Colorado News Roundup: Colorado Springs school wins national award for second time (09.30.16)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado Springs school can now boast it has not only been named one of the top schools in the nation once, it’s done it twice.
The Gazette reports that Soaring Eagles Elementary School in Harrison School District 2 has been named a National Blue Ribbon School, signifying academic rigor and dramatic gains in student achievement. Soaring Eagles won its first National Blue Ribbon Award in 2009.
Soaring Eagles is one of six schools in Colorado and one of 329 nationwide to be recognized this year.
The Blue Ribbon designation is issued using data from five years of work to measure overall academic excellence and closing achievement gaps.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Artists rehabilitate dilapidated stretch of Denver viaduct
DENVER — Take the roar of Interstate 70 traffic and shaking steel girders overhead, add the rolling procession of oil trains nearby, and you have one very high-decibel emerging art scene in north Denver.
A group of artists are painting colorful murals beneath the Interstate 70 viaduct that, when built in 1964, sectioned off the immigrant and minority communities of Globeville and Elyria Swansea from downtown Denver.
Their goal: Make a dark, deteriorating and don’t-go-there stretch of viaduct a place to attract residents from both sides of the highway and ameliorate, somewhat, the cultural and economic disparities triggered by its construction 52 years ago.
“This is really an opportunity to transform this into a work of beauty for its remaining years before we demolish it,” Rebecca White, with the Colorado Department of Transportation, said Friday.
After years of study and pending federal approval, authorities plan to sink the interstate below ground level and build parks over sections of the road. The work is meant to relieve congestion on one of the busiest stretches of highway in Colorado as well as reunite separated neighborhoods.
East European immigrants settled Globeville and Elyria Swansea in the 1880s to work in railroad yards, metals smelting and other industries. Interstate 70’s construction virtually isolated the area from the rest of the city.
Economically, the area’s 10,000 predominantly Latino and black residents lack stores and services and have higher poverty rates than the rest of the city — a phenomenon seen in major cities nationwide when interstates were built through minority communities.
Thomas Scharfenberg knelt Friday on a sidewalk, painting a wall mural dominated by blues and yellows. He marveled at the industrially austere setting and the din.
“You can see they are cleaning up a bunch of pigeon residue over here, a train just went by that’s really loud, this is a dog food factory,” he said, pointing around. “We’re underneath a highway, so it’s just a really interesting landscape.”
Four Seasons developers back off plans to annex Aspen land
ASPEN, Colo. — Developers have withdrawn their application to annex residential land in Aspen for a Four Seasons luxury hotel.
The Aspen Times reports that Florida-based Cisneros Real Estate notified city officials Thursday of their intention to withdraw their application to annex the three-parcel property.
The decision comes after a group against the hotel began soliciting donations from Aspen residents.
The annexation of the property was scheduled to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday and to the Aspen City Council on Oct. 10.
Cisneros President Patrick Freeman acknowledged in a letter to city officials that the local development climate was against the development.
SPORTS & OUTDOORS
New path opens for cyclists between Denver, Glenwood Springs
DENVER — Bicyclists heading from Denver to Glenwood Springs will no longer have to ride along the shoulder of Interstate 70 in the mountains now that a new bike path has opened up.
The Denver Post reports that the 2.4-mile bike path in Genesee Park opened Wednesday after taking nearly a year to complete.
It was the only stretch where cyclists previously had to ride on I-70. They can ride on old highways, including U.S. 40, that serve as frontage roads the rest of the way.
The $2.4 million project was the result of a partnership between the Colorado Department of Transportation, Denver Mountain Parks and Jefferson County.
Bicycle advocacy group Bike Jeffco is hosting an event for people to ride along the new path on Oct. 15 in celebration of the trail.
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