Archive for January, 2018

Learn about proposed Pine Canyon project at developer open house Feb. 12

The community is invited to an open house to learn more about a proposed project known as Pine Canyon. This meeting will be hosted by the proposed project’s landowner

The area known as Pine Canyon spans both sides of Interstate 25, extending from the Union Pacific Railroad on the west to Founders Parkway on the east. It is generally north of Scott Boulevard and south of Founders Parkway. It is approximately 540 acres currently in unincorporated Douglas County.

The landowner, Walker Family, is proposing to annex into the Town of Castle Rock and change the zoning on the property to allow for a mix of single family and multi-family housing types. Learn about the proposal and the process during an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St.

Currently, the proposal includes up to 1,320 dwelling units and 133 acres of open space as well as 57 acres dedicated to public uses, such as schools or parks. The proposal also includes up to 40,000 square feet of non-residential development along Front Street, Founders Parkway and the extension of Woodlands Boulevard. An additional 775,000 square feet would be permitted between I-25 and the Union Pacific Railroad off of Liggett Road. Non-residential uses could include offices, retail stores and restaurants.

It’s important to understand annexations are voluntary. This means that the property owner or developer reaches out to the Town of Castle Rock with a request to become incorporated. Learn about this project, including a timeline and current status, at

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On Campus: Castle Rock

Castle View

• The girls basketball team has won seven games in a row. The Sabercats, ranked seventh, hosted top-ranked Regis Jesuit Jan. 30 and then faces a Heritage team that is winless in the Continental League at home on Feb. 2.

• The wrestling team took a step toward winning its second consecutive Continental League dual meet championship with a 41-34 victory over Ponderosa on Jan. 25. On Jan. 27, Randy Myers won the 132-pound championship at the Mile High Classic wrestling tournament held at Thomas Jefferson High School.

• It didn’t take long for the hockey team to show how much they had improved since a 10-3 loss to Pueblo County on Dec. 9.

Nick Pedersen scored the first of his two goals only 32 seconds into the first period on Jan. 26 and the Sabercats went on to defeat the Hornets, 2-1, handing Pueblo County its first league loss of the season. Cameron Craig had two goals in a 4-3 win over Mullen on Jan. 27.

Douglas County

• Sophomore center Lillian Thomas leads the Continental League girls basketball statistics with an average of 9.9 rebounds a game.

• An alumni wrestling night was held Jan. 25 and the former Huskies got to see Douglas County win over Heritage.

• After starting the Continental League season with four losses, the boys basketball team won non-league games against Thornton and Westminster on Jan. 26 and 27 by a combined 59 points.

Rock Canyon

• Senior guard Sam Masten has scored 20 or more points in 13 of the 17 Jaguar games played this season. He is averaging 22.2 points per game, second in the Continental League. The Jaguars, top-ranked in the poll, face No. 3 Chaparral on Feb. 2 at Chaparral. The Wolverines leads the all-time series between the schools, 6-5, but Rock Canyon has won the past three games.

• Jason Barbosa has been named the new girls lacrosse coach.

Valor Christian

• Three wrestlers took runner-up honors at the Mile High Classic wrestling tournament Jan. 27 at Thomas Jefferson High School. Payton Polson, at 160 pounds, 170-pounder Jake Welch and Easton Cecil at 220 pounds, finished second.

• The hockey team has won 11 consecutive games and has outscored opponents 82-9 during the streak. The Eagles, ranked third in the state and the Highlands Conference leader, plays second place Pueblo County this week on Feb. 3 at the Ice Ranch in Littleton.

• Valor’s boys basketball team, first in the Jeffco 4A league and No. 6 in the poll, meets No. 3 Golden on Feb. 2 at Golden. In the first meeting this season between the teams, the Eagles notched a 56-53 victory. The No. 7 girls basketball team also plays at No. 5 Golden on Feb. 2 and the Eagles also won the first game between the schools, 55-53.

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Douglas County: Standout Performers

Luke Lonneman, Valor Christian

In a 7-1 hockey victory over Crested Butte on Jan. 27, the senior right wing had a hat trick.

Garrett Sweeney, Mountain Vista

The 6-foot-2 senior hit five 3-pointers on his way to scoring 21 points, and had four assists, three rebounds and three steals in an 86-59 win over Ponderosa on Jan. 23.

Kobe Sanders, Chaparral

The sophomore made seven 3-pointers and finished with 25 points in a 58-44 boys basketball win over Heritage on Jan. 25.

Sufyan Elkannan, Legend

The junior contributed 19 points and five steals in a 50-37 boys basketball victory over Douglas County on Jan. 23.

Kasey Neubert, Highlands Ranch

The junior scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 37-34 girls basketball loss to top-ranked Regis Jesuit on Jan. 25.

Sam Masten, Rock Canyon

The senior had a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds in the 68-52 win for the top-ranked boys basketball team over Mountain Vista on Jan. 27.

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New water well construction begins; construction to impact Matney Park

In a changing community, anticipating needs is important. That’s one reason why Castle Rock Water is working to secure our long-term water future. Whether it’s renewable or nonrenewable supplies, Castle Rock Water takes maintaining the community’s water supply very seriously. Now, a new well and pipeline is under construction in Castlewood Ranch. This well will enhance the department’s water service and help continue to provide high-quality drinking water for customers.

Work on the Castlewood Ranch 1 Well Facility began last summer. One well was complete, now work on the second well is scheduled to begin mid-February. Along with the second well, the project will include a well house and pipeline to connect the new wells to the Founders Water Treatment Plant.

In order to help dampen drilling rig noise, a 16-foot-high sound wall will be installed around the site. Drilling will continue 24-hours a day for approximately 10 to 12 weeks. The pipeline will follow the Xcel power line corridor between Lantern Circle and High Plains Place. Construction on the entire project, including site/trail restoration and revegetation, is expected to continue into the summer.

Have questions? Join the department for an informational open house to learn more about the project – 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Ridge House, 4501 Enderud Blvd. Light refreshments will be provided.

It’s important to note, this construction project impacts the disc golf course at Matney Park. Sections of holes No. 1 through 8 may be inaccessible. Please be mindful of construction equipment and stay clear of any construction activity in the area. Also, a section of the paved trail between East Manchester Drive and Mikelson Boulevard will be closed. A rudimentary detour will be provided, however, it may not be handicap accessible.

Stay up-to-date on this project, closures and more at

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Editorial Cartoon for Feb. 1, 2018

Posted 1/30/18

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Chorale concert will support music programs for children

Voices West will hold a “pay-what-you-are-able” concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at Littleton United Methodist Church, 5894 S. Datura St., Littleton, to support music programs at Littleton’s East and Field elementary schools, which the chorale began some 13 years ago.

“The first year, we bought drums so that boys would want to join in — and they did, enthusiastically,” said publicist Bonita Lahey.

In subsequent years, funds have provided T-shirts, a keyboard, other instruments and some printed music. These schools have predominantly free-lunch-program kids from a diverse community where there are as many as 80 languages spoken. (Voices West was Littleton Chorale in earlier years.)

Think spring!

The Littleton Garden Club’s Feb. 7 speaker will be Dave Ingram from the Denver Rose Society, who will talk about growing roses in Colorado.

The longstanding club, which welcomes new members and guests, meets at the Littleton Public Schools Administration Center, 9776 S. Crocker St., Littleton — enter on the south side. Meeting starts at 6 p.m. with social time, refreshments, speaker at 6:30 p.m.

Outnumbered Gallery

Local painter Jeanie Gebhart will be the featured artist at “The Final First Friday in Littleton” at Outnumbered Gallery 5654 S. Prince St., Littleton from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 2.

The gallery, 5654 S. Prince St. has been very active in encouraging arts in the city, They look forward to an email presence and pop-up locations.

Black History Month

Actor Charles Pace will portray the controversial Malcolm X, Black Muslim spokesman and influential activist in the United States, at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at Bemis Library, 6014 S. Datura St., Littleton. Chase will explore his research and experience in acting this part for audiences.

The program is presented in several metro locations by Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book, in Greenwood Village, as part of its Chautauqua performance series, presented by costumed performer/scholars. For full schedule, see Free.

Rare books on sale

Douglas County Libraries will hold a rare and antiquarian book sale on Feb. 10 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Feb. 11 (noon to 3 p.m.) at the James H. LaRue Branch, 9292 Ridgeline Blvd., Highlands Ranch, in the Shea Meeting Room on the first floor. Stock will be added on Sunday.

All proceeds benefit the Douglas County Libraries Foundation, which supports programs and events for youth. (Books, CDs and DVDs are available year-round in the Second Chapter Used Bookstores and special items are saved for this sale.)

Arapahoe Philharmonic

“Bohemian Rhapsodies” will be spotlighted by the Arapahoe Philharmonic at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Fisher Auditorium at Englewood High School Campus, 3800 S. Logan St., Englewood.

The program features Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 8 in G Minor, Op. 88” and the “Cello Concerto in B Minor,” with guest soloist Kelcey Howell, the orchestra’s 2017-2018 Concerto Competition winner.

She is a junior at DU’s Lamont School of Music and also performs with Boulder Philharmonic, Denver Young Artist’s Orchestra and Parker Symphony. The concert will open with “Warehouse Medicine” by Mason Bates, a powerful new voice in music. Tickets:, 303-781-1892.

Story ballet

“Cinderella” will be presented by the Moscow Festival Ballet at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., Lone Tree. For tickets: 720-509-1000,

Depot Art Gallery

“Straight From the Heart,” works on ideas of love, romance, things that artists are passionate about — and all things red — opens with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 and runs until March 14.

The gallery is at 2069 W. Powers Ave., Littleton. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. 303-795-0781.

Watercolor exhibition

The Colorado Watercolor Society exhibits works by members, including many south area artists, through March 25 at Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, in the Mezzanine Gallery. Admission free.

Wind ensemble

The Colorado Wind Ensemble performs “CWE Pipes and Stops” at 3 p.m. Feb. 11 at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 9203 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch. CWE musicians will perform with organist Dr. Joyce Shupe Kull and with the Mountain Vista High School Band. Tickets: $16/$13/$5, at the door or

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Resources and services allow seniors to age in place

Let’s face it: We’re getting older. Very soon one in four residents will be over the age of 60 here in Douglas County. And for the first time in human history, there will be more older adults than young children in the global population. Adults aged 65 and over will begin to outnumber children under the age of 5, according to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

What does it mean to be a senior in 2018? How do you navigate the many channels of aging, and how do you age successfully? When you ask, most older adults want to stay independent for as long as possible, remain in their homes, maintain social connections and enjoy the quality of life they’ve always had. New data suggests that for most seniors, quality of life is at the top of that list. But what about when that quality of life is challenged — maintaining independence can sometimes be difficult even in the healthiest of seniors.

Nationally, 6 million adults age 65 and older have a disability that prevents them from leaving their homes without help, and 51 percent of people age 75 and older live alone. Older adults who no longer drive can quickly become isolated. They make fewer trips to their doctors and the grocery store and can lose their social connections. Isolated seniors are at a higher risk of health issues, elder abuse, fraud and scams, according to the AARP Foundation.

A recent study on health compared social isolation to smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Other data links loneliness to a bigger predictor of mortality than obesity or heart disease. Top risk factors for isolation include lack of accessible and affordable transportation (no longer driving), health issues such as untreated hearing loss, dementia, lack of mobility and frailty, which interfere with social connectedness. Life transitions, such as retirement, becoming a caregiver or losing a spouse or friends also contribute, as well as living in a rural area.

As we age, living in our own homes can become more of a challenge, especially when health conditions prevent you from keeping up with yard work and maintenance. Even changing out a light bulb or smoke alarm batteries can be daunting when it involves a ladder and you’ve got mobility issues. HOAs want snow cleared from the sidewalk, and you’re recovering from knee replacement surgery. But even with these challenges, the overwhelming majority of seniors say they wish to “age in place.” And living in your own home still might be the best option if you have some help.

What helps many seniors in our county is a connection to an aging resource center; a place to get and give information regarding the issues seniors are facing today and receiving help in navigating those issues. Neighbor Network, the county’s only nonprofit aging resource center, is a place to get information on services, links to providers and connections to resources, and to receive direct services, such as transportation, home maintenance and companionship. The organization receives hundreds of calls each week and has strong partnerships with aging professionals in the region. Just knowing there is a place to reach out to has made a significant impact on people’s confidence level to remain in their homes and remain independent. Services help fill in the gaps many seniors are facing, and it’s a peace of mind to know you have an available resource that specializes in senior services.

Neighbor Network is relocating its offices in February to accommodate the growing volume of requests; you may still call to receive information, but now you can also stop into the new office at 104 Fourth St. in Castle Rock to speak to a specialist face to face.

Karie Erickson is the executive director of Neighbor Network. For additional information, or to access resources or services, please call 303-814-4300 or visit This column is hosted by the Seniors Council of Douglas County. Please join us for our next meeting on March 1 at Eastridge Recreation Center, 9568 South University Blvd, Highlands Ranch. Our presentation and community conversation will begin at 10:15 a.m. This months topic is the evolution of Neighbor Network and our speaker is Karie Erickson. For more information, please visit, email or call 303-663-7681.

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Baseball finally gets much-needed longer season

First off, I have to declare that I believe most professional football, basketball and baseball seasons are too long.

I’ve always complained that the baseball regular season drags on and the “dog days of summer” seem endless and don’t end in August. The season should close by the middle of September so the World Series could start the first week of October.

However, I have also vowed the Colorado high school baseball season is too short and more games are needed.

Yes, that is contradictory, but high school players need additional prep games and a chance to enjoy high school rather than heading off to play club baseball.

In one of the changes adopted by the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Legislative Council on Jan. 25, baseball will be allowed to play four more games to reach a 23-game regular season schedule in Class 3A, 4A and 5A, but not until the 2019 season.

Maximum regular season games in northern states with spring weather similar to Colorado compete in between 22-25 games a season, so it was better late than never for Colorado to catch up.

In 2019 the season will be extended one week and the 3A, 4A and 5A state championships will be held the weekend after Memorial Day, and it is possible the fickle spring Colorado weather will be nice.

Now, the equity committee has recommended that the maximum number of softball games should also be increased, and that possibility still has to be addressed.

Among other changes that were approved, the start of the football season for 2018 will be moved up a week to Aug. 6 and Class 5A will have a 24-team playoff bracket instead of the 16-team format.

The additional week provides a needed bye week for 6-man through 4A teams and the top eight teams in 5A will get an off week during the first round of the playoffs.

Thankfully, the proposed new football league alignments were approved.

All five classes at the state volleyball tournament will have 12-team Olympic crossover bracket instead of pool play. That means double elimination until the semifinals, when a loss will eliminate a team.

Boys volleyball and girls wrestling have new hope of being sanctioned after the process for adding a new sport was modified. However, the procedure could take some time.

The Board of Directors must approve a new sport or activity for a piloting process.

The pilot program must last at least one year. The new sport or activity must have support from the Classification and League Organizing Committee, the Sports Medicine Committee, the Equity Committee and the Board of Directors before the Legislative Council can vote on it.

Boys volleyball’s attempt to be sanctioned was spiked by last April when the Classification and League Organizing Committee voted not to open the sport’s proposal, so the Legislative Council never considered adopting boys volleyball.

And the Legislative Council gave the OK for schools to participate in a Foundation Benefit Contest beyond the maximum game limit.

Schools are allowed to schedule an exhibition game where they can charge admission, keep score and raise money for their programs or a cause.

Golden View Academy, 601 Corporate Circle in Golden, and Stargate Charter School, 14530 Washington St. in Thornton, were two schools approved for full CHSAA membership.

Legacy mourns loss of coaching icon

Matt Craddock, a coaching icon in the Adams 12 Five Star school district, passed away Jan. 12 from cancer.

Craddock, 56, was once an assistant football coach at Northglenn and head coach at Thornton. In 2000 he was Legacy’s first tennis coach and for the past six seasons was an assistant football coach for the Lightning.

He served as Legacy’s interim head football coach while head coach Wayne Voorhees and several assistants recovered from injuries suffered in a 2016 bus crash at Denver International Airport.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at or at 303-566-4083.

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Program helps preserve Roxborough State Park

Roxborough State Park is a National Natural Landmark, a Colorado Natural Area and a National Archaeological District that has been established to protect the scenic beauty and resource diversity of the park and surrounding area.  Because Roxborough State Park is considered by many as one of the “crown jewels” of the Colorado state park system, many visitors come to enjoy the park’s beauty, unique geology and rock formations, abundant and diverse flora and fauna, and the oneness they gain with nature during their hikes.  

To minimize the adverse impacts being seen at the park as a result of increased visitation and some of those visitors not recreating in a responsible way, Roxborough State Park has created a partnership with the national program Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Through funding from nonprofit organizations, including the Colorado Parks Foundation and the Friends of Roxborough State Park, and additional support from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the park’s staff and a volunteer naturalist team are implementing a comprehensive program to help all visitors learn about minimal impact hiking and recreation as part of the overall Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics initiative of “Leave No Trace in Every Park.”  

The park staff and its 110 volunteer naturalists are deeply committed to protecting and preserving the beauty of the park by educating the public through the Leave No Trace program. This program includes educating Roxborough visitors on the seven principles of Leave No Trace to help ensure they recreate in an environmentally responsible way.  These principles are: (1) Know Before You Go, (2) Stick To Trails, (3) Trash Your Trash, (4) Leave It As You Find It, (5) Be Careful With Fire, (6) Keep Wildlife Wild and (7) Share Your Trails. The park is focusing on programs for the public, local schools, Junior Naturalists, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and all park visitors.

To find out more about the Leave No Trace program at Roxborough State Park and its 2018 scheduled activities and events, you can visit the park’s website at  or by directly contacting the park at (303) 973-3959 or at To learn more about Leave No Trace, visit  To learn more about the Colorado Parks Foundation, visit  Information on the Friends of RoxboroughState Park can be found on the park webpage shown above.

John Liberatore is a volunteer naturalist at Roxborough State Park.

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If you consider taking a chance, consider not taking a chance

I have a suggestion: Do not eat laundry pods.However, if you use noodle soup to clean the tub, I may be wasting my time

In 2017, there were more than 12,000 calls to U.S. Poison Control because of exposure to laundry pods.

They come in colorful wrappers and may look like delicious, fruity candy. However, most of the items sold on the very same aisle, things like disinfectants and grout cleaners, are not intended for consumption.

Someone said we eat with our eyes first. I know what it means, but it still sounds absurd. There are words of warning on every box of pods. There are words of warning on dry cleaning bags too.

“Don’t put this bag over your head, and then sit down and read a book.”

Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.

Half the fun of life is learning things the hard way.

Don’t run around with scissors. You’ve heard that expression. I have never met anyone who ran around with scissors. However, I have met someone who has gone swimming almost immediately after eating a full meal.


Some people are exceptionally cautious, and some people throw caution out the window. The Wallendas, for example. I am very thankful I was not born into that family.

I am thankful my father did not do a lot of things that I might have been trained or tempted to do. He could have been a wing walker. I don’t even like to be inside an airplane.

Wing walking was popular in the 1920s. Walkers would walk on airplanes that were right side up and upside down.

No one is going to say that I lived a life of gusto and verve. I don’t drive fast, or admire anyone who does.

I have never walked on the wild side. However, I once tried a Burrito Supreme.

I also spent a few tense minutes on The 10 in southern California, driving a Volkswagen that was on fire. It wasn’t intentional.

The circus is — or was — full of daredevils, as they are called. I don’t even want to walk down an icy driveway.

Men have been shot out of cannons.

I have shot out of meetings with motivational speakers.

In 1974, Philippe Petit walked between the Twin Towers on a high wire. There’s a documentary about it, “Man on Wire,” that gets a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I recommend it. Unless you have vertigo.

I also recommend “Vertigo,” a 1958 Alfred Hitchcock movie that features the longest kiss in film history. It was also the first film ever to use computer graphics. Now you can’t trust films to tell the truth, because special effects can make anything look possible.

There was a time when stunts were actually performed without tricks and safety nets.

Buster Keaton did his own stunts. In “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” a six-ton house almost falls on him. His crew begged him not go through with it. (It can be seen on YouTube.)

If it were filmed today, the house would be an illusion created on a computer.

Parents: There is something called the “Tide Pod Challenge.” You might want to look into it if you have teenagers in the house.

The possible side effects of biting into a laundry pod include death, so wash out your clothes with soap, not your mouth.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at

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