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FRIDAY, JULY 2, 2021

🏙️ TODAY IN DENVER

Mayor Michael Hancock has announced the city’s newest plans for combating homelessness in Denver.

At a conference on Wednesday, the mayor pointed to a number of successful initiatives born in response to COVID that he would like to build on, including Safe Outdoor Spaces, eviction protection, rental assistance, and converting vacant hotels into shelters.

All good news, right? Right … except for his no-budge stance on the city’s encampment sweeps. The mayor firmly emphasized his support of clearing out homeless campsites, despite public protest and controversy, reiterating that “unsanctioned encampments are not an option.”

The city is currently working to create a “civilian enforcement team” to replace police officers on the sweeps. Officials likened the position to that of a park ranger in that members will be able to issue citations. The group will be in charge of encampment sweeps, as well as enforcing other city rules like park curfews, leash ordinances, and scooter parking.
[Denverite; CO Politics; Denver Post]

⚠️ Note: Like you, the City Cast Denver team will be grilling hot dogs and watching fireworks for the Fourth of July, so don’t expect a new episode in your podcast feed or a newsletter in your inbox on Monday! 🎆

☀️ 🇺🇸 This weekend will be mostly warm and sunny with some afternoon storms that will hopefully not interfere with the holiday festivities too much.

— Peyton Garcia, (@peytonmgarcia)

📰 IN OTHER NEWS

🛫 Council committee OKs Phil Washington
Phil Washington, Mayor Hancock’s nominee to succeed Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day, received full approval from a City Council committee this week. At the Wednesday hearing, council members questioned Washington about his experience, visions for the airport, and (very briefly) their concerns regarding the ongoing investigation into the L.A. Metro where he previously worked. The full City Council will vote on Washington’s nomination July 12. [CO Politics]
👉 What you can do: Listen to this episode of City Cast Denver that takes a deeper look into the L.A. Metro investigation and what Phil Washington’s appointment could mean for DIA.


Horror Bar shutters amid unsavory accusations
The horror movie-themed cocktail bar that opened on Colfax in March to much fanfare has closed indefinitely after multiple women came forward with claims of sexual harassment by owner Nathan Szklarski. Last week, accusations exploded across Horror Bar’s Facebook page, as well as Szklarski’s personal page. Szklarski has said he is seeking legal counsel. [Westword]

💉 Final weekend for mass vax sites
This week, the state health department announced it will be closing all six of its walk-in mass vaccination sites by Sunday, July 4. Officials say about 12% of all Colorado vaccinations were administered at these sites (roughly 400,000 doses). Now, nearly 70% of eligible Coloradans are vaccinated. [RMPBS]
👉 What you can do: Want a shot? Talk to your primary care physician or check out this vaccine provider map.


🪕 Nathaniel Rateliff to take over Skylark Lounge
If you were worried about losing the “honky-tonk, rockabilly” locale, fret no more! After more than a year on sale, The Skylark Lounge was just purchased by a group led by none other than Denver folk musician Nathaniel Rateliff. They intend to keep the divey music and pool bar very much the same. [Westword]

🎙 TODAY'S PODCAST

War of the Moths
10 mins
It’s that time of year, when the miller moths complete their annual migration from the plains to the mountains, stoking fear in the hearts of many Coloradans along the way. Enjoy this dramatic audio presentation from the City Cast Denver crew, which is a loose adaptation of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds.

🗓️ MARK YOUR CALENDAR (FOURTH OF JULY EDITION 🇺🇸 )

+ TONIGHT: Baseball and Fireworks
If you’re planning on attending the Rockies’ games against the St. Louis Cardinals tonight or tomorrow, plan on staying late to watch the iconic July Fourth Coors Field fireworks. Or, you can post up at a nearby patio (like Avanti) for some next-best views.

+ SUNDAY: Bike Ride to Fireworks
Deck out your bike (or skateboard or scooter) with all the July Fourth bells and whistles for a community ride around the city that will end at a fireworks display. The ride begins at the downtown REI.

+ SUNDAY: Liberty Run
Run for the red, white, and blue at the Fourth of July Liberty Run. This four-mile race will raise funds for the Denver Fire Foundation and culminate in an awards ceremony and costume contest.

+ SUNDAY: Fourth of July Parade
The Lower Highland neighborhood invites you to its 14th annual community Fourth of July Parade featuring festive floats, games, and live music.

+ ALL WEEKEND: All the Fireworks!
Take your pick from all of the holiday firework shows around the metro area — Glendale, Lakewood, Littleton, Arvada, Lone Tree. Get the deets here

🍋 MOMENT OF JOY
Credit: @debtakahara on Twitter

Two young girls in Commerce City set up a lemonade stand this week to raise funds for fallen Arvada police officer Gordon Beesley’s family. Beesley was killed by a gunman in Olde Town Arvada last week. The girls, Scarlet Reust and Addyson Elliott, say they sold about six jugs of lemonade and raised $1,850 for the Beesley family. (I’m not crying, you’re crying! 😭 )

“People came and didn’t even want any lemonade but just gave us money. It just grew and grew and grew and grew and grew and grew,” Scarlet said. [KDVR]

Got an idea for us? Email us at denver@citycast.fm.
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