Staff picks: The 5 biggest stories of the week in Colorado Politics

Author: Joey Bunch - July 9, 2017 - Updated: July 10, 2017


From outer space to Darryl Glenn, there were plenty of fireworks in Colorado Politics last week.

Our staff sized reservoirs, renewable energy and a variety of political maneuvers while others took the week off.

From a crowded field of contenders, these are the stories we think you’ll be talking about for weeks to come.


space flight
Dr. Kjell Lindgren, second from the right, was the commander of a 10-day research mission at the floor of the ocean aboard the Aquarius Laboratory in June. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

5. This is ground control to major economic impact

Kjell Lindgren proves Colorado’s roots run deep in space. The Air Force Academy graduate who also holds degrees from the University of Colorado and Colorado State spoke with Colorado Politics in a phone call from the ocean floor, where the astronaut was doing research much like he did on the International Space Station. Colorado is one of the top states for public and private endeavors in space, and Colorado politicians want to keep it up there.

Read the full story here.


power grid
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

4. NREL in peril

With the Trump administration slashing budgets to pay for tax cuts, and with a dim view of climate change science in general, folks at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden can only wait to see what that means for jobs and programs. Jefferson County, the state and technology innovators everywhere are waiting nervously, as well.

Read the full story here.


Gross Reservoir
(Photo courtesy of Denver Water)

3. Gross gets a green light in Boulder County

After nearly a decade and a half in the regulatory meat grinder, Denver Water said Friday night that it has approval from federal regulators to raise the dam on a reservoir that will store more Western Slope water. The massive water utility made massive concessions west of the Continental Divide to do the deal.

Read the full story here.


State and Denver officials join organizers of the lucrative Outdoor Retailer show on Thursday to announce that the show is leaving Utah and moving to Colorado. Some of the move was based on politics in Utah over public lands. (Peter Marcus/

2. Welcome to Colorado, where the public lands run free

The Outdoor Retailer show, with its lucrative economic impact and Cliff Bar cache, is moving to Denver from Salt Lake City because of some Utah Republicans’ stance on putting federal public lands into state and local communities’ hands, which could lead to more development and drilling. The issue came to head over President Obama’s Bears Ears Monument in December in southeast Utah, not too far from the Four Corners.

Read the full story here.


Senate primary candidate Darryl Glenn speaks during a rally at Westin Hotel at Denver International Airport, June 20, 2016. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

1. Glenn is in, Hill’s not thrilled

El Paso County Commission Darryl Glenn, who came up short in a U.S. Senate run last year, says he will enter the Republican primary against incumbent U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn and state Sen. Owen Hill in the 5th Congressional District. In a separate story by Ernest Luning, Hill welcomed Glenn to the race and called him “short on accomplishments.”

Read the first story here.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.