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Internet sensation candy that is out of this world

By CPC | January 29, 2024

The social media platform TikTok has been flooded with videos of young people biting into crunchy crystal candies of all different shapes and colors. The trend may be new to some, but crystal candies are inspired by Vietnamese Lunar New Year traditions that go back thousands of years. Crystal candies look like jewels in color…

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo ranked fourth in the country

By CPC | January 29, 2024
aerial view of crowd outside looking at giraffes

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (CMZ), situated in Colorado Springs, earned recognition as one of the top zoos in the United States. From its origins as philanthropist Spencer Penrose’s private collection, to its current status as a highlight of wildlife education, this place has captured the hearts of zoo enthusiasts nationwide. Voted the number four zoo in…

February Crossword

By CPC | January 29, 2024
crossword puzzle

This crossword brought to you by Allstate Insurance – Tammy Lopez (720) 733-1331   Across 1. ____ the Wild by Krakauer 5. Baking meas. 8. Speck in the ocean 13. Stink to high heaven 14. French Sudan, today 15. Whinny 16. Abbr. at the end of a list 17. Iridescent gem 18. ___ orange 19.…

Completing a journey of passion and impact in teaching

By CPC | January 29, 2024
teacher and student looking at laptop

Judi Holst, a revered and inspiring teacher, recently concluded her 32-year teaching career, leaving behind a legacy of passion and innovation. Reflecting on her remarkable journey, Judi shared experiences and insights that defined her impactful career. Judi’s path into teaching began in the third grade when her teacher, Mrs. Julie Hey, became a source of…

Dear Mrs. A – February

By CPC | January 29, 2024

Dear Mrs. A, Curious in King’s Crossing asks: What is an appropriate gift for an anniversary? I love that you asked! Anniversaries have a long tradition of appropriate gifts, and it is a wonderful guide to get cheeky with! I am attaching a list with both traditional and modern takes on the subject. Take a…

The Sedalia Perrys: Woes and blessings

By CPC | January 29, 2024
old portrait of lady from 1800s

Worn down by dismal life opportunities available to them in Somerset, England, Elizabeth Ann Dowden and her husband James Perry packed up, leaving the Isles in 1848. With sons James Dowden (James D.) and George, and 9-year-old daughter Elizabeth in tow, the family took passage on a ship to the United States. No luxury liner,…

The book is always better

By CPC | January 29, 2024
Bibliophiles Corner

This month’s book recommendations are books with success on film. We all know popular book series that spawned movie phenomena, such as Harry Potter, James Bond and The Lord of the Rings. Authors like Stephen King and Michael Crichton have had multiple books turned into movies too. So, if you are looking to read the…

A birthday party a century in the making

By CPC | January 28, 2024

In December 2023, The Connection shared an inspiring story about resident Jeanne Furr turning 100 years old (https://www.castlepinesconnection.com/a-century-of-grace-and-joy-jeanne-turns-100/). With the help of some local businesses and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Independent Financial in Castle Pines threw Jeanne the birthday party of a lifetime.  January 4 – Jeanne’s actual birthday – was a day of…

Online dating after 50

By CPC | January 28, 2024

  In a world increasingly dominated by technology, the realm of romance has also embraced the digital age. Online dating apps have become a popular avenue for people of all ages to connect, and this holds true for individuals aged 50 and older. Below are five popular online dating apps for this demographic and the…

Breakfast for your Valentine

By CPC | January 28, 2024

Love is in the air this month. I know there are people who think Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark holiday” designed to sell cards, but an occasion to let people know I love them has always seemed a good idea to me. And as usual, one of the first ways I think of expressing love…

Twenty years of tasting Denver’s culinary delights

By CPC | January 28, 2024

This year marks 20 years since the start of Denver Restaurant Week (DRW). The Denver food scene has evolved impressively in that time. From March 1-10, foodies of all ages will celebrate the opportunity to try new culinary delights with abundant and affordable offerings. Diners will have both dine-in and to-go options priced at $25,…

For the love of baking

By CPC | January 28, 2024

Sarah Carlson has been baking cookies for the people she loves her entire life. As a young girl she spent hours in the kitchen alongside her mother, Marge, and grandmother Elga. What first began as a simple and small-drop family chocolate chip cookie recipe grew into a business to spread joy to all. One of…

Managing the mystery of menopause

By CPC | January 28, 2024

There is a stigma and sometimes embarrassment surrounding the taboo subject of menopause, which leaves many women without guidance. According to the National Institute of Health, more than one million women a year in the United States experience menopause. The hormonal fluctuations that come with menopause affect mood, skin and energy levels often resulting in…

Healthy swaps for favorite snacks

By CPC | January 28, 2024

Overheard at the grocery store recently was a conversation between a mom and her teenage son. The son wanted a lemon/lime soda; mom convincingly and quickly pivoted from “All that sugar isn’t good for your body or your brain” to “Let’s get lime sparkling water and fresh lemons.”  This is a great example of how…

Congratulations, Andy Abner!

By CPC | January 28, 2024

Rock Canyon High School Principal Andy Abner has been named the 2024 Administrator of the Year by the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA). He was officially recognized at the CMEA Conference in late January. Information and photo provided by DCSD

DCSD graduation rate continues to impress

By CPC | January 28, 2024

Douglas County School District (DCSD) students continue to graduate at impressive rates. Data released by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows that on-time graduation for four-year students is 90.8%, which is 9.16% higher than other school districts in Colorado and a 9% increase from 2010 numbers in Douglas County. Recent DCSD graduates also accumulated…

Buddy Benches build connections

By CPC | January 28, 2024

Before winter break, a group of sixth graders led by teacher Heather Anderson at DCS Montessori Charter School (DCSM) read the “Being a Buddy” story in TIME for Kids magazine. The narrative showcased a girl’s journey to create a Buddy Bench for her school, inspiring young students to make a positive impact. The DCSM students…

RHMS falls into a good book

By CPC | January 28, 2024

Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) has a new book buddy program this school year as part of its goal for literacy promotion. General education (peer) students team up with significant special needs (SSN) students and read together with the theme: “Fall into a good book.” “We realized that everyone loves storybooks from a young age…

Three state championships at RCHS

By CPC | January 28, 2024

Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) athletics have a lot to be proud of these days. For the first time in school history, three Jaguar teams took 5A title championships in the 2023-2024 season. It was first-time wins for both boys cross country and golf and the sixth state championship for poms. The school honored the…

Daddy’s Chicken Shack

By CPC | January 1, 2024

Food like the photos In the world of fast-casual food franchises, there is a new competitor to hit the Colorado market. Born from a passion for perfect chicken and a commitment to flavor innovation, Daddy’s Chicken Shack just opened in Littleton and is quickly becoming a go-to destination for those seeking a delicious twist on…

The power of companionship in healing

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The strength of the human-canine bond is one for the ages. Dogs can instantly inspire a smile and provide hope and happiness. Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD) is a national nonprofit that vets, tests, observes and provides support and insurance coverage to pet therapy teams (dogs and handlers) across the United States, Canada and Puerto…

Update on the city’s electric vehicle chargers

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The electric vehicle (EV) charging stations located at Douglas County Libraries – Castle Pines (DCL) have been removed from the parking area in front of the facility. Originally, these charging stations were purchased by the City of Castle Pines in an agreement to utilize parking spaces for all cars. Over their lifespan, the stations required…

Urgent property tax message

By CPC | December 28, 2023

from your Board of Douglas County Commissioners Earlier this year, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners (BOCC) – in its capacity as the County Board of Equalization (BOE) – approved $28 million in tax relief for Douglas County homeowners. The across-the-board reduction of 4% in residential property values would have provided an average of $223…

Tall Tales Ranch groundbreaking planned for this summer

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Groundbreaking for Tall Tales Ranch (TTR), an inclusive residential community supporting people with intellectual and development disabilities (I/DD), is expected by this summer. The Tall Tales Ranch site is located on four acres north of the Schweiger Ranch historic property and east of the RidgeGate Parkway light rail station in Lone Tree. TTR has partnered…

Front Range Passenger Rail on track

By CPC | December 28, 2023

In early December, President Joe Biden announced Colorado’s Front Range Passenger Rail (FRPR) as a designated corridor for federal funding. On December 13, Governor Jared Polis, members of the Front Range Passenger Rail District (FRPRD), along with local and federal leaders attended a virtual meeting with more than 329 attendees to celebrate Colorado’s acceptance into…

Berg Haus is open for business

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The neighborhood sports bar and grill that opened its doors in the King Soopers shopping center in mid-December 2019 recently closed its doors – and then reopened two weeks later – prompting questions about the establishment’s future. “Our lease is up next October, and we have been in negotiations for the sale of the business,”…

Hide in Plain Sight has new name: Aspire Scholarships

By CPC | December 28, 2023

On November 30, longtime supporters of Hide In Plain Sight, now named Aspire Scholarships (AS), gathered on Happy Canyon Road to celebrate the new name and sharpened focus of the organization under the leadership of the new executive director, Leah Goss. The mission of the nonprofit is to “award college scholarships to aspiring young students…

A surgeon with a mission

By CPC | December 28, 2023

There is a new doctor in town. Dr. Allan Leach, urogynecologist at AdventHealth Castle Rock, moved to Castle Valley with his family last August. His story begins in Kentucky where he was born and raised. Allan attended the University of Kentucky for undergrad and then medical school where he was recruited by and joined the…

The best things in life are sweet

By CPC | December 28, 2023

There are delectable sweets being prepared in a kitchen at The Village at Castle Pines. Carrie Manion makes caramels which are rich and divine, custom made by hand with the best and freshest ingredients. Historically a baker, Carrie began her in-home business by chance. Every December, she made treats for her neighbors as Christmas presents.…

How the Grinch stole … hearts

By CPC | December 28, 2023

In December, three families in the Green Briar neighborhood got festive. Ethan Hecker, a 17-year-old junior from Highlands Ranch, brought the Grinch to life. Inside their cozy homes, the families were in for a treat as they saw the Grinch approaching. Their eyes widened with curiosity and excitement, turning a regular day into something magical.…

Food drive volunteers needed all year long

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The Parker Task Force (PTF) has been making a difference in the lives of people who are struggling in the communities of Parker, Franktown and Elizabeth for nearly four decades. “The PTF was founded 37 years ago, and it has grown incredibly as the community has grown,” said Diane Roth, a member of the PTF…

Building character on the mat, times two

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Connor and Mason Enquist undoubtedly have a lot of things in common. They are brothers; they live in the Estates at Buffalo Ridge; they go to the same school and only one year separates them in age. But the thing that could bring them the closest is their love and talent for wrestling. Connor is…

Generations of firefighters

By CPC | December 28, 2023

It is not unusual to hear about children following in their parent’s footsteps, or even following the same career path as someone in their immediate family. But for the Petau family, not one, not two, but several generations have chosen the same path. They are a family of firefighters. “The first person in my family…

Cutest Pet in the Pines Contest Winners

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Congratulations Elmer! He and his pinecone won the hearts of our judges, and he has been selected as the Cutest Pet in the Pines for 2023. Elmer will receive a $100 gift certificate to The Pet Stuff Place, a basket of goodies and bragging rights for the year. Bo and Annie will both receive $50…

A K-9 with a keen scent

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Folly is a 3-year-old English Labrador Retriever who is basically a federal agent. Although she loves a good game of tug of war, fetching her tennis ball, and sipping on a Puppuchinos from Starbucks, Folly’s calm demeanor and strong olfactory system make her an excellent Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) K-9 detection…

Three Sobey generations in Wildcat Mountain’s shadows

By CPC | December 28, 2023

      Born in Lostivefel, England in 1844 during the reign of King Edward VII, Frank Sobey was raised in Dubuque, Iowa, where his parents had immigrated. Against their wishes and merely 15 years of age, Frank joined the Union Army. His family immediately disowned him. Despite his youth, he vindicated himself with great…

Drones aid public safety

By CPC | December 28, 2023

South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) Emergency communications manager Chris Carnahan flies drones and gets paid to do it. Chris has been part of SMFR’s drone team for nearly five years. Drones are flown by SMFR dispatchers who are part of the agency’s Drone Team. They respond from 911 call centers to support large incidents. Originally…

Douglas County likes to move

By CPC | December 28, 2023
panoramic of scenery

Douglas County was recently named number one as the most physically active county in the nation in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) annual PLACES report. The report was released in 2023, used data from 2021, and was examined by Northwell Health, the largest health care system in the state of New York.…

Bark for books

By CPC | December 28, 2023
lady, boy and dog in room and boy is reading a book

Bark for Books (BFB) is a literacy program that helps budding and struggling readers build confidence and self-esteem by reading out loud to trained therapy dogs. As one piece of a child’s literacy journey, BFB is interactive and comforting without the stress of being judged by others; their furry audiences just listen, approve and give…

January Crossword

By CPC | December 28, 2023

  Across 1. Fancy tie 6. Mama’s partner 10. FBI operative 14. Future fungus 15. Petri dish filler 16. Puerto ___ 17. A very large atmospheric disturbance 19. “Green Gables” girl 20. “___ we there yet?” 21. Biblical verb ending 22. Disney’s Lady, for one 24. Undisturbed 26. Thomas Jefferson, religiously 27. Narcissus’ nemesis 30.…

A county-wide scavenger hunt

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources (Open Space) has a fun program, a scavenger hunt, encouraging residents to get outside and explore. The game, Decode Douglas County Outdoors, is an activity suitable for all ages using decode booklets provided by the county to track progress. The program begins January 1 and booklets…

Freedom of assembly in the Village

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The 80108 ZIP code is a marvelous place to live and socialize.  On any given day, one has only to visit MiYO Café to appreciate the palpable community spirit and cohesion on display at virtually every table. Not long ago, I careened into what might best be called a meeting of “Ken’s Posse.” This group,…

New Year – new beginnings

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The exercise of setting New Year’s resolutions is ancient. The Babylonians are often credited with starting the practice 4,000 years ago, followed by the Romans, and later Christians. Today, the religious undertones are mostly gone, but looking back and then forward in self-reflection and determination (no matter how brief) is still very much part of…

New column coming – Dear Mrs. A

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Dear Readers, I have enjoyed showering you with my advice and opinions on manners over these last four years. But the start of a new year brings changes. Going forward, my column will become an advice column much like “Dear Abby.”  But in my case, “Dear Mrs. A.” Please send your questions to editor@castlepinesconnection.com by…

Wreath making in Forest Park

By CPC | December 28, 2023
group of ladies holding wreaths

Longtime resident and business partner of The Connection, Linda Clure, hosted a holiday wreath-making party at the Forest Park clubhouse last month. “I come from a large family of very creative individuals; unfortunately, I did not inherit this gene,” laughed Linda.  “My Mom used to teach craft classes when I was growing up, and I…

Toy drive brings meaning to the season

By CPC | December 28, 2023
woman holds gifts that were donated

Resident and local realtor Sarah Phillips held her ninth annual toy drive at her home on Yorkshire Drive in December. Sarah shared that it was her largest turnout to date with more than 200 toys collected. The toys benefit Santa’s Sharing Program at the Help & Hope Center in Castle Rock. By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo…

Light up the night to kick off the holidays

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The annual Christmas tree lighting at The Ridge at Castle Pines took place on Friday, December 1. It was the first event of Winter Wonderland, a series of December happenings co-hosted by the City of Castle Pines and the Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce. The event included food trucks, live performances, a visit with Santa…

In praise of the big bowl of vegetables

By CPC | December 28, 2023
bowl of various vegetables

It is January. The Monday of the year. Time to get back in the saddle. Sigh. The house is clean and the holidays are behind me, and while I look forward to the quiet of a new year, I always feel a little empty. The idea that I need to eat like a responsible adult…

Connection staff dines together

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Bone broth offers big flavor and health benefits

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Bone broth provides a large amount of nutrients in each savory sip. The National Library of Medicine reported that by cooking bones for a long time, such as 24 hours, it is possible to obtain a large number of amino acids, minerals and proteins such as collagen. The long cooking time is what makes bone…

Community chorales unite voices

By CPC | December 28, 2023
three adults face camera

A chorus of voices transcends from the south suburban suburbs, creating a unique and uplifting experience for those aged “50 and better.” The 5280+ Senior Chorales (Chorales) invite participants to join in the joy of singing, fostering camaraderie and shared passion for music. Chorales mission is to “provide significant and measurable health and wellness benefits…

Alternatives to New Year’s resolutions

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Wanting to lose weight in 2024? Write that book? Organize the pantry? It is well-reported that a whopping 80% of New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful by mid-February. According to a study by researchers at the University of Scranton, most people abandon resolutions by the middle of January. In short, resolutions do not always work. Most…

Jingle for a cure for arthritis

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Team Stutler, comprised of 45 friends and family members, plus many furry friends, came together in Washington Park on Sunday, December 10, to participate in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk to raise funds toward arthritis treatments and a cure, plus life-changing arthritis resources and local programs. By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Michelle Stutler

Commitment to RCHS student-athletes

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Taylor Quenzer, licensed athletic trainer, certified athletic trainer and head athletic trainer at Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) brings passion and expertise to sports and student-athlete care. At RCHS, Taylor follows a simple yet powerful strategy: building strong friendships with athletes, enjoying the journey of understanding them, working together, and witnessing their growth in sports.…

Mid-year school supply boost

By CPC | December 28, 2023
two teachers looking through donations

The Foundation for Douglas County Schools will once again host a mid-year supply drive for teachers. The Lend A Hand School Supply Drive will take place during the month of January. This annual event is a great way to support area teachers by helping replenish classroom supplies for the second half of the year. More…

American Academy campuses debut A Christmas Carol

By CPC | December 28, 2023
group of students pose for camera in costumes

For the first time, American Academy (AA) Performing Arts presented and performed a holiday classic, A Christmas Carol (The Musical) that filled the hearts of many with the true spirit of the season. The show, which ran from December 1 to 10, sold out all eleven performances at The Schoolhouse at Mainstreet in Parker. There…

Holiday traditions from around the world

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Before the winter break, DCS Montessori (DCSM) lower elementary students learned about international holiday traditions. Some of the parents helped in the fun by adding their experiences from their home countries, respectively: South Korea, Brazil, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Italy and Ukraine. The students embraced the Swedish culture, celebrating St. Lucia on December 13. The festival…

Fieldtrip to celebrate Colorado history

By CPC | December 28, 2023
wall with photos attached and sign that says john fielder photography

Buffalo Ridge Elementary School (BRE) fourth grade students recently took their first field trip to the History Colorado Center in Denver. Fourth-grade curriculum includes a unit on Colorado history and the students also did in-school research projects for the school’s Colorado Day. For the past few years and because these students were kindergarteners when the…

Raising the bar at All State Choir

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) Principal Chris Cooke was super excited to share the news that the school has 22 students (the highest of all DCSD schools) who qualified for All State Choir. “Mr. [Zachariah] Smith, the choir teacher, is incredible and the impact he continues to have on our choir program and the kids…

Timber Trail students lean in to help

By CPC | December 28, 2023
four kids stand outside holding paper

Third-grade students at Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) made the holidays very special for three adopted families at the Crisis Center in Castle Rock. The economics and civics project “Lean on Me” was a project-based learning experience that asked students the driving question: how they could help those in the community in need. Through TTE family…

What are your 2023 New Year’s Eve plans?

By CPC | December 27, 2023

Make a drone show part of your evening! Whether you’re a new Douglas County resident or a longtime community member, New Year’s Eve is always a special time to gather with neighbors to celebrate. On December 31, a 12-minute light-up drone show will take place at 7 p.m. at EchoPark Stadium (11901 Newlin Gulch Blvd.…

The wonder of the season through the Forest of Stories

By CPC | November 27, 2023
variety of trees decorated different themes

  To wonder and wander into the spirit of the season and to see some incredible Christmas trees transformed into literary masterpieces, head to Douglas County Libraries (DCL). Seven of the DCL locations – Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Roxborough, Parker, Louviers, Highlands Ranch and Lone Tree – are hosting a Forest of Stories. DCL will…

Apples to apples: A look at grocery store prices

By CPC | November 27, 2023

Some in the community believe grocery prices are higher in Castle Pines due to having a single grocery store and, therefore, less competition for lower prices.  A review of grocery prices at nearby competitors revealed that is not necessarily the case, and that misconceptions about values may exist.  A random snapshot of staple food prices…

Vacant Safeway faces uncertain future

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  In June 2015, Safeway closed its doors in Castle Pines.  What will become of the more than 50,000-square-foot space has been a source of constant speculation in the community.  Landlords, city officials, neighboring businesses and potential investors all have a stake in the answers, with the community waiting eagerly for signs of movement. Recently,…

Castle Rock library has a new name

By CPC | November 27, 2023
dcl library

  The new Douglas County Library (DCL) in Castle Rock that opened in August has a new name: The Philip and Jerry Miller Library. According to a DCL resolution to change the name, the Millers helped establish the original library services in Douglas County and Castle Rock through their joint “leadership, foresight and financial support.”…

Ask the City of Castle Pines…

By CPC | November 27, 2023

The current City of Castle Pines wildfire mitigation efforts are being conducted by Deer Creek Forestry LLC.  As a part of mitigation efforts, the City has worked with wildfire mitigation experts at both South Metro Fire Rescue and Douglas County to identify open space areas that are at high risk from potential wildfires. The mitigation…

Annual Philip S. Miller grants

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  In partnership with Douglas County, the Douglas County Community Foundation (DCCF) awarded 27 Philip S. Miller grants to local nonprofit organizations, totaling $185,000. DCCF partners with Douglas County government to manage its annual Philip S. Miller grant endowment. Twenty-four organizations received Competitive Community grants, while three received Senior Services grants. DCCF works diligently to…

U.S. Post Office holiday mailing deadlines

By CPC | November 27, 2023

The mailing deadlines for United States Postal Service (USPS) parcels to arrive in the continental U.S. by Monday, December 25 are the following: Saturday, December 16 for USPS Ground Advantage Monday, December 18 for Priority Mail Wednesday, December 20 for Priority Mail Express The last scheduled date for delivery is Saturday, December 23.  Monday, December…

Welcome new City Councilmember

By CPC | November 27, 2023

Royal Hills resident Ron Cole won election to the City Council of Castle Pines and is the only new member of the council following the November 7 election.  When asked what he is looking forward to working on as his term begins, Cole said, “Responsible growth, water conservation, and business growth.” Cole and his wife…

STROLL magazine turns 10

By CPC | November 27, 2023

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of STROLL The Village at Castle Pines.  In 2013, publisher Anna Morin launched her edition of the magazine, which was originally called Village Life. Morin and her husband, Scott, moved to Colorado from Indiana in 2010.  At the time, they both worked in the building material business and Scott…

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