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Roundabout Construction at Jefferson County Government Center

by Public Information
comments open from October 4 until October 23

The contractor will be repairing curb and gutter and performing additional concrete/slab work on the roundabout at the Johnson Road entrance of the Jefferson County Government Center. A detour and flaggers will be in place to direct two-way traffic to the west side lane of Jefferson County Parkway. The detour is expected to last until Friday, October 12.

Parking at the court-side parking lot will be open. It is suggested to enter from the north side - Jefferson County Parkway via Johnson Road. Exiting traffic will be permitted to exit Jefferson County Parkway heading north.

Please drive safely through this area and be prepared for staged equipment, materials, and workers. Contact Mark Winnen or Dixie Shear at Jefferson County with questions, 303-271-8495.


Telephone Town Hall Reaches More than 7,000 Citizens

by the Board of County Commissioners
comments open from October 3 until October 22

As we begin the annual preparation of the county budget, we are looking for feedback from our residents and want to know which county services are most important to you.

In an effort to reach out to more citizens, than a traditional town hall meeting attracts, we hosted a telephone town hall on Sept. 25, from 7 -8 p.m. Citizens were able to provide valuable feedback, ask questions or just listen in over the phone.

Calls were placed to 50,000 randomly selected phone numbers of unincorporated residents. But the meeting was not limited to just those who were called. Anyone was able to call in. There were 7,038 attendees that stayed on the line for an average of 10 minutes each.

The commissioners not only heard great questions about county services, but also received comments from citizens on the ease of accessibility to the commissioners since they were able to attend a town hall without leaving home.

For more information, to view the polling questions or listen to an audio recording of the meeting, visit


AddONE will Generate New Jobs and Boost Economic Recovery in Jefferson County

by Lynn Johnson, Human Services Director
comments open from October 2 until October 21

Could your business, or even your employer, help turn the economy around? Yes! Local businesses can help boost Jefferson County’s economy by doing one simple thing - adding one new employee. Working in Human Services, I am often asked by businesses in our community what they can do to help our citizens. Now I simply tell them to just AddONE new position at their company.

AddONE is a grassroots effort started by business owners, community stakeholders and government agencies. This initiative is designed to generate jobs and boost the economy. At the launch of the AddONE campaign on September 12, Jefferson County Commissioner Donald Rosier encouraged local businesses to add one…or two, or three, or four, or five, or six.

“The possibilities around AddONE are endless. Imagine the number of jobs that will be created and the positive impact on our economy. Companies will thrive,” says President and CEO of Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation, Kevin McCasky.

The best way to help boost the economy is to get people back to work. When people are working they spend more money and businesses thrive. When businesses do better, more jobs are created and the economy starts to improve. With over 20,000 businesses in Jefferson County, if only 5 percent of businesses hired one person, 1,000 additional people are employed.

Think about the impact that 1,000 additional people in the work force would have on Jefferson County! Think about the domino effect of AddONE … people working again, people spending money in our Jeffco Communities. This supports our businesses, which enables our businesses to thrive, which energizes the economy, and at the end of the day enhances the quality of life for everyone in Jefferson County and beyond. It can all happen one job at a time.

For more information, please visit or call the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation at 303-202-2965.


Winterize Your Home

by Becky Baker, Building Safety Division Director
comments open from September 27 until October 16

Fall is a prelude to falling winter temperatures; what a great time to start thinking about preparing your home for dipping temperatures. Here are a few tips to help you winterize.

Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly. Yes, it is easy to forget but it is important to replace or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat. If a hot-water radiator heats your home, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.

Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds. If the chimney hasn't been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote. Store firewood in a dry place away from the exterior of your home. Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.

Exterior, Doors and Windows
Inspect exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes; seal them. Use weather-stripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows. Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood. If your home has a basement, consider protecting window wells by covering them with plastic shields that can be easily removed in case of an emergency. Switch out summer screens with glass replacements from storage.

Roof, Gutters & Downspouts
With weather temperatures falling below 32 degrees in the winter, adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams. Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home. Replace worn roof shingles or tiles. Clean out the gutters and use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris. Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters and extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.

Prevent Plumbing Freezes
Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency. Drain all garden hoses. Insulate exposed plumbing pipes. Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off. If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees. Don’t forget the lawn sprinkler system – drain any portion that may freeze due to cold weather.

Remember, taking time to prepare your home to withstand winter conditions can help prevent time consuming and costly repairs.


FasTracks, West Line September Update

by Public Information
comments open from Sept. 19 until Oct. 8

Fall on the West Rail Line concludes civil construction, and gets us one step closer to opening day. Other than a few crews working on punch list items, Denver Transit Construction Group has completed their work. Balfour Beatty Rail, Inc. will continue electrifying lines and installing devices through 2012 and Swinerton Builders will be working on the parking garages through spring of 2013.

Bike event a huge success
More than 300 community members flocked to Oak Station bright and early on Saturday morning as Tour de FasTracks - West Rail Ride took over the streets and bike paths of the corridor. Tour de FasTracks - West Rail Ride was a monumental success thanks to the many local sponsors who provided gifts, monetary donations and in-kind support of the event. Also making the event a success was our community organizations and city representatives. The first Tour de FasTracks occasion will surely guide the way to upcoming Tour de FasTracks' on future lines.

From Construction to Operations
As construction winds down on the West Rail Line, activities abound as we move toward opening day on April 26, 2013. The second light rail clearance test took place on Friday, September 14. This test focused on making sure that the train would clear items on the platforms and along the corridor that were still under construction during the original clearance test last March. Other RTD operations testing will resume in early November.

In early October, the Safety Road Shows roll out. RTD representatives will visit the four Lakewood elementary schools within four blocks of the alignment, including Eiber Elementary, Jeffco Open School, Mulholm Elementary and St. Bernadette’s School. The Road Show will feature four stations geared to teaching kids to walk and bike to school safely. Among the four are a helmet fitting station, a hand signal station, a coloring station and a mock crossing demonstrating activated crossing arms.

Art–n-transit is near and dear to many of you and RTD will include artwork at key locations along the West Rail Line. With opening day only seven months away, art selection has begun. The first four calls for artists went out earlier this month with semi-finalists scheduled to be selected by September 24, 2012 and finalists named by early November. A second group of calls for artists will go out later this month.

Final West Rail Line Community Tour
Three years later, seventeen tours completed, over 1,000 seats filled, we celebrate our final West Rail Line community tour this Friday, September 21. Wednesday and Thursday are your last chance to sign up and take part in our grand finale tour of the West Rail Line.

Construction Update: Area 1 (Jeffco Government Center to Federal Center)

Current and Ongoing Activities
• Final placement of furnishings and landscape work at the Jefferson County Government Center•Golden Station will continue through September.
• Work on the entrance to the Jefferson County Government Center will resume later this month, requiring traffic controlled operations in the round-about.
• Work on top of the Colfax Bridge will continue this month and next.
• Work on Union Boulevard between 6th Avenue and 4th Avenue is nearing completion. Minor landscape activities are scheduled for late September.
• Final irrigation and landscape work continues in Area 1.

Information contained in this post adapted from the FasTracks newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter or get the latest information, see the FasTracks West Corridor website.


Emergency Preparedness Can Save Your Life

by Jennifer Fairweather, Human Resources Director
comments open from September 4 until September 24

The City of Houston recently released this video on what to do during an active shooter event. This short video is worth watching and provides valuable, life-saving tips.


Teen Trend of Smoking Hookah Tobacco is Not Healthy

by Nancy Braden, Jefferson County Public Health
comments open from August 30 until September 18

Hookah smoking lounges are opening in some Jefferson County communities that have not yet strengthened their smoke free laws, with the latest one opening just across the street from Wheat Ridge Middle School. Although state law prohibits the use of any form of tobacco, including hookah tobacco, for anyone under the age of 18, kids as young as 16-years old are encouraged to come in to some of these establishments, and are often enticed by the candy or fruit flavored tobacco and club-like atmosphere of these smoking lounges.

So, what exactly is “hookah”? A hookah is a water pipe used to smoke flavored tobacco. Many think that “smoking hookah” has no negative health effects. The truth might surprise some, especially parents who have allowed their children to participate in this fad.

Fact: Hookah smoking is NOT safer than cigarette smoking. According to an article by Dr. Lowell Dale, M.D. published by the Mayo Clinic, hookah smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds, including tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and carcinogens. In fact, hookah smokers are exposed to more carbon monoxide and smoke than cigarette smokers.

Fact: Although many teens and parents think what is inhaled is only steam, it is not. It is tobacco smoke. There is a common myth that smoking tobacco through a hookah filters the harmful toxins associated with smoking tobacco. It does not. Hookah tobacco contains the same cancer-causing chemicals found in other tobacco products.

Fact: Because smoking a hookah is a prolonged, social activity, a hookah smoker might inhale the smoke-equivalent of 100 cigarettes during a single, average, 45 minute session.

Fact: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that hookah smokers are at risk for the same kinds of diseases that are caused by cigarette smoking, including oral cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, cancer of the esophagus, reduced lung function, and decreased fertility.

Fact: Secondhand hookah smoke may be more dangerous than cigarette smoke. It contains smoke not only from the tobacco but also from the heat source (e.g., charcoal) used in the hookah.

Fact: Sharing a hookah mouthpiece might contribute to the spread of colds, flu, and other infectious diseases.

Fact: According to The American Lung Association, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States.

Fact: According to the US Surgeon General, and based on years of scientifically sound, published research, there is no safe level of tobacco use or tobacco smoke exposure.

Though many hookah smokers already smoke cigarettes, hookah smoking for some can lead to nicotine addiction and, in turn, use of other nicotine products. Jefferson County Public Health urges parents to get the facts and be involved with the choices their teens are making when it comes to tobacco and hookah smoking.

For more information on how to help your teen make informed decisions, contact Jefferson County Public Health at 303-275-7555 or visit, The American Lung Association.

>> The Mayo Clinic's article on Hookah and smoking

>> The World Health Organizations document on Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking

>> The CDC's fact sheet on Hookahs

>> The American Lung Association's paper, "An Emerging Deadly Trend: Waterpipe Tobacco Use


Energy Assessment Workshop Offered at Jeffco's CSU Extension

by Public Information
comments open from August 29 until September 17

Is solar right for you? How does solar leasing work? Is wind energy an option where you live and how much will it cost? How can you reduce your home energy use and bills without breaking the bank?

Jefferson County's Colorado State University Extension is offering a workshop to explore possibilities and to help people decide what's right for them. Throughout the day, you'll explore:

>> How to conduct a basic home energy assessment to identify energy saving opportunities.
>> Tools to decide whether adding solar or wind energy to your specific home makes financial sense.
>> Fun gadgets that can help you save energy and that can be borrowed from your local Extension office.
>> How to determine a payback period for renewable energy at their home and how to conduct a basic home energy assessment.

Join CSU Extension at the Jefferson County Extension Office in Golden from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 8. The workshop costs $10, payable by check or cash at the door and includes lunch.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Visit CSU Extension’s energy website to register and learn more!


Seeking Community Input on Fair Housing in Jefferson County

by Public Information
comments open from August 28 until September 16

It’s essential to provide fair housing choices to everyone and Jefferson County is taking a close look at the current housing situation in our community. Often, the housing process creates many barriers and they can be more challenging for low income people, people with disabilities, the elderly and minorities.

Whether you are a home owner or renter, please take a moment to complete the survey and feel free to distribute or pass along as you see fit. Survey outcomes will help the county in applying for and managing Federal funding.

The public input period will end on September 30 and results will be made public and available at by the end of the year. For more information, you can contact
>> Christy Pushchak with BBC Consulting at or 303-321-2547, or
>> Emily Sander with Jefferson County Community Development at or 303-271-8371.

Link to Resident Survey in English:

Link to Resident Survey in Spanish:


Native Plant Master Program Classes

by Public Information
comments open from August 24 until September 12

It’s not too late to pursue your interest in plants before the snow flies! Take a class with Jefferson County's CSU Extenstion on restoring native ecosystems, taught by an expert from CSU; or learn more about the flora of the Plains ecosystem. See below for more details. Register early as these classes are filling quickly.

For more information on all of the available course, see our eventbrite site or our Native Plant Master Program webpage. You can also search for information about plants of interest to you with our Colorado Plant Database. You can always contact us at 15200 W. 6th Avenue, Unit C, Golden, Colorado 80401, 303-271-6620.


A Lot Going On at Jefferson County Parks

by Tom Hoby, CPRP, Open Space/Jeffco Parks Director
comments open from August 21 until September 10

The summer has been a busy time for Jefferson County Parks, with nature and history programs, spectacular special events, restoration and trail projects, plus youth development camps and clubs. Keep track of all the events and goings on with the new Parks Panorama e-newsletter delivered each month to your inbox.

Featuring news items, important updates from all of our facilities, as well as recurring sections on health, volunteering, partnerships, nature, history and more can be delivered to you by subscribing from the Parks webpage. In the upcoming edition of Panorama, you’ll find stories on a Presidential campaign stop at the Fairgrounds as well as highlights from the 2012 Jefferson County Fair held August 9-12:

2012 Campaign Event at the Jeffco Fairgrounds
Presidential campaigns have made several stops at the Fairgrounds over the years and most recently, the Fairgrounds hosted a campaign event for the presumptive Republican candidate for the United States President, Mitt Romney. Thousands of supporters flooded to the Fairgrounds on August 2nd to hear the candidate energize the crowd.

Jeffco Fair & 4-H Match Up
Rodeo, carnival, livestock, horse shows and projects…the Jefferson County Fair had them all and more. For 149 Jefferson County 4-H members, the Fair was the culmination of a year of planning, hard work and effort toward this opportunity to display their livestock, projects and other products.

The Fair had plenty of opportunity for 4-H members and others to enter an exhibit either in the Open Classes or in the 4-H projects. Projects in the 4-H competition and contests crossed into wide-ranging educational areas from shooting sports to sewing to rocketry and robotics. In all, these youngsters submitted 919 Fair entries!

Livestock in all shapes and sizes were exhibited and entered into competition. The State Fair is the next stop for some of the 4-H’ers whose entries met specific qualifications as well as being at the top of their class. Ribbons galore decked the entries as 4-H participants smiled over their successes.

With a new twist on the 4-H Junior Livestock Sale, it was followed by a 4-H Youth Market where members marketed their livestock, sewing, photography, baking and other skills. Many a happy customer walked away with a quality purchase from a young rancher or craftsman.
The Fair had something for everyone who attended. Food vendors, chili cook-off and 4-H barbecues ensured that Fair-goers were well fed and supported worthwhile causes in the process. There was a rodeo and dance, a special horse show and carnival rides for the young or young at heart. If you missed it this year, you will want to put it on your calendar in 2013!


Rocky Mountain Air Show - a Must-See Event!

by Kenneth Maenpa, Airport Director
comments open from August 20 until September 9

The Rocky Mountain Air Show is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, August 24th to the 26th. This annual event takes place at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, in Jefferson County.

This year’s event will include exciting demo performances by the F-22 Raptor, which will also be flying a heritage flight with the P-51 Mustang. Kirby Chambliss, a five-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion and two-time Red Bull Air Race World Champion, will also be performing. Additional acts include Dan Buchanan on this hang glider, Kent Piesch in an Interstate Cadet, Trojan Phlyers in a T-28, the US Air Force Academy “Wings of Blue” parachute Demo team and the glider demo team, and many more.

Come out and enjoy the extensive range of static displays, including the National Science Foundation’s C-130 research aircraft, two Marine CH46-E Sea Knight helicopters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the Flagship Detroit DC-3 just to name a few. There will be a wide variety of vendors and a lot mouth-watering food to enjoy. The Adventure Zone™ Activity Center is a hit for kids of all ages!

More details at


FasTracks, West Line Update

by Public Information
comments open from July 24 until August 12

With the groundbreaking of the Sheridan Station Parking Garage, all elements of the West Rail Line are now under some type of construction.

Safety Reminder
With school out and more people walking in the neighborhoods, it’s important to remember to stay away from construction and the light rail system in general. Observe and follow all warning signs to prevent accidents and warn your children to do the same. Stay off the light rail tracks, unless you are crossing at an intersection. Remote switch testing and on-going switch operations can cause serious injuries for pedestrians on the trackway, even without a train coming.
Construction is almost complete, but safety hazards will remain as the light rail system is powered and testing of all systems is conducted later this year. Following that phase, light rail trains will begin running on the tracks, and gates at the crossings will begin to move - presenting a new set of hazards. Remember the basics – STOP, LOOK and LISTEN. They will serve you well in the future as West Rail Operations is introduced into the community.

Tour de FasTracks – West Rail Ride
As construction of the West Rail Line draws to a close, the project team is planning the first of many celebration events. Tour de FasTracks-West Rail Ride, will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2012. The family friendly bicycle event will kick-off at Oak Station and end at the Decatur•Federal Station. There will also be an option for more advanced cyclists to begin at the Jefferson County Government Center•Golden Station. Participants will enjoy a fun-filled activity center and BBQ at the end of the ride.
Join us and experience the newest bike paths while getting to know the terrain of the future West Rail Line. RTD will be handing out operation and safety information and our stakeholders will be manning stations with information relative to their jurisdictions.

Parking Structures
Work on the Lakewood•Wadsworth parking structure is quickly approaching the one-third completion mark, and the project is moving along nicely as utility efforts continue and concrete and steel are placed on levels above the ground floor. In addition to the main structure, crews are now addressing the electrical, security and storage rooms and the components for the stairs and elevators. Swinerton Builders is happy to boast an accident-free record for the project and 167 employees have completed safety orientation. We look forward to a continuation of the already successful efforts on this structure.

On the bright and sunny morning of Friday, June 29, Mayors Michael B. Hancock and Bob Murphy of Denver and Lakewood respectively, RTD Board members Matt Cohen and Angie Malpiede along with Swinerton representatives, other elected officials and area partners welcomed residents and stakeholders to commemorate the beginning of construction activities for the Sheridan Station Parking Structure. Phil Washington, General Manager of RTD, was on hand to remind the crowd of the significant economic investment the Sheridan Parking Structure and West Rail Line represent. $295 million have been contributed to the local economy and more than 600 jobs have been produced throughout construction of the West Rail Line. Praise was also given to VP of Swinerton Builders Colorado, Scott Conrad, who committed to exceeding the 51 percent Small Business Enterprise participation goal for the project. Debra Bustos, Director of Real Estate for the Urban Land Conservancy, highlighted the larger effect such a significant investment can make to the shape and character of the community. Calling it a “catalyst investment,” she proposed this site has the opportunity to leverage development of additional amenities in the area and provide access to jobs for untold numbers of families and residents.
The building permit for the Sheridan Garage was recently issued by the City and County of Denver and construction efforts can now begin. Earthwork, drilling and forming caissons as well as utility improvement efforts will begin in earnest the first week of August, and you will soon see visible progress on this site.

Construction Update – Area 1 (Jeffco Government Center to Federal Center)
Current and Ongoing Activities
Current and Ongoing Activities
• Final activities at the Jefferson County Government Center include demolishing the temporary construction access and completing roadwork near the entrance to the facility.
• Road construction at Ulysses Street is complete and Ulysses Street north of 6th Avenue is open. Installation of the guardrail along 6th Avenue in this area will begin soon.
• Work continues on Union Boulevard between 6th Avenue and 4th Avenue and the on and off ramps of 6th Avenue at Union Boulevard. Lane closures on the ramps and Union Boulevard may be in place during daytime hours.
• Final irrigation and landscape work continues in Area 1.

Information contained in this post adapted from the FasTracks newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter or get the latest information, see the FasTracks West Corridor website.


Total Compensation

by Jennifer Fairweather, Human Resources Director
comments open from July 23 until August 11

When most of us hear the term “Compensation”, we typically think of the money we receive in our paycheck each payday. However, “Total Compensation” goes beyond salary, it is the complete pay package we receive as employees at our work place. This includes money, health care benefits, retirement options, training, flexible schedules, paid time off, work environment and so much more. Total Compensation can be defined as all of the resources available to employees, which are used by employers to attract, motivate and retain employees.

Your annual salary is only one piece of the total compensation package. Think about how much your work place contributes to your medical, dental, basic life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), long-term disability, retirement plan, Medicare and Social Security tax to name a few components. These are all important measures of your Total Compensation that can help provide the value of your position/job. Most employers perform an annual analysis of your Total Compensation; this can include comparisons to other “like” businesses or entities depending on the compensation strategy. There can also be different methodologies used to compare positions/jobs within the market.

The example above lays out some of the things that may be considered as “Rewards of Work." Contact your employer today to find out more about your Total Compensation in order to fully understand the value in what your employer provides, which is more than just a paycheck.


Help Jeffco's Beauty Shine -- Adopt-a-Highway!

Larry Benshoof, Road & Bridge Director
comments open from July 12 until July 31

Across the State, thousands of volunteers clean adopted stretches of highway. They have taken responsibility for their environment and become part of one of the most effective community volunteer efforts nationwide!

Who can adopt a highway?
Churches, scout groups, employee and retired employee associations, non-profit organizations, service clubs ... any group that takes pride in Jeffco.

Adopting groups are proud of their contribution to their community and confident their efforts are increasing public awareness about litter control.

How does the program work?
This program consists of a volunteer group picking litter off the right-of-way of a section of road they have adopted.
>> That section of road is approximately two miles in length.
>> There are two pickups required each year with a two-year commitment.
>> Orange safety vests, trash bags and trash bag pickup are provided by Jefferson County.
>> Warning signs alert motorists when a litter pick-up is in progress.
>> Permanent signs are placed on the right-of-way indicating the name of the adopting group.

If you are interested in adopting a stretch of highway in Jefferson County, please visit the Road and Bridge website to view the list of available segments.

Contact Heather Rhode at (303) 271-5220 for more information on this fun and rewarding program!

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