Tag Archives: Hentzell Park

Friends of Denver Parks file petition for certiorari in the Colorado Supreme Court on October 28, 2015

day.in.courtFriends of Denver Parks, Steve Waldstein and Zelda Hawkins filed their petition for certiorari in the Colorado Supreme Court on October 28, 2015. The basis for the petition is that the Colorado Court of Appeals failed to follow Colorado Supreme Court precedent when it affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of our case without allowing witnesses to testify in a public trial.

2015-1028 Petition for Writ of Certiorari.FINAL

2015-1028 Appendices to Cert Petition pt 1

2015-1028 Appendices to Cert Petition pt 2

2015-1028 Appendices to Cert Petition pt 3

The witnesses, which include not only private citizens, but also former city officials and employees, would have testified that Hampden Heights North Parks was designated with other parks by the Charter amendment in 1956, and was confirmed as a park with the 1996 Charter amendment.

Even though DPS has built a school in what used to be a park and natural area, petitioners are pressing the case forward so that, when the school is flooded by Cherry Creek or outlives its useful life after 40 years, the land can be returned to its rightful status as a public park, held in perpetuity for the citizens of Denver.

Thanks to all our friends for their continuing support.

John Case

EVANS CASE, LLP

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New Denver school named for senator, conservationist Joe Shoemaker

New Denver school named for senator, conservationist Joe Shoemaker
By Joe Vaccarelli
YourHub Reporter
Posted: 02/24/2015

Joe Shoemaker
Joe Shoemaker (Photo Provided by the Greenway Foundation)

A new school in southeast Denver will bear the name of a former state senator credited with establishing the Auraria Higher Education Campus downtown and spearheading clean-up of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek.

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education approved naming the new Hampden Heights Expeditionary School, 3333 S. Havana St., after Joe Shoemaker, founder of the Greenway Foundation and the Foundation for Colorado State Parks. The school will open for the 2015-16 school year.

Shoemaker died in 2012, but his three sons were on hand at the Feb. 19 meeting for the reading of the proclamation and vote. His daughter was unable to attend.

“We are delighted and pleased,” said son Jeff Shoemaker, the executive director of both the Greenway Foundation and Foundation for Colorado State Parks.

The other finalists for the school name were Herman Motz, a retired educator from the area, and Hampden Heights after the neighborhood.

Shoemaker, a Republican, served in the Colorado Senate from 1962 to 1974, representing the area where the school will sit. He was known as an education advocate and devoted his personal life to enhancing and preserving the city’s waterways such as the South Platte River and Cherry Creek.

“Joe’s contributions to the city of Denver and our waterways was extraordinary,” said Denver school board member Anne Rowe. She represents the area and read the proclamation. “I look forward to opening Joe Shoemaker Elementary in August.”

Jeff Shoemaker said his father fought hard for public school funding, and the new school’s proximity to Cherry Creek makes it even more appropriate.

“It was a great night,” Shoemaker said. Dad “was all over the auditorium last night.”

Judge Stern enters judgment for Defendants

Dear Friends,

On Friday May 2 Judge Stern granted judgment for the Defendants City and County of Denver and Denver Public Schools.  A copy of Judge Stern’s Order is attached. 

There will be no jury trial on May 19.  All witnesses are released from their subpoenas. DPS will continue to build the new school in what used to be Hampden Heights North Park.

First, I want to thank everyone who supported the effort to save this beautiful open space park.  Hundreds of people contributed their time, talent, and treasure, and there is not space to personally thank everyone.  I want to specially acknowledge the plaintiffs Steve Waldstein, Zelda Hawkins, and the board members of Friends of Denver Parks, Inc., Renee Lewis, David Hill, Shawn Smith, and Judy Case, who never gave up; Maggie Price, who created and manages the Friends Website; KC Keefer, who donated the film “Hampden Heist;” witnesses Wellington Webb, Susan Barnes-Gelt, John Bennett, Neil Sperandeo, Susan Baird, Jim Kellner, Amy Laugesen, Dave Longbrake, Dawn Mayo, Dave Norden, Joan Biggs, Sandy Dennehy, Charlie Gallagher, Willis Carpenter, and Tom Noel,; my law partners and faithful staff at Benson & Case; Bob and Nancy Stocker, Kathleen Wells, Dave Felice, Brad Cameron, Joe Halpern, Mary Ewing, and all the volunteers who gathered signatures for the referendum petitions that the city refused to count; Larry Ambrose and the dedicated members of INC who supported and honored our efforts; Wendy Warner and Ed Hall, chairpersons of the Denver Republican and Democratic parties, who passed resolutions condemning the city’s actions; Chuck Bonniwell, who provided expert testimony about Denver’s acquisition of land for recreation along Cherry Creek in the 1930’s, and gave our effort media coverage in the Cherry Creek Chronicle; Jennifer Doran and Pam Quigley, who researched and copied newspaper articles about the flood of 1933 and the city’s acquisition of parcels of land along Cherry Creek at the Denver Public Library and Colorado History Museum; Joe Marisco, who spent six days at the clerk and recorder and assessor’s offices in Arapahoe county, copying deeds to parcels of land along Cherry Creek that the city acquired in the 1930’s; Richard Hentzell, Bill Stanfill, Dick Laugesen, Laura and Linda Gravina, and all of the financial donors who so generously provided funds for petitions and court costs.

Second, I am pleased to announce that Friends of Denver Parks will appeal Judge Stern’s decision, because we believe it is an injustice that the people of Denver were not allowed to vote before their park land was taken.  We will post news of the appeal on the website.

Third, in the near future Friends of Denver Parks will launch a ballot initiative to protect all remaining Denver parks from sale. We want to make sure that what happened here does not happen again.

Thanks again to all of you for your generous help and support.

John Case

BENSON & CASE, LLP

Court Document can be found here