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Colorado Edition: Access And Inclusion

Henry Zimmerman
Colorado Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre outside of Su Teatro in Denver.

Today on Colorado Edition: as summer comes to a close, and the start of ski season nears, we discuss how ski passes have changed the industry. Plus, how broadband access is changing around the state and a conversation with the state's new poet laureate, Bobby LeFebre. 


News Of The Day:

  • Doctor Burnout Researchers in our region are looking for the answer to a question: how do you reduce doctor burnout if you can't just hire more doctors? By some estimates, it would take more than 20 hours a day for a primary care doctor to adequately care for their patients. Rising paperwork demands tighten the vise even more, so it's no wonder that doctors experience a lot of burnout. Inspired by research in Utah, Colorado clinics are trying something new: passing some of the task-burden to medical assistants. Researchers followed two clinics that hired a bunch of medical assistants to help out. They found that, even though it cost a lot to hire them, they were able to create a more efficient system — seeing more patients and providing more care. And, a few years in, they found that clinician burnout rates plummeted, from about 50% to 15%. 
  • Driver Licenses - Foster children in Colorado now have a smoother road to an important milestone. A new law streamlines the process for these teens to get a driver's license. It allows them to get driving lessons and have their driving logs signed by anyone who is older than 21 with a valid driver's license. Previously, it had to be a foster parent or legal gaurdian. Some will no longer need a foster parent or legal gaurdian to sign off on an affadavit of liability. The new regulations will impact more than 500 foster children currently of driving age. 
  • Tumbleweed - A new species of tumbleweed is more vigorous and invasive then ones we've seen in the past. The tumbleweed named Salsola ryanii is a hybrid of two other tumbleweed species. It was discovered in California in the early 2000s, but new research from UC Riverside finds it has spread and could reach the Mountain West. 

Ski Passes

A near white out at the Snowmass Ski Area Monday.
Credit Jeremy Swanson / Colorado Ski Country USA
Colorado Ski Country USA
A near white out at the Snowmass Ski Area Monday.

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, and although winter's not quite here yet, we are inching closer to the start of ski season. 

The ski industry has changed a lot in the past decades. Now, instead of just getting a season pass to your favorite local resort, there's a whole world of passes that can allow you to ski in a variety of countries. But what has this meant for the ski industry?

Joining us to help us de-mystify the industry and these newer types of passes is Jason Blevins, a reporter for The Colorado Sun

Rural Broadband Access

Credit Jim Hill / KUNC

Most of us don't think twice about connecting to the internet, for work or recreation. But in some parts of the state, that access isn't a guarantee. 

That's why the state set a goal of attaining 92% rural broadband coverage by June of 2020. Lawmakers even chipped $100 million into the effort and that's where our Capitol reporter Scott Franzenters the picture. He's got a series of stories running this week on the issue of rural broadband, and joins us to discuss what he'll cover. 

A Conversation With Colorado's New Poet Laureate

Credit Henry Zimmerman / KUNC
Colorado State Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre.

In July, Gov. Jared Polis appointed a new poet laureate for the state of Colorado, the eighth since the program started 100 years ago. 

His name is Bobby LeFebre, and he's an Emmy-nominated performer who believes that poetry has the power to heal and promote cultural change. 

We spoke with LeFebre about Denver, poetry and what it means to be the state's poet laureate. 

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:

  • "Wingspan" by Bayou Birds
  • "Peacoat" by Studio J

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. News director Catherine Welch and 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.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.