Wiretap: Why Ted Cruz quit rock; biased pot reporting; Utah firing squads

Rock Music

Blowing Steam

Michael Roberts, at Westword, pulls no punches slamming The Gazette in his critique of the Pulitzer Prize-winning paper’s series “Clearing the Haze.” Roberts describes the four-part look at the legal marijuana industry as “a beautifully presented but woefully one-sided anti-weed screed” and details author Christine Tatum’s long history of anti-pot advocacy.

No Show

More evidence of the dipping prominence of the evangelical presence in southern Colorado: A recent Gallup poll places Colorado among the bottom ten states when it comes to regular church attendance. Via The Gazette.

Fight Club

Greeley District 6 teacher-contract talks have become a major wrestling match. The union has filed a lawsuit against what they say is bad-acting on the district’s part. The district points out that the suit comes just before mediated talks were set to begin and a new negotiations sunshine law was about to take effect. Via the The Greeley Tribune.

Death Match

Aldo Svaldi leads his Denver Post story about the city’s cutthroat housing scramble with the following: “Denver’s tight housing market has morphed into a version of “The Hunger Games,” with buyers scrounging for whatever weapons they can find to remain the last bidder standing.”

Windfall Coming?

Black Hills Energy wants to construct a massive wind farm in Huerfano County, reports Peter Roper of The Pueblo Chieftain. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission turned down the project. Conservation and social justice groups are asking the CPUC to reconsider its position.

Signature Here

If the U.S. can get a nuclear deal with Iran by month’s end, there may still be at least one thing missing: an Iranian signature. Via The New York Times.

The Day the Music Died

Americans changed in many ways after 9/11. Ted Cruz reveals how it changed him: He stopped listening to rock ‘n’ roll. Via Politico. In other news, Cruz is signing up for Obamacare. No, really. Via Vox.

Phoenix Rising

How a murdered Afghan woman — beaten and burned by a mob that had falsely accused her of burning a Koran — became an unlikely champion for women’s rights. Via the Washington Post.

First Place

The Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College will be awarding progressive journalists Naomi Klein and David Sirota with the Izzy Award, reports Common Dreams. Jeff Cohen describes the duo: “Naomi Klein and David Sirota are the journalistic heirs of I.F. Stone, taking on the most powerful forces in society – from Wall Street to Big Oil & Gas – and giving voice to the victims of predatory capitalism.”

Firing Squads

Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed off on legislation permitting the state to use firing squads as a backup method for execution, reports Deseret News. Lethal injection remains the state’s killing method of choice.