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FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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2 Lakewood Sentinel

February 16, 2017F

Perlmutter to honor Vietnam-era vets at commemoration ceremony



Colorado Connections Academy student and Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets player

About me I’m 13 years old and was born in Nebraska, but my family moved us to Colorado when I was three months old. I’ve lived in Wheat Ridge for three years, but we lived in Lakewood before that. I have muscular dystrophy, and while I can feel my legs, I can’t physically walk. School life I go to school at Colorado Connections Academy, which is a great school for me because it gives me the chance to make time to do what I love, which is play basketball. Since the school is online, it’s more flexible, but it’s still a lot of work. Right now I’m taking language arts, education technology, arts, skills for success, social studies, science and math, which is my favorite subject. Competing with friends I’ve been playing basketball ball since I was 5 years old. My whole family is athletic, and I was looking for a sport I could play with my disability. I play with the Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets, which is one of the best adaptive teams in the country. We have practice once a week with our coaches Justin and Seth, which are really fun, and usually have some kind of tournament once a month. There are no set positions in wheelchair basketball, but I often play a kind of point guard position. Everyone on the team is really nice, and we all understand what each other is going through.

All veterans encouraged to apply to participate BY CHRISTY STEADMAN CSTEADMAN@COLORADOCOMMUNITYMEDIA.COM

Juliane Cunningham, a 13-year-old student of Colorado Connections Academy, and player on the Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets. CLARKE READER We’ve had the chance to do a lot of traveling to tournaments like Minnesota, Arizona, San Diego, and nationals are in Kentucky this April. I love all the travel. We’re all really good friends with all the other teams we meet during the tournaments. My favorite part of playing is having all my friends on the team, including my older brother. There’s a lot of teamwork going on, and they are like my family. Looking to the future I’m excited about playing in nationals, and I want to keep playing with this team through high school. I hope to get a scholarship for college, and play in the Paralympics someday. I want to play basketball forever. If you have suggestions for My Name Is ..., contact Clarke Reader at

Congressman Ed Perlmutter, D-7th District, is inviting all Vietnam-era veterans to be honored at a Vietnam War 50th Commemoration Ceremony on March 24. All Vietnam-era veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are encouraged to participate. The commemoration does not distinguish between veterans who served in-country, in-theater or who were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period. The deadline to fill out the required application for participation in the event is March 1. All Vietnamera veterans in Colorado are eligible to receive the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin, which can be awarded posthumously. For more information or to fill out the application electronically, visit A direct link to the application is also available: https:// Additional questions can be answered by calling 303-274-7944. The Vietnam War 50th Commemoration Ceremony coincides with Vietnam Veterans Day, which is celebrated annually on March 29.


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Lakewood Sentinel 3

7February 16, 2017

LAKEWOOD NEWS IN A HURRY Colorado Wind Ensemble performs The Colorado Wind Ensemble presents nationally renowned trumpeter Brian Shaw in a program of contemporary music by young composers in “Dreams and Visions” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb 24, at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway. Conductor David Kish leads ensemble in a program that includes Peter Graham, Frank Ticheli, and Fisher Tull. The Lakewood High School Band will join the ensemble at the concert. Community Just Serve Volunteer Fair The Community Just Serve Volunteer Fair will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, at 6465 W. Jewell Ave. The event aims to bring together community and volunteers. Some of

the service organizations scheduled to appear are Jefferson County Public Schools, The Action Center, Jefferson County Open Space, Lutheran Family Services, Jefferson County Open Space, the International Rescue Committee and Mountain Resource Center. Attendees are encouraged to bring a package of diapers or help make blankets to benefit the International Rescue Committee and Jefferson County Human Services. For more information, visit www. LHS accepting applications for scholarship Lakewood High School is offering the $5,000 Zachary Jimenez Memorial athletic scholarship for seniors at the school.

The school is also hosting the third annual Zachary Jimenez Memorial Scholarship Benefit from 5 p.m. to midnight on Feb. 25 at 1555 Grant St. in Denver. The event will feature food, music and a raffle. Entry is $10 per person, and $15 for a pair. Children are free. For more information, call 303-7184456 or visit Chanda Plan receives grant The Chanda Plan Foundation received a $300,000 Sustainable Impact Projects grant from The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to support staff and programmatic efforts associated with its new Health Center. The Health Center, slated to open in April in Lakewood, will provide

a single point of service for health needs of people with long-term physical disabilities, a majority of whom live with a spinal cord injury. This holistic, person-centered approach will include a primary care physician, care coordination and behavioral health services, as well as massage, chiropractic services, acupuncture and adaptive yoga. The Neilsen Foundation’s Sustainable Impact Project grants are intended to launch or augment impactful programs by encouraging out-of-thebox ideas and streamlined solutions that address important gaps in service for families and individuals affected by a spinal cord injury. SEE BRIEFS, P17


Dealing With Real Estate Can Be Overwhelming for Senior Citizens

good enough, it’s still worth paying a nominal In terms of real estate, there are three amount for professional assistance with the common scenarios for seniors. transaction, but if the offered price is not  Downsizing from a long-time family home appropriate, you will get more for your home to a smaller condo, townhome or patio home. if you allow the agent to list it and get com Moving into “independent living” or “assist- peting offers for it. If a real estate agent contacts you sayed living” ing he/she has a buyer for your house, it’s  Moving in with younger relatives Realtors like myself and my broker associ- reasonable to offer 2.8% (the accepted buyates can help with selling your current home er’s agent co-op commission), but do not list and buying that condo, townhome or patio your home with that agent. It could be a home, but we are ill equipped to help select ploy to get you to list, after which you’ll be the best facility for independent or assisted told that the “buyer” found another home. If you want to buy a replacement home living. And published guides of such facilities after selling yours, be sure to use the same are nothing more than paid advertising. agent for both transactions. That way you Fortunately, there are professionals who specialize in helping seniors select the facility can negotiate a lower commission on the that best fits their needs. When I have a list- sale of your current home because the agent ing appointment with a senior who hasn’t is earning a commission on your replacealready committed to such a facility, I like to ment home. The agent you select to do both bring Jenn Gomer with me, because she transactions should be the best agent for provides that service. If you don’t need our listing your current home, not the agent for real estate services, you can reach her di- the home you’re buying. For example, let’s say you live in Lakerectly at (720) 675-8308. Jenn’s services are free to you. She is paid by the facility and wood or Denver and find a home you want to has contracts with almost all the facilities on buy in Parker. Let’s also say you don’t have the front range. This ensures you find a new a buyer’s agent, and the listing agent in Parhome that can provide the care you need, in ker offers to give you a good deal on listing your home in Lakewood or Denver. Not a your price range, for as long as you need. If you own your current home, you have good idea! How will he service your listing? probably received solicitations to sell it. Al- Instead, find the best listing agent for your low me to give you some advice about how current home, and negotiate a reduced comto handle such solicitations. If you sell your mission in return for having that agent reprehouse in response to that solicitation, there’s sent you in the purchase of the Parker home. Readers call me regularly to ask advice on a good chance you’ll leave money on the such matters, and I’m happy to give free table, especially in our current hot market. If the solicitation comes directly from a advice regardless of whether I’m hired. In buyer instead of an agent, I suggest you fact, I enjoy hearing from my readers and call a trusted real estate professional to be giving such advice. Also, Golden Real Estate Lakewood Townhome With 2-Car Garage Is Back on Market present. The real estate agent can tell you has created a 20-minute PowerPoint presenThis home was featured a couple weeks ago what your house might sell for if you put it on tation which we offer to senior groups. Call $235,000 and went under contract in just 4 days with an the market for all to see and bid on. If you me if you know a group that would be interinvestor. Prior to inspecting, however, that don’t want to list, and that private offer is ested. investor decided the property did not suit his investment criteria and he terminated, so it is Jim Smith back on the market. As I write this we have Broker/Owner already been told to expect an offer, but it may Golden Real Estate, Inc. still be available when this ad is published. DIRECT: 303-525-1851 Verify that by checking this home’s website at 9282 W. Utah Pl. Lakewood EMAIL: This 2-bed17695 South Golden Road, Golden 80401 room, 2-bath townhome has two patios, a main-floor laundry (machines not included) and a All Agents Are EcoBrokers WEBSITE: partially finished basement. Tenant is on month-to-month lease at $1,625 per month. Every so often I get to assist an elderly (using another agent) so she could further person with his or her real estate needs. profiteer from her “caregiving.” Some of them share with me how they have In another case, for more than three years been victimized in various ways REAL ESTATE a homeless senior would drop by or how someone has exploited my office asking me to show him TODAY them financially. some multi-million dollar home It is hard enough for homebecause he was expecting a $23 owners in the prime of life to deal million “inheritance” from Nigeria, with the complications of selling where he was wiring his entire and/or buying real estate, so you Social Security income each can imagine what it must be like month to pay for “expenses” in for an elderly person — especialbringing the money to America. I ly if they wait until health or other escorted this man personally to circumstances require it. the DA’s office, where experts in “Aging in place” is great when such crimes tried in vain to conyou can make it work for you, but vince him he was being conned, make sure you have a support By JIM SMITH, but nothing could convince him Realtor® system, because it’s highly likely that this wasn’t “the real deal.” that at some point you’ll have to leave your He has been sending his Social Security home, and then what do you do? income to Nigeria for nearly a decade, totalBy a “support system,” I mean someone ing well over $40,000 by my calculation, who can act on your behalf with integrity — while living under a bridge and using the ideally a trusted family member. public library’s computer to correspond with There are unscrupulous people, sad to his scammers, who devised new reasons say, who befriend elderly persons and invest each month for him to send more money. time in winning their trust so they can exploit I share that man’s story in case it rings them. This is particularly easy when there Is true with someone reading this article. Such no nearby relative to care for them. A few scammers are ruining the lives of so many years ago I listed a bungalow in Lakewood trusting senior citizens. after its elderly (and senile) owner died. His So, yes, seniors are exploited and victimout of state son thought it would be a ized, and often it concerns real estate. While straightforward matter to close out his estate you’re still of sound mind and body, make until he discovered that some “caregiver” had sure you take measures that don’t leave you convinced his father to make her a cosigner vulnerable when that’s no longer the case. on his bank accounts — which she drained There are some great senior support organi— and to sign a will bequeathing his car and zations you can consult, such as Seniors home to her. The court reluctantly upheld her Resource Center (303-832-1622). You can claim to the house, which she then sold find several other agencies serving seniors at

4 Lakewood Sentinel

February 16, 2017F

Pleasant View Elementary will close Peck, Swanson, Stober and Pennington elementary schools will stay open BY SHANNA FORTIER SFORTIER@COLORADOCOMMUNITYMEDIA.COM

Jeffco Board of Education will move forward with closing Pleasant View Elementary School in Golden next school year. Other schools that had been considered for closure — Peck Elementary in Arvada, Pennington Elementary in Wheat Ridge, Stober Elementary in Lakewood, and Swanson Elementary in Arvada — will stay open. “The most difficult decision any school district makes is a school closure,” said board member Ali Lasell. “I’m not looking forward to any closures.” The five elementary schools in Jefferson County were placed on a possible closure list following the Jan. 26 Board of Education budget cut discussion. The board made decisions on how to move forward at the Feb. 9 meeting, which drew 150 public speakers. The closure recommendations come after the the board named teacher compensation as its number one priority following the failure of ballot measures 3A/3B on November’s ballot. The proposed closures were part of an effort to save between $20 million and $25

Peck Elementary parents gather outside the Jeffco Schools building before the Feb. 9 board meeting. The Jeffco Board of Education voted around 11 p.m. to keep the school open. SHANNA FORTIER million, with the goal of spending that amount on attracting and retraining high-quality educators. Jeffco teacher salaries average about $10,000 less than their peers in surrounding districts. Closing all five elementary schools would have given the school district an ongoing savings of $3.5 million. Just closing Pleasant View — a school named on the closure list last year also — will save the district $662,742 each year. The board decision not to move the shift of sixth-graders to middle school next year ahead of schedule, opens up money in the budget to allow some schools to stay open, board member Amanda Stevens said.

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Pleasant View The school board voted unanimously to move forward with the closure of Pleasant View Elementary in Golden. Students from Pleasant View will be reallocated to Shelton and Welchester Elementary Schools for the 2017-18 school year. The board approved of spending one-time dollars to place mental health support staff at each absorbing school to help students adjust during the transition year. The Pleasant View school building on W. 10th Ave. is 67 years old, the oldest of all schools on this year’s closure list. It has a facility condition index rating of 29 percent — a fair rating. This was the

third time in six years the school was named for possible closure. Previously, repeated outcry from the community had kept the school open. “They were loud and clear last year that they didn’t want their school closed,” Lasell said. “I regret to say that their enrollment continues to drop. Just being on a closure list that will happen. So I’m concerned about that.” Low enrollment and aging building conditions were cited as the main reasons this school specifically was targeted for closure. Enrollment at Pleasant View suffered going into the 2016-17 school year — a total of 222 students enrolled at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year, the lowest number since 2000. Because Pleasant View serves such a large percentage of low-income students, it receives federal monies as a Title 1 school, a designation that means many of its students come from lowincome households and need additional resources to ensure academic success. During the 2015-16 school year, 67.2 percent of Pleasant View students were on a free lunch program and 10.5 percent were on a reduced lunch program. Only 55 of the 294 students were not eligible for free or reduced lunch assistance. There was concern from the board about ensuring that these students still SEE CLOSURE, P24

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Lakewood Sentinel 5

7February 16, 2017

New housing, retail options abound at Sloans From market-rate to affordable housing, and retail to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, project offers bevy of amenities BY CLARKE READER CREADER@COLORADOCOMMUNITYMEDIA.COM

On the site of the former St. Anthony Central Hospital campus, a new kind of living experience is rising through the dirt and rubble. On the 18-acre campus, directly south of Sloan’s Lake and north of West Colfax, between Stuart Street and Perry Street and just a few blocks east of Lakewood and Edgewater, apartment and office buildings, townhomes and retail opportunities are coming together in a new development called Sloans Denver. “The goal was to create a lot of income points, with a cross section of housing options,” said Cameron Bertron, executive vice president with EnviroFinance Group, the Denverbased development group that is the site’s master developer. “We wanted this area to be a neighborhood of front doors, even with retail coming in.” St. Anthony moved to Union Boulevard in Lakewood in 2011, and for several years the former location sat empty. EnviroFinance purchased the property in 2013, and started holding neighborhood meetings to get a sense of what neighbors wanted to see in the area. “Driving to work along the east end of West Colfax, it seemed like they were tearing down buildings all the time,” said Colleen Rapp, who lives nearby in Lakewood and has taken a great interest in the project. “It’s incredible once you see what it’s going to be. It’s going to be such an improvement and make the area so much better.” EnviroFinance held dozens of meeting with residents, Bertron said, and the company heard that people were looking for open space and a variety

The Perry Row townhomes by Prospect Developers are being built at the Sloans Denver development and will bring 64 two-to-three bedroom townhomes to the area. PHOTOS BY CLARKE READER

of housing and retail options. “It is a fairly dense development, but we thought we could embrace that and do something new with housing and retail together,” he said. “It was after these meetings we decided to go mixed-use, learning toward residential, and mixed-income housing, leaning toward market rate.” Upper-scale developers like NAVA Real Estate and Trammell Crow Residential are bringing in luxury apartments with the Lakehouse and Alexan at Sloans, while the Denver Housing Authority will be converting the one St. Anthony building that wasn’t demolished into affordable housing for seniors. The Alexan is already open and about 80 percent leased, according to Paul Suter, with Suter Media Relations. The Perry Row townhomes by Propsect Developers are currently being built and will bring 64 two-to-three bedroom townhomes to the area. “These homes have a very ‘lock-andleave’ vibe, where everything is taken care of,” said Deviree Vallejo, a broker with Kentwood City Properties. “The benefit of this site is everything is new. You can walk outside your door and have a lot of retail in a block or two, and it’s just a few blocks away

The Alexan at Sloans apartments in the Sloans Denver development are open and taking residents. The project is one of the new housing options available at the new development.

from the W Rail line.” On the retail side of the project, the biggest draw is the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, currently under construction and slated to open in early summer. The Alexan has room on its first floor for businesses, and most of those will go to restaurants like Sloan’s Tap and Burger, which is already open. “We wanted an approach that was different from places where there are large anchor tenants,” said Jonathan Bush, a principal with Littleton

Capital Partners. “We’re looking to create a retail district that offers food and entertainment options to complement all the housing.” There is one office building at Raleigh Street and 16th Avenue, and businesses like LoHi Physical Therapy are ready to move in. “In addition to physical and occupational therapy, we do a lot of community clinics around running and wellness,” said Karen Voss, co-owner and occupational therapist at LoHi. “We’re looking forward to bringing our running programs to a vibrant, active community that already uses Sloan’s Lake.” Even though the development is not in Lakewood, its proximity to the city still makes it a benefit for the community, said Robert Smith, Lakewood’s economic development manager. “The interest we’re seeing shows there’s a desire for this kind of development moving west,” he said. “A rising tide lifts all shifts, and the Sloans’ residents will be spending time in Lakewood.” Sloans Denver will be a hive of activity until the project is completely finished sometime in early 2019, but many are eager to see what the future holds. “Things are changing, but when you can build good things like this, I think they should be celebrated,” Rapp said. “This will help everyone in the area.”

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6 Lakewood Sentinel

February 16, 2017F

Getting out the artistic word on the street Second annual 40W Summit helps set goals, priorities BY CLARKE READER CREADER@COLORADOCOMMUNITYMEDIA.COM

It’s early in the year, but the 40 West Arts District wants to make 2017 its best year yet by bringing in more people with unique artistic offerings. And to get the best idea of what will draw in residents and visitors, the

district hosted its second 40W Summit at the Pure Colorado Event Center on Feb. 9. About two dozen community arts leaders and supporters provided feedback to the district. “We’re all looking forward to the process and progress we will all make as a community,” said Bill Marino, chairman of 40 West Arts. Liz Black, executive director for 40 West, said looking to 2017 and 2018, the district is focusing on two things — experience and engagement, which include cultivating active participation. To that end, attendees gave their thoughts on three topics — place-mak-

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ing, art walk creative experiences and 40 West outreach. We went along to the three stations, and here’s what attendees were saying: Place-making — Attendees were asked to share their opinions on logos and branding to let visitors know they’re visiting one of 40 West’s creative venues. Options included automotive themes, arts-based designs and vintage designs. They were also asked what large iconic art installation, like Denver’s Blue Bear, they would like to see in the district. “I really like the retro-style signage,” said Lauri Innes, owner of the Gallery of Everything in Lakewood. “For the large installation, I thought something like the Davie’s Chuck Wagon Diner cowboy. I work right across the street from their second location, and whenever I see it, I think of home, which for me is Lakewood.” Art walk creative experiences — The district hosts arts events yearround, but they throw three big art walks during the summer and early fall — in March, June and October. So at this station, visitors provided feedback on what they would like to see at coming events. “I suggested something like SUMI-E, a Japanese brush art, which is something you don’t really see in the area,” said Bob Autobee, of the cultural resources firm Autobee & Autobee. “Every year we’ve involved with the art walk, they find new ways to try

‘We’re all looking forward to the process and progress we will all make as a community.’ Bill Marino, chairman of 40 West Arts something different and outside the box.” 40 West outreach — One of the biggest goals for the district is bringing more people in, not just Lakewood residents, but regional visitors as well. So attendees were asked to consider how they hear about what’s going on in 40 West, and how to spread the word to more people. “A lot of the time, neighborhoods don’t know what’s happening, even though it’s so close,” said Cindy Haase, a local artist. “Finding ways for neighborhoods to be plugged in would be great, and I really like what I heard about more Spanish outreach, and getting the word to schools.”

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8 Lakewood Sentinel

February 16, 2017F


Jeffco sets salary for new superintendent search BY SHANNA FORTIER SFORTIER@COLORADOCOMMUNITYMEDIA.COM







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The Jefferson County Board of Education set the advertised base salary for its new superintendent at $300,000. “Three hundred does seem like a lot, but I absolutely want the best,” said board member Ali Lasell. The salary advertisement came from a recommendation from Gary Ray, president of Ray & Associates — the consulting firm hired by the district to aid in the search. “I know that takes peoples breath away,” Ray said of the $300,000 proposed salary. “If you keep the salary low, then you might be the training ground for superintendents.” Ray presented the board with data from similar sized districts throughout the country that placed the average Superintendent salary for 2017-18 at $326,120. Current Jeffco Superintendent Dan McMinimee’s contract with Jeffco Schools lists his base salary as $220,000 with up to an additional $40,000 of performance pay bonuses. His contract expires June 30, and the Board voted Jan. 12 not to renew that contract, but instead move forward with a national superintendent search. Board members voted Jan. 12, to en-

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gage in a search for a new superintendent and not renew McMinimee, whose contact expires in July. McMinimee became superintendent of Jeffco Schools in July 2014, replacing longtime Superintendent Cindy Stevenson. An original district timeline on hiring a new Jeffco Schools Superintendent had a finalist being selected in May. However, the Jeffco Board of Education felt that was too far away. Board President Ron Mitchell requested that the final selection be moved up to April. “I would be in favor of that,” Lasell said. “I would like to have the largest candidate pool that we can.” The next step in the search process is to get the community involved. An online survey seeking community input on the qualities desired in a superintended launched Feb. 9. The school board will also be asked to take the same survey, said Amy Weber, chief human resources officer for Jeffco Schools. “I believe our board is absolutely committed to an open transparent process in hiring a new superintendent,” said board president Ron Mitchell. “Our goal here is to select the strongest leader we can find moving Jeffco forward.”

Lakewood Sentinel 9

7February 16, 2017


When Angela Wolfmeier-Gibson woke up in Lutheran Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit this past July, she couldn’t remember why she was there. She and her husband, Todd Gibson, had come to the hospital to deliver their first child and had opted to have a C-section after almost two days of waiting. “At first I thought I had fallen,” Wolfmeier-Gibson said. “I didn’t remember anything, but I was

speechless when I heard what had happened.” As it turned out, she had hemorrhaged so badly after her C-section that she need 167 units of blood to save her life. Her daughter, Olivia, was safe and healthy, but for several days, it was touch and go for Wolfmeier-Gibson. On Feb. 6, Wolfmeier-Gibson, her husband, daughter and parents returned to Lutheran for cake, snacks and more than a few tears and hugs with the medical and nursing teams that saved her life. “So many of them I don’t remem-

ber, so I’m telling them all ‘nice to meet you, and thank you for taking care of me,’ ” Wolfmeier-Gibson said. “Olivia is absolutely amazing, and the reason I’m meant to be here.” Olivia and her mother were certainly the center of attention, with nurses exclaiming how big she had gotten over the past six months, and how much better Wolfmeier-Gibson looked since everyone saw her last. “I feel like we never get to see people after the fact,” said ICU nurse Mary Simonds, who came in on her day off to see the family. The Wolfmeier-Gibson family was

more than happy to see everyone, and Diana Wolfmeier, Wolfmeier-Gibson’s mother, made a point to give every nurse a tearful hug. “All the doctors and nurses were amazing,” Gibson said. “They went above and beyond for all of us during the whole experience.” The experience taught WolfmeierGibson the importance of family, and giving back to those who need it. “I’m so thankful to be alive, and that’s because of the donated blood given to me,” she said. “Everyone should donate blood, because you never know when you’ll need it.”

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Angela Wolfmeier-Gibson and her mother, Diana Wolfmeier, chat with Lutheran Medical Center staff who helped saving Wolfmeier-Gibson’s life when she was hemorrhaging after a C-section. CLARKE READER

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10 Lakewood Sentinel


February 16, 2017F

VOICES Important to remember, love can make you lose your head



Michael Alcorn

wo days ago, we all celebrated, in typically gaudy secular fashion, the Feast of St. Valentine. Well, I suppose, most of us, or, many of us celebrated — I’m sure there are some out there who did not so much celebrate as use the occasion to heap scorn and anger on the opposite sex. But, that’s okay — there’s room in this celebration for, um, all manner of expressions. But, seriously, when I was younger, Valentine’s Day was little more than the fifth of six “Great Food Holidays”. Starting with Halloween, and going up through Easter,

it seems like every month or so there’s a holiday among whose chief characteristics is food … or candy … or, of course, in the case of New Year’s, beverage. As I grew older, Valentine’s Day was marked by the hope of, and, later, the celebration of, romance and relationships. And, of course, for the last 22 years, Valentine’s Day has been another opportunity to remind my lovely wife of how important she is to me, and how great the life is that we’ve built together. But, it turns out, Valentine’s Day is, in the vernacular of the Roman Catholic Church,

Here are the things that I know for sure ALCHEMY


here’s a line in “Brilliant Disguise,” a song by Bruce Springsteen, that goes: “God have mercy on the man who doubts what he’s sure of.” This poignant verse has always rung true for me, and in the current world of gaslighting and alternative facts, I have Andrea Doray found myself pondering more and more often what it is that I am truly sure of. And here is what I know for sure: The brightest lights in any city are in the hospital emergency room. Whether you are there seeking help (as I have been numerous times after mountain biking accidents), or are there with others who need help, the light is unrelenting. The glare from metal doors and instruments bounces off fluorescent bulbs, white walls and white floors. Night and day are one and they both have hard, well-lit edges, softened only by the voices and faces and hands of those who ultimately provide that help. Dogs leave us way too soon. Timber, Roget. Winston, Trouble, Cousteau. Cedar. Hickory and Casey. Daisy. Quinn. Some good-byes are harder than others. If you are a dog person (and perhaps even if you aren’t), you will understand this sentiment: If dogs don’t go to heaven, I want to go where the dogs go. My parents left me with too many questions. I was so lucky to have my parents for as long as I did, into my late 40s and early 50s. The world was a better place for their having been here. But … I wish I had asked more. About their military

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experiences – both served in the Army in World War II, my dad in Europe and North Africa, and my mom in the Philippines and New Guinea. About the details of their young lives, his in Louisville, Ken., and hers in Chicago. I wish I had learned more about their parents, and their parents. I wish I had asked more, and then listened more. Everybody needs a GoPro. I’m convinced that each of us rides a different path and that it would be extraordinarily instructive if we could actually experience one another’s. I’d like a GoPro camera on my mountain biking helmet and on my rockclimbing helmet so I could take you with me, so you would understand the hows and the whys of each decision I make on a challenging trail or a slippery slope. And perhaps more importantly, you could share your journeys with me, and I could begin to understand your hows and your whys. Human rights are … the rights of all humans. All humans, equally, without regard to class or social status, no matter our gender or race, or who we worship or who we love. And I know this to be true: There is grave danger in abridging these rights. Too many people have fought too hard for too long, both here and abroad, for the rest of us to simply stand by and watch. Now is the time for vision, voice, and vigilance. For asking and listening. For appreciating what we have while we have it. For looking through someone else’s lens and for sharing our own. Now is the time. This is what I know for sure. Andrea Doray is a writer who is prepared to share her journey if you will share yours. Contact her at

the feast of St. Valentin of Rome. Valentin was a priest and, probably, a bishop in the region of Terni, Narnia (no, not THAT Narnia), and Amelia in Italy in the 3rd Century, A.D. His feast was instituted some time close to 500, A.D., and archeologists have unearthed structures and artifacts that were dedicated to him dating some time around 500. Much of his life is shrouded in doubt, because, apparently, CNN and the New York Times hadn’t gotten around to

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The challenge to Medicare It is hard to believe that our nation celebrated Medicare’s 50th anniversary just over a year ago, yet there is now a movement in Congress to drastically change this successful program. Don’t be fooled. The push for a Medicare voucher system, sometimes called premium support, is an effort to shift costs onto 785,398 Coloradans enrolled in Medicare; a number that is quickly rising. In other words, our seniors will be paying more to receive needed medical care – if you can even afford it under a voucher system and if access is granted (no guarantee). More people will be forced to choose between health care and other necessities. Currently the average Colorado senior with an annual income of $25,000 spends about one of every three dollars on health care. Getting sick will become riskier than ever. When he was running for president, Donald Trump pledged to protect Medicare and recognized its importance to older Americans who depend on it. We are now depending on Congress to stand by President Trump’s promise to protect Medicare. Rising healthcare costs are a problem for Americans of all ages and political views. A solution needs to be responsibly addressed. Our nation has been well served by a strong Medicare program that keeps care affordable for seniors. A proposed voucher system would dramatically increase costs for older Americans at a time in life when they least can afford it. Please consider engaging in this conversation by voicing your views to our Representatives and Senators. It is important to our seniors and the younger generations. Shirley J Leow, Lakewood Pure posturing Representative Perlmutter, as a member of the U.S. House, is simply posturing when he states his opposition to the Gorsuch nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Federal judicial nominations are only subject to the “advise and consent” of the Senate only not the House. U.S. Constitution Article II, Section II. Sean McCarthy, Arvada

Columnists & Guest Commentaries


ERIN ADDENBROOKE Majors/Classified Manager

Columnist opinions are not necessarily those of the Sentinel.

We welcome letters to the editor. Please Include your full name, address and the best number to reach you by telephone.

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Lakewood Sentinel A legal newspaper of general circulation in Jefferson County, Colorado, the Lakewood Sentinel is published weekly on Thursday by West Suburban Community Media, 722 Washington Ave, Unit 210, Golden, CO 80401. Send address change to: 9137 S. Ridgeline Blvd., Suite 210, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Lakewood Sentinel 11

7February 16, 2017


opening up their Roman bureaus at that time yet. But, there are some things historians believe they know about the man. For one thing, they agree that he was executed by the Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus some time between 269 and 280 A.D. Generally speaking, they agree that his martyrdom was because he refused to renounce his faith, whether by some grand press release, or by simply sacrificing to pagan gods. Some histories hold that he was imprisoned, and, while in prison, became friends with the emperor. At some point along the way, he attempted to convert the emperor, at which point Claudius flew into a rage and had him beaten and beheaded. I’ve had friends like that. But, the reason we celebrate his life and death in the manner we do is that one of the reasons that Valentin



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was imprisoned was because he secretly married Christians. This was, well, in ancient Rome, a bad thing—remember, Christians of that era were known to die in the Colisseum in the jaws of lions. The exact reason he would marry them is not known, whether it was simply to confer the sacrament upon followers, or because, by marrying them, the men would not be required to go to war. Whatever the case, the act of marrying them got Valentin imprisoned, and then executed. Quite a thing, that. To believe so strongly in the power of love that he was willing to go to his death for it. So, whether Tuesday brought you candy and flowers and celebrations, or frustration, now you know that, at one point in history, love brought one man a beating and a beheading … and eternal glory. Love is, indeed, a many splendored thing! Michael Alcorn is a teacher and writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His novels are available at

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February 16, 2017F

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Lakewood Sentinel 13

7February 16, 2017

New state law will help protect children from predators GUEST COLUMN

Jessie Danielson


helping prosecutors do their job. One of those barriers is a current requirement in state law that when a predator victimizes a child in more than one judicial district in Colorado, a separate trial must be held in each jurisdiction where an offense occurred. This means potentially re-traumatizing a child for each trial while costing untold taxpayer dollars in order to pursue justice for pattern offenders. That’s a lot of expensive red tape which just delays justice.

ny time a child is victimized by a sexual predator it is a tragedy for the victim and a vile crime that deserves swift punishment. When a child is assaulted multiple times by a pattern offender, law enforcement must be able to use every tool at their disposal to remove the predator from society. When there are bureaucratic barriers making it harder to hold sexual predators accountable, it is our job in the state legislature to break them down so we care

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That is why I am sponsoring bipartisan legislation that will allow prosecutors to try a sexassault-on-a-child defendant on all charges committed anywhere in Colorado in any one county where a child was victimized. Passing this law will help prosecutors get justice for victims more quickly and at less cost to taxpayers. This is just one common sense way that Democrats and Republicans at the state capitol are working together to help law enforcement do their

jobs — making our communities safer and protecting children from predators. State Rep. Jessie Danielson serves House District 24, which includes Golden, Wheat Ridge and other Jefferson County communities. She is Speaker Pro Tem of the State House. To find out more about Rep. Danielson’s community events or to talk to her directly, call her cell at 720276-3468 or visit

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Little library,

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lots of

community Todd Walsh, his wife, Kristi, and their two daughters, Maya and Nora, created two Little Free Libraries for their Lakewood community. Todd gets requests to build Little Free Libraries from neighbors and the school he works at frequently. COURTESY PHOTO

Trend helps create connections while boosting love of reading BY STEPHANIE MASON SMASON@COLORADOCOMMUNITYMEDIA.COM


fter the bus drops her off from school, London Branch, 5, runs to her Little Free Library box to look for a new

book. “It is almost like a treasure box, you never know what you are going to discover,” said Fernando Branch, London’s father. Rewind to spring break 2016. Fernando, a principal at Noel Community Art School, decided to spend his weeklong break to complete a project with his daughters that would benefit the community. Despite the cold weather and 1-yearold daughter Lauren’s persistence in stealing the wood glue, Fernando and his family built their Little Free Library and put it up in front of their home on South Madison Circle in Centennial in mid-January. Building the box is a memory he will always have with his daughters, Fernando said. London adores keeping track of what is new. For both of his daughters, their favorite book found in their library, so far, has been “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. “She runs over there to see if some-

NOT JUST FOR YOUNG FAMILIES Young families are not the only Little Free Library lovers. Josh Beers, 17, from Golden employed his Boy Scout troup to build some for the community. Each year, Boy Scouts plan, fund and complete service projects to earn their Eagle Scout badges. Josh’s mom told him about a Little Free Library she came across on her walk and, after some research, Josh decided to make a few for his service project.

MAKE YOUR OWN ganized members from Troop 130 in Golden to construct three little libraries. “I organized everything and taught everyone what to do,” Josh said. “It was really easy.”

On, a variety of alreadybuilt library hutches are available for purchase. For those interested in building a Little Free Library, the website offers resources, support and inspiration.

After planting the libraries in front of a church, an apartment complex and within a community, Josh found that each library is sustaining itself.

In addition, you can find the Little Free Library nearest to you by going to the same website and clicking on “map.”


With blueprint help from his father, Josh or-

“Now I can say that I found that they are being taken care of,” Josh said. “Sometimes they get a little empty, but there is always that person who will come and put a ton of books in.”

one has put something in there that she wants,” Fernando said. “I love to see that it started an enthusiasm for reading in her.” Fernando also is excited about the response from his neighbors. “While I was out there with the girls measuring, people would stop and ask what we were doing,” Fernando said. “It started so many conversations.” Conversations at the box go beyond a friendly “hello.” He finds the Little Free Library to be a way for people to learn about the diversities found in his own neighborhood. He believes it brings people together with similarities. “When we engage in these projects with our families, it encourages the American values that we share,” Fernando said. “The core of reading is

education. As a society, we are really quick to point out the differences of us all. But if we focus on the love of the things we share in common, like the love to read and educate ourselves — that is a unifier.” The Little Free Library is, at its core, a small-scale neighborhood book exchange. A structure sheltering between 20 to 60 books is built or purchased by a community member and planted in the community. Whoever comes across a Little Free Library is welcome to either take a book or leave a book. Margret Aldrich, media and programming director at the Little Free Library nonprofit organization, based in Hudson, Wisconsin, said the library becomes self-sustaining. All family-friendly reading materials

“I liked the idea of a self-sufficient library,” Josh said. “It was like an experiment.”

In late January, the Little Free Library started the Action Book Club. This club encourages participants to engage with their community by reading books on timely topics, engaging in lively conversations and committing to community service projects. Different book clubs can communicate online. To sign up an Action Book Club of your own, visit

are welcome in the exchange. Self-help, Westerns, science fiction, picture books and many more genres are encouraged to circulate through the libraries. The first Little Free Library was built in Hudson, Wisconsin, in 2009 by Tod Bol in tribute to his book-loving mother. The Little Free Library became a nonprofit in 2012. The little library trend has grown to 50,000 set-ups in 50 states and in 70 SEE LIBRARY, P13

Lakewood Sentinel 15

7February 16, 2017


Swallow Hill gives new songwriters a chance to shine ne of the trickiest things about being a musician is getting your music out there where people can actually

hear it. And while there’s a slew of online platforms to host music for free, that doesn’t mean people will hear it. That’s where Swallow Hill Music comes in. For the ninth year, the organization is hosting its annual Young Writers Competition for performers in middle and high school. “Submissions have to be original lyrics that can be performed live,” said Cheri Gonzales, director of Swallow Hill’s school operations. “The biggest prize for our winners is the opportunity to perform at our venues, and to have some time in a professional recording studio.” But for Thomas Koenigs, who won the contest in 2015, there was a greater prize. “Winning wasn’t the most important thing, although it was very gratifying,” he remembered. “For me, the best part was meeting all these people, and making some crazy important connections.” Swallow Hill is accepting submis-


countries. Colorado is home to more than 600 Little Free Libraries. According to Aldrich, the libraries become community hubs. There is no style guide dictating the appearance of a Little Free Library. Though the usual structure resembles a birdhouse or a dollhouse, people are encouraged to be creative. There are Little Free Libraries y that are brightly painted or shaped like robots, police-call boxes, whales, log cabins and rowboats. A $40 registration fee puts the library on the website’s official community map and database. The company sends an

sions until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24. Gonzales said the nonprofit usually receives about 20 to 30 submissions, and from there 10 contestants are selected to perform live on April 1, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Denver. Clarke Reader There are no genre limitations for entry, and over the years participants have included a cappella, solo singer-songwriters, duos and groups. “It’s really whatever the performer feels is the best way to express themselves,” she said. “We’ve had people who take the Bob Dylan, solo acoustic guitar route, to multi-instrumentalists who are able to pull off really dynamic performances.” For Koenigs, music was a way to channel his interest in writing and appreciation for artists like Dylan and Creedence Clearwater Revival. “I’d taken some rock classes, but had only written some basic chord progressions,” he said. “It was nerve-

official “Little Free Library” sign and an information and resource packet. The trend also helps the homeless, who may not have access to books at conventional libraries because they have no address, Aldrich said. Love at first sight Five years ago, Todd Walsh, his wife and their two daughters spent a vacation visiting friends. During a walk, they discovered a Little Free Library. The family instantly fell in love with the idea. Three summers later, Walsh was hammering the nails into his own Little Free Library for his home on West Applewood Knolls Drive in Lakewood. “Where we live in Lakewood, our house is right on the corner and it is a popular route to a park,” Walsh said.

CLARKE’S ALBUM OF THE WEEK Selection: Ryan Adams’ “Prisoner” released on Pax Am/Blue Note records. Review: Adams’ first album of new material since 2014, “Prisoner” is a moving and heartfelt exploration of loves ending and beginning, at least partly inspired by his divorce from Mandy Moore in 2015. The album showcases some of Adams’ best and most devastating songwriting, and anyone wracking to get up and perform something I had written, but everyone was so friendly, and helped me get better.” The professional performance and recording opportunities are a great boon to its winners, Gonzales said, but any occasion to play music live is a plus. “For a lot of contestants, they’re just getting started in the professional music process,” she said. “Giving them a chance to put their work out there is very important, and we make sure everyone is very encouraging throughout the process.” Currently, Koenigs is studying English literature, but the people he met in the competition are still a part of his life.

“We have a lot of foot traffic.” The Slater Elementary School teacher only had time to work on the project while his daughters Maya, 6, and Nora, 4, were napping. While working on the project, Walsh’s neighbor walked across the street to see what was going on. The two discussed the Little Free Library and decided that their neighborhood needed not one, but two of the book hubs. Walsh completed both projects after a month of work. One is dedicated solely to housing children’s books while the other, directly across the street, holds books for teen and adult readers. “It has been amazing and we have loved it,” Walsh said. “It has been a great way for us to meet people. It is a great conversation starter. We watch

who has suffered a broken heart while find a line or two that hits like a punch to the gut. But for both Adams and the listener, there’s also beauty and release to be found in music. Favorite song: “Shiver and Shake” Best homage to Bruce Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love”: “Tightrope” “The whole environment for this was so supportive,” he said. “There’s no downside to taking a chance and trying this.” For more information, and submission guidelines, visit Clarke Reader’s column on how music connects to our lives appears every other week. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he admires anyone who performs their material live. Check out his music blog at And share your performance stores at creader@

from the windows and love seeing families on bike rides stop and take books.” Walsh did not stop building at two little libraries. The Slater Elementary sixthgraders, as a tradition, leave a contribution to their school before advancing to middle school. They commissioned Walsh in 2016 to make a Little Free Library for the school. To this day, passersby knock on Walsh’s door and ask him about the little library outside his home. Many people ask him to make a little library for their neighborhoods miles away. “It really is a conversation starter,” Walsh said. “Normally someone might say ‘hello,’ but now we have gotten to know so many of our neighbors because we have something to talk about.”

London and Lauren Branch helped their father, Fernando, build a Little Free Library for the Centennial neighborhood they live in. COURTESY PHOTO

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16 Lakewood Sentinel



[PHOTO: Christine and the Phantom of the Opera perform through Feb. 18 at the Colorado ACTS Theatre.] ‘Phantom of the Opera’: 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18 and 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at Colorado ACTS, 11455 W. Interstate 70 Frontage Road North, Wheat Ridge. Nonmusical version. For tickets and information, call 303-456-6772 or go to

[PHOTO] ‘Billy Elliot The Musical’: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays, from Feb. 24 to March 12 at Center Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, Evergreen, with an additional performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, at the Colorado Ballet Black Box Theater, 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver. Tickets available at or call 303-674-4002. Rated PG-13 for mature situations and language.

Children’s Theatre Production of ‘Robin Hood’: 1 p.m. Saturdays through March 4 at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave., Golden. Call for weekday performance availability. Call 303-9353044 or go to For ages 12 and under, and the people who love them.

Regional Premiere of ‘HIR’: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through March 5 at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave., Golden. Shows also planned at 7:30 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 12, Feb. 19 and Feb. 26. Call 303-935-3044 or go to www.


Groove N’ Motion Performance: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Forney Museum of Transportation, 4303 Brighton Blvd., Denver. Full access to the museum, light hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, and a performance of classics from Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, and Tower of Power, as well as current well-known hits. Tickets are available at: https://events.r20. entReg?oeidk=a07edi7d91yd778 0534&oseq=&c=&ch=. Contact Scott at 303-521-8206 or scott@ for information.

this week’s TOP FIVE Nonfiction Book Club Looks at the Hillbilly Culture: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Lakewood Meridian, 10695 W. 17th Ave., Lakewood. Read “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” by J.D. Vance, then join the Jeffco League of Women Voters nonfiction book club for the discussion. Natural Hacks to Support Healthy Mood: 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at Natural Grocers at Vitamin Cottage, Northwest Store, 7745 N. Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada. Gain a new understanding of the complexities that play a role in supporting a healthy mood or hindering it. Nutritional, supplemental, environmental, lifestyle and other key factors will be discussed. Contact Kate Sheets at 303-423-0990.

Month. Tickets available at www.JeffSymphony. org, by calling 303-278-4237 or at the door. Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club: 7-9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 20, at Davies’ Chuck Wagon Diner, 10151 W. 26th Ave., Lakewood. Speaker is Dan McMinimee, “What is the `how did, what is and how should’ of a major school district’s finding a superintendent?” Students, youth and women invited and welcome. Contact Fred Holden, president, at 303-421-7619. Go to http://

Jazz Trumpeter Rob Miles Joins JSO: 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 at Colorado School of Mines Green Center, 924 16th St., Golden. Jefferson Symphony Orchestra celebrates Black History


Watercolor and Tea: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 and Wednesday, March 1, at Majestic View Nature Center, 7030 Garrison St., Arvada. Express the beauty of nature through different watercolor techniques. Experiment with dry brushes, salt, rubber cement, and enjoy tea as we create scenes from nature. Instructor is David Sullivan. Go to to register. Explore Mythical Creatures Through Art: 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesdays through March 15 at Majestic View Nature Center, 7030 Garrison St., Arvada. Ages 3-6 years. Ages 6-14 years. Register at ‘Damage’ Art Exhibit: open through February 2018 at Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, in the mezzanine near the library. Denver artist Sharon Brown’s exhibit features psychologically charged paintings created mostly from photographs. Go to EVENTS Unearthing Colorado: 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Majestic View Nature Center, 7030 Garrison St., Arvada. Learn techniques and clues to have a successful rock hunt around Colorado and Wyoming. Sign up by Feb. 16. Visit to register. Legislative Town Meeting: 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 18 at Covenant Village, 9153 Yarrow St., Westminster. Reps.

Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Lang Sias, and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger will discuss senior’s issues. Contact or 303866-2950. Spiritual, Not Religious: noon and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Lifetree Café, 5675 Field St., Arvada. William Paul Young, author of “The Shack,” will discuss via filmed interview the difference between being spiritual and being religious. Nearly 30 percent of Americans identify themselves as spiritual but not religious, and the trend is growing. Young’s bestseller has prompted a national discussion of the difference between spirituality and religion. Contact Polly Wegner at 303-4244454 or pwegner@ Winter Survival: Night with a Naturalist: 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Majestic View Nature Center, 7030 Garrison St., Arvada. Join Naturalist Angela Borland to explore the world of winter and leave with suggestions of how and where you can enjoy the Colorado Front Range this winter. Visit public-classes to register. Girls in S.T.E.M. Contest: Open to girls in grades 5-8. Final presentations are Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the Golden Library. Winners will be honored at the International Women’s Day Luncheon on Wednesday, March 8. Individuals or groups of up to 4 may enter. Contact Stephanie Douglas at 303-235-5275 for details.

20 Steps to Selling Your Own Home: 6:30-7:45 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20 at America’s Wellness Clinic Meeting Room, 441 Wadsworth Blvd., Ste. 101, Lakewood. Bring a dessert or appetizer to share. Workshop is free. Led by a licensed Realtor. Register at www. or call 303489-9217.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland: 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Ralston Central Park, 5850 Garrison St. Meet at the pavilion. Adults and children will enjoy this walk along Ralston Creek Trail. Space is limited. Go to Arvada. org/public-classes to register. Buffalo Bill Birthday Party: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at The Rock Rest, 16005 S. Golden Road, Golden. Get on your Old West and celebrate with 100s of re-enactors. Live music. Free cake. Door prizes and more. Contact David or Lee at monarchproductions@

Jeffco Spellbinders: beginning Feb. 27, trainings consist of four half-day sessions. Jeffco Spellbinders are volunteers who are keeping the art of oral storytelling alive with monthly visits to schools. Visitors welcome at the meetings, which are from 1-3 p.m. the third Monday of each month at Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church, 7530 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge. Go to www.spellbinders. org or call LaRene at 303-4317906. Jeffco International Women’s Day Luncheon: Wednesday, March 8 at Denver West Marriott, 1717 Denver West Blvd., Golden. Keynote speaker is Dr. Tracy

February 16, 2017F

B Camp, Colorado School of Mines. Tickets on sale now. Sponsorships available. Go to http://www. [PHOTO] Connection between Corruption and Extremism: 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, in Littleton; and 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 18, at Westland Meridian, 10695 W. 17th Ave., Lakewood. Jeffco League of Women Voters nonfiction book club will discuss “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security,” by Sarah Chayes, NPR correspondent and foreign policy expert. Call Lynne at 303-985-5128 for information and the Wednesday meeting location. Food Pantry: open from 9-11 a.m. Wednesdays at New Apostolic Church, 5290 Vance St., Arvada, rear entrance (across the street from Beau Jo’s restaurant). Contact Gertrude at 303-902-6794.


Arvada Community Blood Drive: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20 at King of Glory Lutheran Church, 10001 W. 58th Ave., Arvada. Contact 303-363-2300 or visit St. Anthony Hospital Blood Drive: 8-9:40 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at 11600 West 2nd Place, Lakewood. Contact 303-363-2300 or visit Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Lakewood Blood Drive: 2-6:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at 6465 W. Jewell, Lakewood. Contact 303-363-2300 or visit Bone Builders, Bone Breakers: 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Natural Grocers at Vitamin Cottage, Northwest Store, 7745 N. Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada. Bones are living tissue that respond to bone building care throughout life. Support lifelong bone health knowing how to get all the nutrients your bones need. Contact Kate Sheets at 303-423-0990. Love Your Pet: Spay and Neuter: discounted fees for spay/neuter surgeries offered through February at Foothills Animal Shelter, 580 McIntyre St., Golden. Go to Spay. Contact 720-407-5215 or Editor’s note: Calendar submissions must be received by noon Thursday for publication the following week. Send listings to No attachments, please. Listings are free and run on a space-available basis.

Lakewood Sentinel 17

7February 16, 2017


Wanted: input on arts, parks and recreation An update to the Community Resources Department’s 2008 master plan is underway in the city, with the aim of setting the course for how the city can support community access to parks and play over the next five to eight years. Through a partnership with the National Research

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Center (NRC), 3,000 randomly selected Lakewood households will receive a survey in the mail, asking them about current facilities and program offerings and to identify priorities for the future. Households that receive surveys will have until March 15 to return them to NRC. For those who weren’t selected to receive a survey in the mail, an online version is available. Residents are asked to take this online survey only if they were not selected to

receive the mailed version as data will be analyzed separately. Information about Imagine Lakewood!, and the online survey on Feb. 15, can be found at Lakewood. org/Imagine. Survey information will be used to guide the development of the master plan. The plan will be presented to Lakewood’s City Council in October. For more information, contact Allison Scheck at 303-987-7872 or AllSch@

RRCC offers free tax filing services This tax season, Red Rocks Community College is partnering with the Denver-based Piton Foundation to help families become more financially secure by providing free tax preparation services through the Tax Help Colorado program. IRS-certified Red Rocks Community College students will prepare and e-file tax returns free of charge for individuals with household incomes of less than

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about $54,000 a year. The service will be offered at the college, 13300 W. 6th Ave., room 1103, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays through March 10. A list of all the Tax Help Colorado sites, as well as the locations of other free tax assistance sites in Colorado, is available by dialing 2-1-1 (it’s a free call), visiting http://www.piton. org/tax-help, or finding Tax Help Colorado on Facebook ( and Twitter (@TaxHelpCo).

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The Lakewood Sentinel, your hometown newspaper and part of the largest local media company in the state is looking to fill a full and part-time sales positions. If you strive to be a larger part of your community by meeting with business owners big and small, helping them grow their business by marketing with digital media, community newspapers, and everything in between – then we would like to meet you.

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February 16, 2017F


Some games leave a lasting impression


Lakewood’s Gabriel Dinette battles to get his leg free from the grip of Brighton’s Nathan Baca during their 152-pound weight division championship match at the Feb. 10-11 Class 5A Region 2 Wrestling Tournament. Dinette pinned Baca to win the weight division title which earned him a spot in the Feb. 16-18 state wrestling tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver. TOM MUNDS

Mustangs battle at regionals Lakewood qualifies four for state BY TOM MUNDS TMUNDS@COLORADOCOMMUNITYMEDIA.COM

Ralston Valley’s young wrestlers gave their best effort against the very tough competition at the Feb. 10-11 Class 5A Region 2 Wrestling Tournament held at Legacy High School. The Mustangs posted a number of wins as they earned 44 points to finish 14th, only one point behind Fairview and Eaglecrest that tied for 12th place. “I am proud of our guys and way they wrestled in this tournament because we are a very young team with two seniors and one junior on the roster,” Mustangs Coach Lucas Wathier said. “We are just getting started building from the bottom up with a group of young kids who work hard. We have made a ton of progress since the start of the

season. Many of our young kids are good wrestlers and since the start of the year they have learned what it takes to go out there and win matches.” Lakewood was the other area team at the Region 2 tournament. The Tigers finished fifth in the team standings as four Lakewood wrestlers qualified for state. The leading qualifier was Gabriel Dinette who won the championship at 152 pounds. Two teammates, Jake Debruyn at 182 pounds and Hayden Still at 285 pounds each finished second while Michael Inouye finished third at 220 pounds. While every Ralston Valley wrestler got his hand raised in victory some for a win on the mat and some for receiving byes in their bracket, no Mustang wrestler earned a state berth by finishing in the top four in their weight division but two came very close. Issa Grimes finished fourth at 152 pounds but lost in a wrestle-back. A wrestle-back is a match for fourth

place if the fourth place finisher and the fifth place finisher have not faced off during the tournament. Teammate Cole Jesch went through the same disappointment. He lost his first match and battled his way back through the consolation bracket to finish fourth but lost the state-qualifying spot in a wrestling back. Before his third-place match senior Issa Grimes said earning a chance to qualify for state at 152 pounds shows the progress he has made since he started wrestling for the Mustangs as a freshman. He said a coach told him once you have been a wrestler everything else in life is easy. “Getting this far in regionals is icing on the cake for me, particularly since I am a senior,” he said. “I am excited and I am thankful for the opportunity for a shot at going to state. I like wrestling and wrestling help me be a better player on our football team and it help me be a better competitor as a sprinter and long jumper for our track team.”

Swim meet, Selin won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:01.153. Ashley Van Sickle, basketball, senior, Ralston Valley: She scored 22 points to help the Mustangs defeat Cherry Creek, 70-60, in a Class 5A top-10 matchup on Feb. 11. Garrett Martin, basketball, junior, Standley

Lake: Martin scored 25 points and pulled down 20 rebounds for an impressive double double in a 70-51 Jeffco 4A conquest of Wheat Ridge on Feb. 10. Romola Dominguez, basketball, junior, Bear Creek: She made 12 of 13 free throws and wound up with 16 points in the Bears 63-40 win over Chatfield on Feb. 11.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS Adam Thislewood, basketball, junior, Golden: He connected on 69 percent of his shots and scored 24 points in the Demons’ 75-25 Jefferson County non-league rout of Littleton on Feb. 8. He scored 30 points on Feb. 11 in 55-45 win over Green Mountain. Abbey Selin, swimming, junior, D’Evelyn: In the first Class 3A State Championship

STANDOUT PERFORMERS are five athletes named from south metro area high schools. Preference is given to those making their debut on the list. To nominate an athlete, contact Jim Benton at

remember years ago, 29 to be exact, being in the Denver North gym for a memorable night of high school basketball. Manual’s Chucky Sproling set a singleOVERTIME game state record by scoring 74 points against the Vikings. Alameda’s boys basketball coach Henry Aguilar probably won’t forget the evening he spent in the North gym Feb. 6, when the Pirates outJim Benton lasted North, 95-93, in a four-overtime, non-league game. “It was like playing two games, it was a long night,” said Aguilar, who assumed the Alameda head coaching reins less than three weeks before the start of the season. “The win kind of helps bring us together. We’ve had a rough season. Four starters fouled out of the game against North and everybody was completely exhausted. We had to play the fourth overtime with four sophomores and one senior starter. That was tough.” The win helped boost Alameda’s overall record to 9-10. “The first overtime, they were up by two and our senior guard Anthony Lawson drove to the basket and hit two clutch free throws to send it to the second overtime,” Aguilar explained. “In the second overtime, we had a twopoint lead with like 20 seconds left and a younger guy took a shot when he wasn’t supposed to. The North point guard took it all the way and got a layup and sent it to the third overtime. “We hit two free throws and sent it to the last overtime. In the fourth overtime, four starters fouled out so we had four reserves. A couple of our younger players stepped up. A sophomore, Domonic Creazzi, hit a clutch three, we got fouled a couple times and made some free throws and ended up winning.” No stranger to titles Taelore Fehr knows what it takes to win a state gymnastics championship. Fehr, a 2009 Green Mountain graduate, was been hired as the new head coach for the Rams’ gymnastics program, according to Athletic Director Tommy Dodge. In 2006 and 2008, Fehr was a member of Green Mountain’s Class 5A state championship teams. The Rams were the state runner-up in 2005 and 2007. Fehr, who has been an assistant at Green Mountain for the past six years, takes control of the program that won the Class 4A state title last fall. SEE BENTON, P24

Lakewood Sentinel 19

7February 16, 2017

Delightful state meet for D’Evelyn STAFF REPORT

The 500 freestyle event is not a race for the weak. It takes real strength, stamina and cunning to make it to the wall first. Abbey Selin proves she has what it takes though, as the D’Evelyn swimmer won the 500 free Class 3A state title last week. The meet was a good one for the Jaguars all-around, with the team finishing fourth in overall points. Highlights included Selin finishing second in the 200 free,




and the team’s 200 free relay finishing second as well. The relay team consisted of Sophia Hoffman, Alyssa Russum, Jamie Lefevre and the anchor swimmer, Selin. The Jaguar’s 200 medley squad of Bailey Sutton, Emma Devin, Grace Thompson and Hoffman finished eighth. Nearby Green Mountain also had competitors at the meet. Sarah Bittle finished seventh in diving, and Jessica Adams finished seventh in the 100 free for the Rams.



Home is where the






Abbey Selin competes in the 100-yard breaststroke for D’Evelyn during the Jan. 26 triangular swim meet at Littleton High School. D’Evelyn won the meet, and Selin won the event. TOM MUNDS


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20 Lakewood Sentinel

February 16, 2017F

Lakewood’s boys hoops season continues its rollercoaster ride BY DENNIS PLEUSS JEFFCO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

LAKEWOOD — Far Northeast boys basketball wanted nothing to do with a 3-game losing streak heading into the Class 5A state tournament that begins next week. “I told the boys this was a playoff game,” Warriors’ coach David Bennett said after Far Northeast pulled off a 63-58 road victory Monday night against Lakewood. Monday was the final regularseason game for Far Northeast (16-7, 4-4 in 5A/4A Denver Prep League). The Warriors were coming off back-to-back 1-point losses to Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. The turning point for the Warriors was a strong second quarter where they out-scored Lakewood 21-6 to grab a 31-22 halftime lead. “It’s not surprising when we aren’t running a good offense and not defending,” Lakewood coach Daryl Johnson said of the disastrous second quarter for the Tigers. “I tell them all the time if they want things to end well you have to defend first. If you don’t defend first it’s going to be a long night. It was tonight.” The Tigers (15-6, 9-3) finally started hitting some shots in the final 90 seconds of the game while trailing by a dozen. Lakewood senior Kolton Peterson hit backto-back 3-pointers with under a minute to play and a driving layup by senior Dallas Bailey cut the Warriors’ lead to 61-58 with 18 seconds left. However, Far Northeast senior Aaris Bonds made a pair of free throws with 15 seconds on the clock to seal the victory.

Lakewood is still position to finish second in the 5A Jeffco League behind Chat-field (20-1, 12-0). The Chargers are No. 3 in the rankings while holding the longest winning steak in 5A at 19 games. The Tigers have been on a rollercoaster ride this season. Lakewood played No. 1 ThunderRidge to overtime and defeated No. 8 Denver East handedly. However, the Tigers were swept by Chatfield in both league contests and suffered a last-second loss to Ralston Valley a few weeks ago. “It was definitely not a good one to lose tonight. It was frustrating,” Peterson said. “I think we’ll bounce back these last two league games and get going again.” The regular season for Lakewood ends on the road with Dakota Ridge (Thursday). “That locker room isn’t very jovial right now,” Johnson said. “We’ll just have to figure it out tomorrow. Winning cures a lot of stuff, it gets you more optimistic for playoffs and that is what we need to do.” Lakewood entered Monday’s game sitting at No. 16 in the RPI standings. The 16th spot is key with the top 16 seeds for the 48-team state tournament earning a first-round bye for the big dance that begins next week. “I still think we can make a run no matter what seed we get,” Peterson said. Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a fo-cus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at




© 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.


Lakewood Sentinel 21

7February 16, 2017





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She replaces coach Sandi Patterson and her assistant coach and husband Don Patterson, who left to spend more time with family. Dodge is also seeking a new girls volleyball coach. Can you dig it? Over the past few weeks it has been hard to not notice posters for boys volleyball tryouts at various gyms. Boys volleyball is

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students with varsity athletic opportunities in proportion to their school’s student body. Despite not getting a recommendation from the committee, some league could sponsor a bylaw that would seek to sanction boys volleyball at the April Legislative Council meeting. Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at or at 303-566-4083.

Golden junior Adam Thistlewood (31) drives on Green Mountain junior Alex Telles (2) during the second half Feb. 11 at Golden High School. Thistlewood had a seasonhigh 30 points in the Demons’ 55-45 victory. DENNIS PLEUSS/JEFFCO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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receive the extra programming and funding to make them successful when the filter into new schools. Jeffco Schools staff assured the board that Welchester Elementary would receive Title 1 status when Pleasant View students transfer in, but Shelton Elementary will not. The Golden community provides support in several ways to the school. Pleasant View features a miracle shop during the holidays, and just recently launched a Fresh Food Pantry through a partnership with The Action Center of Jefferson County and the Golden Backpack Program — a program that provides a weekend’s worth of food for any child in need that opts in. Through the 21st Century Community Learning Grant, Pleasant View is able to offer free before and after school enrichment clubs. In addition, Golden Tutoring & Enrichment’s MATHrive, an extracurricular academic workshop meant to boost and enrich students’ math skills, is available for free at Pleasant View thanks to a grant from the Golden Schools Foundation. Welchester Elementary is two-anda-half miles from Pleasant View and Shelton is three miles. The next step in the closure process is to freeze enrollment, hold teacher and staff meetings and begin parent meetings. In March, the district will look at teacher assignments and the enrollment process.

Stober This was the second year in a row that Stober Elementary in Lakewood was placed on the closure list. The vote to remove Stober from that list was the closest with the Jeffco Board of Education voting 3-2. Board members Amanda Stevens and Susan Harmon were against. “Whenever a school is named as a possible campus closure, it’s hard on that community,” Stevens said. “I want to minimize the number of times the community has to do this. I don’t want Stober to have to weather this conversation annually.” Lakewood officials spoke Feb. 9, asking the board to reconsider the Stober closure. “Stober is more than a school,” Lakewood City Councilman Charley Able told the board of education. “It’s a gathering place, a community center.” Lakewood City Councilwoman Ramey Johnson echoed Ables comment about Stober by saying, “it’s far more than a building. It’s really the glue for that community.” The building that houses Stober is 52 years old. It received a facility condition index of 49 percent, a poor rating. It cost $5.41 per square foot to maintain — the highest of all the school proposed for closure. Lakewood resident and parent Andrew Arthurs, one of 20 to speak on the school’s behalf, asked the board to consider the community over the building. “Aging infrastructure is a problem, but it’s not a big enough problem to tear apart the community and close the school,” Arthurs told the board. “The benefits of a thriving community and school far outweigh navigating these budget challenges.” The board majority agreed and Stober will stay open next school year.

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