(303) 564-7630 Jeff@CherryCreek.cc

Cherry Creek Neighborhood Association (CCNNA)

 

 

Cherry Creek North Neighborhood Association Director Profile:

Adding a small note to this post: Dale Rudolph was very reluctant to be a featured personality in this post. Her reluctance was easy to identify and observe by the staff at CherryCreek.Life. She is humble and wants to give back without obtaining personal credit. We feel she deserves the following personal credit, and the text describing Dale could be much more substantial. 

As part of a series of Cherry Creek News articles, we are going to feature the Directors of the Cherry Creek North Neighborhood Association (CCNNA) This group of individuals are dedicated to assisting with all aspects of neighborhood issues that might affect all Cherry Creek North residents. We start this series with a profile of Dale Rudolph. Please take the time to read her remarkable story:

Dale Rudolph:

Dale is leading the CCNNA Committee for the Sip and Savor 2020 event. Please direct to the CCNNA website https://ccnneighbors.com/ for more information. Dale and her committee have crafted a very worthy charity event, and we trust many neighbors in Cherry Creek North will be anxious to participate.

 The following paragraphs detail what an extraordinary person Dale is and how she contributes her exceptional skills to enhance the lives of all residents of Cherry Creek North.

The first article features Dale Rudolph. Dale is an exceptional person in many ways, but her dedication to improve the Cherry Creek North neighborhood is very impressive, as you will see in the following paragraphs:

Background:

Dale was born and raised in a small rural town in southwest Georgia with a population of 3500. Her father was a large and small animal veterinarian and she loved traveling with him all over her home county, Macon County, and surrounding counties. She watched him interact with farmers and helped him work with animals.  These visits to small Southern farms built her strong belief that all people have similar desires and hopes for themselves and their families.  She also saw that not all people had the same opportunities but that hard work is the way to success.

Dale, where did you spend most of your adult years?

My husband Bill and I moved to his hometown of Clarksville, TN after his graduation from GA Tech and his 2 years of military service.  I graduated from Agnes Scott College and completed my master’s in educational administration and supervision at Trevecca Nazarene University after our move to TN. We raised 2 children in Clarksville:  David who lives in Atlanta with his wife and 3 children and Carrye who lives in Denver with her husband and 2 children.

While our children were young, I worked at several part-time jobs including tax accounting and my own catering business.  When our children were in college and high school, I taught chemistry and biology in Clarksville until I moved to our district’s central office as the science consulting teacher.  In 2016 with funds from Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, I was charged with developing a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program for our district from kindergarten through 9th grade.  With support from the district superintendent and teams of teachers we developed, wrote, and implemented a district-wide STEM educational program for 28,000 students.

Until my retirement, I was tasked to provide all professional development, ensure fidelity to our STEM program, and implement necessary changes to continually improve the curriculum to meet the needs of our community and its students.  The 2 most successful components of the STEM program were the problem-based learning strategies that students used to master their science and math standards with the use of technology and engineering skills and the externships that teachers participated in over the summer.  Many teachers have never worked outside the classroom and the externships helped teachers see how the skills they work to develop in students are the skills that students need in their careers.

When and why did you move to Colorado?

My husband Bill and I moved to Colorado in August 2014 after my husband sold his business and I retired from a wonderful career in education.  We moved to Denver to be near our daughter, Carrye, her husband Nick, and their 2 sons.  Carrye and Nick chose careers in academic medicine at UC Colorado Health Center where Carrye is a pediatric oncologist and Nick is a pediatric and adult urologist.  Often, they work exceptionally long hours, so we are the emergency caregivers for our grandsons. We feel extremely fortunate to live near them where we enjoy spending time with them and influencing their development.

In the six years we lived here we feel that Colorado is our home and seldom refers to TN as home.  We are thankful that we luckily chose the Cherry Creek North neighborhood and live in a beautiful area with wonderful neighbors who are kind, intelligent, well-read, and share many of our interests.

How and when did you begin volunteering with CCNNA?

As part of our efforts to meet people in this neighborhood, we joined the CCNNA after we received the first newsletter following our arrival in Denver.  Later we received an email inviting interested neighbors to join book clubs. I responded, and Judi Albers as chairman of book clubs for the association placed all who responded to the email in book clubs.  I continue to belong to and enjoy that same book club.  When Judi was ready to retire from the chairmanship of the Association’s book clubs, she asked me to take over her duties.  I accepted and still enjoy working with the many book clubs in our neighborhood.

Soon after that, a Board member asked me to work with Susan Thompson on a wine tasting event.  Susan and I changed the name of the annual (sometimes twice a year) event to Sip and Savor in 2017.  Doug Haeussner designed a logo for us and made important changes the next year to show that this event was not only a wine and food tasting event, but was a benefit event for our neighbors to give back to the Denver community.  Susan and I wanted to raise as much money as possible to give funds to organizations that needed additional funding.  We also changed the location of Sip and Savor to the rooftop of Room & Board.  Room & Board asked us to support Urban Peak, a non-profit focused on working with homeless teenagers helping them move into productive and safe lives.  Proceeds from Sip and Savor also have been donated to Ross-Cherry Creek Library. In 2019 Susan remained on the Sip and Savor committee as the person in charge of communications and the website.  Judi Rana worked with me as a co-chair of that event.

In our efforts to increase the funding we could give to non-profits we developed a silent auction of themed gift baskets and the size of the committee increased to work on the wine and food tasting and a silent auction. 2019 Committee:  Dale, Judi Rana, Susan Thompson, Linda Barker, Cindy Bauer, Julie Bonicelli, Mary Moriaty, Elissa Bracho, Toni Dragatsis, Bids for the 6 baskets raised $9,000.00.  Ross Cherry Creek Library and Urban Peak received $8,817.89 in 2019.  Funds remaining from 2 corporate sponsors (RBC Wealth Management and Susan Meissen) were used to purchase wine glasses, tablecloths, speaker system, ice buckets, utensil holders, waste wine buckets, clipboards, acrylic sign holders.  These are stored ready for future use.

I was nominated for the Board in late fall 2017.  After interviews, I was asked to serve on the Board and to oversee CCNNA’s Block Building program in early 2018.  I accepted and later that year accepted the job of secretary.

Describe Sip and Savor 2020.

A small committee (Dale, Judi Rana, Linda Barker, Susan Thompson, Julie Bonicelli, Michelle Smith) began meeting about Sip and Savor in Fall 2019.  We met with Room & Board who agreed to host our event again and set the date for September 17.  The placement of food and wine vendors was changed, and a new place for the silent auction was located.  In response to guests’ comments, we developed plans to continue the silent auction with smaller themed baskets each with one anchor item. The food and wine vendors from the 2019 event were contacted and they agreed to donate wine and food again, except for one vendor that had closed.  Plans were progressing, and then COVID 19 appeared.

Once the committee realized that this pandemic would probably prolong into September, and knowing that the Governor recommended only small groups of people gathering together for preventive health purposes, and we were afraid of endangering the health of our neighborhood, discussions began on how to change Sip and Savor. Because restaurants and stores were struggling financially, we decided to ask for no donated food, wine, or silent auction items and host a tasting at Room & Board, but to focus on our neighborhood giving back to a non-profit that will help many Denver residents who need assistance during this pandemic.

The group decided to donate funds to the Food Bank of the Rockies and to thank our residents with a cherry dessert and a yard sign.  The yard sign would recognize and thank donors and would also show all those who walked in our neighborhood or drove through the neighborhood what a caring and giving group of people live here.

RBC Wealth Management agreed to be an event sponsor and Liv Sotheby (Kathy Staiano and Jeff Bernard) generously donated as an event sponsor to cover the costs of this event.  Room & Board offered the store’s parking lot as a place for neighbors to pick up their desserts and Maggy and Mollie’s will make cherry desserts. Because of these generous donations, residents will make their donations to the Food Bank of the Rockies directly to the food bank and the donations are 100% tax-deductible.  Because Food Bank of the Rockies does not release the names of donors or the amount of the donations, our neighbors will return to the CCNNA website and register for this event indicating if they want a yard sign and how many cherry desserts ($40 donation per dessert). The committee will deliver the yard signs and we hope to cover our neighborhood with “We Gave” signs.  The fund drive begins August 17 and ends September 17.  Donors can pick up their desserts from 6:30 to 7:30 pm by driving through the parking lot of Room & Board.

Why do you volunteer?

I learned from my parents to value people from different backgrounds and with different opinions.  In the small community where I grew up, I learned how people working together can accomplish so many things.  I began volunteer work as a student in school when we participated in service projects.  I realized that I get a great sense of satisfaction from working with others to help others.

When we moved to Cherry Creek North, I searched for ways to become involved and work to maintain this great neighborhood.  I also found that volunteer work is a great way to meet people and make new friends.  I retired at 5:30 on August 4, 2014, to move to Denver.  Volunteer work has met my need to stay busy and involved in activities that I think are worthwhile.  At this time, I dedicate my volunteer hours to Cherry Creek North and to Denver Botanic Gardens where I facilitated student groups and serve as an ambassador.  When the pandemic allows student groups to participate in Botanic Gardens educational programs, I looked forward to working with young gardeners again.  Now I volunteer as an ambassador.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neighborhood Watch

Notice to all Cherry Creek Neighbors: 

Hello Neighbors,

There have been 3 criminal incidents in our residential neighborhood in the past few days. The description is from Officer Kate Young at District 3 who is our CRO (Community Resource Officer). She followed up with each investigating officer. Requested extra patrol but as we know, this is an unusually busy time. They’ll do their best.

Please be extra careful and extra alert. Keep your garage doors closed and lock your cars and homes.

251 Harrison Street  – 2 white males broke in twice and got some things and then came back later and got more. . Garage Break in-this has been reported to occur on 6/14-assigned to a detective, active investigation.

400 blk of Cook St. attempted break-in white male last night – not successful. Occurred 6/15-did not want a report (no damage, no property taken)-no further description of suspects was in the call notes. (The video was too blurry.) 

272 Jackson –  Resident walking his dog last night ( Monday) at 9:30 pm was attacked by a white male with a long gun at 272 Jackson St.  The dog and the man were both hurt, broken ribs, and multiple other injuries.   

Suspect Description for 272 N Jackson: Hispanic male, 20s, thin, 5’9”-5’10”, a clean-shaven, light-colored shirt, blue jeans left in an unknown vehicle. Active investigation


 

Protests and Rioting:

Denver, May 30, 2020:

Protesting and Rioting.

I attended the Black Lives Matter protest at the Colorado State Capitol on Saturday. I closely observed the crowd and protesters. I witnessed peaceful protesters holding signs and listened to occasional chants in favor of George Floyd who was senselessly killed by a Minneapolis police officer. I witnessed protesters positioned face down and chanting “I can’t breathe” which was an inspiring group chant that lasted approximately 10 minutes. It was peacefully organized and implemented.

 

I was moved by the diversity of people who attended the protest. I saw people of many races and colors united for a cause, which was the most hopeful and encouraging part of the protest. My final analysis of the gathering resulted in a rather simple conclusion. This is a large protest and it will become violent at some point in time. 

I was told by another observer at the protest site that significant destruction from riots took place the previous night throughout the immediate area of the State Capitol, so I embarked on a walk up the 16th Street Mall. I was shocked at what I saw. Dozens of stores had been vandalized, and many of the store owners were in the process of boarding up their businesses where shattered windows previously existed.

When Peaceful Becomes Violent.

It’s impossible to know whom among the protesters were responsible for the immense destruction to Denver’s businesses, the city’s library, municipal buildings, and the city’s beautiful art surrounding Civic Center Park. We’re still living in a world trying to fight a pandemic, so most of the protesters were wearing masks. Thus, recognizing someone causing senseless destruction is improbable or impossible. But the visual images of downtown Denver astonished me and provoked my personal anger. 

The graffiti was ubiquitous, and the theme of the sprayed paint was clear. The protesters hate the police. In fact, they defined the aggregate of all police officers as being wholly bad people. A logical and rational person would agree that there are many police officers who are good people and good citizens. But the primary point of the protest was to raise awareness that many in our society are angry at the rogue police officers and other citizens who have killed or otherwise abused so many African Americans over the years. 

This was a prime moment to contemplate the beliefs of both the protesters and the police. One thought that I considered was perhaps this will be a wake-up call for the professional and well-meaning officers who must start policing and taking charge of their own fellow officers who display dangerous behavior. The police possess the power to stop the bad actors within their ranks, but will they act to stop this unacceptable behavior? Another thought was maybe the protesters believed they had reached a point in our culture where marching and destruction were necessary to get the attention of our leaders on a national and local basis. But in the final analysis, I concluded that this whole exercise in social change was going to become worse before any viable concessions are made on either side. 

Protests:

Are protests meant to raise awareness, or to simply be a venue to vent frustration, anger, and hate? We all judge the outcomes subjectively, but the issues that actuate violent protests are not always properly mitigated. Thus, do they accomplish the goal, or are they simply an organized act of futility? We have witnessed violent protests around the globe for years, and I personally recalled the protests that took place in 1968 that became pivotal moments in the civil rights movement. Other memorable protests included the anti-Vietnam War movement. 

I tried to weigh in my mind the necessity of protests; and moreover, the effectiveness of protesting.  I considered that if no previous efforts to stop injustices have achieved any successful outcome then more extreme measures appear to be the only option for many people.

Dr. Martin Luther King: “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Did the vast number of protesters in Denver and across America last week feel that their voices were not being heard? Given the number of times these horrific killings have happened, it should be clear to any rational person that finding a solution to this problem has not been properly implemented. Our leadership has the power to reduce and perhaps eliminate these moments of abhorrence, but they have failed to address the need for change far too often or the results would be more positive. This solution will only surface from a grassroots movement that is organized by the citizens of our country. Our current leaders are not capable of properly dealing with something this large and dangerous.

Black Lives Matter:

Has the outrage that spread across America last week been solely about the mistreatment of African Americans in our country through the years, or is there more to this story? People have been locked down as a result of a pandemic, capital inequality for many people continues to deepen, and politically we have a starkly divided country. Anger is in ample supply in America today. So it’s possible this outbreak of anger is the sum total of many Americans feeling displaced from our society in a variety of ways. Social scientists will work through these issues over time and through the future. It will be interesting to learn what that research uncovers. But I think this one is pretty clear. We watched George Floyd die in a senseless and inhumane way. These protests are about years of injustice, and many in our society gathered together and collectively said, whatever it takes, the discrimination of black people, and the killing of black people, must change now. And they will do whatever it takes to stop this longstanding injustice.  

Nevertheless, it’s clear from examining the current data that as a minority group of US citizens, African American’s in our country have always experienced inequality, discrimination, and all too often have been subjected to personal physical violence. Therefore, many people in our country who provoke such despicable assaults against our black community must also be held accountable for the horrific outcome we’ve all witnessed over the past week. 

A logical approach to consider is if a protest is the only option then protest peacefully. Stop destroying property that houses the livelihoods of innocent people. By hurting innocent people, rioters are exhibiting clear unacceptable behavior. But throwing a brick through a window is not the same egregious act as killing another human. Leaders won’t listen and create change unless they, too, have something to lose and if businesses close as a result of the rioting tax revenues will be lost, and elections will be lost. Large protests will always include riots. As Trevor Noah (see video below) said, “There is no right way to protest.” 

Nonetheless, others who possess an innate need to hate in the same discriminatory and often fatal behavior perpetrated by the police officer who killed George Floyd are equally accountable for this destruction, even if they were not part of the rioting, they were the cause of this movement. Clear trends within our culture in recent years have resulted in certain individuals and organized groups of people somehow feel more empowered to discriminate or carry out acts of violence against blacks and other minorities.  Even some religions are now the target of hate crimes. The data is clear. This problem is getting worse in America. 

 

Langston Hughes wrote in his poem “Harlem” the following: “What happens to a dream deferred? /… Maybe it sags / like a heavy load. / Or does it explode?” That was 70 years ago. How much has changed for African Americans in our country over the past 70 years?

 

Please take a moment and listen to Fareed Zakaria’s “My Take” in the video below:

 

🍒 Michael Benidt, Contributing Author

Letter to PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan

MICHAEL BENIDT·FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020

Dear Mr. Monahan,

I’ve been a volunteer at the Solheim Cup, the US Senior Open, the BMW, and for several years now, the Waste Management Phoenix Open. That does not make my arguments any better, but please hear me out.

Might you please reconsider your decision of not allowing fans when play resumes on the PGA Tour at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Ft. Worth, Texas?

What if the PGA announced that free tickets will be given to all first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery workers, truck drivers, and anyone else who has braved the virus by showing up for work? The Quicken Loans National honors the military in this way, providing tens of thousands of complimentary tickets to Veterans.

Having viewed major tournaments from inside the ropes, it seems to me that PGA Golf is perfectly set up for a reduced level of attendance while maintaining social distancing. A golf tournament with 1/3rd the fans (for instance) would be heaven for the fans. They’d actually get to see over the often hundreds of heads in front of them. The American people have all shown that they can and will abide by social distancing rules in a myriad of settings. They would certainly do so with golf. And, the glory of golf is that it is played outdoors, which is far better than an enclosed arena as far as virus transmission is concerned.

And consider this. By mid-June, all of America is likely to look and feel much different than it does today. Already, even during the virus shutdown, grocery stores, Target, Home Depot, and others have been operating very well with the guidelines of social distancing and facemasks. Soon, other stores and then restaurants will be joining them. By mid-June Americans will have returned to beaches and hiking trails and a golf tournament played without spectators may well seem unusual to them, if not downright goofy.

Not allowing spectators might even seem overprotective of the golfers themselves. Think of how it might be spun by the press that millionaire golfers are being protected in a cocoon of special treatment. Clearly the early tournaments will have to distance the fans farther from the golfers. Golfers would not sign autographs. But, simply by adjusting the ropes, a reasonable level of protection for the golfers can be achieved.

Golf without fans is like the PGA without a mission. As the most socially conscious of all sports, allowing our medical and essential workers to attend might just be the mission of a lifetime for the PGA.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Benidt

🍒 The Laurel Condos

The Laurel Condos and Retail: 

The Laurel is reported to have completed its final stage of construction. The building is a mixed-use development consisting of 71 condominium units and street level retail stores.

For those of us living in Cherry Creek it seemed this project would never be fully completed, but the day has finally arrived. So if you are interested in purchasing one of the remaining condos in the building  you will be living in an area of Cherry Creek that has significantly increased in population density over the past few years.

The increased density will increase foot traffic for retail businesses in the area, but also cause more traffic congestion. Clearly the hope is that Cherry Creek will offer lifestyle amenities that compel residents to stay in Cherry Creek for dining and retail sales experiences, and thus reducing the frequency of auto traffic.

Drop by and take a closer look at this new Cherry Creek North development.

 

 

🍒 Octoberfest on Fillmore Plaza – Cherry Creek North

The Cherry Creek Chamber presents Octoberfest On Fillmore Plaza on September 26th starting at 4:30 PM and running through 7:00 PM. If you are not a member of the Cherry Creek Chamber and you wish to promote your business and meet some interesting people who are business owners and professionals in the Cherry Creek area, perhaps you might want to consider joining the Cherry Creek Chamber.