Your Guide to Community, Politics, Ar ts and Culture in Nor th Denver DenverNor thStar.com
Volume 2, Issue 8
May 15, 2021 -June 14, 2021
North Denver Couple Denied Zoning Variance to House Disabled Mom Subjectivity and Bias on Denver’s Board of Adjustment for Zoning Enters Public Spotlight
Safe Outdoor Space PAGE 4
COMMUNITY Phil Goodstein Seeks Apprentice PAGE 5
PHOTO BY SARI BLUM
Shawn (left) and Ben (right) Johnson have been trying to build a home for Shawn’s mother. Alongside confusing and conflicting rejections, they started seeing bias in the system. By Kathryn White
S Regis University Graduates PAGE 12
EDUCATION North Denver Soccer Program PAGE 13
HEALTH & ENVIRONMENT I-70 Sound Wall Improvements PAGE 17
After Two Fatal Crashes, Residents Call For Safety Improvements to Neighborhood Streets By Allen Cowgill
unnyside residents Shawn and Ben Johnson received wide-spread support for an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) to house Shawn’s disabled mom, until they faced the Board of Adjustment for Zoning Appeals (BOA). After three unsuccessful hearings before the BOA, the Johnsons are making their case public, shining a spotlight on the chasm between a city’s vision for equity and agingin-place, and an arcane zoning process interpreted by a board untethered from that vision. When Shawn Johnson’s mother, Catherine Johnson, suffered a brain aneurysm in 1995, he and his brothers were young. Too young to help when the aneurysm led to a stroke, then paralysis down the left side of her body. “She’s brilliant and resolute on being a kind person. Raising three boys, she made sure we were capable young men who understood the importance of knowing right and doing right.” But at 10 years old, Shawn couldn’t take care of his mom. Last year Ms. Johnson suffered another health setback, this time a lung infection. She spent two months in a North Carolina hospital in critical care on a ventilator before being released to rehab and eventually back home. Shawn spent several weeks by her side, then returned to Denver where he and his husband Ben agonized across the distance. They pictured a life where she lived close by, where they could look in on her. The Johnsons live in an area of North Denver zoned for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). They entertained ADU ideas allowing space for the piano lessons Ben teaches. Or a rental apartment for a local student. They hoped to need space in the house for growing their family someday. But when Ms. Johnson fell ill last year, their attention turned entirely toward providing a home for her. They talked to her about living close to them as she faces a chapter in life where she might need more support. They pictured enjoying life’s daily moments together: morning coffee, their garden, a
hug before saying goodnight. Shawn and Ben rolled up their sleeves and set out to design an ADU that would work for Catherine. They navigated a complex maze of steps and a mind-boggling array of requirements. They visited with their next-door neighbors and Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO), Sunnyside United Neighbors Inc (SUNI). SUNI’s Planning and Community Development Committee reviewed their design in two separate meetings and provided unanimous support in a vote of 10-0. Together with an architect, builder, neighborhood support, and the City’s Community Planning and Development department, the Johnsons moved through several iterations to arrive at a design that worked. It worked for neighbors, it worked on their property, and most importantly, it worked for Ms. Johnson. But it didn’t comply with Denver Zoning Code. In order to create a second story studio apartment sufficient for Ms. Johnson’s needs, and allowing for the real possibility she will require a wheelchair someday, the design exceeded the maximum square footage currently allowed for the footprint of the building and the ADU on top. Knowing their architect and builder have experience, and buoyed by the support they encountered in Sunnyside, Shawn and Ben felt optimistic they could successfully navigate the last steps. Their designs moved along through planning and permitting, and when they finally sat before the BOA on January 12, 2021, to request variances, they pictured Shawn’s mom moving in by Thanksgiving.
wo recent fatal high speed car crashes at 32nd Avenue and Lowell, and at 26th Avenue and Vrain St. have had residents calling for safety improvements to neighborhood streets. City of Denver records show that there have been 53 significant crashes at 32nd Avenue and Lowell since 2013, with the crash in April being the first fatal one. Hannah Hagener lives in the neighborhood and loves the 32nd Avenue strip and walkability of the neighborhood, but the number of times she has almost been hit by drivers when she was just walking to get coffee has been disconcerting with drivers speeding and turning at the intersection with poor visibility. Along with a group of other concerned residents and businesses organized by the Denver Streets Partnership, she spent days in late April going door to door at local businesses and talking to people on the street and neighbors to find out what the biggest concerns were, as well as what people in the neighborhood would like to see changed. Hannah said that the “biggest concern is speeding vehicles and pedestrian safety." While 32nd and Lowell is a priority, she's also concerned about 32nd and Meade St as well. Many employees of stores also expressed concerns about pulling onto 32nd Ave from side streets with limited visibility and speeding cars. They were also concerned about a “general lack of respect by drivers for the community with other vehicles and people walking around.” At the 6-8 businesses she spoke with in person, every single one expressed a concern that something needs to be done. “Daylighting” or removing a parking spot on the end of each block to increase intersection visibility had a ton of support. Hannah also asked businesses if they would be in support of extending the pedestrian mall that occurs for the Sunday farmers’ market, to make it a weekend long thing. “It’s been really interesting. The
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT FOR ZONING APPEALS The five-member BOA operates as a Mayor-appointed body within the City’s Boards & Commissions. The BOA’s members serve staggered 5-year
After two tragic accidents, residents have erected memorials and are looking for the city to make safety improvements.
See ZONING, Page 14
See STREETS, Page 17
PHOTO BY NATHALIE JAUTZ-BICKEL
N EWS S H ORTS
Outdoor Dining Options Likely Here to Stay By The Denver North Star Staff
he Hancock administration recently announced that restaurants can continue to use some parking lots, sidewalks, streets, and verges (the often grassy area between a sidewalk and street) through at least October of 2022. Even as indoor dining has resumed, outdoor dining has remained popular at many North Denver locations. Somer residents haven’t felt comfortable returning indoors while others simply enjoy dining in the open air and sunlight. Open air dining also allows for additional tables, a lifeline to some smaller restaurants trying to financially recover.
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720-248-7327 P.O. Box 11584, Denver CO 80211 DenverNorthStar.com PUBLISHER AND EDITOR: David Sabados ART DIRECTOR: Melissa Levad Feeney AD SALES MANAGER: Jill Carstens BUSINESS MANAGER: Nathalie Jautz-Bickel DISTRIBUTION: The paper is printed and distributed on the 15th of each month with doorto-door delivery to 33,000 homes and businesses in North Denver. NEWS INQUIRIES: For news inquiries, email News@DenverNorthStar.com
P O LI T I C S
City Council Adopts Program Requiring Landlords to Get Licensed Many property owners leasing units will have to apply starting next year By Eric Heinz
enver City Council President Stacie Gilmore frequently referenced a rental home in Green Valley Ranch that had multiple problems, such as mold and exposed wiring, which took seven months to fix. This is an example, she said, of why the city needs to require landlords to apply for licenses, so Denver can take stock of its rental inventory and why inspections must be mandated. On May 3, city council adopted plans to establish a program that would require landlords to obtain permits following an accredited inspection. Gilmore said the city’s bill is intended to take stock of all rentals in Denver and to ensure tenants are living under safe conditions. “Today, we don’t know what we have and we don’t have a concise database, and knowing the housing stock is critical … due to the pandemic and rising property costs for folks renting,” Gilmore said. The rental permits can be obtained starting Jan. 1, 2022, and by 2023 a license will be required for any person renting two or more units on a parcel. Single-unit landlords will have until 2024. Licenses will have to be renewed every four years, except for buildings that were constructed within the last four years, as Gilmore said they already go through rigorous inspections. The licensing program does not apply to state or federally owned properties, such as low-income housing, and it does not apply to short-term renters who use companies like Airbnb, which are licensed through a separate process. Tenants who wish to file a complaint with the city about the state of their rental units can do so now and have an inspector meet with the landlord, but Gilmore said this new program will make sure “property owners are showing and attesting that they meet the minimum housing standards.” “This will allow us to improve outreach to both landlords and tenants, and this is a tool to keep people housed,” she said. Last year The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment received about 1,200 complaints for issues related to mold, heating, water, ventilation, and others, according to officials with Gilmore’s office. As the average rent in Denver continues to climb—about $1,661 for a unit that is less than 850 square feet, according to the website RENTCafé—people could be inadvertently displaced while inspections take place and the units are brought up
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to code. But Gilmore said it would be the responsibility of the landlord to maintain the units and that the city does not want to break anyone’s lease because of a failure to upkeep units. Additionally, Council member Kevin Flynn said he had concerns about what happens when older homes that were built out of contemporary compliance are cited for unsafe reasons. He said many of Denver’s older housing stock has been demolished because of those reasons. “We’re going to try to mitigate that as much as possible and make sure we’re not making an unsafe living situation, and we want to be cognizant and make sure we’re mitigating any unintended consequences,” Gilmore said. “That is, at the
“That is, at the end of the day, the guiding light of this entire policy, that we want to keep people housed but we want to make sure that they’re safe.” end of the day, the guiding light of this entire policy, that we want to keep people housed but we want to make sure that they’re safe.” A checklist for landlords to comply with will be developed this summer through a stakeholder process over the summer, Gilmore said. “We really went into this process two years ago hyper-focused on how we could craft major renter protection policy and make sure that we were mitigating any concerns about involuntary or forced displacement of folks,” she said. If a landlord decides not to get a rental license but continues to operate the units, Gilmore said the city is going to use software to identify properties that are being rented. The city could locate the property through tax records and the Department of Excise and Licenses would send them a letter saying the city suspects it is being used as a rental property. The council president said she wants to educate people about the program before they enforce the new laws. “We don't have a requirement that the property owner find alternative housing for the tenant, but there’s definitely plenty of programs that we could connect the tenant with.” “We purposely made single dwelling
units the last phase, so we have essentially two and a half years to get the word out to those owners,” Gilmore said. Landlords with one dwelling unit will have to pay $50 for the license, landlords with two to 10 units will have to pay $100, those with 11 to 50 units will have to pay $250, owners with 51 to 250 units will have to pay $350, and landlords with more than 250 units will have to pay $500. Landlords will also be responsible for the cost of an initial inspection of 10% of their units, which cost about $150 or higher. Although Council member Candi CdeBaca said she wanted to implement a method that would increase the costs of licenses to corporations with massive apartment buildings, the council voted in favor of the aforementioned method based on feedback from stakeholder meetings that took place in the two years leading up to the program’s adoption. Drew Hamrick, general counsel and the senior vice president for government affairs for the Apartment Association of Metro Denver, said Colorado landlords are already required to obtain a real estate broker’s license to lease units. “What Denver’s (law) does is make them get a city license to do it,” Hamrick said. “On the one hand, it is a duplication of the state requirement and it lumps people in who never had to get a license, like the little landlord who may be renting one place in Washington Park. Even a small amount of regulation is a large amount.” According to Gilmore’s office, about 37% of Denver’s housing stock is rented, or about 54,000 units, but that is only calculated by estimates and they noted the true number may be much higher. The DDPHE director may fine landlords up to $1,000 per violation if they continue to rent out of compliance, according to the bill. The city’s rulemaking process to fill in the details of the rental license program requirements will begin sometime this summer. The city council is also considering a bill that would give low- to moderate-income tenants access to free legal counsel if they are facing evictions. That bill is currently being discussed in council committee. Eric Heinz is a freelance journalist based in Denver who most recently covered Los Angeles City Hall for City News Service.
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The Denver North Star
Senior Assistance Center Helping North Denver Elders for 40 Years By David Sabados
tarted in 1981, the Senior Assistance Center has helped Denver residents 55 ssentiallyand up get basic necessities, stay in their ord out tohomes, chart their financial futures, and connect with their community. Forty years unit willlater, the staff has changed but the mission is landlordsthe same: helping seniors in North Denver pay $100,and across the city. ave to pay Karen Black is the organization’s current units willExecutive Director and heads up the two with morewoman show along with Janet Schreurs who handles operations and programs. Beyond $500. nsible forthat, they rely on community volunteers n of 10%and their board to help. Gearing up for this out $150summer, they hope to have more volunteers from the community. r Candi One of their biggest programs is emermplementgency food and other necessities. Currentthe costsly, they prepare boxes they offer through a h massivedrive-up service as well as some delivery in ncil votedthe neighborhood. ed meth- Services aren’t limited to basic necessiakeholderties though. “Many of our clients are on low two yearsfixed incomes,” explained Black. “I believe in the holistic approach.” In addition to the ption. unsel and vernment ciation of landlords real estate
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SENIOR ASSISTANCE CENTER
The Senior Assistance Center serves as an emergency pantry, but also provides help connecting seniors to services, offers financial guidance, and more. immediate supplies, they also help seniors with monthly household budgeting, connecting them with long term services of-
fered by the city and other nonprofit organizations, as well as a variety of other needs. Black said the organization stands out because they really try to tailor their services to the individual. “People call in, tell us what they’re looking for.” Recently, they’ve spent a lot of time helping seniors find COVID-19 vaccine appointments, which “is not the easiest thing to do” for many of the clients, especially those who aren’t comfortable with or don’t own a computer. They’ve been providing phone numbers and guidance to community clinics, as well as information about home vaccine programs for those who can’t easily travel. In the last 12 months, the center has
See CENTER, Page 16
ce, about is rented, at is only hey noted higher. landlords y continording to
Tennis Court Improvements at Sloan’s Lake By The Denver North Star Staff
is make it,” Hamt is a duent and it to get a liho may be ton Park. ation is a
NEWS SHO RTS
nyone who has played on Sloan’s Lake tennis courts can attest that they need repairs: the courts on both the North and South sides of the lake show significant wear and several residents reached out to The Denver North Star asking us to look into the city’s plans. A spokesperson for Parks and Recreation said the city will be removing the southern courts (near 17th and Raleigh) and will replace them with three new tennis courts and four new pickleball courts, redone in conjunction with a new playground nearby. Residents hoping for improvements on the damaged north courts, however, may be disappointed to hear that they will have to wait awhile longer. According to the Parks department, the impacts of the pandemic on the city budget restricted already limited funds, but the city is aware of the conditions and will repair/resurface the northern courts as soon as they are able.
PHOTO BY DAVID SABADOS
The southern courts at Sloan's Lake will be replaced this year, but the northern courts are on the wait list.
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N EWS S H ORTS
C OM M UN I T Y
No Appointments Required For Vaccines At Ball Arena, Some Smaller Sites
Regis University To Host “Safe Outdoor Space” Site for Up to 60 Individuals and Couples
By The Denver North Star Staff
all Arena (formerly the Pepsi Center) no longer requires appointments for COVID-19 vaccines. Both the Pfizer and Moderna 2-dose vaccines are available to drive-up and walk-up residents. As supply of the vaccines has increased, waiting lists have been disappearing and the vaccine is more readily available. Ball Area is located at 1000 Chopper Cir, just off Speer Blvd. For more information, visit https://www.primarybio.com/r/truecare24-cdphe/. The site is open Mon - Fri from 7-7, Saturday and Sunday from 9-4. As of publication, Dick’s Sporting Good Park was still requiring appointments, though many same day appointments were available. Dick’s is located at 6000 Victory Way, Commerce City, CO 80022 and they are open Sun - Thurs 9am - 5pm. For more information, visit www.centura.org/vaccine or call (720) 263-5737 Five smaller community vaccination sites, including Swansea Recreation Center and Barnum Recreation Center, also no longer require appointments. For more information on locations and times, please call 720-865-3005.
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By David Sabados or Regis University, providing emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness is part of their mission as Jesuit Catholics and a service they can provide as a major landowner in North Denver. “Ours is a faith that does justice, a faith that calls on us to commit ourselves to combat indifference, walk with the poor and foster dignity among all peoples,” said Regis President the Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J. “We were given the opportunity to provide a safe and secure temporary home for those suddenly cast onto the streets through no fault of their own. We embrace and welcome those who need an extra measure of human kindness and concern during these difficult times. As Pope Francis says, ‘If we do not take care of one another … we cannot heal the world.’” The university is working with the ColoPHOTOS BY DAVID SABADOS rado Village Collaborative (CVC), which has The Safe Outdoor Space in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is similar to the one that been hosting a similar project in the Capitol will open at Regis soon. Hill neighborhood for 5 months and is currently working on another in Park Hill. CVC housing by welcoming them to our communi- raised over $25,000 online, which he sees as provides the temporary structures, The Saint ty and volunteering with the Colorado Village strong evidence of community support for Francis Center will provide staffing for the Collaborative. The housing crisis is a societal their work. The Safe Outdoor Space (SOS) sites are a Regis site and together they work with service issue, which means we all have a role to play newer initiative allowed by the city on private providers to help their residents access medi- in fixing it.” property, and are one of the tools being used cal care, job placement, and more permanent to address a rise in homelessness. While not housing. The site will be in one of Regis’ parkintended to be long term solutions (the Regis ing lots on campus but away from both stusite is expected to last 6 months), they prodents and neighbors, creating privacy for resvide safe, legal housing alternatives to the tent idents, the university students and staff, and communities that have popped up in areas the community. like Civic Center Park and elsewhere. University officials said most of the North Ian Stitt, SOS Manager with The Saint FranDenver community has been supportive. cis Center, will be overseeing the Regis site and “The neighbors aren’t surprised to see a jein the meantime is at the Cap Hill location. He suit catholic college stepping up in this way,” said finding more permanent housing is often explained Jenna Farley. Farley is the Director a two year process and he’s glad to see the city of Community Relations for Regis, but also a taking an all of the above approach. “There’s 5th generation North Denverite and nearby no one solution to homelessness,” he noted. homeowner herself, which she felt was imStitt explained some residents leave during the portant for the community to know. She told day for work or to find work while others meet The Denver North Star that the biggest queswith city services on site. While everyone’s tion she’s received is about safety. Some comneeds are different, he believes these sites offer munity members envisioned spanning tarps, transitional opportunities. poor hygiene, and drug labs, but the site has Regis University is holding several public new, clean temporary structures and sanitary meetings to address any community quesfacilities, and drugs are not allowed. Staff is on Each temporary shelter has a cot and tions. While two were prior to The Denver site at all times and the campus has their own other basic amenities. security as well. Farley said once the details Councilwoman Amanda P. Sandoval, who North Star’s publication date, there is one adwere explained, nearly everyone they’ve spo- represents the area, sent her own statement of ditional virtual meeting on May 20th. Access ken with has been supportive of the Univer- support. “I sponsored an amendment to the information is available at www.coloradovilsity’s decision. “We’re honoring the humanity Denver Zoning Code in the fall of 2020 to al- lagecollaborative.org/safe-outdoor-space. University officials said they welcome more of neighbors forced to live on the street.” low Safe Outdoor Spaces in Chapter 59 zone Cole Chandler, executive director of CVC, districts, Regis University has Chapter 59 zon- community feedback individually as well. Byron Plumley was a faculty member at said when they were planning the Cap Hill lo- ing and has the opportunity to step into this cation there was an illegal encampment across important space. I’m proud of their leadership Regis for 25 years and a founder of the Peace and Justice Studies Department. He’s been the street composed of tarps, tents, and no and our partnership.” volunteering at the Cap Hill sanitary facilities, which location and will be shifting made residents assume to Regis when they open. the sanctioned ones were He also lives near Regis. To the same, causing strong, Plumley, the question for the understandable concerns. community is “am I willing In reality, the unsancto share my neighborhood tioned site disbanded and with someone who is strugthe city approved site has gling?” He is, and he hopes been a welcomed addition the rest of North Denver is by permanent residents. too. In the five months they’ve The SOS sites are fundbeen operating, they haved in large part by the City en’t received a single comand County of Denver, but plaint from residents in the also private donations. You homes and apartments that can learn more about CVC’s surround the site on three projects at https://www.colsides (the fourth side is a oradovillagecollaborative. church hosting the SOS). org/safe-outdoor-space or by Jason Hornyak, head of City sanctioned sites include facilities for personal hygiene. calling (720) 432-8285. the Chaffee Park NeighborThe city has also announced several other hood Association nearby the Regis site, sent a This mostly positive response had been difstatement of support for the new Regis site. ferent than Park Hill, which has faced greater proposals aimed at helping Denver’s rise in “The Chaffee Park Neighborhood Association opposition to a site. A small group of residents homelessness. Earlier this month Congresswholeheartedly supports the Safe Outdoor are currently suing a church working with woman Diana DeGette and Mayor Michael Space project at Regis University - who we ap- CVC to provide a similar space, attempting Hancock announced a plan to use federal plaud and appreciate for hosting. This model to stop the project. The head of the Registered funds to purchase a motel in Northeast Denhas a proven history in other parts of the city, Neighborhood Association in Park Hill re- ver to provide supportive housing for approxand we are excited that our community will leased a statement in support of the site and imately 150 people. Several other older motels have been converted on a temporary or more play a role in adding to their positive legacy. does not support the lawsuit. We look forward to the opportunity to help Chandler said in the 24 hours follow- permanent basis as well, including one in our neighbors who are in need of emergency ing the announcement of the lawsuit, CVC North Denver.
The Denver North Star
C OM M UN I T Y
The Spirit of Phil Goodstein Continues Longtime Historian Says He Would Like Apprentice to Help with Tours By Eric Heinz
nimatedly recalling the story of Denver’s own “Spiderman” or giving tours about the “ghosts” that dwell in the Mile High City, Phil Goodstein has extensive knowledge of all of them. Goodstein has been giving history tours since 1986. He has written more than 25 books about the city’s past and has a personal photo archive of the places he chronicles. With his long, red-and-white beard and oscillating speech that gives him a professor’s demeanor, he is a local laureate of what is no more. “I have a PhD in useless information,” Goodstein said. “When I got the degree, I really couldn’t use it, unless you want to hear me start lecturing on East European history and all sorts of other arcane subjects of that.” Books in tow, eyes dilated behind hornedrim glasses, Goodstein sat down with The one that Denver North Star to speak about his tours, how they began and how they are resuming as COVID-19 restrictions become more relaxed. After getting his degree, Goodstein said he pursued freelance journalism, writing articles about “how Denver works itself” and teaching adult education summer classes. “I figured, let’s do something to get outside, and combined with that I thought the existing tours of Denver were hideously rotten and was convinced I could do a better job,” he said. About the time Goodstein said he started the walking tours, the director of Colorado Free University recommended he should give a tour on the seamy side of Denver, then the idea was pitched to him to do a class about the ghosts of Denver. “And the enrollment is incredible before I really have a chance to figure out what am I doing,” Goodstein said. “I find out there
are such gaps in terms of what all of this is about. I have to literally write the book on the subject.” He did. “The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill” was published in 1996, and for 15 years he said special ghost tours called Haunted Halloween were his major “money-maker.” “We would rent a bus, originally double-deckers, we would fill it twice a night with 70 people for three … four nights in a row,” Goodstein said. “Every year, something would go wrong on that tour. Suddenly there would be some accident, some traffic jam, the bus would break down … there would be a bunch of drunken rowdies another year.” “That tour gets very badly hit when suddenly the Rockies go to the World Series in 2007, and it never quite recovered from that in popularity. It was one of those things, I wasn’t enjoying it, doing two tours a night.” Goodstein said he replaced those tours with the ghost walking tours, which he conducts between March and October. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to cancel the tours, in addition to a threemonth illness last summer, Goodstein came to a realization. He needs an apprentice. “Maybe I’ve had the durability to keep going or the stupidity to not say ‘enough already’ and end it,” Goodstein said. “As much as anything, the goal there was to see whether two people … had the wherewithal of that and other such things.” Goodstein said he continues to do the tours for income, but also because he doesn’t want them to disappear. The qualifications to be taken under his wing would be someone who can recall facts easily and is a good storyteller, he said. “You need to be out there taking notes to write these things down, and here I am telling the story, but there’s a lot more and of-
Goodstein poses for a photo at the home in the West Highland neighborhood where Denver’s own “Spiderman” once stowed away to steal the residents’ provisions. Spiderman, a.k.a. Theodore Edward Coneys murdered the occupant in 1941 and lived in the home’s attic for nine months before he was apprehended by police.
PHOTOS BY ERIC HEINZ
Longtime historian Phil Goodstein has published his latest book, “The Denver That Is No More,” which explores many Northside haunts that have been demolished. ten a lot of these stories are in my books,” he said, adding he refreshes his own memory before embarking. One such tour he could use help with is The Seamy Side of Denver, which he has been giving since 1989. Part of the tour explores the industry of semi-legal gambling that took place within the city’s leading bordello downtown. Goodstein said there were some interesting murders that he highlights while discussing the early years of the city. LATEST BOOK Goodstein also released a new book in May, “The Denver That Is No More: The Story of the City’s Demolished Landmarks,” which features stories about old schoolhouses that have been demolished, and he recounts the fight to save North High School in the 1980s. The book talks about the Roger Woodbury Mansion near West 26th Avenue and Alcott Street, which has also been demolished, and the old St. Anthony’s Hospital at West 16th Avenue and Raleigh Street, as well as Manhattan Beach, the amusement park that was located near the northwest shore of Sloan’s Lake and more North Denver haunts of yesteryear. Goodstein said he was commissioned by a publishing company in the United Kingdom to write a series of books on historic buildings that have been demolished in London, Chicago, New York, and Denver, but he said that deal fell through. He returned to finishing the Denver edition recently under New Social Publications. The book can be found at West Side Books
on 32nd Ave., BookBar on Tennyson St, and other local bookstores. Eric Heinz is a freelance journalist based in Denver who most recently covered Los Angeles City Hall for City News Service.
GOODSTEIN’S UPCOMING TOURS
• 11 a.m.-1 p.m. May 16: “The Ghosts
of Cheesman Park.” Meet at the main entrance to the park at 9th Avenue, half a block west of Race Street. Cost: $20 • 7-9 p.m. May 22: “Ghost Walk.” Meet at the statue of the Indian along the east lawn of the Colorado State Capitol Building, between Colfax and 14th Avenue. Cost: $20. • 2-3 p.m. May 23: “The Denver That Is No More.” This is an informal gathering about Goodstein’s books, focused on his latest publication. Broadway Book Mall, 200 S. Broadway. Cost: Free. • 6-8 p.m. June 7 (PENDING): “The Seamy Side of Denver.” Meet at the flagpole at Union Station, 17th Avenue and Wynkoop Street. Cost: $20. • 6:30-7:30 p.m. June 13: “The Legacy of the 1965 Platte Flood.” Meet on the “river side” of the REI Building, 14th Street and Platte Street. More information about Phil Goodstein’s tours can be found at darksideofdenver.com.
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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
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f you have read my column before, you know that I am dogmatically firm on the one single best sort of exercise, diet, and ERIKA TAYLOR wellness practice that each and every human ought to be pursuing. There is no room for equivocation in my philosophy. The best exercise, diet, and wellness practice is -- the one that you will do. It’s the kind that supports your lifestyle, your goals and makes your body feel good. And more importantly, it includes things that you enjoy having on your to do list. As I’m watching my calendar go from zero (no in-person events in 14 months) to breathtakingly full -- it’s May and I have a high school senior-- I thought maybe it was an appropriate time to remind us all that much like our wellness practice, there is also ONE single best way to head into the opening up of the world we all left behind over a year ago and fill up our to do list. And that way is - - the way that works for you! You may have friends and family who are diving into the “opening up” with wholehearted abandon, enthusiastically scheduling big birthday lunches and group exercise time at the gym while booking reservations for overseas trips. You may know folks who are planning to keep exercising at home, and attending events by video chat, and having their groceries delivered. I’ve seen mask burning parties on the news and know folks who plan to continue wearing masks anytime they leave the house for the foresee-
able future. I personally fall somewhere in the middle of this return road. I’m completely open to small outdoor gatherings where there is room to spread out, and I’ve stopped wearing a mask when I take a walk in the park. At the same time, I’m not at all ready to eat indoors in close quarters in restaurants, and I continue to wear a mask downtown during the walking rush hour on the mall. What a strange thing to be thinking about! And that’s the whole point. It’s profoundly strange! There is no set of rules that will work for everyone in every situation. Maybe you are more closely guarding the space on your calendar now. Or maybe you realized you crave having your days filled with appointments. And guess what! Both are right. It may be that both are even right for one and the same person on a given day or in a given moment. Activities that felt okay and safe and worth the time one day may not feel that way the next. So don’t let anyone give you the “but you went to Zumba with Frank yesterday, why won’t you go to Aquacise with ME today?” treatment. In case you missed it, you are surviving a pandemic. And there is only one right way to do that. Your way. You are doing it right. Erika Taylor is a community wellness instigator at Taylored Fitness. Taylored Fitness believes that everyone can discover small changes in order to make themselves and their communities more vibrant. Visit facebook.com/erika.taylor.303 or email email@example.com.
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Page 6 | May 15, 2021-June 14, 2021
The Denver North Star
C O M M UN I T Y
West Area Plan Nears Final Stages, City Seeks More Community Input
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tarted in 2019, The West Area Plan is nearing its final stages and city planners are again looking for residents to give input on the future of their community. These plans encompass several neighborhoods and allow the city to look at aspects ranging from housing to transportation, to environmental issues, to overall quality of life. From there, the various agencies can implement specific policies and projects based on the plans. Sound broadscoped? It is. These plans are ultimately the basis for decisions about zoning density, mass transit vs car vs bike and pedestrian options, arts and cultural spending, and much more. The West Area Plan includes the West Colfax, Sun Valley, Villa Park, Valverde, Barnum, and Barnum West neighborhoods. If you live in more northern neighborhoods, this is also a chance to preview what the Near Northwest Area Plan may look like in another year and a half and to better understand that process. This month the city is rolling out more details, including specifics on priorities identified through their research and community feedback. Among those priorities are a number of topics that come up frequently. Senior City Planner Eugene Howard and Alexandra Foster, the communications program manager for Community Planning and Development, talked with The Denver North Star to help explain some of those priorities and how the community can give input. PRESERVATION AND REUSE OF EXISTING BUILDINGS Denver’s Westside hasn’t seen the volume of scrapes as the Northside, and preserving structures is a priority for both the city and residents. While specifics on policy proposals are still a few months away and involve various departments, Howard explained some examples could include ideas as simple as streamlining review and permitting for older buildings owners are trying to repurpose. Right now, it can be cheaper for a developer to knock down and rebuild rather than renovate, which they can work to
change. “Time is money in the development world,” he explained. “If a building meets the definition of Historic with a capital H, it can unlock financial tools.” Those tools could include city, state, or private grants, making repurposing more affordable. An older church or school no longer being used can be converted into housing or small businesses but it keeps the external appearance the community knows. He describes it as “Not just saving a building, but the overall character.” ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOOD Addressing food deserts, areas that don’t have easy access to purchasing an array of foods, has also been identified as a priority. While infill projects and zoning that allow grocery stores and encouraging them to open is one obvious solution, Howard explained that based on feedback, especially from older residents, the city is also exploring how they can support alternative options like food delivery services, mobile pop-up markets, and other options that make food more available without car travel. While long term plans are important, Foster said they also hear from people who say their needs are more immediate, and the community outreach has also been a way planners can connect people with city agencies working with food and housing insecurities in the short term as well. IMPROVED TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS Colfax Avenue itself is technically a highway, but the growth of fun new businesses means it’s also increasingly a destination area for residents looking to enjoy an evening out on foot or bike. As Denver’s suburbs continue to grow, the road is also a major route from Jefferson County into the heart of Denver. Among the priorities listed is Bus-Rapid Transit (BRT) on Colfax as well as improved bus service on Sheridan and Federal. The city also lists multiple bicycle and pedestrian improvements aimed at making travel in the area both safer and more enjoyable. Howard explained that as
both Denver and the suburbs grow, the city needs to be better able to move large volumes of people and give more options than a single occupancy car. YOUR CHANCE TO WEIGH IN The topics above are only a fraction of the issues raised in the 19 categories, each with multiple points. Also, while the plan is at the stage of some specifics, the next few months are possibly the most important phase, as priority ideas start becoming actionable items. Residents, business owners, and people who spent time in these communities are all encouraged to give more feedback, which can be done multiple ways. More information is available at DenverGov.org/westplan and will be presented at community meetings. • Online Survey. The easiest way to engage is likely via online survey available on the city’s website. • Ask for a presentation to your group! If you are part of a community organization interested in hearing more and giving feedback, the Community Planning and Development staff is eager to meet with you all (mostly virtual for now, but in-person later this year). • Planned community meetings. The city will be looking at more in person meetings as public safety orders allow this summer, and are continuing online meetings for now. The department is also planning more door to door outreach this summer, understanding that not everyone has access to a computer (or chooses not to engage online). • In the meantime, the next steering committee meeting will be May 20th, and a link can be found on the West Area Plan page. The community is invited to watch. Note: We’d like to thank Alexandra Foster, Eugene Howard, and the CPD team for making files available and talking with us before information was released publicly in order to help facilitate getting this story finished in time for publication. As a monthly newspaper, we strive to keep the community updated and appreciate staff’s flexibility in helping us meet that goal on deadlines.
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A RTS & C ULT URE CHECKING OUT
Checking Out: Queen City : A Brief History and Illustrated
Architecture New and Old of Denver, Colorado
he ever-changing nature of Denver is a well-worn topic of conversation – anyone who has spent any time in this storied city has HANNAH EVANS more than likely picked up some observations regarding Old Denver and New Denver, its constant expansions and renovations, and what has disappeared as well as what still remains. A vibrant and quickly growing area can’t help but change, but it is hard to not feel emotionally invested when your favorite bar or the most charming house you pass on your way to work each day is torn down. As a born-and-raised Denverite in my 30s, I find myself lamenting the demise of many of the locations I held near and dear to my heart while I was growing up. It would be disingenuous, though, not to acknowledge that the city had places that were special to those who were here before me, and that were then replaced by some of the very locales I frequented. That does not make me any less likely to complain when a Denver institution of some kind that I have fond memories of shuts it doors, however. While the ebb and flow of Denver’s businesses, restaurants, and public spaces con-
The Denver North Star
tinues its course, Karl Christian Krumpholz’s new book, “Queen City: A Brief History and Illustrated Architecture New and Old of Denver, Colorado” (Tinto Press, 2021) captures one keen observer’s view of his current town today as well as some of its unique history. Krumpholz is not originally from Denver, but
PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK.COM/KARL.C.KRUMPHOLZ
he has a great eye for locations that maintain much of the city’s character as well as those that are no longer here but that held significance. His bold, comic book-like illustrations and small tidbits of information capture the heart of his subject matters. “Queen City” is separated into chapters of Denver neighborhoods, with Chapter 2 covering the Northside, or Highlands. Major landmarks such as Linger and the Oriental
Theatre share pages with smaller locales such as the Berkeley Inn and the now closed Paris on the Platte. Krumpholz states that “Queen City” was “never planned as a comprehensive collection on places around Denver” – some of his illustrations are of historically significant locations, some are architecturally significant, and some just have or had a personal or cultural appeal. Without claiming to be definitive, Krumpholz’s work shares something much more personal. While reading, I found myself excited to see a things like an old sign that has always caught my eye (Eze Mop on 17th Avenue and Humboldt) or a building I’ve never been in but grew up practically in the shadow of (United Stor-All Central Denver Self-Storage on Colfax and Vine). This collection of illustrations contains both the well-known and the sometimes overlooked, leaving any longtime Denver fan to consider what they would include in a roundup of their own favorite spots around town. Check out “Queen City” at your closest Denver Public Library location or put it on hold through denverlibrary.com. Hannah Evans is the senior librarian at the Smiley Branch of the Denver Public Library.
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The Denver North Star
ness?) and Check tration sy vergov.or Parks-Rec tive-Older Space is spacing, s vance. Be tration op days out. to schedul vance. AO online sys call the ce Are you for activit invited D teo in Gol ting back few month As we c niors to ea and exerc unprecede to keep a f The sen ful with th because th nesses and tions than
K I D S & ED UCATI O N CO M M U N I TY THE GRAY ZONE: STORIES CONNECTED TO NORTH DENVER’S OLDER ADULTS
Spring into Action:
Focus on Fun and a Little Preparation
enver Recreation Centers began a gradual reopening process on May 3, which means the Active Older Adults (AOA) program is also springing back into KATHRYN WHITE action. In North Denver this means classes and activities have resumed at Highland Recreation Center on West 29th Avenue and Osceola Street. The staff there—Kris, Augustina, Joe, and Ben—are excited to welcome us back. The calendar includes AOA favorites like bingo and billiards, as well as SilverSneakers and table tennis. The team is bringing back activities like knitting, painting, and groups for conversation and walking fitness. Whatever the last year has meant for you fitness-wise, there’s an activity geared toward having fun (would that be Drum Fit-
Build slowly into resistance training or higher impact activities on a daily or every other day basis. ness?) and getting you back up and about. Check out the full schedule and registration system online at https://www.denvergov.org /Government/Depa r t ments/ Parks-Recreation/Activities-Programs/Active-Older-Adults. Space is limited in order to ensure proper spacing, so you must reserve a spot in advance. Beginning at noon each day, registration opens for activities scheduled seven days out. In other words, you won’t be able to schedule a spot further than 7 days in advance. AOA hopes most people will find the online system convenient, but you can also call the center at 720-865-0600 to sign up. Are you wondering how best to prepare for activity after all that time at home? I’ve invited Dr. Andrew Allen of Restore Osteo in Golden to provide a few tips for getting back out into the world over the next few months. As we come upon summer, we ask our seniors to ease into their lives of social activity and exercise as they come out of a time of unprecedented inactivity and isolation, and to keep a few health measures in mind. The senior population must be more careful with their return to exercise and activity because they experience more chronic illnesses and tend to take many more medications than younger generations. Therefore,
a consult with your physician may be in order before a return to activity or exercise. Upon your return to these increased activity levels, if you are experiencing breathlessness, dizziness, chest pain, numbness or tingling, severe muscle or joint pain, seek medical care. As for the business of getting back into exercise and activities after such a long period of inactivity it is important to remember that as seniors are coming out of a long layoff, the muscles are not as strong, tendons not as elastic, and recovery is not as swift as it used to be. So build strength and endurance back into the body slowly over several weeks. Begin with low impact activities that improve your endurance, flexibility and strength. Yoga, stretching classes, tai chi, gym classes, and walking with a group of friends are all great starts. Build slowly into resistance training or higher impact activities on a daily or every other day basis. Remember it is very likely that you will experience a greater amount of muscle soreness and fatigue than you might usually be accustomed. However, these discomforts and fatigue should be manageable and should dissipate quickly with a day of rest. A key to anyone’s success when increasing their activity levels is nutrition. With the complexities of age, chronic illnesses and exercise, a properly balanced diet with lots of vegetables and adequate water intake are crucial to prevent increased pain or injury as well as improve your mental and physical well being. If soreness and cramping occur in your muscles, consider getting an electrolyte supplement with no added sugar for the cramping and begin taking turmeric for inflammation and soreness. Andrew J Allen, DC, is the Director of Clinical Management, at Restore Osteo of Colorado, an integrated health care practice located in Golden, Colorado. He specializes in chiropractic care, occupational injury management, and musculoskeletal & sports injury rehabilitation. Dr. Allen has taught for 11 years as a college anatomy and physiology professor for undergraduate and doctoral level students. Kathryn White has lived in North Denver since Mount Carmel High School was razed and its lot at 3600 Zuni became Sandoval Elementary. She and her wife have raised two children in the neighborhood. She’s worked at several nonprofits, taught SilverSneakers fitness classes and facilitated Simplified Pickleball (a variation for people living with Alzheimer’s).
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K I D S & E D UCAT I ON
DPS Students Advocate For More DPS Announces Three Finalists Influence In Their Education for Superintendent By David Sabados
group of students from across the city have created a Student Bill of Rights of “Student Visions, Rights, Rules and Desires,” presenting to the DPS Board of Education on April 22nd. While students who spoke came from different schools and backgrounds, the message from across the district was clear: students feel like they need more say in their education, including a role in selecting DPS leadership and curriculum.
...students feel like they need more say in their education, including a role in selecting DPS leadership and curriculum. Specifically, many students expressed that they feel the curriculum is too Euro-centeric and doesn’t reflect the background of the student population, which is increasingly diverse. Reciting the well-known “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” line, one student expressed the need for history classes to discuss the full ramifications of European colonization on North American indigenous peoples instead of the emphasis being on Europeans. Jasmine Brown is finishing her freshman year at West Leadership Academy and took a few minutes to talk with The Denver North Star about why she decided to get involved. She explained her speech and debate coach encouraged to get involved after she was frustrated by a ban on types of headwear worn by some African American students. “Schools need to do more training to understand our students,” she explained. For Brown, the issues aren’t just
By David Sabados about student expression though. She said students want to see the district hire more bilingual teachers. In some classes, students are relying on classmates to translate. “You shouldn't have to worry about students getting all their information from other students.” While some of the goals the students lay out are broad and aspirational, such as schools being more welcoming of students from all cultures, others are specific. Students explained that they have come out of frustrations about inequities. Making extracurricular activities free of additional charges, for example, ensures that students from low income families have the same opportunities as those from wealthier families. Among the other goals listed: • The district should advocate for shifting away from some forms of testing such as the SAT and ACT which have increasingly been shown to have racial bias in their composition. Until then, the district should do more to prepare students to even the playing field. • Students should have the right to play on a sports team of the gender they identify with. • School administration, teachers, and staff should have more anti-bias training as part of their professional development • Schools should act as food pantries to help families in need • Teachers should have the right to teach their students as they see appropriate as long as they meet requirements from the district. The multipage document is still being completed but students have set up several online options to provide updates: Instagram: @voiceofstudentsdps Twitter: @DpsVoice Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaina Walsh is Fordham University bound! Congratulations on killing it at North High School Watch out NYC... here she comes! We love you and are so proud, ~ Mommy & Daddy
enver Public Schools’ superinten- education, including having been honored dent search is nearing completion, nationally as a Milken Foundation educawith three finalists announced earlier this tor, selected by the state of Florida Assismonth. 85 applicants applied for the posi- tant Principal of the Year, and chosen as an tion. Following the announcement last No- NAACP Unsung Hero. Stephanie earned vember that Susana Cordova was stepping her doctorate in education (Curriculum and Instruction) from the Universidown to take a position in Texas, ty of Central Florida where she the district hired an indepenalso earned her masters and dent search firm to assist in bachelor’s degrees. the process. • Andre Wright – Andre The three finalists Wright currently serves (biographies from DPS): as the Chief Academic • Alex Marrero – Dr. Officer of Aurora PubMarrero joined the City lic Schools (APS), where, School District of New over the past four years, he Rochelle in January 2020 as has produced consistent acthe Assistant Superintendent ademic achievement increases of Curriculum and Instruction. PHOTOS COURTESY OF DPS for scholars. Prior to joining He became the first Latinx head Alex Marrero APS, he served in his home state of the city’s school system in September, serving as acting and then in- of Georgia as Area Executive Director for terim superintendent. Prior to that, as As- the Northeast Learning Community in sistant Superintendent at the East Ramapo the Fulton County School System (FCS), Central School District in New York, Alex an urban Atlanta-area school district with supported schools into Good Standing and nearly 100,000 students, 100 schools, and increased graduation rates. He has earned 14,000 staff and support personnel. Andre also served FCS as Principal and numerous awards for education, Instructional Leader, leading including being honored as an his school to a Distinguished outstanding administrator Title I school status every by the Latino Caucus of year under his direction. the Council of School SuHe was also an Assistant pervisors and AdminisPrincipal in the Fulton trators and inducted into County School System the New York Academy of and in the Dekalb CounPublic Education. Alex has ty School System. Andre earned degrees from Fordbegan his teaching career ham University, Manhattan College and Sage Colleges where Stephanie Soliven as a middle school language arts teacher. he was the recipient of the Outstanding On May 13th, each finalist interviewed Student Award. • Stephanie Soliven – Dr. Soliven is the with groups ranging from students to staff Assistant Superintendent for Secondary to the board, which will ultimately make a Leading and Learning for the School Dis- decision. Interviews were livestreamed and trict of Brevard County in Florida. Under are available online. Note: Delivery of The Denver North her leadership, the district has increased Star began on May 14 and takes graduation rates and participaabout a week. Unfortunately, tion, and success in Advanced that means we are unable Placement, International to cover the May 17 DPS Baccalaureate, Cambridge Board Meeting where the (AICE), Career and Techpublic is speaking to the nical Education, and board before they make Early College programs. a determination. DPS Prior to that, as a PrinciBoard of Education Dipal for 8 years, Stephanie rector Reverend Brad Lauchampioned programs that rvick, who represents North enhanced equitable access to Andre Wright and West Denver, will provide social-emotional development our elected official update in our June isand college and career readiness programs and increased academic achieve- sue to discuss the final decision and DPS’ ment. She has earned numerous awards for new superintendent.
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www.bienvenidosfoodbank.org Page 10 | May 15, 2021-June 14, 2021
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merica’s higher education ecosystem faces many challenges. Declining state support, changing enrollment demographics, and inREGENT JACK KROLL creasing costs comprise the abyss into which many higher education leaders stare. Yet, America’s popular understanding of what it means to go to college is deeply mistaken, confusing the debate on how to move things forward and where to invest limited resources. I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life steeped in higher education as a student, university admission officer and elected member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents representing Denver. I’d like to share a sense of where higher education is now and provide an example of a path forward. Let’s start with getting into college. For the most part, it is easy for a high school graduate to get into a college. Paying for college is the hard part. They do not graduate mostly because they cannot afford to continue or even start their degrees. We should stop stressing so much about students getting into college and
instead focus on making college more affordable for them. But what about getting into a prestigious college? Sure, being perfect, having family wealth, and winning the lottery to get into an elite institution can make a huge difference in an individual’s life. But elite institutions educate a small fraction of America’s students. Despite this, the constant chasing of prestige by university leaders at non-elite schools is a fool’s errand that distorts institutional priorities away from serving the public and towards serving the egos of administrators, alumni and faculty. If there was ever a list of America’s top universities that did not have the usual names at the top, would people believe it? No. As such, many university leaders at everyday institutions trying to clamber up the rankings are playing a game they’ve already lost, while simultaneously hurting their chances to win support from taxpayers. 2019 marked the first time public universities nationally received more funding from tuition than from taxpayers (unfortunately,
See CU, Page 15 The Denver North Star
KI DS & E DU CATI O N
Summer Art Camps
Community, Electeds Meet About Future of Colfax Elementary and Smaller Schools By David Sabados
n 2016, Colfax Elementary’s enrollment was 319 students. This year, it’s 248, a decrease of over 22%. Concerns about the drop prompted the West Colfax Association of Neighbors (WeCan) to organize a discussion not just about Colfax, but the future of other smaller schools as well. Parents, community members, teachers, Denver School Board member Brad Laurvick, and Councilwomen Amanda P. Sandoval and Jamie
While city government doesn’t have a direct role in DPS, Councilwomen Torres and Sandoval addressed one of the related challenges schools like Colfax face: student displacement due to a lack of affordably-priced housing in the area. As rent prices increase and home ownership in the area stays out of reach of many, families are forced to move to more affordable areas, uprooting students and furthering the decline in enrollment.
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A printed graduation announcement is the perfect addition to a scrapbook, photo album, or wall hanging with a diploma and photos. The online edition of the paper can also be emailed to friends and family. We’re happy to offer an eighth page announcement for a discounted price of only $250 and provide your family with up to 10 additional copies of the paper. For more information, or to reserve a spot, email us at ads@DenverNorthStar.com or call (720) 248-7327. Please reserve your ad by Monday, May 3rd for the May 15th edition or Friday, June 4 for the June 15th edition
The Denver North Star is offering graduation announcements in our June issue; it’s a great way to recognize your graduate in their community!
PHOTO BY DAVID SABADOS
Despite a drop in enrollment, community members have rallied to support Colfax Elementary school, which will have a new interim principal next year. Torres discussed the school, how the lack of affordable housing impacts students, and a way forward. The biggest concern from the community was whether the drop in enrollment and the departure of the school’s principal could mean the school is on the chopping block, but Director Laurvick and DPS staff wanted the community to know there’s no plans to close the school. “Being small is not a bad thing,” said Laurvick, adding that he wants to see investment and support for neighborhood schools like Colfax. “You shouldn't have to go to another school somewhere else to get what your child deserves and needs.” Part of the problem, according to Laurvick, had been the district’s philosophy of rapid school openings when there wasn’t a student population to support it (Denver’s school age population has decreased and with it DPS’ enrollment). For Laurvick, the decrease in elementary aged students is certainly a factor, but “it’s also one of the challenges of a district that opened too many schools after a decade of thinking ‘oh let’s just open a new charter school. Let’s just open a new charter school.’ I think that’s negatively impacted the quality of education our kids get.”
Torres and Sandoval discussed rental assistance, zoning to allow more accessory dwelling units, and other housing policies to help families stay in the area. Colfax Elementary has one of the highest rates of students experiencing homelessness in the district. The WeCan forum was the first of what neighborhood, school, and elected leaders all said they hope is a series of community meetings about the future of local schools. Parents’ concern about changing school leadership may have been alleviated when the district announced the new interim principal. Michelle Koyama will be joining the school as acting principal, leaving her current role as the NW Regional Assistant Instructional Superintendent. Parents with older students may also recognize her as the former Executive Principal of Lake and Skinner Middle Schools, and previous to that role, was the principal of Skinner for 7 years. Note: Readers have asked for more coverage of different schools across North Denver. Was this article of interest or are there other topics you’d like to see covered? Email us at News@DenverNorthStar.com or call (720) 248-7327 and let us know to help shape future coverage.
ThankYou To the teachers and staff at the schools that had a hand in making this kid the fantastic human he is; we thank you. For teaching and guiding, for challenging and protecting. For asking great questions and encouraging thoughtful answers. We thank you: › Winter Park Ski School › Denver Center for Performing Arts › Brown International Elementary › Sticky Fingers Cooking School › Skinner Middle School › Urban Acrobatics › Denver Online High School › Emily Griffith Opportunity School › LA Shaolin Studios › Denver North High School With big huge barrels of gratitude, ~ John Howard Taylor and his whole family
The Denver North Star
A printed graduation announcement is the perfect addition to a scrapbook, photo album, or wall hanging with a diploma and photos. The online edition of the paper can also be emailed to friends and family. We’re happy to offer an eighth page announcement for a discounted price of only $250 and provide your family with up to 10 additional copies of the paper.
You provide the photo(s) and language, and we will design a wonderful announcement for FREE!
For more information, or to reserve a spot, email us at ads@DenverNorthStar.com or call (720) 248-7327. Please reserve your ad by Friday, June 4 for the June 15th edition
Now open! Here’s to a new beginning in a community we love: Yours. Book an appointment at usbank.com/book/08028 and receive a set of U.S. Bank wireless earbuds.* Highlands Branch 3480 W 38th Avenue Denver, CO 80211
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May 15, 2021-June 14, 2021 | Page 11
K I DS & ED U CATI O N
Regis University Graduates Celebrate Milestone
You can always spot the student who spent their Summer with Mathnasium.
By Jack Stern
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of Regis’s operation happens online. The By Jack St flexibility of remote learning has allowed students of all different ages, from all over the world, to get a degree from the university. Familiarity with online learning has eased the transition to a fully remote model during the beginning of the pandemic, university officials say. In 2010, Anton Iliev, 43, took a chance when he decided to go back to school to pursue a computer science degree. Ten years and hours of hard work later, he described getting to finally walk across the stage as a “magical experience.” An immigrant from Bulgaria, Iliev feels rewarded by his college experience and encourages anyone in a similar situation to take a leap of faith. “I got the confidence I needed and I proved to myself and my friends that I could do it,” Iliev said. “It might be hard, but at the end of the day, you’re the CEO of your own life, and there’s no limits for those who want to achieve something.” A self-proclaimed computer fanatic, Iliev believes earning his degree at a later stage in
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uring a school year where most interaction was confined to Zoom calls, graduates at Regis University came together one final time on a sunny, warm, Saturday afternoon to celebrate commencement. Although the ongoing pandemic made the celebration bittersweet, they still were able to find gratification in their accomplishments. When Veronica Valenzuela enrolled in Regis’s MBA program, she was looking forward to small class sizes and forming personal relationships with her classmates and teachers. The shift to remote learning made it harder to get the most out of her education. Through the adversity, Valenzuela feels having to adapt and become comfortable operating in a virtual environment helped her to better prepare to enter the real world. “Graduating in a pandemic has given me a tremendous amount of resilience and responsibility,” Valenzuela said. “Resilience knowing I can face any challenge thrown my way and responsibility knowing that with my education I can and will make a positive impact on my community.”
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Rachael Plantz has spent the last decade working as an air traffic controller in the Air Force. While the transition to remote learning has negatively impacted many students, being able to take courses online helped her finish her bachelor’s degree in Information Technology in a timely manner. “Remote learning allowed me to be anywhere in the country and still finish my degree, or take a pause when I needed to while still working full time,” Plantz said. “There’s the benefit of being able to complete the degree anytime and anywhere.” Ultimately, the pandemic enabled Plantz to finish her degree a year-and-a-half earlier than expected. As a result, she was able to get commissioned by the military, something she doesn’t think would’ve happened under normal circumstances. “The job that I was able to get offered me my position and I had my degree,” Plantz said. “If I would’ve waited a year and a half I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to commission at all. The pandemic allowed me to expedite some of those goals and ascertain some of those things that I didn’t think was possible,” she added. Unlike other universities, which primarily offer classes in-person, a significant portion
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life has made him more well-rounded. “It made me wiser, smarter, and more ap“ preciative of things in the computer science world. I hope I can contribute to society in a positive way by using my knowledge gained.” To host graduation with guests in attendance, Regis was required to submit a variance request through the city of Denver, which typically takes six-to-eight weeks for approval. Graduates’ chairs were spaced out seven feet apart to abide by local guidelines. Ceremonies were divided by school. Students were permitted to bring two guests, with the university conducting a lottery for graduates who wished to bring additional people. During the ceremony, they were permitted to remove their masks when crossing the stage. As the cohort of 2021 exited Regis’s campus in cap and gown, and into a world of uncertainty, the recent graduates did so knowing they gained a world class education that prepared them for what’s next. Jack Stern is a Denver based freelance multimedia journalist, reporting on all things Colorado. Previously, he covered the Colorado Buffaloes football and basketball team for SBNation and Rivals.com.
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Fabulux Consignment Still Open Online By The Denver North Star Staff
abulux Consignment in LoHi was an early COVID fatality: the clothing shop was forced to close last June. While in-store browsing may be a thing of the (pre-pan-
demic) past, owner Heather Gallien is keeping the shop available online! You can still find great deals and fashionable clothing at https://fabuluxconsignment.com.
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KI DS & E DU CATI ON
Denver North Soccer Program Overcomes Adversity During Trying Season By Jack Stern
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The Denver North High School Soccer team warms up before a game.
he Denver North High School Vikings the program’s success. Men’s Soccer team came up just short in Although the team didn’t play games until their quest for the first state championship in the spring, they practiced twice a week beprogram history. Fifth ranked North lost 1-0 tween July and March, taking a brief pause to No. 2 Windsor in the 4A title game on a for Christmas. Coach Porter feels continuing goal with 17 minutes remaining in regulation to practice through the down period helped last Sunday. keep his players prepared and sane during “We started off the game very sharp, had a the pandemic. few opportunities, wasn’t able to finish them, “I’d be surprised if anyone else in the state but that’s part of the game,” said senior Alex was as crazy as we were about continuing to Martinez, the team’s standout midfielder. have kids play,” Porter said. “It got a little moDespite a disappointing ending to their notonous at times because of the restrictions season, North has on what we could do, quietly established but we kept doing it itself as one of the for the kids’ mental “I’d be surprised if anyone premier high school else in the state was as crazy health and our own.” soccer programs in Lorenzo Hernanas we were about continuing dez tested positive for Colorado. Under head coach Clay to have kids play,” Porter said. COVID before the Porter, The Vikings season started, creatreached the state ing concern that he’d quarterfinals or higher in the last five sea- be sidelined for a few games or unable to play. sons. The run has included two state title After a ten-day recovery period, followed by appearances in three years and back-to-back a negative test result, the senior was able to city championships. gradually make a return to the field. A strong foundation which featured sevPer state guidelines, Hernandez was reen seniors this season - including Martinez quired to practice with the team for a desigand fellow midfielder Lorenzo Hernandez nated period of time (first a half hour, then - played an integral role in North’s run to a 45 minutes, and finally an hour), prior to state title game. making a full comeback. The combination “Overall we had a very close connection of playing in the spring, and being unable to and we were like family,” Martinez said practice with the team, forced Hernandez to about the group. “We always had each others’ adjust on the fly. back and we were always there.” “It made the season incredibly fast,” Her“ For the North soccer program, finding nandez said. “When the season came, it was sustained success has been an ongoing pro- like zero to 60 right away - two games maybe cess. A process that began when coach Porter three games in a week so there wasn’t really had to build the team from scratch after tak- as much time to prepare as a team.” ing over 12 years ago. After a successful high school career, Her“I started with a bag of old jerseys from nandez aspires to play at the college level. the previous 15 years, ten cones, and two For the soon-to-be graduate, playing soccer flat sized soccer balls,” Porter recalled. “Now has become a deep-rooted passion, one that’s we have a beautiful turf, all the equipment become about living in the moment and we need to be successful, and a culture of appreciating every game. players that understand what it takes to “It’s kind of surreal, you don’t realize it in be successful.” the moment but even now going to the finals
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January 1 - June 30, 2021 Led by head coach Clay Porter (far left), the Denver North High School Soccer Program has enjoyed consistent success. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the fall soccer season was postponed until the spring. The pushback created much colder weather at the start of the season. Vikings dealt with the unfavorable conditions by persevering through the elements and taking matters into their own hands. For example, when snow fell, the team decided to shovel off the field together so they could practice. Embracing the circumstances, rallying around one another, and working as a group to achieve a common goal, players believe, was crucial to
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happened so quick,” Hernandez said. “In a couple of months, I’ll probably be like we did all of that and take it in.” After a dominant stretch, Hernandez, Martinez, and coach Porter, all feel a solid base for the North’s soccer team to build upon has been set. A 2021 season defined by finding success and overcoming adversity during a trying time has only strengthened the program’s core. For the next wave of players, bringing the state championship trophy home will be the ultimate goal.
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May 15, 2021-June 14, 2021 | Page 13
Continued from Page 1 terms and receive $7,500 a year. There are two alternates. They often live in Denver but aren’t required to. Currently the BOA consists of an architect, restaurant developer, consultant, and two employees of the State of Colorado. All five current members are white, with three men and two women. Alternates include a white woman and a Hispanic man. The BOA’s role is to hear and decide cases of the Denver Zoning Code; it is a place for human interface when a property owner’s circumstances could not have been foreseen by the Code. The BOA determines—through packets of exhibits and hearings—whether a variance request satisfies the unnecessary hardship criteria in the Code. Five hardship categories are laid out. One is disability. Hearings are allotted roughly 30 minutes. For a variance to be granted, the case must receive Aye votes from 4 of 5 members. City attorneys (a different one each week) and a representative from the Zoning department see plans during a previous stage and attend hearings to comment or participate in discussion. The City takes a position of In Support, Not Opposed, or Opposed. The BOA’s final decision can align with the City’s (it did in 2/3 of cases in 2019) but is not required to. A BOA result will sometimes be more lenient than the City’s position, sometimes less.
see a design in full compliance with code the case was closed, replied, “You’re just go(no variances) and hear an explanation ing to have to comply with the Code.” as to why such a design would not work On March 23 the Johnson team made one for them. A continuance was granted, and more visit to the BOA, this time to appeal the Johnson team left with the Chair’s the March 2 decision. An alternate member three-part guidance. from their first session was back, taking the The Johnsons came before the BOA again place of a regular member who had attended on March 2. A new Chair had been elected the first two. and there were two members present who Support now included an appeal from had not been at the first hearing. A differ- neighborhood architect and Blueprint ent City attorney was up in the rotation. Denver Task Force member Heather Noyes The Johnson team came with a new design Gregg. Gregg highlighted that, “Throughrequiring 2 fewer variances than originally out our neighborhood and in all publicly sought; it shrank accessible buildthe ADU floor ings and spaces, area, asking for 13 improvements square feet beyond have been made to the 650 allowed ensure all Denver and 95 additional residents are acsquare feet for the commodated and building footprint. provided access Again, two to participate eqmembers focused uitably in our soon the size of the ciety.” She ended garage. Again, with, “As a memthe architect reber of the Bluesponded with the print Denver Task 75% calculation. Force, our misThe builder desion was to develscribed all the op a vision for the changes that had City and County PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE JOHNSON FAMILY been made. The of Denver that architect pointed A variance of 95 square feet including a would strengthen to a new page, a straight staircase capable of supporting our city and make comparison be- a chair stopped the Johnsons from our neighbortween 2-story op- building a home for Shawn’s mother hoods welcoming tions and the 1.5 and equitable for Catherine Johnson.
pointed back to a straight-run staircase required for accessibility. The previous Chair repeated that she thought they could accomplish their goal within existing Code. Eleven minutes later, the Johnsons’ appeal was rejected.
GRASPING FOR STRAWS The Johnsons left each hearing unsettled. Something wasn’t right. Their project had support. It was such a small ask. Their mom’s disability was clear. Wasn’t it? Had the BOA read their letters? As the Johnsons struggled to understand what they missed, they kept circling back to that uneasy feeling. Was it us? Or perhaps more accurately, was it their discomfort with us? “The goalpost kept moving,” Shawn Johnson recounted, “We watched other cases, before and after ours. Other families didn’t face the same scrutiny. The bar wasn’t as high for them. And we were the only Black family.” They had watched in disbelief as an imbalance in treatment unfolded before them on Zoom. “We’re trained to believe in systems,” Ben added, “but here we were grasping for straws. Straws that weren’t connected to anything.” Then Shawn, “It was too subjective to be legitimate. I don’t know if the discrimination was based on race, but I do know we didn’t get equal access. And there was nothing anti-racist about it.” The Johnsons love Sunnyside. Their neighbors came to the rescue, even during the pandemic, when their chicken coop needed some extra sets of hands to get into ADU’S OF NORTH DENVER position on their property. Former North Denver consumes the lipiano students stop by to say hello; on’s share of ADU building permits the food pantry is happy to receive their surplus eggs. in Denver, and subsequently, also a They’ve put plans to start a family greater share of ADU variance requests. Of 26 permits issued so far in on hold for the moment. Dreams of 2021, 16 were for addresses in 80211 Thanksgiving spent with Catherine or 80212. Of the 16 requests for living in Denver have faded. Instead, ADU-related variances in 2020 and they work their way through City 2021, 6 were from North Denver. Five entities, inviting them to see the flawed process. Ben points to a critwere denied. Zip codes like 80205, ical insight gained from the Black 80206, 80209, 80219 and 80236 had Lives Matter movement. They’re better luck. turning away from ideas and explanations centered around what they THE HEARINGS The Johnsons were joined by their could’ve done differently and foarchitect and builder at a Zoom cusing now on the system’s failures. Shawn has contacted the Mayor’s ofhearing before the BOA on January fice, the Office of Social Equity and 12. As they presented their 1.5 story Innovation, the City’s Board of Ethgarage/ADU design, they described ics, and he has described his family’s Catherine Johnson’s disability and experience at City Council’s General their goals to provide her with safe, Public Comment sessions. permanent housing in close proximity. Their packet included archiIn a city with clear equity goals tect’s drawings of the property, the woven throughout visionary docThe Johnsons hope to replace this garage, now used as a shed, with a home for Shawn’s mother. proposed structure, and the suruments like Blueprint Denver and rounding area. There were letters of support the Johnsons proposed. They had looked at all members of our community, including Comprehensive Plan 2040, the municipal from adjacent neighbors and SUNI. They many options, none able to avoid a variance. the disabled. As a Denver resident, small apparatus seems painfully unable to bring attached confirmation of Ms. Johnson’s dis- They sought the design that worked best for business owner, and advocate of our neigh- itself into alignment with its own values. ability from the Social Security Administra- the family, the property, the neighborhood bors and city, I urge you to reconsider your The Johnsons’ only remedies are to settle tion and a letter from her doctor describing and Ms. Johnson, while keeping the overall decision regarding the requested variance on a cramped design that makes the ADU her disability and concluding with, “It is number of variances to a minimum. in Case 119‐20 and approve the requested a less permanent option for Ms. Johnson or important she have appropriate accommoto cycle back through a subjective process, A theme emerged from the previous variance.” dations, including wheelchair accessibility, Chair: with new construction, she thought For the Johnsons’ appeal, Councilper- fingers crossed for a different outcome. Or and will benefit from having a caretaker they could accomplish their goal within son Sandoval also now weighed in. Council as one city employee suggested: they could close by.” existing Code. To her it was the Johnsons’ members usually avoid involvement with hire an attorney. The 34-minute hearing took many direc- choices that took the project out of Code, variance requests, guiding property owners How does a racially homogenous group tions, focusing at times on whether the large not their needs. to seek support instead from neighbors and bring itself onto more solid ground when its garage was “the minimum size necessary.” The member who showed support in the their RNO. The Johnsons had garnered that built-in subjectivity has entered the realms The Johnsons and their architect responded first hearing for a full second story clarified support leading up to the January hearing, of bias and exclusion? Dena R. Samuels, PhD, Diversity, Equity, that the building footprint was sized in or- that he would have been more open to set- with no apparent impact on the outcome. der that the 75% calculation of the ground back and bulk plane variance requests. He So Councilwoman Sandoval added her sup- Inclusion & Belonging Coach, has one idea, floor allow a second story dwelling to meet attempted a motion to propose this, but it port, “The zoning code is a complex puzzle “Bias shows up in all of us. It can impact the Ms. Johnson’s needs. They reiterated the re- was determined the rules did not allow for for which there are many subtle and varied ways in which we interact with each other, quirement for one long staircase for the lift that level of complexity. solutions to best develop properties with especially across social differences. It's not that would ensure Ms. Johnson could access A member not at the first hearing was unique hardships. I appreciate the challenge about shame or blame but rather to know the studio apartment. unclear whether they were definitely plan- the Board faces and their expertise in inter- that we all are exposed to messages in our The City indicated it was Not Opposed. ning on Ms. Johnson needing a wheelchair preting the code for each unique case. At the culture that can cause us to see people in Toward the end, one member moved that at some point. Was this the case with the same time, I encourage the Board to avoid very specific ways that can cause exclusion, the Variance be granted. It was seconded. A elevator? splitting hairs when considering a case that even unintentionally. We often hear people third member signaled he would actually be And there were now two members who has been so thoughtfully considered and say, ‘I don't have a biased bone in my body.’ voting no. He was not convinced the garage thought the Johnsons could design some- will have such a minimal impact on adjacent Bias, however, simply means preference. We space was required; he was more likely to thing with no code violations at all. The properties and overall conformance with all have preferences. Unfortunately, some of support an altogether new variance allow- proposal failed when 2 dissenting votes were the zoning code.” those preferences are guided by stereotypes ing a second story greater than the allowable reached. A successful motion from one of the two we've learned along the way, and have found 75%. The Johnsons were confused and dis- members who denied the original request their way into our brains, into our thinking The Chair summed it up: while there heartened. After a round of costly redesigns was required in order to re-open the case. about others, and into our interactions. Imwas some support for the design as it was, and 45 minutes of discussion, they had been The Chair solicited board members’ recol- plicit/unconscious bias training is criticalthere was also clearly support for a design turned down. Shawn Johnson leaned into lections of the disability aspect connected ly important for everyone (especially those that shrank the ground floor. She ended his Zoom square, “Would you explain what to the floorplan, as he was not in the first by saying that she personally wanted to you would like us to do?” The Chair, noting hearing. The alternate from the first meeting See ZONING, Page 16
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The Denver North Star
E DITO R'S O P I N I O N
Rental Registration is Meaningful, Positive Step Forward for City B y now you may have read that long term rental units in the city will be registered and required to have periodic safety inspections. If not, check out Eric Heinz’s
we had to use Colorado’s meager warranty of habitability law to get out. While we eventually won in court, it was a pyrrhic victory as we lost thousands of dollars and were only able to recoup our deposit (which they again tried to illegally keep). DAVID SABADOS My story isn’t unique in the slightest. A few writeup on page 2. years ago I met a North Denver couple moving While no legislation is perfect, this program out of a house because they had no heaters. The is a meaningful step forward both to help the landlord told them the exposed hot water pipes city address our housing crisis and to protect from the unit above served to heat their house. ethical tenants and landlords alike. By regisTo the best of my knowledge, none of those tering properties, the city can better under- homes have been meaningfully updated and all stand how much housing stock is being used are still renting. In all three cases, a basic inspecas rental properties (city estimates say at least tion would have resulted in forcing the owner to 37%, some estimates as high as 50%), which make improvements. The cost of registration and inspections? Inwill allow the city to better decide policies spections of this type are less than full home inaround development. The more immediate effect, however, is spections of the type someone does when buythat tenants will finally have some basic pro- ing. Other Colorado communities with similar tections. Compared to many other cities and laws state they cost around $150. The city estistates, Colorado has almost none, and Denver mates it will be about $4/month per home between the inspection didn’t have any notable protections beand registration fees. While no legislation is perfect, yond the state laws. For those landThere’s some delords crying crocodile this program is a meaningful tails to be worked out that they will step forward both to help the tears in the rulemaking have to raise rents on city address our housing crisis their tenants, I’m left process, just as with any legislation, but and to protect ethical tenants wondering what is let’s be clear that this so wrong with their and landlords alike. bill isn’t onerous to properties that they landlords. Requiring think basic habitabilthat properties meet basic requirements like ity repairs will force them to spend so much heat, water, safe emergency exits (such as appro- money. If there are repairs that are needed, it’s priate windows in basement units), a functional already their obligation to fix it. This just adds electrical system, and be pest free are not exces- some teeth to habitability requirements. Nearly sive. No one is going to require owners to gut every landlord is already charging the maxiand redo older homes, despite the fearmonger- mum they possibly can in Denver’s hot market, ing some opponents are claiming. The require- so currently tenants are paying inflated rates for ments for an inspection every four years also substandard options. Is there a single landlord protects all ethical parties, including the owner, out there who thinks they were charging $4/ who can point to the inspection as proof their month less than they could? home is safe if issues arrive. For those who are claiming this law will Part of the controversy, of course, is simply make them sell their properties and get out that the idea is new to Denver even though it’s of the business... great! If you haven’t noticed, common elsewhere. When I go eat at a restau- our community is facing an unprecedented rant, I’m glad that periodic inspections mean shortage of for-sale homes appropriate for first their kitchen probably isn’t full of roaches. I time home buyers. If a law that says you need don’t think asking the same of a place I might to keep a home habitable is enough for you to live is strange. No one questions restaurant in- leave the industry, it’s probably best for everyspections and the idea of removing them would one involved that you do. I think I can speak be ludicrous. for a lot of renters when I say we welcome seeThe current laws are in no way sufficient. As ing those homes go on the market; many of us someone who has rented five homes in North may actually be able to afford to buy if invenDenver, I’ve seen the good, bad, and fugly of tory increases. When someone buys them, I our community’s rentals. I’ve been fortunate bet they will take better care of them than a to rent from two great landlords. One became landlord who fought against basic upkeep rea close enough friend to invite to my wed- quirements, so neighbors will have a reason to ding. I’ve also rented a house where the wa- rejoice as well. ter poured into our dining room every time Thank you Council President Gilmore it rained. When I complained, the property for your work on this issue and to the enmanager said they didn’t know why we were tire Denver City Council for your unanicomplaining -- the landlord had already “fixed mous vote in support of basic rental proit” several times. They tried to keep our depos- tections. We have a long way to go, but it’s a it when we left, in part because of dirty water great start. in the dining room after our move out. In another case, a house turned out to be so badly David Sabados is the publisher and editor of infested that we lost most of our furniture and The Denver North Star.
Letter to the Editor
Did you know that The Denver North Star accepts letters to the editor and guest columns? Agree with a story or opinion? Disagree with a story or opinion? Let us know. Letters to the Editor must be 250 words or less. Guest columns are 750 words or less but must be prearranged. Please email David@DenverNorthStar.com for more information.
I want to thank Councilwoman Sandoval for her comments in the article on ending the sale of flavored tobacco products in Denver. Her leadership is much appreciated. Flavored tobacco products are designed to draw in young people to a lifetime of addiction to nicotine. This is the business model of the tobacco industry. Addict people when they are young, get them addicted and that addiction makes it very difficult to quit. Most smokers started smoking when they were in their teens. Don’t believe it, ask
The Denver North Star
a smoker when they started. Denver can take a leadership role in protecting public health and stand up to the tobacco industry and act to end the sale of flavored tobacco products. And remember, the tobacco industry is built on lies and that remains a foundation of that industry. I hope city council and Mayor Hancock act quickly and decisively to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products everywhere in the city of Denver. ~ Tony Massaro – North Denver
ed and experienced graduates for decades to come. For a university, CU Denver is a very diverse Continued from Page 10 place. International students and students CU passed this threshold many years ago). of color comprise over 50% of CU Denver’s Despite this, few university leaders ever cease undergraduate student body and first-generto brag about how “this year’s freshman class ation students make up 46%. The percentage was the most selective and talented ever.” of Latino/a/x undergraduate students at CU Sounds good, right? But it is just another way Denver is now 25% and federal designation as of saying, “aren’t we great for denying all these a Hispanic Serving Institution is anticipated. other students”? Legislatures and governors The average age of a CU Denver undergradthe nation over have caught on and state sup- uate student is nearly 24. The campus is alport for higher edready serving today’s ucation is often the modern students and first thing cut when is well-positioned 2019 marked the first time public spending gets to capitalize on our public universities nationally curtailed. If universtate’s diversifying received more funding from sity leaders want to demographics. While get their taxpayers’ tuition than from taxpayers... the campus does ensure admitted stusupport, they need dents can succeed in to stop bragging about how shiny their ivory towers are and college, it does not turn away otherwise qualistart talking about how their institutions are fied applicants out of a drive for prestige. The CU Denver Promise Grant guarantees engines for middle-class economic mobility. How about the students on America’s cam- students coming from families below the fedpuses--are they the stereotypical wide-eyed erally established poverty level can attend CU 18-year old coeds? Not anymore. In America Denver without incurring debt. And despite today, there are more parents enrolled in col- popular belief that college costs are balloonlege than there are students living on-campus. ing, adjusted for inflation, a CU Denver degree We need to reframe the conversation around is more affordable now than it was in 2016 for this reality and stop imagining every student’s families making less than $100,000. If we want our higher education system to college experience as one where teenagers freed from the tyranny of mom and dad find work well for all students and not just tradithemselves amidst the backdrop of a bucolic tional wealthy students, we need to all pay more attention to the CU Denver’s of the world. The campus quad. So where do we go from here? Universities elite and legacy institutions educate a small like CU Denver provide a roadmap. With a fraction of America’s students and have no incommitment to access and affordability, CU terest in growing. Yet they consume so much of Denver is one of our state’s most powerful the popular imagination around what it means engines of social and economic progress. A to go to college. They are not the answer. Burnew type of college ranking from Georgetown geoning schools like CU Denver which are diUniversity researchers measures schools for verse, accessible, affordable, and located in our return on investment. Their results show a regional centers of influence provide us with bachelor’s degree from CU Denver as the sec- the best opportunity to expand the promise of ond-best value for a four-year degree in the America’s higher education system. state. And the campus, situated at the heart Jack Kroll is the elected CU Regent from the of our state’s political, social, and financial epicenter is well-positioned to produce talent- 1st Congressional district, including Denver.
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May 15, 2021-June 14, 2021 | Page 15
BRING YOUR OWN BAG AND KEEP YOUR CHANGE. Starting July 1, 2021, remember to bring your own bag when you shop. All retail stores will charge $0.10 for each plastic or paper bag provided at checkout.
Continued from Page 14 who believe they don't need it), to reflect on how those messages may have gotten stuck in our brains, and to learn strategies to minimize them so that we can make our processes and policies more culturally inclusive,
where everyone feels like they belong.” Heather Noyes Gregg also wonders about training for the BOA. The Blueprint Denver Task Force process included a 3-day session on equity and policy. It was a significant requirement for a volunteer, but she has no regrets, “It was eye opening. I’m glad I did it. Does the BOA somehow have permission to put on blinders in this regard?” “I admire the Johnsons for pushing, for helping the City to become better.”
YOU CAN HELP:
STANDING IN THE GAP Two distinct languages emerged over the course of covering this
Reduce Waste Prevent Litter Protect Rivers and Streams
story. One was the language of family, neighbors, and community. It was the language of a city striving to be its best, a neighborhood that wants for itself exactly what the Johnsons want: a place where everyone feels valued and welcome. A place where a son can now take care of his mother. It was a lanBy Eric He guage steeped in the idea that we all play a part in this radical new form of family.
And at times it dripped with outrage and frustration, yearning for justice and fairness. The other was a language of systems committed to endure as they are. This one spoke in a vocabulary of rules and complicated expertise. It moved the target but didn’t notice. It held out one straw after another. It didn’t listen much. It knew better. Shawn and Ben Johnson stand now in a painful gap between these two. And if there’s anything the last year has taught us, it is that no one should ever have to stand in that place alone.
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helped over 3,200 residents across the city. About ⅓ are in North Denver and the other ⅔ comes from nearby neighborhoods. While community needs have risen in the past year, The Senior Assistance Center is still taking new clients, and they are looking for more community volunteers to help. The next big food box drop will be on June 24, and Black is asking for donations. They can accept packaged food products, cleaning and hygiene products, and also fresh items. Have you recently taken up backyard gardening and suddenly find yourself with too much zucchini, tomatoes, or other fresh produce? They’ll find them a good home.
Anyone looking for help or interested in donating or otherwise volunteering is encouraged to reach out. The Senior Assistance Center is located at 2839 W. 44th Ave in Denver. You can contact them online at http://seniorassistancecenter.org or by calling 303-458-7945. They do also welcome walk-ins from 10-2 Monday through Thursday (please wear a mask if coming in person and ring the bell). They can usually be reached by phone Monday through Thursday from 10-4:30. Do you know a nonprofit organization making a difference in our community? Let us know! Each month, The Denver North Star tries to highlight community groups helping improve North Denver. Email us at News@DenverNorthStar.com or call us at 720-248-7327.
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Traffic Circles Rais e Tensions Tra
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The Denver North Star
NEWS SHO RTS
HE A LTH & E N VI RO N M E N T
I-70 Sound Wall Improvements to Come This Fall Community Art CDOT has enough to repair Tennyson to Lowell, rest of funding in question Walks in Regis By Eric Heinz Neighborhood I Return f a fence falls along I-70, does it create a sound? Residents who live along the corridor say it certainly does, as the roaring of engines and freighter traffic is amplified without a sufficient buffer. For local resident Jamie Runko, who lives just a few doors down from the panels along West 48th Avenue between Tennyson and Federal Boulevard, the issues with the sound barrier are more than just noise. “We’ve seen actual cars go through the wall on I-70 down to 48th Avenue where people walk,” Runko told The Denver North Star. “In addition to that, it’s not effective because the panels are not made of a sustainable material.” From Pecos Street to I-76, the tattered wooden fencing that blocks out noise from homes has fallen in some sections, with the 5,500-foot section between Tennyson to Lowell earmarked as having the most need for repairs, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, which maintains the highway’s right of way. “Not only does their dilapidated aesthetic create a sense of indignity for our community, but they are a legitimate safety concern,” said Jason Hornyak, a representative of the Chaffee Park Neighborhood Association. “Pieces of the wall have fallen directly onto 48th Avenue, creating a road hazard in our neighborhood, and the extremely lackadaisical approach to replacing the holes in the wall creates extremely dangerous situations for the highway itself.” CDOT received about $134 million from the American Recovery Plan Act, and it plans to use $9.7 million to make repairs along that section of I-70, replacing dilapidated wooden fencing. However, that phase will cover just more than a mile between Tennyson Street and Lowell Street. “Currently, the project is being designed, with completion of the design phase scheduled for this summer and construction beginning in fall of 2021,” said Tamara Rollison, a spokesperson for CDOT. “The timber
By The Denver North Star Staff
ast year, residents missing art walks started their own. From the humble beginnings of a few residents hanging art on their fences, the first Friday Art Walk North Denver now has almost two dozen artist locations across the community. Throw on your walking shoes, engage with other residents in an outdoor distances setting, and enjoy music and art the first Friday of each month! Visit CurateLocally.com for more information on how to participate including a map of where to find art in the neighborhood! If you’re a visual artist, or musician interested in participating, reach out through the website for more information as well.
PHOTO BY ERIC HEINZ
Fencing along I-70 near 48th Avenue has fallen apart in multiple sections. noise walls will be replaced with concrete panel walls, which is a stronger and more durable material that will provide improved sound mitigation for residents and businesses along the highway.” Rollison said the replacement of other sections of noise wall will happen in six phases as CDOT seeks more funding. “In the meantime, if a section of timber noise wall outside of the area between Tennyson and Lowell is in need of repair, CDOT’s maintenance team will make repairs via a chain link fence,” she said. It is unclear where CDOT intends to get the funding for the next phases of the project and which phases will come next. “The walls specifically addressed by these funds are nearing 50 years in age and have lost their ability to effectively reduce noise as well as support air quality and other environmental conditions,” according to a description from CDOT’s list of COVID-19 stimulus funding. There is no state or federal law that requires agencies to reduce noise produced by at Meade, Osceola, and Raleigh would make sense. Some sort of median to slow the cars down.” Charlier also noted that bulb outs at intersections could also improve safety, and that a pedestrian mall on 32nd Ave between Lowell and Meade would likely be a boon for local businesses, but recommended that the
highways below a certain level, but CDOT’s website states highway traffic ranges from about 70 to 80 decibels at a distance of 50 feet. “These levels affect a majority of people, interrupting concentration, increasing heart rates, or limiting the ability to carry on a conversation,” according to the CDOT website. “The noise generated by a conversation between two people standing 1 meter (3 feet) apart is usually in the range of 60-65 (decibels a-weighted).” Runko recently purchased a decibel meter to track how loud the noises from the highway can get. When The Denver North Star went to view her readings from her home, the noise levels were about 77 to 85 decibels, which spiked to 95 at times. Most of the higher readings came when semi trucks applied compression brakes, which can cause some of the loudest noises. Eric Heinz is a freelance journalist based in Denver who most recently covered Los Angeles City Hall for City News Service.
was put on hold in January of 2019. Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) spokesperson Continued from Page 1 Heather Burke said that DOTI has made remajority of businesses agreed that would be cent safety improvements on the 32nd Avenue corridor including the improvements at great for the community and eliminate that Julian, and paint and post bulb outs at Perry major risk for pedestrians. A few of them along with the conversion of thought it would be a really nice way to open up the the stop light to a stop sign. space to bring more people, She indicated that “speed like Larimer Square or Pearl humps would not be an appropriate treatment, given Street in Boulder. A bit of a the high vehicle volumes, way to reinvent the strip and with 8,000 or so people drivbring together the people and the community.” ing it each day.” Burke noted Jim Charlier also lives in that DOTI will be looking at the neighborhood right on the Denver Police report and 32nd Ave and is a nationally also listening to the community at an upcoming known transportation planner. He has noted that there is meeting to decide on what an “epidemic of speeding on further improvements may be helpful. 32nd Ave. It should be signed At a meeting on May 4th at a 15 or 20 mph [speed limit]. To have a 30 mph limit organized by Councilwoman into a pedestrian zone with Amanda P. Sandoval and the kids, strollers, dogs, on a very West Highlands NeighborIMAGE COURTESY OF THE CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER hood Association, DOTI staff social street, is crazy.” He has came to present some near observed cars coming east- Proposed safety improvements at 32nd and Lowell. bound during the morning term options and get feedback commute often going close to 45 mph. He city allow a way for the 32 bus to continue to from the community. The option discussed was really pleased with the installation of the go through, similar to the 16th St mall. was to paint and post bulb outs at 32nd Avtraffic calming and rapid flashing beacon for On April 29th, according to a spokesper- enue and Lowell Boulevard, along with daypedestrians at 32nd Avenue and Julian St and son, Denver Police installed a portable “speed lighting, or the removal of one parking space hopes similar measures can be installed else- feedback sign" on the 3400 block of West on 3 corners to improve visibility. This would where on the street. Before that was installed, 32nd that “displays drivers’ speeds and allows slow down traffic and also make the street he observed about one crash per month at the department to gather information about crossing shorter for pedestrians. Staff said 32nd and Julian. Since then he hasn’t seen any speed trends in the area.” At this time they do that additional street closures on 32nd Ave. crashes at the intersection. “It’s a clear record not have plans to install a red light or speed and traffic circles do not appear to be on the of success. The treatment they installed here camera at the intersection. The city only has 4 table at this time. DOTI is also doing a cityat Julian at 32nd Ave is innovative. I give Den- of them and they are not movable. A potential wide speed limit study at this time as well that ver credit, it’s good work. Something like that expansion of the red light camera program may impact speed limits on the corridor.
The Denver North Star
PHOTO BY NATHALIE JAUTZ-BICKEL
PHOTO BY JILL CARSTONS
TR ANSPO RTATI O N
Driver Charged in April 10 Fatal Accident By Kathryn White Patrick M. Layden, who caused the fatal accident at West 32nd Avenue and Lowell Boulevard on April 10, has been formally charged. Layden, 49, is charged with two counts of assault in the first degree (F3), one count of vehicular homicide (F4), and one count of vehicular assault (F5). Layden’s case is now open and pending in Denver District Court. According to the arrest affidavit, “Layden crossed the double yellow lines and passed a vehicle prior to entering the intersection with N Lowell Blvd. Layden entered the intersection against a red light at a high rate of speed and struck a vehicle in the intersection. The force of the impact moved both vehicles to the west of the intersection where 7 parked vehicles were struck as well. The driver of vehicle #2 was pronounced deceased at the scene. A juvenile passenger who was also in vehicle #2 was transported by ambulance to the hospital with serious injuries.” Ten witness statements were taken. According to the Denver District Attorney’s website, sentencing ranges for these charges are: • Assault in the First Degree – 10 to 32 years. Not eligible for probation. • Vehicular Homicide – 2 to 6 years. Eligible for probation. • Vehicular Assault – 1 to 3 years. Eligible for probation.
May 15, 2021-June 14, 2021 | Page 17
C OM M UN I T Y
April Vaccines Bring May Gatherings By The Denver North Star Staff
With vaccines more readily available, the state and city have started loosening restrictions on gatherings, allowing more people to congregate outside. Denverites are responding, and more in-person events are popping up across North and West Denver! A few miles apart, residents were celebrating on May 1.
PHOTOS BY DAVID SABADOS
With regulations loosened, Sloan’s Lake Neighborhood Association event on May 1 drew several hundred residents throughout the day.
Local actor Michael Shalhoub makes balloon animals for kids.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations started a little early, including a car show and lowrider contest in the Westwood neighborhood.
C OM M UN I T Y CAL E N DAR
The Denver North Star community calendar is back!
To submit an event, visit us online at www.DenverNorthStar.com or call 720-248-7327. Please provide as much notice as possible, especially to appear in
the print edition. Most events are still virtual. Locations are listed for in-person events. As event details can change, we recommend contacting event hosts for updates. We also maintain a continually updated online calendar. More details for many events are available on our website. BERKELEY REGIS UNITED NEIGHBORS MONTHLY MEETING TUESDAY, MAY 18 / TUES, JUNE 15 6:30 TO 8 PM BRUN meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm! Monthly meetings are open to the public, with an open mic to hear neighbors’ concerns. Berkeley Regis United Neighbors (BRUN), is a Denver Registered Neighborhood Organization made up of residents and property owners working together, both internally and with other city coalitions, to KEEP our neighborhood great by advocating for the community’s best interests and organizing events. JOIN US! Meetings are currently held virtually. Visit https://berkeleyregisneighbors.org/ for more information. HIGHLAND UNITED NEIGHBORS MONTHLY MEETING TUESDAY, MAY 18 / TUES, JUNE 15 6:30 PM Do you live in the Highland neighborhood and want to engage with your neighborhood organization? HUNI board meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of every month! https://zoom.us/j/2146972577 Learn more at https://www.denver highland.org/ “WORKING” THE MUSICAL THURSDAY MAY 20 - SAT MAY 22 7 PM (EACH DAY) North High School Performance! Based on Studs Terkel's best-selling book of interviews with American workers, Working paints a vivid portrait of the men and women that the world so often take for granted: the schoolteacher, the phone operator, the waitress, the millworker, the mason and the housewife, just to name a few. Nominated for six Tony Awards, this classic has been updated for a modern age, featuring new songs by Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as favorites by Stephen Schwartz, Craig Carnelia and James Taylor. Please visit https://www.showtix4u.com/ event-details/52415 and purchase your $20 livestream ticket today! ARIA COHOUSING VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY, MAY 22 – 3-4 PM Cohousing appeals to people who want to own their own home and agree to participate in the management and care of their community. Within the larger Aria/Denver location, Aria
Page 18 | May 15, 2021-June 14, 2021
Cohousing Community is a multigenerational, diverse, liberal community in a renovated former convent with 28 family units and community spaces. Now two 2-bedroom units are available-one through Habitat for Humanity and another through Denver's Affordable Housing office. Two market value, 2-bedroom units are still available. To participate, register through the Aria website: www.AriaCohousing.org You'll view the building and surroundings, learn of Aria values and operations, meet some members and share in an open Q&A after the presentation. NORTH SIDE MARKET AT MONKEY BARREL BAR SATURDAY, MAY 22 / SAT, JUNE 19 11 AM TO 2 PM 4401 TEJON ST North Side Market is a Latino market, helping small businesses regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, etc. At North Side Market you will listen to Latino music, eat Latin food, but find diversity within its vendors. Everyone is welcomed, even your fur babies! So spread the word and have some fun while you support local businesses. NORTH DENVER WRITERS PANEL TUESDAY, MAY 25 – 6 PM Join Bookbar and community members for a unique night with local artists! We are very excited to collaborate with Mario Acevedo, Manuel Aragon, Tameca Coleman, Steven Dunn, Rudy Garcia, and Manuel Ramos for a North Denver Writers Panel! Register for the Zoom at bookbardenver.com WEST HIGHLAND NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MONTHLY MEETING TUESDAY, JUNE 1 – 7-8 PM Live in the West Highland Neighborhood and want to get involved with your neighborhood organization? WHNA meets the first Tuesday of the month from 7-8 pm. Visit http://www westhighlandneighborhood.org/ for a zoom link and more details CHAFFEE PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MONTHLY MEETING TUES, JUNE 1 – 6:30 PM Live in the Chaffee Park neighborhood and want to connect with your neighborhood organization? Chaffee Park Neighborhood Association meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm.
Check out https://www.chaffeepark.org/ for more information! BOOK LAUNCH FOR JANNA GOODWIN’S “THE END OF THE WORLD NOTWITHSTANDING” THURS, JUNE 3 A virtual launch for Regis University professor Janna Goodwin’s The End of the World Notwithstanding! Janna will be in conversation with theater professional, Lee Massero, in addition to a reading and Q&A. https://www.bookbardenver.com/event CENTENNIAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GOLF FUNDRAISER FRIDAY, JUNE 4 – 7:30 AM Missing golf at Willis-Case and want to support a neighborhood school? Centennial Elementary PTA is hosting their first annual golf fundraiser! An individual entry is only $150 and sponsorship opportunities range from $25 - $3,000. Enjoy some sun, golf, and community while supporting North Denver schools. Funds raised by the PTA will be used to support the school after a difficult year. For more information, or to sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also leave a message at the school at 720-424-8900 or call Eric Lyche at 303-594-0750. https:// centennialptaco.memberhub.store/store. Registration Deadline is May 27th, 2021 NATIONAL DONUT DAY: FREE HONEY GLAZED AT BERKELEY DONUTS FRIDAY, JUNE 4 – 7:30 AM - 11 AM 3920 TENNYSON ST To honor National Donut Day on June 4, Denver’s only potato-style donut shop Berkeley Donuts, located inside Hops & Pie, is offering one free Honey Glazed per person! FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK NORTH DENVER FRIDAY, JUNE 4 – 5-8 PM Throw on your walking shoes, engage with other residents in an outdoor distances setting, and enjoy music and art the first Friday of each month! Visit CurateLocally.com for more information on how to participate including a map of where to find art in the neighborhood! If you’re a visual artist, or musician interested in participating, reach out through the website for more information as well.
HOUSE DISTRICT 4 DEMOCRATS MONTHLY MEETING* SATURDAY, JUNE 5 – 9 AM House District 4 Democrats meet via Zoom at 9 am on the first Saturday of each month. Email HD4@denverdemocrats.org for a link. Anyone interested in becoming more involved with the local Democratic party and hearing from local Democratic elected officials is welcome. *The Denver North Star accepts communityfacing non-fundraising events from local political organizations. We welcome events from all parties and encourage other organizations to send events. WEST COLFAX ASSOCIATION OF NEIGHBORS MONTHLY MEETING TUESDAY, JUNE 8 – 6 TO 7 PM Live in the West Colfax neighborhood and want to get more involved? WeCAN, the West Colfax Association of Neighbors meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6pm! Visit https://www.wecandenver.org/ for more information and virtual meeting instructions. SUNNYSIDE UNITED NEIGHBORS PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT MONTHLY MEETING THURSDAY, JUNE 10 – 6:30 TO 8 PM Live in the Sunnyside Neighborhood? Want to get more involved with planning, zoning, and development issues? Sunnyside United Neighbors Planning and Community Development Meetings are the second Thursday of each month from 6:30-8 pm. Currently meeting virtually, email SUNIPCD@gmail.com for a zoom link. BOOKSOCIAL WITH BOOKBAR FRIDAY, JUNE 11 – 5 PM Happy Hour and Book Talk – Every Friday at 5 pm, grab a drink, chat about books, and hang out virtually with fellow booklovers and BookBar’s staff! Email email@example.com to sign up. LA RAZA PARK CELEBRATION SUNDAY, JUNE 20 – 3:30 PM 1501 W 38TH AVE Join city and community leaders in officially dedicating a sign with the new name of La Raza Park (formerly Columbus Park). Denver City Council officially renamed La Raza Park earlier this year.
The Denver North Star
C OM M UN I T Y SHAPING OUR FUTURE BY REMEMBERING OUR PAST
China, Culture, Pianos, and the Bosler House S
ecretary of State Anthony Blinken recently raised concerns about China and its aggressive attitude toward the world. Everyone is predicting DENNIS GALLAGHER China is going to beat the USA on all fronts this year. I know China is already beating us in the battle of world classical music. Let me remind you of the notorious cultural revolution which China's insane dictator Mao Zedong foisted on the people of China in 1966. He ordered people to destroy all musical instruments, burn all the books, beat all the teachers, destroy art works and ancient artifacts. If citizens tried to hide pianos or violins or books, the Red Guards, Mao's true believers, would beat them, humiliate them, and parade them through the neighborhood with signs on their chest indicating their crime, "This capitalist revisionist tried to save a violin." No one was safe from Mao's fanatic hoards. Deng Xiaoping, a future Chinese president, d lowrider was purged in 1967. His father was humiliated, beaten, and sent into exile. The future president's half-sister was persecuted to the point that she decided to end her life. Chinese officials are still very defensive about the irrational atrocities committed during the Cultural Revolution. If anyone today dares to write a book about the period, one’s books can be confiscated and ideas suppressed. The Chinese Communist Party does not want the truth out about their destructive cultural revolution. Many Americans have never heard of this cultural revolution. This national insanity lasted until 1976 when the people and even the Communist Party tired of Mao and his culture revolution of destruction. Confucius and classical music from the west won out and Mao and the Gang of Four, including his ruthless wife, committed suicide in face of a trial for high crimes. They did not keep records but during the Cul-
tural Revolution, millions of people were beaten tortured and even killed for resisting the government imposed lunacy against Western music and musical instruments. But China and the beaten Chinese people are truly resilient and brought back musical instruments, books, art, and historic treasurers. They brought back long hidden musical scores by Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart. Chinese parents know that teaching their children classical music early in life expands their minds, broadens their students’ horizons, uplifts their spirits, increases creativity, and improves scores in other subjects like math, sciences, and aesthetics. Today China is winning the battle for classical music in their schools and at home. Did you know that over 80% of the world’s pianos are now made in China? Did you know that 40 to 60 million children in China are studying classical music on their home pianos? Records are sketchy but it is believed almost as many Chinese children are learning to play classical music on the once forbidden violin. In the USA, the percentage of children learning classical music is falling at home and in schools around our country. We in Denver can't help Anthony Bliken as he plays ominous international chess with China's lead on overwhelming us on so many international and national fronts. But there is one small step you can take in this great cultural battle to help our country meet the challenge of the great international cultural music struggle. On Sunday May 16th, at 2 PM the beautifully restored historic Bosler House on the west side of Highland Park on West 32nd, not far from Woodbury Library Upbeat Colorado is hosting a fundraiser. The garden fundraiser helps pay for classical music classes for students in our area. At the Sunday, May 16th concert, the children studying classical music will be offering a concert to let you know what great progress they are making with the help of teachers from Up-
PHOTO COURTESY OF DENNIS GALLAGHER
Want to support music in our community? Join Dennis Gallagher and other community leaders at a fundraiser at the Bosler house on May 16. beat Colorado. Upbeat Colorado is a Colorado non profit and any donation you give is tax deductible. We suggest a donation of $30 a person. Refreshments will be served. The teachers cut their salaries to teach the lucky students from our area. The details of the Upbeat Colorado event can be found below. Please tell your
friends and neighbors. The Honorable Dennis Gallagher is a former city auditor, city councilman, state senator and state representative. He’ll be sharing thoughts and stories from North Denver’s past and future in his reoccuring column in The Denver North Star.
NE W S S HO RTS
Help Launch Our New Series On North Denver Neighborhoods By The Denver North Star Staff
e cover the whole range North Denver neighborhoods and there’s a lot we wonder about. You too? Tell us what has you scratching your head in your neighborhood. Even better: are you in-the-know on some quirky North Denver detail you wish your neighbors knew about? Send us what you think we need to know about your spe-
cific neighborhood to help us inform the rest of our community! We’re planning a series that dives into each neighborhood in our community. Puzzling, gripping, unnerving or fascinating: send it to us. We’re starting with Inspiration Point. Go! News@DenverNorthStar.com or call 720-248-7327
New Watering Rules in Effect By The Denver North Star Staff
enver Water has implemented watering rules aimed at conservation and helping residents effectively water in Denver’s arid climate effectively and financially efficiently. • Water during cooler times of the day — lawn watering is NOT allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. • Water no more than three days per week. • Do not allow water to pool in gutters, streets and alleys. • Do not waste water by letting it spray on concrete and asphalt.
• Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days. • Do not irrigate while it is raining or during high winds. • Use a hose nozzle with a shut-off valve when washing your car. Depending on the type of sprinklers and temperature, Denver Water also released recommendations on duration and frequency of watering. You can find more information on their website DenverWater.org or by calling 303-893-2444
Bug Theatre Reopening By The Denver North Star Staff
fter being closed for over a year, the Bug Theatre at 3654 Navajo St will be reopening on June 1. The venue announced that regular programs like The Emerging Filmmakers Project and Freak Train will be returning this year and they are looking
The Denver North Star
forward to new programming as well. They will be operating at a limited capacity, doing temperature checks at the door, and mask use. For more information, check out w w w. b u g t h e a t r e . o r g or call 303-477-5977
May 15, 2021-June 14, 2021 | Page 19
303.455.5535 | NostalgicHomes.com ACTIVE
4925 W 28th Ave
Dream-worthy Modern perfectly placed in Sloan’s Lake-Highlands. City Views & Mountain Views from Long’s Peak to Pikes Peak!
1356 N Downing St
1333 Ames Street
5 Bed 5 Bath 4,998 SF
4 Bed 5 Bath 2.855 SF
3 Bed 2 Bath 3,395 SF
6275 King Ct
4405 W 37th Avenue
2120 N Downing St #209 3816 Lowell Boulevard
3 Bed 3 Bath 2,300 SF
4 Bed 5 Bath 2,719 SF
2 Bed 2 Bath 1,010 SF
4 Bed 3 Bath 2,388 SF
Jenny Apel 303.570.9690
Liz Luna 303.475.1170
4599 W 36th Avenue
732-734 S Logan St
3550 W 62nd Place
2266 S Columbine St
4 Bed 4 Bath 2,808 SF
3 Bed 2 Bath 1,800 SF
3 Bed 3 Bath 1,922 SF
5 Bed 6 Bath
Jenny Apel 303.570.9690
Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 Quintessential Queen Anne with carriage home in Witter Cofield Historic District!
7641 N Newton Street
1920 Roslyn Street
2035 Grove Street
3 Bed 2 Bath 1,456 SF
2 Bed 1 Bath 876 SF
4 Bed 3 Bath 2,414 SF
Bart Rhein 720.837.5959
Jenny Apel 303.570.9690
3843 Vallejo Street
4420 W 31st Avenue
12483 E Tennessee Cir, Unit C
4240 Quitman Street
3 Bed 2 Bath 2,132 SF
5 Bed 5 Bath 4,345 SF
1 Bed 1 Bath 738 SF
2 Bed 2 Bath 1,075 SF
Betty Luce 303.478.8618
Jenny Apel 303.570.9690
Mid Mod in Sloan’s Lake – Highlands!
4910 W 31st Avenue 4 Bed 2 Bath 2,452 SF $975,000
4321 Tennyson St, Unit 4
16888 W. 87th Avenue
3 Bed 3 Bath 1,691 SF
3 Bed 3 Bath 3,027 SF
Porsha Ridl 303.720.1772
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.
Page 20 | May 15, 2021-June 14, 2021
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