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Last year, Denver recorded its highest number of homicides (95) in nearly 40 years — and numbers for 2021 are looking dishearteningly similar.

From January to June of this year, Denver saw 43 homicides. In the same period last year, that number was 39. City data also shows that in the first half of 2021, someone was either killed or injured by a gun every 36 hours on average.

The 95 homicides in Denver in 2020 was a 51% increase from the year before. Experts across the nation are citing the pandemic and the country’s social justice climate as reasons for an increase in violence across the U.S.

Denver police commander Matt Clark says the city has seen an especially high uptick in drug-related homicides, with the amount so far this year already equaling the total amount of drug-related homicides in 2020.

A few weeks ago, the Denver Police Department held a “collaborative crime prevention effort” kickoff event at which they announced vague plans to work alongside community organizations and local businesses to dismantle, mitigate, and prevent crime, with a focus on youth programming.
[Denver Post; Denverite]

☔ Today’s weather should be partly sunny with a chance for thunderstorms throughout the day.

— Peyton Garcia, (@peytonmgarcia)


🚔 Is Denver upping encampment sweeps?
The mayor has said no, that the city is conducting the same amount of homeless encampment sweeps it always has since the sweeps began in 2016. But locals, unhoused residents, and activists don’t believe that to be true, and a new investigation by Denverite appears to support these claims. According to available data, the city has conducted sweeps every week since March 9, a 17-week record streak. [Denverite]

👷 New night market coming to Sun Valley
The Revitalizing Main Streets grant program has awarded nearly $45,000 to the West Colfax Business Improvement District to back a new community night market in the Sun Valley neighborhood. The project will convert the space under the Colfax Viaduct near Empower Field into a community event space that will host food vendors, public art, and biking and walking trails. The market is expected to open early in 2022. [CO Politics]

🔎Sheriff’s Dept. expansion over time, over budget
According to a city auditor, the renovation of Building 24 at the Denver Sheriff’s Department took more time and money than crews originally promised, requiring an extra three years and $2.6 million. The auditor said this project didn’t pass the test for “responsible management of funds.” Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn said department officials promise to do better. [Denver Post]


Lisa Calderón Wants to Break the Glass Ceiling for Women in Politics
15 mins
Lisa Calderón is leaving her role as Chief of Staff to Councilperson Candi CdeBaca to head Emerge Colorado, an organization that trains Democratic women wanting to run for office. Lisa chatted with us about her new position and women in politics. 


+ TONIGHT: Curator Talk: Latin American Art
This week’s Curator Talk at Denver Art Museum will highlight DAM’s collection of Latin American art featuring curator Jorge Rivas Pérez.

+ WEDNESDAY: UnWine Wednesday
The Museum of Outdoor Arts invites you to enjoy wine, pizza, art demos, and music at UnWine Wednesday in the newly renovated Marjorie Park.

+ WEDNESDAY: Novel Strand Brewing Co. Anniversary Party
Novel Strand Brewing Co. kicks off a four-day celebration in honor of its third anniversary. There will be new beer releases and food trucks at the brewery starting Wednesday until Sunday. 


Zach Courts and Ari Henning are the two professional “motorheads” behind the RevZilla YouTube series “Common Tread XP.” They’re also really big fans of the 1994 cult classic comedy “Dumb and Dumber” starring Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey, which inspired the pair to recreate the movie’s iconic mini-motorbike ride from Nebraska to Aspen, Colorado. While the journey in the movie takes a quick three minutes, Courts and Henning wanted to see if the freezing mid-April 400-mile trek could actually be done in real life. So they built a true-to-scale replica of the mini-motorbike from the movie and documented the “hellish” experience for their YouTube channel, briefcase in hand and all. Check it out. 👉 [The Aspen Times]

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