As Colorado’s Coal Industry Fades, Small Towns Grasp for Hope

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Colorado Public Radio:The unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation and the population along the Front Range is booming. It’s easy to see the impact of a strong economy in Denver. Construction cranes are up all over the city and it’s harder than ever to find affordable housing.But it’s a different story in many parts of western Colorado.Many rural communities on Colorado’s Western Slope are struggling to survive. The loss of coal jobs is forcing many there to make tough choices.The shrinking started in the mid-1980s, when most of the uranium jobs went away. More recently, the New Horizon coal mine closed earlier this year, and the Tri-State Power Plant is set to shut down by 2022 at the latest. When that happens, Epright expects to lose another 100 students. It could also mean the loss of 70 percent of the area’s tax base.“It’s definitely one of those important things of trying to find something to stabilize our community,” he said.Case is also looking for stability. She works as a substitute teacher and her husband is a mechanic. But they expect his job to end next year and substitute teaching doesn’t pay well.“They can keep me busy, but you to raise a family, you can’t raise a family as a substitute teacher,” she said. “Everybody’s depressed. They know what’s going to happen but we don’t know exactly when, and I try not to think about it because I’ll  just sit down and cry.”While Case has some time to figure things out, many other don’t. Changing industries in coal counties like Montrose and Delta have left a ticking timer behind.Some are looking at tourism and agriculture as possible ways to attract and keep people in the Western Slope. But will that be enough?  More: Losing Jobs In Colorado’s Coal Country, What’s Next? As Colorado’s Coal Industry Fades, Small Towns Grasp for Hopelast_img read more

Aaron Lennon sets his sights on an England return

first_imgWinger Aaron Lennon hopes his permanent move to Everton will give him the chance to win back his England place. “There are a lot of England players here (at Everton) so hopefully the manager will be coming to watch a lot and that gives me a better chance to show what I can do if I am playing. “I just want to get back to playing the way I know I can and get a run of games. “You need a run of games to get up to form and that is my aim. “Spurs have loads of players, a massive squad, and some players go for long periods of time without playing. “I think any footballer will tell you when they are not playing it is not enjoyable. “If you are not playing sometimes it is best to move on. That was the case for me and it was time for me to move.” After stagnating at Tottenham, Lennon was offered the chance of a loan at Everton in January and his short spell at Goodison Park made such an impression on him he made his mind up there was only one place he wanted to move to when the transfer window re-opened. However, it was not until the last few moments on deadline day – Everton were granted a couple of extra hours to complete the deal – that his ambition was realised. With Euro 2016 taking place in France next summer the 28-year-old intends to make up for lost time and force his way into the international reckoning after more than two-and-a-half years in the wilderness. “I do want to get back into the England set-up as I’ve been out of it for a while now. I love playing for England and I’ve missed it,” he said. It was a bold move holding out for the Toffees when he had chances to go elsewhere but he hopes it will pay off. “I made it clear this was the one I wanted – from my loan spell early on I knew this was the club that I wanted to be at,” he added. “There were other clubs interested but to be honest I didn’t really even entertain it. I just sat there hoping this deal would go through, and thankfully it did. “I didn’t hear much until the end of the window and then I pretty much knew it was close and obviously it went down to the wire. “When it got to late afternoon you start thinking ‘Is there time for this to go through?’ but there are no worries now. “This is the one I wanted and I am looking for a successful period here for a long time. “The quality and potential this team has I don’t see why it can’t go to the very top. “This team should definitely be challenging for Europe.” Press Associationlast_img read more

REVIEW: Puff, puff … miss

first_imgNetflix’s “Cooked with Cannabis” passes up the opportunity to facilitate meaningful conversation about cannabis consumption and culture. (Photo courtesy of IMDb) “We are able to put something that has been demonized, and that is still not completely legal, and we’re bringing it to the forefront to show that it is not about loser stoners,” said singer-songwriter, chef and host Kelis Rogers in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.  As the title suggests, the “MasterChef”-esque show has chefs compete against one another to create dishes using a shared ingredient: cannabis. The show is hosted by Rogers and weed chef Leather Storrs, while a panel of guest stars also provides commentary and judges the competition, dropping occasional weed-related jokes and remarks.  Many companies use the 4/20 holiday to raise awareness about the continuous legal problems involving cannabis in the United States. According to a report by the ACLU, Black people are 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related offences compared to white people nationwide. Ben and Jerry’s Pecan Resist campaign highlights this legal disparity, an example of how a show like “Cooked with Cannabis” can use its platform to bring more light to important issues like this rather than simply attack stigmas.  Kelis claims she wants to remove the stigma surrounding weed yet emphasizes one of the biggest stigmas by portraying “loser stoners” as a negative image. Also, the cannabis knowledge shared on screen is nowhere near the level of depth a series like this should display.  To accompany that, the humor from the hosts and guests often falls short. Any mention of cannabis comes in the form of corny, dry jokes that one would expect from a poorly written movie where characters smoke weed and overreact to their high.  There were over six million arrests relating to cannabis between 2010 and 2018 according to the ACLU, most of them having to do with possession. Mention of the MORE Act, which details plans for national legalization, would also greatly benefit the cannabis community as a whole but the hosts and guests fail to mention any of this. This is the kind of discourse expected from a modern cannabis-themed show, yet the hosts and guests never dive into any kind of informative conversations regarding cannabis and legalization.  The only positive take away from the show is the culinary creations the chefs are able to make using different cannabis-infused ingredients. The “Smash Burger” with mimosa-infused charred poblano butter that contains around 2 milligrams of THC is something I definitely wouldn’t mind trying; the watermelon cocktail with THC powder-infused elderflower also sounds appetizing. These meals and drinks are innovative and show a glimpse of new ways of integrating cannabis into food. The commentary, lead up and basically anything but the food presentation, however, is simply not worth it.center_img The hosts and guests oversee three rounds of cooking and taste the weed-infused foods, getting higher after every round from both the food and aroma from cooking. Because of this, the contest becomes rather pointless as the judges get more and more stoned; the show continues, but the judges’ perceptions change as munchies set in and all the food begins to indistinguishably taste good. As the cannabis smokers’ holiday rolled around April 20, I was reminded of how much weed culture has grown. From hearing about the legal ramifications of smoking weed in earlier years through documentaries about the ’60s to gradual medical legalization, it is fascinating to see how accepted cannabis has become in our society. Not only is it recreationally legal in several states, but it is now becoming more mainstream and marketable than ever with cannabis-themed shows, restaurants and technologies. Netflix’s “Cooked with Cannabis” is one such product.  Despite the revolutionary aspects of “Cooked with Cannabis,” the show is not so much to further cannabis culture but simply employs a familiar cooking show format and adds a twist. It’s sobering to see the guests take the competition less seriously as they get higher. If you’re not getting high alongside them, or even if you are, it’s not enjoyable to watch these people act foolishly in the background. Even the contestants themselves often seem relaxed and aren’t even sure about how much THC they end up using in some of their creations.  Instead, they just sit back, get high and wait for free food. If you don’t care to learn about cannabis history and culture, then this might be the show for you, but the overall gentrified portrayal of cannabis in mainstream media is lackluster. While this show doesn’t do much for cannabis culture as a whole, it is exciting to see cannabis become more commonplace and celebrated on a day like 4/20.last_img read more