General Meeting held October 5th, 2011 at University Park Elementary School.
From 6:30-7:00 p.m. residents gathered for social time and refreshments in the hallway. Refreshments were generously provided by neighbor Mary Valenta and her family. A display of historic photographs and maps was on view, items that had been gathered for the UPark 125th Anniversary Celebration held September 25 at Observatory Park. Posters from that event were available to purchase, as were note cards, and voluntary dues were received.
Over forty people attended the meeting, which began at 7:00 in the auditorium, UPCC President Tom Gonnella presiding. The Heritage Club (HC) was honored for its long and friendly neighborhood assistance, providing a meeting place for UP groups, and especially the annual UPCC hosting of the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC) for which the Heritage Club also provides great refreshments. Diana Helper introduced Julie Zwerin of the HC staff, who was present to receive a framed poster of the Observatory and note of thanks, and to say a few words about the HC.
UPCC History Chair Rosemary Stoffel told of the two UP buildings to be honored by Historic Denver at its annual dinner – the Holland House and the addition to the Einfeldt Pump Station also known as the Denver Water building.
University Park School Principal, Dana Williams spoke about some of the awards the school has received, including recognition of educational growth for all students, the State’s only Silver Level award for its Healthy Schools Program, and a technology grant for added classroom computers. Next summer a new “Learning Landscape” playground will be built at UP School, with considerable input from the school and the community. November 5th, 2011 is the annual Fun Run fundraiser.
Carol Singer, Aide to Councilman Charlie Brown, spoke about the current situation at 2400 S. Monroe (see below), the City Budget, and need to find other answers than using reserve funds, and ballot initiatives 300, and 130, on neither of which has Council taken a position. Councilman Brown welcomes questions and comments from everyone – his phone is 720-337-6666.
Allan Wilson of DU spoke about his 20-year history at DU, which now includes being liaison to neighborhoods. DU’s focus is on improving faculty and selecting the brightest student applicants, and renovation of older buildings. It received Gold status in the Higher Education sustainability and energy profile. DU’s Code of Conduct is a powerful tool in student behavior. DU can identify students (off-campus) by address or license plate, and if it is necessary, urges neighbors to file complaints with Dist. 3 police, to assure notification to DU. Off-duty officers are employed by DU, and Student Life members will make visits where there is a concern.
Michael Sapp, neighborhood liaison for Mayor Hancock, spoke about the Community Forum, Oct. 23, at West HS,from 8:30-noon. He encouraged everyone to attend and bring the two main concerns with the city that need addressing. The Mayor and Managers of city departments will be there to discuss “challenges and opportunities.” Asked whether the rise in Rec Center fees has affected participation, he said it has not, but fees will be raised again.
Officer Tony Burkhart of Dist. 3 spoke about the role of Nuisance Abatement in the *2400 S. Monroe case, and the role of Neighborhood Inspection Services (NIS) in situations where hoarding is a problem. He cautioned about scams, including phone calls from people saying it is “Police” benefit- the only legitimate one that calls is PAL (Police Athletic League). All door-to-door magazine sales are scams- say you are Not Interested, be assertive but not confrontational. He urged enrollment in Neighborhood Watch programs.
Tom Gonnella thanked the 125th Anniversary Committee, recognized the UPCC Board members present, and introduced Nikki Jackson, new Traffic and Transportation Chair. She spoke about the plan for a pedestrian/bike bridge across I-25 from the Colorado Center to the NE, to serve residents in that area. The meeting adjourned at 8:30.
— Written by Diana Helper & Traci Samaras