Colorado Edition: Mazed And Confused

Oct 28, 2019

Today on Colorado Edition: Colorado isn't the best when it comes to recycling, but a group of legislators focused on waste and recycling has approved two draft bills that could change that. We'll hear from that committee's chair, Rep. Lisa Cutter. We'll also learn about a new law that allows people on parole to vote, hear about the hemp boom in Weld County, and take a trip to a corn maze to learn how they're made.

News Of The Day:

  • Wild Horse Plans - Congressional Democrats are demanding the Interior Department produce an overdue report on plans to manage wild horses roaming federal lands in the West. The move comes after the Bureau of Land Management estimated it will take $5 billion and 15 years to get overpopulated herds under control. Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse and six other Democrats say an update the department promised by July is three months late, and they need it to chart the horses' future. They say it's clear the current approach isn't working.
     
  • Denver Bag Fees - Denver could be the latest city to charge shoppers if they fail to bring their own bags. City council documents indicate people would pay at least 10 cents for every paper or plastic bag they need. 6 cents of the fee would go to the city and the other 4 cents to retailers for related costs like education or providing re-usable bags. The measure is expected to be presented to the city council in coming weeks. It mirrors one passed by Boulder in 2013 that initially reduced plastic bag use by 70% and has since generated roughly $1 million for the city's bag reduction program.
     
  • Aurora Protest Measure - The Aurora City Council could take up a measure that would place limits on protesters in residential areas. Protesters would face fines of more than $2,600 if convicted for blocking sidewalks or streets, disobeying police or picketing in a neighborhood after sundown. The proposal comes a month after protesters gathered outside the house of the warden for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Aurora. Activist groups say the proposal aims to restrict their freedom of speech.
     
  • Ski Season - Recent snow has been good news for the ski and snowboard industry in Colorado. Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Keystone are already open, although terrain is extremely limited. Eldora plans to open two weeks early on Nov. 15th, and Wolf Creek announced it will open on Halloween. More snow is expected for the next couple of days.

Proposed Recycling Legislation

Credit Kyra Buckley / KUNC

Last week, Colorado’s Zero Waste and Recycling Interim Study Committee approved two draft bills that are aimed at improving recycling in our state. To learn more about the two bills and the state of recycling in Colorado, we spoke with the committee chair, Rep. Lisa Cutter.

Parolee Voting

Brad Simpson, recently released from prison and on parole, registered to vote thanks to a new Colorado law restoring voting rights to parolees.
Credit Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Almost four million Coloradans are registered to vote. A new law this year is adding to that number by extending the constitutional right to a new group of Coloradans: people on parole. KUNC’s Stephanie Daniel brings us more on efforts underway to register parolees ahead of Election Day.

Hemp In Weld County

Credit Esther Honig / KUNC

In 2018, the federal Farm Bill changed the classification of hemp from a controlled substances drug to just a normal agricultural product. Since then, the hemp market in Colorado has grown. Over 80,000 acres of hemp have been planted in our state in the past year, even in cities like Greeley, that don’t allow marijuana sales.

To dive deeper, we spoke with freelance writer Dan England, who recently wrote about hemp in Weld County for the Colorado Sun.

Corn Mazes: How They're Made And How To Get Through Them

One of Brett Herbst's favorite maze designs.
Credit The Maize

Corn mazes are an autumn staple along the front range. But how are they made? And what’s the best way to navigate through them? To learn more, we spoke with Glen Fritzler, owner of Fritzler Farm Park and Brett Herbst, owner of The Maize, a corn maze design company.

Listen to an extended cut of the interviews here.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music this week by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • “Neil Takes Two” by Studio J
  • “Sayera” by El Baul
  • “Vibrant Canopy” by Origami
  • “Arizona Moon” by Cholate
  • “Tar and Spackle” by Vacant Distillery
  • “Mknt” by Simple Machines

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman @HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.