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Letters to the Editor

Time And Energy For Nothing

To the Editor:

I’m flummoxed.

About a year ago a movement began to designate an area of about 700 homes within Park Hill as Historic. If the designation went through, it would offer protection for many, if not most, of Park Hill’s historic homes from significant change. Designation would have used a city government system, already in place in roughly 50 other areas within Denver, to accomplish this.

Residents within this area were encouraged to invest time and energy to learn about Historic Designation. We were asked to go to a website and offer our opinion as to whether we wanted it to be approved. We read reams of minutiae on how it worked within city government. We attended a contentious meeting on the subject at McAuliffe Middle School. Some of us even gave up hours of our personal time to canvas the neighborhood and discuss the subject with our neighbors. We engaged in a war of yard signs; expressing whether we were for designation, or against it.

The website, by the way, remains up (historicparkhill.org). The survey indicates that people within the designated area were for approval, at a ratio of 2-1. On this basis, I believe city council would have more likely than not, approved designation.

So why was this plan discarded? Apparently about a dozen or so people, on both sides of the issue, decided to reinvent the wheel. They discarded a plan that has already been established within city government, with another idea that is not currently established within city government. This sidesteps a plan that hundreds of people took the time to learn and then express an opinion on.

I have no doubt that they mean well and want the best thing for Park Hill. Nonetheless, I’m aggravated that the wishes of so many, were dismissed in lieu of a new plan formulated by so few. I think many others likely agree.

Bill Sudmeier , Park Hill

Another Angle To Soaring Drug Prices

Noticeably absent from last month’s news article on the continued increase in prescription drug prices was Senate Amendment 178, introduced this Jan. 11, to allow for re-importation of drugs from Canada. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet voted against this bipartisan move to lower the price of drugs. On March 29, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken introduced Senate Bill 771, which allows Medicare to negotiate prices. Sen. Bennet is not among the 15 co-sponsors. SB 771 would have a greater and more immediate impact than fast-tracking generic drugs.

We need both Colorado Senators – Bennet, and Sen. Cory Gardner – to support SB771 now.

Sue Wainess, Park Hill

$20 Million For Colfax Closer To Ballot

I’m writing to thank Park Hill neighbors for supporting our general bond funding proposal for pedestrian safety and streetscape improvements on East Colfax Avenue.

Your advocacy got our project back on the list not once, not twice, but three times! There are a great many worthy projects across the city, but only Colfax has four business districts, six council districts, 15 neighborhoods and 1,000 business owners behind it.

The $20 million bond package also includes improvements in three other business districts west to Sheridan Boulevard. Our section is East Colfax between Eudora Street and Monaco Parkway, as well as the Mayfair Town Center at 14th and Krameria.

If approved by City Council in August and voters in November, this bond project will enhance pedestrian crossings (especially on Colfax at Fairfax Avenue) and add streetlights, trash cans, permeable landscape and street trees. The BID will pay for long-term maintenance costs.

Together, these small but impactful improvements will make the area safer and more comfortable for everyone. They will provide a visual cue to motorists to slow down. And they’ll help Colfax operate more like the main street it once was, attracting new neighborhood-serving businesses. For more info, check out www.colfaxmayfairbid.com under “Streetscape Project.”

The November bond package also includes $55 million in improvements related to bus rapid transit on East Colfax between Broadway and Yosemite. If approved, Colfax will be the first BRT transit corridor in Denver, with frequent buses moving some 50,000 people per day to work, school, shopping and entertainment.

For more info on the entire Colfax project, search for “Colfax Corridor Connections” on the Denver Public Works web page.

Revitalization efforts for Colfax Avenue began in the 1980s, and 30 city plans call for safety and streetscape improvements. Thank you for insisting that this get done!

Hilarie Portell, Executive Director, Colfax Mayfair Business Improvement District

Allegra’s Pizza Shopping For New Home

Many of our customers and friends have been asking what will happen to Allegra’s Pizza given all the changes that are planned for the Oneida Park Center (see full coverage of the plans so far in the June issue, at greaterparkhill.org).

The Oneida Park Center, on Oneida between 22nd and 23rd Avenues, was purchased by two developers in January. Shortly after the center was purchased, Tony talked with the new owners. He wanted to lease the vacant space next door to the pizzeria, cut an archway into the wall separating the two spaces, and use the new space as a dining room for the pizzeria. Essentially, the idea was to expand the pizzeria with sit-down capacity.

Tony was told that if he wanted to continue to operate a pizzeria in the center, after our current lease expires in April, 2018, he would have to move across the street. There is a green space planned near what is now the liquor store and the Tiger POS building, and the pizzeria would need to be fronting that space.

To do that Tony would need to build out a completely new kitchen space. That would take a very large investment as the construction would require a new hood, fire suppression system, air replacement system, grease trap, and floor drains, in addition to a new interior for the restaurant, new wiring, new plumbing, etc.

In essence, the choice was to build a brand new pizzeria across the street or to leave the center when our lease ends next April. It doesn’t make sense to us to build out a new pizzeria in a center in which Tony already has a pizzeria.

So, we have been looking for a new space in the Park Hill/ Stapleton area for the past six months. This has proven fairly difficult, given the commercial real estate market that currently exists. However, the search continues. In the intervening time we will continue to operate the business at its current location.

We appreciate all the support we have received over the past 10 years. We really don’t have customers, we have friends, and we appreciate you all! Thank you.

Tony and Christine Uva,
Owners, Allegra’s Pizza

WeeCycle For Diapers

Did you know that in Colorado, the average monthly supply of diapers costs approximately $80? A family of four living at the poverty level (federally defined as earning at or below $24,000 annually), can spend upwards of 10 percent of their income on diapers. That can mean having to choose between diapers and other necessary expenses, such as food or household bills.

Currently, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is the only federal program that provides families with funding to spend on diapers (programs like food stamps and WIC do not allow funds to be used to purchase diapers). For a family comprised of one parent and two children, the maximum benefit they can receive from TANF (in Colorado) is $462. While that may sound like enough to cover diapers, it must also cover expenses such as rent, clothing, transportation, heating, electricity, water bills, etc. Factor in that both children in the family may be in diapers, and TANF doesn’t go nearly far enough. Without enough money for diapers, 8 percent of families report reusing dirty diapers, exposing their children to health risks and rashes because they need to eat.

The Denver-based organization, WeeCycle, provides gently used baby gear to local families in need. One item that can’t be provided used, however, is diapers. WeeCycle is asking for those who are willing to help us host 38 diaper drives in honor of National Diaper Need Awareness Week. If you can, please sign up to host a drive either with your company, your book club, or as an individual between Sept. 1 and Sept. 23. No effort is too small! Please contact me at 303-810-1903 or erinkpier@gmail.com for more information.

Erin Pier, Park Hill

Correction: Last month’s page 1 story about the truce that has been reached in the ongoing debate over historic designation for the original area of Park Hill included the name of one author, Rebecca Rogers. The update should have included the names of several members of a group that is trying to help bring about a reconciliation between those supporting and those opposing historic designation in Park Hill. They include Jeff Pearson, Mark Davidson, Judy Wolfe, Rebecca Rogers, Calvin Lee, and Shane Sutherland. The update can be read online at greaterparkhill.org/2017/06/truce-called-historic-designation-debate/

Editor’s Note: We love your letters, and give preference to those that address an issue that has been covered in the newspaper, or a topic that is Park Hill or Denver-specific. Send letters to editor@greaterparkhill.org, and include your full name, and the neighborhood in which you live. Deadlines are the 15th of each month, for the following month’s issue. Past issues can be read at greaterparkhill.org.


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