Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, May 23

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

No time for small talk — lots of worthwhile local reporting to catch up on this morning. We’ve got potential furnace fraud; the dropped case against a prominent real-estate broker; a long read on Denver’s tech scene; and more.

View of the clubhouse and swimming pool at the Green Mountain Townhouses in Lakewood, Colorado. Circa 1965. (Lloyd Rule/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-11829)  history colorado; historic; denver public library; dpl; archive; archival; denverite

View of the clubhouse and swimming pool at the Green Mountain Townhouses in Lakewood, Colorado. Circa 1965 (Lloyd Rule/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-11829)

Check your furnace:

A lawsuit alleges that Mile High Heating & Cooling has “intentionally avoided” getting permits for hundreds of jobs it did in Denver, in part to avoid scrutiny of its “allegedly shoddy and dangerous work,” David Migoya reports. (DP)

Beer in the gro-sto:

There are some significant disagreements over the plan to put full-strength beer in grocery stores and elsewhere in Colorado. And if the working group can’t figure its stuff out, full-strength beer could be sold in 7-Elevens, gas stations and more in 2019. Adrian reports. (Denverite)

Broker beats charges:

The Denver DA’s office has dropped charges against Patrick Finney, a real-estate broker who was accused of recording up-skirt videos of a colleague and others. The 18-month statute of limitations expired on the misdemeanor charges. (Denverite)


Here’s Westword’s guide to the boozy Denver Passport program, a $25 pass that gets you two-for-one deals at 68 different drinkeries. Apparently it sells out pretty quick. (Westword)

400 jobs to Denver:

Seattle-based Vertafore, an insurance tech company, is moving its headquarters to Curtis and 18th, Monica Mendoza reports. (DBJ)

More on mobile homes:

Erica recently published a story on the disappearance of mobile homes in the Denver metro. Sam Brasch has similarly been doing some heavy-duty reporting on the subject. It’s obviously a topic that deserves the attention. (Denverite, CPR)

Wired goes long on Denver tech:

The tech startup that works literally next door to Denverite (at Galvanize; hi, Ross) is the subject of this Wired story about Denver’s tech transformation. The company, Covered, is an insurance-tech startup that has scaled up from a single employee to a sizable little office in the last few months.

The article’s central premise challenges the assumption that non-coastal cities really can produce the next Snapchat. Perhaps, Vahuni Vara suggests, Denver might be more like a home for “useful, if unglamorous, tech companies.” (WIRED)

Sentencing reform:

The Denver City Council slightly shortened the punishment for some misdemeanor crimes, which could protect legal non-citizen residents from deportation. (Denverite)

Water for hemp:

A new Colorado law gives growers of hemp (the non-drug form of cannabis) the assured right to use water from federal reservoirs, as Jim Mimiaga reports. (The Journal)

Gardening guide:

It’s time to plant some damn tomatoes, y’all. This will be useful. (Aurora Sentinel)

New bagels:

Looks like there are some decent new “Montreal-style bagels” at Woodgrain Bagels in Boulder. I appreciate a bagel that doesn’t pretend to be a New York/New Jersey bagel. (Eater)

Goodbye, Denver Post comments:

… as we know them. Describing its comments section as a “cesspoll of trolls and spam,” the paper’s instituting a new system that has commenters rate comments for civility. Some commenters are not happy! (DP)

Watch for the bus:

Denver’s Meet in the Street parties are coming back to 16th Street Mall, but this time they’ll have to watch for the shuttle, which will not be rerouted. Megan, go! (Denverite)

Wheat Ridge:

Alan Prendergast goes long on Wheat Ridge’s long-running experiment in reducing the number of lanes on its roads. (Westword)