Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Nov. 13

It’s a new week, and we’ve got new news. There’s lots of stuff here that we couldn’t fit in our morning newsletter, so get reading.

Members of the Denver, Colorado South High School Pep Club Drill Team pose in their uniforms for a team photograph. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/WH1990)

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Members of the Denver, Colorado South High School Pep Club Drill Team pose in their uniforms for a team photograph. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/WH1990) high school; denver public library; dpl; archive; history;
Members of the Denver, Colorado, South High School Pep Club Drill Team pose in their uniforms for a team photograph. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/WH1990)

It’s a new week, and we’ve got new news. There’s lots of stuff here that we couldn’t fit in our morning newsletter (which, if you don’t get it, you really should), and our newsletter had lots of good stuff in it. We’ve got stories about the ways we help each other and the ways we don’t, new developments at Cherry Creek Mall, political musical chairs, food and more. Read on.

Compassion

Nicole Uriona’s father spent 13 years on the streets and eventually died of hypothermia. It’s with him in mind that Uriona organizes “Take This and Keep Warm,” an annual event in which scarves, hats, gloves and other winter gear are hung from trees in Civic Center Park for those who need them. (9)

Changing Colorado

The Denver Post continues its excellent series on the urban-rural divide with a look at rural Colorado’s changing demographics. Population declines in rural counties have slowed or reversed in large part due to an influx of Latinos, Somali immigrants and members of other ethnic minorities. There are tensions associated with this shift, but many people see the community adapting for the better. “It used to be taboo to date a Hispanic boy. But I noticed how many integrated dates there were for homecoming this past September. I think it’s totally changing in a very good way,” a Holyoke hospital director and area native said. (DP)

If you missed them at the time, Luke Runyon’s dispatch from Fort Morgan, a city in northeast Colorado where 68 percent of voters went for Trump and 70 percent of high school students are not white, is well worth a read or a listen. (KUNC)

Development

Denver’s planning department racked up almost $1 million in overtime last year, as Adrian reports. The overtime numbers reflect the unprecedented demand for building permits CPD is seeing. Its limited staff is working harder than ever to keep pace. Earlier this year, the Denver Auditor’s Office issued a report pointing out many “inefficiencies” in the department’s permitting processes that are “holding up the business of growing and developing the city of Denver.” (Denverite)

The departure of Safeway could open the door to high-rise development on the Cherry Creek Mall campus. Councilman Wayne New, who represents the area, told Adrian that Macy’s plans to move its furniture store to the grocery store site, among other plans. (Denverite)

Men behaving badly

Yes, more of this, Denver metro edition. State Rep. Steve Lebsock kind-of apologized (again) to women, including lobbyists, aides and fellow lawmakers, who say he sexually harassed them. He’ll make a decision on his candidacy for state treasurer later this month. (Denverite)

Former employees of Denver oil tycoon Jack Grynberg say he groped and sexually harassed them, with one woman saying she was forced to have sex with Grynberg multiple times. Three of them have filed a lawsuit in which they say there were fired after eventually refusing him. (Denverite)

Politics

Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler has confirmed he’ll seek the attorney general’s seat rather than continue his run for governor, Tony Kovaleski reports. Brauchler said he was considering the switch after the current AG, Cynthia Coffman announced she’s running for governor. (7)

Several possible Republican contenders for attorney general made other plans as Coffman delayed her own announcement, but Brauchler’s late entry into the race could give Democrats a better shot than they’ve had in years at taking the position of the state’s top lawmaker, Ernest Luning reports. (Colorado Politics)

Meat

The Juniper Pig promises ethical, sustainable meat products at Stanley Marketplace. Ashley checked it out. The founder is a veterinary surgeon, and there’s a wall of pink Himalayan sea salt. (Denverite)

Education

This was a change election for many area school districts. Nic Garcia looks at how unions were able to make significant gains in Aurora and in Douglas and Jefferson counties. Even in Denver, where unions have struggled to stop the district’s reform policies, two union-backed candidates will join the seven-member board. (Chalkbeat)

And Ann Schimke looks at how voters in districts that have struggled to raise taxes passed big money measures this year. (Chalkbeat)

Marie Greenwood was Denver’s first black tenured teacher and the author of a book called Every Child Can Learn. Nearly 105 years old (her birthday is later this month), she recently toured Morey Middle School, where she was a student decades ago, and Jenny Brundin was there. Greenwood recalled how she wasn’t allowed to swim in the pool due to her race and how she outsmarted a social studies teacher who looked for chances to belittle her. (CPR)

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.