Affordable Housing, Creek Follow-Up, and All About the Golden Gem

July 1, 2020

Golden Eye Candy – Chris Davell – Rainbow after the storm – Click to enlarge

Public Health References
CDC * Colorado * Jefferson County * City of Golden

Coronavirus report from Jeffco Public Health’s Case Summary Page, as of 3PM Friday:

Cases in Jeffco
Monday: 2634 | Tuesday: 2702
Deaths in Jeffco
Monday: 208 | Tuesday: 210
Ever Hospitalized in Jeffco
Monday: 419 | Tuesday: 424 (currently 16)
Recovered
Monday: 2297| Tuesday: 2339
Known Cases in Golden
Monday: 112 | Tuesday: 112

The Safer at Home protocol is in effect. Check the City’s site to learn more about what that entails. Everyone is still requested to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth when leaving the house. City and County fire restrictions are in place.


Virtual Golden

9-10AM Virtual Power Training
10:15-11:15AM Let’s Dance with the Library
6-8PM Golden United Housing Task Force – Register here
6-8PM Wednesday Watch Meeting with the Library: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
6PM Coronavirus Community Briefing with Mayor Weinberg and City Manager Slowinski

6:30PM Planning Commission Study Session
The Planning Commission will be joined by Golden Urban Renewal Authority members tonight. They will discuss the planned redevelopment of our West Colfax corridor, specifically focusing on how to include affordable housing in the plan.


City Council and Coronavirus Measures

City Council had a fairly complicated discussion about masks and creek closings last night. Rather than try to recap it, I encourage you to watch it yourself. That meeting was 3 hours long, so you might get the information more easily by watching the Mayor’s and City Manager’s Coronavirus Community Briefing tonight at 6PM on GCO.TV.

There were a lot of interesting public comments regarding masks and creek closure that you might like to read. In yesterday’s email I said “the merchants say that the people who come to the creek don’t shop and don’t eat in our restaurants.” That has been said many times, for many years, but I shouldn’t have over-generalized, since one of the public comments came from a merchant, saying that his store does get patrons from among the creek-users.


Past Fourths of July – enlarge

Councilor Fisher wrote me yesterday to ask whether the photos I posted of Creek crowds were taken this year or previous years. They were taken on the 4th of July on two different years, and one was taken during a Fine Arts Festival. I thought they were relevant since we’re coming up on the 4th of July, but here are two that the City took last weekend:


Clear Creek photos taken June 27th & 28th, 2020. Courtesy, City of Golden. Click to enlarge.

Golden History Moment


Celebrating Golden Days at the Golden Gem in 1941 – Golden History Museum Collection – Click to enlarge

Downtown Golden had a movie theater for more than 60 years. The Golden Gem opened in October of 1908 in a former church, located across 10th Street from Parfet Park (location). They quickly upgraded, moving to the Merkle building (1110 Washington Avenue–now Windy Saddle Cafe (map). Films were silent at that time, and in 1910, the Gem employed a five-piece orchestra to accompany the films. In 1911, the owner installed “The finest electric sign ever placed in Golden.” (Colorado Transcript, 6/1/1911)


The three homes of the Golden Gem: 10th and Jackson, 1110 Washington, and 1301 Washington Avenue

In 1911, the owners of a former stable at 13th and Washington decided to demolish it and build a new, modern building on the site. The Golden Athletic Club rented the second floor and the Golden Gem Theater rented the first floor. The Theater moved in June 1912 and stayed there for the rest of its existence.


Golden Gem on the right, circa 1930s – Denver Public Library Western History Collection – Click to enlarge

Early films came on large reels, each reel weighing about 5 pounds and running for about 11 minutes. Advertisements would describe a film as a 2-reel film. An evening’s program would commonly include several films. The films weren’t necessarily stories–they often showed real events, such as a rodeo. In one case, they showed movies of a hunting trip taken by Theodore Roosevelt. The Gem showed their first “talkie” (movie with sound) in 1929.


Colorado Transcript, Number 19, March 15, 1928

The theater ran many promotions over the years. In 1928, they partnered with the Fromhart Motor Company and the Golden Transcript to give away a car to “the most popular young lady in Jefferson County.” During the Depression, they would give away silverware on Tuesday nights, and at times they held drawings for a box of groceries.


The Gem, circa 1950, with the neon marquee – Denver Public Library Western History Collection – Click to enlarge

The Gem was “refreshed” several times, to update the look (and often the seats). One major remodel took place in 1949. A newly-updated Gem theater, with a brilliant new neon marquee, had its Grand Opening the same night the Golden Welcome Arch was illuminated for the first time (it used to have neon letters).


The Gem in the 1950s – Click to enlarge

The Gem was always a centerpiece of our visitor attraction efforts. Golden was “the” downtown for many people living west of Denver and in the mountains, so people would come to Golden for a night out–dinner and a movie.


Golden Transcript, Volume 108, Number 199, October 2, 1975

The Golden Gem, along with Golden’s downtown business district, slowly eroded throughout the 1960s and 70s. It went through several owners. One even showed x-rated movies. The Transcript mentioned that some young people referred to the place as “the Golden Germ”. Finally, the Foss family (of Foss Drug Store fame) bought the building and divided it into several retail spaces.

Crowd Control and a Seventies Sampler

June 30, 2020

Golden Eye Candy by Jesse CrockClick to enlarge

Month-End Appeal

Many thanks to the people who sponsored this email for the month of June. If you find this valuable, interesting, or fun, please consider sponsoring us for the month of July.


Public Health References
CDC * Colorado * Jefferson County * City of Golden

Coronavirus report from Jeffco Public Health’s Case Summary Page, as of 3PM Friday:

Cases in Jeffco
Friday: 2634 | Monday: 2684
Deaths in Jeffco
Friday: 208 | Monday: 209
Ever Hospitalized in Jeffco
Friday: 419 | Monday: 423 (currently 17)
Recovered
Friday: 2297| Monday: 2328
Known Cases in Golden
Friday: 112 | Monday: 112

The Safer at Home protocol is in effect. Check the City’s site to learn more about what that entails. Everyone is still requested to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth when leaving the house. City and County fire restrictions are in place.


Virtual Golden

9-9:40AM Virtual Core Conditioning
10:15-11:15AM Baby and Toddler Time with the Library
1-2:30PM Zoom into Watercolor with Janet Nunn – Lotus Blossom – Register with Foothills Art Center


Real Golden

The slide from Parfet Park down to the Creek is open again.


City Council Meeting Tonight


Clear Creek attracts big crowds all summer. Click to enlarge.

6PM City Council has scheduled a special meeting tonight to discuss safety concerns related to the pandemic.

Council is in a difficult position. If public health were the only concern, the best thing to do would be to shut down the town and ask everyone to stay home. That’s not the only concern. Many people depend on our small businesses for their livelihoods, so the city has worked hard to help them stay open and operate safely. They’ve been trying different configurations of barriers to provide the restaurants with extra outdoor dining space. They’ve provided the merchants with masks that they could hand out to their customers. They’ve promised to support any safety measures that the merchants specify.

But what can and should they do about Clear Creek? Based on the protocol used in previous years, when the Creek is running high and fast in the spring, the Police Chief is authorized to forbid people from entering the Creek. When the flow slows to a certain point, kayaks are allowed, and when it goes lower still, all bans are off, so tubers, waders, swimmers, and anyone else can enter.

Ever since we built the kayak park (thus turning the Creek into a pleasant place to be), it has attracted mobs of visitors. And why not? The view is great and–unlike waterparks–there’s no admission charge and no charge for parking. This year the crowds are poised to be worse than usual, because so many other recreational options are shut down.

Many Golden residents feel a bit ambivalent about the whole thing. We like the Creek ourselves, but it’s so crowded with visitors that many residents avoid it entirely. In the meantime, we’re bearing the expense of maintenance and staffing (rangers, EMTs, police, parks personnel, etc.). What’s in it for us?

It does attract LOTS of visitors to town, but the merchants say that the people who come to the creek don’t shop and don’t eat in our restaurants…so there’s little financial justification for hosting all those people.

This year comes with a new set of complications. The Creek is as attractive as ever, and many (or most) of the people who come are disinclined to observe social distancing or wear masks. Gentle suggestions that people wear masks and maintain social distance have not been effective.

What can City Council do to keep Golden residents, our first responders, and our visitors safe? That is the subject of tonight’s special meeting. They will discuss mask requirements and any other steps that they can and should take to improve safety during the pandemic.

You can watch the meeting live on GCO.tv or Comcast Channel 8 or 880 (HD). To listen to the meeting by phone, call: +1-408-418-9388 and enter access code: 146 550 5700.


Golden History Moment

In 1969, the Colorado Transcript went from being a weekly paper to publishing Monday through Friday. The name changed at that time to the Golden Daily Transcript. It also began publishing national stories from syndicated services, so in reading those early Golden Transcripts, I’ve picked up a lot about the early years of the Nixon administration.

Here’s a sampler of what was happening in Golden at the end of June, 1970 (50 years ago).

The outdoor pool on 10th Street was drawing big crowds.

A raft capsized in Clear Creek and the Golden Fire Department rescued its two passengers

The County dump burned, but fortunately the smoke from the fire drifted east instead of towards Golden.

The pipefitters at Coors were on strike.

We dedicated our new library (which is now the Golden History Museum).

The accused Rapist of a 12 Year Old Golden Girl Was Caught.

The Armory was for sale.

Golden’s Coin-Op Laundry (now the Colorado Cidery) opened for business.

The Golden Symphony (now the Jefferson Symphony) played at Red Rocks.

It was a very good year for roses.

The Kiwanis club was selling fireworks in the Safeway parking lot

Jaycees were selling flowering trees to help pay for the City’s fireworks display.

The Golden Marlins (swim team) won their first meet of the season.

A Golden teen-aged girl was shot to death in Parfet Park. Golden police were searching Clear Creek for the murder weapon.

The Golden Tourism booth was doing a brisk business. Vi Hader, executive secretary of the Golden Chamber of Commerce remarked, “I swear, I don’t know who’s tending the corn in Iowa. Everybody in Iowa is vacationing in Colorado.”


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City Services Re-Opening and the 19th Century Plains Indian Wars

June 29, 2020

Golden Eye Candy by Chris Davell – Click to enlarge

Month-End Appeal

Many thanks to the people who sponsored this email for the month of June. If you find this valuable, interesting, or fun, please consider sponsoring us for the month of July.


Coronavirus News

Public Health References
CDC * Colorado * Jefferson County * City of Golden

Jeffco Public Health is updating the stats for COVID-19 cases Monday through Friday afternoons, so the next update I post will be in tomorrow’s email.

The Safer at Home protocol is in effect. Check the City’s site to learn more about what that entails. Everyone is still requested to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth when leaving the house. City and County fire restrictions are in place.


Virtual Golden

6:30-7:25AM Virtual Dynamic Circuit
9-10AM Virtual Power Training
10:15-11:15AM Spanish Story Time with the Library


Real Life Golden Resuming

Starting today, the outdoor lap pool at The Splash will be open by appointment for laps only. Book a time here.

Beginning Thursday, the Golden History Museum will be open Thursday-Saturday from 10AM-2PM. Only members with reservations will be admitted from 10-11AM. Learn more on the museum’s blog….


Golden History Moment

One of my readers asked me last week if the Transcript had been a racist paper. I responded that the editorial voice depended on the editor, and for the most part no, they were not notably racist…with the exception of the period from 1906-1927, when George West’s son, Harley, was running the paper. I could produce several examples of racist comments from his era.

Having made such a statement, imagine my surprise when I saw the article published 150 years ago today, on June 29, 1870: “Will the West Stand for It?” I have no doubt that George West himself wrote this article, in which he expresses fury with the Grant administration for their efforts to make peace with the Plains Indians.


President Ulysses S. Grant – Courtesy of the Library of Congress

It is not at all strange that western people look with the most supreme contempt upon the President and officers of the government who have debased themselves and insulted every man, woman, and child west of the Missouri by this miserable driveling over the lousy, cutthroat Sioux whom they have been feasting and fawning upon for the last three weeks. These very brutes and their followers have been murdering our men and women with the most horrible indecencies for the past five years….


Chief Red Cloud – Courtesy
of the Library of Congress

The article goes on to refer to them as “these murderers of our brethren and ravishers of our wives and sisters…murderous savages…villainous brutes.”

That article wasn’t “racist” in the way that his son’s were–referencing a marginalized group with contempt–but it certainly expresses loathing for an enemy of another race.

The article ends with the threat of the western states seceding from the union “if the government does not cease its insults and give us the protection we have the right to claim!” (This, coming from a Union officer.) It was an unusually passionate and angry article from the normally low-key, good-natured George West.