What’s Happening – August 2021

AID FOR HOMELESS: Wheat Ridge Rotary creates backpack kits. PHOTO: CITY OF WHEAT RIDGE

Rotary Club Creates Move-In And Backpack Kits To Aid People Experiencing Homelessness

The Rotary Club of Wheat Ridge recently received a matching grant from Rotary District 5450 to create move-in and backpack kits for persons experiencing homelessness. The project – “Provisions for Persons Who are Homeless” – was approved to assist the City of Wheat Ridge’s Homeless Navigator (shared with the cities of Golden and Edgewater) in providing much-needed supplies and essentials to local individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The move-in kits include items an individual or family needs to establish themselves when housing is found. The backpack kits contain hygiene items, first aid kits, socks, gloves and a cap. Rotary members assembled the kits in June and delivered them to the Wheat Ridge Police Department for distribution by its Crime Prevention Team and the Homeless Navigator.

For information on how Wheat Ridge is responding to homelessness or donate to support the work of the Homeless Navigator, visit: www.ci.wheatridge.co.us/1595/Homelessness-Resources

Want To Better Understand How Your City Works? Sign Up For Wheat Ridge 101

The City of Wheat Ridge, in collaboration with Localworks, will host Wheat Ridge 101, a free, seven-week interactive course on Wednesday evenings, starting Sept. 22. The program – formerly known as “Wheaties Academy” – is designed for staff and guest presenters to share detailed information about how the city works, and to provide opportunities for participation in an interactive discussion about effective public discourse and community engagement. East Wheat Ridge resident Al Gallo is a 2020 graduate of the course and volunteers on the city’s Zoning Arbitration Board. “I wanted to know more about how our local government works and what the departments do,” Gallo explained. “I do love some ‘sausage making’ and the city government is no better place to watch the process.” The course gave Gallo some interesting and surprising insights into how leadership navigated the challenges of the pandemic, the maintenance department balances its budget and services, and other participants view development issues. The city hosted a virtual format in 2020, but is anticipating being able to hold the program in-person this year.

The program was a key factor in the city’s application for the All-American City award. Course topics include:

  • City of Wheat Ridge Government and How it Works
  • How We Got Here: Wheat Ridge as an Evolving City
  • Community Input, Engagement and Outreach
  • How Change Occurs: Planning, Zoning, Economic Development, and Urban Renewal
  • Building an Understanding of Infrastructure, Public Works and Engineering
  • Engaging in the Fun with the Parks and Recreation Department
  • How the Wheat Ridge Police Department Keeps the Community Safe

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Aug. 20. The course is open to anyone with a connection to Wheat Ridge who is interested in learning more about the city – there is no age or residence requirement. For additional information email WR101@ci.wheatridge.co.us.

Celebrate ‘Bountiful Blessings’ At Historical Society’s Second Saturday Social

Celebrate “Bountiful Blessings” with the Wheat Ridge Historical Society on Sept. 11 at its Second Saturday Social, held at the Baugh House, 44th Avenue and Robb Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you’re finding it difficult to keep up with the explosion of beans or tomatoes you planted, bring the excess to the cooperative fruit and vegetable exchange and go home richer or with some veggies you didn’t grow. Better yet, if you didn’t have a garden this year, come get your fresh vegetables here.

If you haven’t toured the Historical Park (4610 Robb St.) lately, plan a visit soon for easier access, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. After Labor Day, our hours will be reduced, and we’ll only be open Fridays until further notice. Also, you’ll want to fit in a visit to the Soddy, one of Colorado’s oldest sod homes before it closes this fall for extensive repair work. The historical society’s board will restructure dues categories in the fall, and with that will come an increase in rates. Become a member or renew your current membership today: those who join now will enjoy membership from September 2021 through December 2022 – three free months on an annual membership!

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

September Brings New Exhibitions To Lakewood Arts Gallery

Lakewood Arts Community Center and Gallery, 6731 W. Colfax Ave., will introduce new September exhibitions with an opening reception and First Friday Artwalk, Sept. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. New displays include the Mountainside Art Guild National Miniature show in the Acorn Gallery, photography of Ashley Watkins on the President’s Wall, and works by the Colorado Art Guild on the Community Wall. Until then, patrons can view works by Lakewood Arts Council members in the Acorn Gallery, Neha Thakurdesai on the President’s Wall, and Kathleen Brandes Douglas on the Community Wall. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Go to lakewoodarts.org or call 303-980-0625 for more information.

Wheat Ridge Police And Volunteers Mark Up Catalytic Converters To Deter Theft

The Wheat Ridge Police Department recently hosted two free crime prevention events to identify automobile catalytic converters, providing a deterrent to their theft. The events took place Aug. 4 and 8 at the former Midas building on the northwest corner at Wadsworth and 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge. Car theft and related crimes are surging to historic levels in Colorado, per data from the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority. Some jurisdictions report a 1,000 percent increase in catalytic converter theft over 2019, while overall automotive theft is up 57 percent from 2020. According to a recent press release from the City of Wheat Ridge, the vehicle makes and models most at risk are Ford E Series, the Honda Element and Honda CRVs.

At the events, WRPD detectives and volunteers applied a non-removable, chemically-etched identification number to the vehicle’s catalytic converter, and a small amount of heat resistant paint. The paint application serves as a visible deterrent to thieves. The identification numbers etched in the converter will be entered into a national database that will include the vehicle information. This will make it easier to report a theft and identify suspects who try to sell the converter, while making it harder for thieves to sell the motor vehicle parts. Each installation took about half an hour. Participating vehicle owners were also given a window sticker to warn would-be-thieves of the addition of the new theft prevention tracking tool. The program was made possible through a partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to provide Coloradoans alternatives to stop automotive parts theft.

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