"It is so nice to see the celebration return," said Myra Elliott, a former Englewood resident. "I remember the holiday parade down Broadway and when I heard the city was again holding the parade, I brought my three grandchildren. It isn't like the old parade but the kids loved it because so many kids were in the parade."
The Englewood Holiday Parade was started by Cinderella City merchants in the late 1960s to bring Santa to the mall and, when the merchants decided to no longer fund the parade, the city took it over. It was a large event, with a number of marching bands and floats.
The parade continued until 2003, when the city decided to no longer hold the parade because it was too expensive and there was not the private financial support to continue holding the event.
Englewood businesswoman Rosemarie Cabral headed then 2010 effort to again hold the holiday parade. She got the support of some businesses and the Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce to get it going. Things didn't work out to put on a parade last year but the chamber headed the effort that brought the parade back this year.
The parade stepped off at 3 p.m. led by a Denver Fire Department fire truck and the honor guard from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 322 and the local American Legion post.
The high school band played and it was followed by large marching groups from each of the city's four elementary schools.
Cliff Herrera, a Sheridan resident, was shopping at Walmart and stopped to watch the parade.
"This is pretty nice," he said. "I think it is great that so many adults march with the kids in the elementary school group. The weather is pretty good and, looking at their faces, the kids are having fun."
Santa came along on a mini motor bike and stopped along the route to hand out toys to as many of the children as possible.
After the parade, the scene shifted to the city center amphitheater, where choral groups serenaded the audience with music of the season.
The celebration wrapped up as darkness was falling. The largest crowd in recent years gathered for the lighting of the city's Christmas tree. Mayor Joe Jefferson enlisted the assistance of about a dozen children to throw the candy cane switch to turn on the tree lights and conclude the day's celebration.]]>
Mayor Joe Jefferson, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Gillit and Councilmembers Linda Olson, Amy Martinez and Steve Yates voted to delay the discussion. Councilmembers Laurette Barrentine and Rita Russell voted against the delay.
The issue for discussion is an ordinance restricting where convicted sex offenders can live in Englewood, which was passed in 2006. The ordinance prohibits people on the sex-offender registry who have moved to the city since then from living within prescribed distances of schools, parks, playgrounds and day-care centers. The result leaves only a very small area of the city where they can live.
The ordinance allows the police department to notify any sex offenders living in the city in violation of the ordinance that they have 30 days to move out of the city or face arrest.
Under the attorney's-choice agenda item at the Nov. 21 council meeting, Comer said several councilmembers had been subponed to appear in U.S. District Court on Dec. 1 during a hearing on a lawsuit against the city seeking an injunction preventing enforcement of the residency restriction ordinance, and he advised them it would be better for them not to discuss the issue in the Nov. 28 study session.
Olson suggested the residency restriction discussion be moved to Dec. 12, and said she hoped the council would agree to make changes to the existing ordinance and set a public hearing on the issue.
Barrentine said the court case would go away if it was the consensus of the council Nov. 28 to rescind the ordinance. She acknowledged the council would then have to take action in formal council meetings to enact an ordinance repealing the residencey restriction ordinance.
Jefferson said the options were to hold the study session Nov. 28, postpone it until Dec. 12 or postpone it to a later date. He also said that during the study session, the council could come to a consensus to take no action, to modify the ordinance or to repeal the ordinance.
The city council passed Ordinance 34 establishing the sex-offender residency restriction 10 years ago, but the city didn't enforce the ordinance for a number of years, most recently because of a pending court case challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance. That case ended when the offender at the center of it was removed from the sex offender registry.
Brian Brockhausen, a resident who grew up in Englewood and is a convicted sex offender, told the city council in July he wasn't permitted to register with the Englewood police as required by law and was told he would soon receive a letter ordering him to move out of the city or face arrest.
He asked the city council to take action so he could remain in the family home caring for his aging parents and his brother. A number of neighbors told the council that Brockhausen was a good member of the community. Barrentine proposed a moratorium prohibiting enforcement of the residency restriction, but it failed.
On Aug. 18, the attorney for Brockhausen and others filed suit in U.S. District Court stating the 2006 ordinance violates the men's state and federal constitutional rights. The suit asks the court to declare that the ordinance is an unconstitutional after-the-fact punishment, and sought a temporary restraining order prohibiting the city from enforcing the ordinance.
The court heard the case Aug. 30 and denied the temporary injunction request but the judge did agree to hear arguments on the request for an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the residency restriction, which was heard Dec. 1 and is awaiting a decision.]]>
If I am in a rush, I actually like the new feature on most of the news apps such as "The Top 5 Things You Missed This Week," or the "Top Things You Need to Know Today," They are quick and summarize the news into a concise format allowing me to click on the "More" link if I want to go deeper into a story. And when pressed for time, with a quick review of the front page of any newspaper I can get the news fix that I was looking for that day.
So what are the Five Things You Need to Know Today?
1. You are loved more than you know.
2. You are forgiven for all mistakes; so stop being so hard on yourself.
3. You are appreciated even when others can't find the right words or ways to say thank you.
4. You are beautiful and brilliant, and you are gifted and gorgeous.
5. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for, and you can use that strength to endure any season of life or to encourage others to persevere through any battle they may be facing.
How's that for a short summarizing list of the Five Things You Need to Know Today? And by the way, the Five Things You Need to Know Today and Remember Every Day.
Why are these so important? Because if I fall back on my addiction to the news and shared with you some of the very real and horrific things that I read or see in the news, and if I didn't have the foundation above I could easily become depressed, stressed and angry. And none of those attitudes or perspectives I just listed would do anything to improve the situations, make my day any brighter, or place me in a better position to help others.
However, if I can love and be loved; if I can forgive and be granted forgiveness; if I can show appreciation and gratitude for all of my blessings and bless others; if I can believe that someone can see the beauty of my heart and I can see the giftedness of theirs; and if I can be strong in the face of adversity and patiently strong while coming alongside someone else in their time of need, I do believe that I can make a difference. And I believe that you can too. We can all be difference makers of we choose to do so.
So how about you? Do you get caught up in the mayhem, fear, uncertainty, and doubt? And if you are already depressed, stressed, and angry, then I further encourage you to maybe save this column, even if you just take the Top Five list. Place it somewhere you can see it and use it as a helpful reminder that in a time of a divided culture and country, we can look internally and know that we are loved, forgiven, appreciated, beautiful, and strong.
I would love to hear all about your thoughts on the Top Five at email@example.com, and when we can find the peace that comes from our Top Five list, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.
"Atlanta woman has world's smallest face!"
"Tom Cruise spends weekend on Mars!"
"Hillary headed to jail and looking forward to it!"
These things don't write themselves, any more than this column writes itself.
In my case, it took years and years of home-alone introspection as a wellspring, and now it takes strong, black, mud-thick coffee to go along with it.
I know exactly how I wound up here, in front of you, but how does someone become a writer for something like the National Enquirer?
Was it a consolation prize? The Times won't take you, so you try for something a bit lower, then a bit lower than that?
Or is there some unrequited mischief in your marrow?
Maybe you're just a schlub who doesn't care and simply needs a job.
But now and then, you must have to disclose what you do for a living at social gatherings. And at the breakfast table.
"Dad," your 5-year-old asks, "what do you do for a living?"
"Son, I'm a writer."
"Noble profession, Dad. For whom?"
"Let me get this straight. You write a story, knowing it's untrue, and might hurt, offend and infuriate someone, like John Travolta, and it comes straight from the unplugged intestines of deceit and misinformation."
There would be no National Enquirer, however, if there were no one reading it, buying it, and subscribing to it.
I have been around these parts and other parts of parts for a long time, and I have never met anyone who openly admitted to reading publications like the National Enquirer.
The headlines are always outrageous, and impossible to believe, like something out of a college humor magazine.
I know. I worked on one. But don't bother, I had them all confiscated.
"Bigfoot kept lumberjack as love slave!"
"Adam and Eve were astronauts!"
"Chris Christie thinks he's a manatee!"
I'm guessing that anyone who reads them does it for recreational purposes only. Perhaps to counteract the realities of existence. And for laughs.
But then what about the stories that have some truth mixed in? Like the "tanning mom" and the "balloon boy"?
What happens to us when fact and fiction become a meatloaf? (I like meatloaf.)
Falcon Heene, the actual balloon boy, is now 13, and is in a heavy metal band with his two brothers.
Falcon has hair down to his umbilicus, by the way.
I am in favor of creative thinking, but I am not in favor of slander, libel, or setting out to hurt feelings.
Feelings get hurt anyhow. These are times of thin skins and hypersensitivities. I'm sure that offenses are taken by some of the things I write about.
For example, I am in favor of a lengthy prison sentence for anyone who talks with their hands.
But then we would have to have prisons the size of Montana.
I can see how it might go in the wrong direction. I am tempted to make stuff up all the time.
A long line of humorists preceded me and did the very same thing. That's my excuse.
Did you know that Taylor Swift is secretly married to an Eddie Fisher impersonator?
Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those are fighting words. If this was 15th-century Europe, an insult like that might result in war. But thankfully, our world has risen above the petty, internecine power struggles of the historical European continent, guided from those stormy waters largely by the ascendance of America and its great ideas: freedom, justice and democracy.
Mr. Juncker must think his continent a paragon of Western virtue, a place too sophisticated for America's new sophomoric president-elect. Mr. Juncker wants to teach Donald Trump how Europe works.
The irony of Mr. Juncker's statement is that Europe doesn't work, and Europe doesn't know what it is. When Mr. Juncker takes time to meet the incoming leader of the free world, it will be Mr. Trump revealing to him how Europe actually works.
Europe doesn't work well right now because freedom has slipped from its lexicon. The European Union slaps regulations across its many, diverse states, believing that what works in Brussels works just as well in Scandinavia, the Balkans or the Iberian Peninsula.
In America, President Obama's administration pursued the same philosophy. With enough red tape, they thought, all of America can look and act just like Washington, D.C.! President-elect Trump's election was a repudiation of this excessive regulatory state.
Europe also claims to be a land of justice, citing as evidence its refugee policies. To be sure, justice is indeed helping the world's most vulnerable and innocent. But justice is also offering your citizenry the chance to live safe, fearless lives.
As President-elect Trump and the nation rethink our approach to refugee resettlement, that might mean leaving some refugees in safe, no-fly zones in the Middle East, where aid can be delivered more cheaply. When the conflicts in their home nations subside, these refugees can return to their homeland and rebuild their countries.
Finally, some Europeans may claim that America, in electing Mr. Trump, has taken a wrecking ball to the edifice of democracy. In reality, the election of Mr. Trump is a validation of the American democratic experiment. Our countrymen and women chose for President someone who will stand up to the special interests and lobbyists who own Washington, D.C. On Jan. 20, power in this nation will peacefully transfer to a new administration, and democracy will hold all elected officials accountable for their actions.
Europeans should know something about democracy. It's required of member states wishing to enter the union. And democracy matters just as much when a sovereign member state chooses, by popular vote, to disengage from the EU.
Some members of the EU democracy have already signaled against Mr. Juncker's haughtiness. England and France decided to forgo an emergency EU meeting to address the election of Donald Trump. Probably better for Europe to hold an emergency meeting to address the economic and security concerns besetting its own continent.
After all, Europe has known freedom, justice and democracy in the past and will know these values again. America might even be able to help, despite Mr. Juncker's contention that "in general the Americans take no interest in Europe." Again, the EU Commission president is wrong.
In 1941, when fascism threatened the continent, Americans were very interested. American blood helped restore its freedom. Hopefully, when the hysteria around President Trump subsides, the continent will take a look across the pond to see a people free of government heavy-handedness, a society pursuing justice, and a government ruled by the people, for the people.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, represents Colorado's 4th Congressional District, which includes Castle Rock, Parker, Lone Tree, Elbert County and much of the state's eastern plains.