Denver decides against Washington Park beer ban

Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown's newsletter will be a little late today. That's because when the Mayor's office learned that Brown was about to break the news that the city had decided against a temporary alcohol ban in Washington Park, located in Brown's district, the city moved up a planned press conference to announce the steps it's taking to deal with problems in the park to 2:30 p.m. today. But while the press conference is taking place a day early, the announcement is actually coming two weeks later than the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation had initially promised.

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Ballpark neighbors against homeless-day-center proposal take their protest to city council

Claire Delahorne
A homeless man on the mall two years ago, before the urban camping ban.
It was two years ago that Denver City Council passed a ban on urban camping, promising to offer new services for the homeless population that would be pushed off the 16th Street Mall and out into nearby neighborhoods. For two years, residents of the Ballpark neighborhood watched as more and more homeless migrated to their streets -- but no new services were introduced. Tonight, Denver City Council will finally consider a financing proposal that would allow the Denver Rescue Mission to open a day-care center where the homeless could congregate...but in the meantime, businesses and residents in Ballpark have built up a major head of steam.

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I-70 alternative: Meet the man behind the plan to bring divided neighborhoods together

Colorado Department of Transportation
An artist's look at the proposed cap over I-70.
The stretch of I-70 that crosses north Denver is a rough ride -- and the reputation of that 1.2 mile patch of pavement -- and plans for its replacement -- will get roughed up even further today, at the North Metro Denver Citizen's Transportation Summit. The Colorado Department of Transportation has been working on plans to replace much of the viaduct that cuts through north Denver for more than a decade; two years ago, in response to complaints, CDOT director Don Hunt came up with a proposal to put at least some of I-70 underground, capping it with a park that would help reunite neighborhoods divided by the highway decades ago. But that doesn't go far enough for critics of the plan. They'll outline a much grander alternative at today's summit, where John Norquist and Ian Lockwood, leading proponents of new urbanism, will talk about how cities around the country are removing their highways altogether.

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Black Hawk at 150 years is a boom town with a view

Black Hawk today.
On April 12, 1864, Black Hawk became the second city in Colorado to be incorporated -- three years behind Denver and just a few hours ahead of Central City, the booming mining town up Gregory Gulch. But Black Hawk is the boom town today -- thanks not just to its location a mile below the slumping Central City, but also to some savvy positioning two decades ago, after Coloradans approved a constitutional amendment allowing limited-stakes gaming in Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek. While Central City took things slowly, all bets were off in Black Hawk.

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Dave Philipps of the Gazette wins the Pulitzer Prize: Here's some required reading

Dave Philipps.
Dave Philipps, an investigative reporter for the Gazette in Colorado Springs, just won the Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for "Other Than Honorable," his three-day investigative series that examined how soldiers injured during war were being discharged without benefits.

Philipps wasn't in the newsroom when the announcement of the Pulitzers came down yesterday afternoon: His paper reports that he was at the airport in Washington, D.C., where he was one of four finalists for the Michael Kelly Award. He didn't win that one.

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Bumuda Triangle: Filling a black hole in the Ballpark neighborhood

Trellis at Triangle Park.
Eight years ago, after a $300,000 renovation job that installed low-maintenance plants, easily hosed-off pavement and benches where you could sit, not sleep, the city dedicated Edward J. "Eddie" Maestas Park at the corner of Broadway, Lawrence and Larimer streets, renaming Triangle Park after a longtime businessman and neighborhood Good Samaritan who'd always helped the homeless. But the park soon devolved into such a mess that the family asked that the Maestas name come off.

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Sand Creek Massacre history to be preserved by gambling? It's happened before

Coloradans could vote on at least three new gambling proposals this November, including one that would allow Kiowa County to build a casino. The proposal's boosters are asking legislators to put a measure on the November ballot that would ask Colorado voters to authorize casino gambling in the county, as they did in 1990, when they approved limited stakes gaming for Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. And like that constitutional amendment, this measure is being pushed as a way to help preserve historical sites.

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Photos: The top ten things LoDo needs -- according to you

Big photos below.
What does LoDo need? Two weeks ago, mysterious chalk messages suddenly appeared on sidewalks across downtown Denver -- in 83 spots, to be exact -- referring passersby to a website where they could share their thoughts on what LoDo was missing. "In 25-square blocks, LoDo has boutique clothing stores, multi-story nightclubs and everything in between," the site noted. "Well, maybe not everything. Maybe LoDo is just one thing, place or business short of everything. And we want to know what it is. So, tell us. What do you think LoDo needs?"

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Hailing a cab can be tough in Denver -- but it used to be illegal

As anyone traveler to Denver stuck downtown at midnight knows, it's almost impossible to hail a cab. But not so long ago, it as actually illegal! The transportation scene has changed so much -- with new ride options like Uber and Lyft joining an increasing number of cab companies, and those companies adding their own on-demand apps, as Joel Warner relates in his recent "Street Fight" cover story -- it's almost impossible to remember what the streets were like a decade ago, when three cab companies had the market to themselves, and there were no pink moustaches on the road.

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Man charged with assaulting cabbie, stealing taxi and running over passerby on mean streets

Curt Glinton
Cab drivers in Denver face a lot of challenges, as Joel Warner outlines in his current cover story, "Street Fights." They not only have to pay high lease rates for company cars, but then have trouble making ends meet because of stiff competition on the streets not just from other taxi companies, but new ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. And then there are the passengers, including one fellow who was just charged in Denver District Court with assaulting a driver over a $6 charge and then fleeing in his cab in a wild ride in northwest Denver that left a passerby seriously injured.

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