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KUNC's Colorado Edition: When You Wish Upon A Star, It Helps If You Can See It

View of the night sky from Red Mountain Open Space in Wellington, the potential site of northern Colorado's first official night sky park.

On this week's Colorado Edition, the midterms are behind us and the stars aligned for the Democratic party in Colorado; meanwhile we look up at the night sky and wonder… where did all the stars go? (Don’t panic, they’re still there - we just can’t see them because of all the lights around here.) Plus – what’s the impact of a shorter school week? Hint: It’s not as easy for parents to play hooky as they'd probably like.

Whether or not you consider what happened in the midterms a "blue wave," one thing is certain – Colorado voters showed a lot of support for Democrats. And while both parties wasted no time choosing their leadership, our Capitol Coverage reporter Scott Franz reports on how one-party control may not be a dream come true, even for the party in power.

If you haven’t done this lately – go outside, look up at the night sky, and count how many stars you can see. You’d have a better celestial view if it weren’t for so much light pollution. You could always go to something called a “night sky park” where the stars are much more visible. Colorado currently has two such parks – and Matt Bloom says Northern Colorado could soon have one of its own.

Farming is hard work – and so is finding workers to help plant, harvest and package the crops. When U.S. farmers are unable to find the labor they need, the federal H-2A visa program allows them to temporarily bring in workers from other countries. The visas are costly and the application process is time-consuming… yet, as Esther Honig found out, the number of them granted each year continues to grow.

This may surprise you, but more than half of all Colorado school districts have some or all their schools operating on a four-day week. These districts are typically small, rural or both. But this year, one district in the Denver area made the switch. Stephanie Daniel learned it’s not just teachers and students who must adjust to the new routine.

The new documentary, Chef Flynn, tells of a young man who became a famous chef by the time he was 12 years old. For KUNC film critic Howie Movshovitz, who teaches film and television at CU-Denver, the movie forgot to focus on the person.

And finally… there’s still time to get involved with a great nonprofit organization, Wreaths Across America. Every year they collect donations for wreaths and ask people to volunteer on December 15th to place wreaths on Veterans’ and First Responders’ graves.

In the headlines:

Amazon finally unveiled their chosen location for their second headquarters (aka HQ2) – and though many cities put their best ‘promposals’ together, in the end there could be only one. Well, actually, there were two cities chosen – neither of which was Denver. But the group behind Denver’s application says losing the bid doesn’t mean the relationship with Amazon is over (but someone’s in the friend zone).

Credit Photo by Jenise Jensen / Courtesy of Breckenridge Creative Arts
Breckenridge Creative Arts

And although we didn’t get to it in the episode, we thought we should let you know that if your bucket list included finding that giant, whimsical troll made of reclaimed wood somewhere along a trail in Breckenridge – you’re too late to check that off. The popular but controversial sculpture “Isak Heartstone” has been dismantled. The Breckenridge Town Council voted to take down the outdoor art installation due to concerns about public safety. However, both the artist and Breckenridge Creative Arts (which commissioned the $40,000 piece) are talking about ways to keep it in some form.

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:

  • Broke For Free - "Murmur"
  • C. Scott - "Belview"
  • So Far As I Know - "Confluence”
  • Robbie Reverb - "Bling Bong"
  • Forest Robots - "A Path Among the Woods"
  • Doctor Turtle - "You Um I’ll Ah"
  • Uncanny - "To Fight"

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