Local Buzz: Jazz & Gentry

Published March 2010 Vol. 14 Issue 3

Will Denver Have its own Harlem Renaissance?

written by Tim Covi
reporting by Dwayne Pride
photography by Adrian Diubaldo

Standing at the corner of Welton and Washington Streets, if you look hard enough you might still see throngs of people coiling around the sides of the Rossonian Hotel. Young men standing under tipped fedoras and women in cocktail dresses and heels lined up to hear some of the best jazz the country has to offer. You’d have to look hard, mind you. Past the dusty, lightly sootsoiled brick, past the 1993 renovations, around the light rail that sidles up to the hotel’s flank and comes to a slow, furtive stop at the traffic light before rushing off down Welton with its payload. You’d need to look beyond the empty shell being remodeled, well into history. Because for several years, this corner has been a husk of what it was.

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Local Buzz: Mentors instead of cell mates

Published January 2010 Vol. 14 Issue 1

Colorado Springs non-profits find alternatives to prison for juvenile offenders.

by Chris Bolte

Robert ran away from home at age 17, dropped out of school and couch surfed throughout the Colorado Springs area for four months. He was reluctant to talk about what, exactly, he did, so left it at he “got into trouble” and found himself in a treatment program through the Division of Youth Corrections. Through this program he was able to attain his GED and get started on a new path.

His circumstances are not at all uncommon.  Dropping out of school has ramifications for young adults; idle time, isolation and even being cut off from many services provided for those still attending school. It can be a recipe for bad decisions.

Minor charges specific to youth are things like truancy or running away from home, gateway crimes.  Some youth continue on this track to more serious crimes.  They can be sent to the Division of Youth Corrections or, even worse, adult prison.

From there, if a youth returns to the same peers upon release, the same temptations to commit crimes and return to the system all over again are all but inevitable.  This is what we have come to know as the recidivism problem.

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Local Buzz: Mental Health Cuts

Published October 2009 Vol. 13 Issue 9

by Dwayne Pride
photographs by Adrian Diubaldo

 

“The difference between the closings before and the closings now is that this time half of the hospital will be closing down.”
—Steve Wager

As the state budget gets carved up, Colorado residents, state workers, service providers and clients are all scrambling to figure out what the looming budget cuts mean for them. One area of concern is among the health and human services. These services are directly responsible for supporting homeless and poor people in the metro area and across the state, a portion of whom are considered disabled. Fort Logan Mental Health Center is among the organizations taking large cuts to balance the budget, and the cuts could mean as many as 200 people won’t get needed mental health services.

Fort Logan provides hospital services for the mentally ill. It serves patients with complex, serious and persistent mental illnesses. There are 153 inpatient beds and 20 residential beds. Each year about 650 patients are admitted, according to hospital admissions at Fort Logan. Cuts could mean that most of these patients would need to be redirected to other institutional facilities or not hospitalized at all.

Fort Logan Mental Health Institute is losing much of its resources due to state budget reform.  Beds and employee hours are being cut, leaving employees unhappy and many homeless people without a place to recuperate. Photo by ADRIAN DIUBALDO.

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