Ruby Hill-Godsman February 2016 Meeting Notes

Image of chalkboard writing that reads "Neighborhood Meeting".


Officer: Sharona Thompson, Ruby Hill President

Members: ~25 neighbors and guests

Also Present:
  • Maggie Thompson, aide to District 7 City Councilman Jolon Clark
  • Maria Ruiz-Jargon, Rocky Mountain Prep Elementary School


  • Opened with introductions.
  • Maria Ruiz-Jargon spoke about Rocky Mountain Prep Elementary School, a charter school in its first year. For the 2016-2017 school year, it will enroll ECE 4 up to 2nd grade and will grow one grade per year until 5th grade. RMP Elementary School offers free full-day ECE 4 and kindergarten. The school is currently located in the south wing of the old Kepner Middle School building at 911 S. Hazel Court.
  • The District 4 police Community Resource Officer could not attend, but Sharona gave the crime stats for January 10 through February 16 provided by the CRO:
    • Burglaries: 8 down from 13 last period
    • Thefts: 40 up from 33 last period
    • Auto Thefts: 13 down from 15 last period
    • Car Break-ins: 12 down from 17 last period
    • Criminal Mischief: 4 up from 2 last period
    • Business and Street Theft: 4 down from 5 last period
    • Aggravated Assaults: 21 up from 3 last period (the CRO explained that this last figure is up because everyone included in the event was counted as aggravated assault whether 10 persons or 1 were involved—this
    • [Ed. note: neighborhood crime data and maps can be found here.]
  • Discussion on crime: Darryl went to Commander’s meeting and mentioned that juvenile arrests are up. A neighbor mentioned that the house that burned down on Yuma has been vandalized by juveniles several times, possible gang activity. Various neighbors asked about the process for reporting graffiti. Ms. Thompson gave some tips and mentioned that District 3 has a program where volunteers are given paint and a roller so it can be covered up quickly, which might be something we could look into. Walt brought up that murals often repel taggers. [Ed. note: The city’s process for graffiti removal can be found here and is as follows]:
    1. Report the graffiti to the police. Reporting the incident to the Denver Police Department helps them track graffiti incidents, which makes it easier to prevent graffiti in the future. Please click here to fill out an online police report or call the police non-emergency line at 720-913-2000.
    2. For removal, please submit a 311 Help Request
    3. Removal: We must have a signed Authorization Form to assist in removing graffiti from your property. If you have not previously signed a release form (or if you are unsure), download one (English | Spanish) and return it by fax or mail before completing the online report form.
  • Sharona spoke about Overland Park Neighborhood Association‘s Evans Bridge mural project. They completed Phase I of the painting and will soon be signing up volunteers for Phase II. To be notified about when Phase II starts, sign up at their website.
  • Discussion on stolen and abandoned cars: A neighbor has reported 3 stolen (abandoned) cars on Pecos and Mexico. She and Sharona encouraged neighbors to report abandoned cars so that the police can learn patterns. Neighbors discussed other instances of stolen and abandoned cars or cars dumped in the river.
  • Maggie Thompson from Councilman Clark’s office gave an update on the section of Broadway that will be under construction. One block south of Mississippi to one block south of Arizona near the Blue Bonnet restaurant. Contract has been approved and work should start next month (weather permitting). Contractors will use the former Gates property for staging. There will be some night and weekend lane closures. The end result will be better sidewalks, crosswalks, turn lanes to get on Mississippi, and bus bays for stops. There will also be some work on the Mississippi underpass to help bikes and pedestrians access the walkway underneath. The construction is projected to take about a year. Ms. Thompson’s understanding is that the first section will be demolition, utility relocation, curb and gutters. Call the Councilman Clark’s office to ask questions (720-337-7777). [Ed. Note: view the City’s project page for the South Broadway project.]
    • A neighbor asked a question about when Santa Fe under I-25 will be done. Ms. Thompson indicated it would be six months or so and that there would be another round of closures. It’s a CDOT project so Councilman Clark’s office has less visibility into the process than they do with the city’s South Broadway project. They are helping with coordination of the two projects with closures and detours to make sure there is not a double impact.
    • A neighbor asked Ms. Thompson a question about if the trees at Grant Frontier Park (south of Evans) were going to be removed. She replied that they shouldn’t be taking trees out. The work on Grant Frontier Park is part of the final phase of the River Vision project. Councilman Clark’s office is working with the city of Englewood to see what they can do about the bike path after the pedestrian bridge where it goes into Englewood.
    • A neighbor asked about Broadway access to the light rail station. Ms. Thompson referenced the draft station area plan, and said the city is working with the owners of former Gates property to make sure they include pedestrian and bike access over the train tracks, the river, and Santa Fe. Funding is through tax increment financing (TIF).
    • Another question was asked about having seen trees being removed. Ms. Thompson said that one thing we might see happen in some of our parks—because we have the emerald ash borer headed here—is we might take out some ash trees to replace with other trees during construction. An education campaign and a survey of trees is getting underway. Sharona mentioned that Councilman Clark talked to us last year about the emerald ash borer and the city’s funding of a plan to address the threat.
    • Sharona asked if she should contact Parks and Rec to have them come talk to us about the ash borer. Neighbors voted yes.
  • A neighbor came up and spoke about the fire at another neighbor’s house and how that family lost their home and business. The fire also damaged a second neighbor’s home. There is a GoFundMe campaign if the community would like to help out. The neighbor who spoke is also organizing a care package of gift cards and anything else we would like to help out with (blankets, clothing, food, etc.) and will put it together to present to both households. Use our website’s contact page to participate. Also mentioned was the fundraiser and money contributed by local shop, “The Pink Purse”. At the end of the meeting, neighbors voted yes to donate $200 from our fund towards the affected families.
  • Sharona asked about neighbors’ interest in doing another garage sale, possibly in conjunction with Garden Park Church. A majority voted no.
  • Sharona asked about neighbors’ interest in putting on another Denver Days event since last year’s was a success. There was more interest in this. She will revisit both issues again.
  • Sharona announced a new Ruby Hill Community Garden leader: Don. Don’s gardening experience includes his own backyard garden and a garden at DUG. Don announced a new banner at the community garden. The garden is located right off Pecos and Mexico at Ruby Hill, by the playground. Ideas for this coming year include a plant and seed exchange and classes. Email if you’re interested in getting a plot at the community garden.
  • Sharona mentioned the Ruby Hill Urban Farmers group and the activities we did last year, including our Garden and Urban Farm Tour. Use the email above or the Ruby Hill Urban Farmers Facebook page if you’re interested in participating.
  • Sharona gave a budget update. Dues from both Godsman and Ruby Hill have provided the income, while expenses have included signs for last year’s garage sale, INC membership, and last year’s Denver Days insurance, which was shared jointly with Overland Park. Please use our contact form if you would like to get the details of the income and expenses. Sharona thanked Dot for her long service as treasurer and asked if anyone would like to volunteer to take over treasurer duties. No one did. Dot is still treasurer. Dues were collected: $10 a year per household from February to February. Our dues go into a fund that can support what we do in the neighborhood.
  • Sharona provided an update on the CPR sub committee, which is meeting March 3rd from 6 pm to 7pm. The agenda for that meeting is to revisit the zoning decisions. It will be an open meeting; anyone can come. Sharona wrote a letter of support which still needs to be approved by Overland Park before being sent out. Sharona will send it out to everyone on the email list and can provide copies to those who do not have email. For details on what CPR has presented in the past in regards to their property off Jewell near Ruby Hill Park, please check out meeting notes for last September and this past January.
  • Hazel has volunteered to call those who need a reminder about meetings and who don’t have emails to get the email reminders. Sign up on the right if you would like to be on the email list to get reminders about the monthly meetings and other neighborhood association activities.
  • General discussion:
    • A neighbor asked for an update on the planned MHCD facility on Federal. Sharona verified that Mar Lee has a Good Neighbor Agreement with them; Councilman Clark sent a copy. We can copy and add to it if we like it, and will discuss it next month. Voices for and against were heard, including mention of Salt Lake City’s efforts at finding homes for homeless and the case study of it being successful, as well as general fears about safety. Read notes from last October’s meeting where a guest speaker from MHCD provided information about the facility. Sharona suggested we create a dialog with MHCD, provide feedback to them and to our Councilman and consider the neighborhood agreement at a future meeting.
    • Neighbors discussed marijuana shops and grow facilities. Sharona asked if anyone feels like they are being impacted. Neighbors mainly said no—just voiced distaste for the smell. Sharona suggested that if neighbors feel like they need advocacy, we can bring it up to Councilman Clark to learn more about neighbor rights.
    • A family gave an update on their issue with their street cleaning and garbage collection that was brought up in a meeting last year. Also discussed were various problems neighbors have had with snow plowing and mag chloride.
  • Sharona provided information about the caucus:
    • Ruby Hill-Godsman Precincts: 536, 537, 538, 539
    • Democrat Caucus:
      Kipp Sunshine Peak Academy
      375 S. Tejon St. Denver 80223
      March 1, 2016
      7:00 pm (be there at 6:30)
      There will be a vote for presidential candidate
    • Republican Caucus:
      St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church
      355 S. Navajo St. Denver 80223
      March 1, 2016
      7:00pm (be there at 6:30)
      There will not be a vote for presidential candidate
    • Qualifications:
      In order to vote at caucus, you must be:

      • A resident of your precinct for at least 30 days.
      • Registered to vote no later than 29 days before the caucus.
      • Affiliated with the party holding the caucus for at least 2 months before the caucus.
      • Anyone who turns 18 or becomes a naturalized U.S. Citizen and registered to vote during the two months prior to March 1, 2016 is eligible to vote.
      • Anyone is welcome to show up at caucus and observe. If space is tight, visitors might be grouped against a wall.
  • A neighbor brought up the idea of DA forums. He thinks the DAs need to hear from our neighborhood and would like to invite candidate Beth McCann, along with other candidates to a future meeting or forum. He volunteered to be the liaison.

For speakers requesting corrections to any of the above information, or for neighbors requesting more information, please use our contact form.

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