Free Spanish Classes
Spanish Learning Network has received grant funding to offer free Spanish classes through the end of the school year—and possibly beyond—to Denver Public Schools parents, guardians, grandparents, volunteers and district staff members. Classes begin in January. To sign up, fill out the Google form available in the online version of this story at DenverNorthStar.com or visit www.spanishlearningnetwork.com. You will be guided into the level and class schedule that’s right for you.
Denver’s Treecycle Program
Denver’s annual Treecycle program began Jan. 2 and runs until the end of the month. Denver residents can recycle their Christmas trees at designated drop sites. To participate, ensure all decorations, lights and tree stands are removed before dropping off the tree at a collection site near you.
Weekday drop sites are open Jan. 2-31 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations:
- Cherry Creek Transfer Station – 7301 E. Jewell Ave. (enter on E. Jewell Ave.)
- Havana Nursery – 10450 Smith Rd. (enter on Smith Road)
- Central Platte Campus – 1271 W. Bayaud Ave. (next to the Denver Animal Shelter)
North Denver Saturday drop sites are open Jan. 20 and 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at:
- Sloan’s Lake Northwest Parking Lot – W. Byron Pl. and Yates St.
- Bruce Randolph – E. 40th Ave. and Steele St.
Trees received at Treecycle drop sites will be turned into mulch made available to Denver residents for free at the annual Mulch Giveaway in the spring. Residents who don’t wish to recycle their trees can set them out for collection on their large item pickup day. Trees left out for large item pickup will not be turned into mulch.
Complying with Denver’s New Minimum Wage
Denver’s minimum wage increased to $18.29 on Jan. 1. Employers in the food and beverage industry can claim up to $3.02 per hour in tip credits, so the 2024 tipped wage is now $15.27 per hour.
Denver Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien, CPA, wants to ensure that employers comply. O’Brien’s office said that the most common mistakes employers make are: not paying Denver’s minimum wage if their business is near the border of the city or county; claiming a tip credit for workers who are not qualified for the food and beverage tip credit; and setting wage rates based on the location of their office instead of the location where the work was performed in Denver.
“Often, underpaying workers is an honest mistake,” O’Brien’s office said. “If you think you might have underpaid your workers, let us know and we will work with you to make it right. Remember: Every worker and every income level is protected from wage theft under Denver law. By enforcing and educating equally citywide, we are ensuring well-intentioned employers are not undercut by competition not paying their workers.”
Visit www.denvergov.org/auditor if you believe you have been the target of wage theft or if you are a business looking for tools like an interactive wage map to see if Denver’s wage laws apply to your work, a tips tracker for the food and beverage industry, and an employer brochure listing your documentation and legal requirements.
Snow? Make it GO
With winter upon us, it’s a good time for a refresher on city rules for snow and ice removal, as well as other ways to be a good neighbor and keep sidewalks safe for everyone who uses them.
Denver requires that property owners clear snow and ice from their sidewalks, including adjacent ADA ramps and bus stops, by the day after a snowfall. Businesses need to clear their sidewalks immediately once snow has stopped falling.
Residents with concerns about snow and ice left on sidewalks more than 24 hours after a snow event may call Denver 311 and provide the address of the unshoveled sidewalk. A city inspector will visit the property and, if snow or ice are still present, leave a timestamped notice. After receiving a notice, businesses have four hours and residences have 24 hours before an inspector’s re-check and a potential $150 fine.
Denver’s Snow Angels program matches neighborhood volunteers with residents who are physically unable to shovel and financially unable to pay for a service. To sign up for or volunteer with Snow Angels, call 720-913-SNOW (7669) or email email@example.com.