1 0 Tag Archives: John Hickenlooper

Thorpe’s new book on a national publicity roll

August 25, 2014

Helen Thorpe, journalist, author and estranged wife of Governor John Hickenlooper, has been garnering national press attention since the release of her second book “Soldier Girls” ($28 Scribner), about three Indiana women who join the National Guard and unwittingly find themselves deployed to the real military world of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The book has been lauded by stalwarts including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor, but it took Westword editor Patricia Calhoun to ferret out the real publicity coup: “Soldier Girls” earned “Book of the Week” status in a recent People magazine.

High-profile praise, for sure. That, and her recent interview with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s irreverent series “The Daily Show.”

Thorpe, who in the past shunned the spotlight and loathed the title “first lady”, has been holding her own during the book promotion tour. Even the most veteran authors know that book tours equal book sales.

Thorpe spent four years tracking the three women who joined The National Guard for a variety of mostly financial reasons, only to be hit by the whammy of deployment to the front lines of a weird war.

Here’s what The Washington Post book review says, “Journalist Helen Thorpe follows three women, tracking their ups and downs with faithful detail in a brilliant tableau of their overlapping lives…as they do multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and readjust to civilian life.

“‘Soldier Girls’ raises important questions about how men and women serve together and the differences in how they experience war, enabling us to see the subtle challenges female soldiers face — the hardships that don’t make easy headlines.”

This book is the second in what will no doubt become a lengthy resume for Thorpe, the author, since Thorpe the political spouse is not in her future.

To see the Stewart interview, go to http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/20lo0o/helen-thorpe.

Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe

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POTUS punch honors presidential visit

July 11, 2014

As a tribute to President Barack Obama‘s surprise visit to the Wazee Supper Club on Tuesday night, the folks behind the bar have created, and are now offering, a special Presidential Punch.

Comprised of vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, mint and champagne, it’s a not-too-political punch for hot summer days at $6 a pop.

Also, at Wazee the President had pepperoni and sausage pizza and a Prost Pilsner beer with his dinner companion Gov. John Hickenlooper. Hick’s former restaurant company owns the venerable Wazee at 15th and Wazee streets.


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Dimonds sparkle at Metro State’s ‘Setting the Table’

May 30, 2014

Stonebridge Companies president and CEO Navin Dimond and his wife, Rita, were feted last week (and with good reason) during Setting the Table, a table-setting competition and celebration of the couple’s record $1.5 million contribution to the newly named Rita and Navin Dimond Hotel Management Program at Metro State University of Denver.

MSU Denver president Stephen Jordan said that the Navins’ gift, “Will inspire our hospitality program on its way to pre-eminence. (The financial gift) creates a fellows program within our hospitality program.

The event, attended by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, pitted table-mates against neighboring table teams in setting the most precise and creative table for 10.

With as much humility as I can muster, our table, called The Savoy, took home first place. It didn’t hurt that my “plus one” was Judie Seidel-Davidson, who has spent her storied career in the hospitality industry.

The event took place in the ballroom of the Stonebridge-owned Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel, a spectacular transformation of the nearly 150-year-old Colorado National Bank building at 918 17th St.. Do yourself a favor and take a stroll through the stunning lobby.

 Stonebridge Companies CEO Navin Dimond, Metro State president Dr. Stephen M. Jordan and Rita Dimond. Below, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper  also posed for the fete. (Metro State University of Denver photos)

Stonebridge Companies CEO Navin Dimond, Metro State President Dr. Stephen M. Jordan and Rita Dimond. Below right, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also posed for the fete. (Metro State University of Denver photos)SettingTable_0395_140520cc


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There’s beer here in Denver, too, this weekend

April 18, 2014

All the talk may be about the 4/20 marijuana events this weekend, but there’s plenty of stuff to do for beer lovers, too.

Thanks to Westword for the head’s-up to beer-drinking events around the Denver area, including:

Friday, April 18: At Novo Coffee on Glenarm Street from 5 to 10 p.m. get the first taste of Kurt’s Mile High Malt, a German-style lager from the Wynkoop Brewing Company that was made with Ethiopian Anyetsu coffee from Novo. The beer is based on a family recipe late author Kurt Vonnegut gave to Wynkoop co-founder John Hickenlooper in the 1990s.

Saturday, April 19: John Turk‘s Colorado Craft Beer Show, broadcasting on AM 760, will celebrate its third anniversary today with a special show from noon to 2 p.m. at Lone Tree Brewing. … Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs will host its annual Saison Farmhouse Rendezvous t noon. Tickets are $45 … BeerAdvocate’s Todd and Candice Alstrom will host their monthly get-together today at Avery Brewing in Boulder from 1 to 5 p.m. … The first BrüFrou beer and food pairing event will take place 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Lowry.

Read more at www.blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/2014/04/new_beers_from_wynkoop_station_26_and_copper_kettle.php.


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Jimmy Fallon takes a ‘pot’ shot at Colorado’s new legalized marijuana law

February 28, 2014

Spanking new “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon took a “pot” shot at our own Gov. John Hickenlooper Tuesday night by making jest of Colorado’s legal retail marijuana law.

“Colorado expects to make $100 million from taxing legalized marijuana,” the comedian said. “Governor John Hickenlooper (big audience laugh at the name) says he will use a lot of that money to build new schools.

Suggested names? “U. Holden Academy, Hot Pocket Prep and St. Mary Jane’s.”

New 'Tonight Show' host Jimmy Fallon took a shot at Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. (NBC photo)

New ‘Tonight Show’ host Jimmy Fallon took a shot at Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. (NBC photo)

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Don’t think this column wouldn’t include a Super Bowl item

February 3, 2014

Even though our own Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Washington state guv Jay Inslee refused to make a Super Bowl wager, Denver’s Punch Bowl Social founder Robert Thompson and Washington’s Garage Billiards owner Alex Rosenast have pledged to donate $1,000 to their winning team’s charity of choice.

“I volunteer to send Alex a case of Orange Crush soda, win or lose,” Thompson said.

“Win or lose, I’m trying to get a dinner set up for Robert and (Seahawks cornerback) Richard Sherman,” Rosenast said.

After Sunday’s 43-8 Broncos loss to the Seagawks, a charity will be selected by the winner and the $1,000 donation will follow.

orange crush

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Blue Ribbon reception brings restaurants and hotels together with legislators

January 10, 2014

Restaurants and hotels in Denver make our economic world go ’round. Consider that together both sectors will generate more than $13 billion in sales this year, which generates more than $850 million in state and local taxes.

Also, restaurants and hotels employ roughly 286,000 employees in 11,500 establishments. A big deal.

So it makes total sense that the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association throw a joint event annually on the first day of the Colorado Legislature to wine and dine lawmakers that could affect the hospitality business.

I have attended this event for more years than I care to reveal, and I would say that the hearty party Wednesday on the 38th floor of the adjoining tower at the Grand Hyatt Hotel attracted more festive folks than I’ve ever seen.

We wined and dined from tasty treats from restaurants including: Angelo’s Taverna, Baca at Inverness Hotel & Resort, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Lala’s Wine Bar & Pizzeria, Mangia Bevi Café, Metropolitan State University Denver, Outback Steakhouse, Penrose Room at the Broadmoor, Ted’s Montana Grill, Texas Roadhouse,  The Airplane Restaurant, The Fort and The Fresh Fish Company.

Pete Meersman, the slowly retiring CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association introduced Sonia Riggs, the new “chief cheese” who is taking over Meersman’s impressive reign. About restaurants, he said, “Restaurants and hotels are the cornerstone of Colorado’s economy.”

Christine O’Donnell, president of the Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association, more pointedly addressed the legislators attending the event. “It takes only a slight change in the laws to turn a profitable hotel or restaurant into an unprofitable business,” she said. “We ask you to keep that in mind during this year’s legislative session.”

And former Wynkoop Brewing Co. founder Gov. John Hickenlooper stopped by to speak and be among his “peeps,” as he would say. He referenced deceased The Fort founder Sam Arnold.

“I think about the people who aren’t here,” Hickenlooper said. “Sam Arnold really put Colorado on the map.”


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LoDo celebrates Salzman’s 95th birthday on my birthday!

December 2, 2013

Downtown Denver benefactor Manny Salzman has reached his 95th birthday and some people in the ‘hood are throwing a party for him.

Manny’s Bridge, the bridge down Wynkoop Street named for him, is the home of an interactive public light art installation by artist Virginia Folkestad.

The installation is being renovated and re-lit in conjunction with Salzman’s birthday and when complete will be on display nightly year-round.

Manny and Joanne Salzman pioneered LoDo when they moved there in 1980. They worked with the city of Denver to obtain a grant to preserve the historic railroad bridges over Cherry Creek in the mid-1990s converting them to save pedestrian paths.

In 2006, then Mayor John Hickenlooper dedicated the bridge to Manny, and a plaque describes that effort. The Salzmans were also instrumental in the designation of LoDo as a historic area and the formation of the St. Charles Neighborhood Group.

At 95, Manny still pedals his bike daily across the Platte and up the hill into the Highland neighborhood.

Manny Salzman

Manny Salzman on the bridge named for him in Lower Downtown. (Diane Huntress photo)


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‘American Mustang’ gallops into the Starz Denver Film Festival

October 28, 2013

The historic mistreatment of wild horses is examined in the film “American Mustang,” which chronicles an emotionally charged journey through a tenuous landscape dotted by ranchers, wild horse advocates, government agencies and the American people.

The film screens at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the SIE FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax, as part of the 36th annual Starz Denver Film Festival. The movie-lovers madness opens Nov. 6 with an 8 p.m. screening of “Labor Day” and runs through Nov. 17.

In her filmmaking debut, “American Mustang” producer Ellie Phipps Price, vintner and animal welfare advocate, brings her passion for protecting wild horses to the big screen.

“American Mustang” is a feature film, shot in eight Western states with wild horses filmed for the first time in 3D. Threaded into the narrative is the story of a girl, a cowboy and an American icon – the wild horse. The film encourages protection of America’s wild horses while being aware of the reality of limited grazing and resources on the open range.

The film is narrated by actress and activist Daryl Hannah. Throughout a 30-year film career, Hannah has starred in more than 40 feature films, and has created numerous iconic roles in successful, critically acclaimed and enduring movies.

Collaborators on “American Mustang” include director Monty Miranda who worked closely with writer and co-producer Henry Ansbacher and executive producer Phipps Price. Phipps Price and Ansbacher co-wrote and developed the characters based on extensive interviews that create a rich palate of voices for the film. The interviews are with people who are on the front lines of the battle over preservation and management of wild horses – a contentious issue that incites strong emotions from every side.

Phipps Price spent her early years in Colorado, studied film at University of California, Berkeley and currently resides in Sonoma, Calif., where she produces Dunstan Wines from the Durell Vineyard. She adopted her first mustang, Dunstan, from the Bureau of Land Management holding facility at Cañon City in 2009.

Recently, Phipps Price established a 2,000-acre wildlife preserve for wild horses in northern California. “I am thrilled to be coming home to Colorado for the launch of ‘American Mustang’ – a film about these amazing and beautiful animals that have captured my heart,” she said.

Director and former Denver dweller Miranda attended the University of Colorado to study film and journalism and currently lives in Los Angeles. His career includes credits for the memorable TV commercials for John Hickenlooper’s mayoral campaign. Miranda’s feature-film directorial debut, “Skills Like This,” won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

Colorado-based Ansbacher of Just Media focuses on film projects that have a history of bringing change, social justice and raising awareness about environmental issues. Ansbacher’s film “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short.

More information on the movie at: www.americanmustangthemovie.com.

For screening times and to purchase tickets, go to: http://www.denverfilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=25922&FID=77.

To learn more about the 36th annual Starz Film Festival and the featured movies, go to http://www.denverfilm.org/festival/index.aspx.

Cowboy Luke pets one of the horses in the fil, 'American Mustang.'

Cowboy Luke pets one of the horses in the film, ‘American Mustang.’ The film, which has many Colorado ties, will screen Nov. 7 at the 36th annual Starz Denver Film Festival. (American Mustang|Just Media photo)


Top spots

I told you on last week that Lakewood was included in the Top 100 Best Places to Live on liveability.com’s inaugural ranking, but that was only part of Colorado’s prized participation. Culinary Colorado’s Claire Walter (thanks, Claire!) pointed out that there’s more to the story.

While Lakewood ranked No. 88 (besting Scottsdale at No. 89), Aurora scored No. 49, and Boulder came in at an impressive No. 2. Topping the lauded list was Palo Alto, Calif., which I’m proud to say is my hometown (think Stanford University, John Elway, Eddie McCaffrey, Andrew Luck, etc.).

“The list was created in partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute, the world’s leading think tank on the role of location, place and city-regions in global economic prosperity. The list was produced after studying U.S. cities and factors that make them the best places to live, work and play,” according to the Livability.com website.

Factors included in the Top 100 ranking included good schools, hospitals, amenities, affordability and the local economy. Read more at http://livability.com/top-100-best-places-to-live#/palo-alto/ca.

Viva los muertos!

Denver Botanic Gardens continues its annual celebration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican day of remembrance and honor for the departed, with expanded programming this year.

In Mexico, streets near cemeteries are filled with parades, colorful decorations, flowers, candy, skeletons and skulls. It is believed the spirits of the dead visit their families Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. Families make altars with a photo of the deceased, along with offerings of food, candles, incense and yellow marigolds. 

The Gardens will observe the tradition with an all-ages celebration of Latino music, food, art and history on Friday. All events take place at the York Street location. For tickets and more information, go to: http://www.botanicgardens.org/events/special-events/d%C3%ADa-de-los-muertos.

Celebrate Dia del Los Muertps at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at the Denver Botanic Gardens on Friday, Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)


Shanahan shares steaks

The Washington Redskins lost to the Broncos Sunday, but head coach Mike Shanahan’s team will eat like winners on the plane home.

Shanahan told 104.3-FM The Fan on Friday his team will nosh on Shanahan’s Steakhouse fare on the plane ride home after Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos. Shanahan also noted he wouldn’t have time to visit his signature steakhouse in south Denver.

And speaking of the Broncos…

Ace Eat Serve at 501 E. 17th Ave. will be the place to catch all the Denver Broncos football action this season where the games will be shown on one of two projection screens.

Happy hour specials for the entire game (menu at www.acedenver.com/menus/happyhour).  And, tap into your own competitive spirit with free Ping-Pong as long as the Broncos are playing.

Tables can be reserved in advance, and for the entire length of the game. Get your reservations now for the next game (Broncos vs. Chargers on Nov. 10 since Sunday is a bye week) at 303-800-7705.  Free Ping-Pong and extended happy hour specials will be available during all Broncos home and away games for the rest of the 2013 – 2014 season.

The seen

The “dolphin trainer” actor in the Colorado Lottery commercial (created by local ad shop Cactus) shopping Thursday at Whole Foods Market on Hampden. He wasn’t spotted in the fresh fish section.

Eavesdropping on a group of golfers at the Eagle’s Nest restaurant at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club: “I wonder if Shanahan took the team to Shanahan’s (Steakhouse) last night?”

“Well, he sure didn’t take them to Elway’s!”

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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