VOLUME 38, EDITION 5
Message From the President
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this message finds you healthy, safe, and in good spirits. The May 2020 edition of the Urban Dweller, Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods' (CHUN) monthly e-newsletter, is available online. Here is the latest from your registered neighborhood organization and advocate:
Travis Leiker, MPA
President | Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, Inc.
Member of the Month
Vickie Berkley Appointed as VP of Community Engagement
A resident of Capitol Hill since 2012, Vickie Berkley is a professional community developer with over thirty years of experience. For over seven years, she developed and delivered numerous programs for community engaged learning at both CU Denver and the University of Denver. Programs such as CU Denver’s University Technical Assistance and DU Grand Challenges, benefit organizations, small communities and neighborhoods across the state with technical assistance while giving students real world experience. Currently, Vickie serves as a coach to small communities that are implementing Community Heart & Soul, a planning process developed by the Orton Family Foundation. With her experience in mobilizing resources to enhance communities and neighborhoods, Vickie brings what she has learned to her role as a CHUN At-Large Board Member. During her first year on the board, she assisted with organizing CHUN’s 50th Anniversary event and created the SEED Awards - small grants for great ideas to enhance life in the greater Capitol Hill Community. She would like to continue to expand SEED Awards, as well as help with other activities that engage residents in creating a vibrant community life.
Tears-McFarlane Clean Up Day
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods is READY FOR THE SUMMER. Many thanks to Nikki Racelis, Donny Boulanger, Gwen Smith Ehrlich, Peggy Randall, Shirley Howson, Travis Leiker, Randle Loeb, Nicole Cozzi, Rod Mullins for dropping by The Tears McFarlane House and Community Center to help with some heavy landscaping and property beautification. A HUGE SHOUT OUT GOES TO board member Sandy Goldhaber for spearheading the day of volunteerism.
The Center Announces (Virtual) PrideFest Celebration
The Center on Colfax announced that this year’s PrideFest will be a virtual celebration due to limits on large public gatherings in the city of Denver. The shift towards online festivities will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while still providing a safe way to celebrate the culture and heritage of the LGBTQ community.
See all of the amazing and creative virtual activities the Center has planned instead, such as a virtual parade, 5k, dance party and job fair.
Learn more on the DenverPride.org website!
Community Transportation Networks: Get Involved
For more information, contact Sam Piper at 720-865-3102 or email email@example.com.
CARES Act Encourages Charitable Giving
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act was signed into law to help provide financial stability and relief for communities affected by COVID-19 including businesses, individuals, and nonprofits. While the bill is very broad and addresses a number of areas and industries, it impacts charitable giving too*:
Universal Charitable Gift Deduction: Regardless of whether an individual itemizes deductions, they will have the ability for an above-the-line deduction of up to $300 of cash contributions to charities.
Changes to Limits on Charitable Contributions for Individuals: For those who itemize their deductions for charitable giving, the CARES Act lifts the cap on annual charitable giving from 60 percent of adjusted gross income to 100 percent in 2020.
Increases the Limits on Charitable Contributions for Corporations: For corporate charitable giving, the legislation raises the annual limit from 10 percent to 25 percent of taxable income. The cap on deductibility of food donations from corporations would increase to 25 percent of taxable income, up from the current 15 percent cap.
#WeAreOpenDenver: Denver City Council Helps With Small Business Support
To assist small businesses in Denver, the Council District 5 office is working to create an online database of local Denver businesses that remain open and operating during the stay-at-home order. We hope to get the word out so that our residents can be better aware of Denver businesses to support during this time.
Check out the www.weareopendenver.com/ website to learn more and explore the map of businesses that are open and ready to serve you.
Share this with your favorite neighborhood businesses or register your own business!
Please share this online form with any local businesses that remains open in the Capitol Hill area. If you're a Cap Hill area business, fill out the form and let people know you are ready to offer your services to your neighbors.
Office of Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer
Denver City Council District 5
Help Support Local Businesses in Capitol Hill
Here are a few local businesses in Capital Hill that have services available for walk-in, online, pickup, or delivery:
- Barre3: Barre 3 at 6th and Fillmore has a 15 day free on-line trial membership.
- Oliver's Meats: Oliver's at 6th and Gilpin. Has been serving the Capital neighborhood since 1923! Open daily.
- Capitol Heights Pharmacy: Capitol Heights Pharmacy at 12th and Madison is open Monday through Saturday for prescription and wellness needs, including a full liquor store and convenience items.
- Isabee Tweens: Isabee Tweens is located at 6th and Gilpin and while they are closed they have a great online store for "budding fashionistas"
Colorado Crisis Services Helps with Sleep Anxiety
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Having trouble during this stressful time? Colorado Crisis Services can help. Whatever you're going through you don't have to go through it alone.
Call 1-844-493-TALK or text TALK to 38255. Reach out for free, confidential, professional, 24/7 support.
For more information, please visit https://coloradocrisisservices.org/
Denver Awards $1.1 Million to Organizations Providing Workforce and Business Development Support
“With the current challenges the COVID-19 crisis has brought to our community, we’re glad to bring this grant funding at such a critical moment, and in doing so support the organizations that help so many,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “With this funding support, we know these organizations will continue to do great work with compassion and professionalism, and we thank them for their partnership.”
Read the full article and see a list of the award recipients.
CHUN Letter Regarding Golden Triangle Neighborhood & Cheesman Park Views
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN) has received a number of inquiries in recent days concerning the proposed zoning/neighborhood plans for the Golden Triangle Neighborhood and the potential implications for other Denver neighborhoods—namely high-rise structures that may obstruct views of the Rocky Mountains from Cheesman Park.
CHUN is Denver's oldest, largest registered neighborhood organization (RNO). Our geographic boundaries are 22nd Avenue to 1st Avenue, and Colorado Boulevard to Broadway. More than 100,000 Denverites reside within these boundaries. Given the diversity and complexity of our ten neighborhoods, the issues we address are vast and varied. While the Golden Triangle Neighborhood does not fall within our geographic boundaries, we do monitor other neighborhood plans and how they may impact myriad communities. We take a comprehensive, long-term approach to addressing the city's most vexing issues.
The organization has not formally weighed in on the Golden Triangle Neighborhood Plan. After some deliberation however, we feel it is important to reiterate our core organizational values. And in doing so, we encourage Community Planning and Development to take these into consideration as you shape the future of Denver's Golden Triangle and this plan.
- CHUN believes in preserving historic assets.
We are hopeful historic properties, like the Evans School for example, will serve as focal points in the neighborhood. Activating community through preservation and an acknowledgement of Denver's history is essential.
- CHUN has invested in and actively supported community-wide efforts to expand support for museums, libraries, and other cultural facilities.
These programs and institutions are an important part of the Golden Triangle’s neighborhood quality and character. We encourage future neighborhood plans to be mindful of community assets like the Denver Art Museum, the History Colorado Center, the Byers-Evans House and Museum, and other cultural treasures.
- Innovative design and creating opportunities for all to enjoy the Golden Triangle Neighborhood makes sense.
Current and new uses such as restaurants and retail, art galleries, and other uses should be core components of the future plans. We cannot lose sight of Denver’s cultural vitality by casting aside neighborhood character in exchange for dull, uninteresting design.
- Bring Denverites together.
We hope this plan will be comprehensive and provide unique, public spaces for the neighborhood to gather, diversity and inclusivity are essential, and the future of the Golden Triangle should be open and accessible to the many and not just a select few.
- Quality, affordable housing is paramount to the future of Denver.
Should the neighborhood plan proceed, and as rezoning applications and development plans are considered, affordable housing must be central to meet the future needs of Denver's citizens.
- CHUN has affirmed our commitment to environmental sustainability, preservation of parks and green spaces, and combating climate change at the local level.
We love living in an urban setting, but neighbors should not be precluded from enjoying the many beautiful, natural settings we cherish. Our RNO encourages more pedestrian friendly thoroughfares, access to multi-modal transit, and smart environmentally-friendly neighborhood design. Trees, climate appropriate landscaping, and parks should be central to the next phase of our city planning (including the Golden Triangle). Views of the Rocky Mountains and Denver’s tree canopy from our public parks and open spaces, like Cheesman Park, should go unencumbered.
In the weeks and months ahead, we will encourage CHUN’s board and membership to weigh in on this matter and make their individual perspectives known. We will evaluate this process as it moves forward and we will weigh in more formally on the Plan as it is finalized.
CHUN’s mission is Preserving the Past, Improving the Present, and Planning for the Future of Greater Capitol Hill through historic preservation, affordable housing and tackling homelessness, promoting smart land use and zoning, advancing public safety, and encouraging community enhancements through volunteerism and civic engagement. Central to our work is participation and collaboration. That includes working with city planners to make Denver a safe, healthy, prosperous, and more vibrant community. You have our commitment to be a thought-partner and we stand ready to work with you during this process ... and beyond.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Travis Leiker at 303-817-5744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travis Leiker, President
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, Inc.
Feedback Needed on Denver Climate Action Task Force
Do you have ideas on how Denver could be more sustainable and equitable? Want to tell the city what needs to happen in your neighborhood in order to get that way? Have concerns about the current process? You can make your voice heard by submitting feedback to the Climate Action Task Force starting Monday April 20th and ending April 30th. Your voice is essential to Denver’s future.
The Climate Action Task Force has completed a draft set of solutions and is seeking public feedback. Due to the current social circumstances, the in-person working sessions are being replaced with an online interactive feedback platform called Consider.it. The solutions have been pre-loaded into the tool where public participants can openly comment and have discussion about each solution. The tool will be open for the next ten days starting this Monday so we will be sending you periodic reminders to help you as we approach the deadline.
Please help us share this with your colleagues and networks in order to get the widest breadth of response possible. We especially need help in making sure we get in touch with Frontline Communities, People of Color, Vulnerable Groups, and those who may be overlooked. We would like to provide assistance to help everyone get their inputs into this Forum.
Please forward any questions or requests to email@example.com and we will get back to you shortly with an answer.
Metro Caring needs volunteers, donations
Teva Sienicki, CEO of Metro Caring, points out that everybody has a story that revolves around food — whether it’s gardening fresh veggies with a relative, a specific dish that always accompanies a holiday dinner, or cooking that special meal from a recipe that has been passed down for generations.
“Food is something that brings us together,” Sienicki said. “We can love through our sharing of food traditions.”
And during this time of social distancing, Metro Caring is working to continue its mission of providing healthy, nutritious food and spark a togetherness in the community.
Metro Caring, at 1100 E. 18th Ave. in Denver, is a nonprofit anti-hunger organization that primarily serves the seven-county Denver metro area. Metro Caring has an emphasis on providing healthy, nutritious food “while building a movement to address the root causes of hunger,” states its website.
Also In The News
- People across the country are delivering groceries free. It’s ‘solidarity, not charity.’
- Everyone is cleaning more because of coronavirus, but Steve is probably the only one cleaning Denver alleys
- Signs of the virus: ‘To be continued…’ and ‘Be excellent to each other’
- You can thank Jim Scharper for the music over Cheesman Park every night
- All the birds you (and your pets) have seen in Denver while stuck at home
Arts, Culture, and Leisure
- Denver Receives $1,000,000 For Community Solar Gardens
- We need to unpack the ‘diving elk’ that used to be a thing in Denver
- Swallow Hill goes virtual during shutdown: Beloved music institution doing what it can until reopening
- Nobody can visit the Botanic Gardens, but there’s still lots of work to do
- City Park Jazz Cancels 2020 Concert Series, Vows to Pay Performers Anyway
- Pro golf tournament this summer in Berthoud to be held without fans
- Coronavirus roundup: No skiing through May 22, Loveland and Copper address passholders
- How can Denver concert venues continue in the age of social distancing?
- Writing around it: Lighthouse programs help authors channel anxiety into narrative
- Colorado Introduces New ‘Callback’ Option For Frustrated Unemployment Callers
- 'Every single sale means the world to us: 'Small business owners talk COVID-19 hardships
- Some Denver businesses will be very strict about face masks, even have temperature checks
- Is the Stay-at-Home Order the End of the Story for Capitol Hill Books?
- Colfax restaurant that opened, then closed amidst pandemic, is back again
- Franchisee renews lease for first Quiznos location
- Auto repair shop in Cap Hill being replaced with convenience store
- Racine’s to close next year; owners under contract to sell land to developer
- Popular Capitol Hill restaurant to close in early 2021
- Retail landlords weigh what they can offer tenants as April 1 rent due date approaches
- Denver-area home sales took a tumble in April
- Tech entrepreneur, My Brother’s Bar owner pays $2.5M for clocktower’s top floors
- Tattered Cover to relocate LoDo store
- Selling pot amidst the pandemic: A rush followed by a slowdown — and no federal stimulus money
Construction & Development
- Owner of purple Uptown building applies for demolition eligibility as five-story project proposed
- Congress Park apartments sell for $18.9M; special district reworks financing
- Congress Park Apartments Fetch $18.8M In Local Sale
- Red Peak pays $12M for apartment buildings in Cheesman, Congress Park
- Multifamily with two big sites in RiNo eyes Uptown project
- Owner of purple Uptown building applies for demolition eligibility as five-story project proposed
- Third company in 14 months eyes redevelopment by Sports Castle
- Cherry Creek office building sells for $33M
- Denver Public Schools are likely going to do both in-person and remote learning in fall
- Denver Public Schools keeps students fed during remote learning
- Bird and Lime scooters return to Denver streets
- Tens of thousands of people are walking, biking and rolling on Denver streets once dominated by cars. Will they stick around?
- RTD gets $232 million funding jolt from federal coronavirus relief package
- Some Denver streets will close to cars, giving people who walk and bike more elbow room during the coronavirus pandemic
A Special Thanks to Some of Our Business and Community Partner Members: