Page 1

WHEAT RIDGE MAYOR Building on the Foundation and Framework of My Predecessors Page 4

SCHOOL CROSSING Happiness: The True Measure of Success Page 5

WHAT’S HAPPENING Holiday Decoration Cleanup – Where to Recycle? Page 11




WHEAT RIDGE | APPLEWOOD | MOUNTAIN VIEW | LAKESIDE December 19, 2017 – January 15, 2018 • • FREE

Did All This Really Happen Last Year? n By

J. Patrick O’Leary


ome residents might feel 2017 passed by in a blur, and that it was just another 12 months of same old, same old. Yet the face and direction of Wheat Ridge has changed significantly, for better or worse. Here is a roundup of the changes that took place.

Community Mourns the Loss of Hank Stites

Community leader Frank “Hank” Stites passed away on Jan. 31, following a stroke. More than 200 family members, friends and acquaintances, including congressman Ed Perlmutter and then-mayor Joyce Jay, attended his memorial service at Stites Park on Feb. 4. Stites served as mayor of Wheat Ridge for 10 years, and served on many community boards of directors. He was instrumental in founding the Carnation Festival.

Clear Creek Crossing Moves Ahead Without a Walmart

Last December developer Evergreen Development Company purchased the vacant parcel located between 32nd Continued on page 10

JENNY SNELL BIKES PAST HOLIDAY DECORATIONS on Quay Street with the Wheat Ridge Active Transportation Advisory Team [ATAT} Annual Holiday Lights Cruise. PHOTO: BECKY OLSTAD

Volunteers Make Meals on Wheels Go Round – But Funding’s in Peril n By

Mike McKibbin


ack R. Russell likes to talk. But living alone in a small apartment in Lakewood means there isn’t always someone around to listen to the 87-year-old U.S. Marine veteran. That’s why Russell happily greets volunteers with the Meals on Wheels program at his front door. Run for the last 43 years in the metro Denver area by Volunteers of America Colorado, the program is one of a nationwide network of 5,000 local community-run programs. Russell has received meals for the last 8 months and said he appreciated the “overall assisting” the program provides. “I can’t get around as much due to my legs, and it really helps financially,” he said.

2005,” Hollander added in the statement. “While waiting lists mount in every state, the number of seniors threatened by hunger will only increase if current funding levels are not adequately boosted. This would, in turn, cause a far greater taxpayer burden through costly Medicare and Medicaid expenses.” The Older Americans Act has supported senior nutrition programs for 45 years and provides 35 percent of the funding for Meals on Wheels nationally. Backers worry about this “foundational funding source” if Congress does not reach a bipartisan budget agreement “with realistic caps on defense and nondefense discretionary spending.” In September, Meals on Wheels America

and Care2 delivered more than 112,000 petition signatures to Congressional leadership and members who sit on key legislative committees, urging Congress to avoid cuts to federal funding for Meals on Wheels programs. Supporters also shared more than 1,000 paper plates with personalized messages from recipients, volunteers and supporters about the impact of Meals on Wheels, part of a nationwide #SaveLunch campaign.

100,000+ meals delivered in JeffCo

The metro Denver program area includes seven counties included in the Denver Regional Council of Governments, or DRCOG. Last year, the program served

Continued on page 2


Federal budget cuts proposed

The national program drew attention in March, when President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 “skinny” budget included the elimination of the Community Services, Community Development and Social Services block grants. Some Meals on Wheels programs rely on those funding sources to deliver nutritious meals to atrisk seniors, either to homes or in group settings, such as assisted living and senior care centers. In a May statement, Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander noted the primary source of federal funding – the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program – would see a $3 million decrease from current levels under Trump’s proposed budget. “This is taking place at a time when these nutrition programs are already serving 23 million fewer meals than in

100,615 noon meals to senior citizens in Jefferson County, according to Dale Elliott, division director of aging and nutrition services for Volunteers of America Colorado. That compared to 94,000 in the 2015-16 fiscal year and 98,000 in 2014-15, Elliott noted. Another 3,400 “emergency” meals (six meals delivered at one time in case of weather-related program closures) were also handed out last year. “The demand has been pretty steady most of the time,” Elliott said. “There’s a little up and down movement at times.” The Jefferson County program runs on

Producing Kilowatts and Kale n By

Jordan Macknick

C SCIENTISTS AT THE NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY have been researching how we can grow vegetables underneath and in between rows of groundmounted solar panels at solar-agriculture research sites like this one in Amherst, Mass. PHOTO BY JORDAN MACKNICK

ommunity (solar) gardens, where neighbors who don’t have yards can get together to farm unused land in the city, have been popping up all over the country recently. At the same time, Community solar, where neighbors who live in apartment buildings or don’t have ideal roofs for solar panels can jointly invest in a solar project placed on a piece of unused land, have also been rapidly growing in popularity. Both of these community-based endeavors help people meet new neighbors, green the city, and allow people to participate in activities they otherwise couldn’t due to where they live. Despite their similarities, no one ever thinks to combine community gardens with community Continued on page 2




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This frosty friend is hiding somewhere in this issue. Find him and send an email to puzzle@ and tell us where he is at. We will draw a winner out of the correct responses and send them a cool prize. Good luck!

Meals on Wheels Continued from page 1

a $700,000 budget, with VOA contributing $4 million to programs across Colorado, Elliott said. Statewide, the program had nearly $15 million in expenditures last year. Unlike some Meals on Wheels programs across the country, Elliott said the state of Colorado has been “extremely proactive” in funding senior services. “That makes up a very large chunk of our funding,” Elliott added. Most of the local program’s federal funds - 46 percent - come through the Older Americans Act. Around 85 percent of the program’s money comes from those state and federal sources, Elliott said, with 9 to 10 percent from fundraising. “That’s very much a large segment of funding, so it would be hard to continue to run things as we have if that took a major hit” from Congressional budget cuts in the coming fiscal year, Elliott added. “We’ve had conversations with DRCOG and some of the other agencies (about funding help in case of federal cutbacks), but we have not changed our ask from the state, just because they’ve been so very proactive.”

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In metro Denver, around 150 volunteers deliver hot meals to senior citizens five days a week, along with frozen meals for Saturdays. Each volunteer delivers an average of 670 meals a year, Elliott noted. Each hot or frozen meal costs the program an average of $7. Nancy Collier of Golden has organized the delivery program at Montair Christian Church, 1390 Benton St. in Lakewood, for 37 years. She joined the program after seeing a story in a local newspaper. Her main duty is to transfer the hot meals from coolers to paper bags - “They call me the packer,” Collier said with a laugh – for delivery by

THE MEALS ON WHEELS PROGRAM SERVED 100,615 noon meals to senior citizens in Jefferson County last year and could be affected by possible federal budget cuts to the nationwide program. PHOTO COURTESY VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA. volunteers to seniors in need. Anne Robinson of Arvada has delivered meals for two years and got involved when she was close to retiring and considering volunteering. “I wanted something like this, something that would be consistent, and you could develop friendships,” she said. The seniors Robinson delivers hot meals to are “like friends.” “I bring them birthday presents with their meals and they buy little treats for me, too,” she added. Tracy Rotter and Maggie Collins of Lakewood volunteer to deliver meals “because senior citizens are often neglected,” Rotter said. Collins added that she and Rotter “have been very blessed and we just want to give something back” to the local community. That goal was appreciated by Russell, who lauded the “kindness of the girls” who deliver his meals. “They’re good fellowship,” he said. “We enjoy good food and good fellowship. I can’t thank them all enough for reaching out and serving.”

Meals on Wheels in Colorado – Facts • Colorado Senior Population: 991,802; 18.50 percent. • Seniors Struggling with Hunger: 136,075; 13.70 percent. • Seniors Isolated Living Alone: 237,885; 24.20 percent. • Seniors Living In or Near Poverty: 226,947; 23.10 percent. • 46.60 percent of funding comes from the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program. • 53.40 percent of funding comes from other sources. • 81 percent say it improves their health. • 92 percent say it enables them to keep living at home. • 90 percent say it makes them feel more safe and secure. • A senior Meals on Wheels lunch can be delivered for one year for about the same cost as one day in a hospital.

Sustainability Continued from page 1

solar on the same plot of land. Until now. Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden have been researching how we can grow vegetables underneath and in between rows of ground-mounted solar panels, and the results are surprisingly encouraging! For the past two years, the NREL team has been growing peppers, tomatoes, kale, chard, broccoli, and beans underneath solar panels, producing a bounty of delicious solar-powered veggies. Because they are scientists, they are testing out different solar panel heights and spacings and also carefully measuring results and crop yields before eating or donating the produce. Even though you might think that there would be too much shade underneath the solar panels for crops to survive, the vegetable crops are able to adapt to these partial-shade conditions and thrive. In fact, some crops actually appreciate the shade on those hot, dry summer days and will produce more fruit and bigger leaves when they have just a little bit of shade as opposed to being fully exposed to the sun. The solar panels also help retain warmth at night, which can prevent early frosts and can extend the growing season by weeks. There are benefits for the solar panels as well. Solar panels perform at a higher efficiency when they are in cooler conditions. Having vegetation underneath

the panels instead of gravel creates a cooler microclimate during the sunny day, which in turn boosts solar output. It doesn’t stop at just vegetable crops, either. Grapes for wineries, herbs for culinary and medicinal purposes, native prairie grasses, pollinator habitat for beekeepers … the list goes on and on of ways you can combine solar and agriculture in the same place. It won’t work for large-scale agriculture like corn or soybean operations that require huge combines, but any smallscale, high value, or hand-harvested crop can work! NREL is working across the country in over a dozen locations testing out different types of crops and innovative solar designs to see what grows best where. It’s potentially another way to keep our nation’s small family farms thriving, while also giving them an additional revenue stream. So the next time you see a community garden plot around town or a community solar site being developed, think about all the benefits we could get if we combined these efforts! What would you grow underneath solar panels? Jordan Macknick is a proud resident of Wheat Ridge, where he lives with his wife and daughter and two cats. He leads research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as it relates to synergies with water and land resources. Most weekends he can be found tinkering in his garden. If you have a any sustainability related topics you’d like to see covered here, please contact Guy@NostalgicHomes, 303-999-5789. – DECEMBER 19, 2017 – JANUARY 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE



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WHEAT RIDGE MAYOR Building on the Foundation and Framework of My Predecessors The Corners at Wheat Ridge, the site of the old Go-Ford dealership on 38th and Wadsworth. Anchored by Lucky’s Market, aking the reins as the new mayor for the center will include 40,000 square feet of Wheat Ridge this past November, I find additional shopping and restaurants along myself in the unique position of looking back with a residential component. The first on a successful career as a business owner shops may open as soon as August of 2018. while at the same time looking forward to all Fruitdale School Lofts opened with of the projects and plans on the horizon for 16-mixed income, loft-style rental housing the city. Fortunately, Mayor Joyce Jay and her units. This Temple Buell building listed on predecessors established the framework and the National Register of Historic laid a great foundation for much Places, was a $6 million-dollar of what is already underway, and project with the city and the for that I am extremely grateful. Wheat Ridge Housing Authority My transition to retirement providing $3.155 million in allows me the benefit of dedicating loans and incentives. more of my time to the important Our Parks and work we have ahead of us. I am Recreation Department excited to work with city council received accreditation and and staff on behalf of residents, was a National Recreation and business owners and those who Park Association Gold Medal work and play in Wheat Ridge, as Award finalist, one of four together we continue creating a Bud Starker finalists in population Category city of which we can all be proud. IV (30,000 to 75,000). Wheat Over the course of this past few Ridge was also awarded LiveWell Colorado’s years we have accomplished a great many highest recognition for building a healthy things. We are moving to a combined regional community achieving Elite status in their communications center for Jefferson County HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign. emergency response. We are also proud In November 2016, the voters approved that our Wheat Ridge Police Department ballot question 2E “Investing 4 the Future” received accreditation again this past year. to fund four projects throughout the city. In addition to solving a number of major Information about the progress on each crimes, maintaining the safety of our schools, of these projects can be found on the city’s responding to animal control requests, and website. enforcing city codes, Chief Dan Brennan also You will soon see announcements for initiated the Community Forum. This series several other projects new to our city that of meetings provides our community with will help us build financial security and information and creates a dialogue in which increase our ability to provide services to members of the community can express our community. Some of those new projects public safety concerns and get responses include West End 38, the new development directly from the department. with 165-unit multi-family apartments, We’ve also grown our local events and 8,000 square feet of retail space including are proud of our support for the Carnation a new Vectra Bank; and changes at the Festival, Ridgefest, Criterium, Holiday Applewood Shopping Center including Celebration, Trunk or Treat, Farmer’s a drive-through Starbucks, and a King 5000, Leaves of Hope and all the countless celebrations in Wheat Ridge. Continued on page 10 Earlier this year, we broke ground at n By Bud Starker

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Thankful for our Volunteers this Holiday Season have put on all the great community events without volunteer help. This past year our total attendance at all events was 22,000! he holidays are the time of year when Our volunteers also sit on committees we come together to express gratitude and our board of directors, which guide the for the wonderful things in our lives. From organization. We have nearly 100 people a achievements to favorite memories, it’s time month sitting at the conference to celebrate the successes of the table in our office for various year. In the spirit of the season, meetings. It is always refreshing Localworks would like to share to hear new ideas and see our appreciation for our amazing people step up to support 2017 volunteers. Localworks and the Wheat We describe our organization Ridge community. as, “Volunteer powered. Staff If you have skills that supported. Board directed.” you’d like to contribute toward The power of our volunteers the success of Localworks and continues to grow. In the first 10 our programs, we can find months of 2017, our volunteers the right fit for you. We have have contributed more than professional photographers, 2,600 hours to the organization. Carolyn Doran graphic designers and That is the equivalent of another accountants that volunteer their services. full-time staff person. Our volunteers We have backyard gardeners and fitness believe in Localworks’ mission of enthusiasts that want to share their advancing Wheat Ridge as a vibrant and passions. We also have lots of Wheat Ridge sustainable community, and they show their residents looking to meet their neighbors commitment to this mission through their and support their community. volunteerism. If you have volunteered for us in the past This year, Localworks volunteers or you’re interested in learning more about contributed to the success of all of our getting involved, we invite you to come to events. We had a volunteer that coordinated our Volunteer Happy Hour. This will take a weekly run club. A few folks helped families place at Home Collective (6101 W. 38th make over 500 s’mores at Wheat Ridge’s Ave., Wheat Ridge) on Thursday, Jan. 25, Holiday Celebration. Others contributed to from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Hope to see you there. the safety and success of the Criterium by Carolyn Doran is Localworks’ Events directing foot traffic across the race course. Manager. With a staff of five, there is no way we could n By


Carolyn Doran – DECEMBER 19, 2017 – JANUARY 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE

SCHOOL CROSSING Happiness: The True Measure of Success to be happy and be looking forward to the rest of his life. How do you measure that? ’ve always thought about education and My new friend is so right. If we can prioritize funding as being directly related – more happiness with every student, just imagine funding, more growth, more resources and the level of satisfaction all around. This is not about right or left. It’s not a better education for our students. I could about unions or bus drivers. It’s about even link a new school with more enthusiasm in the classrooms and a better experience for people like Lisa Lee and Allison McDonald, Toni Budoff and Arik Helm, Kami Siddoway teachers and students alike. and Bill Gold and so many other So naturally we would educators and counselors that follow the path of equating low not only provide a great level of performance with low funding. education in their classrooms, In fact, we are about 48th out but manage to hold our students of 50 in the per student dollars accountable while genuinely national chart. If you’re thinking being concerned about their that I’m about to sell you higher mental state and happiness. scores for more dollars, you are They will all tell you almost right. that it is harder to be a kid A new friend of mine asked today than in past generations. me, “What exactly do we want for The world is not bound by our children?” Good students? Guy Nahmiach geographical city limits, but Perhaps. College ready? Maybe with your fingertips, and so are for some? But how about “life ready” or the dangers and stressors and the number even “happy?” What wouldn’t we give to be of options. Politics and socioeconomics assured that our kids were happy human have infiltrated our family dinners and beings? I have been thinking about this all bedrooms. The smartphone might bring wrong! answers to conversations and knowledge So how do we attach a dollar value to this beyond anyone’s actual need, it has also and how do you measure the effectiveness of turned away our children’s’ eyes from the program and how do you grade a school us. Where we once could measure their on happiness? These are the questions I happiness, we now have to decipher the true would have asked you if you knocked on meaning of words like “fine” and “OK.” my door last week, and asked me for more This year has been one of revelations, money to fund our schools. This week, it is revolutions and resolves. Frankly, I am different. exhausted. As far as a New Year resolution, No doubt we still have to be accountable I am challenging all educators to join me in and productive, but we all know that eliminating acronyms from our vocabulary person that shouts about the numbers and that alienate parents, business leaders and is ready to sacrifice necessities for the sake politicians. We need for the community to of balanced budgets. We do in fact have to truly understand everything that is being be more detailed in our “ask.” How many discussed, evaluated and prioritized for the more counselors do we need at Wheat Ridge benefit of students. High? And how high have our suicide rates Finally, I want to wish you all and your climbed and how do we address our drop- families joyous holidays. May the new year out numbers and, for the life of me, why bring peace, love and compassion on us all. are the number of students going to college As always, thanks for reading. See you with no goal or ambition at an all time high? next year. What are we doing, or not doing, with this Contact Guy Nahmiach at Guy@Nosassembly line education? I just want my kid talgicHomes or 303-999-5789. n By

Guy Nahmiach


Ask the Super Questions For Jeffco Education Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass The talk in and out of community meetings, task forces, teacher lounges and homes across Jeffco is about our state being 48th out of 50 in terms of per-student funding. While what we actually need the funding for is for another day, I find it interesting how most fingers point to a bond, mill levy or some kind of taxation to be the magic solution. In your studies of other education systems around the state, country and world, what other options exist that include a fair balance between governments and business communities that together fund generations of students, future customers and potential employees? Colorado’s struggles in funding education (as well as really any endeavor primarily paid for with state and local tax dollars) is well known. Without getting overly technical, the collision of the Gallagher and TABOR amendments in the state constitution have systematically suppressed revenues available to the state legislature. As public education is the state’s largest expense item, our schools have felt this funding shortfall most directly. While the exact ranking and number can fluctuate depending on how the funding calculations are made, by most accounts Colorado is behind the national average in funding schools by over $2,000 per student. The solutions to this are complex. One set of answers focuses on the state funding system, and working to undo those parts of the Gallagher and TABOR amendments in the state constitution which result in a lack of available revenue. This path requires successfully passing yet another amendment to the state constitution, to effectively undo the choices made by voters in previous years. Specific to education, these state level solutions have a decidedly mixed history, with 2013’s Amendment 66 losing by nearly a two-to-one margin at the polls. The other possible solution is at the local level. At the risk of oversimplifying, school districts can go to the voters and ask for property tax increases in two main ways. The first is something called a “mill levy override,” which allows the local voters to basically add up to 25 percent more funding on top of what the state formula provides. The second is called a “bond,” which gives permission for the school district go borrow money for facilities improvements and then the taxpayers repay the debt over a period of years (usually 20). Both of these local solutions create a property tax increase of some level, depending on the magnitude of the mill levy or bond. The decision on whether or not to increase education funding is also complex. There are those who oppose taxes of any kind and feel that taxes limit the freedom and purchasing power of citizens. And, there are others who support all taxes to support schools because they feel it is an investment in the community and its children. There is merit to both of these perspectives and our goal should be to find a pragmatic middle ground. We do want to keep our taxes reasonable so we keep Jeffco an affordable place to raise a family and to encourage economic growth and development. We also want to have quality schools in Jeffco, so that we prepare our students for their future, prepare a quality workforce, and keep Jeffco an attractive place for families and kids. So, building a winning coalition when it comes to school funding has to involve being transparent and efficient on the potential tax increase, so that we aren’t overburdening taxpayers. It also involves creating a positive and exciting plan for where the funds will be spent that the community can get behind and that will benefit students. This balance is important in all communities, but this is especially so in a politically diverse community such as Jeffco. Our work ahead will be on listening to our community to determine how we can best navigate that balance. Jason E. Glass, Ed.D. Superintendent & Chief Learner Jeffco Public Schools • If you have a question for our new superintendent please submit it to Guy@Nostalgic or call it in to 303-999-5789.

SCHOOL VISITOR PASS A Conversation with TJ McManus, Stevens Elementary’s New Leader n By

Guy Nahmiach

You were the principal of a very successful school at Denver Public Schools. Why did you move to Jeffco?

Last October, as I was entering my sixth year as an administrator at a school that had seen great achievement, I began to wonder what it would be like to take on a new challenge in a district that has been educating my own three children extremely well. I felt in my heart that it was time for change, and began to explore options where I could most find joy in serving others. My executive coach had told me, “What you are seeking is also seeking you.” I knew the very instant that I walked through the doors at Stevens for my interview that it was the place I had been searching for as the warmth and kindness of the staff and students spoke to my heart, and I knew I had found a new home. I am completely devoted to Stevens. My passion for creating loving and joyful learning environments attracted me to this leadership opportunity.

What were your top three changes you made to Stevens and what did you keep in place?

This year, I want to make sure I spend a lot of time listening and learning about the needs of staff, students and the

community, while also ensuring that past traditions continue to be honored. Since I began my work at Stevens, I have wanted to understand the history of past challenges and successes. We, as a team, are focusing on three main areas this year, relationships, distributed leadership and student culture.

What are you hoping to accomplish in your first year here?

My hopes for Stevens to continue to evolve each and every day as I learn more and more about student, staff and community needs and hopes. This year I hope to accomplish: • The creation of a positive culture that will allow us to achieve great things! Together, I know we can build a culture that grows and blossoms from positivity. So far we are! Stevens is a place filled with joy and kindness. • The implementation of a comprehensive social emotional learning program that meets the needs of all our students. This year, we have implemented social emotional learning instruction at every grade level. Ask any Stevens scholar about self-discipline, empathy, understanding emotions and problem solving, and they’ll be able to give you a well thought out answer. Even more, they show Continued on page 10


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ets can make a merry present or a holiday disaster – if careful attention is not paid. Just in case you wind up with a new pet this holiday season and find yourself 6789 W. 44th Ave. (Corner of 44th Ave. & Pierce St.) saying, “Now what?!” we have compiled a Wheat Ridge • 303-424-1881 nice little package of resources for you. Considering adopting a pet for you | or your family? Adopting from shelters 2015 Wheat Ridge Business of the Year or rescues is a great option that has been on the rise for years. In 2016, Jefferson County’s largest shelter, the Foothills Animal Shelter, adopted out over 9,000 animals. While breeders still take the cake for where people obtain dogs from at 34 percent, the American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) most recent report shows shelter adoptions not far behind at 23 percent. For cats, it is quite the opposite with 3 percent coming from breeders and 31 ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS! percent obtained from shelters. Let’s start by looking at what’s nearby. Here are a few 7110 West 44th Avenue local rescues in the area: 720-593-1994 • Angels with Paws • Foothills Animal Shelter • Life is Better Rescue (based in Lakewood, occasionally have adoption events at a variety of local Petsmarts). ABC LAUNDRY ABC LAUNDRY • Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue (see Always Bright & Clean locations and events near you on their Always Bright & Clean website) • Cat Care Society The cleanest and friendliest laundry in town • Metro Denver Parrot Rescue If you received a pet for the holidays, Drop your laundry from 7-11 am first thing’s first. Puppies over the age of Weekdays & we’ll do it for you! The cleanest and friendliest laundry in four town months must be licensed. You can get $1.50/lb. them licensed through Foothills Animal Ready in 2 business days! Shelter. Drop your laundry from 7‐11 am Weekdays & Cats are not required by law to be 9990 44th Avenue • Wheat Ridge licensed, but you can license them through on 44th east of Kipling south $1.50/lb. sidewe’ll do it on fortheyou! Jefferson County as well. ATM on insite Next – supplies. Supply lists are easy to Ready 2 business days! find. Foothills Animal Shelter keeps a list of helpful supplies on their website needed for and puppies as well as cats and kittens. On 44th East of Kipling on the Southdogs side. They also have a nice list of alternate

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Disposing of Those Disappointing Dud Gifts

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resources. If your adoption intentions tweet to a different tune, such as a bird, reptile, rodent or livestock, there are specialized pet supply stores in the area that can help guide you through stocking up on pet necessities as well. • Pet Club Wheat Ridge • Planet Pet • World of Birds • Scales n’ Tails • 5280 Reptile Room Hopefully, the twinkle in your eye over your new pet doesn’t go out after the holidays. Hopefully, what we’re about to tell you doesn’t make it go out either. There are two things that we all try to balance daily, but soon forget about when it comes to pets: time and money. We can get so caught up in the fun of bringing home an animal companion that after paying the adoption fees, we fail to realize that we are not done spending; not even close. Remember to look ahead at the course of the animal’s lifetime. There will still be food, toys, training, regular vet visits/costs, emergency money to put aside, grooming (not just for beauty, but health, too), gates and cleaning supplies (accidents will happen). Then there is time. There is someone new in your life to devote time to every day. Your schedule may need some adjusting. Consider setting aside some extra time in the beginning to help your new pal transition to their new life with you a little more easily. Have the money, but not the time? Give yourself the gift of donation to a local rescue or pet organization. They rely on donations to function. Start with ones listed above. You can also donate on behalf of someone else. This is a great gift idea that makes everyone involved feel good about it. There’s also less chance for buyer’s remorse. Have the time, but not the money?


Elisabeth Monaghan

hristmas morning has arrived. Those stockings that were hung by the chimney with care are now overflowing with happy surprises. Underneath the tree is an array of colorful gift bags and pretty packages with tidy bows – a veritable bounty of presents just waiting for you to open. The stack of gifts look so perfectly festive, but what do you do when you discover that inside is something you know instantly you would never use and is most definitely not something you requested? With that sense of disappointment, you have just entered the Land of Holiday Gift Fails, or “Dud Gifts.” For some of us, hiding that disappointment can be tricky, but once you’ve opened the gift, it is yours to do with as you choose. In case you are not sure what to do with the gift, here are some suggestions for how you might “repurpose” it. If there’s a gift receipt with the dud gift, the person who gave it to you recognized the gift might not have been “just what you’ve always wanted,” which means that receipt supports your decision to exchange the unwanted gift. For those who participate in white elephant exchanges, you now have an instant present ready for the next one. If the giver of the undesirable present is a participant in your white elephant exchange, do not despair. There are other options to pass it on. If the gift is one of value, a pawn shop may be a place to offload it. If you’re not a frequenter of pawn shops, you may want to research the process so you have realistic expectations about how the transaction works.

If your dud gift is something wearable, you could take it to a consignment shop. That way, not only will the person who ends up purchasing the clothing be someone who actually likes it, but you also will make a little money off of the sale of your items. Wheat Ridge has a couple of charming consignment shops to consider, the Avenue Consignment Boutique at 7777 W. 38th Ave., and Suziebelles Near New Shop, 4165 Wadsworth Blvd. If your consigned clothes do sell, be patient, as it may take the consignment shop a few months to pay you. If they do not sell, you can take them to a local thrift store, which is a terrific option for getting rid of dud gifts and possibly making a difference in someone’s life. Proceeds from sales at the Treasure Trunk Thrift Store, at 5892 W. 44th Ave., support Family Tree, a charitable organization that provides services designed to end child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and homelessness. Additional Wheat Ridge-based or nearby thrift stores to which you might consider donating your unwanted items include the Goodwill, located at 5825 W. 44th Ave., and the Angels With Paws Thrift Store at 10041 W. 26th Ave., which supports the Angels with Paws pet adoption center. Another way to offload dud gifts is to use sites like Facebook’s “Marketplace” and Craigslist’s “For Sell” section. Both sites allow you to list just about anything you’d like to get rid of. There are also websites like ThredUP and TrashNothing where you can sell your items. While it is difficult to be on the receiving end of dud gifts, Neighborhood Gazette contributing writer Gwen Clayton has made Continued from page 10 – DECEMBER 19, 2017 – JANUARY 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE


What’s Happening in the WRBA

Community Participation – Keep Informed and Active n By

Patricia Lilliston


ttention on the November election reflected significant community participation. Perhaps voters were encouraged with the increased number of candidates who committed, articulated and campaigned on platforms to improve and maintain the status of Mountain View. With the mayor and council members newly elected, opportunity for citizen involvement should not end now. The impetus of fall community participation can be approached and sustained by adhering to a variety of painless and user-friendly practices. Check the website for municipal updates, meetings and social events. Plan to attend monthly town council meetings. Learn the town codes and zoning policies. Become aware of specific aspects affecting Mountain View economic development. Support local businesses by shopping, utilizing established services and buying locally. Voice a suggestion, raise a question or seek clarification for an issue. Meet, welcome and help neighbors. Smile, wave or speak a greeting. Make an effort to tidy up lawn, sidewalk and alley areas to create a sense of pride, and invest a welcoming environment in the community. Visit the Little Free Library. To keep informed, visit the website at, drop by the Town Hall on 4176 Benton St., or call the Town Hall at 303-421-7282. Reflection of Former Town Leaders After the November election, three long-serving Mountain View municipal leaders retired from their posts. The trio recently reflected on the highlights, insights and individual intention to continue collaboration in the Mountain View community. Mayor Jeff Kiddie became involved in public service in the summer of 1991 when he assumed a vacated town council position. With over 21 years in public service, Kiddie valued his association with council members, residents and business owners. The highlight for Kiddie during office relates to his involvement during an extremely difficult financial collapse within the community. Keeping in mind the best interest of the town, Kiddie finds great satisfaction in being instrumental in Mountain View’s ultimate financial recovery. Whether in the role of town council member, Mayor Pro Tem or Mayor of Mountain View, Kiddie values the opportunity garnered during his terms in office in working with, and learning from others. Although, unsure of any future political plans, Kiddie remains supportive of the progress and sustainability of Mountain View. Certainly, with two decades of municipal experience, Kiddie can chronicle many historical aspects of the town’s municipal life.

Pet the Halls Continued from page 6

That’s OK, too. Give an animal a warm place to stay and a new sense of hope by becoming a foster home. You can be as choosy as you want on which animals you choose. Finding one that is compatible with you and your household situation will ensure the animal thrives in your home through a good, personal relationship. After all, good relationships are what pets are supposed to be all about – on both ends. “People are happier and healthier in the presence of animals,” according to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute. “Scientifically documented benefits of the

Retired Town Council member Dodie Dosh served as a board member for three terms. During her 12-year tenure, Dosh was a member of the Public Safety and Finance committees. Dosh also notes the towering difficulty for council leaders during the community’s economic downfall. Now when Dosh leaves public office, Mountain View is financially solvent and viable. Dosh considers the economic turmoil and subsequent financial resolution to be the triumph of her municipal career. Dosh anticipates continued collaboration in Mountain View as a volunteer on community committees or service boards. Since 2011, Patricia Lilliston served on town council, assumed the position of Mayor Pro Tem, and was a member on the Public Works and Finance committees. To speak the merits of Mountain View while attending local, regional and state trainings, CML conferences, and local municipal events is considered Lilliston’s highlight. Through her public service, Lilliston gained a greater insight into local government, the necessity of citizen participation, and the vital contribution of commercial establishments. Lilliston will continue community support as the steward of the Little Free Library, and as contributor to the Neighborhood Gazette. Town Trivia Time capsules serve as a means to preserve present-day artifacts with the intention that the capsule will be accessed sometime in the future. Did you know that a time capsule is located in Mountain View? Although debatable as to when time capsules were first introduced, these historic cache of relics have been buried in the ground, packed into cornerstones of historic buildings, tucked away in vaults and launched into outer space. Do you know where the Mountain View time capsule is located? George Edward Pendray coined the term time capsule, labeling an exhibit featured by the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company during the 1939 New York World’s Fair. A spool of thread, crop seeds, a microscope and newsreel were a few of the items stored in the company’s 800-pound capsule. Do you know when and what is retained in the Mountain View time capsule? Enclosed in the brick masonry wall on the northwest area of the Town Hall Park, and “Dedicated to the Citizens of the Town of Mountain View,” rests the Mountain View time capsule. On Aug. 28, 2004, the capsule was sealed during the town's Centennial Celebration, with an inscription “to be opened in 2104.” A few of the artifacts included are the names of the town leaders from 1904 to 2004, a 2004 town audit, telephone book, newspaper, police department forms and memorabilia, a grocery store receipt, and postage stamps. Considering the onset of 2018, what would you offer for a time capsule buried in 2017? human-animal bond include decreased blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and enhanced feelings of well-being.” While pets can help with the blues, if you are still getting the holiday blues and need to socialize, but don’t want to leave furry, feathered or scaled companions behind, there are a variety of pet social groups in every city. Check out websites such as Meetup, Facebook or NextDoor to see what local groups are in your area…or start one. You never know who is in a similar situation as you and looking for a way to connect to others. There are many ways to make a pet part of your holiday, and a pet can make a wonderful gift. Just be sure there is a mutual understanding between the gift-giver and the gift-receiver on what it truly means to own a pet.

What an amazing 2017 this has been for the Wheat Ridge Business Association!!! And our packed Holiday Lunch today just proved that. Thank you to everyone who joined us and showed their support.

January Membership Breakfast Date: Tuesday, January 9, 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: Michelle Wilson TOPIC: Peace of Mind Productivity

Please register for this meeting before 5pm on Thursday, Jan. 4

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Senior Nutrition Part II: Where to Find Individualized Help

around you. Taking care of yourself during this busy time by exercising, getting proper rest, and eating a mostly-healthy diet can he holidays are a time to join in the help you manage your stress and keep you festivities with friends and family. It’s from getting run down and more prone to also the season for viruses, icy slips and catching a virus. falls and get-togethers, making it In the event you or a a particularly busy time at your loved one does need medical local hospital emergency room. care, you want to make sure While you can’t prevent all you get the right care at the illnesses or accidents, there is a right time. How do you choose lot you can do to keep yourselves where to go – your own doctor, and your loved ones from having an urgent care center or an to make that trip to the doctor. emergency room? • To lessen the risk of One way to help you spreading colds, flu or norovirus make a good decision is to ask – a particularly unpleasant yourself these questions: gastrointestinal virus – avoid Dr. Scott Miner • Do I need to be treated contact with those who are sick. in minutes? Clean surfaces at home, hand-washing, and • Can it wait for hours? staying home from school or work will go a • Will I be OK waiting a day or more? long way in preventing the spread of disease. If you reasonably think that someone • Ever hear the term “Walk like a is having a life-threatening emergency, penguin?” In icy or snowy weather, taking the safest thing to do is to call 911. That care when you’re out of doors to wear way, trained professionals can begin any proper footwear, walking flat-footed, taking necessary treatment before you get to the short steps, and not carrying too much, can hospital, and the hospital staff will already help keep you upright. be informed and ready to take over as soon • The holidays can be a difficult time of as you arrive. year for some. Maybe they’ve experienced a An urgent care clinic is the place to go recent loss, or they just struggle more with when you or your child have a condition loneliness or addiction this time of year. that can’t wait until you can get into your Keep in touch with those around you who doctor's office, or it occurs after-hours but may be in this situation. If someone you doesn’t require the high-level treatment know does need more professional help in found in an ER. order to cope, encourage them to seek it out. Dr. Miner is medical director of the • Stress. We all have it, right? What’s Emergency Department at Lutheran Mediimportant is to be aware of your level of cal Center. stress and how it is affecting you or those n By

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ake charge of your health. Do the research if you want to live longer. Monitor what you eat. Sounds simple enough, right?! It’s not that simple; especially when you add one or more chronic diseases to the mix. It seems like when it comes to medical information, we are constantly being pointed toward the Internet for answers. The problem is that whatever answers we search for can take hours of digging through unreliable or inaccurate articles. Then we have to tailor the search words just right to even begin to answer our original question. There may be information out there about how to eat if you have diabetes or how to eat if you have high blood pressure, but what if you have both? In the first part of our two-part series on nutrition, we spoke with local Certified Nutrition Consultant, Lynn Tandler who gave us tips on eating healthy throughout the holiday season. This month, we would like to focus on where to search for nutritional help for your personal situation. In our search for the best options, we discovered that it takes finding personalized help and not just reading generic Internet publications. According to the National Council on Aging’s article “Nutrition Tips for Seniors with Chronic Conditions,” the best way to start is by “asking your doctor to refer you to a registered dietician.” Of course, searching for your own



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nutritionist is just as good of an idea. However, there are other programs in the area available to you as well. For seniors who are homebound and not eating the proper amount of food to fulfill nutritional needs, programs such as Meals on Wheels and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (SNAP) are available to those who qualify. According to Volunteers of America, their meals “are low in fat and cholesterol and provide valuable nutrients older adults need without the additional calories.” These services also include “nutrition education” for seniors. You can find more information at Also, visit Hunger Free Colorado’s website at hungerfreecolorado. org to discover more food assistance programs. Need a doctor? There are registered geriatricians in the area; some of which take Medicare. These can be found in a phone book or – dare we say it – online. As mentioned above, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a good resource as well as, which has its own section for senior-based nutrition. Lastly, remember the Senior Resource Center is always available for a variety of services, including nutritional help and medical resources. Getting a family member or even volunteer involved can also help you eat more successfully with the proper nutrition for your body, chronic conditions or not.

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Career Explorer Program at Wheat Ridge High

WEST METRO FIRE Field Day Tests West Metro Recruits n By


n By


Guy Nahmiach

he Wheat Ridge High School Career Explorer program allows students that are likely to drop out to learn a trade in the construction industry. With the condition that they continue their studies and graduate on time, these students are learning the various sides of the construction field, including drywall and framing. More importantly, they are also learning how to find jobs and write resumes that are applicable to the world of construction. The amazing part of this program is that they are getting placed in internships that actually pay them while they learn. In spending the morning with them at the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, I learned that this program is specific for students that have identified construction as their focus for a career. With an average pay of $24 per hour, Colorado has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. With 100,000 people per year expected to move to our state for the next 10 years, the construction industry is struggling to build

a workforce to accommodate the need. These students were elbows and faces forward. There was no chatting, texting or other distractions. There was maximum concentration in the classrooms where they learned new skills that included English and math as they relate to the field of construction. They learned measuring and writing building instructions. On the mock field, they learned how to safely and accurately operate manual and electrical tools. This team was pretty excited about securing their future: an actual career that would not only help them support a family in the future, but finish their high school degree and be proud members of our community. While this crew was being lead by their superstar teacher Jane Johnson, there are plenty of teachers and staff involved in this program at Wheat Ridge High, including the other two Career Explore programs in the worlds of healthcare and hotel services. If this is something you think might be of interest to a high school student you know, don’t hesitate to have them call Wheat Ridge High School Principal Josh Cooley at 303-982-7695.


Ronda Scholting

house fire, a dumpster fire, a car crash, a medical emergency. The calls were coming in one after the other. Almost as soon as the recruits were cleared from one incident, they were on their way to the next. It was a long day, filled with challenges and designed to test the skills of soon to be firefighters – on track to graduate in early December. “This is the first time the recruits have taken everything they’ve learned during Academy and put it all together,” said Lieutenant Dan Fahrney, West Metro Fire Rescue. “They’re teamed up with experienced firefighters on fire engines and ambulances and running calls from beginning to end. We think this gives them a real life look at what it’s going to be like after they graduate.” Over the course of 12 plus hours, the recruits of Class 17-02 would respond to nearly two dozen calls, most on the grounds of West Metro’s Training Center. The class is the second academy of the year with 13 recruits from three fire agencies – West Metro, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire and Castle Rock Fire. “During Academy, we’ve had subjectmatter experts from all three agencies on hand teaching the skills required to be a firefighter,” said Fahrney. “On Field Day, the recruits show how well they’re able to put it all together.” Pairing the recruits with experienced crews was a strategic decision meant to lay the groundwork to prepare them for what would be expected of them as new firefighters. And, it was an opportunity for the experienced crews to once again mentor

the younger firefighters. On scene at a Field Day car crash, it’s up to the recruits to talk to the victims and determine injuries. In one car, a father and son are both bruised and bleeding, lending a bit of authenticity to the incident. “We try to make the medical calls as realistic as possible and we use makeup to give the recruits something to look at and diagnose,” said Lieutenant Mike Binney, West Metro Fire Rescue. “It’s important to replicate as closely as we can some of the patients they’re going to come into contact with.” After they graduate from the 17-week-long Academy, the new firefighters will go “on line,” or be assigned to a fire station. “It’s our goal that when they leave Academy, they’re more than ready to respond when people dial 9-1-1,” said Binney. Ronda Scholting is West Metro Fire Rescue’s Communications/Media Relations Specialist.


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Last Year Continued from page 1

Avenue, Highway 58, and west of I-70, better known as the Cabela’s site, and rolled out its plans for a mixed-use project. Evergreen purchased the site from Cabela’s, which in 2007 received approval from the City of Wheat Ridge to build a massive retail store on the parcel. Evergreen submitted a new zone change application for consideration of a Planned Mixed Use Development to allow retail, restaurants, hotels, multifamily residential and employment uses, according to the city. Although the Evergreen was in talks with Walmart to relocate its Applewood store to the site as the anchor tenant, no agreement was reached.

Fruitdale School Saved, Reopens as Mixed-Income Apartments

The grand opening and open house for the repurposed and redeveloped Fruitdale Lofts, 10803 W. 44th Ave., took place on Oct. 19, concluding a nine-year effort to

Visitor’s Pass Continued from page 5

this valuable learning in their actions and interactions with each other. They inspire me! Describe the environment inside the school and your relationship with your staff.

Stevens is a loving, joyful and innovative school. The staff takes care of each other and students. Students show love for each other and for their teachers. Creativity is welcomed and embraced. Teachers are encouraged to try new ideas. We have a had a great year so far! I am happily working alongside dedicated, staff and community members, who have in a few short months built a community garden, planned the first of two design labs, implemented a comprehensive social emotional learning curriculum, piloted 40 minutes of movement a day, offer after school clubs that serve 240 students and so much more! We welcome visitors to come see the work in action. In your next life, what animal would you come back as? Why?




preserve the historic school. The finished project was the fourth – and final – proposal for redevelopment since 2008 for the Temple Buell-designed Fruitdale School, built in 1927 and added to in the 1950s, which has sat vacant since being decommissioned by Jeffco schools in 2007. The Wheat Ridge Housing Authority saved the school from demolition by purchasing it in April 2011, and had been soliciting proposals for redevelopment since. The $5.5 million project was a publicprivate partnership between developer Hartman Ely Investments, the city, and the housing authority, and includes 16 rental apartments ranging from 550 to just over 1,000 square feet and including one-, two, and three-bedroom floorplans in the main school building as well as the caretaker’s cottage. Five of the apartments are incomerestricted units.

School Board Regime Change Firmly in Place

On Nov. 7 voters ended a tumultuous era at the Jefferson County Public Schools Board of Education by voting to keep Brad Well, thanks for the fun question. I would come back as an elephant because of their strong devotion to family and community. Herds come together to protect the young and each other in a way that is inspiring. Elephants never forget! What is the status of the GT (Gifted & Talented) program at Stevens and what does its future look like?

Stevens will continue to be a GT Center program. I am committed to rebuilding the program, while embracing new ways of meeting students’ needs. I am excited that we are exploring many ways to enrich the lives of all students. Next year, we will implement a GT Design Lab, staffed by a full-time GT teacher. GT students will spend a portion of their day in a design lab where they can imagine, design and create! Stay tuned for updates as I promise the GT program will be a place for students to achieve and engage in joyful learning.

Contact Stevens Elementary Principal TJ McManus at TJ.McManus@jeffco.k12. Questions for this guest writer or suggestions for future guest writers should be sent in to

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Rupert, Susan Harmon and Ron Mitchell on the board. The three incumbents ousted three outspoken conservative members in a 2015 recall election. In January, the board voted unanimously not to renew the contract of Superintendent Don McMinimee, hired by 3-2 vote by the previous board; McMinimee’s contract was set to expire in June. The board voted to hire Jason Glass as superintendent in May; Glass was previously superintendent of Eagle County’s School District.

RTD’s G-Line Still Not Open as Another Year Passes

The Regional Transportation District’s G Line – a new eight-stop, 11-mile-long commuter rail line between Wheat Ridge and Union Station – is complete but no new opening date has been announced. Formerly known as the Gold Line, it was originally scheduled to open in fall of 2016. The holdup? The G Line has the same atgrade crossing technology as the University of Colorado A Line, and RTD contractor Denver Transit Partners has to meet Federal Railroad Administration requirements regarding the at-grade crossings on the University of Colorado A Line in order for the testing on the G Line to resume.

Lucky’s, Not Walmart, at Corners Development

The Corners at Wheat Ridge development will have a Lucky’s Market natural foods grocery as its anchor tenant, it was announced in April. The new 35,000-square-foot grocery

Dud Gifts Continued from page 6

an art of re-gifting unwanted presents. “I never met a gift I didn't like,” she explains. “If I personally couldn't use it, I saved it for a friend or to put in a raffle drawing.” When Clayton’s former mother-inlaw consistently bought items that did not appeal to her tastes, Clayton was able to give them to a close friend whose tastes they did suit. While living in California, Clayton frequently attended her local chamber’s monthly mixers, where it was common for all attendees to leave with at least one raffle prize. Any of the prizes she didn’t want went into Clayton’s closet with the rest of her collection of gift and raffle prize duds. At one point, Clayton had amassed as many as 50 gift duds and unused raffle prizes, giving her an ample supply for white elephant exchanges. With the belief that no one should go empty-handed to a party, meal or other social gatherings at someone’s home, Clayton also had an impressive selection of gifts to thank her hosts/hostesses. One helpful tip Clayton shares is if you plan to re-gift any of presents or raffle prizes, first make notes about who gave them to you to avoid passing them along to the original giver. No one likes receiving dud gifts, but chances are, the person who gave the gift

will complement 30,000 square feet of other retail shops and restaurants, a pocket park, and 230 market-rate apartment units to be built on the site of the former Go Ford dealership on the northwest corner of West 38th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard. The at-times controversial development had its council-approved tax-increment financing (TIF) package challenged by a citizen ballot initiative in fall of 2015. It lost its initial anchor tenant – Walmart – last summer, shortly after a Jefferson County District Court ruled the ballot initiative could not undo the approved TIF.

Baseball Strikes Out at Anderson Park

Despite impassioned testimony by Wheat Ridge’s baseball community and an attempt to delay the vote till November, Wheat Ridge City Council on Oct. 23 voted 4-3 to approve a Anderson Park Master Plan recommended by the Parks and Recreation Commission, which replaces the existing baseball diamond with a multipurpose field.

Oh, and We Got Some Hail

The City of Wheat Ridge’s largest hailstorm on record pummeled property on May 8. In the first nine weeks following, city staff (including six additional inspectors) performed 3,360 inspections. In one month, 2,256 online roofing permit and inspection applications were submitted. The storm takes the cake in the top 10 most costly hailstorms in Colorado with an estimated total of $1.4 billion, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. has no idea it is a dud. With that in mind, try not to take it personally and realize you are not stuck with the gift. In some instances, you may have to hold onto it for a period of time, but when you are ready, you’ll discover that, with a number of methods to get rid of, or repurpose your gift, all is not lost. Even better, your efforts to repurpose the items might result in having fun, making a little money, or supporting a meaningful cause.

WR Mayor Continued from page 4

Soopers fueling station. We’ve also worked with our home-grown businesses by providing tax increment financing funds to the owners of the Swiss Flower and Gift Cottage to construct a new facility adjacent to their existing shop and more than 14,000 square feet of additional space for small businesses. This is a great time to live in Wheat Ridge, and looking ahead to 2018, it is an exciting time to serve as your mayor. As I embark on this new adventure and step away from my career in construction, I hope you’ll join me at Coffee with the Mayor and other community events in 2018 so we can talk about your thoughts and ideas for making Wheat Ridge an even better place to live, work and play. Contact Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker at or 303235-2800.


Dozens of Varieties • Expert Advice


• Affordable Housing: Tax Credit and Subsidized Housing ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR TAX CREDIT WAIT LIST SUBSIDIZED WAIT LIST CLOSED for seniors 62 and older and adults with a disability Affordable Housing: Tax Credit and Subsidized Housing for seniors • Accessible units 62 and older and adults with a disability

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Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 – DECEMBER 19, 2017 – JANUARY 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE


WHAT’S HAPPENING Holiday Decoration Cleanup – Where to Recycle? The saddest part of the holidays is, of course, the teardown. It’s hard to watch those glistening lights go dim and be stuffed into boxes for the next 11 months (unless you are one of those who keep your lights up until March – you know who you are). What’s even harder is saying goodbye to strings of holiday lights whose time on the tree or the house have expired. We can’t take the emotional wear of taking down holiday decorations any easier, but maybe providing you with the places to recycle the non-boxed decorations can. Wheat Ridge residents can rest easier knowing that they have a place to take their live Christmas trees, free of charge, when they are done. Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation are currently running their Christmas tree recycling program now through the end of February. Wreaths and garland will not be accepted. Trees can be dropped off at Panorama Park, located at 33rd and Fenton, or Prospect Park located on 44th Street. Trees must be completely bare of decorations as they will be turned into mulch. The City of Wheat Ridge has more details on their homepage. Christmas lights can be taken to Action Recycling Center. It is OK for the bulbs to still be attached to the strings. As for wrapping paper, it can be recycled with regular recycled paper products. However, foil-lined wrapping paper cannot be recycled. –Tawny Clary

WHEAT RIDGE POLICE DEPARTMENT SERGEANT WILKINSON hosts a holiday thank you dinner for WRPD Volunteers and Explorers. “Thanks to all for a year of service to the Wheat Ridge PD and community.” PHOTO BY SARA SPAULDING.

Wheat Ridge Families Help Bring Christmas Joy to 13,842 Children Overseas Volunteers from the West Denver Area Team are celebrating the record-breaking collection of 13,842 gift-filled shoe boxes that will remind children around the world they are loved and not forgotten. The Samaritan's Purse project, Operation Christmas Child surpassed last year’s West Denver Area Team donations of shoebox gifts. The West Denver Area Team is now thanking the Wheat Ridge community for their generous contributions already on their way to children in need worldwide. Although collections have finished for the season, there is still time to pack a shoebox gift online for children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. Those who prefer the convenience of online

ASK THE EXPERT Too Young to Think About Investing? Think Again! n By

Vicki Thompson

“How did it get so late so soon?” –Dr. Seuss r. Seuss’s whimsical take on life has been delighting children of all ages for generations. His simple, but powerful words continue to resonate today, even in the context of planning for a financially secure future. Because when you get right down to it, the younger you are, the more you potentially have to gain by taking advantage of the time ahead of you.


intended for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of an actual investment. Your results will vary.)

Time and Compounding – A Simple Equation

One easy way to estimate how long it may take for compounding to help double the value of an investment is to use the “rule of 72.” Here’s how it works: Divide 72 by the rate of return earned by an investment. The number you end up with equals the approximate number of Compounding: A Snowball years it would take for the Effect investment to double in value, The word compounding assuming it continues to earn describes what happens when Victoria Thompson the same return. For example, your investment earns money and this amount is reinvested and generates an investment earning an 8 percent annual more earnings. The process of compounding return would double in value in about nine has often been compared to the way a years (72/8 = 9). snowball grows as it rolls downhill. You might say that a longer investment time Stay in It for the Long Term frame is akin to a bigger hill, because each Maintaining a long-term time frame creates conditions for greater growth may also give you the luxury of being able to tolerate short-term market volatility. potential. And thanks to the potential role of Because while past performance cannot compounding, the more you invest, the more guarantee future results, it’s worth noting significant the potential long-term benefit. that longer-term holding periods have often For example, assume that two workers been associated with a lower likelihood of both earn $30,000 annually. Each invests 6 portfolio losses. percent of income and receives a 3 percent Because of the possibility of human or meerror by Wealth Management Systems raise each year. Investor A never increases chanical Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management her investment, but Investor B increases her Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the acinvestment by 1 percent of income each year curacy, adequacy, completeness or availability until she is eventually investing 12 percent of any information and is not responsible for of income. Over the course of 30 years, each any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no account earns an 8 percent average annual event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. investment return. be liable for any indirect, special or consequen The result? At the end of the 30-year tial damages in connection with subscriber’s or period, Investor A would have $296,864, others’ use of the content. © 2016 DST Systems, Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, whereas Investor B would have $535,005 – Inc. except by permission. All rights reserved. Not simply because she took advantage of time responsible for any errors or omissions. and gradually increased her investment Vicki Thompson is with Wealth Manamount. (This is a hypothetical example agement Systems Inc.

shopping can browse samaritanspurse. org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child's specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement. They can also donate $9 per shoebox gift online through "Follow Your Box" and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Another way to share the gift of giving is by purchasing a $25 gift card for a family member or friend so they can join in the excitement of Operation Christmas Child by packing a shoebox online. These shoeboxes – filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys – are delivered to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries around the world. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call 303-745-9179 or visit

Wheat Ridge Police Offer Tips For Holiday Shopping Safety Holiday shopping is stressful enough with crowds and traffic in addition to trying to stick to the budget. Wheat Ridge Police suggest staying safe should be a priority as shoppers are checking off the gift list this holiday season. While shopping: • Parked vehicles can be a prime target for thieves. They often will break windows or punch locks to gain access to items left in plain view. Open windows and unlocked doors also make cars an easy target. To help reduce the risk of theft from inside vehicles, always lock the doors, even if just running into a store quickly, and be sure to put the car windows up when leaving it unattended. • Park vehicles in well-lit, high-traffic areas and away from larger vehicles or

shrubs that might hide the activity of thieves. Thieves target cars parked in isolated areas in order to “work” without drawing attention • Do not keep any items – including a purse or wallet, cell phone, computer bag or gift bags – in plain sight as clearly visible items can catch the eye of a thief. Be sure to stow and secure all items prior to leaving the car. Also, be sure to remove any portable accessories, such as GPS units and stereo faceplates, when leaving the car. • Be aware of the surroundings while walking to the car. • Don’t fill arms with bags or packages. Keep a hand free for keys and access to opening the car door. • Don’t talk on the cell phone or text while walking. Not only is that dangerous, staying alert and watchful walking to the car may help identify suspicious behavior or someone who could be a threat. • Lock the car doors once inside, especially if making a call or checking messages before heading home. While at home: • Keep doors and windows locked, especially when going to bed or leaving the house. • Cut shrubs back around windows and doors so neighbors are able to view anyone trying to access the home when the residents aren’t there. • Use timers for randomly placed lighting so it appears someone is home, even when residents are on vacation. Set timers for outdoor lighting instead of leaving porch lights on for days or weeks when on vacation. • Cancel newspaper delivery and have the post office or a neighbor collect mail and packages. • Don’t post information to Facebook or other social media sites about vacation plans and when the home might be empty and a target for thieves. Post those photos after arriving back home.

A Healthy


Challenge includes: • 16 Small Group Sessions • Simple Meal Plan • Yoga Workshop • Coaching Calls • Party with CASH & PRIZES!

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303-947-5631 Located at 44th Ave & Chase




Who’s Your Farmer? Laura Harper 2012 – Medical Student “Wheat Ridge gave me the educational foundation to build upon and was where I learned my study skills that got me into Medical school! WR is where I learned what I was capable of, made friends, and had the time of my life.”

Maribel Gallegos Rivera 2009 – Software Engineer/ Charles Schwab “I cannot be more grateful for the teachers and coaches that I had while at WR. Their continuous support and encouragement to push my limits was the root of all of my successes today. Wheat Ridge prepared me day in and day out by challenging me academically, letting me explore. Having options and a clear path made it easy for me to continue to further my education.”

Mark Landes 2000 – VP Technology/Green Chef “From being a Farmer I learned about achieving my goals, the work needed to achieve my goals and the rewards that can come from that hard work. I learned about being part of a team – invaluable as nothing great can be done alone.“

Wheat Ridge High School has a long legacy of producing leaders. From business owners to Broadway celebrities, NFL stars to nurse practitioners, many highly accomplished professionals in all kinds of fields began their journeys as Wheat Ridge Farmers. Our school may be smaller than some of those around us but we see that as a benefit. When a student comes to Wheat Ridge, they are embraced by our community particularly the adults in the building. Truth be told one of our key strengths is our amazing staff – including teachers, administrators, counselors and paraprofessionals – who come to work every day committed to do what’s best for our students. Wheat Ridge offers its students plenty of “big school” opportunities to shine. We have a broad selection of Honors and AP classes designed to keep students challenged. If that’s not enough, our Gifted and Talented Center is nationally recognized; our award winning STEM/STEAM program is the envy of the district, and our unique Career Explore program prepares students to succeed in today’s dynamic, ever-changing jobs scene. The innovative spirit that gave rise to these exceptional programs permeates throughout our school, even with our more traditional classes where teachers leverage their knowledge to craft innovative lessons intended to bring out the best in individual students. Of course, not all learning is confined to a classroom. Wheat Ridge offers dozens of clubs and varsity sports so students are able to round out their high school experience and even try something new. The options for learning and growing are virtually endless. Interested in finding out more? Please stop by the school, send me an email or give me a call. I’d love to talk with you about how WRHS can meet the needs of your student and then some. Farmers Forever, Josh Cooley, Principal


9505 W 32nd Avenue Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

FOLLOW CALL (303) 982-7695 WEB heat Ridge WR W Community CF Foundation

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Neighborhood Gazette – December 2017  

The December 19, 2017 – January 15, 2018 issue of Neighborhood Gazette, serving Wheat Ridge, Applewood, Mountain View & Lakeside Colorado.

Neighborhood Gazette – December 2017  

The December 19, 2017 – January 15, 2018 issue of Neighborhood Gazette, serving Wheat Ridge, Applewood, Mountain View & Lakeside Colorado.