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Today is a big day for giving in Colorado and Bucket List Community Café is asking for your support.  So often we hear that news is the problem but can news be the solution? Bucket List Community Cafe has a unique niche at the intersection of journalism and community.  We tell you what’s going on in North Denver, explore the issues folks care about, introduce you to people and places and events and small businesses, but we do much more than that.  We build community by sharing our stories.  Let me tell you mine.  

I hadn’t had a phone ring at 5:15 a.m. in a long time.  I’m a freelance producer for NBC News, and they were calling to ask me to go to Colorado Springs.  There was a shooting at Club Q.  Five were dead and 18 were injured, possibly a hate crime.  And I went oh no, not again.  Covering mass shootings has become like Groundhog Day where the rhythms are way too familiar.  It is so discouraging.  Nothing changes but the families that are devastated and the faces of the victims.  I feel numb.  I’ve covered more than a dozen now.  I’ve become an expert at this.

When Kip Kinkel killed his parents then shot up his school in Oregon in 1998, I left a 14 week old baby at home to cover the story.  I was a mess. 

At Columbine, a year later, after working nonstop for ten days I finally had a minute to walk around the memorial.  I was overcome with emotion.  It was so raw and unfathomable.

By Aurora in 2012, I was made of tougher stuff, but I still can’t forgive myself for how hard I pushed to get an interview with a woman who was desperate to find her boyfriend.  I learned later he died.  Covering the theater shooting trial gave me PTSD. 

The Pulse, Las Vegas, Parkland.  They started coming one after another.  Different communities but the same grief, shock, and unanswered questions.  I’ve given so many hugs to mothers who have lost a child in these bursts of violence.    

Then Uvalde, where children were slaughtered.  I told myself just do your job.  I tried to get access.  I tried to get interviews.  I got pushed back.  I couldn’t wait to go home.  

And then, Club Q, where I finally got pissed. This happens over and over and nothing changes. 

I don’t have the answers.  Nor am not taking a position on guns, mental health, race, hate or all the things that divide us.  All I’m saying is we really need to talk to one another.  We need to meet each other, build community by sharing our stories, and get to know our neighbors.  

That’s what Bucket List Community Café is all about.  We’re on online community journalism site that helps you get to know what’s going on in North Denver, demystifies the stranger, and lets you meet your neighbors whether they’re next door or across town.  We are positive and solution oriented.   Yes, news can be the solution. We are inspired and supported by you, and we need your help to keep it up.

This is week two of our #newsCOneeds fundraising campaign.  Besides the $5000 match from the Colorado Media Project, this week your match will be tripled thanks to the generous contribution of Nicole Hann Sullivan of the Book Bar on Tennyson Street.  Please help us build community by sharing our stories and support community journalism.  Thanks for contributing.  

Today is a big day for giving

Denver is proving to be a dreamscape for immersive art and Meow Wolf, which hails itself as a “fantastic realm of story and exploration,” is leading the way with holiday entertainment.  On December 3, the sold out Danceportation is holding an immersive dance party, then on December 7 the Winter Ball is bringing it’s own unique take on a winter wonderland.   

Denver resident Greg Fiorollo recently visited Meow Wolf with his brother, describing the experience as more akin to a firework show than an art museum. 

“It was an experience of awe, at how someone could have thought of this and put this together. You can start anywhere and go anywhere. There are all these stations, and I was exploring and climbing and walking around, trying to analyze and find a common thread.”

 Greg described the other people there as integral to the experience. “There were a couple of thousand people there. You’re overstimulated all the time, by everything around you on the walls, but also by all the different types of people there experiencing the place alongside you”. 

Since the lifting of pandemic-era regulations, it’s no surprise that Americans spending of time and money has swayed towards real-life experiences. This has caused an uptick in the popularity of new forms of experiences, such as immersive art, an experiential art form that allows viewers to enter a world of art and become a protagonist within it.

Curiously, immersive has found an outpouring of community support in Denver. Buzzy exhibits such as David Byrne’s Theatre of the Mind and Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station have attracted locals and visitors alike. Theatre of the Mind, created by Talking Heads frontman, David Byrne, has seen such extraordinary audience demand that the show has extended its run time for another month, to January 22nd, 2023. 

David Thomas, a co-founder of the Denver Immersive Gathering and professor of architecture at UC Denver, credits Denver residents’ love for immersive as having to do in part with a genuine and unique enjoyment in being with other people.

“The community of Denver is so interested and engaged in Immersive, and I think it’s because Denver is a place where people like each other, they like creativity and they like seeing what they can do.”

Denver Immersive Gathering (DIG) was a two-day festival and networking event that took place in early November. The conference’s purpose was to bring creatives to Denver to experience and discuss immersive arts. It was put together through the support of various Denver organizations, including the Denver Center for Performing Arts and the city of Denver itself.

“From the city of Denver’s perspective, this was Immersive Denver being trusted with carrying the message of Immersive” David Thomas explains. “When we opened the gates, we thought we would get 2/3 local attendance and 1/3 out of state. But it was the reverse. Thirty states and Ninety cities were represented.”

When asked about his favorite DIG moment, David Thomas recalls seeing David Byrne at the party at Meow Wolf, in the middle of the crowd. “(He was) just like every other producer, just talking to people. He’s an immersive person, he’s an artist. And everyone is like that. There aren’t a lot of levels, there’s not an A list, B list, or C list. So that’s very exciting to me to see a community that is so engaged and excited in this way”.

Much more is on the horizon for Denver’s immersive scene. Camp Christmas in Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park is a Christmas-themed campground full of immersive exhibits and light displays, running throughout most of December. Casa Bonita is on its way to reopening after closing, then being bought by the creators of South Park. Denver Fringe Festival, the week-long annual performing arts festival in June, is also known to host gripping immersive experiences.

Asked if there will be a DIG 2023, David Thomas answered simply: “​​Denver loves immersive, and Immersive loves Denver, so why let that romantic relationship fade.”

Denver is proving to be a dreamscape

In 2017, I landed the quirkiest seasonal job a writer could imagine: answering Santa’s mail for kids worldwide for a small Etsy business, BornonBonn, run by Teresa McClure. I answered children’s letters to Santa Claus from 2017-2021. My schedule is too hectic now but during those years I learned a lot about the magic of the Christmas spirit and bringing childhood dreams to life. 

Each year I would come up with several different templates to use for the letters; the content of each template varied depending on the child’s age and other demographics. Parents would send in their children’s messages to Santa: what they wanted for Christmas that year, what they had accomplished in extracurricular activities, how they were doing in school, and occasionally some behavioral challenges they needed to work on that Santa could gently address. (Oddly enough, kids tend to listen more when Santa Claus reminds them to brush their teeth twice a day!) The letters were printed on vintage paper in a font made to look like authentic handwriting, and each letter came in a real-looking envelope addressed to the child’s home from the North Pole, stamps and all.

Sometimes, kids would ask for presents that parents could not get that year: a common one was a puppy. My job as Jolly Saint Nick was to devise a clever alternative and remind them that Christmas’s true joy comes not from gifts but from spending time with your loved ones.

Many children didn’t ask for material items at all, though. In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height, most kids missed school, their friends, and their families. In 2020, two little boys that were brothers asked: “for COVID-19 to end this year.” In Santa speak, I explained he could not make viruses end, but he was proud that they had done a good job handling all the changes the year brought. I received many such requests in 2020, along with questions about how the pandemic affected operations at the North Pole (I assured them that the magic of the North Pole protected all of the elves, reindeer, myself, and Mrs. Claus from the virus.) Santa even assured children he would wear a mask and wash his hands!

Some of the more heartwarming requests I got from children were for their sick grandparents to get better. One little girl’s most significant accomplishment of the year was caring for her sick “Pappy.” One year, a little boy asked for “a telescope, a book with interesting, fun facts, and world peace.” I was always blown away by the sweet nature with which kids viewed the world. Their wittiness never failed to make me chuckle, and I learned that the youngest people have some of the best qualities: honesty, curiosity, and kindness. Adults can learn a lot from children; they’re wiser than you might think.

Writing Santa letters taught me that we all have much to be thankful for every year. Whether it was a family vacation, a new hobby or skill you mastered, making a new friend, or acing an exam. I recommend you spend some time reflecting on the highlight reel of your year. Kids naturally tend to focus on the positive aspects of life, so I loved reading about their accomplishments each year.

I learned always to ask questions. Humans are lifelong learners, and there’s something special about the curiosity and open-mindedness that little ones have that seems to get lost in translation once we reach adulthood. My favorite elementary school teacher once told me that “the moment you stop asking questions is the moment you stop learning.” Answering children’s detailed questions in their letters solidified this lesson, and I have practiced the art of questioning everything ever since.

The kids I wrote to taught me that the most vital ingredients of life are laughter, adventure, friendship, curiosity, and love. I learned to be like a child again, to approach the world with a carefree attitude, to laugh often, and to love well. And that’s what the holiday spirit is all about.

In 2017, I landed the quirkiest seasonal

Q: You work in a record store and recently introduced vinyl at Tenn Street Coffee and Books.  To what do you attribute the resurgence of records and turntables?

A: You know, I’m not really sure. I think the desire to own physical media is coming back, but in strange ways. When streaming became the preferred method of listening to music, it did affect the desire for vinyl. But I think, recently it’s  started helping it again. People can hear an album, fall in love with it, and then want to buy it, which you weren’t able to do thirty or forty years ago. If you heard it on the radio, or if you followed an artist’s career, you’d go buy the album, and maybe like it. Now you can do all that work beforehand. Plus, unlike before, records are almost like collectors items now, they’re a musical commodity, not a necessity. 

Q: Why do you think listening to records is a better experience?

A: I mean I could write a lot about the great quality of vinyl, fidelity, blah, blah, blah. But really, I enjoy listening to records because you are able to sit down and experience an album as a whole. It’s not so much that I love the “superior sound” of vinyl, but moreso, I love that records are proof that when I hold an album in my hands it confirms its place within my psyche. They are big, bright, material pieces of history I can add to my collection of inspiration in my pursuit of a more creative life. Records are meant to be listened to in one sitting. They aren’t a part of some bigger mix tape or playlist; you’re able to hear an artist’s true intention when listening to their work. Music on vinyl isn’t meant to be just some background noise, it’s meant to be an experience.

Q: Young people are turning to vinyl.  Are they also turning to artists who recorded on vinyl back in the day and who do they like?   

A: Yes they are, and it’s so cool! I remember being fourteen years-old and going into shops and being the youngest person there, surrounded by middle aged men looking solely for anything New Wave, or for “rare” Pink Floyd bootlegs. Now I see kids even younger than that coming in and I think it’s great. I think, typically, kids who collect music have at least developed a small knowledge of popular music history. What they like varies. I’d say more often than not, though, it’s classic rock bands like the Beatles or the Who. Goth kids still love Joy Division and Bauhaus. The really heady girls buy the Doors because Jim Morrison is still their God. Some things never change. 

Q: What kind of music do you especially like?  

A: I don’t want to be one of these annoying people, but… kind of everything? I have a few jazz composers and leaders I’m digging now like Carla Bley, Chick Corea, and Charles Mingus. Im honestly really enjoying the “hyper-pop” movement. I’ve been listening to a lot of Rina Sawayama, MUNA, and Caroline Polacheck. More often than not, I revert to glam rock – Bowie, T-Rex, Jobriath. But my heart is with folk. Leonard Cohen, Karen Dalton, Joni Mitchell. 

Q: What are your favorite places to listen to music in Denver?

A: Well, believe it or not I do go to the symphony fairly often. Dazzle is a fun night out. I think my favorite venues would have to be Cervantes, the Ogden, the Gothic, and of course Red Rocks. 

Q: You work in a record store

Denver’s local businesses are suffering from inflation and rising costs going into this holiday season. Monica Megei and Oscar Hernandez own and operate Mia Cocinita, a Mexican food truck located in Globeville. Megei said her first step into restauranturing was a simple hot dog stand, and though they worked many years to open Mia Cocinita, the logistics have grown difficult; choosing between their own income and keeping prices down. Megei said some people get upset when she is forced to raise prices.

“Sometimes they understand, sometimes they don’t,” said Megei. “In December, we plan on raising them another dollar.”

Food prices at Mia Cocinita have already been raised by 50 cents. Megei would let customers choose between less avocado or less protein in their food in an attempt to keep prices the same, but regulars told her they’d rather pay more than go with less.

Ninja Ramen, a food truck that can be found outside of Long Table Brewhouse in North Park Hill, also had to increase their prices. 

]“It was just crazy like, meat vegetable, egg, everything,” says Midori Fujishige.

Owner of Genna Rae’s Wings and More, Genn Dickerson, has experienced similar issues while operating his restaurant in Five Points. Dickerson immigrated from the Virgin Islands to start a career as a mechanic. In 2016, Dickerson decided to pursue his “true passion” and opened Genna Rae’s to share his cooking with his community.

“It’s not like it used to be,” said Dickerson. “Holidays; I used to get catering jobs, but not anymore. I’m trying to keep the doors open because I like the people of the neighborhood.

Dickerson also increased prices on a menu item by about 50 cents. With business slowing, Dickerson had to cut his employees hours, and the new bump in the minimum wage starting this January has him worried whether the restaurant can remain open. Customers assure him they’ll stick around.  

I asked ‘If the price goes up, you’ll understand?’ and they said they’d still support us.”

This January, the new minimum wage will be $17.29 an hour in Denver.  The announcement that the minimum wage would increase was the “final nail in the coffin,” for the Book Bar on Tennyson Street in Berkeley.  In a heartfelt message to her customers, owner Nicole Sullivan explained why she will be closing her doors following this holiday season. The price of doing business in Denver and fatigue after the COVID-19 led her to a difficult decision. 

“Those couple of years took a toll on most of us in all of the ways: mentally, physically, and certainly financially. As society began to reopen, I knew that spaces like BookBar were what the community needed most to come together again, to feel a sense of normalcy” said Sullivan. “I felt strongly that our community needed us. But…I also realized my family needs me more right now.”

The problems these businesses have faced due to the economy have not soured their holiday season. Each owner expressed deep gratitude for their community’s support through and after the pandemic,  Inflation mixed with rising wages and higher rents threaten the sustainability of small businesses, but many owners are still determined to keep their doors open, as long as their communities will support them.

NOTE: Mimi Herrick produced the video in this story.

Denver’s local businesses are suffering from inflation

I wasn’t a pie person until one year my stepmom and I took on the challenge of making a pumpkin pie from scratch. We stayed up late the night before Thanksgiving, rolling out homemade dough and boiling whole pumpkins. 

Yes, whole pumpkins. 

We’ve made that pie every year since, and now, I’m definitely a pie person. Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving without that pie. 

Most families probably have at least one of these Thanksgiving recipes–one that the entire family loves, the one that would be criminal to forget. 

But, that’s why I love the concept of a Friendsgiving, because not only does it give you the chance to celebrate a family-style holiday with friends, but it also gives you a little more room to be creative with the dinner menu. 

I want to show you two of my favorite fall desserts that are perfect for Friendsgiving and have a bit more flare than your run-of-the-mill pie (not that I don’t love a run-of-the-mill-pie) plus my favorite thing to do with leftover pie dough.

Gooey Butter Cake 

The butter cake was born in St. Louis, Missouri in the 1930s by complete accident. Many believe that a baker from one of St. Louis’ oldest pastry shops can be thanked for the butter cake’s ooey-gooey center when he mismeasured the ingredients for a coffee cake that came out like the texture of butter cake. This prepare-ahead-friendly recipe has a texture similar to lemon bars and a taste similar to roasted honeycomb. 

Illegal Butter-Cake Bars



1 15.2-oz box of yellow cake mix          

½ cup unsalted butter, melted 

1 large egg at room temperature 

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon 

½ tsp salt 


8-oz of cream cheese, softened

4 cups powdered sugar 

2 large eggs at room temperature 

½ cup unsalted butter

½ tsp vanilla extract 

¼ tasp salt 


Preheat oven to 350°. 

In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, egg, butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt until well combined into a thick dough.  

Press the dough into a greased 9×13 pan until smooth and flat. 

In another bowl, using a hand mixer, whip the softened cream cheese for about two minutes or until smooth. Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, butter and salt until well combined. Reserve  ½ cup of powdered sugar and set aside. Slowly add in the rest, one cup at a time, until it is smoothly incorporated. 

Pour the mixture over the dough, and bake in the oven until the top is set and golden, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares, then enjoy! 

Mini Apple Pies

People will think you spent hours on these. These mini apple pies are for the friend who wants to impress their friends with a homemade pie, without actually having to make one. Not only are these magical little pies an ultimate crowd-pleaser, they’ll leave your house smelling like all your favorite things about fall. 




1 package of refrigerated pie dough

1 large Honeycrisp apple, diced 

1 tbsp cane sugar 

1 tbsp brown sugar 

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

Pie topping: 

¼ cup all-purpose flour 

3 tbsp brown sugar 

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

4 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes


Preheat oven to 375°.

Roll out the refrigerated pie dough and cut out 3-4 inch circles of dough.

Grease a muffin tin and mold the circles of pie dough into each slot and store in the fridge.

Meanwhile, combine chopped apples, honey, sugar, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup, and flour into a bowl. 

In a separate bowl, combine all the ingredients for the pie topping until the butter gets mixed in and forms a crumbly texture. 

Remove the muffin tin from the fridge and scoop 2-3 tablespoons of apple filling into each cup.

Top each pie with 1-2 tablespoons of the topping and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Sprinkle with extra cinnamon if desired and enjoy with friends! 

Abby’s Friendsgiving Treats

Leftover Pie Dough Hack

Every Thanksgiving, I end up with leftover pie dough. Whether homemade or refrigerated, I somehow always end up with a pie dough surplus. My favorite thing to do with the extra dough is to make homemade quiche using whatever veggies I have on hand. If I have leftover pie dough before my annual Friendsgiving, I’ll stuff the pie dough into cupcake liners and make mini quiches for my friends. Otherwise, I’ll use the leftover pie dough to make a big breakfast quiche. Though the possibilities are endless with quiche, one of my favorite ways to make it is with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onion, feta cheese, and fresh rosemary. My family calls this the “Easter Quiche,” but if I can’t wait till Easter, I’ll sometimes make it for Thanksgiving. 

Food is quite possibly my favorite thing to bond over, so I hope you will take inspiration from at least one of these recipes and share it with the people you love this Thanksgiving. 

I wasn’t a pie person until one

The Denver School Board voted Thursday evening not to shutter any schools, even after the proposal to close five campuses was whittled down to two. As enrollment numbers dwindled at many of Denver’s schools, the Denver School Board (DSB) planned to close 5 schools, which led to a mass outcry from the community at the board’s public meeting on Nov. 14. The audience was filled with everyone from teachers, to parents, to several of the elementary schools’ students. None spoke out in support of the school closures. Instead each speaker detailed the ways in which their schools, and the smaller class sizes positively affected their lives.

The crowd was tense when people began taking to the podium. Each speaker had three minutes. Marta Oko-Riebau, a mother of two students at Palmer Elementary and a psychotherapist, discussed the impact of school closures on kids’ mental health during her public comment to the board. Oko-Riebau also reflected on her time as a counseling psychology student intern at Palmer Elementary. 

“As a therapist working with kids, I witnessed how having a small tight community was a major buffer against stress and trauma in many kids’ lives. All students are visible in small schools,” said Oko-Riebau. 

According to the City of Denver, around 5,000 less students have enrolled in the school system since 2014. The closures are a part of the Denver Board of Education’s Small Schools Resolution, which passed in 2021 and aims to “work with school communities throughout the district to address declining enrollment in elementary schools.”

Originally, 10 schools were slated to be closed down, but due to public outcry, the number was reduced to five: Denver Discovery School, Schmitt Elementary, Fairview Elementary, International Academy of Denver at Harrington, and Math Science Leadership Academy. Children and parents would be forced to commute further to another school while the buildings would remain empty, though they are sometimes used for their classroom space by other nearby schools.

“I would like you to know that school closure to the students at those schools feels like a very wrong choice,” said one Palmer Elementary school student. “Students should have a say to what happens to their school, because it’s been their school for a long time.”

The public meeting was not fully open to the public, instead only speakers were allowed in attendance, though a viewing room and a Zoom livestream were available. The closing to the public is unprecedented, and Vice President Aoun’tai Anderson made special note of this fact in a statement made before public comments.

“What is going on currently is a performative show, this is not how we should be governing with the community. This entire process has not been community led,” Anderson said. “Hiding behind stanchions is never okay.”

Anderson is publicly outspoken against the proposed closures, claiming that it was ‘white-supremist’ in nature: forcing schools with a large minority population to fight with each other to avoid being closed down, as around 80% of the 600 students attending all of the schools are Black or Latino. Anderson received a round of applause from the audience after finishing his statement.

Former Palmer Elementary student London Lewis spoke before the board on the empowerment he received in being a part of his school. “I’ve found much comfort in the diversity of our school environment,” Lewis said. “Being able to interact and be a part of such a close-knit, diverse community has provided me and my siblings much more confidence in our interactions with people.”DP

Many of the parents and students at the meeting touched on topics of security and school violence. Oko-Riebau stated that one of the most effective ways to improve student achievement and curb school violence is to reduce the size of schools. “Let’s not go the opposite direction,” Oko-Riebau pleaded.

The community spoke in front of the board for nearly seven hours, all sharing impassioned thoughts on their misgivings with the plan. The school board received feedback that their goal of increasing enrollment and keeping larger class sizes may not be what is best for minority communities.

Note: Jaqueline Ramirez of the University of Colorado’s College of Media, Communication and Information contributed to this story.

The Denver School Board voted Thursday evening

Proposition 122, or the Natural Medicine Health Act, was passed on November 8th making Colorado only the second state in the nation to decriminalize the use of certain psychedelic plants and fungi for people over the age of 21. The ballot also called for the establishment of a regulated medical access program for these substances overseen by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). 

Despite the legislation passing, not everyone in the psychedelic community is convinced that Proposition 122 provides the best pathway to legalization. Nate Priebe, a board member from the Psychedelic Club of Denver has concerns about the way Proposition 122 sets up psychedelic regulation and who the gatekeepers behind this natural medicine would be under the current framework.  

“What I would want to see, and what I’m sure most people would want to see is a window of community input, that’s pretty extended. Maybe like six months, where people have a chance to say what they want to say, and for it to get heard. Let’s allow enough time for those changes or considerations to be implemented.”

DORA has until September 30, 2024, to adopt the rules necessary to implement the Regulated Natural Medicine Access Program and begin accepting applications for patients. Until then, psychedelic advocates and practitioners will push to have a say in how legal regulation is handled.

Priebe says that there is disagreement among leadership members of the Psychedelic Club regarding Proposition 122, most of which surrounds the regulatory access portion of the measure and its potential for inequity.

“Insurance is not going to be an option for this, at least not for a while, and not under this framework at all,” said Priebe. “People with adequate financial resources are going to benefit. And those without are just, again, swept under the rug.” 

To muddy the waters even further, Proposition 122 was backed by the New Approach PAC, who contributed $4.5 million to the Natural Medicine Health Act. New Approach was a huge proponent to the legalization of marijuana in 2012, which has become one of the most commercialized industries over the past decade. 

Some psychedelic advocates are now worried that the same thing will happen with magic mushrooms and other natural psychedelics as corporate interest could take over a community once dedicated to the American counterculture. 

While Proposition 122 focuses predominately on the medical uses of psychoactive plants, psychedelics have been used as a means of spiritual and religious passage by non-western cultures for thousands of years.

“Some people are concerned that it pushes legacy practitioners or the people who have been holding ceremonies out of the space. And they are the ones who should be the most protected and most informed.” said Priebe. “So, you’re kind of coming in and saying, ‘Oh, if you have this degree that counts. Oh, you’ve been doing this for 20 years, and it’s been working out? Too bad you don’t have a degree.”   

Psylocibin mushrooms were already decriminalized in the City of Denver in 2019, but the current measure would extend decriminalization statewide and offers an alternative solution to Colorado’s mental health crisis through its regulated access program.  

The initiative states, “Colorado’s current approach to mental health has failed to fulfill its promise. Coloradans deserve more tools to address mental health issues, including approaches such as natural medicines that are grounded in treatment, recovery, health and wellness.”

The ballot measure was very tight with a winning margin of only 3.5%, showing that many Coloradans were split on the decision to embrace or reject Proposition 122. 

“I had my own trajectory of being very excited for it,” said Priebe, “I’m like, ‘Wow, this is legislation that would be really novel, and progressive, and I want to be part of this.’ And then I listened to more, I read more and saw the downsides, or the gray area that could be exploited. And it was scary. And then I flipped. And then I realized nothing was black and white. So, I kind of settled in the middle.”

The Psychedelic Club of Denver originally served as a proponent for Proposition 122, firmly believing that any way to expand access to psychedelics would be beneficial toward the movement.  But as opposition debates began to include members of the psychedelic community, the club converted to a neutral position and hosted a platform for each side to raise their arguments in an open forum. 

Priebe says that the decriminalization of natural psychedelics and establishment of a regulated access program will be great for people who are otherwise afraid to have any first experiences with them or not be able to find the right channels to locate an underground practitioner. He just hopes that the power behind this new form of regulation stays within the community and isn’t outsourced to corporate practice. 

“The way I see it is that the clear benefits of this passing will be expanding access off the bat. And it would also include other substances, which are plants and aren’t hurting anyone and allow people to have experiences meaningful to them, that’s a clear benefit. But the legal or regulatory side is a lot more contentious.”

To learn more about the Psychedelic Club of Denver and their services to the community visit their website here.

Proposition 122, or the Natural Medicine Health Act,

For most, Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, and reflection. The holiday reminds us to think about what they are thankful for. This November, the Bucket List Community Café podcast talks to Marcus Weaver about life lessons, gratitude, helping others, and pickles!

Marcus grew up in the inner city of St. Louis and was raised by his mother and an abusive father figure. He moved around a lot and got in trouble but despite that in 2008, Marcus graduated from radiology school at the top of his class. Then he got in a chase with police and derailed.  

“I fell into a hole. And that hole became like a microcosm of what my life was. So, I was like, man, I need help Lord and two hands came out and pulled me out.”

Marcus bounced around county jails, hoping to find stability. While in jail, Marcus helped others develop elevator speeches that he learned how to create from reading books.

“I got more engaged and, you know, trying to be better to upskill because that’s what some guys needed. Everybody has a situation, but it doesn’t ever have to be a permanent situation.”

After making great strides to improve his outlook on life, he was once again derailed by the Aurora theater shooting in July 2012. Now, ten years later, Marcus touches on the tragedy and how his belief in God helped him overcome the grief that followed.

Today Marcus now works to help marginalized communities and those struggling to find their path. In his efforts, he founded The People’s Pickles, a community-driven social enterprise that helps provide job training and transitional employment in Denver. If you’d like to purchase a jar of The People’s Pickles, visit

Marcus is grateful that he was able to redefine his life and use his experiences to help others in the Denver community. He is now focused on growth and hopes to expand his vocational training to more people in need. We hope you enjoy his inspiring story this Thanksgiving.

For most, Thanksgiving is a time for

I love advice columns.  From the time I was a girl I used to read Dear Abby and Ann Landers.  One of Abby’s columns about gratitude stuck with me and every year at the Thanksgiving table we say this prayer that was published in one of her columns: 

O Heavenly Father:
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless. 

We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved. 

May these remembrances stir us to service.
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen. 

I like it because no matter what your faith is, you can find meaning in the message.  It’s about putting gratitude into action.

These have not been the easiest few years.  Covid and economic challenges have brought difficulties for many families. There is lots of need around our community and I know you are all being intentional about your holiday giving.  I hope you all will consider community journalism among your gifts.

You’ve all put gratitude into action by supporting Bucket List Community Café.  Thank you so much for helping us imagine what community journalism can look like.  Soon, we will be asking for your support again.  

Between 11/29 and 12/31 we are taking part in the #newsCOneeds fundraising drive.   We have received a $5000 matching grant from Colorado Media Project and every penny up to $5000 will be matched. 

Full transparency, we are journalism entrepreneurs rather than a non-profit, so you can’t deduct your contribution from taxes, but you can say that you are inspiring new ideas for what community journalism can look like.    

Bucket List Community Café builds community by sharing our stories.  We have a unique niche at the intersection of journalism and community. We are your online home for inspiration, information and interaction. A place to come to get to know your neighbors down the street or across town.

Please mark your calendar for 11/29 and contribute to us if you can.  Best wishes to your families for a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Vicky Collins 

Publisher/Bucket List Community Café    

I love advice columns.  From the time I