Greater Park Hill News March 2024

Page 1

A Thousand Cuts

City Chops Hours and Days At Rec Centers, Flowers In Public Spaces & DMV; Migrant Housing At Mosaic Campus On Hold

In February Mayor Mike Johnston announced that programs and hours of operation would be cut at Denver recreation centers and flowers will not be planted in public beds this year.

The Department of Motor Vehicles will also face numerous cuts. Residents will need to renew their vehicle registrations by mail, online or at kiosks instead of in person.

These cuts, $5 million in all, are just the beginning. In February the mayor announced a total of $180 million must be cut to the city budget due to the migrant crisis.

The announcement came after Denver officials were unable to secure federal funding to help pay for a massive influx of migrants. In the past year nearly 40,000 mostly Venezuelan newcomers have landed in the Mile High City. Many of them are being sent by bus by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott with little more than the clothes on their backs.

A T T he L I br A r y

During a Feb. 9 press conference Johnston blamed Republicans in Congress, who killed a bipartisan border deal to tighten asylum rules and reduce the high number of crossings at the country’s southern border.

“It is clear that the federal government is not going to support our city,” Johnston said.

The influx of newcomers is happening as Denver has already spent tens of millions on Johnston’s program to move houseless people off the streets.

Last year the city spent $45 million — an estimated $45,000 a person — to move 1,000 people from the streets into temporary living quarters. As reported in the December issue of the Greater Park Hill News, most have been moved to former hotels along Quebec Street in Northeast Park Hill and Central Park. The Denver Gazette reported in January that Johnson plans another $50 million will be spent this year to house continued on page 7

Praise Of Social Workers

March is National Social Work Month, a time to celebrate those who commit their professional careers to taking care of others in their communities.

The National Association of Social Workers describes its mission as “to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.” The organization connects with people who need help with food for their families, housing resources, unmet medical needs and job searching, just to name a few.

Denver Public Library became one of the first library systems in the country to employ full-time social workers, hiring our first in 2015. The Community Resource Department employs social workers and specially trained individuals who work with people and try to help them with the problems they face.

“There are not a lot of free third spaces in American life where people just get to exist and the library is open to all,” says DPL employee Nicholas Donkoh. “I appreciate that so many people feel like the library is a safe place to read, use the internet, or just exist for a few hours out of the elements.”

Last year, Denver Public Library’s social work department made contact with over 16,000 people.

If you don’t have an address, a phone, or reliable transportation, making and keeping appointments can be difficult. Public libraries are well known for providing a welcoming atmosphere for all community members. That environment allows for a wonderful networking opportunity between those who can provide help and those in need of it.

Services provided by the library and its partners include ARC Thrift Store, which provides vouchers that allow DPL staff to purchase various clothing. Lunch sacks are donated by both Capitol Hill United Ministries and AfterHours, and showers and laundry facilities are available from Bayaud Laundry and Shower Truck.

Denver’s need for such services has exploded in recent years. Our housing crisis has gotten worse. In addition, COVID-19 exposed more of the gaps in our medical care, and

the overwhelming decline in mental health has affected every community. These are all areas in which social workers connect people to necessary resources.

Last year, the library’s social work department made contact with over 16,000 people. That’s the highest number since the program was established. However, it’s worth mentioning that in 2020 and 2021 it was impossible to record accurate numbers because the help needed was so expansive that often contact numbers would be registered as one for tens of people.

Over 90 percent of the people helped by DPL in 2023 were experiencing housing instability or homelessness. Housing is increasingly unaffordable for the non-wealthy. Here’s a personal example: My first apartment in Denver was a studio I rented for $450 a month. That was in 2011. The same unit now rents for over $1,300 a month — plus new additions like pet rent and higher utilities. This rent hike of 300 percent in 12 years is extreme, to say the least.

According to a 2022 report, a local organization called Housekeys Action Network found that people wait an average of almost four years to continued on page 10

InsIde ThIs Issue

All the News About Denver’s Best Residential Community Since 1960 • Volume 63, Issue No. 3 • March 2024
Letters To The Editor: Crisis Is Real At Denver Health Let’s Talk Trash: The ABCs Of Recycling Eyes In The Wild: Urban Wildlife Photo Club Turns 35 Opinion: Colfax Bus Rapid Transit: Boom Or Bust? Hoop Dreams At East High: A Mixed Bag This Year PAGE 4PAGE 8 PAGE 2 PAGE 9 PAGE 11 upcomIng gphc mee T Ings Community meetings are conducted on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m., except for July and December. Meetings are held in person at 2823 Fairfax St. People can also attend via Zoom at greaterparkhill.org/join-us/community-meetings The next meeting is March 7 at 6:30 p.m. The March meeting is Thursday, April 4.
In Recent Years
In
The Need For Services For Homeless And Vulnerable People Has Exploded
Hundreds of students at Denver School of the Arts staged a walkout on Feb. 12 to protest budget cuts that may result in the loss of several teachers and staff. The students marched around the school, at Montview and Quebec, hoisting homemade signs. Passing cars honked in support. Photo by Cara DeGette

Le T T e rs To The e d I T o r

Dear Westside: Let It Go

In April 2023 Denver voters overwhelmingly voted to maintain a conservation easement over the Park Hill Golf Course. This was the third ballot initiative lost by Westside Development Partners and its principal partner, Kenneth Ho (ballots 301 and 302 being the others).

Additionally, Westside and Ho agreed that if the easement remains, they would have three years to either sell the property or return it to a golf course. Currently, Westside and Ho are in violation of that contract. I strongly urge the Denver City Council and Mayor Mike Johnston to either purchase the property for Parks and Recreation or sue Westside and Ho for breach of contract.

I also recommend that Westside and Ho heed the words of Elsa in the film Frozen and, “Let It Go.”

Brian R. Kelly, Park Hill

Denver Health Crisis Is Real

Denver Health is not only the state’s best trauma center, but a health safety net for all our residents. And that safety net is perilously fraying from the heavy financial weight of rising labor and drug costs, as well as providing care for the Medicaid and growing numbers of uninsured and unprecedented influx of immigrants.

What happens if that safety net, which provided care to more than 300,000 patients in 2023, breaks? I’m asking everyone — including the city, the state, and business leaders — to help mend and strengthen Denver Health because its survival is critical.

I’m not a member of the hospital board, but when I read the numbers I know this crisis is real. In 2023, Denver Health provided $136 million in uncompensated care, compared to $60 million in 2020. Without additional support, Denver Health will not be able to invest in its workforce or essential enhancements to its services.

The city allocates $30.8 million a year to the hospital, which is the largest provider of inpatient mental health and substance use in the state.

WhO We ARe

Editor: Cara DeGette

Manager: Brenda Morrison

Ad Sales: Melissa Davis and Denise Fisher

Art Director: Tommy Kubitsky

hOW tO fIND US

Voicemail: 720-287-0442

Email: newspaper@greaterparkhill.org

Address: 2823 Fairfax St. Denver, 80207

Website: greaterparkhill.org

Facebook: facebook.com/greaterparkhillnews

Yet, the city’s support of the hospital has essentially remained the same since 2006, while Denver Health has grown to a $1.4 billion enterprise.

Denver Health’s financial crisis has not been ignored. Last year it received financial assistance from the state, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, and private donors, which totaled $20 million. Still, the continuing financial weight grows.

My family has a long history with the hospital. Formerly known as Denver General, my wife, Wilma Webb, was born there and my brother, Joe, was treated for a knife wound there as a Denver police sergeant. I also have a personal connection to Denver Health as the amazing doctors and nurses have helped me address my own health.

As mayor, I opposed a move by some city council members wanting to sell the hospital. I wanted to preserve the hospital’s mission to serve everyone and Dr. Patty Gabow helped restructure and create the Denver Health Authority. The city paid off the hospital’s $38 million deficit, and that intervention helped the hospital build up a $60 million surplus.

The hospital has continued to serve the entire community with its patient population of 53 percent Hispanic, 25 percent Caucasian, 13 percent Black, 4 percent Asian (others comprise the remaining 5 percent). Nearly 50 percent of the patients are on Medicaid. Denver Health also delivers one out of every three babies born in Denver — more than 3,800 last year.

Let us all take part in mending Denver Health’s safety net so that the current and future health needs for all our residents have a safe landing.

Hon. Wellington Webb, Whittier We love your letters, and give preference to those that address an issue that has been covered in the newspaper, or a topic that is Park Hill or Denver-specific. Send letters to editor@greaterparkhill.org, and include your full name, and the neighborhood in which you live. Deadlines are the 15th of each month, for the following month’s issue.

The Greater Park Hill News is published by Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. (GPHC) on the 1st of each month. Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. makes no warranties and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily the opinions of GPHC. GPHC does not necessarily endorse the companies, products or services advertised in The Greater Park Hill News unless specifically stated. GPHC reserves the right to run any advertisement.

Circulation is 13,000 and is distributed in the Park Hill Area by neighborhood volunteers.

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CONtACt US

Story Tips and Letters to the Editor:

Cara DeGette: 720-979-4385, editor@greaterparkhill.org

Advertising information:

Melissa Davis: ads@greaterparkhill.org

Denise Fisher: sales_denise@greaterparkhill.org

Deadline for submissions is the 15th of every month

The Greater Park Hill Community, Inc., is a volunteerbased registered neighborhood organization that: promotes the character and vibrancy of Park Hill; provides resources, information and advocacy; and preserves quality of life and the history of the neighborhood through community participation.

This newspaper is made possible through the support of our advertisers and members. If you are not already a member, please consider joining the Greater Park Hill Community, Inc.

The Greater Park Hill News March 2024 Page 2
OrthOdOntic SpecialiSt OrthOdOntic SpecialiSt park hill'S bOard-certified trent nestman, d.d.S., M.S.

The Wearing Of The Green Emerald Toucanets live in the highest branches of trees in dense forests from Mexico to Venezuela. Their diets consist mainly of fruit, and though they live up to 14 years they rarely come down to the ground. Toucanets are one of 43 species of toucans and like the parrots and macaws and woodpeckers they share the forest with, they are zygodactylous. That means two of their toes point forward and the other two point backward. This foot design provides stability while they move up and down tree branches and trunks. This Emerald Toucanet was photographed in Costa Rica by Mark Silverstein.

March 2024 The Greater Park Hill News Page 3 bI rd L A n d | Mark Silverstein
MARCY EASTMAN MARCY EASTMAN Realtor® 720.436.5494 marcy.eastman@compass.com Compass is a licensed real estate broker. All material is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to the accuracy of any description or measurements (including square footage). This is not intended to solicit property already listed. No nancial or legal advice provided. Equal Housing Opportunity. Photos may be virtually staged or digitally enhanced and may not reflect actual property conditions. FOR SALE FOR SALE 4101 East 17th Ave Parkway 6 BD 9 BA 7149 SF $3,850,000 5 BD + office 6 BA 4929 SF $2,250,000 400 Fairfax Street Curious if it's the perfect time to sell? FOR SALE FOR SALE 2222 Forest Street 5 BD 5 BA 5183 SF $1,900,000 4 BD 4 BA 2981 SF $1,395,900 2335 Kearney Street UNDER CONTRACT UNDER CONTRACT Over 23 years Real Estate experience 22 year Park Hill resident Experience with proven results 303-523-2037 www.ParkHillSpecialist.com Under Contract SOLD Anastasia's Park Hill SOLDS Speak For Themselves! All properties listed were sold by Anastasia Williamson between 2001 - Present. Data source REColorado & Denver property assessors. 2860 Albion Street • $810,000 4 Beds | 3 Baths | 2,053 SqFt Pristine Cottage 2944 Ash Street • $1,050,000 3 Beds | 3 Baths | 3,632 SqFt Quintessential Two Story 2671 Eudora Street • $772,000 3 Beds | 2 Baths | 2,000 SqFt Beautiful Craftsman Bungalow 2339 Monaco Pkwy 2621 Grape St 2308 Glencoe St 2601 Elm St 1649 Bellaire St 1648 Bellaire St 4512 E. 17th Ave 1775 Leyden St 3075 Clermont St 4114 E. 19th Ave 1612 Bellaire St 1607 Bellaire St 2595 Fairfax St 1558 Clermont St 1647 Clermont St 2816 Dahlia St 2383 Hudson St 2821 Dahlia St 2686 Dexter St 2248 Holly St 1901 Cherry St 2556 Elm St 2615 Elm St 2611 Birch St 2630 Glencoe St 2052 Krameria St 1755 Leyden Street 2884 Albion St 2967 Clermont 2886 Cherry 2646 Birch St 1638 Clermont St 2810 Bellaire St 2605 Fairfax St 2677 Ash St 2560 Birch St 2681 Cherry St 2809 Birch St 2514 Glencoe St 2652 Fairfax St 2609 Eudora St 2800 Birch St 3060 Ash St 2810 Olive St 1623 Bellaire St 2037 Krameria St 2084 Forest St 1536 Clermont St 2224 Grape St 2345 Clermont St 2070 Birch St 2865 Albion St 2530 Bellaire St 2820 Birch St 2614 Glencoe St 2840 Clermont St 1929 Bellaire St 1915 Monaco Pkwy 1544 Leyden St 2920 Cherry St 2621 Grape St 2576 Fairfax St 2581 Dahlia St 2389 Cherry St 2829 Clermont St 2960 Ash St 2556 Clermont St 2681 Cherry St 4545 E. 29th Ave 2530 Glencoe St 2895 Birch St 2955 Ivy St 1610 Locust St 2575 Clermont St 4345 E. 16th Ave 2680 Ash St 2861 Birch St 2854 Cherry St 2091 Hudson St 2645 Ash St 2570 Bellaire St 2616 Fairfax St 4326 Batavia Pl 2845 Cherry St 2947 Clermont St 3035 Bellaire St 2670 Grape St 2655 Elm St 1418 Grape St 2680 Ash St 2271 Clermont St 2817 Albion St 2684 Fairfax St 2894 Dexter St 2855 Ash St 3010 Clermont St 2295 Eudora St 3025 Albion St 2668 Elm St 2936 Albion St 2389 Cherry St 2654 Elm St 2514 Glencoe St 2065 Hudson St 2845 Cherry St 1623 Bellaire St 2855 Dahlia St 2825 Bellaire St 2900 Ash St 2681 Clermont St 2829 Ash St 2251 Ash St 2877 Cherry St 2341 Ivy St 2847 Clermont St 3010 Cherry St 2665 Forest St 2517 Elm St 1669 Newport St 3045 Fairfax St 4660 E 16th Ave 2877 Cherry St 2971 Bellaire St 2531 Clermont St 2894 Birch St 2801 Dexter St 3593 Monaco St 2668 Birch St 2664 Cherry St 2032 Holly St 2819 Ivanhoe St 1637 Elm St 2679 Albion St 3610 Magnolia St 1775 Monaco Pkwy 2582 Bellaire St 2233 Holly St 2229 Birch St 2862 Ash St 1855 Cherry St 2637 Eudora St 2542 Ash St 2045 Krameria St 2500 Dahlia St 2943 Birch St 2875 Albion St 2511 Birch St 2349 Forest St 2990 Cherry St 2379 Elm St 2870 Eudora St 2632 Cherry St 1450 Albion St #303 1925 Monaco Pkwy 3050 Bellaire St 2849 Kearney St 1830 Monaco Pkwy 1380 Xanthia Street • $475,000 3 Beds | 2 Baths | 1,929 SqFt Great Investment SOLD ABOVE LIST PRICE 1634 Locust Street • $1,300,000 4 Beds | 4 Baths | 3,404 SqFt Stately Colonial

eA r T h In c r I s I s | op I n I on Let’s talk trash

The ABC’s Of Recycling In Denver: What To Toss, What Not To Toss. Plus, When Will Our New Compost Bins Arrive?

In June of 2022, the Denver City Council approved the “pay as you throw” program, which charges for trash but provides recycling and compost for free. The goal is to encourage residents to focus on recycling and composting, while minimizing what goes to the landfill.

The program went into effect in January, 2023. At least it was supposed to, citywide. A year and three months later, residents have been paying for the new trash system — yet many of us still have no compost bin. The city now says the plan is to rollout services on a staggered timeline. In other words, many parts of the city should not expect to get compost bins until sometime in 2025

Why such a long delay?

Per the city’s website, neighborhoods with lower diversion rates are now being prioritized. As part of the rollout, customers will receive a letter that their bin is coming, along with a guide on how to compost. After service is implemented, the city will follow up by auditing and further educating customers.

While it is understandable that the city wants to get it right with composting, it seems we have much to do on the recycling program as well.

Frankly we have no time to waste when it comes to the use of Earth’s resources. Between November 2022 and November 2023, the city’s diversion rate for recyclable material increased from 26 percent to 29 percent. This is a slight improvement, but not much.

Could the city be looking to registered neighborhood organizations such as Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. and community newspapers like the one you are reading to help educate residents? The answer is, Yes!

If you have ever observed overflowing carts, you have probably noticed that some people use the recycling and compost bins for their trash. Many of them likely don’t know what to put where. What this does is contaminates loads of recycling and composting — which

ultimately means they end up in the dump.

The magic of recycling

So, let’s talk about what can go in both the green and purple bins and a bit about large item pickup as well.

First, never put your recyclables or compost in plastic bags. The whole bag will be discarded, and sent to the landfill.

Next, here is a simple synopsis of what can go in your recycle bin: Rigid plastic bottles, jugs, jars, tubs, cups and containers marked #1-#7. Plastic lids can be placed back on plastic containers for recycling. Steel and aerosol cans must be empty.

If the plastic cap is part of the can, leave it on. Do not put plastic containers marked as compostable (or PLA) in the recycle bin.

Scrap metal is not accepted but a simple google search can help you locate recycling centers in the area (recycle your small metal lids with scrap metal). Mark Kuhl provides handy recycling tips which can be found on this page monthly. A directory of past columns is at greaterparkhill.org .

Aluminum cans, foil, trays, large metal lids and pie plates are accepted but please clean off as much food as possible and compost it. Don’t crush the cans. Flatten and cut your cardboard to pieces no bigger than 2 feet by 2 feet. Pizza boxes are OK if they are not greasy. Paperboard is allowed, but please remove any plastic on or in them.

All food and beverage cartons are OK, including hot and cold paper cups. But dump out all liquids, straws and caps. And of course, magazines, newspaper, junk mail, office paper and paper bags are acceptable. But please, no tissue paper, ribbons, bows, bubble envelopes, shredded paper, paper plates, books or paper towels and napkins.

Don’t be that neighbor

And now, for the compost bin. It’s the green bin. To put it simply, only food waste and yard debris is accepted. Do NOT put greasy pizza boxes, paper napkins and paper towels, any packaging, dryer lint or pet waste in there.

As for the bins themselves — whether they are green, purple or black, be a conscientious neighbor. Store them on your property out of public view, and roll them back after the’ve been emptied.

You may have noticed that some Denverites have adopted a really bad habit of leaving large items out all week, every week. It is frustrating to take a walk around our beautiful neighborhood and see it littered with piles of furniture, old lawn equipment, large cardboard and a variety of other items left in the city right of way.

Your cardboard can be cut down to fit in your recycle bin and many usable items can be either donated or broken down for other recycling services. If you can’t find a suitable alternative for reuse you can only place big trash out on your designated large item pickup day. Please check the city website at denvergov. org for your schedule.

Denver’s website also includes a complete list of items that can be composted and recycled. Do your part to help reduce your impact on the environment and please take efforts to help keep our neighborhood beautiful.

4611 E 23rd Ave, Denver

Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm

Saturday-Sunday 11am-5pm

The Greater Park Hill News March 2024 Page 4
A Curated, Interior Design Shop
always open at kyndredshop.com
Tracey MacDermott is an at-large member of the board of Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. She was trained as a Climate Reality Leader in 2017, and is currently the Statewide Co-Chair of the Climate Reality Project for the 100% Committed Campaign. Email her at traceymacdermott@gmail.com. Don’t be the neighbor who leaves stuff like this in the city right-of-way on almost a weekly basis. Photo by Tracey MacDermott It’s been a year and three months since the city rolled out its new trash program. Are you still wondering where your new compost bin is? We found them! Thousands are stacked in compost bin purgatory in a big field across the street from the city jail at Havana and Smith Road, waiting to be distributed. Photo by Cara DeGette

gA r dens And Verses March tips

“Blossom by blossom, spring begins.”

– Algernon Charles Swinburne

• Prune shrubs that form their flower buds on “new” wood (i.e. growth that will occur in the coming spring, such as butterfly bush, clematis, hydrangeas, potentilla, roses, and Rose of Sharon.)

• Get your soil tested and a mend with compost as needed.

• Start watering trees, shrubs and perennials when it’s above 40 degrees.

• Aerate lawn.

• Cut back ornamental grasses and perennials, leaving 3-inch stubs.

• As you start your spring cleanup of flower beds, remember many insect eggs and larvae are still in the leaves and stalks. Help retain them for birds by piling leaves and

stalks in a pile for another month or two.

• Transplant volunteer plants you w ish to keep (or share with others!).

• Mid-month: Plant outdoor seeds for radishes, spinach, arugula, lettuce, leek and sorrel, as well as onion sets. Start indoors: sage, thyme, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

• Plant cold-hardy annuals: pansies, ornamental kale and marigolds.

This year’s Park Hill Garden Walk is set for June 9. To volunteer or suggest local gardens or artists that could be featured, please contact Patty Mead at prmead416@ gmail.com or Carla Finch at carla.j.finch@gmail.com.

Cups Of happiness

Ways To Save 7,000 Gallons Of Water And 25 Trees

Denver started accepting food and beverage cartons in purple recycling bins in 2012. Paper coffee cups were added to the mix in 2018 because these containers are made with valuable paper fibers.

Many of these containers (milk, soup, juice, wine, broth, small juice boxes, coffee cups) also contain aluminum foil and thin layers of plastic. Carton recyclers have developed sustainable ways to separate these materials which are turned into food packaging, printer paper, and building products.

According to the Carton Council, a ton of paper made from recycled instead of virgin fiber

conserves 7,000 gallons of water, 25 trees, 4,000 Kilowat-hours of electricity and 60 pounds of air pollutants.

When you drop your carton or coffee cup in the purple bin don’t crush it, to increase the probability the sorting robots will detect and place it on the right path at the material recovery facility.

Mark Kuhl is an environmental advocate who lives in Park Hill with his family. His handy tips and news about recycling household items appear every month in these pages. A directory of his past columns for recycling everything from paint to Styrofoam to shoes is at greaterparkhill.org/sustainability/ recycling-directory/.

March 2024 The Greater Park Hill News Page 5
TO ReCYCLe IT’ S K UhL
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Announcemen T s

Cracking The Mirror

Shout on Colfax between Columbine and Elizabeth streets.

Make Your Voice Heard

Downtown Aurora Visual Arts presents The Mirror Cracked, an exhibition curated by Paloma Jimenez and Genevieve Waller from DARIA Art Magazine. A concurrent exhibition of handmade prints by DAVA students will also be on display. The Mirror Cracked is a group exhibition in which the artists reconfigure symbols from their environments to construct inventive visual languages. Their processes reflect an experimental approach within the abundant world of printmaking. DAVA is hosting a free opening reception on Friday, March 8 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in conjunction with the Month of Printmaking. DAVA is at 1405 Florence St. The exhibition is free and open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 19.

Strolling With Goodstein

Historian and author Phil Goodstein is kicking off this season’s guided walking tours of Denver with a stroll through the Globeville neighborhood on Saturday, March 16 from noon to 1 p.m. Gather by the swimming pool in Argo Park on 47th Avenue between Logan and Pennsylvania streets. This is a free, experimental tour.  Participants may tip the guide as they wish. Goodstein hosts another free tour of the Capitol Heights neighborhood south and east of East High School on Saturday, March 23 from noon to 1 p.m. The walk gathers in the plaza between Tattered Cover and Twist and

The Denver Commission for People with Disabilities (DCPD) has an opportunity for people who want to make a difference for community members with disabilities. The mission of the commission is to promote and enhance equality for people with disabilities through empowerment, advocacy and education by working with neighbors, as well as Denver officials and employees who can effect change. The commission meets on the first Tuesday of every month via Zoom. For more information go to the DCPD website at tinyurl.com/ DenverCPD or email the staff liaison at Kristina.Ericson@denvergov.org.

Are You Ready To March?

Yes, the 4th of July Parade is still a few months away, but in Park Hill it’s never too soon to start planning. Organizers have already secured a marching band for this year — which has in the past been a challenge. The 101st Army Band, a unit of the Colorado Army National Guard, has been in service for more than 80 years. The band is confirmed and will kick off the parade this year with a time-honored tradition of patriotic music. Other plans in progress for this year’s 14th annual Park Hill Parade include a completely redesigned Parade website at parkhillparade.com. Check it out for early registration and sponsorship opportunities.

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News, continued from page 1

another 1,000 people.

Several city council members have been highly critical of Johnston’s responses to the crises. They have accused the mayor and his administration of refusing to share critical information and details about his plans. In November Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore resigned from her position as chair of the safety and housing committee.

Councilwoman Shontel Lewis, who represents portions of Park Hill, termed the latest announced cuts to recreation centers and other services as “disastrous.”

“At a moment of crumbling trust, when community needs to come together the most, cutting municipal services like our recreation centers is not the way to maintain neighborhood camaraderie,” she wrote in a February newsletter.

A schedule of the new hours of rec center operations is here: tinyurl. com/DenverRecHours.

The mayor has asked all departments to find additional cuts to programs and services. Denver Clerk & Recorder Paul Lopez, who oversees elections in Colorado’s largest city, described a request by the mayor’s office to cut $1 million from his budget — in a critical election year — as “outrageous.”

Migrant housing on hold at Mosaic

A plan to house 72 migrant families at two former dormitories on the Mosaic Community Campus has stalled, in part due to the poor conditions of the buildings.

As detailed in the January issue, the plan, coordinated by the mayor’s office, had been to move the families into Gaebe Hall and Triangolo Hall for three to nine months beginning the month before, in December.

The three-story brick structures are on the south side of the campus — formerly Johnson & Wales — at 17th Avenue and Pontiac Street. Denver Housing Authority (DHA) purchased the two buildings in 2021 for $9.5 million with the intent to repurpose them into affordable housing. But they have sat empty since then.

In February, Erin Clark, the chief real estate investment officer for DHA, said workers discovered a number of problems inside the buildings that require repairs — including water damage and elevator maintenance. In addition, the plumbing and electrical needed to be checked to make sure everything was in working condition. “Those are all the logistics that are happening currently,” Clark said.

Clark admitted being frustrated by the delays. But she highlighted the need to have better clarity on several aspects of the program, including property management and support services. She expects to have a better timeline in weeks to come, she said.

“We recognize there has been a lot of concern and confusion in the community and we apologize for that, but we’re still trying to figure it out,” she said.

When the plan first surfaced, Councilwoman Lewis and other community leaders and neighbors were vexed by what they described a maddening lack of transparency from the mayor’s office. Though neighbors expressed support and desire to welcome newcomers to the neighborhood, neither the councilwoman or the registered neighborhood organization or nearby neighbors had been notified of any details of the plan.

March 2024 The Greater Park Hill News Page 7 CHRISMERMAN Your neighbor with vast experience buying & selling historic Park Hill properties. Simply scan the QR code and receive a FREE home value analysis! I’ve got you covered in Park Hill. 303.358.4294 cmerman@livsothebysrealty.com chrismerman.com Art STEAM Programs Math www.mindcraftmakerspace.com 303-341-4065 - Summer Camps - Spring/Fall/School Break Camps - Workshops & Birthday Parties - Tutoring & Academic Booster Camp (Orton-Gillingham Tutoring for Dyslexia ) "Voted Colorado Parent Magazine Family Favorites 3 years in a row!" 3D Printers Laser Engraver Sewing Machines 3D Pens Art Supplies Technology Science Engineering TOYS - STEM KITS - ART KITSTRAVEL TOYS - CRAFTS KITSBUILDING SETS - BOARD GAMESFIDGET TOYS - BOOKS - STUFFIESPUZZLES - THROWBACK TOYS 2501 Dallas St. Ste.228 Aurora, CO 80010 at Stanley Marketplace in Central Park www.mindcra�makerspace.com "�is is such a cool store�"� E�E� www.CitySideRemodeling.com Twenty years of experience working with Denver’s classic homes Numerous Park Hill references 720-338-0748 Design and Renovation Specialists No Idling Zone Every minute a car idles, it releases enough emissions to fill 150 balloons. The Regional Air Quality Council is partnering with Park Hill Elementary School to highlight the importance of not idling vehicles, especially near schools as car exhaust pollutants negatively impact overall air quality and are especially harmful for children. Photo by David Sabados
Gaebe Hall, on the Mosaic Campus in southeast Park Hill, has sat empty for three years. Photo by Cara DeGette

BRt Or Bust

The Colfax Lynx Has All The Makings Of A Boondoggle

Anyone else have Bus Rapid Transit on their mind?

I’ve been following it since sometime in 2019 when I discovered the city’s plan for Colfax. At that time, I thought it a little crazy to carve two lanes of traffic off Colfax between Broadway and Yosemite to build a concrete island down the middle, run buses along that island, eliminate the Route 15 bus, and spend $135 million to do this.

Silly me. The plan is rolling along — and the estimated cost has now more than doubled, at close to $300 million.

Originally, the BRT — which Denver has officially named the “Lynx” — was to run from I-25 to I-225. That would have included Auraria Campus to the west and the Anschutz Medical Campus to the east. The full stretch of Colfax is no longer on the table for some reason — which is too bad. Quickly moving large numbers of people to a threecollege campus and a major medical campus should have been a priority.

I am a big believer in public transit and great public transportation is critical for Denver to thrive. However, I do see some problems with the Colfax Lynx, and the plan to reduce car traffic along the major street to one lane in each direction.

There were other options for Colfax. I thought electric trams or streetcars were a better alternative, but the answer always is that rail is too expensive. The concrete wall that will be built down Colfax will alter the street forever and limits future use. No one will want to tear it out after spending so much to build it.

What we get for $300 million are new diesel (not electric) buses (the interiors will at least be clean at the

start), frequent service, convenient ticketing stations, and faster service. At rush hours the buses will run every five minutes.

The planners also say this service will be a boon to the businesses along the corridor. I do question that assertion. The Lynx will eliminate some 300 parking spots along Colfax. With only 16 stops from Broadway to Yosemite (including just six stops along the Park Hill stretch from Colorado Boulevard to Quebec Street), it seems like the Lynx is for commuting, not stopping to shop. Businesses along Colfax will have to endure two and a half years of construction. Given Denver’s record of building things on time, 30 months will be the minimum. The 16th Street Mall is already taking a year longer than expected.

In Mexico City, which has a center-running BRT, we found the center island to be a barrier for pedestrians and was effectively a wall between neighborhoods. I have heard of similar problems with the BRT in Albuquerque. It’s hard to justify the cost of building an island, especially when the money could have been spent on more environmentally friendly alternatives instead of the diesel buses that will be used.

When I asked why diesel buses were being used, Denver’s BRT team said alternatives were too expensive.

The Colfax corridor suffers from bad air quality, and it seems that when planning this project, alternative fuel buses would have been the starting point.

Some hurdles for this project are the cleanliness and safety issue, ridership, and RTD staffing. RTD is still at a 15 percent staffing shortfall. 15/15L ridership has been down. I see buses in the morning rush hour, and they are rarely more than half full. Other times of day, there are often only four or five riders.

This construction will at times close access to side streets, eliminate street parking and make life very difficult for mom-and-pop businesses along the stretch. If any of you remember the reconstruction of South Broadway along Antique Row, you know what I mean. That project forced many businesses to close because the public could not access them. The city is promising assistance, but details are unclear.

Denver Water’s current water main project on Colfax, which started just before the holidays, is providing us with a preview of BRT construction. I live a block off Colfax and I’m witnessing the intermittent chaos the construction is causing. It isn’t daily, but we get spurts of lines of confused drivers trying to figure out where to go. They come through the neighborhood, phones held up looking for way to get through. The project has pushed traffic to 13th, 14th, and 17th avenues.

Sadly, there is a reason kids in the neighborhood refer to the 15/15L as the “vomit comet.” It can be a very unpleasant riding experience. When I asked about the safety and cleanliness issue at a meeting last summer, the response was that RTD is in charge of security and operations. That response brought out one of the reasons the Colfax project seems disjointed.

Denver is building the Denver portion of the route, Aurora oversees their section, and RTD is operating the buses. Anybody see how the finger pointing will go?

Gary Martyn grew up in Park Hill. He is a retired media specialist.

Denver is currently planning 33 miles of Bus Rapid Transit all over the city. Of that, only the Colfax section (5.5. miles) will be center-running. In fact, when the Lynx crosses into Aurora, it will revert back to the regular curbside bus service with its currently existing stops. The planners say the center running is safer, but it can’t be much safer if most BRT miles are curbside.

Editor’s Note: After several years of preliminary design work, Denver is currently pursuing federal funds to build the Bus Rapid Transit on Colfax. For more on the timeline, branding and design, to sign up for community meetings and to submit your comments and questions about the project, check out the city’s website for the project: tinyurl.com/ EColfaxBRT

The Greater Park Hill News March 2024 Page 8
op I n I on
Rendering of the Bus Rapid Transit on Colfax. As currently proposed, the buses will run down the center of Colfax. Car traffic will be reduced to one lane going east and one lane going west between Broadway and Yosemite. Credit: City and County of Denver

Wild things All Around

Members Of Park Hill-Based Urban Wildlife Photo Club Share A Love Of The Outdoors And An Eye For Detail

by the

Wildlife Photo Club For the GPHN

Their interests range from scenic landscapes to up-close macro images, from local, national and international travel photos to day-today observations. Their skills range from hobbyists with camera phones to professionals.

Now in its 35th year, the Urban Wildlife Photo Club meets the second Monday evening of each month at Park Hill United Methodist Church at the corner of Montview Boulevard and Glencoe Street. With a current roster of 56 members, the club’s purpose is to improve photography while having fun. Members share a love of the outdoors and a commitment to conservation and come from all over the Front Range.

Members have been recognized locally and beyond. Several have published books, been published in various other media, and won numerous awards. In 2023 eight members had 12 images in the top 250 of the Share the View International Nature Photography Contest.

The club itself is noncompetitive, which means meetings include opportunities for members to show their work in a supportive and educational setting. Members receive constructive critiques from talented (and often entertaining) professional wildlife/nature photographers.

Guest speakers present instructional programs and highlight topics such as bats, bald eagles, raptor rehabilitation, bears, butterflies and beavers, as well as climate and the environment.

Besides monthly meetings, members also take photography field trips to Colorado locations. The trips range from a few hours from Denver to multi-day excursions, including to Monument Valley, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge and the Pawnee Grasslands.

The Urban Wildlife Photo Club was founded in 1988 for the sole purpose of providing photos of urban wildlife to illustrate a book. As initially detailed in a 1993 Rocky Mountain News story about the club, award-winning local photographers Wendy Shattil and Bob Rozinski were inspired by an environmental movement in London that Shattil learned of while there to accept a BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award. The movement’s goal was to enlighten city dwellers about the seldom-appreciated wildlife around them. Shattil and Rozinski wanted to implement this idea here in Colorado.

Working with several entities — including a Boulder publisher, the Colorado Wildlife Federation, the Denver Audubon Society, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the

Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo — they formed the Urban Wildlife Partnership. Gearing their activity toward Earth Day in 1990, the group formed a club to teach photographers the skills to find overlooked opportunities in the city.

Members’ images were published in a 1990 book, Close to Home: Colorado’s Urban Wildlife, featuring the wildlife that is all around us.

Although the initial charter had run its course, members decided to continue with the club and broaden

beyond urban wildlife to include all wildlife, nature and travel subjects.

Projects have included the development of a Code of Ethics and Etiquette for Wildlife Watching and Photography (in conjunction with the Colorado Urban Wildlife Partnership), a statewide children’s art contest, and Earth Day slide shows.

The club welcomes all interested photographers. To view a current selection of photos and learn more about the club check out its website at couwpc.com.

March 31, 2024 • 8, 9:30 & 11:00AM Easter Tea and Craft Fair • 9:15-10:30AM Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church 1980 Dahlia Street, Denver | www.montview.org
KRISLENE LORENZ
Members of the Urban Wildlife Photo Club at St. Vrain State Park. Left to right: Vaughn Cottman, Tom Loucks, Randy Anderson, Bob Dean, Mary Kiesling, Barbara Berryman, Dick Jones. Photo by Lynne Jones

At The Library, continued from page 1

receive housing, with over 65 percent responding that a unit needing rent over $600 dollars a month was an unattainable goal. Housing vouchers from the city have increased in popularity, though the report found that only about 8 percent of those with a voucher were able to secure housing.

It’s also important to recognize that social workers can only provide

resources that are available.

“One of the greatest challenges of my position is that there just aren’t enough resources to fill all of the needs of our community,” says Donkoh. “There might be a resource that was helpful at some point, but they may have run out of funding or they have been overwhelmed by the amount of people who need that resource. Moreover, there are or-

ganizations that have case workers or other employees that are overworked.”

Help may not be immediately available and it can feel hopeless for those caught in the system. People coming to the library, however, can be given help finding out what resources they can apply for as well as help navigating the bureaucracy of the system. It’s not perfect but it can change lives. Library employees are in awe of how much work and solutions the Community Resource Department is able to find, organize and distribute.

This month Park Hill Library employees want to also highlight work being done by two organizations. Metro Caring helps to support food access for all. They work with the community, and also with individuals. In addition, the Harm Reduction Action Center works with people to promote public health and harm reduction practices.

Additional services and organizations can also be found on the DPL website at denverlibrary.org/content/ community-resources.

In addition, the Park Hill Library accepts food donations for the Park Hill Food Bank. Please keep in mind we can only accept non-expired foods. Any perishable items like fresh produce should be donated directly to the Park Hill Emergency Food Pantry (hours of operation and current needs are on page 12). Mayfair Liquors at 14th and Krameria and Cake Crumbs at 22nd and Kearney also have food donation boxes for the pantry.

This librarian hopes you will continue to be kind, generous, and patient while we as a society try and solve this ongoing crisis. Special thanks to social workers and the incredible services they provide.

March Programs

Park Hill Library

Baby Storytimes | Thursdays 10:15-10:45 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for babies ages 0-18 months and their parents or caregivers.

Toddler Storytimes | Fridays 10:15-10:45 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for toddlers ages 18-36 months and their parents or caregivers.

TAB Tuesdays I March 5, 19, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Anyone 6th-12th grade is welcome to join and help with library programming and resources geared towards teens.

Writing Circle | Thursdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Who are you writing for? Join our adult writing circle to hone your writing skills and share your work.

No Strings Attached Book Chat | Saturday, March 2 & 30, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Read whatever you want and attend whenever you can. Share a recent read, an old favorite, or anything in between.

Kids Game Club | Wednesday, March 6 & 20, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Are you looking for something fun after school? Drop by to play games in a fun, relaxed environment the first and third Wednesday of each month. Ideal for ages 5-12. Make friends, learn to be good losers and winners and have fun. Adults are welcome to stay and play with their children also.

Death Cafe | Monday, March 18 2-3:30 p.m.

Death Café is an international movement that invites people to gather, normalize conversations around death, to make the most of life. This is not a grief support group or counseling session. Respect for all views is a priority.

Connection of Loss: Part 3 of the Death Series | Saturday, March 16, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Presented by LeAnn Hoye, a nurse, physical therapist and longtime meditator. As a mom who lost her daughter, she began understanding the intrinsic relationship of grief and living. She is the founder of Gracefully Beginning, and coaches parents and individuals through experiences of loss and into love.

Kids Book Celebration | Thursday, March 21 4-5 p.m.

We will explore a book or series every month and do activities and crafts related to what we read. Parents of young children need to attend with their child. This month we are exploring pet shelters and animal rescue.

Pauline Robinson Branch

The Pauline Robinson Branch library is closed for renovations. While construction is underway, limited library services are being offered at Hiawatha Davis, Jr. Recreation Center at 3334 Holly St. Services are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Chromebooks are available for public use, as well as printing and copying.

• A cart of free books and DVDs is available for browsing.

• Digital Navigator appointments a re available Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Bookmobile is on Wednesdays f rom 1 to 2:30 p.m.

• Community Resource Navigators a re available Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m.

Greater Park Hill has two public libraries: The Park Hill branch library is at 4705 Montview Blvd. For hours of operation and additional upcoming programs, visit denverlibrary. org/events/upcoming.

The Pauline Robinson branch library is at 5575 E. 33rd Ave. It is currently closed for renovations. See listings above for current location and library services.

Note: All library branches will be closed in observance of Cesar Chavez Day on Monday, March 25.

The Greater Park Hill News March 2024 Page 10
Your Park Hill Real Estate Expert Local Knowledge You Can Trust Dave Krohne Realtor® 720.412.5003 david.krohne@compass.com @denverhomesbydave Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Photos may be virtually staged or digitally enhanced and may not reflect actual property conditions.
Luna, curling up with some good books. Photo by Mark Silverstein

Dagger Shots

Lady Angels Dominate The Season; Boys Team Is Rebuilding

With an intriguing mix of youth, experience, and size on their side, the East girls varsity basketball squad completed an undefeated 6A league schedule and won their first playoff round, upsetting Fruita Monument High School 38-32 on Feb. 20. In the second round three days later, the Lady Angels fell to No. 7-ranked Regis Jesuit by a score of 69-61.

Under the guidance of Coach Carl Mattei, 6-foot 4-inch sophomore center Mairead Hearty and 6-foot 2-inch senior power forward Harmonie Banks dominated the paint this season. Senior Jennesse Byrd and freshman Grace Hall shared point guard duties.

While the Lady Angels struggled against some of the suburban teams early on, their dominance of the Denver Public Schools 6A league has been unquestioned. On Feb. 7 at the Thunderdome, East demolished the Far Northeast Warriors by 70 points — 94-24. On Feb. 10 the Angels dispatched George Washington with ease with a final score of 61-38.

Byrd led the squad with a 13.3 points per game average, while the towering Hearty averaged 10.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. The Lady Angels finished the regular season with a 15-8 record and a No. 23 state ranking in the 6A Division. The season hasn’t been as generous

to the East boys team, the defending Colorado state 6A champions. The team is led by Coach Rudy Carey, the winningest coach in Colorado, who has chalked up 10 state titles. But this 2024 season proved a true test of Carey’s mettle. On Jan. 26, before a home game against DPS rival Thomas Jefferson, Carey was prescient about this year’s Angels’ playoff chances.

“We are awful young,” he said. “We are getting better, but there are a lot of good teams out here.”

Carey predicted a title repeat would be impossible. “The season has been a challenge. We graduated 12 seniors last year.” (That group included Colorado’s boys 2022-23 Gatorade Player of the Year D’Andre Samuels, who is now plying his hoop skills as the starting guard for NCAA Division 2 University of Nebraska-Kearney.)

But for the East boys, this “reloading” year was not without its bright points. In the Jan. 25 game against Thomas Jefferson, East dominated throughout, with junior shooting guard James Murray contributing 27 points in the 80-65 victory. And in a nail-biting 63-60 loss to George Washington on Feb. 10, junior guard Maurice Fulcher racked up 27 points, taking his season average to a team-leading 15.5 points per game. The Angels ultimately finished the season with an 11-12 record and missed the state playoffs.

Left: Senior power forward Harmonie Banks (#23) leaps for a rebound against Far Northeast on Feb. 3.

Right: East freshman point guard Grace Hall (#12) drives the basket against Far Northeast.

“We are awful young. We are getting better, but there are a lot of good teams out here.”

Right: Angel James Murray goes for a slam dunk against Thomas Jefferson on Jan. 25.

Below: East Coach Rudy Carey gives instruction during a timeout.

March 2024 The Greater Park Hill News Page 11

c om m A n d c e n T r A L

Tilt Toward The Sun

Gearing Up For Spring And Summer In Park Hill

In just a few weeks, Mother Nature will unfurl the first signs of spring. Chilly days will likely morph into record-breaking, climate-cautioning warm ones, the kind where the dog stretches out in his favorite patch in the sun, panting. Hyacinths, snowdrops and crocuses will start their tilt toward the sun, and trees, bereft of leaves from winter’s frigidity, will begin their blossoming rituals. Spring also marks the time of year when our event season wakes up.

Celebrating its 14th year, the spirited Park Hill 4th of July Parade — the largest in Denver — cruises down 23rd Avenue. Ballyhooing everything from bands, uniformed military personnel and classic cars to comic-book superheroes, floats and dance troupes, the one-mile march begins at 1:30 p.m. and stretches from Dexter to Krameria streets. There are viewing areas along the entire route, and you’re more than welcome to bring blankets, a picnic and lawn chairs. More details about the parade, including sign-up info, is at parkhillparade.com.

o pen b o ok | op I n I on

Shifting Worldviews

Longtimer Or Newcomer, We Are All Humans

As a fifth grader I organized a school-wide gun violence awareness demonstration (as well as a fifth grader can, at least; I certainly had a lot of help).

We’re on track for another jampacked year of community events, the first of which is our fantastically fun Park Hill Yard Sale on Saturday, May 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Yard sale participants must be located within the Greater Park Hill boundaries: East Colfax Avenue to Smith Road and Colorado Boulevard to Quebec Street.

Spring marks the time of year when Greater Park Hill’s event season wakes up.

We’re beyond excited for our 46th annual Park Hill Home Tour, which takes place on Sunday, Sept. 29 in conjunction with our yearly Street Fair, a festive jubilation that unfolds on Forest Parkway at Montview.

If you’d like to sell your trinkets and treasures, you’ll need to register at this link: bit.ly/3UKBztE. If you plan to shop, kindly bring your own bags and cash. Many sellers will also be accepting Venmo.

Next up is our 24th annual Park Hill Garden Walk, a showcase of seven sensational home gardens in and around Park Hill. This year’s Garden Walk is Sunday, June 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Online tickets go on sale in early May. For more information visit parkhillgardenwalk.org.

Our neighborhood is known for its stately Victorians, craftsman-style bungalows, storybook Tudors, cozy ranches, Colonial Revivals, MidCentury stunners and innovative, new-build modern homes driven by geometry. If you own a home you’d like to flaunt, the Park Hill Home Tour committee would love to hear from you. Email Mary Salsich for details: mbsalsich@gmail.com.

All GPHC events are made possible by tireless volunteers and generous donors. Thank you, as always, for your kindness, in-kind and financial contributions, involvement and dedication to GPHC. You are so appreciated.

Greatest emergency food Pantry Needs

• Cereal and bread

• Dried beans

• Pasta sauce

• Hearty canned soups, stews and chili

• Canned fish and meats

• Canned tomato sauce and tomato paste

• Shelf-stable packaged meals (Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, Knorr pasta sides)

• Canned and fresh fruit

• Bags of fresh potatoes and onions

• Frozen packages of chicken thighs a nd drumsticks

• Bags, slices and blocks of cheese (a ll kinds)

• Toiletries for both men and women

We accept food and toiletry

donations at the GPHC office (2823 Fairfax St.) between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, between noon and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and on Saturday by appointment only. There are also donation bins at the Park Hill Library and Mayfair Liquors — and we love seeing those filled. If you’re unable to donate food in person, please consider making an online donation at GreaterParkHill.org. If you’re interested in volunteering in our food pantry, please contact Lori Midson at director@greaterparkhill.org.

As much as we appreciate your donations, please be aware that we do not accept opened packages of food. Please, please do not donate expired food.

An avid reader of the New York Times and a child with parents who encouraged my opinionated nature, I was a growing Greta Thunberg, a mini Malala, a juvenile Joan of Arc. If you asked me for my zodiac sign I probably would’ve said Nelson Mandela. Naive and wide-eyed, I assumed I knew everything and my worldview was as vast as it would ever be.

As a rising freshman, a reality anvil was dropped on me in the form of an encampment for houseless people in the parking lot of Park Hill United Methodist Church. It’s where I spent almost every day of the summer of 2021.

My experiences there flipped my worldview on its head. I realized very quickly that in some ways my high-horse activist attitude fell under the same umbrella as the distrust that fueled an onslaught of threats against the Safe Outdoor Space.

I began to comprehend that the only way anyone could say such cruel things about the people who had rapidly become my friends was by not seeing them as people at all. I noticed how even supporters would ogle at residents like animals in a zoo when they toured the premises. I sheepishly admitted to myself that I had spent years avoiding the eyes of homeless individu-

als while swearing up and down that I viewed them as wholly as I would any other person.

It is shockingly easy to reduce what is unfamiliar to us to subhuman status without realizing it. You don’t need to actively hate someone to see them as less than someone at all. I’m being reminded of this vex of a habit of the human subconscious a lot lately, mainly regarding the thousands of new migrants in Denver.

My observation is that discussions about how the city should move forward on the influx of migrants often don’t acknowledge the basic personhood of the individuals they are discussing. Sacrificing basic empathy for the sake of productive dialogue is unnecessary and belittling – and it happens from all perspectives.

So how can we possibly avoid something that happens below our conscious radar? There’s no easy way out. My recommendation is to follow the example of my fifth grade self: be opinionated and informed and have passion for the things you know you believe in.

The only thing I did wrong in elementary school was assuming my perspective of the world was complete and the only one there is. Look outside of yourself and up to the sky so you can see reality anvils coming.

Anya Nitczynski is a junior at Denver School of the Arts. Her column appears monthly in these pages.

The following organizations and individuals donated to and volunteered with Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. in February:

Joel Hunter-Pirtle

Irene Andress and Joan and Jim Marchiori

JP and Susan Young

Bill Juraschek

Kathleen Hannan and Jon Rice

Heather Selph

Barbara Sharp

Shelly and Stuart Scales

Jacqui Shumway and Joe Brady

Sarah Speicher

Mary Jo Starmer

Todd Cooper

Kristy Corcoran

Debra Currier

Veronica D’Annibale

David and Katherina Mays

Erin Denovan Abigail Dice

Anonymous Donors

Erin Donovan

Doug Schuler and Margerie Hicks

Millie Drumwright

Duane and Jean Gall

Ellen Reath and Craig Maginness

Estelle and Charles Bennett

Janet Fairs

Michelle Ferguson

Claudia and Harold Fields

Anne & Joe Frank

Florence Garbini

Kathy

Sylvia

Penny

Don

Cathy

Ben

Simon

Bobbi Gillis

Princess Gray

Pamela Greenberg

Lisa Haddox

Amy Harris

Harry and Gail Doby

Andrew Hartman

Carol Hiller

Lee Hillman

Jane Hoback

Julie Hoebel

Bernadette Kelly

Kevin and Catherine Cray

Sarah Klahn

Jane W Klever

Lana and James Cordes

Emily Larson

Martha Lassen

Ben Levek

Alan and Leslie Levine

Sharon and Joe Little

Mary Jo Lorenz

Natalie and Patrick Love

Mark and Debra Lovell

Matthew and Elizabeth

Spohn

Megan and Bill McQuinn

Emily Morgan

Harriet Mullaney

Nancy and Tim Weil

Nancy Connick and Diane Jankowski

Genette N’Diaya

Chuck E Nelson

Chris and Erin Nielsen

K Tracy Olson

Glenna O’Neal

Aliza Porter Harper

Julie Reusser

Robert and Joan Root

Sarah Romer

Ryan Rose

Deb Rosenbaum

Louann Sakala

Mary Salsich

Rebecca & Piper Stevens

Christopher Stewart

Rachel Strand

Katherine Swan

Michele Swenson

Susan and G. Darwin Toll

Wendi Torres

Jonathan Ullrich

Jane Wainwright

Lane Waneka

Britt Wilkenfeld

Oliver and Helen Wolcott

Nan Young

Gary Zimmerman

Debbie Zucker and Brian Field

Food Pantry

Volunteers

David Addor

Ursula Boldt

Bruce Campbell

Emily Clark

Linda Davis

Audrey Diamontopoulis

Larea Edwards

Carol Flank

Amber Goodall

Andy Hartman

Mark Pressey

Carole Robertson

Deb Rosenbaum

Heather Selph

The Greater Park Hill News March 2024 Page 12
gphc
970.313.6993 | asena970@gmail.com Interior & Exterior Windows
Businesses/ Churches/Groups City and County Denver Public Works Cure D’Ars Catholic Church Curtis Park Deli Dahlia Campus Farms and Gardens Food Bank of the Rockies Mayfair Liquors Messiah Community Church Overture 9th & CO Denver Public Library Park Hill Branch Library Park Hill United Church of Christ Park Hill United Methodist Church St. Thomas Episcopal Church The Blackbaud Giving Fund Starbucks Individuals and Families
Aguirre
Aldena
and Joel Senger
Allen-Smith Ally Bailey & Matt McConville
Alexis
Jody
Ashley-Lawrence
& Gracie Batt
Bauchwitz
Sachs and Debra Knapp
Blamires Brian Kelly and Nanci Young Jennifer Calderone Inga Calvin Sandra Caron Maria Chioros Mary Ellen Cochran
Edna Dust

Colors Of The Rainbow

Small and elegant, Rainbow Grasshoppers, Dactylotum bicolor, are native to the United States, Canada and northern Mexico. Their vibrant colors include a mix of yellow, red, green, blue and black depending on where they live. Their colors also serve as a warning to birds and lizards and other predators that they are not worth attacking or eating. (This is called aposematism and suggests they may be toxic or taste bad.) This Rainbow Grasshopper was photographed in Park Hill by Mark Silverstein.

pA r k hILL V e T fads And facts

Choices Abound In The Quest For The Best Pet Food

Food – it’s essential to all of us, our furry friends included. But how do you make the best decision for your pet or pets when faced with the huge number of pet food choices, the seemingly endless recalls and all the marketing pitched your way?

When I started taking prerequisites to apply to vet school back in the Dark Ages, research for an assignment for my animal nutrition course found that there were fewer than 2,000 recipes for dog and cat food combined nationwide. A recipe is each new flavor or mix within a brand line. Now there are nearly 7,000 recipes for dogs alone in an ever-increasing push for your pet food dollars in a greater than $100 billion per year industry.

What is most important for your pet in terms of health is the right balance of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats. Your pet should be fed a food that they like, and one that is appropriate to their life stage. Budget is the first step. Each of us for a variety of reasons selects pet food on price and for every price point, there are many options. If searching, please consult your veterinarian for their recommendations of favored brands rather than relying on advertising and the internet.

On every pet food label, there will be an AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) statement that tells how the food was tested and the life stage or stages that the food is appropriate for.

The best food testing is via controlled animal feeding tests, but this can be cost prohibitive. If the AAFCO statement says something along the lines of “formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the

AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles,” then the food has undergone bench chemistry testing to show that it meets the standards set for particular ingredients and percentages of protein, fiber and fat.

Additionally, the AAFCO statement will say what life stage the food is appropriate for. Maintenance is for adult pets. All-life stages means that the food must meet the nutritional requirements of the most demanding nutritional needs – lactation/ pregnancy and growth. All-life stage foods tend to be high in calories and pets will need to be fed less to avoid unwanted weight gain.

Food safety is a tangled subject of its own. Recalls may make pet foods seem rampantly unsafe. But in many cases, a recall occurs due to a precaution from a manufacturer being proactive after a random test result of concern, or FDA random testing indicates a problem with a batch of food. The number of recalls seems higher because a number of brands/ recipes are made by one manufacturer.

Food fads in pet food mirror those in the human marketplace. Grainfree foods are riding on the trend of gluten-free foods. “Whole foods” — including raw — are touted as miracles by Dr. Google, but carry inherent risks to pets and people.

Good nutrition comes in many pet foods. A review of the label and discussing with your veterinarian are your best tools in selecting the right pet food.

Dr. Margot Vahrenwald is the owner of Park Hill Veterinary Medical Center at 2255 Oneida St. For more information, visit www.parkhillvet.com.

Who We Are, What We Do

The Board of Directors of GPHC, Inc.

Greater Park Hill Community, Inc., is a volunteer-based registered neighborhood organization that promotes the character and vibrancy of Park Hill, provides resources, information and advocacy, and preserves quality of life and the history of the neighborhood through community participation.

If you have an issue you’d like to discuss about the neighborhood, reach out to your board representative (listed at right). Unless indicated, representatives can be contacted via the main office, at 303-388-0918 or info@greaterparkhill.org.

GPHC world headquarters is 2823 Fairfax St.

If you are interested in volunteering or serving on a committee, contact current GPHC Board Chair Shane Sutherland at chair@greaterparkhill.org.

• Board Chair Shane Sutherland

• Secretary Bernadette Kelly

• Treasurer Heather Shockey

• District 1 Amy Harris

• District 2 Brenda Morrison

• District 3 Heather Shockey

• District 4 Currently vacant

• District 5 Sophie Milam

• District 6 Phebe Lassiter

• District 7 Jon Bowman

• District 8 Nam Henderson

• District 9 Doug Schuler

• District 10 Colette Carey

• At Large Maria Flora

• At Large Shanta Harrison

• At Large Tracey MacDermott

• At Large Laurel Mohr

• At Large Louis Plachowski: lplachowski@gmail.com

• At-Large Leslie Twarogowski

• Youth Chair Rick Medrick

• Blessed Sacrament James Groves

• Park Hill UMC Jacqui Shumway

The challenges facing today’s retirees are unique. Higher inflation, skyrocketing healthcare costs, longer life expectancies, and complex Social Security rules all make much of the conventional retirement wisdom of the past obsolete. In this new era, it’s crucial that you take a fresh look at the challenges ahead and create a comprehensive plan to address them.

For 30 years, we’ve been working with people like you to address the challenges of the transition from accumulating their nest egg to using it to support their retirement lifestyle. Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

March 2024 The Greater Park Hill News Page 13 b ug L A n d | Mark Silverstein

g r e A T e r pA r k hILL r e sources

Active Minds

The organization’s mission is to expand lives and minds by providing outstanding educational programs. Check out free lectures on topics ranging from music to history, current events to foreign affairs, including in and near Park Hill. A complete schedule of upcoming events is at activeminds.com

Art Garage

6100 E. 23rd Ave., artgaragedenver. com, 303-377-2353. The Art Garage is a nonprofit visual art community center whose mission is to offer artsbased programs that inspire, empower and promote creative self-expression by people of all ages, backgrounds, and ability levels. Check out ArtGarageDenver.com for details.

Blunders and Beers

Blunders and Beers is a Park Hill Chess Club that meets the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at Longtable Brewhouse, 2895 Fairfax St., beginning at 6 p.m. All skill levels are welcome. Bring a board if you have one.

Daughters of the American Revolution

Are you interested in genealogy? Your family history? American history? The Frances Wisebart Jacobs Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution meets regularly in the area. Contact Kathy Kelly at kkellyfwj76@gmail.com for details.

Denver Police District 2

3921 Holly St., 2.Dist@denvergov. org, non-emergency number is 720913-1000. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.

Denver Public Schools dpsk12.org

Check the website for resources and updates. Call the helpline at 720-4233054 for support in many languages.

Donations Resources

Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. 2823 Fairfax St., greaterparkhill.org, 303-388-0918

GPHC neighborhood association community meetings are conducted virtually and in person on the first Thursday of the month, except for December and July. The next meeting is Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. at 2823 Fairfax St. Check greaterparkhill.org/join-us/community-meetings/ for information on how to participate. The April meeting is April 4.

Libraries

denverlibrary.org

See the “At the Library” feature on page 10 for updates and resources offered by the Park Hill and Pauline Robinson branch libraries.

Northeast Park Hill Coalition

The Northeast Park Hill Coalition hosts its monthly meeting the second Thursdays of the month. Location varies. Check the group’s Facebook page @ Northeast Park Hill Coalition for updates.

One World Singers

A community choral group that performs music from diverse cultures and traditions, and nurtures the musical abilities of all who wish to sing. Rehearsals every Thursday at 7 p.m. at St. Thomas Church, 22nd and Dexter. Email Sandy at  owsmanager@yahoo. com  or go to OneWorldSingers.org for more information.

Park Hill Community Bookstore

Established in 1971. Denver’s oldest nonprofit bookstore. Used and new books. 4620 E. 23rd Avenue. 303-355-8508.  Members and volunteers get discounts and book credits. Check parkhillbookstore.org for current hours of operation.

Park Hill Peloton

Thousands of our neighbors have been living unsheltered and are struggling for basic services. Thousands more are newcomers to Colorado and the United States, arriving with little to nothing. So many can use your help. Check out our online list of organizations who accept donations — everything from clothes and furniture to bikes and baby essentials: greaterparkhill.org/ giving-back-spreading-the-love/

Faith Community

greaterparkhill.org/faith

Greater Park Hill’s faith community, home to over 30 places of worship in just four square miles, is as diverse and robust as the neighborhood itself. The GPHN maintains a list of Park Hill’s places of worship at the website above. Contact individual places of worship for information about their current state of operations.

A recreational group of road cyclists that roll from Park Hill once or twice a week. Check the current status of their rides on the Park Hill Peloton Facebook page.

Sie Filmcenter

2510 E. Colfax, denverfilm.org, 303595-3456.

Free Zoom Tai Chi

Free morning beginner Tai Chi classes on Zoom every Friday at 10 a.m. and Wednesday at 6 p.m. Register at taichidenver.com/beginner-tai-chizoom-class/. Longtime Park Hillians Jacqui and Joe, who teach the class, will send you the link to join.

Walk2Connect

www.walk2connect.com

Park Hill Sunrise Walking Trips happen every Tuesday from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Meet in front of Honey Hill Cafe at 23rd & Dexter Street for a casual, conversational-paced community walk. Everyone is welcome.

The Greater Park Hill News March 2024 Page 14
Submit your neighborhood events and resources to editor@greaterparkhill.org Deadlines are the 15th of the month, for the following month’s issue. A EXPERIENCE FOR Book Today! Call: 720-408-9361 Follow: @TheKnottyKids Book: TheKnottyKidsSalon.com Visit: 2848 Fairfax St, Denver (Park Hill Commons near Sexy Pizza) Latest Trends • Amazing Stylists • Fun Vibe Personalized Styles • Convenient Location Interior & exterior painting • Paint preparation and powerwashing • Complete bathroom & kitchen remodels • Ceramic tile and laminate flooring installation. Owned and operated by Park Hill resident with over 20 years experience. Free estimate. Senior citizen and veteran discount. JR Painting & Remodeling jpabz04@gmail.com 720-485-7207 I’m honored to be a 12x Five Star Professional, and a 5280 Top Real Estate Producer. Jay Epperson Realtor® 303.886.6606 wolfe-epperson.com Contact me today! Wolfe-Epperson is a team of real estate agents affiliated with Compass. Compass is a licensed broker in Colorado and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Fresh Beginnings, Reduced Rates, Your Dream Home Awaits W OLFE + EPPE RS ON + E AS TMAN

gphn cLA s s I f I eds

CONCRETE

Concrete work and repair. Driveway, patios, and sidewalks. Small jobs are welcome. 25 years experience. Free estimates. 303-429-0380

GUTTERS

Gutter Cleaning, repairs, and replacement. Gutter Cleaning prices start at $150 – House, Garage, Porches, and walks. 303-907-9223/skmehaffey@ gmail.com

MASONRY SERVICES

Masonry Services- Brick, Stone, Concrete repairs, restoration, tuckpointing, chimneys, retaining walls, city sidewalks; planter boxes. 303-907-9223/ skmehaffey@gmail.com

PAINTING

Interior and exterior painting. Prep, power washing, professional. Owned and operated by Park Hill resident with over 20 years of experience. Free estimate. JR Painting 720-485-7207 or jpabz04@gmail.com

Painting: Interior, exterior, small jobs welcome; sheetrock repairs and texture. 303-907-9223/ skmehaffey@gmail.com

ROOFING

Roofing: Repairs, Inspections, Flashings, Hail Damage, and reroofing

licensed, bonded, and insured. Gutter replacement and cleaning. 303-9079223/ skmehaffey@gmail.com

SKI & SNOWBOARD CARE

www.centralparkskiboardtuning.com

Ski and snowboard waxing and tuning. Free pickup and delivery to residence. Visit website or text Brett 303-929-7294

TREE TRIMMING

Tree trimming and trash removal. General yard work and clean up. Gutter cleaning. Please call 303-429-0380

TUCKPOINTING

Over 25 years of experience. Fully insured. Mortar color and brick matching, broken brick replacement, cement chimney crown replacement. 12 years Chicago union experience. Mr. Chimney and Home Masonry Repair. Call Chuck Bahnsen 303-948-7999

WINDOWS

Window and Gutter Cleaning. First Floor Only. Call Bob at Twin Pines Window Cleaning, 303 329 8205

Double-hung window RESTORATION includes replacing sash cords (ropes) and removal of excess paint on wood and metal plus lubrication for smooth opening and closing. 40-year resident of PH. Contact David - 720-550-2786

To advertise in the Classifieds contact newspaper@greaterparkhill.org 720-287-0442 (voicemail). the deadline for submission is the 15th of every month

March 2024 The Greater Park Hill News Page 15
4628 E 23rd Ave, Denver CO 80207 www.honeyhillcafe.com • 720 242 6048 Full indoor and patio seating available. OpEn EvEry DAy At 7Am Wine and local beers • Happy Hour daily HOUSE CLEANING Providing 25 years of personalized cleaning service in Central Park & Park Hill Paulina Leon 720-628-6690 Deep & Detail-Oriented Cleaning • Offices/Homes/ Apartments/Airbnb • Move-in/Move-out • Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products (upon request) • Magnificent References Ireland’s Finest Painting Co. Bringing Color to Park Hill Years + 20 % OFF labor on interior jobs only December - March 2024 (303) 512-8777 irelands nestinc.com We’re Getting Busy, Call Today! 2/22/23, 11:19 AM ad DGD GParkHill 2.375x3.75.jpg https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=km#inbox/FMfcgzGrcjRLtQCNCxRhfgnJcvtMHPFB?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1 1/1 CHOOSE A DIFFERENT PATH Scan for more information. stelizabethsdenver.org 1800 N. Pontiac St., Denver, CO 80220 7/12/23, 3:49 PM Ad2.jpg https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/KtbxLrjGPFxJlcJFfNnkKrRTlJQztTncgV?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1 1/1 MAYFAIR VISION CLINIC Dr. Janice I. Jarret Adult and Children’s Vision • Complete Visual, Eye Health and Glaucoma Testing • All Types of Contact Lenses • Frames with One Year Guarantee • Most Insurances Accepted • Free Adjustments and Minor Frame Repair • 15% Discount for Senior Citizens 303.333.9898 1336 Leyden Across from Safeway
The Greater Park Hill News March 2024 Page 16 SETO FAMILY DENTISTRY Now accepting new patient appointments GENERAL DENTISTRY COSMETIC DENTISTRY VENEERS SMILE MAKEOVERS SLEEP APNEA MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY No insurance? Ask us about our Neighborhood Plans! 2842 Fairfax St, Denver, CO 80207 setofamilydentistry.com @seto_family_dentistry Dr. Angelica Seto, DDS (720) 722-9070 Keith Combs 720-218-9614 Jaden Combs 303-324-1437 WWW.COMBSSELLHOMES.COM With over 45 years in Denver real estate, we’re here to help you navigate this ever-evolving market. SOLD 1815 Dahlia St., Park Hill $755,000 ON THE MARKET 2118 Eliot St., Jefferson Park $1,299,000 SOLD 201 Zephyr Way Unit #2308, Winter Park $596,333 have been fantastic for our children. The new themes each week keep them excited to go every day, all summer long— plus, they have half-day options and 4th of July Week camps! Visit isdenver.org/summer to register today! GREETINGS FROM YOUR CHILD’S SUMMER OF FUN m i l esfrom P arkHill!5 Under
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