Lakewood resident Stefka Fanchi was recently appointed to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority board of directors. Credit: Courtesy of Colorado Finance and Housing Authority

Overview: What’s happening in Jefferson County? Locals honored, banned book chats, pumpkins and more

Banned books and pumpkins are just some of the topics of conversation in Jefferson County this week. 

Banned books and pumpkins are just some of the topics of conversation in Jefferson County this week. 

Lakewood’s Stefka Fanchi appointed to Colorado Housing and Finance Authority

Lakewood resident Stefka Fanchi was recently appointed to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority board of directors. Fanchi served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Elevation Community Land Trust. Before that, she served as the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Colorado.

Fanchi joins the 11-member board of the CHFA. The agency invests in affordable housing and community development by offering financial resources to communities in Colorado.

For more information on Fanchi’s appointment and the CFHA, check out

Join Colorado Press Women, State Sen. Lisa Cutter and attorney Rachel Johnson in a Banned Books Week Chat

Banned Books Week is Oct. 1-7. You can end the week with Colorado Press Women, State Sen. Lisa Cutter and local attorney Rachel Johnson for “Book banning and information suppression: What the media needs to know,”an event from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Oct. 7 at the Columbine Library, 7706 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton.

According to the announcement, Cutter will discuss a bill to “help address the repression of a minority viewpoint in libraries and bookstores around the state.” The bill is in the works for the upcoming legislative session.

“Johnson, local legal initiative attorney for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, will talk about the case in Crested Butte that involves a request from the Crested Butte News for the name(s) of people who requested books be pulled from the local library and information suppression and its effect on the media,” the announcement said.

Pre-registration is required. For more information and/or to register for the event, email Gay Porter Nelson at

Send a letter to Congressman Chuck Schumer to get pay raises for wildland firefighters

State Sen. Michael Bennet and 12 others from the Colorado legislature are asking US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for firefighter pay raises. The group met with wildland firefighters in Grand Junction recently to discuss the issue of pay raises and benefits for these workers.

According to the announcement, over 22,000 federal firefighters got short-term pay raises that will run out unless there is a permanent line in the Presidential budget for 2024. After listening to firefighters speak about their hardships, Bennet committed to asking Schumer to move forward with the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act.  

“Wildland firefighters work incredibly dangerous jobs to keep Americans safe, but they’re not getting paid what they should get paid,” Bennet said. “As we face a hotter and drier future, wildfires are not going to stop and fire seasons will only get longer – and if Congress fails to act soon, we could lose the expertise of a generation or more of federal wildland firefighters. We must pass legislation immediately to ensure our wildland firefighters receive the pay and benefits they deserve.”

You can help by sending a letter to Congress. Find text for a letter and more information at Bennet.Senate.Gov.

Colorado Christian University inaugurated its 22nd president

Colorado Christian University 8787 W. Alameda Ave, Lakewood, inaugurated its 22nd president, Eric K. Hogue on Sept. 27 at the CCU Event Center. Hogue comes to lead the 109-year-old university from a position as the vice president of university advancement.

Hogue’s background includes a political candidacy and a long tenure as a media professional. He’s also an author and pastor. For more information, go to CCU.Edu.

The flyer for the 1st Annual Pumpkin Festival cites several activities. A few of the activities are continued from the now-canceled Festival of Scarecrows. Credit: Courtesy Bill Orchard

Come out for the 1st Annual Pumpkin Festival at the Arvada Community Garden

The Arvada Community Garden is hosting the 1st Annual Pumpkin Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 14 at 9195 W 57th Ave, Arvada. According to Bill Orchard, master gardener and longtime caretaker of the gardens, the pumpkin festival replaces the annual Festival of Scarecrows. which was canceled this year because of a location conflict.

“This would have been the 27th Annual Festival of Scarecrows which has happened every year since 1996, even during the COVID years,” Orchard said. “But this year there was a conflict with the use of the Olde Town Square with the Jackalope Art Fair. The organizers decided to cancel this year’s festival.”

Orchard said Community Garden president Heather Fiedler is behind the move. She decided to have the festival in the gardens.

Visitors can expect free activities like crafts for the kids, community garden tours and access to the U-Pick Pumpkin Patch, along with the Giant Pumpkin and Giant Squash contests.

 For more information, email  

Jonita Davis is a film and culture critic, author, and freelance writer. Her published books include Questioning Cultural Appropriation (2018 Enslow Publishing), Carrying On (2022 Saga Fiction), and the...

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