Wednesday, January 5, 2011

As auditor I make it a habit to drop in on neighborhood association meetings. In December the Golden Triangle Museum Neighborhood District invited me to their meeting. I always enjoy going to this neighborhood association because they have their meetings in the Byers Evans House on 13th and Bannock next to the Art Museum. It's like stepping back into the 1880's in old Denver town. I thought of William Newton Byers who started the Rocky Mountain News sitting at his desk composing copy for an edition of the paper announcing "paddle wheels leaving the Platte River docks for Omaha and St. Louis."

After Paul Fiorino, former candidate for Governor and now candidate for mayor, and president of the neighborhood group, did the minutes and treasurer's report, the members began sharing what was happening in the neighborhood.

One member reminded those present, including Carol Boigon, councilwoman at large and candidate for mayor and Josh Davies, president of the Downtown Residents Association and candidate for council at large, that the new jail releases prisoners into the neighborhood regularly and to be on the alert for problems.

The representative from the Firefighter's Museum on Tremont shared that their Christmas Tree had recently been stolen from in front of the museum. Several other neighbors reported that Civic Center Park presents a continuous stream of drug dealers selling their wares to folks passing through the park. Others commented that latrines at the large events at civic center sometimes spill into the gutters and leave odors. Some of the concessionairres leave refuse which builds up in gutters as well. During the large Civic Center events the neighborhood feels fenced off from itself because of the large fences surrounding the events. Someone mentioned the latrines in the park are often not clean. I reminded folks when I was on Council, I weekly inspected latrines at Sloan's, Berkeley and Rocky Mountain Parks. I called them latrine audits.

Residents have complained that cars have been broken into while shopping at some of the stores in the district.

The group resolved to contact the new captain in the district to see what can be done about some of the crime issues, especially in Civic Center Park.

My hat's off to the 30 folks who attended the December meeting of the Golden Triangle Museum Disctrict. They serve on the front line in involvement working to make our city the special place it is.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Remembering Hiawatha Davis

On December 22, at the Doubletree Hotel on Martin Luther King and Quebec Councilwoman Carla Madison and Councilman Michael Hancock hosted the annual Hiawatha Davis Senior Citizen Lunch. It is always a great event highlighted by holiday music from the Denver Municipal Band. Students from local schools serve the waiting seniors. The officers from the local police district head quarters cheerfully chatted and assisted in serving the roast chicken lunch.

Hiawatha Davis started this wonderful community tradition many years ago and we thank the two councilmembers for carrying on this event. He served his community with distinction and humility. He represented the citizens of the district with an unruffled style that brought people together to solve issues. Hiawatha was a unifier who worked for the common good of the district and our city. We stand on his broad shoulders and quiet leadership. I will always appreciate his advice and kindness to me when I was first elected to city council so many years ago.

Sister Claudette Sweet is always there and I just wish the organizers would have arranged for her to sing. Listening to the mellifluent tones of Claudette Sweet almost fulfills a Sunday obligation. Her songs raise the spirits of all who hear her.

I want to thank Councilwoman Madison for carrying on Councilman Davis's community building event where so many good friends enjoy each other's friendship, old acquaintances and good company. It's a wonderful way to end last year with days of Auld Lang Syne and begin next year with a spirit of kindness and cups full of good cheer across the communities which make our city a great city.