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KUNC's Colorado Edition: Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Partisan Gerrymandered District

Original illustration: Elkanah Tisdale
Edited by Ashley Jefcoat/KUNC
A gerrymander.

On this week's Colorado Edition, the Terminator throws his not-insignificant weight behind measures to end partisan gerrymandering in Colorado, and how diversity is creating big city problems for small town communities.

We kick off this episode with a trip to the rural community of Fort Morgan, home to just over 11,000. While they are a small community, their police department is facing some of the same challenges as a big city. The area is home to people from all over the world - meaning offices confront many language and cultural barriers. Esther Honig investigated how the police department there is working to improve relations .

Then we hear an interview Kyra Buckley conducted with Earnest House Jr. , who has served as the executive director of Colorado's Commission of Indian Affairs for the last 11 years. He's the first member of the Ute Mountain Ute tribe to hold the position since the commission was created in 1976. At the end of September, he stepped down to take over as senior policy director at the Keystone Policy Center.

Then, we talk about ballots! Some more! In a continuation from last week's show , we look at two issues you can expect to vote on this fall.

First: Amendment 73, a measure that aims to help find more money for Colorado schools, which advocates say are historically underfunded. State money for education has decreased over the last decade, leading to a teacher shortage, increased class sizes and the inability to hire other support services, like bus drivers. Stephanie Daniel reports on the ambitious amendment that could help solve the problem.

Then we look at an amendment that has the support of the Terminator. Arnold Schwarzenegger is raising money for efforts here and in Utah to end the long-held practice of redrawing congressional districts to favor a political party. Politicians have been doing it for more than 200 years, but as Rae Ellen Bichell reports, Amendments Y and Z seek to put the power into the hands of an independent commission .

We wrap up with our usual film review: In the new documentary Free Solo, rock climber Alex Honnold plans to climb the rock face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without any protection. KUNC film critic Howie Movshovitz, who teaches film and television at CU Denver, says the film truly scared him .

In the headlines:

  • No, you weren't imagining it: The past year has been the warmest and driest on record for large portions of Colorado.
  • The federal government has signed off on cannabidiol, or CBD, marking a first at the federal level. The Drug Enforcement Administration removed from CBD from the most stringent drug categorization so doctors can prescribe a drug that treats epilepsy.
  • A recent survey found that Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters can all agree on one thing: health care policies . A large majority said they support raising the tobacco purchasing age, red flag laws and lawsuits against opioid manufacturers.
  • The Denver Zoo's resident polar bears, Cranbeary and Lee, are heading abroad in their search for love. They're temporarily relocating to other zoos , where they will be paired with new mates and hopefully produce cute polar bear cubs.

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

Our intro music is "Remember Me" by Colorado musician Kalatana. Our outro is "Good Grief" by Ryan Little. Other music this week:

  • David Hilowitz - "Daylight Savings"
  • C. Scott - "Belview"
  • Robbie Reverb - "Multilayercake" and "Sexy Elfin Bubble Baths"
  • Scott Holmes - "We made it"
  • Eddy - "Coming Up"

This episode was hosted and produced by assistant news director Erin O'Toole and managing editor Brian Larson. Digital editor Ashley Jefcoat handled the web. News director Catherine Welch and Karlie Huckels 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 Play, Stitcher or wherever (RSS) you get your podcasts. You can hear it on the air every Sunday at 9 p.m. on KUNC.