KUNC's Colorado Edition: Got Your River, Every Last Drop

Jun 21, 2019

In this week's episode of Colorado Edition, we explore the politics of big water projects in the West and try to look at Colorado's online checkbook. Plus, now that China is refusing a lot of plastics, is recycling still worth it?

You may not be aware, but Colorado has a website where you can see what the state is spending your tax dollars on, right down to the last penny. It includes everything from pizza for the governor's office to trips to Hawaii and Belgium. But when Scott Franz took a closer look — he discovered the site is being neglected.

Two years ago, Colorado set a goal for recycling. That goal – 28% by the year 2021 – likely won’t be met, according to new state data. That's in part because of a change in how recycling data is analyzed. But advocates say it's also because recycle is just plain difficult. Many Front Range communities don’t have curbside recycling, but even in those that do, it can be complicated to get right. Hosts Kyra Buckley and Desmond O'Boyle decided to take a closer look to see if recycling is still worth it. 

The Colorado River provides water for 40 million people in the Southwest, but the river is running short on water. This is pushing some states to tap into every available drop before things get worse. In the first of a series we’re calling "The Final Straw," Luke Runyon reports on a controversial effort to make one Colorado reservoir bigger.

Four states — Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico — have watched shares of their water from the Colorado River flow downstream for nearly a century. But now they want to claim that promised water. For our series "The Final Straw," KUER reporter Judy Fahys explores the drive behind a massive water pipeline in southwestern Utah.

The new movie Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story is about the legendary singer on tour in 1975. KUNC film critic Howie Movshovitz, who teaches film and television at CU-Denver, says he finds the film dazzling.

In the headlines:

  • More and more people are scouring the Rocky Mountains for a hidden chest of riches — and a Montana sheriff's office says there have been a number of deaths and near-deaths close to Yellowstone. Reporter Julia Glum with Money.com has been following the hunt for the so-called "Fenn Treasure." The chest was supposedly hidden by art collector Forest Fenn, who lives in New Mexico and left a riddle with hints about its location.

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

Our intro music is "Remember Me" by Colorado musician Kalatana. The midshow break is "Bling Bong" by Robbie Reverb. Other music this week by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • "Lamplist"
  • "A Burst of Light"
  • "No Smoking"
  • "Zulia Conspiracy"
  • "Hash Out"
  • "Dusting"

This episode was hosted and produced by assistant news director Erion O'Toole and Karlie Huckels. Digital editor Jackie Hai handled the web. News director Catherine Welch and managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a weekly look at the top stories from our newsroom. It's available every Friday on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher or wherever (RSS) you get your podcasts. You can hear it on the air every Sunday at 9 p.m. on KUNC.