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There are many different programs and companies actively looking to prevent school shootings and other mass violence.  According to Everytown for Gun Safety, “the worst period for this violence has been in the 2021–2022 school year, which saw nearly quadruple the average number of gunfire incidents since 2013. This past school year saw 193 incidents of gunfire on the grounds of preschools and K–12 schools.” Parents are understandably uneasy as they send children back to school. News polls around education have revealed that parents’ top concern is school safety.

“The need to protect children in schools is very real, so if there is another added layer we can bring in, schools are very open to it,” Brian Sathianathan, the co-founder of says.” His company is just one of many working on solutions.

In the Denver area, the Frank DeAngelis Center for Community Safety is training law enforcement and other safety officials to use tactics in a mass casualty event by placing them in an ultra realistic training environment. 

The DeAngelis Center in Wheat Ridge was known as Martensen Elementary School for over 50 years. The school was changed to the Frank DeAngelis Center in 2017, named after the former principal of Columbine High School in Littleton, who was present during that tragic day in 1999 when 12 students and one teacher were gunned down. Since then, DeAngelis has become an advocate for school safety awareness and school shooting prevention. 

“When first responders are actually responding to an event in a school, it’s helpful to be in an environment that is realistic in your training,” Shawna Fritzler, Business Manager of the Jeffco DeAngelis Foundation said. “There’s all kinds of simulations, and we have subject matter experts who have actually responded to lots of other tragic events.”

The DeAngelis Center uses a wide variety of interactive videos, sounds, and even scents to put those who come for the training into the most realistic experience possible. “I contacted all the parents I knew on Facebook and told everyone to give me their old backpacks at the end of the year so that it looks like a real school.” Fritzler said. 

Different types of law enforcement and school safety officials come from all over the country to participate in the training exercises, varying from police, SWAT team members, and school resource officers. They go over lessons learned and mistakes made in the training as well.

“Our trainers will even push people to make mistakes so that they experience them in a safe space, so that they don’t repeat those mistakes when they are responding to an actual event,” Fritzler said, “I’m just a mom. I’m not a first responder, but our priorities in our training here is to stop the killing and to start the healing.”

Fritzler spoke about how important it is that doors are able to be immediately locked automatically. The time it takes to get up and manually lock or unlock a door in an active shooter situation can be the difference between life or death. 

“Frank said when they were running from the shooter in Columbine, they were backed in a corner and he had a pocket of keys,” Fritzler said, “So in his key ring there were like 50 keys and miraculously somehow or another he pulled the right key out and the door opened.”

The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX caused parents to become more concerned about school protocols. Learning how to prepare for a school shooting the right way is something that Fritzler finds to be vital.

“We are starting this new community education program because after the Uvalde shooting we had parents reaching out and telling their kids not to follow the lockdown protocols and just run,” Fritzler said, “There’s also politics attached to a lot things that shouldn’t have politics attached to it, so we strive really hard to be that nonpartisan organization to just do the education piece, so that we can work towards the prevention and preparedness to prevent tragedies.”

Fritzler also emphasized how important community and the bonds within them are for school shooting prevention and the healing process if a tragic event occurs. This means healthy relationships with different aspects of the community, such as with the local law enforcement and the school districts. 

“That’s one of the things we look to make sure when we train these districts,” Fritzler said, “If the law enforcement agencies don’t have a good relationship with a school district, you fix it right away; it’s really important.” is an artificial intelligence developer looking to use 21st-century technological advancements to help prevent school shootings. has created and developed a weapons detection system that can identify guns or any type of weapon that it catches in its view. 

“We built a system where the AI starts looking for weapons, sharp objects, masks, and if it finds something, it will automatically call the alert system the school district already has,” Brian Sathianathan, Co-Founder of, said. 

Sathianathan worked on the security for the first iPhone, so he is no stranger to being a part of tech that has transformed our world. The artificial intelligence has created can be installed into the preexisting security cameras that the school already has, where it does detection surveillance at all times.

“The AI can detect a glimpse of a weapon in under 30 milliseconds, and then within a couple of minutes, we can talk to a business management system where we can close the doors and prevent anything,” Sathianathan said.

In a video demo that showed Bucket List Community Cafe, we could see how the AI worked in real time, in various videos involving surveillance from different gas station and convenience store robberies. Immediately when the robber toting the gun comes into view, you can see the detection system go to work. Different colored blocks represent either the gun or type of weapon being used. For example, an AR-15 style weapon may have a red block around it, and a handgun may have a yellow block around it.

Sathianathan and those at have tested and put the AI through numerous situations. Throughout this work, they have the AI to a point where it can detect guns or weapons concealed inside backpacks and in clothes. The AI can also be made to recognize law enforcement or security guards, so there are no false alarms in the weapons detection system.

“We should provide this in every school, every grocery store, every church, any public place where people feel they could be threatened,” Jon Nordmark, CEO and Co-Founder of, said.

At this point,’s threat detection is only in one school in the Denver area. The company will not disclose the location because of security concerns except to say it is near Columbine High School.

There are many different programs and companies

When locals of Northern Denver stroll around the neighborhoods, many reminisce about what the community once was and represented.  Gentrification has brought many changes to streets once filled with Latino culture. Businesses, residents, and the foundation of the Latino culture are disappearing. Many residents left the community they grew up in, taking with them impressions that the culture that reflected a piece of them, will slowly but surely fade away.

However, Maria Moncada, owner of La Guapa Boutique on 38th Avenue on the border of Highland and Sunnyside, intends to keep the Latino culture alive regardless of the rapid gentrification taking place.

“It keeps the culture alive in Northern Denver for people to still drive by and see this mom and pop shop surviving it all. Through the pandemic and the gentrification. For people to drive by and see us, it helps a lot for people to keep going.”

La Guapa Boutique resides alongside other Latino businesses that continue to symbolize the origins and culture of Northern Denver.   Open for more than 20 years, La Guapa Boutique is a staple to the Latino Community as it continues to provide vibrant and elegant garments and accessories. They are pieces that are monumental to the cultural events and growth of young Latinas and Latinos. Moncada plans to keep this shop running for generations to come to continue the tradition and the importance of these cultural events. 

Raised as the only women in her family alongside four brothers, Moncada shares the history of La Guapa Boutique and how she’s continued the mission and values her parents, Graciela and Salvador, established when beginning the business back when she was a little girl. 

“They began the business more than 20 years ago. They were selling clothes from our home and from there on they saved money to open this business. I was 8 when this business started, and there’s still customers who come by and say they know my mother from years ago when she was still selling from home. It’s such a beautiful feeling to know that they still remember her and the work she’s put into the business.” 

Moncada continues to keep her parents’ values and their legacy alive. Passion and sincerity radiate as clients enter the boutique. Moncada makes sure that every client leaves with their dream dress and a once in a lifetime experience.

“It’s a deeper connection opposed to just selling them something. It’s not just a dress. It’s making sure everything matches, and giving them suggestions.”

Quinceaneras are when a young girl turns 15, it indicates the transition from a little girl to a young woman, the start of maturity, independence, and affirmity to their own faith. Moncada makes it her purpose to connect with her client to create this experience, and to ensure they leave the boutique feeling beautiful. They are not just dresses but a piece of these young girls’ cultural experiences, Moncada expresses the gratification of being a part of this process and forming a connection with the young girls through it. 

“It’s making someone’s special day that they’ll remember forever and hopefully they keep remembering us and come back for their wedding, their kids’ occasions. It’s a long term commitment we have with these girls and these families. It’s nice to see them through it all and have them come back again.”

Because of gentrification in Northern Denver, these connections have been affected. People forced out of the community due to higher living expenses have to travel further to visit her store.

“It’s not how it was before, which was primarily Mexican people. Now there’s a lot less than that, people who have moved away go to the outskirts of cities because that’s where “they fit in” or places like Aurora or Thornton.”

Moncada, continues to advocate for the Latino Community, especially the younger generations of women where she derives her motivation. Posting on social media and funding fashion shows where she advocates for the importance of these cultural events and the message that they are not going anywhere. 

“If we don’t put in the effort to make these girls feel important, and that this is a part of their culture and they need to have a quinceanera or any event of our culture for that matter. If they don’t have the importance, or feel seen, that will be the downfall of our business. It’s our job to keep it going and to keep wanting these events.”

Moncada makes it very clear that this business is a safe space for her clients, a place to reconnect with their culture wholeheartedly. Gentrification may be rising in Northern Denver, but La Guapa Boutique represents the roots of the community and its Latino culture. 

“Sometimes, it’s ‘why would you wear that big dress, you’re not getting married.’ People don’t understand our culture, or what we do as families and for us to still be here and have them come here keeps that culture going in the community. It’s just showing them we’re still here for them, and we could still help them in their native language.”

With two decades and more in the making, Moncada continues to uphold both the values of her family business and the origin and culture of Northern Denver. Moncada vocalizes the empowerment, representation, and culture of these garments to those in the community.  La Guapa Boutique continues to survive and allows clients to leave the store feeling “guapa.” 

When locals of Northern Denver stroll around

Parasols are making a comeback as women become more aware of the need for sun protection. At this year’s Art Students League of Denver Summer Art Market 19 artists donated parasol artwork. Yes, artwork on parasols for people to use under the bright Colorado skies or hang in their homes for decoration.

Michelle Messenger, an artist that has been with the ASLD community for 10 years creates whimsical and encaustic art. Her pieces are light, fun and make people smile. She draws inspiration from sheep. 

“Strangers know that I was the one that developed and painted that particular parasol down here. I don’t know if you can see the sheep that are down here.” 

For Mami Yamamoto, an ASLD member since 2014, the process of creating art on the parasol was a new challenge.

“Yeah, so the parasol was a such a fun project. I love drawing. So, parasol project was like ‘Yes, I can draw!’ So I could have done print something and paste on that umbrella, but instead, when I look at that open parasol in the middle basically reminded me of a nose of something. So that is how I inspire. So, I’m going to do a nose and things and then everything else follows so naturally.”

The fundraiser was inspired by a past visitor of the Summer Art Market, who strolled along the booths with a parasol. Just as an artist would, they saw the blank canvas and decided to show their love for art. The Art Students League of Denver raised $1700 towards their mission. For Bucket List Community Café, Lilybeth Valles.

Parasols are making a comeback as women

When one considers outdoor sports in Colorado, images of snowcapped peaks peppered with skiers or rocky trails navigated by hikers come to mind. But there is one sport taking Colorado’s recreational community by storm, and it has nothing to with lugging yourself to the top of a mountain. It’s disc golf. 

There are a swarm of discs gliding through the air at Johnny Roberts Memorial Park Disc Golf Course in Arvada. It’s one of the most popular courses in the nation. The park is regularly packed full of disc golfers gracefully tossing discs and exchanging lighthearted quips between holes.  Local professional disc golfer Jason Rosenbaum is a frequent visitor at Johnny Roberts.

“The love and camaraderie between players is the best, but there’s always something so satisfying about executing the exact shot that you’re trying to make and watching a piece of plastic flying through the air and smash into the chains.”

Rosenbaum moved to Colorado with his wife in 1998 from Illinois and had dabbled in the sport of disc golf. It was soon after he had played his first round at Johnny Roberts that Rosenbaum purchased his Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) membership, entered a few tournaments, started a disc retailer business and eventually became a professionally ranked disc golf player, winning hundreds of dollars per tournament during weekends. 

“When I first moved out here, there were 15 tournaments a year and there weren’t enough golfers to fill them all up,” said Rosenbaum. “Now tournaments fill up all the time. There are tournaments that have been filled in 30 seconds. 120 people, boom. 30 seconds.” 

Disc golf has been a popular sport in Colorado’s outdoor community since the late ’70s, bolstered by the state’s awe-inspiring views, diverse landscapes and commitment to outdoor facilities. Disc golf flourished through the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to balloon in popularity with new courses and tournaments popping up faster than roadwork signs. There are currently 338 disc golf courses in the state, and over 110 leagues to choose from.

Established in 1978, Johnny Roberts Disc Golf Course was originally designed by “the father of disc golf” Ed Headrick and later redesigned in 2014 by Colorado Disc Golf Hall of Fame legend, John Bird. Johnny Roberts DSC is an 18 hole course where players are treated to a predominately open course layout, multiple creek crossings and relatively short, less technical throws. The course has been consistently ranked in the top four most popular disc golf courses in the entire nation each of the past four years. 

Part of the reason that disc golf has gained so much popularity in recent years is because of how inclusive the sport has become. 

“It’s an easy sport, anybody can do it. I mean the world championships had a division for the 75 year olds. You know, out there slinging discs in the hot summer sun,” said Rosenbaum. “So anyone of all ages and ability can come out and play.”

Rosenbaum’s business, High Country Disc Golf, even helped sponsor and run the Deaf National Disc Golf Championships in the early 2000’s. 

“Before it was a really, really, male-dominated sport. So if a woman came to a tournament it could be her fifth or sixth round and she would have to play against somebody who had played for years because there was only one division,” Rosenbaum said. “Then she would get so discouraged that she wouldn’t want to play again because there was no other division.” 

Now, there are so many people registering for tournaments that the amateur divisions actually contain multiple subdivisions, categorized by age and ability level from recreational to intermediate to advanced. 

“Now it’s just great because there are so many people,” said Rosenbaum.  It’s just so great to see the sport blow up.”     

Disc golf at its most basic level is simple enough. A player steps up to the tee pad, deciphers the distance and angle to the basket, winds up their shot and finally releases the disc towards the basket hoping to hear the novel sound of their disc slapping the chains of the basket, signifying the envious accomplishment of an ace (hole in one). If an ace is not achieved, and it rarely is, the player must keep throwing the disc until they can finally lodge it inside the basket or the chains. 

“The best part about disc golf is that it doesn’t take a lot of time and skill to start improving quickly,” said Rosenbaum. “I have thousands of dollars of golf equipment that I don’t even use anymore because it’s more difficult, its more expensive and if there’s no one there, you can play a 18-hole course [disc golf] in under an hour and then go do something else.” 

Much of the appeal of disc golf comes from the ease of entry when compared to other Colorado outdoor sports. A person can get started playing disc golf for less than $60 with a basic three disc set. 

“The price point. That’s one of the great things about disc golf,” said Rosenbaum. “I mean literally, three frisbees I can come out here and I can go play. And you don’t even need three frisbees out here all you need is one putter.”

The majority of disc golf courses are located on public land so admission is virtually free for every player. And with the numerous courses located in the Denver area, disc golf nirvana is never more than a 20 minute drive from your current location. 

“When I first came out here the Colorado scene was so much different compared to where I was playing in Illinois,” said Rosenbaum. “Illinois it was like you kind of had little factions and this and that. Where Colorado it was family, it was a disc golf family. When people got together everybody was huggin’ and ‘How ya doing? It’s good to see ya.’ It was just way different than what I was used to in Illinois and I loved it so much better.” 

Rosenbaum recently took first place in the Summer Fling Pro Masters 40+ tournament and has two more left this season. 

“I feel like a little kid in a candy shop.” 

There are still 57 tournaments scheduled in Colorado this fall. If you would like to get in the game, go to . For all of your disc golf gear needs, head over to CTP Disc in Wheatridge where you can find Rosenbaum selling discs and offering tips on Thursday and Friday afternoons.

When one considers outdoor sports in Colorado,

This is the last weekend for The Preservery, the beloved restaurant at 30th and Blake in the Five Points neighborhood.  A combination of increasing rent, a high cost of living, and the lasting impacts of the pandemic are causing the seven-year-old restaurant to shut its doors on September 4, after serving its last guests a themed brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings. 

But it’s not the end of the story for restaurant owners Obe and Whitney Ariss. They believe everyone deserves access to a warm meal. Since December 2020, their restaurant has distributed over 4,000 meals to people experiencing homelessness in Denver through their Giving Meals program and they plan to double down on that effort.

“Everybody deserves to go to sleep at night with a full belly,” Whitney wrote in a blog post on August 26, announcing the closing of The Presevery.

The Preservery staff will provide one final food distribution the following week to “make sure that none of our food goes to waste at the end,” Whitney explained. And on October 1, the building will be under new ownership.

Like other local businesses that have shuttered since COVID-19 restricted indoor dining, The Presevery couldn’t bounce back to pre-pandemic sales. And it wasn’t for a lack of trying, according to Whitney. 

“The biggest barrier to our profitability was our rent,” she said. “We met with a financial advisor and he’s like, ‘You guys have drilled down and across to an incredibly slim margin. I don’t think there’s any room for saving money there, but your rent is crazy high.’”

Additionally, the restaurant was operating with a smaller than usual staff. Whitney attributes this as one of the reasons The Preservery wasn’t able to fully recover. 

“We just haven’t been able to get enough people working here cohesively to sort of return to our fully-functioning selves,” she explained. “And that was a big factor in deciding to actually sell the business versus trying to move it somewhere else.”

The Ariss’ considered buying commercial property to keep the restaurant operating, but the cost of real estate in Denver, moving expenses, and the cumbersome task of readjusting to a different space led the duo to reevaluate their business and personal goals. 

In keeping with their mission to provide hunger relief for people experiencing homelessness, the couple is shifting their focus to their latest venture, The Preservery Foundation. The nonprofit is a continuation of the restaurant’s Giving Meal program—a way for guests to purchase a meal for someone in need for $6. Since the kitchen is closing, Whitney and Obe plan to partner with other restaurants and like-minded organizations to address the city’s sweeping food insecurity.

“We have all these things that we want to accomplish that aren’t ever going to be profitable,” Whitney explained. 

While the couple shares a love for food, Obe worked in the nonprofit sector for 12 years and understands the logistics of fundraising. Together, the couple is optimistic about their ability to work as a team to support local restaurants and continue to provide hunger relief.

“Being in the food world and having a kid in public school… that really brings food insecurity to the forefront for a person who’s never had to deal with being food insecure,” explained Whitney, who grew up gardening and cooking. “Even when my parents were at their poorest—we were still lower middle class—I never was hungry and we grew all of our own foods.”

Food access was always on Whitney’s mind, but knowing that kids at her daughter’s school were coming to class hungry planted the seed for her to dedicate her life to doing something about it, she said. 

So while they are leaving behind kitchen equipment and furniture for the incoming owners, they are taking some lessons learned, warm memories, and their passion with them.

“The common wisdom that I’ve latched onto the most during these really tumultuous times is if everything feels unmanageable and crazy or sad or scary or whatever, maybe try to help somebody else.”

The Preservery will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, September 3, and Sunday, September 4. Book a reservation here

This is the last weekend for The

Denver Public Schools and its students are taking climate change very seriously.  In April 2022, DPS led by DPS Students for Climate Action unanimously passed their climate action policy. It tasks DPS to reduce their carbon footprint with one of the goals being to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

LeeAnn Kittle, DPS Director of Sustainability, said that climate change caused students to speak out and urge DPS to become more sustainable. 

“It’s funny you ask, are we engaging the students,” Kittle said. “I actually feel like the students engaged us, they are the ones that came forward and said, hey, we need to fight for our future. We want a climate action policy.”

According to DPS’s 2020-2021 Sustainability Annual Report, their resource management efforts has resulted in a 4.5% reduction in total utility expenditures compared to a three-year average. Now, they hope to continue to reduce their environmental impact. 

“Right now, we are developing a climate action plan that will be published in December of this year,” said Kittle. “And then, on top of that, we’re doing a financial impact assessment, to understand how much renewable energy we need to offset some of our electrification efforts.”

DPS’s climate action policy has six frameworks: the built environment, natural resource management, transportation, health and wellness, career and curriculum, and engagement and environmental justice.

The financial impact assessment was created in conjunction with the climate action policy. It is in place to help DPS identify how they will reduce their emissions to net zero.  

“The financial impact assessment is really helping us understand how we financially get there,” Kittle said. “You know, if we are going to electrify these systems, how much solar do I need to offset it?”

DPS has shifted from using mostly natural gas to using solar panels to provide power to their schools and administrative buildings. They also created their first electric school bus and charging station with grants given for their sustainable efforts.

“We have solar on site at 46 locations. Some with rooftop solar and one with ground solar,” Kittle said. “We are embarking on community solar efforts where we’re working with the city and county of Denver. They have solar canopies that they’re doing across the Denver Metro area.”

Their community solar efforts with the city of Denver gives DPS access to energy for some of their buildings at a reduced rate. Kittle said that DPS plans to continue to expand their solar efforts to many other buildings.

Transitioning to more sustainable energy practices costs money. According to Kittle it can be a challenge to maintain a budget at publicly funded institutions.  Besides the initial cost to purchase and install solar panels, the most crucial concern is maintenance. 

I think budgets are always going to be a challenge, especially right now,” Kittle said. “Everything that’s happened with the pandemic and just for our economy and supply chain. 

As a part of their engagement and environmental justice framework, DPS now has over 120 school gardens. The gardens have produced over one ton of produce for DPS schools and community food banks, while allowing students to be hands on with their sustainability efforts.

“Generally speaking, most people are wanting to do right by the planet,” says Kittle.  “We’ve been working on our career, and curriculum groups to develop more climate action type of framework around sustainability, to really focus on that action within the classroom. From a curriculum standpoint, trying to increase the conversation around climate challenges that these students will face after their time, outside of DPS.”

Denver Public Schools and its students are

It all started with the Crockpot. 

After a long day of fifth grade, I swung my Hello Kitty backpack onto the kitchen counter, barely missing a mysterious object that looked like a small, freestanding bathtub with a lid. I inspected the device with a little help from my tippy toes and observed some kind of foggy red stew bubbling under the glass top.

“It’s called the Crockpot,” my mom said. “You just dump all your ingredients in and let them simmer all day long. It’s so much easier than having to start dinner right when I get home from work. You know how much I hate cooking.” 

The Crockpot rested on the kitchen counter in all of its convenient glory for the next year or so. The dinner menu soon became predictable–meat stew, chicken and rice casserole, taco soup, or pot roast. The problem was, I was a picky eater, and before long, my relationship with the slow cooker grew sour. I built up so much resentment toward the new gadget that “Cooks all day while the cook’s away!” that I turned to YouTube to learn how to cook dinner myself. I soon discovered that unlike my mother, I enjoyed cooking quite a bit.

Eleven years later, I got my first job as a personal chef. Once a week, I go into the houses of my clients and cook several gourmet meals, snacks, and desserts that last them throughout the week. Throughout all of my cooking adventures, I’ve hoarded numerous tips and tricks that have helped elevate my skills. One of my favorite tips to share with people who want to improve their cooking is to try to use ingredients that are in season, and better yet, locally sourced. Buying from a farmer’s market is the best way to acquire produce that is bursting with freshness, thanks to the crops’ short trip from a local farm to the consumer’s table. Here in Colorado, farmer’s markets are abundantly packed with seasonal fruits and veggies from May through October, but nothing screams Colorado Summer like the state’s famous Palisade peaches. 

Colorado peaches are most famously grown in the town of Palisade, where long sunny days and crisp summer nights allow the peaches’ sugars to develop perfectly. The craze over Palisade peaches started with a man named John Harlow, one of the original colonizers of Palisade. Although the town’s soil was rich and nutrient-dense, there wasn’t nearly enough rainfall for farmers to sustain fruit trees. However, in 1882, Harlow initiated a canal project to divert water from the Colorado River into Palisade. By the beginning of the 20th century, more than twenty-five thousand pounds of beautifully sweet peaches were being harvested from the land. 

Combining my knowledge of cooking with what I know to be true about Palisade peaches, I’m going to show you how to make Colorado’s best cast iron peach cobbler. This is one of those gorgeous recipes that tastes like it’s hard to make, but in reality, it’s as simple as pie (or quite honestly, a lot simpler than pie). 

Step 1:

Begin preheating the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, wash and cut Colorado Palisade peaches into slices.

Step 2:

Drop an entire stick of butter into a cast iron skillet and let it melt over medium-low heat. 

Step 3:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¾ cup of milk. 

Step 4:

Once the butter is melted, turn off the heat. Pour the batter mixture into the pan so that it is evenly spread on top of the butter. Do not mix the batter into the butter. The butter acts as a nonstick agent, so it needs to remain in a thin layer across the bottom of the skillet.  

Step 5:

Spread peach slices evenly over the top of the batter. Again, do not stir or mix. 

Step 6: 

Bake on the middle rack for one hour at 300 degrees. Let the cobbler cool just a bit before serving, so that it is no longer bubbling yet still warm and decadent. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for extra pizazz. Enjoy!

I hate to admit it, an equally delicious yet simpler version of this recipe can also be made in the Crockpot. Begin by preheating the slow cooker and throwing in a stick of butter to melt directly inside the pot. Next, follow the same steps above. Set the Crockpot on high and cook for one and a half to two hours, or until the top of the cobbler is set.

 Although I’ll always prefer to make this recipe in a cast iron skillet, this dazzling peach cobbler undoubtedly helped me heal my relationship with the Crockpot. I hope you too will make it one of these ways before the Palisade peach season comes to an end on October 1st!

It all started with the Crockpot.  After a

Many mayors have made their mark on Denver, but none so much as the four who spoke at History Colorado Center on August 18 to a full audience.  Mayor Federico Peña, Mayor Wellington Webb, Senator John Hickenlooper, and Mayor Michael Hancock gave a snapshot of how far Denver has come during the last 40 years. 

“It was great seeing the legacy of four mayors and their input, but also gaining insight into the importance of a valid transition between mayors,” said attendee Ron Thorne.

The most important transition may have been in 1983, when Peña started his term as Denver’s first Latino mayor. Peña opened the locked doors to City Hall and inspired people to get involved with their city government. He also created a trend of grass roots campaigning that his predecessors would follow.

“I knew what it was like to not be involved in city government, and that’s how we were able to address all these issues; because we had thousands and thousands of people involved,” Peña said.

Webb, who served after Peña, became the first Black mayor of Denver and always appreciated the work of his predecessor.

“We were so proud Federico had won the election, because he broke the ceiling,” Webb said. “And it’s always hard being the first.”

Peña was inspired by Denver Mayor Robert W. Speer, who held office from 1904 to 1912, and the contributions he made to the city by bolstering infrastructure from paving roads to expanding the Denver Zoo. Speer’s “City Beautiful” movement was taken up by Peña, and in turn his successors, in the form of the slogan “Imagine a Great City.” 

Webb expanded upon Peña’s open door policy by bringing himself to the doors of his constituents during his 1991 “Sneaker Campaign,” where he walked the streets of Denver introducing himself and his plan for the city to the people. 

“To me, the whole walk episode was about the City of Denver giving somebody a chance that wasn’t expected to win,” Webb said.

As the second Black mayor of Denver, Hancock had big shoes to fill, but he also understood what Webb did when he took over from Peña.

“Every mayor walked in acknowledging the contributions of his predecessor and being able to accept that baton and say ‘I’ve got to take it to the next level,’” said Hancock.

Hancock remembered one specific issue when it came to carrying that baton: the low number of youths involved in Denver Recreation Center programs. There were only 700 children who were rec center members at the time Hancock won his election, but by making their memberships free, he saw that number rise above 100,000. Hancock attributes this choice as part of what led to the decline in numbers of juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, and high school dropouts in Denver.

Aside from their desire to inspire Denverites to become active within the community, the mayors emphasized another important issue they all sought to work on during their times in office. 

“Public transit really is a signature item that elevates us to being a major city,” Hickenlooper said. “What mattered about FasTracks was bringing everyone together, and committing the will of our community to get something done.”

Hickenlooper campaigned for years on the importance of robust public transit, even upping Denver’s sales tax to fund the FasTracks project. Both Peña and Webb concurred, as they were responsible for the funding and building of Denver International Airport.

“At every critical and pivotal moment, transportation has led Denver forward,” Hancock said.

As the most senior mayor, Peña closed the evening by saying, “The future of cities are about the people in those cities.” He reminded the crowd that Denver’s long history of mayoral dedication to its citizens goes back far further than his administration. 

Many mayors have made their mark on

Did you know a dogs tail actually tells a tale? That they open their mouths while relaxed and close their mouth before they bite? That they get a library of information when they smell each other’s butts? Our podcast guest, Bernadette Pflug, owns Black Paw Dog Training in Lafayette, and she trains dogs and their owners so they can have more enjoyable lives together. She choreographs a dance between the dog and the owner, first teaching the dog its steps, then teaching the owner how to dance along.

Bernadette started her career in television but when the travel became too much for a young mother she pivoted to making a living with her other love, dogs. That was over 20 years ago. She and her late German Shepherd, Ranger, worked in Boulder County doing search and rescue, she owned a pet store in Louisville called Black Paw, and after the Marshall Fire she sold it to focus on training dogs. She was recognized by the Boulder County Sheriff for her service to law enforcement and pet owners in the aftermath of the fire. She has trained thousands of dogs including street dogs and shares her best practices on our second podcast.

Bernadette Pflug Black Paw Dog Training

Ca$h Barking at Hatfield’s Fence

Did you know a dogs tail actually

You recently lost your son, Jake, in a tragic hit and run accident.  Tell us about what made him so special?

Jake was our gentle giant. He was 6′-4″ and incredibly fit, yet the most humble, kind, loving, compassionate, thoughtful person I have ever known. He was the best of all of us. Jake came into his stride when he married his Ivy, she was the love of his life and she completed him. Jake passionately loved music, his San Francisco Forty Niners and all his family, friends and of course his dog Montana! Jake was working a fulltime job while also working 30 plus hours at Domino’s pizza delivering pizzas. He and Ivy’s goal was to get ahead in life. We all had pressured Jake to quit his part time job at Dominoes and on Friday July 29th he called me and said he turned in his 2-week notice with a laugh. I asked what was funny and he said they asked for 3-weeks! I said Jake – tell me you did not agree to 3-weeks? He said they had so many drivers off the 3rd week he felt bad so he agreed to help them. That was Jake. He lost his life on that shift. 

Can you describe what it was like for you and your family when you first got the news that it was a hit and run?

We received the 1st call at 2AM Saturday July 30th and we were told he was involved in an accident, but they were trying to figure out what hospital he was taken to. We knew this couldn’t be good if he couldn’t call us on his own. My wife Michele and I quickly got dressed and then the 2nd call came. There is a song with lyrics that state we’re all a phone call away from our knees. My wife collapsed to the floor. In complete disbelief we gathered ourselves and went to Denver to be with Ivy and family. The news about the hit and run came later in the morning. It was unclear how many people were in the car, but we were told two were injured and taken to the hospital. My wife was worried about them and prayed for them. I was pretty angry and not proud to admit I was not concerned for any of them. My son had been taken from me. He was my “ROCK” and finding compassion for those who took him from me was not available at the time.  

The hit and run driver was on probation for another crime and was moving through the courts for other violations.  How do you feel knowing this?

This is the most frustrating part. Taylor had just been convicted of a very serious crime and sentenced to 8-years, but they gave him 4-years of probation. Had he served one year and let out on good behavior pending probation I wouldn’t be answering these questions. Then came the second crime in Adams County, which would have violated his probation, and had the legal system reacted as they should Jake would still be here. It seems as if the legal system is too focused on protecting criminals from their earned punishments rather than helping them to become better citizens. And the good guy simply delivering a pizza to get ahead in life has his life taken from him. 

You said Jake would want you to be a humanitarian.  How do you bring humanity to the process when you see the man in court?

Great question. I could feel Jake’s hand on my shoulders when we were at the arraignment. He was telling me to be kind and calm dad. Jake expected me to be the bigger person. Turn the other cheek. That is who he was. I have to be strong for Jake.  

Hit and runs are on the rise in Denver. What do you want the people of Denver to know so that Jake’s death is not in vain? 

I was very shocked to find how rampant these street racers are. I am in no way saying people shouldn’t love their cars but taking to the streets and racing in and out of traffic risking innocent lives for the adrenaline rush and thrill of taking chances is unconscionable. In many cases drugs and alcohol – liquid courage is involved and all of this should be outlawed and those who put innocent lives at risk should be punished swiftly and with severe consequences. The humanitarian in me is not just focused on punishing people who commit crimes. I want to create community awareness and even help these clubs find structure and leadership to insure they can enjoy their passion of cars, but safely. I plan to start a Foundation in Jake’s name and find a way to make a difference. We have an Amber alert, why can’t we have a “Jake” alert so law abiding citizens can call in when they see someone racing illegally. We can’t sit back and let this happen to another family. Jake would expect me to do something to make an impact. If we save one human being Jake won’t die in vain.  

I have 4 goals:

  1. Take care of Ivy – we have a go fund me account going now – Jake did not have life insurance – Ivy lost 50% of the household income
  2. Participate in the court system to support justice and ensure Taylor is punished to the full extent of the law
  3. Impact change through community awareness and legislation and to hopefully help these good clubs find safe ways to enjoy their passions
  4. Impact change for delivery people (Dominoes-Pizza Hut-Grub Hub) these folks deserve to be treated better and the companies should review workhours/safety and proper insurance to protect them

You recently lost your son, Jake, in