Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Aug. 21

Girls encircle John Hickenlooper, then the mayor of Denver, and chant "Superstar! Superstar! Superstar" in 2006. (Barry Gutierrez/Rocky Mountain News/Western History & Genealogy Dept./Denver Public Library)

It’s an eclipse. You know that already. The skies are looking clear. You know that too. Let’s get to what’s new. Also, here’s a really funny picture of Hickenlooper.

Girls encircle John Hickenlooper, then the mayor of Denver, and chant "Superstar! Superstar! Superstar" in 2006. (Barry Gutierrez/Rocky Mountain News/Western History & Genealogy Dept./Denver Public Library)
Girls encircle John Hickenlooper, then the mayor of Denver, and chant “Superstar! Superstar! Superstar” in 2006. (Barry Gutierrez/Rocky Mountain News/Western History & Genealogy Dept./Denver Public Library)

The eclipse:

OK, I know you know, but — the eclipse gets started around 10:23 a.m. and runs through about 1:14 p.m., but it peaks around 11:47 a.m. There are still a couple viewing events you could make. (Denverite)

The DMV:

The wait at the local DMV is down from an average of 80 minutes to 20 minutes, a victory the city of Denver attributes to its new fficiency program. Jon Murray reports on the thrill of process management. (DP)

Politics & public issues:

Ed Perlmutter is officially running for reelection to Congress. (DP)

Corey Hutchins has more analysis on an idea circulating around the Colorado Republican Party: They could skip the open primaries and instead leave the decisions on the party’s 2018 candidates to a small pool of partisans. “If the party decides to opt out, instead of Republicans and unaffiliated voters deciding who the GOP nominee for governor will be, the decision will be left to about 5,000 party stalwarts at a state assembly next summer.” (Independent)

A mother of three and her family are seeking sanctuary from immigration authorities inside the building that serves Temple Micah and Park Hill United Methodist Church on Montview Boulevard. (Denverite)

Culture and whatnot:

The Biennial of the Americas comes to Denver from Sept. 12 to 16. Ray Rinaldi reports that it’s a great way to get connected with the people of our city and the world. Dave Eggers will be here. Havana Nights on Sept. 15 looks fun. (Confluence)

Kevin finally shows us what the giant M in Golden is made of. Hint: It’s a pile of white rocks, but the photos are worth a click. (Denverite)

Environment & ag:

The worst thing about living near oil and gas operations is the noise, judging by the volume of complaints. (DP)

Prices for wheat and corn are way down, which is hurting Colorado’s agricultural industry. The state Department of Agriculture has opened up a hotline for troubled farmers, as Colorado Matters reports. (CPR)

Car crashes involving wildlife on Highway 9 have dropped by 90 percent since CDOT built bridges and tunnels for the animals, Mike Lamp reports. (CPR)

Education:

University Prep, a charter school in Denver, made pretty incredible gains on state tests. The percentage of the school’s third-to-fifth graders testing as proficient in English and math has increased by a factor of six, to roughly 40 percent, as Melanie Asmar reports. (Chalkbeat)

Development:

Silverthorne, that town you drive through on I-70 with the McDonald’s, wants to develop its city center and become a place to visit. (5280)

Building houses out of shipping containers isn’t particularly easy or efficient, as some Denver homeowners are discovering. (North Denver Tribune)

Sporting:

The Rockies are the underdogs no longer. “They’re in solid shape, but unless they can find a way to shake what appears to be a heavy burden — not being the team doing the chasing but instead the team that’s being chased – they may have trouble hanging on,” Mark Knudson writes. (USA Today)

The Denver Broncos’ battle for quarterback could be over already. Paxton Lynch wasn’t great on Saturday. Christian will tell you what that means for the season. (Denverite)

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 akenney@denverite.com.