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Donny Osmond to headline gala for Marion Downs Hearing Center

January 15, 2014

The life and legacy of Dr. Marion Downs, founder of the Marion Downs Hearing Center with three locations in Aurora, Boulder and Lone Tree, will be lauded during her 100th birthday celebration Jan. 26 at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center.

Singer Donny Osmond is the headline entertainer with emcee duties performed by John Schneider from “Dukes of Hazzard.”

According to the Marion Downs website (www.mariondowns.org), Osmond family matriarch Olive Osmond is most commonly associated with her famous children, however she has another story. Virl and Tom, the two oldest Osmond brothers, were born deaf. Olive and her husband, George, could not afford hearing aids for them so they gathered their four other sons and traveled around performing to help raise the necessary funds to purchase hearing aids. This is how the Osmonds started their world-renowned entertainment careers which led to the “Osmond Brothers,” and eventually “Donny and Marie.”

The Jan. 26 gala will honor Olive and Marion’s legacy by raising funds to build a new facility to allow the MDHC to carry on with the vital work and passion of the two women.

The fundraiser begins at 4:30 p.m. for VIP ticket holders, 5 p.m. for general admission. There will be a silent auction, live auction, cocktails, dinner and entertainment. Tickets: 720-848-3042 or at www.mariondowns.org.

(Photo courtesy of www.donny.com)

(Photo courtesy of www.donny.com)

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The seen

January 10, 2014

Famed violinist Itzhak Perlman eating with Denver florist extraordinaire BJ Dyer at Seoul BBQ in Aurora (near my former digs) on Peoria Street. Dyer said on Facebook that Perlman “knew just the right Korean dishes to order for the table. What a great sense of humor.” Perlman performed with the Colorado Symphony Thursday night at Boettcher Hall.

Itzhak Perlman enjoying lunch with BJ Dyer, right, at Seoul BBQ in Aurora. (BJ Dyer Facebook photo)

Itzhak Perlman enjoying lunch with BJ Dyer, right, at Seoul BBQ in Aurora. (BJ Dyer Facebook photo)


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‘Sensory-friendly’ Santa experience at Southlands

December 20, 2013

Southlands shopping center and Autism Society of Colorado have joined hands this holiday to host a special Santa Claus experience for children with sensory processing disorders and autism from 8 to 10 a.m. Monday at the Santa Photo location in Southlands Town Square next to Ted’s Montana Grill at E-470 and Smoky Hill Road.

“Our sensory-friendly Santa environment will allow these children to experience the same enjoyment as others except in a much quieter, less intimidating setting,” said Joyce Rocha, director of marketing.

For so many children with autism and sensory processing disorders, visiting Santa Claus can create an enormous amount of anxiety.  Southlands will provide a dimly lit Santa surrounding to give children a private, one-on-one meet and greet with St. Nick to share their holiday wishes and take photos in a noise-reduced environment.

“Families affected by autism like to do the same things that typical families like to do. Visiting Santa is no exception. This is an amazing opportunity for the Colorado autism community and the Autism Society of Colorado is thrilled to collaborate with partners like Southlands,” said Kim Tenure, program and policy director, Autism Society of Colorado.

For more information, visit www.shopsouthlands.com.

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Moe’s Bar B Que now smokin’ in Aurora

December 20, 2013

Moe’s Original Bar B Que & Bowling has expanded its empire to a new spot in Aurora.

Located in an old Walgreen’s at 2727 S. Parker Road (corner of Yale and Parker; my old  Aurora ‘hood), the spanking new Moe’s opened on Dec. 12.

Besides the flavorful barbecue, Moe’s has eight bowling lanes, an upstairs arcade and a large bar.

Moe’s now has four locations: The original at 3295 S. Broadway in Englewood; 530 Broadway in Denver and 2589 S. Lewis Way in Lakewood. More info at www.moesdenver.com.


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Penny Parker On The Town: Bertha Lynn leaves Denver’s 7News but will never be forgotten

August 9, 2013

Bertha Lynn has been one of my favorite on-air personalities since I arrived in Denver in 1993. She is the sweetest, most generous human being.

Now that she’s leaving Denver’s 7, Denver is losing a truly wonderful asset on the air. But good for her! She’s been able to reinvent herself in a new occupation.

After reporting the news for more than 30 years for KMGH-Channel 7, Lynn is leaving the newsroom to become executive director of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation at Denver.

“To be tapped by Barbara Davis and the Board of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation to carry on their work helping sick children is a dream come true – allowing me to meet new challenges while continuing to serve in Colorado.  I have much to look forward to and much to look back on when assessing my career.  It has been a privilege to collaborate with such skillful and caring journalism professionals,” says Lynn in a press release. “The people of Denver and Colorado have been very kind and generous to me as they watched me grow up.  Colorado remains my home and I look forward to engaging with the community for even greater support in our battle against life-threatening diabetes.”

“We have been honored to work with Bertha,” says 7News News Director, Jeff Harris. “She is a true icon in journalism and for Denver viewers.  Her career at 7News is an inspiration to so many.  But, more than anything else, Bertha has worked tirelessly to improve our community.  For this, we are grateful and not a bit surprised in her decision to lead this wonderful organization.” 

Lynn, one of Denver’s most recognized and honored broadcast journalists, has been reporting news to Coloradans since 1976 when she began with KBTV (now KUSA-Channel 9) as an anchor and reporter.  In 1984, she moved to 7News where she has anchored and reported for nearly every station newscast.  Last year, Bertha was inducted into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame, and in 2010, she also was inducted into the Broadcast Professionals Hall of Fame.  In 2006, she was a Silver Circle Inductee in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Heartland Chapter.  Bertha served six years on the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Board and on the board of the Colorado Women’s Foundation. She has also served as Director of the Boards for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival (which named its Legacy Award for her), the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of Denver, Mayor’s Commission on Art Culture and Film, Children’s Museum, National Jewish Hospital, Denver Symphony Association, Safehouse for Battered Women, KCFR Public Radio, and Nation Conference of Christians and Jews. Bertha has also served as a trustee for Regis University and is a member of the Denver Art Museum’s African American Outreach Task Force.

Lynn’s s list of honors include numerous Emmy Awards, The President’s Award, Journalist of the Year, and Grace Under Fire Award from the Colorado Association of Black Journalists.  Lynn will sign off the air Aug. 9 at 11 a.m, on 7News.

When I asked Lynn for a quote or two, she obliged

“I’m writing a new chapter,” Lynn said via email. “I’m so grateful to my past and present colleagues. I’ve loved bringing home the news to the people of Colorado since 1976 and now I’m ready to apply, in a different arena, the skills I’ve learned as a communicator and in the board rooms of the many non-profit organizations I’ve served over the years. I’ll be working with a wonderful group of people at a respected organization. I’m thrilled!”

Bertha Lynn is leaving 7News for a job in the nonprofit sector. (7News photo)

Bertha Lynn is leaving 7News for a job in the nonprofit sector. (7News photo)


Winner winner chicken dinner!

Rioja chef Jennifer Jasinski took home the big prize Wednesday night with a Dead Duck dish on the third episode of Bravo’s popular “Top Chef Masters.” Her seared duck breast and citrus duck sausage, fregola celery salad, smoky blood orange sauce, olive-orange puree won $10,000 for local non-profit Work Options for Women. Chef Jen is competing as a team with Euclid Hall’s Jorel Pierce.

Jennifer Jasinski's winning dish: seared duck breast and citurs duck sausage  with fregola and celery salad. (Bravo TV photo)

Jennifer Jasinski’s winning dish: seared duck breast and citrus duck sausage with fregola and celery salad. (Bravo TV photo)

The elimination challenge was entitled “Sex, Murder and Greed,” with each chef was asked to create a dish befitting one of the themes. The cast of long-running soap opera “Days of our Lives” were celebrity judges along with Curtis Stone, Gail Simmons, Leslie Suter and Ruth Reichl.

The competition began with 13 teams and is now down to nine.

Viewers can add to the WOW bounty by voting for Team Jasinski online each Wednesday night during the season at http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-masters. As of late Thursday night, Team Jasinski was in third place. You can vote up to 40 times when you submit a phone number (don’t worry they won’t spam or call).

Jennifer Jasinski with fellow "Top Chef Masters" chefs Sang Yoon and Odette Fada. (Bravo TV photo)

Jennifer Jasinski with fellow ‘Top Chef Masters’ chefs Sang Yoon and Odette Fada. (Bravo TV photo)


Colorado rocks it!

Forbes Magazine on Thursday announced its 15th annual ranking of Best Places for Business and Careers, and Denver and Fort Collins made the top 10 cities.

Denver was ranked sixth and Fort Collins seventh.

And speaking of rankings…
Bon Appetit Magazine rated two Denver restaurants among its choice of the 50 best new restaurants in its current edition. Here’s what they said about Old Major:
“Reclaimed wood and farmer-focused. Sure, it’s a tried-and-true formula from Portland to Portland, but the crew at Old Major excel because they execute it perfectly, from the in-house butchery and rock-solid charcuterie program to the chill, we’re-all-friends-here vibe of the former roller rink.
“On the Menu: Twenty-one-day dry-aged bone-in rib eye with foie gras butter; nose-to-tail plate (pork chop, confit rib, crispy belly)
“We also love: That Old Major was the name of the pig in George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’ “

However, what the writer left out is that the standard pretzel bread with honey mustard rocks the house! The best ever.

“And about The Squeaky Bean: Denver’s much-loved Squeaky Bean shut down in 2011, only to be reincarnated last year in a new, bigger space. The look is both industrial (exposed pipes and beams) and old-school fancy (chandeliers). But things really get interesting on the wide-ranging four-course prix fixe, with offbeat dishes like congee and leg of Colorado lamb.

“On the Menu: Brandade espuma; offal fritto; Mr. Green Jeans (Spring 44 gin, celery, cucumber, black pepper, lemon, sugar).

“We also love: he Farrah Fawcett shrine, replete with candles and her visage, which made the move from the old space to the new one. (Photograph by Adam Larkey)

“Pig-centric and nose-to-tail. Reclaimed wood and farmer-focused. Sure, it’s a tried-and-true formula from Portland to Portland, but the crew at Old Major excel because they execute it perfectly, from the in-house butchery and rock-solid charcuterie program to the chill, we’re-all-friends-here vibe of the former roller rink.”

For the full story, to go http://www.bonappetit.com/restaurants-travel/2013/08/top-new-restaurant-nominees-2013.

A mixologist pours on of the famed drinks at The Squeaky Bean. (Photo by Adam Larkey)

A mixologist pours one of the famed drinks at The Squeaky Bean. (Photo by Adam Larkey)

Eavesdropping on a woman talking about the recent Bruno Mars concert at Red Rocks during the Rally for the Cure tournament at Aurora Hills Golf Course: : “The concert was like watching the newest and greatest Jackson 5.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Skyline Park goes whole hog with barbecue block party

The Big Apple comes to the Mile High City when acclaimed New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer brings the Big Denver Barbecue Block Party to Skyline Park Aug. 4 and 5.

Meyer, whose cadre of restaurants includes Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern and Shake Shack, will send chefs from Blue Smoke, his barbecue spot, along with eight other pitmasters representing barbecue joints from across the country to the Denver event.

Pitmasters include Kenny Callaghan from Blue Smoke; Patrick Martin of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville, Tenn.; Tommy Houston from Checkered Pig in Danville, Va.; Frank Ostini of The Hitching Post II in Buelton, Calif.; Jake Linzinmeier from Telluride Ski Resort and Drew Robinson of Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Northfield and Aurora.

“When we first learned that Danny Meyer was exploring the idea of expanding the Big Apple BBQ event to an additional city, we wanted to see Denver be that city so we actively competed to roshe run hyp demonstrate that Denver could handle the event and that we are a great city for the event,” said Joe Vostrejs, chief operating officer of Larimer Associates.  “Now we have the event coming to Skyline Park in August, I am thrilled to not only have such a nationally recognized name behind it, but to also have such a distinctive event in our city.  I am confident it will be a huge success for Denver and I cannot wait to see what it will do for the Downtown Denver food scene!”

Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, teamed with Vostrejs to snag the event that’s been held in New York for 10 years.

“We are so excited to have an event like this come to downtown Denver,” Door said.  “The Big Denver Barbecue Block Party is another example of a fun and unique event that will bring people to the heart of downtown, Skyline Park, and provide an opportunity to experience a unique food scene!  We are pleased to be helping present this event through the Downtown Denver Partnership’s events entity, Downtown Denver Events.”

Admission is free; barbecue will be sold for $8 per plate, desserts for $4, beer for $6 per glass and soft drinks for $2. Proceeds will benefit Skyline Park programming. More information: www.bigbbqblockparty.org; click on Denver.

Family fun

It’ll be a hot time in the Olde Town when Olde Town Arvada breaks out the 15th Annual Blues & BBQ for Better Housing Block Party from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Grandview Avenue between Olde Wadsworth Boulevard and Upham Street will close to cars in favor of foot traffic for families who will be treated to 18 rock and blues bands on three stages and 70 booths with food, beer and bobbles.

Ranger Miller launched the Blues & BBQ benefit with his bandmates in The Duke Street Kings, a longtime metro area blues and rock act. This year’s goal is to raise $30,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.

Tickets are $10; kids under 12 are admitted for free. More information: www.bluesnbbq.com.

Denver hotel earns top honors

The Four Seasons Hotel Denver was the only Denver hotel named to the coveted Travel + Leisure 2012 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey list, announced Monday.

“We are thrilled to be selected by the Travel + Leisure magazine World’s Best Awards readers’ survey,” said Thierry Kennel, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Denver.  “As one of Denver’s newest hotel properties, it’s a tremendous honor for our team to be given this award—especially as the only hotel in Denver to make the top 50.”

Four Seasons Hotel Denver, a 239-room property in downtown Denver, was included in the list of Top Large City Hotels in the Continental U.S., ranking 31 out of 50. The results of the 17th annual Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards survey revealing readers’ favorite hotels, cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, car-rental agencies, spas, safari outfitters and tour operators are at www.TravelandLeisure.com, and will be included in the August digital editions on iPad, Nook Color and Kindle Fire, and is the cover story of the August issue of the magazine, on newsstands a week from today.

Free yoga

Yoga fans and wannabe fans can take a free class during Yoga Rocks the Park Free Day from 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday at Alamo Placita Park, Emerson and East Third.

The event is sponsored by prAna clothing, a performance-wear retailer with stores in Boulder and Cherry Creek North.

More information: http://yogarocksthepark.com/denver/.

Double entendre deals

Euclid Hall, at 1317 14th St., is rolling out Hump Day Happy Hour (tittering intended) from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

Beer and shot combinations with naughty names are featured in the five weekly specials. Four of the beer-and-a-shot combos are priced at a conservative $5 with one duo that goes for a walk-on-the-wild-side $14.

Brace yourself, here’s the list:

* El Estilo de Perro (I can’t go there, Google it): Orale Mexi-lager Michelada and Pueblo Viejo tequila.

* The Pile Driver: Boulevard Tank 7 and a screwdriver shot.

* The Lotus: Deschutes White IPA and gin and juice.

* The Reverse Cowgirl: Today’s Tallboy with an Old Forester bourbon.

* The Missionary: Avery Reverend and 80/20 Chartreuse (the $14 combo).

A selection of Euclid’s appetizers are featured roshe run hyp femmes in the Hump Day deals including marrow bones at $5 per bone, oysters on the half shell for $2 each, and chocolate covered banana pops for $3.

Hump Day specials are in addition to Study Hall, Euclid’s every day happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. with selected draught beers, well cocktails and house wines for $3 each. See the full menu at www.euclidhall.com.

Eavesdropping on two women: “Fifty Shades of Grey? My love life is more like Fifty Shades of Blah.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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