• Emily Holben Walker

University Hills January 2020 Newsletter

Hello neighbors and friends,

Welcome to 2020! “2020” sure has a nice ring to it. Now that Winter Solstice has come and gone, the sun is rising in the sky and days are getting noticeably longer. (Plus, as Coloradans, we’re pretty spoiled with beautiful sunny days during winter.) It’s an exciting time of year. A real new beginning. I hope yours is off to a good start.

In our first neighborhood newsletter of 2020: There’s an important Neighborhood Watch meeting tonight. Our public neighborhood elementary school is one of the best in the nation! Also, if you’d like a new tree for your yard, The Park People are giving them away for free! And more.

Enjoy your Thursday!

Emily Holben Walker President of the Board University Hills Neighborhood Association



So, what’s up with Denver people leaving their holiday lights up so long?

No, we’re not just being lazy. Our lights are still up for a reason. 

The truth is, this wonderful city has real cowtown roots and history. The National Western Stock Show is a big deal in Denver—and it has been for a long time. 

In Denver, we leave our Christmas lights up through the end of the Stock Show. The tradition began a long, long time ago, as a way to welcome out-of-town guests, countrymen, and ranchers to the big city.

Growing up, my sisters and I knew from dad, “the lights stay up until the end of the Stock Show.” 

Isn’t it nice to have a tradition that both celebrates our heritage and also creates an excuse to put things off? 

Really though. I’m not making this up just because my Christmas lights are still up. It’s a real thing

Bradley International is a nationally acclaimed school

Our neighborhood public school is one of the BEST SCHOOLS IN THE ENTIRE NATION!! Bradley International School is a National Blue Ribbon School. And, not only has Bradley been recognized as one of the best schools in the nation, Bradley is also home of Colorado Teacher of the Year, Meg Cypress. Thank you to the teachers and staff at Bradley who make such a wonderful difference! 

SchoolChoice application period is open 

SchoolChoice applications for the 2020-21 school year are DUE by 4:00 PM, February 18, 2020. Any student who wants to attend a new DPS school for 2020-21 can take part in SchoolChoice. This includes students transitioning to kindergarten, sixth, and ninth grade. (All incoming preschool students must also submit a SchoolChoice application.) 

This video sums up the SchoolChoice process.Have questions about SchoolChoice? Contact the SchoolChoice hotline (720-423-3493), stop by the front office of your child's school, or visit SchoolChoice.dpsk12.org. Even if you live within the Bradley International School boundary, please make sure to apply during the SchoolChoice application period. 

Neighborhood Watch Annual Strategic Planning Meeting

Thursday, January 16 | 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM | DPD Station (1625 S University Blvd) The District 3 Denver Police Department Community Resource Officers will discuss last year’s numbers, answer questions/concerns, and set goals for the coming year for each neighborhood in attendance. This is your opportunity to help set safety goals for our U-Hills neighborhood! Pizza and refreshments will be provided. RSVP to vips.dpd@gmail.com.

Drag Racing Citation and Vehicle Impounded

It’s true. We understand your concern and we agree. The late night/early morning racing on the streets in and around our neighborhood has been more than a public nuisance. It’s dangerous and puts people’s lives and safety at risk. On December 7, officers were able to pull over a drag racer near East Evans Avenue and South Dahlia Street. The driver was cited for Drag Racing (12-point ticket) and their vehicle was impounded. 

Exciting news for the corner of Dahlia and Cornell

A number of you have reached out wondering what’s going on with the corner at South Dahlia and East Cornell. For years, this area has been overgrown with weeds. And the crumbling concrete retaining wall is certainly not the best feature of our friendly little U-Hills neighborhood. So what’s going on?

Well, in short, this part of the Bradley school property does not belong to the school itself. This portion of the property belongs to Denver Public Schools. Bradley Principal Steve Wera and the school community have long tried to improve this area. However, as you can imagine, things get rather complicated when an entity as large as DPS owns the land. But, there’s good news! 

Neighborhood and school community volunteers are coming together to create an artistic mural for the retaining wall! The idea is to engage people of our U-Hills community and Bradley students to create an artistic plan that enhances the aesthetics of the corner.

The first Bradley Mural Project meeting is Monday, February 24, 5:30 PM at Bradley International (3051 South Elm Street). Everyone welcome!


East Yale Avenue Corridor Study

Our community needs your help to plan future safety and mobility improvements for East Yale Avenue! The East Yale Avenue Corridor Study will kick off in early 2020 and help prioritize infrastructure improvements and identify potential funding sources. The study area spans from South Downing Street to the High Line Canal crossing at South Holly Street.  

The project team will work with the neighborhoods along East Yale Avenue to develop a cohesive vision for the corridor that promotes safety, mobility, and community engagement. A public open house will be held in early Spring 2020 to gather community input. For more information or to be added to the project mailing list, contact Senior City Planner Geneva Hooten at Geneva.Hooten@DenverGov.org.

FREE trees available for Denver residents

Tree-lined streets are more than just pretty. Trees help mitigate the effects of climate change and improve air quality. The Park People is a nonprofit organization that encourages Denverites to be part of the solution by participating in the Denver Digs Trees program. This annual Denver tradition, offers free and reduced-cost trees for planting on private property and the public right-of-way. Applicants may choose from ten hardy species, all selected for Denver’s arid climate. Applications available January 1 – February 15, 2020 (or while supplies last). 

Hamilton Feeder Schools Network

Hamilton is the public middle school for families living in our U-Hills neighborhood. The newly formed Hamilton Feeder Schools Network is for families, students, school personnel, and community members from neighborhood schools in southeast Denver! The goal of the volunteer network is to strengthen connectivity and engagement in schools and communities that feed into Hamilton Middle School. (DPS elementary schools that feed into Hamilton include: Bradley International, Holm, Samuels, Shoemaker, and Southmoor.) Learn more about the Hamilton Feeder Schools Network

Did you know Hamilton Middle School is being considered for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program? (IB is the same program at Bradley International.) What do you think of Hamilton becoming an IB school? Take this quick survey about Hamilton Middle School’s International Baccalaureate (IB) candidacy.

Facts behind the changing face of Denver

Age, race, housing costs, education, employment, income levels and more create a snapshot of Denver. (Westword)


Property Tax/Rent Relief Available

More Denver residents qualify for property tax relief this year (even if you rent!) with the expanded Denver Property Tax Relief Program. If you rent or own your home and are 65 or older or disabled, or you’re part of a home-owning family with at least one child, you may qualify for a refund of property taxes paid (or the equivalent in rent). Details, income guidelines, and the program application are available at http://www.denvergov.org/PropertyTaxRelief or by calling 720-944-4347. 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Monday, January 27 | 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Ross U-Hills Library Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an 8-week, evidence-based course designed to assist people with stress, anxiety, pain, and depression by using meditation, body awareness, and movement. Learn more and register.

The brown hazy cloud over Denver is no joke

Environmental Protection Agency downgrades Denver’s air quality to “serious”. (Denverite)

Climate Action Task Force

Thursday, January 16 | 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM | 1245 Champa Street The Climate Action Task Force will meet through May to create consensus around a plan to scale up climate work and identify the resources and revenue needed. All meetings are open to the public. Learn more and sign up for the newsletter.

Report Issues to 311/PocketGov.org

Call 311 or go to PocketGov.org to report things like: graffiti, potholes, missed trash pickup, etc.