick if he’d ever seen anything like it, being in the health field and also considering the time in which we’re living now. Where does this act rate in terms of selflessness? “How high does the scale go?” Patrick says. “Whatever is beyond expectations, that’s where I would put it. It was remarkable.” EMTs arrived shortly thereafter and took the man to a local hospital. Sandy checked a few days later to see if the man was still recovering there — he wasn’t. Due to privacy laws, I couldn’t track down the man either, and calls to local EMT organizations and hospitals were met with rebutI
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tals that the man’s identity couldn’t be disclosed. Of course, everyone hopes the man is doing well today, but his identity is practically an aside. Coulimore, and the Morrisseys, helped a stranger in this troubling time. The undeniable message of this episode is to treat everyone well, whether they’re passing you on the street, or laying on it, or working essential jobs right now. Sandy posted a message about Coulimore’s efforts on the social networking site NextDoor the day after — it was met, as expected, with many congratulations for their efforts. But the hope, Sandy says, was to inspire people to think hard about how they treat everyone with whom they come in contact. “My objective was people would honor the drivers, too, and the people who are on the front line at the grocery store or serving our food, and to treat everybody with kindness,” she says. Patrick agrees, though adds that Coulimore’s act is an example that extends beyond the circumstances brought about by the coronavirus. “Within the health profession you see it all the time, people willing to jump right in to help somebody else. We expect that,” he says. “But I’ve also witnessed a poor guy passed out on the street and people will step over him and people will keep walking. In today’s world, where there is a coronavirus fear that I think affects our behaviors, Colton is a shining example of how to do it right. What a wonderful example of how to live.” After the adrenaline wore off, Coulimore was able to regroup and reflect on the experience. “After the whole moment and a couple hours of letting it sink in, it was like, ‘Wow, I kind of put myself out there with the whole sickness,’” Coulimore says. He told his wife he had no other option: “I was like, ‘Babe, I’m sorry, it’s in my moral character,’ and she was like, ‘No, I understand.’” And in time, he was able to reflect on the message he wants to send to the community. “I just want people to be more humble and more open to helping others,” Coulimore says. I
soon as possible and place them in the least restrictive environment possible. Over the next several decades, courts have ruled the federal government in violation of the agreement multiple times when it comes to both unaccompanied minors and children held in detention with their families. On Friday, April 24, the federal judge overseeing the Flores settlement, Judge Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, ordered both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which detains migrant children with their families, and ORR to “make every effort to promptly and safely release” children due to concern over the spread of the virus in congregate settings such as shelter and detention facilities. At least 59 children held in ORR facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 out of approximately 2,100 unaccompanied minors in ORR custody throughout the country, according to CBS News. The latest order from Judge Gee doesn’t really affect the one ORR facility in Colorado, says Ashley Harrington, managing attorney of the children’s program at the Rocky Mountain Immigration Advocacy Network (RMIAN). The
Federal judge orders ORR and ICE to release minors with ‘greater speed’ in light of the coronavirus by Angela K. Evans
efore the summer of 2018, most Americans had never heard of the Flores settlement or about the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and its role in the care and placement of unaccompanied immigrant minors. Once it became known that the Trump administration was separating families at the border and thousands of kids were being held in overcrowded facilities along the U.S.-Mexican border and around the country, however, this court case and agency have been thrown into the national spotlight. And as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the country, there have been rising concerns about how the federal government is protecting unaccompanied immigrant minors currently in its care. The original Flores settlement agreement, finalized in 1997, charged the federal government to release immigrant children from detention as 12
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facility in Westminster, operated by Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, opened in December 2019 and is contracted to house a maximum of 16 boys ages 14 to 17. RMIAN employs an attorney and paralegal dedicated to the facility, who conduct know-your-rights seminars and free legal screening to every kid who comes through the facility. Harrington says since the Westminster shelter opened, RMIAN has worked with about two dozen boys, all from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. As of Monday, April 27, Harrington says all the boys except one have been released, and RMIAN expects the last one to be freed soon. By and large, she says, RMIAN isn’t concerned about how the local ORR facility is treating the boys in its care, in light of the pandemic or otherwise. “We would absolutely want a light shined on it if we were concerned about how the kids were being treated or that they were being held longer than they should or something like that, but so far so good,” Harrington says. “There aren’t the same concerns as with ICE and other ORR facilities, especially the horror stories you heard last summer, hundreds and hundreds of kids being held in Walmart warehouses for months at a time. There are plenty of egregious stories out of ORR [facilities] but not here yet.” BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
There’s a new chief in town
Maris Herald takes the helm at Boulder Police Department
by Angela K. Evans
n April 20, Boulder’s new, and first female, police chief started work in the midst of a global pandemic and public health crisis. Maris Herold comes to the People’s Republic from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she served in the city’s police department for more than two decades, most recently as the chief of University of Cincinnati Police Division. Boulder may not have the same challenges as Cincinnati, where law enforcement often deals with “gang violence and shooting environments,” Herold says, but she plans to use her background to implement innovative and progressive police reform and improve community relations. Boulder Weekly caught up with Herold after her first week on the job to talk about her vision for the city, how she plans to engage underrepresented populations, and booster both community and officer morale. Here’s what she had to say. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Boulder Weekly: What’s it like to start in the middle of the pandemic? Maris Herold: Obviously it’s not ideal circumstances to start a new position. The first two weeks I was in Boulder, I had to be under quarantine, so that was challenging. But the city leadership team has done a great job welcoming me and making me feel like I’m part of a team and that’s hard to do during a big crisis like we’re having. So, my calendar right now is full of one-onones with the police department and community members (both in person and virtually). I’m reaching out to everybody and I’m trying to do my best, considering the circumstances, just to put a face to the name and get some type of understanding where everybody feels the police are doing good things and the police need some improvement on other things. As I move forward, I need to understand from the community what their priorities are and start ensuring that our policies and procedures align with the community’s vision for policing. It’s just important for trust issues. BW: How do you plan on building more trust within the community, especially with marginalized populations (communities of color, unhoused individuals) who haven’t always had the most positive experiences with local law enforcement?
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
MH: Deeper trust is much more challenging than engaging in functions at meetings or whatever. It really is working through these problems together and seeing how challenging they are. I develop strategies with the community, not in the absence of the community. Any type of crime prevention or disorder issues or quality of life issues, I expect the community to partner with me and help me solve these issues. And I think once you start doing those big projects with the community where you’re not just working in isolation, you’re working with community leaders and community members that are impacted by these problems, then you really start to get a better, deeper relationship. … I want to ensure that we’re a model agency. There is a lot of talent in this police department and I want to seek some type of international accreditation. I don’t know which one we’ll select, but it’s basically outside monitors come in and make sure that all your policies and procedures are best practices in policing. It’s things like that we can do to bolster community trust. BW: What’s your take on Boulder’s camping ban and giving citations to folks who may not have anywhere else to be? MH: I understand that we have a camping ban and I just scheduled a meeting to review it. This (homelessness) is a huge complex problem. I’m telling you right now, I don’t have the answers to these issues. I wish I did. Nobody has the answers to it. It’s multi-dimensional and it’s going to take really smart people that are compassionate to impact these problems. I try to tell as many people as possible, on all of these social issues that we have, you have to come from a place of compassion. And if you do that and you’re working with people that care about the community, I think you can come up with really good resolutions that help. BW: Officer morale has also been a concern. What are your plans to address that? I
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MH: Policing for the last decade has been under a lot of scrutiny and media attention and there’s been conflict with the community for a long time. It’s not just a Boulder concern, I think it’s across the country. And I think that just like the community morale can always improve, I hope I can improve morale in the police department. I think the way to do that is again, providing clear vision and increasing training opportunities. At the end of the day, the officers have to trust me as a leader — that I’m going to do the right thing for the right reasons. BW: What’s your take on the use of emerging technology, like facial recognition software, in law enforcement? MH: I would have to know a lot more about facial recognition. At the University (of Cincinnati), we had a lot of companies that tried to try to get us to buy into that. It wasn’t the direction I wanted to go to at the University, but again, I need a lot more information on this part of the country. It wouldn’t be fair to give an assessment right now. But speaking of technology, my big push will to be to use technology to ensure that we understand our own data sources and to bring all that data together so we can make informed decisions. Policing generates a ton of data on a daily basis, think about calls for service, use of force, citizen’s complaints. Is it all coming into the same location and are you making decisions based on data or are you just making decisions from your gut? In other words, how you respond to emerging issues and strategies. That’s a big part of any innovative policing strategies to make sure your decisions are based on data. BW: Anything else the people of Boulder should know about your vision for the department? MH: No, but if you please relay to your readers that I am just so excited to be here. Boulder is internationally known for being a wonderful city and I’m really honored to be a part of it.
Price gouging, scams and identity theft
State and federal officials deal with an increase of fraud related to the coronavirus pandemic
by Angela K. Evans
ince the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., basic necessities like toilet paper and disinfectants have become not only rare, but expensive. Other items specific to this crisis, like digital thermometers and surgical masks, have seen prices spike by 50%. In some cases prices surged 166% for masks on online marketplaces, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Preying on the fears and anxieties of the public instances of price gouging, scams and other frauds have soared here in Colorado and across the country in recent weeks. Since Feb. 23, there have been 856 complaints filed with the consumer protection team at the state attorney general’s office. About half of those have been related to unrefunded travel expenses like airfare, hotel bookings and ski trips. But 330 have been about price gouging, a practice that isn’t specifically prohibited by Colorado law. It’s something that Rep. Joe Neguse from District 2 in Northern Colorado is hoping to fix with federal legislation that would make a price increase of 10% during health emergencies and natural disasters illegal. Neguse, along with Congressman Ted Lieu (D-California) and Senators Kamala Harris (D-California) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), are hoping to include the anti-price gouging law in the next COVID-19 relief package, which Congress is expected to take up when it’s back in session starting May 4. Price gouging “permeated the perceptions of folks early on and I worry that it has sort of faded from public discussion even though it is still very much a real issue that a lot of communities are having to deal with every day,” Neguse says. “As recently as this weekend, I saw something in doing my own research. 14
When you go on eBay, you can see that basic cleaning products, sanitizing products are marked up 200 300, 400%. So, the price gouging continues and has really gone on unabated.” Although Colorado revamped its Consumer Protection Act in 2019, the state doesn’t have an official price-gouging law on the books, like
there’s a huge spike. In conducting its survey, Katz says, CoPIRG looked at items specifically related to COVID-19 to determine if price gouging was occurring. “In any particular crisis, there are some things that suddenly become the thing that everyone’s told to get. After a flood, you’re not necessarily
the one Neguse is proposing on the federal level. Across the country, liberal states like California and more conservative ones like Arkansas have such laws, but Colorado is just one of 15 states that doesn’t address the issue, a fact that surprised Neguse, he says. Danny Katz, director at CoPIRG Foundation, a statewide consumer advocacy group adds: “It’s frustrating that Colorado is one of just a handful of states that does not have a specific price-gouging law that gives specific authority to the attorney general and the state to protect consumers in this crisis.” Price gouging, Katz says, is more than just the normal market swing of prices related to supply and demand. It’s about whether there was an actual increase in production cost for any item and secondly, comparing historic prices of certain products to see if
told to get a personal thermometer, but after COVID-19 you were. So that’s one place where we need to look,” Katz says. He says CoPIRG has seen digital thermometer prices jumping from $17 to $27. Surgical masks that used to be $1 are going for almost $4, and toilet paper is priced three time its normal value. “We don’t have a specially designed anti-price gouging law, but we have a catchall unfair and unconscionable trade practice law,” says Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. “I would, in the right circumstance, absolutely use our law and test its capability to address [price-gouging] situations.” Weiser says his office could address price gouging reactively — addressing specific instances of price gouging as they arise, whether that’s by simply telling online marketplaces
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to stop allowing the practice, or by bringing some sort of case against sellers. But the attorney general’s office is also seeking proactive measures that would prevent the practice before it happens, and further protect consumers. At the end of March, Weiser, along with more than 30 other attorneys general, urged Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Walmart to use their technological prowess to stop price gouging before it starts and create an accessible fair pricing reporting system on their platforms. More than 300 state legislators from around the country, including representatives from Boulder such as Speaker of the House K.C. Becker and Senate Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg, followed suit with a similar letter circulated by CoPIRG. “We believe online marketplaces do have a role and a responsibility in this because really that’s how a lot of people are purchasing things right now — going to those online marketplaces because we’re all stuck at home,” Katz says. “They have not done enough, we think, to identify those things before they get out there. And there’s more they can do to allow consumers to report this to them as well.” Federal legislation, like what’s being proposed by Neguse, is also a way of keeping nationwide companies accountable. Although it would not be a criminal statute, it would allow the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to levy fines against violators and work with state attorneys general to do the same. Weiser says he believes current Colorado law already allows him to take similar action. But, given that the parts of the Consumer Protection Act were only passed last year, it hasn’t been tested in the courts yet, see PRICE GOUGING Page 15
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
PRICE GOUGING from Page 14
Weiser says. And the current Colorado law doesn’t have a specific standard that qualifies price gouging, meaning that the courts would have to decide on a case-by-case basis how much of an increase is too much, whereas Neguse’s proposal has a 10% limit. Still, under Colorado’s Consumer Protection Act, Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty says his office could file civil actions against any sellers engaging in price gouging. “For price gouging in Colorado, it would be difficult for us to make out a criminal case,” Dougherty says. “There are civil protections under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and we could file a civil action to seek damages, restitution and an injunction. When it comes to price gouging, that would be the extent of it. But whether civil or criminal, obviously we take these complaints really seriously and we’re focused on these as a priority throughout this pandemic.” Dougherty says Boulder County doesn’t have any open price gouging investigations at this point, but his office is working on open criminal
investigations when it comes to scams related to the pandemic, prompted by residents’ complaints. “Identity theft, fraud and theft are the three most common criminal violations that we see connected to any crisis, including this pandemic,” he says. The circumstances of this particular crisis, where everyone is being told to stay home alone, makes people particularly susceptible to these schemes, Dougherty says. “People are cut off and they’re spending more time on the computer and have more time to take phone calls or are more willing to take phone calls and as a result, they could be more susceptible that they could be pulled into these scams,” he says. He’s also concerned not every scam is getting reported as people are isolated at home and may not be aware that the DA and law enforcement are still working even though public buildings are mostly closed. Weiser is also concerned about increasing scams, especially those targeted at older Coloradans, those awaiting stimulus checks and others marketing testing, cures and vaccines
Boulder chiropractor hit with a cease and desist from the AG
n April 24, the Colorado Attorney General’s office sent out three cease and desist letters to companies advertising COVID-19 antibody and home test kits. One is based in Boulder — Red Tail Wellness, a functional medicine clinic led by chiropractor Dr. (Francis) Ian Hollaman. The others are based in Lakewood and Fort Collins. “You cannot make claims that are deceptive, and in each of the situations we had reason to believe that they were making deceptive claims,” Attorney General Phil Weiser says. “We weren’t saying that their products were illegal or dangerous. We’re just saying they were not being marketed accurately and they were deceiving consumers. And that’s wrong.” The letter specifically addressed to Red Tail Wellness says the company has made false or misleading claims that the test they offer has been reviewed and authorized by the FDA, that the test results are conclusive and that a positive BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
that are not medically proven (see sidebar below). “There is, unfortunately, a huge opportunity for scammers to take advantage of people to prey on their fears, and in some cases on their hopes, and we’re just doing our best to educate people everywhere we can,” he says. When it comes to price gouging, Katz says CoPIRG will continue to advocate for stronger consumer protection laws, including a specific price gouging statute when the state legislature returns in May. “I’m pleased that our update to the Colorado Consumer Protection Act last year has enabled the attorney general to address some recent pricegouging schemes,” Colorado Senator Mike Foote (D-Lafayette), one of the main sponsors of last year’s legislation, said in an email statement. “I think there is room for more progress on this issue though, and I’m hopeful the Colorado legislature will give it further consideration upon our return and the U.S. Congress will pass Rep. Neguse’s bill as well.” Although this particular crisis has highlighted price gouging through-
test results in immunity to COVID-19 and means the person can’t transmit it to others. It also charges that Red Tail failed to disclose the limitations of the test, including that it does not rule out COVID-19, that having antibodies doesn’t affirm immunity from COVID-19, shouldn’t be used to diagnose COVID-19 and could simply indicate exposure to other coronaviruses. In response, Joy Straka, the office manager at Red Tail Wellness, says the company has pulled down all their advertising for the test from social media and other platforms, although a pop-up window on Red Tail’s website advertises a “coronavirus care package” that includes “COVID-19 testing and follow-up” for $240. Straka says the test is not an official COVID-19 test, but rather tests for antibodies. Red Tail Wellness, she says, has never sent anyone home with a test, rather it’s all done in the office through a blood draw with a certified phlebotomist. She also says that she’s personally talked to almost every client that has taken the antibody test (about 50 so far) and made sure they know it’s not FDA approved. The test is done through Vibrant America Labs, which does disclose the limitations of the test as well as its pending status with the FDA on its website. Straka maintains the tests I
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out the country, Neguse argues that this legislation will continue to be needed far into the future. Not only could we see prices spike in other industries as the economic impacts of stay-at-home orders reveal themselves, but Colorado and other states are sure to experience a other types of disasters as climate change continues to make severe weather events more common. “One of the central reasons we introduced the bill was to not only address the short-term need to protect consumers during this particular public health emergency, but to also ensure that we have a statute on the books that can be utilized during future emergencies,” Neguse says. “It doesn’t limit it to a public health emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which is important because our country has experienced natural disasters of every variety before and we will again.” To report price gouging, other fraud, or for more information about common coronavirus scams, visit the attorney general’s consumer protection section at stopfraudcolorado.gov.
are accurate and helpful to their patients, most of whom are simply looking for “peace of mind.” “Dr. Ian wants to be compliant. He doesn’t want to lose his license or get in trouble by any means. We’re just trying to offer service. We’re trying to serve the community,” Straka says. “We wouldn’t risk his reputation or his license or his good standing in the community to offer fake tests for no gain.” Weiser says the cease and desist letter from his office isn’t calling into question the test itself, but that the way in which Red Tail is talking about the test is deceptive to consumers, whether intentional or not. “We don’t judge products for their quality. We judge them for deception,” he says. “There are lots of people who give lots of treatments that are questionable but are not deceptive and we don’t go after them based on sort of their value proposition. People have to be informed consumers. If they are deceived, that’s where we come in.” The cease and desist letter says Red Tail Wellness must stop making false and misleading claims about the test by April 30. If not, it could be subject to “penalties of up to $20,000 per violation or up to $50,000 per violation if the consumer victim is 60 years of age or older.” I
DANIEL GONZÁLEZ/HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
Pro tips on physical distancing from the nonhuman world Get lit, howl and mind your paws
by Maya L. Kapoor, High Country News
umans are a social species, and physical interaction keeps us healthy. Or, as the late Bill Withers wrote, “The city really ain’t no bigger than the friendly people, friendly people that you meet.” But COVID-19 has made it difficult to meet those friendly people. The lucky among us, who can physically isolate without worrying about our health, our jobs or our loved ones, still have to cope with loneliness. Here are a few tips on being social from a distance, gleaned from some of the West’s most experienced social distancers. We hope you’ll find some welcome distraction here. At the very least, may this list remind you that if you’re seeking unique ways to stay in touch, you’re certainly not alone. WESTERN FIREFLIES: LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE, EVEN FROM AFAR. Many people never notice Western fireflies, perhaps because these beetles dwell in habitats favored by mosquitoes — think grassy fields, marshes and other humid places — and they APRIL 30, 2020
tend to get the bioluminescent party started after 10 p.m. The West’s fireflies are pros at keeping in touch: Their flashing lights are visible across the length of a baseball field on a summer evening. To potential predators, the flashes warn: Stay away! I taste terrible. (To potential mates, they say, ‘Oh hello,’ though moving from messaging to meeting may be risky: Some female fireflies use flash patterns to lure in males from other species for a fresh meal.) If you’re sheltering in place (as you should be, if you can), remember: You can still find ways to dazzle from a distance. GRASSHOPPER MICE: KEEP THE PACK POSTED. Hunting prey in family packs across the West, grasshopper mice are like tiny wolves — they even throw their heads back and howl to each other. They may be making territorial calls, or they may be letting their pack-members know that they’ve caught dinner. These fierce nocturnal predators of deserts, prairies and grasslands hunt insects, other rodents and I
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
even scorpions. During a pandemic, it’s important to keep in touch with family and friends. Just be like a grasshopper mouse and do it from a distance — if not by howl, then perhaps over video call. Oh, and if you’re trying to avoid the grocery? Take inspiration from these resourceful rodents: When they catch a Pinacate beetle, which defends itself by spraying a foul, toxic liquid from its rear end, grasshopper mice ram the beetle’s backside into the ground so it can’t spray, then chomp down on its head and abdomen, leaving its stinky behind, behind. You shouldn’t be afraid to eat creatively, either. CALIFORNIA AGLAJAS: HEED PUBLIC WARNINGS, EVEN THE GOOEY ONES. A snail relative that doesn’t live in a shell, this sightless, predatory sea slug lives on the Pacific Coast as far north as central California, on mudflats and rocky beaches, and in tidepools. A dark chocolate color with thin yellow and white stripes and dashes of turquoise, California aglajas follow fellow sea slugs’ mucus trails to find a mate. (Although the species is hermaphroditic, the follower generally provides the sperm to fertilize its partner’s eggs.) If a California aglaja is seriously disturbed as it goes about its business — say by a curious human — it exudes something different from the usual mucus: a bright yellow mixture containing an alarm pheromone. If another aglaja encounters the gooey yellow roadblock, it turns away and heads off in another direction. Perhaps, the second sea slug is offended that the first one has given up on even trying to find toilet paper. Or perhaps there’s a bigger lesson here: If you do venture out for exercise, mental health or necessities, pay attention to public information to keep yourself and others safe. POLAR BEARS: LEAVE A MESSAGE. Bears of all kinds, from pandas to grizzlies and black bears, communicate through odor. Trail cameras in Alaska have documented grizzlies scratching and rubbing up against trees, marking them with their scent. BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
Multiple bears will scent the same trees for years. But on treeless, barren sea ice, what’s a solitary ursid to do? The messaging gets complicated for polar bears, who range potentially thousands of miles in a year across a frozen landscape in search of seals and other prey. Instead of marking trees, polar bears leave smelly footprints in the snow for other bears to sniff out. (Their feet have the same kind of sweat glands that make humans a little sweatier, and a little stinkier, when nervous.) By taking a whiff, polar bears can learn important things about each other — size, sex, reproductive state — without ever coming in physical contact. Even if COVID-19 means you’re on a solitary journey right now, you can still find ways to leave signs and messages for others — who might be excited to discover that someone is thinking about them, too. MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI: TRY TO BE HELPFUL, WHEREVER YOU ARE. Since long before Instagram existed, or even AOL Instant Messenger, the nonhuman world has had social networks. Beneath the West’s forest ecosystems, mycorrhizal fungi, webs of filaments thinner than human hair, connect trees. Sometimes, those trees are related; other times, they aren’t even the same species. In Oregon, fungi connect Douglas firs to tanbark-oaks, for example. Mycorrhizal fungi, which can’t photosynthesize, get their sugars from trees. In exchange, the trees get nutrients such as nitrogen, an essential protein building block they can’t produce on their own. The fungal networks also carry sugars to other trees in need. Though there’s no evidence that the trees are deliberately trying to help each other, there’s still a lesson here: There are plenty of ways to support your community, even if you’re stuck in place. This story is part of the SoJo Exchange of COVID-19 stories from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous reporting about responses to social problems. I
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The million dollar question
Boulder County’s live music businesses face the facts and prepare for the future... one that might not include gathering for quite some time by Caitlin Rockett
APRIL 30, 2020
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
or Craig Ferguson, the million-dollar question isn’t when live music gatherings will happen this year. “The real question for everybody paying attention ... is whether it’ll happen next year,” he says. Tough love from the founder of Planet Bluegrass. Coupled with the fact that Telluride Bluegrass Festival was officially canceled (postponed, if you like the glass half-full) on March 31, Ferguson’s words read as an ostensible death sentence for the beloved RockyGrass and Folks Fest gatherings, held in July and August each year. But for now, Ferguson — Ferg to the Festivarians who patronize Planet Bluegrass’ trio of festivals — isn’t making an official call about the Lyons-based events. Not just yet. “We’re supporting [Gov. Jared Polis’] efforts and kind of waiting to make any big announcement,” he says, joking that he’d prefer the “football and baseball people” call off their upcoming seasons first. Ferguson isn’t the only one who believes we may not gather around music for a year or more. Live music businesses across Boulder County are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst as the state moves into the second phase of its response to the coronavirus, with social distancing still at the core and Boulder County still a week out from rolling back its stay-at-home order. More to the point, local venues and presenters are expecting the worst and drawing up plans for how to bridge the gap between now and normal. “If you look at what’s going on all over the world, with the exception of ... a vaccine or a cure, I just don’t see how it’s going to be realistic that things are going to be back into any sense of normalcy until late fall into 2021,” says David Weingarden, vice president of concerts and events for Z2 Entertainment, which owns and operates the Fox and Boulder theaters, as well as the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins. On April 22, Z2 joined a coalition of more than 800 independent concert venues from across the nation in a letter to Congress asking for more assistance as their businesses remain shuttered (in a phone call on April 27, Weingarden estimates the number of member organizations has ticked up past a thousand). The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) asks that the Small Businesses Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP loans) offer more help for their businesses, like increasing the program’s loan cap, establishing a business recovery grant fund for concert venues, granting various forms of tax relief, continuing unemployment for contract workers and artists, and extending the program until businesses can resume operations at full capacity. “[Z2’s] last show was March 12 or 13, I think,” Weingarden says, “and we’re pretty much done through summer. We’re probably not going to have another show at a minimum until past Labor Day. So we have zero cash flow. We have nothing going on from March through September BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
right now. And honestly, I don’t even know if September or October is going to happen because nobody’s buying tickets.” Weingarden says the main focus is how to keep people employed. “Upwards of 120 to 150” people who work for Z2 are “directly related to events,” he says, like bartenders and security guards. Another 19 were full- and part-time employees working in management and marketing. The company is down to six because of layoffs. NIVA also aims to work with the federal government on crafting guidelines for venues as mass gatherings are eventually reinstated. Through the coalition, venues are already sharing initial plans with one another, though Weingarden says it’s far too early to say what’s necessary. “Now that we’re past sort of the initial shock, we’re starting to really dig into what [it looks like] when we start reopening,” Weingarden says. “Do we have to stock up on those gun thermometer things so you can just shoot and get [someone’s] temperature? Should we be stocking up on face masks and single-use cleaning supplies? … That all has a cost. What if we have to open at a reduced capacity? What’s that going to look like for our staffing costs? ... How do you open at a reduced capacity and with six feet of social distancing per person? What does that look like when you kind of grid it out and is that even feasible? I don’t know.” Nick Forster agrees the prognosis for live music gatherings is bad, but feels confident that eTown’s multifaceted offerings — as a recording studio, radio show and multimedia company — makes it “nimble and creative” enough to survive... perhaps thrive. “We are probably looking at hiring some different people for our organization right now,” Forster says. “We may want to spend more money on producers and people who are content creators rather than people who are involved in the live business of music.” But Forster’s main concern these days isn’t for the future of eTown but for “the creative class,” the working musicians with no gigs who are essentially “the working poor.” “They’re like an invisible substrata of our community that is going to be every bit as needy as anybody else pretty soon,” he says. He formed Create Boulder in 2016 to address this issue. In partnership with the City of Boulder, Create Boulder recently awarded 66 artists of varying disciplines, not just musicians, grants of $599. The money is designated for a project the artist detailed in an application to the City. But it’s not just musicians and venues who are losing money. Cities stand to lose big with the loss of live music. Ferguson has called the decision to cancel this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival, held yearly around the summer solstice in June, both
the easiest and hardest he’s ever made, but he isn’t nonchalant about the impact it’ll have on the community that hosts it: “For [the town of] Telluride, it’s a shock to the economic system.” In 2017, the Telluride Tourism Board calculated an average of $12.6 million in annual revenue from the bluegrass festival, which attracts some 12,000 people each year. On a smaller scale, RockyGrass and Folks Fest contribute to the economy of Lyons. In 2016, the Town of Lyons estimated that the festivals brought in an average of $46,000 each year just for parking and camping fees over a five-year period. About 3,000 people descend on Lyons for each festival, often choosing to come a little early and stay a little late. Matt Chasansky, manager of Boulder’s Office of Arts and Culture, says that the City collects 5% of every ticket to a concert, nightclub or the-
“IT’S A WORTHY CHALLENGE
to work on reexamining all the aspects of a festival with respect to social responsibility.” — Craig Ferguson, president of Planet Bluegrass
ater with its admissions tax. While Chasansky couldn’t give an exact number for the amount of revenue Boulder County collects from live music, he pointed to a 2018 study by the University of Colorado Denver that found live music generates more than $300 million annually for Boulder, Weld and Larimer counties combined. But no one can see the future. There are glimmers of hope: A New York Times story on April 27 reported that a team at Oxford University in England are preparing a coronavirus vaccine test for the end of May (if it works, full roll out would be September). Still, that’s nothing venues and promoters can bank on, and the live music industry clearly sees bad omens in the tea leaves. “I think we’re reeling in shock,” Ferguson says. “People are looking for answers and because there’s no way to know, people are stumbling with shitty answers and shitty analysis. “I think we’re ironically a little excited because we realize there’s no choice,” he adds. “Our festival next year is going to be on the edge of consciousness. I think we feel challenged but … Festivation is something that’s a big deal for a lot of people to participate in. How that’s done in the future, I think we’re responsible for finding that path. It’s a good challenge. It’s a worthy challenge to work on reexamining all the aspects of a festival with respect to social responsibility.”
APRIL 30, 2020
APRIL 30, 2020
BOULDER COUNTYâ€™S INDEPENDENT VOICE
PHOTOS COURTESY RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT
A way through
Other Lives’ Jesse Tabish on isolation, connection and finding his voice
by Caitlin Rockett
he sound of Other Lives’ new record, For Their Love, is the sound of frontman Jesse Tabish breaking through a prolonged period of depression. The melancholy set in after the band released and toured around its 2015 album Rituals, a collection that pivoted from the orchestral folk that had typified the band’s previous work to a sound that hewed more closely to pop, drawing more on synthesizers and drums and leaning into post-production layering and effects. But even in Rituals the sadness is evident. Though lush and colorful in its arrangements and production, the album is emotionally heavy. “I don’t need a friend to pull me out / I don’t need a hand to fill my cup,” Tabish sings on “Need A Line.” “I don’t need someone to come to me / But I never wanted any of this.” The record came a few years after Other Lives spent a couple of months on the road opening for Radiohead on the King of Limbs tour, and while Tabish describes the experience as positive, he found himself wrestling with selfdoubt in the wake. “I don’t think I knew my relationship to music,” Tabish says over the phone recently. “You know, I can write a song every day. That’s not a problem. I can write music all day. That’s not a problem. But it was that real fundamental connection to my voice in particular and to the music surrounding it. I think it kind of triggered this feeling of where am I in the world? What do I want to say? What do I believe in? What’s my ethos?” He found a new perspective with time… and a change of location. About two years ago, Tabish and his wife moved to an A-frame cabin in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range where For Their Love was recorded. “Aesthetically, moving out to this house and being back in nature, being back in tune with myself was really important to get back to some of the artistic ideals and BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
music aesthetics that I had felt like I had maybe strayed away from,” Tabish says. “I had been working with computers for such a long time during the Rituals sessions and I really missed the physicality of music. I missed the band being in the same room, looking each other in the eye, really kind of digging into instruments. I wanted there to be this kind of rustic feeling. So much of that feeling kind of came with the setting that we moved into. It was kind of a missing link for me. It’s hard to describe, but it was just about getting back to me and a guitar.” Don’t let the word rustic fool you: For Their Love is an expansive album built around Tabish’s most direct lyrical statements to-date. In a collection that could easily soundtrack a bitterly honest Coen brothers movie (or perhaps something darkly optimistic from the Paul Thomas Anderson oeuvre), Tabish returns to a foreboding sense of existential dread over and over. Tabish admits the 2016 election “kicked me into motion a little bit.” “It paved the way for a certain sort of directness and plain talk,” he says. The album opens by firing shots at the passive cruelty of wealth and privilege. “And all you pretty ones, you’re sittin’ still / The gettin’s easy so have your fill / Well, nothing compares to the sound of your violence.” It gets even more direct as it dissects the often militant, racially motivated brutality of police in “Cops.” “You forgot your wallet, so the cops come rushing in / Was a matter of a simple task, too much to ask? / Now you didn’t turn the lights off, so the fireman crashes in / It was a matter of a simple thing, now you got nothing.” “I think for me a lot of this record is kind of looking myself in the mirror and going, ‘What are you made of? What do you believe? And if you do believe these things, come out and say it,’” Tabish says. “There’s still a tendency not to point the finger and say, ‘This is the way.’ I adore the [concept of music as] kind of a suggestion that is open to the listener to take on their own and move from there.” I
APRIL 30, 2020
Part of Tabish’s journey through depression was rooted in finding peace with his voice, both in the messages he wanted to share and in the very tone of his vocals. He’d taken on a falsetto for previous records that was becoming more and more difficult to maintain (perhaps because of years of alcohol and cigarettes, he admits with a laugh). So on For Their Love he found a register that was more natural, less Thom Yorke and more Matt Berninger. “I really enjoyed singing on this record, which on previous records it really gave me great anxiety to record vocals,” Tabish says. “I can’t hit those high notes anymore and it didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel satisfying. And so I really made an effort to sing in the key that felt good when I was recording and it was a huge difference because I really looked forward to singing it as opposed to, oh god, I gotta record vocals today. It kind of propelled me forward, to sing out and say the thing.” Tabish has always been open about his preference for seclusion, about the fact that he feels most connected to his muses when he can explore the vastness of silence and solitude. It’s part of why the cabin in the woods was able to create such a monumental shift in perspective for Tabish. He cites Herman Hesse as a guiding voice as he navigated his melancholy over the years. “He’s one of those writers that embodies self-determination and the idea of humans trying to break free from these dogmatic ways of thinking or from these old, broken institutions,” Tabish says. Hesse championed solitude as the way through, as the only way to take charge of our own destiny. “We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self,” he once wrote. “It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.” For Their Love is proof that solitude can produce something that is deeply connected to the whole of humanity. One can only imagine what the solitude of quarantine will help Tabish connect with. I
What to do when there’s ‘nothing’ to do...
If your organization is planning a virtual event of any kind, please email Caitlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BY BOULDER WEEKLY STAFF
ARISE MUSIC FESTIVAL ONLINE. 6:30 P.M.-12:30 A.M. SATURDAY, MAY 2, FACEBOOK.COM/ARISEMUSICFESTIVAL. ARISE MUSIC FESTIVAL OVERCOMES the distance in social distancing by announcing its first-ever virtual gathering. Arise Music Festival presents a lineup of singer-songwriters, electronic artists and live painters with special segments of yoga and sound healing via Facebook online stream. Where available, donation links will be incorporated for viewers to thank Arise performers with virtual tips.
every single body in a packed-out room. Joining FunkStatik is live painter AJ Davis, a multifaceted artist and founder of Project Street Gold, who works in the realms of casting and metal fabrication, mural production and fine-art painting. 9:10-9:55 p.m. Donations for Funkstatik can be accepted through Venmo, @matthewjrygol. Donations for AJ Davis can be accepted through Venmo, @ProjectStreetGold.
HOMEMADE SPACESHIP + AMANDA WOLF:
Homemade Spaceship (HS) is the genre-mashing electronic bass music project from multi-instrumentalist Rob Levere of Denver. Combining his perspective of genres with the energy of low-end bass drops of dubstep, half-time, future bass, DnB, trap, house, etc., HS performs with live instruments to captivate audiences at his high-energy performances. Joining Homemade Spaceship is live painter Amanda Wolf, a multidisciplinary artist, painter and digital artist. Wolf’s painting style is a mix between traditional portraiture, abstract expression and fantastical and vibrant color application. 10–10:45 p.m. Donations for Homemade Spaceship can be accepted through Venmo, @homemadespaceship. Donations for Amanda Wolf can be accepted through PayPal, email@example.com.
ARISE LINEUP YOGA BY MADDY MURPHY: Maddy Murphy’s
classes focus on moving energy through your body through breath work, innovative flows and mindfulness. 6:50-7:20 p.m. Donations can be accepted at PayPal, @mads-murphy.
KIND HEARTED STRANGERS: With rich har-
monies and colorful songwriting, Kind Hearted Strangers bring back a taste of American roots into the world of rock ‘n’ roll. 7:25-7:55 p.m. Donations can be accepted through Venmo, @kindheartedstrangers.
MARK OBLINGER: Mark Oblinger is a Grammy-
BLOSSOMN + MUNCHKIN CREATIONS: Cam-
eron Stull, composing and performing under the moniker ‘Blossomn,’ mixes sonic textures from recorded instruments, vinyl and field recordings to create stark soundscapes with unique juxtapositions. Rooted in beat music, world music, progressive jazz, hip hop and downtempo, Blossomn creates eclectic music for the eclectic era. Joining Blossomn is live painter Shannon Dillon, aka Munchkin Creations, an enthusiastic artist and art educator, spending her nights teaching acrylic and watercolor classes at MBodied Art Studio. 10:5011:35 p.m. Donations for Blossomn can be accepted through Venmo, @cameron-stull. Donations for Munchkin Creations can be accepted through Venmo, @Shannon-Dillon-3.
nominated, five-time Emmy winning composer, performer and singer-songwriter with national touring experience as a member of both Pure Prairie League and Firefall. Mark has sung with legendary jazz great Al Jarreau, Garth Brooks, John Oates and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco). Mark released his first solo album High Water Line in July 2019 to a slew of great reviews. 8-8:30 p.m. Donations can be accepted through Venmo, @Mark-Oblinger-1.
SARA NIEMIETZ: Known for her work on Broad-
way and in Postmodern Jukebox, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Sara Niemietz has had success after success over the past 10 years, from appearing on Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show and touring in more than 30 countries and 30 states. 8:35-9:05 p.m. Donations can be accepted through Venmo, @SaraNiemietz.
TEMPLE RADIANCEMATRIX: Internationally-acclaimed musician
Paul Temple creates mystical transmissions of peace and beauty with Tibetan bowls, flutes and mantras. 11:40 p.m.-12:10 a.m. Donations for Paul Temple RadianceMatrix can be accepted through PayPal, PWTemple1@gmail.com.
FUNKSTATIK + AJ DAVIS: With a proclivity for sultry synths, pene-
trating vocals and up-tempo drum beats, FunkStatik is known to move
APRIL 30, 2020
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
by ANGELA K. EVANS
he lights, the sounds, the movements. The palpable energy radiating through a crowd. A deeply personal experience transcending the self, becoming a collective one, as we connect with the musicians on stage and they connect with us. There’s nothing quite like a live show. In the midst of the current pandemic, however, tours have been outright cancelled, others tentatively rescheduled, most indefinitely postponed. It’s hard to predict when we will be able to gather in our beloved venues, listening to our favorite bands, discovering new musicians. In the meantime, this week’s Heavy Rotation comes to you inspired by the concerts we were looking forward to along the Front Range this spring.
hip-hop and more into a sprawling dissertation about the state of making music in the modern age. The producer pairs up with freestyler Aceyalone to create this retro, beat-infused, danceable track.
“MARIGOLDS” — KISHI BASHI, FOX THEATER, BOULDER, RESCHEDULED TO OCT. 4.
“SUMMERTIME” — ORVILLE PECK, OGDEN THEATER, DENVER, POSTPONED.
Experimental violinist and indie singersongwriter Kishi Bashi combines textured layering and intricate compositions to create airy pop songs that serve as a mechanism for healing, like this one that explores Japanese American internment during World War II.
“LOTTERY” — JADE BIRD, BLUEBIRD MUSIC FESTIVAL, BOULDER, CANCELLED. This Londoner’s emotive and angsty vocals capture the bittersweet process of dissecting the past in hopes of gaining clarity about the here and now.
Dubbed the “queer masked crooner” by NPR, Peck’s rich, sultry baritone draws us in and holds us there. Like any good country singer, Peck ruminates about a hopeful future even as we linger in the current unknown.
“I GUESS THE LORD MUST BE IN NEW YORK CITY” — VALLEY QUEEN, LARIMER LOUNGE, DENVER, POSTPONED.
Exposing existential dread lurking right below the surface, this track builds and builds and builds until it can no longer be contained, then bursts forth into the ether, freeing us all from its bondage.
Led by Natalie Carol’s alluring vocals, the California country outfit Valley Queen gives voice to the restlessness that comes when dreams call us beyond our current situation in this Harry Nilsson cover.
“EVERYTHING I WANTED” — BILLIE EILISH, PEPSI CENTER, DENVER, POSTPONED.
“I’M NOT AFRAID” — CHARLEY CROCKETT, MOXI THEATER, GREELEY, STILL SCHEDULED, MAY 20.
“IMPOSSIBLE KNOTS” — THOM YORKE, MISSION BALLROOM, DENVER, RESCHEDULED TO OCT. 18.
Eilish may be young, but her indelible pop digs deep into the human experience, revealing its darkest corners and its most powerful connections, reminding us that in the end it’s all worth it.
This toe-tapping number harkens back to the golden age of country while employing Crockett’s roots in blues, swing and Americana, exploring the mythos that helped make his distant relative, Davy, a folk hero.
Comprised of mostly instrumental tracks, the latest release from Midwesterner RJD2, ‘The Fun Ones,’ mixes elements of soul, funk, disco,
times, all set to the tune of the jammy bluegrass the group is known for.
“DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT” — ADAM AIJALA & BEN KAUFMANN OF YONDER “A GENUINE GENTLEMAN (FEATURING AC- MOUNTAIN STRING BAND AND FRIENDS, HALL, BOULDER, CANCELLED. EYALONE)” — RJD2, BOULDER THEATER, ETOWN This lighthearted and fun track from local favorRESCHEDULED TO JUNE 19. ites reminds us of summer nights and simpler
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
APRIL 30, 2020
“MARIPOSA DE COALCOMÁN” — Y LA BAMBA, BLUEBIRD THEATER, BOULDER, POSTPONED. Lo-fi folk beats fuse with Latin influences and experimental bridges in this recent single from Portlandbased indie-pop outfit Y La Bamba, helmed by Mexican American singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza.
“SUMMER OF MY DISCONTENTMENT” — GEOGRAPHER, GLOBE HALL, DENVER, POSTPONED. Sweeping piano melodies introduce us to haunting memories of love, silence and ultimately loss, as Geographer’s other worldly synth pop/indie rock sound reminds us that desperate attempts to preserve the past are futile.
“MICROCLIMATE” — STEREOLAB, BOULDER THEATER, CANCELLED
We’re all caught up in our own world sometimes, unaware of the going-ons around us: other people living, breathing, even dying. With their signature avant-garde pop, Stereolab knows how to make an entire party sway and smile, even when they’re singing about heartbreak.
“THE SLOW DESCENT HAS BEGUN” — A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN, BOULDER THEATER, CANCELLED. Mysterious and mystical, the ambient work of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie helps us communicate with the unknown as it seeks to calm the anxieties of our modern world, even if it can’t ignore our own downfall. see EVENTS Page 24
EVENTS from Page 23
SLOW CINEMA FOR SLOW DAYS by Michael J. Casey
he story of cinema is the story of excitement. One of the first movies projected was of a train pulling into a station. The directors placed the camera on the edge of the platform, making it look like the train was coming right for the audience. It worked and viewers dove out of their chairs to avoid being run over. Ever since, filmmakers have been hurtling cameras up, down and across every possible directional axis in an attempt to recreate that primal reaction. Slow cinema does the exact opposite — it subverts expectations by withholding dramatics and embracing stasis. Sátántangó — reviewed in this week’s Film section — is one of the exemplary work of slow cinema (if not the exemplary work.) It’s 450 minutes of long takes and repetitive action. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? It is, but by design. When you watch a dynamic image bursting with energy and excitement, you think about that image, and only that image. But what do you think about when you watch an image with nothing happening? Does your attention remain on the screen, or does it turn inward — search-
ing the nooks and crannies of your consciousness? Maybe a better word would be “meditative.” Twenty-firstcentury viewers have been so accustomed to images that they gobble them up in fractions of a second. Slow cinema retards that consumption, expands it and forces viewers to reconsider what they are seeing and the speed they see it. It’s like reciting a mantra: The words take on a different meaning after you’ve uttered them 100 times. These movies require patience, but they also reward it. If the world seems too chaotic and hectic, even while your sitting still, give one of these a stream and see if they don’t slow things down.
‘TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN’ The first two seasons of ‘Twin Peaks’ were the oddest things on network television. But, as time passed, oddity became quirk, deadpan humor became meme, and FBI Agent Dale Cooper’s unflappable honesty became comforting. Twentyfive years after the show was canceled, David Lynch and Mark Frost reteamed for a third season, and the result was less a TV show and more an 18-hour movie. Using stillness, repetition and experimental techniques, ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ is about as commercial as slow cinema gets. Streaming at Showtime Anytime, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV and Sling TV.
‘ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA’ A prosecu-
tor, a police commissioner, a doctor and a murderer are searching for a body. The murderer is trying to cooperate, but he can’t remember where he dug the grave. Car headlights carve away the darkness surrounding the Anatolian town of Keskin while seconds turn into minutes, minutes into hours. Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ is as meditative as it is methodical, stunningly photographed, and as existentially provocative as anything Albert Camus ever wrote. Streaming at Kanopy.
‘SOLARIS’ Critic and filmmaker Paul Schrader calls Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky “the tipping point in the movement toward slow cinema.”
TV EVENTS R
ight after the 2016 election, Tom Cosgrove knew he wanted to show people they had more in common than they thought. Working through his Boulder-based nonprofit New Voice Strategies over the last three years, Cosgrove helped develop a new docu-series called Divided We Fall: Unity Without Tragedy, bringing 24 millennials and Gen Xers with different political and economic backgrounds together to talk about the issues that polarize the United States and what it means to be an American. The first episode will air on Thursday, April 30 at 7 p.m. on Rocky Mountain PBS and at RMPBS.org. The episode airs nationally on American Public Television on May 20. “We live in an age where we have big media systems that are designed to keep us in conflict,” Cosgrove says. “Fear is the easiest emotion to tap. It’s how we’ve evolved. But because we hunger for connection with each other and we look for models to do that, I’m hoping that these 24 people are our models for people to try something different, which is listening with curiosity.” The hour-long episode is culled from more than 60 hours of
His nearly three-hour psychological science fiction film ‘Solaris’ is among the greatest movies ever made, and changes every time you see it. What appears to be hubris to an 18-year-old viewer’s eyes fossilizes into understandable loneliness 30 years later. It’s as if the film is a living, thinking thing: A reflection of what you want when you need it. Streaming at The Criterion Channel and Kanopy.
Running a (relatively) brisk 118 minutes, ‘Manakamana’ documents worshipers on the gondola ride up the Nepalese mountains to the Manakamana temple. As the people go up, the camera goes with them. When the people go down, so does the camera. And in a twist of beautiful contradiction, the camera stays perfectly still inside a moving vehicle. Slow cinema doesn’t get much slower than this. Streaming at Kanopy.
“I think the pursuit of the more perfect union is when we recognize the humanity in each of us and we choose unity,” Cosgrove says. “So much of the culture, social media, cable ecosystems all thrive on contempt, all thrive on trying to keep us apart. And you can’t be a democracy if you have to treat people who have a different approach to solving a problem as a lesser being.” Cosgrove is quick to point out that civil discussion doesn’t excuse misogyny, racism or discrimination of any kind, but he feels that there’s less of that present in the country than the media might have us believe. There are moments in Divided We Fall that are difficult to watch, but that’s the point: We can’t shy away from difficult conversations. But if you push past the difficult moments, you’re rewarded with a glimpse of humanity at its best. —Caitlin Rockett A moderated audience conversation with four cast members will take place immediately following the RMPBS broadcast at dividedwefalltv.org. ‘DIVIDED WE FALL: Unity Without Tragedy.’ 7 p.m. MT, Thursday, April 30. Rocky Mountain PBD and RMPBS. org. The episode airs nationally on American Public Television on May 20.
footage. Cosgrove and his team brought millennials from Chicago and Gen Xers from Massachusetts together for 48 hours to talk about their backgrounds; the moments that made them proud to be an American; the moments that made them ashamed; the values they found most important; the issues that divide us; and how we can bridge the gap. Cosgrove found inspiration for the project in the work of late historian Vincent Harding, who long argued that in a nation made up of many people, democratic conversations are the only way to build a more perfect union.
APRIL 30, 2020
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
Authentic NYC BAGELS in Colorado
PODCASTS n RABBIT HOLE We’ve all found ourselves watching a YouTube video and suddenly wondering, “How did I get here and how long have I been tripping down this rabbit hole?” Led by ‘New York Times’ tech journalist Kevin Roose, this new podcast looks into the ways the internet is changing us. The show kicks off with a threepart story about a young man, confused about his direction in life, who finds solace in watching YouTube videos. But because of an algorithm that works to feed viewers more and more content tailored specifically to their likes, this man’s viewing habits quickly turn from entertainment to propaganda. Across the world, people watch more than a billion hours of YouTube videos daily, and some of that content deals in conspiracy theories, white nationalism, misogyny and far-right platforms. Roose interviews engineers who actually worked on YouTube’s algorithms, other journalists in the tech industry, and the people who have been influenced by the invisible codes that explore our interests and vulnerabilities. nytimes.com/column/rabbit-hole —CR
n MOONRISE What do a science fiction magazine publisher, Nazi and Soviet rocket scientists and multiple U.S. presidents have in common? They all played a role in taking man to the Moon. Using declassified documents, little known history and archival audio recordings, reporter Lillian Cunningham weaves together the story of science fiction, secret programs and Cold War politics in this in depth look at the forces behind the space race. What started as an assignment about the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing became this fascinating look at the transformation of American society. washingtonpost. com/graphics/2019/national/podcasts/ moonrise-the-origins-of-apollo-11-mission —AKE
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
n BEHIND THE BASTARDS, ‘THE INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF: DRINK BLEACH’ Over two episodes in July 2019, this History Channel podcast — which focuses on bad guys from history — tackled Jim Humble, the founder of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, which promotes something called miracle mineral supplement. MMS, as it’s often called, is chlorine dioxide, the chemical often used to bleach paper and treat drinking water (in highly diluted solutions, of course). Genesis II has promoted this compound for decades as a cure for everything ― literally everything — while the Food and Drug Administration has maintained that consuming chlorine dioxide is the same as drinking bleach; autistic youths who’ve been treated with MMS enemas have suffered severe medical outcomes and some have died. While these Behind the Bastards episodes were recorded more than eight months before Donald Trump suggested that injections of disinfectant could treat coronavirus, they help create some interesting context for how Trump may have gotten such a wild idea. On April 24, ‘The Guardian’ reported that Mark Grenon, the current “archbishop” of Genesis II, wrote to Donald Trump saying chlorine dioxide “can rid the body of COVID-19” just days before the president promoted disinfectant as treatment. If this episode doesn’t interest you, perhaps you’d like to hear more about what a piece of crap L. Ron Hubbard was, or how Henry Morton Stanley was an asshole who shot his way through central Africa and called it exploration. History is full of despicable people. Host Robert Evans and his rotating cast of guests (comedian Billy Wayne Davis is a regular) give hilarious context to some of history’s dastardliest bastards. iheart.com/podcast/105-behind-thebastards-29236323 —CR
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see EVENTS Page 26
APRIL 30, 2020
EVENTS from Page 25
he Museum of Boulder has compiled a list of lesson plans, downloadable activities and local history references for teachers to use. You can also take a short survey to help the museum know what resources you need, museumofboulder.org/teacherresources.
n ARTIFACTS ALIVE! PRINTABLE BOULDER HISTORY PROGRAM MATERIALS. Looking for a way to incorporate primary sources in an engaging way for your elementary school class? This program is made up of skits for students to perform that will bring artifacts from Boulder’s history to life! It’s also great for creative families looking for some group activities they can do indoors together. museumofboulder.org/artifacts-alive-program-materials n HISTORY COLORADO DAILY VIRTUAL LIVE LESSONS FOR SPRING SEMESTER 2020. Enjoy daily learning experiences from History Colorado. Connect with live educators over Zoom as they explore the past through Hands-On History @ Home. History Colorado’s museum professionals will bring live daily activities rooted in history to enrich your home learning experiences at 10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays during school closures. historycolorado.org/hands-history-home n COLORADO HISTORY ONLINE DIGITAL EXHIBIT PROGRAM. Online exhibits make Colorado history come alive through creative presentation of authentic artifacts, historical images and audio-visual materials. Interactive and social media components provide forums for conversation relating past themes and issues to contemporary life. History Colorado’s online exhibits include: Amache: Japanese Internment in Colorado; Colorado and the Fur Trade: Bent’s Fort; La Gente: Colorado’s Hispano History; African American History in Colorado; and Ute Tribal Paths. exhibits.historycolorado.org n TEACHER RESOURCES FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN. From digital lessons to teaching guides and videos, these lessons from the Smithsonian are a great resource for supporting your curriculum about Native American history and cultures with multi-dimensional perspectives. americanindian.si.edu/nk360/resources n COURTS IN THE COMMUNITY LESSON PLANS. These 16 lesson plans cover a variety of topics introducing high school students to multiple aspects of the Colorado judicial system. Each is complete with a personalized introduction on the topic by a current or former Supreme Court justice or Court of Appeals judge. They were developed in conjunction with the Colorado Supreme Court and Colorado Court of Appeals “Courts in the Community” program. cjlc.colorado.gov/courts-community-lesson-plans n COLORFUL HISTORY EDUCATIONAL COMICS AND TEACHER GUIDE. Students will have the opportunity to zoom through the cosmos with Scott Carpenter, relive the Titanic tragedy through the eyes of Molly Brown, ride to Washington D.C., with Madeleine Albright, celebrate victory with John Elway, and learn so much more about the “colorful” state of Colorado and beyond through these comic book pages. Each comic is accompanied by a teacher’s guide from Pop Culture Classroom. classroom.popcultureclassroom. org/product/educational-comix-series/colorful-history n TEACH THE ARCHIVE OF COVID-19. This evolving digital exhibit crowd-sources primary sources of the COVID-19 pandemic and Arizona State University masters students curate them into a multi-media documentation of people’s experiences of this unprecedented moment. covid19.omeka.net
fresh, authentic, tasty japanese food
AUTHENTIC JAPANESE CUISINE
LUNCH Tue-Fri, 11:30am – 2pm DINNER Sun, Tue-Thu 5pm–9pm Fri-Sat 5pm – 10pm. Closed Monday
n BOULDER HISTORY TIMELINE. A timeline of some of the notable things that have happened in Boulder through the years. museumofboulder.org/time n BOULDER HISTORY BLOG. Looking for inspiration for stories to include in your Boulder history units? Check out Museum of Boulder’s blog for a variety of lesser-known vignettes of Boulder history. museumofboulder.org/blog
Follow us on instagram: Sushiyoshilouisville APRIL 30, 2020
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
WHO BETTER TO RECOMMEND YOUR NEXT BOOK THAN A LIBRARIAN?
This week we explore a few recommendations from the librarians at Boulder Public Library. n MONNIE RECOMMENDS: ‘CITY OF GIRLS,’ BY ELIZABETH GILBERT “Elizabeth Gilbert (author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and ‘The Signature of All Things’) is masterful at bringing a wide variety of characters alive. This book is no different. It introduces us to a young woman in the 1940s, and I found the sense of time and place is remarkably relatable. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot — I just suggest you read it!”
n JAN RECOMMENDS: ‘I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK: ESSAYS,’ BY MARY LAURA PHILPOTT “During this interesting stay-at-home time, I have discovered a unique stay-at-home book tour. I just listened to the author talk by Mary Laura Philpott as she introduces and reads from her book ‘I Miss You When I Blink: Essays.’ Her writing is humorous and touching and absolutely perfect for what we are going through right now. Her voice is wonderful as she reads what she wrote, and I don’t want her to stop. If you have a chance to listen to this book, I think you would enjoy it.”
n MARIA RECOMMENDS: ‘LITTLE WOMEN ’ BY LOUISA MAY ALCOTT “This heartwarming tale follows the journey of the March sisters during the Civil War as they transition from carefree childhood into the roles and responsibilities that adult life offers. Join beautiful Meg, headstrong Jo, timid Beth, and proud Amy in their quest for love, independence, and finding their place in a changing world. This lovely classic transcends time and is sure to be enjoyed by every generation.”
n JULIANNE RECOMMENDS: ‘NATIVE COUNTRY OF THE HEART,’ BY CHERRÍE MORAGA “This concise memoir tells the story of Cherríe L. Moraga and her mother, Elvira. It’s sprinkled with Spanish throughout, thoughtfully placing the reader in a setting that feels so intimate. I enjoyed the stories of Elvira’s young adult life as told to Cherríe when she was a little girl. As Cherríe grows up, the memories get harder to read, as she is faced with difficult familial decisions regarding her mother in her state of mental decline.”
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APRIL 30, 2020
THE HUNGARIAN FILMLAB
Back in the saddle again
IFS’ virtual theater brings ‘Sátántangó’ home by Michael J. Casey We must never lose heart. We have to have trust until our last breath. Otherwise, what will become of us?
hanks to the pivot from physical to virtual theaters, CU-Boulder’s International Film Series (IFS) can extend its programming well beyond the usual spring semester. But there is a drawback: The crown jewel of every IFS calendar lies in its theatrical exhibition of repertory restorations. Well, we can’t have the theater, but we can have the movies, and IFS has landed the rights to virtually screen the 4K restoration of the modern-day Hungarian classic, Sátántangó, an iconic work in the slow cinema movement, and one that rarely sees a home cinema screen. Based on the novel of the same name by László Krasznahorkai, Sátántangó is what every book lover clamors for when they hear their beloved tome is headed for the silver screen. No scene is left out, and the narration is taken verbatim from the text. The result, a seven-and-a-quarter-hour story of a remote Hungarian village in October — just as the cold autumn rain starts to fall. It rains constantly. The wind blows trash and dead leaves with hurricane force. The roads are thick with slippery mud, and everything looks cold. The faces of the villagers don’t look any bet28
ter: Craggy, wrinkled and often inebriated. Even when they gather to dance in the town tavern, things get dicey. A drunk loudly tries to recount a story with the oral patter of Lawrence Ferlinghetti while the accordion player tries to drown him out with a repetitive melody. And a buxom wife tries to summon an ounce of jealousy from her husband. But he’s too deep into his cups to care. All of them are. Outside, the town doctor falls in the mud, and a young girl walks around with a dead cat and a box of rat poison. Casablanca, this is not. And with a whopping running time of 450 minutes, Sátántangó might sound like punishment. It’s not. It’s stunning and intoxicating. You can’t look away, and director Béla Tarr won’t let you. The camera lingers on these faces and spaces, allowing the viewer to drink in every last inch of the frame. Sometimes the image is static. Sometimes the camera moves with ghostly ease. In both, longevity enhances engagement. You notice the way flies crawl across tablecloths, and the piles of discarded furniture shoved into the corner. Next to a character’s bed, a stack of crates holding liquor bottles. Are the bottles empty or full? Either way, what does that say about the character? Most commercial cinema either compresses or telescopes time for dramatic APRIL 30, 2020
and emotional purposes. Things that take a day are summed up in a minute. Other times, minutes are drawn out in triplicate. These movies grab the viewer by the collar and shake them awake with action and movement. Sátántangó does neither. It’s what many call “slow cinema,” a niche style of filmmaking that coolly leans away from viewers, forcing them to lean forward and notice more. What first appears to be gaps in the action soon become opportunities for wonder. You fill the spaces with your own thoughts, your own observations. It’s psychiatry at 24 frames per second. Take the movie’s opening section: A wife is having an affair when her husband returns. The lover hides in the closet until the husband steps outside to relieve himself. As soon as the husband is out, the lover ducks out the door, crosses the street, and hides against a neighboring building. The husband finishes his business and returns to the house, noticing nothing. The lover then approaches the home and casually knocks on the door — he and the husband are friends. They are also in cahoots to steal a small fortune. Is the husband oblivious? Does he know and not care? Is he in on the charade? The mind reels with possible backstories. Then, an hour later, the scene repeats, only this time from another I
character’s point of view: The town busybody who lives down the street. From his grungy window, he sees it all — the peeing husband, the lover ducking out and then heading back in. Up close, there’s elegance in the timing and geometry in the movement. From back here, it looks like two clumsy fools slipping in the mud. Both takeaways are correct, and Sátántangó doubles back on multiple scenes to illustrate its point: The distant past will soon be the near future. When writer Susan Sontag saw Sátántangó in 1995, she said she’d like to watch it once a year for the rest of her life. She probably could too; there’s an awful lot to look for in a seven-and-aquarter-hour film. How should you approach Sátántangó? Watch it all at once? Take it section-by-section, 12 in all, like a blackand-white miniseries? Or use the two intermissions and break it into three twoand-half-hour movies? Dealer’s choice, really. If it were up to Tarr, you’d watch Sátántangó in one go. But you’re sitting at home, and you control the remote. Approach it the same way you would a good novel: As much or as little as you like until you’re done. Rent Sátántangó at internationfilmseries.com. For more movie reviews, listen to Metro Arts on KGNU, Fridays at 3 p.m. (88.5 FM, 1390 AM and online at kgnu.org). BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
ing more libidos than it’s not — stress and anxiety can actually be triggers for PGAD. As you’ve learned, CA, you can’t masturbate your Dear Dan: I’m a 31-year-old female. way out of this. So what do you do? Last week I suddenly started to experiUnfortunately, it’s the thing you’d really ence an overwhelming, compulsive and rather not do: call your doctor. near-constant state of physical arousal. “It’s important to meet with a knowlI’ve masturbated so much looking for edgeable health care provider to ensure relief that my entire lower region is super there is not another concern present that sore and swollen and still, may be responsible for the ROMAN ROBINSON it’s like my whole body is symptoms and to access pulsating with this electric treatment,” said Jackowich. arousal telling me to ignore “Research on treatments for the pain and do it again. I PGAD is relatively new, so have no idea if it’s normal it can be helpful to meet to suddenly have such a with a team of different spike in libido and I know a health care providers to find lot of people will say they what treatments would be wish they had this problem most effective for you spebut it’s interfering with my cifically. This could include a daily activities because I gynecologist, urologist, pelcan’t focus on anything vic floor physical therapist, else. My college classes neurologist and/or psycholoare suffering because of it. gist with expertise in sex therapy.” I’ve even had to remove my clitoral hood Talking with your doctor about this piercing, which I’ve had for over 10 years! may be embarrassing, I realize, and it I feel like I have all of the reasons — high doesn’t help that many doctors are unfaanxiety related to the pandemic, being miliar with PGAD. Jackowich actually recstuck with an alcoholic boyfriend in the ommends bringing printouts of information house, tons of homework, finances are pages and research papers about the low — to warrant a lack of arousal, so condition to your appointment and sharing why am I drowning in it? Everything I’m them with your physician. And if your doc learning in class states that sexual desire doesn’t take your distress seriously and/or lowers throughout the lifespan so why am refuses to refer you to the specialists you I literally pulsating with it? I really don’t need to see, CA, then you’ll have to get want to call my doctor if I don’t have to. yourself a new doctor. (You can find those Any insight would be appreciated. information pages and research papers at —Chronically Aroused sexlab.ca/pgad, where you can also learn about currently available treatments and Dear CA: “There’s a general belief join support groups for sufferers.) that sexual arousal is always wanted — “More awareness of PGAD and and the more the better,” said Robyn research on this condition is needed to Jackowich. “But in reality, persistent and help understand the symptoms and develunwanted sexual arousal can be very disop effective treatments,” said Jackowich. tressing.” “If you experience these symptoms and Jackowich is a Ph.D. candidate at would like to contribute to ongoing Queen’s University, where she works research efforts, the Queen’s University under the supervision of Dr. Caroline Sexual Health Research Lab is seeking Pukall in the Sexual Health Research Lab. participants for an online study.” To take Jackowich has published numerous studpart in that online survey, go to sexlab.ca/ ies on Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder pgad, click on “participate,” and scroll (PGAD), a condition characterized by a down to the “OLIVE Study.” constant or frequently recurring state of genital arousal — sensations, sensitivity, Dear Dan: I’ve rekindled a romance swelling — in the absence of sexual with an ex from a decade ago. We are desire. long distance right now but getting very “In other words, there is a disconnect close. We have one recurring problem between what is happening in one’s body though. She does not like that I am and mind,” said Jackowich, “and this can friends with another ex. That ex has actube both distressing and distracting.” ally been a close friend for a very long And while you would think stress time and our friendship means a lot to me. would tank your libido — and preliminary Our romantic relationship only lasted a research shows that the pandemic is tankfew months. But since we did have a
BY DAN SAVAGE
BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE
romantic relationship once, my current girlfriend sees my ex as a threat. I have reassured her several times that the relationship is in the past and we are now only friends. But my girlfriend doesn’t want me to communicate with her at all. She wants me to un-friend her on Facebook and un-follow her Instagram and at least once a week she asks if we have been in contact. It is hard for me to throw a friend away in order to be in a relationship. Even though I don’t talk to my ex/friend all that regularly, I would like the option to at least check in every once in a while. Cutting her out of my life completely feels like a kind of death. I wish there was some way I could find a compromise but this seems to be one of those “all or nothing” things. I also don’t like this feeling of not being trusted and fear it could lead to other problems down the line. —Unhappy Girlfriend Has Sensitivities Dear UGHS: I can see why your current girlfriend might feel threatened by your relationship with an ex, UGHS, seeing as she — your current girlfriend — was until very recently just another one of your exes. Since you got back together with her, the green-eyed monster whispers in her ear, what’s to stop you from getting back together with your other ex? What the green-eyed monster doesn’t say, of course, is that you had every opportunity to get back together with your ex and didn’t. And cutting off your ex now doesn’t mean you can’t get back together with her later. And what’s to stop you from getting together with one of the 3.5 billion women you haven’t already dated? You have to take a hard line on this. Tell your current you’re happy to provide her with a little reassurance when she’s feeling insecure about your ex but you’re not going to un-friend or un-follow her or anyone else. You can make an appeal to reason — you wouldn’t be with your current girlfriend if you were the sort of person who cut off contact with his exes — but if your current girlfriend is the irrationally jealous type… well, an appeal to reason won’t help. Irrationally jealous people are by definition incapable of seeing reason, UGHS, which is why they must be shown doors. This week on the Savage Lovecast: Dan chats with our epidemiologist pal about the state of the pandemic, and also with the founder of the Badass Army — a group working to fight for victims of revenge porn. Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage and visit ITMFA.org APRIL 30, 2020
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ive employees of the JBS meat processing plant in Greeley have died of COVID-19. Around the country, meatpacking and food processing plants have become hotbeds for the spread of the coronavirus due to the close proximity in which employees work and some say, inadequate safety and testing protocols. Outbreaks of COVID-19 and subsequent facility closures — including a 10-day closure of the Greeley plant — underscore issues of inequity in the meat-processing industry, where critics say workers have few rights and high risks. “This is a human rights issue and some people think that workers have a choice to just quit,” says Kim Cordova, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local union group, Local 7. “But you can’t. You invested yourself in these companies, and companies have an obligation to protect their workers and look out for their well-being. In the packing house… there’s not many people lining up to do that job.” Cordova says between 800 and 1,000 workers had been calling in sick at the JBS facility over the last three and a half months. At the time, Cordova alleges, JBS was not following social distancing guidelines, providing adequate personal protective equipment or offering wholesale testing of employees. In fact, Weld County
effective way to contribute to public health,” adding that “testing does not stop the virus and only provides a one-time snapshot of infection.” Current sick-leave policies are adequate enough, Bruett says, to ensure that employees stay home when they or loved ones are sick. “We want team members to stay home when they’re sick, and our benefits support that position,” Bruett says. “In Colorado, our team members receive 100% pay for the first four days they are out with illness and then receive negotiated short-term disability for up to 26 additional weeks. No one is forced to come to work and no one is punished for being absent for health reasons. If someone is sick or lives with someone who is sick, we send them home.” Of course, federal guidelines indicate anyone who has COVID-19 to self-quarantine for two weeks. Bruett says the company ordered masks in March and, after a delay in receiving them, started mandating their use on April 13. JBS is also temperature testing all employees before they enter the facility and removing at-risk employees with full pay. Cordova alleges that, despite those claims, many JBS employees don’t feel empowered to use whatever sick leave they have.
Five employees at a meatpacking plant in Greeley have died of COVID19, underscoring issues of inequity in the U.S. food production industry
By Matt Cortina health officials (in a document obtained by Colorado Public Radio) warned the plant of a perception among workers of a “work while sick” culture that encouraged people to come to the plant regardless of their health concerns. “The company is putting pressure on their workers to come in,” Cordova says. JBS Head of Corporate Affairs Cameron Bruett says, after the plant’s reopening, the company is screening all employees but testing only those that present symptoms. Bruett says “shutting down the facility was the most
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APRIL 30, 2020
Will this recession be brought to you by the letter V, U, W or L?
by Michael J. Casey
hings are not looking up. While Gov. Jared Polis’ statewide stay-at-home order has expired, Boulder is one of many counties extending shelter-in-place to May 8. Could it be longer? Possibly. Regardless of when the order lifts, it will not be business as usual at the brewery until customers feel safe to lead normal lives — with normal defined as the type of patronage that existed roughly two months ago in the pre-coronavirus times. What will it take for customers to feel safe? A vaccine, for one, but that’s maybe a year away. More pressing: Disposable income. More than 279,000 Coloradans have filed for unemployment in the past five weeks. And with a state population of 5.759 million, that puts unemployment at almost 5%. For comparison purposes, unemployment in the Centennial State peaked at 8.7% during the Great Recession in 2010. Back in February 2020, it was 2.5%. Beer, in a generic sense, is recessionresistant. Breweries, on the other hand, are not. They are as susceptible to economic trends and shifting customer tastes like any industry. Craft beer, which typically operates at a higher price point than mass-market beer, concentrates these pluses and minuses. Years of tremendous growth would surely result in an analogous decline, many predicted. Though, not even the most cracked of them could have predicted it would look like this. The question now: What shape will it take? Shorthand relies on four letters — V, U, W and L — to graphically illustrate recession and recovery. When the government issued inperson closures back in mid-March, just about everyone had their fingers crossed for a V-shaped recession, a sharp downturn with a quick return. Everyone stays home; the coronavirus curve is flattened; everyone goes back to their usual spending. But, with ever-extending shelter-in-place orders and the
SOUTHERN SUN PUB & BREWERY is
one of many breweries and brewpubs temporarily closed until stay-at-home orders are lifted.
prospect of a slow restart in the service industry, drawing a V seems unlikely. Optimists now turn to the letter U. A U-shaped recession is like a V, only rougher. The line heads south, bumps along the bottom for an extended period, a year or so, and eventually climbs back up. There’s a hitch: This recession is both an economic crisis and a public health one. Turn the economy back on, send everyone back to work, and the line will go up. But then the virus mutates and comes back with a right cross: Down goes business. Either to another government-mandated shutdown, or because customers are too scared to leave their homes. They call this terrifying little fellow a W-shaped recession, and, at this point, brewers would be damn happy to see it. Just as long as it’s not the dreaded L, anything but L — you can probably guess what an L-shaped recession looks like: The line goes down, bottoms out and stays there. At the beginning of April, Brewers Association economist Bart Watson ran an informal survey to gauge how the impact of COVID-19 and social distancing was affecting small breweries. Of the 525 responses, 59.9% said they would have to close their doors in three months if the situation did not change. Apply that number to the 8,000plus breweries operating in the U.S., and you have 4,792 businesses closing their doors by Aug. 1 — 30 of them here in Boulder County. Not accounted for in the data: The numbers of breweries that will not manifest because of this pandemic. Over the past five years, brewery closings have been on the rise while openings have slowed. But openings have outpaced closings almost three to one. 2020 looks to invert that number. And 2021 might even be worse. When the dust settles, the stimulus dries up, and the goodwill runs out, the real excrement will hit the fan. You could call that an I-shaped recession. When that happens, start stocking up.
ON THE MEND
What will it take to make it through? Resilient employees, for starters. Just ask Tom and Kristy Horst, owners of Louisville’s Crystal Springs Brewing Co. On March 22, Tom was sent to the ICU with pneumonia and bronchitis while Kristy was hospitalized with both and COVID-19. The two are on the mend, currently recovering from their quarantined home. Not a lot of business can survive any hiccup in day-to-day operations, let alone a pandemic. Less when the leaders are down for the count. The Horsts hired well when they staffed Crystal Springs, and it might be their saving grace. A tomorrow when we can sit on Crystal Springs’ patio and raise glasses of Summertime Kölsch to toast their hard work can’t come soon enough.
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APRIL 30, 2020
BOULDER WEEKLY STAFF
VINDALOO, $12.99-$15.99. Kathmandu Restaurant II, 1964 28th St., Boulder, 303-442-6868, kathmandurestaurant. us/boulder/
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CHANCES ARE YOU’VE reached for comfort food over the last several
weeks, and it doesn’t get much more comfortable than curry. Kathmandu came down from its Nederland outpost a few years ago to open a second shop on 28th street in Boulder, and since then, we’ve returned to its well of balanced, flavor-forward Indian and Himalayan dishes plenty of times. In its body-heatgenerating vindaloo curry dish, choose lamb, fish or, as we did, chicken to pair with a tomato and potato curry that’s robustly spiced with cumin, anise and other earthy elements. Enjoy it with thin, charred garlic naan, or start off the meal with crispy samosas or chewy, juicy momos.
1 n Drink this: Night Warden, a whiskey barrel-aged stout, from Avery Brewing Co. WITH A PILE OF mocha-tinged foam on top, it looks more chocolate brown than stout black. But looks can be deceiving, and the first whiff of Night Warden comes loaded with creamy vanilla. You’ll find even more in the mouth, swirling between flavors of warm whiskey and gooey caramel. There’s a tinge of coffee roast, but not too much. The alcohol follows suit: You smell and taste the woodsoaked staves with every sip, but at 8.2% ABV, Night Warden won’t scorch on the way down.
APRIL 30, 2020
n Sushi Zanmai and Japango on-board for next ‘Dinner and a Movie’ THE FLATIRONS FOOD Film Festival is running a Dinner and a Movie series, in which participants order takeout from a local restaurant and stream a movie through the Festival. On May 1, Boulder’s Sushi Zanmai and Japango will offer meals to pair with the film East Side Sushi, about a Bay Area Latina who wants to become a sushi chef despite gender and cultural barriers. Japango’s offering its regular menu plus an East Side Sushi meal kit ($50) and Sushi Zanmai has special sushi combos ($28-$32). Don’t forget the sake. Order the food from the restaurant, and sign up for the screening (and get more info) at flatironsfoodfilmfest.org/films.
JOIN US FOR
PACKED from Page 30
“It’s not just [personal protective equipment], it’s not just the mechanical parts in the plant that they can put some plastic shields on and mitigate. It’s actual policies and a lack of transparency,” Cordova says. “A lot of the big issues is these workers do not have [adequate] paid sick leave and they don’t have paid family leave, so it creates a culture of work while sick.” Cordova claims JBS’s slow implementation of safety measures is part and parcel of federal guidance — there is little in the way of guidance for facilities during the pandemic from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the federal government’s stunted reaction exacerbated outbreaks like the ones at several meatpacking plants in the U.S. “Originally our president said this was a hoax and a joke, and I think that had a lot to do with the late response from our employers,” Cordova says. “Now that this is real, we have to hope companies will react faster, and we need stingier OSHA guidance and guidelines.” Too, Cordova says, meatpacking facilities need to properly communicate safety and sick leave guidelines to a community largely comprised of first-generation Americans, who speak multiple languages — 30, alone, in the Greeley plant. Bruett did not respond specifically to a question about whether guidelines are posted in all 30 languages. “A lot of these workers are refugees,” Cordova says. “They want a piece of the American dream. They came from a government they didn’t trust and then they come over here and someone gives them a job when they can’t read or write. A lot of these workers are very educated. Some were doctors, school teachers, but the companies take advantage of that and really put them in these positions where they feel compelled to work.” Cordova has been making all these concerns public through press releases and public comments. In response, JBS sent a cease and desist letter on April 24 claiming the Local 7 was “subverting and otherwise violating express provisions of” the collective bargaining agreement by encouraging employees to withhold production. Cordova says it was galling to receive the letter the day the plant reopened and that it mischaracterized the comments Local 7 has been making public.
“They’re trying to imply because we’re raising safety issues that we’re encouraging a work stoppage, and we can’t do that under the contract, but that doesn’t mean workers can’t make their own individual decisions to call in sick or miss work because they’re concerned about their safety or they take care of loved ones.” Bruett did hint at sentiments expressed by Tyson Foods this week that the coronavirus is imperiling the food supply chain in the U.S. — “We will endeavor to keep our facilities open to help feed the nation, but we will not operate a facility if we do not believe it is safe.” He added that relatively high infection numbers in Weld County (1,469 confirmed COVID-19 cases) create a sense of worry in the community that impacts their operations. “When the virus is prevalent in the community, fear is heightened, absenteeism rises and the challenge of keeping the virus out becomes greater. If absenteeism levels become too high, we cannot safely operate,” Bruett says. But, Cordova retorts, “If you’re worried these packing houses are trying to open too fast, they themselves are responsible for breaking that food supply chain because they have not been proactive, or they’re rushing to open to start a cycle of open-close, open-close.” UFCW has no members inside the Smuckers plant in Longmont that opened last year, by the way, but Frank Cirillo with the company says it is offering 14 days of paid sick leave for employees who test positive and a one-time $1,500 hardship grant. The facility has been able to remain open during the pandemic. The Local 7 also represents grocery store workers, and Cordova says she’s concerned about the numbers of infected employees rising. She also cautions people to be mindful of grocery store employees, who come in contact with hundreds of people a day. “We’ve had customers get very violent with our members because they’re out of tissue paper. We had one worker punched in the face because the store was out of Himalayan salt for goodness sake,” Cordova says. “If they’re stocking produce and someone walks right up to your face because they want to know where the Granny Smith apples are, it compromises those workers. They’re not wearing gloves in the store. We want screening and testing.”
SUSHI & A MOVIE
EAST SIDE SUSHI FRIDAY, MAY 1 @ 6:30 PM We’re partnering with Flatirons Food Film Festival in streaming East Side Sushi, a dramedy about a Bay Area Latina who wants to become a sushi chef despite gender and cultural barriers. What better way to enjoy a movie about sushi than with…SUSHI! Feeling adventurous? We’re offering a “Make Your Own Sushi” kit. Feeling lazy? Order from our regular Curbside Pickup menu. Either way, all you have to do is get your order in by 4pm on Friday and you’ll be good to go! Visit BoulderJapango.com to view menus and to get tickets.
We’re offering “black glove” service. Just call in your order (don’t forget the sake, wine or beer!) and we’ll bring it out to you. D E L I V E RY
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Daily: 11:30am–8pm +1 303 938 0330 Thank you Boulder for your continued support of our Japango family. it means the world to us!
APRIL 30, 2020
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MARCH 21-APRIL 19: I always hesitate to advise Aries
people to slow down, be more deliberate and pay closer attention to boring details. The Rams to whom I provide such counsel may be rebelliously annoyed with me — so much so that they move even faster, and with less attention to the details. Nevertheless, I’ll risk offering you this advisory right now. Here’s my reasoning, which I hope will make the prospect more appealing: If you commit to a phase in which you temporarily invoke more prudence, discretion and watchfulness than usual, it will ultimately reward you with a specific opportunity to make rapid progress.
APRIL 20-MAY 20: Is there an area of your life
where you would like a do-over? A chance to cancel the past and erase lingering messiness and clear a path for who-knows-what new possibility? The coming weeks will be an excellent time to prepare — not to actually take the leap, but rather make yourself ready for the leap. You will have God and fate and warm fuzzy vibes on your side as you dare to dream and scheme about a fresh start. Any mistakes you committed once upon a time could become irrelevant as you fantasize practically about a future breakthrough.
MAY 21-JUNE 20: In 1855, Gemini-born Walt
Whitman published his book of poetry Leaves of Grass. A literary critic named Rufus Wilmot Griswold did not approve. In a review, he derided the work that would eventually be regarded as one of America’s literary masterpieces. “It is impossible to imagine how any man’s fancy could have conceived such a mass of stupid filth,” Griswold wrote, adding that Whitman had a “degrading, beastly sensuality” driven by “the vilest imaginings.” Whitman’s crafty Gemini intelligence responded ingeniously to the criticism. In the next edition of Leaves of Grass, the author printed Griswold’s full review. It helped sell even more books! I invite you to consider comparable twists and tricks.
JUNE 21-JULY 22: In your efforts to develop a vibrant
community and foster a vital network of connections, you have an advantage. Your emotionally rich, nurturing spirit instills trust in people. They’re drawn to you because they sense you will treat them with care and sensitivity. On the other hand, these fine attributes of yours may sometimes cause problems. Extra-needy, manipulative folks may interpret your softness as weakness. They might try to exploit your kindness to take advantage of you. So the challenge for you is to be your generous, welcoming self without allowing anyone to violate your boundaries or rip you off. Everything I just said will be helpful to meditate on in the coming weeks, as you reinvent yourself for the future time when the coronavirus crisis will have lost much of its power to disrupt our lives.
JULY 23-AUG. 22: Now is an excellent time to take inventory of your integrity. You’re likely to get crucial insights if you evaluate the state of your ethics, your authenticity, and your compassion. Is it time to boost your commitment to a noble cause that transcends your narrow self-interest? Are there ways you’ve been less than fully fair and honest in your dealings with people? Is it possible you have sometimes failed to give your best? I’m not saying that you are guilty of any of those sins. But most of us are indeed guilty of them, at least now and then. And if you are, Leo, now is your special time to check in with yourself — and make any necessary adjustments and corrections.
AUG. 23-SEPT. 22: I predict that you will have more
flying dreams than usual in the coming weeks — as well as more dreams in which you’re traveling around the world in the company of rebel angels and dreams in which you’re leading revolutionary uprisings of oppressed people against tyrannical overlords and
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dreams of enjoying eight-course gourmet feasts with sexy geniuses in the year 2022. You may also, even while not asleep, well up with outlandish fantasies and exotic desires. I don’t regard any of these likelihoods as problematical. In fact, I applaud them and encourage them. They’re healthy for you! Bonus: All the wild action transpiring in your psyche may prompt you to generate good ideas about fun adventures you could embark on once the coronavirus crisis has ebbed.
SEPT. 23-OCT. 22: It’s time to work your way below the
surface level of things, Libra; to dig and dive into the lower reaches where the mysteries are darker and richer; to marshal your courage as you go in quest of the rest of the story. Are you willing to suspend some of your assumptions about the way things work so as to become fully alert for hidden agendas and dormant potentials? Here’s a piece of advice: Your fine analytical intelligence won’t be enough to guide you through this enigmatic terrain. If you hope to get face-to-face with the core source, you’ll have to call on your deeper intuition and non-rational hunches.
OCT. 23-NOV. 21: When was the last time you researched the intricacies of what you don’t like and don’t desire and don’t want to become? Now is a favorable time to take a thorough inventory. You’ll generate good fortune for yourself by naming the following truths: 1) goals and dreams that are distractions from your primary mission; 2) attitudes and approaches that aren’t suitable for your temperament and that don’t contribute to your maximum health; 3) people and influences that are not in alignment with your highest good.
NOV. 22-DEC. 21: Novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky believed
that the cleverest people are those who regularly call themselves fools. In other words, they feel humble amusement as they acknowledge their failings and ignorance — thereby paving the way for creative growth. They steadily renew their commitment to avoid being know-it-alls, celebrating the curiosity that such blessed innocence enables them to nurture. They give themselves permission to ask dumb questions! Now is a favorable time for you to employ these strategies.
DEC. 22-JAN. 19: What wonderful improvements
and beautiful influences would you love to be basking in by May 1, 2021? What masterpieces would you love to have as key elements of your life by then? I invite you to have fun brainstorming about these possibilities in the next two weeks. If an exciting idea bubbles up into your awareness, formulate a plan that outlines the details you’ll need to put in place so as to bring it to fruition when the time is right. I hereby authorize you to describe yourself with these terms: begetter, originator, maker, designer, founder, producer, framer, generator.
JAN. 20-FEB. 18: If I asked you to hug and kiss yourself
regularly, would you think I was being too cute? If I encouraged you to gaze into a mirror once a day and tell yourself how beautiful and interesting you are, would you say, “That’s too woo-woo for me.” I hope you will respond more favorably than that, Aquarius. In fact, I will be praying for you to ascend to new heights of self-love between now and May 25. I will be rooting for you to be unabashed as you treat yourself with more compassionate tenderness than you have ever dared to before. And I do mean EVER!
FEB. 19-MARCH 20: In the coming weeks, I’d love to see
you get excited about refining and upgrading the ways you communicate. I don’t mean to imply that you’re a poor communicator now; it’s just that you’re in a phase when you’re especially empowered to enhance the clarity and candor with which you express yourself. You’ll have an uncanny knack for knowing the right thing to say at the right moment. You’ll generate blessings for yourself as you fine-tune your listening skills. Much of this may have to happen online and over the phone, of course. But you can still accomplish a lot!
When we howl by Lee FG
When we howl, we howl as one Against the breakers Against the silence Against the bone When we howl, we’re calling to you, “Ahwooooooooo!” Saying, I see you, I hear you, I feel you too When we howl, it’s because the night is alive and together we will fill it to the brim We howl to say, “we are not afraid!” (But if you are, it’s ok) When we howl it’s because, I love you Even if just a little Even if I do not know you, for a moment We are kin, we are dreamers together in the night When we howl it’s because we have always howled we still howl, we must To remember, for a moment the moon spirits we are That for so many of us tomorrow may never come and for so many of us it hasn’t You’ve asked me too, to howl For your lover, your ancestor, Your child, and your life Together we’ll remember We’re not yet done... We will fight When we howl it’s because a blue sky is coming Because on this night our souls are awake We howl to become the light
Lee FG is a Ph.D. student and poet living in Boulder, founder of Little Drops Press, a believer in the spirit within us all and a proud howler in the night. APRIL 30, 2020
CIA: You’re not necessarily a bad man, ‘Mr. Brown’ By Paul Danish
ood news, stoners. The CIA does not think you are necessarily a bad person just because you smoke pot. What’s more, it will even consider hiring you if you haven’t inhaled in at least a year and ‘fess up about past marijuana use. A CIA personage who answers questions about the CIA as #AskMollyHale fielded this question from a personage going by the code name Eager to Serve: “I would love to join the CIA, but I’ve done illegal drugs in the past. Is there any path forward for me at the CIA?” “I’m not asserting that those who have experimented with drugs are in some way bad or unworthy,” replied code name Molly, “but a willingness to break federal law to engage in illicit drug use can be used as a measure of someone’s fitness to hold a security clearance.” However, code name Molly went on, “No matter your history with drug use, the key is to exercise candor throughout the application process and through your employment, for that matter. Sincerity and honesty are two traits that the CIA values above all else…” (Sincerity and honesty, huh? As the late Senator Everett Dirksen [R-Illinois] once remarked when presented with a similar howler: “Ha. Ha. Ha. And I might add. Ho. Ho. Ho.”) Anyway, whether code name Molly and code name Eager to Serve are real people is unknown. It is known, however, that CIA employees have
used code names to disguise their real identities. Especially when ordering pizza, a practice that has been found to correlate with (or at least follow logically from) smoking pot. Back in the ’60s, an enterprising reporter in search of a feature story about the CIA scouted out the pizza place closest to CIA headquarters and asked the manager whether the spooks ever sent out for pizza when working late. “Happens all the time,” the manager said. “And they always order under an alias. And the alias is always the same — ‘Mr. Brown.’ There are nights when we have three dozen pizzas waiting for ‘Mr. Brown.’” • • • • Admit it, you’ve been fantasizing that smoking weed somehow protects you from the coronavirus. Sadly, no one’s found any evidence of that yet, but when it comes to marijuana’s evil twin tobacco, well, that’s another matter. About a week ago the U.K. paper Daily Mail reported that a French study found that only 4.4% of 350 hospitalized coronavirus patients were regular smokers and 5.3% of 130 home-bound patients smoked. But at least 25% of the French population smokes. The obvious implication is that although smoking is an enabler of cancer, heart disease and emphysema, nicotine might somehow protect you from coronavirus.
APRIL 30, 2020
One researcher contacted by the paper said there was “bizarrely strong” evidence it could be true. And French medics weren’t the only ones who noticed the smoke signals. A study in China found only 6.5% of coronavirus patients were smokers, while 26.6% of the Chinese population smoked. And researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that just 1.3% of hospitalized patients smoked, compared to 14% of Americans generally. “Our cross-sectional study strongly suggests that those who smoke every day are much less likely to develop a symptomatic or severe infection with Sar-CoV-2 [the coronavirus] compared with the general population,” the French study stated. “The effect is significant. It divides the risk by five for ambulatory patients and by four for those admitted to hospital. We rarely see this in medicine,” it added. The French docs aren’t recommending that people start smoking, but they said they plan to give nicotine patches to hospitalized coronavirus patients and frontline health workers to see if it has any effect on preventing the spread of the virus. Various researchers theorized that nicotine might be hindering the virus from entering the body’s cells by binding to a receptor favored by the virus. They also theorized that nicotine might abate an immune system’s overreaction to the virus, called a cytokine storm, that can lead to death. Meanwhile, the French government theorized that once word of the study got out there would be panic-buying of cigarettes, and that an epidemic of cigarette-hoarding would erupt. And so, quicker than you can flick your Bic, it started rationing them. Sacré bleu. Gauloises to the rescue.
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