There are endless reasons to wish we could wake up to discover this far into 2020 has all been a bad dream. So here’s a smattering of unsung good news to mull over the holiday America created with absolutely no guilt or political peril.
The world’s greatest chili, grown right here in Colorado, is hot stuff this year. Roasted chili fans are rejoicing that the jewel of Pueblo is abundant and ablaze with flavor. You didn’t know? Forget the mighty Hatch chili from our New Mexican neighbors, which aficionados like me agree boasts better marketing than taste. Chili chow hounds know that the Pueblo chili delivers fire and flavor like no other nightshade can.
This year’s crop boasts a slow, confident heat that builds to just the right height. Fire without fear. Roasted, the bounty will be the base for a winter of the best green chili burritos, juevos Mexicanas and only-Colorado sloppers in memory. They’re hard to get here in the metro area. But if you can’t get there, try RoastedChili.com’s roasting stand at 16750 E. Broncos Parkway in Centennial. Westsiders have more options. More? Visit pueblochile.org to get the lowdown on what’s on fire.
As the protest situations in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon continue to make the world shake their heads in disbelief, there’s good news here at home.
Aurora, and Denver, aren’t strangers to problems deep inside police departments that have made so much protesting necessary and productive. And, Aurora hasn’t been immune to the worst that can happen when protests and politics clash. That’s the bad news. The good news? If you missed it, hundreds of people protesting the treatment of Black Americans by
police turned out under blazing heat on Sunday to march 5 miles down Colfax Avenue to Denver’s City Park. No windows were broken. No shots were fired. No tear gas was deployed. The march was loud and passionate. Anyone held up in traffic was clear about the message: Time’s up, police. Change is coming. If you don’t care about the cause or actually believe police haven’t made any mistakes in Aurora or across the nation, you were inconvenienced for a few minutes as what could just as easily had been a parade or marathon that passed you by, like the reality behind all this. Meanwhile, a world of investigations, reviews and analyses have landed on the Aurora Police Department, because of serious protests and for no other reason. The jury hasn’t even really been assembled to weigh in on what all this has wrought, but clearly, nothing will be the same here when it’s all done. Keep protesting. It’s working.
There’s little good transportation news — ever — and especially these days when it comes to commuting in Metro Aurora and Colorado as well. Too little money. Nothing but more traffic. A mass-transit system that can’t get you where you’re going without getting you back in your car. No way to the ski slopes that doesn’t take half a day, or take half a day and cost more than lunch and beers. It’s depressing. Here’s a bright spot. About 9,200 people a day would be lifted out of their cars and out of your way on I-25 if the Amtrack proposed line from Ft. Collins to Pueblo were to come to fruition, according to a story by Colorado Public Radio and the Associated Press. It would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 94 tons per day. Better news? It could sail on existing tracks running east of I-25. Of course there are naysayers in the Legislature that look at the Fastracks mess and think, no thanks. This isn’t Fastracks. So what are we waiting for?
For those parents who are ready to cry and rock in the corner, and pay teachers anything — really, anything — because they have to relive improper fractions after their tyke finishes his on-line classes for the day, count your blessings. Far worse off is the student and parents who don’t have a real computer tethered to real broadband connections to the web to do real learning at home. In Aurora alone, there are thousands of families struggling with cell-phones or internet speed akin to the days of dismal dial-up trying to learn math from skitchy, unintelligible on-line Zoom classes. So T-Mobile this week announced it would donate 34,000 high-speed hot-spots to families who don’t have the cash or options to do anything but watch their kids not “go” to school online every day. Families taking part in the free-and-reduced-lunch program are part of the deal. X-finity has also stepped in with $10-per-month offers for qualifying families. But free is free. And internet school without the internet is just extended summer vacation.
Inn the end
A world of change has rushed by since the pandemic crisis exploded in March and all the talk was about ventilator shortages and quarantine. After it became clear that people without homes were seriously at risk for contracting and spreading COVID-19, Aurora moved quickly to rent an entire hotel to house people without homes who were sick,
recovering or had to quarantine. It didn’t come cheap. Aurora and local counties paid upward of $300,000, or maybe more, to rent the entire Quality Inn at 1011 S. Abilene St. and turn it into the Aurora Emergency Respite Center. After providing crucial, safe places to stay, at a time when they were more important than ever, the center became just another Quality Inn hotel again this week because of the lack of COVID-19-affected customers. Yay.
Trump’s farewell distress
And the best news this week comes from the White House, where the nation’s most worrisome problem child made it clear we won’t have to suffer the tantrums much longer.
President Donald Trump signaled that his desperate campaign will be little more than a desperate annoyance until his replacement is appointed in November and he gets evicted from the White House in January. The list is virtually endless of all the reasons why Trump
shouldn’t be president, but his re-election campaign mission and theme pretty much tops them all. Barking endlessly about “Biden’s America,” even the most unobservant or disinterested voter clearly sees the flaw in Trump’s campaign focus. He’s promising that a President Biden — a shameless radical liberal — would turn America into what Trump has already turned America into. Trump and Co. say that only by electing Trump, can American return to the way Biden and President Obama left it: peaceful, prosperous and principled. When the going gets rough, nobody gives it the gaslight light like Trump. Game over. I’m looking forward to being bored to tears by the Biden administration.