Your Guide to Community, Politics, Ar ts and Culture in Nor th Denver DenverNorthStar.com
Volume 3, Issue 3
December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022
By Allen Cowgill
e all love North Denver, but one of the great things about our community is our proximity to the mountains and ability to easily get away from the city! This winter, there are lots of ways to get up to the mountains for skiing, riding, or other winter pursuits, with or without a car. We’ve compiled some of the usual options as well as some new ones to consider below.
SPECIAL FEATURE Last Minute Gift Guide PAGES 10-11
POLITICS National Western Updates PAGES 14 & 16
Highland Hookah Lounge Update PAGE 7
PHOTO BY JAN PELTON
With North Denver’s relatively high vaccination rate and restrictions loosened, holiday celebrations are feeling more normal this year, such as Highland Methodist United Church’s annual tree lighting. Last year, attendees stood in marked circles spaced out from each other. This year, masks were prevalent but attendees were able to gather more freely and take photos. Across the community, events that were canceled or radically changed for 2020 are taking place again this year.
Home Sharing Services Grow in Denver: Homeowners Wanted By Kathryn White
T COMMUNITY Festive Winter Activities for All PAGE 9
NEWS SHORTS Say Aloha to Bad Ass Coffee PAGE 13
COMMUNITY Life is Short; Do Something That Matters PAGE 14
here’s a new intergenerational home sharing option in Denver and—like the others it joined— Odd Couples Housing is looking to leverage spare bedrooms across the greater metro area. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) in its report “State of the Nation’s Housing 2020,” households age 65 and over are increasing faster than any other age group. This same demographic drove 80 percent of the growth in single-person households from 2014 to 2019. Conservative estimates suggest Denver may have over 70,000 spare bedrooms in households described by these trends. The JCHS report also lays bare two economic realities accompanying this trend: “The share of homeowners age 65 and over with housing debt doubled from 1989 to 2019, from 21 to 42 percent, while the median outstanding balance rose from $18,000 to $86,000 (both in 2019 dollars) over the same period. Among owners age 80 and over, 27 percent were carrying mortgage debt in 2019, compared with 3 percent in 1989.” And, as importantly, “Even before the pandemic, a
How to Get to the Mountains This Winter
record number of older households were cost burdened. In 2019, the number of older adult households paying more than a third of their income for housing reached an all-time high of 10.2 million. Fully half this group was severely burdened, spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing. Cost burdens are higher at older ages, for renters, and for owners with mortgages.” And AARP’s “2021 Home and Community Preferences Survey” echoes what similar studies have pointed to in recent years: three-quarters of adults over 50 would like to stay in their current homes or communities as long as possible. So, when Odd Couples Housing expanded into Denver this year, three years after its 2018 founding in St. Louis, it saw an opportunity to meet the needs of older homeowners while also trying to make a dent in the shortage of affordable housing. But it has come across the same challenges encountered by Sunshine Home Share Colorado—now in its fourth year of making matches. This organization was featured in November 2020’s
See HOME SHARING, Page 18
TRAINS The Winter Park Express returns this year for the first time since the pandemic started. Operated by Amtrak, the train departs from Denver Union Station at 7 a.m. and carries passengers on the scenic two hour trip up to the new train platform installed a mere 150 feet away from the ski lifts at the base of the Winter Park Ski Resort. The train departs the resort at 4:30 p.m. to make for an easy day trip from Denver. Passengers also have the option to buy tickets to spend Friday and/or Saturday night at the resort and return the next day on the train. For young and older railfans, some of the highlights of the trip include scenic views of Denver and the front range foothills, as well as a trip through the 6.2 mile long Moffat Tunnel underneath the Continental Divide. The train also boasts a sightseeing car as well as a cafe that serves drinks and snacks. Fares start at $29 and the train runs Jan. 14-April 3. The train runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. While not as well suited for day trips, Amtrak also offers train service to ski resorts via the California Zephyr. The train has daily departures from Denver Union Station to Fraser (with bus transfers available to Winter Park) and Glenwood Springs (with bus transfers available to Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands). BUSES Starting Dec. 11, the Colorado Department of Transportation is bringing its Snowstang bus service back for the 20212022 ski season. Departing from Denver Union Station and the Denver Federal Center, this bus service runs to Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, and Copper Mountain, with tickets starting at $25 round trip, and Steamboat with tickets starting at $40 roundtrip. Amenities on Bustang include wifi, usb/power outlets, luggage bays for ski gear and suitcases, and bike racks. Reservations are recommended and further details along with the schedules are available at ridebustang.com/snowstang. RTD also offers bus service to Eldora Ski Resort. You can take the Flatiron Flyer (FF1 Route) from Denver Union Station to the Downtown Boulder Station. From there you can take the northbound Route bus straight to Eldora. Eldora also offers their own shuttle bus from the Boulder Justice Center Parking Lot. Additional details are available at eldora.com. PLANES For Denverites who want to get above
See MOUNTAINS, Page 18
/// COMMUNITY ///
Community Leaders Welcome Fox Park Developers
By David Sabados
Parks, Trails, Open Space, Recreation, Green Infrastructure, Schools, Healthy Communities, Historic Restoration & Urban Agriculture
4383 TENNNYSON STREET #1A
720-248-7327 P.O. Box 11584, Denver CO 80211 DenverNorthStar.com PUBLISHER AND EDITOR: David Sabados
hey really prioritized engaging the community from the beginning of the project” isn’t a line often spoken about developers planning a large infill project, nor is it common to see neighborhood residents lining up at a city council meeting to encourage the body to help out-of-town developers move in, but residents of Globeville and surrounding neighborhoods are overwhelmingly saying that one project–and one developer–is different from the usual herd. LJ Suzuki, head of the Globeville First registered neighborhood organization, who gave the quote above in a recent interview with The Denver North Star, said city agencies he spoke with were confused when a developer wanted to go above and beyond what was required. When told residents were worried about displacement of renters when new, more expensive units were going to be built, the unicorn of a developer offered rental assistance in addition to other regular improvements like tree planting. Most importantly to Suzuki and other neighborhood leaders was that the outreach was proactive. Often, he explained, community groups reach out to developers and never hear back, or get a courtesy meeting at best. This, he feels, is different. “I hope it sets a new standard for developers–not just in Globeville, but across the city.” Fox Park is a new 41-acre infill project located in western Globeville at the site of the old Denver Post facility on Fox Street in the area colloquially known as Fox Island. Today, it largely sits empty and because of its size and remoteness has become a site of criminal activity, from people scavenging copper and other materials to illegal drug deals. In the next few years, it’s likely to be transformed into a mixed use urban hub with an estimated 3,300 units that 5,000-6,000 people will call home in addition to the 34,000 square feet of retail, 80,000 square feet of culture and entertainment facilities, 14 acres of interconnected parks and open space, and other amenities. Behind the largest redevelopment in the area are José Carredano and Manuel Jiménez of Vita Fox North LLP. Both from Mexico, they’ve moved to Denver and are designing the site in partnership with Pure Develop-
PHOTOS COURTESY OF VITA FOX NORTH L.L.P.
120,000 square feet of the 180,000 square foot Denver Post facility is being repurposed in the new development. he said their first action was to “just sit down and listen.” They reached out for meetings in Globeville, but also with neighboring communities like Sunnyside, which have an interest in growth across the railroad tracks. As they heard requests from individuals and community groups ranging from tree canopies to financial assistance when property values (and therefore taxes) increase, they added more to their plan. The G.E.S. Coalition, with their focus on stopping gentrification, renter protections, and helping lower income residents become homeowners, isn’t generally seen as a fan of developers, but their members also spoke out in favor. “Early on we were able to recognize that they were pretty different than the typical developers,” explained Nola Miguel, Executive Director of the coalition. That doesn’t mean they were throwing open the gates without firm commitments though. Like Globeville First, the coalition met with Carredano’s team repeatedly to hash out a community benefits agreement that included multiple G.E.S.-based organizations. “That little Fox Island area is very vulnerable,” said Miguel.
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Fox Park is a 41-acre mixed use development project, including 14 acres of parks and open space. ment, based in Indianapolis now with a Denver office. Carredano and Jiménez sat down with The Denver North Star to talk about the project as well as their philosophy on development and community engagement. “We never thought or presumed to know what [the community] wanted,” said Carredano of their outreach. He doesn’t see their engagement as unusual because it’s what he’s accustomed to in Mexico, where he said most development has more social and community aspects. As newcomers to the city,
Page 2 December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022
One of the biggest community needs according to the coalition is helping people become homeowners, especially because the new development is expected to be all rental. To meet that goal, Fox Park is committing up to $4.25 million to a community land trust, which will manage homes for residents to purchase. The coalition launched the Tierra Colectiva community land trust on Dec. 8th. The land trust currently has a 19-member transitional board and will be facilitated by the Colorado Community Land Trust, now part of Habitat for Humanity. Tierra Colectiva’s ini-
tial funding was earmarked for Elyria-Swansea, so this funding allows them to do more in Globeville as well. Community groups and leaders also spoke in support of Fox Park’s affordable rental housing onsite. Often setting aside a certain percentage of units for individuals and families making less than the area median income (AMI) is part of a negotiation to get higher density zoning, but the property was already zoned for higher density. Manuel Jiménez explained 7% of all units (roughly 200-250) will be reserved for residents under 80% of AMI, with 25% of those for people under 60% AMI. The developers will also pay 125% of the standard linkage fee, a development fee that helps fund affordable housing. The one hurdle for the Fox Park developers was cleared at the end of November, when Denver City Council, following a presentation and recommendation from the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA), voted to blight the area and allow Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The move makes large projects of this type easier by using future sales tax to reimburse a developer for specific project costs relative to environmental remediation and infrastructure as determined by the urban renewal authority. During the public hearing, which had seven local community speakers in favor of the action and none opposed, council heard from groups ranging from Birdseed Collective to the World Trade Center, who will also be headquartered in the area. While several council members raised concerns about the TIF, the vote ultimately passed with only one dissenting vote–Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, who represents the area. During her remarks, CdeBaca twice noted that her vote was not against the developers, who she praised for their community commitments, but rather against the process available to them. District 1 Councilwoman Amanda P. Sandoval, who represents adjacent communities to the west, said that while she was a council aide in District 9 she watched four previous developers start to work on the site and never engage the community. She acknowledged the outreach Carredano and Jiménez had done in neighborhoods she represents as well. Councilwoman At-Large Debbie Ortega noted that a similar TIF process was done to redevelop Stapleton (now Central Park) after the airport closed. The area is called Fox Island because of its limited access points, though the city is looking at multiple options to connect the area to the west and north, as well as infrastructure improvements east and south. For more information on the city’s Next Steps Study, check out the piece in last month’s issue of The Denver North Star, still available online. For more information on Fox Park, visit foxpark.com.
The Denver North Star
/ / / K I D S & E D U C AT I O N / / /
Valdez Elementary Throws Shade at Skin Cancer: AAD Grant Provides Shade Structure for Outdoor Play By John Renfrow
t was three summers ago when Kelly Hersh brought her kids to Escuela Valdez Elementary to use their school’s playground and enjoy an off day, when halfway through the fun she felt the sun was getting more and more intense. She noticed the shade structure in place didn’t provide much refuge, being a ways from the playground, and the trees lining the area were hardly as tall as her children; so she hatched a plan. Finally, on Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m., Hersh debuted her solution. After a long process, and with a little help from her friends, Valdez introduced a new, grant-funded shade structure that was made possible by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Dr. Melanie Wong, local dermatologist and fellow Valdez parent, sponsored the grant’s application and wrote the letter to the AAD, which ultimately resulted in more sun protection for Valdez’s 420 students. “We decided to create a sun safety program here at Valdez in hopes of winning a shade structure,” Hersh said. “While I am in the medical field, I personally am not in dermatology, and what I learned in working with Melanie is that traditional sun safety awareness programs often miss English language learners.” Valdez is a bilingual school for both English speakers and learners, and together Wong and Hersh made it their mission to have sun safety programs in both English and Spanish. The grant, worth $8,000, provided a near-20-foot pole with shade extended over the four-square court and playground area, which Hersh said is very popular among the students. There is a brief recess each day, but the shade will also help during before- and
PHOTO BY JOHN RENFROW
A new grant-funded shade structure aims to protect Valdez students and staff from harmful UV rays. after-school programs and protecting kids in summer school. Not unique to Valdez Elementary, the AAD Shade Structure grant program provides such grants to schools and other nonprofit organizations, including playgrounds, pools, and other recreational areas. According to the AAD website, since its launch in 1999, the program has awarded over 450 shade structure grants, which provide shade for over 3.5 million individuals each day. Several Valdez
families as well as the Kendrick Family Foundation contributed extra donations to install a larger structure than the original grant could provide. The University of Denver’s website states that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime, and states with higher elevation like Colorado and Utah have increased ultraviolet waves relative to flatter states. During the structure unveil, Valdez handed out sunscreen,
SPF lip balm, and other protective creams and sun safety information. “At high altitude in Colorado, we are all at higher risk of sunburns and UV damage to our skin, regardless of our skin type or age. UV exposure over time is known to cause skin cancer and photoaging. In order to protect ourselves, while enjoying an active outdoor lifestyle, we should use sunscreen, wear sun protective clothing and seek out shade,” Wong said. For Hersh, she’s proud the AAD recognized the importance of Valdez’s efforts to make the sun safety awareness information accessible to the Spanish-speaking population. It’s her belief and hope that the efforts put forth by caring Valdez families highlighted the need for further outreach programs for other non-English-speaking populations as well. But as a parent, having that reassurance that even one more shade structure could make a big difference in protecting her children and other students and staff at Valdez for years to come is invaluable peace of mind. “I like the fact that the teachers standing there watching the kids for 20 minutes can stand under there and not get overheated, not have a sunburn because they don’t necessarily have the time to put sunscreen on before they go outside every time. I’m proud of the fact that the Valdez community was able (come together and raise extra funds),” Hersh said. “This is ours. We made it work.” For more information on Valdez’s sun safety awareness program, visit https://sites.google. com/site/escuelavaldezpto/sun-safetyseguridad-solar. For more information on preventing skin cancer, visit spotskincancer.org.
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| CALL NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION The Denver North Star
December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022 | Page 3
Get Outta town! The dental clinic where everybody is welcome.
/ / / H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S / / /
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hat’s the very best gift you can give yourself this holiday season? The gift of skipping overspending, overcommitting to time at the ERIKA TAYLOR mall, and overthinking how to give that perfect thing to everyone on your list. Check out these five gifts that will help you do just that: WALKS WE WILL TAKE POSTER
The days of hours spent pressing “play/ record,” pausing, rewinding, and repeating over and over and over just to get the timing perfect on the mixtape for that special someone may be gone, but that doesn’t diminish the value of making a killer playlist. Maybe it’s your favorite workout tunes, music from their favorite vacation spot, or songs from the year you met. Listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. So make the list and share it. A gift of music is a gift of health! FRAMED FAVORITE RECIPE If you use an actual recipe card, you can find a thousand possible frames at the thrift store, or maybe even in your garage! And if you take a photo and print it, you have even more options since you can print it any size. Whether it’s a recipe handed down through generations or one you and your roommate love to make on Friday nights, the things we cook together and for each other are full of love. This treasure will preserve both the recipe and the memories. FAVORITE WORKOUTS CARDS
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Get you and your lucky giftee out the door together. Gather a list including places you already love, some you’ve only heard about, and maybe even some you’ll have to pack a bag to reach. You decide! The fresh air and exercise will do you both good and checking those boxes will give you a sense of accomplishment that lasts all year. Bonus gifting points if you are ready to get a few on the calendar right away. PERSONALIZED MOTIVATIONAL SCREENSAVER What’s better than logging on and having your desktop come to life with your favorite photo? Having a few encouraging words captioning those photos to get you prepped to nail whatever project you’ve sat down to, of course! It’s so simple, you may want to make a whole slideshow. People, animals, and places they love all make great subjects. You can even grab photos and save them from their social media posts. Add some quotes and a few whimsical effects from your favorite simple photo editing software, save them with a title that includes “screen saver,” and you have a gift you can send to anyone in the world that is sure to bring a smile. MODERN DAY MIXTAPE
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Use a workout you love or search for training on whatever activity your loved one likes to do. A few suggestions to get started are one card for upper body, one for lower, a full body card, and a card just for cardio. Include one more card with your favorite stretches. Pinterest may be your best friend for planning this one. Print the lists of moves out on some index cards, tie them together with ribbon and you’ve got a gift that will remind them fitness doesn't have to be complicated or mysterious – it can be simple and accessible and for anyone who is willing to just start moving. Encourage your loved one to check with their doctor to be sure the moves are right for them and then make a date to try them out together! This season, give the kind of gifts that say, “I love you and it means the world to me that you take care of yourself ” while you tell yourself the very same thing. Erika Taylor is a community wellness instigator at Taylored Fitness, the original online wellness mentoring system. 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 facebook.com/erika.taylor.303 or email email@example.com.
Page 4 December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022
The Denver North Star
/ / / H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S / / /
Cryotherapy on Tennyson St By Bill Menezes
40! Lordy, Lordy, look who’s
Wow, how time flies! This little Colorado native celebrates her 40th this month.
Happy Birthday, Heather!
PHOTO FROM WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/RESTORETENNYSON
Restore’s floor-to-ceiling chamber is chilled to negative 100 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
f you’re wondering about the sarcophagus-shaped things in the Tennyson Street storefront that formerly featured frozen custard or crepes, read on. They may look like the type of hypersleep or hibernation beds you’d see in sci-fi movies such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Alien.” They’re actually hyperbaric therapy chambers, part of a lineup of wellness equipment and treatments offered by the latest tenant of 3926 Tennyson: Restore Hyper Wellness. The business is part of a Texas-based, national franchise chain, with outlets also operating in Cherry Creek North, on South Broadway, in Highlands Ranch, and in Boulder, and with openings planned for Wheat Ridge and Central Park. And while wellness therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen, red light therapy and cryotherapy—we’ll get to that one in a bit—may not be familiar to many Northsiders, they’re the core of a rapidly expanding business segment offering high tech alternatives to traditional medical treatments. The North American market for oxygen therapy treatments alone generates more than $1.6 billion annually and is growing at an annual rate of about 7.9%, according to the research firm Research Nester. While the bulk of such therapies are administered in hospitals, clinics account for about a third of the total. Variations of these treatments have been used for specific ailments for decades. Hyperbaric treatments of some sort date back to the 17th century and have been in use in the United States since the early 20th century. These treatments use pure oxygen—not the oxygen/nitrogen mixture we breathe naturally—pumped at a pressure that helps the lungs collect more oxygen. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the marketing of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for a number of ailments, including non-healing diabetic foot wounds, vision loss caused by
blockage of blood vessels, severe burns, severe anemia, and severe skin and bone infections. Restore uses what it calls mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers that surround the body with oxygen at pressure for 60 or 90 minute sessions that its marketing materials claim can “boost energy, recovery and healing,” “optimize sleep,” and “defy signs of aging.” Then there’s the cold chamber. Or technically, a cryogenic therapy chamber. Cryotherapy also has been used for hundreds of years to treat such conditions as swelling, pain relief, skin eruptions and arthritis. Modern physicians sometimes use a localized cryotherapy treatment known as cryosurgery—directed only at a diseased area, not the entire body—to kill cancer cells. In Restore’s floor-to-ceiling chamber, users don gloves, socks and safety gear to protect the ears for two to three minute sessions chilled to negative 100 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The treatment claims to help burn calories, speed athletic recovery, boost mood and energy, and, again, optimize sleep and defy signs of aging, among other things. Other available treatments include intravenous fluids, administered by the on-site registered nurse; 10 minute red light therapy sessions intended to address cellular and eye health, inflammation and skin health, and compression sleeves to address blood flow and muscle recovery. Restore prices its treatments either as part of a membership packages or as a la carte services, ranging from $25 for a single compression session to $2,500 for a 750 mg intravenous dose of an active form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a vitamin B3 coenzyme said to improve the conditions of “those feeling sluggish” or “trapped in a fog.” Note: this article is a profile of an unusual North Denver business, and is not intended to provide medical advice. Please discuss any potential medical treatments with a professional.
Your friendly neighbors at Faith Lutheran Church –MS invite you to visit us and hear the true Biblical story of God’s Christmas gift to all mankind.
Christmas Eve Service 7:00pm
Christmas Day Divine Service 9:30am
Come hear and see what Lutherans are about!
4785 Elm Court (near I-70 & Federal) www.faith-lutheran-lcms.org
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Specialists Since 1994! S O M E
4321 Tennyson St Unit# 4 4555 Osceola Street 2247 W 34th Avenue 3140 Umatilla Street 3922 Alcott Street 3631 Julian Street 2201 Newton Street 4154 Xavier Street 3473 W 37th Avenue 4180 Irving Street 3132 W 41st Avenue
O U R
3144 W 26th Avenue 2904 W 40th Avenue 4329 Quitman Street 4211 Alcott Street 3223 Meade Street 3520 Newton Street 4200 Julian Street 3003 Stuart Street 4569 Wolff Street 4590 Grove Street 4265 Raleigh Street 4267 Raleigh Street 2351 Hooker Street 3521 W 40th Avenue 3657 Shoshone Street 4438 Bryant Street 3333 Meade Street
P A S T
S A L E S
4624 Clay Street 3125 W 45th Avenue 4223 Osceola Street 2615 W 40th Avenue 3615 Bryant Street 4511 Federal Boulevard 4161 Julian Street 4520 Julian Street 3122 Perry Street 3126 Perry Street 2539 W Caithness Place 4543 Meade Street 3641 Stuart Street 3121 W 45th Avenue 3716 Quivas Street 2241 W 34th Avenue 3894 Meade Street
T E L L
3424 Wyandot Street 3337 Shoshone Street 3820 Newton Street 3231 Julian Street 2435 Decatur Street 2632 Utica Street 2425 Decatur Street 2750 W 40th Avenue 2111 Eliot Street 3347 Meade Street 3317 Newton Street Address 1628 W 38th Avenue 3319 Newton Street 4715 Beach Court 3958 Mariposa Street 3378 W Clyde Place
Elizabeth Clayton 303.506.3448 EClayton@NostalgicHomes.com The Denver North Star
T H E
S T O R Y :
3921 Raleigh Street 2945 Yates Street 3705 Raleigh Street 3351 Newton 4201 Quivas Street 3705 Lowell Boulevard 3546 Stuart Street 3706 Newton Street 3360 Quivas Street 3156 W 20th Avenue 3738 Raleigh Street 5185 Raleigh Street 3736 Raleigh Street 3231 Julian Street 3315 Newton Street 3087 W Highland Park Pl 2611 Yates Street
Call or text if you're thinking about making a move!
Jean Sunn 970.313.3916
JeanSunn@NostalgicHomes.com December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022 | Page 5
/// POLITICS ///
City Council, Mayor Spar over Flavored Tobacco Sales By Kathryn White Editor’s Note: this edition of The Denver North Star went to press on 12/12/21, the day before supporters on City Council were attempting to override Mayor Hancock’s veto. Unfortunately, that means we were unable to report on the final outcome in this print edition, but we felt the story was important enough to still include in order to share perspectives from elected officials who represent NW Denver. The online edition will be updated with the final result.
n December 6, Denver City Council voted 8 to 3 to approve a measure banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in the city. Four days later Mayor Michael Hancock vetoed it. Supporters immediately announced an effort to overturn the veto. The bill sought to curtail the onset of teen nicotine addiction by limiting access to the products that are most appealing and aggressively marketed to kids. If enacted, beginning July 1, 2023, the sale of flavored products—including flavored chewing tobacco, menthol cigarettes, and vaping juices would be banned. While the bill’s language is clear there are no criminal violations, a retailer who consistently violates the ordinance would risk losing their right to sell other tobacco products. The proposed law did not impact the use or possession of flavored tobacco, which led to speculation by Mayor Hancock and some members of Council that teens—and the adults who help them obtain 21+ products— would simply purchase flavored products in nearby cities. The move was Hancock’s second veto since taking over as mayor of Denver in 2011. The first veto came in early 2020 when he refused to sign a bill that would have ended a Denver pit bull ownership ban enacted in 1989. Voters ultimately replaced the ban with a special pit bull permitting program when they approved Ballot Measure 2J that November. Mayor Hancock’s Dec. 10 letter to City Council detailed flaws he found with the proposed ban on flavored tobacco, emphasizing first the public health limitations of enacting such a measure when most neighboring cities have nothing similar in place. He called on his staff to work with nearby municipalities and state lawmakers on a collaborative solution that would provide greater breadth of coverage in keeping tobacco products out of the hands of teens. Mayor Hancock also pointed to the measure’s potentially severe economic consequences on small and minority-owned businesses. He went on to say that, “providing an exemption for natural cigars and hookah lounges puts us in a position of not only picking winners and losers in this ban, but also raises equity concerns that certain businesses and residents should not face the burdens this ban will place on others.” On December 7, shortly after Council passed the measure, North Denver Councilmember Amanda P. Sandoval said, “I’m thankful the flavor ban passed, it is a small piece of the puzzle to help address youth vaping and overall nicotine addiction because ultimately that was what was at the heart of the policy, addressing nicotine addiction. I’d like to thank everyone who reached out to my office over the last year to offer your opinion and help me understand the importance of the issue in our neighborhood.” Councilmember Robin Kniech, who voted in favor of the bill, agreed with critics that the measure is not perfect. She believes, though, that it will reduce both teen access to nicotine and its attractiveness, leading to longer-term public health benefits. Councilmember Jamie Torres also cited public health when casting her vote in favor of the bill. She acknowledged the significant presence of small business owners at the meeting. Referencing
Page 6 December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022
the last two years and COVID-19, she pointed to the particular difficulty that comes with significant public health discussions. In the end, she voted for the health of her district’s youth, “Our kids aren’t property owners. They’re not business owners, but they are the ones who are also telling us we need to make this less accessible to them.” Councilmember Debbie Ortega, the bill’s co-sponsor, hoped that challenges presented by purchasers simply leaving Denver to shop elsewhere would be resolved by nearby municipalities following suit with similar measures. Of several attempts to limit the bill’s scope while it worked its way through the process, three had been successful. On November 29, Council approved an amendment delaying the effective date to one year beyond what was originally proposed. Councilmember Kashmann proposed this additional time in order to give retailers whose business consists largely of flavored tobacco products an opportunity to adjust their business or find other means of income. The two other successful amendments created exemptions for natural cigars (handmade and wrapped in whole tobacco leaf) and pipe tobacco, as well as hookah tobaccos, when sold by retailers for whom these products are their primary business, and provided they prohibit entry to anyone under 21 years old. Just prior to the December 6 vote, Council President Stacie Gilmore admitted to deeply mixed feelings on the measure. Ultimately voting against it, Gilmore expressed concern around why pipe tobacco and cigars were exempt and not menthol and questions about whether the ban will truly have the intended public health benefit for youth. The measure drew heated debate and passionate public testimony from a wide range of Denverites. A momentary lightness emerged from the heavy issue when several opponents showed up to one hearing wearing royal blue “Vaping Saves Adult Lives” t-shirts, seemingly in response to the supporters’ red “Flavors Hook Kids” shirts. Organized support was spearheaded by Flavors Hook Kids, which pulled together over 100 local health and advocacy organizations. Among the most visible were the Colorado Black Health Collaborative, The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, Tepeyac Community Health Center, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and One Colorado. The DPS Board of Education also weighed in with its support. Organized opposition to the ban came from the owners of small vape shops across Denver, menthol smokers, and from the National Hookah Community Association. In the end, most Council members agreed the bill came up short. For opponents, it didn’t adequately preserve adult freedoms or provide for the interests of small business owners who responsibly sell flavored products only to those over 21. For supporters, questions lingered about how teens are marketed to and how existing 21+ laws are enforced. They point to the 2019 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey that revealed 20% of youth who obtained tobacco products were given them by someone over 21. 23% enlisted someone over 21 to purchase products on their behalf. Mayor Hancock committed to stepping up the city’s efforts to keep tobacco out of the hands of youth, “We will review our current regulations and pursue stronger tools such as additional licensing requirements, expanded fine schedules that will act as a meaningful deterrent to bad actors, and increased enforcement of regulations already in place to ensure we are precisely, meaningfully and equitably addressing the problem of youth access to tobacco."
The Denver North Star
/// COMMUNITY ///
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proved an e date to nally proann proPHOTOS BY CONOR MCCORMICK-CAVANAGH / WESTWORD er to give Hamza Alfukaha and Dalal Qudsi opened Highland Hookah Lounge in July. largely of orth Denver’s sole hookah lounge closed sites. Operating a hookah lounge requires a pportunity for business on Nov. 26 when the City’s retail tobacco license—which disallows sales her means Department of Excise and Licenses issued to anyone under 21 years old—but licensing endmentsit a $600 fine and warned owners not to re- does not impact a retailer’s hours of operation. ars (hand-open until its pending license application is An establishment, depending on its offerings, acco leaf)approved. Highland Hookah Lounge owner may require an additional cabaret (live enterkah tobac-Hamza Alfukaha says the business is unlikely tainment) or liquor license. In the absence of hom theseto ever reopen, citing unclear delays in the li- limits, a few of Denver’s hookah lounges had ness, andcensing process and two nearby residents who opted to stay open as late as 4 or 5 a.m. Highland Hookah Lounge opened its doors o anyonehad told him they hoped to shut his business down. over the summer and initially remained open e, Council According to Eric Escudero, Director of until 4 a.m. But Alfukaha quickly encountered to deeplyCommunications for the Department of Excise after-hours nuisance issues. Patrons who arUltimatelyand Licenses at the City and County of Denver, rived drunk after nearby bars closed were hard d concern“Denver alerted retail tobacco businesses that to control and he didn’t like how it influenced rs were ex-a retail tobacco store license is required and if his business and his staff. After his first month ons aboutthey did not have an application for a license in operation he began issuing last call at 1:30 e intendedby July 1 they would be required to stop sell- a.m. and closing at 2 a.m. Alfukaha was coning tobacco. Before the ordinance went into cerned, though, about Clark’s midnight close and pas-effect on July 1, 2021, the Denver Department ing time proposal. A third to half of his nightde range ofof Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) ly revenue was generated between midnight s emergedconducted significant outreach to tobacco and 2 a.m. Councilmember Amanda P. Sandoval reopponentsproviders to notify them of the new license royal bluerequirements. Information was mailed to counts her office’s involvement: “Neighbors , seeming-these businesses on at least two occasions be- who live near the Highland Hookah Lounge d “Flavorsfore July 1 detailing the process for obtaining (HHL) contacted my office in September with a license. Additionally, DDPHE investigators serious concerns for their safety due to activiheaded byconducted in-person outreach over the sum- ty that was taking place at HHL, for instance d togethermer by visiting establishments and speaking shots fired at 4 a.m., and operating as an unlicy organi-with managers to ensure they understood the censed night club and many other issues. I was able to convene a meeting with neighbors, a were thelicensing requirements.” ative, The Escudero confirmed that Highland Hoo- representative of HUNI RNO, City Attorney’s, ol Leader-kah Lounge has a pending application, “but the Department of Excise & Licenses, DPD, ty Healthsince they applied after July 1, they are re- the owner of Saffron Grill and the owner of rado, andquired to stop selling tobacco. If their license HHL. I am not aware of any encounters with Educationis approved, they would be eligible to restart neighbors who focused on shutting down the their operations. Their license is pending and business, but I am aware of neighbors who were interested on working with the owner to ban cameunder review.” ops across In addition to the Nov. 26 fine from Denver ensure their safety and the safety of the neighm the Na-Excise and Licenses, Alfukaha and his part- borhood was a priority. I heard directly from ner Dalal Qudsi had their hands full with two neighbors that they support small local busiation. ers agreedDenver City Council bills that threatened to ness and welcome new businesses, but shots onents, itcurtail Denver’s 14 hookah businesses. And, fired in the middle of the night, and creating freedomsaccording to Councilmember Amanda P. San- an unsafe environment was very concerning mall busi-doval’s office, neighbors near the location at and not something anyone wants. I am coml flavoredWest 32nd Avenue and Vallejo Street had ex- mitted to working with DPD, other city agenr support-pressed concerns about late-night safety issues cies, business owners and my constituents when issues such as these arise, and safety of teens arestemming from the business. + laws are On Nov. 16, Denver City Council unani- our community will always be one of my big9 Healthymously passed a measure that now requires gest priorities.” Denver’s hookah lounges would also have ed 20% ofhookah lounges to close between the hours of ducts weremidnight and 7 a.m. The change was brought been impacted by a second tobacco-related 3% enlist-forth by Councilmember Jolon Clark, who measure recently taken up by Denver City oducts oncited numerous 911 calls and 311 complaints Council: a citywide ban on the sale of flaacross the city. His district includes a swath of vored tobacco products. Hookah tobaccos are epping upSouth Broadway where a handful of hookah formulated using a variety of flavors. But the out of thelounges have attracted numerous issues, such flavored tobacco bill’s sponsors, Councilmemur currentas gun violence, public intoxication, fighting, bers Amanda Sawyer and Debbie Ortega, addols such asurination, parking issues such as peeling out ed an exemption for hookah lounges in Noexpandedor blocking streets, and bottle throwing. One vember (see related story on page 6). Alfukaha is moving forward with plans to meaningfulof the most egregious businesses on South eased en-Broadway was shut down this year through the open a hookah lounge in Aurora. He’s exploring other business ideas outside of Denver as n place toCity’s nuisance abatement process. gfully and Prior to this new legislation, hookah loung- well, including one offering transportation of youthes fell outside city regulations on closing hours that apply to bars and marijuana consumption See HOOKAH, Page 19
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/// ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ///
Checking Out: Smoke Hole : Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass
e are living in continuously interesting times. Martin Shaw’s book, “Smoke Hole: Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass” (Chelsea Green, 2021), HANNAH EVANS summarizes it well: “it’s a time of great paradox: we want to live forever but seem intent on executing the earth. We are technicians of unimaginable advances but are growingly less literate to interpret a way the earth always spoke to us: through myth.” While the wheels seem to be spinning increasingly out of control, Shaw suggests that we find our grounding not by continuing to seek beyond where we are, but instead by exploring stories of the past and the universal wisdom they have to offer. “Smoke Hole” is a small book that explores three myths: The Handless Maiden, The Bewitched Princess, and The Spyglass. Shaw walks us through each myth as a contemplative, personable, and relatable guide – these seemingly simple stories contain much depth. Shaw explains, “everyone who reads a story like this experiences it a different way. For some it’s intensely personal; for others, a symbolic field played out on the vastest governmental level possible. Try and track where you go with it.” While all three stories offer extremely timely, as well as forever enduring, themes and lessons to reflect on, it is the story of the spyglass that Shaw really seems to draw parallels through to today. The story features a princess with a spyglass who can see everything around her, and a hunter who is tasked with hiding from her gaze. With the help of a fox, he discovers the only spot she is unable
to see – the one right beneath her feet. Shaw compares the spyglass to the far-reaching gaze of the internet, reflecting on the need to be seen and the ability to see everything at the tips of our fingers. Yet we are called to remember the space beneath our feet – the grounded truth of who we really are is the one thing that cannot be revealed. As a storyteller, author, and teacher of myth, Shaw shares insights on each story from the grandest themes to the slightest details, inviting us to consider his insights while also exploring where our own interpretations and thoughts take us. The myth’s powers lie in both their universality as well as their ability to speak on such a personal level to our own experiences. Check out “Smoke Hole: Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass” at your closest Denver Public Library location.
Winter of Reading is back for 2022! Denver Public Library’s adult reading program, Winter of Reading, is back! Participants over 17 years old can complete five or more readingrelated activities to earn a mug or a tote bag. Visit denverlibrary.org/ winterofreading or your favorite library location for more information, book recommendations, and fun programs through February 28th.
Hannah Evans is the senior librarian at the Smiley Branch of the Denver Public Library.
Keenan Copple is a neighborhood attorney providing affordable and compassionate Estate Planning Services. WILLS • TRUSTS PROBATE ADMINISTRATION The Law Office of Keenan Copple PC
JT'S Jazz Trio Swings Into North Denver By Jill Carstens
JT’s Jazz Trio
n an unusually warm Thursday evening this early December, I visited The Bar at Plaza 38 to hear the Latin jazz sounds of The JT Jazz Trio–which, on this night, actually showcased five seasoned musicians. Like a lot of jazz groups, musicians sit in on each other’s gigs in a delightful chemistry of sound. Front and center was Vincent Wiggins, flautist, adding a clean coolness to the steamy Latin beats provided by drummer Bob Vasquez and conga player Lonny Rodriguez. Larry Henley, former house bassist for El Chapultepec, kept things funky when necessary. Carrying the overall jazz standard sound with the keyboards was the band’s namesake, JT (James Torres). Torres and his band have long histories playing jazz in Denver. Torres has been associated with Plaza 38 owner, Gene Lucero, for many years. Lucero ran a production company in the 1980s and 90s and Torres made the musical connection with him back then, playing at many of his events during that time. As you wander The Bar, evidence of that period holds court on the walls in the form of framed concert posters, taking us back in time. Also, if you look up from the bar, large black and white photos depicting scenes of North Denver over the past decades line up along the ceiling. Having lived in North Denver most of his life, Lucero’s aim in developing The Bar was to celebrate the area’s roots by creating a new neighborhood establishment that acknowledges the folks who were here long before it was “cool” while also welcoming new residents. Indeed, the night I was there it was clear that many of the patrons lived nearby and were acquainted with one another, apparent through many fist bumps and shoutouts. The crowd seemed to know the band, too, enthusiastically taking in the grooves. I am a neighbor and a music lover myself, and especially a jazz lover. I was thrilled at the prospect of being able to listen to jazz performed regularly and nearby. JT’s iterations
JILL CARSTE their uniqu whether th sometimes I develo classroom simply to d issue will c us, hopefu be inspire tions and o When te preschoole stories int Man” was many upd PHOTO BY JILL CARSTENS tions. W of this band play every Thursday night atoften pla 7 p.m. at The Bar. story, tak As is typical in a jazz performance, eachbeing each musician “got their turn.” The patronsand learni clapped in appreciation to several bassrun-in-pla segues that showcased Henley’s legendarythe chas riffs, Wiggins’ flute flowered every piece,Sometime and Vasquez and Rodriguez both held theirencourage moments in the spotlight. Torres kept him-dren to self in the background as that steady strainnew chara flowing through each song, but took a mo-change th ment during a few pieces to really let usFun wou hear his talent. Torres commented that hisnate with fellow musicians are “family,” and they haveson, with t known each other a long time. This was clearwent to ta in the smoothness of their performance. we would I remember when El Chapultepec was oneter searchi of the only places you could hear authen-man in an tic jazz in Denver. As I chatted with Torreschildren. I about how the scene has changed, especiallybread coo in the last decade, he agreed that things havethroughou really “blown up,” as far as venues and op-the childre portunities available. He is aware of a slewas there w of well-known musicians moving to Denver,turned up many taking jobs as adjunct professors or Anothe teachers and reaping the benefits of a grow-Ukrainian ing jazz community here. es his mitt The Bar at Plaza 38 is certainly one of themals sque great new venues. The acoustics are fantasticanother fu and, although it is a new and slick-lookingas the mit bar, there is a wonderful grittiness sustainedhome, the in the mutual history shared among the lo-some of th cals and their genuine love of the music. Iour own m did not recognize anyone myself when I first “The To approached the bar, but was warmly wel-story abou comed and found myself invited into severala farm at n conversations. I will definitely be back, and Ionly sign o encourage you to check it out too. the next m ate our ow JT’s iterations of this band sticks, felt would wal play every Thursday night at them on p 7 p.m. at The Bar at Plaza 38 3550 W 38th Ave #98, Denver as a season
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The Denver North Star
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LETTERS FROM MISS JILL
Festive Winter Activities for All
will admit that I love the holidays, and as a preschool teacher for many years, this time of the season provided its own curriculum. Families JILL CARSTENS were encouraged to bring in their unique traditions to share with the class, whether that be a cooking project, a game, or sometimes a special book. I developed traditions of my own in the classroom and at home, many of them having simply to do with winter and light. While this issue will come out when the holidays are upon us, hopefully it will arrive in time for you to be inspired to initiate some fun new traditions and overall winter fun. When teaching, I read many classics to the preschoolers and would incorporate these stories into our activities. “The Gingerbread Man” was a particular favorite. There are many updated versions with fun illustrations. We would often play-act the story, taking turns being each character and learning how to run-in-place during the chase scenes. Sometimes I would encourage the children to make up new characters and change the ending. Fun would culminate with baking our own gingerbread person, with the help of an extra adult. When we went to take the big cookie out of the oven, we would discover that it was “missing!” After searching, we would find the gingerbread man in another room, which delighted the children. I would also purchase small gingerbread cookies and hide them in plain sight throughout the room, Easter Egg style, for the children to find – this often lasted all day as there would always be a few cookies that turned up later! Another beloved classic is “The Mitten,” a Ukrainian folktale about a little boy who loses his mitten in the forest where several animals squeeze into it to keep warm. This was another fun one to play-act, using a blanket as the mitten that the children fit within. At home, they can use their stuffed animals as some of the characters. We would later create our own mittens out of fabric scraps. “The Tomten” is a traditional Scandinavian story about a gnome-like fellow who wanders a farm at night, comforting the animals. The only sign of him is his footprints in the snow the next morning. As a class, we would create our own Tomten gnomes using popsicle sticks, felt, and cotton balls for his beard. We would walk around the neighborhood and set them on porches with a quote from the story as a seasonal greeting:
Gold, Coins, Silver, Watches & Estates
Deep in the grip of the midwinter cold, The stars glitter and sparkle. Snow gleams white on pine and fir, Snow gleams white on the roofs. Only Tomten is awake. Although it can and should happen throughout the year, winter is a special time for service. A project that can involve the whole family, regardless of age, is creating “necessity bags.” These can be made out of a variety of items such as a toothbrush, travel sized toiletries like toothpaste and dental floss, hand sanitizer, and small, non-perishable food items like granola bars. Once all the items are gathered, the kids make an assembly line to put them in large Ziploc bags. Families keep them in their cars to give out to the homeless or may donate a whole box of the bags to churches or shelters. When there is snow on the ground, I fill up reused squirt bottles with water and food coloring and we go out and “paint” the snow. This has resulted in some stunning “public art!” As my kid has grown, we have kept many of our holiday traditions but altered them for his age. For example, we still do a full advent calendar because I was given one when he was small that has large drawers to hide substantial trinkets. These days, in addition to candies and gift cards, I might include tickets to the Zoo Lights or Botanic Gardens for the whole family. I love putting this tradition together each year and enjoying the small surprises all through the chilly month of December. A fun part of our advent calendar is often a scavenger hunt which leads to a larger gift. Over the years, the hunt has become more and more complex. My son has created a few for me that were quite creative. A scavenger hunt can make receiving even the simplest of gifts an event. Lastly, we savor the dark and cold by enjoying fireplaces, fire pits, and even just candles. We are lucky to have a fireplace where we enjoy a meal of Raclette, which is a Swiss tradition of melting cheese over the fire with roasted potatoes and bread. We seem to have the potential for another long winter with the pandemic. I hope that some of these ideas help you get through it! Jill Carstens is a proud Denver native, a passionate mom and a teacher her entire adult life! Jill Carstens taught for 30 years and now enjoys writing this column, connecting with merchants for ad sales for The Denver North Star, and organizing neighborhood events supporting the local arts, community. Email her with comments or story ideas at email@example.com
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The Don’t Panic Gift Guide F Get Out of The House and Shop Local F
By Basha Cohen
uring the last-minute flurry of holiday gift shopping, make it a day to remember by getting off your computer, skipping the Amazon panic (will it ship or won’t it ship on time?), and gliding through our local neighborhoods instead. It is literally as easy as picking a street like Tennyson, 32nd Ave., or the surprisingly awesome mix of indie shops at the Edgewater Public Market for a one-stop-shop for everyone on your list. Feeling adventurous? We’ve highlighted some cool, old-school antique shops like
Peter Damian in Wheat Ridge and Treasures Outlet near Regis that offer incredibly unique finds plus warm, welcoming owners who truly love what they do and want to share their stories. Since it is the season of giving, merchants are creating unique philanthropic moments, too. Lariat on Tennyson St. is supporting Family Tree with diaper donations for women in financial need. If you donate $5, you will receive 15% off of your purchase. XO Gifts to Go donates a percentage of sales from their incred-
ible Colorado tees to save our National Parks. Zero Market, a refillable collection of organic vegan body and home products embraces the Good Earth with their philosophy, “Good things come in no packages.” The truly overthe-top Santa’s Little Man Ice Cream Factory on West Colfax is selling gingerbread houses to help put roofs over people’s heads by donating 100% of the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity. They’ve also created a gifty marketplace that features local Colorado partners whose ingredi-
ents are in their ice cream, plus an entire shop of baked goods and truffles created by their pastry chefs. Locals helping locals defines the spirit of the season. From cheap and cheerful finds to decadent splurges, DON’T PANIC!!! North Denver’s got you covered. Be safe. Be healthy. Wear your mask. From our family to yours, happy holidays. For more ideas, check out www.denvernorthstar.com.
F F F CHEAP & CHEERFUL SURPRISES UNDER $20 F F F
PHOTOS BY BASHA COHEN
Perfect dorm room art that won't break the bank. Classic album sleeves, $3 Treasures Outlet 4949 N. Lowell Blvd.
Unique plants and succulents, $12 and up Stalk Market Co Edgewater Public Market 5505 W. 20th Ave.
Perfect stocking stuffer gift cards of any denomination; pint glasses, $5 Hops & Pie/Berkeley Donuts 3920 Tennyson St.
PHOTO BY HARRY WARTERS
Homemade truffles, holiday cookies, toffee, biscotti, and cocoa from the sweet chefs at Santa's Factory, $2-12 Santa's Little Man Ice Cream Factory 4411 W. Colfax Ave.
Children's books and stuffie toys, $10 and up Book Bar 4280 Tennyson St.
Earth-friendly home and body care refillable concoctions, tinctures, spices, hand sanitizers, and teas, $0.16 per oz and up Zero Market Edgewater Public Market 5505 W. 20th Ave.
F F F NIFTY GIFTYS UNDER $50 F F F
Beautiful floral arrangements, plants & gifts. Ceramic vases, $25-40 Fern & Bloom 4014 Tennyson St. Page 10 December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022
Cozy kids faux fur hats, $26-20; plush soft toys, $16 Real Baby 4315 Tennyson St.
Personal fitness training gift cards are the perfect way to tee up the new year, $25 and up. Vitruvian Fitness 7605 W. 44th Ave. The Denver North Star
tire shop of heir pastry he spirit of
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Pop the cork with Bonaquisti's new Blanc de Blancs sparkling white wine. $30 Bonaquisti Wine 4640 Pecos Street
Mango wood bread boards, $22-50 Luna & Jasper 3640 32nd Ave.
Great selection of unusual cookbooks and all the beautiful things that go with them, $30 and up Perfect Petal 3600 W. 32nd Ave.
Wooden yarn butlers help unwind without the tangle. Made by a local 15-year-old boy, $35-40 The Tangled Ball Edgewater Public Market 5505 W. 20th Ave.
One man's junk is another man's treasure. Truly awesome collection of antique finds. Mid century swan, $40 Connie's Antiques & Treasures 3832 Tennyson St.
A spin-off of Extraordinary Gifts, this shop features an homage to Colorado tees. The creative and colorful "Wild Tribute" collections in adult and kids sizes give back 4% of proceeds to the National Park Service, $30-35 XO Gifts to Go 3843 Tennyson St.
F F F WHEN YOU CAN SPLURGE F F F
Tasteful and dead-cool antique and collectible shop in Wheat Ridge. Exquisite and unusual Indian turquoise and coral jewelry collection, $180-$1,250 Peter Damian Fine Jewelry & Antiques 7220 W. 38th Ave.
Make mine an old fashioned this Christmas with The Family Jones Whiskey Wonderland Holiday 4-pack $140 The Family Jones Spirit House 3245 Osage St.
When price is not an object. Exquisite opal and diamond rings, $2,300-$2,800 Sara O 4301 Tennyson St.
Artful femme cowboy hat, $122 Ruby Jane 3616 32nd Ave.
Seriously kick-ass men's Red Wing boots. $289-$350 Berkeley Supply 4317 Tennyson St.
The ultimate hipster recycling gift... when a golden oldie meets a millennial. Solid gold gifting! $90 The Terorrium Shop 3611 W. 49th Ave.
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December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022 | Page 11
/// COMMUNITY ///
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velyn Brewer Antho- and sent a short video showing Pelton a new ny regularly scrolls method for holding her crochet hook that is through posts on Next- easier on her wrists. door. She’s curious about And Evelyn Brewer Anthony is happy her neighborhood happen- yarn stash is a few bags lighter. Anthony, ings and likes to keep like Pelton, has crocheted for years. She’s deabreast. Every once in a signed and produced masterful works, partKATHRYN WHITE while, she comes across nering with yarn makers around the world. a post that compels a response, like the one Crochet has a lot to teach a person, Anthony she saw from Jan Pelton in search of donated says, “like patience and how to forgive youryarn for a project her mother Ellen is work- self for mistakes.” Anthony found herself ing on. with a backlog of spare yarn when a project Sunnyside resident Ellen Pelton man- she was leading in Baradères, Haiti, required aged an assisted living facility for four years a very specific type of yarn, distinct from during her 25-year career in nursing. Com- many of the donations she had received. She munity members donated afghans like the was on the lookout for crafters to share her ones they used at home. This worked beauti- supply with when Jan Pelton’s post popped fully for residents’ easy chairs and couches, up in her Nextdoor feed. As Ellen Pelton put the finishing touches but for Pelton’s residents who used wheelchairs and wanted to keep their laps and legs on the next lap blanket delivery, The Argyle’s Resident Care Cowarm, regular-sized ordinator Christina blankets would Bleau, LPN, matched bunch up and get her first blanket with caught in the wheels. its new owner, MonNow in her 80s, ica Shade. “She did a Pelton’s rheumatoid lovely job,” remarked arthritis means she Shade, “These are can’t be on her legs my favorite colors.” for very long. So, she Shade went on to came up with the perfect idea to put her describe how chilly hours on the couch to her legs can get while good use. She devised waiting for the bus. “I’m so grateful.” a pattern for rectangular blankets sized Shade used to crochet herself, so was specifically for people quick to comment on who use wheelchairs. Pelton’s color design Columns of brightly colored strips are and detail. “I made afghans for everycrocheted and then joined together, crePHOTO BY CHRISTINA BLEAU, LPN one, but never one ating one-of-a-kind A selection of Ellen Pelton’s for myself.” Bleau was also designs out of a host custom-crocheted lap blankets. touched. “That of colors. Pelton’s first eight custom-crocheted lap strangers came together in this selfless way blankets arrived at The Argyle on West to create something so beautiful. Our resi38th Avenue recently and another four will dents who receive these blankets are going be finished in time for Christmas. Asked to be over the moon.” This powerful chain of women seem to what motivated her to launch this ambitious undertaking, Pelton chimed out and then have crafted something in addition to colchuckled, “Boredom! I have to feel like I’m orful blankets: the feeling that comes from producing and appreciating something not just sitting around taking up space!” Ellen’s daughter Jan typically leans on beautiful, together. Nextdoor for referrals to services like Kathryn has lived in North Denver since plumbers. When she heard about her mom’s lap blanket project, she wondered if there around the time the Mount Carmel High might be people on Nextdoor with yarn to School building was razed and its lot at 3600 spare. She was surprised to learn that indeed Zuni became Anna Marie Sandoval Elementhere were. Since early September, three tary. She’s raised two children in the neighpeople have donated several skeins of yarn borhood, worked at several nonprofits, and in lots of colors. Ellen Pelton has plenty of volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Association raw material now and is excited to keep go- Colorado Chapter. ing. And in addition to the generous supply Do you have story ideas for The Gray Zone? of yarn Pelton received, Anthony recorded Email Kathryn@DenverNorthStar.com.
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December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022 | Page 13
/// COMMUNITY ///
Stock Show, CSU Spur Into Action By David Sabados
he stock show is back next month and Colorado State University is opening the first building of their new public-facing campus in Denver. For anyone who hasn’t been to the National Western campus lately, it’s in large part unrecognizable from only a few years ago: the stockyards have moved, new modern buildings tower above the 100year old original structures, and even the railroad lines have moved, allowing visitors access to the river. NATIONAL WESTERN STOCK SHOW RIDES IN JAN. 8 “We’re 100% on,” explained Paul Andrews, President and CEO of National Western Stock Show, adding that the show “will change how America markets livestock.” Andrew’s excitement for the upgrades to the facilities is hard to overstate, though anyone who hasn’t spent time around stock shows may need a more background. For the first time, the livestock pens will have power as well as both hot and cold water. Previously, livestock owners had to haul in generators: preparing livestock for show means not only washing the animals, grooming involves blow dryers and any number of other small powered devices. As the long days start early, it also means a lot of coffee pots plugged in. While that may sound like a basic improvement, the upgrades in the new livestock pens are pretty unique, he explains - those amenities aren’t available at other stock show sites: no one (human or the animal) wants to be washing a bull in cold water when it’s below freezing outside. Visitors to this year’s show can expect all the popular events: three nights of bull riding, 14 of the most elite horse shows, the pro rodeo, mutton bustin’, and, of course, vendors selling everything from belt buckles, hats, and saddles to outdoor heaters for your ranch (or in Denver, more likely your back patio or roof deck). Andrews also stressed the multicultural aspect of Denver’s stock show, which has both a Hispanic Heritage Day including a Mexican Rodeo, and the MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo. The stock show has an estimated $120 million economic impact on the Denver metro area, including money spent at local businesses such as hotels and restaurants. The National Western Stock Show runs
PHOTO BY DAVID SABADOS
Tradition meets innovation at National Western: new stockyards will hold animals for show as they have for a century while CSU’s cutting edge facilities rise in the background. from Jan. 8 - 23. For more information including a full line up of events, visit NationalWestern.com. COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY WELCOMES COMMUNITY MEMBERS CSU Spur is a public-facing educational three-part campus at National Western, opening in January. Sectioned into Vida, Terra, and Hydro, Spur is focused on animal and human health, food and agriculture, and water, respectively. The first facility, Vida, opens in January, with the other two planned for April and November. Jocelyn Hittle, Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Spur Campus and Special Projects, talked with The Denver North Star to explain more about how the campus is open to the public. Hittle said some operating theaters are glass walled with audio setups, so visitors and students can not only watch but talk with techs and doctors who wear microphones during procedures. Visitors and aspiring veterinarians alike may find the equine therapy programs of interest, including submerged horse treadmills. On the more mundane side is a spaying and neuter-
ing clinic for household animals. CSU is especially excited to be working with grade school students and plan on frequent field trips. Hittle said they are offering “experiences tailored to different grade levels over time” with an emphasis on 4th through 6th graders but noting students who are interested in veterinary fields could also return as high schoolers for an internship. Many of the exhibits are also fully bilingual in English and Spanish. Hittle also stressed their community engagement, including vaccine and animal wellness clinics for residents of the community. CSU has been working with Focus Points Family Resource Center, the Dumb Friends League, and others. They also have a scholarship for students from the 80216 zip code. This year, four students will be receiving $10,000 scholarships if they choose to attend any CSU campus. Spur is hosting three kickoff events, including a sneak peek for G.E.S. residents on Jan.6, a ribbon cutting on Jan. 7, and the family friends grand opening on Jan. 15. For more information on Spur, including the events, visit csuspur.org.
CAMPUS CHANGES New stockyards and the Spur campus aren’t the only changes at National Western this year, though. The office of the National Western Center oversees the portions of campus that are currently under construction. Between the Center and CSU, 750 - 800 workers have been onsite some days making improvements. Exposed wastewater pipes, formerly both an eyesore and at times offensive to the nose, have been buried to give visitors access to the river. They will also be used to generate heat as part of National Western’s commitment to sustainability. Even the rail lines have been moved, which opens up the middle of the campus. Other upcoming (but not yet finished) changes include a bridge at 52nd Ave. across the river and additional walkways connecting to nearby communities. Tykus Holloway, the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of The National Western Center, summed it up. “What we’ve been focused on since 2018 is a lot of things you use, but you don’t see.” While the stock show has some ticketed events, the vendor marketplace and many other events are free, as is accessing the campus as a whole. The Spur campus also features free options for the community. Behind the scenes, there’s more going on though, with funding battles, community engagement disputes, and more. For an indepth look at the politics of National Western, interviews with key players, and the fallout of the 2E bond’s failure last November, see our related story on page 16.
CSU Spur Family-Friendly Grand Opening Jan. 15, noon - 6:30 pm 4710 National Western Drive, Denver Bring your family and friends to the grand opening event of CSU Spur in Denver as part of CSU Day at the National Western Stock Show. CSU Spur is open to the public, year-round. For more information, visit csuspur.org/spur-events.
Life is Short; Do Something That Matters W
hen you tell the universe, “I desire to work with a small, scrappy nonprofit that needs my communiJENNIFER FORKER cations and connecting skills,” hold on tightly; your wish might come true. I left my director of communications position at Regis University, a stellar institution of higher education with a Jesuit Catholic orientation, to work for Colorado Village Collaborative, a young, action-oriented nonprofit that is helping address Denver-area homelessness in innovative ways. CVC builds tiny homes – each is about 100 square feet – and assembles them in small communities in Denver. Right now, we have two of these villages providing safe, supportive housing and additional resources. We also operate the Safe Outdoor Spaces you may have read about and seen. Currently, three of these remarkable communities, each with about 40 sturdy ice-fishing tents, exist in the Denver area. One of them is at Regis University through April. These two programs serve about 200 people each day. Safe Outdoor Spaces developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are temporary, emergency housing in partnership with
PHOTO COURTESY OF COLORADO VILLAGE COLLABORATIVE
Regis’ Safe Outdoor Space has been operating since June. the City and County of Denver that provide secure, services-rich shelters, staffed 24/7, for people experiencing homelessness. And they are brilliant. Safe Outdoor Spaces are what this city needs to respond nimbly to the pandemic. They are not without their challenges – ask the project manager who has to envision the plumbing, electrical systems and logistics of each location – but these are housing solutions during a time of collective duress. And they work. The first Safe Outdoor Space opened on
Page 14 December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022
Capitol Hill last December. It has since closed – its lease was for six months – and others have opened. In only one year, CVC has operated Safe Outdoor Spaces at Park Hill, Regis, Denver Health and – soon – in the parking lot of Denver Human Services East in the Northeast Denver Clayton neighborhood. Talk about action. Talk about agility. That is CVC. For any of us, it’s a leap of faith to leave a comfortable position among beloved colleagues to strike out into new terrain. Have
you noticed that as we age, we become more averse to risk? We become comfortably set in our ways. I’m not immune to this. Becoming CVC’s first director of development and communications was a great challenge to my own complacency, and I thank CVC for trusting my skills and connections. Housing is a basic human right. Whether you care deeply about your fellow humans or are aggrieved by unsanctioned encampments in downtown Denver, as well as those appearing in other cities along the Front Range, we must all advocate for better housing solutions. Homelessness is not an individual problem. It’s our collective shame. Our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors, ought not be sleeping on cold, hard sidewalks and under spruce trees in city parks. This is a here-and-now disaster that has grown grave from a lack of action by all levels of government. We scramble now to solve these problems, but they’re deeply rooted in our societal fabric. Individual people don’t create mass homelessness. Societies do. The cost is written on the bodies of the people who suffer individually. In this country, homelessness has been caused by the lack of affordable housing, incomes not keeping pace with the cost of
See MATTERS, Page 19 The Denver North Star
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December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022 | Page 15
/// POLITICS ///
National Western Leaders and Community Discuss Uncertain Future
By David Sabados
hile the horses are dancing at the Stock Show, another kind of dance is happening backstage for National Western. After the failure of the 2E bond, leaders of the various National Western organizations are facing increasing questions about how they plan to fund projects they insist are going forward and whether they have community support. At the same time, some community leaders and organizations are pushing the city and the National Western leadership to change direction. If the terminology around National Western is confusing, you’re not alone–with almost everything having “National Western” in their names, it’s easy to mix things up–so here’s your primer on the groups involved. When we refer simply to “National Western,” we are referring to the entire location, organizations involved, etc. National Western Center Authority (NWCA): The National Western Authority is the nonprofit organization that oversees the operations and maintenance of the entire campus. National Western Stock Show (NWSS): Also a nonprofit organization, National Western Stock Show runs the annual stock show in January and some other programming. National Western Complex: The National Western Complex is mostly facilities that have been on site for many years. Anyone who has been to the stock show or other events over the years are probably familiar with these buildings. National Western Center: The National Western Center is the campus that is currently under construction. New elements for the 2022 Stock Show include the Stockyards Event Center, the new stockyards, CSU Spur buildings, and others. Mayor’s Office of The National Western Center: This is the Denver municipal office, underneath the mayor, that oversees strategic planning and construction for the 250-acre campus. Brad Buchanan was the planning director for the city from 2013-2018, including when the last bond to support National Western passed in 2015 and the Authority was set up in 2017. Today, as CEO of the Authority, he’s involved with nearly every aspect of National Western from the public facing programs to infrastructure for the campus. “We program, operate, and maintain the National Western campus as those assets are completed by the city and handed over to the authority,” he explained in an interview with The Denver North Star. For Buchanan, 2E’s failure “does not change the commitment to the campus. Does not change the commitment of the partners.” He’s said they are spending some time on engagement and education to explain the benefits of further improvements to the campus. “The challenge is bringing [the community] togeth-
PHOTO BY DAVID SABADOS
One of the original Stock Show buildings, which has been preserved and will be repurposed. er so no one feels left out.” Tykus Holloway, executive director for the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center, echoed Buchanan’s assessment. “It changes the timing, but not the commitment.” Neither see the voter’s rejection of 2E as a rejection of a new arena, but only the funding mechanism. Both also said how the arena is the financial engine of much of the campus: ticket, food and beverage, and other sales are intended to provide money for a community investment fund and generate revenue for the campus. Both also cited the passage of ballot measure 2C in 2015, which funded early stages of development at National Western, as proof of community support. 2C passed over 65%, with some of the strongest support coming from precincts in the G.E.S. community. Paul Andrews, President and CEO of the National Western Stock Show, also sees projects pivoting, but not stopping. “That model [of funding] didn’t work. Now we’re talking with the city about other options. That new arena is a need, not a want.” Not everyone agrees with that assessment of 2E’s failure or the changes that have taken place in the past six years, though. Members of the G.E.S. Coalition, which opposed 2E, said they don’t see genuine engagement from the city or National Western partners. The coalition has been advocating for reparations for the G.E.S. community. A portion of the National Western campus was previously privately owned and acquired by the city. After a public-private partnership at National Western failed and voters rejected 2E, they think the time is right for a broader conversation than they say the city wants to have, including potentially changing the overall master plan for National Western.
“They don’t want to entertain another plan,” said Robin Reichhardt, communications manager for the coalition. Reichhardt and Alfonso Espino, an organizer for the coalition, said they see 2E’s failure as more than a rejection of the funding source for the arena, but as a referendum on the city’s plans overall. Although they opposed an arena, which they say sits empty too much of the time and doesn't benefit the immediate community, they said they are more focused on how unused land on the National Western campus could be used for community benefit.
A spokesperson for Mayor Hancock also said a market and other improvements will go forward without the bond money. “The arena and public market are also key to our commitment to the Globeville and ElyriaSwansea neighborhoods... One of those ideas is a food market, which has come up frequently. A “year-round fresh food market” was first introduced in the 2015 bond but has not emerged with other projects. Asked about a market, Tykus Holloway said “Ballot languages are always tough... from what I understand, it wasn't intended to be an inclusive list.” To Reichhardt and Espino, though, the market not being built and being included again in the 2021 bond as a selling point was another broken promise. “The whole
proposal was tone deaf,” said Reichhardt. Buchanan, asked whether he thought a food market was still realistic without 2E funds, responded “Absolutely – 100 percent.” A spokesperson for Mayor Hancock also said a market and other improvements will go forward without the bond money. “The arena and public market are also key to our commitment to the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods that this campus redevelopment support community benefits and a Community Investment Fund, as they’ll be a major funding source for those commitments. An alternative funding mechanism is being determined, and we want to make sure any path forward reflects the needs of the community and includes City Council.” The G.E.S. Coalition is known as a frequent voice of antagonism for the current administration, but in this case was not alone in their opposition and criticism. LJ Suzuki, head of the Globeville First registered neighborhood organization, also opposed the bond. He explained that after some early conversations about ideas like revenue sharing didn’t come to fruition, he and other community members didn’t see enough benefits to their community. “I voted no to 2E because NWCA offered no commitments to our neighborhood. There was no upside for Globeville out of 2E – just higher taxes, more construction dust, and increased traffic during events,” Suzuki told The Denver North Star. Meanwhile, Reichhardt, Espino, and like-minded residents are organizing themselves to try to present a unified community voice. They said they’ve brought up collective governance and ownership before but were dismissed by the city because they didn’t have a land trust. A few years ago, with some financial support from the city and CDOT, they started one but say the city moves the goal posts every time the community comes up with new options. They are hoping for some land to be put into a public interest land trust to benefit the immediate community, though not necessarily the trust tied to their organization. “We don't want to be running everything–not at all,” said Reichhardt. While all the parties don’t agree on what meaningful community engagement might look like, everyone acknowledges that the November election changed how the National Western partners and the community move forward. “While we're disappointed in the loss, there's opportunity there as well to look at new options–to build community consensus. The first Tuesday in November we didn’t have that. We stand more ready and aware of the importance of this project than ever,” said Buchanan. For more information on this year's Stock Show and the CSU Spur campus, please see our related story on page 14.
/// EDITORS NOTE ///
Help Support Community Media!
appy December! Thank you for reading The Denver North Star. We hope you’re enjoying the last issue of 2021. We strongly believe that news should be free and easDAVID SABADOS ily available to everyone, which is why we don’t have subscriptions and deliver a print newspaper to our community. About 85% of our funding comes from the local advertisers you see in each issue. The other 15% is from grants and readers like you. Please help us meet our year-end fundraising goals by making a contribution before Dec. 31. For the third year, Colorado Media Project has selected The Denver North Star as one of 26 news outlets across the state for a match-
ing grant of up to $5,000. The #newsCOneeds matching grant challenge supports locally owned and nonprofit news outlets who are recognized for journalistic excellence that are meeting the news needs of local communities. We’re honored to have been included every year since the paper launched. Every dollar we raise before the end of the year will be matched up to a total of $5,000. Please note that contributions to The Denver North Star are not tax deductible. In this last year, we’ve been growing our news team and you may have noticed the paper has grown in size from a small 12 page publication, at the height of the pandemic last year, to regularly publishing 20 pages each month, allowing us to bring you more local news. We hope to use the funds to continue to expand
Page 16 December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022
our team, ensuring a diversity of voices in each issue. As printing costs have also risen sharply lately, we’ll be using some funds to alleviate our rising costs. If you want to donate online, visit DenverNorthStar.com and click “Make a Contribution” in the top right hand corner. We also welcome checks, which have the added benefit of no processing fees, so your entire contribution comes to us. Simply cut and fill out the form on the next page, make your check payable to “The Denver North Star” and mail to: The Denver North Star PO Box 11584 Denver, CO 80211 Our team enjoys helping inform our community, and we take reader input
very seriously. In addition to your financial contribution, please reach out to us at News@DenverNorthStar.com with questions or story ideas of what you’d like to see us cover in 2022. Finally, we’re also proud that our new sister publication, The G.E.S. Gazette, published its third issue this month. If you’re looking for news about the Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea neighborhoods and the RiNo art district, or a bilingual news source in Denver, check it out at GESGazette.com or look for copies on news racks in the area. Thank you for your support. David Sabados Publisher and Editor The Denver North Star The G.E.S. Gazette
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Address: Phone: Email: December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022 | Page 17
/// COMMUNITY ///
The Denver North Star Remembers Barbara Tramutt
By Kathryn White
arbara (Frevert) Tramutt passed away on November 28, 2021 at the age of 102. Tramutt covered Zone 3, a large expanse of the metro area from North Denver to Lakewood and Golden, for the Denver Post from August 1965 to June 1981. The Denver North Star readers learned a little about Tramutt’s long and fulfilling life as a mom and journalist in the June 2021 story “Barbara Tramutt: Shaped by History, Rooted in Community.” Tramutt got the word out about local school, library and cultural events in her columns. She announced neighborhood scholarship winners and sports scores and followed the people of Zone 3 as they navigated everything from the area’s “great flood of 1965” to the period when I-70 construction blasted from central Denver heading westward. Tramutt’s journalism career was launched at the Okmulgee Daily Times from 1938-1944 when an all-female newsroom carried residents of Okmulgee, Oklahoma through the World War II years. We extend our gratitude to Tramutt’s family for the years they shared the talents of this special woman with the people of North Denver.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LARRY TRAMUTOLA
Gift Shop Opens Second Tennyson Street Store Within Blocks of First
By Lily O’Neill, BusinessDen
ust in time for the holiday season, a Tennyson gift shop has opened a second location only a few blocks from its first. XO Gift Co., which sells handmade gifts from vendors in Colorado and around the U.S., launched a 3843 Tennyson St. store on Nov. 6. Refill shop Joy Fill previously operated at the address before moving to a larger location. The new spot is familiar for the gift shop. Kat Furr and her husband Nathan first opened XO Gift Co. in 2013 next door at 3867 Tennyson St., and moved to its current spot less than half a mile away at 4309 Tennyson St. in 2018. “I started on this block, and now I’m back with my old neighbors,” Kat Furr said. “It wasn’t in the plan at all, yet here we are. I saw it was for lease, and kept driving by and had to check it out. I thought it would be nice to scale down and focus on our top-selling items.” XO Gift Co.’s new store features its top-selling gifts, which include T-shirts, mugs and tea towels. XO Gift Co.’s new 700-square-foot space, which Furr signed a year-to-year lease for in September, features T-shirts, tea towels, mugs, art and more from about 15 vendors, five of which are from Colorado.
“We focus on the areas of life we enjoy, such as living in Colorado, music, travel, eating and drinking, celebrations and homes,” Furr said. “I thought it was a perfect location for that because people are running into Natural Grocers or into Rocket Pack & Ship to drop-off their packages all day, and they might remember they need a card or a gift for a friend. So, I thought we would fit in nicely,” Furr said. The other shop, which is around the same size but with more nooks and crannies to display items, features around 75 vendors and more niche gifts, such as birdhouses, wall hangings, home goods and unique apparel. Items can range from $3 for a coaster to $1,000 for a piece of art. “We focus on the areas of life we enjoy, such as living in Colorado, music, travel, eating and drinking, celebrations and homes,” Furr said. Furr had always wanted to work for herself and own a shop and was in the midst of writ-
PHOTO BY LILY O’NEILL, BusinessDen
Kat Furr is co-owner of XO Gift Co., which opened a second store on Tennyson Street. ing a business plan when she was fired from a marketing job of five years. “In all honesty, it was the perfect opportunity,” she said. The new location features 15 vendors, five of which are from Colorado. The idea for handmade gifts came about after she handmade the place card holders for her wedding and started an Etsy shop on the side with wirecraft art, “which made me appreciate the vendors in this industry a lot more,” Furr said. Furr and her husband originally opened the business as Spices of Life Gift Co., but “quickly found out my business advisor was right when she said not to use that name,” she said. They changed it shortly after opening. Furr picks and chooses which items to feature in the store based on her own taste and customer requests. Some of the items are consignment, with sales split 50/50 between herself and the vendor. During the pandemic, she ramped up her online business, which is now run out of the back of her new store. Furr said that loyal customers who came to buy gifts last year helped them survive the COVID storm, and she had a record breaking weekend during Small Business Saturday last year. “Considering we were able to open a second location, things have been pretty good,” she added.
Page 18 December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022
Home Sharing Continued from Page 1
The Denver North Star, still available online. So far in 2021 both organizations report disappointingly low numbers of final home sharing matches (1 for Odd Couples Housing and 9 for Sunshine Home Share Colorado). Their pipelines of prospective seekers and homeowners have grown but getting people across the finish line has been a struggle. For Odd Couples Housing Director of Colorado Development Erin Loughrey, the company has its work to do building name recognition in Denver. And according to Sunshine Home Share Executive Director Alison Joucovsky, MA, LPC, COVID-19 played a factor. Once vaccines became readily available, she saw an increase in the number of people coming to them. But the intake and vetting process can take up to 8 weeks, so it’ll take time to see how much the vaccine and subsequent boosters will impact homeowner interest. And with COVID-19 uncertainties continuing as one variant after another arrives on the scene, these matching processes will require more time on the front end for parties to explore compatibility around COVID-19 safety aspects of intergenerational living. For both, home seekers greatly outnumber the homeowner side of the equation. Loughrey shared, “An owner who looks and then decides not to move forward sometimes decides they don't want to share their home, they decide they don't need help around the house, can grocery shop, take care of their yards, IT issues etc. or they just decide to wait.” And so, both are gearing up to raise awareness about the benefits of home sharing and intergenerational living, and to grow the number of community connections that will help them accomplish this. Intergenerational and multi-family home sharing have been woven into the fabric of societies for generations—and are especially common outside the U.S.—but these newer facilitated models (versus looking to family or friends to find a roommate) are still finding their way to the right blend of outreach, vetting, and support. Odd Couples Housing operates like an enhanced roommate matching service, adding background checks and a home sharing and personality survey to the proprietary matching algorithm, bringing it traction in the St. Louis area. Once a match is made, seekers pay a one-time $50 fee and homeowners pay a one-time $200 match fee as well as $25 monthly for the match membership program. The home seeker typically benefits from low-
Mountains Continued from Page 1
traffic, there are plenty of airlines flying to the ski resorts. Denver Air Connection is the only airline to offer a direct flight from Denver into the Telluride airport (TEX), the highest commercial airport in the United States. Southwest Airlines recently started flying to Steamboat Springs/Hayden airport with round trip flights as low as $78 this winter, though you’ll still have to rent a car or take a $66 round trip shuttle to get from the airport into town. United Airlines and their partners also fly to Aspen, Eagle/ Vail, Steamboat Springs/Hayden, Gunnison/ Crested Butte, Durango, and Montrose. Be aware that when the snow conditions for skiing are best, snow storms can make it hard to get into some of the mountain airports, especially Aspen, Telluride, and Eagle/Vail. Those flights are often cancelled or delayed due to inclement weather so you may find it quicker to drive. As with all types of public transportation, the federal mask mandate is required on all buses, trains, and planes, and is extended through at least Jan. 18, 2022. DRIVING AND CARPOOLING For those wanting to brave traffic and drive themselves or carpool with friends, there is one new option this season for drivers. The I-70 Westbound Mountain Express lane opened this summer, and allows drivers to choose a toll/ express lane between the Veterans Memorial Tunnel and the Empire Junction to speed up their journey when traffic is crowded in one of
er rent in exchange for light duties around the house such as grocery shopping, yard work, or help with homeowner IT issues. Sunshine Home Share Colorado is a nonprofit organization and it’s matching program is grant-funded (including funding from the City of Denver’s Department of Housing Stability). Its matches are facilitated by master’s level geriatric social workers who are attuned to homeowners’ full range of needs. For example, a third of their matches last year were with homeowners over age 90, where the social worker’s assistance with care planning beyond light tasks around the house became invaluable. The home seeker in this arrangement also helps out around the house, but more significant assistance with things like bathing and transportation can be pieced together by Sunshine’s staff. Joucovsky has seen opportunities to coordinate its in-depth services with online matching tools like Silvernest. Twice last year they were able to pick up where Silvernest leaves off, by adding their vetting and screening process to matches found online. Randy Bulow of Oasis Senior Advisors is in the business of helping individuals and families weigh options for housing when living independently at home is becoming less practical. His industry has emerged to help people connect with the senior community that best meets their needs, and they typically receive a placement fee when they’ve been successful. Bulow sees a rise in small residential care homes, but he rarely gets questions about home sharing. Loughrey hopes Denver will get there, as St. Louis seems to be: “Denver is similar to St. Louis in that we have several universities in and surrounding the metro area. We are both moderate-sized cities, though Denver is a bit larger. We wanted to expand to a city with a larger population but not a LA, NY, Chicago yet. Denver's average age is a few years younger than the average age in St. Louis. We wanted to see how that would change our results. The number of people moving here is larger than St. Louis and we are becoming denser.”
More information about Odd Couples Housing and Sunshine Home Share Colorado can be found at: ODD COUPLES HOUSING www.oddcoupleshousing.com 303-913-9421 SUNSHINE HOME SHARE COLORADO www.sunshinehomeshare.org 303-915-8264
the two free general purpose lanes. It is available on select dates when traffic volumes are high. The I-70 Eastbound Mountain Express lane will continue to be available on select days this year as well. Toll prices vary for these two toll lanes based on demand, but be warned they have historically had the highest toll rates for roads in the state. As of press time, the Westbound Mountain Express Lane is in a testing phase, and is free to the public until testing is completed. Drivers can also use the goI70.com website to get a peek at historical travel time forecasts with tips on times to leave to avoid traffic, as travel times and traffic volume on I-70 are generally very predictable unless there is inclement weather or a crash. Travel time forecasts are updated for each weekend and are available at: goi70.com/travel. There are also some perks for driving up with friends or family, and even penalties if you don’t. Eldora ski resort is charging a single occupancy vehicle fee of $10 on weekends and holidays. Arapahoe Basin has reserved parking close to the slopes for vehicles with three or more people on busy days. Breckenridge has a $5 discount for vehicles with four or more people in any of their parking lots. Also new this year is a law passed by the Colorado Legislature that permits carpool apps for people wanting to find others going to similar destinations. Treadshare and Caravan are among the new apps focused on people that want to carpool from Denver. Both apps are downloadable on your phone if you want to put together a group online to go up to the mountains, whether you are looking to be a driver or a passenger.
The Denver North Star
/// COMMUNITY ///
SHAPING OUR FUTURE BY REMEMBERING OUR PAST
Judge Ben B. Lindsey, The Kid's Judge B
enjamin Barr Lind- the family would not freeze. sey never forgot his This experience made Lindsey realize that working class roots, and juveniles should not be thrown in with adult that's why I have always prisoners so he organized an informal juvenile court, the first in the country. Lindsey admired him. Lindsey was only 11 supported the 1903 city charter because it inDENNIS GALLAGHER years old in 1879 when cluded a juvenile detention home. his family moved to Denver from his naOne of my favorite stories about Lindsey tive Tennessee. His dad initially had a good is that he would send juvenile offenders to position as chief telegraph operator for the the reformatory in Golden on the interurban Denver South Park and Pacific Railstreetcar. He told the guards that they road, but he became ill and lost his no longer had to accompany the job. Young Lindsey had to quit young offenders to the detention school at East High and find home. He gave each offender work to help his struggling a dime to pay for their trolley family. Further trouble beset fare to Golden. The guards the family when his dad took laughed and said, "no juvenile his own life, but young Lindwill ever make it to the desey got a job clerking in a law tention home in Golden," but office. In 1894, he had studied Lindsey kept track of them. Out enough to become a lawyer. At of 500 kids he sent to Golden with age 32, he became an attorney dimes, only two got tempted for Arapahoe County, Denver's PHOTO FROM DENVER passing an ice cream parlor and PUBLIC LIBRARY, CHS-B1042 stopped inside instead of going name in those days. In 1900 he became a judge and Judge Ben B. Lindsey to detention. Lindsey said they early in his career on the bench, immediately came back to court Tom Noel reports in his great book “Denver: and confessed to the ice cream temptation too Mining Camp to Metropolis,” Judge Lindsey hard to resist, so he sent them on their way and initially sentenced a young North Denver Ital- with two new dimes the lads finally made it to ian boy for stealing coal. Noel writes that the Golden, to the relief of chastised guards and boy's mother ran to Lindsey screaming, tear- all. I sure miss the old interurban to Golden. ing her disheveled hair and beating her head In his book, “The Beast,” co-authored by against the wall, "as if," Lindsey remembered, Harvey O’Higgins, Lindsey tells the story of "she would batter the court house down on his many battles with corruption in the Denus all and bury our injustice under the ruins." ver County Courts. He fought the business Lindsey suspended the sentence and investi- interests which were running the politicians gated the circumstances of the boy's family. at the old city hall on Larimer. Lindsey fought Lindsey found that the family lived in a two voter fraud, corrupt utility companies, and room shack in North Denver. The boy's father, the water companies. Fearlessly, he went after a smelter worker, could no longer work due to the state and city's most powerful big monlead poisoning, and the boy stole coal so that ey interests including the Guggenheims for
Continued from Page 14 living, racial inequalities, domestic violence, and resulting mental health and substance misuse issues. As we embrace capitalism without guardrails and wealth becomes increasingly concentrated at the top, we shame ourselves by not making sure the poorest and neediest among us are taken care of. We’ve taken our eye off the ball. The City and County of Denver, including its Department of Housing Stability and the downtown Denver Central Library, is trying to remedy this. Many nonprofits work with CVC, including the St. Francis Center, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Urban Peak, The Gathering Place and the Denver Street Outreach Collaborative, to serve our unhoused neighbors. If you would like to help our unhoused neighbors, please contact me. Cole Chandler, CVC’s co-founder and executive director, and I welcome your ideas and your helping hands. In the coming year, I’ll be planning events to broaden
Continued from Page 7 and services for children with disabilities. For those unfamiliar with hookah, the National Hookah Community Association describes it as a “cultural tradition practiced by Middle Eastern, Armenian, Turkish, Indian, Persian and North African minority communities and is the centerpiece for social and celebratory events.” Its origins date back to the 16th century and it’s a popular social activity, especially among groups that do not consume alcohol. The hookah pipe (also known as shisha or waterpipe) can stand up to three feet tall and consists of multiple components, often ornately decorative. Various flavored tobaccos, in formulations specific to waterpipes, are available. They can be smoked alone but, prior to COVID-19,
The Denver North Star
unsafe working conditions at the old Asarco Smelter in Globeville. He was the worker's judge, never forgetting his uncertain roots and troubles growing up without a father. In 1910, Lindsey described our state in “The Beast:” "The State of Colorado is exploited and the people robbed by a government by the Beast and for the Beast. A system of corruption that aims to pick the corruptible man for public service, and refuses the honest one an opportunity to serve, has made most of the public life and administration of public affairs in Colorado a gigantic failure, a huge oppression." These prophetic words become an early warning of the corporate collusion in the Ludlow Massacre a few years later. Lindsey also fought the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. But his downfall came when he supported the idea of "companionate marriage." He believed that marriage should be a year-to-year contract to be renewed by the consenting party. Enraged, the marrying reverends, rabbis, and priests in town rose up against him. The pope even personally castigated him. Reminding folks that his mother was Catholic and his father Protestant did not help Lindsey in this battle. He retired to California where he became a judge and told people I know here in our city that he always missed Denver and his work with the Juvenile Court. Ben Lindsey was a profile in courage, a fearless leader, and a great character who left Denver better off than he found it. The Honorable Dennis Gallagher is a former city auditor, city councilman, state senator and state representative. He shares thoughts and stories from North Denver’s past and future in his monthly column in The Denver North Star.
Thank you No needy family should go hungry.
For more than 40 years, Bienvenidos Food Bank has provided Northwest Denver individuals and families with emergency food in a safe, welcoming place.
Each year, Bienvenidos:
to our generous Denver supporters Serves Saves 180,000 pounds of 10,000 Denver who have helped Bienvenidos Food wholesome food from grocery residents a year. stores – that would havebeen been Bank during COVID-19. We have thrown away. one of 62 out of 106 food agencies in Gives away more than Denver that has been able to stay open 375,000 pounds Provides enough food of food valued nearly during theatpandemic. We see new to make more than $600,000 300,000 meals. families weekly, who have suffered economically and physically this year.
For every $1 you give, we are able to provide $9 of food. bienvenidosfoodbank.org
Please consider a donation to support this important work in 2021. For every $1 you give, we are able to provide $9 of food.
awareness about the causes of Denver homelessness and to fundraise for our programs. Our dedicated staff is small; volunteers keep CVC going. If you’d like to volunteer to help build a Safe Outdoor Space or provide a meal for one of our many communities, we welcome your love in action. Visit our website (www. coloradovillagecollaborative.org) to learn more about how you can help. Jennifer Forker is the Director of Development and Communications for Colorado Village Collaborative, which exists to bridge the gap between the streets and stable housing. CVC is working to advance dignified solutions that significantly reduce Denver’s unsheltered homeless population. Since its founding in 2017, CVC has launched five transformational housing projects, including two tiny home villages and three Safe Outdoor Spaces that have provided more than 20,000 nights of safe, dignified shelter in partnership with people coming from homelessness. To learn more about CVC or to donate to support our work, please visit www. coloradovillagecollaborative.org. Email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org. were more typically shared. COVID-19 has brought new practices for shared smoking such as disposable mouthpieces and hoses. Hookah waterpipe smoking, alongside being a valued cultural tradition, has been established to put smokers at risk for the same kinds of diseases known to be caused by cigarette smoking. The FDA, Mayo Clinic and American Lung Association maintain that hookah waterpipes are not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. According to the American Lung Association, “Long-term effects include impaired pulmonary function, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, esophageal cancer and gastric cancer. Short-term hookah use is associated with acute health effects, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, reduced pulmonary function, and carbon monoxide intoxication.”
Good Tidings We Bring…
Christmas Eve at Highlands United Methodist Church December 24th at 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, or 8pm All four of our services include candles, carols,
and a live nativity, in a healthy worship space.
The Traditional Service: the most treasured elements of Christmas Eve with scripture, special music, and a reflection that brings the meaning of Christmas home. 6pm and 8pm The Children and Family Service: for all ages, the scriptures and reflection are shared in a highly engaging manner with visits from our cast of puppets. 2pm and 4pm
Healthy Worship Space: 3+ air exchanges/hr, HEPA filtration, vaccinated staff, masks required
3131 Osceola St
ChristmasEveDenver.com December 15, 2021-January 14, 2022 | Page 19
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2138 Glenarm Place 2 Bath
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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.