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City Council withholds funds, Sen. Hudak resigns, more 

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Democrat Hudak resigns

Faced with a possible recall election, Colorado Sen. Evie Hudak, a Democrat representing Jefferson County, resigned her seat Nov. 27. Because party members will appoint her replacement, her resignation protects the Senate's 18-17 Democratic majority.

Hudak was the latest lawmaker targeted by gun rights activists upset about recent gun control laws passed by state legislators.

"I am incredibly saddened to lose such a dedicated public servant in our Senate caucus," said Senate President-Elect Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, in a press release.

In contrast, Colorado Republican Committee Chairman Ryan Call cheered Hudak's departure but added, "By side-stepping the recall process ... Hudak's resignation shows that Democrats are much more concerned about holding onto political power than in being held accountable." — JAS

Black Forest moving ahead

Over the holiday weekend, an art show was held in the first rebuilt house in the Black Forest burn area.

Andrew Van Dyke says the homeowner welcomed his nonprofit, HEART of Colorado (HEaling Artists Responding to Trauma), into her home for an open house. The work of about a dozen local artists, themed around the Black Forest Fire, was on display. The HeART Healing Art Exhibit (whose progress you can follow on Facebook) will next go to Seeds Community Café and then to Firehouse BBQ and Sports Bar.

In other Black Forest news, the nonprofit United Policyholders is partnering once again with El Paso County to host a workshop on insurance for Black Forest survivors. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Woodmen Heights Campus of Woodmen Valley Chapel, 8292 Woodmen Valley View. The free event will provide time for talking with neighbors and experts. — JAS

Curry Leaf saga continues

In September, the Indy reported on allegations of the Curry Leaf Restaurant not paying its employees, repeated calls to police regarding disturbances, and multiple lawsuits filed against owner Lana Hillstrom for monies owed ("Dropping the checks," News, Sept. 18). Now the restaurant has vacated its space at 321 N. Tejon St. (See Side Dish for more on Coquette Bakery and Bistro moving in.)

In an interview Monday, Hillstrom claimed her lease expired, and that she'll be moving the restaurant east as she's long desired, since "downtown is dying."

But Tuesday, the Indy obtained copies of six federal tax liens against the business, dated between August 2011 and October 2013. Back-taxes owed include FUTA, corporation income tax and employee paycheck withholdings. The most recent bill was for $3,215.21, and the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office confirms it does not possess any releases showing any of the liens as having been settled yet.

Gary Feffer of Fountain Colony real estate says there was actually no written lease between Hillstrom and Tejon Street building owner Scott Long, but that the two "came to a mutual agreement to terminate her tenancy ... relieving her of whatever obligations she had in return to get a tenant of the quality of Coquette's."

Hillstrom did not return messages for further comment by deadline. — MS

Compiled by Matthew Schniper and J. Adrian Stanley.

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