1) Congressman Jason Crow Tapped to Serve as Impeachment Manager
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in January named Stapleton Aurora resident and freshman congressman Jason Crow (D-CO) one of the seven impeachment managers who presented the House’s case to the Senate on the two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Crow, who served three combat tours as a paratrooper and an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a former litigator. His litigation and national security experience were considered to be the qualities that made him stand out for the job.
Crow’s expertise on national security, informed by his military service, was a recurring theme in his statement during the debate on the trial rules. He recalled “scavenging scrap metal on the streets of Baghdad in the summer of 2003 that we had to bolt onto the side of our trucks because we had no armor to protect us against roadside bombs. So when we talk about troops not getting the equipment they need when they need it, it’s personal to me.”
He added: “To be clear, here, we are talking about 391 million dollars of taxpayer money intended to protect our national security by helping our strategic partner, Ukraine, fight against Vladimir Putin’s Russia, an adversary of the United States.”
Crow made the case for the importance of jurors (the senators) seeing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) documents being withheld at the President’s direction. “They would reveal concerns about the impact of the freeze on Ukraine and U.S. national security…This funding had wide bipartisan support because, as many witnesses testified, providing military aid to help Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression benefits our own national security….I remember what it feels like to not have the equipment you need when you need it. Real people’s lives are at stake. That’s why this matters,” referencing the delayed U.S. aid to Ukraine’s military.
Front Porch story about Jason Crow from Sept. 2012: People Who Make a Difference: The Veteran
2) GW Principal Boldly Addresses Past Issues; Will Offer IB Courses for All
George Washington (GW) High School’s principal Kristin Waters recently sent a letter to families saying “the demographic composition of our classrooms and advanced academic programs does not mirror that of our student body…In 2019, 65 years after Brown v. Board of Education, our students are attending class in a racially and economically segregated learning environment…[and] there has been no measurable shift in the outcomes for our historically underserved students.”
The letter acknowledged that their longstanding International Baccalaureate (IB) program had “a reputation for being academically, racially, and socially insulated, the program has been described as ‘a school within a school.’”
Waters’ letter went on to say GW would start enrolling all 9th graders in English 1 Honors and start offering the option for students to take individual IB courses, “joining other Denver area high schools such as East High School, North High School, and Northfield High School in setting high expectations for every student. Research has shown that when students are placed in a heterogenous classroom and given access to a rigorous curriculum, all students experience measurable gains in achievement.”
Opening a new school is a monumental undertaking—and opening a new school that defies long-held traditions is vastly more difficult yet. When Northfield High School (NHS) opened, those familiar with the rigorous IB curriculum questioned whether IB could be implemented successfully. Now having just graduated its first four-year class last spring, NHS is a model for that approach.
NHS principal Amy Bringedahl, responding by email to our request for her thoughts on the change at GW, wrote, “GW’s transition to an IB for All model brings it in closer alignment with the program that Northfield High School has offered to their students since its inception. I’m very excited that GW is moving in this direction—it’s such a great opportunity for students and their school community. It’s great to have another high school in DPS taking on this work to provide equitable opportunities for all students, and we look forward to partnering with them as they implement these changes.”
3) Lucky’s Pulls Out of Lowry
As reported by multiple news sources on Jan. 22, Lucky’s grocery store is pulling out as anchor tenant at Boulevard One in Lowry. Celeste Tanner, Chief Developments Officer at Confluent Development says they are actively talking to other grocers and are confident the grocery project will resume. Construction on the two adjoining office/retail buildings is continuing “full speed ahead.”
4) Berkshire Closing Feb. 2
The Berkshire released a statement saying the restaurant will be closing on Feb. 2. “Due to the challenges of staffing from new restaurant openings along with the low rate of unemployment, it was no longer feasible to maintain operations. The rise of rent and an increase in the minimum wage for the front of the house also contributed to owners Andy and Krissy Ganick’s decision to close The Berkshire.” Farewell party plans are listed with photo above.
5) Multiple Changes in NE Legislators
In our 2018 Front Porch legislative look forward, we reported our same five state legislators for NE Denver would be remaining in office. Lois Court and Angela Williams would remain our senators; James Coleman, Leslie Herod and Chris Hansen would remain our representatives.
Now, multiple changes both have happened and lie ahead. Sen. Lois Court, who had already announced she would not seek re-election, recently became ill with the rare Guillaume-Barre Syndrome in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, causing her to step down from her position. Rep. Chris Hansen had announced his intention to run for Court’s senate seat and requested to be considered by the senate committee choosing Court’s replacement for the remainder of her term. Hansen was selected, leaving his seat open in the House. Now a house committee is selecting a replacement to fill the remainder of Hansen’s term.
While Angela Williams was running for U.S. Senate, James Coleman announced he would run for her seat. Then Williams dropped out of the U.S. Senate race; in our January issue we interviewed Coleman and Williams about their head-to-head competition. Now Williams has dropped out of the state senate race, leaving Leslie Herod as the only incumbent of the five NE legislators seeking re-election to the same position.