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May 11, 2017

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WORK/LIFE BALANCE: Dr. Drew Sarka talks about how he balances practicing medicine and art P6

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DENVER, COLORADO

A publication of

Community grieves after girl’s death Police seek help finding the killer of Kashmier Lujan-Taylor, 15 BY IAN WARREN SPECIAL TO COLORADO COMMUNITY MEDIA

Following the fatal shooting of a teenage girl in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood, gatherings were held to offer support for the community. The Safe Haven meetings, held May 4 and 5, offered counseling to community members at Grace and Life Church at 4201 W. Kentucky Ave. Press, police and politicians were discouraged from attending to create a safe place for community members to grieve. A Mexican charra, or cowgirl, demonstrates escaramuza, a style of horse riding incorporating high-speed ballet, during the Cinco de Mayo parade. ANTONIO HERNANDEZ

SEE SHOOTING, P5

Latino culture comes alive Colorado Mestizo dancers include three generations — Sandy Valdez Garcia, 56, Carra Garcia, 31, and Ida Lynn, 12. The group has performed for more than 25 years at Cinco de Mayo festivities.

ANTONIO HERNANDEZ SPECIAL TO COLORADO COMUNNITY MEDIA

Food vendors selling sausages, tacos and cold refreshments lined Broadway and Bannock streets in downtown Denver. A ferris wheel, funhouse and other carnival attractions staged outside Denver Public Library. And then there was the parade. All the fun celebrated Denver’s 30th annual Cinco de Mayo festival May 6 at Civic Center Park.

SHANNON GARCIA

SEE CINCO, P2

Flowers lie on a floor mat outside the Westwood home where 15-year-old Kashmier Lujan-Taylor was fatally shot May 3. IAN WARREN

THE BOTTOM LINE PERIODICAL

‘Often, real-time as-it-happens news is wrong primarily because it’s incomplete. But once the information is out there, it takes on a life of its own.’ Andrea Doray, columnist | Page 4 INSIDE

NEWS: PAGE 2 | VOICES: PAGE 4 | LIFE: PAGE 6 VOLUME 90 | ISSUE 29


2 Denver Herald-Dispatch

May 11, 2017

CINCO FROM PAGE 1

As part of the parade, a pack of classic low rider cars rolled down Lincoln with fresh coats of wax, jumping and tilting for festivalgoers. “I’ve been at this for over 50 years,” said Lou Hassey, a.k.a. Lowriding Lou “The Legend.” Originally from East Los Angeles, Hassey has lived in Denver for years now. He speaks lovingly of his ’57 Nomad and smiles like a proud father. Another participant group, the Colorado Mestizo Dancers, twirled and danced for the 26th year in the parade. “We participate in roughly 60 to70 events per year,” said Jake Garcia, director of the dance group. The festival was organized and sponsored by NEWSED, an organization established in 1973 that focuses on the economic and cultural development of West Denver residents.

Chihuahuas wore festive gear and took part in races as part of the event. SHANNON GARCIA

A father and son enjoy one of the many rides at the Cinco de Mayo festivities last weekend.

Denisse Hernandez Murillo, 14, won first place at the Denver Quinceañera Expo, also part of the Cinco de Mayo festivities. She rode in a white carriage in the parade.

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Denver Herald-Dispatch 3

May 11, 2017

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4 Denver Herald-Dispatch

LOCAL

May 11, 2017

VOICES ‘So this is how my day will go today’ is a choice to be made

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his week’s column could also have easily been titled, “The Tale of Two Attitudes.” Unfortunately this past week I had a freak accident and ended WINNING up crushing the big WORDS toe on my left foot. While I was in the ER getting an X-ray, the technician was struggling with her computer and imaging software. It was early in the morning and as she was trying to get me Michael Norton situated and wrestle with her technology, she made a comment filled with sarcasm, negativity and doubt. She said, “Oh, so this is how my day is going to go, is it?” The very next day I had a piece of furniture delivered to the house. As I was confined to a chair and unable to assist, the guys who delivered the furniture took care of everything.

I was an added stop on their route and they decided to make the delivery their first of the day. But they forgot to call in advance and their arrival was unexpected. So when they came in the driver apologized for not letting me know he was on his way, but hoped I would be happy that we were first on the list. I had no problem with being first, and they were so good at maneuvering everything without my assistance, and since it was also a fairly heavy piece of furniture, I tipped them very well. Unlike the radiology technician, the driver responded with a smile-filled and optimistic, gratitude-filled comment, “Wow, so this is how my day is going to go, is it? I sure do hope so!” Who do you think had a better day that day? It is the tale of two attitudes, or maybe the tale of two self-fulfilling prophecies. If we wake up and start our day filled with negativity and thoughts of fear, worry, and doubt, there is a high likelihood that our day will play out exactly how we

envisioned it. We will probably get frustrated with equipment failures, have a short fuse with people around us, nothing will go right and we will come to expect the worst instead of the best. However, like our driver mentioned above, if we start our day with optimism, we see situations where we can help, we smile and show gratitude in advance for all the good things that can come our way each day, we will probably have a better than good day. Problems will come along for sure, but our positive attitude toward our work and everyone around us will allow us to deal with each obstacle and opportunity in such a way that we will more than likely end each day just like we began it, full of hope, optimism, and accomplishment. If you are reading this column and happened to have a day that started out the wrong way, the good news is that you have an opportunity to change it right here and right now. Set pride and ego aside, look back

on where things may have gone wrong, and think about what might have been different or what you can change immediately to get back on the winning path today. A little checkup from the neck up, if you know what I mean. So how about you? Have you ever heard yourself asking something like, “So this is how today is going to go, is it?” Can you think of a time when you said it out of exasperation or maybe when you said it at a time of achievement? Maybe you have had both types of days, and now ask yourself, which one turned out better? I would love to hear which one did turn out better at gotonorton@ gmail.com, and when we start out each day with an expectation of hope and optimism, it really will be a better than good week.

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Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic con- F sultant and a business and personal coach. f o n

Media and information literacy is a real thing

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ake news is a real thing … no matter who proclaims it. When I was studying to become a journalist as an undergrad, there were only the ALCHEMY Big Three network TV newscasts, AM radio news, and a proliferation of print newspapers and news magazines. In my coursework even then, we explored different media perspectives and I particularly devoured a Andrea Doray book called “News: A Consumer’s Guide.” Today, with instantaneous (and often instantaneously erroneous) news, we as consumers need a guide more than ever. Often, real-time as-it-happens news is wrong primarily because it’s incomplete. But once the information is out there, it takes on a life of its own … retweets, viral videos, Insta-

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gram posts and Facebook Live shared over and over and over again, with streams of comments that continue to spawn wildfires long after the initial blaze is contained. Most of us recognize this type of false news as the just-too-soon news it actually is. What we as informed media consumers need to guard against is the genuine fake news, perpetuated with innuendo and unfounded theories, and often written and planted for publication with full knowledge that it’s simply not true (which you won’t find in reputable publications online or in print, such as in these pages). But, I hear some of you ask, how do I know what is a reputable publication? One way is to acquire media and information literacy (MIL). Yes, this is a real thing too — “Media and Information Literacy: Reinforcing Human Rights, Countering Radicalization and Extremism,” as reported in a publication of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the UN Alli-

ance for Civilizations, and the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy. Of the five MIL laws, I particularly gravitate to Laws 1, 3 and 5. Law 1 states that information, communication, libraries, media, technology, the internet and other forms of information providers are for use in critical civic engagement, and that they are equal in stature. None is more relevant that the other. So, basically, 140 characters shot off in the wee hours of the morning don’t carry any more weight, than, say, the New York Times editorial page. (One year ago, I would have phrased that sentence in the reverse.) We all know — or should know — Law 3, which reminds us that information, knowledge, and messages are not always value neutral, or always independent of biases. We do naturally gravitate to news outlets that support our own cognitive biases, and thus tend to believe even the most outlandish statements from

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the side with which we agree. So for a true media and information literacy, r I recommend checking out a section h in the New York Times that presents D reporting and opinion from both ends D of the political spectrum. R It never hurts to be informed, which leads me to Law 5: Media and s information literacy is not acquired all at once. It is a lived and dynamic experience, a process that serves us well as we wend our ways tvhrough the glut of too-soon, too-raw and toowrong information that bombards us daily. We can swallow what we are fed, or we can use our intellect, our intuition and our informed decision-making to select a credible, authentic and reputable diet of news. Andrea Doray is a writer who reminds us that although both are journalism, there is a difference between news reporting and opinion. This column is opinion journalism. Contact her at a.doray@andreadoray.com.

Columnists & Guest Commentaries Columnist opinions are not necessarily those of the Herald-Dispatch. We welcome letters to the editor. Please Include your full name, address and the best number to reach you by telephone. Email letters to letters@coloradocommunitymedia.com Deadline Fri. 5 p.m. for the following week’s paper.

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Denver Herald-Dispatch 5

May 11, 2017

A sign hangs outside of Grace and Life Church in Westwood, Denver. The church was well marked to notify community members of the Safe Haven meeting. The meetings were held Thursday May 4th through Saturday May 6th. The meeting was, “A response to the emotional impacts of community violence,” according to a flyer for the event. IAN WARREN

SHOOTING

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“An opportunity to come together for healing of the recent shooting of a young teenage girl in our neighborhood,” reads a flier for the event. The shooting that sparked the meeting was that of 15-yearold Kashmier Lujan-Taylor. She sustained a fatal gunshot wound at 3:15 a.m. May 3 after numerous rounds were fired into her family’s home in the 4200 block of West Dakota Avenue, according to the Denver Police Department. Safe Haven is sponsored by Gang Reduction Initiative Denver (GRID), started by a network of pastors and

reverends in response to what they describe as a rise in gang violence, mostly in the Montbello area. Whenever a gang shooting occurs, they deploy therapists to that neighborhood and have 72 hours to provide support to the community. A GoFundMe.com page — www. gofundme.com/5eqb8y-kah — has been set up to help Lujan-Taylor’s family with expenses. “Kashmier was a sweet and quiet soul, she loved all her family,” the page says. “She has four brothers and was her mother’s only daughter.” The page had raised nearly $1,200 as of the morning of May 7. The police department is asking anyone with information on the shooting to contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

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6 Denver Herald-Dispatch

May 11, 2017

Painting ‘makes me look more human’ Dr. Drew Sarka poses for a picture in the studio of his Denver home. He is currently working on a painting of the Jewell Wetlands Area, seen on the easel, an area he passes by frequently. IAN

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A gift from his father of a paint set — intended to add a little variety to days filled with medical studies — has evolved into a serious pursuit for Drew Sarka, whose day job is as a doctor at Aurora Family Practice Group. But bogged down by the intensity of medical studies at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Sarka didn’t really start using his paint set until he moved to Denver in 1996. He studied at the Denver Art Students League with such artists as Mark Daily and Kevin Weckback and took to oil painting. He now has 18 years of medical practice under his belt and a growing reputation among the Denver art scene. He and his wife, Pam, have two children. His works can be seen at the Cherry Creek Art Gallery and at a variety of shows throughout Colorado and Kansas. Currently, some of his paintings are on display at Westminster City Hall in an exhibition titled Colorado Visions. The building, at 4800 W. 92nd Ave., is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Here, Sarka talks about how art became a part of his life.

How do medicine and art intersect? In some ways they complement each other…I thought that many of the things I learned in medical school helped to translate to becoming a better artist in many ways. For example, obviously, you have to have a lot of patience and perseverance to get through schooling and become a doctor — and that helps with art. The power of observation is really important when you’re interviewing patients or doing a physical exam. You’re sort of observing and making mental notes and … trying to translate it into a painting. And certainly I have a really good understanding of anatomy from medical school and just training — I think that really helps. And on the flip side, many of my patients really appreciate that I’m an artist because they like to know I have interests outside of medicine. Many of them enjoy art, too, so it’s something we can talk about and I think, in a way, it makes me look more human. What is your approach to a subject? I do a lot of preliminary work. That would entail observation, sketches and lots of photography. After that, I’ll sort of work with those images to create a design. The underlying (abstract) design of the

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Notices ALONZO MOORE, JR. , Deceased

May 11, 2017

PUBLIC NOTICE

Public Notices PUBLIC NOTICE

NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of Gerald V. Harris, aka Gerald Harris, aka Gerald Victor Harris, Deceased Case Number: 2017 PR 30435

Name Changes

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NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of Charles D. Pittman, also known as Charles Dennis Pittman, Deceased Case Number: 2017 PR 30455

Public notice is given that a Petition for a Change of Name of an adult was filed with the Denver District Court on April 26, 2017. The Petition requests that the name of Melissa Ann Polo-Henston be changed to Melissa Ann Henston Case No.: 17 CV 31530 Sabra Millett, Clerk of Court By: Deputy Clerk Legal Notice No: 8077 First Publication: May 11, 2017 Last Publication: May 25, 2017 Publisher: Denver Herald Dispatch

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All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before September 5, 2017, or the claims may be forever barred. Stephen M. Brainerd Personal Representative 1550 17th Street, Suite 500 Denver, Colorado 80202 Legal Notice No.: 8069 First Publication: May 4, 2017 Last Publication: May 18, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch Public Notice NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of Mary Ruth Biles, Deceased Case Number: 2017 PR30444

All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Co-Representative or to the Denver Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before September 5, 2017, or the claims may be forever barred. Person(s) giving notice: William Biles III Personal Co-Representative 1312 E Garfield Street, Laramie, WY 82070 John Biles Personal Co-Representative 1293 Lost Creek Lane, Lafayette, CO 80026 Scott S. Moore, Esq. #47281 Baird Holm LLP 1700 Farnam St, Ste 1500 Omaha, NE 68102-2068 Phone Number: (402)344-0500 E-mail: smoore@bairdholm.com Legal Notice No.: 8070 First Publication: May 4, 2017 Last Publication: May 18, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch

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All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Denver Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before September 5, 2017 or the claims may be forever barred.

All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Denver Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before SEPTEMBER 11th, 2017 or the claims may be forever barred. Kathryn Barker Personal Representative of the Estate of Peggy Marilyn Miller HULBERT & ASSOCIATES, LLC 1828 Clarkson Street Denver, Colorado 80218 Legal Notice No.: 8079 First Publication: May 11, 2017 Last Publication: May 25, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of Rex Alan Weimer, aka Rex A. Weimer, and Rex Weimer, Deceased Case Number: 2017 PR 30374 All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Denver Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before August 27, 2017 or the claims may be forever barred. Rodrick Weimer Personal Representative 16786 Sparrow Point Way Morrison, Colorado 80465 Legal Notice No: 8064 First Publication: April 27, 2017 Last Publication: May 11, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of Gerald V. Harris, aka Gerald Harris, aka Gerald Victor Harris, Deceased Case Number: 2017 PR 30435 All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Denver Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before September 5, 2017 or the claims may be forever barred.

PUBLIC NOTICE

All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before September 11, 2017 or the claims may be forever barred. Terry L. Thompson Co-Personal Representative 2948 Risinger Drive Shreveport LA 71119 Timothy K. Thompson Co-Personal Representative 3046 Yampa Way Aurora, Colorado 80013 Legal Notice No: 8073 First Publication : May 11, 2017 Last Publication: May 25, 2017 Publisher: Denver Herald Dispatch PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of Rita Lucero, Deceased Case Number: 2017 PR 30492 All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Denver Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before September 11, 2017 or the claims may be forever barred. Nancy K. DeNava Personal Representative c/o Katz, Look, & Onorato, P.C. 1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 1100 Denver, CO 80203 Legal Notice No: 8075 First Publication: May 11, 2017 Last Publication: May 25, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of William Aloysius Conway, III aka William A. Conway, III, aka William A. Conway, aka William Conway, aka Bill Conway, Deceased Case Number: 17 PR 30448 All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Denver Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before September 11, 2017 or the claims may be forever barred. William A. Conway, IV Personal Representative 9220 E. Jewell Circle Denver, Colorado 80231

NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of William Aloysius Conway, III aka William A. Conway, III, aka William A. Conway, aka William Conway, aka Bill Conway, Deceased Case Number: 17 PR 30448

Denver Herald-Dispatch 7

Attorneys for Petitioner Ernest Staggs, Esq., #17999 William A. Morris, Esq., #21452 STAGGS MORRIS, P.C. 1800 Glenarm Pl., Ste. 1203 Denver, CO 80202 303-750-9900 Fax: 303-339-0008 EStaggs@StaggsMorris.com WAMorris@StaggsMorris.com

All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Denver Case Number: 2017PR30295 Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Division: 3 To advertise yourCourtroom: public notices Colorado on or before September 11, 2017 or 230 call 303-566-4100 the claims may be forever barred. NOTICE OF HEARING BY PUBLICATION William A. Conway, IV PURSUANT TO ยง 15-10-401, C.R.S. Personal Representative 9220 E. Jewell Circle To: ETHELENE ANDERSON WHITSEL Denver, Colorado 80231 AND ALL INTERESTED PERSONS

Notice To Creditors

Legal Notice No: 8076 First Publication: May 11, 2017 Last Publication: May 25, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of Kathryn M. Pelloni, Deceased Case Number: 17 PR 0192 All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Denver Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before September 11, 2017 or the claims may be forever barred. James A. Pelloni Personal Representative PO Box 1376 Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80034 Legal Notice No: 8078 First Publication: May 11, 2017 Last Publication: May 25, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch Public Notice NOTICE TO CREDITORS Estate of George Nathan Babcock, Deceased Case Number: 2017 PR 30182 All persons having claims against the abovenamed estate are required to present them to the Personal Representative or to the Denver Probate Court of the City and County of Denver, Colorado on or before August 28, 2017, or the claims may be forever barred. Hugh Campbell, Personal Representative 1309 S. Parker Road, Apt. M-10 Denver, Colorado 80231 Legal Notice No: 8065 First Publication: April 27, 2017 Last Publication: May 11, 2017 Publisher: Denver Herald Dispatch

Misc. Private Legals PUBLIC NOTICE Denver Probate Court Denver County, Colorado 1437 Bannock Street Denver, Colorado 80202 In the Matter of the Estate of: ALONZO MOORE, JR. , Deceased Attorneys for Petitioner Ernest Staggs, Esq., #17999 William A. Morris, Esq., #21452 STAGGS MORRIS, P.C. 1800 Glenarm Pl., Ste. 1203 Denver, CO 80202 303-750-9900 Fax: 303-339-0008 EStaggs@StaggsMorris.com WAMorris@StaggsMorris.com Case Number: 2017PR30295 Division: 3 Courtroom: 230 NOTICE OF HEARING BY PUBLICATION PURSUANT TO ยง 15-10-401, C.R.S. To: ETHELENE ANDERSON WHITSEL AND ALL INTERESTED PERSONS

Misc. Private Legals

A hearing on Petition for Adjudication of Intestacy and Formal Appointment of Personal Representative will be held at the following time and location or at a later date to which the hearing may be continued: Date: MAY 26, 2017 Time: 8:00 a.m. Courtroom or Division: 230 Address: Denver Probate Court, 1437 Bannock St., Room 230, Denver, CO 80202 /s/ William A. Morris Attorney for Personal Representative 1800 GLENARM PLACE, SUITE 1203 DENVER, CO 80202 Legal Notice No: 8063 First Publication: April 27, 2017 Last Publication: May 11, 2017 Publisher: Denver Herald-Dispatch Public Notice DISTRICT COURT, DENVER COUNTY, COLORADO 520 West Colfax Avenue, Room 125 Denver CO 80204 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF: ROSALITA MENZOR FOR THE ADOPTION OF A CHILD Attorney for Petitioner: Koupal Law Firm, P.C. Laura J. Koupal, #35119 1776 Jackson Street, Suite 209 Denver, CO 80210 (303) 861-3020 laura@koupallaw.com Case Number: 16JA230 and 16JA 231 Courtroom 2C NOTICE CONCERNING PETITION TO TERMINATE PARENT-CHILD LEGAL RELATIONSHIP AND PETITION FOR CUSTODIAL ADOPTION To: JENEE JOSEPHINE MENZOR and RONNIE JOSEPH VALVERDE

You are hereby notified that the District Court in this county will hold a hearing on the Petition for Custodial Adoption and Petition to Terminate the Parent-Child Legal Relationship filed by the Petitioner involving the children, Ronnie Janya Menzor, born on March 8, 2007 and Zenee Josphane Valverde, born November 5, 2010, in Denver Colorado

The Court will hold the hearing on the 13th day of June, 2017 at 9:45 a.m. in Division 2C of the Denver Juvenile Court at the address listed above.

Unless within thirty-five (35) days after the publication of this Notice you file an answer with the Court, or appear before the Court, your parental rights to the child may likely be terminated. You have the right to waive your right to appear and contest, and your failure to appear and contest, either in person or by representative, will result in the Court forever terminating your parent-child legal relationship and granting the requested adoption. Dated this day of , 2017. KOUPAL LAW FIRM, P.C. Laura J. Koupal, #35119 Attorney for Petitioner Legal Notice No.: 8071 First Publication: May 4, 2017 Last Publication: June 1, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch

Public Knowledge = Notices Community Howard J. Harris Personal Representative 860 Lafayette Street Denver, Colorado 80218

Legal Notice No: 8068 First Publication: May 4, 2017 Last Publication: May 18, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch

Legal Notice No: 8076 First Publication: May 11, 2017 Last Publication: May 25, 2017 Publisher: The Denver Herald-Dispatch

A hearing on Petition for Adjudication of Intestacy and Formal Appointment of Personal Representative will be held at the following time and location or at a later date to which the hearing may be continued: Date: MAY 26, 2017 Time: 8:00 a.m. Courtroom or Division: 230

Address: Denver Probate Court, 1437 Bannock St., Room 230, Denver, CO 80202

About Your

/s/ William A. Morris Attorney for Personal Representative 1800 GLENARM PLACE, SUITE 1203 DENVER, CO 80202 Legal Notice No: 8063 First Publication: April 27, 2017 Last Publication: May 11, 2017 Publisher: Denver Herald-Dispatch

Read the Notices!

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8 Denver Herald-Dispatch

May 11, 2017

PAINTING FROM PAGE 6

painting to me is probably the most important thing — whether it’s a figure, whether it’s a scene of a landscape. The subjects I choose tend to be the hidden gems that I think are close to us and, sometimes, even in our backyard. The series I’m working on right now is Jewell Wetlands Area, which is close to where I work. There’s probably many people who live within a few miles of it who’ve passed it by many times but, maybe, have never even gone there. So I hope to sort of remind people of these beautiful little areas that are in their backyard. By doing that, I think it sort of instills some level of beauty and compassion in our lives.

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Do your paintings convey a specific concept to viewers or can they be interpreted individually? I think they are more open to individual interpretations. I think that because many of my paintings are subjects that are very relatable — whether they’re landscapes or figures or horses — I think that it’s a little bit easier for even the lay person to appreciate it, versus some abstract conceptual-type painting that might be a little harder for someone who doesn’t have a good background in art. I hope that, at the least, they get people thinking a little bit. What has been the most difficult part about painting? Probably the hardest part is that I am juggling a career and a family, and so trying to find the time sometimes. I usually have the energy and the will and the passion — sometimes it’s a little hard to find and carve out that special time. Because I work in a studio at my home, that’s really helped a lot, because I can be home and I can be with my family. That’s probably the best thing I did — to sort of have some space that’s easy to access, that’s in my home.

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What goals do you have for painting? My number one aspiration always is to just continue to learn and improve. That, in a way, is another way art and medicine are similar. In medicine, you’ve learned a lot through your training but you’re sort of constantly continuing to teach yourself and try to stay current. And in painting, similarly. It’s always good to try to improve both in an artistic abstract conceptual way as well as sort of fundamentally improving with your drawing or process. I’m looking forward to continuing to show at the Cherry Creek Art Gallery, I would love to be part of a few more galleries in Colorado or even in local states. Do you ever think there will be just Drew Sarka the painter? (Laughs) Maybe. I love practicing medicine, I love helping people. I would definitely love to have the opportunity to have more time to paint in the future so, hopefully, I can make that happen. I think even if I painted full-time I’d probably still want to volunteer or be involved in medicine a little bit, at least for a long time. But, yeah, it’d be nice to have more time to paint, certainly.

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How is your family involved with your painting? Many of the things I paint tend to come from places I’ve visited with my family, or I’ve spent time with my family. It’s not unusual for us to go for a hike together and along the way I’m taking photographs and making some notes and things. And they’re patient with it, and they kind of kid me that I’m constantly taking photographs. My son one time said, “Hey Dad! You didn’t get a photo of that particular flower yet.” (Laughs) In a way, it’s really good because many of my paintings sort of reflect upon those trips and travels I’ve done with my family. It’s almost sort of a little personal time capsule…of important places I’ve been to and events that we’ve done together.

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Denver Herald Dispatch 0511  
Denver Herald Dispatch 0511