#Colorado mountain biking program teaches girls to conquer trails, with an eye toward helping in other parts of life — @ColoradoSun

Photo credit: The Cycle Effect

From The Colorado Sun (Joe Purtell):

Not everyone who lives in Colorado’s resort communities has the means to get involved in the outdoor sports that help define the region. That’s why Brett Donelson founded The Cycle Effect, a nonprofit designed to improve access and develop skills and character that will stick with girls throughout their lives.

“I live in an area where there’s extreme wealth, and a whole bunch of lower-income people that don’t get to just enjoy the outdoors,” Donelson says. “Can we do this kind of model of this year-round training with athletes for kids that generally can’t afford it or don’t have those opportunities?”

Since 2013, 40 girls have graduated from The Cycle Effect, with many more participating for shorter periods. The nonprofit says all the girls who stuck with the program for at least two years graduated from high school and went on to college — and 75% of them were the first in their families to do so.

This year, 175 girls have been organized into four teams in Edwards and in Eagle and Summit counties. Each participant pays $140 for access to a bike and gear, coaching, and race fees. In 2018, The Cycle Effect says, 75% of participants were from minority or low income families — and that’s good news for Development Director Vikki Flynn.

“There weren’t a lot of Hispanic girls in the bike races and in the biking community,” [Vikki] Flynn says. “And so to see that now is pretty awesome.”

The Cycle Effect works to keep costs low to attract kids from every background, and counts on teachers and word-of-mouth marketing to generate interest in the program. The fee also covers after-school programs, summer coaching and race fees for girls who typically range from fifth to 12th grades.

While Donelson thinks getting someone out mountain biking can change lives on its own, he says the coaches use the sport to teach resilience. Essentially, toughness translates.

“I think we’re teaching them in a way to dream big, and realize, ‘Wow, I can do this.’ And then to go out and do it,” Flynn says.

Today’s “Heated” newsletter from Emily Atkin is about reporting on indigenous people #IndigenousPeoplesDay @emorwee

Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

What does this have to do with climate?

Indian Country is on the front lines of the climate crisis currently unfolding in the United States, and has been for some time. Thus, if America’s most influential news institutions are not adequately informing their readers about what’s happening in Indian Country, they’re not adequately informing Americans about the climate crisis.

Beyond that, there are so many opportunities for solutions-focused stories in Native American communities, Martin noted.

”The United Nations recently put out a report reiterating that indigenous people—their understanding of land management, of protecting and nurturing the resources that everybody needs to survive—are crucial to the process of moving forward,” he said. “If we want this planet to survive, we have to lean on the people who know the land best. The people who have fostered the land for thousands of years.”

“That’s not to say anyone else can’t be part of the solution,” [Nick Martin] continued. “It’s just to say we’ve not centered ourselves around indigenous perspectives of how land and natural resources should be used and taken care of. And I think as an American culture, it’s going to be important for us to adapt to more of that way of thinking.”


HOT ACTION: Follow some journalists!

Right before we got off the phone, I asked Martin if he could quickly suggest some journalists and/or media institutions to follow for quality coverage of indigenous climate issues. He recommended:

High Country News’s indigenous affairs section
Indianz.com’s politics section
Indian Country Today
HCN’s @grahambrewer
Data For Progress’s @jnoisecat

Got more suggestions? Send ‘em here: action@heated.world

Local News as a Public Good: New Pathways for Support of Civic Journalism, October 14, 2019 by #Colorado Media Project and CU-Denver School of Public Affairs

Click here to view the invitation:

With traditional business models for local journalism near collapse in the digital age dominated by Facebook and Google, more Colorado communities are becoming “local news deserts” with very little original, independent, local news.

Research shows that civic impacts abound when local news outlets close or reduce coverage – the public lacks independent information about important issues, voter turnout lags, local officials have fewer avenues to inform voters and residents, and the perception of reduced government transparency has been linked to higher municipal bond rates and other costs.

What strategies exist for local communities and elected officials to address these issues? How might existing institutions like libraries and higher education expand their roles in addressing community information needs? What new opportunities exist for public-private partnership in this space?

This panel and audience discussion will include a summary of research findings and recommendations from a October 2019 report by the Colorado Media Project, which convened national, state, and local leaders in journalism, government, libraries, higher education, technology, and law to study Colorado public policy pathways for sustaining local news and civic information.

Upper Basin States vs. Lower Basin circa 1925 via CSU Water Resources Archives

R.I.P. Ginger Baker: “Had to cry today”

Black and white image of Baker playng an elaborate drum kit withe Cream 1968. By Omroepvereniging VARA – http://www.beeldengeluidwiki.nl/index.php/Bestand:FTA001009845_006_con.png, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20520339

From Wikipedia:

Baker lived in Parker, Colorado between 1993 and 1999, in part due to his passion for polo. Baker not only participated in polo events at the Salisbury Equestrian Park, but he also sponsored an ongoing series of jam sessions and concerts at the equestrian centre on weekends.

From Westword (Susan Froyd):

Fourteen Songs That Rocked the Radio in 1968

14) Cream: “Sunshine of Your Love” From the 1967 breakout album Disraeli Gears but released as a single in ’68, “Sunshine of Your Love” is driven by Cream’s blend of poetry and pure power -trio sonics. As a band whose members always seemed to be working with — and against — one another in a web of dynamic tension, the amalgam of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker still sounds fresh decades later. “Sunshine of Your Love” breaks the aesthetic down to its true nitty gritty.

From The New York Times (Peter Keepnews):

Ginger Baker, who helped redefine the role of the drums in rock and became a superstar in the process, died on Sunday in a hospital in southeastern England. He was 80.

His family confirmed his death in a post on his official Twitter account.

Mr. Baker drew worldwide attention for his approach to the drums, as sophisticated as it was forceful, when he teamed with the guitarist Eric Clapton and the bassist Jack Bruce in the hugely successful British band Cream in 1966.

Keith Moon of the Who was more uninhibited; John Bonham of Led Zeppelin — a band formed in 1968, the year Cream broke up — was slicker. But Mr. Baker brought a new level of artistry to his instrument, and he was the first rock drummer to be prominently featured as a soloist and to become a star in his own right. Mr. Clapton praised him as “a fully formed musician” whose “musical capabilities are the full spectrum.”

Both as a member of the ensemble and as a soloist, Mr. Baker captivated audiences and earned the respect of his fellow percussionists with playing that was, as Neil Peart, the drummer with the band Rush, once said, “extrovert, primal and inventive.” Mr. Baker, Mr. Peart added, “set the bar for what rock drumming could be.”

But Mr. Baker, who got his start in jazz combos and cited the likes of Max Roach and Elvin Jones as influences, bristled when the word “rock” was applied to his playing. “I’m a jazz drummer,” he told the British newspaper The Telegraph in 2013. “You have to swing. There are hardly any rock drummers I know who can do that.”

Mr. Baker’s appearance behind the drum kit — flaming red hair, flailing arms, eyes bulging with enthusiasm or shut tight in concentration — made an indelible impression…

Drawn to the drums at an early age, Mr. Baker talked his way into a job with a traditional-jazz combo when he was 16 despite his lack of professional experience. Before long, he was well established on the London jazz scene…

n 1962 Mr. Baker joined Blues Incorporated, one of the earliest British rhythm-and-blues bands, beginning his contentious but musically rewarding association with Mr. Bruce. When the organist and saxophonist Graham Bond left that band in 1964 to form his own group, the Graham Bond Organisation, Mr. Baker and Mr. Bruce went with him.

Two years later they teamed with Mr. Clapton, whose work with the Yardbirds and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers had made him one of Britain’s most celebrated guitarists, to form Cream…

Mr. Baker’s next band was, on paper, even bigger than Cream: Blind Faith, in which he and Mr. Clapton joined forces with the singer, keyboardist and guitarist Steve Winwood, known for his work with the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic. (The less famous Ric Grech was the bassist.) Hopes were high, but Blind Faith imploded after one album and one tour, the victim of excessive hype and conflicting egos…

Mr. Baker and the other members of Cream were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. The band reunited for concerts in London and New York in 2005 and received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 2006…

Asked in [an] interview how he would like to be remembered, he paused for a moment and then gave a one-word answer:


R.I.P. Ric Ocasek: “I’d hold on to you ‘Til the mountains crumble flat”

Ric Ocasek. By Adanne Osefo – https://www.flickr.com/photos/artistapproach/4036956067/in/faves-24788065@N02/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10608273

From The New York Times (Jon Pareles):

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee updated classic sounds for a broader pop audience, making polished songs with sonic depth.

Ric Ocasek, the songwriter, rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the Cars, was found dead on Sunday afternoon at his townhouse in Manhattan, according to the New York Police Department. No cause of death was available on Sunday night.

It is unclear what age Mr. Ocasek (pronounced oh-CASS-ek) was. According to some public records and previous articles, he was 70, other reporting suggests that he may have been 75.

From 1978 to 1988, Ocasek and the Cars merged a vision of romance, danger and nocturnal intrigue and the concision of new wave with the sonic depth and ingenuity of radio-friendly rock. The Cars managed to please both punk-rock fans and a far broader pop audience, reaching into rock history while devising fresh, lush extensions of it.

The Cars grew out of a friendship forged in the late 1960s in Ohio between Mr. Ocasek — born Richard Theodore Otcasek — and Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000. They worked together in multiple bands before moving to Boston and forming the Cars in the late 1970s with Elliot Easton on guitar, Greg Hawkes on keyboards and David Robinson on drums. It was the beginning of the punk era, but the Cars made their first albums with Queen’s producer, Roy Thomas Baker, creating songs that were terse and moody but impeccably polished.

In the Cars, Mr. Ocasek’s lead vocals mixed a gawky, yelping deadpan with hints of suppressed emotion, while his songs drew hooks from basic three-chord rockabilly and punk, from surf-rock, from emerging synth-pop, from echoes of the Beatles and glam-rock and from hints of the 1970s art-rock avant-garde. The five albums the Cars released from 1978 to 1984 each sold a million copies in the United States alone, with ubiquitous radio singles like “Just What I Needed” in 1978, “Shake It Up” in 1981, “You Might Think” in 1984 and “Drive” in 1984. Although Mr. Ocasek wrote them, “Just What I Needed” and “Drive” had lead vocals by Mr. Orr…

Mr. Ocasek’s songs were invariably terse and catchy, spiked with Mr. Easton’s twangy guitar lines and Mr. Hawkes’s pithy keyboard hooks. But they were also elaborately filled out by multitracked instruments and vocals. Lyrics that might initially seem like pop love songs were, more often, calmly ambivalent.

Op-Ed: Congress Must Protect the Land and Water Conservation Fund — Erica Hernandez (via Westword) #LWCF

Colorado National Monument from the River Front Trail near Fruita.

Here’s a guest column from Erica Hernandez that is running in Westword:

I have been in Colorado for twelve years, the longest I have lived in any single place, and it’s hard to leave. I climb, ski, bike around Denver and hike with friends. Living here has taught me how important access to the outdoors is. It’s molded who I am, my lifestyle and my priorities, and I know I am not alone. Whether we want to ski, climb or hike, Colorado’s vast state and national parks have something for all of us.

As a local leader involved with Latino Outdoors, a group that aims to connect Latino communities to the outdoors, I am passionate about getting Latino youth and families outside to learn all that Denver’s neighboring lands can offer. Education and being outside are powerful tools for young minds. As a child, whenever my cousins and I would get together, we’d use our wonder and curiosity to fuel adventures.

It is important we continue to have parks and green spaces, in the city and in the mountains, and it is up to us to educate young minds about the importance of the outdoors, because they will be in charge of conserving these lands for future generations.

Outdoors lovers contribute so much to our economy, our congressional representatives must also put Colorado’s public lands first. Annually, more than 2.2 million people come to hunt, fish, watch wildlife and explore our parks, contributing $3 billion to the state economy, and the outdoors industry counts some 229,000 employees. We need our elected officials in Washington to advocate for programs that support this. This is why we need our leaders to support the permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Since 1964, LWCF has doled out $271.8 million to Colorado alone. More than 900 parks and projects in our state have been supported through LWCF, including local parks like Aztlan, Berkely, Montbello, Barnum and Sloan’s Lake, and national treasures like the White River National Forest, Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Colorado National Monument, El Dorado State Park and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Nationally, more than 42,000 parks and projects have benefited from LWCF.

Somehow, this has all been achieved even though the program has only ever been fully funded twice in its 54 years of service. While the amount LWCF receives is capped at $900 million a year and it doesn’t cost taxpayers a penny (it’s funded through offshore oil and gas drilling royalties), Congress is responsible for allocating the funds each year. Consequently, it’s becomes easy for funds to be siphoned off to other causes.

Earlier this year, Congress voted to permanently reauthorize LWCF to avoid the program from being held hostage by politics. It’s now time that Congress does the same for its funding. This is why we need our senators and representatives to continue their support for LWCF and make sure it’s permanently funded.

Our public lands are a tremendous asset to Colorado. They are critical to our economy, recreational enjoyment, way of life and happiness. LWCF is an essential tool to making sure these public lands are protected for future generations.

Erica Hernandez is a microbiologist, a climbing-gym instructor, an entrepreneur, an outdoor volunteer and granddaughter of Mexican immigrants.

Governor Polis Announces New State Park

Fishers Peak. By Michelle Goodall from Trinidad, USA – Fishers peakUploaded by xnatedawgx, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14915627

Here’s the release from Governor Polis’ office:

Today, Governor Jared Polis announced that Colorado will work to establish additional Colorado State Parks. The first State Park under consideration includes the iconic 9,633-foot Fishers Peak, which is the highest peak in the United States east of Interstate 25. A diverse partnership, including the City of Trinidad, The Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Great Outdoors Colorado, is coordinating to develop the new State Park.

“Opening this treasured and iconic area to the public as a new State Park not only provides a new recreational opportunity for hiking, camping, and fun, but also helps grow our economy in southern Colorado, supports our thriving outdoor recreation industry, and ensures the land and wildlife habitat will be protected for generations to come,” said Governor Polis. “This announcement has something for everyone in our State to be excited about. Colorado has so much to offer, and as Governor I am focused on ensuring we improve access to our great outdoors and create real opportunities for job growth in rural Colorado.”

“Thank you to The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, Mayor Rico, the City of Trinidad, Las Animas County commissioners, community members, legislators, stakeholders, and everyone who is working to make this potential State Park a reality,” Gov Polis added.

“What an exciting day for the Department of Natural Resources and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the people of Trinidad, and all Coloradans. It’s not every day we are able to collaborate in such a way to expand our State Park system. This incredible property, highlighted by the iconic Fishers Peak, will be a gift come true for Coloradans who love hiking, hunting, wildlife watching or just being in Colorado’s great outdoors,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Thanks to the Governor and all the partners who have been critical in working to make this partnership a reality. We look forward to opening up Fishers Peak for Coloradans to enjoy for generations to come.”

“Coloradans are fortunate that the City of Trinidad, The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land and so many others recognized the Crazy French Ranch property for the jewel that is,” said Lottery Director Tom Seaver.

“This soon-to-be state park is the result of six years of effort from these partners working together. We could not be prouder that more than $14 million in Lottery proceeds went to fund the project,” said Lu Cordova Executive Director of the Department of Revenue.

“Colorado Parks and Wildlife is very excited to be a part of this partnership working toward an incredible investment in the State Park system,” said Dan Prenzlow, Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “As Colorado’s primary State agency focused on protecting and caring for our most valued and valuable resources, a property like this would allow us to further balance conservation of our wildlife and habitat with recreational needs, both synonymous with our State. These resources form the very fabric of our State and define who we are.”

“This project is a dream come true for the citizens of Trinidad and surrounding area residents,” said Trinidad Mayor Phil Rico. “We are excited to be the home of Colorado’s next State Park and are thrilled for what this will mean for our local economy and the residents of our community who want to see this landscape protected while also being able to experience its wonder.”

“Outdoor recreation is an economic engine and this new State Park will help boost the quality of life in Southern Colorado. Our region has so much to offer and this is great news for hikers, hunters and anyone who wants to enjoy our amazing outdoors and public lands,” said Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo.

“Southern Colorado has such beauty to offer, and I am glad to see that Fishers Peak will be designated as Colorado’s newest State Park,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. This designation will help grow our economy and allow Coloradans from all over to enjoy the many acres of cherished public lands, from the iconic 9,600-foot-high peak to forests, grasslands, and wetlands. I am excited to see Fishers Peak join Lake Pueblo as tourist destinations for all to enjoy.”

The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land currently own the Fishers Peak property and plan to transfer the property to public ownership in coordination with Trinidad, Great Outdoors Colorado, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The partners plan to develop the property to provide sustainable recreational access, protect wildlife habitat, and create a publicly-owned State Park that will serve as an economic engine for Trinidad and southern Colorado.

The 30-square-mile property connects Colorado’s eastern grasslands to the western mountains, and serves as a wildlife corridor. Providing habitat for large native species like elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain lion, and black bear, the property helps maintain important connections between their populations in the mountains and those in the prairies.

Today’s action serves as a starting point for planning the State Park, with the goal of providing a meaningful level of public access to the property by 2021. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will continue to work with partners and local communities to finalize the transaction and establish the property as our next State Park.

Photos, B-roll of the site and Gov. Polis video announcement can be found here.

Read the executive order here.

From Colorado Public Radio (Sam Brasch):

On Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis announced a new state park that should give Trinidad residents much easier access to their iconic peak. If all goes according to plan, the park may also help the city shake its image as a sleepy former coal-mining town to become the state’s newest outdoor mecca…

The park, which has yet to be officially named, will cover 30-square miles of volcanic cliffs, streams, grasslands and wetlands. Because the area is adjacent to other wildlife areas, it will result in 55.5 miles of contiguous preserved land, providing habitat for elk, mule deer and black bears.

Once complete, the area will be Colorado’s 42nd state park and its second-largest. Trails through the area will also create a much more direct connection between downtown Trinidad and Fishers Peak.

Plans for the park came together last December. That’s when the Trust for Public Lands and The Nature Conservancy in Colorado announced they had reached a deal to purchase the 30-square mile Crazy French Ranch…

The conservation groups provided the money needed to secure the $25.4 million sale. Great Outdoors Colorado, which is largely funded by the Colorado Lottery, put up another $7.5 million. Colorado Parks and Wildlife agreed to kick in another $7 million.

Jim Petterson, Colorado director for the Trust For Public Land, said the new park shows how the state, local governments and conservation groups can effectively work together to protect public lands…

The Trust for Public Land and the Nature Conservancy now plan to begin to transfer the property to public ownership. The goal is to develop a “meaningful level” of public access no later than January 1, 2021. Polis added he’d like to see basic improvements to the property by the fall of 2020.