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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

🏙️ TODAY IN DENVER

In case you missed it, the five-month investigation into 23-year-old Denver school board director Tay Anderson has concluded.

In a 96-page report that was turned over to the school board last week, an independent investigation firm was not able to substantiate the most serious allegations against Anderson, which included one claim of more than 60 instances of sexual assault against Denver Public Schools students.

However, the report did verify some behavior by Anderson that the school board deemed unbecoming of one of its members, including flirtatious interactions with DPS students and some social media posts that were perceived as “intimidating witnesses” in the midst of the investigation.

On Friday, the school board voted 6-1 at a special board meeting to censure (or publicly admonish) Anderson, with Anderson being the one “no” vote. Anderson, who has vehemently denied the allegations from the beginning, took the opportunity to share the personal attacks he and his family have endured since the accusations surfaced.

At a press conference just before the censure vote, Anderson criticized the move, specifically rebuking the scrutiny of his behavior as a teenager, and describing the censure as “reeking of anti-Blackness.”

A few protesters attended the press conference, including one DPS parent with a megaphone calling for Anderson’s resignation. The board doesn’t have the authority to remove members, and Anderson said he intends to finish the remaining two years of his term.
[Chalkbeat; Denverite]

👉 What you can do

  • Dive deeper into the investigation in today’s City Cast Denver episode, as Chalkbeat reporter Melanie Asmar helps parse out the facts of the summerlong saga.
  • Tune into a public address from Tay Anderson about his future with Denver Public Schools tonight at 6 p.m. 

☔ Do mine eyes deceive me? Today’s high is topping out at a cool 69 degrees, with chances for showers all day.

— Peyton Garcia, (@peytonmgarcia)

📰 IN OTHER NEWS

💉 FDA says “not so fast” on booster shots
In a move that likely has Gov. Jared Polis fired up, the Federal Drug Administration recommended that booster shots of the Pfizer COVID vaccine be reserved only for those who are high-risk or older than 65. Anticipating approval from the FDA, both Polis and the Biden administration hoped to roll out massive booster campaigns for the general public later this month. [CO Newsline]
👉 What you can do: See exactly what Polis thinks about booster shots.


🚨 City Council expresses concern over civilian task force
When city officials announced plans for a civilian-staffed Street Enforcement Team back in July, they likened the role to park rangers with team members able to issue citations for things like unauthorized camping, public urination, and trespassing (things which some people said unfairly targeted the unhoused community). But now, as the team is about to jump into action, a City Council committee is expressing some reservations about the power the group could wield. [Westword]
👉 What you can do: Refresh your memory with a little background info.


Finding the root of Civic Center Park’s problems
Last week, the city fenced off Civic Center Park, closing it to visitors indefinitely, citing an increase in violence, crime, drugs, and sanitary concerns. However, the decision leaves many wondering if this short-term closure will only lead to a temporary solution. Case in point: Though a renewed focus on the area by Denver police led to a decrease in crime, violence then peaked in the adjacent Ballpark neighborhood. Advocates for the unhoused also emphasize that the park’s closure just scatters people away from the resources they need. [Denver Post]

🏟️ THIS WEEK IN DENVER SPORTS

Rockies (70-79)
VS L.A. Dodgers Tue., Wed., Thur.
VS San Francisco Giants Fri., Sat., Sun.

🏈 Broncos (2-0)
VS New York Jets 2:05 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26

Rapids (12-4-8)
VS Toronto FC 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25

🎙 TODAY'S PODCAST

Breaking Down the Tay Anderson Investigation
16 mins
The five-month investigation into Denver school board director Tay Anderson has concluded with a 96-page report on investigators’ findings. It’s a big complicated document about a big complicated situation, and we’ve got Chalkbeat reporter Melanie Asmar on the show today to help sort out the facts. 

🎁 Want City Cast Swag? 

Refer your friends to the City Cast Denver newsletter because it’s awesome and you love it — aaand because you can earn super sweet City Cast swag while doing it! Use your unique referral link to start referring now! 

🗓️ MARK YOUR CAL

+ TONIGHT: Book signing at West Side Books
Author Emily Prado debuts “Funeral For Flaca,” a memoir detailing her experience growing up as a Chicana in a white landscape. She’ll be joined by Denver’s own Latinx writer, director, and filmmaker Manuel Aragon.

+ TONIGHT: Trivia Night
Join the Denver Trivia League at Colorado Sake Co., and if your team proves most clever, win a six-pack of sake! Anyone can play, no tickets needed. 

🍫 MOMENT OF JOY

Via giphy

Like something pulled straight out of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” one Colorado man who spent a whole year solving riddles and hunting for clues as part of a nationwide treasure hunt finally discovered the hidden booty — ownership of a Florida candy factory. [Read more 👉 Denver Post]

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