1) Sprouts To Open August 5
The newest Sprouts at 3555 Central Park Blvd. (just north of MLK) will open August 5 at 7am. Though no further details are available about opening day, those seeking work can still apply at sprouts.com/careers. Like all Sprouts stores, this location will feature grocery pickup and same-day online ordering via sprouts.com/order. According to the Sprouts corporate office, their stores have plexiglass barriers at the registers, they take staff temperature daily, and ask staff to stay home if they have any symptoms. All employees wear masks and staff in multiple departments wear gloves.
2) Stanley Opens with Two New Businesses
Stanley Marketplace is now open from 7am-9pm daily after a 73-day Covid closure. They have added large tents that allow patrons to consume food and beverages outdoors while social distancing. And two new businesses have opened:
Third & Logan pairs the gluten-free mochi specialty baked goods from Third Culture Bakery with Logan House Coffee’s beverages. Third & Logan is open from 7am-2pm daily.
Elita Specialty Market & Kitchen took over the former Juniper Pig space to offer a unique “Mediterranean- and Latin-inspired fast casual menu.” Elita is open from 11am-6pm daily.
3) Control Tower Owner Expects Building To Remain an “Eat & Play” Destination
The old control tower is owned by EPR Properties, a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that specializes in “experiential real estate.” Their $6.7 billion portfolio has properties in 44 states and Canada that include theatres, gaming, amusement parks, and “Eat & Play” family entertainment centers—like Punch Bowl. “Our focus is on long-term tenants and stable properties,” says Brian Moriarty, Vice President of Corporate Communications. “We recognize what the tower means to the community; we recognize its iconic location.” Moriarty says they are talking to a variety of future tenants and it’s likely to remain an “Eat and Play” destination like Punch Bowl.
“Our intent is to have long-term relationships,” he says, referring to AMC Theatres, which, for 20 years has been their largest and longest tenant. He acknowledges that Covid-19 makes the current situation more complicated and likely will extend the time needed to find a new tenant. But as a large publicly traded company with a strong balance sheet, he says they will get through Covid “to the other side.”
4) DPS To Remove Cops from Schools
The Denver School Board unanimously passed a resolution to end 18 positions that put Denver police in schools (School Resource Officers, SROs). The resolution states “from the 2014-15 school year through the 2018-19 school year, DPS students were ticketed or arrested at school by police officers at least 4,540 times, with the vast majority being Black or Latinx students between the ages of 10 and 15 [data from Padres & Jovenes Unidos], thereby introducing them to the criminal justice system.”
The resolution cites DPS’s obligation to protect students from systemic racism—and says the perpetuation of the school-to-prison pipeline is incompatible with creating equitable schools. The Superintendent is directed to reallocate the funds to increase the number of behavioral health professionals within DPS. The resolution also calls for a monthly discipline report by race/ethnicity, age, and school, showing suspensions and incidents when police are called. In addition, it calls for a community group to draft a new policy that ensures students will no longer be referred to law enforcement while on school grounds.
A Chalkbeat article, through an open records request, quoted emails from three teachers who supported removing the police due to fear and trauma they’d seen in their students. Three high school principals wrote of positive experiences with SROs and expressed concern about them leaving.
5) City Council Approves Nov. Ballot Measure Re: Key Appointed Positions
Late at night on June 22, after hearing more than two hours of public statements on defunding the police, Denver City Council voted to place a question on the ballot asking voters if the city charter should be changed to require Council approval of 11 mayoral cabinet appointees and 3 public safety positions. The vote was 12 in favor and one “pass” by Councilman Hinds. Many of the same people who came in an organized group favoring defunding the police also spoke in favor of this ballot question. Councilman Flynn, who favored putting the question on the ballot, did raise the point that as was seen in the DPS Superintendent and CU President selections, there were qualified candidates who chose not to be considered due to the public process.
Legislature Refers Gallagher Amendment to Nov. Ballot for Repeal Vote
Those who have lived in Colorado for awhile have heard about the state’s Gordian Knot [frontporchne.com/article/cutting-gordian-knot/]. It’s a trifecta of amendments to our state constitution that limit lawmakers’ control over revenue; the three amendments dictate, in conflicting ways, the way much of the state’s tax revenue can be used. One of the three, the Gallagher Amendment of 1982, limits statewide property tax revenue to a formula that is 45 percent homeowner taxes and 55 percent commercial taxes. As the population has grown and property values have increased, residential tax rates have dropped to maintain the ratio. As a result, local property tax revenue to school districts has dropped dramatically.
Passage of the measure would eliminate the constitutional requirement that the residential assessment rate be changed in order to maintain the 45% homeowner and 55% commercial tax ratio. Over time, the measure, if passed, is expected to result in higher property tax revenue for local governments and reduce the state aid requirement for school finance. Local government taxes provide fire protection, police, ambulance, hospital, kindergarten through twelfth grade education, and other services.
Colo Adds Vaccine Exemption Requirements
In June, the Colorado House passed SB-163, a School Entry Immunization bill that supporters hope will encourage higher vaccination rates for children before they enter kindergarten. Colorado consistently ranks among the states with the highest non-medical exemption rates, and this bill requires those seeking a non-medical exemption to submit a form signed by a medical professional or take an online course to receive an exemption. According to the final approved text, “In 2017, more than 9,000 Colorado children…were hospitalized or went to an emergency department to be treated for a vaccine-preventable disease, resulting in $55.5 million in charges.” As of our publication, Gov. Polis had not yet signed the bill into law but has said he will.