Why Peter Sagal Can't Forget Isabella Thallas’s Murder


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On June 10, 2020, Isabella Thallas was out for a walk in the Ballpark neighborhood with her boyfriend Darian Simon and his dog, Rocco. Out of nowhere, Bella — as friends and family called her — was killed and Darian was seriously injured. The couple was shot in broad daylight by a man they had never met. Peter Sagal is the longtime host of NPR’s “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me” and a Chicago resident, but he was so compelled by the lack of coverage of this particular Denver shooting that he decided to write about it himself. Host Bree Davies sits down with Sagal to discuss his recent report for The Atlantic, “Killed For Walking a Dog: The mundanity and insanity of gun death in America.”

Bree mentioned the response we got to our recent e-bikes episode from Denver’s Climate Action Office, which operates the city’s wildly popular e-bike rebate program. Here are a couple of key comments from the spokesperson’s response:

"I wanted to take a moment and share that our [Office of Social Equity and Innovation] team has actually pointed to our agency as an example of how to fold equity into this work, not as an afterthought. We’re pretty proud of that, and of the fact that most of the funding for e-bikes has gone towards the income-qualified program."

"Ben Chavez brings up a good point about access, and I think we collectively – in the city and beyond – are thinking about the many ways people need to get around. The Office of Climate Action weighs in on some of the how. E-bikes are a cleaner option and can often replace car trips; we don’t intend for everyone to adopt e-bikes. They are one part of the broader mobility puzzle. We will probably need cars for a good number of decades ahead us (hopefully mostly EVs soon enough), and the driving experience for people who need cars, such as larger families or multigenerational households, should improve as other options emerge."

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