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Colorado Edition: 2003 wildfire survivor helps others navigate insurance; history of the avocado

A pile of dark green avocados
Marco Ugarte
This Oct. 1, 2019 photo shows recently harvested avocados at an orchard near Ziracuaretiro, Michoacan state, Mexico.

The process of recovering from the Marshall Fire looks different for each person affected. For those who were insured, working with their provider to file claims and compile detailed inventories of belongings has become part of day-to-day life. But not all insured residents have enough coverage to cover the costs of losing a home. That was the case for Karen Reimus, who lost her home in the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego. She discovered her home was severely underinsured after it burned. Two years later, she began volunteering for United Policyholders, a national nonprofit that helps people navigate all kinds of insurance, including after natural disasters. Reimus joins us to talk about her work with survivors of the Marshall Fire.

Avocados are a staple food item found on many kitchen counters these days. According to a report from Texas A&M University, our economy benefits from the much-beloved fruit. The report found that U.S. imports of Hass avocados from Mexico have contributed to $6.5 billion in growth in U.S. economic output. Though this all may seem obvious given the popularity of them today, avocados weren’t always easy to find. We’re listening back to our conversation on the history of this dark green, oddly textured fruit with Jeff Miller, an associate professor in the Colorado State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Miller is also the author of Avocado: A Global History.

We also want to acknowledge the incredible contributions of Brian Larson, who has served as Colorado Edition’s executive producer from day one. Today is Brian's last day with us. Our team is very sad to see him go. Brian joined KUNC in 1993 as the local host of All Things Considered. He worked his way through every job in the news department from host to reporter to news director. His work received awards from organizations like the Colorado Broadcasters Association, the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Public Media Journalists Association, and his talents as an editor elevated the work of KUNC’s newsroom to the level of national recognition.

Brian was an excellent mentor, advocate and editor for all of us. If you’ve heard Colorado Edition improve over the years, it was Brian at the helm, encouraging each of us to grow the show in new directions. While he had an interest in just about every topic under the sun, he had a particular fondness for conversations that revealed fascinating facts — like how much water it takes to grow avocados! We are sending love to Brian and we hope he gets more time to jam on the guitar, shave a few strokes off his golf game, and maybe visit a few of Colorado’s historic outhouses, a subject he knows too much about.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). Web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai.

The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can hear the show on KUNC, Monday through Friday at 2:30 and at 6:30 p.m.
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 in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily look at the stories, news, people and issues important to you. It's a window to the communities along the Colorado Rocky Mountains.