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news:

Colorado pushing progressive gun laws in the face of another mass shooting by Angela K. Evans

news briefs:

Litigation over Rocky Flats trail plan, a new book on camping, and a lack of planning in the Xcel/Boulder franchise agreement by Boulder Weekly staff

buzz:

After more than a couple of decades as a songwriter, guitarist and singer, Oliver Wood finally gets around to releasing a solo album by Dave Kirby

events:

Films, theater, dance, music and more to do when there’s ‘nothing’ to do by Boulder Weekly staff

feast:

Fish and chips in a landlocked state by Matt Cortina

weed between the lines:

New coalition for cannabis legalization brings alcohol, tobacco and insurance industries to the table, making some cannabis activists uneasy by Will Brendza

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departments 5

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The Anderson Files: Democrats become the progressive family values party Letters: Signed, sealed, delivered, your views Words: ‘Dada Def Poems,” by Donnie Hollingsworth Savage Love: Dramatis Personae Film: American aspirations and ‘The Human Factor’ Astrology: by Rob Brezsny Try this: The Roxborough @ D’Angelo’s Deli

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

May 13, 2021 Volume XXVIII, Number 39 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 editorial@boulderweekly.com www.boulderweekly.com Boulder Weekly is published every Thursday. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. © 2021 Boulder Weekly, Inc., all rights reserved.

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

Democrats become the progressive family values party by Dave Anderson

Other countries have social safety nets. The U.S. has women.” — sociologist Jessica Calarco

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any Republicans went full-tilt culture war when Joe Biden introduced his sweeping $1.8 trillion American Families Plan for national paid family leave, universal pre-kindergarten, free community college and subsidized child care. Senator Josh Hawley called it “lefty social engineering.” J.D. Vance, author, venture capitalist and Trump whisperer, denounced “ruling class elites” who “want strangers to raise their kids, but middle-class Americans, whatever their station in life, they want more time with their children.” A majority of Americans support the Biden plan.

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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When they hear that it will be paid for by taxing the rich, it is even more popular. For decades, the Republicans have claimed to be the party of “family values.” That frequently has meant that they favor a nuclear family with a strict daddy in charge and oppose abortion and LGBTQ rights. Now Democrats have become a different kind of “family values” party. It’s about time. If Biden succeeds, Jordan Weissmann says we will become a developed world “normal country” for mothers and fathers. He explains in Slate: “We are ... the only wealthy country that doesn’t ensure paid leave for new moms. Child care? It’s already see THE ANDERSON FILES Page 6

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THE ANDERSON FILES from Page 5

heavily subsidized in places like Japan, France, Korea, Germany, Australia and the Nordics, but here the cost often rivals college tuition. We trail most of our peers in pre-K enrollment, likely because — according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development — they often spend a lot more public money on it. While the idea of just giving money to poor families, in the form of a child allowance, may seem novel here, countries like Canada started doing it a while ago. In fact, if you add up our total expenditures on cash benefits, tax breaks, and services for families as a share of the economy, we’re third to last among countries tracked by OECD, just ahead of Mexico and Turkey.” Meanwhile, Republicans and big business worry about lazy workers ruining everything. When the Labor Department released its disappointing April jobs report, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce quickly jumped up and proclaimed that there is a “labor shortage” and the $300 supplemental unemployment benefit in Biden’s American Jobs Plan is keeping people from going back to work. Republican-led states are now cutting off the extra $300. Heather Long, Washington Post economics correspondent, said there isn’t a shortage of workers but “a great reassessment of work” going on. She explained: “At the most basic level, people are still hesitant to return to work until they are fully vaccinated and their children are back in school and day care full time. For example, all the job gains in April went to men. The number of women employed or looking for work fell by 64,000, a reminder that childcare issues are still in play.” Long said that growing evidence in surveys and anecdotes indicate

that many people want to do something different with their lives than they did before the pandemic. People who work in jobs dealing with the public are concerned about their health. They have to deal with obnoxious customers who don’t want to wear masks. Bars and restaurants are COVID-19 hotspots. A recent study from the University of California San Francisco found that morbidity rates for food and agricultural workers are much worse than those of medical professionals and other occupations which are considered to be on the “front lines” of the pandemic. You may or may not want to die for your country, but do you want to die for Ronald McDonald or the Burger King? Many Americans have died unnecessarily during this pandemic for a variety of reasons. There would definitely have been less death and sickness if we had a single-payer health care system. Sen. Bernie Sanders offered proposals for the American Families Plan to slash prescription drug prices and to lower Medicare’s eligibility age and broaden its coverage to include dental, vision and hearing aids. Unfortunately, Biden excluded the highly popular ideas from his plan. However, Sanders hasn’t given up. He said, “We must take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, lower drug prices, and use the savings to expand Medicare.” While the Republican Party has become an authoritarian cult of personality, the Democrats are having debates and policy fights but passing significant progressive legislation. Biden has been a pleasant surprise.

You May or May not want to die for your country, but

do you want to die for Ronald McDonald or the Burger King?

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This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly. MAY 13, 2021

POLIS MUST SIGN SB 21-200 Gov. Polis ran and won on a platform of 100% renewables and strong climate action. However, his recent threat to veto SB 21-200: Reduce Greenhouse Gases Increase Environmental Justice, reveals he has no real intentions of addressing our state’s climate crisis. SB 21-200 would provide enforcement and resources for ensuring we reach our state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. Two years ago, the Colorado Assembly passed and the governor signed HB 1261, which aimed to cut the state’s greenhouse gases by 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. We are not on track to meet these emissions reduction goals. SB 21-200 will ensure we reach these targets with hard emissions limits from each sector, a March 1, 2022 deadline for implementation, and a fee on carbon dioxide and methane. Fees would fund a first-ever office of environmental justice to ensure consultation with disproportionately impacted communities living near coal plants, refineries and fracking sites. It is unacceptable that our governor should threaten to veto SB 21-200, legislation that would ensure we meet critical climate goals he himself supported and helped to pass. The governor takes issue with giving “dictatorial authority over our economy to one unelected board,” namely the Air Quality Control Commission. Under our system of checks and balances, the legislative branch passes the laws and the executive branch — in this case, the I

AQCC — carries them out. Indeed, the governor appoints the commission, who are then approved by the Senate. Does the governor want to protect Coloradans from spiralling wildfires and prolonged droughts or not? If so, he should support legislation that will ensure we meet our climate action targets, and sign SB 21-200. Tom Stumpf/Longmont FEDERAL GUN VIOLENCE LEGISLATION The League of Women Voters of Boulder County (LWVBC) supports Boulder City Council Resolution 1288, pushing for federal gun violence legislation. Gun violence continues to tear the fabric of families and communities in Colorado and all over the U.S. through mass shootings, and daily shootings that disproportionately impact people of color. Recognizing this ongoing public safety threat, the League has, since 1990, advocated for policies to curb gun violence and encourage gun safety. Our national League policy position supports regulation of firearms, waiting periods and background checks, personal identity verification, gun safety education, annual license renewal and more. In light of the tragic shooting and deaths at the Boulder King Soopers, LWVBC strongly encourages our Colorado elected officials to introduce bills that would: ban assault weapons; establish a gun purchase waiting period of at least six days; add a 10-year see LETTERS Page 7

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


LETTERS from Page 6

prohibition on firearm purchase for people with conviction of, or outstanding warrants for, violent misdemeanors or crimes that are linked to an increased risk of gun violence; repeal state preemption on local firearm regulation; and increase the minimum age to purchase and possess firearms. For 30 years, the League has worked in the halls of Congress and the state Capitol, and marched in the streets to advocate for gun safety. We appreciate the actions of many of our local, state and federal legislators who have already proven their dedication to achieving gun safety. And, we again encourage elected officials to do what it takes to ensure all people and all communities are safe from gun violence. More information on the LWVBC Gun Safety Team can be found at lwvbc.org.  Elizabeth Crowe, President

the failed war on drugs. End the war, and all the gun violence related to drug deals gone bad and drug gangs fighting over drug territories disappears. It would also result in far less gun violence in Mexico, Central and South America, which would have the side benefit of dramatically reducing the number of people who come here to escape violence in their home countries. Statistically most gun violence hap-

pens in poorer neighborhoods. Therefore, we need to dramatically and sustainably grow the economy. The only proven method to grow the economy is to end economic political controls, by: dramatically reducing government spending, taxation and regulation; and abolishing occupational licensure, zoning and minimum wage laws. A growing economy will provide more resources for suicide prevention,

mental health and drug addiction treatment. Finally, gun-free zones must be abolished. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, about 94% of mass shootings occur in gunfree zones. They don’t work. The solution that moves the needle on gun violence in a positive direction is freedom — not violating rights. Chuck Wright/Westminster

MOVE THE NEEDLE ON GUN VIOLENCE I’m sick and tired of gun violence. I want to be safe going to the grocery store, and I want my grandchildren to be safe at school. Thoughts and prayers don’t cut it. Feel-good but ineffective gun control legislation doesn’t cut it. I want results. I want to move the needle on gun violence in a big positive direction. We need out-of-box thinking to solve the difficult problem of gun violence that plagues this nation. But first we must look at what won’t work. Gun control doesn’t work. Thousands of gun control laws have been enacted, but none has ever moved the needle on gun violence. Gun control is a hopeless cause for insurmountable reasons: By and large the police are pro-gun and they don’t want to enforce gun control laws; It will be difficult to find a jury of 12 willing to convict a peaceful harmless citizen for violating a victimless gun control law; Will gun control laws stand up to constitutional scrutiny?; No matter what President Biden or Congress does, ghost guns are never going away. Ghost guns effectively nullify all gun control laws; and illegal guns will always be readily available on the black market. Push hard on gun control, and the black market in guns will flourish. How do we move the needle? We must address the root causes of gun violence. One chief root cause is BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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THE TIDE HAS TURNED

Colorado pushing progressive gun laws in the face of another mass shooting

by Angela K. Evans

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ays after lawmakers began debating a package of firearm regulation bills at the Colorado Capitol, a Colorado Springs man walked into a birthday party in the early hours of May 9 with a gun, shooting six adults before turning the weapon on himself. All were killed. According to police, the suspect — the boyfriend of one of the victims — was upset that he wasn’t invited to the family gathering. The latest mass shooting in the state came less than two months after 10 people were killed at the Table Mesa King Soopers in Boulder, largely seen as the impetus for the proposed legislation. “We weren’t necessarily planning to do more this year when it comes to gun bills,” says state Sen. Steven Fenberg, who represents Boulder. “These three bills really did in the end come about as a conversation and due to the Boulder shooting.” The proposed policies would allow local jurisdictions to implement their own gun regulations, address loopholes in the current background check process and prevent those with a violent past from purchasing guns, and create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The package comes on the heels of other recently enacted laws that restrict how firearms 8

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are stored and sold, and create reporting requirements for lost or stolen guns. Mass shootings often act as a galvanizing force to pass gun legislation, at least at the state level like what happened in 2013 after the Aurora theater shooting. While some may argue that laws are irrelevant because they didn’t stop a massacre like the one in Boulder from happening, others assert that what happened in Boulder only proves more needs to be done. Likewise, such events give an opening for lawmakers to pass policies aimed at everyday gun violence as well, as experts continuously warn of the public health and safety implications of not addressing the issue. “There’s something visceral and horrific about mass shootings, and they destabilize our personal feeling of safety, and they tear up communities in a way that’s different than the same number of individual deaths over some period of time do,” says Rachel Friend, Boulder City Council member who’s worked in gun safety advocacy for years. “And both types of gun violence need to be addressed and prevented wherever possible.” She says Colorado is particularly primed to pass not only the proposed laws, but also additional measures, as the Democrat majority in the Capitol, with the backing of

MAY 13, 2021

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a Democratic governor, allows action previously out of reach under a split government. It’s a sign of an evolving population when it comes to many issues including gun policy, especially in suburban areas. “The fact that we have any gun bills moving through in our state means the tide has turned,” Friend says. “Colorado is a state in rapid evolution with regard to gun policy,” says Garen Wintemute, a firearm violence researcher in California and emergency room doctor who helped create the public health approach to violence prevention. He says Colorado is an outlier among other Western states in the laws it already has, citing 2019’s extreme risk protection order, or red flag, law, and current use of background checks, which passed in 2013. The laws currently under consideration at the Capitol, he says, only add to this. “Colorado is unique in the country, at the moment, in the pace of the progress it’s making,” he says. “It’s very rapidly moving toward a more robust public health-based regime of education and regulation. ... I think lots of readers would not equate that with progress, but I am driven by the data and the data suggests that’s progress.” What’s obviously missing in the Democrats’ proposal is a state-wide assault BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


weapons ban, long advocated for by gun violence prevention activists in Boulder and throughout the state. (BW will explore the history and efficacy of such bans in a future story.) That’s in large part, Fenberg and others say, because it would have dominated the conversation, and ran the risk of failing, something that hasn’t happened to any gun bill state Democrats have run in recent years. The proposed package of laws, on the other hand, are all but guaranteed to pass this year. Plus, Fenberg adds, “The gun lobby is incredibly ineffective and almost non-existent at the Capitol.” For example, all proposed legislation related to loosening firearm restrictions in the state never made it out of committee hearings this year. “I don’t disagree with the impatience and the frustration,” Fenberg says of what activists say is slow movement on gun violence prevention. “But if you take a step back, we have done more in the last five or seven years than probably any state.”

ments, increasing age limits and prohibiting open and concealed carry in certain areas like schools, museums and other crowded public places. “I think this is something that we can do that then allows local governments to almost sort of be like laboratories of good policies that other cities can then adopt or the state can adopt,” he says. Friend testified in support of the bill at the Capitol on Tuesday, May 11, as did Dawn Reinfeld of the local advocacy organization Blue Rising Together.

SO WHAT’S IN THE PROPOSED LAWS?

“I would of course rather a statewide assault weapons ban, but [SB 256] gives communities the opportunity to have laws that reflect their cultural values,” Reinfeld says. “It’s moving us in the right direction but it’s not where we need to be.” While almost certain to pass, SB 256 is also likely to face immediate legal challenges from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), a gun rights lobbying group that championed the preemption bill, which passed in 2003 as a flurry of similar laws were instituted across the country, backed by

the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), industry partners and the NRA. “It’s arguably the most dangerous,” says RMGO Executive Director Taylor Rhodes. “It creates essentially an unmanageable roadmap for people who are trying to exercise their Second Amendment rights.” What’s legal in one jurisdiction could be illegal in another, with nothing to inform gun owners of different laws, Rhodes argues, adding see GUNS Page 10

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In announcing the legislation at a press conference, Fenberg stated the policy proposals are, “The most effective steps that Colorado needs to take to save the most lives.” He’s specifically sponsoring Senate Bill 256, which would end the state’s preemption ban, which prevents local ordinances that prohibit the sale or possession of firearms deemed legal by state or federal law. And it was the main reason given by a district judge when ruling against Boulder’s 2018 assault weapons ban just weeks before the Boulder shooting. Fenberg had already begun looking at the preemption issue but had no plans to address it this legislative session, that is until the events of March 22. As a prime sponsor, he says the proposed law invalidating preemption would allow local jurisdictions, as well as universities and special districts, to pass their own gun regulations. “I can’t point to specific policies that I know are going to get adopted, but the way I see it is there’s no reason why the state should prohibit the local government from doing what they need to do to keep their citizens safe,” Fenberg says. It could take any form: increased background checks, purchasing waiting period, new licensing requireBOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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that RMGO is already looking at filing lawsuits as soon it’s signed into law. RMGO also testified against the other two laws currently under consideration. House Bill 1298 will ensure that no one is given possession of a firearm before their background check is completed, no matter how long that takes and despite a statewide backlog. It will also prevent people with certain violent misdemeanor convictions from purchasing a gun for five years, whereas now federal law only stops those with felony or some domestic violence misdemeanor convictions. Such legislation has been in discussion for a few years, as there is a growing school of thought that suggests regulating who has access to purchasing firearms can be more effective than what firearms are permitted or not. This law was first floated in 2019, the same year researchers in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that bans on violent offenders purchasing guns are one of the top three effective measures to reduce overall homicide rates. But ultimately, the red flag law dominated the conversation that year, leaving little room for other proposals on the issue. The circumstances that led to the Boulder shooting, primarily that the alleged shooter had a prior violent misdemeanor conviction, renewed the push for such a policy in Colorado. “I think that one is likely to result in lives saved in a big way,” Fenberg says. “I mean, the person in the Boulder shooting wouldn’t have been able to purchase the gun that he purchased.” The issue of closing loopholes in the background check system is also key, says bill sponsor Rep. Judy Amabile, who represents South Boulder. Although new to the Capitol this year, Amabile became involved in politics after she worked tirelessly to prevent one of her sons from purchasing a gun while he was suicidal, including pleading with a gun store owner not to give him one after she noticed a credit card charge for a background check. “It’s hard to measure at the end of the day, but there’s data that shows that the incidence of gun violence goes down when you expand the background checks and expand the list of offenses that you have to wait (for) to purchase a gun,” Amabile says. For example, in the late 1990s, Wintemute, who testified virtually in support of the Colorado bill last week, and his colleagues compared I

purchasers of handguns with a prior criminal record with those who don’t in California. “People with a prior conviction for a violent misdemeanor were nine times as likely to be arrested subsequently for murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault,” Wintemute says. “And if they have two or more such convictions that nine went to 15. ... That’s a 1500% increase. It’s not a small change.” When California passed a sweeping law preventing those with violent misdemeanor convictions from purchasing or possessing firearms, Wintemute and his team ran another study comparing the results of those who were able to get guns previously and those who the new law prohibited access to a firearm. They found the rate of arrest for violent or firearmrelated crimes dropped by 25%. “The effect was specific to the types of crimes that policy change was directed at, which that’s still not proof, but it allows you to say, yeah, a 25% reduction from administrative procedures, policy change in an outcome like murder, rape, robbery, agg[ravated] assault — that’s a big deal,” he says. When it comes to the offenses that will be covered in the Colorado law, Wintemute says his previous studies have covered violent misdemeanors in general, but he’s currently working on an analysis that looks at individual offenses. This research is a product of Wintemute’s work at the Firearm Violence Research Center at the University of California-Davis, a similar organization to what’s being proposed in Colorado under House Bill 1299. Although, the Colorado Office of Gun Violence Prevention will be a state-run public education effort, whereas California’s emphasizes research more, Wintemute says. There are similar efforts in Massachusetts and Washington, which launched its Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention in 2020. With a $3 million price tag, the newly created office will be tasked with increasing awareness of state and federal gun laws and violence prevention resources, and, if there’s enough funding, become a grantmaking agency to fund community organizations working in gun violence prevention. “I think it would be worth spending some of that money on doing some of the basic research in Colorado, because I can tell you all

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


about California, but... you need local answers,” he says. Given the data that exists, research could be done for very little money to better inform policy makers about what could be effective measures against gun violence “without affecting people who aren’t part of the problem,” he says. This could be key, as federal funding for research on the subject has long been lacking. Rhodes from RMGO says his organization also supports funding research, if it’s objective — something he doesn’t think will happen under the new office, given that its leaders will be political appointees. And for now, while Democrats control the state, Rhodes sees the proposed Office of Gun Violence Prevention as “nothing more than state-funded lobbying for gun control.” For bill sponsor Rep. Tom Sullivan, the Aurora Democrat known for his work on gun violence prevention after losing his son in the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting, the newly created office will also be a repository of state-wide data on laws already on the books. “The only way we can find solutions is by having the proper data,” he says, adding that his office often finds it difficult to track down information about the use of 2019’s red flag law, which he also sponsored. “It makes sense,” he says. “So that there’s a clearing house, so everything can come in into one place.”

MORE TO COME

For Sullivan, this package of proposed legislation, building off the laws he and others have already helped pass in previous sessions, is only the beginning, as continual gun violence and mass shootings prove more needs to be done. “When you’re working as much as you can and, you know, six people are murdered at a birthday party, you need to do more, you need to keep at it,” Sullivan says, referencing the May 9 shooting in Colorado Springs. He says he has plans in future legislative sessions to introduce bills regarding waiting periods and raising the age limit for purchasing weapons statewide, among other ideas, some relating to domestic violence. And while he’d like to see some of his Republican colleagues get on board with some of these proposals, he says, the statewide effort to build a strong majority in support of gun regulation

is paying off. In his estimation, the legislature is about a session (year) or two away from normalizing gun violence prevention policy to such a degree that large press conferences and public outreach campaigns won’t be necessary. “Just like I think we’ve got 15 mental health bills on the board this year — we didn’t have a press conference for that because that’s what people know we’re going to do,” he says. “Just like we talk about transportation, just like we talk about education, just like we talk about climate and just like we talk about any of the big issues in the state of Colorado, every single year now we’re going to talk about gun violence prevention.” Still, Republicans in the State House present a major barrier to passing any sort of bipartisan legislation on gun violence prevention, and RMGO promises to continue challenging what it sees as restrictive gun policies, holding policy makers accountable. But the threat of recall of state legislators over gun legislation is a distant memory, Sullivan says, as an effort against him in 2019 failed almost before it could begin. And for Boulder’s legislators, political will is not an issue, and they will continue to work on policies in the hopes of preventing gun violence across the state. It’s the nexus between mental health and gun violence that Amabile intends to explore in future legislation given the severe lack of mental health resources that has led to delays in mental health appointments and a shortage of mental health hospital beds statewide. As she says: “I would like for us to be looking at that intersection and what can we do in terms of mental health that will make it easier to get an appointment with a psychiatrist than it is to go buy a gun.” And as mass shootings and gun violence continue throughout society, more and more legislators will be forced to reckon with combatting it, as it hits closer and closer to home. As Sullivan says, his colleagues in Boulder and Colorado Springs will be reminded of the issue every time they drive by the Table Mesa Shopping Center or the Canterbury Mobile Home Park in Colorado Springs or any other location impacted by gun violence. “All of a sudden I’m pretty immersed in gun policy,” Fenberg admits. “Not that I didn’t have interest before, but it wasn’t my issue. And I feel like now it is.”

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Group sues City of Boulder over Rocky Flats trail plan

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group of organizations filed a lawsuit on May 11 against the City of Boulder, claiming the City neither adequately considered alternatives nor gathered enough public input before approving trail connections from the city to Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge in April. The expansion of recreational trails at the Refuge is the subject of ongoing debate (see "Pandemic drives Rocky Flats recreation, as local officials support greenway construction despite community concerns,” Boulderganic, May 6). Critics says the Refuge, which surrounds the former Rocky Flats Plant at which plutonium triggers were produced for decades, might still be dangerous — thousands of pounds of plutonium went missing during the cleanup of the plant, which is currently listed as a Superfund site. Officials maintain that it is indeed safe, and the Boulder County Commissioners recently moved forward on plans to fund expansions into the County’s trails system. Now that Boulder, as of April, has joined the greater expansion project — to the tune of

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$200,000 — the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the City (Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Environmental Information Network and the biologist Harvey Nichols) say it didn’t consider funding trails that would circumvent the Rocky Flats site. The group claims the City was required to consider such alternatives based on its 2016 resolution to fund trail connections in the area. As the plaintiffs explain in the complaint, "While the City Council can choose to undo a resolution approved by a previous City Council, it must do so by a vote of the current City Council, especially on an issue so crucial to the health and safety of Boulderites as whether to connect open space trails on City lands with the contaminated soils of the old Rocky Flats weapons complex. A city cannot run effectively if new members of its governing body can simply ignore the resolutions of past ones." The lawsuit asks the Colorado District Court to prevent City funding of the underpass connection between open space land and the Rocky Flats trails.

CU professor explores camping, and who has the right to do it, in new book

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hy does society view camping out in a National Park as wholesome, and camping in a city park to protest financial inequity as troublesome? Why does society view homeless encampments as burdens, and pass laws to ban them, while encouraging camping “in the right places”? The answers to those questions, and more, are explored in Camping Grounds: Public Nature in American Life from the Civil War to the Occupy Movement, a new book from Phoebe Young, an environmental and cultural historian in CU’s Department of History. In the book, Young explores how camping aligns with core American ideals about nature and citizenship, and why some forms of camping are considered mainstream, others marginalized. It also looks at how camping was historically only availBOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

able to those with the means to carve out leisure time, which meant many non-white communities were excluded from the activity. “This is a fact that is getting more attention and focus lately, but it took a very long time for government agencies to proactively address that issue,” Young said in a press release for the book. The book also looks at camping bans and how such laws tend to decide who has the right to camp and where. Ultimately, the book seeks to put camping in context so we can explore how current policies and practices came to be, and, maybe, be amended. “We need to recognize that the reason camping has become so embedded in our infrastructure has a longer and complex history that has differential effects on how we use the outdoors and who gets preference in using the outdoors,” Young said. I

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Xcel, Boulder haven't identified power projects or costs after franchise agreement

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n an April hearing with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Xcel/Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), wrote that it “has not, and at this time cannot, estimate a total cost for” local power projects in Boulder that were a linchpin in Boulder’s settlement and franchise agreement with the energy provider. Furthermore, Xcel/PSCo wrote that projects listed in the Prioritized Project List section of the agreement — local energy projects like micro-gridding that would help Boulder meet its 100% renewable energy goal by 2030 — are not being implemented at the moment in Boulder or elsewhere in Xcel/PSCo’s service area. And the company wrote that any project outside of current offerings from Xcel/ PSCo would be done at the cost of the City of Boulder, unless the PUC approved projects that have a broad application for other communities where costs could be recouped. The filings also indicate that Xcel/PSCo will pay $11 million to underground electric lines, but that the company would eventually earn a return on the new underground facilities. All this matters because Boulder likely cannot meet its clean energy goals if Xcel/ PSCo is the sole provider of energy, and those who voted for the agreement believed local projects would help fill the gap to reaching 100% renewables. Too, proponents of the agreement said the municipalization effort was becoming too expensive; yet, it’s unclear, with no projects or costs identified, how expensive and feasible these local power projects will be, whenever they are identified and agreed upon.

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PHOTOS BY JOSHUA BLACK WILKINS

Natural Wood finish

After more than a couple of decades as a songwriter, guitarist and singer, Oliver Wood finally gets around to releasing a solo album — and it was kind of an accident

by Dave Kirby ON THE BILL: Oliver

Wood’s debut solo album, Always Smilin’ Smilin’, is out on May 21 via Honey Jar/ Thirty Tigers, oliverwoodmusic.com

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n the year before COVID, which seems like a really long time ago, Oliver Wood was dividing his time between putting finishing touches on the most recent Wood Brothers’ album — Kingdom in my Mind, released at the beginning of 2020 — and writing songs and hosting musician friends breezing through Nashville for impromptu jam and songwriting sessions. The troublesome little germ spiked the Wood Brothers’ plans to tour behind the new album, and like everyone else, Oliver Wood suddenly found he had a lot of time on his hands. “You know, I had a lot of the same struggles as everyone else,” he tells us recently, in a call from his home base in Nashville, “both financial and psychological, but like a lot of people, I feel like we got a little bit of new perspective; we were forced to adapt and take a look at what was important. I found it luxurious to be with my family 100% of the year instead of 50%, and also got a chance to explore creative things that I just never had time for, which is how I managed to make a solo album. “I don’t know how else I would ever have been able to do it otherwise, so overall, it was a perfect lesson for me.” Once the pandemic shut everything down, Wood realized he had a sizable and worthy body of material and set about organizing and cleaning it up: He finished writing some songs he had started, added a little post-production and boom. “Yeah, there was a point at which I had this little list going and I said to myself there’s more than enough here to put an album out, why not just go ahead and do it, for posterity if nothing else,” he says. Longtime fans of the Wood Brothers’ special concoction of bluesy, gospel-y, rough hewn and sometimes slightly angular Americana will be drawn immediately to Wood’s trademark touch. A sharp and incisive economy of words, splintery acoustic blues guitar, rollicking arrangements and narrative instincts that drift between cinematic detail to plainspoken profundity to rowdy, ensemble throwdowns. Blues, gospel and Appalachia underpin most of the proceedings, stanchions of Wood’s many years both as a member of the Wood Brothers and his earlier partnership in the Atlanta-based roots outfit King Johnson. Guest players and cowriters include Wood Brothers “third man” Jano Rix, former King Johnson bandmate and cofounder Chris Long, John Medeski, Susan Tedeschi, songwriter Phil Cook and singer/songwriter Carsie Blanton. see OLIVER WOOD Page 16

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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OLIVER WOOD from Page 15

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Even cleaned up for general consumption, the album exudes an elusive vibe; loose jams with lyrics can often betray themselves as such, especially if the personnel are changing from cut to cut, but the album holds together as a finished product, teasing itself as coherent but not over-managed. Almost as if to leave room for the joy of the moment. “Yeah, it was an ‘accidental’ debut album,” Wood says, “and you know what? I certainly have no regrets about collaborating with people from my whole career. Even this solo album is a series of collaborations, whether it’s collaborating with a writer, other musicians or engineers. That’s what’s fun about music: collaborating with others. If it was just me in a room, recording myself... it’s not fulfilling.” To date, a few singles have been released ahead of the album’s full release on May 21. The original “Soul of this Town,” released last summer, is about the “modernization” of historic and beloved hearts of the city (any city, he insists, but inspired by cowriter Phil Cook’s reflections on Nashville’s prolonged building boom). He delivers a fine and soul-lofting read of the old Aretha gospel testament “Climbing High Mountains (Trying To Get Home),” and “The Battle Is Over (But The War Goes On),” an old Sonny & Brownie cover, out last September, with proceeds going to the ACLU. An interesting choice, we thought, made particularly vivid given the fraught pre-election environment of last fall. “That felt like, at the time, we had a lot of social... ” Wood trails off. Friction? “Yeah, friction, but also maybe liberation or at least an attempt at it. And that song sort of felt to me, like, I dunno if ‘protest song’ is really the right term for it, but maybe a song about encouragement.” As for originals, the rolling Big Easy romp of “Get The Blues,” a kind of paradoxically joyous street party about suffering plays a neat foil against the slithery country blues of “Fine Line,” about the fickleness of the human condition: desire and need, temptation and compulsion. Good, and less-than-good. And Wood’s gift for detail resonates especially on the narrative tunes. “Molasses” opens with the verse: She drowned in molasses / down on Purity Street / Last thing she tasted / was sticky and sweet Was a smile on her face / at the time of her death / She made it to heaven / before her last breath. A reference, we suspect (and Wood confirms) to the great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, one of those weird, and weirdly tragic (almost two dozen people died) events buried in American history’s back pages. “I co-wrote that one with Carsie Blanton, who’s a great songwriter friend of mine from Philadelphia,” Wood explains. “She came to me with the idea of that verse, she sent me an article about it, and we both got kind of a kick out of it, because it was, well, kind of morbid, but also kind of quirky.” The next two verses were also drawn from real-life, about an elderly man who passed away in the arms of a beautiful young lover (“she loved him to death”), and a musician who died onstage playing the music he loved, surrounded and accompanied by longtime friends. (Wood was a fixture in the Atlanta music scene for years; we’ll leave it to the reader to deduce the inspiration for that vignette.) But at the end, the simple notion that the triumph of mortal fulfillment comes at the last moment of mortality’s foreclosure carries the tune. Wood has a few regional dates planned, and then plans to reunite with brother Chris for a full-on Wood Brothers tour, which should be headed to a grand Denver outdoor venue this summer. The break was nice, the album is finished, but the show goes on. “Chris is doing well: we have our first tour starting in June,” Wood says. “We’re both excited to get back to work. We’ve got quite a busy year beyond that, as long as nothing crazy happens.” I

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


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What is a Nihilist An ink blot and a reminder levied on ships that anchor in a port. A trial condemning the leader of a dramatic chorus. It is a word that once meant the mouth of rivers where the mainstream splits up, under the glare of a full moon while mysteriously vanishing. What is a Hero A Soviet nuclear-powered ballistic submarine, an oral drug for the forest, and evolutionary debt.

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It’s an object that makes possibilities for consciousness to choose. The less common name for a centering point, the orbit of a heavenly body intersecting a given plane, and self-congratulatory logic. It‘s the specimen, synthesized, bringing something to life to see again. What is Religion To stiffen with starch, and then make clear by clapping the hands. It’s a levee or sea wall, the wall of a blood cell. It is the day wearing on and having less and less to talk about while three molecules of a monobasic acid, shaped like or having a tube, display an expression of surprise.

Comfortableshoes.com Donnie Hollingsworth has lived in many small Rocky Mountain towns, and currently resides in La Junta, Colorado, with his cat and wife.

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BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


PLAN

events

If your organization is planning an event of any kind, please email Caitlin at crockett@boulderweekly.com. POLICY ROUNDTABLE: CU SOUTH ANNEXATION.

4 p.m. Thursday, May 13. Virtual event: bit.ly/3xXBBAt The Boulder Chamber will be hosting a virtual policy roundtable to discuss CU South’s annexation. As part of an annexation agreement, CU would donate to the City of Boulder up to 80 acres of its 308-acre parcel of land located near U.S. 36 and Table Mesa Drive to help with flood mitigation.

ARTS OUTSIDE: PHOTOGRAPHY WITH GERRY MORRELL.

6:30 p.m. Friday, May 14. Register: cityoflafayette.com/activities Join acclaimed photographer Gerry Morrell on a unique end-of-day photo shoot/stroll. Martin Ogle, Lafayette open space naturalist, will answer questions and help participants connect with nature. Space is limited to 20 people and sign-up is required. COVID precautions will be in place. Masks and social distancing encouraged. Bring water, a camera or camera phone and bug repellent if needed. In addition to your mask, wear sunscreen and comfortable, sturdy shoes.

BOULDER BALLET’S SPRING SEASON AND GALA.

7 p.m. May 13-16, Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, thedairy.org. Tickets are $20-$150. After a year away, Boulder Ballet is privileged to perform live once again and present both its spring show and annual gala in the Gordon Gamm Theater at the Dairy Arts Center. Both in-person and livestreamed virtual options are available. Choreography from world renowned Christopher Wheeldon, Amy Hall Garner and more.

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO SCHOOL OF LAW PRESENTS LAND, WATER, & PEOPLE: THE NATURAL RESOURCE PRIORITIES OF THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION FEATURING SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DEB HAALAND.

‘AGRIPPINA’: AN OPERA BY GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL.

5 p.m. Thursday, May 13. Virtual event: getches-wilkinsoncenter.cu. law CU Law Dean James Anaya will lead a moderated conversation with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse exploring both agency and legislative priorities regarding public lands and water management, resource extraction, energy development and related tribal issues — through an environmental/climate justice lens.

May 14-June 4. Virtual event: calendar.colorado.edu Shocking power struggles and clandestine acts of lust and betrayal define Handel’s Agrippina, a dark comedy about a woman who schemes to advance her son’s career after the presumed death of his superior. With vocal fireworks and despairing laments in a captivating score, Agrippina is suspenseful political intrigue that promises to grip the audience from start to finish.

‘A THOUSAND WAYS TO KISS THE GROUND’

BOULDER ENVIRONMENTAL NATURE OUTDOORS FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS VERTICAL LIFE FILM TOUR 2021.

3RD LAW DANCE/THEATER PRESENTS ELISION PROJECT VOL. 4.

May 14-22. Tickets are $12 (with a 48-hour play window). Virtual event: boulderenoff.org Vertical Life is all about the mountain lifestyle, and the most adventurous activities we all dream of participating in but feel much safer watching on the big (or small) screen! The official Vertical Life tour lineup features four short films totaling 120 minutes: Out of the Blue; A Thousand Ways to Kiss the Ground; Valhalla; and Lucy Stirling: Olympic Dream.

7:30 p.m. May 19-23, Eastern Tri-Level Parking Garage at the 29th Street Mall (adjacent to Century Theaters), 1700 29th St., Boulder. Tickets are $25-$40, 3rdlaw.org Part music concert, part dance concert, the Elision Project demonstrates 3rd Law’s devotion to original choreography while showcasing well-known members of our diverse musical landscape. Departing from the traditional indoor theater environment, this site-specific program will transform a parking garage into an immersive, theatrical world and lead the audience on a journey from the ground level to the rooftop. Audience members may begin arriving at 7:30 p.m to park and be escorted to the first location. The performance will begin promptly at 8 p.m. see EVENTS Page 20

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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MAY 13, 2021

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PLAN

EVENTS from page 19

HUGH RAGIN AND THE MESSENGERS OF PEACE.

events

7 p.m. Saturday, May 15, Muse Performance Space, 200 E. South Boulder Road, Lafayette, museperformancespace.com A harmonically daring player, Hugh Ragin combines the clear, ringing tone of a classical trumpeter with the chops and rhythmic ingenuity of a top-notch bebopper. The Messengers of Peace was formed to reflect current day social and health issues facing the world. Ragin is joined by Vince Wiggins on flute, Olivia Robolledo on piano, Larry Hinley on bass and Tony Black on drums. The Messengers of Peace bring many musical styles together, from bebop and modal to blues and funk. This concert will be streamed from the Muse and available to view on Facebook Live (facebook.com/clareandpete/live) and the Muse’s YouTube channel.

OPERA ON TAP COLORADO PRESENTS ‘SEE/HEAR: ILLUMINATED STORIES IN SONG.’

CANNABIS CEREMONY, DRUM CIRCLE, PRIMAL FIRE DANCE AND COMMUNITY CONNECTION.

6:30 Saturday, May 15, Sunflower Farm, 11150 Prospect Road, Longmont. Tickets are $60 via Eventbrite: bit.ly/3eDgoUH Connect with a conscious community of men at this cannabisfriendly event. There will be: a cannabis ceremony guided by Max Marschhausen with live music by El Javi (bring your own cannabis); a drum circle led by Prasad Katz; ecstatic dance around the bonfire with live music; and a closing circle facilitated by Bill Byrnes. Please feel free to bring your own cushion, blanket or chair.

BOULDER SYMPHONY PRESENTS LUMINOSITY (TWO SHOWS).

8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 15, The Arts Hub, 420 Courtney Way, Lafayette. Tickets are $5-$10 via Eventbrite: operaontap.org/colorado Opera on Tap Colorado presents a visual album of four song cycles featuring live Colorado singers and video artists from across the U.S., featuring Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs/Vier letzte Lieder, Ernesto Cordero’s Four Works for Voice and Guitar, Robert Owens’ Mortal Storm, and Nkeiru Okoye’s Brooklyn Cinderella. This hybrid outdoor performance will feature car parking and bring-achair seating options. Audience members in their cars will tune in with audio transmitted via FM radio. Five Colorado singers — Nnamdi Nwankwo, Asha Romeo, Jerome Síbulo, Luisa Marie Rodriguez and Julie Silver Campbell — will perform four song cycles that were selected by Opera on Tap Colorado singers. (For those in Boulder, SEE/HEAR will show at the Dairy Arts Center May 21-23.)

WHAT IS IN OUR AIR? PART ONE OF A THREE-PART SERIES ABOUT THE AIR WE BREATHE IN LONGMONT AND NORTHERN COLORADO.

12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, via Facebook: fb.me/e/3RJfFGMbK The Longmont Climate Community will present a three-part series on air quality data, how it affects our health and what we can do to improve our air quality. Part one of the series will expound upon what is in the air we breathe. Air quality scientist Dr. Detlev Helmig from Boulder A.I.R. and Andrew Klooster, certified optical gas imaging thermographer and Colorado field advocate for Earthworks, will present local data they have gathered concerning what is in our air that is causing spikes in deadly chemicals and toxins.

6 and 8 p.m. May 15, Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder, bouldersymphony.org Boulder Symphony takes you on a luminous journey across cultures and genres. Björk’s merging of classical strings and techno futurism is on display as the symphony welcomes internationally renowned vocalist Michelle DeYoung, who will also make her conducting debut.

COLORADO CONSERVATORY OF DANCE’S STUDIO COMPANY PRESENTS ‘PIVOT.’

2 p.m. Saturday, May 15. Virtual event: ccdance.org/pivot Dancers have continued to thrive during this historic time because they know how to PIVOT — quickly, fiercely and with creative power. Cozy up in your favorite seat and join Colorado Conservatory of Dance for an evening of world premiere dance films featuring the work of four incredible choreographers: Tilman O’Donnell, former dancer with both Cullberg Ballet and The Forsythe Company; Caili Quan, former dancer with Ballet X, Artistic Partnership Initiative Fellow at the The Center for Ballet the Arts at NYU; Cameron Terry, graduating senior modern dance major at the University of Oklahoma; and Dominic Walsh, former principal dancer with Houston Ballet. Watch streaming live on Saturday, May 15 at 2 p.m. or watch On-Demand through Tuesday, May 18 at 11:59 p.m. see EVENTS Page 22

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BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


We’re here so you can Live and Die Your Values. EVENTS from page 20

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2-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, Wolf Law, 2450 Kittredge Loop Drive, Parking lot 470, Boulder. For questions, please email food@colorado.edu Attendees can walk up or drive through to receive up to 30 pounds of food in multiple boxes. A line following social distancing requirements will be in place for walk-up attendees. Staff will be present to direct vehicle traffic in the drive-through lane, where food will be loaded into your trunk. The Mobile Food Pantry is free and open to CU Boulder students, faculty and staff, as well as to members of Boulder County. Food will be distributed on a first-come, firstserved basis. Walk-ups should please bring bags or a way to cart away items easily. Drive-through attendees are required to stay in their vehicles and we will bring the boxes of food to you. Please have your trunk or rear cargo door open. All visitors are required to wear a face covering.

BOULDER BOOK STORE PRESENTS DR. JANE GOODALL IN CONVERSATION WITH PETER WOHLLEBEN.

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11 a.m. Sunday, May 16. Tickets are $26.95-$66.95. Virtual event: boulderbookstore.net Join the renowned Dr. Jane Goodall and New York Times bestselling author Peter Wohlleben for an uplifting conversation about the natural world, in celebration of Wohlleben’s new book The Heartbeat of Trees. Drawing on new scientific discoveries, The Heartbeat of Trees reveals the profound interactions humans can have with nature, exploring the language of the forest, the consciousness of plants and the eroding boundary between flora and fauna. Wohlleben shares how to see, feel, smell, hear and even taste your journey into the woods. Above all, he reveals a wondrous cosmos where humans are a part of nature, and where conservation is not just about saving trees — it’s about saving ourselves, too.

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BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


BY DAN SAVAGE Dear Dan: I’m someone who does gay porn for a living. How do people who do gay porn meet someone who doesn’t just sexualize or fetishize them? I can’t eat, sleep and breathe my work constantly but the guys I meet want me to live out the “porn persona” version of myself all the time. How does someone who does porn know who you can be yourself with? —Aiden Ward, @aidenxxxward

of opportunities for people to get to know the real you — not the porn persona — before you tell them what you do for a living. As with so many things (being HIV+, being trans, being kinky, being polyam, etc.), when you tell a guy you do porn, Aiden, you’re telling him one thing he needs to know about you — but his reaction will tell you everything you need to know about him. If he starts shaming you about what you do — or if he goes from seeing you as a Dear Aiden: “Living with two identiperson who is also an object to seeing ties is definitely a balancing act,” said you as just an object — that’s really all Devin Franco, an awardyou need to know: Don’t winning gay porn perform- ROMAN ROBINSON see him, unfollow him, er. “Being in porn means block him. juggling the ‘real world’ “Now lots of the people person I actually am — a who fetishize and sexualperson who has to naviize you are your fans — gate rent, health care, bills they’re your audience, and a social life — and a they’re the ones who pay porn star alter ego. And your bills and you have to these days our porn alter recognize that and you do egos don’t just have to have to keep them interperform. We also have to ested,” Franco said, “but do a lot of our own shootyou don’t have to give ing and our own PR while them all of your time and maintaining our images. It’s a lot. And attention. Because at the end of the day, reality always comes knocking no matter it’s your work and you’ve got other shit how much fun you’re having. The bills to do. You will meet people both in and always come due.” out of the industry who recognize that Franco’s first bit of advice is to you are a real person, with a real life remember that you are not your alter and who will get to know the real you,” ego. Franco said. “And you’ll sometimes find “It’s a beautiful and sexy part of you that some of the people who fetishized that you have the opportunity to show to you at first don’t anymore once they get the world,” Franco said. “But it’s not all to know the real you.” of you. That will help you stay groundFranco shared your question with ed.” CagedJock, another high-profile porn It also helps to remember that being star that Franco works with regularly, “porn famous” doesn’t mean everyone and CagedJock shared his strategy for knows who you are. finding guys he can be himself around: “I “A lot of people you meet will have like to hang out with people who work in no idea who you are,” Franco said, the same industry,” said CagedJock, “which means a lot of the time you’ll get “because they don’t sexualize me. Devin to choose when you want to introduce and I have been friends since 2019. yourself as your porn alter ego or when He’s super sexy and I adore him. While you want to just be yourself. This makes other guys might only see him only as a it easier to create boundaries between fantasy figure, I don’t. Because I know your real life and your porn life. Knowing our work doesn’t define us 24/7. We’re you get to decide when or even if you friends.” want to introduce yourself as your actual Follow Devin Franco on Twitter self or as that fantasy version of yourself @devinfrancoxxx and CagedJock — your alter ego — means you can con- @cagedjock. Send questions to mail@savagelove. trol how a lot of people perceive you.” net, follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage, So even if you get as porn famous and visit savagelovecast.com. as Franco is, Aiden, you’ll still have lots BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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So you want to bring peace to the Middle East? American aspirations and ‘The Human Factor’

by Michael J. Casey

M

iddle East peace is always a very attractive proposition,” Gamal Helal says. “It’s a very sexy topic. I cannot think of a secretary of state who did not want to get involved in the Middle East. And, by the way, all of them think they can reinvent the wheel.” Helal, an Egyptian-American interpreter and diplomat who has worked for the State Department through four presidencies, knows what he’s talking about. Like a guide, he knows how long the road is and how steep the climb. So does Israeli documentarian Dror Moreh, and his latest, The Human Factor, traces Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations through the eyes of the American diplomats, lawyers and negotiators who brokered those deals. Indyk, Daniel Kurtzer, Dennis Ross, Robert Malley and Aaron Miller — Moreh sidesteps whatever slant his Israeli heritage might bring to the proceedings. Instead, he lets American words, American SONY PICTURES CLASSIC perspectives and American recollections reconstruct the story. If history is written by the victors, then The Human Factor is history written by the lawyers. The Human Factor: the perfect title for a story peppered with breakthroughs and setbacks. Ross, one of the driving forces behind the negotiations, began working in the Middle East under President George H.W. Bush before switching gears midstride to the Clinton administration. The ON THE BILL: goal was the same, but the players and the tactics changed. The Human Clinton had little foreign policy experience, something his Factor is in opponents dogged him about, but that would be old news if he limited release. were the one to bring Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister of Israel, to an agreement. He did, and the image of the two men shaking hands and smiling is iconic. The tiny nuances of how that moment came to be, and was almost dashed a few hours prior, underlines the silliness at the heart of human endeavor. And when it’s not silly, it’s tragic. In 1995, Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli right-wing extremist. It threatened everything. Enter Benjamin Netanyahu, and the tide turned even more. Peace was tenuous, but Clinton and his team gained positive ground. Then the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal broke, and public attention shifted while the Israelis and Palestinians debated borders. It’s a fascinating story, and Moreh tells it well. Like his previous effort, 2012’s The Gatekeepers (about the Israeli internal security service, also known as “Shin Bet”), The Human Factor doesn’t employ elements beyond the documentary big three: talking heads interviews, archival footage and animation. Standard operating procedures, yes, but Moreh’s approach lends an air of sophistication. distance for proper assessment. Moreh does address the past and the present, but neither feels like prologue or summation. This is an ancient story that remains ongoing with no end in sight, and Moreh takes care to make sure his reach does not exceed his grasp. I

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE


LIBRA

SEPT. 23-OCT. 22: I will love it if sometime soon

BY ROB BREZSNY ARIES

MARCH 21-APRIL 19: In one of her poems, Emily Dickinson tells us, “The pedigree of honey / Does not concern the bee; / A clover, any time, to him / Is aristocracy.” I suggest you be like Dickinson’s bee in the coming weeks, my dear Aries. Take pleasure and power where they are offered. Be receptive to just about any resource that satisfies your raw need. Consider the possibility that substitutes and stand-ins may be just as good as the supposed original. OK? Don’t be too fussy about how pure or prestigious anything is.

TAURUS

APRIL 20-MAY 20: A fan once asked composer Johann

Sebastian Bach about his creative process. He was so prolific! How did he dream up such a constant flow of new music? Bach told his admirer that the tunes came to him unbidden. When he woke up each morning, they were already announcing themselves in his head. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Taurus, a comparable phenomenon may very well visit you in the coming weeks — not in the form of music, but as intuitions and insights about your life and your future. Your main job is to be receptive to them, and make sure you remember them.

GEMINI

MAY 21-JUNE 20: “I love unmade beds,” writes Gemini poet Shane Koyczan. “I love when people are drunk and crying and cannot be anything but honest. I love the look in people’s eyes when they realize they’re in love. I love the way people look when they first wake up and they’ve forgotten their surroundings. I love when people close their eyes and drift to somewhere in the clouds.” In the coming days, Gemini, I encourage you to specialize in moments like those: when you and the people you’re interested in are candid, unguarded, raw, vulnerable and primed to go deeper. In my opinion, your soul needs the surprising healing that will come from these experiences.

CANCER

JUNE 21-JULY 22: Trailblazing psychologist C.G. Jung said

his loneliness wasn’t about a lack of people around him. Rather, it came from the fact that he knew things that most people didn’t know and didn’t want to know. He had no possibility of communicating many of the interesting truths that were important to him! But I’m guessing that won’t be much of a problem for you in the coming months. According to my astrological analysis, you’re more likely to be well-listened to and understood than you have been in quite some time. For best results, ASK to be listened to and understood. And think about how you might express yourself in ways that are likely to be interesting and useful to others.

LEO

JULY 23-AUG. 22: The French government regularly gives

the Legion of Honor award to people deemed to have provided exceptional service to the world. Most recipients are deserving, but a few have been decidedly unworthy. In the latter category are Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as well as drug-cheating athlete Lance Armstrong, sexual predator Harvey Weinstein and Nazi collaborator Marshal Pétain. I bring this to your attention, Leo, because the coming weeks will be a favorable time to reward people who have helped and supported you. But I also suggest that you pointedly exclude those who have too many negatives mixed in with their positives.

VIRGO

AUG. 23-SEPT. 22: In 2010, an American engineer named Edward Pimentel went to Moscow to compete in the World Karaoke Championship. He won by singing Usher’s “DJ Got Us Falling in Love.” His award: 1 million dumplings, enough to last him 27 years. I have a good feeling about the possibility of you, too, collecting a new prize or perk or privilege sometime soon. I just hope it’s a healthier boon than dumplings. For best results, take some time now to clearly define the nature of the prize or perk or privilege that you really want — and that will be truly useful.

you find or create an opportunity to speak words similar to what novelist D.H. Lawrence once wrote to a lover: “You seem to have knit all things in a piece for me. Things are not separate; they are all in a symphony.” In other words, Libra, I’ll be ecstatic if you experience being in such synergistic communion with an empathic ally that the two of you weave a vision of life that’s vaster and richer than either one of you could summon by yourself. The astrological omens suggest this possibility is now more likely than usual.

SCORPIO

OCT. 23-NOV. 21: Sometimes people don’t like the provocative posts I publish on Facebook. They leave comments like, “You stupid idiot!” or “I hope you commit suicide!” and far worse. When I delete their messages, they become even more enraged, accusing me of censorship. “So you don’t believe in free speech, you jerk?” they complain. I don’t try to reason with them. They don’t deserve any of my time or energy. But if I did communicate with them, I might say, “My Facebook page is my sanctuary, where I welcome cordial conversation. If you came into my house and called me an idiot, would it be ‘censorship’ if I told you to leave?” I hope these thoughts inspire you to clarify and refine your own personal boundaries, Scorpio. It’s a good time to get precise and definite about what’s acceptable and unacceptable from the people with whom you engage.

SAGITTARIUS

NOV. 22-DEC. 21: Have you ever kissed a monster in your

nightly dreams? Have you won a chess match with a demon or signed a beneficial contract with a ghost or received a useful blessing from a pest? I highly recommend activities like those in the coming weeks — both while you’re asleep and awake. Now is a good time to at least make peace with challenging influences, and at best come into a new relationship with them that serves you better. I dare you to ask for a gift from an apparent adversary.

CAPRICORN

DEC. 22-JAN. 19: What does it mean to “follow the path with heart”? I invite you to meditate on that question. Here are my ideas. To follow the path with heart means choosing a destiny that appeals to your feelings as well as to your ambitions and ideas and habits. To follow a path with heart means living a life that fosters your capacity to give and receive love. To follow the path with heart means honoring your deepest intuitions rather than the expectations other people have about you. To follow the path with heart means never comparing your progress with that of anyone else’s, but rather simply focusing on being faithful to your soul’s code.

AQUARIUS

JAN. 20-FEB. 18: “It’s a good thing when people are differ-

ent from your images of them,” wrote Aquarian author Boris Pasternak. “It shows they are not merely a type. If you can’t place them in a category, it means that at least a part of them is what a human being ought to be. They have risen above themselves, they have a grain of immortality.” I love that perspective! I’m offering it to you because right now is a favorable time to show that you are indeed different from the images people have of you; that you transcend all stereotyping; that you are uncategorizable.

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PISCES

FEB. 19-MARCH 20: You have personal possession of the universe’s most monumental creation: consciousness. This mercurial flash and dazzle whirling around inside you is outlandishly spectacular. You can think thoughts any time you want to — soaring, luminescent, flamboyant thoughts or shriveled, rusty, burrowing thoughts; thoughts that can invent or destroy, corrupt or redeem, bless or curse. There’s more. You can revel and wallow in great oceans of emotion. Whether they are poignant or intoxicating or somewhere in between, you relish the fact that you can harbor so much intensity. You cherish the privilege of commanding such extravagant life force. I bring these thoughts to your attention because the time is right for a holiday I call Celebrate Your Greatest Gifts.

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The Roxborough @ D’Angelo’s Deli

THE MOTHER-AND-DAUGHTERS team behind D’Angelo’s Deli in Boulder has been slinging cheesesteaks, subs, salads and breakfast items for several years now and the quality’s as good as ever. We stopped in for a Roxborough sub on a recent visit. It’s got turkey, prosciutto and provolone piled high, topped with roasted red peppers, lettuce, tomato and spices. The crusty hoagie roll is smeared with mayo and the whole sub is doused with oil and vinegar. It makes for a sensational bite — the salty, savory prosciutto and the slightly sweet roasted red peppers set it apart.

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1 LOCAL CHEFS/RESTAURANTS LAUNCH FUNDRAISER TO SUPPORT AAPI COMMUNITY THREE AREA CHEFS — Penelope Wong of Yuan Wonton, Caroline Glover of Annette and Carolyn Nugent of Ulster Street Pastry — have collaborated to launch the Better Together - Colorado for AAPI fundraiser to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. There have been more than 6,000 anti-Asian incidents reported in the last year, perhaps the most tragic of which was the shooting of an Atlanta day spa in March. Donations during this fundraiser will earn you an entry into one of three raffles throughout the month, with prize packages that include giveaways and experiences from more than 30 local chefs and restaurants, including Frasca, Ginger Pig, OAK, Corrida and more. Visit gofund.me/3aa8393c to donate and enter the raffle ($25 minimum to enter, though donations of any size are possible). As of press time on May 12, more than half of the $20,000 goal had been raised.

BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

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TWISTED PINE PARTNERS WITH LOCAL ARTIST FOR BOULDER LOVE PROJECT BOULDER’S TWISTED PINE BREWING CO. has partnered with local artist Jason Graves of Apollo Ink to create the Boulder Love Project, a fundraiser to benefit the Colorado Healing Fund in support of the families of the victims in the Boulder shooting. Twisted Pine brewed a batch of Boulder Love, an apricot-peach sour, while Graves created original artwork for the beer, which’ll appear on a Crowler for sale and a T-shirt. The goal is to raise $5,000 for the Fund. The fundraiser starts on May 14, so make plans to head over to Twisted Pine if you’re interested in supporting the cause. MAY 13, 2021

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and insurance industries, among others; a fact that’s making lobbyists for marijuana users, like those at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), question CPEAR’s motives — and for that matter, all its future campaigns and research findings. According to its website, CPEAR’s members represent regulated industries, academics, think tanks, public safety officials, medical and mental health professionals, financial services firms and social equity organizations. They will conduct research, publish white papers, inform, educate (and likely eventually lobby) the federal government on everything from policies on public safety to underage cannabis use, tax policy and social-equity in the industry. The aim is to help guide legalization at both state and federal levels. “We don’t want this to just be an advisory group for the coalition itself. But we want it really to be an advisory group directly for congressmen on the Hill,” Freedman says. It’s meant to be a science-driven resource for lawmakers and large stakeholders, he explains. During Freedman’s time as cannabis czar, his charge was to create a regulatory framework for cannabis in Colorado. After Amendment 64 passed in 2012 and he was appointed to his post, Freedman organized and operated different state departments to make the legalization process smoother; coordinated complex recreational cannabis regulations; and implemented education outreach throughout the state. Then-Gov. Hickenlooper acknowledged Freedman’s “remarkable job shepherding Colorado through one of the great social experiments of this decade” in 2017, when Freedman left his position at the state. Since then, he’s helped 17 other state governments do the same. So, when he says he wants to get legalization right, evidence would suggest he really means it. But many in the cannabis industry aren’t so sure that CPEAR’s stakeholders are quite as principled. Among the host of stakeholders that have joined the coalition so far are alcohol giant Diageo (owner of

Getting legalization ‘right’

New coalition for cannabis legalization brings alcohol, tobacco and insurance industries to the table, making some cannabis activists uneasy

by Will Brendza

Y

ears ago, when Andrew Freedman was the acting director of cannabis coordination for the state of Colorado, he was having conversations with businesses and policy makers at the federal level about how legalization should be approached. And during that time, he noticed a number of voices seemed to be missing from the conversations. “One of the voices that hadn’t really found its way to the table were these global, national companies who had displayed an interest in being involved in potential federal industry,” Freedman says. Freedman left his role as Colorado’s cannabis “czar” in 2017, but he took with him the connections he’d made. And in March of this year, he launched the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation (CPEAR). It’s a means of helping those disenfranchised by big businesses get a seat at the “table conversation” of cannabis legalization. “[CPEAR’s] job is to get legalization right,” Freedman says. However, the stakeholders involved are also some of the biggest corporate names in the alcohol, tobacco

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Johnny Walker, Guinness, Crown Royal and Smirnoff, etc.), Molson Coors, tobacco giants Reynolds American (subsidiary of British American Tobacco, the world’s largest tobacco company) and Altria (Marlboro),as well as Morgan Stanley, CUNA mutual group, Northern Trust Services and a handful of other massive global corporations. Their dollars will fund CPEAR’s research, its advocacy efforts, education campaigns and the data, research and white papers coming out of its “Center for Excellence.” This has grassroots political cannabis activists like Erik Altieri, the executive director of NORML, skeptical. “Ultimately, the involvement of these types of large corporations in the legal marijuana market was in many ways inevitable, but what’s not inevitable is their influence on what the legalized market looks like,” Altieri says. “We take this as a real sign of the need for advocates and everyday Americans to become even more involved in this debate.” Altieri points out that such a formal arrival of these companies shows how far the legalization debate has come. He says the question has shifted from “should we legalize?” to “how should we legalize?” And it’s no surprise that such large corporate interests — some of which have spent decades fighting against the legalization of cannabis — are now repositioning to better leverage impending federal legalization. “Public corporations’ only obligation is to benefit their shareholders,” Altieri says. “And when it becomes clear that certain things can increase the value of their company, they get involved.” The presence of these companies at the table isn’t inherently a negative, according to Altieri. But, he says, anything CPEAR publishes, promotes or advocates for should be taken with a “heavy dose of salt and skepticism.” “Our goal is to get legalization right,” Freedman repeats. “We all have a vision in our minds of what that looks like. So this is the critical time for having this conversation about how to get there.” “It is such a crucial time for deciding what legalization will end up looking like,” agrees Altieri. “We do want to make sure we get it right and we want to make sure that what legalization looks like is more focused on community and the people, and not just a big payday for large corporations.”

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