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Wake-Up Call for the week ahead: From MLK Day to more tough sledding

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Although all eyes are on the action in D.C. this week, there's plenty going on in Denver. It starts with the MLK Marade today, when this city hosts the country's largest annual gathering (a combo march/parade) in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., which gets under way at 10:45 a.m. at City Park and winds up at the Civic Center.

The future of the Civic Center will be the focus of the discussion when the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission meets on January 20. And Denver City Council will have its own historic discussion at a public hearing 6 p.m. Tuesday, when citizens can debate whether two Hornbein & White buildings in the 9th and Colorado Hospital District should be declared landmarks. Forward into the past! Find more on both meetings on the Denver website.

Other discussions this week will focus on future shock. Aurora City Council is holding a series of community meetings starting Wednesday to prioritize city services in tough economic times; for a complete schedule, call 303-739-7000. The state will release its first attempt at next year's budget to legislators on Friday; the current year's budget (it ends June 30) is now on the chopping block, and it's not pretty.

The discussion could get ugly on Thursday, January 22, when RTD will hold a community meeting to discuss two possible locations for a FasTracks rail facility in north Denver; businesses in the RiNo area have protested plunking it down in that neighborhood. Also on Thursday, council rep Marcia Johnson will hold a District 5 Education Symposium from 6-8 p.m. at Hill Middle School, 451 Clermont; Mayor John Hickenlooper and Tom Boasberg will be there -- right after the Board of Education is slated to take a final vote on whether to name Boasberg as the new superintendent of Denver Public Schools.

But man does not live on dread alone. Take a break from worrying about the lousy economy from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, January 23, when the National Western Stock Show's 2009 Grand Champion Steer will walk down a red carpet for its annual visit to the Brown Palace. And today's sixtyish temperatures notwithstanding, the Ruby Hill Rail Yard Park will finally open on Saturday, January 24, at the corner of West Florida and South Lipan.

It's all downhill from here!

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.