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Denver Dilemmas: Ten Hot Issues in the Mile High City in 2017

Denver Dilemmas: Ten Hot Issues in the Mile High City in 2017
Britt Chester
Denver’s creatives being crunched out of the market is just one of the major dilemmas in Denver. Here are nine more hot topics that could become burning issues in 2017 — and we plan to continue covering them all:

Homelessness: Denver’s Road Home was supposed to cure chronic homelessness in a decade. It didn’t, and now the chickens have come home to roost.

The 16th Street Mall:
All too often, they’re roosting on the 16th Street Mall, and what was once a bright spot has become a blight on downtown.
Travelers love DIA's art including Gary Sweeney's "America, Why I Love Her." - FLYDENVER.COM
Travelers love DIA's art including Gary Sweeney's "America, Why I Love Her."
flydenver.com
Denver International Airport Redo: DIA has big plans for moving security and making over the Jeppesen Terminal. But does Denver really need another shopping mall?

I-70:
While skiers slow traffic on I-70 West to a crawl, the action could be fast and furious once the Colorado Department of Transportation finally releases the long-postponed EIS on the Record of Decision for the I-70 East project in north Denver.
I-70 overlooks Elyria. - KEVIN J. BEATY
I-70 overlooks Elyria.
Kevin J. Beaty
The National Western Complex: Yeehaw! The National Western Stock Show stampedes into Denver this week, stirring up plenty of dust — and questions about how that big new complex will be funded.

The Denver Performing Arts Complex: The lodging tax that will help pay for the National Western Complex will also help pay for a redo at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Maybe the bowels of Boettcher could become DIY space?
click to enlarge Could this be the future Denver Performing Arts Complex? - H3 HARDY COLLABORATION
Could this be the future Denver Performing Arts Complex?
H3 Hardy Collaboration
Marijuana Madness: Colorado got off to a smoking-fast start when it became the first state to sell legal recreational marijuana on January 1, 2014. But will California and the other states that legalized recreational pot in November steal our thunder — and market?

The Environment: Signs from Washington, D.C., have environmentalists asking, “What the frack?” While they fight for clean air, clean water and clean politics, they would do well to remember that 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the deal cut by the Department of Justice with Rockwell International, which had been accused of environmental crimes at Rocky Flats — the former nuclear-weapons plant that’s now set to become a wildlife refuge.
The edge of the future Rocky Flats wildlife refuge overlooks Candelas. - WESTWORD
The edge of the future Rocky Flats wildlife refuge overlooks Candelas.
Westword
Native vs. Newcomer: Denver is still growing, and so is resentment over rising rents and increased traffic. In 2017, maybe all of Denver’s newer residents (say, anyone who wasn’t here before 1858) will realize that we’re all transplants.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun