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5280’s 10 Best Longreads of 2020

There were no lack of big stories to cover this year. From experiencing homelessness in a pandemic to Denver's new generation of Black leadership and the big tech company making a move to Colorado, here are the long-form stories that captured readers' attention.

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Inside One of the Largest Redevelopments in Denver’s History

By Robert Sanchez | February 2020

The River Mile is coming. But who, really, is behind this transformational project, and how might it shape our city’s future?

Why Did Palantir Technologies Move Its Headquarters From Silicon Valley to Denver?

By Robert Sanchez | December 2020

Palantir photo illustration
Photo illustration by Dave Mckenna

The secretive and controversial data-mining firm moved its headquarters to LoDo earlier this year. And while some city and state government officials lobbied for the relocation, others are furious. Here’s why that should matter to all of us.

Living With Depression and Anxiety During a Global Pandemic

By Geoff Van Dyke | November 2020

Simon Prades Illustrations
Illustration by Simon Prades

With mood disorders on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, people who’ve never experienced mental health issues are enduring some of the emotions I feel almost every day of my life. Maybe that’s why I can finally tell my story.

This Virus Isn’t the Problem—We Are

By Lindsey B. King | June 2020

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

How our collective lack of empathy has been laid bare by COVID-19.

Front Range County Jails Have a Suicide Problem

By Lindsey B. King | August 2020

Illustration by Juan Bernabeu

Far too many Colorado jail inmates are dying from suicide, a cause of death critics say can be prevented with reasonable health care services. The problem? Private correctional health care firms may have a goal other than providing adequate care.

Kimbal Musk Has Seen A Lot. But Never Anything Like COVID-19

By Robert Sanchez | May 2020

Photo by Chayce Lanphear

Kimbal Musk used his tech fortune to become one of the world’s most famous food evangelists. Does this Boulder-based restaurateur have the formula to help guide us through the age of COVID-19?

What It’s Like to Experience Homelessness During a Global Pandemic

By Robert Sanchez | October 2020

Alan Mayfield
Photo by Benjamin Rasmussen

Life, loss, fear, and hope in one Denver homeless encampment as the novel coronavirus upended services for some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Should Coloradans Say Yes to the Gray Wolf This November?

By Cally Carswell | July 2020

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

This November, Centennial State voters will have a historic opportunity to decide if the state should bring gray wolves back to Colorado.

How Twin Pandemics Transformed Denver’s Black Leadership

By Robert Sanchez | September 2020

From left: State
Representatives James Coleman and Leslie Herod and DPS school board director Tay Anderson this past July. Photo by Kevin Mohatt

The confluence of COVID-19 and this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests brought a new generation of Black leaders to the forefront of Mile High City politics and activism.

Race to the Bottom: How the 15-Year Gardner–Hickenlooper Relationship Fell Apart

By Jay Bouchard | October 2020

Republican U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, right, talks during a debate with Democratic challenger John Hickenlooper Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Fort Collins, Colo. (Pool Photo By Bethany Baker/Fort Collins Coloradoan via AP)

Over nearly two decades, as Cory Gardner and John Hickenlooper ascended in Centennial State politics, they were cordial, collaborative, and maybe even friends. Now, their bloody race for the U.S. Senate might be the death knell of Colorado bipartisanship.

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