1) Sand Creek Regional Greenway Closed Due to Health Concerns
On Feb. 4, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) announced a temporary closure of the Sand Creek Regional Greenway from Commerce City to Quebec. The Greenway had been closed from Quebec to Central Park bridge due to flood mitigation work since June 2019, but the recent closure was due to public health concerns. According to the notice from DDPHE: “the Area defined below presents public and environmental health risks due to unsafe conditions associated with pest activity, harbored conditions, human waste, and trash accumulation.” On Feb. 5, the closure was amended to permit bicyclists and pedestrians to travel through the Greenway for recreational or transportation use, though “lengthy stops on this section of the Greenway will not be allowed.”
DDPHE’s Manager of Media Relations, Tammy Vigil, said DDPHE along with DPD are monitoring the area to maintain the closure, adding, “The weather has posed a huge hurdle as the build-up of snow and ice on the embankments we need to clean has prevented CDOT and DOTI from authorizing workers to access the area.” As long as snow persists, there is no clear timeline for remediation efforts to begin, and no way to know how long the clean-up and trail closure will last.
A map showing the closed area is posted at https://sandcreekgreenway.org/temporary-trail-closure-in-denver-2/
2) The News is No National News at Denver Rec Centers
Denver Parks and Recreation in February eliminated national news networks from their 30 centers. According to Cyndi Karvaski, with Marketing and Media Relations: “We decided to limit the channel selection list for staff to all local news media and channels that are recreation related such as food, sports, weather, travel, leisure, hobby, etc. This specific change has reduced the number of complaints we receive regarding political favoritism. We as a department are strictly neutral on all political matters.” When asked as to the number of complaints, Karvaski says “I have no idea….we don’t have the ability to track all complaints.” Karvaski says “People would complain to us about the fact that they thought that there was political favoritism if FOX was on national or CNN was on national, that maybe we had some bias, when that was not the truth.” At recreation centers with one or two televisions, however, the hope is that apolitical TV content will reduce potential conflicts and the perception of political bias.
Karvaski says the policy has been in place since 2018, but in February, “we actually provided all of our recreations centers a list of stations that would show local news channels and recreation-related channels.” The shift eliminates MSNBC, FOX, and other national media outlets from the TVs, which Karvaski says are an “amenity.” Instead, HGTV, Food Network, the Weather Channel and other non-political channels are available to gym enthusiasts across the city’s 30 recreation centers.
Stapleton resident and longtime Central Park Recreation Center patron Dennis Campbell says “It seems to me even if it were say 5% of the patrons complained, that does not justify the decision to affect the other 95% of us.” When asked if an individual recreation center director may override the policy, Karvaski says “the staff reserves the right to determine what stations are appropriate and we have given them a list of what those stations are.” Campbell is troubled by the change. “No one was asked or surveyed or anything about this. It would seem to me given that we all, generally speaking, pay for the facility through membership dues, etc. some sort of input should have been undertaken.”
3) Denver Unveils Group Living Zoning Proposal
The Denver Zoning Code currently limits the number of unrelated people who can live as a household to two people —which doesn’t reflect how people live today and severely limits options for people to save on housing costs. The proposed changes would allow unrelated people to live together, allow group homes in more places, standardize permitting and spacing between group living facilities and require community information meetings for residential care uses. Proposed changes are posted at www.denvergov.org/groupliving. The Planning Board will hold a public hearing in April, and ultimately the proposal will go to City Council.
4) Presidential Race Comes to NE Denver/Aurora
How the Klobuchar rally at the Stanley Hangar on Feb. 20 came to be in the neighborhood offers a glimpse of how fast the presidential campaigns must operate. Stapleton resident Tom Downey says he signed up to be an area representative for the Klobuchar campaign, but the job didn’t require much…until the New Hampshire primary. Then he got calls. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, the call was to find a venue for Thursday night, Jan 20. Downey called Stanley Hangar owner Mark Shaker, who says he got that call at 6:12pm Tuesday. By 4pm Thursday, the room was set up and 1,100 people were streaming in. As the time came for Klobuchar to speak, phones lit up with the Denver Post headline that President Trump was speaking in Colorado Springs—another set of volunteers were doing their part.
5) Three Upcoming Openings Announced for The Shops at Beeler Park, East 56th Ave at CPB
Paws ‘n’ Play pet store specializing in natural foods and toys for your favorite furry friend is expected to open sometime in March. This is the third pet store for local owner Bob Corman, who owns Ciji’s in Park Hill and a pet store in Arvada.
Also expecting to open in March is Box State Barbers, described by owner Lorenzo Robledo as “a full service gentlemen’s barber shop”—a place where clients of all ages can relax and network with friends and colleagues.
HELLO Car Wash intends to open June 1. Owner Frank Nuchereno describes their equipment as state-of-the-art and environmentally efficient so they can be “a good neighbor to our environment and the planet.” Nuchereno adds they plan to participate community activities and host fundraisers.
6) New Asian Restaurant Coming to Stanley by Summer
Robert and Charlene Thai, owners of Misaki Sushi in the Stanley Marketplace, will be adding an Asian restaurant at Stanley by early summer. Though no details are available yet about the menu, the festive decor already up is transforming the space previously occupied by Sazza Pizza (by the Stanley Beer Hall) to a restaurant where guests may feel they’ve jetted to Asia for an authentic dining experience.