Littleton independent 0327
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March 27, 2014 75 cents Arapahoe County, Colorado | Volume 125, Issue 35
A publication of
LITTLETON INDEPENDENT (ISSN 1058-7837) (USPS 315-780)OFFICE: 7315 S. Revere Pkwy., Ste. 603, Centennial, CO 80112PHONE: 303-566-4100
A legal newspaper of general circulation in Englewood, Colorado, the LittletonIndependent is published weekly on Thursday by Colorado Community Media.PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO.
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School district rolls up sleeves Bond projects set to begin before summer vacation By Jennifer Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
With Littleton Public Schools ready to get to work on the extensive list of projects that voters approved money for last Novem-ber, the administration wants the public to know that safety, transparency, effi ciency and economy are their priorities.
A lot of what I hear from people is that if Im going to vote for this, then I want to make sure you squeeze every dollar out of it that you can, Superintendent Scott Mur-phy said on March 18. Staff is working very hard to make that happen. Its easy to just go out and hire a contractor. Its more diffi -cult to make sure everything gets done right the fi rst time.
Residents in the LPS district passed the $80 million bond issue by about 60 percent of the vote last November, and the revenue can legally only be used for capital improve-ments like building maintenance and infra-structure. That wont be a problem, with the average age of facilities at 50 years.
The project team has already hired ar-chitects and is in the process of choosing contractors. With some work ready to start even before the school year is over in May, residents will soon see signs going up in front of buildings that describe what work is being done and listing a phone number and website where people can get more in-formation.
Bob Colwell, former LPS Board of Edu-cation president, is heading up a citizens oversight committee, with volunteers re-cruited from the districts various com-mittees. And longtime LPS volunteer Dave Metcalf, a planner by trade, will again co-ordinate with the project team as he did in 1995 and 2002.
His knowledge from the previous bond issues is just invaluable, so weve been able to hit the ground running, said Diane Do-ney, LPS chief operating offi cer.
Doney said design is under way on larger projects in particular the failing roof at Damon Runyon Elementary School. She said it will take up to a year to get ready for that, and work should start in the summer of 2015. She hopes to be able to replace all the wood trusses with steel. Theyre currently being braced with strategically placed stabilizing poles as prescribed by an engineer.
Its very stable right now, she said.Because of the age of the buildings, Do-
ney said there is a large budget for asbestos abatement, which will be performed when there are no students inside. Most of the as-bestos is in the glue that holds tiles to fl oors and ceilings, she said.
Some of the work, like a new elevator at Newton Middle School, will bring the dis-
Members of the Arapaho Tribal Nation perform one of several dances during a ceremony at Arapahoe High School on March 21. A large contingent of the Arapaho Tribe visited the school, interacting with students and performing traditional ceremonies. The event brought the Arapaho Tribe from the Wind River Indian Reservation in Riverton, Wyo., to renew a relationship that has existed with the school since 1993. The schools mascot is the Warriors. Courtesy photo
Volunteers target local hunger Clubs, moms making sure all kids eat on weekends By Jennifer Smith email@example.com
Littleton Rotarian Dale Flowers used to think kids couldnt possibly be going hun-gry in a community like Littleton, and he suspects a lot of people think the same way.
There is a huge population of children who get free and reduced lunches, but they dont get fed on the weekends, is what he found out when he checked in with Mary Ellen Dillman, principal of Centennial Academy of Fine Arts Education. I couldnt believe that in this community.
Some moms at the school already knew better, and had set about trying to fi x it last year with Artys Friday Food Bag, named for the horse that is the schools mascot. Dawn Maris and Bridget Schild hooked up with a food bank, got some donations and, work-ing out of Maris basement, packed bags full of food to send home with several students whom teachers identifi ed as in need.
It was something I was really passionate about, said Maris.
However, the money was running out and they were unable to start up again this year. That is, until Flowers got wise to the situation in December. He recruited Arapa-hoe Sertoman Scott Manley, and the two service clubs immediately got the money together to help maintain the program.
I call it the `Hungry Tummies Cant Learn program, said Flowers. They were running on a month-to-month basis. We
really needed a plan to make this sustain-able. We made the contribution to make sure they made it through this year with no glitches, and with their hard work.
This isnt the fi rst time Rotary has helped out Centennials kids. The group managed to fully supply the schools need for musical instruments, so members are glad to have a new cause to support.
Unfortunately, this problem probably
wont be ever be fi nished like the musical-instrument problem, said Flowers.
Rotary and Sertoma intend to stay in-volved for the long haul, helping the moms fi nd fi nancial support, volunteers and a permanent place for the program to live. Theyd like to expand it to other schools, as well.
From left: Scott Manley, Dawn Maris, Bridget Schild and Dale Flowers are working to keep Centennials kids fed. Photo by Jennifer Smith
School continues on Page 7Hunger continues on Page 7
2 The Independent March 27, 20142-Color
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Co man talks small business at chamber Representative brings House committee chair By Jennifer Smith email@example.com
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman vis-ited the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce March 19 and brought with him Rep. Sam Graves, of Missouri, chairman of the House Small Business Com-mittee.
The two Republican lawmak-ers faced a fairly friendly crowd of local, invited entrepreneurs. In a roundtable format, they listened to concerns and suggestions that ranged from the diffi culty apply-ing for government contracts to Obamacare.
Andrew Graham, president of Clinic Services and an indepen-dent candidate for state repre-sentative, said his company has been waiting for its application to bid on government jobs to be ap-proved for fi ve years.
I get the hurry-up-and-wait approach, but were not a sit-on-our-hands kind of crowd, he said. The help I need is, how do I get the job?
Graves said that often several projects are bundled into one contract, making it just too big for smaller companies to handle. Hes introduced two bills that he hopes will level the playing fi eld. He says the Greater Opportunities for Small Business Act of 2014 will increase the goal of giving small
businesses 23 percent of the con-tracts to 25 percent, and the Con-tracting Data and Bundling Ac-countability Act of 2014 will bring more transparency to bundled contracts.
I believe a lot of these small businesses can do a lot of these projects more effi ciently, said Graves.
Coffman wondered about the effect the Affordable Care Act might be having on the group, though most of them employ few-er than 50 people and are there-fore not subject to new require-ments.
If there is a constant in the discussion, its health care, said Brian Olson, owner of Conversa-tion Starters media consulting fi rm.
He has no employees, but said he works in a world of freelanc-ers who provide services for each other.
The requirement to have in-surance has many of them bewil-dered and frightened about the cost, he said.
Graham said his company has always offered health insurance, and he doesnt believe the govern-ment should tell him how to do
what he was already doing.As a human being, I would
like to see a decoupling of health insurance from employment, he said.
Jeff Holwell, the chambers chief operating offi cer, said sur-veys show about 90 percent of the companies i