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WHEAT RIDGE | APPLEWOOD | MOUNTAIN VIEW | LAKESIDE March 13 – April 15, 2018 • ngazette.com • FREE

Medical Mud Fight at the Clear Creek Crossing Corral? n By

Mike McKibbin

A

recent turf battle between two metro Denver health care providers – Lutheran Medical Center and UCHealth – included claims of paid lobbyists, spreading rumors and throwing mud at the Clear Creek Crossing project in Wheat Ridge. The issue became public at the Feb. 12 Wheat Ridge City Council meeting, where a public hearing for a rezoning request from Evergreen Development was postponed until Monday, March 26. While the council agreed to allow a large crowd – mostly Lutheran staff – to testify, most of the approximately 25 people signed up chose to wait until the March 26 hearing. Evergreen is seeking a zoning change for the 109-acre site on the west side of I-70 and south of Clear Creek from planned commercial development to planned mixed-use development. They want to develop it for commercial, entertainment, residential and a major employer. The zoning Continued on page 2

A WHEAT RIDGE FAMILY CHECKS OUT “HIDDEN TREASURES” at Wheat Ridge Parks and Rec’s 2017 Easter Egg Hunt. This year’s event takes place Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m., at Panorama Park. PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF WHEAT RIDGE.

Egg-ceptional Easter Events For Kids and Canines n By

Jennifer LeDuc

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hile this winter has been mild, save for a bit of wild wind, the arrival of spring on the calendar is itself enough reason to rejoice. Easter celebrations and egg hunts in the community give an all-faith opportunity to connect with neighbors and create some adorable photo opps – and even the pups can get in on the fun. Edgewater and Wheat Ridge are staging events, but Lakewood is not.

Citizens Park Youth Egg/ Dog Treat Hunt Edgewater doesn’t mess around – they offer something for both children and dogs. The Saturday, March 31, Citizens Park Youth Egg/Dog Treat Hunt starts 10 a.m. at Citizens Park, 5440 W. 24th Ave. (24th and Chase) and includes something for the whole family (unless you’re a cat person, of course). The kids collect in different waves based

on their age, and the pups get in on the fun shortly after the kiddos, gobbling up treats donated from area businesses. Children ages 0 to 3 years will be allowed to collect first with their parents. Children in age groups 4 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 to 11 will collect on their own. Adding to the fever-pitch excitement will be a golden egg hidden for each age group. The finder of the golden egg will be the recipient of a special basket. Of course there will be obligatory photo opps with bunny. While last year’s youth

choir will not be performing, there will be music. Patrick Martinez, City of Edgewater recreation manager, recalled only postponing the event once in his sevenyear tenure, but should snow or rain arrive, Martinez will update the Playedgwater.com website and post a sign at the park. The Edgewater Rec Center is also offering an Easter Floral Arrangement class on Thursday, March 29, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. To register for the $10 class, visit playedgewater.com.

Panorama Park Egg Hunt Wheat Ridge Park and Rec hosts its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 24, at Panorama Park, W. 35th Avenue and Fenton Street. This year it’s bigger than ever, with more than 5,000 eggs to find. Not only will there be a bunny on hand for photos and music, but Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker will be there to count the hunt down and get the crowd going. The Wheat Ridge Kiwanis volunteers helped scatter the eggs throughout the search area. The hunt begins at 10 a.m. and there will be four different age zones for children to search in, so everyone can begin together. The city has been hosting this event for decades and Stephen Clyde, recreation supervisor of general programs and marketing, said this year’s event will be it’s biggest yet. “It’s a simple and lighthearted event,” said Clyde, “And it brings more and more people out each year.” Rain date, if necessary, will be the following Saturday, March 31.

N E I G H B O R H O O D F E AT U R E

Giving Back By Giving Rides – In A HomeBuilt Airplane n By

J. Patrick O’Leary

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WHEAT RIDGE RESIDENT FRED HOLLENDORFER has given more than 100 young people a free demonstration ride in his home-built airplane as part of the “Young Eagles” program. PHOTO BY J. PATRICK O’LEARY

heat Ridge resident Fred Hollendorfer has given more than 100 young people a free demonstration ride in his home-built airplane as part of the “Young Eagles” program. The retired airline pilot built his metal, two-seat RV-8 in his garage over a dozen years, and has volunteered his time, airplane and gas in the program since January of 2016. The Young Eagles Program was unveiled by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in July 1992 and has now flown more than 2 million young people, primarily between the ages of 8 and 17. Its goal is to allow young people to experience positive activities and discover the possibilities available to them within the world of aviation, according to the EAA. The worldwide organization has 190,000 members who enjoy Continued on page 12


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change would allow a broader mix of uses, including a hospital campus. The issue included an email campaign against the rezoning by Lutheran staff to council members. In a Feb. 9 email to a project mailing list, Evergreen managing principal Tyler Carlson claimed “paid lobbyists have been out and about in the neighborhood, throwing mud at Clear Creek Crossing ...” “It’s unfortunate that certain opponents of Clear Creek Crossing feel it necessary to hire paid operatives to conduct neighborhood ‘surveys,’ shake down business owners and neighbors and spread rumors or even blatant lies on social media,” he wrote. Carlson noted Evergreen held eight public meetings about the project and planned another the week before the rezoning hearing. He blamed the “aggressive smear campaign” for the delay. In an interview, Carlson said Evergreen is not under contract with any potential user, hospital or otherwise. “We have had interest from a wide variety of employers, including medical groups, (research and development) groups,” he added. Carlson said he understands Lutheran’s concerns. “Things have kind of died down now, after a lot of misinformation was put out there,” he stated. “The project has not changed since we first proposed it. We always wanted some type of corporate use and a hospital or similar facility was always a potential.” Earlier plans for the property included a Cabela’s store in 2005, which were dropped when the Great Recession happened several years later. The site was also considered for a Super Walmart before the company bowed out last year.

Providing care vs. too many beds

UCHealth spokesman Dan Weaver wrote in an email that “UCHealth does not have any current involvement with the Clear Creek Crossing project, and we have no plans to build a new hospital on the west side of the metro Denver area at this time. ... I will mention, though, that UCHealth currently cares for more than 12,000 individual patients from the northwest metro area, including portions of Arvada, Golden and Wheat Ridge. Our goal is to provide excellent care close to home for our patients.” UCHealth – part of the University of Colorado system – has recently opened several free-standing emergency rooms and primary-care clinics along the Front Range. Lutheran is part of SCL Health, a nonprofit, faith-based health system. It includes an acute-care hospital, Lutheran Hospice Center, Lutheran Spine Center at

Denver West and Bridges Integrative Health and Wellness Services. Officials with Lutheran would not comment beyond a previously released statement that noted its more than century in Wheat Ridge, its status as the city’s largest employer and called other aspects of the project “a great boon for the city.” However, a “fast-track” rezoning so another hospital system could build a healthcare facility within five miles of three existing hospitals (Lutheran, St. Anthony and OrthoColorado) and numerous outpatient facilities was a big concern. “Health care trends continue to demonstrate a decline in inpatient utilization,” the statement read. “As more care is pushed to the outpatient and home setting, the number of inpatient beds required continues to decline. Adding more inpatient capacity is not consistent with the health care needs of the future and it is not in the best interest of this community.” “It’s never been our intent to stand in the way of development or growth,” Lutheran President and CEO Grant Wicklund told the city council. “What we don’t want to see is another hospital with unnecessary beds and rising costs.” Shelley Thompson, chief partnerships officer for St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood – operated by Centura Health – told the council St. Anthony supports Lutheran. “The community already has 104 more beds than needed and growth projections are not expected to need more than 20 more,” she said. “We’re only six miles from Lutheran and we believe between us, all necessary health care services are provided.” Thompson also noted a new facility would siphon away staff, doctors and nurses from current facilities at a time of staff shortages, especially in nursing. Jeff Helton, associate professor of health care management at Metropolitan State University of Denver, called Lutheran’s concerns warranted. As a former health system chief financial officer, Helton said he wrestled with many of the same issues. “I can see why Lutheran is very concerned because this is in their back yard,” he noted. “It’s their primary service area, so they’re trying to head them off at the pass, you might say.” Helton said if a new facility is a “mini hospital,” or one that only takes “the easy cases,” Lutheran would suffer. “It’s like an airline selling hundreds of cheap seats and a few more expensive seats to offset them,” Helton stated. “It would hurt Lutheran because the more involved cases cost more money so they’d be more likely to lose money” per patient. A loss of staff is also valid, Helton said. “Doctors know that if they have a hospital or facility that’s closer to their office, they will admit their patients there, or even move their office,” he added. “And no one likes to drive in Denver’s traffic, so if another facility cuts commute time, that makes sense, too.”


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NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – ngazette.com

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publication, Connections, is a printed quarterly newsletter delivered free to all residents and posted to the website. here are so many ways to communicate Sometimes nothing beats seeing it firstat our fingertips, it’s not always easy to hand. All city council meetings and study know where your energy is best spent to stay sessions (except executive sessions) are up-to-date with all that’s happening in the open to the public, and public comment city. Here are some of the ways you can stay is invited at the opening of the meetings. “in the know” about your community. This is a great way to see your elected For official news from the city, the officials in action and let your comments best place to go is the city’s website, www. and concerns be heard. Other ci.wheatridge.co.us. City council boards and commissions have meetings and study sessions similar public transparency are available on the website procedures. and on Channel 8. If you want Community engagement to receive updates as they are opportunities include events posted to the website, subscribe with WRPD such as Coffee with to “Notify Me” on topics of a Cop, National Night Out, and interest to you and you will get an Community Forum meetings email when updates are posted. on such topics as homelessness, E-newsletters are also available, faith-based security concerns, there is the monthly Mayor’s and school traffic issues. You Matters and the Investing 4 the can also hear about the State Future e-newsletter with updates Bud Starker of the City directly from the on 2E-funded projects. city manager at many of the local service The city and Wheat Ridge Police club meetings around town or attend one Department each have their own social of the district meetings held by city council media accounts, just search for City of Wheat members regularly throughout the year. Ridge Government and Wheat Ridge Police I’m pleased to announce that I will be Department to find them on Facebook, hosting Coffee with the Mayor on the second Twitter and NextDoor. Breaking news, such Saturday of each month starting April 14 as police activity, is posted first to the WRPD at Vinnola’s Italian Market, 7750 W. 38th Twitter account. Reminder: Social media Ave., from 9 to 10 a.m. Please join me for is great but remember to always call the a cup of coffee and some conversation. We non-emergency number (Effective March build our community together and I invite 22, 303-980-7300) or 911 to report a crime your input. instead of posting it. Look forward to seeing you around As for traditional media, you can get town. Thanks. Wheat Ridge news from the Wheat Ridge Contact Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Transcript (the newspaper of record for Starker at bstarker@ci.wheatridge.co.us city public notices), Neighborhood Gazette or 303-235-2800. and the Denver Post YourHub. The city n By

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ngazette.com – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE

5

SCHOOL CROSSING

ASK THE SUPER

When Will Passion Become The Fashion?

Class in Session; Taxes, Mill Levy and Bonds

rewarding their work on what they are truly passionate about. here is something different happening in My son picked up his love for history our schools these days. Something that from his middle school teacher, Everitt’s has gone unnoticed by most communities. very own Bill Gold. Like Mr. Gold, Dylan has For generations we’ve been trying to bring an amazing way of recounting a moment in every student with different learning time, like it happened to him just yesterday capabilities to the same point of evaluation. – bringing a chapter of history to life and Similar to bringing every car of every style making me wish I was part of it. and manufacturer onto the same emissions While he would love to become a history teacher himself, Dylan worries test set up on 44th Street. about making a career choice I agree on the point that all that would have him struggle in students should be able to read supporting himself and maybe a and write, understand a certain family. level of math, have a sense of Sometimes I am world geography and history and ashamed and disappointed in basic level of natural and human the world we are raising our sciences. But at what point children in. When the Bill Gates should passion and clear love of and Richard Bransons of the a subject prescribe what classes world are forced to drop out of they enroll in to help pursue traditional school systems to to their path of interest in life? Guy Nahmiach follow their passion, how many I sat with a sixth-grade class do we risk losing in the younger grades at Stevens this week as they planned the because of our insistence on conformity? school’s newspaper, The Eagle. They were If we can reward students earlier in their researching and collaborating on articles education pathways with grades on a school that dealt with housing shortages, nutrition, newspaper at Stevens, passion for healthy reinventing what and how cities should nutrition for young Mr. Mccullough at look like and reviewing movies and cars. Prospect Valley, or even providing just The depth and passion demonstrated by compensation to teachers we wished we had each one of these students was so evident, as students. Perhaps having more fulfilled you would have thought this was Christmas and genuinely happy people walking around morning for them. How do we include the us would elevate us all as a community. work these students are creating to evaluate There is lots of news floating around in their intelligence and understanding of a our world of education these days. sixth-grade curriculum? A change of leadership at the Jeffco It’s hard enough for young students to Association of Gifted Children has Jean choose and commit to a pathway of studies. Willis taking over as its president. The Once they do, we put hurdles in front of organization continues to help advocate them and ask them to excel in subjects they for gifted learners and their families as well are less than interested in. We then use these as solidifying relationships with district results to evaluate them and set them on a path we think is right for them, instead of Continued on page 12

hurdles as amending the state constitution is more difficult than it used to be. The effort needs signatures from 2 percent of voters in Do you remember your dad telling you to every state senate seat to get on the ballot. do something because “he said so?” It seems From there, it will need to pass in November that we are slipping into that place again with 55 percent (instead of just 50 percent) where support for a new bond initiative of the vote. is being circulated. Why do we need more Initiative 93 would provide a substantial money? Because it’s good for us. increase in school funding in Colorado. The The requests are very specific in proposed $1.6 billion would regards to who would pay, how move Colorado close to (though much they would pay and how not actually at) the national the funding would be collected. average in terms of school Yet, no mention of what would funding. Here in Jeffco, it would be accomplished with the mean between $120 million additional funds, who would and $160 million in additional benefit and why? Lastly there revenue for our local schools, is no mention on how we would depending on how the funds measure the bond’s goals and are divided up. As funds from define it a success. Dr. Glass will Initiative 93 would be ongoing, you please share with us what our schools would use these you hope to achieve with this additional funding? Thank you.  Jason E. Glass, Ed.D. resources for expenses such as paying our teachers more and To be clear, Jeffco Public adding staff to our classrooms. Schools has proposed no tax questions for Outside of Initiative 93, the Jeffco this fall, so it would be premature for me Public Schools Board of Education also has to say what we might do with additional some options to consider in terms of putting funding from a ballot proposal. However, as questions on the ballot. School districts in we look forward to this fall’s election season, Colorado can only put forth property tax there are a few school funding ideas the proposals in one of two formats. community may consider. The first is called a mill levy override, The first is being put forth at the state which allows school districts to get (with level by a group called Great Schools voter approval) an additional 25 percent Thriving Communities and is called more in funds on top of what they receive Initiative 93. This effort seeks to change the from the state. Jeffco could ask for a Colorado state constitution so an additional maximum of around $80 million through $1.6 billion is added to school funding. The a mill levy override. In 2016, Jeffco Public funds would be raised through a progressive Schools asked voters for a $33 million income tax on Colorado filers making over override, which failed at the polls by a 53-47 $150,000 annually and on corporate taxes. margin. As would be the case with Initiative Backers of the proposal say it would actually lower residential and commercial property Continued on page 12 tax rates. Initiative 93 faces some tough

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Guy Nahmiach

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SCHOOL VISITOR PASS What Are Achievement Directors? n By

Karen Quanbeck

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hen I’ve introduced myself as an Achievement Director in the past, sometimes it results in furrowed brows and a question: “Is that like an Athletic Director?” Nope. Achievement Directors are part of the School Innovation and Effectiveness Team, a name that is a mouthful and also requires a bit of explanation. The existence of Achievement Directors starts with a belief. We have a belief that great leaders make a difference in a school, second only to teachers. A highly skilled principal impacts school climate and culture, fostering a community where students want to learn and teachers want to work. Great principals model and embrace high expectations, setting the stage for what happens in classrooms across a school. The job of a principal is complex and challenging: one must be a strong instructional leader, a savvy business manager, a community liaison and leader, and most importantly, someone who gets up each morning because students matter more than anyone and anything else. Holding the belief that having the very best leader in a school matters, Achievement Directors recruit, hire, supervise and support principals. Put simply, Achievement Directors grow leaders in order to improve schools. This work can take many forms. School visits might include looking at recent student data and work to assess instruction, problem-solving a tricky student behavior situation, planning an upcoming budget meeting, or discussing how to best support

a new teacher. An Achievement Director might connect one principal with another to share ideas and strategies, he might utilize “red phone status” to curriculum colleagues, she might meet with budget partners to pave the way for an innovative idea. In the last year, one exciting shift is the focus on helping leaders establish the conditions necessary to create more engaging and authentic student experiences in classrooms. As leaders and teachers are empowered to consider innovative ideas, implementing them requires a different kind of support. It’s some of the most inspiring work, and it’s the reason many got into education: to deeply engage students in learning. Personally, the recent conversations regarding shifts in education and instructional practice resonate deeply with me not only as an educator but as a mom. I know now that my own two kids, ages 12 and 15, will have the opportunity to have fun while wrestling with complex concepts, to solve problems that don’t have clear answers, to work in groups on a project so engaging, they cannot wait to get back to class. It’s an exciting time to be an educator, with a recognition that our students, our own children, are ready to dive deeply into fascinating content, to be engaged in creative learning experiences, and to connect what they are learning about in the classroom to experiences in their own community. Karen Quanbeck is Chief of Schools, Elementary, Jefferson County School District. Questions for this guest writer or suggestions for future guest writers should be sent in to Guy@NostalgicHomes.com.

n By

Jason E. Glass


NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – ngazette.com

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To help prevent children and adolescents from dabbling in drugs and alcohol, programs n a daily basis, the opioid epidemic that focus on positive peer interactions, is in the news. Also on a daily basis, on-going family support and engagement, more people die in the United States from and basic education around the effects of overdose than they do from motor vehicle substances on the body and the developing accidents. In Colorado, 224,000 people mind have proven to be successful. misuse prescribed medications a year, two There are other proven early intervention strategies. thirds of which are opioids. Colorado has participated in Opioid use and abuse two five-year Screening Brief has reached an all-time high. Intervention and Referral State and federal governments to Treatment (SBIRT) pilot have recognized the use of programs, and SCL Health, opioids – from prescribed through West Pines Behavioral pain medications, to heroin – Health, has applied for the as a public health crisis. The program. Through screening Colorado State Legislature of emergency department and established the “Opioid and primary care patients, SBIRT Other Substance Use Disorder seeks to educate the average Interim Committee” in 2017 to Brad Sjostrom patient about dangerous levels consider strategies to combat addiction – from looking at laws to curtail of alcohol consumption and drug use, and opioid prescribing practices, to considering refer those who have developed a substance changes to how Medicaid reimburses use disorder into treatment. Treatment consists of intensive services treatment facilities. Opioids have historically been in a contained environment, to outpatient prescribed to treat acute pain; some of services, to medication-assisted therapy, the more commonly used opioids are which has proven to be the most effective Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, Codeine in diminishing cravings and preventing After successful intensive and Vicodin. To diminish the use of relapse. substances, interventions can occur on many treatment, there is a large and robust levels: changing of prescribing practices, recovery community for support. prevention in the form of education and Prevention, early detection, changes in prescribing practices, treatment early screening, treatment and recovery. The Colorado chapter of the College and recovery support are all essential of Emergency Physicians recently issued components in helping people heal and in guidelines for emergency departments that combating the addiction epidemic. There recommended alternatives to opioids. Ten is no cure for addiction, but many people pilot hospitals in Colorado implemented do get better and learn to live healthy and the guidelines and experienced a 25 percent productive lives. decrease in the number of patients prescribed Brad Sjostrom, LCSW, MAC, is the an opioid for pain. Pain management clinics manager of Addiction Services at West are also using alternative treatments for Pines Behavioral Health at Lutheran Medipain – such as nerve blocks, physical cal Center, and can be reached at 303467-4080. therapy and acupuncture. n By

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ngazette.com – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE

UNDER THE DOME

MOUNTAIN VIEWS

Making Prescriptions More Affordable

A Look at Long-Time Business Mountain View Firestone

her prescriptions mailed to their home. But her parents are then forced to turn around or too long, insurance companies have and mail medicine to their daughter, further been able to restrict how a patient delaying the delivery of that medication. All may receive his or her medication. By because their insurance company raises fees drastically raising fees and or copays for in-person pickup copays for in-person pickup at at her local pharmacy. a pharmacy, many patients are Navigating the systems effectively forced to receive their required by the insurance prescriptions in the mail. companies to get your That is why I am sponsoring prescriptions through the HB18-1097, Patient Choice in mail is often difficult and time Pharmacy. This bill will allow consuming. It typically requires the patients – not the insurance spending time on an automated companies – to decide what is phone system, or navigating best for them when accessing their a website. Many seniors have prescription medications. Last difficulty with these systems month, my bipartisan legislation Jessie Danielson and would rather take a quick passed the House and similar bills drive or walk to visit with their have passed in 27 other states. We can’t allow pharmacists in person. big insurance companies to dictate our critical Coloradans from Jeffco, rural plains and health care needs. mountain communities, and urban centers For example, many people with diabetes have brought this issue to my attention. They need immediate access to insulin. At times, need to access their prescriptions in person when that expensive insulin prescription is from their local pharmacists, and should be delivered through the mail it is left to spoil able to do so without penalties from their in the sun or freeze in the cold. This is lifeinsurance company. That’s why the Senate saving medication that a patient cannot do needs to pass HB18-1097, my measure to without. In these cases, the patient is forced increase patient choice in pharmacy. to pay out of pocket to quickly replace Jessie Danielson serves as Speaker the spoiled medication. Or if a person is Pro Tem of the Colorado House of Reptraveling – for work or for fun – and gets resentatives. She represents State House and infection, how is that person supposed District 24, which includes Golden, Wheat to obtain their mail prescriptions through Ridge and other areas in Jefferson County. the mail in a timely manner? Rep. Danielson’s legislative office phone is Another example is a young woman 303-866-5522. Her website is www.jesattending school out of state. She is on her siedanielson.com. Please reach out any parents’ insurance and is required to have time with ideas, feedback or questions. n By

State Rep. Jessie Danielson

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he Mountain View Firestone, 4392 Eaton St., has occupied the same site since May 1, 1961. During a recent interview, store manager Eric Sechrist spoke about history, aspects of the corporate organization and offered service suggestions for car owners. “When the Firestone store was established over 50 years ago in Mountain View, only two other Firestone facilities existed in the metro area with one store found on Colfax and another pinpointed at 8th and Speer,” revealed Sechrist. Today the Mountain View Firestone offers complete auto care for the community and customers from the Arvada, Wheat Ridge and metro Denver areas. “We also have motorist traveling along I-70 come into the store for emergency automotive attention and repair,” notes Sechrist. Sechrist states that the majority of the car care centers across the United States are owned by the Firestone Tire Company corporate office. “The philosophy of the corporate organization supports the belief that customers are considered and treated as the boss and the boss is ultimately right,” reflects Sechrist. Sechrist embraces the corporate philosophy. “I am here to help the customer. As the store manager, my biggest reward is to earn my customer’s trust and gain satisfied, happy, repeat patrons.” Employed at the Mountain View Firestone since 2012, and advancing to the position of store manager two years ago, Sechrist has professional experience as a baker, computer technician and automotive parts manager. Now he welcomes customers and supervises the service and tire managers

and the store’s four automotive technicians. Sechrist admits that his greatest challenge is one of educating customers about car care matters to better help them understand and appreciate specific maintenance requirements and repair. He offers suggestions for those bringing a car into any automotive maintenance and repair business. “To assure the best car performance, keep up with the manufactured maintenance requirements. Provide as much initial information about the car and the potential problem as possible. Ask questions to clarify the intended automotive procedure. The more that is covered in advance, the better the outcome,” confirms Sechrist. Sechrist recalls one appointment when a customer brought in a car and referred to the problematic rear-end noise as the sound made by Cookie Monster. He wrote the owner’s exact description into the service order. Based on this description, the technician knew immediately the issue and was successfully able to make the necessary repair. For store hours or to schedule an appointment for car maintenance, repair or tires at the Mountain View Firestone, visit the website, FirestoneCompleteAutoCare. com, or call 303-422-3406.

Harvey S. Firestone, American Industrialist The American industrialist Harvey Samuel Firestone is best known for the development of the automobile tire manufacturing company, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Born on Dec. 20, 1868, in the small town of Columbiana, Ohio, Continued on page 12

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NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – ngazette.com

Hawks Adapt Well to Humans, Yet Need Protection n By

Sally Griffin

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ometimes the stories about animals in our area just pop up and remind me of how much wild animals can sometimes adapt to living with humans and, in other instances, they can’t. I am thinking of two recent events that show the extremes of animal behavior. First is a story about how Jefferson County is temporarily closing five public spaces. Only 11 of more than 1,000 climbing routes and only 5.4 miles of 236 miles of trails are closed. One of the reasons for closing these areas involves protecting nesting hawks. “If you scare a red-tailed hawk off its nest, it only takes a couple seconds for a crow or blue jay to land, destroy and eat the eggs,” according to Jefferson County Open Space Visitor Services Manager, Mary Ann Bonnell. “It only takes a few moments for them to peck nestlings to death. That’s something most people don’t think about when they decide to go hiking through closed areas.” To protect future hawks and other animals, including elk calves, nighthawks and eagle nestlings, the areas where trails are closed include Centennial Cone Park, Clear Creek Canyon Park, North Table Mountain Park, Cathedral Spires Park, and Crown Hill Park. The rangers are so serious about protecting the hawks and other animals that trespassing in these areas can result in a fine of $100,000, imprisonment or both. That could be one very expensive hike. The second event shows how hawks can also, uncharacteristically, adapt to spending time near humans. On “Next with Kyle Clark” last week, he indicated that The Most Colorado Thing We Saw Today was a hawk that has taken up residence in the Thornton Costco. This Costco Hawk seems to be a very adaptable creature. “It’s helping customers select the highest

quality big screen TVs by dive-bombing the ones that are so crystal clear, they appear to show real live prey,” Clark said. That doesn’t mean the hawk can’t distinguish real prey when it appears in front of it. When the store employees opened the doors to invite the dive-bombing hawk to exit, a pigeon flew in instead and the hawk thought, “Lunch! Thanks!” and quickly dispatched and ate the pigeon. Costco has turned to a bird-rescue group for help, but, in the meantime, customers and employees are being watched, not like a hawk, but by an actual hawk. Colorado has several different varieties of hawks, but the most widespread and common of these is the red-tailed hawk. The red-tailed hawk typically lives in open areas with patches of tall trees or poles. They are usually a sit-and-wait predator and require elevated perches for hunting. If you ever travel on U.S. 76, be sure to look for hawks perched on the high utility poles alongside the road. One time, coming back from visiting relatives, we counted, between Julesburg and Fort Morgan, over 30 hawks perched on the crossbars of these poles. It is clear that they have welcomed and found a way to use this distinctly human invention. From these and other high perches, they help themselves to a wide variety of small to medium-sized mammals, other birds, reptiles, amphibians and fresh carrion.

Some hawks, luckily none is this area, have learned, like humans, how to utilize fire for their own purposes. A study of hawks in Australia by Dr. Mark Bonta and others in the Journal of Ethnobiology has found some “firehawks,” as they are known, that seem to deliberately start or re-start fires. These firehawks seem to swoop down and pick up the non-flaming end of a branch from a wildfire and carry it to another spot to start a new fire. “Their motive for spreading fire would be the same as that for spending time very close to active wildfires: when there’s a fire in a forest, animals of all kinds come running out, away from it,” Bonta said. “Which is basically Mother Nature’s way of saying, ‘Soup’s on!’ for the raptors.” I certainly hope that raptors in our area don’t learn this technique. Breeding season, which happens about now, initiates a death-defying dance for hawk pairs. They fly in large circles and gain great heights, then the male plunges into deep, deep dives. Later, when the female is convinced of his intentions, they grab hold of one another with their talons, uttering shrill cries, and spiraling rapidly toward the ground, often only pulling apart at the last moment. They are monogamous and may mate for life. They make stick nests high above the ground in which they lay one to five eggs each year. Both hawks incubate the eggs for four to five weeks and feed the young from the time they hatch until they leave the nest about six weeks later. The fierce, screaming cry of the redtailed hawk is frequently used as a generic

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keep reading about individuals and groups of people waiting or expecting the city to do more in terms of recycling. In a community where equity is the word of the day, the ability to pay more taxes or for services should not make you a more “earthfriendly” citizen. Existing and free recycling services are already around us. From glass and paper to cars and furniture, composting and appliances, advice on growing gardens and even getting rid of junk that has amassed in your home over the many years of raising kids – all for free, no charge: Paper and cardboard: Free drop off of all bundles of cardboard boxes, newspapers and all paper products available at the green dumpster in church parking lot of Ward Road and W. 38th Avenue. Glass: Free drop off of all glass products at drop-off locations right here in Wheat Ridge; they can be found at www. clearintentions.glass/drop-off-stations/ Electronics: Free drop off of all computer towers, laptops, cell phones, APC/ UPS ipods, ink and toner cartridges, loose cables/wires, treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical, washers/dryers, stoves, grills and water heaters, at (SustainAbility) 6240 W. 54th Ave., Arvada. Metals: Drop off of all aluminum cans,

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raptor sound effect in movies and television shows, even if the bird featured is a bald eagle or other raptor. Evidently, eagles have wimpy cries compared to hawks. It is easy to identify a red-tailed hawk because they have a beautiful red tail. But they usually don’t get a red tail until they are two years or older and some never get red tails. However, in flight, where you can see the underside of the wings, there is usually a distinctive dash-comma pattern on the leading edge of their wings. Surprisingly, red-tailed hawks have learned to safely hunt rattlesnakes. They will land near the snake and open both wings. They will flutter one or both wings. The move will distract the attention of the snake to the open wings. If the snake should strike, it will usually go for the open wings, rather than the body of the hawk. The hawk then will use its talons to grab the snake in the middle and make a quick bite to the head. Primarily, however, they are very effective at keeping rodent populations down. Small rodents make up 85 to 95 percent of their diet. Their eyesight is eight times as powerful as that of a human, allowing them to spot a mouse (or rattlesnake) from almost 10 stories above. They can then dive to catch their prey at speeds than can exceed 120 mph. Just remember, state and federal laws protect all raptors. If you have domestic birds or animals needing protection from raptors, your best bet is to put a roof over their cages to prevent the hawks from spotting them and, then, using their dive-

empty aerosol cans, steel cans, metal lids and bottle caps. (SustainAbility) 6240 W. 54th Ave., Arvada. Composting: Free tutorials on how to compost are found on Youtube and can be shared with neighbors. It’s a wonderful way to provide nutrients to your gardens. Cars: Free donation and pick ups services are available through CPR.org. Furniture and tools: Can be dropped off for free at Habitat For Humanity at 10625 W. Interstate 70 Frontage Road. The list is endless. Yes, of course, you can hire any waste collection vendor to assist you in recycling. There are many options with frequency of pickups to size and quantity of bins. You can also pay more taxes to your city government to hire more staff and impose new “recycling” laws. But it’s important to highlight the fact that if you are income-limited like so many of our families, it doesn’t preclude them from becoming responsible citizens of planet earth. Recycling and sustainability should not cost you one extra dollar. In fact , it should help you reduce the amount you need to spend every month. Do you have a resource you’d like to share with us? Email guy@NostalgicHomes.com or call me at 303-999-5789. You can also post your recycling and repurposing ideas on the FB page Wheat Ridge Sustainability.


ngazette.com – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE

9

Jefferson Center Filling Void Left By Arapahoe House n By

Elisabeth Monaghan

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PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT THAT IS INTERACTIVE and that simulates nature, like the logs and stone wall for climbing, are much preferred over old-fashioned swings and slides. PHOTO BY NANCY HAHN.

The Parks They Are A Changin’ in Wheat Ridge n By

C

Nancy Hahn

olorado provides a wealth of sunny days and weather that encourages us all to spend time outside. In Wheat Ridge, we have a great variety of parks and recreation areas for play and relaxation. Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation was one of four Gold Medal Finalists chosen by the National Recreation and Parks Association. Wheat Ridge has over 15 parks and recreation areas. Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation and Director Joyce Manwaring continuously works to not only ensure that every park and recreation area is clean and in good repair, but also to update every park to keep them relevant to what residents want. For example, when it was decided to update Anderson Park, focus groups provided ideas and several concepts were developed. Later, people using the park and attending a concert were invited to look at several possible plans and provide their ideas about the plans. Similar methods were used in developing the plans for Discovery Park and for the changes and the updating of Prospect Park. At Discovery Park, on the corner of West 38th Avenue and Kipling Street, much of the play equipment is interactive. Equipment wobbles or spins when a child climbs on it. In the summer, there are water play areas. People were interested in play equipment that resembles nature. Of course, the skate

park is in continuous use by skateboarders. There are places to sit and relax, lots of green grass, and restrooms. Discovery Park even has sunscreen dispensers. How handy is that! Prospect Park’s ball fields are being improved. There will be a new football field, two baseball fields, horseshoes, a half basketball court and new pickleball courts. Pickleball is played with paddles, and combines some of the action of badminton, tennis and ping-pong. There will be new picnic areas including a covered area. New restrooms, parking, landscaping, and improved walking and parking areas will be added. Manwaring pointed out that dog parks are also a trend in recreation areas, and the Fruitdale Dog Park is an excellent example, appreciated by dog owners. It has separate areas for large dogs and small dogs, and seating areas ensure dogs are easily visible while they play. Walk along the Greenbelt from Gold Panning Park in the west to Creekside Park in the east and you will pass through six separate parks. Most of the area you walk through is either park or open space. You’ll see a lot of wildlife. Right now there are a lot of water birds visiting and thinking about nesting. You’ll see stacked rocks, animal footprints, and occasionally, a rope swing over Clear Creek. Doesn’t it just make you grateful you live in Wheat Ridge?

hen Arapahoe House announced last summer it would shutter its doors in January of 2018, treatment providers and law enforcement officers wondered who would be able to take on the 5,000 or so clients the facility had served each year over several decades. Wheat Ridge Police Chief Dan Brennan offered his thoughts on how much of an impact the loss of Arapahoe House has had on his community. According to Brennan, Arapahoe House served two key purposes: 1) The organization provided detox withdrawal services for all of the law enforcement agencies throughout Jefferson County and 2) it provided additional mental health services for those suffering from substance abuse. For the detox withdrawal services, Brennan says the Jefferson Center for Mental Health (JCMH) stepped up right away to fill the void left by Arapahoe House. “JCMH said they were interested, so we worked with the cities in Jefferson County, the county and Arapahoe House and came up with a proposal to provide those alcohol withdrawal services,” said Brennan. Prior to JCMH taking over, the organization met with leaders from the departing Arapahoe House, community leaders, law enforcement officers and JCMH. As part of its effort, JCMH has taken over the Arapahoe House facility at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd. in Wheat Ridge. The first floor of the facility will now house the alcohol detox management services with plans to also move the crisis center currently located at JCMH’s facility at 2nd Avenue and Union

Gazette NEIGHBORHOOD

Street to the second floor. Brennan says Jefferson County and the cities that make up the county each will have to contribute a little more money to help JCMH run that facility, but so far, it has been a smooth transition. “JCMH is doing a good job in terms of providing those needed services, and in how they’re handling the clients, so losing Arapahoe House hasn’t impacted us significantly.” Brennan also explained if JCMH had not stepped up, “the only choice officers would have is to take people to emergency rooms and hospitals, and frankly they’re not equipped to deal with the volume. We’ll take people who are intoxicated to the hospital, but it’s better to get them to a location where counselors are available to work with them on withdrawal services and issues with alcoholism and substance abuse.” Which brings us to what Brennan identified as the second purpose Arapahoe House served in the community. As Brennan pointed out, treatment for substance abuse issues and not necessarily with alcohol withdrawal management is a difficult one because substance abuse and alcoholism are not specifically a law enforcement problem as much as they are a criminal justice problem. Because of this, there remains a need for organizations and nonprofits to fill this gap at a state and local level by addressing the mental health issues associated with substance abuse. Signal Behavioral Health Network has created a transition plan for picking up a number of additional services Arapahoe House offered. More about the plan is available at http://signalbhn.org.

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t first the fire was small, a flickering orange flame skittering along the floor of the bedroom. Within seconds, it began to grow, greedily consuming the rug, the bedspread and then the bed. Within just three minutes, the entire room was fully involved, smoke rolling up into the blue sky while a group of firefighter recruits watched. Today’s lesson – how quickly fire can grow and the different factors that affect its behavior. Two weeks before they burned them down, the recruits built the three small buildings, using different construction methods and filled them with furniture, wall hangings and rugs. One was built using new construction methods and materials and filled with newer furniture. Another was built using what are called legacy materials – dimensional lumber and furniture covered in natural materials, like cotton and wool. The third represented an unfinished basement. “These are all examples of the homes and businesses that we see in the West Metro district,” said Lieutenant Dan Fahrney, West Metro Fire Rescue. “What we want the recruits to see are the differences in how building materials and furniture react to fire, how quickly fire can grow and

how dangerous it can be for firefighters to enter structures that are on fire.” Before each small building is intentionally set on fire, a 250-pound plate is positioned on the roof. The plate represents the weight of a firefighter, fully dressed in protective gear. As the fire grows, the recruits count the minutes and seconds until the fire weakens the structure just enough so that the plate falls through, crashing to the floor below. “From when we get that 911 call, to when we arrive on scene, usually averages about four to five minutes,” said Fahrney. “If the roof is questionable after just five minutes, then our crews going inside to search for victims have to have an idea of what they’re facing.” The 29 recruits in this academy are from four different fire agencies: West Metro Fire Rescue, Castle Rock Fire and Rescue, Littleton Fire Rescue and TriLakes Monument Fire Protection District. The academy runs for 16 weeks and in the coming days, the recruits will go through several live fire trainings, where they will learn how to enter buildings, rescue life-like dummies and extinguish fires, among many other skills. “Everything they will learn over these next weeks is designed to help them operate safely, while protecting the community,” said Fahrney.

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WEST METRO FIRE AND RESCUE RESPONDED TO AN ALARM in the Vintage Place Retirement Apartments in Wheat Ridge on March 2. A kitchen fire in the first floor apartment was extinguished, but the elderly resident was found dead; the name has not been released. PHOTO BY NANCY HAHN.

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ngazette.com – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE

11

How Will Changing Demographics Impact Our Communities? n By

Jim Cherney

D

emographic analysis can provide some interesting insights into the type of public policy questions we should be asking our public servants, as well as how we analyze such topics as commercial development, zoning, schools and a myriad of other subjects. In this series of articles, we will set out some demographic data on Wheat Ridge and surrounding communities in Jefferson County. We will explore the significance of the information from a variety of viewpoints: What is the effect of demographic trends on the housing market? On schools and public facilities? On employment rates and job prospects? And on areas of job growth and demand? And, importantly, how are our elected and appointed government officials addressing these trends in terms of priorities for spending and budgeting? Here are some of the findings so far: Population and Age: Jefferson County, as a whole, has not been growing as fast as other areas in the state. It used to be the one of the top three counties as measured by population. In the next 20 years, the population of the counties of El Paso, Denver, Arapahoe and Adams are all expected to pass Jefferson County.

Jefferson, Douglas, Broomfield and Boulder counties will all have slower growth. Due to a lack of developable land and lack of housing stock, the Wheat Ridge and Edgewater areas may grow at a slower rate than other parts of Jefferson County. It is noteworthy that Wheat Ridge is only 9.09 square miles in size while Lakewood is 41.6 square miles and Arvada 32.7 square miles. Arvada and Lakewood have been able to expand their development areas, either to the north or to the south, while Wheat Ridge and Edgewater have become increasingly hemmed in by these communities. The City of Lakewood has almost 27 percent of the population in Jefferson County, followed by Arvada with 19 percent, Westminster with 8.5 percent and the City of Wheat Ridge with barely 6 percent. Edgewater and Wheat Ridge have been experiencing a negative change in population over the last six to eight years, although many feel that may be reversing. During that same period according to Jeffco data, the median age of Wheat Ridge residents has been increasing. However, at least some city officials feel that is reversing as well with an influx of new younger homeowners from Denver and elsewhere. In future articles, we will examine the impact of these demographic trends on

Wheat Ridge Historical Park – A Hidden Gem n By

Janet “White” Bradford

W

hether you are new to Wheat Ridge or have lived here all your life, most people don’t know about this hidden gem of our city. Due to the efforts of the Save Our Soddy campaign, started by the Wheat Ridge Historical Society founding members in the early 1970s, we are fortunate to have this one-acre park at 4610 Robb St. It is just north of the Historic Baugh House, which was also saved due to the efforts of the society along with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. The Wheat Ridge Historical Park is a collection of buildings assembled to tell the story of the community begun in 1859 by a handful of farmers, many of whom were here in search of gold or silver, but found providing food for the gold and silver seekers was a much more reliable income. There is the Sod House, which is on land granted to a veteran of the New Mexican Volunteers that was assigned as the first owner of the land in 1867. There is the Red Brick Museum built by Bert White, the Johnson Log Cabin, Wheat Ridge post office, and an implement

shed. Each building is filled with historical information and artifacts. Our historians can tell you more when you visit. Our Second Saturday monthly events are at the Baugh House on W. 44th Avenue and Robb Street and run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We have crafting demonstrations, local musicians, tours, snacks and historical chat in this unique historical house. This year’s special Second Saturday events include a Festival and May Pole Dance in the Historic Park, May 12; Heritage Day and Quilt Show at the Baugh House, Aug. 11; Cider Day featuring a cider press in the Historic Park, Oct. 13; and Holiday Party with white elephant gift exchange at the Baugh House, Dec. 8. Tours of the Historic Park are available Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $2 per person, cash or check only please; please call our museum hostess at 303-421-9111 for groups of 10 or more. The Baugh House is open every second Saturday of the month, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; call 303-421-9111 for more information. For more information check our Facebook page: The Wheat Ridge Historical Society. Watch for our new website coming soon!

schools as well as how they impact services for a very present aging population in the community. By 2030, based upon trends from 2000 to 2010, it is estimated that our area may have more people that are 80+ years than those who are 0 to 5 years. At the same time, the number of persons-perhousehold has shrunk from 2.48 in 2000 to 2.35. (Colorado, as a whole, has gone from 2.53 to 2.49). Home Values: The median home value in Wheat Ridge is $412,250, which is significantly higher than the Jeffco countywide median of $350,900. By comparison, a Lakewood-area home has a median value of $363,500 and Arvada is somewhat higher at $393,329. The higher median in Wheat Ridge may be attributable to fewer overall homes and the smaller geographic footprint mentioned earlier. At the time of this writing, there were only 38 home listings in Wheat Ridge compared to 160 in Lakewood and 173 in Arvada. Churches: It is interesting to note that the concentration of churches per capita in Wheat Ridge and Edgewater is significantly higher than neighboring communities. Wheat Ridge has approximately 17 churches with a population of 31,034. (Edgewater has four with a 5,400 population). In contrast, the population of Lakewood is 154,368 and it has 41 churches – five times the population and only 2.5 times the number of churches. Similarly, Arvada has only 19 churches with a population of 113,574. We intend to explore the significance of this data as well. Employment Trends: Within our area, according to Jeffco data from 2010, 81 percent of the population older than 16 years were employed. This compares favorably to 71.2 percent for all of Jefferson County and 69.3 percent for Colorado as a whole. In 2010, the leading employment industries for Jefferson County were government, professional and technical services, health services, retail trade and construction. The top three employers in Jefferson County were federal government-funded: Denver

Federal Center, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Occupations with the highest estimated annual job openings in our area, in order, include: 1. Retail salespersons 2. Food preparation and services 3. Registered nurses 4. Customer service representatives 5. Business operations specialists 6. Accountants and auditors 7. Elementary school teachers 8. Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants 9. Personal and home care aides 10. Home health aides In future editions of the Neighborhood Gazette, we will continue to look at how demographics can impact us. We invite you to join us. If you want us to research some aspect of demographics for you, just let me know through editor@ngazette.com, Attn: Jim Cherney.

Sally Griffin contributed to this story.

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Palm Sunday March 25

Palm Sunday Vigil Mass - Saturday, March 24 at 5:00pm Palm Sunday Masses at 7am, 9am and 11am

Holy Week

Confession at 5:30pm - Wednesday, March 28

Holy Thursday March 29 Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00pm Altar of Repose until Midnight

Good Friday March 30

Solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3:00pm Stations of the Cross and Veneration of the Cross at 7:00pm

Holy Saturday March 31 Easter Vigil at 8:00pm

Easter Sunday April 1 Masses at 7am, 9am and 11am


12

NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – ngazette.com

voters.

Ask The Super Continued from page 5

93, these would be ongoing dollars so they most likely would be used for staffing levels and compensation for educators and other staff. The second possibility is called a bond. A bond is a request from the voters for the school district to borrow money for construction purposes, and then for the voters to pay off the loan, with interest, over a period of usually 20 years. Jeffco Public Schools was also on the ballot in 2016 with a bond proposal for $568 million, which also failed at the polls by a 54-46 margin. These funds would have been used to improve and update facilities, improve schools safety and security systems, and add on classroom space for growing parts of Jeffco. In my professional opinion, three questions will determine if Jeffco Public Schools is on the ballot this fall. The first is whether or not 2018 is the right year to be on the ballot. Even years favor high turnout, which also favors school elections, so that is a factor. A second question is whether or not we are able to put together a compelling and positive package that the community will support. Related to this is how a local mill levy question can or should occupy the same ballot as a potential statewide measure with Initiative 93. The final question relates to organizational credibility, and if Jeffco Public Schools has the confidence of the community – meaning that people won’t vote to give their tax dollars over to an organization they don’t trust. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be engaging with the community to find answers to all these questions. Ultimately, the Board of Education will need a majority vote to put a question on the ballot this fall. Until then, I’d encourage members of the community to engage in these discussions and provide feedback on whether or not Jeffco Public Schools should be on the ballot in 2018 and what package should be brought before the

Jason E. Glass, Ed.D., is Superintendent & Chief Learner, Jeffco Public Schools. If you have a question for our new superintendent please submit it to Guy@ NostalgicHomes.com or call it in to 303999-5789.

School Crossing Continued from page 5

leaders to bring in even more resources into our classrooms. Finally after years of debate, school starting times are being looked at by a committee of volunteers and professionals analyzing the benefits of having older students wake up later in exchange for bringing in our younger (and already awake) students into the classrooms. There is also a community task force that is meeting to address school safety. The unfortunate task of figuring out exactly how to keep our students and staff safe inside of a schools is no doubt a complicated and politically charged issue, but these days, what isn’t? There are groups meeting on finding new ways to increase funding for education. Many options are on the table that you can read about in Dr. Glass’s “Ask the Super” column in this issue of the Neighborhood Gazette. These are great examples of bringing in families to solve problems in our own community. Being part of the solution always feels so much better than being left out and part of the problem. Now imagine if you had students take part in defining their own education paths. That is a trend so many would follow. Imagine how much more excited and successful they would be in class and life in general? Let their passion define their fashion. As always, thanks for reading.

Contact Guy Nahmiach at 303-999-

Thank You to our Sponsors of the 2018 STEM Gala for Wheat Ridge High School • THANK YOU TO OUR GALA SPONSORS • heat Ridge WR W Community CF Foundation

• THANK YOU TO OUR TABLE SPONSORS • •DIAMOND• Jim & Sharon McGee

•PLATINUM•

Hollendorfer Continued from page 1

all facets of recreational flight. Fred flew his 100th mission in late January, and flew with a half-dozen more youths in early March, all during rallies at Front Range Airport, east of Denver just outside of Watkins; a mission is one flight with a child, and a rally is a Friday evening and Saturday morning event in which youth receive a flight orientation and fly with volunteer pilots in their aircraft. Fred is among the more than 50,000 volunteers around the world who have donated their time and aircraft to the effort, according to the EAA. He’s been a member of EAA since 1979. “I wanted to give back,” said Fred, recalling his personal journey to becoming an airline pilot, his since-childhood desire to build an airplane, and the airlines’ current need for pilots. “It’s just kind of fun, a way to get together with your aviation buddies and other builders and fly with the kids.” Kids who have signed up for the program, accompanied by a parent or guardian, meet with a “ground crew” the Friday night before. There, the young pilots receive an explanation of the safe operation of airplanes and principles of flight, according to the EAA. Chapter 301 typically holds this briefing at a firehouse south of Denver where its meetings take place. There are at least two other EAA chapters in the metropolitan area, and they hold their own rallies and meetings at other airports. “Saturday morning, that’s where I come in,” said Fred. A briefing for the pilots (and ground crew) takes place at the airport at 7:45. “We get reminders of things like keep the kids off the stick (not touching the aircraft’s controls) until out of area” and what speeds to fly at. He credits Chapter 301 coordinator Rudi Kneiss for putting it all together: “If it weren’t for Rudy, it would not happen.” “There’s no charge to kids,” said Fred. He typically flies four or five missions each rally, burning 18 to 20 gallons of fuel, which costs $4.49 per gallon at Front Range. That’s paid for out of his own pocket. Participating young people become official Young Eagles after completing the flight, according to the EAA.  The names of the pilots and the participants are also included in the ‘World’s Largest Logbook,’ which is on permanent display in the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., and online through the Young Eagles website.  The youngsters then have access to an online pilot training course. (For more information, visit www.youngeagles.org.) Fred is from an aviation family. His

Mountain Views Continued from page 7

•GOLD•

heat Ridge WR W Community CF Foundation

•SILVER•

•BRONZE• Dorthy & Vince Archer • William & Ronda Moss • Diane M. Sprague • Jim & Judy Zelenski

• THANK YOU TO OUR VENDORS •

Jamie Schiola - Photographer • Chris Marez - DJ

Firestone, the son of a prosperous farmer, is regarded among the top 10 businessmen in American history. After graduation from Columbiana High School, Firestone worked for the Columbus Buggy Company in Columbus, Ohio. In 1890, he established his own company to manufacture rubber tires for carriages. After a decade in the carriage tire business, Firestone realized the potential for marketing tires for automobiles and shifted his attention to the automotive tire industry. With a vision to develop and mass produce a tire to reduce the jar and jolt of the steel-shod wheel, in 1900 Firestone bought an old factory building in Akron, Ohio and pioneered the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. The company became pivotal in mass producing the pneumatic or air-filled tire. In 1906, Firestone received and fulfilled an order from Henry Ford for thousands

grandfather, Vearne Clifton Babcock, was one of the first licensed pilots in the U.S., flew with the French in World War I, and afterward set up Babcock Aircraft Co., in DeLand, FL. Babcock designed and built the Taub and Airmaster aircraft, and in World War II his company built 60 Waco troop gliders for the Army. His father, also Fred Hollendorfer (but no middle initial), flew Boeing B-17 bombers from England in World War II, and joined the Air Force after the war, taking his family to Japan and eventually Florida. The paint and markings on Fred’s airplane pay homage to his father and grandfather. “The colors on my RV are the same as one of the aircraft that my grandad designed and built in the early ‘30s,” said Fred. “Also the N-number (registration number) is the same as well – N998W.” “The triangle ‘L’ on the tail is the emblem of the 381st Bomb Group Heavy, my dad’s bomb group in World War II,” he explained. “The nose art is that of the 533rd Bomb Squadron, which is part of the same Group.” Fred remembers telling his father that he wanted to be an Air Force pilot, but dad discouraged him, believing he would not be accepted for flight training because of less-than-perfect eyesight and hearing. But civilian pilots don’t face the same restrictions, and Fred earned his private pilot’s license, while in high school, in Syracuse, NY; he solo’d (first flight without a flight instructor aboard) before he earned his drivers’ license. He applied for and received waivers for his eyesight and hearing, and paid for his commercial pilot’s license training. After serving in the Air Force, he earned a bachelor's’ degree in Business/Accounting from Metropolitan State College in Denver, and used G.I. Bill benefits to pay for advanced flight training, which opened the door to a flying career, in which he flew aircraft ranging in size and speed between small twin-engine airplanes to Airbus A320s, for airlines and local aviation companies. Fred married Dona Konecny in 1985 when he was flying for Aspen Airways, and settled down in Wheat Ridge. Dona will retire soon from her career as a flight attendant for Frontier. They have two children and three grandchildren. When not flying kids in Young Eagles, Fred will fly to Akron for gas, Greeley for lunch, then come back and “shoot” landings. Dona enjoys flying, too, and every year they join their daughter, her husband and kids at a condo on the Arkansas River in Salida. The daughter’s family drives and takes their luggage. “We fly there. By the time they arrive, we’ve already been to the store and opened up the place.” of manufactured tires for installation on the Ford company’s first American massproduced automobiles. This initial business connection not only thrust the Firestone company to the top of the American tire industry, but also formed the foundation for a continued business and lifelong friendship between the two men. By the time of his death, Firestone was widely known as the owner of a nationwide chain of retail stores and acknowledged as a world leader in tire production. Firestone died on Feb. 7, 1938, in Miami Beach, Fla. Are You Prepared for the 2018 Election? On Nov. 6, a general election will held in Colorado. Voted upon will be Colorado’s executive officers as well as the seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Voter registration in Colorado is simple. Colorado residents can register to vote by mail, email, fax or in person at locations throughout the state including the Department of Revenue and the Division of Motor Vehicles. Be prepared to vote in November. Register now.

Have a news tip or story idea? Send it to editor@ngazette.com


ngazette.com – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE

13

LOCAL BUSINESS NEWS Happy 20th, Lapis Design & Build! Lapis Design & Build is celebrating 20 years in business. The North Denver custom cabinetry business, located at W. 39th Avenue and Tennyson Street, is run by brothers Jon and Erik Rieger. The brothers also had a hand in starting the Tennyson Street Culture Walk. Lapis Design & Build is located at 3971 Tennyson St.; visit LapisArts.com or call 303-480-5126 for more information.

West Chamber Changes Name to the West Metro Chamber After more than 70 years of supporting businesses in Jefferson County and the West Metro area, the West Chamber is becoming the West Metro Chamber of Commerce to more accurately reflect its demographics as the regional chamber in the metro west, according to a press release from the organization. “While our base is still rooted in representing the Lakewood and Jefferson County businesses and communities, our membership has been broadening over the last decade with members coming from other areas including west Denver, the DTC and Littleton,” said Pam Bales, President and CEO, West Metro Chamber. A Board of Directors Branding Committee spent most of 2017 talking with various members and conducting chamberwide polls to see how they would feel about a name change. The vast majority (more than 85 percent) saw the rebranding as positive and a good impetus for overall growth. “We also want to stay relevant with the changing face of business,” said Bales. “Our Young Professionals are asking for nontraditional ways to connect. We’re working to attract new millennials and entrepreneurs while providing the best programming for all of our members … from YPs to SPs

(seasoned professionals)!” The new logo, unveiled at the Feb. 4 Chairman’s Gala, and will be rolled out over the next few months. The West Metro Chamber’s mission is to build a strong business community through collaboration, leadership development, education and advocacy. The vision is to be an organization of choice for businesses who value building a diverse, sustainable and prosperous community through collaborative business leadership. For more information about the West Metro Chamber, visit www.westmetrochamber.org or call 303-233-5555.

Ribbon Cutting for Iselin Chiropractic, March 23 The public is invited to join the Wheat Ridge Business Association and the City of Wheat Ridge for a ribbon cutting at Iselin Chiropractic, 7835 W. 38th Ave., Wheat , on Friday, March 23, at 11 a.m. For more information visit www.iselinchiropractic.com.

New Owners at Teller Street Gallery & Studios Katie Carrera and Keifer Mansfield have bought Teller Street Gallery & Studios, 7190 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge. Not your typical “paint n’ sip,” the new owners have added tons of great new classes, crafts, stunning wood projects and fun after-hours events like movies and music. Teller Street Gallery & Studios is a local, independent, award-winning small business. “Our goal is to provide an affordable and fun local art outlet for adults and families in Wheat Ridge and the west-metro Denver area,” said Carrera and Mansfield. Visit www.tellerstreetgallery.com to view the calendar and other exciting news and events, or call 303-424-9273.

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February breakfast this morning with Chris Katzenmeyer speaking on mindfulness. Cheryl Blum-Garcia LegalShield/Identity Shield talked, Tony and Gail Mohr from Anthony M’s Visions in Gold and Devanny Nolan from Ella Cress Skin Cate spotlight speakers. Many members gathered together with room full of energy!

April Membership Breakfast Date: Tuesday, April 10, 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

Prepare Your Body For Gardening Season Tawny Clary

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s we begin to see bright orange rays of sun stretch out from the west a little more each day, we also feel the ground beneath our feet gradually get warmer. Before you know it, we have green grass, sprouting buds and new tools on the brain. We get so excited to play in the dirt that we forget the importance of caring for ourselves in the process. For gardening seniors, retirement really means more time to play in the dirt. My mother-in-law, Kathy B. is one of these classic gardening seniors and she is just on the brink of retirement. Kathy has lived in Lakewood for over 35 years and has pursued trial-and-error tactics in every inch of her garden. And let’s face it: Colorado gardeners get a little extra room for error in such a unique climate – not to mention soil that would be better put to use as Play-Doh than for burrowing seeds. However, all that trial-and-error has led her to a picture-perfect yard. When we call her in the summer and she doesn’t answer her phone, we know it’s because she is in the garden. In recent years, Kathy has added some routines to her winter schedule in order to prepare herself for gardening season. She realized she was no spring chicken anymore and that she would have to work a little harder to keep her body in shape for gardening. Truth be told, this is good thinking for gardeners of any age. A few weeks before spring approaches, Kathy pulls out her five-pound weights and begins doing short reps, daily, to strengthen

her arms and her grip. This allows her to continue lifting heavier items like bags of soil throughout the season. She said her chiropractor also gave her a list of stretches she can do before gardening. If you don’t have a medical professional to ask, some popular gardening websites (i.e., bhg.com, gardenmaking.com, etc.) also list similar stretches to do before you start. Most of these stretches focus on the knees, wrists and back to avoid injury. Another overlooked part of gardening that Kathy mentioned is the importance of cool-down stretches after a full day of gardening. After spending eight hours outside while lifting, bending and doing many repetitive motions, it’s funny to see how much of a workout gardening can really be for people. Doing before-and-after activity stretches seem like they would be just a habitual as they are for runners. But they’re not. So, before you start pulling all the tools from your shed to make your garden look and feel its best, you may want to make sure you have tools for the gardener to feel best, too.

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14

NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – ngazette.com

WHAT’S HAPPENING Wheat Ridge Dispatch Joins Jefferson CCCA March 22 – Will You Notice?

any changes and don’t have to take any new action,” said WRPD Chief Dan Brennan. “When dialing 911, call takers from Jeffcom 911 will answer the phone, and just like always, a Wheat Ridge police officer will respond to the call for service.”

Wheat Ridge Police Department’s Dispatch will “go live” with the new Jefferson County Consolidated Communications Center – Jeffcom 911 – on March 22. Jeffcom is the consolidation of eight public safety answering points (PSAPs) in Jefferson County, including Arvada Fire, Arvada Police, Evergreen Fire Rescue, Golden Police, Lakewood Police, Jefferson County Sheriff, Wheat Ridge Police, and West Metro Fire Protection, into one centralized location to provide better customer service, technology, and resources. Residents will still dial 911 to report an emergency, and the non-emergency number – 303-237-2220 – will also remain unchanged. However, both types of calls will go a new centralized call center in Lakewood, whose operators will route the call to the proper agency. “While this consolidation has taken a lot of planning on behalf of the agencies involved, Wheat Ridge residents won’t see

For more information on the Jefferson County Communications Center Authority, visit Jeffcom911.org.

Learn to Make Sauerkraut, Salves at Four Seasons Market Four Seasons Market, 7043 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge, will offer a variety of workshops and events in the coming weeks. Learn what fermentation is, why people do it, and the basic principles of how to do it yourself in “These Things Take Time,” Saturday, March 17, noon to 1:30 p.m., or 1:30 to 3 p.m. (two workshops). Cost is $25 per person, and includes the workshop and a jar of fermenting veggies – sauerkraut. Space is limited to 10 people per workshop, so sign up now. Registration and pre-pay required; go to Eventbrite (learn to make sauerkraut workshop), or e-mail info@ fourseasonsfam.com and pre-pay at Four

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Seasons Market. Urban forager Kate Armstrong shares how to make a traditional salve with backyard plants in a salve-making workshop, Saturday, March 24, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. You'll go home with your own container of salve. Cost is $25 per person. Limited to 10 participants, and registration is required to hold your space; go to Eventbrite (healing salve workshop) or register at Four Seasons Market. If you live, work, visit, play, shop, or are part of the Wheat Ridge community in any way, the Wheat Ridge Community Potluck is the place to be on Saturday, March 31, from noon to 2 p.m. You can meet neighbors and friends, sit down for a meal together, and strengthen the Wheat Ridge community. Please bring a dish to share that feeds six to eight people. RSVP requested, but not required: info@fourseasonsfam.com Mark your calendars for a “Meet Your Farmer” panel, potluck and community conversation on Saturday, April 21, from noon to 2 p.m. A panel of Colorado farmers, both rural and urban, will share why they farm, about their farms, their land stewardship, their production techniques, the challenges they face as farmers, and innovations and changes on their farms. Bring a dish to share for the potluck, and stay for conversation with the farmers over dessert. The Spring Bee and Honey Festival will take place Saturday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, May 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Spring Bee and Honey Festival at Four Seasons Celebrate bees, beekeeping, pollinators of all kinds and – of course – honey. Learn about beekeeping, setting up hives, and how to help pollinators thrive. Vendor application are due April 18.

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To register or for more information, visit SweetRidgeStudios.com, email SweetRidgeStudios@gmail.com or call 785-6086673.

Practice for Wheat Ridge Girls’ Softball starts mid-April, so register to play now. Games are played mid-May through midJuly for girls ages 5 to 18.

Edgewater Inn Banquet Room available Seats 20 to 75 people

Sweet Ridge Studios will host a Spring Break Art Camp at Ye Old Community Firehouse Center, 3232 Depew St., the week of March 26-30, from 9 a.m. to noon. A wide variety of materials will be explored in the process of creating unique works of art that relate to spring. Projects may include paper flowers, tree paintings, yarn nests and salt dough eggs. Cost is $45 a day, or $165 for the full week. A 10 percent sibling discount is available. Lunch Bunch is available each day from noon to 1 p.m. for $10 a day or $45 for the week.

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Policy Analyst, Lakewood Mayor Discuss the Economics of a Changing Community, April 7 Population dynamics have changed in Jefferson County, and the League of Women Voters of Jefferson County will sponsor a free community meeting to address the

Gazette NEIGHBORHOOD

impacts of these changes on Saturday, April 7 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at St. Anthony Hospital, south entrance, 11600 W. 2nd Place, Lakewood. Natalie O’Donnell Wood, Senior Policy Analyst at The Bell Policy Center, will explore the effects of demographic changes on the economy – for individuals and governments – including government revenues and expenditures, a changing job market, income inequality, retirement security, healthcare costs and others. Lakewood mayor Adam Paul will address the city’s approach to the impacts of population changes, and how a local government plans and prepares for changes in population demographics, revenue, needed services and an evolving job market. The meeting is one in a series based on the results of a 2017 review of demographic changes in the county by the League of Women Voters Jeffco. A Health Care meeting was presented in March and a Transportation meeting is set for May. 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. Visit www.lwvjeffco.org, call 303-2380032 or email info@lwvjeffco.org for more information.

Sunshine Home Share Seeks Sponsors for May 21 Fundraiser Mark your calendars – and consider a sponsorship – for Sunshine Home Share’s second fundraising event, set for May 21 at Right Coast Pizza in Wheat Ridge. “Sunrise is growing quickly as the need for affordable housing keeps growing,” said Executive Director Alison Joucovsky. “We need home seekers and home providers and have made seven matches.” Joucovsky said the new, small nonprofit needs community support to be sustainable, and is seeking sponsors and donors. For more information, call 303-9158264 or visit Sunshinehomeshare.org.

No More Fines For Kids’ Materials, Says Jeffco Library Jefferson County Public Library has eliminated of overdue fines for kids’ materials. According to a March 5 release from JCPL, the change increases access to books and materials for its youngest patrons: Studies show that imposing fines on overdue materials is not an effective method for ensuring the prompt return of materials, but that it can create barriers to using the library. “We want to increase access, availability and awareness of library resources to help every child in Jefferson County be ready to read when he/she enters kindergarten,” said Pam Nissler, executive director. “We know that our youngest patrons benefit from early exposure to reading, singing and speech and by removing potential barriers that might make families reluctant to check out materials for their children, we can better promote a culture of reading.” To encourage timely returns, all children’s items now have regular due dates, and reminder emails are sent. Several other library systems in Colorado have implemented this with considerable success, including Denver Public Libraries, Arapahoe Library District and Boulder County Libraries. Eliminating fines on children’s materials will not have a material impact on the

REACH UP TO 25,000 READERS MONTHLY! Tim Berland | 303-995-2806 | tim@ngazette.com


ngazette.com – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE

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WHAT’S HAPPENING Library’s budget, according to the release, as those fines represent less than one half of one percent of the budget. For more information visit jeffcolibrary. org.

Explore Tax Simplification at League of Women Voters’ Book Club, April 21 The Jeffco League of Women Voters Nonfiction Book Club will examine various options for simplifying our federal tax system for its April meetings. “A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System,” by wellknown journalist and author T. R. Reid, is a comparison of taxation systems around globe. Using a similar style to his previous book on health care, “The Healing of America,” after visiting several European and Latin American countries and New Zealand, Reid explains in lay language, differences between how they deal with raising sufficient revenue to fund their government using methods that are seen as fair to their citizens. The nearest meeting take place Saturday, April 21 at 9:30 a.m. at Brookdale Westland Meridian, 10695 W. 17th Ave., Lakewood. For more information, call Lynne at 303-985-5128.

Lutheran Medical Center Named to Healthgrades 2018 America's Best Hospitals List SCL Health announced last month that Lutheran Medical Center has achieved the Healthgrades 2018 America's 50 Best Hospitals Award, placing it in the top one percent of more than 4,500 hospitals assessed nationwide for consistent, yearover-year superior clinical performance as measured by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. “Watching our star quality programs being implemented, growing and raising our standards to equal any in this nation has

been one of the most satisfying and proudest successes I can imagine in healthcare,” said Grant Wicklund, President and CEO at Lutheran Medical Center. “Every one of our associates, physicians and volunteers has played a role in this achievement. It simply wouldn’t happen without the commitment to quality and patient safety that you demonstrate on a daily basis.” Lutheran also received the 2018 Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award, which is a direct contributor to the Top Hospitals award and was announced in January. From 2014 through 2016, patients (Medicare only) treated in hospitals achieving the award had, on average, a 26.2 percent lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive this award, as measured across 19 rated conditions and procedures where mortality is the outcome. During this same period, if all other hospitals, as a group, had performed at the level of the award recipients across these 19 procedures and conditions, 179,464 lives could potentially have been saved. During the 2018 study period (20142016), these hospitals showed superior performance in clinical outcomes for patients in the Medicare population across at least 21 of 32 most common inpatient conditions and procedures as measured by objective performance data (risk-adjusted mortality and in-hospital complications). To learn more about how Healthgrades determines award recipients, visit www.healthgrades.com/quality.

Lutheran Medical Center Receives Baby-Friendly Designation Lutheran Medical Center has been recognized as a designated Baby-Friendly birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA, according to a release from the organization. Baby-Friendly USA implements the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and

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Sip on a caipirinha (Brazil’s national cocktail), MOVE to carnival percussion rhythms, BID on awesome auction items

via mobile bidding and then learn to DANCE the samba.

Honoring

Lynn A Johnson, Norma Anderson Lifetime Achievement in Education Award

Executive Director, Jefferson County, Department of Human Services Nominated Appointee, Assistant Secretary for Family Support, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The evening continues as the samba dancers move you into

FEAST on a Inspired by our honorees and Student Impact Highlight. Enjoy the beats of BoSSa Nova and ACTIVATE your senses with a the ballroom where during our program you will

Brazilian influenced menu, be

Capoeira performance, and then RAISE your paddle for a fabulous live auction item or the special appeal.

Tami Bandimere, Salazar Excellence in Philanthropy Award President and Race to Read Coordinator Bandimere Speedway

RETIRED WHEAT RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL GRIFF WIRTH addresses the more than 275 attendees of the “Travel Through Time” gala, held March 10 at the Forney Museum of Transportation. The event was a fundraiser for the highly acclaimed STEM/STEAM program, now in its fourth year at Wheat Ridge High School. Student presenters Thomas Arbuckle and Gabriella Renteria later outlined the program’s ambitious efforts for 2018, including preliminary designs for the 2019 car, code named “Project X.” PHOTO: TIM BERLAND birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. "We're proud to be a team of committed providers who have met the guidelines and the highest standards to provide the best possible environment for breastfeeding," said Marcia Teague, Manager of Lutheran's Mom/Baby unit. "We know that both moms and babies benefit when babies are breastfed." Based on the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” the international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information,

confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 489 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The "Baby-Friendly" re-designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes. For more information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org.


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NEIGHBORHOOD GAZETTE – MARCH 13 – APRIL 15, 2018 – ngazette.com

‘I, Too, Am Qualified’ Takes On Age Discrimination n By

N

Mike McKibbin

ot even 50 years of age, Nancy Fingerhood and Michael Lindenberger found it much harder to land jobs in Colorado than unemployment statistics show. After months and months and hundreds of job applications without success, the Westminster couple came to believe they were victims of age discrimination. Eventually, Lindenberger found a photography job, while Fingerhood works part-time for a title insurance company and is a substitute teacher. But their experiences led to the formation of a group to work against ageism, and a Saturday, Feb. 24, meeting with U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Arvada) at Natural Grocers on Kipling Street in Wheat Ridge. They asked him to co-sponsor a bill to help prevent age discrimination in hiring and other employment decisions. Perlmutter agreed several days later. HR 2650, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, was introduced in May 2017 by U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-Va). A companion bill, SB 443, was introduced in February 2017 by U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-Penn.). Both bills were assigned to committees but were not considered. The bills amend the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 to establish an unlawful employment practice when the complaining party demonstrates that age or participation in investigations, proceedings or litigation under the act was a motivating factor for any unlawful employment practice, despite other possible factors. Dec. 15., 2017, was the 50th anniversary of the act, aimed at protecting people over 40 from unfair treatment by employers and preventing age-related bias. “People are not even aware what the (act) is all about,” Fingerhood said. “Age discrimination isn’t like race, sex or religion. Most people are aware when racial or sexual

discrimination happens but not when it comes to age. You can still say things about someone’s age that you can’t say about their race or their gender.” “Older Americans should be celebrated for their experience and knowledge,” Perlmutter said in a March 2 statement. “Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable and this bill would re-establish needed protections for older Americans and ensure they are competitive in the current job market.”

Starting a movement?

In October 2017, Fingerhood and Lindenberger launched a website and a Twitter account called “I, Too, Am Qualified.” With photographs and statements from people who believe they are victims of age discrimination, it is similar to the “I, Too, Am Oxford” effort that used photography to grow awareness of racism. The group is taking a three-pronged approach to ageism, Fingerhood said: Social awareness, legislative change and changing overall attitudes and culture. “We really want to let people know they’re not alone,” Fingerhood stated. “We always hear how low Colorado’s unemployment rate is, but there are a lot of people who have been looking for jobs for a long time and suspect they are victims of age discrimination.” Lindenberger said his job applications failed to generate any responses until he removed his high school graduation year. Some of the people on the website live outside Colorado, showing the issue is national in scope and in need of addressing at the federal level, Lindenberger added. Statistics show that age discrimination complaints are fairly high in Colorado, but few cases are found to have probable cause. And older workers make up a high percentage of the long-term unemployed. In fiscal year 2017, 27 percent of all Colorado complaints to the federal Equal

NANCY FINGERHOOD, LEFT, MAKES A POINT TO U.S. REP. ED PERLMUTTER, (DArvada), about a bill to help protect older workers from age discrimination at a Feb. 24 meeting at Natural Grocers in Wheat Ridge. Fingerhood and her husband, Michael Lindenberger (sitting behind Fingerhood), recently started an online group, “I, Too, Am Qualified,” to work against age-related issues in employment. To the left of Perlmutter is Jerry Pifer, director of constituent services for Perlmutter. PHOTO BY MIKE MCKIBBIN. Employment Opportunity Commission were age discrimination claims. The state had 2.5 percent of all U.S. age charges filed that fiscal year. Meanwhile, between 2013 and 2016, the Colorado Civil Rights Division found probable cause that discrimination occurred in just 51 of 1,012 age-related employment complaints. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted the nationwide unemployment rate of workers over 55 last July – 3.2 percent – was lower than that of the general population – 4.4 percent. However, 36.4 percent of job seekers 55 years and older were out of work for nearly seven months or longer, compared to 19.3 percent of those under 55.

Misconceptions about older workers

During their research, a company that trains business managers about ageism told Fingerhood and Lindenberger younger managers worry older workers “won’t have respect for them or maybe think they know it all,” Fingerhood said. Older workers expecting to be paid more than a company can afford is another

worry, she added. But many older workers don’t have that expectation, Fingerhood said, especially if they are trying to change careers. Fingerhood said younger workers think older workers can’t – or maybe won’t – adapt to technology. The reality is many older workers realize the value of technology and its importance in nearly every industry, she noted, so they are adept. Hoping to find a more tangible way to address ageism, Fingerhood and Lindenberger plan to host a March 24 discovery session in their Westminster home, then reach out to businesses, chambers of commerce and other organizations. “Right now, it’s like we can provide a place for people to vent, but can we go a little further and see if we can make a positive change,” Lindenberger said. If nothing changes, Lindenberger added, “We’ll start to see the weeding out of the older generations of workers and they’ll have no choice but to take social security and cause bigger demands on taxpayers. When you start to look at the long-term ramifications of this, it seems like it could really get out of control.”

Neighborhood Gazette – March 2018  

The March 13-April 15, 2018 issue of Neighborhood Gazette, serving Wheat Ridge, Applewood, Mountain View & Lakeside Colorado.

Neighborhood Gazette – March 2018  

The March 13-April 15, 2018 issue of Neighborhood Gazette, serving Wheat Ridge, Applewood, Mountain View & Lakeside Colorado.

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