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Volume 28 Number 5 August 2014

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock

State of the City...4 Photo by Lorenzo Dawkins


Kaiser Permanente is committed to providing excellent care today, which leads to healthier tomorrows. From cancer and cardiology to high blood pressure and stroke, the excellent care we provide for these conditions and others leads to better outcomes for our patients.

From generation to generation to generation...


Volume 28 Number 5

August 2014

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNISTS Wanda James Ayo Labode, Esq. Abayomi A. Meeks Theo E. J. Wilson FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com

Relationships. Memories. Loyalty. Longevity.

This issue is dedicated to Tanya Ishikawa, former Denver Urban Spectrum managing editor and longtime supporter, for her unwavering commitment to the publication, most recently the coordination of the Denver Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation summer journalism camp. Seven students participated in the program from July 14-25 in Denver and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Her professionalism and loyalty is no surprise, but we appreciate her efforts during a sensitive time in her life. Her mother Carol Rinehart died on July 5, 2014. A week later, Tanya was at the camp with the students. One activity took them to hear Denver Mayor Michael Hancock deliver the State of the City Address. And yes, the mayor spent some one-on-one time with the students. As in past years, we’ve published his full script which touches on the city’s successes and upcoming challenges – this year being no different for our cover story. This issue includes a piece on the Five Points-based, KUVO radio station. The internationally recognized “promise of a community” is celebrating its 29th anniversary. Contributing writer Angelin Thompson gives us a sneak preview of the impending growth of Sims-Fayola International Academy. As usual our columnists provide perspective on relevant issues. Theo E. J. Wilson explores the relationships and possibilities between the Black American community and the African immigrant community. Dr. Abayomi Meeks introduces us to a wonder seed and “Blowing Smoke” columnist Wanda James provides perspective on edibles in the marijuana industry. Cheers!

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angelia D. McGowan Angelin Thompson ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris



The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color. Contents of the Denver Urban Spectrum are copyright 2014 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at www.denverurbanspectrum.com.


Inaccuracies in July DUS’s Buffalo Soldiers Story

refuge and food at Pine Ridge Reservation in present day southern South Dakota. The cannon was mounted by the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th on top of the ridge at Wounded Knee Creek, and the cannon indiscriminately sprayed all the remaining living human beings down below. Also, a Corporal William O. Wilson (Buffalo Soldier of the 9th) was awarded the Medal of Honor for his participation in this massacre of unarmed women, children, and elderly. It is my hope that authors like Mr. Emmons would really find it in their minds and hearts to seek out present day native people from, and still living on, the reservations around this country – Pine Ridge, SD, site of the Wounded Knee Massacre, is just a 6 to 8 hour drive from Denver – and experience the oral history there, as well as the written history by native authors and historians living in those areas. This country cannot afford to continue to live in a fabricated bubble of pride when it comes to the atrocities inflicted on ALL peoples of color by colonial power structures still in place today.

Editor: I have enjoyed reading the Urban Spectrum on numerous occasions, but your July issue left me troubled. The story about the Buffalo Soldiers by Charles Emmons was somewhat misleading, therefore deceiving. I feel it is important to clarify a couple of points as not doing so will continue to leave the impression that what happened to the native, indigenous people at the hands of the colonial white power structure within the continental United States and abroad was, and is, really nothing to be proud of, either then nor now. It must be faced that the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry were tools of the colonial power structure to commit genocide upon the native people here. The article in the Spectrum suggests that the 9th and 10th did not participate in any “Indian massacres,” but according to this internet link, www.buffalosoldierswashington.com/MajorHenrySep24.html, this is not the case. According to the Greater Washington DC Chapter of the 9th and 10th Cavalry of Buffalo Soldiers, the 9th was instrumental in mounting the very Hotchkiss 37mm Revolving Cannon that absolutely decimated the women, children, and elderly still alive from the previous day’s battle between the 7th Cavalry and some Sioux warriors there to protect, peacefully, those very same women, children, and elderly as they made a long cold winter march from northern present day South Dakota to seek

Mary G. Maxfield Aurora, CO

Colorado Should Continue to Fold on Internet Online Gambling

Editor: Earlier this year, the Colorado State Legislature wisely passed a bill that bans the Colorado Lottery from selling tickets online. I support the law and continue to oppose any new attempts to legalize Internet gambling in our state. Because while pro-online gambling forces claim the state could rake in

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


Angelia D. McGowan Managing Editor

millions, the reality is that the negative social impact and hit to our state’s land-based casinos far outweigh any financial windfall. We just have to look to the state of New Jersey, which legalized online gambling last November. Like a wide-eyed gambler hoping to hit the jackpot, New Jersey officials forecast that online gambling would yield about $180 million in tax revenues for the first fiscal year. Yet through February, only $4.2 million in tax revenue was collected by the state and one legislative budget officer projected that to grow to only $12 million for the year. To me, New Jersey should have folded before betting on the possible future of some of its residents who could get sucked into a gambling problem because of the unlimited access. Delaware and Nevada also approved online gambling and also over-projected revenues. Still because of the inaction of Congress to restore the policy banning Internet gambling, other states may join the bandwagon despite the faulty revenue projections. I urge Colorado’s lawmakers to stand firm and consider all of the negative impacts. Our casinos in Colorado provide more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state and those jobs would be threatened if online gambling is allowed to expand into Colorado and other nearby states. The casinos are a tourist destination for many of our neighbors who travel here in the summer. And we also must not forget the effects of Internet gambling on the poor and underage gamblers. In Continued on page 26

Mayor Michael B. Hancock 2014 State of the City Address July 14, 2014 Denver Art Museum

Good morning, Denver. Good

morning to neighbors on South Pearl and Tennyson, on Santa Fe and Tamarac, those in Cherry Creek and all along Colfax and Monaco. Good morning to everyone who helps make this city great. Thank you to Christophe for welcoming us here today. To my friends and colleagues on Denver’s City Council, District Attorney Morrissey, and to all the other elected officials from around the region, thank you for being here. I want to take a moment to salute those who will not be returning to these elected seats next year. Auditor Dennis Gallagher leaves a legacy of leadership and creative ideas. To council members Brown, Faatz, Lehman, Montero, Nevitt and Robb, I had the privilege of serving with you for eight of the most rewarding years of my career. On behalf of the people of this great city, thank you for your dedication and exemplary service! I also want to acknowledge Clerk and Recorder Johnson, with whom we stood shoulder to shoulder on Civil Unions. We are proud to stand with you on marriage equality now! To Gov. John Hickenlooper, Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and members of our state delegation here with us today, thank you for your service. To all our veterans and active military, we salute you. Our families serve alongside us in every capacity imaginable. There are no words to express the love and gratitude I have for my wife, Mary Louise Lee, my mother, Scharlyne, and my children for accompanying me on this journey. Thank you and I love you. I also want to remember a true community champion we lost recently, Assistant City Attorney Vince DiCroce. He transformed the city’s justice system by instilling compassion and humanity into victim response. But Vince was so much more than a legal giant, he taught us to expect and

Photo by Lorenzo Dawkins

achieve more. With that, he leaves an inVINCEable legacy in our city. Linda Nickels, his wife, joins us today. She too serves our great city. Linda, our prayers are with you and your family. I am so proud of Denver – of our city employees, of our residents, of all the neighborhood groups, nonprofits and businesses that define our great city. Every day I marvel at our determination. We strive to be more, to thrive under any circumstance. Together we have created a prosperous city that the world recognizes as a community that does it right. Over the past three years, we marched out of the recession. We eliminated the budget deficit, fostered a diverse economy and restored much needed services. Neighborhood by neighborhood, community by community, family by family we are emerging as a city of opportunity for all people. With better access to education, healthy foods, parks and libraries, our children are prospering in one of the safest cities in the country. We are protecting our resources for the future, and wisely managing our treasured waterways, parkland and trails. By delivering on projects such as Denver Union Station, FasTracks and DIA’s new hotel and transit center, we are transforming this city right before our eyes and building for the future. With a quality of life that is second to none, I am pleased to report that the state of our city has never been more vibrant. People are proud to live here. Our city is thriving. Since the beginning of my administration, we have had a basic mission to

increase job opportunities, grow and attract new companies and prepare a skilled workforce for the 21st century. The recession reminded us about the value of a diverse economic base. Small, medium and large companies spanning a wide range of industries, we need them all. I applaud Paul Washington and his team for firing up this economy. In the past year, we attracted companies like Kinross Gold USA, a leading gold mining company; we brought in good manufacturing jobs with NAMJet; and we attracted Ardent Mills, the nation’s largest flour milling company. We look at each business, at each worker, and ask, “What do you need to be successful in Denver?” Because Denver succeeds when we all succeed. Take for example, small business owner Muluye Hailemairm who immigrated from Ethiopia as a teenager in 1996. A few years ago she ran probably the only convenience store on East Colfax not selling cigarettes. Wanting the next generation to be healthy, she began selling fashion jewelry instead. A chance meeting with DIA officials led her to take her business to the airport. And last year, she partnered in opening Wetzel’s Pretzels, which is projected to see sales of $715,000 in its first year. Congratulations, Muluye! We are determined to help all small businesses take flight. In January, we took major steps to break down barriers for minority and women owned companies. Through two new ordinances and an executive order, we are paving the way for disadvantaged firms to do busi-

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


ness with the city and setting a new standard for the private sector. Our economic development strategy is working. This city of opportunity is open for business. With over 27,000 new jobs and 1,500 businesses added to the Denver economy since 2011, job growth in the region is among the nation’s strongest. More importantly, unemployment has been cut nearly in half since the height of the recession. Today, Denver’s unemployment rate is 5.3 percent, well below the national average. While we should celebrate this progress, unemployment is still too high. We need to ensure that all of Denver can benefit from our progress. Our Workforce Development office is reaching out to those companies in Denver that have good jobs sitting empty to connect them with folks who cannot find employment. Together, we are training the next generation of welders, machinists and electricians and putting them to work! When it comes to developing a vibrant economy, the advantage goes to places like Denver, where the smartest, most innovative people want to live. Why did the federal government open a new Patent Office in Downtown two weeks ago? Because of our culture of ingenuity and talented workforce. Why are innovation centers such as Taxi, Galvanize and Industry thriving? Because these integrated business communities are magnets for the 21st century workforce. And why is Denver recognized as one of the most competitive startup and small business capitals in the country? Because this city fosters our Ideas Economy every day by helping entrepreneurs turn concepts into reality. We offer attractive financing to high-growth companies and help support and leverage venture capital. We develop workplaces, ecosystems, for the 21st century employee. I am pleased that the city, along with the Downtown Denver Partnership and Continued on page 6

Up Close and Personal with‌

Prior to his transplant career, Biff served in the US Army Medical Corp as a Surgical Technologist, in Nurenberg Germany and Walter Reed Medical Center (Washington D.C.) and was later trained as a Surgical Physician’s Assistant. Gore lives in Denver with his wife Marilyn and has six children. He spends his free time playing guitar and writing music for his band The Biff Gore Band. His musical exploits landed him on season six of The Voice. For more information about the salons and tickets, call 303-292-6446. 

Biff Gore

Have you ever wondered some-

thing about someone – especially one

who is in the limelight? Is he married with children? Where was she born

and raised? How did they get where

they are? What were some of the chal-

lenges? It’s true; you can get basic facts about celebrities by doing an internet search. But when you truly want to know and learn from someone’s journey, you can’t beat getting up close and personal with that person. In September, Denver Urban Spectrum hopes to answer some of those questions for some of Denver’s local entertainment with the debut of cabaret-style salons, “Up Close and Personal With‌â€? The salons will feature entertainment, buffet dinners and intimate conversations with some of Denver’s stellar talent from 3 to 6 p.m. at Mirage Event Center in Aurora. On Sunday, Sept. 7, the public is invited to learn more about Dr. Biff Gore, a Denver resident and talented musician who appeared on season six of NBC’s The Voice. Gore serves as the Worship and Congregational Care Pastor at Highline Community Church located in the Centennial Community of Denver. He is the President and CEO of Living Waters Transplant Foundation, which facilitates whole body donations to medical research in order to support the advancement of medical science. Gore has a Ph.D., in Public Health and has worked in the field of Transplant for more 20 years. He also collaborated in the development of the (patented) Burn First Dermatome, a surgical instrument that maximizes the usage of human skin for transplant, and was instrumental in spearheading a national minority donor education initiative.

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


Lost Your Joy?

Find it again at the

United Church of Montbello! Come as you are and get connected to your best self through great fellowship and the love of Jesus Christ! Sunday Worship: 8:00am (Traditional) and 10:30am (Gospel) 4VOEBZ4DIPPMBNr8FEOFTEBZ#JCMF4UVEZQN

Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., Pastor 4879 Crown Blvd., Denver, CO 80239 303-373-0070 http://ucm.ctsmemberconnect.net

Continued from page 4 Colorado Technology Association, will soon open a new center for innovation in downtown, a place for these 21st century thinkers to turn designs into profits. Count that center among the many opportunities opening up in Denver’s core. The new Union Station links the region with jobs, housing, transportation and educational opportunities. In 2016, we will extend those opportunities when the East Line to DIA will carry passengers between the airport and downtown in half an hour! Already Union Station, with its Crawford Hotel and new retail, has spurred a $1.8 billion wave of development in the area. Office buildings, housing and businesses are creating an entirely new neighborhood in the heart of downtown. The transformative power of transit is undeniable. We have watched it grow across the region with FasTracks. We will help it continue with Transit Oriented Denver, a strategy to drive development at transit stations across the city. Housing or retail, sidewalks or bike lanes, we will deliver what those stations, and those neighborhoods, need to thrive. We are already at work with our community partners in North Denver, where three transit stations will reen-

ergize this cornerstone of our city. We will also deliver desperately needed infrastructure, and the Stock Show will realize its potential. We expect the Corridor of Opportunity between DIA and downtown to have a $2.6 billion impact on our economy and provide 40,000 new jobs over the next three decades. At DIA, the windows are up on 12 of the 14 floors of the new hotel and transit center, reflecting not only the profile of the airport but the strides we are making toward expanding our gateway to the world. From Heathrow to Inchon, Schiphol to Durban, we have seen firsthand the challenges and opportunities of aviation’s new frontier. DIA alone contributed more than $26 billion to the state’s economy in 2013, a record year. Peer airports are spending billions to stay competitive, and Denver cannot afford to be left behind. In just three short years, we have opened Denver to new markets in Asia, Europe, and Central and South America that are generating global opportunities for the entire Rocky Mountain West. We are developing business-tobusiness connections worldwide, and international passenger traffic is up 20 percent over last year, another record-


breaker. We could not have done it without the partnership of Gov. John Hickenlooper and the State Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Thank you for your tireless efforts to make sure our state and our great city are globally competitive and globally connected. People from around the world want to visit Denver. Tourists spent a record $4.1 billion here last year because Denver is the place to be. Just ask our guests who decide to create their futures in this great city once they walk around Sloan’s Lake, visit wonderful museums like this one or catch a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. This is a town for sports fans like me. To the Denver Broncos and Colorado Avalanche, thank you for a wild ride this season. You have raised the bar, and we expect both teams to go all the way next year! I was blessed to grow up in Denver, where opportunities at city recreation centers, parks and a good public school system helped shape the person I am today. It is vital to me that our children, and our grandchildren, are provided at minimum those same kinds of opportunities, no matter what neighborhood they live in. Our goal is to create livable communities. Healthy neighborhoods

where we can walk, bike and play; where fresh foods are as accessible as jobs, healthcare and education. For example, on the Welton Corridor, working closely with our neighbors, we are preserving the culture and elevating historic Five Points. Through nearly half a million dollars of public investment, we are igniting tens of millions of dollars’ worth of private development in this area. Over in West Denver, we are making progress on $60 million in infrastructure improvements to Federal Boulevard from Alameda to I-70. We have paved alleys and streets, and we are getting rid of dumpsters to stop illegal dumping. The fact is, for too long, this part of town has been overlooked, but not anymore. I am excited to announce that we are going to create a town center on Morrison Road to bring food from farm to table, to create jobs and income that will lift up the Westwood community. To kick things off, next month we will open Cuatro Vientos, or Four Winds, the neighborhood’s first new park in 30 years. Our parks bring this city together, joining families and neighbors for barbecues, tournaments and even concerts at Ruby Hill’s new Levitt Pavilion. We are committed to continue meaningful investment into new

Exploring issues of CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY Presented by Facing History and Ourselves and The Allstate Foundation in partnership with History Colorado and the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit

America’s Story: A Community Conversation with Award-winning Journalist Maria Hinojosa Monday, September 22, 2014, 7:00 PM History Colorado, 1200 Broadway, Denver For 25 years, award-winning news correspondent and journalist Maria Hinojosa has covered America’s untold stories and brought to light unsung heroes in America and abroad. This Community Conversation is the opening event for RACE: Are We So Different?, a new exhibit at the History Colorado Center. SEATING IS LIMITED. To register, visit facinghistory.org/communityconversations or call (303) 316-4848 x221. As part of Facing History’s national series of Community Conversations, this event is free and open to the public.

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


parks, trails, sports fields and better playgrounds. I am proud that my administration is making unprecedented efforts to preserve our parkland and open space, and I thank our park advocates for their partnership. We will have designated more than 700 acres by year’s end to ensure that more than 5,000 acres are available for future generations. I am also proud to announce that the city is restoring and preserving nearly 200 acres of habitat between the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and Peña Boulevard near DIA. Adjacent to the 61st and Peña transit station, we envision an accessible open space area of native grasses and waterways where people can walk with their kids and take in awe-inspiring views. They might even see bison and bald eagles. I want to thank our partners at the Refuge as we launch this project. I hope we will ultimately be able to restore more than 650 acres of open space in this corridor in collaboration with our neighbors in Commerce City and Adams County. From its inception, the lifeblood of Denver has been the South Platte River. We are investing $25 million to restore natural areas and redesign four parks along the river banks. Imagine fishing, playgrounds and kayaking, as well as better trails all the way from Overland Park to Globeville, Elyria and Swansea. In Sun Valley, Weir Gulch is being completely transformed into a beautiful river park opening next month. We are doing so much more to enhance the livability of our neighborhoods. We are adding new grocery stores in underserved areas. We are delivering on promises including building the Central Denver Recreation Center and Westerly Creek Park. We are enlivening our neighborhoods with arts, culture and creativity. We are expanding the city’s composting program to deliver a more sustainable city. In fact, Denver is becoming one of the most bikeable cities in the nation, with 100 miles of bike lanes and one of the most successful bike share programs in the country. This year we were also excited to deliver the city’s first protected bike lane on 15th Street. For the safety of our multimodal neighbors, whether you are driving, biking or walking, please keep your heads up and share the road. To deliver a livable city, safety is paramount. When I came into office, the relationship between the community and Denver Police was challenged. So we restructured the department. Today, crime rates are falling, response times are improving, and police officer productivity is up an

impressive 81 percent. We have also hired 110 new officers and will add another 100 by year’s end. What does that mean to you? It means more patrols are focused on crime prevention. It means more officers in high-need areas. It means officers spending more time getting to know you and your neighborhood. Officers like Sgt. Bobby Waidler, who worked so successfully with the Orthodox Jewish community in District 1 that its leaders are sharing his cultural sensitivity training. They hope it will help police in other places better understand the needs of diverse communities. I am very proud of the progress we have made, and grateful to Chief White and the men and women who put their lives on the line each day to keep Denver safe. I am also well aware of how a few bad actors reflect on the entire force. Make no mistake, we are holding police officers and sheriff’s deputies accountable. We have and we will address the few who would tarnish the badge that hundreds of others wear proudly as they serve and protect the people of this great city. In January, Colorado made history as the first community in the world to legalize retail marijuana. Numerous city agencies worked with the industry to develop and implement the responsible regulations we have today. I want to thank all parties for their hard work, knowing that getting this right will take time. We will continue to push for a banking option that will be fair to business owners. To protect our neighborhoods, we are pursuing new enforcement around THC extraction. I thank City Council for their partnership and for recently approving our responsible spending plan to regulate, enforce and educate the public on this law as well as prevent marijuana use among our young people. I commit that we will ensure this new industry is making a safe contribution to our city, not a harmful one. When I came into office in 2011, I knew we had to run this city with a heightened level of efficiency. So I launched Peak Performance, which trains employees to streamline city processes. Peak has exceeded all expectations, being recognized nationwide for taking an employee-led approach to delivering the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost. For example, without increasing staff, we cut average wait times at the DMV in half, and we are planning more innovations to lower wait times again this year. I know you do not want to stand in line at the city. I don’t either. So we are also making government more

accessible through your laptop and smart phone. A small business owner told me recently that the most impressive efficiency my administration has implemented was allowing him to pay his bills to the city online using a credit card, with no transaction fees, saving him time and money. A government that works smarter is a government that moves at the speed of you. Denver, we cannot move quickly enough when it comes to housing. Access to a safe, affordable place to live has never been more important, so we are taking comprehensive action to address the full range of housing challenges. While our city’s population has spiked in recent years, our housing stock has not kept pace. This gap is exacerbated by rising home prices, which are good news for homeowners and our local economy, but a challenge for many residents and families. Thirty-eight percent of Denver’s renters don’t earn enough to cover rising housing costs and need some kind of assistance. I was only 23 when I bought my first home. Coming from a family of 10 children, it was the first time I was able to claim a space of my own. That tiny home shaped me with responsibility and pride. I want that same opportunity, that same sense of securi-

ty, for my children, and for all our children. Last year, we set a goal to create, rehabilitate or preserve 600 affordable housing units annually over five years. I am happy to announce that in our first year we exceeded that goal, helping to deliver more than 700 affordable housing units. We are on track to beat it again this year. Soon, we will release a Denver Housing Plan that will provide a comprehensive path forward for the city’s housing policies and resource allocations over the next five years. By being crystal clear in communicating our intentions to keep Denver affordable, we are taking a proactive approach to making substantive change. With the extraordinary opportunities that lie ahead for our region, including TODs, it is my sincere hope that the 2015 State Legislature will recognize the chilling effect the construction defects law has on the for sale condo market. I encourage lawmakers to modify the law so that we can experience the full potential of housing in metro Denver. Thank you to the Metro Mayors Caucus and my counterparts Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy and Lone Tree Mayor Jim Gunning for your leadership on this issue. Denver, we must also look to provide stable housing and support serContinued on page 8

The End of the I.O.U. is Here. Person-to-Person payments, coming soon to FirstBank’s Mobile Banking app.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


Continued from page 7 vices to the city’s most vulnerable. Last year, 300 individuals who suffer from mental illness and addiction and make their homes on Denver’s streets experienced 14,000 days in jail, 2,400 visits to detox, 1,000 arrests and 600 emergency room visits. The cost to taxpayers was over $11 million dollars. And what are we fixing? It is time to break the cycle from streets, to emergency rooms, to jails and back to the streets. I have committed to a new program that will allow the city to pay only for outcomes and to transition away from costly, ineffective remedial services to proven preventive programs. We also must open a rest and resource center offering a full range of coordinated health, employment and housing services. Additionally, I am pleased that the Denver Rescue Mission will soon break ground on the Lawrence Street Community Center and Courtyard Project, which will provide a safe, substance-free area with bathrooms and showers for those awaiting shelter and a hot meal. I have said this from Day One, Denver will not be able to solve the issue of homelessness alone. We have initiated a partnership with our neighboring communities to reduce homelessness and hunger across the metro area, and I want to again thank the Metro Mayors Caucus, especially Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, for responding to the call. Denver, I take tremendous pride in the accomplishments of my administration. While our investment in the future is never complete, I am most proud of the work we have done and will continue to do for our children. We must deliver to them a city of opportunity. We must give them the opportunity for a great education, for libraries and parks, for healthy foods and inspiring activities, and for the opportunity to live up to their Godgiven potential. We began by asking our partners, such as Denver Public Schools and Denver Public Library, to join us in better aligning our time and money to make a real difference for our kids. Together, we are working to ensure that 90 percent of our third-graders are reading at grade level by 2017, childhood obesity rates decrease and that more kids finish high school and pursue continued training or education. Denver is fast becoming a role model and winning recognition nationwide for its work to address our children’s basic needs. Today, more than 100,000 children have free access to Denver’s recreation centers and pools through the MY Denver Card. I am

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


happy to report that some 57,000 kids have a card in their pocket right now. I will never forget Mikey, who pulled his MY Denver Card right out of his swim trunks at the Argo Park pool and offered it to me with a grin. The MY Denver card is getting children into our recreation centers like never before, giving them safe, productive options to keep their minds and bodies engaged after school and during summer months. To get the rest of our kids signed up, we are making it even easier by taking applications online soon. I am also excited to announce that later this year the MY Denver Card will provide access to some of our art and science museums, the zoo and other cultural institutions. Denver, the city’s investments in our children have been deliberate, they have been data-driven, and they will have a lasting impact on our families. In this city of opportunity, we must remain focused on eliminating the achievement gap. That is why we are committed to boosting the number of kids receiving Early Childhood Education. Today, almost 70 percent of Denver’s four-year-olds are enrolled in the Denver Preschool Program, one of the best participation rates in the United States. Those students are outperforming their peers. It is now time to reauthorize and expand the Denver Preschool Program, and I will be among those asking you to once again demonstrate your commitment to Denver’s youngest students and to our future come November. Denver, when we summon the will, there is nothing we cannot do. We are forging toward tomorrow with a renewed energy. Right now, an entrepreneur with a MacBook and a dream is sitting in a coffee shop on Brighton Boulevard coding the next great app. Right now, in downtown, new towers are rising from the ground that will transform our skyline. Right now, the New West is dawning in Denver, and it is creating a city of opportunity. However, challenges remain. Right now, somewhere in Denver, a child is struggling to read. Right now, a family is living paycheck to paycheck. Right now, someone is wondering where they will sleep tonight. We are all Denver. In this great city, our great city, everyone matters. We will not rest until the city of opportunity extends to everyone. Together, we can do better, we must do better. The best is yet to come. Now, let’s get to work! Thank you all for being here. God bless you and God bless the City and County of Denver. 

endeavors from a night club to a mailorder tipi business and a Native American jewelry store. She also held many part-time jobs throughout her life, including a jeweler’s apprentice, a beautician and a public bus driver. Carol’s creativity, adventurous spirit and kind, open personality were responsible for launching daughter Tanya Ishikawa into a life of travel and experiencing cultural diversity. Inheriting her mother’s desire for peace and happiness for all, Tanya has been able to bridge many cultural divides and make friends and business partners with people of many races and nationalities. Carol is survived by husband Dixie Rinehart; three children and their spouses, Tina and Barclay Purcell, Tanya and Yasuo Ishikawa, and Scott and Natascha Rinehart; grandchildren, Abigail and William Purcell, Canyon Ishikawa, and Simon Rinehart; and her sisters, Donna Prestel and Diane Franks (and husband Ray Franks) as well as their children and grandchildren. A private burial took place at the Colona Cemetary on July 8. A memorial service and celebration of Carol’s life will be scheduled for this autumn. Expressions of condolence can be sent to the Rinehart Family, 37055 Highway 550 South, Montrose, CO 81403. 


Carol Rinehart C

arol Rinehart of Colona, Colorado, loved for her bright, beautiful smile and bountiful heart, passed away at Deerhart Ranch, surrounded by family on July 5. Carol was the mother of Denver Urban Spectrum contributor and former editor Tanya Ishikawa. Born on October 5, 1943, to Genevieve and Gordon MacDonald, Carol lived in Aspen from 1974 to 1992. Endowed with a generous spirit and caring personality, Carol found


spiritual strength through prayer and her faith in Jesus Christ. She was a ceremonial person with Northern Cheyenne and Native American Church ways. She was also known for her fine sewing and beading of traditional Native American garments and accessories and modern American quilts. Carol was devoted to her family, and volunteered for her children’s schools and the Aspen Thrift Store. She supported husband Dixie Rinehart in his many entrepreneurial

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


Spartan Parent Association

President Tonya Cooper-Davis, says, “My son Troy Davis has made so much academic growth at Sims-Fayola but even more than that, his character is growing as well. I really appreciate the hard work and devotion of the staff at Sims.” The staff is running on the inspiration of founder Dr. Dedrick J. Sims, who has devoted his life’s work to ensuring that education – what he considers a civil right – is available to all people, not just those who can afford it. The academy is the manifestation of his dream, born out of frustration, compassion and concern. It was built and designed to foster learning and globalmindedness in young men who may not otherwise receive the experience of

Planning for Tomorrow

NOW NO W ENROLLING GRADES 6-11 Denver’s first all-male public charter school is proving Denver’s that its hands-on approach for high school students is just what their students need to narrow the achievement gap. During the 2013 TCAP, TCAP, Colorado’s Colorado’s state assessment, the young men of Sims-Fayola International Academy outgrew the Denver Public School Distict in Reading by 11.5 percentile points, Math by Similarly,, 11 percentile points, and Writing by 19 percentile points. Similarly Sims-Fayola International Academy scored an “Exceeds” or “Meets” in all growth categories, earning 95% of all possible points!


TCAP T C AP G Growth r ow th Similar Schools and District Comarisons 80 73





Similar Schools Cluster


A Median Growth Percentile of 50 suggests growth that is on pace with the rest of the state, and a MGP of 65 or higher is considered considered high growth. Sims-Fayola (H) earned MGPs above 50 in all content areas and achieved high growth in Reading and Writing in 2013. Sims-Fayola (H) exceeded the performance of the District in every TCAP content area in 2013. Sims-Fayola(H) exceeded the performance of its Similar Schools Cluster in every TCAP content area in 2013.

“By creating “By creating targeted targeted learning learning exp experiences eriences ddesigned esigned for for bboys, oys, we ar ocking their their ge nius aree unl unlocking genius and aallowing llowing tthem hem ttoo ta ke rresponsibility esponsibilit y for for ttheir heir take llearning earning and growth growth as as sscholars.” cholars.” –D edr ick Sim SSims, im s , Dedrick Founder & Executive Executive Director Ex Director Founder

Sims-Fayola S ims-Fay ol a Internati Interna ti onal Academy Acad em y International 6850 North Ar gonne Street, Denver g | (303) 375-4911 Argonne Denver,, CO 80249 | simsfayola.or simsfayola.org

Many people have come on board between the time of the inception of the dream and the fruition of the dream. The school has doubled in size and seen tremendous growth in reading, writing and math. Some of the students enter Sims-Fayola two or three grade levels behind and through the rigorous classes, the hard work of the dedicated and diverse staff, students and families these young men experience phenomenal growth and success. In the first year of existence the high school obtained blue status in growth on TCAP (Transitional Colorado Assessment Program) scores, demonstrating that Sims’ students outperformed most schools in the district in growth. The academy is looking forward to being fully grown in 2015 when it will add its 12th grade class. Also, SimsFayola will be opening schools in Atlanta and Indianapolis. Sims would also like to see a second school open in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. He has been told by many in the city that it would be a welcome addition to the area. Along with the future expansion of the school and the network, the creation of the Sims-Fayola International Academy Foundation is slated for this year. The purpose of the foundation is to raise funds for the international travel that is a part of the curriculum at Sims-Fayola. All students during their junior year will travel abroad to

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014





54 51




Similar Schools Cluster





After having served as an educator for 11 years, Sims became frustrated and discouraged by what he witnessed in the classroom pertaining to boys. He noticed that despite all of the valid research that proves that boys and girls learn differently, young boys were expected to learn in ways that were clearly not tailored to their learning style. He noticed the higher rate of behavioral problems, suspensions, dropouts and disinterest among boys. It was clear to him that most of these things would decrease if these students were being educated in ways that allowed them better access to their education by teaching them the way they learn best. With this knowledge front of mind, Sims asked: “Why not create this utopia of learning for boys—a school where boys learn through hands-on, project-based activities as research suggest is crucial for boys. Let them move and touch and experiment. Let them learn by doing instead of hearing lectures.” On a piece of cardboard Sims began to map out his vision. He assembled a group of educators and business people who believed in his dream to help do research on charters, draft the charter and design the school. Everything this team did was purposeful and intentional. No detail was too small to deserve their very best. The name, the crest, the design of the building and the furnishings it would include were all painstakingly thought out. They knew that the

Proving it works


Why Boys Only?

All B Boys oys School Sch oo l Model M od el

Similar Schools Cluster

International Academy to Northeast Denver’s educational landscape in 2012 filled a long-held void for parents wanting the right fit for their sons. Today, Denver’s first and only allboys charter public school is positioned to expand across the city and the nation. Students come from all over the city from varied socioeconomic groups and cultural backgrounds. Forty-five percent of Sims-Fayola students are African-American, 43 percent are Latino and 12 percent are Caucasian or Asian. Sims-Fayola is an open enrollment school, serving grades six through 11. The school is open to any young man until capacity is full.

young men that would walk though those doors deserved the very best. Planning for their success entailed creating the vision that these young men would graduate college ready, globally competent men of good character. Everything in SimsFayola is designed to meet the goals of this vision from the name Fayola, which means “one with fortune walks with honor” to the quotes on the walls, the flags and images of countries, and the schools mission posted on the wall, which reads, “To graduate college ready, globally competent males with the Knowledge, Skills, and Habits of Mind to succeed in a 21st century global society.”


The addition of Sims-Fayola

By Angelin Thompson

a top-notch private school education at a public school price. Sims, who holds a bachelor’s in biology, two master’s – one in science and the other in education – and a doctorate in education, has been an educator for the past 15 years serving in every role including substitute teacher, teacher, master teacher, principal and now school founder. He is also a U.S. Army veteran and advocate for teachers who he says inspired him to be successful.


Local Impact of Sims-Fayola Spurs National Growth

experience other countries and cultures. The foundation will also help to pay for Sims-Fayola’s annual “Helping Boys Thrive Summit,” the purpose of which is to educate educators, parents and policy makers on ways to help boys be successful academically and throughout life. Cooper-Davis is just one of the few dedicated parents that have found the school to be a place where boys are loved and nurtured, while being pushed to be their best self. Graciela Silva, parent of Dante Silva, says, “Sims-Fayola has helped my son to become a well-rounded young man.” Silva and Cooper-Davis have been with the school since it opened its doors and are very involved with the school.  Editor’s Note: Sims-Fayola International Academy encourages and supports the participation of the community. If you would like to be involved, there are numerous ways to do it. Volunteers are welcome as well as Character Lunch speaker. If you are a business person, politician, physician, community leader, educator, etc., you are invited to come out and speak with the young men during a working lunch presentation. There are also ways to support the academy’s endeavors through contributions. You can sponsor a classroom, create a blazer scholarship or just be a part of Sims-Fayola events. If you have an interest in doing any of these things, contact the academy at 303-375-4911.

A Broadway Island Comes to Aurora

By Luciana Capture

Candy Brown is

a face you may have seen, even if you can’t quite place it. She has a face and a youthful glide that belies her years. She moved to Denver six years ago and she says, seemingly surprised at how long it’s been herself. Having been the daughter of an Air Force career man, Brown was accustomed to moving, and unlike many others, really enjoyed it. “I think my parents never acted like it was a chore, but rather an adventure, so I thought it was exciting.” Born in northern California, the family moved to Queens, New York, where they had family, when she was not quite a year old. Brown began dancing at the neighborhood Bernice Johnson’s Dancing School when she was only two. At age 11, her family moved to the island of Okinawa and then to Minnesota where she attended high school and one year of college. It was during that year she took a dance class to fulfill a physical education requirement. Having not danced since leaving NY, Brown was pleasantly surprised at how much she still loved it. She went to Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota to become a school teacher, but after the discovery of her new passion, she left the college and

moved to New York City to become a professional dancer. If that story sounds familiar, yes, it was that story that became the tale of “Richie” in A Chorus Line. Brown’s first Broadway show was Hello Dolly with Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway. She went on to perform in Purlie with Cleavon Little and Melba Moore and then with Robert Guillaume and Patti Jo. She danced in the noteworthy television special Liza with a Z with Liza Minnelli, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, who became her mentor. Shows that followed included her first trip to Denver with the tour of Applause and the original Broadway companies of Pippin and Chicago. She was also part of the groundbreaking workshop that became A Chorus Line. Brown left NYC for a career in television and film in Los Angeles where she was quite successful in commercials and episodic television (“Six Feet Under,” “CSI: Miami,” “Chicago Hope,” etc.). She acted in a few movies (Zebrahead, Baby Boy and Ali where she played the young Ali’s

mother). She went back to NYC one more time to work with the acclaimed producer/director Hal Prince in the musical Grind. Before moving to Colorado, Brown went back to school and completed her BA in Performing Arts at St Mary’s of California, Moraga. Over the years while living in California, she had worked at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts as an actor in House of Flowers, Waiting to Be Invited and A Streetcar Named Desire. She has also been a staple for the past 10 years as a reader for Stories on Stage. The mountains drew her back and after returning to Denver as a resident, the Denver School of Performing Arts recruited her as a guest artist to teach Movement and Body Awareness in the Theatre Department. With lit up eyes, she said “I’m finally a teacher after all.” Brown has now been tapped into directing and choreographing Once on This Island, with books and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, at the Aurora Fox Theatre. The Broadway musical (1991) starred LaChanze and garnered several Tony Award nominations. It is a story, set on an island in the Caribbean, telling the tale of love conquers all. Local upcoming star and Denverite, SuCh, who performed the role of Celie in the

Fox’s The Color Purple, will be the loving orphan TiMoune who brings the village together with her unwavering love. Other local notables, Dwayne Carrington, Leonard Barrett, Anna High and ShaShauna Staton lend their talents to this musical fable. The show will have 12 performances only running from Sept. 12 through Oct. 5 on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday matinees. Get your tickets early – it is sure to be a sell out!  Editor’s note: For more information or to purchase tickets, call 303-739-1970 or visit www.aurorafoxartscenter.org or .


Up Close and Personal with

Biff Gore

Sunday, Sept. 7 from 3 to 6 PM Mirage Event Center 13250 E. Mississippi Ave. (Aurora)

Buffet Dinner - Cash Bar Ticket: $25 Advance, $30 Door - 303-292-6446 Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


KUVO Radio Station: The Promise of a Community By Angelia D. McGowan

This year marks the 29th

anniversary for KUVO/KVJZ radio station. One of the few radio stations in the nation playing jazz around the clock for seven days a week is growing strong because of the “promise of a community to support it” says Rodney Franks, who has been with the station in various roles for more than two decades. “KUVO gives me a chance to share my love of music for two hours a day Monday through Friday,” says Franks, who hosts “Into the Evening” on weekdays. It’s “remarkable that

Carlos Lando

Arturo Gomez

Rodney Franks

Linard “Scotty” Scott

Colorado has a radio station that has been on air and supported by the community for almost 30 years.” Since 1985, the station has provided the Denver community with a rare

blend of music and news. The independent, public radio station broadcast the very best in jazz, Latin jazz and blues - in addition to 17 locallyproduced, host-inspired, culturally

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diverse programs. Music shows are integrated with NPR news, the local morning program “First Take with Lando and Chavis,” and special features. The station recently entered into a merger that extends its reach to even more communication platforms. KUVO/KVJZ is a subsidiary of Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Colorado that includes Rocky Mountain PBS and its public-service journalism bureau, I-News Network, responsible for the “Losing Ground” report last year. Doug Price, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain PBS, said in the January 2013 announcement, “We are very excited that we will be working more closely with both KUVO and INews in the coming months and years. These partnerships – and others that are in the works now - will strengthen the public media imprint across the state and will greatly benefit all of our audience.” KUVO General Manager Carlos Lando says the merger is going “extremely well. KUVO has managed to cross promote our programming with PBS. We (our hosts) are visual on Channel 6.”

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As opposed to wondering if they can do something when it comes to new projects, Lando says, “Now we’re able to focus on quality. We can talk about it, put in in the budget and plan. We are thriving.” Tracy Winchester, executive director of the Five Point Business District, is proud of the former FBPD board member’s leadership, but also the station’s continuing presence in Five Points after the merger. “They insisted on maintaining roots and their presence in the community. It makes me want to be a big supporter. KUVO is continuing the legacy for great jazz” in the Five Points community. Arturo Gomez, an award-winning music director, has been part of “The Oasis in the City” since the spring of 2003. He says he “likes that it’s in the Points. (Five Points) reminds me of where I grew up in Pasadena, California. From every angle KUVO appears to be keeping up with the beat. In keeping with the latest technology, the KUVO/KVJZ Public Radio App allows you to tune in anytime, from anywhere. The “Other Side of KUVO” is an eclectic music mix presented 24 hours a day, seven days a week, online and on 89.3 HD3 in Denver and 89.7 HD3 in Summit County. A veteran in the radio industry for more than 40 years, Lando says that KUVO is the “cornerstone for all things arts.” KUVO features live broadcasts of local high school and collegiate musicians, as well as national touring artists, from its Phyllis A. Greer Performance Studio. Over the last 20 years, Lando says the station has hosted thousands of performances in the studio. Throughout the years, KUVO has broadcast remotely from concerts, festivals and community functions. Live remotes have included several NPR “Toast of the Nation” broadcasts, “Live from Boettcher Concert Hall with Dianne Reeves,” Cinco de Mayo, the Colorado Black Arts Festival, A Taste of Greenwood Village, and the 9News Stuff For Students Drive. Over the years, the station has won several national and local awards. KUVO also has the distinction of being the first Colorado FM radio station to begin broadcasting in High Definition. In May, the UK-based Telegraph named KUVO as one of the best internet radio stations. To honor its 80th anniversary, DownBeat Magazine listed 80 people, places and things that illustrate why jazz remains such a vibrant art form in 2014. KUVO was the only station in Colorado to receive recognition in the category, “Five Reasons to Love Jazz Radio.”

Unique Like That

For more than 24 years, Linard “Scotty” Scott has hosted Origins: Orgy in Rhythm, “the Black Experience translated into music.” He is a disc jockey and an archivist of Black music, having collected more than 25,000 albums, CDs, cassettes, books and other memorabilia. His show “traces the roots and explores the rich heritage of Black Music.” From Harlem to Dar es Salaam, from Trenchtown to Motown, from Ragtime to No Time; from Bebop thru Doo Wop to Hip Hop. KUVO is an “awesome radio station. Folks really appreciate it,” says Scott, who has been with KUVO since its beginnings when he worked on 16th Street Mall and saw they had a booth seeking volunteers. He signed up, and the rest as they say is history. Scott, who has been recognized for his years of service by Rocky Mountain PBS, says, when the dream happens or you have a seed and germinate it or an idea and stick with it, there’s “no telling what can happen. I remember when the Spectrum started around the same time.” Having been around since its beginnings, Scott has seen how technology has impacted the industry, but he has his favorite tools. He has turntables at home and still plays vinyl. He says he’s “not down with the new technology.” However, he says “reluctantly and under protest (he’s) up to new technologies.” Scott says one of the reasons KUVO has lasted is “the commitment of volunteers. It amazes me.” The listener’s support of hosts also catches Scott off guard. “I get to emcee concerts of folks (that) my folks listened to when I was growing up!” He has emceed for Nina Simone, Wayne Shorter, Pharoah Sanders and Branford Marsalis among others. On the strong role of volunteers in keeping KUVO alive, Gomez proudly says, “We’re unique like that.” Live at the Vineyards Lando says the station’s 9th annual signature fundraising event “will take us on a musical journey where we have everything from Jelly Roll Morton to the fund of the Neville Brothers. It’s really quite the party.” Live at the Vineyards: A New Orleans All-Star Rhythm Revue will be held on Saturday, August 9 at the Balistreri Vineyards and features music, wine tasting gourmet feast, auction dance and party. Featured guests include jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison, pianist and vocalist Henry Butler, and guitar player and vocalist Leo Nocentelli.  Editor’s Note: For more information about KUVO or the Live at the Vineyard event, call the KUVO office at 303-446-7614 or 303-446-7631.

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014







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Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation

A Full Journalistic Experience By Aliyah Fard

Left to Right: Aliyah Fard, Kiana English, Kamal King, Tyrell James, Kennon Baldwin, Jr., Kiahn Martinez and Shoghi King. Photo by Lens of Ansar

Editor’s note: The following article was written by a camper talking about her experience in a two-week summer journalism program and camp. The article was published in “Word on the Street,” a publication created by the participants.


ver the past couple of weeks, seven students attended a print and digital journalism camp organized by the Urban Spectrum Youth

Foundation. This year’s participants, ranging in age from 12 to 16, want to achieve big things in our futures, whether that’s pursuing the journalism field, or becoming leaders, activists or athletes. The camp was created by Rosalind J. Harris, publisher of the Denver Urban Spectrum, in 2001. She organized camps for many summers and then took a break for a few years. This

year was the first year since 2007 that the camp was brought back, with lots of new hands-on learning opportunities to match the changing journalism field and the digital age. Our goal is to find and write about diverse topics and issues that are currently playing a big role in our lives, through our perspectives as teenagers. We went on many fun and exciting field trips, such as to the Denver Post to meet the editor Greg Moore, the Denver Mayor’s State of the City Address at the Denver Art Museum, the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library, and Pioneer Printing and Cheyenne Frontier Days in WY. We have had guest speakers come and talk to us about their professions and how to be successful in any career field. As we continue to write our articles, we are learning how to take photographs, produce a news magazine and promote our stories on Facebook and a WordPress blog. We are learning how news magazines make their money back through ads, and how to work with layout to make the news magazine look good.  Editor’s note: Aliyah Fard is 14 years old and will be a freshman this year at Colorado Academy. Some of Aliyah's goals are to become a lawyer or a journalist. This is Aliyah's first year being in USYF, and she enjoys writing about recent topics that affect

many people and topics most people don't know about or don't fully understand. Aliyah feels that if people know what's going on, we can all come together and make a change. Aliyah wants to make sure that the next four years of high school are the best ever. She wrote a story about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the program’s Word on the Street publication. You can view the publication created by the participants at http://bit.ly/1xhMgyu. The USYF program was supported with a grant from the Strengthening Neighborhoods Program of The Denver Foundation. For more information or to get involved, email usyf@urbanspectrum.net or call 303-2926446.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


Power of Attorney and Mental Illness By Ayo Labode, Esq.

Power of Attorney Q. How do I know who to select as my agent in a general power of attorney?

Frank – Aurora


A. A general power of attorney is a powerful document that allows an adult to designate a trusted individual, known as an agent, to manage the financial affairs of the principal. In this case, Frank, you would be the principal, and the person you select to work on your behalf would be the agent. Powers of attorney can either be general in nature, to cover all aspects of financial affairs, or limited to a specific transaction, such as purchasing a car. The document can be drafted so that the agent has authority to act on

behalf of the principal immediately upon signing. Alternatively the agent may only have authority to act after a specific event has occurred, such as a determination by a physician that the principal is not able to manage his or her own finances. This type of document is commonly known as a springing power of attorney. A common reason why people do not have a power of attorney is that they do not know who to select as their agent. You are wise to give the decision about who to select careful consideration. Your agent could have access to all of your financial affairs, including your bank account, social security check, and the deed of your home. An agent is required to maintain an accounting of how the principal’s resources are used. Therefore, the agent must be a trusted individual who knows how to manage finances and whose morals and ethics are beyond reproach. It would be unwise to select an individual who has a history of poor financial management skills – as shown by credit card debt, a history of gambling, or drug abuse – to be your agent. Serving as an agent is a challenging undertaking. Before naming an individual to act as your agent, it is important that you and the individual have a detailed discussion about an agent’s responsibilities and expectations to measure their willingness to serve in that capacity. An elder law lawyer can draft a power of attorney that is tailored to meet your needs and advise you about how to select an agent to work on your behalf.

Mental Illness

Q. My sister suffers from a mental illness. She is a lovely person when she takes her medication. However, when she stops taking her medication she can become unpredictable. Sometimes she is depressed and other times she can be volatile and on the verge of violence. Over the years, she

has tried to live independently several times. Every thing starts off well, but then she decides that she is healthy and stops taking her medication, and she often ends up in a mental health institution. This time the hospital recommended that she be placed in an assisted living or nursing home that can provide supervision. My sister is only 53 years old. I am depressed and saddened that she is so young and will live in a nursing home!

Judy – Denver

A. It is very difficult to hear that your sister’s health care providers are recommending a long-term care facility for your sister. Long-term care facilities are designed to meet the needs of individuals with chronic illnesses such as uncontrolled diabetes, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and, in many cases, mental illness. There are several nursing homes and assisted living residence that specialize in providing care for individuals with major mental illnesses, most of whom are young, like your sister. Such facilities provide activity programing that is appropriate for a younger population. For example, rather than bingo, they might organize a camping trip. Staff members are specially trained to work with individuals with various types of mental illness. The best facilities provide supervision in a supportive environment that helps residents reach their highest potential. Under the best of circumstances your sister might learn the skills to live independently in the future.  Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of articles by elder law attorney, Ayo Labode, Esq., that will appear in the DUS. This column is to provide readers with an understanding of issues faced with aging from the perspective of an elder law attorney. It does not give legal advice, but will provide practical information that can be used to better consumers. As a question and answer format, readers are invited to participate by emailing info@labodelaw.com or calling 720-295-9509. For more information, visit www.labodelaw.com.

Helping you create wealth... protect wealth... and leave a legacy!

Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, CFP Financial Adviser

3200 Cherry Creek Drive South, #700 • Denver, CO 80209 303-871-7249 • medonovan@ft.newyorklife.com www.myradonovan.com

Call today for a free consultation! Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014



Eating To Get High in the Mile High City In 2010, Chef

By Wanda James

Scott Durrah created Simply Pure Medicated Edibles, the largest edible company in Colorado. They supplied over 400 dispensaries with real food that was gluten free, vegan, organic and infused with bubble (or cold water) hash. Being in the restaurant business for more than 20 years, he believed he was setting a standard. The first to use a commercial kitchen with trained chefs; they followed the FDA regulations on the processing of food, food handling and cleanliness, even though this was not a requirement by the state at the time. They perfected the dosing so they could ensure consistency, potency and purity. They accomplished this through growing their own organic bud (flowers), making CLEAN hash and making all of their products from scratch. Simply Pure closed their doors in 2012 due to lack of banking, over regulation in the transportation and delivery of products and the market forces demanding cheap edibles. The market changed dramatically from 2009 to 2011. Dispensaries wanted cheap, sugary snacks with extremely high dosing sometimes exceeding 200mg per dose. Those were the easiest to sell. The market became flooded with candies made from sugar and Butane Hash Oil or BHO, a sometimes cheap and potent way to produce hash. Many edible companies offered cannabis laced treats that looked childhood candies sprayed with BHO. I have rejected this cheap idea of edibles

from the beginning. And many times it put me at odds with those that produced BHO and cheap edibles. Fast forward to 2014, the cannabis industry is now producing food for anyone over the age of 21, potentially millions of people. Now more than ever, I believe that when producing food for the public, clear package labeling, training in food safety and preparation, and most importantly, clear understanding of dosing is not only needed, but should be regulated. However, let’s be very clear. You cannot overdose on edibles of any kind. By overdosing, I mean you cannot die, nor will your life ever be in danger from ingesting an edible. You may have a feelings of paranoia or you may vomit if you eat too much, which to be honest, will most likely land you in an ER. But unlike alcohol, you will not die. You will sleep it off and in 8 to 24 hours, you will be perfectly normal. However, this is still an issue. It is called lack of understanding on the part of the consumer, lack of communication from the budtenders and dispensaries, and lack of commitment to quality products from some edible makers. Most of you would not drink an entire bottle of whiskey and then wonder why you are sick. You wouldn’t do this, because we have had over 100 years of education on liquor. Doesn’t mean we always act in a responsible nature, but we understand clearly the effects of drinking too much. Six months after the legalization of cannabis, we are still learning how to responsibly enjoy an edible. I am personally a great fan of edibles. For people who are experiencing health issues, an edible or food made with hash is a wonderful way to help alleviate pain, assist with sound sleep or calm the mind without the negative effects of smoking. For people wanting to enjoy the effects of cannabis recreationally and discretely, an edible proves to be a wonderful way of doing so. Here are rules of edibles: Choose an edible the same way you would choose any other food. Is it package well? Does it have a fresh look and feel to it? Are the ingredients whole food or just sugar and hash? Spend time speaking to the budtenders about all of the edibles they provide. Ask them to explain the dosing very carefully. Understand the dosing of what you are eating. The State of Colorado

views one dose as 10mg of activated THC. I would suggest no more than 5mg for your first time. Understand how the edible was infused. I personally would NEVER eat an edible made with Butane Hash Oil. I would choose bubble hash or CO2 extraction. It should be stated on the label what type of hash extraction is used. Take caution the first time you try an edible. Do it in the privacy of your home to see how you will react to it. Trying an edible for the first time at the Santana concert at Red Rocks may not be smart. And The Most Important Piece Of Advice I Can Give You: Edibles process through the liver. This process takes 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours to feel any effect. Under no circumstances should you take more because you don’t feel the “high” right away. And if by some chance, you do take too much, relax. Drink water, lay-

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


down in a quiet place, calm your mind and try to sleep it off. The Simply Pure Chefs, lead by Chef Scott Durrah, are opening a cooking school dedicated to teaching people how to cook with cannabis. The safest way to enjoy edibles is to make them yourself, with your own bud and your level of dosing. The Simply Pure School of Gourmet Cannabis Cooking will be opening in early fall in Denver. This will be the first school of its kind in America. Stay tuned for details. And as always, we are not blowing smoke…… Editor’s note: Blowing Smoke is written each month by Wanda James. She is the managing partner at Cannabis Global Initiative and is a leading advocate in the cannabis industry. She worked with the regulatory process to bring medical marijuana to fruition and was appointed to the Colorado Governor’s Amendment 64 Task Force Work Group. Wanda’s political and professional work on cannabis reform has led to her being featured in numerous national shows including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and on CNBC’s Marijuana USA. She and her husband Scott Durrah, also own Jezebel’s Southern Bistro + Whiskey Bar in Denver. She would like to answer your questions. Email Wanda@NoBlowingSmoke.com.

Moringa: Nature’s MultiVitamin

By Abayomi A. Meeks D.Ac., L.Ac., B.S.

In this era of

quick-fix, fad vitamin and mineral supplements, there are very few that I take seriously enough to recommend to my family and patients. I am both analytical and pessimistic of many of the “miracle” nutritional supplements on the market. Therefore, I always study them from a scientific and medicinal standpoint. Moringa comes from a world renowned tree used throughout Africa, Asia, Central America and the Middle East. The family of moringaceae is a single-genus family of shrubs and trees of which Moringa Oleifera is a part, commonly called “horseradish tree,” “drumstick” and “clarifier tree” because of its use in rural, Third World countries to purify

turbid bacteria-laden water which is roasted. The benefits of this seed for clarified within two hours by crushing health purposes are plenty and have the seeds and mixing them with the been researched and studied in-depth contaminated water. As a result, peoglobally. Here is a brief list of some of ple living in these remote, rural areas the health benefits of moringa seeds: of tropical countries are able to drink • Nourishes the skin purified water without having mod• Boosts immune function ern water treatment facilities. Any • Improves digestion organic plant that can do this – in my • Helps lower blood pressure opinion – deserves an in-depth inves• Contains antioxidant qualities tigation. • Contains 90 This tree is so nutrients and minpowerful a food that erals almost all parts of it • Contains 18 are used for nouressential amino ishment. The leaves, acids seeds and oil are • Excellent more popular in source of calcium, developed countries zinc and magnewhere the powder is sium commonly sold in • Sterilizes capsule form. In this water article, I will focus • High in proon the health benefit tein and vitamins of the most powerC, B and A ful component of • Detoxifies the this trees species – body Moringa Oleifera Tree the seeds. • Contains antiMoringa seeds inflammatory and are obtained from the pods of the anti-carcinogenic qualities Moringa Oleifera tree. Fresh and raw In addition to the benefits listed moringa seeds are quite tender and above, scientists have proven that when they dry, become hard and these seeds can reduce the amount of resemble beans. The seeds are safe to oxidized lipids in our bodies and proeat and can be steamed, boiled or tect the cardiovascular system.

Furthermore, moringa seeds contain oleic acid – a mono-unsaturated, Omega-9 fatty acid – good for your health and found mainly in olive oil. This fatty acid helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, while leaving the HDL (“good”) cholesterol unchanged. The tree provides many more benefits from the seeds, including a natural hair and skin moisturizer and an antiacne medicine as well. Finally, the oil from the seeds is also used for perfume and to lubricate machinery! In the United States you can find the oil and powdered form in capsules. But, remember that the whole seed is better than the processed powder. There is plenty of information and data about the Moringa Oleifera tree. If you are interested in further study, start with: www.treesforlife.org and call our clinic to find out where to get the whole, organic seeds in Denver. Good luck and good health!  Editor’s note: Dr. S. Abayomi Meeks is the founder of the Moyo Healing & Cultural Center, a 24-year Colorado institution. He has been in practice for more than 27 years with more than 28,000 treatments. For more information, call 303-377-2511, visit www.LifeHealingDoctor.com or email AfrikanArts@netzero.com. For more information about the Moyo Healing & Cultural Center, visit www.AfrikanArts.org.Ed.


THEY’LL MAKE IT B BETTER ETTE R TOMORROW. TO MORROW. Preschool hool iiss an an iinvestment nve stment in in every eve r y c child’s hild’ d’ss ttomorrow, omor row, and the eD Denver enver P Preschool reschool Program P ro g r a m m makes akes iitt possible possible for for all all Denver Denver 4-year-olds. 4 -year- olds . We offerr ffunding help choose u nd i ng and a nd information i n for m at ion to to ffamilies a m i l ie s to to h e lp them t he m c ho o s e tthe he right r i g ht high-quality child. Because preschool a l it y preschool p r e s c ho ol ffor or ttheir he i r c h i ld . B e c au s e tthe he kids k id s who who go go to to p r e s c ho ol e tthe he ones one s who who are are b ette r prepared p r ep a r e d ffor or ttheir he i r ffuture. ut u r e . now are better

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


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Africa Rising: The Colorado Connection

By Theo E. J. Wilson


ake up, Black folks! A bridge is being built, and it’s going straight to Africa. The great thing is you don’t even have to leave Colorado to go. For too long, African immigrants and Black Americans have been living in separate worlds. We pass each other by and nod in polite respect, but the barrier has stayed in place. Black American functions displaying our best and brightest rarely have a single African-born individual in attendance or being honored, and vice versa. Little did we know, African buying power has been growing and thriving right beneath our noses. From the Ethiopian restaurants, to Freedom Cab, to your corner liquor store, a few 7-Elevens, to the African Bar and Grill restaurant chain, and now, the prestigious Afrikmall project, African clout is large and growing. African immigrants in Colorado have been practicing the type of group economics and cultural wealth circulation that we thought Black people had long abandoned. There has long been a stigma between Black Americans and African immigrants that has kept us apart. African Americans have often claimed that Africans look down on them, implying a sense of false superiority over Black Americans. This is supposedly based on a perceived laziness and apathy some descendants of slaves carry in their attitudes and speech. Some Africans actually believe the image of Black Americans shown to the world, the “gangsta” or “thug” motif. Black Americans have complained Africans stereotype them, follow them around in stores and openly tell them “We are not brothers.” Africans have complained that Black Americans are more Americanized than African. Black Americans have made fun of Africans based on Tarzan caricatures and AIDS propaganda. Africans have been insulted by our ignorance that not all Africans live in huts or are starving with flies in their eyes. Hard working African immigrants carry a great deal of cultural pride, and often wonder what went wrong with Black Americans. How can they have lived

in American for so long and still have so little? Sadly, America has a way of reminding us that Black is Black, no matter what side of the Atlantic you’re from. The killing of Senegalese immigrant Omar Dia in 1997 at the hands of a white supremacist right here in Denver made it all too clear that America sees us as one people, even if we don’t. I have a number of Ethiopian, Sudanese and Nigerian friends who have all experienced oldfashion racial profiling at the hands of law enforcement. The infamous New York Police Department murder of Guinean Amadou Diallo, and the police sodomizing of Haitian Abner Louima proved that the powers that be make no distinctions of cultural or national origins when dishing out pain to African people. Let’s face it. Had it not been for the civil rights struggles of the older Black American generation, Africans would have gotten called the “N” word as soon as they stepped off the plane, likely. Eritreans would be riding on the back of the bus and Ghanaians would be looked down upon as just another ‘Negro.’ However, had it not been for Africans winning liberation and preserving our history, Black Americans could not have the homecoming experiences we’ve had when returning to the motherland. Africans are the people who Black Americans inherited strength, rhythm, beauty, and identity from. It’s time we supported each other. While African immigrants are economically savvy, they do not yet have the same political voice and clout that African Americans do. Denver boasts a roster of African-American political leaders that defies our numbers. From local senators to the mayor himself, Blacks in Denver have asserted themselves valiantly in the political arena. There is one up-and-coming African political contender who is noteworthy in this city. Naquetta Ricks is running for the position of University of Colorado Regent, and is from Liberia. She was a most valuable resource in writing this article. Her vast network included some of the African-owned businesses I interviewed for this article. The first was Afrikmall, the single most ambitious development in Denver Black business in the 21st century thus far. Afrikmall will be located on the corner of Colfax and Galena in Aurora, and boasts a whopping 56, 281 square-foot infrastructure. There will be lounges, children’s play areas, grocery stores, restaurants, kiosks, beauty supplies, ice-cream shops, cell phone stores, barbershops and an event center. Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Sudan, Ivory Coast, the Congo, Senegal and Nigeria will be

represented commercially in the mall. Naquetta put me in contact with Dr. Cobina Lartson, the CEO of Afrikmall, and I went on a tour of the space with Emmanuel Eliason, the chief business development officer. Both men are from Ghana. I was truly amazed at the ambition and size of the project. It is a vision that African Americans in this city should get behind. Imagine being able to support Black business for all your needs in one fell swoop. It will be a success if we make it one. But why stop there? Ethiopian food is a staple in this city, and the Africana Café serves some of the best in town. I talked to the owner, Azeb Leul, a woman who looks entirely too young to have been running a business for the last 12 years. The establishment is on the corner of Colfax and Fairfax in Denver, and is quite large. It can hold up to 250 people at full capacity, and specializes in Ethiopian coffee blends. Most of her clients are either Ethiopian or white American. Azeb says that very few Black Americans frequent her establishment. Suddenly, Africana Café looks great for a date night. Naquetta also pointed me to Rosma Designs off of Colfax and Chambers. It is run by Rosemary Oyugi, a native of Kenya. Rosma specializes in women’s clothes, and also sells sculptures and artwork hand crafted in Kenya. Rosemary sat me down and spoke to me. She said that since moving here 12 years ago, she has prospered, but mostly off of Anglo-American business. She works part time as a translator for refugees who are learning to adapt to the American system, as her

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


native language is Swahili. Most people don’t know that Denver and Nairobi are sister cities, and do student exchanges as a part of the Sister Cities Project. If you want Authentic Nigerian product, there is the Lagos Market in Aurora on 6th and Chambers in the Kasbah parking lot. They have a myriad of items directly from Africa for cooking and seasonings. They say most of their Black American clientele come in for hair weave, but get a taste of the African ambiance in the process. This has been just a small sampling of what the African community has in store right here in this city. We as a people need to learn that we are only as divided as we allow ourselves to be. Get out of your comfort zone. Get to know these amazing people. If the Korean-American community works directly with Korean immigrants, Mexican Americans with those directly from Mexico and so forth, it would be wise to make connections across the African diaspora. We probably need each other more than we know. Imagine African economic savvy combined with Black American political clout. Would our politicians have to answer to the corporate forces anymore if we had a business district of our own to speak for us? It is an idea worth building upon and investigating. If you’re going to play this American game, play to win. Group power beats individualism in capitalism, so don’t be fooled. Africa has come to Colorado, and it is here to stay. Open your arms as wide as the Atlantic, and let’s build some bridges.

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A Heart Full of HOPE

Kristin with HOPE staff and Diozanne or “D” from Hope at Tetra Academy at the 2014 HOPE Talent Show

By Amanda Kalina, Communications Manager, HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op


ince 2012, HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op has annually recognized one of their staff members “who enthusiastically brings hope, commitment and a sense of team to every relationship, task and activity.” This year’s recipient of the Heart of HOPE, honored at HOPE’s graduation ceremony on May 22 at Metro State’s PE Event Center, was Kristin Angelos, who serves as HOPE’s student services administrator. Angelos started with HOPE in the summer of 2010. Her first role was helping with vision and hearing screenings. Since that time she has served in many roles from a substitute mentor at Front Range Academy – Elmira, a HOPE Learning Center in Aurora, to a HOPE Admissions representative. But the biggest asset Angelos brings to HOPE is her willingness to jump in and help with any HOPE department or Learning Center assignment. In fact, last year she volunteered her own time to help with many of the HOPE student activities. “I like the people, love the students and enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get from working at HOPE,” said Angelos. One of her favorite activities at HOPE is the basketball league. She particularly enjoys the annual HOPE Court of Dreams basketball event for high school boys held at the Pepsi Center. Another project favorite is developing physical education curriculum for HOPE. Sports is a passion of Angelos. One of her long-term goals is to start a sports-focused non-profit that works with at-risk kids. Currently she is pursuing a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Northern Colorado, a program she remotely attends on the weekends from a satellite campus in Colorado Springs. “I’m inspired through making a positive impact on the futures of atrisk kids,” she said. Besides her work at HOPE, Kristin also volunteers for the Denver Dream Center, which provides programming for children in need throughout the Denver area. “I’m getting a lot of great experience (working at HOPE),” she said. “I

Heather O'Mara awarding Kristin Angelos the Heart of HOPE 2014

was surprised to get the (Heart of HOPE) award, but very honored. There are so many deserving people of this award at HOPE.” Prior to joining HOPE, Angelos spent time with AmeriCorps, University of Dreams (now called Dream Careers) and in customer service for a heating/plumbing company. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado Denver in communications. But, from her early days, according to her mother, she has “always had an amazing amount of strength and determination.” “From as far back as I can remember, you have always had such love and compassion for others, especially those not as fortunate as you were. I can’t even put in to words how proud I am of you. Not only for all that you have accomplished but for who you are,” said Angelos mother, Patty. By her colleagues, she is described as thoughtful, loyal, determined, selfless, generous, joyful, creative, glowing and flawless. “She already has the heart of HOPE. She is already appreciated and loved by so many of the HOPE family,” said one of her nominators, Melanie Stone, HOPE’s director of activities and athletics. “I put my heart in to what I do. It comes natural. I really enjoy what I do (at HOPE),” she said. Angelos’ supervisor, Susan McAlonan, Ph.D., director of student of services for HOPE, describes her as an “anchor of the student services team.” “Kristin exemplifies teamwork. I love her work ethic of no job is too big or too small for her to invest her time,” said McAlonan. “She is rare individual and true treasure to HOPE.” Kristin Angelos is just one example of the dedicated and passionate

employees who put a lot of heart in to their work at HOPE Online Learning Academy. “HOPE is truly a special place to work. I am blessed to have a great staff who work day in and day out to make a difference in the lives of children in Colorado,” said Heather O’Mara, CEO/founder of HOPE.  Now Enrolling for 2014-2015 School Year It’s enrollment season for HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op. You are invited to learn more about how HOPE’s unique blended online/offline educational model with individualized learning plans can help your k-12 child reach academic success. HOPE is a free education option for children throughout Colorado. HOPE Learning Centers are operated from Fort Collins to Greeley, Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. In addition to education offerings, HOPE students participate in extra-curricular activities from competitive sports to music, specialty clubs and school dances. For more information on how HOPE can make a difference for your family, visit hopeonline.org or call 720-4023000.




Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


Denver City Council Elects New President and Pro-Tem

The Denver City Council announced that Christopher Herndon has been elected to the posiCouncil President Christopher Herndon his mother, Gloria Brown, after he was tion of presi- with elected Council President on July 21. dent and Judy Montero has been elected to the position of president pro-tem. Councilmember Herndon previously served as president pro-tem and replaces outgoing president, Councilmember Mary Beth Susman, who served in the post since July 2012. Councilman Herndon was elected to the Denver City Council in 2011 to represent District 11, Far Northeast Denver. He is a West Point graduate and Army veteran who also worked in managerial roles in the private sector. Herndon earned a master’s degree in management from Webster University, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver, and was awarded a fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Councilmember Montero was elected to the City Council in June 2003 from District 9. She has spent the majority of her life living and working in District 9. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Adams State College and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver. President Herndon announced six new committees and his committee appointments for the 2014-15 Council year, effective July 28. The six standing committees are: Finance & Services, chaired by Councilmember Robin Kniech; Technology & Governance, chaired by Councilmember Debbie Ortega; Infrastructure & Culture, chaired by Councilmember Susan Shepherd; Business Development, chaired by Councilmember Chris Nevitt; Safety & Well-being, chaired by Councilmember Paul Lopéz; and Neighborhoods & Planning, chaired by Councilmember Mary Beth Susman.

Henderson Selected For Engineering Program

Rico Henderson, a member of Project Greer Street and junior at East High School, has been selected for the renowned Engineering Summer Program (ESP) at the University of

Wisconsin at Madison. ESP is a residential pre-college program that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Admitting only 25 students from a national pool, ESP attracts some of the brightest high school students in the country and affords them a blend of intense college-level coursework, hands-on engineering challenges, and advising from the program’s engineering staff. ESP provides the students with a hands-on experience in design, group study and problem solving. Students also participate in faculty-led discussions, team building, and professional development programming. Last summer, Rico was one of 36 students selected nationally to attend the Summer Engineering Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. For more information regarding Project Greer Street, email projectgreerstreet@gmail.com

The Logan School Announces New Head of School The Logan School for Creative Learning, has appointed Markus

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


Hunt as its new Head of School. Hunt spent the last seven years at the Cathedral School for Boys in San Francisco, California, where he was instrumental in establishing a project based learning program, providing teacher professional development and building community partnerships. Hunt joins Logan as the school celebrates its 25th year of providing individualized and experiential education to gifted children. A member of the Association of Colorado Independent Schools, The Logan School has a unique educational model that emphasizes a highly individualized curriculum and handson learning. This individualized approach, together with an emphasis on experiential learning, multi-aged classrooms and extended field trips, help students grow socially and emotionally by emphasizing collaboration, personal responsibility and time management. The Logan School values diversity and welcomes students of all backgrounds. For more information, visit www.theloganschool.org.

An Open Letter To DPS Superintendent Thomas Boasberg (Posted on July 23, 2014 by revolution5280)


have contemplated writing this open letter to you since I was informed of my contract non-renewal on June 4, 2014. It was the day that marked a moment of clarity for me, reminding me that I, my children, and my community are inconsequential to an agenda that leverages us but continues to leave us to strive in the same cycles of insanity perpetuated by a core disposition of deficit and doubt toward us. It has become clear. Eyes wide open. I have weighed if it was worth my time to reach out to you considering that I have learned that dissenting voices are usually dismissed and quickly categorized as fringe. I have weighed the value of writing you publicly because I know that such public communications of concern and accountability are costly for the writer or speaker. I have weighed writing you because at the end of the day, what are you really willing to do? Does community voice matter? Does a dad speaking up and out for his children and those of his neighbors’ matter to you? Does the voice of a former employee, who worked tirelessly for students and families, give you pause? Then I began to consider that this open communication to you is not about you at all! It is about my children, my neighbors’ children and my community. This communication is about how I have heard the rhetoric from individuals over and over again. I gave people a chance, even went to bat for and asked others to do the same, admonishing them to trust the communicated process, holding to hope that it would turn out for the good of all. I defended you and others telling people that I had to hope differently. Fool me once….enough is enough! (Just a few highlights of some of those moments): • Closure of Manual (2006) • Re-Opening of Manual (2007) • Innovation Act (2008) • Board Elections (2009) • PS1 co-location at Manual, FNE Community process, Manual Principal hiring (2010) • Manual Principal hiring, Easley recall effort (2011) • Innovation Renewal, Extended Learning, GALS co-location (2012)

• Board Elections, Fundraising Support (2013) • Manual Educational coup d’état, Phase out of Montbello (2014) I’ve heard the talk of commitment to and desire to collaborate with my community, but what I’ve seen and experienced is a by invitation only engagement strategy; if you will agree, not challenge, and carry the company lines back and serve as a buffer between central office and the “radicals” in the community you are welcome. Absurd. I see and hear that our schools and our children still have yet to see the resources and appropriate supports to ensure their success. Leaders are still having to cut or limit essential services (mental health, interventions, elective/special offerings) when central administration could tighten its belt more to ensure more direct dollars and control of those dollars at the school level. The walk and the talk aren’t matching. What I have seen is a systematic starving, what appears to be an intentional disadvantaging of some of the schools in my community to make way for an agenda that promises ” high quality” seats for all on a time table that ignores that there are students that we are obligated to serve well now. If you have the cure or the fix, why not give it to all of our schools for all children now? Can’t the district replicate the cure in district run schools? If we’re getting it done at school A, why can’t we do it at school B? What supports and resources need to be given? What expertise can be lent to expedite transformation? Or is that against the strategy? I guess you need some desert places to drive demand for water. What I have heard is the rhetoric of choice, which really turns out to be chance, placing our children and community at the mercy of a process that has an embedded belief that it is okay to serve some and allow others to languish in a misery created by the educational malpractice that has been unapologetically visited upon them. I hear the rhetoric of choice but how is it real choice when the choice of parents and scholars can be overturned so easily by you by changing school leadership mid-year? How is it real choice if the only choices are poor choices? How is that equity? How is that just? What I have felt is dismissed, like many in my community, because we dare to question, dare to seek understanding, dare to demand that our community not be dismantled by people and agendas that are here today and gone tomorrow, and never held accountable for their experimentation and resume building at the expense of our children and community. Folks Continued on page 24

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


Open Letter to Boasberg

Continued from page 23 come and go, never having to look again in the faces of the scholars and families that continue to be failed. We who live here, worship here, play here, grocery shop here, raise our families side by side our neighbors, we are accountable to those lives and faces every day!! We must give an answer for our actions at the barbershop, the grocery store, church, or at the community pool. What I have seen is a constant turnover in leadership at two of the three high schools in NE Denver, Manual and Montbello, when we know the importance of consistent leadership to drive transformation. A number of our elementary and middle schools have struggled through numerous leadership transitions as well, and yes, even some of the charters placed in our community have struggled with leadership turnover. This of course has impacted teacher retention, recruitment, and development. This has impacted the very important formation of community, collaboration, and school culture. It has been done, intentionally or at best with little thought to the impact on our children, school staffs, and our community. I have seen the continued struggles, school to school, stemming from a lack of resources to meet known needs, continued bureaucratic battles with central administration, imposed programs because of grant dollars that wag the dog, the infusion of market based competition knowing that existing district run schools and some nonnetwork charters were not on level ground to truly compete, and the list could go on. I wonder which DPS values these approaches align with? Students first? Equity? Collaboration? Integrity? Accountability? Fun? Please let me know. The walk and the talk don’t align. I don’t lay this all at your feet; our elected board members definitely have a responsibility to those that elected them to represent us. But then again I do, because you said it yourself! When you spoke of Manual in a recent article, you owned that you had played a role in our struggles. The buck stops with you, you said. Well, I’ve seen a lot of good people losing their jobs for what you said you were accountable for. How does that work? Contract extension? What does your accountability look like? How does it match the families that now struggle because of reduced wages, reassignment, or unemployment? Loss of benefits? Being added to “the list” unable to be rehired in DPS and even shut off from other opportunities because of the whispers to pals in other districts? If

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


the buck stops with you then accountability should begin with you. I have five children and I will continue to fight for them. I am in a position where I serve/volunteer to ensure that 800 of my neighbors’ children are served well in our community. I will not relent. I was in a leadership position at Manual with the responsibility to serve and support 400 scholars, their families, and the amazing team and community partners. I will continue to honor that commitment as best I can. I have a larger commitment to my community, and every child, every day, in every classroom deserves our best. I will not back down from the urgency of the moment for them. I was born fighting and there is still a fight to be won for our children….to abolish inequalities and make real our nation’s promise that all individuals (including our children) have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Until it is realized we fight on; embracing our responsibilities but also holding others accountable to doing right by our children! I believe that my community desires better, deserves better, can deliver better, and is destined for better but there must be deliberate inclusion, by you and your staff, of all stakeholders to share power and responsibility, rather than the usual smoke and mirror processes that continue to give voice to a select few, who actually speak for very few of us. This must happen or there must be a community REVOLUTION, an action to transform people and this institution to seize power and responsibility to design a path forward that ends the dismantling of a central piece of what makes us community, OUR schools! Respectfully, Pastor Vernon (PJones) Jones Jr. DPS Dad/Advocate http://revolution5280.org/

Back by Popular Demand, Love Is In Yo Face

For one night only, Love is In Yo Face will be presented on Aug. 16 at Aurora Central High School, located at 11700 East 11th Ave., in Aurora. Love Is in Yo Face is a gospel stage play set in the heart of Denver about a middle class family trying to continue the family legacy through an inherited restaurant. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. For more information, visit www.godbethereason.com.

Denver Natives Return to Perform At Soul Music Festival

Kenya McGuire Johnson has been singing since the age of eight. Raised in Denver but now residing in Chicago she was active in citywide choirs, jazz bands, show choirs, musical theater, jazz ensembles and gospel choirs. While in college at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Kenya performed in the renowned Howard Gospel Choir, who opened for artists such as Yolanda Adams and Bebe & Cece Winans.


Now after years of pursuing her music career Kenya has just released her debut radio single entitled “Be Here� featuring Kloud 9. With home town roots in Denver, Kenya returns Friday night Aug. 15 in Beaver Creek at the Vilar Performing Arts Center for the Soul Mountain Music Festival with Kloud 9 as special guests. For more information on Kenya or Kloud 9 visit www.kenyamjmusic.com and www.reverbnation.com/kloud9.

Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church Hosts Gospel Music Workshop

Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church will host a gospel music workshop on Aug. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at 1500 S. Dayton St. in Denver. The workshop will be lead by Psalmist Brandon Garret of True Light Baptist Church. Cost is $5 per person. For more information, call the church at 303-7520546 or Link Young, Minister of Music at 303-807-9184.

All School Old School Class of 1974 Reunion

It’s about the class not the school. If you graduated in 1974, make plans to participate Aug. 30 and 31 at the

Renaissance Denver Hotel located at 3801 Quebec Street in Denver. The $74 package includes dinner, dance and a custom T-shirt. Music will be provided by Issac Points and Jakarta. Tickets for the dinner and dance only are available for $40. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 720-493-1120, email allschool1974@gmail.com, or visit All School Old School Class of 1974 on Facebook.

A Call for Black Nurses

The Eastern Colorado Council of Black Nurses is recruiting for Black nurses. The new Beginning Nurses Assistant Program is located at 6795 East Tennessee Ave., Suite 210 in Denver. Classes are 6 weeks and held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Next class starts Aug. 18. For more information, call Margie B. Cook at 720-377-7114.

Montbello Organizing Committee Needs Your Help

The Montbello Organizing Committee is in search of a parttime community organizer who can work with the leadership team of residents to recruit others in the neighborhood to get involved to help build a

stronger voice on the multitude of issues impacting the neighborhoods. The committee is a group of residents who have tremendous pride in the Montbello community and want to see it improved and enhanced. For more information, email afouther@denverfoundation.org with a cover letter and resume by Aug. 11. Training and coaching is available for successful candidates.

CBWPA Hosts 35th Annual Tribute to Black Women Luncheon

On Oct. 4, Colorado Black Women for Political Action will host the 35th Annual Tribute to Black Women Luncheon, “Securing our Future� at 12 p.m. at The Renaissance Denver Hotel, 3801 Quebec St. in Denver. Keynote speaker will be motivational speaker and author Delores Pressley. During the luncheon, six outstanding Black women and one youth will be honored for their achievements in the community in the categories of arts, business, community service, education, politics, legends and youth. Tickets are $65. For more information visit www.cbwpa.org, call 303-388-4983 or email faye@cbwpa.org.

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Continued from page 3 casinos, trained staff can prevent teens from playing and identify – and in some instances kick out - gamblers who have overspent. How can we as parents and concerned family members monitor an iPhone or computer? The answer is we can’t. I’m a grandfather and great-grandfather who can understand if my adult grandchildren want to visit a casino and have responsible fun. But a night out is different from 24-hour access to a computer and basically gambling with what may seem like a bottomless wallet. There have been attempts to introduce online gambling to the Colorado State Legislature and wisely our elected officials have rejected the pie-in-the-sky financial projections. Now it’s time for Congress to restore the long-standing federal ban so that other states don’t get lured to join New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada in seeking financial jackpots that just don’t exist.

Wellington E. Webb Denver

Editor’s note: Wellington Webb is a former mayor of Denver and a national co-chair of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

A Note of Gratitude

Editor: Let me take this moment to thank you, Rosalind “Bee” Harris, for all you

do for the community and say how much I appreciate being honored at the Men of Distinction/ Fathers of Wisdom and the Taking Care of US celebration on June 15. We congratulate you for being an instrument of sincere and unparalleled advocate for “spreading the news about people of color.“ Your graciousness and kindness will not be forgotten. What a wonderful time your father must have had seeing you and your committee do such an honorable acknowledgement for the Denver community. You are the best. Again, thank you.

Collis Johnson Denver

GMDMA Response to Sheriff’s Dismissal and Replacement

Editor: It is with much concern that the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance (GMDMA) weighs in regarding the controversy of the stepping down of Sheriff Gary Wilson and the appointment of Sheriff Elias Diggins as interim replacement. Those of us who have worked intimately with Sheriff Wilson recognize that in spite of attempts to create change in the culture of the sheriff’s department there remains remnants

that are committed to the old order. We would have desired to see him continue but with ambivalence, accept the need for change. However, our hope is that the changes that had been initiated, particularly those related to community involvement in review and determination of internal policies and procedures, as well as, the pending institution of the clergy to become more involved in promoting the spiritual and mental well-being of deputies, will continue. The problems within the department are systematic, cultural, and rooted in a system that allows the sheriff the authority to identify problems, but does not allow the sheriff the power to fix problems. Specifically, the sheriff has no direct authority to fire offending deputies. Therefore, there is little fear of significant reprisal by deputies. How can one be held accountable when lacking the power to control. Whomever the new sheriff may be, unless the sheriff has the ability to directly impose punitive and significant penalties for improper conduct, we will have more of the same. The GMDMA sees the present situation as an opportunity for the executive director of safety, Stephanie O’Malley, who has both the authority and power to affect change, to discipline and/or terminate those who

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


have undermined the leadership of Sheriff Wilson by violating department standards and procedures. The new sheriff ought to be able to come in and not have to deal with those who are obvious transgressors. While a new sheriff is being sought, there ought to be some other heads that should roll along with Sheriff Wilson’s. Elias Diggins, in his position of interim Sheriff is being unfairly attacked. Everyone has a past, including many of our “pot” smoking presidents and representatives who were elected to office in spite of their offenses. One incident doesn’t define a life. It is easy to point fingers, and criticism of Diggins’ ability to lead is unfair. Today’s heightened sensitivity and “viral” illumination of personal past transgressions often crucifies those who have matured and whose present lives are in keeping with proper conduct. If we are looking for perfection, there was only one, “the Lord Jesus Christ.” The sheriff is not the problem, the system needs overhaul, and in his interim position Diggins is worthy of our support. The GMDMA supports the mayors’ decision in his appointment.

Rev. Dr. William T. Golson, Jr. GMDMA President

Ground Rules

Must See............ It’s Worth A Look..... See At Your Own Risk. Don’t Bother.....................

Editor’s note: Samantha Ofole-Prince is an award-winning writer and contributor to many national publications and is Blackflix.com’s Senior Critic-at-Large. J.R. Johnson is a Journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver and Blackflix.com’s intern.Laurence Washington is the creator of BlackFlix.com.


Taylor breaks conventional storytelling rules as Brown, portrayed wonderfully by Chadwick Boseman, breaks character several times with clever asides. A sort of wink and nod that says, “Let’s all go along for a terrific ride.” It’s a wonderful technique when it works – and it does. Thankfully Taylor doesn’t tell a tedious History Channel story. Through a series of expertly crafted flashbacks and flash-forwards, Taylor does an Oscar worthy job of directing

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Get On Up

and returns to sing again is worthy of an Oscar nomination. Taylor doesn’t spend a lot of time on Brown’s creative process of making music. Instead, he punctuates Brown’s business savvy. Brown strategically befriends local D.J.s and record owners to promote his records. He figures out a new way of touring and takes over his own booking engagements, thus stopping promoters from keeping most of the gate. With an all-star cast featuring Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, Get On Up is a terrific homage to a dominant figure in pop music whose music has been sampled by more than any other artist. To see a trailer for Get On Up, visit https://www.youtube.com/user/univers alpictures?v=bwEUvSKUpYk



Get On Up 

By Laurence Washington

he problem with biopics is the audience is never quite sure what’s accurate, and what’s well… embellished – i.e., did a young James Brown really jump on stage (uninvited) during Little Richard’s set break and impressed Little Richard so much that he gave the upstart Brown invaluable career advice? The fact of the matter is, who cares, certainly not Get On Up director Tate Taylor, whose poetic license crafts a terrific film highlighting the meteoric rise of the “Godfather of Soul” James Brown.

the traffic (so no one gets hurt) and engages the audience with Brown’s funky music, stage performances and hijinks. Left to a lesser director, the slick editing might have been confusing. Like so many musical artist, James Brown came from an impoverished and brutal childhood to create revolutionary rhythms that influenced a generation of musicians and fans, a fact that’s punctuated throughout the film. Boseman’s portrayal of the over-thetop Soul Brother Number 1, whose signature dropping into and rising out of splits and exhaustion after singing “Please, Please” dons a regal cape then gets a sudden burst of energy

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 1/2

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

un touting, talking apes riding through cities on horseback may seem incredulous, but once you suspend disbelief there is a lot to be enjoyed in this enthralling sequel. The film takes place a decade after the events of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes which introduced audiences to a baby ape called Caesar (Andy Serkis) who was raised by humans after his mother was put down due to botched genetic experiment. Ten years on, a viral apocalypse has wiped out much of the world’s human population. Apes, on the other hand, led by the super-intelligent alpha-ape Caesar (Serkis) have done quite well forming a thriving colony in Muir Woods on the outskirts of San Francisco. Caesar now has a family of his own with a grown son, Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) and another child on the

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014


way. No humans have been spotted in several years and the apes naturally assume humans are extinct until they encounter a group of humans trying to restore power back to the city. These apes have evolved from mostly mute but intelligent animals into articulate, civilized beings and while Caesar initially wants to maintain peace with the humans, Koba (Toby Kebbell), who was also introduced in the first film, has evolved into a grizzled warrior and harbors a strong hatred of the human race. Scarred and vengeful, he is clearly suspicious of their intentions and sets out to destroy the humans, which results in a war between gun touting apes and the humans who are played by Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Keri Russell. Director Matt Reeves, who created a vivid and unexpected sense of realism in his 2008 thriller Cloverfield sets a brilliant tone and delivers much more action and entertainment than its predecessor did. There’s irony in the fact that the film is really the story of two families – one human, one ape each fighting for the survival of their species and Reeves does an excellent job in establishing the fragile relationship between man and ape which leads up to an intense furious apehuman rumble as both battle to emerge as Earth’s dominant species. With groundbreaking visual effects from Weta Digital, there are several scenes such as the apes hunting other animals, which despite being animated looks incredibly real and life-like. Engrossing and enthralling, this sequel which explores whether apes and humans can figure out a way to live together without violence is the perfect summer blockbuster. To see a trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sH MCRaS3ao


Andre as Jimi Hendrix

Becoming Hendrix:

OutKast’s André Benjamin Plays the Iconic Musician By Samantha Ofole-Prince


heard Eddie Murphy was trying to do it at one point in time. Laurence Fishburne. Even Will Smith,” says OutKast’s André Benjamin who stars as Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming biopic “Jimi: All Is By My Side.”

Arguably the world’s greatest guitar hero, the film, which is written and directed by Oscar winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, Red Tails) covers a year in Hendrix’s life from 1966-67 as an unknown backup guitarist playing New York’s Cheetah Club to making his mark in London’s music scene up until his Monterey Pop triumph. “I did a lot of research,” continues Benjamin who has long admired Hendrix citing his influence in the work of OutKast, the Atlanta-based hip hop duo he fronts with Antwan “Big Boi” Patton. “As a music artist I read about Hendrix years before, so I knew him in a way. Or I thought I knew him. There were way more

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The screening will be held on W Wednesday, ednesday,, August 13 at 7pm at a local Denver theatre. Limit ednesday one admit 2 pass per person. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a pass. Supplies are limited. Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee a seat. Ar rive early - the theatre is booked to ensure a full house. Seating is not guaranteed. All Arrive apply.. A recipient of prizes assumes any and all risks federal, state and local regulations apply related to use of prize, and accepts any restrictions required by prize provider. provider. Summit Entertainment, Enter tainment, BIC, City Weekly Weekly and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incur red in connection with use of prizes. Prizes cannot incurred transferred be exchanged, transfer red or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. part. Not responsible if, for any reason, winner is unable to use his/her prize in whole or in part. part. Not responsible for lost, delayed or misdirected entries. All federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner winner.. Void Void where prohibited by law law.. NO PURCHASE NECESSAR NECESSARY.Y. NO PHONE CALLS!

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things I didn’t know. I did a lot of reading. It helped put in my mind what Hendrix may have said or what may have felt at a certain time - certain expressions. I listened to hours of interviews. I watched films; watched his mannerisms.” To aptly play the iconic musician, he spent a few intensive months preparing before filming started including learning how to play the guitar left-handed, or at least maintain the illusion he was playing left-handed and mastering Hendrix’s more outrageous guitar techniques. “There was guitar practice, weight training, weight loss, voice coaching,” adds Benjamin. “Hendrix to me is the greatest performer that ever lived, not just in rock, but period. He’s the greatest performer and artist that walked the planet. Since he stepped on the planet, until now, there’s no one who has trumped what he has done. He threw his whole self into what he was doing.” Also starring Hayley Atwell, who plays Hendrix’s love interest, Kathy Etchingham, Imogen Poots, Andrew Buckley and Ruth Negg, the film releases in theaters Sept. 26.  Editor’s note: To see a trailer for Jimi, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKPOxqMazI

SNAP Into Health

Makes it Easier to Get Healthy Food Apply or receive information right in your own neighborhood! -Food Assistance -Health Coverage . -Cooking Classes -Financial Coaching -Other Resources Visit us at: Denver Public Library 10 W. 14th Ave. Thursday’s, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Focus Points 2501 E. 48th Ave. Monthly: 1st Tuesday and 3rd Wednesday, 1:45 - 3 p.m. Questions: 720-944-3666 www.DenverGov.org/SnapIntoHealth SNAP Into Health is generously supported by a grant from The Colorado Health Foundation.

Do You You Know What Health Coverage Is Right for YYou?

Make Sure Y You ou Have the Medical Coverage Y You ou Need! V Visit isit a Healthcare Coverage Guide for free, one-on-one assistance at any Denver Human Services office! 1200 Federal Blvd. | 3815 Steele St. | 4685 Peoria St. 720-944-3666 | www www.DenverGov.org/HumanServices .DenverGov.org/HumanServices

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014




DATE SAT. NOV. 29, 2014 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM Crowne Plaza Denver 15500 East 40th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80239

Where can you find Jalapeno Mac & Cheese, Salmon A’la King, Shepard’s Pie, and Meatless Mean Greens all under one roof? The Annual 100 Men Who Cook! Join Honorary Event Chair, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock at this once-a-year Black-Tie Affair Fundraiser. Food Sampling, Live Entertainment, DJ, Dancing Sponsorship opportunities available Reserved tables available General Admission Tickets: $50.00 On sale now at WWW.100MENWHOCOOK.CO For information call 800-998-5984 Register online now to be a 2014 Chef: 100MENWHOCOOK.CO Proceeds benefit The Struggle of Love Foundation, The Jazz C.A.F.É, and the Colorado Starlites Drum & Drill Team The 2014 signature color is RED

Chuck Moss

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Ballard Family Mortuary, LLC ³,QWHJULW\EHIRUH3URILW´ 6700 Smith RD Denver, CO 80207 720.220.2122 www.bfmllc.com ~Funerals ~ Pre-Planning Needs~ Direct Cremations~ Family Owned & Operated

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – August 2014



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Profile for Denver Urban Spectrum

DUS August 2014  

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock presents the State of the City Address on July 14, 2014 at the Denver Art Museum.

DUS August 2014  

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock presents the State of the City Address on July 14, 2014 at the Denver Art Museum.