What’s Happening – April 2022

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Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Have You Noticed? 40% Of Reported Wheat Ridge Crimes Involved Your Car

Well, not your car, specifically. But a review of the most recent two weeks of local crime reports turned up a surprise: motor vehicles were involved in 40 percent of incidents reported to the Wheat Ridge Police Department.

Neighborhood Gazette staff took the Weekly Neighborhood Watch reports spanning March 4 to 18, reporting incidents within five miles of 8600 W. 38th Ave. After removing all but WRPD calls, there were 362 incident reports. Of those, 143 involved motor vehicles:

• 42 collisions (13 hit and run)

• 34 traffic summons (i.e., tickets)

• 18 thefts

• 17 recoveries of stolen vehicles (two with arrests)

• 10 thefts from or of parts of a vehicle

• 7 code violations

• 3 DUIs, and

• 12 “Other”

Violent crimes accounted for 18 reports, less than five percent: seven assaults, eight harassments, one robbery, one forcible rape and one kidnapping/abduction. There were five death investigations, but those were accidental/natural, with one suicide.

Your pet isn’t innocent, either (OK, our community’s pets and wildlife): there were seven rabies calls, two bites, three “other” and one “DOA.”

Drugs? Seven reports, three being illegal possession of drug equipment. And among other items-you’re-not-supposed-to-have, there were burglary tools (one), stolen property (two) and a prohibited weapon. There were three incidents of illegally firing a weapon.

There were eight fraud reports, of which four were ID theft.

Ten Mental Health Hold Emergency Commitments were reported during the time period, and two “family offenses” – one case of neglect, and an at-risk elder.

Historical Society To Celebrate Earth Day, May Festival & More

The Wheat Ridge Historical Society invites you to celebrate Earth Day early on April 9 with friends and neighbors at the Baugh House, W. 44th Avenue and Robb Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. At this monthly Second Saturday event, you’ll learn new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle to help the earth. As gardening season approaches, talk will also center around gardening “tricks of the trade.” Bring your seedlings to trade plants with other dedicated gardeners. Don’t have seedlings yet? Bring your seeds and trade for other varieties. Also, we’ll celebrate cooperative volunteerism, discuss ways to become more involved and celebrate the core of volunteers present. Add to that some live music and plenty of socializing, and you have a good ol’ time on a spring Saturday.

May brings an all-time favorite at the Historical Park (4610 Robb St.) – the Annual May Festival, complete with live music, May Pole dances, antique cars, food trucks, and strolling ladies and gents. Join us for a trip back in time to when life was a little simpler.

Restoration of the Johnson Cabin in the Historical Park is nearly complete, and the transformation is eye-popping. Visitors who enter the little building will travel back in time to a common prairie home of the 1860s, inhabited by a pioneer family who eked out a living on Colorado’s grasslands after traveling hundreds of miles in a “prairie schooner” wagon in hopes of starting a new life.

Please pardon our mess! The storage unit parked in the driveway on the north side of the Red Brick House at the Historical Park is a necessary, if unsightly, temporary addition. Soon, a new permanent storage shed will be erected east of the Implement Shed in the park.

The park’s museums are open on Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We are happy to accommodate your needs and glad to make appointments for tours on other days; just call or email us at the contact information below. Although the Soddy is temporarily closed for repairs, the other museums in the park are open for tours.

For more information go to our website at wheatridgehistoricalsociety.org, email us at wrhistorical@gmail.com, call 303-421-9111, or stop by the Red Brick House on Fridays at 4610 Robb St. Be sure to follow us on Facebook.

Shovel, Shovel, Shovel, Keep Those Sidewalks Shoveled

The Wheat Ridge Active Transportation Advisory Team, a local advocacy group for navigating the city’s roads, paths and sidewalks, recently included this reminder about snow removal in its newsletter:

“We’ve noticed some sidewalks in commercial areas along busy streets that often don’t get shoveled and end up with treacherous icy patches in the winter months. In Wheat Ridge, the owner, occupant or tenant of any building, property or lot is required to clear walkways within 24 hours of snowfall equaling 2 inches or more. We want to make sure that the City of Wheat Ridge is welcoming and accessible for all mobility users. We’ve reached out to the City to see what can be done to address some of these safety concerns – if there’s a place like that near you, please let us know at wratat@gmail.com.”

Jeffco Good News Breakfast Rides Into County Fairgrounds, April 19

The Jefferson County Good News Coalition will host the Annual Good News Breakfast in-person on April 19, 7 a.m., at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

This year’s theme is “Shining Stars: Youth Shaping a Bright Future for our Community.”

“Award winners this year will include young people who are making a difference in our community up to and including those 18 years of age as well as individuals and organizations serving youth,” said Sara Spaulding, chair of the Jefferson County Good News Coalition. “The volunteer committee who hosts this annual event will review nominations and select the most outstanding submissions for recognition at this year’s event.”

The purpose of the Good News Breakfast is to promote a sense of community, enhance and reaffirm spiritual values, and recognize the good things happening in Jefferson County. Volunteers from business, human services, the faith community, education, and government organizations plan and host the annual event, which traditionally draws more than 500 people.

Tickets are $15 per person or two for $20, and can be purchased online at goodnewsjeffco.org or at the door.

For more information visit: www.goodnewsjeffco.org

Local Segments Of Clear Creek Trail To Get Resurfacing and Signage Improvements Thanks To Grant

With the support of the Wheat Ridge Active Transportation Advisory Team (WR ATAT), Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation was awarded a 2022 Jeffco Open Space Trails Partnership Program Grant for $196,668 for the Wheat Ridge Clear Creek Trail Resurfacing and Signage Improvements project proposal, according to a newsletter item from the ATATs.

The project will include:

• Replacing the 1,187-foot-long, currently asphalt trail section between Prospect Park and the West Bridge (south of Tabor Lake) with 10-foot-wide concrete

• Replacing damaged concrete segments and improve the trailhead connection at the Otis Street trailhead and connection trail

• Adding Wheat Ridge Greenbelt, Peaks to Plains (P2P), and Jefferson County Bikeway wayfinding and mileage signage, general safety signage, and other trail safety improvements.

The project begins this year and completion is expected in February 2024.

Jeffco Seeks Your Input For Bicycle Plan Update

Jefferson County received a Transportation Improvement Program grant to update the county’s Bicycle Plan. From now until April 18, community members will have the opportunity to provide input through open house meetings, a survey and interactive map, office hours, and direct access to a copy of the Bike Plan for providing detailed feedback.

Project managers will be available to meet for Virtual Office Hours each Wednesday from March 30 to April 13 between noon and 1 p.m. Those interested can enter the Zoom call at any time during the one-hour period to ask questions or provide feedback about the plan update.

Additionally, two virtual open house meetings are scheduled on March 29 and April 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The Bicycle Plan was adopted by the Jefferson County Planning Commission in June 2012, serving as the blueprint for making improvements to the county’s bicycle network. Since then, industry standards and best practices have changed significantly, and the existing plan has become outdated. Also, the need and desire for greater mobility options by residents and visitors has increased. 

To learn more about the upcoming engagement opportunities, visit the Bicycle Plan Update webpage: www.jeffco.us/2867/Bicycle-Plan-Update

Stay Out Of That Wildlife Sanctuary, Please

Jefferson County Open Space wants to remind you that the Crown Hill Park Wildlife Sanctuary is closed through June 30 to protect nesting and brooding waterfowl, as well as create a critical refuge for all kinds of wildlife including deer, bobcats, coyotes and birds, during a crucial time in their seasonal life cycle.

The rest of Crown Hill Park is open. The minimum fine for violating the restriction is $150.

Wheat Ridge’s Rocky Mountain Bottle Company Among 93 U.S. Manufacturers Receiving Energy Star Certification

Last month the Environmental Protection Agency announced that Rocky Mountain Bottle Company of Wheat Ridge was among 93 U.S. manufacturing plants (including seven in Colorado) earning the agency’s Energy Star certification in 2021, according to a recent press release.

To assess energy performance, plants use energy performance indicators in a scoring system; they must score 75 or higher on these 100-point scales, indicating that they are more energy efficient than at least 75 percent of similar facilities nationwide.

According to the EPA, the 93 manufacturers prevented more than 5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector, which is responsible for nearly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Wheat Ridge Police Launches New Neighborhood Traffic Safety Campaign 

The Wheat Ridge Police Department is launching a new campaign entitled Community Partnership for Improving Traffic Safety (CPITS) to address speeding and other concerns in area neighborhoods. The Wheat Ridge Police Department (WRPD) receives a significant number of traffic complaints from community members about neighborhoods as well as arterial streets, and the most common of these is about speeding. 

The program will offer community members an opportunity to gather with a minimum of five neighbors who share traffic concerns and make a report on the city’s website (www.ci.wheatridge.co.us) or on the map available on the What’s Up Wheat Ridge Police Project Page. After the concerns are compiled and reviewed, officers will contact neighborhood groups and schedule a time to meet in order to understand the issues and talk about possible enforcement and calming tactics that may be employed. Officers can bring out a traffic laser and allow residents to estimate speeds and learn about the actual pace of traffic movement in their area. The community will be notified on WRPD social media accounts of times and dates of enforcement in identified areas of concerns. 

“This new traffic safety program brings community members together to collaborate with the police department on ways to improve the safety of their neighborhood,” said Division Chief Jim Lorentz. “The program offers opportunities for community members to have conversations with our police officers about their traffic concerns while helping to create a culture of traffic safety for those who live and work in the area that cannot be improved simply by writing traffic tickets or having a regular presence of members of our Crash and Traffic Team.”

For more information visit: whatsupwheatridge.com

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