Instead of showing up to Denver International Airport to have her GPS ankle bracelet removed and board a flight to Peru, Ingrid Encalada defied deportation orders on Tuesday for the second time in a year. With her two kids in tow, she drove this morning to Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins to live in sanctuary once again.
The resulting material produced a mosaic of faces and opinions of Denver’s wickedest street.
This week, as part of our extensive coverage of Colfax Avenue, a handful of us camped out in front of Lawrence and Larimer on East Colfax at Steele Street and spent five hours interviewing everyone who would speak to us on the record.
All day, people told uswhat the street means and feels like to them. The resulting material produced a mosaic of faces and opinions.
The Colorado Guardian Angels have seen the neighborhood transform since its rough-and-tumble days. Few know the “wicked” drag as intimately as they do.
Tom Garcia was 13 years old when East Colfax Avenue became his home. He’d grown up inside homes for orphaned boys until a series of fights over a hot dog landed him and another boy in the hospital. When he got out, the young Garcia fled to Denver’s Colfax Avenue with pockets full of cash and jewelry stolen from his former roommates.
He would spend his teenage years in the 1970s causing mayhem in Capitol Hill and sleeping many nights on the street. He ran with a crew of street toughs, holding up strip clubs and luring drunken bar patrons into empty apartments to rob them.
“That was my area to destroy and conquer,” said Garcia, now in his sixties. “I destroyed those streets. Made them what they were. Turned it into a shithole.”
Jewish immigrants were part of those first colonial population booms that shaped the city and state — and they left their mark on Colfax Avenue.
The stereotypical image of Wild West settlers probably doesn’t include Yom Kippur services. Nonetheless, Jewish immigrants were part of those first colonial population booms that shaped the city and state — and they left their mark on Colfax Avenue.
In fact, the original viaduct that bridged West Colfax into downtown was known as the “Jewish Passover,” according to University of Denver historian Jeanne Abrams. The nickname spoke to the dense population of immigrants who lived underneath the elevated stretch of road.
Part of that community still stands today: It’s the cluster of brightly painted buildings beneath Colfax Avenue amid the parking lots of Mile High Field Stadium — and that’s only part of the Jewish legacy here.
As Colorado’s elderly population booms, one DU robotics lab may be developing a solution to a national caregiver shortage.
The metro area has a challenge: we’re getting older, and fast. Colorado is the third-fastest aging state in the nation, and authorities say we’re not yet prepared for the economic and social impacts that are expected to mature by 2030.
The Denver Regional Council of Governments, our federally-recognized Area Agency on Aging, estimates that one in four area residents will be 60 or older in 15 short years. One major problem that will manifest, they say, is a lack of workers to take care of that frailer, increasingly isolated population. That’s where University of Denver professor of engineering and computer science, Dr. Mohammad Mahoor, hopes to make an impact.
This week, Mahoor introduced Ryan to DRCOG’s staff. Ryan is his prototype “socially-assisted” robot that he hopes will provide companionship to elders with mobility and cognitive issues. Equipped with cameras and software to recognize and imitate emotion, researchers think Ryan could someday be a friend to lonely elders and a tool for overworked caretakers.