Integrating the arts into Denver’s growth

Auraria — Denver is growing up, and likewise its arts community. But the future health of Denver’s cultural scene requires more than well-attended concerts and exhibitions. Sustainability requires places for artists to live and work, and places for young artists to develop their skills and experiment, says Dr. Michael Seman, a researcher hired by the […]

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Recycle your Christmas Tree with Denver’s Treecycle program

Recycling your Christmas tree is as easy as 1, 2, 3 with Denver Recycles/Solid Waste Management’s annual Treecycle program. By recycling your tree through Denver’s Treecycle program, you can help keep trees out of the landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create mulch that is available to Denver residents for free at the Annual Treecycle Mulch Giveaway & Leafdrop Compost Sale in the spring.

Here’s how easy it is to recycle your Christmas tree:

  1. Remove all decorations, lights and tree stands. Only natural (real) trees are collected for recycling during Treecycle. No artificial or flocked trees are accepted.
  2. Set your tree out for collection no later than 7 a.m. on Saturday, January 7th or January 14th
  3. Reclaim free mulch made from your tree at the annual Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale in May!


  • All Christmas trees must be set out at your regular trash collection location by 7 a.m. on Saturday, January 7th or January 14th. Trees may be collected on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Do NOT place trees inside bags, carts or dumpsters.
  • Be sure to set trees at least 2 feet away from trash or recycling containers carts, and all other obstacles.
  • Trees will not be collected by Extra Trash crews during the first two weeks of January.
  • After January 15th, trees can be dropped off for recycling at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off.

Last year, Denver residents recycled nearly 20,000 trees. Participate in this year’s Treecycle program and help us recycle even more!

For more information about Treecycle, the Annual Treecycle Mulch Giveaway and LeafDrop Compost Sale or other Denver Recycles programs, visit call 311 (720-913-1311).

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Northwest Denver’s Gifts from the Heart

NORTH DENVER ­ — There are many rewards to living in a close-knit community, barbecues in the summer and holiday parties in the winter.  Babies who had play dates together grow up to be schoolmates.  The privileges of community also come with duties, as we care for one another in times of need.  If a community is particularly strong, that reach of care can extend past its own zip code. 

Cooper the Brave wins community hearts

On December 4, nearly 300 friends and neighbors gathered at Local 46 to support the Hudson-Deming fundraiser, to benefit the family of Cooper Deming.  Cooper, a 7th grader at Skinner Middle School, has bravely completed 30 radiation treatments for a brain tumor, which is thankfully shrinking.  $ 13,000 was raised to help defray the costs of medical bills, lost income, physical, occupational and other therapy, and other expenses.  Local 46, event sponsor, generously donated 30% of sales for the day to the family.  Dozens and dozens of local businesses donated items for the silent auction, including A New Spirit, Biju’s Little Curry Shop, and Ruby Fox. Even Cooper’s classmates stepped up for their friend donating snow shoveling, leaf raking, and babysitting.

Lisa Fentress, one of the event organizers, said “The grand finale prize, was a night at Hotel Monaco and a $ 150 gift certificate to Panzano’s.  As the raffle began, one of the neighborhood dads predicted that he’d win the big prize and if he did, he’d give it to [Cooper’s parents] Scott and Amy.  Well, his number was drawn, and he handed the envelope over to them, saying that they needed it more than he did.  What a wonderful community we live in.”

Solar Trailers for Standing Rock

As neighbors gathered at Local 46, Rob Ford and Nancy Olsen were driving back to Denver after a successful trip to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.  Northwest Denver came together to raise nearly $ 10,000 to fund four solar power stations for the water protectors standing against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Rob and Nancy towed the

Rob Ford and Nancy Olsen deliver the first of four solar power stations to the camp school at Standing Rock.

first of four mobile solar power stations, capable of charging as many as 40 cell phones at one time, 9.5 hours to the Standing Rock Reservation.  The trailers were built to keep people connected and able to tell their story to the rest of the world. The first trailer was promised and delivered to the camp school.  The next trailers will be used by medical volunteers and will be made available for anyone who needs power to sustain the ongoing efforts. 

For Rob and Nancy, delivering the gift of solar power from the Northwest Denver community was a life changing experience.  They were invited to partake in a round dance and Nancy shared, “With very little sleep we danced hand in hand, round and round, in a packed dome for hours, four lines deep dancing around the drummers and singers. It was so beautiful sharing the feeling of resilience, love, almost celebration, camaraderie, and support. It would only be the next day after we left camp that we would hear of the permit denial to drill under the water from the army corps of engineers. The struggle isn’t over, but it was a sweet victory.”   

Stand up for Standing Rock Concert

The next storm of activity for Standing Rock happened later in the week during a benefit concert at the Oriental Theater on December 8.  At least $ 3,000 was raised during the Stand Up for Standing Rock concert featuring amazing Colorado artists.

Matene Strikes First Jerome performs his original song “Water is Life” at the Oriental Theater.

Matene Strikes First Jerome performed his original song “Water is Life” and the Oyukpe Lakota drum group sang traditional songs.  Matene’s mother, Stephanie Jerome, said, “This is why I love Colorado. Because when a call to action is made we aren’t afraid to pick up and come together and do what we can to make a positive impact. I don’t call myself an environmentalist, I don’t call myself a protester, I call myself a mother who loves her children and who believes that all people have the right to clean water. I know all my musician friends who joined me tonight feel the same way. Together we are making a difference through our talents and gifts that we’ve been given. I hope we can continue to use those gifts for good.”


Nostalgic Homes Brings Cheer to Children

Free carriage rides and thoughtful donations brought the spirit of the season to the Highlands.

On December 11, Nostalgic Homes presented their annual Holiday in the Highlands celebration complete with petting ponies, carriage rides and photos with Santa. Aside from neighborhood good cheer, Jenny Apel continually puts her whole heart into the community. She collected unwrapped gifts and donations for the Tennyson Center for Children. The center helps children who have been abused in their primary families. The children often have to leave their homes with nothing in hand.  Apel reflected, “These kids are always in need of clothing. They continue to go to their neighborhood schools from the Tennyson Center, but imagine being a kid with little in hand and the stress of their situations. The Tennyson Center meets their standard needs, but it is always special for kids that are ages 10-18 to receive something age appropriate that helps them to simply be a kid…”

If you missed the event you may also make an online donation to

Haiti Hurricane Emergency Relief

Tamburello embodies the spirit of giving from the heart.

Paul Tamburello and Loren Martinez of Little Man Ice Cream traveled to Jeremie, Haiti from November 28 to December 2. Rene Doubleday and Andrew Campo, colleagues and friends also joined in the journey. They teamed up with the organization “Living Water for Haiti” on an emergency relief trip with a mission of repairing housing structures devastated by Hurricane Matthew. In addition, they helped provide food and medical aid, and powering a water well pump for rural communities in need.

Doubleday reflected on the devastation that surrounded them, “My biggest takeaway is a reminder of the tenacity of the human spirit. In conditions that are nearly impossible to accurately describe, you see people carrying on with their daily lives. Working, caring for families, rebuilding their homes all in the most ingenious ways.”

As part of the Little Man Ice Cream Scoop for Scoop program, $ 6000 was spent on rice, beans, fish, and cooking oil feeding over 200 families and two orphanages. Due to the damage inflicted from the hurricane, most of the local fisherman community lost their equipment and boats– everything they had. The Little Man team was able to purchase a new fishing boat for one of the local fishermen. The fisherman has agreed to not only use the boat to repower his own business but to deliver fresh fish at least twice a week to local orphanages and families in need.  This agreement will be managed by the Living Water for Haiti team that is constantly at work in this community.

Martinez said, “Being part of a Scoop for Scoop immersion trip is overwhelmingly impactful. Thanks to the Denver community, these funds were able to help people in need in a sustainable way. This experience made me proud of the company that I work for– and proud of all the hard work that so many people put in at our little ice cream shop. Their work truly makes a difference, both locally and globally.”

Gingerbread Houses for Habitat for Humanity

It was all gumdrops, lollipops and a cherry on top of the sweetest season.

On December 10 FirstBank partnered with Little Man to host the first annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party. The event benefited Habitat for Humanity to help build safe homes for low-income families. The proceeds from the sell-out crowd who paid a suggested $ 10 donation to build their sweet-dream castles are going to help a couple named Omar and Judith build a home that will be ready this holiday season. They commented, “You’re not just helping our family…you’re helping change our family’s future.”

The veritably balmy weather, after multiple frigid days, brought holiday cheer to all. Hundreds of families, hipster millennials and couples of all ages adorned and decorated their masterpieces. Some of the kids ate them as quickly as they were built. One excited participant motioned exuberantly around the plaza saying, “This is so magical. The families. The trees. The lights. The music. I feel like I am in a movie.”

FirstBank provided free gingerbread crumble ice cream to the crowds and brought huge cheer to winners with snowboards, skis and Copper Mountain 4-packs. All in all, a sweet affair that brought the holiday’s home for one family, and brought together the entire community as family.

An Affair of the Heart

Basha Cohen and Jim Walsh tied the knot after 20-years of unwedded bliss on 11.25.16, sharing her parents, Phillip and Agnete’s, 57th wedding anniversary.

I hope you will forgive me for wearing my heart on my sleeve, but I am so deeply moved by our community and its generosity on so many levels. Thank you isn’t a strong enough word to convey my deep love and sentiments for so many in our neighborhood.

During this tumultuous year my family has agonized through my father’s emergency brain surgery, putting our sweet dog “Loco” to sleep when he could no longer fight off cancer, and worried through our daughter’s severe brain concussion when she fell down a flight of stairs at school. If that wasn’t enough, we are now faced with the shock of my husband’s potential heart transplant, as his own heart is too tired to go on.

Through these traumas the meaning of our community has never been greater to me.  Every life I have touched has surrounded me with generosity of spirit. Texts, calls, emails, meals, rides, sleepovers, hugs and help with writing articles like this one have flooded in.  It is enormously humbling to know how many people have my back. My good friends Paul and Loren and my beautiful “kids” at the Can picked up where I left off mid-stream in events. Family, friends, neighbors, merchants, principals, counselors, commanders & cops, clergy, City Council and State Representatives have all checked in for my family’s pulse. Even strangers like Madeline Fenton at the City & County building showered us with help as we scrambled to secure a marriage license in a split-second decision.  I will never forget her kindness for as long as I live.

And then there are the amazing doctors and brilliant nurses. Dr. Sfiligoi at Wheatridge Animal Hospital kept Loco going for two extra years. Dr. Colapinto at St. Joseph’s saved our Dad’s life. Dr. Maddox at the V.A. and Dr. Cornwell plus dozens of other doctors and surgeons at the University of Colorado Hospital are working tirelessly to give Jim a next chapter. My heart has expanded because of these remarkable people who have shown the true meaning of compassion and care.

Through all of this, I have come to deeply respect and understand the consequences of being an organ donor.  Although we all hope and pray for a long and healthy life, there is something we can all do to give the gift of life.  This holiday season; take the time to become an organ donor. Visit and talk to your family about your decision.  You never know whose life you might save or when you could be in need yourself.   

From our hearts at the North Denver Tribune to yours…to the greatest community on earth, may peace, health and happiness be yours.

With contributions by: Jennifer Wolf, Ed Kieta, Irene Glazer, Nancy Olsen and Loren Martinez

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Denver’s Independent Monitor Releases Semiannual Report

DENVER — Today, the Office of the Independent Monitor (“OIM”) released its 2016 Semiannual Report.  The OIM is charged with monitoring the disciplinary systems in the Denver Police and Denver Sheriff Departments (“DPD” and “DSD,” respectively), making policy recommendations to those departments, and conducting outreach to communities throughout Denver.  The OIM is led by Independent Monitor Nicholas E. Mitchell, and advised by a seven-member Citizen Oversight Board.

Denver Independent Monitor, Nicholas E. Mitchell
Denver Independent Monitor, Nicholas E. Mitchell

The 2016 Semiannual Report provides an overview of the complaints received, closed and monitored by the OIM during the first half of 2016.  The report also contains information on internal affairs investigations, disciplinary findings, and critical incidents in both departments.  Finally, the report highlights the early results of the OIM’s Bridging the Gap: Kids and Cops program (“Youth Outreach Project” or “YOP”), which was developed in 2014 and piloted in 2015 to proactively improve relationships between youth and law enforcement in Denver.  In cooperation with numerous community organizations and the DPD, the YOP was developed based on research on best practices in juvenile justice.  Through focused education sessions and youth/officer forums facilitated by trained community members, the program educates officers on key aspects of adolescent development and de-escalation techniques for interactions with youth, and educates youth on their rights and responsibilities when in contact with law enforcement.  The program then facilitates discussions between the two groups on ways to improve their future interactions.

As of August 2016, 312 youth and 35 DPD officers have participated in 10 YOP forums, and 115 DPD officers have been trained on adolescent brain development and de-escalation techniques.  The response to the program thus far has been extraordinarily positive. More than 90% of surveyed officers who received YOP training felt that it better equipped them to interact with Denver’s youth.  In addition, four out of five surveyed youth forum participants reported having greater trust in DPD officers after participating in a YOP forum.  “I commend the hard work of the community, the OIM, and the DPD, who have collaborated to make this program a success.  Encounters between youth and law enforcement are critical entry points into the juvenile justice system.  By facilitating better communication and understanding between kids and cops, I hope that the YOP will continue to improve these interactions and keep our kids out of the system,” said Independent Monitor Nicholas Mitchell.

In 2017, the OIM will expand the Bridging the Gap program to train additional officers and community facilitators, and reach an additional 500 youth in neighborhoods throughout Denver.  The full report can be found at

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Join Denver’s oldest Dia de los Muertos

NORTH DENVER — This is Denver’s oldest celebration long before it became mainstream.  Share the history and join us as we honor our ancestors.

Procession step-off and march at 5:30 PM, at La Raza Park, West 38th & Navajo St. proceeding to a blessing at Troy Chavez Peace Garden 3825 Shoshone St., and community dinner at Escuela Tlatelolco, 2949 N. Federal Blvd.  Performance by Escuela Tlatelolco choir, Unity in Unison.  Grupo Tlaloc will lead the procession and offer the blessing. 

Over 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now central Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death. It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing at least 3,000 years. A ritual the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate. The ritual is known today as Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. 

Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico and certain parts of the United States, including metro Denver. Although the ritual has since been merged with Catholic theology, it still maintains the basic principles of the Aztec ritual, such as the use of skulls. Today, people don wooden skull masks called calacas and dance in honor of their deceased relatives. The wooden skulls also are placed on altars that are dedicated to the dead. Sugar skulls, made with the names of the dead person on the forehead, are eaten by a relative or friend, according to Mary J. Adrade, who has written three books on Dia de los Muertos.

The Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations kept skulls as trophies and displayed them during the ritual. The skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth.  The skulls were used to honor the dead, whom the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations believed came back to visit during the month-long ritual.

Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake. 

“The pre-Hispanic people honored duality as being dynamic,” said Christina Gonzalez, senior lecturer on Hispanic issues at Arizona State University. “They didn’t separate death from pain, wealth from poverty like they did in Western cultures.”  However, the Spaniards considered the ritual to be sacrilegious. They perceived the indigenous people to be barbaric and pagan. In their attempts to convert them to Catholicism, the Spaniards tried to kill the ritual. But like the old Aztec spirits, the ritual refused to die.

For more information about Escuela Tlatelolco’s approach to education, please log onto the website at

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Denver’s LeafDrop Program Begins Today!

DENVER ­— Fall is here, so now is the time to rake those leaves and compost them through Denver Recycles’ LeafDrop Program starting today! Weekday drop-off sites are open through Friday, December 2. Leaves collected during the program will be composted and made available for Denver residents to purchase in May. 

Weekday Drop-Off Sites Monday – Friday, 8:00am to 2:00pm

• Cherry Creek Transfer Station – 7301 E. Jewell Ave. (Quebec St. & Cherry Creek Dr. South)

• Havana Nursery – 10450 Smith Rd. (Just south of I-70 on Havana St.)

All leaves must be in secured bags and dropped-off during hours of operation, otherwise it is considered illegal dumping.

Break the plastic bag habit and use paper bags instead – they can also be composted! Beginning Wednesday, October 12, Denver residents can print a coupon for a free 5-pack of paper leaf bags at The coupon can be redeemed at participating Denver area Ace Hardware stores.

Help us manage the LeafDrop program by following these guidelines:

• Drop sites and free Ace Hardware paper bag offer is for Denver residents only.

• Jack-O-Lanterns and pumpkins will be accepted for composting at drop sites.

• Make sure leaves do not contain branches or other materials.

• Never rake or blow leaves into the street as this clogs storm sewers and street sweepers. 

LeafDrop is sponsored by Denver Recycles, in partnership with A1 Organics. For more information, go to

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Discover Denver’s Beauty on a Dime

The city of Denver is an ideal destination for many tourists due to its activities and attractions. It not only  has nice blend of urban sophistication and outdoor adventue but is suitable for bargain-conscious travelers as well.


Contrary to popular belief, the climate in Denver is the ultimate dream for many with sunshine for almost all throughout the year. The winter here is quite mild but summer is the perfect time to visit the area where the days are beautiful and the night’s cool temperature invites for a relaxing retreat. And when looking for a place to temporarily call home while in Denver, there are a multitude of options ranging from luxury hotels that offer five-star service, while there are also affordable places that offer a cozy yet indulgent stay and you can find lots of them in Downtown Denver.


Outdoor Adventures in Denver

If you’re looking for adventure, you can join the Raft Masters Adventure which offers quality raft trips that can has a duration ranging from an hour, half-day, and even up to three days. Prices also vary depending on your chosen duration for the said activity from $ 10 to $ 350 for the entire family. What’s more? Should you decide to return to Denver and you enjoyed this rafting trip so much you want to try it again, you can avail of a 15% discount.


Also, enjoy the sites of Denver and Estate Park several meters off the ground for 30 minutes when you embark on the Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights. When in Denver, you can avail of this anytime you want and they also have discounts for groups, military, and senior citizens.


The Garden of Gods in Colorado Springs is also a great chance for you and your family to enjoy the view of spectacular rock formations and you can get into the park without any charge. But if you want to get more out of the experience, you can join a 30-minute bus tour which ranges from $ 5 for adults and $ 2.50 for children.


Meanwhile, the Evergreen Lake is such an impressive lake which reflects the surrounding mountains on its surface, it’s so hard to think you can get free access of it. You may also fish at the lake or set up your own place where you can enjoy your lunch. But if you’re more of the outgoing type, you can try skiing and take advantage of several ski resorts in the area.


Winter Park is one of the most popular ski resorts in the state which offers a very expansive ski area and multiple trails. For beginners, you can also try out the Galloping Goose for only $ 5 and its gentle sloping hill is perfect to practice your ski or boarding skills. Sunlight Mountain Resort is also your best bet if you’re looking for affordability with price ranging from $ 20 to $ 30 and yet the accommodation offers the perfect haven after a day full of skiing.


Dip and Fun: Excitement Just Would Not Let Up!

To cool off during a hot summer day, Water World and Island Kingdom are among the top choices for world-class water parks in Denver with their fun rides, inner tubes, and large pools. For more child-friendly excitement, take your kids to the Lakeside Amusement Park for an entrance fee of $ 1.50 or if you want to opt for unlimited ride ticket, you’ll pay $ 12.75. Whichever you choose, you and your kids will certainly enjoy rides such as the merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and trains.


Denver has so much hidden beauty and wonder that is just awaiting to be discovered! Just when you thought you’ve experienced everything Denver has to offer, you’ll be amazed how limitless the fun you can have while in here!


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