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Thursday, March 26,2015

Free-range art

Boulder Arts Week is both about drawing audiences in and bringing art out into the world

By Elizabeth Miller
Somewhere between the cupcakes and the ciabatta, a cluster of singers will belt out love ballads. Watercolor landscape paintings will provide a backdrop to the rods and reels for sale at Front Range Anglers. The tale of Little Red Riding Hood will be retold — for adults — with shadow puppets on the walls of a dance studio.
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Thursday, March 19,2015

Dairy Center’s renovations will squeeze Boulder’s performance space options during construction

By Elizabeth Miller
Performing arts companies in Boulder have few options for venues to book within city limits that meet the needs dictated by time, space and cost. Theater companies in town point to The Dairy Center for the Arts as the only real option for a professional production. But with the planned closures of its theatrical performance spaces, the East and the Carson theaters, from January to August 2016, those theater companies won’t just be bumping up against one another trying to fit into limited space for their productions. They’ll be downright homeless.
Thursday, March 19,2015

Alone among a billion

By Elizabeth Miller
He’d gone to music school and continued to play music as a creative outlet while building a career at a software company and supporting a family. Writing didn’t need to be added to the list of things he did with his time, but somehow, it added itself..
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Thursday, March 12,2015

Storytelling takes the stage

Local Lab pares down the spectacle to let the raw, experimental core of theater shine through

By Elizabeth Miller
Theater, at its core, is storytelling. It’s a gathering together to hear another’s life story, to see ourselves in those stories in ways that make our own stories make a little more sense and to experience that catharsis as part of an audience. At Local Lab, the three-day festival of new plays, the experience is stripped back to just the stories. Actors read from scripts still in hand. Playwrights take chances and venture experiments they wouldn’t in the presence of New York City’s daunting theater scene.
Thursday, March 12,2015

Not in this Statehouse

Bill to weaken renewable energy standards came from ALEC

By Elizabeth Miller
The state bill that would have rolled back Colorado’s renewable energy standards to half of their proposed levels was co-sponsored by legislators who have been linked to the fossil fuel-funded American Legislative Exchange Council. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) describes itself as “the nation’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators. The organization advances limited government, free markets and federalism,” in a letter to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt written in response to his comments on the company’s choice in September to part ways with the organization.
Thursday, March 5,2015

What happens when a son sets out to profile his father?

Documentary reveals the history of far more than a record store

By Elizabeth Miller
The documentary film Old Man is as much a story of a troubled, perhaps marginally dysfunctional family as it is the story of a troubled record store — and, in many ways, a dysfunctional town. The portrait of Boulder is not graceful. It’s a critique of the town’s ability to win both for greatest number of advanced degrees per capita and for high incidence of teen suicide and drug use. That’s the context the film’s director Dan Schneidkraut leans on to make a far more personal story make sense — one that’s about his father, Andy, owner of the Boulder institution Albums on the Hill.
Thursday, March 5,2015

Task force recommendations and near misses

The right to vote on setbacks and local control was traded for this task force. So what did we get?

By Elizabeth Miller
When Governor John Hickenlooper handpicked his task force to examine state and local regulations concerning oil and gas operations, his stated intent was to resolve those issues involving competing regulatory entities and multiple jurisdictions including state and local governments, surface and mineral owners, oil and gas operators and local community members concerned about the effects of drilling and fracking. The task force itself was crafted as a compromise to pull initiatives from last November’s ballot that would have allowed Colorado voters to weigh in on the rights of local communities to defend their environment and citizens, and on establishing a 2,000-foot setback from occupied buildings. In his executive order for the task force, the governor charged its members with addressing those issues, as well as drillingrelated concerns over noise, air quality and dust in a state valued as much by the people who choose to make Colorado their home as by the corporations invested in extracting the state’s oil and gas.
Thursday, February 26,2015

The trouble with Casey

Parents press for school closure in the face of unresolved concerns over toxic gas at school

By Elizabeth Miller
Here’s what we know for sure about the air at Casey Middle School: It smells bad. Since the new, $33 million rebuilt school opened in August 2010 and became home to just under 600 students and about 50 teachers, reports have circulated of air that smells like rotten eggs and, sometimes, feces. Air monitors brought into the school have identified levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a colorless, flammable gas known for its rotten egg smell. Those levels, according to reports from now multiple third-party monitoring agencies, are below the levels that immediately trigger cause for concern for adults in the work place. But here’s the thing: That may not be true for children.
Thursday, February 19,2015

‘Drawn’ to create new lines

How an artist and climber created an epic journey for himself and monumental tribute to a friend and mentor

By Elizabeth Miller
What would you do, if you were a 30-something parent with a career and a mortgage, and still felt the call of the wilderness, not just for weekend camping trips and days at the local crag sport climbing, but to venture into the unknown, to climb...
Thursday, February 19,2015

Whose lands should those be?

Proposed bill presses for increased state control over public lands; opponents express concerns over expense and access

By Elizabeth Miller
Among the bevy of bills introduced at the start of the Colorado legislative session in January was Senate Bill 15-039, which takes a complex spin on a question that’s increasingly coming up in western states’ legislatures: Who should hold jurisdiction over public lands?.
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