Page 1

EDGEWATER MAYOR We Are Forever Grateful To Our Police Officers Page 5

PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW Lakewood City Clerk Margy Greer Pages 7

WEST METRO FIRE West Metro Brings in High Tech CPR



Gazette Page 9




February 13 – March 12, 2018 • • FREE

TIF Money Aiding Sloan’s Lake Developments n By

Mike McKibbin


mixed-use residential and commercial redevelopment project on the shores of Sloan’s Lake would not have happened without fi nancial help from local government tax increment fi nancing, according to a project offi cial. City and County of Denver records show Trailbreak Partners and Koelbel & Co., acting as Sloans Block 3 LLC, bought a 2.2-acre block of the Sloan’s Lake St. Anthony’s site – on the southeast corner of Sloan’s Lake, bound by West 17th Avenue, Quitman Street, West 16th Avenue and Perry Street in northwest Denver – for $5.69 million. Koelbel has reported the Sloans Block 3 project cost at $35 million. Financing support for the Sloans Block 3 project came from the City and County of Denver, Denver Urban Renewal Authority and Colorado Housing and Finance Authority in the form of developer equity, low-income housing tax credits, tax increment fi nancing (TIF) money and a performance loan from the Denver Offi ce of Economic Continued on page 2

THE JELLYFISH ARE BACK! Mark your calendars for First Friday Art Walk in the 40 West Arts District, March 2, from 5 to 8 p.m., when the Bad Asstronauts – the Jellyfish – will be shakin’ and movin’ throughout the district, with live music and creative spaces. Bring the family! PHOTO COURTESY 40 WEST ARTS

Beyond The Dreadmill: Fitness Options For All n By


Jennifer LeDuc

ight about now, statistically speaking, eight out of 10 of you reading this article will give up on a New Year’s resolution. According to a 2015 U.S. News and World Report study, by mid-February most people who set life-changing goals – be it in career, health, relationships, fi nancial – shift their thinking from the jump-start, can-do mindset in January to slouching, slacking, excuse-making couch potatoes just in time to tuck into that box of Valentine’s truffl es or make a second pass at the box of donuts in the breakroom (no one has to know you brought them in). Luckily, you live in one of the healthiest states – if not counties – in the entire country, which means you have more resources at your fi ngertips to commit to a healthy lifestyle (if you already don’t) than nearly anywhere else. Jeff erson County is only second to Denver in the number of fi tness-centric facilities in the state, edging out not only uber-fi t Boulder County but Arapahoe, El Paso, Adams and Douglas counties as well. In fact, the approximately 240 fi tness facilities in Jeff co off ers nearly twice as many options for residents as the entire population of West Virginians (which may or may not correlate to it consistently ranking as one of the least healthiest states). So you can’t blame the coal mines or lack of options for what’s stopping you from getting, and staying, fi t this year. Perhaps it’s lack of awareness into your options. While it may seem like there’s a fi tness center on every corner – and in some places there may be – how many have you tried? Fitness centers are like stretch pants: no matter what they say, one size does not fi t all. Rec centers and big-box facilities off er more of a homogenized and price-conscious setting and although personal training

sessions are available, the individual is mostly left to use equipment and create a regimen independently. Boutique gyms – smaller facilities with a bit more esthetic and fl ex appeal – are on the rise. Though pricier, they off er a more intimate, attentive environment that typically revolves around a session with a small group and more opportunity for personal attention. Fitness Together is a small, one-on-one personal training franchise. Pueblo-native David Dias owns the Edgewater location. The former high school coach agrees that in order to stick with a fi tness regimen, be it at his facility, a rec center, kickboxing or Crossfi t, it needs to be the right fi t. “Not everyone who comes through buys in,” he said. For some, stepping on a scale, checking

your heart rate or staring at yourself in the mirror while beads of sweat glisten on your bat wings – er, triceps – is neither pleasant, nor motivating, even with someone like Dias encouraging you on. One industry study revealed 67 percent of memberships go unused, meaning two thirds of the multibillion-dollar industry profi ts are made by people just giving up. Which is why one fi tness program, despite stereotypes, has defi ed the trends and competition and boasts a seven-year average retention when other gyms hope a member sticks around for six months. Founded in 1969, Jazzercise, the “original dance party workout” is not, as instructor and franchise owner Missy Ahr assures, about leg warmers and leotards – because she knows that’s what just crossed your mind.

It is also not about weigh-ins, mirrors or monitors, and although many of the attendees at a recent mid-morning class in the very unsexy gymnasium of the Wheat Ridge Anderson rec center were grandmothers, Jazzercise fuses cardio, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing and dance, and will very much kick you in your gluteus maximus, and you will probably go back for more. As a guest at Ahr’s class, I joined a group of nearly twenty women who sashayed, kicked, sweat, crunched and pumped for an hour. After 10 minutes I was seeing stars, at 11 minutes I was exhausted, and on or around the third round of side-kick-lungeish maneuvers, I could only laugh. The woman in front of me appeared to be in her late 50s or early 60s. She had the poise and Continued on page 10


Dentist Also A Passionate Concert Pianist n By

Ken Lutes

I PIANIST AND DENTIST CODY GARRISON balances a professional dentistry practice with the performance schedule of a busy concert pianist. PHOTO BY LYNN FISCHER.

practice piano six to eight hours a day, on days I’m not practicing dentistry – at least three hours on days I’m in the offi ce,” says concert pianist and dentist Dr. Cody Garrison. “As much as you can be a good musician in your mind, you have to keep making your fi ngers work.” Garrison’s piano playing ranges from recitals at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he’s on faculty, to accompanying opera stars and performing concertos. This year he was chorus pianist for Opera Colorado. So, just how does a person balance a professional Continued on page 8




Find Me!

TIF Money Continued from page 1

Development. The TIF process allows an urban renewal This lost little love bird is hiding authority to use net new tax revenues somewhere in this issue. Find him generated by projects within a designated and send an email to puzzle@ Publisher: Tim Berland area to help finance improvements. TIF is Managing Editor: J. Patrick O’Leary and tell us where a new source of tax revenue, not an added he is at. We will draw a winner out of © FEBRUARY 2018 tax, that would not be available but for new All rights reserved. the correct responses and investment, according to a definition from The publishers assume no send them a cool prize. the Denver Urban Renewal Authority. responsibility for representations, claims or opinions by any advertising Good luck! When a redevelopment project is or article in this publication. proposed, the amount of added property and/or sales tax revenues that may be generated upon completion is determined. That “tax increment” is then used either to finance the issuance of bonds or to reimburse developers for some of their project costs. In either case, that new tax revenue must be used for improvements that have a public benefit and support the redevelopment effort, such as site clearance, streets, utilities, parks, the removal of hazardous materials or site acquisition. The Sloans Block 3 project received close to $7 million in TIF money from the urban renewal authority, something Carl Koelbel, vice-president of Koelbel and Co., thgir eht tceleS rosivdA nacalled oL .r“absolutely” S – neerGkey.Mtonthe iveproject. K ruoy – redneL “This project would not have occurred gninnur sraey 6 enizagaM 0825 ni lanoisseforP ratS eriF dedrawA without it,” he said. “The cost to adapt the *robhgien Kuhlman Building was very high and we used the money for site work, asbestos Select the rehabilitation – which isn’t cheap – and a right Lender – wastewater detention system.” ecivreS taerG Koelbel referred to the nearly 80-yearyour neighbor! old Kuhlman Building, originally built ✔ Great Service as a nursing residence around 1940. ✔ Integrity The five-story brick building served as a ytir✔geGreat tnI Rates Select the right r. Loan Advisor Sr. Loan Advisor nunnery, nursing school, dormitory and administrative offices for St. Anthony Lender – your Whether you’re upgrading, downsizing, relocating, or just want to have some extra 80 Magazine 6 years running Central in 1893. ,gnizisnHospital, wod ,gnidargpuwhich er’uoy rehopened tehW spending cash from a refinance. The quick and easy place to check out your options, give me a call, stop on by and see for yourself!neighbor* I’m your neighborhood lending expert. a r t x e e m o s e v a h o t t n a w t s u j r o , g n i t a c o l e r By the early 2000s, St. Anthony began to setaR taerG dna emoC .eits cnan19-acre ifer a morfcampus. hsac gnidnepIn s 2005, plans outgrow Come and knock on my door... or give me a call 303-865-3952 anytime. -303 llaannounced c a em evig ro roodbuild ym no ka connew k were facility at .emityin na 2Lakewood 593-568 the Federal Center and St. Awarded Five Star Professional in 5280 Magazine 6 years running Anthony abandoned the Sloans campus in Great Service nwo yrev ruoy morF 2011. Demolition began on April 22, 2013, CHECK ME OUT! !ROBHGIEN except for the 16th Avenue Chapel, a parking garage and the Kuhlman Building. Koelbel said renovation work on the Integrity Kuhlman Building began last August and finished in December. Work on 49 affordable apartments – to be called Sienna zing, – inside the building is scheduled to be finished in August, he added. They will be ome extra Great Rates Come and pots ,llac a em evig ,snoitpo ravailable uoy tuo kcehto c othouseholds ecalp ysae dnaearning kciuq ehT 60 percent area median income or less. call 303. t r e p x e g n i d n e l d o o h r o b h g i e n r u o y m ’ I ! f l e s r u o y r o f e e s d na yb no YTREBIL NACIREMA Other Kuhlman Building amenities EGAGTROM include an on-site leasing office, community 2own 593.568.303 From your very room with entertainment area and moc.nivekybsnaol kitchenette, fitness center, 30 reserved NEIGHBOR! parking spaces in Block 3 with another 15 reserved spaces in a1475parking garage, and 42 SLMN an adaptive re-use of a 5,800-square-foot gymnasium on the north side of the building for retail and restaurant space. “We’re looking at some combination of restaurant, microbrewery and café users,” Koelbel said. open YeAR RoUnD Those tenants could move in before the 303-423-5606 end of the year, he added. 303-995-2806 e-mail: Publication is the 15th of each month.


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TIF has ‘outlived its usefulness’

Some government-watching and think-tank organizations, such as the Independence Institute, have criticized the use of TIF money for economic development. “It was to address slums, blight and areas that endangered public health and welfare,” spokesman Mike Krause said in an interview. “The language specifically mentioned people living in squalor. I think while you might find a few isolated places where that is still the case, TIF is something that’s really outlived its usefulness.” Urban renewal authority language in state statutes requires a project be located in a “blighted area,” or “an area that, in its present condition and use … substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the municipality, retards the provision of housing accommodations, or constitutes an economic or social liability, and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare; …” “What we want to see is free market growth, but TIF uses privatized profits for socialized risks because it’s spread out

THE HISTORIC KUHLMAN BUILDING on the former St. Anthony’s Hospital campus had asbestos removal and other remodeling work as part of the Sloans Block 3 project. Koelbel & Co. Vice-President Carl Koelbel said some of the close to $7 million in tax increment financing from the Denver Urban Renewal Authority for the project was used to help cover the costs involved with keeping and reusing the building. PHOTO BY LUKE CANNON.

among taxpayers,” Krause added. “It’s kind of like the chicken and the egg. Developers say if there is not TIF money, projects won’t get built. But maybe that’s just in the first place. Projects most likely will get built, but politicians want them built now.”

Townhomes, public plaza and public art also in Sloans Block 3

Work on 25-27 market-rate townhomes in Sloans Block 3 that will face West 17th Avenue, Quitman Street and West 16th Avenue will begin in early March, Koelbel said, with each townhome having either a one- or two-car garage for homeowner parking. Also planned are a 4,300-squarefoot public plaza at the northeast corner of 17th Avenue and Perry Street, with 2,200 square feet of single-story retail and restaurant space and approximately 32 parking spaces for customers. Koelbel said a public art piece – which he did not want to detail – has been chosen. Created by a local artist, it will need approval by the urban renewal authority, he added. Meanwhile, Sloans Block 9, at Perry and West 16th, is where the Denver Housing Authority is building Vida, a 175-unit, seven-story affordable housing project. Those units are aimed at senior and disabled residents who earn 30 percent or less than the area median income. Denver City Council approved $5.5 million in property tax increment financing to help the $59 million project. Other amenities include up to 20,000 square feet of ground floor medical office and clinic space, a 6,500-square-foot senior activity center, a publicly accessible 5,000-square-foot amenity deck, 125 parking spaces and retail storefront on West Colfax.

Edgewater doesn’t use TIF money

The projects are near the City of Edgewater, a community of about 5,300 people in a 7/10-of-a-square-mile area. City Manager H.J. Stalf said only one development project in city limits, the Marketplace, has received TIF money since the city formed its renewal authority in 1985. “That’s why the authority was formed,” Stalf added. “But the rules have changed so much since then that we just don’t see it as a tool we want to use.” He also noted Edgewater’s small and confined size prevents any measurable expansion via annexation. The city also wants to avoid any controversy TIF money often generates, Stalf said. A “virtually vacant” 11,000-square-foot strip mall was bought by the city’s authority in 2011, Stalf noted. It features an abandoned King Soopers store at 20th Avenue and Depew Street. Called Edgewater Village, the 6.73-acre site is under contract to be sold, Stalf said, with closing scheduled for this spring. In late 2016, Trinity Development Group received a signed letter of intent from a local organic grocer to operate at the site. The only other major project in Edgewater is the new civic center, which Stalf said did not involve any authority or TIF money. – FEBRUARY 13 – MARCH 12, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE



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THE NEW EDGEWATER CIVIC CENTER will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification standards for energy efficiency and green construction. COURTESY D2C ARCHITECTS|NV5

40 WEST ARTS The Bad Asstronauts danced throughout 40 West Arts District on First Friday in 2017.

Edgewater Civic Center Will Meet the Gold Standard n By

Joel Newton



he Edgewater City Council meeting on Feb. 2 brought exciting news on the construction of the Edgewater Civic Center. During the work session, representatives from D2C Architects|NV5 shared design and construction updates on the new construction at 1810 Harlan St., as well as the following construction schedule: • Demolition started Oct. 30, 2017 • Construction started Dec. 5, 2017 • Currently waterproofing basement walls • Metal building install – Feb. 22 to April 12 • Roofs all complete – May 23 • Envelope complete – June 11 • Interior work – to end August • Building complete – September 2018 Representatives from  D2C Architects|NV5 also shared that the new Edgewater Civic Center will meet  LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)  Gold certification standards for energy efficiency and green construction.

First Friday Art Walk

Jefferson’s Marissa Gallegos Wins Her Second State Wrestling Title Jefferson Junior/Senior High School’s Marissa Gallegos won her second Colorado Girls State Wrestling title. The Second Annual Colorado Girls State Wrestling Tournament was held on Feb. 3 at Thornton High School. Gensil (a.k.a. “Akira”) Garcia from Jefferson also took fourth in her weight class. Gallegos has committed to

RETURN JELLYFISH MARCH 2ND 1560 Teller St. Lakewood, CO

5-9pm : Galleries open * Hours vary by location

6:30pm : Official Jellyfish march leaves 40W Gallery


*Jellyfish swarming the district between 5-8pm





16th Ave.


16th Ave.




j i

a g


W. Colfax


a. Art Studio / Gallery b. Photography Studio c. 40 West Arts Gallery d. Pirate: Contemporary Art

e. Liquid Metals f. 40 West Studios g. EDGE Gallery h. NEXT Gallery

i. Lakewood Arts j. Gallery of Everything k. Philip J. Steele Gallery l. Pure Colorado Event Center

JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL’S MARISSA GALLEGOS (center top) won her second Colorado Girls State Wrestling title at the Second Annual Colorado Girls State Wrestling Tournament, held Feb. 3 at Thornton High School. the Grays Harbor College women’s wrestling program after she graduates from Jefferson this coming spring. Seed Starting: Edgewater Gardening Meetup Join the  Jefferson Community Garden for an Edgewater Gardening Meetup on Saturday, March 3 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Jefferson Community Garden, 2305 Pierce St. The topic will be seed starting and will include a demonstration. This forum is open to anyone interesting in learning more about gardening.  Contact Edgewater Collective Executive Director Joel Newton at 303-748-0631 or


Xerxes Steirer


ver the next three months, Edgewater’s Sustainability Seminars will focus on waste, including how we make it, where it goes, what happens to it and what we as consumers can do.

Feb. 20 - Recycling

Jeanette Papp, Colorado Association of Recycling Volunteer of the Year Awardee, will talk about her experiences of pioneering Edgewater’s recycling program along with fellow citizens. This will include a discussion about Colorado’s legislation around waste management and she will answer all the questions you have ever wanted to ask about recycling.

March 20 - Composting



Lakewood Pl.








Edgewater’s urban farmers, Debra and Jason Bump, bring a wealth of knowledge to this talk about composting with their backgrounds as Denver Urban Garden Master Composters and Permaculture Designers. Come learn the importance of composting and how easy it is to do it yourself, whether you live in a house or an apartment.

April 17 - Food Waste

As a recipe developer and former personal chef, Lilly Steirer sees the world

and sustainability through the lens of food. In this talk, she will examine how in the United States nearly 40 percent of all food is wasted with the majority going into landfills becoming the greenhouse gas methane. Adding to our landfills are the packaging and single-use products that are prevalent in our current food system. She will explore why this is happening and some practical steps we can take as consumers to reduce waste, save money and the planet. The Edgewater Sustainability Seminar is held at the Edgewater Library at 25th and Grey. These informal gatherings are free to attend. Seminars are regularly on the third Tuesday of each month throughout 2018 starting at 7 p.m. Bring a friend to each of these talks to learn the importance of reducing waste and strategies we can all take to make it happen. – FEBRUARY 13 – MARCH 12, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE

EDGEWATER MAYOR We Are Forever Grateful To Our Police Officers city. People feel the sense of belonging. We enjoy taking our children to the parks, t’s with great sadness, and a feeling of our family dogs on runs, visiting local utter bewilderment, that our community, business and exploring the changes in our and all communities, must mourn the loss neighborhood. Because we need this. This of another police offi cer taken from their is our homeland. We owe this to our own family and their community. We salute all personal growth and vision and to those those who off er their lives to make ours dedicated who selfl essly protect us. We have embraced that piece of the puzzle. We care safer, to give us security and about and need each other. A hope for order in our lives. simple thank you, a smile, a nod These words feel terribly or a wave is about all it takes to inadequate. But they come from show that. None of us can be too our hearts. Our thoughts, our busy for that. heartfelt grief and love go out To the community I to those men and women who serve, to all my neighbors and give of themselves with unselfi sh all those visiting Edgewater – dedication. especially to our offi cers and I’ve spent most of my life their families – I give you my in Edgewater. As I was growing gratitude and my promise to do up, we all spent much time better to off er you a simple wave out in our neighborhoods, Laura Keegan or smile as you pass. being a community of friends On a lighter note: Make and watching out for each other. We acknowledged our diversities, knowing we sure you drive by our new Civic Center had strength and hope by being connected. development on 1800 Harlan to see the As the decades passed, our city grew and amazing progress. Help one neighbor in need this week – morphed. Sadly, for many of us, that closeness at least off er to, so they know we have their in our neighborhoods went away as our back in times of need. lives became so busy. But in the past years, And, we’re getting many comments on positive changes (as they always must) have those neglecting to pick up after their dogs cycled around, not just in Edgewater, but on their walks. Please carry a poo-bag with across the nation. Again we understand you to make our community cleaner. the need many of us tried to ignore – we Finally, if you are new here, welcome to need each other. That’s what builds strong Edgewater. Our community is our strength. Edgewater Mayor Laura Keegan can neighborhoods, gives us safety and a real be reached at sense of home. Change has again swept through our or 303-232-0745. n By

Laura Keegan



Now that the Chocolate hearts are empty, come in for a checkup and cleaning.

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20th & Depew: A House Under Contract They are also confi rming their fi nancial status. Like homebuyers, developers don’t eptember brought exciting news: usually walk in with cash to buy a property. They too have to get a loan of sorts. In this movement on Edgewater’s longstanding albatross, 20th and Depew. A case, LCP is using this time to confi rm with local developer, Littleton Capital Partners their investors that they are ready and (LCP), came before council, outlined willing to invest in this property. ideas for redeveloping the site, and LCP is also planning what to put where when they move in. They need to know what council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing the sale of this city-owned tenants are a good fi t for Edgewater. Zoning and parking codes can have a big impact property. on the type of tenants that can All problems were solved: go into this development, not to 20th and Depew was sold; the mention the fact the tenants need abandoned piece of property to express interest. Despite how would be redeveloped; and wonderful it would be, we can’t Edgewater residents would have make any specifi c restaurant or new local businesses. store come unless they want to. So why has nothing changed, (If that were possible, I’m pretty again? sure Trader Joe’s would be all I have come to realize selling over northwest metro Denver.) this property is like selling a According to the contract, LCP home (only on a much bigger, must have at least 70 percent of more complicated level). The Kate Mulcahy the tenant space fi lled before the city is in a “Review Period” with city will sell. LCP which is similar to the “under contract” So what’s our status? Under contract. status of selling a home. Meaning, we are still in the process of selling the property. Have we been here before? Yes. The city Yet, the usual month-long under contract has been under contract with a few other and $5,000 earnest money is now a 180-day developers. So the question is will this contract actually go through this time? It’s review period with $50,000 earnest money. During this time, homebuyers are busy looking really good: the city and council are completing tasks for a successful sale: an working hard to ensure there are no code or inspection, confi rming the home loan, and zoning barriers to the project; the developers planning what goes where when they move are confi dent in their investors; and there is interest from prospective tenants. in. LCP has a similar to-do list. Right now, LCP is inspecting the May is the deadline of this contract. Will property to ensure a good investment. we close then? Maybe. Meanwhile, we are Instead of an hour-long inspection of a roof optimistic, and council is happy to keep you or foundation, LCP needs months to inspect posted. Contact Edgewater City Councilwomand evaluate a wide range of elements including utilities, zoning, city code and an and 303870-8659. much more.

n By

Kate Mulcahy


Have a news tip or story idea? Send it to





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INDUSTRY MONDAY BOGO 1st drink, 10 am - 2 am Foosball tourney registration 7 pm play 7:30 $5 entry

40 WEST ARTS DISTRICT The Jellyfish Are Back by Popular Demand!

TUESDAY 2fer on Mountain High margaritas 4-10pm THIRSTY THURSDAYS $1 wine well do.m. draft $2 bottles 3-7pm, Video karaoke/DJ FABULOUS FRIDAY $ 5.50 PBR & shot of Fireball 25¢ jukebox DASTARDLY SATURDAYS BOGO WINE WELL domestic draft and bottles every drink 12 pm - 7pm Foosball tourney 8 pm reg 8.30 play reg $5 SUNDAY FUN DAY Free Pool 2 pm - 4 pm

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Liz Black


id you come to our March 2017 Districtwide Art Walk, where a swarm of fabric installation Jellyfi sh roamed through the District dancing, walking and delighting attendees? This super family-friendly, aweyour-kid, totally free moving art installation was a huge hit … so we’re bringing it back. Mark your calendars for First Friday, March 2, from 5 to 8 p.m., when the Bad Asstronauts will be shakin’ and movin’ throughout the district, in and out of galleries, and all around. We'll also have live music set up at multiple spots and all of our galleries and creative spaces (including 40W Studios) open. Bring your whole family for this fun celebration. Visit for more information.

Global Grooves First Rehearsal, Feb. 20

Great people and great service keep me coming back. – Oliver

Ever wonder what it would be like to play global grooves from the past or some future science-fi ction style music? Join Golden Music for a series of workshops on

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he Alamo Drafthouse Denver has an entertaining lineup of special screenings and fi lm parties scheduled for February and March. Upcoming special screenings include “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary” (Feb. 18, 6 p.m.); “Dumb and Dumber” (Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m.), which will benefi t the Denver Actors Fund; Lukas Moodysson’s Swedish comedy-drama “Together” (Feb. 20, 9:15 p.m.); the John Hughes fi lm “Sixteen Candles” (Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.) and the Wachowski Sisters’ 1996 fi lm “Bound” (Feb. 26, 9 p.m.) The February screening for the Clyff ord Still Museum’s series at the Alamo Drafthouse will be the animated fi lm “Loving Vincent” (Feb. 21, 7 p.m.). “Loving Vincent” is a 2018 Oscar nominee for animated feature. Additionally, the Colorado Dragon Film Festival will take place at the Sloan’s Lake

Come get a little tipsy and tell us what you think of the 40 West Arts District at our 40W Summit, fast approaching on Wednesday Feb. 21, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., at WestFax Brewing, 6733 W. Colfax, with informal remarks at 5:30 p.m. The summit is a casual come-and-go-as-you-please event where you can drink a beer, network with other creatives, and give us your thoughts and feedback on upcoming initiatives, programming and areas of focus. It’s also a great way to learn about the district and ways to get involved. Did we mention there's beer? Mark your calendars for this open house. We really want to hear from you. Learn more at

location from March 2 through 4, opening with the 2016 fi lm “Split,” directed by Choi Kook-hee. For the full schedule of films at the Alamo Drafthouse, visit www.drafthouse. com/denver.

Playing at The Bench at 40W: ‘A Kid Like Jake’ The Bench Theatre (a.k.a. The Bench at 40W) will open Daniel Pearle’s “A Kid Like Jake” on Feb. 16. If the title sounds familiar, it may be because the fi lm version of the play debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Ticket prices for the play, which runs through March 24, are $30 for general admission and $20 for students, seniors or veterans. To learn more about the theatre or to purchase tickets, visit

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reading charts, composing and improvising, complete with belly dancers and a fi nal concert. All instruments and vocalists welcome at the fi rst rehearsal for the Global Grooves Course, Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., at Golden Music, 10395 W. Colfax.

Nancy Hahn

he weather many be unpredictable, but we can always predict interesting happenings in the 40 West Art District. There are new shows, new classes, parties with cake, meetings with beer, and new opportunities. WestFax Brewing Company at Lamar Plaza hosts the Third Annual 40 West Summit, Feb. 21, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The Summit is a great way to discover more about the district, share feedback, and discover ways to get more involved in the Art District. Drink a beer, talk and share ideas with other creative people. Discuss what you love about the district and what you would change. You must admit, it sounds interesting! The Edge Gallery at 7001 W. Colfax is contemporary, co-op gallery with frequent

new shows. Until Feb. 25, the gallery is exhibiting student artwork. All artists are enrolled in colleges or art institutions. Artist Livy Onalee was presented with the Edgy Award for her mixed media “Idling the Red Rope.” The Edgy Award recognizes an artist who goes beyond expectations for their medium or subject matter. Onalee will receive mentoring and the opportunity to show a body of work in a November show. The next show at Edge Gallery will be a Month of Printmaking beginning on March 2. Lakewood Art at 6731 W. Colfax in the Lamar Plaza is having a sale of art supplies through Feb. 23. Supplies come in throughout the sale, so visit often. A new show, ”Expressions in Abstract,” begins on Feb. 25 and continues through March Continued on page 7 – FEBRUARY 13 – MARCH 12, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE



Lakewood City Clerk Margy Greer n By

Jennifer LeDuc


he Neighborhood Gazette emailed questions to Lakewood City Clerk Margy Greer about her work. Here are her answers.

Where are you from, originally? If you are not a native to Colorado, what brought you here? If you are, what's kept you here? I was born in Topeka, Kan., and moved with family to Eugene, Ore. At the age of 10, my family moved to Colorado Springs where I grew up (or at least tried to – gotta’ long way to go. Haha.) What is your educational background? When did you become interested in public service and why? I have a couple of years of college behind me and have continued classes throughout my career. I became interested in public service after I quit a 17-year job in the construction industry. I took a break and ended up doing some volunteer work with the Edgewater Parks Department. After that I was sold! What is an inherent quality (qualities) about you that has contributed to your tenacity and decades long career in public service and specifically being a city clerk? I’m not sure it’s inherent, but I think taking a step back and trying to look at the big picture and unintended consequences has served me well. I also like being able to help others, usually through teaching them about the many aspects of city government. It evolves and changes sometimes daily with new laws, state statutes, etc., therefore, I get to learn as well. What is a skill or trait that you’ve had to develop throughout your career? Listen more, talk less. Describe a typical day as city clerk?

Gallery of

I don’t believe there is a “typical” day. That’s one of the things I like most about it. I walk in in the morning thinking I’ll start working on the council agenda, and before I know it, I’m pulled into a meeting and may have to change my direction to work on an election plan. Every day is different and being depended upon by the other departments makes me feel of service. In your observation, how has the role of a city clerk changed in the last 15-20 years, or has it? Being a city clerk is different depending on what city you work for. In a smaller town, you may end up doing the town’s budget, planning a street fair, as well as the typical clerk’s duties of council meetings/agendas/ minutes, elections, liquor licensing, and records management. For me, the biggest changes have come through technology, which has greatly improved our records management system, our licensing procedures, council agendas and more. Have you ever/or have you considered running for another elected position? If so what, why, when? I think we need to give a new generation of council members a chance to help improve our community. Hopefully, I would be able to educate and show others the ropes. What keeps you committed to public service versus a career in the private sector that may be potentially more lucrative and less in the public cross hairs? While I work directly for the City Manager, she allows me to run my department the way I best see fit. I like the autonomy that comes with that. Being a part of a City Leadership Team that is always trying to find better ways to serve the public, conserve spending and keep Lakewood’s great quality of life.


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What is it like to work in service with elected officials and in a climate that potentially can experience some strong shifts in political energy and style? While newly elected officials may want to change policy, the City Clerk is unique in that we aren’t political (one side versus another), we are truly here to help ensure the process is fair and accurate and treat everyone the same. What are activities you enjoy outside of work? I have three grandchildren whom I love spending time with, going to the movies, school events, etc. In addition, I’m a mystery book buff – put a good detective novel in

front of me and I’m a happy camper. How do you keep your work and family life balanced and separate? I don’t think there’s any such thing as a true balance between work and family life. Some weeks I work a lot of late hours at the city and the next week I may take off early to catch my grandson’s basketball game. My family always comes first and although my job comes with a lot of calendar deadlines and restrictions, I always make me time. If you weren't a city clerk, what would you be doing? Good Question. Probably working with young kids and teaching in some capacity or working on writing my mystery book.

Neighborhood Arts

landmark. What a quirky, fun show! Container Collective Yoga and Bikes, at 1492 Ammons St., offers unique services and classes in yoga, meditation and even building a bamboo bike (coming in April). On Feb. 28 from 5:45 to 6:55 p.m., Fran Gallaher will offer a free meditation class. There will be discussions before and after the class on the benefits of meditating in a group and meditation’s value, including lowering stress. Gallaher will offer this free meditation class monthly. 40 West Arts at 1560 Teller opens a new exhibit, “Colfax Avenue: Past, Present, and Future,” on First Friday, March 2. Come view the new work beginning at noon. Enjoy complimentary beer, wine, and light bites at the opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m.

Continued from page 6

30. On Friday, March 2, from 5 to 8 p.m., Lakewood Art is inviting everyone to a First Friday Celebration. This is the 95th birthday of Lakewood Art founding member Barb Tobiska. Her family will be visiting, so stop in and share some birthday cake. The Next Gallery at 6851 W. Colfax, open Friday 6 to 10 p.m. and weekends from noon to 5 p.m., is finishing an exhibit of postcardsized art on Feb. 16. The next exhibit, “Pink Palace: An Homage to Casa Bonita,” opens at noon on Feb. 25 and ends March 11. This exhibit will display two- and threedimensional work honoring this Lakewood


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Dentist Pianist

What’s Happening in the WRBA

Continued from page 1

Great networking happened this evening at January Biz Mix at Amici’s Restaurant. Thank you to those who attended and Amici’s for hosting and providing delicious pizza!

March Membership Breakfast Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 Time: 7:00am-9:00am Location: Wheat Ridge Recreation Center 4005 Kipling St. Cost: $15 for WRBA Members and their guests, $18 for non-members SPEAKER: TBA TOPIC: “The Future of the World in 30 minutes” or “How to Unleash the Secret Formula to Speaking Success”

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dentistry practice with the performance schedule of a busy concert pianist? “Some people have lots of hobbies; I don’t,” Garrison said at his City Roots dental practice on W. 29th Ave. “It can be challenging sometimes, though. Like tomorrow, I have to play a recital at school, then come back to work. I have to carefully plan my days. In both music and dentistry, you have to be kind of a perfectionist.” He says he can be picky and obsessive. “When I practice music, if I can’t play it perfectly 10 times in a row I start over. If something’s not ideal, it drives me bonkers. That said, I’m a perfectionist at dentistry and at the piano, but nothing else.” Garrison was 8 years old when he began to study the piano. By sixth grade, he was accompanying junior and high school choirs. “I played for church every Sunday, from fifth grade until I graduated,” he said. Garrison grew up in St. John, N.D., a small farming town on the Canadian border with a population of barely 300 people. “My mom was my history teacher for six years,” he said, “and she played drums in a band called ‘Tickled Pink.’ My dad was a really good singer. Some families have good athletes, some have musicians. “My first piano teacher was also a teacher at my school. She was a good mentor in the sense that she could tell I wanted to work very hard and didn’t put me on a particular track. She led me but let me do my own thing at the same time. Technique was never a problem for me. “In seventh grade, I was studying with a gentleman who was more classically trained. I didn’t take piano lessons from that time until halfway through college. In dental school, I started studying with Tamara Goldstein, another North Denver resident, and I still do.” Garrison knew when he was young that he wanted to be a pianist, but he also knew that it’s always been difficult for musicians to make a living, even during the times of the greatest composers like Haydn or Mozart. In eighth grade he began considering dentistry as a career. The leader of his youth group was a dentist. “He seemed to have it all – a good job, respect in the community.” Garrison shadowed him and soon developed the idea

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that becoming a dentist would support his creative need to play the piano. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Jamestown in North Dakota, Garrison went to dental school at CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, graduating in 2012. “When I graduated from dental school, I thought I’d work in community health,” Garrison said. “I moved to Steamboat Springs and worked at a clinic in Craig. Then a job opened in Denver at Interstate Health Center at 38th and York. After two years, I became the clinic director. It was great to oversee a staff working together to develop goals and a mission that would allow us to treat our patients well, enjoy work and each other’s company. My rules were: don’t be late, don’t be lazy, and ask what can be done to help somebody else.” Garrison assumed that he’d stay in community health, but his piano playing life was getting busier and busier and the clinic was a full-time job. The idea of starting a private practice made sense. Talks with one of the staff dentists, Dr. Carley Janda, evolved into their opening a private practice together (City Roots). “We had gone to dental school together and were on the same page about the appropriate way to provide health care. “[Dentistry] is one of the few professions in which you can choose how many hours to work and still make a decent living. I like it more than I thought I would. It’s fun to work with patients to, hopefully, better their lives. Going to the dentist is not an easy thing for most people.” He joked that getting people to come to the dentist is like pulling teeth. “I love helping people to enjoy coming to the dentist. Keeping up to date on changes in dentistry is the hardest thing. Advances are being made all the time. But patient interaction – that’s my favorite part. “Piano-wise, people ask me what I want to accomplish, and I’ve already done more than I anticipated I ever would in my life. I never would have believed I’d be working with a Grammy-winning mezzo soprano (Michelle DeYoung). I’ll be playing a concerto on Feb. 17 with the Boulder Symphony ( composing-the-end). In July, I’ll play at the Colorado Music Festival in recital with Michelle DeYoung (coloradomusicfestival. org/concert/scheherazade/). “I feel very blessed that I’ve been able to do the things I’ve really cared about.”

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Jason E. Glass

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spirit” as a new organizational value for Jeffco. This is coming to life through the creation and re-investment in innovative Demand for our charter schools is at a school models across Jeffco – including in double-digit growth. What are they doing our neighborhood schools. in there that has families flocking to them District-wide, you we already see a while we have some schools struggling greater focus on STEM, problem/projectwith enrollment?  With Compass having based learning, career/technical a 600-student waitlist, what education and experiential ingredient can we add to our education (students learning neighborhood school recipe by doing). We already have to make it as tasty and “in wonderful arts and music, career demand” as charter schools?  exploration options, and (GT) Most families in Jeffco gifted/talented programming in choose their neighborhood neighborhood schools in Jeffco – schools. However, the district and we need to build onto that. does offer a robust number of One clear example of school choices through charter this is happening at Pennington schools (public schools which Elementary. Pennington is still a operate through an agreement between the Jeffco board of Jason E. Glass, Ed.D. neighborhood school, but it will also follow and Expeditionary education and an operator) and Learning model, which gets kids into option schools (district-managed schools projects in the community and beyond which have a specialized purpose or focus). as part of their learning. Another is work The kinds of specialized programming we are doing to create more arts-focused available through our charter and option options across Jeffco. schools has increasingly become popular We are proud of all our school options over the past decade. Schools with focus in Jeffco and want them all to thrive and areas such as Montessori, Core Knowledge, succeed. You can expect a lot more of this problem/project-based learning, and kind of specialization in our neighborhood focusing in on special programs for schools, all centered on shifting to greater kids with specific disabilities has grown hands-on learning experiences for kids. tremendously. This is an exciting time to work in education School choice and specialization are here in our community – and a wonderful time to to stay and it’s something our families and be a kid in Jeffco! students want more of – so, Jeffco Public If you have a question for our new Schools must adapt and evolve to meet the Superintendent please submit it to Guy@ wants and needs of our community. or call it in to 303 Within our new strategic direction, we’ve 999-5789. intentionally put forward “an entrepreneurial n By

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he patient was in obvious distress, unconscious, not breathing, no pulse. The crew of West Metro firefighters immediately started administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), pushing forcefully and rhythmically on his chest. Their goal – to get the patient breathing and his heart pumping again. While this scenario played out with a mannequin, in a training room, the aim was to prepare the crew for real life situations. Every year, West Metro Fire Rescue routinely answers more than 22,000 medical calls. And, a number of those are potentially life threatening, like a heart attack, where seconds count. And where quick and decisive intervention results in better outcomes – and higher patient survival rates. For years, manual CPR has been the standard for patients with cardiac problems. And, while thousands have been saved as a result of properly administered CPR, for fire crews, the dilemma has always been continuity. Patients that need immediate transport to the nearest hospital have to be moved – onto a gurney, into an ambulance and then into the hospital’s emergency room. And, crews often have to administer other treatments at the same time they’re giving CPR, which may mean pausing CPR

compressions. The best CPR, according to medical research, is CPR that is continuous. The solution is a high tech machine – called a LUCAS device – that performs CPR compressions for firefighters so they can tackle other aspects of critical patient care. “The benefit of using the LUCAS device is that we’re able to do perfectly efficient CPR while we’re starting IV’s, while we’re giving cardiac medicines, or doing a number of other procedures,” said Lieutenant Mike Binney, West Metro Fire Rescue. “It limits the interruptions and the science shows that the longer you pause in between compressions, the less effective the CPR.” West Metro will be adding LUCAS devices to several ambulances over the next month and crews have been training with the new technology on a special mannequin since the beginning of the year. The mannequin has CPR feedback software, which gives crews a comparison between their manual CPR and the LUCAS CPR. During the training, the crews start with manual CPR, then attach the LUCAS device, which takes over chest compressions on the patient. The compressions are performed by a piston-like attachment, which can be adjusted for the size of the patient so that the compressions are right for them. “It’s going to be a game changer in the way that we manage cardiac arrest patients,” said Binney.


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This practice can bring your heart rate down almost immediately. It relaxes the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure, and it ellness is much more than nutrition can actually increase the gray matter in the and exercise, although those are brain over time. Right after meditation you certainly huge factors. Did you know that may feel a sense of wellbeing and serenity. most doctor visits are due to stress-related People often feel like decisions are easier to illness? Stress is linked to the leading causes make and creativity flows. of death including heart disease, cancer, Gentle stretching is accidents, lung ailments and also beneficial for reducing cirrhosis of the liver. stress and helping the flow of We cannot avoid stress, but energy. Since our bodies are we can choose to regulate the constantly sending messages sympathetic nervous system, to the brain, when we relieve the “fight or flight” mode, and tension in the body, it signals to reduce the impact stress has on the brain to relax. You might try our lives. There are a number of incorporating gentle stretching techniques that may be helpful. into your daily routine, either in The first and simplest the morning or throughout the technique is one you can do day for a break. anywhere. Inhale through the Cheryl Spriggs The key is to soften and nose, imagine expanding the relax the muscles, not to be forceful. If lungs completely, exhale through the nose we try to force a stretch, the muscles may and imagine releasing tension throughout tense up rather than release. Try things like the body. Just a few breaths can make a shoulder shrugs, wrist and ankle circles, difference between reacting to a situation spinal rotation and neck stretches. with anger versus responding thoughtfully. Nutrition is an important component It can also determine whether you store the also. Enjoy lots of foods that reduce stress in your body or let it go. inflammation in the body like vegetables, Breathing through the nose is one way fruits, herbs and spices. The effect is twoto activate the parasympathetic nervous fold: you get the reduction in physical system, which keeps the body regulated. inflammation and the better you eat, the Every time you activate this system you better you feel! reinforce the behavior and it becomes easier Cheryl Spriggs is a stress management to handle stress. specialist at Lutheran Medical Center and Another effective method to support a St. Joseph Hospital. calm nervous system is regular meditation. n By

Cheryl Spriggs



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Dreadmill Continued from page 1

rhythm of a trained ballerina and the body of someone who stayed as fit. Another woman to my left modified her moves as it suited her and offered a supportive smile and understanding “it’s ok” when I apologized, worried I was throwing her off. Kimberly Giles, 53 of Edgewater, was 80 pounds heavier in 2006 when she tried Jazzercise. A “yo-yo dieter,” Giles was hooked. She admits she stepped away from Jazzercise to try out other programs and a gym, but she was unmotivated. She came back. “This is the only thing that keeps it off.” Christine Meyer took her first class when she was 28 years old and eventually became an instructor. Now 65, the Golden resident has few, if any physical complaints, and doesn’t supplement her Jazzercise regimen either. “You don’t have to do anything else if you do this regularly,” said Meyer. “You’ll see for yourself: you’re going to be worked out from your neck to your toes.” She wasn’t exaggerating. It was evident speaking to many of the women at class that the program wasn’t intimidating or competitive yet there was camaraderie, and enthusiasm from the instructors, to stay motivated and challenged. There are no spin-off products to buy into and its month-to-month annual rate and class availability makes it a commitment without pressure, but as Ahr reflected after class, it’s a promise of an hour of the day spent feeling good, and that means many of her classes see between 30 and 40 attendees . At Fitness Together, Dias recounted asking a former boss to share the secret to his success. “Just love them,” he told Dias. “He told me ‘If we take care of them, they’ll keep coming back. And here, it’s more than just jumping jacks,” Dias said of his studio’s personal approach. “If we can maneuver our way into someone’s heart, that’s what gets people to grow. I want someone to try and


become more confident, and a lot of times it takes going deeper into the psyche.” An initial session with Dias is really an introduction to each other, and Dias assesses not just physical condition, but mental and emotional, while exploring what the individual’s goals are. Finding that right fit can be the fun part. Most facilities offer a free initial session or discounted day pass to give new customers a feel before committing, making it possible to experience several facilities in a week – provided you aren’t too sore. Club Pilates, with locations in Edgewater, Lakewood and around the country, offers a free half hour intro which gives some meaning to the complicated system of ropes and pulleys that is Pilates. From there, guided exercises at varying levels help to develop one’s core strength. At Break the Stigma Fitness Studio in Wheat Ridge, however, one needs an invitation. Described as the first cannabisfriendly fitness facility in the country, Break the Stigma Fitness was founded by in 2017 Jennessa Lea after suffering through years of illness and subsequent opiate addiction from pain management of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – a connective tissue disorder. Since Break the Stigma is on private property, one must be submit an application for an invitation to a drop-in session or membership. From there, you can experience yoga, high intensity interval training, and cardio classes infused with cannabis and nutritional and training support. With so many stereotypes and misinformation surrounding the benefits of cannabis, Lea explained, she is passionate about providing an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to explore what she experienced in cannabis’ benefits as a fitness and life-changing supplement. Whether you’ll find motivation through a group or one-on-one training, the fitness options in the metro area are vast. Exploring new approaches and adventuring beyond the dreadmill may make the difference between the resolve to reach your fitness goals, or reaching for an extra donut.

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WHAT’S HAPPENING Legion Post 17’s Jackpot Bingo Tournament is March 10

Jefferson County, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

American Legion Post 17 in Edgewater is hosting another Jackpot Bingo Tournament, open to the public, Saturday, March 10, at 1901 Harlan St. – a block south of 20th Avenue on Harlan. All proceeds from the Jackpot Bingo Tournament goes towards the Post’s mission in helping American heroes, once they return home and abroad. Programs such as Freedom Service Dogs, Army and Air Force Veteran Relief, hand-made lap robes to Soldiers’ Homes, and items to our active military overseas – just to name a few. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the tournament starts at noon. A series of five games will be played. The first four games pay out $50 to the winner(s). The fifth game is a “black out” and the winner goes home with the jackpot. Food and drinks will be available. Bingo cards are $1 or a sheet of six for $5. Must be 18 years of age to play.

For more information, call 303-2380032, email or visit

For more information, contact Kim Davis at 303-548-7680.

Play ‘TABOR Trivial Pursuit’ Feb. 15 Do you think you know everything there is to know about TABOR (Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights)? Join the League of Women Voters Jeffco at on Feb. 15 to test your knowledge with a game of “TABOR Trivial Pursuit!” “If you’ve never heard of TABOR or don’t really understand it, there will be a chance to win, especially after reading the League’s study materials that are sent to current members,” said Christina Manthey, First Vice President, LWV Jeffco. “TABOR is not a trivial thing, but knowing how it impacts our state is a worthwhile pursuit. And you might be able to have some fun at TABOR’s expense.” The February meeting is open to the public and will be held Thursday, Feb. 15 at 9:15 a.m., at the Cason Howell House, 1575 Kipling, in Lakewood. The League of Women Voters of

Corporal Nesbitt Bids Adieu to Edgewater Police Edgewater Police Department’s Corporal Mike Nesbitt recently left the city for a police officer position with Red Rocks Community College Police Department, according to Chief Mackey. “Mike served our community for the past five plus years in exemplary fashion with a passion for community policing activities, animal issues, neighborhood traffic enforcement, over 200 DUI arrests and a multitude of commendations,” said Mackey. Nesbitt sustained serious respiratory injuries last summer when his pursuit of a DUI suspect resulted in a fight in which he was assaulted. “Mike’s injuries involved cardiac arrest and he was initially on life support for several days and miraculously was able to recover and return to work with the Edgewater Police Department on September 11, 2017,” said Mackey. “The Edgewater Police Family has been honored to have served alongside Corporal Mike Nesbitt for the past five years in service to our Edgewater Community, we salute your professionalism and dedication to duty and wish you, your wife Cortni and girls Kennedy and Grayson all the best!”

– at no cost to them. Through its Paint-A-Thon program, Brothers Redevelopment has painted more than 7,250 local houses with 133,000 volunteers. Nominate a neighbor, friend, family member or yourself by calling 720-3395864, or visiting BrothersRedevelopment. org. To qualify, homeowners must be 60 years or older and/or have a disability, must own and occupy their Denver metro area, and plan to live in it for at least 12 months. The home must be no taller than one and a half stories – and in need of painting. The Paint-A-Thon program offers qualified homeowners the ability to devote limited resources and fixed incomes to other important costs, such as medication, groceries and bills, without having to forgo maintaining their most important investment – their home. Painting a home can cost upward of $5,000. For more information, contact Brothers Redevelopment at 720-339-5864 or, or visit

Buy Tickets for League of Women Voters Author Lunch Fundraiser, March 10 The League of Women Voters Jefferson County will host an author and lunch fundraiser on Saturday, March 10 at St. Anthony Hospital from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 11600 W. 2nd Place, Lakewood.

Colorado authors D.D. O’Lander, Emily Littlejohn and Arvada photographer Grant Collier will speak about their books, which will be available to purchase by cash or check. O’Lander ( ) has cultivated the Irish gift-of-gab with a passion for World War II history, which is reflected in her novels: “Starling: Emerald Target, Book I” and “Irish: Emerald Target, Book II.” Emily Littlejohn (www.emilylittlejohn. com) was a 2017 Colorado Book Award finalist for her debut novel “Inherit the Bones.” “A Season to Lie” is the second book in a mystery series about Detective Gemma Monroe. Arvada resident Grant Collier ( is a professional photographer, well known for his book, “Colorado: Yesterday & Today.” He traveled throughout the state taking photos from the exact spots that his great-great-grandfather, Joseph Collier, took his images over 100 years earlier. Ticket orders are due by Feb. 28 and may be purchased at Tickets will be held at the door. The cost of $27 includes lunch. Proceeds help support the League’s advocacy work and are non-tax deductible. For more details on the authors and their books, visit The League of Women Voters of Jefferson County, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

TUNDRA by Chad Carpenter

House Need Paint? Brothers’ Paint-A-Thon Accepting Applications Nonprofit Brothers Redevelopment’s Paint-A-Thon program is accepting applications for its 40th Paint-A-Thon anniversary season. Between March and September, the Paint-A-Thon crews will paint 100 or more homes for incomequalified senior and disabled homeowners

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Raccoons: Bandits in Your Backyard n By


Sally Griffin

s it a bandit? Is it a wrestler? Who is out there going through my garbage? Who is the most smart-aleck party animal in our city? That would be raccoons, the masked invaders. They are portrayed by Hollywood and television as wisecrackers, devil-maycare, sassy but not threatening characters that provide levity in threatening situations. Think Rocket, the raccoon, from Guardians of the Galaxy or Rocky Raccoon from Saturday cartoons. Raccoons are probably the only animal I will write about that is “dressed” appropriately for how they act. The most characteristic physical feature of the raccoon is the area of black fur around the eyes, which contrasts sharply with surrounding white face coloring. They are about 16 to 28 inches long, with a bushy tail that adds another 8 to 16 inches. Their weight ranges from 5 to 60 pounds. This range in weight is the most extreme for any small mammal and is infl uenced by where they live: city raccoons weigh more than country raccoons. They steal seeds out of bird feeders, have fun fi shing in koi ponds, rearrange garbage to include the whole yard. Then they move into our attics and garages. They consume our liquor. What? That’s right, they are omnivores and that seems to include alcohol. When I fi rst was talking about doing this article, my sister-in-law, who lives in an unincorporated part of Arvada, told me a story about their raccoons. She and my brother host a big Halloween party every year. One of the guests often brings “Jell-O shots” as her contribution to the party. These are portions of Jell-O in small containers that have shots of liquor infused in them. Most guests will try them, but not all guests enjoy them. The plastic containers are not completely emptied before being thrown in the trash. A helpful guest had placed the plastic containers and other

trash in a plastic bag for trash pickup, then it was forgotten. Forgotten, that is, until early morning when it sounded like there was another party going on in the side yard. Upon investigation, the small party-goers scattered to reveal a precisely placed line of completely clean Jell-O shot containers. The other trash had been separated into food or play things, but then forgotten as a party commenced. Not all guests in the fi rst party may have liked these Jell-O shots, but there was no doubt as far as the raccoon party was concerned. When I researched this raccoon behavior, I found it was not an isolated incident. There have been reports of an invasion of a beer distributor’s warehouse, where a party of the rascals were found still staggering around, apparently still inebriated. In another instance, a single raccoon found a hole in the roof of a liquor store and proceeded to trash the goods until he found the $50 bottle of bourbon. Raccoons seem to be willing to try almost anything. They are omnivores whose diet consists of about 40 percent invertebrates, e.g. bugs and worms; 33 percent plant foods, particularly berries and nuts; and 27 percent vertebrates, e.g. mice, snakes, frog, lizards, fi sh. Zoology professor, Samuel I. Zeveloff argues that raccoons “may well be one of the world’s most omnivorous animals.” Raccoons are noted for their intelligence with studies showing an ability to remember solutions for problems they solved almost three years earlier. Within the raccoon’s cat-sized brain, scientists say the neuron count, which indicates active intelligence, is very similar to that found in small primates. And, city raccoons appear to be smarter than their rural cousins. Suzanne MacDonald, studying raccoon behavior in Toronto, found that urban raccoons outdid their rural counterparts in both intelligence and ability. “Where rural raccoons took a long time to approach novel containers, city

raccoons would attack them the moment I turned my back,” she said. Unlike many animals, raccoons have “fl ourished rather than receded in face of human expansion.” As cities invent more complex latches and levers to keep food sources from these animals, they may also be training raccoons to open them. Heaven forbid, but some have turned the tables on researchers and have even have taught themselves to open doors with knobs. (Note to self: They don’t close them.) This intelligence makes raccoons extremely adaptable. They often migrate to and stay in suburban and urban areas, making their home in man-made structures, including attics, sewers, barns and sheds. National Geographic points out that urban raccoons often travel by using the sewers. This keeps them from being hit by cars or harassed by people. The Washington Post published an article last year by Karin Brulljard, with the headline, “It’s winter. Watch out for falling raccoons.” The article quotes a wildlife control company saying that about once a month in the winter, they get a call about a raccoon plummeting through a ceiling, stunning the people working below. They particularly like buildings with dropped ceilings that they can use as racoon terrain. The problem is that most dropped ceilings cannot support the winter weight of most raccoons. John Griffi n (no relative), the Director of Urban Wildlife for the Humane Society of the U.S., says that, in houses, falling raccoons occur when ceiling drywall has become weakened by moisture or mold or when the critters have had enough time to produce a heavy latrine, as the toilet area is known. There is even a story of a surprised homeowner whose ceiling suddenly gave way, dumping the raccoons and the contents of their latrine on him in his bed in the middle of the night. All I can say to that is “Yuck!” Unfortunately, raccoons can carry many

diseases such as rabies and distemper. According the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, while rabies in Colorado is usually confi ned to bats, raccoons have accounted for the largest percentage of animal rabies cases reported since 1990. This is because rabies in raccoons can spread widely and quickly. The symptoms of rabies in raccoons are a generally sickly appearance, impaired motion, strange vocalizations and aggressiveness. Most raccoons are smart enough to know that they will usually lose the fi ght with humans, but they will become aggressive if they are sick or if it is a mother defending her kits. It is a good rule of thumb to stay away from any animal acting strangely and call Wheat Ridge Animal Control or the CPW. CPW emphasizes problem prevention by altering human activities such as leaving pet food outside, securing garbage cans, making landscaping changes to discourage raccoons. Havahart – at www.havahart. com/how-to-get-rid-of-raccoons – says that getting rid of raccoons takes an integrated approach and that applying several control methods at once will give you better success. They go into greater detail on these in their website, but generally they include removing food and water, identifying and removing areas where raccoons spend their time, live raccoon traps, raccoon repellents, electronic repellents and fencing. Also, as my own tip, you might want to be careful how you dispose of your liquor.

Neighborhood Gazette – February 2018  

The February 13 – March 12, 2018 issue of Neighborhood Gazette, serving Edgewater, Sloan's Lake, West Colfax and Two Creeks neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Gazette – February 2018  

The February 13 – March 12, 2018 issue of Neighborhood Gazette, serving Edgewater, Sloan's Lake, West Colfax and Two Creeks neighborhoods.