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Some Denver city employees might be getting a $400 bonus next month — if they’re vaccinated, that is.

Mayor Michael Hancock wants to use $5 million from the city’s contingency fund to dole out bonuses to employees who’ve received the COVID vaccine — which is more than 10,000 people, as roughly 99% of employees met the city’s vaccination mandate deadline last Thursday.

Hancock publicly announced this bonus idea early last month, branding it not as an incentive program for the vaccine, but a reward program. City Council slammed the brakes pretty quickly though, saying the mayor sprung the proposal on them.

Lawmakers delayed the vote on the measure twice before it was presented to a council committee on Tuesday. Council members voted (4-2) to forward the proposal to the full council for consideration at their Oct. 25 meeting.

The committee did make one tweak though… In his initial pitch, Hancock said people who were granted religious or medical exemptions from the vaccine mandate would qualify for the bonus. In the amended proposal, employees with exemptions can get the bonus only if they remain compliant with weekly COVID tests and mask orders through Dec. 10, whereas fully vaccinated employees could get their money as early as next month.
[Westword; Denverite]

☀️ Does anyone else feel weird drinking their pumpkin spice latte when it’s sunny and 78?

— Peyton Garcia, (@peytonmgarcia)


💵 Cops, firefighters rewarded for last year’s services
Uniformed city employees (think police officers and firefighters) who were required to work in close contact with the public during peak pre-vaccine pandemic times (specifically March 2020 to December 2020) could be awarded as much as $2,500 in “premium pay” for their services. A bill proposing to pay eligible employees $250 extra for each month that they spent working in-person during that 10-month timeframe was unanimously approved by a City Council committee and will now be considered by the full council. The money would come from federal relief funds. [Denverite]

🌱 DPS plans to grow all its own kitchen produce
This week, the Denver Public Schools district broke ground on a brand new, five-acre, $4 million commercial greenhouse. The district plans to grow fruits and veggies that can go straight from the planter onto the plates of DPS students. The greenhouse, which is being built in Denver’s southeast Marston neighborhood, should be ready for planting as soon as next spring. District officials will begin with tomatoes, but plan to eventually produce leafy greens, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries. [9News]
👉 What you can do: Meet the gourmet chefs making DPS lunches.

🍔 Greenwood Village welcomes Shake Shack
Shake Shack has announced that its sixth Denver area location will soon open where the old Greenwood Village Macaroni Grill used to be at 7979 E. Arapahoe Road. Since the East Coast burger icon made its Colorado debut in RiNo in 2018, Shake Shacks have popped up in Highlands Ranch, Cherry Creek, Edgewater, and the airport. And if you’re saying, “But Peyton, why should I care about this out-of-state burger chain?” you clearly didn’t listen to the City Cast Denver Burger Crawl episode. [BusinessDen]


Are Colorado’s Sex Offender Laws Really Keeping the Community Safe?
16 mins
Colorado’s Supreme Court recently ruled that it's unconstitutional for juveniles convicted of repeat sex offenses to be listed on the state sex offender registry for life. Today, Host Bree Davies talks with psychologist and professor Dr. Apryl Alexander about an issue most of society doesn’t want to talk about — sex offenders and their rights.

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+ SATURDAY: Poetry & Prana
Unwind from the week and indulge in what’s left of the warm weather with an open-air, all-levels afternoon Vinyasa yoga practice at Cheesman Park.

+ SATURDAY: Ofrendas Mercado
If you’re preparing an altar for Día de los Muertos, shop handmade ofrenda accessories from local and international artists at this curated artisan market.

+ SATURDAY: Denver Central Market 5th Anniversary
The Denver Central Market is celebrating five years of gourmet products and services with an all-day birthday party complete with music, tasty specials, and a raffle for prizes. 


(Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post/Getty Images)

The Denver Zoo’s best dressed residents moved into a fancy new habitat enclosure recently, complete with a 10,000-gallon pool, artificial wave maker, and a big heated rock. I mean, they look pretty happy with their new digs to me. Read more on what the new exhibit has to offer its tuxedoed tenants and their human visitors in this CPR article

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