Denver in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Dec. 26

Christmas is over. The week looms.

Snow and cows in Jefferson County off Highway 93. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)cowx; weather; cold; snow; winter; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Snow and cows in Jefferson County off Highway 93. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) cowx; weather; cold; snow; winter; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Snow and cows in Jefferson County off Colo. 93. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Christmas is over. The week looms. Maybe you’re back at work, maybe you’ve gone skiing or maybe you’re wishing your relatives had got a hotel room.

We’ve got short reads and long reads here to keep you on top of what you need to know today.

Twilight of the Santas

Colorado Springs-area Santa Billy Gooch looks back on a long career dedicated to making the magic of Christmas come alive for children and on the wishes he couldn’t grant. I’m probably just in a mood this year, but this story really got to me. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

Kwanzaa starts tonight

It’s the 50th anniversary of the founding of Kwanzaa. There are community events in the Denver area every night except Jan. 1. (Brother Jeff)

It was crazy windy Sunday.

Gusts of more than 90 miles an hour were recorded in some mountain communities, and 50,000 homes lost power. Xcel Energy says 3,000 people are still without power this morning, and it could be tonight before everyone has electricity restored. The high winds also fueled a brush fire north of Boulder. (Denverite/Boulder Daily Camera)

What candidates spend is just a small piece of the whole

The Colorado Independent took an in-depth look at what outside groups spent to try to influence the outcome of state legislative races. But despite all that cash, in several cases the group that spent the most saw their candidate lose. And all this effort left both the state House and Senate in the same hands as last session. (Colorado Independent)

The National Park Service’s 100th birthday party hangover

The National Park Service flung open its doors this year with free days and lots of promotions to celebrate its 100th anniversary. A lot of people turned out to experience our public lands, and all those people took a toll on the infrastructure of the parks. (High Country News)

When parents don’t protect children

You’ll need to set aside some time for this one, but hey, you might have that time this week. 5280 magazine’s December issue includes an in-depth look at Colorado’s child welfare system and why it can be hard to prove cases. The very notion that children could be abused and that physicians might see the evidence was actually born in Denver. (5280)

Art for the end of the world

Like Téa Leoni and Maximilian Schell huddled on the beach in Deep Impact, that’s how Ray Rinaldi felt at Jonathan Saiz’s exhibit at the Leon Gallery. It’s only there through Jan. 8, so check it out … before it’s too late. (One Good Eye)

 

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.