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Let's Get Gardening with Tagawa Gardens: Planting for Pollinators

Let's get gardening! We have partnered with our friends at Tagawa Gardens for a series of gardening videos showing tips and tricks to get your garden growing!

In this week's video, Luan discusses planting for pollinators! Learn about what types of perennials do well in Colorado's climate and support pollinators, including bees, butterflys and even hummingbirds. Luan also shares tips for planting and caring for your new perennials.

Posted by  On Aug 07, 2020 at 9:06 AM
This afternoon Chief Wilson terminated the employment of Officer Javen Harper.

On October 17th, 2019, a supervisor smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage on Officer Harper’s breath. Following department protocols at the time, a preliminary breathalyzer was administered which found that his breath alcohol content was .059. The breath test was followed up by a blood draw which showed that his blood alcohol content at the time of the draw was .035.

After the completion of the Internal Affairs Bureau investigation the case was reviewed by a discipline review board and the Independent Review Board (IRB). Officer Harper was sustained for violating three department directives. After reviewing all the facts and circumstances regarding this case Chief Wilson made the decision to terminate his employment.

Officer Harper joined the Aurora Police Department in 2002 and was assigned to the Traffic Section. During the time of this incident he was on restricted duty and not armed.

“Since my appointment as Interim Chief, and now as the newly appointed Chief of Police, I have pledged to hold my officers accountable for their actions,” said Chief Wilson. “Being transparent regarding issues of officer misconduct is paramount for rebuilding trust and legitimacy with our community.”

IA Investigation Summary Report

Lieutenant Chris Amsler
Commanding Officer
Media Relations Unit
Posted by  On Aug 04, 2020 at 9:54 PM
Read It!

Family Book Club
with Tess 

Reading Schedule for "One Crazy Summer" by Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy Summer
August 3-9: Chapters 1-8 (Cassius Clay Clouds - Glass of Water) 
Discussion Questions posted to blog on Monday, Aug. 10

August 10-16: Chapters 9-17 (Inseparable - Big Red 5)
Discussion Questions posted to blog on Monday, Aug. 17

August 17-23: Chapters 18-25 (China Who - San Francisco Treat)
Discussion Questions posted to blog on Monday, Aug. 24

August 24-30: Chapters 26-34 (Wish We Had a Camera - Afua)
Zoom meeting on Monday, Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. Register here:
Posted by  On Aug 03, 2020 at 1:53 PM 1 Comment
Making Magic

The Summer of Imagination is wrapping up, but there is still plenty of fun and sunshine to soak up outside! Join Miss Tess in creating four different garden crafts - a butterfly feeder, a bird feeder, painted rocks and a nature collage suncatcher!

These crafts are inspired by crafts from "Let's Get Gardening: 30 Easy Gardening Projects for Children" by DK, Busy Toddler and Hands On As We Grow.
For more ideas, check out "Let's Get Gardening" here, Busy Toddler's website and Hands on as We Grow's website.

Posted by  On Aug 03, 2020 at 1:50 PM

(August 1st, 2020) At about 1:06 P.M. this afternoon, Aurora Police Officers were called to the 1700 Block of North Beeler Street on reports of a shooting.

When officers arrived on scene, which was actually located on Boston Street, they found an adult male in a vehicle suffering from at least one fatal gunshot wound.  Medical was summoned to the scene but unfortunately, the male was pronounced deceased. 

The victim’s identity will be released by the Adams County Coroner’s Office once he has been positively identified and his next of kin have been notified.

Investigators from the Major Crimes/Homicide Unit responded to the scene and are actively investigating. It is very early in the investigation and it is unknown what led up to the shooting.  There is no suspect information at this time.  

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call our Homicide Unit at 303.739.6077 or they can remain anonymous by contacting 
Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720.913.STOP (7867) and be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Agent Faith Goodrich
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department

Posted by  On Aug 01, 2020 at 3:46 PM

Game on!
Game reviews by Brandon, Elizabeth, Kristin, and Stacy 

Hello everyone! We hope you’ll enjoy these recommendations. These are games we all found soothing for stressful and difficult times. These games cost money and/or require consoles, so they’re for more serious gamers than our last free game review. We hope you enjoy them! 

Today's theme
Relaxing games to help you de-stress.

Game One


A $19.99 game on the Playstation Store 


Get ready for this one, because this is my favorite piece of media of all time. That includes books, movies, shows, and other games. Some games are made to put us against each other. You must beat your opponent! Long have we been tasked in video games to look out for only ourselves, and to beat our games as fast as possible. What if a company decided to oppose these ideals? How about a game that is created for the sake of helping one another, and to journey together as a team, and not to fight against each other as enemies? Let the game be the journey itself, let the game be the reward, not just the finality of it, and enrich the whole experience. ThatGameCompany reached for the stars with this goal and have succeeded reached true ascension, as players who play the fantastic PSN title “Journey” will discover.

In Journey you awake a stranger, cloaked in red. The Controls are simple, yet somehow refined and feel natural, almost as if they were an extension of your body. You guide the camera with the gyroscope in your controller and you move forward with the left analog stick. The circle button acts a little chirp or call that changes tone depending on how hard and fast you press the button. The use for this is not made immediately known, but it is revealed very soon. You walk up a slight cliff, to see a massive mountain. This mountain is both tremendous in size, and intimidating. “What awaits me up there, and will I like what I discover?” It is shortly after you discover your scarf. Glyphs are scattered around the game and if you find them you will increase the length of your scarf, allowing you to fly for short durations of time with the X button.

These gameplay mechanics, while great on their own, take a backseat to the gorgeous environment of the game. This game’s setting is a character in itself. Waterfalls of golden sand cascade behind you as the game suddenly transitions into 2D seamlessly showing you the warm backdrop of the sun from afar. Did I just name an old dream of yours? That will happen to you, as Journey is a game that you do not stop thinking about when you put the controller down. This is thanks to the multiplayer and the effect it will have on you,

The Multiplayer of Journey is Unique in two amazing and innovative ways. The first being that, the guy on the screen with you, he’s your friend, and by the end of the game, you will do anything possible to make sure they finish their journey with you. I honestly do believe that if more individuals play this game, they will find peace with themselves and perhaps find a deeper appreciation for the loved ones in their lives. Feelings are warm and close, and never rude or obtuse thanks to the second innovative factor of Journey.

You cannot converse with your fellow player in any language you may have learned throughout your life. Yes, the game strips usernames away (until after the credits) and gives you only the option of chirping to communicate with the other player. After playing this game at least over 25 times, it seems that the Journey members are starting to form their own language as I find myself having a easier time understanding my new friends every time I play.

ThatGameCompany have created their masterpiece. They have not created a game, but an experience. Ever since finishing Journey I have found a new appreciation for the ones I hold dear to me in my life, and I think every day about how I want to live my Journey and who I want to accompany me on my Journey. Give this game a shot, as I guarantee you will watch the ending of this game unfold and find yourself feeling something very different from your usual video game; at peace.    -Brandon
Game 2
A $10 game (give or take) available for purchase on the Playstation Store, Xbox via the Microsoft store, Windows and Mac via Steam.

Fez follows the story of player-character Gomez after he is mysteriously gifted a red fez and watches as  his cozy 2D way of life is ripped apart by a tear in the fabric of space and time, revealing to him a previously unknown 3rd dimension. Now you with your mystical red fez must explore this new 3D world with the goal of restoring the universe by collecting shards of cube fragments. Released in 2012 by indie game companies Trapdoor and Polytron Corporation, this is a game that has remained very dear to me for it’s bright and memorable aesthetics, it’s unique gameplay mechanics, and it’s overall unforgettable experience!

A “stop and smell the roses” type of game that is less focused on plot and instead promotes  relaxed exploration and puzzle solving. Fez encourages it’s players to explore each world to its fullest by offering a unique rotation mechanic that moves the player’s camera around the seemingly 2D plane, often revealing new pathways and exposing access to previously inaccessible platforms and items. To further promote relaxed exploration, Fez has no enemies, no bosses, or even hard consequences – when the player dies, typically by falling, they are respawned and able to continue the level freely. 

I was originally drawn to this game by it’s pixelated game design and chill electronica music, but stayed for it’s compelling world and calming atmosphere! The protagonist is a small marshmallow man with a bright red fez – his minimal design allows for maximum engagement with the worlds which are ultimately the real draw towards a game like Fez. Each world vibes similarly with one another – they are easy on the eyes with soft colors and reflect the same upwards gameplay movement. However, each world is unique both in looks and experience, while following the same foundational structure: ultimately each it’s own large puzzle comprised of four different 2D planes that connect and respond with one another as you travel up through the world! 

I highly recommended this game upon it’s release nearly a decade ago and I continue to highly recommend it to this day! It’s such a favorable experience and well executed game, definitely worth the time and commitment. - Stacy  

Game 3
A $20 game available on Switch, PS4, XBox and PC.

Fe is an exploration-based open world adventure starring a spiky little forest creature who can sing to other forest animals to learn their powers. The world has a dark and blocky aesthetic that works for it, casting things in stark shadow and light and highlighting spaces with splashes of vivid colors. It’s relaxing and not particularly linear, challenging you with some moderate puzzle-solving and lots of climbing and exploring. The sounds are immersive—the music comes and goes for emphasis, similar to Breath of the Wild, but the game is typically filled with deep chimes or strings, animal calls, rushing water, and rustling trees. It’s very soothing to play. 

As you progress, you quickly gain new powers that give you an incredible freedom to explore right off the bat. Unlike many platformers, you get a glide ability fairly early and much of the game design is based on using it. There’s no combat in Fe, but there are stealth sections which can be a bit tense. There aren’t heavy penalties for failure, though, and dying merely sets you back to an earlier physical location as a checkpoint. If you ever get stuck, you can call a bird to show you where to go next. 

Overall, Fe is a very relaxing and rewarding game to play. The frustrations are minimal, every secret can be discovered without a guide, and it’s hard to ever get completely stuck. It’s a shame that the coolest power is only unlocked after there are no more objectives, but it’s definitely a reward worth earning. Fe also has one section in particular that makes the game worth buying all by itself. I won’t spoil it, but between the visuals, the challenge, and the swelling music, it was full of the same awe-inspiring wonder I experienced playing Shadow of the Colossus for the first time. I definitely recommend it.    -Kristin
Game 4
Available on PS4, Switch, and Steam for PC and Mac [here]


Sometimes, you just want to do absolutely nothing. A game with goals? Exhausting. TV and a plot? No thanks. Sometimes, you just want to float around in a polygon world while listening to calm music and the drone of a philosophy lecture. Don’t worry! When you really, really need to relax, the game Everything can help. 

In the game Everything, you can be, well, everything: a pig, a planet, a twig, a tree, and everything in between. You can talk to everything, too. Try listening to a narcissistic dragonfly or a con artist blade of grass (“come on! I’ll give you 1%! Okay, 2%!”). One pinecone in my game lamented that it couldn’t whistle, while a horse informed me it was mad at the sun and would stay mad until the weather changed.
Mostly, though, you just roll around: getting smaller or bigger, switching between species and things as the mood strikes. Sometimes you sing, and nearby creatures sing with you; sometimes, you join a crowd, or leave a crowd, or dance. I left some raspberries whirling in circles around my screen for a bit, adding a new one every so often until the whole screen was covered in fruit. You can even leave the game on autoplay and come back to wonder why you’re suddenly two rattlesnakes exploring the desert.

There’s an encyclopedia to fill out, but that’s not really the point. I’m not sure what the point is: that philosophy lecture, probably, but I’m tuning that out. I’m too busy dancing. - Elizabeth
Tell us what you think!

What are your comfort food games? Did you buddy up and explore the vast world of Journey or enjoy a few hours being everything and anything in Everything? Let us know in the comments!
Posted by  On Jul 31, 2020 at 1:55 PM
Fantastical Reimaginings

Fantastical Reimaginings: Rapunzel
by Nicole S.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your golden hair! Do you remember the story of Rapunzel? A beautiful girl trapped in a tower with nothing to do but tame her long, long, LONG golden locks? Some of you may have watched the Disney story of Rapunzel in the movie “Tangled”. Did you know the original tale of Rapunzel was much darker than its Disney counterpart? And there were no frying pans in the original? “Frying pans – who knew right?!?”  
Like many of the darker fairy tales, the tale of Rapunzel was published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. They adapted the story of Rapunzel from Friedrich Schulz, which he had published in 1790. However, all these versions were inspired and adapted from the 1698 fairy tale “Persinette” by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force. 


The Original
The original story of Rapunzel starts with a lonely couple who are desperate for a child of their very own. The couple finally gets their wish and while pregnant, the wife experiences weird cravings and longs for the Rapunzel (type of greens) that grows in their neighbor’s walled garden. She refuses to eat anything else and starts to wither away. The husband finally steals away to the garden and steals the Rapunzel to make a salad for his wife. She eats it but isn’t fully satisfied and asks her husband for more. When the husband attempts to sneak into his neighbor’s garden a second time, his neighbor, who happens to be a sorceress, catches him and accuses him of thievery! The husband begs and pleads with the sorceress who in returns lets him take more of the Rapunzel on one condition: when the baby is born the sorceress gets to claim her. The husband agrees. The wife gives birth to a baby girl who is given to the sorceress and named after the greens, Rapunzel. As Rapunzel and her golden hair grows, she is locked up in a tower with no stairs, no doors and only one window. One day a prince hears her singing and learns how to visit her by using the same chant the sorceress does to have Rapunzel let down her hair to climb. The prince visits Rapunzel many times and they fall in love and he asks her to marry him. As they hatch a plan to escape Rapunzel discovers she is pregnant. The sorceress is furious when she finds out and proceeds to cut Rapunzel’s long hair and banish her into the wilderness. The prince comes back and climbs Rapunzel’s hair only to discover the sorceress has tricked him. After she tells him Rapunzel will never be seen again he leaps/falls from the tower landing in a thorn bush that scratches his eyes and blind him. For many years he wanders the country yearning for his lost love until he eventually finds Rapunzel with twins, a boy and girl. Upon seeing her prince, she cries tears of joy on his face, restoring his vision. He takes Rapunzel and their kids to his kingdom to live happily ever after. 
Rapunzel Retellings
So, how much has this classic fairy tale changed over the years? Are the retellings similar or impossibly different? Find out more about similar tales below!

Disney’s “Tangled”
Available on Hoopla

A more recent retelling of this fairy tale is from Disney in the movie “Tangled”. In this story a queen is pregnant and is starting to die due to sickness. There is a legend of a golden flower somewhere on their kingdom’s island that has said to have healing powers. However, many years before a sorceress discovered the flower first and uses its powers to stay young and beautiful. Eventually the golden flower is discovered by the king’s guards and brought to the queen. She is healed and gives birth to a golden haired baby girl they name Rapunzel. One night the sorceress breaks into the kingdom and steals the baby girl. She hides Rapunzel away in a tower in the middle of the woods and uses the power of the golden flower through Rapunzel’s hair to stay young and beautiful by singing a chant while brushing her hair. As Rapunzel grows up she longs to see the world outside her tower but her mother strictly forbids it. By now, Rapunzel’s hair has grown and grown and her mother uses it to come and go from the tower. One day a thief, Flynn Rider, happens upon the tower while escaping the royal guards for stealing a crown. Rapunzel and Flynn strike a bargain – Flynn will show Rapunzel the world and Rapunzel will give back the crown he stole. Rapunzel explores the kingdom and learns about the traditions of the lanterns the kingdom does in honor of their lost princess. In this version, Rapunzel is a lost princess and her love interest is a thief, not a prince. 


“Cress” by Marissa Meyer
Available on Hoopla as a digital audiobook

This is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series. Cress has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with net screens as her only company. Thanks to this she has become an amazing hacker and is forced to work for Queen Levana. Her orders though are to track down Cinder and her accomplices. Cress has an opportunity at her freedom but it comes at a high cost. This story is a continuation of Cinder a cyborg mechanic we learn about the first book of the Lunar Chronicles, “Cinder”. Each book focuses on a different fairy tale character with whom Cinder comes into contact. 


 Bitter Greens

“Bitter Greens” by Kate Forsyth
Available on Hoopla as a digital audiobook

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens. After Margherita's father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition. Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.
Inspired by Charlotte’s writings that first penned Rapunzel, this retelling weaves historical fiction, fairy tales and romance into one story. The story features narratives from each of the three leading females in the story: Charlotte, Margherita and Selena.


Now that you know the real story check out these and other Rapunzel retellings on Hoopla!
o “The Golden Braid” by Melanie Dickerson
“My Name is Rapunzel” by K.C. Hilton
o “Reign of Shadows” by Sophie Jordan
o “Towering” by Alex Flinn
o “Golden Curse” by M. Lynn

“Go. Live your dream.”- Tangled

Picture credits: Disney, Trina Schart Hyman, Hoopla

Posted by  On Jul 31, 2020 at 11:54 AM
Create & DIY for adults

Harry Potter Wands
with Ollivanders and Head Mistress Julie

Swish and flick! Take a behind-the-scenes trip to Ollivanders and learn how to make your own wand!

Posted by  On Jul 29, 2020 at 12:54 PM
UPDATE: After positively identifying the male responsible for shooting two other protesters on Interstate 225, we now have a signed arrest warrant for the shooter. The arrest warrant was applied for through the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office. After the warrant application was accepted by the District Attorney's Office, a judge signed the arrest warrant based on the facts and probable cause provided.

The male has been positively identified as Samuel Young (07/08/1997). His warrant was for four (4) counts of Attempted Homicide. Samuel Young is the person of interest previously released.

Samuel Young has just been taken into custody by Aurora Police. A booking photo will be available at a later time.

We are still urging anyone with pictures or videos that show the actions of the Jeep driver, prior to driving through the group of protesters, to reach out to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers. We also need any eyewitnesses of this incident to contact Sgt. Jeff Longnecker of the Major Crimes/Homicide Unit for an interview. The Aurora Police Department continues to investigate other incidents of violence during the protest march on the highway.

Officer Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department

Information Previously Released July 27

(July 27th, 2020) UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who submitted their tips. We have positively identified this male. 

We will not be releasing his identity at this time but are hopeful to have additional information later today.

Officer Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department

Information Previous Released July 26

(July 26th, 2020) UPDATE: Through pictures provide to us from a witness, this male is considered a person of interest in the shooting of two people on Interstate 225.

We are seeking any information regarding this males identity. 

If you recognize this male, or have any information about his actions yesterday, please contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.STOP (7867).

Picture 1PIC 2

Officer Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department

Information Previously Released July 26th

(July 26, 2020) On July 25, 2020, at approximately 6:35 P.M., protesters began to walk northbound on Interstate 225 from East Alameda Parkway.

Around 7:00 P.M. Aurora Police observed, from a media helicopter, a Jeep that was traveling northbound on I-225 heading towards the protesters. The Jeep then drives into the crowd. While the Jeep was being driven through the crowd, multiple shots were fired by a protester. At this time it is unknown if multiple people fired their weapons, or if it was just one individual. Also, there have been no reported injuries reported to us about anyone being hit by this vehicle.

Two people were struck by gunfire. One adult male was shot in the leg and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Another adult male was shot in the head, only causing a graze wound. He was transported to the hospital by a private vehicle.

The Jeep continued northbound on I-225, eventually exiting the interstate at East 6th Avenue. The driver pulled over at E. 6th Ave and Billings Street when he located officers who were investigating a separate, unrelated crash at that location. The driver was positively identified, questioned, and the Jeep was impounded for evidentiary purposes.

During preliminary interviews with the Jeep driver, he advised officers that while on I-225, his vehicle began to be surrounded by protesters who were yelling and striking his vehicle. He also claims that a white pickup truck struck the front of his vehicle. He claims that the reason that he drove towards the protesters is because he was scared and trying to get away.

Detectives are in contact with the shooting victims who might have captured pictures or videos of the incident. One of the victims remains hospitalized with his injuries.

We are seeking the public’s assistance. We need any pictures, videos, or eyewitness accounts that show the events leading up to the Jeep driving into the crowd. Those can be submitted to Denver Metro Crime Stoppers.

We are also seeking pictures, videos, and eyewitnesses who observed the shooting. We are actively working to identify the shooter(s) responsible for shooting into a crowd and injuring two people. Those tips can also be submitted to Denver Metro Crime Stoppers.

The Aurora Police Department Major Crimes Unit spent time today at the incident scene investigating and searching for evidence. This investigation temporarily closed the lanes of northbound I-225 and we thank motorists for their patience today. The event organizers have not yet reached out to detectives, therefore this is the reason we are seeking the public's assistance. If anyone has information to share, tipsters who contact Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Once all of the evidence is gathered, this case will be presented to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for criminal culpability.

Please see the following statement from Chief Wilson:
“I not only find great concern with someone making the decision to drive their vehicle toward protesters on the interstate but that someone in the protester group opened fire, recklessly shooting two people.

We will be working with our District Attorney to discuss appropriate charges for the driver as well as working tirelessly to identify the shooter(s) on the interstate.

Any witnesses are urged to report what they saw to Denver Metro Crime Stoppers.”

Officer Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
Posted by  On Jul 27, 2020 at 10:28 PM
Read It!

Family Book Club
with Tess

 The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

"The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles" - Part 3 (Chapters 1-8 + Epilogue)
- What is your favorite creature that the Potters and Professor meet in Whangdoodleland?
- Were you afraid they would never make it to the castle?
- Were you surprised that the Prock finally allowed them to meet the Whangdoodle?
- What did you think of the Whangdoodle?
- Did you think the Professor's experiment would work?
- How did you like the ending? 
- How did you like the book overall?

Activity: Create your own Whangdoodle creature and send me a picture at!

August Family Book Club

August's book is "One Crazy Summer" by Rita Williams-Garcia, a work of historical fiction and the winner of the Newbery Medal Winner & Corretta Scott King Award Winner in 2011.

One Crazy Summer

In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Oakland, California to spend a month with the mother they barely know, Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet, is resentful of their intrusion and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

The reading schedule will be posted on Monday, Aug. 3. Be sure to get a copy! Call the Tallyn's Reach Library at 303.627.3050 or visit in person for a physical copy. It is also available as an audiobook via RBDigital Audiobooks and as an eBook via Overdrive (Libby) and HooplaDigital. Access all three digital platforms with your library card.
Posted by  On Jul 27, 2020 at 1:15 PM
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