Page 1

Your Guide to Community, Politics, Ar ts and Culture in Nor th Denver


Volume 2, Issue 12


September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021

Psychics and Tarot Card Readers Aplenty in North Denver Shops

Practitioners Ready to Help Believers Better Themselves



With Seasonal Flu Coming, Northside COVID Vaccine Rates Are Mixed By Bill Menezes


COMMUNITY Safety Improvements at 32nd and Lowell PAGE 6

ARTS & CULTURE Interested in Learning to Sing? PAGE 9

Arcana owner Sadie McGarry, with shop kitty, Lilin


By Kathryn White

J COMMUNITY First "social equity" Dispensary Likely Opening in North Denver PAGE 10



POLITICS Elected Official Update PAGE 15

ewelz Truly sat relaxed and smiling from behind a small draped table at the Highland Street Fair. Awaiting her next customer, several decks of cards and an assortment of candles stood between Truly and a chair that didn’t stay empty for long. It was a coming home of sorts: Truly used to live nearby on West Moncrieff Place with her grandmother, whom she first read tarot cards with when she was younger. Truly’s grandmother learned over many years from a friend, and when Truly brought home her first tarot deck, she began to pass along what she knew. Since then Truly has explored and developed her gift for reading tarot cards for others. North Denver’s arterial streets of West Colfax Avenue, Sheridan Boulevard, West 38th Avenue, and Federal Boulevard have long been home to large signs advertising tarot card readings, psychics, palm readers, and more. If you crave some direction in your work or romantic lives, there are options. And if you look a little further—to side streets or online— you’ll find even more. The area boasts a number of shops and independent practitioners geared toward supporting your spiritual life with a range of products and services. The Denver North Star spoke with several to learn about what’s available. Along the way, we picked up some guidance on navigating what’s offered. For Heaven’s Sake metaphysical store (4900 West 46th Avenue) has operated in North Denver for 21 years. Initially on West 32nd Avenue, then Tennyson Street, the shop is now across from Scheitler Rec Center. Long-timers in the neighborhood will remember when The Enchanted Chalice, next to the original Common Grounds coffee shop, changed hands and became For Heaven’s Sake. The store offers books, aromatherapy products, divination tools, healing crystals, jewelry, and more. They also host a rotation of what they describe as spiritual services: tarot readings, reiki energy and bodywork, and psychic fairs. Owner Dianne Fresquez built the business through creative approaches (she wasn’t previously trained in business) and is proud of their numerous offerings today. “If you can create your sacred space from some of the things we have in the store, then we’ve done

our job well.” Newer to the scene is Arcana Herbal (2834 West 44th Avenue) in Sunnyside. Owner Sadie McGarry, who identifies as a witch, opened the shop during the pandemic. The shop is flourishing, McGarry reports, and she’s eager to emphasize the shop’s inclusiveness. She welcomes people of all paths into the shop, “and anyone looking to add healing to their spiritual practice.” Equally important is a focus on healing through what she describes as shadow work, or an awareness around aspects of our self where we might want to release shame or find balance. Arcana sells gemstones, bath salts, teas, ritual mists, tarot decks, and more. Many products are made locally, and the shop also offers classes. When it comes to spiritual, psychic, or psychic medium services, North Denver has just as much to offer. But first let’s clarify our understanding of a few terms encountered in our reporting. According to Rebecca Rosen, a psychic medium who has appeared on The Rachael Ray Show, Entertainment Tonight, and, “Psychics tune into the energy of people or objects by feeling or sensing elements of their past, present and future. Simply put, psychics rely on their basic sense of intuition and psychic ability to gather information for the person being read.” And psychic mediumship, for Rosen, adds to that an emphasis on “making connections with and delivering messages from people who are no longer living to those who still are.” She receives “information primarily and directly from the dead, spirit guides and angels.” We’ve mentioned tarot cards and tarot card readings. In Hunter Oatman-Stanford’s June 2014 Collectors Weekly article, “Tarot Mythology: The Surprising Origins of the World's Most Misunderstood Cards,” much about the history and evolution of tarot cards is explored. What likely began in Turkey in the 14th century as a playful divination game, has morphed over time and geography, taking on meaning shaped by the peoples using them and the surrounding times and cultures.

See PYSCHICS, Page 6

he Northside has a checkered record so far when it comes to neighborhood residents vaccinated against COVID-19, with some areas surpassing city and national averages and others still trying to catch up as of late August. The good news: By late August, Vaccination rates were inching higher across metro Denver, a trend local health officials want to continue as the seasonal flu period approaches late in the year. The Metro Denver Partnership for Health, comprising COVID strategy groups to coordinate work by CDPHE, the Colorado Health Institute, Denver Public Health, Gov. Jared Polis’ office and others, is tracking vaccination status with an interactive map available at https://www. Although the data are grouped by U.S. Census tracts, which often overlap local neighborhood lines or ZIP Codes, they provide clear, updated snapshots of how Northside neighborhoods are doing. Many Northside neighborhoods including Berkeley, West Highland, Potter Highlands and parts of Sunnyside, have topped an average of 75% of residents older than age 12 having received at least one dose of vaccine. None were at less than 50% average.

Although no single factors consistently indicated whether a neighborhood likely had a higher or lower vaccination rate, household income disparities at times reflected widely divergent vaccination status. That compared with the Denver County 79.4% rate of residents older than age 12 having gotten one dose as of Aug. 29, according to Denver Public Health data. That also compared with the national rate of 62% with one dose by that time, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) figures. Behind the overall averages are sometimes widely varying vaccination rates across the Northside, shaped by such factors as economic status, resident age and other determinants of who has gotten their shots in the roughly nine months since they became available. For example, in tracts comprising Berkeley more than 87% of residents over 12 have received at least one shot. Sloan’s Lake and Highland/Highland Park areas also topped 87%, while much of Sunnyside had an 80% or better vaccination rate for people over 12.

See VACCINE, Page 12


Open for Personal Training

Tour Three North Denver Landmarks This October By David Sabados

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f you’ve been interested in a tour inside of some of North Denver’s most recognized landmarks, you’re about to have the chance to see three of them. Doors Open Denver (DOD) is an annual event run by the Denver Architecture Foundation (DAF) featuring architectural sites from across the city, some modern, some historic. This year, they selected two new buildings in North Denver and brought back a third for a second year. The Historic Elitch Theatre on 38th Ave and the Howard Berkeley Park Chapel on Tennyson have new virtual tours. There’s also limited in-person tours of the Elitch Theatre available to DAF members. A recorded tour of the Bosler house featuring the homeowners, is also being made available again. “As part of our ongoing efforts to continue the annual tradition of Doors Open Denver, while prioritizing public safety, Denver Architecture Foundation is excited to present a hybrid event in 2021,” said Pauline Herrera, DAF executive director. “With our in-person tours, virtual tours and archived tours from 2020, we are offering access to more than 25 architectural sites, inspiring people to explore our dynamic city and state and experience the importance of design to our quality of life. HISTORIC ELITCH THEATRE Completed in 1891, the Theatre hosted Colorado’s first moving picture in 1896. For new and younger residents of North Denver, the site was the location of the original Elitch Gardens, which moved downtown in 1994. While most of the site of the gardens was redeveloped into housing, the theatre was preserved. Tours are being provided by board members who are actively working to restore the theatre and other experts. While the tour itself is prerecorded, there is a live question and answer session with the tour guides. For more information on the theatre today, check out last month’s issue of The Denver North Star, still available online, which has a feature on North Denver theaters.


The Bosler house, one of North Denver's most recognizable landmarks, is open for virtual tours again this October The Elitch Theatre tour will be on October 7, 2021, from 5:30-6:45pm and costs $12.

will be on October 11, 2021 from 5:306:45pm and costs $12.

HOWARD BERKELEY PARK CHAPEL It wasn’t long ago that the fate of the chapel was a hot topic in North Denver. Owners of The Olinger Moore Howard Chapel had planned to demolish the mortuary and the land was to be used for townhomes, but a group of residents fought to preserve the site and an owner who wanted to repurpose the building rather than demolish it, was found. The chapel is currently being used by Redemption Church Denver. Berkeley residents Laurie and Tom Simmons prepared the Denver Landmark application for the chapel in 2020 and Tom is one of the tour guides along with two others. Like the Elitch tour, it is prerecorded but with a live question and answer session with the tour guides. The Howard Berkeley Park Chapel tour

BOSLER HOUSE Few North Denver homes are as recognizable as the Bosler house, located across from Highland Park. Built in 1875, the two story home has a tower stretching up above a 3rd story. The building was designated a Denver landmark in 1984 and is listed on multiple historic registries. Unlike the other two, this tour is fully prerecorded, but is available on demand through October 17th and only costs $6. The 49 minute video features a tour by Jan and Steve Davis, the current owners of the home, who renovated and preserved the unique North Denver icon. Ticket sales for all tours benefit The Denver Architecture Foundation. For more information on the organization, or to purchase tickets, please visit or call 303-390-1653

Skinner Middle School Starts 100 Year Celebrations By David Sabados


kinner Middle School turns 100 this year and the community is invited to help celebrate! School families, faculty, and staff are planning a number of events over the year, starting with the Fall Festival on Saturday, October 9, from 10am – 2pm, which is free and open to the community whether or not they have students at the school.

“There’s so many people who have stories,” said Beiers. “It’s good for our kids to see.” Kellie Beiers is the mother of a Skinner 8th grader and helping plan the 100 year celebrations. After participating in a similar celebration at Edison elementary a few years ago and seeing the community come together, she’s excited to be working with alumni and other parents spanning several generations. “There’s so many people who have stories,” said Beiers. “It’s good for our kids to see.” Some of those stories will be on display at the festival: the Skinner team has been going through their vault of memorabilia: yearbooks, photo collages, and documents spanning decades. The public can take a walk through Skinner’s history, which is forever intertwined with the history of North Denver.

Page 2 | September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021

The all outdoor festival will also have great food and fun carnival games for kids. There will also be student performances by Skinner students and North High School students, many of whom passed through Skinner’s halls just a few years ago. There’s even a cake for the school’s birthday. The October festival is just the first event though, with a large celebration planned for April. In the meantime, the school is asking for alumni to share their memorabilia: photos, certificates, newspaper clippings, graduation pamphlets, or whatever else former

Skinner students have that they want to share with the community. Alumni can engage by emailing copies of their memorabilia, or questions, to Rebecca Caldwell, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the school, said they are also designing special 100 year shirts and other items that should be available this year. The Denver North Star will be helping them celebrate too; be on the lookout for more about the 100 year celebrations next spring.

The Denver North Star


North Denver Farm Stands See Dip in Sales, Invite Community to Check Them Out

By Mike McKibbin


ocally grown fruits and vegetables may be more healthy for you and help cut down on things like transportation costs and resulting air pollution, but some North Denver neighborhood farm stands are struggling. The COVID-19 pandemic was one factor, but not the only possible reason, business has dropped in 2021. Jon Rodrigues is an owner of Sunnyside Farms, which operates a farm stand on Saturdays at 4512 Vallejo St. The stand debuted last year and Rodrigues said overall revenue is about the same this year as 2020, despite a slight drop in farm stand sales this year. “The balance of our money comes from wholesale sales to restaurants, which is about back to pre-pandemic levels, and the Saturday stand seems to get fairly steady business,” he added. “It’s an interesting time. Last year it was a set of unusual circumstances that allowed us to open the stand and it turned into a really good year.” Rodrigues said Sunnyside operated their farm stand in 2020 on Wednesdays and Saturdays but eliminated the Wednesday stand this year due to the drop in sales and the reopening of restaurants that were wholesale customers. Since 2016, Sunnyside Farms has sold its produce and fruit to restaurants on the wholesale level. Rodrigues added the operation also includes a handyman and landscaping service, which has been highlighted to customers a little more this year. The types of customers in 2020 were a mix of tourists staying at area Airbnb rentals and residents within a four- or five-block area, Rodrigues added. This year it’s more of a variety, with repeat customers living close by and those who subscribe to a community


Sunnyside Farms offers rotating fresh produce every Saturday supported agriculture program. Such programs allow people to pay upfront and stop by the farm each month to pick up locally-grown and harvested fruits and vegetables. “Seedlings sold well early last year, but they were significantly lower this year,” Rodrigues added. “We could be selling more since we planted more seedlings at the start of the year with the expectation people would be doing more personal gardening. And we specialize in providing produce in the late growing season.” Rodrigues noted Sunnyside Farms is still learning about the farm stand business. “Since this is only our second year with the farm stand, we’re still getting our feet under us a little bit,”

Rodrigues said. “It will be interesting to learn more as we go along and see how other farm stands make a go of it.” Meanwhile, Spano’s Produce, 5820 Lowell Blvd., just north of Interstate 70, has seen a sharper drop in its farm stand business this year, according to one

of the owners. “It’s been really weird,” Marie Elliott said. “We’re down over the last two years and I’m not sure what happened. The pandemic was part of it, of course; that made people scared. But we don’t see people stopping by on their way home like we had.” Elliott estimated Spano’s business had dropped by 50% over the last two years. Spano’s has not had to lay off staff, with just one worker along with family members. However, the operation reduced the amount of produce planted this year, Elliott added. “Some things like farm-to-table dinners are good,” she said. “Jams, jellies, and the prepared stuff still sells but not the produce as much.” Customers — most of them regulars — usually want just a few things now, Elliott stated. Construction work on Lowell Boulevard over the last several years was another likely factor in Spano’s business decline, Elliott added. The drop might have also been affected by people moving out of the area and older customers passing away, she said. The stand’s business in the 1970s and 80s was very good, she recalled, with two stands next to each other and steady business all day. “Nowadays, a lot of people don’t cook like they used to, either,” Elliott stated.

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September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021 | Page 3


McDonough Mansion Noted In Historic Denver’s “50 Places” Recognition By Bill Menezes


t sits on the wooded hill at the corner of 46th and Perry, a gentle reminder of the early days of the Berkeley-Regis neighborhoods and the prominent Denverites who established it. Now, the McDonough mansion has some new recognition of its historic past. Historic Denver has selected the home — as well as three other Northside locations — as part of its “50 Actions, 50 Places” initiative to help celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary. Earlier this year, Historic Denver asked community members to identify the next 50 places in the city that “I can’t imagine Denver without.” Submissions included places of historic importance in addition to many that local residents considered worthy of some type of preservation action or assistance, which might eventually include varied actions such as help with researching a place’s history, providing a plaque noting its significance, or identifying maintenance issues that should be addressed. Michael Flowers, Historic Denver’s Director of Preservation Action, said the city received about 110 submissions, including a number for sites on the Northside. Historic Denver staff and members then narrowed the list to 50 based on a number of criteria. Besides the McDonough mansion, the final list includes, the Elitch’s Carousel House by 38th and Tennyson; Lakeside Amusement Park; and the house that formerly was the location of the groundbreaking Gender Identity Center at 3715 32nd Avenue, which served as a community center and safe space for transgender people from 1980-93. Historic Berkeley-Regis submitted the Mc-

Donough mansion on the basis of numerous factors, underscoring its historic significance to the city. The dwelling was designed by Jules Jacques Benoit Benedict, one of the most prominent architects in Colorado history. Benedict’s work in the Denver area alone encompasses an array of iconic residential, commercial, and public space structures. This lengthy list includes, to name just a few, the Woodbury Branch of the Denver Public Library at Highland Park; the Cullen-Thompson Motor Co. building at 1000 Broadway (later home of the old Gart Bros. Sports Castle); Holy Ghost Church at 1900 California; the Herman Coors house in Golden; a wing of the Richthofen Castle in Montclair; Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton; and the structures for Sunken Gardens Park, the Chief Hosa Lodge and the Washington Park Boating Pavilion. The McDonough mansion is Benedict’s earliest known completed house in Denver, built for another prominent local figure, John McDonough, under a permit issued Oct. 1, 1909. The building was completed early in 1910 with a value of $33,000, according to Historic Denver. Designed in Italian Renaissance Revival style architecture, the local Denver Republican described the home in 1912 as “one of the most beautiful residences in the city.” The original design included an entrance gate and a windmill, with the main house featuring a single story front porch with triple arches, topped with a balcony balustrade. The two one-story wings, extending from the main building at 45-degree angles, housed, on one side the kitchen, and, on the other, the home’s billiard room.


The dental clinic where everybody is welcome.

not have be living in c another in become as Like Jeff leaders ha park space Ruth W Denver, “R minds us th started out PHOTO BY DAVID SABADOS age ponds. The home at 46th and Perry, built in 1910, is being recognized as one of enue and C 50 locations Denverites can't imagine the city being without fondly, as h Such a home was fitting for McDonough, her now-late husband Timber Dick boughton historic another member of the Denver elite whose the home in 1993, which itself started a newwith her b real estate and investment firm led the devel- chapter in the history of their own storiedpond whic Democrati opment of a new suburb in what now is the Northside family. "It is wonderful to realize many people aretook umbr Berkeley-Regis area. According to Ruth Eloise Wiberg’s history, “Rediscovering North- working behind the scenes in Denver to pre-park on th west Denver,” McDonough moved into the serve the beauty and history of our commu-first presid new mansion from his previous home several nity,” said Tilleman-Dick. “We are grateful foron the list blocks away in Harkness Heights, of which their efforts. Our family is thrilled our home,of Indepen he also had led development as a new Denver Theopolis, built for John McDonough andDemocrati designed by the gifted Jules Jacques Benedict,lumbus Pa suburb in the early 1900s. McDonough died of a heart attack in Au- was chosen, along with our cherished neigh-cal naming gust 1912 while driving home for lunch. His bor, Lakeside Amusement Park, to be among Resident widow continued living in the home while she the 50 properties under consideration. As thewatering h conducted his business for several years. Later personality of our streets and avenues areearly Germ residents included civic leader John Malm, an changing from month to month it is good tothe ice at Je order of nuns, and other private residents. The know some of the enchantment of our historyhis sorrow lobbied the current owner, Annette Tilleman-Dick, and will not be erased."

Dragon Boat Festival Cancelled, Jamming on the Jetty A Go, Sloan’s Lake Reopens, and Improvements Begin By David Sabados


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espite organizers’ early optimism, The Dragon Boat Festival held annually at Sloan's Lake has been cancelled for 2021. The organization said they did not make the decision lightly but felt it was the right call “after weighing the health and safety of our community, volunteers, dragon boaters, and performers (many of whom are children under the age of 12 and/or family PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMMING ON THE JETTY members), and also considJamming on the Jetty ering the current closure of health will continue to improve, especially as Sloan’s Lake due to the health weather begins to cool since warmer temperarisks posed by a blue-green algae bloom.” Board Chair Janet Shih Hajek explained, tures encourage more algae growth. Jamming on the Jetty, a live music event on "it was a very difficult decision to cancel the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival this year. September 18, is still moving forward accordThe safety and health of our communi- ing to organizers, with proceeds going to the ty will always be our top priority. We look Sloan’s Lake Park Foundation, a nonprofit orforward to safely bringing back the larg- ganization focused on promoting clean water est AAPI celebration in 2022 pending the and making the lake and surrounding park COVID-19 situation." more sustainable and friendly to guests. The lake closed in late July due to the alOn the south end of the park, several imgae bloom that is dangerous for everyone provement projects are moving forward. Denand often lethal to pets. Denver Parks erect- ver Parks and Recreation is replacing the played signs warning passerbys of the danger. ground and tennis courts, including adding A spokesperson for the Department told a pickleball court. The project is also geared The Denver North Star that they are treating at increasing accessibility and the area will the lake, and they are seeing some improve- have more picnicking options when finished. ment. The lake was tested weekly and reopened Construction began shortly after Labor Day September 10 after the test showed results and is expected to be completed by the fall that met Colorado Department of Health & of 2022; access to the area is limited during Environment standards. the project. The overall cost is expected to be Park officials are hopeful that the lake’s approximately 3.5 million dollars.

The Denver North Star




Great Civilizations Treasure Parks and Open Spaces


homas Jefferson, author of our Declaration of Independence, had been horrified at the poverty, squalor, and congestion which he observed in DENNIS GALLAGHER European cities. He could not have been any clearer about open space and living in cities. "When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe." Like Jefferson, Denver residents and city leaders have always been solicitous to create park space and open space. Ruth Wiberg in her axial history of North Denver, “Rediscovering Northwest Denver,” reminds us that many of the parks around Denver started out as small irrigation lakes and drainage ponds. One such pond was at West 22nd Avenue and Clay. My mother remembers the pond fondly, as her family, the Flahertys, lived nearby on historic River Drive. She enjoyed wading with her brothers and sister in the watering pond which was later named Jefferson Park. Democratic members of an early city council took umbrage that the city could name a city park on the east side Washington Park, our first president. They wanted Jefferson included on the list of parks as author of the Declaration of Independence and one of the founders of the Democratic Party. The recent renaming of Columbus Park to La Raza Park shows how political naming of parks can be. Residents around Jefferson Park enjoyed the watering hole until a son of Frederick Neef, an early German Denver beer brewer, fell through the ice at Jefferson Park pond and drowned. In his sorrow at his son's death, Neef successfully lobbied the city to fill in the watering pond, but

the indentation in the middle of the park can still be seen where the pond once was. The same story of the origin of Sloan's (yes, with an apostrophe "s") Lake reflects a similar aquatic history. Thank you, Roger Oram, Sloan's neighbor and North High graduate who got the city to add the apostrophe when I was on council. The Orams always paid attention to civic grammar. Farmer Thomas M. Sloan was merrily digging a well for his 200 acre farm. He hit an artesian geyser and had to move his farmstead down towards Colfax since the lake got so big. Next door, Isaac Cooper dug for his well for his farm and also hit another geyser. The city eventually dug out the earth separating Cooper's Lake from Sloan's Lake. The small island formed in between by the dredging was lovingly referred to as "Duck Island," as the ducks always rambunctiously congregated there. Wonderfully, herons recently have graced the lake with their presence, a blessing for North Denver. In 1874, two years before Colorado statehood, the enterprising owners of the Grandview Hotel at West 17th and Federal got the idea to dig a canal along 17th Avenue to Sloan's Lake. The city allowed a steam boat to carry folks from the Grandview to Sloan's and pretend they were back east along one of the glorious canals. The steam boat is lost to memory, and, later, Sloan's boasted its own paddle wheel which broke up in the freeze of 1918. The old dance hall boat is believed to be slumbering on the soggy, sandy bottoms of Sloan's Lake. Any archeologists interested in dredging up the old paddle wheel? Inspiration Point Park, west of Sheridan, 48th to 50th was originally a farm owned by a Mr. Ryan which later became another park. The city gradually annexed the land to Denver in the 1940's through the 1960's. I remember riding

my bicycle up to the point with neighborhood chums looking for arrowheads. We never found any historic artifacts, but we loved the view of Jefferson County and environs all the way from Pike's Peak on the south to Long's PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFFERSON PARK UNITED NEIGHBORS (JPUN) Peak on the north. Jefferson Park And I figure Native Americans may have used the point as a lookout hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die." at various times throughout the year. Former Mayor Wellington Webb followed Rocky Piro, North Denver native and former director of Denver's Planning Office, reports faithfully in Mayor Speer's big shoes. He aimed that by Denver's own calculation in the 2019 high and added more park space and open planning document “Game Plan”, the city has a space to Denver's mile high profile than even parks and open space deficit of 1,350 acres. The the legendary Speer. Webb once told me, "Nodeficit is calculated on a minimum of 13 acres of body will remember I added more park space park and open space for every 1,000 residents than Mayor Speer." I laughed and told him, "I as figured by the Trust for Public Lands. TFPL will always remember what you did for park is a national watchdog group monitoring open space in Denver. And I will always remind space and parks in American cities. Rocky people what obstacles you overcame and I alcautions that if Denver only covers the 1,350 ways add: ‘Thank you, Mayor Webb, for all you deficit, that will only bring the city up to "aver- did for parks and open space.’" Mayor Webb age." Are you satisfied with Denver just being kept us from piling on top of each other. "average" on anything? We need a mayor like Webb and parks planMayor Robert Speer, our 1900's city beau- ners like Rocky Piro who will aim for more tiful mayor, shared the grand vision of parks than just the "average" amount of open and and open space as intoned by Daniel Burn- park space for the old Denver town we all love. ham, an early parks planner. His vision was The Honorable Dennis Gallagher is a fornot a Vision Zero. His plan called for shaded parkways, lots of parks, and grand monuments mer city auditor, city councilman, state senafor blossoming Denver. Bernham boasted: tor and state representative. He’ll be sharing "Make no little plans; they have no magic to thoughts and stories from North Denver’s past stir men's blood and probably themselves will and future in his reoccuring column in The not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in Denver North Star.


“Sidewalk Palooza” Encourages NW Denver Residents to Talk Sidewalks By The Denver North Star Staff

North High School Girls’ Soccer/Cheer Annual Fundraiser: 2021

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f you’re in the Berkeley or Inspiration Point neighborhoods and frustrated by Denver’s inadequate and incomplete sidewalk network, you're not alone. On September 25, you can join transportation advocates and Councilwoman Amanda P. Sandoval in a walking and rolling tour of the neighborhoods to discuss challenges pedestrians and wheelchair users have in navigating Denver's walkways. The group will be meeting at Scheitler Rec Center at 10 am. If you have any questions, email or contact Councilwoman Sandoval’s office.

22” Wreaths: $25 28” Wreaths: $40 Door Swag: $25 10’ Garlands: $40 Centerpiece: $25

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4321 Tennyson St Unit# 4 4555 Osceola Street 2247 W 34th Avenue 3140 Umatilla Street 3922 Alcott Street 3631 Julian Street 2201 Newton Street 4154 Xavier Street 3473 W 37th Avenue 4180 Irving Street 3132 W 41st Avenue



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Elizabeth Clayton 303.506.3448 The Denver North Star


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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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Jean Sunn 970.313.3916 September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021 | Page 5



Continued from Page 1

32nd Ave & Lowell Safety Improvements Begin

Whatever their history and use, decks are known for intricate artwork. The earliest were individually hand painted. Tarot decks today consist of 78 cards divided into major (22 cards) and minor arcana (56 cards divided into 4 suits). A “tarot spread” consists of cards placed one-by-one in locations on a table, where each location and card carry a specific aspect of the response to what a querent has asked. A tarot card reading is the process of laying out the cards and looking at and interpreting each one relative to the spread and the question. Today there are hundreds, perhaps over a thousand, different tarot decks on the market, from the longstanding Rider-Waite deck first produced in 1909 to newer ones like The Wild Unknown, Modern Witch, The Goddess Tarot, and Santa Muerte decks. Many come with guide booklets describing the meaning behind each card. And yes, there are tarot smartphone apps. And if you look closely enough, you might see a tarot card in a visit to Enigma Bazaar this fall, the new mystical bar and arts venue on West 38th Avenue, or at the Denver Botanic Gardens’ exhibition Organic Tarot: Work by Tya Alisa Anthony opening in January 2022. Hillary Leftwich, a professional tarot reader in North Denver (on Instagram as @hillary.leftwich), is drawn to the Modern Witch deck for its non-binary and LGBTQ-friendly energy. She encourages people who are just getting into tarot to look at a variety of decks and select one that feels right to them visually. Then start with a daily practice of getting to know and connecting with the deck’s imagery. Set aside booklets and interpretive information, at least in the beginning.

By Allen Cowgill


enver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) installed paint and post bulb outs (curb extensions) at the intersection of West 32nd Ave and Lowell Blvd in late August. The safety improvements came after a fatal car crash in April. The installation consists of plastic bollard posts that effectively shorten the distance of the street crossing for pedestrians and tighten PHOTO BY ALLEN COWGILL the turn radius for people After a fatal car crash earlier this year, 32nd and Lowell driving so that vehicles is getting safety improvements have to slow down when 32nd Ave and Newton, 30th Ave and Lowell turning from one street to the other. People we spoke with on the street found and also 33rd Ave and Julian. There was also the change to be largely positive. A few days a request at Lowell and Moncrief about the after the improvements went in, we spoke existing pedestrian crossing sign and whethwith Justin, who had parked his bike at the er or not a crosswalk could be stripped in bike parking corral next to the intersection conjunction with that sign. and lives a few blocks away from Highlands Data collection was paused over the sumSquare. “I think it’s great. It slows people mer months since traffic patterns and voldown that have been going way too fast at this umes are often different during the school intersection. Obviously, we’ve had some tragic year. “With the school year having just startaccidents here.” ed, we are picking up the data collection”. James Emerson, General Manager of El DOTI Transportation Project Manager Camino Tavern, located a few doors down Karen Good noted that the best way for comfrom the intersection, also thought it was munity members to request safety improvea positive improvement but there is a lot of ments is to submit them via Denver’s 311 call work that still needs to be done. “It’s a good center or on the web at She start because it helps curb the drivers that also noted there is currently a large backlog Leftwich encourages people park illegally in the crosswalk, and it makes of requests for street improvements so it may them take the corners a little less sharp and take some time, but all requests are tracked to show the same level of makes pedestrians a little more safe. But it is and documented in DOTI’s system if submitthoughtfulness in selecting certainly a far cry from what we need for the ted through 311 or Pocketgov. the person who will read neighborhood. I think we need stop signs and Based on community member questions crosswalks at all of the intersections on 32nd in the meeting, DOTI staff indicated that for them (she notes you can Ave really between Julian and Perry to slow putting in a “no left hand turn” sign at 32nd also read for yourself!). traffic down and make it safer for pedestrians. and Lowell is not possible due to the current I just think it’s important that we are proac- volume of traffic at the intersection potentialtive about this and fix this obvious problem ly being diverted onto neighborhood streets Leftwich encourages people to show the before there is another tragic incident that if a “no left turn” sign is installed. They also same level of thoughtfulness in selecting is avoidable.” explained that the 32nd Avenue and Lowthe person who will read for them (she notes DOTI staff joined a virtual meeting on ell Boulevard paint and post bulb outs are you can also read for yourself!). Do your Tuesday Sep 7th at the West Highland Neigh- a quick build treatment. So they won’t be homework: look at the practitioner’s webborhood Association to discuss future im- turned into more permanent concrete bulb site, read testimonials. How did they receive provements to the street. DOTI Area Engineer outs in the near term but could potentially be their training? Perhaps they are a member of TH Abi Subramanian noted that while the paint in the future. a tarot association. Look for signs that the and post bulb outs were complete, some of the In the meantime, the Denver Streets practitioner is part of a learning community not justCommunity about the beauty, it’s about the experience. sign workMarket still needs to be done. The no park- Partnership andIt’s Denver Acand investing in themselves professionally. Indoor featuring inghandcrafted signs need togifts, be moved a little further back tive Living Coalition have micro grants Leftwich joined The Tarosophy Tarot Assolocally Facials LED Therapy $ provides workshops and busisosourced that sighteggs, linesgoat are improved at the intersecavailable if any community members, orciation, which 10 OFF Chemical Peels Microneedling & milk, tion, and so that drivers and pedestrians can ganizations, or business want to hire local ness development services, as well as a code A FACIAL SERVICE Skin Blending Nano Needling raw honey and more! Waxingin the bulb out Permanent better see around the corner without parked artists to paint murals areas Makeup of ethics. MENTION THIS AD Microblading cars blocking the view quite so much. on the street next to the curb at 32nd and When it comes to readings, Leftwich Subramanian noted there are studies un- Lowell. 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n Tue Food ver placing streets, “Fo and 3:30 to ing to Gre media isn’t out about t per-serve t codes 8021 Raising aw neighborh Recent household PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITEgroceries, ating inco Bright signs advertising a variety of demands o services are common across lends a han North Denver these chall about clear-cut yes and no answers for herfree-up fu clients; rather, the spreads reveal insightsget to ma and overviews into what’s pressing for theincrease querent. They suggest what to be aware ofcations, or or important considerations the person maypected car not yet have taken into account. easier to ab Amista Bennett, a psychic reader who Hunger can be found on Mondays at For Heaven’sorado’s A Sake (and on YouTube as Amista Bennett),COVID Fo echoes Leftwich’s advice to show care in se-rity Survey lecting a reader. Talk to friends about good“33% of experiences they’ve had. And importantly,lack reliab show caution with practitioners who usenutritious fear tactics or who try to sell you additionalthat “20% services geared toward relieving fears. meals bec Fresquez takes this approach at Forbuy food.” Heaven’s Sake. Practitioners at the shop are “We kno people customers can be comfortable with.first time They help querents come to their own an-“so we wa swers, empowered by a reading with newwalk up d and different insights. Back out along Federal and 38th, the bold signs will be familiar to you. Psychic Curandera Reader & Advisor has operated at West 25th Avenue and Federal Boulevard for 30 years, offering psychic readings, astrology, tarot card readings, and crystal ball. Owner Steve Marks traces the family’s history in this line of work back to the early 1900’s. The website for Psychic Experiences at West 38th Avenue and Grove Street states they “specialize in love and relationships.” And according to Olivia at Denver’s Best Psychic, further down 38th at Zenobia Street, “My primary goal is to help you pursue your best path in life.” Wherever you turn in this realm (if you do), Truly and the others we spoke with hope you will connect with your own divinity and find the guidance and direction you seek for becoming your best self.




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Bienvenidos is Here for North Denver: Stop in to Get the Food You Need By Kathryn White


n Tuesdays, volunteers from Bienvenidos Food Bank fan out across North Denver placing boldly lettered signs along major streets, “Food Bank Thursday—10am to noon and 3:30 to 5:30pm—38th and Pecos.” According to Greg Pratt, executive director, social media isn’t always the best way to get the word out about the food they have to offer. “We hyper-serve this area,” he says, referring to zip codes 80211, 80212, 80204, 80216 and 80221. Raising awareness right here in North Denver neighborhoods has become a top priority. Recent years brought dramatic change to household budgets—from rising prices for groceries, rent, and utilities to wildly fluctuating incomes. Many juggle with competing demands on their pocketbooks. Bienvenidos lends a hand with, at least, the food portion of these challenges. Food from Bienvenidos can ers for herfree-up funds in a household’s grocery budl insightsget to make a price ng for theincrease on medie aware ofcations, or an unexerson maypected car repair, a bit easier to absorb. ader who Hunger Free ColHeaven’sorado’s April 2021 Bennett),COVID Food Insecucare in se-rity Survey found that bout good“33% of Coloradans portantly,lack reliable access to who usenutritious food” and additionalthat “20% of adults regularly cut back or skip meals because there isn’t enough money to ears. h at Forbuy food.” e shop are “We know that visiting a food bank for the able with.first time can be intimidating,” Pratt says, r own an-“so we want to make it easy. Anyone can with newwalk up during our Thursday hours and get

the food they need from what’s available.” Food is set up outdoors, farmers market style, which this time of year includes a lot of homegrown garden vegetables. Bienvenidos provides an amount of food based on the number of people in a household, so they’ll ask a newcomer to provide that. Otherwise, they’re not going to request proof of address in one of their PHOTO COURTESY OF BIENVENIDOS focused zip codes unless a person decides they’d Bienvenidos Food Bank provides food for North Denver like to come for food on a families in need weekly basis. Beyond their Thursday hours, Bienvenidos beyond food, people are encouraged to call the sets up a mobile pantry United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center. in a few locations each Yards, Fences and Windows Needed month, and also makes Bienvenidos is looking for North Dendeliveries to a selec- verites who live, work, or have connections tion of North Denver in highly visible locations. They’d like help apartment buildings. raising awareness about the food bank’s offerAnd volunteers deliver ings. A good location could be a yard across to households within the street from a school, a business near a bus the 80211 zip code if stop, a church with a community bulletin there’s someone un- board, or a storefront with pedestrian traffic. able to make it to the Pratt has posters and yard signs and can even food bank or mobile have a banner made for the right opportunity. pantry locations. He’ll happily set you up and can be reached And for people who visit a few times but at 303-433-6328 or at director@bienvenidoslive further away, Pratt makes a point to share Hunger Free Colorado’s Food Resource HoTo learn more about Bienvenidos’ other sertline at (720) 382-2920. From here they’ll be vices (i.e., mobile pantry dates and locations) or connected to food pantries and free meal pro- to find out how to volunteer or support them figrams nearer to where they live. For assistance nancially, visit


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JOIN US Making Music with Vocal Teacher t e e r t S n o sFIRST FRIDAY CULTURE WALK y n n e T Laura Davis

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common assumption that Laura Davis has to dispel as a voice teacher is that GET YOUR TICKETS Outdoor Concerts people taking lessons are mainly middle and VIA EVENTBRITE! every Fri. & Sat. 7-10pm high-school aged girls training for auditions and school performances. For a while, that SCAN THE CODE BELOW was exactly the clientele that she was teachFRIDAY, AUGUST 20 ing. But she encountered a shift after moving O’CONNOR BROTHERS BAND back to Denver and opening her studio, LJD SATURDAY, AUGUST 21 Studios, in 2018, which some folks find to NIGHT PONY be surprising. A large chunk of her students FRIDAY, AUGUST 27 are now men in their late twenties to mid fifTHE ORIGINAL ILLS ties who are not professional singers or even SATURDAY, AUGUST 28 interested in performing. MOONLIGHT BLOOM Davis isn’t sure why this shift occurred, whether it's where her home studio is located or how she’s marketing herself. But she’s noPHOTO BY DAVID SUTPHIN ticed a common thread between the men and Laura Davis works with students from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom other adults taking lessons – that their interaren't actually performers ests revolve around pursuing lifelong dreams, n the Highlands Maher said. “They both, and my sisters too, ing, I think it really is about being present. It’s learning, and exploring curiosities. at 38th & Wolff “I think it’s that we all sort of innately had a lot of records. I learned mostly by just about being in the moment and having that RIDAYS ON understand that our voices are tied to our listening to music.” awareness,” Maher said. identities,” Davis said. Maher has been playing instruments, comSean McElroy, co-owner of Double A Secuan! ranneleseditetaking One such person is 29-year-old produc- posing music, and singing for a long time, and rity Inc. incu eM Lakewood, CO, began & lture of th od fo e th y jo om .c wante en verHe tion worker James Guerrero, who took up has fronted various rock ‘n’ Co rollmgroups. sons with Davis aacouple Denago. 3832 Tennyson St even (720) 557-2563 zevoyears St • M oncontinue ysto Tenned lessons with Davis at age 27 with no prior His active project is The Plastic Rakes,39 a61 postpursuing a lifelong interest in musical background. punk rock trio. improving his singing in addition to playing “I really decided to think about what my But it wasn’t music that gave Maher the idea drums and piano. As time allows, he performs passions were, and that, to me, was rock to start taking singing lessons a few years ago with different groups and venues. music,” Guerrero said. “Then I decided to – it was yoga. At 58 years old, McElroy practices nearly any narrow it down a little more – what was it Maher had been taking yoga classes pretty kind of music except rap. He loves hair metal, about rock music? If I had to only choose one intensely for about five years when Davis be- Elvis, Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdink, and to master, would it be singing or guitar? And I came a yoga teacher at the studio he frequent- even tries out classical and operatic styles. buy one draft beer ed. He began taking group lessons that Davis chose singing.” He appreciates how much concentration at t h e r e g u la r p r i c e Guerrero has been using lessons to master was leading, and she ended up helping him and control singing takes, and loves the work, $ get the next for 1 different rock songs, with some of his favor- to relieve a lot of pain he was experiencing McElroy said. ite bands being Blink-182, 41, and Interthrough yoga. In the end, Davis has developed a toolset for 3900 Sum tennyson St. pol. He was afraid lessons look the way “She was very attuned to what other people teaching whoever walks through her door for (303)might 477-2555 they do in movies, he said, with strict, serious are doing with their bodies,” Maher said. “My lessons. She’s taken what she’s learned from teachers. But so far, he’s had a lot of fun and shoulder pain – I learned a few techniques from the various teachers she’s had and people will continue to take lessons as long as there’s her – it went away and it’s never come back.” she’s worked with to come up with her own something new to learn, he said. Maher and Davis got to talking after class, evolving teaching styles. Lessons have taught Guerrero to open up revealing that Davis was also a voice teacher. Davis came from a background where there more vocally. He started with feeling comfort- Since she had helped him so much with yoga, was a right and wrong way to do things, she able singing in only one octave, but has since he figured that she would be able to help with said, but she no longer subscribes to that. moved on to three. voice, which was something he had always put Now, she’s guided by the notion that if there’s “It’s always been in me, it’s just I didn't second to playing instruments. a sound you want to make, she’ll help you find know how to really access it,” he said. Aside from a masters in voice pedagogy a way to make it. 55-year-old Matthew Maher, who is a his- (vocal instruction) and performance, Davis is “Everybody is capable of making music of tory professor at MSU Denver, has a musical also a E-RYT 500 yoga teacher and uses yoga some kind,” she said. “Anyone and everyone history that partly influenced his decision to as a singing tool in her lessons. She incorpo- should have the opportunity to experience take lessons. He grew up in a large family, and rates things like breathing techniques all the that if they want to. It shouldn’t just be left to as the youngest of six, watched his two older way to poses. the professionals, so to speak.” brothers pave the way as musicians in the 70s. For Maher, the elements of yoga he uses most If interested in taking voice lessons with Lau“I remember having a record player like when singing is the awareness of one's body. ra Davis, check out when I was three years old or something,” “The similarities between yoga and sing- or email

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In Colorado writer Claire Boyles’ debut collection of short stories, “Site Fidelity” (2021, W. W. Norton), many of the hard environmental truths of HANNAH EVANS the West come alive in their most personal ways – water rights, endangered species, fracking, and flooding are pervasive throughout this title’s pages, but not through the broader perspective in which they are frequently discussed. These stories follow | TAKE-OUT ONLINE ORDERING individual |characters closely, sharing a personal glimpse into defining moments. An aging nun battles with her faith while chaining to drill site machinery in proyou North herself DeNver test. A chicken farmer hides her birds from the nD GraZIe for government after hard feelings over lost water rights. A married couple shelters in an abanour support. doned sugar mill when they lose their home during a recession. Spanning time but taking place mostly in Colorado, “Site Fidelity” es heavily on the personal as well as the strong , Berkeley | (303) 561-0234 ties to a place that can lead to heartbreak. The ten stories featured in Boyles’ collection

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each follow a different person at its center, but many feature recurring characters – most notably, sisters Ruth, Mano, and Theresa, the last of whom is also known as Sister Agnes Mary. While other small town-like connections thread their way through the book, the stories of these three and their strong relationship to one another stands out. Each woman faces her own crisis – Ruth struggles to raise her children and leave her unsupportive marriage; Mano desperately wants to call attention to environmental destruction while dealing with relationship issues of her own, and Sister Agnes Mary frets over the health of her community when her church approves a nearby oil and gas drill site. Through their individual struggles, set decades apart, one constant that remains is the sisters’ undying support of one another – as Ruth ponders, “sister love was like a gas – it could lift the barometric pressure of the entire atmosphere if you needed it to.” While the sisters’ personal bonds remain strong, the complicated ties to where each character resides haunts all of them. The term

site fidelity is described head on in “Legers,” the book’s opening story: “Site fidelity is a beautiful, romantic idea, but it’s also dangerous.” When an endangered species of birds return to their previous home year after year to attempt to mate despite the fact that it had been destroyed by a reservoir, “they didn’t move to other leks, didn’t find solid ground on the shore. The entire family just died out, pining for their land.” Digging one’s heels in despite the insurmountable challenges is a recurring theme in these stories, for the animals as well as for the humans. Colorado readers will recognize much of the landscape and background information throughout, but anyone who has loved the scenery they currently live or grew up in will feel the conflicts wrestled with throughout. Check out “Site Fidelity” at your closest Denver Public Library location or as an ebook through

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City’s First “Social Equity” Dispensary Likely Opening in North Denver By David Sabados


ederal Blvd is likely getting another cannabis dispensary. That in and of itself isn’t particularly newsworthy as there’s almost two dozen in North Denver, but the story behind the most recent license is unlike the existing stores and the first example of future license applications. When it opens early next year, Social Cannabis will be the first dispensary licensed under the social equity guidelines intended for applicants who may otherwise have been barred from the industry. The cannabis industry has often been criticized for being dominated by monied, sometimes out-of-state, interests and for leaving behind those who were harmed by the war on drugs; the new guidelines are intended to help give others a chance. In order to receive a license under the social equity guidelines, applicants must meet one of a number of criteria. The biggest is that they or a family member had a marijuana conviction, which formerly barred many applicants. They can also come from neighborhoods dispro-

was an 18 year old freshman at the University of Northern Colorado. There, he had a marijuana related charge that cost him a scholarship and resulted in him leaving college. He never thought he would have the chance to work meaningfully in the marijuana industry but believes the new guidelines give him and his co-workers that opportunity. “We’re the lucky ones in a weird way,” said Riggs. “There’s so many people who have been harmed more by the war on drugs.” Social Cannabis’ owner, Dan Kenji Hatsukami Morgan, spoke at their September 8 license hearing, explaining that, like Riggs, he also had a run-in with the law as a young man that he’s worked to overcome. He received a minor in possession charge in 2010 for less than 1 ounce of marijuana in Wyoming. When legalization occurred in Colorado, he started off at the bottom of the industry: making $9/hour, trimming plants, rolling joints, and scrubbing pots. He was working his way up, but, even post legalization, that old marijuana charge made


Social Cannabis, which will be the the first social equity dispensary if approved, is planning on opening at 5068 Federal Blvd next spring.


Map of dispensaries in North Denver including Social Cannabis' proposed locations. Image from City and County of Denver portionately negatively impacted by drug laws or come from a low-income background. Josh Riggs, one of the heads of Social Cannabis dispensary, talked with The Denver North Star about a time in his life he hasn't spoken about much before. 21 years ago he

owning a dispensary a near impossibility. Riggs said he and his colleagues are hoping to be good business partners on North Federal Blvd. Their plan is to hire largely from within the community, especially others who meet the social equity criteria. “We understand how

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hard it can be, if you’ve been incarcerated or been arrested for marijuana, to get a good job.” He noted they didn’t just pick North Denver randomly -- their team has ties to North Denver, including one of the heads of the company attending school in the neighborhood growing up. They also selected an area of North Denver that does not have another dispensary in close proximity, which they felt was important. As part of their community outreach, the Social Cannabis team met with neighborhood groups, collected signatures of support from neighbors, and are planning on setting up an annual charitable giving program including a $10,000 scholarship. That approach has earned them good will and trust from their registered neighborhood organization and others, several of whom spoke at their hearing. “The Chaffee Park Neighborhood Association is excited to welcome Social Cannabis, the city's first Social Equity Licensed dispensary, to our neighborhood- especially since they have such deep ties to our community,” said Jason Hornyak, head of the organization. “We believe that the Marijuana Social Equity program will help to right some of the historic wrongs of the War On Drugs, so we are happy to see it happening in our backyard. The owners of Social Cannabis have so far gone above and beyond with outreach and engagement, and we look forward to years of excellent com-

munity partnership with them." Trupti Suthar, president of Sunnyside United Neighbors Inc, also spoke due to the dispensaries proximity to her neighborhood, echoing many of Hornyak’s comments about how the owners were proactive in their outreach, wanting to get feedback from the community before they moved forward. While Social Cannabis may be the first to receive a Social Equity license, they certainly won't be the last. This city is reserving almost all new licenses for Social Equity applicants, including applicants for a new type of license that will allow for what are essentially marijuana bars. Currently, there's almost no legal options for marijuana users to consume in a public setting. Unlike alcohol, marijuana use has mostly been restricted to private residences. The new businesses will allow customers to use on site, which is considered important for marijuana tourism and locals who wish to partake with others outside of private homes. Social Cannabis plans to open early 2022 at 5068 Federal Blvd, assuming their license is approved. Their hearing was on September 8 and while a final decision was not available when this issue went to press, there were no opposition speakers and the city attorney’s office also did not oppose the application. You can also find them online at

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Stop Clicking! Staying safe online is of the utmost importance. You can become a victim of cyber crime in a matter of minutes! Clicking on links in MARY RUEDA emails can be dangerous but so is clicking on links that come through on your mobile phone, in the form of a text. EXAMPLE VERBIAGE FOR BAD TEXT LINKS CAN SAY SOMETHING LIKE THIS: “Dear Richard, your phone is receiving too many spam texts. Eradicate them now, click here >>” Or, “Notification from Walmart: Richard, you have received (1) package. Please schedule for collection before it is returned to the sender. >>” Or, “Hey Richard! This is Mike from DMV; you kept your record clean which means you get $610 from us>> Claim here” A few things to keep in mind: 1. Don’t click on links in text messages. Text links can cause malware. Malware can collect information from your phone and direct you to fake Internet sites that look real but are designed to steal your personal information. Clicking on these links can also direct you to ads containing inappropriate content. 2. Do not reply directly to spam text messages. Replying lets the bad guy know that they have reached a legitimate number. This could potentially lead to having the bad guy sell your phone number to other bad guys who will use it to send you MORE text messages with links that you don’t need or want. 3. Do check your phone settings. For iPhones, click on the “i” or “info” on the top

right-hand corner of the offending text. Click on “info” and an option to block should be available. For Android, look for the three dots on the top-right-hand corner of the text. Select “People” and “Options,” then select “Block”. Blocking options may appear differently depending on your version of iOS or Android. There are other actions you can take such as checking with your carrier to see if they offer a call-blocking service or adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. If you have the time, you may also report spam texts to your wireless carrier.

We live in an electronically connected world, and this electronic world is connected with links, some of which are nefarious and whose goal is to gain and get ahead at your expense. We live in an electronically connected world, and this electronic world is connected with links, some of which are nefarious and whose goal is to gain and get ahead at your expense. Remain vigilant, exercise good judgment, take a pause, and always think before you click! Mary Rueda is an information security professional. She obtained her Master’s degree from Regis University, holds the designation of CISSP (Certified Information System Security Professional), and lives in Northwest Denver. You can find her at https://www.


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DPS COVID-19 Numbers Appear Low, Though Some Data is Lacking By David Sabados This story is the result of several community requests. Is there a story you’d like us to look into? Email News@DenverNorthStar. com. We want to write what you want to read.


n what is likely a relief to parents and community members alike, data published by Denver Public Schools shows that COVID-19 numbers in North Denver schools are relatively low. As of September 2, (the most current data available when this issue went to press) the district reported a total of 100 current student cases and 39 staff cases, with the majority of the staff cases likely coming from exposure outside of the school, according to school officials. Only three staff were in quarantine due to a known exposure at school, though 154 students were in a 10-day quarantine as well. North Denver’s largest school, North High School, had zero confirmed cases at the time, and school officials said they have had two confirmed cases since the year began. On any given day, 6-10 students stay home due to showing possible symptoms and for testing. The North campus has just under 2000 students. North Principal Scott Wolf credits School Nurse (who has the added title of COVID coordinator) Susan Camp for keeping the school’s numbers low. Camp attributes their low numbers to three things: 1. Continual community messaging regarding the need to stay home if ill. “Our parents have done an amazing job


Continued from Page 1

Sunnyside east of Tejon St. however had a rate of only 71%. At the same time, across 48th Ave. from Sunnyside, the residential areas of Chaffee Park had an overall rate of about 74% while the less populated industrial neighborhoods between Pecos St. and I-25 had a rate of about 71%. Only 58% of the total population have received at least one vaccination shot. Although no single factors consistently indicated whether a neighborhood likely had a higher or lower vaccination rate, household income disparities at times reflected widely divergent vaccination status. For example, some of the lowest Northside vaccination rates — 62% of those over 12 and only 37% of the total population — were in the Census area for Sun Valley, where annual household income averages about $14,500 according to the Piton Foundation. Conversely, the rate was 82% in West Highland, where average annual household income is about $130,400. Christie Mettenbrink, an epidemiologist for Denver Public Health, noted that by late August the seven-day average of shots administered to residents had been creeping higher. DPH has not provided any data on reasons residents give for getting the vaccine now, or avoiding it entirely, but Mettenbrink noted that rate is rising as more employers and businesses have begun incentivizing or requiring employees or customers to be vaccinated. Other positive factors may include the federal Food and Drug Administration’s first formal approval of a vaccine — the PfizerBioNtech vaccine — on Aug. 23. Kids ages 12-17 are among the groups with the lowest average rates so far. Mettenbrink said since mid-July there has been a steep increase in shots for this group with the approach of the new school year. Approval of vaccine use for children under 12 will push the overall average vaccination rate even higher, although pending completion of clinical trials, authorization by the FDA is not likely before fall or winter. The overall average also is affected by individuals who have decided not to get COVID vaccinated. Anti-vaccination sentiment is not

keeping their sick kids home and calling for assistance in guidance around returning,” explained Camp. 2. Vigilance in the staff for sending sick students to the nurse's office. “This allows us to quickly remove any concerning symptoms AND instant access for our families to convenient testing.” 3. Masking. “Our staff and students are taking this situation very seriously. We are having 1:1 conversations with any student/staff who require reminders around masking.” On the note of masking, this reporter spent several hours at North unrelated to this story the week of September 6 and did not see any students inside without a mask. Multiple schools in North Denver also reported 0 or 1 cases as of the September 2 update, with Skinner Middle School reporting 4. The highest number at the time in any DPS school was 6 cases. The snapshot data doesn’t tell the entire story though, and not all data is available on the public-facing web page. DPS’ website does not list aggregate data or data from past weeks, so unless someone is recording the snapshots as they appear there’s no way for the public to see full data for the district. When asked how that data could be accessed, a spokesperson for the district office said they would look into the issue, but then did not respond to multiple followup requests for information. new; Colorado health experts blamed it partly for the state’s whooping cough epidemic declared in 2012, when only about 85% of children and adults who needed protection from the disease were fully vaccinated. Kevin, who asked that his last name not be used, is one 60-year-old area resident who chose not to be vaccinated for COVID because he believed his immune system was sufficient to ward off the virus. In mid-August Kevin and his wife caught the disease; after hospitalization, both were recovering by late August although he, for a time, needed supplementary oxygen. “I am now considering the FDA-approved version,” he said. Bill Burman MD, executive director of Denver Public Health, noted the metro area’s overall vaccination rate exceeds national averages but stressed that local health organizations continue to work on addressing areas where the unvaccinated rate remains relatively higher. Dr. Burman cited contributing factors such as household income, racial minority status, or immigration status. “Those are often linked together in the same family,” he said. The primary focus is on continued outreach and communications via trusted messengers to those communities, and on people with concerns about the vaccines that can be addressed, rather than on the “numerically small” number of residents with strongly held, anti-vaccination personal views that are unlikely to respond, Dr. Burman said. In the coming months healthcare organizations also will focus on driving seasonal flu vaccination along with continued COVID vaccination, given the CDC has approved administration of both at the same time, he said. Further, residents must remain vigilant about other methods of COVID prevention. “The one we focus on most because of the evidence is masking while in indoor public places,” Dr. Burman said. “Realistically I don’t think we’ll ever see 100% vaccinated just because there will always be individuals for medical reasons or other reasons who decide not to take the vaccine,” Mettenbrink said. Mettenbrink expects an extensive communications effort by local health organizations to drive seasonal flu vaccinations, stressing the importance of getting both COVID and flu shots this year.

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Food is Medicine - Fall Edition R

aise your hand if fall food is your favorite food. My hand is up, up, up on this one. We are so lucky here in Colorado to have tomatoes still ERIKA TAYLOR bursting with ripeness, squash flourishing, and all the greens we can handle while the peaches of summer still line the farmers market stands. And soon - the pumpkins will be ready to go into pies and lattes. Okay, the lattes are already happening, but I'm ignoring it. Too soon! While I'm not ready to spice and froth their essence quite yet, pumpkins are nutritional powerhouses. High in antioxidants, they can improve cardiovascular health, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and bone health. Pumpkins contain vitamin A which protects your eyes from cataracts and degeneration. Combine all of that with the vitamin C in pumpkins and you’ve got yourself one heck of an immunity booster. So many fall foods belong on the list of things we use to stay healthy. Here’s a list of some of my favorite seasonal ingredients and one of my favorite ways to get all the nutrition they promise into my family. Fresh ginger is high in antioxidants and rich in gingerol, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidative compound, which supports our immune systems and mitigates the effects of stress. Raw garlic can significantly reduce blood pressure and is a natural antibiotic. Processing destroys most of these health benefits so try raw, fresh minced, or Toum instead. Every pirate knows that citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. But they are also dripping with vitamins D and A, both of which figure

heavily into healthy immune function. Maple syrup is a great source of calcium, zinc, magnesium, and potassium as well as polyphenols. A diet rich in polyphenols helps reduce inflammation and supports a healthy immune system. Maple syrup also contains inulin, a fiber that aids in healthy digestive and immune systems. Fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna) contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can enhance immune function and increase your body's ability to ward off illnesses. Which brings us to my favorite way to get all of these tasty bits of nutrition into my family. Even the ones among them who were afflicted by the lamentable condition of “not liking salmon” before we discovered this delightful “I can’t even taste the fish” dish. ORANGE MAPLE GLAZED SALMON 4 salmon fillets (I use frozen) 3 tablespoons real maple syrup 1 tablespoon orange zest (feel free to replace zest and juice with oj concentrate. One tablespoon will do the trick) 1 tablespoon orange juice 1 tablespoon soy sauce or coconut aminos 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper Preheat broiler. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray generously with non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon, skin side down, on the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together syrup, orange juice and zest, mustard, half the garlic, half the ginger, salt and pepper. Brush mixture over salmon. Broil for 7-10 minutes, or until salmon flakes

Page 14 | September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021


Orange Maple Glazed Salmon easily fork and reaches desired level of doneness. Sprinkle the remaining garlic and ginger on top of the salmon before serving. Bonus wellness boost - serve with broccoli and some bell peppers on the side. The rich colors of bell peppers mean they are high in healthy micronutrients. You can get twice as much vitamin C from bell peppers than the equivalent amount of citrus fruit, and they pack an immune boosting Vitamin A punch as well. For the broccoli, cook it gently until just softening and still bright green so it retains as much of the delicious vitamins A, C, E, and antioxidants it came with. This fall let’s do ALL the things we can to keep ourselves and our village healthy. Talk


to your doctor about immunizations - not only against COVID and the flu but anything else you may have missed - hydrate, sleep, exercise, and let's relish in all the delicious ways we can also eat well. Erika Taylor is a community wellness instigator at Taylored Fitness, the original online wellness mentoring system. Taylored Fitness believes that everyone can discover small changes in order to make themselves and their communities more vibrant, and that it is only possible to do our best work in the world if we make a daily commitment to our health. Visit or email

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Opinion: Nobody Has to Lose for All of Us to Win on Wages


n Denver’s competitive job market — for everyone from restaurant employees to construction workers — hiring and keeping the best DENVER AUDITOR personnel starts with payTIMOTHY M. O’BRIEN, ing at least the minimum CPA wage rates required by law. That’s where my office can help. Denver Labor is a division of the Denver Auditor’s Office. As Denver’s elected Auditor, I oversee our work to provide oversight and accountability for both Denver’s city agencies and our wage enforcement efforts. The Denver Labor team works hard every day to connect with employers in the city to educate them on all applicable wage requirements. For example, in the food and beverage industry, the requirement is the 2021 citywide minimum wage of $14.77 per hour with few exceptions — and it will increase to $15.87 per hour at the beginning of 2022. ANN ADKINS On city construction projects, the prevailing wage likely applies, in which case we work with contractors daily to ensure each different job type is paid according to prevailing wage requirements. My team looks into every wage complaint we receive, and if an employee was underpaid on a job site, we encourage employers to voluntarily find a cooperative solution to get their workers the restitution they are owed. In one recent case, we received a complaint from an employee at a local restaurant. The employer had not paid the minimum wage in 2020 or 2021. However, after working with our Denver Labor analyst, the restaurant’s management acted quickly and found a positive solution. In the end, we recovered $18,000 for 20 employees. In another case, one of our analysts realized a contractor at the Denver Zoo was not set up in our payroll tracking system for city prevailing wage projects. The contractor cooperated in straightening out the reporting requirements and started submitting payroll records. We then found the employer was not paying its custodians the prevailing wage. The contractor took quick action and issued restitution checks to its employees. We recovered more than $83,000 for 48 employees. To the hard workers in our city, every dollar matters, and we take every complaint and every case seriously. I appreciate employers who support their employees by doing the right thing by resolving underpayments quickly and accurately. Mistakes happen and most employers do not intend to underpay their workers — which is why we encourage cooperative resolution and why we avoid relying on fines or financial penalties unless there are no other possibilities for solutions. Moreover, the best possible outcome is to get workers paid correctly on the first paycheck — without the need for a complaint and investigation. My office is always working on ways to speed up investigations and find positive conclusions in a timely manner. But nothing beats employers who get it right the first time. That’s why outreach, education, and com-

munity awareness is so important to our work. If we can prepare businesses for what they need to do to support their workers, everyone will win. Wage rights is also an equity matter. Many members of Denver’s underserved communities are working minimum wage jobs, and research shows members of these communities — especially those who speak other languages, like Spanish, as their primary language — may be less aware of their rights and what their government is doing on their behalf. We hold virtual trainings in English and Spanish for both employers and workers every Wednesday on our Facebook page. We also do trainings and presentations for numerous community groups across the city, including many of the city’s foreign consulates. We offer bilingual fliers, posters, and pamphlets for both businesses and workers, as well as training videos and one-on-one connections with our staff. My team also visits job sites to talk with workers directly to ensure they are being paid at least what they are owed and to ensure they know their wage rights. Denver’s wage laws protect some of the most vulnerable people, and I am proud to work on their behalf to make sure they get every dollar they are owed. Workers and businesses both benefit when employers choose to support their employees with good wages. Supportive employers hold onto their most talented workers and create stability for their business. That means a predictable business model, a reduced risk of unexpected staffing shortages, and better service for every customer. All of Denver benefits from having a minimum wage, and I am proud of my office’s work to bring employers and employees together in compliance with the law. For more information, visit DenverLabor You can find more information about the Auditor and recent audits at About the Auditor’s Office Denver’s Auditor is publicly elected and answers to the voters. The role of the Auditor is to help minimize risks, improve internal controls, maximize efficiencies and strengthen accountability. About Denver Labor Denver Labor is a division of the Auditor’s Office focused on wage education and enforcement. Auditor O’Brien, his Executive Director Jeffrey Garcia, and their team work with both workers and businesses to ensure people are paid according to Denver’s wage laws. This includes the citywide minimum wage, contractor minimum wage, and prevailing wage ordinances. About Auditor O’Brien Denver Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien, CPA, has more than 40 years of auditing and accounting experience. Auditor O’Brien strives to bring greater clarity, transparency and accountability to Denver’s city government for its residents. Elected in 2015 and reelected in 2019, Timothy O’Brien is distinguished from his predecessors by being an actual professional auditor.


BookGive To Hold Delayed Grand Opening This Month By The Denver North Star Staff


ike many other 2020 plans, North Denver-based book nonprofit BookGive delayed their grand opening but are celebrating on September 22 from 5-7pm. The BookGive board and staff invite the community to come celebrate with them outside the BookGive headquarters at 4890 Lowell Blvd. Beer, wine, and food will be available and organizers are asking for a $20 minimum do-

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Page 16 | September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021

There’s a seasonal activity underway that and those homes can be separated by hunbiologists and birders want you to know dreds if not thousands of miles. For birds, about. “Bird banding” takes place across getting from their breeding grounds to their North America in the fall and spring every winter home and back—the process we call year, so that scientists can understand the migration—is a difficult journey. So, our bigproductivity and health of migratory bird gest task as bird banders is to carefully idenpopulations. Some set up public bird band- tify and evaluate each bird we catch so that we continue to build ing stations to share a base of information what they’re learnBIRD BANDING AT that can be used to ing, in real-time, BARR LAKE STATE PARK guide long term conwith the rest of us. servation efforts.” Their not-soWhen The Denver secret motive: to Aug 24- Oct 23 North Star visited in help us better apTues- Fri, 7:30-8:30a August, this reportpreciate birds and Sat-Sun, 8-9a, 9-10a, and 10-11a er was able to briefprotect them for ly hold a tiny bright future generations. Registration is required for yellow Wilson’s Scientists set up all timeslots Warbler (weighstations in habitats less than two popular with migranickels!). The wartory birds—places we-do/education/bird-banding/ bler was most likewhere food, water, ly making its way and resting spots are plentiful. In the Denver metro area, that’s from Canada or Alaska down to Central Barr Lake State Park, northeast of Brigh- America, relying on the abundant insect ton. And you can sign up to visit through population at Barr Lake to refuel. Wilson’s Warblers are the most commonly caught October 23. Banding entails first capturing birds in species at the Barr Lake station, unless tall, bird-friendly nets set up along path- you’re looking at 2011, when for once in a ways within a habitat. Nets are checked 15-year period Chipping Sparrow numbers every 30 minutes; and captured birds are surpassed the Wilson’s. The Barr Lake station bands an average placed in cloth drawstring bags. Minutes later, bags are opened one-by-one at the out- 1,400 birds and reaches over 2,200 people door station by a bird bander. At Barr Lake, in a typical season. 2021 is its 34th. Mcthis is Bird Conservancy of the Rockies’ Burney, as natural in the outdoor classbird bander, Meredith McBurney. McBur- room as she is with the station’s decades ney works at a neatly organized table cov- of data, shares that “each fall, hundreds of ered with tools, books, a plexiglass-enclosed students, from kindergarten to college age, scale, and a tackle box bursting with various visit the Barr Lake banding station to learn size leg bands. She’s surrounded by staff and about the challenges birds face during mivolunteers ready to assist with identification gration, how to identify birds using field and data entry. She quickly measures the marks, and the banding process. Students learn why it is important to collect bird’s leg and fits it with a small scientific data and how it contributes to metal leg-ring bearing a bird conservation.” unique number. It’s And McBurney hopes you will visit weighed, identified, too. “There is something about birds measured, and that captures our hearts as well as then released. our minds,” she says, “and we reAccording to ally enjoy sharing that experiMcBurney, “If ence with people of all ages.” we are to conserve birds, we Townsend's Warbler must understand their full life cycle– their needs throughout the year. The majority of birds have more than one home d u r i n g each year,

The Denver North Star


Obscure North Denver Park Becomes Pickleball Hotspot


ennis Shepherd jogged off the pickleball court to sit and rehydrate one recent summer morning. Shepherd plays every Tuesday at Clear KATHRYN WHITE Creek Valley Park with his daughters and a few new-found pickleball friends. A retired track, cross country, and basketball coach, Shepherd was delighted to pick up the game 10 years ago through a class at Apex Park and Recreation District in Arvada. “You can stay competitive,” he says, “It gets you moving. And it’s social.” Another player chimes in, “And it keeps him out of trouble!” Pickleball’s popularity has steadily increased in recent decades, yet many are just now getting into it. Most of Shepherd’s court mates began playing in the last 2-3 years. Pickleball was created in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, a congressperson in Washington State, and his friend Bill Bell, when the two returned home from a golf game to find their teenage children cranky and bored. Intent on RAH DOXONteaching the salty adolescents a lesson in rek from sourcefulness, the two men set out to make up a game out of odds and ends that Pritchard’s family had on hand. Like the good ole days, Pritchard proclaimed. By the following weekend a court—of sorts—was in place, some rules written, and the basics of the game established. A friend named Barney McCallum had joined the effort, with gusto. Joel’s wife Joan Pritchard gave the game its official name a few weeks later, drawing inspiration from the way a “pickle boat” crew of rowers is assembled from among whomever is left available after the starters are set. Indeed, looking at the game for the first time, pickleball resembles a mash-up of bad-

minton, wiffle ball, ping pong, and tennis. It’s a racket sport played with a solid surface paddle, smaller than a tennis racket, and a roughly 3” diameter hollow plastic ball with holes. The court is slightly larger than half a tennis court. The net height is just two inches shy of tennis’s, and both games can be played in singles or doubles. Pickleball’s scoring system? Complicated. For beginners, this proves more challenging to pick up than the game’s physical play. To get a better picture, stop by the courts situated on the east side of Clear Creek Valley Park. The park sits just north of I-76, with access and parking from both Tennyson Street and Lowell Boulevard. And there’s much to see there beyond the courts: a fishing pond, walking path, volleyball courts, horseshoe pit, playgrounds for different age groups (including a small zipline), reservable picnic areas, and an outdoor amphitheater. When Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District opened the park in 2017, they included pickleball courts in response to community input. With the game’s continued rise in popularity, the courts have been a hit. “We are as excited as the community,” reports Hyland’s Communications Director Joann Cortéz, “The courts have been wildly popular across the board.” So popular, in fact, that 4 more courts have just been funded for completion there in the fall of 2022. Denver’s pickleball scene mirrors the national trend. By 1990, according to USA Pickleball, the sport could be found in all 50 states. In 2003, there were 150 individual courts across North America on record with “Pickleball Stuff,” a popular website at the time. Today there are over 21,000 in the U.S. alone. In 2013, pickleball became one of the National Senior Games Association’s 19 med-

al sports. And in 2017, a Pickleball Hall of Fame was launched, which promptly inducted the game’s founders. People of all ages love pickleball. The small court yields a fun workout for almost anyone. Decent hand-eye coordination helps, and good balance is a must. Rec centers offer introductory classes; several courts have drop-in times when friends can teach friends; and, you can even hire a personal PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE coach. You’ll eventually want Dennis Shepherd and a few members of the your own racket and a few balls, Tuesday morning pickleball crew. but if you decide to start with a class, these will be available. Just show up in son’s and Alzheimer’s communities. And if you’ve heard the version of pickleyour court shoes. For the most competitive and dedicated, you ball’s origin story that claims the game was will eventually encounter pickleball’s rating named after Pickles, the Pritchard family dog, system. Players are assigned a number based on the Denver North Star is here to confirm that their skill level (2.0 for newbies and up through story’s out-of-bounds. The results of a thor4.5+ for advanced and expert players). This ough investigation were reported by Pickleball system is used, for example, to sort players into Magazine in their January 2021 story, “How Pickleball Really Got Its Name!” Pickles, the appropriate brackets at a tournament. But it’s just fine to keep the game casual. dog, came along in 1968, three years after that Back out at Clear Creek Valley Park, there are fateful 1965 summer when a couple of parents groups that bring music and take lengthy wa- set out to prove their resourcefulness. ter breaks to catch up over conversation. And Kathryn has lived in North Denver since there’s a gentleman who brings his mom to the courts some evenings. She has dementia. The around the time the Mount Carmel High School two have great fun together, and the son thinks building was razed and its lot at 3600 Zuni the blood flow from exercise takes the edge off became Anna Marie Sandoval Elementary. his mom’s symptoms. There’s a simplified ver- She’s raised two children in the neighborhood, sion of pickleball, created by Coloradans Chris worked at several nonprofits, and facilitates a Beal and Georgi Marquisee, that reduces the Caregiver Support Group for the Alzheimer’s scoring complexity and allows for a little more Association Colorado Chapter. Do you have story ideas for The Gray Zone? flexibility in the game play. This one is gaining in popularity too, especially within the Parkin- Email

There’s no place like hope. BECOME A CASA VOLUNTEER. Children in foster care who have a CASA volunteer are more likely to succeed in school and adjust to change. And they’re half as likely to re-enter the foster care system later. As a volunteer, you can make all the difference for a child who has experienced abuse or neglect in your community. Get involved, and change a child’s story. The Denver North Star


September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021 | Page 17



North High School Briefly Locks Down After Threat on Social Media On September 8, North High School went into a secure perimeter (formerly lockout) mode after a threat to students circulated on social media from an individual with no known connections to North. School principal Scott Wolf shared the following statement with school families and the community on September 9 to summarize the situation:


ikings, we want to take a moment this evening to acknowledge with you all that the last two days here at North have been hard, heavy days. Our entire community has been impacted and if you have been feeling stress, anxiety, fear, or the many other emotions that can accompany this kind of incident, know you are not alone. We want to thank every student, family member, staff member, and community member who took action over the last few days to communicate with the school, Safe2Tell, or DPD about what they were hearing or seeing related to the threats against North. We are strong together because of the care, courage, and community that exists here at North High School. We want to provide you all with an update related to today's events and what we have learned from the investigative teams working on this situation. Denver Police and DPS Safety believe there was one original threat, which was posted yesterday by one individual on Snapchat. This post was shared widely and quickly, and prompted the creation of many other posts on social media sites that were then

also shared widely. This is what led to the second round of perceived threats that circulated on social media yesterday evening, the main post including an audio clip. Denver Police and DPS Safety took action to investigate this threat and the individual who created the original post. It was determined that it would be safe for students to be in school today as the individual who made the post was identified and connected with authorities. Out of an abundance of caution, additional safety officers and police were present at school today. We respect every student and family’s decision related to whether students were at school or not today as threats like the ones that were shared absolutely bring about fear. Students who were present at school reported that they felt safe and we will continue to check in with students over the coming days. If you hear of any other information or ever have any tips to help keep the North community safe, please reach out like you did in this situation so that we can look into any situation and know that you can always report anonymously through As we head into Friday, we want you all and your families to know that we believe North is safe and we will return to normal operations. We know that it will take time to heal as a community and we will do so together. Thank you all so much for your love, care, communication, and cooperation during these hard two days. If you need anything, we are here for you-- today, tomorrow, and all the days after that.

CO M M U N I TY CA L E N DAR To submit an event, visit us online at 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.

JAMMING ON THE JETTY SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: 2 PM TO 7 PM Jamming on the Jetty is the Sloan’s Lake signature live music event! We believe in bringing our neighbors and community together to create positive change and know that music has the power to do so. Since 2016, we have hosted four Jamming on the Jetty events with great turnouts and the community is hungry for more. The event hosts approximately 1,000 attendees from the Sloan’s Lake, Highlands and Edgewater communities and offers many enjoyable activities including free live music, beer stands, food trucks and local vendors. It’s a great time for all ages! All proceeds go to the Sloan’s Lake Park Foundation, a non-profit committed to bettering the future of Sloan’s Lake through funding efforts to promote clean water and sustainability, create safe welcoming spaces, and provide program activities for all. North side of Sloan’s Lake. Visit for more information. DENVER BAZAAR: SLOAN’S LAKE SATURDAY, SEPT 18, SEPT 25, OCT 2: 4 PM TO 8 PM Denver BAZAAR is a one-of-a-kind makers market, originating in RiNo Art District in 2015, now with RiNo and Sloan’s Lake locations! Known for reimagining & revitalizing urban locations into thriving pop-up events that are sure to please any shopper, foodie, or craft beverage connoisseur. Denver BAZAAR blends the best elements of fashion, food, and drinks – creating a unique shopping & sipping PHOTO FROM DENVERBAZAAR.COM experience that locals know and love. Denver bazaar: Sloan's Lake

See COMMUNITY CALENDAR, Page 19 Page 18 | September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021

Opinion: It's Time for Denver to “Make the Switch” By Keith Meyer


rash talking feels dirty. But the time to talk about trash is now. So trash talk we must. Like many Northsiders, I spend my weekends, holidays, and summers exploring the mountains & wilderness of our state. One of the basic tenants in the outdoors is to Leave No Trace, which essentially means leaving the land better than you found it. As residents of this city, we can do a much better job of leaving Denver better than how we found it - and we can start with our trash. It's hard to admit when you're wrong. But Denver's trash model is all mixed up & ironically encourages us to produce more, not less, waste. After 40 years of trying to change that, it's finally time to make the switch to something better. A lot has been learned about trash since Denver started its curbside pickup service. For instance, we now know that incorrect trash disposal actually does a lot of damage to our land, water, and air. Unfortunately, it also severely worsens climate change. We think that every time we throw food away, it just breaks down in a landfill & becomes dirt. But, what really happens is that these food scraps create methane gas in landfills, which is 84 times worse for climate change than typical greenhouse gases. Composting and recycling help to solve this dangerous pollution problem & limit the trash we throw out too. And the good news is that Denver has lots of room to improve on both of these. In 2016, Denver residents sent about 192,000 tons of waste to landfills. That's around 22 million bags of trash. The fantastic thing is that 75% of that could have been composted or recycled - that's over 16 million bags! So how do we get Northsiders (and the rest of the city) to recycle and compost more? The answer is surprisingly easy. We do what dozens of other cities around the country have done and make the switch to offering free recycling and composting. Cities like Seattle and Fresno made the switch years ago to give residents free composting and recycling and instead charge for the size of individual trash cans used. Today they respectively compost and recycle 64 & 71 percent of their waste! By contrast, Denver only keeps a tiny fraction (26%) of our waste out of landfills. Even our neighbors to the north in Loveland, CO, use this innovative trash model (known as Pay-As-You-Throw, or PAYT) to compost and recycle over double (61%) the amount of

Denver's waste. So why hasn't Denver already made this no-nonsense switch? Because it means that residents who continued with business-as-usual disposal habits would end up having to pay a little for their trash each month. For many of us, that's a modest inconvenience for doing the right thing. It's critical to make sure our city is a leader in helping to leave this state better than we found it, and this is one small part. For others, though, there are legitimate concerns over adding additional household costs on tight monthly budgets. Lower-income residents and neighbors will undoubtedly feel the pinch a little more. But, this shouldn't be a reason not to support this common-sense switch. Instead, the city plans on financially supporting low-income households during this switch through innovative citywide programs that address these equity issues - like a sliding fee scale based on average median income. This change to our compost, recycling, & landfill trash (PAYT) will likely be coming before the city council in the next few months. It's essential to let our Northside Councilwoman, Amanda Sandoval, know that Northsiders support switching to free recycling and composting while also supporting lower-income households through a sliding scale rate system. Please contact Amanda Sandoval’s office at 720-337-7701 or by email at districtone@ and let her know you want to make the switch & support this common-sense approach to handling our trash. Like so many of our public issues, as we learn more, we understand that there are often better & more responsible ways of doing things. Change can be hard, but making the switch to a free composting and recycling model (PAYT) is the right thing to leave our city a little better than how we found it. Keith Meyer is a local attorney and has called North Denver home for over a decade. He is a member of the Northside Sustainability Alliance which works to promote a common vision of sustainability throughout Northside neighborhoods. You can drop by one of their “Tap Room Talks” happening every month this fall at North Denver breweries. To find out more, or if you have questions, you can find them at or email at


Rent, Utility Assistance Still Available to Denverites Struggling From COVID-19 Effects By The Denver North Star Staff


enver residents who have been unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused directly or indirectly by COVID-19 may be eligible for rental assistance. Funds can be used for past due, current, and two additional months of rent up to a maximum of 15 months of assistance and can be used to cover rent as far back as April of 2020.

Utility assistance is also available for both homeowners and renters who are struggling to pay Xcel, Denver Water, and other utilities. Applicants for this assistance must be under certain income thresholds. For more information on either program, please call 311. Immigration status is not a factor for eligibility.

Edgewater Looking For Input on Multimodal Plan for Sheridan Blvd By The Denver North Star Staff


he City of Edgewater is looking for community input from area residents who walk, bike, or drive just West of Sloan’s Lake. The Sheridan Boulevard Multimodal Corridor Plan will evaluate options for enhanced multimodal infrastructure that deliver increased safety and comfort for people walk-

ing and biking along, to, and from Sheridan Boulevard. The project will also identify opportunities to enrich public spaces and ultimately make Edgewater’s “front door” more inviting for residents and visitors alike. For more information, or to provide input, visit

The Denver North Star

C O M M UN I T Y CALE N DAR FUN ON FEDERAL SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19: 4 PM Our annual “round-the-world” event is back! Catch an improv comedy show at the Adams Mystery Playhouse and free food and drinks at nearby restaurants. Stroll around to Sexy Pizza, El Cazo, Jefferson Park Pub, Whirlybird Ice Cream, and Federal Bar and Grill to enjoy free tacos, pizza, ice cream, drinks, and more! Federal Blvd at Jefferson Park COMMANDER’S CITIZEN ADVISORY GROUP (CAG) MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20: 6 PM Come hear from the District One Police Commander, Layla Destaffany, and District One police officers about neighborhood safety and crime trends and share your concerns directly with the police. District 1 Police Station, 1311 W 46th Ave or attend virtually by emailing BERKELEY REGIS UNITED NEIGHBORS MONTHLY MEETING TUES, SEPT 21 / TUES, OCT 19: 6:30 PM 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 for more information.

HIGHLAND UNITED NEIGHBORS MONTHLY MEETING TUES, SEPT 21 / TUES, OCT 19: 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! Learn more at BOOKBAR GRAND (ALREADY OPEN) OPENING WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 22: 5 PM TO 7PM We can finally celebrate! Come mingle with our board, staff, council and other BookGive fans out front of the BookGive Service Station to learn about how this awesome neighborhood nonprofit got started and what the future might bring. This event is all outdoors and refreshments will be available in a covid-safe manner. Masks are optional for those who are vaccinated. $20 minimum donation requested. BookGive, 4890 Lowell Blvd More info at TOTALLY TENNYSON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25: 4 PM WE ARE BACK BABY!!! Totally Tennyson 2021! is happening Saturday September 25th 2021!! Retro Bar Crawl 4pm – 7pm Costume Contest and Six Million Dollar Band concert at 8pm Early Bird tickets are only $25 while supplies last…so grab yours today!!! HOUSE DISTRICT 4 DEMOCRATS MONTHLY MEETING* SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2: 9 AM House District 4 Democrats meet via Zoom at 9 am on the first Saturday of each month. Email for a link. Anyone interested in becoming

Totally Tennyson


more involved with the local Democratic party and hearing from local Democratic elected officials is welcome. *The Denver North Star accepts community-facing non-fundraising events from local political organizations. We welcome events from all parties and encourage other organizations to send events. WEST HIGHLAND NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MONTHLY MEETING TUES, OCTOBER 5: 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 for a zoom link and more details CHAFFEE PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MONTHLY MEETING TUES, OCTOBER 5: 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 for more information! WEST COLFAX ASSOCIATION OF NEIGHBORS MONTHLY MEETING TUES, OCTOBER 12: 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 for more information and virtual meeting instructions. SUNNYSIDE UNITED NEIGHBORS PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT MONTHLY MEETING THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14: 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 for a zoom link.

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The Denver North Star

September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021 | Page 19

303.455.5535 | ACTIVE

3287 Tennyson Street

Bocks from Highland Square AND Tennyson Art District! Low maintenance 3 story townhome with impressive urban vibes!

4 Bed 4 Bath 2,784 SF

3825 Meade Street

3 Bed 2 Bath 1,414 SF



Jenny Apel

Leigh Gauger




3530 Gray Street

4 Bed 2 Bath 2,396 SF


6304 N Ensenada Court 3 Bed 4 Bath 3,417 SF


Alesia Kieffer





2120 N Downing St, #213

1579 Osceola Street

8001 W 32nd Avenue



2 Bed 2 Bath 832 SF


Jenny Apel 303.570.9690




5 Bed 2 Bath 3,318 SF

Corey Wadley

Jasen Koebler


608.438.7776 Star studded 2 story Craftsman Bungalow awaits you! Renovated with style & class.

3 Bed 2 Bath 2,182 SF

Liz Luna 303.475.1170



4276 Green Court

2445 Depew Street

1080 King Street

1 Bed 1 Bath 550 SF

3 Bed 3 Bath




4 Bed 2 Bath 3,038 SF

Luis Serrano

Jenny Apel 303.570.9690


1921 S Knox Court

3 Bed 1 Bath 785 SF





3550 W 62nd Place

1620 Little Raven St #303



3 Bed 3 Bath 1,922 SF

Bart Rhein 720.837.5959

Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 Get back to the bustle of downtown Denver! Out the door to world class dining, shopping and entertainment.

2 Bed 2 Bath 1,499 SF

Jenny Apel

Jenny Apel 303.570.9690


1.320 SF




1838 W 39th Avenue

3525 Stuart Street

7505 W Yale Ave #1704

3136 Stout Street






3 Bed 2 Bath 1,350 SF

Betty Luce 303.478.8618

2 Bed 1 Bath 950 SF

Jenny Apel 303.570.9690 Best Highland vibes to be found! Extra wide half duplex in prime Highlands location!


3 Bed 3 Bath 2,002 SF

Arturo Bugarin



4558 W 35th Avenue

4229 Green Court



3 Bed 2 Bath 1,968 SF

4 Bed 5 Bath 3,461 SF

Elizabeth Clayton 303.506.3448

Jenny Apel 303.570.9690

3 Bed 2 Bath 1,836 SF

Jenny Apel



1730 Lowell Blvd #102 3 Bed 4 Bath 2,218 SF


Jenny Apel 303.570.9690

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 | September 15, 2021-October 14, 2021

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The Denver North Star September 15 2021 Online Edition  

The Denver North Star September 15 2021 Online Edition  

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