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Oktoberfest in Forest Park

By CPC | November 1, 2022

It is only year two, but the social committee of the Forest Park neighborhood threw a fabulous Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, October 2 at the neighborhood’s clubhouse. Guests donned costumes; there was wonderful fare, like stuffed crepes, and plenty of beer to fill the mugs. The rain held off and allowed all ages to enjoy…

Jackson, Wyoming: The “whole” of it

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Barb and I just returned from a week in Grand Teton National Park and Teton Village resort in Jackson, Wyoming. Let me remove any doubt: the experience is preposterous in natural grandeur, upscale comforts with pure cowboy flavor. Many townsmen wear cowboy boots; few really need them. We are hikers, and God provided a palette of sun, blue…

A beautiful sunset and ALS

By CPC | November 1, 2022

In September, we introduced readers to Bonnie Dannels and the nonprofit she founded to honor the memories of those who have lost their battle with ALS, promote advocacy through awareness of ALS, and offer support for families facing ALS together. Last month, Dannels held the second annual Paul’s Mystery Ship to End ALS walk to…

Let the giving begin … Colorado Gives Day is December 6

By CPC | November 1, 2022

The giving season is upon us, and residents in Douglas County are, and have always been, very generous with their charitable contributions. Unfortunately, the misconception is that there is not much need for assistance in Douglas County, so much of the funding is directed to national organizations. Nonprofits in Douglas County are eager and grateful…

Autumn Art Walk

By CPC | November 1, 2022

  The fourth annual Autumn Art Walk, hosted by LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, was held in early October. The event invited local artists to display their work, socialize with one another and meet the guests and buyers. The Art Walk was open to the public and included live music by violinist Lois Owsley, complimentary cookies…

Frontiersman of the Colorado gold rush…

By CPC | November 1, 2022

D.C. Oakes’ book, History of the Gold Discoveries on the South Platte River, is credited with giving the account of our gold rush, the one that brought 100,000 avaricious folks to Colorado in 1859. But the “table” had been earlier set by a handful of grizzled wayfarers like Kit Carson, Jim Baker, Jim Bridger and…

Paying it forward with a thank you

By CPC | November 1, 2022

A Forest Park family wants to pay it forward. They want to highlight the kindness they received by showering some light and love onto their Douglas County community. A community, Cortney and Ryan Williams say lifted- up their family of four during some dark days in September. It started when 15-year-old Cale Williams, a sophomore…

Merge late, cooperate!

By CPC | November 1, 2022
Graphic of Thoroughly Modern Manners

This will be my first column regarding rules of the road. Yep, you live here and you know what an onslaught of construction we are obliged to be considerate about. After all, when it’s said and done, won’t it be nice? But for now, we must talk about the zipper merge, or how to merge two…

Connection Costume Giveaway

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Special thanks to the following businesses that helped make our event a huge success: Lowe’s Castle Rock, Berg Haus, King Soopers, Minuteman Press, Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce and Clover’s Closet. The community raised $700 for PAALS for Life no-kill animal shelter. Caption and photos by Terri Wiebold

Neighbors with disabilities find a new home

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Douglas County will soon have new resources for independent living, thanks to a partnership with Wellspring Community and funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In October, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners approved a $6.4 million contract to purchase property in Castle Rock for a housing…

Assisting the community brings pride and contentment

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Surrey Ridge resident Gary Knapp became a firefighter at the Castlewood Fire Protection District in 1972. Later, he joined two other Colorado fire districts, KODAK Fire Department in Windsor and Westminster Fire Department, where he retired. Over the years, Castlewood, along with five other fire districts, became part of South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR). “Working…

Teeing off a good life

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Raised in Castle Pines, Drew Schneider has lived in Kings Crossing, Oak Hills and Forest Park. He attended Buffalo Ridge Elementary School through fifth grade and Timber Trail Elementary School for sixth grade before heading to Rocky Heights Middle School and then Rock Canyon High School, where he graduated in 2010. Schneider’s dad, Keith, has…

Two sides of the coin: appreciating veterans and first responders

By CPC | November 1, 2022

When members of the armed forces walk through the airport in uniform, many Americans feel compelled to walk up to them and thank them for their service with a handshake. It’s a common show of gratitude, especially around major holidays or when troops are deployed overseas. Resident Jon Radloff wanted to go further. “I wished…

Cutting your own Christmas tree?

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Purchasing Christmas tree cutting permits from ranger districts in Colorado has changed over the years. The Front Range districts, South Platte Ranger District and South Park Ranger District, encourage the public to visit https://www.recreation.gov/ tree-permits/ to order 2022 permits. The deadline is December 9. The website also has information and tips on planning your trip…

Give thanks for turkey all month long

By CPC | November 1, 2022

The weather has now turned and the days have grown short. There is real wisdom in the idea that our darkest days are filled with celebration to give us all a reason to smile in the face of what might otherwise seem bleak. I, for one, am already mapping out the feasting I will do…

The count of Sedalia

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Sedalia needs a mayor, although as an unincorporated chunk of Douglas County, it is not allowed. There is however, a wise, free-spirited man, who with the counsel of assorted friends meeting twice daily at Bud’s Bar in Sedalia, reigns supreme: Chet Hier. To describe Hier as colorful would be a disservice, a shortfall really. Royal?…

Mama Swift opens her heart and home

By CPC | November 1, 2022

The homeless situation has been a hot- button topic lately in our community. Prevalent on social media and in government meetings, municipalities in Douglas County are currently working on ways to make sure persons without housing connect with the resources available to them. It is usually easy to spot someone who is homeless. If the…

Veterinarian comes home to Castle Pines

By CPC | November 1, 2022

A dedicated and caring veterinarian at the Animal Care Center of Castle Pines (ACC), Dr. Maura Ambron and her family recently became residents of the community. Ambron practiced medicine in nearby Colorado towns for years but felt drawn to Castle Pines for many reasons. In addition to wanting to live near her job and wanting…

Vintage clothing designer and the number 108

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Some have a lucky coin or charm; some look for four-leaf clovers. For Beth Barbier, it’s the number 108 – and to her, it’s more than luck. Barbier is an artist, mother and talented vintage clothing designer, creating and sewing individual pieces in her home studio; her company is named 108. Barbier hails from Buffalo.…

At home in a new home

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Rocio Meli was born in Mexico City and immigrated to the United States in July 1996. As difficult as it was to leave her family of eight with five siblings, Meli and her husband, Bruno, wanted the best future for their children. With no one to guide them, they fortuitously found their way to Castle…

Little dog…courage of a Bear

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Bear Bontrager is a 9-year-old, spunky shorkie, a cross between a Yorkshire terrier and a Shih Tzu. She has fur siblings, two-year-old mini golden doodle Sadie, and a bunny rabbit, Carrot – both who joined the Bontragers many years later. The name Bear came from her puppy dog appearance of looking like a teddy bear.…

Harmon’s haunted hallows

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Gary Harmon loves Halloween. A family tradition he started when his boys were 4 and 2 is going stronger than ever 17 years later. The Harmon haunted house began in the family’s basement. In the beginning, Harmon built paper walls and let sons, Josh and Kyle, draw “scary things” on the walls. Harmon then invited…

Mother and sons’ fresh start

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Halloween weekend marked two years since Joanna Staples and her two sons Preston (13) and Grayson (8) moved to Castle Pines. “We needed to start over,” recalled Staples. “Castle Pines was a place that was far enough away, but not too far.” On May 2, 2019, Joanna’s husband, Sergeant Tom Staples, tragically died by suicide,…

The voice of varsity football

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Jim Zappavigna has always had an interest in sports announcing but was never sure the opportunity would arise. Growing up in Bellevue, Nebraska, sports were a big part of Zappavigna’s life. He would listen to University of Nebraska football games with his dad while working around the house. At that time, famed and energetic Lyell…

Teacher of the Year nominee

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Rocio Meli was nominated for the 2023 Colorado Teacher of the Year as one of seven finalists. On October 11, the City of Castle Pines recognized her for outstanding achievements and dedication to the Douglas County School District. Meli is a Spanish and English language teacher at Castle Rock Middle School and also teaches InnoV8,…

National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

By CPC | November 1, 2022

The Douglas County School District (DCSD) recently announced the semifinalists for National Merit Scholarship, 41 in total. Congratulations to local students Brynne Casto, Anthony Chui, William Drobish, Bhavya Surapaneni and Anna Wilding.The National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists are part of an elite group representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. The students will…

The Apple Awards process

By CPC | November 1, 2022

The Foundation for Douglas County Schools is proud to annually honor exceptional educators and staff who are inspiring a love of learning in students and are trailblazing extraordinary innovation in our schools. The selection process for winners begins in early October and wraps up in April of the following year. October 3 through November 13…

Rock canyon homecoming week

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Fresh from the garden…to the classroom table

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Patience is one of the many things Sharon Majetich teaches in her culinary arts and nutrition class at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS). It is a trait her seventh and eighth grade students learned early on while trying to “rush” fruits before they were ripe and ready to pull from the student-planted garden. “We tried…

Fire safety 101

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) first grade students received a visit from community resident and firefighter Dave Petau. Petau donned his gear so the students would know how to recognize a firefighter in the event of an emergency. He talked about fire safety and the importance of having an emergency plan at home that includes a…

A trip anything but ordinary

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Known for its lush rain forests, Alpine wilderness and rugged beaches, Olympic National Park is an annual spring sixth grade school trip for the students of three of American Academy’s (AA) campuses. Due to travel restrictions the past two years, the now eighth graders finally had the opportunity to experience the cultural and outdoor adventures of…

BRE fun run and field day

By CPC | November 1, 2022

Students at Buffalo Ridge Elementary held their annual fun run fundraiser earlier this school year. The kids ran as many laps on the 1/16-mile track as they could in 30 minutes and collected a bracelet for every lap to help them keep track. Each class dressed in their school spirit colored T-shirt and added additional…

The Rouge Wine Bar & Patio

By CPC | October 25, 2022

Elegance and nostalgia pair well By Chris Michlewicz The opening of a new wine bar has brought an elegant and nostalgic twist to the south metro area dining scene. The Rouge Wine Bar & Patio, which opened in October near Arapahoe Road and Syracuse Way, has an atmosphere designed to bring guests “back in time…

Ladies 9 in the Pines raises six figures for breast cancer center

By CPC | October 1, 2022

The Ladies 9 in the Pines annual golf tournament held at The Country Club at Castle Pines scored its biggest win to date by raising more than $120,000 for the breast cancer center at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital (CRAH).  The 9-hole tournament event featured live and silent auctions, outstanding luncheon fare including delectable desserts and…

Tips to prevent a break-in to your vehicle

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Enjoying a hike, spending time with canine companions at the dog park, or watching a child or grandchild play sports could mean your vehicle is an easy target for thieves.  “Thieves watch for people to get out of their vehicles, and they see people leaving things,” said Deputy Cocha Heyden, public information officer for the Douglas…

Castle Rock community champion retires

By CPC | October 1, 2022

President and CEO of the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, Pam Ridler, is retiring after 24 years of dedicated service to the Douglas County community.   Ridler started her career at the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce in 1993 before moving to Castle Rock, where she and her husband, Randy, have raised their family.  The…

Groundbreaking for pickleball courts at Coyote Ridge Park

By CPC | October 1, 2022

On September 6, the Castle Pines North Metro District (CPNMD) broke ground for five pickleball courts at Coyote Ridge Park.  Twenty-four pickleballers and supporters showed up for the early morning event.  Every guest left with a new pickleball and three lucky players left with a new paddle. “We couldn’t be more elated to finally break…

Breaking Blue: Changing the game to improve public safety

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Sitting at a small desk in a classroom alongside 27 complete strangers on the first day of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) Citizens Academy, I find myself unsure what to expect from the next 30 days. I applied for the opportunity to participate in this “behind the scenes” look at the many aspects of…

DMV invites citizens to design 150th anniversary license plate

By CPC | October 1, 2022

In 2026, the state of Colorado is turning 150-years-old, and the DMV is asking for residents to submit ideas for the commemorative anniversary license plate.  Entries will be judged on historical significance, artistic design, and how both best represent the Centennial State. There is no cost to submit and individuals can enter a maximum of…

National Preparedness Month reminders

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Natural disasters are on the rise in America.  According to the National Safety Council, there were 61,105 weather-related events in 2021.  Winter weather, heat and floods resulted in hundreds of deaths.  National Preparedness Month (NPM) is an observance recognized each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could…

Business scams that look legit

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Trying to tell the difference between what is real and what is a scam when it comes to letters in the mail these days is tough.  And it is getting tougher.   A faux 2022 periodic report and instruction form is making its way into many mailboxes belonging to Douglas County business owners.  There might…

Soil is the great connector

By CPC | October 1, 2022

On September 9, more than a dozen citizens came together to pitch in a little muscle to help save the soil at Daniels Park.  As part of Xcel Energy’s Day of Service, and with the help of Denver Zoo, the group of volunteers picked up shovels and rocks and got to work.   The goal…

Watering the garden of life

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Jennifer Drinkwine Rexroat is an exceptional woman of strength, character and compassion for people who need it the most.  She and her husband, Karl, are funeral directors at Drinkwine Family Mortuary, a third-generation family business based in Littleton. Rexroat’s grandparents, Lila and Donald Drinkwine, bought the business more than 60 years ago.  The couple passed…

Women helping women is good business

By CPC | October 1, 2022

A community is a group of people who rally behind each other in successes of life and also shoulder the pitfalls together … and the power of community is evident here in Castle Pines.  According to the United States Census Bureau, Castle Pines has 104 women-owned businesses, more than half of the total businesses in…

Cycling back to Castle Pines

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Brittany “Britt” Musser is a lead instructor at CycleBar in Castle Pines, but her journey here started 22 years ago.  In 2000, the Duran family moved to the community for the schools, the beauty, and the charm – setting roots in the Briar Cliff neighborhood.  Musser is the oldest of the three Duran daughters (Breanna…

Let’s Hit the Floor

By CPC | October 1, 2022
Graphic of Thoroughly Modern Manners

Dear Readers, I’ve just come from a barn dance, and I’m thrilled to share what I learned regarding the elements and etiquette of social dancing.  Social dances are intended for participation rather than performance, and what a fun time can be had by all. In a social dance environment, it is customary to say “yes”…

Oktoberfest in the Village

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Things to do in October

By CPC | October 1, 2022

October is a month filled with fun and sometimes spooky fall activities.  Here are a few ideas:  Hop on a train ride  The Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad have special fall rides where there are enjoyable views of the Arkansas River Valley and yellowing aspen trees. The Georgetown Loop Railroad’s Pumpkin Fest train is a…

Go forth and multiply: Heuer and Hier

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Pomeranian Prussians from Burow, Johann and wife Minnie (Glauss) Heuer arrived in the U.S. as immigrants in 1872.   Iowa farmland looked good, so the Heuers claimed it, and they farmed it for several decades.  Charles Hier (the Americanized spelling of Heuer) was their second son, born four years later. Growing up, young Hier’s lungs…

Invisible Disabilities Association – Seeing is not always knowing

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Everyone has a story: the person in line at the grocery store, the person driving in the next lane, the person in the crosswalk, friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.  The list goes on.  It’s easy to think that what one sees on the outside is reflective of what’s going on in the inside of a…

October movies: the scarier, the better

By CPC | October 1, 2022

The world is divided into two categories:  those who flock to horror films and those who shun the genre.  In the former category, screaming in theaters, gripping hands in terror and spilling popcorn at the jump scares is a thrill.  For the latter group, peaceful sleeps and dreams and not being scared of the dark…

Jamaica: where everything is “irie”

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Many Caribbean islands are little more than water sports or beachcomber destinations.  Jamaica is pleasantly different.  The birthplace of reggae, her charms extend well beyond her saltwater shores and adventure opportunities.  Now that her bauxite mines are mostly shuttered, vacationers are the new mother lode, drawing 4.3 million tourists per year.   When we visited,…

Place all bets to win at the derby

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Sky View Farm is more than a barn, it is a family. While Sky View Farm is an equestrian center, the Farm is also a place for alternative learning and therapy for kids and the community. Owner and manager Wendy Ingraham and her family opened up the Farm over the weekend to welcome visitors for…

Neighbors helping neighbors

By CPC | October 1, 2022

There is a saying, “Being a good neighbor is an art which makes life richer.”  Several neighbors recently gathered to do some yard work for a couple going through a rough patch. For more than two hours, these good Samaritans in The Retreat neighborhood in the City of Castle Pines weeded the yard, raked the…

Rise Up Malawi raises funds at The Ridge

By CPC | October 1, 2022

On August 22, Rise Up Malawi (RUM) held its first golf tournament to raise funds for the nonprofit’s goal: to build living quarters for guests in the African country of Malawi.  Held at The Ridge at Castle Pines golf course, there were 22 sponsors, 88 golfers and almost $40,000 was raised. “We were fundraising to…

Family is a priority for Olympic games lawyer

By CPC | October 1, 2022

In her capacity as a legal representative for the U.S. Olympic Games and Pan American Games, Sara Pflipsen has traveled the world to Rio de Janeiro and PyeongChang among other Olympic game destinations.   Since graduating from the University of Colorado Law School in 2013, Pflipsen has spent her career providing onsite legal support and…

The joys of a domestic short-haired cat

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Prea is a happy and very loved domestic short-haired cat.  Cheryl and Rick Mautz, along with other family members, grew up with cats and thought their granddaughters Estiana (12) and Ciella (7) would also enjoy the feline experience. A 3-month-old, ultra-soft and purring kitten instantly attracted the girls to the black and white domestic short-hair…

A party punch that’s perfect for fall

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Some foods are inextricably linked with certain times of the year.  I can’t eat a slice of fresh tomato without being transported to summer – even if I’m eating said tomato during a snowstorm.  Asparagus is always the first vegetable I eat after a long winter of ho-hum produce, so in my mind it’s a…

The Collective celebrates one-year anniversary

By CPC | October 1, 2022

On September 16,  The Castle Rock Collective celebrated its one-year anniversary with a celebration open to the community.  Located at 207 Perry Street in downtown Castle Rock, The Collective is a partnership between Wellspring Community and World Orphans – two organizations whose missions are centered around empowerment.  This unique marketplace is transforming lives both locally…

A legacy of hope, purpose and value

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Turning 40 inspired Jamie Klusacek to re-evaluate her life, her mission and her legacy.  A wife, mother of four daughters and leadership pastor at Thrive Church, Klusacek felt a call to write a book every year in her 40s.  Today, she is 42 with two books published. “I had this desire that popped into my…

Medicare’s open enrollment; October 15 – December 7

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Fall has arrived, and it is that time of year when you can change your current Medicare plan and coverage.  Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) begins October 15 and runs through December 7.  During this annual occurrence, Medicare beneficiaries are able to join a new Medicare Advantage Plan (MAP) or stand-alone prescription drug plan, called…

Don’t toss those pumpkins

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Pumpkins are making a seasonal appearance this month, decorating many front porches.  Pumpkins are among the earliest domesticated plants on earth. Archeologists excavating a tomb in central Mexico unearthed pumpkin seeds that date back 9,000 years.   Symbolizing fall, harvest and holidays, pumpkins also make appearances as spooky jack-o’-lanterns when carved for Halloween.  There’s more…

Celebrating 60 years together

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Sixty years of marriage is a testament to commitment, perseverance and love.   On September 8, 1962, Ellen and Al Dugan married in Wilmette, Illinois, Ellen’s hometown.  The couple remained in Illinois until a job opportunity for Al moved the family to Colorado in 1980.  The Dugan’s four children attended Littleton High School.  In 1985,…

Good-for-you garlic

By CPC | October 1, 2022

October is a great month to get to know garlic, sometimes referred to as the stinking rose.  Related to onion, leeks and chives, garlic has many health benefits and can be enjoyed in endless ways.  Though widely used as an herb or spice, garlic is, botanically, a vegetable. Before garlic was used in the kitchen,…

Youth Congress convenes; all students welcome

By CPC | October 1, 2022

The Douglas County School District invites all high schoolers to attend Youth Congress, an event that brings adults and students together to discuss issues that affect today’s teens.  This year’s topics include mental health, youth criminal justice, pressure to succeed, school safety, dogs in schools, youth voice, finances and trade school.   The event is…

Douglas County School District bond and mill levy override

By CPC | October 1, 2022
Logo Douglas County School District

  Douglas County School District’s Board of Education (BOE) unanimously authorized a mill levy override (MLO) for the upcoming November ballet.  The BOE is asking for a $60 million MLO and a $450 million bond.  The impact on homeowners is estimated to be $1 per week for every $100,000 in assessed home value, or about…

Learning What is in the Water

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Keystone, Colorado is more than a mountain town that caters to winter snow skiers and summer hikers.  The outdoorsy destination offers inquiring minds a unique opportunity to gain experience and learn within its picturesque backdrop.  During a three-day retreat to Keystone Science School, DCS Montessori (DCSM) middle school students played active roles as scientists, conducting…

An Awesome Teacher and Human Being

By CPC | October 1, 2022

For most, there is always that one teacher.  That friend, coach or leader that is unforgettable: that mentor who not only touched lives but changed trajectories in such incredible ways.   For many Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) students, that influencer is not someone on TikTok or Instagram, but someone waving a baton who refers…

The Exchange Coffee House

By CPC | October 1, 2022

Community gathering spot serves up a taste of home Serving up memories, brightening the day, and bringing folks together. By Chris Michlewicz Anyone who’s been to The Exchange Coffee House knows that it’s managed to capture and cultivate that home-away-from-home feeling. As the first official business to open on the east side of the City…

Police and Neighbors Come Together for National Night Out

By CPC | September 1, 2022

National Night Out (NNO) was held August 3, and representatives from Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) met with neighbors at Elk Ridge Park in the City of Castle Pines. More than 50 kids attended and DCSO sent the HAZMAT team, patrol deputies, bike officers, the Specialized Operations Response Team, a horse and a K-9. Kirsty…

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