Pay-What-You-Want Cafes Evolve in Colorado

DENVER, CO — At some groundbreaking Colorado community cafes, guests from all walks of life eat a nourishing, organic meal at a price they can afford. Some guests give little extra, some give a recommended amount, and some volunteer their time in exchange for lunch. The non-profit Pay-What-You-Can cafe business model — with its epicenter in Denver — is evolving as a way to deliver nourishing meals to the hungry in a respectful and dignified setting.

Changes came this summer to two of the cafes. Community cafe pioneers at Denver’s SAME Cafe (So All May Eat) hired an executive director in July. The founders of Fort Collins’ FoCo Cafe (Feeding our Community Ourselves) stepped down and hired a director and new chef in August.

The pay-what-you-can restaurant concept started in 2003 in Salt Lake City. The idea has inspired around 60 restaurants in the U.S. There are three in Colorado.

Some of those new café owners include rock star Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea, who’ve opened three Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen cafes in New Jersey. The Birkys also inspired Panera Bread Founder and CEO Ron Shaich in 2010 to start Panera Cares pay-as-you-wish restaurants, now open in the St. Louis suburbs and Boston.

“The movement as a whole is coming into its own,” said SAME Café founder Libby Birky, a former teacher who started the café with her husband Brad in 2006. “We have helped probably 45 of those 60. [Café hopefuls] have stayed in our basement, and volunteered for weeks and sometime months. We’ve made a lot of mistakes and we want people to learn from them.”

SAME Cafe founder Libby Birky accepts a fresh veggie delivery from Ebi Kondo of Denver Botanic Gardens.

But the concept is not as simple as it sounds, Birky said. Three cafes in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs closed within the past five years. Panera Cares scaled back, closing locations in Dearborn, Mich., Portland, Ore. and Chicago.

“The community connections, conversations and relationships are the magic that happens here,” Birky said. “That piece is so essential. When everyone wants a SAME Café in your neighborhood, it’s going to look different and feel different based on customers and community.”

Since 2006, the SAME Café, open from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., has served more than 138,000 organic, locally sourced, fresh lunches at 2023 E. Colfax. There is no set menu, and no set price for a meal. The café has no cash register, but a donation box. Some patrons pay less than cost for their meals, but most pay a fair price, and some pay more. A professional chef and other staff are paid a living wage, but the restaurant also runs on the work of many volunteers.

For 10 years, the Birkys worked “70 hour weeks” Libby said.

“But there were opportunities for growth and expansion, for touching more people, and we said, ‘No thank you,’ because of our personal limitations,” she said. “We realized we were the ones in the way for the growth pattern for the organization.”

SAME Café board members will participate in September in an entrepreneurial Food Access Bootcamp and incubator with Uncharted Institute (formerly the Unreasonable Institute).

The board hired Executive Director Brad Reubendale, a former customer and volunteer with nonprofit experience.

“Right now I’m learning and basically drinking from the firehose,” Reubendale said. Possible expansions of the restaurant could be expanding hours, opening another location or possibly a food truck, he said.

An artist works on a sculpture during lunch at Cafe 180 in Englewood

In Englewood, Café 180, at 3315 S. Broadway, serves healthy pay-as-you-can lunches. Demographics collide during lunch, said Executive Director Sarah Lesyinski. “Englewood has wealthy areas like Cherry Hills and Greenwood Village and then the river area with a large homeless population. There’s Section 8 housing and then gentrification with millennials moving in. Where we opened was intentional,” she said.

Café 180’s umbrella organization One Good Turn also supports a job training catering business and a transitional housing program as well as job training programs in Littleton at a bicycle shop.

Lesyinski has worked with One Good Turn for six years, taking over from founder Catherine Clements.

"I fell in love with café and the way it empowers people," Lesyinski said.

FoCo Cafe Chef Jeremy Trezoglou ladles soup for customers. (Patch Staff)

In Fort Collins, the FoCo Café was opened Thanksgiving day, 2014 by founders Jeff and Kathleen Baumgardner. The Baumgardners spent months observing and volunteering at the SAME Café before opening the doors at 225 Maple St. This summer, the couple retired out of state, and Executive Director Mallory Andrews has taken the helm, along with a new chef, Jeremy Trezoglou.

“The cafe was built off the shoulders of the co-founders, and so many people associate it with them,” Andrews wrote in an email. “Once they are gone, do these people still feel inclined to come back? We do see many of the same customers, but many new ones as well.”

Changes to the restaurant include more creativity in menus, which can feature items such as mixed squash, roasted carrots, spicy tomato pesto soup and apricot bread pudding for dessert.

The pay-as-you-can café world is a tight-knit community working to refine the social experiment.

“I’m meeting with both Mallory and Brad in the next couple of weeks to help them get oriented,” Lesyinski said.

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Powhatan Gentle Dentistry | Exams, Cleaning, Fillings | Powhatan VA

We serve the Powhatan area’s dental needs, offering a full range of services – including comprehensive exams, adult & child cleaning, low-radiation digital x-rays, preventative dentistry, gum disease therapy, tooth colored fillings, crowns & bridges, and oral surgery.

As our name suggests, our goal is to provide the highest quality dental care, in the gentlest fashion possible. We want you to be comfortable throughout any procedure. Give us a call to make an appointment today!

With an experienced team of friendly and gentle staff and doctors, we create a pleasant dental experience for our patients.

With decades of experience and a personal approach to dentistry, we take pride in providing excellent service and being attentive to our patients’ individual needs.

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Sacramento Dentistry Group Answers: Do Lip Piercings Cause Bad Breath?

Sacramento, CA, August 9, 2017 ( – Piercings of various kinds show no sign of going away. Indeed, humans have pierced their bodies with decorative objects since pre-history. Nevertheless, oral piercings do present significant side effects. Recently the Sacramento Dentistry Group was asked if bad breath is one of them. Indirectly, the answer would have to be yes.

Bad Breath From a Lip Piercing?

A lip piercing itself does not cause bad breath. Although bacteria are certainly attached to it, just as they are to the oral tissues, that alone is not enough to significantly affect the smell of the breath. Piercings do, however, irritate the gum tissues. When irritated, the gums become inflamed and form pockets around the teeth, instead of wrapping the teeth and roots closely. Gum pockets are a preferred space for bacterial reproduction and they multiply rapidly in this environment. What is one of the significant by-products of oral bacteria multiplying exponentially in the mouth? That would be bad breath.

So while a lip piercing may not directly cause bad breath, it encourages gum disease by damaging the very tissues that are part of the body’s defenses against bacteria. And where there is gum disease, there is almost always bad breath.

What’s worse than bad breath, however, is the gum recession that usually results from a lip piercing. Check the area directly behind a piercing and the gum is usually worn away, compared to neighboring teeth. This leads to a greater likelihood of root cavities and eventual tooth loss.

So while the Sacramento Dentistry Group has no objection to piercings in general, the dentists at their downtown practice definitely discourage oral piercings of any kind. For more information, you may visit their website at or contact them at 916-538-6900.

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group

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Keep Up With Your Dentistry, Even As An Adult

It’s important to keep up with your dentistry, even as an adult. It’s a lot easier to do when you’re a kid, as your parents take care of the scheduling and appointments, dragging you there every few months whether you like it or not. Even as a young adult or college student, you likely have appointments magically appear for you when you’re home on college break.

After you’re out on your own, things become considerably harder. Your job might offer a dental plan option, but did you sign up for it? Or did you decline it thinking your teeth are fine and healthy and you’d rather save the money?

It’s unfortunate that dental appointments aren’t often covered by general health insurance, considering how important oral health is. Even if you brush twice a day, rinse with a mouthwash daily, and floss regularly, you still need to have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year by a trained technician and then looked over by an actual dentist.

There are many reasons why this is critical, ranging from preventing cavities to identifying tooth decay or gum disease far in advance. The sooner an issue is detected, the more likely it is that something can be done about it.

Keeping your original teeth is a lot cheaper and healthier in the long run than getting the many kinds of fixtures or replacements that are out there, but modern dentistry does often make it possible to get things done that blend right in with your remaining healthy teeth or even flat out replace them all.

Still, with the right combination of self-care and semiannual dentistry appointments, you can keep your mouth in great shape and hopefully avoid having to do anything like this in your own future.

Stevan Ridley, Broncos Reportedly Agree to Contract

The Denver Broncos reportedly signed veteran running back Stevan Ridley on Thursday after he was released by the Atlanta Falcons.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Ridley’s agreement with the Broncos.

Ridley offers the Broncos insurance at running back after Rapoport reported Devontae Booker suffered a fractured wrist which he aggravated while training for the season.

Per ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said Booker will undergo surgery and is expected to miss six weeks.

Ridley, 27, has spent time with the Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and Falcons in 2016. He was released by the Lions and Colts before the season started and linked up with Atlanta on Oct. 23. After carrying the ball three times for seven yards in his only appearance with the Falcons, he was released Nov. 23.

The Broncos are Ridley’s fifth team since leaving the New England Patriots after the 2014 campaign. He carried the ball 36 times while a member of the New York Jets in 2015, recording a career-low 90 yards. A 1,200-yard rusher in 2012 with the Patriots, Ridley’s career has been undone by injuries—particularly a torn ACL and MCL in 2014.

"My body feels good," Ridley said last July, per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. "I’ve done the therapy, I’ve done the rehab. There’s nothing to do now but come out here and play. I’m going to let my play speak for itself before I say I’m back."

The Broncos are well stocked with depth at running back, including C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, so it could be difficult for Ridley to play a significant role.

This does give Ridley an opportunity to showcase his skills for the Broncos, while also showing other teams around the NFL that he can stay healthy. It’s a solid low-risk addition for Denver at this point in the offseason.

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STARTEK Announces Partnership with TriageLogic

Leading BPO expands medical triage solutions and provider medical support services

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–STARTEK (NYSE: SRT), a leader in business process outsourcing services, today announced a partnership with URAC accredited TriageLogic® to expand its medical triage solutions and provider medical support services. The partnership allows STARTEK to provide healthcare clients with an enhanced solution to evaluate and treat patients utilizing 24/7 medical triage based on the gold standard Schmitt-Thompson protocols by registered nurses.

“We are excited to provide the TriageLogic platform and telehealth expertise to assist STARTEK in achieving their goals in providing outstanding patient care and innovative products for their healthcare clients”

TriageLogic’s secure, hosted solution is a repository for nursing protocols, physician/practice profiles and encounter documentation. The HIPAA-compliant software also provides clinics and hospitals with access to live patient logs and real-time patient updates with minimal integration.

“Our new partnership is just the beginning for STARTEK and TriageLogic as we seek to provide best-in-class solutions for our healthcare clients,” says Steve Heeg, vice president of healthcare operations for STARTEK. “This initial software implementation sets the stage for integration of TriageLogic’s suite of technology options within telemedicine as we expand supporting markets into 25 states through 2018.”

“We are excited to provide the TriageLogic platform and telehealth expertise to assist STARTEK in achieving their goals in providing outstanding patient care and innovative products for their healthcare clients,” says TriageLogic Medical Director and COO Ravi Raheja, MD.

STARTEK currently provides healthcare solutions to over 65 practices and 350 doctors. At any one time, patients and providers are assisted by STARTEK’s Triage Services staff, which includes registered nurses and patient coordinators led by a clinical nurse manager and operations manager. Other healthcare services include receivables management, nurse triage, enrollment, pharma, medical device management and patient customer service/scheduling. Please visit for more information.

About TriageLogic®

Founded in 2006, TriageLogic is a URAC accredited, physician-led provider of high-quality services and software for Telehealth. We integrate a unique blend of innovative communication solutions with medical expertise based on practical experience and a thorough understanding of the field. TriageLogic is a leading provider of top-quality triage technology, mobile applications, and call center solutions. The TriageLogic group serves over 9,000 physicians and covers over 18 million lives nationwide. With over 10 years of experience and six customizable products, TriageLogic continues to partner with private practices, hospitals, and corporations throughout the U.S. Visit for more information.

About STARTEK, Inc.

World class customer engagement starts with world class conversations – and that’s where we come in. We’re STARTEK, and we specialize in orchestrating the ideal customer experience at the point of conversation between you and your customers. Powered by the science of dialogue, our customer engagement specialists and communication scientists understand the human component of the contact center better than anyone. Our omnichannel engagement solutions have helped countless brands, including JD Power award-winning companies, connect emotionally, solve issues, and improve net promoter scores. Whether engaging on the phone, online, in person, in your contact center or in ours, STARTEK can help you turn your strong customer relationships into unbreakable ones. Because the outcome of every customer engagement matters. For more information, visit

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Feds Distributed $8 Million in Seized Money, Property to Colorado Law Enforcement. Here’s Where It Went.

Denver Police investigate a shooting crime scene on Champa St. between and 16th and 17th Avenue in the Renaissance Hotel parking lot Nov. 9, 2016.

Local law enforcement agencies across Colorado received about $8 million in proceeds from property and money seizures over the past two years in a practice that police chiefs and sheriffs say could be curtailed by a new state law.

It’s money that’s at the center of a controversial new law, one that prescribes how local authorities in Colorado should handle money and assets seized during criminal investigations when working with federal agents.

The debate centers on mandates that law enforcement use state protocols for the practice, known as civil asset forfeiture, vs. federal rules, which are seen as more lenient.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers and civil rights groups who backed the legislation say it’s needed to ensure Coloradans’ due-process protections and that the practice has better oversight.

But the measure — House Bill 1313 — was strongly opposed by law enforcement because of a provision prohibiting local agencies from receiving forfeiture proceeds from the federal government in cases where property and money seized is less than $50,000. Police chiefs and sheriffs say the law will cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from federal agencies that were being used for crime fighting.

But how much money and property are seized by federal authorities in Colorado? And how much of it goes back to local law enforcement?

Here is a breakdown looking back two years, though the U.S. Department of Justice cautions it does not reflect total federal forfeiture activity for each given year:

In 2016, $9 million of net forfeiture proceeds were gathered by federal authorities in Colorado, $3.1 million of which was distributed to local law enforcement.

Of that $3.1 million, the greatest amount — $378,509 — went to the Weld County Drug Task Force, according to U.S. Department of Justice data. The Northern Colorado Drug Task Force received $373,361, the West Metropolitan Drug Task Force got $367,430 and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office got $297,753.

The smallest amount — $81 — went to the Otero County Sheriff’s Office.

See all the 2016 equitable sharing payments made to Colorado agencies here:

In 2015, $10,465,640 in net forfeiture proceeds were gathered by federal authorities in Colorado, $5.06 million of which was distributed to local law enforcement.

Of that $5.06 million, the greatest amount — $1.04 million — went to the Denver Police Department, according to U.S. Department of Justice Data. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office received $778,643, the West Metropolitan Drug Task Force got $537,101 and the Colorado Springs Police Department got $587,637.

The smallest amount — $90 — went to the Rocky Ford Police Department.

See all the 2015 equitable sharing payments made to Colorado agencies here:

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Need To Save Money At The Dentist?

Need to Save Money at the Dentist?

Do you ever need to save money at the dentist? While many adults and families are lucky to have insurance that makes most dental appointments and work affordable, not everyone is so fortunate. There are however ways to save on the dentist, if you look a little.

For starters, check the major cities in your state or area, and see if any of them run a dental college or institute. There’s a number of these around the country, and they are where aspiring dentists and dental technicians learn their trade on volunteers. The volunteers still have to pay for these services, but they are heavily discounted given that it is a practice and training grounds for those trying to get into the industry. They also do their work under the direct supervision of actual professionals who know how to teach.

Another way to save money on going to the dentist is to keep an eye out for coupons. Many come right in the mailbox as direct mailings, and others are sometimes ads in the Sunday paper. You might think that any dentist office having to advertise is desperate for patients for a reason that reflects badly on a business, but there are many reasons why a dentist office might advertise.

For starters, if it is a new business, it might just be trying to build up a client base. Also, one that has expanded or added more locations might be trying to fill up its schedule and examination beds.

It might also notice seasonal slumps in its appointments and is trying to get their schedules full during the school year since they get flooded with kids and students during holiday breaks. All these mean deals and discounts you can take advantage of. Also ask about in-house payment plans and financing they offer.