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At this plant-filled Denver tattoo shop, every artist is either a woman or non-binary

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At this plant-filled Denver tattoo shop, every artist is either a woman or non-binary

Editor’s note: Each week in Staff Favorites, we offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems).

It’s not easy to stand out as a tattoo shop on Colfax Avenue.

But step inside The Wolf Den and you’ll find a shop unlike any other in town. Visitors are greeted with warm jewel tones, comfortable furniture and the winding vines of house plants that give the space a serene, verdant vibe. And then your eyes are inevitably drawn to a neon sign on the back wall: “All female studio,” it reads, and suddenly it becomes apparent why this tattoo shop feels so different from its neighbors.

Lead artist Ryane Urie — who is non-binary and uses the pronouns they/them — first opened The Wolf Den in RiNo in 2017 after years of working in shops largely staffed by male artists. The studio moved to Colfax last year and is currently undergoing a renovation that will add a community art gallery.

Provided by Hailey Wheeler

A small monstera leaf tattoo inked onto Denver Post entertainment editor Beth Rankin by Hailey Wheeler at The Wolf Den Custom Tattoo Studio on East Colfax.

“I wanted it to be where it kind of, like, transports you into like a different world essentially, where you kind of feel like you’re walking into a forest, and you feel safe because your community is in it,” they said of the shop’s colorful and comforting design.

But Urie’s design choices aren’t just about looking cool. Their goal was to create a safe space for women, non-binary and LGBTQIA+ people who may not feel as comfortable getting tattooed in a traditionally male-dominated space. But they also wanted to make tattooing more comfortable for male customers, who make up much of Urie’s own client base.

“(Men) get a safe space to hurt and not feel judged or have a bravado about it,” they said of the tattoo process, which — let’s be honest — is not always the comfiest experience. “I never really thought about that aspect until this space was created.”

The shop also uses only vegan products and is low-plastic, another aspect that makes it stand out.

“Almost all of our products are a compressed wheat stock or corn starch to create the plastic,” Urie said. “We’re trying to have the (smallest) footprint we can.”

The Wolf Den Custom Tattoo Studio, 6640 E. Colfax Ave., 720-917-9406. thewolfdentattoo.com

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NH gov. questions Massachusetts’ handling of Montgomery case

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NH gov. questions Massachusetts’ handling of Montgomery case

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu harshly criticized a Massachusetts court on Tuesday for placing Harmony Montgomery, missing since 2019 at age 5, with her father and stepmother before the state could complete a study of their home.

Sununu, in a letter to the chief justice of Massachusetts’ highest court, described the father, Adam Montgomery, as a “monster.” Adam Montgomery has a criminal record that goes back to least 2007 in both states. In Massachusetts, he was previously convicted of shooting someone in the head and a separate armed attack on two women, Sununu wrote.

Sununu asked why the Massachusetts courts went ahead and placed Harmony Montgomery with him. The governor said that at the time the court ruled, New Hampshire’s child protection agency had asked Massachusetts for additional information to complete the home study and would have likely found the father unfit.

“It is unclear why the Massachusetts courts moved so quickly with this permanent placement prior to the completion of the home study. Why would the Massachusetts court choose to place custody of Harmony with this horrible individual? What caused such a fateful decision?” Sununu wrote.

Sununu is requesting the court review the decision and all events leading to the judge’s ruling.

“No child should ever leave Massachusetts in the custody of a dangerous criminal like Adam Montgomery,” Sununu wrote. “We must ensure that, moving forward, at-risk children of our states are protected and adequately monitored.”

Massachusetts Court System Spokesperson Jennifer Donahue said Chief Justice Kimberly Budd received the letter from Sununu and that the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate has opened an investigation “into this tragic situation.” The Massachusetts Trial Court, she added, was cooperating fully with that investigation.

Harmony Montgomery was last seen at a Manchester home in October 2019, when she was 5. Manchester police were notified last December that the child had not been seen in two years.

Since then, police have searched the house where she was last seen. Harmony Montgomery’s father and stepmother have been arrested on charges related to her well-being.

Adam Montgomery was arrested on a second-degree assault charge earlier this month, as well as charges of interfering with custody and child endangerment. Police accused him of “purposely violating a duty of care, protection or support” by failing to know where the girl has been since late 2019 — the last reported sighting.

Adam Montgomery, 31, had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf by his lawyer. He has been jailed without bail.

Prosecutors dropped a welfare fraud charge last week against Harmony Montgomery’s stepmother, Kayla Montgomery, for collecting food stamps in the child’s name. The charge was replaced with three other charges, including theft.

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Protestors depart from Michelle Wu’s house — and end up at Ed Flynn’s

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Protestors depart from Michelle Wu’s house — and end up at Ed Flynn’s

There’s been some peace and quiet for a couple of days outside Mayor Michelle Wu’s Roslindale home — because the protestors who’ve been screaming at her about the vaccine mandate trekked across town and began doing so outside Council President Ed Flynn’s house.

Flynn, of South Boston, is now the target of the anti-vaxxers’ ire after a couple of different statements over the weekend in which he decried the tone the demonstrators were taking with Wu outside her house over the mayor’s vaccine mandates.

“A person’s home should be a safe place,” Flynn said in a statement on Tuesday. “Here in Boston and across the country, we are seeing behavior that is crossing the line with the potential to escalate to violence. We need to treat each other with respect and dignity.”

Video shot Tuesday morning, the second in a row in which people have been outside his house, features a woman yelling at the top of her lungs that Flynn, who’s a Navy veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, is a “communist” and a “traitor.”

This is similar rhetoric that the protestors used with Wu outside her Roslindale home as most days dawned over the past couple of weeks — calling her a communist and, on the morning of her 37th birthday last week, chanting “Happy birthday, Hitler.”

Wu, speaking on the radio on GBH on Tuesday, called these types of chants “hateful language” that’s “quite scary in some ways,” and said protestors had seized on “national right-wing talking points.”

The protestors are taking issue with her vaccine mandate for city workers and the requirement that many Boston venues have to require proof of vaccination. Both of those prongs of the mandate went into effect this week, and the city will begin to place non-compliant city workers on leave next week.

Flynn, whose district includes Southie and Chinatown, on Saturday had been responding to a question about whether his father, the former mayor Raymond Flynn, ever had protestors outside of his house. Yes, Flynn had told reporters, but he said this is a “different level of intensity” and, he added, “I honestly believe some of it is related to an anti-Asian sentiment in this country.”

The protestors hadn’t totally forgotten about Wu, though — a couple of people did show up at her press conference on Tuesday to shout questions about what they characterized as “discrimination” against them and other unvaccinated people over the city’s implementation of vaccine mandates and passports.

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Ricardo Arroyo ‘considering’ bid for Suffolk County District Attorney

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Ricardo Arroyo ‘considering’ bid for Suffolk County District Attorney

Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo is the latest name floated to be in the running for the open Suffolk County District Attorney seat.

The former public defender confirmed he’s fielding calls and “considering” a bid but was otherwise tight-lipped about his aspirations for higher office.

Arroyo is fresh off his reelection to his second term representing District 5.

Sources close to the city councilor say he’s motivated to ensure former Suffolk County District Attorney turned U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’ criminal justice reform movement carries on in her absence. Politico first reported Arroyo’s interest in the seat.

Rollins was sworn in as the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts under President Biden on Jan. 10, becoming the first Black woman to hold the role.

Arroyo was born in Hyde Park — the district he now represents — to parents Felix D. Arroyo, a former Boston city councilor and the current register of probate for Suffolk County and Elsa Montano, a retired Boston Public Schools teacher.

Gov. Charlie Baker appointed Sex Offender Registry Board Chair Kevin Hayden to serve out the rest of Rollins’ term as Suffolk district attorney. He formerly served as an assistant district attorney in the county he now serves as district attorney. Hayden hasn’t yet said if he plans to run for a full term in the upcoming November election.

No one has formally jumped into the 2022 Suffolk district attorney’s race yet, but it’s expected to draw multiple hopefuls.

Fellow councilor Michael Flaherty has been rumored as another potential candidate.

Flaherty, an attorney, also once served as an assistant district attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. The Boston native has spent a collective 16 years as a city councilor.

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