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News-Press DOUGLASCO 2/14/13 Castle Rock Douglas County, Colorado • Volume 10, Issue 47 A HEALTHY EFFORT February 14, 2013 Free A Colorado Community Media Publication Council signs off on legal marijuana Revision brings town code into compliance with state law By Rhonda Moore Alex Heinrich, 11, of Lone Tree, tries out a water rower exercise machine from Highlands Ranch’s Orange Theory Fitness during the Healthy Living Expo Feb. 9. The free expo, hosted by the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce at the Douglas County Events Center, featured a variety of vendors, demonstrations and giveaways. More coverage on Page 4. Photo by Courtney Kuhlen Little school on the prairie Cherry Valley Elementary proud of its small size, sense of community Marijuana continues on Page 6 Town pursues pot-shop ban By Jane Reuter Diane Meeks hoped for years to teach at Cherry Valley Elementary. Now that she’s there, she never wants to leave. “This is the last place I hope to be,” said Meeks, who teaches first and second grade at Douglas County’s smallest and most rural elementary school. “It’s really, really special.” The K-6 school on the plains of southeastern Douglas County has just 50 students, many of them from working ranches and a few the youngest among generations of families who have attended Cherry Valley. Five full-time staff members work there, with teachers each instructing two grade levels instead of one. “Teachers don’t work with (just) kids,” Principal Mark Harrell said. “Teachers work with families.” It’s small enough that the Valentine’s Day celebration Meeks is coordinating is an allinclusive event. Each student will draw the name of another, and make him or her a Valentine’s Day lunch. A sixth-grader may make lunch for a first-grader, or vice versa, but all will know well the student with whom they’re paired. “That warm, purposeful feel of community — that’s something we take great pride Castle Rock town councilmembers grudgingly complied with Amendment 64, in a housekeeping measure designed to avoid legal conflict. Town council on Feb. 5 revised the Castle Rock municipal code to bring the code into compliance with Amendment 64, which allows personal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for people 21 and older. Before council’s revision, the town’s ordinance made simple possession a crime and conflicted with the Colorado constitutional amendment passed by voters in November. Town Attorney Bob Slentz advised councilmembers to bring the municipal code into compliance with state laws to avoid a potential legal landmine among local agencies. The amendment to town code recognized that simple possession is permitted and will not result in legal action against anyone of legal age. The age restriction was a pivotal point in the legislation, Slentz said. “If you are under 21, Amendment 64 did nothing for you,” he said. “There is no privilege or relief from criminal law if you are under 21.” Of the 76 municipal citations issued in Council takes first step to bar commercial operations By Rhonda Moore Cherry Valley Elementary School Principal Mark Harrell stands near the Branding Wall, which displays brands from the area, in front of the school Feb. 6. Photo by Courtney Kuhlen in,” Harrell said. “Everybody knows your name.” Not only your name, but those of your immediate family, and likely those of your grandparents, cousins and pets. Fifth-grader Charlie Anderson is the fourth generation of his family to either attend school or teach at Cherry Valley. His great-great-aunt Florence Anderson taught there from 1954 to 1986. His grandfather, father and older sister were students. “It’s a good little school,” said his father, rancher Harold Anderson. “It lined up with what I wanted for my children. Out here, you’ve got cattle across the fence from the playground. In an urban school, you’ve got a lot of sirens.” The school’s nine kindergartners are taught in the one-room schoolhouse built in the late 1800s and moved there in 1952. It’s among three buildings now used for classes, one a modular that includes several classrooms and a computer lab filled with glossy, white Mac desktops and a cart that holds 18 iPads. Family support and volunteerism at the School continues on Page 11 On the same evening Castle Rock councilmembers legalized personal marijuana possession in the town code, they took the first step to ban pot shops. Town council on Feb. 5 unanimously passed the first reading of an ordinance to ban commercial marijuana operations in town limits. Amendment 64 gave municipalities the option to prohibit commercial cultivation, manufacturing, testing and retail marijuana stores. The prohibition has been on council’s radar since shortly after Colorado voters approved the constitutional amendment to legalize personal possession of up to an Ban continues on Page 6

Castle Rock News-Press 021413

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