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KUNC's Colorado Edition: The Final Countdown (But We'll Come Back)

Courtesy Dinosaur National Monument

This is the last regular weekly episode of Colorado Edition before we go on hiatus to revamp the show. But don't worry, we won't be gone for long — we launch a shiny, new version of Colorado Edition this September!

In this week's episode, there's a domestic war raging right now across the West — against a plant. But is it really the enemy? Plus, in Fort Collins, a therapy class for Parkinson's patients is replacing the boombox with a band, and we also take a listen to the music that nature provides.

It can seem like we're on the verge of some kind of war with everyone these days, like trade wars with China, or just battling dirty dishes in the kitchen. But we're also waging a war here at home against a plant. The tamarisk, or salt-cedar, is taking over waterways in the West and crowding out native species like cottonwoods, and Americans are fighting back. From the Mountain West Bureau, Rae Ellen Bichell has more.

If you stand near a river, you'll hear a symphony of sounds. Birds chirping, frogs croaking and water flowing. But have you ever thought about what would it sound like if the stream itself could be transformed into classical music? Luke Runyon found a researcher who's doing just that.

Colorado is a great state for enjoying both the sights and sounds of the outdoors. KUNC's Michael de Yoanna produced an audio postcard right here in our Rocky Mountain National Park backyard. It begins with Jacob Job, a research associate at Colorado State University, describing his search for elk on a cool, fall morning, with his assistant, Carlos Linares. Job says they were armed not with rifles, but with microphones.

A new documentary called The Spy Behind Home Plate follows the life of a shadowy man named Moe Berg. For KUNC film critic Howie Movshovitz, who teaches film and television at CU-Denver, the film is both fascinating and frustrating.

In the headlines:

  • Gas prices are falling, unemployment is low and consumer confidence is fairly high. All of it adds up to what AAA predicts could be Colorado's biggest ever Independence Day travel week. While Denver International Airport will see a surge of travelers, more than 670,000 of them are expected to hit the roads. The worst day for traffic? July 3, as holiday travelers from in and out of state mix with commuters.
  • The University of Colorado has a new leader. Mark Kennedy begins his tenure as the 23rd president of the CU system today. Kennedy's nomination became controversial in April due to his time as a Minnesota congressman, where he voted to ban same-sex marriage and increase restrictions on abortions. The board of regents voted 5-4 to confirm Kennedy as the system president in May.
  • The Weld County Animal Shelter says it's at capacity and expects the 4th of July holiday week to bring in even more animals. From Friday, July 28 through Wednesday, July 3 the Weld County Humane Society will reduce adoption fees for animals more than one year old to $17.76. Larimer Humane Society is also offering reduced fees for cat adoptions, and the Boulder Valley Society is waiving fees through Sunday, June 30.

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"
  • "Palladian"
  • "Greyleaf Willow"
  • "Bangolet"
  • "Exceter Lask"
  • "A Rush of Clear Water"
  • Heartland Flyer

This episode was hosted and produced by Karlie Huckels and Morning Edition host Kyra Buckley. 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.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.