Colorado Edition: Revisiting favorite interviews, from a Fort Collins vet helping Ukrainian refugees to a famous ski map artist

In the months following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, millions of Ukrainians fled the country, many of them refusing to leave without their beloved pets. View these guest images Dr. Jon Geller to jump on a plane and go to the Ukrainian border to help. Once there, the Fort Collins-based emergency vet helped set up a clinic providing the care needed to ensure the families’ pets were allowed to travel with them to other European countries.

In 2015, Geller founded the Street Dog Coalition, a northern Colorado-based nonprofit that helps homeless people get free veterinary care for their pets. He quickly discovered that his mission of assisting Ukrainian refugees was not so different from helping homeless people take care of their pets here in the United States. He spoke to Colorado Edition on April 1, shortly after returning from the Ukrainian border.

There’s a long history in the United States of people creating guides to help others find safe and inclusive spaces. In the 19th century, shelters along the Underground Railroad displayed quilts with coded messages to help those escaping slavery find safe passage. In the 20th century, black travelers used the Green Book to navigate safely.

Now in the 21st century, two Colorado women have created a website that aims to do something similar. The Guide included, allows users to rate their experiences in businesses and other spaces. These ratings give users insight into how others with a similar identity have been treated and whether they will be welcome at a given company. Crystal Egli and Parker McMullen Bushman are the co-founders of Inclusive Journeys, a tech startup that created Inclusive Guide. They spoke with Colorado Edition in January.

On a Monday morning in August 2020, host Erin O’Toole began to receive a flood of new Twitter mentions and followers – from Canada. A quick search of the news revealed that there is another Erin O’Toole, north of the border, who has just been elected leader of the Conservative Party in Canada.

Much mirth on social media ensued, and when news of the confusion reached the offices of Canadian Erin O’Toole, the Conservative Party politician was kind enough to join his new American look-alike to discuss their unlikely bond.

Legendary ski map artist James Niehues recently announced his retirement from hand-painted ski trail maps. Niehues, who lives in Parker, Colorado, has painted more than 200 ski trail maps in multiple countries during his 30-year career. These stations include Vail, Breckenridge and Winter Park here in Colorado. Some of his work has been published in a coffee table book called The man behind the cards. Colorado Edition first spoke with Niehues in 2019.

Colorado Edition is hosted and produced by Erin O’Toole (@ErinOtoole1). Web was edited by Ashley Jefcoat, Head of Digital Operations. Colorado Edition’s mission is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It is available as a podcast on itunes, Spotify, google play, embroidereror wherever you get your podcasts.

The Colorado Edition is made possible with the support of our KUNC members. Thanks!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music from the show by Blue dot sessions.

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