Saturday, June 30, 2012

Colorado Wildfire Relief

     Welcome to Colorful Colorado! This depiction is closer to reality around here than you can imagine, unless you're a local. This is the most devastating fire season in Colorado history. Wanna a shirt!
     The t-shirt designs from people stepping up to help the victims of Colorado's wildfires keep raining down. What a show of community. As such, the creators of the Wild Fire T-Shirt fundraiser have decided to retire most of the original shirts and bring out a fresh batch.
     On their site, you can now vote for retired tees and they'll bring back any that prove to be popular. You can also explore and purchase the new shirts that were released just over an hour ago — even choosing to donate one of the most popular shirts to a firefighter. 100% of proceeds benefit Colorado wildfire victims. If you’re a designer and want to join the efforts, contact the creators at

     Geniuz Ink is another company offering a line of original designs. The more, the merrier! 100% of profits from this shirt will go to the American Red Cross and the ongoing CO Wildfire relief efforts. This is a pre-order, with shirts becoming available in the middle of July. Every order comes with a sticker of the artwork. $20 here.
Rain Dance by Geniuz Ink

Scene on Colfax

The girls at Hot Chick a Latte
Jim Yelnick at the Goosetown Tavern
Sabrina showing some love at GB Fish & Chips
Pricing a used car at Queen Auto Sales
Shouting "I Love My Country!", all night long.
Bloody Fives at Tooey's Off Colfax
Bloody Fives at Tooey's Off Colfax
KBCO on Colfax

Photos by Jonny Barber. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Musical Family Friday Night

Janet Casson
Tonight at 6:30 p.m. at The Tattered Cover Bookstore on Colfax:

     Kids can wear their favorite jammies and enjoy stories and a fun musical activity with local music teacher and storyteller Janet Casson. Healthy snacks will be provided by local Whole Foods Markets for the young guests, and parents can enjoy specials at the coffee shop. Janet has been a teacher since long before she was old enough to have a career as one.  She has used her skills as an educator to teach drama, music, and yoga to students of all ages. Hailing from the Heartland–specifically Hartford, Iowa—Janet has lived in the Minne-apple, the Big Apple, and she now resides within sight of the Rockies.  She has explored a fraction as much as she’d like and learned just enough to keep her seeking more.
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80206

Get Into The Garden!

Steve's Snappin' Dogs - Photo by Jonny Barber
Get Into the Garden! Steve's Snappin' Dogs at 3525 E. Colfax Avenue in Denver, introduces the new Garden Burger: Veggie Patty, Grilled Onions, Swiss Cheese, Grilled Roll, Dijon Mayo, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Pickle Chips. Just $4.95!
And while you're there, try their own signature brand of beer, Steve's Snappin' Ale, produced by award winning Bull & Bush Brewery!

Colfax Community Workshop

The City of Aurora invites you to participate in the first Colfax Corridor Community Workshop (a visioning exercise) that will result in a community based plan to revitalize the Colfax Area. Your involvement is vital to the area's successful redevelopment and we hope you can make it to at least ONE of the two meetings listed here.

For more details, call Moira Dungan or Mindy Parnes at (303) 739-7250.

La Ciudad de Aurora te invita a participar en el taller "first Colfax Corridor" (un ejercicio de visión) que se dará como resultado un plan basado en su comunidad para revitalizar el área de la Colfax. Su participación es vital para el éxito de la zona reurbanización y esperamos que usted pueda asistir una de las juntas que se indican aquil.

Para obtener mas informacion llame a Moira Dungan o Mindy Parnes al (303) 739-7250.

WED., July 11
North Middle School
12095 Montview Blvd.
6-8 p.m.

THU., July 12
Kamsy Event Center
10190 Montview Blvd.
6-8 p.m.

Snacks provided.
Bring New Ideas.
Traiga Nuevas Ideas.

Denver Cruiser Ride

It's About The Bikes • It's About The People • It's About The Fun

     The Denver Cruiser Ride offers a unique opportunity to meet up with friends on a weekly basis, not to mention a chance meet a whole cast of characters that come out every week to share in the fun times. The Ride takes place every Wednesday, mid-May thru the end of September, launching from all corners of the city. The East Colfax Contingent meets at 7:00 pm at the Odelay TacosThirtyFourteen • Beetle Bar location (3014 E. Colfax Avenue). 
     Part of the incredible fun of the weekly rides are the connections made over the past 7 years. Many of the 'regular' riders are part of the core fabric of Denver's business, social and lifestyle scene. If you are new to Denver, or want to escape the humdrums of your every day life, these Wednesday night rides are a great way to unplug from the florescent lights and cubical jungles, and let your hair hang down and get on your bicycle and spend an evening smiling and stirring up fun.
     Connecting in this case does not mean with drama, a fist or any other type of foolishness. Been there, done that. However, if you can be respectful of your fellow riders, pedestrians, autos and others' personal property, then by all means, join them. If you are unable to control your behavior, adhere to some basic rules of the road, it may be a good idea to find another place to go, or group to ride with.

Please take a moment to review the Commandments of the Denver Cruiser Ride.

     All riders are encouraged to take a few moments to review the city's bicycle ordinance, and consider their role as it pertains to the rules of the road. Here's the thing, these rules will not be enforced with an iron hand by the Denver Cruiser RIDE, but it's likely that your peers will be on hand to make you to comply. Which kind of rider are you gonna be? This is NOT a Critical Mass ride, if you want to follow their code (if they have one?) then ride with them.
     As with any kind of adventure, there are going to a few commandments one must adhere to be a good neighbor, and the Denver Cruiser Ride has adopted these as our own:

1. Thou shall have fun on the Denver Cruiser Ride. And so it is written. This ride is about FUN. There are no agendas here. No slogans (except “Happy Hump Day!”') that we adhere to. Come out and put a smile on your face and spread joy on a summer's Wednesday night.

2. Thou shalt not make excuses for weather. We ride rain or shine, end of story. As much as we’d like to imagine that we can control the weather, we leave that up to the weather Goddess. So whatever the weather, there will be a ride on Wednesday nights! Last year, on a night filled with tornado watches and pouring rain, we still had brave souls on the ride that didn’t give a rat’s ass about the weather and rode anyway. Don't miss it! These have always been some of the funnest nights … and what, are you gonna melt, sugar pie?

3. Thou shalt not run red lights. Sure it seems stupid to wait at a light in Downtown when there are no cars coming, but think of this as time to socialize or break into an impromptu dance party until the light changes to green. We guarantee this is more fun than being marked like Cain for being stupid idiot.

4. Blessed be the Hump Day. There are other days you shall labor and do all your work, but the blessed day - Hump Day - is the day of the Cruiser Ride. In it you shall do naught but put on ridiculous costumes and ride thy bicycle. And so it is written. Keep it holy.

5. Honor the Denver Municipal Bicycle Code. Yes, honor your father and your mother, too, but the high holiness that is the Denver Municipal Bicycle Code must receive the respect and honor it deserves so that that your days may be long upon the land. Yes, this means you. What we are saying, in as plain of terms as the gibberish in the fine books of the Lord: Don’t break the laws or else your peers will rain down something a helluva lot worse than fire and brimstone on you.

6. Thou shall not over-embibe. If you CHOOSE to drink, for the love of god, just do it responsibly. Yes, there are rules, laws and limits. But the basic reality is we don't want to, nor are we going to be, your mommy. No, really. And, as explained in Commandment 5 above, obeying the already rules in place in the City of Denver is a key component - and as much as you'd like to believe that you are above the laws of our brethren, open-container laws exist and you are not exempt just because you’re atop a sweet cruiser bicycle. You know your limits - just be "smart" and we won't have any problems. Again, we don’t wanna see you be smitten.

7. Thou Shall Not Be Unsafe. You are riding at your own risk, and the Denver Cruiser Ride is not yo’momma. In other words, we’re not liable if you decide to act like a doofus and end up getting hurt. If you can’t behave, stay home. Can’t say it any clearer than this: the Denver Cruiser Ride, and anyone associated with the ride, assumes no liability for your behavior, the results of that behavior, or your safety. You ride at your own risk. So bless thy bike and join in, just don’t be a jackass. Click here for all the legal mumbo jumbo that describes your liability here.

8. Thou shall not litter. Litterers are worse than Judas. Seriously, don’t stab your city in the back. We’re all adults, and we clean up after ourselves. Leave no trace means we leave everything in better condition than when we found it. Ignore this rule and you will be publicly ridiculed until you want to hide in a cave for three days. Your call.

9. Thy opponent with the most lug nuts wins.
An easy measurement to gauge what user has the “right of way” on the road, all you have to do is count the lug nuts on their rig…in other words, get the &$%@ out of the way for automobiles, trucks and buses. This ain’t a David and Goliath situation and we don’t want to be forced to scrape you off the street because you don't have the good sense the lord gave you to get off your high seat. Set an example for other riders by being a good rider.

10. Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s bicycle or significant other. Keep yer hands off what isn’t yours. There are sweet rides everywhere. Use them to inspire your creativity. Don’t poach or steal and please be respectful of each other. If you want drama, watch TV. We've seen it aplenty, and you should treat the Denver Cruiser Ride as your mistress, and quit trying to fuck everyone on the ride. The jr. high school behavior is seriously getting tiresome. As the good book says, treat others as you'd like others to treat you. It's pretty basic stuff people.


The goal has always been to create a safe environment for all riders, but as luck would have it we cannot control, nor do we desire to, every rider's behavior. We promote personal responsibility, and it is each rider's responsibility to take care of themselves, and if they choose to ride with us, then they accept those risks inherent in riding with a bicycle with large group of other people riding bicycles. The Denver Cruiser Ride has a liability waiver that each rider acknowledges that they've read HERE

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Extraterrestrial on Colfax

Presented by Mile High Cinema


Thursday, June 28, 9:30pm - 11:15pm in Denver, CO at Denver Film Center $9.00 

      EXTRATERRESTRIAL is the sexy and hilarious new sci-fi comedy from director Nacho Vigalondo (TIMECRIMES). When Julio wakes up in a strange apartment after a night of partying, he’s pleasantly surprised to discover it belongs to a beautiful one-night-stand he can’t remember - Julia. What’s already an awkward situation is made even more so when they discover a giant flying saucer hovering above the city, which is now deserted. Now Julio must contend with a jealous ex-boyfriend, an eccentric neighbor – and very possibly the end of the world! 
     Join Denver's own Mile High Cinema for an exclusive one-night only screening of Nacho Vigalondo's alien invasion dramatic comedy EXTRATERRESTRIAL. They will be doing a special Q&A via Skype with Nacho and screening one of his short films before Extraterrestrial, so don't miss out!

Special Giveaways After The Screening! After the screening they will be giving away DVDs and posters, so be sure to stick around!

Edmond's Gourmet Popcorn

     Edmond’s Gourmet Popcorn, at 2418 E. Colfax Avenue, is the one place where you can find out-of-this-world gourmet popcorn in a wide variety of flavors with incredible taste. Whether you are looking for a more savory treat or a sweet popcorn snack they have it all. Their gourmet popcorn is the perfect goody to have for office parties, holiday parties, social gatherings, corporate gifts, or they are the perfect snack while enjoying a good movie. Choose anything from their caramel popcorn to their intense cheesy hot popcorn. Explore their world of amazingly decadent popcorn treats.
     Edmond's Gourmet Popcorn is healthy, all natural, and made fresh every day with coconut oil. The taste is totally different from what you normally get in Colorado.  Chicago Mix is their biggest seller. They also have flavors such as apple cinnamon and caramel nut. The corn is grown in Nebraska and purchased from the best corn grower in the country.
     Freddie Edmonds is from Chicago, and in Chicago, popcorn is big– just like pizza there. Freddie and his wife moved to Denver in 2000, but they went back and forth to Chicago and always brought back popcorn.  After completing their research on the gourmet popcorn business they decided to open Edmond’s Gourmet Popcorn right here on Colfax Avenue!
Get a taste of the windy city right here in colorful Colorado.
Order a taste of Chicago style gourmet popcorn.

Summer of Sex and Torture at The Edge

Tickets available at

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Electric Vehicle Charging Station
     The first of forty Electric Vehicle Charging Stations to be added this year at Walgreen's pharmacies across Colorado is now at East Colfax Avenue and Race Street in Denver, where EV's can be charged for free — at least for now. "Every extra minute that an EV-driving customer idles in store aisles will pay off," store manager Shawn Horst said.
     A new law, effective in August, slashes state regulation so that anybody can resell electricity. Traditionally, only utilities could do that. Now anybody with property and access to electricity can install an EV charging station. Colorado clean-technology industries sponsored the legislation aimed at enabling EV charging beyond homes. Auto dealers embraced it.
     For around $5,000, you too could own a filling station — selling not gas but electricity! 
     Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper backed the law as a way to spur entrepreneurs to install e-chargers at grocery stores, hotels, malls, cafes and other urban spots. It is part of a broadening "electric vehicle readiness" campaign aimed at cleaning metro Denver's ozone-prone air by shifting to battery-powered transport.
     Today, about 1,200 electric vehicles (and 35,000 hybrids) are registered to roll on Colorado roads out of 5.1 million vehicles.
     So far, about 60 mostly free charging stations have been installed statewide.

Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Opens New Facilities


Supportive Housing and Integrated Health Care Help Bridge Growing Gaps
Denver, CO – June 26, 2012 (Press Release)

Renaissance West End Flats - Photo by Jonny Barber
      The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and its subsidiary Renaissance Housing Development Corporation have just completed a newly constructed, 101 unit, mixed-use, supportive housing development at West Colfax Avenue and Zenobia Street, to meet the housing and healthcare needs of homeless and low-income families and individuals. The Renaissance West End Flats and West End Heath Center now sit on the site of the former biker bar – the Shuffle Inn – helping to revitalize the West Colfax Corridor.
The Shuffle Inn
      The Renaissance West End Flats integrates 50 supportive housing apartments for chronically homeless families and individuals with 51 apartments for low-wage families and individuals who are unable to afford market housing in the West Denver neighborhood.
     The development includes a 5,500 square foot West End Health Center, the first new integrated health clinic serving homeless and at risk families and individuals in Denver funded through the Affordable Care Act. The health center will provide increased access to integrated medical, behavioral health and social services to homeless and uninsured individuals in West Denver.

When: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Where: 1490 North Zenobia Street, Denver, Colorado 80204 (just east of Sheridan on Colfax)
John Parvensky – President, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
Susan Shepherd – Denver City Council, District One
Paul Washington – Executive Director, Denver Office of Economic Development
Pat Coyle – Director, Colorado Division of Housing
Leroy Brown – Director, Community Planning and Development, Denver Regional Office, HUD
Patrick Gillies – Administrator, HRSA Region VIII
Anne Warhover – President and CEO, The Colorado Health Foundation
Property & Clinic Tours
Bette Iacino
Director of Education and Advocacy
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
(303) 285-5223
biacino (at) coloradocoalition (dot) org

Taki's Golden Bowl

Hisashi “Taki” Takimoto died on February 9th, 2009, after almost 20 years of serving delicious and healthy Japanese food on East Colfax Avenue in Denver.  Arigatou gozaimasu, Matt-san! for this visual tribute to the great man. You can see more of Matt's work at Square 1 Comics.

Today, Taki’s Golden Bowl is still serving the best inexpensive, quick and healthful meal on Capitol Hill at 341 East Colfax Avenue.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Amsterdam Coffee Lounge Fundraiser

The Amsterdam Coffee Lounge 

Your chance to help us get open sooner is right around the corner.

Friday, June 29th, 2012
The Amsterdam Coffee Lounge
4918 E Colfax Ave at the Elm St. light
7:00pm - 10:00pm
(get yours soon by email, or send your request to and we will get you one)

     As you may or may not know, the former Geez Louise Coffee House was closed in February, due to a substantial rent increase. Our new concept, The Amsterdam Coffee Lounge, has a simple, straightforward approach.  Become more efficient, Build a relaxing environment, Offer a better, more diverse product and Stay open later. We are so close now, having done all of this so far on a very limited budget.
     We stayed in the community because this is an amazing community that needs great organic coffee. Now we need you, the community. At this event, you can purchase discounted special offers- from our bottomless coffee mugs to our bottle of wine a month club, or bag of beans a month club, we can collect the modest amount of money we need to finish up and open our doors.
     A $10 donation gets you free beer, wine or coffee throughout the event!
This is a chance for us to show you the place, how far we have come, and how close we are to being open.
     Keep your eyes open for your Special Invitation coming soon!

(Limited time only)
Anyone who sends a donation of $20 or more to help us open sooner will get a coffee gift card as personal thank you. 

Donate $100 or more and get free coffee every day for a month!

Send your donation to:
The Amsterdam Coffee Lounge
c/o Dan Gundlach
PO BOX 40942
Denver, CO 80204
  or write

...Thank You for your love and your support!

Letter to Artists from Visionbox

Dear Denver Artists,
     I came to Denver in 1991 to be the Head of Acting at the National Theatre Conservatory at the DCPA. Tony Church was the Dean and we worked closely for many years developing the program, teaching, directing and working together. Tony was an actor from the Royal Shakespeare Company and he combined an extraordinary professional life in the theatre with a love for actors and all artists and a commitment to training. I was a young director from The Yale School of Drama with experience in new play development and a love of Shakespeare found touring with the Acting Company out of Juilliard. After 18 years of working with extraordinary faculty, students, and professional artists I developed strong ideas about actor training and I confirmed what I always knew; that actors were an essential force in the theatre and necessary to the health of our culture. I also learned that too often these sensitive, passionate, complex people were undervalued and under supported in the creative process and in their careers.
     After leaving the NTC in 2008 I spent two years teaching, directing, observing and learning about the Denver theatre and arts community. I have come to the belief that Denver Culture is growing and developing at an amazing rate and that we are on the verge of a major break through in the professional arts. Actors from the NTC have graduated, gone away and returned to Denver. Actors who have been in Denver for many years have had many more varied opportunities as new companies keep emerging. It seems it might be possible to have a professional life in the theatre and arts in Denver after all.
     I want to support actors. I want to create a professional Studio where actors can get professional actor training at whatever stage they are in their development. And I want to support the actor as artist; the actor as a necessary contributor to our community and the arts as a whole. Acting is a collaborative discipline. Actors need other actors and artists to work. I want to offer actors a place to meet actors and artists from all disciplines to study, explore new ideas and new forms and develop new work.
     In an age where economics are controlling so many of our decisions we are moving away from process in education to the pursuit of product over all. Students worry about finding a job and career that will pay the bills as opposed to pursuing their passion and talent. Training programs are turning away from theatre and focusing on film and video production. The technology we have at our fingertips is extraordinary and we must celebrate it, study it, teach it and use it in our work. But we cannot abandon the language and literature of live performance. My mentor, Gerry Gutierrez, used to talk about the monks in the Middle Ages keeping the alphabet alive. We must keep the performing arts alive by training the next generation of American artists in the language and literature of the theatre. Visionbox will focus primarily on the study of Acting through the exploration of the language, writing, history, and technique in the theatre.
     We have been moving farther and farther away from a simple good life. The stress and anxiety of our difficult economy is the focus of our day-to-day experience. We need artists now more than ever, we have doctors to heal our bodies, but we need artists to heal our souls. They need our continued support and we must also nurture the next generation. I have been blessed with a life in the theatre. I have been a professional director and acting teacher for almost 30 years and my work has given me the strength to endure and to have faith. But my own ego is no longer tied to my own work. I feel great happiness in helping other artists become the best of themselves. I want to help students and professionals grow and find their own voice by sharing my education, training and experience. I hope you will help Visionbox become a reality by being with us as the work begins.
Jennifer McCray Rincon 

Visionbox is currently working in the space at L2 Arts and Culture Center, 1477 Columbine Street (corner of Colfax Avenue and Columbine), Denver CO 80206. Find out more at

Teachers currently working with Visionbox include Ms. Boulgakova, who will teach Stanislavski based exercise work and acting basics throughout the Visionbox summer intensive.

Galina Boulgakova
     Galina Boulgakova received her Masters of Fine Arts in Theater and Film from the Moscow Art Theater Conservatory. A highly skilled practitioner and instructor of the renowned Stanislavski system of acting, she traveled specifically to the United States to develop her practice for the screen and stage. Over the last seven years, Galina has developed unique styles and methods for acting by focusing on the essence of performance. This amalgamation of great contemporary teachers and their methods from around the world is grounded in the belief that actors must be professional and truly psychologically safe for the acting craft that is so needed today.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Umconscious - The Avenue

Denver band Umconscious made this video featuring Colfax Avenue landmarks to promote their album The Avenue.

National Humane Alliance Fountain

(courtesy of the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library)
     Between 1906 and 1912, the National Humane Alliance presented somewhere around 125 Horse Watering Troughs to cities and towns across the country, including Denver. Herman Lee Ensign, who died in 1899, dedicated his fortune to funding the National Humane Alliance in order to "spread about humanitarian ideas among the people." Such education, Ensign hoped, would instill in people "especially the young, ideas of humanity both to the lower animals and to each other." The fountains were produced in Vinalhaven, Maine, an island off the coast from Rockland. One of the fountains was relocated to a park in Derby, Connecticut; their community has a web page that offers great information and photographs of the fountains from across the country.

     The Denver fountain is located in a small, paved triangle in the Civic Center District, where Colfax Avenue, Tremont Street, and 13th intersect. Although the fountain was refurbished in 2010, unfortunately, the fountain no longer works.

National Humane Alliance Fountain - Photo by Jonny Barber

City Park Esplanade Farmer's Market

Presented by Kaiser Permanente
Sundays, May 13 – Oct 28, 9 am – 1 pm
E. Colfax Avenue & Columbine St.

Open rain, snow or shine and all holidays.

The Farmer's Markets produced by Colorado Fresh Markets are family farmer owned and operated featuring Colorado farm products, specialty food items and everything that's fresh in a fun and festive outdoor shopping environment. You'll find hot food, cool beverages, special events, gardening tips from Master Gardeners and Composters, live music and more.

The City Park Esplanade on Colfax Avenue is the perfect spot for a good old-fashioned Farmers’ Market. Around the historic Sullivan Fountain every Sunday through October is a seasonal open air market offering veggies and fruit, as well as flowers, bedding plants, herbs, artisan cheeses, natural meats, gourmet foods and Colorado wines. City Park Esplanade Farmers Market boasts the same vendors as Saturday’s Cherry Creek’s Fresh Market, but is usually less crowded. It’s also a perfect spot for a picnic – just grab some fresh fruit, some bread and cheese and find a nice spot in the sun.

The average piece of produce travels 2000 miles before it reaches you and with each day loses more of its nutritional value. Shopping at Colorado Fresh Markets helps local family farmers stay in business, preserves quality local food sources for Colorado while using less resources, and most importantly, provides you with access to the freshest and most nutritious produce available. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rail City Soul Club

Mile High Beer Festival

05The Mile High Beer Festival  |  August 4, 2012  |  Denver, CO
Ogden Theater  |  935 E. Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80218  |
     Join us for the first annual Mile High Beer Festival at the famous Ogden Theater on August 4th! This spectacular beer bonding experience will feature over 75+ brews from some of the best brewers in the nation coupled with live music and more! Guest can choose to delight themselves to an exclusive VIP hour prior to the mass public entry which will include a collectors beer tasting glass, food and exclusive deals to local businesses. All general admission tickets include a taster cup, unlimited tastings, live music and more all within the famous theater in the heart of Denver! Please drink responsibly!

The Mile High Beer Festival features LIVE music from local mountain string band, Chain Station

Life on Capitol Hill's History

LIFE… how it all began

The first 20 years of local newspaper Life on Capitol Hill.


     When I conceived of this publication I never envisioned it would continue to serve Capitol Hill this long. Those many years ago I was sitting at the kitchen table in my very small buffet apartment at 16th & Williams (now a residence for seniors), writing copy, assembling ads and preparing the layout for the first edition of Life on Capitol Hill, which hit the streets March 15, 1975.
     I had lived on Capitol Hill for a scant six months but had already observed that the people of the much-maligned neighborhood had a real sense of community. Regardless what others said about crime here, the varied and interesting peoples of this neighborhood had an especially strong pride in their community, a sense of living in a special place.
     A month before that first edition I visited the president of Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN) and told her of my plans. She was pleasant, but she said something along the lines of, “You have spent the last dozen years living in Lakewood, and you plan to publish a newspaper for our neighborhood?”
     That was Rhonda Knop. She went on to become one of Denver’s top Realtors. Her question was well-founded, but I quickly immersed myself in the life of my new-found favorite neighborhood. I soon learned that Capitol Hill has more organizations (neighborhood, lifestyle, religious, education-related, civic, service, etc.) than any other community in the state.
     LIFE began as a weekly with a 15¢ price tag. I quickly learned that that wasn’t going to work. I needed to get as many readers as possible so I could sell ads. Ultimately, advertising is what was going to pay the bills.
     We started printing by 20,000 copies. My kids, the kids of friends, and several neighborhood people were our delivery crew in those early days. We delivered the papers to the doorstep of every home, apartment and condo we could get to in “Greater Capitol Hill” (a term we coined for the area between Broadway and Colorado Blvd. from Speer Blvd. to 20th Ave.).
     By the following July my new wife-to-be had arrived from rural northern Illinois. She and her daughters joined our door-to-door delivery effort. At the end of that weekend she asked how much money we had made. I had to tell her that we really hadn’t even made enough money to cover that edition’s costs, and I had a few thousand dollars of debt.
     She wisely counseled me to not put out another edition until I had enough advertising money in hand to pay for it.
     LIFE suddenly became a monthly publication.
     Over the years that followed a large number of writers, would-be-writers, photographers and cartoonists chose to contribute their work to produce a better neighborhood newspaper. I couldn’t pay them much, but they wrote, photographed and drew anyway.
     Early contributors included City Councilwoman Cathy Donohue, State Sen. Barbara Holme and State Reps. Jerry Kopel and Jack McCroskey.
     We covered the efforts of legitimate and less-than-legitimate developers as they sought to make their mark on our neighborhoods. Most importantly, we covered the diverse and wonderful people of Capitol Hill, and their efforts (big and small) to make this the best community in the state.
     I observed many people as they made a variety of personal contributions to our community, including: Colorado Free University (CFU) founder John Hand, former DA Dale Tooley, Mike Henry, Jack Robinson (former leader of Colfax on the Hill), Tom Knorr (long-time community activist & executive director of CHUN), Sally Kurtzman, Walt Young, and Grandma “A” (Anderson), who used her life to support many neighborhood efforts while helping numerous young people.
     They are just a few of the many special people I count it a privilege to have known and worked with.
    Capitol Hill has also always had its share of characters too, of course, many of whom I have known. One example: Sid King, who operated the Crazy Horse Bar years ago at Colfax & Marion. Most of the Capitol Hill characters I met over the years shall go un-named, however.
     When finances finally allowed, I hired editors to make their mark on our little publication. I always had other entrepreneurial activities that divided my time.
     One of the early editors was Dwight Filley. He went on to take a leadership role within Colorado’s Independence Institute, and continues to be a “Fellow” with them. John Kadlecek also spent a few years editing LIFE. He later edited a variety of other newspapers and magazines, including the once-successful glossy Peak To Peak.
     Pat Pasco followed John. At the time, Pat’s husband Monty was a Colorado legislator. After editing LIFE, Pat went on to make her mark on the political scene, too, first as a state representative and then as a state senator.
     Rory Seeber was my last editor. After working together for a couple of years, I sold LIFE to Rory and his wife Hilleary Waters in 1995. They are still LIFE’s publishers and continue its tradition of serving the people of Capitol Hill.

1995 to the present


    Like Stu before me, I am astounded at the rapid passage of time since my wife Hilleary Waters and I took over LIFE’s operations.
    At the time, we were both working two jobs and I had to convince her that we could eventually make the business support us and our then six-year-old son.
    I moved to Colorado in 1972 and to the Hill at about the same time Stu was founding this publication. My wife-to-be followed in 1983. (I met her later when I rented her an apartment. We married in 1985).
    When we took over LIFE, Hilleary’s experience had mostly been in retail sales, while I had been somewhat of a ne’er-do-well freelance writer for the better part of 25 years. I had supported my creative habit by a variety of vocations, including bartender, cabbie, chauffeur, apartment manager, bookkeeper and theatre business manager, among others.
    I had published perhaps 250 articles, mostly in magazines and almost all local, and considered myself to be a “garbage man,” able to write convincingly on most any topic.
    In addition, with my identical twin brother Rick I had written and produced 14 stage productions, including children’s musicals (mostly presented at the old Bonfils Theatre cum Lowenstein cum Tattered Cover) and a variety of musical revues and comedies.
    We even managed to produce an Off-Broadway play, The Singular Dorothy Parker, a one-woman show.    (Every critic loved it... except for Mel Gussow of the New York Times.)
    I got the job as a writer for LIFE when I picked up a 12-page issue and couldn’t help but notice more than 200 errors, mostly typographical and grammatical. I marked them all in red and sent the paper to Stu, whom I didn’t know, telling him he needed an editor.
    Not the best way to apply for a job, but it worked. I became a part-time contributor to the paper (he wanted an ad salesman too, but in the works of Tommy LaSorda, I “included myself out” of that part of the biz) and over a period of five years or so I became the managing editor.
    I didn’t earn much, but it was certainly a learning experience.
    When I started with the paper we didn’t still use hot lead linotype, but the production process wasn’t much more advanced than that until just recently. We’d submit our copy and it would be entered by a “typesetter” using some odd software on a monster of a machine. Then we’d pick it up, cut it into columns and begin the laborious one- or two-day task of actually cutting and pasting together an issue on cardboard flats.
    Today I wonder how we survived those pre-PC & MAC days. Now of course, a mere 14 years or so later, it’s all done on computers.
    We’ve both learned by doing. Everything. Layout, ad design, pricing, distribution, bulk mailing, reporting, assignments, personnel management, and accounts receivable & payable.
    After a year of ownership, we changed the layout of LIFE... creating a new masthead, utilizing different fonts, altering add sizes, and adding more color... almost completely under Hilleary’s and graphic designer Tim Berland’s hands. We did that again in 2006.
    I slowly changed the focus of the paper, increasing the number of photos and illustrations and enhancing the coverage of news from the neighborhoods.
    One of the benefits of publishing a monthly is that I normally have more time to research the news articles, which allows for fuller coverage of distinctly neighborhood news than that provided by the dailies.
    I’ve also strived to really just report news stories and not just pay lip service to objectivity, accuracy, fairness and a lack of bias, preferring to cover every “side” of an issue so LIFE’s readers can draw their own conclusions without the benefit of my opinion, or that of the reporters.
    We hope you continue to enjoy LIFE, and, if you live north of Colfax up to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., its sister paper, the eight-year-old Neighborhood Life.
    The “experts” (probably the same folks who predicted flying cars) say that the future of the newspaper business is in small, community-based coverage both in print and online.
    We’ve got 33 years of experience with the print version and with the assistance of our readers we plan on making our online version just as complete, helpful and well-read.
    Thank you for reading LIFE.

Journeys Backyard Barbeque Tour

     A mix of motocross, music, extreme sports and exciting creativity, the Journeys Backyard Barbeque Tour is rolling to the Colorado Mills Mall on June 23, 2012, for some free summer fun. The mall, at 14500 W. Colfax Ave. in Lakewood, is the last of 12 stops the tour will make during its seventh annual trip across the country. From noon to 7 p.m. visitors will not only be able to see some of the work of top BMX and motocross riders and skaters, they will hear free live music and get a chance to help design a new shoe for Converse.
     “It was very important to Journeys to put together an event that made sense for their audience, with all the elements that reflects their company — music, design and extreme sports,” said Brian Gass, organizer of the tour. “It all came together into this cohesive event that everyone can relate to and everyone can come together at.”
     The event features a 32-foot-long mobile music stage and a 60,000-square-foot “action sports playground” of jumps and ramps, which the Metal Mulisha freestyle motocross team will use to perform jumps and flips more than three stories high.
      BMX riders from Team etnies will also use the playground to show off their skills, while professional skaters Devine Calloway, Nick Garcia and Chris Haslam and others will tear it up on the ramps.
     “It’s really an amazing opportunity for people to get up-close with these athletes,” Gass said. “Rodney Mullen, one of the fathers of skateboarding, who was actually in the very first Tony Hawk skating video game, will also be on hand.”
     According to tour publicist Beth Pursley, Colorado is one of only two stops where there will be a wakeboarding demonstration in addition to the concrete jungle sports. All the athletes will be available for autographs and meet-and-greets after they perform, which gives attendees a rare chance to get up close and personal.
     “The fact that you get up close to these action-sports stars is pretty amazing,” Pursley said. “At events like the X-Games, you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near them.”
     Music will fill the area, with a battle of the bands between locals Saving Avery, The Field, The Ocean and Fulcrum. Headliners are Hit the Lights and early post-punk icons Eve 6.
     “Including music in the tour was very important,” Gass said. “It’s one of those elements, a constant, that everyone can relate to.”
     An interactive fun zone with all kinds of booths and games will also be set up, including a booth by Converse called “Punk Your Chucks,” where artists can use a Sharpie to design a shoe. A winner will be picked at each stop on the tour, with one winner’s design put into production by Converse.
Journeys will donate the shoes that weren’t used or didn’t make the cut to local nonprofits. All the shoes from Colorado Mills will be going to the Broomfield-based A Precious Child, which will be donated to children in need as part of the nonprofit’s “Share On” program.
     “Since we’re only selecting one shoe as a winner, there will be hundreds to donate,” Pursley said.
     "This is a pretty amazing operation, and the shoes that were created last year just flew off our shelves,” said Aaron Smith, director of development and marketing at A Precious Child. “There’s always a need for shoes, and we can’t stock them fast enough.”
     With so much to see and do, Gass expects this year’s event to be the biggest yet. “It’s a great opportunity to see it all in one place, and you can’t beat that it’s free,” he said.

For more information on the tour, go online to

Today is National No Panty Day

National No Panty Day - Please do your part.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Aurora's Children's Hospital One of Best in Nation

Children's Hospital on East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, Colorado (Photo by Anistacia Barber)
     Children's Hospital Colorado once again has been ranked among the nation's top ten children's hospitals in the U.S. News & World Report 2012-13 Best Children's Hospitals rankings, now available online at Children's Colorado has been ranked in all ten specialties. High rankings in a minimum of three specialties qualified Children's Hospital Colorado for the 2012-13 Best Children's Hospital Honor Roll, a distinction awarded to only 12 children's centers nationwide.

     Children's has been ranked a top children's hospital by U.S. News & World Report every year since the inception of its rankings edition in 1993. Five specialties were ranked among the top 10: Diabetes & Endocrinology (No. 4), Pulmonology (No. 6), Cancer (No. 8), Orthopedics (No. 9) and Gastroenterology (No. 10). The other specialties were ranked as follows: Neonatology (No. 18), Neurology & Neurosurgery (No. 19), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (No. 20), Urology (No. 38) and Nephrology (No. 45).
     "This is great news for all the children we care for who continue to have access to the nation's top doctors and hospital professionals in their own communities," said Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE, president and CEO, Children's Colorado. "This ranking is just one indicator of the excellent patient care and the pioneering research conducted here. Our greatest recognition comes from patients, families and colleagues who consistently compliment and value the outstanding pediatric healthcare we provide."
     "Children's Hospital Colorado deserves high praise for its accomplishments," said Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. "Its dedication and expertise reach across multiple specialties, as shown by its Honor Roll listing."
     The rankings feature 50 hospitals in each of 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology. Eighty hospitals across the country ranked in one or more specialties.
     For families of sick children, Best Children's Hospitals provides unparalleled quality-related information in addition to rankings, including survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing, procedure volume, and much more. Since their debut, the rankings have put an increasing emphasis on data that directly reflect hospitals' performance over the opinions of physicians.
     This year, U.S. News surveyed 178 pediatric centers to obtain hard data such as availability of key resources and ability to prevent complications and infections. The hospital survey made up 75 percent of the rankings. A separate reputational survey in which 1,500 pediatric specialists-150 in each specialty-were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty made up the remaining 25 percent.
The full rankings and methodology are available at The rankings will also be published in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook, which will be available in August.