NW firefighter with plenty of H(e)art

INSPIRATION POINT — Third-generation firefighter Joe Hart says that it’s human nature to want to help others. Hart, his father and grandfather were firemen for the Denver Fire Department. Joe Hart is a recently retired District Chief and four of his seven brothers are firemen: Tim, Steve, Jim and David. The fireman force is strong with the Harts.

“Most of our family has gone into the civil service or the military,” said Mary (Hart) Roybal, one of Joe’s four sisters whose husband Jim also serves on Denver’s fire department.

Grandfather Arthur “Artie” G. Hart joined the Denver Fire Department in 1923. His only son Robert Hart joined the department in 1948 after serving in the Navy during World War II, and Artie Hart’s grandchildren carry on the proud tradition of service today.

“Tim and I came on the fire department in 1978,” said Joe Hart. “Steve came on in 1980, and then Jim and Dave in 1991. Dave is the captain of the heavy rescue unit based out of Station 11, at 2nd and Broadway. That rescue unit is trained to tunnel into collapsed buildings, perform water rescues, high-angle rescues or tear apart a vehicle to extricate somebody.”

Steve, born in 1957, is a fireman in Denver as well as a pilot for Frontier Airlines. “He went on the fire department in 1980,” Joe Hart said. “He received his aviation degree at Metro State College while working for the department.”

Younger brother Mark, born in 1963, graduated from the Air Force Academy. He chose to be a policeman in Denver’s District 2. “He went to the dark side,” Joe Hart said, laughing about his brother not becoming a fireman.

Oldest brother Mike graduated from Holy Family in 1963 and attended CU for one year before receiving an appointment to West Point Academy; he didn’t serve on the fire department.

Robert Hart was injured several times performing his duty, but one event from 1971 stands out for son Joe: “There were a lot of condominium complexes being built; construction companies would get them to the ‘dried-in’ stage, at which point they could be insured. A week later, they’d burn down. My father, then an assistant chief, suspected that a fire was planned at a complex being built in his district—District 7, at Kentucky Ave. and Florida St. My father wanted to get aerial photos of the complex, so if it burned they could compare burn patterns after the fact.”

On September 2, 1971, Robert Hart had just lifted off in a police helicopter from the Currigan Hall landing pad, with Denver Police Department pilot Charles Nidey and fire department photographer Terry Brennan, when an engine problem developed shortly after takeoff. They crashed at 12th and Champa Streets, behind the Denver Fire Prevention Headquarters. They all survived and continued to serve.

Joe Hart reflected on how his grandfather not only fought fires but also was a creative individual. “Artie—we never called him grandpa—was an engineer who operated a pumper at Station 9 in Globeville,” Hart said. “The engineer is the truck driver-operator and stays with that piece of equipment throughout the ordeal; he makes things work. The firehouse company officer, either a captain or a lieutenant, rides in the right seat. The engineer is second in rank on the rig.

Artie Hart

“Well, Artie invented a device—a small box with scrolls, like a player piano—that calculated nozzle pressure, gallons per minute and nozzles for different sized hoses; it told you the pump pressure needed. It’s called a friction loss calculator,” Joe Hart said. “He always carried it in the cab of the truck.

“I have a story about my brother Dave. He was at a home fire last Christmas where there was fire in the walls and in the attic. Having noticed presents still beneath the tree, Dave ordered his guys to quickly grab all the gifts and put them under a tarp in the yard.

“When a fire is in the walls and the attic, we knock holes in the ceiling and walls, and when we leave it’s a terrible sight. When the homeowners surveyed the damage with the fire chief, they were devastated by the loss of everything in their home. But then they noticed the presents in the yard and turned to my brother and said, ‘You saved our Christmas.’ Dave said that was a great reward for doing his job.”

Robert and Beverly Hart raised eight boys and four girls, whose births span a quarter of a century, from Mike, the oldest, born in 1945, to the birth of Jimmy in 1970. All of the Hart children attended Holy Family School at 43rd Ave. and Utica St., from first grade through twelfth, as did their parents, who met at the school.

“After my dad returned from WWII, our parents scrimped and put every nickel together they could to buy a row house for $ 3000,” Joe Hart said. That house, in the Sloan Lake neighborhood, at 23rd and Julian, was right next to a row house owned by their grandparents, Artie and Theresa. Mary Hart added that their parents had six children at the time they moved from the two-bedroom row house.

“The family moved to 4840 Depew St. in the Inspiration Point neighborhood in 1956, the year I was born,” said Joe Hart. “They had the Depew house built by a guy who used a horse-drawn scraper bucket to dig out the basement.”

“The rewards of being a fireman are tremendous,” said Joe Hart. “The main thing is the willingness to give a hand to help someone in need. When young firemen come on, they want to do that big rescue, they want to be the guy who gets into the battle, and it isn’t until later, after they see the pain and misery of the victims, that they lose that sort of enthusiasm.

“When we go through training, we’re taught that you aren’t supposed to throw your life away. But if it comes down to risking your life to save somebody else’s, you have to go; and our firemen know that.”

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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 www.childabuse.org

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 www.donatelifecolorado.org 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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North Denver Tribune

CDC funding helps states combat prescription drug overdose epidemic

Agency commits $20 million to advance prevention on multiple fronts
 Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the launch of Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States, a new program to help states end the ongoing prescription drug overdose epidemic. The… http://www.thecherrycreeknews.com/cdc-funding-helps-states-combat-prescription-drug-overdose-epidemic/ #Analgesic, #BloodPressure, #BodyMassIndex, #CardiovascularDisease, #CentersForDiseaseControlAndPrevention, #Heart, #RiskFactor, #UnitedStates

Mobile app proves lifesaver in heart attack recovery

Mobile app proves lifesaver in heart attack recovery
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Breaking From Tradition: Renegade Brewing
Located on a relatively short and quiet block sandwiched between Santa Fe and Kalamath, Renegade Brewing Co is a classic Denver brewery. Worn brick building, open interior with sunlight streaming through tall garage doors, and an expansive bar make it …
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