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Old 12-30-2011, 07:34 PM
 
65 posts, read 127,634 times
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I am making several similar posts in various areas I'm looking at, so I will start them the same to get the background info out of the way before I get to my city-specific concerns. I am a resident of Santa Monica, CA, looking for some places to send my husband's resume so we can move somewhere where home purchase is a realistic possibility. We will move anywhere that offers my husband a job, but I want to narrow down the places we send to so that we can feel happy with whatever we get. That prelude out of the way...

1. How bad is the water situation? I read some kind of scary projections about growth vs. water availability. Have there been any strict rationing measures at any point in the past and do any of you know anything about future projections? Water is one of those things that you can't fake if you don't have it, so as an avid gardener this is something that I take very seriously!

2. Is there any ethnic diversity at all? I keep hearing that Denver is all white. My family is white but coming from L.A. I am so used to my daughter playing with people of various backgrounds and it's important to me that she not grow up thinking that white is the "default color."

3. I hear it can be conservative (compared to L.A. at least), and I am anything but, so I worry. I tolerate conservatives well, particularly moderate or open-minded ones, but how well would a sort of "quirky" person be received in Denver? Is a 35 year old with purple streaks in her hair going to be frowned at a lot? I suppose I should mention that I'm equally put off by really opinionated narrowminded liberals. Basically I am politically relaxed and don't want to be ranted at either way!

4. How are the public schools? Normally I would consider homeschooling an option if the public schools are bad, but I understand that there are a ton of hoops to jump through in CO if you want to homeschool. Schools are important to me because my daughter is extremely bright/gifted. I know all parents say that) but she seriously is just insanely smart to the point that people get wide-eyed and look at me incredulously when she talks. So I don't want her to be staring out a window bored all day when she could be actually learning!

5. Are there any opportunities for someone whose education/work background is in film/film production/website content/journalism? For example, are there colleges that have active film departments, or journalistic/entertainment web sites based in Denver?

Please excuse my chattiness and thanks in advance for any answers!
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
11,156 posts, read 12,870,587 times
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The water situation fluctuates based on annual snowfall. One lean winter and the restrictions kick into high gear. So it's constant reality that you may find yourself up against. There is an ebb and flow, though. Restrictions usually include not being able to water for more than a few minutes every other day, and increased rates for consumption.

There is plenty of ethnic diversity. In fact, I think Denver city proper is a majority-minority city if I am not mistaken. You'll find the Hispanic will be the largest ethnic minority in the area, but there are plenty of blacks and Asians as well. It's not the L.A. area, but the Denver-Boulder area has over 3,000,000 people, so there's a little of everyone there.

Don't worry about your hair highlights and quirkiness. In fact, purple streaks will make you fit right in at the Rockies baseball games! The Denver area is politically moderate, with strong liberal areas and strong conservative areas. I think it all balances out nicely. The trick with politics is respecting the views of others. I think you will find that people will respect you and your views. As I mentioned before, it's a big city and therefore it's easy to ignore local politics if you so choose.

I can't really comment on your last two questions, so I'll let someone else who has more knowledge on those subjects elaborate.

Good luck with your husband's job search!
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:47 PM
 
556 posts, read 1,131,485 times
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i can't answer all your questions, but i'll take a shot at some of them-
Quote:
1. How bad is the water situation? I read some kind of scary projections about growth vs. water availability. Have there been any strict rationing measures at any point in the past and do any of you know anything about future projections? Water is one of those things that you can't fake if you don't have it, so as an avid gardener this is something that I take very seriously!
if you live in an established older neighborhood there shouldn't be any problems but if you are in a growing suburb there could be issues in the future. of note, my garden with a drip irrigation system uses much less water than my neighbors lawn and i get to eat all summer. just be aware that gardening in denver is a challenge. the growing season is very short, snow in october and april is the norm and freezes last through may.
Quote:
2. Is there any ethnic diversity at all? I keep hearing that Denver is all white. My family is white but coming from L.A. I am so used to my daughter playing with people of various backgrounds and it's important to me that she not grow up thinking that white is the "default color."
unless you live in a hispanic neighborhood, white is the default color around here.
Quote:
3. I hear it can be conservative (compared to L.A. at least), and I am anything but, so I worry. I tolerate conservatives well, particularly moderate or open-minded ones, but how well would a sort of "quirky" person be received in Denver? Is a 35 year old with purple streaks in her hair going to be frowned at a lot? I suppose I should mention that I'm equally put off by really opinionated narrowminded liberals. Basically I am politically relaxed and don't want to be ranted at either way!
denver is pretty moderate, boulder is known for narrowminded liberals and the southern suburbs for narrowminded conservatives.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,148 posts, read 5,655,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmasevemom View Post
1. How bad is the water situation? I read some kind of scary projections about growth vs. water availability. Have there been any strict rationing measures at any point in the past and do any of you know anything about future projections? Water is one of those things that you can't fake if you don't have it, so as an avid gardener this is something that I take very seriously!
Water is allocated through "rights" that were established a long time ago. Water districts have acquired and need to acquire water rights from their original owners to serve their populations. Some older and larger water districts like Denver and Englewood have acquired sufficient rights to serve their customers. Younger, growing districts are having trouble keeping up with the increase in customers and are working feverishly to buy rights to serve their customers.

That said, all districts have restrictions like no midday watering of lawns and gardens, or limit the number of days per week you can water. This is now the culture. Water consciousness in Colorado is very high, and many people are conserving even when water is plentiful.

I would recommend a drip system for your garden. You'd be surprised how little water you actually need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmasevemom View Post
2. Is there any ethnic diversity at all? I keep hearing that Denver is all white. My family is white but coming from L.A. I am so used to my daughter playing with people of various backgrounds and it's important to me that she not grow up thinking that white is the "default color."
Here in Denver, white pretty much is the default color. In the city itself, and on the west and north sides of the metro area you will find many Hispanics and a small contingent of Vietnamese. Northeast Denver and northern Aurora is where most of the African American population is. Central Aurora and Southeast Denver has small Indian, Chinese, and middle eastern populations. Douglas County is white.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmasevemom View Post
3. I hear it can be conservative (compared to L.A. at least), and I am anything but, so I worry. I tolerate conservatives well, particularly moderate or open-minded ones, but how well would a sort of "quirky" person be received in Denver? Is a 35 year old with purple streaks in her hair going to be frowned at a lot? I suppose I should mention that I'm equally put off by really opinionated narrowminded liberals. Basically I am politically relaxed and don't want to be ranted at either way!
Denver and Boulder are comparable to LA. Everywhere else more like Orange County

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmasevemom View Post
4. How are the public schools? Normally I would consider homeschooling an option if the public schools are bad, but I understand that there are a ton of hoops to jump through in CO if you want to homeschool. Schools are important to me because my daughter is extremely bright/gifted. I know all parents say that) but she seriously is just insanely smart to the point that people get wide-eyed and look at me incredulously when she talks. So I don't want her to be staring out a window bored all day when she could be actually learning!
There are very good districts with excellent schools in most parts of the metro area. There are many magnet schools and charter schools that attract and cater to those kids who are very bright. One of the best is the Challenge School in Cherry Creek. Jeffco has a good program at Dennison Elementary, and both Cherry Creek and Denver have STEM schools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmasevemom View Post
5. Are there any opportunities for someone whose education/work background is in film/film production/website content/journalism? For example, are there colleges that have active film departments, or journalistic/entertainment web sites based in Denver?
Yes. The Colorado Film School was recognized as one of the top 25 films schools in the world (I was surprised when I found out), and there are several local TV stations (about 12 different stations) and Radio stations (about 40) in the area.

Denver is home to DISH network, Starz/Encore, Liberty Media, and a major headquarters for Comcast.

There are several news organizations with Denver bureaus (major networks, CNN, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, NY Times, USA today, NY Times). We are the face of our region.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,610 posts, read 22,195,338 times
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Denver is a very one dimensional, what-you-see-is-what-you-get city compared to Los Angeles. You can find almost anything you're looking for here, but it will be in smaller quantities and more limited selection compared to where you're from. Cities of this size are the kind of places where you frequently need to make your own fun, invent your own culture. You're either fine with that or not, only you can determine that.

If you're interested in film I would recommend taking a look at Albuquerque, about a 7hr drive south of Denver. They have a pretty sizable film industry down there due to favorable tax subsidies. Denver has hardly any film industry here.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:52 AM
 
65 posts, read 127,634 times
Reputation: 52
Thank you all for the information. I think a visit to Denver may be in order!
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,352 posts, read 113,642,456 times
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The water situation has been pretty well covered, however, I disagree with this from another poster:

Quote:
That said, all districts have restrictions like no midday watering of lawns and gardens, or limit the number of days per week you can water.
That is only the case summers of severe drought in most water districts. Louisville, where I live, has not had such restricitons since 2002, ten years ago (almost!).

2. The diversity issue has been covered pretty well, too. Here are some stats:

Denver (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

Depending on where you live, down to the individual block in some cases, your kids will have diverse playmates. Some suburban areas are more diverse than some parts of Denver.

3. Has been well covered. The voter registration is roughly 1/3 Dem; 1/3 Rep; 1/3 Unaffiliated (Independent in some states). I've called Denver "garden variety liberal" before. Boulder is known as a liberal bastion, but that is not entirely true. Ditto the southern suburbs as far as conservatism.

4. It is not difficult to home school in CO, AFAIK. I know a lot of people who do from my work as a pediatric nurse. If you're home schooling just to avoid poor quality schools, there is no need to do so in the metro area. There are plenty of good schools, not just the ones mentioned.

5. No idea, but it seems some others have given good advice/information.
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