2019 news from 80108
Caption and photos by Patte Smith
Prior to their continuation ceremony that was held on March 14, the three classes of fifth grade students at BRE braved the cold and rain and stamped their handprints on the famous “spirit rock” at the school on Monday, May 20. Smearing hands with their favorite colors, each student pressed a special remembrance of their elementary school years into the landmark.
A fitting farewell, the students looked ahead as they will move up to middle school next year.
By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of DCS Montessori
An integral part of the Montessori learning philosophy is empowering students to make the world a better place. This spring, approximately 62 DCS Montessori (DCSM) middle school students chose one of three trips as part of their service-learning curriculum. Some students learned how to peacefully coexist with wolves (see related story page 35), while others traveled abroad to repair roads and trails in primitive villages. Remaining students worked with state parks to ensure public land was respected and protected.
The “No Barriers” flag was the foundation for those students who traveled to Ecuador. No Barriers Youth is a premier educational program that challenges young people to contribute their absolute best to the world. Through transformative experiences, tools and inspiration, No Barriers helped these DCSM students do just that. The students set their expectations and what they hoped to gain from their trip through various words; teamwork, understanding, generosity, unity and kindness.
Students arrived in Yunguilla, Ecuador where they worked with the Cloud Village repairing roads and trails of the primitive village. They stayed with host families and dove right into the local culture. Working on various service projects – from filling potholes in the roads to packaging jam sold at local markets, to working in the gardens – student Alexandra Sayeedi felt most at home working in the local gardens.
Sayeedi gardens at her Castle Pines home and immediately felt connected while working away from home. She never realized how differently people in other countries lived. Sayeedi said the countryside was covered with green, and she loved helping the people of Yunguilla. Sayeedi hopes to have more opportunities to help people from other cultures in the future.
Other adventurous students participated in a five day San Juan River trip. They floated 80 miles down the lower San Juan while receiving lessons in river life and the biodiversity of bat populations from Northern Arizona University.
In addition, they spent time with Friends of Cedar Mesa, a non- profit organization that works to ensure the cultural and natural values of San Juan public lands stay protected. The students provided trail construction and protection service so other visitors can enjoy its beauty and history. The end of their trip brought them to Goosenecks State Park where the students not only rebuilt trails but received a lesson on the ancient Puebloan People and ruins. As lessons were learned and service was granted these DCS Montessori students came home tired but carry a lifetime of memories.
By Patte Smith; photo courtesy of Sidney Clough
The new 2.3-mile RTD Southeast Rail Extension is up and running and for many residents in the southeast corridor, this is very good news. The rail extension consists of three stations – Sky Ridge, Town Center and the end-of-line RidgeGate station with a 1,300-space parking garage.
Commuters are already taking advantage of the Southeast Rail Line and parking garage as they head north, many for work, others for more casual outings.
“We plan to ride the light rail for all kinds of events,” noted a Surrey Ridge resident. “We will take it to Rockies games, the Pepsi Center or downtown to Union Station to dinner. And, we rode the southeast light rail to the Magness Arena at the University of Denver to watch our daughter, a Rock Canyon High School senior, graduate on May 24.”
Future development around Lone Tree and further south off of the I-25 corridor played a key role in getting the Southeast Rail Line approved and constructed. Lone Tree has expanded over the years on the west side of I-25 and will continue to grow on the east side as the future planned Town Center is developed. At this time, there is no public information regarding the light rail line going further south.
Article and photos by Terri Wiebold
On Saturday, May 4, nearly 600 guests gathered at CU Denver South’s campus to learn more about The Canyons in Castle Pines. Visitors learned about the homebuilders and discovered information on planned community amenities.
Shea Homes Colorado Division President Chetter Latcham welcomed participants during each of the three informational sessions and shared his vision of the new residential community.
“We’ve assembled a best-in-class team of planners, landscape architects, home architects, some of Denver’s most reputable homebuilders, marketers, and more, who share in our desire to create an exceptional, multi-generational community,” stated Latcham. “One that’s centered around providing an active, outdoor lifestyle while also respecting the natural beauty that is The Canyons.”
Following the community overview, guests were invited to visit a variety of informational stations comprised of builder representatives, community planners and architects.
City of Castle Pines resident Jeff Buffington was among those interested in gathering more information. He and his family have lived in the Castle Pines community for 16 years – first in GreenBriar and then later in Hidden Pointe. “Now we are looking to downsize to a nice home with a smaller lot, but we still want the schools, the convenient access to I-25 and the light rail,” said Buffington. “I like to mountain bike, so I’d like to learn more about how the trail system in The Canyons will all connect. “My favorite thing about living in this community – and the reason we want to purchase another home here is the outdoor recreation options, it’s close to our work and we have many friends in the area,” he said.
Located at the southeast corner of I-25 and Castle Pines Parkway, The Canyons is a 1,270-acre master planned community comprised of five neighborhoods, featuring 2,000 single and multi-family homes from a variety of builders.
The main roadway leading into The Canyons will feature refined landscaping that transforms into a more natural landscape palette with native plantings. Residents and visitors will then drive through the covered bridge that traverses Newlin Gulch prior to arriving at the community’s first amenity building – The Exchange Coffee House and information center. The Exchange is described on the community’s website as, “what you might find at a high-end spa or resort – we call it ‘retreat living.’ Comfortable, yet with a buzz of positive energy.” The information center located within The Exchange will be the first stop for those seeking additional information about the community and all it has to offer.
Canyon Village will be the heart of the community. All of the trails in The Canyons will lead to this community hub, featuring gathering spots such as two pools, a fitness center and event spaces for children, adults, young families and everyone in between.
Parks, Trails & Open Space
Nearly a third of The Canyons will be dedicated to parks, trails, and open space – including three community parks and more than 15 miles of hard and soft-surface, walkable, bikeable trails. In addition, the community has set aside 40 acres for a dedicated regional park for the City of Castle Pines, as well as 12 acres for future public schools.
The Design Styles of The Canyons
The Canyons will feature the newest interpretations of architecture inherent to Colorado – including modern Colorado, modern prairie, Colorado ranch, craftsman, and chalet.
These styles will be evident throughout the community – from the covered bridge, to the amenity buildings within Canyon Village, to the exterior architectural styles represented in the new home collections offered by each of The Canyons five builders: Shea Homes Colorado (from the $500,000s to $800,000s), Berkeley Homes (from the upper $400,000s), KB Home (from the $400,000s to $500,000s), Infinity Home Collection (from the upper $900,000s), and TRI Pointe Homes (from the $600,000s).
Land and infrastructure development continues and though timing is still tentative, Shea plans to begin presale activity for its first two collections in mid/late July. “We anticipate that Shea and KB Home could celebrate model openings in mid/late September of this year,” stated Shea Homes Marketing Director Cheryl Haflich. “Our other builder partners will follow during the first quarter of 2020.”
For additional information about The Canyons, visit www.thecanyonsliving.com/.
By Patte Smith
Get out your lawn chairs and blankets to celebrate the 4th of July close to home in Castle Rock. While there is no official celebration in town, fireworks will be launched from the Santa Fe Quarry Butte that is located above Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course, south of The Meadows. This is called a “high-flying” show, and there will not be a designated park for the public to watch the fireworks. For more information, visit www.crgov.com.
The Parker Stars and Stripes Celebration will be at Salisbury Park, 12010 North Motsenbocker Road, on July 4 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Six Million Dollar Band will be mixing it up with patriotic music and jamming to ‘80s hits from 6:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. General event admission is free and event parking is $10, cash only. Visit www.parkeronline.org/ for more information.
Highland Heritage Regional Park will begin its 4th of July celebration at 4:00 p.m. concluding with the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. There will be balloon twisters, face painters, games and inflatables, live music and great fireworks. There is shuttle parking available to and from the event from Highlands Ranch High School and Rock Canyon High School. For more information, visit https://hrcaonline.org/.
Hudson Gardens in Littleton features Super Diamond, a Neil Diamond Tribute Band on July 3. The venue opens at 5:30 p.m. with the concert at 7:30 p.m. There is free parking, food trucks, beer and wine, and a stunning outdoor atmosphere. A fireworks display begins after the show. For more information, visit www.hudsongardens.org.
In downtown Denver, the annual Independence Eve Celebration in Civic Center Park on July 3 will feature a free patriotic concert by Chris Daniels and the Kings and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, a stunning light show on the Denver City and County Building and a fireworks finale. Lawn seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so bring blankets or low-rise concert/beach chairs. Attendees are welcome to bring picnics, though concessions will also be available on-site. For more information, visit https://www.denver.org/.
After spending the 4th of July day at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park, take a rest and watch fireworks light up the night sky starting at dusk. For more information, visit www.elitchgardens.com/entertainment/fireworks/.
Take yourself out to the ball game and watch the Colorado Rockies vs. Houston Astros July 2 or July 3 at beautiful Coors Field. Both games are at 6:10 p.m. with fireworks after the game. Get your tickets soon, these games sell out fast! For tickets, visit https://www.mlb.com/rockies.
How about taking the in-laws to see the Denver Outlaws Lacrosse team at Mile High Stadium on the 4th of July? The family can watch the Outlaws vs. the Chesapeake Bayhawks at 7 p.m. and enjoy fireworks after the game. The Denver Outlaw Dancers will be on hand to cheer on the team. For more information, visit www.denveroutlaws.com.
Car racing your thing? At Colorado National Speedway, watch fireworks after the races on July 5 at the Midsummer Meltdown Circle Drags and on July 6 after the Noble Energy Sprint Car Finale. The racetrack is located north of Denver at 4281 Speedway Drive, Dacona. For more information, visit www.coloradospeedway.com/.
While no fireworks at this event in Cherry Creek North, the area is abuzz with the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. This free outdoor event is a cultural celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts. Visitors meet and talk with international visual artists, enjoy a wide range of family-friendly fun and sample fine cuisine. The Cultural Pavilion is where art lovers will find music, dance and theater from around the globe. For information, visit cherrycreekartsfestival.org/.
By Patte Smith, photo courtesy of Hutch Tibbetts, Douglas County Libraries
The Douglas County Community Foundation (DCCF) held its annual Focus Forward Breakfast on April 25 at the Charles Schwab Conference Center in Lone Tree. Speakers addressed the critical needs of Douglas County residents and explained the foundation’s Hearts & Hands Fund that was established in 2018. The fund will provide annual grants to specific Douglas County nonprofit organizations. In 2019, the focus will be on healthy families, such as including services for mental health, nutrition and safe homes.
Guest speaker Bruce DeBoskey, J.D., a philanthropic strategist, spoke to the audience about the importance of educating and encouraging Douglas County donors. Donations to Colorado Gives Day and Douglas County Gives Day continue to rise thanks to the generousity of residents in our community, but many donations do not go to support the local nonprofits in the county.
The DCCF helps donors to make thoughtful decisions and to understand the impact of their donations when giving. The organization inspires generosity and encourages volunteering. For more information about the clear purpose of “thoughtful” giving, visit dccf.org.
Information provided by the City of Castle Pines; photos by Terri Wiebold
Tuesday, May 14 was a historic day in the City of Castle Pines. Unofficial election results showed that residents voted to approve the City’s new Home Rule Charter, making Castle Pines the state’s 102nd, and newest, municipality to be governed by Home Rule.
“This is an exciting achievement for the community,” stated Mayor Tera Radloff. “Home Rule helps set the foundation for building a strong community and really puts into motion our ability to better self-govern and make local decisions that uniquely impact the community and the residents who live here.”
The Charter is the City’s new “constitution” and most important guiding document. In November 2018, 13 Charter Commissioners were elected to draft the new City Charter.
“I want to thank the members of the Charter Commission and the residents of Castle Pines for supporting the efforts of the Home Rule Charter Commission,” said Jeff Huff, Vice Chair of the Home Rule Charter Commission. “Members dedicated many hours to writing the City’s new Charter that will undoubtedly lead Castle Pines into the future.”
With a majority of the votes counted, 77% of the returned ballots show support for home rule. “We had 26% voter turnout,” explained Castle Pines City Clerk, Tobi Basile, “with 1,509 electors voting in favor of Home Rule and 442 voting against.”
Home Rule procedures began immediately for the staff and elected officials. While Home Rule doesn’t have an immediate impact on residents’ daily life, they can expect to see a lot of administrative work by staff taking place. First, the City will begin amending ordinances to come into compliance with the Charter’s new requirements.
Additionally, the City will begin the process to directly collect and audit sales and use tax (both in person and online) beginning January 1, which, under statutory rule, is first collected by the state. Direct tax collection by the City improves tax procedures and guarantees that local tax dollars remain in the community to fund local projects. The City also has greater flexibility, clarity and effectiveness in adopting regulations related to streets and traffic management as well as zoning and development.
Read the City’s new Home Rule Charter at www.castlepinesgov.com/sites/default/files/media/2019-01-30_castle_pines_home_rule_charter_adopted.pdf.
Information provided by the Castle Pines North Metropolitan District
The Castle Pines North Metro District (CPNMD) and Parker Water & Sanitation District (PWSD) boards of directors and district managers met last month for a joint work session to answer two primary questions: In some form or fashion, should CPNMD and PWSD merge their respective water and wastewater services? To what degree would doing so benefit residents, commercial property owners and small businesses of both districts?
The introductory meeting brought the leadership teams of both jurisdictions together to become better acquainted, exchange notes, hear from staff, and build momentum toward the release of much-anticipated study results. From the CPNMD perspective, much optimism was shared:
“Three months ago, during our February Metro District board meeting, I recommended that we intensify a collaborative water and wastewater service-integration feasibility study with the Parker Water & Sanitation District (PWSD),” said CPNMD District Manager Jim Worley. “Our board unanimously embraced that recommendation … Our respective staff/consultant teams are in ‘data-collection mode’ and by all accounts are moving forward as expeditiously, methodically and responsibly as possible.”
Citing the complex nature of the study, CPNMD President David McEntire sought to manage expectations. “Analyzing rate-structure differentials and assessing the value of our water rights, water infrastructure, water storage and sewage-treatment capacities are among the data collection and analysis challenges we are tackling. Many other finance, engineering, and legal questions require attention as well. I’m pleased that the study is progressing as planned,” he said. “If all goes well these next couple of months, I think we can reasonably expect the staff/consultant team’s preliminary analysis as early as July of this year, with recommendations to follow in August.”
“I left our joint work session with two overriding impressions,” said CPNMD Director Denise Crew. “First, the group dynamics and comradery between everyone present suggest that the relationship between our two districts is collaborative, constructive, and strong at every level. Second, the work session reaffirmed my personal opinion that integrating our water and wastewater systems with Parker’s could help reinforce the fabric of our city.”
PWSD is the water and wastewater service provider for what will soon be the other half of the City of Castle Pines, east of I-25. “From my perspective,” continued Crew, “If the study reveals improved economies of scale and cost controls for the people of both Castle Pines and Parker, then why wouldn’t we take advantage of that opportunity?”
CPNMD Director Christopher Lewis added, “Theoretically, the opportunity to spread the cost of buying water and renewable water, and the cost of designing, building, operating, maintaining, and financing water-related infrastructure over thousands more rooftops should lower the cost-escalation trajectory of monthly water bills in both jurisdictions,” he said. “Though cautiously optimistic, as an analytical person, I will be eager to review the final study, and apply my own critical-thinking skills to evaluate staff’s methodology, underlying assumptions, and conclusions.”
By Susan Helton; photos courtesy of the Fox family
Dr. Lisa Fox is owner of Colorado Kids Pediatric Dentistry and two other pediatric dental practices. She joined Colorado Kids Pediatric Dentistry 18 years ago and became the sole owner around 10 years ago. “My life’s passion has been focused on children’s health care. When I received my nursing degree and began working as a pediatric ICU nurse, I saw many children being admitted to the ICU and, sadly, even dying from dental infections. Those situations drove me to pediatric dentistry and a life-long mission to improve oral health care for children,” Lisa stated.
“My husband Brian is my partner in life – and in our business,” stated Lisa. She and Brian have four children: Jackson, Sammy, Abby and Ellie. Ellie is their youngest and a junior at Regis Jesuit High School. Abby begins college in the fall at Loyola University, Chicago. Sammy is a senior at Xavier University, Cincinnati. Jackson graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2017 and currently lives in Chicago.
Lisa no longer sees patients but enjoys mentoring the pediatric dentists in the practices. “I greatly miss my one-on-one interaction with my patients and their families. Nothing gave me greater joy than being able to transform a child’s damaged teeth and give them back their smile,” Lisa exclaimed. She now has additional time to continue her outreach to educate and develop programs to improve the oral health care of Colorado children. “Our practices stress the importance of oral health care instruction and the application of fluoride varnish and tooth sealants, and we encourage fluoridated water at home. I also work with local schools and community groups to spread the word,” stated Lisa.
Lisa has experienced both opportunities and challenges owning multiple pediatric health care businesses. “The business of dentistry is continually evolving,” she stated. Lisa works closely with the state government and insurance carriers to provide the maximum benefits to patients. With Lisa focused mostly on the clinical aspects of the practice, Brian manages the books. They both also address the businesses’ day to day needs.
Managing the businesses is time consuming. “However, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying Colorado’s wonderful outdoor opportunities,” stated Lisa. In Keystone, the family has a small cabin that backs to national forest. From there, they ski all of Summit County, although Keystone is their favorite. In the summer they hike and bike the many nearby trails and even use the cabin for an early-morning start on a 14er.
“I also have a secret passion for embroidery,” Lisa revealed. She loves raw edge appliqué machine embroidery. Her favorite things to make are quilts for newborns, with their names on them. The embroidery she finds most fun is appliqué animals on baby onesies. Lisa stated, “Of course, you may find my employees wearing shirts or scrubs with our logo embroidered on them as well!”