Denver in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Sept. 22

An Armstice Day parade on 16th Street marks the end of World War I in 1918. For some reason, an effigy is hanging. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-18719)

I read the news, I tell you what interested me. Today: Homeless camps, Tasers in Aurora, soda-tax shenanigans and more.

Pipe Town is a secret camp no more.

I missed this story by Chris Walker yesterday. Walker got a tip on Sunday that the city was about to clear out a place called Pipe Town, where people have been living in tents and wooden houses along a central path for a few years. Residents received a couple weeks’ notice, as did other service providers.

Still, Walker writes that it’s a “concerted effort by the city to uproot even its most out-of-the-way homeless individuals.”

I asked the city. Spokeswoman Julie Smith replied that “there were very serious concerns about the unsafe, unhealthy and inhumane conditions (human waste, needles, mounds of trash, rodents) for the people staying there and there were additional environmental concerns posed by the location.” She said outreach teams were at the site for five weeks ahead of the clearance, and connected several people to services.


Darsean Kelley asked Aurora police why he was being detained.

His back was turned, his hands were raised and he was standing still. The officer was searching for a man with a gun, but had no description, according to the ACLU. As Kelley continued to ask questions, the officer fired a Taser. Kelley fell to the ground and hit his head, ACLU reports.

But was the use of the weapon allowed by Aurora police rules? Totally unclear, because they pretty much leave everything to the officer’s discretion. The officer in question was cleared of wrongdoing, but it’s under review again. (Aurora Sentinel)

Boulder businesses say they were duped by Big Soda.

OK, they’re actually called the American Beverage Association, but anyway: Boulder will vote this fall on whether to put a 2-cent tax on sugary drinks, and now there’s DRAMA.

Last week, ABA ran an ad in the newspaper listing a bunch of local businesses that are “taking a stand” against the tax. This week, the newspaper reports that several of those businesses totally didn’t mean to authorize the use of their names, and at least one likes the tax. Alex Burness has the super-size story. (Boulder Daily Camera)

The Zeppelins continue to go hard on the South Platte.

Their latest project, Flight, will expand the riverside Taxi development by 140,000 square feet and about $50 million. Boa Technology will be the main occupant. They make alternatives to shoelaces. (DBJ)

$1,435 for a studio, $2,355 for two bedrooms.

That’s what SkyHouse Denver will cost you. It’s at Broadway and East 18th Avenue, an area that’s still home to quite a lot of parking lots. Its first retail tenant sells acai smoothies.  (DP)


Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email