What a year it’s been. In 2016, Denverites have seen everything from a new employment program for homeless people to the shutdown of beloved spaces, and even hateful acts and speech against minority communities.
For some perspective on it all, we rounded up the 16 most-read stories we published this year. We’ll be watching these storylines again in 2017 — along with the ones that got less love.
16. DIY venue Seventh Circle Music Collective targeted by white nationalist 4chan users
Following Oakland’s Ghost Ship fire, a group of 4chan users made it their mission to report as many DIY venues as possible — including Denver’s Seventh Circle Music Collective — with the goal of shutting them down.
15. After Trump’s win, young immigrants have a fearful question: Will DACA survive?
President-elect Donald Trump promised, at various times during his campaign, a crackdown on undocumented immigrants. Among those who are most afraid: the young people who once saw a path to citizenship within reach.
If Trump revokes the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, it could force more than 28,000 people in Colorado and 800,000 nationally who have been granted temporary amnesty from deportation back into the shadows.
14. In proclamation, Denver City Council pledges support for those targeted in Trump’s America
In the weeks following the election of Donald Trump, teenage girls were afraid to wear the hijab, students had been jeered for speaking their native languages, and children on city buses were called “dirty immigrants” and “ISIS lookalikes.”
These events unfolding in Denver led the City Council to unanimously adopt a proclamation on “standing together with Denver moving forward.”
13. People born in Colorado make up less than half of the state’s population
It’s not their imagination: Colorado natives really are outnumbered.
The majority of people who call Colorado home can’t honestly slap those ubiquitous “native” stickers on their car bumpers — 57 percent of residents are transplants who were born in other states and countries.
12. Denver traffic is going to be the actual worst: Parade of Lights edition
Many were clearly struck with crippling fear regarding Parade of Lights traffic.
11. Denver has a huge trails and transit system, but a missing piece may keep it from being used
Denver and its neighbors have been building systems of bike lanes and greenways for some 40 years. At this point, you can travel between many of the region’s cities without touching a street for miles upon miles.
Those trails and lanes are scattered with a few maps, but you’ll rarely see signs that clearly describe where you’re going and where each turn leads.
10. Vandalism on Little India restaurant in Denver: “Hail Trump”
After Trump’s election, someone vandalized a sign on the Little India restaurant in Denver’s Speer neighborhood with the words, “Hail Trump.”
9. Man dead after falling 60 feet from railing at Mile High Stadium after Broncos game
Jason Coy, 36, fell about 60 feet from a stairwell railing at Sports Authority Field at Mile High after a Broncos game on Oct. 25, according to the Denver Police Department.
Coy left behind his wife and five young children.
8. Was Cold Crush really worse than other Denver bars? We looked at the numbers.
After the popular hip-hop bar Cold Crush was shut down following the murder of Tyrone “Goodie” Adair in October, the public uproar was instant and loud. It started on social media, where many chalked up the closure to racism.
We took a look at available crime data to try to find out what was really going on. Cold Crush didn’t have an unusual number of violent crimes compared to other bars, but it nonetheless seemed to attract more police attention.
7. Peak Colorado: Breweries next to CrossFit!
It doesn’t get more Denver than that.
6. Jordan Wieleba used her comedy to tell Denver about trans life. Now her community mourns.
When people talk about Jordan Wieleba, who died after an asthma attack put her in a coma in September, they talk about courage and humor.
The 36-year-old Denver comedian had been a fixture in the scene since 2006, but it wasn’t until 2011 that everyone met the real Jordan Wieleba. That was the year she decided, at age 32, to transition. Her friends can tell you that the journey hadn’t been easy, but that she had finally become herself.
5. Denver Fire shuts down DIY arts space Rhinoceropolis
In the wake of the Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland, at least five people had to move out of the DIY arts space Rhinoceropolis after the Denver Fire Department made an unannounced inspection.
Rhinoceropolis is a space that hosts music, parties and more for all ages. It’s known as a venue where experimental and otherwise offbeat art has flourished. In other words, Rhinoceropolis is the heart of the underground.
4. Denver Health changes mind, suspends Dr. Michelle Herren for Michelle Obama “monkey face” comment
After Michelle Herren posted racist comments about First Lady Michelle Obama on Facebook, she was suspended (and later resigned) from her job as a pediatric anesthesiologist for Denver Health. She was also removed from her unpaid faculty position at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
3. Someone vandalized a trans woman’s car in Cheesman Park
Amber Timmons, who had moved to the Cheesman Park neighborhood from Capitol Hill because she thought the area would be more welcoming to her as a trans woman, had her car spray-painted with death threats, slurs, a swastiska and “Trump” the week following Election Day.
She had previously written “love trumps hate” and “not my president” on the windows of her car, which was parked outside of her home.
2. Colorado’s 2016 ballot measures
There were nine statewide measures on this year’s Colorado ballot dealing with everything from slavery to the presidential primary and a number of local issues, as well.
1. Denver will try hiring hundreds of homeless people to work for the city
The city of Denver decided to try something new over the next year: Make paying jobs available for hundreds of people experiencing homelessness.
The Denver Day Works Program started Nov. 1 and is set to run through next October. It offers day-by-day jobs to people on the streets. The work will be spread across city government and might include tasks such as maintaining parks, planting trees or clearing snow.
One month into the program, four of its early participants accepted 40-hour-a-week full-time seasonal jobs with the city.