Learning about Golden’s Past and Planning for Golden’s Future

February 20, 2019

History Museum Lecture: The Story of Reuben Benton Hayward’s Murder—Part 2 by Dennis Potter

As I mentioned a few days ago, tonight’s 6PM lecture at the Golden History Museum is sold out, but they will have a wait list, starting at 5:30.

Their March 6th lecture is also likely to be popular: The Failed 1976 Denver Winter Olympics. In 1972, Denver became the only host city to reject hosting the Olympic Games. For Colorado’s emerging ski industry, the voters’ rejectio of the Games came as a blow. The state’s burgeoning ski industry joined the U.S. Forest Service in promoting the Winter Games, understanding them as a way to market the state’s burgeoning ski industry to the world, as well as leverage the development of a new ski resort. Yet, voters’ growing concerns over economic and environmental cost led to their rejection of the Olympics and marked the opening of the state’s political fight over growth, the environment, and ski resorts. The lecture will be given by Dr. Michael Childers, author of Colorado Powder Keg: Ski Resorts and the Environmental Movement. Get your tickets now, before those sell out too.

Bell Middle School has an Orchestra concert tonight at 6PM, and a Band concert tomorrow night at 6PM.

The Planning Commission will have a study session tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. They will consider how to bridge the gap between our community plans and our municipal code. They will also discuss ways to conduct calm, productive meetings. See the meeting packet for more info….

Thursday Preview
10AMDinosaur Ridge will hold a free talk on Iguanodonts, the thumb-spiked dinosaurs.
5PM – Home Heating Methods at Golden Real Estate
5:30PM – Golden Community Night of the Colorado Environmental Film Festival…free admission!
6PM – Golden High School Chili Cookoff and Silent Auction Fundraiser
6PM – Bell Middle School Band Concert
6:15PMDenver Mountain Guiding: Ice Climbing Clinic at Bent Gate
6:15PM – Free Workshop at Home Depot: Pipe Coat Hanger

Proposals for the Astor House

February 19, 2019

The City has been reviewing proposals for use of the Astor House. The process has been conducted in secret, but last week, the Golden Transcript made a Freedom of Information request and published the proposals on their website.

The Library’s Tuesday Night Book Group meets tonight from 6-7PM. They’ll be discussing Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel.

The first meeting of the Utility Rate Study Citizen’s Committee will take place tonight at 6PM in the Public Works and Planning Building (1445 10th St.). This first meeting will include an overview of the three city-owned utilities, a history of rates and a description of the current rate structures, and the objectives of the rate study. The public is welcome. For more information, please contact Anne Beierle 303-384-8153.

The Parks, Recreation & Museums Advisory Board meets tonight at 7PM at the Golden Community Center. They will review their 2019 work plan and discuss project updates.

Tomorrow night at 6:30 in City Council Chamber, the Planning Commission will hold a study session. They will be discussing the ongoing conundrum of translating city visions and plans into the city code. There has been a great deal of discussion lately about the disconnect between what the community wants and what the Commission is able to approve or disapprove. Councilor Casey Brown will also attend the meeting with the goal of helping Commissioners conduct more effective, productive, and un-heated meetings.

Speaking of Citizen committees, here’s another reminder that the various boards and commissions have several openings coming up, and it’s time to apply! City Council is recruiting applicants to fill expiring appointments to the Downtown Development Authority, Fire Pension Board, Parks, Recreation & Museums Advisory Board, Economic Development Commission, Public Art Commission, one appointment to Visit Golden, and (this one is new) the Jefferson County Board of Corrections. Applications are due by March 13th. Learn more….

Washington, DaVinci, and Arthur Lakes

February 18, 2019

Washington’s Birthday is celebrated today, so the schools and the Library are closed and you won’t get mail delivery.

The Arthur Lakes Library at the School of Mines of hosting an exhibit of DaVinci’s Machines. This collection of over 60 authentic reproductions of machines and devices designed by Leonardo DaVinci were created using similar materials, building techniques and tools that Leonardo would have had access to in his time. Each exhibit is the exact size and is a museum quality reproduction of DaVinci’s technical drawings exploring weights and forces, levers and pulleys, cogs and wheels. From this he created everything thing from a loom to spin wool to clocks that kept time. His understanding of propulsion led to the first designs for a bicycle, his insight into water displacement allowed him to imagine what a submarine could do.

Over 30 high-resolution digital reproductions are also on display. Viewers can listen to an audio self-guided tour to learn about DaVinci’s entrepreneurial spirit and application of innovative techniques in the creation of these masterpieces. Full-size reproductions of the Mona Lisa, Last Supper and other classics are on display along with a special collection of a dozen high-resolution prints of Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

The Library’s hours are limited today (because of the holiday), but it is open until 6PM. Their normal weekday hours are 7:30AM-2AM.

The school has several events lined up in association with the DaVinci exhibits, including a lecture this Friday (Feb 22nd) from 4-5PM in the Library’s Boettcher Room. There will also be guided tours beginning March 1st: Fridays at 4 and 5PM, Saturdays at 9:30, 10:30, and 1:30PM, and Sundays at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30PM.

The moon will be full at 8:53 tomorrow morning. It doesn’t seem likely that we’ll see it through the clouds, but if we do, it should be a pretty one–a Super Moon!

Museum News and Appreciating the Unappreciated

February 17, 2019

The Colorado Railroad Museum will be closed today through Friday for remodeling. Their big news is that they just received three new railcars, donated by the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The PPCR is closed this year for restoration, and when they re-open, it will be with all new equipment. Fortunately, they have given some of their antique rolling stock to our Railroad Museum!

The Golden History Museum posted a photo of a crocus from their garden yesterday–plus, they’re offering free admission all year, so there are two good reasons to visit today.

Dennis Potter’s lecture on “The Story of Reuben Benton Hayward’s Murder – Part 2” (Weds night at 6PM) is SOLD OUT. They will have a waiting list that night, so if you didn’t get a ticket, show up at 5:30 and ask to be put on the list.

The Buffalo Bill Museum is gearing up for their annual Buffalo Bill Birthday Celebration, which will be next Sunday (2/24) from 10AM-5PM. This is always a fun event, with free admission, crafts, living historians, and free birthday cake. Plan to attend next Sunday.

The Quilt Museum has two exhibits right now: It Takes Two to Tango: Collaboration Quilts and All in the Family: Family and Album Quilts from the RMQM Collection. Both are fabulous, of course.

The Museum offered a class last month, as part of the previous exhibit, on Paper Art Quilts by Jane Mathews. Jane Mathews taught a class on how to create paper quilts, and it SOLD OUT. They are offering it again next Saturday, the 23rd. That one is almost sold out, so sign up soon!

Foothills Art Center will be closed tomorrow (Presidents Day), but they’re open today from 12-5PM. It’s a good day to visit the 2019 MEMBERS’ SHOW and the POWER OF PROCESS: A JEFFCO STUDENT EXHIBITION.

Appreciating the Unappreciated
The Jefferson County Coalition is looking for nominations for their Annual Good News Breakfast. This year’s theme is “Unsung Heroes…Not all Heroes Wear Capes.” Each and every day there are people in our community who are quietly doing good things to make our community better. These are people and/or organizations who go above and beyond, with little fanfare or expectation of being praised or recognized. You know who they are. They have done extra special things for their community, those in need, or for someone unable to do things for themselves. Help us find and share the stories of these Unsung Heroes doing good things for Jefferson County! We will honor them at the 2019 Good News Breakfast on April 30th. Nominations are due by Friday, February 22nd. Learn more and nominate someone….

Twelve Years of Golden News

February 16, 2019

February is the anniversary month for Goldentoday.com. I’ve been doing this for twelve years now! Do you ever wonder why? I do it because I think it’s good for the community to have a single place that covers cultural, city, and business events all in the same place. I do it because I’ve found that people like knowing what’s happening in the community.

By 2007 (Goldentoday’s “birth” year), I had been peripherally involved with the Golden Cultural Alliance for several years, so my first self-appointed charter was to help them promote cultural exhibits and events.

In 2007 there was still much attention focused on downtown’s recovery and ensuring that downtown businesses remained viable, so I began promoting business events as well. (There weren’t as many back then: believe it or not, Golden used to go a month at a time with no live music anywhere.)

In recent years, I’ve been following board and commission meetings, so now I include the topics for upcoming city meetings, along with cultural and business events. I’ve found that Golden residents are tremendously interested in municipal news.

I plan to keep tracking local events, and I’ll keep sharing what I learn. Thanks for following my daily musings. Feel free to drop me a line anytime!

Barb Warden

Yesterday, I said that more information about the Jeffco Open Space land swap would appear on Guiding Golden, but in fact, it appeared on the Jefferson County Site. They will have two public meetings–March 2 at 9:30AM and March 5 at 5:30PM–to tell people more about the swap and to answer questions. The information about the City’s possible Coors property acquisition is now on Guiding Golden.

Residual Valentine’s Day Events

Tonight’s Live Music:

Last Night, Today, and Tomorrow in Golden

February 15, 2019
Heritage Square Property

Last night’s City Council meeting included a couple of interesting announcements. First, Jeffco Open Space is going to do a land swap with Martin Marietta, which owns the quarry just south of the old Heritage Square. Open Space will give Martin Marietta a piece of land which will enable them to expand the quarry. In exchange, Open Space will get the remaining piece of Bachman property (located at Heritage Road and Highway 40) and the property that formerly contained Heritage Square. The City plans to post information about this swap today on Guiding Golden, so check there to learn more.

Coors Office Building at 311 10th St.

The second announcement detailed the property that the City has been considering “on 10th Street, east of Ford.” As expected, it includes the Coors office building. The interesting thing is how much additional property is involved. In addition to the building, the large parking lot across 10th Street and several other parcels are involved–basically, most of the former Goosetown neighborhood. The City is interested in this property because they would like to build a “civic complex,” including a new City Hall and cultural center. We would then need to decide what to do with the current City buildings. The Clear Creek Master Plan called for using it all as park land. Much interesting discussion will follow. Again, check Guiding Golden today for more information.

Jeffco K-8 students have an early dismissal day, so the Library is hosting Freaky Friday, with with games, crafts, and LEGO® fun from 2-3:30 this afternoon. All Jeffco students will be off Monday, for Presidents’ Day.

The Railroad Museum is offering a Highlights Tour from 1-2PM today. The cost is $3, plus general admission.

Tonight’s Live Music:
Ace Hi Tavern – Karaoke at 9PM
Buffalo Rose – Loving the Alien (A David Bowie Experience) and Hey Lady (B-52’s Tribute) at 7:30PM
Golden Moon Speakeasy – Algorhythm Trio at 8PM

Saturday Preview
The Quilt Museum has a few openings left in tomorrow morning’s Jelly Roll Rug Class. Jelly Roll Rugs are the latest craze and a lot of fun to make. There are many choices for you in this class. Scotti will teach you basics and some tricks to make rugs or placemats and you can go from there. These are a lot of fun to make and addicting so beware. There will be a 30 minute lunch break. Please bring a sack lunch and drink or visit one of the local restaurants. Class Fee:  $50. Call 303-277-0377 or 303-215-9001 to sign up today.

One Last Night of Lights

February 14, 2019
Holiday Lights in Golden Colorado

Happy Valentine’s Day! What could be more romantic than living in beautiful Golden Colorado? The City will turn off the holiday lights after tonight, so take one last walk or drive around downtown to enjoy them.

Thanks for all the responses on yesterday’s post, “City Plans and Civic Frustration.” If you’re new to “What’s Happening in Golden?” you might enjoy the following related posts from the past:

Today’s Events
10AM – Everything Dinosaur Talk: Thyreophora Part 2 (Ankylosaurs)
4PM – Subaqueous Debris Flow Processes and Deposits
5PM – Family Game Night at On Tap Credit Union
6:15PM – Inspired by Mountains at Bent Gate

City Council
City Council will meet at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. They will vote to give the City Manager a $24,500 raise, bringing him to $203,000/year.

The City Manager will provide a public briefing regarding property acquisition currently under consideration by City council. The property is “East of Ford St., near 10th St.

In recognition of the members of the Golden Cultural Alliance, their 700,000 visitors per year, and their $23 million contribution to the local economy, the Mayor will proclaim February to be Heart and Soul of Golden Month.

They will decide whether to approve new Sustainability Goals regarding energy, waste, and water.

They will consider applying to DRCOG (Denver Regional Council of Governments) for Federal funding to improve the interchange at US6 and Heritage Road and to do a “Complete Streets” project on West Colfax.

See the meeting packet for more details on any of these topics.

Live Music in Golden Colorado

Tonight’s Live Music
ACE HI TAVERN – Karaoke, 9PM
THE BUFFALO ROSE – Sammy Mayfield, Deep Pocket Thieves, and Emma Marie, 7PM
GOLDEN MOON SPEAKEASY – Booker and Ben, 7:30PM
NEW TERRAIN BREWING COMPANY – Music by the Mesa – Native Station, 6-9PM

City Plans and Civic Frustration

February 13, 2019

These are turbulent times in Golden.  For the past nine years, we have been developing a series of plans designed to control and direct changes to our city.  We started with the Vision 2030 plan, in which we said we valued our small town look, feel and character.  We said we valued walkability, the natural beauty of our environment, safe-clean-quiet neighborhoods, local business and a vibrant downtown; local amenities, local history, education, a family-friendly environment, friendliness and a sense of community, and volunteerism.    We used that as the basis for our Comprehensive Plan, followed by a series of Neighborhood Plans.

In response to the recent rash of tall buildings built near lot lines, neighbors have protested, using the language from Vision 2030, the Comprehensive Plan and the neighborhood plans.  They point out that the new buildings are not “compatible” with the neighborhood; that they will result in traffic that jeopardizes our safe-clean-quiet neighborhoods.  They object to losing their mountain views to views of 30-foot walls.

As development after development is approved, citizens have become increasingly baffled and angry.  What was the point of all these plans, if they’ll be ignored for any developer who comes along?

Last Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting was an epiphany for me.  The Commission was considering the site plan for 72 new apartments and a 48-room hotel on 8th Street.  Neighborhood residents had made impassioned appeals at the previous meeting, expressing concern about the increased traffic that would result from such a development.

One of the Commissioners asked that they discuss the proposal in terms of the comprehensive and neighborhood plans, while another objected to doing so.  The attorney was asked whether those plans could be factors in the decision, and he said no—the only document that could be used to define whether the site plan was acceptable was section 18.40 of the municipal code.

This explains so much.  It explains why the many appeals from citizens regarding compatibility, etc. were ignored.  According to that attorney, none of those plans matter when approving a site plan.  Our code says that a building can be x feet tall and y feet away from the edge of the lot, and as long as it complies with those and other factors defined in section 18.40, none of our preferences for a friendly small town environment, desire for a quiet neighborhood, love of our natural environment, etc., matter.

If you cannot see the video above, click here

Out of frustration at not feeling “heard” at public meetings, some citizens have turned to NextDoor and engaged in angry, unfiltered conversations.  Others are planning law suits against the city and/or gearing up for a ballot initiative similar to the one that gave us the 1% growth limit.

Few people are pleased that we’ve come to this pass—not City Council, nor City Staff, nor the Planning Commission, and certainly not the citizens.  I urge you to watch the entire Planning Commission meeting.  You’ll find it on the City’s Agenda page.   Scroll down to the Planning Commission section and watch the February 6th meeting.  If that seems too daunting, you can watch the most relevant segment here:

If you cannot see the video above, click here.

So were the 2030 Vision, Comp Plan, and Neighborhood Plans a waste of time and paper? Not entirely. They come into play when we consider annexations, rezonings, special use permits, and single family subdivisions. Annexations rarely happen these days. Rezonings do occasionally happen. We rezoned part of the Mines Campus last year, to allow them to build a taller residence hall. Single family subdivisions are quite rare, since Golden has very little land where they could be built. Special Use Permits come up quite often, generally when developers want to build 100% residential in an area zoned for commercial or mixed use.

With each of those types of cases (annexations, rezonings, subdivisions, and SUPs), the Planning Commission has some latitude to consider whether the proposed changes fit in with our Vision and Plans.

Unfortunately, it’s not until we get to the site plan that the public sees, in concrete terms, what is proposed. Site plans are apparently not subject Vision/Plan goals; they’re only subject to the code in 18.40. So by the time we get to a site plan, it’s too late to affect the plan on the basis of terms like “compatibility.”

We need to find ways to either put more legal force into our plans or more of our vision into our code.

Tonight’s Events
Please plan to attend tonight’s meeting regarding RTD’s planned service cuts to Golden at 6PM in City Council Chambers. While we sympathize with need to stick to a budget, we cannot make headway on encouraging use of public transit while making it less convenient.

The Library is hosting a “Galentine’s Day” event at 6PM. Ladies celebrating ladies! We’re kicking it breakfast style while creating free menstrual hygiene kits for our community members who are experiencing homelessness. Grab your friends and lend a hand to those in need. Waffles, mockmosas, and supplies provided.

Tonight’s Live Music
DIRTY DOGS ROADHOUSE – Peter Fletcher, 6-9P
OLD CAPITOL GRILL & SMOKEHOUSE – Wintery Wednesdays Concert Series, 6-9PM
ROCK REST LODGE – Dave Frisk, 5-8:30P

Meetings, Beer Talks, Karaoke, Trivia, Biomethanation, and RTD Service Cuts

February 12, 2019

The Local Licensing Authority will meet at 2:30 this afternoon in City Council Chambers. The Table Mountain Inn is asking to renew their license. Cheese Ranch Deli is applying to include their patio in the licensed area (so people can drink alcohol while dining on the patio). Light Rail Wine & Ale (14799 W. 6th Ave.) is applying to transfer ownership. Maki Sushi & Grill (1301 Washington) is changing both names and ownership.

The Economic Development Commission will meet at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. (Note–this is a change of venue, and a very welcome one, as the meetings will be shown live and the recordings will be easier to hear.) They will discuss the possibility of working with a group called the Executive Directors Roundtable to improve the connection between Golden’s business and nonprofit sectors. They will also consider a new event, proposed by one of the board members, called “Denver West Women Who Startup Basecamp.” They will discuss the new Local Business Awareness program and this year’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Mentoring Program, which they do in partnership with Traxion.

The Chamber is having their monthly VIBE@FIVE – Business After Hours Social Event at 5PM this evening at Cast Iron Tavern. If you’re a Chamber member or interested in becoming one, join them at 5PM.

Golden High School’s PTA will meet at 5:30 at the school.

Golden Beer Talks at Windy Saddle Cafe - Golden Colorado

Golden Beer Talks meets at 6:30 at Windy Saddle Cafe. Tonight’s speaker, Claire Zilber, MD, will discuss the physiological effects of acute and chronic stress on immune functioning. This month’s Golden brewery is Coors, and if you’re a Beer Talks regular, you know why that’s good news! As always, there is no cover charge, but space is limited. If you want to be assured of a chair, arrive early.

Dirty Dogs Roadhouse has Karaoke tonight from 7-11PM, and the Ace Hi hosts Trivia Night beginning at 7PM.

Wednesday Preview
will hold their monthly Power Lunch Lecture tomorrow at noon. The topic is Biomethanation: Unique, Sustainable Approach to Renewable Natural Gas. Registration is required. Call 303-384-6565 or e-mail education.center@nrel.gov to make a reservation for this free public program. Participants are welcome to bring a lunch to enjoy during the presentation. For information about upcoming events, visit http://www.nrel.gov/about/community.html.

Tomorrow night, there will be a public meeting with RTD in City Council Chambers. RTD is proposing to cut light rail service to Golden on Saturdays from every 15 minutes to every 30 minutes. City Council is opposed to this proposed change because Golden has been working to encourage the use of public transportation. Reducing the frequency makes the public option less convenient, and thus less likely to be used.

We (Golden) also want to discuss the fact that our fares are significantly higher than they would be if we were one mile closer to Denver. We pay $5.25 to ride the light rail; whereas the next station, Red Rocks, only pays $3. This is because Golden is considered a different “zone” from the rest of the line. This works both ways. Anyone coming from Lakewood or Denver to Golden also has to pay $5.25. This means that people needing to visit the county buildings for services and benefits pay a premium price for the trip. Golden hopes to persuade RTD of two things: first, to keep our weekend service at a train every 15 minutes, and second, to include us within the same zone as Denver and Lakewood, so our fares would drop from $5.25 to $3. Please plan to attend this meeting and provide feedback to RTD.

Events for Kids, Safety, Singing, and GURA Today in Golden

February 11, 2019

The MOMS Club of Golden meets this morning from 9:15-10:45. They are hosting a FREE community Valentine’s party at the Golden Library: Bring your little ones for fun crafts, activities, and refreshments at the GOLDEN LIBRARY while you learn about the MOMS Club of Golden! Email goldenmomsclub@gmail.com to learn more.

The Library is the place to be for little kids this morning. After the MOMS Club Valentine’s party, there’s Let’s Dance at 11:15 and Preschool Time at 12:15. Girls of all ages are invited to STEM Girls from 4-5 at the Library.

Tonight’s Golden Safety Academy, which meets from 6-8PM at the Fire Department, will focus on Environmental Dangers. Learn more….

Dirty Dogs Roadhouse has “Open Mic” tonight, starting at 6:30, so if you just gotta sing, that’s the place to do it.

The Golden Urban Renewal Authority meets at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. They will discuss walkability improvements that they’re funding in the Central Neighborhoods urban renewal area, and ways that GURA could fund both “Affordable” and “Workforce Income” housing. They will discuss the methods used by Breckenridge, Denver, and Fort Collins. See their meeting packet to learn more….

Are you confused about all these references to “affordable” or “low-income,” or “workforce” housing? So was I, so I asked the Jefferson County Housing Authority. These definitions came from Kristen Gines, Assistant Director:

Affordable Housing: We at JCHA have many properties that we purposely keep the rents low – below market-rate prices. Anyone can apply for these units and there are no restrictions like income etc.

Workforce Housing (or Low-Income Housing Tax Credit): This is what the new proposed building in Golden [24th & Jackson] will be. This model is a program for encouraging the investment of private equity in the development of affordable rental housing for low-income households. Each apartment has certain income requirements and in all the building(s) serve many families and individuals in varying low-income brackets. https://www.chfainfo.com/arh/lihtc/overview

Ms. Gines verified that Workforce Housing is a subset of Low Income Housing, differentiated because the project is financed at least in part by private equity instead of 100% government funds.

If you’re planning to attend this year’s International Women’s Day Luncheon (March 8th), you can save $8 by buying your ticket before 5PM on February 14th. You’ll save even more (an additional $3) if you are a member of Friends/Foundation of the Jefferson County Library, Golden Chamber of Commerce, Golden History Museum, or Foothills Art Center. Learn more and purchase tickets….

Many thanks to the people and organizations who support "What's Happening in Golden."