June 2021 News Shorts

City Seeks Input: Latino/Chicano Historic Context Study
By Kathryn White

The City of Denver’s Landmark Preservation department is conducting its first ever historic context study to focus specifically on one ethnic, racial, or cultural group. The study aims to create an overview of Latino and Chicano communities in Denver up to the 1990’s. It launched a few months ago and will wrap-up in December.

You can participate by filling out the online survey before June 30th or attending an upcoming storytelling workshop. To learn more, visit www.denvergov.org and type “historic context study” into the search tool. A free storytelling workshop will take place downtown on Saturday, June 26th, from 10am to 1pm. It is limited to the first 100 people who register.

Senior City Planner Jennifer Buddenborg says to look for more information soon about their use of the online app Storyvine where people can share their Latino/Chicano heritage through a video recording. She encourages people to get involved, “The information that has been shared by community members thus far through the April 10 community meeting, online survey, and community leader interviews has been deep and rich. It is providing us so much more information than what we have found through traditional archival research. We’re excited for the final historic context report that will guide our understanding and preservation of Denver’s Latino/Chicano heritage.”

Historic context studies identify themes surrounding the history and development of a geographic area. They are common in the historic preservation field. More recently, though, these studies have begun to document the specific histories of populations previously left out of historic and landmark preservation efforts.

Residents Move Into Regis Safe Outdoor Space
By David Sabados

Mark “Shorty” Montes’ temporary home at Regis. Photo by David Sabados

Last month, we wrote about Regis University planning to host a temporary outdoor housing community for people experiencing homelessness. Earlier this month, residents began moving in. The shelters are constructed of ice fishing tents on top of raised wooden platforms. The Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC) has hosted two sites in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and is opening one in Park Hill soon as well in addition to the new Regis location. 

Sanctioned sites include new tents and platforms, hygienic facilities, and communal shade areas. CVC, working with the Saint Francis Center, provides round the clock staffing. The proximity to Federal Blvd allows residents to take mass transit. Most importantly, according to staff and residents, the site provides a safe place for residents to stay at night and store their belongings. Sanctioned sites also allow staff to connect residents with health care, job placement, long term housing, and other wraparound services.

Mark Montes, who goes by Shorty, showed us his new home at the Regis site. Montes takes the bus to work downtown. A North High School graduate, he became homeless as rent prices increased. He’s working with the staff to find permanent housing, and, in the meantime, he’s glad to call the new site home. To read more about Montes, check out the May 18th story about him in Westword.

The site is expected to operate for six months.

Denver City Council Creates Public Defender Style Program for Renters Facing Evictions

Lower income Denverites facing eviction may soon be able to receive help from an attorney thanks to a bill unanimously passed by council. Few renters are represented by attorneys, while the majority of landlords are. One obvious reason is that tenants unable to pay rent are usually not in a position to hire an attorney. Denverites who earn 80% or less of the area median income (roughly $55,000/year) will be able to access the program. At the time of publication, the bill was awaiting Mayor Hancock’s signature to become law. 

Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca released this statement shortly after the vote:

“Passage of this ordinance is a win for renters during a critical moment when pandemic protections are being lifted, and more tenants than ever are vulnerable to evictions in our city. This will now move forward for the Mayor’s signature, after which it will take effect on September 1.

I thank Councilwoman Sawyer for co-sponsoring this legislation with me, and I thank my Council colleagues for passing it. Most especially, though, I thank the community: the tenants, landlords, and service providers who shared their stories with us in helping to draft a bill that meets their needs, as well as all the Denver residents who advocated for and wrote in support of the eviction defense right to counsel.

Much more will be needed to correct the power imbalance between landlords and renters in this state, but this is a first step in the right direction.”

Denver Recreation Centers Phased Reopening Continues

North Denverites looking for a place to swim won’t have to sneak into Rocky Mountain Lake much longer (no really — don’t do that. It’s not sanitary or safe). Denver Parks and Recreation announced that more recreation centers continue to open, including several outdoor pools. Berkeley Pool at Scheitler Rec center and Aztlan Pool are now both open. Highland Rec Center and Rude Rec Center are also both open for workouts in limited capacities. 

Additional recreation center sites, indoor pools, and other activities will continue to open throughout the rest of the year. Prices vary based on activity and many are free for MY Denver, MY Denver Prime, and SilverSneakers members. Full operations will continue to be impacted by staffing restraints as most recreation employees are seasonal and on-call which will require recruiting, hiring and re-training. Available positions in DPR are posted on the city job website at denvergov.org/Government/Departments/Job-Center

Meow Wolf Looks to Hire 150 Denver Hourly Workers 

Meow Wolf, the Sante Fe based arts and entertainment company is opening their Denver location soon, but first they need to hire more staff. The company is looking to hire 150 hourly workers including creative operators who welcome, interact, and encourage guest questions, retail and box office associates, security, restaurant staff, and maintenance staff.

Interested individuals are encouraged to apply online at https://recruiting.paylocity.com/Recruiting/Jobs/Details/585002 and Meow Wolf will hold a job fair from June 25-28th to assess candidates. Pay ranges from $17-$18.40/hr. for all positions with some benefits.

You’re Reading an Award Winning Newspaper!

In the first year we were eligible, The Denver North Star won four awards in The Colorado Press Association’s 2020 contest, including sweeping Best Investigative Story Package by taking both 1st and 2nd place in our classification!

As a newspaper that’s less than two years old, we’re incredibly honored to be so recognized by our peers. While it’s just the specific writers’ names who appear on the awards, the newspaper wouldn’t exist (and certainly wouldn’t be in a position to win) without everyone who writes, edits, designs, delivers, handles the business side of the newspaper behind the scenes, and otherwise helps make The Denver North Star a true community paper.

That of course includes you, our readers. Many stories come from tips and questions you send in, asking us to look into topics ranging from zoning to parks to fenced off old businesses. Please keep the suggestions coming and help us write the pieces you all want to read!

Some months, like last month’s issue, the paper tilts to the more serious side of local news. Others, like this month, tilt towards the lighter. Regardless, each month we try to bring you a mix of serious and light stories about our city and specifically our corner (the best area of the city as far as we’re concerned). Thank you and congratulations to our team and community.

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