Denver

Courtesy of Boulder Blind Cafe

In 2007, Boulder singer-songwriter Brian Rocheleau -- better known as Rosh -- was on tour when he happened upon a unique cafe in Iceland.

After ordering a coffee outside, he was handed a braille-printed card and a cane before being ushered into a pitch black room.

“It was really loud and eventually I bumped into a table and I asked the people sitting there if there was an empty chair available,” Rosh said. “They all said, ‘We don’t know!’”

It was the first time Rosh had to find his way in the dark, but it would be far from the last.

LOCK + LAND

At 37, Brett Mitchell became one of the youngest music director’s in the Colorado Symphony’s history. He’s tied with Marin Alsop, who led the symphony from 1993-2005. But Mitchell is walking into a better situation than Alsop: the symphony’s first budget surplus in its 28 years.

So there’s a little pressure to make his upcoming debut season stand out.

Mitchell’s response: Challenge accepted.

“I think we’re in the business of taking risks,” said Mitchell, who is currently wrapping up contracts as the associate conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and the music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

https://press.atairbnb.com/media-assets/ / Air Bnb

Home sharing services have become very popular in Colorado, and local municipalities are paying attention. Between Feb. 20 – 24, more than 1,000 notices were mailed to Denver hosts for being in violation of a city ordinance. The ordinance, passed last June, require hosts to have short-term rental licenses and collect Denver’s 10.75 percent lodging tax.

Once hosts obtain a license, they must post it on their listing in order to avoid any fines. The license fee is $25, and the fines for failing to obtain a license can range from $150 to nearly $1,000.

Courtesy of Urban Art Fund

Recent incidents of vandalism badly damaged several murals along the popular Cherry Creek Trail in Denver. The murals are part of the Urban Arts Fund -- a program intended to deter vandalism.

“We’ve found that if you take away that blank wall, usually taggers prefer a blank canvas,” said Michael Chavez is Denver’s Public Art program manager. “They don’t usually vandalize an existing mural.”

Stacy Nick / KUNC

Most apartment dwellers wouldn’t be too keen on getting a front row seat to a neighbor’s band practice. But at the Loveland ArtSpace, musician Derek Kirkman’s playing is welcome.

“Luckily the amazing neighbors we have here, most of them actually really like music and like when music is being played in the building,” Kirkman said during one of ArtSpace’s weekly open studio sessions.

Courtesy of Denver Art Museum

Hiring an architect to renovate a building is nothing new. But what happens when the building itself is a work of art?

That’s the challenge for Boston-based Machado Silvetti Architects and Denver’s Fentress Architects. The firms are taking on the renovation of the Denver Art Museum’s iconic North Building.

“It’s uniquely stressful,” joked Jeffry Burchard, an architect with Machado, which specializes in museums. “It’s kind of in our wheelhouse, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less hard of a thing to take on.”

Stacy Nick / KUNC

On Nov. 8, voters in Larimer County defeated Initiative 200, which sought to create a Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. However, in Denver, the renewal of their SCFD passed by a wide margin.

Organizers of the failed Initiative 200 in Larimer County vowed to try again in the future.

“I think that it took Denver either two or three times on the ballot to actually pass,” Yes On 200 Campaign Manager Kelly Giddens said.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

While comic book crime fighters can keep donning their capes, tights and masks, organizers of Denver Comic Con have announced a new ban on some other cosplay choices.

Luke Runyon / KUNC/Harvest Public Media

The streets of Edgewater, Colorado, aren’t paved in green, but the city’s mayor says they might as well be.

After an influx of tax revenue from five retail marijuana shops, the small community of 5,300 people just west of Denver repaved every street in town. But that’s just the start. Mayor Kris Teegardin estimates the city’s coffers will pull in $1.2 million this year, a combination of its own sales taxes on the drug’s sales, and redistributed money from state taxes. That amount makes up roughly a sixth of the city’s total annual budget.

It’s an extreme example of marijuana tax dollars at work, best seen in the city’s plans for a multi-million dollar civic center with a new police station, library and fitness center. Teegardin says marijuana tax revenue will pay for half.

Denver Public Schools

While kids are getting ready to head back to class this month, administrators at Denver Public Schools are working on solutions to what some perceive to be a culture of racism in the system. A report commissioned by the district showed black teachers and administrators overwhelmingly felt the district had failed them, and had failed their black students as well. The report also found that low expectations for students of color threw up additional roadblocks to achievement.

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