Denver NorthStar June 2024

Page 1

Readers respond to last month’s “Leash Laws: They’re No Walk in the Park.”


A Last-Minute Look at Denver’s District Attorney Candidates



Highlands Street Fair

Creates Inspiration and Opportunity for Local Artists



Beloved Edison

Elementary Music Teacher Retires



Marlene De La Rosa

Reflects on Recent Months at DPS School Board



‘Killed by a Traffic Engineer’ Debuts Alongside New CU Denver Program



Your Secret Burnout



Celebrating 50 Years of Pride in Denver

In 1976, Christi Layne, the stage name of renowned drag performer Christopher Sloane, stood with one of their best friends at the head of the very first Pride March in Denver, after having gone through some back-and-forth with the city and the state to get a permit.

They had expected a crowd of 200 people. But as they looked back at the gathering of more than 1,200, Layne’s friend turned to them and, with tears in his eyes, said, “Now I know I’m not alone.”

June is observed as national Pride month, with LGBTQ+ community celebrations taking place across the nation. Here in Denver, The Center on Colfax hosts the region’s largest a nnual Pride event, which has a rich history and roots going back to that first march in 1976. Pride on South Pearl is in its infancy, returning in 2024 for its second year with hopes of surpassing last year’s $5,000 fundraised to support Denver’s LGBTQ+ community.

“LGBTQ Denver,” which was published in April this year.

In Denver, homosexuality used to be considered a major political and social problem for the city. Police would lure gay men in by advertising gay-friendly spaces, but once there, the men would find themselves being handcuffed for sodomy. LGBTQ+ individuals were always in danger, no matter where they were, Nash said.

Though Denver’s first official Pride Parade was in 1976, a “gay-in” in 1974 was a huge turning point for a community that hadn’t before been able to gather publicly and proudly, and is considered by many to be the very first Pride celebration.

In anticipation of these events, LGBTQ+ community members reminisced on Pride’s history and its importance to a community that had to fight to be celebrated after centuries of being forced into shame and secrecy.


Fifty years ago, clandestine gay and lesbian bars were some of the only safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people, and even then, the threat of a police raid loomed over the patrons, said Phil Nash, who served as the first coordinator of The Center on Colfax and is the author of the visual history book

“The vice squad of the Denver Police Department was constantly harassing gay bars,” Nash said. “They set up mechanisms to entrap gay men and a rrest them, and this got out to the public. They were at risk of losing their housing and their jobs and their reputations.”

In October 1973, the newly founded Gay Coalition stormed city hall during a council meeting, with men and women demanding safety as rightful citizens of the city.

Though it didn’t mean complete safety for the LGBTQ+ community, the protest helped usher in calmer relations with the police, with bars starting to police t heir own establishments and public displays of homosexuality engendering less harassment.

Though Denver’s first official Pride Parade was in 1976, a “gay-in” in 1974 was a huge turning point for a community that hadn’t before been able to gather publicly and proudly, and is considered by many to be the very first Pride celebration.

“It was a family that wasn’t wanted, it was the black sheep of the city,” Layne said. “But we were all together, and in the numbers and the strength that that projected, you could feel that there would be a future.”

Nash’s book uses historical images to document

North Denver Celebrates Pride

Saturday, June 15, 2 p.m. to 11:30 p.m

Historic Elitch Theatre, 4600 W. 37th Ave.

This year’s North Denver Pride festivities include a free, all-ages festival at the Historic Elitch Theatre, a parade along Tennyson Street and an extended screening of the 1995 American comedy “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” starring Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo. Read on for details.

2 to 6 p.m., “To Wong Foo” Festival Rainbow Cult will host a free, family friendly festival in front of the historic theater, including vendors, food trucks, drag performances and DJ Buddy Bravo.

4 to 5 p.m., Tennyson Street Pride Parade

Coordinated by Call to Arms Brewing, join a parade, starting at Natural Grocers and ending at Call to Arms, that features local businesses and breweries going head-to-head in a tiny float competition.

5 to 7 p.m., Call to Arms parade after-party featuring DJ Jen G.

6 to 7 p.m., Film screening doors open. 7 to 7:30 p.m., Film introduction (ticketed event). A history and drag introduction, plus a keynote by drag legend Jessica L’Whor.

7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Screening of “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” (ticketed event). Watch the 1995 classic comedy “To Wong Foo” in the theater where moving pictures were first shown in Colorado. In 1896, Edison’s Vitascope premiered at the Elitch Theatre. And Newmar herself performed at the theatre in 1968.

9:30 to 11 p.m., After-party (film ticket required). Following the film, the day will wrap up with a DJ celebration on the legendary Elitch Theatre stage.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the film screening and evening program, visit https://historicelitchtheatre. org/event/2024-pride/ Check out to learn about dozens of other Pride events planned for June across the metro area.

Your Guide to Community, Politics, Arts and Culture in North Denver | Volume 5, Issue 9 | June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 | ALWAYS FREE! Postal Customer PRESORTED STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Denver, CO Permit No. 2565 EDDM
Decades of Progress Toward Liberation and Fair Treatment will be Celebrated During this Year’s Pride Month
& 3
See PRIDE, Page 15
PHOTO BY PHIL NASH The 1981 Pride Parade passes the corner of East Colfax and Lafayette. Three decades later, the vacant Metropolitan Industrial Bank would be purchased, renovated and transformed into The Center on Colfax, the first building to be owned by the LGBTQ+ organization.

PUBLISHER: Linda Shapley

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Michael de Yoanna

EDITOR: Kathryn White



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Jill Carstens –




MANAGER: Lindsay Nicoletti

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The Denver North Star prints over 34,000 copies each edition and is mailed free of charge to homes and businesses in North Denver. Additional copies can be found at local businesses in the community. New editions are published on the 15th of each month.

LET’S BE SOCIAL @DenverNorthStar


750 W. Hampden Ave., Suite 225 Englewood, CO 80110

Hello Denver North Star Readers!

I’m Linda Shapley, publisher of Colorado Community Media, and a longtime denizen of local journalism.

Since we acquired The Denver North Star and The G.E.S. Gazette last month, it’s been a whirlwind of activity – acquiring domain names, transferring emails and handling the business-side of news production. I’m hoping that with the behind-the-scenes whirlwind, you saw no disruption in your service.

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk to you a little bit about me and my expectations for the partnership I have with you, the readers. I made my first “newspaper” when I was 8 years old. As I grew up in rural northeastern Colorado, some of my pictures ended up in my community newspaper, the Kersey Voice. I knew I wanted to be in some form of journalism when I continued on to Colorado State University. Once I graduated, I did internships in Martinsburg, West Virginia; Fort Worth, Texas; and Kansas City, Missouri, but my goal was always to return to my home state.

It’s been a long road since then, with stints at the Greeley Tribune, The Denver Post and Colorado Politics, but I love that my career has led me back to hyperlocal news and helping usher in new opportunities for journalists to keep you all connected to what’s going on in your community.

We believe every community needs its news. We believe every community has stories that deserve to be told. And we believe local news has the ability to inform,

connect, inspire, educate and make our communities stronger.

When the National Trust for Local News acquired our nearly two dozen metro-area publications in 2021, it was with those beliefs in mind. Since then, we’ve modernized our website, introduced new initiatives, such as newsletters, and added events aimed at serving our communities. We recently announced a press facility to stabilize our printing costs and serve community newspapers across the entire Front Range.

Being new owners of the North Star won’t change the way we operate. We know you value local news and the vital community service that we provide, and we were honored when the paper’s former publishers David and Emma put their trust in us. We’re delighted the editor, freelance writers and volunteer columnists who have kept the North Star shining bright will continue on.

With your support, we’re eager to continue the excellent work. We will still count on people like you, our loyal readers, members and advertisers, to ensure we can continue serving our communities with accurate, timely information –– now and into the future.

In the coming weeks, you may see some changes to the website, and once our presses are up and running, there will likely be some changes in the look of the print edition. Regardless, we’ll do our best to ensure that we’re still delivering the same quality news you have come to expect. I’ll ask you to keep me and others here accountable. Send your praise, your tips and your suggestions for what we can do better. I’m listening.


Community Shapes These Pages

Iwas intrigued when emails and voicemails started to arrive about our May cover story,

“Leash Laws: They’re No Walk in the Park.” Our story missed something, and you let us know. As I replied and returned phone calls, I learned just how much North Denver cares for and about neighborhood dogs. And I was reminded how much I appreciate hearing from readers.

Did you know there are about a dozen volunteers keeping Berkeley Dog Park humming along? They haul fresh water for the pups, keep sidewalks tidy and pick up an average 25 to 30 pounds of dog poop every day. Take a look at our Letters to the Editor section to hear from one of those dedicated volunteers.

I see volunteers in action every day in the community. From the neighbor who spends Monday mornings at Project Angel Heart to the Colorado Center for Aging team that keeps

the concerns of older adults front-and-center with state lawmakers, volunteers are integral despite often operating behind-the-scenes. Did you know that volunteers play a central role at The Denver North Star? Our regular columnists—Jill Carstens, Rebecca Hunt, Erin Rohlf, Erika Taylor and Wendy Thomas—volunteer. Allen Cowgill, our tireless transportation reporter, is a volunteer. And in response to our call a few months ago for education and arts and culture writers, Margaret Hunt, Erich Jegier, Lexi Lehman and Jacqui Somen joined our volunteer ranks. These steadfast humans believe in community news and take time every month to fill these pages with something readers can benefit and learn from. If you see them out in the neighborhood, join me in thanking them.

And I extend my sincere gratitude to readers who reach out about our coverage or alert us to upcoming events and important developments. These pages are most complete when the community has helped shape them.

Filling in the Gaps of Forgotten History

There we were, in November 2022, standing in solidarity together for LGBTQ+ rights while marching around statues of saints and priests on campus. The Archdiocese of Denver had recently posted their homophobic and problematic stance on queer students in elementary schools, and my institution, Regis University, decided to host a march against their stance while standing in solidarity with queer students and staff members. This moment has always stuck with me as a time when my school stood with the queer community and took a stance against harmful religious teachings. This instance, along with others from recent years, will hopefully go down in my school’s history.

As a student at a Jesuit Catholic University, the queer community has always been a part of my time here through our Queer Student

Alliance, events they put on like the yearly student drag show, and through supportive queer peers and staff.

The history of my school’s queer community, however, had never been talked about much. The LGBTQ+ community on campus had been a great resource for me and how I met many of my friends, but I never knew about how the QSA, for example, had been started or about events that took place on campus before I attended. I am so grateful to be at a school where the queer community is generally welcomed, but I had always been interested in learning more about the roots of the community on campus and about other powerful past events that took place.

Many Jesuit schools are not as accepting


Page 2 June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 The Denver North Star
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make our

Local News metro-area those beliefs modernized our initiatives, such as aimed at servannounced printing costs across the Star won’t know you community were honored David and delighted volunteer colStar shining to continue count on peomembers and continue serving timely infor-

see some our presses likely be some edition. Rethat we’re news you have keep me and your praise, for what we

Berkeley Dog Park Isn’t the Problem

Iam writing in response to

“Leash Laws: They’re No Walk in the Park,” specifically to the comments made about Berkeley Dog Park. It did not seem like very many people were asked their opinion. It was all negative. I go there almost every day, and I hear many positive and grateful comments about the park.

In reality, it isn’t that Berkeley Dog Park is the problem.

Just a reminder, Denver has 10-plus off-leash dog parks. Their money has to be spread around. Things like trees, etc., are at the back of their list for all the parks.

Several times a year, the city closes down the park to sterilize the park and rake the sand.

The real problem is that some dog owners do not pick up their dogs’ poop. There are poop bag stations all around the park loaded with free poop bags that people can use. There are signs all around the park reminding everyone to “Please Pick up Your Dog’s Poop!” Many people don’t pay attention to their dogs. And a dumpster is right up against the side of the park. Unfortunately, not everyone is a responsible dog owner.

Having said all that, I want to say a huge thank you to those who do pay attention and pick up after their dogs.

And a shout out to all the volunteers who keep the dog park running as smoothly and safely as possible with the tools and money they have – that they bring in.

front-and-center are integral behind-the-scenes. play a central Our regular Hunt, Erin Thomas—voltransportain response education and Hunt, Erich Somen joined steadfast humans take time evsomething If you see join me in gratitude to readcoverage or alert important develcomplete when them.

• Volunteers at Berkeley make sure there is water. They take a cart with 5-gallon containers to fill with water, and then they haul it back. They clean and fill water

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bowls every morning.

• Extremely dedicated volunteers take on maintenance tasks within the park, including sweeping and shoveling walkways.

The remark about Berkeley being a “depressing litter box” and “post-apocalyptic wasteland” is not “understandable.” You can always find people who like to complain. It would have been more appropriate to write an article with all sides represented. Berkeley has been named best dog park in Denver.

Better yet, write an article about being a responsible dog owner. The problem of picking up poop is not just about off-leash dog parks, but also about dogs walking on-leash through the neighborhoods, pooping on lawns, and their owners not cleaning up after them.

Cyndy Beardsley– Wheat Ridge, 80212

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A handful of the approximately 12 volunteers who help maintain Berkeley Dog Park.
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West 25th Avenue Reopens in Edgewater

After enduring the months-long road closure of 25th Avenue between Sheridan and Benton, Edgewater businesses, residents and customers will soon enjoy the fruits of the 25th Avenue Streetscape Project.

Initiated by the Edgewater Redevelopment Authority and city of Edgewater, the i mproved streetscape sets out to enhance community engagement by slowing traffic and adding what planners described as place-making elements, thus encouraging people to choose active and enjoyable modes of transportation such as walking and biking instead of getting in their cars.

The stretch of 25th will remain one-way with car traffic going westward. Parallel parking will run along the north side of the street. On the south side, pedestrian and bike safety measures include planters, fences and vertical

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posts; a protected bike lane; and wider sidewalks that allow for businesses to extend outdoor seating. A new drainage system has also been installed.

“While the street closure has been frustrating,” Edgewater Inn owner Niya Gingerich said, “we are grateful for the long-term vision the city has for our community. Having the streetscape done in time for summer will be wonderful for everyone.”

Edgewater will celebrate the reopening of 25th Avenue with a “Return of the Block” party June 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.. The event starts with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Steve Conklin and continues with a wide variety of events throughout the day including live music and food and drink specials hosted by the local businesses. For more information visit

A newly designed streetscape along West 25th Avenue between Sheridan and Benton opens with a June 29 celebration.

Happy Birthday to The Argyle

The 150-Year-Old Gets a New Look

Residents and staff at The Argyle, a residential community for older adults, showed off an extensive remodel to the historic building’s common areas in a travel-adventure-style open house on May 16.

Visitors were handed passports upon entry and encouraged to visit and meet resident hosts, getting their passports stamped at revamped areas of the building, including the dining rooms, a lounge area, the wellness center, library and activities room.

“We’re celebrating finishing a large remodel of all of our common areas,” said Jeromy ONeil, director of sales and marketing. “And

we're celebrating serving seniors for 150 years. We were established back in 1874, two years before Colorado even became a state.”

The Argyle first opened as The Old Ladies Home in downtown Denver before moving northwest in 1900 to what was once called the Argyle Park subdivision.

ONeil said The Argyle works with InnovAge to provide Medicaid services and that accommodations for residents in assisted living start at $3,600 per month.

Neighbors can learn about opportunities to volunteer or work at The Argyle by visiting the nonprofit organization’s website at

Das the influences

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McCann's drug courts. PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE Volunteer residents greet visitors and stamp passports at a travel-adventure-style open house on May 16. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARGYLE The newly remodeled second floor parlor at The Argyle.

A Last-Minute Look at Denver’s District Attorney Candidates

wider sideextend outsystem has also been frustratGingerich long-term vision Having the summer will be reopening the Block” p.m.. The ceremony continues with the day indrink specials more infor-

Denver district attorney candidates

John Walsh and Leora Joseph will face off in the June 25 Democratic primary election.

With no Republican challengers, the winner will go on to run unopposed in November. Current DA Beth McCann, who has endorsed Walsh, will step down in January. This primary is crucial for voters as the DA significantly influences the legal system, especially in prosecuting crimes and protecting victims' rights.

Walsh, a Denver resident since he was 12, previously served as a U.S. attorney under the Obama administration. He highlights three key reasons for his candidacy: his extensive experience running a large prosecution office, his deep roots and understanding of Denver's community, and his ability to unite stakeholders for effective action. Walsh is endorsed by all living former Denver DAs, as well as the DAs of Boulder, Adams County and Pueblo.

ant that we recognize that the incoming DA is not going to be in a position to hire a bunch of new people. It’s also not possible to shift budget out of the DA’s office to mental health beds," he said.

Walsh aims to address Denver's car theft and gun crime issues, drawing on his personal experience from the Aurora movie theater and Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shootings. He has actively supported gun control measures, and he is in favor of strengthening drug courts and establishing safe injection sites.

“We need to be thoughtful and aggressive about enforcing gun crime laws,” Walsh said. “Colorado has moved in the right direction as a state, but there’s more work to be done.”

“But we also need to acknowledge that completely restructuring the office is not the way to go about it,” Walsh asserted. “It’s not even going to be possible in the first few months.”

Boston and Arapahoe County. She is currently involved in reforming court handling of severe mental illness cases under Gov. Jared Polis. Endorsed by the Denver Police Department and several U.S. Congress members, Joseph said she would prioritize mental health courts but opposes expanding drug courts and safe injection sites.

“I’m a big believer in specialty courts when the data supports that they work. When you look at mental health courts in Colorado, called competency courts, we’re seeing some unbelievable results,” she explained. “As for drug courts, the recidivism rates are high. A metric of safety we don’t talk enough about is recidivism. The [drug court] recidivism numbers teach us that we’re not issuing the right consequences because they aren’t working.”

transformation to the ways the prosecutor's office operates. It can’t just be behind closed courthouse doors. I plan to hire people from the community working in the office,” she said. "I need a liaison to the public schools. These are the kinds of things I think a high-functioning district attorney’s office is doing.” Both candidates bring distinct perspectives and priorities, with Walsh focusing on continuity and targeted enhancements, and Joseph advocating for comprehensive reforms and a refreshed approach. Denver voters will decide on June 25 who will lead the district's legal system into the future.

150 years.

two years state.” Old Ladies before moving called the InnovAge that accomliving start opportunities to visiting the

Walsh said he would focus on building upon McCann's work, including expanding drug courts. "I think it’s extremely import-

Joseph, originally from Boston, has a background in prosecuting sexual assault and sex crimes, having worked in DA offices in

Joseph’s platform focuses on accountability for crimes, pathways to treatment and community engagement. She advocates for a rapid, radical transformation in the DA's office, including hiring community liaisons and increasing transparency.

"We really need to see a rapid, radical

State Legislature Adjourns

Ballots for the primary, which were mailed to voters the week of June 3, can be cast until June 25. Ballots sent via USPS should be mailed by June 17 in order to arrive in time. Collection boxes and in-person voting centers are open through June 25. Registration to receive a ballot by mail ends June 17.

Visit for voting center locations and hours and a map of dropoff boxes.

North Denver’s Lawmakers Reflect on Progress, Frustrations

The Colorado Legislature adjourned May 8, wrapping up a 120-day session that saw gains in for-cause eviction, restrictions on the use of force by police and funding wins for DPS. However, it was also marred by conflict between and within parties, and ugly social media exchanges.

The Denver North Star sat down with three of North Denver’s elected representatives for their thoughts.

First elected in 2018, Democratic Party Whip Sen. Julie Gonzales, D-34, will serve through 2026. This session, Gonzales sponsored several bills that passed out of the Senate and went on to be signed into law, including increased funding to support newly arrived migrant students, for-cause eviction to bar landlords from evicting tenants who pay rent, studies of recidivism and the criminal justice system, and increased oversight on the use of prone restraint by law enforcement.

“I heard so clearly from my constituents,” Gonzales said. “They are sick and tired of the gun violence in our neighborhoods, in our state and across our country. And quite frankly, Congress is broken. C ongress can’t agree on what day of the week it is. So it becomes incumbent upon us, as a state, to act.”

T he senator noted that “vitriol” she faced on social media near the beginning of the session pushed her to increase face-toface engagement through cafecitos and town hall meetings.

“We don’t always agree,” she said, “and that’s OK, but it’s [about] how we listen to each other and then find the path forward.”

cially proud of the new school funding model, which now decides district funding based on factors like locale, “at-risk” pupil enrollment, cost of living and English-languagelearner enrollment.

W hile the budget formula bill was successful, Hernández found frustration with H B24-1260, which would have made it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers who refuse to participate in their employer’s e xpression of political or religious speech.

“I saw a lot of folks fighting for our communities in ways that were productive, in ways that were collaborative and i n ways that were very intentional,” Hernández said.

Rep. Alex Valdez, who has represented House District 5 since 2019 and is up for re-election this year, saw the session differently.

“We were able to utilize $24 million in order to support newly arrived migrant students,” she said. “It meant the world here on the north side of Denver.”

Gonzales co-sponsored an assault weapons ban, HB24-1292, alongside House District 4 Rep. Tim Hernández. The bill, which would have banned the sale and manufacturing of assault weapons in Colorado, was the strictest gun control legislation to pass the House in Colorado state history. Gonzales later tabled it due to lack of support in the senate, where Sen. Tom Sullivan, a Democrat known for gun control advocacy after his son was killed in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, promised to kill the measure in committee.

Gonzales pointed to “fear and a lot of unanswered questions” coming from her more moderate colleagues. She said that she wanted to allow time over the summer and fall for further conversations, and added, “But don’t think for a second that we’re giving up.”

To Tim Hernández, who filled an HD4 vacancy and is seeking re-election this year, the session was a productive introduction to policymaking.

“I was trying to learn a lot about processes and understanding how we can advocate for progressive causes in ways that effectuate change,” Hernández s aid. “We can create an environment in Colorado that doesn’t just respond to issues but does the important work of addressing t hem before they arise.”

Representing west and northwest Denver, Hernández took on worker protections and the s chool budget formula, and, alongside Gonzales, for-cause eviction, the assault weapons ban and the creation of a Chicano license plate.

Hernández was espe -

“I saw a lot of folks fighting for our communities in ways that were productive, in ways that were collaborative and in ways that were very intentional,” Hernández said.

T he measure passed both the House and Senate before being vetoed by Gov. Jared Polis. Hernández said he thought Gov. Polis was afraid of giving workers too much protection. In his veto statement, Polis said he had urged lawmakers to devise “a more manageable and neutral definition of coercive captive audience meetings.”

Hernández faced similar frustrations with the tabled assault weapons ban.

“ The assault weapons ban was a huge, resounding piece of feedback t hat folks were asking us to take on,” he said.

“While Tom Sullivan might believe that it's not the correct solution, as elected representatives, our responsibility is to the voters.”

De spite setbacks in gun control and workers’ rights, Hernández pointed to collaboration with policymakers from Montbello, Jefferson County and the Western Slope, and gains in other areas as victories.

“It was a bit of a disappointment,” said Valdez, who reflected that the bills he sponsored this year did not have as much success as he’s had in past sessions. “The ability to get really big, complex legislation done has decreased drastically.”

Valdez, who said he is focusing on environmental legislation, proposed bills promoting rezoning to increase “smart” density in urban areas, the recycling of single-use vapes and securing tax credits for t he quantum industry, which was signed by Gov. Polis on May 28.

The representative also sponsored HB241173, which, signed by Gov. Polis on May 21, will streamline the approval process for electric vehicle charging stations. While disappointed that the final bill was an “optin” mandate, Valdez saw this as a win for his constituents in HD5.

“If we're really promoting electric vehicles, we need to be promoting the electric charging infrastructure, especially in areas like Northwest Denver, where most people don't pull into the garage to charge their car every night,” he said.

While Valdez felt frustrated at what he saw as a “disorganized” Democratic party, he said he would continue to push for sustainable environmental policy and green innovations in RTD.

“Good legislation doesn’t always happen the first time you try it,” he said. “You really have to kind of find a pathway by exploring, being bold with the idea.”

The Denver North Star June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 | Page 5
/// POLITICS ///
PHOTO COURTESY OF WALSH FOR DENVER John Walsh. PHOTO COURTESY OF LEORA FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY Leora Joseph. FILE PHOTO Julie Gonzales, Senate District 34 FILE PHOTO Tim Hernández, House District Four FILE PHOTO Alex Valdez, House District 5
KATHRYN WHITE travel-adventure-style THE ARGYLE

Latino Authors and Mentors Group Releases Anthology

Poet Ricardo LaFore turned the insult

“What have your people ever done?” into a poem.

“My Ancestors Built the Pyramids” appears in a new anthology to be released this month by the Colorado Alliance of Latino Mentors and Authors (CALMA).

“Ramas y Raíces: The Best of CALMA,” edited by Mario Acevedo, contains essays, poetry and short stories by 24 writers who live or have spent significant time in Colorado.

The book’s title, which translates as “Branches and Roots,” reflects the breadth and depth of its themes, as well as the range of genres and literary forms contained within.

Seeds for both the anthology and the organization were planted decades ago.

“I grew up at a time when I never ever ever saw a Spanish surname on a book,” said Dr. Ramon Del Castillo, a longtime activist, educator, researcher and poet.

wove in stories about his growing-up years picking cotton as a migrant worker, speaking Spanish and learning English as his second language. He wanted his family to know about the discrimination he faced.

That same year, Dávila helped fellow writer Christina Montoya with edits to her first book.

“We ought to think about forming a group,” Dávila said to Montoya, “where writers can support each other like this.”


Ramas y Raíces: The Best of CALMA Saturday, June 29 2-4 p.m. Lakewood United Methodist Church, 1390 Brentwood, Lakewood

The event is free and open to the public.

Each knew a few others, and a small gathering at Raíces Brewing Company followed. By early 2020, the group had six founders, was hosting Zoom sessions and had grown to more than 30 Latino authors, both published and aspiring.

“There was a void, there was a link missing about who I was, about who we were. Until the advent of Chicano studies in the 1960s, during the Chicano movement, when one of the issues that came up was literature and poetry. And out of that, you had the birth of thousands of poets now, and a whole body of literature that will compete with anybody's writing.”

LaFore said the anthology seeks to encourage new writers, but also to preserve and protect what's already been written.

“We felt that there was a void in our community,” LaFore said. “We recognized from the beginning that in a functioning democracy all voices have to be heard. Our poetry, our literature, our writing, all have to be part of the American literary tradition. Otherwise, we don't have a functioning democracy that values all voices. We have a proud and noble history, but it's rarely known beyond our own community. And we had to fix that.”

CALMA itself started with a conversation. It was 2019, and Frank Dávila had published his memoir, “An Outburst of Dreams.” Written largely for his children and grandchildren, Dávila conducted extensive genealogical research in order to preserve and pass along family history. He

CALMA went on to host book fairs, lead workshops, and make presentations in high school and college classrooms. Several of the group’s members have taken on formal mentoring relationships.

“Since we formed CALMA,” Dávila said, “two Latinos have been inducted into the Colorado Authors Hall of Fame.

Manuel Ramos was the first one ever in 2021. We promoted and advocated for him. And then, Lalo Delgado was selected last year, posthumously.”

Abelardo “Lalo” Delgado (1931-2004), known as the grandfather of Chicano poetry, published 14 books and inspired many, including Del Castillo and LaFore. In the early 1970s, Delgado visited a classroom at the University of Northern Colorado, where he met Del Castillo and noticed his poetry.

“It was Lalo who told me, ‘Use everything you’ve got Ramon. Your humor, your sadness, all of it.’”

“Ramas y Raíces” opens with the Mexican proverb, “Quisieron enterrarnos, pero no sabían que éramos semilla (They wanted to bury us, but they didn't know that we were seeds),” setting the stage for a volume demonstrating the many ways love, family, personal struggle and the fight for justice have borne fruit.

“Ramas y Raíces” will be available for purchase at a book launch event on Saturday, June 29, from 2-4 p.m., at Lakewood United Methodist Church. Learn more about CALMA at

Highlands Street Fair Creates Inspiration and Opportunity for Local Artists

On Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., West 32nd Avenue from Irving to Perry will be full of delectable aromas, vibrant colors and local artisans.

The Highlands Street Fair is a neighborhood mainstay. Now in its 41st year, the fair draws approximately 15,000 attendees annually. The bustling outdoor event is a favorite among artists and attendees alike. Fair-goers can peruse art and artisanal goods, eat delicious food, and watch live music and dance performances.

For artists, the Highlands Street Fair provides opportunity. Not only is participating in the fair a great way to sell their work, they also gain access to feedback from the public, which in turn provides inspiration and opens up new possibilities.

David Martinez of East Los Arte, a collaborative effort with his wife, Velia Garcia-Martinez, described how street fairs benefit him as an artist.

Kahlo,” is a favorite among fair attendees.

Boulder-based Mariah Stotsky, another artist participating in this year’s fair, will showcase prints of her local landscape paintings, which include iconic mountains like Longs Peak and the Flatirons. She will also sell wearable art made from thrifted clothing and second-hand fabrics.

“Art really comes into full effect when you’re able to share it with other people,” Martinez said. “We really connect with the crowds in Highlands and always come home energized.”

Martinez’s pop culture-inspired portraits will be on display at the event. Created through a Mexican-American lens, selections will include portraits of David Bowie, Anthony Bourdain and Prince. Martinez’s work, which the artist describes “as if a comic book artist were to have a child with Michelangelo who was raised by Diego Rivera and Frida

“Street fairs are a great way to meet new people and get my art out there,” Stotsky said.

“They’re also a really cool way to discover opportunities as an artist.” For Stotsky, similar events have led to commissioned work and gallery inquiries.

The Highlands Street Fair is an exciting way for local artists to get the word out about their work and for residents to forge connections with creators of their art and home goods. This enthusiasm and dialogue are all part of the fair’s design.

“We work really hard to get as many local artists as we can and provide a good atmosphere for them to showcase what they do,” said Nate Karnemaat, event director. Karnemaat pointed out that the event benefits Highlands Square businesses as well, with the influx of people spilling into the street’s brick-and-mortar stores. Martinez and Stotsky are just two of more than 100 artists and local businesses participating in the event. Throughout the day, attendees can also view live performances from local artists like Nawaar Dance Company, Hellocentral and Yard Bull.

For more information, visit

Beloved Edison Elementary Music Teacher Retires

After a 39-year teaching career, including 10 years as Edison Elementary’s music teacher, Cynthia O’Lane retired at the end of the 2023-24 school year.

In her time at Edison, O’Lane became one of the most beloved teachers by students, parents and fellow teachers alike. She developed a robust music education program, including instrumental music and song writing; annual grade-level music performances; a Shakespeare club; and a student talent show.

Perhaps most meaningfully, O’Lane embodied what it means for learning to be joyful.

O’Lane started her classroom journey in California after earning a bachelor’s degree in music education and master’s in special education. She went on to work as a special

education teacher, classroom teacher and music teacher.

O’Lane’s passion for students was her favorite thing about being a teacher.

“I love seeing kids shine. Kids are my instrument,” O’Lane said.

And it is true. In the words of fourthgrade student Hannah Hunt, “Inspirational, fun and heartfelt. Every school needs a Mrs. O’Lane!”

In retirement, O’Lane will join the Denver Adult Strings Camp Symphony, a community of adult learners who also perform around Denver. As a lifelong learner, she said she is eager to continue developing her skills on the violin.

Friends and colleagues of O’Lane set up a GoFundMe site at to assist with O’Lane’s health care costs during

treatment for stage four metastatic cancer. Dozens of comments about O’Lane’s impact on her students accompany donations made toward a $60,000 goal.

“I hope this outpouring of support and love shows you that you are brilliant, loved and treasured,” said one parent. “You have given each of my children the gift of music. Your impact as a teacher, a friend and human in this world is something each of us can aspire to.”

O’Lane will be missed in the halls and classrooms of Edison, but she leaves a legacy of musical joy, grace and creativity that will not soon be forgotten.

More: Denver Adult Strings Camp Symphony will perform on Saturday, July 27, at the Mapleton Arts Center. Details can be found at

Page 6 June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 The Denver North Star /// ARTS & CULTURE ///
PHOTOS OF THE 2022 HIGHLAND STREET FAIR BY ERIC HEINZ The Highlands Street Fair draws an average 15,000 fair-goers annually.
PHOTO BY CHRISTINE LOEHR Cynthia O’Lane, longtime music teacher at Edison Elementary, retired this month.
The Denver North Star June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 | Page 7 Range’s biggest air quality issue and a leading cause of respiratory problems.
Know when it matters most: text “BETTERAIRCO” to 21000 to sign up for ozone alerts. Take transit to reduce ground-level ozone. Creates for attendees. another artwill showpaintings, like Longs sell wearclothing and secmeet new get my art Stotsky said. a realdiscover as an artStotsky, simhave led to work and inquiries. Highlands Street exciting way to get the their work residents to forge with creators and home enthusiasm are all part design. really hard to local artists as provide a good them to they do,” Karnemaat, pointed out that businesspeople spilling stores. two of more businesses particithe day, atperformances from Company, visit highERIC HEINZ CHRISTINE LOEHR
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University of Colorado Denver’s Change Makers Program Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2024 Semester

Last November, Diane Amdur was at a crossroads. The Denver resident had run a public relations consulting firm for more than 20 years, and she was looking for a professional refresh. In her mid50s, she wasn’t ready to retire, yet she knew something needed to shift. The question was what.

Amdur is not alone. Many people 50 and older want to make the most of the 20 to 30 extra years of healthy living our generation can expect compared to a century ago. But they don’t know what to do, whether in mid-career or beyond.

Amdur was pondering these questions when she saw a story on the television news about the Change Makers program at the University of Colorado Denver.

to go in this next chapter,” Lori Quick said.

“The mix of guest speakers covered all the different angles, from curiosity to creativity, that we’re trying to build within ourselves,” Amdur added.

Denver Its Student

This story


Following revealed students district has Student Success.

Patricia Grant Ranch Denver, will weeks, the team tasked dations in Raza Report

“I am community tions outlined rieta said will strive fosters the Latinx/Hispanic

More than DPS identify third of DPS Spanish speakers, second language.

The La Raza cultural resilience of the various Public Schools.”

“It really spoke to me at a time when I was looking to recharge my work and my personal life in a way where both had more meaning, more purpose and more energy for the encore years.”

“It really spoke to me at a time when I was looking to recharge my work and my personal life in a way where both had more meaning, more purpose and more energy for the encore years,” she said.

A new kind of university program, Change Makers is one of a handful of university programs across the country that help older adults transition well from one life stage to another. Most of these programs are yearlong and in residence, in places like Palo Alto, California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts and cost between $60,000 and $80,000. Change Makers was designed to be an accessible option. It is one semester long in duration and costs $3,400. Sessions take place in the evenings, so those who work on weekdays can attend. Tuesday sessions are virtual, and Wednesdays take place in-person on the university’s campus in downtown Denver.


But the ings, which as well as 51 sands of serious barriers cluding unequal the serious dent population and leaders undervaluing

“There most schools, the report electives, and groups are the students


So in January, Amdur joined a group of 23 Change Maker fellows who met twice a week through May.

With professional backgrounds ranging from medicine to engineering to nonprofit management, the fellows had built successful careers. They came to the program ready for a change — to figure out how to use their hard-earned skills in new ways, to work differently or volunteer meaningfully.

Among them were Mark and Lori Quick, a Denver couple who enrolled in the program together. Mark had been struggling with the loss of identity he felt after retiring from 32 years in the fire service. Lori, a recently-retired nurse, had been “playing too much pickleball and needed purpose,” she said.

Drawing on readings, group discussions and guest-speaker presentations, the cohort examined what has worked and what hasn’t in their lives, what made the later-stage career years meaningful for others, and the pathways, obstacles and opportunities they face in designing a meaningful next chapter.

“It was reflective, meaningful work, and it really made me look back on where I’ve been and gave me ideas on where I wanted

By May, the fellows had developed 12week plans to launch their next chapters. Mark Quick’s plan includes helping refugees and Lori Quick’s plan involves getting her pilot’s license and working on her Spanish.

“You may not see the finish line in week one or two,” Mark said, “but when it starts to materialize later in the class, you feel like you’re on the right path, and you have hope again.”

Amdur’s plan includes refocusing her business toward serving more nonprofit clients, while also creating space for more community involvement and volunteer service travel.

“I see things differently, for myself and my community — and all the opportunities in between,” she said. “Instead of feeling like there’s a dead end, I feel energized and curious for what’s next, both professionally and personally.”

Note: Applications for the Change Makers Fall 2024 semester are due Tuesday, July 2.

Anne Button has lived in North Denver for nearly 30 years and raised two kids in the neighborhood. She is the founding director of the CU Denver Change Makers program and can be reached at

“Many students er read a book Spurred the barriers and staff, Success team by a former ing with university ing the teaching whose Black progress. The throughout of six elementary

Page 8 June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 The Denver North Star
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PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER CHANGE MAKERS PROGRAM The most recent cohort of Change Makers during a class at the University of Colorado Denver. Applications are due July 2 for the Fall 2024 semester.

Quick said. covered all the creativity, ourselves,” program, handful of unicountry that from one programs in places Cambridge, $60,000 $80,000. Makers designed to be accessible option. semester duration $3,400. take place evenings, so work on can attend. sessions are Wednestake place campus in

CURIOUS’ developed 12chapters. helping refinvolves getworking on line in week when it starts you feel you have refocusing her nonprofit for more volunteer sermyself and opportunities of feeling energized and professionally Change Makers


Denver Public Schools Hires

Its First Director of Latinx Student Success

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at

Following the release of a report that revealed “serious barriers” for Latino students in Denver Public Schools, the district has hired its first director of Latinx Student Success.

Patricia Hurrieta, currently principal of Grant Ranch Elementary School in southwest Denver, will begin her new role in the next few weeks, the district said. Hurrieta will lead a team tasked with carrying out the recommendations in the recently released 266-page La Raza Report commissioned by DPS.

“I am thrilled to collaborate with the community to address the recommendations outlined in the La Raza Report,” Hurrieta said in a press release. “Together, we will strive to create an environment that fosters the success and well-being of our Latinx/Hispanic students.”

More than half of the 88,000 students in DPS identify as Hispanic or Latino. About a third of DPS students, many of them native Spanish speakers, are learning English as a second language.

The La Raza Report noted the “indomitable cultural resilience … that is a part of the ethos of the various Latino groups in the Denver Public Schools.”

But the report authors wrote that their findings, which were based on historical research as well as 51 focus group interviews and thousands of survey responses, “surfaced some serious barriers that need to be addressed, including unequal resources across schools, … the serious mismatch between the Latino student population and the number of teachers and leaders in the system, and the perpetual undervaluing of the Latino cultures.”

“There are no cultural events for Latinos at most schools, according to the focus groups,” the report said. “Spanish-language classes are electives, and none of the students in the focus groups are taking them, even though many of the students are fluently bilingual.

“Many students also said that they had never read a book written by or about Latinos.”

Spurred in part by a similar report about the barriers encountered by Black students and staff, the district created a Black Student Success team earlier this school year, also led by a former DPS principal. That team is working with university researchers who are studying the teaching methods of DPS teachers whose Black students made stellar academic progress. The goal is to spread those methods throughout the district, starting with a cohort of six elementary schools.

Each team — the Black Student Success team and the Latinx Student Success team — will have a budget of $750,000 next school year, said Joe Amundsen, the district’s executive director of school transformation, whose department works with both teams.

DPS has commissioned many reports and task forces over the years to make recommendations that community members have perceived as going nowhere — a frustration that’s clear in the La Raza Report. But Amundsen said hiring someone like Hurrieta to do the work, and allocating funding to complete it, signals a different level of commitment from DPS.

“There’s a difference in that commitment, which is translating to more than committees and recommendations, but let’s take those recommendations and really do something that is going to impact outcomes for kids,” he said. “It’s got more teeth to it.”

An advisory committee of Latino leaders and community members is helping the district prioritize which of the 35 La Raza Report recommendations the new Latinx Student Success team should tackle first, Amundsen said.

The recommendations include:

Establish student tutoring programs funded by Denver employers.

Develop a transportation system with the city and RTD for students and families “even in those areas where providing such a service may not be cost-effective but is socially just.”

Increase the number of students participating in the Seal of Biliteracy, which allows students to demonstrate proficiency in English and another language.

Develop a districtwide bilingual parent leadership institute focused on understanding the DPS educational system and the roles parents can play in their children’s education.

Expand the pool of Spanish-speaking teachers, as well as establish a pipeline for Latino school and district leaders and a Latino leadership mentorship program.

Consider redrawing the boundaries for West High School and periodically review all school boundaries to account for gentrification and other population shifts.

Have central office employees undergo cultural sensitivity and competence training.

Although the Latinx Student Success team will take the lead on many of the recommendations, Amundsen stressed that “this is the responsibility of the entire district.”

Melanie Asmar is the bureau chief for Chalkbeat Colorado. Contact Melanie at

Chalkbeat ( is a nonprofit news organization covering public education.

Newest District 5 School Board Member Reflects on Recent Months

Denver Public Schools Board of Education Vice

President Marlene De La Rosa was elected in November 2023 to represent northwest Denver's District 5. The Denver North Star recently met with De La Rosa to discuss current school board business.


The DPS Board adopted a new district map on April 18 in a 5-2 vote. De La Rosa and District 2 representative Xóchitl Gaytán voted for an alternate map, citing population trends

and community input.

The new district map needed to address an increasing population in northeast Denver with a decreasing population in southwest Denver. District 4 contained 33,000 more people than District 2.

De La Rosa was disappointed that the adopted map did not do enough to balance the districts.

"If you read the projections, the far northeast is the fastest growing neigh-

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AmeriTowne: A Summer Camp that Educates and Excites

Did you know you can learn about finances and economics while having fun? My favorite summer camp does just that. It’s called AmeriTowne and is put on each summer by Young Americans Center for Financial Education.

The camp offers real-life activities, a ton of knowledge on economics, and you are able to keep the items you purchase with your AmeriTowne money! There are two locations, Denver and Belmar. Rising third- through fifth-graders may attend the week-long camps during June and July. The camp hosts 835 children across 15 different camps!

Here is what a typical weekly schedule looks like:

Day 1: Introduction to the program; opportunity to run in an election for mayor, police officer or banker; apply for first job; classes on checking accounts and business ethics.

Day 2: Learn results of elections and first

AmeriTowne job; spend half day working at job and the other half writing a cover letter.

Day 3: Half day work at a second job while completing challenging tasks; spend half day learning how to write a resume.

Day 4: Half day working at a third job while completing different tasks; spend half day participating in a “real” job interview. During the interview, campers talk about why they want the job and why they are qualified.

Day 5: Campers work at their fourth job at the highest position available. They can purchase items from stores with AmeriTowne debit cards and cash. The second half day includes a debrief of AmeriTowne and a letter of recommendation activity.

Each day campers get opportunities to build experience by working in different types of jobs, e.g., photographer, mail person, radio DJ and banker. You cannot do a job twice, and you want to save your favorite job for Friday

because that’s when you’ll actually be selling stuff and completing the most tasks.

When Merit Brown, a fourth-grade student at Academia Ana Marie Sandoval, was asked for his opinion of the job system, he replied, “It’s good because my dad owns his own business so I knew what to do, so they gave me a good job.”

Brown’s favorite thing about the camp was buying snacks with the money he had earned there.

When Trevor Mayo, director of marketing and communications at Young Americans Center for Financial Education was interviewed, he said his favorite part of AmeriTowne is “witnessing the sheer excitement and wonder on the faces of the children as they step through the AmeriTowne doors for the first time.”

“It’s a magical moment when they real-

ize that all the knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom about financial literacy is about to come to life in this immersive experience,” Mayo continued, noting also that kids will gain invaluable skills and knowledge that will prepare them for managing money and making informed financial decisions in the future.

There are tons of options for day camps in Denver, but if you want a camp that is educational, interactive and enjoyable you should consider AmeriTowne. This impactful camp is special because it teaches campers, simply, the basics of real-life business scenarios. AmeriTowne has helped me understand how economic processes work through exciting hands-on activities. I love this camp and I encourage you to learn more about it on their website at yacenter. org/summer-camps/.

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‘Killed by a Traffic Engineer’ Debuts Alongside New CU Denver Program

University of Colorado Denver professor Dr. Wes Marshall started his career as a traffic engineer, but he quickly realized that safety rules in the profession were built on what he described as pillars of sand.

Marshall's new book, “Killed by a Traffic Engineer,” details the myriad of systemic failures that have led to record numbers of traffic deaths.

Traffic crash deaths have taken the lives of more people in the United States than all U.S. wars combined, said Marshall, who has written more than 70 research papers on streets and transportation. He wanted to use this book to go after the foundations of the system.

“The real problem isn’t just that we put Band-Aids on our problems,” Marshall said, “which is the vicious cycle we are stuck in now. We create terrible roads, throw BandAids on here and there, but they don’t fix what led to problems in the first place.”

Marshall’s book opens with a comparison to the very early days of the medical profession, when, one could argue, more people were killed by it than helped. For example, even as recently as the 1940s, Marshall writes, “doctors used X-rays to remove unwanted hair … and gave people cancer.”

The book then pivots to the traffic engineering profession, which is less than 100 years old and has produced a “system that incites bad behaviors and invites crashes.”

Marshall asserts that there isn’t one fundamental problem with the system, but many.

Crash data, for example, focuses on human error such as speeding, driving through red lights or jaywalking. Holding the road user at fault lets traffic engineers off the hook, Marshall said, even when data could have predicted the outcome or better design could have prevented crashes.

“Just to say it’s random user error doesn’t get at the fundamental problem, that the system is creating that error,” Marshall said. In another example, Marshall describes how engineers often create wide roads –much wider than needed, and designed like highways – that easily allow, even invite, drivers to exceed the speed limit.

He notes that it's not an error that everyone is speeding on streets like Federal Boulevard, it’s simply typical behavior for the street given its design.

When asked why Federal Boulevard is one of the most dangerous streets in Denver, es-

pecially for pedestrians, Marshall pointed to crash statistics that do not address the fundamental problem of the street. For example, if someone jaywalks and gets hurt or killed, the police will often cite jaywalking as the cause of the crash.

“As engineers and planners, we look at that data and we don’t think we did anything wrong, we just look at it and think we need to put more money into education and enforcement,” Marshall said.

Marshall advised that we take a step back and try to understand why a person would illegally cross the street. The person may have jaywalked on a street like Federal because the nearest crosswalk is a half-mile away and sidewalks leading there might be nonexistent or impassable. He said that road users don't want to get hurt, but that the built environment and road infrastructure can lead them to make decisions that seem rational given their options.

“To me, that is our fault as engineers that we are not providing people with a safe place to cross,” Marshall said, “but the data would never tell us that. I think we need to dig deeper.”

Marshall noted that the streets traffic engineers have spent the most energy re-engineering, widening and building for speed, like Federal Boulevard, are often the most deadly. Whereas neighborhood streets that have been minimally altered or remain unaltered by traffic engineers are often the most safe.

Marshall also described rules of the profession that are not grounded in safety. For example, many traffic engineers will set a steet’s speed limit based on what they call the “85th percentile rule.” This is the speed at or below which 85 percent of drivers travel on a road segment. So instead of basing the speed limit on what may be the safest for the road conditions or the community the road goes through, it bases the speed limit on how fast drivers are able to travel down the road.

Marshall noted that among the most significant of systemic problems are engineering schools that teach traffic engineering practices that lead to systemic failures.

Marshall said it gives him hope that CU Denver is trying to provide forward-thinking tools to traffic engineers and planners of the future. A new university program, Human Centered Transportation Education, will offer a minor, certificate, dual-degree and graduate-level programs.

Allen Cowgill is the City Council District 1 appointee to the DOTI Advisory Board, where he serves as the board co-chair.

The Denver North Star June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 | Page 11
Wes Marshall’s new book details transportation system failures that lead to deaths. ALLEN COWGILL

Reaction and Resistance on the Northside

Over the past three months, I have been writing about the contributions of Northside women in helping immigrants. Now, I am going to look at the backlash that followed.

The U.S. saw rapid immigration growth in the 1890s through the 1920s. Denver drew large numbers of new arrivals, but many were not like the white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants who came before. Many working-class and middle-class white people feared what Italians, Latinos and even native African-Americans meant to their job prospects. They also worried that newcomers would interfere with the political power structure. Finally, many Protestants worried about the influence of the Catholic Church.

In 1893, the country, and especially Denver, were at the beginning of a major depression. At that time, the National League for the Protection of American Institutions, also known as the American Protective Association (APA), became active in the U.S. and in Colorado. It had a stronghold in northwest Denver neighborhoods.

In 1892, APA member Marion Van Horn was elected mayor of Denver. A year later, APA member Albert McIntire became governor. Because APA called for discrimination against Catholics and immigrants, Gov. McIntire immediately ordered the statewide firing of Catholic police, firefighters and teachers.

anti-immigrant sentiment. Politics and society once again became the battlegrounds for exclusionist ideals.

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was originally an anti-Black organization formed in the South in the waning years of the Civil War. Its purpose was to keep newly freed African-Americans from building lives independent of slavery. By the mid-1870s, the U.S. government squashed it, and it ceased to exist.

But in 1915, the group reformed, this time spreading beyond the South into the Midwest and West. Two of the organization’s most successful recruiting grounds were Oregon and Colorado.

The KKK’s strength in Colorado grew so that, by 1924, both Gov. Clarence Morley and Denver Mayor Ben Stapleton were members. Rice Means rose in Republican and KKK circles to become Denver district attorney and eventually a U.S. senator. These and other leaders, following the KKK’s exclusionary beliefs, again pushed back on Catholic and immigrant influence on society and politics.

Because APA called for discrimination against Catholics and immigrants, Gov. McIntire immediately ordered the statewide firing of Catholic police, firefighters and teachers.

The firings hit especially hard in the Northside, where many Irish Catholics held these jobs.

Italians were also targeted. In the summer of 1893, an Italian saloon owner in North Denver was lynched because he had killed a non-Italian patron who was fighting in his saloon.

The Catholic Sisters of Charity, who ran hospitals and schools, had been granted free trolley passes. City government revoked the passes, solely due to their religion.

Even the town government of Highlands was controlled by the APA. George Means, a Northwest Denver resident, was a policeman and an ardent APA member. His son, Rice Means, grew up under that organization’s influence and later served as a leader in another group that would emerge in Denver, the Ku Klux Klan.

By the turn of the 20th century, partly because of strong push-back from publications like the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Times and Colorado Catholic, as well as from the local Democratic Party, APA influence began to wane. However, World War I and another wave of immigration renewed

Your Secret Burnout Buster

It’s no secret there are compelling benefits to exercise. Healthy hearts, improved brain function, elevated mood and avoiding lifestyle-related diseases, just to call out a few. But did you know moderate exercise may be our best defense against burnout? Burnout, the persistent feeling of physical and emotional exhaustion, frequently comes with pessimism and disengagement, which is costly for businesses, employees and families alike. Whether you work for an employer, for yourself or your at-home work supports another wage earner in the family, burnout can be costly.

Research by Future Forum in 2023 found burnout at an all-time high. In 2015, an external survey by Deloitte reported 77% of workers had experienced burnout. In addition to the damage to mental health, burnout can have financial consequences. According to Forbes Magazine in April 2022, disengaged employees typically cost their employer an average of 34% of their annual salary. Losing an employee to burnout will cost a business even more, anywhere from one half to twice their annual salary. For an employee making $50,000, that’s up to $100,000. And if your work at home supports someone else in the family working outside the home, burnout can make this an unsustainable situation. Fortunately, there are simple ways to mitigate burnout. Foremost, management must acknowledge that burnout is an issue if the challenge is to be met. While the most sustainable solutions are those that take into account bottom-up and top-down strategies, management must lead the way and establish a culture that models healthy stress management. Clarified roles, manageable workloads, effective time management, flexible schedules and positive communication patterns are meaningful places to start.

The Northside had large numbers of KKK members. A map drawn up in 1997 showed an especially high concentration in Highland and in Berkeley.

In 1924, the KKK pushed back against Italian Catholic orphanages by creating the Protestant Colorado Christian Home at West 29th Avenue and Tennyson Street. On a Sunday in late May, a group of robed and hooded Klansmen arrived at the Highland Christian Church at West 34rd Avenue and Bryant Street. Accompanied by uniformed Denver police, they presented a $500 check to church elders to help fund a new orphanage.

Also in the early 1920s, many Northside women, some of whom were daughters of Northside Women’s Club members, joined the Women’s KKK.

Beginning in 1926, the KKK began to lose its hold. By 1930, it had mostly disappeared from the Denver political scene. But its legacy lives on in the 21st century in other types of anti-immigrant groups.

To learn more about this history, look at Robert Goldberg’s “Hooded Empire: The Ku Klux Klan in Colorado” and Phil Goodstein’s “In The Shadow of the Klan: When the KKK Ruled Denver 1920-1926.” The Colorado KKK rolls are digitized by History Colorado at

Dr. Rebecca A. Hunt has been a resident of North Denver since 1993. She worked in museums and then taught museum studies and Colorado, Denver, women’s and immigration history at the University of Colorado Denver until she retired in 2020.

any of these can yield dividends for individuals and workplaces alike. A recent study released by the National Institutes of Health resoundingly confirms the positive impact of exercise on workplace burnout. The results show that regular, moderate exercise not only mitigates the effects of burnout, it can prevent burnout from happening in the first place.

Study participants exercised at moderate exertion for 20 minutes, three times a week with cardiovascular movement, resistance training or a combination of both. After just four weeks, study participants reported “greater positive well-being, personal accomplishment, less psychological distress, perceived stress and emotional exhaustion.”

The results are significant, especially for those engaged in caregiving or in fast-paced, high-stress work settings. Our exercise routines need not be intense or take large amounts of time from our daily routine to be effective. What matters most is consistency.

For people new to exercise, a two-minute appointment in the calendar three times a week will build the habit. When it comes time for that “meeting,” set a timer and move. Any way that feels good is approved! Walk around in a circle, stand up and sit down repeatedly, walk up and down the stairs, hop on one foot, etc. And if you can’t keep moving the whole two minutes, just slow down. Keep breathing, keep moving, and when the two minutes are up go back about your business.

Each week, add two minutes per session until you are at the 10-minute mark. By then, you will have a fairly good idea of what point in your day is best to add your new exercise habit. And if you need to move your appointments around, do it. The very best time of day to exercise is the time that you will consistently do it. Remember, your improved wellness impacts more than just your health; it can improve your bottom line.

But even the most attentive organization or family cannot avoid periods of intense stress. It is a fact of life, and not necessarily a negative one! Growth is often accompanied by long hours and short deadlines. When leadership focuses on and encourages personal wellness, workplace stress is more easily navigated by everyone involved.

Getting quality sleep, eating well, spending time connecting with loved ones and exercise are all key factors in promoting personal wellness. While a complete overhaul of our lifestyle may seem daunting, adding bite-sized bits of

Guest Opinion

Continued from Page 2

of their queer communities and therefore suppress many voices and experiences in order to be perceived as aligning with their religious values. This is a real issue that actively hurts the identities and experiences of community for several students. Many religious institutions go so far as to ban queer relationships or clubs while not protecting their students from instances of homophobia or harassment. This not only robs students of self-discovery and community, but it also impacts students’ mental health, putting them at danger of their peers and, unfortunately, themselves.

In order to begin to address this issue of forgotten queer history, I began working on a project with my school’s library archivist to capture the history and lived experiences of queer students, faculty and alumni. This has been an effort recently pushed by the archivist as they realized that there were gaps in their history that they wanted to work to restore accurately. This experience has opened up my eyes to the importance of underrepresented student experiences in archives and the importance of filling in the historical gaps of previously missed experiences. By addressing these gaps, the school

Start by keeping the appointment with yourself and see where it takes you. And if you need support, that’s what I'm here for. I’d love to hear from you.

Wishing you wellness,


Erika Taylor is a community wellness instigator at Taylored Fitness. Taylored Fitness believes that everyone can discover small changes in order to make themselves and their communities more vibrant, and that it is only possible to do our best work in the world if we make a daily commitment to our health. Visit or email

is actively showing their support for such important history that will assist future students and how they feel represented by their university.

More institutions, especially religious ones, need to take this same approach in closing the gaps of underrepresented student and staff voices. Not only to show their support, but also to maintain accurate and relevant history of their school. If the history is not accurately recorded, it is at risk of being lost forever. If students are unable to see themselves in their institution’s history, they are also at risk for feeling unsupported and unrecognized. Queer history in institutional archives has the potential to be a resource for queer students and staff members to feel seen and supported by their university’s history, while also seeing themselves in past representations.

All institutional leaders, historians and archivists for universities, religious or not, should be investing time back into underrepresented student voices who may have been forgotten about or neglected in the past. By adding back into the history of your school's students, you are doing a service for future generations to feel seen by their school and be able to better understand their community’s history on campus and may even get inspired to continue doing important documentation work themselves.

Page 12 June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 The Denver North Star
/// HISTORY ///
COURTESY OF REBECCA HUNT, 1997 This map, based on 1923 data, shows an especially high concentration of KKK members in Highland and in Berkeley. REBECCA A. HUNT

for such assist future represented by religious approach in underrepresented stushow their accurate and the histoat risk of unable to institution’s history, unsupported in instituto be a remembers universithemselves in historians and religious or not, into unwho may neglected in the histoyou are dogenerations to feel to better history on inspired to condocumentation

Gun-related Injuries in Colorado Cost at least $8.4 Million

Injuries related to firearms in Colorado racked up at least $8.4 million in medical bills in 2022, according to a recently released analysis.

The report, produced by the Center for Improving Value in Health Care, or CIVHC, is the first of its kind to examine some of the economic impacts of firearm injuries. But it is in keeping with a growing effort in Colorado to think of gun-related harms as a health issue and to study them in the same way researchers might look at other public health challenges.

“It’s an important way to look at things,” said Dr. Emmy Betz, the director of the Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who was not involved in the new study. “It helps people think about another aspect of this specifically beyond the deaths.”

To conduct this analysis, CIVHC relied on a powerful tool — the state’s all-payer claims database, which has amassed anonymized data from more than a billion Colorado medical claims drawn from more than 5.5 million unique people.

In addition to the dollar amount, CIVHC also found some concerning trends within the data.

Between 2016 and 2022, the rate of medical claims for firearm-related injuries increased 53%. But it increased even more for injuries to kids: 120%.

Men were three times more likely than women to suffer firearm injuries. And rural counties generally have higher rates of injury than urban ones.

Kristin Paulson, CIVHC’s president and CEO, said in a statement that the analysis shows “the critical need for continued focus on comprehensive public health, education, and community-tailored initiatives aimed at addressing and preventing firearm violence.”

Many firearms injuries — particularly homicides and suicides — do not result in a medical claim for tragic reasons. So CIVHC’s analysis ended up weighted heavily toward an often less examined area: unintentional injuries. Of the more than 7,000 claims analyzed for 2022, 72% were coded for unintentional injuries. Next came assaults at 17%.

Betz said the analysis ultimately is a snapshot of just one slice of gun-related harms. But even still Betz said medical claims data can provide valuable insight into the issues underlying gun injuries.

“It raises concerns for me about what is happening in those homes and why firearms are maybe not being locked up in those homes,” she said.

That question can help identify where public health campaigns — such as the state’s Let’s Talk Guns, Colorado campaign, which promotes gun safety and safe storage — could have an impact.

The idea of treating guns and the potential negative consequences associated with them as a public health issue is gaining momentum in Colorado. (Experts in the field prefer the term firearm-related harms to the term gun violence because they believe the latter creates an impression that most injuries or deaths are due to assaults. Contrary to public perception, the large majority of firearm-related deaths in Colorado are suicides.)

Lawmakers in 2021 created the state Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which provides data on firearms issues in the state and gives grants to communities and organizations looking to tackle gun-related problems. CU’s Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative conducts research. And earlier this spring, a new program launched to try to better connect the pieces.

The Firearm-Related Harm and Violence

Prevention Program Office, which is housed in the Trailhead Institute, hopes to work with organizations to help them examine gun-related issues in their communities and then apply for resources to address them.

“This is an opportunity to move past ideologies and rhetoric,” said Jonathan McMillan, the program office’s director.

McMillan, who formerly led the state’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention, was in Washington, D.C., last week for a meeting with the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention and other local violence-prevention programs — showing that interest in tackling the health aspects of gun issues is not just a Colorado phenomenon.

He said the goal of the public health work is not to take away guns or criticize those who own and value them. Rather, he said, it’s to help communities identify areas of concern — it may be suicides in one community or interpersonal violence in another — and then to work with those communities on specific strategies to address the issues.

“It’s about helping communities speak more to what their needs are,” McMillan said.

This story was printed through a news sharing agreement with The Colorado Sun, a journalist-owned nonprofit based in Denver that covers the state.

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$20 Million Juul Settlement to Go to Youth Mental Health

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at

Colorado will spend $20 million of a $31.7 million lawsuit settlement with e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs Inc. on a grant program aimed at improving youth mental health, state Attorney General Phil Weiser has announced.

The program will prioritize collaborations between school districts and community organizations. The aim is to address children’s mental health so they don’t turn to vaping as a way to cope.

“When you think about a challenge like youth vaping, you can think about addressing the symptom — the fact that people are vaping — or the underlying cause,” Weiser said in an interview after the announcement. “We’ve chosen to address the underlying cause.

“We know that because of mental health issues, people turn to substances like vaping. That’s why we’re going to the source to ask: How do we build better connections?”

The “how” will be up to the school districts, which will be invited to apply for grants later this year. The long lead time is intentional; Weiser said the goal is for districts to collaborate with one another and with local community organizations to come up with programs that help develop young people’s connections to trusted adults and to one another. Several Colorado foundations have offered to help facilitate those collaborations over the next six months.

“We do not want to prescribe what you need to do,” Weiser told a room full of educators at a Colorado Education Initiative summer conference, where he made the announcement. “We want to offer a broad opportunity around holistic youth mental health and leave it to you to think about what collaboration, what partnership, what strategies make sense in your community.”

Colorado sued Juul in 2020, alleging that it targeted youth with deceptive marketing and played down the health risks of vaping. The state was one of several that settled with the company. Juul did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.

Thirty percent of Colorado high school students reported having vaped at least once, according to the most recent data from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, which is administered every other year.

Sixteen percent of students said they’d vaped in the last 30 days.

The $20 million grant program is the largest of three programs that Colorado is spending the Juul settlement money on. The

Colorado sued Juul in 2020, alleging that it targeted youth with deceptive marketing and played down the health risks of vaping.

others are a $6 million grant program aimed at nonprofit organizations and government agencies, and an $11.4 million grant program for school districts to address the youth vaping crisis. Those grant programs are already underway, and Weiser said the recipients will be announced soon.

Weiser said he sees the $20 million program as especially impactful because of the power of collaboration. “Schools are free to work with whoever in their community is serving young people,” he said. “In some communities, it might be a Boys and Girls Club. In other communities, it might be a library teaching kids to read.”

Grant applicants whose school districts serve a combined 23,000 students or more will be eligible for a $2.5 million grant over a three-year period, Weiser said. Applicants whose districts serve between 7,500 and 23,000 students will be eligible for $1.75 million over three years, and districts that serve fewer than 7,500 students will be eligible for $750,000.

Late last year, Colorado led a coalition of 42 attorneys general nationwide that sued Meta in a similar lawsuit alleging that its social media platforms, including Instagram, used deceptive practices to harm children and teens and addict them to social media.

Melanie Asmar is the bureau chief for Chalkbeat Colorado. Contact Melanie at

Chalkbeat ( is a nonprofit news organization covering public education.

What Can Lakeside Amusement Park Teach Us?

Summer has unofficially arrived, and for fans of fun in North Denver that means Lakeside Amusement Park has opened its rusty, familiar gates to welcome the public.

Since opening for the first time in 1908, this Denver landmark has dutifully marked the decades to stand as a bastion of vintage neon, creaky kiddie rides and lovers seeking the coveted back train car for a nostalgic trip around Lake Rhoda, named for its owner Rhoda Krasner. Some of the rides are shuttered, and corners of the lot look downright deserted, but Lakeside has somehow retained its unique charm.

If Lakeside were personified as someone you knew—say, your eccentric great-aunt Zanzibell—she would have much to teach us about nurturing good mental health and wellness in ourselves. Let me explain.

Picture that same dear great-auntie showing up for the family reunion year after year, deep into her 80s and ready to celebrate. She’d show up in a sundress and sunhat, likely purchased from May D&F when she worked there decades ago, clutching a paper fan to cool her décolletage.

Zanzibell’s enviable zest for life schools us in what optimal mental health looks like for those who live it. She could easily have stayed home, A/C blasting, with her feet up, sipping her coffee. Instead, she got up and got outside—ready to carpe the diem.

Lakeside-as-Zanzibell demonstrates that resilience, participation and self-acceptance—three qualities we’d all be wise to foster—stave off depression, isolation and plain old ennui.

First there's resilience, formerly known as toughness. Resilience is the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties. It's a characteristic that, when fostered, helps us bend without breaking in the midst of life's unexpected storms. It’s the difference between folks who shrink inward and swear off

dating after the demise of a months-long flirtation and those who tackle the dating game after their fourth divorce.

They bounce back, and so can you. If you committed to strengthening your resilience muscles a little, what would change in your life?

Then, consider participation in life. There’s a quote sometimes attributed to Woody Allen, "Ninety percent of success in life is just showing up." Numerous studies have shown isolation and loneliness to contribute to poor mental health outcomes. Participation can take many forms, and it’s important to choose what speaks to you (even you, introverts). Nobody’s forcing you to host a neighborhood barbecue. Start small by choosing just one event in June you’re down to attend. Free events and activities abound in this town, especially during the summer. Finally, let’s talk about self-acceptance. Striving to embrace ourselves, foibles included, reduces anxiety because it makes us less uptight about how we are being perceived. It makes us less susceptible to criticism. You can foster self-acceptance by being aware of your own inner critic, and either ignoring or challenging said critic when they chime in with unsolicited comments. Auntie Zanzibell knows that sundress is a touch outdated, but it fits perfectly and she loves the colors, so she sports the vintage look proudly.

Self-acceptance grows when we treat ourselves like a cherished friend. Would you chide your stressed-out BFF for being 10 minutes late for lunch? Or would you cut her slack and enjoy the bonus 10 minutes to chat up the cute hostess, knowing traffic in this town sucks?

Work some self-acceptance, resilience and participation into your life this month.

Erin Olyer Rohlf is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), professional therapist and founder of Denver Couples Clinic. Call her at 720-644-1400 or find her at www. to learn more or to suggest ideas for future columns.

Check It Out: ‘Perris, California’

Angie wakes in the night to desperate knocking at her bedroom window. After rousing her husband, Buck, Angie discovers their son Henry’s girlfriend, Tessa, bloodied and terrified. As Angie gently cares for Tessa, Buck takes his sons to retrieve Tessa’s belongings from the house she lives in with her stepfather and stepbrother. It’s no secret where Tessa’s bruises come from, and Buck makes sure the two men know they are no longer welcome in town and what will happen to them if they stay. This is a pivotal moment in Tessa’s life and the heart of the novel “Perris, California” by Colorado author Rachel Stark.

out food and had to wear her stepbrother's hand-me-downs. She slept in the barn most nights to avoid her stepfather and his nightly visits to her room.

Fast forward 10 years, and Tessa is married to Henry and expecting their third child. They live in a trailer on Angie’s property, and as much as Tessa feels enveloped in the gentle fold of their family she also feels smothered by Angie. Henry is a kind and supportive husband, but he has to work hard to make ends meet and tries to stay out of the fray as much as possible.

Then, a chance encounter in the local drugstore drags Tessa back to the past. After her mother abandoned her as a child, Tessa lived with her stepfather and stepbrother and survived as best she could. She was often left with-

Her life changed, though, when she met Mel, a new girl in school who didn’t fit in, didn’t want to fit in and didn’t let anyone shame her for who she was. Their friendship evolved into love, the first real love Tessa had ever felt. It ended too soon, though, when Mel’s mother caught them together and sent Mel away. Now, with her first love back in her life, Tessa feels happier than she has in a long time. She can’t resist pulling Mel into her circle, but Angie and Henry begin to suspect something is amiss, forcing Tessa to make a choice. Gritty, yet beautifully written, this literary novel takes on such tough topics as addiction, mental health, and physical and sexual abuse with grace and dignity, portraying Tessa as a compassionate and resilient survivor. Despite the violence and tragedy, there is also a lot of love and hope in this novel. Check it out at a Denver Public Library branch near you.

Looking for more great reads this summer? Try Denver Public Library’s Personalized Reading List service at denverlibrary. org/reads.

Wendy Thomas is a librarian at the Smiley Branch Library. When not reading or recommending books, you can find her hiking with her dogs.

Page 14 June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 The Denver North Star /// MENTAL HEALTH ///


this history as part of the 50th anniversary celebration as a direct challenge to people who are trying to suppress LGBTQ+ history and education across the country, he said.

“It’s long overdue that we have a book available that would work for somebody who just really wants to know the history,” Nash added.

Denver Pride carries on its legacy of activism 50 years later, even as Pride today has evolved to be a spirited, rainbow-filled, month-long party. It continues to raise money for The Center on Colfax, a nonprofit organization supporting the LGBTQ+ community by ensuring community members are safe and supported with resources and education, promoting pro-LGBTQ+ legislation and speaking out against homophobia, said the organization’s CEO Rex Fuller.

Anti-trans legislation and homophobia has far-reaching and sinister effects. The FBI’s 2022 annual crime report documented 1,947 instances of violence relating to a victim’s sexual orientation — a 13.8% increase from 2021 in reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation and a 32.9% increase in reported hate crimes based on gender identity.

“The bottom rung of the theatrical ladder is a boy in a dress. The bottom rung of the social community is a boy in a dress. The bottom rung of the straight community is a boy in a dress,” Layne said.

Though Layne could comfortably take off their dress and heels at the end of their performance, they know transgender people who were isolated and scorned on a daily basis because of their appearance.

Ruby Slippers is the theme for Layne’s 2024 PrideFest speech. It is a reference to “The Wizard of Oz’’ and an analogy to how LGBTQ+ people have to publicly step into their identity, despite knowing there could be consequences. It was a nerve-wracking decision in 1976, and in the current political climate, it is just as nerve-wracking today, Layne said.

But a life of secrecy can be the worst fate of all, Layne said. Pride is meant to show people that they are not alone, and that they have a home in the LGBTQ+ community.

have attended dozens of times and for people who have never been to Pride and may be open about their gender or sexuality for the first time, Fuller said.

“A few years ago, two guys showed up for volunteering. One of them was 18 years old, and the other was 80, and it was for both of them, their first Pride,” Fuller said.

This year, PrideFest will also recognize its 50-year legacy by honoring key figures in the history of Denver’s LGBTQ+ community, including Layne, Fuller and Nash a mong others, including some LBGTQ+ elected officials.

This is also The Center’s main fundraising event, meaning attendance helps support its mission and the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community in Denver. In particular, The Center is hoping to bolster its mental health and youth programs this year with funds raised from the festival.


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“Just be you, because the exciting part of being you is it doesn’t matter what you wear on the outside, it should reflect who you are,” Layne said. “Have confidence in that always, because if you be you, there’s no place anybody can take you, but home.”


The Center on Colfax is hosting its annual Denver PrideFest June 22 and 23. The twoday festival includes the Denver Pride 5K, hundreds of exhibitors and food vendors, live entertainment and the Coors Light Denver Pride Parade.

Pride is important both for people who

De La Rosa

Continued from Page 9

borhood in Denver," said De La Rosa, who noted that two new schools are opening in the district.

In a community survey, the adopted map received 58 votes while two alternate maps (both preferred by De La Rosa) received 97 and 90 votes. De La Rosa said she "understands their frustration" when the community felt their voice hadn’t been heard.

Redistricting takes place every 10 years in order to balance the populations of the school board's five districts. The process utilizes federal census data as required under the Voter Rights Act and Colorado state law.

"The principle of one vote, one person ensures equal representation across the districts we represent," De La Rosa said.


In light of declining DPS enrollment, a proposed school closure policy, originally discussed last fall, is back on the table. The

Every year when Pride comes around, Layne is reminded about what it took to get to this point: the protests and permits, the police and the pushback. But they are also reminded of how many people have stood alongside them to make it possible, and the progress the LGBTQ+ community has made through the decades.

Back in 1976, despite being a leader in the community, Layne didn’t have a solid idea of what a Pride celebration meant. The definition a friend gave them has stuck ever since.

“The Declaration of Independence says we all are created equal,” Layne recalled hearing. “Are you treated equally? I s aid, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Well, do you think you’re a good person? Are you an asset to this world?’ (I said,) ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘That’s your Pride, and that pride deserves to be shared.’”

policy would require the superintendent to provide school closure recommendations each October, and the board would decide on closures for the next school year by January, ahead of the district’s school choice window.

"We are committed to providing students with the best learning environment possible," De La Rosa said, adding that the policy is about the process and not specific schools. A vote on the policy could come as early as the June 13 board meeting.

The proposed policy, Executive Limitation 18, is deemed necessary due to "shifting demographics and impacts on budget," De La Rosa said, since funds from the state are allocated largely on a per-student basis.

for families if not properly executed. A wave of closures in March 2023 received negative feedback due to poor communication during the decision-making process.

Some board members, including De La Rosa, have mentioned the additional need for a school boundary review given the impact on school enrollment. De La Rosa said the demographics of many Denver neighborhoods have changed significantly since boundaries were last updated in the late 1990s.

"We are committed to providing students with the best learning environment possible," De La Rosa said, adding that the policy is about the process and not specific schools. A vote on the policy could come as early as the June 13 board meeting.

School closures can be a major disruption


The La Raza Report, released March 19, examined the Latino community's DPS experience and identified barriers faced by students, families and teachers. The report, written by the Denver-area Multicultural Leadership

Center, LLC, gathered insights from 15 years of data, 600 focus group participants and 3,000 survey respondents. It outlined 35 recommendations to improve Latino outcomes including culturally relevant curriculum, a Latino parent leadership council and support for paraprofessionals earning teaching certifications.

De La Rosa described her response as "thrilled" when she learned Dr. Patricia Hurrieta had been named to lead the implementation of the report's recommendations. DPS also commissioned a five-person La Raza Advisory Council to prioritize the recommendations, gather community and district input, and develop measures for success.

De La Rosa noted the recent influx of migrant students in DPS schools and applauded community response. She added that "continued support is going to be necessary." DPS's Community Hubs are helping, De La Rosa said. She said she was proud to share that several migrant parents have earned their GEDs and would be receiving their diplomas in a June 8 ceremony.

The Denver North Star June 15, 2024-July 14, 2024 | Page 15
Pride Continued from Page 1
GRAPHIC COURTESY OF CHRISTI LAYNE A map of the first Denver Pride Parade in 1976. PHOTO BY BILL OLSON The first Pride Parade in Denver took place on June 27, 1976. Prior to that, in both 1974 and 1975, the gay and lesbian community celebrated Pride with "Gay-Ins" at Cheesman Park. on 32nd avenue between irving & perry 10am to 7pm Rachel Finn 630.935.9394 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 Betty Luce 303.478.8618 1079 Depew Street 1 Bed 1 Bath 800 SF $420,000 MLS 6360915 Bart Rhein 720.837.5959 568 E Dry Creek Pl 3 Bed 3 Bath 1,600 SF $550,000 MLS 2540685 4636 W 26th Avenue 3 Bed 2 Bath 2,488 SF $1,775,000 MLS 2078241 1805 East Cedar Ave 3 Bed 5 Bath 5,210 SF $6,249,900 MLS 9151826 1727 W 36th Avenue 3 Bed 2 Bath 1,826 SF $935,000 MLS 7234804 ACTIVE Corey Wadley 303.913.3743 2925 Wyandot Street 2 Bed 2 Bath 1,566 SF $825,000 MLS 6392015 16051 E Warner Pl 3 Bed 3 Bath 1,643 SF $425,000 MLS 4905971 2014 S Pennsylvania 5 Bed 5 Bath 2,707 SF $1,099,999 MLS 8700939 Elizabeth Clayton 303.506.3448 Alesia Kieffer 970.376.8401 Leigh Gauger 720.934.9711 4050 Field Drive 3 Bed 2 Bath 2,288 SF $950,000 MLS 7866019 8135 S Vandriver Way 4 Bed 5 Bath 5,548 SF $1,199,900 MLS 8042233 Liz Luna 303.475.1170 56 S Grant Street 2 Bed 2 Bath 1,905 SF $650,000 MLS 2598110 2650 W FVC Dr #408 2 Bed 2 Bath 1,217 SF $675,000 MLS 8364720 3450 West 62nd Place 3 Bed 3 Bath 1,920 SF $815,000 MLS 5907549 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 6100 West 82nd Drive 4 Bed 3 Bath 3,272 SF $700,000 MLS 9717182 Jill Samuels 303.912.0606 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 2120 N Downing #316 1 Bed 1 Bath 516 SF $374,996 MLS 5926028 Ann Panagos 970.930.5040 11860 Swadley Drive 3 Bed 3 Bath 1,976 SF $825,000 MLS 5674678 1819 N Williams St 3 Bed 4 Bath 2,138 SF $974,500 MLS 3869956 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 3289 Perry Street 3 Bed 2 Bath 1,638 SF $898,000 MLS 9965619 Incredible Coursefront Estate Overlooking Denver Country Club and Cherry Creek, Delivering Sophistication At Every Turn Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage. 4550 Wolff Street 4 Bed 3 Bath 3,017 SF $1,425,000 MLS 5104536 8307-8311 E 14th Ave 8 Bed 4 Bath 5,300 SF $799,000 MLS 6907977 Luis Serrano 303.455.2466 1801 N Williams St 3 Bed 4 Bath 2,341 SF $1,124,900 MLS 3904678 Kelsey Walters 720.560.0265 3930 Marshall Street 3 Bed 2 Bath 1,335 SF $698,250 MLS 5774956 #1 Team in Colorado #1 Large Team in Denver @nostalgichomesdenver Denver’s Premier Urban + Vintage Real Estate Experts Since 1985 303.455.5535 | Jill Samuels 303.912.0606 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 4628 Raleigh Street 4 Bed 3 Bath 2,493 SF $1,175,000 MLS 5043896 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 ACTIVE 2222-2224 Hooker St 6 Bed 4 Bath 3,073 SF $1,295,000 MLS 3457275 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 ACTIVE 396 Stagecoach Dr 3 Bed 3 Bath 2,064 SF $849,000 MLS 6972138 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 ACTIVE 1735 E 18th Avenue 3 Bed 4 Bath 2,138 SF $935,000 MLS 7509936 ACTIVE 2650 W FVC Dr #303 1 Bed 1 Bath 714 SF $406,500 MLS 8125462 ACTIVE 11318 W Ontario Ave 4 Bed 4 Bath 4,847 SF $1,275,000 MLS 2036304 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 ACTIVE Jill Samuels 303.912.0606 Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE

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