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Colorado Matters

Hosted by Ryan Warner and Avery Lill, CPR News' daily interview show focuses on the state's people, issues and ideas.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Hickenlooper: Authoritarianism A Major Threat; Departing CU Prez Bruce Benson’s Legacy

The Democratic presidential candidate gave his first major foreign policy speech this week. Then, after a tumultuous search for his successor, CU system president Bruce Benson prepares to leave. Next, Oprah speaks at the Colorado College commencement. Also, the state of Colorado's real estate market. Finally, the hiker who set a record on the Arizona Trail.


22 May 2019

Rank #1

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July 8, 2019: We’re Learning A Lot More About Wildfire Smoke; Curbing Sagebrush Fires

Boulder scientists are launching a landmark study into wildfire smoke's health effects. Then, what's the evidence behind the Trump administration's sagebrush fire break plan. Next, Colorado support a suffragette memorial. Also, recapping the World Cup. Then, Colorado's canals evolve. Next, what Colorado smells like. Finally, an artist's map obsession.


8 Jul 2019

Rank #2

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How Wildfire Fighters Decide What Homes To Save; The Achievement Gap In Denver Schools

When lives are at risk, firefighters have to choose which homes to save and which to not. Then, while test scores overall at Denver Public Schools are average, the gap between poor and affluent students is not. Next, a baseball card worth millions makes an appearance at History Colorado. Finally, a bestselling YA author returns with her newest book.


10 Jul 2018

Rank #3

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The President’s State Of The Union, Explained; Mountain Lion Attacks Are Scary, But Rare

Analysts explain what Coloradans need to know from President Donald Trump's 2019 State of the Union last night. Then, there have only been 16 mountain lion attacks in Colorado in 30 years, including this guest. Next, a new program battles teen suicide through texting. Finally, ahead of his birthday bash, we revisit our interview about Neal Cassady.


7 Feb 2019

Rank #4

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Climate Change Will Make Roads Even Worse; The Risks When Dementia And Guns Mix

Cities are already behind on infrastructure upgrades, and the situation will get worse as climate change brings new challenges. Then, how NPR reported on the risks of people with dementia owning guns. Next, InSight successfully landed on Mars. Also, an outdoorswoman reckons with Edward Abbey's more outdated views. Finally, the best holiday gift books.


28 Nov 2018

Rank #5

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‘Since Columbine’: When Survivors Become Parents; State Of The Colorado River Drought Plan

"Since Columbine," how parents who survived the shooting handle their kids going to school. Then, Congress may soon approve a deal to manage the Colorado River. Next, meet a teen advocate for lowering the voting age. A new exhibit honors working women, plus Colorado author Angie Cavallari talks "trailer trash."


2 Apr 2019

Rank #6

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The History Of The Teacher Pay Gap; A High School Journalist Reports From His School

A labor economist explains why teachers have always struggled to get higher pay. Then, a student journalist shares the scene from Thomas Jefferson High School on Day One of the strike. Next, this chef started a support group for restaurant workers struggling with mental illness. Also, Ted Bundy's Colorado connection. Finally, the history of Navy aquanauts.


13 Feb 2019

Rank #7

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How To Get Voters To Vote, How To Find A Way Past Hate And Division

It's Election Day. Coloradans have already turned in hundreds of thousands of ballots. But what about the hundreds of thousands who don't vote? "When you tell me that there is somebody that you want to vote for, and not the lesser of two evils, I'll be standing right behind you too. I might even vote," one Coloradan told us. In the latest episode of Purplish we look at how to get more people to cast their ballot. Then, there's a lot of anger in politics these days. One solution is to bring people with different beliefs together to get to know each other. But is that the right approach? And if it isn't, what is? DU Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Thought Sarah Pessin joins us to talk about her Hate and Protect project, and a forum she's holding Tuesday on campus.


7 Nov 2018

Rank #8

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Our Yuletide Gift To You: The 2018 Colorado Matters Holiday Extravaganza

The third annual Colorado Matters Holiday Extravaganza features local music, comedy and storytelling. It was taped in front of a live audience. Our inspiration for this CPR tradition is “The Judy Garland Christmas Show” from 1963.


15 Dec 2018

Rank #9

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What Hickenlooper Challenging TABOR, Gallagher Means; Climate Change Threatens Yellowstone

In the waning days of his administration, Governor John Hickenlooper has leveraged a challenge against the TABOR and Gallagher amendments, potentially impacting millions. Then, climate change is transforming Yellowstone in our lifetimes. Next, remembering a trailblazing black woman, Lucile Jones. Finally, what safe injection sites could mean for Denver.


27 Nov 2018

Rank #10

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April 3, 2020: Coronavirus Update From UCHealth; Your Spring Gardening Questions Answered

Meet Pickin’ Peggy: She’s switched to remote performances from her bathroom for nursing home residents. Then, an update on COVID-19 from an ER physician at UCHealth. Later, how Coloradans show solidarity by clapping and howling at 8 p.m. Finally, CSU Extension Master Gardener Loni Gaudet is back to answer your questions this season.


3 Apr 2020

Rank #11

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July 18, 2019: Netflix Show Helps Innocence Project; Hong Kong Protests Touch Colorado Man

A Netflix show focused on wrongful convictions has helped the Korey Wise Innocence Project in Colorado. Then, what the protests in Hong Kong mean to a Colorado professor. Plus, reflecting on the Storm King Mountain fire. Also, what life will be like for "El Chapo" in Colorado's "Alcatraz of the Rockies." Finally, the color of conversation.


18 Jul 2019

Rank #12

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Mental Health Crisis In Colorado Jails Escalates; Stapleton Remembers His ‘Uncle George’

Public defenders are filing requests to judges to immediately release mentally ill people in jail. Then, Walker Stapleton remembers his 'Uncle George.' Next, how schools engage refugee parents. Also, how one kid reversed a snowball ban. Then, can you throw dog poop in a neighbor's trash? Next, Denver street questions, answered. Finally, some Hanukkah music.


5 Dec 2018

Rank #13

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CU Scientists Closing On Cure For A Leukemia; How Women Soccer Players Fight The Pay Gap

People diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia are finding hope in a breakthrough treatment developed at CU. It's put 85 percent of trial patients into remission. Then, the U.S. Women's National Team is inspiring future soccer players. Next, the battle for affordable housing in Fairplay. Finally, new bluegrass from the Grammy-winning Infamous Stringdusters.


6 Apr 2019

Rank #14

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Aug. 29, 2019: Remembering United Flight 232’s Pilot; 5 Years Of Patents In Colorado

What's happened in five years at the Rocky Mountain Patent and Trademark Office? Then, a local survivor remembers United pilot Al Haynes who saved 184 people in a 1989 plane crash. Plus, a look inside a unique nuclear power plant that was shut down 30 years ago. Finally, Dierks Bentley returns to Colorado for a new Labor Day tradition.


29 Aug 2019

Rank #15

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Brianna Titone’s Win Marks Another Political First; So Amendment X Passed, Now What?

In winning her state House race, Brianna Titone has become Colorado's first trans lawmaker. Then, what happens to hemp now that Amendment X has passed. Next, in the final episode of Purplish, the blue wave was more of a blue avalanche in Colorado. Also, an update on a Denver roller derby team. Finally, we feature the contest entry from band King Cardinal.


13 Nov 2018

Rank #16

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July 30, 2019: What’s At Stake In Next Debate?; Author Explores What It Feels Like To Die

What's at stake for former Colorado John Hickenlooper, who takes part in round two of the Democratic presidential debates Tuesday night? Then, a Colorado author and hospice volunteer explores what it feels like to die. Then, an unprecedented study to help dogs avoid cancer.


30 Jul 2019

Rank #17

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What We Learned From Night One Of The Debates; Tracing The Ancestry Of Slave Descendants

The Colorado candidates weren't onstage at the first primary debate, but we still got a better idea of how they may perform tonight. Then, how this CU professor is pinpointing the origins of enslaved families. Next, Hispanic Coloradans who didn't know they are Jewish. Also, the status of CDOT's Bustang. Finally, the Denver Pop Festival predated Woodstock.


28 Jun 2019

Rank #18

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‘The Climate Change Variety Hour’ Focuses On Hope And Solutions Over Doom And Gloom

Colorado Matters recorded "The Climate Change Variety Hour" in front of a live audience at DU's Newman Center. The event showcased real-world solutions, including a conversation with a climate change therapist, perspective from Hunter Lovins on business' bottom lines, the hip hop band Flobots, a climate comedian, and the Dr. Frankenstein of coral reefs.


22 Apr 2019

Rank #19

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How Parents Use Homeschools To Commit Abuse; The Complexities Of CO’s Felon Voting Laws

Colorado's lax homeschool laws create opportunities for some parents to abuse their children, The Colorado Sun reports. Then, in the latest episode of Purplish, why so many Coloradans with a felony record don't know that they can vote. Next, where the marijuana tax money goes. Also, hiring women could solve construction's labor shortage.


23 Oct 2018

Rank #20