Volume 1, Issue 2
Your Guide to Community, Politics, Arts and Culture in North Denver
Santa to Sport Speedo Suit Allowing ADUs
Chaffee Park Considers Rezoning to Allow Backyard Homes by David Sabados
Dining Politics & Pasta Page 4
Support Animals and Show a Little Skin
If you’re looking for a fun way to support animals in North Denver and you’re not afraid to show a little skin, the Santa Speedo Dash is the event for you! On Dec. 14, get in the holiday spirit — and your finest swimwear — for a 1 mile fun run/walk. Registration is $35 and includes a santa hat. Proceeds benefit Life is Better Rescue. Speedos are not required, but costumes are highly encouraged. Visit lifeisbetterrescue.org for more information and to register.
Health & Wellness Morning Mojo Page 7
Politics Minimum Wage Increase? Page 12
Arts & Culture School Singalongs Page 10
Schools Union Wins Page 14
Shopping Locally Supports the Community
Supporting Local Businesses Creates Jobs, Is Better for the Environment by Sabrina Allie
here are fewer than 40 days until Hanukkah and Christmas, and even fewer between now and the many holiday obligations in the weeks to come. And if you’re like many Americans, that can put you in a holidaze trying to ensure you have the white elephant for the company party, gifts for the kids’ teachers, something special for all those hard-to-please family members — as Santa knows, the list is long. While big box deals and the convenience of online shopping have their allure, consider the tremendous benefits shopping locally has for your community. When you spend money at a chain or online, much of that money leaves the community — and many online companies don’t pay local taxes. Money that stays within the local economy gets
spent again (often also within the community) and increases well-being within the community. For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community. What happens when you spend that same $100 at a national chain? Only $43 stays in the community. When that money stays in the community, you support the availability of a larger number of higher paying jobs available in the area. And those taxes that don’t get paid online? Those help pay for important public professions like teachers, police officers and firefighters who work here. Shopping in a local business district also means there is less need for infrastructure and maintenance by the city, which puts more of your sales tax dollars into other important community needs.
Buying locally also is better for the environment. It conserves energy and resources by decreasing fuel needed for transportation and cutting out excessive packaging. Economics aside, when you shop locally, you are embracing what makes your community unique. You are supporting entrepreneurship, getting to know your neighbors, getting the benefit of business owners’ expertise, creating more local choice, making your community a destination spot, and best of all, nurturing a sense of community connection. North Denver businesses are hosting a variety of events and special offerings throughout the holiday season, including Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. See more events in the Community Calendar, Page 9
little sleet and chance of snow didn’t deter nearly 50 people from attending a town hall conversation in early November about whether the Chaffee Park neighborhood should rezone to allow accessory dwelling units in the community. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are secondary homes built on a residential property that already has one house. Seen by some as a solution that creates housing without vertical density, they have increasingly become part of the conversation about housing needs in Denver. ADUs could be used as housing for an aging family member, or as a long- or shortterm rental, depending on the interests of the owner. Shortterm rentals (often managed through Airbnb and other vacation-style rental companies) have been the most controversial of the ADU uses, because of concerns neighbors have around parking, noise and behavior of intermittent guests. ADUs are currently allowed in approximately 25% of the city, but no neighborhood has rezoned in the way being proposed for Chaffee Park: to allow ADUs across the community without additional approval first. Jason Hornyak, president of the Chaffee Park Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO), is proposing to do just that. “It’s a major win for the people who want to build them, for property rights, for housing and for the city,” Hornyak said after one of the two town halls he’s holding in conjunction with CouncilwoSee Chaffee Park, Page 3
*VALID AT HIGHLANDS LOCATION ONLY. ADULT-USE ONLY. NOT VALID WITH OTHER PROMOTIONS. EXPIRES 11.30.19
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DENVER — Highlands 2563 15TH ST., #103 • DENVER, CO 80211 MON–SAT 8AM – 9:45PM • SUN 10AM – 9:45PM 720.328.2131
AURORA 16840 E. ILIFF AVE • AURORA, CO 80013 MON–SAT 8AM – 9:45PM • SUN 10AM – 9:45PM 303.745.2420
The Denver North Star
Chaffee Park Could Give Blanket Approval to Carriage Houses
Lucero Opens Plaza38
Continued from Page 1 man Amanda Sandoval. Hornyak believes allowing more ADUs will increase affordably-priced housing options and ensure the “small, natural, incremental growth” that he wants to see in Chaffee Park. Several residents interested in building ADUs asked questions about building costs, whether an older garage could be repurposed, and expressed their support for the idea. Councilwoman Sandoval asked attendees to raise their hands to indicate whether they were supportive or opposed: 33 were in favor, 4 were opposed. Two of those four are longtime residents who are concerned about growth and more influx of people into the quiet North Denver community. Linda Sandoval has lived in the neighborhood for more than 40 years. “Parking is a huge concern,” she said after the presentation, noting how many vehicles were already in the neighborhood. An increased population usually means more personal vehicles. ADUs can be built over a garage, which increases offstreet parking, or could replace an alleyway-facing garage, which results in more cars parked on the street. Paul Lukosi, a 30 year resident, is
courtesy of the City and County of Denver
upset with changes he’s seeing. “It’s all yuppies in this neighborhood,” he said. He believes ADUs are more appropriate for mountain communities than Denver. Councilwoman Sandoval said her role at the town halls is as “a conduit” and she’s taking community input before making a final decision, which is likely to be early next year. The RNO has an online survey it is keeping open until Dec. 1. Chaffee Park residents are encouraged to visit chaffeepark.org/adu to express opinions about the proposal.
photo by David Sabados
West 38th Avenue has gotten a little livelier with the opening of Plaza38. Gene Lucero first bought the property in 2001, where it housed the Lucero financial group. He sold it in 2015, and repurchased the retail in 2017. Today, he’s still there, but he’s brought in a few other businesses, as well. Plaza38 has dining, independent stores and a bar where you can watch everyone on 38th go by. There’s also offstreet and garage parking. The Plaza38 opening was celebrated Nov. 9 with food trucks, live music and tours of the businesses.
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The Denver North Star
November-December 2019 | Page 3
Politics, Pasta Combine at West 29th for Bud Starker by David Sabados ud Starker’s story doesn’t start too differently from other small business people: he was a carpenter, started a construction company, and then decided to use those skills to build and own a restaurant: West 29th Restaurant. The difference between him and every other restaurant owner in the area? He’s also the mayor of Wheat Ridge. “There are a lot of similarities” between owning a restaurant and being mayor of a town, Starker said, “Both are about service.” Wheat Ridge’s mayor is a part time position, which means most of the city’s elected officials still have jobs outside of their elected office. When Starker isn’t presiding over city council meetings or working with other metro area mayors on regional projects, you can often find him in the kitchen or talking to customers about West 29th Restaurant’s new seasonal menu. Stained glass panes hang over the bar’s seating area, depicting Starker’s family’s travels to Colorado. At the bar, try the fig infused manhattan. While enjoying your handmade cocktail, check out the food: West 29th’s new menu has options for carnivores and vegetarians alike to enjoy. Starker describes the menu as “American food with a French accent,” with options ranging from ratatouille lasagne made with sweet potato noodles to a gorgonzola stroganoff with beef tips. Whether you’re more of a butternut squash bisque fan or prefer grilled salmon on quinoa, West 29th Restaurant likely has a dish you will love. After dinner? Don’t forget to try the seasonal pump-
photo courtesy of West 29th Restaurant
kin cheesecake. And don’t miss out on brunch. West 29th offers an extensive brunch menu that includes breakfast egg dishes, burgers and even crepes filled with fresh sweet creme and topped with seasonal fruit — and delicious mimosas, too! West 29th’s kitchen is open and faces the warm dining area with a fireplace running during the cooler months, or you can enjoy the gorgeous fountain and meticulously cared for garden on the elegant patio when the weather is warm enough.
QUALITY FISH MARKET SINCE 1974
Restaurants like West 29th are a sign of Denver’s western suburbs changing, with more non-chain restaurants and local flair. Starker welcomes the change: “There’s a lot going on in Wheat Ridge. There’s more families and young people repopulating the area.” With restaurants like West 29th, there’s no question as to why. West 29th Restaurant is located 5560 W. 29th St. You can view the menu, make a reservation and more at west29th.com.
Baking Up Holiday Cheer holidays at
Little Man Factory
Tuesday - Saturday 11-7 Sunday 11-5 Monday Closed 3457 W. 32nd Ave. 303.571.1995
4411 w colfax ave.
Dec 3 / 7-8PM Denver Choir League Caroling
Dec 14 / 1-4PM 1st Bank Gingerbread House Party and photos with santa
photo by Sabrina Allie
Happy Bake Shop Makes for Happy Holidays
If you’re loooking for delicious baked goodies for the holidays, stop in and check out Happy Bakeshop’s new location at 3621 W. 32nd Ave. in Highlands Square. Visit Nov. 15-17 during the grand opening for a sweet treat. Thanksgiving pies can be ordered online at happybakeshopcolorado.com.
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Get news and advertising info at DenverNorthStar.com. Page 4 | November-December 2019
2620 16th st.
Dec 4 / 6-8PM holiday lights carols, candles and photos with mr & mrs claus
Dec 14 / 1-3PM 1st Bank Gingerbread House Party
More at LITTLEMANICECREAM.COM
The Denver North Star
Food for Thought: A Look at Local Dining
Acova: Warm, Welcoming Neighborhood Restaurant by Chef Scott Durrah
ello, North Denver! So, today, we start our journey of great local restaurants in our neighborhoods. A few weeks ago, I decided that I would cruise my neighborhood on an electric scooter until I found a place that was popping with energy and vibrant with color. It was a perfect Fall afternoon, about 65 degrees, as I was coasting feeling irie. And then, all of a sudden, my scooter died; no power. I was a little distraught because my vibe had been interrupted. I was at the corner of West 37th Avenue and Navajo Street, and remembered that one of my favorite old school Italian restaurants, Patsy’s, was just a few feet away. To my surprise, I saw this cool new spot, with an amazing outdoor bar and patio area. I also noticed loud laughter and joyous conversation. When I looked up, it was not Patsy’s, but an amazing spot called Acova. My first impression was “wow, this is cool.” So, I decided to have a seat at the bar and just enjoy the vibe. The patio area had several groups that were drinking, sharing small plates and just enjoying the afternoon. I heard someone at the table say, “Man, you got to try this.” I didn’t know what it was, but it led me to ask for a menu — in fact, all of the menus so I could see what this place has to offer. I also noticed an area in the back of the patio that had a large family with kids who appeared to be playing in a separate area. I sincerely felt I was at the park, having a great picnic with friends. Well, from there, I ended up having an ice-cold beer and ordering a few appetizers, salad and a delicious sandwich. The food was fresh, well presented, great flavor, and complimented by the friendly and knowledgeable staff. I was able to have a discussion with one of the owners who shared with me that they promised Patsy’s family that they would preserve as much of the original restaurant interior and building as possible. Well, they nailed it! The interior is as warm and welcoming as their patio, with the feel of old North Denver architecture including the brick walls. This place is great year-round for family, friends, business or just a guy or gal who wants to take a scooter ride and have a cocktail at the bar. Its location has plenty of street parking and is much more quiet than other areas in North Denver. I would suggest sharing many of their appetizers with friends and can’t wait for my next visit. Acova is located at 3651 Navajo St., and can be reached at 303-736-2718 and AcovaRestaurant.com.
photo courtesy of Acova
Scott Durrah is a proud resident, chef, restaurateur and cannabis business owner in North Denver for 15 years. He previously owned Jezebels Southern Bistro and 8 Rivers, and currently owns Simply Pure.
The Denver North Star
November-December 2019 | Page 5
Health & Wellness
Make Self Care Part of Your Holiday Traditions
by Erika Taylor
he holidays are a PERFECT time to focus on fitness. Wait. I know it sounds like I’ve been into the egg nog early. With everything we do in our regular lives, it’s already a reach to make time for self care. Add our holiday list, and it seems like 20 minutes to exercise is as real as the “prancing and pawing of each little hoof” that precedes a magical chimney visit. But self care can stay on the list. With a bit of commitment, those things we do to stay well can even
help us bring more joy to the season. And I’m not just saying that to get on the “Good List.” The whole overeating, not exercising, losing sleep thing this time of year is a little bogus. It is almost like the health club industry promotes how easy it is to get fat between Halloween and New Year’s so we’ll all give in to excuses and their clubs will be bursting with re-resolved clients on Jan. 1. We are bombarded with in-yourface articles, images and examples of ways we can over indulge. Parties are largely alcohol and sugar fueled. And the world is overflowing with ways to help keep us slim, avoid the flu, meet family expectations and deal with a whole host of other expected holiday-related stress. Read or watch enough sales pitches and you’ll probably think that gaining weight, getting sick and stressing out just go with the holiday territory — an accepted part of “enjoyment of the season.” Why should that be? It IS true, we add things to our calendar during the holidays, but our schedules go on all year long. We have stress in our lives daily and somehow we find time to do the things we commit to do for our
“Thanksgiving reminds us... to count our blessings!” Happy Thanksgiving
What are you grateful for?
At Colorado Osteopathic & Integrative Medicine Associates we are grateful for You, our patients! We appreciate being able to serve you and your families on the road to optimal health. Our services include Functional and Integrative Medicine, Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, Therapeutic Medical Massage, Exercise Training, Stress Management, Nutritional and Lifestyle Modiﬁcation.
health. The lie that our health must suffer during the holidays is just that, a Santa’s belly-sized lie. And it needs busting. Let’s think about the kinds of things we usually do to stay healthy: • Exercise • Eat well • Stay hydrated • Wash our hands • Get good sleep • Spend time with people we like There is NO reason for those to change during this time of year. In fact, some of these things can add a great deal of joy to our season. Maybe we don’t prioritize each and every regularly scheduled workout. And we may choose to stay up late and enjoy family and friends rather than get our full 8 hours of shut-eye. Does that mean we have to ditch the whole list? Absolutely not. Let’s ditch that negative messaging instead and try this holiday list on for size: • Exercise, even 2 minutes of blood pumping on the stairs at the mall or a set of squats while gift wrapping. Get your niece to do it with you. And maybe she’ll get everyone doing it. • Eat even better than usual. Including some holiday treats! The ones you really love. Don’t apologize to anyone for saying “no thank-you” to break-room leftovers that are not the ones you love. Your generous co-worker likely just needed them out of their own house. (And I promise you can find naked veggies and lean proteins if you look hard enough at the holiday party.) • Drink water. An easy one! And if you need help, there are even apps for that. I admit, I’m a Plant Nanny addict. • Wash your hands. Hey look, another easy one. • Sleep. Even if it means those Face-
book statuses go un-liked. I promise your real life friends want you well rested to enjoy their company more than they want you to see how cute their cat looked in his Santa hat. • Make dates with people that make you feel good about yourself. Spending time with friends and family members who support your healthy choices and are living the kind of fitness life you aspire to will help you remember that fitness can stay on everyone’s holiday list. • Get support! Tell your partner you are sticking to club soda at the office party and join your kids in that snowball fight. Make your holiday girls night a yoga class instead of happy hour. Take your neighbor for a walk or join our Walking Accountability Crew every Monday, Wednesday and Friday leaving from Sloans Lake Pirate Park at 9:15 a.m. I promise, the people you include in your healthy holiday will thank you. You can do this! Keep making good choices and keep giving your beautiful body what it needs. You’ll finish off this year feeling great and head into New Year’s Resolution Season miles ahead of the game. Holidays are the season of believing. Believe that you can make the holidays your healthiest and most truly wonderful time of the year. Wishing you wellness this holiday season and always. Erika Taylor is a community wellness instigator at Taylored Fitness, the original online wellness mentoring system. Taylored Fitness believes that everyone can discover small changes in order to make themselves and their communities more vibrant, and that it is only possible to do our best work in the world if we make a daily commitment to our health. Visit facebook.com/erika.taylor.303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Page 6 | November-December 2019
The Denver North Star
Get Your Morning Mojo
Friends for a decade, dentist duo has planted roots in their neighborhood as a general practice
$80 New Patient Special includes exam and x-rays Offer not valid with insurance, discount or fee plan. Expires 11/15/19
Dr. Janda and Dr. Garrison 4433 W. 29th Ave., Suite 206 cityrootsdental.com 720-428-8916
Personal Training & Group Exercise Classes
Serving North Denver since 2010
Wake Up With Free Yoga and Ice Cream
photo courtesy of Basha Cohen
In an unlikely pairing, two new West Colfax businesses, The Little Man Ice Cream Factory and Duality Fitness have joined forces to offer a free “Morning Mojo Yoga” series. The free “Duality Flow” all-levels vinyasa yoga class began this Fall and packed the house weekly. The next six week series begins Nov. 16 and runs through Dec. 21. It’s the perfect way to find your Zen during the chaotic, spirited holiday season. Classes run from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturdays at Little Man Ice Cream Factory, 4411 W. Colfax Ave. In addition to the free class, there is coffee, homemade donuts and ice cream are available and well deserved after your workout! Sign up at www.dualityfit.com/schedule.
44th Ave & Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge 303-455-0437 - www.vmﬁt.com staﬀ@vmﬁt.com
Opening a Dispensary is All About Good Chemistry
by David Sabados
here’s no bulletproof glass or teller window when you walk into Good Chemistry, LoHi’s newest cannabis dispensary. The landmark designated building built in the 1890s may have a classic stone facade outside, but the inside feels more like the entrance to a modern spa. For owner Mathew Huron, the cause and the product is more important than the decor though. Huron began his career in cannabis in California after his father was diagnosed with HIV. In the early days of medicinal marijuana, Huron found a passion for helping those in pain find relief. Huron moved to Colorado in 2009 and founded Wellspring Collective, which catered to seniors with health challenges. Today, Good Chemistry operates medicinal and recreational marijuana businesses in Nevada, Colorado and Massachusetts. Education is also a key factor for Good Chemistry, which produces educational booklets to help newer cannabis customers not be overwhelmed
photo courtesy of Good Chemistry
by the options that can bombard tomers through “Sight, Touch, Aro- at 2563 15th St., #103, in the Lower someone walking into a dispensary ma, Taste and Sensation” of under- Highlands. for the first time. standing marijuana products. Adults 21 and older can find them Their S.T.A.T.S booklet walks cusGood Chemistry opened Oct. 30 online at goodchem.org.
If you’re reading this, so are more than 30,000 of your neighbors. Contact us at ads@DenverNorthStar.com to talk about advertising options for your business or organization.
The Denver North Star
November-December 2019 | Page 7
Food Bank Serves 300,000 Meals Each Year
by David Sabados ienvenidos Food Bank at 38th and Pecos has been helping North Denver families for 43 years. This Fall, they could use yours. Bienvenidos helps approximately 200 families every week, providing enough food for 300,000 meals over the course of a year. As you’re considering your holiday giving, Bienvenidos executive director Greg Pratt hopes you keep them in mind. Pratt said, with so many new families in North Denver, many people aren’t familiar with the work they do for the community. Through deals he’s managed to work out with grocery stores, Pratt said a $1 contribution allows him to buy $9 worth of food. He said monetary contributions are the most effective way to help community members in need. The food bank does, of course, also accept direct contributions of food, often canned food drives from schools and youth organizations that help kids learn the importance of helping their community.
Donations can be made online at bienvenidosfoodbank.org or mailed to: Bienvenidos Food Bank P.O. Box 11948, Denver, CO 80211 Bienvenidos also participates in Colorado Gives Day (an online event to increase charitable giving by boosting donations), scheduled this year on Dec. 10.
photo by David Sabados
If you are looking for help filling your pantry this holiday season, Bienvenidos is open most Thursday mornings and has a mobile site on Colfax once each month. Food assistance is open to everyone in the community and recipients don’t need to provide income documentation. For specific times to pick up food or if you have any questions, you can visit bienvenidosfoodbank.org or call 303-433-6328.
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FabuluxConsignment.com 2525 15th St, 1E, Denver 80211 Page 8 | November-December 2019
The Denver North Star
Elizabeth and Jean have thankfully and proudly served North Denver neighborhoods’ real estate needs since 1994. Contact Elizabeth and Jean to learn how they can help with your real estate questions and needs.
A BIG THANK YOU! To Sabrina D'Agosta, David Sabados and all who are working hard to publish the Denver North Star in order to create a community space to connect our beloved neighborhoods.
Elizabeth Clayton 303.506.3448 email@example.com Jean Sunn 970.313.3916 firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Calendar The Brightest Night limited, and on a first-come-first-serve basis. Saturday, Nov. 23 Feral, 3936 Tennyson St. 11a.m. to 5 p.m. Reveal the Senses – art & wine Saturday, Nov. 30 benefit 1 p.m. Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abuse (0T4DA) invites you to reveal your senses Calligraphy: The Art of Beautiand enjoy wine and art to help support sur- ful Lettering vivors of domestic abuse. Tickets are $20 and include a wine tasting or a full glass of your choice, appetizers, live music and an amazing selection of art to purchase by various artists. Please visit revealthesenses.org to purchase tickets or for more information. Bonacquisti Wine Company, 4640 North Pecos Street, #Unit I
Join calligrapher Renee Jorgensen for an introduction to the Italic and Copperplate alphabets, hosted by the Denver Public Library. Learn about these two popular lettering styles, the pens and nibs, inks and paper used by calligraphers. Following the introduction and demonstration you can try your hand at lettering in calligraphy. Woodbury Branch Library, 3265 Federal Blvd.
Saturday, Nov. 30 Sunday, Dec. 1 Saturday, Dec. 7 6:30 p.m. 6th Annual Small Business Annual Tree Lighting Cocoa & cider, Santa story time and great Passport Crawl Support local businesses this year with the Tennyson Street Small Business Holiday Passport Crawl! As a thank you for supporting local this year, participating Tennyson St./Berkeley small businesses will offer anything from discounts to freebies with the Small Business Holiday Passport. Get five or more stamps on your passport and return it to Jolly Goods (4020 Tennyson St.) by end of day Dec. 7 to be entered to win a gift basket from ALL participating businesses! Passports can be picked up at any participating business starting the morning of the Nov. 30. Tennyson Street Business District
Saturday, Nov. 30 Small Business Saturday
neighbors. Highlands United Methodist Church, parking lot at 32nd and Osceola
Sunday, Dec. 1 Celebrate Recovery This a Christian-based recovery program (every Sunday evening). Please enter from the alley. Denver Friends Church, 4595 Eliot St.
photo courtesy Regis University
Regis University Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Regis University invites the public to attend one of the brightest (literally!) moments of the year at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 for its annual lighting of the Christmas tree on the Boettcher Commons (Quad). Snap a photo with Santa or grab a cup of hot chocolate, served up by the Regis University Student Complementary Horse-Drawn Carriage Government Association.
Wednesday, Dec. 4 5 to 8 p.m. 11th Annual Sunnyside Sleigh Rides
Rides! Visits with Santa! Hot Cocoa! Please bring new, unwrapped toys for the Toy Drive. Cobbler’s Corner, 2440 W. 44th Ave.
St. John Francis Regis Chapel, 3333 Regis Blvd.
3737 W. 32nd Ave.
Wednesday, Dec. 4 Saturday, Nov. 30 6 to 9 p.m. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Skinner Players present FERAL Flea | Holiday Market “The Twilight Zone” Skinner’s thespians will perform two epwith Local Makers
Friday, Dec. 6 -Sunday, Dec. 8 Holiday Shop & Sip Special promotions at each Highland Square retailer Highlands Square, West 32nd Ave. and Lowell Boulevard
Tuesday, Dec. 10 6 p.m. Movie Night @Woodbury Library
Come support and shop local at our wonderful businesses in your neighborhood. Highlands Square, West 32nd Ave. and Lowell Boulevard
It’s Small Business Saturday, and we’re celebrating with a great lineup of local outdoor-related makers. Only the real small batch stuff. People straight from your community. We’re opening up our space to artisans, makers and creators of all kinds. You’ll find art, new and used items, food, and all sorts of surprises. Event is FREE to shoppers and makers alike. We’ll have a complete list of vendors the week of the market. Want to sell at the FERAL Flea? We have some spots left! Go to feralmountainco.com/feralflea/ to register for the event. There aren’t very many rules or restrictions, and it’s free of charge. Space is
The Denver North Star
isodes from The Twilight Zone: “Back There” and “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street”. Don’t miss this free event! Skinner Middle School, 3435 W. 40th Ave.
Friday, Dec. 6 4 to 5 p.m. A Festival of Lessons and Carols Join Regis University for a Festival of Lessons and Carols, an annual and beloved Christmas tradition featuring student musicians, the Chapel Choir and voices from the Regis community.
Saturday, Dec. 7 Art in the Highlands Holiday market featuring handmade art and fine crafts including glass, jewelry fiber, bath & body products, pottery, photography, food and much more. 2475 W. 26th Ave.
Saturday, Dec. 7 Holiday in the Highlands
Join us as we show a Kanopy movie in our community room! Movie to be announced. Woodbury Branch Library, 3265 Federal Blvd.
Saturday, Dec. 14 9:30 a.m. Denver Public Library Holiday Cocoa and Craft Drop by to enjoy coffee, hot cocoa and holiday treats while making a festive poinsettia pin – for yourself or a friend! Woodbury Branch Library 3265 Federal Blvd.
Come see Santa, have cookies and hot cocoa and enjoy carriage rides at Nostalgic Homes. Collecting toy donations for community children in need.
November-December 2019 | Page 9
Arts & Culture
Holidays Light Up with School Singalongs
photos courtesy of Harry Warters
by Basha Cohen
is the season for caroling, candles, Santa, Sleighs and high spirits. Little Man Ice Cream kicks off the season with local DPS schools to bring musical cheer to the ’hood. Two Holiday Lights caroling events featuring local schools and the Denver
Choir League will ring in the merry at the Little Man Ice Cream Factory, 4411 W. Colfax Ave. and at Little Man Ice Cream, 2620 16th St. From 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, the Denver Choir League founded by Katy Lushman, the musical director of North High School, will perform at the Factory.
The choir is filled with music educators and local community members. Their voices soar in perfect harmony. It’s a great way to belt out some carols without worrying. From 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, the 8th annual Holiday Lights event at the Little Man Ice Cream Plaza, 2620 16th St., features North High School, Skinner and Edison musicians in a lively community singalong. These students brought the house down at a recent performance at North. This event is a perfect way to take pride in our students and teachers as school music programs continue to excel in Northwest Denver. Ally Olsen, the music teacher at North, will kick off the night with a “Caroling Crawl.” Students from all schools performing will
meet at North High School at 5 p.m. and carol through the Highlands to the Little Man Plaza. The event, affectionately known as “Pajama Christmas Carol and Hora-around-the-Menorah”, brings families together clad in pajamas, onesies and robes to carol, light Channukah candles, taste latkes and hot cocoa. PLUS the big guy and the misses will be there to take photos with the family. Join in the fun with some Ho Ho Ho-liday cheer!
On the Town in North Denver
Holiday Homicide, Honky Tonk Hail this Season by Craig Alexander The holidays are just around the corner, and whether you’re looking for something to do with the family in town or a bit of a break from the drama, Northwest Denver has you covered. If you’re facing a post-Halloween slump and need a jolt of thrill, Adam’s Mystery Playhouse has your fix with murder mystery dinners. With themed experiences including “Murder at Haunted Blood Mansion,” “Made for TV Holiday Homicide” and “Holidays ‘R’ Murder” and more. Showtimes are generally at 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Check out adamsmysteryplayhouse.com for the full schedule and ticket prices. More murder and more mystery abound at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan’s Lake location. An ad-
Page 10 | November-December 2019
vance screening of Rian Johnson’s latest feature “Knives Out” will be premiering at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23 with an interactive “Clue” movie party at 7 p.m. the following Monday, Nov. 25 and Tuesday, Nov. 26. More info and tickets can be found at drafthouse.com/denver/theater/sloans-lake. For those in the mood for a night of music or comedy, The Oriental Theater has an eclectic range of shows including Trey Crowder’s “The Liberal Redneck” wellRed Comedy tour at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23; the annual benefit show “Tunes for Barret - Holiday Honky Tonk” at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and more to be found at theorientaltheater.com. While The Bug Theatre may be known best for its stageplays, it also hosts a number of other events for a night out in Northwest Denver. Check out locally produced, up-and-coming films, documentaries, music videos and more at The Emerging Filmmakers Project at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov.
21. If you’ve got a talent you want to share or see locals share their own, Denver’s longest-running open mic variety show, “Freak Train,” will be in the house at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25. And at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, one of Denver’s most notable comedy groups, The Grawlix, will have their monthly show. If slightly off-kilter holiday plays are your vibe, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” is showing at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from Dec. 6-28. Tickets and additional info for events are at bugtheatre.info. Craig is Denver-raised and has lived in the Northwest Denver area for the last 12 years, since attending and graduating from Regis University with an interdisciplinary B.A. in Vocal Performance, English and Communications. When they aren’t working their day job, they produce and co-host a film and culture podcast called I Want You To Watch This at iwytwt.com.
The Denver North Star
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? by Hannah Evans
ere’s the deal: it’s normal to be curious about death,” writes mortician and New York Times best-selling author Caitlin Doughty in the introduction of her new book, “Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death” (2019, W. W. Norton & Company). Doughty, who gives death-related talks around the globe to wide varieties of audiences, gathers the best questions she has received from children, stating that “all death questions are good death questions, but the most direct and most provocative questions come from kids.” Ranging from physical (“What would happen if you swallowed a bag of popcorn before you died and were cremated?”) to practical (“If someone is trying to sell a house, do they have to tell the buyer someone died there?”) to outrageous (“Can we give Grandma a Viking funeral?”), Doughty answers each question with care and attention, providing extensive research alongside her personal experiences while remaining lighthearted and humorous. Her delicate balance of respect for her subject matter paired with her hilarious and approachable way with words makes an already fascinating topic that much more interesting. If you have ever wondered if a mummy smelled bad when they were wrapped, or if someone can donate blood after death, this book holds the answers to those questions and many more. Do people actually see a white light as they are dying? Doughty details accounts from near death experiences around the world and throughout history. What is the optimal depth to bury a beloved pet who has passed? Generally speaking, three and a half feet is ideal. “Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?” shares practical advice, cultural customs and squeamish details in abundance – feel free to jump around to only the questions that interest you, but take in the whole collection for a multitude of fascinating facts. Doughty passionately reminds us that “death is science and history, art and literature. It bridges every culture and unites the whole of humanity!” Check out “Will My Cat Eat My EyeUpdate balls” at your closest Denver Public Li“Sabrina & Corina,” last month’s brary location, and find more informareviewed title, was selected as one tion on this title and its author at www. of five finalists for the 2019 Nationcaitlindoughty.com. al Book Awards. Congratulations to author and Denver native Kali Hannah Evans is the senior librarian Fajardo-Anstine! The National at the Smiley Branch Book Award 2019 winners will be of the Denver Public Library. announced Nov. 20.
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Free Student Concert Series by sabrina Allie
egis University’s distinguished music program offers a student recital and concert series throughout November and December. All concerts and events are at 7:30 p.m., free and open to the public. • Friday, Nov. 15 - Student Voice Recital • Monday, Nov. 18 - Concert Choir • Wednesday, Nov. 20 - Guitar Ensembles & Soloists • Friday, Nov. 22 - Jazz Ensembles • Monday, Nov. 25 - Chamber Ensembles • Tuesday, Dec. 3 - Collegium Musicum • Thursday, Dec. 5 - Concert Band • Friday, Dec. 6 - Student Piano Recital Parking is available for a small fee in Parking Lot 4 (bring license plate number and payment card to kiosk) or on the streets in the surrounding neighborhood. For more information, call 303-458-3576.
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November-December 2019 | Page 11
Laurvick, Other Union Candidates Sweep School Board
by David Sabados
n a close election, Brad Laurvick will be North Denver’s new school board representative, edging out Julie Banuelos and Tony Curcio 35.44%-34.26%-30.3%. While early returns on election night showed Laurvick leading with Curcio behind him, as results rolled in over the next day, Banuelos began to close the margin, and it wasn’t until Thursday
after the election that Laurvick was declared the winner. Across the city, all three unionbacked candidates won — including Tay Anderson (at-large), Brad Laurvick (District 5) and Scott Baldermann (District 1) — changing the makeup of the DPS board, which was previously controlled by a majority of board members backed by education reform groups.
photos by David Sabados
Brad Laurvick, above center, celebrates his school board win with campaign staff and supporters on election night.
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Page 12 | November-December 2019
Laurvick said he’s focused on implementing what he and others talked about while running: “I don’t think anything will be a surprise. We want to get resources back in the classroom,” he said, along with changing the role of high stakes testing. DPS’ new Superintendent Susana Cordova was recently hired by the outgoing board, and Laurvick indicated the board will be taking a more active role working with senior staff: “I understand the role of the board to be hiring and oversight of the superintendent. You can delegate responsibility but not accountability.” He doesn’t believe it’s an antagonistic relationship though, noting he was “excited to see how we can implement the board’s vision together.” Tay Anderson hopes his win can give hope to others from his community: “I think I’ve shown kids they don’t have to get out of the ’hood. They just have to give back to the ’hood,” Anderson said on election night. “This election is a testament to that. Money doesn’t win elections anymore. People do.” Tay said he wanted to thank Denver voters for participating in the election. As notable as it is for all unionbacked candidates to win for the first time in recent memory, Banuelos’ close second place also highlights a pushback on the money that’s poured into school board races and the strength of the Latino vote. Banuelos won more precincts than Laurvick or Curcio, nearly all in Latino neighborhoods, and raised
only approximately 10% of what her opponents had. “We know we went up against a lot this election,” Banuelos’ campaign manager Vinnie Cerventes said in an interview after the final unofficial numbers were reported. He said they are proud of what they accomplished but were frustrated that organizations didn’t respect the Latino community in their endorsement processes. He said Banuelos and their team will stay engaged and work to hold board members accountable. Denver’s school board elections have become increasingly expensive in recent years, and this year was no different, with candidates and outside organizations combined likely spending over $2 million to win three unpaid positions on the Denver School Board. While the organization Democrats for Education Reform said it was sitting this election out, the similarly named Students for Education Reform Action Committee has led the pack of non-candidate committees with nearly $400,000 in expenditures. The pro-reform organization Better Schools for a Stronger Colorado has come in a close second with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) union coming in third. A related organization opposing reform candidates rounded out fourth place.
The Denver North Star
DPS School Calendar Results Are In
Families, Staff Prefer 3-Day Fall Break, Weeklong Thanksgiving Break
North JROTC Honors Vets
by Sabrina Allie
At the beginning of the school year, Denver Public Schools released a districtwide survey asking families for feedback on the school year calendar. The survey closed Sept. 13 and the district received 2,227 responses, with 44% of the responses being from parents or students. Other respondents included teachers and other school staff, as well as community members. When asked about preferences for when the districtâ€™s fall and Thanksgiving breaks happen, 71% of respondents indicated that they would prefer a 3-day fall break in October and a one-week break at Thanksgiving. Only 25% of respondents indicated that they would prefer the converse, with a oneweek fall break in October and a 3-day break at Thanksgiving.
Dia de los Muertos
photos courtesy of Erika Taylor
North High School Marches in Veterans Day Parade
North High Schoolâ€™s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC) honored military veterans by marching in the Denver Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 9. The brigade boasts dozens of proud North High School cadets, all representing North Denver in the march around the Civic Center complex in downtown Denver. Thousands of spectators lined the parade route to show respect and honor for local veterans.
Zealously photos courtesy District 4 Representative Serena Gonzales-Guiterrez
Commemorating Children Who Have Died in Detention
Dozens joined a Dia de los Muertos procession Nov. 1 from Columbus Park (also known as La Raza Park) to North High School for a community dinner to commemorate children who have died in detention centers along the southern border, as well as other loved ones who have passed on.
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November-December 2019 | Page 13
City Leaders Look to Increase Minimum Wage by David Sabados
these adjustments.” n 2017, Colorado voters approved Several labor and community ora phased-in minimum wage in- ganizations have signed on supportcrease that reaches $12 per hour ing the effort: “Working families are in January 2020. Now, Denver is con- struggling to stay in the city they sidering pushing beyond that. Mayor help build and maintain, and cost of Michael Hancock and Councilwoman living increases aren’t waiting anAt-Large Robin Kniech crafted a proposal that will increase the minimum “... the city is taking an wage in Denver to more than $15 an important first step to hour by 2022. address the growing crisis of The proposal has undergone reviwage inequality.” sion since it was first introduced, and may again before a final vote. Cur- — Rhiannon Duryea, rently, the plan calls for a three step Denver Area Labor Federation increase with automatic increases beginning in 2023: other year. By raising the minimum • $12.85 on Jan. 1, 2020 wage, the city is taking an important • $14.77 on Jan. 1, 2021 first step to address the growing cri• $15.87 on Jan. 1, 2022 sis of wage inequality. We urge DenBeginning Jan. 1, 2023, wages ver to adopt this strong proposal, would increase annually based on the which will bring a much-needed raise Consumer Price Index (CPI) to 50,000 workers in 2020, helping “Our residents were clear: too them pay for rent, heating bills and many of you are working hard but snow boots for their kids,” said Rhistill unable to make ends meet, and annon Duryea, political director for a wage increase is urgent. We heard the Denver Area Labor Federation you, and will proceed in 2020,” said and Sunnyside resident. Councilwoman Kniech. “We also The proposal isn’t without controheard that a smaller first step and versy though, including from some spreading the proposal out over an North Denver businesses that would additional year would help our small, be required to pay more than they exlocally-owned businesses better pre- pected starting in January. William pare and adapt to higher wages. We Hare, president of Little Colorado on heard you, too, and will be making Lipan Street, which makes children’s
Page 14 | November-December 2019
toys, said he’s fully supportive of a $15 an hour wage but is worried the plan ramps up too quickly. Hare said other cities didn’t jump as quickly, allowing small businesses time to adjust. He’s also concerned that studies the proponents are using to justify
“... this proposal actually hurts the restaurant industry employees it’s trying to help.” — Sonia Riggs, Colorado Restaurant Association
the increase compare Denver to others cities with a higher cost of living. The Colorado Restaurant Association is concerned about how the proposal treats tipped vs non tipped employees. The restaurant association said the city’s proposal requires full service restaurants to give their highest earners – those “front-ofhouse” staffers (like servers and bartenders who are typically tipped) -- more than a 50% increase in their hourly wage by Jan. 1, 2022. “This hamstrings restaurateurs in their ability to divert more resources to the kitchen staff, where there’s already a labor shortage. Without a fix to the tip credit, this proposal actually hurts the restaurant industry em-
ployees it’s trying to help,” said Colorado Restaurant Association Chief Executive Officer Sonia Riggs. Statistics released by the city say that 93.5% of minimum wage workers are adults, 51.7% are Latino and 56.1% are women. The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in North Denver is approximately $1,500 a month. Two minimum wage workers both working full time make approximately $4,100 a month before taxes, which means they would spend more than 36% of their pre-tax income on rent. Many recommendations call for rent to be no more than 30% of income and rental companies often require between two to four times the monthly rent total as income to apply. District 1 (Northwest Denver) Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval said she is supportive of the initial 85 cents per hour increase over the state minimum wage, and is glad the city is holding community forums to get more feedback as Hancock and Kniech revise their proposal. Sandoval also expressed concern about the possible idea of paying teenagers less than other workers, noting that many high school students, especially minorities, aren’t working for spending money but rather to help pay family bills and should be paid the same as their adult counterparts.
The Denver North Star
Landmark Designation of Chapel on Hold as Buyer Comes Forward by Sabrina Allie
prospective buyer for the Olinger Moore Howard Chapel mortuary at 4345 W. 46th Ave. has come forward, and all involved have agreed to extend an existing pause in efforts to designate the property as a landmark. As reported last month, the photo courtesy of Historic Berkeley Regis current owner, SCI Funeral Services, and developer, Koelbel & Co., had previously expressed their intent to demolish the building to make way for 58 townhomes, but community advocates petitioned the Denver Landmark Commission and won unanimous approval for landmark designation. That designation must first be approved by City Council, and the hearing was initially set for Sept. 16, but working with a mediator, advocates agreed to a pause in the designation process when SCI and Koelbel agreed to consider potential other buyers that would reuse the building in some fashion. That pause was to have ended with a City Council public hearing on the designation on Nov. 12, but the parties agreed to extend the pause until Jan. 31, 2020, when the prospective new buyer came forward. Any other potential buyers are advised to come forward as soon as possible to ensure sufficient time to complete the sale process prior to the pause being lifted. Interested parties should contact Steve Charbonneau at 303-717-2167
Shaping Our Future by Remembering Our Past:
Protecting Our Parks by Dennis Gallagher
ext time you see former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, give him an appreciative and hearty high five for fighting Mayor Michael Hancock’s plans to pave over Park Hill Golf Course with cement, asphalt and lots of development. When Webb was mayor, he made sure that Park Hill Golf Course would remain open space in a neighborhood lacking in open space opportunities. Webb promised in 1993 to add more park space to Denver’s crown, adding to the “City Beautiful” movement Mayor Robert Speer began in Denver. Webb’s administration even made sure that Denver bought more land around Red Rocks Park to make sure that Jefferson County commissioners could not grant more building permits encroaching on Red Rocks. Ned Burke, of blessed memory and North Denver neighbor, served as Webb’s point person on the Red Rocks and other open space projects. One angry Jefferson County commissioner even complained to me that he was “tired of Denver buying up open space in Jefferson County.” I told him Denver could not risk Jefferson County granting more development rights so close to Red Rocks. We simply had to protect the 300 foot sandstone rock formations and 200 mile panoramic view of Denver and the plains beyond. “How would you like it if I had the Jefferson County commissioners buy open space in Denver?” he threatened. “If you can find the open space in Denver, I will get the support for our city to support you,” I said. “However, I will remind you, we already have a beautiful park in North Denver named Jefferson Park.” He humphed and got real quiet. By the end of his tenure as mayor, Webb added more than 2,350 acres to parks citywide. That’s more than old Mayor Speer’s record. And he always asked me if “you Anglos will remember that fine accomplishment?” I told him I will always remember his outpacing old Mayor Speer on park space. “But Mr. Mayor, please be careful about including me in with the Anglos. We Irish pride ourselves on being a different tribe from the Anglo-Saxons.” Good luck, Mr. Mayor, on our battle to save Park Hill Golf Course. Thanks for standing tall for the people. The Honorable Dennis Gallagher is a former city auditor, city councilman, state senator and state representative. He’ll be sharing thoughts and stories from North Denver’s past and future in his reoccuring column in the North Star.
The Denver North Star
photo courtesy of Regis
Regi Says Slow Down!
In its ongoing commitment to safety in our community, Regis University has created whimsical new “Slow! Children and Pets at Play” yard signs you may see popping up throughout the neighborhood. That’s Regi, the Regis mascot, on those signs. If you’re interested in getting a sign for your yard, stop by and pick yours up at the Smiley Library Branch, 4501 W. 46th Ave.
Councilwoman District 1
Amanda P. Sandoval Denver City Council
Councilwoman Sandoval is excited to announce the launch of community office hours. Each month Amanda will be out in the community and available to chat with you one-on-one about your concerns and ideas.
Office Hours Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 6 Common Grounds | 2139 W. 44th Ave. Dec. 20 Federal Coffee | 2307 Federal Blvd. Jan. 10 Common Grounds | 2139 W. 44th Ave. Jan. 24 Brew Culture | 3620 W. Colfax
Council District 1 Holiday Open House Thursday Dec. 5 Willis Case Tavern 4999 Vrain St. 4:30 – 7:30
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE DENVER NORTH STAR November-December 2019 | Page 15
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Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage.
Page 16 | November-December 2019
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