Is Brad Evans Cruising for a Bruising as a Candidate for Denver Mayor?

Brandon Marshall
Could these people turn the election?
Every April Fool's Day, Brad Evans, founder of the Denver Cruiser Ride, rolls out an elaborate prank. In 2013, he listed fictitious themes for that season's rides, including "Skid Marks & Seaman Stains." And on the morning of April 1, 2014, the B-rad 4 Denver Mayor campaign popped up on Facebook:
Isn't it about time? With each election cycle, it seems to me that we always end up having to choose between a Douche Bag and a Turd Sandwich (yes, this is from a beloved South Park Episode). With launch of B-rad 4 Denver Mayor, our work will be focused on ending the ongoing 'Ground Hog Day-esque' game of voting for 'Change' and then getting nothing more than another political animal that appears to work only for the interests of the rich, powerful and politically connected.
The declaration went on to itemize a roster of issues ranging from banning cars from the city center to "a friend indeed to Denver's medical and recreational marijuana" to "put a stop to hours-long wait to get a Voodoo Doughnuts" to "deliver a budget that eliminates stupid expenses and encourages thrift."

Yes, the announcement was a joke -- but a serious one.

See also: Denver Cruisers' Hilarious April Fools' Theme Schedule

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Denver Rents Are Soaring -- and So Is the Confluence Project

Patricia Calhoun
Looking downtown from West 28th Avenue at sunrise.
Back in the early '80s, before the bust, the crane was considered Denver's official bird. And now the cranes are back -- in a big way. From my LoHi kitchen window overlooking downtown (and yes, I-25), the sunrise glints off the windows of all the new buildings that have been added to the skyline in the last few years. And there, just beyond the historic REI building and to the right of DaVita's new home, is another crane, one that just went up at 15th Street and Little Raven, where the Confluence has broken ground. When it's completed, it will be the tallest apartment complex in Denver.

See also: Height Makes Right -- Growing Pains in LoDo

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The Amazing Criswell Once Predicted the Destruction of Denver -- Wrong Again!

The Amazing Criswell predicts Denver's doom.
At this time of year, everyone gets in the prediction game -- but it can be a risky business.

New plans for the VC Hotel reminded us of an infamous chapter in the history of the building that started out as a Holiday Inn: It was once the hangout of Concerned Christians, a cult started by Coloradan Monte Kim Miller, who predicted that Denver would disappear in an earthquake in 1998. It didn't, of course. Then Boulder native Harold Camping predicted the entire world would end on May 21, 2011 -- and when it didn't, he moved the date back to October, 2011. Still wrong. And that isn't the end of the gloomy predictions with Colorado connections: Earlier, a celebrity seer had predicted a very gloomy fate for the Mile High City:

See also:
Coloradans Keep Predicting the End of the World, But We're Still Here

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Denver Hasn't Gone Dry -- But an Excise and Licenses Update Is Going Slowly

The Cheba Hut downtown offers several ways to get toasted.
UPDATE: After spending most of December 2014 down while the city completed an update to it, Denver's liquor license public hearings page is up and running again.

For years, nosy neighborhood groups, restaurant-industry insiders and food-and-beverage reporters have relied on the Denver Department of Excise & Licenses website, which features a page devoted to Liquor License Public Hearings. And with dozens of new restaurants opening in Denver over the past year, there have been plenty of hearings. But for the past month, that page has been blank. What's the deal? Has the concentration of cannabis-related businesses in Denver overwhelmed the department? Or have new restaurants just stopped applying for liquor licenses? We contacted Stacie Loucks, head of the Excise and Licenses, to get the scoop.

See also: Best Customer Service 2013 -- Denver Department of Excise and Licenses

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Future Turntable Studios Was Once Home of Concerned Christians, a Doomsday Cult

A look at the future Turntable Studios.
While the Nichols Partnership is looking to the future, turning the former Hotel VQ, right next to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, into 179 micro-apartments, we've been looking to the past of that building, whose circular design was once considered so cutting-edge. Out-of- this world, in fact, particularly when the hotel served as headquarters for Concerned Christians, a Doomsday cult founded by Coloradan Monte Kim Miller.

See also: For Heaven's Sake -- 1999 Was the Year Many Coloradans Decided to Play God

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The Interview Will Return to Denver on Christmas, Without Pot

Just a few weeks ago, the most controversial thing about The Interview was actor/creator Seth Rogen's invitation to come smoke pot with him at a special December 8 showing of the movie in Denver: "We are going to do a screening of #TheInterviewMovie in Colorado where I get baked with everyone first, and we can smoke weed in the theater." But not at the Sie FilmCenter, where the event had initially been booked; it moved to the Oriental that night, where Rogen did not partake -- but others certainly did.

Then came the cyberattack on Sony, and the company subsequently pulling the movie from distribution, which made it look like Denver might have had one of the only showings of the film. But now Sony has relented, and The Interview has been booked at 200 independent theaters around the country -- including several in Denver, in a gift for film and First Amendment fans.

See also: The Interview Will Be Remembered for All the Wrong Reasons

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Is Commemorating the Sand Creek Massacre "Fun"? No, But It's America All the Way

At dawn on November 29, on the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre, more than 500 descendants of massacre survivors and other tribal members gathered on Monument Hill for private ceremonies commemorating their fallen ancestors. Meanwhile, down below at the headquarters of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, which was dedicated in April 2007, hundreds of other people arrived to remember -- or perhaps hear for the first time -- what had happened on November 29, 1864, when Colonel John Chivington led 675 volunteers and regular Army troops on that bloody raid of a peaceful camp, a chief's camp that was supposed to be under the protection of the U.S. government, and killed up to 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho, most of them women, children or elderly men.

See also:
Sand Creek Massacre -- Governor John Hickenlooper's Apology, Story Behind It

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Video: Denver's Historic Role as Christmas Capital of the World, Illuminated by Tom Noel
Video below.
Colorado is famous for many firsts: The first cheeseburger was cooked up at the old Humpty-Dumpty drive-in on Speer Boulevard; in November 2012m voters approved making this the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. But at this time of year, there's a more appropriate Colorado first to celebrate: A century ago, on Christmas Eve 2014, the first illuminated outdoor Christmas tree was created in northwest Denver -- inspiring a trend that earned Colorado the nickname "Christmas Capital of the World" in the '20s, a reputation that lives on with the glowing City & County Building today. To illuminate this chapter of local history, we checked in with appropriately named historian Tom Noel. Here's a video that tells his tale.

See also: Top Ten Colorado Inventions, From Christmas Lights to Getting Lit

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Sand Creek Massacre: The Healing Run Is Headed for the Future

The runners gathered just after dawn Sunday on Monument Hill. The day before, on the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre, more than 500 descendents of the massacre and other tribal members had gathered here for private ceremonies on an unusually warm November morning; the good weather continued through the afternoon's speeches down below, at the headquarters of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, which was dedicated in April 2007. The crowds were even larger this day, as hundreds of people arrived to remember -- or perhaps hear for the first time -- what had happened on November 29, 1864, when Colonel John Chivington had led 675 volunteers and regular Army troops on a raid of a peaceful camp of Arapaho and Cheyenne. As many as 200 were killed, most of them women, children and the elderly.

See also: A Century and a Half Later, the Wounds of Sand Creek Are Still Fresh

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R.I.P. Kent Haruf, Colorado Author Who Captured the Plains

Author Kent Haruf has passed away.
I spent the weekend driving across the plains of Colorado, and it's impossible to travel over that terrain without thinking of Kent Haruf, the author who captured both the land and the people who live there so well in his books, including Plainsong and Eventide. Now comes word from his publisher that Haruf has passed away at 71.

See also: Kent Haruf stakes out the Literary Turf of Colorado

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