Boulder Weekly 6.10.21

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w w w. b o u l d e r w e e k l y. c o m









The quest to save Thacker Pass from lithium development by Angela K. Evans


CSU research helps remediate Superfund site contaminated by mining operations by Corinne Neustadter


Janelle Anderson’s collage-style acrylic paintings bring dreams to life by Caitlin Rockett


Art exhibits, live music, nature walks and more to do when there’s ‘nothing’ to do... by Boulder Weekly staff

Meet the vet challenging stigmas with her new cannabis and Eastern medicine veterinary consultancy by Will Brendza


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weed between the lines:





Bok choy redemption by Ari LeVaux


The Anderson Files: How Trumpers learned to love Myanmar’s fascist coup Guest Column: Spine Road housing would add diversity and opportunity to Gunbarrel Letters: Signed, sealed, delivered, your views News Briefs: Gun bills, plastic bill and COVID testing Words: ‘Obelisks in the Desert’ by Patrick McGuire Savage Love: Dumplings Film: Dreaming, dancing and disappointment ‘In the Heights’ Astrology: by Rob Brezsny Try this: Jumbo Seared Scallops @ North End at 4580 Drink: Boulder Spirits launches a unique whiskey flight


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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 Cover, “To Have and to Hold,” by Janelle W. Anderson June 10, 2021 Volume XXVIII, Number 43 As Boulder County's only independently owned newspaper, Boulder Weekly is dedicated to illuminating truth, advancing justice and protecting the First Amendment through ethical, no-holds-barred journalism and thought-provoking opinion writing. Free every Thursday since 1993, the Weekly also offers the county's most comprehensive arts and entertainment coverage. Read the print version, or visit Boulder Weekly does not accept unsolicited editorial submissions. If you're interested in writing for the paper, please send queries to: editorial@ Any materials sent to Boulder Weekly become the property of the newspaper. 690 South Lashley Lane, Boulder, CO, 80305 p 303.494.5511 f 303.494.2585 Boulder Weekly is published every Thursday. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. © 2021 Boulder Weekly, Inc., all rights reserved.

Boulder Weekly welcomes your correspondence via email (letters@ or the comments section of our website at 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.

How Trumpers learned to love Myanmar’s fascist coup By Dave Anderson


n March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution that censured the fascist military coup in Myanmar (or Burma) by a 398-14 vote. The dissenters were all Republicans and 13 were members of the pro-Trump Freedom Caucus. That included Colorado Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck. The vote condemned the generals who orchestrated the coup and called for the Biden administration to place sanctions on them. Last November, the National League for Democracy party (led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner) won a landslide re-election victory over a military-backed party. Then the military carried out a coup d’etat in Feb-



ruary, claiming massive voter fraud without providing evidence. In May, an independent monitoring group called The Asian Network for Free Elections concluded that the outcome of the vote was “by and large, representative of the will of the people of Myanmar.” The Bangkok-based organization had observers at more than 400 polling stations during the election. Other poll monitors including the U.S.-based Carter Center and Myanmar’s largest election observer group, People’s Alliance for Credible Elections (PACE), said in their reports that the election was largely free and fair with no major irregularities. The coup brought an abrupt end to a decade-long period of democratic transition that followed the nation’s rule by a military dictatorship between 1988 and 2011. At least 800 civilians have been killed, and thousands have been arrested. see THE ANDERSON FILES Page 7

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The Myanmar coup thrilled adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theories. Trump might lead a similar coup in the U.S.! “The Storm” — a violent apocalypse involving mass executions — would restore Trump to office. Their “research” frequently consists of free association fantasy games. Jordan Sather, a QAnon video blogger, showed a sequence of photographs of Aung San Suu Kyi with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros. Another person might “discover” numerological clues or translate certain hand gestures by celebrities or politicians. Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, has become one of the most influential QAnon figures. Appearing on Memorial Day weekend in Dallas at a QAnon conference, Flynn was asked during a Q&A session that was shared in a Twitter video: “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?” There were enthusiastic cheers. Then Flynn responded: “No reason. I mean, it should happen here.” A recent Monmouth University poll found that 65% of Republicans believe that Biden’s win was entirely the result of voter fraud. However, election security experts and election officials of both parties concluded that the election was free and fair. The more than 60 lawsuits brought by Trump and his allies were total failures, as they couldn’t prove any of their allegations. A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core discovered that 14% of Americans, including about one in four Republicans, think that the U.S. is being run by a cabal of cannibalistic Satan-worshipping pedophiles, that “American patriots may have to resort to violence” to overthrow that cabal, and that a “storm” will soon “restore the rightful leaders.” Those three statements are core QAnon beliefs. Recently, more than 100 scholars who study democracy issued a letter urging Congress to fight ongoing GOP attacks on voting rights and ensure fair and free future U.S. elections with federal legislation. The scholars also criticize GOP lawmakers for pushing “what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election,”

adding: “Collectively, these initiatives are transforming several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections. Hence, our entire democracy is now at risk.” “We urge members of Congress to do whatever is necessary — including suspending the filibuster — in order to pass national voting and election administration standards that both guarantee the vote to all



Americans equally, and prevent state legislatures from manipulating the rules in order to manufacture the result they want,” the scholars write. “Our democracy is fundamentally at stake. History will judge what we do at this moment.” They support the reforms in the For the People Act, which protects the right to vote, ends partisan gerrymandering and curbs the flood of money into elections.

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One of the scholars, Pippa Norris, a Harvard University political scientist, says: “The sixth of January was the warning bell. The stress test of the 2022 midterm elections is fast approaching. Other countries have seen democratic breakdown. This is not alarmism. Alas, it’s real.” This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.


Spine Road’s affordable and workforce housing would add diversity and opportunity to Gunbarrel by Kathleen McCormick


’m writing in response to a May 27 op-ed by the Gunbarrel Community Alliance (GCA) (Re: “The poor door and the pattern of legalized segregation in Boulder”) and to encourage support for the Spine Road project scheduled for Boulder Planning Board site review on June 17. I’m an affordable housing advocate who volunteers for the Boulder Housing Network and a member of the Better Boulder Board and the Boulder Arts Commission, though here I speak only for myself. For the past few years, my work has included research and writing about affordable housing and equitable land planning for the Urban Land Institute and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and I’m familiar with how pushback against more diverse and affordable housing has heaped additional stress on our housing crisis in Colorado and across the U.S. The Spine Road project is located next to the Diagonal Highway on 9.7 vacant acres of Celestial Seasonings property at the intersection of Spine Road and Gunbarrel Avenue in Gunbarrel. It features 230 workforce and affordable homes in 20 small two-to-three story buildings with a variety of housing types, from studios and live-work units to three-bedroom apartments and townhomes. It’s connected by walking paths, bike lanes and a mobility hub to help reduce car use. It also includes community and commercial spaces, such as a library, central park/open space, pool and fitness center, meeting/event space, community garden and café/coffee shop. The local developer, Andy Allison, has met the City’s inclusionary housing requirement of 25% affordable homes with 59 permanently affordable rental units for moderate-income households earning up to 60% of the area median income (AMI). The project also has 165 market-rate workforce rental units and six for-sale Habitat for Humanity townhomes for



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middle-income households. Typical residents could be teachers, first responders, nurses, artists, food service staff and other essential workers. One reason I like this project is that workforce and affordable housing are located on the same site. This is unusual in Boulder, where developers often choose to locate required affordable homes miles away in a one-off affordable project or pay cash in lieu of constructing them. This commitment is more complicated in terms of financing but encourages a more balanced community. Spine Road’s affordable and workforce homes would add diversity and opportunity to Gunbarrel with a broader range of household incomes and housing types. What Boulder needs most and what the Planning Board is now studying is “missing middle” housing, such as duplexes, triplexes, townhomes and small apartment buildings. This will provide more options for people who can’t afford or don’t need $1 million-plus single-family homes, the type of residential zoning that dominates in Boulder and that has contributed directly to our high land costs and exclusive housing market. Another reason I like this project is its focus on art and community spaces. As an arts commissioner, I know the number one issue for Boulder’s thousands of working artists is affordable housing, studio and exhibit spaces. The Spine Road project has programmed spaces for a gallery, studios, art classes, events, nonprofit organizations and a public art walk. Check out how the Bus Stop affordable apartments and gallery spaces for local artists, built by Andy Allison and Thistle Communities, have helped activate the NoBo Arts District. GCA claims the City and the developers are continuing the “poor door” approach of providing inferior conditions for affordable homes compared to market-rate homes. But see SPINE Page 9


THE FILIBUSTER SHOULD BE PUT OUT OF OUR MISERY The filibuster is an archaic relic of America’s racist past. The rule has no place in a modern democracy. In the past century, segregationists and white supremacists have brandished the filibuster to block over 200 anti-lynching bills and to frustrate passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for 60 days. It is prime time to slay this racist cudgel. “Democratic” Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are acutely aware of this history as they continue to express support for the filibuster. I urge them and the rest of the Senate to have courage and get rid of the filibuster this summer. Americans voted for a progressive national agenda— we can’t let a minority of senators continue to protect racist policies using the filibuster. Rob Edward/Louisville INTELLIGENT, NATIONWIDE APPROACH Want to thank Chuck Wright for his letter “Move the Needle on Gun Violence” (Re: Letters, May 13). I appreciate the proposed “outside the box” ideas to address the causes of gun violence instead of just throwing more ineffective and unpopular gun control legislation at the problem (kind of like throwing more drugs at cancer instead

of addressing the causes of that). State-by-state or city-by-city legislation doesn’t work because anyone can cross any state or city line and still get whatever gun they want. We need an intelligent nationwide approach. What do countries with much less gun violence do that the U.S. is not doing? Are people who are healthy, happy, welcome in the community, well fed and uniquely respected likely to commit gun violence? It would seem not. How about we look to put people to work in healthy regenerative agriculture and energy sourcing and shoring up our infrastructure; consider transitioning into a more sustainable (not consumer-based) economy; reduce our focus and spending on militarist activities; and provide maternity/early childhood parental leave, secondary education and full spectrum health care for all who want it at no extra cost to the people? Rep. Judy Amabile said, “...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,” (Re: News, “The tide has turned,” May 13.) Yes, what can we do that will make it easier to do anything except buy a gun and randomly shoot people when we are upset? Why do we even think that is an option? R. Lawrence/Boulder


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SPINE from Page 8

if you review the Spine Road site plan, you’ll find amenities are shared and the affordable and market-rate homes are adjacent to each other and front equally on the central open space. Affordable and market-rate buildings by Coburn Architecture are of similar quality in design, materials and features. The City aims to make 15% of homes permanently affordable by 2035, including 1,000 middle-income homes. As of December, 8.4% of city homes were affordable. We have a way to go to reach our affordability goals and to create a more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable city. The affordable homes in the Spine Road project would be among the first in Gunbarrel.

What really is continuing Boulder’s history of classism and racism is the belief that more diverse and affordable housing (and the people who live there) don’t belong in our neighborhoods. The real poor door is the one that opponents use to force out people who can’t afford to live here, where they work. Let’s consider how big-picture thinking about this and other affordable and workforce projects can help create the equitable, diverse and resilient city we say we want. Kathleen McCormick has lived, worked and raised a family in Boulder for the past 28 years. This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.



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ccording to oral tradition, there once was a band of Paiute Shoshone camping at Thacker Pass — between the Double H and Montana Mountains in Northern Nevada — waiting for the hunters to return from Paradise Valley below. But when the hunters approached the camp around dusk, “they said that they could smell something rotting,” says Daranda Hinkey, an enrolled member of the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes. They soon came upon a massacre, their elders, women and children laying in the old sage brush with their insides dragged across the landscape in the section of the pass shaped like a crescent, when looking from the east. It’s how the area earned its Indigenous name: Peehee mu’huh or “rotten moon.” “All the elders, they’ll tell you that this place, they feel something very powerful there. Some people might think it’s just a feeling, but in our way this place is sacred,” Hinkey says. Hinkey first heard the story of Peehee mu’huh from her grandmother and two other elders only a few months ago, as they traveled from their home on the nearby Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation up to the Protect Thacker Pass camp. Situated at the southern end of an ancient volcanic caldera, surrounded by mountain peaks in a remote corner of Nevada close to the Oregon border, the pass is rich in wildlife, providing critical habitat for the greater sage grouse, foraging ground for golden eagles, and a migration

‘This place is sacred’ The quest to save Thacker Pass from lithium development

story by Angela K. Evans, paintings by Blair Chandler



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March, Boulder artist and blogger Blair Chandler traveled to the Protect Thacker Pass camp, where she painted these watercolors of mountains, sagebrush and golden eagles. See more at or @ipaintlifestudio on Instagram.


corridor for pronghorns. Several endangered species — trout, bighorn sheep, rabbits — as well as a rare springsnail, are found in the area too. But it is also the site of a proposed open-pit lithium mine, approved in the final days of the Trump administration, after what critics say was a rushed and inadequate review process. In response, the project faces two lawsuits, a protest camp, which has been stationed at the site since January, and mounting tribal concerns given its location on the traditional lands of the Paiute, Shoshone and Bannock peoples. “Often, companies want to rush ahead. Government wants to rush ahead. They’ve got all these high-level things they want to do,” says Kelly Fuller, energy and mining campaign director for Western Watershed Project, one of four organizations challenging the project’s approval in a lawsuit. “But they leave out the wildlife, they leave out the habitat, they leave out the people, they leave out the ranchers and the farmers and the tribes.” As the U.S. seeks to rid itself of carbon dependence in the fight against climate change, it has set its sights on renewable energy, relying on a vast array of minerals — like lithium, cobalt and nickel — to transition to a battery-powered economy. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that demand for lithium is expected to triple in the next five years, spurred in large part by the electric vehicle (EV) market. What’s more, unlike other extractive industries that are known for their boom and bust cycles, and despite recent years of low prices, WSJ reports “few are predicting another bust” when it comes to lithium mining. Some researches predict EVs — which currently make up about 4% of the car market — will account for 50% of the world’s vehicles in less than 10 years. But currently most of the world’s

lithium comes from Australia, Chile, Argentina and China, the latter responsible for most of the processing, despite the fact that the U.S. has some of the largest lithium reserves in the world. If constructed, the Thacker Pass mine would be only the second — and largest — lithium mine in the U.S. Operated by the Canadian-based Lithium Americas Corporation, the proposed project area covers almost 18,000 acres of leased public land managed by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — with a disturbance area of 5,000 acres. It will include an approximately 2.3-mile-long open-pit mine and on-site sulfuric acid plant, while using billions of gallons of groundwater and generating a significant amount of waste. Lithium Americas is approved to operate the mine for the next 40 years, projecting it will produce up to 66,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium annually. The mine could run longer, if the company finds more lithium. According to the environmental impact statement (EIS), groundwater contamination could extend up to a mile from the mine site for the next 300 years. “You can’t save the planet by destroying it,” says Max Wilbert, who has been camped out at Thacker Pass in protest of the project since its approval on Jan. 15. “And this vision of a new green energy economy that Biden and a lot of progressives are promoting, the sad reality of it is



that it’s going to require destroying huge portions of public lands, of Indigenous lands, sacred territory. There are significant costs to that.” Wilbert first learned of the Thacker Pass lithium project while helping to research a book on the environmental harms of green technology, opposing it during the BLM’s public comment period and visiting the site last fall, when he and others began planning the protest camp. “It’s not just about this place,” he says. “This is symbolic of the issue we’re seeing playing out all over the world, where places like Thacker Pass are being sacrificed to quote-unquote save the planet. There’s no difference from the perspective of the land if it’s destroyed for fossil fuels or for lithium extraction. The species are just as extinct, the water is just as poisoned. And frankly, the greenhouse gas emissions are really serious and significant as well.” Under directive from the Trump administration to become energy independent and expedite infrastructure projects for economic recovery, the BLM conducted the environmental review process for Thacker Pass in less than a year, with virtual public informational meetings about the project due to the coronavirus pandemic and public comment period occurring over winter holidays. In so doing, the lawsuit from four environmental groups alleges the BLM

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violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Federal Land Policy and Management Act, when it gave final approval and published its record of decision on the Thacker Pass mine on Jan. 15. Due to pending litigation, the local BLM field offices declined comment for this story. “The process just doesn’t work when it goes that fast, especially when it happens during a global pandemic,” Fuller says. “It did not give the public enough time to consider what’s going on and to give information to the agency, so the agencies can fulfill their legal roles. It certainly doesn’t give the tribes enough time.” While several tribes claim connection to the potentially impacted landscape, the closest is the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes, which originally entered into an engagement agreement with Lithium Americas in 2019. According to a statement provided to BW from the company, this facilitated meetings with the tribal council, workforce development, employment screenings for tribal members and the donation of a passenger van to transport people to training. But in the expedited approval process, tribal members and others say the tribe wasn’t given an adequate chance to comment or consult on the project. One tribal councilmember, for example, only heard about the BLM’s approval of the project after High Country News reached out for comment. Hinkey, a recent graduate of Southern Oregon University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and policy, also only learned of the project after it was approved. In response, she, along with about 10 other tribal members, formed Atsa Koodakuh wyh Nuwu, or People of the Red Mountain, to oppose the Thacker Pass mine, joining with Wilsee THACKER Page 12 11

THACKER from Page 11

bert and the other folks at Protect Thacker Pass. “It’s a very high desert ecosystem and water is really precious here,” she says. “We are currently in a drought right now. It has pretty high heat records right now, and the water’s pretty low already. I cannot imagine what the mine would do not only to the reservation resources, but the places that we still have roots, like the places we still go gather things and places we hunt — that technically isn’t reservation land, but it is our ancestral homelands.” Derek Hinkey, a relative of Daranda’s, says his ancestors used the territory during the Snake War in the mid-19th century as European settlers expanded west, encroaching on land and resources of the Northern Paiute, Bannock and Western Shoshone bands. Although widely overlooked in U.S. history, it is believed to be the deadliest of the conflicts during Western expansion, with estimated combined casualties of 12


1,762 men. “We had various battles, but we always utilized the mountains, the land, the earth. Our warriors would blend in with the sage brush, our horse riders would hide upon the ridges. The people would run to the mountains,” Derek Hinkey says. “And I think, as Indian people, sometimes we forget that we are the land.” Over the course of the spring, the People of the Red Mountain circulated a petition, asking the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribal Council to withdraw from its agreement with Lithium Americas, which it did in the beginning of April, Hinkey says. In addition to citing threats to cultural and natural resources like land, water, wildlife, hunting and gathering areas, the petition also proposed the tribe initiate a lawsuit against the BLM for violating the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the Native American Graves Protection and ReJUNE 10, 2021

patriation Act and other laws in its approval of the Thacker Pass project. To date, a lawsuit has not been filed, and BW’s attempts to reach Tribal Chairman Maxine Redstar were unsuccessful. In a statement provided to BW, Lithium Americas Corporation says the cultural inventory included in the EIS “suggest the presence of historic obsidian tools as well as roads and sites related to ranching and the Civilian Conservation Corps. The study does not indicate that Thacker Pass is a burial location.” Further, the company stated, “Lithium Nevada is working hard to ensure impacts to historic artifacts are mitigated,” by pursuing a permit “to conduct additional cultural work at Thacker Pass. This work will not be permitted until consultation with the local tribes is completed.” But it’s not just conservationists and tribal members critiquing the company’s proposal. Ranchers in the area have also expressed concern over l

contaminated water sources in an already arid climate. One, Edward Bartell, has filed a separate lawsuit alleging the mine threatens private property, public land where he holds a federal grazing permit, and his water rights. The lawsuit claims the EIS “presents a one-sided, deeply-flawed, and incomplete analysis and characterization of the proposed project and its likely adverse environmental impacts,” as it was prepared by consultants for Lithium Americas. Further, Bartell alleges the consultants used “grossly inaccurate, incomplete, and inadequate data for constructing baselines and models purporting to estimate impacts to water resources caused by the groundwater pumping that would be associated with the Mine.” The rancher even hired his own hydrologist, whose findings suggest the consultants underestimated the water flow in the area, creating even more concern that the mine will further deplete water resources in the area under the BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

radar. “The BLM did very little, if any, of their own hydrology,” Bartell told Grist in March. “They just accepted whatever the lithium company provided.” As the lawsuits wind their way through the courts, and more and more people gather at the Protect Thacker Pass camp (anywhere from five to 80 people have been there at any given time since January, Wilbert says), the next phase of the project could begin this summer. Resource studies at the site, including surface disturbance, mechanized trench excavation, and removal of wildlife habitat and vegetation were expected to begin as soon as June 23. In response to a preliminary injunction request from the conservation groups to halt any work before the court has a chance to consider their case, on June 8, Lithium Americas and the BLM agreed to postpone ground disturbance activities until at least July 29, in a court-enforced stipulation. “Under no circumstances should digging proceed at the site before the court has a chance to hear and consider our lawsuit,” Fuller says, “and I would add to that before the tribes have a chance to talk to [Secretary of the Interior] Deb Haaland directly.” Hinkey says she and other members of the tribe have written letters to the new Interior secretary, the first Native American to hold the role, in hopes of drawing her attention to the project. While the Biden administration has promised to restore environmental review processes that were stripped under his predecessor, the president has also expressed support of lithium exploration in an attempt to make supply chains more resilient. And many are concerned that if the Thacker Pass approval remains as is, it will create a dangerous model for lithium development, as the country seeks to meet its energy needs. “The Biden administration really needs to step back and really look at what happened here. Because if they don’t, what this is doing is it’s establishing precedent for how this country’s going to go about permitting and building lithium mines on public land,” Fuller says. There are of course others who want to see the permitting of the

mine rescinded completely. “I’m here at Thacker Pass to protect this land but also because we need to change the entire direction our culture is going,” Wilbert says. “We need to move away from this brutal extraction-based way of life, this extraction-based economy that has been the dominate paradigm in this country since Europeans arrived on the Eastern Seaboard.” As such, he sees this week’s



agreement to postpone work as “only a temporary reprieve, not a significant victory.” And Protect Thacker Pass has no intention of changing its plans to remain at the site, and continue gathering people in opposition to the mine over the coming weeks and months ahead. Derek Hinkey, too, doesn’t see any reason why Lithium Americas or the government won’t continue to seek his ancestral homelands for resource

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development in the future, unless the courts intervene to stop them. “The government, they’ve always known what minerals, what metals are in the ground, in that whole area. So they’re not going to go away that easily,” he says. “And I think this is something that we teach our next generation that you have to fight for our home, fight for the land, the water, because they’re always going to be knocking at the door.”




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JUNE 10, 2021



Colorado legislature passes plastic bill


ecognizing the toll plastic bags and Styrofoam take on the environment, the Colorado Senate and House recently passed a bill to ban the use of those items and allow local governments to impose their own, further restrictions on single-use plastic. The bill now awaits Gov. Jared Polis’ signature, and if he signs it, Colorado would have some of the strongest plastic reduction laws on the books in the country. “We applaud the legislature’s passage of the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act as an important step in addressing the growing threat that plastic production and pollution pose to our climate and the health of people, wildlife and the planet,” said Suzanne Jones, executive director of Eco-Cycle and former Boulder mayor, in a statement. “With this statewide ban of polystyrene [Styrofoam] take-out containers and single-use plastic bags, Colorado will become a national leader in tackling the plastic crisis.” The bill is the result of years of input and support from communities and businesses across the state — over 21,000 residents and 200 businesses signed on to a petition to support the bill’s passage. “Good Business Colorado and Resilient Restaurants have supported the bill from the beginning,” said Robert Bogatin, a representative of Good Business Colorado and director of Resilient Restaurants, in a statement. “We need to use this opportunity to address the currently unsustainable use of disposable plastics, particularly expanded polystyrene takeout packaging and single-use plastic bags. This legislation is not a

burden to restaurants if you realize the health, economic and community benefits that result from investing in affordable packaging that is significantly less harmful.” Depending on the conditions, Styrofoam can take hundreds, thousands, even millions of years to break down. Plastic bags, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, require about 1,000 years to break down — and they don’t really completely degrade. Rather they turn into micro plastics that end up in waterways and soil, becoming environmental hazards.

Gun reform measures head to Polis


n the wake of the mass shooting in Boulder on March 22, state legislators introduced a package of gun reform bills which have now passed through both chambers and await Gov. Polis’ signature. SB 21-256 allows cities and counties to enact regulations on firearms that go beyond state and federal laws — Boulder had enacted an assault weapons ban in 2018, which was struck down by a court 10 days before the King Soopers shooting because of the state preemption laws this bill would repeal. If signed, this bill would allow local jurisdictions to prohibit people from carrying firearms into public buildings and specific areas, if they so choose. HB 21-1298 expands background checks to prohibit the transfer of guns for five years to people with violent misdemeanor convictions. The bill would also require the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI) to complete a background check before guns are transferred, and lengthens the time the CBI has (to 60 days) to resolve any appeals as a result of the background check process. HB 21-1299 would create the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which will oversee public awareness campaigns, help foster research and award grants for violence intervention programs. There are likely federal funds available for such work and the creation of an office to handle such efforts could help secure that funding. Additionally, a perviously introduced bill, HB 21-1225, also passed and would tighten the procedures for getting firearms out of the hands of domestic violence offenders. For more info on the bills, see “The tide has turned,” News, May 13, on

A sign that the COVID end is near?


oulder County announced this week that it would ramp down COVID-19 testing sites. As vaccinations have gone up, the need for regular testing sites has gone down, the County says, adding that anyone who is symptomatic should still seek out testing. Testing at the Boulder County Fairgrounds ended on June 9, and testing at the St. Vrain Valley Schools Innovation Center will cease on June 18. The testing at Stazio Ballfields in Boulder will run through the summer, until Sept. 30, and testing in shelters will continue on a month-to-month basis. If there are outbreaks, County health officials have mobile teams that are ready to engage specific communities. And the County will continue coordination efforts with schools, summer camps and CU through the fall. Only five new cases were reported on June 8 in Boulder County; the seven-day average was only eight cases.



JUNE 10, 2021



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espite its decline in the past 100 years, mining continues to impact communities around Colorado as contaminated effluence from abandoned mines leaches into local watersheds. However, a new study co-authored by Colorado State University professor William Clements demonstrates a “conservation success story,” signifying how Colorado’s rivers can begin recovering from mining contamination. The study published in Freshwater Science, analyzed four Western U.S. rivers contaminated by acid mining that experienced parallel recoveries following remediation efforts. Clements’ research focused on Colorado’s Arkansas River as one of the four ecosystems. “In this study we asked: Is there some commonality with recovery trajectories or are they similar? Indeed, they were,” says Clements, a professor in CSU’s Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology department. “In my opinion, they all recovered in a remarkably short amount of time given how grossly contaminated they were.” The California Gulch, which drains into the upper Arkansas River outside of Leadville, was once an 18-square-mile Superfund site that has experienced significant contamination. When sulfides from the region’s metal mines were exposed to oxygen, it formed acidic solutions that carried mining contaminants downstream and into the water supply — a process known as acid mine drainage. Clements’ 30-year research demonstrates the remarkable recovery of the watershed. “I think it portends really good news for other streams that have abandoned mines or are affected by them,” he says. “(It) shows that if you can remove that primary source of metal ... these systems have a remarkable capacity to turn around in a short amount of time.” For example, one of Colorado’s most infamous spills, the Gold King Mine near Durango, released 3 million gallons of water laced with heavy metal into the Animas River in 2015, turning the river yellow for miles. At the time, at least 230 mines were still releasing heavy metals into Colorado’s rivers, according to an analysis by the Denver Post. In the Arkansas River, Clements says, “By the time remediation was completed, the number of species we know are sensitive to metals started to return. It doesn’t look exactly like what other streams in the absence of mining pollution look like, but it got really close — and really improved.” Comprised of two phases, Clements’ research began with an EPA grant in 1989 and became a collaborative project between CSU, the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Environmental Protection Agency. At the time, the Arkansas had less than half the number of species as it does now, he says. The first phase, from 1990 to 2000, focused on



CSU research helps remediate Superfund site contaminated by mining operations

By Corinne Neustadter

improving the river’s water quality by removing metals from a contaminated drainage source, sampling metal concentrations from Leadville to Buena Vista and introducing aquatic insects. Clements and his research team saw vast improvements in the river’s metal concentrations, resulting in better water quality for residents — and wildlife — across the Arkansas Valley. The aquatic insects played a vital role in the river’s remarkable recovery, acting as water quality indicators: When metal concentrations dropped, their populations increased. Insects rehabilitated the area’s wildlife from the bottom of the food chain, acting as aquatic subsidies — when aquatic nutrients and energy are transferred to a terrestrial environment — attracting more wildlife, including brown trout, birds and mammals. The second phase, conducted from 2011 to 2014, focused on restoring habitat for the river’s brown trout population and introduced additional vegetation around the river. “This study shows how we’re redefining the intimate connection between stream and ecosystem — we’ve always known vegetation plays a really important role in ecosystems,” Clements says. In 2015, the river was designated as a Gold Medal Trout Stream by the Colorado Wildlife Commission for its outstanding fish quality, signifying how remarkably the river’s health has improved. Now, Clements hopes his research can be used to address ongoing environmental problems and provide a success story for Superfund sites. The l

JUNE 10, 2021

Superfund program, administered by the EPA, has been a subject of ongoing debates, given the agency’s past failures of cleaning up toxic waste and contention over how much environmental damage companies should be liable for. “This (recovery) demonstrates how effective the Superfund program can be and reflects well on the program,” he says. “Superfund is controversial because it’s a federal government program and people are skeptical of what it can or can’t do. Where we have demonstrated success, we should showcase that.” The river’s recovery also demonstrates the fragility of riparian ecosystems, and how federal agencies can better address the climate change impacts on previously contaminated rivers. “We can fix these systems, we can turn them around and improve their health and biodiversity by removing the initial stressor,” Clements says. “But even that residual level of contamination, does it make them more vulnerable to land use changes and climate change?” As Colorado continues to address mining’s environmental legacies, Clements’ study could prove an effective blueprint for local communities to improve water quality while changing how biologists address the looming threat of climate change in riparian environments. “The question becomes, we spent lots of time and money cleaning up the Arkansas River,” he says. “What’s it going to look like in 30 to 40 years with less snowpack? Can we demonstrate success if other factors are changing?” l


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A recognizable, impossible world

Janelle Anderson’s collage-style acrylic paintings bring dreams to life

by Caitlin Rockett ON THE BILL: Janelle Anderson will be available for questions about her process at Firehouse Art Center on Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. through August. Email photos for her collaborative project to org. Please do not send images which are not your own.



here was an explosion, an accident of some sort, and chaos abounded; people were screaming, running from the smoke — but not Janelle Anderson. Anderson walked against the tide of people, toward a house on a hill. It’s abandoned, but Anderson found something: a flip phone with a smiley face where the clock should be. “And as soon as I see that, I have this sense of calm go over me,” Anderson says over a recent phone call from her home in Denver. “It’s this feeling, like everything is going to be OK. And then I just calmly walk down the stairs of this house and walk out of the house. Everybody is still running and screaming past me and I’m just walking calmly through this mess, all this chaos.” The serenity stayed with Anderson when she awoke. Maybe the chemo she was undergoing to treat Hodgkin lymphoma caused the vivid dreams. Regardless, Anderson, then just 14 years old, knew she was going to be OK. A dozen years later, in 2017, a cancer-free Anderson painted “In Case of Fire,” an homage to that dream more surreal than the dream itself: a man and a woman cling to each other as they run, a pack of dogs following close behind. Superimposed over their figures is the house on the hill, a Victorian-era style with a turret, cold and imposing. A black plume of smoke billows in the distance. “In Case of Fire” is currently on display at the Firehouse Art Center, where Anderson is the summer artist in residency through August. Her collage-style acrylic paintings — filled with metaphors and symbolism relating to memory, dreams, life, death and consciousness — are the foundation upon which she’ll build All Together Now, a community engagement project in which see ALL TOGETHER NOW Page 20


JUNE 10, 2021



CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: “Heatwave,” 2018 “To Have and to Hold,” 2019 “In Case of Fire,” 2017 “Earth & Air,” 2020



JUNE 10, 2021




Anderson will use photographs provided by locals to create a large-scale installation. “Ultimately, I want people to see a piece of themselves in the installation,” she says. “It’s our shared experiences coming together in this surreal scene that really shows how similar we all are. Hopefully that sparks a sense of connection and the sense that we are not as divided as we think we are. We really are all the same. We really are all connected.” While not religious in the traditional sense, Anderson does tap into a sense of spirituality to create her work. “Maybe I’m just recognizing the signs better now that I’m older and I’m a mom,” she says. “But I have more of a recognition now that everything is connected, that we are the earth, that God is all around us.” Anderson’s paintings subvert reality in the tradition of veristic surrealists like René Magritte, Salvador Dalí and Paul Delvaux, depicting dreamlike worlds in rich detail. Like the great surrealists, Anderson’s renderings are disarmingly lifelike, her attention to light and shadow as focused as any traditional landscape or portrait artist, drawing the viewer into a world that is both recognizable and impossible. “She’s really brave in her use of negative space,” says Firehouse Curator Brandy Coons. “When you populate a canvas, the image field of a work of art you’re creating exists within that border. But when she uses all of that open, negative space, she’s adding a question mark to where that border begins and ends. We have this idea that the picture plane, that square or rectangle, that clean line between the edge of the painting and the edge of the rest of the world is very clearly delineated. But when she brings that white space into her work, you get this sense of a nebulous kind of flexible edge.” It’s the same edge we find blurred in our dreams: familiar images — humans, animals, houses, landscapes — populate dangerous, unreasonable or impossible situations. But Anderson’s paintings suggest, as do our dreams, that there is something else happening outside of our vision, that maybe what we’re witnessing isn’t real. And like dreams, Anderson’s work is open to interpretation. In a piece called “Tongues and Teeth,” the muzzles of half a dozen dogs spring from the head of a man with closed eyes and a calm expression. Mental health comes to

mind for me, while Coons finds herself reflecting on toxic masculinity. “I’m a very soft-spoken, shy, sweet person. People have always told me that,” Anderson says. “And when I was younger — when I was a teenager especially — I didn’t want to be seen that way. I thought of myself as a pretty strong person. I felt frustrated that people didn’t see me that way. I felt like I had to prove myself in a way. ‘Tongues



and Teeth’ is about that feeling, feeling different than the world sees you.” “I’ve avoided really talking about the specific content of much of Janelle’s work because I truly feel it’s a little bit beside the point,” Coons says. “[Her paintings are] like little tarot card readings. Like there’s a kind of general-to-specific range that you almost don’t want to know. When you look at them as the viewer, you get to kind of

JUNE 10, 2021


write your own story.” All Together Now is Anderson’s attempt to write a story with the community. She’s still soliciting photographs — specifically of people, landscapes, animals, interiors, current events and weather disasters. “It’s less about the quality of the photo than it is about their life,” Anderson says. “Just a little section of their life, their humanity, their experience.




If your organization is planning an event of any kind, please email Caitlin at


Living Room Local with Joe Neguse: ‘How Story Shapes Civic Life.’

2 p.m. Saturday, June 12, via Zoom. Free, but registration is required through Eventbrite, Recently seen on the national stage as the House impeachment manager for the Senate trial of Donald Trump, U.S. Representative for Colorado’s second congressional district Joe Neguse joins Living Room Local for a conversation on the value of arts and culture in a healthy democracy. Local Theater Company’s Artistic Director Pesha Rudnick sits down with Rep. Neguse to discuss the importance of narrative in civic life and how storytelling has the power to build community and promote empathy. Neguse, the son of Eritrean immigrants and naturalized citizens, will talk about his time as a campus leader at CU Boulder, his service as the one of the youngest state Cabinet of Congress to represent the State of Colorado.

BrewHaHa Beer Festival. Foothills Wildflower Hike. registered, foothills west of Boulder. Plan to hike about 1.5 miles through forest and the snowy high country. All ages are welcome. Registration required.

Longmont Symphony Guild Garden Tour.


9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 11 and 12, 515 Kimbark St., Suite 105, Longmont. Ticket Price: $15, Children under 12: free, The Longmont Symphony Guild Garden Tour is back, celebrating its 43rd year with four incredible gardens to visit in east Longmont. For those of you who have your own gardens, there will be plenty of seasoned gardeners in attendance to share some of their gardening tips and tricks. This event is part of the Longmont Symphony Guild’s annual “Festival of Flowers” tour, which is sponsored by The Flower Bin.

BrewHaHa. This event is free and open to all ages. Stop by and enjoy $5 beers from local breweries, including 4 Noses Brewing Company, Wonderland Brewing Company and Westminster Brewing Company. This year, show your COVID vaccine card indicating you are fully vaccinated, and get a ticket good for one free beer ticket. There will also be popular food trucks with treats from Kona Ice, Ruby Ru’s Street Eatery and Mountain Thai Kitchen, lawn games, and two live bands to get you dancing.

Second Saturday Art Walk.

1-6 p.m. Saturday, June 12, KAF Spend the day in the North Boulder Art District checking out local artists, enjoying live music, eating at different food vendors, and taking part in an array of family-friendly activities. This inaugural, socially distanced, outdoor event is a day-time alternative to night-time First Friday events. Second Saturday events will continue through December.

Japanese Culture Day at the Museum of Boulder.

Noon-5 p.m. Sunday, June 13, Muse-

Artist Reception for ‘High Key,’ a Solo Exhibition of Selected Works by Greg Ellis.

5-9 p.m. Thursday, June 10, Boulder Creative Collective, 2208 Pearl St., Boulder. $5 suggested donation, In High Key, Michigan native Greg Ellis explores the effect living a public life has on the expression of American youth. Focusing on the pressures of the “virtual gaze,” Ellis investigates what the effects of a wholly public existence may have on the development of the young adult. Attend the opening reception on June 10 at the Boulder Creative Collective, or stop by Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. or Saturday between noon and 3 p.m. before June 27 to view the collection.

the museum, Museum of Boulder is partnering with Sakura Foundation to present Japanese Cultural Day. This fun day at the museum will feature live rooftop performances by Taiko (Japanese drummers) and Japanese-inspired artwork from Akemi Tsutsui-Kunitake. Become more familiar with Japan and Japanese culture by talking with members of Chibi no Gakko (a K-12 educational Japanese program), Denver-Takayama Sister Cities and Japanese American Resource Center of Colorado. Performances scheduled on the hour every hour on the rooftop patio. Learn to fold origami cranes and enjoy some yummy savory and sweet Japanese snacks. see EVENTS Page 24



JUNE 10, 2021




EVENTS from Page 23



Red Rocks Amphitheatre (18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison)

The Revivalists (rock). 7:30 p.m. June 10 and 11.


The Caribou Room (55 Indian Peaks Drive, Nederland)

Deadphish Orchestra (jam). 5 p.m. Friday, June 11. Tickets: $50 per vehicle includes 1 person, $25 for each additional person (up to four total) in a parking space. New Family Dog with Sally Van Meter & Melly Francis (formerly of The Sweet Lillies). 5 p.m. Saturday, June

Big Head Todd and the Monsters (rock). 7:30 p.m. June 12 and 13. Tickets: Grace Potter (indie).

Dickens Opera House (300 Main St., Longmont)

Glory Days (Bruce Springsteen tribute).


Dairy Arts Center


Innastate (reggae and rock). 7 p.m. Friday, June 1. Boulder Bandshell, 1212 Canyon Blvd., Boulder. Tickets: $15. Brothers of Brass. 7 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Boulder Bandshell, 1212 Canyon Blvd., Boulder. Tickets: $15. Jayme Stone (alternative/indie). 7 p.m. Sunday, June 13. Back Porch Series,


The Muse Performance Space (200 E. South Boulder Road, Lafayette)

Ben Hanna (singer/songwriter). 7 p.m. Thursday, June 10. Tickets: $15. Vocal Jazz Jam. 7 p.m. Friday, June 11. Tickets: $15 Lucas Deal Quinent (jazz). 7 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Tickets: $15.

Gold Hill Inn (401 Main St., Boulder)

BillEby Brothers (folk/Americana). 5 p.m. Friday, June 11. Sky Mason (folk). 5 p.m. Saturday, June 12. John Statz (folk/Americana). 5 p.m. Sunday, June 13.


Stewart Auditorium (400 Quail Road, Longmont)

Tierro Band with Bridget Law. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 17. Free, outdoors.

St Julien Hotel (900 Walnut St., Boulder)

Jon Ridnell and The Ned String Band (rock). 6 p.m. Thursday, June 10. Sean Cunnane (jam Americana). 6 p.m. Friday, June 11. Atom Quartet (jazz). 6 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Bill McKay (rock). see EVENTS Page 26



JUNE 10, 2021



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‘Each/Other’: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger.

Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, Denver. Through Aug. 22. Each/Other


EVENTS from Page 24





17 & 18 July


Artist Occupied: Summer Residency Janelle W. Anderson.

Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Ave., Longmont. June-August.


Together Now

‘The Stubborn Influence of Painting,’ Guest Curated by Kate Petley.


Alexandra Hedison, Found Painting #6, archival pigment print, 2017, 48” x 36”. Courtesy of the artist and Von Lintel Gallery Los Angeles.

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th St., Boulder. June 10–Sept. 6.




JUNE 10, 2021





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Jan-Philipp Sendker — ‘The Heart Remembers.’

Noon. Tuesday, June 15 via on Zoom. Tickets: $5,

Boulder Bookstore presents ‘In the Heights’ Virtual Book Launch.

6-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 15. Tickets: $40$80, the Heights




JUNE 10, 2021



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Obelisks in the Desert by Patrick McGuire

Melted moon-wax dripping out over the leave-less trees tonight charming me with such good taste languidly stitching together the patchwork The textures weren’t half so bright when they ensconced the darkness the apparatus is calling The landscape changes beneath our feet what happened to the maps we drew? If it’s the Godhead that we seek we’ll have to start from scratch Harmonious celestial body struck with discord once again Vanity of the fallen angel disgraced in the eyes of God again

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Our dreams weren’t half so sweet as sickly saccharine wine coating my teeth pulling them out All he wanted was to feel everything he couldn’t see it’s happening now that arrow shot right through the exposed collar-bone



All of this just to say we put clothes on his wickedness the depraved monkey-nature he could never accept

JUNE 10, 2021

Those spectral colors burned out the spectrum I think I’d better leave before the haunting

Patrick McGuire is a writer of poetry and prose living in Estes Park. l


sending him a message


Perhaps I shouldn’t say, Dear Dan I’ve been living with my “You’re sending him boyfriend for a year. We met on FetLife and I was honest about being in an open fault, FET. But he will self-servingly interpret relationship (at the time) and seeking a your willingness to stay and work on the sexual connection over a relationship. relationship — as if the relationship is the But one nut after another and pretty soon problem here — as proof that he doesn’t we were professing our love for each need to do something about his own shit. other and he shared that he wanted to be He will assume he can continue to get away the father of my children. However, right with being a controlling, manipulative and before he moved in I found out he was sex-shaming asshole... because he’s getting still texting other women despite asking away with it. me not to text, sext or have sex with any When your current boyfriend “yucks other men. He also regularly “yucks my yum” and makes fun of the is gross, he’s projecting the ROMAN ROBINSON types of porn I watch and shame he feels about all the calls it “gross” (my thing for non-normative (but perfectly cuckolding being his main wonderful) stuff that turns target) and he also insists him on. When someone men can’t be friends with vomits their shame all over women yet he’s still friends you, FET, getting yourself out with women he’s had sex of vomit-range is your best with. He hides the fact he option. And for the record: I is masturbating from me don’t think your boyfriend is a but expects to participate mess because he’s interested in all my masturbation in more kinds of sex than sessions. He claims we he admits or more types of have no sexual secrets but women than just your type I snooped and learned he was looking of woman or dudes or power games that at porn with titles like “TS,” “sissy,” “gay” touch on gender roles and/or taboos. And and “BBW Black.” It makes me feel small the fact that he’s hiding his attraction to trans because of the nagging feeling I may not women from you isn’t by itself proof that he be his cup of tea since he hides these other interests from me while not allowing objectifying you. You don’t know how he me to hide anything from him. I also worry would interact (or how he has interacted) that his “affection” for my black BBW ass with a trans partner. What you do know is he treats you like shit and makes you feel bad of trans women. He says he doesn’t want about yourself and demands transparency to “burden” me with “rapey” sex play but from you without being transparent in return. I am open to all kinds of sex, not just DTMFA. the softcore-porn kind — so long as he P.S. Please don’t let his shitty comdoesn’t start by rubbing my boobs like ments about your turn-ons lead you to they’re doorknobs. I am at my wits end. doubt your desirability — just the fact that I already emailed an LGBTQIA+ friendly you’re into cuckolding makes you somecouples counselor because we are both thing of a prize, FET, as there are easily a scared the relationship will end. But I can’t hundred times as many men into cuckoldkeep turning a blind eye to his half-truths, ing as there are women. It wouldn’t take double standards and hypocrisy. you long to replace a guy who shames —Feeling Extremely Tense you for being into cuckolding with a guy who absolutely worships you for it. Dear FET: BREAK UP. P.P.S. I don’t think you had grounds This guy sounds like equal parts to snoop, FET, or a need to snoop. You asshole and mess. And he needs to work knew everything you needed to know on that — he needs to clean up his mess about this guy before you found his secret — on his own. You can’t do the work for undeleted browser history. Insisting you him, FET, and I would urge you to resist the cut your male friends and exes out of urge to use the relationship as leverage. your life was reason enough to end this Because by staying in this relationship relationship. despite his half-truths, his double standards Send questions to, and his hypocrisies — by sticking around follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage, and to be shamed and manipulated — you’re visit



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or centuries, New York City has welcomed immigrants from every nation, matching each wave of newcomers with an enclave of their own. True, there’s a lot to who lives where and why, but at least there’s a place, no matter how small, for everyone and a community to support them. That community can also be a burden. Nina (Leslie Grace) knows how that feels: She’s the one everyone hopes will get out of Washington Heights. If any of us can, they say, it’s Nina who will. But smarts won’t get you far in a world still focused on color, and though Nina’s earned her way to Stanford, the wealthy donors of Palo Alto are quick MACALL POLAR, COURTESY WARNER BRO. to remind her it doesn’t mean she belongs. Not to mention, the tuition is outrageous. Nina’s dad, Kevin (Jimmy Smits), came to this country with nothing and worked night and day to make sure his little girl had opportunities he never did. And she’ll have it, even if it costs him everything — including Benny (Corey Hawkins), Kevin’s star employee, the voice of the neighborhood and Nina’s ex-boyfriend patiently waiting out their distance-imposed hiatus. Nina, Kevin and Benny’s stories are but three of the chorus making up In the Heights, director Jon M. Chu’s kaleidoscopic adaptation of the 2008 Tony Award-winning musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes. Hudes wrote the screenplay for the movie, and Miranda shows up as the Piragua Guy. He’s not very convincing. Some performers are chameleons; others can’t escape their most famous role. Miranda belongs in the latter. Back to the story: Nina doesn’t want out, but Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) does. She wants to be a fashion designer downtown, but no one thinks she’s going to make it — no one, except Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), that is. They’re in love and don’t know it (sort of), but he dreams of returning to the Dominican Republic (kind of). If only they had an extra $96,000 lying around. Someone in Washington Heights does, in the form of an unclaimed lotto ticket. Whoever holds it holds the ticket to their dreams. There’s only one person who doesn’t need it, and that’s Abuela Claudia (Olga Merediz), a hardworking cleaning lady who couldn’t have children of her own, so she adopted the neighborhood. She scrubbed her way from Cuba to New York, and she’s lived long enough to see that things are looking up for her people. She’s also

A place for us

Dreaming, dancing and disappointment ‘In the Heights’

by Michael J. Casey ON THE BILL: ‘In the Heights’ opens in wide release on June 11 and will be available on HBO Max for 30 days.



JUNE 10, 2021

organic dry cleaner that charges $9 a shirt. In the Heights is a full-blown musical about visibility, dreamers but without vilifying the organic dry cleaners. It’s a kind movie, which is nice, but it also feels more engineered than honest. The highlights are the musical numbers, shot by Alice Brooks, edited by Myron Kerstein and choreographed by Christopher Scott. There are about 17 or so, but in a 143-minute-long movie, that’s a lot of downtime for cliché dialogue, a phony framing device and a cast of supporting players so arch they hew toward caricature. It’s frustrating and a little disappointing, even if it does look unbelievably attractive on a big screen. l


the warrior Éowyn. It says, “Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on

BY ROB BREZSNY MARCH 21-APRIL 19: Aries actor Leonard Nimoy became

mega-famous by playing the role of Spock, an alien from the planet Vulcan in the Star Trek franchise. He always enjoyed the role, but in 1975 he wrote an autobiography called I Am Not Spock how different he was from the character he performed. In 1995, Nimoy published a follow-up autobiography, I Am Spock, in which he described the ways in which he

shift in the way your heart comprehends life. When that happens, you will clearly fathom some secrets about your heart that have previously been vague or inaccessible. And then the sun will shine upon you with extra brilliance.


SEPT. 23-OCT. 22: Libran actor and author Carrie Fisher had more than the average number of inner demons. Yet she accomplished a lot, and was nominated for and

current astrological potentials, I invite you to make it


APRIL 20-MAY 20: The poet Rumi declared, “A lover has

four streams inside, of water, wine, honey, and milk.” With that in mind, Taurus, I will recommend that you seek a boost in the honey department. Your passions

need from the world around you. So your assignment is to intensify the honey stream within you! Remember the principle, “Like attracts like.”


MAY 21-JUNE 20:

right now. The winds there can blow at 1,000 miles per hour. But I would like you to feel a brisk breeze as you wander around in nature here on Earth. Why? Because according to my interpretation of the current astrological omens, winds will have a cleansing effect on you. They will clear your mind of irrelevant worries and trivial

dear Libra. The time is favorable for you to work hard on your number one goal no matter what your emotions might be at any particular moment.


OCT. 23-NOV. 21: Scorpio author Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821– 1881) had a gambling addiction for many years. At one point, he lost so much money betting on roulette that he had to take drastic measures. He wrote a novella in record time — just 16 days — so as to raise money to pay his debt. The story was titled The Gambler. Its hero was a not-very-successful gambler. Is there a comparable antidote in your future, Scorpio? A gambit that somehow makes use of the problem to generate the cure? I suspect there is.


NOV. 22-DEC. 21: In her poem “Escape,” Michelle Tudor

addresses a lover: “Inside of you: a dream raging to be set free.” She implies that she would like to be a collaborator who provides assistance and inspiration in

feelings. Do you know the origin of the English word

will be an excellent time for you to make a similar offer to an ally you care for—and to ask that ally to do the same for you. And by the way: What is the dream

word spiritus refers to “a breathing of the wind” and “breath of a god” — hence “inspiration; breath of life.”

dream inside your comrade?



JUNE 21-JULY 22: Cancerian author Franz Kafka put his characters into surreal dilemmas. In his novella The Metamorphosis, for example, the hero wakes up one Despite his feral imagination, however, Kafka had a pragmatic relationship with consumerism. “I do not read advertisements,” he said. “I would spend all of my time wanting things.” In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to adopt his earthy attitude for the next two weeks. Take a break from wanting things, period. Experiment with feeling free of all the yearnings that constantly demand your attention. Please note: This When you return to wanting things, your priorities refreshed.

DEC. 22-JAN. 19: Author Martha Beck has helpful counsel

for you to keep returning to during the coming weeks. will look,” she writes. “You only have to know what feels better and what feels worse. Begin making choices based on what makes you feel freer and happier, rather process of feeling our way toward happiness, not the realization of the Platonic ideal, that creates our best lives.”


JAN. 20-FEB. 18: Aquarian author James Dickey celebrated made for it.” In other words, he implied that the secret And because we “must be made for it,” he seemed to


JULY 23-AUG. 22: Author Umberto Eco declared that beauty is boring because it “must always follow certain rules.” A beautiful nose has to be just the right shape and size, he said, while an “ugly nose” can be ugly in a million and boring, and prefer that of philosopher Francis Bacon, who wrote, “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.” Poet Charles Baudelaire agreed, saying, “That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal: from which it follows that irregularity — that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment — is an essential Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which reveres beauty now, and for the rest of 2021, Leo, I encourage you to with the more interesting kind.


ing is due to luck or genetics or privilege. But I reject that theory. I think anyone can tap into the secret of


FEB. 19-MARCH 20: Why do humans enjoy much longer life grandmothers. Anthropologists propose that earlier in our evolution, families with elder females especially thrived. The grandmothers helped care for children, ensuring greater health for everyone as well as a higher rate of reproduction than grandmother-less broods. Their longevity genes got passed on, creating more grandmothers. Lucky! Having older women around while growing up has been key to the success of many of us. In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to celebrate and honor the role your own grandmothers and female elders have played in your life. And

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The Return of the King is about Photo: Susan France


JUNE 10, 2021


“The Best Food ON THE HILL”

AUG. 23-SEPT. 22: One of the more evocative passages in













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JUNE 10, 2021



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Jumbo Seared Scallops @ North End at 4580

NORTH END AT 4580. 4580 Broadway, Boulder, 303-448-1500, northendboulder. com

NORTH BOULDER HAS changed a lot in the last decade. But while new housing developments have popped up, and restaurants and businesses have come and gone, The North End at 4580 has anchored the neighborhood with an upscale, yet casual bar and dining area, and an evolving New American menu. We stopped by recently and sampled a variety of dishes, but the jumbo seared scallops stood out — meaty scallops pan-seared to perfection and laid atop garlic-herb couscous, with sautéed green beans, cherry tomatoes, micro greens, an avocado mousse and a raspberry beurre blanc. All those flavors, textures and temperatures combine well for a fresh bite that hits all areas of the palate. Here’s a tip: Go with a partner and get the $88 dinner for two: an app, two entrées, a dessert and a bottle of wine.



SEEDS LIBRARY CAFE TO REOPEN JUNE 16 Boulder County Farmers Market will reopen its Seeds Library Cafe inside the Boulder Public Library on Wednesday, June 16. The team will be serving Silver Canyon Coffee, locally made soups made with fresh, local produce. It’s a unique spot, in a unique place, with unique food, so our guess is folks are eager to get back and grab a coffee and a bite. It’ll be open Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Friday to Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.





FIRST BITE ANNOUNCES OFFERINGS FOR 2021 RESTAURANT WEEK Returning for its 16th year, First Bite: Boulder County Restaurant Week is hosting brunch, a nonprofit night, special partnerships and three price levels for the 10-day-long event being held October 8-17. Last year, First Bite pivoted to a community cookbook, with stories and recipes from local chefs, to keep the local dining community connected during a time when it wasn’t possible to eat out. The return this year will be focused on in-person dining but will also highlight takeout and delivery options and will feature three distinct dinner price points of $29, $39 and $49 per person. There’ll also be First Bite Brunch Oct. 8-10, bringing more restaurants into the fold, and a fundraising-focused day, Give Back Tuesday, where dining out proceeds will be donated to local charities.

JUNE 10, 2021




Taste The Difference

Hello Boulder! All of us at Japango are excited to welcome you to dine with us this summer. Our four patios are the perfect place to enjoy all your Japango favorites or you can opt for a great indoor dining experience with enhanced cleaning protocols and our air filtration system to keep you safe. And if you want to order for curbside pick up or delivery, we can do that too. Hope to see you soon!

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Taking flight

Boulder Spirits launches a unique whiskey tasting ‘experience in a box’

By Matt Cortina


ver the last several years, the distillers at Boulder


Find out more info and get your Adventure Kit at


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Bok choy redemption



By Ari LeVaux


had given up on bok choy, because all I ever did was add it it to my soggy stir-fry. I felt guilty, because I was really giving up on myself. It certainly isn’t bok choy’s fault. Although, it should take credit for causing so many impulse purchases. I know I’m not alone. How can you not resist that striking beauty? My friend and editor Dorothy Patent, a prolific book author and noted amateur Chinese brush painter, also admits to being a repeat impulse purchaser of bok choy at the farmers’ market. “I’ll stop, hypnotized by the pure white leaf bases, embracing one another, curving outward as if on the verge of bursting, then relaxing inward, the whiteness narrowing as the leaves expand outwards, dark green ovals nourished by branching white veins. Sure enough, I can’t help myself. I must make room in my already heavy bag for just one fresh, perfect bok choy, forgetting almost on purpose that last week’s bunch still lurks at the back of the vegetable drawer in my fridge.” You see those curves, and that sharp white-dark contrast, and next thing you know it’s in your cart. You latch onto one halfway decent way to prepare it, and call off the search. Next thing you know, you’re bored out of your mind. When you’re in a rut, you can’t see the world of possibilities. With enough determination, you can maybe crawl out. But sometimes a little bump can help push you over the edge and into a well-lit world of options. In the case of my bok choy capitulation, that catalyst came in the form of a farmer at the Missoula Farmers Market on North Higgins (aka the “original” Missoula Farmers Market). Nancy is from northern China, has limited English, a great garden and is a wealth of simple, vegetable-based recipes. I was at her stand for the garlic chives, and next thing you know she is giving me the hard sell on some heads she had languishing. I had just given up on bok choy, but I’ve learned it pays to say yes to Nancy. She calls it bai chai, which means something along the lines of white cabbage, and she sealed the deal with a soup recipe called bai chai tum, which means bok choy soup. It’s mostly bok choy and potatoes, with a few season-

Bok Choy Potato Soup

This soup comes together in just a bit more time than it takes to boil some potatoes. Serves four. 1 lb potato, diced into 1/2-inch cubes 1 tablespoon bouillon paste 1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2-oz crushed ginger 1 small crushed shallot or part of an onion 1 tablespoons oyster sauce


ings. Thanks to the language barrier I wasn’t able to get a perfect read on how she makes it, but I worked with what I understood, adjusting as I saw fit, and it was a hit. The only ingredient I use that probably wouldn’t be found in Nancy’s northern Chinese version is butter. Nancy recommends adding tofu as a protein. I’ve also tried it with egg, shrimp, scallops, browned ground lamb and Chinese BBQ pork, each of which becomes a new realm of flavor to play in, possibly with additional ingredients or garnishes. I have also tried an “all of the above” protein special, which was pretty amazing. But before you go crazy, I recommend starting with this simple base. Get a feel for the core flavor of this soup and then build slowly from there.

1 tablespoon fish sauce 1 lb bok choy, washed and trimmed Optional proteins: Tofu, seafood, meat. You can also crack an egg in and let it cook Garnishes and condiments: Hoisin sauce, chives, chile paste, mayo, salt to taste Heat 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the bouillon paste and potatoes. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are soft. While the potatoes simmer, clean the bok choy, as it can be dirty near the base. If you have baby bok choy, submerge them whole in clean water and drain them, repeating as needed. For large bok choy, pull off each stem — or l

JUNE 10, 2021

leaf, however you see it — and wash it separately. Then cut the white halves from the leafy halves of each unit, roughly in half. Chop the leaf part coarsely. Chop the stem part into sections of about an inch in length and keep separately. Trim the bottom of the base and slice it if you like, but definitely use it as it’s particularly flavorful. When the potatoes are soft, add the butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, pepper flakes, black pepper and the white parts of the bok choy, including the bases, (if using baby bok choy add the whole things) along with any protein you may care to add. Cook for five minutes at a simmer. Add the bok choy leaves and cook for another 2 minutes. l


Beyond conventional

Meet the vet challenging stigmas with her new cannabis and Eastern medicine veterinary consultancy

sonalized medicine for the animals,” Hazzah Hazzah discovered

by Will Brendza


r. Trina Hazzah has been navigating stigmas her entire life. As a gay Muslim woman, she’s no stranger to them, she says. So, in 2017 when she dove headlong into two of

offer them some added relief, she was obligated to learn more about them. Even if there was going to be judgment

her residency in 2010.

available cannabis veterinary literature, attending veterinary

to her. cases. The art of it was really fun for me and something I was very good at,” Hazzah says. “But I thought there had to

entrenched stigma and deserved.” Over the years, she noticed that her

she had no hesitation of her colleagues.

ing her with questions about alternative cancer treatments. They

nabis Society. Now, she’s about to launch her own Eastern medicine and veterinary cannabis education and consulting service, where she’ll have the

Best of all though, she says, is something called the

to use in conjunction with (or instead of) conventional methods.

the taboo questions and give the forbidden guidance that most

according to Hazzah. “A lot of clients she says.

ing the clients with guidance,” Hazzah says. “Because they don’t have anywhere else to go.” ern medicine, Eastern medicine and medicinal cannabis. They’ll also get access to an innovative cannabis consultant



law, veterinarians can lose their medical license for admincannabis at the time, and she didn’t even wholly believe in Eastern medicine, either. But, she reasoned, if her clients thought marijuana and

JUNE 10, 2021


neither judgment nor stigma will get in Hazzah’s way of delivering that. “You live your life a certain way,” Hazzah says. “I’m a Muslim lesbian woman that does [medicinal cannabis, through life with the best intentions to educate and have


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